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.