View Full Version : A Crisis Foretold

03-01-2011, 12:59 AM
Regarding Wisconsin, Pat Moynihan saw it coming. But did the last of New York's grand public intellectuals also divine the limits of the modern American welfare state?

The proximate cause of Wisconsin's high drama is clear: an entitled class -- public-sector employees -- is pushing back hard against an emerging economic reality.
Their privileges -- wages and benefits unreasonably superior to those earned by their private-sector counterparts -- are no longer tenable.And there is the more basic question of whether the employees' function is sustainable in the modern economy.

Unionists elsewhere, sensing the threat, are rallying to them -- anxious that the turmoil in Madison's capitol rotunda portends permanent change for them....The crisis proceeds from the deep recession of 2008, and the stunning dropoff in government revenue that accompanied it....No state was immune; nor were few localities.Some governments -- California, Illinois and Connecticut -- are in denial. This won't get them very far.