Our government is doing the opposite of ‘fessing up. While corporate America is unraveling from economic promises it could not keep, governments big and small are doing the opposite. In addition to their generous pension plans, we all now have health care (even those who are not citizens), food stamps, longer-term unemployment benefits, etc. The list of promises goes on and on. It seems the government has its hippopotamus mouth going full blast in every election cycle, making promises to win elections.
Those who try to speak up (see Ron Paul) and point out that those economic promises are going to bankrupt us all are criticized and ridiculed. Unfortunately, there is one major difference between corporate America making promises and the government doing the same thing: the government is making promises it cannot keep with our money! It is driving us into bankruptcy. When that happens, normally the value of the currency will collapse, destroying the wealth of seniors and savers in the process.
While it may be bleak, it is not hopeless. I recently read John Stossel’s latest book, No, They Can’t: Why Government Fails—But Individuals Succeed. The book outlines our current predicament in very easy-to-understand terms. At the same time, it strengthened my personal resolve. It gave me hope… a funny choice of words, as I think about it.
Every day, more and more people are seeing these promises for what they really are: hollow and illusionary. There is no point in debating whether they were made in good faith or not. Who the hell cares? The real issue is: they are promises that are financially impossible to keep.
John’s book reinforced what I already knew: Americans are a hardy lot, and a lot of us succeed in spite of horrible obstacles placed in front of us. The first step is to pop the illusion bubble, accept the responsibility for our own retirements, and get on with the job.
While it will take a lot more than a simple annuity to get the job done, there are always opportunities for educated, take-charge investors to survive when they put their minds to it.
Oh, and to address the question I asked in the first paragraph. Being concerned about having to break a promise you made is only important to those with a conscience—not the kind of people who will just tell folks whatever they want to hear. Guess what? We are on to their game and can thrive without counting on their phony promises.
I was so impressed with Stossel’s book that I invited him to join us for an exclusive discussion on the challenges facing seniors. He’ll be joined by a panel of experts including David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States, and Jeff White, president of American Financial Group, to give you practical solutions to today’s financial challenges.
Our event, which is titled America’s Broken Promise: Strategies for a Retirement Worth Living, is free and premieres on Thursday, September 5. Click here for all the details and to reserve your spot.