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WHAT HAVE LABOR UNIONS DONE TO THE ONCE-HUMBLE PUBLIC SECTOR?

by poisontolibs, blogging at The Right Planet, ©2011

(Sep. 28, 2011) — Back when I was a young man Public Service jobs were looked at as an honor-low-paying, often hazardous, but necessary occupations that included police and firefighters. The Public Service jobs also included the clerks at the local, county, state and federal level– mailmen, Department of Public Works employees. They ran the gamut from the school janitor to the executive assistants to the president

Honorable jobs that you had to pass a civil service examination to get … that paid less than private sector jobs, but had great benefits that often included educational benefits for your children. Even then there were corrupt folks in the system, because no matter what some folks are just too easily led to sin. Must be man’s essential venial nature.

But then public sector unions were approved.  Over time our better angels departed. Corruption has become rampant in all sectors of Public Service: vengeful actions against whistle-blowers from within and improper, illegal and harassing acts against the very public they are supposed to serve. Strikes, “blue flu” and other formerly illegal job actions occur and the union steward decides what is allowable For example, the recent incident in San Francisco where the firemen (on the advice of their union steward) stood on shore and watched a man drown himself, because their union steward said their insurance plan would not cover them if they were injured rescuing the man.

Because of almost a century of the incremental influence of the Progressive Movement worming its way into our government at all levels, the poison of socialist thought–of so-called “social justice” … of self- interest and the corruption of power has destroyed any honor that Public Service jobs once had. Teachers, police and firefighters as well as mailmen, IRS employees – all the way down to the clerk at city hall, are all out to see “what’s in it for me?” Always demanding more and doing less. Read 82Sgt’s article from earlier “How Poor Are the Poor?” This will give some background for my assertion.

What’s the good of pointing out a problem without positing a solution?

The solution is a smaller more responsive government–an end to public sector unions and privatization … much of which is now a burgeoning public sector boondoggle. Spin off the local school systems as self-supporting entities. Between vouchers issued by county property tax assessors and state lottery departments (the major reason lotteries got voted in was that 50% of the proceeds would go for schools), local school systems can do a better job of spending what is available as a non-public entity than as a public entity with 9 zillion regulations that make a box of chalk cost $50. Police and firefighters should never have been allowed to unionize; just as the military should never be allowed to unionize. These are hardly hourly workers … spin-off the paramedics and ambulance service.

Tort reform. Criminal code reform to limit the delays, streamline the process, and do away with plea bargaining. That has put more innocent people in prison than any single crime. Make the prosecutors earn their money. If there isn’t proof of a crime, keep digging or find someone else to focus on (make the detectives and forensic folks earn their paychecks). Make all judgeships elective every two years. Judges that do not follow the desires of the electorate and the law should not be re-elected.

If you reduce the footprint of government, there will be fewer government workers and a lower overall cost of running the country. Every dollar the government spends on it’s employees is a dollar that came from the pocket of a taxpayer.

Perhaps, just perhaps, after a generation of this there will once again be honor in Public Service. Right now there is nothing but shame.