July 11, 2012

"Money the government is spending on old people means young people are free not to take care of them."

A response to the argument that young Americans should support vigorous spending cuts because so much more is spent on old people than on young people.

Note the deep implications of that response. The government is taking over the role once provided by family. It was not so long ago that people believed that if they didn't save up money and provide for their own old age that they would be a burden on their children. And it was quite common to worry that your aging parents would need to move in with you and be economically dependent on you. Many families had a grandmother living in their home.

And now, the government has become the basis of our expectations. There's a feeling of security (especially if you don't think too hard). And there's a freedom from the bondage of family. The government is more your family than your family.

Aren't you happy? Aren't you free? Don't you love Big Brother?

***

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

***

The struggle is finished. There's nothing else to run for....

322 comments:

1 – 200 of 322   Newer›   Newest»
MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Except that the government uses it's monopoly on coercion to steal part of the hard earned income of young people to give it to the unproductive old people.

So the young are still taking care of the old. Only now there's a huge federal bureaucracy the young are financing to administer the money beig stolen from them and given to the old.

traditionalguy said...

The modern medical advances and especially antibiotics have extended lives of the elderly.

The kids simply need to show the elderly some care and set an example for the children they are raising.

Or bring in the Tigers.

bagoh20 said...

If kids or anyone else are stupid enough to believe that the government has it's own money, then they deserve what they get.

Marshal said...

"traditionalguy said...
The modern medical advances and especially antibiotics have extended lives of the elderly."

The current generation is healthier at this age than any previous generation, so why didn't they respond by working longer? Instead they're retiring sooner and using government force younger workers to fund it. This with full knowledge those younger workers won't have the same benefit.

The boomer antitlement mentality is "I get mine and then you get.... well I get mine."

chickelit said...

"Money the government is spending on young people also means old people are free not to do so."

Arbiter mocks Frei

ndspinelli said...

Way to step it up, Althouse. We ALL need a kick in the ass once in awhile. Men understand that better than women. A streak needs substance as well as numbers

cassandra lite said...

Remember a few years ago, when there was a terrible heatwave across France and about 15,000 people died, most of them elderly? Their kids and grandkids and nieces and nephews didn't bother stopping by to see how they were faring, b/c they figured the govt would be sending someone to care for them.

Oso Negro said...

This wisdom has long been available to those who though deeply on the unintended consequences of the Social Security Act of 1935. As an American who attended grade school in the 1960s, I was proselytized unremittingly by my teachers that Franklin Roosevelt "saved" America with the New Deal. To the contrary, he sowed the seeds of our ruin.

One of the perfidies of Social Security is that it peeled old folks off the family - who has borne the responsibility for care of their own from time immemorial. It still works this way for most of the population of the earth. In her time, my grandmother attended her own mother and her husband's mother in the dotage and to their deaths, which occurred at home. In her advanced years, my grandmother was separated from her family and eked out an existence on Social Security. Her sons or daughter could have easily cared for her, they simply didn't have to and chose not to. It was cruel for my grandmother, who was extremely family oriented. The separation of the old folks from the children has a consequence for youth as well.

Many of the aged of the current era are treated to benefits that they did not earn and are unsustainable by society. If we cut Social Security altogether, what you got in old age would be pretty much what you deserve - in the absence of family, friends, or a community, you would be on the "Nature's Way" plan. How you fared in your dotage would be largely a consequence of how you lived in your prime. Of course, those with a big heart could still pay for old folks out of the goodness of their hearts. Generation Y'ers with sagging tattoos could one day fill the sofas of X-box halls for the ancient.

Shanna said...

What's criminal about this is that young people are going to lose out on the time value of money and be unable to fund their own retirements, and there will be nothing left for them in SS. I wish young people were doing the math on all of this.

roesch/voltaire said...

I had to take care of my mother for the last five years of her life as she slipped into early stages of Alzheimer's disease. When I could no longer leave her alone, I found a good nursing home in Water Town that would take her. As she had no savings, she was admitted on Title 19 funds along with a small portion that I contributed. I am eternally grateful for the assistance from what conservatives label "Big Brother," as were many of the other residence of the home. I continued to either have my mother stay with the family on weekends, or spent Sunday visiting with her. Accepting help does not mean one if free not to take care of our parents, and from my observations that combined assistance seems to be the norm.

Kevin said...

Of course, the other consequence of Social Security is that it makes it a lot easier not to have kids - you can have your retirement paid for by other people's children.

Robert Cook said...

Jason (the commenter) said, at the original blog:

"People should be retiring just before they die, not when they still have 20 years of work in them."

How twisted is that someone should willingly want to create conditions whereby he will be a slave to work until death, and not have a surcease from labor in the later years of life?

Among many there is a reflexive response that older people should just "keep working."

We are already suffering a deficit of jobs, a surplus of unemployment. At least when people retire, jobs open up for younger people looking for work. But then, there is also the problem of older people made redundant and unable to find new jobs, so we have young people and old people out of work.

So, the question, where are all these jobs everyone is supposed to obtain and maintain until death?

Kevin said...

...and just as Social Security makes it much easier to not have kids, ObamaCare is similar, since ObamaCare makes it much easier to drop out of the labor force.

As Nancy Pelosi said:

"We see it as an entrepreneurial bill,” Pelosi said, “a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care"

Only chumps work for a living.

Bob Ellison said...

cassandra lite, I remember that European heat wave, and I have wondered about that 15k figure.

Wikipedia says "In France, there were 14,802 heat-related deaths (mostly among the elderly) during the heat wave, according to the French National Institute of Health."

This reminds me of the problem of measuring infant mortality. France might just be counting badly, as in counting to make itself look bad, not counting wrongly. Old and sick people are at risk and die in greater proportion when bad things happen.

The Professor's main topic is about how one feels about paternalistic care. Feelings are not facts, though, except in the psychology profession.

cubanbob said...

Look there is no absolute cut and dry situation as RV's example points out. All the same is what he left out, were his parents capable of saving for their old age, were they capable of buying long term care policies?

The issue is do we have a safety net for those who aren't capable of earning enough for their old age which what social security was originally sold as or do we now have social security as the primary retirement plan? We can afford the first but not the second.

The young people of today didn't vote for FDR and LBJ and shouldn't be required to cash their checks.

TMink said...

"The government is taking over the role once provided by family."

Taken is the correct verb tense I believe. At least as far as subsidizing poor mothers having little wards of the state goes. And with disasterous results.

When will someone speak truth to the poor and tell them what a complete failure the single parent "family" is? Rev. Jackson? Nada. Rev. Sharpton? Zilch.

Tee government is responsible for most of the poverty in the US because they promote the choice that leads to impoverished children: fatherless families.

Trey

bagoh20 said...

"I am eternally grateful for the assistance from what conservatives label "Big Brother,""

You're welcome. Now if you could be a little more appreciative and help prevent us from being robbed by people who expect others to carry the cost of taking care of their families. I'm sure it was beyond your meager means to do it, being penniless, handicapped, uneducated, and unemployable. You probably don't have the kind of resources families did for thousands of years of history.

It's getting kind of tough out here for some of us, who insist on paying for our own, and since the money seems to be running out, I know we can count on your support to reign in that government spending before there's nothing left for us.

Robert Cook said...

There's also this meretricious notion that "Social Security removes familial obligations."

The truth is that not everyone has families who can help them in their older years. In the absence of Social Security, these people faced poverty, hunger, and want. (And, elders lacking sufficient personal resources of their own will still have a difficult time with just their Social Security benefits; SS hardly provides a life of comfort for those who have not accumulate savings.)

I'm astonished at this phenomenon of serfs demanding that their lives and the lives of their parents and children be made more onerous, more burdensome.

cubanbob said...

RC is of the opinion that once you get to a certain age, no matter what your financial position is or your health you are entitled to have other people be your indentured servant.

My old man is 82 and still works and his health is not very good, not because he needs the money, he doesn't but because he wants to. Same for my 82 year old mother in law. He believes the economy and the job market is a zero sum gain, old people working means less jobs for the young. Its difficult for people like him to understand that a growing economy has jobs for both which is what we don't have right now thanks to the democrats.

Paco Wové said...

So, I guess it's settled: R-V does love Big Brother.

Oso Negro said...

Shanna said What's criminal about this is that young people are going to lose out on the time value of money and be unable to fund their own retirements, and there will be nothing left for them in SS. I wish young people were doing the math on all of this.

Ha, ha, ha, Shanna, they don't know how to do the math! We Boomers saw to that.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook said I'm astonished at this phenomenon of serfs demanding that their lives and the lives of their parents and children be made more onerous, more burdensome.

RC, I do not think that word means what you think it means. You probably meant "argument" or something similar.

Calypso Facto said...

...to reign in that government spending...

Oh, RV (and Althouse?) definitely know how to REIGN comfortably from their snug posts in government largess. But actually REIN in spending from which they benefit? Haha.

n.n said...

The first level of social organization is, for obvious reasons, the family. Our society has endeavored to change that natural order. The consequences we are experiencing may simply be a result of flux that occurs with any revolutionary change in an existing order or it may be wholly incompatible with reality and signal a terminal end.

Marshal said...

"roesch/voltaire said...
I had to take care of my mother for the last five years of her life as she slipped into early stages of Alzheimer's disease. When I could no longer leave her alone, I found a good nursing home in Water Town that would take her. As she had no savings, she was admitted on Title 19 funds along with a small portion that I contributed. I am eternally grateful for the assistance from what conservatives label "Big Brother," as were many of the other residence of the home"

Shockingly, recipients of massive wealth transfers think they should continue.

edutcher said...

This schism was predicted back in the 60s.

The irony is that the Left accelerated it with their profligacy and everybody is ending up mad at them.

Alex said...

Cradle to grave, I see nothing wrong with it! Next step - Soylent Green.

Marshal said...

"Robert Cook said...

How twisted is that someone should willingly want to create conditions whereby he will be a slave to work until death"

RC always manages to put the shoe on the wrong foot. In his own language he advocates creating slaves so that others can be free of slavery.

One wonders what real slaves would think. Most likely working indoors with heat and air conditioning, or being whipped out for objecting to your children being sold and your wife raped. Hmm, tough decision, might as well flip a coin.

And then we're supposed to believe that people would voluntarily accept this on the basis that otherwise the good masters might be on the receiving end.

This nonsensical thinking results from starting with a wrong premise and working everything out from there rather than evaluating the evidence.

bagoh20 said...

All government support should be means tested. If your parents need assistance the government should insist that you pay all or some before you ask strangers to pay it for you. How is that hard to understand?

You can help the needy without being a sucker. Allowing your resources to be wasted makes you less able to help the truly needy. It's the antithesis of compassion. It's lazy self-satisfying avoidance of responsibility at the expense of others, and I don't see anything respectable in it.

I don't expect people to forgo government money, especially when it's legal to take it and you've paid in all your life, but I do expect the government to not waste it on people who don't need it, but merely want it.

If a bank opens it's vault and advertises free money to anyone who wants it, I don't blame the people who show up. I do blame the bank, and the depositors who continue to accept it. Of course some of the depositors assume that later they will get some free money too. They, of course, want people to keep depositing. See the problem there? Somebody is a sucker, and the bank will eventually close, one way or another.

Dante said...

If kids or anyone else are stupid enough to believe that the government has it's own money, then they deserve what they get

In California, a lot of jobs kids used to take are now held by adult professionals, like food service workers at fast food restaraunts, paper routes, dish washers, etc.

Kids naturally think money grows on trees, until they have to make it themselves. It's getting harder for them to get jobs, to understand what it means to make it themselves.

Patrick said...


I'm astonished at this phenomenon of serfs demanding that their lives and the lives of their parents and children be made more onerous, more burdensome.


Funny. I'm astonished at the phenomenon of people believing they can demand that the government take care of them, and remain surprised when that same government invariably restricts personal liberties, and ends up killing its own citizens.

If you think you can demand more from government without corresponding increase in government's power and decrease in its accountability, you might want to read some of the "ignorance is bliss" comments from yesterday's post.

edutcher said...

Somebody tell roesch the only way many people in nursing homes stay there is through Medical Assistance, which takes everything they ever worked for in their lives.

If, however, they'd been allowed to keep that money, instead of giving it to the Government, they and their families might have been able to afford it.

Big Brother's "assistance" is only a fast trip to poverty.

Kevin said...

"All government support should be means tested. If your parents need assistance the government should insist that you pay all or some before you ask strangers to pay it for you. How is that hard to understand?"

Just another reason to drop out of the labor force. If you are a wastrel, your parents get supported by the government. If you work hard and are frugal, then you get to support your parents, without government support. Oh yeah, you also get to pay taxes to support the wastrel's parents.

What do you think people will do, given those incentives?

edutcher said...

Oso Negro said...

This wisdom has long been available to those who though deeply on the unintended consequences of the Social Security Act of 1935. As an American who attended grade school in the 1960s, I was proselytized unremittingly by my teachers that Franklin Roosevelt "saved" America with the New Deal. To the contrary, he sowed the seeds of our ruin.

I'd be more inclined to blame LBJ, but I won't disparage your point.

roesch/voltaire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

How twisted is that someone should willingly want to create conditions whereby he will be a slave to work until death, and not have a surcease from labor in the later years of life?


How silly and ignorant of you to pretend that retirment isn't a modern Western concept.

But of course you comfort yourself by pretending we're not taking away from young adults earning $30,000 per year so some upper middle class couple can go on the cruise of their lifetime.

So there is that.

Robert Cook said...

Marshall,

I can't make heads or tails of your comment.

Oso Negro said...

Oh Edutcher, you are entirely correct about LBJ! My personal epiphany as a conservative occurred one day in my twenties when I was wandering the University of Texas campus and stumbled into the LBJ Library. The presentation on the Great Society was a shocker! None of it worked.

Seeing Red said...

This is what happens when you remove the risk.

Robert Cook said...

ALL "government money" is OUR money. Therefore, it is certainly appropriate that we expect to be assisted at end of life with monthly stipends (SS) and access to medical care. It's simply a matter of being repaid a bit of the money we have paid in taxes through our lives, putting OUR money to work for US.

I don't see anyone objecting to the trillions of OUR dollars spent on the War Department, that destroys lives and countries around the world, and on secret spy agencies who spy on US.

Seeing Red said...

--SS hardly provides a life of comfort for those who have not accumulate savings.)---


Progressives = lowest common denominator.


The King will decide what comfort you deserve and you will like it.

Alex said...

Cook - it's only OUR money when it's convenient for you. When it's welfare, then it's THEIR money.

Seeing Red said...

-- but of course I realize that you would like to return to the past and not live passed 60 dying quickly from cancer or a heart attack-- right?---


That's the feature of socialized medicine, I thought you supported that?

The death panels will relieve us of our decisions.

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...
ALL "government money" is OUR money.


Um, when you don't pay federal income taxes, it isn't.

Ken said...

R/V,

I am eternally grateful for the assistance from what conservatives label "Big Brother," as were many of the other residence of the home.

This is false. You aren't "grateful". From all the writing I've seen you put to bits here, you feel entitled to other people's money to care for your mother. You cannot feel grateful that a thug reached into the pocket of another to give to you. You can feel grateful for charity, where money is given out of kindness and caring. The money you were "given" was taken by force.

But the most important part of your idiocy is the belief that without government "giving" you that money, you couldn't have saved enough on your own. Perhaps you don't understand the difference between gross and net amounts of your paycheck. Had the government not taken from you and your mother every time you got paid, saving for her disease would have been incredibly easy.

DADvocate said...

The liberal hypocrisy is exposed. The point of a caring, compassionate government is to not to have to care, but to be able to pursue your hedonistic pleasures while mom and dad rot away in obscurity.

Ken said...

R/V,

as many of you in my generation know, the medical bills in supporting the last year of life are huge

This is direct result of government intervention to begin with. Government intervention into medical care has caused the cost of medical care to spiral upwards, so your brilliant (and by brilliant I mean jackass) solution is for more government intervention? Your step father should be cursing you for causing so much financial burden on him by supporting these evil policies.

Old Dad said...

SSI is a fraud. Your FICA payroll taxes go into the general treasury and get spent subsidizing bullet trains to Bakersfield. These funds earn zero return on investment. Cola increases simply add to the unfunded liability. Our children are screwed. We allowed our elected assholes in Washington to molest our children, and we don't have the balls to make it right. We are despicable selfish pricks. Sleep well.

Seeing Red said...

And have socialized medicine pay for your ills & getting rid of that pesky lump of cells.

John M Auston said...

Sure, you're posing all this OMG stuff now, but you voted for Big Government Obama, Ann, and may again.

So what's up with that?

roesch/voltaire said...

About the finances, as many of you in my generation know, the medical bills in supporting the last year of life are huge and the care my Step father required wiped out the mortgage and the savings leaving my mother less then two thousand dollars in the bank account. And bag if you check the stats you will discover that for thousands of years people did not live into their90s as my mother did; instead they passed at an early age and the medical costs were minimal, but of course I realize that you would like to return to the past and not live beyond 60 dying quickly from cancer or a heart attack-- right?

Marshal said...

"Robert Cook said...
Marshall,

I can't make heads or tails of your comment."

That's because you're so locked into your silly worldview your brain can't understand comments that don't take your presumptions as a given. But that's ok, I was mocking your comparison of work to slavery for everyone else's benefit. You're a lost cause, so it doesn't matter much that you understand why.

Robert Cook said...

I rarely fail to get the impression here that I'm visiting with residents of BEDLAM.

Robert Cook said...

No, Marshall, "That's because..." you don't write clearly.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

roesch-voltaire,

About the finances, as many of you in my generation know, the medical bills in supporting the last year of life are huge and the care my Step father required wiped out the mortgage and the savings leaving my mother less then two thousand dollars in the bank account. And bag if you check the stats you will discover that for thousands of years people did not live into their90s as my mother did; instead they past at an early age and the medical costs were minimal, but of course I realize that you would like to return to the past and not live passed 60 dying quickly from cancer or a heart attack-- right?

I will pass over the strong implication that you wish your mom had died much earlier, and simply note that Antonio Stradivari was still making violins right up to his death at age 93. Admittedly that was more like a quarter-millennium ago, not "thousands of years."

roesch/voltaire said...

Ken have you put away a million dollars to cover the last years of your life, and you wold expect my step-father who worked at Miller Brewery all his life to be able to do that and own an home-- really you conservatives do live in another world.

Robert Cook said...

R/V, there's no point trying to reason with or appeal to the empathy of many of the regulars here...they possess neither reason nor empathy, and are not, as far as can be determined, human.

Marshal said...

"roesch/voltaire said...
but of course I realize that you would like to return to the past and not live beyond 60 dying quickly from cancer or a heart attack-- right?"

Why would anyone say this when the answer has already been pointed out: work longer and pay for your own retirement. Is there anyone on the left willing to honestly debate? Who falls for these asinine strawmen?


Seriously, someone who claims to be a professor can't think better than this? Bring on the rock stars, they can't be worse.

Andy Freeman said...

When I was younger and made less money, I thought that it was unfair for my tax money to go to "old people" had more money than me.

Now that I'm making a lot more money and considerably older, I'm beginning to see the wisdom of that kind of policy.

In fact, they don't go far enough. We should have a special tax, say $5k/year, on everyone under the age of 40 and just divide that money up equally for citizens over 50.

And yes, we have the votes to do it. (We'll get significant support form the under 30 crowd.)

edutcher said...

Oso, tell me! I had the same realization.

Robert Cook said...

ALL "government money" is OUR money.

When the man is right, the man is right...

roesch/voltaire said...

About the finances, as many of you in my generation know, the medical bills in supporting the last year of life are huge

Can be, not always are.

Tim said...

"It's simply a matter of being we have paid in taxes through our lives, putting OUR money to work for US."

You *really* don't know how this works, do you?

Anyone who does knows this simple fact: beneficiaries, especially for Medicare, get far more in return than they paid in.

That's why the programs are insolvent, dummy.

The math doesn't work out.

If people really just did get repaid a bit of the money they paid in, these insolvent programs with their multi-generational, cannibalizing the future debts wouldn't be quite so problematic from a fiscal perspective.

And that doesn't even account for the moral hazards they create.

Regardless, I'm completely confident you don't give a shit about either, given your profound ignorance of the subject at hand.

Marshal said...

"Robert Cook said...
No, Marshall, "That's because..." you don't write clearly."

Maybe. On the other hand you can't think.

RC Logic:
Work is slavery.

Therefore people expected to live another 20 years can't be expected to work.

Therefore others slightly younger must work and hand over the proceeds for the benefit of of older workers.

But wait a minute, work is slavery. So RC believes slavery is ok as long as it ensures other people aren't slaves.

Jay said...

roesch/voltaire said...
Ken have you put away a million dollars to cover the last years of your life,


Of course this idiotic comment presumes everybody who dies lays in the hospital with cancer for 6 months before passing away.

You are dumb on a level that can't really be articulated.

Do you ever tire of being so stupid?

Jay said...

roesch/voltaire said...
About the finances, as many of you in my generation know, the medical bills in supporting the last year of life are huge


Well, that would be except for the people who die suddenly.

I mean, there are like none of those.

Tim said...

"When the man is right, the man is right..."

Right only about whose money it is.

Profoundly wrong on all else.

Nathan Alexander said...

1) Everyone dies.
2) Aging debilitates.
3) There are an amazing number of options for treating the symptoms of aging.
4) They range from being very cheap to being prohibitively expensive.

Question: why should the govt (or taxpayers) pay for everyone or anyone's end of life care?

Because the US is a rich nation?

It isn't rich enough to provide all the end-of-life care someone desires.

Yes, you love your parents. Yes, you love your own life. Yes, death sucks.

Death comes to us all, whether we spend $4B/person or $4/person as they age.

No one has an unlimited right to end-of-life care.

The only sane way of paying for end-of-life care is for you to pay for it yourself, or have someone who is willing to sacrifice to willingly pay for it themselves.

Force should never be a part of it.

The question always is: is it worth the cost?

Two ways to answer that question: by the person and their family, or by the govt.

If the govt decides, they won't care what you want...or they will care only on the basis of political connections. And I'm not sure which of those is worth.

But if the individual and those close to them decide, then they will bear the costs of their decisions.

It is the only fair way to decide. It is the only sane way to manage end-of-life care.

The rich will get better care. So what?

The rich will live longer. So what?

Want better care and want to live longer? Work harder and smarter to get rich.

And the rich end up being the guinea pigs for the poor.

As science/medicine figure out what works, the costs drop and everyone benefits.

It never works that way when the govt or an insurance company pays for care and the amount of care is decided by bureaucrats.

The free market works. Let it work for end-of-life care again.

Repeal Obamacare now!

Tim said...

"Well, that would be except for the people who die suddenly.

I mean, there are like none of those."


This talking point requires that all deaths of aging Americans results from painfully terminal diseases that take years to kill, requiring years of expensive treatments. After all, it is the right thing to do.

This, of course, contradicts the talking point that under Obama-Care, end of life expenses will be curtailed by "dea..." er, end-stage medical treatment and expense management panels.

Being a Liberal requires one to be stupid enough to believe two contradictory things at the same time.

Marshal said...

Further:

So RC believes slavery is ok as long as it ensures other people don't have to work - which he defines as "slavery".

So let's apply this to real slavery since RC thinks they are comparable.

In actual slavery your wife could be raped and your children sold and sent somewhere you'd never see them again, and this in fact did happen regularly.

What likelihood do we think anyone would accept this as justifiable because otherwise someone else might have to work in the fields themselves?

Looks kind of moronic once you strip out the euphemisms and look at what you're asserting, doesn't it?

Christopher in MA said...

I don't see anyone objecting to the trilions of dollars of OUR dollars spent on the War Department, that destroys lives and countries around the world and on secret spy agencies who spy on US.

I wish we still called it the War Department.

In any event, I certainly object. If "Fortress America" were a realistic concept in these times, Robert, I'd be among the first clamoring to bring the troops home and shut the gates. In any event, the only concern I have now is in preventing the Iranians from getting the bomb until such time as a Western-friendly democracy can take root there. But I'm not going to expend American lives in that endeavor.

And spying? Hated it under Bush, hate it now. But, pace Insty, it's funny how all the voices on the left screaming that the Patriot Act was the first step to Auschwitz are silent now that Little Black Jesus squats in the White House.

roesch/voltaire said...

In 1880 the life expectancy from birth was about 40ty years, but of course there are always exceptions; my point in countering the claim of why can't we care for our elderly parents the way they were in the past was to place the issue in its historical context, and that context shows a very different scope of the problem. The huge growth in the aging population, as a result of improved health and medical interventions, has changed the traditional family care system-- add in the increased job mobility caused by the industrial age and one begins to understand why the need for assisted living and nursing homes increased in the last fifty years. And while some on the right, say we should work longer to pay for our retirement, I do wonder where are jobs that will support this? As an academic I could work well into my 80s, and thus block the hiring of a younger faculty person, but I am going to take a page from the Japanese system ,which requires retirement at 70 to make room for the next generation. I will move on to other activities as I do believe we should engage with life and work as long as possible, but I no longer want to work full-time and look forward to the additional income from SS which I have contributed to these many years.

PatCA said...

"And there's a freedom from the bondage of family."

I've been saying this all along. Kids no longer worry about taking care of parents, and with small families, it's particularly an incentive to let Big Brother do it.

These days, it's the parents who are doing fine and helping struggling kids. People are spending their estates now, b/c the kids need it. That's a down side; collectives never represent individuals well.

The biggest drawback tho is the destruction of familial bonds. The dole wrecked the black family, now the working class family, and we are next. For those who do need family, or want family, you better shore yours up now.

Shanna said...

Ha, ha, ha, Shanna, they don't know how to do the math! We Boomers saw to that.

Yeah, thanks for that.

Ken have you put away a million dollars to cover the last years of your life, and you wold expect my step-father who worked at Miller Brewery all his life to be able to do that and own an home

My finance professor did some sort of ‘you can work at mcdonalds and retire with a million dollars’ calculations. I don’t remember what interest rate he used (maybe the standard 8%), but if you save for your entire life and don’t dip into it you can have a decent chunk of change. If you could put SS taxes in along with 5% and maybe a company match you would have even more. It can be done.

Old Dad said...

RV said,

"I no longer want to work full-time and look forward to the additional income from SS which I have contributed to these many years."

You need to understand that you got screwed. Not a penny of that money you paid to the feds remains in the treasury. It all got pissed away--every last dime.

In order for you to collect, current workers will have to foot the bill, or we'll have to borrow it from China. Either way, it's the next generation who will pay. And by the way, when the SSI goes bye-by, which it will in the next 10-15 years, there will be no way for the kids to ever get a dime. It's a massive wealth transfer We used to call it stealing.

The moral question is who has the spine to face facts, and admit that we got schtupped, and we let it happen. Unfortunately, it seems that most of us are perfectly content to bury our heads in the sand, knowing full well that we are crapping all over our kids.

Where do you come down?

Marshal said...

When the original retirement age was set life expectancy was ~ 3 years greater. Was FDR a slaver?

More people live to 60. Great!. People also live 20 years longer than they did when SS was devised, and population growth has slowed signifigantly. This has major fiscal implications yet remains unmentioned in RV's effort to "place the issue in its historical context".

Again we see the boomer entitlement philosophy: "I get mine, and you....well I get mine".

MadisonMan said...

I don’t remember what interest rate he used (maybe the standard 8%)

(laugh).

I can get 0.20% easily. Maybe 2% if I search.

8%? Never.

MadisonMan said...

BTW, I expect to work until I die. Maybe my retirement will consist of more flexible part-time type jobs that challenge me in different ways than my present jobs.

Maybe I'll open a bakery.

WineSlob said...

When Gramps in an Alzheimer's Trance
Rants as he Shits his Pants
Medical Advance
Has Extended His Chance
Whose Life Are We Trying to Enhance?

Jay said...

roesch/voltaire said...
but I no longer want to work full-time and look forward to the additional income from SS which I have contributed to these many years.


Of course you do, you greedy SOB.

That money you "contributed" is gone and you, who boasts of living off of investments, are taking it away from young, less well to do adults.

You're rationalizing this theft by comforting yourself with silly lies about what you "paid in"

carrie said...

It also means that kids are free to take their parents' money before the parents die so that it won't "be wasted" paying for their parents' nursing home care because the government will pay for their parents' nursing home care.

William said...

There are not that many people on this earth whose parents demonstrated such love and support that their children, in their turn, wish to devote a significant portion of their lives care for them in their old age. I don't have the statistics but I think elder abuse in a home setting dwarves anything that occurs in a nursing home setting.....Some older people, much in need of nursing home care, are kept at home because the family wants the SS check. That hardly counts as loving care......There's no such thing as gin scented tears. There's no such thing as an idyllic solution to the problems of old age. I think it's good that we can ship the geezers off to a nurshing home with relatively little guilt. I say this as a borderline geezer.

Tim said...

"...but I no longer want to work full-time and look forward to the additional income from SS which I have contributed to these many years."

And, in so doing, you will, short of an untimely death, inevitably take more than you paid in. That's just a simple, undisputed fact.

So you support transfers of wealth from lower-income, younger workers to higher-income, older citizens.

That's fine for what it is - but just be honest about what it is you're doing: using the state's police powers to steal wealth from workers younger and poorer than you.

Enjoy your retirement. My children's taxes will have to go up to pay for it.

Tim said...

"You're rationalizing this theft by comforting yourself with silly lies about what you "paid in""

Yes, but he'll never admit it.

His "pay in," like any ponzi scheme, "entitles" him to fleece those unfortunate enough to be born after him.

That this cannibalizes the nation's future is, quite obviously, beyond his concern.

Seeing Red said...

--R/V, there's no point trying to reason with or appeal to the empathy of many of the regulars here...they possess neither reason nor empathy, and are not, as far as can be determined, human.---

It's for the children!


We're broke. No matter how much empathy you think we don't have, we know we're broke.

Empathy doesn't pay the bills.

As you pointed out, Cookie, we're shit apes. That's why we have a Defense Dept.

Cos those other shit apes will leave us with nothing, including empathy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In California, a lot of jobs kids used to take are now held by adult professionals, like food service workers at fast food restaraunts, paper routes, dish washers, etc.

And who do we blame for the lack of employment opportunities for the teenage and entry level adults?

Minimum wages ...too high to justify unskilled labor. Start with an older skilled worker and get your money's worth. An older worker who NEEDS the money to support himself and his family and is grateful to have a job.

Ancillary costs of hiring. Taxes, workers comp, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, liability insurance issues, state taxes, federal taxes, local taxes, retirement plans, OSHA, family leave rules, overtime rules, ....on and on and on.

Lack of job and work ethics in the teenagers. They just don't want to work, don't know how to work and think they are entitled.

The general lack of basic skills in the young. They can't add/subtract or do basic math. They can't read at competent levels or understand directions. They have no personal skills and the schooling level of a 5th grader.

So as a business person, am I going to to out on a limb and hire an unskilled, unprepared and unacceptable flighty teenager who is probably going to be more trouble than he is worth......

Or am I going to hire that older skilled, willing and prepared worker who will be more diligent and help my business progress financially and present a good face to my customers?

Duh. No brainer.

Thanks to the government micromanagement, young people don't stand a chance.

Tim said...

"Again we see the boomer entitlement philosophy: "I get mine, and you....well I get mine"."

Shorter RV/Boomer Entitlement Philosophy: "I get mine; everyone else can fuck off."

Tim said...

"Thanks to the government micromanagement, young people don't stand a chance.

They'll always have the Serenity Prayer, until leslyn takes it away from them, lol!

CWJ said...

RV,

You have marshalled statistics without understanding them. You provide neither source nor context for your life expectancy statistic. But I would wager that more than half of the improvement in life expectancy at BIRTH is due to decreases in infant mortality rather than increases in later life.

Second, I would wager that the burden of your increased elderly population is more due to declining fertility than it is to medical advances among the elderly. Societies whose population pyramids become population columns, or worse, may be doomed.

You remind me of a left wing professor I once had who told us with great passion of the bad old days when life expectancy was 35 AND infant mortality was 50%. If you cannot decipher the algebraic hogwash of that conjunction then you are as ignorant as I suspect.

bagoh20 said...

I don't even have a job, or need more money, but I will work until I die. I plan to work, play and be a productive member of my society until the very end - to live myself to death. When I can't contribute, I will exit, by my own hand if necessary.

AllieOop said...

I totally agree with Bagoh about means testing. Poor elderly need the help, rich elderly do not. Means testing is a Republican idea, don't blame Democrats.

All of you boomer aged folks, so when the time comes ( soon) will you turn down your own SS and Medicare?

Elder abuse is more rampant in nursing homes and it would be ideal to keep your parents at home with you until they pass away, bu what happens when both spouses work and need the income both paychecks bring?

AllieOop said...

Bagoh, you will work until you die IF you are healthy enough to walk, move, think. What happens to those who cannot?

AllieOop said...

Never mind Bagoh, I read the end of your sentence, but what if suicide isn't an option?

Jay said...

Empathy doesn't pay the bills


Ha!

I love it, that should be a bumpersticker!

Only a true kook would be proud that he trusts empathy of reason, facts, and sound judgement.

Robert Cook said...

"We're broke. No matter how much empathy you think we don't have, we know we're broke."

If we're so broke, how can we keep funding these multi-billion dollar wars...which keep expanding into new regions? If we ARE so broke, doesn't it occur to you that every dollar we remove from the War Department is a dollar that can be allocated to domestic programs that will benefit we, the people?

"As you pointed out, Cookie, we're shit apes. That's why we have a Defense Dept.

"Cos those other shit apes will leave us with nothing, including empathy."


We have not fought a war in the last 100 years--with the arguable exception of WWII--and are fighting no wars presently that have been in self-defense or were otherwise necessary, except as the means by which we impose our dominance on other nations and exert our control over access to the natural resources. We are the greatest aggressor state in the world today, and have been for many years.

Rusty said...

So, the question, where are all these jobs everyone is supposed to obtain and maintain until death?



Wait right there. The government will be along to provide you with one.

Oso Negro said...

Allie said:

"but what if suicide isn't an option?"

My brother has generously agreed to fratricide in the event of my extreme need.

Robert Cook said...

"So, the question, where are all these jobs everyone is supposed to obtain and maintain until death?

"Wait right there. The government will be along to provide you with one."


I'm fortunate in that I have a job, (at present), but many others who don't don't or won't in future--including, possibly, me--or YOU--would benefit greatly if the government were to create jobs for them that the private sector is not.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip S. said...

CWJ said...
I would wager that more than half of the improvement in life expectancy at BIRTH is due to decreases in infant mortality rather than increases in later life.

Good call.

Change in life expectancy of white males at age 20, 1890-2004: +16 years

Change in life expectancy at birth, 1890-2004:
+32 years

The older the age at which life expectancy is calculated, the smaller the gain since 1890. A 60-year-old white male in 2004 could only expect to live 6 years longer than his 1890 counterpart.

Jay said...

In the 1960s, there were 18 workers per Medicaid recipient. Today that number is 2.5

There are now just 1.65 employed persons in private sector per 1 person on welfare assistance.

What could go wrong?

BarryD said...

"If kids or anyone else are stupid enough to believe that the government has it's own money, then they deserve what they get."

Maybe they're not. Maybe they just WANT to be able to say, "your whole generation fucked my whole generation at the ballot box years ago, so don't expect anything more from me!"

John M Auston said...

Robert Cook said...

If we're so broke, how can we keep funding these multi-billion dollar wars..


Gee, let me think for, oh, say a nanosecond or two . . .

Ah got it.

These wars are all in the Middle East. Why do we give a flying fuck about the Middle East? There are plenty of places on the planet we don't give a fuck about.

Simple. Because Progressive Greens have succeeded in getting us to commit fossil fuel suicide, leaving in our own ground, the easily gotten product we need that causes us to have to to give fuck about the Sand Lands, over there.

Not to difficult to figure out.

Tim said...

"I totally agree with Bagoh about means testing. Poor elderly need the help, rich elderly do not. Means testing is a Republican idea, don't blame Democrats."

We most certainly can and should blame the Democrats for demagoguing Social Security and Medicare programs; at a minimum, necessary reforms require means testing.

More appropriate reforms require shifting the programs from entitlement programs to welfare programs, concomitant with greater tax incentives for personal, private retirement savings and investing programs. We have to end the multi-generational ponzi schemes. They are simply cannibalizing our nation's future.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I agree. Means testing is a good idea.

Another good idea is to let people opt out of the system and never collect anything. Think carefully before you opt out and plan accordingly!!

A better idea is to remove the fraud and graft in the SSI-disability program and the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Eliminate giving benefits to illegals and people who have never paid into the system. Billions of dollars are sucked out in fraud and corruption.

All of you boomer aged folks, so when the time comes ( soon) will you turn down your own SS and Medicare

Those are two different things. Medicare Part B is required to participate in or be fined. In addition once you are Medicare eligible, you cannot GET a medical insurance policy. So if you can make a decent policy available to replace Medicare....Oh WAIT.....we had one called Medicare Advantage, but it has been eliminated


Social Security.....sure I'll turn it down... If you give me back all the money that I and my employers were extorted to pay, plus a decent rate of return. Say an average of 3% over the last 45 years. I should have about $450,000 and my Hubby slightly less, about $300,000 because he was self employed for much of his working life.....AND STILL IS working.

Gimme the money you stole from me and are giving to people who didn't pay in and we can call it good.

okay?

Tim said...

"Simple. Because Progressive Greens have succeeded in getting us to commit fossil fuel suicide, leaving in our own ground, the easily gotten product we need that causes us to have to to give fuck about the Sand Lands, over there."

Right.

I'll exchange disengagement from the Middle East for offshore and Arctic oil drilling.

The enviros won't go for it though...

John M Auston said...

Robert Cook said...

I'm fortunate in that I have a job, (at present), but many others who don't don't or won't in future--including, possibly, me--or YOU--would benefit greatly if the government were to create jobs for them that the private sector is not.


Are you for real???

Where do you think "the government" gets the money to pay to the people it "gets" jobs for?

Let me give you a clue:

From workers in the PRIVATE FUCKING SECTOR.

So, every extra "government" job is worse than no job at all.

bagoh20 said...

The problem has a number of interlaced causes:

1) People stop being productive too soon. There are many ways to contribute beyond just working a job, but that's the only way to pay into a government system. Problem: government

2)The ratio of payers to takers is reversing, because the policies discourage work and encourage freeloading. Problem: government

3)Medical care has gotten crazy expensive regardless of when it happens. This is true mostly because government regulation prohibits people from choosing less expensive care. All care, equipment, providers, procedures, and methods have expensive standards, usually installed due to lobbying by those who want to increase or maintain their costs for either profit motive or a mistaken belief that everyone should get equal everything and equal means the best available.

These are all differences from the past. If you now believe that everyone should get expensive care that they can't afford, then who pays for what everybody can't afford. WE can either afford it or WE can't.

The argument then goes: "But other nations can do it."

No they can't, they aren't and they won't even more very soon. Those who do now do it through borrowing, reducing access, and avoiding their other responsibilities of innovation, defense, and growth.

It's just eating the seed corn and nothing more.

Those of you who consider yourselves compassionate better start thinking clearly. It's really just math and human nature, and the universe is not going to let us ignore it, just to avoid making tough choices. The choices will come regardless.

Kirk Parker said...

"have you put away a million dollars"

Ummmmm, averages and composites are funny things. It's pretty darn hard for society in the aggregate to afford to spend more on the average retirement, including the medical-care aspects of it, than the average excess wealth that is created during a person's working life.

Funny how that works.

Robert Cook said...

John M. Auston, you miss (or ignore) my point: If we're actually so stone broke we can't afford to pay the modest stipends SS provides to our elders, then where is the money coming from to fund our metastasizing wars of aggression?

It's a shell game. The money is there if it will profit the elites, and is "not" there if it will only provide some assistance to we, the proles.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"Medical care has gotten crazy expensive regardless of when it happens. This is true mostly because government regulation prohibits people from choosing less expensive care."

Where is this "less expensive care" you speak of, and how does government regulation prohibit us from choosing it?

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...

We have not fought a war in the last 100 years--with the arguable exception of WWII--and are fighting no wars presently that have been in self-defense or were otherwise necessary, except as the means by which we impose our dominance on other nations and exert our control over access to the natural resources


You have not 1 iota of evidence to support this silly, dipstick assertion.

Tim said...

"...would benefit greatly if the government were to create jobs for them that the private sector is not."

Dear God Almighty.

Except, of course, those jobs are self-sustaining, in that they do not create wealth.

Government programs that consume wealth (but I repeat myself) eventually become insolvent. A government jobs program will not ever pay for itself.

Even the Soviet Union and Red China, with a monopoly on rifles, bayonets, slave-labor camps and all the other levers of power could not make it work, no matter how hard they tried.

The notion that government can create jobs that will pay for themselves is like the vain search for the perpetual motion machine: somewhat romantic, but utterly fanciful and futile.

Normal people of normal intelligence with normal educations and armed with normal skills of observation understand this, yet too many somehow think, despite all observed experience and reason, this can still happen.

If you want jobs, you have to find ways to unshackle Capitalism.

I'm guessing you'd rather complain though, than have the jobs.

Robert Cook said...

"So, every extra 'government' job is worse than no job at all."

Wrong.

People who work government jobs pay taxes and spend their discretionary income to buy consumer goods...you know, all those necessary activities which keep our system running. A person without a job is not buying many of the gewgaws that keep the captialist engine running.

(Why the quote marks around the word "government" in your post...a government job is still a job.)

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...
John M. Auston, you miss (or ignore) my point: If we're actually so stone broke we can't afford to pay the modest stipends SS provides to our elders, then where is the money coming from to fund our metastasizing wars of aggression?


Wait.

Now the government is paying a stipend?

I thought people were getting the money back they "paid in"?!

PS idiot: The federal government borrows $4 billion per day.

Stop asking idiotic questions.

Robert Cook said...

"If you want jobs, you have to find ways to unshackle Capitalism."

Capitalism is pretty much unshackled and it has managed to rape the world (and continues to do so).

ALL the financial devastation domestically and internationally of recent years is the result of capitalism operating unchecked.

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...
"So, every extra 'government' job is worse than no job at all."

Wrong.

People who work government jobs pay taxes and spend their discretionary income to buy consumer goods...you know, all those necessary activities which keep our system running. A person without a job is not buying many of the gewgaws that keep the captialist engine running.



Hilarious.

Seriously.

Sending $ from the private sector to Washington for a "job" is apparently this great benefit to society.

So dummy, why don't we just hire 95 million people to work for the federal government and have a roaring economy?

OOOPS

Jay said...

Oh and apparently people on unemployment don't by food or other "consumer goods"

You are the dumbest person I've ever seen take to the Internet, cook.

Robert Cook said...

"The federal government borrows $4 billion per day."

Why are we borrowing $4 billion per day if only to throw it away on our metastizing wars of aggression?

Tim said...

"People who work government jobs pay taxes and spend their discretionary income to buy consumer goods...you know, all those necessary activities which keep our system running. A person without a job is not buying many of the gewgaws that keep the captialist engine running."

But it still never pays for itself, either in the taxes paid, or in the resulting purchases from the private economy.

Government jobs are, in economic terms, leakages from the economy. Always have been, always will be. That isn't to say some (or even many) of those jobs aren't important - but their value isn't in economic productivity.

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...

ALL the financial devastation domestically and internationally of recent years is the result of capitalism operating unchecked.



Actually dipshit, it is the result of "affordable housing" policies enforced by the federal government.

But of course you go on pretending there aren't 10,000+ pages of SEC rules & regulations, an IRS, a DOJ, and all the rest.

Moron.

Robert Cook said...

"Oh and apparently people on unemployment don't by food or other 'consumer goods'"

Not as much as people who have jobs.

(Why the quotes around "consumer goods?")

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...
Why are we borrowing $4 billion per day if only to throw it away on our metastizing wars of aggression?


We're not, assclown.

1 year of SS, SDI, & Medicare outlays is more than what was spent during the entirety of OIF.

Tim said...

"Why are we borrowing $4 billion per day if only to throw it away on our metastizing(sic) wars of aggression?

Shade the truth, much?

Robert Cook said...

"Actually dipshit, it is the result of 'affordable housing' policies enforced by the federal government."

Nope.

bagoh20 said...

"Never mind Bagoh, I read the end of your sentence, but what if suicide isn't an option?"

Life is slow suicide. If people have a living will that rejects efforts to prolong their lives, then they have already signed a suicide agreement. I think that's the responsible thing, and more so the better or more expensive the technology gets. It's throwing away other peoples resources.

I hope to take that a little further. I will just always look for a way to contribute until I am very sick, and then I will refuse treatment that cannot return me to productive condition. I will never just sit and wait for a check or suck up medical care for no good reason but to say around stinking up the place.

I don't think anyone should be forced to do that, but if they haven't planned for it ahead and provided the funds, then they haven't earned it. If someone wants to provide it as charity that's fine, but others should not be forced to do it for you. If they had to come to your door and ask for your contribution, then that's fine too, but no stealing.

garage mahal said...

Why the quote marks around the word "government" in your post...a government job is still a job.)

And these hacks also blame Obama for unemployment figures that include -600,000 public jobs since 2008.

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...

Not as much as people who have jobs.


Hilarious.

You are simply stupid.

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...

Nope.



Um, yep.

And the fact that you pretend otherwise reveals an ignorance that is comical.

Tim said...

"You are the dumbest person I've ever seen take to the Internet, cook."

Surely you haven't forgotten the stuttering broccoli boy, have you?

Patrick said...

me--or YOU--would benefit greatly if the government were to create jobs for them that the private sector is not.

The government does not create jobs. It cannot. It redistributes money, sometimes leaving a tangible benefit behind, often not.

AJ Lynch said...

Here is one way we could fix social security for those young-uns.

If You Are Younger than 30 Years Old:

• Let’s call this The Danielle & Jason Deal [named for my 4 year old niece and 2 year old nephew]
• Born in 1983 or later, you will be the saviors of the social security system
• You will continue to pay in 6.2% of your earnings and your employer will continue to pay in 6.2% of your earnings to govt. That is total of 12.4%.
o 4.13% or One-third of that will be put in a separate or Individual Account in your name. This is your money forever. You can tap the separate account at age 66 for your retirement needs.
o One-third will be used to pay off the accumulated deficit in the “Old Bankrupt Deal”.
o One-third will be invested into a Community Account [and these accounts will be segregated by birth year]. The accumulated value of this Community Account will be used to issue retirement annuities to all from that same birth year who survive to age 66. The annuity amounts will be the same for everyone no matter what they earned in their lifetime.
• These payroll tax rates will never be increased & the FICA ceiling and cap will not be changed significantly.
• The new plan will not offer disability insurance. If you want that, go out and purchase it on the private market.
• Other – there is no other since we don’t contemplate any other exceptions or provisions.

Tim said...

"ALL the financial devastation domestically and internationally of recent years is the result of capitalism operating unchecked."

Citation, please?

Otherwise, it's just another opinion of exceedingly dubious value.

Because no other system but capitalism can create jobs that pay for themselves.

Marshal said...

"Robert Cook said...
ALL the financial devastation domestically and internationally of recent years is the result of capitalism operating unchecked."

What a coincidence. This is exactly what the nuts think.

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...
Nope.



So persuasive.

Anyway, I enjoyed this:

How HUD Mortgage Policy Fed The Crisis


And this:

How the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history gave birth to the mortgage crisis


And this:

Pressured to Take More Risk, Fannie Reached Tipping Point
(Note: It was Democrats doing the pressuring)

But don't worry, you're not interested in facts.

Patrick said...


Capitalism is pretty much unshackled and it has managed to rape the world (and continues to do so).

ALL the financial devastation domestically and internationally of recent years is the result of capitalism operating unchecked.


I take it you've never seen the CFR. Nope, no regulation in this economy!

Jay said...

Tim said...
Surely you haven't forgotten the stuttering broccoli boy, have you?


It is a tough call.

But I don't think the broccoli idiot actually believes his drivel. He just repeats dumb shit he reads on left wing blogs.

So I give the trophy to cook.

Robert Cook said...

"1 year of SS, SDI, & Medicare outlays is more than what was spent during the entirety of OIF."

If this is so, why do we continue to spend any money on our various wars? None of them are necessary, none of them produce any benefit for the American people, none of help put money back into our economy or treasury.

If I'm personally broke and can't pay for my food and rent and other daily expenses, and I am borrowing money to try to meet my budget, why would I spend any portion of my borrowed money on suing a neighbor I don't like or whose property I covet?

bagoh20 said...

"... capitalism operating unchecked."

Why not just get T-shirt that says "I'm bat shit crazy!"

Regulation of capitalism is probably the single biggest generator of paper (and tyranny) ever developed. It affects every single person every second of their lives. It's more ubiquitous than the sun.

Marshal said...

"bagoh20 said...
Regulation of capitalism is probably the single biggest generator of paper (and tyranny) ever developed. It affects every single person every second of their lives. It's more ubiquitous than the sun."

Don't go injecting sane into that type of crazy. Like matter and anti-matter touching, there's no telling what sort of explosion would result.

Chip S. said...

If this is so, why do we continue to spend any money on our various wars?

We may have before us the greatest non sequitur ever constructed.

Bravo, Cook!

Nathan Alexander said...

@Robert Cook,
You are completely unable to do math, aren't you?

Go look up: how much we have spent on military operations since 2001.

Hint: it isn't even as much as two years of deficit under Obama.

Go look up: the trend of defense spending as a portion of GDP, compared to SS and Medicare/Aid

Go look up: the actual dollar amounts of defense spending compared to entitlement spending, now, and 10 years in the future.

If you don't do the math first, you end up with nonsense arguments like yours.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Robert Cook,

People who work government jobs pay taxes and spend their discretionary income to buy consumer goods...you know, all those necessary activities which keep our system running. A person without a job is not buying many of the gewgaws that keep the captialist engine running.

I see. Some of the taxpayer money spent paying a government worker's salary is actually recycled back to the government in the form of the worker's own taxes! Brilliant, what?

Look, there are things that essentially can't be done except by government, and there have to be workers paid to do them. But from that fact it doesn't follow, at all, that more government workers is a good thing. There ought to be the minimum needed to do the necessary work. Any more and (1) the inefficiencies inherent in using tax receipts to pay someone who then pays taxes become a greater drag; and (2) more importantly, there's a feedback effect wherein the existing government workers labor to increase their own domain's power and budget within the government, so that the government sector keeps on growing.

Ken said...

R/V,

Ken have you put away a million dollars to cover the last years of your life

I am 38 and I have put away close to $250K. You know how? By not being an entitled asshole and expecting everyone else to pay for my shit. I take responsibility for my life, instead of foisting that responsibility onto you and your kids.

and you wold expect my step-father who worked at Miller Brewery all his life to be able to do that and own an home-- really you conservatives do live in another world.

I would expect your father to act in a manner that comports some level of personal dignity and self respect and take responsibility for his own life. If he can't save enough or take care of himself or his family properly, I expect him (and everyone else) to have some respect for their fellow man and not use thuggish tactics to have others pay for him and his old age.

Really you liberals live in another world if you think taking from your political opponents to pay your political favorites is some how "charitable" work.

Gahrie said...

Capitalism is pretty much unshackled and it has managed to rape the world (and continues to do so).

I can't decide if this is more a product of ignorance or stupity.

Capitalism, especially free market capitalism, has produced to richest nation, with the highest standard of living, for the most number of people, in history.

Communism is a horrible joke, that produces nothing more than oppression, misery, state sponsored murder and environmental disasters.

Socialism is an attempt to defeat ther laws of nature and economics, and as we now see, eventually leads to economic disaster as soon as it runs out of other people's money to prop it up.

Christopher in MA said...

I'll exchange disengagement from the Middle East for offshore and Arctic oil drilling. The enviros won't go for it, though.

Oh, I don't know. Disengagement from the ME leaves Israel on its own. The greenies tend to hate Jews just as much as our own Gauleiter Cedarford.

DADvocate said...

If this is so, why do we continue to spend any money on our various wars? None of them are necessary, none of them produce any benefit for the American people, none of help put money back into our economy or treasury.

A good question to ask Obama. He's the one who upped the number of troops in Afghanistan from 30,000 to 100,000 and ordered 308 covert drone strikes in Pakistan compared to Bush's 44.

Ken said...

AllieOop,

I totally agree with Bagoh about means testing. Poor elderly need the help, rich elderly do not.

As Kevin put it above:

Just another reason to drop out of the labor force. If you are a wastrel, your parents get supported by the government. If you work hard and are frugal, then you get to support your parents, without government support. Oh yeah, you also get to pay taxes to support the wastrel's parents.

What do you think people will do, given those incentives?


You're incentivizing nihilism, debt, and not saving. You're making the case that you'll get "free" money if you just stop working hard, saving, etc. Essentially, stop acting like a responsible adult and the government will take care of you.

Means testing is only put forth by fools or people who haven't thought hard enough about the problems (though bagoh typically does, he hasn't on this one).

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...

If this is so, why do we continue to spend any money on our various wars? None of them are necessary, none of them produce any benefit for the American people, none of help put money back into our economy or treasury.


Wut?

So, paying a faceless bureucrat for a "government job" helps the economy, but paying a soldier does not. And, paying a company (by law it must be a US company) with say 20,000 employees to built arms, munitions, communications equiptment, etc definitely does not help the economy.

Makes total sense kookie!!!

Anyway, this is a fun game:

our annual “per-pupil spending in 2006 was 41 percent higher than the OECD average of $7,283, and yet American students still placed in the bottom quarter in math and in the bottom third in science among OECD countries.”


So why do we have a department of Education again?

And, Since 1965 government has spent $15.9 trillion (inflation-adjusted '08 dol­lars) on welfare. Poverty rate then: 14.7% Poverty rate now:15.1%

Why do we have a "war on poverty" again?

Robert Cook said...

Global Financial Crisis

"Intense competition between mortgage lenders for revenue and market share, and the limited supply of creditworthy borrowers, caused mortgage lenders to relax underwriting standards and originate riskier mortgages to less creditworthy borrowers."

This was a choice of the mortgage lenders; the government did not mandate by law that lenders must give loans to borrower manifestly incapable of repaying the loans.

"Economist Paul Krugman argued in January 2010 that the simultaneous growth of the residential and commercial real estate pricing bubbles undermines the case made by those who argue that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, CRA or predatory lending were primary causes of the crisis. In other words, bubbles in both markets developed even though only the residential market was affected by these potential causes.[53] Others have pointed out that there were not enough of these loans made to cause a crisis of this magnitude. In an article in Portfolio Magazine, Michael Lewis spoke with one trader who noted that 'There weren’t enough Americans with [bad] credit taking out [bad loans] to satisfy investors’ appetite for the end product.' Essentially, investment banks and hedge funds used financial innovation to enable large wagers to be made, far beyond the actual value of the underlying mortgage loans, using derivatives called credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations and synthetic CDOs.[54]"

The financial institutions took advantage of the the lax and non-existent regulations and oversight by the government to go beyond the requirements of laws encouraging mortgage lending or low- and moderate-income borrowers and created fraudulent financial instruments to enrich themselves at the expense of their customers, whom they played for suckers.

Christopher in MA said...

DADvocate, that would be a good question to ask Obama, but unfair to throw on Cook. He despises the SCOAMF as much as anyone.

Ken said...

Robert Cook,

Capitalism is pretty much unshackled and it has managed to rape the world (and continues to do so).

No other system of social arrangement has ever demonstrated even a fraction of the wealth generation done by capitalism. No other system in the history of mankind has done more to reduce the misery of the poor and increase the lot of the common man than capitalism.

In fact, no other system yet tried helps the poor at all or improves the lot of the common man. It's not that capitalism does it better. It's that capitalism is the only system to ever do so.

Get your head out of your ass.

Pogo said...

The primary problem in allowing the government to control your life as an old person i that the government cannot love you, and it never will.

The government does not even care about you. You're just a number, a social security number to be exact.

You're just another mouth to feed, and frankly it'd be better for the State if you died already.

But since you have the audacity to stay above ground, the State will have to limit what it gives you, money that it is taking from Other People's Children.

Rationing health care is easy: first screening goes away, then long lines for treatment are set up. Too bad for you!

But if you still won't die, the UK,s NHS has the easy way to kill you: the Liverpool Care Pathway, in which old people admitted to hospital are murdered using high doses of morphine and withholding water.

"In 2007-08 16.5 per cent of deaths in Britain came about after continuous deep sedation, according to researchers at the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, twice as many as in Belgium and the Netherlands."

Ken said...

Robert Cook,

the government did not mandate by law that lenders must give loans to borrower manifestly incapable of repaying the loans.

This is patently false.

Jay said...

This was a choice of the mortgage lenders; the government did not mandate by law that lenders must give loans to borrower manifestly incapable of repaying the loans.


Note:

You're citing WikiPedia, an editable left wing source and I'm citing the NYT, Washington Post, and Village Voice.

Also note that you can't seem to comprehend that the government was buying the mortgage instruments.

You're either ignorant or stupid.

Patrick said...

But Pogo - it's FREE!

Christopher in MA said...

But if you still won't die, the UKs NHS has the easy way to kill you

I imagine that in a decade or two, AARP will have little "Soylent Green" death offices in each city, just like Planned Murderhood has its slaughterhouses.

Jay said...

he financial institutions took advantage of the the lax and non-existent regulations and oversight by the government to go beyond the requirements of laws encouraging mortgage lending or low- and moderate-income borrowers

The opinion of Paul Krugman is not a fact.

Note:
But to some of the people who mattered — the ones who were buying Fannie and Freddie securities — the companies said something else entirely.


Scott Simon was one of those buyers. He works in the mortgage department at Pimco, the world's largest bond manager, and one of the biggest buyers of Fannie and Freddie securities:

"Fannie and Freddie in meetings with investors, whether it was us or anybody else, essentially just would sort of laugh and say, 'Well, you know the government will stand behind us,'"


Again, you know nothing of this issue.

Nothing.

Nathan Alexander said...

The financial institutions took advantage of the the lax and non-existent regulations and oversight by the government to go beyond the requirements of laws encouraging mortgage lending or low- and moderate-income borrowers and created fraudulent financial instruments to enrich themselves at the expense of their customers, whom they played for suckers.

Wrong. Financial institutions took advantage of regulatory capture by offering legal bribery to politicians like Frank and Dodd to write laws that made it easy to publicize risk and privatize gain.

The GOP is starting to push back against such crony politics.

When are you going to start voting GOP, then?

Pogo said...

The interesting thing about the Liverpool Care Pathway is that they are always 100% correct in predicting who will die!

1. They see you are old and have an illness requiring hospitalization.
2. They declare you unlikely to survive.
3. They stop all fluids and then overdose with you with morphine.
4. You are dead.

See, they predicted you would not survive, and they were right every time! It's amazing!

Problem is, they are a little quick on the trigger for declaring you likely to die, seeing as it is applied to anyone who is old and sick for any reason at all. Oops!

Gahrie said...

How twisted is that someone should willingly want to create conditions whereby he will be a slave to work until death, and not have a surcease from labor in the later years of life?

You mean like 99.9% of all people who have ever lived?

Retirement is a modern invention made possible by the huge increases in the standard of living and wealth produced by capitalism.

In the absence of Social Security, these people faced poverty, hunger, and want.

No they didn't. They were cared for by their communities and charity. Or are we supposed to believe that prior to FDR we had thousands of poor and elderly starving and dying in the streets?

ALL "government money" is OUR money.

There is no "government money" and there is no "our money" What there is is individuals' money that is confiscated by the government to spend and give to other individuals.

Alex said...

Robert Cook must be a lifetime welfare recipient, I can't think of any other reason.

Tim said...

"Also note that you can't seem to comprehend that the government was buying the mortgage instruments.

You're either ignorant or stupid."


Or, most very likely, a liar.

We all know that without the secondary market for MBSs, the first market for subprime mortgages would have dried up.

Just to be clear on this, Fannie and Freddie made sure the primary market for subprimes was viable, by buying the MBSs. Without them, the market for subprimes wouldn't have existed.

Bush, that radical communist, tried to rein in the GSE's, but Dodd and Frank valiantly allied with the GSEs to stave off Bush's reforms...and here we are.

To which Cook's proposal is, more wealth-eating public sector jobs.

It's like he's into collapsing the American state.

Can't imagine why...

Tim said...

"Problem is, they are a little quick on the trigger for declaring you likely to die, seeing as it is applied to anyone who is old and sick for any reason at all. Oops!"

You and I see that as a bug; they see it as a feature.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook must be a lifetime welfare recipient, I can't think of any other reason."

I've never received a penny of welfare money in my life, and I have worked since I was 16, except for a couple of years in college where I only worked summers.

I have known people who had to turn to public assistance at times in their life.

Tim said...

"..."Economist Paul Krugman..."

Geezus.

If there was ever a dog-whistle for the willfully mendacious, it's a Krugman citation.

Any moment now, broccoli boy will show up and start barking about Walker.

Alex said...

Any country that listens to Krugman is signing their own death warrant. Wisely, Spain told Krugman to go fuck himself.

AJ Lynch said...

Pogo said:
"They stop all fluids...."

Sounds like the opposite of waterboarding so it must be OK.

Robert Cook said...

"To which Cook's proposal is, more wealth-eating public sector jobs."

No.

I said those who cannot find work in a private sector that doesn't offer them would be better off obtaining public sector jobs if they were made available, rather than having no jobs.

AllieOop said...

Pogo, as I've said before, patients in hospice or on hospice care, have water withheld and recieve massive doses of morphine here in this country. I believe we don't have to follow any other country's protocol, we develop our own, a far better one.

Marshal said...

"Robert Cook said...
Global Financial Crisis

"Intense competition between mortgage lenders for revenue and market share, and the limited supply of creditworthy borrowers, caused mortgage lenders to relax underwriting standards and originate riskier mortgages to less creditworthy borrowers."

This was a choice of the mortgage lenders; the government did not mandate by law that lenders must give loans to borrower manifestly incapable of repaying the loans."

As usual RC drives guilt from ideology in lieu of reality. Government factors contributing to the financial crisis include:

1. Government regulation resulted in virtually all non-local banks (plus many of those) into the same risk / return profile by assessing mortgage securities at lower risk than other loans. This allowed banks with mortgage assets to lend more and increase their expected income. The lending percentage was set too high because the regulators deemed them too safe. Essentially the property value bubble convinced them that even if a borrower couldn't pay the downside was limited because the increase in proprty value would at least partially offset the cost to sell. Had banks set their own risk / income profile (a) fewer would have been hurt, (b) the most aggressive ones would have failed far sooner stopping the bubble and allowing other banks to recover.

2. Political policy effectively guaranteeing mortgage securities through FMFM transferring the risk for eligible securities from the originator or borrower to the government, essentially because the left believes it is unfair for people with poor credit histories to not be able to get loans at the same interest rates as people who pay their bills.

There are plenty of other examples. But to Cookie the fact that finance is one of the most heavily regulated industries in western civilization is nevertheless "unchecked capitalism".

It just shows you what can happen when you're sold your soul to an ideology. RC is a warning to everyone including, maybe especially, libertarians. Recognize the limits of your philosophy.

Chip S. said...

Any moment now, broccoli boy will show up and start barking about Walker.

I'm expecting to hear any minute now that the John Doe investigation has now expanded to Top Romney Officials.

Alex said...

Cook - how about instead we turn them into Soylent Green?

Pogo said...

The Liverpool approach to elderly hospice is like Monty Python's test for witches.

If you die from a morphine overdose, you obviously were dying!

bagoh20 said...

"The financial institutions took advantage of the the lax and non-existent regulations and oversight by the government to go beyond the requirements of laws encouraging mortgage lending or low- and moderate-income borrowers and created fraudulent financial instruments to enrich themselves at the expense of their customers, whom they played for suckers."

Now how would anybody make money by lending it in huge amounts to people who they know can't repay it? Why would anyone take such a stupid risk, literally throwing money away?

The culprit is government. If the government was not there to encourage, arm twist and then back up these stupid loans, nobody ever would have made them, let alone entice people to do it. And certainly nobody is gonna invest in such stupid risks. I guarantee you every time some derivatives seller or other finance player were selling the idea, the phrase "backed by the treasury" came up at a key time in the closer, and that may be the most truthful thing they said.

So again, government interference in the market is responsible for another boom bust cycle. They have done it again and again.

The idea that regulations are gonna be dealt fairly, honestly, and without being played is just silly and completely blind of history. You do understand who operates in that world? It's not a bunch of saints and never will be, so keep them out of it.

Pogo said...

Allie, you're missing the point.

They are killing off old patients who weren't dying and shouldn't have been placed in hospice.

bagoh20 said...

"Love of theory is the root of all evil."

bagoh20 said...

I, for one, welcome our morphine wielding rulers. I always wanted to die happy. I just want to make sure I'm not gonna miss anything I could have enjoyed. So be careful bitches.

Christopher in MA said...

I'm expecting to hear any minute now that the John Doe investigation has now expanded to Top Romney Officials.

Top men, Chip. Top. Men.

garage mahal said...

When Walker is indicted everyone will have their excuse talking points all lined up ready to go.

"But what about ___________??????"

You know that will be heavy in the rotation.

Any other guesses?

AllieOop said...

Pogo, I read the article, somehow I'm having a hard time believing that this is happening on the scale that the article indicates, or that these partients were just admitted with dehydration or a bladder infection, then put on the protocol.

I'm going back and re-read the article again and then see what else I can find on the widespread use of this protocol on patients who are not truly dying of other causes.

Alex said...

When Walker is indicted...

Dream on libtard.

Christopher in MA said...

Pogo, as I've said before, patients in hospice or on hospice care have water withheld and receive massive doses of morphine here in this country.

Yes. To 'relieve suffering.' Or because the patient 'wouldn't want to live like this.' Or they have a DNR and it's easier to just let them flatline.

The point is that, when the state is responsible for your health "care," then you are a figure in a ledger to the state, nothing more.

Remember Terri Schiavo? Who wanted to murder her and who argued she had a right to live? Imagine that writ large all across the country as Obamacare decrees you to be a useless eater.

The state is compulsion. The state is death. How many times does this have to be repeated before it sinks in?

Jay said...

Tim said...
We all know that without the secondary market for MBSs, the first market for subprime mortgages would have dried up.

Just to be clear on this, Fannie and Freddie made sure the primary market for subprimes was viable, by buying the MBSs. Without them, the market for subprimes wouldn't have existed.


Yes.

And conversely, when you did the "right" things in the government's eyes, you also got setup nice little things such as "Friends of Angelo" programs for people like Dodd who would ensure you never came under any scrutiny and there would always be a buyer (or seller) in the markets of which you had trillions invested.

Alex said...

Wasn't it cruel to force feed Terry Schiavo?

Nathan Alexander said...

@gm,
Been reading the Little Blue Book, eh?

@all non-"sockpuppet lefty" commenters:

Worth reading to understand the discussion techniques used by ritmo, garage, shiloh, AlleyOop, et al:

http://pjmedia.com/zombie/2012/07/09/the-little-blue-book-quotations-from-chairman-lakoff/?singlepage=true

Christopher in MA said...

Any other guesses?

Yes. When Walker survives, you'll scream some incoherent rubbish about the Koch brothers. Or you'll do your usual whitewash and pretend you knew all along that the fix was in, but don't worry, because the DA is going to get Walker any minute now!

I thought Crack was an idiot with his anti-Mormon ravings, but you're the coke-addled bum on the streetcorner shitting his pants while muttering about how the Freemasons control the world.

Patrick said...

The idea that regulations are gonna be dealt fairly, honestly, and without being played is just silly and completely blind of history. You do understand who operates in that world? It's not a bunch of saints and never will be, so keep them out of it.

Bagoh very succinctly explains why government, even with the very best of intentions, puts us on the road to hell.

Robert Cook said...

"Now how would anybody make money by lending it in huge amounts to people who they know can't repay it? Why would anyone take such a stupid risk, literally throwing money away?"

They didn't care as they weren't expecting to be repaid for those mortgages...they chopped them up and packaged them up into other financial instruments and sold them to others. In other words, the lending agencies got their money back in spades and and dispensed with the loans, and those buying their worthless intruments--sold as triple A--got hosed.

Why do you think so many of the mortgage foreclosures involve unresolved questions as to who actually holds title to the homes?

Old Dad said...

Garage dreams:

"When Walker is indicted...."


The very same day that Obama craps lollipops.

AllieOop said...

Nathan Alexander, I have a technique? Woo Hoo, who knew? I should then be compensated by some leftie group for all my good work. All this time I've bee doing it for no pay, sheesh.

Chip S. said...

No, Allie. The sites where you pick up your talking points have a technique.

You have a relay switch.

Patrick said...


They didn't care as they weren't expecting to be repaid for those mortgages...they chopped them up and packaged them up into other financial instruments and sold them to others.


Robert, this ignores why those instruments were salable. They were salable because the buyers - large institutional buyers - knew they were backed by Fannie & Freddie. Those buyers would've had to have a better understanding of the quality of the underlying mortgages without that backing.

I won't say that was the entire problem - it wasn't - but to ignore it misses too much of what was going on.

Shanna said...

I don’t remember what interest rate he used (maybe the standard 8%)
(laugh).
I can get 0.20% easily. Maybe 2% if I search.


MM, that's why I included the interest rate - at the time . (I'm not talking about a bank account although I'm getting .8% in a no risk savings vehicle, so yes, it would be more than .2). I'm pretty sure he used avg. annual returns over the life of the stock market, but this was before the late 90's crash, so conventional wisdom has changed a bit.

Still, you can get a very decent chunk of change even on a lowish income if you start early and keep saving. That was my point.

Robert Cook said...

Patrick,

I don't deny the government was complicit in the problems that led to the financial collapse...they were complicit in that they rewrote (or removed) regulations to suit the prerogatives of Wall Street and the financial and banking industries, allowing them greater latitude to use federally-guaranteed deposits recklessly in order to maximize their revenues.

This was a problem of too little regulation, which allowed the bankers to behave as if they owned casinos. They knew any losses they incurred, if any, would be backed by the government.

But, the government did not require the bankers behave so recklessly, even criminally; this was a function of the greed of the bankers and their certainty they would pay no penalites...a certainty that has, so far, been borne out.

bagoh20 said...

But Cook, everyone knew they would be made whole, because when you are too big to fail, or know those who are, there is always a way to get the taxpayer to cover your loses.

It's the mindset that changed. The one where you don't have to trust the people you do business with because you believe the government is watching this stuff and will protect you. From the top players to the little guy signing his mortgage papers without reading them, and knowing damned well he can't afford the huge house he just bought. It's a false sense of security in place because of regulations which can never protect you from the math.

The only way they can is to prevent you from taking even valid risks, which is devastating for the economy. In essence it forces what we have right now. It's impossible for anything more than minimal regulations to both protect and allow economic activity.

Big government makes people lazy, careless, and stupid. That's supposed to be a learning experience. Government has made it an industry.

Robert Cook said...

One can blame the government all one likes for anything one likes, and there will be great validity to much of the assignment of blame.

However, the bankers and other involved financial institutions chose to behave unethically and illegally; they were not required by law to do so. They did so because they knew they could get away with it.

Old Dad said...

bago said:

"Big government makes people lazy, careless, and stupid."



translation--

Big government makes people Democrats.

William said...

Within the next ten or fifteen years (maybe sooner), God will be playing endgame with me. I suppose government programs and my choices will have some impact on how the game plays out, but God holds all the high cards. I'd prefer a fatal gunshot wound by Penelope Cruz's insanely jealous husband as opposed to sucking on an ice chip in a hospice bed. However, that's not in my power nor so far as is presently known part of the Obamacare bill....Perhaps we argue these issues with such vehemence in order to diminish our sense of impotence in the presence of these implacable forces.

Revenant said...

This was a choice of the mortgage lenders; the government did not mandate by law that lenders must give loans to borrower manifestly incapable of repaying the loans.

Aren't there two parties to a loan? There's the lender and the ______.

Hint: loans go bad when the ______ fails to uphold his or her end of the agreement.

This is what really annoys me about this. Sure, lenders made plenty of bad loans. But the real problem was the millions of greedy borrowers who took out loans they knew they couldn't afford. Somehow all we ever hear about THEM is sob stories about how they're losing their houses and need a bailout.

Assholes.

Revenant said...

However, the bankers and other involved financial institutions chose to behave unethically and illegally; they were not required by law to do so.

Making risky loans is neither illegal nor unethical, Cookie. It is just foolish.

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