US average $25,000 savings for retirement

Discussion in 'Economics' started by turkeyneck, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. This sounds about correct. After all assets and liabilities are tabulated the real numbers come out. It still humors me when I see people acting like the post industrial boom time is still in effect.

  2. You'd think its even worse. I can imagine all the small businesses these people are going to try and start up with what little money they have- daytrading, pet grooming, selling stamps...
  3. This is how a usury based economy functions.

    The old testament has a story about two brothers, Esau and Jacob. Esau is slightly older so is in line to inherit the title and estate from the father when he passes on.

    Esau is the brawny, hard working "real man" who spends his day being productive. Jacob is basically lazy and chills indoors all day. One day. One day Esau comes in from a hard day in the fields, staving-hungry. Jacob says, I will give you a bowl of soup in return for your birthright. Esau, blinded by his short term hunger, agrees.

    In this way Jacob, the otherwise lazy bum gets the better of his older brother. Why? Because he has a longer range time horizon or time preference. Esau on the other hand, in spite of his qualities, was short term minded and thought only of his immediate need.

    There is also a second incident where Jacob dupes his brother yet again, causing his brother to trade something of massive value for almost nothing.

    The bible basically says that Esau will serve his brother Jacob for the rest of his life, and much of his hard work will go to his brother's benefit and not his own.

    This story is very insightful as it explains how the usury economy really works to this day. The economy needs "hard working dumb Esau's" so that the Jacobs do not have to work and can siphon off wealth.

    In a broader sense it explains how and why those with long term horizons and liquidity preferences always dominate those who are driven by short term urges and liquidity preferences (easy example being "cash" stores and pawn shops), but examples are really everywhere.

    Consider, "the consumer". He can't delay his urge to gratify himself and gets all his "toys" before he can afford them. Consequently, much of his income goes to build the wealth of other men for his entire life.

    Today, huge corporations and their stockholders largely play the role of Jacob.

    However, now the game is extended. Esau is now so tapped out, The Jacobs have the government "jam" money into Esau's pocket, knowing Esau will spend it as fast as possible. Low and behold the fresh money eventually ends up in Jacob (the far signed one's) pocket.

    We did not have this type of economy not all that long ago. Many of our grandparents NEVER bought a thing on credit (which is why so many middle class oldsters have large amounts of assets today). If it continues as it is now, the next generations of non-wealthy will never reach this point. They will be "Esau's" their entire lives.

    Consumer credit is a system of voluntary servitude. It becomes less voluntary when all the easy credit eventually bids up the price of important purchases (home, education, med care) so that suddenly most people need a huge loan to participate.

    By the way i recalled that story from memory so i might not have got it 100% correct.
  4. Well this headline is a bit misleading. First off, I do basically believe that private sector employees who do not have a generous retirement plan probably have very little saved. Secondly, those who do work in the public sector and have a guaranteed defined benefit plan that will pay them a percentage of their final salary with COLA adjustments AND medical care show the stark contrast.

    While one retiree will be living off a very modest Social Security payout the other will be living on significant percentage of their final salary. The bigger question is how are plan administrators able to generate investment income in a ZIRP world that will actually be able to pay all out all of these public sector retirees? The answer, of course, is that they are unable to in the vast majority of states and this hellbent policy of reflating assets perpetually STILL cannot make up for the shortfalls. In the process, it goes a long ways towards bankrupting vast numbers of society, especially those who do not have the benefit of a govt sponsored defined benefit plan and must try to eke out some form of interest income in a zero rate environment.

    The entire episode is a gigantic failure.