So much for retirement.

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In the post-Bush Great Recession economy, it’s harder and harder for Americans to have a good retirement. According to a new survey by the organization – Conference Board – two-thirds of workers between the ages of 45 and 60, are now planning to delay their retirement.

That’s a big jump from 2010 – when only 42% of workers had plans to put off their retirement. Job losses, low salaries, and declining home values are some of the main reason why Americans can no longer stick to their retirement plans.

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
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Hey Thom, you need a calendar. The Bush presidency ended over FOUR years ago. After trillions spent in defecit spending and stimilus money, we still have the great Obama recession going on.

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Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am

Probably we shouldn't have spent trillions bailing banksters. The money never made it to Main St.

The Fed holds over three trillion in worthless paper bought from banking. It could have been better spent. As to the $11 trillion an audit of the Fed shows was handed over to finance...who knows what the frauds did with it.

When banksters are put in charge of the Fed and the Treasury, the public purse gets looted.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

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

So people who have jobs now are going to be tethered to their employer because getting another job is very bleak anymore. Experience is no longer valued and they would rather hire someone younger and cheaper even if it takes them 3 times longer to do a project. I never gave business owners much credit for brains. That seems to be very rare.

So folks will stay at their jobs and may even do illegal things for their employer just to stay employed. They will use alcohol and drugs more to try to forget the nightmare they are stuck in. Crime will rise. More and more who feel they face a bleak future and can't swap depression for constructive anger may well commit suicide which is now the number one cause of death in the US.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Wash my mouth out with soap, but I agree with Redwing on this one. Sort of. It really is time that we stop giving President Obama a pass on failing to end Bush's policies.

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doh1304
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Dec. 6, 2010 10:49 am

What retirement??

And the red badge of curage everyone wear to their work. Sick with high fever and you still show up to prove that you are DEDICATED!! Employer wants to get every second of work and not anything less.

They are so nice to provide you with VPN (connect your PC into work) so you can work from home in evenings and on weekends. Employees are ecstatic they can do this? I don't understand. Masses have been brain washed to work for free. If you count the work performed from home on weeknights and weekends, I wouldn't be surprised to find that many are actually putting 80 hours or more for the 40 hour work week with less and less benefits vacation time, health care, sick time...

No wonder the companies are showing improved productivity and showing more profit. Hey pension is trouble some right? who keeps track of it anyway??

So americans live so they can work till they drop dead. Great idea!! When you have nothing to offer, you might as well be 6 feet under. So why do you need retirement? Don't they shoot horses when they become lame?

smilingcat
Joined:
Sep. 23, 2010 9:14 am

doh, try ear or eyewash instead of mouthwash. Redneck loves to goad us into declaring that we no longer love our American Idol when we have never embraced the idolotry and felt sold out by the process. Obama proposes mild reforms, much akin to what Republicans have traditionally advocated, and they crap all over him. To blame Obama for this economy being slow in recovery is to be deaf, dumb and blind to Congress and who has controlled it. Remember those Blue Dog Corpadems?

Could Obama have acted with dictatorial swiftness to consolidate everything in those brief early days of "one party control," he might have gotten stuff done that I would like. Can you imagine the howls of protest from the Tea Party and others who went Birther Nuts anyway? It was certainly a lot easier for him to placate Wall St. and see if sanity or even patriotism might be found among them. Again, nobody can quite pin that 'partisan' class war on him now. Oh, they try don't they!

If this was a brilliant first term fake to the Right so he can run free in the last four years, it didn't quite work out. So, let's accept that the different Centerist than the reigning Centrists in the Democratic Party saw a time when they could "win" and many of us held onto a grain of hope that Chicago might be to the Left of NY or at least farther from the scene of the Crimes. Then they became the Dems "twin cities" of Clinton Succession alliance.

While both parties exploit the rhetoric of the American Dream and the Myths of Democratic politics and society in a blatant plutocracy, the Dems, as one moves more and more to the Left of the party, offer real policies that would increase opportunity and decrease the suffering of those shut out from any dreams other than pipedreams all the way to vengeance. If Obama believes that coming up from the Single Mom Middle Class is something others, like him, can do, it is still vastly different from what Mitt believes that even a guy who was the butt of ridicule as "the Preppy" in his one year at Stanford, can overcome it and go on to use his inheritance to make a ton of money on the misfortune of others.

Imposed workaholicism is more like voluntary slavery's religious dogma. Attack the frame of Economic Man in the name of Human Life and the opportunity to live it. Our problem is not making enough stuff, it is spreading the wealth through "jobs" as if more people working more to make more was the secret to eternal life and bliss.

The math of full employment v. the marginalized masses is all in favor of the former as the unproductive assets are returned to taxpayers who do not need public services. The upfront investment in education, healthcare, good housing and good communities saves a lot of "tailpipe" expenses. The design of our economy once promised a good life for all, peace and prosperity broadly shared with all at the table. It was blind to segregation and "braceros." But it held wealth accountable to a Middle Class image of what America was "all about."

As we went into the 60's, the promise of labor saving devices suggested that Leisure could be an Industry. What would we do with all that extra time? Some thought of citizenship and others thought of recreation. There was talk of doing what work had never 'allowed' people to do. Think of it as the Biggest Slave Revolution ever as "labor" joined the Middle Class. Cleaning up the equality of access for all still had a long way to go, but the idea of work as a choice of applied personal interests and skills in a life full of external human space for self, family and community was there.

Can you imagine the Corporados having to deal with an educated and liberated workforce ready to take on a fuller civic identity? These are the ideological foes of unions, and here comes "leisure."

Needless to say, they crushed that fantasy in the cogs of imperial, industrial and financial consolidation. Greedspan insured the necessary degree of unemployment, and viola, it is all about making one's pile. Responsibiliity to self as personal responsibility. No time to rest, just rat race and security fences.

But back to Batwing and his Obama has been there FOUR YEARS blarney. It is perfectly correct to blame Bush and Cheney for the debts and the need to borrom more to cover for the wars and Wall St. money burning parties they presided over. It is also less than candid to act as if the GOPimp led process that gave the Casino the rules to cheat by has a Democratic brand on it. Fingerprints, but not ownership or authorship. We had bright people who went to Biz School and were put under the spell of the wizards and their economic alchemy.

It does not take brilliance to see that reversing the grave inequalities between wealth and poverty to a democratic range and investing in the human beings we are going to be living with and among is sound policy. It is the way to both prosperity and peace. Basic Trust instead of Basic Suspicion is what we need because we are in this together, one way or the other.

I liked the Giants World Series motto, "It's about the smile on the guy next to me."

As the culture changes, so will the rules.

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

Lots of words not much to chew on. This is Obama's economy all the diversion and posturing IE., guns, immigration, etc. is distraction from the fact he is totally lost.

The great OZ is a fraud.

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Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am

There was a time when a retirement fund might be well enough to retire on. But now due to low interest rates you need several million dollars stashed away (and the banksters love it). The USA is a broken down old junker that needs a replacement and one that serves the people not just the rich. The punishment for rich's abuse of power is karmically a new socialist government (or governments). Sorry but that's the way the pendulum swings.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Well, power structures that fail the majority sooner or later find themselves replaced.

That's how the Brits lost their American Colonies.

If corporatists and banksters aren't careful, they'll be losing their American Colonies as well.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

This is Sen. McConnell's and Bush's economy. Once McConnell ends the filibusters and obstruction you can blame any of Obama's policies that he passes after that.

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm

You are partially correct. The great Obama recession has, and is, robbing our children of their retirement. The ironic part is, it has an even greater effect on the Union pensions that were counting on a 7% annual growth rate to keep their Ponzi scheme going. All because of forced low interest rates, kept there because if they are allowed to raise even slightly, the US has an even bigger economic crisis on it's hands, interest payments to service the debt. Europe come to mind? Lets talk about immigration, guns, war on womem, and global warming instead, and hope the people aren't watching.

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Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am

Uhh, who is doing this "robbery" from our children? If you want to blame Obama for being the dupe of the GOPimps, the argument made about Clinton doing what the Banksters were pushing, try to remember who was doing the duping.

The actual Great Bush/Cheney Bank Robbery of the American People happened before Obama. His inability to stand up to the Bullies of Imperial Domination is evidence of how powerful, in the short term, these establishments are. Their moral bankruptcy is revealed and reviled in these vingettes. Bankster is a term of universal comprehension, outside bankster circles. Their lack of self-awareness is remarkable.

If you want to point out that our union and public employee pension funds have been treated like tasty treats by our "fellow Americans" in finance, you would have to establish that they have some human bond with the rest of us, these pension vultures. Apologies to actual vultures who clean up carrion. A useful function. It is hard to find a decent analogy or metaphor.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

The American dream is now a distant memory. Ah for the vanilla days of the '50s, 60s and part of the '70s when domestic demand in post WWII times drove our economy. Those were the days before the global economy emerged in full flower. Still, the seeds of a world economy and the plutocrats' dream of a world corporatocracy were taking hold. It was just a matter of time and effective lobbying and what was known as the "American dream" died. What American exceptionalism has evolved into is the memory of the days when labor was considered a necessity and was valued and not a simple commodity.

Once upon a time, human beings who worked for a living actually shared in the success of their enterprise as they were paid a living and even thriving wage, rewarded for their loyalty and contribution and thus earned a pension. There were days of lore when CEOs earned a modest 25x their average workers' salary. There is an entire generation today where this scenario is unimagineable or relegated to the realm of history. The fruits of their labors goes inevitibably to the top and their pensions go to the shareholders.

As dc2 hints at, the feudalism that we are headed for in today's plutocracy can come to no good end. Picture this land mass we call the USA as a series of well guarded and perhaps walled Palm Springs like enclaves dotting the landscape surrounded by vast areas resembling downtown Detroit, East St Louis IL and rural India. America the beautiful, indeed.

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Combad57
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May. 29, 2012 12:50 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Well, power structures that fail the majority sooner or later find themselves replaced.

That's how the Brits lost their American Colonies.

If corporatists and banksters aren't careful, they'll be losing their American Colonies as well.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

"Aren't careful?" They've already blown it. Time will carry out the karma.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I think so. The global oligarchs are caught within their own trap. If one nation puts the reigns on them, it's own oligarchy will be at a severe disadvantage with oligarchs of other countries.

Since they control the reigns of power in their respective countries, that isn't likely to happen. It will be interesting to see how the destitution of the globe plays out. It's something that's moving foward under its own impetus.

Oligarchs of the world have set up a wealth accumulation game amongst themselves that none can get out of.

Argentines didn't rebel until 60% of the population were driven into rapid destitution. That seems to be the tipping point.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

One little speck of justice appeared recently in US v S&P. I would like to see them liquidated. Fitch might be a co-defender. The ratings agencies can then counter sue the banks and a financial cannibal fest would be delicious to see. State banks and credit unions could pick up the people's business. Buddy Roemer's bank was not a fraud machine either.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

For anyone who thinks that Social Security is in good shape, read the attached article.

This is what happens to a legalized Ponzi scheme!

http://xfinity.comcast.net/blogs/finance/2013/02/08/3-social-security-sh...

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

Then probably they should eliminate the cap on high income contributions.

I note increased numbers of people are becoming disabled. I suspect not having access to health care contributes to that. Health care can be obtained to treat a disability if you are poor...not to prevent a disability from developing

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

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

Then probably they should eliminate the cap on high income contributions.

I note increased numbers of people are becoming disabled. I suspect not having access to health care contributes to that. Health care can be obtained to treat a disability if you are poor...not to prevent a disability from developing

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

Poor healthcare has very little to do with it. I will bet you a steak dinner that the sudden new disability claims increases are mostly from people that have run over the 99 weeks of unemployment insurance and long ago gave up looking for work. This is a huge business for unscrupulous people in the medical field.

Raising the cap on SS tax would just raise the payout. Net gain would be slight. Plus Thom sez the SS system is fully funded until 2033. Not to worry about that, thank God.

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am

Evidently, you know few people who have applied for disability. If you are physically able to screw in light bulbs four hours a day, you're disqualified.

If you're capable of assembling or painting toys four hours a day, you're disqualified.

TV ads advising legal representation to apply for disability should be taken seriously.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

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

Like the unscrupulous in the financialist field who have made it so there are no jobs for these people who have run out of their meager unemployment benefits, so would you just tell the unemployed that they have failed as human beings and need to enter the compost machine early?

There is a huge business in the desperation business where people are willing to part with cash on a wing and a prayer, the perfect free market fleecing. Sick people and those facing being homeless might take a lot more safety net than we stingy Americans provide. They will also fall for promises made by the unscrupulous when there is no "clear path" to healthcare.

I don't want to ration healthcare by money when it leaves so many out and so many facing terrible choices nobody ought to be forced to make. Sorry Redneck, the scams in healthcare are not so much by those in need as by those in a position to make money.

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

Redwing, How old are you? Have anything saved up when you are feeble and old? Who's going to pay for your bills. Oh that's right, you gonna be one of those who thinks he is going to be rich. So do just about every young buckwheat out there.

[deleted a large protion since many do not have the basic inteligence nor the compassion to understand what I wrote regarding life when one gets old. Proof of this is the simple fact we have to have discussion such as this]

Social security in trouble is a myth. Also if you were remove a cap it will be more than self sufficient. When I was working, it was great to see my take home pay jumped when I maxed out my FICA tax then went oh... it goes to pay for social security.

So its not an entitlement program. you are paying it forward!!

smilingcat
Joined:
Sep. 23, 2010 9:14 am

The first thing I tell anyone who is unemployed and those who are about to see their unemployment run out (such as my 56 year old nephew who is highly qualified in a field that has recently become outsourced) is "it is not your fault. The system has failed you." I like to turn any depression into anger to motive these folks to get active and the solution is making life difficult for the "status quo." Then we will get some changes made.

I also wonder what careers smug righties who display a "tough love" attitude towards the unemployed have? I often find it is "grunt work" in fields that more educated people would not consider nor could find employment in. Someone who needs some folks to shovel gravel on a construction crew is unlikely to hire a computer programmer for that as they know as soon as some opportunity shows up for that individual they will stop showing up for work and the employer thinks "I wouldn't blame them either."

When I was hiring at a tech company, at first I wasn't allowed to hire from recruiters. But I knew that many tech people are not good at selling themselves so would use a recruiter. We were missing talented people so I made sure there was some budget to pay the additional you do when a recruiter is involved. And there is often the problem that someone who is good at selling themselves might not actually be any good at the job.

captbebops's picture
captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Mauiman2:

For anyone who thinks that Social Security is in good shape, read the attached article.

This is what happens to a legalized Ponzi scheme!

I'd agree the numbers look quite dire, but I wouldn't call it a Ponzi Scheme because it wasn't designed as such. It was designed for a reaonably good supply of productive American workers paying into it. It worked quite well until greedy CEOs and bankers fell in love with slave labor in authoritarian countries, and the average idiot, uninformed American consumer fell for cheap stuff to make their lives "better." Chinese workers don't pay into Social Security - Thar's your problem, sir.

What I'd suggest, to wake the average American idiot consumer up, would be......Take the idea of picturing wretched cancer victims on a pack of cigs, and putting the picture an emaciated, bedraggled, sickly old couple, chowing on cat food - on the package of each cheap plastic junk product from China that says something like:

"Purchasing this product may be hazardous to your health and financial well-being in old age. BUY AMERICAN!"

al3's picture
al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Redwing:Poor healthcare has very little to do with it. I will bet you a steak dinner that the sudden new disability claims increases are mostly from people that have run over the 99 weeks of unemployment insurance and long ago gave up looking for work.
I’ll take mine medium rare.

“America's newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the nation has ever seen. A staggering 45% of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related.”

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-28/veteran-disability/55250092/1

Quote Redwing:Raising the cap on SS tax would just raise the payout. Net gain would be slight.
Means test the payout to weed out the super-rich.

al3's picture
al3
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote al3:
Quote Mauiman2:

For anyone who thinks that Social Security is in good shape, read the attached article.

This is what happens to a legalized Ponzi scheme!

I'd agree the numbers look quite dire, but I wouldn't call it a Ponzi Scheme because it wasn't designed as such. It was designed for a reaonably good supply of productive American workers paying into it. It worked quite well until greedy CEOs and bankers fell in love with slave labor in authoritarian countries, and the average idiot, uninformed American consumer fell for cheap stuff to make their lives "better." Chinese workers don't pay into Social Security - Thar's your problem, sir.

What I'd suggest, to wake the average American idiot consumer up, would be......Take the idea of picturing wretched cancer victims on a pack of cigs, and putting the picture an emaciated, bedraggled, sickly old couple, chowing on cat food - on the package of each cheap plastic junk product from China that says something like:

"Purchasing this product may be hazardous to your health and financial well-being in old age. BUY AMERICAN!"

One of the problems with SS is that the excess from the last 20 years or so got rolled into the general fund and that money is gone. Now there aren't enough workers to support us old fogies. So most of the money I (and everyone else) put into the pot is gone.

Your government at its best!

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Mauiman2
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Jul. 27, 2012 7:24 am

Mauiman wrote: One of the problems with SS is that the excess from the last 20 years or so got rolled into the general fund and that money is gone. Now there aren't enough workers to support us old fogies. So most of the money I (and everyone else) put into the pot is gone.

Your government at its best!

Poly replies: Well, it's the government that rules over me, but it certainly isn't mine. Goverment of, by and for the few definately isn't mine. It's someone elses...I'm just stuck with it..

Someone had to pay for the tax cuts given the super-rich beginning with Uncle Ronnie. I guess the elderly are it. Their S.S. money was transferred to the general fund.

Probably, the wealthy ought to pay it back. They were the beneficiaries. The legal beneficiaries were ripped off.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote al3:
Quote Redwing:Raising the cap on SS tax would just raise the payout. Net gain would be slight.
Means test the payout to weed out the super-rich.

Great idea. We can just screw people that make a certain amount (who determines that amount?) of money out of another mandated 8% of their income. When you get through redistributing that, and you need more, just lower the means test. Why not?

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am
Quote polycarp2:

Evidently, you know few people who have applied for disability. If you are physically able to screw in light bulbs four hours a day, you're disqualified.

If you're capable of assembling or painting toys four hours a day, you're disqualified.

TV ads advising legal representation to apply for disability should be taken seriously.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Evidently a awful lot of employees that worked for the Long Island Railroad can't screw in a lightbulb, assemble or paint a toy, or apparently wipe their own keister, because nearly 100% of them managed to qualify for disability payments from the Railroad Retirement Board. Think this is the only scam going?

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/long...

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am

You do realize that the Railroad Retirement Board functions outside of the Soc. Sec. System, don't you? Different rules.They don't have to pass the hurdle of a Soc. Security appointed Dr. whose primary function is to disqualify them.

Railroad workers don't contribute to Soc. Security or state unemployment insurance programs. Different program.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote al3:
Quote Redwing:Poor healthcare has very little to do with it. I will bet you a steak dinner that the sudden new disability claims increases are mostly from people that have run over the 99 weeks of unemployment insurance and long ago gave up looking for work.
I’ll take mine medium rare.

“America's newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the nation has ever seen. A staggering 45% of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related.”

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-28/veteran-disability/55250092/1

Applying for something because it is an easy payout is far different than actually needing it. Besides Poly just told us it is impossible to get if you are even capable of screwing in a light bulb. Amazing how many wars were fought, and vets survived just fine, before the easy slide into cash if you apply was available.

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am

drc, I know someone who was denied disability because they could screw in a lightbulb.

I also know somehone who was denied disability for the same reason until his lawyers went to court and proved he couldn't climb a ladder or stool to reach the light bulb socket. He only had one functioning leg and one functioning arm. He could barely walk even with assistance.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Redwing:
Quote al3:
Quote Redwing:Raising the cap on SS tax would just raise the payout. Net gain would be slight.
Means test the payout to weed out the super-rich.
Great idea. We can just screw people that make a certain amount (who determines that amount?) of money out of another mandated 8% of their income. When you get through redistributing that, and you need more, just lower the means test. Why not?
Payback for the redistribution upwards, and their mantra......"When we get through redistributing that, and putting it in our pockets, and we need more, just deregulate or outsource something else."

al3's picture
al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

If the moral question could be "why are the thieves allowed to keep their ill-gotten gains?," the blame would not be able to be misdirected upon the victims. As the Good Capt. of Bebop counsels others, get angry at being abused so you will have the energy and passion to do something about it. I presume he would take as implicit the further idea that the value of anger is wasted in reaction or acting out. It is only when one really addresses the moral outrage with actions that will end it and the immoral thinking that supports it that the power of anger can be directed into the laser beam of real change.

The case made by the Righties on debt and deficit and their unwillingness to endorse any corrective means to deal with the fiscal frauds and abuse of contract from above against labor, pension fund members, salaried workers, retired people, and everybody in general who was led to put their trust and funds into Wall St. and 401ks, is a moral outrage posing as outrage about the immorality of debt. When you listen to the rhetoric used to defend austerity and the need to cut spending without any nuance or context related to economics, it is clear that the Con Case is moralism and not economics. It is, of course, what they accuse liberals of doing in "redistribution." Their problem is that redistribution is necessary to maintain economic stability as anyone who can appreciate how the system works can see.

If there is a morality to the rich being generous, it does not come from having the recipients of their charity grovel before them. Such generosity is more properly recognition of being in a favored condition and feeling a human identity with those without such favor to see that as many of them as possible can share that advantage or favored status. Even then, it is too easy to seek to make the "losers" into the mirror image of your winner self instead of what they can and should be as themselves. The big point is to get over blaming others for not doing what you have done or being unaware of how favored you have been if you have made it.

If you have not made it, however, don't waste your time blaming others. See the material on useful anger above. Revenge is rarely worth it even served cold. Violence is never a choice that works out well. The Right is wrong, of course, about what 'victimization' is. They would like to discount all arguments where actual injustices, personal and structural, are involved; and it is wonderous indeed how the correspondence of discounted injustices to darker skins works out. There is some shared vector with poverty in general, but this neglect has not been benign.

I suggest that the scales of justice will find the Gold and Greed tipping them over rather than having any moral relationship in human reality. Or, are they the scales that blind their eyes to what is going on? In any case, the idea that the economic argument could trump the human argument is spooky.

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

If the moral question could be "why are the thieves allowed to keep their ill-gotten gains?," the blame would not be able to be misdirected upon the victims. As the Good Capt. of Bebop counsels others, get angry at being abused so you will have the energy and passion to do something about it. I presume he would take as implicit the further idea that the value of anger is wasted in reaction or acting out. It is only when one really addresses the moral outrage with actions that will end it and the immoral thinking that supports it that the power of anger can be directed into the laser beam of real change.

The case made by the Righties on debt and deficit and their unwillingness to endorse any corrective means to deal with the fiscal frauds and abuse of contract from above against labor, pension fund members, salaried workers, retired people, and everybody in general who was led to put their trust and funds into Wall St. and 401ks, is a moral outrage posing as outrage about the immorality of debt. When you listen to the rhetoric used to defend austerity and the need to cut spending without any nuance or context related to economics, it is clear that the Con Case is moralism and not economics. It is, of course, what they accuse liberals of doing in "redistribution." Their problem is that redistribution is necessary to maintain economic stability as anyone who can appreciate how the system works can see.

If there is a morality to the rich being generous, it does not come from having the recipients of their charity grovel before them. Such generosity is more properly recognition of being in a favored condition and feeling a human identity with those without such favor to see that as many of them as possible can share that advantage or favored status. Even then, it is too easy to seek to make the "losers" into the mirror image of your winner self instead of what they can and should be as themselves. The big point is to get over blaming others for not doing what you have done or being unaware of how favored you have been if you have made it.

If you have not made it, however, don't waste your time blaming others. See the material on useful anger above. Revenge is rarely worth it even served cold. Violence is never a choice that works out well. The Right is wrong, of course, about what 'victimization' is. They would like to discount all arguments where actual injustices, personal and structural, are involved; and it is wonderous indeed how the correspondence of discounted injustices to darker skins works out. There is some shared vector with poverty in general, but this neglect has not been benign.

I suggest that the scales of justice will find the Gold and Greed tipping them over rather than having any moral relationship in human reality. Or, are they the scales that blind their eyes to what is going on? In any case, the idea that the economic argument could trump the human argument is spooky.

Don't be so fast to blame Bush and the Republicans for the current poor economy, as this study shows:

http://www.examiner.com/article/new-study-confirms-economy-was-destroyed...

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

Don't be so fast to blame Bush and the Republicans for the current poor economy, as this study shows:

http://www.examiner.com/article/new-study-confirms-economy-was-destroyed...

Bullshit. Your "study" puts the cart before the horse. CRA loans were required to meet conforming loan guidelines. Subprime loans are non conforming by definition. The explosion in unregulated subprime lending is what directly lead to the crisis. Subprime lending went from less than 1% of the mortgage market in 2000, to 25% by 2006. HUD and FHA (the gubmint programs) lost market share, along with CRA conforming loans. If the CRA and conforming lenders caused the real estate bubble, would they have been losing market share or gaining?

If CRA loans are performing worse than non CRA loans today, that likely has more to do with the fact that minorities are faring worse in the high unemployment post recession job landscape.

And the links go from "the conservative examiner" to "IBD". Searching for the actual paper hits a paywall.

But assuming this paper's findings are right, why did all the subprime lenders go under? And why'd the jumbo lenders go under? Neither group were subject to the CRA. Why'd both groups lead the down turn? Jumbo lenders have less exposure to poor minorities than any other lender. Why were they in trouble? Oh, because they were unregulated, and making No Income, No Asset loans through brokers.

CITI started this in 1994, when they changed their guidelines to prevent conforming loans of less than $300,000. The idea being to eliminate "those" people from cluttering up the bank's loan portfolio. AND simutaneously shoving them onto other banks. Almost immediately other banks began to follow suit. That is when Clinton slapped them down.

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
Joined:
Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm
Quote Phaedrus76:
Quote Mauiman2:

Don't be so fast to blame Bush and the Republicans for the current poor economy, as this study shows:

http://www.examiner.com/article/new-study-confirms-economy-was-destroyed...

Bullshit. Your "study" puts the cart before the horse. CRA loans were required to meet conforming loan guidelines. Subprime loans are non conforming by definition. The explosion in unregulated subprime lending is what directly lead to the crisis. Subprime lending went from less than 1% of the mortgage market in 2000, to 25% by 2006. HUD and FHA (the gubmint programs) lost market share, along with CRA conforming loans. If the CRA and conforming lenders caused the real estate bubble, would they have been losing market share or gaining?

If CRA loans are performing worse than non CRA loans today, that likely has more to do with the fact that minorities are faring worse in the high unemployment post recession job landscape.

And the links go from "the conservative examiner" to "IBD". Searching for the actual paper hits a paywall.

But assuming this paper's findings are right, why did all the subprime lenders go under? And why'd the jumbo lenders go under? Neither group were subject to the CRA. Why'd both groups lead the down turn? Jumbo lenders have less exposure to poor minorities than any other lender. Why were they in trouble? Oh, because they were unregulated, and making No Income, No Asset loans through brokers.

CITI started this in 1994, when they changed their guidelines to prevent conforming loans of less than $300,000. The idea being to eliminate "those" people from cluttering up the bank's loan portfolio. AND simutaneously shoving them onto other banks. Almost immediately other banks began to follow suit. That is when Clinton slapped them down.

You conveniently ignore a bunch of points made in the article when you rant and rave like you did above.

Best I can tell, the following two statements are true

1. When it comes to blame for the recent financial meltdown, there is blood on both sides of the aisle. There is plenty of blame on both sides.

2. I have heard this several times from several different people, enough to think the following statement is true: No one fully completely understands our finacial system, it is way to complicated. That includes you, me, and everyone else posting on this board.

So I'll stick to what I know is true, we have to balance the federal budget, or at least get close. And that is not going to happen simply by taxing the rich and/or cutting the military, despite what you and others on this board think.

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

A new study that definitively proves that the economy was “destroyed by Democrat policies” surely sounds like a sound objective report, so I thought I’d take a look for chuckles.. Of course this Examiner story, there was no direct link to the "respected" National Bureau of Economic Research study. The “study” link led to an Investor’s Business Daily editorial – as if that’s the definitive word - and there was no link to the original NBER study there either. So I had to Google it.

The NBER study concluded simply that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) led to risky lending. OK, I think 5 years after the dust has settled on the economic meltdown, those who take a realistic look can say that’s true. But it’s a huge stretch to say the “economy was destroyed by Democrat policies,” and that’s not what the NBER is saying. Of course NBER will ignore all those banking and mortgage privateers who made things much, much worse.

From your piece:

Quote Mauiman2’s Examiner Piece:“A new study from the widely respected National Bureau of Economic Research released this week has confirmed beyond question that the left's race-baiting attacks on the housing market (the Community Reinvestment Act--enacted under Carter, made shockingly more aggressive under Clinton) is directly responsible for imploding the housing market and destroying the economy.”

-Even The New York Times admitted that there is "little evidence" of any connection between the "Republican" deregulation measures Obama blames, like the Gramm-Bleach-Liley Act (signed into law by a Democrat), and the collapse of the housing market.”

So I clicked on the NYT story referenced and it contains the following:

Quote NYT Piece linked from Mauiman2’s Examiner piece:“The growth of the new financial system also tends to undermine the conservative argument that much of the problem can be traced to the Community Reinvestment Act, which was passed by Congress in 1977. It has been cited by some bankers as a reason they made what turned out to be bad loans, but most of the worst loans appear to have been made outside of the banking system, by mortgage brokers not subject to its rules.”
Emphasis mine.

So the NYT Piece cancels out the entire premise of the Examiner piece, that the “new” study showed the CRA bore the brunt of the meltdown. And while the NYT piece does say there is “little evidence” that Republican deregulation caused the meltdown, but, oh, Mauiman2’s Examiner piece neglected to mention that the NYT piece also lays much of the derivatives orgy at the feet of GOP deregulatory ideologues Phil and Wendy Graham.

A hack piece, poorly done at that.

Of course Democrats were involved deeply in the mess, and Clinton et. al. are almost as culpable, and any Dem who denies it has their head in the sand. But to say “Democrat policies destroyed the economy,” well, it’s just a hack piece rattling around in the conservative bubble, and I'm sure many conservatives are triumphantly emailing it to their socialist friends. Maybe of a slightly higher journalistic caliber than a viral email that conservatives are so prolific at. By now, everyone knows it was conservative sponsored – mainly by the GOP but also some clueless Dems - banking deregulation made it a lot worse than it should have been, so still relying on the stale CRA tale is a bit outdated, I’d say.

Try again, Mauiman2.

al3's picture
al3
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Considering banksters deliberately lied 75% of the time to companies insuring their toxic loans, they should probably be thrown in jail for fraud.

Bank of America alone is now facing tens of billions in lawsuits.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&I...

Are Dems responsible? Sure. Clinton de-regulated banking. Are Republicans responsible? Sure. They passed the de-regulation legislation that Clinton signed.

There is plenty of blame to go around for our economic mess. Both major political parties are complicit in it. They both embrace neo-liberal ideology. Their sacred text is the Chicago School of Economics Theory.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

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

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