Thursday, December 01, 2011

Willie Brown on California

From a column he wrote almost 2 years ago:
If we as a state want to make a New Year's resolution, I suggest taking a good look at the California we have created. From our out-of-sync tax system to our out-of-control civil service, it's time for politicians to begin an honest dialogue about what we've become.

Take the civil service.

The system was set up so politicians like me couldn't come in and fire the people (relatives) hired by the guy they beat and replace them with their own friends and relatives.

Over the years, however, the civil service system has changed from one that protects jobs to one that runs the show.

The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life.

But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits to private-sector levels while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages that pay ex-workers almost as much as current workers.

Talking about this is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide for most officeholders. But at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact that 80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits are due to employee costs.

Either we do something about it at the ballot box, or a judge will do something about in Bankruptcy Court. And if you think I'm kidding, just look at Vallejo.
Hat tip to NewsAlert.


Lef said...

I love his blurb about Napolitano taking blame for a mistake, but spelling the T in TSA "transpiration". No joke. It's the first paragraph of that link.

Anonymous said...

Ellen K said...

Unions have been at the core of the failure of the steel industry, the textile industry and the electronics industry. We cannot manufacture using American union labor at a cost that the market will bear. The irony of this can be seen in the failure of GM. Make no mistake, Obama bailed out GM because had he not done so, unions would have been forced to renegotiate their contracts under a new owner or a reorganized company. So he bailed out GM and they are still saddled with the same union baggage that made American cars too expensive for the quality produced. I hate to say this because I know buying American made goods will be what bring us out of this economic slough of despair, but when my daughter bought a 2009 Chevy Impala last week, I was very disappointed. I hope to God she hasn't made a mistake.

maxutils said...

Whenever I think of governmental ethics, i always go first to willie brown.

MikeAT said...

Willie Brown makes a point but he is off on a major issue. He said a judge in bankruptcy court will handle it. Unlike counties and municipalities, states cannot declare bankruptcy. They will default on their debt and when they try to raise money no one will buy the state's bond's.

Kinda like a situation in DC right now.