You might ask. What the f*ck is Caveat Lectores talking about?
Well, here is what I am talking about. I am looking for the playbook that exists out in the nether world that is in the hands of management, right wing politicians and the news media for how to attack public employees. There is one out there. I just cannot find it.
Remember, just because I am paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you.
This playbook tells THEM all the ways to undermine the value and credibility of any public servant. It is particularly in use right now. Each day I scan hundreds of headlines. Given enough years of doing so, the patterns clearly materialize.
I will list some of the obvious methods below, but I am still looking for that book. It’s out there.
• Make inaccurate comparisons of public and private sector wages. Ignore decades of low wages for public employees. Ignore the statistical evidence that state and local employees are still underpaid in relation to the private sector for comparable jobs and education levels.
• Do anything possible to undervalue the work that fire/rescue, police, teachers… any public servant performs. Make these jobs seem irrelevant to the lives of the tax payer.
• Constantly suggest for profit companies can and will do it cheaper and better by denying the employees fair pay and benefits. Make treating public employees like third world workers attractive.
• Remind the public daily that public employees still have real pensions and most private sector employees do not. Ignore the fact that chronic underfunding has a lot to do with pension deficits.
• Make it seem like they coerced management to offer any benefits at all.
• Remind the public daily that a large percentage of public employees are represented by unions and collectively bargain where it is legal. Be sure to connect the dots between organized labor and greater cost to the innocent tax payer.
• Constantly make the argument that the right to bargain is un-American.
• Make it seem un-American for public employees to participate in the political process.
• Make sure to use words like “union boss” and “power grab” and “corrupt” regularly.
• Never fail to capitalize on negative media exposure anytime a public employee is accused of anything illegal no matter how trivial. Preface any news statement with, “a local firefighter __________ was accused of….” or better yet “_____________, a local police union leader has been charged with….” Be sure to include the mug shot when a public employee is charged with DUI. Be there for the “Perp walk” when a teacher is charged with something tantalizing.
• Constantly remind the public that most of a local government budget is made up of employee salaries and benefits; therefore, it is the greedy public employee who “demands” payment for services rendered who is causing taxes to be so high.
• Make it seem like paying any tax at all is a waste of money.
As I have suggested so many times before, BOHICA.
And Oh yes, Have a nice day?
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
Read at your own risk.
You may learn something you did not want to know
about political and labor relations complications that affect ALL
Public Employees: Firefighters, Paramedics, Law Enforcement,
General Employees and Teachers.
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