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  1. #61  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Do elaborate.
    didn't think this needed explaining, but here you go:

    from wikipedia: A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned.

    Social security pays people who paid into it by younger people working today (subsequent investors). Ponzi schemes work until they stop growing fast enough to pay out the people checking out. Social security is running into just this problem, with the baby boomers checking out, there is not enough growth to pay all of them --the system is broke, the Ponzi scheme is getting ready to burst.
  2. #62  
    Quote Originally Posted by ninjab View Post
    didn't think this needed explaining, but here you go:

    from wikipedia: A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned.

    Social security pays people who paid into it by younger people working today (subsequent investors). Ponzi schemes work until they stop growing fast enough to pay out the people checking out. Social security is running into just this problem, with the baby boomers checking out, there is not enough growth to pay all of them --the system is broke, the Ponzi scheme is getting ready to burst.
    That's a seriously poor analogy. SS will have the opposite income (taking in more than the recipients receive) when the workforce is greater than the retiring population but nice try.
  3. #63  
    I think it's funny that people follow Glenn Beck as if his word is gospel, without realizing that he's not even sincere. For example, USA Today has printed an interview including this tidbit:

    “You’d be an ***** not to notice the temperature change,” [Glenn] says. He also says there’s a legit case that global warming has, at least in part, been caused by mankind.
    Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

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  4. #64  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    That's a seriously poor analogy. SS will have the opposite income (taking in more than the recipients receive) when the workforce is greater than the retiring population but nice try.
    it isn't an analogy, it is a definition. Sure it isn't a pure pyramid scheme, and certainly not exactly the same as Mr. Ponzi's scam. Even if the workforce was equal to the retiring population, the plan would still fail, because payouts are higher than what were initially put in, and the government did not invest that money that was originally put in, so the returns on investment have to come out of thin air. Look into it a bit, I'm sure there are thorough explanations of why social security is unsustainable around the net.
  5. #65  
    There are important differences actually between Social-Security and a Ponzi Scheme:

    - It's even worse than your typical Ponzi Scheme because you are forced to contribute or you go to jail
    - You have no control how much you put in the scheme
    - The amount can be increased at any time without your consent
    - If you die before retirement your family loses every penny you contributed

    So while technically not meeting all the criteria of a Ponzi Scheme it does have the effect of making Ponzi look good by comparison.
  6. #66  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    That's a seriously poor analogy. SS will have the opposite income (taking in more than the recipients receive) when the workforce is greater than the retiring population but nice try.
    The workforce can be greater than the retired population and SS can still have negative cash flow. Currently it is about one retired person for every 3 workers. In a couple decades it will be 1:2. In 1950 it was 1:16.

    Currently, the extra income goes into the 'Social Security Trust Fund' which buys US Treasury bonds and those funds are put to use funding the general budget shortfall. When the SS entitlement payouts exceed the revenue, those bonds will be redeemed to fund the difference. But since the money has already been spent and doesn't exist as a non-Treasury asset, the result will be more borrowing from outside sources. The more debt that is accumulated, the more interest that must be paid out each year to the holders of that debt.

    As pointed out in this article, SS is expected to be cash negative in 2010 & 2011 due to the current economy.
    Allan Sloan - Social Security could be next to need a bailout - washingtonpost.com

    The same author in an earlier article includes a chart showing SS being cash negative from about 2016 onwards (and includes some solutions).
    The next great bailout: Fixing social security - Jul. 30, 2009
    Last edited by hrminer92; 02/25/2010 at 02:04 AM.
  7.    #67  
    though I'm no particular fan of Social Security, its ridiculous to call it a Ponzi Scheme. Most every pension system employs the same mechanism -- current retirees are effectively supported by current workers.

    The potential future deficit in the SS trust fund could easily be addressed with 3 simple reforms:

    1. The rich person's cap on contributions should be lifted (as is supported by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates). Its nuts that a $10/hour laborer pays a higher percentage of their wages toward SS, than does the CEO of Exxon.

    2. Raise the age of eligibility to correct for demographic advancements. When SS was introduced, a much smaller portion of the population lived to age 64. Making the age above 70 (or in BARYE's case more than 200) would appropriately compensate for improvements in life expectancy.

    3. Make inflation adjustments that realistically model the actual cost changes as experienced by retirees. For too long politicians sucking up to pensioners, have pushed for increased benefits under guise of "cost of living" adjustments.

    These reforms would absolutely make the system solvent.
    Last edited by BARYE; 02/25/2010 at 11:28 AM.
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  8. #68  
    First off, I'm amazed at the way some people cannont see the left-right paradigm. Let me just say, that if anyone believes that Beck is not a powerful and influential person they are wrong. Anyone that has an hour of TV time and 3-4 hours of radio with millions of listeners is pretty powerful and influential.

    Being a conservative/libertarian, I have listened to Beck and others for many years. It wasn't until the past 10 years that I finally "woke up" to the deception and the left-right paradigm. Beck is not conservative at all in the sense of the word. He is what myself and many others call a "neocon". They, along with a particular part of the democratic party have taken over politics and your vote. It began with the media takeover in post WW2 and carried on into TV.

    Part of the problem is that the same people always remain in power while the figureheads change. The Rockefellars, Rothchilds, Kissengers etc. are still calling the shots today in politics that matters. I argued on another thread that the "Gay Marriage" thread was pointless and merely a distraction that would never be agreed upon. What happened ? They closed it because it was pointless.

    Every new President is inagurated promising change, yet the status quo still exists. We are still in Iraq and Afganistan and the casualties are still mounting. Whatever happened to the "elaborate tunnels" with the super computers in Afganistan? Have you asked this question? What about the mass graves and Ethnic Cleansing in the former Yugoslavia? Find out why GWB had no Texas accent while he went to college, or how Hillary really represents NY. Research how Obama and Cheney share the same bloodline and are distant cousins. Do your research or stay asleep. Every administration continues the status quo!

    My point? Ron Paul is not part of the establishment. He often sits on his own studying much like his left wing counterpart Dennis Kucinich. Though both of these men are polar opposites politically. They are true to their causes and are very good friends because of what they are up against. Ask a real liberal who they would love to see in office and they would likely say Dennis Kucinich, ask a true conervative and they would likely say Paul. I have a dislike of Ralph Nader because of his policy ideas as well, but at least he's a man of conviction. What do those men have in common? The mass corporate media deems them "unelectable".

    The problem? The media tells you who to vote for, they tell you that these men are "unelectable". Most are sheep watching Faux News or the garbage on CNN or MSNBC.
    Glen Beck "the neocon" has taken over the tea party movement that was started by the Ron Paul supporters. Thats why many(including Paul), have backed away from Beck. We can see right through him but unfortunately most don't. Beck is a hack playing off fears and misguiding those who originated this movement.

    Sorry for the book.
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  9. brdl04's Avatar
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    #69  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    OK -- I have not relistened to his hour long harangue, so everything that follows comes from BARYE's very elderly own memory...

    One of centerpieces of Beck's oration was his glorification of the roaring 20's -- and the damning of "Progressives" whom he blamed for the Great Depression.

    The gist of his argument was that the unfettered laissez faire unregulated Coolidge era brought about prosperity, and that the progressives Hoover (???!!!) and FDR made the Depression worse.

    The reality is that the twenties were a time of unregulated crooked capitalism. It was a time when speculators routinely manipulated and distorted information to entice investors into fraudulent stock scams and unregulated pump and dump swindles -- frauds that destroyed many fortunes and lives.

    It was the decade that invented the Ponzi Scheme. A decade whose arrogance and hubris lead inexorably to bank runs on failing uninsured savings & loans -- and banks, a time when farmers would routinely grow to boom and bust, from bumper crop to bankruptcy -- within the same season.

    It was time when workers were routinely fired or beaten by hired thugs for attempting to gain job protections and a decent wage, when the risk of on the job maiming and mutilation was the normal price paid for having work.

    The reality is that the Depression was the product of both an international credit collapse and rampant bubble speculations.

    Its effects were catastrophic -- and it was lessons from that experience that lead to modern regulated capitalism in which big rich and powerful bullies are made to play by rules. (regulations that junior, in his wisdom, eviscerated).

    Beck blames those early regulations for both worsening the Depression -- and for the deepening the depth of its soul crushing unemployment.

    Perhaps Professor Beck -- ignorant of the effects of the Depression's deflationary death spiral, neglects to mention it in his CPAC class lesson.

    Perhaps when Beck speaks of his golden Roaring Twenties, what he really is referring, is that is was a time when minorities had few rights, and women were rightfully denied the right to vote.

    Ignorant of his own irony, Beck the alcoholic drunk, blames those evil “Progressives” for Prohibition.

    One of Beck’s favorite “Progressives”, President Woodrow Wilson -- inconveniently just happened to veto this law. (and Prohibition -- pushed as much by religious conservatives as by “Progressives”, was ultimately repealed by the “Progressive” FDR.)

    Beck is proud that conservative Republicans defeated “Progressive” Wilson’s League of Nations treaty. The learned Beck is apparently unaware of how the resulting emasculated League of Nations contributed to the conditions that brought about the Second World War.

    Beck denounces “the first Progressive” Teddy Roosevelt, for his efforts to break up entrenched monopolies and trusts, and his attempts to provide for national health care, (and presumably for his efforts to protect the environment, and the creation and preservation of National Parks).

    That Beck is dumb enough to propose such arguments is not what scares me -- what makes me tremble beneath my sheets is that there are so many gullible ignorant americans who will absorb and process his crap as brilliant revealed truth.
    Your idea vs His..... the wheel spins
  10. brdl04's Avatar
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    #70  
    BARYE IN A NUTSHELL

    BAD BIG OIL COMPANIES
    BAD BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES
    BAD CAPITALISM
    BAD BUSINESS OWNERS
    BAD PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE THE MESSIAH (Obama)

    Move to Russia BARYE
  11. #71  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    I was speaking of Paul and the Wal-Mart greeter reference. Can you tell us what, specifically, were the similarities you noticed between the Nuremberg rallies and the CPAC conference?
    I think he was referring to the torches and pitchforks mentality coupled with the frothing at the mouth "Us vs Them" mentality. I think.
  12. #72  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    though I'm no particular fan of Social Security, its ridiculous to call it a Ponzi Scheme. Most every pension system employs the same mechanism -- current retirees are effectively supported by current workers.

    The potential future deficit in the SS trust fund could easily be addressed with 3 simple reforms:

    1. The rich person's cap on contributions should be lifted (as is supported by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates). Its nuts that a $10/hour laborer pays a higher percentage of their wages toward SS, than does the CEO of Exxon.

    2. Raise the age of eligibility to correct for demographic advancements. When SS was introduced, a much smaller portion of the population lived to age 64. Making the age above 70 (or in BARYE's case more than 200) would appropriately compensate for improvements in life expectancy.

    3. Make inflation adjustments that realistically model the actual cost changes as experienced by retirees. For too long politicians sucking up to pensioners, have pushed for increased benefits under guise of "cost of living" adjustments.

    These reforms would absolutely make the system solvent.
    The 2nd page of the 2nd link that I posted addresses those items, which to some extent. #2 is already being done and #3 has a lot to do with the assumptions that SS is forced to go by.

    #1 is adjusted upwards every year. Sloan indicated that increasing it a little would help, but jacking it up too much would end up being a 12.4% tax hike on upper middle class individuals and encourage those individuals to push for drastic changes or scrapping it. Besides, since the contribution amounts are used to determine how much a person receives from SS, the cap also limits what is paid out to those individuals. Increase the cap, and you'll be increasing the amounts that are paid out to those same individuals later on. Also, most of the "rich people" like the CEO of Exxon, Buffett or Gates aren't going to be affected by uncapping it anyway. Their income is largely from investments which aren't subject to this tax.
  13.    #73  
    Quote Originally Posted by hrminer92 View Post
    The 2nd page of the 2nd link that I posted addresses those items, which to some extent. #2 is already being done and #3 has a lot to do with the assumptions that SS is forced to go by.

    #1 is adjusted upwards every year. Sloan indicated that increasing it a little would help, but jacking it up too much would end up being a 12.4% tax hike on upper middle class individuals and encourage those individuals to push for drastic changes or scrapping it. Besides, since the contribution amounts are used to determine how much a person receives from SS, the cap also limits what is paid out to those individuals. Increase the cap, and you'll be increasing the amounts that are paid out to those same individuals later on. Also, most of the "rich people" like the CEO of Exxon, Buffett or Gates aren't going to be affected by uncapping it anyway. Their income is largely from investments which aren't subject to this tax.
    Its my understanding that the SS tax maxes out at approx. 100k of income -- so that if you're the CEO of Exxon, making 20 million in wages per year, your SS obligation would be no greater than one of your starting engineers.

    And you're right, the CEO of Exxon or others of similar income have no use for
    their SS benefits -- its less than a rounding error for them.

    To address that absurdity I would advocate a cap on benefits -- though not a cap on the obligation.

    As the system is now constructed, the burden of almost all taxation is disproportionately put on those least able to afford to it.

    Property taxes, sales taxes, SS taxes -- even traffic fines -- hurt most those least able to pay.

    To put this in perspective, a wealthy Finnish motorist got fined $100K for speeding -- the reason is that the fine was based on a proportion of their ability to pay a fine.

    An unemployed person in america on the other hand, gets the same twenty dollar parking ticket as Exxon's CEO.
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  14. #74  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    As the system is now constructed, the burden of almost all taxation is disproportionately put on those least able to afford to it.

    Property taxes, sales taxes, SS taxes -- even traffic fines -- hurt most those least able to pay.
    I'm not sure what you are talking about but in this country 86% of all federal income taxes are paid by the top 25% of income earners. Taking that further, the top 50% pay 97%. Also the top 1% pay 39%.
  15. #75  
    Quote Originally Posted by streetskooler View Post
    I'm not sure what you are talking about but in this country 86% of all federal income taxes are paid by the top 25% of income earners. Taking that further, the top 50% pay 97%. Also the top 1% pay 39%.
    BARYE is clearly in favor of wealth redistribution, so he won't be happy till the top 10% pay at least 99% of all federal taxes.
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