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Old 06-27-2007, 09:17 PM   #21
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How many millions of people have state and federal pensions?

I have an aunt and uncle who both work for the state in California. They live an upper-middle class lifestyle. They probably have less than $250k in assets. They spend whatever they make ($120k/year). No investment accounts or retirement accounts. But when they retire their pensions will be $120k/year and I think they just plan to spend, spend, spend forever.
Pretty nice life. The taxpayers are crazy to go along with this. People who are on the receiving end have many self-serving justifications, but it really amounts to I've got mine, be gone stupid taxpayer! The common argument that they don't make as much while they are working so they deserve more in retirement is total hogwash. Except for a few with truly executive positions most could be replaced easily with a 20% pay cut and a garden variety 401K.

Except of course the public servants on this board, who would all be grandfathered in my scheme. Hell, we could even afford to give those dudes and dudettes a raise.

Ha
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:39 AM   #22
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Quoting her...

“Fairness doesn’t just happen. It requires the right government policies.”
I would say to her: “Net Worth doesn’t just happen. It requires the right personal policies.”


I know, there are exceptions....


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Old 06-28-2007, 08:47 AM   #23
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Pretty nice life. The taxpayers are crazy to go along with this. People who are on the receiving end have many self-serving justifications, but it really amounts to I've got mine, be gone stupid taxpayer! The common argument that they don't make as much while they are working so they deserve more in retirement is total hogwash. Except for a few with truly executive positions most could be replaced easily with a 20% pay cut and a garden variety 401K.

Except of course the public servants on this board, who would all be grandfathered in my scheme. Hell, we could even afford to give those dudes and dudettes a raise.

Ha
I'd have to agree with you it doesn't seem fair, however it was pointed out that we may want to pay the public employees well. Otherwise you get (more) corruption and situations like they have in Mexico where police use their official power to shake down people they deem to be "rich".

It just may be less expensive to give the government employees a sweet deal.

Per the crazy taxpayers in California being crazy to go along with these sweet public pensions. It's the same old story... The unions give money to the liberals so that they can be re-elected. The liberals then give the unions a sweet package (Quid Pro Quo). When the schools or the poor need additional resources, cutting that sweet govenment-employee package is off the table. The public isn't paying attention so the party goes on.
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:59 AM   #24
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I'd have to agree with you it doesn't seem fair, however it was pointed out that we may want to pay the public employees well. Otherwise you get (more) corruption and situations like they have in Mexico where police use their official power to shake down people they deem to be "rich".

It just may be less expensive to give the government employees a sweet deal.
Very nice point. Our public services in the USA are plentiful and very good. In some other countries the citizen needs to deal with curruption, indifference, and delays.

Having said that I also believe in anti curruption departments and laws. In Hong Kong there is a full time unit with the sole job of finding currupt officials throughout government. In the USA I don't think there are dedicated units. It just gets discovered in the course of other investigations. Of course police departments have Internal affairs.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:01 AM   #25
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Pretty nice life. The taxpayers are crazy to go along with this. People who are on the receiving end have many self-serving justifications, but it really amounts to I've got mine, be gone stupid taxpayer! The common argument that they don't make as much while they are working so they deserve more in retirement is total hogwash. Except for a few with truly executive positions most could be replaced easily with a 20% pay cut and a garden variety 401K.

Except of course the public servants on this board, who would all be grandfathered in my scheme. Hell, we could even afford to give those dudes and dudettes a raise.

Ha
Ha,

So why didn't you chose a gov't career if the pension deal is so sweet? I think it is unfair for you to criticize those who had the foresight and fortitude to chose and stay with a gov't career and collect a good pension. In my case, I went to work for Uncle Sam in 1969, at the height of the Viet Nam war protests. Most of my contemporaries were trying to tear down the government, not go to work for it. Without the inducement of a secure job and good pension I would not have made that choice. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Grumpy (federal annuitant)
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:08 AM   #26
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Oh please. Spare us about how deserving you are.

It's bad enough that we have to pay way over the going rate for government services.
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laughable 1 million
Old 06-28-2007, 11:02 AM   #27
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laughable 1 million

Sam, Go ahead and laugh at me because that is about where I am at. Proud of it and doing fine.
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:14 AM   #28
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Sam, Go ahead and laugh at me because that is about where I am at. Proud of it and doing fine.
I hope you are not addressing me. Yes, I did make that comment but the meaning was different. I consider 1MM a very large sum.

I was referring to numerous (too many to count) threads on this board questioning the sanity of the OPs when they plan to retire on 1MM, 2MM. Some people even came here asking if they have enough to retire with a mere net worth of 3MM, and 7MM, if I recalled correctly. It was very entertaining for me.

Anyway, I have no idea how much is enough for you, but I know 1MM is a lot for me.
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:22 AM   #29
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sorry
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:24 AM   #30
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No problem. I'm glad we clear that up.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:15 PM   #31
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"9.5 million people held at least $1 million in financial assets -- excluding the value of their primary homes -- in 2006, up from 8.7 million in 2005, according to the 11th annual World Wealth Report compiled by Merrill Lynch & Co. and consulting firm Capgemini Group."~~recent associated press report

given approximately 6.5 billion people in the world, millionaires still rank at--and frankly, it's been a long time since 10th grade so i don't even know if i can do the math--what is that between 1/8th & 1/4 of 1% of the world population?

sounds pretty damned rich to me.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:26 PM   #32
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I posted this link a while ago......Global Rich List
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:06 PM   #33
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You know it isn't all about how much money you have that makes you wealthy. Think about where we are in history.
Ceasar didn't have the clean water that we get from our taps.
Queen Elizabeth didn't have the entertainment we have for free from radio and television
President Roosevelt didn't have the roads we have today.
The kings and queens from history could not even imagine the things the common person has today to make their life comfortable.
Just a thought.
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:54 PM   #34
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I saw this article on why you need $500 in the bank. I guess that we really are in the minority.
Wow! The first $500 is the hardest! I haden't really thought about people who didn't have a sum that small saved. No hope for them.
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:16 AM   #35
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It's the same old story... The unions give money to the liberals so that they can be re-elected. The liberals then give the unions a sweet package (Quid Pro Quo). When the schools or the poor need additional resources, cutting that sweet govenment-employee package is off the table. The public isn't paying attention so the party goes on.
It's the same old story. The corporations (or the rich) give money to the conservatives so they can be re-elected. The conservatives (or the rich) then give the corporations a sweet package (Quid Pro Quo). When the schools or the poor need additional resources, cutting the sweet corporate welfare package (or capital gains tax, or repeal of the "death tax") is off the table. The public isn't paying attention so the party goes on.

When an employee, government or otherwise, signs on to a system with a particular set of rules, and works decades under those rules, it is unethical (and should be illegal) to rob them of their pension. That is no different than the government arbitrarily removing part of someone's 401K or Roth IRA, IMO.

I'm not pointing the finger at any one individual, but there is a self-righteousness on this board toward pensions, and particularly government pensions, that strikes me as very mean-spirited, intolerant, and elitist. I have no problem with someone making an argument (like HaHa), that rules for pensions should be changed. But I think that to change them AFTER someone has put in their time is just plain wrong.

Considering the giveaways by the Bush administration to the well-to-do, and considering the attempted takeaways (like overtime pay for huge groups of wage earners), pensioners are the last group in my book that should be targeted. Of course, that could be in part because I will become one not too far down the road. Personally, I feel the same way about low tax rates for the well-to-do. We just can't afford them anymore. Even though it would affect me as well.

Frankly, there are very few people (including myself) on this board I feel sorry for. Nor do I feel the need to begrudge anyone else on this board anything they have earned. It is just plain petty to single out government workers and claim that they have not worked as hard as anyone else just because their payment comes in a different form and on a different schedule.
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:38 AM   #36
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So why didn't you chose a gov't career if the pension deal is so sweet?
Not sure how you define sour grapes Grumpy. Still, I feel that since it is likely that you never did anything in your federal career even remotely helpful to me that I can at least express annoyance at having to pay for your nice life until you die. Don't get me wrong- I wish you a long and happy life. I just would prefer that it not be at my expense

A favorite ploy of people at the rich end of the trough is to attempt to cast aspersions on those who pay for their feed. Well, when I get to stop paying I will stop complaining.

Masterblaster put it exactly right- public unions and civil servants elect Demogogic Democratic politicians, and those politicians see to it that their loyal supporters are well rewarded. A nice little Daisy Chain.

Ha
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:14 AM   #37
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Not sure how you define sour grapes Grumpy. Still, I feel that since it is likely that you never did anything in your federal career even remotely helpful to me that I can at least express annoyance at having to pay for your nice life until you die. Don't get me wrong- I wish you a long and happy life. I just would prefer that it not be at my expense

A favorite ploy of people at the rich end of the trough is to attempt to cast aspersions on those who pay for their feed. Well, when I get to stop paying I will stop complaining.

Masterblaster put it exactly right- public unions and civil servants elect Demogogic Democratic politicians, and those politicians see to it that their loyal supporters are well rewarded. A nice little Daisy Chain.

Ha
Ha,

If your intent is to really push my buttons, then you have succeeded admirably . As to whether anything I did in my federal career was helpful to you, just recognize that federal employees don't decide how your tax dollars are spent, the Congress does. You get to vote for or against THEM so maybe you should be complaining about THEIR pensions.

As it happens, as a NASA financial manager, I did my best to see to it that your tax dollars were applied as frugally as possible to carry out the mission given to the agency by Congress and the President. While I was the Financial Manager of the Hubble Space Telescope the project budget was cut by 40%. Despite that, we were able to successfully plan and execute the highly successful 2nd and 3rd servicing missions. I worked long hours, with a reduced staff, to squeeze the most out of the dollars we were given. While you may not think that such R&D is "even remotely helpful" to you, other (wiser?) folks believe that such government programs ultimately stimulate the economic health of the country providing you with benefits indirectly.

I personally do not support the war in Iraq but I do not begrudge our soldiers their pensions. If such benefits are necessary to attract the kind of soldiers the military needs one can either choose to enlist or accept that those who make that commitment will be receiving some of our tax dollars for life. Those benefits would not be nearly enough to convince ME to join the military but I have no issue with my tax dollars going to retired soldiers. That you begrudge the benefits EARNED by the government employees who carry out the will of the elected officials shows you to be both mean spirited and jealous. Let the flaming begin!!

Grumpy
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:00 PM   #38
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Let the flaming begin!!

Grumpy
Again, I wish all the best for you. I think we can discuss general elements of politics in a Democratic society without attacking one another, or feeling that we must defend ourselves.

You chose to personalize my general post about the best way to spend tax dollars to accomplish goals. You brought up the military, although you know that it is not the major taker of retirement benefits. You grabbed that out of thin air to try to gather support on this board, and I suppose it may work given the composition of the board and some degree of intolerance for disagreement.

But from my point of view, it is a very weak argument. When people who are coming home from Iraq with very severe injuries can't get the care they need, and when their families are often impoverished and left without any health insurance you won't convince many people beyond the recipients of "Annuities" that they are the best use of available money to accomplish whatever military goals the country may have. Maybe a little better armor on the battle vehicles? Maybe a little more frequent training? Maybe the assurance that as a severely wounded veteran your family won't go down in flames along with you?

I am essentially tired of "I got mine, to hell with you."

If you care so much about the poor troops, donate some of your generous federal check to the family of some poor guy who got half his brain shot out.

My FIL is a combat veteran of two wars and an retired O6. Even he knows that pensions are not an efficient way to attract the men and women who are actually going to fight, as opposed to manage what can become highly bureaucratic careers. The Army itself has study after study that shows that retention of the best soldiers would be helped much more by better pay and conditions early in the career than by the current back loading. Why do you think these changes don't get implemented?

As to your attack on my spirit, I will just say that I don’t care how much money anyone has, I am happy for every rich person who has ever shown up here. I do feel however that I have the right and duty to comment on things that I and other taxpayer citizens are funding. Isn’t that what a democratic society is about? Or perhaps you prefer that reality be swept under the rug?

Ha
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:26 PM   #39
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Having a net worth of $250K or less is irrelevant if you have a sweet pension plan. I would much rather have a $250K NW and a defined benefit plan at retirement that provided a reasonable GUARANTEED income with COLA's every year than having a $1M NW.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:43 PM   #40
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Having a net worth of $250K or less is irrelevant if you have a sweet pension plan. I would much rather have a $250K NW and a defined benefit plan at retirement that provided a reasonable GUARANTEED income with COLA's every year than having a $1M NW.
Very true. I don't have a pension - only Social Security and my savings. I have to manage my savings to meet my financial needs - a big worry.
If I had less of a net worth but a good government pension with COLA I would feel better off than I am today.
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