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The Betrayal of Public Workers

As state budget crises worsen, policymakers are pointing to public workers’ salaries and pension funds as unreasonable burdens. In this article for The Nation, Robert Pollin and Jeffrey Thompson remind us that the recession was caused by Wall Street hyper-speculation, not the pay of school teachers or firefighters, and that public workers are a driver of our economy, not a burden on it. As lawmakers attempt to allow states to declare bankruptcy, effectively canceling obligations to public employees and their pension funds, Pollin and Thompson examine the reality behind these assertions, and present more appropriate routes to state fiscal health.


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