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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pensions you "Paid For"? (Read 1081 times)
The Opposition
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Pensions you "Paid For"?
Dec 30th, 2018 at 6:31pm
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/as-a-grocery-chain-is-dismantled...
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At Powermate, a manufacturer of electric generators with a factory in Nebraska, Sun Capital took $20 million from the company as a dividend in 2006, according to court documents. Two years later, it sent the company into bankruptcy court, leaving the government insurer to pay for the underfunded pension covering 600 workers.


Quote:
At the other two companies, Friendly’s in 2011 and Fluid Routing Solutions in 2009, Sun Capital used the bankruptcy court to shed the pension obligations — and then kept operating. First, Sun put each company into bankruptcy, essentially relinquishing control. In bankruptcy court, the companies were absolved of their pension debts of $115 million and $30 million, respectively. Then, once the companies were pension-free, Sun Capital bought the same companies out of the ensuing bankruptcy auction.

“They used bankruptcy to get rid of pension obligations they didn’t want — all while retaining ownership,” Gotbaum said.


Well, good. They shouldn't have those obligations anyway.

According to this article, it's legal for a firm to buy a company, take its assets as dividends, and ignore the pensions.

I say that of course it should be legal. Remember, agreements aren't binding unless they're with another Feren- *cough* I mean, represent an immediate title transfer of property.

https://mises.org/library/property-rights-and-theory-contracts
Quote:
Let us take a seemingly more difficult case. Suppose that a celebrated movie actor agrees to appear at a certain theater at a certain date. For whatever reason, he fails to appear. Should he be forced to appear at that or at some future date? Certainly not, for that would be compulsory slavery. Should he be forced, at least, to recompense the theater owners for the publicity and other expenses incurred by the theater owners in anticipation of his appearance? No again, for his agreement was a mere promise concerning his inalienable will, which he has the right to change at any time.

Quote:
What of the dashed expectations of the Jones Corporation? The answer must be the same as in the case of the disappointed suitor or bride. Life is always uncertain, always risky. Some people are better and some are poorer "entrepreneurs," i.e., forecasters of future human action and events of the world. The prospective bride or bridegroom, or the Jones Corporation, are the proper locus of risk in this matter; if their expectations are disappointed, well then, they were poor forecasters in this case, and they will remember the experience when dealing with Smith or the breacher-of-marriage-promise in the future.


So I say more power to the people buying and selling and stiffing the workers out of pensions. What idiots those workers were. They should have read the Mises article and taken the wage increases.

They were poor forecasters of Human nature and maybe they'll be more careful the next time they're 20 or so and decide to work for a company their whole life and just trust them.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #1 - Dec 31st, 2018 at 6:27am
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 30th, 2018 at 6:31pm:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/as-a-grocery-chain-is-dismantled...


Well, good. They shouldn't have those obligations anyway.

According to this article, it's legal for a firm to buy a company, take its assets as dividends, and ignore the pensions.

I say that of course it should be legal. Remember, agreements aren't binding unless they're with another Feren- *cough* I mean, represent an immediate title transfer of property.

https://mises.org/library/property-rights-and-theory-contracts


So I say more power to the people buying and selling and stiffing the workers out of pensions. What idiots those workers were. They should have read the Mises article and taken the wage increases.

They were poor forecasters of Human nature and maybe they'll be more careful the next time they're 20 or so and decide to work for a company their whole life and just trust them.
It's the bankruptcy courts that are at fault here. Private pensions are a contracted obligation.

The actor's promise to appear is an oral contract and he certainly can be held liable for costs incurred by the theater owner when he breaches his promise.

Whoever wrote the tripe you quoted obviously doesn't believe in contracts, apparently either being unaware that contracts are a vital part of free economies, or not really being a fan of free markets.


  
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Little Big Man
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #2 - Jan 1st, 2019 at 11:51am
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 30th, 2018 at 6:31pm:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/as-a-grocery-chain-is-dismantled...


Well, good. They shouldn't have those obligations anyway.

According to this article, it's legal for a firm to buy a company, take its assets as dividends, and ignore the pensions.

I say that of course it should be legal. Remember, agreements aren't binding unless they're with another Feren- *cough* I mean, represent an immediate title transfer of property.

https://mises.org/library/property-rights-and-theory-contracts


So I say more power to the people buying and selling and stiffing the workers out of pensions. What idiots those workers were. They should have read the Mises article and taken the wage increases.

They were poor forecasters of Human nature and maybe they'll be more careful the next time they're 20 or so and decide to work for a company their whole life and just trust them.


Those same individuals would have no qualms about bankrupting tens of thousands of dollars in consumer credit if they fell on hard times as that company did. 

Bankruptcy is a scam which also turns government's role in enforcing contracts into a scam.  That's why my idea of buying a government stamp to put on a contract in order to pay for courts to enforce that contract is such a good way to shrink government.  Let all those workers stare in disbelief at their stamped contracts that the bankruptcy court just turned into toilet paper and their kids will know better.  Or . . . those courts would start enforcing contracts according to their wording instead of in accordance with the influence one side has over the court so that people won't stop buying the stamps.




  

Snarky no more!
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kaz
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #3 - Jan 1st, 2019 at 12:50pm
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 30th, 2018 at 6:31pm:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/as-a-grocery-chain-is-dismantled...


Well, good. They shouldn't have those obligations anyway.

According to this article, it's legal for a firm to buy a company, take its assets as dividends, and ignore the pensions.

I say that of course it should be legal. Remember, agreements aren't binding unless they're with another Feren- *cough* I mean, represent an immediate title transfer of property.

https://mises.org/library/property-rights-and-theory-contracts


So I say more power to the people buying and selling and stiffing the workers out of pensions. What idiots those workers were. They should have read the Mises article and taken the wage increases.

They were poor forecasters of Human nature and maybe they'll be more careful the next time they're 20 or so and decide to work for a company their whole life and just trust them.


If you're a worker and are promised a pension, then it's up to you to decide how much security is acceptable to you.

If you care enough, only work for companies that fund pensions that are not in their own hands and they can't raid.  If you don't care that much, then take your chances.  Either way, it has nothing to do with government.  It's between you and your employer
  

Contest winner:  I predicted Kaz' meltdown
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The Opposition
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #4 - Jan 1st, 2019 at 1:47pm
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Little Big Man wrote on Jan 1st, 2019 at 11:51am:
Bankruptcy is a scam which also turns government's role in enforcing contracts into a scam.  That's why my idea of buying a government stamp to put on a contract in order to pay for courts to enforce that contract is such a good way to shrink government.  Let all those workers stare in disbelief at their stamped contracts that the bankruptcy court just turned into toilet paper and their kids will know better.  Or . . . those courts would start enforcing contracts according to their wording instead of in accordance with the influence one side has over the court so that people won't stop buying the stamps.


It's a marvelously practical idea if you have an informed populace, and it would work well under those conditions. (I've batted around the idea of a Stamp Act before.)

The question is, if the government comes in and robs people of their God-given right to change their mind at any time, for any reason, is that aggression?

The Mises article says yes. I think Kaz is on the money in that it's not a problem. If you don't trust them, don't work for them.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #5 - Jan 1st, 2019 at 4:48pm
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kaz wrote on Jan 1st, 2019 at 12:50pm:
If you're a worker and are promised a pension, then it's up to you to decide how much security is acceptable to you.

If you care enough, only work for companies that fund pensions that are not in their own hands and they can't raid.
Right, great idea, just make sure you don't put your pension money in the hands of the Teamsters Union or anybody like them.

The truth is, it's not companies that fund pensions, it's workers. The money that is supposed to be held as a pension for workers is funded entirely from the productivity of the workers. (Of course they have help in being productive, but they don't generally get any help funding their pensions.)

The more "benefits" you get, the less money is available to pay you. It's a trade-off.

If you want to be certain you'll have money when you retire (or quit) you should save and invest on your own.

Anyway, there is truth in that the bankruptcy court can't raid your pension if it's not in the hands of the company... I think... maybe they can... Courts seem to think they can define their own powers these days. Shocked
  
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Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #6 - Jan 1st, 2019 at 4:53pm
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The Opposition wrote on Jan 1st, 2019 at 1:47pm:
The question is, if the government comes in and robs people of their God-given right to change their mind at any time, for any reason, is that aggression?

What makes you think God gave you a right to break our contract asshole? Yes, that's aggression, and I am going to sue you and win.

You can tell the jury all about how God told you it was OK that you never paid me for the lawn tractor I sold to you.

Tell them "Sure, I told Jeff I would pay him after he delivered the tractor, but I changed my mind as is my God given right."
  
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The Opposition
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #7 - Jan 1st, 2019 at 5:31pm
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Jeff wrote on Jan 1st, 2019 at 4:53pm:
What makes you think God gave you a right to break our contract asshole? Yes, that's aggression, and I am going to sue you and win.


I keep my promises.

Take your hostility out on the guy who wrote the Mises article. I didn't write it; I'm only following it.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #8 - Jan 2nd, 2019 at 7:19am
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The Opposition wrote on Jan 1st, 2019 at 5:31pm:
I keep my promises.

Take your hostility out on the guy who wrote the Mises article. I didn't write it; I'm only following it.
Arguing that enforcing contracts is "aggression" is a very bad idea, intellectually dishonest in my opinion, and you are doing more than "following", you are supporting the idea.
  
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BobK71
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #9 - Jan 2nd, 2019 at 11:49am
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 30th, 2018 at 6:31pm:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/as-a-grocery-chain-is-dismantled...


Well, good. They shouldn't have those obligations anyway.

According to this article, it's legal for a firm to buy a company, take its assets as dividends, and ignore the pensions.

I say that of course it should be legal. Remember, agreements aren't binding unless they're with another Feren- *cough* I mean, represent an immediate title transfer of property.

https://mises.org/library/property-rights-and-theory-contracts

So I say more power to the people buying and selling and stiffing the workers out of pensions. What idiots those workers were. They should have read the Mises article and taken the wage increases.

They were poor forecasters of Human nature and maybe they'll be more careful the next time they're 20 or so and decide to work for a company their whole life and just trust them.


There's another, crucial, layer to this onion that not many people see.

These promises are typically backed by big corporations and governments.  (Modern 'money' has been a gigantic 'promise' propped up by the top imperial power of the world.)  If you don't believe in them, and they do pay out, you lose out.  Many Americans born in the 1920s are happy retirees today.

You are forced to gamble, no matter what you do, while the Western system presents itself as essentially meritocratic, promise-keeping, and private-property-respecting.

I can see that some degree of uncertainty is unavoidable in life.  But elite-sponsored long-term-impossible promises add to that problem, for the purpose of, essentially, taking wealth from the public and pretty directly into their own pocket.
  
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