To the Editor:
Anyone who’s happened upon an edition of The Oregonian of late knows that that journal has embraced a one-track calling to bring financial grief to any and all Oregonians who’ve retired by PERS (Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System). To read The Oregonian is to learn that PERS and its retirees are to blame for everything that keeps public education in this state from fulfilling its mission. Now, that paper tells us, too, that public employees in Washington and Idaho pay more of their own way for retirement benefits, which tells me that they’e simply less progressive than Oregon.
Since The Oregonian’s criticisms of PERS are so rabid, the reader of that paper begins to wonder the reason behind such single-minded contempt for a segment of the state’s population.
It’s just so strange that The Oregonian (with help from Salem’s Statesman Journal) that journalists at both papers would not consider it blatantly unfair, even persecutive to keep up this mindless slamming in concert with the likes of a Les Miserables’ Javert! To keep finding that PERS and its retirees are the only way in which revenue can be raised for public education purposes and that PERS retirees must pay for it is mindlessly ridiculous!
Are they not also educated enough to be aware that when any contract is broken that court proceedings follow? Do they not remember that when the last time this sort of thing was tried that it was found unconsitiutional? Further, instead of providing a knee-jerk response to anything their Chambers of Commerce demand of them, The Oregonian and Statesman Journal might want to wise up and become thoughtful and responsible, looking to others, like the state’s wealthy and corporations, to pay their fair share of the cost of public education as well as to meet the public needs of a functioning society.
Gene H. McIntyre