City Journal Autumn 2014

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Autumn 2014
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Nicole Gelinas
Bell’s Debt Tolls « Back to Story

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Your bst comment was how many more Bells are out there? More, many more.
Bankruptcy. It is unavoidable. People will simply leave Bell. Raise taxes all you want, it won't help.

Same thing is happening to California in general. Businesses are fleeing at a mad rate. Unless public employee pay and pensions can be reduced to sane levels and general govt spending curbed drastically bankruptcy is unavoidable. Special handouts for the Fed to govt unions won't do more than put off the inevitable for a few months.
Nicole, the whole state is in the same boat as Bell. Pension happy, trustees asleep at the switch. Industry leaving.

Laurence Brody
CFA Society of Los Angeles
In the UK there over 100 Local Government officials who earn more that the Prime Minister.

We also have a Public Sector pension problem. Public sector workers have not put nearly enough money into their pension funds to receive the pension they have been guaranteed on retirement.

Not a problem:Private sector workers will make up the shortfall.
This is a very well done and thoughtful piece of writing. I am sure muni bond debt is the next bubble to burst, and this one is really going to hurt.

There should be criminal prosecutions here. Bell will have to declare bankruptcy at some point.
A public servant is just that. A public servant should never make over 100k in my opinion. If you want to make more go and compete in the private sector head to head with your peers. That is the American way and I'm afraid to say I think we have lost our way.
What, you think this is unusual? In my small California town, we recently had an attempt to build a $100 million library. Police cadets start at $92k and can retire at 50 on basically full salary. thankfully, we can afford it because this is an affluent town but I spend $7k per year in tax on my small townhouse, 9.8% of my income in income taxes, and over 9% on sales tax.
Francis W Stocker, M.D. August 08, 2010 at 8:05 PM
It is long - for at least 38 years - been my conviction that governments both American and the democratic governments of the world are a threat to my pocket book.
Older readers may recall the open testimony of retiring Ambassador to Greece Ellis O. Briggs before the Senate Foreign Services Committee in 1963. He testified that he had five times too many people under him at the American Embassay and he thought of having them "play hopscotch on the Acopolis". In closed testimony he should have testified that there was a drug and alcohol problem at that embassay as well as Belgrade. (Personal knowledge.)
Americans stationed in Greece were aware that a visit to a Greek government office was a frustrating prolonged experience. I witnessed a supervisor with a long pinkie nail- a sign that he did not work with his hands.

Every State Department budget after 1964 was increased. Gen. Haig was singled out for derision by David Stockman for his requests for more money as Reagan's first Sec. of State. Sec. Clinton requested more money.

The California experience is nothing new. Politicians have successfully bought the votes of government workers with salaries and pensions. drfrancisstocker