WSJ on what Wall St. bankers, the Occupy movement, and Unions have in common: An uncanny ability to bleed the government dry!



“‘What has the country so angry,” says Fred Siegel, “is the sense that crony capitalism has produced a population that lives off the rest of us without contributing. They’re right. It’s not paranoid.”

“”They’re on the same side of the street politically,” he says. “They’re both in favor of big government. The Wall Street people I talk to, they get it completely.” What he means is that the Bush and Obama administrations bailed out the large banks, and that economic stimulus and near-zero interest rates kept them flush. “Obama’s crony capitalism has been very good for New York’s crony capitalism,”

“The Great Society put the state on growth hormones. Less widely appreciated, the era gave birth to a powerful new political force, the public-sector union. For the first time in American history there was an interest dedicated wholly to lobbying for a larger government and the taxes and debt to pay for it.”

“”Spending is never ratcheted down. It’s unconnected to productivity. That can only be sustained by a boom or these extraordinary subsidies we’re getting now from the Federal Reserve. But that’s gonna stop at some point. And then what happens?”

“Many American localities are already at the crisis point. Rhode Island’s legislature last week sharply cut retirement benefits for current and retired public workers. “A 300% Democratic state!”

“On his first day in the governor’s mansion in 2005, Indiana’s Mitch Daniels also stopped deducting dues automatically; most workers chose not to pay. “The union has a guaranteed flow of income, which they then use to lobby the government,” says Mr. Siegel. This reform, he adds, “evens the playing field.”

“Dues money is the coin of political influence for organized labor. So not surprisingly, it is bankrolling the pushback.”

“Franklin Delano Roosevelt called the idea of strikes by government workers “unthinkable and intolerable.” New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia said, “I do not want any of the pinochle club atmosphere to take hold among city workers.”

“”public sector unions are displacing political machines as the turnout mechanism for the Democratic Party. They are the new Tammany Hall.”

” the growing claims on the public purse by those who make little to no contribution to the economy have driven up taxes and the costs of doing business. The city creates jobs in tourism, hotels and restaurants at the lower end of the scale. “What we don’t create are private-sector middle-class jobs,” says Mr. Siegel. “We have a ladder with the middle rungs missing.”

“His feelings about Mayor Mike Bloomberg come unfiltered. He chose to court rather than confront the teacher unions and “the race racketeers” (in Mr. Siegel’s phrase) like Rev. Al Sharpton. “[Bloomberg] had the leverage. He didn’t have the guts. Instead of being influenced by interest groups, he buys the interest groups. The outcome is the same. The interest groups get what they want.”

“The Working Families Party, founded in 1998, is the political arm of government unions and a driver of turnout in local elections. Though little known outside New York, the influence of this third party can be seen on the City Council, which has come to tilt heavily left. So far, says Mr. Siegel, the party has a better political track record than Tammany. “With the exception of Giuliani, they’ve never lost an election. No matter who wins, they’re OK.”

” “We are what the tea party fears for the rest of the country. Crony capitalism, and low-end work, and the loss of mobility, and no place to do business if you’re a small business.”


  1. ”…the growing claims on the public purse by those who make little to no contribution to the economy have driven up taxes and the costs of doing business…”

    Next time I go crawling into a burning building I’ll try to remember to do something specifically to ‘contribute to the economy’ since evidently, as a union firefighter, I don’t do that.

    On second thought, some super-smart economist really needs to conduct a financial review to see what is the best economic course of action for me and my crew to take when those alarms go off. If we get a really good stop on a fire we’ve saved the insurance companies money, but if we do a really terrible job and burn the entire block down, that would mean I’ve created more work for construction workers and such, huh? If I manage to keep a person from bleeding to death and get them to the ER in (mostly) one piece I’ve created more work for the hospital and health care workers, but the unfortunate folks who make a living in the mortuary and funeral services industry are out of luck. Such a decision! I wonder what type of guidance Mr. Siegel could give a poor, ignorant drain on the economy such as myself…?

    • You have correctly pointed out the tangible value of the protection and public safety services that firefighters provide. You will not hear any disagreement from the CCO with your assertion.

  2. In the case of Evansville the first salient fact of life is that the city’s population is aging, and nothing short of Evansville annexing the unincorporated precincts in the county will maintain the number of citizens living in the city. Even that won’t work, as we can readily see simply by driving to and from Newburgh, watching the steady stream of automobiles headed East on the Lloyd every evening. The cause of this flight to the next county is corrupt Evansville politicians like Whiny-Zapple and his minions on the City Council. And given the results of the municipal elections this month the exodus can be expected to confinue, if not accelerate, as the Evil Democratic Party Machine has demonstrated a vice-grip hold on the city’s electorate. Apparently the deceased in this town are staunchly Democratic, and that’s just way it’s going to be until the minority of breathing voters get the cajones necessary to purge the voter registration rolls of the dead. So if nothing else the fire fighters and police can depend on the future adulation of the souls in Evansville’s cemetaries every four years.

    • Have you considered anti-psychotic medication along with the apparently massive doses of coffee you must drink in the morning? Rather than speculate with wild abandon as to the causes of emigration from Vanderburgh to Warrick, why not conduct a survey of recent Warrick immigrants?

      • LOL….ease up on Dr John he probably had a hard weekend, to help you in your quest for answers I did a little research for you, while I have my own ideas why someone would move from Evansville to Newburgh that have more to do with the sign that use to be entering Newburgh that said “Move To Newburgh And Be Somebody” 😉

        But this paragraph gives a better clue…


        “It can start with a stolen car stereo or an upstairs neighbor who sounds like Lord of the Dance. Often it’s the birth of a child that does it. Sometimes it’s just the smells—other people’s cooking, other people’s garbage, other people.”


        The “other people” part is the most telling…..and the biggest reason to me, people move out of the city to get away from taxes, restrictive codes, theft, unsavory elements, and sometimes just to own a bigger piece of land where they feel they can do what they want unabated.

        The bottom line is that there are only two reasons to move out of the city…

        1. Moving up the personal economic ladder. (this would include growing your family and wanting a better life, better schools, better neighbors)


        2. To get away from something you dislike. (or put some distance between you and whatever it is) This would include everything else…taxes, codes, crime, and for good measure we’ll throw in neighbors again.

        Full text can be found here….

        Hope this helps.


        • Blanger, that article may describe why people vacate Manhattan for Larchmont or North Jersey but I live in Newburgh and Newburgh is not like what your article described. Newburgh is pretty much what the burbs have always been thought to be which is nice houses, strip malls, and good schools. Of course those things help drive people to Newburgh from Evansville and Vanderburgh County but it is your #2 point and the fear of looming problems that drive people to leave Evansville in particular. I lived in rural Vanderburgh for 11 years and became an empty nester. It was time to downsize and when I married my wife already had a home in Newburgh that is just right for 2 people. The concern over infrastructure problems that will come at a high cost, the rising crime rates, the migration of the hospitals to Newburgh, realtors telling people to choose Newburgh, and just the overall gloom over Evansville are what drive people who want to stay in the area away from Evansville. Then there are the higher taxes, the school performance differences, and just the perception that it is a dying town. All in all Newburgh works for me but I would really love to see Evansville find a better way. In the long run a good Newburgh depends on a good Evansville.

          • Joe…

            I can relate, grew up in the county myself, moved to the city after graduating high school, all my family live in the county (either Vanderburgh or Warrick), and I’m the lone holdout living in the 2nd ward. If it wasn’t that I love my home and have just a few more years until the mortgage is paid off and was much younger I might consider a move, but honestly I like having a few minuet drive to work, or a few minuet drive to a restaurant, church, or grocery store.

            I meant no slight at Newburgh or anyone (including yourself) that lives there it is a nice town that has everything a person could want for, what it’s lacking in is just a short drive down hwy 66 to burkhardt road. 😉

            I do also agree…Evansville needs to find a better way, I’m optimistic about our new mayor but my gut tells me he’ll be same as the old boss, he has lots of challenges to face in the next few years, lot of mistrust to overcome, and a crew of backstabbin’ pirates to distance himself from, hopefully he’ll make the right choices…and I guess time will tell.

            Maybe Dr John was on to something…. 🙂


        • Thank you both. At least there are those who realize the “flight to Newburgh” isn’t driven by “corrupt Evansville politicians like Whiny-Zapple and his minions on the City Council … the results of the municipal elections this month … the Evil Democratic Party Machine …” and dead people voting as Democrats, or any of the Night Tripper’s other yadda yadda yadda.

  3. Remember when President Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers?
    PATCO, their union, said there would be planes running into each other and commerce would come to an end.
    Didn’t happen.

    Threaten the public unions and all of a sudden fires will rage all over, everyone’s homes will be broken in to, the kids will be dumb as rocks.
    You think?

    • Hey, haven’t you looked around lately. In Evansville where unions rule we already have meth labs blowing up houses at a record rate, arson at double what it was a few years ago, the highest suicide rate in the country, and adults that are dumb as rocks.

      How could it get any worse? The unions that have given nothing have nothing to take away.

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