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Guest Column: Unions need to sacrifice, too
By State Rep. Jim Sacia
I receive many e-mails, letters, faxes and phone calls about the articles I write. Some thank me, some condemn me, and some suggest that I write about this or that subject. Accordingly, I receive volumes of information from you, the citizens I have the privilege and honor to serve.
Last week, I was criticized by some for suggesting that the governor was correct by preventing a pay raise to the state labor union. The suggestion, of course, was I was anti-union. No, not at all; my point, which was quite clear, is that during financial hard times, we all “must give a little.”
Some information I received from the Illinois Policy Institute reveals the average compensation for an Illinois state government worker in 2008 was $69,500; for private sector workers, it was $56,500. Over a 40-year career, the average state worker will receive about 510 more paid vacation days than a private sector worker.
I’ve been on this planet for a while. I remember all too well when the tables were turned. Labor unions did much to equalize a discrepancy, but “whoa, hoss!”, we’re getting out of control.
My good friend, Gordy Tormohlen, shared some interesting information he had received from Dr. Timothy Nash at Northwood University (email@example.com): “Based on data from the Tax Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), we have constructed a brief comparison of public policies in the states that had the ‘best’ economic outlook in 2010 (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, South Dakota and Florida) with those that had the ‘worst’ (New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Illinois and California). The findings are interesting and thought-provoking.
“u Four out of the five ‘best’ outlook states were right-to-work states while all five of the ‘worst’ outlook states were union shop states.
“u All of the ‘best’ outlook states had the lowest minimum wage rate in the country while three of the five ‘worst’ outlook states had among the highest minimum wage rates in the country.
“u Personal, corporate, and inheritance taxes in the ‘best’ outlook states are among the lowest in the country for four of the five states in this category and at a reasonable level in Arizona. The five states with the ‘worst’ outlook are among the highest in said categories.
“u Finally, the ‘best’ outlook states realized a population growth of roughly 2.3 million people from 1999-2008, while the ‘worst’ outlook states saw their population decline by a total of just under 4.3 million over the same period.”
My friend, Bob Nickels, shared an article about Wisconsin private sector job growth for May and June of this year totaling more than 12,900. Maybe Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker isn’t all wrong.
Jim Sacia (R) is the state representative for the 89th District in Illinois.
From the Aug. 3-9, 2011, issue