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River Cities Reader - Issue #754 - June 10, 2010

River Cities Reader - Issue #754 - June 10, 2010

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Published by: River Cities Reader on Jun 15, 2010
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     R     i    v    e    r     C     i     t     i    e    s     ’     R    e    a     d    e    r
   •     V    o     l .     1     7     N    o .     7     5     4   •     J    u    n    e     1     0  -     2     3 ,     2     0     1     0     B    u    s     i    n    e    s    s   •     P    o     l     i    t     i    c    s   •     A    r    t    s   •     C    u     l    t    u    r    e   •     N    o    w      Y    o    u     K    n    o    w    •     R     i    v    e    r     C     i    t     i    e    s     R    e    a     d    e    r .    c    o    m
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 B   u  s  i     e  s   s  • P   o l    i     t   i     c   s  • A  r   t    s  •  C   u l     t    u r   e • N   o w Y   o  u K   o w • R  i     e r   C  i     t   i     e  s  R   e  a  d   e r   . c   o m
R  i     e  r   C   i     t   i     e   s  ’    R   e   a  d    e  r  
• V   o l     .1  7  N   o  .7   5  4  •  J    u  e 1   0  2   3   ,2   0  1   0  
necessary reserves to meet their obligations tomembers. Te graver issue here is that the study does not include 2008 through May 2010, so noneo the lings include any downturn in pensionportolios aer the nancial meltdown. You can betthe situation is ar worse than the study shows.Is it any wonder that SEIU’s great poseur Andy Stern is at the helm in aggressively lobbyingPresident Barack Obama and Congress toapprove a $165-billion bailout or not only itsown union, but also or the eamsters union,International Brotherhood o Electrical Workers,Laborers’ International Union o North America,International Association o Machinists, UnitedBrotherhood o Carpenters, and the nationalplumbers association, to name a ew. Tis isunconscionable.SEIU would like to blame their pensions’ grossunderunding on the poor economy, except that theSEIU’s union ocers’ pensions are doing splendidly by all standards. In act, Stern and his ellowcronies are unded at 103 percent! Te rank-and-le membership, however, is acing decits, withless than 80 percent o required assets to pay itsobligations to workers (considered an “endangeredpension,” as dictated by the Pension ProtectionAct o 2006) and less than 62 percent o necessary assets (classiying each o these with “criticalpension” status).Te truth is that blatant mismanagemento rank-and-le-membership pensions is theonly reason or such dismal and hypocriticalstewardship. Union leadership has known or atleast 10 years that underunded pensions are amonumental problem. Yet instead o orthrightly dealing with the problem, they have deceived themembership, conspiring with elected ocials todra legislation – S.560 and H.R. 1409: EmployeeFree Choice Act (EFCA) o 2009 – that would allowunions to remedy the problem on the backs o nonunion employers and workers through coercivecontributions via mandatory memberships withoutsecret ballot/voting, and through governmentintervention through mandatory arbitration toexecute ederally written contracts i companiesand unions cannot agree within 120 days o initialnegotiations. Tis second provision could orcenonunion companies out o sound, well-undedpensions and into larger but underunded pensions
Union Ocers’ Pensions OkayWhile Employees’ Pensions Perish
by Kathleen McCarthykm@rcreader.com
A
nyone with a a hint o common senseknows you can’t spend (borrow andconsume) your way out o debt intonancial recovery, let alone prosperity. Secondly,the most recent jobs report indicated that o the431,000 new jobs created via the stimulus bailout,390,000 were government jobs, mostly or theCensus Bureau, leaving a paltry 41,000 new jobscreated in the private sector, which is the only sector that pays its own way. Furthermore, most o the 390,000 employed in the Census Bureau will belaid o this summer, because those jobs are comingto an end. Tis is hardly recovery.When the government creates jobs in thepublic sector, the wages o those olks are paidby taxpayers because the public sector does notcreate its own revenue. Tereore, the governmentcoercively takes part o the revenues created by theprivate sector (the wages you and I earn) by meanso taxation (IRS).Te stimulus money used to und the newly created 390,000 census-bureau jobs came romeach and every taxpayer. It is a most inequitablearrangement, especially considering the infatedwages and benets paid to government employeescompared to their counterparts in the privatesector. Tis does not include the excessive wastethat prevails in the public sector because at the endo the day, the money being spent does not belongto those spending it. Tere is zero incentive tomanage expenses as they relate to revenues becausethere are zero consequences or overspending.No amount o regulation has overcome thisincompetency because the ox is watching the henhouse.Now comes another monumental insult totaxpayers in the orm o both a $165-billion bailoutrequest rom the largest public-sector unions,coupled with intrusive legislation designed to levelthe playing eld by mingling these mismanagedpensions with those o workers who contribute towell-unded, responsibly managed pensions as ameans o an additional bailout or nancial loserslike Service Employees International Union (SEIU).According to the Hudson Institute, which did astudy o the 20 largest public-sector-union pensionsincluding SEIU’s, over hal are either endangeredor critical. Hudson examined the 2005 through2007 5500 lings required annually by the Bureauo Labor Statistics that compare assets and liabilitiesto make sure pensions are in compliance with the
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Continued On Page 21

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