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Opinions and comment that caught our eyes over the last couple of days:
• You’d think there were temperance wagons rolling through the sandy streets of the coastal neighborhoods the way some folks get indignant about the “beach booze ban” approved by voters in 2008.
Despite Fran Zimmerman’s remark that it isn’t in anyone’s interest to “revisit [t]he citywide vote against alcohol-drinking at area beaches just because some guy who clearly wants to drink at the beach wrote a letter,” there are plenty of people who did want to revisit the booze ban.
Baltore Savanalco: “The people that live in those areas are the rowdy beach drinking frat boy type.”
Nicholas Sacco: “Nearly 47% of San Diegans voted against the ban. Why not allow a space for those 47% … to enjoy their beaches as they see fit?”
Tim Sullivan: “We have become such a nanny state that I cannot believe alcohol is still legal.”
Dryw Keltz: “I think there may be one or two citizens of Egypt and Libya who would argue the minor scuffle that occurred in PB that day fell far short of a riot.” (backstory)
• Steven Greenhouse writing in the New York Times about states moving workers away from guaranteed pension plans and toward 401(k)-type retirement savings plans, explains that:
California’s problems are so acute that just last week a government-appointed commission of experts urged the state to consider at least a partial switch to 401(k) plans; six years ago, an effort by Arnold Schwarzenegger, then governor, to move new employees into such plans was blocked by local governments and public-employee unions.
There’s no mention of cities with similar proposals, including the one for San Diego put forth by Mayor Jerry Sanders, which we wrote about last year and several times since.
Discussion of the Times story and six related op-eds on Room for Debate’s Facebook page includes comments by a couple of San Diegans. John Kern writes there in two comments,
Interesting, and valid, point: “Risk seekers and high turnover workers tend to prefer 401(k) plans; but do taxpayers prefer those characteristics in a public employee?” … I have often thought, in the debates over regulations and government control and pensions etc., that too little attention has been paid to the type of people, and the culture, of those who work in government.
Dawn Gifford offers words of caution against the optimistic shows of the plan-pushers:
I joined a 401k with employer match as a bene from my first job out of college 20 years ago. We had a choice of about a dozen mutual funds. When I left three years later, I rolled it into an IRA low-risk mutual fund. Today, that IRA is worth LESS than it was when I rolled it over 17 years ago. I don’t expect to ever see returns on it, frankly. My dad lost most of his retirement money in the latest crash too. Surely we can find a better way than to bet our retirement on all the Wall Street crooks that brought us to this mess in the first place?
When this issue was discussed on our site in January, reader Judy Jacoby made it plain that she thinks government reliance on 401(k) plans is a mistake:
A 401K is not a pension and the whole concept is likely to bring this nation down if that is the only support we are going to allow our working and middle classes to have in their senior years. Pensions are what every American who works most of their lives should be entitled to. Why do we think our seniors should be homeless, and in poverty? No one I know of can live off their 401K.
That’s pretty similar to a view is expressed in this 2009 Time magazine article: Why It’s Time to Retire the 401(k).
• Numerous commenters join VOSD CEO Scott Lewis in expressing outrage at the idea that Liberty Station is blighted, including Tim Colthurst, who may have had a revelatory moment:
Redevelopment is a prime example of “waste, fraud, and abuse,” so maybe I should reexamine my political label. Could I really be a LINO (liberal in name only)? Could I be a closet tea-partier?
Items quoted here may be lightly edited for spelling, grammar, or style (such as using proper capitalization, removing extra exclamation marks, or fixing obvious typos). Send comments you’d like to have included here to Grant Barrett, engagement editor for voiceofsandiego.org: email@example.com or (619) 550-5666 or @grantbarrett on Twitter. Dagny Salas contributed to this article.