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US Presidential Election 2012

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Chunkyman
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#2221

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:30 AM Edited by Chunkyman, 09 November 2012 - 06:36 AM.

QUOTE (Melchior @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 05:56)
QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 11:46)
QUOTE (111 @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 01:29)

What worries people is the increasing number of people on welfare, food stamps, and other government services, creating a huge burden on taxpayers.

Those numbers will likely only increase. It's usually political suicide to cut the goodies, so entitlements spending has a tendency to keep growing no matter how unsustainable it is.


This is just senseless, unsubstantiated rhetoric.

Sort of like your response to my post? *cough* projection *cough*

Concentrated benefits and dispersed costs make it so that cutting spending that has an interest group attached to it becomes uselessly risky for politicians. This has absolutely no bearing on whether the money is being spent well or not, it's the nature of the game. Take the US sugar industry for example, they have artificially raised sugar prices by getting the government to have high tariffs and other regulations. Despite this benefitting a small number of people and hurting the rest of the country, nothing is done by politicians. Now why would the small group of people have more power than the large group? Because the small group of people, wanting to maintain these concentrated benefits, make efforts to see that politicians that keep/increase them get elected. Meanwhile, the general public doesn't care enough to do anything. Similarly, whenever beneficiaries of government entitlement spending see a politician threatening cuts, they try to make him lose reelection.

People work for their own self interest. When benefits are fairly big and concentrated, that group will make great efforts to keep/increase these benefits because it is in their own self interest. When costs are dispersed amongst the general population, it isn't in their own self interest to oppose such increases because the effort relative to reward isn't sufficient.

This is shown through out the world by protectionist tariffs that do nothing but hurt the general population for the enrichment of that particular industry, government unions that go apesh*t when their benefits are even remotely messed with, and voters that consistently vote for politicians that promise more money for X program in which they are a beneficiary of.

Arguing against the idea of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs affecting laws and spending would be to argue against lobbyists affecting politicians.

Melchior
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#2222

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:43 AM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 16:30)
Sort of like your response to my post? *cough* projection *cough*

I don't think you know what rhetoric means.

The subtext of your post was that people vote for the major parties because they're getting a free ride from welfare. If this were the case, surely some research has proved this (otherwise it is indeed, senseless, unsubstantiated rhetoric). Did you really just compare people on government benefits to an industry that uses government regulation to it's advantage?

What's more, I would presume that people on welfare don't vote at all. If you really think the Libertarian party or whatever doesn't attract a large following because they aren't offering free rides, you're in denial. They don't attract a following because the views expressed are simplistic and impractical (see your comparing national debt to your credit card bill a few pages back).

Irviding
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#2223

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:50 AM

QUOTE (K^2 @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 02:30)
Yeah, the problem is that life expectancy going up doesn't mean working age can go up by the same amount. If the retirement age is pushed as much as Irviding suggests, life expectancy is going to drop, because people will be dying at the work place. That does solve many social security problems, but I don't think people will go for it.

We can probably push age of retirement a little bit. But for the most part, we'll have to deal with this by increasing taxes. Until our medical technology improves to the point where we keep people young longer, rather than just extend the life of old people, there is no other way.

It doesn't need to be pushed that far up. But something has to change. It is an indisputable fact that the program was designed not to last 25 years. Has social security helped raise life expectancy? Sure. That said, there's a point where, as politics became less bipartisan, we stopped raising the retirement age accordingly. It currently sits at 67 for 1960+... previous to that it went up for every decade and sometimes birth year by 2-4 month increments. I don't see why, for those of us born 1985+, a 10 year retirement age life expectancy to retirement age difference be maintained. For example, if life expectancy rises to 85, full retirement age should be 75. Or, we can drastically raise payroll taxes and run the system we have now.

Medical technology could be at that stage if pharmaceutical and insurance companies did not have an interest in keeping people "old" rather than keeping them "young" - Medicare for all is the solution.

Melchior
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#2224

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:53 AM

Irviding, I think you're only considering certain types of work. It is physically impossible for blue collar workers to work until they're 75.

Irviding
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#2225

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:59 AM Edited by Irviding, 09 November 2012 - 07:06 AM.

QUOTE (Melchior @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 02:53)
Irviding, I think you're only considering certain types of work. It is physically impossible for blue collar workers to work until they're 75.

My grandfather is 84 and still cuts down his own trees and shovels his own snow. I know in his generation thats a total outlier. notwithstanding, It's not physically impossible for my generation to work until 75 - it's a reality that is going to have to be accepted if social security is not to be run with 10% payroll taxes in the future. This bullsh*t of retiring at age 55 and sitting on social security from 62 till you die at 90 is just not going to work. And this is coming from a liberal that is a strict adherent of New Keynesian economics.

Also, the amount of people working in the blue collar sector is steadily declining and will continue to

Link from SSA about the retirement age and how it was slowly increased but stopped for 1960+
http://www.socialsec...gereduction.htm

sivispacem
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#2226

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:04 AM Edited by sivispacem, 09 November 2012 - 07:09 AM.

QUOTE (EgyptianStar @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 02:09)
QUOTE (sivispacem @ Thursday, Nov 8 2012, 08:10)
QUOTE (EgyptianStar @ Thursday, Nov 8 2012, 08:25)
User posted image

Rather than just posting JPGs in a sensible discussion thread, why don't you go back a few pages and answer all the leading questions you've been asked by various posters on these forums?


Bring on Any question regarding the two puppet candidates, and the two corporate controlled puppet parties. I look forward to bursting the bubble for most of you live in. Fantasy land if you think theirs a difference between them.

This doesn't even make sense. Its very...Yoda.
Also, as you have no doubt been told several times, there is an edit button to prevent double posting. The fact that you appear not yet to have discovered its existence is atremendous indictment of your perceptive skills.

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#2227

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:07 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 02:50)
Medical technology could be at that stage if pharmaceutical and insurance companies did not have an interest in keeping people "old" rather than keeping them "young" - Medicare for all is the solution.

No. Medical technology is where it is because we can't do better. You have no idea how many things go wrong with age, and while keeping a person alive is a relatively simple task, keeping a person mentally and physically fit is a monumental task. We cannot push full retirement age by a decade. As someone pointed out earlier, how are you picturing a 75 year old man working construction? Hell, for nearly half of them, working as anything other than a Wal Mart greeter.

We have trouble finding employment for people as it is. Number of jobs you can give to elderly is very small, and you want to double the number of people employed in these types of jobs? Will you pull a rabbit out of your hat for your next trick?

So yeah, taxes will have to go up. There is nothing to be done about that.

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#2228

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:09 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 16:59)
Also, the amount of people working in the blue collar sector is steadily declining and will continue to.

That's because unskilled manufacturing jobs, that have historically been lumped in with other working class vocations have been lost to the developing world. We will always need highly skilled labour more so than anything else; plumbers, electricians, chefs, builders, carpenters etc.

Your grandfather is the exception, not the rule. There are healthy 80 year olds, but by and large they are too unfit to work. Another solution has to be found, such as cutting spending elsewhere. It's not simplistic Libertarian garbage to claim the government wastes a lot of money.

Irviding
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#2229

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:16 AM Edited by Irviding, 09 November 2012 - 07:27 AM.

QUOTE (K^2 @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 03:07)
QUOTE (Irviding @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 02:50)
Medical technology could be at that stage if pharmaceutical and insurance companies did not have an interest in keeping people "old" rather than keeping them "young" - Medicare for all is the solution.

No. Medical technology is where it is because we can't do better. You have no idea how many things go wrong with age, and while keeping a person alive is a relatively simple task, keeping a person mentally and physically fit is a monumental task. We cannot push full retirement age by a decade. As someone pointed out earlier, how are you picturing a 75 year old man working construction? Hell, for nearly half of them, working as anything other than a Wal Mart greeter.

We have trouble finding employment for people as it is. Number of jobs you can give to elderly is very small, and you want to double the number of people employed in these types of jobs? Will you pull a rabbit out of your hat for your next trick?

So yeah, taxes will have to go up. There is nothing to be done about that.

I disagree. Sure we can do better if we tried. There is no incentive to try and invest money in it as it is more profitable to keep people on 85 f*cking pills a day, have home care nurses, etc. than it is to cure diseases.

And you're missing the point: retirement age was consistently raised by 2 months every birth year until it stopped at 67. This has nothing to do with science but everything to do with the lack of bipartisanship.

Social security WAS NOT designed to work the way it works today. You're not getting that. Taxes don't have to go up if we are willing to encourage people to have some kind of retirement funds other than social security.

Also, elderly can do much more than be wal mart greeters. I know many elderly. people who work at hardware stores, auto repair shops, consulting firms, etc who would take issue with that. ESPECIALLY people who will be retiring decades from now who are in their 20s. Should we sit on social security from age 65 until we're 90 for Christ's sake?

QUOTE


That's because unskilled manufacturing jobs, that have historically been lumped in with other working class vocations have been lost to the developing world. We will always need highly skilled labour more so than anything else; plumbers, electricians, chefs, builders, carpenters etc.



And those professions are the ones where people may choose to take early retirement benefits then. My aunt married a man who is 67 and still works in steam fitting - training younger generations of fitters or even going to work for the union in a white collar setting is not unheard of.

QUOTE


Your grandfather is the exception, not the rule. There are healthy 80 year olds, but by and large they are too unfit to work. Another solution has to be found, such as cutting spending elsewhere. It's not simplistic Libertarian garbage to claim the government wastes a lot of money.



He is the exception today as I said, but will be the norm of my generation.
And yes, it is libertarian garbage. Social security is paid solely through payroll tax so cutting the department of education for example would not help it in any way shape or form. As for this idea of massive 'waste', sure you can look at that. You won't find enough to make a significant difference.

Also, a fun fact, Medicare spends less than 5% on administrative costs whereas private insurers spend 30-40% - the idea that government programs are inefficient/wasteful is grossly overstated.

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#2230

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:55 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 03:16)
No. Medical technology is where it is because we can't do better.

Do you have sufficient background in chemistry, cellular biology, genetics, anatomy, and neuro-science to claim that? I happen to know that on genetics and neural we are hitting hard limits that we cannot overcome with modern technology.

Simply because many of things you don't understand keep improving, doesn't mean that all things you don't understand can improve without bounds. So why don't you try to actually understand some of the problems before jumping in, eh?

QUOTE
And you're missing the point: retirement age was consistently raised by 2 months every birth year until it stopped at 67. This has nothing to do with science but everything to do with the lack of bipartisanship.

Actually, that just happens to be the point where skeletal and nervous systems start falling apart, and we don't know how to fix them. Reason we pushed the age to that point is because problems were due to nutrition and medical care. We've pushed past that into realms where problems are genetic. Cellular regeneration cannot keep up with the wear, and that's the hard limit. No amount of drugs or therapy can resolve that.

Some people do better than others. Some people can't even make it to 67 in good condition. And sure, some can still work through early 80s at times. But these are rare exceptions. You try and base your economy on that, and you'll start having both social and economic problems, and every American who lost a parent at a work place will want your ass.


Please, stick to your strengths, whatever they are, and don't promise scientific breakthroughs that aren't going to happen. Especially when you have a scientist telling you that there are actual problems there.

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#2231

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:29 AM

QUOTE (K^2 @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 03:55)
QUOTE (Irviding @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 03:16)
No. Medical technology is where it is because we can't do better.

Do you have sufficient background in chemistry, cellular biology, genetics, anatomy, and neuro-science to claim that? I happen to know that on genetics and neural we are hitting hard limits that we cannot overcome with modern technology.

Simply because many of things you don't understand keep improving, doesn't mean that all things you don't understand can improve without bounds. So why don't you try to actually understand some of the problems before jumping in, eh?

QUOTE
And you're missing the point: retirement age was consistently raised by 2 months every birth year until it stopped at 67. This has nothing to do with science but everything to do with the lack of bipartisanship.

Actually, that just happens to be the point where skeletal and nervous systems start falling apart, and we don't know how to fix them. Reason we pushed the age to that point is because problems were due to nutrition and medical care. We've pushed past that into realms where problems are genetic. Cellular regeneration cannot keep up with the wear, and that's the hard limit. No amount of drugs or therapy can resolve that.

Some people do better than others. Some people can't even make it to 67 in good condition. And sure, some can still work through early 80s at times. But these are rare exceptions. You try and base your economy on that, and you'll start having both social and economic problems, and every American who lost a parent at a work place will want your ass.


Please, stick to your strengths, whatever they are, and don't promise scientific breakthroughs that aren't going to happen. Especially when you have a scientist telling you that there are actual problems there.

But you have yet to address my point that social security was not designed to work and last 25-30 years. When it was made, retirement age was 4 years above life span. It certainly had a hand in increasing seniors' life span, which is tremendous and was in fact, sustainable. But as we stopped raising the retirement age accordingly and froze at 67, the program lost its sustainability. The program works around 7-10 years away from life expectancy, optimal results are around 5-6. That is a fact.

Now, did I learn a few things from your posts? I absolutely did. Perhaps now I see things slightly differently with regard to working into your late seventies, but as you said, I should stick to my strengths and I will educate you as you have me. Economically speaking, social security is not at all feasible if it is to work in the way you suggest. Raising taxes ain't going to cut it either. To successfully pay out benefits to retirees 20 years from now, you're talking 15 percent payroll taxes at the very least. It's also important to consider, again, from an economic standpoint, that = bad. Those are crippling taxes which would absolutely kill demand as payroll tax itself is flat and therefore regressive. Working man pays the same percentage as rich corporate baron. Working man, who drives the economy through his demand for product, will no longer have enough disposable income to purchase products as he'd be paying for the benefits of the elderly, who do not fuel the economy the way a working family (or even an affluent one) does. Remember the way these programs work, our generation is paying tax for the next generations benefits and so on, you are not paying for your own account.

And another economic reality - having people work till their maybe 70 even would be a great stimulus as those people would continue to work in jobs that contribute to the economy, not sitting at home living off entitlements. And another argument from a purely financial reality is that, social security aint cutting it. We need to encourage more personal retirement accounts. Roth IRAs are a great start but we should come up with something totally tax free. So even if physically and mentally as you stated, my generation needs to retire at 70, we should have built up enough money to get by until we get social security at 75. If we have not, we can collect early benefits at a reduced monthly payment as a sort of penalty for not saving on our own. The age one retires does not necessarily need to be the age one begins receiving social security benefits.

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#2232

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:42 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 04:29)
But you have yet to address my point that social security was not designed to work and last 25-30 years.

I agree with that. And we need to find ways to redesign it, certainly. Anyway you turn it, however, it is still going to cost more than it originally did. We are not going to be able to go back to that. Taxes will have to increase to absorb the difference.

However, you are right that we can do other things as well. We should have better incentives to keep people working longer. A lot of people do retire because they want to and can rather because they really have to retire. We can encourage them to keep working.

And like I said, we can probably get away with pushing retirement age slightly. Nothing even close to the rates it used to change, but we can probably push it a little.

QUOTE
To successfully pay out benefits to retirees 20 years from now, you're talking 15 percent payroll taxes at the very least.

Yeah, I was not aware it was quite that bad. So yes, we'll have to compromise between tax increases, working incentives, and pushing the ages somewhat.

People are not going to be happy about any of it, however.

QUOTE
So even if physically and mentally as you stated, my generation needs to retire at 70, we should have built up enough money to get by until we get social security at 75. If we have not, we can collect early benefits at a reduced monthly payment as a sort of penalty for not saving on our own.

Something like that might be workable, yeah. Though, I'm not entirely sure what's the practical difference between requiring people to save and having them pay a bit extra into social security. I suppose, some people might not object to it as strongly as they would to a tax increase, so that could be a benefit. On another hand, this does introduce many additional complexities compared to a tax rate increase.

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#2233

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:00 AM Edited by Irviding, 09 November 2012 - 09:03 AM.

QUOTE

People are not going to be happy about any of it, however.


Right- that's the major problem. I was admittedly naive until you got into the intricacies of aging; while raising it slightly is an option, that's not going to cut it. Raising taxes alone isn't either - you'd have to raise them to a point where they have severe contractionary macroeconomic effects to work. Again proving your point that 'people aren't going to like it'. Then we come to the most dreaded and never talked about scenario, which amplifies your statements tenfold - cutting benefits. Could that solve it? Sure, along with the other two. But I believe there are better solutions, especially considering the fact that politicians would never agree to cut social security benefits for the current or future retirees.

I just really think, as you said, there is this stigma that we can just live off social security and don't need to bother with our retirement. The current generation about to jump on social security has been lucky. Many of them still have employer pensions. Pensions for my generation, those slightly older entering the work force - pension is an archaic term destined for the unabridged dictionary. They just don't exist anymore as they cost too much money and offer employers nothing. I believe people in their 30s and 40s right now are sitting there, without real pensions like those who are decade or two older, thinking "hell with a 401k or an IRA, I got social security!" are f*cking us over. Financial advisors recommend you have like 5-7 hundred grand in your retirement accounts before you go and get your golden watch. We need to create a better environment for savings - social security shouldn't be what the far left democrats want; this system where you're paid for 30 years. Nor should it just be done away with like far right republican wants. There is a middle here - it should become a supplement to people's retirement accounts. People should be given tax penalties for not contributing a certain amount of their pay to their 401k. There should be even greater tax penalties for early withdrawals from IRAs/401k - we should get rid of all this crap and just create one account. Something employers contribute to with the employee like a 401k, but has penalties for not contributing enough for both - thus the onus is on the employee to contribute to it from not only the taxman, but from the employer. And you know what? You shouldn't have to pay a a cent in taxes if you dilligently put away money in this retirement account. That should be it - withdrawal all of it when you retire and it's yours. The government doesn't need to take a cut of it because it won't be drowning in red ink from people needing social security as main income for 30 years. You could make main eligibility age 75 for example, and allow people to claim reduced benefits at age 69-70 if they have not saved enough on their own. Each year before 75 would be slightly reduced

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#2234

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:09 AM

I can agree with most of it. Though, it would also require a reform on 401k laws. Currently, two many "investment companies" are simply taking advantage of the people's savings.

And we might still be in situation where people with minimum wage jobs simply can't afford savings. I don't know what the statistics on that, but with fraction of population that's bellow the poverty line as it is, does this really save us?

Overall, it's very screwed up. Feels like way too many things are broken that shouldn't be. Like, somebody should have started ringing alarms when it started going wrong. Then again, perhaps somebody did. I wouldn't be surprised.

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#2235

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:21 AM

QUOTE (K^2 @ Friday, Nov 9 2012, 05:09)
I can agree with most of it. Though, it would also require a reform on 401k laws. Currently, two many "investment companies" are simply taking advantage of the people's savings.

And we might still be in situation where people with minimum wage jobs simply can't afford savings. I don't know what the statistics on that, but with fraction of population that's bellow the poverty line as it is, does this really save us?

Overall, it's very screwed up. Feels like way too many things are broken that shouldn't be. Like, somebody should have started ringing alarms when it started going wrong. Then again, perhaps somebody did. I wouldn't be surprised.

There were people like Bob Dole in the 60s who said the programs would be unsustainable some day. The main problem is the baby boomers - there are so many retiring at once that the system is being killed.

Yes they are, you are absolutely right. That's why I said it should be one account that earns some kind of yield that is inflation protected at the very least. Many banks offer IRAs as they are profitable now - that shoudlnt be the case. It shouldn't be some glorified savings account that earns .80 APY..

In their case, it's important to consider that they wouldn't get that much in social security anyway and would not have to contribute as much of their income for an affordable retirement. Those people would get a monthly benefit that is a sh*tload smaller than someone who earned 300 grand a year most of his life. But that is certainly a problem; many people cannot afford an emergency fund, let alone a retirement account. Those may be able to create some kind of situation where they can get full benefits due to their below/at poverty level income at the early retirement age.




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