How Public Pensions Turn Cities into Unlivable Hellholes - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15236985
Rich wrote:I favour freedom and individualism (although they can never be absolutes), but so many Americans favour collectivism and paternalism. There should be no company pension schemes, health care plans, sick or pregnancy pay. Wages should be increased to compensate and the organisation of pensions and private health care plans left to individuals. These final position fixed benefits schemes are a particular disgrace that no progressive should support. So many people seem to yearn for a modern Feudalism where the individual is in effect tied to their job for life.

Americans are an inspiration in terms of their support for gun rights and their legal protections of free speech. However in some ways I feel they can be more collectivist and conformist than we British.


Agree 100%. Fuck poor people.
#15236990
Rich wrote:I favour freedom and individualism (although they can never be absolutes), but so many Americans favour collectivism and paternalism. There should be no company pension schemes, health care plans, sick or pregnancy pay. Wages should be increased to compensate and the organisation of pensions and private health care plans left to individuals. These final position fixed benefits schemes are a particular disgrace that no progressive should support. So many people seem to yearn for a modern Feudalism where the individual is in effect tied to their job for life.

Americans are an inspiration in terms of their support for gun rights and their legal protections of free speech. However in some ways I feel they can be more collectivist and conformist than we British.

Actually, it was the Baby Boomers who expected to have a job for life. Most of them would leave school at 15 with no qualifications, having spent their time at school just dossing around, and walk straight into a well-paid job which they expected to keep for the next half a century. This was a result of the post-War Keynesian ‘consensus’, in which the economy was being deliberately run at full employment, which of course distorted the labour market. And once the Boomers retired at 65, having dossed around at work just as they had dossed around at school, they expected a generous pension too. This was certainly the case for my father and my uncle. The Western world is still dealing with the consequences of pampering that generation.
#15236997
Rancid wrote:Agree 100%. Fuck poor people.

I'm not saying the government shouldn't support these things, just not the employer. I think free health care is a good idea as well as government support for pensions up to a limited amount. The tying of health care provision to a job, significantly discourages self employment in the United States.
#15237007
Potemkin wrote:Actually, it was the Baby Boomers who expected to have a job for life.

That was a common model at the time, especially for union jobs.
Most of them would leave school at 15 with no qualifications,

The overwhelming majority -- almost 90% -- of Boomers graduated from high school. More than 1/4 hold bachelor's degrees. However, it is true that by the time the last of them graduated from high school in the early 80s, a high school education did not mean much in terms of intellectual preparation for adult responsibilities, and even university degrees were beginning to be devalued by the lowered bar to graduation.
having spent their time at school just dossing around, and walk straight into a well-paid job which they expected to keep for the next half a century.

Again, that expectation was based on union job guarantees, especially in public employment.
And once the Boomers retired at 65, having dossed around at work just as they had dossed around at school, they expected a generous pension too. This was certainly the case for my father and my uncle. The Western world is still dealing with the consequences of pampering that generation.

The interesting thing is that the Boomers, who were so idealistic and keen on social justice in their youth, have become jaded, cynical and selfish seniors eager to consign younger generations to the treadmill that powers their privilege.
#15237063
Truth To Power wrote:That was a common model at the time, especially for union jobs.

It wasn’t just because of the strength of the unions (though that was part of it) - it was the post-War Keynesian consensus that the economy had to be deliberately run at full employment - anyone who wanted a job for life could have one. Needless to say, this distorted the labour market - the price mechanism (i.e., wages) could no longer operate to maintain an equilibrium between the demand for labour power and the supply of labour power, because there was no longer a ‘reserve army’ of unemployed. This produced an inflexible labour market in which wages tended to ratchet up and never down, and of course it strengthened the hand of the unions. The politicians who instituted this had come to maturity during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the trauma this had caused still haunted them. They were determined that this would never happen again.

The overwhelming majority -- almost 90% -- of Boomers graduated from high school. More than 1/4 hold bachelor's degrees. However, it is true that by the time the last of them graduated from high school in the early 80s, a high school education did not mean much in terms of intellectual preparation for adult responsibilities, and even university degrees were beginning to be devalued by the lowered bar to graduation.

Standards had to be lowered because the Baby Boomers were lazy. They dossed around at school, and then they dossed around at work. Because they could.

Again, that expectation was based on union job guarantees, especially in public employment.

Keynesianism was the main culprit, @wat0n. This is why supply-side monetarism was imposed in the USA and the UK from the 1980s onwards. Labour discipline had to be reimposed on the working class. The unproductive laziness of the Boomers was unsustainable, and their children and grandchildren had to pay the price.

The interesting thing is that the Boomers, who were so idealistic and keen on social justice in their youth, have become jaded, cynical and selfish seniors eager to consign younger generations to the treadmill that powers their privilege.

The Boomers were only ever idealistic if it wouldn’t cost them anything. Ask them to make sacrifices, and you’d get a blank stare in reply.
#15237064
Potemkin wrote:

Standards had to be lowered because the Baby Boomers were lazy.

Keynesianism was the main culprit, @wat0n. This is why supply-side monetarism was imposed in the USA and the UK from the 1980s onwards.





The post-WW2 economic boom made it seem like the economy was a lot stronger than it actually was. There were several changes, but lets start with your assertion. Because of income inequality, the relative income of the blue collar guys and lower middle class declined.
Up to the big crash of 2008, they compensated by working more hours. At the time of the crash, the number of hours worked, by family, had increased almost 300%. That's not lazy.

We can go over what did happen, but there's a lot going on. I'd suggest reading Price of Inequality first.

Supply side is utter BS.
#15237068
late wrote:The post-WW2 economic boom made it seem like the economy was a lot stronger than it actually was. There were several changes, but lets start with your assertion. Because of income inequality, the relative income of the blue collar guys and lower middle class declined.
Up to the big crash of 2008, they compensated by working more hours. At the time of the crash, the number of hours worked, by family, had increased almost 300%. That's not lazy.

We can go over what did happen, but there's a lot going on. I'd suggest reading Price of Inequality first.

Supply side is utter BS.

The relative income of the working class and lower middle class only started declining after the Oil Shock of 1973, which is when the post-War boom ended. The monetarist policies imposed from 1980 onwards accelerated this process, and led us to where we are today. I repeat: the Boomers were lazy, because they could afford to be. Their laziness would have no serious consequences for them in an economy being run at full employment. It’s their children and grandchildren who cannot afford to be lazy, because the consequences for them personally and for their families would be severe. As I said, labour discipline was reimposed on the working class using supply-side monetarist policies.
#15237069
wat0n wrote:@Potemkin I think you meant to tag @Truth To Power.

True. My apologies.

Doesn't he have a point though? Unions were key to developing that Keynesian consensus you mentioned.

Indeed, but only because they were allowed to be. In the 1980s, Thatcher and Reagan declared war on the unions, and won.
#15237071
Potemkin wrote:Indeed, but only because they were allowed to be. In the 1980s, Thatcher and Reagan declared war on the unions, and won.


I'd say unions self-destroyed, if you ask me. Specially in the UK.

They pushed too hard and public sentiment gradually turned against them in the late 1970s as several services became, well, worse with the constant strikes and inflation became too hard to tame.
#15237074
wat0n wrote:I'd say unions self-destroyed, if you ask me. Specially in the UK.

They pushed too hard and public sentiment gradually turned against them in the late 1970s as several services became, well, worse with the constant strikes and inflation became too hard to tame.

This is very true. I can remember the ‘Winter of Discontent’ in 1979. There were regular power cuts due to strikes and industrial action, rubbish was piled up on the streets, and the union leaders seemed to have paralysed the political system. This was at a time when there was almost full employment, the unions’ bargaining power had never been stronger, and pay rises were at unprecedented levels. The general public, who bore the brunt of these strikes, simply lost patience with them, and voted for Thatcher. And they kept voting for Thatcher, throughout the 1980s. The unions in Britain did indeed commit collective suicide - the Miners’ Strike of 1984 was their final suicidal banzai charge against Thatcher’s entrenched positions. Lol.
#15237077
wat0n wrote:Indeed, and the 1984 strike ended with some guy getting killed. A total fiasco, one Thatcher had been getting ready for since her election by stocking on coal. And the irony is that her plans were made public by The Economist, it wasn't even a secret yet the unions still pushed.

Indeed. Arthur Scargill must bear some blame for this fiasco. As a military strategist, he was deplorable. One of the basic rules of warfare - don’t fight a battle which you know (or which you should know) you cannot win. The NUM in 1984 were lions led by donkeys. :roll:
#15237094
pugsville wrote:Monopolies are the Free Market. Without regulation Monopolies flourish.

No, that's just anti-economic garbage with no basis in fact. Few industries are natural monopolies. IP monopolies like drug and device patents and medical monopolies like physician licensing by physician organizations are artificially created monopolies in clear violation of free market principles.
#15237103
Truth To Power wrote:No, that's just anti-economic garbage with no basis in fact. Few industries are natural monopolies. IP monopolies like drug and device patents and medical monopolies like physician licensing by physician organizations are artificially created monopolies in clear violation of free market principles.


No it;s a fact. A Free Market will lead pretty much directly to Monopolies. Capital will seek higher profits and MOni9olplie have higher profits.

In A free Market there are so many ways for a large corporation to use it;s greater finical resources to influence the market.

There is only one Free Market principle. Profit. Capital HATES competition. It increases risk and lowers profit. Comapies persue there own intersts, they are not interests in soe abasrct "free Narket pinriples" they are seeking profit. And Monopolies/Catels, are higghly profitable,

The "Free Market" has never and wil never exists. It's a myth.


Teh Free MArket is not a stable state. Monopolies aere more so.
#15237127
pugsville wrote:No it;s a fact. A Free Market will lead pretty much directly to Monopolies. Capital will seek higher profits and MOni9olplie have higher profits.

In A free Market there are so many ways for a large corporation to use it;s greater finical resources to influence the market.

There is only one Free Market principle. Profit. Capital HATES competition. It increases risk and lowers profit. Comapies persue there own intersts, they are not interests in soe abasrct "free Narket pinriples" they are seeking profit. And Monopolies/Catels, are higghly profitable,

The "Free Market" has never and wil never exists. It's a myth.


Teh Free MArket is not a stable state. Monopolies aere more so.



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