Thursday, March 31, 2011

Progressives vs. government workers

Even legal thriller-writer Scott Turow couldn't make this up, but the man taking on the unions in San Francisco is its Public Defender, Jeff Adachi.

Mr. Adachi, 52, runs an agency of lawyers who provide legal services to poor people. He is a card-carrying San Francisco Democrat. As he sees it, payments for public pensions and health care are defunding the world he believes in.

"I'm seen as a liberal progressive, a rage against the machine person," he said this past week at his offices downtown. "If you care about social programs or the network of support services, you have to understand that pensions and benefit costs are crowding out all these services."
Exactly. In a world of limited resources -- i.e. the world we inhabit -- every dollar devoted towards worker pay and benefits is one less dollar available for carrying out government's assigned functions. Now, if Democrats want to argue that a chief function of government is simply to serve as a jobs program with high wages and benefits, have at it.

But please let's not pretend their defense of the high wage/benefit model has anything to do with social justice or any of the other goals the party ostensibly stands for. It's a political pay-off, pure and simple.

No comments: