March 17, 2006
THE GOVERNMENT competing against the private sector, as in Wireless Philadelphia, is unfair. The price can be low because there is a subsidy. In this case, it's likely to be free pole attachments for the vendor and lower taxes, as well as reduced or non-existent franchise fees. And it's not just Verizon or Comcast getting hurt. What about retail computer stores? We should be giving kudos to Verizon and Comcast for not moving out of the city, not making it more difficult to justify staying in a city that is clearly becoming more hostile.
June 30, 2006
Re: Eli Hiller's June 9 commentary, "N.J. cannot afford to keep its web of political fiefdoms. " State Sen. Stephen M. Sweeney (D., Gloucester) may have offended state employees with his recent call for them to take a voluntary pay cut of 15 percent. Unfortunately, while well ahead of the legislative curve, Sweeney's analysis of the cause and effect of New Jersey's fiscal woes will be echoed again and again in the coming months and years. As Hiller noted, New Jersey has more than 500,000 public-sector employees and thousands of public retirees who together annually consume more than $30 billion in compensation and benefits.
January 15, 2011
Most employees of public unions want to point the blame for many of our problems away from their unions ("Don't blame the unions for corporate misdeeds," Tuesday). While it's true that there have been plenty of corporate misdeeds, public unions are also a large part of the problem. As the letter writer correctly states, average taxpayers never begrudge civil servants the opportunity to earn a respectable wage, job security, excellent benefits, and the ability for a comfortable retirement when times are good and everyone is benefiting from a strong economy.
December 22, 1991 |
In this corner, with assets of $81 million and an idea he calls a "better mousetrap" to beat college-cost inflation, is Peter Roberts, enterprising banker. Over there, with billions of dollars in bond-issuing authority and the power to dispense tax breaks to their citizens, are the governments of California, New Jersey and other states. The question: Who has the best deal for anxious parents trying to save for their children's college educations? Roberts, the founder and chairman of College Savings Bank, a five-year-old institution with a Princeton address and a single product aimed at parents saving for college, is convinced he has the answer - convinced enough to launch a kind of one-bank protest movement against government-sponsored college-savings plans.
March 23, 2011
As a retired, taxpaying Democrat, I started reading Harold Jackson's column "Democrats have labor card but must play it right" (Sunday) expecting a blanket attack on the "anti-union" efforts going on around the country. As a former vice president of a Philadelphia-based manufacturer, I have a long history with private-sector unions. Despite tough negotiations (and short strikes), I always felt that the unions provided a voice and leverage necessary to maintain a balance within the community of interest we shared as employees of a company competing in the marketplace.
January 12, 2002 |
A former school security guard who admitted to helping three high school girls audition for jobs as exotic dancers was barred yesterday from working in the public sector for life. Marlon Bounds, 38, of Willingboro, also was sentenced in state Superior Court of Camden County to two years' probation and 50 hours of community service. He pleaded guilty in October to three counts of abuse and neglect of children. Bounds was a security guard at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden when he took two girls, ages 16 and 17, to audition at dance clubs in late 1997, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
April 30, 2010 |
Last summer, 5,960 New Jersey teens and young adults landed jobs through a $17.7 million stimulus program, but almost none found work in the private sector. The state ignored a federal guideline by placing participants in public and nonprofit jobs only, state Comptroller Matthew Boxer said in an audit released Thursday. That's significant, Boxer said, because private jobs are more likely to translate to longer-term employment. "We took the $17 million we were given and, yeah, we paid the summer wages, but we didn't maximize the benefits that should have come to young workers," he said.
January 26, 1987 |
Most unions have suffered dramatic decreases in membership over the past several decades. Most private sector unions, that is. At the same time, public sector labor forces have enjoyed a tremendous upswing. From 1973-1983, while AFSCME, the largest public sector union and an AFL- CIO affiliate, increased its membership by 66 percent, other large private sector unions lost an overwhelming number of workers: the United Steel Workers lost 44 percent of their membership, the United Mine Workers lost 42 percent and the United Auto Workers 32 percent.
June 24, 2009
CONTRACTS for the municipal unions, teachers and SEPTA are all up for renewal, so our Burning Question of the week is: "With the limping economy, do employees in the public sector get upgrades - or givebacks - in their wages and benefits?" Please keep your replies to 100 words, label them "Burning Question" and send them to any of the addresses listed on the left side of the facing page.
February 8, 2016 |
When socialism is invoked in American political discourse, it's usually derisively. Prior to this election cycle, there hasn't been a self-described socialist with even remotely respectable polls in a presidential campaign since Eugene V. Debs. Since then, the term has been used mostly by conservatives as a slur or in poorly formulated broadsides equating America's public sector with the Gulag. But this year, the protest candidacy of democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is outperforming all expectations - he effectively tied Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses last week and is favored to win Tuesday's New Hampshire primary - threatening to restore legitimacy to the term.