Has always been "a calling" but there have been many a small town politician who takes advantage as well as others.
Why do you think many advisers to Presidents go into civil service after the President is done? Typically they get appointed positions within the government making lower wages. But for 8 years they were presidential advisers making 6 figures. This is what their pension is based on, so they work another 12 years to get a 20 yer federal pension then go on to lobby making very big dollars.
I read about a mayor of a small town in CA, where they had no term limits. Personnel issues were discussed in private. He got council to give him a pay raise to 96,000 per year from $25,000 per yer and he was in office for 12 years. Afterwards he took another job within the city at a lower rate of pay. In CA's case all municipal employees were in the state retirement system (Unlike NC where there is the Teachers and state employees retirement system and a separate local government system). So this mayor retires after 20 years getting 50% of his highest 3 year average salary, or $48K per year. And he now works at another job !!!!
The higher you go in the pay scale the more you can negotiate as well.
I think that pensions should be capped as well at some gross dollar amount.
Fortunately for NC the pension is fully funded due to some conservative investments over the years. It is one of the top 5 funded state pensions in the nation. The Treasurers office has been manned by Democrats since the 1950s(?). They get a reluctant pat on the back from me for being conservative with the pension fund money.
But we must always make sure the investments are not too risky, given the amount of money involved. And we MUST always be careful with outrageous pay raises for cronies in state government - it's a hurt that just keeps on giving and giving and giving......
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