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New Ignores pension vs. 401k schemes
Both my wife's parents retired with health care and pensions in addition to social security. The combination left them with a comfortable retirement. My wife and I both were steered into 401k schemes and employee stock purchase programs. The banksters told us we were doing everything right; we would be able to retire easily when we were 50. Then wall street perpetrated a few egregious frauds and the 401ks are now a quarter of what they were before and not producing any real income while our home is now worth about half what we paid for it.
I tend to get a little testy when it is suggested that we should have lived less frivolously and saved more when we were making better money. We lived well withing our means and didn't go in for flashy cars or homes. According to the banksters, we "did everything right." If we had lived like misers and saved every penny possible, it just would have given the bankers more to take from us. As it is, when I can't work anymore our savings will last a few years depending on inflation, and some rich guy will get our house for pennies on the dollar at a tax auction.
As far as I can see, all I have to look forward to is to be able to take as many of the ones who perpetrated this mess as I can with me when I check out.
New Look on the bright side
For a lot of my cohort, we haven't even had that. House? Car? Bahahahaaaa....

Starting your work life in the late eighties recession sucked.
New Try being in the Service in the...
Mid-to-Late 80s...

Sucked financially.
PGP key 1024D/B524687C 2003-08-05
Fingerprint: E1D3 E3D7 5850 957E FED0 2B3A ED66 6971 B524 687C
New Not enough is said about the demise of pensions.
My father was a member of TALB (Teachers Association of Long Beach) in California and retired from there with 20 years of service. He took a reduced pension so that my mother could continue to receive a benefit in case he preceded her in death (which he did, last year). Not a fortune to be sure, but more than adequate to meet her needs. Without it, she would be destitute.

As a boy I was taught this about how wealth is distributed in our capitalist system: you went to work for companies. The owners of those companies had taken a risk in starting a business. They would not pay you the full value of your labor because then they'd have nothing left. In exchange for enjoying the fruits of your labor during your work life (actual value of your labor - what you were paid), you would receive payment in your old age so that you could maintain, roughly, the same level of living standard you were accustomed to while working. We call these payments, "pensions."

It was assumed that the corporate types who got to buy houses in the country clubs and vacation in Marseilles felt an obligation to the folks who generated the revenue that allowed them to do that. Then, Ronald Reagan was elected President and this class of people were told, "Greed is Good" and we could permanently erase the idea that a corporation's owners owed anything to its workers - while they were working and when they retired. The New American Creedo is, "I got mine, you go get yours."

The trouble is, of course, that while the working class has gotten smaller and smaller chunks of the pie, we've been building (at least since the 1980's) a permanent upper class who actually believes they made it on their own and owe nothing to anyone.

An old Krugman post is a useful illustration: http://krugman.blogs...ich-and-clueless/
New Excellent points. Thanks.
New a worker back in the day was happy to put off getting paid
until retirement. It meant that the workers were investing in the company and had a stake in ensuring the profitability of the company. Then corps started looking at that pool of unfunded liability or funded but guarded and determined that employees were a commodity like copper, you only bought at mark. They got the pensions. The 401k is next on the list. Its the only "free" money out there.
Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free American and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 57 years. meep
     'Boomers Staying In Debt To Retire In Comfort' - (Ashton) - (10)
         Easy solution - (crazy) - (1)
             That is the way... - (folkert)
         Re: 'Boomers Staying In Debt To Retire In Comfort' - (boxley) - (1)
             The article is too simplistic. You're right. - (Another Scott)
         Ignores pension vs. 401k schemes - (hnick) - (5)
             Look on the bright side - (jake123) - (1)
                 Try being in the Service in the... - (folkert)
             Not enough is said about the demise of pensions. - (mmoffitt) - (2)
                 Excellent points. Thanks. -NT - (Another Scott)
                 a worker back in the day was happy to put off getting paid - (boxley)

He's dead, Jim.
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