Sunday, September 23, 2012

Solving Our Unemployment and Retirement Funding Problems in One Fell Swoop

Her'e an idea for getting all of us better paying, more secure and even guaranteed retirement benefits for the rest of our lives.

We'll all go to work for the government and especially the federal government. I'm not sure who will pay for all this, but maybe the Federal Reserve can just keep printing money while Congress and the President "stimulate" our economy forever. That way we all win. Easy street here we come.

And nobody will ever have to work in the private sector for greedy fat cats who don't pay enough taxes. That's because there will be no 1%-ers and millionaires and billionaires when we all work for the government. We'll all belong to the middle class, so color us "saved."

I guess the only question we'll need to answer on the road to utopia is who will run the government. But then that shouldn't require too many caring and self sacrificing "public servants" from among us, and we'll insist that they pledge themselves to act in the best interests of We the People. Problem solved. So chalk up another victory for the saved middle class.

Number Of The Week: Government Workers Stay Put Longer has some pertinent data about the benefits of government employment:

"7.8: Median number of years that public workers have been employed by the government as of January 2012.

Americans in general are remaining with the same employers longer, but government workers stay in the same position nearly double the time of their private-sector counterparts.

Public workers have been with the government for a median of 7.8 years as of January 2012, longer than any private industry tracked by the Labor Department. The median number of years with the same company is 4.2 for private employees.

Tenure varied across different levels of government. Federal employees, which include jobs such as postal workers, have been on the job for a median of 9.5 years. State and local employees — fire fighters, teachers and police officers, for example — haven’t been with the government as long, but still surpass the tenure of private jobholders. The median is 6.4 years for state workers and 8.1 years for local employees.

Government workers are often thought to have greater job security than private-sector counterparts, but in recent years public workers have faced a more difficult environment. Since the recovery began in June 2009, some 670,000 government jobs have been shed in the U.S., compared to a net addition of about 3.5 million positions among private industries.

Indeed the Labor Department mostly chalks the disparity between public and private tenure up to a demographic differences. About 75% of government workers are over 35 years old, compared to 60% in the private sector. Not only have older workers been in the labor force longer, but they haven’t been hit as hard by the recession layoffs as the younger generation.

An older government work force presents a unique set of challenges. A separate Labor Department report notes that public employees are much more likely to have defined-benefit pensions. As government budgets continue to be strained in the wake of the recession, not only is a greater share of the public work force nearing retirement but the state’s commitment to those retirees is greater than the private sector’s."
And Firms Miss Out on Jobs Push, subtitled 'Business Hiring Remains Stagnant as States Ignore Federal Incentives Program,' has this to say about the difficulty of getting unemployment under control by government "stimulating" the private sector:
"A new federal program that lets states give companies financial incentives for hiring jobless people hasn't gained traction, illustrating the complications of government attempts to tackle unemployment.

States, many of which are struggling to pay unemployment benefits, already have been experimenting with self-funded programs that give companies incentives to hire those out of work. New Hampshire and Georgia, for example, allow companies to try out people who are collecting jobless benefits before hiring them.

{NOTE: Chronic Pain
Tackling unemployment has been a priority for government
Total number of people unemployed: 12.5 million
Number of people out of work 27 weeks and longer: 5 million
40% have been out of work for 27 weeks or more
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)}

The efforts to stoke hiring come as some 12 million people remain unemployed, including five million who have been looking for jobs for more than 27 weeks. The situation has strained states' unemployment-insurance trust funds, built with corporate payroll taxes and used strictly to pay jobless benefits.

Under the federal law, states were invited to submit ideas for "re-employment demonstration projects"—initiatives that motivate companies to hire people who are collecting unemployment checks. The government plans to initially pick 10 winners and reward those states with waivers to federal unemployment-insurance and labor allows, allowing them for the first time to fund programs out of their own unemployment-insurance trust funds.

But seven months after the federal law was passed—with bipartisan support as part of the tax relief act—many states say they won't apply because they don't have the funding to set up and comply. This situation has surprised some original sponsors and frustrated some employers."

Summing Up

Here's what I say about all this unemployment and underfunded pension stuff.

Let's just eliminate the private sector and look to our government knows best elitists to hire everybody directly. We'll all go to work for the government and join a public sector union. That way we'll all be protected, both from ourselves and each other.

And compared to the private sector, our government sponsored "middle class" jobs will be more secure, working conditions will be better, pay will be better and our retirement benefits will be guaranteed by our government.

In addition to the guaranteed employment, pay and retirement benefits, We the People will receive guaranteed pensions with guaranteed annual cost of living increases in lieu of the nasty and risky 401(k) plans which now are so prevalent in the private sector.

And while performing our jobs, we won't have to worry about customer satisfaction, since, unlike the private sector, our government employer won't have to make a profit to stay in existence.

There's only one problem with all this Karl Marx like utopianism.

Now that we've figured out how to create all the middle class good and secure jobs that we'll need, who will fund the government? Who will pay?

In other words, as we get rid of all the greedy entrepreneurial fat cats who don't pay enough taxes currently, where will we get the money to pay for all this?

Well, here's the simple answer. We'll just elect some really smart politicians like Vladimir Putin, and they'll figure it all out for us. That way we won't have to worry about it. It will be their problem, and they'll tell us what to do. So relax.

What a deal. We'll have worry free citizenship with a chicken in every pot, a new car in every garage and a new house without a mortgage, too.

We'll have guaranteed prosperity for one and all through good and guaranteed government jobs. We'll have the right to a free education, free medical care and free old age security.

So where do we sign up? And why hasn't anybody tried this before?

Oh, I forgot. Other countries have tried this approach --- and they've failed each and every time.

Could it just possibly be that government doesn't know best, and that individual freedom and self reliance, while not worry free, are the things that matter most?

That's my vote. But it's only one.

Thanks. Bob.

1 comment:

  1. But, isn't Putin one of the richest men in the world? How does that work when everybody is supposed to be "equal?"

    "Who watches the watchmen?" (The Watchmen.)

    "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."