A Statement and Prediction
Rhode Island lawmakers heard the following when they gathered for a preliminary shindig related to pensions:
On Tuesday, [pension activist Diane Oakley, executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security,] gave the lawmakers more reasons to think twice about defined-contribution plans: “If investment losses cannot be recouped by retirement age, they may delay plans or retire with much less income.”
To which the only rational response is: So? As presented, the statement makes no mention of the health or occupation of the potential retiree, and therefore exposes the vacuity of moral statements made about public-sector pensions in broad strokes. If a perfectly healthy 48-year-old first grade teacher has to put off retirement, well, dems da breaks.
That’s the situation the rest of us face, and to treat it as some sort of unlivable state beyond the boundaries of ethics to impose is to reveal what many of us suspect about those inside of government: They truly believe — whether it’s something they’ll allow in their consciousness or not — that they are a chosen people set apart. To the extent that they can leverage political donations and activism to force policies to remain in their favor, they can claim insulation from the realities of our shared economy.
Reading the rest of the article, and having experience with Rhode Island’s governance methodology, one can set the baseline expectation for the coming “reform” as reamortization with some sort of tax increase (perhaps pushed through local governments and property taxes) and a mild reduction in benefit levels for future retirees — such as an additional year or two before they can retire or a couple more years of salary folded into the calculation for benefit amount.
I’d like to be wrong, but I’m just not hearing contrary noises.