Last night and early this morning could be heard the sounds of wailing and the gnashing of teeth from California lawmakers contemplating the reality of…..state worker layoffs. Said one Golden State pol:
We are dealing with a catastrophe of unbelievable proportions,” said state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from Long Beach and chairman of the Senate transportation committee.
While Mr. Lowenthal’s hyperbole will ring hollow with the 650,000 people who have already lost their jobs, it is another reminder that politicians haven’t come to grips with the harsh reality that is already old news in the private sector. Behind much of the Republican opposition to the stimulus bill that will be signed by President Obama today lies a fundamental disconnect between the public sector and private sector: Who creates the wealth and who consumes the wealth. This disconnect is manifested in myriad policy debates, and readers of this blog are well versed in many of them.
In the interest of expanding this discussion it bears noting that there is one significant American institution that is not asking for a bailout and continues to expand globally. This institution increased revenues in the last year, is a great place to work and consistently offers value to its customers. Unfortunately, this institution has a long history of conflict with the constituency Democrats have in mind for their stimulus: the community activist, union, anti business, no growth, NIMBY zealots that sytematically consume more wealth than they create.
Fortunately, Walmart doesn’t need the government’s money. What a shame the Big Three automakers and the major US banks didn’t run their businesses so well.