Author Topic: How far are you willing to go?  (Read 6225 times)

Roland of Gilead

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How far are you willing to go?
« on: February 20, 2017, 05:26:32 PM »
While researching some homes to rent or buy, I stumbled across some section 8 housing voucher material that somewhat shocked me.

Section 8 vouchers for subsidizing rentals on the private market are only income based.  Money and assets are only considered to the point of the yearly income they produce (so if you have $500,000 in a 2% CD, only the $10,000 a year in interest is considered).

Now I am not saying I am considering applying for section 8 vouchers, but it did spin my head a bit as to the possibilities out there for someone who wanted to legally take extreme advantage of the system.

We do get ACA subsidies, which is as far as we have taken things.  It looks like someone could go A LOT further, even with $1 mil + in assets.

I mean you would be a really good tenant yes?  Never miss paying your $500 on a house that normally would rent for $1500 a month.

(I need to remagnetize my moral compass)

Future Lazy

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 06:21:37 PM »
Oh snap. Is this why richie rich politician types on the red side of the aisle think that the welfare system is being constantly gamed? (#liberalbias)

Alternately, buy a multi unit property that earns 20k per year, own it under an llc, apply for section 8, and then apply for leasing one of the units. Rent from yourself at section 8 prices BOOM super gamed free living with a 30% guaranteed return on your rent amount in your individual unit. I'm way too lazy to go this far, though. :)

YttriumNitrate

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 06:34:13 PM »
If I retire early, I will definitely be looking into food stamps/SNAP. Some states have means testing (so people with a seven figure portfolio don't qualify) however many other states have no such testing.

Laura33

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 08:55:25 AM »
You know, I once did pro bono work helping out Section 8 tenants in court.  I don't care how great the subsidy is, the kind of housing options these folks had, and the kind of landlords they had to deal with on a daily basis, would not be worth it to me for any amount of money.

Yes, I know there are better ones out there (landlord-tenant court = selection bias at work).  But I'd rather work longer than have to subject myself to that particular market.

Aggie1999

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 09:48:50 AM »
I'd take anything I can get out of the government. I do question how realistic it is for someone with investment money to get help from HUD though. The following page says your local PHA will want to see bank accounts, etc and will give preferential treatment based on their own criteria. Think a single mother with multiple kids.

https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/housing_choice_voucher_program_section_8

Guess it couldn't hurt to try. Of course like the previous poster said your choice of rentals that take HUD may change your mind...

eyePod

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 10:10:04 AM »
I've seen similar questions about food stamps.

Sure, you could do it. Personally, I try to use the barometer of "will this keep me up at night." I couldn't imagine thinking of someone else who truly needed that house missing out because I was being cheap.

honeybbq

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2017, 10:14:33 AM »
Personally - I have a much different opinion of food stamps/SNAP vs section 8 housing.

In Seattle, low income housing is SO rare and SO 'valuable' I would personally feel guilty taking that housing option away from someone who really needed it.  There was an article the other day in our newspaper that there were 2500 applications for 100 or 200 slots. We also have an enormous homelessness problem here....

anyways, my thoughts are: NO don't do it.

Case

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2017, 10:17:45 AM »
While researching some homes to rent or buy, I stumbled across some section 8 housing voucher material that somewhat shocked me.

Section 8 vouchers for subsidizing rentals on the private market are only income based.  Money and assets are only considered to the point of the yearly income they produce (so if you have $500,000 in a 2% CD, only the $10,000 a year in interest is considered).

Now I am not saying I am considering applying for section 8 vouchers, but it did spin my head a bit as to the possibilities out there for someone who wanted to legally take extreme advantage of the system.

We do get ACA subsidies, which is as far as we have taken things.  It looks like someone could go A LOT further, even with $1 mil + in assets.

I mean you would be a really good tenant yes?  Never miss paying your $500 on a house that normally would rent for $1500 a month.

(I need to remagnetize my moral compass)

This isn't a response to your question, but a response to your name.
I'm reading the 3rd book.... does the series get better?
This is my second attempt at reading the Dark Tower series (so i've read books 1 and 2 twice, and the the 3rd 1.3 times).  Book 1 I find very interesting, but 2 is a little boring to me (especially the chapter on Odetta/Detta), and 3 is boring (although gets more interesting at the end with Blaine).

I really like the world that King creates, the atmosphere especially.  But sometimes his characters are boring (I only really like Roland, Eddie is sort of ok).  And what really gets he is how forced the symbolism/metaphors are.

Do the books change much going into 4, 5, 6, 7?  I've read a bit of 4 actually... I'm interested to learn about Roland's past so maybe that will keep me going.
But the books get longer and longer so it is quite the investment.

aFrugalFather

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 10:22:30 AM »
While researching some homes to rent or buy, I stumbled across some section 8 housing voucher material that somewhat shocked me.

Section 8 vouchers for subsidizing rentals on the private market are only income based.  Money and assets are only considered to the point of the yearly income they produce (so if you have $500,000 in a 2% CD, only the $10,000 a year in interest is considered).

Now I am not saying I am considering applying for section 8 vouchers, but it did spin my head a bit as to the possibilities out there for someone who wanted to legally take extreme advantage of the system.

We do get ACA subsidies, which is as far as we have taken things.  It looks like someone could go A LOT further, even with $1 mil + in assets.

I mean you would be a really good tenant yes?  Never miss paying your $500 on a house that normally would rent for $1500 a month.

(I need to remagnetize my moral compass)

This isn't a response to your question, but a response to your name.
I'm reading the 3rd book.... does the series get better?
This is my second attempt at reading the Dark Tower series (so i've read books 1 and 2 twice, and the the 3rd 1.3 times).  Book 1 I find very interesting, but 2 is a little boring to me (especially the chapter on Odetta/Detta), and 3 is boring (although gets more interesting at the end with Blaine).

I really like the world that King creates, the atmosphere especially.  But sometimes his characters are boring (I only really like Roland, Eddie is sort of ok).  And what really gets he is how forced the symbolism/metaphors are.

Do the books change much going into 4, 5, 6, 7?  I've read a bit of 4 actually... I'm interested to learn about Roland's past so maybe that will keep me going.
But the books get longer and longer so it is quite the investment.

I'm no OP, but probably if you are not intrigued by the 4th book then it would be OK just to cut it loose.  Personally it would have been hard for me to end the series, I thought it was a compelling though crazy story. 

Vanguards and Lentils

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2017, 10:47:47 AM »
Oh snap. Is this why richie rich politician types on the red side of the aisle think that the welfare system is being constantly gamed? (#liberalbias)

Alternately, buy a multi unit property that earns 20k per year, own it under an llc, apply for section 8, and then apply for leasing one of the units. Rent from yourself at section 8 prices BOOM super gamed free living with a 30% guaranteed return on your rent amount in your individual unit. I'm way too lazy to go this far, though. :)

This is amazing. I'm taking notes.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2017, 10:57:27 AM »

This isn't a response to your question, but a response to your name.
I'm reading the 3rd book.... does the series get better?
This is my second attempt at reading the Dark Tower series (so i've read books 1 and 2 twice, and the the 3rd 1.3 times).  Book 1 I find very interesting, but 2 is a little boring to me (especially the chapter on Odetta/Detta), and 3 is boring (although gets more interesting at the end with Blaine).

I really like the world that King creates, the atmosphere especially.  But sometimes his characters are boring (I only really like Roland, Eddie is sort of ok).  And what really gets he is how forced the symbolism/metaphors are.

Do the books change much going into 4, 5, 6, 7?  I've read a bit of 4 actually... I'm interested to learn about Roland's past so maybe that will keep me going.
But the books get longer and longer so it is quite the investment.

That is going to be hard for me to answer because I loved the first three books.   They are strange but I like the character development of Eddie and Jake. 

As for boring, I guess it depends what you like to read.  I prefer character development over government conspiracy stories and protagonists who are never conflicted....so I quit reading Koontz a long time ago.  One of my favorite King books (sort of a short story) is A Long Walk.  Most people probably would consider it boring as hell.

historienne

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2017, 11:04:27 AM »
In major metro areas, the waiting lists for section 8 are years long.   They may only let people get on the list for a few weeks a year.  Priority goes to people who are currently homeless, who are experiencing domestic violence, and a few other categories such as veterans.  If you are just a poor family, you are often looking at a decade on the list before your number comes up.

And then, yes, you have all the problems of finding landlords who will take the voucher. The inspection process is a pain, so landlords generally are only willing to go through the process in order to rent an apartment that is otherwise undesirable. 

In other words, while this might be a theoretical possibility, it would be a huge pain in the butt and it does not happen in practice in any significant numbers.

Case

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2017, 02:10:56 PM »

This isn't a response to your question, but a response to your name.
I'm reading the 3rd book.... does the series get better?
This is my second attempt at reading the Dark Tower series (so i've read books 1 and 2 twice, and the the 3rd 1.3 times).  Book 1 I find very interesting, but 2 is a little boring to me (especially the chapter on Odetta/Detta), and 3 is boring (although gets more interesting at the end with Blaine).

I really like the world that King creates, the atmosphere especially.  But sometimes his characters are boring (I only really like Roland, Eddie is sort of ok).  And what really gets he is how forced the symbolism/metaphors are.

Do the books change much going into 4, 5, 6, 7?  I've read a bit of 4 actually... I'm interested to learn about Roland's past so maybe that will keep me going.
But the books get longer and longer so it is quite the investment.

That is going to be hard for me to answer because I loved the first three books.   They are strange but I like the character development of Eddie and Jake. 

As for boring, I guess it depends what you like to read.  I prefer character development over government conspiracy stories and protagonists who are never conflicted....so I quit reading Koontz a long time ago.  One of my favorite King books (sort of a short story) is A Long Walk.  Most people probably would consider it boring as hell.

I tend to like sci fi and fantasy, of which you might think the Dark Tower would be a great hybrid.
I like components of it so far; the ambience, a character (Roland), the sense of it being part of a very complex world/story that is gradually unveiled.  And i've read people saying that the ending is good and worth getting through for.... I just wanted to double check on that because it's a heck of a lot of reading.

But I don't like the forced metaphors, the emphasis on fate (ka, ka-tet or whatever) which always leaves me further asking 'why is this happening?', and initially I don't really like Jake or Odetta/Detta, though they get a little better with time.

Does it continue to be this way in later books?

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2017, 04:50:43 PM »
I tend to like sci fi and fantasy, of which you might think the Dark Tower would be a great hybrid.
I like components of it so far; the ambience, a character (Roland), the sense of it being part of a very complex world/story that is gradually unveiled.  And i've read people saying that the ending is good and worth getting through for.... I just wanted to double check on that because it's a heck of a lot of reading.

But I don't like the forced metaphors, the emphasis on fate (ka, ka-tet or whatever) which always leaves me further asking 'why is this happening?', and initially I don't really like Jake or Odetta/Detta, though they get a little better with time.

Does it continue to be this way in later books?

I've read the whole series twice, it's one of my favorite stories.  I would say if you're on Blaine and you aren't feeling it yet, don't bother continuing.  Susanna doesn't get any better, though Eddie and Jake both do, and you've already met Oy who ends up being my favorite character in the books.  Roland does keep growing/revealing more of his depth, so if you like him you can do book 4 which is all about him when younger and is actually really good.  He continues to grow in books 5-7 but overall the story kind of goes off the rails.  Still good, but books 1-3 are my favorite, so I can't see you being happing with the last 3 if you're not with the first 3.

If you continue to the end, I will say he finishes the story then says he knows some readers will be unhappy with where the story ends for him, and want him to go further, and he does but he doesn't like it and recommends you don't continue reading either.  Everyone I know who's made it to the end wishes they stopped when he told them to.  I managed to stop there, twice, and love where the story ended for him, fwiw.

JoJo

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2017, 01:52:59 PM »
I would feel really guilty over taking any benefit unless it's available for everybody.

So I would take SS, medicare, libraries, roads etc

but no way would I take food, housing, obamacare subsidies*, etc.

* I have no problem if socialized health care was the norm. 

Cwadda

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2017, 02:12:12 PM »
I'm slightly disturbed by the number of people who have so far said they are willing to take food stamps, health care subsidies, and housing in early retirement...

Aggie1999

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2017, 03:19:49 PM »
I'm slightly disturbed by the number of people who have so far said they are willing to take food stamps, health care subsidies, and housing in early retirement...

I'll take anything the gov't will give me without any moral issues in the back of my mind. My thinking is I (and many people on this forum) have been forced to contribute way more than my fair share during my working career. What little I can get out of the government when FIREd will make me smile!

Gondolin

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2017, 03:40:00 PM »
Quote
I managed to stop there, twice, and love where the story ended for him, fwiw

Conversely, you're the only person I've met who has managed to do this. Personally, I thought the 'final' ending was perfectly correct for the story though I know I'm in the minority with that opinion.

As for continuing the series, after book 3 they get....weirder. Like, a lot weirder. There are some GREAT scenes and resolutions in the later books. However, King has a maddening tendency set up a great premise then, streeeeeetch act 2 out with long digressions that don't ultimately go anywhere before resolving everything in an action packed 10 page climax. In Dark Tower 4-6 he really indulges this tendency. YMMV.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2017, 03:56:28 PM »
Quote
I managed to stop there, twice, and love where the story ended for him, fwiw

Conversely, you're the only person I've met who has managed to do this. Personally, I thought the 'final' ending was perfectly correct for the story though I know I'm in the minority with that opinion.

Yea I haven't met anyone that stopped there either.  I had the advantage of my father finishing the last book before me and recommending I stop where King says, and since we have pretty strong book likes/dislikes overlap, I listened :-)  It was definitely difficult though.

As for continuing the series, after book 3 they get....weirder. Like, a lot weirder. There are some GREAT scenes and resolutions in the later books. However, King has a maddening tendency set up a great premise then, streeeeeetch act 2 out with long digressions that don't ultimately go anywhere before resolving everything in an action packed 10 page climax. In Dark Tower 4-6 he really indulges this tendency. YMMV.

That's very accurate, for this series as well as pretty much everything else King.  Also agreed on there being great parts in all the books regardless.

sol

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2017, 04:26:18 PM »
I'm slightly disturbed by the number of people who have so far said they are willing to take food stamps, health care subsidies, and housing in early retirement...

I'm not disturbed at all.  Rich people do this sort of thing ALL the time.

Our current political system is set up to provide far more welfare to rich people than to poor people, as measured in dollars (not in individuals).  Rich people get huge tax breaks for owning multiple investment properties.  Capital gains are taxed less than wage income, for some unknown reason, and can be completely avoided using a stepped up basis or tax loss harvesting.  401k plans and DAFs are give-aways to the rich worth far more than every welfare check put together.  The carried interest tax loophole is an embarrassment to common decency.

And don't even get me started on tax deductions for luxury jets and yachts, accelerated depreciation schedules for oil companies, pharmaceutical research subsidies, crop insurance programs for corporate megafarms, and "too big to fail" financial firms that got billions in taxpayer bailouts after robbing the American middle class.

Things like section 8 are a drop in the bucket, a pleasant little distraction that the superwealthy allow to exist because it draws attention away from the much larger government largess that they enjoy.  I agree that there are despicable freeloaders abusing the system in America, but it's not anyone who lives in section 8 housing or who buys government subsidized cheese.

If you "feel bad" about utilizing government programs designed to improve your quality of life, it is only because you have bought into the fake narrative pushed by America's real freeloaders.  Their government benefits only work if no one else gets to use them, so they do everything in their power to discourage your participation so that they can continue to wallow in excess.

Take Trump as an example.  Do you think he feels bad about declaring bankruptcy six times in order to discharge his corporate debt and defraud his shareholders while paying himself exorbitant salaries?  How about renting an entire floor of trump tower to the secret service at double the market rate?  Of course not, because he knows how to work the system.  Like all rich people, he takes advantage of government loopholes for personal profit.  Why shouldn't we little people follow the example set by him and the rest of America's successful elite class?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 04:59:43 PM by sol »

Roland of Gilead

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2017, 04:26:38 PM »
King kind of did that with The Stand too.   Great story, kind of off the rails near the end.

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption he ended just fine and also The Long Walk and The Running Man (not the movie, which nothing like the book).

Maybe he does better endings with short stories.  Or just that when you write 4.2 million books, some are going to end better than others.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2017, 04:31:50 PM »
I'm slightly disturbed by the number of people who have so far said they are willing to take food stamps, health care subsidies, and housing in early retirement...

I imagine about 60% of the early retired people on here are taking health care subsidies.

And really all of the people who are working are getting a health care subsidy because their employer provided insurance is not taxed as income.

The only people who are not getting a health care subsidy are unemployed or self employed people who do not carry insurance or have private insurance with income too high for a ACA subsidy.

LibrarianFuzz

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2017, 04:32:04 PM »
Ummmmm, have you ever lived in section 8 housing yourself, or known someone who has?

I am currently living in a neighborhood that is in a hotbed of section 8 housing. I bought my house there. It was what I could afford (in California.)

I have section 8 neighbors to the immediate right of me, across the street from me, and kitty corner to me. Most of my street, and the streets around me, are also section 8.

Prior to buying my home, I spent years living in apartments located in section 8 neighborhoods, although the apartments I rented were not actually classified in section 8. They were just cheap and affordable for someone with an extremely limited income. 

You don't want to live in section 8 housing.

I don't know my neighbors. Except for one, who acted friendly at first and then tried to break into my home while he was drunk because he "wanted some" and I was the only single girl in the neighborhood, so therefore, he thought I was available and naturally would be receptive to his attentions. (He was married, by the way.) It was scary and I called the police. We no longer speak, obviously.

Problems I deal with in a section 8 neighborhood:

drug dealing
drug dealing on my property
drug dealers parking in front of my house
people mistaking my house for the drug dealers
people using my lawn as a trash bag
people letting their dogs shit on my lawn
dogs just roaming, loose
neglected animals that bark for days at a time
people pissing on my property
people shitting on my property
people stealing anything that is not nailed down on my property, including plants, decorations, etc.
people using hose extensions and or/extension cords to steal my power and water when I am at work
people loitering on the steps of my property or using my (chained to the railing) rocking chairs to relax in while I'm at work
screaming fights between neighbors
neighbors calling the cops on one another
neighbors calling tow trucks on one another to have their cars towed
people doing crazy drugged things (like lying in the middle of the road or running outside the house in just their underwear)
people letting their cousin/boyfriend's daughter/drug dealer's friend camp out permanently in their backyard or side of their house
people encouraging the local homeless population to just "hang out" at their house all day and "party"
gang activity
prostitution and or bartering
lots of unemployed/dropped out high school minors that just hang out all day, destroying stuff, littering, doing drugs, etc.

sol

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2017, 05:18:54 PM »
To provide some context, the five million American households earning more than 200k per year get approximately four times more financial aid from the mortgage interest deduction than do the twenty million American households earning less than 20k per year get from section 8 subsidies.  Just on the housing front alone, we give far more welfare to rich people than we do to poor people.

Entitlement programs are the same deal.  We spend approximately ten times more on corporate welfare for just the top ten biggest US firms each year (~1.54 trillion) than we do on on TANF, food stamps, and the EITC combined (158 billion).

Of course, the lesson here is that if you really want to abuse the American welfare state, you need to be filthy rich first.  Exploiting loopholes in the section 8 program is small potatoes.  Our system is set up for the express benefit of the super rich.

CheapScholar

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2017, 05:28:53 PM »
The last 2 posts made me realize how lucky I am to be an upper middle class American. 

Shor

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2017, 05:46:07 PM »
Why shouldn't we little people follow the example set by him and the rest of America's successful elite class?
I suppose living a morally superior life is pretty rewarding in itself.
Just because everyone cheats on the test doesn't mean you have to, nor should you.
If you're saying they "get to" live a life of excess luxury and substantial waste, I would much much rather take my simple lifestyle and a clear conscience over that alternative, thank you very much.

I want to be a better person than that. I don't need absurd luxury and waste to be happy with life. I don't want this "package" that rich people are portraying, it just doesn't appeal to me.
Does it appeal to you?

Hargrove

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2017, 06:32:08 PM »
I'm slightly disturbed by the number of people who have so far said they are willing to take food stamps, health care subsidies, and housing in early retirement...

I'm with you. The theory seems to generally go that "if the thing is evil, other, or big enough not to notice small losses, or if it took something from you, taking from it is ok."

The government isn't something else. It's not an other. It's... us. There is no "the government" money. It's taxpayer money. More problematically, and much more importantly than these "small potatoes," which really they are next to corporate welfare, is that corrupting the system can destroy it, and people in Section 8 don't need any more stigma lobbed against them (or for all aid to the poor to disappear entirely).

A 60-year-old woman explained to me Puerto Ricans have "huge signs at the airport" to "come live here for free on aid." I hear about crap like how people game the system and "live for free" all the time.

My mother had fucking cancer and couldn't work, and it took her over a year to get a response from the aid agency for just health insurance (just prior to ACA). She got the approval a few weeks after she died. Or rather, I got the approval. The financial aid response came a year later. It's not as easy to game the system as some people think, but there are many who do game it, and it's disgusting, because some people need it, really really badly, and don't get it, and their application sits in line just like everyone else's.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 06:39:47 PM by Hargrove »

Mezzie

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2017, 07:15:05 PM »
The wait time for section 8 housing here is horrendous; I know quite a lot of people who are deserving and have been on that list for what seems like forever (I work in a low-income area). I would NOT be okay taking that from people who are in unsafe living situations and/or homeless.

I also think in my state there is a check of more than just income, but maybe I'm mixing that up with WIC or something else.

Case

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2017, 07:26:51 PM »
I tend to like sci fi and fantasy, of which you might think the Dark Tower would be a great hybrid.
I like components of it so far; the ambience, a character (Roland), the sense of it being part of a very complex world/story that is gradually unveiled.  And i've read people saying that the ending is good and worth getting through for.... I just wanted to double check on that because it's a heck of a lot of reading.

But I don't like the forced metaphors, the emphasis on fate (ka, ka-tet or whatever) which always leaves me further asking 'why is this happening?', and initially I don't really like Jake or Odetta/Detta, though they get a little better with time.

Does it continue to be this way in later books?

I've read the whole series twice, it's one of my favorite stories.  I would say if you're on Blaine and you aren't feeling it yet, don't bother continuing.  Susanna doesn't get any better, though Eddie and Jake both do, and you've already met Oy who ends up being my favorite character in the books.  Roland does keep growing/revealing more of his depth, so if you like him you can do book 4 which is all about him when younger and is actually really good.  He continues to grow in books 5-7 but overall the story kind of goes off the rails.  Still good, but books 1-3 are my favorite, so I can't see you being happing with the last 3 if you're not with the first 3.

If you continue to the end, I will say he finishes the story then says he knows some readers will be unhappy with where the story ends for him, and want him to go further, and he does but he doesn't like it and recommends you don't continue reading either.  Everyone I know who's made it to the end wishes they stopped when he told them to.  I managed to stop there, twice, and love where the story ended for him, fwiw.

I did enjoy the Blaine section a fair bit.  And I do like Oy.  I can see Eddie warming up to me.  Jake, we'll see. 

Cwadda

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2017, 08:13:06 AM »
I'm slightly disturbed by the number of people who have so far said they are willing to take food stamps, health care subsidies, and housing in early retirement...

I'm not disturbed at all.  Rich people do this sort of thing ALL the time.

Our current political system is set up to provide far more welfare to rich people than to poor people, as measured in dollars (not in individuals).  Rich people get huge tax breaks for owning multiple investment properties.  Capital gains are taxed less than wage income, for some unknown reason, and can be completely avoided using a stepped up basis or tax loss harvesting.  401k plans and DAFs are give-aways to the rich worth far more than every welfare check put together.  The carried interest tax loophole is an embarrassment to common decency.

And don't even get me started on tax deductions for luxury jets and yachts, accelerated depreciation schedules for oil companies, pharmaceutical research subsidies, crop insurance programs for corporate megafarms, and "too big to fail" financial firms that got billions in taxpayer bailouts after robbing the American middle class.

Things like section 8 are a drop in the bucket, a pleasant little distraction that the superwealthy allow to exist because it draws attention away from the much larger government largess that they enjoy.  I agree that there are despicable freeloaders abusing the system in America, but it's not anyone who lives in section 8 housing or who buys government subsidized cheese.

If you "feel bad" about utilizing government programs designed to improve your quality of life, it is only because you have bought into the fake narrative pushed by America's real freeloaders.  Their government benefits only work if no one else gets to use them, so they do everything in their power to discourage your participation so that they can continue to wallow in excess.

Take Trump as an example.  Do you think he feels bad about declaring bankruptcy six times in order to discharge his corporate debt and defraud his shareholders while paying himself exorbitant salaries?  How about renting an entire floor of trump tower to the secret service at double the market rate?  Of course not, because he knows how to work the system.  Like all rich people, he takes advantage of government loopholes for personal profit.  Why shouldn't we little people follow the example set by him and the rest of America's successful elite class?

Oh no, don't get me wrong. I hate the tax structure and how moneyed interests keep it exactly how you've explained - deliberately. Taxes are so damned complicated that minimum wage workers don't even know how to file their taxes and miss out on refunds. The ones that need those refunds most. We live in a country where corporate billionaires are harvesting millions in taxes while the minimum wage worker can't get a $500 refund to pay for groceries. It's disgusting.

However, I still think it's wrong, on shear principle, to take advantage of subsidized food, healthcare, housing, etc., if you are FIRE'd. Even if it is a drop in the bucket, it's still wrong.

Quote
To provide some context, the five million American households earning more than 200k per year get approximately four times more financial aid from the mortgage interest deduction than do the twenty million American households earning less than 20k per year get from section 8 subsidies.  Just on the housing front alone, we give far more welfare to rich people than we do to poor people.

Entitlement programs are the same deal.  We spend approximately ten times more on corporate welfare for just the top ten biggest US firms each year (~1.54 trillion) than we do on on TANF, food stamps, and the EITC combined (158 billion).

Of course, the lesson here is that if you really want to abuse the American welfare state, you need to be filthy rich first.  Exploiting loopholes in the section 8 program is small potatoes.  Our system is set up for the express benefit of the super rich.
I don't disagree with you on any of this. Hence why we have "special interest groups" and why Bernie was destroyed before he had a chance.

Quote
I'm with you. The theory seems to generally go that "if the thing is evil, other, or big enough not to notice small losses, or if it took something from you, taking from it is ok."

The government isn't something else. It's not an other. It's... us. There is no "the government" money. It's taxpayer money. More problematically, and much more importantly than these "small potatoes," which really they are next to corporate welfare, is that corrupting the system can destroy it, and people in Section 8 don't need any more stigma lobbed against them (or for all aid to the poor to disappear entirely).

A 60-year-old woman explained to me Puerto Ricans have "huge signs at the airport" to "come live here for free on aid." I hear about crap like how people game the system and "live for free" all the time.

My mother had fucking cancer and couldn't work, and it took her over a year to get a response from the aid agency for just health insurance (just prior to ACA). She got the approval a few weeks after she died. Or rather, I got the approval. The financial aid response came a year later. It's not as easy to game the system as some people think, but there are many who do game it, and it's disgusting, because some people need it, really really badly, and don't get it, and their application sits in line just like everyone else's.

I fully agree with you. I fully support welfare for the poor and if I were to take advantage of any of these programs while I was in retirement, it certainly wouldn't do any good for the people that actually need it.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 08:25:49 AM by Cwadda »

I'm a red panda

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2017, 08:57:59 AM »
I think there is a slight difference between taking Section 8 housing when you are a millionaire who has FIRED vs. SNAP or a healthcare subsidy.
My understanding is food stamps and subsidies aren't limited to the first X people to apply.  Section 8 is very difficult to get for the people who NEED it. You are truly TAKING from those in need if you took Section 8 housing.

Maybe with the food stamps you are taking the time of a case worker? I don't know exactly how they work. But I wouldn't worry about the healthcare subsidy; they could EASILY means test those.


The last 2 posts made me realize how lucky I am to be an upper middle class American. 
It took this thread for you to realize that? Not being upper middle class or higher often really really sucks in the US.

BTDretire

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2017, 12:56:01 PM »
To provide some context, the five million American households earning more than 200k per year get approximately four times more financial aid from the mortgage interest deduction than do the twenty million American households earning less than 20k per year get from section 8 subsidies. 

  I never equated giving less of your hard earned money to the government with getting an actual payment of other peoples money from the government. But feel free to do so.

SimpleCycle

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2017, 01:22:35 PM »
To provide some context, the five million American households earning more than 200k per year get approximately four times more financial aid from the mortgage interest deduction than do the twenty million American households earning less than 20k per year get from section 8 subsidies. 

  I never equated giving less of your hard earned money to the government with getting an actual payment of other peoples money from the government. But feel free to do so.

Tax expenditures and budget expenditures are both money, so I think it's reasonable to say they are equivalent.

That said, no, I would never take Section 8 in ER.  It is a zero sum game and you would be taking a waiting list spot from a needy family.  No way.

Alim Nassor

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2017, 09:21:18 PM »
Except for section 8, I already went that far by downsizing to house that has a PITI payment of about 550.    I've renovated and made it pretty damn nice though.

hoping2retire35

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2017, 09:41:12 PM »
I'm slightly disturbed by the number of people who have so far said they are willing to take food stamps, health care subsidies, and housing in early retirement...

I'm not disturbed at all.  Rich people do this sort of thing ALL the time.

Our current political system is set up to provide far more welfare to rich people than to poor people, as measured in dollars (not in individuals).  Rich people get huge tax breaks for owning multiple investment properties.  Capital gains are taxed less than wage income, for some unknown reason, and can be completely avoided using a stepped up basis or tax loss harvesting.  401k plans and DAFs are give-aways to the rich worth far more than every welfare check put together.  The carried interest tax loophole is an embarrassment to common decency.

And don't even get me started on tax deductions for luxury jets and yachts, accelerated depreciation schedules for oil companies, pharmaceutical research subsidies, crop insurance programs for corporate megafarms, and "too big to fail" financial firms that got billions in taxpayer bailouts after robbing the American middle class.

Things like section 8 are a drop in the bucket, a pleasant little distraction that the superwealthy allow to exist because it draws attention away from the much larger government largess that they enjoy.  I agree that there are despicable freeloaders abusing the system in America, but it's not anyone who lives in section 8 housing or who buys government subsidized cheese.

If you "feel bad" about utilizing government programs designed to improve your quality of life, it is only because you have bought into the fake narrative pushed by America's real freeloaders.  Their government benefits only work if no one else gets to use them, so they do everything in their power to discourage your participation so that they can continue to wallow in excess.

Take Trump as an example.  Do you think he feels bad about declaring bankruptcy six times in order to discharge his corporate debt and defraud his shareholders while paying himself exorbitant salaries?  How about renting an entire floor of trump tower to the secret service at double the market rate?  Of course not, because he knows how to work the system.  Like all rich people, he takes advantage of government loopholes for personal profit.  Why shouldn't we little people follow the example set by him and the rest of America's successful elite class?

Once again I find myself(for some reason) agreeing with sol.

hoping2retire35

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2017, 09:49:00 PM »
To provide some context, the five million American households earning more than 200k per year get approximately four times more financial aid from the mortgage interest deduction than do the twenty million American households earning less than 20k per year get from section 8 subsidies.  Just on the housing front alone, we give far more welfare to rich people than we do to poor people.

Entitlement programs are the same deal.  We spend approximately ten times more on corporate welfare for just the top ten biggest US firms each year (~1.54 trillion) than we do on on TANF, food stamps, and the EITC combined (158 billion).

Of course, the lesson here is that if you really want to abuse the American welfare state, you need to be filthy rich first.  Exploiting loopholes in the section 8 program is small potatoes.  Our system is set up for the express benefit of the super rich.
Seriously, think of how much a boon that is to banks. Get rid of all deductions except charity and some reasonable personal/individual one. Or just goto a sales tax system, think about the instant mustachian ism!

hoping2retire35

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2017, 09:56:05 PM »
I think there is a slight difference between taking Section 8 housing when you are a millionaire who has FIRED vs. SNAP or a healthcare subsidy.
My understanding is food stamps and subsidies aren't limited to the first X people to apply.  Section 8 is very difficult to get for the people who NEED it. You are truly TAKING from those in need if you took Section 8 housing.

Maybe with the food stamps you are taking the time of a case worker? I don't know exactly how they work. But I wouldn't worry about the healthcare subsidy; they could EASILY means test those.



+1 this is pretty much it. Food and money are moveable assests, real estate not so much. Besides, you are fired, you have much better options. Aren't you in key west or something, we need an update!

Freedom Invested

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2017, 10:21:54 PM »
You should not think about gaming the system so much as to consider section 8 as an optimal choice. You're paying a price even if it is not money.

I have a firearm, yes, but I would rather not be forced to use it and neither should you.


MoonLiteNite

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2017, 02:35:22 AM »
<--- see the flag? :) NAP, volunteerism!

I personally avoid ANYTHING that helps me that someone else was FORCED to pay into, i don't care what "side" is supporting the program.
That includes the housing rebates, ACA, any type of "Green" subsidies. I avoid as much as i can. I feel i should support myself, not others supporting me.
And on the other hand, i use every trick in the book to avoid paying taxes and hiding as much money as i can from the government.

But by the same token, you can use the "i am playing by the rules", which i guess is valid.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 02:37:44 AM by MoonLiteNite »

Roland of Gilead

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2017, 09:34:43 AM »
<--- see the flag? :) NAP, volunteerism!

I personally avoid ANYTHING that helps me that someone else was FORCED to pay into, i don't care what "side" is supporting the program.
That includes the housing rebates, ACA, any type of "Green" subsidies. I avoid as much as i can. I feel i should support myself, not others supporting me.
And on the other hand, i use every trick in the book to avoid paying taxes and hiding as much money as i can from the government.

But by the same token, you can use the "i am playing by the rules", which i guess is valid.

So you also avoid owning a home and deducting the mortgage interest, sending your kids to public schools, using a public park or library, driving on public roads, calling the police or fire department in an emergency, using your cell phone to even call 911 during an emergency.

The above are also things people were "forced" to pay into.


Letj

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2017, 11:38:57 AM »
Oh snap. Is this why richie rich politician types on the red side of the aisle think that the welfare system is being constantly gamed? (#liberalbias)

Alternately, buy a multi unit property that earns 20k per year, own it under an llc, apply for section 8, and then apply for leasing one of the units. Rent from yourself at section 8 prices BOOM super gamed free living with a 30% guaranteed return on your rent amount in your individual unit. I'm way too lazy to go this far, though. :)
First off you can't use a voucher to rent from a related party and you have to certify this in writing. Also, people on section 8 are quite poor to receive the voucher and must be employed or disabled. They also receive other government benefits which are means tested.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2017, 12:46:36 PM »
Looking through a list of potential programs, I would probably be willing to use any one that doesn't require a decrease in my standard of living (i.e., no section 8 housing). A family of four would get about $700 a month for food (SNAP +WIC) and $30 a month for low income heating/cooling (LIHEAP). TANF is probably out due the "look for work" requirement, but if I was already doing a low paid job in retirement just for the fun of it (running a farmers market stand, etc.) that could add another $500 a month for several years. Add in the earned income tax credit and the total annual subsidy can push close to $20k a year....

hmm....I could totally retire tomorrow if I moved to a state without means testing (Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, or Alabama).
http://scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org/latest/measure/asset-limits-in-public-benefit-programs

JoJo

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2017, 10:38:04 AM »


So you also avoid owning a home and deducting the mortgage interest, sending your kids to public schools, using a public park or library, driving on public roads, calling the police or fire department in an emergency, using your cell phone to even call 911 during an emergency.

The above are also things people were "forced" to pay into.

There is a HUGE difference between programs that are meant to be for everybody as opposed to programs that are specifically to help the poor meet a basic standard of living.

Catbert

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2017, 11:06:34 AM »
In my HCOL the wait to get Section 8 is >5 years IIRC from a recent newspaper article.  Plus it's hard to get on the list to begin with.  Then you can't find a decent place which takes Section 8.  With a low vacancy rate why mess with Section 8 as a landlord.  Unless, of course, that's your business model.

In these circumstances I would feel bad "taking" a Section 8 voucher that someone who really needed it could use.   ACA subsidies and food stamps are a bit different since you getting them doesn't prevent someone else from getting them also.  All academic for me since I have too much income in retirement for any of these programs.

Aelias

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2017, 08:16:28 AM »
Personally, I would avoid subsidies I know are intended to benefit the poor, including Section 8 and food stamps.  I also did not enroll in my city's lottery for free public preschool slots.  Do I hate how much I have to pay for childcare? You bet--it's our single largest expense. But I also know that we can afford quality preschool and other enrichment activities for our kids.  I also know that the kids that benefit the most from quality pre-K are the least likely to have access to it. So I cannot justify taking those slots for my kids.

For myself, I've already won the privilege lottery many times over.  In fact, that privilege is a big part of what makes FIRE a possibility at all. So, it seems morally wrong to take resources away from those who really need them to break out of cyclical, generational poverty.  Plus, it gives ammunition to those who would do away with those programs entirely because of rampant waste and fraud.

So, a big "nope" all around.

MoonLiteNite

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Re: How far are you willing to go?
« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2017, 11:46:53 PM »
<--- see the flag? :) NAP, volunteerism!

I personally avoid ANYTHING that helps me that someone else was FORCED to pay into, i don't care what "side" is supporting the program.
That includes the housing rebates, ACA, any type of "Green" subsidies. I avoid as much as i can. I feel i should support myself, not others supporting me.
And on the other hand, i use every trick in the book to avoid paying taxes and hiding as much money as i can from the government.

But by the same token, you can use the "i am playing by the rules", which i guess is valid.

So you also avoid owning a home and deducting the mortgage interest, sending your kids to public schools, using a public park or library, driving on public roads, calling the police or fire department in an emergency, using your cell phone to even call 911 during an emergency.

The above are also things people were "forced" to pay into.

Well this isn't about me, the OP was asking a simple question and i gave my simple answer, but to hijack the topic to answer you....


Yes, all those things i am forced to pay for, excluding the tax deduction, not sure why you put that in there.
I am forced to pay into those services, and out of all of them i only actually use one, the public roads.

If i have adopt a child, it would be home schooled, or another method. I do not other people should pay for my child's education.
Public parks could be used, but once again, i do not like how they are funded. I generally use a private park near where i live.
I refuse to use public libraries, why would why? internet has everything + more for FREE.
I do use roads.... actually prefer taking the dirt trails that the HOA provides, but since i do pay for the crappy roads i do use them from time to time.
I pay for private EMS and fire services, as for police "protection" they do not protect, they only report. I have used 911 once in my life. Worst mistake of my life 15min and 30min time for police and EMS to get here. Intruder in the house with a knife. Police station 5mins down the road.... self protection saved me that night, not police.


But as i said, i avoid taking from others to better myself.

edit:
Oh you are also free to help out the government as much as you like, which support all those great programs. You can donate at
https://www.pay.gov/public/form/start/23779454/

« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 11:53:20 PM by MoonLiteNite »