Shirley’s Welfare Cadillac

by scabeen on May 14, 2010

Having recently joined the entitled ranks of the civil service retired,  I feel curiously as if I am driving the famous welfare mom Cadillac.   While unionists (and I am one) would object to this hyperbole,  I never really believed that I had earned more than a meager, trailer-park retirement.    In fact, I have kept an eye of the more salubrious mobile home developments, just in case.  The pitifully tiny retirement contribution I made every two weeks of $42 could not possibly add up to $2265 a month for 26 years of part time work, plus an early retirement bonus of 3% added.  I got the check, it did. 

If I live another 30 years, which could happen (be careful what you wish for), that adds up to $815,000 without counting in my little but regular guaranteed cost of living increases.  I may have flunked Algebra 2 but I can do simple math.   Investments counselors agree that $1,000,000 of savings should only be withdrawn at 4% a year so as not to outlive the nest egg.  That of course is $40,000.  So $27,000 per year is the equivalent of drawing on a piggy bank of $680K.   Even Goldman Sachs couldn’t work up that kind of magic legally.   Obviously the great bulk of my retirement is coming from the taxpayers, not my measly contribution which serves as window dressing hiding the city councilpersons who negotiate our generous contracts.

Having a faint impression that I am on the dole, I have taken an avid interest in entitlement benefits in other nations.   Thank God for Greece.   Getting a government job there will put the tzatziki sauce on all your earnings.  In Greece,  foresters get extra pay for working outdoors, and even non-government hairdressers get some kind of combat bonus for up close and personal skirmishes with enemy straightening and bleaching agents.  Everyone gets 14 monthly paychecks, which just proves the Greeks did not invent mathematics (the Arabs did, that’s why it’s called Al Gebra, sounds like a Jihadi spin-off).

However the Greeks are outdone by the Israelis.  Having a strong imprint of the Protestant Work Ethic (the only virtue I can think of for WASPS),  I am fascinated by welfare cheats of every stripe, even those who pocket taxpayer money legally as in Israel.  It seems the Israeli government pays men to pray all day rather than work to support their family.  Of course this option is only open to the Ultra-Orthodox who are commanded by God to do so.  It is a great way to get out of the apartment where 8-10 little ones might be interfering with your mystic moments.  Off to the blissfully female-free shul or temple.  A staggering 65% of Ultra-Orthodox Jews (take that to mean men) do not work.  I always said Jews were way smarter than we are.

I still want to be a card-carrying union member.  Without it we are at the mercy of the ponzi-self-paying potentates of the major corporations and some governments.   Just ask us to get real;   upping our retirement contributions with a few less trips to Costco, loading the Mini-Cooper sized shopping carts.   Nevertheless, thank you dear Angelenos, for keeping me out of the double-wide.

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