On the News With Thom Hartmann: Wealthy Americans More Likely to Have Retirement Accounts, and More

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In today’s On the News segment: High-income Americans are 10 times more likely to have retirement accounts than those at the low-end of the income spectrum; more than 150,000 people in London are demanding an end to austerity policies; if lawmakers in Idaho have their way, poor families may be celebrating Independence Day with empty bellies; and more.

See more news and opinion from Thom Hartmann at Truthout here.

TRANSCRIPT:

Thom Hartmann here — on the best of the rest of Economic and Labor News…

You need to know this. Low wages aren’t the only reason that the poor are getting poorer and the richer are getting richer. According to new research from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), high-income Americans are 10 times more likely to have retirement accounts than those at the low-end of the income spectrum. And, the national shift away from defined-benefit pension plans into 401(k)’s has left more and more older Americans retiring in poverty. In the richest nation on the planet, this is simply unacceptable. That’s why EPI and other organizations are pushing Congress to expand — not cut — Social Security benefits. Decades ago, most working-class Americans were able to retire with dignity because of the defined-benefit plans provided by their employers, but that’s no longer the case. Those plans were pretty much wiped out and replaced with 401(k) plans that may or may not include matched contributions from employers. As low-wage workers don’t have much to contribute, employers don’t match anything, and retiring workers end up with little-to-no savings when it comes time to leave the workforce. And, even if some workers were able to save, their savings were subject to the turns of the stock market. Wealthier workers were able to contribute and save more in their retirement plans, and they are often better able to withstand the ups and…

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