Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit

Having been accused of it:

I decided to do some research and started with this book.

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SFA Fifth Filing; Second From NJ

The PBGC Special Financial Assistance program for troubled multiemployer plans has a fifth plan applying for bailout money now totaling over $1.46 billion.

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Courting Justice: Abbott v. Burke

It started over 50 years ago and brought on a state income tax, billions of wasted dollars on lawyers and consultants, and nothing for the general welfare. According to an Eagleton Institute of Politics article:

As a young lawyer, Ruvoldt had written an article for the New Jersey State Bar Journal entitled “The Right to Learn,” where he asserted the federal and state constitutions contained an implied right to education and the state school finance system needed to secure that right. Most lawyers argued otherwise, saying that if that really was the law, someone would have recognized it and done something about it earlier. Jimmy Ryan, however, agreed with Ruvoldt and urged him to meet with the Jersey City mayor, Thomas J. Whelan. Ruvoldt met with the Ryan, the mayor, City Council President, the mayor’s secretary, and three private practice lawyers, in November 1969, where they talked about the educational opportunities in Jersey City. Ruvoldt argued they should sue the state, but no one agreed other than Ryan.

For some perspective, here are excerpts from a 2013 book on “New Jersey cases that shook the nation” which ends with a chapter on “New Jersey’s School Funding Litigation, Robinson v. Cahill and Abbott v Burke (2011)”.

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Soaking Super-Rich Pensions

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This Wednesday the House Ways and Means Committee after over seven hours of ‘deliberation’ in a near party-line vote of 24-19 approved the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act.

According to ASPPA news the retirement-based changes within the bill’s funding section that are supposed to raise approximately $2.1 trillion over 10 years include:

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NJ Pensions, Behind the Numbers

Another njspotlight feel-good story on the New Jersey public pension system starts off:

Years of underfunding left New Jersey with one of the nation’s worst-funded public-worker retirement systems. That’s starting to change as a result of recent efforts to ramp up contributions into the state pension fund.

They do have some helpful charts but their premise is dangerously flawed.

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Becoming A Firefighter

Part of the Masters at Work series this book focuses on the St. Louis Fire Department offering insights into the profession.

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Pew Ranks – 2019

Yesterday the Pew Charitable Trusts released their annual funding gap study based on data from the CAFRs of over 230 public pension plans.  Of interest:

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SFA Plans Requesting 80% of Unfunded Liabilities

Participants in multiemployer plans about to go bankrupt are fearing that the ARP bailout, based on the methodology that the PBGC has established to get the money, will not be enough. In comparing the requests of the first four plans for assistance to what those plans report as unfunded liabilities on their 5500 forms, the participants are right.

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SFA Road Has Four

The PBGC Special Financial Assistance program for troubled multiemployer plans activated their Status of Applications link and it shows four plans who have applied for bailout money totaling over $1.3 billion.

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In the Same Breath

Dysfunctional government designed to benefit party members is not unique to China. I am chronicling a particularly odious example in Kenilworth on the countywatchers blog but I won’t trouble you with that here.

More relevant is what this documentary shows us being fed by governments and experts last year. Remember?

Where not to look and someone we are sadly without who would have certainly looked.

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