Friday, January 21, 2011

Teachers—They’re Coming After Your Pensions

The majority of states are facing enormous budget deficits. Approximately half of them also have large unfunded liabilities in their public employee pension plans (due in part to their refusal to make the recommended annual payments), including those covering teachers. Currently, teacher pensions are protected by state constitutions and payments guaranteed to pensioners.  

Retirement for Public Workers? (Image by Clemson)
However, there is now some movement in Congress toward allowing states to declare bankruptcy, which would allow them to nullify existing contracts, including those between states and public employee unions that had protected their pensions. If successful, it could consign the majority of public employees to a lifetime of toil or a retirement living in poverty. 

The wealthy, of course, would continue to enjoy their large tax breaks, miniscule capital gains taxes, record corporate profits and a retirement living in luxury.
Retirement for the Ruling Elite (wikicommons)


  1. I rather think the image of a "commoner" is more compelling -- and of a higher class -- than that of the older man in the hat. The commoner's face has both character and depth. He's smiling, with that wild-haired appearance of a happy Einstein.

    If your intent was to portray commoner pensions as inadequate, and commoners as unhappy, this image suggests otherwise.

  2. Sorry about the images--it's hard to find creative commons images on the fly.

    Actually, the first image is a homeless man. The idea was to imply that if we lose our pensions, we may become homeless when we're too old to work. But he does look happier than the rich guy below him. Maybe that guy's cranky because Viagra hasn't yet been invented??