Against Government Pensions: The Early State Constitutions

One of the Socialist Institutions that makes life so miserable for the lower classes in America is the obligation to pay governmental pensions to a vast number of retired citizens, both private and governmental. These pensions ultimately bankrupt the State, which leads to inflation and social chaos. The private citizen pension-recipient is the Social Security Pensioner who worked for a private business or was self-employed. The governmental citizen is the Federal worker, Congressman or other politician, retired military receiving some form of pension, and State or County worker receiving a pension.

All these violate one of the most fundamental principles of the American Revolution, which was enunciated in most State Constitutions. It ran, “That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.”

This “Fathers of the Constitution” Principle clearly bans any “emoluments” going to public servants except as salary. “In consideration of public services” clearly refers to labor done. The retired worker does no labor or “services” for the government or his former employer. Once they retire from service, they should be entitled to nothing further from the public taxpayers.

There is no reason why these people could not set up their own retirement plans with private companies, and certainly a well-run, well-capitalized pension fund could easily be set up by one of our famous “public-spirited” deca-billionaires, or a consortium of such, which would provide a pension system equal, if not better, than the current Federal Social Security system.

I would also not object to a fund set up and administered by the Government, as long as all liabilities, costs, and short-falls would be born solely by the pension fund participants, and not the general taxpayer. But in that case, the Government fund would not differ fundamentally from a private fund, though it would fulfill the patriotic fervor of those on the Left who thing the Government is the greatest invention since The Pill.

In Oregon, a Democrat-Administered State with many poor people and much crime, there are currently at least 1,195 former State workers receiving annual pensions of at least $100,000/year. The Kitzhaber and Brown Administrations have continued to increase the State’s Debt so that it is in the high $80 billions range, equating to a personal debt share of about $28,000 for each of the 3 million Oregon State Residents. Add this to a child’s burden of $160,000 share of the $20billion Federal Debt, and you see that a child born in Oregon already owes the Democrats and Republicans $188,000. No wonder he’s howling at birth! This clearly shows the extreme Injustice that soon flows from Socialist governmental programs, and clearly shows why the Founding Fathers were so adamant about preserving Individual Rights and Liberty, and why they were so wary of governmental power.

They knew that Power Corrupts, and Jefferson had stated that Government was evil, though perhaps necessary, and because Government had Power and Power always Corrupts, it was therefore necessary to keep Government as small as possible, and to set up various checks and balances on the power of Individuals in Government.

Compared to anything else that had gone on before in World History, what the Fathers of The Constitution (and mostly Jefferson) produced was nothing more than the most Libertarian Doctrine that had ever existed since Magna Charta. And unlike the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the Americans declared that these Inalienable Rights applied to All Mankind, not just Englishmen, although the Americans had to take it not too seriously so they could continue with their filthy slave trade — the quintessential antithesis of Libertarianism.

America should return to its Libertarian roots, and get government off the backs of the newborns and the lower-paid workers. They have no responsibility to pay cushy pensions to anybody, and if they feel they have such a responsibility, they are free to exercise it through charities or private companies.

Those who have paid into government pension funds should, of course, have those paid-in funds returned with the accrued interest.

Let’s abolish these immoral contracts that the newborn have no say, power, or vote on. Let’s abolish governmental pensions.

—Paul Grad, Libertarian Party of Oregon Gubernatorial Nominee 2014

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5 thoughts on “Against Government Pensions: The Early State Constitutions

  1. This is a very nice essay, and very well written. How would you answer the criticism that these public employees made a deal, a contract, with the state. And part of that contract was their pension?

    1. Offhand I’d say that these State Contracts were illegal and unconstitutional in the first place, and therefore had no validity. And I’d base that conclusion on those early State Constitutions which forbade any remuneration other than for public services performed. PERS is destroying Oregon. 1.Nf3!

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