It has always been a fascination when I read about pensions — especially forced pension payments from those who are made to pay as a requirement of their continued employment, with some paying over $800 a month into State “pension” coffers — and how those workers are demonized by the Far Right who believe public servants and private pensioners are somehow taking advantage of those who do not pay into a pension program. Pensions are not payoffs or welfare. Pensions are earned investment money entrusted to public or private equity.
A sad bit of history was made this week when New York City finally passed a law that requires businesses with at least 15 employees to provide five paid sick days a year. Five. Days. Five days are not enough days to be out sick in a single year, especially in a living space jam-packed-with-people New York City — but at least its a start in a City that clearly has cared more about your cigarettes and sugar consumption and your Big Gulps than ever it did about actually giving you a few days off to heal while still being able to make the rent.
There was a time once in America when you worked all your life, retired at a proper age and collected Social Security and a pension until you died. Those halcyon days are over. Now, there is a war against the aged in the guise of beating them up to push them out the door instead of giving them gold watches and other incentives to beg off the payroll. The days of lump sum payments to encourage retirement are long gone.