Maybe those defined-benefit pensions aren't so lavish after all.
Maybe there are some jobs so dangerous, so demanding of steady nerves and sound judgment under pressure, that the men and women who work them deserve the benefit of our doubts.
Even when times are tough, even when most of us can only wish we could retire at age 50 with 75 percent of pay, maybe we should take a deep breath, dial down the envy, and just say: "Thanks, guys. You deserve every penny."
Chicago firefighters Edward Stringer and Corey Ankum will never get to enjoy their retirements or their defined-benefit pensions. Their lives were cut short last Wednesday morning after they dashed into a fire-compromised building on the South Side to look for survivors, only to become victims themselves when a truss roof collapsed. More than a dozen other firemen were injured, two seriously.