Friday, December 30, 2011

Of pensions, unions, politicians and corruption

You may have noticed a news story today about a Philadelphia councilwoman who's retiring for precisely 24 hours, in order to collect a pension check for almost half a million dollars, then will return to duty for her next term of office. Sound corrupt to you? Maybe . . . but it's nevertheless legal, according to Philadelphia's municipal statutes and regulations.

If this sounds unbelievable to you, too insanely nonsensical to be real, rest assured it's by no means the only example. Remember the protests against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and his plans to rein in the power of education unions in that state? That's why the unions were unhappy - because such 'sweetheart deals' for their members would become a thing of the past. There are many, many other examples in US politics. To name just a few:

There are any number of similar stories out there. Do an Internet search on the terms "union", "pension" and "scandal" and see for yourself. Sounds like a rather corrupt version of the so-called "American Dream", doesn't it? And we, the taxpayers of America, end up on the hook for it all . . .



Anonymous said...

Too many people have delusions about Federal Government Retirement.
1. Feds do pay taxes, just like everyone else.
2. Feds do contribute to retirement.
3. Feds do pay for health insurance, both active and retired.
4. Feds do have a 401 type plan available.
5. Our pay depends on 536 people far away in a city that ruined a perfectly good swamp, no three of whom can order a common pizza successfully.
Who deals with delusions regularly.

Peter said...

@Geoff: none of the incidents I mentioned refers to Federal retirement. Besides, I'm a medically retired Fed myself (former prison chaplain). I agree - I had to pay in for my pension, and it's not that great now that I'm getting it, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!

Comrade Misfit said...

Rick Perry is doing it, as well.

Anonymous said...

Wisconsin's governor is Scott Walker, not Scott Brown.

Peter said...

@Anonymous at 9.57: Thanks for the correction. I've amended the article text.

Peter said...

@Comrade Misfit: Yes, he is. This isn't limited to one party - both sides of the aisle seem to wink at it, at least in more corrupt locations. It's more a union thing.

Old NFO said...

Goeff is correct, and that is a great response!