Fred Siegel, the former editor of the leftist (or "progressive" if you prefer that euphemism) Dissent magazine, is the subject of an interview which appears here in this weekend's Wall Street Journal. The piece is probably behind the Journal's pay wall, so I shall summarize it briefly. Siegel notes that the public sector union is an interest group dedicated to lobbying for ever more government and the taxes to pay for it. Salaries produced by public sector union negotiations are unconnected to any measure of productivity and incumbents have every incentive to capitulate to public sector union demands because the unions will use their manpower and cash (derived from mandatory union dues) to elect candidates committed to ever-growing government. And all of this is unsustainable, as Canada figured out in the early 1990s (and acted to curb the size of its welfare state) and Europe is now beginning to understand. In New York City, Siegel notes, the public sector unions have become the modern Tammany Hall, only with a better track record of political dominance. Speaking of NYC, Siegel says: "We are what the tea party fears for the rest of the country. Crony capitalism, and low-end work, and the loss of mobility, and no place to do business if you're a small business."