San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, March 3, 2017

Self-Produced Poverty

The business section of yesterday's Denver Post had an interesting feature article.  It was entitled "Anxiety over retirement" and featured this by-line, "A new survey shows Amerikans share a dread of living out their golden years in poverty."  According to a survey conducted by Greenwald & Associates for the National Institute on Retirement Security:
  • 88% believe that "the high cost of long-term care is a major factor behind how tough it is to prepare for retirement."
  • 88% believe that "making sure that Americans have a secure retirement should be a higher priority for Washington."
  • 85% believe that "politicians in Washington just don't get how hard it is to prepare for retirement."
  • 80% believe that "the average worker cannot save enough on their own to guarantee a secure retirement."
  • 75% "support an option that allows states to create portable retirement savings accounts."
  • 55% "strongly agreed that the country faces a retirement crisis."
Let's consider the beliefs stated above for a bit today.  According to their website, the National Institute on Retirement Security "is a non-profit research and education organization established to contribute to informed policy making by fostering a deep understanding of the value of retirement security to employees, employers, and the economy as a whole. Through our activities, NIRS seeks to encourage the development of public policies that enhance retirement security in America. Our vision is one of a retirement system that simultaneously meets the needs of employers, employees, and the public interest."  In other words, they are a group of lobbyists who desire to see the federal government far more involved in the free market in what will inevitably prove to be a futile attempt to create something they call a "retirement system."  Not trusting the free market to provide ample opportunity for individual citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika to provide for their own income needs, the good folks at NIRS believe the god of government needs to step in and make us all healthy, wealthy and wise by forcing employers to cough up even more money to their employees under the guise of retirement security.  Simply put, these folks want another socialist retirement system in addition to the one we already have.  Remember it?  It is called Social Security and it is a miserable failure.
Here are some comments on each of the above quoted poll results, in the order they were presented above:
  • Why is long term care so expensive? Answer:  government interference in the free market.  Question:  how can getting the government more involved in long term care reduce the cost of it?  Answer:  it can't.  Second Question:  why do people want the government to get involved in long term care insurance?  Answer:  they are all socialists.
  • Making sure that Amerikans have a secure retirement should be a high priority for the career politicians who populate Washington according to 88% of the respondents.  What constitutes a "secure retirement" is not described.  Does this assertion conclusively prove that Social Security is an abject failure?  I do not see any other way to interpret it.  And if this assertion does conclusively prove that Social Security is an abject failure, how can any person in his right mind believe the solution to the problem of a failed Social Security system is yet another government retirement system?  Answer:  they are all socialists and they are not in their right minds.
  • Most people believe that the career politicians who rule over us do not understand just how hard life is for us.  Boo Hoo!  Life is hard.  Get over it.  Stop looking to your god to make your life easier.  The more you lean on the reed of Washington the more your hand is going to be pierced, leaving you with nothing but empty pockets and a bloody hand.  Accept responsibility for your own financial future and stop looking to your pitiful and weak god to provide it for you.  
  • Eight out of ten people believe it is impossible to invest enough to create a nest egg to live on in retirement.  I conclude that eight out of ten people are socialistic materialists who believe government exists to transfer the wealth of the productive into their pockets.  I also conclude that eight out of ten people are immoral thieves.
  • Three quarters of the respondents want the "states" to create some sort of "portable retirement account."  Somehow having another state law about some new type of qualified retirement account will make everything better.  These folks blithely ignore the fact that we already have a fully portable federal retirement plan.  It is called the Individual Retirement Account and it is working just fine.  I suspect three quarters of the respondents want a state sponsored plan because they hope to get some taxpayer dollars transferred into their plans without having to actually contribute any of their own money.  That is called theft.
  • Over half of the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika believe we are experiencing a "retirement crisis," whatever that means.  If "retirement crisis" is defined as a bunch of materialists refusing to take personal responsibility for their own financial futures and then running to government to bail them out, then I agree.  
If you start contributing $2000/year (about what most people spend on Starbucks over the course of a year) to your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) when you are 22 years of age and continue to make annual contributions until you are 62 years of age you would have a nest egg of $1,534,000, assuming a 12%/year rate of return.   If you contribute only $250/month (less than most people's second or third car payment) you would have $2,300,000 at age 62.  A nest egg of $1.5 million will provide monthly income of $15,625 for thirty years.  A nest egg of $2.3 million will provide monthly income of $23,958 for thirty years.  In other words, with very little effort and very little sacrifice the vast majority of the citizens of this country could easily provide a very comfortable retirement income for themselves if they only made up their minds to do so.  The retirement crisis has nothing to do with financial opportunity and everything to do with the immoral character of the citizens of this land.
The envy-filled citizens of this immoral land are indeed facing a "retirement crisis" but the crisis is entirely of their own creation.  I have spent my entire adult life watching people who make good money blow it on material things while saving nothing for the future.  Indeed, it often seems as if the more money people make the more they spend, never giving a thought to the future.  That behavior is called materialism and it happens to be a sin.  The punishment for the sin of materialism, according to the God of the Bible, is poverty.  It is not the job or the duty of civil government to interject itself into the financial affairs of its citizens, especially when those citizens have been financially profligate.  Let retirees live in poverty as punishment for their materialistic ways and to serve as a lesson to the next generation that he who will not work shall not eat. 

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