An article in the New York Times relates the tough times faced by many New York cities trying to cope with budget deficits caused in large measure by employee pension costs and retiree health care costs. Sadly this is not a new story, it is repeated across America and is a reflection of the political mindset at the federal, state and local levels. In the private sector it would be called mismanagement and results in such things as the GM debacle or in companies taking the drastic action of freezing pension plans or dropping retiree health care. In the public sector, it means higher taxes and passing the problems to the next generation.
You simply cannot promise what you can’t afford or can afford but choose, for political expediency, not to fund. This is very basic and very simple and yet we keep tolerating this behavior.
All the while many public employee union leaders deny the problem and seek more and more for a group of workers who already are fairly paid, face virtually no performance standards with consequences, have greater job security than most workers and enjoy far superior benefits.
Will we ever get it?