And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

>>With Unionized government employees I wonder who works for whom.

Posted on: April 7, 2010

I have said many times on this blog that unionization for government workers should be, in fact must be, banned.  I am not at all against unions but it is a well known fact that government employment is a safe haven.  You are not likely to lose your job  because the government NEVER goes out of business.    The price that should be paid for this job stability is a ban on government employees being able to unionize and hold their employers (the people, public, us!) to ransom.

In recent p[osts I have pointed out that government employees are now  making far more money and have much better benefits than we in the civilian sector.   Civilian average income  is $40,000 annually   whereas the Government employees average income is $70,000!  This makes one wonder who is the employee and who is the employed.  It seems to me we in the civilian sector are employed to pay the salaries of the government employees.

Several states and many countries in Europe whio have unionized government employees are on the brink of bankruptcy.  The cause of this is government employees salarries, but more important is the high retiorement pensions that the unions negotiated and in order to keep the workers on the job the legislatures gave in and promised.     If the states and cities that are now backed against the wall due to debt and are forced to go into bankruptcy then bankruptcy is the better route bercause the bankruptcy court can then regulate  the government employees income and pensions to a rate that is sustainable by the city, state and country.   Bankruptcy is never a good route to take but cities and states  may be forced into this.  The problem of federal government employees being unionized is  much more serious because to force the federal government into bankruptcy is the ultimate destruction of the nation!   But we in the United States are mocving in this direction unless our Congress has the guts to put a stop to government employee unionization.

The state of California is on the brink of bankruptcy.  Los Angeles is bargaining now with its unionized employees  to accept lower wages, benefitas and especially pension to keep the city from going bankrupt.  The Mayor reported today that negotiations were stalled.  BB

Unions and State Government Management

Posted by Chris Edwards

State and local governments that have high levels of unionization have a harder time efficiently managing their finances and other aspects of their operations. At least, that’s my argument. The other day, I showed that states with higher levels of debt had higher levels of unionization. The statistical correlation was very strong.

Today, let’s look at the quality of state management, as measured by a major report by the Pew Center on the States. The Pew report gave letter grades to the 50 state governments for management of finances, employees, infrastructure, and information. Pew also provided an overall state score.

I’ve converted the Pew overall state government management scores to numbers from 1 to 10 and plotted them against state unionization rates (“10″ is the best management score). The chart below shows that as the share of a state workforce that is unionized grows, the overall quality of state management falls, as measure by the Pew scores. The chart shows the raw data in blue dots and the statistically fitted line in pink.

The bottom line: public-sector unionization is not a good idea, as it apparently leads to lower-quality government management and to higher debt levels. As such, I’ve argued that collective bargaining in state and local government workforces should be banned.

(Details: R-square at 0.12 indicates that unionization explains only a small share of management quality, but the F statistic at 6.3 and the t-stat on the management variable of -2.5 indicate that the regression is quite strongly statistically significant. Note that the unionization variable is the union share in state and local governments, but the Pew data regards only the states. Thus, I’m assuming that my unionization variable is a reasonable proxy for state-level unionization.  Thanks for data help from Amy Mandler )


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