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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 09:46
Indeed Al Jassas. Japanese and European cars do better not because of cheaper price but because of better quality. They are both more expensive than American manufactured cars. I'm fairly certain that labour costs in Japan and Germany are not cheaper than in the US. Nor are Chinese car companies anywhere to be seen in the market place - who buys a Great Wall over a Honda?
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You can still produce manufactures and food: demand for them isn't going to go away. In fact, since it is going to increase, you can start making the machines that produce the machines and those that control them.
 
The thing is you don't need people to produce them (at least not as many), so you need a different model of employment and wealth distribution, plus a different concept of what is woth doing - rather like the space race or the development of Concord, which were justified simply by the achievement of them.   
You're right that you need proportionally less people to do the same job, however that job still needs to be done, and is still a major money earner for a country. What you need (and what I think you really mean) is a better way of distributing that wealth to all the people who don't need to do that job. ie, I benefit from mining in outback WA but I am not involved in it. Unemployment is not so much a problem as lack of income and boredom.
 
America isn't lacking in wealth producing industry. That wealth is just not being invested in the country. In modern nations the primary way of distributing that wealth is by taxing the rich & spending by government, which the US is failing to do and failing replace with an alternative.


Edited by Omar al Hashim - 31 Mar 2011 at 09:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 12:56
Good God, what a wealth of premises.

It almost makes one want to puke.

The solution is to raise taxes? If so then please see this;

http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

And while we are at it, why not look at the original Social Security rates?

And here is one of the biggest lies of all times, it is called "The Social Security Trust Fund!"

"Retirement, auxiliary, survivors, and disability benefitsThe largest component of OASDI is the payment of retirement benefits. Throughout a worker's career, the Social Security Administration keeps track of his or her earnings. The amount of the monthly benefit to which the worker is entitled depends upon that earnings record and upon the age at which the retiree chooses to begin receiving benefits. For the entire history of Social Security, benefits have been paid almost entirely by using revenue from payroll taxes. This is why Social Security is referred to as a pay-as-you-go system. Around 2017, payroll tax revenue is projected to be insufficient to cover Social Security benefits[citation needed] and the system will begin to withdraw money from the Social Security Trust Fund. The existence and economic significance of the Social Security Trust Fund is a subject of considerable dispute because its assets are special Treasury bonds; i.e., the money in the trust fund have been loaned back to the federal government to pay for other expenses.

[edit] Beneficiaries and CostsYear - Beneficiaries - Dollars
1937 - 53,236 - $1,278,000
1938 - 213,670 - $10,478,000
1939 - 174,839 - $13,896,000
1940 - 222,488 - $35,000,000
1950 - 3,477,243 - $961,000,000
1960 - 14,844,589 - $11,245,000,000
1970 - 26,228,629 - $31,863,000,000
1980 - 35,584,955 - $120,511,000,000
1990 - 39,832,125 - $247,796,000,000
1995 - 43,387,259 - $332,553,000,000
1996 - 43,736,836 - $347,088,000,000
1997 - 43,971,086 - $361,970,000,000
1998 - 44,245,731 - $374,990,000,000
1999 - 44,595,624 - $385,768,000,000
2000 - 45,414,794 - $407,644,000,000
2001 - 45,877,506 - $431,949,000,000
2002 - 46,444,317 - $453,746,000,000
2003 - 47,038,486 - $470,778,000,000
2004 - 47,687,693 - $493,263,000,000
2005 - 48,434,436 - $520,748,000,000
2006 - 49,122,624 - $546,238,000,000
2007 - 49,864,838 - $584,939,000,000
2008 - 50,898,244 - $615,344,000,000"

But, the sad fact is, that our congress and our presidents,never made sure that this so called "Trust Fund" was really in some type of "Trust", that is unless you really trust your politicians?

NO, instead, our sacred band of brothers, who have managed this nation since 1913, have but placed "IOU's into the Trust Fund" so they could spend this money for the benefit of their collegues and even some times for their voters.

The really sad fact is, that Social Security was originated and kept as a gigantic "Ponzie Scheme", from its inception.

Regards,
Ron


Edited by opuslola - 31 Mar 2011 at 12:59
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 13:56
OH, I have about has it from the few of you overly confident and over educated people who continually complain about my usage of signs like "question marks" and "exclamation marks"!!!!!

Yes, I am now YELLING!

Whilst I may not be the best user of our previous Kings English, which just happens not to be any language he ever spoke, I do feel that I do not do a bad job with my "third rate Southern usage?"

If my writing style does not conform to the later day English style taught in colleges, and High Schools, in either the USA or your nation, then you might well stick it in your eye!

Perhaps you would like to make fun of me, because one of my legs is a bit shorter than the other, or if my ear-lobes do not look like yours, of if my nose is a bit larger than yours, or if my feet are a bit larger than yours, or if my eyes are a little bit dimmer than yours, etc.!

I will state now, and from hereon, that I will no longer try to be "One of you!"

Do you get it? I will stick to the way I was taught to write the German's English, and even if most of it is beyond the "heads of state" here, I shall do my best to vex you with it for ever!

Love and Kisses! As well as my best regards,

Ronald

Edited by opuslola - 31 Mar 2011 at 14:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 14:19
Bad form and if you wish to play Peck's Bad Boy you are welcome do so but within the required contextual setting.
 
The above snit coming right out of the blue certanly does not show you at your best. perhaps a sedative is called for... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 14:37
That tax foundation record is pretty cool information. Don't know what point you were making with it though.
 
Also, I am compeltely at a loss about what you're trying to say with the social security trust fund or why you're complaining about your English.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 14:50
Thanks Doktor! Can you prescribe me a certified prescription? If so, then I respectfully suggest that you also take one!

And, my dear Omar al Hashim, the English lesson is one that Herr Doktor, and gcle-2003, and possibly one other of you "golden oldies" have griped about concerning my use of the English language since I have been posting here!

It seems that the good Doktor has no regrets, nor does gcle-2003 for condeming my usage of exclamation points and question marks, in my other correspondence with them, but posit a problem when I answer them out of the blue!

Thus, it was only here that my response came gushing out!


For you, dear sir, I apologize!

Regards,
Ronald

Edited by opuslola - 31 Mar 2011 at 14:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 15:25
Since when have I complained about your punctuation...now as to your usage with reference to certain terms be it with respect to the canons of Fowler or the parameters of historical methodology you have been dosed with remedial elixirs no different than that administered anyone else. As for all the rest, go ahead and board the Showboat but know that the role of Gaylord Ravenal is already cast!

Edited by drgonzaga - 31 Mar 2011 at 15:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 15:30
Agreed, by your command!

But only if I can play "Cap'n Andy?"

Prosit!

Ronald

Edited by opuslola - 31 Mar 2011 at 15:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 15:30
Originally posted by opus opus wrote:

And, my dear Omar al Hashim, the English lesson is one that Herr Doktor, and gcle-2003, and possibly one other of you "golden oldies" have griped about concerning my use of the English language since I have been posting here!
That's ok. Some of our members can't even understand DrG 


Edited by Omar al Hashim - 31 Mar 2011 at 15:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 16:05
My dear Omar, it seems that certain of your moderating class have the same problem with me!

But, that is to be expected since my formal education and my elucidation of the mother tounge of my class, which is basically 18th/19th century English, seems to bother some of your brothers.

But as Martin Luther King, once said "We shall overcome!"


My best Regards,
Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 16:17
Either that or grow accepting of the role of Bonehead in Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2011 at 23:57
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Indeed Al Jassas. Japanese and European cars do better not because of cheaper price but because of better quality. They are both more expensive than American manufactured cars.
I pick this instead of several other possible posts just for simplicity. Actually your post was closer to my position than anyone else. But no-one seem to have picked up the essential point to my question: German and Japanes cars killed off the British indigenous car industry despite higher labour costs, because of their much greater and more efficient capital investment, mostly in new technology. 'Vorsprung durch technik' indeed.  (Better quality/cost ratio is one of the results of that, and so is increased productivity. But they lead to less need for human labour (not just on assembly lines, but also in, for instance, design studios. Or even producing user manuals.)
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I'm fairly certain that labour costs in Japan and Germany are not cheaper than in the US. Nor are Chinese car companies anywhere to be seen in the market place - who buys a Great Wall over a Honda?
Quote
You can still produce manufactures and food: demand for them isn't going to go away. In fact, since it is going to increase, you can start making the machines that produce the machines and those that control them.
 
The thing is you don't need people to produce them (at least not as many), so you need a different model of employment and wealth distribution, plus a different concept of what is woth doing - rather like the space race or the development of Concord, which were justified simply by the achievement of them.   
You're right that you need proportionally less people to do the same job, however that job still needs to be done, and is still a major money earner for a country. What you need (and what I think you really mean) is a better way of distributing that wealth to all the people who don't need to do that job. ie, I benefit from mining in outback WA but I am not involved in it. Unemployment is not so much a problem as lack of income and boredom.
That's not far off from what I did mean, you're correct. However I think that last sentence should be 'Unemployment should not be so much a problem as lack of income and boredom'. I do think it is seen as a problem thanks to the prevailing work ethic.
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America isn't lacking in wealth producing industry. That wealth is just not being invested in the country. In modern nations the primary way of distributing that wealth is by taxing the rich & spending by government, which the US is failing to do and failing replace with an alternative.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 00:08
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Good God, what a wealth of premises.

It almost makes one want to puke.

The solution is to raise taxes? If so then please see this;

http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html
Don't see your point. When the US was rich and economically dominant itb had very high tax rates. Since tax rates started going down the US has got progressively weaker and weaker, at least relatively. Everybody's aware of that: it's the point we are making.
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And while we are at it, why not look at the original Social Security rates?

And here is one of the biggest lies of all times, it is called "The Social Security Trust Fund!"
Agreed. It's a sham to deceive those who insanely believe that everyone can guarantee themselved a safe old age by saving money. All state pension schemes are paid for out od contemporary taxation: that's the only way a guarantee is even possible (and  of course even then there's no 100% guarantee in this life). 
Quote

But, the sad fact is, that our congress and our presidents,never made sure that this so called "Trust Fund" was really in some type of "Trust", that is unless you really trust your politicians?

NO, instead, our sacred band of brothers, who have managed this nation since 1913, have but placed "IOU's into the Trust Fund" so they could spend this money for the benefit of their collegues and even some times for their voters.

The really sad fact is, that Social Security was originated and kept as a gigantic "Ponzie Scheme", from its inception.
It's not a Ponzi scheme. It only pretends to be a kind of Ponzi scheme to people who don't understand reality. The reality is that social security takes money from people in taxes and gives it to other people in benefits. Most countries don't bother pretending anything else, but the US has to because people don't have sufficient sense of community or responsibility for the elderly. (Or sick, or other other welfare benefits.) Moreover the beneficiaries like to kid themselves they earned what they are getting back.
 
PS: I mean kid themselves they earned and saved enough to buy an annuity worth the social security benefits. Of course it's true that social security beneficiaries in general earned the right to their pension by contributing to other people when it was their turn.


Edited by gcle2003 - 01 Apr 2011 at 00:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 02:32
Graham and I have disagreed on many things, but in this I agree with him.  People tend to think of things they "save" as being in a piggy bank.  So putting savings in the piggy bank = good; paying tax = bad.  It does not compute to individuals that tax payments can come back in benefits.  That may be because there has been the best part of a generation when people now are not seeing any benefit from what they DO pay in taxes.

Education quality overall has declined; infrastructure has deteriorated; jobs have disappeared - at least for many; Congress has handed health care over to insurance companies, and doctors now are more marginally involved in practicing medicine.  Much medicine is paid for by tax dollars - public employees; Medicare; medicaid.

Maybe the most egregious (and blatant; and cynical) example of no benefit for public expense is the TARP of 2008.  Robber baron corporations were bailed out with more debt, part of the "deal" being the banks would lend to prop up housing.  That hasn't happened. 

The banks are now quite profitable on the citizen taxpayers' backs and they sit on the profits and buy back their stock to pump up their managements' options - and pay out huge bonuses.  Profits come in, rather than lend in the short term you pump up the P&L and get big bonuses.

Housing has basically collapsed, but the banks don't lend and just blame it on the regulators...."Oooh, too few people can qualify any longer."  There hasn't been any slack for people in foreclosure.

"Stimulus" money was to pump economic activity.  It has resulted in profit but not in jobs - no benefit to average taxpayers.  It also plugged holes in state and local public budgets, but now that "money" is spent and there is no more - huge cuts in state and local public spending are coming (and as Wyatt Earp said, "Hell is comin' with 'em.")  NO benefit for taxes.

So, in the last few years, trillions more in debt has been created which can only be serviced by taxes.  When it comes time to bite the bullet and spend on crumbling infrastructure, debt service will start to eat up too much of the tax revenue that must go elsewhere rather than to jobs here.

Politicians do what politicians do.  They lie about reality and put off the worst problems until they are retired on pensions - paid for by taxpayers.  That is in addition to book deals and speaking engagements and business contacts that came from being visible in public life while they were being paid by....taxpayers.

No wonder no one thinks they are getting anything out of their taxes.  That is much of why they can't understand the necessity of higher taxation.

 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 01 Apr 2011 at 03:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 03:49
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:


Politicians do what politicians do.  They lie about reality and put off the worst problems until they are retired on pensions - paid for by taxpayers.  

 
 
Politicians do what the people with money tell them to do. These same politicians who advocate less taxes and repeal of "Obamacare" voted to increase taxes and proposed an HC bill back in the 90s that was much more "socialist" than "Obamacare". What changed was that people with money and influence have gained much more money and more influence than ever before.
 
They now control the media and when I say media I don't just mean Fake news or other so called "liberal" news networks, they also control talk radio (listened too by nearly 50-60 million people every week), newspapers, the majority of "respectable" think tanks (which are the main source for political staff in Congress and elsewhere) and even "liberal" Academia (watch the "Inside Job" on this last point). Their alliance with the church is of course well known too.
 
These are used to feed delusions to a politically naive population who go to elect Obama without knowing what the hell Obama stands for or rally against "Obamacare" while at the same time agreeing with individual items within the bill when detached from it.
 
Politicians are by nature survivalists and since this was where the wind was going they went with it.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 03:59
Al-Jassas,

If by the "HC bill back in the 90s" you mean the Clinton fiasco, that was seen as health care for poor people paid for by the middle class.  The only voice left at the time praising that was Hilary Clinton.  That initiative went down in flames.

"Can you explain "people with money" and "Their alliance with the church?"

The "church" is hardly monolithic.


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I mean the republican couterproposal not Clinton's plan. It was essentially the same as Obama's plan according to people involved in the debate two years ago.
 
As for the alliance with the church, come on, the evangelicals have been at the forefront in support of the corporate agenda, Pat Robertson and his CBN network as well as other televangelists (who are mostly corporate stooges) are demonising unions and "big government" and preaching that God loves the rich and that poor people are evil and what not.
 
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Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

I mean the republican couterproposal not Clinton's plan. It was essentially the same as Obama's plan according to people involved in the debate two years ago.
 
As for the alliance with the church, come on, the evangelicals have been at the forefront in support of the corporate agenda, Pat Robertson and his CBN network as well as other televangelists (who are mostly corporate stooges) are demonising unions and "big government" and preaching that God loves the rich and that poor people are evil and what not.
 
Al-Jassas


So we can agree to restrict "the church" here to the fundamentalist tax-avoiders who have movie star life styles?  Smile

I am pretty cynical about the evangelical fundamentalists and the pentacostals, but most others do not worship the people who are screwing them.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 06:42
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Good God, what a wealth of premises. It almost makes one want to puke. The solution is to raise taxes? If so then please see this; http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

Don't see your point. When the US was rich and economically dominant itb had very high tax rates. Since tax rates started going down the US has got progressively weaker and weaker, at least relatively. Everybody's aware of that: it's the point we are making.


But Graham, if I may call you by your given name, Do you really assert that it was Federal Spending that financed a "Rich America?" I would consider that view as overly simplistic.

Quote And while we are at it, why not look at the original Social Security rates? And here is one of the biggest lies of all times, it is called "The Social Security Trust Fund!"

Agreed. It's a sham to deceive those who insanely believe that everyone can guarantee themselved a safe old age by saving money. All state pension schemes are paid for out od contemporary taxation: that's the only way a guarantee is even possible (and  of course even then there's no 100% guarantee in this life). 


In reality, the origin of the SS system, was to provide a small pension as a supplement to one's own savings, etc., and not an end of all personal responsibility. Second, it was based upon fake or false mortality rates, that is it was thought that most benefits would not ever have to be paid, since most of them were expected to have died by the time they turned age 65. Which is, unfortunately, the case with Male African Americans today. But with the rise of longer lived people the scheme was never adjusted, thus the plan to move the age upwards today, is mostly too little and too late. Perhaps age 75 would be a good start?

Quote But, the sad fact is, that our congress and our presidents,never made sure that this so called "Trust Fund" was really in some type of "Trust", that is unless you really trust your politicians? NO, instead, our sacred band of brothers, who have managed this nation since 1913, have but placed "IOU's into the Trust Fund" so they could spend this money for the benefit of their collegues and even some times for their voters. The really sad fact is, that Social Security was originated and kept as a gigantic "Ponzie Scheme", from its inception.

It's not a Ponzi scheme. It only pretends to be a kind of Ponzi scheme to people who don't understand reality. The reality is that social security takes money from people in taxes and gives it to other people in benefits. Most countries don't bother pretending anything else, but the US has to because people don't have sufficient sense of community or responsibility for the elderly. (Or sick, or other other welfare benefits.) Moreover the beneficiaries like to kid themselves they earned what they are getting back.

 


Well, that is exactly correct if you are suggesting that in the early years of the system (up until the 1980's, I believe), the amount withheld from one's pay, was so miniscule, that those reaching age 65 recovered all of their investment within a year or two.

PS: I mean kid themselves they earned and saved enough to buy an annuity worth the social security benefits. Of course it's true that social security beneficiaries in general earned the right to their pension by contributing to other people when it was their turn.


And, again population growth was also considered to be exponential when the scheme was developed, that is they planned for the population to grow as such a rate, that with the early deaths of most of the participants, and the fast growing population, there would always be 30 or 40 or 50 persons paying into the fund, for every one drawing upon it. This is much like paying a premium for "Fools Gold", as it turned out, and it is today just stupid.

Regards,
Ronald
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 09:19

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

However I think that last sentence should be 'Unemployment should not be so much a problem as lack of income and boredom'. I do think it is seen as a problem thanks to the prevailing work ethic.

I think the work ethic culture only applies in English-speaking and Northern European countries. I generally think it is a good thing, and I agree with that ethic that work has personal benefits regardless of economic benefits (however, convincing women that they don't all need to have a career is perhaps an improvement*). The trick - and only workable solution really - is to employ people to do tasks that don't strictly need to be done but are accepted as good expenditure by the community at large - ie, sending a man to the moon.

 

*So is convincing tradesmen (at least here) that doing a good job first time is important

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 11:47
Why do you think that? It is a bit eurocentric, don't you think?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 12:17
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Why do you think that? It is a bit eurocentric, don't you think?
Because the protestant work ethic comes from protestant cultures and their colonies.
It's much easier to convince an Argentinian to have a siester than an Australian.
 
That's not to say that you can't also occupy Argentinians by going to the moon, but you don't have as much idealisation of the virtues of "hard yakka" (hard work) in Argentina.
 
(Curiously, how would Argentina compare to Chilie? Because as there are more Germans in Argentina you might see some of the protestant work ethic? I'm not sure just guessing.)


Edited by Omar al Hashim - 01 Apr 2011 at 12:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 21:21
Opuslola I really wish you would learn how to distinguish who said what. The was this read you couldn't tell who said what. I'll try and fix it, ut i> shouldn't have to.
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Good God, what a wealth of premises. It almost makes one want to puke. The solution is to raise taxes? If so then please see this; http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

Don't see your point. When the US was rich and economically dominant itb had very high tax rates. Since tax rates started going down the US has got progressively weaker and weaker, at least relatively. Everybody's aware of that: it's the point we are making.

But Graham, if I may call you by your given name, Do you really assert that it was Federal Spending that financed a "Rich America?" I would consider that view as overly simplistic.
It may be simple but it is accurate. 'Rich America' was based on federal (and State) spending in the '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s, especially of course in ww2. Of course it was also based on the highly protectionist policies and the safety of the US from foreign attack that it's then-abundant natural resources and geographical position made possible. 
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


Quote And while we are at it, why not look at the original Social Security rates? And here is one of the biggest lies of all times, it is called "The Social Security Trust Fund!"
Agreed. It's a sham to deceive those who insanely believe that everyone can guarantee themselved a safe old age by saving money. All state pension schemes are paid for out od contemporary taxation: that's the only way a guarantee is even possible (and  of course even then there's no 100% guarantee in this life). 


In reality, the origin of the SS system, was to provide a small pension as a supplement to one's own savings, etc., and not an end of all personal responsibility.
Beside the point. The point is that personal saving CANNOT be guaranteed to be worrth anyhing by the time peoplle retire. It will only work sometimes by happenstance, and not because of any merit on the part of the saver. It's even dumber to think it will work because excessive saving can kill an economy stone dead. 
Quote
Second, it was based upon fake or false mortality rates, that is it was thought that most benefits would not ever have to be paid, since most of them were expected to have died by the time they turned age 65. Which is, unfortunately, the case with Male African Americans today. But with the rise of longer lived people the scheme was never adjusted, thus the plan to move the age upwards today, is mostly too little and too late. Perhaps age 75 would be a good start?
Follow your idea and you really would be producing a Ponzi scheme - promise people that they'll get something, and then tell them they can't have it. Barring some preternatural massive accident or plague, mortality rates ALWAYS underestimate length of life. Life assurance companies rely on that effect to make mones. But it is another reason why you can't rely on savings for help in old age.
Quote
Quote
Quote But, the sad fact is, that our congress and our presidents,never made sure that this so called "Trust Fund" was really in some type of "Trust", that is unless you really trust your politicians? NO, instead, our sacred band of brothers, who have managed this nation since 1913, have but placed "IOU's into the Trust Fund" so they could spend this money for the benefit of their collegues and even some times for their voters. The really sad fact is, that Social Security was originated and kept as a gigantic "Ponzie Scheme", from its inception.

It's not a Ponzi scheme. It only pretends to be a kind of Ponzi scheme to people who don't understand reality. The reality is that social security takes money from people in taxes and gives it to other people in benefits. Most countries don't bother pretending anything else, but the US has to because people don't have sufficient sense of community or responsibility for the elderly. (Or sick, or other other welfare benefits.) Moreover the beneficiaries like to kid themselves they earned what they are getting back.

Well, that is exactly correct if you are suggesting that in the early years of the system (up until the 1980's, I believe), the amount withheld from one's pay, was so miniscule, that those reaching age 65 recovered all of their investment within a year or two.
That still happens. Everywhere. I currently have already recouped everything I've paid into the UK and Luxembourg systems. I could never have saved anything like the amount I'd need to buy an annuity for my total pensions. Two months' pension would have paid for outright the five bedrooom house I bought on mortage in 1963. One month's pension is more than 25 times what I earned in total in a month to start on my first job in 1956 (as a feature writer on a million-and-a-half readership Fleet Street magazine. 
 
There 's no way any scheme based on savings and reinvestment could have given that kind of return.
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Quote
PS: I mean kid themselves they earned and saved enough to buy an annuity worth the social security benefits. Of course it's true that social security beneficiaries in general earned the right to their pension by contributing to other people when it was their turn.


And, again population growth was also considered to be exponential when the scheme was developed, that is they planned for the population to grow as such a rate, that with the early deaths of most of the participants, and the fast growing population, there would always be 30 or 40 or 50 persons paying into the fund, for every one drawing upon it. This is much like paying a premium for "Fools Gold", as it turned out, and it is today just stupid.
I just don't believe that's true. It may be partof the smokescreen put up by the government because it had to sell the idea to the stupid who think you can save your way to a guaranteed old age, but it's the fault of the US electorate that such a smokescreen was necessary.
 
Guaranteed welfare and old age benefits can only be paid out of current taxes. Nothing else works.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 21:29
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

However I think that last sentence should be 'Unemployment should not be so much a problem as lack of income and boredom'. I do think it is seen as a problem thanks to the prevailing work ethic.

I think the work ethic culture only applies in English-speaking and Northern European countries. I generally think it is a good thing, and I agree with that ethic that work has personal benefits regardless of economic benefits (however, convincing women that they don't all need to have a career is perhaps an improvement*). The trick - and only workable solution really - is to employ people to do tasks that don't strictly need to be done but are accepted as good expenditure by the community at large - ie, sending a man to the moon.

 *So is convincing tradesmen (at least here) that doing a good job first time is important

I don't disagree with that. Do you know Herzberg's work on the 'hygiene' factors and the 'motivational' factors that affect attitudes to work? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Herzberg
 
I think there is a case for suggesting that the 'Puritan work ethic' stresses the hygiene factors at work and largely ignores the motivational factors. So I'd advocate a 'work ethic' that concentrates on the motivational factors - self-expression, work satisfaction and so on.
 
In other words I'm not against work ethics in general, merely against the Puritan one that if you don't work you don't get paid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 21:49
Graham, perhaps you do not know or failed to realize that I am the beginning of the WWII "baby boon." Siince SS allows one a partial payment at age 62 (rather than age 65), then some of us, now my age (64),have already applied for and have received SS benefits. This drain will only continue for the next few years.

Please see this site;

http://www.ssa.gov/history/ratios.html As well as this one for some ideas;

http://www.sabrient.com/blog/?p=3554&cpage=1

It just seems that taxation is or will if one accepts your theory, become really "repressive" (regressive) at one time or another.

The only way the current scheme can work is via the printing press!

Regards,
Ron

Oh,by the way, I don't understand the copy and past function that you and others use. Perhaps this site, and others, need a primer for those illiterate like me?



Edited by opuslola - 01 Apr 2011 at 21:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 23:57
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Graham, perhaps you do not know or failed to realize that I am the beginning of the WWII "baby boon." Siince SS allows one a partial payment at age 62 (rather than age 65), then some of us, now my age (64),have already applied for and have received SS benefits. This drain will only continue for the next few years.
So?
Quote
Please see this site;

http://www.ssa.gov/history/ratios.html As well as this one for some ideas;

http://www.sabrient.com/blog/?p=3554&cpage=1
There's a reason Krugman has a Nobel prize and your quotee doesn't.
 
I assume most people will note that on those figures the ratio of contributors to beneficiaries is today virtually identical to what it was forty years ago, even though you appear to have missed the point.
Quote

It just seems that taxation is or will if one accepts your theory, become really "repressive" (regressive) at one time or another.
('Regressive' means something else entirely.) If society doesn't want to pay people retirement benefits nothing forces it too: there's nothing in 'my' theory[1] to make it. IF it wants to pay them the only way to do it is from current taxation (or of course on a temporary basis through borrowing). That taxation can be regressive or progressive, and it can be imposed on anything - doesn't have to be payroll taxes. But the only source for the money has ultimately to be taxation. 
[1] Actually the theory is pretty universally accepted by governmental actuaries.
Quote
The only way the current scheme can work is via the printing press!
The prinnting press is inescapable at least in a democratic society, because pretty well everyone always wants more money, whether in dividends, wages, bonuses, prices, profits - whatever. It's perhaps the most important reason of all those that say long-term future payments in nominal or real terms cannot be guaranteed.
Quote
Oh,by the way, I don't understand the copy and past function that you and others use. Perhaps this site, and others, need a primer for those illiterate like me?

The easy way is to look at the text you get when yout hit the 'quote' button, and study the way the QUOTE and  /QUOTE tags in square brackets work. You can experiment and use the 'preview post' button to see what you are getting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2011 at 01:02
The political reality in the United States may be said to project a confederacy of dunces [pace "Ignatius"] when it comes to issues such as Social Security. Little has changed since the program was identified as the "the third rail in American politics" and if rabid Tea Partiers begin to release gas against the pension system within the yakkity-yak about 'taxes" they will be consumed by the gray panthers in the electorate. If one is careful in reading with respect to the agiprop over taxes and social programs the rhetoric is directed against phantom menaces such as "illegals" receiving assitance through programs under the SSA umbrella or the claims of massive fraud within the disability classification--the persistent utterances dating back to the 1980s and reiterated in the 1990s. I doubt anyone wants to go back to replay the 1933-1934 debate over SS--which produced such euphemisms as "contributions" to the fund rather than the utterance of the word TAX!--but if there does exist one irrevocable "Contract with America" produced by political yammer it is the Social Security Program with all of its warts. The present crisis however has nothing to do with "transfer payments" to the individual through taxes, but transfer payments to the states made possible through federal tax rates that are much lower today than they were 40, 30 and even 20 years ago when most of these programs were enacted. That was the reality back in 1992 and little has changed since then. The bottom line within the American jurisdictional division is a simple one: if federal tax rates are dropped then state tax rates must increase so as to acommodate what has become customary among the people. Let's look for the politicians who refuse to wake up and smell the coffee on that reality's morning!

Edited by drgonzaga - 02 Apr 2011 at 01:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2011 at 05:00
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

The political reality in the United States may be said to project a confederacy of dunces [pace "Ignatius"] when it comes to issues such as Social Security. Little has changed since the program was identified as the "the third rail in American politics" and if rabid Tea Partiers begin to release gas against the pension system within the yakkity-yak about 'taxes" they will be consumed by the gray panthers in the electorate. If one is careful in reading with respect to the agiprop over taxes and social programs the rhetoric is directed against phantom menaces such as "illegals" receiving assitance through programs under the SSA umbrella or the claims of massive fraud within the disability classification--the persistent utterances dating back to the 1980s and reiterated in the 1990s. I doubt anyone wants to go back to replay the 1933-1934 debate over SS--which produced such euphemisms as "contributions" to the fund rather than the utterance of the word TAX!--but if there does exist one irrevocable "Contract with America" produced by political yammer it is the Social Security Program with all of its warts. The present crisis however has nothing to do with "transfer payments" to the individual through taxes, but transfer payments to the states made possible through federal tax rates that are much lower today than they were 40, 30 and even 20 years ago when most of these programs were enacted. That was the reality back in 1992 and little has changed since then. The bottom line within the American jurisdictional division is a simple one: if federal tax rates are dropped then state tax rates must increase so as to acommodate what has become customary among the people. Let's look for the politicians who refuse to wake up and smell the coffee on that reality's morning!


Federal politicians will do nothing to endanger their chances for re-election.  Voting for tax increases is a death sentence. 

The personal economy of that political aristocracy is not affected by financing the entitlements of the proletarians who are becoming increasingly ignored.  The entitlements of the political aristocracy are off limits - voted so by themselves.

EDIT:  Good God!  I am starting to sound like a revolutionary.  Unfortunately, in the past couple of decades, the Republic has been ceded to corporate (or at least corporative) special interests who have become expert at purchasing influence; manipulating media through its revenue streams, and especially successful at demonstrating to legislators that their real constituency is those corporative special interests rather than the electorate.

I don't know any longer if this can be fixed.

I believe Franklin said something like "When the people realize they can vote themselves money, there will be an end of the Republic." 

If the purpose of the Republic is solely to get at the treasury by special interests, it may already be too late.




Edited by pikeshot1600 - 02 Apr 2011 at 05:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 10:22
Yeesh... how depressing.

In more motor city news, Detroit suffers another major disaster

http:///insidetv.ew.com/2011/04/02/charlie-sheen-tour-review/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 13:30
Just what else could I have presented?

Ron
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