View Poll Results: Who's to blame for going of the the fiscal cliff?

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Thread: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Can't say with certainty it's the case with all Federal agencies, but I know there are a large amount of Federal Agencies that are currently functioning under an Attrition plan in which they are only able to hire one new person for every 2 people they lose.
    Good, the government is WAY too bloated anyway.

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    You're damn right about that one. People have too big of egos when it comes to investing. Everyone things they will be the one to pick the big winner...
    And everyone has their own formula for successful investing to pass on. YMMV.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    On a side note its a shame that personal finance isn't a mandatory class for every high school graduate.
    Why not mandatory courses in econometrics or computational biology? Perhaps because not all people will have any interest or aptitude in those subjects? The same is true with playing Donald Trump or Scrooge McDuck. Forcing the risks of investment pursuits onto people who don't have an interest or aptitude in them is condemning them to failure. Failure that will have substantial social costs. One would think that the Great Bush Recession would have taught that much at least, but perhaps not. You don't need to invest any time or research into Social Security. You can't possibly screw it up. We need more such programs, not fewer.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Saving with no choices in how to stash that money is not saving.
    Yes it is. There's no way around it. Your statement is silly. And of course SS does not require that you forego other sorts of savings. Many choices in fact remain available. You may still have a nice 401-k, margin accounts at brokers all over town, personal stashes of REIT's and municipal bonds, art collections, little hoards of bright, shiny gold things...whatever else you like.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    So whats happened since those 15 months? Let's see... oh the stock market is nearly back to pre-recession values. Blip.
    It's been four years and we still aren't back to the top. That's four years of supposed annual gains down the tubes. Not only are those gains lost, but the future gains on those gains are lost. And all that's assuming you didn't actually need any of the money in the meantime. More a crash than a blip.

    DJIA MONTHLY CLOSES: 2000-2012
    Attachment 67140130

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    That doesn't explain how 2% is somehow magically better then 1.7%
    If you put a growth rate of 2.0% into the SS Trustees model, you come close to the point where the Trust Fund is never exhausted even if they are right about everything else. If you get into the 2.1-2.4% range, there is no doubt in the model that 100% of scheduled benefits will be paid over all of the next 75 years even with the rest of those pessimistic assumptions holding true. The same effect occurs if their growth rates are fine but there are meaningful increases in immigration over the next 75 years and the rate of increase in life expectancy at age 65 slows.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    There are a number of doctors offering $50 a month plans for unlimited patient visits, testing, and actual doctor to patent time; which is available to the general public. The number is actually up 30% since last year too.
    Wonderful. Tell them to keep doing that. We need more walk-in strip-mall clinics as well. The AMA needs to stop limiting the number of doctors our med schools can produce and start increasing the numbers of those graduates instead. We need to put more aspects of health care into the hands of PA's, RN's, pharmacists, and midwives as well.

  3. #153
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    According to the Public Fund Survey of 126 state and local pension plans...
    Unfunded liabilities are not a definitive answer. The Civil Service Retirement Fund has about $700 billion worth of those at the moment also, and the total will rise to about $850 billion by 2030. Yet the fund is solid as a rock for at least the next 70 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Well, they have to pay higher wages, or they would have too high of an employee turnover compared to the other companies. But competition for workers causes wages to rise, unions or not.
    Massive corporate negotiating teams against individual workers is not a model for competition. It's a model for exploitation. Level the playing field. If managemnt gets to have specially trained and skilled negotiators, so do workers. That means unions. A functional union-management relationship not tainted by the stupidity of ideologues on either side produces an optimal situation.

    As noted, the southern right-to-work plants are simply allowing their employees to piggyback on the work of the UAW without any of them paying any dues to support those efforts. It may be that we need to expand intellectual property rights law to cover such situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    A lot more. I was saying I like Toyota's retirement plans better, regardless of "how many retirees" each has at the moment.
    Toyota didn't build a car in the US until 1986. GM had two generations of workers who were dead by the time Toyota managed to get started here.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Besides, actually having less retirees would be more expensive in an IRA type investment scheme, because the company is paying along the way.
    Only individuals contribute to IRA's. Companes often match employee contributions to 401-k's. Do Ford and GM offer 401k's, or is it just Toyota and Honda?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Well I mean't the area of land doesn't expand over time. Well it does, but only over millions of years.
    National Airport in Washington, DC is built entirely on land that did not exist until the 1930's.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Since you're the expert, perhaps you could point out for me where the "economic effects" section is wrong.
    It's advertising copy. In addition to issues raised earlier, your plan is to take small local systems and apply them nationally without any evidence for their scalability. It's not easy but still possible to assure relative equity in assessments between properties that are located a mile apart. But on a national scale, how do you assure equity and uniformity between assessments in Schenectady and Sacramento? Who will handle the inevitable numbers of appeals, and what will those numbers actually be? How will you guard against behind the scenes federal pressure on assessors through changes in rules and guidelines tilted toward providing additional revenue without changing tax rates? You are also seeking to erase the current diversity of taxation, instead putting all of your revenue eggs in one basket. This provides huge incentives to fraud and tax evasion. You will need to ramp up investigatory and enforcemnt resources in addition to those handling appeals. In short, I don't see your plans as being thought through all that well.

  4. #154
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Unfunded liabilities are not a definitive answer. The Civil Service Retirement Fund has about $700 billion worth of those at the moment also, and the total will rise to about $850 billion by 2030. Yet the fund is solid as a rock for at least the next 70 years.
    So what exactly does unfunded liabilities mean then?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    A functional union-management relationship not tainted by the stupidity of ideologues on either side produces an optimal situation.
    Right. But that's not what I see in practice. And a worker's most useful skill in negogiating is to offer to go work somewhere else. That skill's power is defined by availability of employment and the productivity of his labor, which are the two things which I think should determine compensation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    As noted, the southern right-to-work plants are simply allowing their employees to piggyback on the work of the UAW without any of them paying any dues to support those efforts. It may be that we need to expand intellectual property rights law to cover such situations.
    I'm not against unions in theory, only in practice. I'm against forced participation in strikes, and some of the nasty practices that you see against union members who do not participate. I'm also against things such as featherbedding, but those kind of things are what ruin the union idea in my mind, and I probably would be in support of them were it not for those issues.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Toyota didn't build a car in the US until 1986. GM had two generations of workers who were dead by the time Toyota managed to get started here.
    Right. But that just goes to show that their plan wasn't fit for the long haul, hence why its being modified.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Only individuals contribute to IRA's. Companes often match employee contributions to 401-k's. Do Ford and GM offer 401k's, or is it just Toyota and Honda?
    No, but as far as I know, Toyota doesn't offer pensions while GM does. Ideally I'd perfer a strictly 401(k) type of retirement over pensions. That 401(k) can even be based in the company's stock, effectively leading to partial worker's ownership of the company.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    National Airport in Washington, DC is built entirely on land that did not exist until the 1930's.
    Artificial land if I'm not mistaken?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    It's advertising copy. In addition to issues raised earlier, your plan is to take small local systems and apply them nationally without any evidence for their scalability. It's not easy but still possible to assure relative equity in assessments between properties that are located a mile apart. But on a national scale, how do you assure equity and uniformity between assessments in Schenectady and Sacramento? Who will handle the inevitable numbers of appeals, and what will those numbers actually be? How will you guard against behind the scenes federal pressure on assessors through changes in rules and guidelines tilted toward providing additional revenue without changing tax rates? You are also seeking to erase the current diversity of taxation, instead putting all of your revenue eggs in one basket. This provides huge incentives to fraud and tax evasion. You will need to ramp up investigatory and enforcemnt resources in addition to those handling appeals. In short, I don't see your plans as being thought through all that well.
    No one advertised it to me, I just happened to run into it while looking on another subject. And I'm damn sure the rich wouldn't go for it considering they own the majority of the land and make up the majority of rent seekers.

    I'm not a policy maker, I don't know how those would workout. I don't think its something completely unworkable, but the general idea was to have an economically efficient tax that increases productivity by reducing rent seeking. I know some counties in Pennsylvania put it into practice, and it dramatically reduced the number of vacant and undeveloped lots.

    Rather I like it, because it doesn't punish people for being successful regardless of source. It punishes those who are successful by merely hoarding land and resources the most (or primitive accumulation), which goes along with my views on the so called "1%."

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    And everyone has their own formula for successful investing to pass on. YMMV.
    And those formulas can be measured by the likelihood that they achieve success when used by someone else. I'm not saying the results will be uniform, I'm merely trying to explain the core fundamentals that make someone more likely to successfully invest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Why not mandatory courses in econometrics or computational biology? Perhaps because not all people will have any interest or aptitude in those subjects? The same is true with playing Donald Trump or Scrooge McDuck. Forcing the risks of investment pursuits onto people who don't have an interest or aptitude in them is condemning them to failure. Failure that will have substantial social costs. One would think that the Great Bush Recession would have taught that much at least, but perhaps not. You don't need to invest any time or research into Social Security. You can't possibly screw it up. We need more such programs, not fewer.
    Personal finance is a pretty basic class. Learning how to balance a checkbook is as important of a skill as any for the general public. If you want to make that argument, why require world religions or anthropology or statistics or sociology to get a degree in biochemistry?

    You can't possibly screw it up, but the quality of retirement will likely be far less than if you didn't screw it up in the DJIA, or NASDAQ, or S&P500. And we are only talking about investing in indexes here, the most basic, simple, and least difficult to screw up type of investment out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Yes it is. There's no way around it. Your statement is silly. And of course SS does not require that you forego other sorts of savings. Many choices in fact remain available. You may still have a nice 401-k, margin accounts at brokers all over town, personal stashes of REIT's and municipal bonds, art collections, little hoards of bright, shiny gold things...whatever else you like.
    Of course I have a choice in other ways of saving. But I do not have a choice in what form my SS money is saved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    It's been four years and we still aren't back to the top. That's four years of supposed annual gains down the tubes. Not only are those gains lost, but the future gains on those gains are lost. And all that's assuming you didn't actually need any of the money in the meantime. More a crash than a blip.

    DJIA MONTHLY CLOSES: 2000-2012
    Attachment 67140130
    Another invalid attachment. But here's mine. Chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Averages since 1971
    As you can see, it goes down for some periods of time, but it recovers and keeps going up. But someone who started working in 1970 and retired in 2010 and invested in some sort of stock based retirement has still seen enormous returns on their investments, despite any recent losses.

    So yes, there are ups and downs, but just because we are in a down doesn't mean that investment-based retirement needs to be completely thrown out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    If you put a growth rate of 2.0% into the SS Trustees model, you come close to the point where the Trust Fund is never exhausted even if they are right about everything else. If you get into the 2.1-2.4% range, there is no doubt in the model that 100% of scheduled benefits will be paid over all of the next 75 years even with the rest of those pessimistic assumptions holding true. The same effect occurs if their growth rates are fine but there are meaningful increases in immigration over the next 75 years and the rate of increase in life expectancy at age 65 slows.
    Okay I'm glad you cleared that up for me. But my biggest beef is the rate of return for the program is horrendous, and is worse for my generation then it is for current retirees.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Wonderful. Tell them to keep doing that. We need more walk-in strip-mall clinics as well. The AMA needs to stop limiting the number of doctors our med schools can produce and start increasing the numbers of those graduates instead. We need to put more aspects of health care into the hands of PA's, RN's, pharmacists, and midwives as well.


    I agree, but its another reason I don't like the mandate, because I'm afraid it'll kill any chance of this trend remodeling the healthcare industry. It was really only a matter of time before doctors said "screw insurance companies, we can do this ourselves."

    I agree we need more doctor graduates, but I don't want to reduce requirements/rigor in order to achieve that result. Its a tough balance. What we really need are more nurse practitioner's who can act as a doctor under a practicing doctor. On a more person level, an example my mother has been working as an urgent care nurse for 30 years. She's helped me with a lot of my physiology classes that I need and in most cases she knows more than my teachers. It's literally like talking to a walking medical encyclopedia. She wants to go back and get her degree as a nurse practitioner, but cannot move to Gainsville for three years and there are no online programs in the state of Florida. What I don't understand is why the hell she needs to go back to school anyways. She could pass the certification exam with flying colors in her sleep, but its a requirement that she get the degree first. Meanwhile, I'm sure there are plenty of nurse practitioner's who are accredited, but do not have a tenth of the applicable knowledge she does, they just have the degree. That's one of the reasons I made my user "ReformCollege," we need to have a system that's more dynamic and allow workers to demonstrate expertise gained over the course of a career.

    My idea for this, is rigorous national exams for those classes and passing would give that individual credit for that course. So you can "skip" attending classes that you may not need to take. But its a raw idea that needs more looking into, and is a completely different discussion.
    Last edited by ReformCollege; 12-31-12 at 01:24 PM.

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    It's our fault. Plain and simple. We piss and moan about how much we know they are always screwing us, then we turn around and continue to re-elect them in overwhelming numbers anyway. Why should they ever take our complaints seriously when we have proven to them that there are no repercussions?
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    And those formulas can be measured by the likelihood that they achieve success when used by someone else.
    Can that even be estimated? Even the same person seeking to repeat a previously successful formula can be wiped out. The likelihood is that there are no reliable formulas at all They are all crapshoots in the end. Here's my advice in any case: Invest in what you know and don't be afraid to leave a nickel on the table.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    I'm not saying the results will be uniform, I'm merely trying to explain the core fundamentals that make someone more likely to successfully invest.
    Well, you can start a newsletter. People with an interest and aptitude for investing might subscribe, and you can make a little money on the side. Then there are those no-show invisble people -- the people who have no such interest or aptitude and who if forced to invest for themselves would end up as sitting ducks for somebody smarter. They'll reach retirement penniless in your world.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Personal finance is a pretty basic class. Learning how to balance a checkbook is as important of a skill as any for the general public.
    Successfully balancing a checkbook will not make a successful investor of you. The local public school system here (Northern Virginia) offers a 36-week online course in Economics and Personal Finance, but only as an elective. Like your newsletter, it pretty much draws from those who aren't likely to become the problem people to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    If you want to make that argument, why require world religions or anthropology or statistics or sociology to get a degree in biochemistry?
    It's a simple enough argument. Deserving of a straight answer rather than tangents.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    You can't possibly screw it up, but the quality of retirement will likely be far less than if you didn't screw it up in the DJIA, or NASDAQ, or S&P500. And we are only talking about investing in indexes here, the most basic, simple, and least difficult to screw up type of investment out there.
    How do you get people into index funds? How do you make sure they consistently contribute? How do you keep them from selling every time the index goes down? Or from cashing and spending it all if they get sick or lose a job?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Of course I have a choice in other ways of saving. But I do not have a choice in what form my SS money is saved.
    That's the whole point. It's insurance. It's a floor. It's the level you can't do any worse than, no matter how badly everything else might go for you. The fact that 65% of seniors rely on SS for at least half their income ought to tell you how hard it is for most people to amass a whole lot more.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Another invalid attachment.
    Not sure what's up with that. I think the "use within one hour" rule might have gotten the first one. I was back and forth packing up stuff for Goodwill this morning. I don't think an hour went by anywhere, but maybe it did.

    In any case, it doesn't matter whose graph you use. That's essentially four years -- 10% of an average working lifetime -- in which there was zero gain, and if it were actualized, worse than that. Those goose-eggs will now demonstrate the "magic of compounding" in reverse over the rest of one's investment lifetime.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    As you can see, it goes down for some periods of time, but it recovers and keeps going up.
    So J.P. Morgan was right.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    But someone who started working in 1970 and retired in 2010 and invested in some sort of stock based retirement has still seen enormous returns on their investments, despite any recent losses.
    Someone who has not died since 1970 is still alive. It does no good to advise people what to do in 1970. People can only do things now, and as we all know, past performance is not a guaranty of future results.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    So yes, there are ups and downs, but just because we are in a down doesn't mean that investment-based retirement needs to be completely thrown out.
    Of course not, and I haven't suggested it. What I have suggested is that it is unwise to worship investment-based retirement vehicles to the exclusion of other vehicles and to force other people into a shoe that doesn't fit. Insurance is an important element in a diverse approach to achieving financial security. SS is insurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Okay I'm glad you cleared that up for me. But my biggest beef is the rate of return for the program is horrendous...
    That depends who you are. An average worker with a wife and two children who retires at age 67 in 2030 will have earned a real rate of return of just under 4%. That's nothing to sneeze at. A high-income worker retiring under virtually the same circumstances could conceivably have a negative real rate of return. That's a rarity, but while high income people are apt to do fine as far as straight dollars go, they don't tend to get a great rate of return.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    ...and is worse for my generation then it is for current retirees.
    The tax formulas haven't changed and the benefit formulas haven't changed. Where does "worse" come from?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    I agree, but its another reason I don't like the mandate, because I'm afraid it'll kill any chance of this trend remodeling the healthcare industry.
    PPACA deals with healthcare financing. The healthcare industry has been left to remodel itself in response to changing finanical incentives and penalties. There aren't many limits. And keep in mind that the alternative to PPACA was the equivalent of going over Niagagra Falls in a very flimsy barrel. Bad idea. This is better, but there is a long, long way to go.

    The AMA has meanwhile been protecting the social and economic status of M.D.'s for decades by working to limit the number of uS medical schools and the numbers of new students they admit. Well into the 1990's, they were projecting doctor-gluts and taking steps to avoid the horror of such things. By 2000 or so, the looming doctor shortage had become so obvious that they had to change their tune. Officially, they now back what seem like laudable increases, but all programs toward those ends are behind schedule. And the next limiting factor has now become residency slots at teaching hospitals. There aren't enough of them. This is in part because federal funding of slots was capped in 1997 by the same budget bill that gave us the idiotic "Sustanable Growth Rate" and the annual "Doc Fix" problem. Can't really blame the AMA for that I suppose, but it's still the same problem. We really need to do a little angioplasty here. Part of it may be work-based in addition to school-based licensing as you suggest. Part of it may be taking some prelim and gatekeeper functions away from doctors and giving them to other trained professionals as I suggested earlier. I think PPACA will create pressure for more medical personnel at all levels, and that these things and others will have to come to pass at some point as the result.
    Last edited by Cardinal Fang; 12-31-12 at 11:47 PM.

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Can that even be estimated? Even the same person seeking to repeat a previously successful formula can be wiped out. The likelihood is that there are no reliable formulas at all They are all crapshoots in the end. Here's my advice in any case: Invest in what you know and don't be afraid to leave a nickel on the table.


    Well, you can start a newsletter. People with an interest and aptitude for investing might subscribe, and you can make a little money on the side. Then there are those no-show invisble people -- the people who have no such interest or aptitude and who if forced to invest for themselves would end up as sitting ducks for somebody smarter. They'll reach retirement penniless in your world.


    Successfully balancing a checkbook will not make a successful investor of you. The local public school system here (Northern Virginia) offers a 36-week online course in Economics and Personal Finance, but only as an elective. Like your newsletter, it pretty much draws from those who aren't likely to become the problem people to begin with.
    I'm talking in hypothetical terms. Some 10000 might have a "strategy" of buying 2 lottery tickets a day to make it rich. Another 10000 might have a strategy to invest half that amount of money in biomedical science stocks. After 20 years, we can compare the accumulated wealth of both groups emperically and state which "strategy" is better. For me its the same thing, comparing which strategies are more likely to succeed, regardless if a minority of people "swear" by something else.

    Not everyone has to do the investing themselves. That's what mutual funds are for, you are "buying" a pool of investments that someone else has already made.

    As for the "no shows," perhaps I just don't understand how someone would not value their retirement. I understand the poor, if they can't afford it. But I don't understand the middle class Americans who make a decent enough living to save a little for later, but instead they spend it all (and usually more then they have) on luxuries. I see college students who complain about taking huge student loans, but they spend $200-300 a week on alcohol. Then I see that the typical millionaire who doesn't make in the top 1% in income, but merely lives within their means and saves consistently; and I put two and two together.

    No but balancing a check book does make someone more likely to save and less likely to run up enormous credit card debt. Thats at least an improvement.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    How do you get people into index funds? How do you make sure they consistently contribute? How do you keep them from selling every time the index goes down? Or from cashing and spending it all if they get sick or lose a job?


    That's the whole point. It's insurance. It's a floor. It's the level you can't do any worse than, no matter how badly everything else might go for you. The fact that 65% of seniors rely on SS for at least half their income ought to tell you how hard it is for most people to amass a whole lot more.
    I'm more of a libertarian, I'm not into forcing people to do things, even if its for their own good.

    I'd be thrilled if SS were indexed in the DJIA. Gains from year to year over 5-6% could be moved into bonds to act as a buffer against shocks against the market. That could be a program I might support.

    And maybe SS is causing the lack of saving? "Well I have SS, so why worry about saving my money?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    In any case, it doesn't matter whose graph you use. That's essentially four years -- 10% of an average working lifetime -- in which there was zero gain, and if it were actualized, worse than that. Those goose-eggs will now demonstrate the "magic of compounding" in reverse over the rest of one's investment lifetime.
    Stocks behave just like the economic cycle. It may be flat right now, but over long periods of time usually it makes up for it during the bull cycles. It might average 10% gains for 10 years, then no gains for 5. After 15 years you're still up 250%. And after those 5 years of remaining flat, the next 10 years might make up for the gains it should've been making. The graph speaks for itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Someone who has not died since 1970 is still alive. It does no good to advise people what to do in 1970. People can only do things now, and as we all know, past performance is not a guaranty of future results.
    I was more citing an example of a typical person who recently retired. I'm not saying "go back and time and invest your money" I'm saying that my generation should look to those examples as reasons to save. They don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Of course not, and I haven't suggested it. What I have suggested is that it is unwise to worship investment-based retirement vehicles to the exclusion of other vehicles and to force other people into a shoe that doesn't fit. Insurance is an important element in a diverse approach to achieving financial security. SS is insurance.
    No one is forcing anyone to do anything. But it would be in their best interest to at least look at other ways of saving other than SS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    That depends who you are. An average worker with a wife and two children who retires at age 67 in 2030 will have earned a real rate of return of just under 4%. That's nothing to sneeze at. A high-income worker retiring under virtually the same circumstances could conceivably have a negative real rate of return. That's a rarity, but while high income people are apt to do fine as far as straight dollars go, they don't tend to get a great rate of return.


    The tax formulas haven't changed and the benefit formulas haven't changed. Where does "worse" come from?
    I'm under the assumption that since the first beneficiary of SS retired, the rate of return has fallen over time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    PPACA deals with healthcare financing. The healthcare industry has been left to remodel itself in response to changing finanical incentives and penalties. There aren't many limits. And keep in mind that the alternative to PPACA was the equivalent of going over Niagagra Falls in a very flimsy barrel. Bad idea. This is better, but there is a long, long way to go.

    The AMA has meanwhile been protecting the social and economic status of M.D.'s for decades by working to limit the number of uS medical schools and the numbers of new students they admit. Well into the 1990's, they were projecting doctor-gluts and taking steps to avoid the horror of such things. By 2000 or so, the looming doctor shortage had become so obvious that they had to change their tune. Officially, they now back what seem like laudable increases, but all programs toward those ends are behind schedule. And the next limiting factor has now become residency slots at teaching hospitals. There aren't enough of them. This is in part because federal funding of slots was capped in 1997 by the same budget bill that gave us the idiotic "Sustanable Growth Rate" and the annual "Doc Fix" problem. Can't really blame the AMA for that I suppose, but it's still the same problem. We really need to do a little angioplasty here. Part of it may be work-based in addition to school-based licensing as you suggest. Part of it may be taking some prelim and gatekeeper functions away from doctors and giving them to other trained professionals as I suggested earlier. I think PPACA will create pressure for more medical personnel at all levels, and that these things and others will have to come to pass at some point as the result.
    I agree with most of the law. Just not the mandate for the reason I stated. I also don't agree with the medicaid expansion, because I think the rest of the law is good enough to stand on its own and am generally against adding new entitlements.

  9. #159
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    The Republicans will take the heat because they suck at the blame game, and they're not very good at covering their own asses.

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    This post is a little late but fortunately the fiscal cliff was avoided. Props to Boehner, not for coming up with a good plan but at least showing some initiative.

    Personally I liked the original 250k plan vs the new 400k plan as it raises more revenue and still doesn't effect the economy as much as the cuts.

    I don't know about the rest of the country but here in Northern VA you can definitely fell the effects of the cuts. Not only is government being cut but also their contractors and the contractors subcontractors. Which ultimately mean one thing, less jobs. Also the military does more than just combat fighting, they do provide a lot of other services such as army core of engineers and health/civil work.

    I did however say that our military budge is way too big and though we may be treading through icy waters I hope and believe it will ultimately lead to more responsible spending without severely crippling the economy.

    A side note, would be great if those government workers could be used in the private sector. Ideally you have everyone contributing what they can.


    So right now we've worked on medicare, military, perhaps social security reform next? Would like to see increases in efficiency and and a long term plan which makes retirement age scale with life expectancy next. A fixed retirement age is unfortunately unsustainable in the future as people live longer and longer.
    Last edited by shiang; 01-15-13 at 10:16 AM.
    One learns more by listening than talking.

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