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UPDATED: 11:34 a.m.
Man, I would just love it if the solution to every problem I tackle in my work were so simple.
…State government will be forced to cut spending soon — and the Mackinac Center has a suggestion where to do it.
“Bring public sector (employee) benefits in line with the private sector,” said Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center.
Lehman said the gap between public and private employment benefits — insurance, pensions and vacation pay — in Michigan is $5.7 billion, which would more than cover future budget shortfalls, he said.
Roads are crumbling, bridges are woefully under-inspected. Solution? Cut worker pay!
Schools are falling behind, classroom sizes are growing. Solution? Fire the teachers!
This is going to work especially well when we reduce crime by scuttling the court system, closing prisons and getting rid of cops — all, of course, the natural outgrowth of cutting wages to zero.
Which, it seems, is the only thing that will make the Mac Center happy: when the people in this state who do the real backbreaking work of teaching kids, building roads and keeping even those well-heeled philosophers safe are doing it for free.
Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is what they MUST mean by “free-market.”
Nevermind the fact that public employees don’t actually make more than their private sector counterparts, as Ezra Klein pointed out:
The data come from Rutgers’s Jeffrey Keefe, and he also ran “a separate calculation that controls for full-time status, education level, years of experience, age, gender, race, employer organizational size, industry, and hours worked,” which found that “public employees are compensated 2-7% less than equivalent private sector employees.”
The myth of public employee pay is second only to the myth of Obama as Muslim, a problem the Mackinac Center would solve, no doubt, by offering a plan to cut more public employee salaries.