Organized labor, like the octopus of government, ignores the realities of ordinary life. America is in the midst of a depression and unemployment is a profound problem in much of our nation, particularly in those older industrialized regions which have come to be called the “Rust Belt.” Big unions, so present in American elections with money and foot soldiers, extracts its own irregular benefits and protections as the price of political support.
Despite the wave of popular anger over the ongoing recession (no, it hasn’t ended, as just about everybody outside the Beltway has figured out by now) and the enormous expansion of government debt that is sucking the private sector dry, President Obama is refusing to contemplate extension of the Bush tax cuts for America’s high earners.
When the 82,566 fans of the New York Giants cheer their team at the home opener of the season this Sunday at the New Meadowlands Stadium, they will likely enjoy the game more than the taxpayers of New Jersey who still owe $266 million on the old Giants Stadium which was demolished to make way for the new one. Those taxpayers may also be dismayed to learn that the revenue stream from the old stadium has now all but disappeared, putting them on the hook for $35 million in principal and interest payments each year to service the bonds that built the old stadium as part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex back in 1976.
When Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in Bloomberg.com that “the biggest problem with the labor market right now is that wages are too high,” it was the first positive sign of intelligent life in the mainstream media in some time.
If it is true, as Albert Einstein is alleged to have said, that insanity consists of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then President Obama and his advisors may well be channeling the great 20th Century physicist. After all, the President is neither chastened nor enlightened following the monumental failure of his multi-trillion dollar efforts to stimulate the economy by spending taxpayer money. As his September 6 speech at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Laborfest attested, he’s going to try it yet again.