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Old 07-15-2007, 10:37 PM   #61
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they are a very rich country, however, they are banking it and still taxing their people heavily -the comment made was that the oil wouldn't last forever and they wanted to make sure that they thought of the future.....
Exactly, Norway, unlike many other countries, has made the difficult decision to take care of its future generations. Despite huge oil revenues, the country lives below its means and requires much financial sacrifices from its taxpayers so that the next generations will be able to continue enjoying a high standard of living long after the oil boon ends. Norway is an exception rather than the rule in the industrialized world. Many industrialized countries with large populations live above their means and favor pleasing the current generations rather than the future ones.
I've heard that Wyoming is also investing a lot of the revenues it is currently receiving from the gas fields popping up all over the state. They also understand it won't last forever and that they need to make the most of it.
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:26 PM   #62
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Well this certainly turned into an interesting conversation
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:22 PM   #63
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Let's see.... so when the rest of the States have blown all their cash and their folks are living in the poor house, Wyomingites will be living in tall cotton.... well, until everybody moves to Wyoming and they are compelled to pay support. Hey, just like SS!
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:25 AM   #64
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This book lays out what's going to happen with Socialist inSecurity and other government entitlement / wealth redistribution programs. I cannot recommend it highly enough. This book scared me almost as much as the first time I actually thought about retirement. I bought copies to hand out for Christmas last year.

BTW it's a hyperlink... click on the image to go to Amazon. Or just check your library for a copy
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:45 AM   #65
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Please include some supported text rather just posting an image of a book.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:20 PM   #66
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Please include some supported text rather just posting an image of a book.
It's a hyperlink
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Atlas Shrugged
Old 07-26-2007, 01:13 PM   #67
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Atlas Shrugged

Captures the same idea of governmental redistribution of wealth.
Author is Ann Rand
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Old 07-29-2007, 02:19 AM   #68
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I am 56. Just retired. I paid into the system for over 30 years. I had a contract with the guvm'nt, lived up to my end of it and they should honor their side. ... yes I want my turn at the federal tit. I didn't invent the game or make up the rules... but I did play the game.
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:20 PM   #69
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I am 56. Just retired. I paid into the system for over 30 years. I had a contract with the guvm'nt, lived up to my end of it and they should honor their side. ... yes I want my turn at the federal tit. I didn't invent the game or make up the rules... but I did play the game.
But we never did have a contract with the government. I never signed anything. I never agreed to fund other people's retirements with the promise that one day someone else would fund mine. All that's happened is I've had a 12.4% payroll tax levied against me at gunpoint.

I'm angry about it, but not enough other people are to make a change. So I kiss that money goodbye, try my best to secure my own retirement, and hope that I'll be able to collect anything when it's "my turn". Any Socialist inSecurity checks that I receive are going to be extra play money unless they decide to tax away a substantial chunk of my retirement savings, which is a distinct possibility... when the entitlement programs begin collapsing, there will be a lot more drones holding their hands out who will be able to vote than there will be honest, productive citizens. It won't surprise me one bit to see my Roth IRA taxed (again), or some large chunk of my savings outright confiscated because I have "too much", and it "isn't fair" that I should have so much while others have nothing.
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:51 PM   #70
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But we never did have a contract with the government. I never signed anything. I never agreed to fund other people's retirements with the promise that one day someone else would fund mine. All that's happened is I've had a 12.4% payroll tax levied against me at gunpoint.

I'm angry about it, but not enough other people are to make a change. So I kiss that money goodbye, try my best to secure my own retirement, and hope that I'll be able to collect anything when it's "my turn". Any Socialist inSecurity checks that I receive are going to be extra play money unless they decide to tax away a substantial chunk of my retirement savings, which is a distinct possibility... when the entitlement programs begin collapsing, there will be a lot more drones holding their hands out who will be able to vote than there will be honest, productive citizens. It won't surprise me one bit to see my Roth IRA taxed (again), or some large chunk of my savings outright confiscated because I have "too much", and it "isn't fair" that I should have so much while others have nothing.
It's true that it was a 'tax' at 'gunpoint' as you put it. But so are income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, ...etc. But it is the only game in town. You either play it or you move. I have been all over this world. As bad as it is here in the great US of A, it's a heck of a lot better than in 999/1000 of the other places. Granted you can always point to a place that has better _______ (fill in the blank) than the US. But I don't see people, in mass, climbing fences and crossing rivers to get to those countries.
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:32 PM   #71
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megacorp - I absolutely agree with you. The difference between SS and other taxes, to me, is at least they're honest about the other ones... "Give us your money". With SS, they try to pretend that there's some benefit to me. I understand that pretty much any government is going to take my money, and if I don't hand it over they'll imprison or kill me. But it really grates to be told that SS is some kind of "retirement account" for me. If that's what it's supposed to be, how about repealing the SS Act and simply mandating that everyone invest 12% of their gross salary in some kind of retirement account? But that wouldn't give the government control of hundreds of billions of dollars of our money, nor does it allow politicians to buy votes with our money.

The whole premise behind SS is financially and morally bankrupt, and it's part of what has torn this country down from the great heights it once occupied, and what will very likely finish turning the US into a Third World craphole within my lifetime.
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:59 PM   #72
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As I worked my way through 27.4 years of programming before retiring last year I was
always thrilled that I had the opportunity to be born in the middle/upper-middle class of
the US and paid the max of SS taxes for 24 (1983-2006) of those years. I am constantly
amazed that I retired last year at 48 with dividends replacing all of my spending, and if
they means-test SS before I get there so that only those making <$100k get it I will
not feel left out. I won't be sending back any checks, but geesh . . . I am so well
off compared to every one else I know here, much less in other countries. SS is just
another income tax, levied on a different scale. If just mild LBYM plus some
investment discipline allows you to work only 27 years and then spend the rest of
your life doing whatever you want, how can you possibly complain ?
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:11 AM   #73
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megacorp - The difference between SS and other taxes, to me, is at least they're honest about the other ones... "Give us your money". .
this is the 1st time I have ever heard anyone characterize what congress and the bureaucrats in Washington do with our 'other taxes' as 'honest'. pork barrel projects like bridges to no where....etc.

... but don't get me started on this ... After 29 days of retirement I've gotten my blood pressure down to normal levels.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:57 AM   #74
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My mother (who is 65 & just started collecting SS) told me that, when she was in *her* 20s, everyone bemoaned how SS wouldn't be there. And yet her & my pa (who's also 65) are getting nice checks to supplement their pensions (they were public school teachers).

I am not depending on SS, but I hope (and expect) to get it. It's one thing for all of us to say that we assume we won't get it. It's another thing entirely for the gov to make that announcement & have to deal with the fallout (as other people have pointed out, I believe). For one thing, I think if that happened, suddenly there'd be a lot of articles about the gov dipping into it over the years. Lots of finger pointing. Maybe looking into whether or not previous lawmakers can somehow be held responsible. Lots of articles about previous lawmakers retiring after years of holding million dollar jobs 'consulting' that they were awarded after their lawmaking stints & their cars, homes, net worth, etc. There'll be a lot of anger & civil unrest. Maybe even a fair amount of threats & some deaths.

So I think that it could get bad, but that ultimately, it will be fixable. I also think that we should add on that final social program: gov-run (or at least gov consolidate) medicine. We can have a successful hybrid of capitalism & socialism. I always find it interesting, when we think of the people who are benefiting, we think of the deadbeats, the spendthrifts, the careless. What about the cancer victim who's life-saving was wiped out by paying for treatment? what about the people that live with MS? Alzheimer’s? Mental illness? What about the people who ran through their life saving trying to care for kids with autism or mental retardation? What about the autistic or mentally retarded? In an entirely capitalistic society, those people are left hanging, or left to the devices of their relatives. Why shouldn't those of us that were born with better genetics share a bit of their wealth to help them?

I'm not at all for helping dead beats & there's a part of me that says 'not my problem' when it comes to the idea of helping people w/the above afflictions. But I am damn lucky that I was born (mostly) sound of mind (I have bipolar, which I manage through diet & exercise these days) and body. I think that the least I can do is pay it forward a little bit & help out those that weren't as genetically blessed as I am.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:40 AM   #75
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Why shouldn't those of us that were born with better genetics share a bit of their wealth to help them? . . . .
I think that the least I can do is pay it forward a little bit & help out those that weren't as genetically blessed as I am.
You sound like a wonderful person. Giving to those who are less fortunate is a great and noble thing--it helps the recipient and it helps the giver (it's a great feeling, right?) One big problem with govt run programs is that they rob the donors of that feeling. Can a person really feel good about helping others if they are forced to do it under penalty of fine/jail time?

Some people feel satisfied when they take political action to enact govt-run wealth redistribution programs, but I take issue with this, too. That individual was already free to redistribute his/her own wealth as much as he/she wants. All they have done is leverage the coercive power of government to take the property of OTHER people.
Just because a majority of people want something doesn't make it right. Let's hope the Constitution/Bill of Rights continue to mean something.
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:08 PM   #76
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My mother (who is 65 & just started collecting SS) told me that, when she was in *her* 20s, everyone bemoaned how SS wouldn't be there. And yet her & my pa (who's also 65) are getting nice checks to supplement their pensions (they were public school teachers).


You'll notice that SS keeps getting "fixed" by increasing payroll taxes, taxing SS benefits, raising the retirement age, etc.

Quote:
I am not depending on SS, but I hope (and expect) to get it. It's one thing for all of us to say that we assume we won't get it. It's another thing entirely for the gov to make that announcement & have to deal with the fallout (as other people have pointed out, I believe).
They won't "end" it... they'll "fix" it some more, as mentioned above.

But how high can you raise payroll taxes? How high can you raise the retirement age? We're approaching the end of potential "fixes".

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For one thing, I think if that happened, suddenly there'd be a lot of articles about the gov dipping into it over the years. Lots of finger pointing. Maybe looking into whether or not previous lawmakers can somehow be held responsible. Lots of articles about previous lawmakers retiring after years of holding million dollar jobs 'consulting' that they were awarded after their lawmaking stints & their cars, homes, net worth, etc. There'll be a lot of anger & civil unrest. Maybe even a fair amount of threats & some deaths.
Nope. Nobody cares. The stories have gone around, and they quickly disappear. The vast majority of the American public simply isn't capable of rationally processing information... they live on what is fed to them. A new episode of American Idol will start, and nobody will worry about that boring political crap any more.

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So I think that it could get bad, but that ultimately, it will be fixable. I also think that we should add on that final social program: gov-run (or at least gov consolidate) medicine.
Because the government has done so well at everything else they've done, right?

Take a look at Socialized medicine in the UK and Canada, then come back here and tell me that we should get into the same boat as them.

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I think that the least I can do is pay it forward a little bit & help out those that weren't as genetically blessed as I am.
You're perfectly free to "pay forward" as much as you like. Problem is, you're pointing a gun at me and insisting that I must do the same thing. I can't afford to support the great masses. As it is, nearly half of my income is stolen from me by various taxes, and you're telling me that it isn't enough, that I should give more to assuage your conscience
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:07 PM   #77
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Nope. Nobody cares. The stories have gone around, and they quickly disappear. The vast majority of the American public simply isn't capable of rationally processing information... they live on what is fed to them. A new episode of American Idol will start, and nobody will worry about that boring political crap any more.


I think that there will be a different in how people pay attention, once SS is taken away. I think that being denied money that people paid into their whole lives will spur them a lot more, because there will be a more tangible, more personal experience attached to it. stories are just stories. but when the story starts to effect millions of americans personally, I think they'll pay more attention.

this is, of course, my opinion. I think we're going to have to split the difference between what you think people will do & what I think people will do.


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Because the government has done so well at everything else they've done, right?

Take a look at Socialized medicine in the UK and Canada, then come back here and tell me that we should get into the same boat as them.


I have. and I think they look better. depending on exactly where you are in the country, there may be longer wait times than here, but if you've been reading the news, then you've probably noticed that the wait times here are getting longer too. I'd rather have longer wait times (which we're edging towards anyways) & know that everyone had access to health care.

exactly what part of their 'boat' do you not like?



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You're perfectly free to "pay forward" as much as you like. Problem is, you're pointing a gun at me and insisting that I must do the same thing. I can't afford to support the great masses. As it is, nearly half of my income is stolen from me by various taxes, and you're telling me that it isn't enough, that I should give more to assuage your conscience
oh my, I don't think I'm pointing a gun at you! I don't even own a gun. and it doesn't have anything to do with my conscience. at least, I don't think so.

let's take the example of say...austism. a couple give birth to a child that has autism. now, there are a number of social services out there, designed to help people who have autistic children. the are also community groups, message boards & the like. now, this couple, before they had their austic child, never considered giving money to support autistic causes, because they never had need. their families & friends were oblivious & never gave either. It was a 'mind my own business' kind of situation, I guess you could say.

now that they have their autistic child, they use the autistic support services that are offered. they network, attent walk-a-thons, ask friends & family to support the cause. people get more involved. maybe their friends just give $5 to the walk-a-thons. maybe their siblings start to seriously give. & some people probably don't give at all. all in reaction to having a child come into their life with austism & learning a bit about it.

but before the child, no one was giving. that's the problem. people tend not to give until there is a problem that they come into contact with. when they come to ultilize these services that they've never given to, should we say 'no, sorry, you never gave before, this isn't for you. put in for 5 years & then you can partake.'?

now you, what if you came down with MS? or your child was born with down's syndrome? there are social services out there that you can utilize, to help your burden. would you utilize those options that were offered to you? would you be glad that they're there? If we didn't have any social services, we wouldn't have those options.

so, I guess what I'm saying is that, unless a person is willing to forego any kind of support whatsoever, in the form of a social service, they should be willing to pay taxes to support them. & I think we should go 'all the way' so to speak, take it one step further & offer universal health care. maybe you think it's worth it to take youself completely out of that: give no help, ask for no help.

myself, I have no idea what's going to happen when I walk home today. maybe I'll get hit by an out-of-control bus & end up with lots of broken bones, internal injuries, brain damange. I can't work, I lose my insurance, I burn through my life savings, I end up out on the street. or maybe my parents try to take care of me & burn through their live savings, attempting to do so.

on the flip side, maybe I'll be like my grandmas & live in relatively great health until my 90s & only make very light use out of social services. I personally would much rather know that they're there & pay into them, then not have them. because even if I'm lucky, maybe my best friend, or relative won't be so lucky. maybe they'll the one to be hit by a bus & screwed for life. I'd hate to watch that happen to a loved one.

so, now that I've babbled on, I don't really think this has anything to do with conscience. it's more of a golden rule kind of thing. I would hate to have my life taken away from me, through now fault of my own, & not have the govenerment protect me in any way. I would also hate to have that happen to other people. I don't think it's good for society as a whole.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:51 PM   #78
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I would hate to have my life taken away from me, through now fault of my own, & not have the govenerment protect me in any way.
Celany,
Your position is self-contradictory, to an extent. When we earn money, it is a result of trading our labor in exchange for that money. To a very real extent, we trade our lives for money. I think the folks in this ER community appreciate that more than most people--if someone reduces your nest egg, you'll have to work more years to rebuild it. When someone or some thing (a thief, the government, etc) takes that money without giving you a choice, they are, in a very real sense, taking part of your life. You are advocating that the government take more of our lives (money). You are asking to "have my life taken away from me," the very thing you claim to hate.

Government protection against the uncertainties of life--insurance that comes at a very high price in both money and liberty.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:01 PM   #79
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hi sam!

you know, one thing that I realized I didn't make clear is that I'm not actually pro-raising taxes, especially for someone that's already paying 50%, like jnojr. if it seemed that I even implied that, then that's my mistake for not being clear enough.

between all the pork projects & govenerment tax breaks/subsidies for big oil & certain sectors of farming (like corn), there's probably more than enough money to better care for everyone, if it stopped being diverted to make a few people rich. at the very least, there'd be a lot more than we have now.

I agree with your idea that the gov is essentially 'taking our life' by taking some of our money for taxes. I'm here in part because I want to have the option to retire early, if I chose to. but I think that, by giving the gov our money, we're getting things in return, right? safety is the big thing that comes to mind for me. we get the police. and public schooling.

when I wrote about having my life 'taken away from me' above, I was referring more to the idea of say, a drunk or reckless driver taking away a lot of my life & then being unable to get the therapy or medication needed to restore part of it, due to our current health system. I suppose in a better world, if a reckless driver hit me & hurt me enough that I couldn't work, I would be able to sue him/her for enough money to provide me with health care for the rest of my life. of course, maybe it wasn't a reckless driver, but faulty breaks on the truck. so then, sue the truck maker...but they've got much better lawyers than I do. and maybe it was a combination of reckless driving & faulty breaks...how does that break down into who cares for me? or should it somehow be my own fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time & I should be responsible for caring for myself?

am I making sense? I think that all of life is a trade off. we're going to give away bits of our life (money) to gain things. I think that, given the things that the gov already provides, making sure somehow that all americans have access to health care should be one of them. after all, we do already have medicare. it doesn't necessarily have to involve raising taxes. maybe it's just about doing a better job with the money that the gov already has.
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:26 PM   #80
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We're all paying close to 50% of our incomes. Federal income tax, state income tax, Medicare, Socialist inSecurity, sales tax, property tax, gasoline tax, an endless list of taxes and fees on every government-regulated service like water, electricity, phone, gas, etc. When you add it all up, it's staggering. And look what we get in return.

Government is incapable of "providing" for us. Every grand social program quickly becomes an enormous, impenetrable bureaucracy employing tens of thousands who produce nothing but reams of new regulations. The quickest way to destroy anything is to get the government involved.

The "safety" you mention could be bought for a tiny fraction of what is extracted from us now. Military and police protection is a tiny slice of the national budget, even after 9/11 and the huge increases in massive bureaucracies like the Department of Homeland Security, which does nothing to "make us safe", but only serves as another line item to justify taxation and an increase in government control of our lives.

You say you see nothing wrong with British or Canadian healthcare. That would be because you've never experienced them, and what you know about them is what's written by misty-eyed, pie-in-the-sky Utopian liberals who ignore the massive problems because of the promise of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (that they can never quite manage to reach). People under those systems routinely wait months or years for necessary care. It is extremely common for Canadians to come to the US and pay cash for procedures like cardiac bypass surgery, because they're on a waiting list at home, and are afraid they'll die before the State gets around to them.

Government has never "given" anything. It takes. And once it starts taking, it keeps taking and taking and taking. Every job they take on gets botched, badly. Look at all of the reports of trouble in the VA healthcare system... that's what we'll get with Hillary's "national health care".

But again... if you wish to give up your money to the governemnt, and have the government "provide" for you, you're perfectly free to do that. But, like I said, you have to force me to join you. How is that not slavery, to tell me that I must work and pass the fruits of my labors on to some other party without my consent? When the governemnt does it, it's "taxation". If I were to do the exact same thing, we have a different word we'd use... "robbery".
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