Is This Irony, Or What?

Let's see if I follow this:

  • Public employee pension funds have vast sums invested in private companies, and the investments are managed by big Wall Street investment firms.

  • They do this because they aren't stupid: investments in the private sphere (however "risky") are the best way to accumulate wealth for their clients' retirement.

  • Public employee unions have impact in directing where those sums are invested, and by whom.

  • So their threat to withdraw investments from a company or brokerage firm can influence that company's policy.

  • According to this article from the New York Post, (via Prof Bainbridge), they are in fact attempting to use that clout to browbeat those companies into not publicly supporting diversion of Social Security taxes into private, personal accounts.

  • In short, they're using the influence generated by their private investments to try to make sure ordinary shlubs don't get to invest the same way they do.

Liberal compassion for the little guy strikes again?

Liberal respect for open, free debate?

Well, none of that applies when you're looking to maintain your power. The Post article explains how this makes sense in those terms: the classic pension funds will probably lose their importance under a system of reformed Social Security.