People’s retirement savings are a convenient source of revenue for governments that don’t want to reduce spending or make privatizations. As most pension schemes in Europe are organised by the state, European ministers of finance have a facilitated access to the savings accumulated there, and it is only logical that they try to get a hold of this money for their own ends. In recent weeks I have noted five such attempts: Three situations concern private personal savings; two others refer to national funds.
The most striking example is Hungary, where last month the government made the citizens an offer they could not refuse. They could either remit their individual retirement savings to the state, or lose the right to the basic state pension (but still have an obligation to pay contributions for it). In this extortionate way, the government wants to gain control over $14bn of individual retirement savings.
~ The Christian Science Monitor, European nations begin seizing private pensions
The article goes on to detail other pension grabs in Bulgaria, Poland, France and Ireland.
They learned it from us. The Social Security surplus should have been invested. Then the true deficit would have been revealed and the deficit debate (such as it is) would have started earlier.ReplyDelete
Greenspan's legacy will be partly that he failed to speak up when he saw this atrocity taking place. Because he created the surplus as head of the Greenspan Commission he is responsible.
The lesson I take from this is to be careful in appointing people to responsible positions who are appeasers. Greenspan was such and because of the power he eventually gained the country and the world is paying dearly.
At least that's my take.