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public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 03:56 PM   #1
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public pension promises

The lead article in the week's Business Week is about how public pension promises are draining state and city budgets. The article discusses in detail under funding problems with pensions and even bigger problems with no funding for retiree health benefits. Any options besides raising taxes? Maybe not. The article says that most state constitutions guarantee pension promises. There is no history of default and even a municipal bankruptcy may not erase these debts. Not a pretty picture.

Some interesting comparisons between state/local government employees andprivate sector employees:

Government Private

34.72 23.76 Average compensation per hour
2.23 .85 Average retirement per hour
98% 60% Workers with some kind of retirement plan
86% 66% Workers with health insurance
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 04:01 PM   #2
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Re: public pension promises

Its only a matter of time before there are no longer any retirement 'plans' or health care except for what you put together or obtain yourself.

Working until you drop is going to come back into fashion.
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 05:39 PM   #3
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Re: public pension promises

Quote:
Any options besides raising taxes? Maybe not.
How about reduce governmental expenditure or waste?
.. e.g., military, pension benefits, useless agencies/services, $100 nail, $200K toilet in a rural park, white house renovation, etc ..... you can add your own.
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: public pension promises

I've seen senators grilling greenspan on options. They mention cutting spending and then brisk by that as though its a totally incomprehensible option.
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 06:46 PM   #5
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Re: public pension promises

In his hearing yesterday, Alan recommended "choices" between programs as government spending is unsustainable. A politician asked him how cutting spending could possibly be done. They seem to be clueless. Spending on outrageous programs will probably get worse, not better.
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 06:50 PM   #6
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Re: public pension promises

Quote:
There is no history of default and even a municipal bankruptcy may not erase these debts.
Full health care may not be guaranteed in all instances. A local teacher told me that retiree health care payments were going up so fast that he was afraid to retire. COLA provisions may also be cut, allowing inflation to solve the government's problem

Of course, this will not solve the retirees' problems.
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 06:58 PM   #7
 
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Re: public pension promises

I was not able to access the article online, but I would quibble dearly with any contention that government employees make nearly 50% more than their private counterparts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Government* * * * Private

34.72* * * * * * * * * * * *23.76* * Average compensation per hour
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 08:01 PM   #8
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Re: public pension promises

Not a lot of burger flippers and walmart greeters in govt service. I wouldnt be surprised.
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 08:20 PM   #9
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Re: public pension promises

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael
COLA provisions may also be cut, allowing inflation to solve the government's problem.
Nah, we'll just index COLAs to the CPI.

The hedonic improvements will make up the difference!
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-10-2005, 09:40 PM   #10
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Re: public pension promises

I'm waiting for this one:

"We've uncovered today, that the hedonic adjustments we've been making to CPI have resulted in americans awakening to the reality that our world is full of so many products and services that are so much better than they were just 5 years ago, that the very idea of inflation is moot. Thank you for playing."
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 06:35 AM   #11
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Re: public pension promises


Ahhhhh Martha really knows how to start a thread! We've already got the govt. vs. private sector, pensioners vs. non-pensioners, pork barrel politics, Greenspan, COLA, CPI...this is gonna be great!


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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 06:48 AM   #12
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Re: public pension promises

TH is right that service jobs pull down the private sector's earnings per hour figure. However.state and local managers and professional staff earned $42.87 an hour last year, while their private sector counterparts earned $41.52. So even the white collar workers do a bit better.
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 06:59 AM   #13
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Re: public pension promises

The article was about state and local workers only, not federal employees. On the federal level, the government can satisfy obligations by printing more money. The state and local governments have far less flexibility. One worry of the auther is that people will move from states like Illinois that will need to substantially increase taxes to meet its underfunded obligations.
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 10:46 AM   #14
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Re: public pension promises

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
The article was about state and local workers only, not federal employees.* On the federal level, the government can satisfy obligations by printing more money.* The state and local governments have far less flexibility.* One worry of the auther is that* *people will move from states like Illinois that will need to substantially increase taxes to meet its underfunded obligations.
If I didn't have family obligations, I couldn't get out of Illinois fast enough.
We live in a very pretty area, and since I must be here
where we are is fine. Otherwise, I don't like the politics or the weather.
Not sure which I dislike more.

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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 04:27 PM   #15
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Re: public pension promises

John, when you lived in Wisconsin, did you know Harry Moosecock in Oshkosh?
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 04:57 PM   #16
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Re: public pension promises

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper
John, when you lived in Wisconsin, did you know Harry Moosecock in Oshkosh?
No, but I knew a urologist named Woody

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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 05:35 PM   #17
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Re: public pension promises

I think Harry lived at 75 Chestnut St.?

Did you know a Dinky Withers at 80?
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 06:56 PM   #18
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Re: public pension promises

lol
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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 07:25 PM   #19
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Re: public pension promises

Quote:
However, state and local managers and professional staff earned $42.87 an hour last year...
I assume that they deserve every penny of it because of their dedication and hardwork to serve the public. They work harder than the managers and prodessionals in the private sector.

Quote:
...the government can satisfy obligations by printing more money
Great. All we need is more national debt.

Quote:
..The state and local governments have far less flexibility. One worry of the auther is that people will move from states like Illinois that will need to substantially increase taxes to meet its underfunded obligations...
Well, grass is not greener elsewhere. You cannot avoid tax. I am suprised that people would move because of increased tax. Don't they want to express their graditude or the valuable services provided by the public workers? Paying more tax to support their pension plans is one way to say that we thank you for all your dedication and hardwork.

Hmmm. I wonder if I should have my head examined for these statements.



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Re: public pension promises
Old 06-11-2005, 08:55 PM   #20
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Re: public pension promises

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper
I think Harry lived at 75 Chestnut St.?

Did you know a Dinky Withers at 80?
No, but I knew the late "Tiny" Cox. I read in The Milwaukee Journal
that he was a stiff.

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