The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why not just abolish the NYC sanitation department?
Tom Smith

This is your government on public sector unions.  If the argument is, some functions are too critical to public safety to put in private hands, then that is an argument against allowing them to be unionized. If unionized, then the state no longer has a monopoly on the power exercised by that arm, which is the whole idea of putting it in the public sphere.  So if you can't have private police forces running around, let's say, then it makes no sense to have the monopolized force of the state colonized or even dominated by a union with interests frequently opposed to those of the public.  

NYC snow removal is just a vivid illustration of a problem that is about to blow up into a genuine fiscal crisis.  Unions have held up states and cities for trillions of dollars in obligations that can't be paid off.  Throw in the costs of an utterly failed public school system in many cities and you get an idea of the scope of folly of government by unions.

Further thoughts here.

http://rightcoast.typepad.com/rightcoast/2011/01/why-not-just-abolish-the-nyc-sanitation-department-tom-smith.html

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bf6e253ef0147e12e37a7970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why not just abolish the NYC sanitation department?
Tom Smith
:

Comments

Nomenklatura as a hostile faction. The Federalist papers are all over this idea.

Posted by: Lou Gots | Jan 1, 2011 3:10:09 PM

Well said, Smithy.

Posted by: dearieme | Jan 1, 2011 5:06:19 PM

And the unions will get away with it which wouldn't be the case if a private company did the same thing.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 2, 2011 5:20:33 PM

Fire them. That's what Bloomberg should do if he wants to run for national office.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jan 2, 2011 9:08:49 PM

Fire them? Some should be prosecuted for manslaughter (and they should lose their pensions).

Posted by: km | Jan 3, 2011 7:43:05 AM

Fire them and offer the jobs to the Iraq and Afghanistan vets coming back who are looking for work.

Posted by: marcus | Jan 5, 2011 4:10:32 AM

I've got a better idea. How about we abolish the Wagner Act &tc?

Posted by: DSmith | Jan 5, 2011 5:15:43 AM

D. Smith is proffering brilliance.

Posted by: b5blue | Jan 5, 2011 5:37:11 AM

I will bet that having a private company handle the garbage collection duties would be far cheaper than the current unionized public sector beast.

Posted by: William Dix | Jan 5, 2011 6:53:21 AM

Guys, I sympathize with the idea of dumping the Sanitation Department in favor of private carting companies, but there's an X factor involved that you may not have thought of. Private collection will probably be just as expensive as civil service garbage collection for the same reason that building a building in New York City is more expensive than building the same building in any other city you care to mention. Who do you think runs the private carting industry in New York? It sure as hell ain't the Boy Scouts.

Posted by: Akaky | Jan 5, 2011 7:01:46 AM

You've got it 100% backwards. The first amendment protects the right to free speech, assembly, and to seek redress from the government- the fundamentals of a government union. Citizens have a fundamental right to bargain when they agree to do a job; they shouldn't lose the right to bargain as a group.

Moreover, for most government workers, there is no difference between management and the union - it is just bosses telling you what to do and what your working conditions are. There is not really a union in the sense most people understand it; there is just a corrupt government agency.

The real problem is not the unions. The real problem is that the duly appointed government officials at the top (who are not allowed to belong to the union) directed their subordinates (who do belong to the union) to not do their jobs. A real fix would be to admit that such actions by government officials are treason, and to try and hang them. Order plow drivers to not plow? Hanging offense. Order firemen to light fires? Hanging offense. Speaker of the House visit a foreign country and publicaly promises to undermine US policy? Hanging offense.

Posted by: Dustydog | Jan 5, 2011 8:59:22 AM

Public unions are fundamentally immoral based on the fact that taxpayer funded agencies do not exist to make a profit. Who's getting rich off the backs of public school teachers, transit workers, sanitation workers, cops, and firefighters? When were these people ever forced to buy goods at a company store while their bosses raked in millions? You want a government job, with all it's perks? Then accept what they're willing to pay you or go work in the private sector. That's how it always was up until the the 1960s. There's still plenty of states where public unions are illegal. Funny, I don't remember hearing any stories about how public workers in these states are forced to live in cardboard boxes and eat cat food.

Posted by: The Fop | Jan 5, 2011 11:05:00 AM

"If the argument is, some functions are too critical to public safety to put in private hands, then that is an argument against allowing them to be unionized. If unionized, then the state no longer has a monopoly on the power exercised by that arm, which is the whole idea of putting it in the public sphere."

This is absolutely brilliant.

Unions by definition are private...so private they even want to eliminate the secret ballot. More like parents, actually. "Because I'm the daddy, that's why" becomes the basis of the union's execution of raw power.

This single observation ought to be the basis for dissolving every so-called "public" union in the nation. Talkin' to you cops, firemen, teachers, prison guards and state and federal "workers" with union contracts.

Because you take your orders from private unions that are without competition, that cut deals with politicians without care for taxpayers who foot the bill, you are bankrupting us, too.

Posted by: Koblog | Jan 5, 2011 3:11:47 PM

Hey,this is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post.

Posted by: wholesale handbags | Jan 11, 2011 7:20:08 PM