In the view of California’s public-sector unions, the only good job is a government job. Now they’re targeting private ambulance companies in the name of protecting workers.
For years California fire unions have searched for ways to increase revenue so they can continue to float their outrageous salaries and pensions that have contributed to forcing two California counties into bankruptcy. With the help of Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona, they have found an opportunity with Assembly Bill 263 to take over the emergency ambulance business.
A few tasks have to be done by government. But not many. America’s founders believed in a vibrant private sector. Government jobs were a rarity. They certainly didn’t imagine a system with so many public employees.
Fire departments obviously do important work, including assisting with medical emergencies. But that doesn’t exempt firefighter unions from scrutiny. They are among those holding the public hostage.
These unions don’t just engage in collective bargaining. They also use their clout to inflate their benefits at public expense, and turn job security into a lifetime entitlement.
If the public employee unions had their way, there wouldn’t be any private emergency medical workers. All those jobs would be government.
Democratic politicians are happy to oblige. They enrich public employee unions. In return, unions offer contributions and other campaign support.
But even California’s Legislature isn’t so bold as to outlaw private companies, at least not yet. Instead, politicians plan to raise costs to make it impossible for private firms to compete with government.
Rigid regulations would be harmful enough during normal times. They would be a particular problem in a natural disaster or terrorist incident, when first responder resources would be stretched to their limits. Bureaucratic nonsense has no place in dealing with an emergency.
Californians can’t take much more. Their state is being driven into bankruptcy by irresponsible fiscal policies designed to win votes for Democratic politicians. Regulating private emergency medical workers is just another selfish political attack on the public interest.
Legislators should remember they are elected to represent the public, not public employee unions. Only then can California regain its luster as the Golden State.
Lew Uhler is founder and president of the National Tax Limitation Committee. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org