Some food for thought regarding the Wisconsin Troubles. (Grokked from Janiece)
Some more food for thought, I don't know about Wisconsin, but here in Ohio public employees (teachers, street workers, etc) don't qualify for Social Security. Instead they have their pensions though STRS or PERS. For my time working for the Village, Soc. Sec. is not deducted, but we pay into PERS. When I leave, I'll pull my money out (all $1-2000 for 10 years of work) because in Ohio, if you accept PERS/STRS you can't receive Social Security (even if you earned benefits through private sector employment), and if you accept Soc. Sec. you can't receive PERS/STRS payments (at this point you forfeit the money, also you don't qualify for their medical insurance). In our case, we'll get my Soc. Sec. (if it's still intact) and the pizza money STRS will pay my wife (in case I should die before then, she will inherit my Soc. Sec. and will need to make a decision when she retires). The same for medicare.
So before you get all righteous about "they get so many more benefits than we do," understand that you aren't getting the whole picture. Some of the benefits you get, they don't.
When you go into financial planning sessions for retirement you'll hear about the 3-Legged Stool of Retirement; your 401k/pension, savings, and Social Security. In case you haven't been paying attention, most people only have 2 of those, and in some cases only 1 (Social Security). Public sector employees only get 2 to start with, and given their lower than private sector payment, mostly it's just the pension (as is the case with many of my neighbors).
It's a trade off.