Public employee unions
My U.S. News column this week is about one force that threatens to gobble up our otherwise thriving private sector economy: the greater-than-economic-growth increases in spending mandated by current entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But there's another force threatening the private sector economy: public-employee unions. In many but not all states, public-employee unions have been forcing greater-than-economic-growth spending increases on state and local governments—spending that produces very little in the way of public benefit.
And the public-employee unions have been growing stronger. In California last year, they spent huge amounts of money—money that came, via members' dues, from the taxpayers—on trashing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's job rating and defeating his ballot measures. These leeches on the private sector economy are now in position to keep sucking more and more blood (emphasis mine--Darren)...
[M]any on the political left complain about the disappearance of the middle class, the alleged tendency of our economy to produce hefty income growth for those at the upper end of the economic scale and relatively little income growth for the large number at the lower end. Interestingly, this tendency toward income inequality is most pronounced in states that have been voting Democratic in presidential elections—especially New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California. Income inequality tends to be much less in many states that vote heavily Republican. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California have imported many high-income earners and low-income immigrants and have been exporting many more middle-income earners. This process is accelerated when, as in these four states, high-income earners have been eager to vote for Democrats backed by public-employee unions: The same people who have been complaining about this trend have been causing it.