“Plunder!” is a book worth your time (Part 2)

Steve Greenhut’s book “Plunder!” is a must-read. Its subtitle explains why:

“How Public Employee Unions Are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives, and Bankrupting The Nation.”

I like recommending fuel sources to keep the motivational fires burning among those who are fed up with the governmental messes that are costing us dearly. The vast majority of the problems we face today, after all, are government-created problems.

Early on in the book Greenhut makes a simple point: “Government work should not be honored above other forms of work.” He asks, “do we really want a society where there are such large disparities in retirement living between government workers and the people who pay their salaries?”

Teacher pay is “for the children.” Obscene pay for firemen and policemen is “for public safety.” In answer to many such arguments made in defense of the compensation levels, Greenhut says that “It’s hard to know where to begin to debunk such emotionally driven fiscal insanity…”

As I noted last time, the pay, benefit, and pension packages are granted to government employees by government. As part of his outline of how this happens, Greenhut writes:

“This is a crucial point, and one repeated throughout this book: both sides of the table in these government [pay contract negotiations] stand to gain from pension-increasing deals. It’s a rigged system.”

Why are there no checks and balances? Because our elected leaders haven’t been given the proper incentives to maintain fiscal sanity.

Greenhut addresses important parts of the problem – such as

  • Overtime abuse,
  • Pension spiking,
  • The low pay myth,
  • And the inordinate job security experienced by many government employees.

His chapter six is titled “The Education Racket” – and as long-time readers of this website already know, it surely is a racket. Greenhut gives his view:

“The pension tsunami and the dominance of public-sector unions are degrading the education that students receive…

When school resources are diverted to pay for unreasonable pension benefits, those resources cannot go to current teachers and current classroom activities.”

Greenhut’s last cpter is titled, “It’s time for more than outrage.” “There’s no magical solution,” he writes, and Americans “need to start recognizing that the current situation is unsustainable.”

His subheadings in this last chapter include –

Pension and Pay Reform

School Reform

Privatization

Union Reforms

Budget and Tax Reform.

Greenhut opens one of his chapters with a quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca:

“To greed, all nature is insufficient.”

Low and moderately paid and pensioned government employees are not the problem. The math problems have been created through greed and the use of political power to create compensation obesity. It’s compounded while government expands. American taxpayers are the biggest losers.

Go out and pick up a copy of “Plunder!” – and if you haven’t yet, please join the fight to put government and government employees on a permanent fiscal diet.

©2010 John Francis Biver