Author Topic: Overheard on Facebook  (Read 1827457 times)

Travis

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2050 on: April 23, 2015, 12:20:19 PM »
There is serious discussion of revamping the military retirement system.  I'm ambivalent at this point because I'm so far into my career if I make it to 20 years I'll get the current 50% pension.  I also max out my TSP contributions.  The basic jist of the reform plan is to more heavily rely on the TSP and give service members a match and give them a smaller pension at 20 years.  It's something like a 5% match and 40% pension at 20 years.  One of the military-themed Facebook groups I subscribe to posted the latest reports from WaPo to start the discusssion.  Half the comments were internet rage screaming "they're stealing from us!" and "the stock market is too dangerous to use!"  It hurts my head when I correct some of these people with easily researchable facts about the stock market.  They either don't know how the TSP works "It's government run so they can just take your money when they want!" or "There aren't enough variety of funds, they're shortchanging us!" or think using the TSP means just sticking with low-yield bonds.  Another popular comment was "you're taking money out of their pockets by making them fund their own retirement!"
Hm, that's interesting. I  got in in 1992, and I swear they already changed the retirement to 40% at 20 years by then.  But maybe not?  (I got out in 1997, so it wasn't part of my long term planning.)

The 20-year retirement is still 50% at 20 years, and 2.5% more for every 2 years after that.  It drops to 40% if you're an NCO who took the $30k redux cash payout at 15 years.
Ah 15 years was 40%...that makes sense.

Just to clarify: normal retirement still happens at 20 years, but the payout is 40% if you took redux when you hit 15.  With the current drawdowns in personnel some prorated retirements are happening between 15-20 years.

ash7962

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2051 on: April 23, 2015, 12:25:37 PM »
"You buy fixer-uppers" - talk about a culture of helplessness!  There's the assumption that the vast majority of the population is incapable of learning how to fix things.

Here's the scariest part: The vast majority of the population is unwilling of learning how to fix even small problems.

Damn, that sure is true!   I mention what house rehab work I'm doing to people I know and some will make the comment that they wish they knew how to do that.  My reply is a friendly, "Well, come on over and you'll learn!".   

Talk about panic attacks!   They can't change the subject fast enough.
Funny innit?
I'm 36 and just starting to get good at a lot of those things. A mostly-DIY rehab, spanning the last 4 months, of one half of a duplex we bought in December, has been one of the hardest, and most rewarding, experiences of my adult life.
I can understand not knowing. I was taught nearly nothing growing up, and only after my house in Mississippi was hit by Hurricane Katrina (just under a decade ago) did a neighbor take pity and teach me a few things - roofing and fence repair, among others. I'm still playing catch-up and there is a lot I don't know - no shame in that.
I cannot understand not wanting to know. I always wanted to know. The more property I acquire the more I need to know. Contractors are fucking expensive!

And all that aside, buying fixer-uppers - anything from a small tool to a building - is one of the most tried-and-true ways to pay less than something is worth. Even if you have to pay someone else to fix it, it can be incredibly lucrative for investors.

I wonder if they've ever heard of a guy named Warren Buffett....

The part I bolded in your post really struck me.  I feel like I'm in the same boat and my dad is a pretty handy guy.  I also think I knew almost nothing about cooking and cleaning when I struck out on my own.  I know none of this is rocket science, but I've recently been thinking that its weird that my parents never made me learn these not so hard tasks that are done so often in life (cooking/cleaning/basic home maintenance).  I'm not really trying to knock my parents or anything since they did teach me to be a functioning human being and paid for all the schooling that makes me a successful person today, but still, beyond my ability to make money I was basically useless (on the home front) after college.  I've also heard stories from others who wish they could cook the food their parents did growing up, but even when asking their parents they refuse to teach.  Makes me feel like I missed some opportunities to learn stuff while growing up.  Anyone else feel the same way?


P.S. Sorry for foaming on an older post instead of the current foam :p

infogoon

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2052 on: April 23, 2015, 12:55:08 PM »
I have a lot of fiscally conservative friends and family (being from a small town and having been in the military).

There's a disconnect with the whole anti-socialism thing.

That's not just a military thing. The biggest anti-union, anti-government, "the President has personally ruined my life" Tea Partier I know is married to a teacher - without her sweet unionized government job and health insurance he'd be dead in the gutter. Doesn't stop him from yelling about "parasites" stealing his non-existent tax payments, though.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2053 on: April 23, 2015, 01:01:23 PM »
+1

I have a lot of fiscally conservative friends and family (being from a small town and having been in the military).

There's a disconnect with the whole anti-socialism thing.
"We need the government out of health care".  I personally found the health care that I had while in the military to be of high quality.
It's okay for the military to get health benefits, plus ones when they get out, but nobody else.
"Get your socialist hands off my Medicare", right? ;)
Quote
Same thing for pensions/ retirement.

I have sympathy for both sides.  People who have been in jobs with pensions - whether it be military, large companies, federal government, state government, universities, whatever...many of them made the specific choices to get into those jobs and stay in those jobs for the pension.  Mustachian, you might say, planning for retirement - and for many of them, retirement at 50 or less if they only need 20 years of work  (heck, that's 38 if you joined the military out of high school).  And for people who fight in wars, and get wounded (physically or mentally), well I'd say we often aren't doing enough.

However, the "backs" of the rest of us will break.  We pay for the pensions for many of these employees at the city, state, federal level.  While we also pay for public schools for illegals, and medical care and food stamps and welfare for people who need it.  Something has to give somewhere.

I just find it interesting that people cannot make that connection - THEIR benefit has to stay because they deserve it, but other people don't. Social security is no different.

(I don't know the answer, just rambling here.)
Just for the record, I am in no way opposed to fiscal conservatism - I consider myself fiscally conservative. When I did the "balance the federal budget" exercise, most of my solutions were cuts, not taxes. My problem is with people who claim to have principles but make convenient exceptions for whichever cases benefit them or their favorite group. It's with parties that deliberately and unnecessarily cut revenue and then use it as an excuse to cut programs they dislike. "Aww, we'd love to help, but you know... fiscal responsibility". That was my biggest disappointment with the Tea Party... campaigning as fiscal reformers and then practicing blatant fiscal recklessness as a culture-war strategy.
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wenchsenior

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2054 on: April 23, 2015, 01:15:22 PM »
There is a really interesting book about the Tea Party...lots of in depth interviews and demographic and social analysis. It was an good, well balanced analysis, and one notable section of it was that when Tea Partiers are asked about SS/Medicare/Medicaid, almost none of them support cutting those for their own age group, even if they are obsessed with the Fed budget and deficit spending.

When the interviewers dug in, there were two things going on. One is, a surprising number of Tea Partiers didn't understand how the federal spending 'pie' was divided, and didn't realize that these three programs were such a gigantic part of the pie.

The second trend was more common, and more disturbing. Most of the Tea Partiers (and they really are older, white, and relatively affluent) felt that although they themselves had 'earned every penny' of their own benefits, the younger generation had earned nothing, and therefore shouldn't receive any benefits. Along with some other expressed feelings, the authors speculated that some of this resentment is likely due to unease with the changing racial demographics of the younger generation, and also to the notably more liberal social views of the younger generation. It didn't appear to be pure racism in many cases. More like, 'that younger generation thinks and looks different than I do, and doesn't represent the real America that I grew up in'. Also, many Tea Partiers interpreted the low employment rates of the younger generation as being due to pure laziness, rather than the immense recession and radically changing job environment the young were facing. In many cases, Tea Partiers even included their own kids and grandkids in the 'won't earn it, and shouldn't get it' category.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2055 on: April 23, 2015, 01:28:35 PM »
There is a really interesting book about the Tea Party...lots of in depth interviews and demographic and social analysis. It was an good, well balanced analysis, and one notable section of it was that when Tea Partiers are asked about SS/Medicare/Medicaid, almost none of them support cutting those for their own age group, even if they are obsessed with the Fed budget and deficit spending.

When the interviewers dug in, there were two things going on. One is, a surprising number of Tea Partiers didn't understand how the federal spending 'pie' was divided, and didn't realize that these three programs were such a gigantic part of the pie.

The second trend was more common, and more disturbing. Most of the Tea Partiers (and they really are older, white, and relatively affluent) felt that although they themselves had 'earned every penny' of their own benefits, the younger generation had earned nothing, and therefore shouldn't receive any benefits. Along with some other expressed feelings, the authors speculated that some of this resentment is likely due to unease with the changing racial demographics of the younger generation, and also to the notably more liberal social views of the younger generation. It didn't appear to be pure racism in many cases. More like, 'that younger generation thinks and looks different than I do, and doesn't represent the real America that I grew up in'. Also, many Tea Partiers interpreted the low employment rates of the younger generation as being due to pure laziness, rather than the immense recession and radically changing job environment the young were facing. In many cases, Tea Partiers even included their own kids and grandkids in the 'won't earn it, and shouldn't get it' category.

I wonder if the interviewer was ever told, "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

merula

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2056 on: April 23, 2015, 01:33:47 PM »
There is a really interesting book about the Tea Party...lots of in depth interviews and demographic and social analysis. It was an good, well balanced analysis, and one notable section of it was that when Tea Partiers are asked about SS/Medicare/Medicaid, almost none of them support cutting those for their own age group, even if they are obsessed with the Fed budget and deficit spending.

When the interviewers dug in, there were two things going on. One is, a surprising number of Tea Partiers didn't understand how the federal spending 'pie' was divided, and didn't realize that these three programs were such a gigantic part of the pie.

The second trend was more common, and more disturbing. Most of the Tea Partiers (and they really are older, white, and relatively affluent) felt that although they themselves had 'earned every penny' of their own benefits, the younger generation had earned nothing, and therefore shouldn't receive any benefits. Along with some other expressed feelings, the authors speculated that some of this resentment is likely due to unease with the changing racial demographics of the younger generation, and also to the notably more liberal social views of the younger generation. It didn't appear to be pure racism in many cases. More like, 'that younger generation thinks and looks different than I do, and doesn't represent the real America that I grew up in'. Also, many Tea Partiers interpreted the low employment rates of the younger generation as being due to pure laziness, rather than the immense recession and radically changing job environment the young were facing. In many cases, Tea Partiers even included their own kids and grandkids in the 'won't earn it, and shouldn't get it' category.

I'm going to regret this at some point (probably when my tablet gets thrown across the room), but what's that book?

wenchsenior

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2057 on: April 23, 2015, 01:38:13 PM »
http://www.amazon.com/Change-They-Cant-Believe-Reactionary/dp/0691163618/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429817715&sr=8-1&keywords=change+they+can%27t+believe+in

Interesting that the blurbs used to advertise it seem to show more about the reviewer than the book itself. I am NOT a fan of the Tea Party, but I didn't find the book particularly inflammatory. If anything, it made me more sympathetic to the anxiety most likely driving the movement, if not the often strange positions taken by the Tea Partiers themselves.

Travis

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2058 on: April 23, 2015, 01:39:01 PM »
Quote
More like, 'that younger generation thinks and looks different than I do, and doesn't represent the real America that I grew up in'.

Said every previous generation ever.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2059 on: April 23, 2015, 02:11:41 PM »
Said every previous generation ever.
I'm serious, get off my lawn already.
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Pooperman

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2060 on: April 23, 2015, 03:24:01 PM »
Said every previous generation ever.
I'm serious, get off my lawn already.

Dey tuk er jerbs!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2061 on: April 23, 2015, 07:10:14 PM »
That kind of shit is one of the most irritating aspects of military culture to me. The DoD is full of people who are politically/fiscally conservative and rage on and on about the advance of socialism in 'Murica, but expect their finite term of service to translate to essentially infinite benefits (and feel it's the government's job to lower the price of gas). Most don't know a got-dam thing about personal finance, economics or fiscal policy beyond some partisan talking points they heard on TV, but feel qualified (and constantly compelled) to offer incessant commentary on all of the above. Many have never lived outside small towns in the South but glibly prescribe socioeconomic policy solutions for urban areas because it worked in their village of 25,000. Or even worse, they actually went to some of those places and still think their perspective and life strategy is the only valid one.
I should stop ranting... I could go all day tho :P
Government bureaucracy and wasteful... unless we are talking about keeping an inflated number of people on payroll and make them do drills to keep them busy between wars.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2062 on: April 23, 2015, 09:24:07 PM »
That kind of shit is one of the most irritating aspects of military culture to me. The DoD is full of people who are politically/fiscally conservative and rage on and on about the advance of socialism in 'Murica, but expect their finite term of service to translate to essentially infinite benefits (and feel it's the government's job to lower the price of gas). Most don't know a got-dam thing about personal finance, economics or fiscal policy beyond some partisan talking points they heard on TV, but feel qualified (and constantly compelled) to offer incessant commentary on all of the above. Many have never lived outside small towns in the South but glibly prescribe socioeconomic policy solutions for urban areas because it worked in their village of 25,000. Or even worse, they actually went to some of those places and still think their perspective and life strategy is the only valid one.
I should stop ranting... I could go all day tho :P
Government bureaucracy and wasteful... unless we are talking about keeping an inflated number of people on payroll and make them do drills to keep them busy between wars.

Yup, I can imagine that many of these military men and women would howl with hackles should there be a proposed move to lower our standing army.

Travis

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2063 on: April 23, 2015, 10:33:00 PM »
That kind of shit is one of the most irritating aspects of military culture to me. The DoD is full of people who are politically/fiscally conservative and rage on and on about the advance of socialism in 'Murica, but expect their finite term of service to translate to essentially infinite benefits (and feel it's the government's job to lower the price of gas). Most don't know a got-dam thing about personal finance, economics or fiscal policy beyond some partisan talking points they heard on TV, but feel qualified (and constantly compelled) to offer incessant commentary on all of the above. Many have never lived outside small towns in the South but glibly prescribe socioeconomic policy solutions for urban areas because it worked in their village of 25,000. Or even worse, they actually went to some of those places and still think their perspective and life strategy is the only valid one.
I should stop ranting... I could go all day tho :P
Government bureaucracy and wasteful... unless we are talking about keeping an inflated number of people on payroll and make them do drills to keep them busy between wars.

Yup, I can imagine that many of these military men and women would howl with hackles should there be a proposed move to lower our standing army.

The US military has shrunk about 15% in the last 4 years.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2064 on: April 24, 2015, 06:56:55 AM »
Government bureaucracy and wasteful... unless we are talking about keeping an inflated number of people on payroll and make them do drills to keep them busy between wars.
If we plan on repeating our past ways, there's a pretty compelling rationale for maintaining a certain size and a certain level of readiness (both of which affect funding requirements) because you can't train and equip an army overnight, or pull the cargo jets out of mothballs to fly it overseas on a moment's notice. Ditto ships, guns, ammo, etc.
But that goes to the heart of a somewhat different issue - the question of what the US wants its role in the world to be, and how we attain it.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 06:58:54 AM by zephyr911 »
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merula

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2065 on: April 24, 2015, 11:19:07 AM »
The US military has shrunk about 15% in the last 4 years.

Interesting. How does this compare to other points in the recent past? I get that there was a buildup 2001-2005, and a reduction with the withdrawl of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, but I don't know how this compares to the overall trend of military size. Are we back to Clinton-era levels? Reagan-era levels? Post-Vietnam levels?

Travis

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2066 on: April 24, 2015, 11:48:42 AM »
The US military has shrunk about 15% in the last 4 years.

Interesting. How does this compare to other points in the recent past? I get that there was a buildup 2001-2005, and a reduction with the withdrawl of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, but I don't know how this compares to the overall trend of military size. Are we back to Clinton-era levels? Reagan-era levels? Post-Vietnam levels?

We're still a little bigger than we were right before 9/11, but we'll probably end up at about that number when everything washes out.  The turbulence with the Budget Control Act may force us to get smaller than that depending how the next couple years go.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2067 on: April 24, 2015, 11:59:01 AM »
That kind of shit is one of the most irritating aspects of military culture to me. The DoD is full of people who are politically/fiscally conservative and rage on and on about the advance of socialism in 'Murica, but expect their finite term of service to translate to essentially infinite benefits (and feel it's the government's job to lower the price of gas). Most don't know a got-dam thing about personal finance, economics or fiscal policy beyond some partisan talking points they heard on TV, but feel qualified (and constantly compelled) to offer incessant commentary on all of the above. Many have never lived outside small towns in the South but glibly prescribe socioeconomic policy solutions for urban areas because it worked in their village of 25,000. Or even worse, they actually went to some of those places and still think their perspective and life strategy is the only valid one.
I should stop ranting... I could go all day tho :P
Government bureaucracy and wasteful... unless we are talking about keeping an inflated number of people on payroll and make them do drills to keep them busy between wars.

Yup, I can imagine that many of these military men and women would howl with hackles should there be a proposed move to lower our standing army.

The US military has shrunk about 15% in the last 4 years.

I think this has more to do with operations in Afghanistan and Iraq ending, not to mention the build-up in recruitment for these wars and after 9/11.  Unless I'm mistaken, there were howls of protest in response to the shrinking of the military. At the least, I recall it being a campaign issue in 2012.

Gazelle

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2068 on: April 24, 2015, 01:05:27 PM »

There's a disconnect with the whole anti-socialism thing.

"We need the government out of health care".  I personally found the health care that I had while in the military to be of high quality.
It's okay for the military to get health benefits, plus ones when they get out, but nobody else.
Same thing for pensions/ retirement.

Reminds me of one of my favorite blog posts from the Great Health Care Debates of '09, courtesy of Nate Silver.

On Government-funded health insurance: "We’d never do something like that in this country, except for old people who don’t know any better."

On Government-run health care services: "Even old people wouldn’t fall for that one over on this side of the “pond”, so we only do it to our veterans."

Travis

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2069 on: April 24, 2015, 02:08:16 PM »
That kind of shit is one of the most irritating aspects of military culture to me. The DoD is full of people who are politically/fiscally conservative and rage on and on about the advance of socialism in 'Murica, but expect their finite term of service to translate to essentially infinite benefits (and feel it's the government's job to lower the price of gas). Most don't know a got-dam thing about personal finance, economics or fiscal policy beyond some partisan talking points they heard on TV, but feel qualified (and constantly compelled) to offer incessant commentary on all of the above. Many have never lived outside small towns in the South but glibly prescribe socioeconomic policy solutions for urban areas because it worked in their village of 25,000. Or even worse, they actually went to some of those places and still think their perspective and life strategy is the only valid one.
I should stop ranting... I could go all day tho :P
Government bureaucracy and wasteful... unless we are talking about keeping an inflated number of people on payroll and make them do drills to keep them busy between wars.

Yup, I can imagine that many of these military men and women would howl with hackles should there be a proposed move to lower our standing army.

The US military has shrunk about 15% in the last 4 years.

I think this has more to do with operations in Afghanistan and Iraq ending, not to mention the build-up in recruitment for these wars and after 9/11.  Unless I'm mistaken, there were howls of protest in response to the shrinking of the military. At the least, I recall it being a campaign issue in 2012.

It's always a campaign issue whether there's a war going on or not.  For some it should be gutted to a border patrol while for others we're not bombing enough people fast enough.  For some of the people I argued with on Facebook (and others alluded to here), if you announced you were going to balance the budget by taking $1 from the DoD, someone is going to scream that you're a traitor.

The Army was at 480k when the war started and grew by 80,000 troops over the course of the war, but people who are much better at doing that kind of math than I am figured that in order to maintain our current war deployments, global partnerships, and not overstress us in the process the Army needs to be around 490k.  It's likely we will drop to the 450k range due to budget constraints. 

The retirement reform argument can be pulled out into these main talking points:  as a percentage of personnel costs pensions haven't changed much, but in real dollars it grows each year along with every other inflation-driven cost so it's a worthy exercise to be more efficient with the overall price tag.  The 401k model being shopped around would give a bigger cut to those who do not make it to the pension point while lowering the 20-year pension for others.  The pension should stay in some form because we often find ourselves re-entering the workforce in our early 40s missing out on years of training and working in Corporate America so in some fields we are less competitive.  While pensions are a relatively small part of the budget, they're easier to reform than how we spend money on equipment (which is where the real money goes).  The fact that we've been talking about retirement reform for at least a decade should tell you something about how difficult this process is.

On Facebook the discussion I took part in was full of people crying about that evil government stock market stealing our money, the TSP not being a good deal even though it's among the best, and others worried about losing out on a guaranteed payout.  Probably 1 in 5 were capable of having a rational debate on the issue.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2070 on: April 24, 2015, 03:16:45 PM »
+1000000 to Travis

I find the suggestion of a percentage of pay pension benefit available to soldiers who serve less than 20 an excellent compromise, especially reading something today about how the current pension system really favors the officer ranks (as those who typically are not doing the heavy lifting) in lieu of the enlisted person who just can't hack it after 8 years and gets out because the Army has worn his/her body out.  Granted there is disability, but when your work is primarily labor intensive, you have less of a chance of reaching the promised land of 20+ years. 

The only way for a soldier to effect this currently is to become a federal employee after getting out of armed service and "buying" that active duty time through the Military Service Credit.  Also an excellent program, but you do have to be willing to pay in.

I did 4 and got out, but have bought that 4 years as MSC and now am vested in my FERS retirement.  So I can walk away any time I want, and know that there will be something there for me ... when I'm 62.

Nords

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2071 on: April 25, 2015, 06:29:22 PM »
There is serious discussion of revamping the military retirement system.  I'm ambivalent at this point because I'm so far into my career if I make it to 20 years I'll get the current 50% pension.  I also max out my TSP contributions.  The basic jist of the reform plan is to more heavily rely on the TSP and give service members a match and give them a smaller pension at 20 years.  It's something like a 5% match and 40% pension at 20 years.  One of the military-themed Facebook groups I subscribe to posted the latest reports from WaPo to start the discusssion.  Half the comments were internet rage screaming "they're stealing from us!" and "the stock market is too dangerous to use!"  It hurts my head when I correct some of these people with easily researchable facts about the stock market.  They either don't know how the TSP works "It's government run so they can just take your money when they want!" or "There aren't enough variety of funds, they're shortchanging us!" or think using the TSP means just sticking with low-yield bonds.  Another popular comment was "you're taking money out of their pockets by making them fund their own retirement!"
Hm, that's interesting. I  got in in 1992, and I swear they already changed the retirement to 40% at 20 years by then.  But maybe not?  (I got out in 1997, so it wasn't part of my long term planning.)

The 20-year retirement is still 50% at 20 years, and 2.5% more for every 2 years after that.  It drops to 40% if you're an NCO who took the $30k redux cash payout at 15 years.
Ah 15 years was 40%...that makes sense.
Just to clarify: normal retirement still happens at 20 years, but the payout is 40% if you took redux when you hit 15.  With the current drawdowns in personnel some prorated retirements are happening between 15-20 years.
A little more historical clarification for mm1970:
You were in the military during the years when REDUX was the retirement plan.  It started in 1986 and was changed in 1999-2001.  During your time, the pension started at 40% of base pay for 20 years of service (instead of 50%), and rose to 75% by 30 years.

REDUX was a bust.  The post-Cold War drawdown reduced the military by 25% and the rise of the Web economy made it a lot easier to make the transition to a civilian career.  The result was that the "wrong" servicemembers were getting out of the military and the "wrong" ones were staying in.  (I applied for TERA three times but was turned down every time.  The submarine force cut too deeply.)  In 1999 the Joint Chiefs testified to Congress that retention was going to get steadily worse unless REDUX was ended.

The result is the High Three pension (50% of the average of the highest 36 months of pay) for 20 years of service, rising to 75% at 30 years of service.  However servicemembers could still elect the "Career Status Bonus" at 15 years of service.  $30K cash at that anniversary meant that you'd be on the REDUX retirement.  Today the bonus is still $30K, despite 15 years of inflation erosion.
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/08/16/over-a-decade-later-redux-still-sucks/

Because the military pension system needs to be more complicated ([/sarcasm]), there's also the Temporary Early Retirement Authority.  That was used during the 1990s drawdown and it's been brought back (in very limited scope) for this drawdown.  The minimum length of service is 15 years.  The calculation is a PITA, but essentially a TERA retirement is 2.5%/year of the High Three base pay, minus 1% (not a percentage point but a one-percent reduction) for every year short of 20.  At 15 years of service, this works out to 35.625% of the High Three average of base pay.  The detailed calculation is on page 3-37 of the DoD Financial Management Regulation at this PDF link:
http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/fmr/Volume_07b.pdf

That kind of shit is one of the most irritating aspects of military culture to me. The DoD is full of people who are politically/fiscally conservative and rage on and on about the advance of socialism in 'Murica, but expect their finite term of service to translate to essentially infinite benefits (and feel it's the government's job to lower the price of gas). Most don't know a got-dam thing about personal finance, economics or fiscal policy beyond some partisan talking points they heard on TV, but feel qualified (and constantly compelled) to offer incessant commentary on all of the above. Many have never lived outside small towns in the South but glibly prescribe socioeconomic policy solutions for urban areas because it worked in their village of 25,000. Or even worse, they actually went to some of those places and still think their perspective and life strategy is the only valid one.
I should stop ranting... I could go all day tho :P
Government bureaucracy and wasteful... unless we are talking about keeping an inflated number of people on payroll and make them do drills to keep them busy between wars.

Yup, I can imagine that many of these military men and women would howl with hackles should there be a proposed move to lower our standing army.

The US military has shrunk about 15% in the last 4 years.
The drawdowns after WWII, Vietnam, the Cold War, and Afghanistan/Iraq are four completely different types of drawdowns. 

For example, the first two drawdowns included servicemembers who were drafted and wanted to quit as soon as possible.  After Vietnam, the military reorganized the Reserve/Guard forces to support the all-volunteer active-duty services.  (Some cynics claim that this was done to keep the President & Congress from going to war without them.)  The Cold War's "peace dividend" eliminated a huge number of manpower-intensive legacy platforms and weapons systems, as well as most of the crews and technicians who used them. 

The current drawdown differs from the other three.  It's being artificially forced by sequestration but it's also seen as an opportunity to automate or outsource a number of tasks that used to be done by uniformed military. 

I'm skeptical that a numerically smaller and more automated military can accomplish as much as the larger forces.  (However I'd prefer to have a military so small that Congress hesitates to use it and the State Department actually has to do their job.)  Because of the automation and outsourcing, there's still a huge difference between the military after today's drawdown versus the military that was left after the Cold War drawdown.  I don't think we can compare the two.

What can be compared is the cost of healthcare and veteran's benefits after each drawdown.  Because so many more servicemembers of this generation survived wounds that would have killed them even in the 1990s, the VA's budget is going to keep rising for another 30-40 years.
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Cressida

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2072 on: April 25, 2015, 07:32:47 PM »

There's a disconnect with the whole anti-socialism thing.

"We need the government out of health care".  I personally found the health care that I had while in the military to be of high quality.
It's okay for the military to get health benefits, plus ones when they get out, but nobody else.
Same thing for pensions/ retirement.

Reminds me of one of my favorite blog posts from the Great Health Care Debates of '09, courtesy of Nate Silver.

On Government-funded health insurance: "We’d never do something like that in this country, except for old people who don’t know any better."

On Government-run health care services: "Even old people wouldn’t fall for that one over on this side of the “pond”, so we only do it to our veterans."

I remember that post too! It was hilarious.

He does get some wording wrong, like in this bit: "It turns out that when you take a poll, most Americans don’t want the government to provide health care coverage. But the idea of goverment providing health care insurance: a lot of folks think that’s a pretty swell idea!" Coverage and insurance are really the same thing. What he means is the difference between being a provider (i.e., a hospital/clinic/etc.) and a carrier (i.e. an insurance company). Of course, it's possible to be both (like an HMO), but that's rare.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2073 on: April 26, 2015, 03:03:00 PM »
Posted on the Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade page for my town:

OP:  Does anyone know what time the walk in clinic by the park closes today?

1st Reply: Hours are 9-9 i think

2nd Reply:  I would call in to find out.

OP:  I don't have a phone to call

3rd Reply:  There is also the one by SuperStore (2miles away from one by the park)

OP:  Don't have car


Where to start?  This was posted by someone who looks to be late teens/very early twenties.  First, can't they look up the hours on google since they clearly have internet access?  Second, they obviously need to see a doctor and unless the reason they can't walk or bike 2 miles is related to that, a 10 min bike ride (or 30min walk) is a pretty pathetic reason to avoid medical care if in any way serious.


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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2074 on: April 26, 2015, 03:28:20 PM »
Posted on the Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade page for my town:

OP:  Does anyone know what time the walk in clinic by the park closes today?

1st Reply: Hours are 9-9 i think

2nd Reply:  I would call in to find out.

OP:  I don't have a phone to call

3rd Reply:  There is also the one by SuperStore (2miles away from one by the park)

OP:  Don't have car


Where to start?  This was posted by someone who looks to be late teens/very early twenties.  First, can't they look up the hours on google since they clearly have internet access?  Second, they obviously need to see a doctor and unless the reason they can't walk or bike 2 miles is related to that, a 10 min bike ride (or 30min walk) is a pretty pathetic reason to avoid medical care if in any way serious.

I am a nurse, briefly worked at a university health centre. I was stunned how many young people appear incapable of looking after themselves. I would be horrified if my kids got to 20 and could not organise something as basic as basic as visiting a doctor or picking up a prescription for themselves.

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2075 on: April 26, 2015, 04:09:03 PM »
Posted on the Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade page for my town:

OP:  Does anyone know what time the walk in clinic by the park closes today?

1st Reply: Hours are 9-9 i think

2nd Reply:  I would call in to find out.

OP:  I don't have a phone to call

3rd Reply:  There is also the one by SuperStore (2miles away from one by the park)

OP:  Don't have car


Where to start?  This was posted by someone who looks to be late teens/very early twenties.  First, can't they look up the hours on google since they clearly have internet access?  Second, they obviously need to see a doctor and unless the reason they can't walk or bike 2 miles is related to that, a 10 min bike ride (or 30min walk) is a pretty pathetic reason to avoid medical care if in any way serious.

I am a nurse, briefly worked at a university health centre. I was stunned how many young people appear incapable of looking after themselves. I would be horrified if my kids got to 20 and could not organise something as basic as basic as visiting a doctor or picking up a prescription for themselves.

When I was in high school, I developed several ear infections. I got quite a system down. Call the doctor, go in and be seen, verified it was an ear infection, get prescription. Take prescription to pharmacy, go to school for AP US history. Leave school, pick up meds, go home and pass out for the rest of the day.

Parental involvement: mom would call the school and ok my absence. Lend me the car for the day. Baby me when I got home (you're never too old for mommy to take care of you when you're sick!).

CabinetGuy

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2076 on: April 26, 2015, 04:43:38 PM »
On my feed today...So much wrong with this.



"two free bikes, one men's and one women's with helmet and extra cushy seat for you bum. both also come with bike locks w/ keys..... been sitting in our garage un-used for 3yrs! Think we used them once... tires just need air."

My response:  when did you hit the lottery?

But "they're just from wal-mart." 


Person that posted this has had major issues with their teeth.  Multiple visits, fillings, gum surgery to the tune of 10k.  They have a great town job, good bennies.  Her SO makes great money (but their finances are somewhat separate.  Her mom just gave her 1k to soften the blow of all the dental bills.  Oh yeah, on top of 50-60k in student loans.

So just give two perfectly good bikes away.  Shit, at least ask for at least 20 bucks.  YOU HAVE BILLS TO PAY!!!

So damn frustrating...I could go on and on about the poor financial decisions this person has made.  Like leasing a new CRV during all of the dental issues because "she didn't have the money to buy her existing crv at the end of its lease...

Killerbrandt

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2077 on: April 27, 2015, 06:32:52 AM »
God damn, what a stupid bitch. I'd never forgive that shit.

MOD NOTE: Forum rule #1.
Wait... really? Why?
Should I rephrase?

*second try*

The very idea of someone supposedly in a lifelong relationship based on trust and mutual respect committing such a shameless and shortsighted act of betrayal fills me with fucking rage.

If I were personally subjected to such treatment, I would permanently lose all respect for her, and I would never forgive that betrayal. Anyone who would make such a choice deserves neither respect nor forgiveness.


Better?

BEST REDO EVER!!!! lol

mm1970

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2078 on: April 27, 2015, 10:38:07 AM »
Quote
A little more historical clarification for mm1970:
You were in the military during the years when REDUX was the retirement plan.  It started in 1986 and was changed in 1999-2001.  During your time, the pension started at 40% of base pay for 20 years of service (instead of 50%), and rose to 75% by 30 years.

REDUX was a bust.  The post-Cold War drawdown reduced the military by 25% and the rise of the Web economy made it a lot easier to make the transition to a civilian career.  The result was that the "wrong" servicemembers were getting out of the military and the "wrong" ones were staying in.  (I applied for TERA three times but was turned down every time.  The submarine force cut too deeply.)  In 1999 the Joint Chiefs testified to Congress that retention was going to get steadily worse unless REDUX was ended.

I appreciate this clarification!  Oh, it was so long ago.  I remember the period of the drawdown - I know that *many* of my fellow classmates from ROTC got out after our commitment was up, and I think in 1994, they just told the graduating class "we don't need you, you are free to go" (after 4 years at about $15k-20k tuition per year?? Score!)

Mostly it was the engineers who got out and got jobs, or went to business school.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2079 on: April 27, 2015, 11:48:14 AM »
I appreciate this clarification!  Oh, it was so long ago.  I remember the period of the drawdown - I know that *many* of my fellow classmates from ROTC got out after our commitment was up, and I think in 1994, they just told the graduating class "we don't need you, you are free to go" (after 4 years at about $15k-20k tuition per year?? Score!)

Mostly it was the engineers who got out and got jobs, or went to business school.
Yeah, I was a few years behind and I heard about that stuff. Pretty wild.
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Travis

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2080 on: April 27, 2015, 12:32:20 PM »
Today's exclaimation-riddled rantings: "A married private with 3 kids can't be expected to invest 5% of his income!"  "The only way to make this work is to increase the pay scale to cover this investment requirement dollar for dollar!"

Here's a wild idea: don't have three kids at 20 years old if you're not sure you can afford to raise them.  People across the nation invest in their futures from their own pockets.  We're not that special.  It drives me nuts with this mentality that EVERYONE should offer a military discount and service members should not be required to do anything that might be construed as personal responsibility.  Any words to the contrary and you're an un-American liberal.  I get labeled an elitist and out of touch officer for suggesting a Private probably doesn't need a $150/month cell phone plan and car that costs his entirely annual income.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2081 on: April 27, 2015, 01:50:09 PM »
Today's exclaimation-riddled rantings: "A married private with 3 kids can't be expected to invest 5% of his income!"  "The only way to make this work is to increase the pay scale to cover this investment requirement dollar for dollar!"

Here's a wild idea: don't have three kids at 20 years old if you're not sure you can afford to raise them.  People across the nation invest in their futures from their own pockets.  We're not that special.  It drives me nuts with this mentality that EVERYONE should offer a military discount and service members should not be required to do anything that might be construed as personal responsibility.  Any words to the contrary and you're an un-American liberal.  I get labeled an elitist and out of touch officer for suggesting a Private probably doesn't need a $150/month cell phone plan and car that costs his entirely annual income.
That same Private probably also rails against socialism and the furriners terkin' ar' jerbz, right... :P
The more I read this thread, the more it bums me out that all my CWs have their shit together... a full year on the MMM site and all I've scraped up are a couple of mediocre anecdotes. More than a few of them started out as E-1s and probably did their share of dumb crap in their day, and they all have exploding volcano lifestyles by MMM standards, but they never let on to any real fucuptitude, except for one. I guess having a security clearance for 2-3 decades will beat that into you.
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Beaker

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2082 on: April 27, 2015, 03:10:03 PM »
Posted on the Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade page for my town:

OP:  Does anyone know what time the walk in clinic by the park closes today?

1st Reply: Hours are 9-9 i think

2nd Reply:  I would call in to find out.

OP:  I don't have a phone to call
<snip>

Where to start?  This was posted by someone who looks to be late teens/very early twenties.  First, can't they look up the hours on google since they clearly have internet access?

Someone on my neighborhood Facebook group asked "When is the next large-item trash pickup?"

It depends which street you live on, so I said that, and included a link to the city webpage of pickup days. Nope, too complicated, they didn't get it. After several rounds of people trying to help, it ended up at "Here's the city phone number. Call them and ask." I think that was also too complex, so they decided to just leave their couch in the alley for however long it takes to get picked up.

Some people need to be spoon-fed everything, including information.

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2083 on: April 27, 2015, 04:00:56 PM »
Today's exclaimation-riddled rantings: "A married private with 3 kids can't be expected to invest 5% of his income!"  "The only way to make this work is to increase the pay scale to cover this investment requirement dollar for dollar!"

Here's a wild idea: don't have three kids at 20 years old if you're not sure you can afford to raise them.  People across the nation invest in their futures from their own pockets.  We're not that special.  It drives me nuts with this mentality that EVERYONE should offer a military discount and service members should not be required to do anything that might be construed as personal responsibility.  Any words to the contrary and you're an un-American liberal.  I get labeled an elitist and out of touch officer for suggesting a Private probably doesn't need a $150/month cell phone plan and car that costs his entirely annual income.
That same Private probably also rails against socialism and the furriners terkin' ar' jerbz, right... :P
The more I read this thread, the more it bums me out that all my CWs have their shit together... a full year on the MMM site and all I've scraped up are a couple of mediocre anecdotes. More than a few of them started out as E-1s and probably did their share of dumb crap in their day, and they all have exploding volcano lifestyles by MMM standards, but they never let on to any real fucuptitude, except for one. I guess having a security clearance for 2-3 decades will beat that into you.

I work in a security clearance-heavy field and thankfully none of these rants are from people I work with.  The few times I've had an Overheard at Work story it's been someone else down the hall - except for the E-4 I had to fire a few years ago who threw away a promising career because of a series of temper tantrums.  Security clearance, satellite comms job, and brand new BMW gone.  Technically his story qualifies here since he showed up on Facebook a couple months after the Army working fast food.

Just curious, are you at Redstone?

merula

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2084 on: April 28, 2015, 08:16:17 AM »
Today's exclaimation-riddled rantings: "A married private with 3 kids can't be expected to invest 5% of his income!"  "The only way to make this work is to increase the pay scale to cover this investment requirement dollar for dollar!"

Here's a wild idea: don't have three kids at 20 years old if you're not sure you can afford to raise them.  People across the nation invest in their futures from their own pockets.  We're not that special.  It drives me nuts with this mentality that EVERYONE should offer a military discount and service members should not be required to do anything that might be construed as personal responsibility.  Any words to the contrary and you're an un-American liberal.  I get labeled an elitist and out of touch officer for suggesting a Private probably doesn't need a $150/month cell phone plan and car that costs his entirely annual income.
That same Private probably also rails against socialism and the furriners terkin' ar' jerbz, right... :P
The more I read this thread, the more it bums me out that all my CWs have their shit together... a full year on the MMM site and all I've scraped up are a couple of mediocre anecdotes. More than a few of them started out as E-1s and probably did their share of dumb crap in their day, and they all have exploding volcano lifestyles by MMM standards, but they never let on to any real fucuptitude, except for one. I guess having a security clearance for 2-3 decades will beat that into you.

I work in a security clearance-heavy field and thankfully none of these rants are from people I work with.  The few times I've had an Overheard at Work story it's been someone else down the hall - except for the E-4 I had to fire a few years ago who threw away a promising career because of a series of temper tantrums.  Security clearance, satellite comms job, and brand new BMW gone.  Technically his story qualifies here since he showed up on Facebook a couple months after the Army working fast food.

Just curious, are you at Redstone?

Details on the temper tantrums? This is the thread for mocking the bad decisions of others, after all.

Bob W

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2085 on: April 28, 2015, 08:20:07 AM »
I didn't read all the 8000 posts on this thread but it occurred to me -- Why is any Mustachian spending any time on Facebook?   Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

Facebook is for the rest of the world IMHO.
Better living through math.

solon

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2086 on: April 28, 2015, 08:22:51 AM »
I didn't read all the 8000 posts on this thread but it occurred to me -- Why is any Mustachian spending any time on Facebook?   Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

Facebook is for the rest of the world IMHO.

mind=blown

I'm deleting my facebook account now.

JLee

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2087 on: April 28, 2015, 08:23:30 AM »
I didn't read all the 8000 posts on this thread but it occurred to me -- Why is any Mustachian spending any time on Facebook?   Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

Facebook is for the rest of the world IMHO.
Because we have friends?  I fail to see how it's remotely relevant.

iowajes

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2088 on: April 28, 2015, 08:43:40 AM »
I didn't read all the 8000 posts on this thread but it occurred to me -- Why is any Mustachian spending any time on Facebook?   Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

Facebook is for the rest of the world IMHO.
Because we have friends?  I fail to see how it's remotely relevant.

I agree. What in the world does facebook have to do with being mustachian?

Where else would I see baby pictures from all my friends who do not live near me?

Cookie78

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2089 on: April 28, 2015, 08:56:45 AM »
I didn't read all the 8000 posts on this thread but it occurred to me -- Why is any Mustachian spending any time on Facebook?   Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

Facebook is for the rest of the world IMHO.
Because we have friends?  I fail to see how it's remotely relevant.

I agree. What in the world does facebook have to do with being mustachian?

Where else would I see baby pictures from all my friends who do not live near me?

Thirded. It's free and an easy efficient way to keep up with what's going on with family and friends who are not near. And who are near but I don't get to see often. Or free events that are going on in my community and with my friends.

iowajes

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2090 on: April 28, 2015, 09:13:23 AM »
Or free events that are going on in my community and with my friends.

That is a great reason to use it.  We also have a neighborhood page. Where we organize block parties and road cleanups. 


grantmeaname

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2091 on: April 28, 2015, 09:13:35 AM »
Good Christians aren't allowed to have sex? There must not be very many of them.

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2092 on: April 28, 2015, 09:15:33 AM »
Good Christians aren't allowed to have sex? There must not be very many of them.

Only with their spouse.  And no, most of them seem to be hypocrites.

GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2093 on: April 28, 2015, 09:16:27 AM »
Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

Christians can't enjoy sex?  Which part of the bible says that?

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2094 on: April 28, 2015, 09:26:07 AM »
I didn't read all the 8000 posts on this thread but it occurred to me -- Why is any Mustachian spending any time on Facebook?   Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

As long as the novels contained hot married sex, I don't see the problem.  Heck, Song of Solomon is dirrrty...

But then, I'm not a very good Christian.

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2095 on: April 28, 2015, 09:27:47 AM »
Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

Christians can't enjoy sex?  Which part of the bible says that?

Only with their spouse.  Pretty sure having fantasies about other people is considered a sin.

GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2096 on: April 28, 2015, 09:41:41 AM »
Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

Christians can't enjoy sex?  Which part of the bible says that?

Only with their spouse.  Pretty sure having fantasies about other people is considered a sin.

I was under the impression that as long as you're not spilling seed wantonly on the ground and as long as you're not fucking someone other than your spouse there isn't really anything in the bible to prevent enjoying porn.

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2097 on: April 28, 2015, 09:50:53 AM »
Kinda like a good Christian reading sex novels.

Christians can't enjoy sex?  Which part of the bible says that?

Only with their spouse.  Pretty sure having fantasies about other people is considered a sin.

I was under the impression that as long as you're not spilling seed wantonly on the ground and as long as you're not fucking someone other than your spouse there isn't really anything in the bible to prevent enjoying porn.

Did we read the same bible?  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife. 

EDIT: Also lust is one of the seven deadly sins.

GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2098 on: April 28, 2015, 09:55:37 AM »
Well, it looks like I was misinformed.  Christians are not allowed to be sensual (Galatians 5:19), or to look at naked women (Matt. 5:28).  Pornography is actually demonic (1 John 2:16).

Hmmm.  Not sure exactly how the above squares away with the porno section of the bible (Song of songs), but I digress.

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Reply #2099 on: April 28, 2015, 09:58:27 AM »
The bible is full of contradictions.  Best not to take it literally.  Or at all imo.