Government for the “servants” by the “servants”

Happy Labor Day.

NewarkToday we can celebrate that “government of the people, for the people and by the people” has perished from this State.

It has been replaced by government of, for and by the government workers’ unions, bureaucrats protected by civil “service” laws and contracts, and the politicians, protected by gerrymandering and incumbency, who have abdicated the most fundamental functions of government to said unions and bureaucrats. The so called public “servants.”

There have been eight people killed violently in Newark, either by shooting or stabbing, in the last seven days.

If this was a partisan political post, I’d be slamming Newark Mayor Cory Booker for the rise in crime in his city over the last over the last three years.

But that would be disingenuous.  Violent crime in Newark declined from 2006, when Booker was elected mayor through November of 2010 when he laid off the 167 city police officers that had been hired since he became mayor.

Booker, facing an $83 million budget gap, asked the police union for $9.5 million in concessions.  The union counter-offered with $2.7 million in concessions from only the new officers,  those subject to the layoff, and $6 million in deferred compensation.   The older, higher paid officers were protected and offered no concessions.   The union leadership did not let their members vote Booker’s proposal, according the Star Ledger.

Many of the officers who lost their jobs at midnight Monday night said they were angry with the union and Booker.

“The union didn’t even let us vote on it. We were stuck between a rock and hard place. Now we’re just unemployed,” said Zack Vonlagen, 25, who surrendered his gun and shield when he reported for duty. “They shouldn’t have even hired us … You don’t buy a house that you can only afford for eight months.”

Alonso Vinueza, 33, another officer who was laid off, believes veteran officers refused pay cuts that would have saved his job. He said he hoped “the senior officers, with their untouched contracts, can live a fruitful life.”

In reality, Booker was powerless to prevent the three year violent crime surge.  He did not, and does not, have the power to determine how many police officers the city would have or which officers the city would have fighting crime.   The union leadership had, and continues to have, that power.  The police could have covered the entire $9.5 million needed without any layoffs.  They chose not too, knowing that their decision would cost jobs and lives.

When it comes to public safety in New Jersey, our elected leaders are powerless.  The unions have the power. 

Lincoln’s hallowed words at Gettysburg are a farce in New Jersey. Government of the people, for the people and by the people has perished here.

Booker can, and should, be faulted for not fighting a system that gives the power over public safety to government employees instead of to the people.  His politics of possibility, i.e., his daily “transformative” quotes and aphorisms on twitter and facebook, have not saved any lives or done anything to transform the streets of Newark.

But so should Governor Christie, his predecessors , the Legislature and the Courts be blamed.  They know the unions have the power.  They know the unions will always choose the death of citizens over the incomes and benefits of their most senior members.  Yet they go along and get along.

The Star Ledger reports today, in an article with a lie for a headline, Wave of reforms result in lower salaries for police and firefighters, that the average police and fire fighters salaries have risen 1.86% annually since the 2010 government reforms Christie and the legislature implemented.

A major element of those reforms, an arbitration award cap of 2%, is set to expire in April.  Whether the arbitration cap is extended or not, more police layoffs, and more violent deaths in our cities, are inevitable under the current system as healthcare costs increase and the most senior highly paid officers are protected from making concessions.

As Daniel Disalvo pointed out in a 2010 National Affairs piece, the founding fathers of the labor movement, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Samuel Gompers and George Meany, saw the dangers of unions controlling government functions.

It is a dying shame that our leaders today can’t see that.

Happy Labor Day.


Posted: September 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Government Employees Unions, Government Waste, Law Enforcement, Legislature, New Jersey, Newark, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “Government for the “servants” by the “servants””

  1. Proud Republican said at 1:47 pm on September 2nd, 2013:

    Let’s face it, with very rare exception, it has been the Democrats who have let the unions run wild. Look at what happened to Scott Walker when he put a stop to the union insanity in his state. And the lap dog Wisconsin Democrats who ran away when it came time to vote. Look at who the unions supported for president. Look at the protests in Trenton by the NJEA and CWA when Christie had the nerve to ask them to contribute to their benefits and pensions. Unions in both the public and private spheres have outlived their usefulness. Until every union is broken, cities and companies alike will be forced into bankruptcy. Detroit is just the beginning.

  2. Mike Harmon said at 1:58 pm on September 2nd, 2013:

    Great writing and sentiment. Eating their young is one of the last resorts of a species on the way out. Don’t let the young outnumber the old or the young will vote themselves the money. Eliminate them and no vote.

    Just finished Detroit (autopsy of an American City) and highly recommend it.

    As someone with roots in Newark (born there and dad worked PSEG and mom RN at St. Michaels) there are many parallels to the events and failures to those that took down Detroit, Camden, Patterson and Newark.

    Except for Mulshine, the Star Ledger is essentially the excuse making, campaign spokesmen for Booker.

  3. Gene B. said at 2:49 pm on September 2nd, 2013:

    We are supposed to be allowed to assemble with anyone we wish. Unions are not the problem. The problem is a government that enforces monopolies via closed shops. The problem is a government that forces business owners and governments to support the union monopoly by preventing employers from hiring and firing union workers at will.

    Of course, this evil government is the creation of the voting majority. They support legislators who make laws that ignore the historic meaning of the state and federal constitutions. They elect lawmakers that have no idea of the negative economic impact that they create with their refusal to allow natural rights to flow throughout the kingdom. In short, the voting majority elects outlaws who totally ignore the natural rights that they are legally required to protect.

    When a candidate files his petition to run for office in NJ, he must sign a statement pledging allegiance to the Constitution.
    This affidavit is the basis for sending these people warning tickets, similar to traffic tickets for wild law makers.

    And if that does not straighten them out, they should be removed from office and placed on trial for treason. They should be guaranteed the fair trials that they never gave us.

    And, after a few of them are hung in the public square, the rest of them will fall in line.

    And Garden of Eden will return to New Jersey.

  4. Barry said at 4:41 pm on September 2nd, 2013:

    There are no more closed shops in the United States. Closed shops are where the Union hires the workers. I think you refer to “Union Shops.”

    The Taft-Hartley Act outlawed the closed shop in the United States in 1947, but permits the union shop, except in those states that have passed right-to-work laws, in which case even the union shop is illegal. An employer may not lawfully agree with a union to hire only union members; it may, on the other hand, agree to require employees to join the union or pay the equivalent of union dues to it after a set period of time. Similarly, while a union could require an employer that had agreed to a closed shop contract prior to 1947 to fire an employee who had been expelled from the union for any reason, it cannot demand that an employer fire an employee under a union shop contract for any reason other than failure to pay those dues that are uniformly required of all employees.

  5. mrdenis said at 5:24 pm on September 2nd, 2013:

    Barry if forcing a teacher to pay union dues even if she wishes not to join the union ,what the hell is that a closed shop ! If I don’t want my child corrupted buy a union teacher I must pay for your kids ,Abbott districts and send my child to private school on again my dime .If I pay taxes I should at least be allowed to send my child to the school of her choice .

  6. GeneB. said at 9:39 am on September 3rd, 2013:


    I stand corrected on the historic details. For the purposes of my comments, however, we have an effective government enforcement of union monopolies. The political and legal games that were used to hide the truth still leave a destruction of the free market and our economy.

  7. bob walsh said at 1:34 pm on September 3rd, 2013:

    This morning,Sept. 3rd, the Governor of Illinois was on CNBC. He had the courage to stop the salaries of all legislators,including himself, until they balance the budget in the state he represents. I do not know what party he belonged to and I don’t care!!!

    When he spoke he mentioned the 5 million dollars per day the state is going in the .”HOLE” and the 97 “BILLION” it is in arrears in pension liabilities and he took action. The leadership of men like our Governor Chris Christie and Scott Walker of Wisconson is not going unnoticed. The well is dry and if people of courage do not stand tall now our way of life is seriously in jeopardy in my opinion.

    I have many family members who ar in unions and they are good honest hard working individuals as are many of their coworkers. At the end of the day the question must be answered and that question is where is the money going to come from to pay these wages , benefits, and retirement packages?

    Without people of character and courage in our government who are willing to stand up and demand the answer I believe we can kiss our way of life goodbye!It is not all the union workers fault either. Far to many politicians did the wrong thing just to get elected and it wasn’t just one party that is to blame.

  8. Barry said at 1:40 pm on September 3rd, 2013:

    For the record the Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn is a Democrat.

  9. Bob for freeholder, said at 9:12 pm on September 3rd, 2013:


  10. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » The moral of Cory Booker’s Wazn Miller story said at 1:47 pm on September 13th, 2013:

    […] We need government leaders who believe in Lincoln’s principle of “government of the people, for the people and by the people.” We don’t need more leaders who believe in and benefit from government of the government employees, for the government employees and by the government employees… […]