I am tired of reading articles denigrating public worker pensions. Let’s get one thing straight; teachers, policemen, firefighters and municipal workers did not crash the economy. It was crashed by unregulated banks and financial institutions with the blessings of Congress, who were later rewarded with bailouts while middle-class Americans bore the brunt.

These same forces are currently pitting middle class Americans against middle class Americans in a faux pension fight. Instead of taking their bait and calling for cuts, or even an end to public pensions, private-sector employees need to demand pensions of their own. Major corporations in this country are currently making unprecedented trillions in profits which they quickly stash away in off-shore accounts. They have the money for pension programs.

As a matter of fact, that’s the way it used to be. Prior to 1978, when Congress enacted 401K legislation, over 60 percent of major corporations in this country had pension programs. This was one of the many components in the unprecedented prosperity that the American middle class enjoyed in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, making it the envy of the world.

If the American middle class continues to fight the American middle class it will be their demise.

Fred Barlam

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