Thanks Charlie,Wow hope I didn't give you a writers cramp or something. So to respond to just a couple things and in no way mean offense to you or your opinion in which we may possibly have some common agreement here goes:"Do "great societies" take care of the less fortunate? No, they don't." This in my opinion is the whole problem. In fact I went so far as to suggest that I think society should be measured by an opposite standard. “Every great society is defined by how well they take care of the elderly, indigent and less fortunate.” A war was fought once to end slavery in this nation. I think we can build on that. I think it is in our best interest to build on that. A failure to offer opportunity for all of the citizens of this nation resulted in a nasty civil war once. Are we going to waste the nations resources in similar fashion again? Stay tuned.You see to me in essence it comes down to what is just payment for ones work. I think I have heard some figures tossed out on a public television show (Bill Moyer's Journal) that in the middle of the 20th century the avg. CEO was making 15-20 times the average rank and file employees wages. Today that has mushroomed to no less than 280 times. Real wages for the average working citizen of this nation have declined in the last 15 years. What has changed to justify such a discrepancy? Maybe the average CEO should “forget the dream of living off someone else’s work.” The greed of the privileged few, not addressed by shareholders, is beyond stupidity. This is creating a double tier society of haves and less fortunate. Some rank and file workers have been promised their wage and a pension when they retire. Its not so much, but they will hold it tight. So we get back to the pensioners. You call it a "ponzi scheme". Yes we both agree that it is broke. During the great depression people came together to create the social security system to address the need of retirees not having enough resources to carry them through the years when they were elderly. Our wonderful politicians have squandered the largesse that working people have provided for said purpose. Now it is time to pay the piper. Pensions and social security are not "rights" in this nation. The problem is people have been promised such. People have bought into the lies. It's part of the reason some have saved too little for their retirement. History shows us that working class people are angered with what they perceive as fraudulent lies. After reaching a breaking point they take to the streets. Nothing will be done for the pensioners of Detroit. There will be some angry people because of it. No one is offering any solutions to change it for them or other pensioners. As future pension problems come to light there will be additional angry people. Will the angry minority become the angry majority? We better hope not. This issue could be addressed. IMO, sooner is better. Never anywhere have I stated this is a problem for the tax payer. A start would be to quit promising something that cannot be delivered. Create some oversight. Put pensions on an actuarial basis. Do this while people are still working and can do something about their retirement savings needs. Just maybe some peoples lives will be better for it. Workers and pensions are not the problem, it is people that are making false promises that are. BTW, as an aside I did not mean to infer that elderly widowers could buy junk bonds and widows should not. I did not mention them because they are mostly dead (smile).
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