Well, I kinda blew it yesterday. In my piece about Social Security, I started off by misreading the original material. But then I more than made up for it by piling on quite a few more mistakes. I think it might be easier to just re-write the piece than to list and correct the errors.
Oh, what the hell.
Over at the American, there’s a discussion about the crisis in public pension plans, and one idea to help fix that.
Currently, state and local governments can choose whether to have their employees enroll in Social Security or in a private pension plan. And those plans are so generous, it’s putting quite a few states in serious financial straits.
The plan? Get rid of the pension plans entirely. Enroll all employees in Social Security.
Not too bad an idea. There’s a concept I’ve run into several places called “eating your own dog food.” It’s usually in software, when it refers to making the software developers actually use their own product they’re developing. Social Security is run by government employees, so why shouldn’t other government employees be compelled to trust their brethren to administer their own retirement?
Now, there’s no reason why state and local governments can’t offer another retirement plan. I have a 401K plan through my employer, and that seems like a pretty decent deal to me.
But the incredibly generous pension plans offered by state and local governments are simply no longer sustainable. It’s time to bring them in line with fiscal reality.