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View Diary: It's Impolite to Talk About Religion, Politics....and Health Insurance?! (95 comments)

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  •  When shareholder value became more important (15+ / 0-)

    that stakeholder value.  When executive compensation based on share price became the norm.  there are too many incentives to reward the owners and executives while stiffing the workers, communities, and the environment.

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:47:15 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  if pension plans that still exist are still share- (1+ / 0-)
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      holders in a lot of the most egregious companies (as has been the case in the past, when plan members demanded that plan administrators make return-effective investments), then pension plan members are also invested in "stiffing workers, communities, and the environment" and as a result, their loyalties are not just divided but in effect self-destructive.  Question is, what options do they have, after years or decades plowing their own hard-earned money into their pension plans?  Answer, very little.  Many pension plans are quite punitive about members trying to exit taking as much as possible of their years of plan investment with them.  The plans have to be in order for the collective to end up with any retirement income worthy of the name.  In many areas where public employees are quite low-paid, they are especially caught between a rock and a hard place.

      Just mentioning this to point out that working-class involvement in corporate amerika is far more complex, intertwined, and problematic than we usually discuss or address when holding corporate amerika to account for its malfeasances.   Pension plans used to be major shareholders, in terms of total dollars while not in terms of any power to direct the actions of the corporations they were invested in, and voices pointing out the inherent conflict in workingclass people relying for their retirement income upon the very structures that bleed them dry has produced little alternative except the various kinds of Individual Retirement Accounts.  Those are so often managed by the corporate investment/financial/banking/ insurance megaliths that the net effect is not much different from pension plan strategies.  

      The two or three waves of pension plan collapses since about 1960 have 'released' a lot of pension members from collectivist retirement savings/investments and decreased the number of pension plans that exist along with the extent to which pension plan money matters to corporate amerika.  But in many ways many of us are in fact still invested in corporate amerika and still relying on corporate amerika to come through for us for our retirement income.  Inevitably this has to produce a raging ambivalence parallel to the ambivalences of many americans who know themselves so threatened no matter which direction they go that they'll choose the devil they know to the devil they don't, on the practical basis that they are better equipped to deal with the devil they now than the devil they don't.  And if whitewashing their StockholmSyndrome situation will diminish their justified fears, they'll do that too, because there's a limit to how much fear and worry and lost efforts in struggling anyone can face.

      Most americans --not only the blue-- are facing more than they are equipped to handle, and if blue has not yet won them over as widely as we'd like, that may be because we're asking them to put their faith yet again into a proposition than may as equally be a losing as a winning one.  Sure, it's very circular: progressive ideas needs massive support to make the progress that returns that protection and support: meanwhile it's a huge gamble and a lot of americans are too fearful about losing anything more than they've already lost.

      Thanks for your comment giving the opportunity to bring these factors into the discussion.

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