If you haven’t yet, you should discover the Broadsides series from Encounter Books. These are short pamphlets in which top experts discuss urgent political issues that are in the news right now. Excellent for winning arguments with your annoying liberal brother-in-law – or you can just roll one up and smack him with it.
Last week I read one by my old friend EJ McMahon, Obama and America’s Public Sector Plague, which charts the maddening way in which public service pay and benefits have massively outstripped those of the private laborers who pay for them. Every time someone tries to point out what a disaster this is – and how monstrous are the public worker unions that make it happen – we immediately start to hear cries about our wonderful firemen, policemen and teachers. But, as we know, most public workers aren’t firemen, policemen and teachers. They’re people who take the fees to give you the forms to get the permits to have the inspections to get the forms to pay the fees. And they’re making twice as much money as you are!
It was JFK who signed an executive order giving public sector unions the right to collective bargaining. We need a president with the guts to revoke that order. Unions – a necessary evil in private life – are just an evil evil in the public sector. Nothing necessary about them at all.
Anyway, I first met EJ McMahon when he was a great reporter on a small town paper and I was doing a bad imitation of being a reporter on the same paper. Now he’s a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the director of the institute’s Empire Center for New York State Policy and still one of the best reporters I’ve ever seen. The book is worthwhile. The whole Broadsides series is worth a look.