Wednesday, January 27, 2010

“Other Side” goes National!

The atmosphere here at Other Side editorial offices is positively giddy over the publishing of this reporter’s letter to the editor in a major national media outlet.

I could tell you that based on Other Side’s growing circulation and reputation, the Wall Street Journal sought us out as a contributor in a transparent attempt to boost their own circulation and prestige.

I could tell you that, but it would be, to turn a phrase, Pure Poppycock.

The truth (at least in the classic sense we adhere to it  here at the offices) is, stimulated by Daniel Henninger’s column, Side dashed out a letter last weekend and sent it in, never expecting that anything would come of it.  Well, something did.

You’ll recall that you were given a homework assignment to read Henninger’s piece.  Now, interested students have a follow-up assignment, and that is to read the letter here.  This will take you to all of today’s (27 January) letters.

Since the contents of that page will likely change by tomorrow morning, a more enduring link is this one.

Or for the linkalogically challenged, the letter is posted below.

Public Crowds Out Private in Maine

Thanks to Daniel Henninger for "The Fall of the House of Kennedy" (Wonder Land, Jan. 21), his illuminating discussion of unionizing the public work force.
Here in Maine, with one of the worst economic and business climates in the nation, the average public-sector income is well above the private-sector average. The public sector job is as close to recession-proof as you can come, has Cadillac benefits, and is tantamount to guaranteed lifetime employment.

Even worse, if you look at aggregate personal income in the state, you find that the growth in that figure is exceeded by the growth in public-sector income, meaning that private-sector income overall is in decline. In so many words, the only growth sector in the state is government in all its forms. And this is before we entered the current recession.
In my town, the very worst teacher gets the same guaranteed generous annual increase in pay as the very best teacher. This is unfair to both and an affront to those who pay for them.

Various Maine advocacy groups love to use the word "sustainable" to argue for policy. This comes within an economic structure that exemplifies the word unsustainable. And we have the public-sector unions to thank for leading us to our demise.

Pem Schaeffer


  1. Your perspicacious editorial staff reflect great credit upon "The Other Side of Town......", and to their credit the Wall Street Journal agrees.

    It is what it is; and indeed it was an excellent piece of research, commentary and reportage for all of which this humble reader is grateful.


  2. Ring, Ring.

    Me: Hello

    My Dad (in NV): Hey. Listen... I am reading the WSJ, do you know someone named Pem Schaeffer?

    Me: Yeah... a clever conservative blogger in Brunswick... why?

    My Dad: Good article. Is Pem a man or a woman?

    Me: Male as far as I know. You would like the blog. He writes about the base closing and all associated hullabaloo and shenanigans in a series entitled, "Lake Basebegone".

    My Dad (retired P-3 pilot and Garrison Keillor fan): Send me his link, would ya?

    The End.