workers freedom

economics as if workers mattered

We can no longer afford the rich

Pundits’ bleating about the need to further gut workers’ pensions and health benefits has reached a deafening roar. In New Jersey, the governor warns that the state can not afford to pay its share into public employees’ pension funds. Illinois just slashed pensions because it also “could not afford” them. Similar is happening all over.

Next time your grocery bill look a bit daunting or the mortgage check is about to bounce, I suggest you follow the lead of our eminent polytricksters and explain that your bills are unsustainable, and so you will just have to “restructure” your obligations. I’m sure they would be glad to settle for 50 cents on the dollar.

General Motors, which is now looking at record profits thanks to deep concessions from its unions and millions of dollars in assistance from the rest of us working stiffs through our taxes (much — but far, far from all — of which it repaid interest-free; the rest was a gift I’m sure you were glad to give), has so much cash on hand that it’s buying back its stock. And, of course, it’s asking for new concessions from the autoworkers.

The Philadelphia Daily News’ Will Bunch asks if we can afford these parasites. Shockingly, he concludes that they are a luxury we no longer can afford after decades of austerity, off-shoring production, speed-ups, tax cuts for the rich, and the like.

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