Saturday, October 29, 2011

Envy and Resentment about DB Pensions: Do Something About It

Pension envy grows as boomers retire

Here we go again. Instead of acknowledging how unfairly to varying degrees workers in the private sector are frequently treated by their employers, how exploited they are in the name of profit since they are the most vulnerable component in the production process -commodities, as Marx noted, owners of only saleable labour - these writers, like so many on the right spectrum of economics, once again choose to resent the just achievements of collective bargaining in both the private and public sector. Teachers, firefighters, police officers, armed forces, government workers: our esteemed authors - probably graduates of the CD Howe Institute Neo-liberalism - are saying they do not deserve their defined benefits pensions. Why? Because most of the private sector employees don't get the same sort of benefits, and such benefits dig too deeply into government coffers, where austerity of course should rule.

Okay, all you folks in the private sector without DB plans who feel that way do something about it by confronting your employers instead of resenting the negotiated achievements of collective bargaining. I know that's a tough thing to do when almost everyone in the private sector is in effect a just-in-time worker living in fear, who can be axed at any moment. This is the established culture of neo-liberalism. You are instantly replaceable, and you know it. You feel powerless and your are, caught in the vicious web of capitalism. So join the occupy movement, wear a mask if you have to, and check out senior mangement's paycheck if you still want to feel envious and resentful.

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