Without change there is no change. It’s business as usual in Washington, where the Obama administration is using raw power to push support to unions at every opportunity and in every way possible.
However, there is a limit on what people can pay to support such political nonsense.
In Kentucky, our leaders are on a spending binge and much of it is to satisfy, or at least pacify, the politically influential labor unions. But considering our economy has tanked, how long can Kentucky’s policymakers keep their heads in the sand? Even the United Auto Workers can no longer remain in denial:
Per the Detroit News:
– THE PAST: Union members received a slight wage premium over counterparts at Toyota in Kentucky or Honda in Ohio. Their benefits were better, their pensions richer and all of it contributed to the financial stranglehold on Detroit’s automakers.
– REALITY NOW: New hires will be paid roughly half what the veterans now get. Defined-benefit pensions will be replaced with defined-contribution 401(k) plans. Active members pay more for their health care, and so do the legions of retirees.
“The best contract in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a job,” said Ron Gettelfinger, UAW’s president who led during these tough conversions.
Leaders in Washington and Frankfort can’t correlate that support to what happened in Detroit. They can only encourage and promise the “way it used to be.” It’s pure nonsense.
Kentucky’s going to have to make some tough conversions, too, involving crucial issues: prevailing wage, ability to place teachers where they can make the biggest impact, out of control state worker defined benefit pension and insurance costs and a bloated state government.
When the federal government can’t print enough money to subsidize Kentucky’s spending binge or bonding capacity peaks and more taxes just kill jobs, “the way it used to be” just won’t be good enough anymore.