Originally Posted by CesarGeronimo
This is an attitude of not caring about anyone else and ultimately not caring about the well-being of Americans.
From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalistm Hedrick Smith, author of "Who Stole the American Dream?", on PBS Newshour: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/polit...#disqus_thread
"You know, it's amazing.
Everyone talks about 401(k). Almost nobody knows why it's called the 401(k). It's because it's that far down in the tax code. It is buried deep in the tax code.
When it was passed, it was never intended to be a national retirement system. It was put in the tax code as a favor to Kodak and Xerox, who have headquarters up in Rochester, N.Y., by the Republican congressman Barber Conable, who came from that district.
They wanted a tax shelter to give extra money to their executives.
Fast forward. In the Reagan administration, somebody said, hey, let's give that to ordinary people.
Fast forward again. The mutual fund industry says, wow, we get ahold of all those billions of dollars of retirement savings, we can make a lot of money.
Power to the people. Do it yourself. It's been a disaster for most Americans. They don't save enough. When they change jobs, they take their money out. When times get rough, as they have been recently, neither the company nor the individual contributes, with the result that the average balance is about $18,000 in a 401(k).
And if you're just on the lip of retirement, it's maybe $85,000 for somebody who is in their 60s and who has been in the plan for 20 years.
That's nowhere near enough. People will say, if you have been making $50,000 a year, you need a half-a-million.
So, we have got half of the baby boomer generation headed for poverty essentially in retirement, living on essentially only their Social Security."
From Forbes yesterday:
"We are on the precipice of the greatest retirement crisis in the history of the world. In the decades to come, we will witness millions of elderly Americans, the Baby Boomers and others, slipping into poverty. Too frail to work, too poor to retire will become the 'new normal' for many elderly Americans."
So is your point that people would be better off if they didn't have a 401k plan?
Or is your point that all retirees should be given money for free after they retire?
401k may have outgrown its founders' original vision, but it only did so because it ended up working so well and became so popular with employers and employees.
It is a fact of life that if you don't save money while you are working then you are eventually going to run out of money if you live a long time. Irresponsible people will eventually regret spending all their money instead of saving it. That is not the government or the corporate world's fault. If you don't work hard and save some money for the future you are going to be poor when you get old and it is nobody's fault but your own.
Companies are not charities. They are in a life and death struggle with other companies to survive and make a profit. Companies that pay their employees too much will go out of business and their employees will have to find new jobs (or start their own business if they are good enough).
Companies who pay their employees well and give them good benefits are able to attract and keep the best employees. Companies who do not pay well end up failing to attract good employees and failing to keep the ones they have. Companies with the best employees are likely to out-compete companies with inferior employees. On the other hand, companies who pay too much to their employees are at a disadvantage and can be driven out of business by more streamlined and efficient competitors. It is a delicate balance for companies to handle.
If you feel you are underpaid you have the option of finding a better job. If you can't find a better job you need to work harder so a better company would want to hire you. It is a competitive world where your reward is based on what you deserve. You have to earn it.
If you work for a pension company you might lose your pension if you quit or get fired. That is a huge negative. Working for a 401k company gives you the flexibility and mobility to switch jobs or move to another city without jeopardizing your retirement income.
Every dollar given by the government to a poor person (many/most of whom were just too lazy or irresponsible to provide for themselves) is a dollar earned by an honest, hardworking person and paid to the government in the form of taxes. If there were fewer people receiving checks from the government then hardworking Americans would not have to pay such a high percentage of their hard-earned money to the government as tax. Over 60% of the federal budget goes to "Entitlement Programs", which is a code word for welfare. Charity and welfare programs reward people for being lazy by giving them free money; and at the other end they punish people for working hard by taking away the fruits of their labors to give it to someone who didn't earn it.
Working as an employee of a Major League Baseball team is no different. If you don't think the franchise you work for is paying you well enough you are free to take your skills where the compensation is better. If teams want the best employees they will have to pay up or else make do with inferior workers. Right now the teams are forced to use only one compensation method -- the pension method. If teams want to offer their employees a pension, fine. If they would rather compensate their employees in a different method, fine. The teams want a choice. I have no problem with that.
For the players it is different because they don't have the option of switching employers any time they want like normal workers do. Players are bound by a rigid set of rules where they are essentially owned by the team who drafted them or signed them to a contract. Normal workers like you and I are always free agents. We can switch jobs and employers any time we like. But players only have that option very rarely and only after they have been under a team's control for a long time. For this reason they have a different compensation system than normal workers. And let's face it, good baseball players are much more rare and highly sought after than office workers and stadium employees.