Friday, August 04, 2017

Friday Reads

This article is as good as any as to why I never had children.

I am convinced I would have died or my body would have been negatively impacted if I had done it.

This is good news.

Pew needs to be under scrutiny for its push for lousy "cash balance" plans for public pensions.

Pew really made its mark promoting cash balance plans in Kentucky. In 2013, employees of Pew, working with the Arnold Foundation, convinced the Kentucky legislature to adopt a cash balance plan for future public employees in the state. They promised that a cash balance plan would solve the problem of Kentucky’s notoriously underfunded public pension plans. Kentucky’s public pensions were underfunded because the state had for years deliberately avoided making its full payment to the pension systems. Had the state simply met its obligations to public employees and taxpayers, Kentucky’s public pensions would be in much better financial shape.

Pew trumpeted the adoption of the cash balance plan as a “successful public pension reform.” In reality, though, moving to a cash balance plan has failed to fix the problems facing Kentucky’s public pension systems. Rather than improving the “fiscal health of the pension system by billions of dollars,” Kentucky’s pension funding level has continued to fall. That’s because the problem was never with the design of the pension plan, therefore, changing the plan design didn’t solve the true problem: mismanagement by the state. Now the state’s current governor, Matt Bevin, is pushing to hold a special legislative session to consider further pension changes. Gov. Bevin is openly pushing for a complete conversion to a 401(k)-style plan, which also will not address the root cause of the underfunding problem. Rather than fixing the problems facing Kentucky’s public pensions, switching to a cash balance plan only opened the door for further changes down the road.

John Arnold is a pension-hating asshole.

Obituary: Musician Goldy McJohn, of Steppenwolf fame, died of a heart attack. He was 72.

Born John Raymond Goadsby May 2, 1945, in Toronto, he was known best publicly by the stage name he adopted in 1965. Following stints in a number of Toronto-based bands in the 1960s, McJohn formed Steppenwolf in 1967 with two bandmates from the Sparrows, singer John Kay and drummer Jerry Edmonton, as well as two Americans, guitarist Michael Monarch and bassist Rushton Moreve.

McJohn’s use of a Hammond B3 electric organ in a hard-rock setting became a signature part of Steppenwolf’s sound, and the group found widespread success with 1968’s “Born To Be Wild,” which was featured in the movie “Easy Rider” and went on to sell more than 1 million copies. Also featured in the film was Steppenwolf’s “The Pusher,” a song penned by the folk singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton.

The band followed up with more hits, notably 1968’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and 1969’s “Rock Me.” Both were top-10 tracks in the U.S. along with “Born To Be Wild.”

Obituary? According to a post on Home Theater Forum, actor Ty Hardin, known for his starring role in one of the vintage Warner Brothers TV westerns, Bronco, has passed away at the age of 87.

He was a colorful character. At one point, and perhaps until he died if he did die, he was a far rightist, founding some kind of anti-tax group following his having trouble with the IRS, and this damaged his career. He was known to have been very religious from childhood.

I will update this story as more information comes out and this isn't just rumor.

Update: According to James Drury's assistant, the death is indeed true. This from Drury's Facebook page:


No comments: