Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

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247 Replies - 11303 Views - Last Post: 10 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

#31 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:09 PM

If you can't afford dog food, don't buy a dog.
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#32 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:12 PM

Right, exactly. And if you can't afford to be poor, be rich.
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#33 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:13 PM

Maybe I phrased it wrong. I'm not voicing my opinion on whether or not I believe in social welfare programs. Certainly they won't make a profit; however, if they keep growing significantly in cost and we fail to budget sufficient funds to pay for them, we're doing it wrong. In 2011, it was predicted that Social Security would run out of money in 2036. Last year, 2033 is the magic year. Clearly, it is spending money faster than it is taking it in. Welfare should be, in my opinion, self-sufficient. That is, the revenue sources allocated to it should be sufficient to pay for it. If they don't (or at some point, won't anymore), then things need to change.
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#34 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:24 PM

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In 2011, it was predicted that Social Security would run out of money in 2036. Last year, 2033 is the magic year. Clearly, it is spending money faster than it is taking it in.


Do you think a two-year hiatus in payroll taxes might have affected that projection? Social Security is actually a well-designed program: if you leave it alone, it works. But when you take money out of it and don't put it back, it breaks.
And, for bonus points, who is it who has a vested interest in breaking security?

If you said: the people who hang their hat on "government can't possibly work, that's why I'm making a career of it" then you win.
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#35 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:36 PM

I think Mac said it well. I'm not saying that social welfare needs to be cut (although some reforms would be nice), I do think that these programs need to be more self sufficient. More to my point, when we're at the brink of a "financial crisis", perhaps we should focus on cutting non-essential government spending. There are lots of programs that are nice to have and sure are swell, but if we can't afford them, they get the axe.
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#36 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:48 PM

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There are lots of programs that are nice to have and sure are swell, but if we can't afford them, they get the axe.


I don't see how that makes any sense at all. If you believe in government spending at all, it's because you're a Keynsian, and that means you believe in countercyclical spending. You spend money when the economy is down, and you cut spending when the economy is up.

Quote

I do think that these programs need to be more self sufficient


What does this mean, anyway? Are you talking about selling Irish babies to put on English tables, or what is it you mean here?

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 06 January 2013 - 11:50 PM

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#37 Python_4_President  Icon User is offline

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:51 AM

I don't know why mac downrepped my comment on slavery, but to wrap up Kipper's and Mac's issues with welfare...

have welfare recipients pave roads. Bam.

The welfare recipients consume what they would have anyway, and the materials/tools/etc for the road pavement costs what it would have anyway, but now you're not paying anything additional for the labor, which you would have paid for if the workers paving the roads and the recipients of welfare were not the same people.

Since there are TONS of welfare recipients, and since they have nothing better to do anyway, and since there are a LOT of things that need to be done that don't require much skill to do, I see a grand opportunity there. (and so do many others, eg, 'community service' projects for people on probation/re-entry, like collecting trash for (private) trash harvest/resalers, and the private prison industries with their inmate labor programs, though some pay their labor something like 12 cents an hour or so.)
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#38 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:53 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 07 January 2013 - 01:48 AM, said:

Quote

There are lots of programs that are nice to have and sure are swell, but if we can't afford them, they get the axe.


I don't see how that makes any sense at all. If you believe in government spending at all, it's because you're a Keynsian, and that means you believe in countercyclical spending. You spend money when the economy is down, and you cut spending when the economy is up.
Stupid spending is stupid, for example: the U.S. government has spent $175,587 “to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior”. Yeah...

Quote

Quote

I do think that these programs need to be more self sufficient


What does this mean, anyway? Are you talking about selling Irish babies to put on English tables, or what is it you mean here?
You hit the nail on the head, that's exactly whatI was suggesting. Actually, I had a great idea that could help curb population growth and provide more food at soup kitchens... have you ever read "A modest proposal"?

EDIT:

View PostPython_4_President, on 07 January 2013 - 02:51 AM, said:

I don't know why mac downrepped my comment on slavery, but to wrap up Kipper's and Mac's issues with welfare...

have welfare recipients pave roads. Bam.

The welfare recipients consume what they would have anyway, and the materials/tools/etc for the road pavement costs what it would have anyway, but now you're not paying anything additional for the labor, which you would have paid for if the workers paving the roads and the recipients of welfare were not the same people.

Since there are TONS of welfare recipients, and since they have nothing better to do anyway, and since there are a LOT of things that need to be done that don't require much skill to do, I see a grand opportunity there. (and so do many others, eg, 'community service' projects for people on probation/re-entry, like collecting trash for (private) trash harvest/resalers, and the private prison industries with their inmate labor programs, though some pay their labor something like 12 cents an hour or so.)
So, you're suggesting we take government contracts away from skilled laborers so that unemployed unskilled people can perform the work at slave-labor rates? You sir should declare "checkmate" now.

This post has been edited by atraub: 07 January 2013 - 01:06 AM

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#39 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:57 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 07 January 2013 - 05:43 AM, said:

Quote

The problem in this country is spending, but it's not social welfare spending, it's corporate welfare and outrageous military spending.

Social welfare spending is a problem. The fact that our social entitlement programs are well into the red says it there. Regardless of whether one's political or moral views dictate having them, the bottom line is that we aren't doing a good job of paying for them. Plus, look at the Federal budget. Approximately 41% of our budget is for social security, medicare, medicaid, and CHIP (children's health insurance program). In comparison, defense spending accounts for 20% of the budget.

Now look at infrastructure, education, and research spending. Those are represented with 3%, 2%, and 2% of the budget respectively.

Cite: http://www.cbpp.org/...fa=view&id=1258


Social welfare spending is not a problem. The problem, as you mentioned, is funding. There should be no Medicaid, Medicare, or Chip. We should join the rest of the civilized world in instituting a proper single payer system. America isn't that "exceptional" that it wouldn't work here as it does for those Socialist, Commie Pinko Canadians to the North of us. :)

My fix for our self-created problems is to:

Drop the progressive income tax system and move to a consumption based system.
A flat tax of 20% on all capital gains, which is mostly my income. :)
Single payer healthcare. Get the cost burden off of employers.
Cut military spending by 50% or more. - This is tough, because military spending is the country's largest jobs program.
Then I think it would be good to revamp welfare, federal housing, and food stamps to weed out as much fraud an abuse as possible.
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#40 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:57 AM

@P4P:
"Employer of last resort" is a classic Keynsian solution, but you have to make sure you're not adding more low-cost competition into the job market.

"Welfare" of course is an idiot's term, since it's far too broad. Are you talking about food stamps, unemployment insurance, SSI, veterans' benefits, subsidies offered to companies for locating in your region - what's "welfare" here? Making Michael Dell work for a living sounds tempting, but it'll never fly.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 07 January 2013 - 01:04 AM

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#41 Python_4_President  Icon User is offline

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:12 AM

Well, Atraub.. To follow your own logic, there..

If you can't afford the best contractors, don't buy them. Use __REALLY__ poor people instead. At the very least, it will increase their physical fitness (lower medical expenses), give them some confidence (lower pharmaceutical expenses), instill a sense of belonging to a community (raise morale, lower risk of incarceration), and get the same paved road you would have gotten from the contractors who would have cost at least as much as an equal number of welfare recipients.

Is that a problem for you, or are you just against poor people owning dogs?


RE: Welfare
Specifically those things which subsidize the lowest rung of Mazlow's hierarchy of needs for those who are unable to do so on their own. If you cannot afford a place to live, food to eat, water to bathe/drink, etc, you're a fine candidate for The American Work Force. ™ "We get shit done"

This post has been edited by Python_4_President: 07 January 2013 - 01:19 AM

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#42 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:13 AM

View Postatraub, on 07 January 2013 - 02:53 AM, said:

So, you're suggesting we take government contracts away from skilled laborers so that unemployed unskilled people can perform the work at slave-labor rates? You sir should declare "checkmate" now.



Auto-goal!
Be careful, in Latin America they shoot people for scoring against their own side.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 07 January 2013 - 01:13 AM

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#43 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:15 AM

you pay for quality. Vehicles barrel over the roads at speeds that evolution couldn't possibly have prepared us for (XKCD anyone?). I'd prefer to know that the work was done by professionals. Also, if the money is being taken away from other Americans, aren't you simply taking one man's income away so that you can give a fraction of it to a more unqualified man, thus reducing the amount of money re-entering the economy and increasing the risk of needing the work re-done due to shotty quality?

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 07 January 2013 - 03:13 AM, said:

View Postatraub, on 07 January 2013 - 02:53 AM, said:

So, you're suggesting we take government contracts away from skilled laborers so that unemployed unskilled people can perform the work at slave-labor rates? You sir should declare "checkmate" now.
Auto-goal!
Be careful, in Latin America they shoot people for scoring against their own side.

I believe my example of stupid spending illustrated my point. Roads are essential, studying the effects of cocaine on birds is not.

This post has been edited by atraub: 07 January 2013 - 01:19 AM

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#44 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:27 AM

Quote

I believe my example of stupid spending illustrated my point. Roads are essential, studying the effects of cocaine on birds is not.


What's worse - spending $200K on a silly study (which may in fact not be silly, I don't know the field) or spending an hour of irreplaceable session time in Congress micro-managing the allocation of research funds which cannot possibly add up to a number which could possible affect the direction of the US economy by one iota? (you're talking about a figure on the order of 10^5, but you have to be at about 10^9 to even register - there simply aren't enough studies funded to make this relevant)

As for the "autogoal", if you can show me an example of "making social programs self-sufficient" which doesn't break down in the way you correctly identified, I'll be quite impressed. The only way social programs achieve self-sufficiency of any sort is by eliminating more expensive programs. For example, universal harm-reductive addiction treatment, no questions asked, would be a self-sufficient program, since it would eliminate a lot of prison terms which are much more expensive. However, the morons of the world would say you're "paying people to take drugs" or something similarly stupid, so you won't get far with that one.
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#45 Python_4_President  Icon User is offline

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Re: Check your paycheck yet? prepare for dissapointment

Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:31 AM

I don't know what America you live in, Atraub, but in Houston the majority of roads are in pretty bad shape, even the new ones. In my experience, a professional road paver is one that makes the most money in the least amount of time and effort.

Maybe I'd hire a good crew to maintain I45 or install a new skyway, but the 4 laners and less I'd give to the poor people. Not EVERY ROAD needs to cost a damn fortune, but EVERY ROAD should be decent. (not the case now)

This post has been edited by Python_4_President: 07 January 2013 - 01:38 AM

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