Price for political favors

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Price for political favors

To the editor:

Shortly after Detroit became the largest American city to file for bankruptcy, major cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia are also struggling to stay alive. However Philadelphia, a former manufacturing behemoth, is edging toward a financial precipice with primary troubles centered on the cash-starved public schools system. The problem is so severe the city recently agreed at the last minute to borrow $50 million just to be able to open schools on time. Even with that money, schools will open Sept. 9 with a minimum of staffing and sharply curtailed extracurricular activities and other programs.

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What these cities have in common is huge debt resulting from long-term entitlement programs made primarily to municipal workers such as teachers, fire fighters, police, etc. Many of these entitlement programs were a result of “negotiations” with unions broadening many benefits, which were often much lucrative than those found in private industry.