At Freedom@Work, we’ve spent plenty of time documenting the many problems of public sector forced unionism, including the fiscal abyss it is plunging state and local governments into. But even reports of an impending budget crisis don’t have quite the same impact as a video of teacher union militants demanding more tax dollars:
As George Will notes in his latest Newsweek column, eventually, the bills come due. California’s looming budget crisis is largely the result of public sector union bosses, whose profligate spending risks pushing the entire state into bankruptcy:
California’s parlous condition owes much to burdensome health-care and pension promises negotiated with public employees’ unions, promises that are suffocating the state’s economic growth.
. . .
They [public sector unions] are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself for ever-larger portions of wealth extracted by the taxing power from the private sector.
Unfortunately, this trend threatens to spread other states. For the first time ever, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that public sector unionization outstrips private sector unionization, as Big Labor increasingly turns to government to bolster its forced-dues-paying ranks. The financial consequences of this development could be dire (emphasis mine):
Fred Siegel, a visiting professor of history at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute . . . said, “There were enormous political ramifications” to the fact that public-sector workers are now the majority in organized labor.
“At the same time the country is being squeezed, public-sector unions are a rising political force in the Democratic Party,” he said. “They depend on extra money for the public sector,and that puts the Democrats in a difficult position. In four big states — New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California — the public-sector unions have largely been untouched by the economic downturn. In those states, you have an impending clash between the public-sector unions and the public at large.”
As union operatives become more entrenched at every level of government their immense special privileges allow them to corral more money for extortionate dues payments. As a result, taxes go up and public services become more expensive, leaving over-burdened taxpayers to foot the bill.
The latest Big Labor scheme to accelerate this trend is the Police and Firefighters Monopoly Bargaining Bill, which which would leave state and local public safety employees at the mercy of Big Labor organizing drives. Once Big Labor bosses are firmly in control of public safety organizations, they’ll be able to use their influence over firefighters and police departments to further entrench their monopoly bargaining powers.