The executive of Sacramento County in California recently attributed the increase in his county’s pension costs to “investment losses during the recession.”
The official, Brad Hudson, is right that public pension costs are growing, but not that investment losses are to blame. To the contrary, these expenses are rising despite gains in pension-fund investments.
The article goes on to say that the Dow is up 15% from December 31st 2007 to June 3rd of this year. True. But annualized this is less than a 3% rate of return, while the pension fund claimed it could make 8% -- and costs went up even faster than that!
This has now come home to roost in Detroit, where pensioners are being told they'll take pennies on the dollar -- or get nothing.
Reality is this: A promise based upon an impossibility is not a promise, it's a fraud, and frauds are felonies.
What's going on right now is a furious attempt to cover up those felonies and find ways to spin flax into gold. It won't work because it can't work.
This doesn't mean they won't try. But the attempts will not only fail they will destroy the capital foundation of the people and then the cities that are nothing more than the aggregate of the people. Those who can leave will leave, and those who can't leave aren't the producers.
We must hold the public sector unions and their members accountable for these frauds along with the city managers, governors and others who all conspired to make knowingly false promises.
That accountability comes in two forms -- financial and "other", commonly known as civil and criminal.
The financial side of this is simple -- a promise made upon fraud is void at inception and the sooner we tell people the truth about this the better off they will be, as they will have at least some opportunity to rearrange their lives to meet what is reality rather than the fantasy they were "sold."
We do nobody any good when we obfuscate things as this article does. The simple fact of the matter is that pension funds, like all other large-scale plans, cannot grow faster than economic output and in real terms cannot grow faster than economic output less monetary inflation.
The problem with facing this truth is that over the last 30 years the real economic output picture looks like this:
And nobody wants to talk about the inevitable reversion to the mean that must come as a consequence.
You only thought it was just your cellphone tracking you; the states want into the game too:
A South Carolina company is proposing that the state abandon regular license plates and switch to electronic plates controlled by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
There's that phrase: controlled by.
And, of course, monitored by.
The plates can be, of course, instantly changed to display various status messages. Such as, for example, if anyone linked to the plate has an open want or warrant on them?
Note that one of the examples is "if the driver's license is expired."
Of course this doesn't mean that the person who owns the car is driving it.
This comes back to the fundamental question -- what happened to the fundamental liberty interest in being able to travel from one place to another?
Oh, and as for that car? You don't own it. Yes, you paid for it, but you don't own it.
The State does.
PS: **** you "Compliance Innovations" -- sideways with a chainsaw.
State officials approved the trucking company to carry a load as high as 15 feet, 9 inches, according to the permit released by the state. However, the southbound vertical clearance on the Skagit River bridge is as little as 14 feet, 5 inches, state records show. That lowest clearance is outside of the bridge's vehicle traveling lanes, Transportation Department communications director Lars Erickson said Friday. The bridge's curved overhead girders are higher in the center of the bridge.
There are no signs leading up to the Skagit River bridge to warn about its clearance height. State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson said that under federal and state standards, the clearance is tall enough to not require signage.
That is correct; provided travel lane clearance is 15' or higher no signage is required.
A permit for over-height loads specifically requires a "feeler" truck in front of the vehicle with a non-destructive pole (typically fiberglass) that is sufficiently tall that it will strike overheads insufficient to clear, and far enough in advance of the vehicle that the loaded vehicle can stop before it hits the obstruction.
Obviously this particular system of checks and balances failed in this instance but if the overhead clearance met or exceeded 15 feet then the standards for highways were met.
I can't get excited about this folks, other than the obvious problem here that exists with the state granting a permit to a load described as being 15' 9" if in fact the overhead clearance on that route, for which it was explicitly granted, was insufficient for it to pass.
The other possibility, of course, is that there was 15' 9" of clearance and the load was higher, despite the permit.
Which, if this was the case, will have to await the results of the investigation.
A section of a major interstate highway bridge in Washington state collapsed yesterday, sending two vehicles into the rushing waters of the Skagit River north of Seattle. Three people were rescued and no one is believed to have died, authorities said.
The bridge carried both north- and south-bound lanes of Interstate 5, which runs the length of the U.S. West Coast from Mexico to Canada. Investigators said a truck carrying an oversized load may have struck the span before it fell.
Actually, eye witnesses say that an over-height load did strike the bridge, taking out some of the overhead (load-bearing) structure and causing the collapse.
What does Bloomberg focus on in their "reporting"?
The bridge’s collapse put a new focus on the nation’s failing infrastructure, an issue that President Barack Obama has highlighted in his second-term agenda.
The bridge (unlike the one in Minnesota) did not fail. It was hit.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee (A Lying Democrat) wasted no time trying to claim that "we have some work to do on our bridges", implying that there was some maintenance issue responsible for the collapse.
The bridge was hit by an oversize load and suffered structural damage. It didn't collapse due to being in poor condition, it collapsed because it was damaged.
Is this a bridge of older design and subject to being hit by such loads (compared to, say, a suspension bridge or similar that doesn't have anything overhead to strike)? Sure. But the fact remains that there's nothing unservicable about these older designs provided you don't strike them with heavy, moving loads!
The exploitation of this sort of incident by those who simply want to spend spend spend disgusts me, and the dishonest slant on reporting of these incidents, even when the underlying truth is in the actual article is an outrage.
BTW, one cheap solution to this sort of problem for bridges with overhead structures is illustrated in the below video. You simply erect a strong "sacrificial" barrier at a height a few inches below the lowest clearance in front of the bridge and thus you "trap" those loads that otherwise would not clear and do not stop.
When the clearance sign says 11' 8" it means it. Note that there is a nice fat I-beam in front of the bridge structure itself and slightly lower. If you try to run the bridge with an over-height load the bridge survives just fine as the cheap-to-replace I-beam takes the impact and stops you from damaging the span.
(Reuters) - The day after a task force unanimously recommended razing and rebuilding Sandy Hook Elementary School, residents expressed relief tinged with sadness on Saturday in the small New England town that became a focal point of the national debate on gun control.
There is no "gun control." The very premise is a fraud; the government proposes to use guns to come take property and your right to life from you.
That's exactly what's going on -- without the ability to defend your life you don't have such a right at all. You instead have the right to have a coroner show up and stick a tag on your big toe.
Just ask the victims' families at Sandy Hook.
$57 million is about $2,068 per person (man, woman and child) or about $8,000 per family of four. That's what these people will pay to tear down a perfectly-functional building and make a new one. That's what Lanza has managed to bill to every resident of Newtown and the worst of it is that they are volunteering to pay that $2,068 and further they are forcing their neighbors to do so whether they agree or not.
Oh, and if you don't want to pay and think it's outrageous to tear down a perfectly-functional building because someone committed an evil felony within its walls?
They have a solution to that problem.
They'll use guns to make you pay.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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