Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Economy according to Mark Twain

"It isn't the sum you get, it's how much you can buy with it, that's the important thing; and it's that that tells whether your wages are high in fact or only high in name."
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

I had intended to write yesterday and share some thoughts about Labor Day and union membership.  I never got around to it.  Then this morning when I was looking up quotes from Mark Twain, I came across the above quote on the economy. 

While housing prices have come down, the price of food and gas and cars have ascended into the stratosphere, so how do we continue to read stories about how unionized workers are overpaid?  If you are scraping by to feed and house your family, how are you making too much money?  When was the last time you read a story about how athletes make too much money?   We pay legislators in this state a higher salary for their summers off 'careers', than we pay our school teachers.  And more than young policemen and firemen are paid.

And if we keep asking those pubic sector workers to pay more for their health care and give up their defined benefit pensions, then where are we as a nation when they reach retirement age with no pensions, no savings, and maybe no social security?  I don't think we can rely on business to help any of them.  More likely we'll be back where we were at the turn of the 19th century.  The 'Haves' and everybody else.

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