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View Diary: Protecting Social Security: Let's Tell The Deficit Commission Not to Slash Entitlements (261 comments)

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  •  Defined benefit includes defined contribution (0+ / 0-)

    The problem is as I stated above.

    It's a no brainer for politicians to starve pension funds today and let later generations deal with it.

    It's also a no-brainer for us to start voting in our own interests rather than supporting "our team" no matter what.

    Congress has been fiddling with pension legislation like mad over the past 10 years or so, and nobody has seemed to care until now.  Pensions are for old people.  The left is much more concerned with wars, civil rights, and other issues du jour.  Now it comes back to bite us in the ass, and everyone notices , but it's too late.

    Defined contribution pensions are problematic in many ways, and they are especially problematic for people over 40.

    I suppose it's too much to ask that someone follow where the money went and attempt to get it back instead of hitting up working people to make up the shortfall.

    •  It's hardly hitting up working people (0+ / 0-)

      to eliminate all defined benefit pension plans going forward.

      In many ways it's a benefit - you're no longer trapped in a job you may hate because you need to do twenty years to get your full pension.

      •  And it also (0+ / 0-)

        takes the one remaining piece of security that the working class has and transfers it to Wall St.  

        This notion of workers happily skipping from job to job and taking 401ks along with them has its source in the same corporate culture that would like to source their labor on a temporary basis from any country having the lowest-paid workforce with the least amount of labor regulations.  It certainly isn't the current situation here in the US, where we have nearly 20% real unemployment.

        Working people need to have a source of savings that is not controlled by Wall St.  Properly managed pension funds with good governmental controls are one of the few ways that the earnings of working people can be leveraged to make the financial sector act responsibly.

        We currently have a situation where, for years, the growth of pension funds has been forecast at much higher rates than it should have been.  Because of this, private companies were allowed to declare huge pension surpluses as income and boost the stock value.  (Resulting in giant leaps in compensation for executives).  Now, all of a sudden, the pensions are found to be underfunded, and these companies are asking congress for "relief", while still continuing to tout large quarterly gains and overcompensate the executives.

        It's time that someone reminded them of their obligations to the workers, and laid the bills for the promised compensation on the correct desks.

        •  Laugh... how much security do you have (0+ / 0-)

          And it also takes the one remaining piece of security that the working class has and transfers it to Wall St.  

          when being fired or deciding to quit means you lose your pension and your pension depends in large part on the financial health of your employer?

          This notion of workers happily skipping from job to job and taking 401ks along with them has its source in the same corporate culture that would like to source their labor on a temporary basis from any country having the lowest-paid workforce with the least amount of labor regulations.  It certainly isn't the current situation here in the US, where we have nearly 20% real unemployment.

          And how long will 20% unemployment last?  I've been working 20 years and that is exactly what I have done.

          Working people need to have a source of savings that is not controlled by Wall St.

          So instead they should have one that is forced upon them and that is controlled by their employer?  Don't make me laugh.

          It's time that someone reminded them of their obligations to the workers, and laid the bills for the promised compensation on the correct desks.

          And what about when it's local and state governments?  And then the bills for the promised compensation land on your and my desks, right?

          •  The health of your employer (0+ / 0-)

            shouldn't have a bearing on your pension.  Pension funds should be managed correctly, and the managers of these funds should follow fairly conservative investment principles, not stock market roulette, which has been encouraged by 10 years of bad pension legislation.

            And good for you if you've managed to skip from job to job, remaining employed, and keeping your investments growing while swimming in the pool with the big sharks.  Many other people are not so lucky, and it's unfair to expect every working American to be able to play that game with all the financial insiders scheming to make them lose.

            And what about when it's local and state governments?  And then the bills for the promised compensation land on your and my desks, right?

            Theoretically, those bills should NOT land on our desks, which is what I said earlier.  We are not the ones that stole those workers' promised pensions. Those pensions are part of the wage those employees were promised, and those promises should be kept.  The fairest thing to do would be to use a transaction tax on the wall st. brokers to make up the shortfall.

            •  BAWOOGAH! (0+ / 0-)

              The health of your employer (0+ / 0-)
              shouldn't have a bearing on your pension.  Pension funds should be managed correctly, and the managers of these funds should follow fairly conservative investment principles, not stock market roulette, which has been encouraged by 10 years of bad pension legislation.

              Shoulda woulda coulda.

              And I should have a hot 17 year old mistress slightly dressed in lingerie pouring me a brewski right now.  Looking around... Bambi, where are you?  DAMN!

              In addition, say you've paid into your defined benefit pension for 18 years, but you need 20 for a full pension, and then your employer goes bust?  Or you've paid in for 4 years but need 5 years to vest at all?

              And good for you if you've managed to skip from job to job, remaining employed, and keeping your investments growing while swimming in the pool with the big sharks.  Many other people are not so lucky, and it's unfair to expect every working American to be able to play that game with all the financial insiders scheming to make them lose.

              No one makes you quit a job and take a new one.  But you should have the option to do so without taking a hit on your retirement fund.  That means defined contribution and portable plans like 401Ks.

              And what about the ones who don't have a choice - who get laid off?  In your model they get screwed if they haven't put in the time to fully vest.

              And what about when it's local and state governments?  And then the bills for the promised compensation land on your and my desks, right?

              Theoretically, those bills should NOT land on our desks, which is what I said earlier.

              And theoretically my 17 year old mistress should be giving me a foot rub right now.  "Hey, Bambi, where the F... are you?  Get over here and rub my feet!  Bambi? Bambi?"

              The fairest thing to do would be to use a transaction tax on the wall st. brokers to make up the shortfall.

              WTF?!?  How's that fair?  They're not the ones who decided to underfund state pensions.  Moreover, I'd end up paying it because I hire those people to manage the part of my IRA in mutual funds and I pay them every time I buy and sell stock.

              The fairest thing would be to use a tax on the pensions and incomes of current and former governors, state legislators, managers of whatever government body has a pension shortfall, and managers of the pension fund with the shortfall.

              But our lords and masters aren't going to do that... they'll take it out of your and my pockets.

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