Who the F*ck is Dan Loeb and How Is He Connected to Teacher Pensions and School Reformers?

Dan Loeb Third Point LLC

Dan Loeb
Third Point LLC

By Elaine Magliaro

I have focused much of my time lately doing research on anti-teacher/anti-tenure school reformers—including Campbell Brown, David Boies, and Michelle Rhee. In my post about school reformer/star lawyer David Boies, I noted how certain names kept “popping up in the groups leading the charge to eliminate due process for teachers and to establish more charter schools.” It seemed almost “incestuous” to me. I provided a little breakdown of the connections between the people serving on the boards of organizations hoping to eliminate teacher tenure.

I’m re-posting that breakdown for you here:

– Adrian Fenty is a member of the Board of Directors of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). Fenty was the mayor who hired Michele Rhee to manage the schools in Washington, D.C.

– David Boies serves on the Board of Directors of Campbell Brown’s group Partnership for Educational Justice—as does Joe Williams who is the Executive Director of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER).

– David Boies, Michelle Rhee, Eva Moskowitz (CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools), Joel Klein (former New York City schools chancellor, chair of the Broad Center and, head of Amplify—the education division of Rupert Murdoch’s  News Corp.), and Campbell Brown’s husband Dan Senor all serve as members of the Board of Directors of StudentsFirstNY.

– Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein also serve as members of the StudentsFirst National Board of Directors.

– Campbell Brown Serves on the Board of Directors of Moskowitz’s Success Academy.

Dan Loeb and Public Pensions

One name that I failed to include in my breakdown was Dan Loeb. I also neglected to point out that some so-called school reformers are eager to eliminate defined benefit pensions for public school teachers. You may be wondering who the f*ck Dan Loeb is and what he has to do with teacher pensions and school reform. Loeb is a co-founder of StudentsFirstNY. He manages a hedge fund known as Third Point LLC. (FYI: It has been reported that Loeb earned $380 million in 2012.)

Edited to add: Loeb is also a member of the Board of Directors of Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy Charter Schools.

In April 2013, Matt Taibbi wrote the following about Loeb:

Dan Loeb…is on the board and co-founder of a group called Students First New York. And the national Students First organization has been one of the leading advocates pushing for states to abandon defined benefit plans – packages which guarantee certain retirement benefits for public workers like teachers – in favor of defined contribution plans, where the benefits are not guaranteed.

In other words, Loeb has been soliciting the retirement money of public workers, then turning right around and lobbying for those same workers to lose their benefits. He’s essentially asking workers to pay for their own disenfranchisement (with Loeb getting his two-and-twenty cut, or whatever obscene percentage of their retirement monies he will charge as a fee). If that isn’t the very definition of balls, I don’t know what is.

It’s one thing for a group like Students First to have an opinion about defined benefit plans in general, to say, as they have, that “today’s district pensions and other benefits are not sustainable and contribute to a looming fiscal crisis.” But it’s another thing for a CFO of Students First like Rebecca Sibilia to tweet the following just a few weeks before one of its state chapter board members asks for money from a fund like CalSTRS:

Outdated & underfunded #pension systems like CALSTERS break promises to #teachers#edreform #thinkED http://huff.to/15vdALJ  via @HuffPostEdu

That’s a hell of a sales pitch for Loeb to be making: “I belong to an organization that thinks you’re all dinosaurs. Now give me a hundred million dollars.”

Taibbi said that Loeb isn’t the only hedge fund manager with a “God complex” who takes money from public employees while “simultaneously” working with StudentsFirst. He added, “Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp. is another – he’s on the SFNY board with Loeb and manages $15.7 million from the School Employees’ Retirement System of Ohio.”

Dan Loeb, Other Hedge Fund Managers, Gina Raimondo, and Public Pension Reform in Rhode Island

Last October, I wrote a post for Res Ipsa Loquitor titled A Glimpse of Public Pension Reform in Rhode Island: Who’ll Lose Benefits? Who’ll Get Rich?

(Note: Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, is the State Treasurer of Rhode Island.)

Here’s an excerpt from my post:

According to Matt Taibbi, the state of Rhode Island declared war on public pensions and rammed “through an ingenious new law slashing benefits of state employees with a speed and ferocity seldom before seen by any local government.” Gina Raimondo spearheaded this effort as a means to avert a “looming pension crisis.” Raimondo’s reform plan—known as the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011—was “hailed as the most comprehensive pension reform ever implemented.” Reportedly, some people in the state were “overwhelmed” and didn’t know how to react to the pension reform being instituted in their state. Paul Doughty, president of the Providence firefighters union, was quoted as saying: “She’s Yale, Harvard, Oxford – she worked on Wall Street. Nobody wanted to be the first to raise his hand and admit he didn’t know what the f*ck she was talking about.”

Maybe that’s the way Raimondo, a Rhodes Scholar, wanted it. After all, people can’t complain about the bad things that might happen to their retirement pensions and benefits if they don’t know what’s really going on.

Taibbi said that no one was aware “that part of Raimondo’s strategy for saving money involved handing more than $1 billion – 14 percent of the state fund – to hedge funds, including a trio of well-known New York-based funds: Dan Loeb’s Third Point Capital was given $66 million, Ken Garschina’s Mason Capital got $64 million and $70 million went to Paul Singer’s Elliott Management.” These hedge funds will be paid “tens of millions in fees every single year…” Taibbi adds that Loeb, Garschina and Singer all serve on the board of the Manhattan Institute, “a prominent conservative think tank with a history of supporting benefit-slashing reforms.” (Note: Raimondo was named the Manhattan Institute’s “Urban Innovator” of the year in 2011.)

In my RIL post, I also wrote the following:

So…this is Raimondo’s plan for pension reform: Cut retirees’ benefits to save the state money. Then use the money saved by cutting retirees’ benefits to pay huge fees to hedge funds. Does that sound like fiscal responsibility? What kind of pension reform is that?

Reuters reported last fall that Raimondo’s “bold” pension reform legislation “eliminated cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for public pensions and moved all new employees out of traditional pensions and into defined contribution plans.” In addition, it froze current workers’ accrued benefits and raised the retirement age. Reuters said that the pension changes were being challenged in court.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sued “the state in Rhode Island Superior Court, saying the pension changes violated public workers’ contract rights.” Steve Kreisberg head of collective bargaining for AFSCME said that Rhode Island workers were “made to bear the biggest burden of the pension overhaul. He added that “the state should have also raised taxes on corporations or wealthy residents to help defray some of the pension costs.” Imagine public employees in Rhode Island being upset because they were going to lose some of the pension benefits that they had been promised!

It appears Rhode Island officials were worried that they might lose in court. That’s probably why they hired the celebrated star attorney DAVID BOIES to help defend against the unions’ legal challenges to the pension cuts! Bob Plain (RI Future.org) reported that Boies was “defending Raimondo and her pension plan at a great discount…” Boies “said he agreed to take the case because he believes that pension changes are needed across the U.S.”

Rhode Island Public Radio (RIPR) reported in April of this year that Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter had denied the state’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the 2011 overhaul of Rhode Island’s pension system. RIPR said that in her ruling Taft-Carter found that there was “an implied in-fact contract” between the state and the public employees challenging the pension overhaul.

Interesting, don’t you think, that Dan Loeb and David Boies serve together on the board of directors of StudentsFirstNY, a local affiliate of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst national organization that “has been one of the leading advocates pushing for states to abandon defined benefit plans?????” Don’t you find it interesting, too, that both men are involved with Gina Raimondo and what’s going on with public employees’ pensions in Rhode Island?

A Few More Bits of Information about Dan Loeb and StudentsFirstNY

Evidently, Loeb is “escalating” a battle over public worker pensions between hedge fund managers and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

From Bloomberg:

Daniel Loeb, founder of Third Point LLC, is escalating a battle between hedge-fund managers and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten over public-worker pensions.”

Loeb, who manages $13.6 billion, had fellow hedge-fund chiefs Paul Tudor Jones, David Tepper and Paul Singer applauding in the ballroom of Manhattan’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel last month as he donated an extra $1 million to a group of charter schools to show his opposition to the head of the second-biggest U.S. teachers union.

In April, the union included the four billionaires on its “watch list” of money managers that support groups the labor organization said are hostile to traditional public pensions. The groups included StudentsFirst, an organization that backs eliminating tenure and funding charter schools at the same level as public ones.

“Some of you in this room have come under attack for supporting charter-school education reform and freedom in general,” Loeb told the audience. To show opposition to Weingarten, the “leader of this attack,” Loeb, 51, boosted his pledge to the nonprofit Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, where he’s a director, to $3 million from $2 million.

States and municipalities seeking to boost returns for their retirement funds have invested billions of dollars with hedge funds. The AFT wants pension trustees to consider fund managers’ ties to groups that oppose defined-benefit retirement systems as a reason when hiring or firing them. Critics say that threatens the managers’ livelihoods.

From NYSUT:

StudentsFirst NY, an arm of the national StudentsFirst organization headed by former Washington, D.C., Chancellor Michelle Rhee, was officially formed this spring “to counter the influence of the teachers’ union in New York,” according to a headline in The New York Times. State Director Micah Lasher, the former director of state legislative affairs for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said the group’s aim is to raise $10 million annually for five years.

On the board are some polarizing figures in public education including Rhee, former chancellor Joel Klein (now a News Corp executive) and Eva Moskowitz, a former New York City councilwoman who now runs charter schools.

Other board members are hedge fund managers Daniel Loeb and Paul Tudor Jones, founders of the Robin Hood Foundation. Once Obama supporters, Loeb and Jones have crossed party lines to help the Republicans defeat him in this year’s election. One of the group’s first actions in New York was to urge people to call for an end to senority-based layoffs for teachers.

From Crooks and Liars:

Dan Loeb – Loeb’s name might not immediately come to mind when thinking of education reform, but that’s because his focus isn’t on the quality of education as much as getting his hands on those pension funds teachers have set aside for their retirement. Loeb also has a personal axe to grind with Randi Weingarten, after she called him out for his work with StudentsFirst’s efforts to convert teachers’ pensions to 401k plans while simultaneously bidding to manage those same funds

StudentsFirst and Michelle Rhee – You may have noticed that the one consistent thread running through the first four Horsemen [Charles & David Koch, Rupert Murdoch & Joel Klein, Walton Family, Dan Loeb] is StudentsFirst. Every one of the Horsemen has either funded or is on the board of that organization. While StudentsFirst is carefully packaged to appear non-partisan and indeed, even liberal in origin, it has one single goal: Kill teachers’ unions by promoting charter schools. Rhee has partnered with the American Federation for Children, a Betsy DeVos project to privatize education and bust teachers’ unions. I include StudentsFirst as a proxy for the other, less obvious corporate interests backing all efforts to break the AFT and other unions, like the US Chamber of Commerce, and hedge fund billionaires. StudentsFirst speaks for them.

From the New York Post (April 17, 2013)

“If someone is making money from workers’ capital, they shouldn’t at the same time be trying to destroy the very same plans,” Weingarten told The Post. [Note: Randi Weingarten is president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT.)]

Loeb is the first investment manager to be targeted through a new campaign spearheaded by the AFT, whose members have a combined $800 billion in retirement funds.

Meanwhile, at least two public-employee funds invested in Loeb’s Third Point are taking steps to pull their cash from his fund.

One, the $12.4 billion Illinois State Board of Investment, wrote an April 12 letter to adviser EnTrust Capital, which invested $31 million of the pension’s cash in Third Point.

“It would be troubling and embarrassing to now find that one of the firms retained by Entrust on [our] behalf is using the fees paid by [our] participants to work against their interests,” wrote Executive Director William Atwood, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Post.

 

MucketyMap

SOURCES

Pensions, hedge fund managers, David Boies (RI Future.org)

A Glimpse of Public Pension Reform in Rhode Island: Who’ll Lose Benefits? Who’ll Get Rich? (Res Ipsa Loquitor)

Dan Loeb Simultaneously Solicits, Betrays Pension Funds (Rolling Stone)

Rhode Island Public Pension Reform: Wall Street’s License To Steal (Forbes)

The debate over Rhode Island’s pensions (Reuters)

Rhode Island Pension Case Continues As Court Hears Arguments (Huffington Post)

Taft-Carter Rejects State Motion to Dismiss Pension Lawsuit (Rhode Island Public Radio)

Loeb Opposes Teachers Union on Pensions as Asness Quits (Bloomberg)

Dan Loeb (Sourcewatch)

Reform group? Don’t be fooled (NYSUT)

Rick Berman Aims At Teachers Union President, Makes It Personal: Who is leading the charge against teachers’ union president Randi Weingarten? Choose your favorite billionaire (Crooks and Liars)

The Man Who Wants to Protect (and Eliminate) Teachers’ Pensions (Washington Monthly)

Hedge Funders Say It’s ‘A Badge Of Honor’ To Be Targeted By ‘Thuggish’ Teachers Unions (Business Insider)

The American Federation Of Teachers Sent Out A Big Watch List Of Hedge Funds ‘Attacking’ Their Pension Plans (Business Insider

Flunk you, Loeb! Hedgie asks for teacher $ but battles pensions (New York Post)

Billionaire Dan Loeb Turtles, Flees Investor Conference, After Political Affiliations Exposed (Rolling Stone)

AFT spotlights investment managers’ unsavory connections (AFT)

Hedge fund mogul Cohen hired legal titan Boies: source (Reuters)

Landmark pension reform faces legal challenge (Brown Daily Herald)

Brown and Senor take on New York teachers (Muckety)

Rhode Island’s Pension Lesson: Unions blow up a settlement to defeat a Democratic reformer. (Wall Street Journal)

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17 Responses to Who the F*ck is Dan Loeb and How Is He Connected to Teacher Pensions and School Reformers?

  1. Elaine M. says:

    The American Federation Of Teachers Sent Out A Big Watch List Of Hedge Funds ‘Attacking’ Their Pension Plans
    Julia La Roche
    Apr. 18, 2013
    http://www.businessinsider.com/aft-watch-list-of-hedge-funds-2013-4

    Excerpt:
    The American Federation of Teachers, a labor union that represents teachers, sent out a “watch list” for hedge funds who might have an opposing stance on their defined benefit plans (DB plans).

    The report has a list of hedge funds and hedge fund managers AFT believes are attacking pension plans.

    “This is about transparency- a right to know,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said about the report. “America’s workers and pension trustees deserve to know if the asset managers they are investing their hard-earned retirement savings with are also aligned with organizations advocating for the elimination of those same pension plans. Students First, the Show-Me Institute and the Manhattan Project are actively opposed to defined benefit pension plans. With transparency and disclosure, trustees can make informed decisions about the risks their plans face.”

  2. Elaine M. says:

    Marriage of Convenience: Behind the Alliance of Hedge Funds and Charter Schools
    By Owen Davis
    July 1, 2013
    https://indypendent.org/2013/07/01/marriage-convenience-behind-alliance-hedge-funds-and-charter-schools

    Excerpt:
    What’s the best way to strike at a teacher’s union?

    Fund a charter school.

    At least that’s the tactic Daniel Loeb, CEO of the hedge fund Third Point LLC, has employed in his ongoing feud with the American Federation of Teachers and its president Randi Weingarten. Since it’s rare for hedge funders to link their support for charters so explicitly to union opposition, the episode makes for a rare glimpse into the minds of the charter-smitten investor class.

    As Bloomberg has it,

    Loeb, who manages $13.6 billion, had fellow hedge-fund chiefs Paul Tudor Jones, David Tepper and Paul Singer applauding in the ballroom of Manhattan’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel last month as he donated an extra $1 million to a group of charter schools to show his opposition to the head of the second-biggest U.S. teachers union.

    In April, the union included the four billionaires on its “watch list” of money managers that support groups the labor organization said are hostile to traditional public pensions. The groups included StudentsFirst, an organization that backs eliminating tenure and funding charter schools at the same level as public ones.

    “Some of you in this room have come under attack for supporting charter-school education reform and freedom in general,” Loeb told the audience. To show opposition to Weingarten, the “leader of this attack,” Loeb, 51, boosted his pledge to the nonprofit Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, where he’s a director, to $3 million from $2 million.

    His audacity here is deflated only slightly by the fact that he’d just backed out of a conference for fear of facing aggrieved teachers.

    Of course “supporting charter-school education reform and freedom in general” isn’t what the AFT opposed in publishing the list. According to the AFT, “Some asset managers have directly backed initiatives that harm the retirement security of plan participants, to whom trustees have a fiduciary duty.” Essentially, the list aims to steer unions from investing their pensions with firms whose politics endanger those very pensions.

    In the eyes of the AFT, Michelle Rhee’s reform organization StudentsFirst is the chief culprit among the list’s nonprofits. StudentsFirst supports altering the defined-benefit program. Loeb happens to be a “co-founder” of StudentsFirst, and he sits on the board of its New York chapter.

    Incidentally, so does Eva Moskowitz, CEO and founder of Success Academy, the beneficiary of Loeb’s vengeful philanthropy. Moskowitz’s strident opposition to unions and aggressive expansion tactics have made her a lightning rod of charter school criticism. But the sponsorship of hedge-funders and their lot makes for remunerative spectacles like last month’s $7 million orgy of a gala.

  3. Elaine M. says:

    Why Hedge Funds Love Charter Schools
    By Alan Singer, Social studies educator, Hofstra University
    5/20/14
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-singer/why-hedge-funds-love-char_b_5357486.html

    Excerpt:
    In April I posted, The Dishonorable Andrew Cuomo Meets the Hedge Fund / Charter School Zombies. In an online comment, Huffington Super User William Occam challenged me to provide “evidence that any of the individuals you have publicly shamed in this essay stand to financially gain from their support.” I responded at the time but feel he merits a more detailed answer and I would like to take another shot at the hedge fund / charter school zombies. I also recommend a YouTube satire, the Education News/Comedy Show, by my colleague Mark Naison of Fordham University.

    *
    Obscure laws can have a very big impact on social policy, including obscure changes in the United States federal tax code. The 2001 Consolidated Appropriations Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, included provisions from the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000. The law provided tax incentives for seven years to businesses that locate and hire residents in economically depressed urban and rural areas. The tax credits were reauthorized for 2008-2009, 2010-2011, and 2012-2013.

    As a result of this change to the tax code, banks and equity funds that invest in charter schools in underserved areas can take advantage of a very generous tax credit. They are permitted to combine this tax credit with other tax breaks while they also collect interest on any money they lend out. According to one analyst, the credit allows them to double the money they invested in seven years. Another interesting side note is that foreign investors who put a minimum of $500,000 in charter school companies are eligible to purchase immigration visas for themselves and family members under a federal program called EB-5.

    The tax credit may also explain why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg partnered with the former mayor of Newark, New Jersey to promote charter schools, donated a half a million dollars worth of stock to organizations that distribute charter school funding, and opened his own foundation, Startup: Education, to build new charter schools.

  4. Elaine M. says:

    Wall Street Helped Raise $7.75 Million For The Charter School At War With Mayor de Blasio Last Night
    By Julia La Roche
    Apr. 29, 2014
    http://www.businessinsider.com/success-academy-spring-benefit-gala-2014-4

    Excerpt:
    Loeb is one of a handful of fund managers that’s become heavily involved in education reform efforts, particularly by working with charter schools.

    Success’ founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz said that Loeb is someone who always has “great ideas” and is “incredibly engaged” when it comes to charter schools…

    Campbell Brown, who was honored for her work advocating on behalf of charter schools, said that Loeb is like a Marine when it comes to fighting for charter schools.

    “Dan Loeb has been a great partner in crime for the last couple of years and nobody is more dedicated to this cause than he is,” Brown said. “When I think of Dan Loeb, I think of the phrase used to describe is the U.S. Marine’s, ‘There is no better friend and no worse enemy.'”

  5. James Knauer says:

    Elaine, thank you for exposing this. Loeb is the absolute worst sort, someone who thinks money turns into brains if you just have enough of it.

  6. Mike Spindell says:

    Elaine,
    I’m always fascinated by the biographies of the people who demand “reform” for those whose experiences they never had. Little Danny Loeb for instance:

    “Loeb, the son of Ronald and Clare (née Spark) Loeb, grew up in Santa Monica, California, and attended Palisades Charter High School. At the school, he took AP classes, started a skateboard company and was nicknamed “Milo Minderbinder” by one of his teachers (after a character in the novel Catch-22 who had a fascination with the stock market). His father was a partner at the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella LLP and general counsel for Williams-Sonoma. His mother is a historian.

    Loeb’s great-aunt, Ruth Handler, created the Barbie doll and co-founded Mattel Inc. In 2009, Loeb told an audience “I associated success in business with Hot Wheels and Barbie dolls. I think it was a very powerful enforcer early on to like business.”

    Loeb attended the University of California at Berkeley for two years and subsequently graduated from Columbia University with an economics degree. By his senior year at Columbia, he had made $120,000 in the stock market, but lost it all on an investment in a firm called Puritan-Bennett Inc. The loss taught him a lesson, he later said, in “overconcentrating positions”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Loeb

    So we have yet another “self-made” son of wealth, growing up in a privileged community and not attending a regular public school system, pontificating on the “failures” of our Public School system, while advocating a new system that will derive to his financial benefit. I loathe these self satisfied bastards who were born on third base and thought they hit a triple. I haven’t done so, but I imagine that if you look at the history of most of those urging “school reform” you would find similar backgrounds.

  7. Mike Spindell says:

    Incidentally, “Milo Minderbinder” in “Catch 22” was a loathsome war profiteer, if you know the book and so the nickname is rife with negative connotations.

  8. Elaine M. says:

    Mike,

    The faux school reformers get all the good press these days–sad to say. They pretend to be do gooders–but pull back the curtain and you find out what they are really up to. Take Eva Moskowitz, the founder of Success Academy Charter School, as an example. She makes nearly a half million dollars a year as CEO of the Success Academies. I read somewhere that the top sixteen NYC charter school executives earn more than the chancellor of NYC public schools.

    Unfortunately, most members of the MSM choose to believe the hogwash that the pseudo school reformers spew. They might learn something, however, if they decided to “follow the money.”

  9. Mike Spindell says:

    “Take Eva Moskowitz, the founder of Success Academy Charter School, as an example. She makes nearly a half million dollars a year as CEO of the Success Academies.”

    As a Director of Budget in NYC’s HRA back in the 80’s I first learned about the con game run by many “non-profits”. I found this out because part of my job was to analyze the budgets of non-profits responding to City RFP’s. In every case the salary differential between the top executives and the workers was astounding. Many social workers were paid much less than they would be paid for similar Civil Service Positions and had far fewer benefits. When I retired from the City as an Executive I moved into an executive position with a non-profit. I built a division from scratch in the Borough of Queens that represented about a 30% increase in the non-profits bottom line. The difference was because I knew both budgets and contracts I insisted that my Directors and workers receive higher pay, just as I had negotiated for myself. I could prove my case with actual figures and so prevailed. Three years later, after creating the organization, they “laid” me off and replaced me with someone who made much less money and was far more manipulable. The entire system of independent contractors, who will do the work of civil servants, has always been pretty much a scam. When a CEO of a Charter School company can make high salaries, while underpaying their staff, the quality of what will be produced is bound to suffer. It is not hyperbolic to state that ALL of these people are Fraud committing Fraud, no matter how legal it may be deemed to be.

  10. Thanks Elaine. As a public school teacher you have just set my head spinning but again I am grate ful. Unfortunately as you have set me on a research task I am off with nothing to add.

  11. Elaine M. says:

    Caitlyn,

    I believe the motive for the “school reformers” push for evermore charter schools and school vouchers and the elimination of teacher tenure and public pensions with defined benefits is the privatization of public education…and the destruction of teacher unions.

  12. blouise says:

    Elaine,

    Last weekend I was at a large birthday party for my youngest grandchild. One of the guests, a stanch republican who has often voiced her strong opinions against teachers’ unions and their “inflated pensions”, was talking about her upcoming retirement and how glad she was to have PERS (Public Employees Retirement System here in Ohio … she works in an office at a state college so is a Public Employee who qualifies for PERS).

    I couldn’t help myself. With a smile I asked her, “Do you honestly think that after the republicans have destroyed the teachers’ unions and taken their pensions that they won’t then move on to destroying PERS and take your pension? If I were you I’d retire sooner rather than later in hopes of getting at least some of what you’ve been promised.”

    I know … I know …

  13. Elaine M. says:

    Blouise,

    Lots of folks don’t understand what’s going on. The one percenters and powers-that-be like it that way. Keep the little folks fighting amongst themselves while they are being robbed blind by the Wall Streeters, et al

  14. blouise says:

    Elaine,

    A friend of my mother’s down in Akron got into the Charter School business when it was a relatively new thing. Eight years later the “investors” started calling and the year after that she got out. She told my mother that all they were interested in was money and she wanted nothing more to do with it. She went back to teaching in the Public Schools.

    I haven’t seen her since my mother died and I’m sure she’s retired by now. She saw the writing on the wall, so to speak, and got out with her ideals and principles intact.

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