Big Labor Taking 'Silver' Out of 'Silver State'
(Source: January 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Mark Mix: Big Government is Big Labor's bread and butter in Nevada and many other states. This winter, as state legislatures across the country prepare to go into session, many elected officials are looking for a practical way to get skyrocketing tax expenditures for compensation of state and local government employees under control. For many years now, Big Labor featherbedding and counterproductive work rules have been key factors in causing government payrolls to spiral at an alarming rate. In fact, according to inflation-adjusted U.S. Commerce Department data, taxpayers' aggregate real costs for compensation of state and local government employees soared by almost 30% between 1998 and 2008 -- an increase more than 50% greater than the total real growth of private-employee compensation. In 2009, even as the nation's economy endured a severe recession, state and local employee real compensation rose by 2.6%. Meanwhile, businesses whose revenues were plummeting had no choice but to cut back real compensation for private-sector employees by 4.3%. Right to Work States Haven't Been Immune From Government Union Virus And last fall, American voters expressed their alarm at this trend by ousting hundreds of government union boss-friendly legislators in state after state and replacing them with candidates pledging to revoke union monopoly-bargaining policies that favor government employment growth over business job growth.