Monday, June 27, 2005

The pension fund at Lockheed

From Anonymous:

The pension fund at Lockheed has enough money for some people:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/26/AR2005062600660.html

Comments:
Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Middle America, but I'm going to have to take
away your promised benefits and lower your pay so that I can make even more
obscene amounts of money. If you question any of this, remember that
(1) it's inevitable, so there is nothing you can do about it, and (2) it's
the American way, so to question any of this would be unpatriotic.

We are all equal in America. It's just that some of us are a little
more equal than others. You understand all this, don't you?

Oh, and about that Social Security the nation once promised you. There's
been a slight change in the plan. We'll be needing to decrease that benefit
so that I can receive some more generous tax breaks in the future. You
understand all this, right? It's for the good of the country. And,
besides, there is nothing you can do about it. Our small and exclusive
club at the very top now owns most of the country. More importantly, we
also own the politicians. And, just in case you forgot, let me remind
you once again. There is nothing you can do about it.

But if you're feeling a bit depressed about all this, then try turning on
your TV and watching some of the really swell stuff that's presented by
Fox News. You know, stuff like Michael Jackson's whereabouts, and whose
the latest American Idol. All the really important stuff you really
need to know. And finally, let me remind you for the very last time.
Just in case you were thinking about changing the status quo in this
country, remember one thing - there is nothing you can do about it, so
just give up. Got that? Good.
 
...oh yes and I forgot to mention, that waterfront farm real estate you purchased 20 years ago with your own money, you know, the money you worked to earn and which we taxed...and the interest on which we taxed (while we loaned it out to others at a premium)...you know, the real estate you have been paying taxes on all these years for fewer services and schools so bad that the teachers send their children elsewhere? Yes, well we have decided that that a leisure development for our retired wealthy and their idle heirs is necessary, and so your home. farm, and barn will be demolished for a yacht club and an upscale restaurant/nightclub complex. Move along now, there are some new shipping container condos out by the interstate for you. You might be able to find some work unpacking the Walmart trucks. Feedings are every six hours from the tank trucks. If you are late, rations will be halved tomorrow. Get in line! Move along! No talking!
 
Beware those who think L-M will have the silver bullet for any new retirement program.

According to Forbes magazine, of the S&P 500 list, Lockheed Martin is #6 of under funded pension plans. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $14B

It is estimated that it would take them 54 years to catch up in funding current pension plans.

Under funded pension plans are created by a massive shell game.

The employer claims they are matching your contribution, but are in fact skimming the money off the top for cash flow purposes.

These shell games are used to prop up earnings estimates similar to the likes of the ill-reported gains of Enron, Tyco, and Aldelphia to name a few.

So, L-M could very well shuffle money as they see fit and still make you believe that they are following the rules.
 
Poster 6:35 am -

You're giving out cargo containers for the riff-raff to live in? Hogwash!
If you keep spoiling your American workers with luxuries like that they
are liable to get uppity. In my part of the woods, a card board box is
deemed good enough. What really irks me, however, are those pesky Chinese.
Over there, they are paying the workers $1.50 an hour to assemble Honda
vehicles! With high pay like that, those China-men are going to ruin
the system for the rest of us at the top:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/business/worldbusiness/28yuan.html

I have an idea to help counter these new high wage schemes. Our
company is starting a new ad campaign, and it goes like this:
.......................................................................
"Tired of all those worries and cares? Concerned about your next meal?
Try our solution - the New Slavery. It's not your Great-Grand-Dad's
slavery. It's new, improved, and better than ever!"
.......................................................................

We'll be running the ad in all 50 states, with sign-up sheets in most
grocery stores in America. It should be a real hit, and will help raise
our corporate earnings-per-employee figures to new highs. Frankly,
we were a little concerned at first whether the Dept. of Justice might
look unfavorably on the idea. However, a few hundred thousand green
ones slipped into the pants of ol' Tom Delay and we were off to the
racetrack.
 
If I had a pension fund with Lockheed, before I accused Tom Delay, I would investigate Who is accusing him of anything, the People in the North East, the Insurance Corporations, would normally be the perpetrators of such a imposition on Workers, in fact when Kenneth Lay was accused, the Real Perpetrators were the Congressional Delegations allied togetherr and did Revenge on Parts of Corporate Community in Texas, which assisted George Bush, and that is how Revenge is taken, California Dumped on Enron, by Making Enron Sell them Energy using DIrty Plants Pollution Causing allegedly, iN California, then Enron Could not pay the Penalties of Millions of Dollars a Day, and California didn't pay for the Power, so, Enron got dumped a few months later probably without ever paying for Penalties as California never paid and was broke anyway, so Enron's Pensions dumped by Enron, yes some executives lost stock, and sold company stock and you would too if you saw what happened and saw Congressmen and Senators killing yoiu job, your company, and your stock value and you would feel that you were robbed too, that is how revenge is taken, guy, check the facts out, yes, they can convict for other reasons without ever getting the true thiefs, the ZCongressmen and senators who laughed as they dumped enron and World Com, and by the way, Global Crossing never was critized at all, and was worse, it was run by Terry MacAuliff and he made millions allegedly and put down payment on Hillary's Mansion at Chappequa New York, its a fact, check it out, geencee a man, a man, amen,
 
To 6/28/2005 11:43:31 PM: At least you used a few commas.
 
Poster 11:43pm, your post is truly scary. Do you normally post like that,
are is that just the type of gibberish that comes out when you forget to
take your medications?
 
11:43 sure sounds like the rantings of a mad man to me. I guess if he could actually prove any of his rantings that would be one thing but, with people like this, it's all hype and false accusations with no basis for fact. Blaming California for Enron's failings is ludicrous. It's like blaming black Africans for the slavery problem in the US prior to the Civil War. Good grief!
 
Another CEO sells-out middle America. In this case, they are trashing
promised medical benefits for retirees. You can bet these cuts won't be
hurting the future retirement benefits for this CEO at Visteon.

..........................................................................
Visteon to Slash Retiree Benefits - CFO Magazine

http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/4144852/c_4144860

Visteon Corp. is the latest among a growing number of companies, especially
in the auto industry, to scale back benefits that had been promised to
retirees.

..........................................................................
 
Karma hits Justice Souter....

===== Proposal Made to Seize Souter's Property - AP News =====

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050630/ap_on_re_us/souter_property_3
 
I would like to ask people who live in NM a question about the possible contract win of Lockheed-Martin. New Mexico has many military bases, and LM is the top supplier of the military. If LM has both Sandia and LM, then it would seem LM would effectively "own" the State of New Mexico, as far as receipt of Federal expenditures. I can't see how any NM politician would be able to oppose any initiative they wanted. The only other sectors of the economy in NM that compare are oil and gas (drilling up the NM environment: see this month's National Geographic) and agriculture/livestock (shrinking under the pressure of water shortage and gas drilling). Are we seeing the transformation of a U.S. state into the first truly military/corporate conglomerate? Is this the future?
Will unelected corporate military begin to exercise governance via political contributions, so that elected officials not "on the payroll" serve only as props for a sham democracy?

I think we NM citizens should seek a pledge from current and aspiring elected officials that they will decline contributions from the military corporations that supply and run NM bases and Labs. After all, corporations don't vote, citizens do. In a democracy, a corporation does not have inalienable rights, and citizens are not vassals in a corporate fiefdom. Is NM becoming a mil/corp fiefdom? From many comments on this blog, it seems that the management at LANL certainly fits the description of royalty suppressing a peasant rebellion.

Maybe this is and has been the state of affairs for some time, but with a LM/UT win described as a "sure thing", I wonder if the majority of NM citizens will be the winner. I am sure there are many good patriotic Americans at LM and UT, and many well-meaning politicians in NM, but what about the increased potential for corruption? How can free speech be protected, when most of the citizens are economically dependent upon a mil/corp monopoly that can exact reprisal for speaking out in public?

Who would dare file a legitimate whistleblower complaint concerning danger to public health and safety? Does anyone else on this blog fear for the larger outcomes for NM society, over and above their personal pension and benefits and accumulated sick leave? Is it possible for a corporation to have too much influence over a single state?
 
A recurrent theme in this blog has been worry about the "big bad corporations", on the assumption that LM or Bechtel will run things if they win the contract. Remember, the big dog in this fight isn't the winning corporation, it is the DoE who ultimately has the money and the say on how things will go. I'd worry more about the DoE, and less about the corporations.
 
I don't think corporations are bad, per say. And a military corporation is
no worse than any other. It's just that the power balance has been turning
against the corporate workers of late. CEOs are being rewarded by those on
Wall Street for reducing worker benefits and pay and shipping the jobs to
overseas locations. If this keeps up much longer, corporate leaders need to
know they can expect a powerful political backlash from middle America.
Hiding behind excuses like governmental costs due to 911 or the need for
globalization won't work much longer.

One can argue about the inevitability of globalization, but US workers aren't
going to sit by and do nothing while they see their living standards lower.
I sense the political shift may already be happening. Politicians pay heed.
Americans want cheap, but well made goods, but they also want their jobs
and decent benefits. Workers have taken their hits, and yet they've seen
no promised "Bush Boom" to the economy. Time is quickly running out for
the party in power. If they can't deliver on the economy, they will soon
be removed from power by the voters.
 
Upton Sinclair, an American patriot and muckraker (the term may have been coined just for him), said:

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

Have a happy Fourth of July, my fellow Americans.

-Brad
 
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