CriticalMASS Top 10 Reads of the Week (April 22, 2011)

The Death of Right to Work – Editors [Wall Street Journal]

We knew that Big Labor had political pull at the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board, but yesterday’s complaint against Boeing is one for the (dark) ages. By challenging Boeing’s right to build aircraft in South Carolina, labor’s bureaucratic allies in Washington are threatening the ability of states to compete for new jobs and investment-and risking the economic recovery to boot… Read the Rest

Dodging the Pension Disaster – Josh Barro [National Affairs]

When Dan Liljenquist began his first term as a Utah state senator in January 2009, his financial acumen quickly earned him serious legislative responsibilities. A former management consultant for Bain & Company, Liljenquist was appointed by the Utah senate president, Michael Waddoups, to three budget-related committees; he was also made chairman of the Retirement and Independent Entities Committee. As Liljenquist remembers it, Waddoups pre-empted any concerns the freshman might have had about his new responsibilities: “Don’t worry,” Waddoups said, “nothing ever happens on the retirement committee.”

But then, in the early months of 2009, the stock market went into free fall. Worried about the effects the market crash would have on Utah’s public-employee pension plan – which, like most states’, is invested heavily in equities – Liljenquist asked the plan’s actuaries to project how much taxpayers would have to pay into the pension fund in order to compensate for the stock-market losses. The figures that came back were alarming: Utah was about to drown in red ink. Without reform, the state would see its contributions to government workers’ pensions rise by about $420 million a year – an amount equivalent to roughly 10% of Utah’s spending from its general and education funds. Moreover, those astronomical pension expenses would continue to grow at 4% a year for the next 25 years, just to pay off the losses the fund had incurred in the stock market… Read the Rest

PLUS:

Steyn on decline

RedState on what a year’s worth of union dues could pay for

Green on DeepWater Horizon one year out

Goldberg on the Donald

The Onion on Mitt’s critics

and more at CriticalMASS

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