More than 18 million people work for government at all levels in America today. That is more than work in all the factories in this country. 15.3 million work for state and local government; almost 3 million work for the federal government. Just 15 million people work in America's factories.
The government employees unions are becoming the most influential groups in the Democrat primary. Since 1976, at least 12% of the delegates to each Democrat National Convention have been members of the National Education Association. The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is also powerful in the Democrat Party.
The National Education Association (NEA) has several goals:
continuing increase in taxpayer funding for public schools; increasing involvement of the federal government in administering education funds; and opposition to any form of school choice. They know that if parents have a choice, they will abandon the government schools that spend more time on indoctrination than on education.
The main political activity of AFSCME now is opposition to privatization or contracting out of government services.
NEA and AFSCME both tend to support expansion of government even when the direct interests of their members are not involved. NEA for example, supports establishment of socialized medicine, even as it fights to maintain the right of teachers to opt out of the Social Security and Medicare systems.
Government employees unions naturally oppose tax cuts, as their salaries are paid for by taxes. Government employees on average receive salaries that are about 25% higher than wages paid to workers in comparable private sector jobs.
Unionized workers in private industry were once the backbone of the Democrat Party. Now they take a back seat to government workers. As taxpayers versus tax collectors, private enterprise workers have a different class interest from that of government employees.
Peace activists and civil libertarians have backed the Democrats in recent years because the Republican Party is committed to militarism and social repression. But Democrats in power have been more concerned with developing new government programs than with the protection of civil liberties. Americans who are concerned with personal liberty and international peace have a better alternative in the Libertarian Party.