Author Topic: I can't do it anymore...  (Read 32477 times)

bacchi

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #50 on: January 31, 2014, 04:17:37 PM »
The percentages are off on that poll. Because more than one option can be chosen, presumably the welfare benefits people would also take the free/reduced school lunch would also take the EIC (Earned Income tax Credit, for working class people with kids) and need-based college grant.

This leads to 204/289 taking benefits meant for the poor, which is 71%. Yeah, still disappointing. My partner was disgusted when I mentioned "FI" people taking welfare benefits.

It's the times.

beltim

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #51 on: January 31, 2014, 04:21:31 PM »
The sample was too small to be significant really.  I can't even read it but if it were 199 people, that's not representative. 

I didn't answer since I'm not American, but I agree that welfare shouldn't be viewed as a way to supplement one's retirement.

And I'm a leftie too.

310 people voted and it takes only 33 posts to reach the top thousand forum users. The poll samples a large number of active users of the forum.

BPA

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #52 on: January 31, 2014, 04:55:31 PM »
The sample was too small to be significant really.  I can't even read it but if it were 199 people, that's not representative. 

I didn't answer since I'm not American, but I agree that welfare shouldn't be viewed as a way to supplement one's retirement.

And I'm a leftie too.

310 people voted and it takes only 33 posts to reach the top thousand forum users. The poll samples a large number of active users of the forum.

Maybe we need the word of our saviour to speak up on this issue then. ;)  MMM? 

Eric

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2014, 05:00:55 PM »
If that poll proves anything, it's that having kids makes you immoral.

[ducks]

galaxie

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #54 on: January 31, 2014, 05:07:58 PM »
Hey guys!  I want to re-derail this thread by noting that when I was in India, the normal thing to do was to wipe with one hand (always the same hand) and then wash your hands.  Fancy people had toilet paper, but bidets were more common than TP.  Funny how folks can get so attached to their own hygeine solutions that they think another (perfectly good!) solution is super gross.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #55 on: January 31, 2014, 07:44:01 PM »
There was a mind blowing amount of people who were willing to take from the poor and the most vulnerable to advance their personal gratification. 

For this hypothetical scenario, pretend I'm back in the US and have applied for food stamps.

Who have I taken money from?  Having been technically poor, I can assure you that I did not pay more in taxes than I got back. Even when solidly middle-class, we got more back from the IRS than we paid in (if you look at just federal income tax; add back SSI and Medicare, we paid a tiny pittance). I can guarantee, if we were on food stamps, the poor wouldn't be paying for them.

Maybe we're taking away from the poor, because there's only so many slots allotted for the food stamps program? Ok, so if I take a spot, that means the next person who needs assistance has to wait. How long's the wait? Months, years? Oh, we're talking weeks unless it's REALLY urgent, in which case they give you assistance ASAP. So...that's the amount of time to process paperwork. Nope, not taking up anyone's spot. Curious.

Maybe every dollar I take, is taking a fraction of a cent away from everyone else. Ok, this I could start to believe. Now, let's look at how much the food stamp benefit is, and if it's too low then....OH MY GOSH THAT'S SO MUCH MORE THAN WE SPEND NOW!!!!

I can understand the initial resentment. I just don't understand looking at how the system is currently operating and still having the same feelings. Heck, the current system tries to ENCOURAGE saving for retirement, that's why they took away the retirement asset test (may vary by state). So at one point, they checked how much you had in retirement savings, and if you had too much...no food stamps. They've reduced/eliminated that check, to encourage people to save.

I am generally curious about my initial question. Exactly how is taking food stamps (or other government benefit) actually taking money away from someone who's poor? Speak in simple language, assume I'm not an economics major.

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #56 on: January 31, 2014, 08:43:22 PM »
I am generally curious about my initial question. Exactly how is taking food stamps (or other government benefit) actually taking money away from someone who's poor? Speak in simple language, assume I'm not an economics major.

I'm a bit confused.  I may not understand things but is your question limited to how you are impacting the social support system and excluding other ethical considerations?

As far as the social support system in the states, I'm no expert, but I expect it works like the system in Canada to an extent.  In Canada I pay a lot more in tax that I receive back in the form of benefits because I'm a relatively healthy high earner.  The taxes I pay may come back in part in future through pension payments and medical support which is covered in Canada.   

We don't have food stamps.  We have social assistance which you need to qualify for and retirement savings are part of the asset test.  If I understand correctly, in the states they are not?

The big deal I suppose is that if you can support yourself and you choose not to because you'd rather be retired then not only are you not contributing, you are draining the system without the necessity to do so which is the normally accepted reasonable limit on the use of social assistance absent reaching retirement.   There is no magical place where you can take social benefits from without contributing back and have no consequences to the pot of social benefits. 

First, if everyone did this, the social security of the nation would be eroded. 

Next, if you are not contributing through taxation but are self-supporting you are not a drain on the system.  If you are not self-supporting in my view you are a drain on the system and this should be both an issue of personal ethics and social policy issue. 

If you do not view it as an ethical issue I would suggest that if this is the norm that the social policies and penalties need to be beefed up to ensure that the system will be there for those in need because we can no longer rely on the idea that people will feel the need to be self-supporting and only use social assistance when it is a necessity and after they have made best efforts. 

It sounds like that the US system could benefit from some new checks and balances.


BPA

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #57 on: January 31, 2014, 08:45:28 PM »
There was a mind blowing amount of people who were willing to take from the poor and the most vulnerable to advance their personal gratification. 

For this hypothetical scenario, pretend I'm back in the US and have applied for food stamps.

Who have I taken money from?  Having been technically poor, I can assure you that I did not pay more in taxes than I got back. Even when solidly middle-class, we got more back from the IRS than we paid in (if you look at just federal income tax; add back SSI and Medicare, we paid a tiny pittance). I can guarantee, if we were on food stamps, the poor wouldn't be paying for them.

Maybe we're taking away from the poor, because there's only so many slots allotted for the food stamps program? Ok, so if I take a spot, that means the next person who needs assistance has to wait. How long's the wait? Months, years? Oh, we're talking weeks unless it's REALLY urgent, in which case they give you assistance ASAP. So...that's the amount of time to process paperwork. Nope, not taking up anyone's spot. Curious.

Maybe every dollar I take, is taking a fraction of a cent away from everyone else. Ok, this I could start to believe. Now, let's look at how much the food stamp benefit is, and if it's too low then....OH MY GOSH THAT'S SO MUCH MORE THAN WE SPEND NOW!!!!

I can understand the initial resentment. I just don't understand looking at how the system is currently operating and still having the same feelings. Heck, the current system tries to ENCOURAGE saving for retirement, that's why they took away the retirement asset test (may vary by state). So at one point, they checked how much you had in retirement savings, and if you had too much...no food stamps. They've reduced/eliminated that check, to encourage people to save.

I am generally curious about my initial question. Exactly how is taking food stamps (or other government benefit) actually taking money away from someone who's poor? Speak in simple language, assume I'm not an economics major.

When people who are not truly needy (poor) use programs intended for use by the poor, and others find out about it, there is often intense backlash against those programs.  Enter political party ready to do away with them because of the perceived abuse, and these programs that can be changed by a government just might.

Sometimes it's not economics.  Sometimes it's people's justifiable outrage.  They vote.  The post shit on FB about perceived abuses.  I have never seen a group more maligned than the poor (although I live in Canada, so it may be different elsewhere). 

And there are some programs that become watered down or political tools if too many people use them.  I'm thinking of a provincial government here not too long ago that used the number of people collecting welfare in my province compared to others to whip voters into a rage for change.  It worked.

Plus, taxpayers are paying for those programs and some of them may be poorer than the people using them if the people using them have accumulated enough assets to be FI. 

NumberJohnny5

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2014, 09:08:54 PM »
I'm a bit confused.  I may not understand things but is your question limited to how you are impacting the social support system and excluding other ethical considerations?

Thank you for your detailed post. The part I was responding to was "people who were willing to take from the poor and the most vulnerable." That's the part I was focusing on. I understand possible greater social ramifications and what-not. But this person said that hypothetical me was taking from "the poor and the most vulnerable" by taking advantage of a program like food stamps. I'm asking...HOW? That statement infers that I (again, hypothetical me at this point) am literally stealing money from a poor person, while I stand upon my mound of money. Now, maybe I'm taking money from an upper-middle class person, or the very wealthy; but the statement was that I'm taking from the poor. Since the poor generally pay very little in taxes (in fact, if you're poor by my definition, you're likely paying a negative amount), I don't understand the statement.

It sounds like that the US system could benefit from some new checks and balances.

Thing is, the "checks and balances" have been removed. Retirement assets were definitely a factor in the past. I think a big issue was, once you got on food stamps, there was no incentive to save. Save too much, and your benefits will be reduced/eliminated. Then you use up your savings, and get to re-qualify. Rinse and repeat. So...why not just spend all that dough, now you have more stuff and don't have to worry about getting kicked off and re-applying all the darned time.

Now, the actual assets you're allowed to have are still way too low (in my opinion), but at least retirement savings are somewhat exempt. So someone on food stamps may be dissuaded from saving in a regular savings account, but if they find out that they can dump some "emergency" money into a Roth IRA and it'll be magically "sheltered", well, they're on their way to saving for retirement. So the system that wanted to encourage low income people to have retirement savings works, and then we complain that people with retirement savings are on food stamps.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2014, 09:15:25 PM »
When people who are not truly needy (poor) use programs intended for use by the poor, and others find out about it, there is often intense backlash against those programs.  Enter political party ready to do away with them because of the perceived abuse, and these programs that can be changed by a government just might.

Sometimes it's not economics.  Sometimes it's people's justifiable outrage.  They vote.  The post shit on FB about perceived abuses.  I have never seen a group more maligned than the poor (although I live in Canada, so it may be different elsewhere). 

And there are some programs that become watered down or political tools if too many people use them.  I'm thinking of a provincial government here not too long ago that used the number of people collecting welfare in my province compared to others to whip voters into a rage for change.  It worked.

That makes some sense. I thought that people who "abused" the system by merely following the rules, were more ethical by being public about said "abuse." I.e., if it's something that people want changed, well now they've been informed about it, and can push forward such change. I'll have to give your post more thought...perhaps even if we take advantage of such programs, we should keep mum, thus preserving the program? Interesting.

Plus, taxpayers are paying for those programs and some of them may be poorer than the people using them if the people using them have accumulated enough assets to be FI.

Possible, but (I think) only if you play with words. Poorer, ok. Poor, no. If you're making enough to have to actually pay (income) taxes, I don't think you're poor. But yes, someone who's making enough to pay taxes may very well be poorer than the person who's living off of investment income.

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #60 on: January 31, 2014, 10:06:23 PM »
I'm a bit confused.  I may not understand things but is your question limited to how you are impacting the social support system and excluding other ethical considerations?

Thank you for your detailed post. The part I was responding to was "people who were willing to take from the poor and the most vulnerable." That's the part I was focusing on. I understand possible greater social ramifications and what-not. But this person said that hypothetical me was taking from "the poor and the most vulnerable" by taking advantage of a program like food stamps. I'm asking...HOW? That statement infers that I (again, hypothetical me at this point) am literally stealing money from a poor person, while I stand upon my mound of money. Now, maybe I'm taking money from an upper-middle class person, or the very wealthy; but the statement was that I'm taking from the poor. Since the poor generally pay very little in taxes (in fact, if you're poor by my definition, you're likely paying a negative amount), I don't understand the statement.

Your math is off.  You are standing on a mound of money if I understand things correctly and, at the same time, you are using social programs to support yourself as a personal choice. 

You are saying that the working poor don't pay tax in the US (although they do in Canada - I don't know how that works in the US).  The thing in that if you are taking money from the system and not contributing you are still taking money from those the system is intended to support because the money is finite

Those who are poor and not paying taxes have the ground of necessity and this is socially supportable.  Those who stand on a mound of money do not and they are taking limited funds from those that need it.  If everyone does this then the system will collapse.  If a lot of people do it social programs will be underfunded which gets spread across the pool of those in need. 

I expect that given the poll results this may be what is happening in the US and may be part of the reason why you don't have very good social programs as far as I can tell.  To me, health care is a huge one.

It sounds like that the US system could benefit from some new checks and balances.

Thing is, the "checks and balances" have been removed. Retirement assets were definitely a factor in the past. I think a big issue was, once you got on food stamps, there was no incentive to save. Save too much, and your benefits will be reduced/eliminated. Then you use up your savings, and get to re-qualify. Rinse and repeat. So...why not just spend all that dough, now you have more stuff and don't have to worry about getting kicked off and re-applying all the darned time.

Now, the actual assets you're allowed to have are still way too low (in my opinion), but at least retirement savings are somewhat exempt. So someone on food stamps may be dissuaded from saving in a regular savings account, but if they find out that they can dump some "emergency" money into a Roth IRA and it'll be magically "sheltered", well, they're on their way to saving for retirement. So the system that wanted to encourage low income people to have retirement savings works, and then we complain that people with retirement savings are on food stamps.

Do you not have a national pension program to assist if you are in poverty at retirement in the US?  We do in Canada and there is a top-up for low income seniors.  I'm not sure if the social policy in the US is good or not, it might be but it also might encourage abuse of the system through early retirement. 

I guess the check in Canada would be that in order to receive assistance if you are employable and under 65 you have to be actively looking for work and there is a system to check and a whole rather strict program for this.  It seems that this is not required with food stamps?  If not, this seems a very unreasonable system to me and would encourage abuse.

The way it works in Canada is you have to use all your assets to qualify for EA except there are some exemptions for your home and a car under $10,000 but not retirement savings.  You can also earn a limited amount each month without your assistance being affected.  Seems reasonable to me

NumberJohnny5

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #61 on: January 31, 2014, 11:04:37 PM »
You are saying that the working poor don't pay tax in the US (although they do in Canada - I don't know how that works in the US).  The thing in that if you are taking money from the system and not contributing you are still taking money from those the system is intended to support because the money is finite.

When I think of "paying tax," I think specifically of income tax. A family of four who's bringing in near poverty level should be getting back more from the IRS than they paid in (so maybe they "overpaid" and had $2,000 taken out of their paycheck over the year; they get refunded that plus $2,000 in child tax credits, some EIC, some more somehow...and they end up paying negative $3,000 or whatever).

Yes, the money may be finite...but how much is there? Let's say that food stamps has $5,000/mo to go around, and five people are eligible. $1k per month for each person. If I sign up, everyone now gets $833 per month, still more than enough to buy groceries for a whole family. If someone else signs up, everyone now gets $714/mo, still more than plenty. One more person, $625/mo. I'll start to feel a bit antsy at this point; if I'm already signed up, I'd probably not change anything. But if I'm not, I'd be less likely to do so. 10 people = $500/mo for food, that's starting to cut it a bit close, I would fully accept your argument that I'd be taking from someone truly in need if I were to sign up (or stay signed up) at that point.

I just don't see that happening.  Well, maybe to a small degree, but in the early stages. A family of four's max benefit used to be $668/mo. It recently dropped to $632. Our TOTAL food budget ($80/wk groceries plus $20/wk restaurants) for a family of four is $433/mo. In Australia (higher cost of living). It would be similar in the US, since we'd pay more for certain foods and not buy the absolute cheapest (in Australia, most cheap peanut butter doesn't have hydrogenated oils, bread doesn't have HFCS, milk doesn't have growth hormone, etc.). I guess we're at the stage that I'd have no problem applying if we qualified, but I wouldn't try too hard to shuffle things around so we did qualify (actually I have some proof of this; we could have applied back in 2011, but it'd require moving some funds into an IRA that I wanted to keep more liquid; I didn't bother).

Those who are poor and not paying taxes have the ground of necessity and this is socially supportable.  Those who stand on a mound of money do not and they are taking limited funds from those that need it.  If everyone does this then the system will collapse.  If a lot of people do it social programs will be underfunded which gets spread across the pool of those in need.

I was going to post a decent-sized reply to this...but I think we're getting off the off-topic. All this has been hammered out in the other thread. I will ask though...when is it a mound of money? Is $20k a mound of money? $100k? Does age play a factor? I.e. if I'm 25 with $100k in retirement savings, should I be morally opposed to taking advantage of food stamps? What if I'm 55 with $200k in retirement savings? Gut feeling says the 55yr old should be given more slack...but why? And why should the person making $20k/yr who's managed to save $300k in retirement not be allowed to get food stamps, but the person making $30k/yr who's managed to save absolutely zero be allowed?

Do you not have a national pension program to assist if you are in poverty at retirement in the US?  We do in Canada and there is a top-up for low income seniors.  I'm not sure if the social policy in the US is good or not, it might be but it also might encourage abuse of the system through early retirement. 

There's Social Security, but that's supposed to be a program you pay into, and get benefits based off of that. If you've never worked and aren't/weren't married to a spouse who worked, I don't think you'd get anything from that (I'm sure someone will jump in to correct me). There are various programs you might qualify for, such as food stamps and subsidized housing. But there's not an old-age pension based solely on your assets and income. Australia has such a thing, which results in many people plowing through their super (retirement account) just so they'll qualify. Absurd, but there ya go.

I guess the check in Canada would be that in order to receive assistance if you are employable and under 65 you have to be actively looking for work and there is a system to check and a whole rather strict program for this.  It seems that this is not required with food stamps?  If not, this seems a very unreasonable system to me and would encourage abuse.

There is some kind of work requirement. Again, not having been on the program, I can't talk specifics. As I recall, if you're on Unemployment, the "looking for work" requirement is waived (as you already have such a requirement to be on UI). There may well be a "if you're older than X, you don't have to look for work/look as hard for work" clause as well.

quilter

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #62 on: February 01, 2014, 02:38:58 AM »


It's shocking to me that an ethical and moral philosophical leader can attract individuals of questionable morality.

The forum however is plagued with morally repugnant and ethically dubious individuals.  People wasting precious time on things that provide so little value or benefit.  So little savings... 
The selfish usage of social safety nets for things they were never intended; the abuse of social good to promote personal gain...

It's offensive and shameful and the anti-thesis of this site.



. Reading history is one of my hobbies and I never ceased to be amazed at how much slavery, rape, oppression of the poor, thieving etc. people are capable of. It makes me realize how little control I have over anything beyond my small sphere.  Reading the food stamp/ free lunch poll only strengthens my own personal values. When you think about it, out whole society is based on profiting from others. Cheap clothing produced by slave labor,  food produced by chemicals and Inhumane farming practices, energy waste not thinking of the environmental costs of energy production.  Being tax efficient is good. Being a cheater is not. It would make me crazy if I thought about this stuff too much.
Be proud of your own moral standards and maybe you can influence your own little circle of life. If we all do this at first or might be like a drop of rain on a pond. Barely noticeable. But as more and more people rain on the pond by being ethical, honest and responsible individuals the downpour might do a great amount of good.

ace1224

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #63 on: February 01, 2014, 06:02:28 AM »
Out of curiosity, did the OP have a reason for posting this or was it a rant? Not trying to flame him/her, but semi-confused.

OP here;

there were a few "thought experiment" threads that asked basically what .gov benefits you'd be willing to take either in ER or to get to ER.   There was a mind blowing amount of people who were willing to take from the poor and the most vulnerable to advance their personal gratification. 

Then there was the guy who, rootofgood I think, who decided not to pay back his student loans after gaining the benefit from them he decided to stiff society.  He made up all sorts of BS but what it came down to was that he went on an income based repayment which doesn't take into effect assets and his payments went to nothing. 


It's that kind of stuff that really started pissing me off and got me thinking about the morality and ethics of ER.

I came to the conclusion, and maybe incorrectly, that there are a good amount of people who are willing to behave in an amoral or unethical manner to advance their personal goals and life satisfaction. 

I started tossing around the terms despicable etc...  I'm sure it's a smaller percentage but it was alarming to say the least considering the moral leader of the group professes to a high level of social responsibility. 

I have a hard time adhering to any philosophy that becomes predatory/amoral/unethical and would want to dissociate myself from it.

FWIW at the end of that thread rootofgood decided to repay his student loans in full because the discussion on the thread persuaded him that it was the ethical thing to do
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/ethical-dimensions-of-student-loan-income-based-repayment-plans/msg154792/#msg154792

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #64 on: February 01, 2014, 06:14:05 AM »
Well that is nice to hear!

  The more I think of it the more it seems to me that social policy in the USA might need to take a look at the criteria they apply to those who stop work voluntarily.  I don't have the answer but clearly there are lots of folks who would use social benefits without having need.

My take is that things like child tax credits are not the same as income assistance.  The question is not who pays more tax after counting benefits - the question is whether you need the help meant for hardship situations not benefits based on other policies like supporting families with kids

NinetyFour

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #65 on: February 01, 2014, 07:38:28 AM »

FWIW at the end of that thread rootofgood decided to repay his student loans in full because the discussion on the thread persuaded him that it was the ethical thing to do
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/ethical-dimensions-of-student-loan-income-based-repayment-plans/msg154792/#msg154792

I'm no sure about that.  I think he might have been toying with us.  After a few more questions, he said he will continue to pay whatever the lender says he owes--which I took to mean that he will continue to use the IBR.  He wasn't exactly clear.

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #66 on: February 01, 2014, 07:39:35 AM »
Do you not have a national pension program to assist if you are in poverty at retirement in the US?  We do in Canada and there is a top-up for low income seniors.  I'm not sure if the social policy in the US is good or not, it might be but it also might encourage abuse of the system through early retirement. 

There's Social Security, but that's supposed to be a program you pay into, and get benefits based off of that. If you've never worked and aren't/weren't married to a spouse who worked, I don't think you'd get anything from that (I'm sure someone will jump in to correct me). There are various programs you might qualify for, such as food stamps and subsidized housing. But there's not an old-age pension based solely on your assets and income. Australia has such a thing, which results in many people plowing through their super (retirement account) just so they'll qualify. Absurd, but there ya go.

In Canada if you never worked or were on welfare your whole life you will get a pension of approx. $1300 a month and qualify for subsidized housing, long-term care, and other programs.   I'm surprised that the US does not have something similar that guarantees a minimum income otherwise you will have significant hardship for the elderly.

TreeTired

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #67 on: February 01, 2014, 08:01:32 AM »
Here are some rationalizations.... I mean,  reasons..

Foodstamps is a discreet benefit that you have to actively apply for.  Normally, I wouldn't apply for this benefit unless I desperately needed it.   However,  what if food prices became prohibitively expensive due to government policies and price supports?  If milk prices rose to $10 per gallon but the government started to distribute $5 off coupons would I apply for the coupon?  Probably. 

Is it ethical for me to apply for ACA healthcare subsidies?   I was paying $680 per month (for my wife and me, both age 60) and pretty happy with that.  Our choices were to remain on our existing plan for 1 more year (it was initially canceled) for $900,  or sign up for an equivalent ACA plan with a sticker price of $1550 per month.   Am I stealing a subsidy designed for poor people by paying a subsidized rate of $309 per month?   I have financial assets equally split between IRA and non-IRA accounts, and I have high cash balances so my dividend and interest income is low relative to my total financial assets.   I have no idea why they don't means-test for ACA subsidies, aside from the hassle of ruling out the small number of people who have whatever "too much" is, but don't generate enough income to disqualify them from subsidies.  At some point... maybe $3mm? in non retirement assets, it becomes almost impossible to not generate enough income to be ineligible for ACA subsidies.

The Earned Income Tax Credit,  as I understand it,  results from filling out your tax return fully and honestly.   I have always heard taxpayers are supposed to pay their lawfully owed taxes but no more.   If you fill out the tax form and the result is your are owed a credit, why would it be unethical to take the refund?   The rationalization (I mean, reason) is that any corporation will take any credit they can find (and probably pay their tax accountants a bonus) regardless of where the credit comes from or if it exceeds their taxes paid.   We have a refundable film tax credit here in North Carolina.  Production companies come to NC,  pay their stars millions of dollars, and receive a check from the state for 25% of their total expenses.

Spork

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #68 on: February 01, 2014, 08:14:12 AM »

so... back to the OP and original topic for a moment:

Clutchy, I probably share some of the same feelings you do (though I can't say if it is because we hold the same opinions/values... we just reached some of the same frustrations).   I have very non-standard ideas (by majority viewpoint) on ethics, religion, politics, etc.  And, to be honest, this forum just isn't where I go for information/argument on those topics.  Sure, I may "think I'm right", but 10 pages later after arguing: the other side isn't convinced and, to be honest, I don't feel better for it.  Lose-lose.

I try to approach this forum from a more selfish viewpoint:  I look for areas that interest me.  If there are places where I can contribute in a positive way (and often feel better about myself): win.  If I can contribute, find out I am wrong and get corrected where I learn something: win.  If I can read someone else's issues and learn from them: win.  If I can have a snarky exchange with someone where we both walk away with a chuckle and a smile: win.

More than a few times I've violated my own little rules...  every time I realized: it isn't worth it.  All I did was build animosity with a stranger.  I'm sure I'll slip and do it again, but: it isn't my goal here.

So, along those lines, I really haven't read a whole lot of the threads that are being talked about.  There are just hot topics that smell like an argument waiting to happen.  I just avoid them entirely.   Before you punt and walk away, try just picking and choosing.  Let those topics that make you grind your teeth at night just fall to the wayside.

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #69 on: February 01, 2014, 08:22:54 AM »
I do draw a distinction between programs to assist with poverty that you must apply for and social benefits for other aims such as supporting families with kids that are automatically calculated as a result of income.  Food stamps fall in the first category for me and hypotheticals don't seem helpful here.

I have no idea re the social policy behind AEA so I can't comment.  My view is that health care is a basic human need and the us system seems inhumane.

I don't feel the same way about food stamp programs which should not be viewed as part of a voluntary early retirement plan IMO.

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #70 on: February 01, 2014, 12:18:19 PM »
More than a few times I've violated my own little rules...  every time I realized: it isn't worth it.  All I did was build animosity with a stranger.  I'm sure I'll slip and do it again, but: it isn't my goal here.

So, along those lines, I really haven't read a whole lot of the threads that are being talked about.  There are just hot topics that smell like an argument waiting to happen.  I just avoid them entirely.   Before you punt and walk away, try just picking and choosing.  Let those topics that make you grind your teeth at night just fall to the wayside.

Spork, that is awesome advice.  I have had similar experiences, too, so avoiding the conflict-then-regret cycle is the main reason why I have stayed away from some of these discussions.  But...I guess I am going against your wise words and finally jumping into this discussion, for better or worse. (I'm sure I'll feel quite stupid about it in a little while. :P) 

Clutchy, I think that there are a lot of us out here that have similar convictions as yours. BPA's and totoro's words completely encouraged me, and I hope that they have encouraged you, too. 

I think conversations like these affect "feeling" persons much more than "thinking" persons. I don't detach emotions from my thoughts very easily.  Are you like this, too, Clutchy?

I have thought about the ethical discussions on this board quite a bit lately.  For those of us that experienced being poor at one point or other in our lives, I don't think that we can just look at the issue of taking aid as a numbers game. I haven't experienced a long duration of hardship like some of the posters on this forum, so I'm not going to pretend that I have the same psychological impact from poverty as them.  I was very young when my parents had financial struggles, a kindergartner.  After that, I lived a solid middle class existence--well, I was poor in college, but that's not unusual.  The short amount of time in true poverty did leave some effect on me, though.  Thing is, my dad was too proud to accept "charity".  No food stamps for our family.  My parents budgeted well and didn't have bad habits, so there was normally enough food for the family from the grocery shopping.  But there were times when the money and food almost ran out and we lived on nothing but beans and cornbread, occasionally a squirrel.  Such extreme measures my parents went to in order to prove to themselves and the world that they could provide for their family on their own.  But ya know what? They lived with honor, and I do respect that.  I am not a fan of any kind of extreme thinking, neither "We don't accept charity in this house!" or "Hey, wow, look at that!  Even though I have more than enough money stored away to pay for food and the ability to get a job if I need a little more cash, I'm going to retire earlier than I probably should b/c I can technically qualify for food stamps!"  My maternal grandparents did not make wise financial decisions in their lifetimes and are relying on several government programs now in order to survive.  I am glad that these services are there for them.  If a person needs help from society, take the help.  If they don't, don't.

BPA

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #71 on: February 01, 2014, 03:22:59 PM »
When people who are not truly needy (poor) use programs intended for use by the poor, and others find out about it, there is often intense backlash against those programs.  Enter political party ready to do away with them because of the perceived abuse, and these programs that can be changed by a government just might.

Sometimes it's not economics.  Sometimes it's people's justifiable outrage.  They vote.  The post shit on FB about perceived abuses.  I have never seen a group more maligned than the poor (although I live in Canada, so it may be different elsewhere). 

And there are some programs that become watered down or political tools if too many people use them.  I'm thinking of a provincial government here not too long ago that used the number of people collecting welfare in my province compared to others to whip voters into a rage for change.  It worked.

That makes some sense. I thought that people who "abused" the system by merely following the rules, were more ethical by being public about said "abuse." I.e., if it's something that people want changed, well now they've been informed about it, and can push forward such change. I'll have to give your post more thought...perhaps even if we take advantage of such programs, we should keep mum, thus preserving the program? Interesting.

Plus, taxpayers are paying for those programs and some of them may be poorer than the people using them if the people using them have accumulated enough assets to be FI.

Possible, but (I think) only if you play with words. Poorer, ok. Poor, no. If you're making enough to have to actually pay (income) taxes, I don't think you're poor. But yes, someone who's making enough to pay taxes may very well be poorer than the person who's living off of investment income.

For me it is immoral to use programs funded by the working poor.  Our federal income tax rate here after the first $11.3k is 15%.  Not sure what it is in the States.  My username is based on my desire at some time to go at least a year spending the Basic Personal Amount which is the first $11.3k of income.  I'm going to try it when the mortgage is killed.

I grew up poor and am one of those bleeding heart liberal types.  When I think of all the nights we went to bed hungry or were cold in the winter, I cannot fathom benefitting from those people.  For the most part, we were working poor, but sometimes were on welfare.  I get really irked by FB memes about how people on welfare are cheats of the system and don't deserve the money.


BPA

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #72 on: February 02, 2014, 07:44:15 AM »
More than a few times I've violated my own little rules...  every time I realized: it isn't worth it.  All I did was build animosity with a stranger.  I'm sure I'll slip and do it again, but: it isn't my goal here.

So, along those lines, I really haven't read a whole lot of the threads that are being talked about.  There are just hot topics that smell like an argument waiting to happen.  I just avoid them entirely.   Before you punt and walk away, try just picking and choosing.  Let those topics that make you grind your teeth at night just fall to the wayside.

Spork, that is awesome advice.  I have had similar experiences, too, so avoiding the conflict-then-regret cycle is the main reason why I have stayed away from some of these discussions.  But...I guess I am going against your wise words and finally jumping into this discussion, for better or worse. (I'm sure I'll feel quite stupid about it in a little while. :P) 

Clutchy, I think that there are a lot of us out here that have similar convictions as yours. BPA's and totoro's words completely encouraged me, and I hope that they have encouraged you, too. 

I think conversations like these affect "feeling" persons much more than "thinking" persons. I don't detach emotions from my thoughts very easily.  Are you like this, too, Clutchy?

I have thought about the ethical discussions on this board quite a bit lately.  For those of us that experienced being poor at one point or other in our lives, I don't think that we can just look at the issue of taking aid as a numbers game. I haven't experienced a long duration of hardship like some of the posters on this forum, so I'm not going to pretend that I have the same psychological impact from poverty as them.  I was very young when my parents had financial struggles, a kindergartner.  After that, I lived a solid middle class existence--well, I was poor in college, but that's not unusual.  The short amount of time in true poverty did leave some effect on me, though.  Thing is, my dad was too proud to accept "charity".  No food stamps for our family.  My parents budgeted well and didn't have bad habits, so there was normally enough food for the family from the grocery shopping.  But there were times when the money and food almost ran out and we lived on nothing but beans and cornbread, occasionally a squirrel.  Such extreme measures my parents went to in order to prove to themselves and the world that they could provide for their family on their own.  But ya know what? They lived with honor, and I do respect that.  I am not a fan of any kind of extreme thinking, neither "We don't accept charity in this house!" or "Hey, wow, look at that!  Even though I have more than enough money stored away to pay for food and the ability to get a job if I need a little more cash, I'm going to retire earlier than I probably should b/c I can technically qualify for food stamps!"  My maternal grandparents did not make wise financial decisions in their lifetimes and are relying on several government programs now in order to survive. I am glad that these services are there for them.  If a person needs help from society, take the help.  If they don't, don't.

Very well said.

To some of us, the part in bold is common sense. 

I actually worked for a short time with people that worked the system.  I was employed by an organization that helped them get a GED and some other light training.  It was appalling to hear them comparing what all they could "get" and sharing with each other how they could get even more free services.  :( 

So glad I quit that job and got to do a job that I enjoyed much, much more!

I completely agree.  To most people I know the part in bold is common sense. I am so glad that I am able to provide for myself now.  It might sound strange but I'm glad I've been poor.  It made me appreciate things like being warm in the winter and dry when it was raining (because we didn't have umbrellas when I was growing up). 

That being said, even though I'm glad for my experience, those times when we got enough to eat and felt comfortable were wonderful then too.  I'm glad that I never knew then that people who had more money than we did weren't using the income taxes my mother paid to augment their own situations or that that was even possible.

Sounds like there are a lot of people whose values are like yours, Clutchy.  :)

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #73 on: February 02, 2014, 07:07:19 PM »
I didn't want to leave this thread off without saying that I do believe that most people do want the best for others. 

Sometimes it takes a little perspective and sometimes it takes finding a purpose that you believe in.

If you need a bit of uplifting from time to time, I really recommend watching this:

http://liftbump.com/2014/01/8465-man-realizes-hes-sitting-beside-people-rescued-nazi-death-camps/

Sounds serious, but the video clip is so short and it affirms the do good in the world and feel good principle of life.

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #74 on: February 02, 2014, 10:35:31 PM »
I don't want to leave this thread without mentioning that Skymall has a bidet that's also an ipad caddy.

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #75 on: February 02, 2014, 11:26:44 PM »
My belief is that people who do good for others can have a snowball effect creating even more good in the world.  I think that is important to keep the focus balanced when you feel disheartened by others.

So, I know you meant to be clever and I know you felt it witty, but my reaction is that it is sad that you were not able to feel it and understand the relationship to the post.

spider1204

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #76 on: February 02, 2014, 11:46:35 PM »
I'm just a perfectly rational being responding to the incentive scheme placed before me.

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #77 on: February 03, 2014, 12:18:48 AM »
My belief is that people who do good for others can have a snowball effect creating even more good in the world.  I think that is important to keep the focus balanced when you feel disheartened by others.

So, I know you meant to be clever and I know you felt it witty, but my reaction is that it is sad that you were not able to feel it and understand the relationship to the post.

I didn't dig up the picture in response to your post.  I saw it on Facebook today and it reminded me of this thread which, as of yesterday, was about toilet paper.

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #78 on: February 03, 2014, 12:27:06 AM »
My understanding is that the only people who could possibly fit the citeria for perfect rationality are those with damaged amygdala or severe psychopathy. 

Not where I would like to fit.  Seems less than optimal given the other side effects.

A rational decision is one that is not just reasoned, but is also optimal for achieving a goal or solving a problem.  Continue to ignore the social contract or the role of emotions and I don't believe you optimizing your results - to speak in your terms. 

In my terms, the path to long-term greater personal happiness is not found in getting as much as you can from others when you don't need it.  There is research to back up the positive effects and personal benefits of pro-social behaviour such as doing something good for people who do need some help. 

I think in some ways we are dealing not with morality or even personality type, but a lack of perspective and understanding of the long-term effects.  Short term you may get a free lunch, but there is no free lunch - unless you have a damaged amygdala or severe psychopathy.

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #79 on: February 03, 2014, 12:30:07 AM »
My belief is that people who do good for others can have a snowball effect creating even more good in the world.  I think that is important to keep the focus balanced when you feel disheartened by others.

So, I know you meant to be clever and I know you felt it witty, but my reaction is that it is sad that you were not able to feel it and understand the relationship to the post.

I didn't dig up the picture in response to your post.  I saw it on Facebook today and it reminded me of this thread which, as of yesterday, was about toilet paper.

Well, that is good.  I was picturing you sitting on a bidet with a severely damaged amygdala.

BPA

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #80 on: February 03, 2014, 03:43:12 AM »
My understanding is that the only people who could possibly fit the citeria for perfect rationality are those with damaged amygdala or severe psychopathy. 

Not where I would like to fit.  Seems less than optimal given the other side effects.

A rational decision is one that is not just reasoned, but is also optimal for achieving a goal or solving a problem.  Continue to ignore the social contract or the role of emotions and I don't believe you optimizing your results - to speak in your terms. 

In my terms, the path to long-term greater personal happiness is not found in getting as much as you can from others when you don't need it.  There is research to back up the positive effects and personal benefits of pro-social behaviour such as doing something good for people who do need some help. 

I think in some ways we are dealing not with morality or even personality type, but a lack of perspective and understanding of the long-term effects.  Short term you may get a free lunch, but there is no free lunch - unless you have a damaged amygdala or severe psychopathy.

+1

I was thinking sociopath.  Maybe just a bad case of cognitive dissonance dressed up as fancy "logic."


As for the bidet pic:  loved it!  ;)

Samsam

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #81 on: February 03, 2014, 07:34:46 AM »
I don't want to leave this thread without mentioning that Skymall has a bidet that's also an ipad caddy.

Oh skymall! I love looking through that magazine.

sheepstache

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #82 on: February 03, 2014, 09:39:28 AM »
Skymall is kind of shooting antimustachian fish in a barrel but it seemed too apropo here to pass up.

clutchy

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #83 on: February 03, 2014, 03:59:29 PM »

FWIW at the end of that thread rootofgood decided to repay his student loans in full because the discussion on the thread persuaded him that it was the ethical thing to do
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/ethical-dimensions-of-student-loan-income-based-repayment-plans/msg154792/#msg154792

I'm no sure about that.  I think he might have been toying with us.  After a few more questions, he said he will continue to pay whatever the lender says he owes--which I took to mean that he will continue to use the IBR.  He wasn't exactly clear.

He showed up on Reddit/r/personalfinance and I called him out on his bullshit.  He's basically mincing words and trying to promote his blog for whatever reason. 

It appears he's using IBR but with no real income his repayment will be zero.

Regardless he can do whatever he wants and I can call him an unethical immoral leech on society.

clutchy

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #84 on: February 03, 2014, 04:06:33 PM »


It's shocking to me that an ethical and moral philosophical leader can attract individuals of questionable morality.

The forum however is plagued with morally repugnant and ethically dubious individuals.  People wasting precious time on things that provide so little value or benefit.  So little savings... 
The selfish usage of social safety nets for things they were never intended; the abuse of social good to promote personal gain...

It's offensive and shameful and the anti-thesis of this site.



. Reading history is one of my hobbies and I never ceased to be amazed at how much slavery, rape, oppression of the poor, thieving etc. people are capable of. It makes me realize how little control I have over anything beyond my small sphere.  Reading the food stamp/ free lunch poll only strengthens my own personal values. When you think about it, out whole society is based on profiting from others. Cheap clothing produced by slave labor,  food produced by chemicals and Inhumane farming practices, energy waste not thinking of the environmental costs of energy production.  Being tax efficient is good. Being a cheater is not. It would make me crazy if I thought about this stuff too much.
Be proud of your own moral standards and maybe you can influence your own little circle of life. If we all do this at first or might be like a drop of rain on a pond. Barely noticeable. But as more and more people rain on the pond by being ethical, honest and responsible individuals the downpour might do a great amount of good.

I like this thanks. 

I do however think it is important to engage with society and call out bad behavior where it is seen.  If I identify with this group I don't want to be ID'd as a leech on society. 

I do want to be seen as a socially responsible positive influence on society, because that is what I aim to be.  I have taken steps to move in that direction.

Mustachianism is a great philosophy and has positives for society as a whole and individuals in their daily lives. 

clutchy

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #85 on: February 03, 2014, 04:07:16 PM »

so... back to the OP and original topic for a moment:

Clutchy, I probably share some of the same feelings you do (though I can't say if it is because we hold the same opinions/values... we just reached some of the same frustrations).   I have very non-standard ideas (by majority viewpoint) on ethics, religion, politics, etc.  And, to be honest, this forum just isn't where I go for information/argument on those topics.  Sure, I may "think I'm right", but 10 pages later after arguing: the other side isn't convinced and, to be honest, I don't feel better for it.  Lose-lose.

I try to approach this forum from a more selfish viewpoint:  I look for areas that interest me.  If there are places where I can contribute in a positive way (and often feel better about myself): win.  If I can contribute, find out I am wrong and get corrected where I learn something: win.  If I can read someone else's issues and learn from them: win.  If I can have a snarky exchange with someone where we both walk away with a chuckle and a smile: win.

More than a few times I've violated my own little rules...  every time I realized: it isn't worth it.  All I did was build animosity with a stranger.  I'm sure I'll slip and do it again, but: it isn't my goal here.

So, along those lines, I really haven't read a whole lot of the threads that are being talked about.  There are just hot topics that smell like an argument waiting to happen.  I just avoid them entirely.   Before you punt and walk away, try just picking and choosing.  Let those topics that make you grind your teeth at night just fall to the wayside.

fair enough Spork, I think we definitely agree on a lot of issues.

wtjbatman

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #86 on: February 03, 2014, 08:44:13 PM »
In Canada if you never worked or were on welfare your whole life you will get a pension of approx. $1300 a month and qualify for subsidized housing, long-term care, and other programs.   I'm surprised that the US does not have something similar that guarantees a minimum income otherwise you will have significant hardship for the elderly.

That's fine with me, because we're not a welfare state... yet. (Thanks Obama)

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #87 on: February 03, 2014, 08:58:56 PM »
You mean that taking care of the elderly should not be part of the social system? 

The thing is I can still make a great living in Canada and I know that the social net is there.  Could I make more in the US?  Maybe.  I could make more if I wanted to here too.

I have no problem paying taxes.  I'm happy that there is a guaranteed minimum income for the elderly.

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #88 on: February 04, 2014, 05:07:41 AM »


It's shocking to me that an ethical and moral philosophical leader can attract individuals of questionable morality.

The forum however is plagued with morally repugnant and ethically dubious individuals.  People wasting precious time on things that provide so little value or benefit.  So little savings... 
The selfish usage of social safety nets for things they were never intended; the abuse of social good to promote personal gain...

It's offensive and shameful and the anti-thesis of this site.



. Reading history is one of my hobbies and I never ceased to be amazed at how much slavery, rape, oppression of the poor, thieving etc. people are capable of. It makes me realize how little control I have over anything beyond my small sphere.  Reading the food stamp/ free lunch poll only strengthens my own personal values. When you think about it, out whole society is based on profiting from others. Cheap clothing produced by slave labor,  food produced by chemicals and Inhumane farming practices, energy waste not thinking of the environmental costs of energy production.  Being tax efficient is good. Being a cheater is not. It would make me crazy if I thought about this stuff too much.
Be proud of your own moral standards and maybe you can influence your own little circle of life. If we all do this at first or might be like a drop of rain on a pond. Barely noticeable. But as more and more people rain on the pond by being ethical, honest and responsible individuals the downpour might do a great amount of good.

I like this thanks. 

I do however think it is important to engage with society and call out bad behavior where it is seen.  If I identify with this group I don't want to be ID'd as a leech on society. 

I do want to be seen as a socially responsible positive influence on society, because that is what I aim to be.  I have taken steps to move in that direction.

Mustachianism is a great philosophy and has positives for society as a whole and individuals in their daily lives.

Clutchy,
I was kind of appalled by those threads, too.  I've seen some things on the forums that I thought were in direct opposition to what MMM stands for.  I think for some people MMM = frugality or MMM = FIRE and that's it. 

I'm not sure that the poll about what kinds of public assistance one would take is really a representative sample, though.  I didn't participate in the poll because I thought the entire discussion was distasteful to begin with.  There may have been a lot of others who felt the same or weren't interested.

Also, there are others who just like to be contrarian.  I can think of at least one individual who shows up in pretty much every thread just to be disagreeable, yet I can't recall ever seeing him start his own thread.  At this point I just ignore whatever he has to say, since, as far as I can tell, he's trying to pick a fight.  Most people who have been around for a while seem to do the same.  I guess I try to take the same approach to some of the threads.  If it looks like the thread is looking for an argument, I steer clear.

adam

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #89 on: February 07, 2014, 10:10:10 AM »
I find it hard and harder to read through the forums myself, and have been doing it less often.  Not because of any moral high ground or whatever, just because its getting harder to find the good/useful posts with all the 'other' stuff.  I was going to say with all the 'garbage' but I thought I'd be nice.  Oh well.

Daley

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #90 on: February 07, 2014, 10:19:34 AM »
I find it hard and harder to read through the forums myself, and have been doing it less often.  Not because of any moral high ground or whatever, just because its getting harder to find the good/useful posts with all the 'other' stuff.  I was going to say with all the 'garbage' but I thought I'd be nice.  Oh well.

The signal to noise ratio is getting rather rough these days. Add in an expanding userbase using a forum that they post on but never actually read...

adam

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #91 on: February 07, 2014, 10:37:22 AM »
I find it hard and harder to read through the forums myself, and have been doing it less often.  Not because of any moral high ground or whatever, just because its getting harder to find the good/useful posts with all the 'other' stuff.  I was going to say with all the 'garbage' but I thought I'd be nice.  Oh well.

The signal to noise ratio is getting rather rough these days. Add in an expanding userbase using a forum that they post on but never actually read...

I was just coming back to mention something similar.  I think that MMM is almost becoming too popular, and has started attracting too wide of an audience.  /hipster argument.

FWIW, one thread I do check every time for new info is the superguide :)

BPA

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #92 on: February 07, 2014, 01:44:24 PM »
You mean that taking care of the elderly should not be part of the social system? 

The thing is I can still make a great living in Canada and I know that the social net is there.  Could I make more in the US?  Maybe.  I could make more if I wanted to here too.

I have no problem paying taxes.  I'm happy that there is a guaranteed minimum income for the elderly.

I absolutely agree.


dragoncar

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #93 on: February 07, 2014, 05:12:14 PM »
I find it hard and harder to read through the forums myself, and have been doing it less often.  Not because of any moral high ground or whatever, just because its getting harder to find the good/useful posts with all the 'other' stuff.  I was going to say with all the 'garbage' but I thought I'd be nice.  Oh well.

The signal to noise ratio is getting rather rough these days. Add in an expanding userbase using a forum that they post on but never actually read...

I was just coming back to mention something similar.  I think that MMM is almost becoming too popular, and has started attracting too wide of an audience.  /hipster argument.

FWIW, one thread I do check every time for new info is the superguide :)

Maybe we need MMM Gold - members with over 100 posts get access, or pay a $6 annual fee or whatever.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #94 on: February 07, 2014, 05:28:10 PM »
This thread really has gotten off topic. Let's get back to bathroom humor, and other toiletry-related topics, please.

BPA

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #95 on: February 07, 2014, 05:31:35 PM »
This thread really has gotten off topic. Let's get back to bathroom humor, and other toiletry-related topics, please.

The good thing about Sochi toilets is that if you run out of toilet paper, it's a quick scan to see if your neighbour has some.  Saves the embarrassment of having to ask.

mlipps

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #96 on: February 07, 2014, 05:59:02 PM »
I find it hard and harder to read through the forums myself, and have been doing it less often.  Not because of any moral high ground or whatever, just because its getting harder to find the good/useful posts with all the 'other' stuff.  I was going to say with all the 'garbage' but I thought I'd be nice.  Oh well.

The signal to noise ratio is getting rather rough these days. Add in an expanding userbase using a forum that they post on but never actually read...

I was just coming back to mention something similar.  I think that MMM is almost becoming too popular, and has started attracting too wide of an audience.  /hipster argument.

FWIW, one thread I do check every time for new info is the superguide :)

Maybe we need MMM Gold - members with over 100 posts get access, or pay a $6 annual fee or whatever.

I'd love that, but I think we need a higher threshold than 100 posts haha.

totoro

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #97 on: February 07, 2014, 06:01:59 PM »
When I lived in Japan my toilet came with a heated seat and a hand washing station built in.  Those were the good ol' days.  FYI I don't accept the nickname "toto":

"Toto's product brochures make great bathroom reading, waxing on about the benefits of the high-tech toilets in a somewhat alarming but ultimately endearing fashion. Descriptions of luxury loos "gently glowing in the ambient light" abound.

"It may seem strange, but we feel our toilets do have an inner beauty," one Toto brochure confesses. "Maybe we're looking through our engineers' eyes, but it's there. You can see it. It's in our high performance flushing systems. Our specially designed trapways. It's everywhere." "

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2003/08/59979?currentPage=all

sheepstache

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #98 on: February 07, 2014, 06:39:47 PM »
It wouldn't be mustachian in the sense of saving you money, but I know there are some other hikers on the forum who would no doubt appreciate the Squatty Potty.  And you could easily make your own.  Anyway, you just need to read the first review.
http://www.amazon.com/Squatty-Potty-Ecco-Toilet-Stool/dp/B007BISCT0

limeandpepper

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Re: I can't do it anymore...
« Reply #99 on: February 07, 2014, 07:30:45 PM »
It wouldn't be mustachian in the sense of saving you money, but I know there are some other hikers on the forum who would no doubt appreciate the Squatty Potty.  And you could easily make your own.  Anyway, you just need to read the first review.
http://www.amazon.com/Squatty-Potty-Ecco-Toilet-Stool/dp/B007BISCT0

As someone who grew up using squat toilets and was never keen on them, that is ironically hilarious. Our house had a squat toilet and a sit-down one - I much preferred to use the latter whenever possible! I suppose at least this one is more aesthetically comfortable to use than the ones in Asia, where you get full view of, errr, the results as they are processed.