Businesses assail unions while fleecing taxpayers

For the last dozen years or so, many local politicians and their patrons in the business community have been at war with public sector unions. They claim that we get paid too much and our benefits are overly generous. They say that it’s not fair for the taxpayers to be burdened with these costs. They also say, laughably, that government should be run like the “private sector.”

Whatever merit there may be to their arguments is lost in their rank hypocrisy. New York State has become the corporate welfare capital of the country. It is a regular occurrence to read or hear about some successful local or national company receiving taxpayers’ dollars to increase the profitability of their enterprise. Beneficiaries of this corporate welfare include medical groups, insurance companies, sports franchises and even fantastically successful local law firms.

The reaction of the politicians and business community to these burdens on the taxpayer is silence! The $35,000 per year library clerk who receives modest health insurance is breaking the bank, but the profitable businesses who get taxpayers to guarantee increased profitability apparently aren’t. Perhaps this silence is because so many in the local business community are also receiving subsidies and they want it to continue.

The next time the average person hears a prominent businessman criticizing public sector unions, consider what it is they are really saying. “Don’t give the money to them. Give it to us!”

Joseph P. Fahey