Tunnel Vision

This article by David Brooks in the New York Times addresses a problem that I was wondering about too. New Jersey cancelled the building of a multi-billion tunnel into downtown New York City. Everyone without exception says that the tunnel is crucially needed and will benefit New Jersey citizens enormously. Clearly, New Jersey cancelled the project because it could not afford it.

I assumed that their position would be something like, we’ve already laid off tons of teachers, policemen and so forth, we cannot possibly pay for this, no matter how important, which seems on the face of it to be a hard to argue with position. So given that the tunnel is clearly highly desirable and given that New Jersey legitimately cannot afford it, what’s going on? Read this article by David Brooks in the New York Times:

“In states across the country, elected leaders raise state employee salaries in the fat years and then are careful to placate the unions by raising future pension benefits in the lean ones. Even if cost-conscious leaders are elected, they find their hands tied by pension commitments and employee contracts.” (from article by David Brooks in the New York Times)

Read the whole article by David Brooks in the New York Times.

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