Saturday, July 31, 2010

Not Ponies - Boats

In a discussion of government pensions a person who makes their living lobbying for more money for government workers says:

“The biggest fallacy here is the discussion about comparing what a private sector employee gets to a public sector. And if where we want to go from a policy perspective is to go down and bring everybody’s boat down, so that they’re retiring on nothing, I mean that’s an interesting conversation to have. What do you do with those people?” said Cathie G. Eitelberg, senior vice president at the Segal Company, which advises public employee pension fund directors.
This is a move up. The Democrats are no longer promising ponies. We will now get boats.

Which reminds me of John Kerry's little boat. Are we all going to get one of those? I propose we get ahead of this curve and start building yacht basins at once. Let me see. Seventy-six feet long would be about 16 feet in the beam. Times 300 million. I think taxes are going up. But at least we will all have boats. See. We just pass a law.

H/T Instapundit


Foobarista said...

I read the same article (although your link doesn't go to it). I wonder if her employees get defined-benefit pensions?

Somehow, I doubt it.

But this seems to be a new talking point strategy for government union types: argue that their lavish packages are some sort of "model" that whould be adopted by private businesses with all the extra cash they have lying around if they weren't run by monstrous greedheads concerned only with "profit".

M. Simon said...


Thanks! Fixed it.


I think as a talking point this is not going to work. Esp. with State and local budgets breaking down due to pension overload.

The bad news (pension overload) thinking will get imprinted on the Feds (wit a boot) whether they like it or not.

Foobarista said...

The problem is the argument is absurd on its face if you have a clue about how private business - and employment - works. Frankly, other things being equal, you'd much prefer to get all your pay in cash instead of "benefits", which are really just goods and services the employer buys on your behalf.

We've set up incentives and such so that health insurance pretty much has to be bought through an employer unless you're a 20 year old fitness god, and old-age savings is similarly tax-favored, but defined-benefit pensions are a mug's game, and are actually dangerous in the real economy, where you'll outlive most of your employers - and their pension funds.

The government unions are so used to thinking that money falls from the sky that they can't wrap their brains around the idea that an employee only stays hired if their work product is equal to or greater than their compensation package. If it ain't, they get laid off or the company dies.