Geranium Farm Home     Who's Who on the Farm     The Almost Daily eMo     Subscriptions     Coming Events     Links
Hodgepodge     More or Less Church     Ways of the World     Father Matthew     A Few Good Writers     Bookstore
Light a Prayer Candle     Message Board     Donations     Gifts For Life     Pennies From Heaven     Live Chat

Ways of the World

Carol Stone, business economist & active Episcopalian, brings you "Ways of the World". Exploring business & consumers & stewardship, we'll discuss everyday issues: kids & finances, gas prices, & some larger issues: what if foreigners start dumping our debt? And so on. We can provide answers & seek out sources for others. We'll talk about current events & perhaps get different perspectives from what the media says. Write to Carol. Let her know what's important to you:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

State and Local Governments: a Follow-Up

In our article Monday on state and local government budgets, we emphasized the dilemmas those governments face as they try to work on their financial problems. Our conclusion was that a strong first step can come through changes in pension plans, which require more and more funding at times when financial resources are spread thin. Sure enough, today's Wall Street Journal reports that tomorrow, June 23, the City Council in Atlanta is expected to pass a bill causing a shift in pension plans of new employees from "defined benefit" to "defined contribution". Also, that City's employees, as well as numerous other municipal employees around the country, have not been part of the national Social Security system. But the Council's bill will include joining that system too in order to further limit the pension contributions the City Government must try to make.

The Journal quotes researchers at two national associations, one of State Legislatures and the other of State Retirement Administrators, who both explain how pension plans of many governmental units are being reorganized and/or having their terms and benefit qualifications altered. Most unions are not happy about this and there are also numerous court cases challenging the governments' ability to rearrange these plans. Stay tuned for more: work on this whole issue, while it has started, has a long way to go.

At the same time, we had a lovely note yesterday from reader Gerri Bachelor of Cary, North Carolina, which stands as a moving and meaningful statement of why all of this is so hard – especially for the people who are in the midst of this financial turmoil and just trying to do their jobs. Gerri has given us permission to share her thoughts with you.

I'm a government employee and have been all my life. Half my working life was as a high school science teacher. The last half has been working at the state level to improve education.

Why have I continued there?
Partly because I believe in public education.
Partly because I want to teach, not research.
Partly because, even though what I earn is much less than the private sector, I do get a retirement program and health insurance.
Partly because the people I work with care as much about students as I do. Probably even more.

So I have stayed,
even though I was furloughed to balance the budget
even though I have not gotten a raise in 3 years
even though my health care cost has gone up and the amount put in my retirement account has gone down
even though I have been vilified and slandered

But mostly, I love those kids. And because of it, I feel God has called me to let them know.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © 2003-Present Geranium Farm - All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any materials on this web site for any purpose
other than personal use without written consent is prohibited.