Monday, September 29, 2008

"What a Day That Was"

Today remains Monday, 29 September 2008.

The problem is not that capitalism isn’t working, because of all those bleeding-heart do-gooders who "forced" banks to give loans to poor people and minorities, the banks who made very fat fees from same.

The problem is capitalism has worked as it was designed and meant to.

The purpose of capitalism is not to push prosperity down the food chain. The purpose of capitalism is to suck prosperity up the food chain. Same as with Mafiaism, mercantilism, feudalism, fascism, Stalinism, Maoism, etc.

Most Americans obviously don’t understand the simple facts of economics (why should our corporate master point to The Man Behind the Curtain), and so, when they’re offered the opportunity to get prosperity for nothin’, they stampede to the trough, not noticing the bill is in the mail, and the folks who sent it are nowhere to be found, along with most of the prosperity.

Back in the 19th century, and up until the Great Depressions, the periodic credit crunches and freezes endemic to capitalism were known as “Panics”, and not recessions or depressions. This roller-coast nature of capitalism is technically and politely known as “the business cycle”, instead of the accurate term, “inherent and intended instability”.

Received a most obnoxious e-mail from a “liberal” organization today, gloating over how “we”, through our phone calls to Congress, had smashed the “Bush Bailout”. Claimed we can save the day by creating millions of “green” jobs. (And this taking how many years?) Said it doesn’t matter to “ordinary Americans” what happens on Wall Street.

Excuse me? Tens of millions of “ordinary Americans” are hoping to depend on, for a small measure of security and comfort in retirement, not only Social Security, but also 401(k)s, which tend to be chock full of those stocks on Wall Street.

That Wall Street that just got a $1.2 trillion hole blown in it today. Sure, a goodly chunk of the change was lost by Richie Rich, but tens of billions were lost by the retirement dreams of “ordinary Americans”.

I believe in share the wealth, not just in America but also over the planet.

Sometimes, saving capitalism (for the shorth-term) is the only game in town. Take the long road home tonight, don’t trash the world economy out of pseudo-left elitism, and maybe there will be something left for the meek to inherit.

(And, by the way, replace 401(k) casinos with real pensions.)


Anonymous NET said...

HH said "Sometimes, saving capitalism (for the shorth-term) is the only game in town. Take the long road home tonight, don’t trash the world economy out of pseudo-left elitism, and maybe there will be something left for the meek to inherit."

I agree. People are not taking a look at the big picture. Those uneducated on the situation think the purpose of the rescue plan is to "rescue" only the Wall Street big guys. It is not.

HH also said "(And, by the way, replace 401(k) casinos with real pensions.)"

Part of the reason so many employers now have 401(k) plans is that it lessens the long term financial burden on the employer. I view this as a choice on the part of the employer on how to run their business. They are not being gready slave masters by choosing a retirement vehicle that is less burdensome to their bottom line. (I know, I know, HH is a socialist, so I know he will jump all other that.)

Generally, the amount of funds that an employer contributes to a 401(k) is proportional to the amount the employee contributes. Thus, those employees that willingly choose to contribute smaller percentages of their pre-tax salary to such a plan, present a smaller long-term financial burden to the employer. It's that simple. Back tracking and establishing or re-establishing pensions in place of 401(k) plans won't happen. The barn door is open.

Again, HH refers to them as "401(k) casinos." I know there are plenty of 401(k) plans that include capital-preserving investment options (CD's, etc.). If such a plan does not, the employees need to discuss it with their management. The employee has the obligation to evaluate the quality of a 401(k) plan. IRA plans are also an option. People need to take responsibility for their long-term financial needs and lose the notion that someone (an employer and/or the government) owes them a comfortable situation in their later years.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous rtr said...

The fundamental problem of the 401(K) approach to pension plans is that it is a fox in the hen house approach to financing an employee's retirement security.

An employer who is 'on the hook' for a defined benefit has a self interested fiduciary stake in the success of the economy as it affects the employee.

An employer whose obligation to the financial security of the employee ends at moment of contribution has license and incentive to recoup the employer's loss (the contribution itself) through the employer's far greater ability to manipulate the market in ways favorable to the economically powerful and that correspondingly prey on the Darwinian and comparative economic weaklings.

Ecce 1980s S&L
Ecce 2000 Enron, World Com, Tyco, etc.
Ecce Mortgage collapse
Ecce transfer of wealth from poorer to richer

7:13 PM  

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