He sold top business minds on a TV show that promised to save the world – and make them famous. They handed over thousands. Then reality set in, and they lost hundreds of millions of dollars. And many of them, maybe billions of dollars, died.
That’s not an exaggeration. The world is now a poorer place due to the decisions of CEOs and other high-level executives in the public and private sector. Most public-sector executives don’t earn more than $200,000 a year, according to a recent report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. A group of CEOs, meanwhile, earned $250,000 or more last year but didn’t have to declare their income to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which makes it easier for them to pay less taxes.
The question is what to do about it. There’s a growing movement to create a public pension that would allow people to buy life insurance in the case their government took over the company that employed them. This would provide them with a chance to save for old age or their children’s education if they had to give up their jobs. “People don’t want to die sitting on the sidelines,” said Mike Smith, the chief executive of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, which has analyzed the data. “They want to die free, or at least try to.”
“If we’re serious about building a stronger economy and creating economic opportunity, we need to make it easier for people to save their savings,” said Charles Duhigg, an editor at the Wall Street Journal and a contributing author to the new book Why We Sleep. “In the past, saving was associated with risk, which was good for people who didn’t have a lot of money. But we see now that having a 401(k) is not as risky and has become a much better way for people to save.”
The government might be willing to pay for the benefits of public-sector pensions by writing a blank check. However, the U.S. is the world’s financial leader – the world’s oldest surviving democracy is the most successful capitalist society the world has ever known – and that is because it has a far bigger government than every other nation on Earth. Most wealthy nations