Skip to content

Category Archives: Public employees

Public pension math

There’s science, and then there’s political science. Likewise, there’s math, and then there’s political math. Political math can be deadly to the fiscal health of a political unit, whether it’s a city, state, or country. Underfunded public pensions are one of those problems that dog governments, but which most people don’t know about. It’s simple, […]

Pensions “could be adjusted,” says bankruptcy judge

Across the country, states and cities face difficult fiscal situations, aggravated by the fact that they have over-promised and under-funded pension plans. As cities and other units of government consider bankruptcy, judges and others must ask whether those promises have a superior standing over promises made to vendors, bondholders, or citizens as a whole. The […]

Switching from DC to DB after turning down repeated opportunities

A county commissioner in Hennepin County, Minnesota, has been given plenty of chances to switch from a defined contribution retirement plan to a defined benefit one. He’s refused the chances each time. Now he wants to switch. The Legislature appears to be crafting legislation to let him do that. Is this any way to operate […]

California, Here We Come?

Just how unrealistic is Minnesota’s expectation that its major pension plans will earn an investment return of 8.5 percent per year? Consider this: Of 126 major public plans across the country, only one out of ever ten expects that return. The rest anticipate less. So says the Wall Street Journal, which collected information from two […]

Strike One, Yer Out

Should public employees be allowed to go on strike? About 17 percent of workers in the University of Minnesota system, or 3,500 people, have decided to go on strike. (The link is to the Washington Post which, unlike the Twin Cities-papers, doesn’t hide its articles behind an archived firewall.) No surprise, the union says that the […]

Government spending + democracy = threat to freedom

In the modern world, democracy is the most effective form of government we have found for advancing personal freedom and human well-being. As Winston Churchill allegedly said, democracy is the worst form of government, except for all others. Look at the countries that are the wealthiest, healthiest, with the most output of creative talent, and […]