The new labor aristocrats: government employees

While ordinary Americans have seen their retirement funds diminish radically, retired  government workers seem to be making out really well. Especially in San Francisco, where 709 retired city employees are making over $100,000 a year (that's up from 480 last year -- a 48% increase). That works out to roughly one six figure retiree per thousand residents,

Matier & Ross, the San Francisco Chronicle's ace investigative reporters, also report:

San Francisco Retirement Board head Clare Murphy gave two reasons for the jump: a surge in employees who became eligible for retirement this year, and cost-of-living increases that bumped earlier pensioners over the $100,000 mark. ...

A new civil grand jury report on pension costs said there was a widespread practice of "spiking" in the police and fire departments - the practice of members getting temporarily promoted in their final year on the job to bump up their retirement benefits.

The report also said that more than half of the police and firefighters who have retired since 1998 are getting paid more in retirement than when they worked.

Luckily for the retired government workers, the taxpayers can always be forced to pay more taxes. We can all take comfort that we are supporting them so richly. Civil servants? Maybe make that "civil masters".

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