City Journal Winter 2016

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Winter 2016
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Steven Malanga
Pension Propaganda « Back to Story

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Hey Steve, have you ever stopped to break down the ones making the pension values so high? Most people i work with will only see about 20 to 25000 a year. That means the higher level employees within my city are making all the money! The average Joe isnt getting rich here. Its a select few that are compensated at an unreal level, which throws everythong off!
The author claims misrepresentation by union spokespersons, but then goes on to select a subset of pensioners to support his claim of misrrepresentation. Let's be a bit fairer and kinder in our discussion, pointing out the assumption, but not implying lying, when there is not lying.
Two basic 'reforms' would go a long way toward addressing what is clearly an excessive benefit regime. First, no one in public service, at the federal, state or local level, will be eligible for a "pension" until he or she reaches the age of 65. No exceptions. Second, and beginning immediately, all public pensions will be modeled on the 401K plan model, i.e., 'defined contribution' plans, not 'defined benefit' plans.
I had a dream to make my firm, nevertheless I didn't earn enough amount of money to do this. Thank God my friend said to take the credit loans. Thus I received the car loan and made real my dream.
I can affirm that public employee pensions can be outrageous: I am a 30 yr retiree in CA on a 90% pension. With a city health allowance, I make $100k per year. Why don't I return the money if it is so overly generous? 'Cuz I'm not as stupid as the California voters who keep returning socialists to office in the state. Incidentally, a negative (from my perspective) aspect is that early retirements lead to short careers. Youth is prized in public service, because it is assumed you will leave at age 50. The result is a subtle age discrimination that promotes younger employees over more the experienced.
To Lisa Melby, we are also at the point where we can't afford the privilege of our private citizens either. The tax breaks for the most wealthiest citizens, particularly when it comes at the burden of less wealthy citizens has got to stop. A hedge fund manager that lives in a tony new Manhattan condo pays a lower percentage in taxes (capital gains rates) and real estate taxes (421a program) than most average homeowners in the city.
First, the higher pension averages you are stating include non-management and management pensions. The NJ pension average of $20K was only non-management pension workers, but $40K a year if you include management pensions. Its the same with the state of NY; non-management pensions were $19K, but when inclusive of management pensions its $50K.

The first thing not mentioned in the article is that there are various levels of pensions and pensions are dependent upon the position and years of service. The second thing not mentioned in the article is that state workers pay into the pension system. The third thing not mentioned is that very few municipal workers are receiving the most expensive pensions - those collecting the most benefit rich pensions are employees like former Mayors, former City Commissioners and their top staff.
This is an excellent article, well said, it is about time everyone woke up to the fact that we cannot afford the privilege of our "public servants" services any longer, for that matter we probably never could.
How about the "pulic servants" we have in there now??? WHAT about that? $500k+ payout in 2010 for San Jose Police Chief, it is nauseating!
Pejsa! Do you need it explained any further?
The point is that the unions are disseminating misleading propaganda and that their very generous pension plans are a huge factor that is bankrupting California.

The article provides specific details. Also see City Journal article "Popping the Public Pension Bubble" by Ed Ring

I know liberals like to think in terms of meaningless emotional "feel good" slogans like "Hope and Change". The real world doesn't work that way.

And your point is?
Are you including management pensions in these calculations?