Public union wages and benefits have bankrupted many cities and states. The way to fix the problem is to get rid of public unions not increase their power.
By Mike “Mish” Shedlock at Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis
I have devoted a fair amount of coverage recently to protests in Spain, Italy and other places. The US has seen massive protests in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and now Oregon.
The protests in the US and Europe have a common theme “gimme gimme gimme”.
Everyone wants something, and they want to take it from someone else to get it. In the US, the SEIU is right at the top of the list in wanting to pick the pockets of everyone else for their own self-serving benefit.
Misguided SEIU Oregon Protest
Taking to the steps of the state capitol in Salem on Friday, thousands of state workers, union members and advocacy groups rallying for alternatives to budget cuts, wage freezes and furlough days in Oregon.
At least 36 busses carried people in to Salem from communities across all corners of Oregon. Many rally members say they’re tired of making concessions while corporation and wealthy Oregonians “aren’t paying their fair share.”
Most of the participants in Friday’s rally were state workers on an unpaid furlough day, one of 10 the state is forcing employees to take this year to help balance the budget.
SEIU Mob in Oregon
Untenable Wages and Benefits
Public union members want to preserve the status quo, just as they do in Greece and Spain.
Well the status quo is broken, and proof is easy to find: Public union wages and benefits have bankrupted many cities and states. The way to fix the problem is to get rid of public unions not increase their power.
Protesting the Wrong Thing
Please consider this email I just received from “LT”
The biggest problem I have with the protests in Europe is that they seem to be protesting the wrong things.
In Greece, for example, the nation has been floating on an unsustainable tide of government spending for public- and quasi-public-sector jobs and pensions, and also for entitlements. A huge segment of the Greek population gets some or all of its money from the various layers of government.
It seems to me that much the protesting is against the prospective loss of the national free lunch, because the Greek public knows their artificially-supported lifestyles will disappear down the drain and Greece will be back to being the third-world country is was 30 or 40 years ago.
That is why the Greeks are protesting against austerity measures. They should be protesting against bailouts and state guarantees of debt that will saddle them and their children with a lifelong bill, but for now it just seems like a standard leftist rant in favor of socialism and statism.
The PIIGS should default on their unsupportable debts AND cut back their wild spending to get back on solid ground financially, but the protesters seem to have little appetite for the second part of that equation.
Austerity Measures Needed
LT has the right idea, not just about Europe, but about misguided protests in the US as well. Austerity measures are needed, but the bailouts of banks at taxpayer expense are not.
The SEIU and their Greek counterparts want no part of the pain. Unfortunately untenable wages and benefits helped wrecked Greece and they have bankrupted many cities and states in the US.
So, yes there is a “better way”. The “better way” is to stop the bailouts of banks and stop handouts to unions as well.
The Better Way
- Implement Rand Paul’s national Right-to-Work proposal
- Scrap Davis-Bacon and all prevailing wage laws
- Get rid of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, and the FHA
- Stop the bailouts of banks at the expense of taxpayers
- Implement Paul Ryan’s Voucher Proposal for Medicare (see Who’s Right on Medicare Reform, Ryan and Rivlin or Obama and Gingrich? for details.)
- Reduce military spending substantially
- Stop attempting to be the world’s policeman
- Kill the student loan “debt-slave” program
- Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment
- Audit the Fed then end the Fed
That is the better way. It will be difficult to pass those measure because each proposal has a mob of naysayers and constituents all clamoring “gimme gimme gimme”.
We need a leader willing to spell out the serious situation the nation faces, what must be done about it, and the sacrifices that must be made for the nation to get out of its hole.
President Obama is clearly not that leader. Indeed he fails on every point.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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