Tom Sgouros is a freelance engineer, policy analyst, and writer. Check out his new book, "Checking the Banks: The Nuts and Bolts of Banking for People Who Want to Fix It" from Light Publications.

One response to “Judges, Judicial Pensions and Judicial Impartiality”

  1. leftyrite

    In many ways, we are watching the emergency room care of a system that has only some idea of what hit it. It still gets up and hobbles along the highway because that’s what we humans do. 

    To expect logical consistency in these times is somewhat disingenuous. Maybe our next step will be to elect judges, as they do in a good part of the South. Then, at least, we’ll have a better idea regarding the personalities and interests in the community who want to influence the judicial system with their cash.

    In Rhode Island, all of that very real influence is largely undercover and not even remotely understood. It may also be why some smart money is wary of the old boys.

    It’s always been an inside game. Teachers and other public employees, who listened to the travails of their parents and grandparents, wanted a pension system in which entire blocs of public service monies, finally reaching almost ten percent of wages, would go to a defined benefits plan.
    They bargained in good faith.

    They were screwed by the organized family wealth, which extends, of course, to “banking” wealth, that exists in Rhode Island. No one, least of all fat-mink judges, were going to protect public sector financial rights if their own access to truly big money (come by at the expense of lesser mortals) would ever be jeopardized. 

    Hence, we get truly immortal rulings like the one that teachers in East Providence received from Judge Silverstein, which amounted to, “Hey, if the town can’t pay contractually agreed upon monies, it can’t pay. That’s all.”

    Deep.

    I wonder if he’d rule that way on bondholders, presuming that he would be allowed to do so.

    The problem goes beyond judges, pensions, and even judges’ pensions.  It goes to the rot in our system, rot that can still be addressed.

    But not if we continue to lie to ourselves and persist in paying nice people to gradually lose for us in genteel ways.

    Chafee and Raimondo aren’t even remotely adversaries. On entirely different income levels from most of those they oversee, they’re partners in whatever downhill slalom that what Wall Street engages in next.

    Justice? That depends upon consistently enforced due process. It depends upon the rectitude of the law, including those who write it, interpret it, and enforce it. 

    “You have too many beach houses to support, your honor. How can you possibly be expected to have balls?

    By the way, anyone heard from the state attorney general? Do we still have one?

     

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