Sunday, June 26, 2016

If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 23

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair

And therein lies the problem. Even the people who might benefit the most fear standing up for better ideas when their paychecks are put at risk by those whose paychecks depend on the status quo system.

Such was the case when another Greensboro mayoral candidate, George Hartzman, attempted to get the City of Greensboro to increase the retirement packages of city employees. John Hammer of the Rhino Times, lied when he wrote that George was only trying to sell his investment services to the City. I know because I set in on the meeting along with several other interested persons.

Councilwoman Hoffman slept through most of the meeting.

Just as she often sleeps through important city business meetings.

Mr Hartzman's plan was simple.

The companies that manage your retirement packages don't do so by guessing which stocks to buy and sell-- they buy a software program which does the buying and selling for them. And anyone can buy the software if you have the money.

Then these investment companies charge you a brokerage fee for running your money through their software.

All Mr Hartzman was trying to do was get the City of Greensboro to cut out the middle men so that the brokerage fees could be reinvested in the retirement accounts rather than in the pockets of the brokers and money market managers.

The Federal government uses the same plan George suggested. So do several cities across the nation where all their retirees enjoy a higher return on their retirement savings with no increased cost to the taxpayers.

Seems to me, if we can increase the retirement packages of city workers without increasing cost to taxpayers then that would be the right thing to do.

But the Greensboro City Council and  City Management weren't interested in increasing the retirement benefits of City workers despite the fact that it could be done so while reducing costs in the long run. Since no one on Council and no one on City staff every explained why the answer was no, I can only assume the quote by
Upton Sinclair above must explain the reason why.

And understandably, City workers didn't rise up for fear of getting fired.

If I were Mayor of Greensboro we would buy the software package and increase the retirement benefits of our City workers because it's the right thing to do for Greensboro.

Continue reading If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 24. And if you haven't read the rest of the series you can find it all at Billy Jones For Mayor Of Greensboro 2017.