The system as it is evolving is highly regressive. Current workers will have their salaries cut, their numbers thinned and their benefits slashed, all to maintain relatively comfortable benefits for retirees, who are on average richer than the people who are being asked to make these sacrifices. Current residents will watch their services dwindle, so that retirees–again, who are richer on average than they are–can have guaranteed generous cost-of-living increases year after year.
Chart by Matthew Mitchell, who comments:
The graph shows that, after 60 years, the private economy is 5 times its 1950 size. But state and local governments are spending almost 13 times as much as they did in 1950. "This is like a household whose income has grown five-fold over a period of time," Mitchell reports. "That's great news. But, unfortunately, their spending habits have grown 13-fold. This divergence is unsustainable."
Elizabeth McNichol, on the other hand, makes public employee compensation look much cheaper.