Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All options on the table? - Public Sector Pensions

This is a great piece from Economist.com's Democracy in America blog. I enjoyed it because it addresses the elephant in the room, puts together some calculations, and questions the value we place on teachers in this country.

As for commentary on it, I would simply say it's important to keep ALL options on the table if we're serious about reducing the deficit over the long run (I remain far less concerned in the short run), and it's disingenuous to blatantly cherry-pick the examples that allow you to stir up class warfare.

On a personal note, my dad was a fireman. He had to retire because of a medical condition, a condition directly related to his duties as a fireman, before he had put 20 years in. I don't think it's asking too much that he be well-compensated for his service to his community long after that service has to conclude.

1 comment:

Colin said...

Well the blog author certainly does have a point -- the pensions we pay to former members of the military are out of control. It seems to me that at the very least we should extend eligibility for the "20 years gets you pension for life" program only to those who actually served in combat. And I say this as someone whose father put in 25+ years in the military (I've had conversations about this very topic with him). Republicans need to get over their fetish with the military and include both the current force structure as well as the current retirement schemes on the chopping block.

As for teachers the solution is simple: get rid of government-run schools. Voucherize the system, just like we already do with food stamps, and let the consumer purchase their educational product where they see fit. Get government out of the business of actually operating schools and then let them figure out their own pension plans.