It's a common debate in New Jersey. Which part of the state is better — north or south — and it usually comes down to sports teams and what you call at certain sandwich (sub or hoagie).

But the other argument of public vs. private is the one you lose friends over and end communication with family members about.

There's little talked about story this week concerning both. The governor says he will end the reciprocal tax agreement with Pennsylvania if the Senate President Steve Sweeney doesn't agree to lower the cost of benefits that state public workers receive. The tax agreement primarily negatively affects South Jersey residents, and Steve Sweeney is a South Jersey guy.

But Sweeney's geographical allegiance isn't as strong as his commitment to union workers and the campaign contributions that pretty much bankroll Democrat political elections. The governor doesn't care too much about letting South Jerseyans hang out to dry since it's a small block of voters and he isn't running for anything here anyway.

But in case it comes up in your next conversation with the people you know on "the other side," now you know the dirty details.

By the way, in case you're keeping score, the public sector is winning over the private by a score of 100 to 3. If this was a high school basketball game the refs would have called it a mercy win a long time ago. That's why we keep hemorrhaging productive residents like a gladiator with a severed carotid artery in a battle with three saber tooth tigers at the Colliseum in Rome. Even many of the public workers flee the state once they can retire. It's just too tough to make it here. Hence the many arguments Jersey folks have over the public vs. private thing.

So to put it out of your mind have a sub and root for the "G-Men," or chow down on a hoagie and cheer for "dem Iggles" this weekend.

— Dennis Malloy

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