Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Suckers


Do you remember the lecture about 401ks?

Do you remember how people used to talk down to you about 401ks?

Do you remember the projections--up and up and up--and the promise of having hundreds of thousands of dollars right there, waiting for you, on the eve of your retirement?

It was bullshit. A mountain of bullshit that allowed firms to set up these elaborate schemes and fleece their customers. Why there are any--any--big name investment firms still in existence is beyond comprehension.
Yet whether the stock market goes up, down or sideways, the financial services sector makes out when it comes to your retirement accounts. How much do they earn? Astonishingly, we don’t know the answer. In 2008, Bloomberg magazine polled a group of pension consultants and came to the conclusion that 401(k) fees alone totaled $89.1 billion annually. Ghilarducci, who recently took a more all-encompassing look at American retirement assets, and included IRAs and pensions in her total, pegged the number at $500 billion.
Where are your savings? Gone. Where are the pensions. Gone. Who will guarantee anything anymore? No one. What will happen when the safety net is completely destroyed? People will live and then die in abject poverty, needing tremendous amounts of government assistance.

That's the thing people need to remember--when you destroy someone's retirement, you are simply passing the costs on to whoever has to foot the bill to keep people alive. You can make a lot of money right now wiping out a pension fund or a 401k portfolio but all you are doing is ensuring that these same people will need an increased amount of future government assistance.

Score one for the wingnuts.

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