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Dead-Weight Government February 24, 2008

Posted by federalist in Economic Policy, Government, Pensions, Retirement, Taxation, Unions.

When you drive from Delaware into New Jersey, you don’t really see any differences.  If you move from New Jersey to Delaware you don’t experience a significant decline in government services.  But New Jersey has among the highest tax burdens in the nation, while next-door Delware has among the lowest.

If higher taxes aren’t buying better government services, then what do high-tax governments like New Jersey do with all of their extra tax revenue?  Apparently the answer is that they buy votes.  More specifically, public union votes:

Public workers and teachers can retire at age 55 after 25 years with a pension of 60% of salary — indexed to inflation. Police and firefighters can retire at 65% of salary at any age after 25 years of service and 70% after 30 years.

Not that we should be surprised at American democracies degenerating into this sort of patronage government.  But isn’t it depressing to think of all those public resources going to bankroll lives of leisure for union members instead of something virtuous?



1. federalist - April 30, 2010

From The Weekly Standard:

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey … says there are “two classes of citizens in New Jersey: those who enjoy rich public benefits and those who pay for them.”

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