What's With Social Security?
When shortly after I arrived on these shores I got my first job as an usher in a cinema in Philadelphia, back in the fall of 1956, I asked about the deduction from my paycheck that went to social security. I had no agenda, just curiosity.
My employer said those funds are taken by the federal government and put aside so that when I get old I would have a nice little bundle instead of spending it now and being left with nothing for old age. I recall asking why it wasn't up to me. My employer had no answer to this. But he did try to assure me that I should relax because at least there will be this stash awaiting me when I get old and won't be making much money anymore.
Well, I never bought the paternalism of this policy, but neither did I have the savvy and know-how to resist paying the feds. They are clever in how they make employers do their dirty work so that if you resist they don't need to deal with it, but leave it to their unwilling subjects to handle the matter. (I guess when it comes to extortion, the feds like to farm it out rather than deal with it directly.)
At this point in my life, having reached the age a while back when the feds allow me to get back some of the funds taken for me for my own good, I hear noises from the President of the United States of America that unless the debt ceiling is increased now, it may lead the feds to stop paying social security to those legally entitled to it.
How's that? Wasn't the money that was taken from my paycheck put into a fund from which I would later be able to get some support, support I was told I couldn't arrange for on my own – only with the intervention of the feds? If that is what they did with my funds, namely put it away for me for my old age, how could it be that they will have to stop paying it out to me? What on earth did they do with those funds?
I was never asked about this – no one appealed to me for permission to raid them instead of holding them. Had I had the option of putting the funds aside, I would most likely have invested them so that these funds would have gained a good deal of interest or made me prosperous in some other way.
What's curious, also, is that no one appears to have noticed this funny accounting by the feds. The President keeps warning about the good faith and credit of the feds, but right here, up front, this good faith and credit appears to have been betrayed already. And even though I read a bunch of Op Ed pieces in the major papers, especially The New York Times, no one seems to be aware of this; certainly no one is making a fuss, or pointing an accusing finger at Washington for having betrayed all social security payers like this. Why not? Why is everyone so silent about this dirty deal? Is there some kind of secret pact here that no one wishes to make public?
Why are people so gullible? Sure, they don't mean to be stupid but stupidity isn't something people consciously intend to cultivate. No, stupidity is mostly a function of gross negligence and when it comes to light people usually say, "But I didn't mean it." Yeah, well but you didn't bother to think about it either. The result is malfeasance and imprudence galore, usually with other people's resources.
Posted by oldman67 on 07/31/11 08:41 PM
Social Security became a problem when this fund was placed under general fund to be used for any reason Congress deemed Click to view link wasn't meant to be used for anything other than to help the retired with an extra income in their twilight years.Now, even illegals can get Social Security benefits under certain conditions. They will be able to return and still recieve benefits.Obama renewed his pledge on amnesty for 11 million illegals. Obama told La Raza that the democracts are behind them Obam told them the idea of doing things on my own are very tempting, not only of just immigration reform. HUD continues to fund both LaRaza and ACORN. Hilda Solis, who Obama appointed to the position of Labor secretary has close tie swith La Raza launched a nation wide campaign to protect illegal immigrant workers in the US.
Posted by schrodingers_pussie on 07/20/11 02:42 PM
"Reagan proved deficits don't matter.' -- Dick Cheney
@Deliberatus: "I wonder what will happen next?"
The people in control will continue to inflate the numbers of dollars in existence making the purchasing power of nominal dollars worth less and they will continue to renege on their COLA promises. Real "social security" payments will get continue to decrease until the problem becomes moot.
Posted by Deliberatus on 07/20/11 11:41 AM
But it WAS invested- in T-bills!
um, that's indebetness. But ANY investment is a form of indebetedness.
Lend someone money to buy a house, that's a debt- private debt.
Issue a bond to build a new school to replace on that is old and costing a lot to maintain as it ages- that's indebetedness.
T-bills were the safest instrument available to the fledgling Social Security Admistration. They meant well, but successors in government did ill, and now we interit the mess.
SS did not create the mess, it is a victim of it. Deficit spending created the mess. Now the dollar teeters on the currency market, and T-bills are on the verge of being downgraded in the woprld market- and THAT is a planetary disaster, as so many currencies are backed in Dollars, and/or shored up with 'sound investments' in T-bills. We are too big to let fail, as the evil phrase goes. We should point this out to thw world, as if it did not already notice.
I wonder what will happen next?
Posted by frick on 07/18/11 02:05 PM
Substitutes for effective and peaceful persuasion, the use of force and the threat of force, are tools of fear. They are instruments of slavery and dictatorship.
Bastiat famously said that "The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else." And for this situation, he maintained, "there is only one remedy: time. People have to learn, through hard experience, the enormous disadvantage there is in plundering one another."
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 07/18/11 01:40 PM
Surely you've watched labor unions pilfer retirement funds before Dr. Machan? It's a pretty old trick, you remember Jimmy Hoffa? The Teamsters? Shoot, you can look it up on Wikipedia.
You didn't think the Democrats, who "created" the Great Society at the same time Hoffa was looting organized labor's pension fund (with the assistance of upstanding members of the Chicago elite like Al Capone) would be above that sort of thing did you? Heck, just last year they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar *again*.
It's not that people are stupid, the government uses a credible threat of violence to extort money from citizens. Social Security is nothing more than Union Dues and the US is a Union Shop. You don't pay, you don't work. It's that simple.
Posted by frick on 07/18/11 11:11 AM
We can boil it down even further.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
"Love thy neighbor as thy self."
"All men are created equal."
All phrases mean the same thing. Timeless principle of peace and community.
This was the base of "American exceptionalism".
Paul could not rob Peter, nor could Paul consent to the government robbing Peter to pay Paul. But somewhere along the line, Paul became "more equal" than Peter.
Thus the base of socialism.
Mutually exclusive concepts, where one must destroy the other.
The people truly get the government they deserve.
Posted by frick on 07/18/11 10:19 AM
Unrealistic and false views are also a part of reality, no doubt. But sticking to the truth is the best policy in the long run. Truth is reality, reality is truth. It all boils down to character doesn't it? Character of the individual, character of a people, character of a nation?
Posted by schrodingers_pussie on 07/17/11 05:36 PM
@Dave Jr: "I see cold fusion theoery where I asked for evidence of an energy source."
You seem to be confused or ignorant concerning the meaning of "theory". This may help: Click to view link
The truth lies directly opposite from your claim. A big problem with "cold fusion" or more properly, "Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) is so far there hasn't been a theory to satisfactorily explain the observed phenomena. The phenomena are real and repeatable, though there appear to be operator problems. This has been confirmed by many credible sources. The links refer to some of those sources.
The successful experiments that have been done exhibit a high temperature source with an energy out vs. energy in ratio of greater than unity. This is, by most e definitions, an "energy source". A heat engine can be created that can make useful work with these conditions. There are many questions concerning "how does it work", scalability, reliability, etc.
@Dave Jr: "So far, nuclear fusion is our best hope."
The belief is that this is an example nuclear fusion. Much of the experimental evidence (e.g. helium and tritium production) suggests that.
Posted by David_Robertson on 07/17/11 05:02 PM
I believe the catalyst is either lithium or sodium hydride based upon the link I provided giving the business presentation. Since it is a catalyst of course it returns to its original form at the end of the reaction and is used over and over. Click to view link
They have already have contracts with some utilities in Europe I understand. The question I have always had relates to the issue of scaling up. Since the objective is distributed systems however this is not a major hurdle. I see the real application for this invention in developing nations where there is little or no infrastructure.
We may have to wait a while since they seem to be of the mind to develop slowly and the inventor is probably less expansion oriented being extremely academic and intensely perfectionist. At least that is my reading after wading through the website several times over the years. They have however progressed a lot since first I came across them. My opinion is that this IS the future of energy.
Posted by speedygonzales on 07/17/11 04:39 PM
"How's that? Wasn't the money that was taken from my paycheck put into a fund from which I would later be able to get some support, support I was told I couldn't arrange for on my own - only with the intervention of the feds? If that is what they did with my funds, namely put it away for me for my old age, how could it be that they will have to stop paying it out to me? What on earth did they do with those funds?"
TORONTO (AP)-The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan says it's in advanced talks to buy TD Capital Group's stake in the company that controls the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The pension fund says it has reached an understanding on the principal financial terms, but didn't reveal them. Ontario Teachers would own nearly 80 percent of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment if the deal goes through.
Click to view link
Gaddhafi's Libya pension funds: Andrea Agnelli, chairman of Juventus, has said that he was not worried about the 7 percent stake that has been tied to one of Mr. Qaddafi's brothers, Al-Saadi, a former professional soccer player in Libya. Unicredit, the Italian bank that is 7 percent owned by the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Central Bank, has merely said it is monitoring the situation.
Click to view link
Conclusion: American exceptionalism refers to the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other nations. In this view, America's exceptionalism stems from its emergence from a revolution, becoming "the first new nation", and developing a uniquely American ideology, based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire. This observation can be traced to Alexis de Tocqueville, the first writer to describe the United States as "exceptional". The term "American exceptionalism" itself was first used in 1929 by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin who was chastising members of the American Communist Party, in reference to their belief that America was very resistant to Communist revolution "thanks to its natural resources, industrial capacity, and absence of rigid class distinctions.
What we can expect from Joseph Stalin?
Posted by turtle995 on 07/17/11 03:03 PM
The easiest way for the government to get out of this mess is to debase the currency and fudge the numbers on inflation. Then the government can debase the currency by half or more and then say that inflation is at 0% when it is really closer to 10%. The government gets to pay off its debts, but the Chinese and the US citizens get screwed. That's ok, as long as they make their masters happy with unnecessary wars and bailouts for the rich, everybody else can suck on it.
Posted by turtle995 on 07/17/11 02:46 PM
Social Security is a ripoff and needs to be exposed. Everyone is forced to pay into it and then the government takes the money to pay for programs that don't benefit us. Now that Social Security has been raided, the insatiable monster is proposing another scam, the GRA, which will take more money from us, which will be then redirected to pay for more reckless spending. And if all that doesn't work, the monster will come back and confiscate our IRAs and 401(k)s to continue their reckless spending on limousines and pork projects that benefit their friends. Throw the bums out!
Posted by John Danforth on 07/17/11 02:41 PM
You have to go off-site to find out why the venture has not been a commercial success. They make it sound like you could make a backyard generator to power your house off water. The hydrino hypothesis is interesting, but we shall have to wait and see, because the process relies on a proprietary secret catalyst. (There's always that darned secret nobody knows, eh?) It might be an eternal wait.
Posted by David_Robertson on 07/17/11 01:28 PM
This might be a better link to the website I provided about the new source of energy for all uses. It is the business presentation in pdf format: Click to view link
Posted by David_Robertson on 07/17/11 12:24 PM
Here in the UK it has always been known that the state pension is paid out of taxes. The same is true of Canada where I stayed for thirty odd years and whence I also receive a two state funded pensions. In Canada for the Canada Pension Plan which is also the second state pension one makes separate contributions unlike the old age security pension that is included in taxes. These contributions for the CPP are kept in a separate fund and are identifiably connected to the CPP pension.
There is a degree of deception in the UK insofar as the national Insurance contribution is always charged separately from the income tax, like the US social security payment, but I don't think anyone thought there was a special fund run by the government for the state pension and health service which it is supposed to support.
It has become an issue now because the baby boomers are beginning to retire and after them there was the baby bust so in spite of high immigration the number of workers supporting the pensioners is falling. This will inevitably give rise to a growing demand for legal euthanasia from the more extreme members of the younger generations but the grey vote will be too powerful for many years for that to be countenanced. So, as long as the Bank of England can keep on printing the necessary we should be OK for a while.
Posted by John Danforth on 07/17/11 12:09 PM
The popular delusion becomes a de facto law. Just as the prospect of a violent uprising is the only real check on government avarice and cruelty, the lies told about Social Security have taken on a life all their own. Politicians puncture that balloon at their own peril (except Ron Paul).
Posted by David_Robertson on 07/17/11 12:08 PM
Here is a quote from the Blacklight Power website talking about an electric car using the Blacklight process:
"A CIHT (Catalyst Induced Hydrino Transition cell) electric car is expected to have a range of 1500 miles on a liter of water. This direct application of the BlackLight Process to motive power has the potential of unsurpassed capability in terms of range, capital cost, power, logistics, and pollution abatement to zero, including zero carbon dioxide emission. Moreover, the compact automotive unit could be plugged into the electrical panel to power the owner's home with enough power to spare to also power the neighborhood. BlackLight plans to pursue licensing, strategic partnerships, and leasing in motive power markets."
Posted by John Danforth on 07/17/11 12:05 PM
On cold fusion, it looks like the words from the old song,
"Well, something is happening, but you don't know what it is".
But there is some excess heat. The problem might be one of scale. You can get free electricity from that atmosphere and the ground. But not enough to do much of anything with.
Posted by David_Robertson on 07/17/11 10:08 AM
I believe there is a real alternative to the internal combustion engine and it is a well funded company in New Jersey that is developing this new power source. I have been following them for more than ten years and they are making progress albeit slowly but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Click to view link
Posted by frick on 07/17/11 09:58 AM
So as not to be lumped in with conspiracy theory nuts, let me ask this question? If the people of the constitutional republic were not citizens of the federal government United States, what form of governmental system are we now participating in as most all Americans today are citizens of the United States federal government?
This is the nature of federal citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment as stated by the Supreme Court of the United States : 'It is the natural consequence of a citizenship [92 U.S. 542, 551] which owes allegiance to two sovereignties, and claims protection from both. The citizen cannot complain, because he has voluntarily submitted himself to such a form of government. He owes allegiance to the two departments, so to speak, and within their respective spheres must pay the penalties which each exacts for disobedience to its laws.' U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875)