I lifted this from Mr. Rutten’s article entitled “L.A. city officials need to think twice about layoffs” When I read it I was stunned.
The beast now gnawing the heart from our civic finances is, in part, the progeny of the credit markets’ collapse and, in even greater part, a consequence of the unemployment created by that disaster. Citywide, unemployment is running better than 12%; in some particularly hard-hit Latino and African American neighborhoods, one in five workers is jobless. Unemployed workers still require city services, but they pay little in the way of taxes, so they drain the city budget.
Those numbers ought to weigh heavily on City Hall’s current deliberations because government has been for some time now our most significant local employer. Over the last two decades, the manufacturing, financial-services and aerospace firms that once provided our local middle-class employment base have faded from the scene — most the victims of consolidation within their own industries. As a result, Los Angeles County’s six leading employers now are government entities: L.A. County employs 93,200 workers; the state of California has 30,200; the city of Los Angeles clocks in with 53,471.
What do all these employees do? L.A. Country employs 93,200 workers? The City of Los Angeles employs 53,471 workers? Again, what is it that these “workers” do? Obviously not very much if it takes so many workers in the first place.
One fact that Mr. Rutten seems to have conspicuously left out of his opinion piece, is that the vast majority of all of these city, county and state employees are in unions.
Now this is just my opinion, but I know it’s an opinion shared by many, and that’s that unions breed contempt. Contempt of management, contempt of employers and even contempt of fellow employees.
Union’s are constantly pitting their rank and file against their employers. They have a “work less for more” attitude. Unions in California are primarily responsible for the current budget mess that the state of California finds itself in today.
Mr. Rutten leaves out the obvious in his article, that unions have been instrumental in expanding California’s government workforce at every level of government, and for all the added expense of each and every one of the hired workers, the quality of service has gone down.
Remember the California Teachers Association convincing us that the path to better education was to reduce classroom size down to 23 students? How many new teachers were required to pull that one off? How much did the state spend on new portable classrooms to accommodate all the new teachers with a smaller workload? Has education in California gotten any better? Have test scores improved?
How frustrating is it for any of us that have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, or for that matter to go to any government run agency? We sit and watch helplessly as these “workers” wander about the facility like kids in a playground, shooting the breeze with co-workers, laughing and carrying on, ridiculing and laughing at us all right in front of us, without any fear of retribution from their employers because getting them fired takes an act of congress. Thank the unions for it.
Now apologists like Mr. Rutten want to try to make the Los Angeles City Council think twice for putting 1,000 people in the unemployment line from a workforce of 53,471?
Let me ask another question of Mr. Rutten. The city and county of Los Angeles are broke. So is the state of California. If you were to suddenly lose your job, would you keep your gardener, pool man and maid employed to help keep the economy from tanking? I would bet that the answer would be a resounding NO.
How then Mr. Rutten, can you logically argue that it’s imperative that the city of Los Angeles keep employees that they cannot afford to stave off a deeper recession of the local economy? It’s absolute insanity.
If two employees are good, then four is even better. The overwhelming bloat and waste in the state of California is a direct result of this kind of thinking. Where did logic go? How did doing things logically get lost in the government equation?
Californians are paying more for less at every level and at come point something has to give. The current situation cannot sustain itself for much longer. You have less revenue coming in to state and city coffers so you cut spending. Government employees are not guaranteed a lifetime of employment. JD