My friend, Melvin -- not his real name -- tends to lean conservative on a number of issues. He is a frequent commenter on my posts and provides thoughtful responses on many issues.
Because I really don't have a place to put this comment, I'm giving it its own blog post. Congratulations, Melvin. You're now famous.
Here's Melvin's take on State Issue 2:
I'd been a proponent of the recently enacted limitations to public employee collective bargaining and especially mandates for pension and health care benefit changes. But looking back over a decade that has seen private sector wages barely keep up with even modest inflation... many public employees have seen wage freezes extending over years and most have been paying more and more of their benefit costs, closing the gap that had been very wide at one time compared to private sector workers.
Public employee pension programs are similar to private sector pensions as far as employee contributions. STRS and PERS are changing relatively quickly to require their members to work more years to get their retirement benefits and other reductions are in the pipelines. Even "double dipping" is going to become much less beneficial to the retiree in the near future.
We're talking about teachers, police, fire, and the people that make our lives more pleasant and safe. I don't want to make those jobs so unattractive that only the least capable members of society will be willing to take those jobs because they're not qualified for anything that has better compensation. That why I'm going to vote No on Issue 2.