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Old 05-11-2018, 08:35 PM
 
3,766 posts, read 7,230,646 times
Reputation: 4859

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OP is getting killed by the public employee club here. LOL. They are afforded sky-high salaries and benefits because:

1. Public employee unions have enormous influence in politics and government. They install politicians who in return pass laws that give them even more money and better pensions. This revolving door of corruption is the cause of many public pension disasters sweeping across the nation right now.

2. They see taxes as money growing on trees. If private companies can't sell a product, they are gone. Government bureaucracies don't have to sell anything. If they want more money, they just tax you more. Notice how your property taxes keep increasing. That infrastructure fee your public utilities charge you never goes down, does it? When was the last time sales tax, car tax, and fees go down at your location?

And they have no competitions. Thus no accountability. Don't like the DMV? Tough. Who else can you to go to get your car registered? Don't trust the police? Sorry, but you are stuck with them because there is no competition you can go to.

There ain't nothing like other people's tax money, huh?

Last edited by davidt1; 05-11-2018 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:44 PM
 
Location: la la land
27,294 posts, read 11,408,877 times
Reputation: 19319
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
OP is getting killed by the public employee club here. LOL. They are afforded sky-high salaries and benefits because:

1. Public employee unions have enormous influence in politics and government. They install politicians who in return pass laws that give them even more money and better pensions. This revolving door of corruption is the cause of many public pension disasters sweeping across the nation right now.

2. Taxes are like money growing on trees. If private companies can't sell a product, they are gone. Government bureaucracies don't have to sell anything. If they want more money, they just tax you more. Notice how your property taxes keep increasing. That infrastructure fee your public utilities charge you never goes down, does it?

And they have no competitions. Thus no accountability. Don't like the DMV? Tough. Who else can you to go to get your car registered? Don't trust the police? Sorry, but there are you stuck with them because there is no competition you can go to.

There ain't nothing like other people's tax money, huh?
So, what is your answer? Build a profit motive into fighting fires, and turn Policing over to Erik Prince's Blackwater (or whatever they call it now)?

I just love the "privatize everything" crowd, it's always amusing to point out the fact that publicly owned utility rates are about 30% less than those that are privately owned. They never seem to have a good response for that..
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
1,223 posts, read 1,220,397 times
Reputation: 3889
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFBayBoomer View Post
Where we have gone wrong, in my opinion, is with safety employees, especially police. Those salaries are high and no college degree is required and they get to retire much too young and with manipulation of hours, they get high dollar pensions and are still young enough that they often go on to work after retirement and earn a second pension or at least a lot more dollars.
I spent 40 years as a patrol officer on the LAPD. When joined, I had a college degree and eventually earned my law degree. Perhaps you should have spent a 12 hour shift riding with me in a patrol car, I might have changed your opinion. In the four years since I retired on a standard service pension, I've had three spinal surgeries and one knee surgery, all duty related. I have no guilt when I receive my pension check every month. I worked for it, I paid into it, and I gave 100% everyday I was on-duty. If you have issues with the salary/benefits a police officer receives, take it up with the politicians you elected into office.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:15 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,363 posts, read 50,609,566 times
Reputation: 60288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delahanty View Post
Someone doesn't know the definiiton of "golden parachute;" yours isn't it.

Moreover, pensions were earned as a condition of employment. Others who chose a different path shouldn't complain that their private sector jobs either didn't offer pensions, or scrooed their workers. The latter is what they should be complaining about, rather than adopting the misery loves company attitude.

BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, both my husband and I collect pensions from, respectively, federal and state jobs. If you're expecting an apology, or a whiff of embarrassment, don't.


And another thing: Pensioners pay taxes, too. Believe it.
Of course we pay taxes.

This idiotic idea that public employees do nothing yet collect a fat paycheck and then a fat pension is nonsense. On political whim, we could go five years without raises, as happened a few years back after the mortgage crises sent everything swirling down the toilet. Or they could decide to cut our vacation allotment. That happened, too. Politicians know that there are ignorant people like the OP so they do those things to say, "SEE? We slapped the shyt out of those greedy pubic employees for ya."

I was in the public sector for 37 years, and I was never in a union. My job in the latter years entailed, in part, overseeing requests for proposal (RFP) and bidding processes, because, contrary to popular belief, engineering and construction contracts are not just handed out to friends of politicians. There is an intricate process in place to prevent that from happening. After the selection is made, contracts are often further negotiated down. My best negotiation knocked $14 million off a $157 construction management services contract. $14 million. My cumulative pension will never remotely reach that even if I live to be 100, but I do appreciate your gratitude for saving you all that money.

Last edited by Mightyqueen801; 05-11-2018 at 11:25 PM..
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:02 AM
 
4,770 posts, read 2,273,078 times
Reputation: 8864
Quote:
Originally Posted by k374 View Post
private people are struggling with keeping up with inflation with ultra low interest rates on their savings and an unstable stock market going forward
This is an interesting spin on making a stock market that has been very profitable seem like a negative factor.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:12 AM
 
24,759 posts, read 26,839,776 times
Reputation: 22794
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
If California is like it is here in New York, teachers are about the only public employees who actually work. We have a ton of political appointees to do nothing jobs,
I will be the first one to say California pensions are overly generous. But do nothing jobs are not common or normal in the CA public sector--at least not in my experience. The do nothing job culture is more common in Eastern states. I work in the CA public sector & grew up on the East Coast, so while I don't have super extensive evidence, I'm not talking out of my butt, either.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:23 AM
 
24,759 posts, read 26,839,776 times
Reputation: 22794
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFBayBoomer View Post
Where we have gone wrong, in my opinion, is with safety employees, especially police. Those salaries are high and no college degree is required and they get to retire much too young and with manipulation of hours, they get high dollar pensions and are still young enough that they often go on to work after retirement and earn a second pension or at least a lot more dollars.
Yes, the police/firefighters/prison guards are the worst offenders in CA. But other public sector workers also get very generous benefits. And many jurisdictions jacked up pension benefits around 2000, just a few years before a wave of Baby Boomers was going to retire. They KNEW this was going to happen, but the unions bought them off. Compound all those retiring Baby Boomers with a stock market that went nowhere for a decade (2000-2009), and the results are a huge spike in pension costs that won't be fully resolved for decades.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:40 AM
 
24,759 posts, read 26,839,776 times
Reputation: 22794
Just my .02 as a public sector worker.

--Yes, we're taxpayers. But let's be real here. We're net recipients of tax money. We get more in pay and benefits than we ever pay in taxes--and we know it.

--Yes, we pay into our pensions. But our employers pay more. People think their 8% or 10% or 15% is a lot??? Guess what? Your employer is probably paying double that. I work for the City of San Jose. They pay 103% on top of my salary--just into the pension fund. This shows up right on our pay stubs. Yet people do not look at it. I show them, and they are shocked at how much the pension really costs.

San Jose retirement costs are nearly 23 percent of the general fund this fiscal year, up from 6.5 percent in fiscal 2001-02. Los Angeles spends about 20 percent of its general fund on pension and retiree health care, up from 5 percent in 2002.

https://calpensions.com/2018/03/19/p...p-bond-rating/

In San Francisco's pension, which is pretty well funded, the City pays 19.81% on top of the employee's pay, just for the pension. San Francisco is smarter than most jurisdictions--it requires voter approval for any pension increases.

The San Francisco contribution rates, 11.08 percent of pay for employees and 19.81 percent for employees, are still far below the rates for the two troubled San Jose retirement systems.

The San Jose Federated City Employees Retirement System rates for employees are 15.36% of pay (pension 6.60%, retiree health 8.76%) and for employers 103.45% of pay (pension 94.04%, retiree health 9.41%).

The San Jose Police and Fire Department Retirement Plan rates for employees are 21.12% of pay (pension 11.38%, retiree health 9.74%) and for employers 106.68% of pay (pension 96.06%, retiree health 10.62%).


While "golden parachute" isn't technically the right term, I understand the sentiment.

And this idea that public sector workers are underpaid isn't true for the most part. Yes, it used to be true--about 30 years ago. But since then, pay for most jobs has risen and benefits in many cases have gotten completely out of hand.

I won't lie. I want to get my pension. But I really don't think I can pretend that the benefits are truly fair. They've been scaled back for new hires where I work, so I'm not talking about those folks, but for those grandfathered into more generous systems, they really were over-promised. This was done precisely because the bill for the pensions doesn't come due right away. So yesterday's politicians and union leaders aren't held accountable for benefit formulas that are unsustainable.

I know someone who works for the federal government and their pension benefit formula is much less generous--something like 1% or 1.1% of salary times number of years of service--and no retirement until 60 or 62. I think they average your highest 3 years (plus they do offer a 5% TSP plan match). In many places in California the pension formula is double that (or more) and the retirement age is often younger. I think there'd be a lot less "pension envy" if California's pension benefits were in line with what the federal government offers.
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Old 05-12-2018, 06:10 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,363 posts, read 50,609,566 times
Reputation: 60288
^some truth in there, some not. I was never the recipient of tax money. My employer was an authority that received no tax revenue and was self-sustaining through fees, tolls and leases and raised funds for projects by issuing bonds.

It is true that the newer employees can't retire until 62, while we had the option to retire at 55 if we had 30 years of service. Our formula was 1.5% for the first 30, 1% for each year thereafter, highest consecutive 3 years for the FAS, unless there was a spike over a certain percentage, in which case they went for a five-year FAS.

What I don't think is right is cops being able to boost their FAS with OT in their last 3 years. It should be base salary. IMO. Or at least a cap on eligible OT.

And you are absolutely right about politicians making rules that ensure their reelection at the time and then move on, leaving problems for future generations to deal with.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:29 AM
 
2,583 posts, read 3,147,679 times
Reputation: 6694
My Dad's relatives thought he was a bit crazy when he worked for the public sector. His salary was terrible, particularly for his education level and the long hours he worked. But the work was very interesting and the people he worked with were very smart and driven. He worked for National Labs and the State University system. After working for the State for less than 10 years he has a small pension that is quite nice and can buy in to their insurance plan. But for his Federal work - no pension/health insurance. He would have had to work 25 years and he was just shy.

At the end of his career, he moved to the private sector and easily made 3-4x what he made in public. Just an incredible jump in income. The interesting thing was that most of the people he worked with at private major companies were lazy and incompetent. He was amazed that American business survives. So much waste, bad work.... And it was interesting as many people tend to bash public employees calling them lazy. He saw exactly the opposite.
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