Author Topic: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?  (Read 12516 times)

swampwiz

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Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« on: February 25, 2018, 10:05:10 PM »
Here's an article about how a hard-working woman resents folks who don't work - or choose to work in creative fields, etc., and therefore are on the bench a lot - and get the benefits of being poor (most notably these days, the ACA):

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/19/health/obamacare-premiums-medicaid.html

I think that as the Welfare State gets more entrenched, we will see more of this resentment, although perhaps since we had at least worked at an earlier stage of life, we are not resented as much as the folks who have hardly worked; already its benefits include the ACA, student grants and SNAP (sometimes).  Of course, the benefits that go to the "poor" (including Roth-rich folks like Yours Truly who really are not poor) are available for anyone to take, so in essence not getting such benefits because of a higher income is simply an implicit tax that we avoid.

PDXTabs

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 10:23:59 PM »
I think that as the Welfare State gets more entrenched, we will see more of this resentment, although perhaps since we had at least worked at an earlier stage of life, we are not resented as much as the folks who have hardly worked; already its benefits include the ACA, student grants and SNAP (sometimes).

In many ways the "welfare state" has been on the decline since the Nixon administration, although the ACA is a clear exception (although Nixon ironically wanted a very similar heath plan).

With that said, yes, there has been a public smear campaign against public benefits since the 70s.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 12:03:23 AM »
I think that as the Welfare State gets more entrenched, we will see more of this resentment, although perhaps since we had at least worked at an earlier stage of life, we are not resented as much as the folks who have hardly worked;
I don't know.  There can be quite a bit of resentment for millionaires who control their income to a level that enables them to get subsidies.  I'm hoping that they'll still be available when I FIRE as they are for many of the current FIRED folks around here.  In the meantime, I'm paying far more taxes than the people in the article.

nereo

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 06:23:50 AM »
Here's a perspective from someone who's lived and worked outside the US -
i) the US has far less social services than many developed nations (i.e. what "welfare state"?), and
ii) there's far less stigma in these other countries about receiving social benefits.

The former is interesting because even as the total cost of social benefits and its percentage of the federal budget have been increasing, they amount people in the US recieve relative to our current standard of living has gone down.  As examples Medicare/medicaid is still very far from providing the full coverage offered everyone in most other countries, and payouts from SS in the US are calculated on taxable earnings and provide a rather low amount of income for those over 62/65/67. From what I've seen of the UK and Canada systems the thresholds for food assistance programs are much higher and there is a much lower burden of proof.

I'm also routinely shocked at how other societies view someone taking social benefits. In the US people who are receiving benefits are often portrayed as lazy, abusing the system, lesser-abled, or all three. In short, culturally we see needing government assistance as a moral failing (except for SS, which for some reason we've always treated as "my money!!!") . Here in Canada people that stigma isn't nearly as strong, to the point where seasonal workers will openly discuss where the 'break-even' point of getting a new job is vs. staying on government assistance.  We were surprised at how many people encouraged us to take assistance programs because our income was below a certain threshold, even though we personally didn't feel like we were suffering financially.

dude

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 06:44:47 AM »
Google "pension envy" -- there's many stories about people hating on public employees who have pensions (as it were some kind of welfare system!). And at least back in the days and years after the Crash, online comments on news articles about retirement saving were full of people railing against public pensions. This, despite these people all having had the same opportunity to go to work for the government as I did. This is just how people are -- envious of others' success/good fortune. It's part of the human condition and it ain't going anywhere.

Livingthedream55

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 07:02:49 AM »
Google "pension envy" -- there's many stories about people hating on public employees who have pensions (as it were some kind of welfare system!). And at least back in the days and years after the Crash, online comments on news articles about retirement saving were full of people railing against public pensions. This, despite these people all having had the same opportunity to go to work for the government as I did. This is just how people are -- envious of others' success/good fortune. It's part of the human condition and it ain't going anywhere.

There is a radio talk show host here in Massachusetts who refers to government employees as "blood sucking leeches."

jlcnuke

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 07:17:44 AM »
Here's an article about how a hard-working woman resents folks who don't work - or choose to work in creative fields, etc., and therefore are on the bench a lot - and get the benefits of being poor (most notably these days, the ACA):

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/19/health/obamacare-premiums-medicaid.html

I think that as the Welfare State gets more entrenched, we will see more of this resentment, although perhaps since we had at least worked at an earlier stage of life, we are not resented as much as the folks who have hardly worked; already its benefits include the ACA, student grants and SNAP (sometimes).  Of course, the benefits that go to the "poor" (including Roth-rich folks like Yours Truly who really are not poor) are available for anyone to take, so in essence not getting such benefits because of a higher income is simply an implicit tax that we avoid.

Of course there are people that resent the "rich" taking advantage of programs designed to help "the poor". ACA subsidies weren't designed to give people who were financially independent on their own money, they just didn't bother (or probably even think about) finding a way to ensure people couldn't "game" the system if they weren't the intended recipients of the aid. I can't blame them for thinking that "isn't right" personally. I don't fault anyone for taking advantage of the way the laws are written (and I take advantage of all legal means to benefit through the tax code etc myself), but that doesn't mean that others are going to think it's "right" for those of means to be getting "government handouts meant for the poor".

nereo

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 07:48:56 AM »
Google "pension envy" -- there's many stories about people hating on public employees who have pensions (as it were some kind of welfare system!). And at least back in the days and years after the Crash, online comments on news articles about retirement saving were full of people railing against public pensions. This, despite these people all having had the same opportunity to go to work for the government as I did. This is just how people are -- envious of others' success/good fortune. It's part of the human condition and it ain't going anywhere.

There is a radio talk show host here in Massachusetts who refers to government employees as "blood sucking leeches."
it truly astounds me how negatively some people view civil servants. It was only a few decades ago that working as a government employee was viewed by most as both a reputable and desireble profession

Just Joe

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2018, 07:59:09 AM »
I see the hate for civil employee as an extension of smaller government politics. Its just an issue for the small government politicians to wedge between the parties. Never mind that these same politicians benefit disproportionately from their time in government. 

FIRE Artist

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2018, 08:20:34 AM »
Google "pension envy" -- there's many stories about people hating on public employees who have pensions (as it were some kind of welfare system!). And at least back in the days and years after the Crash, online comments on news articles about retirement saving were full of people railing against public pensions. This, despite these people all having had the same opportunity to go to work for the government as I did. This is just how people are -- envious of others' success/good fortune. It's part of the human condition and it ain't going anywhere.

This one always gets me.  Rarely do they comment about having lower than market wage envy - I guess that side of the coin is easy to ignore. 

Milizard

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2018, 08:43:29 AM »
Just feel I should point out that everyone doesn't have the same opportunity to work for government.  Some areas have 1000's more government jobs available than others. There was even an article written arguing for moving some government agencies, such as the CDC, to try to alleviate the discrepancy a bit.

As for envy, I think that programs that help everyone, such as the proposed UBI or universal healthcare, would help this.

nereo

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2018, 08:51:20 AM »
Just feel I should point out that everyone doesn't have the same opportunity to work for government.  Some areas have 1000's more government jobs available than others. There was even an article written arguing for moving some government agencies, such as the CDC, to try to alleviate the discrepancy a bit.

I don't see the logic in this - different areas have different opportunities, and US citizens can freely move from one part of the country to another in search of employment. It would be like complaining that there aren't as many tech jobs in Kansas as there are in California, not as many farming jobs in New Hampshire as Florida or not as many forestry jobs in Arizona as Alaska.

Why do government workers get so much ire from certain circles when literally any qualified citizen can apply for those jobs?

koshtra

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2018, 08:56:53 AM »
But to answer the original question -- I don't think the average Joe even knows we exist :-)

Yankuba

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2018, 09:02:40 AM »
Just feel I should point out that everyone doesn't have the same opportunity to work for government.  Some areas have 1000's more government jobs available than others. There was even an article written arguing for moving some government agencies, such as the CDC, to try to alleviate the discrepancy a bit.

I don't see the logic in this - different areas have different opportunities, and US citizens can freely move from one part of the country to another in search of employment. It would be like complaining that there aren't as many tech jobs in Kansas as there are in California, not as many farming jobs in New Hampshire as Florida or not as many forestry jobs in Arizona as Alaska.

Why do government workers get so much ire from certain circles when literally any qualified citizen can apply for those jobs?

I believe they get the ire because government employees are the only ones with pensions and job security and guaranteed raises. There is a neighborhood in Nassau County (Long Island) where rank and file police officers make $200k. In NYC the cops make half that after about six years and many people are upset about that being that cops only need two years of college. It's pretty absurd that a cop and a teacher can make $325k combined in Long Island, with pensions and job security. And people play games with overtime to juice their pensions to astronomical levels. Meanwhile, taxes on Long Island are extremely high. So people are upset!

Governments are moving away from pensions but until they are all gone and the government workers are in the same sinking boat as the private sector employees the ire will remain.

As far as having the same opportunity, getting a teaching or policing job in Nassau County is like winning a small lottery. They used to fill one of the sportsball arenas with applicants for people wanting to be Long Island cops. Maybe they should lower the pay/benefits if the demand is so high! That is what they would do in the private sector.

$200k cops:

https://theislandnow.com/uncategorized/kings-point-police-highest-paid-in-new-york-state/

Livingthedream55

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2018, 09:14:36 AM »
Just feel I should point out that everyone doesn't have the same opportunity to work for government.  Some areas have 1000's more government jobs available than others. There was even an article written arguing for moving some government agencies, such as the CDC, to try to alleviate the discrepancy a bit.

I don't see the logic in this - different areas have different opportunities, and US citizens can freely move from one part of the country to another in search of employment. It would be like complaining that there aren't as many tech jobs in Kansas as there are in California, not as many farming jobs in New Hampshire as Florida or not as many forestry jobs in Arizona as Alaska.

Why do government workers get so much ire from certain circles when literally any qualified citizen can apply for those jobs?

I believe they get the ire because government employees are the only ones with pensions and job security and guaranteed raises. There is a neighborhood in Nassau County (Long Island) where rank and file police officers make $200k. In NYC the cops make half that after about six years and many people are upset about that being that cops only need two years of college. It's pretty absurd that a cop and a teacher can make $325k combined in Long Island, with pensions and job security. And people play games with overtime to juice their pensions to astronomical levels. Meanwhile, taxes on Long Island are extremely high. So people are upset!

Governments are moving away from pensions but until they are all gone and the government workers are in the same sinking boat as the private sector employees the ire will remain.

As far as having the same opportunity, getting a teaching or policing job in Nassau County is like winning a small lottery. They used to fill one of the sportsball arenas with applicants for people wanting to be Long Island cops. Maybe they should lower the pay/benefits if the demand is so high! That is what they would do in the private sector.

$200k cops:

https://theislandnow.com/uncategorized/kings-point-police-highest-paid-in-new-york-state/

Not guaranteed actually - I was in one workplace (state agency) for 5 years with no increase. I am another agency 2 years with no raise. Not all government jobs are union jobs.

sabertooth3

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2018, 09:15:13 AM »
There was even an article written arguing for moving some government agencies, such as the CDC, to try to alleviate the discrepancy a bit.

As for envy, I think that programs that help everyone, such as the proposed UBI or universal healthcare, would help this.

Just a heads-up that the CDC is located in Atlanta GA, so it's already out of the Washington, DC area.

Milizard

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2018, 09:19:16 AM »
There was even an article written arguing for moving some government agencies, such as the CDC, to try to alleviate the discrepancy a bit.

As for envy, I think that programs that help everyone, such as the proposed UBI or universal healthcare, would help this.

Just a heads-up that the CDC is located in Atlanta GA, so it's already out of the Washington, DC area.
Sorry, bad example then. I didn't try to find the article to quote it specifically.

Yankuba

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2018, 09:22:15 AM »
There was even an article written arguing for moving some government agencies, such as the CDC, to try to alleviate the discrepancy a bit.

As for envy, I think that programs that help everyone, such as the proposed UBI or universal healthcare, would help this.

Just a heads-up that the CDC is located in Atlanta GA, so it's already out of the Washington, DC area.
Sorry, bad example then. I didn't try to find the article to quote it specifically.

there are many articles on the Interwebs about moving federal agencies out of DC

Milizard

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2018, 09:24:54 AM »
Just feel I should point out that everyone doesn't have the same opportunity to work for government.  Some areas have 1000's more government jobs available than others. There was even an article written arguing for moving some government agencies, such as the CDC, to try to alleviate the discrepancy a bit.

I don't see the logic in this - different areas have different opportunities, and US citizens can freely move from one part of the country to another in search of employment. It would be like complaining that there aren't as many tech jobs in Kansas as there are in California, not as many farming jobs in New Hampshire as Florida or not as many forestry jobs in Arizona as Alaska.

Why do government workers get so much ire from certain circles when literally any qualified citizen can apply for those jobs?
The argument was that everyone had equal opportunity.  I pointed out they some had the advantage of having many of these opportunities in a locale where they simply could see these opportunities,  apply, and interview without having to travel away from home, or leave family support structures behind.  Others have it much harder, just because of travel distance, meaning that this isn't equal opportunity.

Milizard

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2018, 09:27:07 AM »
There was even an article written arguing for moving some government agencies, such as the CDC, to try to alleviate the discrepancy a bit.

As for envy, I think that programs that help everyone, such as the proposed UBI or universal healthcare, would help this.

Just a heads-up that the CDC is located in Atlanta GA, so it's already out of the Washington, DC area.
Sorry, bad example then. I didn't try to find the article to quote it specifically.

there are many articles on the Interwebs about moving federal agencies out of DC
The article was on vox--thanks.

mm1970

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2018, 09:53:22 AM »
This is all pretty interesting, and here are my random thoughts, in no particular order.

1.  Boy, Americans are often in the Protestant work ethic "WORK HARD" and "WORK HARDER" mindset.  You really can't get away from it.  Whether you are talking about health care, or paying for college, or food, the answer is WORK HARDER.  Because I put myself through college working 5 part time jobs, and my family works 60 hours a week per person to pay for health care so that you can get it for free.  And if you just WORK HARDER you won't be so damned poor.  Nevermind that people have different abilities, strengths, mental states, etc.

2.  I can see why someone would be pissed at paying $1000/month for insurance with a $12k deductible for a family when you are in your 20s, because let's face it, you are subsidizing the poor, injured, and elderly.  Yep.  But someday you too could be poor, injured or elderly.  Just another reason to have universal health care.

3.  I am currently reading "The Year of Living Danishly" (my MIL is Danish and she passed it on to me).  Knowing some Danes and reading the book, it really is shocking - the differences when it comes to attitude about what a full work week is, work/ life balance, the social services available, etc.

4.  Jobs with pensions.  I am of 2 minds about this.  First, it's not so easy to get these jobs - in many areas, like mine, you really need to know someone, and there's a lot of nepotism.

Second, in many (if not most), cases these are defined benefit plans and they are BROKE.  So we find ourselves cutting services and increasing taxes because whomever was the person in charge of these damned things set up the benefits assuming a MUCH larger rate of gains than is happening.  Yes, I am pissed at paying more when I had NOTHING to do with how they were set up.  There need to be pension cuts, period.

How generous a pension is ALSO varies a lot.  You see some very generous pensions in the UC system, and in police, sheriff, and fire departments.  I don't really care who you are, or how dangerous your job was - I really see no reason for someone to collect 80-100% of their pension after 20-30 years of work.  In no way, shape, or form, should anyone collect a pension for LONGER than they were working.  Not ALL public pensions are this generous.  There are plenty of teachers, federal workers, etc. whose pensions are much less generous.

So public pension overhauls are needed and they are going to vary A LOT, completely, by location and type of pension.  Do you want to retire at 50 after 30 years in the sheriff's department?  Fine, but you only collect for half the time you worked. (or whatever)



Totally aside, I'm not anti-government either.  Had a long convo with one of my Danish friends, and the majority of jobs in Denmark are actually government jobs.

Gimesalot

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2018, 10:06:34 AM »
Quote
President Trump’s attempts to undermine the health law have exacerbated a tension at the heart of it — while it aims to provide health coverage for all, the law is far more generous to the poor and near poor than the middle class. By taking steps that hurt the individual insurance market, Mr. Trump has widened the gulf between people who pay full price for their coverage and those who get generous subsidies or free Medicaid. That, in turn, has deepened the resentment that has long simmered among many who do not qualify for government assistance toward those who do.
 

I think it really funny that the president & government are the ones that undermine the law for middle class people, but the poor get all the blame.

On thing that I haven't seen mentioned in the discussion is that although early retirees get subsidies, we do so by leaving a job open for someone else.  I am going to be replaced at my job, and in exchange for someone getting a $100k job, I get $200 a month in subsidies.  I think it's a more than fair trade.  Most likely, the person that replaces me will be a spendy pants, and that money will go back into the economy in the form of lattes, SUVs, and restaurant meals.

TempusFugit

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2018, 10:08:01 AM »
I see the hate for civil employee as an extension of smaller government politics. Its just an issue for the small government politicians to wedge between the parties. Never mind that these same politicians benefit disproportionately from their time in government.

I think that the source of resentment is more about the perception that public service unions get sweetheart deals because they are in effect negotiating with themselves, in that the politicians are highly motivated to make the public service unions happy. 

The foundation for fair negotiations is that both parties should be motivated to protect their own interests. It should be adversarial. In the model of public service union negotiations, the politicians arent really the ones who are on the hook for the expense, so they aren't really negotiating on behalf of the taxpayers, leaving the taxpayer to pay the bill when they had no voice in the negotiation. 

This disconnect in the context of public sector unions was obvious even to Franklin Roosevelt who said:  “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

The costs are usually far down the road, so the politicians who negotiate the deal arent going to pay the political price later when it all falls apart.  Look at the tremendous unfunded / underfunded state and municipal pension / healthcare issue that the country faces. 

So in the case of public servants, i think the fact is that people understand that they have to pay fr that largesse in the form of higher taxes and fees, etc.   Contrast that with someone who may have a fantastic private sector job/pension.  Folks might be envious, but at least they arent the ones paying the bill, or at least they arent forced to pay the bill. 

This isn't to say that all or even most public servants are getting these kind of deals.  Im sure it is a minority. 

-edited to add the Roosevelt quote, as referenced in George Will's column today on the pending Supreme Court case
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 02:58:18 PM by TempusFugit »

Slee_stack

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2018, 10:10:11 AM »
It probably boils down to what each individual thinks is 'fair'.

Unfortunately no two will likely agree.

I guess personally, I'm about effort.  If one has already.... or continues to seriously TRY to contribute to society, I'm OK with more liberal social support systems.   Are we doing a good job keeping the overwhelming majority of folks honest? 

Its the (hopefully) few who knowingly abuse or de-fraud that cause so much frustration.  'Bad apple' syndrome? 


What is a 'fair share' paid in though?   I too take deductions and will hopefully pay lower taxes in retirement.  I'm not sure I'd personally choose to accept SNAP if i qualified though.  i guess we will all have a line in the sand, ethics wise.

Kay-Ell

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2018, 12:35:22 PM »
Do I think people who feel trapped in their cubicles worrying about how to make it until payday are envious and resentful of those who can do as they please with their time and not worry about paying their bills?  Yeah.  I think a lot of them are.  But I also don't think most people have anything close to a clear picture of what it means to retire early... or for that matter, an understanding of what it is to make disciplined, forward thinking financial decisions.  For instance, when I bought my first house, I had a lot of friends and co-workers who thought I was super lucky to be able to afford to buy a house.  But exactly non of those friends and coworkers had thought I was super lucky while I was staying home and cooking for myself instead of spending too much of my paycheck bar hopping with them on Friday nights.  I think too many people see frugality as pointless, and wealth as purely luck.  So while there may be people envious of certain parts of our life (not stressed about bills, not sitting in a cubicle) they likely aren't envious of us, and may even look down on us, when we drive an older car, live in a smaller home or forego certain expensive hobbies and vacations.  Too many people simply don't see the connection between frugality, wealth, freedom and happiness.  They observe all of those elements individually, but still probably see our frugality as depressing and our wealth is luck. 

As for qualification for public services - I still really don't think the average person understands the financial picture of an early retiree enough to form a solid opinion about that.  Most of us live modestly, so they probably don't think we're really rich.  Maybe they understand that we have some savings, or maybe they think we're collecting unemployment.  Or maybe they think we came into a lot of money and are spending our way through it until we're broke again.  But probably very few of them would ever guess that we earned more than we spent, saving and investing rigerously for years and years, until our investments could support us indefinitely.  They'd likely never guess any of that, because it's not even on their radar.  So if they even know how much we pay for health insurance, and whether we qualify for subsidies under the ACA, it's not likely they've formed a really thorough opinion about our net worth and how much income that translates into.

ScreamingHeadGuy

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2018, 01:15:57 PM »
It probably boils down to what each individual thinks is 'fair'.

Unfortunately no two will likely agree.

I think you have hit the nail on the head.  As the song goes "I don't want the world / I just want your half".  Comparison is the thief of joy, and sometimes the root of envy.

As to the original topic, I will take a cop-out and answer "It depends".  Some folks can appreciate long term planning and dedication to a goal, while others do not.

wageslave23

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2018, 03:03:32 PM »
Slee_Stack hit the nail on the head in regards to public pensions.  The taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for these employees.  The best way to determine any employee's salary and benefits is by allowing the free market to dictate it.  The problem with government jobs is that a lot of the times the pensions and salaries become overly inflated because the person deciding to up the salaries is not the person footing the bill, and they aren't looking at replacement cost. 

inline five

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2018, 03:08:09 PM »
Google "pension envy" -- there's many stories about people hating on public employees who have pensions (as it were some kind of welfare system!). And at least back in the days and years after the Crash, online comments on news articles about retirement saving were full of people railing against public pensions. This, despite these people all having had the same opportunity to go to work for the government as I did. This is just how people are -- envious of others' success/good fortune. It's part of the human condition and it ain't going anywhere.

I say this as a current union member.

The reason I as a tax payer absolutely hate government unions and their pay and benefit plans is because as a tax payer I have ZERO choice in using their services.

If my union raises pay/benefits to untenable levels what happens? The company goes bankrupt as costs sky rocket and customers bolt for a lower cost/better solution. In other cases the company just shuts down factories and moves them either to the south or to another country.

There is a natural check and balance, we can raise pay but only so much, as competition puts a stop to it.

A government has no checks/balances, this is why places that use government employees to pick up garbage pay them six figures a year plus pension and medical. For a $10/hr job.

In addition, government buys off employees by giving raises and benefits in exchange for votes, this was exactly what happened in NJ with the previous governor as they gave teachers raise after raise.

CA can get away with it for now, because of the weather, people will pay almost anything to live there.

Other states? They continue to raise taxes and as this goes on people continue to flee toward southern states with less onerous cost structures.

inline five

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2018, 03:17:51 PM »
Here's an article about how a hard-working woman resents folks who don't work - or choose to work in creative fields, etc., and therefore are on the bench a lot - and get the benefits of being poor (most notably these days, the ACA):

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/19/health/obamacare-premiums-medicaid.html

I think that as the Welfare State gets more entrenched, we will see more of this resentment, although perhaps since we had at least worked at an earlier stage of life, we are not resented as much as the folks who have hardly worked; already its benefits include the ACA, student grants and SNAP (sometimes).  Of course, the benefits that go to the "poor" (including Roth-rich folks like Yours Truly who really are not poor) are available for anyone to take, so in essence not getting such benefits because of a higher income is simply an implicit tax that we avoid.

That "opera singer" exhibits all that is wrong about communism. She does the bare minimum in order to get full government subsidies. She contributes practically zero to society and has no intention to do so...she even dropped out after going to college for...singing? Seriously? Hey, at least she is paying off her student loans. Good for her.

Compare that to the couple that are hustling to make ends meet. It's outright infuriating comparing the two.

This is what happens when you incentivize the wrong behavior. You get people doing nothing but costing society.

Compare that to an early retiree...they hustled their ass off for years saving and investing. No, the two are nowhere alike. That being said I disagree they should get a subsidy either.

I'm all for universal basic healthcare. You break an arm, need stitches, get appendicitis, you should have access to healthcare and not have to pay. Beyond that if you want access to life extending terminal illness treatments, major surgeries like knee replacement etc you need to buy a rider.

America didn't get to be the leader of the world in 150 years since birth by doing the bare minimum. We hustle, it's in our DNA. We need more of it not less.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 03:19:28 PM by inline five »

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2018, 03:28:16 PM »
Slee_Stack hit the nail on the head in regards to public pensions.  The taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for these employees.  The best way to determine any employee's salary and benefits is by allowing the free market to dictate it.  The problem with government jobs is that a lot of the times the pensions and salaries become overly inflated because the person deciding to up the salaries is not the person footing the bill, and they aren't looking at replacement cost.

Isn't the anger here misplaced, though?  The federal pay-scale and benefits are set by each agency, which in turn is determined by the budget allocated by congress. A similar process occurs at the state level. Blaming the worker for applying for, getting and then working at a job for 20-25 years just doesn't make sense to me.

I also don't agree with the notion that a pension (public or private) should not last longer than the number of years worked. By its very nature it's supposed to provide a reliable income stream until death.  If a person dies with no dependents a year after quitting, well that sucks for him/her and the company/government saves money on that individual.  If he/she lives to be 102 the payouts have to last as long. That's inherent in the contract the worker agreed to (and was serially updated) when they took the job in the first place. If you think the system should be changed that's fine, but getting angry that others chose this and you didn't seems like sour grapes.

FWIW, all of this is reminiscent of the talking points used to push 401(k)s and IRAs when they first became available. Workers would be able to 'control their own money' and 'invest as they saw fit' without locking them to one empoyer for a quarter-century. Self-directed retirement accounts would allow workers to use as little or as much of their money as they wished each year, and upon their demise they could gift the remainder to whomever they liked in their will.  A

Just Joe

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2018, 03:47:59 PM »
Nobody looking at salaries plus what the gov't pays into the pension fund per month?

Is it ridiculous if the state is paying a lowish salary and then paying $12K into a pension fund for that employee?

Will

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2018, 03:52:37 PM »


I think you have hit the nail on the head.  As the song goes "I don't want the world / I just want your half".


Thank you for knowing this song.

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2018, 03:54:18 PM »


I think you have hit the nail on the head.  As the song goes "I don't want the world / I just want your half".


Thank you for knowing this song.

reference please?

Will

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2018, 03:57:43 PM »


I think you have hit the nail on the head.  As the song goes "I don't want the world / I just want your half".


Thank you for knowing this song.

reference please?

The song is "Ana Ng" by They Might Be Giants.

jim555

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2018, 04:01:44 PM »
I think the number of ERers is so few and far apart that it just isn't on anyone's radar.

wordnerd

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #35 on: February 26, 2018, 04:13:31 PM »
Slee_Stack hit the nail on the head in regards to public pensions.  The taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for these employees.  The best way to determine any employee's salary and benefits is by allowing the free market to dictate it.  The problem with government jobs is that a lot of the times the pensions and salaries become overly inflated because the person deciding to up the salaries is not the person footing the bill, and they aren't looking at replacement cost.

Isn't the anger here misplaced, though?  The federal pay-scale and benefits are set by each agency, which in turn is determined by the budget allocated by congress. A similar process occurs at the state level. Blaming the worker for applying for, getting and then working at a job for 20-25 years just doesn't make sense to me.

Totally agree with your sentiment, but the bolded is slightly off. Office of Personnel Management sets one pay scale for the whole federal government. Variations in pay are due to locality pay (a GS-12 in DC will make more than one in Atlanta) and step (based, mainly, on a how longer a worker has been at their grade level). Agencies have no discretion in pay scales.

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #36 on: February 26, 2018, 04:27:51 PM »
Here's an article about how a hard-working woman resents folks who don't work - or choose to work in creative fields, etc., and therefore are on the bench a lot - and get the benefits of being poor (most notably these days, the ACA):

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/19/health/obamacare-premiums-medicaid.html

I think that as the Welfare State gets more entrenched, we will see more of this resentment, although perhaps since we had at least worked at an earlier stage of life, we are not resented as much as the folks who have hardly worked; already its benefits include the ACA, student grants and SNAP (sometimes).  Of course, the benefits that go to the "poor" (including Roth-rich folks like Yours Truly who really are not poor) are available for anyone to take, so in essence not getting such benefits because of a higher income is simply an implicit tax that we avoid.

We seem to have hit a point where a very large percentage of people resent a very large percentage of people, so sure.

inline five

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2018, 04:30:12 PM »
Slee_Stack hit the nail on the head in regards to public pensions.  The taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for these employees.  The best way to determine any employee's salary and benefits is by allowing the free market to dictate it.  The problem with government jobs is that a lot of the times the pensions and salaries become overly inflated because the person deciding to up the salaries is not the person footing the bill, and they aren't looking at replacement cost.

Isn't the anger here misplaced, though?  The federal pay-scale and benefits are set by each agency, which in turn is determined by the budget allocated by congress. A similar process occurs at the state level. Blaming the worker for applying for, getting and then working at a job for 20-25 years just doesn't make sense to me.

Totally agree with your sentiment, but the bolded is slightly off. Office of Personnel Management sets one pay scale for the whole federal government. Variations in pay are due to locality pay (a GS-12 in DC will make more than one in Atlanta) and step (based, mainly, on a how longer a worker has been at their grade level). Agencies have no discretion in pay scales.

Hillary won in DC getting 91% of the vote. That should tell you a lot about how much the federal employees depend on that side to continue giving them raises in exchange for votes.

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2018, 04:33:30 PM »
Slee_Stack hit the nail on the head in regards to public pensions.  The taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for these employees.  The best way to determine any employee's salary and benefits is by allowing the free market to dictate it.  The problem with government jobs is that a lot of the times the pensions and salaries become overly inflated because the person deciding to up the salaries is not the person footing the bill, and they aren't looking at replacement cost.

Isn't the anger here misplaced, though?  The federal pay-scale and benefits are set by each agency, which in turn is determined by the budget allocated by congress. A similar process occurs at the state level. Blaming the worker for applying for, getting and then working at a job for 20-25 years just doesn't make sense to me.


"Anger" might be too strong a word here.  And to be clear, for myself, I am not angry toward the individual worker who takes advantage of something that is offered.  I would do the same.  But as a taxpayer, I do resent the model.  And more importantly, I believe it is totally unsustainable and that these agreements will not be honored because the math simply doesn't work.  When a city pays more each year for retired cops than it does for working cops, that's not sustainable. It will collapse, eventually. And then all of those people who are counting on these pensions and health care coverage will really be in a bad place.  It does no one any favors to promise something that can't be honored. 


I also don't agree with the notion that a pension (public or private) should not last longer than the number of years worked. By its very nature it's supposed to provide a reliable income stream until death. 

I think it is more about the pensions that begin immediately after the 20 or 25 year anniversary.  I have an associate that 'retired' from a county job at 45 and now draws a pension.  This isn't for a physical job like fireman or cop. This is typical office worker.  If that pension didn't start until something closer to a normal retirement age (55 maybe?) then it would be easier to swallow.

The question was about resentments toward early retirees. I do think that the nature of taxpayer funded early retirement is something that by its nature breeds resentment. Rightly or wrongly.

wordnerd

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2018, 04:40:59 PM »
Slee_Stack hit the nail on the head in regards to public pensions.  The taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for these employees.  The best way to determine any employee's salary and benefits is by allowing the free market to dictate it.  The problem with government jobs is that a lot of the times the pensions and salaries become overly inflated because the person deciding to up the salaries is not the person footing the bill, and they aren't looking at replacement cost.

Isn't the anger here misplaced, though?  The federal pay-scale and benefits are set by each agency, which in turn is determined by the budget allocated by congress. A similar process occurs at the state level. Blaming the worker for applying for, getting and then working at a job for 20-25 years just doesn't make sense to me.

Totally agree with your sentiment, but the bolded is slightly off. Office of Personnel Management sets one pay scale for the whole federal government. Variations in pay are due to locality pay (a GS-12 in DC will make more than one in Atlanta) and step (based, mainly, on a how longer a worker has been at their grade level). Agencies have no discretion in pay scales.

Hillary won in DC getting 91% of the vote. That should tell you a lot about how much the federal employees depend on that side to continue giving them raises in exchange for votes.

What? Many DC-based federal workers likely live in MD or VA. Plus Congress sets whether their are cost-of-living adjustments, not the President. Finally (and more to your point), not all feds are liberals: http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2015/08/there-are-more-republicans-federal-government-you-might-think/119138/
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 04:42:37 PM by wordnerd »

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2018, 05:06:51 PM »
Slee_Stack hit the nail on the head in regards to public pensions.  The taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for these employees.  The best way to determine any employee's salary and benefits is by allowing the free market to dictate it.  The problem with government jobs is that a lot of the times the pensions and salaries become overly inflated because the person deciding to up the salaries is not the person footing the bill, and they aren't looking at replacement cost.

Isn't the anger here misplaced, though?  The federal pay-scale and benefits are set by each agency, which in turn is determined by the budget allocated by congress. A similar process occurs at the state level. Blaming the worker for applying for, getting and then working at a job for 20-25 years just doesn't make sense to me.

Totally agree with your sentiment, but the bolded is slightly off. Office of Personnel Management sets one pay scale for the whole federal government. Variations in pay are due to locality pay (a GS-12 in DC will make more than one in Atlanta) and step (based, mainly, on a how longer a worker has been at their grade level). Agencies have no discretion in pay scales.

thanks for the correction.

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2018, 05:23:58 PM »
Slee_Stack hit the nail on the head in regards to public pensions.  The taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for these employees.  The best way to determine any employee's salary and benefits is by allowing the free market to dictate it.  The problem with government jobs is that a lot of the times the pensions and salaries become overly inflated because the person deciding to up the salaries is not the person footing the bill, and they aren't looking at replacement cost.

Isn't the anger here misplaced, though?  The federal pay-scale and benefits are set by each agency, which in turn is determined by the budget allocated by congress. A similar process occurs at the state level. Blaming the worker for applying for, getting and then working at a job for 20-25 years just doesn't make sense to me.

Totally agree with your sentiment, but the bolded is slightly off. Office of Personnel Management sets one pay scale for the whole federal government. Variations in pay are due to locality pay (a GS-12 in DC will make more than one in Atlanta) and step (based, mainly, on a how longer a worker has been at their grade level). Agencies have no discretion in pay scales.

Hillary won in DC getting 91% of the vote. That should tell you a lot about how much the federal employees depend on that side to continue giving them raises in exchange for votes.

As a long-time DC native I think you've misread the tea leaves here.  DC is a strongly international and majority black city.  Obama '08 got 93%, Gore '00 got 89%, etc.  But most of the federal workforce does not live in DC - about 180,000 live in VA; 150,000 live in MD.  In contrast, about 142,000 live in DC itself. If you add government contractors to the mix, it overwhelmingly flows to VA and MD where you've got the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin (VA), General Dynamics (VA), Northrop Grumman (VA) etc. Which of course brings in the military, the government employees with the most clout and the ones that voted 2:1 for Trump.

If you just look at race nation-wide, DJT got about 8% of the vote (HRC got 88% and 4% declined to answer). Its not really surprising that a city where half the population is black continued to back the democratic candidate.


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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2018, 06:04:14 PM »
I think that the source of resentment is more about the perception that public service unions get sweetheart deals because they are in effect negotiating with themselves, in that the politicians are highly motivated to make the public service unions happy. 

The foundation for fair negotiations is that both parties should be motivated to protect their own interests. It should be adversarial. In the model of public service union negotiations, the politicians arent really the ones who are on the hook for the expense, so they aren't really negotiating on behalf of the taxpayers, leaving the taxpayer to pay the bill when they had no voice in the negotiation. 

This disconnect in the context of public sector unions was obvious even to Franklin Roosevelt who said:  “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

The costs are usually far down the road, so the politicians who negotiate the deal arent going to pay the political price later when it all falls apart.  Look at the tremendous unfunded / underfunded state and municipal pension / healthcare issue that the country faces. 

So in the case of public servants, i think the fact is that people understand that they have to pay fr that largesse in the form of higher taxes and fees, etc.   Contrast that with someone who may have a fantastic private sector job/pension.  Folks might be envious, but at least they arent the ones paying the bill, or at least they arent forced to pay the bill. 

^^^^^^  This.  That is pretty much what I was going to say.  And right, it's the health care benefits as well as the pensions.

I say this as a current union member.

The reason I as a tax payer absolutely hate government unions and their pay and benefit plans is because as a tax payer I have ZERO choice in using their services.

If my union raises pay/benefits to untenable levels what happens? The company goes bankrupt as costs sky rocket and customers bolt for a lower cost/better solution. In other cases the company just shuts down factories and moves them either to the south or to another country.

There is a natural check and balance, we can raise pay but only so much, as competition puts a stop to it.

A government has no checks/balances, this is why places that use government employees to pick up garbage pay them six figures a year plus pension and medical. For a $10/hr job.

In addition, government buys off employees by giving raises and benefits in exchange for votes, this was exactly what happened in NJ with the previous governor as they gave teachers raise after raise.

CA can get away with it for now, because of the weather, people will pay almost anything to live there.

Other states? They continue to raise taxes and as this goes on people continue to flee toward southern states with less onerous cost structures.

Yes, very well said.  These overly promised under-funded government pensions and healthcare benefits are bankrupting the state I live in.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 06:06:49 PM by DreamFIRE »

aspiringnomad

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2018, 07:53:24 PM »
Slee_Stack hit the nail on the head in regards to public pensions.  The taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for these employees.  The best way to determine any employee's salary and benefits is by allowing the free market to dictate it.  The problem with government jobs is that a lot of the times the pensions and salaries become overly inflated because the person deciding to up the salaries is not the person footing the bill, and they aren't looking at replacement cost.

Isn't the anger here misplaced, though?  The federal pay-scale and benefits are set by each agency, which in turn is determined by the budget allocated by congress. A similar process occurs at the state level. Blaming the worker for applying for, getting and then working at a job for 20-25 years just doesn't make sense to me.

Totally agree with your sentiment, but the bolded is slightly off. Office of Personnel Management sets one pay scale for the whole federal government. Variations in pay are due to locality pay (a GS-12 in DC will make more than one in Atlanta) and step (based, mainly, on a how longer a worker has been at their grade level). Agencies have no discretion in pay scales.

Hillary won in DC getting 91% of the vote. That should tell you a lot about how much the federal employees depend on that side to continue giving them raises in exchange for votes.

As a long-time DC native I think you've misread the tea leaves here.  DC is a strongly international and majority black city.  Obama '08 got 93%, Gore '00 got 89%, etc.  But most of the federal workforce does not live in DC - about 180,000 live in VA; 150,000 live in MD.  In contrast, about 142,000 live in DC itself. If you add government contractors to the mix, it overwhelmingly flows to VA and MD where you've got the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin (VA), General Dynamics (VA), Northrop Grumman (VA) etc. Which of course brings in the military, the government employees with the most clout and the ones that voted 2:1 for Trump.

If you just look at race nation-wide, DJT got about 8% of the vote (HRC got 88% and 4% declined to answer). Its not really surprising that a city where half the population is black continued to back the democratic candidate.

Right. Add to that the fact that people who live in DC, especially whites, are highly educated. 98% (!) of voting whites have a bachelor's degree or higher and according to exit polls highly educated voters were much more likely to vote for HRC:

https://ggwash.org/view/42563/dc-has-almost-no-white-residents-without-college-degrees-its-a-different-story-for-black-residents

Nearly half the population black + more than half the population highly educated = low votes for DJT. It wasn't gonna happen any other way and I doubt public union membership had much of anything to do with it.


MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #44 on: February 27, 2018, 05:54:53 AM »
Great move on the part of the elites to try to get middle class people to take their anger out on poor people and public employees, instead of questioning the mechanisms behind the huge increase in wealth inequality.  Early retirees are so rare that most people probably don't have an opinion either way. Americans love success stories, which is why actors and sports players can get away with having multi million dollar salaries while teachers barely make a living wage. The rest of us are, to paraphrase, doing the dumb things we gotta do to touch the puppet head.

Slee_stack

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2018, 07:05:43 AM »
Great move on the part of the elites to try to get middle class people to take their anger out on poor people and public employees, instead of questioning the mechanisms behind the huge increase in wealth inequality.  Early retirees are so rare that most people probably don't have an opinion either way. Americans love success stories, which is why actors and sports players can get away with having multi million dollar salaries while teachers barely make a living wage. The rest of us are, to paraphrase, doing the dumb things we gotta do to touch the puppet head.
Can't tell if serious...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer/2011/12/22/the-teacher-salary-myth-are-teachers-underpaid/#38548e7b3137

nereo

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2018, 07:15:32 AM »

Can't tell if serious...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer/2011/12/22/the-teacher-salary-myth-are-teachers-underpaid/#38548e7b3137

Yikes.  If there was any doubt where this author's underlying philosophy was coming from, he pretty much summed it up in this sentence:
Quote
The government enforces a school monopoly in which I have to pay for the public schools, whether I have kids in their schools or not.  I am thus required by law to pay public school salaries.

..then he goes on to compare "compensation per working hour" which for the teachers basically means only when school is in session. His weak rebuttal is a rhetorical: "are teachers more likely to take work home than are other professionals?"
What's glaringly missing is the actual salaries of teachers - which is what most people base their income off of, not compensation per working hour.

FIRE Artist

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2018, 07:39:59 AM »
Great move on the part of the elites to try to get middle class people to take their anger out on poor people and public employees, instead of questioning the mechanisms behind the huge increase in wealth inequality.  Early retirees are so rare that most people probably don't have an opinion either way. Americans love success stories, which is why actors and sports players can get away with having multi million dollar salaries while teachers barely make a living wage. The rest of us are, to paraphrase, doing the dumb things we gotta do to touch the puppet head.
Can't tell if serious...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer/2011/12/22/the-teacher-salary-myth-are-teachers-underpaid/#38548e7b3137

And if those teachers feel underpaid, they can get themselved onto the "packing heat" bonus track!  They have nothing to complain about right?


Just Joe

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2018, 08:17:07 AM »
This is definitely a payscale from somewhere besides flyover country.

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Re: Do you think the working public resents us "early retirees"?
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2018, 08:18:49 AM »
I find the article a bit disingenuous, in that they do not report that as a contractor, you are self employed, and as thus, you are able to write off all costs of health insurance for the family, which also lowers the amount of tax they have to pay.