Author Archive

More of the United Federation of Musicians Purple Haze

Good morning gentle reader. Mr. Bury published “Musician Pensions on Brink of Being Slashed”. As I looked at this pension I responded to his post.  Thank you to all of the replies to my writings-comments and emails.  I am continuing to study your pension.

It is my belief your pension has one of the highest investment income portfolios, greater than your actuarial assumed rate of return.  Why are you destitute?  And make no mistake, you will be.

Music is the king of the humanities, the crown jewel of the liberal arts.  Your craft is the center of my life.  It is not fitting you musicians retire to skid row.  Let’s figure this out in 300 words.

Continue reading

Pensions and a Purple Rain for Musicians.

Good afternoon gentle reader.  I apologize for being absent so long.  While quiet, I have not been idle.

I am writing after reading Mr. Burys’ blog about the “American Federation of Musicians And Employers’ Pension Fund”.  This is yet another tragedy in a long and growing list of pensions that have and are failing.  Are there any lessons to be learned?  A reasonable question is to ask what when wrong?

I have built a database of 5500 data from 2009 through 2017.  A survey of this data for all multiemployers and for just the Musicians is most revealing.

Continue reading

Pension-Financing the Deficit

Good evening gentle reader.

Apologies for my being MIA for so long.

Mr. Bury and his site are an excellent source of information on the pension status for NJ and also for the nation.

My practice is taking me a different direction and I would like Americans concerned about their future financial security to be aware.  Just this week, I have spoken with retirement academics, unions, The US Chamber of Commerce, and National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, among others.   By now you know I support a combination of recapitalization and reforms for the pension industry.  I support the concept of the Butch Lewis Act.  But I propose financing with the Federal Reserve rather than Treasury.

I have a goal and a calendar. I want to go to test funding by the end of June. Another difference I am proposing with Butch Lewis is, while the act targets Multiemployer pensions, I want to include state pension plans.  I have so far spoken with two states on this subject.

Continue reading

Pension-…And Da Big One

Good morning gentle reader.

I would like to take a step back for a moment and ask a few questions.  Based on comments, I feel there are some misguided persons.

  • Do you believe there is a pension crisis?

If not, why are you here?  If so, the next question is;

  • What is the estimated size of the crisis?

In a December paper, the Heritage Foundation Pension Paper mentions the pension crisis, all in both public and private, at more than $7 trillion dollars, a magnitude larger than the banking crisis.  Is this a figure you accept?  If not, what would you place the value of the crisis at?  Please let me know.

  • If you believe the pension crisis exists and is very large, should we do something or nothing?

If you believe the size of the crisis is close to what the Heritage Foundation cites, then we cannot afford to sit idle and do nothing.  To take trillions of dollars out of consumers when we are a consumer economy would permanently break the American economy.  I see visions of Argentina in my mind.

Continue reading

Pension-Faith?

What is faith?  Is it religion, faith in God?  Is it economics?  After all, our currency is “backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the United States.”  It is currently out of vogue to say; “Let us pray to All Mighty God for wisdom in finding pension solutions”.  OK, fine, I won’t say that.  Just concentrate on the “backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the United States.”

Continue reading

Pension-Please Help?

Good morning gentle reader.

I had intended this Friday to be a very productive day with many goals to meet.  I read some older posts on older sites and find my motivation is thin this morning.

I am trained as an economist.  We are taught to move decimals when there is a crisis-reduce benefits and the like.  But I am also a man.  From the very foundations of, take your pick, our nation, or our world, is the notion of the value of man in his existence not societal contribution.

Continue reading

Pensions-Marilyn!

It is barely 7:30 am.  I have been feeling proud of myself and my accomplishments.  Then I received two calls in rapid succession, calls from retired southerners.  People crying because even with two social security pensions combined, they cannot survive.

What a humbling and needed call.  This is exactly the kind of comment and motivation I need to stay focused and on track.

I have a goal of test funding by June, followed by an audit of the funds by September.  We can have a validated pension solution before the next national election.

Now you know my goals.

Continue reading