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2017/09/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/21    

2008/5/16-23 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:49982 Activity:nil
5/16    Why did Social Security ever get passed in 1935? Stupid.
        \_ because you're an idiot?
           \_ Correlation does not imply causation.
        \_ FDR was a communist who hated America, see also, the
           New Deal and the Yalta Conference.
        \_ Because no one envisioned that some day population growth will
           slow down and the pay-as-you go scheme will collapse. Actually,
           it is predicted that the social security will not be able to
           honor the currently promissed retirement payments some time in
           the 2050s. Not bad for such a "badly" designed system. Still,
           something should be done about it soner rather than later.
2008/4/17-23 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:49772 Activity:nil
4/16    Social Security is fine:
        http://www.csua.org/u/laz
        \_ Social Security "reform" isn't about fixing SS.  It's about screwing
           up the one big government program that everyone likes and that seems
           to be reasonably well-run. c.f. "starve the beast"
2008/4/17-23 [Computer/SW/Security, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:49771 Activity:nil
4/16    I've heard that you don't pay social security on income above $90K.
        Is this correct?  Does that mean ~$8000 a year is the most you ever
        pay?
        \_ Yes, though the limit goes up every year.
        \_ My 2007 W-2 said my Social Security Wages is $97500.
           \_ Yes, that was the limit this year. There is no limit for Medicare.
           \_ Yes, that was the limit this year. There is no limit for
              Medicare.
2017/09/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/21    

2008/4/2-6 [Politics/Domestic/Immigration, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:49651 Activity:moderate
4/2     New trend: retirees leaving the suburbs for the convenience of
        The City:
        http://www.csua.org/u/l6p
        \_ Only in San Francisco. San Francisco is the opposite of
           mainstream America.
           \_ " The Gruens say they represent a national trend: Senior
               citizens, unwilling to live exclusively with their own
               age group, find everything they need (and can afford)
               to age gracefully by selling the family home and moving
               downtown.
               'It's a massive trend!' said Nina. 'It's happening all
               over America, and there's a good reason for it.'"
              \_ I get all my demographic news from Nina Gruen!  She's the
                 best!
                 \_ do you have a point?
                    \_ Yeah. How the hell would she know?
                       \_ maybe, unlike you, she has investigated the
                          issue.
                          http://www.planetizen.com/node/19780   -tom
                          \_ What does that study mean by 'moving to the
                             cities'? Is Alameda 'a city' by this
                             definition? What about Barstow?
                             \_ Funny how it's always easier to
                                nitpick at other people's data than to
                                come up with some of your own.  -tom
                                \_ That's your entire MOTD modus operandi.
                                   \_ You mean like in this thread, where I
                                      provided direct evidence and you
                                      haven't?  -tom
                                      \_ Where did you post direct evidence
                                         that Nina Gruen did any research
                                         rather than talking out her butt?
                                         \_ are you really this stupid?  -tom
                                            \_ You know, reading this roadkill
                                               of a conversation, it occurred
                                               to me it would be a simple
                                               matter to write an eliza-bot
                                               tom simulator that would fool
                                               most motd readers.
            \_ It is true. We are smarter, richer and more successful
               than elsewhere:
               http://www.csua.org/u/l6x (bizjournals)
        \_ Stop trying to bore me.
2008/3/25-28 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:49558 Activity:kinda low
3/25    New warnings about entitlements shortfall
        Medicare unable to pay full benefits by 2019, Social Security by 2041
        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23796483
        Bush wanted to fix the problem but could not convince the Democrats
        to change. Damn the Democrats!
        \_ Um, wasn't Bush the one primarily responsible for making the
           Medicare problem worse?
        \_ Bush taps a guy to lead social security privitization.  Every year
           the dude releases reports that say "DOOM!  DOOM!"  But gee, he has
           a vested intrest in shouting doom.  Every year his numbers don't
           really hold up that well.
        \_ Bush and the Republicans conspired to make the Medicare problems
           much much worse.  Their "solution" to Social Security will destroy
           it while enriching Wall Street.  Social Security is in much better
           condition than many other parts of the federal goverment.
           \_ It's true, it's Bush's fault Social Security is an untenable
              pyramid scheme, raided by Congress for unrelated expenses.
              That some parts of the government are WORSE is not really a
              good defense.
                \_ There's a great quote by Warren Buffett about how
                   politicians are sounding the alarm about Social Security
                   running a small deficit 40 years from now, and yet a
                   $400 billion deficit today doesn't bother anyone.
                   Social Security is fine for something like another 40
                   years as long as BushCo and the Republicans don't get
                   their greedy paws on it.
                   \_ It's true, the democrats in Congress totally kept their
                      paws off the social security pot.  Idiot.
                      \_ You have such a convincing debate style. Idiot.
        \_ Social Security is fine: the GOP has predicting its demise since
           the 30s (no joke), but Medicare is in big trouble. The entire
           medical system is in trouble, in fact, since medical costs keep
           going up much faster than the GDP and we have demographics working
           against us to boot. Only a sea change in our health care management
           philosophy, combined with some pretty serious rationing, is going
           to possibly reverse that trend.
           \_ Plus, you know.  Figuring out what actually helps.  We need
              personalized medicine, current statistics-based medical
              research is shit.
2008/3/5-7 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:49348 Activity:low
3/5     Defence spending has been what has busted the budget, not
        domestic programs:
        http://www.csua.org/u/kys (The Economist'v View)
        \_ What is Defence?
           \_ It's what's around dehouse.
2008/2/28-3/4 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:49283 Activity:nil
2/28    http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0406-30.htm
        Republicans, as a group, may be happier because, on average, they
        prioritize personal goals and largely identify with people similar
        to them. Compared with Democrats and Independents, their main goals
        are narrower and more selfish, and thus more easily obtained.
        \_ Dems need to get the fuck smarter AND co-opt self-reliance
        \_ What are the goals of (D) and (I)?  If your goals are pie in the
           sky and truly unreachable of course you'll be unhappy.  This has
           nothing to do with your trolling.
        \_ Rich people are happier than poor people. Does this surprise
           anyone?
           \_ Actually past a certain poverty level, it's not entirely clear
              this is true. -- ilyas
2007/11/5-8 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:48541 Activity:kinda low
11/5    The more you drive, the less intelligent you are:
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,1671053,00.html
        \_ Ah, Guardian, the libural outlet of the socialists.
        \_ I just started a job much further away than my previous job.  So
           I'm dumb for taking a better job further away?
           \_ only if you drive there.
        \_ well not exactly, but I love this quote from the article:
                When you drive, society becomes an obstacle. Pedestrians,
                bicycles, traffic calming, speed limits, the law: all become
                a nuisance to be wished away. The more you drive, the more
                bloody-minded and individualistic you become.
            -ERic
           \_ Fuck you eric. Read this:
              http://images.libertyoutlet.com/prod/p-myvehicle.jpg
              \_ Hey, don't attack me, it's not my opinion -- I was just
                 pointing out a choice quote.  -ERic (and yes, I have a SUV)
           \_ America is built because of  individualism. If you hate
              individualism, you hate America.          -Randian
              individualism, you hate America.          -Randroid
              \_ Pretty true actually.  And a shame.
              \_ There was a TV commercial a couple months ago that started
                 with the line "I only care about me, myself and I."
           \_ America is the land of the individuals, the land of the
              uncommon man, the land where man is free to develop his
              genius-- and to get its just rewards. Individualism
              fosters invention and ingenuity. NOW I SHALL GO PUT
              KEROSENE IN MY HAIR.              -Ayn
              fosters invention and ingenuity.          -Ayn
        \_ None of the above jackasses got the Repo Man reference.
           Sad face!
           \_ Actually I did, but it was a bad reference, unless yoy are
              trying to imply that individualistic implies less intelligent.
              -ERic
              \_ It made me want to drive more.  And I live in LA, and fucking
                 hate to drive here. -- ilyas
                 \_ You Go Girl!
2007/10/15-17 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:48327 Activity:moderate
10/15   First Baby Boomer files for Social Security.  DOOM!
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071015/ap_on_go_ot/boomer_social_security
        \_ Oh shit! They're going to bankrupt the nation. Let's kill them.
           \_ How so?  Social Security is a cornerstone of the socialist
              promise.  You don't want SS but you want universal health care?
              *boggle*!
              \_ *I* don't want either.
           \_ Your disk has turned black. Please report to the Carousel.
              \_ lifeclocks turn flashing red at time of renewal.
2007/8/21-23 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/Gay] UID:47684 Activity:low
8/20    At what point in your life did you realize that you're a
        Republican, Democrat, neither, both, etc?
        \_ Grew up in the OC... Republican family, like everyone else in
           OC. Hated welfare, lazy people, poor people, and gays.
           Berkeley changed me profoundly. I realized that I was raised
           up as a self loving selfish bastard and realized how stupid it
           was to discriminate against people who were different. I
           discovered tolerance, and consciously avoided discrimination.
           However I also learned how stupid it was to endorse hand-outs and
           social programs and tax hike everywhere; you can't help someone
           unless they ask for it. I became an independent when I turned 20.
           unless they ask for it. I became gay when I turned 20.
           I still am.
        \_ Spartan
        \_ How about the day you wake up and realize it's all a sham?
        \_ I'm anti-labor-union but pro-environment, so I'm probably neither.
        \_ When I realized the Republicans were really screwing up the country.
           That is when I switched from being a Green/independent to the
           Democrats. After they finish screwing things up, I will probably
           switch back, or even perhaps go Republican if the Democrats
           are bad enough.
2007/7/23 [Reference/History/WW2/Germany, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:47392 Activity:nil
7/23    Heil Hitler!
        \_ Germany was having trouble
           What a sad, sad story
           Needed a new leader to restore
           Its former glory
           Where, oh, where was he?
           Where could that man be?
           We looked around and then we found
           The man for you and me
           And now it's...
           Springtime for Hitler and Germany
           Deutschland is happy and gay!
           We're marching to a faster pace
           Look out, here comes the master race!
           Springtime for Hitler and Germany
           Rhineland's a fine land once more!
           Springtime for Hitler and Germany
           Watch out, Europe
           We're going on tour!
           Springtime for Hitler and Germany...
           \_ Going through grandpa's garbage, to see what I could find.
              I find a bunch of goodies, from 1945.
              I see all those items, from the good old days.
              His metals in his hands, and his uniforms all gray!
              Grandpa was a Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              Grandpa was a Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              Grandpa was a Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              Sturmfuehrer, Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              In an SS Panzer unit grandpa rolled with pride.
              Cleansing Bolshevics from the Russian country side!
              Every red commie bastard that stood in his way.
              Hey would shoot them down, day after day!
              Today I smile when I see his uniform.
              I know it's battle tested, I know it's battle worn!
              Death Head on his hat, gleams in my eyes!
              Hail! to your grandpa, now your grandpa's by your side!
              I'll be a Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              I'll be a Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              I'll be a Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              Sturmfuehrer, Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              Grandpa was a Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              Grandpa was a Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              Grandpa was a Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
              Sturmfuehrer, Sturmfuehrer, in the SS.
2007/6/24-28 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:47052 Activity:nil
6/24    Partha alert, you have mentioned this issue before, here an
        Economist has done a study on it (splitting the check):
        http://www.csua.org/u/j09
        \- your capitalizing "Economist" caused problems for my high
           speed parser. i thought you were talking about The Economist.
           Unwinding from that local minima, was very expensive.
           otherwise it didnt say much that wasnt obvious i thought
           [although thanks for posting it]. i think in practice,
           dealing with the check splitting problem relies more on
           social skills rather than econ theory ... the freeriding
           problem is totally obvious in the case of strangers.
           the realistic problem is how to split with friend and
           friends of friends, and how to balance between fairness
           and awkwardness ... like how far does somebody have to
           drift from 1/n split to make special arrangements.
           in general, i think people get off too easily because
           too many people buy into the "being judgemenal is bad ...
           it is intolerant" view.
2007/6/8 [Politics/Domestic/Abortion, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:46889 Activity:nil
6/8     In case you're wondering where I met my Republican girlfriend:
        http://www.google.com/search?q=dating+republican
        http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=dating+republican
        Check out RepublicanPeopleMeet and ConservativeMatchMaker.
        In case you love Republicans, make sure to click on these ads.
        You never know, you may find your dream mate! In case you hate
        Republicans, make sure to click on these ads as well. You may
        incur expensive advertisement costs.
2007/6/5-10 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:46858 Activity:low
6/5     I used to date a Republican girl. I was pretty much whipped. I
        went along with whatever she had to say. She'd say things like
        "GWB encourages oil refineries in the Middle East so that when
        they run out of oil, we'll still have plenty left! Pretty darn
        smart eh?" Whatever she said, I just listened and accepted without
        any objection. Reason: the pre-marital sex was absolutely amazing,
        and for sex, I turned into a Republican. Now that the relationship
        is over, I feel so liberated. It's amazing how my addiction to
        sex turned me into a complete moron.
        \_ This is actually a pretty good reason to be a Republican. Who
           are you dating now?
           \_ Just bobbing your head in return for her own head bobbing
              doesn't "turn your into a Republican", but it may say
              something about your priorities [I mean that non-judgementally].
              Usually, it's the other way around where guys go along with
              fruitcake liberal girls.  In fact one reason some right-wing
              nutjob groups are so powerful is they spend their fridays nights
              promoting their politics while liberals spend their friday nights
              in hedonistic pursuits ... but of course when something like
              abortion rights is seriously challenged, that may roust them.
              BTW, are you sure she was really a Republican or was she just
              an materialist/egoist.  Did she believe in "conservative
              values" like pemartitial sex is wrong etc or she just believed
              in lower taxes and welfare queens should get a job.  Just out
              of curisority what profeession was she in?  Sales?
              \_ Yes she was a hardcore Republican because she was raised
                 that way. Let me clarify and say that she's socially
                 liberal but values most non-religious Republican values
                 like small government, self-reliant, hatred for the poor
                 who use welfare (she thinks they're lazy so they deserve
                 nothing from her), racial superiority, pre-emptive strike
                 on people who are "evil", self righteous, and lastly,
                 STUBBORN. There is no possibility that anyone could
                 change her opinion because they've been hardcoded since
                 childhood. Profession? How is this relevant to
                 the topic? Anyways, the more I think about this the more
                 pissed off I am. I will be voting non-Republican for the
                 first time in 8 years. I AM LIBERATED.
                 \_ Was she good in bed? Can I have her number?
        \_ yeah, thats pretty much the definition of being 'whipped'.
        \_ Since you didn't believe anything she said you weren't a Republican
           or a conservative.  No more so than any conservative man was
           magically transformed into a liberal while dating a woman's studies
           vegetarian (cough).
2007/5/30-6/4 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:46797 Activity:high 90%like:46794
5/30    When did Hillary join the Communist Party?
        http://urltea.com/nwv (timesrecordnews.com)
        \_ Right about the time you applied your mad reading comp skillz to
           this article.
           this article. --scotsman
           \_ So I used a little hyperbole.  But at least I can read better
              than you.
              \_ Let me see if I get your point: any regulation of the Free
                 Market is Communism?
                 \_ 'it's time to replace an "on your own" society with one
                    based on shared responsibility and prosperity.'  Sounds
                    like communism to me. -op
                    \_ Then you're an idiot.
                    \_ Then you're an idiot.  You either have a fundamental
                       misunderstanding of what Communism is, or you can't
                       read.  Either way, your little jaunt here says that
                       you're an idiot.
                       \_ Trying to explain an idiot why he's an idiot is
                          kind of a waste of time.
                       you're an idiot. --scotsman
                       \_ Trying to explain an idiot why he's an idiot is kind
                          of a waste of time.
                       \_ I understand what Communism is.  I guess you just
                          can't defend your point. -op
                          \_ You haven't made a point at all.  You've called
                          \_ I haven't made a point at all.  You've called
                             HRC a member of the Communist Party, with no
                             basis.  You don't do this whole "thinking"
                             thing too well, do you?
                          \_ I haven't made a point at all.  You've called HRC
                             a member of the Communist Party, with no basis.
                             You don't do this whole "thinking" thing too well,
                             do you?
                             do you? --scotsman
                             \_ And you simply call me an idiot.  I posted a
                                quote which is part of why I believe she's
                                pushing towards a communist agenda.  You called
                                me an idiot again.  You'll pardon me if I don't
                                see this as the height of debate.  Oh, and then
                                more ad hominem.  Yawn. -op
                                Here's another quote:
                                "Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the
                                right government policies."
                                more ad hominem.  Yawn. -op Here's another
                                quote: "Fairness doesn't just happen. It
                                requires the right government policies."
                                \_ Explain how that quote is in any way untrue,
                                   or "pushing towards a communist agenda".
                                   Your wink-and-nod approach may win you
                                   points at freerepublic, but you're making
                                   little sense here.
                                   \_ Having the government define
                                      'fairness' and then enforce it
                                      sounds a lot like communism.  If
                                      you don't understand, I'm afraid
                                      I can't help.
                                   little sense here. --scotsman
                                   \_ Having the government define 'fairness'
                                      and then enforce it sounds a lot like
                                      communism.  If you don't understand, I'm
                                      afraid I can't help.
                                      \_ you're an idiot.
                                      \_ You obviously do not understand what
                                         Communism is, in spite of your earlier
                                         claim. Where is the classless society
                                         or the government ownership of all
                                         means of production? What about the
                                         dictatorship of the proletariat? You\
                                         are not an idiot, you are insane.
        \_ Thank you for reminding why I gave $1000 to the HRC for
           President campaign. Hint: it isn't because of her political views,
           it is because I love watching Freepers squirm.
                                         dictatorship of the proletariat? You
                                         are not an idiot, you are nuts.
                                         \_ tom, you're the idiot.  You don't
                                            need this to be part of the CPUSA.
                                            See:
                                            http://www.cpusa.org
                                            See: http://www.cpusa.org
                                            \_ That wasn't my post, idiot. -tom
                                            \_ You still haven't shown where
                                               defining and regulating the
                                               marketplace means that the
                                               government owns the players in
                                               it.  You keep talking, yet you
                                               say nothing.
                                               marketplace means owning
                                               the players in it.  You keep
                                               talking, yet you say nothing.
                                               --scotsman
                                               \_ My original statement was
                                                  about the communist party,
                                                  not an academic definition.
                                                  Go back to your cage. -op
                                                  \_ This doesn't help your
                                                     point, as noted below.
                                            \_ From your source:
        "All Communists are for socialism, seeing it as a transition stage to
        communism, a higher stage of economic, political, and social
        development. All socialists arent for communism; some see Communists
        as too radical.
        Socialism is social ownership of the main means of production
        (factories, transportation) and the commanding heights of an economy
        (banks and other financial institutions) and runs them in the
        interests of the working people, using part of the value that
        workers produce to build up the social institutions and benefits
        for the whole people."
        Is that what you claim that HRC is supporting with her statement?
        \_ Thank you for reminding why I gave $1000 to the HRC for President
           campaign. Hint: it isn't because of her political views, it is
           because I love watching Freepers squirm.
           \_ A fool and his money are soon parted.
              \_ Funny, my net worth goes up every year.
                 \_ Are you getting a VIP dinner for that money?
            e.g. <DEAD>contribute.hillaryclinton.com/events/paloalto0531.html<DEAD>
                    \_ I'd rather have $1k than eat dinner with Hillary.
        \_ Maybe I read a different article that you did, but Sen. Clinton's
           comments suggested to me that she prefers a strongly regulated
           market. At most she would be advocating a socialist position, not
           a communist position. A communist position would not allow for any
           private enterprise.
           In addition, it is not at all clear what level of regulation that
           Sen. Clinton feels is necessary. She merely states that some add'l
           rules are needed to protect workers, &c. In light of Enron, &c.,
           one needed not be a socialist to think that perhaps some add'l
           regulation or supervision of the market is needed.
           Of course, if one were a Ferengi, then perhaps one would not see
           any difference between the two b/c either one would prevent you
           from maximizing your horde of gold-pressed latium, which would
           violate countless rules of acquisition.
           violate countless rules of acquisition. And we all know the Rules
           of Acquisition are the ultimate way to run a free market b/c they
           work so well for the Grand Negus.
           work so well for the Grand Negus. -stmg
           \_ Regulating markets is not socialism or communism.  Until the
              government, under the direction of the people, steps into the
              marketplace, either as an unfairly subsidized player, or as
              a strongarming force to takeover and shut down private players,
              it's not socialism.  Seriously, everything you add to this
              discussion further betrays your misunderstanding of the subject.
              --scotsman
              \_ Really? I always thought that socialism existed where the
                 government imposes its judgement in place of what the mkt
                 under reasonably unrestricted conditions would provide.
                 But then again everything I know about economics comes from
                 E120, DS9 episodes and broad generalizations in my Contracts
                 class, so its not surprising that I'm completely wrong. -stmg
                 \_ Socialism is where the government/society imposes OWNERSHIP
                    not judgement.  Regulating capitalism is not "socialist".
                    It's "necessary".
                    It's "necessary". --scotsman
                    \_ Is this really true? I was always that Sweden was a
                       socialist country but they still have private business
                       over there.
                       over there. -stmg
                       \_ Here's a succinct little snippet from a critique
                          of Swedish Socialism:
                          http://www.namyth.com/SocialismWORKS!/index.php?sw=Sweden#third_way_home
                          http://urltea.com/o8e (namyth.com)
                          Medicine is socialized.  Schools are socialized.
                          The state holds large chunks of the marketplace,
                          and highly regulates the rest.
                          I personally believe health care and education
                          should be considered rights and therefore should
                          be guaranteed by the state.  I also personally
                          believe that outside of those "common good" bits
                          of the economy, the government's primary duties
                          are making sure the marketplace is fair, and that
                          workers are protected.  For that, would you call
                          me a socialist?  Because, really, I'm not.
                          me a socialist?  Because, really, I'm not. --scotsman
                       \_ They also have some government owned business. But
                          then, so do we. But actually "socialism" is not as
                          well defined as the know-it-alls here think. I think
                          any schemes where the government causes resources
                          to be redirected to the poor can be classified as
                          socialist. Countries with high tax rates that provide
                          lots of public services fit that description
                          perfectly. It's a matter of degree. Public schools
                          and libraries ARE socialist institutions. Same with
                          welfare, medicare, progressive income tax, subsidized
                          housing projects, food stamps, etc. Government owning
                          businesses or regulation etc. isn't socialist per se
                          unless it has socialist goals. (e.g. the gov't could
                          run the something like the postal service completely
                          unsubsidized).
                          \_ Please provide a reference for your know-it-all
                             definition of "socialism."  Preferably one which
                             includes reference to public libraries being
                             socialist institutions.  -tom
                             \_ The part after "I think" was merely my opinion.
                                But some dictionaries and other references will
                                support my opinion. See:
                         http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9109587/socialism
                                "there is no precise canon on which the various
                                 adherents of contemporary socialist movements
                                 agree"  "property and the distribution of
                                 income are subject to social control rather
                                 than ... market forces"  "The uses and abuses
                                 of the word socialism are legion".
                                 Some apply the term interchangeably with
                                 communism. However, in my opinion the term is
                                 most commonly applied today in reference to
                                 "welfare-state" type policies such as those
                                 in Sweden. A public library, ok it's arguable,
                                 but they provide access for the poor to things
                                 the rich can afford to purchase. They take my
                                 tax dollars and buy books for the use of
                                 others.
                                \_ Okay, so now that you've actually thought
                                   about it, and had your wikipedia brushup,
                                   let's go back to Hilary's quotes.  What in
                                   there, without putting words in her mouth,
                                   says "welfare-state"?  Though if you think
                                   public libraries are socialistic, there's
                                   really no hope for this discussion.
                                   --scotsman
                                   \_ Hey I just jumped in on this socialism
                                      definition subthread. I wasn't involved
                                      in the HRC stuff. But it is arguable that
                                      "shared responsibility and prosperity"
                                      can imply things like social "safety
                                      nets" and wealth redistribution. How
                                      would you interpret that quote? What
                                      specific political options other than
                                      welfare-state principles would you
                                      infer from that quote? Re: libraries,
                                      \_ As a reassertment of the Social
                                         Contract, a la Rousseau.  As a
                                         rejection of the lassaiz-faire
                                         bullshit that Bush et al. espouse.
                                         That we don't change all our
                                         regulations to voluntary guidelines.
                                         That we actually run inspections on
                                         our food supply, workplaces, etc.
                                         That we make decisions rather than
                                         "make reality". --scotsman
                                         \_ You mean we can't count on "The
                                            Invisible Hand" to take care of
                                            everything?!? That sux. He was
                                            my favorite super hero.
                                      I consider them in the same category
                                      as public schools. If they didn't exist,
                                      private citizens could establish their
                                      own libraries either as charity,
                                      private purpose or commercial operations.
                                      Having the government take my money "at
                                      gunpoint" as ilyas liked to say and use
                                      it for a library fits communist views
                                      of the role of government. Note that I
                                      am not arguing about whether they are a
                                      good thing or not.
                                      \_ I don't think I can take credit for
                                         that particular turn of phrase.
                                           -- ilyas
                                      \_ Read Jack London's People of the Abyss
                                         for first-hand accounts of how an
                                         unregulated society treats its poor.
                                         Cf. Low Life, an account of the
                                         history of the poor in NYC around the
                                         same time period. Also review the
                                         plight of shanty-towns in African
                                         countries where industry operates
                                         unregulated. Wealth-based altruism is
                                         nice, but it doesn't work on its own.
                  http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id=11134
                 \_ See now, you just admitted "reasonably unrestricted" which
                    is a fancy way of saying "reasonably restricted" from the
                    other side. Regulation != communism.
                    \_ Um, so? My original point was that regulation !=
                       communism && at most (lots of regulation) == socialism.
                       \_ Apologies! I must have confused you with op.
           \_ Don't you understand, regulating the market is exactly like
              building a Gulag and killing millions of people. The SEC
              is secretly in the employ of Kim Jong-il. If you believe
              otherwise, you are an apologist for Stalinism.
              \_ Don't forget the FDA which (until recently) tried to prevent
                 us from gaining the superhuman strength that Salmonella
                 confers
2007/4/4-6 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:46197 Activity:nil
4/4     Knut the cute bear should be killed, say German animal activists:
        http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,472480,00.html
        \_ Maybe they're descendants of Nazis. Exterminate impure blood!
           \- wow, this is really a new version of "we had to destroy
              the village to save it"
           \- E_DESTROYVILLAGETOSAVE
           \_ Nazis wouldn't exterminate an Aryan bear would they?
              \_ who knows? liberals always make expedient decisions
                 \_ Nazis are liberals?
2007/3/26-29 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/President] UID:46094 Activity:nil
3/26    "practically everything that our government does, plans, thinks, hears
        and contemplates in the realms of foreign policy is stamped and treated
        as secret -- and then unraveled by that same government, by the
        Congress and by the press in one continuing round of professional and
        social contacts and cooperative and competitive exchanges of
        information."  Quoting from an official affidavit that was part of the
        New York Times Co. v. United States (Pentagon Papers).  Authored by
        Max Frankel, then NYTimes chief Washington correspondent.
2007/2/28-3/4 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:45839 Activity:moderate
2/28    The Iraq War: a bargain at double the price:
        http://preview.tinyurl.com/2xf3kw
        \_ You can stop reading at "Dominated by Social Security and health
           care, the federal budget..."
           Over 50% of the federal budget is now military.   -tom
           \- if you are accruing liabilities, then you arent really capped
              at 100% so it is better to talk number of dollars than
              percentages. so he is right the total cost of servicing
              things like the social security obligations and medicare
              obligations are larger than the military. the numbers vary
              based on assumtions and how many years out to but for medicare
              and soc security you start seeing numbers like 45-75 trillion
              dollars. so the entitlement number seem smaller because we're
              not actually paying them but putting in IOUs. we cant pay
              the military with IOUs, let alone haliburton. but i'm not
              defending this dood's accounting of course. "how many billion
              dollars would you be willing to burn to reclaim the loss
              of american credibility" etc. it's of course equally bogus
              of american credibility" etc. if's of course equally bogus
              on only focus on econ costs.
              of american credibility" etc. it's of course bogus to only
              focus on econ costs.
              \_ You need to consider the net present value of all this
                 spending. And we are certainly paying Halliburton with
                 IOUs, they are called treasury bonds.
                 \_ re: NPV ... yes obviously ... that's what is being done.
                    give me a little credit [no pun intended]. there are a
                    lot of other actuarial and economic assumptions in there
                    as well ... that's the tricky part, not mechnically coming
                    up with the NPV ... that's just arithmetic.
                    re: halliburton ... no, we are PAYING halliburton with
                    cash. we are FINANCING it with borrowing. when you buy a
                    house, you are not paying the seller with a mortgage.--psb
                    \- see e.g.
        http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_bartlett/bartlett200504280951.asp
        http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070211/news_lz1e11riedl.html
                [see in particular the 3rd paragraph in the SD UT article]
                    \_ i thought of a good analogy: say you are going to
                       MIT and paying for it though student loans. the mit
                       tuition is $33k/yr now. now say your are paying
                       $1000/mo on rent and $1000/mo on food and entertainment.
                       $1000/mo rent and $1000/mo for food and entertainment.
                       It is not accurate to say "50% of my expenses is rent".
                       Really you are accruing close to $3k/mo in liabilities.
                       So yes, it is fair to say "your budget is dominated by
                       tuition expenses" ... even if you are only say paying
                       $100/mo toward your student loans. --psb
                       It really is not accurate to say "50% of my expenses is
                       rent". Really you are accruing close to $3k/mo in
                       liabilities. So yes, it is fair to say "your budget is
                       dominated by tuition expenses" ... even if you are only
                       say paying $100/mo toward your student loans. --psb
                       \_ The future liabilities of our military posture
                          surely outpace those of social security, though
                          they may be more difficult to project.  -tom
                          \_ medicare liability is more than 2x soc sec
                             obligations. it's hard to take your judgement
                             obligation. it's hard to take your judgement
                             calls seriously when you seem to miss a basic
                             fact like that. you can look for
                             google(kansas city federal reserve bank, social
                             security, medicare) for a research report on this
                             from 2006. that bartlett fellow has written a
                             bunch on this too. there is also an excellent
                             article in the nyrb ... i think i mentioned that
                             earlier in the motd or wall archive.
                             \_ PSB > TOM
                                http://tinyurl.com/yrtors (60 Minutes)
2007/2/12-14 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:45713 Activity:nil
2/12    Top Gear in Republican America. Disturbingly funny.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajWS8gCJOac
        \_ I like Top Gear, but this is lame.
           \_ How so?
           \_ It just was.  That said if you download the entire episode
              (Season 9, episode 3, look on bittorrent) there are some
              pretty amazingly funny bits.
2007/1/7-16 [Politics/Domestic/HateGroups, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:45545 Activity:nil
1/8     Hallelujah, freepers know how to keep Wisconsin pure and white
        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1763895/posts
        \_ White power!
2006/12/19 [Politics/Domestic/SIG, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:45472 Activity:nil
12/19   "Bus ride upsets black students"
        http://www.csua.org/u/hqz (http://www.mercurynews.com
        Troll: When they had to sit in the back, they complained (Rosa Parks).
        When they have to sit in the front, they complain (now).
2006/12/15-21 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Finance/Investment] UID:45452 Activity:moderate
12/15   Shadow Statistics-- Ben Bernanke, Fed chairman, recently delivered
        an upbeat view of the U.S. economy. It was cheerful, optimistic...
        and delusional.
        http://prudentbear.com/archive_comm_article.asp?category=Guest+Commentary&content_idx=53549
        http://www.usatoday.com/money/2006-08-02-deficit-usat_x.htm
        \_ Ok, assuing one buys this, what does one invest in?  Stocks are
           out, real estate (at least around here) is over-inflated.
           India's economy is over-heated.  I don't trust the Chinese
           govt., so I don't want to invest there. Gold? Euro stocks?
           Japan?
           \_ AK's and canned food.
           \_ I just dumped money in Canada, perhaps too late as Canada
              has been solid for years now, but I think still a safe
              play. Japan also looks promising, although it has looked
              that way for years.
           \_ If you believe in what this guy is saying, you should
              head to the hills and try living as a subsistance farmer.
              He makes some valid points, but waaaaay overstates his
              case imho.
           \_ you don't think Japan's economy and Chinese economy is not
              interwind?  You think Chinese economy exist in a vaccum?
2006/12/11-13 [Politics/Domestic/Gay, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:45427 Activity:high
12/11   If the average member of congress worked ~2-3 days a week last
        year, the lowest ever in decades, where can I find out how long
        EACH congressman/women worked? I'd like to use the data to tally
        up total and percentage of hours for each state, and maybe
        compare men vs. women, dems vs. reps, new yorkers vs. texans,
        gay congressman vs. lesbian congresswomen, etc.
        \_ I don't understand the metrics of this.  Congresspeople
           spend a lot of time in meetings with their staff, meeting
           with lobbyists who get past their staff, meeting in the
           secret underground Senate chambers, flying back and forth
           between their district, calling donors, lots of flying
           back and forth, is this 'tracked' in the "2-3 day working week"?
           I don't think so.
        \_ There's a bit of a misnomer there.  Congress was in session 3 days
           a week last year, but that doesn't mean every member of Congress
           fucked off and played golf the other two days of the week. (*)
           Of course if what you want to track is sessions of Congress
           attended, you should see if there is if the Congressional roll call
           records are available online.  I actually think this is an
           interesting idea.  If you find the data you need to make this go
           and want help hacking on it, let me know. -dans
           (*) Though it also doesn't mean that every member of Congress
               *didn't* fuck off and play golf the other two days of the week.
           \_ Playing golf and screwing around with interns and congressional
              pages IS work. It is hard work.
              \_ Your bar for social life is clearly low. -dans
2006/11/7-8 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:45216 Activity:nil
11/7    Haha.  From CNN:
        "Bonds rally on election bets: Market surges on hopes of fiscal
        discipline created by Democrat-controlled Congress; dollar mixed."
        \_ that must be CNN TV I guess, cuz http://money.cnn.com mentions
           the bond thing in the very last paragraph and just says "change
           in control of the House" w/o mentioning Dems
2006/11/2-4 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:45112 Activity:nil
11/02   http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=39&Itemid=110
        shows that medicare is 19% of "mandatory" federal spending.  It also
        lists "health" as being another 13% of off budget spending.  What
        does this consist of ?
        \_ VA dept?
2006/10/26-29 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:44989 Activity:low
10/26   This congress is pretty much a "do nothing congress."  My question of
        the day is, how did that happene?   The Republicans control both
        houses and the presidency!
        \_ because, fundamentally, conservatives like things the way they are.
           \_ That's so cute that it ought to be true.
        \_ in part because the republicans in congress are conservative while
           the bush administration is republican yet not conservative.  so
           bush couldn't get most of his big spender policy through yet the
           conservatives in congress couldn't get past the more centrist
           senate.  grid lock isn't a bad thing in government.  i'm all for
           a life time of do nothing congresses.
           \_ I'm sorry, but with budget deficits in the $500B range we
              cannot afford "do nothing" Congresses that keep this level
              of deficit spending.  Further, social security needs to be
              fixed.
           \_ "Couldn't get most of his big spender policy through"
              Are you HIGH? Bush has even eclipsed President Johnson in
              spending.
2006/10/13-16 [Politics/Foreign/Europe, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:44816 Activity:moderate
10/13   Elephants cross the US-Mexico border w/ impunity:
        http://tinyurl.com/ykzp8o (brownsvilleherald.com)
        \_ Dirty illegals.  We should take away their welfare and health benefits.
        \_ Dirty illegals.  We should take away their welfare & health benefits.
        \_ Dirty illegals.  We should take away their welfare & health
           benefits.
        \_ Why do you hate elephants?
           \_ Why do you hate America?
              \_ I just hate American elephants.  The Asian and African ones
                 are ok by me.
                 \_ I find Asian elephants to be too small and inscrutable, and
                    prone to forming triads and building nuclear weapons.
                    African elephants are just too violent.  They are very fast
                    and strong, though.
                       \_ But what is up w/ those big ears? Are they using
                          them to eavesdrop on private domestic phone calls?
                    \_ But never the European ones.  So white and monocultural.
                       \_ The Jewish European elephants have really long snouts,
                          though.  And one they grab onto a peanut or banana
                          with that snout, they never, ever let go.
                       \_ The Jewish European elephants have really long
                          snouts, though.  And one they grab onto a peanut
                          or banana with that snout, they never, ever let go.
                          \_ They're all white to me.  --BAMN
2006/10/3-5 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:44644 Activity:nil
10/3    I'm addicted to crystal meth on MTV
        http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/03/arts/television/03true.htm
2006/9/23-26 [Politics/Domestic/Immigration, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:44512 Activity:nil
9/23    Dems want to squander money on immigrants and Negros:
        http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/09/23/Dems.radio.ap/index.html
        \_ This message brought to you by the Association of Pure White
           Brotherhood and Justin P Black
           \_ No one responded to your original troll so you responded to
              yourself.  Lame, lame, lame....
2006/9/18-20 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:44417 Activity:nil
9/18    Sweden, the newest red state:
        http://tinyurl.com/kbgrt (cnn)
        \_ So? The entire earth is leaning towards right. Singapore for
           example used to provide government built homes but stopped doing
           so and recently have cut taxes and social benefits. China is
           totally embracing Capitalism and giving land to whoever has
           enough money to bribe officials. The entire earth is leaning
           towards the right, to cut social programs to get lazy people
           working again.
2006/7/18-20 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:43714 Activity:nil
7/18    Breaking News: Seeing how unpopular it is to charge evacuation
        fees which will affect the November election, two Republican senaators
        tell CNN that the fees will be waived. So much for preaching
        "self-reliance" and "you're responsible for your own lives."
        \_ Oopsiedoodle!
        \_ Of course they do.  We're in the era of "borrow and spend"
           social-but-not-economic conservatism.
2006/6/22-26 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:43463 Activity:nil
6/22    Interesting clause by clause comparison of the US constitution to
        the Confedercy constitution.
        http://www.filibustercartoons.com/CSA.htm
        \_ "call a spade a spade." The comparison is interesting but his
           comments are sometimes ridiculous.
2006/5/24-28 [Politics, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:43171 Activity:nil
5/23    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196686,00.html
        Stop apologizing for being white or any racial group identified
        on a government checklist.
        \_ The article itself is rather poorly written IMHO, but this link
           to the Seattle Public Schools Definitions of Racism is astounding.
           For example, personal freedom is racism. Wha???
           For example, advocating personal freedom is racism. Wha???
        http://www.seattleschools.org/area/equityandrace/definitionofrace.xml
           \_ Where does it say that?
              \_ Under Institutional Racism: "...emphasizing individualism
                 as opposed to a more collective ideology..." (I made a
                 small change to my previous post to make it more exact.)-pp
2006/5/17-22 [Politics/Domestic/911, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:43087 Activity:nil
5/17    Max Boot of the L.A. Times on the surveillance controversy
        http://csua.org/u/fw8 (latimes.com)
        "So far there has been no suggestion that the NSA has done anything
        with disreputable motives. The administration has nothing to be
        ashamed of. The only scandal here is that some people favor unilateral
        disarmament in our struggle against the suicide bombers." [and a nuke
        going off in a major American city]
        He is a Cal alum, graduating in '91 with a B.S. in History at the age
        of 20, and from Yale a year later with a M.S. in Diplomatic History.
        \_ Basically he's saying "why do you hate America"
        \_ I don't care what his credentials are; he's still a fool.
        \_ Max Boot used to write a column for the Daily Cal when he was a
           student that was SO conservative, most people on campus thought
           he was actually a liberal troll.
           \_ Uh no.  What they did was storm the DC offices and demand the
              editor sack him.  She refused on grounds of free speech, etc.
              Something along the lines of, "Even though I disagree with
              everything he writes, he still has the right to say it".
        \_ Another great credential: Boot is a signatory of the Project for
           a New American Century.  -tom
        \_ weird i thought he would have been much older
        \_ Why do I find the Equifax "finding out if you're good" ad that
           came with that article terrifying?  -John
           \_ Some webmaster must think it's hilarious.
              My ad was AT&T Unlimited nation-wide calling, 1st month free
2006/4/7 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:42720 Activity:nil
4/6     Aww.. Trent Lott is tired of the Pork Busters, poor guy just
        really likes bacon!
http://tapscottscopydesk.blogspot.com/2006/04/lott-says-hes-damn-tired-of.html
        http://truthlaidbear.com/porkbusters/index.php
2006/3/28 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:42493 Activity:nil 80%like:42490
3/28    Why does the president and Congress hate the Constitution?
        http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.24057/pub_detail.asp
2006/3/28-29 [Politics/Domestic/Election, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:42490 Activity:nil 80%like:42493
3/28    Why do Congress and the president hate the Constitution?
        http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.24057/pub_detail.asp
        \_ 'cause it limits their power.  Duh.
        \_ cuz the 2nd amendment is the only true limit on their power left
        \_ Did you mean "nearly every politician"?
           \_ Not particularly..
2006/2/17-19 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:41915 Activity:low
2/17    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4726300.stm
        Retirement at 85 and 50-year mortgage may be common by 2050.
        \_ In Japan it takes three generations to pay off a mortgage.
           \_ And in America, it takes one generation to pay off
              three mortgages. Just look at Bill gates, the Waltons,
              the Enron executives, and the Bush Dynasty.
              \_ And Soros and the Kennedy family and the Heinz
                 family and the....  What do billionaires have to do with
                 anything?
        \_ Yes, if pigs had wings, they may fly.
2006/2/16 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:41895 Activity:nil
2/16    Winning the Race
        http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=21170
2006/1/31-2/2 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:41618 Activity:nil
1/31    What's the difference between the Chairman, President, CEO and COO of
        a company?  To me, all of them are "people up there".  Thx.
        \_ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporation
           http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_operating_officer
           http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_executive_officer
           http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chairman
2006/1/19-21 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:41431 Activity:low
1/19    Ron Paul, the only Congresscritter to tell the truth? Truth most
        Americans don't want to hear ... (http://www.house.gov
        http://tinyurl.com/d6g7y
        \_ I'd vote for him.
           \_ What's your favorite federal program?  Ready to have it slashed
              or eliminated?
              \_ Please please don't cut the massive farm subsidies to ADM!
                 \_ Someone hasn't read the article.  Come back when you have.
                        \_ I posted the article.  See:
                           11.  Cut funding for corporate welfare, foreign
                                aid, international NGOs, defense contractors,
                                the military industrial complex, and rich
                                corporate farmers before cutting welfare
                                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
                                for the poor at home;
        \_ I'd vote for him too. --PeterM
           \_ Uh, wow.  Did you actually read the whole thing?  The guy's a
              libertarian radical.
              \_ I thought the article was great not because of his
                 proposed "solutions" but for his summary of the problems.
                 I agree with him that the Abramoff scandal is just a symptom
                 of Congress & the Executive branch selling out to the
                 highest bidder.
                 highest bidder. -- not PeterM
                 \_ That's no reason to vote for an optimistic anarchist
              \_ A libertarian radical wouldn't say "cut corporate welfare
                 before you cut benefits to the poor"
                 \_ He's just prioritizing.
2005/12/20-22 [Computer/SW/Security, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:41088 Activity:nil
12/20   Update on the "DHS visits student for book ILL" story.  At least one
        fact is wrong.  The ILL doesn't require a social security number:
        http://acrlblog.org/2005/12/19/interlibrary-loan-causes-a-stir
2005/12/19-21 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/China, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:41081 Activity:high
12/19   http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051220/ap_on_go_co/congress_high_tech_visas
        Bye bye high-tech VISA, HELLLLLLOOOO outsourcing! Hello CS majors
        who are still in school, it's not too late to change your major.
        If you already graduated, it's not too late to go into other
        useful things, like real-estate. Fuck CS. Fuck tech.
        \_ Let me ask you this question. Do you have problem with GM workers
           with a high school degree making $60-80k a year with full benefit?
           You commands a higher wage than China and India, you need to think
           about what makes you worth your pay.  If you can't compete, then
           find something else to do and stop blaming everyone.
        \_ Um. High-tech VISAs are a form of outsourcing.
           \_ My preference would be to allow more visas especially for US
              educated foreign students, but to slow down or
              educated foreign students, but at the same time, to slow down or
              stop "real" outsourcing - the moving of jobs overseas.  This will
              attract the best talents from abroad, maintain critical mass of
              talented workers here, and also force companies to invest in
              their US based workers.  US  companies should be given incentive
              not to outsource but to adapt and move up the technology food
              chain, especially in critical industries.  Outsourcing means
              companies do well in the short term while US workers lose their
              jobs.  In the long term, however, it means transfer and loss of
              critical technology to countries like China and India.
              Unfortunately, US business leaders mostly have short term views.
              China, OTOH, plan for the long term, and almost always request
              technology and knowledge transfer before agreeing to a business
              partnership with foreign companies.            -!op
              partnership with foreign companies.  The way it's going, US
              will have fewer and fewer engineers and even scientists, while
              the outsource recipient countries will have more and more, and
              they will be doing more and more interesting work, while there
              will be less and less interest for students in the US, be they
              American or foreign students, to do science and engineering, and
              less incentive for those who did, to stay here.          -!op
              stop "real" outsourcing - the moving of jobs overseas.  This
              will attract the best talents from abroad, maintain critical
              mass of talented workers here, and also force companies to
              invest in their US based workers.  US companies should be
              given incentive not to outsource but to adapt and move up the
              technology food chain, especially in critical industries.
              Outsourcing means companies do well in the short term while US
              workers lose their jobs.  In the long term, however, it means
              transfer and loss of critical technology to countries like
              China and India. Unfortunately, US business leaders mostly
              have short term views. China, OTOH, plan for the long term,
              and almost always request technology and knowledge transfer
              before agreeing to a business partnership with foreign
              companies.  The way it's going, US will have fewer and fewer
              engineers and even scientists, while the outsource recipient
              countries will have more and more, and they will be doing more
              and more interesting work, while there will be less and less
              interest for students in the US, be they American or foreign
              students, to do science and engineering, and less incentive
              for those who did, to stay here.  -!op
              \- it may not be a matter of short term views but elite interest
                 diverging from rank and file interest.
                 \_ Are you seriously going to claim that it's in the longterm
                    best interest of owners of American companies to have
                    America lose its competitive edge in science and
                    engineering?  That's ridiculous.  I would argue that
                    American science is so good for the world that anything
                    that hurts American science hurts the whole world at all
                    economic levels.  This is not a zero sum game.
                    \- i'm not suggesting it is 0 sum. i simply think
                       if you have say $10m today, you are not especially
                       affected by say the dollar weakening, poor public
                       schools, pensions failing, social security
                       having problems etc. i.e. people who "get their own"
                       early, can route around a lot of problems in the
                       future. rather than thinking only temporally, you might
                       consider thing "spatially" ... meaning you stand where
                       you sit. more formally some of the incentive problems
                       are those that come from principal-agent issues.
                       i think part of the issue is corporate governance
                       not just globalization. globalization in mfgring has
                       been going on for decades. i also think factors like
                       amaerica's 0 agg private saving rate are going to
                       play a role in shaping the future as well as
                       "globalization".
                       \- oh and i think your discussion has some status quo
                          biases. like when you say "american science declining
                          hurts everybody". well you are a poor person
                          exposed to say cholera and malaria and poor
                          nutrition and no clean water supply, advances in
                          ass-related plastic surgery or botox or the
                          erectile dysfunction treatment meds arent
                          your priorities. yes i relalize a lot of important
                          research behind the Green Revolution or techniques
                          for purifying water with UV and such have come out of
                          the US, but it's also true relatively frivolous stuff
                          is often vastly better rewarded than stuff that kills
                          poor people. again compare the spending on ED drugs
                          [i think there were something like a dozen in the
                          pipeline [npi] in the last couple of decades, but
                          almost no work on common orphan diseases. much of
                          the economic logic behind free trade and free
                          movement of the factors of production and capital
                          also apply to free movement of labor, but nobody
                          is seriously proposing something like that to max
                          overall efficiency. if anything the recent EU
                          negotiations over the CAP/refund and the US pushing IP
                          negotiations over the CAP and the US pushing IP
                          issues in the WTO negotiations show how far
                          people will go to protect their parochial interest
                          and ignore all the ideology when it doesnt go
                          their way. just out of curiosity, do you drive
                          and american [sic] car? do you have an american
                          TV ... oh never mind ... an american stereo?
                          TV ... oh never mind ... and american stereo?
                          where are your shoes made? do you support
                          negotiations over the CAP/refund and the US
                          pushing IP issues in the WTO negotiations show how
                          far people will go to protect their parochial
                          interest and ignore all the ideology when it
                          doesnt go their way. just out of curiosity, do you
                          drive and american [sic] car? do you have an
                          american TV ... oh never mind ... an american
                          stereo?  where are your shoes made? do you support
                          sever penalites for those employing illegal
                          aliens, or should we just keep deporting the
                          persons themselves?
              \_ Who says that science and technology will decline in the US?
                 Why wouldn't they increase as Americans spend more effort on
                 research and diving into more technically challenging roles
                 to become more competitive than an outsourced counterpart?
                 to become more competitve than an outsourced counterpart?
                 \_ Because the competitive advantage from the discoveries
                    you have made, that is the fruits of your labour, will
                    be knowledge transferred to your counterpart in China
                    and India, and they are 10x cheaper than you, and just
                    as smart as you.  With globalization, there is now no
                    incentive for companies to build up a technology gap
                    between US and foreign countries, there is no longer
                    much incentive to invest in technology development in
                    between US and foreign countries, there is less and
                    less incentive to invest in technology development in
                    the US.  Also, China and India are constantly
                    encouraging US companies to invest in R&D over there
                    with all kinds of tax incentives and business partner-
                    with all kinds of tax breaks and business partner-
                    ship lures.  Is this bad for the world?  I don't know.
                    What I do know, is that it's good for China and India,
                    but bad for the US.  Anything to do with research and
                    that is "technical challenging" is not hard to
                    but bad for the US.  Anything to do with research or
                    that is "technically challenging" is not hard to
                    outsource.  All you need is top local talent, of which
                    India and China has plenty, a technology transfer so
                    they get up to speed, which US companies are happy to do,
                    and lots of money for the research facilities, which
                    US companies are happy to invest.
                    \_ Says who?  All evidence I've seen so far shows that
                       outsourced work, while cheaper, is significantly
                       inferior too.  Outsourced code sucks.  Speedy
                       communication still remains an issue.  If you're good
                       at what you do, then I maintain that you're not
                       expendible and your job won't be shipped overseas.  If
                       that isn't the case, then it's time for you to improve
                       your skills and make yourself more marketable.
        \_ Even with outsourcing, I'd like to know which major should one choose
           other than business administration or engineering in order to have
           the jobs with comparable salaries that are as readily available as
           in CS.
                       \_ I am in 3G wireless infrastructure, and my
                          employer is systematically moving the whole
                          division to China.  It doesn't matter if I am
                          good or bad.  Even if I am good, I would be
                          good or bad.  Either way, I would be
                          forced to either move to a different field,
                          move to a different part of the country, stay
                          move to a different part of the country, or stay
                          on and do peripheral type work.
                          As for foreign coders, it is the same as over
                          here, some are idiots, some are good, but
                          they are improving fast.  And of course,
                          3G wireless has lots of military applications,
                          pretty kool for China.
                          pretty kool for China to have a large pool of
                          engineers with experience in this area.
        \_ Even with outsourcing, I'd like to know which major should one
           choose other than business administration or engineering in order
           to have the jobs with comparable salaries that are as readily
           available as in CS.
           \_ Anything that gets you into law school or medical school.
              \- self-regulating indistries are in better positions to
                 protect themselves. there was a large influx of indian and
                 russian doctors in the 70s i believe and i assume the AMA
                 either ahead of time or in response took steps to keep them
                 from competing. typically they do so by insisiting on
                 certifications [we are here to protect you] and then defining
                 the area of practice very broadly. see e.g. the nolo v texas
                 case. my understanding is dental hyginists must work for a
                 dentist and cannot operate a $19.95 only-teeth-cleaning
                 service. i believe there are regulations on opticians as
                 well. civil engineers, ME, software engineers either missed
                 the boat or were never in a position to similarly dictate
                 competition terms.
              \_ Actually, engineering is probably a good choice if you want
                 to go to law school. IP lawyers (patent and copyright) are
                 generally paid more and have better working conditions that
                 the pol sci majors.
              \_ I can feel nothing but pity for people chosing majors
                 based ONLY on how much they're gonna make. It's gonna take 5
                 to 10 possibly best years of your life spent on learning
                 something that you're not passionate about before he/she can
                 even start earning money. Of course, most of them are probably
                 too dumb to make it into and through the medical or law school
                 or a rigorous CS program like at UCB anyways but I pity both
                 kinds.
                 \_ Law school doesn't require being smart.
        \_ Just learn to say "would you like fries with that?" like all th
           PolySci/English majors have been doing for decades.
           \_ Actually, I say "Have you rtfm?" these days. -English major
2005/12/12-14 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:40981 Activity:high
12/12   dim, do you advocate living a lot farther to buy a single family
        home instead of a condo that is a lot closer?
        \_ Tough question. In general, I like the lifestyle a SFR affords.
           However, I'd rather have a condo in SF than commute in from
           Sacramento every day. There are advantages to both. All else
           equal, you are better off with a SFR in most cases. For
           investment purposes, small buildings and duplex/triplex
           situations are better than either. --dim
        \_ Condos are better when you're young and you don't have time to
           mow the lawn, adjust the sprinkler, rake leafs, clean up the
           garage (which your wife thinks is an unlimited storage space),
           plant new flower beds, add manure [or chemical fertilizer],
           take out weeds, kill gophers, spray pesticides, etc.
           In addition, when you're older and move up to a SFR that real
           men live in, you can rent out your condo without worrying
           about the condition of the condo as your home owner's association
           should take care of things for you. Lastly, home owner's
           association dues (HOA) is completely tax deductable as expense
           so it's all good.
           \_ Jesus, what is wrong with you people?  You do realize that you
              can hire a gardener to do most/all of that crap, yes?  It's
              really actually rather common and can work really well at a
              fairly modest price.  You can find these 'gardeners' in the
              yellow pages.
           \_ If I ever want to do any of that shit on your list other than
              killing gophers, I hope someone has the mercy to kill me.
              \- spoken like a young rebellious liberal. One day, you will grow
                 up and assimilate, and you'll love to do all of the above.
                 Grow up, get a job, buy a suburbian house, buy a minivan
                 or SUV, and have kids. Family values, that's the American
                 way.  Like I said, you'll have to do all of the above sooner
                 or later. Can I kill you now? God Bless.
                                               \_ God Bless? God Bless what?
                                                  What exactly is it that god
                                                  is supposed to be blessing
                                                  here?  Do you really believe
                                                  in god, or are you just being
                                                  'clever'?
                 \_ Yes, but at least he galloped.  When did you?
           \_ blah! both options suck. why buy when you can rent worry
              free. i'm happy renting my place, i feel perfectly fine
              playing PS2, Xbox and having cool LAN parties. what is it
              with you old farts. grow down man -young troll, will try harder
           \_ SFR have greater demands and lower supply. Old SFR and
              orchids and warehouses are constantly being torn down for
              \_ That's gotta be the smallest condo ever!
              more condo developments. SFR are disappearing while condos
              are being built all the time. So, it's not hard to see why
              one is better than the other. If you spend just a little
              bit of time in traffic, your overall gain in the long run
              is much higher. SFR rules.
           \_ I'd actually argue that condos are better for older people.
              Young people have a lot more energy for all of the above.
           \_ Are HOA dues really tax deductible? googling says otherwise,
              can anyone say definitively?
              \_ If you are renting the place out, you can deduct the HOA
                 dues from the amount you collect in rent.  You cannot
                 deduct the HOA dues on your primary residence.
                 \_ Good to know -potential future landlord
           \_ Live simply, and spend your extra time doing charity work,
              instead of mowing the lawn.
              \_ helping thyself is the best charity work.  -libertarian
                 \- how do you, mr libertarian, define charity? do you
                    define it as "helping yourself" or that just falls
                    under your defn? --psb
                     \_ I think you have been had.  Libertarians LOVE
                     \_ I think you have been had.  Libertarians like
                        charity. Charity makes one feel good about oneself
                        and helps another who may well be gratefull. It is
                        and helps another who may well be grateful. It is
                        Govmnt handouts, which are coerced from one person
                        (how many here feel good when paying their taxes?)
                        and given to another as entitelments, (which are
                        less likely to make one feel gratefuly)
                        less likely to make one feel grateful)
                        Please note, that I am *not* arguing personally
                        against social welfare.  I am simply stating the
                        libertarian POV to illustrate that it is more likely
                        that the above is (mis)characterizing a "libertarian"
                        not actually speaking as one.  -crebbs
                        \- i dont think i've been had. i think you are being
                           defensive. saying "chess is my favorite sport"
                           may make sense if sport to you is at essence about
                           competition but may not make sense if must involve
                           something physical. is non-competititive mountain
                           climbing a sport? similarly, i am trying to figure
                           out what this fellow considers the "essence" of
                           charity. shopping on amazon makes me feel good
                           and helps amazon stockholders. that isnt charity.
                           i do know a bit about libertarianism and
                           contractarian philosophy. i am asking a narrow
                           question to the PP. not making a statement about
                           social welfare in the large.  --psb
                           \- on i see ... from below it looks like
                              the "-libertarian" fellow is just mocking
                              libertarianism. it's hard to tell the mocking
                              from those who are in earnest ... privatize
                              from those who are in earnest ... privatatize
                              fire depts! --psb
                              \_ right, my point was just that he is mocking
                                 As for the "Fire Depts" comment. All groups
                                 have their irrational fringe elements.  It
                                 happens that 3rd party groups, being ipso
                                 facto out of the mainstream, tend to be more
                                 defined by their extremists. That being said
                                 there is a huge difference between someone
                                 Characterizing Libs as radicals, and some
                                 idiot(s) who (regularly) MIS-Characterize
                                 them as mean/cruel/hateful/dimwitted/selfish
                                 hedonistic bastards (not to say that there are
                                 none who are) -crebbs
                                 \- my criticisms of libertarians is not a
                                    philosophical criticism of libertarianism.
                                    i think most libertarians actually dont
                                    care about the philosophy they just like
                                    what it says. this isnt a perfect analogy
                                    but it's like the difference between a
                                    raiders supporter because they are co-
                                    located in oakland and somebody to endorses
                                    the raider image/lifestyle/values and would
                                    stick with them even if moved to Dallas.
                                    i do have separate criticisms of the lib.
                                    philosophy but i also think the it is a
                                    compelling framework that can force
                                    opposing views to answer some tough
                                    questions (as i have said before some
                                    liberals become defensive when confronted
                                    with "dont you feel people know what is
                                    best for themselves" ... when it is phrased
                                    as "do you think poor people are stupid"
                                    and feel obligated to backpedal rather
                                    than say "yes, there are a bunch of cases
                                    where people dont make good decisions"
                                    either for structural reasons [info costs]
                                    or "weak will"). the Randroids are pretty
                                    much the Stalinists of the Libertarians.
                                    are you related to the Krebs cycle people?
                                 them as evil/hateful/dimwitted/selfish
                                 bastards (not to say that there are none
                                 who are) -crebbs
                                    are you invovled with the crebbs cycle?
2005/11/10-14 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold] UID:40537 Activity:moderate
11/10   http://www.politicalcompass.org
        Another measure of your position on the political spectrum.
        I'm -2.25 Left, -5.64 Libertarian.  -nivra
        \_ Link doesn't work.
        \_ Some of these questions are loaded.  Also, does "Our race" mean
           the human race, or white/asian/black/etc?
           \_ I presume it means the race of the person taking the study.
        \_ -4.65 left, -3.85 libertarian -- I could be the next Dalai Lama!
           -eric
        \_ -2.75 left, -0.87 libertarian --dim
        \_ -2.63 left, -4.31 libertarian -mice
        \_ Isn't this old? This has been posted several times. Too bad
           our friendly archiving is gone.
           \_ archiving wouldn't have prevented it from being posted, nor would
              it have prevented people from posting responses.
        \_ "The old one-dimensional categories of 'right' and 'left' ,
           established for the seating arrangement of the French National
           Assembly of 1789 ......"  Is this real?  I've been wondering about
           the origins of the left/right notation.
           \_ Yes. The people who supported the monarchy sat on the right of
              the chamber, right being the position of respect (as in "right
              hand man"). The "common people", who opposed the absolute power of
              the monarchy and the aristocracy, sat on the left. -gm
        \_ -5.50 left, -5.90 libertarian.  -tom
        \_ Is the Chinese authority moving from Stalin-like to Hitler-like?
        \_ Everyone on the left huh?  4.13 left, -1.08 libertarian
        \_ 3.25 left/right, 0.15 libertarian
        \- -3.13Left,-2.67Lib. i think that overstates my leftiness.
           the moral phil test is better.  --psb
               \_ urlP
                  \_ #t
        \_ 4.75 Right, -2.31 Libertarian.
        \- -3.13Left,-2.67Lib. i think that overstates my leftiness. --psb
           the moral phil test is better.
        \_ some of the squestions are poorly written like the one about
           "plant genetic resources".
           \_ Its fairly obvious they mean the "terminator" gene, but it
              could also include vegetables w/ animal dna.
           \_ "Astrology accurately explains many things"?  Well, yes.  The
              question is what things.
        \_ -3.25 left/right, -6.62 Lib/Authoritarian.  Does this mean I'm
           a fucking hippy?
                \_ Only if you are having sex, if not it just makes you a hippy.  -ax
        \_ I find it amusing that classic liberalism is labeled neo-liberalism
           on their chart.
        \_ Economic Left/Right: -0.25
           Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.72
           This makes me a moderate, while most of you think of me as conservative.
           It seems like the test is a little skewed towards the left, but it
           could be the Berkeley curve throwing things off.  -ax
        \_ 0.50 left, 5.18 libertarian.  Hrm.  -John
        \_ -5.38 left, -6.72 libertarian.  -niloc
        \_ -0.25 left, -2.36 lib. This thing is definitely skewed to the
           left in the economic scale at least. I am pretty certain that
           their "International Chart" showing a whole bunch of famous
           leaders in in the authoritarian+right is wrong; that they are
           inaccurately describing "rightist" economic attitudes with their
           questions on that subject. In reality I think the modern notion of
           the center is somewhere to the left of their absolute scale.
           (On the other hand I do consider myself a moderate and it puts me
           there...)
        \_ -5.88 left, -4.92 lib
2005/10/21-24 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Finance/Investment] UID:40213 Activity:nil
10/21   Alan Greenspan translation for the average American is here:
        http://www.lewrockwell.com/thornton/thornton13.html
2005/10/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:40011 Activity:nil
10/7    Al Gore on why Television (news) sucks.  Aside from a few petty
        digs at his enemies, and some mistaken historical facts,
        (protests invented in the 60s?) I basically agree with him.
        http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/10/06/D8D2IU703.html
        \_ Gore is a smart guy, but the electorate decided they didn't like
           sighing so we got W instead.
           \_ This has what to do with the link?
        \_ Watch the News Hour.
        \_ Thanks, this is great reading.
2005/9/28-10/1 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/California] UID:39904 Activity:nil
9/28    Mortgage interest is tax-deductible for federal and state taxes.  Is it
        also deductible for the items on my paycheck like Social Security,
        Medicare, etc.?
        \_ No.  You get to pay the middle-class regressive tax whether you
           like it or not.  Call us back when you get past that AMT wall, boyo.
           \_ i dont understand AMT. when i am about to pay $0 tax dollars..
              all of  a sudden i have to pay $8000?
              \_ AMT is a minimum amount of tax you should pay based on
                 some formula. So, for instance, if you make $300K and
                 have $300K in deductions (let us say stock losses) you
                 still have to pay the minimum tax (and not $0).
                 \_ AMT was designed to prevent the ultra-rich from paying
                    no tax.  Unfortunately it has never been indexed to
                    inflation, and so it increasingly hits the middle class.
                    This is only going to get worse over time, but for some
                    reason the Republican leadership seems reluctant to fix it.
                    \_ Well, the R leadership is too busy spending like drunken
                       sailors (apologies to sailors).  But if they tried it,
                       the D's would say "they're trying to protect the rich
                       again!" -emarkp
                       \_ Apology accepted.  I used to be a sailor, and drank
                          plenty, but I never spent more than I could afford.
                          \_ You also spent /your own money/.  Which is another
                             important difference. -emarkp
                       \_ For what it's worth, I believe the Democrats want
                          to fix the AMT.  It may even be in the platform,
                          but I don't recall.
                       \_ The AMT is primarily a problem for voters in
                          Democratic states.  Why would the Republicans rush
                          to fix it?  Let CA and NY vote Republican, and the
                          AMT will get fixed in a jiff.
                          \_ No, the Republicans want the AMT to explode and
                             hurt people. Then they can repeal the whole thing,
                             no questions asked.
                             \_ and by not removing the AMT, they have a
                                non-exploding budget for years to come :P
                                \_ No one wants to "remove" the AMT, except
                                   for maybe the Grover Norquist wing of the
                                   Republican party.  What it needs is to
                                   fixed so that it doesn't hurt the already
                                   battered and shrinking middle class.
                                   \_ yerright.  I amend that to:
                                      and by not fixing the AMT, they have a
                                      non-exploding projected budget deficit
                                      for years to come
                                   \_ No, I think you're wrong. To correct it
                                      would be simple, just like the fixing the
                                      estate tax. And now that tax is on the
                                      brink of being permanently off the books.
                                      The fate of the AMT will be the same, but
                                      unlike the "death tax," it will actually
                                      hurt people.
                                      hurt people first before they kill it.
                                      \_ do you think the GOPers will be
                                         laughing their asses off when the
                                         upper-middle-class Democrats are
                                         paying the higher taxes they wanted?
                                         \_ Oh dear me yes. They are expecting
                                            a rash of people going to the GOP
                                            when this happens.
2005/8/29-30 [Politics/Domestic/Immigration, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:39333 Activity:nil
8/28    Worth reposting.  James J. Heckman's systematic demolition of
        "The Bell Curve":
        http://reason.com/9503/dept.bk.HECKMAN.text.shtml
        \- FYI: HECKMAN co-won the Econ nobel with UCB Econ Nobel D. MCFADDEN
        \_ "For a variety of reasons, treating persons fairly as individuals
           may lead to heterogeneity in outcomes among demographic groups.
           Denying individual heterogeneity by treating persons as members of
           demographic categories will produce disparities in productivity
           among demographic groups, reduce economic efficiency, and foster a
           sense of injustice among all participants in society."  MOTD, I
           hardly knew ya.
2005/8/2-4 [Politics/Domestic/Election, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:38929 Activity:nil
8/2     Can someone define "social justice" for me?
        \_ "Social Justice" is someone's idea of how things ought to be
           run.  Depending on that person, it could mean universal health
           care, or executions for all murderers.
        \_ A simple definition would be "A fair society" where 'fair' is a
           matter of debate, but it is more commonly used by Liberals to
           refer to helping some disadvantaged group.
2005/7/17-18 [Politics/Domestic/911, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:38669 Activity:nil
7/16    Rove: "I've already said too much."
        http://csua.org/u/cqf (Yahoo! news)
        \_ Yeah? So? The President has been doing whatever he pleases and
           nothing touches him or his staff. What's the point for fighting...
2005/6/28 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:38326 Activity:nil
6/28    On Tuesday evening, President Bush will try to convince you that
        we're making big progress in Iraq, energy, social security, tax,
        health care, and others. What are some things you expect
        him to say? I'll start:
        \_ "Terrorists hate freedom, that is why we must stay in Iraq"
        \_ More interesting to an actual discussion would be what you think
           he'll say, why he'll say it and why you think he is right or wrong
           with each statement.
           \_ More interesting than that would be a drinking game - a shot
              of Patron every time he says the word "freedom" or refers to
              9/11.
2005/6/9-10 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/Immigration] UID:38056 Activity:high
6/9     "The last two decades have witnessed a revival of the American credo
        of personal responsibility, championed by conservatives as an
        all-purpose tonic to every social ill." I will agree that many
        conservatives use personal responsibility as the solution to all
        life's problems. However, I also get upset when liberals seem to run
        from personal responsibility too.  I think that this is a false
        choice. The fact is we need both personal responsibility and social
        responsibility. People need to responsible for the lives they are
        given and be responsible for their fellow man and woman. It's not an
        either/or, but a both/and.  I need to find a job. That's my
        responsibility, not the government's. However it should be the
        government's responisibility to make sure I have adaquate health
        care, and other stablizers in order to keep me slipping towards
        poverty. That's what makes a social contract: I will do something
        for you and in return you will do something for me.  As a pragmatic
        moderate who is experiencing economic insecurity, I know we need to
        have government play a more expanded role. However, let's not
        sideline personal responsibility in process.
        \_ From what I have seen with my own eyes, the actual number of
           cases where people are simply unwilling to find a job is nearly
           negligible compared to the cases where economic realities are
           enough to make socialized assistance a good idea. Living in
           Berkeley was not good for my perspective since that "negligible"
           number of people were right in my face everyday. Outside Berkeley,
           I've mainly seen people working their asses off and barely getting
           by. From that I've concluded that personal responsibility, at least
           as far as getting a job, is an easy go-to emotional push button for
           people who don't think socialized assistance (and that comes in many
           many forms) is a good idea. It is an easy way to distract otherwise
           well meaning people from a larger reality. -- ulysses
           \_ A large majority of Republicans would say that people working
              their asses off and barely getting by is how it should work.
              The people working their assess off and doing better than that
              "deserve" it because they came up with a better mousetrap, or
              are children of those who already succeeded (inheritance, family
              connections).  They also say the lazy wealthy will spend all
              their cash in one generation, and it's no one's right to tax
              their inheritance away -- their kids will be working their asses
              off and barely getting by again.
              \_ Actually the Chinese say that.  It's an old proverb that says
                 "wealth doesn't last past 3 generations".  There's also an
                 old Chinese proverb to the effect that "weath creation is
                 hard, but wealth maintenance is even more difficult."
                 \_ The Chinese also say something to the effect of "Only the
                    good die young".
                    \_ Don't know that one.  Lots of famously Chinese sayings
                       really aren't.  What is it in Chinese?
                       \_ I'll go ask my girlfriend.  Maybe she got it off of
                          soap operas or wu xia novels.
                          \_ There is a descriptive phrase that says "noble
                             spirit is dead early", but this is descriptive
                             rather than prescriptive.
                    \_ The good die young because only the young die good.
        \_ You know, I had been experiencing economic insecurity more than once
           in my life, but it never occurred to me to conclude I need the
           government to play a greater role in my life and help me.  People
           are very different I guess.  There is this microloan bank (fully
           peasant-owned) in South-East Asia somewhere.  They are doing really
           well (most of their loans are not defaulted on).  This is because
           for most poor people there, it is a matter of honor to return the
           loan, so they work hard on their 'microbusiness' which the loan
           helped them bootstrap, and almost always end up better off, and
           paying off the loan.  Most poor people HATE relying on charity.
           Do you know how I learned about this bank?  Dr. Breyer (Inktomy fame)
           Do you know how I learned about this bank?  Dr. Brewer (Inktomy fame)
           was giving a talk at UCLA about, among other things, how
           charity-based efforts to uplift the third world poor tend to work
           badly, while capitalist methods like microloans tend to be very
           effective.  -- ilyas
           \- microcredit is good at some problems but it isnt going to
              help with things like malaria, flood control, post-flood
              recovery, arsenic in the water etc [BTW, this list is based
              on development issue in bangladesh, where the grameen bank
              started, not SE Asia]. what about govt promostion of business?
              started, not SE Asia]. what about govt promotion of business?
              this isnt just obvious corporate pork or things like tax holidays
              but subtler things like city leaders going on trade promotion
              tours, the import-export bank etc.
              \_ Breyer's thesis is that 'development' (which is the real
              tours, the import-export bank etc. --psb
              \_ Brewer's thesis is that 'development' (which is the real
                 way to affect things like malaria and response to natural
                 disasters) has to happen in a capitalist way, or it is not
                 sustainable.  The typical example he gave was a World Bank
                 project going in, spending some money for a few years, and
                 leaving once the grant ran out.  The structures they have
                 build immediately dissipate because charity does not build
                 sustainable development structures, whereas a business does.
                 I don't think he was particularly hung up on microloans as
                 the universal panacea, nor was he saying charity has no place.
                   -- ilyas
                   \- to say development is the way to solve something like
                      endemic malaria or various other problems killing
                      10x the tsunami's total death toll per year is just
                      an excuse to do nothing, a lot like the people who
                      keep saying "oh first we have to solve the governance
                      and transparancy issues otherwise we will be throwing
                      good money after bad". without a doubt these long terms
                      policies are what do you need to accomplish long term
                      results and solutions but to avoid the problem is to
                      consign a lot of people to cheaply avoidable death and
                      misery.
                      \_ Partha you often accuse libertarians and
                         market-oriented folks of 'ulterior motives' for their
                         beliefs.  Why is that?  Do you really think they are
                         really more likely than any other political group of
                         having ulterior motives?  Actually this touches on
                         'the motivation problem' which is something that
                         has been on my mind for many years now.  At any rate,
                         I don't think those kinds of arguments are very
                         convincing.  It's kind of like accusing the pro-charity
                         folks of having excuses for feeding unjust
                         dictatorships.  -- ilyas
                                 \- go count how many reasonably
                                    well governed countries there are
                                    in africa that could use some help.
                                    there is more to africa than
                                    uganda, congo, sierra leone, liberia,
                                    sudan etc. you never hear about most
                                    of those countries.
                                       \- BTW, I think you should be more
                                          specific when you are talking about
                                          charities. I am not sure whether
                                          you are talking about the SF Opera
                                          or Breast Cancer or organic food
                                          in the ghetto or free cateract
                                          operations for poor people in the
                                          3rd world. why do some rightwingers
                                          only talk about the latter kind of
                                          thing as fostering a culture of
                                          dependence? hey let's have breast
                                          cancer sufferers suck it up and the
                                          SF opera singers can build their own
                                          sets. --psb
                                          \-Finally: it really says something
                                            about the right-wing today to have
                                            me lumped in with the leftists.
                                            I mean this is truly new levels
                                            of mendacity ... doesnt mining
                                            nicaraguan harbors or iran-contra
                                            just seem quaint now. --psb
                         \- my point about randroids is pretty specific.
                            my overall view is a lot of libertarians dont care
                            about others and dont choose to admit it and
                            a lot of liberals dont want to admit there are a
                            lot of stupid poor people who dont know what is
                            best for themselves so they let libertarians
                            bash them over and over with "are you saying
                            poor people dont know what is best for them" ...
                            yes, a lot of parents dont give a rats ass about
                            their kids, yes, a lot of people are too dumb to
                            manage their money. thats part of the problem with
                            some voucher and privatization plans. dumb richer
                            people can game the system after making a mistake
                            [orange county bailout]. there is a lot of
                            hypocrisy on both sides [family values sex fiends,
                            leftwingers advocating things that will drive up
                            costs of goods for poor people]. the angry
                            right wing mobilize in a way that advances their
                            interests while the angry left wing just foams.
                            the moderate left wing are too hedonistic to
                            bother to do much. the moderate leftwin now
                            consderates any day a democratic congressman
                            doesnt wet his pants on TV a successful day, see
                            recent judicial "compromise". the moderate right
                            wing is assessing whether they can throw money
                            at the problem and avoid the problems the angry
                            right might drag them into. --psb
                            \_ Firstly, I find it supremely amusing you wrote
                               4 separate replies.  Secondly, I was not lumping
                               you with anybody, although I would say your
                               beliefs qualify you for a 'liberal' in the
                               American sense.  Thirdly, to reiterate a point
                               I perhaps did not state sufficiently strongly,
                               I have no problems with charities.  I love
                               charities, in fact, because I view them as a
                               more viable alternative over government-managed,
                               tax-funded programs, in many cases.
                               \- on a lot of specific policy areas ...
                                  regulating pollution and other environmental
                                  issues, trade unions, free trade, tort law,
                                  govt paid for sex change operations ... i
                                  hardly endorse the traditional liberal
                                  position. but it's hard for to ignore
                                  hypocrisy, racism, and rank criminality
                                  because i agree with them on welfare
                                  reform. if i have to choose between some
                                  loser getting a free sex change operation
                                  and halliburton ripping us off for millions
                                  of dollars, it doesnt really matter to me
                                  whether the transsexual is straight, gay
                                  or bisexual. for example i have a reasonably
                                  hard attitude toward illegal immigration,
                                  but 1. the arguments for and against free
                                  trade in goods largely apply to free movement
                                  of labor 2. this new idea of creating a
                                  semi-official second class status of persons
                                  is really offensive ... it isnt excused by
                                  being pareto superior. the right is sinking
                                  to a new low on big issues that are hard to
                                  ignore or compromise on becaues of their
                                  extremeism or magnitude.
                         having ulterior motives? -- ilyas
                         more likely than any other political group to have
                         ulterior motives? -- ilyas
                                  \_ I suspect libertarians such as ilyas are
                                     actually a bit handicapped understanding
                                     the perception of the libertarian pov.
                                     ilyas, alone among the libertarians who
                                     I've read here over the years, generally
                                     sounds like he's convinced libertarianism
                                     is a correct means to an end. All the rest
                                     I've read, my impression has been that one
                                     scratched their argument a bit and it was
                                     a bit of Limbaugh-esque flim-flam painted
                                     over naked greed or blame-mongering.
                                     -- ulysses
           \_ Everyone agrees microloans > charity, doing nothing.
              However, is it that:
              microloans > charity > doing nothing, or
              microloans > doing nothing > charity
              Also, above poster contends certain things are difficult to
              microloan on.
              \_ I would say charity is better than doing nothing, but I
                 think charity tends to be a very inefficient means to
                 achieve desirable long-term positive effects, because of
                 the mentioned lack of sustainability of effects charity
                 produces.  I think people who want to enact long-term
                 change ought to spend more time thinking about the best
                 way to spend their charitable contributions than just
                 blindly give to a charity, and telling their conscience
                 to shut up.  Breyer gave an example of developing a
                 malaria blood tester machine that can be used 'in the field'
                 as a PhD thesis.  Then you can put in your CV "my work
                 saved 50 million lives."  -- ilyas
                 way to help than just blindly give to a charity, and telling
                 their conscience to shut up.  Breyer gave an example of
                 their conscience to shut up.  Brewer gave an example of
                 developing a malaria blood tester machine that can be used
                 'in the field' as a PhD thesis.  Then you can put in your CV
                 "my work saved 50 million lives."  Hard to argue with that.
                 This touches on a larger philosophical problem of moral
                 actions being generally uncomputable (you don't have time,
                 \_ I think most people agrees with what you wrote,
                    up to ".  Breyer ...".
                 and doing nothing is also immoral). -- ilyas
                     \- i am not familar with your "blood tester" but you can
                        look at jay keasling's [ucb/lbl] work on "e coli"
                        factories to bring down the cost of an anti-malarial
                        as well as something like ashok gadgil's [lbl]
                        UV waterworks. BTW, i am sure Brewer is a "breyte"
                        guy [are we talking about Brewer?] but why dont you
                        read a development export on this stuff? like say
                        jeffrey sachs or AMARTYA SEN. you might be interested
                        in SEN: DEVELOPMENT AS FREEDOM. --psb
                        in SEN: DEVELOPMENT AS FREEDOM.
                        \_ It is Brewer, sorry.  Fixed.  I forget what disease
                           the field blood tester was for.  It might not have
                           been malaria. -- ilyas
                 \_ I think most people agree with what you wrote,
                    up to ".  Breyer ...".  As for Breyer, well, I think he's
                    up to ".  Brewer ...".  As for Brewer, well, I think he's
                    just stating the obvious, except he is a startup founder
                    and Berkeley CS professor (but that's just my opinion).
                    The "obvious" being:
                    microloans (and other aid which encourages self-reliance
                    and comes with long-term benefits)
                      > short-term charity, doing nothing
                    \_ If, as you say, most people agree with what I wrote,
                       it is very curious that there is so much controversy
                       about whether it is better to uplift the poor in the
                       United States using capitalist or charity-based methods.
                       Is there something fundamentally different between the
                       situation here and in the Third World? -- ilyas
                         \- yes. in jeffrey sachs rather disturbing phrase,
                            some people are "too poor to live". by and large
                            the poverty in the united states is not "the
                            poverty that kills". --psb
                            \_ Yes, I am of course aware of that.  This
                               actually makes the 'uplift through charity'
                               argument harder in the case of the US poor.
                       \_ Let's go back to:
                          Everyone agrees microloans > charity, doing nothing.
                          However, is it that:
                          microloans > charity > doing nothing, or
                          microloans > doing nothing > charity
                          The problem is that the process hasn't been created
                          to efficiently microloan everything but only a
                          limited number of projects.
                          Let's say the U.S. government could potentially spend
                          $10 on aid.  Practically speaking, we can only spend
                          $1 on microloan type stuff.  So, do you:  spend $9
                          on charity, keep the $9 (do nothing), spend $4.5 on
                          charity and keep the rest, spend $9 on developing the
                          process for microloan type stuff and give nothing
                          to charity, or some combination of the above?
                          It is on these practical issues on which most of
                          the substantive arguments are about.
                          Plus, you have Dems who think that GOPers prefer
                          doing nothing over giving charity and think
                          micro-loans are really about doing nothing; and
                          you have GOPers who think Dems prefer giving charity
                          over doing nothing and micro-loans.
                          From my perspective both parties are making the wrong
                          assumptions about the other side, and this is a
                          major part of what a lot of the bickering is about.
                          In an ideal world, both parties are having arguments
                          on the substantive differences, not the imagined
                          ones, but oh well (what better way to rally the base
                          than to say that the other side would like nothing
                          better than spending zilch on charity, or say the
                          other side prefers putting the lazy on the dole
                          forever).
                          In the real world (which includes soda), the vast
                          majority of arguments are about imagined differences,
                          or are situations where 80% of the difference is
                          imagined/non-substantive and 20% of it is
                          substantive.
                          majority of arguments are situations where 80% of the
                          difference is imagined/non-substantive and 20% of it
                          is substantive.
                          \_ I don't think this is really true.  Some people
                             really do not trust market and self-interest-based
                             solutions. -- ilyas
                             \_ I am not excluding that.
                                People who understand the valid points held by
                                the other side are having the substantive
                                arguments.
        \_ So you are experiencing economic insecurity and you want the gov
           to fix it all up for you? What is this kindgarten? If you are
           really worried about economic insecurity, why don't you save money
           to get through the tough times?  How about trying to get another
           degree or something?
           \- if you owe the bank $100, you have a problem. if you owe the
              bank $1m, the bank has a problem.
              \_ Why get yourself in a position where you owe the bank
                 $1m (or $100) and don't have the means to pay? (Serious
                 question - I've never carried long term debt and don't
                 understand why you would want to)
2005/6/8-10 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:38046 Activity:high
6/8     Janice Brown: Liberalism --> Slavery
        http://csua.org/u/cb0 (nytimes.com)
        \_ WAR IS PEACE
           FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
           IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
        \_ GOP is brilliant. By hiring minorities who align with their agenda
           they attract other minorities who are ignorant of Republican agendas
           \_ Would you care to enlighten us poor benighted savages about
              the real Republican agenda?
              \_ In my opinion... in theory, their ideology is good for the
                 society. But in practice, it is flawed. That is not to say
                 that Dem ideologies are in practice flawed as well. However,
                 it's not hard to see that in the past decade or two that
                 the Rep ideology is being abused much more, by the religious
                 right, the homophobes, big Corporate sponsors, and the
                 NeoCons. Lastly I simply have a lot of problems with Rep's
                 fundamental idea of using personal responsibility to solve
                 most of life's problems. In many cases, people are not born
                 with the ability to solve their own problems, but would be
                 ok if given a second or third chance. We talk about
                 equality, but in reality the world is not equal. Regardless
                 of abilities and merits, the rich still get better education
                 and the minorities are still getting a shorter end of the
                 stick. Personal responsibility-- great in theory, unfair in
                 practice. That is why I am opposed to Rep agendas: tax
                 reduction, flat tax, completely personal responsible social
                 security, reduction of welfare, reduction of public
                 education, reduction of public/gov owned entities. A more
                 balanced approach is personal responsibility AND social
                 responsiblity.                         -pp, a Moderate
                 \_ You realize that poor == minorities is a false
                    equality, right?
                    \_ There's a remarkable correlation.  one of the sins
                       of our society.
                    http://ferret.bls.census.gov/macro/032004/pov/new01_100.htm
                       Do your homework.
                       \_ correlation != causality && correlation !=
                          equality.  Do your homework.
                          \_ I didn't say it was equality, but just to throw
                             that statement out was disingenuous of you.  To
                             speak of poverty and try to gloss over ethnic
                             disparity is dishonest. And who said anything
                             about causality?
                             \_ I just threw it out because "-pp, a
                                Moderate" seemed to be implying it.  I
                                didn't think it really warrented
                                discussion.  I figured causality in
                                because I figured that was what you
                                must be thinking, since you brought up
                                the numbers.  ie, from these numbers it
                                seems that being a minority causes one to
                                be poor.  Furthermore, why is glossing
                                over the ethnic disparity dishonest?
                                Including the figures is often used to
                                suggest that the disparity is caused by
                                racism, which I think it dishonest.  Any
                                culture that discourages education will
                                produce more poor, on average, than one
                                that encourages it.  It doesn't matter if
                                you're white, black, brown, or any other
                                race.  Many poor families in the
                                states exhibit this characteristic.
                 \_ All ideologies are open to manipulation, not just
                    Republican ones. However, I disagree that Republican
                    ideas unfair in practice.
                    ideas are unfair in practice.
                    In my experience the Liberal Democrat pov is one that
                    emphasizes the importance of the elites and what they
                    think is best for us "masses."  They decide the agenda
                    and tell us what it important and we have to go along
                    and tell us what is important and we have to go along
                    with it. It doesn't not allow us to think and decide
                    what is best for ourselves.  In the guise of "fairness"
                    they suppresses creativity and ingenuity and rob people
                    of the incentive to work hard and make their lives
                    better.
                    The Republican pov is that there should be a minimum
                    level of restrictions on the activities of people and
                    that people ought to be left along to decide how they
                    that people ought to be left alone to decide how they
                    want to live their lives.  (Some GOP administrations
                    are worse at this than others, but one the whole they
                    are much better than Democratic administrations).
                    are worse at this than others, but on the whole they
                    are better than Democratic administrations).
                    Re: Education - I completely disagree that the rich
                    get or have access to a better education than the
                    "poor."  My family came to this country w/ ~ $10.
                    My mom managed to put both of her sons through
                    engineering at Cal, one of the finest institutions of
                    education in the whole world. In no way would I
                    characterize my education as lesser than what some
                    rich guy who went to Yale and couldn't even manage A's
                    in humanities classes got.
                    rich guy got at Yale (he got 5 D's and not even one
                    A in a humanities major, give me a break).
                    A in a humanities major, give me a break). -scotsman
                    \_ Is that why the Republicans keep trying to outlaw
                       sodomy and marijuana and stuff the prisons full?
                       Republicans are in favor of big government just
                       as much as Democrats, they just prefer the kind
                       that wields a truncheon.
                       that wields a truncheon instead of a welfare check.
                       \_ I don't really care about sodomy laws but as
                          far as pot (and other drugs) are concerned,
                          they are a legitimate arena for government
                          control b/c drug abuse leads to costs for
                          all of society.  When you smoke out and
                          crash your car into mine, I'm stuck having
                          to deal w/ it and I shouldn't have to.
                          Anyway, at least the GOP *tries* to get
                          rid of gov controls in many aspects (esp.
                          economic) vs. the Democrats who want to
                          control everything from Washington.
                          I wouldn't characterize Bush II as the
                          best GOP administration but they are
                          better than any Democratic administration
                          would have been.
                          \_ I don't see evidence that the GOP tries to do
                             this at all. I see lip service, but no action.
                             Name one action that the current administration
                             has done that has either diminished federal power
                             or devolved any to the states. I follow the news
                             pretty closely and I cannot think of anything.
                             Incarceration rates in the US are ten *times*
                             what they are in Western European countries,
                             but there does not seem to be an abundance
                             of drug fueled crime in Europe. It is all
                             about fear and control, and using government
                             to enforce these values, not public safety.
                    \_ Anecdotal evidence it not proof. Study after study
                       has shown that children in wealthier neighborhoods
                       get a better education. Do you honestly believe that
                       Oakland schools are as good as the ones in Orinda?
                    \_ scotsman, you are smart and special. But you are simply
                       ONE data point, which does not accurately represent
                       poor people as a whole. Put it another way, if the
                       criteria to get into Ivy League schools were based on
                       nothing but merits, by throwing out external factors
                       such as connection and money, do you think the mostly
                       [Caucasian] student demographic representation would
                       still be the same?
                       \_ Wow.  Someone signed my name to someone else's post.
                          cute. --scotsman  (to future forgers, I use 2 -'s)
                          Btw, I was fortunate enough to be born to a 3rd/4th
                          generation family, with highly educated parents.
                          And I agree with you.
                          Oh, and even cuter, you're the one who signed my
                          name.
                       \_ So what if a big name gets you into a Ivy League
                          school? It doesn't matter - there are plenty of
                          equal or better opportunities in this country.
                          There is a proven path to the middle class in
                          this country - it involves frugality, education
                          and hardwork.  Yes you can't buy all the things
                          that rich people have, yes you have to study
                          harder than the rich kids and yes you have to
                          go to work early and stay late and put up w/
                          crazy bosses, but that is the price you have
                          to pay. If you aren't willing to do that, why
                          should the gov fix it all up for you?
           \_ Appointing minorities with conservative opinions exposes the true
              Democrat belief:  only minorities that toe the Dem. line are
              acceptable.  The others aren't "real" minorities.
              \_ Democrats want minorities and they want liberals.  Given a
                 choice between a conservative minority and a liberal white,
                 idealogical correctness trumps political correctness.
                 The only people I ever hear say conservative minorities aren't
                 "real" minorities are conservatives attempting to impugn
                 liberals
                 \_ http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20021010.asp#6
2005/5/20 [Politics/Foreign/Europe, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37776 Activity:nil
5/19    http://tinyurl.com/bsyxx    http://Amazon.com
        I have never seen so many reviews written by a dumbass with so
        many negative ("0 of X people found the following review helpful")
        feedbacks. Half of what he writes, he writes VERBATIM in his other
        reviews as well, like "Socialism is the root of all evils!"
        Maybe you can help/unhelp him out as well.
2005/5/19 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37757 Activity:moderate
5/19    David Brooks, moderate conservative of the NY Times, on Newsweek
        http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/19/opinion/19brooks.html?hp
        \_ Thank you.
        \_ David Brooks is an intellectually dishonest man.
           \_ Examples?
              \_ He's a master of the false dichotomy.  A canonical example:
                 "Before we get lost in the policy details, let's be clear
                 about what this Social Security reform debate is really about.
                 It's about the market. People who instinctively trust the
                 markets support the Bush reform ideas, and people who are
                 suspicious oppose them."
                 http://csua.org/u/c4d (nytimes.com, although you may have to
                 pay to read this content now)
                 \_ I thought he was being pretty reasonable while honest
                    about having a subjective point of view.  -John
                 \_ I don't know about false dichotomy or being
                    "intellectually dishonest", but here he is definitely
                    demonstrating his mastery of being vague to the point of
                    being useless.
                    His thoughts on Newsweek, however, ring true.
                 \_ Well, if you talk to a lot of people with different
                    backgrounds you'll find that this statement is true.
                    Some people don't trust the market and want a safety
                    net.
                    \_ My FIL is retiring soon with over $1 million because of
                       the market.  His SS returns are worthless by comparison.
                       How long should we fund irrational people?
                       \_ The Nikkei first hit 11,000 in May 1984.
                          It's at 11,000 today, which means it has lost a
                          significant amount of value in real terms.  There is
                          no reason that couldn't happen to U.S. markets.  -tom
                          \_ What if it did?
                          \_ It never has over the long term.  Pick any 20 year
                             term of the Dow.
                             \_ "It never has" doesn't mean "it never will."
                                There's nothing magical about the Dow that
                                insulates it from stagnation or decline.
                                How do you think the U.S. economy will do
                                in a world economy of oil scarcity?  (Hint:
                                not well).  It is entirely possible that
                                we have already seen the peak of the U.S.
                                stock market.  -tom
                                \_ In a world economy of oil scarcity I
                                   think the US has a leg up on
                                   competitors who are just entering a
                                   stage in which they require increasing oil.
                                   Countries like the US and Japan are
                                   already addressing alternatives. What will
                                   less technologically developed nations do?
                                   \_ The US consumes more oil per capita
                                      than any other nation on the planet.
                                      In any case, the point is that the
                                      fact that the US economy did well
                                      during the 70-100 year reign of the
                                      oil economy does not have any predictive
                                      value for whether it will continue to
                                      do well when the oil economy is gone.
                                      It might, and it might not.  It's
                                      certainly not something you can trust.
                                        -tom
                       \_ And if he had gotten injured at 40, he would be
                          broke and the only thing keeping him from penury
                          would be Social Security.
                          \_ I think that Social Security as retirement
                             should be distinct from Social Security as a
                             form of welfare.
                             \_ Since no one has so far come up with a
                                proposal to do that, you are just spitting
                                into the wind. I have no idea if it is
                                even economically feasable.
                                \_ Isn't this essentially what Bush is
                                   proposing? Some of the money stays in
                                   the system as a 'safety net' and some
                                   leaves in the form of retirement accounts.
                                   \_ No. Bush has never proposed putting
                                      the disability insurance part of
                                      Social Security into a seperate
                                      program.
                                      \_ He hasn't, but isn't that
                                         essentially what he's doing by
                                         privatizing part of it - separating
                                         out the the retirement accounts?
                                         \_ Please find URL where Dubya talks
                                            specifically about what happens
                                            to disability benefits in his
                                            personal accounts plan.
                                            to disability + veterans benefits
                                            in his personal accounts plan.
                                            \_ You are being obtuse. Does
                                               the phrase "essentially"
                                               mean anything to you? When the
                                               money is diverted to retirement
                                               accounts and out of disability
                                               (for instance) then you are
                                               essentially creating two
                                               different plans: one for
                                               retirement and another for
                                               disability. If you read the
                                               literature you will see
                                               statements like:
"Diverting money out of the Social Security system into individual investment
accounts could require substantial reductions in survivor and disability
benefits. Since revenues diverted from the Social Security Trust Fund would no
longer be available to pay guaranteed benefits, those benefits might have to
be reduced significantly. This is a critical issue that has been largely
ignored by proponents of individual investment accounts."
\_ Please find the URL where /Dubya/ talks specifically about what happens to
   /disability benefits/ in his /personal accounts plan/.
   Or, you can refuse to answer the request and continue to stay with the
   opinion that I am "being obtuse".
   \_ That is sort of the point. He ignores the problem.
   \_ If the URL exists then you find it. If it does not, then what the
      heck is your point? By privatizing retirement then he is by
      necessity splitting retirement from disability, unless there are
      also privately funded disability accounts, which is not possible
      as how could someone not able to work fund their account???
      http://www.ohiosilc.org/news/2005/050216_harkin_soc_security.html
      "President Bush says that he has no current plans to cut disability
      benefits. And I hope that remains the case. Unfortunately, the
      president's Social Security privatization plan leaves a lot of
      questions as to how people with disabilities will be treated,"
      Harkin said. "We have no details from the president, and I am deeply
      concerned that he has not thought this through."
      \_ Thanks for the URL.  At least we have a Senator saying that Dubya
         "has no current plans" to cut disability benefits in his new plan.
         Data points are useful.  Maybe someday we will have more data:
         a URL where Dubya says what the Senator thinks he said.
2005/5/18-19 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37748 Activity:high
5/19    Some hopefully neutral background on the filibuster:
        According to Wikipedia, the filibuster has existed as an option to
        stall any issue in the Senate since 1806.  Since 1917 the requirement
        to terminate a filibuster has varied from two-thirds of the entire
        Senate (67 votes) to the three-fifths (60 votes) we have today.
        In 1974, we did change the rules such that budget bills could not be
        filibustered if they reduced the budget deficit (the exception to the
        rule is Social Security, though -- you can still filibuster bills which
        would change SS).
        We are now debating whether we can change the rules such that you
        cannot filibuster nominations to federal judgeships.
        Theoretically we can change the rules to eliminate the filibuster as an
        option for any particular class of issues if you can get 51 votes or 50
        votes + VP tiebreak.
        [re-posted in response to thread below]
        \_ What if they filibuster a bill to relax the rules to eliminate
           filibusters?
           \_ Can't filibuster that.  It's not a law, it's just part of the
              senate rules.
        \_ Question:  This is what I thought was the case, but reading the
           senate rules suggests 2/3 for a rules change.  Everyone's saying
           it's only 50% + 1 for a rules change but I can't figure out why
           that's the case.  Do you have a cite for that?
           \_ This is the "nuclear option".  Basically, breaking the rules for
              changing rules so they can... change the rules.
              \_ Never have I read/heard it described as 'breaking the rules'.
                 Do you have a ref for that?
                 \_ Well, according to Wikipedia, [Reid said] "the
                    parliamentarian of the United States Senate has said it
                    (the nuclear option) is illegal."
                   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option_%28filibuster%29
                    Also, from a likely non-neutral source:
                    http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oId=18761
                    Reading this stuff, it makes me think that the nuclear
                    option is far less of a "you can certainly do it but people
                    just don't want to piss other people off that much" type of
                    issue than I thought.  If the nuclear option was arguably
                    illegal, then I could certainly see "successful" employment
                    of it causing all sorts of problems in the Senate.
                    \_ If it were so illegal, why would R's even have it as an
                       option?  Why have no pundits said anything about it?
                       \_ Even if it were legal (and we won't have a word on
                          that unless it happens, but some say it will be a
                          constitutional crisis), it flies in the face of 200
                          years of tradition in a body that thrives on
                          tradition.  At this point, I would be surprised if
                          Frist actually had the votes to get it done.  In any
                          event, it'll be interesting to hear the
                          constitutional scholars and SC weigh in.
                          \_ SCOTUS doesn't have a say.
                             Also, a senior Republican aide said, "[the
                             Senate parliamentarian] has nothing to do with
                             this. He's a staffer, and we don't have to ask his
                             opinion."
2005/5/15-16 [ERROR, uid:37690, category id '18005#9.005' has no name! , , Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37690 Activity:nil
5/15    Humor for liberals only. http://dontblamemeivoted4kerry.com
        Also, read hate mails from conservatives:
        http://dontblamemeivoted4kerry.com/page2.html
        \_ You're wrong.  That's comedy gold for us conservatives too.  Heh.
           \_ Not according to all those conservative hate mails
2005/5/5-6 [Politics/Domestic/Election, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37542 Activity:low
5/5     This has got to make social conservatives happy:
        http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/05/05/cheerleaders.law.reut
        \_ Screwing around with football related traditions in Texas does not
           strike me as wise for a conservative Texas politician.  I hope
           it bites them in the ass.
2005/5/5 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37526 Activity:nil
5/5     http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/05/04/social.security.ap
        If GWB cuts social security for the middle and upper-middle class,
        then doesn't it simply mean SS = welfare system for the old people?
        Second question. If we can invest in private accounts, can we invest
        in foreign stock market?                        -SS dumb guy
2005/4/30-5/3 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37435 Activity:nil
4/30    These frist filibuster protesters are actually kinda creative and fun,
        I gotta hand it to them.
        http://www.princeton.edu/~petehill/filibuster.html
2005/4/18 [Politics/Domestic/Gay, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37242 Activity:very high
4/18    Am I a conservative or a liberal? I'm actually quite confused.
        I don't believe in war for ANY reason (liberal), and I don't believe
        in gay marriage (conservative). I do I believe in separation of church
        and state (somewhat liberal), and that religious text like Intelligent
        Design should be taken out of public schools (very liberal). On the
        other hand, I also believe in smaller, more efficient government
        (conservative), and at the same time they should provide more public
        infrastructures for us, like better roads, more redundant power grids,
        equal education across States, etc (liberal). I think SS and housing
        projects should go away, and let low-lives learn how to be productive
        members of society (conservative). I do however support better public
        education and opportunity so that there will be less need for SS and
        housing projects (conservative). I don't mind more taxes, in fact, I'd
        delight in seeing a pre-Reagan tax rate (liberal) as long as there is
        a lot more accountability in the government. I totally support in
        programs that strengthen family values, like going to church or
        community centers (conservative), but not at the cost of public
        funding (liberal). So what am I, a liberal or a conservative?
        \_ "Smaller" and "more efficient" are two separate parts.  When R's
           say "smaller" (at least in the last 30 years) they mean less
           regulation, not necessarily less in outlays (and usually exactly
           the opposite).  They also most definitely do not mean "more
           efficient".  These stands are indeed "conservative" values, but
           they are rarely expressed by R's.
        \_ Neither, you're what's known as the "typical American", who
           is a moderate.
           \_ The typical american is real dumb, with an IQ around 100.
              \_ precisely.
        \_ you're just a wuss
        \_ Sloppy with your labeling.
        \_ So when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, you would have just ... uh,
           what would you have done?
           I think what you meant to say was, "I believe war is always morally
           wrong, but it's at times necessary as a last resort, such as when
           Japan bombed Pearl Harbor."
           \_ Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!
        \_ You are, for the most part, socially moderate and economically
           conservative =~ libertarian.
           \_ except that he wants high(er) taxes.
              \_ I agree:  Wanting less waste in government, while being for
                 higher taxes spent wisely makes him moderate.  However,
                 wanting to get rid of social security pushes him to the Dark
                 ^H^H^H^H^conservative side.
        \_ I don't know anyone who is for less "efficient" government spending
           except the politicians who favor pork barrel spending to keep their
           jobs.
           \_ Until Democrats work "more efficient government" into their
              platform, this property is squarely in conservative-land.
              Sorry, that's just public perception - I'm not really disagreeing
              with you.
              This is especially true now that Dubya has begun real
              implementation of performance-based pay in the area of "cushy
              government jobs".
              \_ Don't you remember Al Gore's "re-inventing government"
                 initiative? He made some headway with it, too, but I guess
                 he didn't get any credit.
                 \_ you forget he invented the INTERNET
                    \_ Actually he wrote the bill to fund APRAnet.  The big
                       "I invented the Internet" Lie never happened, and
                       would have been mostly true if it had.  Take a
                       contrast with the Goerge Bush whopper to take credit
                       for the Texas Patients' bill of rights, which was
                       passed over his veto.  He got a pass from the press
                       on that one...liberal media my ass
                       \_ I like how even in this age of unprecedented
                          communication and recording, something like this
                          so easily becomes folklore and fact, yet people
                          have no problem believing ancient religious texts.
        \_ do you believe in civil unions, then that makes you
           moderate-liberal on the gay marriage issue.   As someone
           moderate on the gay marriage issue.   As someone
           pointed out above, everyone would like more efficient
           government. As for "smaller government," you need to
           decide which you value more: that or "public infra-
           structure, ... education, ... funding."  If the latter, then
           overall, you are on the liberal side concerning the "size
           of government."   Liberals also believe in "family values,
           ... church, ... community centers."  The only issue above
           that is a firmly conservative value is your dismissal of
           "SS and housing projects."  Given that, I would say you
           are a moderate liberal.  A lot of what you believe to be
           "conservative" values that you listed are actually
           media distortions that make you think "liberals"
           don't approve.  For the current US political situation,
           it would seem that Democrats are the party of smaller government.
           \_ What happened to the party of 80 character columns?
              \_ fixed.
2005/4/18-19 [Industry/Startup, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37233 Activity:kinda low
4/17    United is in chapter 11 and has been asking to lower the pension
        obligations to persons already retired to keep the lameass
        management in power.  United had its most profitable years in the
        years the union owned them and operated them.  What do you think
        about a major US company renegging on pension promises? and
        about the bankruptcy court backing them up?
        \_ just goes to show, don't trust pension/retirement plans run
           by third parties.  I bet other bankrupt airlines will follow
           suit.  Pension plans are a thing of the past anyway.
           suit.  Pension plans are a thing of the past anyway, just like
           social security.
           \_ Company pension plans probably are, at least to some degree.
              I think the underlying phenomenon is more what we've been
              seeing for a long time now--that companies, because of apathy,
              shareholder value, excessive costs, and other reasons no longer
              feel it expedient to treat employees as long-term assets.  No
              news here, move along.  -John
                 \_ where is psb#1 fan when you need her?
                    \- ??? --psb
              \_ Not the general employees, no... they figured out that only a
                 few key folks are really necessary and the rest are just a
                 mass of replaceable cogwheels. They still take care of the top
                 people which in the case of an airline probably doesn't apply
                 to anybody actually operating planes etc.
                 \_ Practically everyone is replaceable, and the ones who
                    aren't are usually not management.
                    \_ "If you think you're indispensible, check your
                        appointment book a week after you drop dead."
                    \_ Yup, fact of life.  Best way to deal with this is to
                       be aware of it and replace the concept of "company
                       loyalty" with pure professionalism, i.e. I'll work as
                       long as they pay, but no more.  -John
2005/4/13-15 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37182 Activity:high
4/13    Yay!  The same Republicans that are saying "we don't have enough money
        to pay for Social Security" just voted to abolish the estate tax,
        which will cost one trillion dollars (including interest on debt)
        over the next ten years.
        \_ Explain the estate tax please...
           \_ Currently estates over $1 million are taxed - I can't remember
              the rate.  This is a very old tax - it was first instituted by
              that flaming liberal Howard Taft.  The Democrats have proposed
              raising the minimum value to something like $2.4 million, which
              would exempt virtually all family farms and small family
              businesses.  The House still voted to kill the whole thing.
        \_ William Buffett:  Removing the tax would lead to the creation of
                \_ Of course, there are *ALREADY* exemptions for family farms
                   and small businesses.  The Republicans don't go out of
                   their way to state that.  In fact, I don't think a SINGLE
                   family farm has had to be sold due to the estate tax.  It's
                   just one more way to shift the tax burden from the haves
                   to the have-nots, and the future generation of have-nots.
                   \_ Well, you think wrong.  Plenty of farms have been sold
                      for this reason.  What do you define as a small family
                      farm, anyway?
        \_ Warren Buffett:  Removing the tax would lead to the creation of
           an "aristocracy of wealth" instead of a meritocracy.
           \_ What's wrong with that? The rich are more well educated and
              have a much better idea than you prolitariats on how to create
              a stable and sustainable economy. I support our corporations and
              the wealthy financiers behind it.
              \_ Mod +5 Funny!
        \_ William Buffett? Is that the "Margaritaville" guy?
           \_ oops, too many hits off the crack pipe
              \_ No, he's the white Jay-Z.  /obscure
        \_ STARVE THE BEAST!1!  The more interest payments the b3tt3r!
        \_ why do you think 10 out 12 richest Congress critters are democrats,
           as are many of the wealthy elite?  You honestly think they pursue
           a political agenda contrary to their personal financial interests?
           \_ Since both Republican and Democratic congresspeople are rich,
              obviously one side is pursuing a political agenda contrary to
              their personal financial interests.
              Hint: It's not the Republicans.  -tom
              \_ there is a difference between self-made entrepreneurs, of which
                 are many Repubs.
                 \_ Exactly. Heinz and Forbes were businessmen and only
                    their wussy offspring are suffering from guilt. More
                    seriously, what makes Tom think that the Democrats are
                    pursuing an agenda that does not benefit them? I never
                    figured him for that sort of sucker.
                    \_ What is your point?  You think that keeping the estate
                       tax is better for the super-rich?  -tom
                       \_ It might be. Where does the tax money go? It may
                          well go to special interests just as well. Do
                          you think the Democrats are trying to help
                          anyone other than themselves? Maybe they are
                          just trying to get re-elected, which in itself
                          benefits them. Don't think they are trying to
                          help poor slobs like us.
                          \_ oh no, an elected official might be doing
                             something because his constituency wants it,
                             not because it benefits him financially!
                             Someone call Tom Delay!  -tom
                             \_ There are rewards for doing what your
                                constituency wants. Most politicians don't
                                have a constituency of poor homeless
                                people, btw. In the end, I'll be surprised
                                if a politician does something that both hurts
                                himself and ruins his career - except fuck
                                interns.
                                \_ There *should* be rewards for doing what
                                   your constituency wants.  -tom
                                   \_ The problem is that the constituency
                                      is dominated by large corporate donors,
                                      powerful unions, and lobbies - special
                                      interests.
                                      \_ I don't think any of these groups
                                         are advocating for the estate tax;
                                         perhaps the unions.  -tom
                                         \_ No, but they might be
                                            advocating against it. The
                                            politicians are just listening
                                            to their constituents, right?
                                            \_ you know, when you change your
                                               point in every single post,
                                               it becomes really difficult
                                               to understand what you're
                                               saying.  -tom
                                               \_ If the Dems are arguing
                                                  against it, then that means
                                                  there is probably something
                                                  in it for them. Else,
                                                  why would they? It is
                                                  naive to think they are
                                                  doing something that
                                                  would 'hurt themselves' in
                                                  order to 'help you'.
                                                  \_ I don't care why they're
                                                     doing it; I care whether
                                                     it is a good idea or not.
                                                     Doing the "right" thing
                                                     for selfish reasons is
                                                     certainly better than
                                                     being a money-grubbing
                                                     asshole and giving huge
                                                     kickbacks to the rich.
                                                       -tom
                                                     \_ What makes it "right"?
                                                        \_ Me.  -tom
                                                           \_ Um, okay.
                                                              \_ who determines
                                                                 what *you*
                                                                 think is
                                                                 right?
                                                                 Rush?  -tom
                                      \_ "dominated" only because money has
                                         been defined as speech.
                                         \_ Exactly.
                                            \_ You agree with that definition?
                                               \_ Sure. Money talks.
                                                  \_ Mmm.. cliches as
                                                     political philosophy.
                                                     When money is speech,
                                                     those with little have no
                                                     voice..  Do you think
                                                     that's in any way
                                                     in line with the spirit
                                                     of a democracy?
                                                     \_ Nope. And?
                       \_ the super rich do not pay the estate tax, and
                          incur an effective income tax rate of less
                          than 10%, if that.
                          \_ prove it.  -tom
2005/4/13-14 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Finance/Banking] UID:37162 Activity:very high
4/13    Stop the Presses - (John Corzine(D) says print more paper money to
        fix Soc. Sec. problem!)
        This is same dipshit whose idea to stimulate the economy in 2002 was
        a 300$ one time refund to tax payers.  More incredible is this
        guy is from Goldman Sachs.  Wait, Robert Rubin of LTCM and
        Mexico bailout fame is also from Goldman Sachs...
        http://www.nationalreview.com/murdock/murdock200504120929.asp
        \_ Just because you don't understand the concepts behind it doesn't
           mean he is a dipshit.  Also, that you don't realize you're reading
           an article that oversimplifies the point to make political hay makes
           YOU the dipshit.
           One more thing:
           "The idea that the pay-as-you-go concept is a sound
           savings and retirement system is a fraud."
           This should have been a tipoff.  SS is NOT a "savings and retirement
           system."
              \_ you know more than Milton Friedman, interesting.
                 \_ you think Milton Friedman's word is gospel, interesting.
                 \_ no, just disagree.
           \_ No shit sherlock, it's a big ass government funded pension
              system that relies upon current taxpayers to fund past
              generations, which is a problem because life expectancy
              has drastically increased in general resulting in that
              system being potentially insolvent within our collective
              lifetimes. This is why it's an issue, this is why
              it probably needs to turn into a "savings and retirement"
              system in the long run. Are the Pubs right in saying it will
              become insolvent in XYZ year? Perhaps. But if the Dems want
              to appear semi-coherent about the issue they need to do their
              homework and show how the system will NOT become insolvent
              based on any given set of projections vs. what the Pubs are
              saying. Are personal accounts the answer if there is a problem?
              Maybe, but the flip side to that coin is that you are leaving
              the decision making process for retirement up to individuals,
              and the majority of individuals couldn't financially plan
              their way out of a paper bag. Perhaps this may change if we
              gave them the responsbility, who knows. Anyway, the issue
              has been broached, and it needs to be addressed one way or the
              other.
              \_ It isn't a "pension system" either.  It's societal insurance.
                 It's us as a society saying "if you contribute to this society
                 we will guarantee you a baseline level of support when you
                 are elderly or can't work anymore."  It's insurance.  If it
                 turned into a "savings and retirement" system, it would no
                 longer be a guarantee.  The Dems are coherent on it.  The
                 administration itself has stated that private accounts do
                 absolutely NOTHING to affect solvency.  The Reps are
                 purposefully incoherent because they're doing marketing. And
                 you're just an idiot.
                 \_ Question 1:  What was life expectancy when SS was enacted?
                    Question 2:  At what age were you allowed to collect SS
                                 income?
                    \_ Increases in life expectency were predicted pretty damn
                       reliably by the actuaries.  The discrepancies have been
                       taken care of by tweaks in the system and increases in
                       productivity.  This is a red herring, and does nothing
                       to support switching to privatization even if it weren't.
                       Privatizing puts us trillions more into debt and moves
                       those insolvency projections UP.
                       \_ Why have you not answered the question?
                          \_ Because the answer would be irrelevent.  The
                             system has evolved for 70 years.
                             \_ Then let's evolve it again.
                                \_ By removing the guarantee and adding $2+T
                                   to our debt.  Great.
                                   \_ Yep, and it'd get rid of the IOUs, which
                                      aren't a guarantee anyway.  Congress can
                                      just change the retirement age whenever
                                      they like.  Some guarantee.
                                      \_ yes they ARE a guarantee.  And if you
                                         think they're not then sell me any
                                         treasury bonds you hold.  I'll give
                                         you a nickel on the dollar if you
                                         think they're worthless.  As long
                                         as this country has its constitution,
                                         those bonds are an absolute guarantee.
                                         \_ If the market collapses and the
                                            economy tanks, it's not a
                                            guarantee.  Just like private
                                            retirement.
                                            \_ Even then you're wrong.  Those
                                               bonds go away when this country
                                               goes away.
                                               Check amendment 14, paragraph 4
                          \_ 65 and 63.  Insert argument about avg. life
                             expectency vs. expectency after adulthood here.
                             we've rehashed this dozens of times.
                             \_ Then what are *those* numbers?  What was life
                                expectancy after adulthood then vs. now?
                                \_ It really doesn't matter because comparing
                                   SS structure now to then is apples to
                                   oranges.
                                \_ You could make SS instantly solvent by raising
                                   the retirement age up to 80.
                                \_ You could make SS instantly solvent by
                                   raising the retirement age up to 80.
                                \_ As we have told you dozens of times before,
                                   the original SS actuaries accurately
                                   predicted that lifespans would increase.
                                   They even guessed what the lifespan increase
                                   was going to be pretty accurately. The
                                   fact that you cannot comprehend this fact
                                   and insist on hammering at a Red Herring
                                   just indicates that you are not too well
                                   informed yourself. The real problem is
                                   demographic and is caused by the baby
                                   boom generation retiring. No one could
                                   have predicted that. This problem will
                                   fix itself, btw, in about 70 years.
                                   \_ Oh no, nobody could have predicted that
                                      the baby boomers would retire!
                                      \_ Not in 1933, they couldn't.
        \_ Hey, this scheme did help a capitalist democracy get out of debt
           once before...
           \_ You mean WWII?
              \_ The post-WWI German government decided to just go nuts
                 printing more Deutsch marks.  Surprise-surprise they got
                 insane inflation.
        \_ And people mock those who point to this kind of thinking as the
           reason it was bad to leave the gold standard.
        \_ But what Corzine is saying is what is happening.  The current solution
           to our massive deficit and liabilities is a printing press.  I mean
           it's not like we are actually going to raise taxes to pay for it.
        \_ But what Corzine is saying is what is happening.  The current
           solution to our massive deficit and liabilities is a printing press.
           I mean it's not like we are actually going to raise taxes to pay for
           it.
           it, or cut spending.
2005/4/5 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:37072 Activity:insanely high
4/5     From Lockbox to Fiction, in four short years.
        http://csua.org/u/bl1
        \_ Social security is dying, and it's a costly idea. Why don't we just
           go back to the old Chinese way where you support your family
           members at all costs. And if you messed up and didn't have good
           loving educated children who can support you when you're old,
           it's all your fault. The Chinese way is a compromise between
           Libertarian's "every man for himself" and government imposed
           "All men get equal income" concept.
           \_ Let's bring back debtors prisons and indentured servitude while
              we're at it.
           \_ Because we are self-centered.  We won't do it unless we are
              forced to.
           \_ Wow.  I removed my reply because I thought you were trolling,
              but now I think you might be sincere:
              What's your support for "is dying"?  Social Security HAS worked
              for 7 decades, and as long as the current freaks don't fuck it
              up, it'll work for decades more.
              \_ It's dying because the projected population grow was off and
                 current actuarials have a hard time balancing it without
                 either cutting benefits or raising tax, and given the way
                 the current administration is going, they're just gonna kill it
                 \_ What's your source about projected population growth?
                    You're right about the current administration, but the
                    only people saying there are "difficult" actuarial problems
                    are ... the current administration!  You're buying a lie.
           \_ That doesn't solve anything. People who depend on SS now probably
              don't have wealthy kids either. And who wants to pay for old
              parents AND their kids at the same time? And what's "Chinese"
              about that system? Do you think westerners had social security
              for centuries or what? You're pretty dumb.
              \_ I think it's pretty obvious the Chinese are better at having
                 kids than most everyone else.
                 \_ Well whatever. The oldest system would be like what many
                    native american tribes were like, and other places. The
                    old people help cook, make clothes, care for kids etc.
                    while parents are off hunting and gathering and pillaging
                    other tribes. Trouble is old people don't want to work
                    anymore. Anyway SS isn't quite "government pays everyone"
                    since in theory you're paying into the system while you
                    work. Too bad they typically set it up as a pyramid scheme.
                    Like in Germany they don't have enough young workers to
                    pay the old people's services. But that's just their own
                    stupid fault for not taxing those old people enough while
                    they were young and driving Mercedes and taking their 6
                    week vacations and invading Poland.
                    \_ I thought invading Poland was their six week vacation.
              \_ old [Confusius] Chinese way is when you have respect for
                 the elderly and treat them the same way that you want your
                 children to treat you. That is, you and your wife live with
                 grandpas/grandmas and cook and eat together. And there is a
                 lot of interactions between different generations. It is a
                 world of intense interactions, cooperation, and assimilation.
                 However, much of that is lost in modernized, Westernized
                 China where people just want privacy, individualism and
                 independence. Kids no longer give a damn about old people.
                 They just want to play first person shooter games and
                 listen to hip-hop music filled with sex, guns, and profanity.
                 It's no longer about the family. It's all about me me me.
                 Sure, China is enjoying all the new material goods they're
                 getting, but spiritually, Confusius is dead.
                 \_ Confucius, not Confusius!
           \_ Doesn't China has some gigantic looming pension liability
              problem?
              \_ China after 1950 != old Chinese ways.
              \_ Nah ... in China, it's simple, you just let the poor
                 old people rot and fade away.  You get sick, you just
                 die.  No cost.  It's capitalism at it's rawest form.
              \_ Their biggest problem is going to be the male:female ratio.
           \_ There are so many minor ways to keep SS going forever.  You
              can always raise the retirement age and fix the problem.  I
              don't know why Bush keeps dissing the SS return.  3% return
              on top of inflation guaranteed isn't bad.  You can tax SS
              payments, you can raise or eliminate the SS tax cap.  You
              can increase SS taxes (like what they did in the 1980s).  Etc.
              It is NOT broken.
              \_ The easiest solution it to pull the $90K payroll limitation.
                 Don't need to change the retirement age, can claim that
                 everybody now pays an "equal" share (equal benefits? Ha!),
                 and it keeps SS "safe" for the foreseeable future.
                 \_ Sure. Tax the wealthy. That's always the solution,
                    isn't it? As long as people who make under $90K don't
                    have to share in the pain, right? It's not they will
                    \_ Uh.  Right now, those making over 90K aren't "sharing
                       the pain"... Dumbass.
                    benefit more from it or that they tend to rely more on
                    SS.
                    \_ Uh.  Right now, those making over 90K aren't "sharing
                       the pain"... Dumbass.
                       \_ Yes they are, dumbass! It's called the tax on
                          the first 90K that they make!
                          \_ how is taxing someone who makes $100K the same
                             amount as someone who makes $1M "sharing the
                             pain"?  -tom
2005/3/22-24 [Computer/SW/Security, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:36815 Activity:nil
3/22    CNN front page:  "But when 443 of the 909 polled were asked whether
        they supported private retirement accounts in exchange for a reduction
        of guaranteed retirement benefits, support fell to 33 percent, while
        opposition rose to 59 percent [+/- 4.5 points]. ...
        Fifty percent said they understood the debate over Social Security
        "somewhat well," and 31 percent said they understood it "very well."
        Only 18 percent said they did not have a good grasp of the matter.
2005/3/21-23 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:36787 Activity:low
3/21    What corporate greed does to a city.
        Original title, changed to above by MOTD communist:
        What democrats and Unions do to cities
        Documentary Shows a Ruined Detroit
        http://detroityes.com/home.htm
        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1366589/posts?page=1,50
        \_ I think you can blame the decline of Detroit on the incomes
           of the city and residents being dependent on the auto industry,
           then the factories moved off shore because it's cheaper
           there.  blaming it all on democrats and unions is stupid.
           \_ then why do foreign motor companies continue to build
              US plants?  GM outsources to China in the 1970s....
              hmmm
                \_ you know what, i don't know.  i doubt it's
                   because of those goddamn liberals though.
                   \_ you are right, probably a magical leprauchan
                      \_ yes, that's actually much more plausible than the
                         previous explanation.
        Documentary Shows a Ruined Detroit
        http://detroityes.com/home.htm
        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1366589/posts?page=1,50
        \_ Thar she blows, it is the fabled Freeper back from the dead!
           Do you really think you persuade anyone by posting these fanatics?
           \_ no
              \_ Why do you do it then?
                 \_ or more specifically, what does the freeper link add to
                    the first one, other than the spittle emissions of
                    the inbred?
        \_ San Francisco is a similarly pro-union and Democratic town,
           yet it is thriving. How do you explain the discrepancy?
2005/3/16-17 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:36724 Activity:nil
3/16    New White House cliche: "We were all wrong"
        We were "all" wrong about WMD, "all" wrong about deficits:
        http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050316/greenspan_2.html
        \_ Don't forget:  "If confronted with the same evidence we had back
           then, I would recommend exactly what I recommended then"
2005/3/10-11 [Politics/Domestic/Abortion, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:36624 Activity:high
3/10    Why is it that the perception is that Christians are Republican.
        There are many Christian views that fits with Democrat/Liberal
        values.  Eg. Care for widows and orphans, giving to the poor,
        strong dislike for self-righteousness, peace on earth, care for the
        environment, spreading the gospel through peaceful means, equality
        for all, etc.  Why is all the focus on gay and lesbian marriages
        and abortion?
        \_ abortion has very little shades of grey.
           with regards to helping the poor.  Do you want to help the
           poor by giving money to government who will then enact social
           programs?  Or do you have tax cuts which give more money
           to the poor, or maybe give money to charities who will help
           the poor.  Either way could be acceptable to a Christian.
           \_ This might hold water if recent tax cuts had anything to do with
              cutting what poor people have to pay vs richer people. I would
              also need to be convinced that they increased money given to
              charities (charitable contribution has been down in general the
              last few years). I understand the reasoning but the reality
              doesn't agree very well...particularly since the nature of more
              recent actions by the right are effectively increases on money
              the poor must pay. -- ulysses
           \_ Tax cuts to the poor?  Last I saw most of the tax cuts went to
              the wealthy.  Or do you really think dropping the capital
              gains tax (and dividends taxed at cap gains rate) is something
              that really helps the impoverished?  Or eliminating estate/gift
              tax so their wealthy ancestors can bring them to fortune?
           \_ Actually, I think the same applies to abortion - i.e.
              how much should the government be involved.  I am a
              Christian and I don't believe in abortion.  If you can't
              take care of a kid, don't fool around.  I don't buy
              the "woman has right over her body ... " crap, at least
              not in its most irresponsible sense.  However, I also
              think that there are certain sins that perhaps are
              not for the government / legal system to deal with
              eg. infidelity.  Perhaps abortion is another one of
              these.  Perhaps it's a matter for the mom (and her
              family) and God.  The government should not subsidize
              family) and God.  i.e. God has given the mother
              (or the parents) ultimate responsibility over
              over the unborn child.  The government should not subsidize
              over the fetus.  The government should not subsidize
              it.  Society should discourage it.  But we should
              not make it illegal.  Is my view considered very
              conservative / on the right ?
              not make it illegal.
              \_ As a Christian, can you live in a society where murder
                 (includes abortion) is legal and accepted and a "right"?
                 \_ Can you live in a society where infidelity is legal?
                    \_ Or war?
                       \_ interesting article here regarding all this:
                          http://www.ewtn.com/vote/brief_catechism.htm
        \_ Much of the Christian == Republican comes from the conservatives
           efforts to show its primary issues are the same as Christianity's
           primary issues. You choose the other side, you're not a REAL
           Christian. Mix this with American mythos of Horatio Alger, the
           individualist, and on-going xenophobia, and then other "Christian
           value" social issues become Someone Else's Problem best treated
           by a charity/local government, not a godless Federal Bureaucracy.
           Or even worse, those problems are simply impossible to solve. As an
           aside, a large part of the conservative success is that they have
           been successful. It gives supporters hope that they can influence
           or control the government, an entity most people feel helpless
           fighting against. Success breeds success.
           \_ I'm not sure I agree that the Republicans chose the Christians
              and then successfully courted them.  I think a specific group
              of activist protestants chose the Republican party as their
              vehicle to political power, and the Republicans have just
              capitalized on that.  The Democrats didn't get to where they
              are as a major party without getting vast numbers of Christians
              to loyally vote for them.
              \_ I agree with your premise, but not with the Democrats gain
                 as majority party. Their rise came from repercussions of
                 the Civil War and the Depression.
        \_ an pithy quote by John Paul II will give you all a good answer:
           http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1309831/posts?page=16#16
           http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1309831/posts?page=16#16
           [URL with IP address replaced.  Fuck you.]
           There are many many more quotes on this page that fully rebut
           your argument on many levels.
           \_ Funny how you and your fellow republicans have no qualms about
              redistribution of wealth at gunpoint as long as the recipient of
              the welfare is a corporation.  I wonder what your savior would
              have to say about welfare for defense contractors.
              \_ Funny how you have no idea what you're talking about.
                 \_ Yeah, funny that.  http://www.ejnet.org/rachel/rehw422.htm
                    Corporations get a lot more in welfare than individuals.
                    -meyers
                    \_ screw you meyers, Christians good, you are bad, and um,
                       terrorists terrorists 9/11 9/11 9/11  -true conservative
                    \_ You misunderstand.  I didn't say corps don't get
                       welfare, I say that conservatives aren't in favor of
                       it.  Bush, BTW, is not a conservative.
                       \_ The post you're arguing with says "Republican",
                          not conservative.  Are you seriously going to
                          argue that the Republicans in congress do not
                          support corporate welfare?  Is your arguement just
                          that no one in congress except maybe a couple people
                          in the House are true conservatives?
                       \_ Hmm... "Conservatives" aren't in favor of it.
                          "Liberals" aren't either.  Then why do YOU think
                          it happens SO DAMN OFTEN.  You're buying a lie.
                          \_ Because "Lobbists" are in favor. duh.
                                     \_ "Lobbyists"
           \_ Summary and refutation:
              (1) Poor people are poor because they are lazy and don't
                  like to work, so they deserve it.
                  Ans: According to the Bible, being lazy will lead
                  to poverty, but poverty does not imply lazy (check
                  out Proverbs for instance).
              (2) Government is bad, we should not help the poor
                  through government.  Christians make lots of private
                  donations, so we should not help through the govern-
                  ment.
                  Ans: Our government is democratically elected.  We
                  allow it to lead us into war spending hundreds of
                  billions of dollars.  We can also allow it to help
                  the poor.  There are laws and practices mentioned
                  in the Old Testament for helping the poor.
                  What's wrong in having a safety net?
                  \_ not everyone will agree with me, but safety net is good.
                     but the lifestyle shouldn't be encouraged.
2005/3/10 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:36612 Activity:very high
3/9     Sun Tzu's Art of Winning Election, Liberal Edition:
        - If you want to protest on the streets WEAR NICER CLOTHES for
          heaven's sake. Door-to-door salesmen and businessmen don't wear
          tie-dye shirts and jeans to persuade people. Neither should you.
        - Don't show conservatives how pissed off you are. Sun Tzu in The
          Art of War says to never show your emotions.
          \_ Perhaps Republicans are just more polite.
             http://www.slate.com/id/2108561
             \_ Very well. In that case, if you're a rude liberal, FAKE IT
        - Listen to Sun Tzu. Trick your enemies by feigning incompetence
          when you're strong. If you want to exterminate your enemies, you
          don't announce how you're gonna do it. You agree with them, party
          with them, drink with them, and when they're drunk and asleep in
          victory, kill them and their families when they least suspect it.
          \_ I'd keep their hot daughters.
             \_ Is their a site with "republicans we'd fuck"? I mean beyond
                the Bush twins and Coulter, both of which, well, yuck.
                \_ http://www.rilf.com
        - Attack conservative views aggressively, but with sensitivity.
          The more nasty names you call your foes, the more likely they'll
          disagree with your views (examples: idiots, Red necks, hicks).
        - Get a clear, simple & maybe stupid message this time, just make
          sure to stick to it. To some [sad] extent, it's not what you say,
          but how you say it.
        - Support liberal views early. Not 1 year before the election,
          not 1 month. NOW.
        - Talk about tolerance and the history of Civil Liberty EXCEPT
          in predominantly white/Red states because they hate "Nigers"
          \_ I disagree with this. Even in the South, most people are
             in favor of equal rights these days. Don't make this
             the focus when talking to uneducated whites, obviously.
             \_ In Mississippi and Tennesee, blacks and whites still don't hang
                out together.
                \_ You're an idiot.
                   \_ Have you been there?  I have.
                      \_ Not only have I been, but my gf is from
                         Mississippi. You're an idiot. Yes, they are more
                         backward than, say, NYC but your comments are
                         insulting.
                         \_ If your gf from a different race? Why did she
                            leave Mississippi?
        - Tie in liberal views with family values. Just because you
          support gays and lesbians doesn't mean you must support drugs,
          rave parties, and swingers.
        - Do what your enemies do, and do it better. For example, work less,
          try to enjoy life more, and for heaven's sake PRODUCE MORE KIDS.
        You're more than welcome to add to the list, and God Bless Liberals.
        \_ Improve visual presentations better. The power of persistence and
           suggestion is great. Fox pioneered the flashing Red/White/Blue logo,
           so should liberal media. For example when you talk about gays &
           lesbians, flash those colors around.
        \_ Stop buying at Walmart and Dell! They write big checks to RNC.
           Check http://buyblue.org.
           \_ Low prices at Walmart are good for low-income consumers which
              are more likely liberals.
              \_ I agree but look at long term implications.
        - Stress your patriotism. Talk about your military service, if you
          have it, support the troops even if you don't. Sing along with the
          national anthem at football games. Let everyone know that you
          love your country, even if it is flawed. Dissent is not unpatriotic.
2005/3/9-10 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:36601 Activity:moderate
3/9     some thoughts on why Bush is so obsessed with paving
        over Social Security:
        http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=18684
        -danh
        \_ Flat tax, no government social services people
             == It's fair; the huge liberating effect on the economy will
                be felt by everyone; and even if an even larger gap does form
                between the wealthy and non-wealthy, it's a fair system;
                progressive taxes and social services keep lazy people lazy
           Progressive tax, government social services people
             == It takes money to make money (rich have a much easier time and
                can make money at a much higher rate); extreme wealth-gap is
                bad; progressive taxation and government social services as
                they exist today are cheap for what you get -- no revolutions
        \_ I was unable to find any thought there. YMMV
           \_ I was unable to find any thought here. YMMV
              \- A fine paper to read is "The Procedural Republic and
                 the Unencumbered Self" by Michael J. Sandel. Available
                 most easily from JSTOR.
        \_ Ultral Left-Wing Liberal Troll Alert. If you really want good
           info, you should check out fair and balanced sources:
           http://federalist.com, http://newsmax.com, http://taemag.com, http://tysknews.com,
           http://worldnetdaily.com
                \_ you forgot http://www.jeffgannon.com - danh
           \_ I hate that it's impossible to talk about Bush's plans without
              sounding like an absolute conspiracy nut.
           \_ Way to be a total idiot.  Your first paper says its a farsical
              comedy making fun of the left.  How about you take your
              rediculous conservative propaganda elsewhere. -mrauser
              \_ Mmm...  better check your sarcasm detector.
                 \_ Be nice to him, he's a bit new around here.
2005/2/24 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:36390 Activity:high
2/23    Survey, do you still remember what you did the day before 9/11,
        and if do you what were you doing?
        \_ On 9/10, I posted 2 questions on motd, the Accuvue question and
           the Java == and equals(...) question. I didn't get to see the
           responses till now, how funny.
        \_ Working.  had a rehearsal that night (and the next night as well).
           Did Iolanthe with San Jose Lyric Theatre.  You wouldn't believe
           the outporing of appreciation for the performances (couple weeks
           later).  Everyone wanted something they could enjoy.
        \_ working.  I remember this old polish guy who lived through WWII
           running into the room and telling us not to panic, that we should
           listen to the news and just keep working as normal, which is
           exactly what we did(after making a couple phone calls).
           \_ What was on the news on 9/10/2001?
              \_ Gary Condit all day and night.
              \_ http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/10/ED226834.DTL
              \_ http://tinyurl.com/6olqm (sfgate.com)
        \_ Remembering what I was doing when Kennedy was shot.
        \_ yes I do and I feel sad just thinking about it. I don't want to
           talk about it.
        \_ No, I don't particularly recall the day before 9/11, but I do
           vividly recall the morning of.  I remember waking up to NPR on the
           clock radio next to my then girlfriend's bed, hearing something
           about the World Trade Center being attacked, and
           thinking to myself ``Oh, it must be the anniversary of the World
           Trade Center bombing.''  I think the relationship was beginning to
           come to a close, though I didn't realize it at the time.  What's a
           little strange to me is that much of my memory that time period
           hazy, but I vivdly remember many of the little details from that
           morning, e.g. the smell of the sheets, the light coming through
           the window. -dans
           \_ WOW that's exactly how I felt! The little things... Also...
              my gf and I were woken up by a call, my gf's mom in Taiwan was on
              the other side telling us that both WTC towers had been attacked.
              I turned on CNN and it said only 1 tower was on fire. I thought
              it was just an accident, like the Empire State Building accident
              they had many decades ago and given that Taiwanese
              news were mostly trashy sensationalist news I thought they were
              just exaggerating. 30 min later CNN finally broadcasted the 2nd
              tower footage. A while later her mom called again and said one
              of the towers collapsed. I didn't believe it because I had never
              heard such a thing in my life, and because CNN didn't broadcast
              it. Surely enough 30 min later, CNN finally broadcasted the
              collapse. Then she called again about the 2nd tower collapse, and
              30 min later, CNN broadcasted that. It's weird how we get our own
              news later than people outside the US.
              \_ I first heard about the first plane a couple minutes after
                 it happened when Cmndr. Taco posted it to slashdot.  Slashdot
                 was pretty much the closest thing to real time all morning.
                 There were posts on slashdot from people who could see what
                 was happening outside their windows the whole time.
              \_ Same here.  My dad called me from Hong Kong to tell me to
                 turn on the TV when I was getting ready to go to work without
                 realizing that something was happening.
        \_ I was getting a demo system prep'ed for a customer were were
        \_ I was getting a demo system prep'ed for a customer we were
           visiting the next day. I was on a plane 1/2 way to my destination
           when the first wtc attack happened on 9/11. --ranga
        \_ Busting my ass to put together a report for City Council. Stayed up
           all night, went to sleep just as the first plane hit, then got told
           the report wasn't necessary.
        \_ Clearly Sodans have reading comprehension issues. As for me, I have
           no idea what I was doing on 9/10.
           \_ Quite a few got it right.  Read above.
              \_ Why is 9/10 interesting? It was a day like any other day.
                 May as well ask about 9/9, 9/1, and 7/29.
                 \_ Do you really need this explained to you, or are you just
                    being willfully obtuse?
        \_ I remember I was sitting at home, unemployed, feeling sorry for
           myself because I couldn't find a job. I spent most of the day
           playing WoW and applying for jobs.
2005/2/16-17 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:36203 Activity:very high
2/16    How do the Republicans on the motd think about this?
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4805078,00.html
        Bush May Raise Taxes for Social Security
        \_ What bullshit.  Bush'll raise taxes for Social Security, but
           the money will actually go to fund the Iraq war and other
           budget needs, just like the current Social Security surplus.
           Yes, that's right:  SS tax brings in more money than SS
           beneficiaries receive, and Congress spends the rest and gives
           the SS system an IOU--which will never be paid because when
           the IOU comes due, we won't have enough tax base to pay it.
           Spending has to be cut.  Period.  --PeterM
           \_ The SS surplus by law is used to buy T-bonds. Currently the
              SS program has trillions in t-bonds and will continue to accumulate
              more until 2018 or so. After that the SS program will start cashing
              in the t-bonds to pay benifits.
           \_ I don't think you are a republican, but thanks for your
              input anyway. -op
              \_ Didn't I sound like a Republican? --PeterM
                 \_ No, a loyal Republican would support private accounts and
                    be opposed to any across the board increase in the
                    payroll tax.
           \_ You sure about that?  If what you were saying were true, "IOU
              ... will never be paid ... enough tax base", don't you think
              Dubya would be saying it would be a lot EARLIER than 2042 when
              we'd be in trouble?  I believe we start drawing on the "IOUs"
              as early as 2010.
              as early as 2018.
              \_ He is: "Some in our country think that Social Security is a
                 trust fund -- in other words, there's a pile of money being
                 accumulated. That's just simply not true. The money -- payroll
                 taxes going into the Social Security are spent. They're spent
                 on benefits and they're spent on government programs. There is
                 no trust. We're on the ultimate pay-as-you-go system -- what
                 goes in comes out. And so, starting in 2018, what's going in
                 -- what's coming out is greater than what's going in. It says
                 we've got a problem. And we'd better start dealing with it now.
                 The longer we wait, the harder it is to fix the problem."
                 - Bush 2/9/2005  http://csua.org/u/b3g  (whitehouse.gov)
                 \_ Thanks.  Okay, Dubya does mention 2018 in saying "we've
                    got a problem".  And from what you posted, Dubya is
                    saying the trust fund does not have "a pile of money being
                    accumulated".
                    So I ask you, peterm, and Dubya, will those government
                    bonds "never be paid" -- never be redeemed?
                    Someone please answer question below:
              Question:  Has the U.S. ever redeemed any of the government bonds
              that surpluses have been used to purchase?
              \_ have you ever redeemed IOUs you wrote to yourself?  SS is
                 a fraud ponzi scheme.  If I, as an individual, tried to
                 sell this kind 'insurance' plan I would be put in jail.
                 \_ "The validity of the public debt of the United
                    States, authorized by law, including debts incurred
                    for payment of pensions and bounties for services
                    in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall
                    not be questioned."
                    Why do you hate America?
                 \_ You would also be put in jail if you overthrew a foreign
                    government.  This is a stupid argument.
                 \_ You and peterm are saying:
                    U.S. economy + U.S. government bonds
                      == Your personal finances + IOUs you write yourself
                    ... when in fact the above equation is a myth.
                    Since this is an important topic, I'll start a new motd
                    thread on another day (sorry, got a lot of work - can't
                    monitor the motd today). -the "You sure about that?" guy
              \_ Bush is the one spending all the damned money.  Of course
                 he doesn't want to come clean.
        \_ Bush is brilliant!   -conservative
           \_ You misspelled 'Republican'.
        \_ Will benefits also be raised? I doubt the plan is for high
           income to pay more in and get the same back out.
        \_ How is this different than what Kerry proposed, which is pretty
           much distributing wealth from the wealthy to the poor?
           \_ Republicans aren't supposed to be raising taxes, at all,
              especially since this is Bush Jr.
              ... Read my lips!
           \_ FUCK POOR PEOPLE!  Maybe if we cut their benefits enough of
              them will FUCKING STARVE and not hold our mighty economy back!
              \_ if there are not poor people, then the middle class becomes
                 the poor people.
           \_ I am not really interested in hearing what Republicans think
              about Kerry. I already know that. -op
        \_ I'm irritated at this.  I'd rather see bigger cuts to the federal
           budget.  But then I'd also like to see the borders secured.  Those
           are the two things that make conservatives scratch their collective
           heads about GW.  -emarkp
           \_ you can't fight a war and then cut taxes and balance the budget,
              something has got to give, and in this case his rich friends
              (ppl making over 90K) are getting fucked. Now they can only
              afford to buy BMW 500s for their kids instead of BMW 740is.
              \_ 90K/year is rich?  Are you a troll?  No one making 90k/year
                 can afford a 740is, kids, mortgage, etc.  Try some math.
                 \_ 90K/year anywhere other than SFBA, LA, or NYC puts you
                    nicely well off, able to afford a house, save for
                    retirement, and leverage into real estate/entrepreneurship.
                    It's not rich, but for most of the nation is upper middle
                    class.
              \_ The rich friends aren't worried about payroll taxes.  They're
                 sitting pretty with dividend and capital gains cuts, not to
                 mention lower attention on tax avoidance.
              \_ Your assumption is that cutting tax rates reduces revenue.
                 That is not necessarily theoretically true, and isn't actually
                 true in GWB's case.  I've charted the last 100 months of
                 income/expense (from cbo.gov) and while revenue dropped
                 dramatically post-9/11, we've increased year-to-year for the
                 past 2 years.  Tax revenue is actually above 1997/1998 levels.
                 -emarkp
                 \_ This is silly.  Tax revenue _should_ increase year to
                    year.  Why? Because the economy grows year to year.  It is
                    rare for the economy to not have a net gain over the whole
                    year, and even rarer for it to not have a net gain over
                    two years.  The 2004 economy _should_ be larger than the
                    1997 economy.  That's 7 years.  On average the economy has
                    grown ~3 pct(iirc) per year.  That's 21 pct growth since
                    1997, assuming the boom/bust years even out.
                    \_ Except the predictions were that the Bush's economic
                       policy would destroy the economy, 9/11 was a serious
                       blow, and the tax cuts lowered the revenue in theory.
                       -emarkp
                       \_ Not destroy the economy right away, duh. Def-i-cit.
                          \_ Deficit/GDP is lower than 1990-1993 years.
                             \_ It is true that it is lower than the worst
                                period since WWII. It is the second worst.
                       \_ Tax cuts did lower the revenue, look at the numbers
                          below.  The economy was not destroyed.  Yes, it
                          entered recession, but overall, growth occurred from
                          2000-2004.  The key is that _despite_ economic
                          growth almost equal to the Clinton boom years, gvmt
                          tax revenue dropped SUBSTANTIALLY.  Ergo, in
                          actuality, tax cuts reduce tax revenue.
                 \_  "From 1996 to 2000 GDP grew by $2 trillion, and tax
                      revenues grew by $550 billion. From 2000 to 2004 GDP
                      grew by $1.9 trillion, but tax revenues declined by
                      $143 billion. What changed? We had roughly the same
                      level of economic activity. If tax cuts lead to more
                      federal revenue, shouldn't $1.9 trillion in growth
                      have yielded more than $550 billion in new tax revenue,
                      and not a $143 billion decline?"  -Former conservative,
                      now liberal economist.  All numbers from  Chamber of
                      Commerce and CBO.
                      \_ Good reference, and thanks for pointing it out:
                         http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy05/hist.html
                         Includes tax revenue as percentage of GDP.  I had no
                         idea it has been hovering near 20% since WW2.  That's
                         amazing and horrifying.  -emarkp
                         \_ Add in state taxes and the total government take
                            is more like 30%. But still lower than every other
                            member of the OECD. -ausman
                      \_ So you have discovered tax revenues fall when
                         the economy enters a cyclical downturn after a
                         bubble market, and after the World Trade centers
                         are destroyed which send the economy reeling,
                         and that tax revenues fall in a war based economy.
                         Congratulations for this perspicacious revelation.
                         You should rename yourself former conservative
                         liberal economist who is also stupid.
                         \_ Can you even read?  4 year period. Same economic
                            growth: ~1.9-2 trillion dollars.  Cyclical economy,
                            bubble economy, 9/11 should have _nothing_ to
                            do with it.  If the economy grows the exact same
                            amount, why in the world would any of your factors
                            affect tax revenue?  The _only_ thing affecting
                            tax revenue, after economic growth is the Bush
                            tax cut.
                            \_ Well, it's simple.  Bush's morals inspired more
                               ppl to take him as a role model and cheat on
                               their taxes.
                            \_ three words you may have heard of and were
                               alluded to in my post: capital gains, bubble
                               \_ The shortfall has to do with capital gains,
                                  but only because GW Bush cut cap. gains and
                                  dividend taxes.  If you think the difference
                                  in capital gains taxes(at an equal level of
                                  taxation) comes out to $700 billion, you're
                                  crazy.  Prove it.  Meanwhile, I'll say that
                                  the bulk of that $700 billion tax revenue
                                  shortfall is due to Dubya's tax cut.
                 \_ Tax revenue is up, but interest rates are still abnormally
                    loose, and the tax cuts have not fully hit yet.  Also, the
                    promise of yet more money into military action and cutting
                    meat rather than fat is going to make continuing these
                    trends difficult if not impossible.  State and local
                    governments are trying to pick up the slack while already
                    bankrupt.  I can't remember which agency (maybe gao)
                    governments are trying to pick up the slack while heading
                    for bankruptcy.  I can't remember which agency (maybe gao)
                    reported that if the tax cuts were made permanent, by 2024
                    the only thing the fed gov could afford would be debt
                    interest.
                 \_ this is nice, but would be much better and more convincing
                    to us stupid liberals if it came from someone other than
                    religious right conservatives.
                    \_ Then track it yourself.  sheesh. -!pp
                    \_ All the data is at:
                       http://www.cbo.gov/byclasscat.cfm?cat=35
                       Where I couldn't find a simple line-item for monthly
                       income or expense, I used the estimated value.
                       I've uploaded the data to /csua/tmp in OpenOffice and MS
                       Excel format.  Check it yourself.  Let me know if there
                       I've uploaded the data to /csua/tmp in OpenOffice
                       format.  Check it yourself.  Let me know if there
                       are errors.
                       /csua/tmp/bud_1997_to_Present.sxc
                       /csua/tmp/bud_1997_to_Present.xls
                       -emarkp
                       \- Can you do this back to 1990? Also, are these
                          inflation adujusted? ok thx.
                          \_ Historical data:
                          http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=1821&sequence=0
                          I don't think any of the numbers are inflation
                          adjusted.  Do you have a handy inflation table?
                          [Found one.  I included inflation and remove the .xls
                          file.  Use OpenOffice.]
                          -emarkp
                    \_ Haha, this remark made my day. -- ilyas
2005/2/2 [Recreation/Dating, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:36036 Activity:nil
2/2     Why don't the people who are against social security mention that
        women live longer then men, and that men are getting screwed out of
        social security benefits?  It's even possible (and common!) for women
        who have never worked to collect social security based on their
        dead husband's income!  Where's the sanity in that?
        \_ Because some people believe in society.  Some of those people who
           believe in society think government is best suited to help, and
           some think churches, communities, etc are best suited.  Someone
           who believes neither, who doesn't believe in society or helping
           his fellow man is immoral.
           \_ Uhm, no. That might be the way leftist liberals think, but
              that's not the reason why women collect 50% on their husband's
              income. The reason is simple, traditionally women were not
              in the work force but were expected to stay home and raise
              the kids. So in essence although they didn't have a paying
              job they still did work. Since the male was traditionally
              the primary breadwinner of the family, it was viewed that
              widows should be able to collect on pensions of the the husband.
              In reality, such an arrangement logical, since by allowing
              widows to receive their husband's SSI we compensate the widow
              for their years of work being a house wife.
              \_ So you prefer that women enter the work force and leave
                 their children to be raised by baby sitters?  You sound
                 like the leftist liberal.
                 \_ No, I like men who abandon their children and don't
                    pay child support (Go Newt!!)
        \_ Against Social Security?  I *love* Social Security.  I love it
           so much that I want to make sure I get my cut of it when I'm
           eligible.
2005/1/29-30 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35969 Activity:very high
1/28    Follow up on Blacks and Social Security.  Anyone know what the relative
        likelihood is of a black man vs. a white man surviving until retirement
        once he starts paying into SS?
        \_ Someone posted the full table of life expectancy per year lived,
           broken down by white/black, male/female the other day.  I'll try
           and find it again.
           There we are...
           http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr53/nvsr53_06.pdf
           \_ So from page 5, it's clear that Blacks (esp. black men) are far
              more likely to pay into SS and never get any out of it.
              \_ And again, this is not the fault of a biased system (SS) but
                 the result of a higher incidence of violent death among
                 young black males. If the Pres. wants to extend the life
                 expectancy, he should put more than lip service into No
                 Child Left Behind and other social services.
                 \_ the irony...
              \_ As I said before, this is balanced out by the fact that
                 more blacks than whites are on SS disability.
                 \_ Two issues I have: 1. Why does SS pay disability at
                    all? 2. Why have SS on top of welfare, disability,
                    unemployment, and other existing programs?
2005/1/28 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35943 Activity:high
1/28    Krugman explains why Dubya's "blacks are shafted by social security"
        claim is false, and the origins of the claim:
        http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/28/opinion/28krugman.html?oref=login&hp
        username/pw:  gnugnugnu
        This is not to say that the Democrats who sent out the initial
        e-mail petition weren't dumbasses, because they were - and I'm
        not sure if even the truth can repair the damage.
        \_ wow, I must be a prophet.  after my rambling about blacks
           and social security on the motd the other day, it's now
           all over the news.  even bush is following up on my motd
           remarks.
           \_ Yeah, he uses the same faulty logic.  If you work for 10 years
              and die, all that money you put into SS is gone, so a lower life
              expectancy means your family gets screwed from SS unless you own
              the account and your children can inherit it.
                \_ So what about all the white guys who worked for 11 years
                   and died? They got slightly more screwed.  And social
                   security is so our old folks don't end up on the street
                   eating from garbage cans, it is NOT a pension program.
                   \_ Sorry, I screwed up in my analysis.  Indeed, this might
                      suggest that whites are being screwed, since they might
                      live longer (hence being taxed more) and then die before
                      age 65.
                      \_ I hope someday you come to realize what a dumbass you
                         are.
              \_ This is countered by the fact that more blacks than whites
                 (percentage wise) are on disability.
        \_ The problem with the article is that is reasoned and well laid
           out.  The sloganeering and "faith-based" logic of the Bush admin
           will always convince the 51% of the country that put the current
           set of neocon nuts in power of the veracity of whatever BS the
           admistration is peddling at the moment.
           admistration is peddling at the moment.  See: death tax, tax
           administration is peddling at the moment.  See: death tax, tax
           cuts, WMDs, clear skies, healthy forests, etc.
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:35918 Activity:nil
1/26    Reading all of the SS threads there seems to be a real
        misunderstanding about the SS "surplus".  There is no
        "surplus" - the money has been spent.  So when it is
        said Clinton balanced the budget that is false.  So when
        government officials like to pretend they have bought
        Treasury bonds and are "receiving" interest this
        statement is absurd.  They money will have to come
        from somewhere, either taxes or the printing of more
        money.  It is equivalent to you making a loan to
        yourself and paying yourself interest.
        \_ You really have drunk the Republican kool-aide haven't you?
           \_ I have known this long before I was a conservative.
              Really, how exactly is the SS administration going to
              redeem these bonds?
              \_ Uh, how does the government pay all of its bills?
                 And you line about Clinton is simply a bad lie.
                 \_ was the budget balanced without SS receipts - yes
                    or no?
                    \_ Answer my question and I will answer yours.
                       \_ sorry I really should say Gingrich didn't
                          balance the budget.  Either way, its clear
                          by your cryptic responses  you have no idea
                       \_ I'm not any of the above posters, but the
                          answer to your question is, I believe, the
                          gov't pays its bills by taxing and by
                          borrowing, but ultimately by taxing.
                          what you are talking about;
                          this is not worth my time.
                          \_ Yes, it is obvious that you will not convince
                             me by parroting republican propaganda. Inform
                             yourself a bit about economics before embarassing
                             yourself again.
                             \_ gosh I guess that Econ BA was worthless...
                                \_ So do you believe that there is no
                                   money in the bank because it was
                                   "all spent"? If your bank told you
                                   that the money you deposited with them
                                   had already been lent out to other
                                   people and "already spent" would you
                                   just take that as an answer? Where
                                   did you get your Economics degree from,
                                   Stanford?
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35916 Activity:very high
1/26    Riddle me this: Congress jumpstarted SS, and then contributors got
        out what they put in, plus interest. How does this turn into "our
        grandparents are robbing us"?
        \_ It is because the payout is based on wage increase and not on
           inflation. So someone retired today that is collecting SS is
           getting paid based on todays wages. The other way to do it is
           to base it on inflation. That is bad though because you are
           then expecting retires today to live off of 1940 wages. An
           example is that the average SS receipent today gets about
           1200/month. If SS was based on inflation the payout would be
           around 300/month. That is not enough...
        \_ I think the argument is, the SS system is a progressive one, and
           we can't opt out.  Old folks are currently the ones getting SS
           money.  Therefore, old folks are robbing us.
           Kind of lame logic, but that's what some sodans think.
           \_ No, the logic is that the old folks are taking out more than what
              they put in plus interest.  Therefore we're just keeping them
              afloat, with really nothing set aside for ourselves.  So, in
              essence, by the time we're old, there'll be nothing left.
              \_ How does this jibe with the notion that if there weren't
                 a baby boom hump, social security would be fine?
                 \_ jibe, maybe?
                    \_ oops, learn something every day!
        \_ corrupted into a giant ponzi scheme
           \_ ... how does this jibe with the notion that if there weren't
              a baby boom hump, social security would be fine?
             \_ look, it's a combination of things, like baby boom and the
                increase of medical technology that allowed the boomers to
                live 10-15 years longer than expected. Personally I don't
                see the point of extending lives of 70-80 yr old people
                so that they can live another 10 miserable years, but then
                I digress
                \_ The actuaries who helped devise SS prepared for extended
                   lifespans.  They actually predicted the increase would be
                   larger than it has been.  The ass-talkers are out in force.
                   \_ Did they account for a baby boom bump?
                      \_ No, but there have been adjustments in the last few
                         decades to work on it, and the most conservative
                         estimates put the date of needing to reduce benefits
                         at 2042.
                         \_ 2042 is the year the SSA estimates that the
                            cumulative surplus (after the IOUs/bonds are
                            redeemed) will be drawn to zero, while
                            simultaneously needing to pay more to old folks
                            than we take in social security taxes.
                            This is assuming nothing is done.
                            \_ And the CBO estimates that will not happen\
                               until 2052. Even at that point, SS will be
                               able to meet 75% of its payments on its own.
                               The worst thing that could happen would be
                               that benefits would be cut by 1/4.
                \_ So, SS wasn't devised as a ponzi scheme when it was
                   created, but the system has a solvency problem with the
                   unexpected baby-boom generation and increased longevity?
                \_ The point in extending lives may become clearer once you
                   reach 70-80, as in, Q: "who would want to live to be 80"
                   A: "someone who is 79"
2005/1/26 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35915 Activity:moderate
1/26    Question:
        Currently we have a surplus of social security funds every year
        (i.e., more taken in from social security taxes than disbursed).
        I do know that the federal government spends the surplus, and leaves
        an IOU to the social security trust fund.
        The trust fund will start collecting on those IOUs around 2019, when
        social security taxes will not be enough to cover disbursements.
        Does the IOU make any money, and if so, how much?
        \_ The surplus is used to buy government bonds, which pay (not great)
           interest.  When the surplus needs to be spent, the bonds will be
           redeemed (government pays money into the SS system from general
           revenues) or the bonds will be sold on the market.  These have
           basically the same net effect.
           \_ What this is getting at is that at some point the government
              is going to borrow to cover the system. This is a given. I
              don't know why everyone is up-in-arms over the costs of PRAs
              when SS is going to go bankrupt at some point without reform.
              If you object to privatization then what is the solution when
              SS eventually goes bankrupt? Wouldn't it be better to try
              to fix it now? It will cost more now, but save more in the
              long run.
              \_ "at some point" is when?
              \_ Basically, all of Krugman's articles argue that private
                 accounts will be significantly worse than a long-term SS fix.
              \_ I think we SHOULD pay now to fix the system, but that means
                 either raising taxes or not letting people excuse themselves
                 from payroll taxes just because they have a PRA.
                 What's being proposed is just running up the debt now
                 in stead of later.  I think it's an especially bad idea to
                 run up a big debt when we already are running a huge deficit.
              \_ What makes you think we will borrow? Why not just raise taxes?
                 The current surplus is being handed to the wealthy in
                 the form of a tax cut. Eventually, they will have to pay
                 it back. They are doing everything they can to blow smoke
                 in your face and avoid admitting to the responsibility though.
                 up your ass and avoid admitting to the responsibility though.
        \_ Let's have a hard number.  3% annually?
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35914 Activity:high
1/26    Question for those who say:  "We don't need private accounts.  We just
        need to invest social security funds better!"
        Currently, the annual surplus from social security funds is invested in
        government bonds.  How should social security funds be invested
        "better"?
        \_ Inclone and Enron stocks were really high at one time! If they
           can just time it right, SS would be saved!!!
        \_ I think the government plans on putting it all on "red" at
           Vegas.
           \_ I wanna go to GWB's dice game!
2005/1/26-27 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35913 Activity:high
1/26    How does SS in the US compare with other countries, like Japan,
        Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, etc?
        \_ What you have as IRAs and other voluntary contributions is
           mandatory in a lot of other countries.  Example:  We pay a base
           equivalent to SS (in .ch) and a second amount derived from the 1st
           into a privately run (but still mandatory, with interest rates set
           by the govt) account.  There is much less flexibility for other,
           voluntary contributions (including tax benefits.)  Similar in
           Germany, etc.  The difference?  We'll be fucked much later than the
           US, but it'll happen (European & Japanese populations are getting
           much older and will rely on massive immigration to sustain us in
           our dotage.)  Also, when it does, the gefuckt-ness will be more
           widespread, due to the fact that the US appears to have a greater
           percentage of the population saving into private retirement funds
           as opposed to being taught to rely on a government "bank".  Many
           Europeans, at least, are only now coming around to the fact that
           their retirement pensions are illusive--made all the more bitter by
           the fact that the tax rate in EU countries is criminally high (this
           is a _bit_ better in .ch as our taxes are lower.)  So essentially,
           same problem, different format.  -John
           \_ In Japan at least, another major problem is corruption: in a
              recent scandal, it turned out that the people running the
              pension accounts were living large on loans they'd approved
              for themselves from the pension money. --erikred
           \_ The Chilean experience has not been so good:
              link:csua.org/u/ave (nytimes blahblahfoo:biteme)
        \_ How about China? I don't think SS exists, they just shift the
           problem to the family. So in essense, they don't have any problem.
           \_ I read somewhere that China has a huge pension liability problem.
           \_ "Death solves all problems; No man, no problem." -- Stalin
              \_ Go fuck yourself.
              \_ Somehow this reminds me of Bush...
                \_ your liberal brain has been classified as-- small.
                \_ The death of one Iraqi is a tragedy. The death of
                   100,000 is a statistic.
                   \_ Wow, your big brain tells you only 1 Iraqi died?
                      Really, you need to go fuck yourself.
                      \_ You are living proof that anti-war people can
                         be just as arrogant and clueless as the Cons
                         on the motd. For this, I salute you! -motdtl
                         \_ What about the millions of Native
                            Americans you killed huh? What smart ass
                            comment you have to say about that? How
                            the fuck did that happen under democracy?
                            "We come in peace", ha. Oh I get it, you
                            can kill, but no one else is supposed to.
                            Just like you can have nuclear weapons,
                            and shit loads of them, and ready to use
                            them on the first sign of trouble (bunker
                            busting nukes?), but no one else should
                            have them. Talk about double standards. I
                            will shut up when you apply the same set
                            of rules and regulations you scream at
                            others (I bet if the current
                            administration is running WW II, they
                            would've claimed German troops are
                            terrorists and don't deserve the Geneva
                            \_ different standards for white people
                            Convention). A real test of any man, any
                            nation, is how you stick to your
                            principles you claim to be so great when
                            you are the one under fire. It's always
                            easy to stand on the side lines and say,
                            oh look, you violated human rights! Hmmm,
                            I wonder why the Whitehouse PR machine has
                            stopped accusing other nation of HR
                            violations... -pissed off at double standards
                            \_ You really have me howling with laughter
                               here. I want you to know that someone
                               appreciates your work. Please look up the
                               famous Stalin quote "The death of one man
                               is a tragedy. The death of millions is a
                               statistic," and think for a second about how
                               my deliberate referencing of this quote
                               could not possibly be an effort to make
                               George Bush look better. Unless I was
                               a big Stalinist. Which I am not. I almost
                               didn't add that last sentence, but your utter
                               inability to see historical references
                               right in front of your face forced me to make
                               it 100% clear what I meant. -motdtl
                                \_ No shit, I can't believe no one caught on
                                   and it quickly devolved into politically
                                   correct BS.  Ok, I can believe the second
                                   part.  The original quote was to show
                                   that the Chinese have means at their
                                   disposal to deal with internal problems
                                   which we do not [yet] have.
        \_ First time I read this I thought SS meant the German secret police.
           \_ me too.  I was trying to figure out the American SS
2005/1/26 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35911 Activity:very high
1/26    I don't think everyone understands this yet, so I'll make sure.
        You know the 6.2% social security tax you pay every year (and
        the matching 6.2% paid by your employer)?  All of it goes directly
        to people receiving social security checks today.  It does not in
        go into any "private account" for you.  Instead, the government
        tracks how much money you make over your life.  Once you hit 67, you
        start getting social security checks.  The size of each check
        will be somewhat proportional to how much you made over your life.
        But this number is very progressive -- that is, people who made
        a lot of money get a much smaller proportion of how much they
        made, compared to people who made a small amount of money during
        their life.
        Once again, the current generation pays money directly to the
        old generation.
        What happens when you have "private accounts"?  Well, everyone gets
        a private account now.  You are paying yourself, not other people.
        However, the old people today still need their social security
        checks.  So who pays for it?  The government!  It takes out huge
        loans to pay money to old people, since all the young people are now
        saving for themselves instead of paying old people.
        Now, it's not a 100% transition to private accounts.  At the
        beginning, it will be a 1/3 transition.  So 4.2% tax goes to
        the old system (paying old people), and 2% goes to yourself (your
        private account).
        \_ Where did you get 6.2?  I pay 7.65% (as does my employer).
           \_ Medicare is 1.45%.  6.2% is social security tax.
        \_ But where does the government money come from?  Taxes.  Collected
           the same way the money would be collected under the current system.
           Right?  Am I missing something?
           \_ I don't understand your question.
           \_ You are missing someting.  If an individual goes the PRA route,
              they will stop paying SS taxes and in stead pay a (regulated)
              amount into their PRA.  The government is now missing the payroll
              taxes for this person but still has to pay for current SS
              beneficiaries.  To make up this missing money the government must
              either raise taxes or run a (larger) defecit.  The person who got
              a PRA is paying X-dollars less in taxes but being forced to
              invest X-dollars into their PRA.
              You will see your payroll tax be replaced with a enforced PRA
              contribution.  That money must be made up with new taxes or a
              defecit (future taxes).
        \_ While you're contemplating this, please also ask yourself the
           following questions.. Is an average American capable of making
           reasonably good investment decisions for his/her private account? If
           \_ You presume that there will be a choice.
           not, then do you think you would trust the government to do that for
           you? What about mutual funds? Where is the guarantee that whatever
           gains you get from the higher stock market returns will not be
           skimmed by those firms as administrative fees? What will happen to
           the financial markets around the world as trillions of dollars from
           the private accounts will start being poured into them? What will
           happen to the world economy and the US economy in particular if the
           US government tries to borrow trillions of dollars that are
           necessary to implement the transition? Have you seen a country that
           has successfully privitized their social security system?
           \_ Solution is simple.  Holders of the PRA are only allowed to
              invest in T-bills.  The rate of return is still better.
              \_ The problem is that with financial industry lobbying you know
                 that regulation won't last for long.  If you think they'll let
                 themselves miss out on this avalance of financial-services
                 business you'd be deluded.  What about people (like me) who
                 think that with our current-account defecit T-bills are not
                 a terribly safe investment?
                 \_ You investing in T-bills is likely as safe as the SSA
                    investing in T-bills for you.  Would limiting investments
                    to T-bills resolve the pp's concern for the lack of
                    security for PRA funds?  I am trying to figure out if the
                    sensitivity is over the security of the investment or
                    something else.
                    \_ It may be as safe an investment, but it destroys the
                       system.  Is that where your sensitivity is?  Do you
                       want the system gone?
        \_ We all understand this. SS does not need to be privatized, but
           it needs the ability to invest better. Imagine if that massive
           surplus has been invested in something other than navel lint.
           \_ Why?  What's wrong with treasuries?
        \_ can I just opt out of the whole system?  Where's my freedom to do
           that?   Don't send me checks, don't make me pay into it...
           \_ It's part of living here.  Don't like it? Move somewhere else.
           \_ The social contract is that you get to live in a country where
              old people get medical care and don't starve to death living on
              the streets.  In return, you must pay payroll taxes.
           \_ The law allows that if you become Amish.
           \_ Why do I have to pay for freeways even though I don't have
              a car? Why do I have to pay for the police even though
              I don't commit crimes?
        \_ And why is there an income cap for SS tax?
           \_ Do you mean, why is it that if I make $200K/year, I only pay
              6.2% of $90K?
             \_ Exactly.  Why make any income exempt?
                \_ I think it's because they want social security to be
                   progressive, but not THAT progressive.  In fact, one of
                   the remedies toward fixing social security is to raise the
                   the amount taxable, while keeping the maximum social
                   security check amounts lower in proportion or the same.
                   \_ SS is regressive, at least when taxed.
                      \_ The payout is much more progressive, outweighing
                         what you put in.
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35909 Activity:very high
1/26    Social Security is a system where our parents and ancestors rip us
        off, so that when we get old, we can rip off our children as well.
        \_ Hey, this is exactly how deficit spending works!  Er wait, it
           can't be bad if Reagan did it..
        \_ Don't forget the non-SS federal and state income tax!!11!
        \_ The first generation got something for nothing. We will have
           paid into the system.
        \_ This has been how traditional societies work -- children supporting
           retired parents, except that it wasn't enforced by law and wan't
           done by the govt's.
           \_ and didn't involve income redistribution. - troll
           \_ Right.  Except now it's the working less wealthy supporting
              the retired wealthy.  Here in reality land, seniors (defined
              as 65+) are the *wealthiest* Americans, and they have been
              getting richer faster than anyone else.  Me, I see lots of
              seniors touring around in new Mercedes and BMWs and going on
              expensive vacations.
              http://research.aarp.org/econ/dd44_wealth.html tbl 2.
              \_ SS was started as a response to a real problem, many elderly
                 who could not afford to retire and were living in real
                 poverty.
                 \_ And rural electrification started when the rural was not
                    electrified.  What's your point?
                 \_ I would suggest that SS payments be tied to net worth,
                    but it would be too easy for seniors to circumvent by
                    giving stuff away. Obviously a wealthy person doesn't
                    need SS at all. On the other hand, they were forced to
                    pay into it so...
                    \_ Yeah, they paid into it, but THEY LET THEIR OWN
                       STUPID CONGRESS SPEND ALL THE FUCKING MONEY AND
                       BADLY INVEST THE MONEY.  They didn't rein in their
                       reps, so they effectivly allowed their SS money
                       to be stolen.  As it is, it's effectively welfare
                       but given to old people regardless of whether
                       they're rich or not.  Face it, you old bastards,
                       you let Congress steal your money, you should not
                       steal it back from poor people to make yourself richer.
                       \_ uh... talk about blaming the victims.  Dumbass.
                       \_ Are you sure it was "badly" invested? Mostly, it
                          seems to have been invested in tax cuts for the
                          wealthy, which has probably made the economy
                          grow faster, increasing the tax base. I think
                          it was pretty well spent, actually.
                          \_ Yes, any time the economy expands, it wuz tax
                             cuts.  Any time the economy stagnates, it wuz
                             9/11, the hurricanes, and the tsunami, and not
                             enough tax cuts.  Hoozah!!
                             -Small-govt footsholdier
                             \_ You fool!  You're supposed to blame
                                Carter!!
              \_ GAAAAAAH, FACTS!!!!  DOGFOOD!  SHIVERING IN THE DARK!
              \_ The retired wealthy might complain if you stop giving them
                 social security checks.
                 \_ Shoot them if they complain.
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35908 Activity:very high
1/26    Not only the below, but conservatives have a handy dandy calculator
        to tell you how much you're losing under the current Soc Sec system:
        http://www.heritage.org/research/features/socialsecurity
        It says if I'm a 30-year-old male earning $8K/year now and put all
        my social security money into 3% government bonds, I'd get $970/month
        from private accounts, compared to $935/month in the old system!
        Woohoo!
        \_ And your tax burden over your lifetime goes up how much to pay for
           the transition to privitization?
           \_ Why does the transition have to cost anything at all? We
              are running a surplus. Just take the money currently in the
              plan and invest it differently. It doesn't have to be
              'privatized' just invested better.
              \_ To do what you suggest would take changing a huge number of
                 laws and market regulations.  Investing it "better" means
                 increasing risk.  It's social SECURITY.  It's design is
                 predicated upon SECURE investment.  As long as this country
                 exists, it is guaranteed.  Anything less throws that out
                 the window.
                 \_ If the fund falls short you borrow. Imagine it being
                    secured like the FDIC.
                    \_ Imagine a prolonged tanking of the stock market,
                       with a self-propagating cycle of borrowing more,
                       other countries moving out of the dollar, higher
                       interest rates, and people going underwater on
                       their mortgages
                       \_ SS is not designed to protect against doomsday
                          scenarios. Imagine that the dollar goes into
                          a tailspin and your SS money is still worth the
                          same in dollars, or imagine frightful inflation.
                          SS as currently concocted won't protect against these.
                          \_ At least we would all be in the same boat
                             together.
                 \_ Is investing it 100% in T-bills more or less risky than
                    the current regime?
        \_ This from the same guys who endorsed Chalabi and said we'd be
           welcomed with open arms?
        \_ And if you fall off a ladder and break your neck at 30, you will be
           penniless and broke and without any safety net, just the way the
           Republicans want you to be.
        \_ It says I'm losing $9,000 per month.
           \_ More than that for me, but more importantly it's a $1 million
              difference. That's a lot of money. Fuck SS.
              \_ You're not paying into SS for your retirement.  You're paying
                 for it so your parents and grandparents and uncles don't end
                 up eating dog food and shivvering in the dark with no medical
                 care.
                 Before SS, people saved for their retirement, but a LOT of old
                 people lived longer than they expected, or had some fiancial
                 hardship and flat-out didn't have enough money.  It was a
                 humane response to a humanitarian problem.  If we convert to
                 private accounts, setting aside for a moment how we pay for
                 that... we will still end up with a lot of old people living
                 in abject poverty because either they didn't save enough or
                 they got swindled.  We CSUAers like to think we're pretty
                 smart, but how many people will invest money in dodgy fly
                 by nights, penny-stocks and junk bonds?  When these people are
                 70 and broke will we still have social security to take care
                 of them?  Or will we just say 'ownership society'?
                 \_ Privatizing social security will have a hugely positive,
                    liberating effect on the economy! -troll
                 \_ Just invest the money in the index. I shouldn't be
                    forced to pay for your uncle and grandma. If I want to
                    pay for my own (or not) that's my business.
                    \_ I with more pro-privitization people had your kind of
                       courage to just come right out and say they want to let
                       old people starve.
                       \_ Old people worked their whole lives and should
                          have something to show for it other than my
                          money. Maybe if they weren't paying so much in
                          SS taxes they would have some money left for
                          themselves.
                          themselves. Alternately, maybe if their money
                          had been invested smarter when they were younger
                          they'd have more money now. The argument is that
                          you can take SS as it exists now and make it a
                          lot better just by changing what it invests in.
                          No costs at all and everyone benefits.
                    \_ Then go buy an island and form your own nation.
                    \_ Index fund?  If the stock market tanks, you're fucked.
                       \_ Yes, this is why I don't invest in my 401k. I am
                          very fearful of the stock market going into a
                          decades-long tailspin.
            \_ If you are paying that much into SS, you can afford to fund
               your own $1M retirement fund, like I am doing. SS is there
               as a safety net, not to fund your lifetestyle of luxury.
               \_ So I should give away $1 million opportunity cost just
                  because I can save $1 million more? Huh?
                  \_ The $1M "opportunity cost" is just a figment of your
                     imagination. The taxes you pay are the cost for living
                     in a stable and sane society. Don't like paying taxes?
                     Simple, move to a country where there aren't any.
                     I am pretty sure the Congo does not require any
                     Social Security taxes.
        \_ It does a fair job of comparing your benefits under the two systems.
           It fails to acknowledge that we're currently under a 'PAYGO' system
           and all the pain converting to personal accounts will cause.  It
           makes it look like the SocSec system is ripping off everyone when
           a big part of the problem is that under the current system everyone
           is paying for their ancestor's retirements.
           \_ i.e. ripping off everyone
2005/1/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35901 Activity:very high
1/26    Democrats illustrate once again they are dumbasses by falling into
        obvious Republican trap.
        (1) Republican figure makes comments about how social security payments
            may be tied to race and sex, without elaborating
        (2) Less than 48 hours later, official e-mail petition circulates
            Democratic Party mailing lists, condemning proposed tie.  70,000
            sign petition over two days.
        (3) Dubya tells the world blacks are being fucked by the current
            social security system because they die on average 9 years earlier
            than whites, and the funds are generally not inherited once the
            parents die.
        \_ At least one Democrat saw it as obvious bullshit, deleted the
           email, and got pissed off.
        \_ Dubya tells world that blacks die, on average, 9 years earlier, and
           Dems fail to call him on the fact that this stat is due to more
           blacks living in poverty, dying in violence, and reaping the
           whirlwind of years of backsliding on the gains made in Civil Rights
           in the 60s.
           \_ The (alleged) reason doesn't change the fact.
              \_ Can you also claim "blacks put in less"?  Not that I am
                 advocating looking at the fairness issue in these terms.
              \_ However, better facts should trump worse facts.  Blacks do
                 not die 9 years earlier than whites.  Apparently neither
                 Dubya nor the pps understand how life expectancy works.
                 http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/329/2/110
                 \_ This article says that black men have a greater than
                    9 year shorter life expectancy. Maybe you should
                    elaborate, because this article seems to contradict you.
                    \_ Average life expectancy is pretty useless for discussion
                       of SS benefits.  The correct measure (that the framers
                       had in mind) is expectancy after 65.  They predicted
                       that it would increase, and were off slightly on the
                       high side.  There is no damn crisis.
                       \_ Why is it expectancy after 65?  If you die before 65
                          you've paid into the system and don't get anything
                          back.  Besides, if Congress changes the retirment
                          age, 65 is irrelevant.
                          \_ The difference in full life expectancy comes from
                             higher infant and young mortality rates.  If you're
                             going to compare benefits, you have to compare
                             apples to apples.  In comparing how benefits are
                             dispersed, it's dishonest to say "because more
                             kids died in your demographic, you're going to
                             receive lower benefits."
                             \_ So a better stat would be of people who
                                survived to working age, not those who survive
                                to 65.  And my guess is that general mortality
                                is closer to that than the paper cited (though
                                I can't read anything more than the abstract).
                                \_ My guess is your guess is wrong.  The reason
                                   this is still not apples to apples is that
                                   SS is a societal contract.  You pay into it
                                   until you draw benefits.  Until you start
                                   drawing benefits, it doesn't matter whether
                                   you get anything back.  If you want to live
                                   here, you pay.  If you don't want to pay,
                                   go somewhere else.
                                   \_ So your disagreement is philisophical.
                                      So is mine.  You should own what you
                                      save.
                                \_ And your guess would be wrong.  Consider
                                   link:csua.org/u/aum where the life expectancy
                                   of blacks and whites generally converge as
                                   they get older.
                                   \_ So when you start paying into SS (age
                                      15-20) is closer to birth than age 65.
                                      So you're wrong.
                    \_ "Sixty-five-year-old black men had a lower total life
                       expectancy (11.4 years) and active life expectancy
                       (10 years) than white men (total life expectancy,
                       12.6 years; active life expectancy, 11.2 years),
                       although the differences were reduced after we
                       controlled for education."  The difference between
                       65-year old black and white male life expectancy (both
                       total and active) is 1.2 years.  The article goes on
                       to say that the difference for women is 0.
                    \_ pwnd!
              \_ http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issuebriefs_ib161
2005/1/21-22 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35832 Activity:high
1/21    Can you guys help me out? I'm trying to expose the Amway business
        model and I'm doing research. What are some past companies that
        operate like Amway? I remember there was one in the 70s and one in
        the 80s but they're defunct because of lawsuits. I can't remember
        their names. Any info you guys have, like the people behind it, and
        how they got sued, etc would be great. Thanks.
        \_ http://www.amquix.info/quixtar_los.html
           I was approached by this guy from INA.
        \_ Herbalife
        \_ Market America
        \_ http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/dsotour.html
        \_ expose Amway?  What part are you trying to expose?  I don't get
           it.  They're obnoxious, but I don't think it's illegal.
           \_ expose that while a very few percentage of people actually
              do make money, more than 97% of them never made more than
              $100 a year, and in fact, more than 50% of them lost money
              because they were buying Amway products for themselves so
              that they could meet the money quota for bonuses.
              \_ Aren't you about 30 years late with this news?!
                \_ try 50 years late. Well I'm just annoyed because I just
                   found out my sister and my aunt joined it. HOW STUPID!!!
                   I always thought only uneducated ppl joined these things,
                   but boy, was I wrong.
                   \_ According to the DSA, in 1996, 59.3% of American
                      distributors were female, 23.4% male,and 17.3% couples...
                      The restraints for women still in the regular workforce
                      in addition to the pressure to help the family have made
                      direct selling very attractive to women. Many DSO's
                      directly appeal to this need. -from the article above
        \_ Cutco
        \_ Do those encyclopedia or vacuum cleaner (Kirby) salepeople count?
           Or those water filter people I saw once.
           Man, the Kirby guy I saw years ago seemed sooo annoyed when we
           didn't buy his fancy vacuum and he cleaned our large living room
           carpet for free.
2005/1/17 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35743 Activity:insanely high
1/16    Dear libertarians (ie "all man for himself") and conservatives
        (ie "flat tax means equality"), what is your opinion on the
        following article and why is it flawed?         -moderate
        http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/17/wealth.gap.ap/index.html
        \_ Dear moderate (ie "I am too dumb to make up my mind"),
           please fuck off.
        \_ I'll bite.  The article points out that the income
           gap has closed but the wealth gap has not.  It seems
           intuitive that if the gap in income and wealth
           were to both close, that the income gap will come first.
           That we haven't seen the wealth gap close yet does
           not indicate a market failure.  Also, doesn't take
           into account that regional variations in wealth/income
           and regional variations in race are highly correlated
           (see <DEAD>www.csua.berkeley.edu/~darin/upload/black.PNG<DEAD>
           --Darin (moderate libertarian)
           \_ user/pass?  I tried moderate/libertarian and it didn't work.
        \_ I'll go in as well.  Again, they point out that the income gap
           has closed, but not the wealth gap.  In the article they
           attribute this to racism in companies giving morgages.  BS.
           Lack of loans don't stop people from investing in the stock
           market or any other sort of saving. Basically, America has a
           big problem with people not saving.  There's an epidemic of
           people living beyond their means in America, and blacks seem to
           be particularly susceptible to the lure of conspicuous
           consumption.  This is cultural, if your parents didn't save
           money, you probably won't either.  (In this case, it may be
           their parents didn't save money because some white guy would
           come and steal it.  It doesn't matter, the result is the same
           now.)  I think we should make a class in money management a
           high school requirement. -jrleek
           \_ I agree with everything you say, and yet I am a liberal.
              This may be one of the first jrleek posts I would say that about.
           \_ Ahh!  You used the b**** word!!!  Racist!!!
           \_ People keep saying blacks don't save money.  Then you go
              look up life expectancy of black males and it's like 69.
              The amount of money one needs to save for retirement is
              vastly different depending on whether one is going to live
              to 69 or 82.
              to 69 or 82.  White people complain a lot, but it's they
              who live a long, unproductive, useless post-retirement
              life on government subsidies.  They should learn to die
              earlier like black people, and stop wasting my tax dollars.
              These days, you start getting social security at like 67,
              so the average black male is only gonna get two years'
              worth, whereas someone who lives till 87 is going to get
              20 years' worth.  So, please stop dissing on black people.
              \_ Sigh.  This is why a little knowledge of statistics is
                 such a dangerous thing.
                 \_ well, the same thing can be said of jrleek's post,
                    which is my point.
                    \_ I must have missed it then.  Could you explain
                       where my post goes wrong in more detail?  Your post
                       makes a number a wierd logical fallacies that I
                       makes a number of weird logical fallacies that I
                       don't THINK I commited, which you claim to have
                       understood when you posted.  Please be more
                       specific. -jrleek
                       \_ Please explain what weird logical fallacies
                          were in my post?
                          \_ I don't think you know how life expectancy
                             works. - !jrleek
                             \_ That's the main problem.  The way you
                                apply life expectency is criminal, and
                                the resulting argument is horrifying in
                                it's circularity. -jrleek
           \_ This is the first time I've heard of the notion of African
              Americans in general not saving money vs. other Americans.  I
              read last night in the Post editorial on Social Security that the
              average U.S. household saves 1.5% of disposable income, compared
              to 11% two decades ago.
              So ... that must mean blacks are dragging down the average, even
              though they make up ~ 10% of the U.S. population?
              (That was an absurd statement; of course I don't believe that.)
              \_ I was just using the stats from the article.  I guess you
                 could say that blacks are "dragging down the average" but
                 I wouldn't.  It's a huge probelm in every race.  Blacks
                 just seem to be particularly afflicted with it. -jrleek
                 \_ I just updated my stats for you since I remembered my
                    source.  Anyway, if you said, whiteys played more stocks
                    than black people, even if they make the same money -- I'd
                    agree with you.
                    But I think the numbers don't lie, for all Americans, when
                    it comes to annual savings.
                    I don't know if the Post's result intelligently classified
                    some stock market investments as savings, so I can't argue
                    there.
        \_ Again they focus on equal outcome rather than equal opportunity.
           The goal is clearly socialism.
           \_ socialism is equal income.
              communism is equal outcome.
              \_ capitalism is equal cum.
                \_ no, capitalism is equal outcome when you have enough income
        \_ "Victims!"
2005/1/13-14 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35690 Activity:high
1/12    Can library fines affect your credit rating?
        \_ Just pay them; a library is one of few institutions
           that could probably use the money for a good cause.
           \_ In general, I agree.  These are fines from over 10 years ago
              from the town where I went to highschool which I never intend
              to return to.  The librarians there are evil assholes who exist
              only to persecute everyone who is not a bitchy old lady like
              themselves.  They refuse to accept payment by mail, and demand
              that I return to their shitty library to pay the fines in
              person.  If it were any other library in the world, I never
              would have let it get to this point in the first place.
          \_ hahahaha good cause? I don't think the public library is
             all that great. This is one fine example where the tax
             dollar is used inefficiently. How about less tax and more
             money for people to buy good books? Fuck all government
             aided infrastructures, let the people rule.
                                     -less tax more self-reliance guy
                \_ Go look up the budget for your town and decide whether the
                   library even makes the top 50 list for pork.  Seriously.
                Go look it up.
                \_ Go look up the budget for your town and decide whether the
                   library even makes the top 50 list for pork.  Seriously.
                   Go look it up.  Also, every time I go to my local library
                   (I live in a medium sized city), I see some kind of job
                   training or literacy program being hosted there, and I see
                   a lot of poor people reading who I'm guessing would not
                   otherwise be.  It seems to me that this translates directly
                   into more economic productivity for poor people, hence less
                   welfare outlay and more tax revenue for the government.  So
                   if you're just going to look at it in terms of tax revenue,
                   over a long period of time, I'm pretty sure the library is
                   a net gain.
                   \_ People become poor and unable to afford books because
                      the government allows (in fact entices) them to be
                      lazy through things like welfare and public library.
                      Once you cut them loose you will be amazed how self-
                      reliant they can be.  Besides, why do people who cannot
                      support themselves deserve to read anything anyway?
                      \_ I have zits on my ass that could troll better than
                         you.
                                    -less tax more self-reliance guy
                      \_ Uhm, the majority of people who are unemployed or
                         poor aren't lazy. Ever heard of supply and demand?
                         When the labor demand goes down, the supply stays
                         the same and people end up being unemployment and
                         as a result poor. No matter how self-reliant you are
                         when the economy is bad everyone loses. It's like
                         being in a tsunami. You're just one person. If the
                         environment is not conducive to you being employed,
                         you don't have much control over it. Most people
                         don't realize how easy it is to be completely wiped
                         out until it happens to them.
          \_ Library fines don't go to the library.  Typically they go to the
             city (or county) general fund. --married a librarian
             \-Dear Married to a Librarian: can you ask your spouse what is
               the typical lag time between an anticipated book coming out ...
               say something by a major author like Tom Wolfe, but not
               something like Harry Potter, and the library gettin it on their
               shelf? It seems like it is more than a "couple of days".
               I could understand the delay if it was somehow cheeper to
               go through some special publisher's channel but as far as I
               know, that is not the case [I believe the SF Pub Lib paid
               more per copy of Harry Potter than was the AMAZONG price].
               ok tnx. --psb
2005/1/6 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Recreation/Humor] UID:35567 Activity:very high
1/6     So, the neocons deleted my post on Alberto Gonzales' appointment.
        This is why I hate neocons.  They will always rally behind their
        leaders regardless what he does, and if they can't win an arguement,
        he simply make them silent.  The mentality behond those who deleted
        my post and those US marines fire missles at Al Jazeera TV station...
        sigh...
        \_ http://www.filibustercartoons.com/archive.php?id=20041229
           \_ Wow, I was going to point out the error in the assumption, but
              this cartoon does it so much better.
           \_ Does this cartoon ever get good?
              \_ I mostly disagree with it politically, but I have to admit
                 this particular strip has a point.  --liberal
                 \_ What?  that both sides have crackpots?  Duh..
              \_ I think it's pretty funny, as far as political cartoons
                 go.  Political cartoons aren't usually laugh out loud
                 funny.  Why don't you post some cartoons you prefer?
                 \_ http://www.workingforchange.com/comic.cfm?itemid=18323
                    \_ A guy complaining about an un-funny political
                       cartoon posts "This modern World?"  Irony lives!
                       \_ I thought it was funny.  I think the point is,
                          if you're a liberal you enjoy liberal viewpoints,
                          if you're a freeper/libertarian you enjoy those, etc.
2005/1/3-4 [Industry/Jobs, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35532 Activity:moderate
1/3     I have a better question.  What % of tay payer money actually reaches
        it target for expenditure.  For example, for Medicare / Medicaid,
        welfare, education, this is pennies on the dollar.
        \_ I think you need to define your terms more.  And not to be pedantic,
           but 'pennies on the dollar' includes everything short of 100%.  As
           far as 'reaches its target', what counts?  If medicare spends $100
           on a prescription, should you count $100, or the retail price of the
           drug, or the wholesale price, or the manufacturer's cost?  Education
           is even stickier.  Do you count teacher's salaries?  Do you count
           money spent on building maintainance?  What about a principal or
           superintendant's salary?  Or perhaps you're just trying to start
           some flamewar on "the government's wasting MY money!"
           \_ you're an idiot.  -tom
           \_ How about asking the question in terms of staff per customer
              served?  For schools, that would be (# students)/(# persons
              drawing a salary at the state and local level).
              \_ For CA, the ratio seems to be (10 students)/(1 salary
                 drawer).  Just teachers alone the ratio is (21.2 students)/
                 (1 teacher), so the other staff:teacher ratio is almost 1:1.
2005/1/3-4 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35521 Activity:high
1/3     so is SSI broken or not?  i can't figure it out.
        \_ If you ask anyone in the media, yes.  If you ask anyone who
           actually knows economics and pays attention to the subject, no.
        \_ i'm not sure.  i have read that the bush/norquist and co.
           want to break soc. security to allow the government to
           not have to pay back all the money it borrowed from
           the ssi trust.  not sure, maybe someone smarter than me
           can write a report for the class.
           http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/004327.php - danh
                \_ you're an idiot.   -tom
           \_ More to the point, BushCo want to let people invest their SSI
              payments in the market; has he never heard of the stock market
              crashes of 1929, 1987, and the DotCom Bust of 2000?
              \_ Do better research, even including the crashes, over the
                 long term a well diversified portfolio out performed
                 "safe" investments.
                 \_ Genuinely curious: how diversified do you have to be? If
                    you put 1% each in 100 Dow Jones listed companies, you'd
                    still be down 10% from the pre-DotBomb days.
                    \_ DJIA @ 1/2/81 = 963.99
                       DJIA @ 1/2/91 = 2633.66
                       DJIA @ 1/2/01 = 10790.92
                       DJIA @ 1/3/05 = 10729.43
                       Please refer to subsequent post about the lack of
                       historical perspective and the over-emphasis on current
                       and short-term trends.
                       \_ I really do appreciate the amazing jump made between
                          91 and 01, but now what?
                          \_ The data is trivially available.  I assumed it
                             was sufficient to give the long term trend, and
                             that you would be able to fill in points in
                             between.  Mea culpa.  BTW, the question is not
                             whether the Dow performs well over the long-term
                             (it does).  The question you should be bright
                             enough to ask (with that fancy cal education and
                             all) is really how long would it take you to
                             recover if you had the misfortune to buy at a
                             peak.  DJIA @ 9/3/29 = 380.33, and @ 12/1/55 =
                             386.77.  DJIA @ 10/1/87 = 2596.28, and @ 8/1/89
                             = 2660.66.  DJIA @ 9/1/00 = 11219.54, and it's
                             10729.43 today, down 4.3% from 9/1/00.
        \_ SSI is broken simply because people are living longer and
           having fewer children.
           \_ today's nytimes editorial says "if you extrapolate to
              INFINITY, the amount of money you owe is greater than
              getting payed(paid, learn to spell, damn you)
              in, if you extrapolate to something
              more reasonable, it's not broken."  who do you
              believe? - danh
              \_ Agreed:  the argument that we're going to run out of money
                 in SSI any time soon is based on an ad infinitum fallacy.
              \_ From the same NYT editorial, " sticking to the traditional
                 75-year time horizon [...] Social Security's shortfall is
                 estimated by the Congressional Budget Office at $2 trillion
                 and by the Social Security trustees at $3.7 trillion, a
                 manageable sliver of the economy in each case. If the
                 shortfall is on the low side, Social Security will be in the
                 black until 2052, when it will be able to pay out 80 percent
                 of the promised benefits. If it is on the high side, the
                 system will pay full benefits until 2042, when it will cover
                 70 percent."  Whether this is considered broken depends on
                 your politics, but certainly this is less broken than if you
                 projected out to infinity.  GDP today (in today's dollar) is
                 ~ $12T.  Assuming a growth of 3%, GDP in 2042 will be $37T
                 in today dollars.  Would a SSI deficit of 10% of GDP in 2042
                 (assuming worst case deficit of $3.7T is in 2004 dollars) be
                 considered broken?  Remember, the current budget deficit is
                 "only" 2.7% of the GDP.
                 \_ At the end of 1993, According to Al Martin, "The
                    total national debt of the United States on a fully
                    realized basis, inclusive of federal, state, county
                    and local debt stood at a record $20.613 trillion
                    (83.73% of said debt having been created from 1981-92
                    and from 2001 to present.) The total public and private
                    indebtedness of the United States ended the year 2003 at
                    $39.384 trillion. The total public and private assets of
                    the United States ended the year 2003 at $26.134 trillion.
                    Thus, the United States by the end of 2003 has a negative
                    net worth of approximately $13 trillion. The total debt
                    service of the United States ended the year 2003 at 309.4%
                    of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). These are numbers never
                    before seen.
                    \_ What? "end of 1993", "created from 2001 to present"?
                        \_ There might be some surpluses in there, so that
                           means no new debt created?  The point is that
                           betting on the long-term viability of the US might
                           be unwise.  When you add in other liabilities like
                           SSI and Medicare, the numbers go beyond $80
                           Trillion, but then of course we don't *have* to pay
                           those.
                    \_ The national debt by itself is "merely" $7.5T, which is
                       62.4% of the GDP.  We had national debts of 64.1% to
                       63.5% of GDP from 1992 to 1998.  Unfortunately, the
                       OMB estimates the debt will go up to 72% of GDP in 2009.
2004/12/24-25 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35426 Activity:high
12/24   Today I saw a few protesters on union square handing out flyers
        reading something like "stop Bush's Pinochet social programs."  They
        looked like reasonably educated, intelligent kids, but I couldn't help
        but think that, regardless of whether or not I agree with their points
        (which I could sort of infer) there seemed to be a pretty hilariously
        bad interpretation of politics, history, and reality in general there.
        So just as a general observation, if you're going to argue about a
        particularly emotionally or ideologically charged topic, no matter
        which side you take, it helps to do some _basic_ research first, or
        you look like an idiot.  This has been a public service announcement,
        Happy whatever.  -John
        \_ maybe they're being ironic?  pinochet had lots of great
           social programs involving tossing people out of helicopters.
           in other news, that "NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE! NO SEX ! NO SEX!
           NO SEX!!!!!!!!" guy who sits on a fire hydrant all day
           outside of the cable car turnaround on powell in a suit is
           still there - danh
        \_ union square in... Switzerland? Wait, where are you really?
        \_ Sorry, you are siply misinformed:
          http://www.econop.org/SS-SocialInsecurityChile.htm#PrivatizationScheme
           You *do* know that the Republicans pushing for Social
           Security privitization hold up the Pinochet example, right? -ausman
           \_ No, I wasn't aware of that, thanks for the information.  Mea
              culpa, I should have done more research myself, but it seemed
              like a pretty absurd connection.  Anyway, Hitler built nice
              highways... :-)  -John
              \_ Stop the Mussolini BART reform!  The flyer guys are still
                 dumbasses.  Well, either dumbasses or cynics of the worst
                 kind. -- ilyas
        \_ better than sitting on their welfare state public univeristy
           grad school ass.
              \_ Yeah, well calling it the "Pinochet" plan is kind of over
                 the top and stupid, imho, but at least it got your
                 attention, right? I really don't know if this kind
                 of grandstanding works in American politics, but it
                 appears to have worked pretty well most of the time.
                 American politics is laughably stupid. -ausman
                 \_ It got my attention, got me to (indirectly) find out
                    about it, and (a) dismiss these particular guys as kooks,
                    and (b) dismiss their points as invalid.  So, net effect
                    of kookish presentation is negative... -John
                    \_ In my experience, most protest signs about something
                       more complicated than "NO WAR!" are so badly written
                       as to be worse than useless.  If I wanted to stand on
                       the side of a road all day telling people about my
                       oddball political position, I'd just buy an easy to
                       remember domain name, post a clear statement of my
                       position at the website, and hold up a sign with
                       the url on it.  I've pointed this out to protesters
                       who had crappy looking, cryptic signs before and they
                       never seemed to appreciate the advice.  I'd read
                       a url if I saw it on a sign.
                       \_ It's obvious you've never done anything like
                          campaign or run for office or try to get something
                          voted on a ballot. Probably only 1% of the people
                          who would read your URL sign would actually go
                          to the stupid website. The point of protests
                          is to get attention, preferrably media attention.
                          People aren't going to pay attention to you if all
                          you've got is a hard to remember URL. If your URL
                          is easy to remember (which is quite difficult nowadays
                          with all these URLs being taken) you wouldn't
                          need the URL anyway since your message would
                          be short enough to put on a sign.
                          \_ I had a long reply that got deleted.  Your
                             sentence is to live in darkness forever.
2004/12/22 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:35403 Activity:very high
12/22   Dear Religious Democrats (emarkp, jrleek, etc), please help out.
        I'm trying to find biblical sections like John 12:34,
        Genesis 56:78, or something like that, which may suggest
        that Jesus 1) favors more government handouts for
        welfare 2) is compassionate and is soft on crime
        3) prefers raising tax for the rich to support the poor
        4) anything else that aligns with the Democratic agenda
        I'm trying to come up with something cool, but I need actual
        sections from the bible. ok thx     -don't know much about bible
        \_ Apparently you know even less about the motd and its cast of
           characters than you do about the bible.
           \_ I have to wonder what I or jrleek have written which led this
              person to believe we are Democrats. -emarkp
              \_ Well, it sounds pretty bizarre to me.  Is there *any* issue
                 on which you would consider yourself to be a "liberal?"
        \_ This has to be the dumbest request of the year. You can't take
           the bible and start applying 21st century politics to it.
           Anyway, the Bible as a whole is definitely conservative, especially
           the Old Testament. You are prohibitted from homosexuality, you can't
           eat pork, and anyone who isn't part of your group is slain. If you
           think that Jesus was a liberal, you'd be wrong. He expressly
           states that although he brings something new, the old ways are
           by no means to be overthrown. Also, although the Catholic
           Church has traditionally been aligned with the Democrats, they
           are firmly against abortion, divorce, and contraception. I'm
           not quite sure how you could align the strongly traditional message
           in various parts of the Bible, especially books like Job or Jonah
           which teach absolute faith in God without reason, to liberal
           democratic views.
           \_ look, if Karl Rove can successfully use the Bible to
              manipulate the not-so-bright mass of people, then it
              shouldn't be so hard to use his own ammo to manipulate
              them the other way. If all logic and reasons fail, you
              have to resort to... Religion, which is proven to work well.
        \_ Maybe instead of finding a few choice quotes to bend to your
           agenda you should read the whole bible to get a better idea
           of what Jesus stood for.  You're no better than O'Reily.
           \_ it takes one OReiley to counter another OReiley.
              \_ Maybe you should watch Jon Stewart on Crossfire.  He
                 seriously disagrees with that approach.
        \_ Um, I'm most certainly not a Democrat. -emarkp
           \_ uh, ok. So what are you, a conservative?
           \_ he's not a Democrat, he's been Visited by the Angel Moroni
              \_ Yes.  And I see very little in the Bible to support government
                 policy of any sort. -emarkp
        \_ Luke 12:33, Matthew 19:21, Colossians 3:2
           \_ None of those have anything to do with public policy. -emarkp
            \_ so emarkp, would you say that if Jesus were alive today, he
               would rather support Republican agendas than Democratic agendas?
               \_ I don't think he'd support any political agenda. -emarkp
        \_ If you ask me, Jesus is a communist. Just read:
        Luke 12:33 "Sell your possessions and give to the poor.
        Matthew 19:21 "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions
           and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."
        Colossians 3:2 "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
        \_ Yes, those would be the verses listed above.  They are about how you
           should live your own life, not how you should legislate the lives of
           others.  Note also that in Luke he was speaking to the twelve
           (slightly different commission) and in Matthew he was responding to
           the young man who asked how to become perfect. -emarkp
           \_ "not how you should legislate"?  Give me a break, conservatives
              are trying to legislate religious values all the time.
              \_ That doesn't mean Jesus would advocate it, or that all
                 conservatives suggest that Jesus would advocate it. -emarkp
        \_ hi kchang!
        \_ "As you treat the least of mine, you treat me also".
        \_ 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire
           prepared for the Devil and his demons! For I was hungry,
           and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn't give
           me anything to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn't
           invite me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me
           no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'
           Jesus goes on to say Then they will reply, `Lord, when did we
           ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or
           sick or in prison, and not help you?' And he will answer,
           `I assure you, when you refused to help the least of
           these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to
           help me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment,
           but the righteous will go into eternal life." -Matthew 25:41
           Also look up liberation theology to see how leftists have
           interpreted these ideals into action.
           \_ Jesus advocates charity.  Leftists advocate charity at the point
              of a gun. -- ilyas
      \_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_Theology#Passages_from_the_Bible
2004/11/19 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:34984 Activity:very high
11/19   All discussion of voter fraud censored for The Good Of America.
        \_ Why do you hate voter fraud?
           \_ ain't no fraud gonna make up 3million votes
              \_ but 200k votes is enough to turn the election.
                 \_ republican: good, democrat: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil
        \_ You go girl!
           \_ Are you a hoser?  Do you have any idea the effect of ilyasing
              the motd has on the CSUA??
              \_ Wear a uniform when ilyasing the motd, or you may be legally
                 shot on sight!
                 \_ You must also act as part of an organized military force
                    while ilyasing the motd, or you may be tortured.
                    \_ You must also hate freedom, America's god given right
                       to rule the world, welfare (except corporate welfare),
                       cute puppies, apple pies, and yermom.
2004/11/4 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:34654 Activity:high
11/4    With all the garbage about "liberal" vs. "conservative" (both horrible
        misnomers) floating around, I seriously am trying to find out if/where
        I fit into the political spectrum.  I've put together a list in
        ~john/politics.txt am curious about what the MOTD peanut gallery
        thinks.  -John
        \_ I look at that list and see a strong modern left position.  And
           I suspect it pretty much mirrors a lot of what us commie pinko
           socialist bleeding heart liberal scum on soda beleive in. Modern
           "liberals" (whatever the fuck that means) are not the same thing
           they were 40 years ago, but are still stuck being painted that way.
           For Europe you are probably pretty middle of the road, but in
           America you'd be a flaming liberal.  So sad.
        \_ huh.  I agree with you on all points you list, and I consider myself
           to be a liberal.  I think that's out of step with what most people
           call a liberal, but fuck them.  I believe that these principles
           coincide with what liberalism is supposed to be.
        \_ You have contradictory requirements.  First, you wish for low taxes,
           but then you also want to fund a moderate liberal agenda (keep the
           poor off the streets, good public education, etc).  You have to
           choose what is more important to you, low (and in particular
           progressive or no) taxes, or the nifty stuff you want to buy with
           taxes.  As described, you would be called a centrist, somewhat
           left of center, or a moderate liberal, in this country.  You are
           probably somewhat right of center in EU. -- ilyas
        \_ here's an idea: if you can't explain the views of one side without
           making them look like evil morons (ex: the conservative view
           below), then you don't hold that political philosophy.
        \_ I applaud your rigorousness, but I strongly suggest you frame
           this in specific, in-your-face examples.
           E.g.,
           Iraq - liberal view:  America should have waited for Blix to finish
           Iraq - conservative view:  America was right to use its military
           superiority to remove Saddam, even if he had no WMDs and even if
           we don't have a track record of building a democracy in a country
           like Iraq, and it's worth the cost of innocent Iraqi and American
           lives that we are directly responsible for.
           Consensus view:  If you have WMDs, we produce a smoking gun, and
           we think you may take us out or blackmail us, we'll take you out.
           Social security - liberal view:  As-is progressive system where
           rich contribute more relatively to help out poor
           Social security - conservative view:  Give everyone IRAs, if you're
           poor when you're young and working, you're still poor when you
           retire.  Sorry!  America is the land of OPPORTUNITY, not handouts!
           Consensus view:  It shouldn't be as bad as Western Europe.
           \-i think your list is sort of "bottom up" ... here is what i
             think about 10 issues ... what do i fit into best ... rather than
             a "top down" view which would take as it's starting point some
             kind of "big question" like "what is the purpose of govt" or
             "what do we owe each other" and have more of an essay form of
             answer [or if we take the essay to the extreme, you get say
             nozick: anarchy, state and utopia, or rawls: a theory of justice].
             also a lot of the "hard questions" involves aspects of process ...
             like the role of money in politics, what should be civil penalty
             vs criminal [say a company pollutes] ... so in your list is it
             not clear what should happen to the "victims" of free trade,
             not much on health care ... and without some kind of "philosophy"
             it's hard to guess where you would come down on issues not
             explicitly delineated. it's not clear to me why you believe in
             public education, for example. oh your list is also subject to
             the a sort of wilt chamberlain problem [where you have initial
             condition you like, but nothing prevents things from evolving in
             a direction you dont like ... without an encroachment on liberty
             you also dont like ... you can look up "wilt chamberlain nozick"
             on the WEEB probably]. --psb
             \_ Good points, thanks for the critique.  That list was just a
                sort of brain dump in reaction to "issues" discussed during
                the election.  I have a sort of naive assumption that someone
                who stands for election would possess the kind of intelligence
                and flexibility that would let them adapt to changing
                conditions;  I am wary of platforms or grand sweeping
                documents that go too much into detail (see the US vs.
                European constitutions).  As for W. Europe vs. US social
                security, they're both bad and in the shits, but at least the
                W. Europeans are getting something from it right now :) -John
             \_ Well, I've always thought that if you can't explain it to
                a four-year-old, you don't really understand it.  I'm taking
                this approach.  Why theory-build when you don't need to?
                \-because a complicated society involves hard questions.
                  the simple theories like "strict constructionalism" either
                  have limited power, or arent as simple as they pretend to be.
                  know any 4yrs old who can follow say the federalist papers?
                  how do you balance between minority and majority interests?
                  you cant just say "vote on everything". not only is there the
                  interest of minorities but problems like the arrow problem.
                  what about trade offs between equality and efficiency [see eg
                  arthur okun's essay by that name]? not all social choice is
                  pareto improving ... if it is kaldor-hicks efficient, how are
                  losers compensated? i think "can you explain X" is a decent
                  test of your understanding, but the 4 yr old test is setting
                  the bar a little low. books i've read which i find have some
                  bearing on this include: the republic, dworkin: taking rights
                  seriously, cardozo: nature of the judicial process, bickel:
                  the least dangerous branch [no, the bible isnt on this list].
                  \_ You're right, but at some point, as a citizen, you have
                     no choice but to abstract and simplify political
                     principles;  one of the major tasks of a government is
                     to outline a set of guiding philosophies, and to work
                     within these as much as possible, taking into account
                     "operational realities".  Simple, 4-year-old statements,
                     such as "wealth is good" and "crime is bad" are perfectly
                     valid; however, at some point it should become possible
                     for someone with an average level of education and
                     intelligence to identify and formulate some coherent
                     beliefs without the benefit of an in-depth knowledge
                     of political theory.  You pay your elected officials to
                     deal with the minutiae of making these work.  -John
                     \- sure, there are some guiding principles like: freedom
                        to contract, social safety net, coase theorem/learned
                        hand rule, checks and balances, stare decisis,
                        federalism, due process, equality before the law ...
                        but entire books have been written on the single word
                        "equality" [http://csua.org/u/9sw] so again while
                        these are useful tools to have in your mental cabinet
                        with which to analyze problems like prop 187, they
                        are not simple tools. people who use one or two of
                        these has hammers and reduce problems nails [like
                        most libertarians] are falling short of the reflective
                        ideal, imho. curiously, some of the issues most people
                        would see as the most inherently moral questions, i
                        see as pretty empirical, like abortion and the death
                        penalty. i think another interesting and hard question
                        is "what is the role of govt outside of solving
                        'problems'" ... like why should there be a NASA ...
                        clearly NASA is not as "practical" as DARPA. if there
                        is one question for conservatives: what should be the
                        limits of the freedom to contract, and for liberals:
                        how would i justify progressive taxation. aff. action
                        is also a rich topic for debate ... also not something
                        clearly address in your list [metatopics being: how
                        do you trade individual rights for social agendas,
                        are there 'group rights' etc]. --psb
                        \_ I think the limits of the freedom of contract should
                           be the death of the individual (to prevent
                           feudalism).  [ I had some other stuff here, but I
                           removed it, because I realized the problem is harder
                           than it looks.  I want to say that the individual
                           should be free to sell his life however he wishes,
                           but I am not sure I can bite the bullet on the
                           ensuing ick.] One nifty argument for
                           progressive taxation I heard is that the rich make
                           a more effective use of the money they have,
                           because they have more of it, and so in some sense
                           a proportional tax isn't really fair. -- ilyas
                \_ i don't know a lot about this stuff and i really hate
                   encouraging you, but is there a first world nation with
                   a flat tax besides Iraq?
2004/10/13 [ERROR, uid:34090, category id '18005#7.94375' has no name! , , Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:34090 Activity:high
10/13   Washington Post lead editorial on tonight's debate:
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28382-2004Oct12.html
        "We'd begin with the selfish, even piggish behavior today's leaders are
        showing toward the next generation -- in other words, with the budget
        deficit and the growing burden that Social Security and Medicare will
        place on young workers as the baby boom generation retires."
        \_ If you're going to post a link that requires registration at least
           include a generic uname/pw so that us lazy mofos don't have to go
           bother and register.
           \_ I can lynx there from soda without it asking for a username.
              Does it work for you?  (not sure if my cookies file is in use)
                \_ Yes, lynx works.  Lynx is not my preferred browser.
                   \_ Thanks, I thought the Post didn't check anymore.
2004/9/26-27 [Computer/SW/Security, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:33764 Activity:high
9/26    What kind of secret service protection do senators receive? Also,
        do presidential candidates receive special secret service protection?
        \_ Um, this is kind of a strange question to ask on the motd, but
           Presidential candidates all recieve SS protection... ever since
           Robert Kennedy. I am pretty sure that the SS has nothing to do
           with the Senate, but I know that Feinstein has some kind of her
           own security detail. I don't know who pays for it.
           \_ Thanks, but why is this a strange questino to ask on
              the motd?
              \_ Remember the Steve Jackson games case? The SS doesn't
                 take well to jokes or even idle curiosity.
        \_ Enjoy Ashcroft's be-latexed fingers icily probing your rectal
           cavity while you are denied access to counsel!
            \_ You have Ashcroft all wrong.  He'd never use latex,
                he'd dive right in.
               \_ Enemy combatants and people who format weirdly on the motd
                  have no right to lubricant under the Geneva Conventions.
2004/9/24-25 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:33741 Activity:high
9/24    Regarding the http://opensecrets.org link below, I'm really surprised that
        Bush doesn't get more donations from oil industries and instead get
        them from 'retired' people. Weird...
        \_ People begging for SS have a surprising amount of money to
           throw around.
           \_ It's not so much a widows-and-orphans welfare system as a giant
              pension system.  Hell, Warren Buffet is eligible.
              \_ Well, yeah.  Which is why it's stupid, now anyway.  Why
                 should old people be getting money?  Aside from asinine
                 health care costs, they have very few expenses.  No
                 children, no where to go, and usually, pleanty of money.
                 \_ Old people are generally not poor in this country because
                    of Social Securirty.  There's a reason SS was created in the
                    first place you know.  Would you prefer we return to the
                    days where the elderly mostly lived in abject poverty,
                    and people would literally work themselves until their
                    death for fear of retirement?
                    \_ So you say.  I think reality differs.
                       \_ I think you're wrong.  Look at the demographics of
                          the poor from before SS and after.
                          \_ Situation has changed since SS was
                             introduced.  A lot.
                             \_ You're right.  However, with the widening
                                income gap in this country, it seems that
                                we are rapidly going back to something
                                approximating the '20s.
                                \_ And social security is going with it.
                                   \_ Wow.  So we agree!  Thanks!
                                      \_ Well, the fact that SS is hozed
                                         and broken is hardly a secret.
                                         Nor is the fact that the Dems
                                         stole all the money from it.
                                         \_ Wow.  Wrong on both counts.
                                            Way to go...
                                         \_ Care to back up that accusation?
                                            \_ I think it's rather the reverse.
                                               The Republicans have presided
                                               over the largest expansions in
                                               public spending.
                                            \_ Since LBJ was in the white
                                            \_  You are wrong. It was Reagan
                        who proposed that the payroll medicare and SS taxes
                        be doubled in the 80s. It was argued hat starting with
                        the 80s, the surplus money generated by the higher
                        payroll tax payments would be used to retire the
                        government debt so that by the time the baby boomers
                        start retiring, the government would be in a better
                        position to pay their pensions. Yet, there hasn't been
                        a single year during the Reagan era when ALL of the
                        surplus payroll tax payments were not shamelessly used
                        for purposes completely unrelated to the social
                        security or debt retirement. It was actually Bill
                        Clinton who cared about balancing the budget. Then came
                        GWB has again run record decicits and also proposed
                        record breaking deficits for future without any viable
                        proposal for a viable SS reform. Most economists agree
                        the this country will be broke soon if this doesn't
                        change.
                        \_ Pessimism never created a job!  Just put your
                           blinders on, go to Walmart and buy Britney Spears
                           and let the folks in Washington deal with the bean
                           counting!
                    house. Pretty much that whole time was a Dem congress.
                    http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA189.html
2004/9/9-10 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:33450 Activity:moderate
9/10    National Debt severely underreported:
        http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_bartlett/bartlett200409080940.asp
        \_ Oh, the irony.
           \_ How so?
        \_ Will everyone who thought they were getting SS in the future
           please raise their hand.
           \_ yes: ..
              no: ....
           \_ Back in high school when I researched it for a class I had an
              'uh-oh' moment.
        \_ Well, duh.  We never had a surplus during the Clinton years if
           you take into account SS/Medicare liabilities.  But like the article
           says, if you are in charge of the dollar it becomes really tempting
           to abuse the dollar, especially since spending money gets you
           reelected and saving it doesn't.
2004/9/9 [Politics/Domestic/Immigration, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:33430 Activity:nil
9/9     Survey: Millions in LA County struggling with literacy
        (Mexifornia here we come!!!)
        http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1210628/posts
        \_ Or you can look at it the other way, millions of Californians
           are illiterate in Spanish, which was the original official
           language. I mean, there's a reason why it's called "San Jose"
           and not St. Joe's.
           \_ why should Californians care much about the language that WAS
              the official language nearly two centuries ago?
2004/8/29-30 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/Crime] UID:33210 Activity:kinda low
8/29    The man of the East cannot take Americans seriously because
        they have never undergone the experiences that teach men how
        relative their judgement and thinking habits are.
        Their resultant lack of imagination is appalling.
        \_ Excuse me, but WTF?
           \_ Just an out-of-context quote.
        \_ W00t!
        \_ Europeans?
           \_ Because they were born and raised in a given social order
              and in a given system of values, they believe that any other
              order must be "unnatural", and that it cannot last because
              it is incompatible with human nature.  But even they may
              one day know fire, hunger, and sword.
              \_ THEY CALL HIM JUDGE, HIS LAST NAME IS DRED
                 SO BREAK THE LAW AND YOU'LL WIND UP DEAD!
                 TRUTH AND JUSTICE IS WHAT HE'S FIGHTING FOR
                 JUDGE DRED THE MAN, HE IS THE LAWWWWWWWWWW!!!
                 \_ In all probability this is what will occur;
                    for it is hard to believe that when one half of the world
                    is living through terrible disasters, the other half
                    can continue a nineteenth-century mode of life,
                    learning about the distress of its distant fellowmen
                    only from movies and newspapers.  Recent examples
                    teach us that this cannot be.
                    \_  RESPECT THE BADGE!
                        HE EARNED IT WITH HIS BLOOD!
                        FEAR THE GUN!
                        YOUR SENTENCE MAY BE DEATH BECAUSE
                        I AM THE LAW!!!!!
2004/8/2 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:32628 Activity:insanely high
8/2     Someone posted a few days ago: "Too bad 58% of the people don't know
        that the economy would collapse if the deficit was zero."  I happen to
        be among the 58%.  Can you please elaborate?  Thx.
        \_ The trade deficit or the budget deficit?
           \_ I think it was the budget deficit.
              \_ I think the OP of the quote meant the debt and not the
                 deficit. If it was the deficit then OP is truly ignorant
                 because there have been budget surpluses in the past.
                 However, there has always been a national debt. If we
                 were to pay off that debt (which stands at $7 Trillion
                 currently) there may be certain financial repercussions
                 that economists aren't sure about. Greenspan commented
                 on this briefly a couple years ago when there was overly
                 optimistic talks about paying off the national debt
                 within our lifetimes based on extrapolating from the
                 surpluses we were getting from dot-com mania.
        \_ Someone's an idiot?
        \_ I seem to remember some discussion of financial chaos if the US
           government bond market disappeared.
           \_ US Bond market stops selling, Asian investors (and governments)
              stop buying.  They stop buying, they stop selling their own
              currencies to buy dollars.  That happens, the dollar starts to
              deppreciate VS. the Yen and Yuan.  That happens, and asian goods
              becmore more expensive in the US, then asian exports start to
              decline, which is a big part of their economy.
              \_ US governemnt bond is the classic risk-free investment, and
                 some people like to invest in them.  Also, aren't lots of
                 things tied to the price of a t-bill?
                 \_ Even if the government wasn't selling bonds, there'd still
                    be a t-bill market.  The thing is prices would go up while
                    interest rates would go down.
              \_ yea, but asia is becoming a big market itself, and asian
                 domestic consumption is rising fast in relative importance.
                 japan's economy was pulled out of its 10-year recession by
                 by china, for instance.
        \_ Are there notable economies that regularly run a budgetary surplus?
           Probably some of the oil states, Norway for example.
        \_ China does not seem to have a trade deficit, and it's economy
           does not seem to be collapsing. We had a budget surplus a few
           years back and the economy was doing hell a lot better than it is
           today.
           \_ Historically, we run a budgetary deficiet, and budgetary
              surpluses are by far the exception.  And when we were running
              the surplus, there was confusion among some financial people
              re US governement bond market.
        \_ Those who spread these kind of lies are republicans profiting from
           the war, the oil, and everything else at the expense of the middle
           class.
        \_ We need partha for the definitive answer.
        \_ The way I see it, it is similar to managing a household.
           If you manage your household, then you will try not to run
           into budget deficit, because you know if you borrow money,
           you have to pay it back with interest. Now why does the
           government runs a budget deficit most of the time? It's
           simple, because those who spend the money are not
           responsible for paying it back. Think about it this way, if
           your household will be run by someone else 4 years later,
           you might not hesitate to overspend, especially buying
           expensive stuff from a store you own down the street. Most
           households are more responsible about money because they
           have to pay back whatever they spent. The government does
           not. It depends on how corrupt they are. The democrats want
           to spend the money on public infrastructure, on job
           creation, on welfare (not everything I agree with). The
           republican wants to spend money on defense (the big surplus
           we had, geez, what can we do with all these money, how do I
           get it into my pockets), and for that, they need to create
           enemies and wage wars around the world.
           \_ spending billions on missile defense systems that don't work
              isn't defense, it's welfare.
              \_ Don't forget other corporate welfare like crop subsidies,
                 ethanol programs, and tax cuts for 'job training' that
                 amounts to operating the cash register at Walmart.
                 \_ I figured I'd just post the most obviously fraudulent...
                    Now watch as the motd neocons try to explain to us why
                    deploying a system which was shown not to work
                    makes sense, even without further testing.
           \_ Republicans also 'spend' surplusses by giving tax cuts, then
              scream bloody murder when you try to raise taxes to cover the
              defecit.
        \_ BTW, what was the last time the national debt was 0?
        \_ I am so happy no one is using such facts to lobby for deficits.
2004/7/30 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:32591 Activity:high
7/30    Mmmm... record deficits...  where have we heard that before?
        \_ Ray-gun!
           \_ Do not mock St. Ronald.
              \_ Mao the Pun!
           \_ Did his son speak at a Democratic convention?
        \_ Republican: when economy is good, tax cut, when economy is
           bad, more tax cut. Tax cut is the solution to every
           problem. When the rich have more money to spend, everybody
           would be ok! Who cares about the deficit because they don't
           have to pay it back anyway, it's the tax payer's problem.
           How can you people vote for republicans and sleep at night?
           \_ Democrats: when economy is good, raise tax, when economy is bad,
              raise more tax.  Blah blah blah ......
              \_ Mmmm, someone obviously DIDN'T get the talking points.  "Tax
                 and spend liberal" is old hat, now you have to talk about
                 "fighting terrorism."
                 Fifty-Eight percent of registered voters feel reducing the
                 deficit is more important than cutting taxes...refer to the
                 poll numbers at the bottom of this column:
                 http://www.slate.com/id/2104539
                 \_ We ought to be able to do both.  Look at how much taxes
                    have gone up in the last 100 years.  If we don't slow down
                    soon we will be living under communism.
                    \_ what's wrong with communism?
                    \_ But how much more money are we spending now on welfare,
                       stupid lawsuits, prisons for death-roll immates, and
                       providing services to the illegal immirgrants?
                       \_ Don't forget the much-larger military budget and
                          service on the debt.
                       \_ Kudos for hitting all the hard right hot buttons
                          simultaneously, but all of those are miniscule
                          in comparison to the military budget, Social
                          Security, and a lot of other thing.  As far as
                          death row inmates go, the only way to save real
                          money on prisons is to decriminalize all drugs.
                          \_ anyone got any link as to the percentage of the
                             federal spending? What percentage is the military?
                             the prisons, education, etc?
                             \_ Most prison spending is at the state level, and
                                though the feds to provide some money for
                                education, a lot of that is also state and
                                local taxes.
                                \_ Yah, there are really very few federal
                                   prisons.  The majority of correctional
                                   facilitiies are county jails, though I'm a
                                   little unclear whether the state gives any
                                   money for those.
2004/7/22-23 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:32435 Activity:very high
7/22    So, the thread got deleted, but I am curious what the people
        who thought the fascism essay was well-informed and informative
        thought about the author classifying militant anarchists/libertarians
        as a proto-fascist movement?  No one ever commented on that.
        It was a really dumb thing to write.
        \_ That is not what he said at all. He stated that they have
           political alliances with some extreme right wing groups and
           sometimes exchange ideas. I think that is correct. Where do
           you think these "income tax is unconstitutional" types get
           their thread of argument from? Certainly not from the
           usual trailer trash White Patriot guy.
           \_ Yeah, must be a right wing conspiracy feeding them these
              arguments.
              \_ All right I checked and he lump them in with the
              \_ All right I checked and he lumps them in with the
                 "xenophobic right" which is kind of bizarre. But they
                 certainly deserve some of the credit for making
                 the Rush Limbaugh anti-government screed more
                 respectable. Why does it have to be a "conspiracy"?
                 They all go to the same gun shows, maybe they
                 realy do listen to each others arguments. What
                 is so nutty about?
                 really do listen to each others arguments. What
                 is so nutty about that?
                 \_ Wait, are you saying 'going to gun shows' is a stain on
                    one's character and intellectual integrity?  Dude.
                    People go to gun shows.  You know, to buy guns, and
                    look at pretty old rifles.  You are a loon.
                    \_ No, I didn't say that, you inferred it. I am a loon
                       because I know that both libertarian types and
                       anti-government tax freedom nutters go to gun shows?
                       How do you think that I know that? I sure as hell
                       didn't find it out reading Salon.
                 \_ What sort of idiot is in favor of more government? All
                    intelligent people are anti-government.  It's a huge
                    beaurocracy of the mediocre and uncaring.  How can anyone
                    be in favor of that??
                    \_ Lots of sorts of idiots, I'd wager. I am personally
                       for better government and more government where I
                       I am pretty sure it would do better than private
                       enterprise, like the health care system, to start with.
                       Lots of idiots want better schools, roads, more
                       rapid transit, better fire systems, hospitals,
                       mental health care, etc.
                       \_ It never ceases to amaze me how people still believe
                          government control of any business (like Healthcare)
                          is ultimately better.
                          \_ There are plenty of studies that show that
                             countries with socialized medicine have much
                             better price/performance ratios on healthcare.
                         http://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/002173.html
                         \_ I don't want better price/performance health care
                            ratios.  I want the best health care.  Period.  Of
                            course a government run HC facility will have
                            better *ratios*!  You can't get the newest medical
                            techniques and equipment!  So you die but it saves
                            a lot of money.  Brilliant!
                            \_ you can't afford the best healthcare period.
                               if you don't want to die, try exercising and
                               eating right, and not becoming a fat pig.
                               prevention health care has good price /
                               performance ratio.  fancy equipment just
                               prolong your miserable suffering.
                         \_ National Health in the UK is a catastrophe--
                            it swallows insane amounts of money without
                            delivering much.  Same with Germany.  France and
                            Sweden have obscene income tax rates to support
                            their habits.  Lots of Euro countries also have
                            massive public pressure to put hospitals in the
                            furthest corners of nowhere.  It's not as obvious
                            as it seems.  -John
                            \_ People I know in France and England feel
                               differently.  They praise socialized medicine.
                               Also, speaking of Sweden, I find it very
                               interesting that on basically every study
                               related to health care, standard of living,
                               freedom of expression, happiness,
                               social tolerance, and other quality of life
                               issues, Sweden consitently ranks near the
                               top and usually higher than the US. -!op
                               \_ I have several friends in the UK, and they
                                  moved to private healthcare the moment they
                                  could afford it.  French regional health-
                                  care is high quality, but in cities it is
                                  a calamity.  As for Sweden, "quality"
                                  perceptions are also largely a factor of
                                  how much aid you receive.  Students will
                                  love it, most upwardly mobile individuals
                                  I know from there try to move out.  Not
                                  to mention Norway, with similar services,
                                  but one of the world's higher suicide
                                  rates... -John
                         \_ This actually fits right in with yesterday's
                            bureaucracy discussion.  Bureaucracies, by
                            nature, must impose rules over the whole
                            system. Any rule they put in place,
                            immediately changes the ecomomics of the
                            medicine.  Suddenly it's not "pleaseing the
                            customer," it's "applying the rules directly
                            so I won't get sued," or, even more commonly
                            "gaming the system so I make more money."
                            Such rules obviously stifle innovation and
                            research.  For any given problem, a lot of
                            little groups will solve the problem faster
                            than one huge bureaucracy grinding through it
                            with trial and error.  Try a throught
                            experiment.  Make up some law that would
                            probably be passed about new medicines.  Then
                            figure out what that would cause in the market
                            place.  I defy you to come up with a possiable
                            law that wouldn't screw everything and
                            ultimately result in either the end of most
                            medical research or massive corruption, or
                            both.
                            \_ I spent most of last night in the ER of
                               an American private hospital, and I just
                               want to say a big "fuck you" to anyone who
                               thinks the US system is anything but fucking
                               barbaric.  I'm not arguing for a european system
                               or any other particular system, I'm just saying
                               that if anyone here doesn't think our system is
                               100% broken they can go fuck themselves.
                               \_ This is the result of HMOs fucking everything
                                  up.  Our health care system has already been
                                  destroyed.  We're arguing about bringing it
                                  back to the way it used to be instead of
                                  going even further towards the failed
                                  socialist model.
                               \_ You're right.  The problem is right now
                                  we've got a kind of half and half
                                  system.  It's sorta private, but it has
                                  a number of bureaucracies (HMOs,
                                  Medicaide) that act like little
                                  socialized Healthcare systems.  Lawyers,
                                  Liberals, and insuracemen have been
                                  pushing in this direction for a long
                                  time, and it's screwed us up.  What I
                                  don't is understand why so many people
                                  think the solution to the problem is
                                  MORE socialization.  "Socialism didn't
                                  work, obviously it wasn't enough!  We
                                  need communism!" Huh?
                                  \_ Compare and contrast the Canadian model
                                     with the American model. The Canadians
                                     pay less and get more, no matter how
                                     you slice it. They live longer, healthier
                                     lives, with less infant mortality and
                                     better health outcomes. And they pay
                                     much less than US patients, both in
                                     overall dollars and as a percentage
                                     of GDP. Yet you refuse to even consider
                                     that this might be because their
                                     socialist system is superior in this
                                     area. Faith based economics, anyone?
                                     \_ Socialism makes baby Jesus cry.
                                     \_ How did these words get in my
                                        mouth?  _I_ didn't put them
                                        there... OH! you did!  I'm sure
                                        it's better in that area.  Never
                                        said it wasn't.  But I think
                                        you're leaving out a lot of
                                        variables and important factors.
                                        For example, how much medical R&D is
                                        done by Canadian compaines?  How
                                        many Canadian crack fiends are
                                        there per capita?  What's the
                                        average wait for important care?  etc.
                                        \_ Fewer crack fiends, more beaver
                                           junkies.
                                        \_ Which words did I put in your
                                           mouth? "Socialism didn't work..."
                                           But you said that! OH!
                                           I have studied where money is
                                           spent in health care, in both
                                           countries. In niether one do
                                           crack babies count for even
                                           1/10 of 1 percent. In the US
                                           50 percent of lifetime spending
                                           occurs in the last three months
                                           of life.
                            \_ It's interesting how people who are in favor of
                               open source and the whole "lots of eyes" concept
                               to solve problems are so often in favor of big
                               government one-stop-fits-all 'solutions' to
                               real world problems.  I don't get it.  I guess
                               it really comes down to they want free stuff,
                               and don't really believe the rest of the open
                               source philosophy.
                        \_ I don't know about this private or public thing.
                           One thing I know is that health insurance should
                           all have higher deductibles and have the customer
                           pay a percentage of the charges up to a
                           significant limit.  I see too many colleagues
                           abuse health insurance by visiting doctors,
                           chiropractors day in and day out for very minor
                           conditions, and their doctors are happy to comply.
                           American natives are especially good at bilking
                           the system like this.  They also eat like pigs
                           and don't exercise, increasing health insurance
                           costs for everyone.  Just look at Rush Limbaugh
                           or Dick Cheney, both too fat!  Health INSURANCE
                           should be an INSURANCE, not free healthcare!
2004/7/22-23 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:32428 Activity:insanely high
7/22    After giving it some thought, I think the real issue isn't 'communism'
        or 'fascism' but 'bureaucratism.'  Large, soulless bureaucracies are
        something Big Government and Big Business have in common.  In fact, the
        two Bigs are so similar, I am surprised people can be so vehemently
        opposed to one and not the other.  The issue is that people are small
        pack animals, they don't like big ant hill arragements, and so they are
        unhappy working as a part of a bureaucracy.  Ask anyone working with
        (or for) one of the above Bigs.  I think what's needed is to make
        our society more like a collection of packs and less like an ant hill,
        or to make us more like ants biologically. -- ilyas
        \_ Theory indicates that ant societies are as cohesive and
           altruistic as they are because siblings share 3/4 of their
           chromosomes, not just 1/2. Humans do not have this interesting
           reproductive scheme.
           \_ Interesting sidenote: in african mole rat societies (they are the
              only mammal to evolve eusociality), the 'worker rats' cannot
              breed because, apparently, they are too stressed out by the
              bossing around they receive from the 'queen rat.'  -- ilyas
        \_ Awsome! I've tried to convince you of this repeatedly, as have other
           poeple on the motd.  Now, the next step is to recognize that the
           libertarian stance that big business should have no restrictions
           on it is just as dangerous to individual rights as statism,
           particularly since the big business interests and the statists
           generally work hand in hand.
           \_ The problem is, your solution to Big Business is to sic Big
              Government on it.  I am a little sceptical of this, for obvious
              reasons.  The libertarians believe Big Business should have
              restrictions, btw, same as everyone else.  They shouldn't trample
              on people's rights.  My point is a wider, I think, point about
              what kind of society it takes to make people happy.  Even if
              Big Business was perfectly well behaved, I think people would be
              unhappy working for it, and dealing with it.  We as humans just
              don't like large hierarchies very much. -- ilyas
              \_ Ah, but libertarians admit that big government is needed
                 to defend against foreign enemies, even if it is a necessary
                 evil.  This is totally analogous.  When a corporation with
                 hundreds of thousands of employess is killing people by
                 dumping toxic waste into the water table, using big gov't to
                 fight them in court is exactly analogous to using it
                 to fight a foreign enemy who is trying to kill us.
                 \_ You seem to know a lot about libertarians that I, a
                    libertarian, find very new.  Are you sure you aren't
                    confusing libertarians and republicans? -- ilyas
                    \_ don't most libertarians vote republican?
                    \_ Libertarianism seems doomed as a practical model of
                       governance, because it is based entirely on ideal
                       models.  In this way it is very much like communism.
                       \_ ... moved.
                          \_ I didn't!  I don't think ilya is using motdedit,
                             so his posts are getting intermingled as he
                             edits them.  This happens to people a lot.
        \_ Tell us about the ant-people, ilyas
           \_ Read Hellstrom's Hive by Frank Herbert.  A really creepy book.
                -- ilyas
        \_ There is no such thing as society, only collections of individuals.
           -- some stupid old bitty
        \_ How can rational people be pro-Big-Government and
           anti-Big-Business?  Because they believe the former ultimately
           takes care of them, but the latter works them to death in pursuit
           of the Almighty Dollar.  How can a person be anti-Big-Government
           and pro-Big-Business?  By believing the former takes advantage of
           hard working folks, benefiting the lazy; and the latter is a
           creation of hard working people and raises the standard of living
           for everyone.  But everyone knew all of this already, right?
           \_ I think neither of those beliefs is very rational.  The two
              Bigs are not very different in their structure.  Their only
              difference is mandate (Big gvt can use force). -- ilyas
              \_ That 'difference' is B.S.  Big business can always get the
                 government to use force for it.  If there was no government
                 then business would just have private armies.
              \_ While you think that these beliefs are not very rational,
                 rational people do hold these beliefs.  (There is a subtlety
                 in that sentence.)
           \_ You may wish to consult this entry:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma
              \_ Naturally you can find rational people who are anti-both.
                 I was addressing ilyas' "surprise" at people being pro-one
                 and anti-the-other.
                 \_ Don't expect people here to understand what
                    is a logical fallacy and what is not.  Reading
                    comprehension is not a general forte here.
                    \_ I is a college student!
        \_ People don't like feeling like they aren't in control of their
           lives.  People by nature think large hierarchies reduce their
           freedom.  Big business and big government are both large
           hierarchies, so both are bad.  We should have smaller hierarchies.
           I think I've just summarized your thesis.
           \_ It's a pretty good attempt.  I would only add that even in
              situations where people understand that their freedom must
              be voluntarily given up (say to sit in a cubicle and program
              for a day), they will still be unhappy due to the incessant
              rain of little stupidities and injustices that you would get
              working in some large org.  Also, not only do 'people think that',
              it's actually true. -- ilyas
              \_ You could have just said:
                 Large hierachies *do* reduce happiness, and this occurs
                 whether people are voluntarily part of the hierarchy (as in
                 a company) or forced to be in it (as in subject to the federal
                 government).
                 \_ I think the voluntary aspect is important. If I am truly
                    free to leave to form my own group or join another then
                    I can potentially be happy working as a group I believe in.
                    If economic pressures are too harsh then freedom will
                    depend too much on competitive advantage.
              \_ I don't think it's always true. I work for a large corp. but
                 operationally the only concern is my immediate group. There
                 is a common business hierarchy with a boss/director/VP. Any
                 time you have any kind of hierarchy there's potential strife.
                 Even small tribal societies, or wolf packs for that matter,
                 may operate seemingly ideally but are not free of strife.
                 I think this sort of strife is reduced when there are social
                 elements in place to avoid huge differentials in wealth and
                 power, fundamental rights are guaranteed, and power is
                 representational. Then there is a size beyond which this
                 power loses some meaning, and probably the US federal gov't
                 has grown to a size and power that is uncomfortable.
                 "But I was now escaped out of the shadow of the Roman empire,
                 under whose toppling monuments we were all cradled, whose laws
                 and letters are on every hand of us, constraining and
                 preventing. I was now to see what men might be whose fathers
                 had never studied Virgil, had never been conquered by Caesar,
                 and never been ruled by the wisdom of Gaius or Papinian."
2004/7/5 [Politics/Domestic/President/Reagan, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:31167 Activity:high
7/5     Read a detailed transcript of Cheney's comments to Sen. Leahy:
        http://www.whitehouse.org/news/2004/062504.asp
        \_ woot!
           \_ w00t!
        \_ Wow, that's almost clever.
2004/7/2 [Computer/SW/Security, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:31147 Activity:nil 66%like:31139
7/2     With Social Security everybody wins!
        http://www.ssa.gov/kids/kids.htm
        \_ I am a Grasshopper.
           When I saw my friends relaxing, I said that we had to store our
           money away for the winter.  Sure none of it will go to _our_
           retirement because the system will go bankrupt, but at least that's
           money that won't go into a 401(k), ensuring a solvent retirement
           for our generation!
2004/7/2 [Computer/SW/Security, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:31139 Activity:nil 66%like:31147
7/2     With Social Security everybody wins!
        http://www.ssa.gov/kids/kids.htm
2004/7/1 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:31107 Activity:insanely high 72%like:31117
7/1     Liars and cheaters have bigger brains:
        http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996090
        \_ They need them, keeping track of all the lies.
        \_ Explains why Democrats are "smarter" than Republicans.
           \_ Republicans use their money to buy their lies, and cheat
              people out of their money.
        \_ In monkeys and apes.
2004/6/4 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/Japan, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:30591 Activity:very high
6/4     How did Asians and Pacific Islanders get in the same "racial
        grouping?"  There's no cultural connection at all.
        \_ They're all colored folk, duh!
        \_ Read a book.  Race is based on genetics not how you party.
           \_ Ok, then give me a reasonably strong genetic link between
              Pasific Islanders, Indians, and Japanese.  Oh, and where do
              guys like Aboriginies fit in?  They're black but not
              african.
              \_ Australia and the Pacific islands were all settled by
                 people from southeast Asia.
                 \_ He was trying to make a point and you had to bring some
                    trivial and easy to find facts into this.  WTF is wrong
                    with you?  Why are you taking away his right to hate?
                    \_ Sheesh, so was North America, what aren't Native
                       Americans considered asians?  Heck, if you're gonna
                       argue about origins, we all came from Africa.
                       \_ NA aren't asian because they go too far back to
                          that link and due to isolation have become a distinct
                          people not just on a grand scale but between major
                          tribal groups.  The Navajo of today has very little
                          in common with his Asian ancestor of 5k to 10k years
                          ago.  Origins count but drift due to time and
                          isolation creates new races.  If you really want to
                          be that way about it, there is no such thing as race.
                          Humans like to classify things even if they are
                          artificial.  However, since we know from medical
                          research that difference races react differently to
                          different drugs and other procedures there really
                          are different races which most believed formed after
                          the out-of-Africa event or time period.
          \_ If you are really interested in race, there is a good SciAm
             article on it recently, that is well worth reading.  I think I
             was able to find a non-pay link to the text at one point.  i'll
             see if i can dig it up. -phuqm
             http://www.srcf.ucam.org/medsoc/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1
2004/4/21-22 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:13324 Activity:nil
4/21    This administration stole $700mm from Afghan budget to attack Iraq.
        The public needs to know about this.  Email Hiatt@washpost.com
        Tell him to cover the story, and tell him it's front page material.
        \_ I don't think this is true, because it would indicate this
           Administration has a clue.
        \_ they stole the election, stole from SS and medicare...hmmmmmmm,
           sounds like a pattern, but not enough care. So bizness as usual.
2004/3/4-5 [Reference/History/WW2/Germany, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:12516 Activity:nil
4/3     Republican Congressman Godwins himself!
        http://csua.org/u/6a0 (radio news link)
        \_ Someone should remind Mr. Cole that for a long time before our
           entry into WWII, many Americans did indeed support Hitler.
           \_ "Many"?  Bullshit.  There are always stupid people in large
              groups.  I'd *love* to see you cite the term "many".
        \_ "Cole is quoted as asking what Hitler might have thought had
            Franklin Roosevelt not been re-elected in 1944."
           The difference being that Roosevelt was a Democrat and a social
           progressive.
           \_ And a war monger who got us into WWII on a pretext that caused
              the lost of hundreds of American lives and a big chunk of the
              U.S. Navy.
        \_ I also don't think the Japanese were too thrilled one way or another
           when Churchill got ousted in April '45.
2004/2/26-27 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:12412 Activity:high
02/26   http://polls.yahoo.com/public/archives/57019568/p-quote-312
        But that isn't how Social Security calculates initial benefits,
        at least since 1977. Instead, lifetime earnings are indexed
        by the annual change in average national wages--a procedure
        called wage indexing. Sound like a small technical difference?
        In fact, some authors have pointed out, the entire projected
        Social Security shortfall of 25 trillion dollars can be shown
        to disappear, merely by switching these two techniques.
        \_ it's on yahoo. Go post there if you care.
        \_ So instead of basing SS payouts on income earned, it becomes
           based on the cost of consumer goods.  So under a new system:
           as things get cheaper, your SS payout gets smaller.  Under the
           old system:  as wages rise, so does your payout.
           \_ It doesn't sound like a small technical difference at all.
              Under the old system, SS had to track your success in life.
              Under the new system, SS merely has to track the cost of
              subsisting you.  This is a HUGE difference, morally, considering
              the huge chunk of people's (generally rising) wages that have
              to be contributed to SS.  Of course under this new system SS
              will not be bankrupt -- it just takes your money but only
              provides subsistence in return.  How about we change SS so
              participation is voluntary?  This will fix it instantly. -- ilyas
              \_ [Someone deleted the nifty anti-socialist troll.]
              \_ no, no, no, we can't have voluntary participation.  how else
                 will we reach socialist nirvana if we don't soak the people
                 who work the hardest to support the least capable?
                    [deleted again]
                    [restored because I like seeing socialists cry and whine
                     after they get put in their place on the motd]
                     \_ Except that you didn't restore the part where YOU got
                        put in your place.  Selective restoration is even more
                        dumb than selective deletion.  Goodbye.
                        \_ You're a big baby.  I restored the parts I have from
                           my own files.  If you added something else after
                           that which I never saw, tough shit, babycakes.
                           \_ Uh, huh.  Whatever, big boy - I'm not the one
                              throwing around the word "socialist" like a big
                              club...
                 \_ Shaddup troll.
                    \_ Die, socialist scum!  The opposing view isn't a troll,
                       it is the opposing view.  If you had something worth
                       saying on the topic, you'd say it.  You don't so stop
                       wasting bits.
                       \_ Die socialist scum?  Who's wasting bits?
                          \_ Just playing along with the theme.  The rest of
                             what I've said in both comments above remains
                             true, accurate, and unrefuted.  Get a sense of
                             humor.
                    [restored because I like seeing socialists cry and whine
                        dumb than selective deletion.  Goodbye.
                     after they get put in their place on the motd]
                 \_ Sigh. What's wrong with wanting a society where every
                    man, woman, and child is guaranteed nutrition, shelter,
                    healthcare, safety, and a decent education? Social
                    Security is just one small step in the right direction.
                    Don't trash the idea just because the current system needs
                    overhauling.
                        \_ The problem is you want to coerce someone else to
                           take your view at gunpoint - that is what is
                           'wrong'.  Also recognize that those individuals
                           using the same code words as you - Hitler, Stalin,
                           Lenin, and Mao... - were directly reponsible for
                    overhauling.
                           10's of millions of deaths in the 21th century.
                           Shouldn't that be of some concern?
                    \_ There is nothing wrong with wanting something like this,
                       but you have to accept the consequences of the means you
                       would use to achieve such a society.  The problem is,
                       I can keep expanding the scope of entitlements that
                       would be good (what if I want to guarantee decent
                       nutrition for all pets, or some minimum level of
                       prosperity for every human being, or guaranteed
                       college education, etc. etc. etc.)  Eventually you end
                       up extinguishing property rights altogether, but at
                       least everyone has some minimal level of something or
                       other.  Is the price worth it?  Everyone becomes a
                       pauper.  It's also worth it to think about _why_ SS
                       needs overhauling.  Is it an accident, or a pattern?
                        -- ilyas
                       \_ Any system, whether  socialism or libertarianism
                          makes no sense when taken to ridiculous extremes.
                          You just have to hope that the people in control
                          (hopefully voters) have enough sense to choose a
                          happy middle ground.
                          \_ Well, I am an optimist.  I d like to believe that
                             the best society isn't just some arbitrary
                             middle ground between competing ideologies,
                             twitching in some state of unsteady equilibrium,
                             subject to vagaries of the election season and
                             voter mood swings. -- ilyas
                             \_ Ilya, I think you're an "idealist" rather than
                                an optimist.  The problem with idealists is
                                that reality never conforms to an ideal.
                                \_ When I lost my idealism I stopped being a
                                   libertarian.  -- !ilyas
                             \_ You are not an optimist, you are a kook at
                                best, an extremist at worst.
                                \_ But he's our kook and we love him.
                                \_ But he's our kook and we love him.
                                \_ They are not exclusive. You can be both.
                                \_ They are not exclusive. You can be both.
                                \_ Lenin would have called you a 'useful
                          New Zeeland, The Netherlands all started in this
                                   idiot'
                       \_ You keep claiming this ilyas, but can you give
                          an example of any society anywhere in history
                          that went down this slippery slope? Sweden,
                          New Zealand, The Netherlands all started in this
                          direction and have since then cut taxes and social
                          benefits as they see the longterm cost to their
                          economies. -ausman
                          \_ This is a weak argument for two reasons.
                             (1) We might not have given enough time to Western
                                 socialism.  Eastern socialism is older, and
                                 collapsed.
                             (2) Even if you are right, and it will never
                                 happen (or at least not any time soon), would
                                 you really want to live in a society where the
                                 only thing stopping complete soviet style
                                 income redistribution is expedience and voter
                                 inertia?  How do you know these forces, which
                                 the pragmatic relies on so much, will
                                 not give out one day? -- ilyas
                          \_ Where did Sweden makes cuts?  New Zealand?
                             \_ Maybe he meant Germany. I think the point is,
                                these countries haven't gone headlong into full
                                socialism or communism and don't appear likely
                                to ever do so. It's true that their taxes
                                harm their economic competitiveness. But life
                                is about more than cold efficiency.
                                \_ Harm the economy enough and there won't be
                                   enough wealth available to support the
                                   system.  These sorts of supplemental
                                   assistance programs are draining off the
                                   economy.  I don't believe in cold hard
                                   efficiency but I don't want to see the
                                   whole system suffocate in it's own feces.
                             \_ Okay maybe Sweden is a bad example. I seem
                                to remember The Economist claiming they
                                had cut their social benefits, but if you
                                look at government spending as a percentage
                                of GDP, it has gone down in New Zealand,
                          economies. -ausman
                                   efficiency but I don't want to see the
                                   whole system suffocate in it's own feces.
                                   citizenry, and you don't have to privatize
                                   all basic services in order to support
                                   a prosperous economy.
                                Germany and The Netherlands over the last
                                decade.
                                http://csua.org/u/66p -ausman
                                \_ The real point is this: Sweden, New Zealand,
                                   and Switzerland are positive examples of
                                   places that have great social benefits
                                   _and_ still support businesses.  You don't
                                   have to abolish all property ownership in
                 of supplemental income system so poor old people who are no
                 longer able to work don't have to eat catfood.  That's not
                                   order to provide the basics for your
                                   citizenry, and you don't have to privatize
                                   all basic services in order to support
                                   a prosperous economy.
                                        \_ For a generation such a system
                    \_ The fact that you think this is actually important is
                       at the heart of your ridiculousness.
                                           can exist, especially when national
                                           defense is paid for by Uncle Sam;
                                           these are already showing signs
                                           of decay and have < 20 years before
                                           bankruptcy.
           \_ I guess it depends on whether you see SS as a retirement system
              or a safety net. It was never really designed to be the former,
              but politicians have found it politically expedient to keep
              expanding benefits and including more and more people in it.
              The only way it works fiscally is as the latter. This is what
              it originally was intended as. Eliminate the survivor and
              disability benefits and the system would work fine.
              \_ You're trying to tell the motd about the need for safety nets?
                 Good luck, dude.
              \_ Makes a lot of sense to me, SS as a safety net, not a
                 retirement system, and I'm a libur'l.
              \_ I'm a conservative.  I'm in favor of safety nets and some sort
                 of supplemental income system so poor old people who are no
                 longer able to work don't have to eat cat food.  That's not
                 what the current system is about today.  It's a publicly
                 known fact for many many years that the system *can't* last
                 as it exists now.  I've never expected to get a single penny
                 from the system.  I see it as part of my federal income taxes
                 and nothing more.  All out-go, no come-back.
                 \_ Can you summarize your (conservative) position in some
                    small set of principles?  -- ilyas
                    \_ The fact that you think this is actually important is
                       at the heart of your ridiculousness.
                       \_ Yes, I think principles are important.  Sorry, I ll
                          try to be less kooky next time. -- ilyas
                    \_ No.  Life is more complicated than that.  That's one of
                       things that is wrong with the libertarians and the
                       various smaller one-item political parties. --conser.
                     \_ I can - I believe it is incumbent on every individual
                 as it exists now.  I've never expected to get a single penny
                 \_ Can you summarize your (conservative) position in some
                    small set of principles?  -- ilyas
                 \_ catfood is a good deal more expensive price/nutrition-wise
                 from the system.  I see it as part of my federal income taxes
                 and nothing more.  All out-go, no come-back.
                 \_ Can you summarize your (conservative) position in some
                    small set of principles?  -- ilyas
                    \_ No.  Life is more complicated than that.  That's one of
                       things that is wrong with the libertarians and the
                       various smaller one-item political parties. --conser.
                        (except for the retarded or disabled) to take
                        responsible actions throughout their lives and live
                        with the consequences.  This is called 'freedom';
                        the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail.  I
                        believe in equal opportunity, not economic equality
                        by government fiat.  The rule of law; a government of
                        laws and not men.
                        \_ Providing for a minimum economic floor is not the
                           same as economic equality. Why should those retards
                           get a free lunch when even millions of below-
                           average people "fail"? The fact is that even with
                           best efforts people can fail. And others can do well
                           enough to get by most of the time... but how many
                           can become independently wealthy? Your freedom is
                           just greed. "i'm fine, fuck the losers".
                                \_ No, I am a huge proponent of charity, faith
                                   based or otherwise.  You instead, want to
                                   coerce me at gunpoint to pay to assuage
                                   your conscience.  You are thief backed up
                                   by government fiat; that's tyranny.
                                   You are elitist statist and what Lenin would
                                   call a 'useful idiot'.  American used to be
                                   place of rugged indvidualists who would balk
                                   at the idea of a gov't handout; now we have
                                   weak paintywaists who believe they have an
                                   enshrined constitutional right
                                   to cradle to grave care from
                                   an authority figure.
                                   Here's a great exegisis:
                                   http://csua.org/u/66u
                                   \_ Tell us, little chile, of the old
                                      Americans.  Which John Wayne movies
                                      did you learn of them from?
                 \_ cat food is a good deal more expensive price/nutrition-wise
                    than human food.  Go go marketing...
                    \_ I don't think that was always the case.  Anyway, dry
                       dogfood is quite cheap, if you buy the right brand.
2004/2/26 [Politics/Domestic/Immigration, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:12411 Activity:nil
2/24    General question for anti-gov't-program types: Do you think it's ok
        to just abandon those that are unable to properly care for themselves?
        For example: retards, invalids, elderly, children of incompetents,
        incompetents, etc.? How would you propose dealing with them?
        \_ I'm one of the most conservative people on the motd.  I propose that
           society takes care of those who truly can not take care of
           themselves.  Our society moves too fast, is too dispersed and no
           longer fit to deal with charity cases with charity.  However, I do
           not believe "the elderly" belong on your list of those unable to
           care for themselves.  There is nothing about simply being 'elderly'
           that puts a person in the same category as the mentally disabled or
           those truly physically unable to care for themselves.  They fall
           into the welfare-state socialism-is-a-failure i-hate-big-government-
           waste category.  Social security was never intended to be the sole
           support for old people.  It is/was a socialist policy designed to
           supplement an old person's other income.  That "other income" is
           the old person's responsibility.  They had an entire lifetime to get
           their act together.  I don't feel responsible for people being
           wasteful or stupid with their lives.  I would make ilyas pay a tiny
           amount of his income (less than 1%) to support the truly needy but
           wouldn't take a penny from him for "the elderly".
           \_ Well I put them there more as "incompetents". Or people who for
              whatever reason aren't smart enough or are unfortunate enough so
              wind up being economically unviable. We don't have a full-
              unemployment economy like Kucinich wants. So bottom line, do you
              just let them wander around homeless, spreading disease, and die?
              Who decides whether someone "truly can not take care of
              themselves"? That could be faked right? Or self-induced... I've
              been around mentally ill people. Sometimes they could sort of
              function, but not enough to compete. Or they might be stuck with
              the mind of a 10 year old, which is enough to appear coherent but
              not enough to really survive. If nothing else they could put
              themselves in jail. Isn't it perverse? At least with socialism,
              people who have some normal human ambition will strive to achieve
              while the rest are provided some simple support. (I'd also favor
              a more limited immigration policy. And I don't believe in giving
              "asylum".)
           \_ You are a conservative, but when the rubber hits the road you are
              a pragmatic first, a conservative second.  The problem is, I can
              always make a case that more people need to be included in the
              entitlement you are creating (what about old people who
              immigrated from North Korea, who had no chance to improve their
              lot, etc. etc.)  The real issue here is whether property rights
              trump 'right to not die.'  I believe so (I also believe there is
              no such right as 'right to not die').  Once you are willing to
              redistribute money from specific people to other specific people
              (as opposed to servicing certain kinds of 'global goods') using
              force, it's all a matter of sliding down a gentle slope from your
              position to orthodox socialism. -- ilyas
        \_ I propose to rely on charity and culture of compassion (or if you are
           more cynical, peer pressure of compassion), rather than on forcing
           people to be compassionate.  If confronted with a scenario where I
           have to choose between letting someone die and forcing someone to
           take care of them, I would choose the former.  -- ilyas
        \_ in WW2 Japan, the old people were deemed
           useless because they took away precious resources (rice, time,
           etc) that could otherwised be used for expanding their
           empire. So, they killed many of them for the greater good.
                \_ nippon bansai!!! nippon ichiban!!!!
        \_ There is a difference between a safety net and socialized
           retirement / medical care.  Do you want to inculcate
           government dependency (as if we haven't already)?
           \_ so... if there's a safety net then how do you prevent people
              from treating it the same as socialized blah? once most of these
              people fall in they probably can't get out anyway.
              \_ fuck em.  let em die.
2004/2/25-26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:12402 Activity:nil
2/24    Greenspan: Consider Social-Security Cuts
        http://www.npr.org/rundowns/segment.php?wfId=1701048
        This is the price you and I need to pay for a war which is not
        needed to be fought.
        \_ (1) Get your tenses straight.  (2) Social Security is a pyramid
           scheme and everyone knows it.  This would have happened without
           the Iraq war.
        \_ I like how Greenspan was a big deficit hawk during Clinton, and said
           nothing about this.  But now with Bush he won't say mum about the
           huge tax cuts which have helped create this mess - instead, we've
           got to cut Social Security benefits!  Where was this advice in the
           '90s, Al, hmmm?
           \_ Greenspan is experienced enough to know not to say anything
              nor making any drastic interest rate move during an election
              year.  He is still a deficit hawk, even if it means abandoning
              dividend tax cut which he favors.
           \_ tax cuts didn't make this mess.  it's been known since before you
              were born.  this wasn't news to anyone who has read a newspaper
              in the last 30 years.
        \_ The SS problem is from now- or soon-to-be-retiring baby boomers.
           So I assume the "war which is not needed to be fought [sic]"
           you're referring to would be WWII?
        \_ Social Security system was flawed fundamentally, but we do had
           a fiscal surplus which we could of fixed it.  Instead, we blew it
           on tax-cut for the wealthy and the corporation *AND* war on Iraq.
                \_ 'Could of?'  You can't be bothered to learn to form
                   sentences, but you are a political critic already?
                \_ Lies there was never a surplus.  It was Social Security
                   receipts being used for general expenditures.  Guess
                   under whose administration this was started - Johnson.
                \_ You're so blindly distracted by Iraq and very recent tax
                   cuts.  Was 2003 really your political awakening?  None of
                   this was news today.  It has been known for decades and
                   some would say since SS was started that this would happen.
                   It's a Ponzi scheme.  Go vote for Dean and let the clued
                   worry about the issues.
2004/1/23 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:29756 Activity:nil
1/22    Are people who support "pro-free-downloadable music" conservatives
        or liberals?
        \_ doesn't enter into it.  the industry has failed by not recognizing
           basic facts about the material.  check out http://magnatune.com.
        \_ In the sense of RPG alignment, I'd say they are Chaotic, not Evil.
           \_ Nah, they are Neutral or even Lawful. They just don't care
              about that law too much. They'd rather not break it, but it's
              pretty minor and they obey most other laws. It's hard to make
              the case they are really hurting anyone so it's not Evil.
              \_ I said they're not evil, but since they are breaking the law
                 as a matter of course, they are NOT Lawful and probably Chaotic
                 An otherwise moral filesharer would probably be Chaotic Good
                 \_ Not to elevate this into an Iron Geek contest, but breaking
                    s few minor laws doesn't make a character Chaotic. Most
                    people are just opportunistic. Ok, they're not Lawful. But
                    if they're otherwise regular folks who fit in with society
                    they're not Chaotic.
                    \_ I agree. otherwise moral filesharer is Neutral-Good
             \_ when "minor" laws are broken in large numbers, it becomes
                a major problem.
           \_ can you please refresh my memory?  Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic, ...
              \_ two axes: one of good-evil, and one of lawfulness-disregard
              \_ Very roughly:  Lawful=Act on principles or laws
                                Neutral=Balanced motives
                                Chaotic=Act on pragmatism or impulse
                 for law:  L-N-C, and Good,Neutral,Evil, so every character is
                 one of G-N-E, and one of L-N-C, for a total of 9 different
                 personality types.
        \_ They are the fallen paladins of the 'net, the blackguards if you
           will.
        \_ I suppose in the strictest sense of the definitions, a true
           conservative would say it is illegal, and a true liberal would say
           the laws should be changed.  You know, conservative = conserve the
           status quo.  Liberal = liberalize laws or social norms.
           \_ but don't liberals want to protect the rights of artists?
              \_ I was just speaking as to the original meaning of the words,
                 not what they mean in common parlance.  I don't want to open
                 that can of worms, unlike the OP.
        \_ What if you support it, but you don't do it?
           \_ what if you do it, but don't support it?
              \_ play the monkey-spank game until you change your mind
        \_ I'm conservative and support a total reexamination of IP law.
2004/1/21 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:11869 Activity:nil
1/20    [18-hour rule for debated threads enforced: political thread restored.]
        Finally a tax cut the Republican's don't like:
                                          \_ The apostrophe doesn't mean "an s
                                           will follow"
                http://www.angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif _/
        One that helps the middle class most, of course.
        http://www.calpundit.com/archives/003060.html
        \_ typical... the rich & poor are taxed the same amt of SS due to the
           $88k+ cap, so reducing SS tax helps all $80k earners the same
           dollar amount, but of course $6k is pennies for the millionaire
           while it's 2 months mortgage for normal folks.
           \_ If you're paying $3k/month mortgage and/or making $88k a year,
              here's a big fat fucking hint: YOU'RE NOT POOR!
              \_ And that cap used to be $70k not that long ago.
        \_ Yeah, let's kill social security sooner.  Funny how it isn't called a
           tax, but rather SS when it's supposed to be put into a 'lockbox'.
           But when we want to shift the tax burden even higher it's called a
           tax. -emarkp
           \_ Did Bush raid the "lockbox"? Yes, he did and he used it to
              handout tax cuts for the rich.
              \_ Sh. Maligning the Pres. isn't allowed in Del Paso Manor.
              \_ Pyramid scheme.
              \_ Last I checked, my SS rate was still the same. -emarkp
                 \_ Rate, yes, funds available, no.
                    \_ Are the funds available >= the funds needed? -emarkp
                       \_ Well they would have been, if they had not
                          all been spent. Good enough until 2038 at least.
                          \_ So you're claiming that we're deficit spending for
                             SS?  That is, that outlays of SS are higher than
                             collections?  If so, I'd like to see something to
                             back up the claim.  -emarkp
                             \_ No, I am claiming the opposite. Though the
                                outlays are projected to pass income in 2013
                                or so.
                                \_ So what precisely is your objection to moving
                                   SS money around if there's a surplus? -emarkp
                                   \_ I think the money should be used to
                                      pay off the debt, not pay off GWB's
                                      campaign contributors. Silly me.
           \_ I don't see why any of you give a shit about SS.  Not one of us
              is likely to see so much as a penny from it after paying into it
              for decades.  People are living too long, getting too much out,
              and not putting enough in to cover any of us.
                \_ Hear hear... SS will be bankrupt long before we retire,
                   probably after the substantially increase taxes and
                   retroactively tax retirement savings.
        \_ http://csua.org/u/5mh
          "As critics have long noted, that means that someone earning [$87,900]
             pays the same Social Security payroll tax as Microsoft's Bill Gates."
           "For example, a filer earning between $40,000 and $50,000 pays 12.2
           percent of his income in payroll taxes and 8.5 percent in income
           taxes, according to a study by the Tax Policy Center.
           By contrast, a worker earning more than $500,000 pays 3.5 percent of
           income in payroll taxes, and 27.3 percent in income taxes."
           \_ Worse than that, the combined rate is higher for people
              making $87k/yr than it is for people making 88k-300k.
              Guess how much I make?
              \_ You do understand that federal income tax and social security
                 are wildly different things, right?  The only thing they have
                 in common is that they're deducted from your salary (SS even
                 deducts from your company equal to the amount from your salary,
                 so you're really getting twice the shaft).
                 \_ They seem the same to me. The federal government takes
                    a bunch of my money and spends it. What is "different"
                    about them?
           \_ You understand that people get the same amount out if they put
              the same amount in?  BG is not going to get more out of SS than
              someone who made exactl $88k every year.  If you think SS taxes
              are so unfair to the poor then let's let the max contribution
              rise all the way up and then we can pay BG a billion or two a
              year when he hits 67 (or whatever) because he'll have put so
              much in over the years.  That makes sense, right?
                \_ you're an idiot.
                   \_ thank you. now I know I've hit a nerve when that's the
                      only response to a factual description of how the world
                      works.
              \_ You are wrong. Say two guys pay the same amount in and one
                 dies at 65 and other lives to be 100. They do not get the
                 same amount out. Your statement goes downhill from there.
                 \_ here's where I get to say "you're an idiot".  Must I also
                    explain why the sky is blue?  Please take your anal
                    retentive self and find a rock to crawl under.  You're
                    the only one here who didn't understand the very basic
                    gradeschool concepts being applied here.  In this case,
                    there is nothing the government can do if you drop dead
                    too early, however, it is obvious to any child that if
                    you live the same length of time you'll get the same amount
                    out as BG, assuming you're the same age, start drawing at
                    the same time and have been making at least $88k for most
                    of your working life.  There, I did it.  I fed the Mighty
                    Troll Of Anal Retention.  Have a cookie.
                    \_ Thanks for the cookie, but you are still wrong. There
                       are thousands of scenarios where people who pay the
                       same amount in get differing amounts out. Your payout
                       is based on your highest five years of earnings, so
                       someone who makes 30k/yr his whole life gets less
                       back than somone who makes 10k/yr his whole life,
                       except for that 5 year period where he made 100k.
                       Is this fair? I dunno, maybe you have an opinion.
                       There is no way to design the system that is not
                       "unfair" to somebody or other.
         \_ As an aside, I think the name "Social Security" should be changed
            to "Welfare for Seniors".  That way people wouldn't think it was
            a retirement plan, we wouldn't have this nonsense about privatizing
            it, and people wouldn't think that you should get out an amount
            proportional to what you put in.  If you're intelligent, lucky,
            or thrifty you can prepare for retirement far better than
            Social Security.  The reason I support SS is that I don't want
            to see stupid, unlucky, or spendthrift seniors starving living
            in poverty.  Finaly, naming it "Welfare for Seniors" would
            probably make people realize the stupidity of making SS a
            regressive payroll tax.
        \_ What's the rationale behind the government providing MANDATORY
           retirement plans to all US workers?  I can understand rationale
           for providing welfare type benefits(Redistrib. of wealth, etc.),
           but SS has the guise of a "retirement plan:" you pay in young,
           you get back when old.  Firstly, anyone with income above $50k
           should be able to provide for their own retirement, esp. with
           federal tax savings plans like IRA's, Roth IRA's, 401k's, etc.
           Secondly, anyone who is forced to live paycheck-to-paycheck
           belongs in the poor category eventually, and will end up on
           welfare or some other government freebie.
2004/1/1-2 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:11641 Activity:high
1/1     Is Welfare Unconstitutional?
        http://members.tripod.com/~GOPcapitalist/constitution.html
        \_ This is silly.  The way to attack welfare is to note it is
           immoral, not unconstitutional.
        \_ brilliant.  what a fucking genius.  someone give this guy an
           honorary law degree!  I particularly like his dollar bill
           ribbon campaign.
           \_ I didn't see the dollar bill campaign.  Was it on the
              front page?
              \_ his site is so badly organized, it's hard to tell what's
                 intended to be the "front page."  The dollar bill thing is
                 http://members.tripod.com/~GOPcapitalist/capitalism.html
        \_ No. It is not.  It is also not what you meant to ask.  The
           relavent question is:  Is FEDERAL welfare unconstitutional?
           The answer to that is also 'no'.  -crebbs
           I haven't considered that question, but I would tend to doubt
           it.  -crebbs
           \_ But...but...but...everything written by lonely cranks on the
              Internet is TRUE, right?!
           \_ Anyway, the Supreme Court has ruled that since every single
              thing in the universe is somehow related to inter-state
              thing in the universe is somehow related to inter-state
              commerce, the feds can make whatever laws they want so long
              as the supreme court likes them.  Also, if you want to start a
              constitutionality troll thread you should start with something
              where at least one reasonable person will be on your side.
              Here, I'll help. (see above) -crebbs
           \_ But...but...but...everything written by lonely cranks on the
              Internet is TRUE, right?!
           \_ Oh, and anyway, the Supreme Court has ruled that since every
              single thing in the universe is somehow related to
              inter-state commerce, the feds can make whatever laws they
              want so long as the supreme court likes them. -crebbs
              commerce, the feds can make whatever laws they want so long
              as the supreme court likes them.  If you want to start a
              constitutionality troll thread you should start with something
              where at least one reasonable person will be on you side.  Here,
              I'll help. (see above) -crebbs
              \_ Yes.  We need fewer liberal activist judges on the Supreme
                 Court.  Too much legislating from the bench going on, not
                 enough respect for the founding document of this country.
2003/12/29-30 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:11607 Activity:moderate
12/29   In my background check, my social security number seems to have
        been associated with another name in 1998.  What should I do?
        \_ Associated by who?  A credit bureau?  Tell them to fix it.  The
           Feds?  Then it's a black line agency that's taken over your
           identity and you'll cease to exist in a few minutes.  You don't have
           to do anything in that case.
        \_ Tell me your name and SS number and I will find out for you.
           \_ Birthdate and Mother's maiden name too if you want it faster.
2003/11/25-26 [Health, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:11227 Activity:moderate
11/25   Cato Institute:
        "Cato's director of health and welfare studies said, "Today's
        passage of the Medicare prescription drug bill represents a return
        to 1960's Great Society-style big government. Congress has failed in
        its responsibility to reform Medicare, choosing instead to simply
        throw money at the problem. It is our children and grandchildren who
        will bear the cost of this massive new entitlement program."
        http://www.cato.org/pressroom/index.html#medicare
        \_ More importantly, they chose to throw money at the money-grubbing
           HMOs, which lobbied very hard for this one.
           \_ It's also a big chunk-o-welfare to drug companies, as the
              government will be paying the full asking price for drugs.
              Not only will more people be taking patented drugs, but those
              who move from HMO coverage will bring more money to BigPharm, as
              the HMOs can negotiate prices, but the gov't cannot.
        \_ I told you before: republican bill bad, democrat bill good.
           \_ Yes, you told us before, but you're just an obvious troll and
              you're not saying anything of substance.
              \_ It's not a troll if it's true.  And who on is here saying
                 anything of substance?  The typical response is, "you're
                 wrong and I hate you because you don't believe what I do
                 and I won't respond further because I don't like your
                 sources because I don't like their editors".  You're so
                 damned self blind and clueless.
2003/11/22-24 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:11194 Activity:moderate
11/22   Any thoughts on the medicare bill on the house?  There was lots of
        discussion on the energy bill, but little on this one.  Good/bad?
        \_ The democrats are opposed and republicans in favor: it must be bad.
        \_ It has this really curious feature where beneficiaries with very low
           bills and very high bills are given lots of coverage, but those
           with bills within the median are given much less coverage.
           Anyway, both sides can go stick it where the sun don't shine - this
           is just more expansion of the entitlement system for immediate
           political gain, when they should be taking much more important
           (and of course, politically painful) steps to reform the system.
           Neither the Congress nor the President have displayed anything
           approaching the courage and integrity necessary to make that happen.
             --motd liberal
           \_ What is a liberal doing bitching about an entitlement system?
              You're no liberal.  You sound more like a libertarian.
              \_ Yup, agree.  -- another motd libertarian
              \_ I consider myself a liberal because of my opinions on social
                 issues and the workings of the justice system.  I recognize the
                 need for serious reform of our entitlement system for the
                 elderly, however.  From what I have seen, those than consider
                 themselves libertarians would like to dismantle the entire
                 entitlement system, rather than change the way that it
                 functions.  Also, I think corporate welfare (i.e, the ethanol
                 subsidy which amounts to a direct transfer of taxpayer money
                 to ADMs executives) is equally in need of reform, but I haven't
                 heard the same from many libertarians.  Not every liberal is
                 a raving Marxist/ANSWER loony, just like not every
                 conservative is a jingoistic dittohead.  BTW, the Economist
                 has a very nice graph on what may happen to the budget
                 deficit in the next 10 years:
                 http://economist.com/images/20031108/CSF889.gif
                   --motd liberal
                 \_ Whoa there, bucko.  If you haven't heard that corporate
                    welfare is bad from libertarians, you haven't heard from
                    any libertarians.
                    \_ that's the biggest load of shit on todays motd.
                       Libertarians blather about this, but when you look
                       issue by issue, they clearly favor the rights of
                       corporations over individuals, which will always lead
                       to corporate welfare.  Libertarians are quite possibly
                       the biggest threat to american society today.  if
                       libertarians continue to destroy the government,
                       issue by issue, they clearly favor the rights
                       corporations without any legal or ethical restraint
                       will rule our lives.  [formatd, big time]
                        \_ Please point to ONE single instance of
                           libertarians, or even the libertarian party
                           supporting "the rights of corporations over
                           individuals".  Libertarianism is ALL about the
                           the rights of individuals.  You don't know what
                           the hell you are talking about.  Your irrational
                           fear of what you clearly know nothing about is
                           disturbing.  -phuqm
                           \_ read their fucking platform
                              http://www.lp.org
                              in particular, see
                              http://www.lp.org/issues/program/health.html
                              Yeah, I can't wait till we eliminate the
                              evil FDA so we're free to take whatever
                              drugs the pharmas feel like marketing.
                              \_ Health Care is what i assumed you would say.
                                 I didn't consider opposition to the FDA.
                                 I didn't realize that not being able to buy
                                 drugs that have been legal in Europe for ages
                                 was one of the "rights" of individuals that
                                 you would be concerned with.
                                 For the record, I personally believe a Food
                                 and Drug admin. could play a valuable role
                                 in society.  But THE FDA is a net loss  even
                                 In terms of "rights" I don't see how any
                                 you just have no standing whatsoever. Exactly
                                 in terms of absolute benefit to society.
                                 In terms of "rights" I don't see how you
                       will rule our lives.  [formatd, big time]
                              drugs the pharmas feel like marketing.
                                 can make any argument whatsoever.  Exactly
                                 WHICH "individual" right do you think is
                                 being threatened by this position? -phuqm
                       \_ Just because you SAY libertarians favor the rights
                          of corporations over individuals, doesn't make it
                          true.  Personally, I am not even sure all
                          libertarians are willing to grant corps legal person
                          status.  At any rate, the libertarians don't
                          trust government much in the same way your amusing,
                          ranty little self doesn't trust Big Business.
                          Big Business is motivated by money.  What is
                       of corporations over individuals, which will always
                       lead to corporate welfare.  Libertarians are
                       quite possibly the biggest threat to american society
                       today.  if libertarians continue to destroy the
                       government,
                       corporations without any legal or ethical restraint
                         \_ You're not the only one, you should
                            http://www.freerepublic.com  Lots of libertarians.
                       will rule our lives.
                          Big Government motivated by?  Think about that.
                          Big Government motivated by?  Think about that.
                        \_ this libertarian thinks it's insane that corps have
                           legal person status and the rights that go with it.
                           that was a *huuuuge* mistake we'll be paying for
                           forever or until changed.
                    \_ agreed. It was primarily libertarians railing about
                        this in the motd previously. (e.g. me). It is also
                        mostly libertarians fighting eminent domain
                        abuses, where government orgs steal private
                        entity's property to give it to other (invariably
                        richer) private entities.  -phuqm
                         \_ You're not the only one, you should
                            http://www.freerepublic.com  Lots of libertarians.
                 \_ nice graph.  looks like we're just repeating the same
                    numbers as the clinton glory years of economic health.
                    anyway, it's easy to knock something.  how would you
                    reform the system if you had the power?
        \_ Just politicians spending more of the taxpayers money to
           buy votes.
           \_ Isn't that what all entitlement programs are?
2003/11/16 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:11090 Activity:nil
11/15   http://www.stopthecartax.com/petitions
        \_ voting themselves largesse from the public treasury?
           \_ no. you're thinking of welfare and other 'entitlements'.  you
              have it totally backwards.
2003/10/21 [Politics/Domestic/Immigration, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:29582 Activity:high
10/20   Great Libertarian party statement re: Rush Limbaugh's drug habit:
        http://www.lp.org/press/archive.php?function=view&record=652
        \_ I'm unimpressed.  Even Pat Buchannan occasionally has a good
           point.  Libertarians are, overall, far more evil and influential
           than Buchannan and his neo nazi buddies will ever be in this
           country.  Fuck the libertarians.
           \_ err...libertarians are influential?  since when?!!
              \_ http://www.cato.org
           \_ err...libertarians are evil?  since when?!!
2003/10/21-22 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:10724 Activity:high
10/21   What if you are conservative on some issues, and liberal on others.
        Do you call yourself liberal or conservative?  How do you
        make the distinction?
        \_ Then you could be authoritarian or libertarian.
           \_ authoritarian sounds too negative.  Is there a more positive
              term?  And what if even on economic issues, you have
              both liberal and conservative views?
              \_ There's a reason Authoritarian sounds negative; because it
                 IS.  Anyway, if you are a pussy who is afraid to take on
                 a negative label, why label yourself at all.  Why not just
                 be a whiney "If you label me you negate me" liberal -phuqm
              \_ It's not an absolute.  You can have some liberal and some
                 conservative views, but still be overall a conservative
                 or a liberal.  If your views are split about halfway, you
                 are a centrist.  The libertarian party has a useful (although
                 a bit simplistic) tool which is a square with each apex
                 representing liberal, conservative, libertarian or
                 authoritarian.  Most people fall somewhere between
                 those extremes.  Take this:
                 http://www.self-gov.org/quiz.html
                 \_ I'm pretty sure the quiz is biased and makes people
                    tend to describe themselves as libertarian.
                    \_ I took this quiz at the Top Dog at 51st and Broadway.
                       At least I got a hot dog there.  What do I get from
                       the website?
              \_ Why do you need a label?  Politics isn't a fraternity, or at
                 least it shouldn't be.
                 \_ I'm just discussing self-identification.  We are social
                    creatures.
        \_ Like Governor Arnold you call yourself "fiscally conservative
           and socially liberal" - or vice versa.
           \_ 'fiscally conservative and socially liberal' = 'libertarian'
              We have a libertarian in office!  Yay! -- libertarian
        \_ then you grow up and learn to define yourself by what you
           do and what you believe and not with soundbite friendly
           labels that mean nothing.
           \_ Look, labels are useful.  They aren't 100% accurate and they
              aren't needed once you have a better understanding of the person
              in question.  But, like most generalizations, they are useful.
              Someday you may "grow up" and realize this, but i'm by no means
              sure of that. -phuqm
              \_ based on your motd posts, i can think of several labels for
                 you, but I'm pretty sure none of them are useful.
                 asshole and moron come to mind, but that's just not
                 useful.
                 \_ Still wrong.  "asshole" is a perfectly reasonable and
                    "useful" lable.  I apply it to myself all the time.
                    For example, if you have friends that are as stupid as
                    you are and who think similarly, you could say "that phuqm
                    is an asshole, don't bother with him"  That would very
                    likely be useful to them.  (And better it would probalbly
                    serve me too).  -phuqm
2003/10/21-22 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:10718 Activity:kinda low
10/21   Stock market performed better under Democratic presidencies.
        http://polls.yahoo.com/public/archives/57019568/p-quote-273
        (Yahoo! Finance)
        I thought Republicans are the pro-business ones.
        \_ the difference is statistically small. On the opposite end you
           could argue that Democratic Presidents start more wars than
           Republican Presidents by a proportion of five to one.
        \_ "pro-business" is different from "pro-market". Compare corporate
           welfare and coddling protectionism (handouts) to the kind of
           regs that enhance competition (regulation) like the wireless
           number portability rule that will soon make cell phone companies
           actually compete with each other. "Pro-market" is good for
           consumers because it enhances competition. "Pro-business" is
           usually just big corporate donors getting cushy perks, bought
           and paid for. --aaron
        \_ I've heard this theory that the more gov't leaves business alone
           the better business does.  Maybe the dems, by not changing much
           to do with business, didn't fuck them up?
        \_ don't think Republicans are "pro-business" as much as they are
           pro-corporate executive profits. ... if you look at it this way,
           clearly this attitude will adversely affect business (enron, etc)
           \_ Ah, got it.
           \_ What? No snide comments from the self proclaimed "real"
              conservatives?  Here's a thought: a good economy makes life
              easier for most people, but a bad economy with big tax cuts
              for the very wealthy is only good for the very wealthy.
              Republicans don't give a shit about small to medium size
              businesses, an assertion proven by the current republicans
              in the white house and in congress.
              \_ Well, I was going to comment, but you seem to be carrying
                 a nice conversation with yourself, so I ll leave you to it.
                   -- real conservative
        \_ Gov't is statist on both sides - who he pays receives.  So do you
           want bigger government (more of the same) or less? But the
           first sentence 'A 2003 paper looked seriously at the 18...',
           and the last 'Other writers have confirmed a performance
           difference in favor of Democratic administrations,
           though one that was too small to be statistically significant.'
           suggest 1) the sample size is too small 2) the article / paper
           are overreaching.
2003/10/9 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:10562 Activity:nil
10/9    Texas Republican Party Platform for 2000:
        http://csua.org/u/4o6
        How can Democrats be "left wing loonies" and yet Republicans that
        propose platforms like this are moderate and reasonable?  Check out
        especially the bits about abolishing the income tax, taking away the
        Supreme Court's ability to determine the Constitionality of a law
        under the bill of rights, and the bit about re-annexing Panama.
        Look here for a good summary:
        http://www.calpundit.com/archives/002393.html
        And here for a California Democratic Platform for comparison:
        http://12.158.174.200/Platform.pdf
        \_ Sounds like the AIP platform.  Wow.
        \_ What's wrong with abolishing the income tax?  It's an abomination,
           at least in its current form.  -John
           \_ Why is it an abomination?  It needs to more progressive,
              especially the SS payroll tax, but other than that I don't see it
              being worthy of that particular adjective.  Besides, John,
              aren't you in Europe, home of the VAT and the 45% marginal rate?
        \_ The 2002 platform (a pdf), contains a ringing endorsement of the
           Pres.'s "War on Terrorism," concluded with an exuberant Texan
           "LET'S ROLL!"  Yeah, they're all level-headed.
        \_ " we urge our legislators to fully investigate and prosecute,
             where appropriate, any breeches in national security"
           I hate it when pants end up in the national security, too.
           Sheesh, can't these guys afford a proof reader?
2003/10/7-8 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:10498 Activity:nil
10/7    Secrets, Lies, and Atomic Spies
        PBS- Nova Special
        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/622675/posts
2003/9/6 [Politics/Domestic/Election, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:10102 Activity:nil 50%like:10616
9/5     Damn you, rich motd censor!
        \_ Just restart the debate:
           http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/000984.html
2003/8/1 [Recreation/Dating, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:29201 Activity:nil
7/31    When someone dies before reaching the age for social security, does the
        spouse or children get anything?
        \_ Yes, they do. Read your SS statement. Kids get money until age
           18 and the spouse receives extra money monthly at retirement.
2003/7/15-16 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:29050 Activity:nil
7/15    NEEEEEEEEEERDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
        \_ Bad emphasis. Needs more Rs, fewer Ds and Ss. Grade: C-
        \_ And more !!!!!!!  C- was too giving.
2003/5/19-20 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Computer/SW/Security] UID:28490 Activity:nil
5/19    My refinance showed someone (LA) is using my SSN. What can I do?
        Who do I report this to? This is a serious question. thx.
        \_ First contact the police.  One of the things they will do is
           give you a form with a lot of different crdit agencies to
           contact.  Contact all major credit card companies as well.
           Although you can get a free credit check if you suspect fraud
           you get the wimpy version, so you want to shell out 25 bucks
           for the full one you can double check.  Hell, you probably want
           to do it every couple of months for the next half year or so.
           Yes it is a bitch, I've been there before, but it the long
           run things got corrected and the person stopped using my SSN.
        \_ Call your local SS office.  They will give you the number of the SS
           Inspector General.  That office handles stuff having to do with SS
           fraud and criminal activity.
           \_ And the IRS. When you contact the three credit agencies,
              ask to put a freeze or a fraud report on your listings.
        \_ See if you can get an address and kill them.
2003/3/27 [Politics/Domestic/President/Reagan, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:27876 Activity:nil
3/26    unconfirmed Russian sources stated that Vice President Cheney's
        oldest daughter is in Jordan right now intended to  be part of
        the human shield bound for Bagdad.
        \_ what, the gay one?
           \_ must you put a label on everyone?
              \_ I believe you're assuming I think being gay is a bad thing.
                 \_ No.  I think you're putting a label on her.  You could
                    have described her in so many ways but you chose to merely
                    reduce her to a label.  "the gay one".  As if that's all
                    she is.  I made no assumptions.
        \_ Speaking of Dick Cheney... His awesome neo cold war policy is
           going to cause WWIII.  I'm just glad we're going to get a second
           chance.  I was afraid I'd never see it in my lifetime after the
           USSR fell apart.  From CNN: http://csua.org/u/bac
           \_ Glad to know you've got this all worked out and it's going to
              WW3.  Who exactly is going to be engaged in this war?  Did you
              ever consider dropping out and going straight into the State
              Department so you can save us all from this madman?  Please
              bring your vast experience in world affairs to the global stage.
              The world won't survive without you leading the way!
           \_ This is EXACTLY what all the wackos said about Reagan.  Is it
               necessary to remind you of the result?
                \_ multi-trillion dollar debt?
                        \_ Which payed for all of the military hardware we are
                           now using.  Reagan presented a balanced budget every
                           year.
                           \_ But that darn Republican congress just couldn't
                              resist loading up with pork, right:
                      http://www.lafn.org/politics/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html
                             \_ Dems have controlled Congress since FDR.  Reagan
                                had two years of a Republican controlled Senate,
                                half of Congress.  Why do you libs pretend
                                that you want smaller government, its silly.
                                \_ it's the republicans who pretend they want
                                   smaller government, and use phrases like
                                   "big gubbiment liberals".  Now we have
                                   a Republican president and Congress--how
                                   much would you like to bet that the
                                   deficit and the national debt both rise
                                   signifcantly over the next two years?  -tom
                                   \_ Conservatives wants smaller governement.
                                      Liberals want larger government.  Do not
                                      confuse political parties with political
                                      philosophies.  It's overly simple.
                                   \_ Ex-frickin' zactly. The largest gov'ts
                                      has been created by Republican efforts
                                      with Democratic backing. The Reps like
                                      their big gov't in the form of a vast
                                      military state, is all. The Dems pretty
                                      much do, too, since the bases are "good"
                                      for their constituencies. It's all good
                                      You'll all be able to get jobs working
                                      on military projects locally soon so
                                      stop complaining.
                                      \_ And people wonder why I talk about
                                         moving to alaska to get away from
                                         all this gov't bullshit?  Both parties
                                         are guilty of bloating up the gov't.
                                \_ Who created Social Security?  Who allowed
                                   access of Social Security receipts for
                                   general expenditures?  What VP then cast
                                   the deciding vote in the Senate to tax
                                   Social Security.  Who proposed and almost
                                   passed a balance budget amendment, defeated
                                   only by one senator?
                                   \_ do you want to bet or not?  -tom
                                        \_ Unfortunately Bush is Clinton-lite,
                                           however, this is far better than
                                           electing socialists.  800 billion
                                           + goes to Medicare, who created these
                                           programs?  I'll stick to try to
                                           making the Reps more conservative,
                                           thanks.
        \_ Isn't it a "shooting gallery" along the highway to Baghdad? Seems
           like the only thing she'll shield is a blown up motor vehicle.
2003/2/19-20 [Science/GlobalWarming, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:27460 Activity:high
2/19    http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html
        To those of you who got your secondary education outside the U.S.:
        Are things really fundamentally different elsewhere?
        \_ Russian education tries to educate, so there is social selection
           based on academic performance.  At least when I was there.  I think
           this guy is right on.
                \_ "You failed.  Off to Chechnya with you!"
           \_ In Soviet Russia, butt wipe you!
           \_ In Soviet Russia, school teach YOU!
        \_ Yes and no.  My experience in China had a lot of overlap.  A diff.
           was that coolness was less exploited by the industry and less
           extreme, though that must be changing very much toward the direction
           of the U.S. now.  Still, the popular kids would turn out to be
           dumb, and the smarter ones (not necessarily nerds) would get
           bullied.  I had suicidal thoughts but not attempts.  I actually
           did not dislike my short U.S. high school experience.  I was not
           much involved with the other kids and left alone.  The coursework
           the U.S.).  This gave to me time to explore my own interest but
           I am sure those who actually need feeding did not learn much.
           was extremely easy (at supposedly one of the best public school in
           the U.S.).  This gave me time to explore my own interest but
           I am sure those who actually needed feeding did not learn much.
           I also had some experience dealing with people who did their H.S.
           in soviet/russia in academic circles.  They have a reputation
           of being smart almost by default but are not particularly
           impressive in real world accomplishments.
           \_ HS here was easy for you because we don't take education too
              seriously in this country until college and mostly not even
              then.  Everyone gets the education they strive for.
              \_ That's mostly ok, except for math and sciences which
                 require more work during earlier years.  End result is
                 that only ugly no-life nerds make it in science and
                 engineering in the US.
                 \_ what is your explanation ofor American dominance in
                    science and math research and tenchology?
                    us "nerds" have done pretty damn well for the last 100
                    years or so in this country in spite of a nonfunctional
                    education system.
                    \_ Those of us with the balls took it upon ourselves.
                       And it doesn't hurt to have highly educated parents
                       as well.
                       \_ Meaning you had an unfair advantage over others? The
                          educational playing field should be level!
                    \_ That's easy: an over abundance of ugly nerds!  What
                       else are they going to do?
2003/2/18-19 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:27452 Activity:insanely high
2/18    Bush plans to replicate the "Chilean experiment" in Social
        Security reform:
        http://www.umwa.org/journal/VOL113NO4/jul4.shtml
        \_ united mine workers of america?  heh.  i wonder where they stand
           on the issue.
           \_ why, they'll undermine it, of course.
              \_ undermine?  mine workers?  hahahah.. you're so clever.  not.
                 \_ i thought it was funny.
                    \_ me too
        \_ The plan is optional.  Congressmembers have the same option -
           shouldn't citizens?
           \_ No.  It's a Bush plan so it must be bad!
                \_ actually, yeah that is exactly how i think lately.
                   please prove me wrong.
                   \_ What president in recent history has inherited the
                      problems Bush has?  Depite the fact he is too liberal, I
                      am increasingly impressed his management acumen. Except
                      WTF is up with his budget. [formatd]
                      \_ It isn't that he's too liberal, per se.  It's that
                         he isn't a true conservative.  Maybe in thought, maybe
                         not, but not in action.  I understand the political
                         need to compromise but some of them are really
                         painful.  I console myself seeing the country swing
                         generally to the right.  I know we won't have another
                         Clinton for several decades, if ever in this century.
                         \_ Contraraily.  Not only were they non-compromising,
                            they were lazy and had bad attitudes:
                            http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/19/opinion/19FRIE.html
2003/2/17-18 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:27445 Activity:moderate
2/17    social security -> wall street
        http://www.harpers.org/online/trillion-dollar_hustle
        \_ 5 pages of op/ed with minimal fact or backing going on and on about
           the evils of the current administration.
           \_ Crappy writing too.  Nose in the air.
              \_ I expect crappy writing in op/eds.
2003/1/17 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:27133 Activity:nil
1/16    Puerto Rico governor says U.S. shouldn't close Vieques base
        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/823977/posts
        freep what you sow.
2002/12/7 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:26743 Activity:nil
12/6    http://csua.org/u/673
        Isreali settlers endure life on the front line.
        \_ so why don't they move back behind the Green Line?
           oh and just bait the freeper guy, the pittsburgh tribune-times
           is owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, the guy who bankrolled
           the right wing conspiracy
           \_ okay, I give, what does freeper mean?
              \_ a freeper is one who frequently reads the site
                 http://www.freerepublic.com
           \_ Pshaw, that's not Freeper bait, this is Freeper bait:
              http://csua.org/u/676
              Scaife implicated in suicide of internet critic.
             \_ that's pretty good
2002/11/30 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:26671 Activity:insanely high
11/29   Yup it's those darn terrorists...  (not those tax cuts at all...)
        http://www.kstp.com/article/view/62595
        \_ At least the president was able to find money for his own $200k
           pay raise, and $60k/year increase for each conressman, even if the
           $186/year for the average worker was out of reach.  Funny, the
           total cost of the two packages is on the same order of magnitude.
           Congress and the White House could have saved half the pay raise
           of the average worker by forgoing lining their own pockets...
           \_ Sorry.  The across the board pay raise would cost $11 billion
              using the 1990 plan outline, and $13 billion using the 1997
              additions Clinton was able to afford.  The total salary of
              the congress doesn't measure up even close to that.  That
              said, blaming this on terrorist rather than the failed
              economic policies and general economic depression is a
              blantly self-serving deception. -mel
        \_ idiot.  the tax cuts have nothing to do with it.  they're so tiny
           compared to the size of the federal budget.  get a clue before
           mouthing off stupidly.  better to keep one's stupidity to one's self
           than open one's stupid ignorant mouth and demonstrate one's idiocy.
        \_ *sniff* *sniff* Poor overpaid, lazy goverment workers. Never
           do get a fair break.
           \_ overpaid?  where?  have you compared civil servant salaries
              to the private sector counterparts?  Or are you talking straight
              from your ass again?
              \_ no bonus, no raises, 60k/year pretax for 8 years experience
                 doing systems development work.  name the employer.
                 answer posted on monday.
              \_ they get paid for what they do.  people in the private sector
                 have to actually work sometimes to earn their money.  this is
                 something a government worker bee slacker troll like you can't
                 understand.  work isn't something you'd know how to do.  the
                 people in private sector are lucky to have jobs right now.
                 no one is bitching about not getting a bonus for god's sake.
                 you're so selfish and ignorant and greedy it makes me sick.
                 go back to surfing and stop insulting people who actually do
                 work for a living.  when the federal government slackers are
                 at risk for random layoffs, no raises, no pensions, no bonuses
                 and have to actually put in an hour's worth of work a month to
                 suck money from my pocket then they'll have something to whine
                 about.  they get low pay because they don't fucking work.
                 \_ I've typically gotten excellent service when dealing with
                    federal employees.
                 \_ Hate to tell you this, but federal 'slackers' *are* subject
                    to layoffs.  They call them Reduction In Force.  Of course,
                    they make an effort to find you a job somewhere else, like
                    maybe, Alaska, if you're willing to move.  Furthermore,
                    I'd bet that gov't workers have about the same ratio of
                    people who work hard to slackers.  It seems to me like a
                    6 to 1 ratio of people who work to people who are worthless.
                    If the govt workers don't work efficiently enough for you
                    it's probably because they're hobbled by extreme red tape.
                    Also, fed workers don't get pensions anymore, they get
                    social security, like everyone else, no sweet
                    retirement pensions, and they'll match your contribution
                    to your retirement savings account up to 4.5% of your
                    salary

        \_ Except this is exactly what Presidents / Congress have done
           since 1990.  Exactly how does one 'slash a pay raise'?
           AP is full of stupid liberals.  Of course this won't change
           much, Bush is more pro-big government than Clinton.
           \_ Not true.  This is the first time in history that the
              'serious economic conditions' rule was ever invoked.  Note
              The it completely eliminates cost of living adjustments in
              New York, San Francisco, and Boston.  Sounds like a punishment
              for voting against him.
2002/11/6 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:26425 Activity:high
11/5    Wow, if only the Green party had done the right thing, the Democrats
        might've won and the world would be a better place....
        \_ Er.  no.  if only the democrats had actually talked about the
           shit that the current administration has pulled, and continues
           to pull, in the corporate and foreign policy circles.  but the
           democrats have their heads too deep in just as many people's
           pockets to do that, so... welcome to hell.  --scotsman
           \_ So what you're really saying is the Democrats don't have a real
              platform other than "the Republicans are eeeeevil so vote for
              us!"?  Is that what you're saying?  Maybe the Senate will finally
              do it's job and pass some bills and confirm some judges instead
              of playing politics with important issues.
           \_ I am so waiting for some independent billionare to put a
              bounty out for scandalous material to sink all of these bastards.
                --erikred
        \_ Oh the horror - tax cuts, school vouchers, privatizing
           Social Security.  I've heard these are all signs of the Armageddon,
           can anyone confirm this?
           \_ I'm pretty sure Nostradamus said something about this.
              \_ 47th quatrain.  Something about Caesar rendering under to
                 the people that which is theirs leading to the earth opening
                 and fire and brimstone rising to cloud the sun.
           \_ No, but it's a step in the right direction for a Cyberpunk
              future.
2002/11/3 [Politics/Domestic, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:26389 Activity:high
11/2    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/20/magazine/20INEQUALITY.html
        Ok freepers out there, you can all start ranting about this now.
        \_ Why would anyone bother ranting about a NYT article?  It's the NYT.
           Everyone knows in advance what they're going to say on any topic,
           so why bother?
           \_ and the same isn't true for the Free Republic? what's your
              point, anyway?
2002/9/30 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:26052 Activity:high
9/30    What does "neo-liberalism" mean?
        \_ google "what does newliberal mean", "I'm feeling lucky":
           http://tiss.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de/webroot/sp/barrios/themeA2a.html
           Essentially I think it means economically liberal... which means
           a hands-off type approach to economics... so free-market-type
           stuff. I think this type of liberal ecnomic policy is now
           considered somewhat conservative (as "liberals"  believe in more
           hands-on type of economies), hence the term "neo-liberal". This
           is essentially what libretarians are: economically conservative (eg
           neo-liberal), but socially liberal (in the tradtional sense).
           \_ I think a better term for libertarians is "nutcases"
              \_ another term is "half of the csua"... sad but true, computer
                 geeks love ayn rand.
                 \_ I never read Ayn Rand in my life.  Does that mean I'm not
                    a computer geek?  I don't even know what her beliefs are.
              \_ There's nothing wrong with the basic libertarian premise of
                 minimal government.  They just take it too far.  That's the
                 nutcase part.  Sort of like how democrats would have a 100%
                 confiscatory tax or republicans would allow big business to
                 bring back slavery if allowed free reign.
                 \_ Some libertarians are more extreme than others.  It's
                    obviously equally silly to equate the entire movement
                    with the fringes, for democrats, republicans, or
                    libertarians.  A conservative libertarian is very hard
                    to tell from a moderate republican.
           \_ No, that's not what 'libretarians' are.  Libertarians believe
              in a hands off approach both economically and socially.  Ayn
              Rand is an objectivist, not a libertarian.  All objectivists
              are libertarian, but not all libertarians are objectivists.
              And incidentally, you are all uninformed morons.  -- libertarian
              \_ your attitude illustrates why most people dislike
                 libertarians.  it's not just an ideological difference,
                 it's that most libertarians seem to be assholes.
                 \_ Better to be an asshole than wrong.  That's the whole
                    premise of being a libertarian.
2002/5/16 [Politics/Domestic/911, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:24857 Activity:nil
5/16    New Russian Weapons versus Old American arsenals
        http://freerepublic.com/focus/news/682491/posts
2002/5/12-14 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:24800 Activity:nil
5/12    Anybody know how the social security and medicare deduction in the
        paychecks work?  Is it always a fixed % regardless of what tax
        bracket you're in?  With federal income tax you can withold a lot
        at the beginning of the year and stop it altogether when you've paid
        enough (by adjusting the exemptions).  Can you do that with SS or
        medicare?  Thanks.
        \_ Yes, Social Security taxes is 6.2% of your GROSS pay, Medicare
           is at 1.45%. The cap for SS taxes is around $80K, in which any
           amount above $80K will not be deducted for SS. Yes, the %-age is
           fixed across all tax brackets and it's static for each paycheck
           i.e. you can't elect to have more withheld from any check. But
           then again, there is no advantage of having it withheld at certain
           period since you have no control of how it's being invested by the
           gov't, unlike your 401(k) account. Hope this helps! - jthoms
        \_ Yes.  Yes.  No.
            \_ until you hit the cap.
2001/9/17 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:36320 Activity:nil
9/17    http://www.workingforchange.com
        A more well-rounded perspective than most news sites.
        \_ Well rounded my ass.  'Here is an idea: tax the rich, and large
           corporations fairly.'  (As if there was such as thing as fair
           selective taxation).
           \_ Is one man's right to a Porsche more important than another man's
                right to eat?  Perhaps one thing we could learn from Islam
                is that we should donate 1/5 of our income towards helping
                the poor.  (Not like Gov't uses that much of our income to
                do so anyways.)
                \_ You are always welcomed to donate your income to
                \_ No one has a _right_ to {food|car|housing}.  You have a
                   right to pursue those things in peace, though.  Liberals
                   never did understand the concept of rights.
                   \_ Many disagree with you on this, including FDR.
                \_ You are always welcomed to donate your income towards
                   helping the poor.  You don't have to do it through the
                   government.  In fact, it is your obligation if you are
                   a Christian.
        \_ Quote from the article: "Already, there have been reports that CNN's
           video of celebrating Palestinians is the same tape played during the
           Gulf War."  Has anyone seen any other news source mentioning this?
                \_ the above was first reported on http://www.indymedia.org
                   but CNN has denied it and I think it has been retracted.
                   one of my more sports fanatical friends noticed the footage
                   had a guy in a tshirt of a football team that didn't
                   even exist during the Gulf War.  - danh
                   \_ Good.  That T-shirt is solid proof then.
                   \_ Good.  That T-shirt is solid proof then.  (Unless someone
                      goes as far as saying the whole footage was just
                      acting in a studio.)
                      \_ I'll bet that CNN took the old footage and DIGITALLY
                         PAINTED THAT SHIRT onto an INNOCENT MAN in order to
                         cement their position as the MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN,
                         PULLING THE LEVERS OF PUBLIC OPINION!!!1!!1!!!!
2001/8/26-27 [Industry/Jobs, Politics, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:22266 Activity:high
8/26    brits out!
        \_ http://www.perkel.com/nerd/nlm.htm
           \_ These smarties should put their intellectual ability
              towards find some social skills.
              towards finding some social skills.
              \_ Or at least some basic grammar lessons.
              \_ But someone set up them the bomb because they have so much
                 accurate
1999/11/16-17 [Politics/Domestic/Crime, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:16900 Activity:nil
11/16   Where is a place to check how much of my tax dollar is put into
        road construction, health care, welfare, defense, education, etc?
        Is the this information public?
        \_ The IRS prints a high level chart each year in the 1040 instructions.
1999/6/14-16 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Reference/History/WW2] UID:15954 Activity:high
6/13    Garbage's Version2.0 kicks ass! Are there any other albums out
        there that I should check out? (i.e. not neccesarily by Garbage)
        \_"happy hours, golden showers"
        \_ 101 Incoherent Communist Drinking Songs, by Bryan Harvey
           \_ Most people who think they're commies really don't know what
              communism really is.  Most people are really just egalitarianists
              like John Locke.  Communism is actually about achieving
              industrialization through totalitarianism, mind control, and
              ruthless beatings like what Stalin (and to some extent, those
              McCarthy dipshits) did.  At any rate, BH isn't a commie, no
              matter how much he thinks he is (and neither is GNU or FSF).
           \_ BH isn't a true Ruskie commie.  They were smarter than that and
              understood communism is a failure and *can't* work.
                \_ Communism works. Disneyland is a communistic entity.
                   You pay for the rides you want to be on with time.
              \_ idiot. communism works. ENFORCED communism doesn't.
                \_ Silly.  Communism is contrary to human nature.  It only
                   works in text books and eco-political theory classes.
                   Where has your unenforced communism ever worked for a
                   substantial period of time?  In fact, other than the drug
                   culture created sex oriented pseudo communes in the 60/70s
                   in this country I can't think of an unforced communist
                   community anywhere.  It's non-functional.  Put up or shut
                   up.  And no, don't try to pin the counter point on me. I
                   never said I was in favor of free for all zero-control
                   capitalism.  Where's your successful unenforced communist
                   state?
                   \_ works better on a smaller scale.  like collective
                      businesses, co-op organizations.  i have direct
                      experiene with this stuff.  and yes, enforced
                      communism sucks ass and won't work.  in recent human
                      experience, what's called communism has really been
                      a totalarian state - not a recipie for success in a
                      world with such global communications as today.
                   \_ saying "theres no country that does this, so
                      it doesn't work" is NOT a proof against it.
                      And your "against human nature" stuff is just as valid
                      for nixing welfare, charity tax credits,
                        \_ It was stated "communism works".  Prove it.  I'm
                           in favor of "nixing" welfare.  What of it?  Humans
                           in general are greedy and selfish and jealous
                           (like me and proud of it).
                           \_ welfare is so easy to hate when you're a
                              privlidged berkeley student.  ++clue please.
                              \_ the opposing viewpoints are: 1) getting
                                 shat on is a great motivator because there's
                                 no welfare, vs. 2) you couldn't help it,
                                 welfare is a safety net
                           \_ be sure to recognize the warning signs, kids!
                                \_ Yeah, like viewing the world as it is might
                                   be a bad thing.  Better to stay in the
                                   \_ it's not (a bad thing)
                                   Ivory Pot Sticker Tower Of Self Deluded
                                   Stupidity.  Get out those rosy glasses.
                           \_ prove communism doesn't work.
                              saying "china,USSR, etc failed at communism" is
                              like saying "The USA is a prime example of
                              why democrasy can never work".
                              None of the above countries are truely an
                              example of the policical scheme they claim
                              to be.
                           This is contrary to the needs of communism.  Find
                           a few hundred thousand Saints and communism might
                           work.  Personally, I've been trying to get Angels
                           to dance on the head of a pin which seems more
                           useful than trying to make a functional communist
                           state.  So far, I've gotten as many as 8 Angels to
                           dance at the same time which is a better track
                           record than communism has.  Still waiting to see
                           an example of working unenforced communism.
                      \_ INFIDEL!!!  HERETIC!!1!  I fondly remember taking
                         162 from bh.  Especially those nights when we'd all
                         gather around the big, silent bulk of the PDP-10 in
                         the machine room, heads bowed to its greatness . . .
                         then bh would pour the vodka, and we'd munch on
                         potstickers and talk for _hours_ about the imminent
                         coming of the Glorious People's GNU-LISP Revolution
                         that would sweep like a cleansing wave!  Some nights
                         we'd watch Animanics and listen to the Beatles until
                         dawn.  Then we'd shatter our vodka glasses against
                         the wall and weave our way home, staggering up the
                         middle of Hearst singing Russian peasant drinking
                         songs . . . I didn't learn much about operating
                         systems, but damn, I learned about _life_.
                         \_ This always summed it up perfectly.  Thanks.
                         \_ yes, whether communism works or not is less
                            important than the humor value it provides now
                \_ on a kibutz where everyone agrees to be there communism
                   has worked!!  The key is that the people involved must
                   agree to it.  Your family could be considered a small
                   version of communism, one goal for all of you with a
                   common pot of money . . .
                   \_ family is a dictatorship, not communism. It IS
                      sort of socialism, though.
        \_"Complete", Minor Threat
                \_ URL please.
                   \_ let's get your login and froge a mail to BH!!
                        \_ That won't make communism work.  Does he now
                           require his students to adopt his failed
                           philosophies to get an "A"?  When I was in school
                           we only needed to eat pot stickers with him.
                   \_ Kinda makes you wish we live in a theoretical world.
                      There would be no physics problems left in that case.
         \_ Oneida Community.  Look it up.
            \_ When did they release this album?  I went looking for it on
               amazon and cdnow, and couldn't find it . . .
        \_ Wasn't this thread about a rock band?  Anyways, someone should
           buy "Looking Out for No. 1" by Robert J. Ringer and put it in the
           CSUA library
        \_ Their first album
        \_ Cardigans' new album. It's not really anything like their one-hit,
           Lovefool.
        \_ I don't know what this "Garbage" is, but you should check out
           "Don Ho Gold", by Don Ho.  It's got *all* the hits!
1998/6/23-25 [Academia/Berkeley/Classes, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:14235 Activity:high
6/23    What is the best (easiest) way to satisfy the American Cultures
        requirement together with the Humanities and Social Studies
        requirement for the College of Engineering?  -ax
        \_ College of Engineering has the easiest Humanities/Social Science/
           American Culture requirements a Cal student can have.  How easy
           do you want it to be?
        \_ Anthro 163AC with Dundes was really really good.  He tries to
           scare you off at the beginning, but if you stick with it, he
           grades really easy and you get to research anything from yermom
           jokes to stories told by welders.
        \_ An EECS-C Jr. transfer needs to know.  She'd probably e-mail
           you if you had a good answer and signed your post. -ax
                \_ Hmmm...is she pretty?
                   \_ and is she nice, or is she a mean b?
        \_ History 7A or 7B satisfies American Cultures and List A, and
           \_ Don't take weeder history courses.  For that matter, don't
              try to satisfy *any* requirement with a lower division
              course if you can help it.
           they're great basic American History courses -- esp. if taught
           by Litwack.  Be prepared for 2-hour sections, and a "white
           people are evil" version of history similar to what you will
           find in _A People's History of the United States_.  -agee
        \_ Lose your virginity now (American Culture), test your latest
           medicine invention on your dog (Humanity), and have sex with
           yermon (social science).
           \_ This was funny?  Clever?  Were you just really tired when
              you wrote that?
        \_ Thanks for all the answers everyone!!  I think she has
           enough to go on. -ax
1993/9/26 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:31404 Activity:nil
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