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Late Night: This Is What Laziness and Stupidity Look Like

Clarence Page, everybody, being oh-so-reasonable and Very Serious:

But the Walker race is a dramatic example of a trend that doesn’t need super-PAC money. Public workers cannot rely on voters to be generous about their pensions and other benefits when so many of the voters’ own wages and benefits are suffering.

I am just going to get a fucking T-shirt that reads ASK ME WHAT DEFERRED COMPENSATION MEANS, so that I can start posting pictures of myself wearing it whenever somebody writes one of these stupid columns about overpaid teachers and firefighters who expect handouts from “the taxpayers” or in this case “the voters.” Public-sector workers, natch, not being voters, nor understanding how those fine upstanding citizens think.

On the day of Wisconsin’s recall election, for example, California voters in San Jose and San Diego decided to cut retirement benefits for current and future city workers. The measures easily passed with two-thirds of the vote in San Diego and 70 percent in San Jose. Since police and firefighters in San Jose, for example, reportedly can retire with 90 percent of their salary while some private-sector companies have eliminated pensions, voter backlash is not surprising.

Yes, because you get shot at by armed robbers often in the office park in the burbs, do you? Break up a lot of domestics over your donut break? Risk dying of smoke inhalation and/or massive burns to your entire body while on the treadmill at Bally’s? And while we’re on the subject, just because some middle manager at Intertrode or whatever doesn’t have a pension plan, how does that mandate that no one should have one? I don’t have a plane or a boat, but I really don’t have a problem with you owning either, so long as you shut the fuck up about how tough your life is in front of me, that is.

By the by, since the private sector is so very, very fiscally responsible, I suppose we’ll stop seeing stories about CEOs “exiting” companies they bankrupted, carrying severances so large they could invest in Facebook and still cure death in a year, right? Any day now?



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Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.