Sunday, November 2, 2014


Cold today to start--only 28F.  Or there about since that is the temp at Chicago O'Hara airport.  Over here it might be more--or less.  That miserable weather we had on Friday pretty well finished the garden.  Time to clear out the petunias and hyssop.  If the patio is dry enough I need to sweep up the leaves and get them into the compost bin.

Of course, we have been up since about 3:30 because of the time change.  Have I said before how much I HATE these time changes.  Yeah, I guess I have--at least twice a year since I started this blog about seven years ago.

I didn't read all of this article by Lambert Strether and cross posted at Naked Capitalism.  Yeah, I am sick of this election and wish I could ignore most of the non-information in the news about it.  I didn't realize how many vulture venture capitalists are running for gubernatorial office where they would control the appointments to pension boards.  Bruce Rauner I know of because we live near the Indiana/Illinois border and get news from Chicago.  I have checked out the anti-Rauner ads and noticed something interesting.  As bad as the ads are the stories in the newspapers (ironically the same newspapers that have all endorsed Rauner) are actually worse.  Ever since Ben Bernanke told Congress that Social Security funds were in the cross-hairs because "that is where the money is" we have thought that the finance industry and their bought Congress-critters would go after that and pension funds because those were the biggest pots not yet thoroughly looted.  I loved Strether's notion of "honest graft" and laughed as he cited Tammany Hall of late 1800s infamy.  We had been thinking much the same thing not long ago.

There is something about the assumption under the argument in this article that pisses me off.  The argument seems to be that a retiree, who may have qualified for three different pensions, should choose only one. Or should refuse a pension if they are still working.  My once-upon-a-time father-in-law retired from the Navy after 20+ years, qualifying him for a military pension he couldn't take until he turned 62, he then earned a teaching degree and taught for another 25 years, qualifying him for a state pension, and because he also contributed to Social Security and had his required time in he also qualified for Social Security.  Why the hell should someone who has earned those pensions forego any of them?  And if he had been disabled shouldn't he get that two?  I saw a pair of dueling ads out of Illinois where one ad lambasted the incumbent for taking a pension while she earned a nice fat salary as a state employee and the incumbent's ad insisted she had refused the pension.  I don't know what kind of linguistic legerdemain which campaign was using to make their assertions but both arguments rest on the same assumption--if she was qualified for the pension but still worked she should refuse one or the other.  I don't see the validity in the double dipping charge nor do I see any particular virtue in her refusing to take her pension.

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