During those years, there were many astute investors and entrepreneurs who took risk with their, and others’, money to make themselves very wealthy. If they were smart, they either cashed out before the crash, or structured their investments such that they maintained their individual wealth after the markets swung in the other direction.
During this economic high tide, they had the opportunity to retire with great wealth.
While the economy may be depressed today, when the situation changes those individuals will again have the opportunity to accumulate vast sums of wealth.
Public employees will never retire rich.
They will serve the public honestly, well and competently. Then at the end of their careers, they may have their mortgage paid off, and be able to take a vacation once every year.
These are people who made a choice early in life to serve the public and contribute to making this country, state or municipality, the greatest that they can by their daily efforts.
They enter this career knowing that they will never be rich. Ethics laws prevent them from making investments in areas where they are experts and could become very wealthy.
Conflict of interest laws prevent them from working in industries where they could easily become wealthy with their expertise and knowledge. Public employees forgo the opportunity for great wealth in their areas of expertise for long-term security for their families instead.
The choices to either take risk and possibly become wealthy versus dedicating your education and service to the public benefit has produced the greatest country in the world to live in today.
We all need to respect this system and work towards solutions that provide improvements over the long term.
We should not demonize groups or individuals in an effort to win at all costs. While we are looking at rolling back benefits provided to public sector employees during years with better than average revenues, we should also apply roll-backs of benefits provided to those who chose not to serve the public in their careers.
There are many opportunities to increase revenues. Everyone needs to work towards the solution in a manner that builds this country. That won’t happen by demonizing public sector employees.
To submit a guest commentary, e-mail email@example.com