Sunday reads.


Elijah Edwards, AFSCME Local 2858 Vice President (right) and I talk pension theft with Keeanga-Yahmahtta Taylor and Micah Uetricht of Jacobin Radio Chicago.

One Newark means firing 700 union teachers, replaced by TFA kids.

Finding: Conservative activists are manufacturing the perception of a public pension crisis in order to both slash modest retiree benefits and preserve expensive corporate subsidies and tax breaks.

Bruce Rahmer would run the state like he runs his business. Oh shit.

“I speak to union officials in other states, and I tell them, ‘Don’t be misled,’ ” Mr. Beil said. “We thought this could never happen here. But it did. You have to stay vigilant.”

The problem with teaching as a profession is that every single adult citizen of this country thinks that they know what teachers do. And they don’t.

Judge smacks down North Carolina’s discriminatory school voucher law.

A Chicago charter school will track church attendance. 


Humans are horrible at understanding compound interest, and it’s making our golden years much less so. Think about your 401(k). The first thing you probably look at when you pick your funds is their returns. It’s only human nature. Everybody likes to think about their nest eggs growing and growing and growing—especially if they’re growing a little bit faster than everybody else’s. But, in this case, human nature is costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The sad fact is that returns aren’t certain, but fees are. Now, maybe everything will go according to plan, and your 401(k) will be partying like it’s 1999. Maybe the 1 percent—or more—that you’re paying in fees will actually buy you market-beating returns. But probably not. You can see this in the chart to the left from Vanguard. It shows the percentage of actively managed funds that have underperformed index funds over the short and longer hauls, net of fees. Which is to say, most of them. It’s hard enough for funds to beat their benchmarks over just one to three-year periods. But that gets damn near impossible the longer you go. Once you account for survivorship bias—that bad funds go bust, and disappear from the sample—almost 80 percent of actively managed funds don’t beat simple index funds over 10 to 15-year periods. Matthew O’Brien

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