Author Topic: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"  (Read 20302 times)

Cressida

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #50 on: July 06, 2015, 10:58:46 PM »
By the way, the combination of socially liberal and fiscally conservative is one definition of a libertarian, for which thought Rand Paul is the reigning representative in our political climate.

Rand Paul is not socially liberal.

Compared to most of the candidates for the Republican nomination, he is.

That's a low bar, and even so, your initial comment didn't make that distinction. Rand Paul doesn't support reproductive rights, so I think using the words "socially liberal" in the proximity of his name is misleading.

Telecaster

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #51 on: July 06, 2015, 11:23:15 PM »

Up to this point, you are doing great. I can't argue with the above, because they are all very good points.  Everything that follows is a matter of opinion, that I don't agree with; and any actual numbers that could be produced to support it (or even contradict it) would be highly dependent upon many variables out of control of any one person, as well as the swings in both the stock market as well as the political environment.  So I would say that it all comes down to what you favor; forcing everyone into a one-program-fits-all pension plan, or allowing the general public to take risks and make mistakes.  Given the choice, I will pick the risk & freedom of self-directed independence every time.  Others seem to discount the problems and political risks of SS, and it comforts them.  I know that I am in a small minority in that manner, but there are more that favor that position than you are likely to believe exist.  Even if all that changes is some candidate for POTUS can promise the Millinials the option to opt-out of SS altogether, vast numbers will do so, and SS will still collapse upon it's own weight well before it runs out of living beneficiaries.

You're getting warmer  ;)   Your claim was most people would be better off.  Since most people don't save or invest very well, most people probably wouldn't. 

And I fully agree the final scenario is is unpredictable.  But you can make reasonable, informed assumptions.  An inflation adjusted annuity would that pays out something similar to most people's SS benefits would cost around $400,000.  If you simply invested your share of the FICA tax you would probably have more than that at age 65.  But you probably wouldn't have enough to also buy health insurance comparable to Medicare starting at age 65.   Right there, it becomes hard to argue that most people, even the good savers/investors, would be better off.   Some might be, but it starts depending a lot of what your assumptions are.  That also neglects the survivor and disability benefits.   As you correctly point out, it depends on your assumptions and starting points, but a lot of reasonable scenarios look like a wash even for good investors.     

You correctly and wisely point out political risk.  But there are other forms of institutional risk, like your insurance company goes bust or maybe you invested with Bernie Madoff or Enron.   You must include all institutional risks, not just the ones that seem obvious.

Finally, we're actually talking about social policy.  Lots of people are going to save and invest.   What do we do as a society when these people get elderly and can't work and need health care?  Put them on ice floes?   We don't live in a society where we are going to discard people--even if they didn't do what was necessary to take care of themselves.  So one solution is to make everybody pay when they are working and give it back to them when they are older.  It works, and from a cost standpoint it really isn't a bad deal.   


MoonShadow

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #52 on: July 06, 2015, 11:29:46 PM »
By the way, the combination of socially liberal and fiscally conservative is one definition of a libertarian, for which thought Rand Paul is the reigning representative in our political climate.

Rand Paul is not socially liberal.


Compared to most of the candidates for the Republican nomination, he is.

That's a low bar, and even so, your initial comment didn't make that distinction. Rand Paul doesn't support reproductive rights, so I think using the words "socially liberal" in the proximity of his name is misleading.

"Reproductive rights" is far from the only issue that defines "socially liberal", but I will leave you to your own opinions.

MoonShadow

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #53 on: July 06, 2015, 11:42:18 PM »

Finally, we're actually talking about social policy.  Lots of people are going to save and invest.   What do we do as a society when these people get elderly and can't work and need health care?  Put them on ice floes?   We don't live in a society where we are going to discard people--even if they didn't do what was necessary to take care of themselves.  So one solution is to make everybody pay when they are working and give it back to them when they are older.  It works, and from a cost standpoint it really isn't a bad deal.

I willing to concede that SS itself is probably a push for the majority of people & contrived situations we could think off, but Medicare is a different ball of wax altogether.  To claim that Medicare, as designed, is cheaper to pay collectively than for individuals to pay for health care needs themselves is mathmaticly impossible *before* you consider the inefficiencies of a large bureaucracy.  Medicare is not completely, and perhaps not primarily, paid for by FICA taxes; unlike SS.  Medicare is funded, in part, by the general funds of States.  So you would have to include the taxes that are paid through states in your assumptions there.

And don't assume that the great "We" will never kill off our elders.  It has been proposed in many ways, and by both Dems & Repubs; it just doesn't sound like "kill the old people" when you hear about it.  Usually it sounds like "compationate end of life care" or "assisted suicide", but in some places it could happen by default, simply because the wait-times for critical elder care grows too great.  That has already happened on occasion in Canada and Britain.  Health care is still a market, no matter what we do to it, and every market will find a way to balance itself out.  Sometimes it's by design, sometimes by some unintended consequence of regulations, but balance it will; eventually.

Cressida

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #54 on: July 07, 2015, 12:06:25 AM »
By the way, the combination of socially liberal and fiscally conservative is one definition of a libertarian, for which thought Rand Paul is the reigning representative in our political climate.

Rand Paul is not socially liberal.

Compared to most of the candidates for the Republican nomination, he is.

That's a low bar, and even so, your initial comment didn't make that distinction. Rand Paul doesn't support reproductive rights, so I think using the words "socially liberal" in the proximity of his name is misleading.

"Reproductive rights" is far from the only issue that defines "socially liberal", but I will leave you to your own opinions.

It's not the *only* issue (I never said it was), but you don't get to call yourself socially liberal if you think women shouldn't have the right to use birth control and have abortions (the latter subject to reasonable restrictions). That's a deeply conservative position.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 12:08:10 AM by Cressida »

Telecaster

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #55 on: July 07, 2015, 12:33:48 AM »
I willing to concede that SS itself is probably a push for the majority of people & contrived situations we could think off, but Medicare is a different ball of wax altogether. To claim that Medicare, as designed, is cheaper to pay collectively than for individuals to pay for health care needs themselves is mathmaticly impossible *before* you consider the inefficiencies of a large bureaucracy. Medicare is not completely, and perhaps not primarily, paid for by FICA taxes; unlike SS.  Medicare is funded, in part, by the general funds of States.  So you would have to include the taxes that are paid through states in your assumptions there.

You brought up the  the 15% FICA tax as the amount you would like to keep, so that's the number I used.  So those are your assumptions, not my assumptions.  And those are federal taxes.  I think you might be confusing Medicare and Medicaid.  Medicaid is partially financed through the states.   I didn't discuss Medicaid and there is no FICA deduction for Medicaid.   You only talked about FICA taxes, so that's what I talked about too. 

The part is bold is flat wrong.   Medicare pays out about 97% of dollars in the form of benefits.   Your for-profit insurance company pays at most 80%, and until the ACA was enacted it was more like 70%.     Medicare has enormous quantities of scale, standardization, and is vastly cheaper than any private insurance plan.   

Do not take my word for it.  Use the Google.  Get some price quotes.  Insurance for 65+ age people is very expensive.   The notion that you could simply save and invest and get the equivalent of the inflation adjusted annuity plus the health care benefit is pretty dubious.   






MoonShadow

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #56 on: July 07, 2015, 12:55:44 AM »
I willing to concede that SS itself is probably a push for the majority of people & contrived situations we could think off, but Medicare is a different ball of wax altogether. To claim that Medicare, as designed, is cheaper to pay collectively than for individuals to pay for health care needs themselves is mathmaticly impossible *before* you consider the inefficiencies of a large bureaucracy. Medicare is not completely, and perhaps not primarily, paid for by FICA taxes; unlike SS.  Medicare is funded, in part, by the general funds of States.  So you would have to include the taxes that are paid through states in your assumptions there.
  I think you might be confusing Medicare and Medicaid.

I could be.

Quote

The part is bold is flat wrong.   Medicare pays out about 97% of dollars in the form of benefits.   Your for-profit insurance company pays at most 80%, and until the ACA was enacted it was more like 70%.     Medicare has enormous quantities of scale, standardization, and is vastly cheaper than any private insurance plan.   

Do not take my word for it.  Use the Google.  Get some price quotes.  Insurance for 65+ age people is very expensive.   The notion that you could simply save and invest and get the equivalent of the inflation adjusted annuity plus the health care benefit is pretty dubious.

Your bias is showing.  You are assuming that I would replace a large, government ran health insurance system with a smaller, privately ran insurance system. While I would not rule that out, I would not have assumed that insurance would be the most cost effective solution for most retired Americans.  I would guess, but cannot know, that some combination of an expanded Health Savings Account, funded over a lifetime, and catastrophic health insurance would be ideal.  Rarely is private insurance a cheaper option than 'self-insurance' by saving for the risks yourself.  And even if Medicare actually does pay out 97% of funding, which I won't contest at this time, that still means it has an overhead of 3%.  There are a few examples of mutual insurance companies (the traditional kind, owned by policy holders) that have beaten that number (on net, after dividends), a well funded HSA is almost certain to do better, since their typical overhead is around 50 basis points.  You might actually have to put some real effort into finding an HSA with an overhead that averages that high, since that might actually be illegal from a fiduciary perspective.

MoonShadow

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #57 on: July 07, 2015, 01:21:02 AM »
While 2.9% of payroll income (as part of FICA) is paid towards Medicare, that only funds 38% of benefits.  The other sources are the general fund (i.e. taxes other than FICA) at 41% of the total; and beneficiary premiums, at 13% of the total; with "state contributions, interest and other" rounding out the last 8%.  So not only is your perspective on what Medicare actually is in error (as much as my own, I admit) even the claim that FICA pays for Medicare is, on net, an error.  Medicare is a damned expensive program.

My source...

http://kff.org/medicare/fact-sheet/medicare-spending-and-financing-fact-sheet/

MoonShadow

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #58 on: July 07, 2015, 01:34:46 AM »
By the way, the combination of socially liberal and fiscally conservative is one definition of a libertarian, for which thought Rand Paul is the reigning representative in our political climate.

Rand Paul is not socially liberal.


Compared to most of the candidates for the Republican nomination, he is.

That's a low bar, and even so, your initial comment didn't make that distinction. Rand Paul doesn't support reproductive rights, so I think using the words "socially liberal" in the proximity of his name is misleading.

"Reproductive rights" is far from the only issue that defines "socially liberal", but I will leave you to your own opinions.

It's not the *only* issue (I never said it was), but you don't get to call yourself socially liberal if you think women shouldn't have the right to use birth control and have abortions (the latter subject to reasonable restrictions). That's a deeply conservative position.

Well, he doesn't call himself a liberal, nor a libertarian.  My point was that he is, on net, the *most* libertarian politician on the national stage at this time; and I can't think of a Democrat that comes as close to that standard.  That said, I sorry to inform you that you don't get to define what makes a social liberal any more than I do. I've known many true liberals in my lifetime, a subset of which are just as opposed to abortions as Rand Paul.  Granted, most of them were Catholic, but they were liberal in almost every other context beyond abortion.  Even true libertarians are evenly divided on the abortion issue, and if you think that it seems complex now, just try reading a libertarian debate on the subject!  Most Dems and Repubs don't even understand the libertarian positions on issues that we are in solid agreement about; but libertarians debating abortion gets deep into the philosophical weeds.

Cressida

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #59 on: July 07, 2015, 01:46:27 AM »
By the way, the combination of socially liberal and fiscally conservative is one definition of a libertarian, for which thought Rand Paul is the reigning representative in our political climate.

Rand Paul is not socially liberal.


Compared to most of the candidates for the Republican nomination, he is.

That's a low bar, and even so, your initial comment didn't make that distinction. Rand Paul doesn't support reproductive rights, so I think using the words "socially liberal" in the proximity of his name is misleading.

"Reproductive rights" is far from the only issue that defines "socially liberal", but I will leave you to your own opinions.

It's not the *only* issue (I never said it was), but you don't get to call yourself socially liberal if you think women shouldn't have the right to use birth control and have abortions (the latter subject to reasonable restrictions). That's a deeply conservative position.

Well, he doesn't call himself a liberal, nor a libertarian.  My point was that he is, on net, the *most* libertarian politician on the national stage at this time; and I can't think of a Democrat that comes as close to that standard.  That said, I sorry to inform you that you don't get to define what makes a social liberal any more than I do. I've known many true liberals in my lifetime, a subset of which are just as opposed to abortions as Rand Paul.  Granted, most of them were Catholic, but they were liberal in almost every other context beyond abortion.  Even true libertarians are evenly divided on the abortion issue, and if you think that it seems complex now, just try reading a libertarian debate on the subject!  Most Dems and Repubs don't even understand the libertarian positions on issues that we are in solid agreement about; but libertarians debating abortion gets deep into the philosophical weeds.

I don't? According to you? So who does, according to you?

Telecaster

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #60 on: July 07, 2015, 11:15:14 AM »
While 2.9% of payroll income (as part of FICA) is paid towards Medicare, that only funds 38% of benefits.  The other sources are the general fund (i.e. taxes other than FICA) at 41% of the total; and beneficiary premiums, at 13% of the total; with "state contributions, interest and other" rounding out the last 8%.  So not only is your perspective on what Medicare actually is in error (as much as my own, I admit) even the claim that FICA pays for Medicare is, on net, an error.  Medicare is a damned expensive program.

My source...

http://kff.org/medicare/fact-sheet/medicare-spending-and-financing-fact-sheet/

I'm quite aware Medicare is not fully funded through payroll taxes, thank you though.    The claim wasn't that FICA entirely pays for Medicare.  The claim was that Medicare is a benefit you receive for paying FICA.  That claim is 100% true.   You pay FICA for ten years, you get Medicare.   

 FWIW, the state portion of Medicare are payments for people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, essentially a reimbursement.   

I think you might have missed this from a prior post of mine after the last time you moved the goal posts:   

Quote
You brought up the  the 15% FICA tax as the amount you would like to keep, so that's the number I used.  So those are your assumptions, not my assumptions.

 Again, if you compare apples-to-apples, that is, look at what you get in return for paying FICA, primarily Social Security, Medicare, the disability benefit, and the survivor's benefit, FICA is not a bad value.   I know this because I've done the calculation of estimating what saving that 15% would grow to by age 65.  And then comparing that number to what an inflation adjusted annuity and medical insurance might cost (I used age 64 for medical insurance because new policies for people over age 65 are quite rare).  Again, apples to apples.   

By the way, your claim that mutual insurance companies pay out greater than 97% of dollars in benefits is complete bullshit.   Even the best health insurance companies only pay about 85%.




ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #61 on: July 07, 2015, 11:23:38 AM »
By the way, the combination of socially liberal and fiscally conservative is one definition of a libertarian, for which thought Rand Paul is the reigning representative in our political climate.

Rand Paul is not socially liberal.

Compared to most of the candidates for the Republican nomination, he is.

That's a low bar, and even so, your initial comment didn't make that distinction. Rand Paul doesn't support reproductive rights, so I think using the words "socially liberal" in the proximity of his name is misleading.

Hillary Clinton has participated in killing Middle Easterners for no good reason, which doesn't seem all that socially liberal either.

Realistically Rand Paul can't do anything about abortion. He can reduce the number of people in jail and he can reduce the number of people aimlessly killed as part of our "foreign policy". But if the symbolism of voting for a pro-abortion candidate is more important than actual changes in deaths and incarcerations, go ahead.

Cressida

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #62 on: July 07, 2015, 11:56:33 AM »
By the way, the combination of socially liberal and fiscally conservative is one definition of a libertarian, for which thought Rand Paul is the reigning representative in our political climate.

Rand Paul is not socially liberal.

Compared to most of the candidates for the Republican nomination, he is.

That's a low bar, and even so, your initial comment didn't make that distinction. Rand Paul doesn't support reproductive rights, so I think using the words "socially liberal" in the proximity of his name is misleading.

Hillary Clinton has participated in killing Middle Easterners for no good reason, which doesn't seem all that socially liberal either.

Realistically Rand Paul can't do anything about abortion. He can reduce the number of people in jail and he can reduce the number of people aimlessly killed as part of our "foreign policy". But if the symbolism of voting for a pro-abortion candidate is more important than actual changes in deaths and incarcerations, go ahead.

I'm making a very narrow argument and nothing you just said addresses it. Moreover, I never said what you attributed to me (in bold).

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #63 on: July 07, 2015, 11:58:03 AM »
Yep, I assumed a lot of thoughts in your head there, which is something I try not to do. That was out of line and I apologize.

MoonShadow

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #64 on: July 07, 2015, 01:27:24 PM »

I'm quite aware Medicare is not fully funded through payroll taxes, thank you though.    The claim wasn't that FICA entirely pays for Medicare.  The claim was that Medicare is a benefit you receive for paying FICA.  That claim is 100% true.   You pay FICA for ten years, you get Medicare.   


That was not your original claim. Your claim was that my statement that states paid into Medicare was false.  While that actual statement of mine was, provablely, correct; I admit it was minor.  At the same time, I have also proven that FICA is a minority contribution to Medicare funding

Quote

 FWIW, the state portion of Medicare are payments for people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, essentially a reimbursement.   


Not relevant.  Money is fungible, so it's still paid for by taxpayers, and in this case via state funds as opposed to FICA.

Quote

I think you might have missed this from a prior post of mine after the last time you moved the goal posts:   

Quote
You brought up the  the 15% FICA tax as the amount you would like to keep, so that's the number I used.  So those are your assumptions, not my assumptions.

 Again, if you compare apples-to-apples,



To compare apples-to-apples, you would have to include all funding sources for Medicare; including your taxes (or the next generations' taxes, via the national debt; another reason Millenials hate SS) as well as any premiums or co-pays you would have to contribute once you are on Medicare. Did you do that, I wonder?

Quote

 that is, look at what you get in return for paying FICA, primarily Social Security, Medicare, the disability benefit, and the survivor's benefit, FICA is not a bad value.   I know this because I've done the calculation of estimating what saving that 15% would grow to by age 65.  And then comparing that number to what an inflation adjusted annuity and medical insurance might cost (I used age 64 for medical insurance because new policies for people over age 65 are quite rare).  Again, apples to apples.   


Again, we have already established that 15% doesn't cover the costs, so while it might be a value for you, that's only because someone else is subsidizing you via other present and future taxes.  So if we were to consider the possibility that all the taxes, from every source, as well as premiums & copays later, into the calcualtions (under the assumption that all those taxes could be diverted into your savings) what would that look like?  If that 2.9% that goes to Medicare is only 38% of the total funding, than one shortcut would be to increase that to 7.73% (2.9 / .38), thus increasing the total percentage of income by an additional 4.83% (7.73 -2.9), bumping our total to 19.83% (15 + 4.83) of gross income.  How would that affect your comparison?

I just used this calculator...
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/save-million-calculator.aspx

To work out, using my actual current 19.83% income (which is a bit unfair, because I haven't always made so much) from aged 20 to 67, using a modest 5% average gain above inflation, to result in over $4 million in current dollars.  In order to get a 100% return on that number from my actual estimated SS & Medicare after 67,  I'd have to live to about 194.  Granted, there are a lot of things wrong with my method, but there would have to be a lot more for SS & Medicare to be a victory.  Even if I averaged half my current income, which I haven't, I'm over $2 million by 67.  I imagine I could replace both SS and Medicare with that, even on the private insurance market.

Quote
By the way, your claim that mutual insurance companies pay out greater than 97% of dollars in benefits is complete bullshit.   Even the best health insurance companies only pay about 85%.

I didn't claim that they all did it, or even that they maintained it, only that it has actually happened.  And it has.  MassMutual has done it, fairly well, for decades.

(https://www.massmutual.com/about-us/news-and-press-releases/press-releases/2014/11/massmutual-approves-historic-$1-billion-dividend-payout-for-policyowners)

 New York Mutual & Ohio Mutual both did it on a regular basis when they were still both actual mutual insurance companies, and not stock companies.  The key is that mutual insurance companies are *owned* by their policy holders, so the only overhead, on net, is due to the employees and regular business infrastructure of the company; the same kind of overhead that both Medicare and the Social Security Administration must maintain.

MoonShadow

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #65 on: July 07, 2015, 06:22:48 PM »
Stumbled across this comedic video, thought it loosely relevant to (my) most recent conversations in this thread...

http://www.independent.org/lovegov/

Also, this reminded me. I listen to podcasts, and one that I listen to is called, We Are Libertarians out of Indianapolis, Indiana.  (http://wearelibertarians.com/)  There have been over 50 "co-hosts" on the show over the past couple years, exactly one was not a Millenial.

And here's another semi-famous Millenial that makes youtube videos....

http://julieborowski.com

Granted, this proves nothing, since there are Millenial commentators for liberal & conservative thought at well.  Still, I wonder what the distribution actually is.

tj

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #66 on: July 07, 2015, 07:31:16 PM »
I was born in 1985 and I've never associated a lot of my peers with libertarianism. If we are to believe my Facebook feed, There are a lot of noisy liberals and noisy conservatives. More liberals than conservatives.

midweststache

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #67 on: July 07, 2015, 08:00:32 PM »
I was born in 1985 and I've never associated a lot of my peers with libertarianism. If we are to believe my Facebook feed, There are a lot of noisy liberals and noisy conservatives. More liberals than conservatives.

+1

I'm a 1986 baby, and my experience also bears this out.

MoonShadow

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #68 on: July 07, 2015, 08:11:46 PM »
I was born in 1985 and I've never associated a lot of my peers with libertarianism. If we are to believe my Facebook feed, There are a lot of noisy liberals and noisy conservatives. More liberals than conservatives.

+1

I'm a 1986 baby, and my experience also bears this out.

My experience is that Millenials favor libertarianism, but don't identify with it; nor with any other political ideology, per se. 

Do me a favor, and take this short quiz, and let us know how you land....

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/quiz.php

Trinitysmom

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #69 on: July 07, 2015, 09:06:46 PM »
Just a pet peeve but I don't think anyone is pro abortion, just pro choice.

RetiredAt63

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #70 on: July 07, 2015, 09:20:39 PM »
Took it, boomer Canadian here. By their terms I'm a Liberal. Big surprise.

This SS thing confuses me a bit. I was thinking equivalent of CPP/ Canada Pension Plan, since it is based on years worked and contributed, but a lot of the discussion makes it sound more like OAS (Old Age Security) which is based on length of residency. Can some one please clarify?

midweststache

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #71 on: July 07, 2015, 09:22:38 PM »
I was born in 1985 and I've never associated a lot of my peers with libertarianism. If we are to believe my Facebook feed, There are a lot of noisy liberals and noisy conservatives. More liberals than conservatives.

+1

I'm a 1986 baby, and my experience also bears this out.

My experience is that Millenials favor libertarianism, but don't identify with it; nor with any other political ideology, per se. 

Do me a favor, and take this short quiz, and let us know how you land....

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/quiz.php

I'm as liberal as you get on this quiz. There's a different thread chronicling Mustachian political leanings here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/political-leanings-of-mustachians/. On that quiz, I am considered an anarcho-socialist/anarcho-collectivist, so it'd be interesting to see how the people on that thread who identify as millennials skew...

SwordGuy

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #72 on: July 07, 2015, 09:29:29 PM »

It's 12.4%. You pay 6.2% of your salary, and your employer pays another 6.2%. One of the "joys" of self employment is noticing both social security and medicare take much bigger bites out of your paychecks than when you were working for the man (since you're now paying both the employer and employee halves). I point this out just because the conventional retirement wisdom is that just saving 10% of ones income is enough to assure a safe retirement, and social security withholding by itself is effectively "saving" more than that target, yet absolutely no one suggests social security income is enough to live on in retirement.

Americans pay 12.4% whether they are self-employed or work for the man.   The Government just hides 6.2% of it by having the employer deduct that from the money devoted to out salary before we see it.  Governments are very good at hiding taxes from people.

And social security provides a very lousy rate of return on your forced investment.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #73 on: July 07, 2015, 09:36:23 PM »
Took it, boomer Canadian here. By their terms I'm a Liberal. Big surprise.

This SS thing confuses me a bit. I was thinking equivalent of CPP/ Canada Pension Plan, since it is based on years worked and contributed, but a lot of the discussion makes it sound more like OAS (Old Age Security) which is based on length of residency. Can some one please clarify?

I believe SS is based on credits earned for years of work, Like CPP.  But you need 40 credits (earned at approx 4 per year at full time full wages) to start to qualify, and get $$ more for more earned credits.  CPP calls them contributions, but it works out to the same thing, where you need 35 years of contributions to get maximum CPP.  In Canada, you can get a cheque for $3.56 per month if you have only a partial one year credit, whereas for SS, you need the 40 credits to get anything (like residency)

Otherwise, the way the money is kept by the govt is more like OAS.  SS "taxes" are paid to general revenues, not a separate SS fund.   SS is paid out of the current revenue budget and not invested for future in a trust.  (not saying CPP is anymore, but that was the original concept of CPP until a few years ago.)

The other key is that SS pays out disability (again like CPP) BUT I think people qualify for disability even if they don't have work credits - like Canada's disability payment / credit programs.  My guess based solely on watching who was applying for disability at the SS office -- many were fairly young disabled adults who were not capable of working more than a few hours per week.

Note that the SS employee paid portion of taxes in the USA were well over $6500/yr when I was there, versus CPP annual costs of just over $2000 per year.   This means that the pay out of SS upon retirement / age 65 is 2x our OAS + CPP to seniors.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 09:39:48 PM by goldielocks »

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #74 on: July 07, 2015, 09:46:06 PM »
Took it, boomer Canadian here. By their terms I'm a Liberal. Big surprise.

This SS thing confuses me a bit. I was thinking equivalent of CPP/ Canada Pension Plan, since it is based on years worked and contributed, but a lot of the discussion makes it sound more like OAS (Old Age Security) which is based on length of residency. Can some one please clarify?

SS is closer to CPP for most people, but it does have an OAS aspect to it.  That part is a bit different, with different rules for qualifications.  My mother-in-law lives off the later part, which is actually called Social Security Income (yes, confusing).  In general, if you qualify for SSI, your life sucks for reasons beyond your control.  For example, my mother-in-law is 1) blind, 2) widowed and 3) has a heart condition.  So I have no problem with the SSI part of the program, for it's truly a federalized social insurance, and actually doesn't cost very much.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #75 on: July 07, 2015, 09:52:20 PM »

It's 12.4%. You pay 6.2% of your salary, and your employer pays another 6.2%. One of the "joys" of self employment is noticing both social security and medicare take much bigger bites out of your paychecks than when you were working for the man (since you're now paying both the employer and employee halves). I point this out just because the conventional retirement wisdom is that just saving 10% of ones income is enough to assure a safe retirement, and social security withholding by itself is effectively "saving" more than that target, yet absolutely no one suggests social security income is enough to live on in retirement.

Americans pay 12.4% whether they are self-employed or work for the man.   The Government just hides 6.2% of it by having the employer deduct that from the money devoted to out salary before we see it.  Governments are very good at hiding taxes from people.

And social security provides a very lousy rate of return on your forced investment.

Re: the bolded, that depends on how much you make, how long you work, and how long you end up living/collecting payments.


Quote
The other key is that SS pays out disability (again like CPP) BUT I think people qualify for disability even if they don't have work credits - like Canada's disability payment / credit programs.  My guess based solely on watching who was applying for disability at the SS office -- many were fairly young disabled adults who were not capable of working more than a few hours per week.

That is not true. They need the work credits, just less than for retirement benefits.


http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/credits.html
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 10:26:47 PM by tj »

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #76 on: July 07, 2015, 10:54:16 PM »

That is not true. They need the work credits, just less than for retirement benefits.


http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/credits.html

Not necessarily, no matter what that link says.  I know for a fact that my mother-in-law never paid a dime into it.  She was born blind and was a stay-at-home mom.  In her case, I believe her late husband's credits count to her advantage.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #77 on: July 08, 2015, 09:30:57 AM »
Interesting discussion, and is providing some insight into how U.S. senior income plans work.  On the 'millenials' topic (I am a Gen X I guess, my kids are both millenials, my parents are boomers - we fit the years nicely lol), I think y'all are generalizing a lot based on what these millenials think RIGHT NOW.  I'm pretty sure that most all generations were more self-centered, hated taxes, and didn't quite buy into the 'greater good' concept when they were 20.  They get older, get a larger world view, have kids or know people that have kids, have parents age, etc, and start to understand that there is a societal benefit to pay for schools even if you don't have kids, or pay for senior benefits even if you're not a senior or your parents don't need the help, etc.  It seems a bit pointless to try to predict what a 20-year old today will think/vote when they are 40 or 50.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #78 on: July 08, 2015, 09:41:39 AM »
Interesting discussion, and is providing some insight into how U.S. senior income plans work.  On the 'millenials' topic (I am a Gen X I guess, my kids are both millenials, my parents are boomers - we fit the years nicely lol), I think y'all are generalizing a lot based on what these millenials think RIGHT NOW.  I'm pretty sure that most all generations were more self-centered, hated taxes, and didn't quite buy into the 'greater good' concept when they were 20.  They get older, get a larger world view, have kids or know people that have kids, have parents age, etc, and start to understand that there is a societal benefit to pay for schools even if you don't have kids, or pay for senior benefits even if you're not a senior or your parents don't need the help, etc.  It seems a bit pointless to try to predict what a 20-year old today will think/vote when they are 40 or 50.

This was exactly the point of my post, too. My own opinions on things changed a hell of a lot between 20 and 40, and I suspect Millennials' will as well.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #79 on: July 08, 2015, 10:39:15 AM »
Can't watch at work, but I'm a big proponent of saving people from themselves. People are generally very bad at planning for the long term, and government guaranteed payments each month are an easy way to fix it. Just because you understand the math and can delay gratification in order to have a comfortable retirement doesn't mean that the majority of people do/can.

Most people fee this way, when it means forcing other people to do things they approve of. But they change their tune when it turns out some of the choices you make are "not in your best interest" or best for the collective. The same way everyone support freedom of speech, except for speech they disagree with.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #80 on: July 08, 2015, 10:44:13 AM »
Can't watch at work, but I'm a big proponent of saving people from themselves. People are generally very bad at planning for the long term, and government guaranteed payments each month are an easy way to fix it. Just because you understand the math and can delay gratification in order to have a comfortable retirement doesn't mean that the majority of people do/can.

Most people fee this way, when it means forcing other people to do things they approve of. But they change their tune when it turns out some of the choices you make are "not in your best interest" or best for the collective. The same way everyone support freedom of speech, except for speech they disagree with.

Real world example relevant to Mustachians?

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #81 on: July 08, 2015, 10:59:31 AM »
Can't watch at work, but I'm a big proponent of saving people from themselves. People are generally very bad at planning for the long term, and government guaranteed payments each month are an easy way to fix it. Just because you understand the math and can delay gratification in order to have a comfortable retirement doesn't mean that the majority of people do/can.

Most people fee this way, when it means forcing other people to do things they approve of. But they change their tune when it turns out some of the choices you make are "not in your best interest" or best for the collective. The same way everyone support freedom of speech, except for speech they disagree with.

Real world example relevant to Mustachians?

Any instance where the majority decide for a minority?
E.g. "we think you have too much money so we'll take some of it"
You shouldn't drink large sodas
Abortion and birth control is murder, it should be banned.
We don't like you growing your own food at your house

Hell, wouldn't it be much better if we just took all your money, and then gave you as much food as (we decide) you need?!
Collectivism and State-knows-best-ism can only lead to oppression and squashing of liberty.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #82 on: July 08, 2015, 11:13:45 AM »
Can't watch at work, but I'm a big proponent of saving people from themselves. People are generally very bad at planning for the long term, and government guaranteed payments each month are an easy way to fix it. Just because you understand the math and can delay gratification in order to have a comfortable retirement doesn't mean that the majority of people do/can.

Most people fee this way, when it means forcing other people to do things they approve of. But they change their tune when it turns out some of the choices you make are "not in your best interest" or best for the collective. The same way everyone support freedom of speech, except for speech they disagree with.

Real world example relevant to Mustachians?

Any instance where the majority decide for a minority?
E.g. "we think you have too much money so we'll take some of it"
You shouldn't drink large sodas
Abortion and birth control is murder, it should be banned.
We don't like you growing your own food at your house

Hell, wouldn't it be much better if we just took all your money, and then gave you as much food as (we decide) you need?!
Collectivism and State-knows-best-ism can only lead to oppression and squashing of liberty.

Hmm. You have some points there certainly. "Too much" money is going to mean something different for every person, but I hardly believe someone making over 100x the average income for a family of 4 is going to need all of that money when poverty and malnutrition are still issues in America. I'm 50/50 on large soda bans; on one hand people should be able to choose what they consume, but on the other hand sodas have a direct, negative externality on healthcare costs of the individual, which is transferred to the population through insurance premiums... scratch that, I'm 90/10, let freedom reign and fatties fat. Abortion and birth control are going to be decided by popular morals, which fortunately have shifted towards freedom over time but are still under assault by staunch, often religious conservatives. Not a fan of banning folks from growing their own food for the sake of "neighborhood beauty".

After those examples you slip into hyperbole and the slippery slope logical fallacy. While rationing food is certainly a fair idea when there's a food shortage, the world produces much more food than is needed to feed the population; we should be giving food away wherever it's needed. "State-knows-best-ism" has it's place when actual studies show improvements in populations that have undergone intervention. Unfortunately, sometimes interventions are made before the verdict is out and populations are made worse-off.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #83 on: July 08, 2015, 11:24:38 AM »
Abortion and birth control are going to be decided by popular morals, which fortunately have shifted towards freedom over time but are still under assault by staunch, often religious conservatives.

See that's the problem. You just happen to be on the "winning" side so you're ok with it. I agree abortion is a bad example though as it infers no harm on those opposing it, while for example a soda ban does. If I run 15 miles a day should I not be allowed to enjoy a large soda, just because someone can't handle it? And when will they come for our donuts?? The solution is simple; health insurance rates based on BMI! fixed it. Next problem please!

I almost always go for the option of more liberty, as long as it harm no one else (Exceptions being environmental issues usually, and there is certainly harm there IMO). If you don't let people make stupid choices how will you expect them to learn to make any choices at all? This is basic parenting..

I don't think it's a slippery slope fallacy. I'm just taking it to the logical conclusion, which is what society will have to do as people loose the ability to decide for themselves. It certainly seems to be going that way. The police can arrest you if they think letting your child walk alone is "irresponsible"? Swimming in lakes without lifeguards is illegal?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 11:26:55 AM by Scandium »

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #84 on: July 08, 2015, 12:14:23 PM »
Interesting discussion, and is providing some insight into how U.S. senior income plans work.  On the 'millenials' topic (I am a Gen X I guess, my kids are both millenials, my parents are boomers - we fit the years nicely lol), I think y'all are generalizing a lot based on what these millenials think RIGHT NOW.  I'm pretty sure that most all generations were more self-centered, hated taxes, and didn't quite buy into the 'greater good' concept when they were 20.  They get older, get a larger world view, have kids or know people that have kids, have parents age, etc, and start to understand that there is a societal benefit to pay for schools even if you don't have kids, or pay for senior benefits even if you're not a senior or your parents don't need the help, etc.  It seems a bit pointless to try to predict what a 20-year old today will think/vote when they are 40 or 50.

This was exactly the point of my post, too. My own opinions on things changed a hell of a lot between 20 and 40, and I suspect Millennials' will as well.

Well, that's likely true; but I'm not talking about how they vote after 40. The demographics imply that it won't take that long for them to take over the electorate.  Did you still hate taxes at 30?  The last of the Millenials will be of voting age in 2020, and they are a slightly larger generation than the Boomers to begin with, while Boomers will be declining in health (and therefore voting numbers) about the same time.  So sometime between 2016 and 2020 there will be a tipping point that Millenials take over, and the Gen X won't ever matter in any significant way.

EDIT:  I'm sorry, but a quick google search tells me I was wrong. According to Pew Research, Millenials take over *this year*...

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/01/16/this-year-millennials-will-overtake-baby-boomers/
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 12:39:10 PM by MoonShadow »

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #85 on: July 08, 2015, 12:21:28 PM »

After those examples you slip into hyperbole and the slippery slope logical fallacy. While rationing food is certainly a fair idea when there's a food shortage, the world produces much more food than is needed to feed the population; we should be giving food away wherever it's needed. "State-knows-best-ism" has it's place when actual studies show improvements in populations that have undergone intervention. Unfortunately, sometimes interventions are made before the verdict is out and populations are made worse-off.


In my city, some people don't like second-hand smoke in public.  So first, they banned smoking in public parks, then they banned smoking in eaterys and commercial buildings, then they banned them in bars, then they banned them in every building, then they banned it within 50' of any building open to the public.  So now there are entire city blocks that you can't legally even smoke outside on the sidewalk.  Sometimes the 'slipperly slope fallacy' isn't a fallacy.

EDIT: I'm talking about the city I grew up in above.  The above ticked me off, but I didn't smoke, so I didn't move.  But when they tripled the property taxes, officially for public school & public libraries, but actually because the public pension system of the city was underfunded by about half, I finally did move.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 12:32:41 PM by MoonShadow »

tj

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #86 on: July 08, 2015, 01:15:21 PM »

After those examples you slip into hyperbole and the slippery slope logical fallacy. While rationing food is certainly a fair idea when there's a food shortage, the world produces much more food than is needed to feed the population; we should be giving food away wherever it's needed. "State-knows-best-ism" has it's place when actual studies show improvements in populations that have undergone intervention. Unfortunately, sometimes interventions are made before the verdict is out and populations are made worse-off.


In my city, some people don't like second-hand smoke in public.  So first, they banned smoking in public parks, then they banned smoking in eaterys and commercial buildings, then they banned them in bars, then they banned them in every building, then they banned it within 50' of any building open to the public.  So now there are entire city blocks that you can't legally even smoke outside on the sidewalk.  Sometimes the 'slipperly slope fallacy' isn't a fallacy.

EDIT: I'm talking about the city I grew up in above.  The above ticked me off, but I didn't smoke, so I didn't move.  But when they tripled the property taxes, officially for public school & public libraries, but actually because the public pension system of the city was underfunded by about half, I finally did move.

 I LOATHE second hand smoke and I would absolutely support those types of laws. Libertarianism aside. Unfortuantely in California, smoking is basically always allowed on a patio of a bar/restaurant.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #87 on: July 08, 2015, 01:22:44 PM »

After those examples you slip into hyperbole and the slippery slope logical fallacy. While rationing food is certainly a fair idea when there's a food shortage, the world produces much more food than is needed to feed the population; we should be giving food away wherever it's needed. "State-knows-best-ism" has it's place when actual studies show improvements in populations that have undergone intervention. Unfortunately, sometimes interventions are made before the verdict is out and populations are made worse-off.


In my city, some people don't like second-hand smoke in public.  So first, they banned smoking in public parks, then they banned smoking in eaterys and commercial buildings, then they banned them in bars, then they banned them in every building, then they banned it within 50' of any building open to the public.  So now there are entire city blocks that you can't legally even smoke outside on the sidewalk.  Sometimes the 'slipperly slope fallacy' isn't a fallacy.

EDIT: I'm talking about the city I grew up in above.  The above ticked me off, but I didn't smoke, so I didn't move.  But when they tripled the property taxes, officially for public school & public libraries, but actually because the public pension system of the city was underfunded by about half, I finally did move.

 I LOATHE second hand smoke and I would absolutely support those types of laws. Libertarianism aside. Unfortuantely in California, smoking is basically always allowed on a patio of a bar/restaurant.

Well, not here.  And here is Kentucky, where tobacco is the largest (taxable) cash crop.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #88 on: July 08, 2015, 02:39:25 PM »
Interesting discussion, and is providing some insight into how U.S. senior income plans work.  On the 'millenials' topic (I am a Gen X I guess, my kids are both millenials, my parents are boomers - we fit the years nicely lol), I think y'all are generalizing a lot based on what these millenials think RIGHT NOW.  I'm pretty sure that most all generations were more self-centered, hated taxes, and didn't quite buy into the 'greater good' concept when they were 20.  They get older, get a larger world view, have kids or know people that have kids, have parents age, etc, and start to understand that there is a societal benefit to pay for schools even if you don't have kids, or pay for senior benefits even if you're not a senior or your parents don't need the help, etc.  It seems a bit pointless to try to predict what a 20-year old today will think/vote when they are 40 or 50.

This was exactly the point of my post, too. My own opinions on things changed a hell of a lot between 20 and 40, and I suspect Millennials' will as well.

Well, that's likely true; but I'm not talking about how they vote after 40. The demographics imply that it won't take that long for them to take over the electorate.  Did you still hate taxes at 30?  The last of the Millenials will be of voting age in 2020, and they are a slightly larger generation than the Boomers to begin with, while Boomers will be declining in health (and therefore voting numbers) about the same time.  So sometime between 2016 and 2020 there will be a tipping point that Millenials take over, and the Gen X won't ever matter in any significant way.

EDIT:  I'm sorry, but a quick google search tells me I was wrong. According to Pew Research, Millenials take over *this year*...

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/01/16/this-year-millennials-will-overtake-baby-boomers/

Right, but what you are missing from that chart is that Millenials are NOT taking over this year, they only outnumber the boomers.  They DON'T outnumber everyone, and the trend still holds that voting percentage goes up with age.  According to that chart, the Millenials won't outnumber the boomers AND the x-ers until at least 2040 - 2045, and by then the millenials are going to be 40 and up.  Also remember there is a generation coming after the Millenials that will be voting age then, and we haven't pinned them with a label and behavioural trend yet have we?  I'm afraid I stand by my original sentiment on this one

ETA: Also by 2020, the first of the millenials will actually be hitting 40, so the generation itself will partially age into the older demographic before their younger cohorts have the take-over numbers
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 02:41:55 PM by SK Joyous »

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #89 on: July 08, 2015, 02:52:49 PM »
In my city, some people don't like second-hand smoke in public.  So first, they banned smoking in public parks, then they banned smoking in eaterys and commercial buildings, then they banned them in bars, then they banned them in every building, then they banned it within 50' of any building open to the public.  So now there are entire city blocks that you can't legally even smoke outside on the sidewalk.  Sometimes the 'slipperly slope fallacy' isn't a fallacy.
Sometimes, indeed. But the existence of actual slippery slopes somewhere is a poor counterargument to the claim of a slippery-slope fallacy. Context-related factual arguments are needed.

For example, it's been popular among social conservatives to claim that gay rights would lead to the same legal protections for pedophilia and bestiality. This was often termed a SS fallacy because neither an animal nor a child can be termed a consenting adult, nor to have the rights of a consenting adult. If I were looking to prove the slippery slope existed, I'd have to demonstrate a mechanism by which legal principles had been extended in the past, or plausibly could be extended in the future, to treat a child or an animal as a consenting adult. It's not enough to show that smoking bans tend to be extended from initially small localized areas until they cover most public places.

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #90 on: July 08, 2015, 03:20:15 PM »
Interesting discussion, and is providing some insight into how U.S. senior income plans work.  On the 'millenials' topic (I am a Gen X I guess, my kids are both millenials, my parents are boomers - we fit the years nicely lol), I think y'all are generalizing a lot based on what these millenials think RIGHT NOW.  I'm pretty sure that most all generations were more self-centered, hated taxes, and didn't quite buy into the 'greater good' concept when they were 20.  They get older, get a larger world view, have kids or know people that have kids, have parents age, etc, and start to understand that there is a societal benefit to pay for schools even if you don't have kids, or pay for senior benefits even if you're not a senior or your parents don't need the help, etc.  It seems a bit pointless to try to predict what a 20-year old today will think/vote when they are 40 or 50.

This was exactly the point of my post, too. My own opinions on things changed a hell of a lot between 20 and 40, and I suspect Millennials' will as well.

Well, that's likely true; but I'm not talking about how they vote after 40. The demographics imply that it won't take that long for them to take over the electorate.  Did you still hate taxes at 30?  The last of the Millenials will be of voting age in 2020, and they are a slightly larger generation than the Boomers to begin with, while Boomers will be declining in health (and therefore voting numbers) about the same time.  So sometime between 2016 and 2020 there will be a tipping point that Millenials take over, and the Gen X won't ever matter in any significant way.

EDIT:  I'm sorry, but a quick google search tells me I was wrong. According to Pew Research, Millenials take over *this year*...

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/01/16/this-year-millennials-will-overtake-baby-boomers/

Right, but what you are missing from that chart is that Millenials are NOT taking over this year, they only outnumber the boomers.  They DON'T outnumber everyone, and the trend still holds that voting percentage goes up with age.  According to that chart, the Millenials won't outnumber the boomers AND the x-ers until at least 2040 - 2045, and by then the millenials are going to be 40 and up.  Also remember there is a generation coming after the Millenials that will be voting age then, and we haven't pinned them with a label and behavioural trend yet have we?  I'm afraid I stand by my original sentiment on this one

ETA: Also by 2020, the first of the millenials will actually be hitting 40, so the generation itself will partially age into the older demographic before their younger cohorts have the take-over numbers

Thanks, you saved me a post there.

Quick Google shows Gen X/Boomers voting at rates of 65-70% during the past decade, with Millennial turnout at 50-55%. It will be interesting to see how long the crossover takes, what with Boomers living longer than earlier generations. I suspect that, in general, Millennials are actually more nuanced in their positions as opposed to straight up libertarian (in my personal circle of Ms, I know several libertarians and several hardcore liberals, but no traditional conservatives, which might be a function of my urban and university based sample).

So I anticipate some definite push toward more libertarian policies in SOME areas of government. I'm just not convinced that Social Security will be that area. I certainly do hope that Millennials help push workable reforms to Social Security, so that increased taxes on Millennials are not the only fixes proposed (which seems to be the current stand favored by the AARP and the political class).

Backing up more to the original topic, a very interesting book that does show what a challenging row to hoe, economically speaking, the Millennials have, and how the Boomers have really kind of screwed them over:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Next-America-Millennials-Generational-ebook/dp/B00FD36G0W

This discusses (not in an inflammatory way) the immense number of reasons that Millennials across the developed world have to be pissed at the Silents and Boomers, and what they might do about it. Gen X is almost as screwed, but we don't have as much voting power.  It will be a very interesting couple of decades.

MoonShadow

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #91 on: July 08, 2015, 03:45:29 PM »

Right, but what you are missing from that chart is that Millenials are NOT taking over this year, they only outnumber the boomers.  They DON'T outnumber everyone, and the trend still holds that voting percentage goes up with age.


Yes, and that is why I already pointed out that Gen X is a self-conflicted generation, effectively cancelling out our own votes to with a rounding error of even.  That's been consistent for as long as we could vote, so Gen X (the generational middle child, as that above article mentions) has never mattered in a national election, and there is no expectation that we will.


nobodyspecial

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Re: "Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving?"
« Reply #92 on: July 08, 2015, 03:53:22 PM »
Quote
So first, they banned smoking in public parks

They banned smoking on the beach here. This is a very busy port so there are normally 20-30 freighters and container ships queued up to enter the harbor. But if you are standing on the beach watching the black smoke from their bunker fuel - you can't have a smoke because of air quality.