The 401(k) plans just don’t work unless you are a day trader and contribute 15 percent to 20 percent of each paycheck, then get lucky with the stock market. Oklahoma has not been paying into the teachers’ pension as promised by contract and now with tough times is far behind in payments. This is, of course, the teachers’ fault and they must be taught a lesson.
The viability here relies on an unspoken presumption that if unions dissolve, public sector workers will vanish and the doors will open to privatization, where new management (friends with money) will correct all the problems with intuitive, intelligent decisions.
Let’s assume Reese is correct: The answer is to rid ourselves of unions, the single entity that allowed our parents and grandparents to become the middle class we all strive to belong to. Our elected officials cannot negotiate with unions because they don’t know how to give a little to get a little. Reese and his ilk want somebody else to do the work that public employees do and they want taxpayers to pay for it, somebody else to manage those employees and they want to make a profit doing it, by hiring young, new employees that earn entry-level wages and won’t dare say anything for fear of losing their jobs.
Reese and Republicans that now hold the levers of power don’t understand that we the people want solutions that work for everybody — not just the employers, the rich or those in temporary power: a fair wage, safe working conditions for a fair day’s work and a share in the profit being made from the sweat of our brows. If there is a problem, come to the table and talk about it. Before you slash wages, look for waste. Your employees might even be able to help show you where and how if you would just ask. Unemployed don’t buy new cars or refrigerators.