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Old 11-09-2007, 08:38 AM   #81
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I think you are generally accurate, but it is not the only way. Read "Your Money or Your Life" for a dissent. A theme in that book is ER to pursue service to others. Many people also leave paid work to raise families, for another example.

We all are selfish in some aspects of our lives and altruistic in others. Thinking purely of yourself is a mistake. Occasionally, such as when someone says explicitly that they are willing to cannibalize future generations to fund their own leisure, I can't help but comment. That's the way these forums go.
But many Boomers that take such a position don't see it as cannibalizing at all. Rather, they see it as getting out what they've put into SS. Unfortunately, SS is a pay-as-you-go system, which is something they just don't want to acknowledge. As such, any demand to receive what you've paid into SS is cannibalizing future generations. Regardless, if people think they should receive only what they paid into SS, then the SSA should have the right to cut them off once they reach that number. Naturally this would throw more than 25% of all Boomers out on the street who don't have enough retirement savings.

So not only does demanding full SS benefits screw future generations, it also screws Boomers. Likewise, if SS is really supposed to be "get out what you paid in", then the parents of Boomers (many of whom went through the Great Depression and fought in WWII for our current way of life) should have been thrown out on the street, since they didn't pay into SS anywhere near as much as they received.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:45 AM   #82
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So not only does demanding full SS benefits screw future generations, it also screws Boomers. Likewise, if SS is really supposed to be "get out what you paid in", then the parents of Boomers (many of whom went through the Great Depression and fought in WWII for our current way of life) should have been thrown out on the street, since they didn't pay into SS anywhere near as much as they received.
This is true, especially about the generations older than the Boomers. They took many times more out of the system, on average, than they put in (even after factoring in inflation). In reality, it's either "pay as you go" or "I have to get my share." The two concepts are fundamentally at odds with each other, and I think it's disingenuous to sometimes call it one and sometimes the other depending on what's in your own self-interest.

As for the Boomers getting screwed, I think the older Boomers won't get screwed, but the youngest boomers probably will (especially the latest ones born in the early 1960s). I think the older half of boomers will do well and their benefits will be secure. The younger half of boomers and those after them have a dicier situation.

In terms of the financial deal they are getting out from employers and society, younger boomers have more in common with Xers than with older boomers, I think.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:55 AM   #83
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All of this debate over social security is exactly why socialistic programs are destined to fail. Everyone wants what they feel they deserve, to heck with everyone else. That thought process is destined to overburden any social system no matter how well conceived. The only way to have a social system prosper is to completely change human nature to willingly share everything equally. People's natural tendency is to want more than those around them. Look at crime many thieves don't go to the nice neighborhoods to steal, because they don't receive the same status bump. If they go to their neighbor and take something of theirs. Not only do they get a bump up in status from their new possession, but their neighbor receives a bump down for no longer owning the item.

Look at all of the communes form the 60's are there any of those same ones still around? These were people who voluntarily went into the commune for whatever reason they desired. These communes did not last very long. Yet, people still want to try it on a national level.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:53 AM   #84
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All of this debate over social security is exactly why socialistic programs are destined to fail. Everyone wants what they feel they deserve, to heck with everyone else. That thought process is destined to overburden any social system no matter how well conceived. The only way to have a social system prosper is to completely change human nature to willingly share everything equally. People's natural tendency is to want more than those around them. Look at crime many thieves don't go to the nice neighborhoods to steal, because they don't receive the same status bump. If they go to their neighbor and take something of theirs. Not only do they get a bump up in status from their new possession, but their neighbor receives a bump down for no longer owning the item.

Look at all of the communes form the 60's are there any of those same ones still around? These were people who voluntarily went into the commune for whatever reason they desired. These communes did not last very long. Yet, people still want to try it on a national level.
I could not have said it any better myself. It is somewhat reassuring that at least some here would see things the way that I do. All "need" based ideas, philosophies, and programs are as you said "destined to fail", because "need" is a completlely subjective topic. And it never means the same thing to two different people.
So right now the govt has social security like it or not, because they say it serves "society". Somehow this "society" will always mean someone else... but never me. What if tomorrow they said that everyone needs to donate blood like it or not, because it serves "society" as well? Does it make a difference if an individual for whatever reason does not WANT to donate blood? What if they say that organ donors are in too short supply, and everyone upon death is "forced" to become an organ donor, because others NEED it. After all, when you are deceased you do not need your organs any more. And there is that subjective "need" word again. Anothers persons need, does not trump my right to have something. If I decide to give someone my time, my life, or my money, that is great... and as it should be. But the idea of the govt or anyone else using force or other coersion tactics to take something from me, I find repulsive. Are others on this forum really going to tell me that if the govt tomorrow changed the rules of the 401k so that a percentage was taken from everyone to pay for more social programs that no one should have a problem with that? I think there would be a full scale revolt in the works.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:22 AM   #85
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Bravo! Stand by your principles. Of course, I'm sure you don't want to encourage socialist tyranny any further, so some tips:

Instead of driving to work and the store by the use of public roads, please find a route over private property, and pay the owners for the privilege of that use. We don't want to be freeloaders!

Dig that well! Free yourself of the bondage of the water utilities who have insidiously sapped your self reliance!

Now, it may be tempting to say your taxes have played a part in these services, but remember, if you are to really change things for the better, and reveal your inner Ayn Rand, some initial sacrifices must be made!
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:27 AM   #86
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Now, it may be tempting to say your taxes have played a part in these services, but remember, if you are to really change things for the better, and reveal your inner Ayn Rand, some initial sacrifices must be made!
The problem is, this is a false dichotomy. You don't need to be either pro-big government and heavily consume government programs *or* be pro-small government and refuse to use what your taxes pay for.

In reality this is little different in principle than folks like Warren Buffett complaining because his taxes are too low. No one is stopping him from putting his money where his mouth is and writing a big fat check to the U.S. Treasury. Yes, it's the opposite philosophy, but the principle is the same -- do people need to live according to what they *wish* the role of government would be, or is it okay to reap the benefits of a system you'd rather see changed as long as everyone else is doing it, too?
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:03 PM   #87
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I agree completely, I should have used a smiley face - my point was to say idealistic platitudes aren't that helpful because just a little commen sense shows the right path is somewhere in between. The comments about taxes and redistribution = tyranny seem to really be flowing on this board lately, and I was simply holding up a mirror.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:33 PM   #88
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Bravo! Stand by your principles. Of course, I'm sure you don't want to encourage socialist tyranny any further, so some tips:

Instead of driving to work and the store by the use of public roads, please find a route over private property, and pay the owners for the privilege of that use. We don't want to be freeloaders!

Dig that well! Free yourself of the bondage of the water utilities who have insidiously sapped your self reliance!

Now, it may be tempting to say your taxes have played a part in these services, but remember, if you are to really change things for the better, and reveal your inner Ayn Rand, some initial sacrifices must be made!
Hi laurencewill... At the risk of offending a moderator... I will procede.

In fact my taxes DO go towards maintaining the roads as does everyones. It would be wrong of me to use public roads if none of my taxes went for that. Just as it would be equally wrong of me to use private roads without payment or permission. And you are very correct. I would hate to be a "freeloader". I would hope that you would feel the same way.

I very much enjoy the water service that I currently get, and I think the price I have to pay for it is currently fair... so I continue to pay for my water service. There can be no "bondage" as you put it, when two parties agree to a trade and there is no coersion applied. If the price of water was suddenly $100 a gallon you are right... I might consider digging my own well.

Lastly you are correct... my views are fairly "Randian". But obviously you either have not read her works, or did not understand them very well. Because the notion of "some initial sacrifices must be made" is completely against that philosophy. For "Randians" as you have labeled it... sacrifice is considered a bad thing.

I must admit... I simply cannot understand how someone can have the strong desire to retire early and spout socialist ideals at the same time. I would think that to retire early you have to be a capitalist... and a really good one at that.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:39 PM   #89
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I must admit... I simply cannot understand how someone can have the strong desire to retire early and spout socialist ideals at the same time. I would think that to retire early you have to be a capitalist... and a really good one at that.
Then you haven't been on this board very long.......... Although some capitalists skulk about here, there's more socialist ideas on this board than any other one I frequent....but I enjoy the fresh perspective........
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:08 PM   #90
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....there's more socialist ideas on this board than any other one I frequent....but I enjoy the fresh perspective........
I thought I was the only peson who thought that.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:14 PM   #91
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I must admit... I simply cannot understand how someone can have the strong desire to retire early and spout socialist ideals at the same time. I would think that to retire early you have to be a capitalist... and a really good one at that.
I would have to disagree. If you allow mother government to supply many things suddenly retirement becomes very affordable (assuming your taxes don't go up). Once your house is paid off and your health care is provided, how much do you really need to live on? For me it is very low. Considering my current expenditures I would be looking at having to make some where in the 25k range to retire and not give up any of my lifestyle. Once the kid moves out I'm positive it will go down even more.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:28 PM   #92
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I would have to disagree. If you allow mother government to supply many things suddenly retirement becomes very affordable (assuming your taxes don't go up). Once your house is paid off and your health care is provided, how much do you really need to live on? For me it is very low.
Yes, but that assumes that more and more people don't leave the work force to live off government largesse. What you say works if only a few people do it. But the more you give the non-producers from the fruits of the producers, the less it pays to be a producer. Then the ratio of producers to non-producers drops and the solvency of these programs is in serious jeopardy as a result. (Sounds like Social Security, yes?)

I'm trying to keep this devoid of ideology, but there is some amount of human nature that needs to be observed here.

If you were told that every dollar you earn by working from here on out would be taxed at 60% and given to everyone who wasn't working...would you continue to work? Would that make your decision to stop working a lot easier? You bet. But how could you make this promise if it changed our behavior in a way that convinced all of us to stampede for the exits? In order for government-provided benefits to remain feasible, the system needs to encourage being a producer instead of being a non-producer in order to make sure there are enough producers to provide some baseline help for the non-producers.

Now if you're a non-producer because you are elderly and already paid your dues and then some, or if you're a non-producer because you have mental and/or physical disabilities which make decent employment unfeasible, that's a different story; these are the people for whom the "safety net" should be primarily intended, and I think all but the hardest-core libertarians out there would support this use of a social safety net. But I don't think we should be going out of our way to be giving away goodies for able-bodied, sound-minded individuals who aren't of retirement age but choose not to produce and choose to be a net tax *consumer* instead of a net tax *payer*.

I can see where asking the government to give more benefits could be tempting for some early retirees, particularly where health care, Social Security and various tax breaks are concerned, but the more you subsidize that choice, the more people will take it -- and then who pays the freight? For example, if we funded "universal health care" with a payroll tax, how many people who are still working primarily for health insurance would suddenly quit? And then where does the money to continue the program come from?
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:47 PM   #93
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Ziggy--I agree with your post. I was just attempting to rationalize/point out why there are so many with a socialist bent to their thinking on this board.

In my case I should be able to retire in about 10-15 years, IF I had health care. I still will not support any type of general socialzed health care, even if it means I have to work several years longer. I know how that system works and, though I do see problems with our system of health care, I feel it is far preferable to socialized care.
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:18 PM   #94
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Yours was a great post Ziggy29. That is almost exactly how I view it. I certainly do not expect old folks, or people with mental disabilities to have no access and no chance to live their lives. This is certainly a good use for social security money. And everyone knows they are going to get old, so there is really no excuse for people not at least attempting to save for it. Life can throw all sorts of unexpected problems at you, but there are lots of easy things you can do to help shift things in your favor. Like reading this forum for example...
Maybe for me it is a control thing. I am a very independant person. I really dislike others telling me what I can do or not do etc. For me, more choices equal more freedom. And I understand and accept that what might be fine with me, may not be fine with my neighbor. So with that in mind I think it really rubs me the wrong way when things are proposed that I MUST do for any sort of common good. To follow that line of reasoning, takes away some of my choices (some of them might be unhealthy, unwise, financially bad, etc) because the govt, society, etc, knows "better" than I do. And honestly... that might very well be true some of the time. If I were forced to contribute more to charity, to eat heathier, to never smoke, never drink, then society as a whole might very well be "better" from some peoples perspective. But if I am forced to start doing things, rather than voluntarily doing the things that I think are right, then who's life am I really living? It would certainly not be MY life anymore. And that is not something I am willing to give up for any amount of money, or security, or anything else.
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Old 11-09-2007, 04:29 PM   #95
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Hi laurencewill... At the risk of offending a moderator... I will procede.

In fact my taxes DO go towards maintaining the roads as does everyones. It would be wrong of me to use public roads if none of my taxes went for that. Just as it would be equally wrong of me to use private roads without payment or permission. And you are very correct. I would hate to be a "freeloader". I would hope that you would feel the same way.

I very much enjoy the water service that I currently get, and I think the price I have to pay for it is currently fair... so I continue to pay for my water service. There can be no "bondage" as you put it, when two parties agree to a trade and there is no coersion applied. If the price of water was suddenly $100 a gallon you are right... I might consider digging my own well.

Lastly you are correct... my views are fairly "Randian". But obviously you either have not read her works, or did not understand them very well. Because the notion of "some initial sacrifices must be made" is completely against that philosophy. For "Randians" as you have labeled it... sacrifice is considered a bad thing.

I must admit... I simply cannot understand how someone can have the strong desire to retire early and spout socialist ideals at the same time. I would think that to retire early you have to be a capitalist... and a really good one at that.
First let me say, I chose to wade in, so it would be my own fault if I got offended.

I actually read quite a bit of her work, and majored in Economics. I agree with some of her tenets. But my jesting was simply to say there is no black and white, although she seems to think so, on this issue. Everyone draws their own line in the sand where every service provided by the government before that line is good, and every service provided beyond that is over reaching and tyranny. We are selfish and self centered, it's why capitalism is the worst system...except for every other system!

The whole spectre of societal collapse due to socialist programs like "universal health care" just doesn't stand up in the face of reality. Just look north of the border. Plenty of Canadians will tell you they are muddling along just fine. Most of Europe, too. There are things that can be (and have been extensively here) picked on in every system, but to call countries like Canada, England, Sweden, etc. failed states for implementing policies far more to the left than have ever been seriously proposed in this country doesn't hold water.

Ayn Rand pointed out that when you take away incentives, you destroy productivity. I'm not in favor of wage limits on CEO's, or any sort of "each according to his abilities/needs" philosophy. But I believe we all benefit from a strong safety net, including health care for everyone. It's a lot cheaper to inoculate kids than to treat them for advanced infections in the emergency room, and if you are saying let them die...well...

We must factor in the externalities of our decisions, some costs don't fit neatly onto the ledger. I strongly support a debate on where along the spectrum is optimal, but I think it's plainly obvious to any real analysis that Ayn Rand's nirvana is only heaven for the ones who've won life's lottery. You haven't hit a home run if you were born on third.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:18 PM   #96
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Since I kind of started the last hijack I feel I must respond. The whole thread was started based on an article about how the extremely high taxes in England are stifling the young. Not long ago there was a bit of noise coming from Canada because one of their elected leaders decided to obtain medical service from the US rather than their system. I read an article not long ago about how many of the richest French citizens are starting to leaving the country because they feel the taxes on them are too high.

These stories do not necessarily mean the countries are on the verge of societal collapse. I don't think anybody would argue that some social programs are desirable. I don't think anybody on this board would argue teat the few social programs we do have would lead to a complete social collapse. The stories from the more social countries are, in my opinion, a foretelling of how the social programs fare after they have been implemented for a long period of time. With relatively few exceptions I think the people we elect to Washington wouldn't be foolish enough to allow a program to continue until it bankrupted the system. That is/was the point of earlier discussions about social security. The government will most likely have to start lowering benefits or completely cut the program because not enough people will be paying into the system.

I've also noticed the new French leadership seems to be attempting to down scale the social programs in that country, rather than run themselves into the ground.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:41 PM   #97
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Since I kind of started the last hijack I feel I must respond. The whole thread was started based on an article about how the extremely high taxes in England are stifling the young. Not long ago there was a bit of noise coming from Canada because one of their elected leaders decided to obtain medical service from the US rather than their system. I read an article not long ago about how many of the richest French citizens are starting to leaving the country because they feel the taxes on them are too high.

These stories do not necessarily mean the countries are on the verge of societal collapse. I don't think anybody would argue that some social programs are desirable. I don't think anybody on this board would argue teat the few social programs we do have would lead to a complete social collapse. The stories from the more social countries are, in my opinion, a foretelling of how the social programs fare after they have been implemented for a long period of time. With relatively few exceptions I think the people we elect to Washington wouldn't be foolish enough to allow a program to continue until it bankrupted the system. That is/was the point of earlier discussions about social security. The government will most likely have to start lowering benefits or completely cut the program because not enough people will be paying into the system.

I've also noticed the new French leadership seems to be attempting to down scale the social programs in that country, rather than run themselves into the ground.
So whose currency is collapsing?

Yours or ours?
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:51 PM   #98
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All "need" based ideas, philosophies, and programs are as you said "destined to fail", .
I wonder if the Spartans said the same thing about democracy?
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:55 PM   #99
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I would have to disagree. If you allow mother government to supply many things suddenly retirement becomes very affordable (assuming your taxes don't go up). Once your house is paid off and your health care is provided, how much do you really need to live on? For me it is very low. Considering my current expenditures I would be looking at having to make some where in the 25k range to retire and not give up any of my lifestyle. Once the kid moves out I'm positive it will go down even more.
I must admit.... I have read... and re-read the above a few times just to make sure I was reading it right. And I guess I would have to start out with the obvious question. Where exactly is all the money that the government gets comming from? It does not come out of thin air, it is collected as taxes etc from the people. So I suppose from a certain point of view, your above statements are correct. If you allow the "mother govt" as you put it to tax all of us tremendously then out of their largesse give it back to us as "the govt" sees fit, then it works out. If the govt pays for your medical, housing, etc, then your costs really would go down. But there is no free lunch here either, your costs go way down, but you are taxed so highly that you do not HAVE very much either. So in a way you might say it balances out.
In a way I must thank you for your posting, as it very clearly illustrates the two ways of thinking about this issue. You can allow the govt to manage your money and life for you, or you can go your own way and manage your own life. Why is is so hard for you to believe that I actually want to manage my own affairs? I want there to be some "risk" in my life. With that risk in place there is a chance of failure, but honestly.. I like that risk just fine, because without it, I could not really succeed either. I do not want to "muddle through my life" as some others here have suggested. I want to thrive and excel in my life, and what I have in it. The challenge of it all and to retire early I find to be fun and exciting. I will never understand why some people believe that for me or anyone to become wealthy, involves others becoming poor. The founders of Google became billionares because they took the risk, and had the persistance to "make it happen". They did not hold millions of people hostage to gain their fortune. It was done voluntarily. And that is how it should be.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:13 PM   #100
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Both of our kids are in that age range. I don't think they are complaining. We are pretty generous with them and have told them we intend to fully fund the college education of grandkids (if and when they come along). They also are aware that they are likely to inherit a tidy sum from us. Guess they are the exception to the rule.

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I wish I had parents like you. Fiscally responsible, and thoughtful of the future. Oh well, I guess I will have to start for my family.
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