imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Forget Compromising on Social Security; First Let's End Employer Theft of Worker Pensions

by Dave Lindorff Tuesday, Mar. 01, 2005 at 5:35 PM
dlindorff@yahoo.com

Compromise approaches to “saving” Social Security that involve voluntary private accounts on top of the current program are not going to help low-income workers. If Congress and the President really wanted to help protect low-income retirees, they’d end the legal theft of pension “vesting” so workers got pension contributions for every working day of their lives.

With President Bush's Social Security wrecking scheme running into trouble both among a skeptical public that no longer trusts him, and a Republican Congress that is worried about the costs-- trillion in new government borrowing just to finance the so-called private accounts--the compromisers in both parties are pulling out another bad idea: voluntary private accounts which would be financed by extra payroll deductions.

Unless such accounts were heavily subsidized by the government--for example by a refundable tax credit for low-income workers (an idea that has as much chance of passage as George McGovern's idea of providing each family with a 00 tax credit)--all this would be is another windfall for the well-to-do.

Where on earth do these phony populists think struggling working people are going to get that extra cash? They are already working as hard as they can and aren't even making it from paycheck to paycheck (consumer debt is rising steadily, as are personal bankruptcies, though Republicans may have solved this latter problem by making personal bankruptcies harder to obtain, and much more punitive). As it is, most people don't have IRAs or 401Ks--those tax-deferred retirement accounts that we're all supposed to be investing in for our retirement. They simply don't have the extra income to put into them. Upper income people love them of course. They can take their extra cash and shelter as much of it as they want from taxes by putting it into these tax-deferred havens where they won't owe anything on the money until they withdraw it in their dotage, when their income tax rates will presumably be much lower. (Besides, if you're already in the lowest tax bracket, there's not much advantage in setting aside money that could even end up being taxes at a higher rate later if income taxes go up over time, as they generally do.)

The proposed new add-on Social Security funds, as proposed, would be the same kind of raw deal--great for those who have the money to contribute, but useless for the rest of us.

If Congress really cared about the welfare of low-income retirees, they'd pass legislation requiring all employers to offer pension plans and to contribute to them, and they'd pass legislation outlawing "vesting" periods, so that even if you worked at a job for a day or a week, the money that was contributed to your pension fund would be yours, to go with you to your next job. This is how it works, for example, with teachers' retirement funds. There is no vesting period, and if a teacher moves to a new school after even a semester of teaching, the fund just moves along with her or him.

Most workers, however, who statistics show end up changing jobs in this new economy sooner than every five years, end up being ripped off of their pensions. They and the employer contribute to a fund from day one, but since it routinely takes five, seven, or at some jobs even 10 years to be "vested," if the employee leaves or is terminated before that time, the employer contribution is forfeited entirely. This is, to put the matter bluntly, theft. The worker takes a job in part on the basis of that pension contribution, which is presented as part of her or his remuneration package, but then if the job ends, either because the worker finds something better, or because the employer is downsizing, automating, or has been bought out, the money is lost.

Back when most workers got jobs for life, fair or not, vesting might have at least had some justification as a way of securing employee loyalty and reducing turnover, but in today's economy, there is no such thing. Employers lay off workers at the drop of a hat, often just to avoid having to pay raises, companies shut down operations and shift them overseas without a thought of their workers, and workers, their wages battered, have to move from job to job just to get a better pay deal.

Making these two pension law changes alone would go a long way towards providing the old-age retirement security that Bush and the Republicans and conservative Democrats so anxious to “reform” Social Security claim they want, and at no cost to the government or the taxpayer.

For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

The Shortwave Report 08/31/18 Listen Globally! A30 11:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy