One of the greatest misconceptions on the left may be the suggestion that “us” refers to workers (hopefully unionized workers), along with government programs and regulations, and “them” refers to big business, their friends on Wall Street, and their puppets in government. At the risk of merely presenting an opposing paradigm that is equally over-simplified, here are some alternative scenarios. The open-minded reader may find them instructive.
For over a decade, Wall Street has enjoyed an incestuous and exploitative relationship with public sector unions, because public employee pension funds have poured more new money into their equities markets than any other single source. This isn’t leveraged money or trading turnover, either, this is new money, cold hard cash that is transferred from the pockets of taxpayers into government payroll departments and turned over to the pension funds. In the United States each year, the pension fund contributions of 25 million government workers – at $10,000 per year each, which is probably a very conservative estimate – pour over 250 billion dollars into Wall Street.
The way Wall Street seduced public sector unions into thinking they could ask for retirement benefits that, on average, are quadruple what the average private sector worker can expect from social security is the single biggest example of how Wall Street seduced the entire nation into believing they could enjoy a quality of life far in excess of what they actually were earning. Public sector union leadership can hardly be blamed for believing that their trillion […] Read More