A resident of my city of Pacific Grove recently did a huge service on Facebook by linking to a site that gives pay and pensions for state and local government workers. It's breathtaking.
Question: Who received the highest pension in 2017 and how much was it?
Answer: Ronald D. Miller. $366,529.20.
Mr. Miller was on the teaching faculty at the University of California, San Francisco.
The 7th highest pension, by the way, was received by someone I know and like: Richard W. Roll, the well-known finance professor at UCLA. So this is not a gotcha. It's simply pointing out the huge pensions that many former government workers get and that are bankrupting the state of California.
The numbers on pay are also illuminating. Not surprisingly, the top-paid people are either athletic coaches or medical school professors, with the top among them making over, and, in a few cases, well over, $1,000,000.
What's also striking is to go to the individual cities and check salaries. I live in Pacific Grove, and I was surprised at the people I know who, in 2016, made high 5 digits or low 6 digits. I don't know this for sure, but my gut feel is that they could be replaced by equally productive people making 20% less.
High pay and high pensions seem to be the major contributors to the fiscal problems of both the state government of California and various cities in California that we will be seeing for the next decade or two.