“You start to feel like, ‘What will they do next?’ ” said Bob McLinn, 63, a labor union president who left his job with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in March, earlier than he planned, after political leaders pressed to cut benefits and collective bargaining rights for workers.What demagoguery! We have to contribute more to our pensions as we get each new month's pay, but there was no cut in the ultimate reward. Getting out early isn't a way to preserve the retirement benefit. It's just a decision not to continue putting a chunk of your pay into your pension as you go along working before retirement. If McLinn's communication is typical of labor union presidents, no wonder so many people freaked out and protested last winter.
“There’s always been this promise that if you came to work and did your job, at the end there would be your reward — a defined retirement. The idea was you could retire with respect and dignity. But that whole idea has been slashed now, and I felt like, ‘What is the point?’ ”
Now, are states better off if a lot of older workers leave their jobs?
“What we’re going to see is a lot of young people reinventing the wheel,” said Karen Gunderson, 56, who retired this year from her information technology job with the State of Wisconsin after 26 years, a few years sooner than she had intended, saying she felt that public workers were being “turned into scapegoats” for a troubled economy.
“We’re going to waste a lot of tax dollars with young people attempting things that were tried before. You can get people cheaper, but whether you save money, I don’t know.”I'm mostly curious why the NYT chose to feature this quote and the one above. This isn't serious analysis of what the state did and the real effect on workers. It's more of an effort to propagate hysteria. What did Gunderson — a woman who thinks she was scapegoated — do in "information technology" that younger workers — working at lower pay — would do more expensively? The secret wisdom of the elders is lost, apparently, when somebody retires, and their replacements must puzzle over how to do the complicated work the oldsters had down pat. Is that what it's really like?
[H]ere, in Wisconsin, the battle over public workers may have been the loudest... Union supporters pushed back, leading an effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker next year over the issue. But government workers also left: 16,785 workers filed retirement applications as of Oct. 31, while in all of 2010, 11,750 workers had done so.Where did that all that irrational fear come from? A lot of people are seeing this war... why? Why are they seeing the governor's effort to fix the budget as a "war"? Why do they see themselves as "scapegoats"?
“It’s about fear,” said Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. “A lot of people are seeing this war on public employees and saying, let’s get out.”
Remember "The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things"?
Why are so many fears in the air, and so many of them unfounded?...The link goes to a long passage from that book at the "Bowling for Columbine" website. "Bowling for Columbine," you may remember, was the Michael Moore movie about guns in America, and the point was that the gun-clinging sector of America was seized with irrational fear.
We compound our worries beyond all reason....
We had better learn to doubt our inflated fears before they destroy us. Valid fears have their place; they cue us to danger. False and overdrawn fears only cause hardship....
Any analysis of the culture of fear that ignored the news media would be patently incomplete, and of the several institutions most culpable for creating and sustaining scares the news media are arguably first among equals....
I'd like to see some balance in the diagnosis of fear in the media, for example, the New York Times.