Saturday, July 3, 2010

Caveat Lectores on “The End of the Line”by Jim Brantley

Caveat Lectores usually avoids using the works of others to make a point unless they did a better job that I would have done.

Jim Brantley, Esq. is a former firefighter from Florida who followed the hallowed footsteps of this writer to attend law school and practice law as a labor attorney. He is smarter than the Lector because he retired before he left so he collects a pension. I take partial credit for helping him through law school only because I kept telling him to settle down and enjoy the ride while in school. Now he has to work like the rest of us.

Jim is not usually a man of few words, but he punched out some really good thoughts here in only a few words.

Roger Lowenstein doesn’t mention how public pension funds became so underfunded. During the boom years when pension-fund investment returns were high, the majority of public employers used those returns as justification to take a ‘‘pension holiday,’’ meaning that in the times of high investment returns, many public employers contributed little or nothing to their employee pension plans. Public employees were not given the same opportunity — most plans require the employee to contribute to the plans in both good investment times and bad. In some instances, public employers failed to contribute to these plans for many consecutive years. Now that these plans find themselves underfunded, the employers and Lowenstein are advocating that the employees must foot the bill for this calculated investment error through the reduction or elimination of their pension benefits.
Jim Brantley, Fort Myers, Fla.

Jim will be published in the New York Times Magazine on Sunday, July 11, 2010. You read it here first. He has an invitation to contribute to the Rants at Caveat Lectores anytime.

BOHICA is the Caveat Lectores message for the day.

And Oh yes, have a nice day?


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