The opinions found on social media can be a dark jungle of misinformation and lies. This is not a surprise, based on the following facts:
- A large number of people do not know The Affordable Care Act and Obama Care are the same thing.
- One in six believe it would be “very good” for the army to rule.
- Only 30% of people born in the 1980s think it is essential for them to live in a democracy.
While the train to crazy town is constantly adding new passengers, one issue really sticks out.
The opposition to the proposed fiduciary rule, which would force the financial services to act in the best interest of clients’ retirement accounts takes the cake.
The conflicted crazies have come out in force. Here is my top five list of the most insane arguments:
- Donald Trump’s Press Secretary, Sean Spicer – “The rule is a solution in search of a problem.” In the words of our CEO Josh Brown, Spicer knows less than John Snow. I wonder if he would feel this way if his 80-year old grandmother had a variable annuity inside her IRA with a 10-year surrender fee?
- The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board – “Robert Litan and Hal Singer have estimated that depriving small investors of human advice could cost clients $80 billion in a downturn.” Maybe they were confusing this with the $80 billion reasons why investors should not work with “humans” who sell them non-publicly traded real estate and leveraged currency funds. Give me a cyborg any day.
- National Economic Council Director, Gary Cohn – “We think it is a bad rule. It is a bad rule for consumers….This is like putting only healthy food on the menu, because unhealthy food tastes good but you still shouldn’t eat it because you might die younger.” Ummm not quite. The Cheese Cake Factory clearly labels its chicken wings, fettuccine alfredo, and chocolate cheesecake belly bomb as having 10 gazillion calories. Even still, a person might get pleasure from eating something decadent in spite of the unhealthiness of the choice; when it comes to investing, the only person getting enjoyment from these expensive, inferior investment options is the shill who sold it. Think of it this way, if your dentist or cardiologist was pushing sugary, fatty foods to you — wouldn’t you find another health care professional?
- Dennis Glass, CEO of Lincoln National – He supports a delay to “improve” the rule and “remove some of the confusion in the market place that is contributing to the decline in annuity sales.” Yes, currently the national crisis we are currently facing is the fact that not enough people are buying variable annuities for their retirement accounts that cost them between 3-4% a year; this is kind of like putting Dracula in charge of the blood supply.
- Anne Wagner, Republican Representative, MO. – “What we’re doing is we are returning to the American people, low- and middle- income investors, and retirees, their control of their own retirement savings. This is about Main Street.” Yes Anne, the $780,000 you raised in the last election cycle from the financial sector had absolutely no influence over your opinion. The fact that the disembowelment of this rule is being led by billionaires and politicians controlled by their insurance and brokerage firm overloads would give us no reason to think the interests of “Main Street” would not be given the highest priority.
Compared to this insanity, the buzz on social media that Taylor Swift has no belly button is starting to make more sense to me every day.