Social apartheid refers to de facto segregation on the basis of class or economic status in which an underclass develops which is separated from the rest of the population.According to HMEPS a city employee can work 30 years and then retire on 63.01% of their highest annual pay, with medical insurance for $149/mo. Or do 25 years and get half, plus medical.
Why encourage our kids to study science or engineering and go work in the private sector? Go work for the government, do your thirty, retire at age 49 or 50 with a lifetime ironclad pension and cheap medical coverage. Start a second career and double-dip. Go work at Walmart part time on weekends and it would pay for some nice overseas vacations.
I can see why a beat cop or fireman needs to be mustered out at 50. But why should a desk jockey? If you're not on the streets wrecking your body for the public good you should get the same retirement benefits as everyone else. That means Social Security, 401k plans that you pay into and any money you save on your own.
Texas teachers did some absurd things to game the system a few years ago. Most Texas teachers do not pay into Social Security. They have their own pension system. Until 2-3 years ago, if a Texas teacher worked so much as a day in a school district that didn't participate in the TRS, they could get both SS benefits and TRS benefits. Which led to the absurd sight of thousands of teachers in Houston and Dallas going to smaller Texas cities for a day to "work" as janitors. I am not making this up. I know people who did this. All of these school districts colluded in this gigantic rip-off. Of course this isn't fair to teachers who worked in the private sector for 20 years and paid into SS and then chose teaching as a second career. They lose SS benefits and have to start all over at age 42 with the TRS.
The whole system sucks. I think it should all be a level playing field. I think it will be very soon as these government pension schemes go bankrupt and taxpayers refuse to pay for 50-year-old retirees by voting with their feet and leaving.
Update: Welcome Chronicle readers!