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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pensions you "Paid For"? (Read 1080 times)
Little Big Man
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #10 - Jan 2nd, 2019 at 11:54am
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The Opposition wrote on Jan 1st, 2019 at 1:47pm:
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?


Good point.  It's a close call, so I apply Sack's razor and say that we should choose the option that requires the least government. 

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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.


You can't trust anyone unless there is some way to ensure that not only will they never screw you over, but they will never sell or will their company to someone who would ever screw you over.  Get paid as you go is the solution.  Don't work for promises.   

As to contracts such as debt, I think that a person should be able to simply announce that they will not pay and be left alone.  The creditor should be free to report that person to credit bureaus that will publicize the refusal to pay.  That should be incentive enough.  How many times have you heard someone stress out about their credit score or deliberately go into debt so they have a record of paying their debts?

I don't want a single penny of my hard earned money stolen and used for the purposes of helping VISA attach people's checks to pay off credit card debt that VISA used clever ads to encourage foolish people to incur.
  

Snarky no more!
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Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #11 - Jan 2nd, 2019 at 2:11pm
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BobK71 wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 11:49am:
These promises are typically backed by big corporations and governments.
The promises we're talking about are contracted private pensions that are funded from worker productivity. They exist in both large and small companies, and both large and small companies sometimes declare bankruptcy.

Perhaps I'm biased because I worked for a large corporation that declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the bankruptcy court gave my pension money to the company. It was not the companies money, nor was it the bankruptcy courts money to give away. Bankruptcy courts have somehow been given the authority to cancel or alter contracts... It's not very libertarian.
  
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BobK71
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #12 - Jan 2nd, 2019 at 4:50pm
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Jeff wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 2:11pm:
The promises we're talking about are contracted private pensions that are funded from worker productivity. They exist in both large and small companies, and both large and small companies sometimes declare bankruptcy.

Perhaps I'm biased because I worked for a large corporation that declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the bankruptcy court gave my pension money to the company. It was not the companies money, nor was it the bankruptcy courts money to give away. Bankruptcy courts have somehow been given the authority to cancel or alter contracts... It's not very libertarian.


Didn't Congress quietly passed something that allows pension promises to be changed, when the money is short, not long ago?

I totally agree it's terrible that promises are broken.  We live in a fundamentally promise-breaking system, and the biggest victims will be those who trust in the promises.  With pension promises though, the robbery would be too obvious and too big a loss of reputation for the imperial center, so I imagine the elites will tend to dampen the pain to the promised, as much as possible.

I have the impression that pension liabilities, by amount of money, fall mostly on big companies and governments, but I might be wrong.
  
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #13 - Jan 2nd, 2019 at 5:02pm
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BobK71 wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 4:50pm:
Didn't Congress quietly passed something that allows pension promises to be changed, when the money is short, not long ago?

To benefit their cronies? Probably.
  
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Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #14 - Jan 2nd, 2019 at 5:06pm
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BobK71 wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 4:50pm:
I totally agree it's terrible that promises are broken.  We live in a fundamentally promise-breaking system...
It's primarily our governments that are breaking promises and the law, but we don't live "in" the government.

You are correct that the less free our economy becomes, the more it becomes a system of lies and broken promises.

This "fundamentally promise breaking system" you mention is not what our Constitution designed, it's a creature of "progressive" philosophy and policy.
  
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The Opposition
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #15 - Jan 2nd, 2019 at 10:06pm
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BobK71 wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 11:49am:
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.


Just don't call it taking or theft and you're right on the money.

The main thing about the gambling is that you're not only forced to do it - whatever most people pick will end up being the wrong gamble since they control what happens.

Let me give you a microcosmic analogy of this system: Preordering games. The game company will often provide really great in-game goodies, exclusively for preorders (you pay before the game is out, often before it is even made).

If everyone wants the extra bells and whistles, they all preorder. Well, then the company sometimes doesn't have to make the game. Yes, this happens, leaving preorders up shit's creek.

If most people do the safe thing and don't pay for what they aren't getting until later, preorders win. They get the game, plus extra functionality and goodies that you didn't get because you didn't preorder.

Because the company controls whether they make the game or not, whatever most people chose - whatever you probably chose - will be the wrong choice.

Little Big Man wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 11:54am:
As to contracts such as debt, I think that a person should be able to simply announce that they will not pay and be left alone.  The creditor should be free to report that person to credit bureaus that will publicize the refusal to pay.  That should be incentive enough.  How many times have you heard someone stress out about their credit score or deliberately go into debt so they have a record of paying their debts?


Individuals? All the time. Corporations? Never. Incorporation is a total bypass for this sort of consequence-based trust system.

Little Big Man wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 11:54am:
Good point.  It's a close call, so I apply Sack's razor and say that we should choose the option that requires the least government.


First of all I don't think Sack's Razor applies, since applying force to a contract-breaker is aggression.

But since you mentioned it, I think Sack's Razor points the other way.

Simply though the well-substantiated threat of enforcement, the government would rarely have to enforce, all the while expanding the range of transactions people can safely make simply because they can trust each other.

The alternative would take government out of initial screw-overs, but when people are life-ruined by them and take action, the government is actually going to have more to do. When government was out of it, people did duel to the death over such issues.

Jeff wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 7:19am:
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.


Yes, I support all libertarian ideas. Talk to the Mises institute. Make your case to them that their article is wrong. I'd like to see you try, with the same insults you use to win against me. No, you'd actually have to make a case, and you can't do that.
  

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 #16 - Jan 3rd, 2019 at 8:25am
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The Opposition wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 10:06pm:
First of all I don't think Sack's Razor applies, since applying force to a contract-breaker is aggression.

But since you mentioned it, I think Sack's Razor points the other way.

Simply though the well-substantiated threat of enforcement, the government would rarely have to enforce, all the while expanding the range of transactions people can safely make simply because they can trust each other.

Breaking a contract is aggression, and you are correct, the threat of enforcing contracts sometimes makes people think twice before breaking contracts.
  
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #17 - Jan 3rd, 2019 at 8:30am
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The Opposition wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 10:06pm:
Talk to the Mises institute. Make your case to them that their article is wrong. I'd like to see you try, with the same insults you use to win against me. No, you'd actually have to make a case, and you can't do that.
No case can be made that breaking a contract is theft or fraud? What do you call it then?

Suppose I agree to work for you and you agree to pay me $X/hour. My first week I work 50 hours, but instead of paying me $50X, you tell me that you've changed your mind and aren't going to pay me...

You say that's just you exercising your right to change your mind? I say it's you stealing 50 hours of my labor. Theft is aggression.
  
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #18 - Jan 3rd, 2019 at 1:56pm
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Jeff wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 5:06pm:
This "fundamentally promise breaking system" you mention is not what our Constitution designed, it's a creature of "progressive" philosophy and policy.


I believe the American Revolution was a truly glorious and freedom-loving rebellion against the imperial system.  (The final 'proof' for me was learning that the residents and buildings on St. Giustina in the Caribbean suffered a merciless bombing by the Royal Navy for the crime of allowing *by mistake* a ship in port to fly the stars and stripes.)

That said, the manipulation of money and debt by the financial and political elites in the US turned out no different from under the British system.  The main difference was that the Americans avoided a national central bank for seven decades.  Though this had long-term practical benefits, it didn't make the US essentially different from that which it rebelled against.

Ultimately, if people don't (didn't) understand money, they are lost to the elites.

Even if the US had followed its Constitution to the letter and, say, recognized only physical gold and silver as money, this would only have shifted the agent of financial inflation from money to, probably, public debt.  Federal debt will always have credibility at the beginning of issuance, due to the power of its issuer.  The same basic dynamics (and official justifications!) would have taken place.  Same game, just a different guise.

There is no substitute for true awareness.
  
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BobK71
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #19 - Jan 3rd, 2019 at 2:14pm
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The Opposition wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 10:06pm:
Just don't call it taking or theft and you're right on the money.

As I mentioned, we'll have to differ on this philosophical point.  If we ever want to debate this point, I would suggest we start by agreeing on a definition of 'theft' first.

The Opposition wrote on Jan 2nd, 2019 at 10:06pm:
The main thing about the gambling is that you're not only forced to do it - whatever most people pick will end up being the wrong gamble since they control what happens.

Let me give you a microcosmic analogy of this system: Preordering games. The game company will often provide really great in-game goodies, exclusively for preorders (you pay before the game is out, often before it is even made).

If everyone wants the extra bells and whistles, they all preorder. Well, then the company sometimes doesn't have to make the game. Yes, this happens, leaving preorders up shit's creek.

If most people do the safe thing and don't pay for what they aren't getting until later, preorders win. They get the game, plus extra functionality and goodies that you didn't get because you didn't preorder.

Because the company controls whether they make the game or not, whatever most people chose - whatever you probably chose - will be the wrong choice.


Thanks for the example.  It's absolutely true.

Almost by nature, elite-sponsored bubbles will burst just when the most people finally pile into them, for multiple reasons.  If no one else, the instigators themselves will bring about the bust, since they have several good reasons to do so.

If, for some reason, a large group of smart people decide to get out before the elites pull the plug, they just lost out on the next leg up, because the elites will want to continue for a while now (for systemic and profit reasons.)  Many of them will eventually crawl back in.

So, almost by definition, most people will lose.
  
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