Providence Rhode Isl., ‘Athens on the Narragansett’, Unions, social policy= broke

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Trajan, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Trajan

    Trajan conscientia mille testes

    Jun 17, 2010
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    The Bay Area Soviet
    Its sad, and, I personally don’t care what these folks are; dems reps libertarians commies, they were promised a pension, they are retired and worked for years with the expectation of pension payouts as a building block and known income so they could calculate what they could afford and what they had to live on etc. Now? They will be lucky if they see 60 cents on the dollar.

    This is an issue that knows no boundaries…… many Union folks know that Andy Stern, the former president of SEIU, who stepped down 18 months ago left his org. in a huge financial hole ($85 Million in debt.)?

    He had borrowed to fund a new HQ and laid out every dime they had on hand to get Obama elected, he also left over a third of his locals under funded by at least 35%? ( the law states they have to report at the 65% funding threshold)

    But…he got to visit the WH multiple times and jet sets around the country, so I guess his members when facing similar issues ala their R.I. brethren can keep themselves warm with those memories….if they can afford the wood.

    *shrugs* Coming to your state or one near you, its just a matter of time.

    Rhode Island: Athens of America?
    October 23, 2011
    Walter Russell Mead

    Rhode Island is looking more and more like Greece, and not in a good way. That is one message of this important piece by Mary Williams Walsh in the New York Times. Years of blue social policy have wrecked local and state government finance in the country’s smallest state, and now the bills are coming due. Services are being cut to the bone and elderly retirees are losing money they thought was secure.

    In Rhode Island, it is Democrats, not nasty union-hating Republicans, who are doing the dirty work. Democratic mayors are telling their unions that there isn’t any money — not because they are vicious corporate stooges who hate working people and want to see them suffer, but because There. Isn’t. Any. Money.

    Because Rhode Island listened to timeserving blue politicians too long, and union leaders and public sector workers lost their grip on any mathematical realities beyond the numbers at the ballot box, the pension system grew more and more out of control. State and local governments lurched into a crisis. Vote yourself a raise, vote yourself a pension: why not?

    But there is financial math as well as political math and in any war with financial arithmetic, the money numbers win. If there isn’t any money, the checks won’t clear. Ultimately, you will have to fire existing workers, stop paying pensions or a mix of both. That is where Rhode Island is now: its economy can’t generate the revenue to support its existing governance system and to pay its pension obligations.

    The Ostrich Party has long ruled Rhode Island; their heads planted firmly in the sand - if not in even darker and damper regions – Rhode Island politicians, government and union officials have done everything possible to conceal the true state of affairs from the voters, the bondholders, retirees and even themselves. Unrealistic assumptions about rates of return helped hide the ugly truth about the looming pension meltdown — and anybody who tried to raise the alarm about the coming crisis was hooted down as an enemy of the workers.


    But “objectively”, as our Marxist friends would say, the union leaders and their political chums were the worst enemies of the workers: they told state workers that their benefits were secure even as it became increasingly obvious that, as a matter of arithmetic, they were not.

    free article, more here-
    Rhode Island: Athens of America? | Via Meadia

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