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View Diary: Wisconsin: Public employee retirements higher than ever before (117 comments)

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  •  I don't in any (0+ / 0-)

    way support any effort to weasle out of contract  or pension obligations.

    And I am talking about those who are set financially.  There are those who are just marking time, and you know these people exist.  I would like them to retire.  Plus, I'm talking about the entire government sector and not just teachers.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 07:10:56 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Public employees are NOT set financially (0+ / 0-)

      And if you believe this, you must be a troll.

      •  Well, the football coach at Beaver land is (0+ / 0-)

        technically a State employee...... We know that the coaches make a hell of a lot of money.  I know that the Iowa coach gets in excess of two million a year.

        •  You do realize how little that has to do with (7+ / 0-)

          public employees as a whole, and this conversation, right?

          ...and dropping a bar bell he points to the sky, saying "The sun's not yellow-it's CHICKEN!"

          by porchdog1961 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:57:47 PM PDT

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          •  Yes, I know. But, both sides are over (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            generalizing their side.  Most public employees are not sitting high on the hog.  However, there are some public employees that are given extrordinary salaries.

            •  What are both sides? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Historicus, liberte

              Here in Eugene, the the head coach for the Oregon Ducks makes over 2 million a year. I think it's asinine, but in any case the football program is supposedly self-supporting and pays for 60-70% of the overall athletic programs at the school.
              I still don't see what that has to do with an elementary school teacher or a building inspector who's trying to get to retirement.
              Again, what are both sides?

              ...and dropping a bar bell he points to the sky, saying "The sun's not yellow-it's CHICKEN!"

              by porchdog1961 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:22:36 PM PDT

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              •  "Both sides" is a false equivalency, too. (6+ / 0-)

                That's like saying that because NFL players have a union and make millions, then half of union members are overpaid.  One example does not make a case; the plural of anecdote is not data.  "Some" and "Most" are terrific weasel words when you're talking about magnifying a tiny number or diminishing a huge one.  

                It's even more so when people's definition of "having it made" is what used to be "just enough to retire and remain in the middle class."  Do people not realize that with the shifting goalposts at work, those who were not retiring before may simply have been computing the rising costs of their medical copays and kids' tuition and "working scared?"  

                The idea that the public sector has more "dead wood" than anywhere else (and consequently that the private sector is truly meritocratic) is a pernicious right-wing lie.  Everyone has anecdotes, it seems, but no real data to support it.

                PS: Eugene here too...

                •  It never fails that on this "Democratic" site (4+ / 0-)
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                  Historicus, liberte, ggwoman55, ladybug53

                  whenever the subject of public employee pensions comes up we have people questioning whether they're earned. When I was working in a UAW electronics plant in the '80's we had a good pension plan- none of this 401K shit. The company was very profitable. My Dad had a company pension he earned working for an oil company.
                  Working people have been so beaten up in the last 30 or more years, that they think it's the norm.
                  Where are you in Eugene? I live about at Harlow and just west of I-5, south of all those "McMansions" people are trying to sell.

                  ...and dropping a bar bell he points to the sky, saying "The sun's not yellow-it's CHICKEN!"

                  by porchdog1961 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:00:20 PM PDT

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                  •  It shows how pervasive the RW frame is. (3+ / 0-)
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                    porchdog1961, liberte, ladybug53

                    My father worked for GM for over 30 years, but didn't receive a maximum retirement because he had to retire for medical reasons.  (He wasn't UAW--he was an engineer, so different representation I think.)  But yeah, it's disturbing to me how many people have just accepted the idea that most public pensions aren't earned but are epicures of some kind AT THE SAME TIME that the very same people are angry at the acceptance of the meme that "everyone knows" Medicare and Social Security must be stripped bare.  The latter is called into question by almost everyone here (and rightly so), but the former just seems to be conventional wisdom now.

                    That's how effectively the right wing in the USA has turned us in against one another, and made Reagan's mantra into truth.  Every time a Democrat buys the framing of "welfare" or "public pensions" I just want to shake them until sense returns.

                    Ah, Eugene.  We're in West Jefferson, just east of Chambers.  Nice, but still affordable.  This is a lovely town; I thought moving here I'd be in Portland all the time, but in two years I've gone twice.

              •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                One person says that state employees are financially set. One person says that state employees are impoverished.  Neither is completely true.

            •  and because the UW football coach gets lots of $$ (5+ / 0-)

              I should have my benefits cut.


              Mere passive citizenship is not enough. Men must be aggressive for what is right if government is to be saved from men who are aggressive for what is wrong. - Robert M. LaFollette

              by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:46:44 PM PDT

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            •  Yes, college football coaches get high salaries. (4+ / 0-)
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              One Opinion, drmah, liberte, ladybug53

              What's your point?  Looking at average salaries and benefits is not "over-generalizing".  If anything, to insinuate that public employees are overpaid because a college football coach makes an obscene amount of money is to commit the hasty generalization fallacy.  It's not providing 'balance' to the debate.  You're talking about a very small percentage of public employees.  

              These people are retiring because they know that they're going to get screwed again if they stick around and they want to cut their losses.  It's as simple as that.  In the case of teachers, they're probably also tired of being shit on by the public and so-called "education reformers".  I can't think of a profession that is more universally-maligned these days.

              "I frequently ask myself, "If Bush had done this would I be pissed off?" and the answer is all too often yes."--The Dead Man George Carlin for President!

              by 2PartySystemSucks on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:10:59 PM PDT

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        •  Compensation for D-1 big school coaches and staff (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          One Opinion, ladybug53

          is a discussion that public universities and state legislators and governors somehow never get around to.


          We need that discussion.  But not here.   This thread is about real state employees.  Don't throw out outlier issues.

          It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. --FDR

          by Rube Goldberg on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:31:54 PM PDT

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      •  If I "retire" at 56, with 22 yr, I get $200 per mo (10+ / 0-)

        I would get roughly $200 per month from the state of Washington. Very few public pension plans have early retirement without financial penalty, at least now days. It used to be you could retire after thirty years of service for full pension, no matter what age. At least in Washington State, this retirement plan, PERS1, was phased out around 1980. Now you get a substantial penalty.

        Asshats like Limbaugh continue to spew crap about public employees, when in reality the golden retirement pensions are all given to a few assholes at the top.

        Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

        by Bailey Savings and Loan on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:44:25 PM PDT

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        •  I know that at the University of Iowa, your age (1+ / 0-)
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          and the number of years of service needed to equal 80 in order to obtain 'full' retirement.  In 2009, they offered a package that lowered that number a little.  A whole bunch of people took that offer.

          •  Any time the terms and conditions change... (1+ / 0-)
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            As regards your retirement you'd better read the fine print. It's not just education, but anywhere and anytime that management re-evaluates the way your retirement package is structured you need to be very concerned.

            Many people find they are better off retiring early under the current program than waiting for "full" retirement under the new package.

            Sure, there are lines out the door. People aren't going to stick around and watch while everything they were promised is taken away from them. They know they are screwed either way but maybe can hang onto a little dignity?


      •  Well, quite a (1+ / 0-)
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        few of them are financially set.

        The baby boomers are retiring, so of course retirements are increasing, regardless of any retirements resulting from dissatisfaction.

        I know quite a few teachers who are now retired and living quite well, able to travel, living in very nice homes, etc.  So, yes, some of them are financially set.

        And when I worked a 6 month contract at the State recently, there were numerous retirements going on, and there were numerous employees who could retire but were simply hanging on for a few more years.  They would discuss retirement casually, like, oh, should I retire today or should I wait a couple of years--so, obviously, they weren't in great need and there was no urgency expressed [like, gosh, I gotta save up tens of thousands before I can retire!!].  Then again, these positions pay decently, so these long term employees have likely socked away a lot of $$.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:20:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Disconnect these ideas (4+ / 0-)
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          nchristine, liberte, ggwoman55, ladybug53

          "now retired and living quite well, able to travel, living in very nice homes, etc."


          "So, yes, some of them are financially set."

          The first doesn't mean the second, because one major illness or family crisis (or moving benefits goalpost) could wipe out this "financially set."  What number (with dollar signs) do you put on that status, "set?"  

          "Financially set" is increasingly becoming a pejorative meant to make those who stay long enough under good rules to have a reasonable chance at a good retirement out to be "rich people" and thus the enemies of we who don't.  "Could retire but were simply hanging on for a few more years" doesn't mean they weren't doing their jobs, doing them well, and perhaps even enjoying them.

        •  These people are married to people who work in (4+ / 0-)
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          drmah, liberte, ggwoman55, ladybug53

          The private sector.  That's how they become "comfortable".

          You have no idea, nor does anyone else, how another person makes his/her money.  I once taught with someone who traveled all over the world - we couldn't figure it out.  Then we found out his wife's family were mega-millionaires.  I mean mega.  Loads of my friends have spouses who work in the private sector, and that's how they get "comfortable."

          •  The ones at (0+ / 0-)

            the state are not even married; they are single.

            The other ones I know of are couples of teachers or a combination of public worker plus a teacher [for example, a teacher plus a parole officer].

            Frankly, the whole notion that public workers are underpaid is a myth.  At least for federal employees and state employees in Colorado and Texas.  I used to work for the FDIC, and the pay was fine.  And throughout the years, I've seen job openings in Texas and Colorado, and both had decent salaries for the posted jobs.  Even the clerical salaries were good in Texas [which is kind of hard to believe].  

            Until recently, when repubs started messing with bene's and reitirement plans, I don't see how public employees can complain.  Even teachers get 3 months off, even if they have to study in that time frame.  

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 06:09:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  dfarrah: methinks you enjoy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Puddytat, liberte

          tugging your fishing line with a fat ol' surface plug as your boat slowly motors on.

          Looks like you got a few strikes here.

          But I'm calling you out.  It's clear from your histroy that you're a troll.   Go back to priso! or re!state or whereever hell you call home.


          It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. --FDR

          by Rube Goldberg on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 09:00:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  From the first paycheck you receive as a beginning (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          liberte, ggwoman55, nchristine

          teacher you are required to make a "Contribution" to the Teacher's Retirement Plan. (In Indiana that's 3% of what you earn.) The point the Limbaugh and the Republicans make never recognizes is the majority of the money in a teacher's retirement account is from personal savings made throughout a teaching career,  It is a false criticism to blame teachers from taking away from the state.  Most of the money in any one teacher's account is from their own personal savings.

          I resent your attitude that I should not spend the money I saved in whatever way I see fit.  Who are you to make that kind of evaluation?

    •  Clock punchers exist everywhere. (8+ / 0-)

      What? You think all private employees break their backs?

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:34:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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