Friday, March 22, 2013

Cyprus would steal pension to save itself; would the US "steal" social security some day?

Here we go, with another attack on pensions.  The latest scuttlebutt from Cyprus is that, instead of bank account garnishment, Cyprus would confiscate money from pensions (by lumping them with other funds) as part of a plan to avoid bankruptcy.  The situation changes every hour, and there are reports that this plan has also been rejected. There are also reports that pensions to British expatriots are frozen.
But that doesn’t sound so different from calls in the US that the better off should give up any claims to entitlements as part of a budget deal, either for sequester or the next time the debt ceiling idea comes back. (Oh, but the Trust Fund mechanism buffers us from all of that.) 
Here goes the thinking in the new demographic reality:   The elderly have already lived.  It’s young people’s turn.  Or, put it this way, families should take car of their own elderly when possible. Public institutions shouldn’t.  We could be headed back in that direction.   
In the US, there were other stories about coal miner retiree health insurance stopping as part of a corporate bailout, basically leaving miners with black lung or job illnesses to die.   

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