A NYT article on President Obama’s relationship with unions in Wisconsin referred to the “need for public employees to sacrifice.” There is no “need” for public sector workers to sacrifice.
As virtually all economists acknowledge, the economy’s current problems stems from a lack of demand. If there were more demand, then the economy would grow more and it would generate more jobs. If public sector workers “sacrifice” by accepting cuts in pay and benefits then they will have to cut their spending. This will mean less demand, less growth, and fewer jobs.
For this reason, there is certainly no “need” for public sector workers to sacrifice. The NYT and others may feel better seeing them take cuts in pay, but this has nothing to do with the needs of the economy.
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