USA Today, the Plain Dealer and half of the rest of the world have written about the fact that Ford is asking its retirees to help pay a slightly greater portion of the cost of their wonderful benefits. GM had already done so. Then the New York transit workers went haywire over the fact that that new workers were asked to contribute more than current workers to the pension fund.
And now the city of New York faces another outrageous financial burden. Under new accounting rules, their annual cost of supplying health care to retirees and familiies will quintuple, from around $900,000 to nearly $5 billion–for exactly the same benefits. (Insane? Yes. Read more.)
As the cost of living grows exponentially, city governments and businesses struggle to meet the new demands without passing too much of the burden on–to customers, workers, taxpayers. And while it’s natural for us human beings to resist change, to do so in the face of its happening everywhere else is ludicrous. No doubt, things ain’t what they used to be–and we can’t for long put our heads in the sand about who’s going to bear the costs.
But some areas are making real strides. Northeast Ohio, for example. Long painted as a place languishing in its own self-confessed provincialist attitudes and negativism, the city’s and region’s cries for change have echoed down empty corridors for decades. But things are changing.
Leaders of the region’s business and foundation worlds got together recently and called for a public forum of the people. Held a couple of months ago, the 900 people who attended Voices and Choices produced some creative thinking about helping success build on itself. Read more here.
Their answer is that everybody’s got to share the burden of the momentous changes they anticipate. Now it’s up to the people to choose to invest in the vision.