Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

6 responses to “Reuters Blog Blasts Raimondo’s Actuarial Acumen”

  1. Samuel Bell
  2. PinkHatLib

    “But, way more importantly, shouldn’t this be what the former venture capital millionaire is good at – investing the state’s money?”

    It’s dangerous to draw conclusions by comparing a single year of data to the average. I’d say that’s especially true at the start of the treasurer’s term. Did you similarly blame Obama for the poor economy in 2009? This on strikes me as more about taking sides in the upcoming governor’s race.

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  3. Sully

    “So maybe I spoke too soon when I said I trusted Gina Raimondo’s actuarial acumen earlier this week. But, way more importantly, shouldn’t this be what the former venture capital millionaire is good at – investing the state’s money?”

    Bob,

    Did you actually read the report or were you in too much of a rush to bash Raimondo to bother noticing that the report reference the 10 year rate of return for the year ending 6/30/10. You may recall that Raimondo was elected in to office on November 2, 2010.

    It worth noting too that it really does not matter what the rate of return is if the goverment is not contributing sufficient cash into the fund. The the state and local pension plans have missed out not only on the actual funds themselves that should have been contributed to the plans, but they also lost out on whatever investment growth they would have gained of the last 5, 10, 20, 30 years had the funds been contributed when they were due.

    Once of the biggest pluses for pension plans was that the particpants retirement benefits are not dependant on the stock market, like they are in a 401(k) plan. However, it is now clear that depending on the state and loocal governments to make the necessary payments to properly fund pension plans is much riskier than the stick market. 

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  4. leftyrite

    How much better it would be to weather the whole crisis with some sense of justice floating in the air. Or even beginning reform.

    Why do teachers, just to name one of the affected groups, have to take whatever is handed to them?

    It starts at the top. Obama is a great talking points guy, but he is essentially a loner who is coming out of a very unique experience. He is not, from what I can see, a coalition builder beyond election time.

    How can coalitions be built? Suppose the NEARI and the RIFT had their own blogs, just as ambitious as this one. Suppose both groups hired halls and brought in powerful speakers from the state, region, and nation. Suppose that educators, over time, constructed a narrative that truthfully used facts and figures to demonstrate that the same people who were responsible for the out and out wrongdoing that caused the crisis are now running the show.

    Suppose that the most motivated people met and talked regularly to shape the substance and  strategy of reform.

    I’ve been to the last few tired statehouse demos. They’re not worth much anymore, except to tire out the rank and file and make them feel like they’ve done something.

    I took away an important fact from this article; namely, that our pension fund investments are underperforming (2.47% yearly returns on average) as opposed to the national median (3.4%).
    That’s almost a full percentage point less in returns, as applied to billions, during desperate times.
    Where’s the accountability there?

    Granted, I’m a retiree, and I don’t pay dues anymore. But I did for three decades and more.
    Why am I reading this at R.I. Future and not on the state NEA or AFT blogs?

    Why do our labor organizations lag behind public opinion?

    Why don’t they try to build coalitions that will move it? 

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    1. Jonathan Jacobs

            Lefty, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment and shape of your response. Public opinion seems to fall behind common sense here, in part, due to a sense of last place aversion. “If I can’t have it, why should they?” I’ve worked in both the public and private sectors. I’ve worked in non-profit and bottom-line based industries. I’ve worked within a union as well as directly for a union.

      What I see is this: top-end, corporate interests look to wherever they see the slightest hint of open space on which to prey in the name of business success. If they can profit from anything at all, they will. And anything that stands in their way – morality, common-decency, art, culture, living wages, etc. – are branded as weaknesses, useless entities, and and obstacles to be overcome and reconstituted as quarterly profits. The public sector is one more of those vacuums to be occupied by the private, for profit sector. Education, public safety and administration, entitlements and public welfare (to name a few) are demonized by a very effective marketing campaign using a “your tax dollars are wasted here” strategy. The public sector also happens to be the last bastion of union influence with a percentage of membership capable of influence. So, in the name of efficiency (according to the private sector campaign) those pesky unions must go.

      I think now is the time for unions to break back in to the realm of social relevance. The collective can stand up to the one percent and fight to hold on to living wages and retirement security. I agree that coalitions need to step up their investments and their game out of triple A ball and into the big show and push for tax fairness, retirement security, living wages and healthcare before the Banana Republicans reinstitute a feudal system of American Aristocracy and the rest of us who beg for table scraps in the country we built.

      But it does start right here. The middle class doesn’t hold the press anymore. We don’t hold the airwaves, the newspapers (or what is left of them), the networks. We do own our voices and we have the one advantage of the truth.

      I apologize for becomiong lofty on a thread that was originally played well by Mr. Plain as very specific. But there is an interconnectedness that, in my humble opinion, must be brought to light. None of us in the public sector went into our jobs with any grand hopes of acheiving great wealth. We went into the job hoping to make a living, a difference and earn security into our retirement. Those are values worth fighting for.    

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  5. leftyrite

    Jonathan:

    Lefty does not think you lofty.

    Lefty is glad that he has one more friend.

    Have you read John M. Barry’s, Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul ?

    If not, give yourself a treat and read about a guy who truly believed in Rhode Island, someone who wanted it to stand for something.

    (I’m so relieved that, today, I’m a less isolated “nut”!!  Thank you.)  

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