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The Suddenly Poor Life: Millions Will Lose Their Pensions

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by Goldhedge, Mar 4, 2016.



  1. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Our overlords, aka the Police. Less than 1% of the population, but bankrupting the other 99% through typical government sweetheart pension deals. Got to love it.
     
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  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Not just cops. Teacher's pensions are right up there too.
     
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  3. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Yes, in many cases. Around here in Kentucky it won't be a problem because there is no money to fulfill the fake promises.
    I believe I have read here in the past some posts from members from Texas that the teacher gig isn't so great in Texas.
     
  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    What will happen when the promises can't be met?

    I think this will play out all across the US at some point in the future. Way too many promises, bad investments, tax payers unable to keep the public workers afloat.........gonna get interesting.

    Then again it could be another reason for TPTB to champion a cashless society. Maybe simply go digital and issue peeps purchasing units instead of dollars? Been thinking about this one for a while. Purchasing units could be created outta thin air and put into your account instead of dollars. Would kinda solve a lot of problems for the one worlders and literally make everyone a serf dependent upon big daddy gov for permission to buy and sell.
     
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  5. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Government (politicians) are incapable of financial responsibility. They are addicted to OPM & grossly mishandle all funds.
    This is why I think that a successful businessman, as our leader, is what this country has needed for a long time & now we have one.
    Maybe the pissant politicians will learn something from a real leader, maybe !!
     
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  6. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Pensions were initially intended as extra compensation meant to entice people to enlist into the military. As early as 1636, before the colonies were united as the U.S., the Plymouth colony offered a pension for those who were disabled as a result of defending the colony from the Indians (Native Americans).1 During the Revolutionary War, the promise of extra compensation was solidified with the first pension law. Though the states were responsible for making payments, they fulfilled their obligation to only 3,000 disabled veterans.1,2

    In 1789, the U.S. federal government passed legislation assuming full responsibility for making the pension payments to disabled veterans. From then on, the federal government passed further legislation increasing benefits for veterans and their families as the country grew ever more prosperous. In 1818, benefits expanded to all veterans for life. Before that, pensions were only offered for a few years.

    In the 19th century, public pensions were implemented for two reasons:

    1. To give non-military federal employees an incentive to convert from patron to a permanent civil servant
    2. To succumb to workers’ groups demands for creating a more extensive welfare state like that of Europe.3
    In this period, the vast majority of U.S. federal employees served at the leisure of a government official. Those that receive a pension were chosen on a case-by-case basis. As the number of federal employees grew, the costs of serving a government official eventually outweighed the benefits derived from it. At the same time, Europe was undergoing a growth in their welfare state where public pension plans were being offered to their public servants.3 In the U.S., the trend of providing public pension plans was seen as a step towards a better society.

    [​IMG]
    Europe was offering money for life, and those in the United States liked what they saw.

    After a decade of worker’s groups trying to introduce bills in Congress that would ensure pensions for non-military federal workers, in 1920, the U.S. federal government began to offer pensions to all federal workers. The pension was offered under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) as a defined benefit program.3

    As time went on, pensions were used to entice private sector workers in economic boom times. Pensions became the most popular during World War II. During this period, workers were signing up for the draft instead of signing up for jobs. At the same time, the National War Labor Board froze wages in order to prevent inflation from getting out of control.4,5 This caused a massive labor shortage because there were less workers available and no means of offering increased compensation except through fringe benefits like the defined benefit pension plan.
     
  7. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    OK if pensions were going to average workers in 1920 by 1950 they started paying out and really starting to pay out in the 70's. Businesses do not like legacy costs so here comes the 401K. 401K's were main stream even though most were crappy and expensive by 1990. It was driving the stock market up, up, up. 40 years later we have had savings & loan scandle, 1992 slow down, 911 attack, falling interest rates, 2007 housing bubble, debt upon debt, and now the shit is hitting the fan again.

    Sooooooooooooooo my question is where is this headed?
    Few under 40 years old have no savings at all. That means no house let alone investments. They scrape by with rent, used or leased cars, little or micro houses, multi generational living arrangements, etc......
    A housing glut will happen and prices fall.
    The older people are being fleeced by health care, drug companies, assisted living costs.
    Inflation is eating everything but is out of sight.
    Then the fed comes out & says the 0.50% interest rate is going up 3 times in 2017 and more to a "normal level". 3 more raises will still only be 1.25% unless they raise it more than 1/4 point at a time.

    To me the signal being sent is the market will NOT have funds put in by the young and fall at the same time the old will be pulling funds out for expenses. Falling stock market.
    Very interested in your thoughts?
     
  8. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Health insurance, too.

    The gov wanted to control aspects of the economy for short-term reasons, but ended up starting long term problems.
     
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  9. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I agree all things being the same as now, a falling stock market [less demand] and falling real estate prices [old looking to sell, limited young people able to buy - large supply small demand].
     
  10. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Anyone remember the old chart with a giant wave. When interest rises position yourself here, it was stocks bonds and money markets if I remember right.
     
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  11. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I will add that with the minimum wage becoming a career opportunity for the young masses, there will be, as you say, NO FUNDS !
     
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  12. the_shootist

    the_shootist The war is here on our doorstep! Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    For me...no pension, no problem!
     
  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Nothing to see. If interested your best bet is to listen in one window, play around on GIM (read the articles) or surf the web in a different window.

    REALIST NEWS - Another Pension Fund Bites The Dust - Iron Workers this time
    jsnip4



    Published on Jan 31, 2017
    Today's Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Odt...

    http://www.jmbullion.com/?utm_source=... (Recommended for Silver and Gold Purchases.)

    http://www.realistnews.net



    More on the Iron Workers pension problems here:

    Iron Workers pension cuts approved; retirees to get smaller checks
    http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2017/01/iron_workers_pension_cuts_are.html

    In unprecedented move, pension plan cuts benefits promised to retirees
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...-retired-iron-workers/?utm_term=.efb902bbc304

    Iron Workers Pension Plan Members Vote to Cut Benefits
    http://www.enr.com/articles/41362-iron-workers-pension-plan-members-vote-to-cut-benefits
     
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  14. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    The winds of financial prudence are blowing strong upon the pension plans house of cards !
     
  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    This could get interesting.................

    Bucks school officials question state's ability to dictate spending

    Centennial School District Superintendent David Baugh speaking to fellow Bucks County school officials Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, at the Centennial District's administrative offices in Warminster. Several superintendents and school board members were on hand to express their concern with a proposal to significantly limit most property taxes.

    Quakertown Community School District Superintendent William Harner makes a point during a gathering Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, at the Centennial School District administrative offices in Warminster. Several superintendents and school board members were on hand to express their concern with a proposal to significantly limit most property taxes.

    Bensalem Township School District board member Wayne Lewis (left) talks with area superintendents and school board members, including Leon Poeske, administrative director at Bucks County Technical High School, to express their concern with a proposal to significantly limit most property taxes in favor of increased sales and income taxes. The group gathered Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, at the Centennial School District administrative offices in Warminster.

    School officials in Bucks County criticized state lawmakers Tuesday for seeking to have greater control over property taxes while the commonwealth has been unable to get its own fiscal house in order.

    They expressed concern with a proposal to significantly limit most property taxes in favor of increased sales and income taxes at a time when mandated spending for retirement costs and charter schools have plagued district budgets, forcing property tax increases.

    "The state is looking at taking over public education totally and turning it into a charter school state," said Wayne Lewis, a member of the Bensalem School Board and Bucks County Technical School Joint Board Committee. "If the state can't control their spending on those issues, how are they going to control the funding for all school districts?

    "They're taking away the responsibility of school board members to educate the students in their communities. Let them fix their house first before they control ours."

    The press conference, held in the Centennial School District's administrative offices in Warminster, was put together by Tom Seidenberger, a former superintendent of the East Penn School District in Lehigh County, as part of a project organized by several organizations that push for greater school funding.

    "The state is running a structural deficit that's significant," he said. "Budget revenues are not meeting expected targets. So here we are again in uncertain times."

    The uncertainty has been prompted by reports that the state Senate will vote this session on legislation to significantly limit most property taxes in favor of increased sales and income taxes. That measure, sponsored by state Sen. David Argall, R-29, of Berks and Schuylkill counties, has bipartisan support and failed in the last legislative session by one vote.

    Argall's legislation would increase the state's income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.95 percent and raise the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent. Additionally, to make up the nearly $14 billion needed to fund the commonwealth's 500 school districts, the sales tax would expand to items now exempted, including groceries, clothing, beer, liquor, nonprescription drugs, and financial, funeral and salon services.

    The new revenue sources would replace dollar-for-dollar the revenues lost by the school property tax elimination, Argall's co-sponsorship memoranda states. A portion of the school property tax would remain only to pay off debt service.

    Districts would continue to collect the property tax until June 30, 2017. After that, districts would receive their reimbursement from the state treasury on a quarterly basis with a cost-of-living adjustment.

    Act 1 of 2006, the state's property tax law that allows tax increases based on an inflation formula, plus exceptions for items such as retirement and special education costs, would end. Under Argall's plan, any district seeking to spend above the allotment from the state would need to seek a voter referendum. Districts could increase the local personal income tax or earned income tax if approved by the voters in that district.

    "It is basically trickle down taxation," Centennial school board member Michael Hartline said. "Turning over control of $15 billion to an organization with a structural deficit of $1.5 billion ... that just scares me."

    Christopher Berdnik, Centennial's business manager, said legislation to means test the homestead exemption "to drive the property tax reduction funds to those truly in need" could help solve the challenge of rising property taxes, "without all of the downside risk in shifting property taxes to sales and income taxes."

    He said local control facilitates better long-range planning and questioned the state's judgment in several areas: the pension crises, requiring the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to pay $450 million per year to PennDOT through 2022, and the state's infrastructure.

    "In what universe is forcing the turnpike commission to borrow funds just to finance ongoing state operations sound (like) fiscal management?" he asked rhetorically.

    He also quoted from the American Society for Civil Engineering’s report on Pennsylvania's infrastructure, which noted that "Pennsylvania has the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country" and "the most combined sewer overflows" of any state.

    David Baugh, Centennial's superintendent, called schools "local economic engines. Every dollar spent here gets spent over and over in your local community."

    William Harner, the Quakertown Community School District superintendent and a former acting secretary of education under then-Gov. Tom Corbett, said, "We are the gas in the engine of our economy. ... It's a fantasy to think it's all going to come back to us."

    David Baldinger, who leads the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, has been an advocate of the legislation for years. He said his opponents "are in absolute panic mode" and are using "exaggeration and lies by omission."

    On loss of local control, he said the Argall legislation "removes the ability of some five school board members to raise property taxes at will. School districts are free to use money any way they wish. For them to say the sky is falling and Harrisburg is going to control our schools is just an out-and-out lie."

    Baldinger said the measure calls for a "dollar-for-dollar replacement for all property taxes eliminated in any district. It gets back every penny. They're using that as an excuse to fight the bill."

    Steven Yanni, superintendent for New Hope-Solebury, said the potential legislation "takes away predictability and would create a culture of constant unknowns.

    "This would create situations where we are developing budgets blindly, making best guesses on what we can — and cannot — afford. I'm unsure how I would be able to communicate with my community about what to expect from year to year in terms of instruction, service delivery, and extra/co-curricular opportunities for our students.

    "In a culture of unknowns we will not be able to ensure accuracy in our budget. This could lead to needless cutting of programs or services that our students benefit from in our district."

    Yanni also said he fears that labor peace with teachers' unions would be threatened as districts wouldn't have long-range revenue forecasting to negotiate contracts. "We might be doing it every year," he said.

    Mark Cowell, a New Hope-Solebury school board member, contends a state takeover of contract talks could be in the offing.

    "There will be a state and the state union," he said. "No local control."

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 33 cents a day.

    Gary Weckselblatt: 215-345-3169; email: gweckselblatt@calkins.com; Twitter: @gweckselblatt

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_aada806d-6469-537c-9e67-d47a05947a70.html
     
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  16. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  17. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  18. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  19. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  21. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Philadelphia Soda Tax Leads To 30-50% Plunge In Sales, Mass Layoffs

    [​IMG]
    by Tyler Durden
    Feb 23, 2017 4:15 AM


    When Philadelphia became the first US city to pass a soda tax last summer, city officials were eagerly looking forward to the surplus-tax funded windfall to plug gaping budget deficits (and, since this is Philadelphia, the occasional embezzlement scheme). Then, one month ago, after the tax went into effect on January 1st we showed the tax applied in practice: a receipt for a 10 pack of flavored water carried a 51% beverage tax. And since PA has a sales tax of 6% and Philly already charges another 2%, the total sales tax was 8%. In other words, a purchase which until last year came to $6.47 had overnight become $9.75.

    [​IMG]


    What happened next? Precisely what most expected would happen: full blown sticker shock, and a collapse in purchases.

    According to Philly.com reports, two months into the city’s sweetened-beverage tax, supermarkets and distributors are reporting a 30% to 50% drop in beverage sales and - adding insult to injury - are now planning for layoffs.

    One of the city's largest distributors told the Philadelphia website it would cut 20% of its workforce in March, and an owner of six ShopRite stores in Philadelphia says he expects to shed 300 workers this spring. “People are seeing sales decline larger than anything they’ve seen up to this point in the city,” said Alex Baloga, vice president of external relations at the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association.

    Since all of this is taking place as previewed in a recent post: "The 'Soda Police' Just Learned A Valuable Lesson About Taxes", we doubt it would come as a surprise to anyone, although we are confident that Philadelphia city workers will be amazed by these unexpected developments.

    Sure enough, in response instead of admitting the tax was a bad decision, the city lashed out by launching the latest "fake news" campaign, when it questioned the legitimacy of the early figures and predicted that customers responding to the initial sticker shock by shopping outside the city would return. “We have no way of knowing if their sales figures and predicted job losses are anything more than fear-mongering to prevent this from happening in other cities,” said city spokesman Mike Dunn.

    Mayor Kenney harshly rebuked reports of coming layoffs late Tuesday night.

    "I didn't think it was possible for the soda industry to be any greedier," Kenney said in an emailed statement. “…They are so committed to stopping this tax from spreading to other cities, that they are not only passing the tax they should be paying onto their customer, they are actually willing to threaten working men and women's jobs rather than marginally reduce their seven figure bonuses."

    The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened and diet beverages is funding nearly 2,000 pre-K seats this year as well as several community schools, and the city hopes will bring in $92 million per year for the education programs and to in part fund renovated parks and recreation centers. To hit its annual target, the city needs to collect $7.6 million a month in tax revenue. The first collection was due Feb. 21 but collection information won’t be available until next month. Early projections from the city's quarterly manager's report predict only $2.3 million will come through in the first collection. Dunn says that figure is expected to rise and the city still anticipates hitting its goal for the year.

    The city predicted a 27% sales decline industry-wide as a result of the tax but early returns from some beverage sellers show far higher losses, fueling a resurgence of the anti-soda tax coalition that fought vigorously against the tax last summer.

    Bob Brockway, chief operating officer of Canada Dry Delaware Valley, which distributes about 20 percent of the city’s soft drinks, said sales were down 45 percent in Philadelphia. The company will lay off 20 percent of its workforce the first week in March. The distributor is a subsidiary of Honickman Affiliates, owned by Harold Honickman, who helped lead the opposition to the tax last summer. The 35 jobs on the line include managers, sales people, and drivers, Brockway said. Sales are up about 20 percent in the suburbs, but that hasn’t helped the business break even, he said.

    [​IMG]

    On the whole, the company’s sales are down about 30 percent, Brockway said: “We don’t anticipate people coming back.”

    The situation is worse at other outlets.

    Jeff Brown, CEO of Brown's Super Stores, which manages six ShopRite stores in the city, said beverage sales were down 50 percent from Jan. 1 to Feb. 17 compared with the same period in 2016.

    Again, that was to be expected, but what was more troubling is a 15% dip in overall sales at city stores, meaning that instead of merely reallocating funds, the tax has resulted in a net loss of purchasing power. “People didn’t change what they drink," Brown said. "They changed where they’re buying it.” And the biggest loser: the city of Philadelphia.

    But it gets even worse: since January, Brown said, he has had to cut 6,000 employee hours, he said. He said he suspects he will lose about 300 people, which amounts to one-fifth of his total workforce voluntarily and through layoffs in coming months. To keep customers, Brown has ordered more tea and lemonade powders, which are tax-exempt. He’s stocking shelves with lower-quantity sugary drinks, which are easier to sell than the two-liter bottles or 12-packs.

    Day’s Beverages, an independent soft-drink distributor, has seen a steep decline in Philadelphia offset by a 50 percent boost in Camden, Wilmington, and Bensalem, owner David Day said. Day also distributes to 18 other states, but Philadelphia makes up 30 percent of his market. His carry-out business has ballooned since the tax, he said.

    Day is a registered distributor with the city and required to remit a monthly payment on any taxed beverages that go on to be sold in Philadelphia. He sent payment in last week for deliveries he made throughout Philadelphia. But Day doesn’t tax people coming in to buy soda directly from his warehouse.

    “We’re one block out of Philadelphia, in Delaware County, and you can’t imagine how many stores are coming to our warehouse and picking up our soda. I don’t care what they do -- they're coming here as a cash-and-carry. Our doors are open to everyone,” he said. “We don’t police where it’s going.”

    Another loser: labor unions. Danny Grace, head of the Teamsters union, representing many of the drivers, said members have seen pay cut by as much as 70 percent because they’re moving fewer products. “Many of them have quit as a result,” Grace said. He did not provide specific figures.

    Not surprisingly, legal challenges against the soda tax persist. The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, in conjunction with movie theaters, restaurants, and supermarkets, is mounting a new "Ax the Bev Tax” campaign this week. Participating businesses will hang up signs encouraging people to call their elected representatives. Some legislators in Harrisburg weighed in this month, with an amicus brief calling on the court to overturn the tax. Within City Hall, legislators are taking a wait-and-see approach. Some Council members have encouraged patience.

    “Initially people are upset and drive over the city line, but then they do the math and realize the cost of gas or the pure inconvenience doesn’t make it worth it,” Dunn said.

    J. Del Conner is one of the 210 distributors registered with the city. He owns Dr. Physick soda, a tiny beverage-maker that sells about 500 cases a year. The soda is named after Conner’s great-great-great-grandfather, a Philadelphia pharmacist who introduced carbonated water into fruit syrup as a way to help relieve gastric disorders.

    Conner usually sells about 10 cases a month in winter but didn’t send any money to the city this month.

    “So far in January and February we’ve had no sales,” he said. “Zero.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-22/philadelphia-soda-tax-leads-30-50-plunge-sales-mass-layoffs
     
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  22. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    CT Intends to Confiscate Your Pension Wealth

    [​IMG]
    by Vince Lanci
    Feb 22, 2017 2:46 PM


    This is How States Will Take Your Pension
    All emphasis ours

    written by Soren K and MarketSlant

    with contributions by Vince Lanci of Echobay.com

    Are you watching closely CT, IL, NJ etc?

    The table is now set for you to have your pension violated for the greater good. Are you paying attention? Someone is deciding that you must decrease your standard of living on behalf of someone else because the state of CT in its infinite ignorance messed up.

    Will this proposal go thru? Probably not. But this is just the first salvo. Government bureaucrats always seek to make nice with everyone. Therefore a "compromise" will follow. Leaders will be worn down, and something will get thru. Start by calling your congressman or the people in this paper

    Governor Malloy let GE leave. Well, that means you, the citizen will have to take a pension cut. Not Ray Dalio who took a payoff to stick around.

    You, the naive, believing in rainbow farting unicorn, Benetton wearing, Elitist, multiculturalist, asswipe (with no concept of limited resources) are telling the last 5 middle class working people left in CT that they must accept a breached contract.

    And it is you who are destroying this country as well as the EU nations that have enriched themselves on the backs of the middle class. The rich get richer while the poor are taken care of by the tax paying middle class. Fuck you and your flowery false rhetoric.

    Here it is in words the academic yet supremely idiotic world leaders can understand:

    The corporatist version of our capitalist system has exploited the bourgeoisie middle class system to the point of destroying them. The capitalistic pyramid shaped society we learned of in school is now in reality shaped like an hourglass.

    Citigroup's analysts have labeled the American economy a “consumer hourglass economy.” The wealthy are doing fine, while the number of those living in poverty grows, and the middle is disappearing. New poverty figures show a big jump in the number of poorest Americans. Meanwhile, the middle class is disappearing

    The wealthy are up top. While their numbers may not be as big as the poor, their influence is far bigger. Their size represents the accumulated assets, The poor are below. While it is easy to connect the optic of size to numbers of poor, it would be more accurate to describe the bottom of the hourglass as the negative of the top in terms of assets. Or if you prefer, it represents need.
    • So the top of the hourglass represents the weighted value of those who "have".
    • The bottom half is weighted according to those who "need".
    What does the stem in the middle represent? It represents the shrinking middle class. It represents those left with little upward mobility who are increasingly in danger of slipping down into poverty. They are the taken for granted backbone of capitalism.

    The only thing keeping the system together is that ever narrowing middle class. And when the middle class is wiped out, that hourglass will break.

    It will break because of retiring boomers and limited resources here. It will break in the EU from increased competition from immigrants for resources coupled with the rule of law being abdicated.

    from wikipedia
    Hourglass Economy is an economy that produces more upper and lower classes, causing a decline in the middle class.[1] An example would be during the Industrial Revolution when the introduction of efficient machinery created stratification of the classes with more lower paying unskilled jobs. This can be seen when the peak of a particular business model is growing and the antapex is growing drawing the middle in tighter and tighter.

    There is one increasingly possible way the middle of the hourglass can be prevented from breaking. It is totalitarianism. So one way or another the United Colors of Benetton are burning down.- Vince Lanci

    For now, lets focus on CT 's red herring pitch to take your pension from you.

    What they should really be calling this is "Sorry, we messed up, and you aren't getting paid what you thought". Here's our title:

    Failed Gov't proposes reforms that put systems before pensioners
    Here is the BS title

    Yankee Institute proposes reforms that put people before pensions
    Zachary Janowski

    For Immediate Release: 2/22/2016
    Contact: Zachary Janowski
    Mobile: (860) 384-5777
    Email: Zach@YankeeInstitute.org

    Yankee Institute proposes reforms that put people before pensions
    Solutions can save hundreds of millions over the next two years

    Feb. 22 – Lawmakers can change the future of Connecticut by putting people before pensions. Right now, people in our state suffer because we put pensions first.

    Families suffer when loved ones don’t receive care. Those cuts happen, in large part, because we budget for pensions before people and then decide how many services we can afford. [ Edit-who receives those pensions, llamas?- Soren]

    Younger state workers lose their jobs because the unions that supposedly represent them put pensions before people. [Edit- yes its always the unions, and not your inability to create a budget and retain businesses- Soren]

    Commuters lose time with their families in unnecessary and potentially hazardous traffic because we put pensions before people – spending $2 on pensions for every $1 we spend on transportation. [Edit- pensions cause traffic jams. Worse, proper traffic lights are impossible because of a contract you signed and now want to dishonor- Soren]

    To address this vexing problem, the Yankee Institute commissioned Securing Our Future: A Menu of Solutions to Connecticut’s Pension Crisis. Backed by a full actuarial model of the State Employee Retirement System, this report outlines options for putting people before pensions and getting Connecticut out of a repeated cycle of deficits. [Edit- do you know why it is a link and actual numbers aren't included? Because you'd shit if you saw what they want to do -Soren]

    [Edit-Here is page 3 of the document hidden behind the link- Soren]

    [​IMG]

    The report was written by Anthony Randazzo and Daniel Takash from the Reason Foundation’s Pension Integrity Project and Adam Rich, a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and resident of South Windsor.

    [Follow our work on pension reform at YankeeInstitute.org/PensionReform]

    Pension reform will have an immediate impact on the people of Connecticut. Over the next two years, Connecticut faces deficits of more than $3 billion. Pension reform could save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next two years. It could mean the difference between services continuing rather than being cut, and alleviate the need for yet more tax increases that will hurt homeowners across the state.

    If even a few of the reforms in this paper were enacted, [Edit- they are already haggling, see?- Soren] the state could save hundreds of millions of dollars a year in payments to our pension system, and almost $9 billion over the next 30 years. One reform alone – bringing employee contributions up to the national average level of 6 percent – would save $290 million over the next two years.

    “For too long, Connecticut has put pensions before people.[Edit- don't you mean Pensioners before Corrupt Politicians?- Soren] It is time we rethought our priorities so that people come first,” said Carol Platt Liebau, president of the Yankee Institute. “We can prevent a great deal of suffering across our state if we put people before pensions.”

    “We have to decide whether retirement benefits for future state workers are more important than people who are actually suffering today,” Liebau said.

    “Lawmakers recently refinanced Connecticut’s pension payments. It’s a bit like refinancing the mortgage on a house you can’t afford,” said Suzanne Bates, policy director for the Yankee Institute. “Not a bad first step, but you still need to sell the house.”

    The potential solutions in the paper include changes to the governance of SERS; changes to existing benefits that would require approval from state employee unions; and changes to benefits for future workers which could be set in statute by lawmakers.

    The proposed reforms will help Connecticut meet a range of goals.
    • Fair. Right now, non-government workers in Connecticut pay extra taxes to support state worker pensions of which they could only dream. This unfair system hurts people at all income levels simply because they don’t work for government.
    • Affordable. Since 2001, pension costs have grown faster than government spending or tax revenue, meaning that other spending priorities have received less funding. Unaffordable pensions mean less care for the disabled, worse road conditions and higher taxes. Unfunded pension promises loom over families and employers as future tax increases when they make decisions about where to live and locate.
    • Stable and transparent. Connecticut has an obligation to keep its retirement promises to current and retired state employees. Modifying future promises is one way to increase the likelihood that existing promises are kept. The recent SEBAC agreement refinanced pension costs to avoid large planned spikes in the future. The agreement did not address unplanned uncertainty. Current projections assume pension fund investments will earn 6.9 percent every year. If returns fall a little short and reach an average of 6 percent (which is higher than recent returns), pension costs in 2040 will go up by 30 percent.
      The current pension system is not transparent. It is impossible to know how much it will cost to pay a state employee’s pension until that employee – or his or her spouse – die, long after he or she stopped working. This lack of clarity makes it difficult to budget. Under the current system, decisions made today will ripple through state finances for decades.

      Connecticut pensions appear similar in overall cost compared to other state systems, but two things make them different. Typically, these comparisons are done relative to payroll. Connecticut state employees tend to earn more than employees of other states, which makes a pension worth the same percent of pay even more valuable. (For example, the average state employee salary here is $10,000 higher than the average salary in Massachusetts, and $5,000 higher than the average in New York.) The second issue is that although the cost as a percentage of payroll is similar to other states, the costs are shared very differently in Connecticut. The most a non-hazardous state employee contributes is 2 percent of payroll. The national average is 6 percent.
    Securing Our Future builds on past Yankee Institute projects including Born Broke (2014) on the enormity of Connecticut’s unfunded pension promises and Unequal Pay (2015), which showed Connecticut state employees earn at least 25 percent more than non-government workers with the same skills and experience. In the past six months, Yankee Institute videos on these topics were viewed more than 400,000 times.

    The Hartford-based Yankee Institute for Public Policy works to transform Connecticut into a place where everyone is free to succeed.


    Here is the "Reform" Plan that they couldn't bring themselves to include in their announcement today.
    https://www.yankeeinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Securing-Our-Future.pdf

    h/t Brian Johnson

    Where is the Piranha when you need him?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-22/ct-intends-confiscate-your-pension-wealth
     
  23. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    George Will: America's predictable pension crisis

    GEORGE F. WILL Washington Post Writers Group
    Published: February 23, 2017 12:00 AM CDT



    WASHINGTON — Some American disasters come as bolts from the blue — the stock market crash of October 1929, Pearl Harbor, the designated hitter, 9/11. Others are predictable because they arise from arithmetic that is neither hidden nor arcane. Now comes the tsunami of pension problems that will wash over many cities and states.

    Dallas has the fastest-growing economy of America's 13 largest cities but in spite of its glistening commercial towers it represents the skull beneath the skin of American prosperity. According to its mayor, the city is "walking into the fan blades" of pension promises: The fund for retired police and firefighters is $5 billion underfunded. Prompted by projections that the fund will be exhausted within 20 years, retirees last year withdrew $230 million from it in a six-week span. In the entire year, the fund paid out $283 million and the city put in just $115 million. Last November, The New York Times reported that the police and fire fund sought a $1.1 billion infusion, a sum "roughly equal to Dallas' entire general fund budget and not even close to what the pension fund needs to be fully funded."

    Nowadays, America's most persistent public dishonesties are the wildly optimistic, but politically convenient, expectations for returns on pension fund investments. Last year, when Illinois reduced its expected return on its teachers' retirement fund from 7.5 percent to 7, this meant a $400 million to $500 million addition to the taxes needed annually for the fund. And expecting 7 percent is probably imprudent. Add to the Illinois example the problems of the 49 other states that have pension debt of at least $19 thousand dollars per household and numerous municipalities, and you will understand why many jurisdictions will be considering buyouts, whereby government workers are offered a lump sum in exchange for smaller pension benefits. Last September, in the seventh year of the recovery from the Great Recession, the vice chair of the agency in charge of Oregon's government workers' pension system wept when speaking about the state's unfunded pension promises passing $22 billion.

    The Manhattan Institute's Josh B. McGee reports that teachers' pension plans, which cover more people than all other state and local plans combined, have at least a $500 billion problem. This is the gap between promised benefits and money set aside to fund them.

    A clear and present consequence is, McGee says, "pension cost crowd-out." Because pensions are consuming a larger share of education spending, 29 states spent less per pupil on instructional supplies in 2013 than in 2000, and during that period instructional salaries per pupil were essentially flat.

    This is just another instance of public policies that transfer wealth from the young to the elderly who, after a lifetime of accumulation, are society's most affluent cohort.

    Pensions, including those of private companies, are being buffeted by a perfect storm of adverse events: People are living longer. Economic growth is persistently sluggish. Bond yields have declined dramatically during seven years of near-zero interests rates, which produce higher valuations of equities, lowering the future returns that can be realistically expected. As of last August, the Financial Times reported that pensions run by companies in the S&P 1500 index were underfunded by $562 billion — up $160 billion in just seven months.

    The generic problem in the public sector is the moral hazard at the weakly beating heart of what Walter Russell Mead calls the "blue model" of governance — the perverse incentives in the alliance of state and local elected Democrats with public employees' unions. The former purchase the latter's support with extravagant promises, the unrealism of which will become apparent years hence, when the promise-makers will have moved on. The latter expect that when the future arrives, the government that made the promises can be compelled by law or political pressure to extract the promised money from the public.

    This game, a degradation of democracy, could be disrupted by laws requiring more realistic expectations about returns on pension fund investments, or even by congressional hearings to highlight the problem. But too much of the political class has skin in the game.

    The problems of state and local pensions are cumulatively huge. The problems of Social Security and Medicare are each huge, but in 2016 neither candidate addressed them, and today's White House chief of staff vows that the administration will not "meddle" with either program. Demography, however, is destiny for entitlements, so arithmetic will do the meddling.

    George Will's email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

    WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP

    http://newsok.com/article/5538896
     
  24. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    REALIST NEWS - Philadelphia Soda Tax Leads To 30-50% Plunge In Sales, Mass Layoffs
    jsnip4



    Published on Feb 23, 2017
    Today's Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5-zE...

    Article: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02...

    Donate to support the show: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr...

    Bitcoin Donation: 151w21QWRTAdKKXh8aKFmn6hBNvTman9V7
    QR Code: https://www.realistnews.net/QRCode.png

    http://www.jmbullion.com/?utm_source=... (Recommended for Silver and Gold Purchases.)

    http://www.realistnews.net
     
  25. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Soda like cigarettes are affected by taxes. I only know a few that quit smoking due to health. I know a LOT that quit smoking at $2 a pack or $3.50 a pack or whatever.

    I luv these pension stories....... and no one is talking about the grandest bubble of all that is due to burst....... social security. Whenever I talk to someone and they are concerned for inflation,
    lack of cost of living increase or whatever and they then state "IT'S MY MONEY"....... I ask what would have happened if they had that 14+% (both sides as that is how an employer looks at it).
    Would you have paid your house off sooner saving tens of thousands? How about paying cash for car loans or never had any credit card debt, or. or, or......... I luv to get under their skin & make them think.
    They usually come back at a later time & we have one heck of a hair pullin, on the verge of tears, exasperated, conversation. They realize they got fmucked.
     
  26. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Modal Operator/Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    Hmmm...


    New York union pension fund goes insolvent, becoming the first in what is expected to be a domino effect

    While several public and private pension funds in the U.S. have had to enforce changes due to massive underfunding, on Feb. 28 a New York Local Teamsters pension fund officially went insolvent and now their member retirees will have to take less in monthly benefits through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

    Cited as the first pension fund in the U.S. to completely run out of money, this event is expected to soon trigger a domino effect across the country as the Federal government refuses to bail these funds out, while at the same time states are wary of raising taxes on their constituents to supplement their own pension shortfalls.

    [​IMG]

    The New York Teamsters Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund has won the unfortunate award for “First Pension to Officially Run Out of Money.” According to the New York Daily News, and a host of angry former truck drivers who’ve had their pension benefits slashed, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has officially been forced to step in and take over payments to retirees of the Local 707, albeit at a much lower rate.

    Teamsters Local 707’s pension fund is the first to officially bottom out financially — which happened this month.

    “I had a union job for 30 years,” Chmil said. “We had collectively bargained contracts that promised us a pension. I paid into it with every paycheck. Everyone told us, ‘Don’t worry, you have a union job, your pension is guaranteed.’ Well, so much for that.”

    “It’s a nightmare, it has just devastated all of our lives. I’ve gone from having $48,000 a year to less than half that,” said Chmil, one of five Local 707 retirees who agreed to share their stories with the Daily News last week.

    “I don’t want other people to have to go through this. We need everyone to wake up and do something; that’s why we’re talking,” said Ray Narvaez. – Zerohedge

    The pension question is one where there are no victors as the problems are due to a combined lack of fiduciary responsibility at nearly all levels. On the union side, representatives for workers barged through extraordinary pension benefits during the boom times in the 90’s and middle 2000’s when the economy was blasting away on the rocket fuel of cheap money. And when these financial bubbles burst, and the economy went into severe recessions, these same unions were not willing to cut back on the benefit gains, which in some cases have seen teachers and first responders in some cities make more per year in retirement than they did while working.

    Then there is the central bank, who over the past decade has killed the fixed income market and made it impossible for public and private pension funds to earn enough in returns to supplement their benefit payments.

    Finally there are the Federal and state government’s themselves, who hired Wall Street bankers to manage these funds, and who in many cases actually cost them more in fees than they did in the returns they provided.

    Like nearly all benefit programs that include medicare, social security, and welfare, the nation’s pension system is at best wildly underfunded, and at worst completely and utterly insolvent. And what is taking place today for the Local 707 Teamsters Union regarding the collapse of their own pension fund will soon come to pass all across the country as Peter no longer has any money for Paul to steal.

    Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for The Daily Economist, Secretsofthefed.com, Roguemoney.net, and Viral Liberty, and hosts the popular youtube podcast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.


    http://viralliberty.com/new-york-un...olvent-becoming-first-expected-domino-effect/
     
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  27. the_shootist

    the_shootist The war is here on our doorstep! Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Uhoh! To bad, so sad! Porked by the government and greedy unions once again! The fun never ends! The riots in the cites are only weeks away now
     
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  28. SongSungAU

    SongSungAU Midas Member Midas Member

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    NY Teamsters Pension Becomes First To Run Out Of Money As Expert Warns "Pension Tsunami" Is Coming

    by Tyler Durden
    Feb 28, 2017 5:15 PM

    The New York Teamsters Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund has won the unfortunate award for "First Pension to Officially Run Out of Money." According to the New York Daily News, and a host of angry former truck drivers who've had their pension benefits slashed, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has officially been forced to step in and take over payments to retirees of the Local 707, albeit at a much lower rate.



    Teamsters Local 707’s pension fund is the first to officially bottom out financially — which happened this month.

    “I had a union job for 30 years,” Chmil said. “We had collectively bargained contracts that promised us a pension. I paid into it with every paycheck. Everyone told us, ‘Don’t worry, you have a union job, your pension is guaranteed.’ Well, so much for that.”



    “It’s a nightmare, it has just devastated all of our lives. I’ve gone from having $48,000 a year to less than half that,” said Chmil, one of five Local 707 retirees who agreed to share their stories with the Daily News last week.



    “I don’t want other people to have to go through this. We need everyone to wake up and do something; that’s why we’re talking,” said Ray Narvaez.

    Of course, the Teamsters 707 and other Teamster pension boards attempted to submit plans that would have cut benefits in order to prolong payments to retirees but those plans were universally rejected by the Obama administration...better that the pensions just run out of cash completely. Per Pensions & Investments:


    The Obama administration is in denial about the necessity of cutting pension benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 to try to put distressed multiemployer plans on sounder financial footings and make them more sustainable. It must face reality and order the Treasury Department to stop blocking action.



    So far the department, required under the act to approve proposed reductions, has rejected proposals by the Teamsters Central States, Southeast & Southwest Areas Pension Plan and the Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund.



    Ten plans total have applied for cuts, including the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund, Syracuse, whose Aug. 31 application is too new to be listed on the Treasury's website.



    The Road Carriers 707 application stated that the plan projects it will become insolvent in February — only about five months away — absent suspension of benefits.



    As desperate as the plan's financial situation appears to be, the Treasury denied the application.


    And while the Local 707 pension was the first to dry up, it certainly won't be the last...

    Also on the brink of drying up are the pensions for two Teamster locals — 641 and 560 — in New Jersey, union officials said. Plus 35,000 Teamster members upstate who are part of the money-hemorrhaging New York State Teamsters Pension Fund.

    Bigger than all of New York’s Teamster locals combined is the Central States Pension Fund — another looming financial disaster that could leave 407,000 retirees without pensions across the Midwest and South.

    [​IMG]



    Meanwhile, under the maximum benefits provided by the PBGC, many former Teamsters, like Ray Narvaez, said their monthly retirement checks have been slashed by two-thirds.



    Then Narvaez, like 4,000 other retired Teamster truckers, got a letter from Local 707 in February of last year.


    It said monthly pensions had to be slashed by more than a third. It was an emergency move to try to keep the dying fund solvent. That dropped Narvaez from nearly $3,500 to about $2,000.



    “They said they were running out of money, that there could be no more in the pension fund, so we had to take the cut,” said Narvaez, whose wife was recently diagnosed with cancer.



    The stopgap measure didn’t work — and after years of dangling over the precipice, Local 707’s pension fund fell off the financial cliff this month. With no money left, it turned to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a government insurance company that covers pension.



    Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. picked up Local 707’s retiree payouts — but the maximum benefit it gives a year is roughly $12,000, for workers who racked up at least 30 years. For those with less time on the job, the payouts are smaller.



    Narvaez now gets $1,170 a month — before taxes.


    Of course, as the Central States Pension General Counsel notes, the real "pension tsunami" will come when the massive "municipal and state plans go down next."


    The same crisis now hitting Local 707 has been stewing among numerous Teamster locals around the country for the past decade, he said, and that includes in upstate New York.



    The trucking industry — almost uniformly organized by Teamsters — has suffered enormous financial losses in its pension and welfare funds due to a crippling combination of deregulation and stock market crashes, Nyhan said.



    “This is a quiet crisis, but it’s very real. There are currently 200 other plans on track for insolvency — that’s going to affect anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million people,” said Nyhan. “The prognosis is bleak minus some new legislative help.”



    And it’s not just private-sector industries that are suffering, he added.



    “Municipal and state plans are the next to go down — that’s a pension tsunami that’s coming,” he said. “In many states, those defined benefit plans are seriously underfunded — and at the end of the day, math trumps the statutes.”

    We're looking at you Illinois...


    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-...out-money-expert-warns-pension-tsunami-coming
     
  29. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    And the banksters slink away untouched again..... and again..... and again
    Hope the union guys have some jack handle justice heading the banksters way.
     
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  30. engineear

    engineear Seeker Seeker

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    "We have to install the tax to see what's in the tax"....Nancy Pelosi...sort of....
     
  31. tom baxter

    tom baxter back from 2004

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    It's naive to believe that just because a politician or fund manages states pensions are good for retirement, that they are in fact good for us personally. Much better to listen to these people and assume the opposite. But 30 or 40 years staring into the blue light of the television has addled most people's brains. It has made them too trusting of authority.

    Pensions should be done away with?
    Never, not as long I'm not paying into one myself
    Taxes should be lowered?
    Never, not as long as I'm self-employed and have control over such
    Housing bubbles should be prevented and prices kept fair?
    Never, not as long as I am not caught up in the madness.
    All of these train wrecks are what's kept our system function thus far, without them we would be Greece.
    Fractional reserve banking and insurmountable debts should never have been allowed?
    Of course they should, if they hadn't we would all be driving shitboxes or riding bicycles and living in poverty because these methods allow for massive economic expansion and a wealth flow on. The secret is to put a lot of it away safely -gold- before the inevitable collapse.

    Most of the institutions people rail against are the very things that have given them the lifestyle they enjoy today. Go back before it all began, when there was no income tax, no pensions, no government debt, and the average person lived in poverty and retirement was a dream not a genuine expectation.
     
  32. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Barely mentioned in all the pension woes is ZIRP, the actual cause of the collapse.
     
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  33. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    They should have at least never existed. All most of them do is to get people to work more today for pie in the sky promises tomorrow. This thread is full of the proof of that, and by all accounts, more proof is already in the pipeline.

    What should have been done is to have paid the workers higher wages at the time as opposed to promising a pension in the future, only to find out later that they never bothered to properly fund it.


    IMHO, if a plan of action is known to lead to an inevitable collapse, it should not be embarked upon. To do so merely condemns future generations.
     
  34. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    stoli likes this.
  35. tom baxter

    tom baxter back from 2004

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    Yes, this thread and a million others over the decades past are full of the proof. And that changes nothing in the real world doesn't it.

    What "Should" have been done, is never done, because the world is and always has been run by greedy psychopaths. I never use the word "Should", it's a dangerous word, it leads one to linger in bad investments, to waste energies rehashing the ills of society, to live in the past or in some idealistic future that never arrives. "Should be" is not in my vocabulary, "Is be" is what I use. This world we live in "IS" what it is and what I "Will do", not should do, is react to it and plan accordingly and never assume some politician will change it to the way it should be.

    The fact is there was a brief window during the middle of the oil age where an average worker saw their lifestyle, their wealth, improve dramatically. This was IMO nothing more than a flow on of profits from the cheap energy available then, that was not available before or since. That window has been closing since 1970 but the average person hasn't realized this because while the window is closing it's still open, but for an ever decreasing number of people. The middle class did well until 2007 because the window was still open to them, but not anymore. Soon the window will only be open a fraction, only open to the very rich, those connected to the people in power. Nothing will reverse this, so sorry, no President, no change of laws, no new trade agreement, it is baked in the cake and that "IS" the reality we will all have to live with in the years ahead.

    The vast majority of people in the western world have their life savings in the stock market and property markets, and they will lose nearly all of it, even though it "shouldn't" happen.
     
  36. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    My only point was that back when the pensions were promised to the workers, it was pie-in-the-sky and that the workers should have demanded to be paid the amount that was supposed to have been used to fund the pensions. That way the workers could have taken care of their own retirement.

    By saying "should have", I'm merely pointing out where it went off the rails relative to the subject of this thread. Ie: underfunded and mismanaged pensions.
     
  37. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    In many cases it was the Union hierarchy that was complacent and helped the demise of the system, and Oatsama didnt want to cut benefits for his union buddies and cost votes.
     
  38. stoli

    stoli New Member

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    "The Kenney administration lambasted the news, pointing to Pepsi's overall profits and the benefits of the expanded pre-K program that the 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax funds. As of this week, the program has created 251 jobs in the city, mostly full-time pre-K teaching positions, the city said."

    LMAO .........insane
     
    edsl48 and searcher like this.
  39. tom baxter

    tom baxter back from 2004

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    Yes, I agree with you, and I wasn't having a shot at ya, just telling it as I see it. People are too trusting of their leaders and many just don't want to rock the boat. That's why they go along when these big scams are introduced I think.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  40. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    On the local front.....................


    'Mind-boggling' pension crisis


    "Mind-boggling."

    It's how North Penn School District business manager Stephen Skrocki last week described the growth of the district's state-mandated contributions to the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS). The district's contributions have risen from 3 percent of its budget in 2010-11 to 16 percent in 2017-18; in dollar terms, that's $6.1 million to $40 million.

    Mind-boggling.

    It's how we have for many months been describing the state Legislature's failure to address in a meaningful way the mushrooming pension crisis, which to some degree is wreaking havoc with budgets in every one of Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.

    This is not an emergency that cropped up overnight. We've been reporting for years how lawmakers gave birth to the pension problem by boosting their own pensions and those of public employees and teachers in 2001, then compounding the issue by allowing school districts to let their contributions to the pension system lag. When the recession of 2008 hit, pension investments tanked, and the game of catch-up to keep the funds solvent began. The burden has fallen heavily on school districts, that is, on taxpayers.

    Some legislative tweaks have done little to ease the crisis. And whether the pension deficit is listed as $50 billion or $60 billion matters little to school boards trying to meet increasing pension obligations while maintaining quality in the classroom and keeping up with building maintenance and improvements. Not to mention meeting salary demands of teacher unions that seem to exist in a different world and administrators who, almost without exception, earn six-figure salaries pretty much across the board.

    Back to North Penn, where Skrocki must sound like the agent of doom as he describes how the district's contributions to PSERS will continue to climb for the foreseeable future: Next year, 32.57 percent of employee salaries will go to PSERS, with projections of 34.18 percent, 35.5 percent, 35.95 percent and 36.4 percent over the following years. "It was supposed to plateau," Skrocki said, "but that's not going to happen. It's going to continue to go up. ... It's just astronomical, and it's unsustainable."

    What is equally unsustainable, in our view, is the state Legislature's turning a blind eye to a problem that sooner or later will wreck public education unless something dramatic — with emphasis — is done. Where is the House and Senate leadership so desperately needed? And what of Gov. Wolf, who apparently thinks so little of the crisis and the threat it poses to Pennsylvania's fiscal solvency that he didn't even mention it in his budget address last month?

    It's depressing when you look to Harrisburg for a solution and what you mostly see is a governor and a Legislature that don't care.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 33 cents a day.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_3234fc7e-63ab-5821-94e9-a24645c841f9.html
     

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