About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Heritage Foundation Skewers Public Employee Pensions/Listen To Scott Walker!!!!!!

The Heritage Foundation has published a new series of research papers and reports on public pensions. The research shows what we knew all along: public employee pensions are fat and sweet. AND, even after the recent legislation in Wisconsin that reformed the public retirement system, public employees in Wisconsin are still sitting pretty compared to private market employees.

The first report, titled The Real Cost of Public Pensions, "refutes two of the most common arguments that public pension benefits are somehow modest." It's wonky but it's worth the read if you're into the nitty gritty of the issue.

The second report, published yesterday -- The impact of Act 10 on public sector compensation in Wisconsin -- shows that Wisconsin public employee benefits are still 4.5 times larger than pensions in the private economy and Wisconsin public employees are still paid 22% more in total compensation than their private counterparts. The Executive Summary is below:

After a protracted legal and political battle, on March 11, 2011, the Wisconsin state Legislature passed Act 10, the Budget Repair Act, which increased public employee contributions toward pensions and health coverage and restricted union powers of collective bargaining and dues collection. This study analyzes public sector salaries and benefits in Wisconsin, with a particular focus on disentangling the risk-adjusted value of pension benefits offered in the public sector from accounting conventions that can understate the cost and value of defined benefit pension plans.

We find that state and local government employees receive salaries roughly equal to those paid to private sector Wisconsin employees with similar education and experience or working in jobs with similar skill requirements.

However, even following Act 10, pension benefits for Wisconsin public employees are roughly 4.5 times more valuable than private sector levels while health benefits are about twice as generous as those paid by larger private sector Wisconsin employers. This difference results in a combined salary-benefits compensation premium of around 22 percent for state workers over private sector workers, with varying but often larger pay advantages for local government employees.
I heard Scott Walker interviewed yesterday on the Laura Ingraham radio show (see below). The guy is absolutely amazing! I don't think there's a more well-spoken or enthusiastic advocate of property, freedom and peace anywhere on the national scene. He doesn't speak in a measured tones or hedge his opinions. He is forceful in his beliefs and knows economics like the back of his hand.

I'd hate to deprive Wisconsin of the best governor it's had in its history, but this guy should be on the Republican ticket this year with Mitt Romney! Listen to this clip of Walker in action and see if you agree with me.

More good news! Read an excellent recap of the recall race in Wisconsin at Legal Insurrection. A new poll from Marquette University, which is perhaps the most respected poll in the state, has Walker up 7 points. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (pictured at right), has a lead in the polls over her unionist competitor, but her lead is "statistically insignificant." She is not as well-spoken as Walker, but she is good people ala Sarah Palin.

Walker doesn't sound like a man with the election in the bag. He is a man on a mission and warns his supporters not to "spike the football on the 10 yard line!"

So, please, donate to Walker and Kleefisch and, if you're a Wisconsinite, VOTE !!!!!!!


John Galt said...

I agree with you, Walker is an impressive Governor and I like the idea of him becoming the vice-President to Romney.
If he can deliver Wisconsin - a purple state leaning blue - in the General election it would be worth it.

Sherman Broder said...

Hi John. I was thinking of his value to the ticket not in political terms but in philosophical terms. He'd keep Romney on the straight and narrow! ;)