Bankrupted for Solidarity

Ted Nesi reports:

The increase in the share of all Rhode Island workers belonging to a union posted an even more dramatic increase, jumping to 17.9 percent. …
In New England, no state had a larger share of workers in a union than Rhode Island. It was followed by Connecticut (17.3 percent), Massachusetts (16.6 percent), Vermont (12.3 percent), Maine (11.7 percent) and New Hampshire (10.8 percent).
The Labor Department also reported that the median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers were $908 for union members last year, compared with $710 for employees not represented by a union.

Given that a majority of union workers are now employed by government, the declining pool of non-union workers is increasingly having to fund the livelihoods of their better-paid neighbors. Moreover, with unions by definition highly organized, where public policy is apt to lean in their favor, in opposition to the private sector, especially within the public sphere, where market forces apply only weakly.

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TProv
TProv
11 years ago

Looks like a coincidence that our Rhody has the highest unemployment rate BY FAR – 13% – while New Hampshire’s is just about half – a mere 7%. Card Check, anyone?

john
john
11 years ago

I hear Pat coming to post his propaganda.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

Union weekly wages are higher than non-union wages.
Well DUH!
Government employees — insulated from competition and market forces — now make considerably more than private sector employees, and government employees are a majority of unionized workers, so of course the “average union wage” figure is artificially goosed up.
Plus in the private sector the “would still be employed but for the fact that they were unionized” folks who now earn zero are not included in the calculation of average union wage, so again it is artificially goosed up.
For example, the no longer employed unionized steelworkers and UAW auto workers are not included in the calculation, merely the (minority) of them who still collect those “union wages.”

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

The public unions in RI remind me of a quote by Agent Smith in The Matrix:
“Agent Smith: I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure.”

michael
michael
11 years ago

Patrick, that description sounds a lot like the WalMart mentality that unrestrained capitalism has created. Once the American workforce learned to not tolerate abuses by industrialists the industrialists moved south, then east, now China, where slave labor exists in polluting, child labor promoting spirit deadening enviornments. There, the communist government would never tolerate anything as counterproductive as a union.
Where to now? Space? Or back here after the meltdown, when the starving populace will work for food.
Better polish up on your Chineese.

Ralph
Ralph
11 years ago

>>I hear Pat coming to post his propaganda.
He had to stop to pick up his George Bush mask.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

Ni hao, michael. Touche.

PJ
PJ
11 years ago

On top of all these public employees rests a pension system that is quickly going bankrupt. Let’s compare these pensions with the IRAs and 401ks that the average taxpayer must use for retirement. First Social security. Today,the most any person is going to get from Social Security is $24,000. That’s if they currently make about $75,000. That’s about 30 – 35% income replacement. Compare that to the 75 -80% that government workers are promised by irresponsible legislators. A municipal/state worker making $75,000 would get a pension of approximately $50,000. For a private sector employee that computes to an IRA/401k of $1,000,000! Yes. one million dollars interested in bonds yielding 5% is just $50,000. Now how many Rhode Island taxpayers do you think have been able to accumulate $1,000,000 in their retirement plans, especially considering the market problems of this past decade? I can tell you…very, very few. OK. The opposition is going to say only teachers make that kind of salary. Most state workers make far less. First, teachers’ salaries and matching pension contributions are swallowing the budgets of municipalities # read property taxes#. Secondly, the fact is that state workers are making 40% more than their counterpart in the private sector. And a $25,000 pension for that RIDOT secretary making $35,000 still computes to a $500,000 IRA. Still a number far beyond the average Rhode Islander. Certainly far beyond the average senior, living on social security. The average social security recipient who worked for $35,000 a year is now collecting only $10,000 a year. No one wants to hurt the people who work for state and local government. We know they are good people. They will argue that they bargained for these benefits. The truth is that their union bosses strong armed weak and corrupt legislators, town councilmen and… Read more »

michael
michael
11 years ago

Maybe I’m in the wrong job. (Local 799, Providence Firefighters)75 to 80% promised by legislators? 50% is the truth. 60 if I make 30 years.
Whatever they do I hope they hurry it up, I’m tired of all this he has, she has finger pointing stuff.

michael
michael
11 years ago

Oh, and Ni Hao to you Patrick! (I had to Google it, should listen to my own advice now and then)

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