I just listened to a caller on the radio getting mad at any suggestion that the Canadian government should not fully guarentee private auto pensions. I’m curious, what possible argument could be made that a government should guarentee private pensions, whether auto or not? I’d be curious to see any historical examples if anyone has any.
I’m assuming auto workers in Canada paid into the Canadian Pension Plan like everyone else, so would have that in case of any failure of their private pension.
But, like with every part of the money asked for by the auto sector, my question is: why should you get that when no one else does? No one else’s private pensions are guarenteed by the government. If my retirement savings drop 75% due to a massive recession, will the government pay back the amount I lost? No other companies private pensions are backstopped by the government.
The caller also mentioned “we’ve given billions to the financial sector, so why not for us?” Right, that’s sound fiscal policy. Why end it there? Why not pay everyone in the country double their working salary once they retire, plus full health benefits?
I’d have a less extreme reaction to this if the caller were proposing the government begin backstopping all private pensions, but he’s clearly not. Even though that could cost a fortune, at least it would be fair.
But, I’ll assume the best and guess the caller wouldn’t mind his taxes being raised 10% so he can pay his portion of the losses in my RRSP this year.