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Blue Model Blues
NYPD Shakes Down De Blasio

The Wall Street Journal has an important look at the ways public sector unions use politics to extort settlements from politicians who don’t put taxpayers first:

New York City’s police union has stood outside Mayor Bill de Blasio’s gym demanding higher pay for officers, launched a seven-figure advertising push to criticize the mayor, and flirted with backing his opponent in his re-election campaign.

Then, on Monday, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association got a phone call: Mr. de Blasio was finally ready to make a deal on the long-sought contract, according to union officials and people close to the deal.

The offer was generous, with a higher pay raise than other city unions, and a 2.25% bonus the mayor said was tied to “neighborhood policing.” One senior PBA official said the bonus hadn’t been on the table as late as last week.

Public sector unions are often among the most savvy and well-heeled interest groups lobbying state and local governments. One reason that blue states have significantly larger pension debts than red states is that they tend to have policies that are more favorable to collective bargaining for public employees.

Overly-powerful unions help protect both police brutality and bad teachers while chipping away at the fundamentals of municipal finance in America’s cities. The dysfunctional partnership between public sector unions and blue politicians is one of the major bottlenecks preventing a new era of American progress and prosperity.

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  • Pait

    The main reason why some states have larger public pension debts than others is that they spend more on public services. For example, the ratio between per student public school expenses in different states is 3 to 1, as compared to only 2 to 1 ration between per capita income.

    Other factors exist but they are less important. They don’t form a solid foundation for a rational argument.

    • Andrew Allison

      The thrust of the post was that, due to union shakedowns, NY spends too much on public services. The State with the highest per student expenses is NY, which has a high school graduation rate of 78%, and the lowest (at one-third the cost) is Utah, with an 84% graduation rate. Of course, the cost of living is higher in NY, but not three times higher.

      • Pait

        The #fact is that NY spends a lot more than other places by any measure. The reasons for that are various; what is clear is that pension payments are higher BECAUSE of the higher expenses in public services. Your interpretation “because of union shakedowns” is unsupported, and confuses cause with consequence.

        • Andrew Allison

          The fact is that NY spends more and deliver less than, with the possible exception of CA, any other state. Let’s not even get into your nonsensical proposition that pensions should be higher because more is spent on public services.

          • Pait

            It is not that they SHOULD be higher – it is simple arithmetic: if the expenses are higher, then the mass of salaries is higher, and the pensions will be higher.

            It is unclear that NY delivers less. The state is richer per capita than the US in average; and NYC, on which the article concentrates, even more so. The city attracts a large number of immigrants and foreign workers because of its prosperity, which attests to the desirability of the services it provides; but that in turn requires more services, which cost money. Violent crime rates in NYC are low compared to most other large cities; and the educational attainment in the state is vastly superior to almost all red states.

            We must therefore conclude that the statement “NY delivers less” is unsupported by the facts.

          • Andrew Allison

            What part of UT delivers more for 1/3 the cost is unclear? It was you who chose school expenditures. Want to pick another example of how NY spends more while delivering less?

          • Pait

            Altogether educational attainment in NY is above that of red states, although lower than deep blue New England. Utah ranks very high among red states, but it’s still well below NY in higher education. Elementary education in Utah is more even than in NY, reflecting a more homogeneous pool of students, but overall achievement at higher levels is still lower.

            The statement that NY delivers less is unsupported by the facts. Yes, NY spends more, because costs and salaries are higher, and because it has more challenges due to a more diverse population, but NY students achieve more than those of red states.

          • Andrew Allison

            You appear to be a member of the FG school of argument, namely when nailed change the subject. The simple fact is that you chose public education, and UT delivers more than NY at 1/3 the cost. The other 48 States (with diverse populations) also deliver more for less. The fact that salaries are higher than the relative cost of living simply makes the case that the State is being raped by unions.

          • Pait

            I have never heard of the FG school, but I’ll leave that aside.

            Educational attainment overall is higher in NY than in red states. It is also higher in Utah than in most red states, but still much below New England, which leads the nation. It is below N York in some measures, though not in others. Utah does better at the elementary school because of the homogeneity – fewer students perform at low levels. For higher education, the lack of investment shows – despite good high school graduation rates, postsecondary education indices are not outstanding.

            By and large, states that get away with spending less on education are simply buying a shoddier product. They are falling behind Europe and East Asia, with predictable consequences, whereas states such as Massachusetts, which leads the nation in education, are not.

            Higher salaries attract more dedicated and prepared teachers. It is one of the keys to better education.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Nobody has been willing to tell police departments that their jobs, job security, pensions and health care are actually deserving of the same economic haircut taken by most workers in the private sector over the past 35 years——because, “you know, the world has changed”. The next GOP mayor of NYC—–if it gets one—-is not going to buck the cops any more than De Blasio is doing now.

    • TGates

      Don’t worry, there will not be one. Too far gone.

    • Pait

      You know? I’m happy that the police is well paid. Helps keeps us safe. In places where the police is not well compensated, crime is higher, and the force less trustworthy. I prefer to pay them better then to deal with a 2nd class police.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Well, I am glad for them too in those respects—–but not to the point of putting them on a special pedestal for negotiations while we generally attack other public employees as overpaid, unimportant, maybe useless and maybe even evil because of their unions. You may have noticed that we just elected a national government which never saw a public-sector job they liked—–except for cops. That’s not the road to a “great” country.

        • Pait

          Completely with you here.

  • Disappeared4x

    The idea that NYPD is “protecting police brutality in 2017” is beyond fakefacts, but, it is not public sector unions in NYS that are a bottleneck to progress. Sometimes, it is an ‘overly-powerful’ private union. In New York, perhaps the SEIU, where home health care through Medicaid costs more than twice per capita than Connecticut or New Jersey?
    “Medicaid: wreaking havoc in health care: How New York State’s runaway Medicaid spending is strangling the taxpayers and undercutting the quality of medical care. The reality of New York’s Medicaid program:
    •Supporting Medicaid costs the average family of four in this state over $5,000 a year.
    • Our costs for Medicaid are well over twice the national average.
    …• Our costs are particularly out of line with the norm in spending on nursing homes and home health care.
    • What drives our costs? A program that is more generous to health-care providers than other states’.

    …Not only does New York spend considerably more than twice the national average per capita on Medicaid; among competing states only two, Connecticut and New Jersey, manage to spend more than half [for ALL Medicaid services] what New York
    does—$897 per capita for Connecticut and $680 for New Jersey, compared to $1,352 in New York. …”

    Public Policy Institute of New York State Spending Data is from 1997, but has only gotten worse. This report cites 17.4% of
    NYS residents on Medicaid. By 2009, that was 25%.

    Apologies for not digging deeper to find more recent data, especially where per capita cost for Home Care in NY is >2x that in CT and NJ.

    My NY RE taxes in 1998 were $8,000/yr. The next owner was paying $19,000/yr in 2009.

    • TGates

      Yes Disappeared, but you are expected to sell your home at an exorbitant price then migrate to a southern, low tax state where you can demand additional public service and ruin that state also. We call it the carpetbagger effect.

      • Disappeared4x

        Yes sir!
        Good thing my drawl came back the minute I crossed back over the
        Mason-Dixon line. Too bad I forgot to get rich in the 90’s. My final move was
        last year. My vote finally counted.

        Anyone thinks I am a carpetbagger gets me talking about my collection of baskets…

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Leftists like De Blasio are the ones that enabled the Labor Gang Monopolies, so they deserve to suffer. Fire the leftists and use anti-trust laws to break up the Labor Gang Monopolies.

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