The Hunger Games was the first book in a widely popular trilogy and was a blockbuster movie when released back in March.
The story is about the triumph of the individual spirit over despotism. Selfless sacrifice trumps selfish manipulation.
There is a game played throughout most of the fifty states, including California…and at the local level, especially the City of Los Angeles.
It’s called the Whining Games and no one plays it better than the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
Governor Brown’s modest pension reform package was barely introduced when the LAPPL issued a release condemning it as something short of draconian, “attacking hard working public sector workers.” That’s right, Governor Brown, the enemy of the public employees.
While Brown’s plan does not go far enough, it is probably the best deal one could have hoped for given the union-backed legislature he had to convince to vote for it. There is still a chance parts, if not all of it, could be reversed or neutralized over the years. It does nothing to reduce the unfunded pension liability, the very thing that will eventually curtail an already diminishing menu of services to the citizens of California.
The LAPPL is frightened even though the bill does not affect cities with pension plans independent of the state, such as Los Angeles’ retirement systems.
Just as in The Hunger Games, those in power fear any attempt to challenge the selfishness of the status quo. The LAPPL wields considerable power with the City Council. It is part of a triumvirate which includes the DWP’s IBEW and the Coalition of City Unions, dedicated to draining the general fund, making it difficult for the city to sustain services.
The LAPPL treats Brown’s package, or any other reform measure, as an attempt to terminate defined benefit plans.
Nothing is further from the truth. The objectives of pension reforms have been to shield the taxpayers and residents from the market risk and carrying costs of generous plans. San Jose’s and San Diego’s efforts are excellent examples of government intervention on behalf of their citizens.
Everyone wants the best possible compensation and benefits, but forcing others to pay too much of the costs is unacceptable.