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Old 02-26-2009, 12:46 PM   #1
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that political trends are not the most important issues facing retirees and investors today.

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Old 02-26-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
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No one ever said political trends related to money and investing were off-limits. At least if they can stick to the issues without becoming a partisan or ideological mosh pit.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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No one ever said political trends related to money and investing were off-limits. At least if they can stick to the issues without becoming a partisan or ideological mosh pit.
The issue is that the US is taking the biggest left turn since FDR. And plenty people on this board will be funding it. Incomes of $250,000? How about income of $125,000 for a single person?

Just about enough to pay a modest mortgage, eat, and put away a few bucks in your 401K.

Some years I have been over this, some years below it. I can tell you that I will be trying mightlly to stay below from here on out.

But hey, add a little inflation which is being cooked up by the same chef and we'll all be rich enough to pay up.

Ha
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:14 PM   #4
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No one ever said political trends related to money and investing were off-limits. At least if they can stick to the issues without becoming a partisan or ideological mosh pit.
Seems to me that when you have one group of people taking money from another group of people, it's hard to avoid the mosh pit. This is pure class warfare.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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Seems to me that when you have one group of people taking money from another group of people, it's hard to avoid the mosh pit. This is pure class warfare.
Well, that could be a problem if someone's not capable of discussing without insulting or name-calling toward others who disagree with them. Keep it civil and there's no problem.

I would share some concerns about the declining "incremental value of work." That is, the less people get to keep of their own money while working and the more it's given to those who aren't working, the less it pays to make the effort.

We already do define the "value of work" in terms of things like salary and hourly wage. Would you work for $500 an hour? How about 50 cents an hour? When your efforts don't produce adequate compensation, you stop doing it.

The more we crank up taxes on the more fortunate, the more we add create more programs and the more we means-test eligibility into them, the more you are cheapening the incremental value of work. The less it pays to bust your butt, save for your future and enjoy the fruits of your own labor some day.

And once you reach a certain level of redistribution where more and more people decide that the incremental standard of living one can enjoy working hard isn't so much better than collecting on government programs, then maybe we've lost the republic. A social safety net is one thing, but I've long said too much of a progressive tax and too much means-testing of benefits is not a recipe for long-term economic growth.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:16 PM   #6
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The issue is that the US is taking the biggest left turn since FDR.

Ha
I've heard some "talking heads" mention recently that the FDR programs extended the depression rather than help.

I'm not sure it can be measured with any reasonable degree of certainty one way or the other. Maybe someone can help with a reliable reference on this?

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Old 02-26-2009, 02:21 PM   #7
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-ERD50 (when I saw that title, I thought haha was announcing that he was coming "out of the closet"!)
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:23 PM   #8
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-ERD50 (when I saw that title, I thought haha was announcing that he was coming "out of the closet"!)
Wearing what?
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:24 PM   #9
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Wearing what?
A tutu of course.

Ha
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:27 PM   #10
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I've heard some "talking heads" mention recently that the FDR programs extended the depression rather than help.

I'm not sure it can be measured with any reasonable degree of certainty one way or the other. Maybe someone can help with a reliable reference on this?
It's hard to gauge, I think, because there were so many moving parts to the actions taken after the '29 crash.

Early on, they did a lot of things most economists today believe were bad ideas in a deteriorating economy -- raise taxes, allow the money supply to contract and institute protectionist policies, among other things.

Whether or not these were more of a factor in lengthening/deepening the 1930s depression than the rest of the New Deal is probably up for legitimate debate.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:28 PM   #11
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A tutu of course.
You mean one of these?

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Old 02-26-2009, 02:32 PM   #12
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Fortunately, no mental picture popped into my head (and I'm hoping to keep it that way....)! - ERD50
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:36 PM   #13
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that political trends are not the most important issues facing retirees and investors today.

Ha
I agree and miss some of the spirited discussions we had in the old soapbox. As I'm sure you recall, the two of us have quite different political opinions. This is precisely what made discussing political issues with you, and others who think differently than I do, quite interesting.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:41 PM   #14
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Early on, they did a lot of things most economists today believe were bad ideas in a deteriorating economy -- raise taxes, allow the money supply to contract and institute protectionist policies, among other things.
Uh Oh..... two of those are kinda sounding familar.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:41 PM   #15
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Early on, they did a lot of things most economists today believe were bad ideas in a deteriorating economy -- raise taxes, allow the money supply to contract and institute protectionist policies, among other things.
So, if I understand current events, we are doing 2/3 of those bad ideas now, to some degree (raise taxes and "Buy American"). I'm a dummy when it comes to money supply, but I guess the bailout money and low interest rates are meant to increase money supply . If that is correct, we are doing something OK there, maybe.

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Old 02-26-2009, 03:22 PM   #16
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The gumment and the citizenry have been mangling its/our finances for years. Funny how we only started noticing it on Jan. 21...
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:40 PM   #17
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So, if I understand current events, we are doing 2/3 of those bad ideas now, to some degree (raise taxes and "Buy American"). I'm a dummy when it comes to money supply, but I guess the bailout money and low interest rates are meant to increase money supply . If that is correct, we are doing something OK there, maybe.
There's other things that are better now, too.

Imagine what we'd be going through today if there was no FDIC insurance on bank deposits. Can you imagine the bank runs we would be having? And we'd have a far, far bigger mess on our hands. Instead, bank deposits are growing as people increase their savings rate and hoard cash -- there's enough faith in deposit insurance that people are still *adding* to bank deposits rather than draining them.

That's one of the biggest reasons why I don't think this ends as ugly as it did in the early 1930s. I can think of no other single post-Depression era policy implementation that has likely had a more positive effect on keeping things relatively orderly, even if ugly.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:01 PM   #18
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And social security which was a very good idea. Read all about it: Social Security Online
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:39 PM   #19
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Thanks Martha - It was LONG but interesting. The most impressive thing comes at the end showing the extremely high cost of both SS and SSI. Couple that with MEDICARE and one can hardly expect this to continue unmodified in some way.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:44 PM   #20
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There's other things that are better now, too.

Imagine what we'd be going through today if there was no FDIC insurance on bank deposits.
I agree that something along the lines of FDIC is a good thing, and something that probably only the govt could provide (or at least regulate). Since I'm generally against govt involvement, my thinking on this is that it does provide for the "common good" to have a stable, safe place for people to keep their money. If the saver is willing to accept low (or even no) returns in exchange for saftey, that is providing a valuable sevice. And w/o govt backing, it's a little tough to picture having that safety on a national scale.

And if done right, it shouldn't cost that much to administer, and as I understand it, it is "self-funded".


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And social security which was a very good idea. Read all about it: Social Security Online
Social Security *might* be a good idea (I don't think that is a slam dunk), but IMO, the implementation of it is abysmal.

I'll read your link in more detail later, but I did get skim as far as Huey Long with his "Every Man a King" Robin Hood program:

Quote:
It called upon the federal government to guarantee every family in the nation an annual income of $5,000, so they could have the necessities of life, including a home, a job, a radio and an automobile. He also proposed limiting private fortunes to $50 million, legacies to $5 million, and annual incomes to $1 million.
How's that working for Louisiana?

I don't even see where SS is addressing its goals:

Quote:
"We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age."--
President Roosevelt upon signing Social Security Act
It looks like I'll be receiving a SS payment far above the poverty level. Why? I made decent money in my career, I could have (and did) plan for myself. The SS rules make no sense to me, with regards to meeting the goals of the program. SS payments ought to actually be inversely proportional to salary earned, rather than (modestly) increase with salary earned. It's crazy.

Some form of SS is fine, but I think it should stress personal responsibility first.


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