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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 05:28 AM   #161
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Quote:
This is my last post on this topic.

You can certainly dicsuss this topic rationally, until you bring up irrational ideas like genetics.

We have already had the solution of 'building more prisons'. This is just a short step from Auschwitz.

The solution for all of these problems was for humans to not to have been racists.

The solution today is also to stop being a racist.


Cutthroat: I can tell from your posts that your heart is in the right place, but like discussions of politics in general, we just go around in circles, and along the way, build up barriers.
I agree that this subject should be put to bed.
In my humble opinion, the best thing we can all do is to treat everybody as we would like to be treated.
If my two daughters are any indication of the younger generation, we are going in the right direction!
We're not there yet, but it's a far cry from a couple of generations ago.
Take care, Jarhead
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 05:50 AM   #162
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

IMHO, class is a big issue in this country but as soon as someone raises it they get accused of class warfare by the upper class.

I think it used to be easier to pull yourself out of poverty. The bottom level jobs led to better jobs. My father in law was a sailer and started at about 14 years old shoveling coal into a boiler. He moved up the ranks through the years and eventually was a captain. Now I don't think that happens as much. DH and I know deckhands that are nearly 50 years old.

There were more grants for college. Tech schools were often free. It was easy to get a work study job to help pay living expenses. I went to college in the early 70s and my family had no money to contribute. I did fine with grants and work study jobs. Now you have to borrow, borrow, borrow to go to school.

Mix in all of this the cultural issues (where people make assumptions about someone based on their race, age, sex, religion, national origin, sexual preference, etc) and you have a big problem that is hard to solve.

How about taking part of the money government borrows from social security and instead of lending it to the feds, lend it to the states for education funding? Uses could include improving grade schools, high schools and even subsidizing post secondary education. Payoff would be better jobs, more money into social security.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 06:15 AM   #163
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

"Can't we all just get along?"

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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 06:33 AM   #164
 
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Hello Charlie.......apparently not, and I recognize that
I often contribute to this as I seldom resist the impulse to gig
my fellow posters. This is especially true when I perceive absurdity, which happens all the time
(not just here) . Anyway, in my case, being naturally confrontational helps, but as I said that particular
trait doesn't help promote goodwill and warm fuzzies
very often.

BTW, we have drifted pretty far afield from where we began. Part of the fun I guess

JG
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 06:55 AM   #165
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Quote:
You can certainly dicsuss this topic rationally, until you bring up irrational ideas like genetics.
Maybe you mean eugenics? Because almost all modern bioscience is based on the utter rationality of genetics.

Genetics is complex, but hardly irrational. If you thing none of this applies to humans, read some twin studies. Just because it has been marked taboo doesn't in any way make it irrational.

Do you discard Darwin? Watson and Crick and The Double Helix? The transcription of DNA onto RNA and then onto the protein enzymes that control biochemical processes in the body?

And like Jarhead said, look at sports. Could it be more clear that some human groups are just more talented in specific ways than other groups?

Biology is destiny. Just because we as a society are locked into a very expensive denial of that fact that has gone on for close to half a century doesn't make it any less true.

Nobody said environmental conditions are meaningless, but by now it should be clear that to focus solely on the environment as PC thought does is seriously irrational in itself. Some may find it comforting, but it is false.

Mikey





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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 07:14 AM   #166
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Quote:
I think it used to be easier to pull yourself out of poverty.
Yes, your observations are backed up by research. *Here's a couple of snippets.

Waking Up from the American Dream
Meritocracy and Equal Opportunity Are Fading Fast
by Aaron Bernstein
First published in Business Week December 1, 2003
http://reclaimdemocracy.org/weekly_2...eam_death.html
Quote:
The changing dynamic of the U.S. economy clearly has the most impact on those at the bottom. Some 49% of families who started the 1970s in poverty were still stuck there at the end of that decade, the Boston Fed study found. During the 1990s, the figure had jumped to 53%, even after accounting for two-earner families. A key reason lies with the creation of millions of jobs that pay less than a poverty-line wage of $8.70 an hour, according to Low-Wage America, a massive research project involving case studies by 38 academics. Most of the workers, such as nursing assistants or food preparers, "have no educational credentials beyond a high school diploma," the authors found.

Problem is, that all-important sheepskin is out of reach for most students from low-income families. Although college enrollment has soared for higher-income students, more children from poor families can only afford to go to community colleges, which typically don't offer bachelor's degrees. The number of poor students who get a degree -- fewer than 5% in 2001 -- has barely budged in 30 years, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by Thomas G. Mortenson, who publishes an education newsletter from Oskaloosa, Iowa.
http://webs.wichita.edu/dt/newsletter/show/?NID=1379
Quote:
Americans, bolstered by a popular culture that revels in rags to riches stories, have the notion that they can do better than the generations before them and move up the class structure.

But a study co-authored by Wichita State sociologist David Wright indicates that might be more fiction than fact.

The study shows that class mobility has decreased over the past few decades. While the study shatters the myth that working hard will lead to a better station in life, it shores up the idea that "the rich are getting richer."
<snip>
Wright and fellow sociologists Robert Perrucci from Purdue University and Earl Wysong of Indiana University compared incomes and occupations of 2,749 father-and-son pairs from 1979 to 1998 and found few sons had moved up the class ladder. Nearly 70 percent of the sons in 1998 had remained either at the same level or were doing worse than their fathers in 1979.

The study also shows that at the upper level, the affluent sons were moving into better positions more frequently than their fathers had.

"We all know the rich are getting richer," says Wright. "Why aren't the people at the bottom seeing an increase?"

The answer probably has much to do with whom you know and where you've gone to college, as well as your family's stock and investment portfolio.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 07:14 AM   #167
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

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How about taking part of the money government borrows from social security and instead of lending it to the feds, lend it to the states for education funding? *Uses could include improving grade schools, high schools *and even subsidizing post secondary education. *Payoff would be better jobs, more money into social security.
Martha, as a nation we already spend much more on education than any other, and get much less for it. Doesn't work, hasn't worked for probably 30 years, and won't start working just because we pour in more money.

I have met Indian programmers whose mothers and fathers are illiterate. Chinese engineers, some of them women, whose entire families lived in one room. But they are working side by side with the brightest products of good suburban school districts and US universities.

Do you think that Stanford, MIT and Harvard don't look for US minorites that they can train? Send them to prep school, buy them tutors? While there are some successes, the yield is low.

OTOH, I know a Cambodian woman who runs a donut shop whose daughter is graduating from Harvard. Before coming to the US my friend helped her mother who was a street vendor. And don't forget what they went through-not 300 years but only a few short decades ago. Likewise, there are many doctors, dentists and engineers who came from Viet-Nam 30 years ago, made do with US schools in poor neighborhoods, and stil managed great success.

Mikey


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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 07:19 AM   #168
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Martha_M,
As a teacher for almost 30 years, your idea of loaning SS money to the states for education would be throwing our money down a rat hole.

Obviously, you were never in the edu-business. Money or lack of it, is not the problem. You, most democrats, and the general public still do not understand why that is true. For many years as a teacher I voted against my own pocket book because I knew that the kids seldom benefit from money thrown at most school districts let alone the state.

Examples: Merit based pay for teachers - in the first year or two it some of it will go to better teachers, but soon the administrators figure out that they can reward those who do extra duties away from the classroom like workshops, quasi-administrative tasks, being a member of some odious committee, or who pick up additional college credits, use less leave or other such nonteaching measures. Principals look good to the superintendent if reports are timely and participation is high in those inane workshops.
I was given raises for taking automotive repair courses and working on my old trucks. Monitoring each teachers credits and their relation to teaching was a bureaucratic mess, and most eduation courses were a waste of time anyway.. taught by educators who got a PhD. instead of working in any classroom. Later, raises were handed out to principal 'favorites' who were often had the worst day-to-day performance, but could put on a great 'dog and pony show' when tipped that the boss was coming down the hall.

More often, great amounts of money were collected by districts who would hire a young graduates in areas not within the classroom like attendance assistants for the office or other specialists who reduced the administative workload, and then averaged all such employees along with teachers to come up with misleading low 'teacher-student ratios'.

Perhaps a district would buy a motivational 'package' which includes workshops, manuals, books, and such for thousands if not millions off $$ all produced by eduation PhDs who never taught in a classroom. If I ever hear 'research tells us' again in an audience I will go 'Postal'. We called this strategy the Universities PhD post graduate retirement scam.

The list of these scams is much longer. Trust me. Mostly the money from the states is consumed by bureaucrats in the state capital anyway.
The experienced teachers know to continue doing what works, the incompetent teachers praise the new programs thus drawing attention away from poor people skills, and the young new teachers hope it will point the way for sucess and become really discouraged when reality sinks in.

Do not underestimate the power of bureaucrats, administrators, teacher unions, and others with an interest in education money, to deceive.

I was an 'ace' teacher of middle school science and held up more than one teaching team or science department. I never ever took a day off from teaching in the classroom including attending manditory workshops. The kids would have lost precious learning time. I never worried what the principal thought because I decided that I worked for the students and parents NOT the administrators. Sometimes, this was a difficult choice (yes, school politics exists) but I can sleep now, knowing I did the damn best I could and hundreds of students are better for it. My performance was never enhanced by money spent by a state or school district. Sometimes, the parents would donate to science program and they could see exactly what the funds provided and were always pleased.

Our science program out scored, out performed all the magnet-school programs in every measure. We dominated the district and state science fairs so handily, that the magnet schools in the district stopped participating for a couple years until they were called to task.

I write this to be a record of sorts on this Forum to refer any members who think more money for schools is a solution. The problems of our schools run too deep for a complete discussion here, but until parents of some identifible groups, become involved for reasons other than politics, or having an axe to grind ... sucess in our schools will be in spite of them.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 07:37 AM   #169
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

OK, Mikey and Ol Rancher, I don't know the first thing about our education system and what works and what doesn't, so the idea I threw out there can be trashed. Maybe Rancher is right and nothing much positive will happen in education until there is a parental revolution.

Just trying to think of something positive to do about what clearly are problems in our society.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 07:45 AM   #170
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

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* * * * * * * * * * * *Do not underestimate the power of bureaucrats, administrators, teacher unions, and others with an interest in education money, to deceive.
AMEN!!
My wife was a bookkeeper for a large middle school and Ol Rancher's summary barely scratches the surface. Her school received a sizeable grant for a major set of physical education improvements. You can not even begin to imagine where it went--things like digital cameras, office equipment, etc etc.
Know a new principal in another school system who on his first day of school was told not to open a certain closet door unless he was very careful. Seems the PE teacher had spend her budget every year to buy balls that would never be used by the school population. NO SENSE in turning the money back or sending the balls to other schools. The teacher had been doing it for years.
Real quesiton in my mind is it incompetency or stupidity?
It is absolutely amazing how few teachers can even open an email or run a copy machine.
I suspect Ol Rancher could have written a complete treatise on this subject and still had plenty left for a second installment.
MONEY IS NOT WHAT IS MISSING IN EDUCATION!
Leadership and accountablity is! (At least IMHO)
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 08:23 AM   #171
 
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WR

And if all criminals were caught and all got prosecuted/jailed what makes you think this ratio would change? What makes you think it wouldn't look even worse?

CT
So, what does that say to you? - Are you saying that Blacks are more inherently evil than whites? Or are you saying that this country's history of discrimination, slavery and injustices have provided an economic playing field that is very difficult to overcome?
Well, I gave you a chance and you proved to be a serial chance-blower. This ain't Meet the F*ckin' Press Senator C-T

Answer the question. Anwser ANY question.
What it says to me: It gives me no further insight to the problem. I suspect the ratios would not change.

Do we have certain "legacies" in this country vis a vis playing fields, opportunities, slavery etc.. yes. Nothing I said indicated a refutation of historical truths, or a malignant view of the Human Condition as you obviously imply. So why did you run you mouth inappropriately in an attampot to change the subject and demean me? You just keep proving over and over agai what we already know about you
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 10:31 AM   #172
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

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As far as racial representation in prison, I wonder how that compares with poverty levels among races? Anyone have those numbers?
I think to really understand what is going on one needs to move back through the chain of events that leads to one being in prison. *Many of those in prison in the US are there for drug offences (which by the way has a higher proportion of it's populace in prison than any other country). *How many of each "race" use drugs, how many of each "race" are arrested for drug use, how many of each "race" are convicted of drug use, and finally how many of each "race" actually go to prison for drug use? *Hmmm, let's see what those numbers are shall we.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/communitie.../criminaljust/
Quote:
The rate of drug admissions to state prison for black men are thirteen times greater than the rate for white men. A recent report by Human Rights Watch found that while drug use is consistent across all racial groups, Blacks and Latinos are far more likely to be arrested and prosecuted and given long sentences for drug offenses. Blacks constitute 13 percent of all drug users, but 35 percent of those arrested for drug possession, 55 percent of persons convicted, and 74 percent of people sent to prison.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 11:42 AM   #173
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

A follow-up to Ol_Rancher's post: Everything he said also applies to the job I left. My friends in the private sector had it even worse. Management has an uncanny ability to do the wrong thing, at the wrong time, for the wrong reason. As my Grandfather used to say, "...those idiots would screw up a two car funeral". It's at the root of many problems, yet nothing is ever done about it because it's largely hidden from all but those who are on the inside, and depend upon their paycheck to put food on the table. Excellent post Ol_Rancher!
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Old 01-31-2005, 12:05 PM   #174
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

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This is my last post on this topic.
CT, no offense, but that sort of knee-jerk reaction is the root of the problem. There is racism in this country. There are also a lot of other -isms. We are basically classification machines. It is our nature to separate, classify, and prejudge based on prior experience, whether that experience was statistically significant or not.

Pretending that everybody is the same doesn't help. Of course, we should give everybody the opportunity to succeed, and I'm aware of no other nation that offers as many opportunities for success as the US.

So, what do you do for those who can't or won't succeed? I don't know the answer, but I think it'd be a useful conversation to have. Obviously, the laisez-faire approach we take now doesn't work. The result is crime, poverty, broken homes, and poor health.

Are there nations that have done a better job at taking care of their underclass? I think so. Everybody in Sweden seems pretty happy, for example, and I can't believe it's because they have no underclass. Maybe more socialism is the answer. A guaranteed standard of living for everybody in this country. A social contract that promises that you don't have to worry about food, shelter, education, or health care.

Or maybe the libertarians here have a better idea....
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-31-2005, 01:12 PM   #175
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

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Are there nations that have done a better job at taking care of their underclass? * *I think so. * Everybody in Sweden seems pretty happy, for example, and I can't believe it's because they have no underclass. * Maybe more socialism is the answer. * A guaranteed standard of living for everybody in this country. * A social contract that promises that you don't have to worry about food, shelter, education, or health care.

Or maybe the libertarians here have a better idea....
Wab, I think we both know that Libertarians are mostly blowing smoke. However, even their crap is probably a better idea than that last one, which I suspect you are way too experienced to really believe in.

As regards Sweden and its underclass, comparisons to the US are definitely a case of apples and oranges. Most of Europe, Sweden included, is just beginning to see what an imported underclass can and can't, will and won't do. So the historical success Sweden has had with socialism says very little about their future. Ditto England, France, Holland and Germany. All these countries are finding out that the poor people that their systems were set up to serve after WW2 acted differently than the new clients from the Caribbean, Africa, North Africa,the former Soviet Bloc. etc.

Furthermore, the working people of the home countries are not as eager to support all of these new groups as a naive planner might hope. Social welfare policies are must more successful in homogeneous, not "Diverse" societies. In fact almost everything is more successful, other than ethnic restaurants, world music, and opportunities to hear lots of languages on the street.

A more realistic comparison would be to other countries that imported slaves from Africa. Cuba, Haiti, Dominica, Martinique, Guadalupe, Jamaica, Grenada, Brazil, Guyana, to some extent Colombia.

Have any of these done a better job than the USA?

I don't think so.

I guarantee that if the USA is here 100 years from now, so will our underclass be here. And not in the purely statistical sense. In the sense of crime, work participation, whatever indices of social pathology you care to use. Not only that, they will be joined by a new underclass that we are busily importing as I write this. Our current demographic state, plus immigration, plus wrong headed policies will guarantee this.

Before long the USA will look like South America. Some rich people in gated communities and high quality high rises. Some middle class law-abiders of all races in suburbs ever farther from the cities. Inner cities will be largely unpoliced, very dangerous for anyone of any race who must live there, and very dangerous for anyone who accidentally blunders in. The process of destruction will follow the middle class suburbs out, as can already be seen in many older suburbs where the cops can't really keep up with the gangs.

No one will ever change anybody's mind on these things, because one can always make objections to any argument. The perfect way to prevent trying anything new is cry racism, and say we haven't done enough yet. The word racist is to our time what the word heretic was to Galileo's.

But as Wabmester pointed out, we have done more than any other society, ever.

Sometime, people will say enough. Then watch the shite hit the fan!

Mikey

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Old 01-31-2005, 01:22 PM   #176
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Ol' Rancher, I was an Ontario teacher for 33 years, and I echo your disgust for the "educrats".

In spite of them and their mission to reinvent the wheel every 5 years, I think we managed to turn out a pretty fine product.

Just look at that young whippersnapper Hyper!
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:41 PM   #177
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

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. . . The perfect way to prevent trying anything new is cry racism, and say we haven't done enough yet. The word racist is to our time what the word heretic was to Galileo's.

But as Wabmester pointed out, we have done more than any other society, ever.

Sometime, people will say enough. Then watch the shite hit the fan!

Mikey
I've really tried to avoid this debate, but this last posting makes me want to repeat Cutthroat's question . . . What are you suggesting? *

Several posters seem to be saying, "I'm not a racist but I believe that there are intelligence and/or fundamental moral difference between the races." *Or maybe you are just saying that you are open to the idea that there may be such a difference.

Okay . . . I believe that you are open to that idea and that no one can prove you wrong. . . or right. *So what? *How does that change anything relative to establishing laws, regulations and policy?

Let's imagine for a minute that when we look at the distribution of intelligence that one race has a higher norm than another. *(If you believe that IQ actually measures intelligence in a way that is meaningful, that is exactly the situation in America today). *In fact, how could it be any other way? *Each race, when measured will produce a distribution of intelligence with a norm and a standard deviation and each race will produce slightly different distributions than the others. *Forget that we don't really know what intelligence is or how important it is or is not to our society. *What we do know is that the distributions of intelligence is mostly made up of overlap between the races (ie. some people in race A are smarter than some in race B and vice versa). *So whether the cause of the difference in the norm between the races is known or not, how do you act on that information? *The only answer that makes sense to me is that you ignore race and consider intelligence if that is what is important. *

Similarly, if we had a measure of morality -- or law-abiding tendancy -- what would we do with that measure? *Whether it indicated a shift in the norm of morality between the races or not . . . whether we knew the underlying cause of the moral measure or not, what could we do about it? *

Argue environment vs genetics till your blue in the face. *Consider yourself special because you align with one argument or the other . . . or with neither. *I wonder how any of those arguments helps us to form a plan of action. *
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Old 01-31-2005, 02:39 PM   #178
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

There is only one race period,.......... Homo Sapiens.

Colours, body build etc. are all superficial.

Gene wise we are all the same.

Although I sometimes think some of us act like Neanderthals.
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:27 PM   #179
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

I'm also wondering what's being suggested. As far as SS and welfare programs (if that's what we're talking about) I'm pro-status quo unless I can see a good reason--and a reasonable proposed plan--to shake things up.

Yes, there are problems, but at least with SS we had a specific plan to address: privatization. I see problems with that as have been mentioned a few pages ago.

I'm not quite sure what we're talking about since we went into race, class and prison, but I've seen a couple of mentions that the status quo isn't working or that shouting racist prevents trying something different. Um, what should we try different? Cutting all wealth redistribution programs and relying on charity to help the needy? Isn't that where we were before wealth redistribution programs? Did that work better? I can't infer what else is being suggested.

I disagree with the blanket judgement that the underclass is too lazy, stupid, criminal or genetically inferior (with respect to modern society) to better themselves. I see the prejudice as part of the problem, and I see an imbalanced application of incarceration to the underclass. One way to improve this that I can see is to object when others say or at least appear to say that blacks and/or the poor are racist, lazy and criminal.
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Old 01-31-2005, 03:47 PM   #180
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Hey JG,

Don't you just love it when the libs throw bombs
at each other instead of us poor neo-cons?

Cheers,

Charlie
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