Chris Christie has been not-so-secretly working to privatize toll collection on New Jersey's parkways and turnpikes, based on the somewhat sensible proposition that the state does not need to pay folks $65,000 per year to stick their hand out and take your money, while behaving quite badly to boot.
In steps Jeff Keefe of Rutgers University. Keefe is famous for his many studies "proving" that public sector employees actually make less than their private sector equivalents. Keefe testified before the Assembly State Government Committee on Thursday, and made some eyebrow-raising remarks:
"There are some very predicable outcomes if you privatize," said Jeff Keefe, a professor in the School of Management and Labor Relations. "Many of these people will never work again. A number of them will commit suicide."
"We're going to do a lot of damage to people and their families - damage they won't recover from."
Keefe provides no evidence that laid-off union employees commit suicide, or that they do so at a higher rate than laid-off private sector employees. Furthermore, he appears to be belittling the intelligence and intestinal fortitude of the toll-takers as he seems to be claiming "this is it" for them in life - as if collecting tolls at a grossly inflated salary is the extent of these people's capabilities.
Yes, I know, shocking - a liberal elitist from a state university. Who'd a thunk it?
Now that his sanity has been called into question, one would believe that folks would take a second look at Keefe's hopelessly biased study - trumpeted by the SEIU, NPR, and liberal blogs - claiming that public sector union employees, like our $65K/year toll-takers, are in fact not overpaid. (A somber analysis of his work can be found here).
Seems to me as if Professor Keefe is resorting to a shopworn liberal debating trick - when the facts are all stacked against you, just abandon reason and logic and claim your opposition is attempting to murder the helpless, while you are their last, best hope (see Barack Obama's budgetary response to Paul Ryan for numerous examples of the technique).
Someone ought to tell out wacky professor that the empty rhetoric of the Left possesses none of its usual powers; and he must prove his argumentation with factual data or cease and desist the madness.
But don't worry, professor, I have faith in you. Unlike the toll-takers whom you disparage, I doubt you'll be committing hari-kari, not when there are so many people out there who so desperately need erroneous data-mining to fulfill their partisan agendas....