The Illinois Pension Crisis: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The state of Illinois is in deep economic trouble because of it’s bloated and underfunded pension crisis to the tune of $126 billion. Like Social Security, pensions are a giant Ponzi scheme. The first people in are assured a healthy payout; it’s those who retire later (and the taxpayers) who are left holding the bag.

Illinois pensioners most likely will ask for two things (1) raise taxes to bail out the failed pension system and/or (2) call on the Federal government to bail out the failed pension system. But the Federal government doesn’t have any money. The money the Federal government has is taken from taxpayers or floated as debt to be paid off by future wage earners in a future that keeps getting kicked down the road. The result will be that you and I (and our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren) will be called on to bail out a corrupt state’s economic failures.

Illinois isn’t the only state or city in pension trouble.

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That’s the bad and the ugly. Is there any good? When Justin Spittler asked Doug Casey what he thought of the Illinois’ debt crisis, Casey, of CaseyResearch said, “It’s absolutely wonderful.” Casey makes the point that crisis situations can lead to people being pushed to make necessary changes for the good. The failed policies cannot be continued with more failed policies. Unfortunately, governments too often attempt to fix a failed government problem with more government. We’re seeing it with Congress trying to fix Obamacare.

Here are some of Casey’s solutions. He begins with government education.:

The numbers vary, but typically it costs about $12,000 per year to educate a grade school student. It’s a completely absurd amount. Most of it is wasted on administration, bureaucracy, compliance, and overhead. But that’s not the point.

The point is that the state shouldn’t be in charge of kids’ education, because inevitably it turns into indoctrination. Teachers work for their employer, the government. The interests of the government are not necessarily those of either the children or the parents. State education works on the premise that parents are in general too ignorant and irresponsible to care for their progeny. And maybe that’s true — the proof being that they’re willing to send kids off to be incarcerated and indoctrinated by government employees for eight hours a day.

The bankruptcy of Illinois might push things in the direction of privatization and localization of education. Local schools generally get State and Federal funds, and have to obey State and Federal rules. Education necessarily becomes rote, non-innovative, PC, and one-size-fits-all. Teachers, which are less and less necessary in the Internet world, are roboticized and disincentivized.

This would be an Independence Day miracle if it happened. I’m not so optimistic…


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Gary DeMar

Gary DeMar was raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and Reformed Theological Seminary (1979). He has served as researcher and writer at the Christian Worldview ministry American Vision since 1980 and President since 1984. Today he serves as Senior Fellow at American Vision where he lectures, researches, and writes on various worldview issues. Gary is the author of 30 books on a variety of topics – from "America’s Christian History" and "God and Government" to "Thinking Straight in a Crooked World" to "Last Days Madness." Gary has been interviewed by Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, and Sean Hannity. He has done numerous radio and television interviews, including the “Bible Answer Man,” hosted by Hank Hanegraaff and “Today’s Issues” with Tim Wildmon and Marvin Sanders. Newspaper interviews with Gary have appeared in the Washington Times, Toledo (Ohio) Blade, the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Marietta Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Chicago Tribune.

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