Budgetkilling Lifesaving

I have long regretted not knowing how to swim very well. Now I know why I have regrets–my lack of swimming ability has severely restricted my earning potential:

According to a city report on lifeguard pay for the calendar year 2010, of the 14 full-time lifeguards, 13 collected more than $120,000 in total compensation; one lifeguard collected $98,160.65. More than half the lifeguards collected more than $150,000 for 2010 with the two highest-paid collecting $211,451 and $203,481 in total compensation respectively. Even excluding benefits like health care and pension, more than half the lifeguards receive a total salary, including overtime pay, exceeding $100,000. And they also receive an annual allowance of $400 for “Sun Protection.” Many work four days a week, 10 hours a day.

That is remarkable.

On face, the compensation packages for these guards are staggering. But take into consideration the retirement benefits being paid to currently retired lifeguards and lifeguards who will retire at these pay levels in the future and the problem is further compounded. Lifeguards are able to retire with 90 percent of their salary, after only 30 years of work at as early as the age of 50.

A YouTube video created by Americans for Prosperity-California, an education advocacy organization concerned with limited government, lower taxation, and free-market principles, outlined how in Newport Beach a “recently retired lifeguard, age 51, receives a government retirement of over $108,000 per year for the rest of his life.” The video also notes that “He will make well over $3 million in retirement if he lives to age 80!”

Is it any wonder that cities in California (as well as the state itself) are upside down financially? Believe me, I’ve nothing against people getting paid a good wage for their work, but it would seem as though things are a bit out of whack here.

Remember. That which cannot continue–cannot continue.