Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pensions and Medicare after an Economic Collapse

viernes, 20 de septiembre de 2013
I have read and studied your book (The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse) thoroughly about the 2001 Economic Collapse in Argentina. I have searched through the book and your blog and there is an area that was not touched upon that is of great concern to me and to others my age.
What happened to the Social Security payments that retired people were receiving. Did payments stop all together - forever ? Was it halted temporarily and then resumed after some time ? If it was resumed was it at the original amount or at a reduced payment rate. The only thing I saw on the blog was this quote "Older people have it pretty tough here since most pensions and retirement programs (recently “nationalized”) place the old folks BELOW the poverty line". This appears to say there was some Social Security, but was it at the previous level or reduced, and was the reason people were below the poverty level due to the fact the payments were the same as they were originally, but now the 200% - 300% inflation had pushed them below poverty levels. If you could expound on what it was like it would be greatly appreciated.
Also did Argentina have some sort of Medicare program and if so did it go away or was it reduced.
These questions are very critical for those of us that are older and retired and would probably not be hire-able in an environment of 25% unemployment and would therefore not be able to try and rebuild our lives. For some of this is the difference literally between life and death. Please be so kind as to tell us what happened to Social Security and Medicare.
God bless you in all your efforts.

Hello Dennis,
Thanks for your email. You observations are very much correct. Pensions kept being paid, but as you say with devaluation and the local currency losing 70% of its value it is hardly enough to keep you above the poverty line. The pensions did go up little by little as years went by, but never really catching up with inflation. It was much harder the first few years though, with the initial devaluation. These days, retired people aren’t doing much better but I suppose they get by.
In 2008, the Argentine government nationalized all Private Pensions, effectively stealing $30 Billion Usd. This was of course unconstitutional, but they did it anyway because the government was simply running out of money.
Social security, as in unemployment benefits or child benefits, we didn’t have none of those before the economic collapse. It was all created after 2001 and it was mainly as an instrument of social control and to buy political support. Years later, we ended up with a society where being unemployed, or being a single mother with two or three children by the time you were fifteen was a wise choice financially speaking.
Just as I highly criticize 99% of what the current Argentine government did I will admit that they did do one thing right and that was creating pensions for homemakers. There’s millions of women (and men) out there that have been doing one of the hardest jobs their entire lives and by the time they can’t work anymore this is not recognized and they have no way of supporting themselves. Not only do I believe it to be fair, I think it also encourages true family values contrary to a system that encourages single mother teenagers to pop one baby after another just to get paid for it every month.

As for medical care, there’s always been free medical care in Argentina as well as private medical care. The public one was not very good but it kept you alive before 2001. After the collapse it just became pitiful and patients ended up in leaking, cold, roach-infested hospitals and were asked to bring their own gauze, cotton and bandages due to lack of supplies. The government is now using the private sector to compensate for the poor public one, making the private care much worse than it used to be.
As a general rule, its safe to say that few benefits and schemes, at least few critical ones, simply go away because of an economic collapse. Just going away looks pretty bad in the public eye. What you can expect when there’s very little money around is to have services that are barely a shadow of their former selves.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.


Don Williams said...

1) From the Social Security Administration:
"As a result of changes to Social Security enacted in 1983, benefits are now expected to be payable in full on a timely basis until 2037, when the trust fund reserves are projected to become exhausted.1 At the point where the reserves are used up, continuing taxes are expected to be enough to pay 76 percent of scheduled benefits."
2) What the Social Security lying accountants do NOT note:

a) The liabilities --i.e, promised future payments -- will be increasing all the time. I.e, the Ponzi scheme continues only if you can continue to con the young into paying into fictional accounts which may be empty by the time the young workers reach retirement age. Plus you need the young population to grow.
One of the reasons the Democrats are pushing for high immigration is to stick the immigrants with high wages taxes to prevent the fraudulant nature of Social Security from become evident -- or not becoming evident until current Democratic members of Congress have gone on to lavish retirements.

b) Social Security has NO assets -- it has roughly $3 trillion of government IOUS because its assets have been used to buy votes for the Democrats (Social Security disability payments -- the gold standard for Welfare because you don't have to show you are looking for a job.) Plus George W Bush, the Republicans in Congress and 12 Democratic Senators voted in 2001 to steal $3 Trillion of assets and give them to the rich as a tax cut, providing $3 Trillion in government IOUs in return. But WE are on the hook to pay those IOUS --i.e, we get our $3 Trillion back only if we FIRST pay the government another $3 trillion (probably high taxes on our IRAS/401Ks) so it can redeem the IOUs.

Anonymous said...

Our government "borrowed" 65 million dollars of social security money to help fund the Vietnam war..with a promise to pay it back. To bad we can't get it back and with interest!

m said...

Politicians stole the Social security Fund, at least twice. They put it in the general fund and then gave it to their political contributors. If you want your Social Security, go after the politicians who are owned by every corporation, special interest, foreign government and crazy billionaire that has their price. And then have, fair, treason trials.

But, first. Have a very, large garden and learn to preserve your food because those sell-out politicians don't care if you starve. And do not think your political party is better than the other. They are, all, traitors.