(Editor’s note: This will be one of those very long but very interesting articles full of tidbits of information you need.  Please take the time to read the entire article and/or bookmark for later reading and linkage.  I am attempting to break this topic of retirement security down into manageable yet related pieces.)

On 10.7.2010, Sen. Tom Harkin held a HELP Committee hearing “to examine retirement security in America”.  His full statement from the hearing can be found here.  The full video of the hearing can be found here. One of the main witnesses before the committee was Ross Eisenbrey, Vice President, Economic Policy Institute.  His full statement can be found here.

EPI has published and advocated what we feel would be an excellent national supplemental retirement plan, the Guaranteed Retirement Account, which was authored by Prof. Teresa Ghilarducci, Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. In a nutshell, the GRA would mandate employer and employee contributions to a federally administered cash balance plan. The combined 5% of payroll contributions would be invested by a Thrift Savings Plan-like entity in the bond and stock markets, with a guaranteed minimum return of 3% beyond inflation. A $600 tax credit would cover the entire 2.5% contribution for workers earning $24,000 or less, and greatly reduce the effective contribution rate for other lower-paid workers. We calculate that at the end of a normal working life, the average worker would accumulate, along with Social Security, enough to assure a 70% replacement rate of pre-retirement income. – Ross Eisenbrey

On Social Security:

HELP Committee

The trust fund has more than $2 trillion and will be able to pay 100% of promised benefits for another 27 years. Even then, Social Security will not “go broke” but will be able to pay 78% of promised benefits. So the question isn’t how to “save” the program; it will survive without any change. The problem is how to get more money into the trust fund so full benefits can be paid in perpetuity. The goal is, or ought to be, to preserve full benefits and to maximize the retirement income of the tens of millions of households
that depend on Social Security. – Ross Eisenbrey

“For many Americans, the only retirement security they have is Social Security, but that, too, is under siege.  There are those that want to privatize the system, cut back benefits and raise the retirement age.  They say that everyone should just work longer and that retirement is a ‘luxury.’  Clearly, those people do not swing a hammer for a living.  They do not toil in our corn fields or work on our oil rigs.  For Americans who work in these physically demanding jobs, working longer simply is not an option.  A lifetime of hard work takes its toll, and at some point, a person just cannot do it anymore.  – Sen. Tom Harkin on Retirement Security

Would any of this be the case if The Federal Reserve had not devalued our dollar by 96% since its inception in 1913, and given the US Congress a credit card chaining Americans to foreign countries with debt?


The main players in this little drama are Teresa Ghilarducci and her Guaranteed Retirement Accounts paper, the Economic Policy Institute, SEIU, Retirement USA, and the New School of Social Research.

In his opening statement to the committee, Mr. Eisenbrey stated, “EPI is a non-partisan think tank with a long history of analyzing trends in employment, compensation, and income, as well as advocating for policies to ensure shared prosperity.”  After you look at the board for EIP, will you wonder as I did if they are truly non-partisan?

Economic Policy Institute

Brace yourselves for the quote coming from a document that the Obama Administration and the Dems in Congress are following when it comes to nationalizing and subsidizing retirement accounts.

How Guaranteed Retirement Accounts work

Structure. Guaranteed Retirement Accounts are like universal 401(k) plans except that the government, as befits a large and enduring institution, will invest and manage the pooled savings. – Theresa Ghilarducci, Guaranteed Retirement Accounts, Toward Retirement Income Security

There is a growing interest in a lame duck session of Congress seizing Americans’ 401(k)s (some $8 Trillion dollars) in an attempt to bailout the union pension funds that are insolvent and unsustainable.  My readers might find it interesting as to the who and the what that is behind yet another proposed theft of our money.  I started digging early this morning and found myself shocked and speechless (not my normal state, I assure you).  Let’s start with the author, Teresa Ghilarducci, Professor of Economics at the New School For Social Research and Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (New School).  As always, bold emphasis is the editor’s attempt to bring your attention to important information.

Teresa Ghilarducci

The New School for Social Research
Professor Teresa Ghilarducci is the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Chair of Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. Her 2008 book, When I’m Sixty Four: The Plot against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them (Princeton University Press) investigates the effect of pension losses on older Americans and how to stop them. Ghilarducci’s current 2 year project, “Beyond the 401(k): Guaranteeing Retirement Security,” is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. She is a trustee for two Retiree Health Care Trusts: one for the UAW retirees at GM, Ford, and Chrysler and the other for Steelworker retirees at Goodyear. In 2007, Ghilarducci served on Governor Schwarzenegger’s Public Employee Post Employment Benefits. Ghialrducci was appointed by Indiana’s Governor to serve as a trustee for the Public Employee Retirement Fund in Indiana 1997–2002 and President Clinton appointed her twice to served on the PBGC’s Advisory Board, 1996- 2001. She was the Wurf fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School from 2007–2009. She received her Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California at Berkeley. (EPI publications by Teresa Ghilarducci.)

Excerpt from Ms. Ghilarducci’s full bio:

Ph.D. (1984) University of California, Berkeley, Economics
B.A. (1978) University of California, Berkeley, Economics

Professor, Economics, The New School, 2008-Present
Director, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School, 2008-Present
Professor, Economics and Policy Studies, University of Notre Dame, 2005-2007
Associate Professor, Economics, University of Notre Dame, 1991 – 2005
Assistant Professor, Economics, University of Notre Dame, 1983 – 1991
Director, Higgins Labor Research Center, University of Notre Dame, 1997 – 2007

Trustee, GM Retiree Health Fund, May 2006 – present.
Advisory Board Member, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (Presidential Appointment), 1995 –
Member, Board of Trustees, Indiana Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF) (Governor’s
Appointment), 1997 – 2002.
Member, General Accounting Office Retirement Policy Advisory Panel, Washington, DC, 2002 – present.
Associate, Economic Policy Institute, Washington, DC, 1994 – present.
European Union Visitors Programme, March 20 – April 3, 1995, The Hague, Bonn, Brussels.

Instructor, “U.S. Income and Wealth Inequality,” The Century Foundation Sagner Summer Programs, Williams College, Williamstown, MA. (June 22 – July 2, 1999; June 23 – July 15, 2000; July 1 – July 8, 2001; July 1 – 8, 2002; June 27 – July 6, 2003)
Assistant Director, Department of Employee Benefits, AFL-CIO, September 1994 – May 1995 (during leave from the University of Notre Dame).
In Residence Fellowship, Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College, 1987 – 1988.
Research Assistant, Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California, Berkeley, 1979 – 1983.

As you peruse Ms. Ghilarducci’s bio, it is obvious she is a progressive globalist for a ‘university’ with a very interesting name:

What is the New School for Social Research? From their About page:

The New School for Social Research provides an education grounded in history and informed by a legacy of critical thought and civic engagement. The school’s dedication to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry reaches back to the university’s founding in 1919 as a home for progressive thinkers and the creation of the University in Exile in 1933 for scholars persecuted in Nazi Europe. The interdisciplinary education offered by The New School for Social Research today explores and promotes global peace and justice as more than theoretical ideals.

The New School for Social Research is a second home for students from a variety of geographical, cultural, economic, and political backgrounds. It enrolls more than 1,000 students from all regions of the United States and from more than 70 countries. Here, civic engagement begins in the classroom. Seminar-style classes facilitate mutual respect and intellectual rigor and take advantage of the school’s diversity and location in New York City.

The university has left most of the true history out:

The New School is a university in New York City, located mostly in Greenwich Village. From its founding in 1919 by Fabian Socialists (progressive New York academics), and for most of its history, the university was known as the New School for Social Research. Between 1997 and 2005 it was known as New School University. The university and each of its colleges were re-branded to their current names in 2005.

The school is renowned for its avant-garde teaching, housing the well-known, international think tank The World Policy Institute, and hosting the prestigious National Book Awards. Parsons The New School for Design is the university’s highly competitive art school.

Some 9,300 students are enrolled in graduate and undergraduate degree programs, organized into eight different schools, which teach a variety of disciplines, including the social sciences, liberal arts, humanities, architecture, fine arts, design, music, drama, finance, psychology and public policy.[7]

The graduate school of The New School began in 1933 as the University in Exile, an emergency rescue program for threatened scholars in Europe. In 1934 it was chartered by the New York state board of regents and its name was changed to the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, a name it would keep until 2005 when it was renamed New School for Social Research.

Now where have we heard about Fabian Socialists before?  England; Oxford, John Ruskin, Cecil Rhodes, Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, George Bernard Shaw and the London School of Economics, etc.


The New School for Social Research was founded by a group of university professors and intellectuals in 1919 as a modern, progressive free school where adult students could “seek an unbiased understanding of the existing order, its genesis, growth and present working.”[8] Founders included historian Charles Beard, economists Thorstein Veblen and James Harvey Robinson, and philosopher John Dewey, several of whom were former professors at Columbia University.

The school was conceived and founded during a period of fevered nationalism, deep suspicion of foreigners, and increased censorship and suppression during and after the involvement of the United States in World War I.

In October 1917, after Columbia University passed a resolution that imposed a loyalty oath to the United States government upon the entire faculty and student body,[9] the board of trustees fired Professor of Psychology and Head of the Department James McKeen Cattell for having sent a petition to three US congressmen, asking them not to support legislation for military conscription.[10] Other firings included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana (grandson of the poet) and Leon Fraser. Charles Beard, Professor of Political Science, resigned his professorship at Columbia in protest. James Harvey Robinson, an associate of Beard’s at Columbia and Professor of History, commented on the resignation: “It is not that any of us are pro-German or disloyal. It is simply that we fear that a condition of repression may arise in this country similar to that which we laughed at in Germany.”[11] Robinson would resign in 1919 to join the faculty at the New School.

Founder Charles Beard had, in 1899, collaborated with Walter Vrooman at Oxford to start Ruskin Hall, a progressive institution of higher learning for workingmen. The New School would offer the rigorousness of postgraduate education without degree matriculation or degree prerequisites. It was theoretically open to anyone, as the adult division today called The New School for General Studies remains.[12] The first classes at the New School took the form of lectures followed by discussions, for larger groups, or as smaller conferences, for “those equipped for specific research.” In the first semester, 100 courses, mostly in economics and politics, were offered by an ad hoc faculty that included Thomas Sewall Adams, Charles Beard, Horace M. Kallen, Harold Laski, Wesley Clair Mitchell, Thorstein Veblen, James Harvey Robinson, Graham Wallas, Charles B. Davenport, Elsie Clews Parsons, and Roscoe Pound.[13] John Cage would pioneer the subject of Experimental Composition at the school.

As an aside, Ruskin Hall is named after John Ruskin, professor at Oxford that was a disciple of Plato who took the eugenics concept to the farther reaches, who greatly influenced Cecil Rhodes, who then went on to establish the Rhodes Scholarship at the end of his life.

The New School of Social Research was formally known as the University in Exile.

University in Exile

The University in Exile was founded in 1933 as a graduate division of the New School for Social Research to be a haven for Neo-Marxist scholars from the Frankfurt School who had been dismissed from teaching positions by the Italian fascists or had to flee Nazi Germany.[14] The University in Exile was initially funded by Hiram Halle and the Rockefeller Foundation. It was later renamed the “Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science”, and bore this name until changing to its present one in 2005. The University in Exile and its subsequent incarnations have been the intellectual heart of the New School. Notable scholars associated with the University in Exile include psychologists Erich Fromm, Max Wertheimer and Aron Gurwitsch, political philosophers Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss, and philosopher Hans Jonas.

Philosophical tradition

The New School continues the Graduate Faculty’s tradition of synthesizing leftist American intellectual thought and critical European philosophy. True to its origin and its firm roots within the University in Exile, The New School, particularly its Department of Philosophy, is one of very few in the United States to offer students thorough training in the modern continental European philosophical tradition known as “Continental philosophy.” Thus, it stresses the teachings of Parmenides, Aristotle, Leibniz, Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Arendt, Freud, Benjamin, Wittgenstein, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, et al.[18] The thought of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School: Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Jürgen Habermas, et al. holds an especially strong influence on all divisions of the school. After the death of Hannah Arendt in 1975, the philosophy department revolved around Reiner Schurmann and Agnes Heller.

An excerpt about the founders of the New School by Ira Katznelson of Columbia University. The entire speech is fascinating as it details names, dates, and philosophies of the exiled professors.

Liberty and Fear: Reflections on the New School’s Founding Moments (1919 and 1933)

Ira Katznelson
Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University
October 29, 2008

When the New School opened its doors, in what its announcement called “exigent circumstances,” it had two purposes, each bound to the other. Created to oppose outrages against intellectual liberty, the institution sought to promote the study of human affairs in order to renovate democracy. The founders largely shared President Woodrow Wilson’s optimism that a new era of democracy and peace might result from how the war—at a terrible cost, to be sure—had defeated militarism, defended liberty, ended archaic empires, liberated nations, and created new prospects for international law based on progressive principles. Having been spared the demographic catastrophes that beset the European combatants and having experienced no devastation on its own soil, the United States, these progressive scholars believed, was ready for, and open to, an intellectual environment where social studies could seek what the first announcement of the New School in 1919 called “an unbiased understanding of the existing order, its genesis, growth and present working” that could advance domestic social reform and help produce what it called “a searching readjustment of the established order of things.”

Let’s return to Teresa Ghilarducci who has received $935,834 in grants from various institutions, foundations, and private companies since late 1998; all to do with retirement, pensions, or employment for mature people. My personal favorite is the Retirement Research Foundation endowed by John D. MacArthur in 1978.  Mr. MacArthur has joined the Founders in spinning in his grave.

Based in Chicago, the RRF was endowed in 1978 by the late John D. MacArthur. It began making grants in 1979. RRF is one of the nation’s first private foundations that is devoted exclusively to aging and retirement issues. With assets of more than $165 million, the Foundation issues approximately $8 million in grants each year to support programs, research, and public policy studies to improve the quality of life for older Americans.


So much of the research I run across leads straight back to Chicago, and to some very wealthy and influential foundations.  Ms. Ghilarducci is a board member of the Economic Policy Institute which was founded in 1986 and is based in the District of Criminals.  Please take the time to look at the entire list of Board of Directors.  Are these the people you want setting policy for your retirement account?  Do you have any doubt now that barring NGOs, institutes, and think-tanks from writing legislation for the lazy congresscriminals might be a good idea? Monster readers that are former dems are going to recognize names like Andy Stern, Richard Trumka and Alexis Herman immediately, and pay special attention to Robert Johnson and Robert Kuttner.

Economic Policy Institute (Est. 1986)

EPI Board of Directors

Barry BluestoneBarry Bluestone
Northeastern University
Dr. Bluestone is currently the Director for the Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University in Boston. He has served as a member of the senior policy staff of Congressman Richard Gephardt. Among his many accomplishments he was the Founding Director of U.Mass.-Boston’s Ph.D. Program in Public Policy. (EPI publications by Barry Bluestone.)

Thomas BuffenbargerR. Thomas Buffenbarger
International Association of Machinists & Allied Workers (IAMAW)
Mr. Buffenbarger currently serves as the President for the International Association of Machinists. When he was 20 years old he was elected for his first leadership position within IAM as a steward of his apprenticeship group. Ever since then he has worked his way up to the Presidency of the organization, learning from the leaders he closely worked with for many years.Anna Burger

Anna Burger
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Change-to-Win
Anna Burger is both a top ranking officer at SEIU, the nation’s largest and fastest growing union, and chair of the Change-to-Win Labor federation.

Larry Cohen
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Larry CohenServing as the fourth President in the history of the Communications Workers of America’s union, Mr. Cohen has implemented and spearheaded movements that have lead to help workers gain union representation in various sectors. He has also expanded the union’s membership mobilization program to create a network of union stewards.

Ernesto J. Cortes, Jr.
Ernesto Cortes, Jr.Industrial Areas Foundation
As a member for the National Executive Team of The Industrial Areas Foundations Mr. Cortéz has been the recipient of the 4th Annual Heinz Award for his work in Public Policy to make government more responsive by increasing citizen participation in the political process at the community level. His early commitment to community organizing led him to work with Cesar Chavez and the farm worker’s movement among others.

Jeff FauxJeff Faux
Senior Fellow, Economic Policy Institute
Mr. Faux is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Economic Policy Institute. As the founder of EPI in 1986, Mr. Faux has been credited with making EPI the country’s leading think-tank on the political and economic issues facing American workers. He has also worked as an economist for the Departments of State and Labor and Commerce. (EPI publications by Jeff Faux.)

Leo GerardLeo W. Gerard
United Steelworkers of America (USWA)
Mr. Gerard is the President for the United Steelworkers of America. In his first full term he increased membership by sixty percent. The union has strengthened workers’ bargaining leverage by forging strategic alliances with unions worldwide.

Ron GettelfingerRon Gettelfinger
United Auto Workers (UAW)
Serving as President for the United Autoworker’s Union since 2002, Mr. Gettelfinger has advocated for accessible and affordable healthcare for all Americans. He has also led the fight to renew America’s industrial base through incentives to manufacture energy-saving advanced technology vehicles and their key components in the US.

Teresa GhilarducciTeresa Ghilarducci
The New School for Social Research
Professor Teresa Ghilarducci is the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Chair of Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. Her 2008 book, When I’m Sixty Four: The Plot against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them (Princeton University Press) investigates the effect of pension losses on older Americans and how to stop them. Ghilarducci’s current 2 year project, “Beyond the 401(k): Guaranteeing Retirement Security,” is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. She is a trustee for two Retiree Health Care Trusts: one for the UAW retirees at GM, Ford, and Chrysler and the other for Steelworker retirees at Goodyear. In 2007, Ghilarducci served on Governor Schwarzenegger’s Public Employee Post Employment Benefits. Ghialrducci was appointed by Indiana’s Governor to serve as a trustee for the Public Employee Retirement Fund in Indiana 1997–2002 and President Clinton appointed her twice to served on the PBGC’s Advisory Board, 1996- 2001. She was the Wurf fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School from 2007–2009. She received her Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California at Berkeley. (EPI publications by Teresa Ghilarducci.)

Alexis HermanAlexis Herman
New Ventures
Alexis Herman was the first African American to become the secretary of labor, serving during President Bill Clinton’s second term. In 1989, Herman joined the Democratic National Committee as chief of staff and by 1992 was the CEO of the Democratic National Convention. After Clinton’s election in 1992, Herman was appointed assistant to the president and director of the White House Public Liaison Office in 1993.

Robert JohnsonRobert Johnson
Robert Johnson serves on the Boards of the Democracy Alliance, The Institute for Americas Future, and the Brennan Center for Justice. He was formerly a partner in Impact Artist Management and President of Bottled MaJic Music, a recording label and music publishing enterprise. Dr. Johnson served as a managing director of Soros Fund Management; he’s also worked as Chief Economist for the Senate Banking and Budget Committees.

Robert KuttnerRobert Kuttner
The American Prospect
Mr. Kuttner is the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect and regularly writes on political and economic issues. He is also a co-founder of the Economic Policy Institute. In 1996 he was the winner of the Paul Hoffman Award for Human Development of the United Nations, for his work on the relationship of economic efficiency to social equality. (EPI publications by Robert Kuttner.)

Donna LenhoffDonna R. Lenhoff
National Employment Lawyers Assoc.
Donna R. Lenhoff, Esq. is the first full-time Legislative & Public Policy Director of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) in Washington, D.C. She represents NELA before Congress and administrative agencies to advance NELA’s Working for Change agenda. Prior to joining NELA in 2006, Ms. Lenhoff was the Executive Director of the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform.

Julianne MalveauxJulianne Malveaux
Bennett College
Dr. Malveaux is serving as the 15th President of Bennett College. She has worked as an economist, author, and commentator and is now the founder of Last Word Productions. She is an outspoken activist for issues surrounding race, culture, gender, and their economic impacts.

Ray MarshallRay Marshall
University of Texas, Austin
Dr. Marshall has served in two Presidential administrations. First for President Carter as U.S. Secretary of Labor and for President Clinton as a member of the National Skills Standard Board and the Advisory Commission on Labor Development. He has taught at the LBJ School of Public affairs and served as President for the International Labor Rights Fund. (EPI publications by Ray Marshall.)

Gerald McEnteeGerald W. McEntee
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Mr. McEntee is the President for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He is one of the co-founders for the Economic Policy Institute and served on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Quality and Consumer Protection in the Health Care Industry during the Clinton presidency.

Lawrence MishelLawrence Mishel
President, Economic Policy Institute
Dr. Mishel is the current President of the Economic Policy Institute. He has contributed to building EPI’s research capabilities and reputation. He is often called upon by members of Congress to provide briefings and testimony on economic issues.(EPI publications by Lawrence Mishel.)

Debra NessDebra Ness
National Partnership for Women and Families
Debra L. Ness is the President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Before assuming her current role, she served as Executive Vice President for 13 years. Ness has played a leading role in positioning the organization as a powerful and effective advocate for today’s women and families.

Pedro NogueraPedro Noguera
New York University
Pedro Noguera, PhD, is a professor in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. He is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-Director of the Institute for the study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). (EPI publications by Pedro Noguera.)

Jules O. PaganoJules Pagano
American Income Life
Dr. Pagano is the Vice President and Executive Director on the Labor Advisory Board of the American Income Life Insurance company. He has also served on the Commission of Professors of Adult Education.

Manuel Pastor
University of Southern California
Manuel PastorManuel Pastor is currently a Professor of Geography and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). He served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and in January 2002 was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership.(EPI publications by Manuel Pastor.)

Bernard RapoportBernard Rapoport
Bernard & Audre Rapoport Foundation
Mr. Rapoport is the Founder and Former President, Chairman and CEO of American Income Life Insurance Company. He along with his wife also established The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation in which they make annual contributions for education, health care, and the community of Waco, TX.

Bruce S. RaynorBruce Raynor
Workers United
Mr. Raynor is President of Workers United. Prior to this post, he served as General President of UNITE HERE. He is known for working on numerous southern organizing drives, including the successful J.P. Stevens organizing campaign in the late 1970s and for combining aggressive rank and file organizing and alliances with civil rights and community leaders to build worker power.

Robert ReichRobert B. Reich
University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Reich is co-founding editor of the magazine The American Prospect. He served as the 22nd U.S. Secretary of Labor where he implemented the Family and Medical Leave Act, led a national fight against sweatshops in the U.S. and illegal child labor worldwide. Under his leadership the Department of Labor won more than 30 awards for innovation. (EPI publications by Robert Reich.)

Linda SanchezRep. Linda T. Sánchez
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Linda Sánchez, a Democrat, has represented California’s 39th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley and in 1995, her Juris Doctor degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. She was an attorney specializing in labor law prior to her public service career.

Andrew SternAndrew L. Stern
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Mr. Stern was elected President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in 1996 after being a member and working his way up since 1973. He has been an aggressive advocate for practical solutions to achieve economic opportunity and justice for workers. He also fights to make globalization benefit not only big corporations but working people as well.

Richard TrumkaRichard L. Trumka
Mr. Trumka was elected President of the AFL-CIO in September 2009. He had served as the AFL’s Secretary-Treasurer since 1995. In 1982, he was elected President of the United Mine Workers.

Randi Weingarten
Randi WeingartenAmerican Federation of Teachers
Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.4-million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal employees; and early childhood educators. She was elected in July 2008, following 11 years of service as an AFT vice president.

Raul Yzaguirre
Raul YzaguirreArizona State University
Raul Yzaguirre is presidential professor of practice in community development and civil rights at Arizona State University. Yzaguirre is one of the most widely recognized national leaders in the Hispanic community, having served as long-time president and chief executive officer of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).

Guaranteed Retirement Accounts, Theresa Ghilarducci


In addition to EPI’s setting policy and issuing briefing papers, they have established a coalition called Retirement USA.

From SEIU’s website:

SEIU partnered with The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and the Pensions Rights Center to launch Retirement USA, an initiative working for a new retirement system that, along with Social Security, will provide universal, secure, and adequate income for future retirees.

Why do we need the Retirement USA Initiative?

Because the system we have now has failed most Americans—a harsh reality that EPI Vice-President Ross Eisenbrey spelled out at the launch of the initiative yesterday:

“Only half of full-time workers have a retirement plan through their employer, and coverage is much lower for part-time workers. Participating in a plan doesn’t mean a worker is adequately preparing for retirement. The median 401(k) account balance was only $25,000 in 2006—$40,000 for workers approaching retirement age. In other words, half of those who had a 401(k) were nearing retirement with less than $40,000 in their account.”Account balances have fallen by a third since late 2007, leaving many older workers unable to retire just as our economy is shedding millions of jobs. The failure is broad and deep. It’s not just a few people falling through the cracks: most of us are already in the ravine. In the private sector, only two in 10 of us have a secure pension. Three in 10 have only a 401(k) or similar savings plan-and the rest of us are totally out of luck.”

The Retirement USA principles will be used by SEIU and its partner organizations in this initiative as a framework for evaluating how well proposals would fulfill the goals of universal coverage, and secure and adequate income. The principals would include concepts such as:

  • Pooled assets that are professionally managed;
  • Shared responsibility among employers, employees and the government;
  • Payouts only at retirement;
  • Benefits that could move with you even if you change jobs

“The financial crisis and the economic recession have shone a spotlight on the inadequacies of today’s system,” said Stephen Abrecht, Director of Benefits and Capital Stewardship for SEIU. “The time to act is now.”

Retirement USA’s Steering Committee?

  • EPI
  • National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
  • Pension Rights Center
  • SEIU

Do you really want these people anywhere near creating a viable and profitable retirement scenario for ANY of us?

Teresa’s government held plan sounds quite a bit like the privatized plan that the left keeps screaming about.  The only difference is the government is once again in the middle with more paperwork, rules, regulations, and public sector employees.

Who manages the investment? The accounts will be managed by a unit of the Thrift Savings Plan with its own trustees, who in turn will hire commercial money managers. The trustees will be independently appointed, half by the president (subject to Senate confirmation) and half by Congress. They will have terms structured in a similar fashion to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Similar to the Fed; aren’t you feeling all better about having your money stolen to be skimmed and redistributed?  The next question would be how many more faceless, nameless, unelected bureaucrats are going to have control of your money?  They already know exactly how the money flows with the Office of Financial Research.

WHY are we still having this conversation?

I need a drink…


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