Please Hurry Up and Die

Discuss whatever you want here ... movies, books, recipes, politics, beer, wine, TV ... everything except classical music.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
RebLem
Posts: 9117
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by RebLem » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:06 am

I have just received my annual notice from the State of Illinois SERS (State Employees' Retirement System) regarding the status of my retirement benefits. I call it my Please Hurry Up and Die letter because, it contains a statement every year reminding me of how much I am costing the taxpayers of Illinois. It seems an attempt to infuse me with a sense of guilt and it arrives like clockwork every year, whether Illinois has a Republican or Democratic governor. This year's letter includes the following statement:

When you retired, you had contributions in the system amounting to $22,464.68 and since your retirement, you have received retirement benefits totalling $156,822.84.

Its the same every year. Only the punch line--the amount cited as the last piece of information--changes from one year to the next.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

Ricordanza
Posts: 2005
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:58 am
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by Ricordanza » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:42 am

Unlike a displaced corporate CEO who receives a multi-million dollar "golden parachute," YOU can reply: And I earned every single penny of that.

Just the viewpoint of a (still working) NJ State employee.

living_stradivarius
Posts: 6724
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:41 pm
Location: Minnesnowta
Contact:

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by living_stradivarius » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:49 am

RebLem wrote: When you retired, you had contributions in the system amounting to $22,464.68 and since your retirement, you have received retirement benefits totalling $156,822.84.
Don't see anything wrong with that statement of fact. Well do you feel guilty? do ya? :D
Image

slofstra
Posts: 9099
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by slofstra » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:09 am

Assuming you worked for 30 years, and back in the day, your money doubled every 6 years, then a 1970 dollar would be $32 in 2000. So it looks to me: 20,000 or so of your contributions x 32 = 640,000 that you contributed with interest. You've still got quite a bit coming Rob! Okay, your contributions weren't all in 1970 dollars but I think if they give you a statement like that it should use a common base year and adjust your contributions accordingly. As it is they are mixing apples and oranges as a 1970 dollar and a 1995 dollar are very different things.

lennygoran
Posts: 16252
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by lennygoran » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:32 am

>Just the viewpoint of a (still working) NJ State employee.<

And I'm a retired NJ county employee with that state pension helping me pay the bills--we get scared every once in a while when we hear reports someone wants to tamper with it. Regards, Len [keeping fingers crossed]

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by Barry » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:54 am

People in the situation you all find yourselves in are likely safe. Any changes to benefits generally exempt people who are already retired or within a decade or so of retirement.

But I'm afraid there is probably not going to be any way around reductions for government employees who are further from retirement, and of course those who haven't even started their government careers yet as states and municipalities fall further and further into debt. I've seen more and more about this issue popping up lately. It's only going to become a bigger issue as the years go on. We've already seen it here in Philly. The Mayor has enacted or proposed draconian cuts to areas that many people consider necessary and come up with creative new taxes. To say these moves haven't been popular and that most of the populace would rather see him go up against municipal employee unions and force long term cuts to retirement benefits for municipal workers is an understatement.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

slofstra
Posts: 9099
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by slofstra » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:55 am

Barry wrote:People in the situation you all find yourselves in are likely safe. Any changes to benefits generally exempt people who are already retired or within a decade or so of retirement.

But I'm afraid there is probably not going to be any way around reductions for government employees who are further from retirement, and of course those who haven't even started their government careers yet as states and municipalities fall further and further into debt. I've seen more and more about this issue popping up lately. It's only going to become a bigger issue as the years go on. We've already seen it here in Philly. The Mayor has enacted or proposed draconian cuts to areas that many people consider necessary and come up with creative new taxes. To say these moves haven't been popular and that most of the populace would rather see him go up against municipal employee unions and force long term cuts to retirement benefits for municipal workers is an understatement.
Barry, the 20-, 30-somethings are maturing and becoming more political and business-savvy. Many of them in government jobs, at least here in Canada and also in Europe as I discovered last week shooting the breeze with some young people, aren't happy about huge pension deductions and other issues. In some cases, not all, the bargaining units and management powers of the day solved their negotiating impasse's by burdening the generation to come. Expect to see more resistance to this, and more power to the echo generation, I say. As you indicate, existing pensions are legally protected, but there are abuses. Personally, I've been ticked about the huge pension obligations that have accrued here in Ontario for our retired teachers. Many of them have pensions with NPV of around $1 million dollars, more than they contributed in lifetime. New teachers coming on-line have to pay 10-20% to fund existing pension obligations, never mind their own. And then to add insult to injury many of these retired teachers are double-dipping through supply teaching arrangements. Basically, they tend to be buddy-buddy with principals who make supply teaching arrangements. This has been going on for several years and I wondered when this would come to a head. Well, this morning the Globe broke a cover page story on the situation. They've been researching and working on the problem for a few months, and disclosed that the government has lost millions by paying already retired teachers typically double the rate of new teachers. To top it off, new teachers can't find jobs.
So my point in all this, is that the younger generation are moving into legal jobs, journalism jobs, management positions, and they are the ones that are going to have to deal with the excesses of the past. And they'll fix it too.

Barry
Posts: 10344
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by Barry » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:05 pm

I certainly hope that last line of yours is on the money, Henry.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

MarkC
Posts: 1630
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:52 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by MarkC » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:02 am

slofstra wrote:.....I think if they give you a statement like that it should use a common base year and adjust your contributions accordingly. As it is they are mixing apples and oranges as a 1970 dollar and a 1995 dollar are very different things.
GREAT POINT!!!
You are right.

But y'know, lots of stuff in our society blurs the numbers in this way. You remember how we used to always hear how much money we'd accumulate if we put away X dollars a year at [whatever] percent return? Those things never took inflation into account. They assumed constant dollars.

The worst was some of the things that got said when inflation was much higher and interest rates were in double digits. There was this bank that had Joe DiMaggio doing commercials telling us how we'd become millionaires if we put away $2000 a year in our IRA's. They didn't tell us that it assumed interest rates would continue at a zillion percent, and that the million dollars would only buy a couple of loaves of bread and a tennis racket. :)

slofstra
Posts: 9099
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Contact:

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by slofstra » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:48 am

Barry wrote:I certainly hope that last line of yours is on the money, Henry.
I have great confidence in the will of the people .... in a free and democratic society, that is.

Cyril Ignatius
Posts: 1035
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:14 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by Cyril Ignatius » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:55 pm

Face it, RebLem; you ARE costing the State money! To them, you ARE one of the State's subjects! You're a number! They don't care about you. And they don't have competition from any entity that might want to treat you better. In my estimation, this is probably as good a time as ever to begin to reexamine your own sentimental pining for big government. Death panels, bureaucrats and self-seeking, self protecting public agencies are the future if the progressive machine wins. We must stop it in its tracks!

RebLem wrote:I have just received my annual notice from the State of Illinois SERS (State Employees' Retirement System) regarding the status of my retirement benefits. I call it my Please Hurry Up and Die letter because, it contains a statement every year reminding me of how much I am costing the taxpayers of Illinois. It seems an attempt to infuse me with a sense of guilt and it arrives like clockwork every year, whether Illinois has a Republican or Democratic governor. This year's letter includes the following statement:

When you retired, you had contributions in the system amounting to $22,464.68 and since your retirement, you have received retirement benefits totalling $156,822.84.

Its the same every year. Only the punch line--the amount cited as the last piece of information--changes from one year to the next.
Cyril Ignatius

Teresa B
Posts: 3057
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:04 am
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by Teresa B » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:15 pm

Cyril Ignatius wrote:Face it, RebLem; you ARE costing the State money! To them, you ARE one of the State's subjects! You're a number! They don't care about you. And they don't have competition from any entity that might want to treat you better.
:lol: Like the insurance companies!
Death panels, bureaucrats and self-seeking, self protecting public agencies are the future if the progressive machine wins. We must stop it in its tracks!
Spoken like a true Sarah Palin fan!

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

RebLem
Posts: 9117
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by RebLem » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:40 am

Cyril Ignatius wrote:Face it, RebLem; you ARE costing the State money! To them, you ARE one of the State's subjects! You're a number! They don't care about you. And they don't have competition from any entity that might want to treat you better. In my estimation, this is probably as good a time as ever to begin to reexamine your own sentimental pining for big government. Death panels, bureaucrats and self-seeking, self protecting public agencies are the future if the progressive machine wins. We must stop it in its tracks!
You can give up your pension rights if you want to, but I'll keep mine, thank you very much. My great ambition is to live long enough to be a burden on society. :lol: :lol:

Actually, there is some limited competition. Medco, my mail order pharmacy, charges me a copay of $52 for every brand-name prescription, and $22 for every generic, for a 90 day supply. I get 3 of them cheaper as a private pay patient at Albertson's pharmacy, Savon.

I am sentimental about a lot of things, mostly some music, and some movies, and people who have moved on to the next plane whom I miss, but certainly not government agencies. I think a lot of sentimentalism is misplaced and can lead to distorted judgments. I think, for example, that most of the admiration for the Menuhin/Furtwangler collaborations have to do with sentiment over Menuhin's great humanity and sense of forgiveness. If their recordings were judged strictly on musical merit, in my opinion, they would not be anywhere near as well thought of as they are in most quarters. So I consider myself to be, in general, an unusually unsentimental person.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

lennygoran
Posts: 16252
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by lennygoran » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:06 am

>but I'll keep mine, thank you very much. <

Me too! :D One time while I was still working for Essex County a newly appointed county executive tried to remove medical benefits unilaterally for retired employees that had been in effect for many years and had been agreed to in contracts--it took 6 years in various courts to get a ruling against that executive's order. In the meantime many of those retirees were hurting. Regards, Len

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Please Hurry Up and Die

Post by John F » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:23 am

RebLem wrote:I think, for example, that most of the admiration for the Menuhin/Furtwangler collaborations have to do with sentiment over Menuhin's great humanity and sense of forgiveness. If their recordings were judged strictly on musical merit, in my opinion, they would not be anywhere near as well thought of as they are in most quarters.
Your opinion is mistaken. I judge the Menuhin/Furtwängler 1947 recording of the Beethoven concerto strictly on musical merit, and for me it's one of the greatest performances of the work I've ever heard, up there with Szigeti/Walter 1932 and Adolf and Fritz Busch (1942). If none of these fiddlers are as suave as Heifetz or as sensuous as Kreisler, they penetrate to the heart of the music, not least through their collaborations with great conductors.

I've never seen it said by anyone, other than you just now, that Menuhin's recordings with Furtwängler are admired because of personal qualities extraneous to the music-making, his "great humanity," his Jewishness, whatever - in effect for sentimental reasons. This may be true of some listeners, who may include at least one CMG member (naming no names). But the unsupported blanket statement is dismissive not only of the artists but of many listeners as well, "most quarters" as you say, including me. You should either support it or take it back.
John Francis

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 22 guests