A Wall Street Journal report on Detroit’s bankruptcy inadvertently summed up the major cause of its financial problems–the unrealistic pension promises made to unionized city workers for decades:
“I was planning on retiring in October, but now I’m not sure. I have a lot of questions,” said Herbert Jenkins, 50, who has spent the last quarter century working for the city and repairing its potholes. It’s such a sad day for Detroit.”
Other union-heavy Midwestern cities and states are facing similar problems. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker stands out for his willingness to face up to the public sector unions in 2011–before it was too late.