In Frankfort, the Republican leadership is meeting in secret to discuss pension reform. These leaders will proudly trumpet the hidden talks as prudent in light of the escalating scrutiny of this issue. But in reality, it is cowardly. Rumors are flying that newly hired state workers and teachers, as well as those who have passed or are approaching their standard retirement year will be forced into investment-type pensions.
There are various reasons why this will fail and wreck the pension system, but the one overriding reason is what it will do to the appeal of public service. Public service has always drawn dedicated and creative young people based on an opportunity to help make the world a better place, steady pay and a simple, yet solvent, retirement.
If the retirement is no longer solvent or possibly not even there, depending on the economy, what young person would even consider public service? Why would they not look first to the private sector where the retirement would be more solid, the pay higher and the opportunities just as plentiful? That will be the real cost of the closed-door meetings in Frankfort.
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