Will You Feel Sorry for this GM Retiree?
Yes, folks, yet another CNNMoney personal finance sob story, this one about a fearful GM retiree. Is this retiree disabled? No. Then he must be old and feeble. No. Actually, he’s a healthy 54 year-old. That’s all I need to read to drop my sympathy level to barely above the “I don’t care” level. It’s second career time, my friend, and quit the whining. I’m older than you and still working in my second full-time career and as a part-time blogger. The rest of us have to wait until at least 62 to get paid for not working.
This article and many others like it beat us over the head with arguments about the potential for “broken promises” made to retirees if the car companies go bankrupt. These arguments are premised on the false assumption that benefits promised to GM retirees are social contracts, requiring government intervention. This just in: They were not social contracts. Social Security is a social contract. The GM labor contracts were negotiated between GM and the UAW. Neither side invited me or any other taxpayer to the bargaining table. If I had been there, the contracts would have looked more like what Toyota bargains for with its U.S. employees. Instead, the UAW and GM management stuck the auto companies with these enormous legacy labor costs, putting them in an non-competitive position in the market.
Call me cruel, heartless, and insensitive if you want. But if it’s all the same to you, I prefer Tough Money Love.
This week Mr. ToughMoneyLove participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by MoneyNing. Head over there and check out the excellent articles.
Try to ignore all of the bad financial news this week. Think about and give thanks for what you have instead of dwelling on what you may have lost.