There is an idea that has been mentioned by the former Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis that I simply have to answer to as this is becoming accepted thinking among young people in their 20s and 30s. I don’t think they quite understand the consequences of this kind of thinking and it really is quite dangerous.
The idea is that pensions which are sitting idly in some great account should be used to finance public projects. As we know, there comes a time when after paying into a pension pot a person decides to retire. Sometimes this is through ill-health, sometimes one recognises that old bones in a fast world don’t always match and it’s time to take a back seat. However it comes about, one needs to draw on that pension pot which has been previously raided for “good works”. When there is nothing in that pot how are pensioners supposed to support themselves?
This is not a new idea, it was first employed by that great deceiver Robert Maxwell who raided the company pension pot to shore up the company finances of the Daily Mirror. Those people who paid into their pensions never saw a penny back. Varoufakis has done very well for himself, he’s married a wealthy artist, made a mint from his books so he certainly doesn’t need to worry about his old age.
Those of us who faithfully pay a small amount of our wages into a pension every month so that when the time comes we can support ourselves have every right to think that when we need to use our pension pot we are in a position to do so, not that its been squandered by someone else for a pet project.
Since Maxwell people have voluntarily not bothered with pensions for this reason, because there is no guarantee that there will be any money after every bugger who thinks he’s entitled to a share of your money has taken everything they can before you get to it. Varoufakis maybe a Professor in Economics, but quite frankly he needs to get a grip on reality.