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Unions To Wall Street: Die Yuppie Scum, But Do My Homework First

Will Wall Street save public sector unions?  The U.S. Post Office certainly hopes so. While union representatives were standing at the front door of America’s major banks, shouting about corporate greed and holding signs and blowing horns, the National Association of Letter Carriers chiefs were slipping through the back entrance for advice on restructuring their organization.  The NYT reports:

On Sunday, the National Association of Letter Carriers announced that it had hired Mr. [Ron] Bloom, [the restructuring expert who helped shore up the automobile and steel industries in the United States] and Lazard, the financial advisory and asset management firm, to develop a strategy to revitalize the deficit-laden postal service.

“We have retained Lazard and Ron Bloom to make sure we explore and expand the various range of solutions to address the postal service’s fiscal crisis as well as long-range business strategies not being pursued right now,” Fredric V. Rolando, the national president of the union, said in a phone interview. “They have experience in analyzing large, financially complex institutions and crafting creative solutions.”

This is not the first time that unions have turned to Wall Street.  Ron Bloom and Lazard were both intimately involved with the bailout of Detroit and the public offerings of the auto industry which followed the bailout.

Liberals have the same relationship to Wall Street that Pakistan’s government has to the United States: They hate needing its help, but the money is so good.  This is true of every class of the liberal establishment: Democratic politicians don’t just accept, they solicit campaign contributions from bankers, unions depend on brokers to maintain and grow their pension funds and university presidents sit on corporate boards and solicit endowment contributions.

Some lonely idealists like Dennis Kucinich may think the center left can survive without leaning on Wall Street.  But when those poll numbers are trending south and you need some new ad money, when the pension funds are about to run dry and you need to restructure, or the business that generates jobs is about to go bust and you need a quick fix, who are you going to call?  Ghostbusters?

The National Association of Letter Carriers may hate itself in the morning, but right now, that evil yuppie banker is looking pretty good.

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  • WigWag

    “The National Association of Letter Carriers may hate itself in the morning, but right now, that evil yuppie banker is looking pretty good.” (Walter Russell Mead)

    The irony that Professor Mead finds in this situation is all in his vivid imagination.

    There is nothing either ironic or strange about the postal workers union hiring Wall Street experts who focus on corporate restructuring to advise them on how the USPS might be reorganized.

    It is perfectly reasonable to believe that Wall Street professionals who specialize in corporate reorganization can provide valuable advice while at the same time thinking that millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street should pay more taxes. There is nothing contradictory between relying on experts for their advice and believing that investment banks whose irresponsible behavior helped cause the current economic downturn should be penalized for their bad behavior.

    The postal workers union, like tens of millions of Americans, thinks Wall Street is poorly regulated, offers unreasonably large compensation packages and gets away with behavior that if engaged in by anyone else, would be criminal.

    Exactly why does Professor Mead think this means that postal workers should not pay for advice from experts in corporate reorganization?

    Does Professor Mead think his readers are Rubes who are so gullible that they will see irony where none exists?

    I don’t see the irony; all I see is the snark.

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