The Money Tap Will Go Dry
Thinking about old age while you're still young: Anywhere but San Francisco, Benjamin Wachs and Joe Eskenazi's article on pensions would be a prize winner ["Let It Bleed," Feature, 10/20]. Thank you.
I have a unique angle on city pensions. I am a retired San Francisco public safety officer. Ask me at 69 years of age, handicapped and unable to work to earn money, how much, retrospectively, I would pitch in during my working years for my "certain" pension of around $50,000 a year. They wanted 10 percent contribution, they got it. They wanted 12 percent, they got it. They wanted 15 percent, they got it.
When someone is 30, there is no way he can think or feel like a 69-year-old. What's important is that something is there when he retires. That is not possible handing out the golden pensions that the city does and is documented in this article.
James Joseph Corrigan
Bloated pensions will leave future retirees starved: Great article. Given the unfunded liabilities the city faces, the city will soon be effectively insolvent. I fear that union leaders have done a disservice to their members, especially the younger workers. A 25-year-old firefighter (or any other city employee) will be surprised upon reaching retirement age when he realizes he has no pension because the fund is depleted as a result of the unions overreaching at the bargaining table. This is a real possibility.
Public officials and CEOs were living under a rock: I am out of sympathy for city officials everywhere, and for leaders of companies like GM who now, all of a sudden, begin to decry the exorbitant cost of insurance premiums that jeopardize pensions. Where the hell have these people been? City officials, governors, and CEOs were in unique, well-informed positions of power and influence, but said virtually nothing about this issue until now. Where were they, when they might have led their constituents to Washington to testify in favor of a public option to reduce city costs in the name of fiscal conservatism and responsibility? No one asked this of me. I was aware of no decade-long outcry from municipal officials, united across the country, alerting us to these problems and demanding change. Now this comes to light too late, just in time for hand-wringing and laments about "the economy" in general. I don't know what it is with the human species and lack of foresight and the inability to raise holy hell in alarm when required.
Dive Bars + Baseball = America
Was Tim Lincecum in Dazed and Confused?: Okay, Katy St. Clair, so you don't care about baseball, and you find dive bars scary ["You Stole My Dope!," Bouncer, 10/13]. Those two reasons alone make you an unlikely candidate to review the Geary Club, and a bit un-American in my opinion. If St. Clair doesn't know who Tim Lincecum is, maybe she shouldn't be writing for a San Francisco paper. Then again, she is entitled to her opinion, and I'm sure she was attempting to be clever. However, when she makes a comment on a female bartender's appearance — someone who's trying to make a living and is actually a really sweet and caring woman – she merely sounds trite and mean-spirited. I'd love to see what [St. Clair] looks like in her 50s.
Showing love for a movie not seen: Thanks for the wicked article on Edward Norton and the movie Stone [Karina Longworth, Film, 10/13]. He is an awesome actor, and one I follow as much as Robert De Niro. I love how Norton really delves into the roles he's playing and is just such a great actor.