Since we've got discussions about unions, budgets, teachers, cops, necessity, etc, etc, I thought "Why not put our priorities down? What is truly necessary, and what is a luxury?" So, at the state and local level, what public sector jobs are most necessary, and which are least necessary? Important to know in regards to a tight budget. Mine: 1- Cops. There is no private option for law enforcement. Evil is out there. A civil society depends on a stable police force. In an absolute bare-bones budget, we still need men with guns to protect us and our homes. I include court services under this section, as they are the ones who process the arrests and hire judges, etc. 2- Firemen/EMS. Firemen are also often certified as paramedics, and more often than not, are the first medical aid for car accidents, heart attacks, medical emergencies in general. They deal with chemical spills, fires of course, car accidents, and provide a very unheralded service of medical aid since they are staffed with paramedics. In terms of public emergency, firemen can do just about anything cops do except things requiring an arrest to be made. A private option could be feasable, but then poor communities wouldn't get service. 3- Road maintenance- Face it, our society is a car dependent one. If our roads fall apart, we won't get to work, firemen and cops wont' get to emergencies, our economy wouldn't churn. We take it for granted. But what if a couple major highways fell, and we couldn't fix them, ever? 4- Teachers- they educate our kids. Without much parenting going on these days, teachers are often expected to be the day-time parent/babysitter. The reason I put them #4, however, is the fact that a very successful private school sector has emerged, and if the Democrats would only allow school vouchers to pass (freedom of choice!!!!!!) then more would be able to take advantage of the wonderful private schools. So, with a good private option available, I can't put them higher than 4. 5- Sanitation/Sewer/Trash- I don't wanna live in filth. Do you? 6- Recreation- Yeah, it's nice to have parks and soccer leagues. But really, it's not necessary at all. Not only are there private options, but there are flat-out free spontaneous options called pick-up games for sports, and free options for parks called "The woods." So there you have it. When doing a budget and considering union busting, thats the priority list I'd use.