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Old 06-28-2013, 09:31 AM   #41
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Here is one more study on the issue http://www.aon.com/about-aon/intelle...tudy070308.pdf

The thing that intrigues me is when one starts putting together these different studies. They don't match that great, and the conclusions start becoming weaker. For instance, combining this Aon consulting study with the Elder index, and working backward from the Elder index minimum amount needed to keep off the public assistance, and compare that with the replacement income in the Aon study, one would need a working income of about $60K to have the minimum and have saved properly. But that may be unlikely that a family living on $60K would be able to save enough for the authors of the Aon study.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:33 AM   #42
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You may get there from different directions, but you end up at the same place on this particular issue.
Very adroit integration of perspectives.

With regard to other matters, there is a lot of economic opportunity out there, but there are a lot of problems with that claim. First, there is less economic opportunity out there than there was just fifteen years ago. That metric has been going in the wrong direction for that long, and only recently has the downward trend been slowed. Second, economic opportunities are increasingly bounded by limitations that remove that opportunity from the vast majority of those who need the opportunity the most. These limitations include literally unattainable job requirements, unsurmountable geographic limitations, and irreconcilable conflicts between such opportunities and overriding obligations.

Let's be clear: There are cases where people are able to turn lemons into lemonade. Case. Anecdotes. Nice stories. And there are cases where people practice deliberate sloth. However, anecdotes are not illuminating of the general case. The general case is reflected in normalize data, and that data almost uniformly belies claims that everyone struggling can readily make their lot better in life just through diligence and will. It is simply not the case, and failing to acknowledge that is a barrier to conscientiously seeing the true problems that our society faces and therefore being able to drive the responsible actions necessary to address these very real problems.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:46 AM   #43
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This board ostensibly bans political speech. However, other than when something is going wild in markets, ~30% of what is written about here, and likely 50% of what gets people going, is actually politics. It just avoids mentioning party politics, but the themes are the main themes of political struggle everywhere.

I have noticed in real life that unintentionally I can annoy friends by refusing to discuss these things. What's left? Girls and sports, and lately girls can be a touchy subject too.

Thank god for baseball!

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Old 06-28-2013, 09:54 AM   #44
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This board ostensibly bans political speech.
Really? I see this in the Community Rules and it doesn't say anything about a ban:
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Please limit discussion of politics to the “FIRE Related Political Topics” forum unless the issue is specifically pertinent to the topic at hand. For example, discussions on health insurance in the "Health and Early Retirement" forum may include political elements provided the political discussion is, in the judgment of the moderators, both directly related and subordinate to the health insurance topic.
----
Although we don't have a laundry list of inappropriate topics, discussion of subjects such as politics (unless directly related to early retirement), gun rights and abortion rarely end well. For this reason the moderation team may delete discussions of these topics as well as any other topic deemed to be inappropriate.
I think we should be happy the board doesn't ban the pompous ravings of old geezers. What would we do with our time?
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:56 AM   #45
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case in point
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:05 AM   #46
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As usual bUU, I couldn't disagree more. There are enough instances of people hustling to be successful from dire situations that, along with my own experience and observations of people that I know, that I am convinced that if someone is willing to hustle and work hard that this country provides ample opportunity to succeed, even today. I would concede that it may be harder today than in the past but it is still totally possible.

Yet you trivialize those who have succeeded as being "anecdotal". Bunk!

OTOH, there are a whole lot of people out there with an entitlement/ society should take care of me mentality and that is a big problem with this country.

I have no problem with society providing a safety net for those who are unable to provide for themselves so that they don't starve, have shelter, etc. but I have a big problem supporting those who are able but fail due to lack of effort. (Though I think given recent experience that charity may be a better answer than big government programs). If they don't care about their circumstances enough to better them, why in the world should I care and pay to subsidize them? I concede that differentiating between these two extremes is difficult, and in doing so some inequities may arise because it is difficult to implement policy that takes the circumstances of each individual situation into account fairly.

I recall when my wife worked for the state, she helped those on assistance to eat more nutritiously. She was take aback that some many of her clients on assistance bought brand name foods rather than store brands, bought expensive (and less nutritious) prepared foods rather than raw ingredients, had better cable and phone packages than what we had (even tho we could afford them, we were disciplined) and in some cases, had better vehicles than we did.

This is the sort of thing that I have a real problem with. IMO, those who work hard and contribute to society should live better than those who are dependent upon society.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:20 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
This board ostensibly bans political speech. However, other than when something is going wild in markets, ~30% of what is written about here, and likely 50% of what gets people going, is actually politics. It just avoids mentioning party politics, but the themes are the main themes of political struggle everywhere.

I have noticed in real life that unintentionally I can annoy friends by refusing to discuss these things. What's left? Girls and sports, and lately girls can be a touchy subject too.

Thank god for baseball!

Ha
Wait, you forgot about the weather, Ha. That one is always a safe one, provided you keep global warming out of the discussion. Most of my friends are agnostic concerning politics. A few months ago, we had a couples dinner and politics somehow got involved. One of the other ladies started espousing her views which are 180 degrees from my viewpoints. And I have no problem with opposing philosophical/political viewpoints, but at least know what you are talking about before you speak. I politely corrected her and educated her on what she was discussing. The only thing I accomplished from this was to get my GF upset with me, and she wasn't even involved with the discussion.
Lesson learned!
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:28 AM   #48
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You're still relying on anecdotal examples and avoiding proving your claim with normalized evidence. Nothing has changed between this reply and Rambler's and Malcolm's earlier replies. I do respect the desire of each of the three of you to have things be as you are trying to assert, but that's simply not the way it is working out for most of the people we're referring to.

The tacit claim that those who are unsuccessful are so because of their own lack of effort and diligence is a gross disservice to good people doing the best they can for their families. The merit-less contention that sloth and reticence to work underlies most of the poverty in our country fosters an environment of increasing civil brutality and unwarranted disparagement.

I don't know of anyone who advocates for those who can work and don't. Your trying to build your argument around such a claim seems disingenuous. I've mentioned myself many times that such antisocial behaviors should bring about an immediate response from society. What's interesting is that those most averse to fostering the social safety net are at the same time most resistant to the idea of society doing something about such patently overt sloth. My conclusion from these interchanges is that there is a realization that such claims are without merit - that the instances of such sloth are so anecdotal (there's that word again; more on that below) that they don't amount to any significant portion of the problem being discussed. Therefore, addressing the sloth at the source, that way, would simply make it that much clearer that it wasn't a significant problem in the first place, and that the larger matter of poverty isn't really affected by such things.

A recent instance of this disconnection was perpetrated by an aid to Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) presenting a demonstration of how one could live within the limitations of SNAP. The problem is that in order to keep his purchase within the dollar amount offered, it was necessary to purchase lots of sugary junk, rather than following the USDA's advisories regarding healthy food choices. The hypocrisy evidently went over the Congressman's head, because he actually doubled-down on the offense in comments he made. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) summed up his Texas colleague's offense quite well: "This is the United States of America. People ought to have some floor of decency beneath which no American should ever fall, and to me, having a basic healthy diet is fundamental to an advanced society, and every citizen regardless of their financial situation should be afforded that."

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Yet you trivialize those who have succeeded as being "anecdotal". Bunk!
This claim of yours is false. My reference to anecdotes in no way trivializes those who have succeeded. Please don't go down the path of trying to deceive people into thinking I wrote something I did not. You need to accept that anecdotes do not prove assertions. This is a basic rule of discourse.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:36 AM   #49
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:45 AM   #50
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:47 AM   #51
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Just around the corner, I suspect.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:52 AM   #52
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Porky is currently being held in the Expired Equine Lashing Facility. Hopefully he'll be released soon.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:02 AM   #53
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+1. I worked in the HR industry. I know how much opportunity there is out there. There is a lot, and there was a lot even in the downturn, but you had to get off your duff and look for it, and you had to be willing to eat store brand Mac n cheese instead of Macaroni Grill, home cooked refried beans and flour tortilla burritos instead of steaks, etc., while you did. I know. I did during college and the early years thereafter. I know many who are not willing. Nor are they willing to keep body art to a coverable minimum, nor keep their alcohol and/or recreational substance ingestion under control, thus making themselves not hirable. Not a few isolated cases, and the entitlement mentality is all too quickly become the norm rather than the exception.

Political ramblings or not, you can judge, but I tell you, I've seen more opportunities go unfilled due to "no takers" or "no hirable candidates" than you would think imaginable if you were to believe bUU's statements at face value.

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Old 06-28-2013, 11:08 AM   #54
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+1. I worked in the HR industry. I know how much opportunity there is out there. There is a lot, and there was a lot even in the downturn, but you had to get off your duff and look for it, and you had to be willing to eat store brand Mac n cheese instead of Macaroni Grill, home cooked refried beans and flour tortilla burritos instead of steaks, etc., while you did. I know. I did during college and the early years thereafter. I know many who are not willing. Nor are they willing to keep body art to a coverable minimum, nor keep their alcohol and/or recreational substance ingestion under control, thus making themselves not hirable. Not a few isolated cases, and the entitlement mentality is all too quickly become the norm rather than the exception.

Political ramblings or not, you can judge, but I tell you, I've seen more opportunities go unfilled due to "no takers" or "no hirable candidates" than you would think imaginable if you were to believe bUU's statements at face value.

R
+1 to Rambler and PB....If the impossible task of separating the truly needy from the free loaders were ever to occur, I believe most people would ultimately find themselves in agreement over this issue.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:11 AM   #55
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.....I know many who are not willing. Nor are they willing to keep body art to a coverable minimum, nor keep their alcohol and/or recreational substance ingestion under control....
I'm appalled that you would suggest such restrictions on people's personal freedom!! After all, this is America!

The consequences of freedom and personal responsibility can sometimes be a bitch.

I have frequently told DS that if he wants to be ahead of 90% of the population all he needs to do is just 1) show up (on time), 2) be polite, 3) work hard and 4) give a care about what he does and take pride in his work (whatever it may be) like he owned the place.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:18 AM   #56
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I'm appalled that you would suggest such restrictions on people's personal freedom!! After all, this is America!

The consequences of freedom and personal responsibility can sometimes be a bitch.

I have frequently told DS that if he wants to be ahead of 90% of the population all he needs to do is just 1) show up (on time), 2) be polite, 3) work hard and 4) give a care about what he does and take pride in his work (whatever it may be) like he owned the place.
The above are the four keys to success. We need as many folks working as possible. How else are we going to support those who don't want to work?
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:23 AM   #57
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+1 to Rambler and PB....If the impossible task of separating the truly needy from the free loaders were ever to occur, I believe most people would ultimately find themselves in agreement over this issue.

I've always defined this differently, as in unemployable people versus employable people. IMO, the safety nets are for the unemployable.
It doesn't matter why they are unemployable. Because we live in a working person society, that's why this makes sense to me.

Children are generally unemployable, as are the aged. Some people have mental issues or physical issues that limit their employment prospects. If anyone can solve how to make the inherently unemployable not need a societal safety net, I'd like to hear it.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:43 AM   #58
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We all have examples, on both sides. I'm not sure why people are reacting the way they are to the assertion that examples don't prove anything.

Entitlement mentality is a big problem, but it exists on both sides. Many people feel entitled to personal comfort and luxury at the expense of the basic needs of others, and that's a significant source of real problems.

The unshakable reality is that we're all in this together. Some choose to hold themselves apart from the concerns of their neighbors while others empathize. Both are "legal".
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:21 PM   #59
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I think empathy is a matter of degree. Other than one poster on the extreme whose screenname I don't recall I think most are sympathetic to the plight of those who are in need due to circumstances beyond their control or are unemployable and unable to provide for themselves. At the same time, there is much less sympathy for the plight of those who are able but for the lack of discipline are not self-reliant.

With that said, are you really claiming that those of means who desire to use their hard earned and saved money for their family's personal comfort or luxury have an "entitlement" mentality? Why should Sally Saver's hard earned savings be confiscated to provide for Sue Spender? At some point there needs to be personal responsibility.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:32 PM   #60
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One of the things that is wonderful about early retirement (at least in my case) is that my taxable income has gone down so much that I hardly pay anything in taxes. And now I feel not only virtuous because of my LBYM which allowed this happy state of affairs but in addition since I'm not contributing to the maintenance of the annecdotally lazy bums I'm doubly virtuous!
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