Green projects (like California’s bullet train from Victorville to Las Vegas, supposedly to protect the environment) and buzz words like “sustainability” are all the rage. So much so that Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg in traveling the globe like an environmental Stephen of Cloyes, and Nicholas of Cologne (Children’s Crusade of 1212), spreading the doom and gloom about global warming. In fact, San Francisco is painting a mural of Greta to raise awareness for her environmental crusade.
But where is the Greta Thunberg for government fiscal responsibility and pension reform? THAT is a real problem too!
Consider this graphic from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center showing the fiscal health of states. Pension-laden states like Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts are last the US in terms of fiscal health. Primarily due to overpromised public sector pensions. (Note: Virginia is currently the 13th healthiest in terms of fiscal condition). Illinois is the worst.
How bad is the fiscal condition in Illinois? They are leading the midwest in net outmigration (and poor Indiana is seeing a positive net immigration, some from Illinois). Of course, tax crazy New York is seeing a large net outmigration, but it isn’t as bad as Illinois!
Chicago is so bad that even Snake Plisken won’t live there! Chicago has the largest pension debt to revenue burden of any major US city.
But Chicago and Illinois aren’t the only places with bloated pension debt and liabilities. In terms of unfunded pension liabilities per household, Alaska leads with $102K per household, followed by the home of the costly bullet train from Victorville California to Las Vegas at $86K per household.
So given the massive and growing pension liabilities that will ultimately explode (pension promises are protected under law, so you can’t just cut them).
Speaking of the Children’s Crusade of 1212, the recent Chicago teacher’s strike is using children to push for higher salaries, etc.
We need a Greta Thunberg to argue for fiscal responsibility in order to maintain a sustainable future.