Sunday, February 28, 2016

Who Deserves Blame for Retiree Crisis?

Trump is blaming foreign workers — and ignoring the CEOs who’ve gutted worker pensions while they pump up their own golden nest eggs.

by Sarah Anderson

Donald Trump showed a glimmer of reason in his last debate when he defended his position as the Republican Party’s only presidential contender who is opposed to cutting Social Security.

Alas, it was but a glimmer. A split second later, Trump took a loony leap from defending America’s most effective anti-poverty program to blaming foreign workers for our fiscal challenges. “They are taking our jobs. They are taking our wealth. They are taking our base.”

Foreign workers are not the ones doing the taking. CEOs of big U.S. corporations are responsible for taking jobs and wealth out of this country. And these CEOs are also the ones who deserve much of the blame for our country’s retirement crisis.

Over the past several decades, top executives have gutted worker pensions. Since 1980, the share of private sector workers covered by defined benefit pension plans, the kind that guarantee a monthly benefit after retirement until death, has dropped from 46 percent to 18 percent.

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