Monday, February 22, 2010

Retire at 50?

These stories are touching:
In the early dawn, after another week building cars, Michael Hanley leaves his job in Kansas. He quickly zips into Missouri, then heads up a ribbon of highway past grain silos and grazing deer, across the frozen fields of Iowa, over the Mississippi River and into the rolling hills of Wisconsin. Finally, he pulls into his driveway — 530 miles later.
But come on--retire at 50?

After the aging General Motors plant where he worked for 23 years was idled about a year ago, Hanley faced a Hobson's choice: Stay with his family and search for an autoworker's salary ($28 an hour) in a county where more than 40 percent of its manufacturing jobs disappeared from 2006 to 2009. Or hang on to his GM paycheck and health insurance and follow the job, no matter where it leads.

Remember, we the taxpayers are paying for these kind of packages. We bailed out GM to pay the generous union benefits GM couldn't afford to pay its workers itself.

Americans can see the disparity.

Those of us in bankrupt states have a closer view--this time we're talking about the public employee unions.

Retire at 50? At this rate we'll all being working until we're old. Because some of these benefits won't be paid--the money is not there.

And think about this. The plant that closed made SUVs. Which became less popular because gas prices rose because Democrats are blocking drill here, drill now. Based on hysteria about global warming. Which pushed for those smaller cars fewer people want to buy.

What are we doing to ourselves? The government needs to get out of the way. We are breaking up families with these profoundly foolish policies and making promises we can't keep.

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