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  • #31
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    Well since many of these jobs required only 20 years of service, most likely either these retirees are working other jobs and collecting a pension or young enough to work another job.

    If they are trying to live off their pension alone then many of them probably are within income guidelines for Medicaid and other social programs.
  • #54
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    @DrAwesome This is the chickens coming home to roost. Happened in new jersey as well. Illinois will be the next to fall.

    It's simple logic. Think if you worked for a mom and pop. Could they pay former employees and current employees for life ? No. It's an unsustainable model.

    UNLESS they themselves pay into a system that has an ROI.
  • #72
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    The city of Detroit should have decreased the size of their local government to match the decrease in the population over the many years.

    Instead they kept EXPANDING it and with it, the increase in pension obligations that they now cannot meet.

    And to add insult to injury, those same city services that are draining the budget aren't even adequate. The wait time for emergency services is downright UNACCEPTABLE.

    Try calling a fire dept paramedic unit in Detroit. Hope the hospital is a block away. If it isn't, I hope the MORGUE is closer.

    And the public school system is one of the countries WORST. They spent MILLIONS renovating schools that are now unusable.
    http://www.freep.com/article/20131027/NEWS01/...

    What a waste of money. And now the former and possibly current city employees have to bear the brunt of the citys poor planning.
  • #74
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    @drpeeper

    Oh I agree it's an unsustainable system just like the compensation/pension program for veterans and retired military. My problem is people being promised something and working there for several years under the good faith that they will have what they were promised when they retired.

    If anyone should pay for it first it should be every mayor of Detroit still living should have their pensions cut drastically. Every major leader in the city should have their pensions cut drastically. Every union leader from this time period same thing. They are some of the most responsible. Not the workers.

    It's kind of the issue with the teachers union in Ohio. STRS had made poor investments (high risk stocks) and when the recession hit they lost big amounts of money. The first thing the union did was say the state (through hire taxes and stealing of tax funds from the tax payers) to cover the losses. Nope sorry it shouldn't work that way. I don't think the workers should pay for the stupidity of those in charge of the money or how they invest it.

    Detroit should have a fire sale and sell everything it can and send it to the pension holders. All current employees can either take a 401k plan or cash out their current benefits and invest how they see fit. Anyone with 5 years or less should be able to be bought out at a lower pension rate guaranteed locked at a set amount. That would fix some of the problem.

    I know many folks in the private sector don't have much sympathy for these folks because many folks (including my parents) saw their 401ks go shithouse during the recession. My parents lost about 1/4 of their retirement! So my dad went back to work for another 5 years and has again retired. It's sad. No one has kicked in to help the retirement funds of private sector employees so they don't have much sympathy for public sector employees.
  • #110
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    @cnw95 You can't have it both ways, if you shrink the size of local government, services like police and fire are only going to get worse. I suspect that as Detroit was slowly sinking into the deep pit it's in, there was politician after politician selling hope and the idea that they could turn things around. Telling the public what it needs to hear instead of what it wants to hear isn't something we can trust politicians from any political party to do...
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  • #44
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    Screw that... Firefighter and (some) Cops actually help people! Congress should surrender their pensions to those retiree's who've actually done something productive with their lives. Or... how about this... this year, we don't send 3 Billion to Israel and send it to them instead.
  • #75
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    What kind of pension are talking about here? I understand what they did for us, but what are their pensions like?
  • #36
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    People who work get stuffed. People who refuse to work, have one child after another born out of wedlock, receive phony disability payments, food stamps, free everything, get rewarded. Something tells me everything is ass backwards in this society.
  • #111
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    Other than those over the age of 65, disabled former military or housewives who don't need to work because their husband earns enough to support the household, I don't know any adults who don't work. I accept that there are some people like that out there, however I have a hard time believing that there are enough to be statistically significant. To me it sounds like an excuse to destroy an already shredded social safety net.
  • #116
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    You need to come to my town. I can show you plenty who don't work. Most under the age of 30 and some as old as 50 who have never worked.
  • #118
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    @Pack7 Where is this and why would anyone live in such a town? How can someone be 50 and have never worked? Were they born into money, married and worked as a housewife?
  • #123
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    If your 50 and been in prison for a good number of years you don't work. These people get out and live off the dole. There are gang members who are in their thirties that have never worked, they just steal and rob until someone kills them. Do you live in Utopia? This is going on all over the country. These people don't even look for work and are not included in the employment figures.
  • #127
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    @MarkColwell

    Yes, Mark. I'll agree with Pack7 on this one. Come to where I live. You'll see lots of people not working. They've learned to scam the system.

    The problem is they use their children as pawns. Welfare was designed to take care of children so the parents aren't going to be turned down for assistance because then it would hurt the children.

    I'm not against safety nets. I think welfare is the ONLY thing that separates the US from 3rd world countries. It's just sad that so may choose that lifestyle.
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  • #4
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    I put I'm not sure, I don't know all the facts. If there was anything going on like what happened in Allentown, Pa. Then it's good. The police force, due to a formula fault, were able to boost there pensions astronomically by working a lot of overtime during certain periods. Some had as little as 15 years (possibly less) and we're able to retire at full pensions, with some pension amounts nearly double their normal pay. If was a disgusting display of abusing the taxpayers and the union backed it. We see too much of this stuff in the public sector, so I'd have my doubts some shady shit went on.
  • #12
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    Union deals are deals conducted by two sides. The unions get 50% of the blame, but the other 50% are those that negotiated these deals for the state.
  • #47
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    The same with the PA legislature bumping up the PSERS pensions for teachers and administrators. If only they could repeal those huge pension increases. Another unfunded liability and it's time to pay the piper!

    (I'm from Quakertown, btw!)
  • #59
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    @AceLuby the other 50% are the Democrat lawmakers who paid off the unions to vote for them with these sweetheart deals. Nobody is forgetting to include them in the blame.
  • #86
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    @AceLuby
    Maybe it was 50% unions and 50% arbiter finding on their behalf. These ARE public sector unions after all. There is no "management" per se, only elected caretakers who wish to curry as many union votes as possible. It's not like the pols have to pay personally for idiotic decisions. They simply leave the taxpayers on the hook. That was the crux of their problem though, the huge liabilities were firmly planted within the city system while those who paid opted to relocate. That is the basis for the states claim of inviolability of pension benefits once promised. Cities would simply collapse and citizens flee. The guarantee means they'll need to cross a state line to escape entirely. Why would anyone chose to live in Illinois or any other failed entity?
  • #114
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    @methinks originally from Lehigh Valley, but moved a few years ago further "red" into Carbon county. Right across the border and the difference is staggering. Lol
  • #26
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    They did the right thing for them. As for me, when I call it quits, I'll be taking the lump sum and investing it for myself. If I could do that with Social Security, I would.
  • #49
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    My wife was able to do that with the pension from her former job. It's now in an IRA that's well diversified and has very good long term prospects.
  • #10
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    Yeah, it had nothing to do with the industry driving the city going bankrupt. Nope, it's democrats.

    Small thoughts for small minds.
  • #21
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    @joyshusband Didn't mean to offend you...however, your state is struggling. It is one of the three least healthy states:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/25-unhealthies...

    It is heavily in the coal industry, which leads to poor health and low income:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/178077/how-c...

    They have a poverty rate and rely on government assistance at a very high rate:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._sta...

    Their life expectancy is the second lowest in the nation, only to Mississippi:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._sta...

    The residents of West Virginia have been shown in numerous surveys to be #1 in misery amongst it's people - here is one:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-22933...

    On top of that, unemployment is above average, income levels are in the bottom 5 - some studies show them as number one, education levels are at the bottom of the nation, their cities offer almost no cluture or strong diversity and housing costs and prices of homes are in the gutter and cannot be sold.

    Any questions?
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  • #32
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    It was a brave thing the public employees did. They are to be commended for their sacrifice.

    Nevertheless, before they start cutting pensions, how about selling off some of the City assets?
  • #133
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    I am pro union, and getting more so every day. What these men and women did was not a big surprise though. Being the first group to do something so vital is going to carry through all across the nation. The concept of SOME IS BETTER THEN NONE is quite smart. But to be honest, I'm just going to sit back and watch what happens.
  • #131
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    It's unbelievable that someone on here is going from post to post voting down the ones that are in any way favorable to the workers in Detroit. I wonder why. Speak up. Don't be shy. Tell us WHY you think it's OK for working people to have to give up what THEY deserve as opposed to the rich who have manipulated all the money and/or given it all away.
  • #129
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    I think it speaks volumes about America in several ways.

    The first being the working people of this country. The fire fighters and police officers put their lives on the line for many years. Some even died in the line of duty. They didn't earn millions of dollars, like professional athletes, that would have sustained them in later years. EVERY employee of that city took their job with the promise of a retirement. Now they have to go back and say "Promise broken, but it's OK. You can have the money back." Let's ask ourselves how one of our illustrious leaders in Congress would feel if someone told him/her that "sorry, we can't pay you you well-padded retirement."

    I ask. Why is it always the working people in this country who get f*cked over?

    Second point, is the fact that Detroit is bankrupt to begin with. Poor management, definitely, but it didn't help that our own government sold us out. Hell, yeah, let's open the US auto market to every bumf*ck car manufacturer on the planet. It'll be good for competition. When you're already number one, who needs competition? We gave it away like a cheap whore. We gave away our power when we flung open the doors and flooded our nation with foreign goods. The very companies that sustained us for decades were thrown to the wolves and Detroit is the bloody result.

    And last but least, here is how our OWN government cares for its own cities and citizens.

    In September 2013, Detroit was slated to receive 108 million dollars in direct aid. Sounds like a bunch of money, but consider this:

    Mexico received 205 million
    Liberia received 157 million
    Haiti received 300 million
    Pakistan got 1.8 BILLION
    Israel received 310 BILLION

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg. And lest we forget, 300 BILLION dollars is being used to take care of illegal refugee children. 300 BILLION!!! I would put that in flashing neon if I could. So while those Detroit firemen and policemen give up what they have worked all these years for, foreigners are getting it instead.
  • #94
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    Yes. Face the facts; the city is broke. There's no money to give them, and they've filed bankruptcy. If the wheels are already in motion, why make matters worse by paying out money you don't have? It would kind of defeat the purpose of declaring bankruptcy.
  • #28
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    I voted "not sure" time will tell, if Detroilet pulls itself out of bankrupsy and their pensions restored at some point I would say yes. Unfortunately, I don't see it recovering as fast as what planners are forecasting, and then there is the enormous crime issue that is a sever drain on the citie's economy. People that have worked their whole life and paid into the pension system shouldn't ever have to be forced to give part of it to protect a smaller potion of, they did their time. But I do understand why they voted the way they did.
  • #19
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    Tough decision. Many provdbly knew it was either take a haircut on their pensions or lose their pensions. Not much of a choice really.

    It's a shame the government for the city mismanaged funds so poorly. It's not the fault of the workers. They worked those years and expected what they were promised.
  • #18
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    When people flee a city like the plague because more people are taking than paying in ... something has to change and that means cuts!
  • #140
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    "If investment performance improves in the years ahead, he said, the cuts could be restored."

    These articles should sometimes have sound, because the only thing missing from that sentence was a rim-shot.(Ba-dump-pum-TISH!) File that under "GREAT LIES OF ALL TIME." Along with every democrat that says "I SUPPORT THE SECOND AMENDMENT".
  • #135
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    Yes. This is democracy in action! And it really works.... Instead of forcing people to take cuts, you must make the case and ask them to vote on it... It's a give and take.... Otherwise, the USA would have a King.
  • #132
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    The city ran itself into this mess and the city workers were a big part of that so why should they not share in the pain?
  • #124
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    They're robbing the people and the city blind, on purpose, to make their buddies richer. Snyder's doing it to ALL of Michigan. The "broke" city gets to foot 60% of the bill for the Red Wings $450 million dollar arena, plus an "arena and entertainment district." The total price tag, including additional private investments in retail and housing, is an estimated $650 million,$284.5 million of which will come in the form of public investment. Hey, the city's broke, let's drop an additional 1/2 a billion dollars of debt on them for a PRIVATE INVESTMENT. That's the story. Use public money for private investment, then sell of all of the departments of the city that bring in revenue to private companies (that may know or donate to the politicians) and we'll further break the city since we'll get a one time influx of cash ( you can bet they'll get the deal of the century" but the city's lost a constant long term source of revenue. That's like you getting $1,000 a month for Social Security but you're forced to take a one time payment of $50,000 for it instead. Great, until you've lived 50 more months, then you're screwed.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/17785-the-...

    https://nonprofitquarterly.org/policysocial-c...
    http://deadspin.com/detroit-scam-city-how-the...
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/loo...

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/det...

    http://www.a2politico.com/2012/06/still-steal...
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