Time to Retire the 401(k)?

Many years ago, I remember hearing the comment that you knew Nixon was done for when Johnny Carson turned against him in his monologue, because Carson was a perfect proxy - some hip writer today (or maybe just some writer today trying to be hip) would instead call him an avatar - for the thinking of mainstream America at the time. I immediately thought of this when I saw this story on the cover of Time magazine entitled “Why its Time to Retire the 401(k).” When this bastion of middle of the road, middle class, mainstream American thinking has signed on to the 401(k)s are bad campaign, you have to wonder if the tide has turned for this investment instrument, its primacy, and the massive amounts of income it generates for the investment community. If it has, then Hecker and similar cases that have gone very well for the defense bar when it comes to cost and performance issues in these plans, are going to start to look, in hindsight, like little more than the last gasps of a dying regime. Not sure that is the case, but this little window into the Zeitgeist has to make you wonder.