Daily Archives: January 6, 2011

Attacking the Public Sector Without Regret

In further failed attempts to put the new Republican majority in the House on the defensive, the left is not only coming out with their old tried and true class warfare tactics, but also trying to defend the indefensible: Civil Servants. In an article in The Progressive, “The Cynical War on Public Sector Workers” writer Matthew Rothschild tries to defend public workers (read “people who are too stupid to get a job in the private sector”)…That and make you out to be an evil person for not wanting to give government employees everything you own and earn.
Here are his preposterous defenses of public sector employees…

“First, […], ‘The problem in the economy has not been created by public workers. It was created by Wall Street.’”

No, actually the problem with the economy came from overspending, forcing banks to give money to people who couldn’t pay it back, and corporate welfare. All problems created by the government (and implemented by those pesky government workers). This problem was exacerbated by massive federal and state debts (a massive portion of which for the states is obscene public pension funds) and irresponsible Keynesian spending (most of which was money taken from your wallet and given to…government employees). So really Congress for passing bad laws for decades, the last 4 presidents for not enforcing the rules when they should have and enforcing bad rules when they shouldn’t have, and the Supreme Court for not protecting private property and personal rights are the ones to blame. Public employees are just the SS officers carrying out the orders of those above them (which doesn’t mean they aren’t without blame in this).

“Second, it’s not as though any public sector workers are getting filthy rich like the Wall Street bankers who got bailed out and are now back to bathing in ridiculous bonuses.”

Oh gee, more class warfare. How immature. First off, most of those people on Wall Street work 90+ hours in high stress jobs which most of us wouldn’t want to do, and what is called a bonus on Wall Street is very different (i.e. it’s actually part of their contractual salary) from what most of us think of when we get a bonus (which isn’t part of our contracts and often paid at the whim of our employers). And then we could go over to basic facts, because fact and numbers are stubborn things:

“The nation’s 6 million retired civil servants — teachers, police, administrators, laborers — received a median benefit of $17,640 in 2005, according to the Congressional Research Service. Eleven million private-sector retirees covered by traditional pensions got $7,692[…]. A typical full-time state or local government worker made $78,853 in wages and benefits in the third quarter of 2006, $25,771 more than a typical private-sector worker, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The difference was $7,604 in 2000. The compensation advantage holds true for all types of public workers, from teachers to laborers and managers. Better benefits for government workers is the biggest reason for the growing compensation gap.” Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

Hmm, well they might not be millionaires, but they certainly seem to be paid better and have better retirement benefits than most of us…and on our dime!

“Third, the attack on public sector workers is an attack on the idea that there should be a decent middle class in this country.”


Wow! So only the government can employ people in the middle class. I’m just going to ignore the idiot socialist implications of that statement and move to something else that’s a problem with it. Apparently there isn’t this thing called the private sector that is screaming that it needs people with educations so it can employee them in upper-middle class jobs. And because it can’t find educated people in this country it has to go to other countries to find them. So, if there is a barrier to creating a middle class it would be the fault of the education system (notice also the logical conclusion that: what government employees make it into the middle class do it in spite of merit, not because of it). And who is at fault for the education system. Hmm …bad legislators (public employees, who by the way are overpaid), bad administrators (public employees, who by the way are overpaid), bad teachers (public employees, who by the way are overpaid) and bad parents (many of whom I assume are…public employees).

“Fourth, the attack is but a thinly disguised thrust against unions. The public sector unionization rate is 36.8 percent; in the private sector, it’s 7.6 percent. Slashing the wages and benefits and rights of public sector workers is a way to delegitimize their unions. And for Republicans, it’s a way to get back at a Democratic power base and fundraising arm.”

Notice that he doesn’t even try to hide the fact that Democrats live, almost exclusively, on the dues stolen from union employees?
But I have a question, “thinly disguised”? Really? Why does he think it’s disguised? Any intelligent person has to realize that unions, be they private or public sector, have been far worse than the Robber Barons they were formed to counter. Unions need to exist as a check in the system. But right now they have near dictatorial power in the business world and cancerous effect on the economy. And this idiot is trying to suggest that the rational attack on the unions’ rampant abuse of power is wrong.

And of course:
“Finally, attacking public sector workers is bad for the economy. Cutting their wages and benefits will result in less purchasing power overall. The economy is suffering from a lack of demand already. This will just make that worse.”

So let me get this straight, stealing less from the general public and taking less out of the real middle class’s bank accounts will lessen the money in the economy? So taking less money from corporations will not encourage them to expand and hire new people? I’m confused. Probably because I’ve actually studied economics, and I know government handouts, even to people called employees, do not help an economy grow. That only happens when people in the private sector have money. And that only happens when the government isn’t stealing from the private sector.

Of course the biggest problem with all of this is that he calls the justified and rather late-coming attack on public sector is cynical. Let’s see here…they take my money in a myriad of forms; they make me fill out paperwork and pay fees if I want to do anything from park in forest, get married, or start a business; they limit my choices, take up hours of my time, “erected a multitude of New Offices and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance”, ruin the economy and retire in plush ease at an age I will still be working. Excuse me, but being robbed and raped and then not thanking my attacker for the pleasure of their service is not cynical.

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Government is corrupt, Government is useless