Prager University's Public Unions Course Cautions on Post-Detroit Pension Nightmares
Philip Howard says the scariest news out of Detroit is that the Motor City doesn't have the worst public union pension problem in the nation.
Howard, founder of Common Good, is the latest guest lecturer at Prager University to warn us about an issue the media prefers to overlook.
The Public Unions vs. the Public course chronicles how the corrupt spoils system of yore gave away to an even bigger problem. The five-plus minute course rattles off a series of alarming statistics regarding today's bloated, unaccountable public unions, like a case in which more than 90 percent of Long Island Railroad workers retired with disabilities, even those with desk jobs.
These are not isolated incidents of fraud, Howard says.
"These are cultural problems ... with people viewing the government as the trough, not as a distinguished public service," Howard tells Breitbart News.
Public unions may have begun with noble intentions, but those days are long since gone.
"If anything, it's worse than the spoils system it's intended to replace," Howard says of the previous system that treated jobs like property.
Today's public unions encourage fraud and abuse, and that's precisely what's captured in the new course.
"They're doing it, so why shouldn't I?" he says of the overriding philosophy in play, adding the current system has little ties to merit.
The problems surrounding union abuse are part of a bigger cultural issue in the country, he says, from bureaucratic schools to other governing concepts suffering from unintended consequences.
Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker's very public fights against the unions have helped bring attention to the subject and offered small changes, but Howard sees the battle to beat back public unions as happening all at once one day. Howard hopes that a new, more evolved system replaces the current one.
"We need to build an entirely new culture and structure of public service ... and it should be something that should pay people more at the higher end, like for great teachers and great government executives," he says. "People shouldn't be able to retire after 20 years ... it should be more market driven, more accountable."