Merced County Times Newspaper
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Government Has Killed The Fatted Calf

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John Derby Headshot
John Derby

Editor’s Note: The following is from a Legacy column by Publisher John Derby that was first published 14 years ago, on May 26, 2005.

This beautiful state that we live in is the most prosperous in the nation, generating more income than most countries in the world. Yet it is on the verge of going broke under the weight of pension and retirement plans which no state or nation can afford.

Even though our legislators realize this, they continue to avoid the truth of the matter, putting off painful decisions until a later day, when the problem can only get worse.

We point our finger at GREED as the culprit.

Greed forces unions and government lobbies to demand more and more benefits for their members even though they realize it is simply a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Increase pension and retirement plans and the money comes from schools, health care, roads and safety services.

When there are plans in which the individual retires in her or his 50s and receives 90 percent of their full time work salary, it is a travesty. Nobody deserves that much retirement pay, no matter what his or her job is.

It is hard to imagine how some people can even spend the amount of money they receive in retirement pay, let alone the social security which is doled out to rich and poor alike.

The GREED penetrates every level of government, from the state down to the counties and cities. It shows its ugly head in local board meetings, and in back rooms where deals are made. It undermines almost every institution which exists.

Government is not solely to blame. We see GREED in private business, in big corporations and unfortunately in such little businesses as our own. And the problem is all mankind suffers because of it.

We don’t like to write about it because it will upset many of our readers … those who are receiving the ill deserved government pensions and retirement. However, unless something is done, this wonderful lifestyle which we share will all go down the drain.

California cannot continue to exist on the road it is going. We see cracks in the infrastructure right now fro one agency stealing from another. We see demands for more and ore money to be pumped into the cracks, but they continue to grow wider.

One day the dam will break and everyone will wonder why. What has caused this great state to deteriorate and finally dissolve under its own weight.

The answer is GREED!

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