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Old 11-02-2010, 03:22 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
What I AM trying to get to is simply an understanding of what those public benefits are for roughly similar paying jobs. Are the relatively generous or not? We need some data.
If to satisfy an academic curiosity, sure, why not? If to decide on appropriate public policy on wages and benefits, I don't think we do need that understanding or that data. We should just make sure that people have enough choices and they are informed about their choices, and then the magic invisible hand of the market will set wages and benefit levels for us.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:44 PM   #162
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One thing that I'm not sure Texas Proud (love them Giants, right ??) and ERD50 are taking into account is that many of the lower paid workers are only lower paid for a limited period of time. This is hard to explain, but most highly educated workers in the government start at low grade levels and are promoted relatively quickly. As an example, an MBA from a top 20 school in industry may start out at $90K a year, or more. The same person in the federal government would start at about $51K in the Washington, DC area. Less in the rest of the country except maybe for SF, NY and Boston. Same thing for lawyers and other professionals.

What happens next is that the feds get promoted and earn more, but they can generally never overcome that initial difference. By the time they get to $150K, their counterparts are making $200K, $300K or more. And those who go on to manage large organizations get maybe $170K, while similar folks in industry get millions .

Those who stay in lower grades - lets say for example grades 5 through 12 - and don't rise above that level, tend to lack college degrees and slowly move to the top of their pay scale, which take about 20 years. At which point the only pay raises they can get are the annual COLAs. What I'm probably not explaining well is that we are still talking apples and oranges as to the experience level of the feds vs industry.

If you have an admin assistant in the government and an admin assistant in industry, they both probably started out earning about the same annual salary in a given geographical are. But, over time, the fed will receive a steady stream of raises, even if they are not promoted, that will most likely exceed those being received by the industry person.

This is why the study shows what it did about the lower salary folks. There is no easy solution. It would be far too much effort and unfair to employees to reevaluate their salaries each year and compare every single occupational area to those in industry. One problem is that in good times, federal salaries are held down to prevent inflation. In bad times, they are held down because....times are bad. I'm referring to annual Colas here. So, in the end, it sort of averages out because of the non-cola increases.

So what happens is that step increases slowly raise salaries so that they may be higher than their industry counterparts for the lowest paid feds. This helps retention and allows the government to have highly trained people who know their agency. While there are more lower paid employees than those of higher grades, why would you want to take away money from those people? Even if we make an assumption (total guesswork on my part) that there are 1M lower paid employees and that they make, on average, $5,000 more than their industry counterparts, that comes to $5B annually. That's a lot of money, but less than 2 aircraft carriers. Not really much in the grand scheme of things and you would be cutting the salaries of the most vulnerable people.

You keep saying that I'm not listening - you are mistaken - I am listening very well and all I hear is a lot of mean spiritedness. I have no idea what you do, how much you earn, or anything else. I'm more than willing to hear arguments for cutting federal pay and benefits when I see all those highly paid lawyers, managers and stock traders do the same. We all know that's never going to happen.
I am not being mean spirited... though it might sound like that....

And hey, all I did was quote an article that you presented indicating that gvmt employees were paid less than industry... when it stated that this is not the case for lower paid people. Unless you read the whole article and maybe not even then... neither you nor I can say what that statement means... does it mean what you are trying to say here or does it mean that even at higher levels than what you say are 'higher paid'.....

It is a little disingenuous to us as an example a highly skilled person that is at the top of their class in a top tier university... I doubt that there are more than 1% of people in the gvmt (that are not there for political connections) that have those credentials... and from what you read all the time, they are there to get higher up and then jump to industry jumping higher than the original person you mention (hey, we are both making up stuff here )

Most people who do accounting work make in the $60 to $75K range... which looks to be what you make in gvmt...


Now... I decided to take a look... the total full time equivalent payroll for state and local gvmts was 4,399,190 people making an average of $52,895... I am sure that is someone dove into these they could gleen a lot out of them.... here is the site.. Government Employment & Payroll The federal numers have not been posted...

One other issue that you keep bringing up, which we do not, is that you think we are talking about federal employees only... I am not... from what I read the federal pension plan was adjusted and is not anywhere near as generous as before... still a DB plan that might have a funding issue, but as you point out nobody is going to get rich off it...
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:45 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post

Most people who do accounting work make in the $60 to $75K range... which looks to be what you make in gvmt...


Now... I decided to take a look... the total full time equivalent payroll for state and local gvmts was 4,399,190 people making an average of $52,895... I am sure that is someone dove into these they could gleen a lot out of them.... here is the site.. Government Employment & Payroll The federal numers have not been posted...

One other issue that you keep bringing up, which we do not, is that you think we are talking about federal employees only... I am not... from what I read the federal pension plan was adjusted and is not anywhere near as generous as before... still a DB plan that might have a funding issue, but as you point out nobody is going to get rich off it...
Thanks for the link TP. Looking at the summary it looks there are some obvious errors. For example that there are 1.2 million higher eduction teachers vs 48,000 elementary and secondary teachers among local and state employee. I kinda of doubt that.
Code:
                                                         Full-time                   Part-time   Full-Time        March
                                          Full-time         pay        Part-time        pay      Equivalent        Pay
Government Function                       employees         ($)        employees        ($)      Employment        ($)

Education Total                           1,367,822   6,848,603,701    1,280,607  1,428,543,675   1,814,027   8,277,147,376
Elementary & Secondary Education Total       48,044     224,236,589       18,871     19,115,238      52,975     243,351,827
  Elem & Sec Instructional Employees         34,730     184,240,049       12,569     14,148,961      37,985     198,389,010
  Elem & Sec Other Employees                 13,314      39,996,540        6,302      4,966,277      14,990      44,962,817
Higher Education Total                    1,238,175   6,265,859,712    1,248,402  1,388,895,163   1,673,771   7,654,754,875
  Higher Ed Instructional Employees         401,040   2,808,347,552      410,039    676,797,121     548,236   3,485,144,673
  Higher Ed Other Employees                 837,135   3,457,512,160      838,363    712,098,042   1,125,535   4,169,610,202

Other Education                              81,603     358,507,400       13,334     20,533,274      87,281     379,040,674
I am also very suspicious of any survey which uses an average and not median when comparing things in which there is huge variation. A salary survey that throws in the salary of Fortune 500 top execs, professional athletes, Ophrah, movie stars, and the salary of Google admins, and chefs, with government counterparts is sure to be misleading. So I most interested in how they went about comparing private and public sector jobs.

Finally let me echo TP and other comments, the Federal pension system isn't broken, it looks generous now only because interest rates are so low. As I've said many times the emphasis on Federal retirement is on contributing to the TSP and this is a good thing. TSP is a model saving program that private and public employees would do well to follow.

The problem is the state and local pension problems which are massively underfunded and can't be fixed by printing money. State and local politician, and public employee unions have all kicked the can down the road for decades. The road has finally ended and the next kick will send the can over the cliff.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:56 AM   #164
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RE: (ERD50 said): Are the (pensions) relatively generous or not?

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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
If to satisfy an academic curiosity, sure, why not? If to decide on appropriate public policy on wages and benefits, I don't think we do need that understanding or that data. We should just make sure that people have enough choices and they are informed about their choices, and then the magic invisible hand of the market will set wages and benefit levels for us.
[NOTE: Since you say "why not", I'm assuming we agree the pensions are generous for this discussion, so I won't be wordy with "let's assume" before every phrase, so I hope I don't get quoted out of context.]

OK, that could possibly address one side of the issue, one I'm not all that concerned about, despite all the claims to the contrary (I suspect those claims are to deflect from the real issue). So yes, if we actually have transparency and an open market, that should deflate the 'envy' issue with the response that is already used "you could have had that job/pension". But, that's not my issue (I'll come back to this later).

The bigger issue is, these generous pensions were not funded, and now it looks like we (and our children) will have taxes increased to cover them if no adjustments are made. And this emphasis from current pay to future benefits makes the financial situation less predictable, and just pushes costs onto future generations. Generous pensions just are not good for our state finances. And, many of the people who will be asked to pay these generous pensions never had pensions this good and most of those were cut during their careers. So yes, they are not too excited about paying someone else's generous pension.

Back to 'transparency'. Now, this is a bit of anecdotal evidence, but it illustrates a situation, and I bet it isn't unique. I know a young person who entered a career in the public sector. After a year or two on the job, she came to a clearer understanding of just what her public sector job offered in terms of security and pension and benefits. She also came to a better understanding of what her parents had in terms of pensions and job security (both parents had been laid off after 25-30 years at Mega-Corp). She has said - 'you know, I entered this career because it was what I wanted to do. The pay is OK, they really did not need to offer these generous pensions and benefits to get me to work here.'

So the point is, we should greatly reduce generous pensions benefits, and if we need to raise salary to attract the qualified people we need, we should do that. That is transparency, as we see the costs today, decide if we want to pay them or not. To push the cost of the services we get today into the future is just greedy and dishonest on the part of politicians, and does not serve the public well.

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Old 11-03-2010, 09:14 AM   #165
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So the point is, we should greatly reduce generous pensions benefits, and if we need to raise salary to attract the qualified people we need, we should do that.
Doesn't it depend on how much we would need to raise salaries? You are using qualitative reasoning about a quantitative question.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:47 AM   #166
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The reason I concentrate on federal pay and pensions is that I know that arena very well. I have little knowledge of state and local pay and pension systems, so I don't comment much about them. That being said, I believe the broad brush statements that public pay and pensions are too generous and unfunded are generalizations that don't hold water . The easy one to debunk is federal. Just because federal employees are not leaving the government is droves does not mean that their pay is too high. There are lots and lots of people who work for the government who truly believe in the jobs they are doing and want to make things better (whether you agree or disagree about the "better" part is irrelevant) . Taken as a whole, federal pay is not more generous than the private sector. There are occupational categories that may be higher and many others that are lower. As I have mentioned, it's pretty much impossible to change the overall pay structure to account for that. You can put specific jobs at a lower GS pay grade, but the variability of the availability of employees for those positions is too great to make that of much use. What I mean by that is people at the lower grades tend to go where the money is . In times like we have today, people flock to the government for stability. When times are really good in industry (the 90's), we tend to lose folks who see greater opportunities elsewhere. This has been amplified since 1984 when federal employee pensions became more portable. Plus the fact that federal pensions are fully funded - what the government does with this money is another story, but employees should not be penalized because of political greed .

As to state and locals, I see no way that anyone can say they are overpaid, underpaid or that their pensions are underfunded - as a broad general statement. What can be said is that there are excesses in some places, that there are some jobs that are overpaid and that there are many more that are fully competetive with private industry. There are thousands of pension systems for public positions and I doubt anyone on this board has knowledge of more than a few.

I do remember some early comments about the military pension system and benefits, but nothing lately. Don't even try to go there unless you can show you make sacrifices similar to those made by our military . And the fact that not everyone is in combat all the time is meaningless. Every soldier, sailor, airman and marine can be sent away from their families and put in combat at any time. Just ask the 100s of thousands of reservists who have been to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 7 years.

I don't have the time to dig through all the posts to show "mean spirited" comments. But they are there, at least in my opinion. And I stand by my comments about the "sour grapes" attitude. One of the silier examples is the one about taking food out of the mouths of babes to pay public pensions. Gimme a break - that's total rubbish .
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:08 AM   #167
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Doesn't it depend on how much we would need to raise salaries?
No.

We would need to raise salaries as much as it takes to get qualified people. Then we KNOW how much we are paying. It will take us closer to knowing we are not over-paying (in total compensation). It's far more transparent. If we are unwilling to pay for it as we use it, we should be unwilling to accept the service. It's unethical and unsustainable to say "I want those police, teachers, street pavers" or whatever, and then say "but I want them to be paid for by someone else, in the future".



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I don't have the time to dig through all the posts to show "mean spirited" comments. But they are there, at least in my opinion.
Then don't make references to them, unless you can quote or link them at that time. If you don't have time to do that, I don't have time to read your posts. The lack of any support for your 'opinion' not only renders the post meaningless, but it undermines your position. And it is really an unfounded personal attack against those trying to take an opposing view when you lump everyone together.

Either take the statement back and apologize, or delete your post, or find a link so I have a chance to defend my position. If you can't do that, you are clearly arguing form a weak position, and just making my point even louder and clearer. Maybe in a round-a-bout way, I should say "Thanks!".

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Old 11-03-2010, 10:10 AM   #168
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Thanks for the link TP. Looking at the summary it looks there are some obvious errors. For example that there are 1.2 million higher eduction teachers vs 48,000 elementary and secondary teachers among local and state employee. I kinda of doubt that.
I kind of agree... I did not take a deep look into the numbers... and would think that the census people are the ones you can trust...
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:19 PM   #169
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Just glancing though all 168 posts, this is what I extracted for TP and ERD50. Some comments can easily be interpreted as mean spirited, others go back to the standard "why should I have to pay for other people's pensions" line and others are just condescending. The fact is that the federal system is not broken, it's fully funded and not running out of money and, since 1984, it has been far less generous than in the past. Yet you keep attacking federal wages and salaries without any basis other than "it's not what we get and we don't want to pay for it." Again, I have not commented much on state and locals as they are as different as potatoes, granite and sea water - meaning it's pretty much impossible to draw any firm conslusions for them as a whole.

This is another example of condescension that appeared in #167- "We would need to raise salaries as much as it takes to get qualified people. Then we KNOW how much we are paying. It will take us closer to knowing we are not over-paying (in total compensation). It's far more transparent. If we are unwilling to pay for it as we use it, we should be unwilling to accept the service. It's unethical and unsustainable to say "I want those police, teachers, street pavers" or whatever, and then say "but I want them to be paid for by someone else, in the future"."

But we all know that's not going to happen. We do want someone else to foot the bill fo their benefits in the future. And we do want the services from them now, and we want superior services. Why do garbage men get more money than teachers in some areas? Because they can - it's backbreaking work, in all climates and weather and many people will not do it no matter what we pay. So, if your choice is to not hire garbage men and have your garbage taken away because they are too expensive, then what do you do? Haul it yourself - that's not really an option in most places. Yet most teachers receive fair to middling salaries and the only really good thing they have going for them is their benefits.

Not only will I not apologize, but I'll push it further - it' clear that there are some people here who have a very dim view of public employees period. This argument is simply the tip of the iceberg. And what does it all go back to?? That they chose another path in life, and now, when the bill comes due for all the services they have gotten over the years, they don't want to pay it.

Here are the quotes (there are more, I just got tired of reading them):

TP - #43 - why can you not change it now Federal law only says you can not give less than what is already earned... so, we change it now for everybody... then people have to choose if they want to continue to work or not...

Some people will continue to work, but their DB amount will not go up any.. but they will not earn any less than the formula says they would get when the change occured... it has happened to a lot of people in the private sector...

TP - #44 - And my point would be.... their is a salary that would have convinced someone with your skill and rank to stay in the military... without a 'generous pension' (now, learning from Nords, the pension is not as generous as I had thought... but using your words for argument sake)...

TP - #53 - I also don't think there would be a mass exit of workers from the public sector if their benefits were reduced... as mentioned by someone else, a file clerk is already paid a lot more than a private file clerk without the pension... at the end of the day... we (in meaning the taxpayers) would have a true cost of our gvmt and then we can decide if we want to tax ourselves more to pay for it or live with less... as it stands today, even if we got rid of 100% of the workers, we would still be taxed to pay for benefits long into the future... or at a minimum be on the hook for any underfunding of the pension plan...

E50 - #102 - If you're mystified by the outrage, I don't think you've been reading the posts here. It's been explained ad nauseam.

E50 - #105 - What concerns me is when people try to play down the impact of these pensions on the taxpayers who need to fund them, and/or try to minimize just how good these pensions are relative to what the public sector gets.

E50 - #128 - Big difference between "getting even" or "envy" and resenting someone asking you to pay for what they have, esp when what they have is better than yours.

E50 - #157 - Wow, so it looks like most of the government employees get better pay, more security AND better benefits! I guess beowulf was right - he probably couldn't imagine the reactions from that article

E50 - #164 - The bigger issue is, these generous pensions were not funded, and now it looks like we (and our children) will have taxes increased to cover them if no adjustments are made. And this emphasis from current pay to future benefits makes the financial situation less predictable, and just pushes costs onto future generations. Generous pensions just are not good for our state finances. And, many of the people who will be asked to pay these generous pensions never had pensions this good and most of those were cut during their careers. So yes, they are not too excited about paying someone else's generous pension.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:26 PM   #170
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The reason I concentrate on federal pay and pensions is that I know that arena very well. I have little knowledge of state and local pay and pension systems, so I don't comment much about them. That being said, I believe the broad brush statements that public pay and pensions are too generous and unfunded are generalizations that don't hold water . The easy one to debunk is federal. Just because federal employees are not leaving the government is droves does not mean that their pay is too high. There are lots and lots of people who work for the government who truly believe in the jobs they are doing and want to make things better (whether you agree or disagree about the "better" part is irrelevant) . Taken as a whole, federal pay is not more generous than the private sector. There are occupational categories that may be higher and many others that are lower. As I have mentioned, it's pretty much impossible to change the overall pay structure to account for that. You can put specific jobs at a lower GS pay grade, but the variability of the availability of employees for those positions is too great to make that of much use. What I mean by that is people at the lower grades tend to go where the money is . In times like we have today, people flock to the government for stability. When times are really good in industry (the 90's), we tend to lose folks who see greater opportunities elsewhere. This has been amplified since 1984 when federal employee pensions became more portable. Plus the fact that federal pensions are fully funded - what the government does with this money is another story, but employees should not be penalized because of political greed .

As to state and locals, I see no way that anyone can say they are overpaid, underpaid or that their pensions are underfunded - as a broad general statement. What can be said is that there are excesses in some places, that there are some jobs that are overpaid and that there are many more that are fully competetive with private industry. There are thousands of pension systems for public positions and I doubt anyone on this board has knowledge of more than a few.

I do remember some early comments about the military pension system and benefits, but nothing lately. Don't even try to go there unless you can show you make sacrifices similar to those made by our military . And the fact that not everyone is in combat all the time is meaningless. Every soldier, sailor, airman and marine can be sent away from their families and put in combat at any time. Just ask the 100s of thousands of reservists who have been to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 7 years.

I don't have the time to dig through all the posts to show "mean spirited" comments. But they are there, at least in my opinion. And I stand by my comments about the "sour grapes" attitude. One of the silier examples is the one about taking food out of the mouths of babes to pay public pensions. Gimme a break - that's total rubbish .
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, not only you, but the so-called "mean-spirited" folks on here..........Freedom of Speech is still NOT illegal in the USA............
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:53 PM   #171
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Absolutely - I never said or intimated that they are not. I refuted some of what they said and then they refuted some of what I said and then I refuted some of what they said and ............

It's all an open exchange - I don't think anyone is flaming anyone else - just exchanges of opinion. As it should be.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:15 PM   #172
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Not only will I not apologize, but I'll push it further - it' clear that there are some people here who have a very dim view of public employees period.
Try not to be so overly sensitive and argumentative. I haven't detected any "mean-spiritedness" from posters in this thread. Remember, this is a group of generally frugal, value-seeking folks with a goal of being FIRE'd and staying FIRE'd. I've seen them treat other occupations (annuity salepeople for one) much more critically.

When you work for the gov't, you work for these folks. And they are going to probe and question how every penny is spent. Just like getting a great buy on a reliable car, they expect a great buy on the gov't provided services they are paying for.

Because some gov't jobs don't seem to have a direct tie between their total compensation packages and the free market system, it's not easy for folks to see how they're getting the most bang for their buck. For example, I'm quite familar with Chicago/Cook County politics and the associated patronage system. And I gotta tell ya, there are a lot of dollars spent for services that aren't delivered.

I know you're Fed and that the Fed recognized the problem and acted to correct it in 1984. Still, people are going to rightly want a constant accounting of what their money is getting them just as with any other service they buy. They want total compensation systems that are flexible over the decades so that the amount of money spent remains congruent with the services received in the current period.

We're all salesmen in life. You folks need to sell your customers on the fact they're getting one hell of a super bargain by employing you.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:29 PM   #173
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As to state and locals, I see no way that anyone can say they are overpaid, underpaid or that their pensions are underfunded - as a broad general statement. What can be said is that there are excesses in some places, that there are some jobs that are overpaid and that there are many more that are fully competetive with private industry. There are thousands of pension systems for public positions and I doubt anyone on this board has knowledge of more than a few.

Why not Not that I am saying it is or is not true, but it is real easy to say that ALL state and local workers are overpaid... and I bet there are a number of people who do say this....

Why? Because it is an opinion... you might think otherwise, but you might be in the minority (might not either....)

There continue to be statements made by some that all CEOs are overpaid... and this is not a true statement... and lots of people say doctors are overpaid, but not all are...
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:29 PM   #174
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:32 PM   #175
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Just glancing though all 168 posts, this is what I extracted for TP and ERD50. Some comments can easily be interpreted as mean spirited,...
Thanks for taking the time to collect the quotes that you take issue with. I would certainly want to apologize or clarify anything that appeared mean spirited. With the hard work behind you, could you please point out which of these quotes from me could "easily be interpreted as mean spirited"?

I looked over them again, and I know that sometimes on re-reading a post comes across differently than what I first intended. But that didn't happen to me here. I'll go so far as to say that some have a built in assumption that public benefits are on average more generous than private pensions, but I'll stand by that until clear evidence to the contrary is presented.

-ERD50
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:44 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by beowulf View Post
Just glancing though all 168 posts, this is what I extracted for TP and ERD50. Some comments can easily be interpreted as mean spirited, others go back to the standard "why should I have to pay for other people's pensions" line and others are just condescending. The fact is that the federal system is not broken, it's fully funded and not running out of money and, since 1984, it has been far less generous than in the past. Yet you keep attacking federal wages and salaries without any basis other than "it's not what we get and we don't want to pay for it." Again, I have not commented much on state and locals as they are as different as potatoes, granite and sea water - meaning it's pretty much impossible to draw any firm conslusions for them as a whole.

This is another example of condescension that appeared in #167- "We would need to raise salaries as much as it takes to get qualified people. Then we KNOW how much we are paying. It will take us closer to knowing we are not over-paying (in total compensation). It's far more transparent. If we are unwilling to pay for it as we use it, we should be unwilling to accept the service. It's unethical and unsustainable to say "I want those police, teachers, street pavers" or whatever, and then say "but I want them to be paid for by someone else, in the future"."

But we all know that's not going to happen. We do want someone else to foot the bill fo their benefits in the future. And we do want the services from them now, and we want superior services. Why do garbage men get more money than teachers in some areas? Because they can - it's backbreaking work, in all climates and weather and many people will not do it no matter what we pay. So, if your choice is to not hire garbage men and have your garbage taken away because they are too expensive, then what do you do? Haul it yourself - that's not really an option in most places. Yet most teachers receive fair to middling salaries and the only really good thing they have going for them is their benefits.

Not only will I not apologize, but I'll push it further - it' clear that there are some people here who have a very dim view of public employees period. This argument is simply the tip of the iceberg. And what does it all go back to?? That they chose another path in life, and now, when the bill comes due for all the services they have gotten over the years, they don't want to pay it.

Here are the quotes (there are more, I just got tired of reading them):

TP - #43 - why can you not change it now Federal law only says you can not give less than what is already earned... so, we change it now for everybody... then people have to choose if they want to continue to work or not...

Some people will continue to work, but their DB amount will not go up any.. but they will not earn any less than the formula says they would get when the change occured... it has happened to a lot of people in the private sector...

TP - #44 - And my point would be.... their is a salary that would have convinced someone with your skill and rank to stay in the military... without a 'generous pension' (now, learning from Nords, the pension is not as generous as I had thought... but using your words for argument sake)...

TP - #53 - I also don't think there would be a mass exit of workers from the public sector if their benefits were reduced... as mentioned by someone else, a file clerk is already paid a lot more than a private file clerk without the pension... at the end of the day... we (in meaning the taxpayers) would have a true cost of our gvmt and then we can decide if we want to tax ourselves more to pay for it or live with less... as it stands today, even if we got rid of 100% of the workers, we would still be taxed to pay for benefits long into the future... or at a minimum be on the hook for any underfunding of the pension plan...

E50 - #102 - If you're mystified by the outrage, I don't think you've been reading the posts here. It's been explained ad nauseam.

E50 - #105 - What concerns me is when people try to play down the impact of these pensions on the taxpayers who need to fund them, and/or try to minimize just how good these pensions are relative to what the public sector gets.

E50 - #128 - Big difference between "getting even" or "envy" and resenting someone asking you to pay for what they have, esp when what they have is better than yours.

E50 - #157 - Wow, so it looks like most of the government employees get better pay, more security AND better benefits! I guess beowulf was right - he probably couldn't imagine the reactions from that article

E50 - #164 - The bigger issue is, these generous pensions were not funded, and now it looks like we (and our children) will have taxes increased to cover them if no adjustments are made. And this emphasis from current pay to future benefits makes the financial situation less predictable, and just pushes costs onto future generations. Generous pensions just are not good for our state finances. And, many of the people who will be asked to pay these generous pensions never had pensions this good and most of those were cut during their careers. So yes, they are not too excited about paying someone else's generous pension.


And again... you seem to be taking this personal... I am just stating what I think should happen.. if it affects your pocketbook, then so be it... I did not say that any of the workers were not doing a good job etc. etc.... I just said that AS A TAXPAYER, I want to know what I am paying for... and with these pension systems I do NOT know...

I have said time and time again... if we change it to where your pension is based on what YOU put in along with what was put in for YOU.... I have not problem with a pension system... the problem is that there are a lot of people who get a lot more than they ever put in (in total)... IOW, the cost of an annuity at the time they retire is a lot more than all the contributions along with any earnings...

You also use some of my posts incorrectly.... as an example.. #43 was in response to a statement that we can not change anything... but we can if we want... it has happened lots of times... will it happen probably not... but don't say that it can not...

Also, post #44 was in response to someone stating that a pension was a deciding factor in staying in the military... I said that there would be a salary that would do the same thing... so why have an unknown cost to keep this skilll when we can have a known cost to keep it...


I don't see how #53 is mean spirited.... I just used the arguments of some against them... the argument usually is 'why don't you take a gvmt job if the pension is so great'... so all I said was let's take the pension away and see how many people leave... probably not many... how is this mean spirited? Just a stmt of my opinion...


As has been mentioned... most of the people that I know that have gvmt jobs would have accepted these jobs with the pay they are receiving... the pension did not have much influence on their decision.. and I got 4 people in my family that worked in gvmt..... how many do you have besides yourself
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:50 PM   #177
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Just as an aside... that has nothing to do with this thread at all....

When I was in NY... I heard that the avg salary of a doorman was $100K... it was one of the hardest unions to get into....

Now, I could care less how much these doormen get as I am not paying their salary... but if there were doormen being paid by the gvmt, I would NOT want them to be paying this amount for a relatively easy job... even though the 'market rate' was higher...
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:27 PM   #178
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Uh-oh, I always hold the door for anybody who's exiting the building after me, and I make more than $100K, and I work for the government...not unionized, though.... Amethyst


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I heard that the avg salary of a doorman was $100K... it was one of the hardest unions to get into....

N but if there were doormen being paid by the gvmt, I would NOT want them to be paying this amount for a relatively easy job... .
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:20 PM   #179
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The reason I concentrate on federal pay and pensions is that I know that arena very well. I have little knowledge of state and local pay and pension systems, so I don't comment much about them.
As to state and locals, I see no way that anyone can say they are overpaid, underpaid or that their pensions are underfunded - as a broad general statement. What can be said is that there are excesses in some places, that there are some jobs that are overpaid and that there are many more that are fully competetive with private industry. There are thousands of pension systems for public positions and I doubt anyone on this board has knowledge of more than a few.

.
As we have all said the argument isn't about Federal pensions. Just because you don't know much about state and local pensions doesn't mean that there aren't people who have studied them. Here are two reports worth reading The Trillion Dollar Gap by the Pew Center of the States highly readable.

This study by two Northwestern Business school profs is even more scary showing a Three Trillion dollar shortfall, but is more of an academic read.

I personally have read the annual reports of more than a dozen different pension plans, and then performed back of the envelope calculations to try and understand their financial health. I have encouraged other readers to do the same and many have like KYoung in previous threads.

There are lots of smart people on this forums and many of us are willing to use the magic of Google to help remove our ignorance. If you are not well...

(ok that was mean spirited but I wanted to get on the list... )


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Old 11-04-2010, 02:04 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Just as an aside... that has nothing to do with this thread at all....

When I was in NY... I heard that the avg salary of a doorman was $100K... it was one of the hardest unions to get into....

Now, I could care less how much these doormen get as I am not paying their salary... but if there were doormen being paid by the gvmt, I would NOT want them to be paying this amount for a relatively easy job... even though the 'market rate' was higher...
Why don't we just make you the Wage Czar, and let you set everyone's pay? You seem to have very decided ideas about how much all the rest of us should be getting paid.
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