Tag Archives: Adult Day Care

What should we do about public sector unions?

Here’s a good video that Ari posted on Facebook.

More union stuff:

Blogging might be a bit light today, I have been working all weekend on JQuery and JSON stuff for work…

Michigan unionized teachers protest having to contribute to their own pensions

The Blog Prof is a great Michigan-based blog and the proprieter is all over this story.


Thousands of teachers are gathering in Lansing today to protest having to pay 3% towards their generous pension and healthcare benefits. Michiganders are waking up to the reality that public employees, and especially K-12 teachers in this state, are enjoying extravagant reimbursement for their services far in excess of the public sector such as 1) higher pay than their private sector counterparts, 2) better job security than anyone in the private sector, 3) healthcare benefits far in excess of the private sector, and 4) pension benefits that are far in excess of the private sector. Fact is, here in Michigan teachers are paid better than any other teacher in the country per unit Michigander income…

Check this out:

And this:

And this:


Public schools are funded by compulsory taxation that takes money out of my future family’s coffers so that we have FEWER CHOICES about how we have to will serve God by raising godly children. It’s money taken away such that my future wife will have fewer options and opportunities because she will have less to spend as she sees fit. And we will be forced to pay for our neighbor’s kids to learn values that we don’t hold. Ridiculous! I didn’t make this money to give it away to secular leftist indoctrinators with guaranteed jobs and pensions.

How public sector unions cause tax rates to increase

Let’s take a look at the UK economy after over a decade of rule by the socialist Labor party.

Here’s an article from the UK Telegraph about the pensions of unionized public sector workers.


It is estimated that, on average, private sector workers would need to put 37pc of their salary into their pension to match the retirement income paid to a public sector worker on a similar wage, if you believe a report by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Even public sector workers on modest final salary schemes might be surprised to learn how much they would need to save if they were in the private sector.

To get the average civil service pension of £5,928 a year you would need a pension pot of £189,151. The average NHS pension of £6,931 is equivalent to a pension pot of £221,155 and the average teachers’ pension of £9,358 is equivalent to a pot of £298,596, according to Hargreaves Lansdown, the financial adviser.

[…]The figures showed that average total pay, including bonuses, in the private sector in February was £451 a week. Excluding bonuses it was £418 a week. In the public sector the corresponding figures were £462 a week and £459 a week. Public sector pay, on average, is also rising at twice the rate of private sector wages.

Government workers have pensions and salaries that are higher than in the private sector, and those costs have to be paid by private sector workers who actually generate revenue and pay taxes. Public sector employees don’t actually have to do any work for the most part, (excluding things like military, etc.). People only work when they have customers to please, who can choose them or choose a competitor. Government has no competitors, and so they really don’t need to work hard to please a customer.

Another UK Telegraph article explains who pays for public sector union pensions.


By 2015, almost £10 billion of public money will be spent every year supporting the retirement of millions of public sector employees – up from £4 billion this year, the independent body said.

[…]In 2010-11, the amount spent by the taxpayer on public sector pensions will be £4 billion, rising to £5.5 billion the following year, the report said.

The cost will then rise, on average, by 20 per cent each year until the commitment reaches £9.4 billion in 2014-15. This equates to almost £400 for each of Britain’s 26 million households. The sharp increase, according to the Treasury, is a result of Britain’s ageing population.

[…]There are more than two million public sector workers receiving pensions from “unfunded” schemes.

The schemes are heavily supported by the taxpayer, with employees generally contributing less than their counterparts in the private sector.

And another UK Telegraph article explains how taxes on the productive private sector will have to rise to pay for the pensions.

Here’s one of several proposed tax increases:

We already know that [the capital gains tax] is due to increase, said Grant Thornton, although we don’t know what new rate or rates will be. “We do know that it will be more in line with income tax, so it could go up to 40pc, but the option of taxing up to the highest rate of 50pc has not been ruled out,” the firm said, adding that the measure was “likely to go down like a lead balloon” with investors with share portfolios and anyone with a second home.

Any raise to the capital gains tax is a direct assault on capital investment, and will damage the economy more than raising consumption taxes. The worst thing that you can do in a recession is to punish investors and private businesses. You end up losing jobs, which decreases your tax revenue even more.

And they are going to raise consumption taxes:

The Chancellor may face an “irresistible temptation” to increase the rate of VAT to 20pc now that he has had the opportunity to review the country’s books, said Grant Thornton. The standard rate of 17.5pc is relatively low relative to other EU countries and many economists predict a rise to 20pc, which would cost someone on average earnings about £150 a year.

That one will hit the poor as well as the rich.

And one last UK Telegraph article to explain how the recession has hurt men most.


Malcolm Hurlston, chairman of the [Consumer Credit Counselling Service], said: “Men have been hard hit by the recession and are emerging as the new underclass. Debt alone is no longer the problem. It is loss of income and other rising costs.

“This deterioration in the economic circumstances for men, still the main breadwinner in most homes, has serious implications for many households.”

The charity said it had seen the number of men contacting it for help soar from 146,00 in 2007 to 221,000 last year, a 51pc jump.

It added that the number of women seeking help had increased by only half this amount over the period, although women were still more likely to contact it than men, accounting for 52pc of its caseload.

Men who contacted the charity during 2009 owed an average of £26,957, down from nearly £30,000 in 2008, but still significantly higher than the £21,915 that women typically owed.

The main reason men gave for getting into debt was a fall in their income, with this cited by 26pc, while 23pc said they had become unemployed or been made redundant. A further 20pc of men blamed their situation on overcommitting themselves on credit.

When one group of people vote themselves higher benefits without any additional productivity, some other group is going to be taxed to pay for it. And higher taxes lower incomes and produce unemployment. The UK is replacing working men with big government dependency.

John Stossel’s documentary about public schools and school choice

Awesome: (41 minutes)

The documentary features Jay Greene, and his book “Education Myths”, which I recommend.

Here’s an article from Jay P. Greene in National Review.


This year, when you hear President Obama and congressional Democrats talk about increasing government spending to create jobs, you should understand that it isn’t really about jobs. It’s about paying off powerful interest groups that helped these Democrats gain power — a fact that’s clear from the billions they’ve directed to education.

Last month, President Obama held a jobs summit, after which he urged Congress to spend some of the money being repaid by bailed-out banks on programs to address unemployment. The House of Representatives responded by drafting legislation that, according to the Washington Post, “provides $23 billion to help states pay teacher salaries.” The curious thing is that education has actually seen an expansion in payrolls over the last two years, while every other major sector of the economy (save health care) has seen huge job losses.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people employed peaked in November 2007. Over the next two years, the private sector lost more than 7 million jobs. The construction industry lost more than 1.5 million jobs. Manufacturing lost more than 2 million jobs. The education-and-health-services category, however, added more than 900,000 jobs.

My previous post on education featured a video on school choice from the Cato Institute.

Rhode Island superintendent fires entire staff at unionized public school

Story here on Business Insider. (H/T Hot Air)


A school superintendent in Rhode Island is trying to fix an abysmally bad school system.

Her plan calls for teachers at a local high school to work 25 minutes longer per day, each lunch with students once in a while, and help with tutoring.  The teachers’ union has refused to accept these apparently onerous demands.

The teachers at the high school make $70,000-$78,000, as compared to a median income in the town of $22,000.  This exemplifies a nationwide trend in which public sector workers make far more than their private-sector counterparts (with better benefits).

The school superintendent has responded to the union’s stubbornness by firing every teacher and administrator at the school.

ECM sent me this article about New Jersey earlier this week, which ruined my entire Monday.


One state retiree, 49 years old, paid, over the course of his entire career, a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments over his life and nearly $500,000 for health care benefits — a total of $3.8m on a $120,000 investment. Is that fair?

A retired teacher paid $62,000 towards her pension and nothing, yes nothing, for full family medical, dental and vision coverage over her entire career. What will we pay her? $1.4 million in pension benefits and another $215,000 in health care benefit premiums over her lifetime. Is it “fair” for all of us and our children to have to pay for this excess?

The total unfunded pension and medical benefit costs are $90 billion. We would have to pay $7 billion per year to make them current. We don’t have that money—you know it and I know it. What has been done to our citizens by offering a pension system we cannot afford and health benefits that are 41% more expensive than the average Fortune 500 company’s costs is the truly unfair part of this equation.

And from CNSNews.


Time.com reported last week that Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry estimated the government shut down cost taxpayers $100 million a day in labor that workers were unable to perform. That would suggest that the four and one quarter days the federal workers missed last week cost taxpayers about $425 million–close to the $445 million calculated on the basis that federal workers average $79,197 per year in salary not counting benefits.

The federal government was officially shut down on Feb. 8, 9, 10, and 11 and opened for business two hours late on Feb. 12.

Federaljobs.net’s Damp told CNSNews.com that not all of the more than 340,000 federal employees stayed home on those days. Some of these workers are designated as “essential” employees and are supposed to show up even when the weather or other conditions closes the federal government. These include, for example, law enforcement officers, key personnel with the Federal Aviation Administration, and workers who are needed for national security reasons.

“But I think it’s safe to say most of the workers did not go to work,” Damp said.

When non-essential federal workers are told to stay home because of a government shutdown, they still get paid, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

And also from CNSNews.


State and local governments spent $1.1 trillion on employee wages and benefits in 2008. That’s half of what those governments spent overall.

And while the private sector job market remains bleak, there are more civil service jobs than ever. The federal Labor Department projects wage and salary employment in state and local government will increase 8 percent by 2018. That’s a comforting thought for anyone who has to spend time in line at the DMV.

Wish we could be as confident about the prospects for creating new corporate and manufacturing jobs to help pay for these new hires.

It’s not simply the number of new jobs that costs taxpayers. It’s that these government jobs pay more than ever. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that state and local government workers earn almost $40 per hour in wages, salaries and benefits. That’s more than 25 percent higher than the combined compensation of the average private sector job ($27 per hour).

One of the things that weights most heavily on my mind is the outrageous pay and benefits that are paid to public sector union employees. I am in the private sector and I have to pay these exorbitant salaries to people who have probably never worked a day in their entire lives! I have never had a moment’s peace in my career – the threat of layoffs has been a constant since I was doing internships during my undergraduate days. And I have two degrees in computer science!

Look, I’m a child of first generation immigrants, and I’ve been volunteering since I was 14 and working since I was 16 in high-tech. How can it be that people who cannot even teach children successfully can make so much money? It just is not fair, and I find it very depressing that I am paying for these layabouts. It makes me want to give up trying to do anything! The fact that Obama keeps raising public sector salaries in a recession does not help. And Obama opposes school choice, too.

I say abolish public sector unions, and abolish bailouts to private sector unions, too.