originally appearing in the financial times of london, today
carried by cnbc
our poor underpaid, underappreciated, overplied public employees with their paltry pensions...US public pensions face a shortfall of $2,500 billion that will force state and local governments to sell assets and make deep cuts to services, according to the former chairman of New Jersey’s pension fund.
The severe US economic recession has cast a spotlight on years of fiscal mismanagement, including chronic underfunding of retirement promises.
“States face cost pressure, most prominently from retirement benefits and Medicaid,” Orin Kramer told the Financial Times.
“One consequence is that asset sales and privatisation will pick up. The very unfortunate consequence is that various safety nets for the most vulnerable citizens will be cut back.”
Mr Kramer, an influential figure in the Democratic party and still a member of the investment council that oversees the New Jersey pension fund, has been an outspoken critic of public pension accounting, which allows for the averaging of investment gains and losses over a number of years through a process called “smoothing”.
Using data from the states, the Pew Center on the States, a research group, has estimated a funding gap for pension, healthcare and other non-pension benefits, such as life assurance, of at least $1,000 billion as of the end of fiscal 2008.
Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, said in his state of the state speech last week that, without reform, the unfunded liability of the state’s pension system would rise from $54 billion now to $183 billion within 30 years.
Mr Kramer’s estimates are based on the assets and liabilities of the top 25 public pension funds at the end of 2010. The gap has risen from an estimate of more than $2,000 billion at the end of 2009.
Concerns about the financial health of local governments have sparked warnings of a rise in defaults for cities and towns and a sell-off in the $3,000 billion municipal bond market where they raise money.
Last week, the interest rate on 30-year top rated municipal debt rose above 5 percent for the first time in about two years.
The state of Pennsylvania, for example, last year advanced money to Harrisburg, its capital, so that the cash-strapped city could avoid a default on its general obligation bonds.
In February, Illinois, which is facing an unfunded pension obligation of at least $80 billion, plans to sell $3.7 billion of bonds to pay for its annual contribution.
their pain is impartible
party on, progressives
I was just pointing out that there are valid concerns on both sides. Not every business has it's management deter unions, and not every union organizer intimidates workers. But it's always the bad ones who ruin it for the rest.
But I have as a part of my personal philosophy that no matter what kind of process is implemented there will always be a way to abuse it.
Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.
The company brass also came down from corporate to 'talk' to people on the floor, asking them 'how they could make the workplace better' and asking 'what problems were they having' and 'offering' to help the employee get his union authorization card back if he/she 'changed their mind'....it was amazing how much the company 'cared' when the threat of a union was hanging over their heads. we also had several very nice 'dinners' put on by the company, for , as they put it, in appreciation of all of our hard work and dedication(never in my previous 6 years there had the company did such a thing) the company did this campaign over a period of 3 months, until it became apparent that their scare tactics worked, and then, about 6 months later after enough 'evidence' had been 'gathered' (read manufactured) those that led the unionization drive were released for 'poor job performance'....
hardly reason to scotch something as sacred to the american soul as the secret ballot
let alone to SUE four sovereign states to force em to do so
obama's white house is so outta touch with american mores, why, it's almost alien
how many are gonna sign on to new leadership?
how many will help determine the issues to bargain for?
how many will approve petitions to walk out?
why can't arizona, utah, south dakota and south carolina insist on the american bedrock of voting in private?
why must the nlrb SUE em?
more power to you, party on
seeya at the polls
our ballots will be cast in a booth
That is pretty harsh intimidation alright.the company ordered candy (suckers, lolipops) whose wrappers all said vote no!!
So you would have rather not been scared and lost the whole company to Mexico???the company did this campaign over a period of 3 months, until it became apparent that their scare tactics worked,
I don’t think so. The idea that we know to be true is that you can make people sign the paper and then they won’t vote for the union.where more than 50% have expressed their approval in writing, the election could also be termed "unnecessary"
I agree that the obvious conclusion would be that people were intimidated, bribed, etc.the obvious conclusion can be drawn
One more question. Were the people let go the same 300 pounders that sucked up a lot of the intimidating lollipops???