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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 03:46 PM   #21
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

Hey Salaryguru, the Darth Vader comment was posted
by somebody else ....... not me.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 04:41 PM   #22
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

The link below debunks the AARP claim of
"social insecurity"

http://www.tamasset.com/pdf/MalkileSS011705.pdf

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 05:27 PM   #23
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

Quote:

Why doesn't the government just invest the money in the stock market for the masses. Why Bush could appoint the smartest folks on Wall Street to manage the portfolio - Or they might decide that Index funds make the most money.

What you don't understand Michael is that the Government is going to have to take care of the Stupid, the Poor, The criminals etc. if they don't have any money- It will cost more to do it with Prisons, Capital Punishment and Crime Sprees than handing out piddly Social Security Checks!

There is a simple solution to every complicated problem that won't work!
I agree with CT-we already have "private retirement accounts" They are called IRAs.

I'm in favor of the government investing a chunk of the SS cash flows in some broad based index funds and AAA corporate bonds. Let's have a little diversity here

And yes, there is a cost to everything. We as a society will always fund "social programs" Be they SS or prisons.

I'd rather spend it on SS than prisons...
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 05:57 PM   #24
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

Hey CT,

How about coming out of retirement and running for President. I like your common sense logic.

Of course, the red state voters may prefer to vote for someone who would build prisons to house all those (who probably were for privatization) who began robbing others to survive because they became destitute losing their money in the stock market and had no decent SS check to fall back on.

MJ
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 06:22 PM   #25
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

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Under private accounts, you either study hard to learn a trade, then work diligently at it, or you starve. *I am not saying that I agree or disagree with this philosopy, but that is my understanding of what they are trying to do.
Well Michael, I think you have a rather unique understanding. It may also be Emperor Bush's intention, but I doubt it would play well with most voters. Though I have no doubt that you think that you would like it.

One thing I would like to point out to you and anyone else who is not only short on empathy but also on common sense is that there are many ways to become poor other than by being lazy. Having a child with leukemia might be one. Study hard, become a carpenter, then fall and break your back might be another. Even a motorcycle accident could do the trick.

Or one could be the stay at home wife and mother married to a man to whom any of these things happen- or just to a man who decides to take off on you. Do you know any single mothers? Many of them are very hard working, probably harder than you will ever be. What is that like? You get up well before dawn to get your kids ready for day-care or school, work all day, then run around like a madwoman to pick up the kids, get them some dinner, talk to them and give them a little much needed love, then see if you can get 5 hours of sleep for yourself before starting all over again. Tough life when it is working, and very vulnerable to shocks.

Then there is always the birth lottery. Do you know that most skilled trades require at least an average IQ? An average IQ is 100. Do you know that by definition, half are above that, and half below it? For every 130, there is a 70? So a good number of people are running the race with their feet tied together. How do you feel about letting them starve?

Last week I was walking in a hip downtown residential area where condos cost $600,000 and up to well over $1million. People with their bedding were all over the place. Piles of human waste were here and there. Under your do well or starve theory, I suppose one would add to this collection people in various stages of dying, including the recently dead.

I suspect that the following might be a bit out of your ken, but the English Christian poet John Donne dealt well with this topic in his 1623 poem, For Whom The Bell Tolls:

"If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

Mikey
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 07:09 PM   #26
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

Quote:
Why doesn't the government just invest the money in the stock market for the masses.
I agree that this would be more sensible than putting them into treasury bills. However, the working poor don't generally vote for Republicans. Draw your own conlcusions on what will be the result.

Quote:
Though I have no doubt that you think that you would like it.
Actually I don't. Private accounts would not pass if it were up to me. However it is not, and I make my plans based upon the most likely outcome, not on the way I think things should be run. The politicians are what they are.
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 08:04 PM   #27
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

Mikey, great post! Perhaps your best.

Notice also that Michael believes that "the current system gives more benefits to the working poor than they have "earned...". Such words usually come from people who have had easy lives, as personified by their idol and soul-mate, GW Bush. When I hear Michael proclaiming that the working poor haven't "earned" what they receive from SS, I visualize nurse aids, loggers, farm laborers, janitors, and countless hard working people I have known - and as you describe so vividly in your post. There is never a shortage of lap-dogs eager to serve the plutocracy, panting and yipping for their dog yummy, without any concern for the potential impact on others. They like to pound their chests and speak about hard work and responsibility, when most of them would collapse under the burden of real work while living in poverty, or near poverty. It has actually become fashionable in these circles to view the working poor with an arrogance that borders on contempt.

You mentioned IQs and disabling injuries. I spent my working years trying to help people who came up short through no fault of their own. I have no doubt that many of these "ownership" society advocates are brilliant people who have the connections and the wherewithal to excel with ease. But their kind of brilliance is a cold thing that shimmers without the warmth of wisdom or compassion. They delude themselves into thinking that they have "earned" their state in life through their hard work and responsible living. Arrogance without a shred of wisdom or compassion; that's the part of the Bushite mindset I find most repugnant.

Anyway, I really enjoyed your post.
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 08:44 PM   #28
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

Quote:
. . . I have no doubt that many of these "ownership" society advocates are brilliant people who have the connections and the wherewithal to excel with ease. But their kind of brilliance is a cold thing that shimmers without the warmth of wisdom or compassion. They delude themselves into thinking that they have "earned" their state in life through their hard work and responsible living. Arrogance without a shred of wisdom or compassion; that's the part of the Bushite mindset I find most repugnant.

Anyway, I really enjoyed your post.
Thank-you, Bob Smith. And I enjoyed your post too, Mikey.
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 09:28 PM   #29
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

Well said mikey.

I was remarking the other day that there seems to be a decline in the overall quality of the written word. If you look back 200 years, writing was artful and inspired. Examples include some of the speeches written by past presidents while en route (Abraham Lincoln with the Gettysberg Address for example), as well as much of the literature of the era. With the advent of computers, MS spell check with its limited volcabulary, and a general perceived lack of time, it seems as though we are quickly losing the ability to create great literary works.

I'm not saying that Mikey's post was THAT great (it was good), but overall the quality of the posts on this board are quite good; a refreshing change of pace.

nw dat iz sed, brng on d SMS jargon!
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 10:02 PM   #30
 
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

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Michael
The current system gives more benefits to the working poor than they have earned, which is what the new system wants to eliminate

Why do a half-assed job? If you don't want people to get anything they haven't "earned" then why are The Rich aka "The Inheriting Class" being let off the hook? Why should they be allowed to keep anything they didn't "earn" directly, and personally? Anyone who knows anything about history, the nature of wealth, or has read Adam Smith KNOWS that THAT kind of wealth is never earned and always a result of strategic alliance with Big Government. Just askin'
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 11:20 PM   #31
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

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Inheriting Class
Why indeed. Many people theorize that inheriting just spoils children.

Quote:
strategic alliance with Big Government
That is why so many special intrerest groups lobby for monopolies protected by law. It is very cost effective to give politicians money in return for eliminating competition by requiring licenses and such.
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-20-2005, 11:52 PM   #32
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

You make a lot of good points Mikey, many of which I agree with. *How would you respond to the standard conservative replies to your points?

Quote:
there are many ways to become poor other than by being lazy
Charity is best done by private individuals and organizations. *Government officials just waste money on ineffective projects that cause more harm than good.

Quote:
single mothers
Immorality should not be encouraged or subsidized. *This will just result in even more immorality. *This would not include widows, who are covered under survivor's benefits.
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-21-2005, 06:59 AM   #33
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

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Quote:
single mothers
Immorality should not be encouraged or subsidized. This will just result in even more immorality. This would not include widows, who are covered under survivor's benefits.
Um, how about divorced single mothers? My perception is that this is a majority of single mothers. Certainly the case of nearly everyone I know. Dad's still about $15k behind on child support and my youngest sibling is 22. (Meaning child support ended 4 years ago.)

Added: Come to think of it, in the case of "immoral" single mothers it is nearly universal that the mother saddled with care and support while the father is too frequently absent or unable/unwilling to provide adequate monetary support. Why do I hear more about immoral single mothers than I do about the male half of the equation?
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-21-2005, 07:28 AM   #34
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

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Immorality should not be encouraged or subsidized. *This will just result in even more immorality. *This would not include widows, who are covered under survivor's benefits.
Thanks, BMJ. Took the words right out of my mouth.

So, Michael, how's your wife feel about the "morality" of single parents?
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-21-2005, 08:34 AM   #35
 
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

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This would not include widows, who are covered under survivor's benefits.

You mean evil big government wealth redistribution benefits?
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-21-2005, 09:21 AM   #36
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

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Quote:
This would not include widows, who are covered under survivor's benefits.
You mean evil big government wealth redistribution benefits?
Good point! That family obviously was being slothful and didn't save enough. And they probably didn't study to maximize their insurance and investments. This behavior shouldn't be encouraged or subsidized.

(end sarcasm :P )

On a side note, after the fumes are clearing and I'm wiping the froth from my moth I notice Michael is being careful to present these arguments as a proxy and is trying not to claim them as his own. So what do you think, Michael, or are you just having fun poking with a cyberstick?
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-21-2005, 09:36 AM   #37
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

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Immorality should not be encouraged or subsidized. *This will just result in even more immorality.
Careful there bro, the idea of immoral behavior is entirely relative. Speaking as a Christian, the "right" scare the crap out of me with their religious political agenda. Once precedent for intertwining religious ideology and government has been cast, it will be difficult to change later on. While you may agree with those policies now, you're ignoring the fact that down the road, your religious beliefs may be representative of a minority of the population.... when that happens, will those in power be as kind to you as you were to them?
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-21-2005, 09:47 AM   #38
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

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That misses the point of the program, which is to foster individual responsibility. *Under private accounts, your future is in your own hands. *If you work diligently, you will store up the maximum in your private account each year. *If you are slothful, you will only partially fund your account, and you will suffer for it. *
Whoa! *It is the pinnacle of arrogance to believe that one's own endeavors brought forth the mcmansion home, fancy degree, six-or seven figure income.

Anyone so deluded is denying credit to the reality: just plain luck of the draw in genes, country of birth, childhood school district, having parents, hard-working teachers (underpaid, esp. the private school ones), etc.

This is called society, and it fulfills its function best when all members care for each other and look out for each other. *

And if you make more than $200,000 a year, do you owe alot more to society than the stiff that makes $30,000? *Absolutely yes, IMO!

Quote:
Immorality should not be encouraged or subsidized. *
Yes, also: intolerance, self-pride, selfishness, stinginess, a non-charitable heart.

I would like to now introduce the concept of enough. *As in- I have been given and granted enough. *I have been gifted enough. *Now I have the choice to share. *I am a member of a community called the US. *I care about myself; I care about my community. *

Actually I'm being selfish. *Who wants to pull out of their gated community and stare at impoverished settlements? *Or have your drive ruined by underdressed women advertising their merchandise on the roadside? *I find life more pleasant when I can understand and communicate intelligently with others, such as the postal clerk and grocer's cashier.
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-21-2005, 09:51 AM   #39
 
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

It's really disappointing how so many of you can't confine your argument with Michael's post without also deriding him and his assumed ethics personally. This thread really exposes the nasty side of this fine forum.
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security
Old 01-21-2005, 11:41 AM   #40
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Re: Roger Lowenstein on Social Security

Guest,

I apologize if I have offended you . My post was in response to the context of Michael's posts. .
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