Back before public employee unions became established and pay was determined on a “take-it-or-leave-it” basis, was it hard to find enough qualified workers to do the jobs that needed to be done? No, and even though the average government employee may have earned a little less than an equally qualified worker in the private sector, most government jobs afforded good employment security and reasonable retirement benefits.
Now, public employee union demands often amount to little more than extortion, and more than any one other single factor are threatening to bankrupt government at all levels, and make paupers out of retirees on fixed incomes who see their taxes continue rise to meet those demands. And, of course, non-union managers get raises to keep pace with those under them.
I have been retired for20 years, and I know how inflation has changed the financial landscape. But I was absolutely dumbfounded when I learned that Tacoma’s city manager was getting a raise that amounts to more than my yearly teachers’ retirement and my Social Security retirement combined (TNT, 11-12).