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Thread: U.S, Steel Plants Closed To Facilitate Theft Of Pension Funds

  1. #11
    New Member BigBob's Avatar
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    Finding labor to work in the extremely hot and dangerous areas near the forge and sizing areas not to mention the giant ladles of molten steel and the accompanying slag will be nothing short of impossible.

  2. #12
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBob View Post
    Finding labor to work in the extremely hot and dangerous areas near the forge and sizing areas not to mention the giant ladles of molten steel and the accompanying slag will be nothing short of impossible.
    No, it won't. Those men are grief-stricken still, all these years later, not just about losing their jobs but about losing their identities. Many, maybe most, were 3rd or 4th generation steel workers. They were HUGELY proud they did very tough, tough jobs in dangerous and hellacious conditions.

    There will be NO shortage of job applicants, and a decent percent of them will have experience.

    One of my friends up here worked in a steel mill in Elyria, no union, no idea if the job was permanent, about 10 years ago, and he was a disabled 55 year old then. If that job was still there, he'd have worked it until it killed him.

    Possibly literally.
    Last edited by Madeline; 2nd March 2018 at 04:01 PM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friday13 View Post
    Yep...our Secretary of Commerce, like so many in the Trump admin, is just another greedy asshole.
    Check the date on the article.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friday13 View Post
    Yep...our Secretary of Commerce, like so many in the Trump admin, is just another greedy asshole.
    He's a looter.

  5. #15
    Above the FRAY Friday13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roberthughey View Post
    Check the date on the article.
    I know the date of the OP article. Wilbur L Ross is STILL Wilbur L Ross, and what he did ruined lives. He's now SoC with major conflicts of interest.

    Wilbur Louis Ross Jr. (born November 28, 1937) is an American investor and the current United States Secretary of Commerce. On November 30, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Ross.[2][3] On February 27, 2017, the Senate confirmed Ross in a 72–27 vote. He was sworn into office on February 28, 2017.

    Before he was appointed, Ross was a banker known for restructuring failed companies in industries such as steel, coal, telecommunications, foreign investment and textiles who specialized in leveraged buyouts and distressed businesses. In February 2017, Forbes magazine reported that Ross has a net worth of $2.5 billion. However, financial disclosure forms Ross filed after his nomination for Secretary of Commerce showed less than $700 million in assets, and Forbes removed him from their billionaires list in November 2017. He is often called the "King of Bankruptcy" because of his record of buying bankrupt companies, primarily in the manufacturing and steel industries, and later selling them for a large profit after operations improve.

    In November 2017, leaked documents known as the Paradise Papers showed that Ross had failed to clearly disclose financial ties to Russian interests in his confirmation hearings.

    [...]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Ross
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  6. #16
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friday13 View Post
    I know the date of the OP article. Wilbur L Ross is STILL Wilbur L Ross, and what he did ruined lives. He's now SoC with major conflicts of interest.
    Trump offered Carl Icahn the Secretary of the Treasury post.

    Icahn! The biggest "barbarian at the gate"! The "vampire capitalist"!

    Icahn went to prison as a result of his corporate raiding in the 1980's and he is not more ethical today.

    It's very troubling that he's so close with Trump.
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  7. #17
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    The sociopathy is inherent in the creation of the defined benefit promise in the first place. What a defined benefit promise ultimately says is this: 1) you pay (x) amount now, and 2) you get a defined (y) amount in 30 years, regardless of whether there's money in the pot in 30 years or not. If it's not there, someone else, some unrelated third party, will be forced to pay you. That should be illegal. Another reason it should be illegal is because this is technically payment for services received now. You expend the time and energy now, I benefit from your services now... yet someone else is likely going to be on the hook for paying you in three decades. The timing of the actual payment relative to who benefits from the service when... should be illegal in the case of pensions.

    By and large, pensions are shit. Company pensions are shit. State and local pensions are shit. Union pensions are shit. And if it weren't for the supreme powers of a federal government and central bank, federal pensions would be shit too. Pensions are an abysmal failure of a policy tool, and there is sweeping support for this. They do not work. "Oh but they would work if only (insert scapegoat here) wasn't a crook!!!" It really doens't matter anymore who in particular one wishes to scapegoat for the bewildering, broad failure of defined benefit pensions. The failure is real.

    I am skeptical as to the vague claims about what "terminating pensions" actually entailed. When pensions fail, they fail. There is often no actual "raiding" them that goes on. They can and do fail without necessarily being "raided." It is often not true that someone went in and took the money literally out of the pension fund. That's not to say it has never happened, but I have seen a lot of people claim that was what was happening, when that very literally was not what was happening.

    One of the primary ways pensions can fail is because the benefits were promised based on a formula, and the formula was based on a past prediction about what would happen in the future, and the prediction did not come true. Contributions into pension funds were based on formulas that projected the fund's long-term average annual returns, and when those returns turn out to be significantly lower than the original prediction, the benefits that were promised as fixed automatically exceed the actual money that will ever be there to pay them. So one way to fix that is to dial back the original promised benefit. When this happens, people claim that managers are "raiding" the funds, as in literally going in and withdrawing money from them. This is usually false. Usually the money failed to be in the fund to pay out in the first place. Dialing back benefits doesn't take any money out of anything. It makes the payouts less so that the fund can remain solvent.
    I agree with you, of course. So does EVERYONE familiar with this issue.

    But, sir, if the American steel companies had had defined contribution pension plans instead (more or less a 401(k) in the custody and control of a pension trustee hired by the employer), I feel certain the thefts would still have occurred.

    This was just too much liquid cash to fail to tempt the Robbers, IMO.

    But hell yes. Nobody should have a defined benefit plan now. I think the federal government should forcibly convert all of them and then close the PBGC.

    That would certainly be exciting to watch, lol.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friday13 View Post
    I know the date of the OP article. Wilbur L Ross is STILL Wilbur L Ross, and what he did ruined lives. He's now SoC with major conflicts of interest.
    Ross didn't cause these companies to fail. Bad corporate management caused the failures.

  9. #19
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roberthughey View Post
    Ross didn't cause these companies to fail. Bad corporate management caused the failures.
    "Bad corporate management" sounds as if the CEO's were buying company planes.

    Everyone from the local newspaper editor to the guys who pick up my trash has a theory as to what killed American steel companies. "High labor costs", and hell yes, these were well-paid jobs with great benefits. But American workers should not have to accept the level of wages (and no benefits) that Chinese companies "pay" their enslaved workers.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    "Bad corporate management" sounds as if the CEO's were buying company planes.

    Everyone from the local newspaper editor to the guys who pick up my trash has a theory as to what killed American steel companies. "High labor costs", and hell yes, these were well-paid jobs with great benefits. But American workers should not have to accept the level of wages (and no benefits) that Chinese companies "pay" their enslaved workers.
    There are 1.4 billion people in China. Are you saying these workers are slaves, or is working for whatever low wages you surmise they make actually an upgrade for them?
    Thanks from Madeline

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