Politics of Regulation on Retirement

people-politico-penny-pileRegulations: Ask different people what this word means to them and you will get a lot of different answers. Some will say regulations are an absolute necessity in our society, and some will treat the word like a swear word, saying regulation ruins innovation and stymies growth. However, those views may change drastically when the topic is drilled down to certain kinds of regulations. So instead of trying to talk about all regulations, it’s best to narrow the subject down to regulation of a specific type. Only then can we have an intellectual discussion about the topic.

Today we are going to look into regulations surrounding retirement funds and pensions in private companies. These benefits are often seen as one of the best benefits in privately owned companies. However, retirement and pensions are more and more often being sacrificed in tough economic times. But the upper management and CEOs of some private corporations may be using the recession as an excuse to force workers to give up their retirement benefits and pensions in order to pad their own retirement savings and company profits.

We have to remember that much of the purpose of a corporation is to make money, so it isn’t surprising, but it is appalling, to think that these private corporations can so easily take money from the retirement funds of their most loyal workers and use it for their own gain. This is a benefit that was promised to workers at the prime of their careers to help them plan for a time when they would retire after putting in many long years with a company. Corporations take advantage of a series of loopholes that are little known to the public to pull this money, meant for their work force, and convert it into “profit” for themselves. We don’t say bank robbers are not stealing, they are profiting by seizing the money of a bank, so why can these companies get away with it? Even when they cannot directly shovel cash out of your retirement, there are other means for them to force you to freeze or reduce your benefits while increasing their own benefits dramatically.

 

Retirement Heist

Stop the plunder of American hard work.

The WorldCom and Enron scandals both come immediately to mind with this type of action. However, there are thousands of other corporations that have done the same thing. Apparently after WorldCom and Enron, the media has decided “this is just how things are”. This is insane! “This is how it is” never, ever, justifies inaction to change. These types of horrible injustices will continue if we allow them to continue because of our own apathy.

It seems that these are no longer stories on the front page because this is how business is run in America. Business practices that involve taking from the workers and giving ridiculous amounts of money to the CEO is apparently what a small investment in elected officials will get you. The workers themselves have become a source of income for the upper tier of the corporation. Employees don’t get raises; they do not get more benefits and the benefits they do have already gained are being taken away. The workers get less and less while the upper tiers of these corporations get more and more. The employees have to take it because the job market is so terrible they know they have to be content with having steady employment.

 

But using people like this is amoral. This is ghastly. This is inexcusable.

This is why we need regulations regarding a company’s pension and retirement plans. These plans need to have protection and oversight or they will continue to be abused. Deregulation of pension and retirement plans was pitched as a benefit for the workers. Deregulation has been sold as a way to ensure the safety and security of the American people and the workforce. In fact, deregulation has destabilized the American work force, bringing uncertainty not only to those who are employed by companies that cannibalize their workers’ retirement funds, but to the majority of the American workforce. It has created a corporate environment where the American worker is forced to scrape by on stagnant wages, failing retirement and pension plans, and an unstable job market, while corporate coffers fill with the wages of American workers’ hard earned money. The upmost tiers of these corporations enjoy “profits” that are supposed to be our retirements while they themselves are being guaranteed ludicrously large sums of money in their retirement, and in some cases, even if they are fired for gross negligence!

If there is any hope to bring the American people back to a place where they can look forward to retirement, and can be assured of the pensions they have been promised for their entire lives, we must rip open this scandalous behavior and force regulations back into this area of business. We can no longer allow our hard earned money to be gambled away or stolen from us.

Share this with your friends, families and co-workers. You deserve to retire with your promised pension after a lifetime of hard work. You deserve to have the security that you will be taken care of when you most need it. You deserve confidence that a lifetime of work will be for your own prosperity, not another’s.

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Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin Ups the Ante on Abolishing Worker Rights

ru-serious-femaleThe madness continues as the Republican Governor of Wisconsin ups the ante stating that if none of the fourteen state Democratic Senators return to vote on this widely unpopular bill he will lay off 1500 people to make up for the budget deficit due to the stalled bill. This is absolutely ridiculous and I hold that those in Wisconsin keep faith and stay strong with standing up for their rights as workers and citizens of this country.

It continues to boggle my mind that such extremes had to be taken to stop a bill that is largely opposed but due to pass the state Senate because of the Republican majority. This perfectly illustrates how our system is broken and why we need something in place to make the politicians immediately liable and accountable for their wishy-washy and often times unpopular voting records. Their job is to represent the people’s will and the politicians need to be held to account when they vote and work against the peoples will such as it is in this case.

Gallup Poll

Eliminating Collective Bargaining Rights for State Unions

As you may know, one way the legislature in Wisconsin is seeking to reduce its budget deficit is by passing a bill that would take away some of the collective bargaining rights of most public unions, including the state teachers’ union. Would you favor or oppose such a bill in your state?

Demographic % In Favor % that Oppose % No Opinion
National Adults 33 61 6
Democrats 18 78 4
Independents 31 62 8
Republicans 54 41 5
Total Average 34 60.5 5.75

New York Times Poll

Americans Weigh in on Labor Unions and Public Employees

Collective bargaining refers to negotiations between an employer and a labor union’s members to determine the conditions of employment. Some states are trying to take away some of the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Do you favor or oppose taking away some of the collective bargaining rights of these unions?

Oppose to Eliminating Worker Rights 60%
In Favor Eliminating Worker Rights 33%
No Opion on Worker Rights 7%

What is at stake here are the workers basic rights to a fair and honest work place. Worker unionization is creating a democratic work environment. If a bill was introduced to limit our freedoms and our right to the Democracy of the United States of America it would be laughed right out the door. It would be hailed as a traitorous, treasonous act and would never, ever have a chance to come to a vote.

Most of the American working people have quietly allowed our workplaces to become dictatorships. For some reason we are OK with this but we shouldn’t be. We just sit back quietly and let employers dictate how our working conditions are, what we will get paid and what authoritarian rules we must follow. Over the recent years of deregulation and degradation of civil rights we have increasingly given ground quietly and calmly. We have allowed the corporate interests to wash over our own peoples personal interests both politically and personally. The last line of defense is, ironically, our very first right to be able to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Taking away this from public workers is not only wrong and shameful, all the people in American need to understand this is a constitutionally protected right. Everyone needs to exercise this right. We need stand up and stand proud.

It’s time all American workers stand up for their rights and what is right for America. Stand behind the Democratic Senators of Wisconsin. Stand behind the teachers, fire fighters, police officers and the many other public workers that keep our nation going.

When they threaten to fire 1,500 hard working every day American people you ask them why these Americans must lose their jobs when these very same Republics brought our national government to a standstill because they would not give up their huge tax breaks. These very same tax breaks, should they have expired, would have flooded both the federal and state governments with long overdue funds which would have put our country on much sounder footing.

thomas-jeffersonInstead the wealthiest 1% of people get to hang onto their tax breaks and loopholes while the rest of the 99% of American people pay for these tax cuts with our own stagnant and oftentimes dwindling salaries. They can’t seem to afford a tax break but they ask us to lose our jobs, lose our houses and lose our pride in a county that is supposed to be the land of prosperity but is showing ruin to millions of American’s.

Shout back, stand up and go protest. Sign petitions, participate in polls but most importantly get involved. Organize on Facebook, tweet or whatever your representatives and make sure they hear that America’s people are sick and tired of the ridiculous politico environment and they, we, I, demand that things turn around for us, the 99% of the country that is getting the short end of the stick. Raise the taxes back to pre-Reagan years on the wealthiest of Americans. Let the last 30 years of tax breaks come flooding back into our Country so we can rebuild and become the America that 99% of us want it to be.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

-Thomas Jefferson

 

Here are a few sources for your reference.

  • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41901713/ns/us_news-life
  • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41901713/ns/us_news-life#slice-3
  • http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/01/large-majority-of-americans-back-public-employee-union-rights-poll/
  • http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/28/us/28union-poll-results.html
  • http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/03/02/another-poll-shows-americans-support-public-employees-rights/
  • http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/03/02/maddow-half-of-voters-want-to-recall-walker/
  • http://www.minnpost.com/ericblack/2011/03/01/26237/poll_hurts_gop_drive_to_limit_public_workers_rights
  • http://www.gallup.com/poll/146276/Scaling-Back-State-Programs-Least-Three-Fiscal-Evils.aspx
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/us/01poll.html?_r=2&hp
  • http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/03/01/us/01poll_graphic.html?ref=us
  • http://www.fightthebias.com/Quotes/thomas_jefferson.htm

 

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Wisconsin’s Democrats Take a Stand

government-buildingDoes it shock and disgust you that the Democrats in Wisconsin were forced to literally ditch the vote to stop the passage of the anti-union legislation in the senate? It should.

What was shocking? This legislation was introduced as a way to make a not only an attempt to balance the state a budget but also has a veiled attempt to destroy the bargaining power of state employees in their union.

What was so disgusting? It boggles my mind that they have the audacity to look to the teachers, firefighters and police to make major sacrifices when the Republicans themselves will not even concede to allow the tax cuts for the most wealthy (Make over $250,000 a year) in America to expire.

There is something fundamentally wrong asking someone to give up their basic civil rights when you yourself will not agree to a more equitable tax rate.

Find plenty of stories on this amazing turn of events here: Google Search

First we must not, cannot, give up any more of our collective bargaining rights. We as a people must not bow to the politico forces and there strange and often times convincing spin. We as a people must always keep our fundamental rights in the foreground and make decisions based off those first. We are a nation built on, and dependent on, its people. If we fail our people, America will fail.

By the people, for the people.

This constitutionally protected right must be maintained at all costs. Look at what happened with the breaking of the unions for airline pilots. They at one time made good money. Many smart, qualified people pushed hard to get into the field. This gave us an airline industry full of proud, well qualified pilots who did nothing else but focus on being a good quality pilot. This made the flying safer, more secure and attracted high end talent to this important industry.

Now the only pilots that fly are those that do it simply because they love it or did not realize how little they would be paid and how much they would have to work due to the lack of being unionized. Many are forced now to have second jobs and take double shifts just to make ends meet.

Doing that here would do the same thing by gutting the very infrastructure of Wisconsin. Do you really want only the desperate and ignorant to become the next set of teachers, firefighters and police officers? Even those that are willing to work for nothing will likely be forced out of that career due to simple financial requirements to survive. These are the people that should be paid well. They are the ones that keep America strong. Not the other way around.

Besides this argument to retain a strong foundation to our society, it can also be considered illegal and unconstitutional.

Amendment 1

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Secondly, if the wealthiest 1% of American’s are not willing to give up the massive tax breaks, fighting tooth and nail to retain the inequitable tax breaks, how can they ask the rest of America to make such sacrifices that lead to un employment, losing their homes and even death. So many Americans are already without health insurance, this would just force more there. Some would most certainly die simply because they were unable to afford health insurance.

So they want the people to give up all of these things in exchange for the wealthiest 1% to have a better tax break? That makes me sick. It should make you sick.

The bottom line is I fully support the Democratic Senators of Wisconsin and their unorthodox but effective fighting of this unjust bill. I wish them the best and hope that their actions open the eyes of all of the people in America to the continued assault on our prosperity.

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