Unspinning the Union

Capers Jones responds in an edition of the RISCy Business newsletter to the pension-related spin of Patrick Crowley, of the National Education Association, Rhode Island. After citing a number of statistics related to public-sector employees and education with which all Rhode Islanders should be passingly familiar, Jones writes:

These statistics show that government pensions have been impacted by the rapid increase in government employees compounded with the rapid increase in government salaries and benefits. This information indicates that it is time to do a serious analysis of how many government workers are actually needed to run our towns, schools, and the state itself.
For more than 30 years Rhode Island has experienced meteoric increases in government and educational employment compounded by much higher salary increases than private business. Now these two compound issues are coming together in massive and unsustainable pensions. Nationally, unfunded government pensions are approaching a trillion dollars and may trigger the fiscal collapse of more than half of the states.

The sooner those whom Crowley ostensibly represents realize that collapse of their system and of the local economy is the only likely outcome of a failure to reform, the better it will be for everybody.

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Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

Perhaps Crowley should trade-in his duck costume for an ostrich costume.
As economist Herbert Stein once said: “if something can’t continue, it won’t.”
Rhode Island (including its pension system) can’t indefinitely continue on its current path. But the forces of the status quo — the public sector unions, the poverty industry and their Democrat employees in the General Assembly — prefer to, as Speaker Murphy put it “pull rabbits out of the hat” to buy a bit more time instead of confronting the issues.
While successful in buying a bit more time, it makes it worse in the end. They probably realize this, but being politicians (of the elected variety and union boss variety) they are more concerned with getting through one more cycle than in acting responsibly.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
11 years ago

As Speaker Murphy has decided to check out, it would appear as though he believes that the game is over.
Also departing, Auditor General Ernie Almonte, who should be charged with malpractice for allowing the financial shenanigans to go on in municipalities across the state without muttering a word.
And, House fiscal advisor Michael O’Keefe. He, too, has seen enough and has decided to get out while the gettin’s good.
It’s the rats scurrying off a sinking ship folks.
You can say a lot about these charlatans, but you can’t say they don’t know when a gig is up.

11 years ago

Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

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