Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ebbers Convicted

Bernie Ebbers, the Donald Sutherland lookalike who founded WorldCom was convicted today of 9 counts of fraud for his role in engineering an $11 billion accounting overinflation that brought about the company's downfall and rendered the stock in most of the employee's retirement plans (401k) completely worthless.

While this news brings cold comfort to the retirees whose golden years he effectively destroyed, it's good for the economy, and good for America.  Still, there's more to come.  Next there's Ken Lay who, we hope, will end up in prison gray for his role in the collapse of energy behemoth Enron.

These folks need to be held accountable to the very highest, strictest standards.  I'm glad that the government has taken such an active and decisive posture in combatting this type of fraud the commission of which has repercussions throughout the fabric of American society.  Still, the GOP's continuing efforts to redistribute wealth away from the lower and middle class and into the pocketbooks of the wealthy presages more to come.

Last night I heard a scenario on the radio which was truly frightening.  Not only will Social Security be stretched to the limit by the retirement of the Baby Boomers, so will the stock market once those very same boomers start cashing in their 401k plansThe conspiracy theorist went on to state that the real reason for the President's plan for personal retirement accounts in lieu of guaranteed Social Security was to shore up the stock markets themselves, now that the vast majority of American corporations have been absolved of the responsibility of providing pension plans for their employees in favor of stock market speculation.  Iceberg!  Right ahead!

In fifty years the only people who will be able to retire as we currently understand it are government employees--who still have their pension plans, courtesy of us, the taxpayer.

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