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Monday, March 24, 2008

The Quaintness Of Pensions

Monopoly Men
Image from BBC News
Another corporate media journalist has defected and now publishes at his own blog. Go there to find refreshingly frank observations on contemporary economics and politics. I like to consider Jon Talton a friend, though having only met with him once. I had been reading his business column in the local paper for some time, and was struck by the observations he "got away" with in that paper, and just had to arrange a chat through a mutual friend. We had a fascinating (for me) conversation discussing some of the arcanities of Phoenix economic development (such as it is).

So now I quote from and link to one of his posts, The time bomb ticking in American pensions. Please go and read it:
...People forget that for decades stocks had value because of their dividends, not their continuous upward price movement. If that upward movement is based on forces that are unsustainable, then Shareholder Nation is screwed.... the only hopeful math the "conservatives" can throw back depends on including the huge gains of the very rich.

The world of pensions and the old middle class was based on real work, producing real things. We've killed that world. The new world of 401(k)s is based on unsustainable bubbles and "creative destruction" as more Americans are pushed into marginal service jobs...
Thanks for adding your voice, Jon!

(Check out his fiction writing at, too.)

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