Public sector employees think they’re untouchable, even if their promised compensation and benefits are breaking the bank.
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If there is any good news to be found, it’s that the public is rapidly moving away from support of unions. A survey released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press describes “Favorability Ratings of Labor Unions Fall(ing) Sharply.” For the first time since 1985, Americans’ unfavorable opinion of unions, at 42%, is higher than the favorable rating, at 41%. Also, the 41% favorable rating is by far the lowest level of public approval of unions in the 25 years of Pew’s surveys. The trend toward union disapproval is consistent among men and women, blacks and whites, and is clear across Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Currently only Democrats now show more favorable than unfavorable views of unions but by a much narrower margin than three years ago.
It remains the standard tactic of liberals, government workers, and other leeches off your earnings to demonize anyone who wants to reduce the cost and intrusiveness of government by saying that teachers and policemen will lose their jobs. A few responses are in order: First, both education and law enforcement organizations could reduce bureaucratic bloat if they were forced to cut their budgets. Second, why should it be unacceptable for a teacher or cop to lose his or her job? There is no evidence that hiring more teachers has improved educational outcomes. Indeed some of the most expensive school systems in the nation (on a per-student basis), such as Chicago and Washington, D.C., produce spectacularly bad academic results. Similarly, it can’t be that each additional policeman adds proportionately to our safety…but they add disproportionately to our costs. When times are this tough, America can’t afford to have sacred cows.
The growth of the number of government workers and the cost of each worker threatens not just Americans’ economic future but also our liberty. It is time for citizens to force government at all levels to live within our means. The good news is that much of the problem is at the state and local level, where small numbers of citizens can have bigger impact than on the federal level. Cutting back the metastasizing public sector is the Fourth Rail of politics. It is time for a few well-grounded politicians and citizens to step on that rail before we turn into France — or even worse, into Greece.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?