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David





Joined: 06 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:05 pm    Post subject: Fair Pensions For All Reply with quote

Pensions have become a major issue for our society. A crisis has been building for several years. Now due to the economic meltdown the level of the crisis has risen dramatically. This Blog is an attempt to stay on top of the current issues and to provide relevant information about the issues

Fair Pensions For All
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
Reputation: 104
votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pleasant surprise. Most of the time, when someone is demanding something which they've labeled as being "fair", what they want is yet another level of nanny state bureaucracy.

My understanding is Great Britain has codified & legislated private sector pensions so private companies must provide some form of pension plan and employees can opt in or opt out. If an employee opts out, the company can give what they would contribute to a pension plan as part of the wage for the employee... which means (of course) it is exposed to income taxation...

-Mac
Mattman





Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 42
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a pension to be fair it must be.
1. Participation must be by choice.
2. Those who do not benefit from it must not be made to pay for it, directly or indirectly.

I'd argue that any pension (or almost any other program) that fulfills those two requirements is fair.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
Reputation: 104
votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mattman wrote:
For a pension to be fair it must be.
1. Participation must be by choice.
2. Those who do not benefit from it must not be made to pay for it, directly or indirectly.

I'd argue that any pension (or almost any other program) that fulfills those two requirements is fair.

The same should be said for unions, wouldn't you say?

If union membership was by choice rather than by coercion, the adversarial relationship between unions and management would vanish. Those who opted out wouldn't have the benefits of unions interceding or negotiating on their behalf but wouldn't have to pay dues or go on strike.

If management started trying to screw the workers, union membership would swell. When management treated the workers fairly, membership would drop.

Sounds fairer than the current arrangement where 50% + 1 vote can overrule 50% - 1 vote...

Sorry to go off-topic...

Since I hope to be the recipient of one of those public service pensions, it's hard for me to argue against them... and the pension was one of the reasons why I joined up. Nothing wrong with looking forward.

-Mac
Mattman





Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 42
Reputation: 23.4Reputation: 23.4

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
Mattman wrote:
For a pension to be fair it must be.
1. Participation must be by choice.
2. Those who do not benefit from it must not be made to pay for it, directly or indirectly.

The same should be said for unions, wouldn't you say?

Since I hope to be the recipient of one of those public service pensions, it's hard for me to argue against them... and the pension was one of the reasons why I joined up. Nothing wrong with looking forward.

-Mac


Regarding unions, yes you should have freedom of association, which SHOULD include non-association. Maybe someone should write this down.

As far as the public service pensions, it's in your employment contract, they should fulfill their obligation.

Going forward I think our government has to ensure that compensation and benefits are fair and competitive, not excessive.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
Reputation: 104
votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mattman wrote:
Regarding unions, yes you should have freedom of association, which SHOULD include non-association. Maybe someone should write this down.

As far as the public service pensions, it's in your employment contract, they should fulfill their obligation.

Going forward I think our government has to ensure that compensation and benefits are fair and competitive, not excessive.

In my case, we're not permitted to unionize but our right to freedom of association has been recognized by the SCC. Labour laws were carefully crafted to ensure the non-association wasn't an option. Pity.

Governments have long argued the necessity of paying fair and competitive wages in order to attract and retain quality employees. I guess the question remains... what constitutes fair and competitive?

-Mac
Mattman





Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 42
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:

Governments have long argued the necessity of paying fair and competitive wages in order to attract and retain quality employees. I guess the question remains... what constitutes fair and competitive?

-Mac


Fair, if both parties agree to it without coercion or outside influence.
Competitive wage - A payment to employees for work that is generally equivalent to the payment made to others performing similar work.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
Reputation: 104
votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mattman wrote:
Fair, if both parties agree to it without coercion or outside influence.
Competitive wage - A payment to employees for work that is generally equivalent to the payment made to others performing similar work.

Both sound about right... however the second would be harder to establish if the job is monopolized by government. Like police service and/or armed forces service.

-Mac
fiscalconservative





Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
Mattman wrote:
For a pension to be fair it must be.
1. Participation must be by choice.
2. Those who do not benefit from it must not be made to pay for it, directly or indirectly.

I'd argue that any pension (or almost any other program) that fulfills those two requirements is fair.

The same should be said for unions, wouldn't you say?

If union membership was by choice rather than by coercion, the adversarial relationship between unions and management would vanish. Those who opted out wouldn't have the benefits of unions interceding or negotiating on their behalf but wouldn't have to pay dues or go on strike.

If management started trying to screw the workers, union membership would swell. When management treated the workers fairly, membership would drop.

Sounds fairer than the current arrangement where 50% + 1 vote can overrule 50% - 1 vote...


-Mac


It seems like a good idea, but would break down in practice. What if only 25% of individuals want to strike ? In some places that would not work, but in others, it would shut down the plant and the 75% would be out of work because of the 25%.

I think the main problem with unions is the uneven playing field. In many cases, the unions have no bargining power whatsoever (Wal-Mart) while in others a short strike could destroy a company (say GM). How much you make is not tied to your effort or skill, but to how much damage you could cause.

I don't have sympathy for unions in general, but I am a lot more sympathetic where there is abuse and very low wages. I have 0 sympathy for the CAW/UAW which at times represented am extortion racket.

I think a unions right to strike should be suspended at a fixed rate of benifits. Maybe the average industrial wage for something like that.
Mattman





Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 42
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fiscalconservative wrote:

It seems like a good idea, but would break down in practice. What if only 25% of individuals want to strike ? In some places that would not work, but in others, it would shut down the plant and the 75% would be out of work because of the 25%.

I think the main problem with unions is the uneven playing field. In many cases, the unions have no bargining power whatsoever (Wal-Mart) while in others a short strike could destroy a company (say GM). How much you make is not tied to your effort or skill, but to how much damage you could cause.

I don't have sympathy for unions in general, but I am a lot more sympathetic where there is abuse and very low wages. I have 0 sympathy for the CAW/UAW which at times represented am extortion racket.

I think a unions right to strike should be suspended at a fixed rate of benifits. Maybe the average industrial wage for something like that.


Where there is abuse, the government should be involved.
The government sets the minimum safety and working standards.

As for wages and other benefits, that's for the company and employees to negotiate. My way or I'll destroy you, isn't a negotiation.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
Reputation: 104
votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fiscalconservative wrote:
It seems like a good idea, but would break down in practice. What if only 25% of individuals want to strike ? In some places that would not work, but in others, it would shut down the plant and the 75% would be out of work because of the 25%.

I think the main problem with unions is the uneven playing field. In many cases, the unions have no bargining power whatsoever (Wal-Mart) while in others a short strike could destroy a company (say GM). How much you make is not tied to your effort or skill, but to how much damage you could cause.

I don't have sympathy for unions in general, but I am a lot more sympathetic where there is abuse and very low wages. I have 0 sympathy for the CAW/UAW which at times represented am extortion racket.

I think a unions right to strike should be suspended at a fixed rate of benifits. Maybe the average industrial wage for something like that.

As it sits now, if 25% of the union wanted to strike, they would be out of luck; right, wrong or indifferent.

If the freedom of non-association was in play and half of the workers were unionized, most companies would face hardship so the strike would be effective but not crippling. Sounds fair to me.

Jig the odds and say 75% of the workforce wasn't unionized and the 25% went on strike. The company wouldn't be devastated which is fair. After all, if the company was taking advantage of their workers, they would join the union.

Jig the odds the other way and it remains fair... plus if the union starts throwing it's weight around for no good reason, the workers would disassociate from the union and go back to work. Yes, it would be tougher for the unions to sell their particular brand of intimidation and extortion but I'm okay with that.

Anyway, back to the pension question... David, what do you propose as fairness?

-Mac
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