Are pensions really ‘hard-earned’?

SHARE Are pensions really ‘hard-earned’?
SHARE Are pensions really ‘hard-earned’?

Your editorial on the fairness of pension cuts is good with one exception — you talk about the unfairness in scaling back “hard-earned pensions.” Do you mean to include in your definition of “hard-earned pensions” those educators who get large pay boosts in their last four years before retirement in order to provide a substantial boost to their pensions, or public officials who double dip and receive multiple public pensions of enormous amounts, or public employees who retire and receive more in an annual pension than they received in annual income while working? Are these the “hard-earned” benefits that might be unfair to scale back?

C. Davis,Oak BrookSEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com (Please include your neighborhood or town and a phone number for verification purposes.)

Hollow Jesse Jackson mayoral endorsementSo Jesse Jackson has endorsed Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for mayor of Chicago! Any mayoral candidate who wants to cut revenue and increase debt without disclosing a financial plan should be scrutinized a little more carefully before proclaiming him a candidate for the top job in an economically stressed metropolis such as Chicago.I find this endorsement to be downright irresponsible. Of course, the lure of 1,000 new cops on the street excites those who live like prisoners in gang-ridden neighborhoods, and it should.However, the reality is that time and money will not allow Mr. Garcia to bring such an endeavor to fruition. I’m waiting for the day that a mayoral candidate will address the real issue of crime in the streets. Poor parenting and lack of good fathers continues to feed the cycle of violence that is endemic to certain areas of the city.Instead of backing dubious mayoral candidates to sway the vote, perhaps Jackson’s time would be better spentimproving parenting skills and high school attendance among the affected communities . . . just sayin’Michael McClune, Tinley Park

The racial identification trapAmerica’s relationship with ethnicity isconfounding because racial tags are inherentlyarbitrary and irrational. Indeed”race”perse is a political construct meantto justify a host of iniquities that violate ourmost precious touchstones: The principlesof our nation’s founding documents; equaljustice; and our religious principles.

The mainstream press is supposed to bea neutral arbiter in such matters,butall, even the Sun-Times, fall into the trapimposedby thisillogic. Example:In its news report about the killing of theunarmed Tony Robinson by a white policeofficer in Madison, Wis., Robinson isdescribed as “biracial,” his father being blackwhile his mother is white. (P. 20,Nation/World, March 10.)

On the other hand, a more prominentman among us is described as America’sfirst “black” president, though his parentageis identical: black father, white mother.

What decides? A flipped coin? A newsroom vote? Editorial whim of the day? As such designations go, “biracial” atleast respects the existenceofbothparents.InObama’scase, his mother has unfairlybeencompletely written out of the picture andout of the nation’s consciousness.For sake of consistency and semanticrationale, please share your reasoning withyour readers, if indeed there is any rationalityto share.

Ted Manuel, Hyde Park

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