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12/24/2005

Kevin Drum puts his foot in his mouth

Drum writes:
This single paragraph from the New York Times does a pretty good job of encapsulating the mixed feeling a lot of people probably have about public employee unions:
To control soaring pensions costs, the [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] at first demanded raising the retirement age for future employees to 62. Workers can now retire at age 55, after 25 years on the job, and receive pensions equal to half their earnings. They average $55,000 a year, including overtime.
An average salary of $55,000 a year? That's fine. Sure, it's pretty good money, but my guess is that most people are OK with it anyway.

But retiring at age 55, with 25 years on the job, at half salary? I support unions and I support the notion that Americans work too much, but even so that strikes me as indefensible. After all, most people have working lives of 40-50 years, and it's hard to imagine that they have a lot of sympathy for a deal like that. I have to confess that I don't.
This unleashes the wrath of Steve Gilliard:
Wow, those colored can reitre at 55? That ain't right ...

Do you know the stress of the job, the conditions they work under? Repairing subways in your spare time?

You don't have sympathy for that because you sit on your ass all day writing, not repairing Bombadier rail cars in the open in August.

What a fucking idiot, when not backstabbing other bloggers or campaigning for a MSM job, he now opines that working in the open at 55 is a deal. Believe me, it's not the kind of deal he'd like if he dropped dead at 57 or 60.

Most of the MTA titles are hard, physical labor or stressful contact with the public. They aren't opining behind a fucking keyboard.

...I'm sick of suburban motherfuckers who don't even bag their own groceries and hire people to cut their grass opining that the people who run one of the most complicated tranist systems on earth either make too much or retire too early. When does sitting at a fucking desk qualify you to have this opinion?
Right on.

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