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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 12:40 PM   #21
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Maybe you like this one better.
I do like it better. The welfare components of Soc. Sec, Medicare and Medicaid are shown. The percentages changed from your earlier graph. This must be fuzzy math

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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 12:54 PM   #22
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Snarl, grouse.*
Don't worry, Martha.* Wait 'til the guys find out their new amors want big families, too...

And oh, wait, honey, how long is your mother staying with us?
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 01:00 PM   #23
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

I just renewed my San Diego house insurance and the figures they are using for construction of a replacement house (no land cost included) is $175 to $210 per square foot. *I wonder why it cost so much more to build here?
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 01:10 PM   #24
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

I was not going to get in the latest go around about "welfare" and government spending and whether welfare causes people to be poor, but I can't let it go.

Liberals are accused of fuzzy thinking. But it is fuzzy thinking to assume without facts that having a safety net causes people to behave in a way that creates a need for that safety net. Give me facts, please.

I know people who are ill and can't work and need help. I know people who were born to worthless parents and need help. I know people who were sexually abused by a stepfather, ran away from home, and now need help in learning how to integrate with society other than "street" society. I know people who are developmentally disabled and need help. I know women whose husbands left them and they and their children need help. I know people with poor paying jobs without insurance who can't make ends meet who need help. Did they ask for their problems and so should be cut off when they fail? Will cutting them off make things better? For some people, they will never be productive members of society. Others can be.

I support social security and social security disablity. I support some system of national health care. I support good schools that are required to have their students meet minimum standards. I support increases in minimum wage. I support helping people get on their feet and be, if at all possible, productive members of society. I have no problem with holding programs accountable, especially schools.

My feeling is that the job of government is not just to defend us from attack, but to promote the general welfare of society. The kind of world I want to live in is one that gives a hand up, not a kick in the face.


I am proud to be a liberal.


Webster's dictionary defintion of liberal:
Liberal
(lib'er el, lib'rel), adj 1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs. 2. (often cap.) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform. 3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism. 4. Favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties 5. favoring of permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers. 6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies. 7. Free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners. 8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc. 9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: A liberal donor 10. given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation. 11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule. 12. of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts. 13. of, or pertaining to, or befitting a freeman. -n 14. a person of liberal principles or views, esp. in politics or religion. 15. (often cap.) a member of a liberal party in politics, esp. of the Liberal party in Great Britain. [1325-75; ME < L liberalis of freedom, befitting the free, equiv. to liber free + -alis -al] –lib'er-al-ly, adv –lib'er›al›ness, n

Sorry for the rant. Walk a mile in someones shoes . . .
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 01:11 PM   #25
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

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Originally Posted by Nords
Don't worry, Martha. Wait 'til the guys find out their new amors want big families, too...

And oh, wait, honey, how long is your mother staying with us?
I'm not worried. Most men I know actually like to be nagged.
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 01:20 PM   #26
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I'm not worried.* Most men I know actually like to be nagged.*
LOL! Martha, this is one of the many things I like about you. You have not spent your life with your eyes closed.

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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 01:32 PM   #27
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha

Liberals are accused of fuzzy thinking. But it is fuzzy thinking to assume without facts that having a safety net causes people to behave in a way that creates a need for that safety net. Give me facts, please.
I can give you anecdotal evidence. I have chosen to use the SS disability/survivor's benefit payment in my financial planning instead of private life insurance or disability insurance. Having that safety net creates a "need" (really a "want") for that safety net for me. I could easily replace it with private insurance if the need arose.

I also have a government subsidized loan with below market interest rates and a life insurance component. Free money from the taxpayers to me.

My household currently pays no federal income tax. We earn around the median income. I don't really have any special circumstances that allow me to do this. I'm using regular deductions and exemptions and credits found on the standard 1040 form. Why is it fair to tax me zero, while a coworker who makes less than me has a household federal income tax burden of close to $10,000? Our progressive taxation system with tons of credits, deductions and exemption penalizes high-income earners or those not willing to jump through tax hoops.

I intentionally decided on a lower-paying, lower stress career because of our taxation system. Why should I increase my workload and stress for a marginal increase in my after tax income?

I see family and friends who could do perfectly well in the absence of government handouts. They continue to receive these handouts because they aren't stupid. All they have to do is fill in some forms, wait in some lines and they get free money, goods or services? Beats working! I'm sure there are plenty of legitimate recipients of governmental aid. I've just never seen any personally

I think certain socioeconomic groups are sucking up a disproportionate share of the welfare dollars available.
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 01:55 PM   #28
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

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Originally Posted by Martha
I support social security and social security disablity.* I support some system of national health care.* I support good schools that are required to have their students meet minimum standards.* I support increases in minimum wage.* I support helping people get on their feet and be, if at all possible, productive members of society.* I have no problem with holding programs accountable, especially schools.*
I support that stuff because it's cheaper than dealing with the inevitable result of ignoring it.

I support foreign aid because it's cheaper than buying ammunition.

Are those cynical cold-hearted economic policies considered a conservative, business-oriented laissez-faire approach?
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 01:59 PM   #29
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

The problem with saying people would save more for retirement without social security or would buy disability insurance if there was no SS disability or SSI is that it might work for some but not for the whole.

Lot of people who end up disabled could never have bought a disablility policy. L

Tell the many women I know earning $12,000 to $25,000 a year to put some of their money towards disability insurance or retirement. Sure some can go towards retirement, but they are not going to be able to replace social security. They already hardly can live on what they make. If you increase their pay by 15% to cover the need not to fund social security or medicare, it is not going to be enough money for them to fund retirement, potential disablity and health care costs.

Justin, I don't consider working at a low stress and thus lower paying job throughout your career, while counting on social security, to be a bad thing. More people should do this. We might all be happier. I have no problem with viewing social security as an entitlement.

I would like a specific story about someone who is just a lazy a** and collects government benefits rather than working. Welfare benefits are limited in amount and duration. If you are under 62, able bodied and have no young children, there isn't going to be welfare for you.

Social Security Disablity isn't easy to get either. In lawschool I had a part time job working on social security disability and SSI appeals for denial of benefits. It is tough to get any benefits unless you can't do any kind of light work any where.

I do agree with you Justin that our tax system needs work. I just don't think it needs to be replaced. The tax code was overhauled and simplified substantially in 1986. Since then we have added and added to the complexity and the code and regulations grown tremendously. Knowing human nature, if we changed the code or replaced it with something new and simple, give it 10 or 20 years and we would be back to a hugely complex mess.

The world is complex. Simple answers may be elegant, but not always right.







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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 02:03 PM   #30
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Lot's of waste all over. Just look at the 'energy' bill. And the 'highway' bill is even worse.
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 02:07 PM   #31
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

REW: DW is OK for a girl.

My father who was not a bleeding heart liberal was proud to pay taxes. He said it is proof that he was doing well. I don't much like snigglers who want to get out of things that they benefit from (indirectly and directly) or their families (extended or otherwise) benefit from. With all the needs in the world, maybe we should be a little less worried about how we pay for the next SUV.

The real question that needs answering: How can we help those less fortunate then us become better humans? Sometimes it requires some money; sometimes it just requires proper modeling behaviors. We don't want 'them' to see us as a bunch of greedy, selfish SOBs, do we? Because if that's the model we present to 'them' then that's what 'they' will aspire to become. As best they can.

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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 02:21 PM   #32
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

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Lot's of waste all over. Just look at the 'energy' bill. And the 'highway' bill is even worse.
Yeah, do you want to see welfare? Look what the nuclear power industry is getting yet again in an energy bill.
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 02:34 PM   #33
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
The problem with saying people would save more for retirement without social security or would buy disability insurance if there was no SS disability or SSI is that it might work for some but not for the whole.

Lot of people who end up disabled could never have bought a disablility policy. L

Tell the many women I know earning $12,000 to $25,000 a year to put some of their money towards disability insurance or retirement. Sure some can go towards retirement, but they are not going to be able to replace social security. They already hardly can live on what they make. If you increase their pay by 15% to cover the need not to fund social security or medicare, it is not going to be enough money for them to fund retirement, potential disablity and health care costs.

Justin, I don't consider working at a low stress and thus lower paying job throughout your career, while counting on social security, to be a bad thing. More people should do this. We might all be happier. I have no problem with viewing social security as an entitlement.

I would like a specific story about someone who is just a lazy a** and collects government benefits rather than working. Welfare benefits are limited in amount and duration. If you are under 62, able bodied and have no young children, there isn't going to be welfare for you.

Social Security Disablity isn't easy to get either. In lawschool I had a part time job working on social security disability and SSI appeals for denial of benefits. It is tough to get any benefits unless you can't do any kind of light work any where.

I do agree with you Justin that our tax system needs work. I just don't think it needs to be replaced. The tax code was overhauled and simplified substantially in 1986. Since then we have added and added to the complexity and the code and regulations grown tremendously. Knowing human nature, if we changed the code or replaced it with something new and simple, give it 10 or 20 years and we would be back to a hugely complex mess.

The world is complex. Simple answers may be elegant, but not always right.
I think you have many valid points. I generally agree with what you said above regarding individual responsibility, reformation of the tax system, difficulty of getting SS disability, etc.

I don't particularly like a lot of the welfare systems we have in place. But I think we have the best welfare policies of all first world nations. There are legitimate social issues I think the government has to address, and it is attempting to do so through the existing welfare programs. I'm using the term welfare broadly - I'm not restricting its definition to TANF.

I can cite a specific example of three people who are lazy asses. Or as I, as an economic conservative would call them, rational economic actors. The first two I encountered a few years back. At the time I was in law school and running an engineering consulting business on the side. I had consulted with a temp agency to get a few employees for me for a month or two. I met with two of them. I started explaining what I needed them to do for the job, and when they would work. They told me when they were available, and I put them on my schedule. About thirty minutes after our meeting started, one of the temp employees, a young lady about 30 years old interrupted me. She informed me she would not be able to work for me. She had calculated how much she would make from working for me, and it was less than what she would get from her unemployment check. She would lose her unemployment benefits if she earned over a certain threshold, so for her, it was financially beneficial to stay at home and watch tv, which she told me she was going to do. The guy also said the same thing. They both left.

If I was in their position, I would do the exact same thing. I had to spend extra time and effort to recruit someone else to do the job. These two individuals would rather collect the unemployment check (welfare) than work at an honest job.

The third person is most likely violating the law to obtain TANF benefits, food stamps, medical care/insurance, and supplemental state payments. She has a few children and she lives with a boyfriend. She is intentionally not getting married so that she can continue to receive all of these benefits. If she worked, she would lose many or all of these benefits. I know their household income is significantly higher than mine.

I could continue because I have many more stories along these same lines. They would start sounding similar very quickly.

People don't really need all the govt help they get, but if it is there, people will use it!
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 02:37 PM   #34
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I support that stuff because it's cheaper than dealing with the inevitable result of ignoring it.

I support foreign aid because it's cheaper than buying ammunition.

Are those cynical cold-hearted economic policies considered a conservative, business-oriented laissez-faire approach?
Admit it Nords, you also support that stuff because you're a nice guy.
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 02:50 PM   #35
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha

I do agree with you Justin that our tax system needs work.* I just don't think it needs to be replaced.* The tax code was overhauled and simplified substantially in 1986.* Since then we have added and added to the complexity and the code and regulations grown tremendously.* Knowing human nature, if we changed the code or replaced it with something new and simple, give it 10 or 20 years and we would be back to a hugely complex mess.

The world is complex.* Simple answers may be elegant, but not always right.
For the vast majority of people it is possible (if you choose) to file the 1040EZ. Come on folks, you must admit that that form is pretty darn simple.

What I find ironic is that the complexities decried in the tax code are often the result of attempts to harness 'market forces' to the benefit of those doing the complaining.

Why is there a mortgage interest deduction? - To make home ownership more attractive which helps the economy as a whole. Why the complex special capital gains tax? - To encourage long term investments in our economy. Why capital depreciation? - To reduce the pain of upfront capital costs. *No one forces a tax payer to itemize, depreciate or take the lower rate for capital gains!

We could simplify the tax code greatly by removing the depreciation and mortgage interest deductions and taxing capital gains as income, but imagine the squealing that would ensue!!
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 02:53 PM   #36
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Justin, your three examples all sound like fraud to me. I am surprised you have more such stories, given your age and years in the workplace. My experience has been otherwise. Most of the fraudulent actors I have dealt with went for bigger buckets of money, like bank fraud and securities fraud.

This is not to say I haven't seen people play the system for all they can get. Of course, this isn't limited to people who defraud public assistence programs, and includes the tax cheats, etc.



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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 03:08 PM   #37
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Justin, your three examples all sound like fraud to me. I am surprised you have more such stories, given your age and years in the workplace. My experience has been otherwise. Most of the fraudulent actors I have dealt with went for bigger buckets of money, like bank fraud and securities fraud.

This is not to say I haven't seen people play the system for all they can get. Of course, this isn't limited to people who defraud public assistence programs, and includes the tax cheats, etc.
They probably all are fraud, assuming these people had scienter. I believe the two that refused work so they could still get unemployment checks were under a duty to accept work if offered to them. I think fraud/misrepresentation is extremely common in our welfare/taxation systems. The two unemployment collectors I described may not have known that they were under a duty to work if offered employment. And I certainly didn't want employees who did not want to work for me doing sensitive data collection work where accuracy is very important.

I guess I have had the unique experience of seeing how the other half live (the poorer half). Of my 25 years of existence, I've seen a lot. Going to school in the ghetto and becoming an independent adult right out of high school certainly exposed me to a lot of things that your average upper-middle class white boy from the suburbs may not have seen. I have always placed a high value on obtaining a diverse viewpoint.

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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 03:21 PM   #38
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Justin, I also have seen how the other half lives. Without social security disablilty and medicare, my father would have ended up with nothing and died even sooner than he did. I was totally dependant on working and financial aid for college, and had absolutely no money from family.

Other experience with the down and out? I have relatives that have been on welfare and one who is on SSI and will likely will always be on SSI. I used to be a bankruptcy trustee. My husband and I frequently rented to public assistance tenants and the disabled. Beats renting to college students most any day. Through project SOAR I have worked with young mothers trying to make it on their own. My experience is that most people really do try to do the best they can with the resources, internal and external, that they have.
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 04:07 PM   #39
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

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Justin, I also have seen how the other half lives. Without social security disablilty and medicare, my father would have ended up with nothing and died even sooner than he did. I was totally dependant on working and financial aid for college, and had absolutely no money from family.

Other experience with the down and out? I have relatives that have been on welfare and one who is on SSI and will likely will always be on SSI. I used to be a bankruptcy trustee. My husband and I frequently rented to public assistance tenants and the disabled. Beats renting to college students most any day. Through project SOAR I have worked with young mothers trying to make it on their own. My experience is that most people really do try to do the best they can with the resources, internal and external, that they have.
There are many people who need a safety net. I think that is true. You have cited many examples. I've also seen a number of examples, particularly with elderly people.

Your experiences with low income tenants is surprising. I had the exact opposite experience. Low income tenants generally destroyed property very quickly and were unreliable when it came to paying rent. The college students I rented to were perfect. That goes to show that people come in all sorts, and it is a good idea to screen rental applicants. To be fair, some low income tenants were fine. Not many though.

"My experience is that most people really do try to do the best they can with the resources, internal and external, that they have." - I agree 100%. This is the rational economic actor. The problem in my opinion is that there are too many that could make do on their internal or familial resources and end up relying on external resources because they can. I admit it is difficult to seperate those who really need help from those who purport to really need help.
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville
Old 08-09-2005, 04:49 PM   #40
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Re: The Road To Margaritaville

Hardest on apartments? Number one was children. We favored having one bedroom apartments to avoid children. Number 2 college students. But no big problems, mostly just moving out early and minor damage from stupid stuff. Like an iron mark in the middle of the new carpet. Some of our best tenants were the poor disabled, who tended not to move.

My husband really did a good job of due diligence in picking tenants.

One building we bought came with tenants, including a low income or no income family. They were in fact big trouble, never paid rent, and I had to evict them.

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