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The Pension Debate

This is a tough one. The private sector has seen the demise of the pension system, most companies have dismantled their plans, freezing values, no longer adding to working pensions, and for some, letting them cash out and transfer those funds to IRAs. So, while I sympathize a bit with anyone whose benefits are cut, for most public workers, they’ve had it pretty good till now.

Joe

  • David M March 1, 2011, 4:30 am

    Yes the pension benefits are better than the average worker. However, the pay of state and local employees can be embarassingly low. Thus, if you take away some/all of their pension benefits, the only fair thing to do is raise their salary.

  • Andy D March 1, 2011, 4:33 am

    But if it’s cut the pensions, or cut 1,000 jobs, I would think the choice is pretty clear.

  • Austerity Bill March 1, 2011, 9:20 am

    I completely agree Joe, great sketch as well. People in the public sector need to learn to adapt, people in the private sector do so on a daily basis.

  • Dirty Butter March 1, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I taught school for 29 years, and I really loved teaching. But it meant our family did without things all those years, because where we live teachers just don’t make much, even though I have advanced degrees. I did NOT work 8-3 EVER in all those years. It wasn’t unusual at all to find myself at 10PM finishing grading papers and preparing for teaching. Plus I spent money of my own to provide educational materials for my students. In our area at least that is not unusual.

    In the summer I was expected to take workshops or college courses in order to keep my teaching certificate up to date. I kept telling myself all those years that doing without then would mean getting a pension, and it helped me to persevere in the profession I loved.

    We’re not well off now, either, so we would be in a real bind without my pension. We have felt the pinch just as surely as everyone else.

  • JOE March 1, 2011, 3:36 pm

    Teachers may “only” work 180 days, but (a) they don’t just work 9-5 (agree with you here) and (b) there’s a certain level of pressure in the job that’s both stressful as well as high impact (to the lives of others.) How we account for the great teacher who sets thousands of students on the path to making the world a better place vs those who, well, don’t, I’m not sure. I appreciate the note, clearly, you were one of the good ones, as was my mother in law.

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