Local Governments Hamstrung in Pension Reform
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  • BrianFrankie

    “It’s easy to see how the combination of special interest cronyism, tortuous bureaucratic structures, and politically expedient but fanciful pension promises got us into this mess. But it’s increasingly difficult to see what will get us out.”

    It is not at all difficult to see what will get us out, and for a blog normally as perceptive as VM, this is a silly statement. What will get us out is Herbert Stein’s Law. Eventually, the money runs out. Then pensions go bankrupt and pension checks get returned marked “insufficient funds”. See Detroit.

    The question is not what is going to get us out. It is how much pain will this cause, and how can we minimise it? The best thing we can do is keep educating people, and make sure people who are depending on pension promises are aware they are as likely to see their full pension checks as they are to get the Leprechaun’s pot o’ gold. While people naturally will resist this message (who likes bad news?), it is simple math and not really amenable to refutation. The more people make alternate arrangements, and the earlier they start, the less pain there will be.

  • ljgude

    Well the first step to solving any problem of this general class is to use the right terminology. I propose that the initial euphemism employed to refer, in a self referential way of course, to the putative fiscal perturbations is ‘structural vulnerability’. The words ‘Katy, bar the door!’ should be scrupulously avoided.

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