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Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation Paperback – November 23, 2009
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Government employees are supposed to work for the public-not the other way around. Unfortunately, because of the overwhelming political influence of government unions, public employees have gained an unsustainable level of pay and benefits. Taxpayers will be saddled with higher taxes, depleted services and unconscionable levels of debt. As Greenhut's timely book explains, the public servants have indeed become the public's masters. ----Robert W. Loewen, President of the Lincoln Club of Orange County
Greenhut has performed a great service for ordinary citizens and taxpayers with PLUNDER: How Pubic Employee Unions are Rading Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation. But be forewarned: If you take high blood pressure medicine, better take a double dose before reading this book. It will surely amplify the current distrust and disgust with government today as reflected in the resurgent taxpayer revolt and the Tea Party movement. With clarity and a compelling writing style, he reveals how pubic employees have, indeed, become "America's Protected Class." The good news is that Greenhut gives valuable advice at the end of the book on what we can do to turn the tide on this seemingly unstoppable socialistic encroachment. Frederick Douglas, when asked how to affect change, famously responded "agitate, agitate, agitate." With PLUNDER, Greenhut does more than his share of agitating. Except for government labor bosses and bureaucrats, we will all be better for it. ----Jon Coupal, President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
The tax-eaters must pin Steve Greenhut's face to their dartboard. His latest blockbuster should end their career of abuse against the taxpayers. Cut government, and free the people. And stop the abuse! ----Llewellyn H. Rockwill Jr., President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Editor of LewRockwell.com
About the Author
Steven Greenhut is a California-based journalist and columnist who recently joined the Pacific Research Institute to head its journalism center in Sacramento. On The Orange County Register's Editorial Board for eleven years, his columns have been printed in newspapers throughout the country. He is author of Abuse of Power: How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain. He won the Institute for Justice's Thomas Paine Award and is a senior fellow for the Goldwater Institute in Arizona.
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Top customer reviews
H.L. Mencken described elections as "sort of an advance auction of stolen property." Such is the case with labor union endorsements and their funding for candidates. The unions usually are successful in putting their highest bidder in office -- the best labor sycophant that money can buy. Then the unions "negotiate" pay, benefits and job security with the very people they put in office.
Admittedly it's usually a spirited auction -- as most candidates try to outbid each other for these coveted endorsements. I've been there, done that in a local political race, though my proposals apparently were NOT what the union bosses wanted to hear. Not at all!
Whether or not you believe the above conclusion is reasonable, you still need to read the book. Although PLUNDER! Is the title, AGHAST! may more aptly be your reaction. The author is much less against private sector unions, even though they come in for a tongue lashing, too. It is the public sector or government worker unions that get the most criticism. The in-order concentration is the police, paid firefighters and teachers.
Although the author alludes to the foundation of unions as, perhaps grudgingly, a necessary evil, it is the last 10 years that gets the brunt of most of his wrath. What can unions do in 10 years? You'll be surprised. In the eyes and evidence of the author, the government employees and retirees have set our nation back both politically and economically, and put John Q. Citizen--that is, the non-government worker--into a financial hole/debt from which s/he cannot recover; that is, without both slashing services and increasing taxes to unbelievable, perhaps riotous, levels. And is this behavior continuing in spite of our nation's/governments' economic plight? According to the author, absolutely.
The author, Steven Greenhut, deals with hidden motives, strong-arm tactics, unacceptable morality, and open political and financial corruption. Of course, these are the views and opinions of one man--and others whom he quotes. There is nothing positive about public sector unions in this book; thus, you will make up your own mind. This is heavy reading, at times, with lots of documentation; so be prepared. And it's up-to-date: 2010.
My four-star evaluation is based on the quality of the writing (too repetitious) and not my sentiment with reference to whether or not government workers (federal, state and local) should be unionized. I found myself on both sides of the fence at times with "but..." and "what if...." The author did make me feel uncomfortable: I suppose he achieved his goal. Nevertheless, one of my "buts" is why are the top-ranking countries in education--Finland, Singapore and South Korea--doing so well and are virtually 100 percent unionized? Maybe it's the WAY the unions behave in these countries? I don't have the answer to this. Except it may be in the preparation of teachers. Some will argue that one affect is also the economic and cultural homogeneity of the student population in those countries. Regardless, Greenhut concentrates on the teachers' unions in the USA.