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Old 10-29-2007, 05:54 PM   #21
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Martha,

My wife and I both supported ourselves during our second and third years at law school in NYC working out of the Regional Attorney's Office at HEW, during the Carter Administration. The standards were pretty tough even for that Administration. And it was in the days before word processing systems, and after mimeograph machines -- we used "Mag" cards for churning out the "canned briefs." The Region had a huge case load and each law clerk/law student was responsible for writing at least 4 briefs a week.

The standards for getting benefits always appeared to be pretty strict to me. My first pro bono case in private practice was a social security disability case and we were lucky to get the decision overturned on appeal. Plaintiff lawyers in this trade have to basically try a small personal injury case before an ALJ, with a cap on your fees, so they have to be quite confident in taking on these cases. My wife did a lot of this stuff when she worked in Legal Aid for a few years, and the case load can overwhelm a Legal Aid office.
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:28 PM   #22
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It does seem strange to me though that on a forum where we all want to retire early, so we are not working for someone else. Some are so quick to pledge what they have worked so hard for, to people whom by their own admission have not earned it for themselves. I promise I will not bring this one up again...
Just because I want to retire early doesn't mean I don't feel a social responsibility to help those less fortunate. I know this is crazy liberal speak, but there actually ARE people who through no fault of their own cannot afford to retire. *cue someone else with the very well known links about bankruptcy percentages by cause*

If you do not feel it is a social responsibility to help disabled people, that's fine. I pray that you never need to depend on such programs. But should you find yourself needing help, then I would still offer you aid, even though you criticize me for the choice now.
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:38 PM   #23
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Just because I want to retire early doesn't mean I don't feel a social responsibility to help those less fortunate. I know this is crazy liberal speak, but there actually ARE people who through no fault of their own cannot afford to retire. *cue someone else with the very well known links about bankruptcy percentages by cause*

If you do not feel it is a social responsibility to help disabled people, that's fine. I pray that you never need to depend on such programs. But should you find yourself needing help, then I would still offer you aid, even though you criticize me for the choice now.
Wasn't some bearded guy talking about this stuff 2000 years ago?
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:46 PM   #24
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Just because someone else needs (potentially very badly) my money or property, or time, does not give them the RIGHT to take it from me, just because they have less than I do.
We have all sorts of income support, transfer of wealth, or wealth redistribution programs in the Government; I'm not sure "charity" is the right term for it in all cases, but some of these programs have a "humanitarian" aspect to it. I'm just curious, as you raise the issue about people perhaps taking your property, with the Government (through its taxing powers) as an intermediate: do you feel the same way about federal deposit insurance or retirement pension insurance?

For me, I see no difference between supporting social security disability insurance programs as opposed to federal crop insurance programs, federal flood plain insurance, federal deposit insurance or federal retirement pension insurance. I'm not sure people who have disabling medical conditions have less standing to "taking" my money through taxes than people who have had the misfortune of being employed by a company which can't fund its pension liabilities.
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:01 PM   #25
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With respect, this is the exact point that I am trying to make. I am NOT willing to pay that price. If you are willing, and others are willing, that is what they call charity. And that is a fine path to persue if that is what someone is wanting to do with their money, or property, or time.
It is only when someone whom is NOT willing (like myself) that I have a problem with it. Just because someone else needs (potentially very badly) my money or property, or time, does not give them the RIGHT to take it from me, just because they have less than I do. If that were really the case, then I think I deserve some of Bill Gates money that he obviously does not NEED. Sadly this seems like an argument that I will not win on this forum, and I can accept that. It does seem strange to me though that on a forum where we all want to retire early, so we are not working for someone else. Some are so quick to pledge what they have worked so hard for, to people whom by their own admission have not earned it for themselves. I promise I will not bring this one up again...

Now hang on there - don't i remember someone quoting a SS document one could fill out to opt out of Social Security? Maybe a month or so ago, used maybe by the Amish or some other religeous sect that didn't use social security? Was it only a dream? Anyone remember that or what the SS form was? I mean, give the man a possible option.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:33 AM   #26
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Kind of funny how government employees have their own system and do not pay into social security. I know and have known plenty
that get SSI in their young ages 20's 30's and 40's
that work under the table or can do anything but work.
But oh boy when the play is done how their aliment seems to hurt so much. By the way I have paid in for over 30 years and will consider getting half of what they are telling me I will get be amazing.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:17 PM   #27
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Kind of funny how government employees have their own system and do not pay into social security.


This has changed somewhat and many public sector employees now do participate in SS.......although most had to be dragged in kicking and screaming.

Still, you have a good point. Why is it that those who could wiggle out of the system generally choose to do so?

My favorites are public sector employees who whine about the GPO and WEP provisions of SS.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:31 PM   #28
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I'm just curious, as you raise the issue about people perhaps taking your property, with the Government (through its taxing powers) as an intermediate: do you feel the same way about federal deposit insurance or retirement pension insurance?
Hi Chris... Yes I do feel the same way. In general I am against anyone, private citizen or government, claiming that they have a RIGHT to my money or property, or time. I do not believe in the "public good", I believe in "my good". I contribute now, and have in the past to charitable organizations. I have no problem doing this, and I think that "giving back" when you wish to do so is a great thing to be doing. But to be commanded by any government agency or private citizen that I must surrender (money, property,time) just because someone else needs it more, I find to be intolerable.
On the other hand true "taxes" I view a bit differently. For example, I cannot (nor most people) can protect themselves from violence 24/7. That is why some of my tax money goes to the military and to the police to protect me from those threats. Like almost anyone (except the Amish maybe) I need to use the roads to get to work every day. So some of my tax money goes to that. However if the govt creates a tax that I can never benifit from in any way, I view that as theft. When the govt takes my money and re-distributes it to any other person or group, how can that possbily help me in any way? It enriches their lives at the expense of my own. This is why socialism always fails wherever it is attempted, eventually you always wind up with only a few producers, and very many consumers. Such a system will eventually go bankrupt, such as the current social security system we have now.
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:02 PM   #29
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This is why socialism always fails wherever it is attempted, eventually you always wind up with only a few producers, and very many consumers. Such a system will eventually go bankrupt, such as the current social security system we have now.
This is an odd statement. No one who hasn't contributed to SS will get payments, except married homemakers who don't have their own accounts.

Although there are valid criticisms of SS- such that it weakens extended families, I can't see how your complaint addresses any real flaw in social security.

It may be that over time SS has become less generous, but OTOH life spans have greatly increased too, giving a much longer draw time.

For ERs especially, SS is seems like a reasonable deal as it now stands.

Ha
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:25 PM   #30
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So Armor, just so I understand you correctly, you're not in favor of federal deposit insurance, which insures depositors up to certain specified levels, when an insured institution fails and cannot honor its commitment to depositors. And you would still be inclined not to favor federal deposit insurance despite the fact that this insurance promotes confidence in the national banking system and cannot be seriously privatized. The vicars of banking capitalism in our society appear to support this system. Is that your final answer?

And let me get this straight as well. You're not in favor of pension retirement insurance. So, when companies can't fund their pension liabilities -- it's tough luck for all those who have pensions at these companies; the individuals holding pensions just become claimants in bankruptcy proceedings, going after the insolvent debtor. These claimants might become poor and destitute, so be it, and in your view social security shouldn't be there to support them.

Do I have it straight?
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:58 PM   #31
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Hi Chris... Yes I do feel the same way. In general I am against anyone, private citizen or government, claiming that they have a RIGHT to my money or property, or time. I do not believe in the "public good", I believe in "my good". I contribute now, and have in the past to charitable organizations. I have no problem doing this, and I think that "giving back" when you wish to do so is a great thing to be doing. But to be commanded by any government agency or private citizen that I must surrender (money, property,time) just because someone else needs it more, I find to be intolerable.
On the other hand true "taxes" I view a bit differently. For example, I cannot (nor most people) can protect themselves from violence 24/7. That is why some of my tax money goes to the military and to the police to protect me from those threats. Like almost anyone (except the Amish maybe) I need to use the roads to get to work every day. So some of my tax money goes to that. However if the govt creates a tax that I can never benifit from in any way, I view that as theft. When the govt takes my money and re-distributes it to any other person or group, how can that possbily help me in any way? It enriches their lives at the expense of my own. This is why socialism always fails wherever it is attempted, eventually you always wind up with only a few producers, and very many consumers. Such a system will eventually go bankrupt, such as the current social security system we have now.

I don't buy the "moral hazard" argument as leading to the decline of society. The most advanced nations have safety nets. I believe in safety nets because it is the right thing to do and our world is the better for it.

It is no more theft than is my tax dollars paying for the war in Iraq is theft. I don't agree with the war, but I am part of a social contract that requires me to contribute.

Safety nets could personally benefit you. Say your child is born totally disabled. A safety net will see she is cared for after you are gone. SSI will cover her medical care when you cannot. Your elderly parents may depend on social security and medicare. You may not be able to care for them all.

I recently read an article, I wish I could find it, that people are somewhat programed to believe what armor believes. When people first were together in groups it was vital for all to pull their weight because survival depended on it. So, there was a real worry about someone getting a free ride or cheating. So punishment of perceived freeloaders evolved.

I see this tendency in many places. A law firm partner who is not perceived as pulling his weight will may be seen as a failure and be pushed to leave, even if he is profitable. The poor abused child gets plenty of sympathy until that child turns 18. Then if the child can't stand on his own two feet the child is a loser, scary, and should just get a job and straighten out his life.

Maybe this is why being charitable just won't work and we need the structure of a society to force us to be charitable. The baser human tendency may be to kick those in need out of the tribe.
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:06 PM   #32
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:17 PM   #33
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Are our taxes too high? But we have so much! I can afford health insurance. I live in a nice place that we own free and clear. I dote on our dog like she is a child. I even got to be selfish and retired early.

Maybe the tax rate isn't high enough.
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:37 PM   #34
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Let me tell you how it will be;
There's one for you, nineteen for me.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

(if you drive a car, car - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk - I'll tax your feet.

Taxman!

'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Don't ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

And you're working for no one but me.

Taxman!

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Old 10-30-2007, 06:53 PM   #35
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Are our taxes too high? But we have so much! I can afford health insurance. I live in a nice place that we own free and clear. I dote on our dog like she is a child. I even got to be selfish and retired early.

Maybe the tax rate isn't high enough.
Martha, Martha, Martha. One might read that you're saying taxes should be raised until you couldn't afford health insurance, live in a nice place, dote on your dog, or retire early.

Careful what you wish for...
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:56 PM   #36
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I'm with Martha. Raise my taxes, but don't collect any of them till I'm dead.
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:13 PM   #37
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Sounds fair to me, twaddle.

Hey Masterblaster--no fair, you deleted your post after I responded to it. I've got to remember to quote.
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:21 PM   #38
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Hey Masterblaster--no fair, you deleted your post after I responded to it. I've got to remember to quote.
Well, After I posted my response about charity versus extortion tax levels, I thought it might be a little harsh. So it got deleted.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:45 PM   #39
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Fair enough.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:29 AM   #40
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When the reward for working is the same for not working at all,
what do you think you will end up with.
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