As we know, the private sector is struggling. And then there is the public sector, as Steve Malanga writes in the Wall Street Journal:
But then there is the U.S. public sector, where the mood seems very European these days. In New Jersey, which faces a $3.3 billion budget deficit, angry state workers have demonstrated in Trenton and taken Gov. Jon Corzine to court over his plan to require unpaid furloughs for public employees. In New York, public-sector unions have hit the airwaves with caustic ads denouncing Gov. David Paterson’s promise to lay off state workers if they continue refusing to forgo wage hikes as part of an effort to close a $17.7 billion deficit. In Los Angeles County, where the schools face a budget deficit of nearly $600 million, school employees have balked at a salary freeze and vowed to oppose any layoffs that the board of education says it will have to pursue if workers don’t agree to concessions.
Call it a tale of two economies. Private-sector workers — unionized and nonunion alike — can largely see that without compromises they may be forced to join unemployment lines. Not so in the public sector.
Read the whole article here. Yet be ready, if you are anything like me, to have very ugly (really ugly) thoughts about unions.