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So, here you go.

This New York Times article says that there is a class war coming between the haves and the have-nots.

Let's hear it:

There’s a class war coming to the world of government pensions.

The haves are retirees who were once state or municipal workers. Their seemingly guaranteed and ever-escalating monthly pension benefits are breaking budgets nationwide.

The have-nots are taxpayers who don’t have generous pensions. Their 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts have taken a real beating in recent years and are not guaranteed. And soon, many of those people will be paying higher taxes or getting fewer state services as their states put more money aside to cover those pension checks.

Um, no.

The class divide is not between workers who have government pensions and those who don't.

The class divide is between those who make their money renting money to other people -- and the people who have to work for a living.

This Ron Lieber article is a despicable attempt to recast the class war as worker against worker, rather than worker against owner/landlord/rentier.

The article ends with a call for "give-backs," where existing retirees and plan members who hope to retire have to surrender benefits, sometimes after decades of contributing to the plans.

My guess is that "Ron" from the New York Times and his friends on Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh Show will be successful in stoking animosity between different types of workers ...

Knowing full well that the real struggle is between those who clock in forty, fifty and sixty hours a day -- and that new global class of elite in their shiny towers in New York, London, Singapore and Dubai, looking down at the rest of us and laughing.

Until we understand where the struggle is, we're not going to get anywhere.

Originally posted to bink on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:12 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One Thing That Needs to Happen (37+ / 0-)

    In order for the crisis to progress to the next stage is to make sure that working people are fighting each other, instead of big business and the global elite.  Thanks, Ron Lieber, for helping to pit working people against each other.

    "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

    by bink on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:12:44 PM PDT

  •  Irony so dripping it's sticky: (22+ / 0-)

    Sharing the burden seems to be the obvious solution so we don’t continue to kick the problem into the future. "We have to take this on, if there is any way of bringing fiscal sanity to our children," said former Gov. Richard Lamm of Colorado, a Democrat. "The New Deal is demographically obsolete. You can’t fund the dream of the 1960s on the economy of 2010."

    Or, in other words, the wealth disparity is now so extreme and entrenched the very thought of equitable re-distribution is sheer heresy.

  •  You're seeing this being (16+ / 0-)

    used against the "teacher's union" too. They have apparently calculated that private sector employees have been so beaten down; wages slashed, job security done away with, pensions eliminated or converted into 401ks, and etc., that government employees can now be represented as greedy and privileged. Predictable and reprehensible.  

    •  Not Greedy (10+ / 0-)

      Teachers and other public employees agreed to defer their compensation until retirement -- this used to be called "prudence."  No more, I guess ...

      "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

      by bink on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:32:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's also immoral (2+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Utahrd, VClib
        Hidden by:
        rukidingme

        The deferred compensation deal is a deal between an elected official and the teachers to lay claim to the assets of people that the elected official doesn't represent, e.g. future taxpayers who may not want to pay the 'deferred compensation' and aren't represented by today's elected official.

        All pay for all government workers should be made 100% on the week they worked. 401k, pension, whatever retirement system is used, the taxpayer should be 100% confident that all expenditures they will be required to make have been disbursed that week.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:34:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What are you talking about ? (11+ / 0-)

          Government employees pay into a state retirement fund which is invested. Their pensions are paid out of that fund, not the state's general revenue. Pensions are "immoral" ? You're an example of the effectiveness of the propaganda technique described in the diary. You've bought into it.

          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

            The immorality is the taxpayer guarantee of the defined benefit.

            If the payments were made into a pension fund and a law were passed outlawing taxpayer contribution to retirement in case the pension fund falls short, I would have no problem with it at all. The problem is asking $11/hour waitresses to take a tax increase because the pension funds fell short (when the deal was made by an elected official 20 years before that waitress even started work).

            After a week of work is complete, the taxpayer should have zero liability for anything that happens in the future.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:45:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's not true--at least in Wisconsin (9+ / 0-)

              My spouse was a teacher for 32 years and contributed out of his paycheck EVERY SINGLE PAYCHECK to the Wisconsin Employee Trust Fund.  This fund administers pensions for police, fire, teachers, municipal and county employees throughout this State.  The school system where he taught picked up part of his retirement as well.  

              The WI Employee Trust Fund is the 10th largeset in the U.S. and it took an $8 BILLION HIT in 2008.  My spouse has taken thus far a 3.4% CUT in his monthly benefit.  NO waitress saw her taxes increased to pay for that loss that the fund absorbed.  The losses for EACH YEAR are spread out over a FIVE YEAR period of time (called "smoothing").  The annuitants took a cut in benefit for the past two years AND the current working teachers saw their share towards retirement savings increase as did the portion school districts pay into the fund.  The Fund has taken two consecutive years of losses--and each one adds FIVE YEARS of smoothing.  Unless/until that Fund makes the required profit as specified by the actuaries, there WILL be cuts/increased costs to current teachers and school districts.  NO ONE outside of that group picks up ANY cost!  Furthermore, the Fund is SEPARATE from any portion of the government of the State of WI.  Tommy Fracking Thompson, our ex-governor, tried to use the funds once to pay off one of his corporate buddies---and got slapped into place hard by the State Supreme Court and the State was forced to pay back what he took along with interest.  That money is NOT part of the government budget in WI!  Finally, teachers know going in that on retirement, IF the Fund suffers losses, their pensions can be taken back to the amount they received AT TIME OF RETIREMENT.  It is expected that the Fund trustees and those who invest the money within it will guard it carefully and NOT handle it recklessly.  They are watched carefully.

              P.S. Our schools are funded via property taxes, however do NOT tell me that property owners "PAID" for teacher pensions because teachers are homeowners and we PAY PROPERTY TAXES TOO!  

              You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy, but you cannot have both. ~ Louis Brandeis

              by 3goldens on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:06:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  See, this is fine (0+ / 0-)

                As long as Wisconsin taxpayers are completely not on the hook for whatever shortfalls occur, I'm perfectly OK with it.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:08:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And they are NOT. I assure you. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy, but you cannot have both. ~ Louis Brandeis

                  by 3goldens on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:15:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Yet you assume that every city, county and state (0+ / 0-)

                  works the way you state.  We've been trying to tell you that that is not the case.  There may be some out there, but I've not run across one.  IIRC, the State of Iowa's works on a similar principal as Wisconsin.  There is more than one retirement plan for 'State' employees, depending upon what department, type of job, you are in.  My TIAA/CREF is not 'transferable' to any other retirement plan, except maybe an IRA.  I do know that it can't be rolled into another 401k at another company and 401k's can't roll into the TIAA/CREF.

          •  Pensions are not "immoral" just outdated (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk, VClib

            a good 401K beats the old pension plans in dozens of ways. Here are just a few:

            1. If you change jobs, you take your 401K with you. With pensions, unless you work for a firm 20 years or more, you normally get nothing. In today's economy, do you want to gamble that you will be with a firm for 20 years?
            1. You can borrow against your 401K if you run into a financial difficulty.
            1. You own the money -- the state or your employer can not raid your 401K if they run into financial difficulties.
            1. When you die, the money goes to your family -- not your employer or your union.
            1. You can tailor your investments to meet your individual needs. I can put my money in stocks or bonds. Some of these investments are extremely safe and some are more risky. But, I get to chose.
            1. You can normally get access to the money sooner -- you can start making withdraws at 59 1/2.
          •  Azazello - but the pensions are underfunded (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk

            Your comment would be fine, except that nearly all the state pension funds have huge unfunded liabilities. The money that has been contributed by both the plan participants, and the states, is not enough to pay the benefits.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 11:28:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You have the right to say I'm wrong (0+ / 0-)

          you have NO right to judge anyone as being immoral.

          •  I apologize (0+ / 0-)

            I don't mean that people involved are immoral (I know people who are drawing public pensions now who are great people), I just think that the system as it is set up is immoral because it attempts to put obligations on people who are not represented by the parties involved.

            I mean, if you and I make a deal to take the assets of a third party without their consent, do you consider that immoral?

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 01:34:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, it's really sickening (5+ / 0-)

      the people — even here – who are complaining that teachers shouldn't expect more than the average person in their community, never mind what the education or skill level of that community is. What those people don't get is that given teachers are pretty much the backbone of the middle class, if you plunge them into relative poverty, they stop spending en masse in your community — and you lose YOUR job.

      It's bullshit. The enemy is the clown who makes $50 million a year for moving money on paper — and probably should be in prison.

      De-orangify Congress: Justin Coussoule for Oh-08 http://www.coussouleforcongress.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:45:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You - N/T (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, psnyder

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:30:50 PM PDT

  •  You are wrong (0+ / 0-)

    The private sector pays for the public sector. All retiree pensions are completely at the expense of private sector workers, who have to pay local and state taxes to fund them.

    A dollar in the pocket of a state worker is a dollar not in the pocket of a private sector worker. It is a zero sum game. And for pensions, the private sector worker pays for the pension via taxes and receives zero benefit for paying it.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:31:21 PM PDT

    •  At the Most Basic Level (9+ / 0-)

      It is all a fiction -- we are just using money as a symbol for how we want to divide the value created by labor.  The benefit that the private sector receives from paying wages and benefits to public workers comes in the form of the work they produce:  They teach our kids, patrol our streets, put out the fires, etc.

      "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

      by bink on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:34:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        That's true, but if a taxpayer can get his streets policed at comparable quality by paying a police officer $80k instead of $100k, that's a complete win for the taxpayer.

        That's why it's illogical to claim "we are in this together", when one group is directly paying the other one's salary. Their interests do not and cannot align. It's the purpose of public policy to mediate these competing interests.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:37:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Might Be a Win for Certain Taxpayers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw

          But what about the citizen generally?

          "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

          by bink on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:38:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a 100% win for the citizen generally (0+ / 0-)

            If your town has 100 cops, and then crime drops to 90% and you get to lay off 10 of them, that's a win. If crime drops to 80% and you get to lay off 20, that's even more of a win.

            If you can pay cops less for the same work, that's a win (for everyone except the cop).

            The efforts of the cops, as necessary as they are, are always on the cost side of the equation, not on the benefit side.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:41:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That $20K can feed children (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk

            This is what so many public employees do not see. Every dollar we spend on a public employee is one less dollar we can spend helping the poor and the old.

            There are limited dollars and we must allocate those limited dollars in a way that best benefits the entire society, not just the public sector workers.

            In a real sense, public sector employees compete directly against the interests of the poor and the old and teachers compete directly against the interests of children.

            In a world with a limited pie -- if one person gets a bigger slice -- everyone else's slice is smaller.  

    •  The private sector workers (9+ / 0-)

      below the 90th percentile need a pay raise, while those above it (and the rentier class) need a (substantial) tax increase. Problem solved

      "Trickle down economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower"

      by NoMoreLies on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:35:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  those workers provided a service... (7+ / 0-)

      and are entitled  to their pension. The government provides services that are paid for through taxation. If you want to argue against the state and federal government providing for the people you can do it but not here on the government created and regulated internet, and you can't drive over to tell me about it because you can't use the government provided roads.

      You libertarians are wrong when it comes to the economic side of things, but I will smoke a joint with you.

      Come on optimism, let's be realistic.

      by jbou on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:40:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No sequitur (0+ / 0-)

        and are entitled  to their pension. The government provides services that are paid for through taxation. If you want to argue against the state and federal government providing for the people you can do it but not here on the government created and regulated internet, and you can't drive over to tell me about it because you can't use the government provided roads.

        Paying government workers pensions has nothing at all to do with whether their functions are necessary. The two issues are entirely different. It is entirely possible to have a government that does everything liberals want, but doesn't provide pensions.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:42:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no sir (6+ / 0-)

          The government works as a catalyst for society, or it is supposed to. The reason why the government provides job security, pensions and other benefits is to set a standard for the private sector to live up to.

          Come on optimism, let's be realistic.

          by jbou on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:49:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It can't be that way (0+ / 0-)

            The private sector is what has to drive government salaries. The private sector is dependent on actual economics. It doesn't matter how highly you pay government workers because private sector workers are dependent on the economy for their salary.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:53:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  as we have seen... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuckvw, rukidingme, congenitalefty

              the private sector relies heavily on the government. In fact, the private sector owes a lot to the government right now. When the private sector gambles and loses the public sector pays the loses. If you want to be totally private then you need to pay back all that money you got during the bailouts and we can call it even and I am talking SNL bailouts in the 80's, the internet boom and bust and the credit bubble just recently. The private sector owes us a ton of money and I want it now.

              Come on optimism, let's be realistic.

              by jbou on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:57:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i meant s and l (0+ / 0-)

                Come on optimism, let's be realistic.

                by jbou on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:59:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I opposed all the bailouts (0+ / 0-)

                For precisely this reason.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:11:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  that may be... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chuckvw, rukidingme

                  but that makes your arguments against the government pretty shallow because your "private sector" is not all that private.

                  Come on optimism, let's be realistic.

                  by jbou on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:13:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No it doesn't (0+ / 0-)

                    How? I wanted all insolvent banks to be destroyed in 2008. In what way is my position inconsistent?

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:15:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  your desired system is a failure... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      chuckvw, mike101, rukidingme

                      propped up by the very government you decry.

                      Come on optimism, let's be realistic.

                      by jbou on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:18:51 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Only for the moment (0+ / 0-)

                        The entire edifice is going to come crashing down at some point in the future, and the government will be powerless to do anything about it.

                        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                        by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:23:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  if that is the case... (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          psnyder, mike101, rukidingme

                          then I say tax the out out of the rich and provide for the population at large before the population at large arms themselves and provides for themselves.

                          Come on optimism, let's be realistic.

                          by jbou on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:27:59 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  In that case we will have arrived (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bink

                          at this famous point: "The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win." Of course, then there's this:

                          Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.

                          Globalization, which merely means deregulating the flow of capital, while labor remains highly immobile and disadvantaged therefore, has only accelerated the development of that class that has "nothing to lose but their chains." Who knew Bob Rubin, Lloyd Blankfein, Larry Summers, and the rest were following The Communist Manifesto? Equally surprisingly, who knew that libertarians are on the same track?

                          Better than McCain/Palin is not a ringing endorsement.

                          by psnyder on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 07:45:35 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

    •  Public sector workers don't pay taxes? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      congenitalefty

      Better than McCain/Palin is not a ringing endorsement.

      by psnyder on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 07:02:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They do (0+ / 0-)

        But so what? Them "paying" taxes is completely irrelevant; they are still totally dependent on the original source of the taxes: the private sector.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 08:19:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. The private sector. (0+ / 0-)

          Which would be unable to function in a complex society without that which is provided by the public sector. You seem to want to live in some sort of Lockean fantasy land where there is nothing but "unimproved" commons just waiting for a man to mix his labor with it. Somalia, right?

          Better than McCain/Palin is not a ringing endorsement.

          by psnyder on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 05:40:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  So public sector employees should work for free?? (0+ / 0-)

      Of course you could privatized everything. It worked so well for the private prison in Arizona who lost 2 prisoners who have recently killed an elderly couple in New Mexico.

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        It doesn't matter whether someone works for the public sector or a "private sector" company that works for the public sector: economically it's the same thing.

        From a taxpayer perspective, you want to get the best bang for your buck. For example, it might make sense to just hire the same firm that cleans a lot of other buildings in town rather than hiring your own town janitors. But it makes less sense to privatize teaching jobs because those jobs are better done by state employees.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 08:23:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We all pay too much for private sector (0+ / 0-)

      salaries too, if you're going to play this incredibly silly and stupid game.

      The Great Recession is a happy happy joy joy time to drop your obsolete skills and train for new ones.

      by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 09:09:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wait... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, psnyder, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, mike101

    you mean to tell me someone who works in the business press and is also a personal finance advisor is not picking on Wall Street but instead is arguing against the government and pensions.

    We need to lobby the NY Times and see if we can get a labor reporter a job in the business pages writing articles that are basically opinion pieces arguing a position.

    Come on optimism, let's be realistic.

    by jbou on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:34:55 PM PDT

  •  & let's not mention people who were promised (8+ / 0-)

    pensions from private businesses & lost them when the businesses were bought up or went into bankruptcy. yeah, the private sector is wonderful, the private sector will save everyone, government is bad - amazing the number of times i've head this from people who have never drawn a private sector check in their lives. guys that retired from the military & work for the city as cops or firefighters, people on government pensions who have had government health care their whole lives seem to really hate the government.

    Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. The Gita 3.21

    by rasbobbo on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 04:46:25 PM PDT

  •  And of course, corporate welfare is never (7+ / 0-)

    mentioned -- as if it's an entitlement that the poor and middle class are expected to pay for.  Most of Big Biz wouldn't be in existence if it wasn't for taxpayer-funded subsidies.

    It's the Feudal Ages all over again.  Or mafia extortion.

  •  Pensions are one big ponzie scheme (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    The idea that a few workers a year are going to contribute enough to a pension plan that supplies hundreds if not thousands of retirees is ludicrous from the jump. Especially with the increase in life expectancy you have pensions paying out to an ever increasing pool of recipients while a relatively fixed number of workers attempts to fund them. Eventually all pension plans will go broke for this reason. I don't blame the people who bank on them, I blame the people who organize and manage them for giving people the idea that it will always be there.

  •  I use to work for government (7+ / 0-)

    I am so sick of the press pushing this rightwing lie that gov. workers are living high off the hog.
    Our pensions are not any different from those of private sector workers.
    My insurance and retirement benies were on par with my husband who was in private sec. jobs.
    that article is offensive and wrong

  •  I agree 100% and this war started with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rukidingme

    Ronald Reagan.  Ronald Reagan was a tool used against the have nots to protect and advance the haves.

    The class divide is between those who make their money renting money to other people -- and the people who have to work for a living.

    \

    The sad thing is, there are Reagan Supporters  alive today who had nothing then and have less now who still think he was our greatest President.

    Now is the time to register everyone you know will vote Democratic! Over 18 and breathing - get them registered now and to the polls in November!

    by Blogvirgin on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 05:59:46 PM PDT

  •  It's all moot really (0+ / 0-)

    I don't begrudge any pensioner a pension they were promised and worked for a good part of their lives-but just the same if I'm not working I can't help pay for that pension/social security.

    As many have lost their jobs and many still working have lost tremendous ground financially for a number of years now---who has the money left to make up for shortfalls in government or private business shortfalls when it comes to what they have promised retirees? Are the rich, that have mostly all of the the money nowadays going to make up the shortfall?

  •  The author fails to mention... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink

    those pensions were the product of a paycheck deduction made by the retiree every month.  The pension, at least in the county where I live, functions much as an annuity does. Say I work for the County and contribute $800.00 every month for 30 years. That would equal $288,000.00.  When I die, even if it's one day after I retire, every penny that is left in my account would go back to the County. None of it would go into my estate. A 401k works very differently. The dollars that are left in an account at death will be included the estate of the diseased. There are other differences between a public and private pension plan but I would venture to say that in the final analysis, there wouldn't be much difference in the eventual payout. This New York Times article appears to be more hot air and diversion.

  •  I am happy for those (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, 50states, rukidingme

    who spent a lifetime working and are now enjoying their pensions.  They were promised that security and they earned it.  I don't really begrudge anyone their money, even if they didn't really earn it.  I just wish they wouldn't think it's necessary to make sure that I have nothing so that they can get even more.  I do wish the poor saps who swallow the GOP line of "You, too, can be rich, rich, RICH!" would get a clue.  Those folks don't give a damn about the rest of us.  They will bleed us dry and then wonder how they can make a buck off our dessicated cadavers.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 07:54:47 PM PDT

  •  It's always depressed me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, amk for obama

    how people can be perfectly fine with what CEOs manage to vacuum up for themselves, but get so bent out of shape that a group of working people might have a better deal than they do. I know there has to be a basic psychological mechanism working here, but it depresses me all the same.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

    by denise b on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 08:29:16 PM PDT

  •  Reagan Revolution at work here, (0+ / 0-)

    take the class warfare of the rich against the rest of us and instead pit us against us by stoking resentment of other people's benefits until you can systematically destroy the wages and benefits of every profession in the country. They're very good at this game.

    The Great Recession is a happy happy joy joy time to drop your obsolete skills and train for new ones.

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 09:11:25 PM PDT

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