LETTERS: Assault on public pensions must stop

To the editor:

As a board member of the Retired Public Employees Association of California, I am troubled by what I read in the editorial from The Washington Post (“Pension Reform,” June 28 Review-Journal). This editorial is yet another attempt to place all of the recent financial travails of state and municipal governments, and the whole economy it seems, on public pensions.

However, these allegations never mention the bad real estate loans made by banks and mortgage brokers leading up to the 2008 crisis. There is no mention of how these subprime loans were sold to Wall Street, where they were packaged and sold to an unsuspecting public, or how the federal government was forced to rescue the banks, Wall Street and the economy as a whole. Why?

The Detroit bankruptcy is prominent in the editorial, and a casual reader would be left with the impression that the bankruptcy was entirely due to public employee pensions and health care benefits. Yet I lived in Detroit for the first 15 years of my life, and even at a young age, I knew that the fundamental cause of the city’s problem was demographics, not public pensions.

To place the blame for Detroit’s bankruptcy entirely on public pensions is disingenuous, and the continuous assault on public employees and their pension and health care benefits needs to stop.



Don’t blame the Fed

To the editor:

I believe Tom Porter misses the point with his letter (“Federal Reserve deserves blame, not credit,” June 30 Review-Journal). The Federal Reserve’s expansion policy is pretty much the same thing as less regulations.

It wasn’t the Federal Reserve that made predatory loans; it was people and corporations taking the lack of, or easing of, regulations and making the loans. The Fed took no actions to make these loans. Let’s put the blame were it truly belongs.

When did we decide that “free enterprise” meant that corporations should be able to do whatever they want to do, no matter how many people they kill or how many watersheds they pollute, or how much damage they do to the environment? Many people are angry that the government did not prosecute these people, but it was the Republican-led congress that refused to fund the attorney general’s attempt to do so.

The Constitution gives Congress the right to regulate interstate businesses. Free enterprise means corporations are free to do what they want within the regulations provided.

I need someone to protect me from exploding Pinto gas tanks, the Corvair’s death-defying lack of cornering, Toyota’s acceleration problems, General Motors’ ignition switches, polluted lakes and streams, cancer from cigarettes, unbreathable air and the United States of the Koch Brothers.



Bicycle safety

To the editor:

The photo on page 3B on June 30 (“Riders try to beat heat”) illustrates the danger bicyclists put themselves in by ignoring common-sense rules. The cyclists are three abreast in a dangerous area near Red Rock, and the cyclist on the right is primarily in the car lane.

Too many accidents have occurred due to both cyclists and motorists not paying attention to each other. Many cyclists don’t abide by traffic rules. Many going through Sun City Summerlin and adjacent areas never stop for traffic signs. There will be accidents and injuries if they continue to ignore the traffic rules.

I’ve confronted several cyclists and have been told that the rules don’t apply to them. It’s too bad that accidents occur because of such stupidity.