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The author, from the Manhattan Institute, argues that foundations can chip in to pensions to help save Chicago.

Comment: The Manhattan Institute does some good work, but this guy is out to lunch. His $19B figure for pension liabilities is just the four Chicago pensions, as officially reported. He leaves out the pensions for CPS, Cook County, Metropolitan W&R District, Chicago Park District, Chicagoan’s share of IL pensions, and more. He ignores healthcare liabilities. The consolidated problem is insurmountable without bankruptcy, so charities would be better off saving money for the humanitarian calamity that’s now inevitable.

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J.A. Herzrent
I agree. The Detroit Grand Bargain was based on circumstances not present in Chicago. First, the City had legal ownership of some of the principal art works at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Creditors (mainly active and retired public workers who couldn’t tell a Bruegel from a bagel) placed a higher value on their pensions than on the cultural heritage of people who had long ago moved to Grosse Pointe. So there was great pressure from the Group with Real Inside Power (GRIP) to salvage this heritage. Foundations who depended on GRIP largesse were amenable. Second, the state of Michigan was arguably liable to underwrite municipal pensions… Read more »