Forums / Political & Legal / For all the jackasses that love Communism and Socialism, please read!

5 years 34 weeks ago, 2:59 PM

samD

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Cuba raises retirement age...

HAVANA – Like much of Cuba's work force, Alfredo Congas is going gray.

The chain-smoking 61-year-old retired last March after 42 years as a hotel doorman and rum-company driver. Now he's back working 12-hour shifts as a security guard to supplement his minuscule pension.

"I'm here without a cent in my pocket," said Congas, whose new job brings his total income — pension plus paycheck — to the equivalent of $23.45 a month, about $4 more than the average state wage.

Sweeping poverty forces most of Cuba's 2.2 million retirees get new jobs that enable them to keep a steady income to supplement their pensions. Many barely scrape by, wandering the streets selling peanuts and newspapers or guarding parked cars at hotels for tourists' change.

Now even that is harder to do. Faced with an aging population and a life expectancy of 77.3 years, nearly the same as the U.S., Cuba's government has raised the retirement threshold by five years, to 60 for women and 65 for men, delaying the second jobs many have counted on to make ends meet in their old age.

About 90 percent of Cubans have government jobs, and now both sexes must work at least 30 years, not 25, to get a full pension.

"Retirement in Cuba was already no picnic. Now it's more complicated," said Oscar Espinosa Chepe, a state-trained economist turned political dissident.

The overhaul, to be fully phased in by 2015, means Cuba's retirement age will exceed Latin America's average of 59 for women and 62 for men, according to Carmelo Mesa-Lago, an expert on the Cuban economy at the University of Pittsburgh.

The island's population is aging faster than the rest of the region — some 17 percent will be 60 or older by 2010, compared with 9 percent across Latin America today, according to U.N. data. A quarter of Cubans will top 60 by 2025, a point the rest of the region won't reach until 2050.

As Cuba's work force shrinks, the ratio of workers to retirees has narrowed from seven-to-one in 1970 to three-to-one today. Had the country not raised its retirement age, the ratio would have been two-to-one by 2025, the government said.

"More needs to be done, but what else can you do? You can't turn the screw even more," Mesa-Lago said.

State pensions, though small, were once enough to live on in this communist country, where housing and health care are free and the government subsidizes food, utilities and transportation.

But the Soviet Union's collapse cost Cuba huge amounts of income in subsidies and trade, crippling the economy and sparking widespread shortages that still persist. A U.S.-dollar-fueled black market mushroomed; prices soared and Cuba's peso plunged from 1 to the dollar to 22 to the dollar today.

The minimum monthly pension was worth about $92 in 1989. Adjusted for inflation, it is now the equivalent of $9.50.

"I'm going to keep working, keep fighting," said Antonio Valdes, a 63-year-old graphic designer who earns $19.30 a month. "The elderly who don't know how to do that are screwed."

Many countries are making tough decisions to keep funding social security programs as populations skew older. The U.S. retirement age is slated to increase to 67 by 2027.

A handful of former Iron Curtain countries have privatized their once-troubled pension systems, as well as raising retirement ages and slashing benefits to stretch resources. Several Latin American nations have followed a private-account model pioneered by Chile in 1981.

But privatization isn't an option in Cuba's command economy, where there are no 401Ks or pooled pension funds invested to draw earnings, and most forms of free-market enterprise are illegal.

Instead, a 1994 tax law requires Cuban state firms to contribute 14 percent of each worker's salary to a national social security pot. It also obligates employees in profitable sectors such as tourism to contribute an additional 5 percent.

Still, contributions cover less than 60 percent of current pension costs, with the rest financed by unspecified areas of the federal budget, Mesa-Lago said. While the government doesn't say how much it spends, in 2006 he estimated the sum approached 6.3 percent of gross domestic product.

The funding crunch has grown more urgent since last year's hurricanes caused more than $10 billion in damage, leaving nearly 1 million homeless, crippling farming and forcing costly food imports. Cuba's budget deficit ballooned to $4.2 billion.

The government says 3 million people attended town-hall meetings to discuss the potential retirement age increase last year, with 99.1 percent supporting it. Workers who attended say many complained, but didn't dare oppose the measure in a public show of hands.

"I'm not prepared for this," said Grace, 52, a high school chemistry teacher who supports her 23-year-old son and 86-year-old mother on a monthly wage worth about $25. She asked to be identified by her middle name only, to avoid problems at work.

Now, she'll have to defer retirement and plans to tutor for extra income for two more years.

Much of what the government saves by delaying retirement, it will dole out in bigger pensions. Payments are rising to 60 percent of an employee's peak five years of earnings, from 50 percent. Workers also earn an additional 2 percent for each year on the job after 25 years.

But for some Cubans, the decision to keep older citizens working rather than cracking down on younger, job-ditching countrymen is shaking their faith in the communist revolution.

While Cuba guarantees "full employment" and reports an official jobless rate of 1.6 percent, low salaries mean that many young people no longer seek formal jobs, even though neighborhood-watch committees are supposed to discourage unemployment. Instead, they live with their parents and work on the black market, failing to pay into the pension system at all.

A 34-year-old nurse, who declined to be named for fear her comments would hurt her husband's army career, said the retirement reform leaves her even "more disillusioned."

"I'm young," she said, her eyes welling with tears. "But I'm less optimistic than before."

5 years 34 weeks ago, 6:54 PM

DEMO

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We will give all people whether they earned it or not, social security. ASll the illegal immigrants will recieve benefits. People who were on welfare their whole life get benefits. I paid about 12 grand last year in social security tax. Plus I was taxed at 6% by New York. My property rtaxes were 5200 bucks. NYS medicare 2500 bucks. in aLL WE PAID ABOUT 60k in taxes. Now when I have a bad year will the government give that back to help me? No- because I have worked since I was 13 years old. Will my generation see social security? Fuck no.
After the administration bankrupts us and I am unemployed will the handouts be there? Nope.
I can not even afford my student loans....and I make great money.
Its bullshit.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do
5 years 33 weeks ago, 5:17 PM

Manny G

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Women, daughters and young wives are being force to work at strip clubs for a living because they lost their job. Throughout America thousands and maybe millions of woman with college degrees are forced to work at strip clubs for a living. Guess who are the customers? Big Bankers, Mortgage Bankers, Federal Reserve and other people with big money.

The Federal Reserve created this situation to make slaves out of Americans.

It’s a matter of time before the banking system collapse and everyone will be a slave begging for scraps.

This is why Americans must rise up and arrest People in charge of the Federal Reserve and monetary system. It is against the U.S. constitution and a crime to steal trillions of dollars away from the American people.

Thank you
5 years 33 weeks ago, 5:30 PM

Ebear

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ummm

i love strippers

...check... G-AZ
5 years 33 weeks ago, 5:39 PM

Mark3030

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Ahhh

stripers naked good

"the thrill of the hunt"
5 years 33 weeks ago, 5:45 PM

Schuyler

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I understand your frustration, and I speak only for myself, but I am not about to do or advocate anything that even looks remotely like rebellion against my government. I want to be armed and prepared in case there is no government, but I am not about to go about 'arresting' people, which is a damn good way to get your ass shot. The government is not like I think it should be, but I gave it my best shot this last year and worked to not have this happen, but I voted and they voted, and they won. Pretty simple. It wasn't close. It wasn't contested. They won. Am I happy? No! But my marching orders are to rebuild the Republican Party and look for another Ronald Reagan. When I hear this militia-type crap it just scares me. Nobody I know is working in strip clubs for bankers. That's a horrid thought and I'm calling bull shit on it. I think you're delusional. If you don't like the Federal Reserve, you're about 233 years too late. You should have talked to Alexander hamilton when he set it all up.

This is not a 'militia' site and I will resist any effort to make it one. If it gets going that way, I am simply out of here. I don't want anything to do with that crap movement. I am a loyal American citizen and I love my country, my flag, and our history. But the fact is a lot of my fellow citizens disagree with my views. My task is to persuade them I'm right, through talk--not force.

I am not going to enter into a protracted argument on this. As we all know, posts and counter posts can go on forever, and I simply will not use up the energy to keep this going. I am on gunslot to learn about firearms, make friends, and, once in a great while, impart something I've learned. But I call upon my fellow gunslot friends to affirm their loyalty to the United States of America and to work for change in a legal manner that supports our institutions, our police, and our armed forces.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
5 years 33 weeks ago, 5:54 PM

Mark3030

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High five

thank you, thank you. I m glad that you are taking the time to speak your mind. We do need positve ascertion on every level. Due to our poor leadership in Washington. And especially in the republican party they seem to be floundering.

"the thrill of the hunt"
5 years 33 weeks ago, 5:45 PM

Ebear

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well

they're are'nt much good with their clothes on now are they....lololol

...check... G-AZ
5 years 33 weeks ago, 12:11 AM

Manny G

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I am not suggesting

I am not suggesting rebelling against the U.S. government.

I am telling you to remove the criminals in power bent on banning the Constitution of United States of America.

Our fore fathers paid a heavy price for the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

It is a crime for anyone to deprive any American citizens from the Constitution of United States. The people in Washington DC trying to ban the Constitution of United States must be arrested for their crimes.

If you allow these criminals to ban the U.S. Constitution then America will change for the worst and you have no one to blame except yourself.

Thank you
5 years 33 weeks ago, 7:57 AM

clintlebo

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manny

In this post, you mention:

"If you allow these criminals to ban the U.S. Constitution then America will change for the worst and you have no one to blame except yourself."

What are you doing to insulate yourself from the blame you like to spread around?

clint

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin & Hobbes)
5 years 33 weeks ago, 6:06 AM

Manny G

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Mar 2009

President Obama and Hillary Clinton are going to try to force Americans to join the G-20 agenda.

Hillary Clinton says dam the Declaration of Independence and dam the Constitution of United States.

If this is true then Hillary Clinton must be arrested immediately for depriving Americans of their Constitutional rights.

“Excuse me Hillary, Come with me because you’re under citizen’s arrest!!”

Thank you
5 years 33 weeks ago, 7:13 AM

Manny G

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The United States

The United States Declaration of Independence gives Americans certain rights. Americans have the right to revolution. Americans have the unalienable rights of Life , Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We must unite as one voice to President Obama and Hillary Clinton. We will not stand by any longer while you take away our Constitutional rights.

Our rights to remain independence, our rights to bears arms will not be infringe in any form what so ever. Who ever does so will be arrested via citizen’s arrested.

Thank you
5 years 33 weeks ago, 8:07 AM

samD

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MannyG

No. 1 you will never get close enough to POTUS to put your hands on him and if you did to make your citizens arrest, the Secret Service would negate your position before you could utter a word. You do realize that these sights are monitored. I will assure you that your whole dossier is on many desks around the country and you are being watched like a hawk. This sight is for information re: guns, hunting and keeping the people aware of what the Socialists are trying to do.
I think you would be better served by finding a more militant sight. Something with a Militia or such. This sight is NOT for the overthrow of our government, but we will work to keep it honest and to remain a Republic. I hate censorship, but if your ramblings continue in a harmful way to this sight, then I will be forced to delete your missives. I have asked you to turn it down and I won't ask again.
The choice is yours!
samD

5 years 33 weeks ago, 9:02 AM

raffycanlas

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theyll kill samD first cuz hes the president.

I'm just another damn yankee with a loaded gun looking for some fun!
5 years 33 weeks ago, 9:11 AM

samD

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raffy

Oh no! Don't shoot me, I am only the messenger. I was under orders!
I am going to seal myself into my secure bunker now, Brandy & Cuban Cigars to last for 5 years, maybe this will be over by then. Goodnight all...LOL

5 years 26 weeks ago, 11:38 AM

machalraise

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Feb 2009
It's new

Hello It's new cuban cigars. The perfecto cuban cigar shape. The smoker loving cuban cigars and cuban cigar that everyone wishes to smoke..

5 years 33 weeks ago, 9:14 AM

raffycanlas

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hahaha samD

did u say brandy? wait!!!!!!!!!!!! take me with you lol

I'm just another damn yankee with a loaded gun looking for some fun!
5 years 33 weeks ago, 9:16 AM

samD

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LOL

5 years 26 weeks ago, 11:49 AM

runawaygun762

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machalraise,

Why not show us the penetrative powers of the new cigar shape and shove them up your ass. I'm sure Bill Clinton would approve

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 21 weeks ago, 9:16 AM

biki

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Hopeless

Now this is disgusting. It really feel sorry to know about the minuscule amount of money people are making in Cuba. How do they live with so little money? Poverty forces most of Cuba's 2.2 million retirees get new jobs - really disturbing to hear. I guess that's not the case with the dictator.

5 years 21 weeks ago, 9:41 AM

ivantank

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to decide how much they can take of the present leadership..i spent alot of time in south florida, and have a few good cuban expatriots as friends. they hated the goverment and got on rafts, got in bathtubs, rowboats or whatever they could get their hands on and floated in to the sea hoping to be picked up by the us navy..praying not to be eatin by sharks..some people live under a dictator cause they just don't know any better way

I have reasons for the things I do, just don't expect them to be reasonable

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