Monday, March 26, 2012

Public-sector unions are driving two once-proud states over a cliff

There was a time when California and New York were the envy of the rest of the country.  Their economies and cultures led not just the nation but the world, and they were called the "Golden State" and the "Empire State" without irony.  Now, however, both states are pathetic shells of their former selves and are being brought to their knees by rapacious public-sector unions.  In California, Governor Brown had little intention of taking them on and is riding their greed to the state's doom.  I had higher hopes for New York, where Governor Cuomo started out strong, but now he too has found out who owns his party.

The party of Franklin D. Roosevelt should have heeded his words about public-sector unions:
All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.
Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities.