No Will on Pension Reform

In plugging his new book George F. Will made the point:

I now have the book and Donald Trump is indeed not in the index. What does appear (once) is the word ‘pensions’ on page xxx.

[T]he nation’s most ominous governance problem is the unsustainable trajectory of the entitlement state because of the unfunded promises that have been made regarding pensions and medical care. Everyone understands what must be done: a mixture of increases of taxes and reductions of promised benefits. Everyone also knows that there is insufficient political will for either part of this remedy.

Bingo (except for that part about everyone knowing) but unfortunately the mention of pensions is introduced as one of three issues beyond solution.

At the risk of depressing readers prematurely, I want to advise them that what follows does not contain a comprehensive agenda for political reform and social improvement. Although some recommendations for action are explicit and others are implicit in the analysis, one lesson of conservatism is that many problems are more or less intractable, for reasons relating to an abundance of politics or a paucity of knowledge.

The other Will intractables”

  1. family disintegration. No one understands what opaque tangle of actors has caused this, which is one reason no one knows what public policies might ameliorate it.
  2. the fundamental cause of the public perception – which is not mistaken – of a corrupt national political culture is the fact that the federal government has promiscuously involved itself in every aspect of American life. As this government has become ever more important in the allocation of wealth and opportunity, it has become an ever more enticing target of rent-seeking factions, which are incited by the government’s interventionist behavior. The necessary, and probably sufficient, cause of this misuse of government was the death of the doctrine of enumerated powers. Its principle was that, as Madison said in Federalist 45, the powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government are “few and defined.” That principle is dead as a doornail. The powers have turned out to be, effectively, undefined and for that reason too numerous to be enumerated.

31 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by aka chicken little on October 19, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    “family disintegration. No one understands what opaque tangle of actors has caused this, which is one reason no one knows what public policies might ameliorate it.”

    ADC has made the husband/father optional and to be dispensed with when push comes to shove. Congress could pass a law stating that 10 months after today no more ADC. Hopefully, more thought would go into family planning before the fact.

    The growing entitlement programs is a problem (one that has been obvious for ages), but so is the falsified interest rates. The Fed is showing right now that it is fully hooked on lower and lower interest rates and buying paper issued by the Treasury Dept.


    • Posted by NJ2AZ on October 19, 2019 at 10:13 pm

      What we’re seeing now is the natural consequence of the modern welfare state. Up until about 100 years ago, if you couldn’t make your own way in the world for whatever reason, you died. Now, society keeps those people alive and breeding, but doesn’t lift them out of their hole.

      its a joke, its all a joke. mother forgive me.


    • Spending on traditional welfare, of which ADC was the biggest part, has disappeared.

      And the decline in marriage one seen among urban Afro-Americans was repeated by others, in the absence of that assistance.

      It turns out it was all about Baby Boomer values. Not race. Not political party. Not government programs. Just check out the favorite of the evangelicals in the White House for the “family values” on the right.

      So who is going to care for these people who chose their own needs over family for their children when they reach deep old age and require custodial care? What NJ is facing with pensions, and worse, is coming in that regard.

      It’s about Generation Greed.


  2. Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! on October 20, 2019 at 1:40 am

    1)—ADC has made the husband/father optional and to be dispensed with when push comes to shove.

    2)—Now, society keeps those people alive and breeding, but doesn’t lift them out of their hole.
    #1-Very true, just go out and have babies with NO way to support them. No need to be married. No need to have any income. No need to have a spouse. Gov will step in and support you. It will be minimal support, but you will have food, healthcare and a roof over your head without paying one dime towards it. Want more kids? No problemo. Just have the new kids with the same strategy- NO WAY to support them or yourself and once again Gov will step in and PAY your freight.
    #2- Gov welfare breeds life long dependency. The fact is the majority of private jobs being created in America today are minimum wage, even for college grads. You could NEVER support one kid,much less 2-10, on a minimum wage job. But go on welfare and the Gov does the heavy lifting.…0.0..……0….1..gws-wiz-img.iYOQzAatnBs#imgrc=JodyfoDtNmrjfM:


    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! on October 20, 2019 at 1:42 am

    • Posted by Anonymous on October 20, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Rex- Very True. Here in Illinois it seems like the state is encouraging single motherhood. Single moms receive more in state aid than if they were married. A while back a State Senator and Rep introduced a bill that would require a father to be on the birth certificate. No big deal right. Almost immediately the bill was deemed racist and they received hate mail and within 72 hours or so and the bill was rescinded. With a father on the certificate there would be another responsible adult and that could reduce benefits. The bill should have been introduced as a health measure. Does the father have a history of cancer/diabetes/etc? and then may have seen the light of day.


    • Posted by NJ2AZ on October 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      i’ll lead by saying that no government could or should be entrusted with the power to determine who should be allowed to breed

      Which is a problem because as long as anyone who wants to can have as many kids as they want to and society has to deal with the consequences, we’ll all screwed


  3. Posted by MJ on October 21, 2019 at 6:26 am

    The government should not be entrusted to decide who can breed and who can not but the government (taxpayers) should not be involved with supporting those who can not support themselves from cradle to grave. Irresponsible behaviors, entitled mentalities, complete welfare state.………not a care in the world.
    I wonder if the welfare queens are concerned about the financial hell hole of NJ or are they of the same public sector mentality that the checks will just keep coming and somebody else will pay for it all?


    • With all due respect MJ, isn’t anyone who doesn’t own their own business and works for a living relying on someone else to “pay for it all”, meaning their compensation package?
      I also draw a distinction between someone who CAN’T provide for themselves (sick, disabled,etc) and someone who WON’T. As a civilized society, I believe we can’t turn our backs on people who truly need help. Lazy able bodied people? Different story.
      Of course I rely on taxpayers to “pay for it all”, I work for them. I’m sure you rely on your employer “to pay for it all” as well. Especially, if you work hard and do your damn job. 🙄
      To be honest, I do take offense to being compared to a “welfare queen”. I work just as hard as anybody else here. I can guarantee you that. Just because my employer happens to a collective group of taxpayers as opposed to a company doesn’t mean I don’t contribute to society. That is just a obnoxious viewpoint. The old “teachers don’t actually make anything, they are takers” attitude.


      • I had a neighbor who worked for DCCP (formerly DYFS). You wouldn’t believe the things they would say to me about her behind her back. I’m sure they said the same stuff about me too. I could give a shit to be honest. She made maybe $60,00 maybe? Ask Marine1. I think his wife in that line of work. She would often ALONE go into areas that to say the least were dangerous, to deal with situations that were just awful. Sometimes a police officer would accompany her. Anyway she had a state car that she could use (didn’t have it all the time) a goddamn Ford Focus. Well, you would’ve thought she was a damn millionaire the way these 2 talked. She was able to use rather than go back into the office in another unsafe area ALONE at the end of the visits, often in the evening and could go straight home to her OWN family. Never mind the service she performed, she had a damn car. Of course they would never say anything to her face. It really bothered them, “look at bitch” etc. and worse even. Yet it was all smiles and waves when they interacted.
        And I can guarantee you, guarantee YOU, that when a kid was abused etc these 2 chumps would be among the first to say “where the HELL was the state”.
        I was wrong MJ in my last post. It doesn’t really offend me. I’ve heard it for almost 25 years. So….yea I expect the checks to come and yea I expect my employer to “pay for it all”. Just like anyone else who works and is not self employed.
        yet these 2 chumps wou


    • Posted by NJ2AZ on October 21, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      .gov could largely squash poverty in one generation if they tailored policy to primarily discourage people are already in or close to poverty from breeding. its not that they are inherently bad or even automatically at fault for their situation, but the fact remains the quickest ticket to a life of poverty is being born into it.

      as it stands, birth rates at the bottom of the income scale are 50% higher than they are at the top. People like to say the greedy rich are to blame for growing the ranks of the poor. No one stops to think its the poor making more of themselves far more quickly than they can be lifted out of poverty.


  4. E….perhaps I should have qualified my statement……those who can work but don’t but who choose to engage in irresponsible behaviors such as having child after child after child that they can not afford financially, emotionally or socially should not be supported from cradle to grave.

    My comments were not meant to include disabled persons, elderly, etc. or those who actually work for a living either for themselves or for companies, organizations, etc

    And you of all people should know that these irresponsible behaviors are what makes neighborhoods into wastelands and makes the job of the cops so much more dangerous. Of course there are always exceptions but from what I read the cops can’t contain it anymore, can’t say anything, can’t shoot, can’t take somebody down, can’t stop certain people, can’t call ICE on illegals caught in a crime, etc

    I also wonder why public workers support these ridiculous social programs that do nothing but encourage bad behavior, bad choices, trashed neighborhoods, crime, drugs, etc.

    Most of my public worker friends are outraged that so much is given to those who refuse to work but keep spitting out kids while they struggle with the fact that they keep getting screwed out of what they worked for and jobs keep getting eliminated, no funding etc.

    Wasn’t trying to compare you to a welfare queen so I am sorry if you took offense. I know you go to work and do your job. Not sure if I agree with all of the pension nonsense but at least you go to work and make an honest living.

    Everybody knows that DCP&P workers don’t make a lot of money and IDK why your neighbors would be talking about her that’s on them. Haters everywhere even our neighbors. Phonies. Maybe she can’t find any other work right now and even though her salary stinks I’m sure she gets great health benefits for herself and family. The car is probably a small perk.

    Maybe you should call your neighbors on it???


    • All good MJ. And most of not all cops at least despise people who do nothing and cause trouble. 10% of our residents cause 90% of the problems. Same can be said of society at large.
      Neighbors good guys. They just don’t get it. Everyone Likes to complain. They would NEVER say it to her face. If they worked with her for a couple weeks they wouldn’t say a word and would probably support her. That’s life. Their problems are first world problems for sure. Lol. What can you do?


  5. Posted by aka chicken little on October 21, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Will isn’t much more than a tiresome bore who would be lucky if he knows one half of what he thinks he knows. Whatever his flaws, Trump is a stark improvement over the four previous predecessors. Dubya was better than Gore and Kerry but being better than Gore and Kerry doesn’t make anyone good. Kind and gentler Big Dubya treated us to the disability act which we can’t afford. I won’t mention Obummer and the boy president.

    I’ll wait to buy Will’s book when its offered at Maybe i’ll pick a copy up in a few years at half priced books. Probably have to give a whole dollar for it.


    • Posted by Tough Love on October 21, 2019 at 9:52 pm

      Quoting …………. “Whatever his flaws, Trump …………”

      Ok, let count the ways ……….. nah, I don’t have the YEARS it would take to list them !


    • Posted by Tough Love on October 21, 2019 at 11:32 pm

      • Posted by aka chicken little on October 22, 2019 at 6:31 am

        I don’t consider the playground quarreling important, although Trump may gain some advantage from it in some corners. Shrinking the government is far more important to me than growing the government which is what his predecessors specialized in doing. I don’t give a damn about the reality TV BS. A smaller Federal Register is better than an expanding one. IMO

        The plain fact is that some crybaby liberals aren’t calling the shots. Long gone is the “waters of the United States” bull crap and Obummer Care is almost gone. They need to repeal keeping children on their parent’s plan until mid-life crisis and they need to repeal guaranteed treatment. We have a population that largely can’t look after themselves thanks to the previous four creeps and a hundred years of modern liberalism.

        The lefties can’t stand the idea that Trump defeated Hillary. Their total effort is overturning the election. I’ll lmao if they succeed.


        • Posted by Tough Love on October 22, 2019 at 12:05 pm

          I too would prefer a smaller Gov’t than we have now, with their hands out of many things. And, the super-liberals ….. AOC, Warren, Sanders, etc. seem to be one-upping each other as o who can Bankrupt America faster.

          But, some things SHOULD BE retained, like allowing children to hang on to their parents jealth coverage until age 26, NOT considering pre-existing conditions under Obamacare, and limitations on how much older insured can be charged relative to younger insureds. Without those, a LARGE segment of out population would be left without ANY health coverage or options if they get sick.


          • And of course fat DB pensions for police👍😉

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 22, 2019 at 4:02 pm

            Not stated, but Police pensions, being the richest (BY FAR) and hence the MOST EGREGIOUS should be the FIRST to go. 👍😉

          • Posted by aka chicken little on October 22, 2019 at 5:34 pm

            “But, some things SHOULD BE retained, like allowing children to hang on to their parents jealth coverage until age 26, NOT considering pre-existing conditions under Obamacare, and limitations on how much older insu…”

            Try explaining how you can give away what does not belong to you (health insurance, the need to insure prior to the claim and so on. The Constables have just as much right to their exorbitant pension and health benefits as you have to give to others what is not yours.

            it’s not yours to give away and a bigger gang does not acquire greater rights to the property of others.

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 22, 2019 at 10:09 pm

            aka chiken little,

            I look a basis healthcare as a right (not like other products & services bought with ones wages)…… what economically-advanced country OTHER THAN America doesn’t ?

            Obamacare at least takes care of some of the biggest issues (as I noted above).

            Seems like you & I will need to agree-to-disagree on this one ……….. as do El gaupo & I on NJ Police compensation.

          • Posted by aka chicken little on October 23, 2019 at 8:53 am

            And just how did you discern that one person can have a right to the goods/services produced by others? Oh! Great! The old everyone is doing it basis! Man’s Rights: you might want to work on it.

            And there is the epistemology of the thug. That’s basically what we’re talking about. To hell with civilization, let’s just take what we feel we are entitled to and whine and moan when others take too much. Which is basically why large numbers are bailing out of Jersey.

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 23, 2019 at 9:40 pm

            aka chicken little,

            Oh please, you’re changing what I’m saying.

            I’m NOT saying that (re healthcare …….. which I consider DIFFERENT than other goods & services) ………. “one person can have a right to the goods/services produced by others”.

            What I’m say is because Healthcare is DIFFERENT, a basic level of care should be afforded EVERYONE, paid for via taxes on everyone that reflect the ability to pay.

    • Posted by Anonymous on October 22, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      It should be at your local library today. It is at mine.


  6. Posted by NJ2AZ on October 21, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    El Guapo,

    how bout these Jets?


    • Everyone got on the bandwagon after the Dallas game. I didn’t. The spread should have been 14.5 to be fair. Line dipped because so many thought they were on the rise. Dallas was simply off. We saw what they did to Philly. Jets? They got shellacked just like the Giants did. Jones sacked 8 times and fumbleitis. Long fall here for football fans. I picked NE to repeat in the summer. $25 to win $185. Looking good so far. Lol.


      • Actually it’s $205 if they win. I also like thE Nats. Houston may be the slightly better team, but there is value on the Nats. They’ve won in the playoffs in comeback fashion and the sweep. Too much action on Houston. Line skewed in my opinion and may be worth a small bet on the Nats to win a decent amount. I’d say Astros chances 55-60%. But line playing like it’s 70-75% astros. Value there and I may jump on it.


      • Posted by NJ2AZ on October 22, 2019 at 10:47 am

        I thought it was funny that during the pregame they kept talking like the jets could give them a game. i didn’t expect a shutout, but i figured all along they would lose by at least three scores.

        if we had sports betting out here i would have bet pats to cover all day.


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