It’s Hard To Compete With Excess

My friend, Richard Rider (certainly the most rational and knowledgeable of local political experts,) writes in the LTE of the North County Times about a local politician who has “won” the backing of the police union (but it extends to anyone who wins ANY union backing):

“Regarding “Police union will back Fletcher” (Local, Oct. 18): H.L. Mencken once described elections as “sort of an advance auction of stolen property.” Fletcher won this auction.

Contrary to popular perception, this is not a public safety endorsement — it’s a police labor union endorsement. This endorsement is about — first and foremost — which candidate benefits our police officers the most.

I’m sure it was a spirited auction, but obviously Fletcher promised the union the most. We have a WINNER! “ (Signed: Richard Rider)

Rider seems to realize that it was police and fire pay and pensions that sunk Vallejo. According to a CNN Money analysis in 2008, just before bankruptcy:

“Under the current labor agreement, the average police officer walking the beat in Vallejo will be paid $122,000 this year before overtime, according to city documents. An average sergeant will make $151,000; a captain, $231,000. The average firefighter, meanwhile, will bring in $130,000 before overtime.”

Money Magazine, March 6, 2009: 3:46 PM ET

It is hard to compete with excess, and when you do it invites bankruptcy


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