From Pine View Farm

Blaming the Victims 0

Much agony and many strategies to victimize public (and private) employees are expended on the cost of pensions.

At the Sacramento Bee, David Crane reminds us of who’s to blame–the politicians (and, in private firms, executives) whose words were most decidedly not their bond:

Anyone who reads the papers knows that cities and states are being hit hard by fast-rising pension and retirement health care costs for public employees. Cities such as Stockton and San Bernardino have even declared bankruptcy.

But few of those papers make clear that this crisis was not caused by the public employees on the receiving end of those benefits. Instead, the crisis was caused by politicians and pension fund boards that made retirement promises without setting aside sufficient funding to meet those promises.


Neither public employees nor their unions forced governments to underfund promises. It was Stockton’s (California–ed.) politicians who didn’t set aside money to meet promises for post- retirement health care costs, and it was the pension fund board overseeing Stockton’s pension that forecast what Warren Buffett refers to as “Alice-in-Wonderland” investment returns.

And the victims get to be punished, forced to live on pittances and in penury, because they had the absolute, unmitigated gall to live to retirement age.


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