Thursday, December 23, 2010

Life in "Progress" City - Pritchard AL edition

This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry.

Then Prichard did something that pension experts say they have never seen before: it stopped sending monthly pension checks to its 150 retired workers, breaking a state law requiring it to pay its promised retirement benefits in full.

Since then, Nettie Banks, 68, a retired Prichard police and fire dispatcher, has filed for bankruptcy. Alfred Arnold, a 66-year-old retired fire captain, has gone back to work as a shopping mall security guard to try to keep his house. Eddie Ragland, 59, a retired police captain, accepted help from colleagues, bake sales and collection jars after he was shot by a robber, leaving him badly wounded and unable to get to his new job as a police officer at the regional airport.

Far worse was the retired fire marshal who died in June. Like many of the others, he was too young to collect Social Security. “When they found him, he had no electricity and no running water in his house,” said David Anders, 58, a retired district fire chief. “He was a proud enough man that he wouldn’t accept help.”

It appears that Prichard is run by a democratic mayor and a democratic council.

You know, the conventional wisdom is that democrats have compassion for the little guy.

Does letting retirees go without their pension checks sound all the compassionate to you?

Stiffing pensioners out of their benefits?

Now that's "progressive"!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will the ivy leaguers who are running government finances across this country please take note? When a pension runs dry, it will cease to be a pension. There's a name for this: Finance 101. When the actuaries discover a problem in the system 10-20 years into the future, heed their warning immediately.

Pensions are about financial security. How good is that security if it disappears overnight.

Simple solution. Slow down the benefits growth. Retired population is growing, paying population is shrinking. It's math.

Politicians should not hide behind laws passed 30 years ago that put pension growth on autopilot. It is the epitome of irresponsibility to allow 60% of government finances to stay on autopilot.