In Wisconsin, conservative governor Scott Walker shows the other states the way out of their financial crisis. His success addressing the public sector worker pay/pension insanity shows that the predictions of disaster are totally without merit.
From the article:
"At the outset of the public-union standoff, educators had made dire predictions that Walker’s reforms would force schools to fire teachers. In February, to take one example, Madison School District Superintendent Dan Nerad predicted that 289 teachers in his district would be laid off. Walker insisted that his reforms were actually a job-retention program: by accepting small concessions in health and pension benefits, he argued, school districts would be able to spare hundreds of teachers’ jobs. The argument proved sound. So far, Nerad’s district has laid off no teachers at all, a pattern that has held in many of the state’s other large school districts. No teachers were laid off in Beloit and LaCrosse; Eau Claire saw a reduction of two teachers, while Racine and Wausau each laid off one. The Wauwatosa School District, which faced a $6.5 million shortfall, anticipated slashing 100 jobs—yet the new pension and health contributions saved them all."
The lesson here is that any public entity, either a state, county or city, need only get their pay and pension obligations under control, using surprisingly small adjustments, to solve the financial crisis.
Unions need to realize that they cannot bankrupt the very public entities that pay them their benefits, like a parasite killing it's host.
Thereafter, all public entities must make public sector unions illegal, as they once were for this good reason, to prevent this from happening again. Lacking that, politicians must forgo the temptation to use public sector unions to keep them in office, and if they prove incapable of that, they must be voted out of office.
All this likely requires the impossible. The ultimate guarantor of public fiscal health must be the voter, who at all times must be vigilant against these forces, and must prove themselves willing to vote out any politician who proves unable to resist temptation.