We all know that America’s socialized pension system is, barring major reforms, doomed to undergo major default. But Americans should be nervous about their private pension funds and accounts, too.
Over at PensionTsunami.com, the folks at California Public Policy Center have their ears to the ground, listening for rumblings of the next market collapses, a huge bubble bursting in multiple forms of pension systems. A link from that site led me to a Bloomberg article, about Ireland’s bizarro response to that country’s downturn.
And the ominous portent it presents.
You see, Ireland’s politicians are so convinced that they have to “do something,” something big, to jumpstart the economy out of its current depression, that they’ve decided to levy a tax against pensions — a special tax designed to raise 470 million euros a year for four years, to pay for a massive new jobs program.
Forget that government jobs programs rarely do much good. Forget that it’s not government investment which accounts for market progress, but private investment, and that people will invest when they feel secure enough about the future to do so.
Forget that robbing people of their savings for the future tends to make investors less secure, less likely to invest — and thus put the economy in a bigger, longer-run fix.
Remember, instead, that to a politician nothing is sacred, nothing is out of bounds for a tax or control.
And that this kind of dangerous public thievery could happen here.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.