Since the November election some of the education industry profiteers (some refer to them as “The Blob“) have been cooking up new schemes and rolling out the next edition of their talk-em-to-death-in-order-to-delay-any-real-reform strategy. If you ever wondered why the public school system hasn’t made progress since the publishing of the 1983 report “America at Risk,” you now do. Supporters of the status quo who in some way earn a living via public education spending begin what are ultimately pointless discussions about ways to tweak the system in order to make it work.
As with communism, however, perestroika for the public schools is doomed to fail. While you can’t fix the unfixable, you can, with consistent effort, talk and talk and propose and propose in the political arena in order to put off the day of reckoning. When that day arrives and genuine reforms are enacted the profiteers know the money will stop flowing – so that day must be delayed.
Some of the talk-em-to-death efforts take place publicly, as you might have seen in recent news stories. The current “reforms” being proposed are being discussed as if they’ll usher in a new era in Illinois public education. Any long time observers of the school reform effort have witnessed untold renditions of this torturous cycle, and with each rendition Big Media falls for it. As a result, the voting public is distracted.
Some of the talk-em-to-death efforts take place privately. “Bipartisan” or “reaching across the aisle” type contacts are initiated by the profiteers to see where common ground can be found between the opposing sides. I’ve learned about a few of these private efforts that pertain to finding a solution to the Illinois public employee pension crisis.
Anyone who has kept up with Bill Zettler’s research and writing on Illinois pensions already knows the facts.
Some folks believe that this issue is difficult analytically and politically. I believe it’s just the opposite if we’re honest about the math. There are no more fantasy pots of money to draw from, and debt levels for legitimate expenses are already too high.
From coast to coast, state employee pension systems aren’t really even pension systems. They’re wealth transfer systems from future taxpayers to past employees. That’s NOT a pension system. A pension system is funded in real time. Since millions of government employees have truly acted as children – not monitoring their own pension funds – they now must suffer the consequences of that bad behavior.
The employment contracts were not made with future taxpayers, so future taxpayers have no obligation to pay the personal benefits of retired workers. None. That’s just common sense and in line with basic economic morality.
Government needs to get out of the pension business for government employees. We’re inundated with proof that government is incapable of administrating these plans. Fortunately, an increasing number of citizens have become aware of the excess in government employee pensions. And there’s little chance they’ll support the kind of tax increases necessary to get the system funded.