We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, March 24. 2015
The Alphabet of Satire - Rube Goldberg was a laugh machine for seven decades.
A book: Hemingway in Love
Harvard kid hijacks Yale campus tour
Salmon: The beast of the Danube
Gene-Altered Apples and Potatoes Are Safe, F.D.A. Says
Helping Black Men Thrive
Manual Labor, All Night Long: The Reality of Paying for College
The chronic shortage of inexpensive housing is really a blaring signal for government to get out of the way.
Hearing Witness Says ACA Hasn’t Helped Small Employers
It was not intended to
This Longtime IHOP Owner Sold His 16 Restaurants Because of Obamacare
Surber: State employees game the system
They are not gaming it. They are responding to incentives - and they do not like their jobs.
... there are 270 reasons Democrats have aided and abetted and become accomplices
"Look, Ma - no teleprompter." Liberal Prof Dershowitz: Cruz was “Off the Charts Brilliant”
'Risk Has Gotten Greater': German Jews Advised Against Wearing Kippah
Iranian Vulnerability - Their nuclear progress can still be stopped.
The Iran time bomb
NATO chief: Russia still sending arms to Ukraine
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"State employees game the system"
There is a lot wrong with public employee retirement system but the author failed to mention them. Instead he described the symptoms and the scapegoats.
Here is where state retirement systems went wrong: 1. The state is not required to fund the system. That is the retirement system is like your 401k where your employer puts in a matching 6% but the state does not. The legislature allowed the various state entities to push of this funding into the future. But the last 34 years or so has seen the largest increase in the stock market in history. So while the emloyees contribution has grown dramatically the state was spending the money they should have put into the employees "401k". No the piper must be paid and the state has pissed away the money. 2. Firemen and police are eligible for a larger and earlier pension that was implemented by the legislature but never funded with larger deductions. The plan was quite simple they would just take some of everyone else's retirement money to fund the union supported firemen and police retirement. Over time this has seriously overdrawn the assets of the retirement fund. 3. Most employees retire with a stipend based on the value of their assets in the system. That is if your contribution is now worth $100,000 and the states matching contribution also worth $100,000 your monthly retirement is calculated using standard actuary tables and your retirement income is fair and appropriate. But some employees get a huge unearned benefit and their retirement is based on the last three years income. Typically these "lucky" people are aides to legislators or high placed union members who have been "awarded" a high paying job for the last three years of their government service as a gift paid for by tax payers and the rest of the government employees in the system.
It is these three major faults that have caused the problem and the various special interests pushing for reform are not pushing for any changes to these problems. Instead they are tryng to keep the corrupt system and make everyone in it take a haircut. They use inflamatory rhetoric as was seen in this article to push for some way they can back out of their side of the agreement. Imagine how angry you would be if your employer had not funded your 401k over the years and you didn't know this until retirement and now he wanted to seek a legal exemption from his misappropriation of your money. Make no mistake they are misrepresenting this issue and their goal is to hide their political and perhaps even criiminal mistakes that caused this problem.
Re: Dershowitz says Cruz is off the charts brilliant
Interesting commentary from Dershowitz. In a conversation apparently about raising the debt limit, he says we need to take our selves back and listen to the founders talk about the government paying its debts. It was a little more pointed than that. The government wasn't supposed to go into debt in the first place (other than for survival, obviously). He says, "... no one in a million years would have contemplated the power of congress to shut down the government to create doubts about our credit worthiness..." Well, no one in a million years would have thought the government would pile on debt at the rate of $1T/year. And to say that our credit worthiness is demonstrated by sanctioning even more debt is laughable.
Dershowitz also seems to forget the purpose of the debt limit that Congress created in the first place. It was a tool to tamp down the indebtedness of the government. Presumably, he is not against that, but I guess he does when it comes to using it as it was intended.
Maybe I'm missing something. I mean Dershowitz is a very smart guy, but his arguments seem a bit thin to me. He said that Cruz was one of his most brilliant students, winning debates with his professors - including him, I presume. Maybe winning those debates wasn't as high a bar as he implies.
Yeman. $500 million "in weapons." Look at the equipment given. "In hands of Al-Qaeda." Story and sources do not say so. Real story: Why I don't trust many U.S. "news" reporters. And the $500 million is since 2007, not in the last year.
Re: Sports Stadium boondoggles
You really need only ask one question when deciding whether a city should build a sports stadium (or any number of things that are supposed to boost the local economy):
If it's such a good idea, why doesn't somebody build one and make a profit from it?
It would create the same number of jobs, boost (or not) the economy in the same way and no tax dollars would be needed. In fact, it would generate more tax dollars.
There you go being all logical again--can't do that when the gov is involved.
I agree with your ideas, though.
Salmon: On the Columbia, the big ones came in June, and were called June Hogs.
Stadiums: The "city fathers", their cronies, and the local rag get together to promote the hell out of the idea and convince the suckers among the voters to pay for it.
Sports stadiums. Follow the money. Union built, millions, hundreds of millions. followed by large donations from the unions and a guaranteed voting block.