Wyoming Liberty Group
What can state pension reform advocates learn from Masutatsu Oyama?
A great deal. Mr. Oyama - or Sosai Oyama as he should properly be referred to - was the founder of kyokushin karate, one of the toughest striking styles of martial arts ever invented. To prove just how tough his style was, Sosai Oyama fought full-grown bulls using nothing but his hands, his feet and the devastating techniques that constitute kyokushin karate.
This letter to the editor was published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on November 4, 2014 under the title, Commentary on pension meeting wasn’t truthful
WTE published a highly imaginative commentary (Liberty Group threatens state retirement plans) on Saturday [October 18, 2014]. As reported, we had a meeting to discuss the state’s pension funds and broad options for reform. This is where the facts in the commentary end. We happily obliged one firefighter and his representative and included them in our meeting. They chose to stay for the first half hour of the day-long meeting. Had they stayed longer, they would have perhaps understood the nature of pension reform and made fewer errors in the commentary.
Talk of pension reform in the government sector starts the usual hand wringing among those who think they know best for everyone else. At the moment, Wyoming’s government signs most of its workers up to a defined benefit pension plan, whether these workers would prefer another option or not. Most people in the private sector, if they have a pension plan at all, have a defined contribution plan. Some workers in the government sector have a choice between defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Given the litany of excuses used by hand wringers against shifting new government workers to a defined contribution pension plan, one would think no government worker would freely choose a defined contribution plan.
Imagine living in a place where anyone can have anything they want by just wishing for it. If one wants a house, one imagines a house—and poof—it appears. But scarcity is the basis for an economic system, thus in a place with no scarcity, people have no needs. In a place where people have what looks like every material need by just wishing for it, they have no need to work, no need to cooperate with other people, and as a result, being naturally quarrelsome, people tend to live farther and farther apart.