We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"The pensions for which taxpayers must now foot the bill far outshine what many of those same taxpayers in the private sector receive. In New Jersey, for instance, a 62-year-old state employee who retires after 25 years gets 50 percent more in yearly pension payments than an employee retiring with the same salary from the Camden, New Jersey plant of Campbell Soup, a Fortune 500 company, according to the Asbury Park Press. In addition, the state employee receives free health insurance for life to supplement Medicare, while full health benefits for private-sector retirees are now rare. In California, a public employee with 30 years of service can retire at 55 with 60 percent of his salary, and public-safety workers can get 90 percent of their salary at age 50. By contrast to these rich payouts, the small (and shrinking) number of private firms that still provide “defined benefit” pension plans—instead of the now-common “defined contribution” plans that transfer all risk to the worker—pay on average 45 percent after 30 years of service."