Category Archives: Unions

“We Have Lived Beyond Our Means”- Brown

Unions howl..
In a long-overdue moment, governor Jerry Brown has finally admitted the obvious, the state’s pension system is broke and California Has “Lived Beyond Our Means”. Unions of course are howling at that obvious admission.

California Governor Jerry Brown and lawmakers have reached a deal to raise public employees’ retirement ages, have them pay more into their pension accounts, and cap retirement payments in a vast overhaul of the state’s pension system that he says will save $30 billion.

California faces a huge liability for funding the nation’s largest public pension system, but other states and cities also have enormous pension funding gaps and will be watching the state closely.

Brown did not get everything he wanted from lawmakers, such as a hybrid plan that would funnel some contributions into 401(k)-style accounts, and some of the deal’s measures will not affect current employees.

“We have lived beyond our means,” he said. “The chickens are coming home to roost and this is just one in a series of countermeasures that will be required over the next decade.”


Democrats in a conference committee of both legislative chambers approved the deal 4-0 late on Tuesday. The two Republicans on the committee abstained, protesting lack of time to study the measures, and labor groups were stunned.

“We are outraged that a Democratic governor and Democratic legislature are taking a wrecking ball to retirement security for teachers, firefighters, school employees, and police officers,” said Dave Low, chairman of Californians for Retirement Security, which represents 1.5 million public employees and retirees.

Outside the state building where Brown unveiled the agreement, union activists said the deal unfairly bypassed collective bargaining rights.

“Labor did not have input on this and we are very, very concerned on what this will mean for rank-and-file workers,” said Barbara Maynard, also with Californians for Retirement Security.

Labor Did Not Have Input

That my friends is precisely the way it should be. Labor does not deserve any input and collective bargaining by public unions needs to go the way of dinosaurs.

There is no public benefit to public unions, so there is no need for them. All public unions do is raise costs. The goal of public unions is to do no work for mammoth wages and benefits.

No one in their right mind would willingly take input from such a group.

Beacon of Light in Ocean of Darkness

The key sentence from Governor Brown stands out like a beacon of light in an ocean of darkness. In case you missed it, here it is: “This is just one in a series of countermeasures that will be required over the next decade.”

Precisely. Brown’s proposal is not the end of what needs to happen, it is the beginning of the beginning of what needs to happen.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock