What do we do with retired teachers? Senicide or geronticide seems to be the approved official solution today.
This is no joke. This is no exaggeration.
As children in school many of us learned that some primitive, barbaric or ancient tribes simply killed their senior tribal members by socially acceptable methods such as starvation or abandonment and exposure to the elements. Some of these seniors were simply over sixty or seventy years of age. Some were considered nuisances since they could no longer work as hard as younger tribal members. Today, we still study this as it had been enforced among the Heruli in Germany, the Ubasute in Japan, the Inuit peoples formerly called Eskimo, ancient Serbians, and even to recent times the Tamil Nadu in India among others. Read HERE.
Well, welcome to the second decade of the 21st Century in the wealthiest country in the world, the USA.
In Illinois today, the Democratic supermajority Senate and House of Representatives, with full approval by Gov. Quinn, want to lower the retired teacher pensions’ cost of living adjustment to half the cost of living annually. Yes, half the cost of living- year after year after…
(There is no pension solution in a state that has a revenue problem. The true solution is a revenue solution. Read HERE.)
Half – in spite of the cost of medicine, food, clothing, heating, housing – living. How long can they live like this?
It hurts elderly retired teachers who, by law, gave the state 9.4% of their gross salaries for their entire working careers – often over 30 years of dedicated work. These teachers played by the rules. They were not allowed to pay into Social Security or Medicare. (Some are fortunate enough to have spouses who did pay into those.) The state, because of the low pay allocated for teachers, also mandated that the state pay a share as deferred compensation, a pension. The state legislators broke the state’s own laws by taking money owed to teacher pension funds and spending them in any manner they chose. Juicy government contracts were given to cronies, relatives and backers. Corporate reelection campaign donors and their wealthy owners and CEOs were granted hundreds of millions of dollars annually as outright tax dollar giveaways. This recently legalized theft is now called “underfunding.”
Half the cost of living – annually. After those same teachers paid and paid while also gladly sacrificing themselves for the sake of the children of Illinois.
Well, how about other teachers, active and retired, in other states? Are they having this inflicted on them as part of the overall attack on public education? Yes. Google a state and the words “teacher pension funds.” See for yourself.
Follow any media news outlet to see what is being planned for everyone’s Social Security and Medicare. Both could easily be funded in perpetuity by simply lowering the amount of everyone’s contribution and simultaneously raising the cap and allowing the wealthy to pay their fair share. Both political parties know this. Both political parties avoid saying this aloud. Neither wishes to offend corporate sponsors and billionaire donors. Both parties suck campaign dollars like leeches suck blood – especially the blood of the elderly.
Senicide. Geronticide. In the second decade of the 21st Century in the wealthiest country in the world, the USA.
We must reclaim reform. We must refuse to be willing victims. Unite locally and fight back.
(Addendum: The savagery and political game playing surrounding the expensive healthcare Illinois teacher retirees are forced to pay for from their pension checks is another story for another time. Yes, they pay for their healthcare from their pension checks. Many pay over $1,200 per month for a retired couple – plus co-pays and fees.)