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Old 04-26-2011, 09:19 AM   #21
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Welcome to the private sector......
Agree 100%.
But Co's got greedy.
Before the 80's most large co's had "profit sharing".
(in addition to a pension/medical)
Great incentive for employees to do well.
They also valued loyalty.
Those days are long gone.
Today, unions cant compete and loyalty in the private sector means nothing.
I guess that's why things are the way they are today.........

College students today have zero trust in Gov. or Big business.
For good reason.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:23 AM   #22
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Welcome to the private sector......
Indeed. I started in academia and then moved to NASA before working for a private sector defence contractor. The only place I ever saw people actively screwed was in the private company and that was by managers who were nice people, but had to make short term financial targets. I saw those managers selling a little of their souls and walked away from that job and went back to academia. I didn't need the money at that price. I now work for a state university. I've taken a pay cut, have more vacation, don't pay SS, pay 11% of salary to a DC plan and get a 5% state contribution......on the whole I'm financially worse off, but the working environment is far better.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:30 AM   #23
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I don't understand why people attack the teachers who get paid below average salaries to nurture of the minds of our children.
IMO, it's a problem that we can't even debate this without this card being played as if anyone who feels otherwise is a monster.
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I'd want the best and the brightest to do that job, and the way you get those folks is to offer good pay and benefits.
And yet, many (if not most) of the people making this argument in "defense" of teachers and their compensation vehemently oppose the ability to get rid of bad teachers more easily, eliminate K-12 tenure or offer merit pay for top performers. Cognitive dissonance, methinks, if the goal is to have the best and brightest become teachers.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:31 AM   #24
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On the other hand, if the last 15 yrs of market volatility looked more like the past 70 years we would not be having this discussion.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:33 AM   #25
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I'd want the best and the brightest to do that job, and the way you get those folks is to offer good pay and benefits.
To attract and keep the best, good pay and benefits are necessary but not sufficient. Employers also have to have a rigorous selection process to hire the right folks, and be ready to "un-hire" them efficiently so another applicant can move in. Throwing more money at a present batch of mediocre employees (regardless of the job) will not make them better, and if they've got effective lifetime employment guarantees and advancement based on seniority rather than performance, then higher pay is just wasted.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:35 AM   #26
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:40 AM   #27
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I don't understand why people attack the teachers who get paid below average salaries to nurture of the minds of our children. I'd want the best and the brightest to do that job, and the way you get those folks is to offer good pay and benefits. We have our priorities reversed when teacher pay and benefits is the issue rather than company tax evasion and CEO pay.
The average teacher in Wisconsin makes about $50,000 a year plus benefits. With pension and healthcare added in, total compensation goes up to about $85,000-$90,000. How many unemployed people in America would take that job? Last year, our district had 12 openings, and got 2700 resumes........apaprently some people think that being a teacher isn't that bad of a deal..........
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:43 AM   #28
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...and loyalty in the private sector means nothing.
Sort of, but I'd add that whether a company is publicly traded or privately held is also a factor. When you look at Fortune magazine's annual "best 100 companies to work for" list, private companies are disproportionately represented by a fairly wide margin. It's the Wall Street addiction to the quarterly earnings report and "hitting their numbers" THIS QUARTER without much regard for the longer term that adds to much of the absence of loyalty.

A privately held company may decide that mass layoffs in a weak economy will put them at a disadvantage in the long run once the recovery takes hold, so they stay put or keep layoffs to a minimum. Public company CEOs and other execs want to show that they are getting "lean and mean" and the more heads they can cut, the better for their stock price (and executive bonuses). Whether it hurts them a couple years down the road is barely a concern, if at all. And a private company can decide to leave some profit on the table if they decide they're doing well enough -- while public company executives who did this would be ousted by angry institutional shareholders for not squeezing that last penny per share out of the business by being ruthless.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:47 AM   #29
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:12 AM   #30
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I don't understand why people attack the teachers who get paid below average salaries to nurture of the minds of our children.
Not in my area. I know quite a few teachers in our development who live a "lifestyle" much better than DW/me.

Also, by the time they are in their mid-50's, they are retired (due to my taxes). Something that still grates me the wrong way.

Heck, I pay for my living expenses; I also pay for "theirs", via taxes, which include a good retirement well after I was still "humping".....
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:20 AM   #31
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Not in my area. I know quite a few teachers in our development who live a "lifestyle" much better than DW/me.

Also, by the time they are in their mid-50's, they are retired (due to my taxes). Something that still grates me the wrong way.
See, here's the thing. When some people invoke the 80s and 90s and say "the private sector was a much better deal," it misses one thing: Even when it was (and that wasn't always true), the ability of the public sector to retire (often as early as 55 and sometimes even 50) was never in question. Today, ANY retirement for the pensionless is in question, especially if they weren't prodigious savers since their 20s. Sure, the govvies weren't going to "get rich quick" but they sure as hell never worried that they could never retire.

Also, I don't think a lot of taxpayers would complain about paying for an employment deal (like retiree health insurance and a generous pension even for early retirement) if they were getting the same -- and weren't having theirs taken away. I think one of the best thing the public sector compensation advocates can do is stop bashing the private sector, but advocate for it. If we were still getting anything close to what you were getting, I suspect much of the backlash would go away. Most of us can't protest at corporate HQ when we get screwed, not if we want to keep putting food on the table. (And yes, it *is* a two-way street. Bashing in either direction is not useful or productive.)

This has become a wedge issue to divide and conquer the middle class, I think, by the folks who have a vested interest in keeping us fighting amongst ourselves. There IS a real problem with the increasing disconnect between the public and private sector employment deal, but I'd like to think the middle class turning on itself isn't the best way to debate it. I'd also like to think we won't try to "balance" the two by simply letting them race to the bottom in tandem.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:22 AM   #32
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Absolutely not sarcasm. My modest proposal is to shut down all those grasping private businesses, and have everyone work for a much more beneficent employer, the government.

Ha
You need emoticons Ha. A fair number of readers don't understand A Modest Proposal when they see one.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:28 AM   #33
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"This has become a wedge issue to divide and conquer the middle class"

Maybe more of a by product:
Its a scam to keep the working class working & paying tax's longer. (80 is the new 70 LOL LOL)
Those that benefit naturally get looked at cross eyed.
And it isn't either of the above parties fault.

But, never the less here we are.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:28 AM   #34
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I'd want the best and the brightest to do that job, and the way you get those folks is to offer good pay and benefits.
So far that hasn't worked very well.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:30 AM   #35
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I work for state government and have a choice of a BD or a DC plan. The pay in terms are exactly the same ie mandated 11% of salary with 5% state match. However, there's a 10 year vesting on the BD plan and it only becomes a good benefit after 15 or 20 years of service. As I began my job at age 42 with the plan to retire in my early 50s I went with the DC plan because of it's flexibility. I've run the numbers and the value of my DC plan could buy a lifetime annuity thats a bit more than the value of the BD plan I'd get if I retired now.
That's what I was thinking. Assuming that the DC plan contribution and DB funding is equal, isn't the DB just a forced annuity?
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:32 AM   #36
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I don't need a retirement plan. I'm retired - DW still wor*ks (per her decision).

Life is good ...
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:33 AM   #37
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That's what I was thinking. Assuming that the DC plan contribution and DB funding is equal, isn't the DB just a forced annuity?
Yes, but more often the DB funding is a lot more than the contribution. For instance, the budget repair bill in Wisconsin would require state workers to contribute 5.6% of their pension, while the state covers 94.4%. A match of dollar for dollar on 50% of the first 6% is not quite the same.....
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:34 AM   #38
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See, here's the thing. When some people invoke the 80s and 90s and say "the private sector was a much better deal," it misses one thing: Even when it was (and that wasn't always true), the ability of the public sector to retire (often as early as 55 and sometimes even 50) was never in question. Today, ANY retirement for the pensionless is in question, especially if they weren't prodigious savers since their 20s. Sure, the govvies weren't going to "get rich quick" but they sure as hell never worried that they could never retire.

Also, I don't think a lot of taxpayers would complain about paying for an employment deal (like retiree health insurance and a generous pension even for early retirement) if they were getting the same -- and weren't having theirs taken away. I think one of the best thing the public sector compensation advocates can do is stop bashing the private sector, but advocate for it. If we were still getting anything close to what you were getting, I suspect much of the backlash would go away. Most of us can't protest at corporate HQ when we get screwed, not if we want to keep putting food on the table. (And yes, it *is* a two-way street. Bashing in either direction is not useful or productive.)

This has become a wedge issue to divide and conquer the middle class, I think, by the folks who have a vested interest in keeping us fighting amongst ourselves. There IS a real problem with the increasing disconnect between the public and private sector employment deal, but I'd like to think the middle class turning on itself isn't the best way to debate it. I'd also like to think we won't try to "balance" the two by simply letting them race to the bottom in tandem.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:35 AM   #39
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That's what I was thinking. Assuming that the DC plan contribution and DB funding is equal, isn't the DB just a forced annuity?
In some sense, yes -- except that the annuitized monthly payout is fixed and carved in stone, whereas someone putting the same amount into a DC plan is dependent on financial markets while working, *and* dependent on current interest rates when it's time to annuitize.

Sure, if you retired in 1999, got the stock run-up in the 1982-1999 megabull and then cashed it out for an annuity at decent interest rates, this works great. Someone who retires in 2009, got slammed with a decade of bad returns and then had to annuitize into near zero interest rates? Not so much.

In reality, what many today are longing for is security and certainty in an insecure and uncertain environment, even if that means sacrificing potential for even greater gains. (This is what I meant by "pensions are the new stock options" a little while ago. Right now people seem to want stability, certainty and security more than a spin on the roulette wheel, so just as stock options were the thing many chased in 1998, so too is a pension something people lust after today. Back then, the stock market was "sexy" -- today, security is sexy.)

And also, many of these promised pension payouts are based on something like 8% returns on the pension fund balance. I wish I could invest in something that paid me a guaranteed 8% and put all the risk on another party.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:35 AM   #40
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"I don't need a retirement plan. I'm retired - "

I look at the opposite, when your retired is when you need a retirement plan.
Till then, your just funding it.
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