NJ COLA Case Update

The Scheduling Order in Berg v. Christie came out today with the New Jersey Supreme Court setting December 14, 2015 as the date when all briefs are to be filed meaning that we could see oral arguments around February and a decision by May, 2016.

Though something Chris Christie said on Meet the Press last Sunday could mean that even if Cost-of-Living-Adjustments have to return we may be in a Bleak-House scenario where the money for them will all be gone.
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We have most of this spiel but the part about being able to pay its bills is new.

Those bills consist of some $10 billion in annual payouts to retirees and, as many of my cheerily benighted public sector friends keep telling me, no payment has ever been skipped (reduced by COLA removal yes, but never skipped).  So why is Chris Christie bragging about still being able to keep making those payments?  Isn’t there $79 billion in the fund with $5 billion in contributions coming in annually?  Are we that close to pay-go?

Warning: wild speculation ahead with absolutely no proof behind it outside of experience with deceitful government bureaucracy:

With the stock market tanking and all that money in alternative investments I see Christie going to his pension people and asking for an update on the status of the plan and being told they can still ‘pay the bills’…but for how long? I sense they are playing games with the asset values (even beyond what you would expect from alternative investments) and we are not far from being told that the pension assets have been madoffed.

35 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on September 14, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    It will be interesting to see if those alternative investments can be sold (to keep paying pensioners) at anywhere near latest plan-posted “market value” without severe penalty fees for early/short-notice termination.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Eric on September 15, 2015 at 12:02 am

    John:
    I really do not think that Christie cares about this trivial subject anymore. If I were in his shoes, this would be the furthest thing from my mind. His house seems to be on fire in many rooms. He is very good at damage control. This decision will be released when he is either long gone or at least until the Republicans anoint their leader. I certainly do not expect any release in May of 2016. Look how long the Appellate Division sat on this, and they are mere mortals. These are Justices not judges, and of course one CJ. (Who by the way is a very nice guy, not full of himself and is smart as hell).
    Eric

    Reply

  3. Posted by george on September 15, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Do these investments produce income and cap gains? How much?

    If you have $80 billion and you take out 10 while adding 5 each year you have 16 years till depletion. If everything stays the same.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 15, 2015 at 10:54 am

      The problem is that the “contributions” are coming from Actives but going out to Retirees, almost all of whom have already recouped the full value of their own contribution including investment earnings thereon (as it usually only takes about 2-3 years in retirement to do so).

      None of the contributions of actives are being “saved” to fund THEIR retirements…….. and if they had any brains, THEY would be demanding an END to this structure.

      Reply

      • Posted by skip3house on September 15, 2015 at 11:55 am

        Good, TL……regards

        Reply

        • Posted by lukeu on September 15, 2015 at 7:03 pm

          The full value of a retiree’s investment are indeed going out in the first 2-3 years, but that does not include investment earnings. It includes only the original principle from the biweekly paychecks. And that is misleading because that money was invested for 30-40 years, so each yearly investment from the paycheck would double every ten years assuming 7% return. So for instance if you had invested $ 1000 in your first year of employment, that investment alone would be worth $40000 after 30 years. Then the next year another $1000 invested for 29 years would be about $39163 and so on and so forth. you would end up with several hundred thousand dollars and that would be for someone who only earned $35000 a year and would be drawing a pension of
          $19000. He should be able to draw on that money for about 40 years. .

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm

            Lukeu, You are wrong. Rarely will the workers own contributions (INCLUDED investment earnings thereon) buy more than 10-20% of their VERY rich pensions.

            If you take the midpoint of that range for non-safety workers (15%) and assume a 20 year life expectancy for the average retiree, the workers have paid for the first ………… 20 yrs x 15% = 3 years of their pensions.

            Safety workers have longer life expediencies (closer to 25 years in retirement because they retire at a younger age, but live as long as non-safety workers), but contribute for fewer years, and have FAR richer pensions (more-so than offset by their higher contribution levels), the upshot being that their contributions (WITH investment earnings) rarely pay for more than 10% of their pensions or for the first …….. 25 yrs x 10% = 2.5 years.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 16, 2015 at 12:50 am

            Quoting ….”So for instance if you had invested $ 1000 in your first year of employment, that investment alone would be worth $40000 after 30 years.”

            Really, under what, “Martian” mathematics. $1,000 growing at a compound annual rate of 7% for 30 years would accumulate to $7,612.26.

            Try it in Excel using …………=1000*1.07^30
            ——————————————-

            And for what it’s worth, 30 years ago few Public Sector workers were contributing more than 5% of pay towards their pensions, so (using that 5% contribution rate), a $1,000 contribution would imply a $1,000/0.05= $20,000 salary ….. an unusually high and certainly NOT typical Public Sector salary 30 years ago.

  4. Posted by dentss dunigan on September 15, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Great article today in the WSJ about how older vested teachers are screwing the younger ones coming …how the older teachers have benefits the younger can only dream of ….plus the younger teachers are paying the retirees benefits ..”.How Young Teachers Pay for Those Who Won’t Budge”

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Yup, just like I was pointing out in my above comment.

      Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 15, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      For what it’s worth.

      The Wall Street Journal has been printed continuously since July 8, 1889, and has won the Pulitzer Prize twenty-six times, and is generally considered a reputable source of information.

      There is a difference, though, between an article “by” the WSJ vs. an article “in” the WSJ.

      ”How Young Teachers Pay for Those Who Won’t Budge”, is “commentary” (AKA, opinion) submitted by Marcus Winters; a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
      …………………………
      This is not to say there aren’t valid points, but this article by itself is just inflammatory…….as in:

      “New, more mobile teachers are being exploited by lifers who refuse to reform unaffordable pensions.”

      Mainly it seems to be pushing the new (relatively) concept that a DC plan is “better” for the worker because it provides portability. At the cost of substantially reduced benefits, of course. This looks like a new “divide and conquer” strategy; pitting one set of public workers against another.

      If you read the entire article, though, there is an interesting link to:

      “Better Pay, Fairer Pensions II: Modeling Preferences Between Defined-Benefit Teacher Compensation Plans”

      describing a less backloaded, alternative defined-benefit plan referred to as a smooth-accrual defined-benefit (SA-DB) plan.

      “Young teachers also would be better off if states based accrued rights to defined-benefit pensions on a fixed percentage of yearly salary, instead of being heavily backloaded.”

      It seems to be more actual “reform” rather than just blatant cutting of benefits. Done properly, the SA-DB should increase the benefits of shorter term employees, while slightly decreasing the benefit of long term employees.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on September 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

        Great idea …. as long as the total taxpayer contribution towards Public Sector pensions and benefits IS NO GREATER than the contributions of Private Sector employers towards THEIR workers’ pensions & benefits …… adjusted of course (UP or DOWN) for demonstrable differences in cash pay in jobs with comparable risks, experience, knowledge, and educational requirements, and skill sets .

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on September 15, 2015 at 9:35 pm

          How about a calculation where the privates and publics get the mean/median of their combined pensions- eg the privates get more, the publics less, but both get the same?

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 15, 2015 at 10:47 pm

            Good suggestion …. now how do you get the insatiably greedy Public Sector workers to accept “less”, when their chant is ……”but I was promised”.

            ANY change will likely be forced upon them, if not BEFORE Plan assets run down to zero, then WHEN they hit zero.

  5. Posted by lukeu on September 16, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Ha, ha, got you thinking TL, but seriously in the example given a person earning $35000 would be putting in 1080 each year and that would really accumulate to over $100000 and would actually cover about 5 years of that person’s 19000 pension and not 2-3 years.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 16, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      I’m assuming this comment is in response to my above reply to you showing that you were wrong in stating that $1,000 invested a 7% would grow to $40,000 at the end of 30 years … the correct answer being $7,612,26.

      So no….. you didn’t “get me thinking”. You’re just trying to waive-off an embarrassing blunder. While we all make mistakes, you should comment on things (especially when including math examples to prove your point) for which you indeed have reasonable knowledge/expertise.

      And what you are suggesting in this comment is equally lacking …..

      Salaries will typically triple (or more) over a 30 year career. If the pension contribution rate (e.g., 5%) remains fixed* the dollar amount of each year’s contributions rises in lock-step with the change in wages. Suggesting a fixed $1,080 contribution each each year is not representative of reality, and useless.

      * and even if the contribution RATE increases, it won’t increase in lock-step with increases in wages, hence assuming the SAME dollar contribution in each year is still wrong.

      Reply

  6. Posted by lukeu on September 16, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Again you missed the point TL which is that contributionsto pensions plus investment earnings are not eaten up in 2-3 years. It would generally be more like 5 years olr more.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      I didn’t miss any point ….and you’re wrong.

      Since you seem to be fixated with an (ridiculously low) long-career ending Public Sector salary of $35,000 and a pension of $19,000 (actually $35,000 x 30/55 = $19.090.91 for non-safety workers), I created a spreadsheet with an ending salary of $35,000, assuming the year 1 salary was $10,000. That seemed reasonable as it implies a level compound annual salary increases of 4.41% which seems reasonable (as the composite of merit raises, promotions, step increases, etc.).

      I assumed a 5% employee contribution made at the midpoint of each year, with each year’s contribution accumulated to the end of the 30-th year at various rates of interest.

      The accumulated sum of such interest-increased contributions as of the end of the 30-th year is ……. $44,025.68, $50,568.81, $58,408.12, $67,826.84, and $79,171.98 assuming interest rates of 3%, 4%, 5%, 6%, and 7% respectively. And dividing each figure by the $19,090.91 pension gives 2.31, 2.65, 3.06, 3.55, and 4.15 years (covered by the worker’s own contributions including interest thereon) at interest rates of 3%, 4%, 5%, 6%, and 7% respectively.

      We could argue endlessly over whether the 3% risk-free rate, the very aggressive 7% rate, (or something in-between) is appropriate for pension plans where the workers have zero “skin-in-the-game” (and with the Taxpayers, NOT the workers on the hook for all investment shortfalls), so I’ll leave that for another day.

      Reply

  7. Posted by lukeu on September 16, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Well I just used an amortization calculator to use my own 32 years of earnings and pay in to the pensions. Paid in just over 61,000 in payroll deductions and I amortized each year at 7% earnings which gave me over 202500 for the 32 years. My pension of 39000 divided into the 202500 came to 5.19 years. I did the same with the 3500 case and it came up similarly, more than 5 years.Granted, that was a hypothetical and as you said, no one earns 35000 every year. but my earnings wer not a hypothetical. I took my earnings record and just rounded to the closest !000 for instance 35400 becomes 35000 and 40800 becomes 49000, but that doesn’t matter for the purpose we are using it.My earnings ranged from 13000 up to 72000 the last year, but generally a steady climb except for 10000 dollar promotion in year 8 and a 4000 dollar promotion in year29. I awarded a 5% payroll deduction on each of the earnings years and it came out to almost exactly what i paid in over $61000 so it is a very close approximation for my particular case.

    Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 17, 2015 at 2:06 am

      According to my old CalPERS statements, my contributions earned a constant 6% interest over 37 years. Until the last few years, I contributed 5% and the state theoretically contributed 12 to 16%

      Reply

  8. Posted by lukeu on September 16, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    As far as what interest rate is used, I will give you that, but the pension system I believe was using abut 7% Generally it is assumed that the return on stock investment in say the dow is about 8% but whatever. My point is I think you are low balling the contribution and investments to make it appear smaller, but I wouldn’t argue with you if you said 5 years was too short a period anyway. However, the rules weren’t set by me, I just played by them the same as everyone in the country accepted what was set up by their employer when they took the job. and I expect my employer to keep its promises. I think it is a little late in the game after 32 years to change the rules now that I am far past my earning years. I believe I am fully deserving of the pension I received.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 16, 2015 at 11:05 pm

      lukeu, Your particulars are different than a level annual salary increase and with 32 vs 30 years of service (and hence a longer compounding period) your results will obviously differ than mine hypothetical example, but yes, a 5 year recovery of all of your own contributions (INCLUDING all the investment earnings thereon) is woefully too short, leaving Taxpayers’ contributions and the investment earnings thereon (earnings that in the absence of the need to fund such generous pensions would have stayed in the Taxpayers’ pockets, perhaps to fund their much smaller pensions) responsible for an expected 15-25 years of pension payments AFTER yours have been depleted.

      And quoting ………. “However, the rules weren’t set by me, I just played by them the same as everyone in the country accepted what was set up by their employer when they took the job.”

      Very true, but it is undeniable that the collusion between your Unions and our elected officials (specially, the trading of campaign contributions and election support for favorable votes on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits) is the ROOT CAUSE of the granting of pension & benefits always multiples greater in value at retirement than those of your Private Sector counterparts. This is simply unnecessary, unjust, unfair to the Taxpayers, and clearly unaffordable …… and MUST change, and not just for new workers, but for the future service of all current workers.

      As to whether you are fully deserving of the pension you have been promised, I would not be surprised if those who disagree will come to include not only Private Sector Taxpayers, but in just a few years, younger Public Secor actives who will realize that they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting what THEY are now being promised …… and all while they watch THEIR pension contributions going out the door (instead of being saved for THEIR retirement) to enable continued pension payouts (in NJ’s very seriously underfunded Plans) to those already retired.

      Reply

  9. Posted by lukeu on September 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Surprise, I am not going to argue with much of what you have written. and I agree that future workers are going to get the shaft. As far as the union collusion, you mean like sports corporations getting taxpayers to fund their billion dollar stadiums and free government land or casinos arranging for tax breaks and government backed loans or oil companies donating to a governor’s presidential election bid to get an enormous reduction on fines or the port authorities charging $14 tolls to be able to dole out billions of dollars to friends of the governor regardless of who is in power? Do you mean that kind of collusion? You see, taxpayers are getting it from private industry as well and for just as much. I think you understand that this type of corruption is very costly to tax payers. If there weren’t so much of it maybe taxpayers could afford to pay the state workforce what they deserve. Anyway, taxes are going to have to go up and they should never have been cut by Whitman without a plan for equally reduce spending. Her failure to do so is a major reason the state is in the financial distress it is along with the horrible recession of 2008-2010 and the Wall Street reckless behavior that has gone unpunished. The workers benefits didn’t cause the problems. There are ways to reduce spending dramatically. Consolidate school districts, roll back mandatory sentencing on drug crimes and other crimes. Decriminalize much of the drug crimes thereby being able to close some of the prisons. The prison population has ballooned from about 5700 in 1978 to about 25000. It could be reduced back to about 12000, saving about half a billion a year alone. County jails should save an equal amount Cutting the number of school districts in half might save an equal amount as well Now the unions and certain lobbyists would fight hard to stop it from happening, but in this case I wouldn’t be on their side. This is an example of where the money is wasted. It isn’t the salaries and benefits that are too high. Rather, there are too many employees needed that we could do without if changes were made. Believe me, nobody in the state workforce is getting rich, but the school systems and the prisons are costing us more than we can afford not because of benefits, but because of inefficiency and locking up more people than we can afford to care for and that is not needed for the safety of its citizens. These issues are going to have to be addressed sooner or later. and if you are going to to reduce pensions it would only be fair and probably necessary to increase salaries. If salaries were to increase, workers might be able to afford to contribute more to funding their own pensions. and remember, if the state went to a DC plan, they can’t skip any payments when they feel like it.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 17, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      Quoting ,,, “As far as the union collusion, you mean like sports corporations getting taxpayers to fund their billion dollar stadiums and free government land or casinos arranging for tax breaks and government backed loans”

      Yes, I do …. all of that should ALSO end. …. but it’s occurrence does not diminish the need by one iota to reverse the CURRENTLY in place grossly excessive Public Sector pensions & benefits. Remember what your mama told you … “2 wrongs do not make 1 right”.
      ——————————————————————————–
      Quoting …” If there weren’t so much of it maybe taxpayers could afford to pay the state workforce what they deserve.”

      Yes, “what they deserve”, but they deserve NO MORE than their Private Sector counterparts, and with Public Sector pensions now ROUTINELY 3x-4x greater in value at retirement than those of their Private Sector counterparts (when properly factoring in BOTH the much richer “formulas” AND the much more generous “provisions” such as very young full/unreduced retirement ages, and COLA increase … now suspended in NJ), that means that you pensions should be reduced by 66% to 75% … and YES, that’s correct. If you want a smaller decrease in $ payout, then collect at no younger than age 65 and permanently give up an COLAs.
      ——————————————————————————–
      Quoting …”Her failure to do so is a major reason the state is in the financial distress it is along with the horrible recession of 2008-2010 and the Wall Street reckless behavior that has gone unpunished. ”

      But you find no obligation to mention the outrageous 9.12% RETROACTIVE increase in your pensions (nothing but a theft of taxpayer wealth for ZERO in return) by Gov, DiFrancesco in 2001 ?

      When (not if) NJ’s pensions begin to fail this should be at the top of the list for reversal.
      ———————————————————————————

      Many of your suggestions to reduce expenses in NJ are very good ideas (as are the excessive/unneeded Public Sector workers you mention later), but as you stated ……………..”Now the unions and certain lobbyists would fight hard to stop it from happening, but in this case I wouldn’t be on their side. ”

      Perhaps now you know why I call Public Sector Unions a CANCER inflicted upon society.
      ———————————————————————————–
      Quoting …”These issues are going to have to be addressed sooner or later. and if you are going to to reduce pensions it would only be fair and probably necessary to increase salaries.”

      Per the AEI study mentioned on this blog before, NJ Public Sector workers have (when taken as a group) a 4%-of-pay “Salary” DISADVANTAGE, but that DISADVANTAGE swings to a 23%*-of-pay “Total Compensation” ADVANTAGE once the MUCH greater value of Public Sector pensions & benefits are included.

      So sure, you should get a 4% of pay INCREASE (on average), while giving up 23%-of-pay in pensions and benefit. That’s call fair and EQUAL.

      Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 17, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      Quoting TL:

      “So sure, you should get a 4% of pay INCREASE (on average), while giving up 23%-of-pay in pensions and benefit. That’s call fair and EQUAL.”

      First that would be assuming your six year old data is still, or ever was, valid.

      Second, it would entail entirely eliminating pensions and healthcare for most of the already lowest compensated public employees. (Might be able to squeeze in a 3% match DC)

      Finally, it would require increasing the wages of some of the highest paid, highest educated public employees (by considerably more than 4%. Closer to 40% at the extreme)

      It’s only fair.

      Not smart.

      Not politically feasible.

      Not morally acceptable.

      Only “fair”.

      Put those greedy bastards on Medicaid. If WalMart can do it, so can New Jersey.

      It’s only fair (on “average.”)

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on September 17, 2015 at 11:33 pm

        Quoting …”Second, it would entail entirely eliminating pensions and healthcare for most of the already lowest compensated public employees. (Might be able to squeeze in a 3% match DC)”

        Good, that’s appropriate….the Taxpayers are fed-up with being the sucker in the equation.

        A lower-paid worker with a pension worth 750K upon retirement is the SAME as $750K in cash cash in the bank. If they’re overpaid, either reduced the pensions AND retiree healthcare benefits to a level no greater than the comparable lower-paid Private Sector (most certainly with little or no pension/benefits at all), and if not, then reduce the salary equivalently.

        Don’t like my response ? Perhaps you like to start race-baiting me again
        —————————————————–

        Reply

        • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 18, 2015 at 12:33 am

          Not at all, I’m always happy to see that response.

          Although you didn’t comment on the 40% wage increase at the other end.

          You should repeat this every time you advocate giving up on “average” 23%-of-pay in pensions and benefit. Obviously, a 23% across the board cut would be inappropriate. I believe it was Richard Rider who informed me once that the “average” Californian has one testicle and one ovary.

          Personally, I think your response is simplistic, doctrinaire, and, wrong on so many levels.
           “I disapprove of what you say, but I (wouldn’t literally) defend to the death your right to say it”

          Or, you know, 34%.

          Yes, I’m fine with your response.

          Reply

  10. Posted by lukeu on September 17, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Well, remember that the AEI is not exactly unbiased. Others have said that a 12% pay difference exists, so split the difference and make it 8% and that might make it fair and equal on average, but you would have to closely examine each job in Nj or any where to try to achieve parity. At least that way you might be able to get close. but there are many public sector jobs that would be difficult to match up with private sector work. and would you consider say a Corrections Commissioner to be similar to a CEO and pay him 500 k or a million? That might be fair since the CEO of the Red Cross gets 500k and I think that job is easier. But whatever, it will probably not be done. They will just cut the benefits without raising pay and leave at that. The tax payers will be happy but the workers get screwed as usual and everyone else will think it’s great.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 17, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      Jobs don’t have to be matched up exactly …. many jobs that are similar but not identical have reasonably similar risks, education & experience requirements, and require similar skill-sets …… and can be compared.

      Question:

      In what occupation excepting an MD or a Wall Street trader does one make $200K in total compensation (pay + pensions + benefits) after just 5 years.

      Answer:

      Just about all NJ police.

      Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 18, 2015 at 12:07 am

      Lukeu,

      Others have also said that the difference in wages changes considerably from year to year, mainly due to the way each sector responds to business cycles. Business is much quicker to increase wages and employment during a recovery. Also much quicker to lay off during a downturn. They have to be.

      To be equal and stay that way would require almost infinite and instant data acquisition and some complex algorithms. My nephew works at TACC in Austin. Their Stampede computer provides a peak performance of nearly 10 petaflops (PF), or nearly 10 quadrillion math operations per second.

      I’ll call him and see if it can handle Excel.

      The state of California routinely goes through periods of two or three years with NO COLAs, then tries to catch up with the next contract. Very sporadic. I may have mentioned the 14.5 percent pay raise in 1979, after several years with no raises. Imagine the “comparisons” of public and private pay in 1978 vs 1980.

      It would actually be much more efficient to legislate automatic annual COLAs, then tweak wage levels periodically.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2015 at 1:34 am

        Or have NO COLA as is the standard in almost ALL Private Sector pensions.

        Reply

        • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 18, 2015 at 2:49 am

          Wages, not pensions.

          Automatic COLAs for public sector wages would eliminate much of the feast or famine fluctuations.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2015 at 12:59 pm

            They had automatic COLA increases in NYC in the 1970s, probably contributing to it’s failure to meet it’s bond-payment obligations in the mid-1970s They called a “moratorium” as “bankruptcy” would have scared the sh** out of everyone.

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 18, 2015 at 2:44 am

      lukeu,

      I agree about the “not exactly unbiased” characterization; but I strongly recommend the AEI study whenever I can. The first thing I noticed was the fairly detailed description of methodology.

      There are a lot of options available to the economist: which datasets to use, which factors to include: Most of the recent human capital studies use firm size (public workers usually compared to workers in larger firms) but not union affiliation.

      THE most significant difference in AEI , of course, is that instead of using the pension ARC, as some other studies do, they recalculate it to correct for a risk free rate. That’s the biggie….and most controversial. But, interestingly, they also correct the value to the employee of Social Security contributions. The employer pays 6.2%, of course, but for reasons explained in the study, the value to the employee is only 2.4 %

      Biggs: “This figure – which again is specific to the age and earnings level of the typical state government employee – is 2.4 percent of wages.”

      I am not saying this calculation is incorrect, but it does illustrate that there are numerous factors affecting “compensation” that the study authors have the discretion to use or not use. And they can have dramatic effects, intentional or not, on the outcome.

      Regardless, Tough Love has become obsessed like a small dog with a large bone on that “23%”

      @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

      In that vein, I believe I have noticed factors not normally incorporated in some of the major studies. It’s an understandable oversight. These economists are relying on computer data and they seldom, if ever, observe the public and private sector in situ. From my observations, public sector workers as a rule are noticeably taller and more attractive than the private sector (sometimes strikingly so.) These two factors alone could account for more than half that 23% advantage. ……
      __________________
      ( Taller People Earn More Money, Robert Roy Britt, 11 July 2009)

      “someone who is 7 inches taller — for example, 6 feet versus 5 feet 5 inches — would be expected to earn $5,525 more per year.”
      ___________________
      ( Study finds attractive people earn more at work, CBS NEWS, Jan 9, 2014)

      “Attractive men earn 9 percent more than their average counterparts and attractive women earn 4 percent more.”
      ________________
      I ran this theory past my wife and daughter, and they agreed, if these studies are valid, firemen today are SERIOUSLY underpaid.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2015 at 3:29 am

        If like Police Officers, perhaps it’s offset by low IQ, as I read somewhere that Police Officers have an average IQ of 104. Above the 100 average for everyone, but hardly impressive ….. perhaps even makes them appear “shorter” and “less handsome”.

        LOL

        Reply

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