Libertarians


#121

Firstly, I think FC is most likely correct that the status quo will continue until the SS/Medicare scam collapses under its own systemic flaws; I don’t believe that this is the only possible future but given the persistent fallacies regarding what these programs are make legitimate solutions very difficult to explain or sell.

The taxes that I have paid for almost 4 decades under the title “SSI & Medicare” have never been “my money set aside for my retirement by the government” ; these programs were NEVER set up that way and have NEVER been altered to become such a structure.

Those who pay today fund those who receive today, all those who receive tomorrow will be funded by those who pay taxes tomorrow.

FDR sold it as the former but the legislation NEVER supported the propaganda, this has been established multiple times over the decades but the fallacy has endured; this fallacy is why it can only collapse in flames as opposed to being fixed.

I have no legal basis for believing that I am “owed” a single nickel back from these taxes that I have paid beyond whatever benefits (roads, national defense and so forth) that are gleaned at any given time; the fact that government can title different taxes with different names perpetuates the illusion that these taxes are “different” or “earmarked” or “designated” for specific things but that is absolutely not true and has never been true.

Congress never “raided Social Security” they simply spent what was in the general fund which is their job; it is OUR JOB to send Representatives to Congress who are responsible with that power.

We do not take our part seriously enough so we get horribly irresponsible spending from our chosen leaders; they give us what we demand and we demand stupid ideas that we then demand must endure.

Stupid is supposed to hurt, that is the universes way of getting us to stop being stupid; we have proved to be very committed to our stupidity while also demanding no pain or accountability for our stupidity.

But we will discover the same truths that humanity has been relearning for all of our history; the pain will come and we will suffer in relation to how long we have chosen to do stupid things.

There will be no magic government subsidy with my name on it when I reach some randomly determined age because I am a taxpayer, not a customer with a contract that obligates the government to anything.

I accepted those facts back in the early 1980’s when I researched what these “programs” were actually designed to be (as opposed to the propaganda that has been so prevalent since their inception).

I have no Right to expect anything but the logical path that my fellow citizens embrace via their votes that populate the House of Representatives.

In other words, I can only expect the pain and strife that follows the stupid everyday of their lives; to a lesser degree if I prepare for what is true and trust God over government but “the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike”.


#122

That’s a paragraph full of win, right there, folks. Hall o’ fame material.

EDIT: I posted this as soon as I read that paragraph, and what follows is even better.


#123

Mostly untrue. Social Security was DESIGNED so that those paying in would be able to draw out what they paid in when they reached the admittedly arbitrary age of 65. Democrats controlled the nation’s purse-strings for over 40 years beginning in the early 1950’s through 1994. During that time, they INVENTED SSI–payments to those claiming “disability” for “bad nerves”, “obesity” and even drug addiction, even if they’d NEVER contributed a single dollar to FICA. Then, they allowed elderly resident aliens to pay into FICA for three years, move back to Mexico or Central America and draw generous SS payments for LIFE! By LAW, all SS funds paid to the government over the amount necessary to pay current benefits MUST be “invested” in T-Bills. The revenue from the sale of T-Bills goes into the General Fund, to pay for RET’s “roads, national defense and so forth,” or spent however Congress decides to spend it…in other words, for PORK.


#124

Given the fact that so many people don’t save a dime for their retirement, a compulsory system like, Social Secuirty, isn’t the big negative that some people have made out to be. If there was was not Social Security System, there would have to be outright welfare because we could never have leave old people to die in the streets.

The trouble is Social Secuirty became big piggy bank for politicians to break open to buy votes. They put more and more people on it who paid very little or not a dime. That’s part of the reason why it is always running out of money.

Many years ago most people died before they reached advanced age. Families also took care of their aged relatives far more often than what we see today. Most families don’t want to deal with their aged relatives.

When my mother was in a facility for her last years, we visited her regularly. The management there told us that most of the people who were there seldom had visitors. That kind of summed up the way old people are viewed today.


#125

Actually true. My father became infirm in his last two years of life. He fell at home through termite-caused floor damages at his house and fractured his lower spine. We assured him that he would never have to be in a nursing home. My sister was to care for him at her home in Louisville for 6 months and then he was to come to Oklahoma City to live with us. Before those six months were up, he passed away peacefully in his sleep…about a month before he was due to come live with my family in Oklahoma. My mother-in-law developed dementia in her last several years, had narcolepsy and became mostly immobile except by wheelchair. At that time, I was committed to working in Louisiana and only getting home occasionally on weekends to help. My tiny wife could NOT lift her as she outweighed my wife by over 50 pounds. We HAD to place her in a nursing home, but my wife visited her daily–usually around mealtimes so she could help her eat–and my wife also volunteered there to do the little old ladies’ nails once a week. She was NEVER abandoned. She finally died at age 93 and is in an urn on our mantle since she did NOT want to be buried. Our daughter put her urn at her normal place at our dinner table for this past Thanksgiving.


#126

Collapse is inevitable in my eyes; our status as a reserve currency is what is propping us up, and once that’s gone, the Government will be out of room to kick the can down further.

We will be forced through austerity & high interest rates to cut back.


#127

You take that back! And I mean RIGHT NOW, mister! You ARE NOT ALLOWED to say things I can’t find any way to disagree with… :frowning:


#128

If they don’t save it on their own, how is making them dependent on the government an improvement? I don’t believe it’s the government’s job to protect people from their own lack of financial planning.


#129

The near universal lack of preparation for the last year’s in life followed the creation of Social Security, it was not an issue that was solved by the creation of Social Security.

The same thing is true of families taking care of their own, family wealth grew generationally before massive taxation forced most families to start from scratch each generation, as a result families spread out far more and spend a far greater percentage of their earnings on taxes and regular sustenance than was necessary when each generation advanced the accomplishments of the previous.

It was not uncommon for one man to marry and purchase some land which he would live a very humble life on, his children would then build a better home on that “family land” and live more comfortably, their children would then be able to build their own homes on the land and so forth. This meant that each generation could establish their basic sustenance early in life and their earnings could be used for establishing or expanding their business and contributing to the sustenance of their own elderly (and churches which served the general poor in their communities) as well as afford to improve the education of their kids beyond their own.

Today the average taxpayer pays about half of their earnings in some form of tax, the elderly are frequently taxed out of their property and those who can hang on until the end to “leave it to their kids” are leaving it to a family that is often now spread out over several States; therefore the property is liquidated, taxed and the lifes work provides a bump for their family but instead a successive building of security generationally a big chunk is lost to government generationally.

And this cycle just continues in perpetuity so the percentage of families able to take care of their own becomes smaller and smaller and the percentage that must depend on the government gets larger and larger.

I agree with your current assessment of “how things are” but I disagree that Social Programs are in some way “addressing those issues” ; they are conversely creating and expanding those “issues” by insuring that each generation has a smaller percentage of their earnings to work with after their essential needs are met; except of course for the extremely wealthy who still enjoy the benefits of building upon generational achievement.

Before Social programs and the dependency mindset even the most humble of families could increase their stature via attrition and time, now only those wildly successful can do much of that as very little of a man’s life work can be passed on and usually none of what is will build on his roots but instead gets scattered around to other “root establishing” efforts which in turn just repeat the cycle.

Socialism is designed to “equalize the results” it never “improves the results” and our flavors of Socialism are no different from the rest, they reduce personal responsibility and increase dependency exponentially with each successive generation.

Eventually the deprivation of sustenance becomes so widespread and the working class can hope for no more than bare survival for their efforts that they revolt or look for a way to get on the dependency train as soon as possible.

That is when the government becomes extremely draconian to keep the “worker class” working and increasingly less tolerant of using the now scarce resources to extend or improve the lives of those “unable to contribute to the whole” because they are old or crippled or just weaker than most for a myriad of reasons.

This is the point that we are entering now, we are not viewing our previous errors as the cause of these issues; we are looking to double down on our former errors as a solution to the issues that those errors created.

That is stupid, and stupid is supposed to hurt; Socialism will destroy every society that embraces it without exception.


#130

There’s so much win in that post I can’t pick even just a couple of sentences to single out for special praise because that would implicitly hold the rest to be of lower quality, and it is not.I


#131

Exceptional post, RET. One reason wives and mothers were virtually FORCED into the workforce instead of becoming stay-at-home wives is PRECISELY because of high taxation. A man earning $40K by himself, used to be EASILY capable of supporting his family in some style. When total tax burden surpassed 50% of his income, he found he could NOT support his family…period…on $20K or less so Mom had to find work. HER income then took care of HIS taxes as well as hers and she was basically working for nothing but taxes, with a few dollars left over so she didn’t have to go to work naked. That change in our culture has had devastating consequences for the American family. Then, when poor people were PUNISHED financially for having an able-bodied male in the household, it only made it WORSE, and placed the government bureaucracy in the role of “fathers.”


#132

Another problem is how long these systems can go on, almost as long as a human lifespan, so that oncoming generations are given a false expectation.

Such as in France, where the Millennials + younger generation outright expect the same generous benefits their parents and Grandparents enjoyed, but all the money has run out, and France is no longer competitive enough as an economy to pay for them.

Thus, a rift is forming generationally. The youngsters can only see the benefits as a guarantee, not as something conditional on wider systems working well enough to sustain them. They’re in for a hard shock.
Just like Greece, and probably just like Italy.

Which would equally be Thomas Sowell’s point about minimum wage and alienation through affirmative action.


#133

I agree that taxes take too much of people’s earnings, but when I look at my relatives, the problem is beyond that. They spend everything they can earn and borrow on over-sized houses and luxury cars. My brother-in-law has tried to work with them, but it’s impossible to get them to save anything.

Most people have a negative net worth which means they have more debts than assets. That is not a good position to be in when you can no long work or are only qualified to be greeters at WalMart.


#134

It’s all coming to an end, one way or another. I figure it will end in fire and blood as the post- x generations start to realize how badly they’ve been screwed…


#135

I remember when we used to visit my uncle’s farm in Bedford, PA. His big farmhouse was full of RELATIVES living there because they had no means of survival themselves . . . one was even so disabled that he was wheelchair bound and blind. They were clothed, and had a tight roof and three squares. My aunt’s table was always full of food (Churned butter, fresh baked bread, and all manner of pies and stuff that today would be outlawed by Bloomberg in NYC restaurants. The cholesterol conscious these days would have had a fit, but all seemed healthy to me . . . probably because they all worked physically hard in the fields. There was no such thing as a “lazy” person . . . you either worked your fair share or got thrown out! . . . except, of course, for the disabled relatives, who got care 'till they passed.)

Those days are gone, mostly, and with today’s standards . . . non-nuclear families, smaller families, etc., I doubt we’ll ever get back to them. But if we could, I think that would be a much more preferable solution than all these government “nets” we have now.

Oh . . . one more thing. Those relatives that were provided for by my uncle had to work their fair share, only enjoyed what conveniences he had (very few, like NO TV), and their clothing was not fancy (not rags, but not the “latest” fashion either.) It always is rather ironic to me that when you see “poor” people today, they have brand new clothes on, are wayyyyyy overweight (suggesting they’re not starving), and own at least one color TV. Poor? Doesn’t look like it to me.

I have some old pictures of my extended family from the days of my uncles farm. Now THOSE were some poor people, but as I said, they had three squares and a tight roof. Today’s social nets provide apparently for much much more than that. Should they? When it’s my taxes that provide the designer clothes, the food stamps, and the color TV’s for the “poor”, I think not.

Nostalgia? Perhaps, but it worked. Can we enable that solution now? Probably take several generations to do it, and the inertia of being “spoiled” by BHO and his kind would probably prevail now.


#136

True “poverty” is relative. The “poor” in America, on average, own at least one color TV, are overweight…even if only slightly, dress well and warmly, have at least one cell phone, live in a secure home that they either own or are renting, and many have expensive vices…alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. What Americans call “poor”, in most of the rest of the world would be upper middle class economically.

I considered my family poor while growing up. In 1952, my father used his meager savings to buy a half-acre lot on what had been an alfalfa field. He built a garage, after having a water well hand-dug, and divided the garage into three rooms. Two bedrooms. One for my brother, sister and I and the other for him and Mom. The other room was a combination living area and kitchen. He dug an outhouse and built a tool shed next to it, but only about 30’ from the water well. The pump for the well was a lean-to attached to the garage and water was pumped into the garage for a cold-water sink which drained into a 5-gallon bucket. One of my jobs was to empty that bucket when it got full. I did that by throwing it into the yard. We planted several trees that my best friend and I had dug up out in his farm’s woods. Dad and I poured the footings for his “dream house” by hand-mixing one wheelbarrow load of concrete at a time and pouring it into hand-dug foundation trenches. Dad laid 8" concrete blocks to 2’ above ground level and then laid 4" concrete blocks up to eave level–intending to face the house with brick to window level and Bedford stone from there to eaves. He never did that, however. The house was to have roughly 1,100 square feet and three small bedrooms and a bath. It was never completed before I joined the Army and left home, so I never lived in that house.


#137

There you go again, saying stuff I agree with…

That’s an attitude problem, and government intervention is, as RET indicated, not only not the solution, it exacerbates the problem.

We’re “poor” kinda like that, except we’re not that overweight (although I certainly need to lose some pounds), and the color TV doesn’t pick up anything (except for the Playstation 1) since the switch to DTV 9 1/2 years ago…

Magna-Yeah-That Magna-Yeah-That Magna-Yeah-That

Unless they’re part of the elite…

“…The Party and the people are one, and… therefore, the needs of the Party must be first…”


#138

I am not a big fan of the welfare state, but at some point we do have to provide some safety nets. Otherwise you are going to end up with a revolution which would be the pits for everybody. If you make comments like, “Let them eat cake,” like Marie Antoinette did and follow through with it, you are going to pay a price.

One of my economic professors in undergraduate school was a monetarist and a friend and huge fan of Milton Friedman. His comment was “compensate the losers.” Friedman who was an icon for many conservatives advocated a guaranteed annual income.

The “hard hearted Hanna” approach might sound good to some people who are on the top rail, but in the end that attitude breeds right wing dictatorships, like we have seen in South America. The regimes have proven to be unstable and prone left-wing revolutions.


#139

As opposed to a gulag for everyone when they allow themselves to become so dependent upon the government?


#140

Revolutions occur when men get tired of being forced to support others at gunpoint, not when the Welfare rats get cut off.

Welfare rats riot and then lose, they do not start revolutions. Safety Nets sponsored by government create dependency; only private sector charity is effective in actually helping the less fortunate as opposed to enslaving them on a political plantation.