Huge pensions for retired government workers can be found from small municipalities to national governments on both sides of the Atlantic. There is a reason. For elected officials, pensions are virtually the ideal thing to spend money on, politically speaking. Many kinds of spending of the taxpayers' money win votes from the recipients. But...
"Inflating the currency and paying pensions in dollars that won't buy as much is just one of the ways for the government to seem to be keeping its promises, while in fact welshing on the deal." We all wish, Dr. Sowell. Many government pensions have annual COLA adjustments, and furthermore, the formula can not be changed after they are granted; in some cases by law; in others, because of amendments to the sate constitutions to hard wire these right in for government retirees. Thus, the rests of us are doomed to carry this ball and chain for the class of government mandarins. There is no inflating away this problem - COLAs won't allow it.
A nation's choice between spending on military defense and spending on civilian goods has often been posed as "guns versus butter." But understanding the choices of many nations' political leaders might be helped by examining the contrast between their runaway spending on pensions while skimping on military defense.
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