by Max Brantley
Another 400-point drop in the Dow. The percentage drop of the S&P 500 was even worse. Bad, is what it is.
I don't mean to be alarmist. And I know that market watching should be a long-term thing. But, if this decline continues, it seems to me that, before too long, the big defined benefit pension plans -- public employees, teachers, cops, etc. -- are going to be in a world of hurt in resources vs. obligations.
Was it a bad idea to shorten the period of time that certain public employees must work before qualifying for a pension? Maybe. And continued public subsidy of retirees' health benefits? This, too, could be a subject for discussion sooner rather than later. I get no pleasure saying this as the spouse of a state employee.