16 August 2019

What Do We Want

I am discovering while trying to write a piece on "What Do We Want The Police To Be" that much of what I dislike about cops is shared with many other public employees.

There's always a union.

That union is always active at the centers of government.

They nearly always advocate for more money, more benefits, lower accountability to the communities and having to do less of what the community expects them to do.

Quite often they stand opposed to initiatives we non-union, non-public employee folks are trying to get passed in our own interest.

I worry about hearing another argument from these groups which boils down to, "it will make our jobs harder," out of fear of an aneurysm.

Nailing down the pay and benefits is like hanging a picture frame made of jello.

Starting salary of $41k sounds low until you factor in the 100% covered medical and no employee contribution pension plan.  That medical plan is a benefit that has a value, and it's large.

It's also nearly impossible to get quantified honestly because the people selling it obfuscate like they're playing Vampire the Masquerade.

I am frustrated.

I know, but am having trouble communicating, what I want teachers and cops to be.

I know what we have is not, on the whole, what I want.

I am aware that hardly a single person benefiting from being a public employee seems to be aware that their benefits packages are lavishly generous.

If you're 60ish, have never worked outside the public sector, are collecting two (or more!) retirement checks and are complaining about paying more in taxes than most people get in salary before taxes, health and retirement get taken out: you are not equipped to understand what I am saying.

Perhaps we would be a bit less bitter if the services rendered showed an improvement in kind with the increases in costs.


  1. Here's the biggest problem I see with public-sector unions, that I don't see with private-sector unions:

    A private-sector union's function is to negotiate on behalf of employees with management. Management, in turn, negotiate on behalf of shareholders with the union. Replace "management" and "shareholders" with "representatives" and "taxpayers," and public-sector unions play a similar role. So far, so good.

    The key difference is that private-sector unions don't then turn around and devote money and time to keep those with whom they negotiate in their positions in management. As such, those in management have an incentive to keep shareholder interests as their top priority.

    Public-sector unions, however, do devote money and time to keep those with whom they negotiate in office. As such, elected representatives have a vested interest in giving the public-sector unions whatever they want, with scant (at best) regard to the interests of taxpayers.

    Add in the fact that a strike by a public-sector union generally interrupts services that the public considers vital, and the incentives to give in to union demands become even stronger.

    Does that help you to crystallize your thoughts?

    1. It opens up an entirely new rabbit hole.

      I'm trying to write about what I want the cops to be. I keep encountering examples of what the cops are that isn't what I want them to be.


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