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I like the idea of 401(k)s for every public official and instead of pensions. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the private sector now with a pension, so I find it hard to stomach working over my lifetime to build up only my own savings and investment, only to be taxed to pay the oft-reported on lavish pensions and health care of public employees.
As far as stock options go, I can think of nothing more short-sighted. Look only to the pattern repeated over and over in the news headlines where option laden CEOs and officers of companies (take 2008 Wall Street for example, or many tech companies in 2000), standing to make millions on a particular quarter’s worth or years’ worth of results to act in ways that are extremely short-sighted (and sometimes quasi-illegal) to enrich themselves at the expense of the long-term good of the company. Doesn’t sound like a 30-year-performance recipe to me. Instead it sounds like a way for public servants to leverage their positions for short-term gain, at the expense of the public good.
Dan Palmatier lives in Encinitas.
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