Giuliani speechwriter John Avlon asks at the Daily Beast, "What If New York Goes Bust?
" But instead of answering the question with entertaining descriptions of urban decay and violence, he just tells us it's the fault of selfish teachers, police officers and firemen, and of Democrats' "notoriously cozy relationship with unions." Just look at Vallejo, California, he tells us, where "Police captains were entitled to receive $306,000 annually in pay and benefits, while 21 firefighters earned more than $200,000 a year, including overtime," and the city went broke. The sane course is clear: half-rations of firehouse chili for the NYFD, replace police cars with pedicabs, and demand givebacks from those so-called "retirees" sucking at the pension teat. At the end, for balance, Avlon mentions Wall Street's "inexcusable excess," but does not elaborate as that might give the mistaken impression that they had something to do with the financial crisis.
There's one reason, at least, to listen to people like this now: grim entertainment value. The real question is, why did we listen to them in the first place?