Chained CPI

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thoughts-on-the-chained-cpi-social-security-and-the-budget

David Kay Johnston has also written some columns on this financial legerdomain. I am sure there are some right wingnut sites trumpeting this "wean your granny off food and on to kibbles and bits" move as historic and 'saving the union' kind of idiocy.

It is important to remember that under the law Social Security is supposed to be treated as a separate program that is financed by its own stream of designated revenue. This means that it cannot contribute to the budget deficit under the law, because it is only allowed to spend money from the Social Security trust fund.

This is not just a rhetorical point. There is no commitment to finance Social Security out of general revenue. The projections from the Social Security trustees show the program first facing a shortfall in 2033 after which point it will only be able to pay a bit more than 75 percent of scheduled benefits. While this date is still fairly far in the future, at some point it will likely be necessary to address a shortfall.

It is reasonable to expect that the changes needed to keep the program fully funded will involve some mix of revenue increases and benefit cuts. However if the chained CPI is adopted as part of a budget deal unconnected to any larger plan for Social Security then it effectively means that there will have been a substantial cut to Social Security benefits without any quid pro quo in terms of increased revenue. This hardly seems like a good negotiating move from the standpoint of those looking to preserve and strengthen the program.

The chained CPI is based on substitutions. Tuna may go up but the consumer switches to cat food, so their real cost of living didn't go up as much as the real CPI. Of course SS recipients pay for more healthcare that has exceeded the CPI by 3 or 4 times over.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Comments

What Obama's plan will do is annually lower the already bottom of the barrel living standards of Soc. Sec. recipients

Mom and dad are going to be moving back in with their children when rent/utilities exceed their incomes. The end of Obama's term will see a lot of filled, empty guest rooms. Either that, or a lot of elderly living in the nation's alleys and gutters.

Dumpster diving can supplement rising food costs. Quality dog food in the quantities necessary to maintain human health is close to the current food budgets.

Obama' mopping up of what remains of FDR's New Deal is right on schedule.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

You need to get out to the store more Poly. I think it's cheaper to live off of McDonalds than it is to buy enough dog food to live off of. Animals are treated better in this country than the poor subhumans living in the streets.

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Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

Well, my food budget is well under $3 a day...closer to $2...sometimes less. Calorie /protein wise, a McDonald's diet could suffice, but costs of a by-pass or stint to clear clogged arteries from the fats would probably make the McDonald's diet prohibitive in the long run.

My staples are beans, rice, a vitamin supplement and home-made unleavened bread. When I have access to a garden, I don't use a vitamin supplement.

Yeast is a luxury. I usually reserve baking traditional breads for holidays. (I celebrate about a dozen church holidays along with the usual secular ones).

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Yeast is all around us. Most of the artisan bakers I know are natural yeast users who let the breeze blow in whatever spores are needed. It works really great on the coast, hence sourdough.

I appreciate the down to earth "vow of poverty" aesthetic and what "wise use" really can be.

Those who think that McDonald's is food are part of the problem. It is, as is almost all the fast food, a "food experience" similar to a "cheese product." Neither are what they claim to be.

The interesting action is in producer coops and programs to put mouths in touch with farm so the table can be for all. Instead of commodification, people in this business plan work as teams to create pleasure shared in community as well as healthy eating. Instead of management aiming at the fiduciary, the mission is at the core of humanizing community. Instead of being a badly paid, low respect dishwasher, that part of the kitchen team is part of the team.

Our humanity should not be ordered on ability to pay.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Well, my food budget is well under $3 a day...closer to $2...sometimes less. Calorie /protein wise, a McDonald's diet could suffice, but costs of a by-pass or stint to clear clogged arteries from the fats would probably make the McDonald's diet prohibitive in the long run.

My staples are beans, rice, a vitamin supplement and home-made unleavened bread. When I have access to a garden, I don't use a vitamin supplement.

Yeast is a luxury. I usually reserve baking traditional breads for holidays. (I celebrate about a dozen church holidays along with the usual secular ones).

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Before drc2 posted I was going to suggest sourdough. Once you have a starter, it becomes the fixin's. We have a farmer that willgring flour to your taste. See if an egg farm might be available. I grew up with an egg delivery from a Dunkard farmer that just walked into our house nd left them on the kitchen counter. An envelop for him was waiting. We now pick our eggs and potatoes up at a farm shed, and drop our money in a box. Honor system is something I am very pleased to show my daughters.

Check out the grocers when they first open, last date of sale is cheap. My dad used to bring dozens of loafs of day old bread for the freezer. Then, look for chicken backs, and any seafood seller or resaurant, fishheads are great on the BBQ, I learned that from the Kamaina in HI. You don't need fish oil supplements if you can get fish heads and necks. [We ordered at a resaurant some fish head appetizers, and one girl we were with distracted our attention, and swoosh the the fish eyes were gone, and she just had the cat and canary smile. That phrase had more meaning from then on.

I don't want the chained CPI, but there is a corrective measure along with it that I would get. It's a bounce back accounting manuever. If you shouldn't have been subjected to chained, when they unchain you they give you a corrective raise plus interest.So if you can budget, it will equal out. It would be much easier to ignore the chained CPI, but some want blood, because those job creators are so oppressed.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Generally, I eat an equivalent of 1/2 loaf of bread daily. (about 35%-40% of daily calorie intake). In it's unleavened form, about 10 cents. Double that cost if I enrich it with soy flours,whole grains, etc.

Never aquired a taste for Sourdough. I prefer unleavened bread to wild yeasts. Some call unleavened breads "tortillas". They can be made with a variety of flavors/grains.

Many already utilize unleavened breads as a staple in their daily diets. Can't get much cheaper than that. When incomes are lowered through a change in the CPI, there is really no lower priced equivalent food to switch to.

Food Stamps are tied to the same CPI. Obama is going to cause hunger in this country to increase quite a bit.

"The remaining households (14.9 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.7 percent with very low food security—meaning that the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food"

.http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err141.aspx

I find "eating patterns were disrupted" to be a gentle way of saying they didn't eat. Some of my neighbors find their eating patterns "disrupted" from time to time. I try to alleviate that to whatever extent I can.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

With total respect and admiration for your vocation, and appreciating what it is to operate essentially without a budget, just a list of inevitable expenses, I do want to add the prayer that you are happy and enjoying your meals and sharing them with others. I am not much of a denier ascetic although simplicity does not mean 'austerity' to me so much as unburdened. My concern is that discipline not be equated with punishment, and that seeking includes discovering food our Richworld mouths would never experience.

As we watch the new restaurant 'foodie' scene, what is really happening is the essense of peasant aesthetics. Down home, farm fresh to table, and "the rest of the beast" as well as other things that come out of the earth that don't get a sign or come wrapped in plastic at the food store. Whatever you think about meat, we are going back to old style markets and butchers and using everything.

"Organic" is losing its fringe stigma, and people are not fooling for labels without reality more and more. Farmers Markets are finding ways to serve a larger role in the food security system as they provide local small producers with a place to sell, but also with connections to move what they produce where it can be used instead of being stuck with fields of ripe, then rotting produce.

Community gardens are transforming food deserts of supermarket distribution origins into the best kind of community organizing.

I presume I am preaching to the choir director, Poly. May each bite and swallow be full of life and joy.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Well, in my monastery, simplicity doesn't mean. austere. Food, clothing, housing are simple...but not deficient. It isn't quite the same outside monastery walls. I wouldn't, for example, be flushing my toilet with a plunger and have a lot of broken window panes, etc.

If many of the non-monastics in your world had the simple living standard of a monk living on monastic grounds, they'd be economically advanced and eat three nutritious meals a day.

A vow of poverty isn't quite the same thing as a vow of absolute destitution. No money doesn't equate to no adequate housing and no adequate food, etc.

Probably some would see my pleasant, little one room dwelling surrounded by a garden at the monastery to be somewhat of a luxury. I tend to see it that way myself now. I sometimes miss the luxurious lifestyle of mere poverty. This destitution sometimes gets to me.

Mother Theresa would have been disappointed.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Poly, Swedish knackebrod is a staple in every household going back centuries.

An island where they forgot to die have a diet of yogurt, bread, legumes, and occassional meat. When I took my daughter to school after she missed the bus, I always stopped at the market awaiting their opening. The same faces were always there - pensionars , and we went for the last day of sale mark down extra pris goods. I never looked at dairy, but that turns into yogurt real easy, and it does go cheap on the last date.

btw, the knackebrod can be run through a pasta press for exta thin and crispy. I like mine with rye flour, and buttermilk instead of whole, and honey instead of sugar, and caraway seeds from a coffee grinder

/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.

/addicted-to-knackebrod-crispbread-bake-your-own is another recipe with whole seeds. A dl (deciliter) is less than 1/2 cup or .42

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Interesting. I'll try baking some knackebrad. It's similiar to crackers I make.

The Island where people forget to die: The Ikaria diet is similar to a monastery diet. Fish several times a week, and meat only on major holidays. Olive oil and heavy on the veggies and grains. Wine with dinner as per a biblical injunction..."wine for thy stomach's sake". Like Ikarians, we have an herb garden for teas and seasoning. Like them, we keep the Orthodox fasts.

I find it interesting that longevity is coupled with a strong sense of community. A "we" rather than a "me" society. What does that say about innate human nature?

Ikarian's are pretty self-sufficient...something we tout. A difference is, they have the means to do so. A garden and housing passed down from one generation to the next. Most American's don't have that capability. When the jobs gone, they are hungry and on the street.

In a monastery, we wake up at the crack of dawn for Matins. A service I personally find absurd. Currently, like Ikarians, I wake when I wake, and like them, nap every day. I don't own a watch or clock.

What I miss most is lack of a garden. It provides a connection with life and is a reminder as to the simplicity of it in addition to providing nutritious foods. Housing is inefficient and cumbersome. I searched in vain for a one room bungalow with garden space. Adequate, efficient heating/cooling and easy to maintain.

The U.S. "best of all possible systems" is sorely lacking. It flies in the face of innate human nature.

Obama's Soc. Security cuts, over a short period of time, are going to plunge the elderly into destitution. Life expectancies will plunge right along with it.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Polycarp2,

I am in awe of the wisdom of the monks that you are associated with. The focus of "we" instead of "me," with its productive results, puts a "righteous envy" in me.

However, how do monks handle one of their own who becomes mentally ill? I myself suffer from a severe problem with hallucinations and distorted thinking when not on medications, and I would be uncomfortable putting such a burden on others at a monastery to help me...

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

I am looking into some of the teas the Ikarians drink. We have a local honey producer, too. The air they breathe is fresh, and I am on the Baltic so there really is no pollution here. Smaller cities are slower pace as well. I was actually only figuring 20 years more for me, but the Ikarian article got me thinking I may be under estimating.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote micahjr34:

Polycarp2,

I am in awe of the wisdom of the monks that you are associated with. The focus of "we" instead of "me," with its productive results, puts a "righteous envy" in me.

However, how do monks handle one of their own who becomes mentally ill? I myself suffer from a severe problem with hallucinations and distorted thinking when not on medications, and I would be uncomfortable putting such a burden on others at a monastery to help me...

They'd be provided with meds, and therapy....and continue to be treated as family. Probably, it comes from a different mind-set. Wanting to be there for another monk rather than having to be there as is often the case in the secular world..There is no "burden". Burdens are found in a me commnity. Not so in a we community.

We are born as social beings. Contributing to the life of another is contributing to one's own. Think back. How many of your own joys in life came out of contributing to the joy of another? Limiting such things to Christmas is self-defeating.

The best gifts cost nothing. Often, giving someone a ride in a wheelchair exceeds the gift of a precious stone, doesn't it? If it's seen as a duty or a have to, it's neither a gift to the recipient or to oneself. If it's seen as a want to do, both parties receive the gift and both receive the joy obtained from it. It goes back to "me" vs. "we" thinking.

Changing the diaper of an elderly monk can either be a burden that demeans both parties...or something that contributes to the life of both. It depends on the attitude one brings to it.

Physiologically, we serve self by serving another. It's innate. It's built-in human nature.

"Another large study found a 44% reduction in early death among those who frequently volunteered — a greater benefit gain than exercising four times a week. Some smaller study groups pointed to lowered stress response and improved immunity (higher levels of protective antibodies) as a result of feeling empathy and love. The subjects had significant increases in protective antibodies associated with improved immunity — and antibody levels remained high for an hour afterward. “Thus, ‘dwelling on love’ strengthened the immune system,” writes Post.

Brain chemicals are also stimulated by acts of altruism. A recent study has identified high levels of the “bonding” hormone oxytocin in people who are very generous toward others. Oxytocin is the hormone best known as the “cuddle hormone.” Studies have also shown that this hormone helps both men and women establish trusting relationships. Doing good deeds may also trigger the brain’s reward circuitry — the ‘feel-good’ chemicals like dopamine and endorphins, and perhaps even a morphine-like chemical."

http://turningptcounseling.com/happiness/invest-in-happiness-by-doing-go...

Put simply: If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ Dalai Lama

"Me" thinking is contrary to human nature. We are taught the opposite of what is actually so. Some results of that are filled prisons, early graves, and addictions to mind altering substances like booze, etc.

Retired Monk "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Polycarp2,

I am in awe. I have much more respect for those who truly lead a contemplative and compassionate lifestyle, regardless of the tradition.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

The-Monk

is a Kindle book. Kindles can be read from a laptop, too.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

What Obama's plan will do is annually lower the already bottom of the barrel living standards of Soc. Sec. recipients

Mom and dad are going to be moving back in with their children when rent/utilities exceed their incomes. The end of Obama's term will see a lot of filled, empty guest rooms. Either that, or a lot of elderly living in the nation's alleys and gutters.

Dumpster diving can supplement rising food costs. Quality dog food in the quantities necessary to maintain human health is close to the current food budgets.

Obama' mopping up of what remains of FDR's New Deal is right on schedule.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You really think that a decrease of 0.3% in the SS COLA will do anything like this? You are talking about $6 a month or so. There are more things to worry about in this world than $6 a month. If $6 a month is enough to actually enough to force someone out of their home,.send me their name and I'll send them the $6 a month. Come on, you are smarter than this, raise a big stink over something that really matters.

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

Probably reducing income by $6 a month over a period of 5 years when costs continue to rise will cause a problem. An annual reduction in real income (purchasing power) will produce some very real problems

Note I always refer to a gradual destitution...not an immediate one.

I do understand that since the U.S. only generates $160,000 annually for each family of 4 (working or not) sacrifices have to be made. The upper tiers require a bigger cut so they can finally have enough to create some jobs. The trillions thrown at finance in Quantitative Easing 1, 2 and 3 weren't sufficient.

Perhaps a Quantitative Depression of incomes on Main Street isn't the solution.

The U.S. national income is $17 trillion per year. Cuts to social programs doesn't change that. It merely shifts where the income goes. Upwards. As Ted Kennedy once asked, "When does the greed stop?" Evidently, it doesn't.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Two important things: 1 - CPI is calculated and therefore compounded yearly, and 2 - Ronald reagan changed how CPI was calculated to make fascist economics look better by not counting food and housing prices. So, rent goes up, food goes up, but the CPI goes down because cell phones are getting cheaper. It's not "then go to McDonald's and buy a whopper", it's "then go to Ikea and buy a table".

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doh1304
Joined:
Dec. 6, 2010 10:49 am
Quote Mauiman2:
Quote polycarp2:

What Obama's plan will do is annually lower the already bottom of the barrel living standards of Soc. Sec. recipients

Mom and dad are going to be moving back in with their children when rent/utilities exceed their incomes. The end of Obama's term will see a lot of filled, empty guest rooms. Either that, or a lot of elderly living in the nation's alleys and gutters.

Dumpster diving can supplement rising food costs. Quality dog food in the quantities necessary to maintain human health is close to the current food budgets.

Obama' mopping up of what remains of FDR's New Deal is right on schedule.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You really think that a decrease of 0.3% in the SS COLA will do anything like this? You are talking about $6 a month or so. There are more things to worry about in this world than $6 a month. If $6 a month is enough to actually enough to force someone out of their home,.send me their name and I'll send them the $6 a month. Come on, you are smarter than this, raise a big stink over something that really matters.

Raise a stink over something that really matters? Like making rich people pay an extra thousand or two in taxes every year that makes absolutely no difference in their lifestyle? If you want people to quit bitching about what is perceived as insignificant cuts to the already poor then people like you need to quit bitching about what in reality are insignificant raises in taxes on the wealthy. Small cuts to the poor matter greatly, small cuts to the wealthy's income matter very little.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am
Quote polycarp2:

Probably reducing income by $6 a month over a period of 5 years when costs continue to rise will cause a problem. An annual reduction in real income (purchasing power) will produce some very real problems

Note I always refer to a gradual destitution...not an immediate one.

I do understand that since the U.S. only generates $160,000 annually for each family of 4 (working or not) sacrifices have to be made. The upper tiers require a bigger cut so they can finally have enough to create some jobs. The trillions thrown at finance in Quantitative Easing 1, 2 and 3 weren't sufficient.

Perhaps a Quantitative Depression of incomes on Main Street isn't the solution.

The U.S. national income is $17 trillion per year. Cuts to social programs doesn't change that. It merely shifts where the income goes. Upwards. As Ted Kennedy once asked, "When does the greed stop?" Evidently, it doesn't.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

I'll go back to statements that you made that were very correct, we are morgaging (sp?) our children's future by increasing the feeral debt like we are doing now. And to quote Dick Durbin, the number two Dem in the Senate "We would be naive to even think that tax increases alone can get us out of this mess, everything has to be on the table". The most intelligent thing I have ever heard a Democrat say in my life.

The point is, the big three social programs (SS, Medicare, and Medicaid) are at least going to have to take a haircut, if not a major hit to stop the bleeding. I know that is absolute heresy to someone like you, but that is reality whether you like it or not. The liberal mantra of "tax the rich" and "cut the military" can only cover about 20% of the 1 trillion dollar a year gap that has to be closed at the most. The rest have to come from spending cuts, and the big three have to be part of the discussion.

People are basicaly greedy, again that is a sad reality. It will never stop.

The bottom line is that we cannot afford European style socialism in this country without a massive tax increase on the MIDDLE class. The rich do not make enough money to cover the gap. And good luck getting the middle class voters in this country to elect people who will raise their taxes by over 50% (which is what is needed to keep the big 3 programs intact).

Again, brutal reality for those who feel as you do, but again that is reality. You can deal with it or ignore it, your choice, but those realities will not go away any time soon.

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Mauiman2
Joined:
Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:
Quote Mauiman2:
Quote polycarp2:

What Obama's plan will do is annually lower the already bottom of the barrel living standards of Soc. Sec. recipients

Mom and dad are going to be moving back in with their children when rent/utilities exceed their incomes. The end of Obama's term will see a lot of filled, empty guest rooms. Either that, or a lot of elderly living in the nation's alleys and gutters.

Dumpster diving can supplement rising food costs. Quality dog food in the quantities necessary to maintain human health is close to the current food budgets.

Obama' mopping up of what remains of FDR's New Deal is right on schedule.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You really think that a decrease of 0.3% in the SS COLA will do anything like this? You are talking about $6 a month or so. There are more things to worry about in this world than $6 a month. If $6 a month is enough to actually enough to force someone out of their home,.send me their name and I'll send them the $6 a month. Come on, you are smarter than this, raise a big stink over something that really matters.

Raise a stink over something that really matters? Like making rich people pay an extra thousand or two in taxes every year that makes absolutely no difference in their lifestyle? If you want people to quit bitching about what is perceived as insignificant cuts to the already poor then people like you need to quit bitching about what in reality are insignificant raises in taxes on the wealthy. Small cuts to the poor matter greatly, small cuts to the wealthy's income matter very little.

That "tax the rich" line only covers about 10% of the gap that needs to be closed. Where is the rest of it going to come from?

Just for the record, if I was a Republican in congress, I would take this position "OK, I go along with the increase tax on the rich. I do not agree with it, but as a country you elected President Obama (or President Santa Claus depending on the audience) and this is what he wants. So I'll give in on that point. But I will not vote for any plan that does not have at least 3 dollars of spending cuts for every one dollar of tax increase."

So I would encourage the Republicans in congress to go along with the tax increase, even though it is purely symbolism over substance, at the end of the day it will so very little good. But it does allow president Santa Claus to save face, and let's face it, he did win re election.

And I do have to give President Santa Claus some credit here, he seems to be willing to move to strike a deal. At this point he seems more willing to move than the hard line Republicans in congress. And yes, that was difficult for me to admit, but often times you do have to give a little to get what you want. Especially after you lost an election. There do seem to be a bunch of Republicans in the house who don't get that point.

But don't forget, just like the Democrats, their number one goal in life is to get re elected. And 80-90% of them won their recent elections by a larger margin than Santa Claus did. So at the end of the day they are going to take the position that they think will get them the most votes in November of 2014.

Mauiman2's picture
Mauiman2
Joined:
Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

THe reality is there is plenty of wealth and income in the usa economic system to support a nice life for every single person out there.

But that cannot happen when the top 1% take home 90+% of all new income -

That is a broken economic system Fixed and Captured by the 1% - so why should they not be the ones who pay?

The wars also benefit them - though they see no need to send their little tikes to be killed - Profits are a good enough result for them.

Social Security adds not a penny to the debt - well not until obummer got his grubby little hands on the system they didnt. As it is the surplus is the last bill the Politicians want to discuss. Thats a Theft from the lower tiers - never to be repaid - except thru taxes on the lower tiers and lower benefits.

Ending corporate welfare, bank bailouts, the overseas wars and reinstalling a fair tax as we had for decades would close the Budget gap. Also ending Free Trade agreements that hollow out the job base for corporate profits hidden offshore would be a good start -

In fact I'm willing to bet that the averge american isnt nearly as greedy as the 1%ers are - and that if you gave them a decent job that allowed them to raise a family with security and pay for their kids college and not be forced into homelessness in old age the average american would have ZERO problem with paying taxes.

Its the Wealthy that are the freeloaders - not those that work for a living creating True Economic Value instead of sitting by the pool waiting for the dividend check to roll in or push around some financial paper and call it growth.

Just look at the top hedge fund managers - they get to pay Capital Gains taxes locked in at half the rate that working folk pay - and the top 10 of them earned a collective 25 billion in One Year.

Its about priorities - and the gov priority is Austerity and Robin Hood for the rich Upward Economic redistribution.

Scappoose's picture
Scappoose
Joined:
Mar. 30, 2012 7:49 am
Quote Mauiman2:
Quote Bush_Wacker:
Quote Mauiman2:
Quote polycarp2:

What Obama's plan will do is annually lower the already bottom of the barrel living standards of Soc. Sec. recipients

Mom and dad are going to be moving back in with their children when rent/utilities exceed their incomes. The end of Obama's term will see a lot of filled, empty guest rooms. Either that, or a lot of elderly living in the nation's alleys and gutters.

Dumpster diving can supplement rising food costs. Quality dog food in the quantities necessary to maintain human health is close to the current food budgets.

Obama' mopping up of what remains of FDR's New Deal is right on schedule.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You really think that a decrease of 0.3% in the SS COLA will do anything like this? You are talking about $6 a month or so. There are more things to worry about in this world than $6 a month. If $6 a month is enough to actually enough to force someone out of their home,.send me their name and I'll send them the $6 a month. Come on, you are smarter than this, raise a big stink over something that really matters.

Raise a stink over something that really matters? Like making rich people pay an extra thousand or two in taxes every year that makes absolutely no difference in their lifestyle? If you want people to quit bitching about what is perceived as insignificant cuts to the already poor then people like you need to quit bitching about what in reality are insignificant raises in taxes on the wealthy. Small cuts to the poor matter greatly, small cuts to the wealthy's income matter very little.

That "tax the rich" line only covers about 10% of the gap that needs to be closed. Where is the rest of it going to come from?

Just for the record, if I was a Republican in congress, I would take this position "OK, I go along with the increase tax on the rich. I do not agree with it, but as a country you elected President Obama (or President Santa Claus depending on the audience) and this is what he wants. So I'll give in on that point. But I will not vote for any plan that does not have at least 3 dollars of spending cuts for every one dollar of tax increase."

So I would encourage the Republicans in congress to go along with the tax increase, even though it is purely symbolism over substance, at the end of the day it will so very little good. But it does allow president Santa Claus to save face, and let's face it, he did win re election.

And I do have to give President Santa Claus some credit here, he seems to be willing to move to strike a deal. At this point he seems more willing to move than the hard line Republicans in congress. And yes, that was difficult for me to admit, but often times you do have to give a little to get what you want. Especially after you lost an election. There do seem to be a bunch of Republicans in the house who don't get that point.

But don't forget, just like the Democrats, their number one goal in life is to get re elected. And 80-90% of them won their recent elections by a larger margin than Santa Claus did. So at the end of the day they are going to take the position that they think will get them the most votes in November of 2014.

Wow. Really? When I go down to the local mission and volunteer my time and money to help those less fortunate than me, I don't ever feel like "Santa Claus" for the lazy. I feel it's important to help those who need it. You insult everyone who has ever needed a helping hand in life. That's the Christmas spirit!

"If" President Obama really wants to help those in need and not take away from what few necessities that the poor have now does that really make him a Santa Claus? You wonder why liberal thinking people are truly disgusted with what so many conservatives stand for. Keep up the conservative status quo of insults and belittling those who care about others outside of their own loved ones. Commies, Liberals, Santa Claus loving Socialists are to blame for all your problems.

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Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

Mauiman ignores that the U.S. generates $160,000 annually for each family of four....working or not. Probably those families receiving less than $12,000-$20,000 a year could receive some sort of health care out of their $160,000 share...and even an adequate diet.

Of course, billion dollar bonuses may have to be reduced to $750,000 through taxation and re-distribution of the national income. The Walton family might even have to pay their own workers a living wage...or ante up to pay for their Medicaid.

This isn't Haiti. The national income is sufficient to provide the basics along with a few perks like free Univ. education (as we once did with the G.I. Bill and a much smaller national income per person.).

Of course, the national income was distributed differently. It was more equitable.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

.

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Scappoose:

THe reality is there is plenty of wealth and income in the usa economic system to support a nice life for every single person out there.

But that cannot happen when the top 1% take home 90+% of all new income -

That is a broken economic system Fixed and Captured by the 1% - so why should they not be the ones who pay?

The wars also benefit them - though they see no need to send their little tikes to be killed - Profits are a good enough result for them.

Social Security adds not a penny to the debt - well not until obummer got his grubby little hands on the system they didnt. As it is the surplus is the last bill the Politicians want to discuss. Thats a Theft from the lower tiers - never to be repaid - except thru taxes on the lower tiers and lower benefits.

Ending corporate welfare, bank bailouts, the overseas wars and reinstalling a fair tax as we had for decades would close the Budget gap. Also ending Free Trade agreements that hollow out the job base for corporate profits hidden offshore would be a good start -

In fact I'm willing to bet that the averge american isnt nearly as greedy as the 1%ers are - and that if you gave them a decent job that allowed them to raise a family with security and pay for their kids college and not be forced into homelessness in old age the average american would have ZERO problem with paying taxes.

Its the Wealthy that are the freeloaders - not those that work for a living creating True Economic Value instead of sitting by the pool waiting for the dividend check to roll in or push around some financial paper and call it growth.

Just look at the top hedge fund managers - they get to pay Capital Gains taxes locked in at half the rate that working folk pay - and the top 10 of them earned a collective 25 billion in One Year.

Its about priorities - and the gov priority is Austerity and Robin Hood for the rich Upward Economic redistribution.

Sorry I cannot agree with you that things are as grim as you say they are in this post. I made a decent life for myself starting with basically nothing. Granted my parents were able to pay for me to get a college degree, and that certainly helped. But at that point I had to make things happen on my own, which I have been able to do with at least some success. And I stood by and watched others risk it all to go into business for themselves, and make it big. Starting with nothing but an idea and a whole lot of guts. They deserve everthing they have, they worked their *ss off for it. And they pay a whole bunch of taxes.

Bottom line is unless you inherit it, you will have to compete with somebody to get your money in life. You will compete for a job or compete with someone to make a sale. That is the reality of capitalism, and you will never win them all. And there will always be someone who makes more than you. You can accept that reality and deal with it, or sit on the sidelines and complain about it, your choice. But capitalism, as brutal as it can be, is still the best system out there.

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

Mauiman, I think you are confusing capitalism with a market economic system. All systems that preceeded it utilized capitalism. Reciprocal economies utilized it. Re-distributive economies utilized it.

My posting in another thread fits:

Douglaslee, your link "Ancient Futures" is perhaps an example that shows the greatest distinctions between reciprocal economies and market economies. Both utilize the fundamentals of capitalism. Generating a surplus beyond immediate need to maintain sustained production. The surplus is called "profit" or "capital" in a market system..

One system is sustainable. One isn't. One requires protecting the environment., The other requires destroying it. One provides happiness,.., the other only the symbols of it. One provides for self-sufficiency for basic needs, the other doesn't. One provides for strong emotional support...the other a general sense of isolation, crime and social discord. One provides for a population being limited to what the environment can support.... the other requires multiplication like rabbits that overwhelms the environments capability to support it.

Our "best of all possible systems" is turning out to be a horror story for our own species and many others.

I found the link fascinating. Thanks. http://thoughtmaybe.com/ancient-futures-learning-from-ladakh/

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Bush_Wacker:
Quote Mauiman2:
Quote Bush_Wacker:
Quote Mauiman2:
Quote polycarp2:

What Obama's plan will do is annually lower the already bottom of the barrel living standards of Soc. Sec. recipients

Mom and dad are going to be moving back in with their children when rent/utilities exceed their incomes. The end of Obama's term will see a lot of filled, empty guest rooms. Either that, or a lot of elderly living in the nation's alleys and gutters.

Dumpster diving can supplement rising food costs. Quality dog food in the quantities necessary to maintain human health is close to the current food budgets.

Obama' mopping up of what remains of FDR's New Deal is right on schedule.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You really think that a decrease of 0.3% in the SS COLA will do anything like this? You are talking about $6 a month or so. There are more things to worry about in this world than $6 a month. If $6 a month is enough to actually enough to force someone out of their home,.send me their name and I'll send them the $6 a month. Come on, you are smarter than this, raise a big stink over something that really matters.

Raise a stink over something that really matters? Like making rich people pay an extra thousand or two in taxes every year that makes absolutely no difference in their lifestyle? If you want people to quit bitching about what is perceived as insignificant cuts to the already poor then people like you need to quit bitching about what in reality are insignificant raises in taxes on the wealthy. Small cuts to the poor matter greatly, small cuts to the wealthy's income matter very little.

That "tax the rich" line only covers about 10% of the gap that needs to be closed. Where is the rest of it going to come from?

Just for the record, if I was a Republican in congress, I would take this position "OK, I go along with the increase tax on the rich. I do not agree with it, but as a country you elected President Obama (or President Santa Claus depending on the audience) and this is what he wants. So I'll give in on that point. But I will not vote for any plan that does not have at least 3 dollars of spending cuts for every one dollar of tax increase."

So I would encourage the Republicans in congress to go along with the tax increase, even though it is purely symbolism over substance, at the end of the day it will so very little good. But it does allow president Santa Claus to save face, and let's face it, he did win re election.

And I do have to give President Santa Claus some credit here, he seems to be willing to move to strike a deal. At this point he seems more willing to move than the hard line Republicans in congress. And yes, that was difficult for me to admit, but often times you do have to give a little to get what you want. Especially after you lost an election. There do seem to be a bunch of Republicans in the house who don't get that point.

But don't forget, just like the Democrats, their number one goal in life is to get re elected. And 80-90% of them won their recent elections by a larger margin than Santa Claus did. So at the end of the day they are going to take the position that they think will get them the most votes in November of 2014.

Wow. Really? When I go down to the local mission and volunteer my time and money to help those less fortunate than me, I don't ever feel like "Santa Claus" for the lazy. I feel it's important to help those who need it. You insult everyone who has ever needed a helping hand in life. That's the Christmas spirit!

"If" President Obama really wants to help those in need and not take away from what few necessities that the poor have now does that really make him a Santa Claus? You wonder why liberal thinking people are truly disgusted with what so many conservatives stand for. Keep up the conservative status quo of insults and belittling those who care about others outside of their own loved ones. Commies, Liberals, Santa Claus loving Socialists are to blame for all your problems.

There is a BIG difference between you donating your own time and money and what President Santa Claus does. You donate your time and money because you actually care about those you are helping (I assume). You are not trying to buy their votes. And the time and money you donate are yours, you do not force someone else to do it, you do it yourself. Good for you, that is great!

What President Sata Claus does is force others to give up their money so he can buy the votes of those he is trying to "help". And he definetely is trying to buy their votes, and obviously he did that very well. For a liberal Democrat, the fact that there are a record number of people on food stamps right now is music to their ears! All those on food stamps would never vote for those nasty Republicans, would they?

Sorry I get VERY ILL when a liberal Democrat gets on his high horse and states that they are the party of God. Nothing could be further from the truth, those guys are classic devils in sheep's clothing. You get points in heaven for giving away your own time and money for no personal gain (like you do), and you got a giant red dot for forcing others to give away their money against their will, then proclaiming yourself as some kind saint. When all you are doing is buying votes for yourself.

Give away your own time and money, that's great we should all do that. Force others to give away their money so you can win elections? What is no noble about that? Do you really want to defend that practice. And don't tell me that is not happening right under our noses.

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am
Just look at the top hedge fund managers - they get to pay Capital Gains taxes locked in at half the rate that working folk pay - and the top 10 of them earned a collective 25 billion in One Year.
Actually they pay even less, they pay about zero. They only pay cap gains if they sell, and carried interest allows them to not sell at all. For their living expenses they can borrow a salary from the fund at an interest rate of their choosing and it's tax free because it's a loan. The loan from the fund is tax deductible because it is considered operating expense. There is also a way to liquidate a portion of a stock position that only sells the shares that create a loss on paper while you pocket millions in gains. Three card monte financial style.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Are you trying to say that people would rather collect food stamps than have a decent job that pays a living wage?

It sure sounds that way - i'm hoping you don't really believe that.

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Scappoose
Joined:
Mar. 30, 2012 7:49 am
Quote polycarp2:

Mauiman ignores that the U.S. generates $160,000 annually for each family of four....working or not. Probably those families receiving less than $12,000-$20,000 a year could receive some sort of health care out of their $160,000 share...and even an adequate diet.

Of course, billion dollar bonuses may have to be reduced to $750,000 through taxation and re-distribution of the national income. The Walton family might even have to pay their own workers a living wage...or ante up to pay for their Medicaid.

This isn't Haiti. The national income is sufficient to provide the basics along with a few perks like free Univ. education (as we once did with the G.I. Bill and a much smaller national income per person.).

Of course, the national income was distributed differently. It was more equitable.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

.

I certainly agree that we who are fortunate should share with those who are not. But the problem is if you go too far, you can and do create an entitlement mentality, where there becomes a certain percentage of people who demand things but are not willing to work for them. I have to be careful with my children, at times I have given them too much, and they get the entitlement mentality. I am trying to teach them that if they want something, they have to work for it. There are many adults in America who did not learn that lesson and have their hand out to the government to provide for them things they should have to go out and work to get. And sorry, the liberal Democrats are often times more than willing to give them what they ask for in exchange for their vote. That has a lot to do with how we got ourselves in the mess we are in right now.

Yes there are people who truly cannot help themselves, they need help and they should get it. But unless you can convince the middle class to allow their taxes to go up by at least 50%, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are unsustainable, they have to get cut. And this is a Democracy, and I don't see middle class Americans, as a group, voting for politicians who will raise their taxes anywhere close to that. Do you?

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am
Quote Scappoose:

Are you trying to say that people would rather collect food stamps than have a decent job that pays a living wage?

It sure sounds that way - i'm hoping you don't really believe that.

No I do not believe that. But I do believe there are politicians who want as many people dependant on the government as possible because that represents votes for them.

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

Food stamps are a cheap way to guarantee no revolution as livelyhoods and careers go bye bye never to return.

Of course there's lots of profits to the private banks and grocery chains in the food stamp program.

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Scappoose
Joined:
Mar. 30, 2012 7:49 am
Quote Scappoose:

Food stamps are a cheap way to guarantee no revolution as livelyhoods and careers go bye bye never to return.

Of course there's lots of profits to the private banks and grocery chains in the food stamp program.

I'm not saying do away with the program, but I hope you can agree with me that having a record number of people on food stamps right now is not a good thing.

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

Most of the people on food stamps are working and are white. The tax increase on over 250,000 is a small amount because it is only on the amount over 250k. An earner at 300K pays the extra 4% on the 50k only which is 2000 or less than 1% of their earnings.

Chained cpi is cumulative and can reach a 30% cut in benefits to save the less than 1% increase on the better off

Howlie, you keep saying the big three have to take a haircut, but if the revenue stream was back at Clinton's 20% of gdp instead of the current 15% there would be a concern about paying off the national debt. Greenspan was worried about just that scenario under the CBO projections. That's why they had to cut the revenue coming in to preserve the debt so as to be able to manipulate the interest rates in case of economic malaise. There was no concern about the big three when revenues coming in were 21% of gdp.[3.5% above the historic average]

SS only needs to instigate the Reagan payroll tax fix, raising the fica taxable income to the same 90% Reagan did and 75 years of solvency is gained. Currently only 84% of national income is FICAed.

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Most of the people on food stamps are working and are white. The tax increase on over 250,000 is a small amount because it is only on the amount over 250k. An earner at 300K pays the extra 4% on the 50k only which is 2000 or less than 1% of their earnings.

Chained cpi is cumulative and can reach a 30% cut in benefits to save the less than 1% increase on the better off

Haole, you keep saying the big three have to take a haircut, but if the revenue stream was back at Clinton's 20% of gdp instead of the current 15% there would be a concern about paying off the national debt. Greenspan was worried about just that scenario under the CBO projections. That's why they had to cut the revenue coming in to preserve the debt so as to be able to manipulate the interest rates in case of economic malaise. There was no concern about the big three when revenues coming in were 21% of gdp.[3.5% above the historic average]

SS only needs to instigate the Reagan payroll tax fix, raising the fica taxable income to the same 90% Reagan did and 75 years of solvency is gained. Currently only 84% of national income is FICAed.

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote douglaslee:

Most of the people on food stamps are working and are white. The tax increase on over 250,000 is a small amount because it is only on the amount over 250k. An earner at 300K pays the extra 4% on the 50k only which is 2000 or less than 1% of their earnings.

Chained cpi is cumulative and can reach a 30% cut in benefits to save the less than 1% increase on the better off

Haole, you keep saying the big three have to take a haircut, but if the revenue stream was back at Clinton's 20% of gdp instead of the current 15% there would be a concern about paying off the national debt. Greenspan was worried about just that scenario under the CBO projections. That's why they had to cut the revenue coming in to preserve the debt so as to be able to manipulate the interest rates in case of economic malaise. There was no concern about the big three when revenues coming in were 21% of gdp.[3.5% above the historic average]

SS only needs to instigate the Reagan payroll tax fix, raising the fica taxable income to the same 90% Reagan did and 75 years of solvency is gained. Currently only 84% of national income is FICAed.

Have to disagree with you, there were alarm bells wringing about SS and Medicare during the 90's. But the alarm bells pointed out that the problems were in the future, not short term.

The future is here, and the problems are very real and getting more short term all the time. The politicians refused to deal with the problems in the 90's (what a shock!!!!) and so they are biting us the rear hard now.

There were less people (percentagewise) on SS and Medicare in the 90's than there are now, and less people paying into the pool now than in the 90's. Because of that, you can't make the comparisons you are making here.

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

I was wrong on the 30% above, the cumulative cut goes to 9%. The SS fund only has to rise to 6.5% of gdp tax to pay all claimants no benefit cuts. The boom in claimants is also predicted to fall back to the current level after a decade or two. The surplus engineered in 1983 was to cover the boomer bump. The agreement was if the surplus goes into general fund, when the FICA fund runs negative the general pays back the surplus it benefited from [plus interest]. Then as population dies off and more workers pay in than retirees claiming the FICA balance returns for another 75 years.

/social-security-is-not-going-broke/

the revenue from FICA [working people] went up 2.5% of gdp, corporate [dead beat entitled class] got a tax cut from 50 to 35% that no one pays and dropped the percent of national revenue by 2.8% of gdp, the amount made up by FICA paid by earners to fund retirement. My explanation is kind of squirrely this is better

Let’s look at how Social Security taxes have grown in the last half century — a little-known tale of tax burdens shifted off the rich and onto workers. From 1961 through 2011, the year covered in the last Social Security report, Social Security taxes exploded from 3.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product to 5.5 percent.

Income taxes went the other way. The personal income tax slipped from 7.8 percent of the economy to 7.3 percent, with most of the decline enjoyed by people in the top 1 percent of incomes. The big drop was in the corporate income tax, which fell from 4 percent of the economy to 1.2 percent. Notice that the corporate income tax fell by 2.8 percentage points, an amount almost entirely offset by a 2.4 percentage point increase in Social Security taxes.

The effect has been to ease the taxes of the wealthy, while burdening the vast majority of workers. Considering how highly ownership of stocks is concentrated, the benefit of those lower corporate taxes went overwhelmingly to the top 1 percent and, especially, the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. Considering that the Social Security tax is capped, most of the burden of the increased payroll tax went to the bottom 90 percent.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Food stamp rational of republican states

if you rape or kill, when you get out of prison you can get food stamps if you are at the poverty level. If you smoked pot and get out and are in poverty, no food stamps for you. You had fun, that is not allowed in Christian country.

You see, Carla is from one of the 32 states in the country that ban anyone convicted of a drug felony from collecting food stamps. With the release of the Global Burden of Disease Study last week, it bears looking at how we are perpetuating burdens among the most vulnerable Americans with our outdated laws.

If she’d committed rape or murder, Carla could have gotten assistance to feed herself and her children, but because the crime she committed was a drug felony, Carla joined the hundreds of thousands of drug felons who are not eligible.

The 1996 passage of the Welfare Reform Act was supposedly implemented to prevent drug addicts from selling their food stamps for drugs. But that concern is virtually unwarranted today. Unlike old food-stamp coupons, today’s food stamps are distributed electronically, which makes selling or trading them quite difficult.

Nonetheless, the law persists. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nine states have a lifetime ban for food-stamp eligibly for people convicted of drug felonies. Twenty-three states have a partial ban, such as permitting eligibility for persons convicted of drug possession but not sale, or for persons enrolled in drug treatment programs.

Denying food stamp benefits to people convicted of drug offenses is an excessive and ineffective crime control strategy. The policy increases an individual’s risk of returning to prison by making it more difficult for people to survive after they get out, slowing or possibly even preventing their reintegration into society. People without the financial cushion necessary to get through the initial period of job searching and re-establishing a life have little choice but to turn to illegal means to make ends meet.

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Mauiman, I think you are confusing capitalism with a market economic system. All systems that preceeded it utilized capitalism. Reciprocal economies utilized it. Re-distributive economies utilized it.

My posting in another thread fits:

Douglaslee, your link "Ancient Futures" is perhaps an example that shows the greatest distinctions between reciprocal economies and market economies. Both utilize the fundamentals of capitalism. Generating a surplus beyond immediate need to maintain sustained production. The surplus is called "profit" or "capital" in a market system..

One system is sustainable. One isn't. One requires protecting the environment., The other requires destroying it. One provides happiness,.., the other only the symbols of it. One provides for self-sufficiency for basic needs, the other doesn't. One provides for strong emotional support...the other a general sense of isolation, crime and social discord. One provides for a population being limited to what the environment can support.... the other requires multiplication like rabbits that overwhelms the environments capability to support it.

Our "best of all possible systems" is turning out to be a horror story for our own species and many others.

I found the link fascinating. Thanks. http://thoughtmaybe.com/ancient-futures-learning-from-ladakh/

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

I thought you might like that Polycarp2, I found another example on a business roundtable where a guy was comparing US gdp growth vs Europe. Of course he was beating his chest about how much better America was because they grew x amount. However, nowhere is one allowed to attach a value to family connectedness, to leisure time, to environmental sustainability, to lower crime, to healthcare on demand, to a simple satisfaction with life. Peace of mind has no place marker on a spreadsheet, but it means the world to me and the family I am responsible for.

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Many of those items may be hard to quantify but here are some measurements of our country someone posted on another website.

Comparisons between the usa and other countries - <br> Life Expectancy - 51st place <br> Education expenditure - 43rd place<br> Youth Unemployment rate 16-24 - 64th place<br> Infant Mortality - 51st place <br> Gdp per capita - 11th place - Almost broke the top 10!<br> Gdp growth rate - 157th <br> Gini - inequality rate - 91st <br> Military spending - #1!<br> Foreign Military bases - #1 <br> Prison incarceration per capita - #1 <br> Gun ownership per capita - #1

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Scappoose
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Mar. 30, 2012 7:49 am

Here is an article on the subject, in case anyone is interested. Seems to discuss both sides of the issue.

Here it is: http://xfinity.comcast.net/blogs/finance/2012/12/24/chaining-inflation-gauge-would-hurt-social-security-recipients/?cid=hero_media

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

chaining-inflation-gauge-would-hurt-social-security-recipients

goes the wrong way. BLS has another gauge that gives a higher inflation calculation to truely reflect elderly expenditures which not surprisingly go to healthcare which has exceeded the mainline inflation rate. The healthcare inflation rate is dropping due to ACA and is expected to drop more in the future but until then retirees are not keeping up with their respective budget needs as accommodated by current SSA calculations.

The experimental CPI is CPI-E for elderly.

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120302.htm

In London the elderly get free mass transit travel, buses and tube. That also saves money keeping those not fit to drive off the road and all the accidents likely should they be behind the wheel, like in FL, which has one of the highest car insurance premiums I have run accross. [I think car turn signal lightbulbs have higher than normal replacement costs, too]

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

To all involved in this discussion,

I think that a clarification of terms would help things. Mauiman2 appears to be from a perspective of what happens when a government provides people what is "wanted." Everyone else is from a perspective of what is "needed." While in some situations these two things are the same, while in others they are not. Wanting something implies that it is optional, while needing something implies that it is mandatory. If a way can be found to work in tandem while keeping this in mind might help.

Mauiman2 does not like people to starve and be homeless, he just views the system as it is being full of favoritism, graft, and a redundancy that can actually make it harder for people to get the help they need in supporting themselves. Everyone else is operating from the perspective of private parties and public agencies working together for the common good. I think that if both types of people realize that we both would like the same thing (helping people...), then determining a means to that end would be easier to come by.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

micahjr34, I would never wish to ignore or dismiss your pastorally correct insight about Island Guy, but the point of a lot of these threads is that good people can have bad ideas. I have never doubted that in his heart of hearts and deep intentionality that Island Guy is mean or evil. He just has a bad idea of how the real world works, and a moral investment in an idealism that becomes perverse when it comes to social and public policy issues.

At bottom, what I oppose in IG and his cohorts of anti-government ideologues is this basic attack on the idea of democracy as the way to correct the rule of the powerful and greedy dominators. They pose no political option, only whining about the one we have.

Therefore, I take their tears and compassion for the victims of this system with crocodile salt reality. They may well be conflicted about what they believe to be inevitable and naturally ordered as they see people being raped and pillaged, but they have no answer and are complicit. Tough.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote Scappoose:

Many of those items may be hard to quantify but here are some measurements of our country someone posted on another website.

Comparisons between the usa and other countries - <br> Life Expectancy - 51st place <br> Education expenditure - 43rd place<br> Youth Unemployment rate 16-24 - 64th place<br> Infant Mortality - 51st place <br> Gdp per capita - 11th place - Almost broke the top 10!<br> Gdp growth rate - 157th <br> Gini - inequality rate - 91st <br> Military spending - #1!<br> Foreign Military bases - #1 <br> Prison incarceration per capita - #1 <br> Gun ownership per capita - #1

Another comparison against the 25 OECD countries is the US has the lowest tax burden of any. How can that be when it also has the most extravagant military of all the OECD countries combined? It pays out the least in retirement pension benefits of any of the OECD countries.

To clarify the chained CPI and it's sustitution basis while certainly possible for mainstream consumers for elderly it would work like this. You need a heart bypass, it is expensive so you opt for an apendectomy.

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Well, Mauiman doesn't see the contradictions in a market system. While the U.S. has the capability to produce adequate food and housing, it has never figured out how to get them distributed.

We have such things as dumping food in the ocean or letting farms lay idle when there is a soup line a block away to obtain one's daily meal. (Great Depression).

Millions of vacant housing units...millions of homeless is today's picture..

In reciprocal economic systems, that didn't happen.

A successful economy is nothing more than producing required goods and distributing them to those requiring them. Poverty amidst potential plenty is supposed to make sense. It doesn't. It is, however, endemic to market economic systems.

Social programs were tied with market economic systems from the day market economies were established. They tended to prevent revolutions.

Mauiman correctly noted elsewhere that a proposed $6 reduction in my Soc. Sec. benefits won't break me. It's only what I spend per month on breakfast...20 cents a day. Giving up one meal a day won't make me destitute. However, further reductions in purchasing power over the next several years will mean giving up lunch as well. At that point, I'll probably feel destitute.

A bare bones budget doesn't allow for a whole lot of leeway.

We can always dump food into the sea that seniors can no longer afford to buy. We've been there, done that before.The "best of all systems" does provide easy access to the oceans.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Do you remember when an experiment was launched offering govt cheese? The milk prices were stabilised without dumping the excess and converting it to cheese instead. It was only the processed American cheese variety, but it was cheap and in 2lb blocks. My grandparents were able to get it so it might have been a means tested commodity. Macaroni and cheese sustains. [sounds almost like a marketing slogan, doesn't it]

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I remember that cheese. It was given away to people receiving food stamps...along with butter. I was served a grilled cheese sandwich made with both. Pretty good.

Probably if we still had a program like that, Colo. dairy farmers wouldn't be slaughtering their herds because hungry people can't afford to buy the milk.

One solution to hunger in America is...reduce the production of food. Under the "best of all possible systems", that's supposed to make sense. LOL

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

How does the proposed chain CPI work, like this?

Let's start with a Scial Security monthly benefit of $1000 for example,

year 1-- pork goes up 2%, beef goes up 4%, Social Security benefit goes up 2% instead of 4% (now $1020 instead of $1040)

year 2-- pork goes up 5%, beef goes up 2%, SS benefit goes up 2% instead of 5% (now $1040.40 instead of $1092.00)

year 3-- pork goes down 1%, beef goes up 7.5%, SS benefit goes down 1% instead of up 7.5% (now $1030 instead of $1173.90)

After a few years it seems that the benefit amount would be much less than it should be, if it's done this way. It looks like all the articles I read talk about one retiree getting much less as the years pass by. So what happens to the young people who are not retired yet? They're never mentioned! Wouldn't someone who is just barely starting retirement in year three above already start getting $1030 instead of $1173 on his or hers year number ONE??

shockwave
Joined:
Nov. 13, 2012 12:14 am

That is about right. Do to the cumulative effect, after 30 Years it is a 9% cut and it just keeps shrinking to the point where SS is half the benefit necessary for a retiree to live on. The COLA for congress remains unaffected. The pentagon pensions remain unaffected.

There supposedly is an exemption for certain recipients and would be administered like a tax credit. The true CPI as caculated by the CPI-E would be included retroactivley. Whether the specific rate is figured permanently or just annualy on your 1040 I don't know. If that is the case the whole chained CPI inclusion is more theatrics so the conservatives get their red meat of cutting benefits to the poor on stage while behind the scenes it hits the middle class the most,

/government-cheese/ was a mixture of colby, american, cheddar and the branding style lacking any ingenuity. It might still be available had they had some marketing slogans. "Praise Cheeses" "I love cheeses" are just the tip of the possibilities. Cheeses Saves lives...

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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It’s Time for Bill O’Reilly to Get Real about White Privilege

It’s time for white America to get real about white privilege. Last night, Bill O’Reilly came from back vacation early to host a special edition of “The Factor”, one that he said would “tell the truth” about what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri.

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