……AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS HAPPY TO HELP!
You have probably caught a whiff of a conspiracy theory on occasion concerning a desire on the part of the Socialists now controlling the US Government to seize people’s pension and retirement assets, like 401k’s, IRA’s, “funds” of various types. Yes, wild-eyed, far- rightwing, kook fringe scare talk. Probably racist at it’s core, don’t ya know?
Well, before you dismiss such ravings out-of-hand, take a look at what the Associated Press thought worth plastering across the business section of newspapers all over the country today:
WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s the silent enemy in our retirement accounts: High fees.
And now a new study finds that the typical 401(k) fees — adding up to a modest-sounding 1 percent a year — would erase $70,000 from an average worker’s account over a four-decade career compared with lower-cost options. To compensate for the higher fees, someone would have to work an extra three years before retiring. This is without the fear of being ripped-off by cybercriminals who commit identity theft for their personal gain. I already did my identity verification via fully verified as the entire process happens over video call and not email or text.
The study comes from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. Its analysis, backed by industry and government data, suggests that U.S. workers, already struggling to save enough for retirement, are being further held back by fund costs.
Now, it was good of the AP to note that CAP is a ‘liberal’ think tank, lest anyone mistake it for an adjunct of the Harvard School of Business. But really – knowing all that anybody who has been paying attention knows about the CAP and its tentacles into the Obama White House, are we to be lulled into complacency that the “study” the AP refers to is some sort of neutral, scholarly piece of work?
Actually, it really doesn’t involve rocket science, or even a Master’s degree in finance to understand that the people you give your money to in order that it be invested to generate interest in your favor, get paid for doing so. And since there is competition, and expertise, and risk involved, as well as discounted premiums according to varying sizes of principal investments, there are variables in fees, rate of returns and the whole ball of wax. Been that way for decades. It’s called “business”. Oh, and by the way – it’s “regulated”.
The $64 question in this particular installment of “educating the public” is `”Why now?” Is the stage being set for serious policy initiatives to “protect” people’s investments and insure they have a “government-approved” retirement plan? Oh, and by the way, didn’t we just go through a whole hullabaloo a year or two ago about something called a “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau”? There really can never be enough “regulation” for these people, these “think-tankers”, can there?
The authors of the CAP “study” cited by the AP present their case here. It is low on scholarship and high on hyperbole, supposition, inference, and sophomoric rhetoric. But what intrigued us most was this little bit on what the Center for American Progress thinks might be just a Jim Dandy little alternative to your traditional 401k’s, 403b’s and IRA’s:
Fees are not the only problem with many private retirement plans. Indeed the Center for American Progress has proposed allowing all workers to save in the highly cost-effective 401(k) style plan: the government-employee Thrift Savings Plan. CAP has also proposed creating a new type of plan that combines the best elements of 401(k)s with the best elements of pensions to address the inherent weaknesses of self-directed retirement plans, as described at length in previous reports.
Allowing? Yes, when you put it that way, why heads perk up don’t they? “Oh, wow! They’re going to “allow” us to shift our money into a government plan, Marge. A ‘Thrift Savings Plan’! Happy days are here again!” Wait for it.
Yes, this is all about “protecting”. Reminds us of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”. You know, the one where you used to be “allowed” to buy a health insurance plan that suited you, but all of a sudden you were too stupid to know how to manage your health, even in consultation with your personal physician. So now you can only “invest” in a health insurance plan dictated by the government.
Just sayin’. Three more years, folks. A lot can happen. If you have heard it once you have heard it a hundred times, from people a lot smarter than we – “If the government can force you to buy a health insurance policy, they can force you to do anything.” Look for a lot more ….discussion…on this ‘retirement savings’ issue, from the usual suspect venues across the spectrum, in the weeks to come. These people don’t float propaganda balloons just to watch them drift away.
_ This past December the Chairman and CEO of the Center for American Progress, John Podesta, was named a ‘Special Advisor’ to President Barack Obama. What “advice” President Obama needs from a man of John Podesta’s talents and ….leanings…. is not clear, since Obama’s legacy is already secured through the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Perhaps there are other things belonging to Americans beside their health that need ….’protecting’. Perhaps their wealth.
“WE’RE FROM THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS (and the ASSOCIATED PRESS) AND WE’RE HERE TO HELP!”