Purchase your tickets via our Fringe Festival webpage. Don’t wait; once they’re sold out, they’re sold out!
Government, like most people, is better at some things than others. Some suggest that state and local governments have taken on far more than they can successfully manage, leaving them to lumber around, laden with responsibilities like Jacob Marley’s ghost.
What, then, is the “right” size of government? For those who want government to do less and “get out of the way,” what’s the best place to start cutting?
Some say that public pensions are the most obvious albatross around government’s neck. Many people in the private sector think of pensions as something their fathers might have had; a relic from the time of lunch-hour cocktails and company loyalty to employees. Yet many in the public sector still enjoy these retirement benefits.
Public pensions are a form of benefits that are offered to public employees with the promise that the government will pay regular installments to retirees. Some pension funds may be city, county, state, or even occupation based with separate funds set up for firemen, police, or teachers.
Many of the public pension funds around the country are unable to meet current needs and those over the next 30 years. In order to stay healthy, many funds expect returns of 8% in order for them to grow and meet their obligations. With the financial crisis and instances of mismanagement, many funds haven’t had good returns and some are bleeding money. These underfunded retirement promises can have devastating results for communities and some cities are even considering bankruptcy.
Critics say that it should not be the tax payer’s responsibility to pay for the retirement of different employees. One solution is to allow for individuals to invest their pension in the private sector and let it be a personal responsibility rather than one for every citizen.
Defenders cite that promises have been made to public employees and benefits and incentives are necessary in order to attract top talent. It’s responsibility for government to meet these obligations rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Join us when we explore this topic with Kim Crockett, the American Experiment’s Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. She is the Executive Director of Minnesota Free Market Institute at Center of the American Experiment. Prior to joining the Minnesota Free Market Institute, Kim served as corporate counsel to a national bank and had a long legal career in commercial real estate law.
Purchase your tickets via our Fringe Festival webpage.