Stop carping about perks
Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 12:33 pm

Reading all those Sound Offs and letters about civil service “perks” and greedy public unions, I’m driven to a long scold. Why don’t you carpers turn off Fox news and listen to Public Radio, CBC or BBC where there’s at least some thoughtful talk about what’s really going in the world? Greed? The top incomes and stock returns among insurance, finance, manufacture and service managements are obscene. To avoid paying “perks” to their workers, they export their plant overseas, where workers’ pay can be 1/4 or 1/5 what they are here. Our workers meanwhile give back on salary, benefits, and retirement with each contract renewal. Union jobs are going, going -- down to less than 10 percent of all jobs nationwide. People trying to enter the job market now are the real losers. Civil Service workers have perks today because federal, state and local governments granted them union rights years ago. All things being equal, their salaries never matched big industry’s. Since the 1980s, they too have given back salary, sick leave, retirement benefits. Should a corporation or a government first pay off its CEOs, second its stockholders, and only then its workers? Isn’t this the thinking that brought on the present economic mess? Must it be workers who are paying government back now, while the CEOs who broke the bank continue to get tax breaks? You’re a stockholder in our government.