Monday, January 9, 2012

Open letter to the "Providence Journal"

This letter speaks for itself:

Dear Editors:

After over 35 years subscribing to your newspaper, we must inform you of our intention to cancel our subscription. This action is not taken without significant thought towards what the people of Rhode Island deserve. We have determined that they do not deserve your unbalanced and hateful treatment of public employees. Your incessant use of page one headlines biasing the pension debate was nauseating, especially when scant attention was paid to many important national and world events that required coverage.

Your paper’s cheerleading of the stealing of $billions from the retirees of this state showed a lack of fairness that is required from a major state newspaper. Your intimidating tactic of making sure all readers in the “Letters” section know when a point of view emanates from a public employee is truly classless. Your lack of judicious treatment of the pension debate was obvious even to those without a direct stake in the issue.

Your newspaper continually allowed one-sided arguments in major editorial pieces that demonized public workers until the vote was taken. After the vote, you finally allowed one major editorial writer to provide a defense of the state retirement system. Your newspaper refused to seek the truth regarding the flawed actuarial assumptions made by the General Treasurer, Gina Raimondo which inflated the pension liability to epic proportions (average life expectancy of 87.6 years) (see attached). Your paper refused to make the case that Raimondo’s assumptions were based on recession era math and that through cost averaging, the pension fund will rebound (The pension fund made 20.4% last year).

Additionally, your newspaper refused to investigate the financial assumptions being made by the Raimondo team that the state would have to contribute 35% of salary for the foreseeable future (pure hogwash). Try doing the math yourselves: An absolute lie was forced down the throats of Rhode Islanders and you made decisions to ignore the truth. Working until the age of 67 is also unwise. This requires a new worker out of college to work 45 years before retirement and carries with it many economic realities not properly addressed or debated by decision makers.

One of your pet providers to the “Letters to the Editor”, Karl Stephens, Barrington (December 17, 2011) criticizes your newspaper for not blasting Jon Corzine for the $billions missing from MF Global Holdings solely because he is a Democrat. Typically, Mr. Stephens is concerned about the $billions stolen from investors but could care less about the $billions stolen from the public employees that invested their lives and money in the state retirement system. We are sick and tired of your 3 nut-case letter writers from Pawtucket, Saunderstown and Barrington that you give voice to every month (you know who they are!)

Simply put; your newspaper is no better than Bernie Madoff. At least Bernie Madoff ended up in jail for life. Nobody will do time for the stealing of $billions from the retirees of this state and your newspaper put the blame solely on the shoulders of the public employees. We all cared about the folks that got robbed by Madoff and others but nobody cared about the public employees. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.

Now it’s time to pay the piper; so to speak. We will no longer support your biased newspaper to the tune of $416 per year. The debate about loss of funds to “Crossroads Rhode Island” is just the beginning. Have you checked out the demographics of the folks who go to Twin River Casino? Do you think there are a lot of retirees? Do you think they will continue to drop their extra cash there? Not if they don’t get a COLA for 19 years! The economic fallout from the disastrous decision to so radically change the pension system is just in its infancy.

If you think you treated public employees fairly, just ask the person in the street what they think about public employees. We were demonized by Raimondo and others but you folks at the “Providence Journal” did the greatest disservice to the public employees by not seeking truth as journalists should. It is every journalist’s duty to be fair and unbiased in their investigation and reporting.

After over 35 years; farewell!


1 comment:

  1. I agree--the journalism was certainly not fair and unbiased!!!! People who took jobs with the understanding and contracts of receiving a pension and worked for years and years, deserve this promise and contract to be upheld by public employers.