The Simpson-Bowles Attack on Social Security

Despite being stacked with opponents of Social Security, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform�s report, otherwise known as the Simpson-Bowles Report, did not garner enough member votes to be automatically taken up by Congress. The report provides, nevertheless, an indication of the tactics of those who wish to reduce Social Security�s role in nationalContinue reading “The Simpson-Bowles Attack on Social Security”

Bad Timing of Investments Harms 401(k)s and Pension Funds

There is an interesting graphic on investment returns in the January 2 New York Times, titled In Investing, It’s When You Start and When You Finish. Thanks to Nat Trumbull for pointing this out to me. It indicates one of the reasons why 401(k)s have done so poorly. I would argue, though, that even withContinue reading “Bad Timing of Investments Harms 401(k)s and Pension Funds”

Scapegoating Public Employees and Their Pensions

Despite its title, “Public Workers Face Outrage as Budget Crises Grow,” by Michael Powell in the January 1, 2011 New York Times is not a typical public-workers-and-their- pensions bashing piece. It points out that pension fiscal problems have been brought on by states not properly funding them. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, for example, isContinue reading “Scapegoating Public Employees and Their Pensions”

Boomers and Social Security

January 1, 2011 This morning’s New York Times carried a story: “Boomers Hit New Self-Absorption Milestone: Age 65” by Dan Barry that noted that the oldest of the boomers will hit official old age this year. It is a noteworthy demographic fact to comment upon. If I had been writing the article, I would haveContinue reading “Boomers and Social Security”

The Retirement Crisis and This Blog

The Perfect Swindle is about understanding and finding solutions to the growing retirement crisis facing tens of millions of Americans. Since 1981 shaky 401(k) schemes that depend on stock market investing have increasingly replaced secure, traditional pensions. The financial services industry encourages the belief that these schemes will produce generous benefits. But 30 years afterContinue reading “The Retirement Crisis and This Blog”