Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mussolini Style Retirement Plan Headed Your Way

It's a mad mix of key government control, dressed up around "capitalism".

FT reports:
In California, legislation is under way for a state-wide plan for a universal retirement savings account. “I’m trying to create a product that’s available to everyone, portable, and has low fees,” says state senator Kevin De León, a Democrat who represents the state’s poorest district, in Los Angeles...

Under the California proposal, employers could make optional contributions, but would not bear fiduciary obligations or administrative responsibility, other than handling payroll deductions. “If we’re successful, it will be the first of its kind in the nation,” notes Senator De León.

Behind both the New York City and California proposals, and a third in Connecticut, is the work of Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economics at New York’s New School for Social Research. She envisages universal plans that offer a guaranteed return and an annuity option.

In the California plan, which describes itself as a defined benefit arrangement, a state board would select an investment manager to handle investments and underwrite a guaranteed return.
Got that? The state would pick the investment manager. Do you think the manager will ever be one who disses state created over the top, dangerous State of California bonds? Will they ever pick any other not favored by the state investment?

Here's Sheldon Richman on the mix of "capitalism" and government:
As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. The word derives from fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power: a tied bundle of rods with a protruding ax. In its day (the 1920s and 1930s), fascism was seen as the happy medium between boom-and-bust-prone liberal capitalism, with its alleged class conflict, wasteful competition, and profit-oriented egoism, and revolutionary Marxism, with its violent and socially divisive persecution of the bourgeoisie. Fascism substituted the particularity of nationalism and racialism—“blood and soil”—for the internationalism of both classical liberalism and Marxism.

Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners...

Under fascism, the state, through official cartels, controlled all aspects of manufacturing, commerce, finance, and agriculture. Planning boards set product lines, production levels, prices, wages, working conditions, and the size of firms. Licensing was ubiquitous; no economic activity could be undertaken without government permission...

If a formal architect of fascism can be identified, it is Benito Mussolini, the onetime Marxist editor who, caught up in nationalist fervor, broke with the left as World War I approached and became Italy’s leader in 1922.

Ghilarducci has been promoting the removal of self directed investments and state determined investment programs her entire career.

Not surprisingly, interventionists have supported her campaign for Mussolini styled retirement program. In February 2010, the White House Middle Class Task Force issued a report calling Ghilarducci’s proposal a viable option to help American families save for retirement, irrespective of their of financial sophistication, and called for further research on the plan. In July of 2009, the U.S. Government Accountability Office identified Guaranteed Retirement Accounts as one alternative to overhaul the U.S. retirement system. In 2008, New York Times Magazine named the GRA Plan one of the best ideas of the year.

1 comment:

  1. its a already being done in that bastion of 'freedom', New Zealand. it sort of works, mostly I suspect to the benefit of the government (but since I don't live there anymore, am not that interested to work through the numbers). Its actually administered by "Guardians".