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Retirement plans canceled. Workers get $47 instead.

 
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R. S. Refugee



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Location: Shangra La, ROK

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 4:22 pm    Post subject: Retirement plans canceled. Workers get $47 instead. Reply with quote

"Promises made to workers no longer need to be kept, not if they cut into the fat cats' profits. And the same bankruptcy laws that were recently changed to make it harder for the average person to walk away from debts are allowing corporations to terminate their workers' hard-earned health care and retirement benefits."

'Companies replace pensions
with broken promises and lies'


By Randolph T. Holhut
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Summer Wine



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Next to a River

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once spoke with a person in my country who said that as a young man, they were repeatedly told that they had to put a set amount of cash into a social security retirement program and that the money would be then used when they were older for thier retirement. He then told me that a few years later, they were told that unfortunately the Government of the day had spent all that money and there was none left for them. Now they are talking about creating a new scheme by which money is taken from workers pay to subsidise a retirement package, I wonder if in the future I will be told that the Government of the day had spent it and it was no longer available for me.
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guangho



Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Location: a spot full of deception, stupidity, and public micturation and thus unfit for longterm residency

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Social Security is the sort of Ponzi scheme that is illegal in all 50 states. It goes like this:

"Hey guangho, I'll take 15% of your earnings for the next 40 years and when you retire I will give it back to you in bits and pieces."
"Cool!"

"Hey RS, now that you are retiring, I'm gonna give you back the money I took from you for 40 years in drips and drops and hope you'll keel over pretty quickly. Listen, I spent your money on hookers and missiles but this new chump, guangho, also lets me take HIS money so I'll just use that to pay you. And since S.S. is a mandatory deduction for most workers, there will always be a new generation of unwilling suckers."
"Awesome! You're not a Republican are you?"
"Not today, but I'll have to check my bank deposits again tomorrow."
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually, guangho, you are a refreshing voice of sanity on this board. However, I have to disagree with you on this one.

It seems to me that if a bank can trust you for a home loan for 30 years then citizens should be able to trust the government for roughly the same amount of time.

It isn't that the Boomers' SS contributions were spent on their parents retirement (they were because that was the original plan) but that the surplus was spent on Johnson's social programs and Reagan's bombs. Both parties are equally guilty. Neither party has the guts to raise taxes to pay for programs.

You can't rely on company pensions. Look at what United Airlines did.
You can't rely on private investment. Look at what Enron did.
You can't rely on savings accounts. Look at what the S & L's did.

If the citizens of a country have no sense of unity except when it comes to bombing foreigners, then there is something deeply wrong with the governing philosophy.
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:

If the citizens of a country have no sense of unity except when it comes to bombing foreigners, then there is something deeply wrong with the governing philosophy.


Laughing Crying or Very sad Laughing Crying or Very sad
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

guangho wrote:
Social Security is the sort of Ponzi scheme that is illegal in all 50 states. It goes like this:

"Hey guangho, I'll take 15% of your earnings for the next 40 years and when you retire I will give it back to you in bits and pieces."
"Cool!"

"Hey RS, now that you are retiring, I'm gonna give you back the money I took from you for 40 years in drips and drops and hope you'll keel over pretty quickly. Listen, I spent your money on hookers and missiles but this new chump, guangho, also lets me take HIS money so I'll just use that to pay you. And since S.S. is a mandatory deduction for most workers, there will always be a new generation of unwilling suckers."
"Awesome! You're not a Republican are you?"
"Not today, but I'll have to check my bank deposits again tomorrow."


Like Ya-ta boy, I generally hold you in high regard, and I have to say thought your post was bloody funny. But I have to ask what your alternative to Social Security would be? If indeed you have any...
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Leslie Cheswyck



Joined: 31 May 2003
Location: University of Western Chile

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big_Bird wrote:
But I have to ask what your alternative to Social Security would be? If indeed you have any...


A fucking wad of cash under the matress.
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guangho



Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Location: a spot full of deception, stupidity, and public micturation and thus unfit for longterm residency

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leslie Cheswyck wrote:
Big_Bird wrote:
But I have to ask what your alternative to Social Security would be? If indeed you have any...


A *beep* wad of cash under the matress.


Basically yes. It would be a lot more honest if the government had a fund for poor seniors so that they wouldn't need to live on cat food and be Wal-Mart greeters- a fund paid for by a vastly reduced social security tax, protected by law and strictly means tested when paid out to recepients. Otherwise, if you earn, say, over $50,000 a year (if single) or $80,000 a year (a couple), you really should be able to put a few quids away for the golden years. As it presently stands, if Ted Kennedy's liver finally goes kaput and he retires, he will get 1) a pension from the federal government, 2) dividends on his investments, 3) pension from the state of Massachusetts for any government work he did there and 4) Social Security. I think you gotta ask yourself if Teddy needs social security. A bottle of wine isn't THAT expensive.

Right now if I were living in the states, I would need to pay around 10 percent of my slave wages into a fund that I have approximately zero chance of benefiting from.

I'm looking at an investment plan that would average monthly returns somewhere around 2 percent. It's a small amount but interest being compounded it should have me in a good position 10-15 years hence. There is no excuse for waking up at 50 (I'm 27) and saying: Oh *beep*, I gotta get in on this retirement deal! Besides, paste this in the band of your hat and refer to it whenever in doubt: You have no one to count on except yourself.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Median household money income in the United States in 2002 was $42,409, 1.1 percent lower than in 2001 after adjusting for 1.6 percent inflation.
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guangho



Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Location: a spot full of deception, stupidity, and public micturation and thus unfit for longterm residency

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
Quote:
Median household money income in the United States in 2002 was $42,409, 1.1 percent lower than in 2001 after adjusting for 1.6 percent inflation.


Now we're getting into economic arguments about job creation. I think The Onion said it best "If you had any self respect, you would get yourself a degrading job." But this is a thread about pensions...
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the end it really does come down to whether or not you trust the government. Since Social Security is entirely within the hands of Congress, I have to say that I don't trust it.

I think somewhere else Ya-Ta Boy was talking about the government needing to have social systems because nobody can truly see the next depression coming, and assets in the stock market won't save you then. Fair enough, but the problem is that the U.S. government is not fiscally responsible. People blame Bush for it, but it's really a perennial Congressional problem (although Bush isn't fighting like Clinton was to reduce the deficit).

For me, I know that the stock market is not an absolutely secure investment, because yes, it is vulnerable to catastrophe. But overall it tends to produce good returns. But the American Representative Branch offers me poor returns, no guarentee that they won't cancel the program in 40 years, and essentially no fiscal discipline. How can I trust them to save for my future?
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funplanet



Joined: 20 Jun 2003
Location: The new Bucheon!

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hell, stop spending above your means.....what's more important? sinking 50k into an SUV or into a savings/retirement acct? people have their priorities wrong
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Wangja



Joined: 17 May 2004
Location: Seoul, Yongsan

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

funplanet wrote:
hell, stop spending above your means.....what's more important? sinking 50k into an SUV or into a savings/retirement acct? people have their priorities wrong


Can't argue with that.

And, whether from the left or the right, surely nobody really thinks that the state will fund your pension to your present living standards, do they?
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In the end it really does come down to whether or not you trust the government. Since Social Security is entirely within the hands of Congress, I have to say that I don't trust it.



You have a very valid point. And it hasn't helped that we had a president for 8 years running around telling everyone every chance he got that government is the problem, not the solution. I think that is the single most harmful political quip in recent history. There is nothing positive that can come from undermining faith in your own country. I've mentioned before that both parties share in the responsibility of taking from the social security trust fund to pay for their other social programs and bombs. (We need a whole series of reforms to fix the problem.)

What needed to be done a long time ago was to pass legislation that made messing with Social Security impossible. I think that is necessary to create a sense of trust in the system. Someone has to put security back in the Social Security system.

Quote:
stop spending above your means.....what's more important? sinking 50k into an SUV or into a savings/retirement acct? people have their priorities wrong


funplanet is making a good point as well. A lot of it has to do with responsibility, both at the individual level and at the government level. Can't (and don't want to) argue with that.

I think my basic point is that economic forces and events are largely outside of regular people's control.


Quote:
But overall it tends to produce good returns.


That's true. Overall. But we as individual people don't live 'overall'. We live in a specific time and place. Suppose you reach retirement at the beginning of a long-term downturn in the market? That happens. Think about people who retired in the mid-70's when we had years and years of stagflation. People on fixed incomes really suffered.
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