19 June 2013

I'm Not Alone

... in believing that California's current fiscal surplus is spitting' in the wind when compared to the pension nightmare down the road (read "California Dreaming" here). Th Economist agrees with me here.

The Economist points out the usual suspect practices (which took place at the municipal level in cities like Stockton, BTW): pension "spiking," absurdly optimistic investment return assumptions, etc., all motivated by vote-buying by legislators who knew they wouldn't be around when the bills came due. But what is often overlooked are the demographic and social factors lurking below the surface. Declining birthrates coupled with longer lives; consideration of euthanasia to complement abortion may not be far off. And declining marriage rates coupled with single-parented children don't bode well for those who have been promised pensions. And where are the men? Not working per CNN.

And what of the dinosaur in the room: federal Social Security? Heard a recent news blub that benefits need to increase but nary a word about how to pay for it.

No, I'm not alone in pointing to the problems of welfare capitalism but I can't say many--at least among the political or media chattering classes--are talking about any answers. Not surprising, I guess, when such discussions would scare away voters and viewers.

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