Work For Money Till The End? What, No Pension?

For the record, I’ve spent my whole lifetime hating money and doing my utmost to live an alternative existence. Eccentric towards creative arts and essentially living a lifestyle in protest, I’ve never been family or career-oriented. Comparatively, I’ve not lived what would be considered a normal existence.

For instance, before getting drafted into the military during the week of Woodstock, I had joined a religious order called Brothers of The Common Life. The Order adhered to all of the traditional monastic vows except chastity and obedience — meaning we were only vowed into poverty!

At the end of each year, we gave away to charity all of our money. Not only did this feel good, but it also became a means so as not to pay war taxes supporting the corrupt and immoral war on Vietnam! The War Tax Resistance League got lots of notice back then. It still exists, but these days one would never know it.

Eventually both the war, the peace movement and my religious order faded. The Brothers of The Common Life concept ended mostly due to our leader moving to NYC in order to form Seminary in The Streets, a program of the Episcopal Church whereby future priests would spend a year of traditional seminary time working on the streets, helping the impoverished and those hard on their luck.

Anyway, my life went on and I began managing rock n’ roll bands and eventually taught myself how to be a musician. I’ve continued living with my own personal vow of poverty. Prospectively, what choice did I have as I’ve lived in a world with struggling artists and musicians — lol! So it goes …!

So I’m probably not the best voice when it comes to matters of money. But I have lived in a strategy of always rooting for those who have the least, wanting everyone to do well in life. And I’ve cast my vote in every election since Eugene McCarthy accordingly. Thus, I hold a sense for when people are getting screwed.

Good examples to how success in America is measured is the status of the GDP, Dow Jones or NASDAQ, the price of oil, gold and silver and the promise of emerging markets, etc. Very little attention, however, has been paid to either preserving the once relished and cherished American Dream, or the Median Age Index for nations of the world.

One of the saddest and more remarkable facts of reality, for over a hundred years, has been the way the United States has built its huge military and banking system to a point where it’d move into smaller third world nations, impose military dictatorships and appoint a corporate-friendly ambassador who’d then pave the way for corporations, using slave labor, to exploit resources like oil, diamonds, gold, silver, copper, tin, timber, rubber, lithium, opiates, etc.

Here are world examples of median age (half older/half younger) of many of those exploited nations. What’s important to consider is the enormous resources that have been taken from those lands while providing no benefit to the people who live on those lands.

Median Age Indicator:

For comparative purposes the median age of America is 38.1. Interestingly, in socialist Cuba — under US sanctions for decades — the Cuban median age is 41.5.

Afghanistan … 18.8

Angola … 15.9

Belize … 22.7

Benin … 18.2

Bolivia … 24.3

Botswana … 24.5

Burkina Faso … 17.3

Burundi … 17.0

Cameroon … 18.5

Central African Republic … 19.7

Chad … 17.8

Comoros … 19.7

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) … 20.9

Djibouti … 23.9

Equatorial Guinea … 19.8

Eritrea … 19.7

Eswatini (Swaziland) … 21.7

Ethiopia … 17.9

Gabon … 18.6

Gambia … 21.0

Gaza Strip (Palestine) … 17.2

Ghana … 21.1

Guatemala … 22.1

Guinea-Bissau … 20.1

Guinea … 18.9

Haiti … 23.0

Honduras … 23.0

Iraq … 20.0

Jordan … 22.5

Kiribati … 24.6

Laos … 23.0

Lesotho … 17.8

Madagascar … 19.7

Malawi … 16.5

Mali … 15.8

Marshall Islands … 22.9

Mauritania … 20.5

Mozambique … 17.2

Namibia … 21.2

Nicaragua … 25.7

Nigeria … 18.4

Niger … 15.4

Papua New Guinea … 23.1

Philippines … 23.5

Rwanda … 19.0

Samoa … 24.4

São Tomé and Príncipe … 18.4

Senegal … 18.8

Sierra Leone … 19.8

Solomon Islands … 22.5

Somalia … 18.1

South Sudan … 17.3

Sudan … 19.9

Syria … 24.3

Tajikistan … 24.3

Tanzania … 17.7

Timor-Leste … 18.9

Tonga … 23.0

Uganda … 15.8

Vanuatu … 22.0

West Bank (Palestine) … 21.1

Western Sahara … 21.1

Yemen … 19.5

Zambia … 16.8

Zimbabwe … 20.0

Anybody else find this disgusting?

In America, the richest 10% own 84% of all stock market investments. Yet every single day ‘the boob tube’ spoon feeds us the status of the market as if it’s actually important to us. We’re informed how well the market did, where it’ll go, the status of leading indicators and we also gets lots on the price of oil, gold and silver etc.

Market experts abound and mainstream media hails them gurus! It’s like we’re supposed to root for Big Biz and its boards of directors much like our favorite sports teams, which also rip us off, but in a different form. Take a kid or few to a big league ball game? Not without giving up a week’s salary!

The media market even has the public conditioned to sacrifice a week’s salary in order to attend an Elton John concert at Fenway. Paradoxically, however, most folks won’t cough up five bucks for a cover charge to go see a local band performing original tunes in a way much better than the same ole’ Elton John tunes! Folks? You’ve been conditioned!

Which leads to the great question: What is America’s news media?

When Reagan-Bush assumed the presidency there were 50 major media companies in America. Today, only five corporate conglomerates monopolize control over 90% of all media. These media moguls slashed investigative journalism budgets (many replaced with Pentagon plants), fired all the ombudsmen (people watchdog eye critics) and most of the news became syndicated whereby we’re now fed copycat reporting and whether it’s true or not, it’s riddled with advertising!

America changed a lot after Reagan-Bush took over. Thus, began the decline of The American Dream. Not only did this warmongering administration provide brutal and militaristic support for Middle-Eastern, African and Latino dictators, they expanded the drug war, busted up labor unions and privatized health care and prisons and began chemicalizing our planet, etc.

Indeed, the ‘working stiff’ got economically clobbered but never got to realize it because main media had distincted the two political parties into two opposing camps related to god, gays and gun issues! Pick your side and vote! This gave Democrats an excuse to not challenge the effects of an increasing oligarchy as the donor class took over political party ownership and most political operatives went on to enjoy six-digit salaries.

Perhaps the worst result of all is Reagan-Bush caused Democrats to stop being Democrats, instead they adopted a GOPwinger-Lite formula for future governing. The below chart tells the story!

If you search out a chart of worker pensions vs. 401(k)’s you’ll note the chart looks like an X, with 401(k)’s skyrocketing and the worker pensions plummeting, crossing paths during the elder-Bush years. Worker pensions continued in free fall with succeeding presidential administrations to a point where today very few Americans have them. Today, only a little more than half of workers even have a 401(k).

On May 20, 2013, Edward Siedle writing in Forbes “The Greatest Retirement Crisis In American History” concluded:

“Eventually the pain will be so widespread that the crisis will be impossible to ignore. For many, the challenge is to hang in there until help arrives.”

Help? What help? Corporate greed sent American jobs overseas to escape taxation and to benefit from cheap labor.

I conducted several internet searches and ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FoxNews and MSNBC and the print journals do not much show up on the subject of pensions. It’s almost like they’ve chosen to ignore the ole’ folks. I guess they’re too busy talkin’ ‘bout Russia and Trump!

When the subject of stealing money from Social Security comes up apparently it’ll simply be treated as something ordinary. The media, rather than standing firm on behalf of those wanting to protect their benefits, will likely give the market thieves their voice and just due and allow the small folk in America to get screwed once again.

Back to the stock market. Again, it is primarily invested by the fat cats at the top. But that doesn’t mean they won’t take money from those Americans who think it’s a good idea to invest. My observation shows every aging generation receiving and investing their inheritance money also, at some point, gets to see a market implosion. The guru experts, of course, mildly inform us this is only a “market correction.”

Here’s usually how a so-called market correction works. Americans do what they think is right by investing their inheritance money into the market and the market blooms. Then hedge fund managers and other heavy insiders — after gaining significantly from the market bloom — sorta miraculously team up and take out short positions, betting their money that stocks will fall. And whatta ya know! They do! The profiteers make money on the market going up and they then make money on the market going down.

Here are 10 of the Dow’s Top-20 worst single-day declines in stock market history and do note the dates:

#1 … 2/5/18: 1175

#2 … 2/8/18: 1032

#3 … 10/10/18: 832

#4 … 12/4/18: 799

#7 … 3 /22/18 : 724

#11 … 2/2/18: 665

#15 … 10/24/18: 608

#16 … 11/12/18: 602

#18 … 4/6/18: 572

#20 … 11/20/18: 551

Buyer beware of The New America!

Founder of Climate Change Band; former NH State Rep; Supporter of Bernie Sanders & Standing Rock!