the laws of the game
so the front page of this sunday's sun features an expose on city workers who have earned a lifetime pension for prior public service, and then returned to work to earn still more at the proverbial public trough. these are bad people, right?
the continuation of the PK story is that the referee became extremely biased in favor of the scored-upon team for the rest of our match--at one point justifying his harsh treatment of our players as the proper result of our having kicked that earlier ball into the back of the net. see, the way this zebra saw it, it would have been our responsibility as players to realize that the injured guy who took away our legitimate scoring chance was really only doing it by accident because of his injury, and we should have understood and deliberately kicked the resulting scoring chance wide to be more sporting.
the game has rules for a reason. likewise, pensions are awarded for a reason too. like, say, for risking ones life over a period of years as a firefighter or policeman. it's part of the compensation arrangement, ya know? the hiring conversations go something like this: "here--you run into burning buildings (or stand in the street to be shot at) and in return i'll give you this much every year, and this much more for the rest of your life if you do it long enough and well enough". and so these folks will think about it, (and the total of the incentives has to be considered part of the motivation to think about it), and then, if we, the public to be served by their sacrifice are lucky, they may say "ok, if that's the deal, then i'll do it". or replace the circumstances with teaching our children, or even pushing papers in a dank little city hall office, and it's still part of the bargain: this much salary and this much pension in return for the work.
so i want to know why we're so outraged that these folks, who have run into the burning buildings, and stood in our streets to be shot at, and taught our children, and pushed our papers down at city hall, are doing the income equivalent of kicking that PK into the back of the net. think about it--we're the ones with the whistle. we vote the people into office who control the compensation rules, and now we've become the equivalent of that ass-hole referee, running around enabling the kicking and tripping and elbowing of those players who are simply following the rules of the game as they've been set down and ruled on the field.
we ought to be ashamed, first of all, and then motivated second of all to change the rules if we don't like them. clearly, whoever dreamed up the disability pension awards might have dreamed up a caveat that earning extra public income might offset the amount of the pension. oh, wait--they already have. pensioners can only earn $5000 more than the new job's pay minus the pension, which actually saves us, the public, a pretty good chunk of change. i'm even inclined to believe that the disability guy who is doing that job they talked about in the paper for $17,000 a year might be doing it because he's interested to do the work for our collective good, not because he's trying to cheat the taxpayers out of such a princely sum. (anybody willing to do much of anything these days for $17,000 a year?)
of course, the other part of the explanation could be that the desperate owners of this desperate little newspaper are trying desperately to stir up a little s*** to try to sell a few more newspapers before they go under...