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Old 10-22-2010, 09:36 AM   #141
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Someone may have spent it but it was not Pie Floater who benefited. He was overseas working, and using English and French roads, and schools and healthcare and social goodness.

If anything, I'd like a refund on my income taxes so I can give it to the UK to help bail them out.

If you use of "sense of entitlement" is intended to mean "greedy old bastard" then I am one. I want my Social Security.

I did not "already spent it".
Hmmm...tough luck?

You made your choices lifestyle-wise, like we all did. Maybe you should have had some foresight and given up your citizenship a couple of decades ago. You'd have been out of Uncle Sam's financial grip by now, and could be whinging to the symbol of whichever country you chose to live in. But you stayed, you're in the same boat as the rest of us, and no amount of pissing and moaning is going to change it. If you're saying TANJ, be careful what you as for.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:37 AM   #142
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Maybe that was because SS was designed to replace EARNED income so people wouldn't have to work any more once they reached a certain age?

Non-earned income receives no benefits, either.
See note above on earned versus social welfare benefits.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:03 AM   #143
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I agree with Jacob that we appear to be following Japan's path. What 'failed system' in Europe are you referring to? On every measurable scale I am aware of, they have a higher standard of living, and are much happier overall. If you want to get all preachy about failed systems, get your own house in order first.

US salaries are nominally higher, but when you take into account health care, paid vacation, pensions, social security safety nets, it is abundantly clear that Europe is not failing at all.

They may not live in McMansions and drive gargantuan SUVs, but they also aren't up to their necks in personal debt.
Go live in England for 15 years or so, then get back to me on those comments. Not London but try Huddersfield, or Halifax or Bradford. If you still feel that is "a higher standard of living", I'll be shocked.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:14 AM   #144
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Go live in England for 15 years or so, then get back to me on those comments. Not London but try Huddersfield, or Halifax or Bradford. If you still feel that is "a higher standard of living", I'll be shocked.
Never been to these places, but the average American town or smaller city is not exactly a day at the races either.

Ha
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:26 AM   #145
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Never been to these places, but the average American town or smaller city is not exactly a day at the races either.

Ha
Ha, those cities are in the 100,000 to 300,000 size range and the pictures you would see in tourist ads would suggest a great place to live but the reality is much different. Still pretty much Dickensian existences. Not exactly the same model that some were suggesting for touting England as a major improvement of the US. Just not the case.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:38 AM   #146
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Hmmm...tough luck?

You made your choices lifestyle-wise, like we all did. Maybe you should have had some foresight and given up your citizenship a couple of decades ago. You'd have been out of Uncle Sam's financial grip by now, and could be whinging to the symbol of whichever country you chose to live in. But you stayed, you're in the same boat as the rest of us, and no amount of pissing and moaning is going to change it. If you're saying TANJ, be careful what you as for.
I refuse to relinquish my right to my Social Security, I paid it in, I want it.

You do whatever you like, I intend to fight to receive my due.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:45 AM   #147
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You are correct that the UK overall is more similar to the US than the rest of western Europe, but if that is the basis of your argument that Europe is a 'failed system' then you were being disingenuous. I would wager that for the great majority of people, what comes to mind upon hearing 'Europe', especially in the context of your statement, is continental Europe.

Europe, in every important social indicator of which I am aware, rates higher than the US. As do three other countries that follow a more European model: Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The UK does for most as well, though not to the degree of Europe. Your assertion that most in the UK suffer a Dickensian existence is absurd.

I'm an American, but I have lived overseas for a good deal of my adult life. And I can tell you that the quality of life for the majority of citizens and rate of contentment among people in these places is higher than it is in the US. And for good reason.


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Ha, those cities are in the 100,000 to 300,000 size range and the pictures you would see in tourist ads would suggest a great place to live but the reality is much different. Still pretty much Dickensian existences. Not exactly the same model that some were suggesting for touting England as a major improvement of the US. Just not the case.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:50 AM   #148
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Europe, in every important social indicator of which I am aware, rates higher than the US. As do three other countries that follow a more European model: Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The UK does for most as well, though not to the degree of Europe. Your assertion that most in the UK suffer a Dickensian existence is absurd.
And herein lies the rub. Someone has to define the "social indicators" and they tend to focus more on cradle-to-grave security than on maximizing freedom.

Not that this is necessarily right or wrong, but it's different. And which quality of life is better largely depends on which you value more.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:57 AM   #149
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Valid point. But it depends on how you define 'freedom'. I doubt most reasonable Americans who actually go to Europe/Canada/Oceania come away thinking these are enslaved people. In my experience, the Americans who belabor 'freedom' vs. 'socialism' when contrasting the US and Europe have never visited these places, much less lived there for any length of time.

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And herein lies the rub. Someone has to define the "social indicators" and they tend to focus more on cradle-to-grave security than on maximizing freedom.

Not that this is necessarily right or wrong, but it's different. And which quality of life is better largely depends on which you value more.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:02 AM   #150
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You are correct that the UK overall is more similar to the US than the rest of western Europe, but if that is the basis of your argument that Europe is a 'failed system' then you were being disingenuous. I would wager that for the great majority of people, what comes to mind upon hearing 'Europe'. especially in the context of your statement, is continental Europe.

Europe, in every important social indicator of which I am aware, rates higher than the US. As do three other countries that follow a more European model: Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The UK does for most as well, though not to the degree of Europe. Your assertion that most in the UK suffer a Dickensian existence is absurd.

I'm an American, but I have lived overseas for a good deal of my adult life. And I can tell you that the quality of life for the majority of citizens and rate of contentment among people in these places is higher than it is in the US. And for good reason.
Hahahah, very interesting. Do you distort everything? I clearly said UK more than once.

"Your assertion that most in the UK suffer a Dickensian existence is absurd." is a serious distortion of what I said. At least try honestly addressing an issue. If you have lived in Bradford or Halifax and do not find the existence there Dickensian then you likely do not understand what Dickensian means.

If you are going to "assume" and then distort, it's really not worth my time to address your points. Whatever they might be. You've drifted off to New Zealand now, so carry on.

BTW, as an American living overseas keep in mind you may have had biases at play. And, please, notice I said "may".
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:08 AM   #151
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I refuse to relinquish my right to my Social Security, I paid it in, I want it.

You do whatever you like, I intend to fight to receive my due.
Start a FaceBook fan group, I'll join. I'll even canvass voters. In my whole life I have given much in taxes and gotten NADA (except salary for minimum necessary service for Uncle in the 60s) from the US doublemint, and I want some finally.

My huge negative cash flow relative to services received strikes me as a poor bargain on my part, and it would never have been made had I had better understanding (IOW possessed more cynicism), but I hadn't and I didn't. Otherwise, somehow I would have contrived to get on the taking end of this farce.

Ha
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:09 AM   #152
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I doubt most reasonable Americans who actually go to Europe/Canada/Oceania come away thinking these are enslaved people.
I talked to a student in Germany who had studied for a year here, in Michigan. He said as soon as he found a place to stay, he went to the local police station to check in -- let them know who he was and give his address. That's just what you do. He thought it was very remarkable that the Michigan police showed no interest at all in his whereabouts. It was just `Welcome to Michigan'.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:19 AM   #153
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And herein lies the rub. Someone has to define the "social indicators" and they tend to focus more on cradle-to-grave security than on maximizing freedom.

Not that this is necessarily right or wrong, but it's different. And which quality of life is better largely depends on which you value more.
Exactly, and in the UK especially it is very much based on expectations also. The English seemed very contented with very little.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:23 AM   #154
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I talked to a student in Germany who had studied for a year here, in Michigan. He said as soon as he found a place to stay, he went to the local police station to check in -- let them know who he was and give his address. That's just what you do. He thought it was very remarkable that the Michigan police showed no interest at all in his whereabouts. It was just `Welcome to Michigan'.
That's because immigration laws are enforced at the Federal level in the US, i.e. you disclose your identity and place of residence to ICE when you enter the country.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:24 AM   #155
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Start a FaceBook fan group, I'll join. I'll even canvass voters. In my whole life I have given much in taxes and gotten NADA (except salary for minimum necessary service for Uncle in the 60s) from the US doublemint, and I want some finally.

My huge negative cash flow relative to services received strikes me as a poor bargain on my part, and it would never have been made had I had better understanding (IOW possessed more cynicism), but I hadn't and I didn't. Otherwise, somehow I would have contrived to get on the taking end of this farce.

Ha
Ha, it is hilarious to me to see others on this thread who are so willing to just say "that's the way the money goes, pop goes the weasel".

It appears they think it is unseemly to expect to collect Social Security. As if there exists some higher pedestal for those saying, "it is what it is".
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:30 AM   #156
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Ha, it is hilarious to me to see others on this thread who are so willing to just say "that's the way the money goes, pop goes the weasel".

It appears they think it is unseemly to expect to collect Social Security. As if there exists some higher pedestal for those saying, "it is what it is".
Yeah, you have to respect those folks in Marseilles and Spain and Greece- mess with their goodies they gonna burn your ride!

But as you say, we oh so reasonable doves exist on a much higher (or stupider) plane. I believe it is smart to know within yourself what is likely to happen, but don't admit publically anything that might be against your position. When the enemy says, be reasonable- you say I am reasonable, it's you who are being unreasonable!

Ha
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:36 AM   #157
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It's interesting to me that the US and Europe espoused seemingly different paths (capitalism vs. socialism) and still ended up in the same predicament: huge deficits and unfunded liabilities as far as the eye can see. So we should probably throw stones more carefully.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:37 AM   #158
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OK, rather than expect the government to work this out, I, the Pie Floater, will undertake to do it for them. Here is the Pie Floater Saving Plan:

Step:
1) Identify my contributions to FICA contributions with appropriate 3%/annum earnings and fund an account called: FICA Payback Account
2) Put me in control of the account to the extent that I can choose a private annuity or a Treasuries based annuity.
3) Put in place a FICA earning payback plan, wherein the General Fund has x number of years to return the pilferred funds.
4) Make a public admission that I did not get "already benefited" by the pork barrel, militarism and welfare schemes, and that I actually railed against all that during my working life.
5) Admit that in addition to FICA, I paid sufficient taxes to provide for the common good of the people of this country, including those who choose not to work for whatever reason.

Arrange a July 4, 2011 vote on this and those who want my plan get their money appropriated immediately, the ones who vote against it will keep the old system and God help them.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:38 AM   #159
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Pie Floater:

Give it up, you'll have a heart attack.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:44 AM   #160
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Pie Floater:

Give it up, you'll have a heart attack.
At least I'll have private health care, doh! Maybe not.
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