Student debt in America: no matter how hard things get, student loans cannot ever be charged off or written off even in bankruptcy, because a deal’s a deal and students need to pay off their debts & be fiscally responsible and live up to their financial obligations

Pensions in America: yeah well look here, I know the company/state promised all you workers stuff 30yrs ago and in return you took less pay and you’re ready to retire after having lived up to your part of the bargain, but things changed and times are hard for billionaires now. you can’t expect poor ole multi-billion dollar corporations or the state to live up to those old financial obligations…suckers

So apparently the UK government has raised the pension age to 70 - umm, excuse me? Does West Minister know that in some areas of Glasgow the life expectancy is in the mid 60’s? Of course you do. You want to work us to death. Talk about solutions to an ageing population and unemployment. 

Funny how the Better Together campaign scared pensioners into voting no because they said an Independent Scotland would harm them, and then once Scotland votes No they do this too them.


Former Enron trader and hedge fund billionaire John Arnold is launching a multimillion dollar national PR campaign attacking the hard-earned pensions of public sector workers. Arnold has already quietly poured tens of millions of dollars into his efforts to persuade politicians to reduce middle class retirement security and now it looks like he may really just be getting started.

Watch this video to learn more about Arnold’s war on pensions - and then share it with your friends and co-workers!

Emergency Town Hall Meeting - Defend Detroit City Pensions & Services

3:00pm Sunday, March 2, 2014

Central United Methodist Church, 23 E. Adams, at Woodward, Detroit, MI

Emergency Manager Orr’s “Plan of Adjustment” declares war on the City of Detroit and its retirees. A Retiree Committee member reported actual cuts to health, dental and pension nears 70% – and even this is not guaranteed. The bulk of the city’s bond holders, $6 billion of the $6.5 billion owed, are to be paid at 100% on the dollar despite media lies to the contrary. It will not rebuild ­Detroit.

We demand:

Cancel the debt to the banks that caused Detroit’s crisis!

The banks, corporations and the state must be forced to repay Detroit for the destruction they have caused. The hundreds of millions they owe us should go to fund a massive public works program, paying our youth to re- build our neighborhoods.

Let’s drive out Orr’s consultants. They have gouged the city, charging $95 million in the last year and giving nothing in return. That $95 million could be used to hire 3,000 workers at $30,000 per year to patrol our neighborhoods, fix and drive the buses, get the lights turned on and rebuild, not tear down, housing. THE MONEY BELONGS TO US.

► Judge Rhodes stated that the city would likely prevail if it sued Bank of America and UBS. It’s time to go after the $300 billion the two banks stole from Detroit from 2008-2013 through the interest rate swap swindle. 

► Water mains keep breaking, icing and flooding our neighborhoods. Instead of hiring to fix the pipes, Orr threatens to lay off 700 workers. JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley ripped off the water department, charging $500 million in swap termination fees on a $1 billion bond to upgrade DWSD. ­We ­demand that $500 million to repair infrastructure, keep workers and lower water bills.

► The state of Michigan must release the ­hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants earmarked for the poorest Detroiters. City workers who ran these programs for years, not suburban agencies, should manage the funds.

► In federal settlements, the banks are being forced to ante up BILLIONS of dollars in restitution for committing mortgage fraud. Detroit, which led the country in foreclosures — caused by racist ­predatory lending — should get its share of those funds.

► Don’t be lulled by promises of cash for ­Detroit by Governor Snyder and corporate “charitable trusts.” Along with the banks, Snyder and the corporations caused the city’s crisis by cutting state revenue ­sharing and closing plants. Orr claims the pension shortfall is $3.5 Billion – $800 million for the DIA won’t close Orr’s gap. 

► These greedy one percenters and their ­arrogant, racist governor — who imposed Emergency Managers on Detroit and other African-American ­cities — will not save this city. You can! Judge Rhodes rejected a deal, cut by Orr and his law firm Jones Day, to give hundreds of millions in future tax dollars to the banks. This victory was only won through consistent protest. 

Now is the time to intensify our mobilization.

If we do not recognize that we are veering off the road and take corrective action soon, millions of retirees will find that they are too old to return to work and have too little in savings—with no one to turn to for help. If we fail to recognize the problems and provide sensible solutions—now, when we can—history will judge us harshly.
—  Charles D. Ellis, Alicia H. Munnell, and Andrew D. Eschtruth hope Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis will help raise the alarm, and get America thinking about how to solve the impending retirement crisis.

Okay… so… November 30th Strike.
Jeremy Clarkson on the One Show was saying that the strikers had no right to strike, because they get a pension when people like himself have to work for a living.
Excuse me… but… fuck off? 
Jeremy…. you probably earn more in a week than my mum and dad earn in a year and what exactly do you do as a job that’s so hard? Earn money whilst given more money to go off to places like America to ride around in cars? Fuck off, seriously.
My dad was a policeman and because of the fucking state that Tories have gotten us into, his pension is doing bugger all to help our financial situation, so it’s not as if we’re all fine and dandy, my dad still has to work to keep us afloat as well as his pension and my mum’s job.
Also when David bloody Cameron is spouting shite that the strike has changed nothing and means nothing, that just shows how fucking incompetent he is as a Prime Minister. Now I’m not a fan of Labour either, but Ed Miliband was fucking brilliant when he said that the amount of money that Cameron uses for his wee trip out skiing is more than what a dinner lady, nurse or lolly pop man/lady earns in a year (or something along those lines)
I think the strike today was needed, that it was worthwhile.
I fucking hate the tories.

Rick Snyder's Dirty Tricks That Rushed Detroit Into Bankruptcy (Or How Rick Snyder Is Trying To Bust Unions & Steal Pensions)

Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) was so desperate to make Detroit the largest American city to declare bankruptcy that his lawyers apparently used deception to make sure their filing was in before a judge could block it.

➤ Ronald King, an attorney for Detroit’s General Retirement System and the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System, said that he agreed to delay a hearing on an injunction that would have prevented the city from filing for bankruptcy for five minutes at the request of Snyder’s lawyers. In that five minutes, attorneys filed papers to put Detroit under bankruptcy protection, placing all legal action against the city in a temporary stay.

➤ “It was my intention to grant your request,” Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told the pensioners’ attorneys.

➤ “There’s no denying this was a race to the courthouse this afternoon and yet another example of usurping the will of the people,” King said.

➤ Pensions are protected under Michigan’s constitution, but this protection has not been tested in federal court. The city has about $18 billion in debt.

The Michigan Republican Party’s eager embrace of emergency manager powers has left about half of the state’s African-Americans without elected local representatives.

When voters repealed the emergency manager law in 2012 by 53 to 47 percent, the state’s Republican-dominated legislature quickly restored it, including a provision that made it impossible for votes to repeal the law again.

Part of the argument for these laws, which allow state officials to replace all elected city officials in municipalities deemed to be in “emergency” with an unelected bureaucrat, was that this process would prevent bankruptcy, which would be too disruptive.

When Snyder selected bankruptcy expert Kevin Orr to be Detroit’s emergency manager, however, it became clear what path the governor, who faces re-election in 2014, had in mind for the Motor City. Orr  – who has already hinted at his intention to cut pensions – will manage the bankruptcy, carrying out the governor’s wishes.

Unions who have seen Snyder and a lame-duck legislature rush in a law designed to weaken unions along with tax increases on pensioners are not hopeful about  the bankruptcy process.

“Every step of the way, the citizens of Detroit were told that they had to give up their right to democratic representation in order to avoid bankruptcy,” Metro Detroit AFL-CIO president Chris Michalakis and Michigan State AFL-CIO president Karla Swift said in a joint statement. “Now that this filing has come anyway, it is clear that either state control has failed or that Governor Snyder and his emergency manager appointee were not honest about their intentions in the first place.”

As the city’s debts are discharged, the question is who will be asked to pay: workers — who were promised a retirement and have already offered concessions — or investors — who knew they were taking a risk?

UPDATE: Judge Rosemarie Aquilina has ruled the Detroit bankruptcy filing violates Michigan’s state Constitution and must be withdrawn, noting that the there had been a “rush” to bankruptcy.

[See also]