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View Diary: Afterglow: Bush's PR Nightmare (w/ pics!) (391 comments)

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  •  To repeat (none)
    a government guaranteed pension is no safer than any other kind, comments about unsafe stock market investments notwithstanding.

    It's just the details of the risks are different.

    •  Really (none)
      I don't know about that.....what other pensions are as safe as a government pension?  Is Microsofts Pension as safe?
      •  Safer than a government pension (none)
        No employer control at all, fully and immediately vested, international scope of investments, saving moderately more than Social Security takes.

        In short, what most college professors have.

        You have just seen the hazard of government pensions, namely President Bush proposing to change the rules unilaterally.  A govenrment pension is as safe as a politician's promise, and some of those are safer than others.

    •  That's bullshit (4.00)
      A "government pension" is far safer than even a qualified retirement pension, which is only as secure as the funding provided by the company - if the plan is underfunded, as many/most are these days, and the company goes bankrupt, the pension plan may end up paying 10 cents on the dollar, under PBGC guarantees.

      In contrast, Social Security is backed by the taxing power of the Federal government, and the political will of the American people, who have never allowed politicians to renege on promises to pay benefits, in 70 years.  That's a far better track record than private plans have.

      As for the stock market, try talking to all the people in their 60's who have had to go back to work after their stock portfolios declined in value since 2000.

      •  Decline in stock market (none)
        The gain in the stock market from 1990 or so to 2002 was just fine.  Someone who retired in, say, 2000, should have had investments going back to 1990 and 1980 and 1970 and 1960 or perhaps earlier, and should be in good shape.

        Indeed, I do know people who retired in 2000, and while they have less money than they did five years earlier, they certainly feel no need to go back to work.

        Of course, if you saved for three years and then retired in 2000, life would be different.

        •  Do some reading (none)
          There have been several studies published recently that demonstrate the cyclical nature of retirement investment plans - i.e., how well you do depends on how the market was doing at the point you needed to cash in and purchase an annuity (what the Bush plan, so far as we can tell, would require) - the difference in pre-retirement earnings replacement rates varies from 100% down to 20%, simply depending on when in the investment cycle you had to cash in.  It's not a question of how much you saved or how smart your investments are - it's completely random, based on the ups and downs of the stock market.

          So, which is more secure - a plan in which the movements of the market, which are totally outside your individual control, will determine how much you have to live  on in retirement, or a plan governed by the political will of the American public which has never allowed a reduction in current benefits, and which has maintained, and expanded, the program for 70 years?  

          There is no such thing as no risk in life - I prefer the plan that I at least have a say in, that is, Social Security.

      •  What type of pension plan (none)
        are you envisioning?

        A guaranteed payment plan by definition cannot be underfunded.  A guaranteed benefit plan can be.

        What the American people want at some date in the future is hard to predict, and you are right the government will respond to that unknowable desire.

    •  it's safe (4.00)
      Government pensions, held in treasuries, are as safe as the goverment. If you feel the US government will collapse , be overthrown, or default in our lifetime - then SocSec is a risk. Doubtful any of that will happen.
      •  you work under the false context (none)
        that america still exists. a country has boarders..america had elections justice...etc. etc. erc.....number 1. know where you are .you live in a corp. state that wants to rule a corp. would know this if your u.s. gov wasent boughtalong with the media...4th estate...overthrown you ask maybe you should have asked me when i was in 1st grade being taught to worship america then you would have gotten a more  cuddely reply.default on treasuries you ask .....not in america...know where you are.
        •  um ? (none)
          what are you talking about ? The U.S. still exists, has laws etc, and is not going to collapse in our lifetime. This has nothing to do with worshipping anything.
          •  what took down the u.s.s.r. (none)
            debt. from the cold war.we dont even hold our own debt..have you bought any war bonds china has.laws the only laws our gov. has passed  this year favor corp.s  and the rich.minor lawsare only to insure social stabelity  to insure the fuel  ..labor..   flows freely to corp. in something is a form of may still look like a egg but it has almost all the food sucked out of it .the sheel is very important to maintain people must have faith otherwise social stabelity breaks down.......peace.......
          •  Constitution is shredded- where is Jose Padilla? (4.00)
            The rule of law ended on Dec. 12, 2000 when a right wing cabal installed their preferred candidate.

            If the "US laws still exist" why is a US citizen held in jail with no charges for three years?  Because some drooling idiot says that he is an "enemy combatant"?  

            I have read the US Constitution completely, and no where does it mention the drooling idiot Bush can decide who is stuck in prison with no charges, no lawyer, and no hope of getting out until the Bush idiot decides it is time.

            Of course the Bushies will soon track us down on the internets and lock us up for incendiary speech.

          •  is not going to collapse in our lifetime (none)
            the country that would have paid my grandfather's military pension for WW1, viewed in 1910, looked entirely solid, and had been in business for much longer than the United States. They did not last beyond 1918.

            The political world changes, and not always slowly or expectedly.

            The United States has one of the oldest continuing governments in the world.  That does not suggest we are due for change, but unless you believe in American particularism, a defensible position, on the average we will not last as much futurewards as we have pastwards.

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