Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where today we are going to offer you a modest proposal for an end to collective bargaining in the interest of balanced state budgets.
Almost every state in America is having problems with massive budget deficits. You see, in order to cover state budget deficits in the past, most of our fearless leaders everywhere either dipped into, or failed to fund, pension and benefit plans for state workers. Never mind how the money disappeared. It did, and the Republican solution is to crush the final vestiges of labor unions in order to restore budget stability and keep taxes reasonable. Public employees would be deprived of seniority, tenure, affordable health care, and the right to collective bargaining.
Teachers and other state workers in Wisconsin have converged on the state capital to protest.
I just read on the Huffington Post that the Tea Party is planning a counter-protest, also at Wisconsin's state capital, to be held on Saturday. They're bringing in Joe the Plumber and some presidential hopefuls. Their platform is that bloated government spending must be curbed, and the only way to curb it is to exact major concessions from government workers.
Well, for the love of fruit flies. Here's a simple solution to this dilemma.
The governor of Wisconsin should fire any state employee who has demonstrated or supported the demonstrations for collective bargaining. That dismissed person's job should go to a Tea Party regular. The Tea Party regular should be willing to work for whatever salary and benefits package the state can afford, with no job security and extremely high demands for improved productivity in the workplace. If a Tea Party regular wants to be a teacher, he or she would need to complete state-mandated training, to be done on the employee's own time and at the employee's own expense. While the salary and benefits and security go down, the expectations for student achievement and other state services will be higher than ever.
I mean, really. The lines are already long at Motor Vehicles. Those Tea Party replacements had better be more efficient for smaller paychecks! That's what they want, isn't it?
Oh wait. That's not what they want. They want less government.
Okay, new modest proposal. Fire all the teachers, replace with Tea Party regulars. Close Motor Vehicles completely. Anyone who can drive should be able to drive. Think of the bureaucracy that will reduce and the taxpayer money that will save! And think of all the happy teenagers who will just be able to crawl into the car and go, never having to pass a silly test!
Eliminate all environmental protection through state oversight. We don't need it. All companies have our best interests at heart and would never harm our land.
Last but not least, fire all policemen and firefighters, replace with people who are willing to work for reduced wages and benefits and no job security. I know I'll sleep more peacefully at night, thinking of all the tax dollars my governor has saved me.
Would someone please hand Joe the Plumber an oxygen mask and send him to the next five-alarm fire in a high-rise filled with senior citizens? And staff those ambulances with Tea Party regulars as well! Let's get America running by hiring real Americans, not these commie pinko union workers with their greedy paws in the taxpayer till!
In order to do my part to balance New Jersey's budget, I will now be paying you to take my free advice. Send me an invoice.