Prepare for Global Pension War?

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Via Pension Pulse.

Mary Williams Walsh of the NYT reports, In Budget Crisis, States Take Aim at Pension Costs:

Many states are acknowledging this year that they have promised pensions they cannot afford and are cutting once-sacrosanct benefits, to appease taxpayers and attack budget deficits.

 

Illinois raised its retirement age to 67, the highest of any state, and capped the salary on which public pensions are figured at $106,800 a year, indexed for inflation. Arizona, New York, Missouri and Mississippi will make people work more years to earn pensions. Virginia is requiring employees to pay into the state pension fund for the first time. New Jersey will not give anyone pension credit unless they work at least 32 hours a week.

“We can’t afford to deny reality or delay action any longer,” said Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois, adding that his state’s pension cuts, enacted in March, will save some $300 million in the first year alone.

 

But there is a catch: Nearly all of the cuts so far apply only to workers not yet hired. Though heralded as breakthrough reforms by state officials, the cuts phase in so slowly they are unlikely to save the weakest funds and keep them from running out of money. Some new rules may even hasten the demise of the funds they were meant to protect.

 

Lawmakers wanted to avoid legal battles or fights with unions, whose members can be influential voters. So they are allowing most public workers across the country to keep building up their pensions at the same rate as ever. The tens of thousands of workers now on Illinois’s payrolls, for instance, will still get to retire at 60 — and some will as young as 55.


One striking exception is Colorado, which has imposed cuts on its current workers, not just future hires, and even on people who have already retired. The retirees have sued to block the reduction.

 

Other states with shrinking funds and deep fiscal distress may be pushed in this direction and tempted to follow Colorado’s example in the coming years. Though most state officials believe they are legally bound to shield current workers from pension cuts, a Colorado victory could embolden them to be more aggressive.

 

Colorado pruned a 3.5 percent annual pension increase to 2 percent, concluding that was the fastest way to revive its pension fund, which was projected to run out of money by 2029. The cut may sound small, but it produces big results because it goes into effect immediately. State plans vary widely, but many have other costly features, like subsidized early-retirement benefits, which could likewise be trimmed for existing workers.

 

Despite its pension reform, Illinois is still in deep trouble. That vaunted $300 million in immediate savings? The state produced it by giving itself credit now for the much smaller checks it will send retirees many years in the future — people who must first be hired and then, for full benefits, work until age 67.

 

By recognizing those far-off savings right away, Illinois is letting itself put less money into its pension fund now, starting with $300 million this year.

 

That saves the state money, but it also weakens the pension fund, actually a family of funds, raising the risk of a collapse long before the real savings start to materialize.

 

“We’re within a few years of having some of the pension funds run out of money,” said R. Eden Martin, president of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a business group that has been warning of a “financial implosion” for several years. “Funding for the schools is going to be cut radically. Funding for Medicaid. As these things all mount up, there’s going to be a lot of outrage.”

 

Joshua D. Rauh, an associate professor of finance at Northwestern University who studies public pension funds, predicts that at the current rate, Illinois’s pension system could run out of money by 2018. He believes the funds of other troubled states — including New Jersey, Indiana and Connecticut — are also on track to run out of money in less than a decade, unless they make meaningful changes.

 

If a state pension fund ran out of money, the state would be legally bound to make good on retirees’ benefits. But paying public pensions straight out of general revenue would be ruinous. In Illinois’s case, it would consume about half the state’s cash every year, bringing other vital state services to a standstill.

 

Mr. Rauh said he thinks any state caught in that trap would have little choice but to seek a federal bailout. Bigger pension contributions and higher taxes can go only so far.

 

Many state officials, hoping for a huge recovery in the markets, say that such projections are too pessimistic, and that cutting benefits for future workers must suffice, given laws and provisions in state constitutions that make membership in a state pension fund a contractual relationship that cannot be breached.


Lawyers, though, are raising the possibility that those laws are being misinterpreted.

 

“It makes no sense to suggest that an employee who works for the state for a single day has acquired a right to have future pension benefits calculated for the next 20 to 40 years under whatever method was in effect on that single first day of service,” states a legal memorandum prepared for the Commercial Club of Chicago, which is concerned that a public pension collapse would badly damage the city’s business climate.

 

The club’s members include senior executives of big companies, like Boeing, Aon, Kraft, Motorola and I.B.M., that have frozen pensions or slowed the rates at which their workers build up benefits.

 

Some of those cuts set off titanic battles. The most famous was at I.B.M., which changed its pension plan just when many of its older workers were about to earn sharply higher retirement benefits. Aggrieved workers sued, but after a long battle, a federal appellate court found that the cuts were legal.

 

“An employer is free to move from one legal plan to another legal plan, provided that it does not diminish vested interests,” or the benefits workers have already earned, wrote Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. He did not distinguish between corporate employers and states.

 

Colorado is basing its legal defense, in part, on a 1961 state supreme court ruling that said pension cuts for current workers were allowed if “actuarially necessary,” and will argue that it applies to retirees as well. Other states may not have such legal tools.

 

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone a different route, bargaining with the 12 unions that represent public employees. Last week four of them agreed to let the state cut its own contributions by requiring current workers to pay sharply more for the same pensions. The workers will contribute 10 percent of their pay, in some cases double the previous rate, to the state pension fund. Some other states are raising employee contributions as well, though less sharply.

 

In New Jersey, the administration of Gov. Christopher J. Christie recently imposed pension cuts on future hires, but has been quietly looking into whether it could also reduce the benefits that current employees expect to accumulate in the coming years.

 

“Can they change the benefit formula going forward? Sure. It’s not etched in stone,” said Edward Thomson III, an actuary and trustee of the New Jersey pension system who was asked to offer an opinion on whether New Jersey could adopt the federal pension law — the one that covers companies — as its governing statute.

 

A state assemblyman, Declan J. O’Scanlon Jr., recently introduced a bill to ratchet back a 9 percent pension increase that the state gave most workers in 2001.

 

“I think this will pass constitutional muster,” Mr. O’Scanlon said. “Otherwise, I fear the whole system will fall apart. Nine years — we’re out of money.”

Politics & pensions are never a good mix. And if you think this is just a US problem, think again. In Ireland, Fiona Reddan of the Irish Times reports that three-quarters of defined-benefit pension schemes in red. In England where Chancellor George Osborne just announced draconian 25% budget cuts, Tim Shipman of the Mail reports, Prepare for war of strikes over pay freeze and pensions say the public sector brothers.

I've been warning all of you to prepare for global pension war. It will hit private and public sector pensions, ruining retirement dreams, forcing workers to work longer than they planned for, solidifying deep antipathies that common workers have with the financial oligarchs who got away with billions in bonuses and bailouts. Politicians at the G20 be warned: hell hath no fury like a pensioner scorned.

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cluelessminion's picture

Pretty much all of the people I work with do not seem to be aware of the public pension "perfect storm" that seems to be close to happening.  People are retiring here as soon as they are able so they can "lock in" benefits.  There isn't any belief that they might be affected by a downturn in the stock market or lower tax reciepts due the depressed economy.  Many of them seem confident that they'll get the full promised payout because "it's the law".  I was told on more than one occasion to shut up because I was being "negative" when I pointed out some of the things that I've been reading lately about pensions. 

 

It is so obvious that the handwriting is on the wall as far as public employee pensions are concerned:  there simply isn't enough money to fund this level of benefits.  The only question is how will TPTB address the situation.  Will they penalize the new hires only or will all of the current workers be subject to changes in the pension rules?  Will they dare to modify current retires benefits or just punish those currently employed?  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  One thing for certain though, public employees are not going to be very happy these next few years.

 

eta: I work for a State Agency.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

"Mr. Rauh said he thinks any state caught in that trap would have little choice but to seek a federal bailout."

This is the baked-in reality.  The rest is just obfuscation.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

I had lunch with two market veterans and we were talking about pensions. "Simple math", one of them said. "All these DB plans were created post WWII, when people retired at 50 and died at 65-70. Nowadays, people are living longer and they expect pensions until they die. You can't work 30 years, paying 6% contribution rate, and expect a pension fund to make great investment gains so you can retire with 60%-80% of your final salary."

The other guy was even more blunt: "it's all a Ponzi scheme so that pension fund managers, hedge fund managers, private equity fund managers, and all other managers skim off the top. It works until the money runs out."

Hope this doesn't depress you! Cheers.

Chupacabra's picture

When the parasites finally kill the host, they are finally going to realize they are parasites.

three chord sloth's picture

What is needed is a system that ties government wages & benefits to the private sector wages & benefits, with a hard ceiling barring the average gov't. civilian employee compensation from exceeding that of the average private sector employee. (Note: simple average -- no adjustments for "education levels" or "comparable positions"... too easy to artificially game those)

Bonus: Perhaps then the government would begin to address the "McJobbing" of the American worker. Suddenly, the damage caused by excessive immigration and warped free trade regimes would jump to the forefront as legislator's good buddies in our nation's capitals see their wages fall.

Too many policies of our government do not directly effect the lives of government workers -- a flaw that produces indifference to the suffering poor policy decisions cause out here in the real world.

Gimp's picture

Lester Thurow predicted this problem in his book "The Future of Capitalism", written in 1996.

The politicians need the AARP members votes but cannot afford to keep paying out pensions, medicare and social security... A real Catch-22.

He also noted that people who retire and collect social security have taken all of their contributions by the end of year three of receiving benefits and are basically welfare recipients from the beginning of year four on. (Don't tell them that they like to think only poor people collect welfare.)

Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

You can also read Craig Karpel's "The Retirement Myth" to further illustrate the level of deep doo doo we have treaded into.

Sudden Debt's picture

CLASH OF THE RETIREES!

comming to a theather near you soon! 

shoemouse's picture

The fuse on the pension time bomb was lit when the government changed the method by which contributions were made by employers.  The denominator on the present value equation used to calculate the employer contribution was switched to the corporate bond rate from the treasury rate.  That had the effect of lowering employer contributions thereby raising profits for the private sector and available funds for spending by the public sector. 

I believe this was done during Bush II.  "Kick the can down the road" is a very old game.

Miles Kendig's picture

Exactly right out of the world of actuaries.  Now firms are getting the squeeze to help bail out the PBGC.  Faith based governance at its worst.  Especially since the IRS did not release its final ruling on the matter of the long term requirements regarding the use of carried forward interest rate assumptions until less than 20 days remained before the filing deadline of a firms funding of its pension obligations and the rate of premium payable to the PBGC.  Insane!

http://www.americanbenefitscouncil.org/documents/pbgc_congress-letter052...

http://www.pbgc.gov/docs/2009_comprehensive_booklet.pdf

Using the Alternative Rule, a sponsor could use the October 2008 corporate yield rates (8-8.25%) rather than the December 2008 Standard PBGC rates (if memory serves 6.5% +/-).  Rates were considerably higher for the month of October 2008 due to the fiscal crisis. 

The discount rate is used to measure the plan liabilities and a variable rate premium is assessed at $9 per $1000 underfunding.  For example, a plan with $100 Million liability and $90 Million in assets based on the Alternative October rates might have liabilities 20-30% higher and pay $180,000 to $270,000 more in premiums using the standard PBGC rates.  Actual percentage increases in liabilities will vary based on duration of expected benefit payments.

Note the flat rate applies across the board regardless of the sponsors financial position.  That is, it is applied without underwriting.

exportbank's picture

The pension problem isn't some mystery - it's easy math vs human nature. A public sector employee that retires after 25-years will receive nearly as much in pension as they did in wages. So, there needs to be truth-in-actuarial-accounting. Public sector wages should be accounted, shown and funded annually at 100% wage plus 70% pension cost (some will die before 25-years of retirement). The 70% then needs to go into an inflation protected bond because Wall Street would just steal it from the current crop of Pension Plan management suckers. Human nature will never allow governments to allow the citizenry to see the cushy retirement they've planned for themselves and the minions so the private sector will suffer to support this class of retirement royalty. 

Leo - keep the pension file alive on ZH - this and health care costs is what will sink the ship.

centerline's picture

either directly and indirectly, these are the live torpedoes in the water for sure.

Miles Kendig's picture

The pension problem isn't some mystery - it's easy math vs human nature. A public sector employee that retires after 25-years will receive nearly as much in pension as they did in wages

Bull shit.

mnevins2's picture

"The pension problem isn't some mystery - it's easy math vs human nature. A public sector employee that retires after 25-years will receive nearly as much in pension as they did in wages

Bull shit."

The "Bull shit" line is correct - they'll actually receive more in pension income than regular income. Why? The pension is based upon either last year of income or last couple of years - which is the highest level of their "career." What they earned in the beginning of their "career" was relatively small.

Factor in the possibility of "pension spiking," COLA's and that they'll likely retired at 50 - and thus earn a pension for longer than they worked............

Lastly, don't forget that many municipal pension beneficiaries paid very little (or nothing) toward this - which often times also includes free health insurance, too!?!

So, right "Bull shit" regarding the math.

Miles Kendig's picture

The only federal civil servant that can retire at 50 is someone that has been a gun toting federal law enforcement officer for 30 continuous years.  Impossible since you have to be at least 21 to even think about meeting the minimum requirements.  I suggest you go back to school at a real school and stop sloping the Banana flavored Gerber by the spoonful or hitting the crack pipe as the case may be. Learn before you insert your foot firmly in your mouth. Remember, all federal civil servants have been under the "FERS" system for more than 20 years now, which is a standard 401K type arrangement just like the private sector.... Clueless regurgitator.

http://search.opm.gov/search?sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&ie...

WaterWings's picture

Gov't: "Come work for us! You don't have to know math!"

Mr. Regression's picture

I'm retired from the private sector and took a little part time public sector job just to keep busy.  It's my experience that most of the public sector workers feel a sense of entitlement.  The attitude is "I'll never give up my pension or health care (some still pay nothing but a $50.00 annual deductable for unlimited benefits)."  Well, maybe yes but maybe no.  

Here's an example:

 

Today and tommorrow I have to work for 5 hours, BUT because of the way my job is structured I have actually only about 45 minutes of actual work to do. I asked if I could just go in for the 45 minutes (and forgo the pay for  the remaining 4 1/4 hours) and was told that under the rules NO, I have to stay for the full 5 hours.  So I'll end up reading the paper and drinking coffee.  This is the way it works still in the public sector here in NY.  Absolute nonsense.  There are people who want to change these work rule structures but they are stymied every step of the way by public employee unions and older workers who don't seem or want to understand that the world has chenged.  There are lots of people like me who would be happy with some changes for the sake of efficiency but they are always shouted down.

Kreditanstalt's picture

My pension?  It's what my dad left me + what I've managed to save & invest from my meager employment earnings + a frugal lifestyle + being debt-free.

NO ONE should be paid out more than the sum total of any pension fund's investment returns minus losses, plus their own contributions.

And...Why the hell should EMPLOYERS be forced to contribute to the pensions of the hired help anyway????

GoldBricker's picture

Let's face it, folks. Liberal democracy was not conceived for a voting population of which a large percentage receives a government check. The votes of such people will always be a block vote, for sale to the highest political bidder.

This short-circuits the democratic process, whose ideal entails an informed citizenry weighing the issues of the day in casting their votes.

In our particular case, this aspect of the financial crisis will likely not be resolvable through democratic means. Even if enough voters get on board to out-vote the civil servants and pensioners, there are still the courts.

This raises the likelihood of hitting some sort of wall, a disorderly resolution.

StychoKiller's picture

"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically
acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in
his path and gave him triumphal processions. ... Blame the people who hail
him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new, wonderful good society' which
shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease, more security,
more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.'" -
Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald
the end of the republic. — Benjamin Franklin

Been here, done that, bought the t-shirt!

Miles Kendig's picture

As the concepts of false philanthropy and lawful plunder discussed by Frederic Bastiat in his work, The Law reach a crescendo of those who cry; "Don't take a slice of my pie".

http://www.constitution.org/law/bastiat.htm

BumpSkool's picture

Government employees produce nothing

Wall Street produces nothing

Old people produce nothing (and they seem to live forever!)

 

Let's just have a big old clear out of people who produce nothing...

 

I've got it!

Let's Gas 'Em!

 

 

hbjork1's picture

What do you produce, BumpSkool? I have found that extreme declarations with no factual or supporting content usually indicate feelings of failure or impotence. The best route out is to figure out how to utalize the recources that you have. You no doubt do some things as good as or better than anyone else you know. Figure out how to capitalize on those. More education is always good; the tougher the better. Grow your mental muscles. Life is full of possabilities.

Miles Kendig's picture

The rallying cry of the young. 

CPL's picture

Why bother even pretending like we care if the public sector goes on strike.  Last time I watched the Canadian federal civil servants go on strike for 6 weeks the interesting thing is nobody noticed or cared.

All that has to happen is nobody gets paid for a while and you'll see people march back into work a little pissed and a lot more in debt.  Come visit Ottawa sometime and I'll introduce you to the civil service.  My favorite thing is not one of the buggers is out of debt from the last time they went on strike.  I know one couple that managed to piss away around 20k in the six weeks and only pay interest on it with a combined salary in their household of around 165k a year (not unheard of in Ottawa).  On top of that other debts total around 240k not including household debt which is total because they pissed away their home equity on a "line of credit' which is really a second mortgage.

Seriously Leo, nobody cares if some public service twit doesn't do their job because it just wasn't being done in the first place.  Let them strike, dance, burn down their own village.  What are they going to protest about?  Overpaid and underworked?

 

Lucky Guesst's picture

I need them to strike. The government is ruining my business so I might need a job.

I'm a self starter, I work long hours with NO overtime, I haven't called in sick since '06 and I am used to paying a lot for my health insurance.

I think I'd pretty much rock as an employee/scab !

CPL's picture

Lucky,

 

I'm not sure where you are located in the world but you won't find us under guilds.  Look up consulant's associations or Consultancy SIG (special interest group).  Basically there are ways to network and find a wolf pack of contractors to work with.  Everyone is independent, but everyone is smart enough to know that traveling in groups is a good thing.

 

Plus if you're handy budgeting, it's easy to move around and refocus on upcoming trends (and daytrade for myself) or try out new business ventures.  Personally I like the flexibility of it.  Beats the 30 year career anyday of the week.  Then again it depends on what you're doing.  I get hired to nerd it up, other folks I know like organizing stuff so they do project management (deliver something to someone).  Million and one supply arrangements can be made private and public sector...

Lucky Guesst's picture

I was kinda being faceshist about the government work, I hope I never have to work for someone else again.

We have an appliance repair business. My husband does service and I run the office. We used to have contractors that worked for us but we do mostly home warranty and rental properties so we are directly connected to the housing market. My experience is limited to small business, I helped manage a computer sales and service company for my parents before starting this bus with my husband. I don't know that it qualifies me as a consultant, but I guess I need to be prepared for anything.

CPL's picture

Well as a consultant I charge $450-600 a day as an engineer and I'm still cheaper by around 30-45% than a government employee with benefits.  The trick is to getting your resume around 20 pages, lots of certifiations (doesn't matter which ones) and of course finishing projects on time and budget.  Best way to do that is to avoid having the full time govie workers on the same project as yourself otherwise you spend 80% of your time in a board room with hand puppets explaining basic concepts they should have walked into a meeting with.  Seriously, that's how lazy these people are, they can't be bothered to read.

 

It's not rocket science but it can be frustraiting doing government contracts.  I do know for sure the Canadian government is winding up for their own austerity measures.  Recently a LARGE pullback on government spending (especially Defense).  In Ottawa if you contract for the large shops like CGI, IBM, HP, Lockhead Martin, Microsoft, Bombardier your name is pretty much mud.  Even pricing yourself in the 450-600 range you can manage to undercut the largest body shops by 200-300% because they are still locked into dot.com pricing.

 

I hope this helps you in your consideration of becoming a contractor.  It starts slow when getting your name out to the "pimps" (HR Agencies).  But the work is easy, you can buy health plans at nickles on the dollar because as contractors we have guilds now and we are pretty vicious in dealing with insurance companies.  And we have alot of discounts arranged for training/certification programs because we have the ability to cockblock products if we don't know what we're pushing on to clients.

 

Personally I've had fun with it for 20 years.  Just make sure not to give the pimps too hard of a time, their margins are slimmer than you would think.

WaterWings's picture

The USSR put their engineers into concentration camps. Free labor. A bullet in the nape for late projects over which they had essentially no control anyway. It was the Ruskies that invented concentration camps. "Wreckers" is what they called the science engineers. The social engineers were convinced that the former were sabotaging the ?evolution.

Sudden Debt's picture

Do like me, become a consultant!

I also sold my business 2 years ago and started consultancy. I charge 135€ + expenses a hour and I work mostly from home. I have 3 companies for who I work, and I all charge them 7 hours a day.

 

BumpSkool's picture

...you know Lucky you bring up a good point there. When these people strike there will be ZERO sympathy for them... I reckon things could "unwind" pretty quickly and descend into violent chaos...

Escapeclaws's picture

If TPTB can get us throwing stones at each other, eg, private employees vs public employees, young vs old, they can continue to walk off with their trillions while we kill each other over peanuts. Got to give them credit, they really understand how distractible we are. I say lets claw back those billion dollar bonuses that came directly from the taxpayers and lets make a law that says that no families or households may have more than $10 million in assets. We can also begin to unwind the military by withdrawing from Iraq and Afganistan and closing our foreign bases.

We can claw back the war profits of private corporations such as Halliburton as well. The money is there, folks, but we are so hidebound in our thinking that we would rather starve to death for the rich.

Right now we have socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Socialism for the poor, capitalism for the rich should be our goal.

 

bmfe's picture

I concur Escapeclaws, this debate is framed in such a way that it too easily pits pensioner vs non-pensioner.  A grand distraction to divide the masses while the true perpetrators escape unscathed and a corrupt system remains unchanged.

 

Second point, back to those pension plans:   WTF did you think would happen people?  The whole system is predicated on the assumption that stocks return 7% yoy, in perpetuity.  Really? Didn’t anyone ever question this small but salient assumption?

BobWatNorCal's picture

All the public sector employees are saying that, this year.

Miles Kendig's picture

As are the oligarchs and those like yourself who choose to serve them on bended knee.

yakmerchant's picture

Really?  Is that you Friedrich?  Claw back profits?  From who? the shareholders?  The employees that pay the f...ing taxes?   You realize you are are advocating giving the TBTB even more power by proposing your communist utopia? 

 

realitybiter's picture

This will be easily resolved by the massive currency devaluation.  After devaluation, they will get their pension in Dollar In Exchange...aka DIX.  The dix will seem like a lot but won't buy them much due to the new revaluation. The real thieves will have bigger dix, but in the end, even those dix will be the same as those with little dix. The younger folks will be getting compensated for their work in current dollars so it won't matter.  They had zero saved anyway...  The retirees, will need more newer dollars because their DIX won't be enough, hence, they will gladly sell their homes, to get any dix. Heck, they might be willing to do anything for more dix. All debt gets paid, those with pensions that seemed to good to be true will be....and life will go on.  Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of selfish, willing to "sellout the children" group of folks. In the end, they'll get their dix. And it will probably hurt ;) f

exportbank's picture

So what happens to the people that were responsible, didn't buy some mortgaged to the hilt 3500 sq ft palace, saved for their retirement and have enough unencumbered assets to make it in the future. Your proposal throws them under the bus as well.

realitybiter's picture

Sorry for the delay, but life got in the way...you need to buy some insurance for this event.  Gold will be your bridge so you don't get dix'd.  In the new currency, your old gold will reflect the new devaluation.   Never thought you'd be a millionaire!  wrong.  If they come up with some new fangled way to tax the bejeezus on you, well guess what, you will be okay.  You can't tax what doesn't exist.  

Furthermore, it is not as if I am proposing something new.  This is what they are already doing and have done for a hundred years.  Just not in a step function.

BumpSkool's picture

"So what happens to the people that were responsible, didn't buy some mortgaged to the hilt 3500 sq ft palace, saved for their retirement and have enough unencumbered assets to make it in the future."

What happens? You get fucked, that's what happens.

You get... ummm... Dix!

Just remember - nowhere in the constitution does it say that you get to be treated fairly...maybe "equally" but not fairly... but you can have a gun (...feel better now?)


Miles Kendig's picture

What happens? You get fucked, that's what happens.

Nope.  What happens when you fuck those with the guns and fire engines is everyone gets fucked.  I suggest you change the "you" to a "we".

BumpSkool's picture

Realitybiter? That was genius... pure genius...

epobirs's picture

I expect to see a wave of 'involuntary euthanasia' incidents sweeping through Europe and other regions. A few years ago, France offed a bunch of nursing home residents, around 15,000, by leaving them to fend for themselves in a heat wave while nearly the whole country went South for vacation. I'm sure some bureaucrat in the French government has added up the numbers for the money saved from all of those elderly dependent kicking off all at once and has written a report in favor of repeating the incident many times over.

Escapeclaws's picture

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Germans try something like that about 70 years ago?

Miles Kendig's picture

Just as government care does now with respect to disabled war veterans.

Bolweevil's picture

That's some funny shit Leo.

DR's picture

The next decade will be the decade of municipal defaults. The US government will bail the states out but will require pension fund/obligations be rolled over into the SS trust fund along with the SS eligibility requirements.

 

The municipal workers may strike but there will be little sympathy from the public. think back to Regan and the Air Traffic Controllers....

 

 

 

pitz's picture

Screw the young people, to pay unsustainable amounts of unearned cash to the old.  This has never worked out very well.  And to top it all off, the union scales won't allow the young to be paid more to compensate for the reduced pension benefits.