Nothing I wrote last week in my “Pensioner’s plight” column must be misconstrued as suggesting that chief justices, other judges, prime ministers and other Cabinet ministers—in other words, holders of the highest public offices in the country—do not deserve the levels of compensation, allowances and retirement benefits they currently receive.
Clearly, those who hold such offices must have met certain standards in their respective disciplines, maybe even excelled at them. Judges, for example, must win the confidence of their peers and litigants or the accused in criminal matters over which they preside. And while there are no minimal standards that politicians must meet to qualify to run for office, ultimately they are answerable to the public, to electors, if they are to win elections and form governments. Continue reading Poor and foolish always around→
My friend Pablo (not his real name) is on the brink of bankruptcy. In fact, he has been teetering on the edge for six, seven years or so, managing somehow to stave off the banks, which is in itself an achievement, given the heartlessness of the decision-makers at financial institutions. But for a man who has worked hard to afford the little luxuries that many middle-income earners enjoy only in their latter years, he is facing uncertainties over whether he will survive to see his 70th birthday. Continue reading Punishing Pensioners→
I MAKE no pretences to “being young” or “feeling young” at age 66. I never dyed my hair—my moustache turned grey before I was 50—and other than leading a reasonably healthy lifestyle, daily exercising included, I have taken the aging process in stride. I no longer walk as briskly as I did a few years ago, and one or two challenges that go with the age-turf have set in, none life threatening, thankfully. Also, I am still able to work, albeit at a reduced level (my choice), hence take care of my family. Continue reading Robbing poor pensioners→