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GEE – and you thought it was YOUR MONEY?

The Smallest Minority writes about all that pesky money hiding in 401(k) accounts.  You know, the money the government wished it had – instead of YOU?

He says:

There have been rumblings about the .gov salivating over the amount of money sitting in 401(k) plans nationwide, and the “nationalization” of those funds because they’re just too risky.  You know, you poor stupid peons just can’t be trusted to invest your own money, the government should do it for you.

This rumor gained some traction when the government of Argentina seized $24 billion in private pension assets in 2008.  Now CNN has given column space to one Yvonne Walker, “president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000, which represents 95,000 California state employees.”  It seems Ms. Walker doesn’t think the employees should control their own money, either:  (emphasis Guffaw)
401(k)s are too risky for retirement

Good ol’ SEIU.  Pals with ACORN (or whatever they call themselves this week).  Looking out for your interests!  Because you’re too stupid.

Go to the link and read his whole report.  Sickening.

h/t Kevin Baker

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About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


11 thoughts on “GEE – and you thought it was YOUR MONEY?

  1. I actually do agree that 401ks are too risky to depend upon for survival during retirement. What I’d like to see is the return of the good old-fashioned pension. But, I know that’s about as likely as the return of the Dodo.
    It’s been my observation, throughout my working adulthood, that businesses have become more and more adept at holding on to their profits while socializing their expenses. “The System” has become very unbalanced, leading to huge deficit spending by a government trying to fill in the gaps left by disappearing job benefits. I keep hearing about all these corporations making record profits, while healthcare, disability, and retirement benefits keep disappearing for their employees. Something is very wrong about that.

    Posted by Tomi | May 10, 2012, 9:05 am
    • No one forces you to work anywhere. If you don’t like a certain corporations ‘benefits’, go somewhere else. I don’t like the demonizing of corporations – not that all are innocent of wrongdoing, but to do so generically smacks of class warfare nonsense.
      My sister (who is 69) just was laid off after 18 years. She is very competent, intelligent and personable, but ran into family-owned business office politics. She just found a new job – almost the same money, closer to home and full health benefits! Not every corporation is evil, and profits aren’t either.

      Posted by guffaw1952 | May 10, 2012, 9:46 am
    • What do you think companies did with pension money? They invested it in the stock market. Why did they bail out and go to 401(k) plans? BECAUSE THEIR INVESTMENTS WOULDN’T SUPPORT “DEFINED BENEFIT PLANS. Right now for example, General Motors isn’t an automobile manufacturer, it’s a retirement-plan supporter. Every vehicle sold by GM has a $1,500 adder to help pay the thousands of GM retirees their benefits. It makes GM less competitive, and it one reason the .gov had to bail them out. It’s also why GM is switching to the 401(k) model.

      “Good old-fashioned pensions” depend on a growing economy and a rising stock market just like 401(k) plans do. And “Good old-fashioned pension” plans used to be golden eggs that attracted corporate buyers to companies so that they could raid those plans for ready cash, leaving employees without funds. Remember that?

      Posted by Kevin Baker | May 11, 2012, 9:47 am
      • Welcome, Kevin, to the fray!

        Posted by guffaw1952 | May 11, 2012, 9:54 am
      • Hi Kevin,
        Sorry I didn’t see your comment before, I didn’t think to go back and re-check until just now.
        You make a good point about the importance of investing and a healthy economy for both pensions and 401(k)s. However, a CRUCIAL difference between them is that with a pension plan, the individual is protected from swings in the market. They get a set amount each month, no matter what.
        If the market swings down just as you retire, it doesn’t really matter as long as the company has behaved responsibly with keeping its financial affairs in order. You are protected by the larger pool of company investment.
        The pension plan has worked well for generations. It only stopped working when things started to go out of balance, and GM, as you mention, is a great example of it.
        Longer life spans means increasing benefit costs, that’s simple math, and, I’ll be the first to say it, retirement ages need to go up. GM management, very foolishly, gave ridiculously sweetheart retirement packages to their workers to avoid paying them more while working. They were trying to put off paying more “now” in favor of paying more later. It was a doomed model. Much of that has now been given up by the workers, in favor of saving the company and their jobs.

        Posted by Tomi | May 13, 2012, 6:07 am
  2. It’s true that you can always go looking for something better. However, that’s becoming increasingly difficult as corporations continue to decrease their benefits. Every year, my husband’s company makes their health-plans more expensive and less inclusive because they see other corporations decreasing their benefits as well. They release a statement every year that basically says: “Our review of other companies’ benefits shows us that we’ve been treating you too well.” It’s like a competition to the bottom.
    I don’t think corporations are demons – I think they are out to make a profit, obviously if they don’t they don’t survive. I’m not against profits. I just think that there needs to be more balance in the system. If they won’t take on the expense of providing for their employees directly, then they need to pay more to the government, or pay their employees more so the employees can do it themselves. That’s not class warfare, that’s maintaining a healthy society.

    Posted by Tomi | May 10, 2012, 10:08 am
    • ‘More balance in the system’? And who makes this determination regarding balance? The stockholders or the government? I certainly hope NOT the government! I agree about the “Our review of other companies benefits shows us that weve been treating you too well. We both worked for a company that famously did (and continues to do) that. Incidentally, one assessment did bring us more money (!) Seems to me the free marketplace answers the problem. If 70% of corporations fail to take care of their employees, they will move to the 30% that do.

      Posted by guffaw1952 | May 10, 2012, 10:32 am
    • “Every year, my husband’s company makes their health-plans more expensive and less inclusive because they see other corporations decreasing their benefits as well.”

      NO. They decrease benefits and increase costs BECAUSE THE MONEY IS NOT THERE TO SUPPORT THE PLANS. If the company goes bankrupt trying to support medical plans for employees and retirees, and paying out pensions from accounts with no money in them, then what do you do?

      “If they won’t take on the expense of providing for their employees directly, then they need to pay more to the government, or pay their employees more so the employees can do it themselves.”

      Where does this money come from? “Profit” is defined as “income in excess of expenses.” When expenses exceed income, the word is “Losses.”

      The .gov can keep paying Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security because the .gov can run printing presses and “make” more money. For a while. But businesses don’t have that option.

      Posted by Kevin Baker | May 11, 2012, 9:52 am
      • Hi Kevin,
        Again, I didn’t see your comment until just now.
        It’s not a secret that companies shop each other to see how their competition compensates their employees and adjust their own accordingly. Corporations are very up front about it.
        I also dispute that the money is not there. Compensation for top management has increased from an average of 36 times their workers to over 400 times their workers. With statistics like that, I am unconvinced that the money doesn’t exist to fund benefits.
        I’m not saying that this is true of every company (particularly small and middle-sized ones), these are statistics from corporate America in general.

        Posted by Tomi | May 13, 2012, 6:14 am
  3. In an ideal world, yes, companies that didn’t treat their employees well would have difficulty recruiting good employees. But, those options don’t always exist. Take, for instance, Walmart, which is famous for mistreating their employees and is often just about the only game in town in many areas. They are in many markets where there is no competition and therefore, no incentive to change.
    I don’t shop at Walmart because of that (and other reasons, like the stores I’ve been in are disorganized and filthy) but so far my “voting with my dollars” doesn’t seem to be making much of an impression. :-)

    Posted by Tomi | May 10, 2012, 10:40 am

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