Stop! Thief!

From an opinion piece I wrote in the North County Times. Any comments or suggestions about how to address the commenters is much appreciated.

The recession has taken its toll on every working American, from the entry-level employee to the entrepreneur. Millions of Americans, entering into voluntary economic agreements, are gaining prosperity as they adapt to the challenges that this new economy presents.

Public employee unions, however, are impeding the economic transformation these Americans are trying to effect. These unions are using the economic recession as political leverage to expand their compensation. They should be trimming their compensation so that it is more aligned with this nation’s private sector.

Certainly, labor unions have a right to organize in the private sector. Public employee unions, however, have an inherent conflict of interest with their “management.” Politicians make decisions based upon votes delivered. Public employee unions promise votes and money to candidates in exchange for compensation packages. Neither politicians nor public employee unions operate in a fiduciary capacity to the true stakeholders (taxpayers) when they negotiate.

Today, public sector employee compensation is 25 to 40 percent higher than their private sector counterparts. There is something wrong when employees of wealth consumers (government) earn more than employees of wealth producers (free enterprise).

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey recognize this. While Christie is making headway, Walker is faced with a legislative crisis. Politicians beholden to the public employee unions have fled Madison so as to avoid their legislative duties to Wisconsin’s taxpayers. In their absence, public employee unions are organizing chaotic protests so as to effect a sort of gridlock.

These actions are akin to fraud. These unions are “legally” looting the public treasury, in plain daylight, aided by corrupt politicians. It is time to say, “Stop! Thief!”

This overt theft won’t stop at the Capitol steps in Madison. Reportedly, similar union protests and legislative flights are being organized in Ohio and Indiana. The looters’ rallying cry is, “You promised us more stuff for votes.” The truth reveals that there isn’t enough money to buy votes anymore.

Politicians are finding it politically profitable to face the fact that two plus two no longer equals five. They can’t raise taxes for fear of breaking the backs of the wealth producers. They can’t borrow more money because collectivism is failing. Cuts, then, are the inevitable byproduct of these failed Ponzi schemes.

Those who teach our children, protect us from criminals and disaster and administer our justice system are worthy of our respect. Their union bosses and past politicians made promises to them that they had no intention of honoring. Their anger is justified. I submit that those civil servants have misplaced their ire, and I suggest they not be angry with those who refuse to lie to them any longer.

Public employees should get on the side of their ultimate employers, the taxpayers. It’s time for all of us to look at these union bosses and shout, “Stop! Thief!”

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