Monday, December 15, 2008

Wall Street, or Las Vegas?

The American "Casino Capitalism" culture has claimed another series of victims.

And yet, there is no movement by American legislators or regulators to address the fundamental problem that is a wanton disregard for the sanctity of the common people's private wealth.

Which is a galling thing - given how the largest part of the pensions system over the last 25 years has been re-engineered to the notion of "self-directed investments." Canada got caught-up in the madness as well, which is not unsurprising as our economic elites only mimic the behaviour of Americans anyway.

This is a disaster in the making; a disaster which will afflict some of the most vulnerable in our society - the elderly. And it will hit hardest when the largest demographic the nation has ever known - "the Baby Boomers" - retires. It will impoverish us all.

9 Comments:

At 11:09 am , Blogger Ryan said...

Part of the problem, it seems to me, is that the word "investment" has been presented to "consumers" as some place where you put your money and it grows--easy, without work, risk or real entitlement. Typical American free-market ideology.

I feel for many people who have been lead to believe in the magic infallibility of the market.

 
At 11:50 am , Blogger Aeneas the Younger said...

Including all Governments and Pension & Tax Bureaucrats since 1982.

 
At 7:53 am , Blogger Ryan said...

Exactly. Public institutions have bought into the system as well. For example, the University of Alberta just lost its shirt in the market. Guess what? No more endowments for students who are already cash-strapped.

Same thing with the BC and Ontario teacher's pension plans.

 
At 10:18 pm , Blogger Aeneas the Younger said...

I have ALWAYS believed that the BEST counterweight to an over-reliance on capital and equity markets for individuals was a strong public pension programme & system.

A lot of this could have been avoided had Mulroney - and then Chretien - not chipped and chunked away at such benefits.

Instead, we followed the Americans - afterall, they seem to have all the answers don't they?

 
At 6:49 pm , Blogger Ryan said...

ATY--Merry Christmas to you as well. I would pass the same compliment back to you about your blogging skills... if you posted more! Get at it!

Though seriously, have a wonderful Christmas. Let's take it back from the barbarians!

 
At 5:56 pm , Blogger goooooood girl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
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At 7:03 pm , Anonymous Gonzales said...

Part of the problem, it seems to me, is that the word "investment" has been presented to "consumers" as some place where you put your money and it grows--easy, without work, risk or real entitlement. Typical American free-market ideology. I feel for many people who have been lead to believe in the magic infallibility of the market.  

 

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