cirby: Every time I see "we have to cut police and firefighters," I wonder how many "second assistant city inspectors" are still working (who are, oddly enough related to the Mayor or a city councilman).
entropic_existence: Not that stupid of an idea. For anyone who actually RTFA anyway. Knowing a few volunteer fire-fighters in small town/rural areas, I can totally see them wanting to spend a day or two working in a big city fighting an urban fire.
Quinzy: Actually a horrible idea from a liability standpoint. One person dies and millions are out the window.
Babboonrash: It's not even fun to make jokes about Detroit anymore. Things seem to be so bad there that this is comparable to whipping a dead horse. I hope things get better for the folks up there.
Big Ramifications: This is such a stupid idea that it has to be BS story that's been picked up.[i46.tinypic.com image 160x119]
fortheloveofgod: Big Ramifications: This is such a stupid idea that it has to be BS story that's been picked up.[i46.tinypic.com image 160x119]It's been on all the news channels here, and the mayor doesn't deny it. They admit it was an idea floated out there actually.
bagumpity: I expected TFA to be about fire departments thinking "hey- let's let people do arson so we get more funding for fire fighters!"
theorellior: Funny thing about essential services... they're actually essential!
screwzloos: I wonder if anyone's ever considered buying Detroit to use as the set of a movie? I'm sure it would be dirt cheap.You'd be hard pressed to find a better location for a post-apocalypse theme, and you could even blow up real buildings in the action scenes!
Mose: screwzloos: I wonder if anyone's ever considered buying Detroit to use as the set of a movie? I'm sure it would be dirt cheap.You'd be hard pressed to find a better location for a post-apocalypse theme, and you could even blow up real buildings in the action scenes!Mad Max reboot?
Babboonrash: entropic_existence: Not that stupid of an idea. For anyone who actually RTFA anyway. Knowing a few volunteer fire-fighters in small town/rural areas, I can totally see them wanting to spend a day or two working in a big city fighting an urban fire.It's not even fun to make jokes about Detroit anymore. Things seem to be so bad there that this is comparable to whipping a dead horse. I hope things get better for the folks up there.
theorellior: Funny thing about essential services... they're actually essential! liberal commie socialism
cirby: fortheloveofgod:It's been on all the news channels here, and the mayor doesn't deny it. They admit it was an idea floated out there actually.In other words, someone needed to push the "we can't afford to pay firefighters" meme to keep the budget untouched, so they came up with this to generate some press coverage.Of course, the next obvious move would be "who came up with the idea, and do we need to keep paying them for this level of stupidity?"
werekoala: Of any of you want to see what Detroit firefighting is like, check out the movie Burn. Trailers are available to view on their web site, and they are still collecting money to distributeWeb site is:http://detroitfirefilm.org/Sorry no link, I'm on a cell phone.I had a chance to attend a screening of the movie this summer, it was amazing. Hands down the best firefighting footage I have ever seen, spliced together from helmet cams on each crew member.Tag line really says it all:"One year on the front lines of the battle to save Detroit"
fluffy2097: We have enough money to give the cops M-16's APC's, and millions of dollars of other milspec gear.We don't have enough money to HAVE fire fighters./are we safe yet?
zepher: If the liberals hadn't given police and fire such outrageous pay, pensions and benefits we wouldn't have such soaring local government deficits and we wouldn't have to entertain the thought of layoffs.
lizyrd: zepher: If the liberals hadn't given police and fire such outrageous pay, pensions and benefits we wouldn't have such soaring local government deficits and we wouldn't have to entertain the thought of layoffs.Yes, my $52,000 annual salary is absolutely outrageous. As is my enormous 401(a) (similar, but not the same as a 401(k)) retirement account.Some other fun things that I'm "given:"-Straight-time overtime. Every hour I work over my contractual 42 hour week gets paid at my regular rate. No time-and-a-half for me. I can even say no to OT, get ordered to work involuntary OT, and they still are allowed to pay straight-time.-No social security. Most career fire fighters are ineligible for social security. It saves the city 6.2% of my gross pay. Even if I work another job that's paying FICA and have enough quarters to collect, a "windfall elimination" clause in the Social Security code cuts my benefit to less than 20% of what it should be. If I did have a defined benefit pension this wouldn't be as big a deal, but with a 401(a) it means that if I run out of money in retirement, I have zero income. We're not even talking living in HUD housing and eating cat food. We're talking broke. Which leads us into the next outrageous benefit I get:-Mandatory retirement. Fire departments are one of the last places that are allowed to legally discriminate based on age. They toss me out on my ass the minute I turn 65. I could be working the night shift the day before my 65th birthday, and they'll call at midnight and send me home. Other people might want to retire, but look at their retirement accounts and have to decide to work a few extra years. I don't have that luxury.I love my job. Despite all these issues, I think I'm pretty fairly compensated. I squirrel money away left and right so I will be able to live in retirement. I don't ask for a lot; enough to afford a decent house, a reliable car and a few modest pleasures. I guess in some people's eyes ...
pute kisses like a man: may I ask, won't you be receiving a pension when you are forced to retire?
lizyrd: pute kisses like a man: may I ask, won't you be receiving a pension when you are forced to retire?No. My retirement plan is a 401(a). There is no pension associated with my job, and there hasn't been for 30 years. Even my 401 is under attack. The taxpayers are up in arms that the city pays 9.6% of my base pay into the 401. They only get a match of 4% at their job, why do the firemen get such a huge contribution? And they plug their ears and scream "LALALALALA" when someone tries to explain that we're ineligible for Social Security. IF we had SSI, the city would be paying 6.2% of our gross in FICA, which they're not. I make 52,000 base, around 65,000 gross. Which is a bigger number, 9.6% of 52,000 or (6.2% of 65,000)+(4% of 52,000)? But math is hard, and they don't want to hear anything that explains why I might get a benefit that is better than theirs, even if it only appears to be better on the surface.
pute kisses like a man: Thanks. I wasn't trying to be snarky. I work for a firm that is representing a fire fighters pension fund in some matters. But I assume every state/locality does it differently. Plus, I know very little about retirement stuff and pensions. I just know a lot about the specific matter for which we are assisting a ff's pension fund.And, quite plainly, these certain firefighters have pensions.
jedihirsch: Look at the photo[static1.travelandleisure.com image 380x320]Some how I don't think New York's Bravest are leaving their trucks in Detroit.
BronyMedic: The Median Pay of a Firefighter in 2010 was 45,270 a year, or 21.22 an hour, with most working 24 or 48 hour shifts.
WordyGrrl: Bonus: If they fight back, you can kill them or send them to jail forever
BronyMedic: zepher: If the liberals hadn't given police and fire such outrageous pay, pensions and benefits we wouldn't have such soaring local government deficits and we wouldn't have to entertain the thought of layoffs.Yeah, you're right. Firefighers and Police don't deserve living wages.We should pay them minimum wage like everyone else in the United States that doesn't own their own business. That'll teach them to be bootstrappy!The Median Pay of a Firefighter in 2010 was 45,270 a year, or 21.22 an hour, with most working 24 or 48 hour shifts./isn't it nice to be show just how much of a partisan boot licker you are?
zepher: Isn't it nice to see what an uniformed moron you are?
zepher: The average pay for a San Bernardino firefighter is $130,000.The average income in SB is $40,000.The SB police chief made upwards of $230,000.On top of their pay they get a 3% at 50 for retirement while not contributing to that retirement.On top off that they get gold plated medical plans that they do not contribute to the costs of.
zepher: And those 24 to 48 hour shifts are spent out on the road fighting fires and assisting people, right?
zepher: Name another profession where you get paid to sleep, cook dinner, workout and play cards while on the clock.
zepher: I am indeed a public work and no, I am not a member of the union.Our union constantly pushes to vote a straight Democratic party line regardless of the candidate's qualifications or policies.I know plenty of urban cops and firefighters and they get outrageous pay and benefits.Stockton went BK largely because 80% of their budget went to pay for public safety. How can that be even remotely justified?San Bernardino's budget has a 75% chunk of their budget for public safety.And most of the vocations you listed do not get publicly funded retirement plans with the ability to retire at 51 with 90% of their pay as a pension.Like I said, I'm a public employee that will most definitely see my already meager retirement hacked because when pension reform comes down they are going to hold up the outrageous retirement plans as proof that every last public employee plan needs to be curtailed.Hell, even Gov Brown's retirement reform largely spared police and fire from any real pain.Public safety still have better plans than regular employees had before the reform.Why not just even everyone out and not make the retirement age for a non-safety employee 67 years old?Pay and benefits may not be all that great in the sticks but just about every urban public safety employee is way over compensated.
zepher: I never lumped the volunteers in with the overpaid city firefighters.Local volunteer firefighters should be given something for their service, even if it is a meager uniform or equipment allowance.Volunteers perform an invaluable service to their community and they should be regularly thanked for that.Even in urban areas, the real crime when it comes to first responder pay is ambulance personnel.Out here they make barely above minimum wage and they very often are the first ones to treat a victim.My disdain is aimed at the very overpaid public safety employee that gets to retire at 51 with 90% pay and contributes little or nothing into that retirement and benefits.Most public service is a thankless job but I do grow tired of the hero worship of police and fire personnel.I used to risk my life every day for the public good but because I neither wore a badge nor carried a firearm I was considered just another public employee. I've been to far too many funerals for people I worked with that were killed on the job and all we ever got were complaints from the public because there were too many government vehicles at a church or cemetery.I'm just glad I'm no longer out in the field playing with my life every day.I would never wish anyone any ill will out there actually serving the public because they love what they do and not because of some benefits package so stay safe out there.
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