I wonder if Bloomberg only recently discovered this?
The ‘Labor-Electoral Complex’ – WSJ.com: “New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is on a valedictory tour as he prepares to leave office at the end of the month, and it’s too bad he saved his best speech for last. The mayor isn’t known as a phrase-maker, but after 12 years in the job he coined a term this week that deserves national currency—the ‘labor-electoral complex.’
That’s how he described the public union political machine that has ruined so many American cities. ‘We cannot afford for our elected officials to put their own futures ahead of the next generation’s, and to continue perpetuating a labor-electoral complex that is undermining our collective future,’ the mayor told the New York Economic Club. Cities are dynamic and attractive places to live, but their future is jeopardized by ‘the explosion in the cost of pension and health-care benefits for municipal workers.’
He knows this from hard experience. When he took office in 2001, New York City spent $1.5 billion a year on pensions. Now it spends $8.2 billion, nearly a 500% increase when inflation rose by only 35%. Add health-care costs, and benefit payments are swallowing an ever larger share of the city budget. That means there is less money for current services like education or public works.”