Monday, February 22, 2010

Challenging the Aristocracy

In a newspaper essay yesterday, John Batiste, president of Klein Steel, gets right to the point about the problem with Albany.   Cutting through the smokescreen generated by the political class and New York's aristocracy, the public employee unions, the retired Army general sets out the core issues with lucidity and precision rarely seen outside of Mustard Street.

After meeting with majority and minority leaders, and with state legislature delegations from Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton, Batiste observes:

Most are bent on building a strong public sector, at the expense of the private sector. They are stuck on excuses and play a blame-shifting game that raised the hair on the back of my neck.

Most are concerned foremost with getting re-elected, as often as possible. They are dependent on the pay, benefits and pensions of public office and will do what is necessary to stay in office.
Which means robbing private sector employees to fund the public employee unions, the only group untouched and held harmless throughout the current recession.

Batiste's last point quoted above is the key.   Most members of the New York State Legislature probably would have jobs sweeping up somewhere, or would be on welfare, if they weren't elected legislators.

For the downstate members especially, the State Legislature is a dumping ground for hacks and time-servers at the end of the line politically, or who can't cut it in what, down there, is the big stage, which is New York City politics.   In New York, City Council is a much more coveted post, and more sought-after, than state legislature.

A poisonous combination of high life and low life -- the public union aristocracy and the Albany elected plebs -- squeezing the life out of the rest of us.

We'd love to have been there when Batiste delivered what he called his "simple message" to the legislators:
Do no harm to taxpayers or the companies that create jobs. Cuts must be made to reduce spending. Public and private sectors must share the pain equally.
That's like screaming "F--- the Church!" during Christmas Mass in the Vatican.

The general brought Albany a message of revolution.   Bring it on.

1 comment:

Dekester said...

I think the unions think they will lose their political influence if the Mayor takes over the schools. And the town school boards vote for increases and fluffy contracts in return for votes. It's pathetic.