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Hungary, Ireland and others snatch retirement accounts is California next?

The avalanche of failing governments in Europe has left many legislators with no choice but to seize European taxpayer savings and pension accounts to cover the governments’ bills.

The seizure of pension accounts is easily accomplished in Europe as the state organizes and is in charge of said accounts.

The extended recession has left many countries no choice but to get ‘creative’ with their bookkeeping to continue services or face possible riots like Greece.

Take Hungary, last month they made a deal with its citizens, either hand over all their savings to the government or lose all their state pension money. Adding insult to injury, citizens must still pay into those defunct accounts.

According to Christian Science Monitor, “The government wants to gain control over $14 billion of individual retirement accounts.”

Hungary is not alone in its quest to grab hard-earned money from employees. “The Bulgarian government has come up with a similar idea,” CSM said. “An additional $300 million of private early retirement savings was supposed to be transferred to the state pension scheme. The government gave way after trade unions protested and finally only about 20 percent of the original plans were implemented.”

Poland is another country on the brink and wants to confiscate approximately one-third of the state-run Social Security program which adds up to $2.3 billion per year. The newly imposed program hopes to bridge the financial gap for several years while leaving retirees with empty pockets.

Ireland, who has made front page news in the U.S. for disgruntled taxpayers, will also raid the National Pension Reserve Fund. The fund was supposed to provide retirement money for workers who need a pension in the years 2025-2050.

However, the bailouts began last year with the banks and with the country going belly-up, the government gobbled up the entire $6.5 billion.

Once the outrage subsides about foreign governments seizing employee pensions, many will question, ‘who will take care of them when they can no longer work?’

America’s most progressive states California, Illinois and New York are nearly bankrupt, concerned Americans must begin to wonder if their savings accounts are next?

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Government to decide its role in U.S. media

According to Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman-CA, the government needs to step in and reshape the way America gets its news.

Now that the elections are over, many news outlets are struggling to make a profit and the plethora of websites that provide news has put a dent in the traditional main stream media, many of which are now begging for a government bailout.

Waxman claims that quality journalism is an essential process for U.S. democracy and argued that it was the duty of government to step in and prop up failing newspapers. However, many disagree with Waxman’s assessment of lagging newspapers, namely Fox News and talk radio in general. If one believes in the free-market capitalism model and a product no longer wanted by the public at large – the product fails.

Nobody will argue the media leans left in overwhelming numbers and since the country is a center right crowd, perhaps news organizations should tweak their product to reflect a true American market.

“Eventually government is going to have to be responsible to help and resolve these issues,” Waxman told a U.S. Federal Trade Commission conference on the future of journalism.

Free Press, a public interest organization, said “the search for solutions to the crisis in journalism should be premised on the idea that news-gathering is a public service, not a commodity.”

Also it’s worth pointing out that with the advent of the internet and the need for up-to-the minute news, the old newspaper model is becoming obsolete. In addition to the historic nature of the 2008 elections, there was a lot of news generated that cable outlets are no longer able to produce a profit. Voters have since left the television and gone back to business as usual.

On the table for discussion is giving media moguls the ability to purchase newspapers even though they own television broadcasts, however, this would consolidate a monopoly on a perspective on how viewers receive news. Waxman stated he was wary about allowing this to happen in greater numbers.

“Even greater consolidation of the business has not helped,” Waxman finished.

Perhaps media should start looking into the news Americans would like to read about and follow in the steps of outlets like Fox and talk radio that have enjoyed enormous rating increases with a center-right platform.

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Minority broadcasters ask the FCC for a bailout

Washington D.C. – In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission and Fed Chief Timothy Geithner, the minority broadcasters group asked the government for a bailout.

The letter was written by Congressmen James Clyburn-D-SC, Charlie Rangel-D-NY and Barney Frank-D-MA requesting funds for the struggling industry.

Clyburn is a ranking congressman and civil rights leader often credited for getting President Barrack Obama into the White House.

However, the letter comes at a time when Clyburn’s daughter, Mignon Clyburn, is being nominated to be a member of the FCC that regulates these very broadcasters asking for a bailout. This letter and the nomination certainly make strange bedfellows.

It is not clear if the minority broadcasters will get the bailout, but they could find it easier to receive funds for alternative programming, according to Fox News.

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