Saturday, April 23, 2016

Self- Incriminating Pension Shortfall

It was way back in 1982 while negotiating the longshoreman master contract in San Francisco on the management side of the table (I am sooooooo mercenary!) that I first heard the term "unfunded pension liability".  It was the strike issue.

Well, can't squeeze blood out of a turnip, and there was just no way promises made could be kept.  Slowly but surely, and I believe Hoffa was murdered to make the point labor was not to push this, one labor group after another folded.

Anyone who entered into pension agreements of any sort should have noticed they were not being honored.  For the last 35 years.

To the degree to which anyone believed that a pension would await them is guilty of self-delusion and willful ignorance.  One would have to assume the economy of the last 40 years was rational, just, fair, and equitable.  The the degree one is so self-deluded is the degree to which they will engage the fight for scant resources and massive unfunded liabilities.  It is gaining momentum...  quarter million truckers will see pension cut 23%..
More than a quarter of a million active and retired truckers and their families could soon see their pension benefits severely cut — even though their pension fund is still years away from running out of money.
Within the next few weeks, the Treasury Department is expected to announce a crucial decision on whether it will approve reductions to one of the country’s largest multi-employer pension plans.
We all believe we will be exempt, we all have special pleading ready.  And this ignores the fact that at zero and negative interest rates, there are countless pensioners right now suffering want.  They all expected promises to be kept. Now to whom can they turn?  They no longer produce anything, who will champion their cause?  Whatever you do, make sure you are paying taxes until the day you die, or you'll be a liability, not an asset.

The great default is already underway, and the suffering is real, but just beginning.  People will vote for one of the above, simply because they believe they have a case.    But to vote for any of the above is to admit you believe you have no other option but to fight over the diminishing asset base.

O well, you'll just work at Starbucks?  Good luck.  You'll be far better off starting your own hole in the wall coffee stand.  Don't let the hegemon hear he is your only hope.  Abandon your pension claims and pick another battle.

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.