Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The End of Retirement

Frontline (December 9, 2008) presented a stirring account of how corporations have shifted the retirement financing burden to workers over the last four decades. After 1974, many companies began shifting from traditional company pensions to 401K's. According to Frontline, this cost shifting has amounted to a 40% increase in retirement burden to workers. Today, many older workers are unable to retire due to this shifting of responsibility away from corporations.1

This account details only one part of a systemic and decades long anti-worker movement, and only one policy in a set of actions, laws and regulations to degrade retirement, stagnate wages, increase medical and educational costs, impoverish the working poor, and indoctrinate and dumb down the citizenry. See my "War on the Working-Class Timeline" in the right column.

On December 11, the Senate passed the "Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008." A key part of the bill allows corporations to stop funding workers pensions. The anti-worker U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers pushed for its approval. The Senate measure was passed with a voice vote. Voice votes are anti-democratic strategies used in the Senate to deny responsibility.2


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