Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Growing backlash against public pensions, part 1

Government employees -- the new elite?

The growing backlash against public pensions | savannahnow.com: "“ . . . Millions of public workers have become a kind of privileged new class — a new elite, who live better than their private sector counterparts.” — USA Today. This is startlingly frank sentiment, and from a news organization that’s not exactly a bastion of conservative thought. Yet it is echoed frequently in today’s headlines and accurately describes an undercurrent that is gaining more and more traction. With the widening advantage of public sector workers in terms of real wages, medical and retirement benefits, there is a tone of resentment building among taxpayers nationwide. It’s a subject that used to guarantee finger drumming and eyes glazing over. Now it sparks heated conversation, and in some cases, fear. By all accounts there is a $1 trillion shortfall in the benefits owed to public workers. That’s using ‘optimistic’ investment projections. When realistic interest numbers are plugged in, the shortfall triples. South Carolina alone faces a $17 billion retirement fund liability. How could this happen? The simple answer is that politicians have made promises that cannot be kept . . . . With full knowledge we have gorged ourselves on the harvest, consumed all and saved nothing for the coming winter. We have and continue to selfishly indulge ourselves at the expense of those who will come after. The image in the mirror is not tolerable so we turn away and listen to those who tell us we are still beautiful, we deserve this, somehow others will provide. . . ." (continued tomorrow)


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