My Fellow “Friends and Unions”

In time of financial crisis our politicians suddenly take interest in the “quality of life,” public security and social services.  Has anyone ever seen an objective analysis of how much “public security” a city needs, at what cost and the number of actual police that are needed to produce it–not in Miami-Dade, I am sure.

In many localities, if police were better organized, had fewer “jefes”, then one could get along with fewer police–that is my hypothesis, but no one wants to raise that question .  We could have fewer police (or the same number of police)  with lower salaries, pensions and other benefits, and still have the same exact amount of public security.  So the issue is not the “budget,” but what government employees should earn during an economic crisis and whether there are groups that are exempt from sacrifices the whole community is making.

Think of this when you read the words of Mayor Alvarez.

Mayor Alvarez came out swinging against Braman at a luncheon Thursday hosted by the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, saying his proposed budget was carefully designed to preserve public safety and social service safety nets while holding down spending. Alvarez emphasized that he only proposed the budget, which had to be approved by the commission before being implemented.

via Petition drive launched to recall five Miami-Dade Commissioners – Miami-Dade Breaking News – MiamiHerald.com.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

2 Responses to My Fellow “Friends and Unions”

  1. Rick says:

    So in times of prosperity would public servants get a matching pay raise or does this proposal of yours only work one way?

    .

  2. SMcG says:

    I imagine that in good times increases would take place in proportion to the ability of cities to finance salaries and benefits at a reasonable cost, and over the long-term, not just get blotted during a bubble. Public salaries should not get out of whack with what the private sector is earning and in relationship to the labor market. Of course, this is a political process that hopefully should balance the taxpayers capacity with the public employees.

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