We are paying the price for bad pension-fund decisions

SHARE We are paying the price for bad pension-fund decisions

The Chicago Defender’s former headquarters at 2400 S. Michigan Ave. Losses on the building were park of $54 million lost by Chicago’s pension funds in real estate deals. | Sun-Times files

Regarding your article on “Chicago’s Pension Fiasco” in Sunday’s paper, when this deal was first reported a “dozen years ago,” I thought it did not seem very financially prudent for the five pension funds to invest millions of dollars in a newly formed realty firm with no history. Besides, the involvement of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew, Robert Vanecko, surely raised some red flags. I also wondered if the investments were made to gain favor with the mayor or was the mayor pulling strings behind the scenes. No matter what, we are paying the price for such bad decisions.

Mario Caruso, Lincoln Square

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Investigate the felon

Let me understand: A convicted felon and a registered sex offender with an active parole violation warrant out for his arrests opens fire on a Cicero police officer. The officer was shot four times: twice in the arm and once in the leg and abdomen respectively. The convicted felon is shot once by either the wounded police officer, the officer’s patrol partner or a citizen with a concealed carry permit.

The final sentence in this article, “Illinois State Police are investigating the officers’ use of force.”

Really? Why aren’t we investigating how the felon managed to leave California with an active warrant? Why did the active felon have a gun?

Why are we not praising our police officers, and the hero who stepped in to assist these officers? We should be embracing the police, not the felon.

Georgeann Georges, Lisle

Not that simple

Mona Charen’s column is a fooler (“Work Alone Will Never Be Enough to End Poverty in America,” Sept. 14). Only at the end does Charen identify her candidate for the second factor in poverty: the breakdown of the family. She even suggests that if only low-wage workers would marry and combine their incomes, they and their family could leave poverty behind and enter middle-class nirvana.

If only it were so simple. Charen asks, rhetorically, “Who thinks work alone is sufficient?” One answer is all the governors, legislators, and bureaucrats who would impose strict work requirements on those who need aid with basics like health care (Medicaid) or food (SNAP). If only “they” would work, or work more, they wouldn’t need government help.

Somehow, whether its a “failure” to work or Charen’s more subtle “family dissolution,” the blame and the burden always fall on those struggling to make ends meet.

David McCurdy, Elmhurst

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