Obligations in the areas of health care, pensions and salaries are strangling employers in areas where employees work under a union, and are resulting in fewer services, more expensive services and tax increases.
This is far from isolated, with such cries heard throughout the state and the nation.
As a result, taxpayers are turning up and speaking out against public employees, decrying the money they must fork over to cover benefits they increasingly no longer enjoy.
Is the answer to this problem to pull public employees into the pit private sector workers are trapped in?
In the private sector, in some cases, not all, raises were insignificant well before The Great Recession knocked the wind out of the nation and left it on the ground, scrambling for a breath and footing.
In the private sector, pensions seem to have largely become a thing of the past, replaced by 401K’s. The 401K works great until a worker has reached or even surpassed retirement age and it is time to step down and follow those carefully made plans that possibly include relaxing with the spouse near the fire, traveling the world, etc., and then the stock market crashes and that worker is forced to continue working, well beyond what plans A, B and C called for.
I remember hearing such a worker say, “My 401K took such a hit I’m going to have to work another 10 years.”
That hardly seems fair.
Health care costs are indeed soaring and are beyond the reach of some private sector employers, while others who can afford them often are forced to offer plans that are too costly for employees to afford.
That doesn’t seem fair.
Shouldn’t hard-working Americans be able to count on having adequate health care for their families, health care that doesn’t force them into debt when they use it? Shouldn’t they at least have some sort of health care?
Reach Editor Stephen Bartlett at firstname.lastname@example.org.