27.3.09

on 401k

The 401Ks are the most painful manifestation of the Bush strategy as directed by wealthy interests in this nation to redistribute wealth back to turn-of-the-twentieth century standards of a bifurcated United States: the Rich and the Rest of Us.

Remember the first initiative of the Bush II regime: “Reform Social Security” - by privatizing it and essentially converting it to Wall Street managed 401 Ks. It failed. But, the chaos that ensued in the days that followed the attack on the World Trade Center allowed the Milton Friedman acolytes who bridged the Treasury (Greenspan) and the White House (Cheney’s cadre) to run the money out the back door by waging a $1Trillion enterprise in Iraq funded with artificially low interest. Sooner or later, the pressure would find its release in a second shock: decreased valuation by 42%. That is what Americans are suffering now in their equity holdings, mostly suffered in 401 Ks.

But, even those who attempted to manage their funds through bank and investment fund pools that advertised safe hedges, such a “Municipal Bond Funds” that were billed as “safer than owning individual bonds with the same tax advantages,” have seen their funds tank while those funds let money out via holding and trading ‘fees’ and pooled - largely unaudited claimed holdings that seem to have been stuck with a disproportionate share of bonds where municipalities are hardest hit by invisible shrinkage and non-enforced compliance reporting.

Meanwhile - the average Joe is being given the privilege of going into a talk-show driven rage over the AIG executive compensation bonuses totaling $65million. That’s a cheap scam considering the Republicans and their fellow tax cheats The Rich have skimmed at least $13 Trillion out of the rest of us.

The Republicans are depending on your continued stupidity in harping on about the ‘deficits for your grand children’ represented by the current propose budget. Those deficits will be their along with wars and misery if you don’t act. Look at the “War with China” story plants coming out of the Pentagon already.

It is time to realize that Murdock is the evil twin of Hearst and represents everything that Hearst was accused of and more. It is the unremitting propaganda that is delivered via Fox News as ‘free’ or ‘basic’ cable news throughout the trailer camp economy of middle America that is driving the ’story of the day’ of Rove politics and which robbed your 401K and then gave you “Joe the Plumber.” If you want to think about what to do about it - shove this budget and a rich tax down the throat of a fat, white, middle aged, millionaire, Republican today who insists that he has your ‘best interests and that of your little unborn granddaughter or son closest to his heart.”
— jwp-nyc





If I could have taken my 401k money when I stopped working and invested it in bigger first home, or a beach house, I’d have doubled my investment. But the laws require that it be “protected” by some custodian like Merrill Lynch or Lehmann Bros or Bernie Madoff or CitiGroup or….

Just as Jack said above, the managers profit, and we pay.
— Deb




401k’s are a basically a government requirement that workers hand over retirement savings to the crooks on Wall Street. The only way most workers can get an employer to contribute to their retirement is through these vehicles. The law MUST be changed to get rid of these things.
— Rob Levine


I clearly remember the days when fixed pensions converted to 401K plans. At the time, I was making about $24,000 a year and would have been fully vested in the company fixed pension scheme in another six years. ERISA meant my pension would have been protected even if my employer disappeared before retirement. The truth is that 401K plans were never set up to benefit workers, rich or otherwise. At the time, employers like the U.S. auto industry were screaming about being uncompetitive with Japan because of the burgeoning liability of fixed pension reserves . Workers like me were handed glossy brochures and told to pick our poison. And the rest is history.

— Retiring on air

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