By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
?About 61,200 ?public-sector? (i.e. government) jobs were lost from the beginning of the recession through the end of 2011 ? If these jobs were not lost, New Jersey?s 2011 unemployment rate would be more than a full percentage point lower ? 8 percent, instead of the current 9.3 percent. Support to maintain or replace public jobs ? should come from the federal government, since New Jersey clearly lacks the financial resources.?
— N.J. Policy Perspective Report of October 2012.
Last week the New Jersey Education Association, the state teachers union, released this report in a joint press conference with Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg. The union also put it on its njea.org website and the front page of its monthly newspaper, which is mailed to all 195,000 public school employees.
The NJEA website and newspaper also urged all public school employees and their families to re-elect Democratic President Barack Obama and Sen. Bob Menendez.
How many things are wrong with this picture?
The idea that state and local governments can cut unemployment by hiring people is ridiculous because it ignores this inconvenient truth: The money to pay the salaries and benefits of the people they hire has to come from somewhere. Government must collect every extra dollar it pays out in salaries and benefits through higher taxes. If those 61,200 government employees are paid a modest (by government standards) $60,000 each year in salaries and benefits, state and local governments must collect an extra $3.7 billion ($1,836 per family) each year in taxes. Without this money, each New Jersey family would have that much less money to spend at each business they buy from. And when those businesses earn less, they will cut back and lay off even more employees than the government hired.
If hiring more government employees really created jobs, government could instantly hire all of the unemployed by collecting tolls on every road in New Jersey. Think of all the great jobs that would be created designing and building hundreds of toll booths on Routes 9, 40 and 322, and hiring thousands of people as toll collectors. It would be a great idea ? but only if you ignored the fact that every dollar paid out for those salaries would have to be collected in extra tolls. That would leave almost everyone in the state with less money ? and time. There would be fewer customers, less business, and more layoffs and unemployment.
But of course, the NJPP itself admits ?New Jersey clearly lacks the financial resources? to hire more ?public? employees. They want the federal government pay for it. But there are 16 trillion (16,000,000,000,000) good reasons why that is also a bad idea. The federal government is already borrowing 42 cents for every dollar it spends. And once the Chinese wake up and figure out we will never pay them back, they will not only stop loaning us this money, they will also demand that we pay real money, not paper dollars, for the iPhones and other gadgets they sell us.
By the way, the NJPP, which prepared this report for the teachers union, is not an independent research institution. According to its official website (njpp.org), it is a ?progressive? advocacy group run by 13 directors who are mostly paid employees and consultants for various progressive groups, including Jackie Cornell-Bechelli, the state director of Obama for America (Our daily newspaper never mentioned that.).
The final thing wrong with this picture is that every public school employee in New Jersey was forced to pay for this nonsense. NJ state law forces every public school employee to pay dues to three separate unions, the national NEA, the state NJEA and local ?education? associations. Teachers pay roughly $1,100 each year in dues. Janitors, clerks and cafeteria workers pay less. The NJEA alone collects roughly $96 million in dues. A big chunk of that money is used to advance progressive agendas and help progressive candidates get elected and re-elected.
Did you notice that those on the left only denounce billionaires Charles Koch and David Koch for spending their own money to advance the conservative political causes they believe in? They have no problem with ?millionaires and billionaires? like George Soros and Jon Corzine who spend far more on progressive causes and candidates?
And these ?progressives? are also OK with forcing thousands of people to join and pay dues to unions that use their money to support causes and candidates they despise.
(Reprinted from the October 24, 2012 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/politics/30920-hiring-public-employees-is-no-cure-for-unemployment.html)
Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears on 92.1FM 8-9 a.m. Saturday. For information see www.libertyandprosperity.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (609) 927-7333. Breakfast discussions are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Shore Diner on Fire and Tilton roads in Egg Harbor Township.
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