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PENSION NEWS: A laughable ignorance of history and economics is no excuse for spreading nonsense

For reasons known only to those who refer to massive pension theft as "reform," one of the more ludicrous examples of an ignorance of history arises every time someone repeats the crazy statement from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and legislative leaders that the so-called "reform" of the state teachers' pension system passed at the end of 2013 will "fully fund the pensions by 2045..."

Let's thing about this for a minute in the context of 2014 and the anniversary we are celebrating this year: the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the so-called Great War. We have to at least consider what an ignorance of history leads to, although it's clear that most members of the Illinois General Assembly and most candidates for governor and lieutenant governor seem to get more of their history from Hollywood than from studying the reality of the contours of the past and the economic realities of capitalism.

Imagine someone projecting the future from January 1914 to, say, December 1945? Of course, that person would have realized that Franz Joseph would be dead. After all, the Emperor of the Austria Hungarian Empire. But an end not only to the Austrian, but the Russian (Czarist) and the Ottoman (Turkish) empires, too? And that's just for starters. No... Anyone who had projected "history" forward like our legislators in Illinois are doing to promote their latest so-called reform would clearly be a foolish person.

But maybe an earlier century, say, 1814, would work? In 1814, the United States had just watched its capital burned by the British, whose empire was just beginning to rise. American slavery was probably going to "end" because it wasn't completely profitable and because the British had banned the slave trade, right? So therefore by 1845, a smart person would know that there would be no slave problem in the USA, and that...

Maybe 1714?

Or 1614?

Politicians have to simplify reality. Otherwise, guys like Paul Vallas would never get much power, their ignorance is so massive. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't guffaw when they begin promising something that will unfold between 2014 and 2045.

Here is something I just searched up from Google: "The commonly used expression, "Those who ignore history are bound (or doomed) to repeat it" is actually a mis-quotation of the original text written by George Santayana, who, in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Rooted in the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and many others to follow, his biography (1863-1952) and more contemporary intepretations and observations about man and life can be found at Wikipedia by searching for George Santayana."

Actually, my favorite is from Karl Marx (the 19th Brumaire...).

"History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce..."

As 2014 begins in Illinois with the return of the rantings of Paul Vallas, it's definitely farce time.



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