by Jeff Wilfahrt
Nov 2, 2015, 10:30 AM

The 401(k), America’s biggest Ponzi scheme

The origins of the 401(k) go back to the 1970s. It was not introduced for the benefit of the common citizen. Like most legislative actions these past decades, it was introduced for the benefit of the few at the top. An executive compensation so to speak.

As the Reagan years roared there was much hullabaloo about Social Security going broke. The “market based” solution was to place the responsibility on the individual. Company contributions are tax deductible, or in GOP speak, “accounting shifts”.

Prior to the introduction of the 401(k) about 20% of the population participated in the markets. Today, via these instruments, we hover near 55%.

The original 20% effectively saw a tidal wave of investments hoist their values. Hence we see the largesse of the oft titled 1%. Call it a Ponzi scheme if you will.

Anyone with retirement years looming saw these investments trashed in 2003 and again in 2008. Years when a Republican administration, the provocateurs of 401(k)s, were in charge.

Bear in mind the years 1982, 1987, 1991, 2003 and 2008. In each of them the domestic markets crashed. The GOP cannot maintain an economy for more than 5 years. Plain and simple as it is, there’s the fact.

Always invert GOP language to comprehend what they are really intending to accomplish.

This spring CPAC Mack of Apple Valley stated at the conclusion of a House committee meeting that reduction to women’s health services was not “an attack on women”. While semantically correct, what she didn’t say is that it was indeed an attack on “poor” women.

Messaging is where progressives and liberals alike fall down. We let the GOP get away with their language games. It is how they pushed through the 401(k), it is how they denigrated government via the great thespian Reagan.

It is time for progressives and liberals alike to get back to the blacksmith shop of government. So long as Bakk leads the MN Senate that won’t happen by means of the DFL. Nationally we have our state DFL pushing their political noses up the Clinton crevasse.

Politics, time to get involved.

The solutions are not in your 401(k). And governance is not a spectator’s sport.

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