The great public union divide

  • Article by: AMITY SHLAES , Bloomberg News
  • Updated: December 26, 2012 - 8:30 PM

Not just safety is compromised. So is equity for newer workers.

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furguson11Dec. 26, 12 8:55 PM

"The taxpayer can "afford" to pay public-sector wages higher than $8 an hour, but not $200,000 a year." Raise your hand if you are a public worker in MN making more than $200k per year. The average monthly benefit is $1,104 for MN PERA general fund retirees. State and local pensions account for 1.6% of state and local govt spending in MN.

probsolverDec. 26, 12 9:28 PM

Taxpayers should not have to pay for inflated union wages. Their sAlaries should be driven by the market.

liora51Dec. 26, 12 9:38 PM

And since the markets are now world wide, probsolver,Americans are working for lower and lower wages or losing altogether the working class jobs in manufacturing that have been outsourced to China or other third world countries.

luzhishenDec. 26, 12 9:39 PM

Calvin Coolidge? The earlier incarnation of W? Really?

waterdogzDec. 26, 1210:59 PM

This editorial is not local. Nobody said a Minn. worker was making 200k/year.

naseth12Dec. 26, 1211:15 PM

waterdogz - While that may be true, presenting this piece here indicates that this paper implies this perspective is potentially applicable. Both you and furguson11 are completely correct.

nonewtaxesDec. 27, 12 7:01 AM

One's opinion of these compensation schemes for public workers, does not change the fact that they simply can't be sustained. There are not enough "rich people " to tax and the rest of us wont tolerate it over the long term. This is not currently a Minnesota problem, but it is happening now on both coasts.

furguson11Dec. 27, 12 7:09 AM

Politicians want to bust unions because unions are strong while politicians are weak. There is nothing wrong with reasonable pay and a funded pension. But politicians negotiate with future funny money - pensions and benefits they don't have funded, to get a short term deal that doesn't make sense in the long term. The feds don't have any money set aside for future promised pension benefits, it's paid for out of current revenue.

elmore1Dec. 27, 12 8:15 AM

Look at Greece. We need reform of public unions for sure.

Mark27Dec. 27, 12 8:16 AM

The Amity Shales of our national conversation would like us to believe that the key to American prosperity in an era where wages and benefits have fallen to the lowest level as a percentage of GDP in American history withdraw from the middle class the one demographic of American workers who have yet to be completely destroyed. It blows my mind that the greedsters of the business sector STILL haven't connected the dots that in the nation of low-wage workers that they have engineered, the level of consumerism needed to sustain their businesses will be insufficient. Clearly, Amity Shales and those she represents will cling to the bitter end to the winner-take-all worldview that the business sector has fancied itself entitled to since the Reagan years.


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