Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CalPERS considers Chinese Water Torture method of restoring pension funding

Calpensions:
CalPERS is considering small increases in employer and employee rates over decades to reduce the risk of big investment losses, a policy that also would lower an earnings forecast critics say is too optimistic.

The proposal is a response to the “maturing” of a CalPERS system that soon will have more retirees than active workers. From two active workers for each retiree in 2002, the ratio fell to 1.45 to one by 2012 and is expected to be 0.8 to 0.6 to one in the next decades.

As a result, investment losses will trigger bigger California Public Employees Retirement System employer rate increases. It’s a kind of “leveraging” effect as the investment fund becomes increasingly larger than the payroll on which rates are based.

[...]

It’s a sea change from the late 1990s when CalPERS cut employer rates to near zero for two years and sponsored a large retroactive pension increase for state workers, setting a benchmark for local police and firefighter pensions critics say is unsustainable.

Awash in earnings from a booming stock market and a funding level that briefly reached about 135 percent, CalPERS told the Legislature that, due to “superior” investment returns, SB 400 in 1999 would not increase state rates for “at least a decade.”

A 17-page CalPERS brochure on SB400 distributed to the Legislature quoted former CalPERS President William Crist: “This is a special opportunity to restore equity among CalPERS members without it costing a dime of additional taxpayer money.”

[...]

A staff report on risk last November said employer contribution rates for many CalPERS plans are at record highs, exceeding 30 percent of payroll for more than 100 miscellaneous plans and more than 40 percent of pay for 150 police and firefighter plans.

“Employers are reporting that these contribution levels are putting significant strain on their budgets and limiting their ability to provide services to the people in their jurisdictions,” said the report.
This would mean Encinitas' pension costs continuing to rise faster than payroll costs for decades.

Across-the-board pay increases currently being considered by the Encinitas City Council would make the city's unfunded liabilities worse.

43 comments:

  1. Hey, wait a minute, city finances are just fine. Blakespear said so.

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  2. They really need to fire all that deadwood. I could name 15 midlevel managers that should be canned just like the losers Vina and Philipps. Why did we employ those losers soooo long. Fire 20% of the employees at City Hall and the citizens will see an increase in service, because the remaining 80% many just start giving a shit knowing their is someone that can replace them and do a better job.

    Start clearing the deadwood. Lets make City Hall bright, healthy and responsive.

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    1. I think that 15 is the short list. There are some who would argue that there are at least 15 in the Planning Department, and Jeff Murphy is asking for another position.

      Delete
  3. Staff has been so spoiled for so long, farming out their work to out of town expensive consultants doing the job they were hired to do and at great cost. If they are asked to produce something substantial, it always seems they have their hands too full to get around to it until it fits into their so busy schedules. What a bunch of cruisers we have allowed to get by with so little of value.

    Where else could this behavior be rewarded? Surely not in the private sector.

    I would hope our new to be city manager would clean house once he sees what he is stepping into. Check your shoes and watch your step.

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  4. Driving north along Vulcan this evening I feel like I should appreciate all that sunset watching parking on the bluff towards Swami's before it is gone.

    With the newest version of our so astute planners on the rail trail, you can kiss that overlook parking goodbye for your sunset and ocean views. Instead of having it on the 101 from Cardiff north to Swamis and on, Vulcan will be the route. How many parking places will we lose along that stretch from Cardiff to Encinitas?

    I hope I am wrong and I await any and all clarifications on what Planning intends to pursue with the rail trail.

    San Elijo and Vulcan do need their well defined bike lanes but the plans for this section of the 'trail' go far beyond sense. I wouldn't think the California Coastal Commission would approve the loss of so much public parking along the bluff east of the tracks with no at grade crossings except at Swamis.

    Does Planning really intend to pursue another tunnel under the tracks in Cardiff? We will will never get the now double tracks lowered if more tunnels are built. You can kiss that idea goodbye if the Montgomery crossing is not an at grade pedestrian only opportunity.

    Cost for an at grade pedestrian crossing is around $250,000. Not even close to what our mayor said would be $1.5 million. Maybe she was thinking of a traffic crossing. I surely hope so. When talking about these crossings, it needs to be stated, pedestrian or traffic. When this was discussed recently at the council meeting, no one separated the cost from pedestrian to traffic. The difference is a million bucks!!!

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  5. Chinese Water Torture, Chinese Fire Drill, Chinese Whispers, Gypped, Hooligan, Irish Goodbye, Sold down the River, Indian Giver, The Jig is Up, Cotton Picking...

    Something to think about perhaps?


    http://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/article/if-i-say-its-racist-will-you-still-be-my-friend

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    1. The title says "Chinese Water Torture Method." It is talking about a method and not Chinese people. If he simply said "water torture," many might assume it was "water boarding," which is an American torture method.

      I think 6:17's comment is a little oversensitive.

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    2. I had a Danish for breakfast. Is that racist?

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    3. How do you know that Varones is a "he"?

      Maybe the "C" in W.C. stands for Caitlyn....

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    4. Washington Redskins

      Notre Dame Fighting Irish

      Why is only one of these controversial?

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    5. The Washington Redskins fans are very embarrassed with their team name. From now on they demand to be called simply Redskins. Hail!

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    6. Because we live in a politically correct world where skin runs very thin, if the skin isn't white. And I'll get back to you EU whenever they correct the name of that pastry. Meanwhile, I'll snack on my white trash Smore's.

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    7. As an Irishman from the racist, Protestant South with two adopted Chinese girls, I can tell you that my skin is plenty thick.

      I hear all the time that I'm too sensitive, usually from affluent old white people. The term Fighting Irish is indeed stupid, but it's a form of self-identification and not at all akin to the term "Redskins," or non-Irish characterizations of my ancestors as little more than drunken brawlers.

      Similarly, the term Chinese water torture comes from a tradition of characterizing the Chinese as the strange and dangerous "others." The origin of this term, Houdini's water torture chamber, has nothing to do with China, and pairs a cruel and brutal practice with racist conceptions of a foreign culture. This at a time when non-whites were viewed as brutish subhumans. Look at the immigration laws and the ways people spoke about nonwhites -- or even southern Europeans. Perhaps a glimpse of the past would be instructive?

      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2meFiCUzPb0/UHyZz6xCHAI/AAAAAAAAKjc/9ZBDMDurtyQ/s1600/usd_chinese.jpg

      Also this

      http://www.thepublicprofessor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Anti-Irish-and-Chinese-nativism.jpg

      I have a couple of suggestions regarding that Danish, but I think they would probably be too subtle for you to understand.

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    8. "affluent old white people"

      Congratulations! You have just outed yourself as racist, ageist, and classist, all in one sentence!

      It's a pity you didn't say something homophobic, or you could have hit for the cycle.

      Delete
    9. 4:16, Because PC hasn't invaded the Irish yet, here's proof we have thick skin.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j67MZXY33c0

      "Chinese Water Torture" was around long before Houdini and it wasn't mentioned on the poster you supplied, only suggested with the cartoon character. He just needed a hook for his parlor trick and at the time, our common torture of Water Boarding wasn't handy, so the intrigue and mystique of a demonic Chinaman spiced up the ad for his act.
      Intent is at the heart of any comic sketch. That's why Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles is still funny - even though he went WAY beyond today's PC boundaries. If a comic cannot exaggerate features, woe to their caricatures.

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/caricature?s=t

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    10. So your defense is that an offensive racist term had earlier origins and is therefore somehow magically less offensive, and EU's defense is that because I point out that American racism is predominately espoused by scared old white people it's somehow less racist?

      Well played.


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    11. 6:15, no. I fail to see how the term Chinese Water Torture is racist or demeaning in either the context of the Houdini poster or the title of this thread. Please explain.

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    12. If you cannot see how using a term that refers to an abhorrent practice from the Spanish Inquisition that was suddenly attributed to the Chinese during the height of anti-Chinese racism in this country, then you are either incredibly dense or are being purposefully obtuse.

      Again, I refer you to the linked document above.

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    13. The Spanish Inquisition used Chinese water torture?

      I had no idea. Seems rather mild and slow compared to most Inquisition methods.

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    14. 1:01, All torture is abhorrent. So stop torturing yourself with that Houdini cartoon.

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  6. There will be parallel parking along San Elijo, or better yet, ride a bike down to watch the sunset.

    The theoretical amount of parking along San Elijo is irrelevant if it never gets used to capacity. Name one time when cars have all parked door to door, all head in parking, and filled San Elijo from Jack in the Box to Swamis. Never happened.

    The net reduction in capacity by switching from head in to parallel will be ~30% (my estimate). But the amount of parking that remains will still never get filled completely.

    I think the city made the right call on the right of way alignment, but they should reverse course and pull the plug if they can't get the rail crossing by the school. The fence destroys home equity and access for hundreds of homes, which is unacceptable.

    --FP.

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    1. The SANDAG workshop for the rail trail at the Cardiff School got very heated. Many of the residents along San Elijo wanted the trail along 101. Not so unreasonable when south of Chesterfield the trail will go onto 101 to cross the lagoon to Solana Beach.. The segment of San Elijo from Jack-in-the-Box to north of the school frequently fills up. When the surf is up on a sunny day during the weekend the south and north segments certainly fill up.

      Already San Elijo/Vulcan is carrying much more traffic. It's being used as a cut through street to avoid the traffic lights and sharrows on 101. All one needs to do is check it out during commuter hours. And putting sharrows in one lane of San Elijo won't make things better.

      Let's not forget that this is a SANDAG project. The city doesn't pay for it. The city only has to approve it. To the council it's free money. The attitude is use it or lose it, no matter how ill-conceived a project is. The rail trail is in response to SANDAG's loss in the Cleveland National Forest lawsuit and is mitigation for freeway widening. This is why it's being pushed ahead quickly. The money could be better spent on improving rail crossings, a quiet zone, and double tracking, but this doesn't fit SANDAG's agenda.

      The truth is that SANDAG doesn't have the money for its plans. Most of the freeway widening and double tracking is scheduled for 2020-2030. Most likely the project schedule will be extended, unless big money comes in from Washington. Why are we spending $6 - $8 million on a project that's hard to justify as a priority? A rough trail already exits.

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    2. If they don't have the money, then why do you care?

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  7. This is strange. According to Jeff Murphy, we did not qualify for SANDAG funds since we do not have a complete Housing Element. Huh.

    Also, is Planning performing the in-house Housing Element by proxy?? I thought that we were already paying planners to do it they have already hired at least one new planner. Why have they spent six-figures on consultants to do the job that they are paid for?

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  8. Now council is going after another under the tracks tunnel instead of an at grade pedestrian crossing in Leucadia. They are trying to kill any chance of the double tracks ever being lowered. For $250,000 instead of how many millions to tunnel under, ???? They must have money to burn that we don't know about. Speaking of burn, lowering the tracks won't happen if they get their way. For the cost of a single tunnel, we could have a dozen pedestrian at grade crossings. I know what I would choose for the greater good. Why don't they see this?

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  9. My first comment was literally a conversations starter with background literature to consider.

    There are deeper discussuions therein. As for your failure to recognize the offensive term for what it is, offensive to reasonable people, this is a common response from people holding a white priveleged world's views to say that your worldview ignored the pain and hurt their words inflict on others

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    1. So you would like to lead the conversation away from underfunded pensions? Underfunded city pensions is the topic of the blog.

      According to Catherine Blakespear's article in the Coast News, Council paid an additional $260,000 into the pensions. She did not discuss how much we are still falling behind.

      It would have been nice to apply the $431,000 to that debt instead of paying it as a fine to the Water Boards and making a donation to San Elijo Lagoon. However, I agree with the poster who keeps bringing up road repairs. According to the Nichols report, we were already close to $50 million behind when it was written about five years ago.

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  10. Yeah sure. Funny I can't find one reference of a Chinese person online ever butt hurt over the term. But I guess there's a first time for everything. Especially if a new PC rule can blossom from nothing with imaginary consternation. But I do commend you for adopting two children, no matter what race they may be.

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    1. Happy Father's Day 4:16!

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    2. perhaps you should learn to read Mandarin?

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    3. The original link I posted would also be a good place to start.

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  11. Cartoon guidelines for the New World Order:

    1. Possession of cartoon illustrations depicting any non-white race are no longer permitted by law. Caricatures exaggerating the features of said humans are racist, hurtful and are only amusing to haters.
    2. Unflattering cartoons of whites such as Popeye, Olive Oil, Brutus, Whimpy, Family Guy, Marge Simpson's sisters, Mr. Burns, Cartman, Pigpen, Beavis, Butthead, Billy Barty, Howdy Doody, Mr. Mackey, Professor Farnsworth, Peppermint Patty, Zippy the Pinhead etc. will still be tolerated until the feelings of rich. fat, old white men might someday be hurt.
    3. Distasteful and demeaning cartoons of space aliens such as Jar Jar and Java the Hut should also be discontinued / destroyed, lest we offend potential space brothers one day, who would otherwise descend to meet us on peaceful terms.
    4. Cartoons of the animal kingdom only are permitted until harmful repercussions are detected in mammals, quadrupeds, fish, insects, reptiles etc. Animals which bear a resemblance to non-white humans however will not be tolerated.
    5. Until further notice, the white race seems to be the only group mentally unharmed by any caricature rendering of themselves, but we must all reserve the right to change that when the first one shows signs of depression, regarless of weight, age, sex, wealth, creed, politics or religious persuasion.
    6. Meanwhile, artists everywhere are encouraged to continue drawing Mr. Hankey until further notice.

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    1. White race? Is the Stormfront website down again?

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  12. The cartoon below is from the 1800's by a Chinese artist. It shows Chinese officials killing westerners depicted as a pig and goat Arrows shot into the animals made sure they were dead, hanging on a cross no less.

    Racism isn't the sole property of occidentals, but the intent behind the cartoon link below has nothing at all in common with the sentiment in Houdini's poster that celebrated his death defying feat. Thurston the magician traveled the world in search of real magic. He returned pretty disappointed. He came back with one impressive "East Indian Rope Trick" and built a show around it. Like most magicians, his posters always echoed exotic lands and peoples - usually adding a macabre imp or two.
    I never followed Houdini's history of travel, but I know he was fierce competition for Thurston for a few decades.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_issues_in_China#/media/File:1900_killing_of_foreigners.jpg

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Thurston-Balaam-Donkey-Classic-Magic-Poster-17x24-/250434241144

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    1. To be fair, they're not using water in that cartoon.

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    2. So you're excusing racism in 2015 by referencing the 19th century? High standards.

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  13. 8:30, You still have not explained why Houdini's poster is racist. You've only claimed it is. In the magic world that's called redirection. Have a nice life.

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    1. I'll type slowly this time:

      Similarly, the term Chinese water torture comes from a tradition of characterizing the Chinese as the strange and dangerous "others." The origin of this term, Houdini's water torture chamber, has nothing to do with China, and pairs a cruel and brutal practice with racist conceptions of a foreign culture. This at a time when non-whites were viewed as brutish subhumans. Look at the immigration laws and the ways people spoke about nonwhites -- or even southern Europeans. Perhaps a glimpse of the past would be instructive?

      Delete
    2. I think that most of us have moved past these baseless perceptions held earlier last century.

      I for one would like to move away from the Sociology 101 discussions and get back to Encinitas pensions since that is the actual focus of this commentary.

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    3. 8:37, To say strange and dangerous Chinese torture was baseless in the 19th century ain't so.

      Warning: gruesome imagery link

      http://scribol.com/anthropology-and-history/brutal-torture-and-execution-in-19th-century-china-disturbing-images

      But obviously, cruelty is not limited to any race, so no one can ride their horse too high.

      5:08, Thanks for typing more slowly explaining your interpretation of racism. You seem to be keen on whites viewing non-whites as sub-humans, while ignoring non-whites viewing whites as pigs and goats. Whatever floats your boat.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_issues_in_China#/media/File:1900_killing_of_foreigners.jpg

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    4. Meanwhile, Asian-American children still face widespread, state-sanctioned discrimination in university admissions...

      ... but let's talk about "Chinese water torture."

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    5. 6:00, Thanks EU. Yes, back to the original subject and question everyone wants answered on this thread! How DID Houdini escape that doll goned contraption?

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