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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pensions you "Paid For"? (Read 1236 times)
Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #20 - Jan 3rd, 2019 at 4:03pm
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BobK71 wrote on Jan 3rd, 2019 at 1:56pm:
I believe the American Revolution was a truly glorious and freedom-loving rebellion against the imperial system.


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.



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.
So you think the first Americans authorized their brand new government to establish a Central Bank with the monopoly power of issuing fiat money? Hardly.

Federalist No.10: Madison
           "A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it, in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district than an entire State."


Without the Fed, who would have kept loaning our government money?

In fact, its the lack of financial discipline provided by real money that permitted our government to create such a massive debt resting on our children's and grandchildren's futures.
  
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Little Big Man
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #21 - Jan 3rd, 2019 at 7:38pm
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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?


Yup!

The last-minute deal to allow retiree pension benefit cuts as part of the federal spending bill for 2015 passed by Congress last week has set off shock waves in the U.S. retirement system.

Buried in the $1.1 trillion “Cromnibus” legislation signed this week by President Barack Obama was a provision that aims to head off a looming implosion of multiemployer pension plans—traditional defined benefit plans jointly funded by groups of employers. The pension reforms affect only retirees in struggling multiemployer pension plans, but any retiree living on a defined benefit pension could rightly wonder: Am I next?

“Even people who aren’t impacted directly by this would have to ask themselves: If they’re doing that, what’s to stop them from doing it to me?” says Jeff Snyder, vice president of Cammack Retirement Group, a consulting and investment advisory firm that works with retirement plans.


http://time.com/money/3640006/pension-new-federal-rules-retirees/

I'll never understand why people say we need government to prevent fraud.
  

Snarky no more!
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The Opposition
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #22 - Jan 3rd, 2019 at 9:09pm
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Little Big Man wrote on Jan 3rd, 2019 at 7:38pm:
Yup!

The last-minute deal to allow retiree pension benefit cuts as part of the federal spending bill for 2015 passed by Congress last week has set off shock waves in the U.S. retirement system.


A great decision, since forcing people to keep their promises would be aggression.
  

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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BobK71
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #23 - Jan 9th, 2019 at 12:25pm
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Jeff wrote on Jan 3rd, 2019 at 4:03pm:
Without the Fed, who would have kept loaning our government money?


Before the Fed, everything happened at the state level.  The Federal government didn't have a debt issue (until the Civil War came along, but that's a different story...)

Whether there was an official 'state central bank', all the banality we see today at the federal level was individualized into the states.  But the same basic thing happened.

The dollar was not a currency but a unit of account.  Physical gold and silver were money and paper money were IOUs issued by banks that were payable in the metals.  State governments issued charters to allow a bank to open.  It was literally a license to print money, at least while the public was lured by the bank's interest and still had faith in it.  The bank was required by regulation to buy state government debt.  One hand washed the other.  There was no fundamental difference in the way crises, boom/bust cycles, and deception and theft were forced on the public, as compared to today, or the rest of the world.
  
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Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #24 - Jan 9th, 2019 at 2:53pm
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BobK71 wrote on Jan 9th, 2019 at 12:25pm:
Before the Fed, everything happened at the state level.  The Federal government didn't have a debt issue (until the Civil War came along, but that's a different story...)

Whether there was an official 'state central bank', all the banality we see today at the federal level was individualized into the states.  But the same basic thing happened.

The dollar was not a currency but a unit of account.  Physical gold and silver were money and paper money were IOUs issued by banks that were payable in the metals.  State governments issued charters to allow a bank to open.  It was literally a license to print money, at least while the public was lured by the bank's interest and still had faith in it.  The bank was required by regulation to buy state government debt.  One hand washed the other.  There was no fundamental difference in the way crises, boom/bust cycles, and deception and theft were forced on the public, as compared to today, or the rest of the world.
OK, fine, state banks are a bad idea at both the state and federal level, but you didn't really address my question.

My point is that not having a central bank with money creating authority limits what governments can borrow to what private lenders are willing to lend them, and private lenders (especially if not backstopped by government guarantees) tend to pay fairly close attention to who they lend to and how much they lend, at least they used to when they were lending real money...

Yes, private banks sometimes issued more banknotes than they could cover if things turned sour, and when they did, they lost their banks and whatever they had invested in them and their customers lost their deposits. That applied free market incentives to banks so that most of them were careful.
  
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BobK71
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #25 - Jan 10th, 2019 at 4:57pm
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The Opposition wrote on Jan 3rd, 2019 at 9:09pm:
A great decision, since forcing people to keep their promises would be aggression.


If governments couldn't force people to keep their legal promises, they would lose one of their major reasons for being.

There's nothing *originally* wrong with promise-keeping.  (In fact, quite the contrary.)  But the immense value of promise-keeping, like scientific progress, for example, has been co-opted by the political and financial elites into propping up what is at heart a promise-breaking machine passing itself off as a promise-keeping machine.  That's what gives promises a bad name in a certain philosophical sense.

The crime of the modern system is not outright theft by bait-and-switch.  Rather, it's selective enforcement of promises that benefits certain elites and their allies.  When the US runs into a financial crisis, it's allowed to print and borrow money to get out of its economic pain.  This is a dilution of the value of the money and debt already issued.  When Greece or Italy runs into essentially the same thing, the wrath of God is invoked to make them tighten their belts.

All the sordid stories you hear about Greece may be true; you just don't hear the American varieties much.  Here again, selectivity in the use of justice (in this case the exposure of the dirty laundry of governance) is the tool of exploitation, rather than outright injustice.

In general, this has been how the modern global financial-imperial system works.  All powers are corrupt, but we are told that some are less corrupt than others.  Whether this is true or not, we're told we have no choice but to support the less-corrupt ones.  Oh, and by the way, we Americans also benefit from this system, so who do we think is less corrupt???  The trouble is, of course, that in the long term we're all personally corrupted by this system, in one way or another.
  
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Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #26 - Jan 10th, 2019 at 5:15pm
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BobK71 wrote on Jan 10th, 2019 at 4:57pm:
There's nothing *originally* wrong with promise-keeping.  (In fact, quite the contrary.)  But the immense value of promise-keeping, like scientific progress, for example, has been co-opted by the political and financial elites into propping up what is at heart a promise-breaking machine passing itself off as a promise-keeping machine.  That's what gives promises a bad name in a certain philosophical sense.
Sorry Bob, I disagree. When governments fail to keep the promises they make, it exposes the people running the government as liars and cheats.

How does the fact that liars and cheaters exists reflect badly on promises? That's absurd...
  
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The Opposition
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #27 - Jan 10th, 2019 at 9:46pm
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BobK71 wrote on Jan 10th, 2019 at 4:57pm:
If governments couldn't force people to keep their legal promises, they would lose one of their major reasons for being.


Agreed. Especially since I believe they have no moreal reason for being. They perform lots of pretty essential functions, but that's not the same thing.

BobK71 wrote on Jan 10th, 2019 at 4:57pm:
the immense value of promise-keeping


I couldn't agree with you more that this exists. The looming enforcement greatly expands the range of things people can effectively do with agreements.

Without the threat of enforcement, people would be unable to trust the other, and making any sort of deal would become immensely difficult. Each party would always invest as much energy as possible in screwing the other.

Yes, the system with enforcement is better for almost everyone. But nothing trumps the simple fact that breaking a promise is not aggression, and punishing someone for breaking a promise is aggression.

Don't take my word for it; read for yourself.

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

BobK71 wrote on Jan 10th, 2019 at 4:57pm:
selective enforcement


See, I think selective enforcement should actually be celebrated, because it represents the effect money and power have (and in fact should have) on justice.

If Billy hits Sally, no doubt can exist that he has committed aggression. However, Sally does not have the right to the services of others - that would be slavery. Sally has no recourse but immediate self-defence. (And if Billy makes it clear that each punch is the only one for the day, she can try to block it, but she can't hit back, because there is no defence in that if Billy is being truthful.)

If Billy has hired a private security company and Sally has not, he can wait until Sally hits him first and have her arrested, and it will be justice, because she aggressed.

This is quite beautiful as it creates the demand necessary for private security companies to flourish in place of the government. If everyone was actually peaceful, there might simply not be the funds. It also ensures that those with the most money always come out on top. This is much better than those with the biggest fists coming out on top (the only other option we know of).

Having more money represents the result of voluntary transactions, even if only at first; someone who has made a greater contribution to Humanity. If we are to abide by a principle that gives them great advantage, it only amounts to the advantages they have legitimately earned.
  

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 #28 - Jan 11th, 2019 at 7:21am
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The Opposition wrote on Jan 10th, 2019 at 9:46pm:
Agreed. Especially since I believe they have no moreal reason for being. They perform lots of pretty essential functions, but that's not the same thing.


You agree that contract enforcement is an important function of government? That's great!
  
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Jeff
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Re: Pensions you "Paid For"?
Reply #29 - Jan 11th, 2019 at 7:22am
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The Opposition wrote on Jan 10th, 2019 at 9:46pm:
See, I think selective enforcement should actually be celebrated, because it represents the effect money and power have (and in fact should have) on justice.

You oppose equality under the law? Tsk tsk. How disappointing. Cry
  
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