Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
lostinblue

Snowplow Slowdowns Might Become American Way

2 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Snowplow Slowdowns Might Become American Way: Kevin Hassett

By Kevin Hassett - Jan 2, 2011 9:00 PM ET

Europeans have grown accustomed to seeing government workers shut down their countries when provoked. At this time of huge deficits from Washington to the smallest towns, government workers in the U.S. also face significant cutbacks.

Americans may have had their first taste of what that will mean.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor David Paterson are both calling for an investigation of allegations that city workers intentionally dragged out the cleanup of the Dec. 26 blizzard as a way to protest cuts in the city budget. The New York Post, citing City Councilman Dan Halloran, reported that some snow-plow drivers skipped streets on their routes or kept their plows too high to clear streets.

In October, the Bloomberg administration said it would eliminate 200 supervisory positions in the Sanitation Department and hire 100 entry-level workers to lower salary, benefit and overtime costs by about $20 million, part of an effort to close a $3.3 billion deficit in the 2011 budget. The mayor is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

If city workers did undermine the slow-clearing effort to protest budget cuts, they may have contributed to the death of a baby girl in Brooklyn, who waited with her 22-year-old mother nine hours for emergency crews to fight their way through the snow-covered streets. A Queens woman watched her elderly mother die as she waited three hours for an ambulance to arrive.

Americans better get used to this treatment.

Targeting Pay

At the federal level, the Congressional Budget Office forecasts that 23 percent spending cuts or tax increases are required just to stabilize debt levels. Democrats and Republicans agree that budget change is desperately needed, and that will inevitably go after government salaries.

Throughout history, successful fiscal consolidations by highly indebted governments have generally gotten about 22 percent of their deficit reduction from wages and salaries, according to recent research I did with two colleagues at American Enterprise Institute, Andrew Biggs and Matt Jensen.

Democrats, who rely heavily on public employee unions for campaign financing, can generally be counted on to oppose attempts to reign in government pay. But now even President Barack Obama seems to realize the gravity of the problem. In freezing the wages of most civilian federal workers for two years, he said, “The hard truth is that getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by employees of the federal government.”

Will federal employees agreeably make the sacrifices necessary for our country?

European Strikes

In Europe, where public-sector strikes and rioting are not uncommon, widespread budget cuts in 2010 provoked both. French government employees held day-long strikes in March and September, disrupting transportation across the country. A strike held by Spanish air traffic controllers in December cost the country’s tourism industry more than $500 million. Greece endured strikes, protests and riots by mail, transport, school, power, bank, and hospital workers.

The good news is it’s unthinkable that such a scenario could occur in the U.S. The difference between American and European civil servants rests mainly in the labor laws that bind them. European laws tend to treat public-sector strikes less harshly than U.S. law.

In France, even workers for the critical public transportation sector can strike if they provide 48 hours notice. As a result, the French strike often.

Reagan’s Action

In the U.S., the Taft-Hartley Act prohibits strikes or lockouts that could create a national emergency. It was most famously invoked by President Ronald Reagan against air-traffic controllers, and most recently, in 2002, was used by President George W. Bush to end an employer lockout of longshoremen that had shut down 29 West Coast ports.

Some municipal laws further curtail the ability of public sector-workers to strike. In New York City, for example, the Taylor Law prevents public-sector work stoppages.

So, if conflict is coming, what might it look like?

While government workers in the U.S. will have a hard time initiating strikes, they will be able to take work actions that in the private sector would lead to immediate dismissal. It’s almost impossible to fire a government employee no matter how poorly they perform their job.

Firing Killer

“Sleeping on duty, threatening co-workers, falsifying documents, rudeness, sexual harassment and poor performance would get you fired from most jobs,” according to a recent analysis of personnel cases in Arizona state agencies and the city of Phoenix. “But often that’s not the case for a government worker.”

Some examples cited in the study were stunning. In one case, it took three years from the time of his arrest to complete the firing of serial killer Dale Hausner from his city job as a custodian at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

Even if the accusations of a work slowdown are accurate, it’s unlikely anyone will lose their job in the New York City snow debacle. The same will be true around the country. Government workers can be ineffective and unproductive with impunity.

So, here’s one vision for 2011 in the U.S.: subways slower, lines at airports longer, trash and snow piling up in the streets, visas and other government documents processed less quickly. But no Europe-style riots in the streets -- unless fed- up taxpayers are the ones who start them.

Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-03/snowplow-slowdowns-might-become-american-way-commentary-by-kevin-hassett.html


If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Florida currently has more concealed-carry permit holders than any other state, with 1,269,021 issued as of May 14, 2014

The liberal elite ... know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way."
- A Nation Of Cowards, by Jeffrey R. Snyder

Tavis Smiley: 'Black People Will Have Lost Ground in Every Single Economic Indicator' Under Obama

white-privilege.jpg?resize=318%2C318

Democrats>Socialists>Communists - Same goals, different speeds.

#DeplorableLivesMatter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With increasing snowfall from the elimination of GW by the Republican controlled House of Representatives, this could become a really big problem.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...