Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-13-2013, 07:27 AM   #121
Dryer sheet wannabe
Bob Adams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Omaha
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
What does 'ridicule' have to do with cynicism?
-ERD50
Here's a timely example . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Only what some overwrought social improver imagines in his overheated and sorely overtaxed brain.

Ha
__________________

__________________
Bob Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-13-2013, 08:05 AM   #122
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Brett_Cameron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Eastern USA
Posts: 1,010
OT comment:
I watched "The Grapes of Wrath" on TV the other night. The movie was made in 1940 based on a book written before then. There was no SS or medicare or medicaid. The background financial situation of the Joad family is a clear picture of why SS was established. Watching the movie made me think of the stark contrast of today's social safety net with the reality that people faced back then.
__________________

__________________
All that glitters is not gold. -G. Chaucer, W. Shakespeare
All that is gold does not glitter. -J.R.R. Tolkien
Brett_Cameron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 08:09 AM   #123
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Adams View Post
Here's a timely example . . .
But that was partly in answer to those making the 'ridicule' charge. Pull it out of the 'definition', and you likely won't get that response from a cynic.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 08:51 AM   #124
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
What was your point or goal in starting this thread? Was there a reason for tying it to SS? Were there responses you were expecting that you didn't get, or a direction you expected this thread to go?

You seem surprised about some of the responses here, but I'm not surprised at all. I can expand on this, but I think I'd like to hear your answers to the above first.

I am not really surprised. SS was the topic, because it is a hot button for many independent of any political beliefs they might have. My comments were to steer the dialogue towards the elements that are most intriguing to me. The purpose is a curiosity on social behaviors and how different cohorts perceive "excess" relative to needs and wants. Finally, my hope is this will help those who participated either question or re-affirm their faith in human nature.
__________________
Shanky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 09:49 AM   #125
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
growing_older's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,608
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post

That is, SS is not a contract requiring the government to give a citizen any money back for his contributions. Congress has the right to change the benefits any way as it sees fit.

This was ruled in 1960 by the US Supreme Court. Search the Web for Fleming v. Nestor.
Which is one of the more scary aspects of the whole program. They can change the terms of the "deal" after they have required me to pay all the contributions and there is no guarantee that I will get any particular amount back at all. Makes planning for it a nightmare.
__________________
growing_older is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 10:04 AM   #126
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Adams View Post
Here's a timely example . . .
Why don't you give it a rest, Bob? People can decide for themselves what they think.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 10:15 AM   #127
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
We actually went to the SS office near us yesterday morning (I chickened out on doing a poll of the people waiting to see if any of them would like to forgo their benefits) with some Medicare applications questions on DH's part as he turns 65 this winter. The people who work at SS are amazingly helpful; DH left with a nice printout with lots of numbers on it. Not sure when he will take SS but he will not feel guilty when he does.
__________________
Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first? J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 10:37 AM   #128
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 397
Not a moral question for me as well.

Realities of SS

Higher income workers have a smaller % of their income replaced with ss than lower income workers.

Folks that LBYM doing their working lives and have the discipline to set aside $ along the way are penalized by being required to participate in SS. IOW we would have a much larger nest egg at retirement doing it ourself.

You might ask how about the disability and early death of the participant. Private insurance could satisfy these requirements.

So for the greater good of folks that would not voluntarily save for their retirement, LBYM savers are penalized under ss.
__________________
2soon2tell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 10:47 AM   #129
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Okay, you go first.

I'm sure even those with smaller nest eggs could make retirement work without SS--what would be your cutoff point as to who conceivably might forego SS and who shouldn't?
I recommend people who have $1 more than me.
__________________
This sig intentionally left blank.
gozer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 11:11 AM   #130
Recycles dryer sheets
Willers's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanky View Post
We have many posters on this board who say that they have achieved FIRE, and do not actually need SS. Given the next generation will have to pay more to benefit less, some may say taking Social Security when you don't even need it presents a moral dilemma. We all have the choice not to file for benefits, but I do not hear about very many taking turning it down. (other than by dying younger than expected).

Anyone here considering not filing for benefits? I know many will reply they ""earned" the benefits, but that is not my point.
IMHO, the OP made a flawed assumption: that not taking SS would mean that the gov't would use those funds to ensure that the next generation would pay less and benefit more. I see nothing in recent history that tells me that this is how the funds would be used.

Because you point out that you consider charity to achieve the same goal, you steered (intentionally or not) the debate to the best use of "excess" funds.

I plan to leave whatever is left to a very well vetted charity or foundation. The absolute last group I would want to get this would be Congress.
__________________
Willers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 07:17 PM   #131
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: San Jose
Posts: 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Please send it to me, and I will burn it for you. As proof, I will send photo of the pile of ash.
Oh, no no no. My cash, my ash
__________________
LoneAspen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 07:29 PM   #132
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,401
Oh shoot!

Instead of you burning the pile in your back yard, I would burn it in my fireplace in the winter. That would provide me with some physical warmth, and would also give you a nice cozy feeling for doing a fellow poster a bit of favor.

Any time you reconsider, please drop me a PM. However, as I noted earlier, the US Supreme Court already decided 50 years ago that nothing was guaranteed. Hence, you and I may not get anything to burn other than a letter saying "Tough luck".
__________________
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 07:44 PM   #133
Moderator
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 9,342
I'm curious how one knows that they don't need it. Or will never need it. That aside, SS is our money for the most part. It's not like its a gift from the govt. So I will accept a payback regardless of my financial condition
__________________
Ronstar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 08:04 PM   #134
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,258
This may not directly relate to what we are talking about here, but my dad died when I was very young. My mom could get survivors benefits, but didn't claim it. (She figured she would do fine without any help from the government.) When my grandfather found that out (my mom's dad), he basically called my mom an idiot saying "it's not like the money you hadn't collected will go to someone unfortunate." He filed the paper work for her, and my mom started getting the benefits.

I whole heartedly agree with my grandfather.
__________________
tmm99 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 08:05 PM   #135
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
As a capitalist, since I bought it, I darn well expect delivery.

That I didn't have a choice about buying it, or that I bought a product in which the other party reserves the right to alter terms without my consent is entirely a separate issue. Really.
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #136
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmm99 View Post
This may not directly relate to what we are talking about here, but my dad died when I was very young. My mom could get survivors benefits, but didn't claim it. (She figured she would do fine without any help from the government.) When my grandfather found that out (my mom's dad), he basically called my mom an idiot saying "it's not like the money you hadn't collected will go to someone unfortunate." He filed the paper work for her, and my mom started getting the benefits.

I whole heartedly agree with my grandfather.
Your mom sounds like a wonderful, generous lady. It was good her dad was around to look after her best interest.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2013, 08:49 PM   #137
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 388
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
The worker-to-beneficiary ratio has fallen from 5.1 in 1960 to 3.3 in 2005. Some of the historical decline is related to the natural maturing of a pay-as-you-go social insurance program, but the projected future decline is due to the aging of the U.S. population.
Here's a different view from Dean Baker:

One of themes that recurs endlessly in news coverage is that the United States and other countries face a disastrous threat to their living standards as a result of a falling ratio of workers to retirees. This is one that can be easily dismissed with some simple arithmetic.

A falling ratio of workers to retirees means that a larger chunk of what each worker produces must be put aside to a support the retired population. (Btw, this is true regardless of whether or not we have a Social Security or Medicare system. The only issue is whether retirees are able to maintain something resembling normal living standards.) However, that does not imply that the working population must see a drop in their living standards.

Fans of arithmetic might note that the ratio of workers to retirees fell from 5 to 1 in the early sixties to 3 to 1 in the early 90s. This sharp drop in the ratio of workers to retirees did not prevent both workers and retirees from enjoying substantial improvements in living standards over this period. The reason is that productivity growth, what each workers produces in an hour of work, swamped the impact of a falling ratio of workers to retirees.




The 1.0 percent growth bar shows the impact of productivity growth assuming that going forward it is worse than at any point in the post-war era. (Even in the period of the productivity slowdown, from 1973-1995 growth was somewhat more rapid than this.) In this case the 25.7 percent increase in living standards allowed by higher productivity growth is more than three times the 7.8 percent decline resulting from a fall in the ratio of workers to retirees.

I note that in the three years following the crisis of 2008 the productivity growth of the US economy fell to about 1% per year. It's reasonable to expect it to increase as the economy recovers, but even if it did not, rising living standards would overwhelming the declining number of workers per SS beneficiary.

It's interesting to me that the people who believe SS will run out of workers never account for productivity gains. They implicitly assume that the worker of 2040 will produce the same output as the worker of 1935. If that were true living standards for both workers and retirees would never have risen above the 1935 level.
__________________
Khufu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2013, 09:25 PM   #138
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
photoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khufu View Post
It's interesting to me that the people who believe SS will run out of workers never account for productivity gains. They implicitly assume that the worker of 2040 will produce the same output as the worker of 1935. If that were true living standards for both workers and retirees would never have risen above the 1935 level.
Does it matter if there are productivity gains when very little of that is actually captured by workers? Given that median wages have been stagnant for some time, it doesn't seem like productivity increases will help funnel money into SS.
__________________
photoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2013, 09:43 PM   #139
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khufu View Post
Here's a different view from Dean Baker:

One of themes that recurs endlessly in news coverage is that the United States and other countries face a disastrous threat to their living standards as a result of a falling ratio of workers to retirees. This is one that can be easily dismissed with some simple arithmetic.

A falling ratio of workers to retirees means that a larger chunk of what each worker produces must be put aside to a support the retired population. (Btw, this is true regardless of whether or not we have a Social Security or Medicare system. The only issue is whether retirees are able to maintain something resembling normal living standards.) However, that does not imply that the working population must see a drop in their living standards.

Fans of arithmetic might note that the ratio of workers to retirees fell from 5 to 1 in the early sixties to 3 to 1 in the early 90s. This sharp drop in the ratio of workers to retirees did not prevent both workers and retirees from enjoying substantial improvements in living standards over this period. The reason is that productivity growth, what each workers produces in an hour of work, swamped the impact of a falling ratio of workers to retirees.




The 1.0 percent growth bar shows the impact of productivity growth assuming that going forward it is worse than at any point in the post-war era. (Even in the period of the productivity slowdown, from 1973-1995 growth was somewhat more rapid than this.) In this case the 25.7 percent increase in living standards allowed by higher productivity growth is more than three times the 7.8 percent decline resulting from a fall in the ratio of workers to retirees.

I note that in the three years following the crisis of 2008 the productivity growth of the US economy fell to about 1% per year. It's reasonable to expect it to increase as the economy recovers, but even if it did not, rising living standards would overwhelming the declining number of workers per SS beneficiary.

It's interesting to me that the people who believe SS will run out of workers never account for productivity gains. They implicitly assume that the worker of 2040 will produce the same output as the worker of 1935. If that were true living standards for both workers and retirees would never have risen above the 1935 level.
The author claims that productivity gains would account for the main reason why the system has been solvent despite the ratio of workers:retiree falling?

Perhaps those same "fans of arithmetic" Dean is addressing can look at the more likely causes of the system managing to last this long:

--In 1937, initial taxes were 2% at program start, capped at $3,000 in wages. That remained until 1950.

--In 1950, tax increased to 3%, and in 1951 cap raised to $3,600.
The "wage index" in 1951 was $2,799 (index started this year)
...
The SS wage cap in 2011 was $106,800.
The wage index in 2011 was $42,979
(I used 2011 since the wage index on SS's website only goes to 2011)

So if the wage cap on SS taxes had only matched the wage index growth, the 2011 SS wage cap would have been about $55,278.

This means that not only have SS taxes increased 520% (from 2% to 12.4%), but the maximum wages that is applicable to has gone up from $55,278 to $106,800, or 93%!

And that doesn't even add in the effect of drawing out the full retirement age from 65 to 67 for currently retiring (and those in the future).

Did productivity help increase revenue to the SS trust fund coffers? Of course it did. Was it anywhere near as large of an impact as raising the tax rates by 520% and raising the wage cap by 93%?

Hmmm......
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2013, 11:16 PM   #140
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 388
Quote:
Originally Posted by photoguy View Post
Does it matter if there are productivity gains when very little of that is actually captured by workers? Given that median wages have been stagnant for some time, it doesn't seem like productivity increases will help funnel money into SS.
You are right about this being a big problem. If the 1% continue to receive most of the productivity gains in ways that escape the payroll tax (above the cap income, stock options, capital gains, investment income, etc.) then the SS system will be in jeopardy. This is a problem that dwarves the demographic issue. The founds of the SS system never envisioned an America with the income distribution of a Brazil.
__________________

__________________
Khufu is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:17 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.