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(Philly.com)   It turns out that gutting pension funds for fun and profit may have some negative consequences down the road   (philly.com) divider line 30
    More: Followup, Mount Kilimanjaro, retirement crisis, actuarial tables, Organization for Economic Cooperation  
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3938 clicks; posted to Politics » on 29 Dec 2013 at 2:10 PM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-29 03:01:28 PM
6 votes:

cman: Article: more people are getting older and there aren't enough younger folks able to pay into the pension funds or even take care of the older people
Subby: fark the 1%



The decades of plundering of wages and wealth of middle class and poor Americans by our political and economic oligarchic class have resulted in Americans who are not only no longer getting the pension and retirement benefits they used to be able to count on, but also have crippled our ability to save for retirement. On today's wages most people struggle to make ends meet in the here and now, so how are they going to save for retirement without pretty much living in abject poverty their entire lives until they retire? I know a lot of people comfort themselves by pretending to be superior and blaming the victims ("They should eat their bootstraps while saving 50% of their shiatty income - and besides it's their own fault for not being born into wealth or somehow magically reversing decades of wage deflation across the board.") - but the reality is that nonsensical trickle-down economics have led to this situation.

So yeah, how about instead of just "fark the 0.2%", how about we just rebalance the needs of the 99.8% against those of the 0.2% and get America back to a place where ordinary Americans are being paid more so they can save for retirement and to start new businesses without being trapped in a cycle of debt and poverty. We aren't going to be able to have a robust and healthy economy when we're taking the backdoor route to turning most of the country in to indentured servants. Once upon a time America's economy was the strongest in the world because we made more of our citizens wealthier across the board than pretty anyone else had ever done. Then we let the GOP prosperity gospel shiatheads hatefark the middle class and poor for campaign funds and personal wealth.

Our economy runs on consumption. When you impoverish the consumers you weaken the economy. Why do you think our "recovery" from the last financial crisis - caused by those same greedy 0.2%'ers who have reaped all economic benefits for the last 40+ years - is so shiatty? Why do you think the labor market is still struggling? Why do you think more people are in poverty now?

Paying the 99.8% more - instead of letting the 0.2% have a field day reaping everyone's benefits and wealth almost without end - is GOOD for the economy. The opposite is economic poison.
2013-12-29 02:46:24 PM
6 votes:
FTA:  "Companies have eliminated traditional pension plans that cost employees nothing and guaranteed them a monthly check in retirement."


Pensions are funded through wages that are pooled and invested rather than paid directly to you as part of your salary.  Pensions are not freebies or gifts, they are compensation for labor just like your health benefits, mandatory social security contributions, and any other "perk"  you received for the time you spent working at the company.

You gotta hand it to the corporate propagandists out there, if you read that article it comes off as everyone's fault but theirs.  Especially those greedy, lazy, old people.
2013-12-29 01:01:22 PM
6 votes:
As a Gen Xer I don't have a problem with retirement benefits being adjusted to align with life expectancy or means tested.  What I do have a problem with is the BS reasoning that they have to be slashed because of deficits--deficits created by people who had no intention of paying for the causes of those shortfalls to begin with.
2013-12-29 03:08:39 PM
5 votes:

jjorsett: The present situation is a result of overpromising and underfunding of benefits. You can see the phenomenon at work today in the number of Farkers who think it's something approaching a crime that the US Postal Service is required to fully fund its retiree pension and health plans.



You're leaving something BIG out there. What you're referring to is the GOP's purposeful effort to sabotage US Postal. They pushed through legislation when they still had the power to do so which required US Postal to fund 75 years of pensions in the span of 5 years. If you don't understand the problem that might create then either you're:
1. not being an honest participant in discussion or
2. are wholly unaware of this despite it being pointed out to you many times or
3. simply do not have the intellectual capacity to participate meaningfully in the discussion

And no, the present situation is not due to "overpromising and underfunding of benefits". If that were the case then ordinary non-union and non-public sector employees wouldn't be the ones having this problem.... and we are.
2013-12-29 05:44:37 PM
3 votes:
And BTW, this whole article is one steaming pile of horse sh*t. Blaming ordinary people for the failing economy while the asswipes of Wall Street who caused this mess are gearing up to do it all over again and expect another bailout.

The People paid into Social Security and they paid into their pensions. They have every god-damned right to expect their payments in return when they need them in their elderly years. The plutocrats (and their lackeys like David McDugh here) need to be tossed into a woodchipper.
2013-12-29 03:50:13 PM
3 votes:

HeadLever: Yep, promising unicorns and showing up with Shetland Pony is going to have some pretty large repercussions.

A dose of hard reality is defiantly going to wake a few folks up.


The "hard reality" is often that employers and employees engaged in good-faith negotiations to reach contractual agreements, and then the employers didn't hold up their end of the bargain.
2013-12-29 02:27:48 PM
3 votes:
Remember, kids: breaking a contract with a corporation means you should be punished to the full extent of the law. Breaking a contract with workers? All good, especially if you get to campaign on "fiscal responsibility!"
2013-12-29 06:28:07 PM
2 votes:

HeadLever: And you can see the difference is not that much other than the interest is not painted bright yellow.


Yeah not much difference other than the dramatic reduction in the slope of the total spending line. In the 2010 chart we reach 40% of GDP around 2050. In the 2012 report we reach that in 2080, thirty years later. Please don't play that difference off as if it was no big deal. You're smarter than that.
2013-12-29 02:53:19 PM
2 votes:

namatad: So what you are saying is that the current system was basically a ponzi scheme, requiring more and more people to enter the system inorder to keep it afloat.


More like the current system was designed for a steady birthrate and we have a decreasing one.  It's only a ponzi scheme if there was never any realistic possibility of enough new participants coming in to keep the old ones funded.
2013-12-29 02:39:15 PM
2 votes:
It's Baby Boomers. They will be kept warm by their greed and kept feed by their ego.
2013-12-29 01:50:05 PM
2 votes:
Article: more people are getting older and there aren't enough younger folks able to pay into the pension funds or even take care of the older people
Subby: fark the 1%
2013-12-29 09:32:50 PM
1 votes:

pmdgrwr: Thrag: pmdgrwr: Well I guess this is the result of entitlement and living beyond our means. Really the only people to blame is yourself. Yourself for not saving enough, yourself for voting for the same politicians who put the government finances in the red, yourself for living outside your means. America was a great country once and has not been for almost 30 yrs living in the past does not pay for the future.

People with pensions did plan for their retirement. Do you not understand what a pension is? It is part of a workers compensation no different in that respect from an agreed upon salary.

So that excludes them from saving on their own, what will they do when the pension money is not there. Mismanagement usually can not be reconciled and losses are usually gone forever. So what will those pensioners do when there is no pot to collect from, sue? Cannot live on IOUs can you. It is your job to make sure you are set with savings not the other way around. Like I said entitlement.


No, I never said it excludes people from saving on their own. That is a strawman.

Having a pension can be part of planning for retirement.

Inigo Montoya would like to have a word with you about your use of the term entitlement.
2013-12-29 06:00:27 PM
1 votes:
Vlad_the_Inaner:[www.cbpp.org image 450x368]
Size counts, but non-defense spending (roughly 'entitlements') is at record lows.  So you are good with safety net spending status quo, right?


Non-defense discretionary spending does not include entitlements.  Try again.

See for yourself:

endoftheamericandream.com
2013-12-29 05:48:37 PM
1 votes:

Notabunny: HeadLever: Yep, promising unicorns and showing up with Shetland Pony is going to have some pretty large repercussions.

A dose of hard reality is defiantly going to wake a few folks up.

The "hard reality" is often that employers and employees engaged in good-faith negotiations to reach contractual agreements, and then the employers didn't hold up their end of the bargain.


Case in Point: the pre-2012 Hostess Bakery. The employees had their pensions sucked dry and then they all got fired. Bigshots took everything and never had to see the inside of a jail cell.
2013-12-29 05:22:30 PM
1 votes:

HeadLever: keytronic: Citation Please?

This is probably the best for your one stop shopping.

Unfunded liabilities are typically calculated out on 75 year horizons.


blog.heritage.org
2013-12-29 05:03:42 PM
1 votes:
Tell that to the chickenhawks that wanted the Iraq war circa 2003.

/Didn't work
//Thanks for playing
2013-12-29 04:07:56 PM
1 votes:

HeadLever: Notabunny: The "hard reality" is often that employers and employees engaged in good-faith negotiations to reach contractual agreements, and then the employers didn't hold up their end of the bargain.

Or couldn't hold up their end of the bargain.  If you haven't noticed, unfunded pension obligations has been a leading cause of bankruptcies here in the last few years (both public and private).  Many times, these promises were made during the good times where the financial assumptions were made based upon rosy projections with no contingency to allow for what would happen if these projections did not come to fruition.


Did the company move overseas or get outsourced? Did the goods they produce no longer be wanted? Perhaps their products became obsolete when other companies had better solutions? Very understandable. Did the CEO and shareholders of a very financially stable corporation decide that they needed more personal revenue. Yeah, that is an issue when job contracts are agreed and signed.
2013-12-29 03:58:44 PM
1 votes:

pmdgrwr: Well I guess this is the result of entitlement and living beyond our means. Really the only people to blame is yourself. Yourself for not saving enough, yourself for voting for the same politicians who put the government finances in the red, yourself for living outside your means. America was a great country once and has not been for almost 30 yrs living in the past does not pay for the future.


People with pensions did plan for their retirement. Do you not understand what a pension is? It is part of a workers compensation no different in that respect from an agreed upon salary.
2013-12-29 03:54:48 PM
1 votes:

Notabunny: The "hard reality" is often that employers and employees engaged in good-faith negotiations to reach contractual agreements, and then the employers didn't hold up their end of the bargain.


Or couldn't hold up their end of the bargain.  If you haven't noticed, unfunded pension obligations has been a leading cause of bankruptcies here in the last few years (both public and private).  Many times, these promises were made during the good times where the financial assumptions were made based upon rosy projections with no contingency to allow for what would happen if these projections did not come to fruition.
2013-12-29 03:15:03 PM
1 votes:

doyner: jjorsett: The present situation is a result of overpromising and underfunding of benefits. You can see the phenomenon at work today in the number of Farkers who think it's something approaching a crime that the US Postal Service is required to fully fund its retiree pension and health plans.

Disingenuous post is disingenuous.


He's a liar. Not "disingenuous." A LIAR.

Don't use the wrong word. "Disingenuous" gives it a veneer of respectability.

Call it lying when it's lying.
2013-12-29 03:09:07 PM
1 votes:

mongbiohazard: Paying the 99.8% more - instead of letting the 0.2% have a field day reaping everyone's benefits and wealth almost without end - is GOOD for the economy. The opposite is economic poiso


I agree with your analysis, but I think the top 20% can pay more with extra taxes on the top 2%, to boot.

Also, we're only discussing the income tax. I think other taxes need adjusting to make them less regressive.
2013-12-29 02:51:44 PM
1 votes:

jjorsett: The present situation is a result of overpromising and underfunding of benefits. You can see the phenomenon at work today in the number of Farkers who think it's something approaching a crime that the US Postal Service is required to fully fund its retiree pension and health plans.


Are you willing to double the price of mailing stuff through USPS? Then huzzah! Otherwise you're just deliberately bankrupting the agency.
2013-12-29 02:51:19 PM
1 votes:
Dems make promises
Retirees bank on their words
They work until death.

What this is about is state politicians who couldnt manage their way out of a piss soaked paper bag who promised unions generous benefits in exchange for votes. Governments are no different from companies except that there is nothing to stop people who are utterly incompetent from getting votes. Bankrupt govts are bankrupt and don't keep promises.
2013-12-29 02:24:54 PM
1 votes:

namatad: b2theory: This has very little to do with gutting of retirement benefits. It's almost entirely demographics. Populations are aging because people live longer and people are having fewer kids. This inevitably will lead to the ratio of people retired to people working growing.

So what you are saying is that the current system was basically a ponzi scheme, requiring more and more people to enter the system inorder to keep it afloat. Good thing that we created a retirement lockbox !!!
Which is filled with IOUs?? DOH!!!!

Strange how there is no or little traction to change Soc Sec to be means tested. 
But more, screw the younguns by raising the retirement age.


I wouldn't have thought it possible to condense so much nonsense into so few words.
2013-12-29 02:20:13 PM
1 votes:
Remember - rich people greed is good. Poor people wanting to live a comfortable retirement is bad and will end western civilization as we know it.
2013-12-29 02:15:39 PM
1 votes:
Now 41 years old I expect to work until I am unable to think or move well enough to continue.
Then I expect to be thrown out of where I live and be homeless and starving until I die of exposure.
This is the direction the country is going in and I expect it will continue so my end of life expectations are aligned with that.
2013-12-29 01:58:48 PM
1 votes:

namatad: b2theory: This has very little to do with gutting of retirement benefits. It's almost entirely demographics. Populations are aging because people live longer and people are having fewer kids. This inevitably will lead to the ratio of people retired to people working growing.

So what you are saying is that the current system was basically a ponzi scheme, requiring more and more people to enter the system inorder to keep it afloat. Good thing that we created a retirement lockbox !!!
Which is filled with IOUs?? DOH!!!!

Strange how there is no or little traction to change Soc Sec to be means tested. 
But more, screw the younguns by raising the retirement age.


And no traction to raise the cap on SS contributions.
2013-12-29 01:52:03 PM
1 votes:

namatad: I really have no problem with these people getting screwed.


Me either, but there are millions of folks getting screwed that didn't cause the problem.
2013-12-29 01:50:49 PM
1 votes:
"Now, they face a demographics disaster as retirees live longer and falling birth rates mean there will be fewer workers to support them. "

I REALLY dont see a problem here. The retirees will need to not retire and fill those jobs. Or immigrants. Not really rocket science


doyner: As a Gen Xer I don't have a problem with retirement benefits being adjusted to align with life expectancy or means tested.  What I do have a problem with is the BS reasoning that they have to be slashed because of deficits--deficits created by people who had no intention of paying for the causes of those shortfalls to begin with.


So let's look at what happened.
80's high deficits
90's shrinking deficits
00's high deficits

It is ALMOST like half of the people, and half (or more) of those soon to be retirees voted to create the problem that will now affect them. GOOD.
Time for THEM to pay for the bullshiat problems that they created.

So we will have more and more old people in the food/service industry? meh
I really have no problem with these people getting screwed.

Hopefully the youngers will figure something out. Rather than just getting screwed by the people who kept voting for more and more debt.
2013-12-29 01:27:09 PM
1 votes:
This has very little to do with gutting of retirement benefits. It's almost entirely demographics. Populations are aging because people live longer and people are having fewer kids. This inevitably will lead to the ratio of people retired to people working growing.

I found this comment terrifying:

"In China, the 65-and-older population will rise from 11 percent of the working-age population in 2010 to 42 percent in 2050. In the United States, this old-age dependency ratio will rise from 20 percent to 35 percent."
 
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