The EU and IMF were forced to come up with a plan to save the Greek financial system -- primarily because European banks owe so much Greek debt. But they also laid down the law to the Greek government: cut public sector employment to the bone, get your financial house in order, otherwise -- no deal. And, as predicted, the public sector unions and other hard-core leftists aren't playing ball with the terms of the proposed bailout. The country was paralyzed with nationwide strikes today and three employees were killed when a bank was set afire.
Lest you think this sort of thing could never happen here, consider the bankrupt city of Oakland, California: the bluest of cities in the bluest of states. A real Democrat and public sector union -- but I repeat myself -- stronghold.
The party is over for Oakland even whether its city council is willing to admit it or not. As always, union contracts and pension benefits drove the city into the ground.
"...Oakland voters will likely be asked in November to approve higher taxes to halve a $42 million deficit, but even if they agree, the city will face an even deeper crisis within months... The biggest portion of that budget shortfall is a debt payment of $43.9 million due July 1, 2011, to the old Police and Fire Retirement System. The payment would be more than 10 percent of the roughly $400 million city budget."
The main problem facing the city is their absurdly generous pension system called PFERS. City Administrator Dan Lindheim says "PFERS is locked in stone. It's impossible to change."
That is one hell of an attitude to take when the city you are running is bankrupt.
...Unfortunately for Oakland, its teachers do not understand simple math. The city is broke, bankrupt, yet Oakland teachers vote to OK a strike, insisting on a wage hike.
"Oakland teachers are ready to strike again if necessary if talks sour at the bargaining table, union officials said Tuesday... On the heels of last week's one-day walkout, the teachers voted 565-184 late Monday to give union leaders the option to 'take further actions to secure a fair contract, up to and including a strike' ...Union leaders have said a raise must be part of any deal... Administrators have said they can't afford it, given an $85 million budget shortfall for the next school year."
The vote authorizing a strike was 565-184. This tells me that a minimum of 565 Oakland teachers are unfit to teach because they do not comprehend simple math. They should be fired.
When ever you think the bloated public sector union bosses have hit bottom, they find a new trapdoor to drop into and keep digging. So, yes, unfortunately Greece could happen here if we don't restore Constitutionality to our system of government -- and soon.
Update: The 'anti-austerity' riots in Greece.