People who need their retirement plans are chained to their jobs. They’ll turn a blind eye to corruption and even become obsessively loyal.
See update below.
This is not going to be a post about the fact that government pension plans can support corrupt systems in other countries; e.g. by investing in electric vehicles, pension plans support the child slavery used in the Congo to collect cobalt for batteries. Instead, I want to talk about the way government pensions lead to a slave mentality and moral collapse in government workers.
Over the years, I’ve talked a lot about how corrupt the FBI is. Years ago, I wrote that FBI employees won’t risk their salaries by making a noise when they see corruption within the FBI because they’re way too dependent on their salaries. They have all the financial obligations that simultaneously raise up the quality of middle-class lifestyles while chaining the workers to a constant cash flow: mortgages, car payments, computers, washers/dryers, smartphones, private school fees, nice vacations, etc. People will put up with a lot of corruption in their organization, especially if they only “sort of” know about it in order to prevent the possibility of unemployment.
Government unions have also turned the Deep State into a Democrat institution. I’ve written about unions too because of their deeply corrupting influence. In private-sector unions, when management and the union representative sit down at the table to negotiate, they both have skin in the game because both are invested in the company’s financial well-being. If management gets too greedy, it either has difficulty retaining workers or they do a lousy job. If workers get too greedy, the company will go bankrupt or shift its factory to Mexico or China.
However, when it comes to government unions, the two people sitting at the table have no skin in the game, just greed. The money comes from taxpayers, who are only theoretically represented by the government negotiator at the table. In fact, the government negotiator, who is himself a unionized government employee, wants to give the unions as much taxpayer money as possible. The quid pro quo for that is that the unions will in turn take a portion of that money from workers and give it to the Democrat party. Eventually, not just the union but the workers themselves will see the Democrat party as the holy cash cow. They quickly lose sight of the taxpayers who make this all possible.
Another reason why the Deep State is a Democrat institution is that most government jobs require a college degree. Anyone who has graduated from college within the last 30 or so years, meaning most government workers, has been through a hard left indoctrination program. It’s going to stick. We’re talking about generation after generation of government workers who have been taught that Republicans are inherently evil (racist, privileged, greed, hate-filled, xenophobic, homo- and transphobic, etc.); that Democrats are good, that salvation comes through government; and that they, the enlightened, woke government workers, are the foot soldiers of salvation.
Those are my three usual go-to reasons for the Deep State’s vicious and fanatic leftism — but there’s one more reason for Deep State leftism, along with government employees’ blind fealty to the Deep State, and that’s government pensions. While I’m not feeling the love for Stuart Scheller, I remember one thing about him that showed he really was making a sacrifice for his principles: He was willing to walk away from his pension before it vested.
See, the deal with the Devil that government workers make is that, although their earned money is taken every year from their paycheck to fund their retirement, they have to give the government 20 years of that life for the retirement to vest. Otherwise, poof! That’s why President Biden was able to say that all government workers who refuse to get the experimental gene therapy vaccine will to only lose their jobs but will also lose the retirement funds they earned over the years.
Think about it: You’ve worked for the money, they take the money, and then they tell you at 19 years, 11 months that it’s not really your money at all because you refused to bow down to their dictates. Or you dared to complain about their corruption. Or you’ve dared to leave.
I understand that the pension plan system is meant to maintain a stable government workforce while also keeping the pension funds somewhat stable. Also, there’s the Ponzi scheme aspect of the plans, which is that long-lived ex-government workers are getting such huge pension payoffs that you need to keep other people working as long as possible just to fund current obligations.
Still, no matter the reason for the pension plan set-up, the reality is that pension plans do is create a form of servitude. In an era when most people can expect to live long after their working years are over, that earned retirement money matters. To walk away from it is a tremendous sacrifice. Saying that you can no longer stand to work in an environment as corrupt as the FBI doesn’t necessarily bar you from getting another job, but it may mean you’ve lost a chunk of your retirement.
Because people are literally slaves to the pension system, they have to invest themselves completely in their jobs. For the average government worker, there can be no emotional distance simply because your old age depends on sticking it out for decades.
Combine that with the leftism trained into government employees in college and — voila! — you’ve got FBI agents who have too much power, too much leftism, and too much loyalty to an organization that has a vise-like grip on their future well-being. Corruption is just an integral part of the whole corrupt system, the same as it was part of the chattel slavery system.
We need to get rid of government unions. But just as importantly, we need to get rid of government pensions. Instead, it should be transferrable 401Ks (or other retirement plans) all the way.
UPDATE: A friend who has held government jobs tells me that many (most) pensions vest in less than 20 years. However, you can still lose them if you’re fired for cause. The law lists what that cause must be (and, interestingly, refusing a vaccine isn’t on that list even though Biden is promising to pull benefits).
However, once you’re ostensibly fired for cause, even if it’s pretextual or otherwise abusive, it’s extremely difficult to get pensions reinstated. So while I was wrong in my facts, I think there’s still a risk for employees who are thinking about making a noise, especially a noise against the Deep State.