GREECE, Thessaloníki : An elderly man is crying outside a national bank branch as pensioners queue to get their pensions, with a limit of 120 euros, in Thessaloniki on 3 July, 2015. Greece is almost evenly split over a crucial weekend referendum that could decide its financial fate, with a ‘Yes’ result possibly ahead by a whisker, the latest survey Friday showed. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government is asking Greece’s voters to vote 'No’ to a technically phrased question asking if they are willing to accept more tough austerity conditions from international creditors in exchange for bailout funds. AFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis                        

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

Texas GOP Bill Takes Salaries And Pensions Away From State Employees Who Obey Federal Same-Sex Marriage Rulings

Texas GOP Bill Takes Salaries And Pensions Away From State Employees Who Obey Federal Same-Sex Marriage Rulings

If you’re a state employee in Texas, you could soon be stripped of your paycheck and pension if you obey federal court rulings that Republicans don’t like.

In response to federal court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans, Texas Republicans have introduced a bill in the state legislature that would punish state workerswho don’t reject federal court decisions ruling same-sex marriage bans…

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Bernie Sanders Draws Union Support Pressing Pensions Issue
With union members chanting “Bernie! Bernie” behind him, Senator Bernie Sanders sought to burnish his populist credentials for president as he introduced a bill to protect the pensions of millions of retirees from the threat of deep cuts.
By Eric Lichtblau

With union members chanting “Bernie! Bernie!” behind him, Senator Bernie Sanders sought to burnish his populist credentials for president on Thursday as he introduced a bill to protect the pensions of millions of retirees from the threat of deep cuts.

Mr. Sanders railed against a spending bill approved by Congress last December — and signed into law by President Obama — that included a provision allowing certain multiemployer pension plans to make deep cuts in benefits to retirees to shore up their finances.

At a news conference in Washington, Mr. Sanders said the economic system was “rigged” against working-class retirees. With wealthy Americans given tax breaks and myriad financial perks, “the very least that we can do is to keep our promises to people who worked and earned their pensions,” he said.

“We say loudly and clearly that’s not what America is about!” he shouted, jabbing his hand in the air. “Enough is enough!”
Canada Post is not fighting workers over the future of mail, they're trying to weaken pensions
Here's what the Canada Post contract dispute is really about.

What’s really going on with Canada Post?

Over the last while, a contract dispute between Canada Post and its workers has led to workers being threatened with getting locked out of their jobs by management because management wants to ram through controversial changes to the pensions postal workers fought for and won.

Canada Post’s management, appointed by the former Harper government, wants to weaken he company’s pension plan for new hires, replacing the current defined benefit system with a defined contribution model. As the CBC explains:

“The former offers plan members a steady monthly cheque every month. But experts say those are costlier to maintain since the onus is on the company to ensure those payments regardless of investment returns. Defined contribution plans, meanwhile, just invest a certain amount on the employee’s behalf every month, but offer no guarantee of payments down the line if those investments underperform.”

This is strange since at $22 billion, Canada Post’s pension fund is one of the biggest in the country. And although the fund faces liabilities in the long-term (largely due to low interest rates), the fund also ran a surplus of $1 billion in 2015.

So the fund has plenty of money to pay out workers as they retire, but it would only run into problems if Canada Post went bankrupt or if all of its workers somehow retired tomorrow.

Continue Reading.


Warrior Culture : Ottoman Empire
Subculture : Janissary

An elite military unit consisting entirely of Christian boys who were taken as slaves around the age of six. They much like Spartan youths were raised up under strict discipline to embody unit cohesion and strength. The young Janissary were prohibited from growing facial hair (the power of the beard was not with them), training in any field other than the military, or marrying(they were expected to be celibate).

They were among one of the first armies of the age to wear distinctive uniforms. And unlike most militaries of the time period they received salaries, and even pensions upon retirement. Making them more progressive in those areas than other militaries of the time. Janissaries were far ahead of their time as well when it came to logistics. Utilizing entire support units to transfer supplies, complete other non-combat tasks, and even transport the wounded to specialized field hospitals (another inovation).

On top of that even as Slaves they retained a large amount of status and power, eventually gaining enough power and influence to attempt a coup (which failed and lead to their eventual disbandment).