In the legislature's pursuit of resolution to the PERS debacle, how has it managed to sidestep our country's basic underlying principle of fairness to the "commonweal." In contract law, a contract that is patently unfair to one of the signing parties reasonably can be nullified when defined by the legal concept of "unfair advantage." Why in the world is a PERS contract any different?
The "public" is essentially a signing party to the PERS contract, a contract in which PERS clearly has received "unfair advantage" over the taxpaying public. No one in their right mind would think the approximately 800 PERS recipients who receive in the area of $100,000 per year (as per an Oregonian story) is fair to the commonweal. That's not to mention the other very sizable number of PERS recipients who receive considerably more in retirement funds than typical private sector workers, who also may have little or questionable job security.
Certainly, the "commonweal," defined as the common welfare and the public good and which is an historic doctrine of relatively equalized treatment of the general public, should take precedent in all actions of the legislature. That is why we have a "Legislature." They make laws and they can change laws. The laws they make are by their very nature, "pacts" to assure fairness to all. Their job is to resolve this amazing state of PERS's gross "unfair advantage" over the Oregon public. Now.
Marc Paulsen, Milwaukie
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