Detroit Not Alone Under Crushing Pension Obligations

The Pew Center released a survey showing that 61 of the nation’s largest cities had a gap of more than $217 billion in unfunded pension and health care liabilities.  What happens in Detroit could change how public employees across the country see their futures, how their unions negotiate contracts, and how their retirees — some of whom, like police and firefighters in Michigan, don’t contribute to or receive Social Security benefits because their pensions were expected to be guaranteed — pay the bills.  Full story: New England mill town offers Detroit a bleak preview:  Also in the news, Wal-Mart May Abandon Planned D.C. Stores Over Minimum-Wage Bill.  The D.C. Council has passed a bill requiring non-unionized, big-box retailers like Wal-Mart to pay workers $12.50 an hour, more than 50% higher than other companies.  Now the nation’s largest retailer is threatening to abandon three and possibly all six of its D.C. projects.  Wal-Mart said the six D.C. stores would add 1,800 jobs.  Full story: