First off, Tom West and our Jean continue to add highly instructive and original comments to the “Carl Responds to Tom” thread below. Please join in.
And here’s a fascinating, personal, and anonymous comment on the tough UNION issue:
I was raised in a union family. I appreciate the living wage, though my father also had a second seasonal job as an umpire for baseball games all over Long Island. he loved baseball, and it brought in more money. My mother also worked, which was unusual for the times. But my mother told me last year that she had counted up the years my father and she had collected benefits, and it was, as I recall, 58. My father retired from his first job after 20 years, and then went on to another, double dipping for the rest of his life. There is something untenable about collecting benefits for far far longer than you have actually worked.
At the same time, I don’t see how working families can save for their children’s educations and also put aside enough to support themselves in their ever growing number of retirement years. This is one downside to our longevity. Can we afford it?
No easy answers, though I appreciate Pete’s efforts. Still, I wish he would tone down his ire against “you didn’t build that.” All you need to do is see that Melissa Harris-Perry jabbering about how children are the responsibility of the community to see where the logic of Obama’s statement leads. I am with Romney, no apologies.
I’m literally late for class. But to highlight two issues: 1. The deals negotiated by Unions depended on demographics we no longer have and so now are clearly unsustainable. 2. How is it possible for the ordinary couple to raise both a good number of kids (which we want them to do with birth dearth in mind) and save for retirement (given the withering away of pensions)?