Jonah: Right on. And the NY transit strike is just the opening
battle in a war that will engage more and more of our attention in the
years to come — the war between the government people with their gold-plated benefits packages and retirement plans, and the
rising resentment of us private-sector saps, who have to pay for it
all with our taxes. Look at the letters columns of the local press.
People know what’s going on. Quotes from NY commuters printed in
America’s Newspaper of Record this morning (but not online):
“I’m going to have to work till I’m 80 so some 20-year-old can retire
at 55? I don’t think so.”
“I would love to have a job that would give me a 3 percent raise every
year, benefits for life, both medical and dental, and retirement at 62
[sic] with a full pension. If any openings occur, let me know.”
“I heard a transit worker complain to a reporter about how the MTA
wants more productivity from its workers without an increase in pay.
Welcome to the real world.”
Etc., etc. Did you know that “Overall, 90 percent of public employees
enjoy a defined-benefit pension, compared with only 20 percent (and
falling) of the private work force”? (Quote from Time magazine,
10/31/05 issue, “Where pensions are golden”.)
When you are in your seventies, you will still be schlepping to work
every day, so your taxes can fund the Caribbean cruise of some cop,
subway motorman, or schoolteacher who retired at 55. How will you
feel about that? Mad as hell, that’s how. Inevitably, your
mad-as-hell-ness will translate into politics sooner or later.
Government people–enjoy it while you’ve got it. It won’t last much
Public sector labor unions are an abomination. There is even a
case–I have made it somewhere, but can’t find the reference–for
disenfranchising people who make their living from public funds.
You’ll be hearing much, much more about all this in the years to come.