Steven Greenhut on Pensions, Unions, and Bankruptcy in California


The struggling port city of Stockton, California has declared bankruptcy after a spending spree where officials granted workers an absurdly generous lifetime medical care benefit, dramatically increased pensions, and floated debt to finance dubious downtown redevelopment projects. To make matters worse, writes Steven Greenhut, Stockton's infrastructure is crumbling at the same time that local officials serve mainly as benefit providers to those who work for the city or who are retired from city government. Even in bankruptcy, public-sector unions are getting special treatment.