The greater challenge today—to state and city finances, to democratic representation, to the middle class—is at the state and local level. This is partly because state and city unions have the power to negotiate wages and benefits that their counterparts at the federal level largely do not. More fundamentally, it is because we cannot reform at the federal level without correcting a problem that is bringing our cities and states to bankruptcy. We have to recognize that public sector unions have successfully redefined key relationships in our economic and civic life. The elected politicians who represent us at the negotiating table are not in fact management, our taxing and spending decisions at the city and state level are in practice decided by our public sector contracts, and when you put this all together, what emerges is a completely different picture of the modern civil servant. In short, we work for him, not the other way around.