reply to post by DroolsAlot
Hip Hop is nothing new. It's a spin off of the "ghetto culture" I saw back in the 70's while I was a nursing student. I must have shut the
morgue drawer on a few dozen heroin over doses as well as stabbing and shooting victims, all weighed down with their massive gold chains, big pinky
rings and pimp'in outfits.
Drugs, guns, public vulgarity, disrespect of others, music that isn't music or doesn't take real talent to create. Now, it has spread to our white
middle class youth - it's the dumbing down of America and maybe the planet as a whole.
The difference between criminals that get thrown into jail and those that swindle money is how the actual crime of stealing is committed.
Take someone's money at gunpoint and it's mugging or robbery punishable by jail time.
Take someone's money by defraud via bankrupting a company or selling out your shares when you know the company you are heading is going to "go
down" often times is not punishable, even though these CEO's and company officials end up hurting a lot more people and getting richer, they
"didn't get caught" ie: they were not overtly violent.
Stealing from any person by either pointing a gun at them or by taking their pension is wrong. Our society only punishes those individuals that were
stupid enough to "get caught" and that's the key word, stupid.
Steal within the legal limits of the law and that's acceptable, you end up with a nice big house, nice new car, private school and nanny for the kids
and a summer home in the Carribean. Doesn't matter how many people you robbed of their pension and destroyed their life, making them have to work
until they die with no chance of retirement. If you commit theft legally that's okay.
If you take someone's money AND the method you use is "illegal" you go to jail.
Either way is wrong and maybe these people with a lower intellect are reacting to the injustices of our society's two sets of rules.
Case in point. Are any of the executives, CEO's from AIG going to jail?
OLEAN, N.Y. - Hundreds of people here in western New York, all closing in on retirement, have learned a bitter lesson about pensions and the law that
Two years ago, their employer, the oil services giant Halliburton, unexpectedly started urging them to take their pensions early, warning that they
would otherwise lose their right to take their benefits in a single check. The workers signed up to receive their money right away, but the money was
much less than they had earlier been told they had coming. Confused and angry, some have sought to win back the remainder of their pensions, or at
least to get an explanation of how Halliburton could legally reduce their benefits.
Today, what the workers find most distressing is that a law that is supposed to protect pensions has failed them.
On a professional basis, I became quite depressed about this whole thing," said Gene Moore, the former general counsel of the Halliburton unit that
was affected, a joint venture known as Dresser-Rand. Mr. Moore, 56, resigned shortly before the pension controversy and was therefore not part of the
group that lost benefits involuntarily. But he was concerned enough to spend months seeking possible legal remedies. Ultimately, he decided he was
wasting his time.
"Built into the statutes now are clearly wrongs for which there is no punishment," said Mr. Moore, who now practices law in Houston. In an
e-mail response to questions, Halliburton said, "Halliburton has honored its commitment to Dresser-Rand employees under the pension plan, followed
the letter and spirit of the laws applicable to the plans, and made no profit related to the plan."
The company further stated that if any company had let the workers down, it was its former partner in the joint venture, Ingersoll-Rand. An
Ingersoll-Rand spokesman, however, disputed that assertion. The case of the Olean workers is an illustration of a gaping hole in the nation's
safety net. Tens of thousands of Americans are discovering, as they approach retirement, that money they were promised is not forthcoming. Some of the
most prominent cases involve companies, like airlines, that are in severe financial distress and cannot keep their pension funds going. But others
involve profitable companies, like Halliburton, that reduce anticipated benefits by tens of thousands of dollars even though their pension funds are
healthy - and even though a 1974 federal law says pensions are guaranteed.
The law's protection, however, does not address a major feature of traditional pensions, the type known as defined-benefit pensions. Such pension
plans allow workers to build up the biggest part of their benefit, by far, late in their careers. The rules require companies to pay into their
pension plans years in advance on the assumption that older workers will stay and earn the big promised rewards. But if something then keeps workers
from earning that part of their benefit, there will be extra money in the pension fund - a windfall, if a company can recover it, said Jeremy Gold, a
New York-based independent consulting actuary
"This is a national problem," he said of the hidden risk such plans can pose to employees.
The type of benefit that the Olean workers lost is known as an early retirement subsidy. It gives employees the right to retire early with the same,
or nearly the same, benefit as if they had worked straight through to age 65. Many companies have put such provisions into their pension plans as a
way of easing workers out the door before they pass their prime.
As workers reach early retirement age, the subsidy becomes very valuable, accounting for as much as 60 percent of their total pension benefit. To keep
companies from denying workers their benefits at this point, Congress amended the pension law in 1984, making it illegal to amend a plan to revoke
early retirement subsidies when employees are close to claiming them.
But some companies have found a loophole in the law during mergers and spinoffs, pension advocates say.
Halliburton Company was run & bankrupted by GWB. He made a fortune getting out at the right time swindling many people of their pension.
[edit on 4-12-2008 by ofhumandescent]