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Old 08-20-2007, 05:16 AM   #21
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The US is not in such a bad shape IMO. Specially if you remember that it gets the best interest rates in the world.

Saying that, it is nice to live in a place that actually runs budget surplus.
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:40 PM   #22
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As Meadbh pointed out, there are other countries of the world who are tackling their debt. It is not the impossible problem that many Americans think it is. Similarly, universal health care and social security/pension plans are problems that other countries have faced and they've come up with solutions. The United States is not alone when it comes to these sorts of problems, however for some reason it doesn't seem to adopt the solutions of other countries. Why reinvent the wheel?
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:59 PM   #23
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As Meadbh pointed out, there are other countries of the world who are tackling their debt. It is not the impossible problem that many Americans think it is. Similarly, universal health care and social security/pension plans are problems that other countries have faced and they've come up with solutions. The United States is not alone when it comes to these sorts of problems, however for some reason it doesn't seem to adopt the solutions of other countries. Why reinvent the wheel?
Because fiscal responsibility and Socialism simply cannot exist at the same time.

No other country has "fixed" a wealth transfer problem, except by getting rid of it. Europe is in worse shape than we are, but in a deeper state of denial... they have a lot more invested in Socialism, and it's that much harder for them to admit that it's a failure. Their populations are rapidly aging, and the deficit between what's promised and what's already being confiscated from workers is exploding.

Availability, quality, low price... pick any two. "Universal health care" is a pie in the sky dream. And Socialist inSecurity is a Ponzi scheme that's running out of people to pay current retirees with.

As long as people keep thinking that these problems can be "fixed', or that they need to be left alone for just one more generation, this country is doomed. Within my working life, the music is going to stop for the last time, and there won't be nearly enough chairs to go around. Cutting benefits will make all SS retirements equally worthless. Raising payroll taxes will result in a workers revolt.

Our government has betrayed us. The President, Congress, and the hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats in DC are all traitors who have wrecked this once-great country, and are an impediment to real solutions. Historically, there's only been one way to fix an entrenched, intransigent government... a way that usually entails rifles, gallows, or similar permanent solutions.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:54 AM   #24
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Our government has betrayed us. The President, Congress, and the hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats in DC are all traitors who have wrecked this once-great country, and are an impediment to real solutions. Historically, there's only been one way to fix an entrenched, intransigent government... a way that usually entails rifles, gallows, or similar permanent solutions.
You scare me.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:14 AM   #25
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That, unfortunately, is the sentiment of too many people, including many in office. My goal has always been to give more than I take, to leave the Earth and its citizens better off. If my actions can't do that, I don't deserve to use its resources.

Well, I appreciate the opportunityyou're giving me, Mr. Cromwell,
as the single largest shareholder
in Teldar Paper, to speak.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we're not here to indulge in fantasy, but in political and economic reality. America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. Now, in the days of the free market, when our country was a top industrial power, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company!
All together, these men sitting up here [Teldar management] own less than 3 percent of the company. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock; he owns less than 1 percent.
You own the company. That's right -- you, the stockholder.
And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their steak lunches, their hunting and fishing trips, their corporate jets and golden parachutes.
Cromwell: This is an outrage! You're out of line, Gekko!
Gekko: Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents, each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents.
The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated.
In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pretax profit of 12 billion dollars. Thank you.
I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them!
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good.
Greed is right.
Greed works.
Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.
Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind.
And greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:13 PM   #26
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The US is not in such a bad shape IMO. Specially if you remember that it gets the best interest rates in the world.

Saying that, it is nice to live in a place that actually runs budget surplus.
I'd have to agree (somewhat) with you. Right now we have a deficit that is manageable considering our economy.

The problem comes with those pesky SS and medicare promises. Those so-called unfunded liabilities cannot be met with the present system. SS by itself might be manageable with some additional taxes. But medicare just won't work as the boomers retire.

So I expect some big cuts/changes to medicare in the next decade or so. If we do that then the problem is manageable. Increased taxes alone won't solve this issue.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:10 AM   #27
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I'd have to agree (somewhat) with you. Right now we have a deficit that is manageable considering our economy.

The problem comes with those pesky SS and medicare promises. Those so-called unfunded liabilities cannot be met with the present system. SS by itself might be manageable with some additional taxes. But medicare just won't work as the boomers retire.

So I expect some big cuts/changes to medicare in the next decade or so. If we do that then the problem is manageable. Increased taxes alone won't solve this issue.
I am not an expert on this issue as I don't live in the US, but I agree that taxes won't solve this problem. My estimation is that governments all over the world will have to increase the retirement / SS age. Even increasing the age by "just" 2-3 years will almost solve the problem.

In 1889 when Bismarck introduced the first pension plan for people reached 70, the expectancy of life for the average Prussian was 45 years

Otto von Bismarck - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So now when live expectancy reached 80+, the age should be adjusted accordingly. People who want to retire earlier, should count on their own savings.
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