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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: clutchy on January 29, 2014, 11:57:27 AM

Title: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy on January 29, 2014, 11:57:27 AM
I just can't do it anymore.  I read this forum and it used to be interesting.  There used to be some solid advice and great ways to save some coin and keep motivated to reduce lifestyle inflation. 

but something has changed either in me or in the users here.  The level of idiocy and time wasting on such mundane and inconsequential things has gotten to me. 

I suppose I'm just not enough of a true believer or something... 

I will say that reading the blog posts have really helped me refocus and I've significantly benefited from them.  They are motivational and promote an ethos of caring and responsibility.  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.


so that's my wall of shame post.  I've been shamed by the actions of those here and shamed by my own inability to convince others.  As with all things there are many good and ethical people on this site but from the many polls there are far too many who should not be tolerated.

/complainypants.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Phoebe on January 29, 2014, 12:10:47 PM
I'm sorry you feel that way, but you know you don't have to read the forums, right?  It's voluntary, so you can leave anytime.

You also have the option of taking what is valuable to you here and leaving the rest.  You don't need to convince other people of your beliefs, nor do you have to even read about theirs.  Just open the threads that are providing you with insight and inspiration and call it a day.

Best of luck to you,
Phoebe
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 29, 2014, 12:17:51 PM
Interesting.  I don't see much that is morally or ethically dubious in these forums.

Maybe I'm one of the jerks.  ;) 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy on January 29, 2014, 12:18:24 PM
I'm sorry you feel that way, but you know you don't have to read the forums, right?  It's voluntary, so you can leave anytime.

You also have the option of taking what is valuable to you here and leaving the rest.  You don't need to convince other people of your beliefs, nor do you have to even read about theirs.  Just open the threads that are providing you with insight and inspiration and call it a day.

Best of luck to you,
Phoebe

I'm aware of that; that's why I posted it in this forum. 


I guess it just blows my mind how an ethical/moral leader can have some despicable adherents.  It doesn't make any sense....
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy on January 29, 2014, 12:19:07 PM
Interesting.  I don't see much that is morally or ethically dubious in these forums.

Maybe I'm one of the jerks.  ;)

I doubt it, you're Canadian :)

You'd probably be apologizing profusely at this point...
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: the fixer on January 29, 2014, 12:21:16 PM
I was curious so I went through your recent posts to see what you were upset about. Most of it was in threads I didn't even read, but I agree with your assessments once I saw what was going on. I agree the Throw Down the Gauntlet challenges have been getting pretty silly lately, but I can tell by the subject line if it's something I want to get involved in or not. Selective attention.

Much of the ethical debate from a few months ago centered around one person's actual actions which he later reformed, but blew up into a "what would you do" hypothetical discussion. I hold out hope that most people in the accumulation stage will change their perspective once they actually get to the point of "enough," and get more introspective about their place in society once the answer to that question is no longer "I work at XYZ job to give back."

That's also my latest answer to whether or not it's ethical to make money off other people's consumption. If people do good with their money/freedom later whether they plan on it now or not, that seems like an at least decently ethical choice, and you can shrug off their screw-other-people attitude in the mean time. You should like this thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/an-additional-dimension-of-being-or-approaching-fi/

I still see the forum as valuable. I even realized last night from a TD Ameritrade thread how to get commission free trades on VTI! I just assumed I wasn't eligible because my account is set up through my HSA. I also get plenty of food for thought on various issues and get to keep evolving my perspectives.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Ottawa on January 29, 2014, 12:24:33 PM

I'm aware of that; that's why I posted it in this forum. 


I guess it just blows my mind how an ethical/moral leader can have some despicable adherents.  It doesn't make any sense....

Sorry you feel this way.  I know often, there are some topics posted that might not be of any interest.  I just skip over them.  If there are people that aren't playing nice, the mods can remind them of the rules.  I haven't seen anyone consistently going over the line.  Sometimes it happens in the heat of a topic, but is usually self-correcting. 

Differences of opinion OTOH are a healthy part of a discussion.  Even if you and others firmly believe the position to be wrong.

As for despicable adherents...and unethical immoral folks...I don't see that really happening here. 

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 29, 2014, 12:24:52 PM
I'm sorry you feel that way, but you know you don't have to read the forums, right?  It's voluntary, so you can leave anytime.

You also have the option of taking what is valuable to you here and leaving the rest.  You don't need to convince other people of your beliefs, nor do you have to even read about theirs.  Just open the threads that are providing you with insight and inspiration and call it a day.

Best of luck to you,
Phoebe

I'm aware of that; that's why I posted it in this forum. 


I guess it just blows my mind how an ethical/moral leader can have some despicable adherents.  It doesn't make any sense....


I'm sure there are plenty who don't find MMM ethical or moral.  You know, the ones who benefit from conspicuous consumption.

Like Phoebe said, even though I don't agree with everyone here, I try to take away what I like and leave the rest.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy on January 29, 2014, 12:32:20 PM
I was curious so I went through your recent posts to see what you were upset about. Most of it was in threads I didn't even read, but I agree with your assessments once I saw what was going on. I agree the Throw Down the Gauntlet challenges have been getting pretty silly lately, but I can tell by the subject line if it's something I want to get involved in or not. Selective attention.

Much of the ethical debate from a few months ago centered around one person's actual actions which he later reformed, but blew up into a "what would you do" hypothetical discussion. I hold out hope that most people in the accumulation stage will change their perspective once they actually get to the point of "enough," and get more introspective about their place in society once the answer to that question is no longer "I work at XYZ job to give back."

That's also my latest answer to whether or not it's ethical to make money off other people's consumption. If people do good with their money/freedom later whether they plan on it now or not, that seems like an at least decently ethical choice, and you can shrug off their screw-other-people attitude in the mean time. You should like this thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/an-additional-dimension-of-being-or-approaching-fi/

I still see the forum as valuable. I even realized last night from a TD Ameritrade thread how to get commission free trades on VTI! I just assumed I wasn't eligible because my account is set up through my HSA. I also get plenty of food for thought on various issues and get to keep evolving my perspectives.

certainly a reasoned and thoughtful post.

and I'm not trying to say this forum lacks positive information; it does have it.  My frustration mostly lies with my inability to ignore the idiocy.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 29, 2014, 12:35:12 PM
I was curious so I went through your recent posts to see what you were upset about. Most of it was in threads I didn't even read, but I agree with your assessments once I saw what was going on. I agree the Throw Down the Gauntlet challenges have been getting pretty silly lately, but I can tell by the subject line if it's something I want to get involved in or not. Selective attention.

Much of the ethical debate from a few months ago centered around one person's actual actions which he later reformed, but blew up into a "what would you do" hypothetical discussion. I hold out hope that most people in the accumulation stage will change their perspective once they actually get to the point of "enough," and get more introspective about their place in society once the answer to that question is no longer "I work at XYZ job to give back."

That's also my latest answer to whether or not it's ethical to make money off other people's consumption. If people do good with their money/freedom later whether they plan on it now or not, that seems like an at least decently ethical choice, and you can shrug off their screw-other-people attitude in the mean time. You should like this thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/an-additional-dimension-of-being-or-approaching-fi/

I still see the forum as valuable. I even realized last night from a TD Ameritrade thread how to get commission free trades on VTI! I just assumed I wasn't eligible because my account is set up through my HSA. I also get plenty of food for thought on various issues and get to keep evolving my perspectives.

certainly a reasoned and thoughtful post.

and I'm not trying to say this forum lacks positive information; it does have it.  My frustration mostly lies with my inability to ignore the idiocy.


ha ha ha ha  Another reason to RE? 

I love the kids, my colleagues and my boss, but educational policy is the idiocy I can't avoid.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: the fixer on January 29, 2014, 12:41:20 PM
My frustration mostly lies with my inability to ignore the idiocy.
This makes sense; I know I get sucked into it too sometimes. It sounds like you definitely need a break.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: luigi49 on January 29, 2014, 12:53:28 PM
If you think this forum has a lot of idiocy its worse on other once.   Some forum have clickish attitude which I don't find here.  This forum have a lot of interaction and feedback. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: judgemebymyusername on January 29, 2014, 04:04:07 PM
but something has changed either in me or in the users here.  The level of idiocy and time wasting on such mundane and inconsequential things has gotten to me. 


Agreed, and I am starting to feel the same as you. I love the MMM blog, but the forum is wearing down on me. Reading about women reusing cloth towels for wiping after number 1 (disgusting and unsanitary) etc. The information is interesting and new at first, but now it's just a circlejerk between holier than people trying to one-up each other about how much more extreme they are when it comes to being cheap frugal.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 29, 2014, 04:11:25 PM
but something has changed either in me or in the users here.  The level of idiocy and time wasting on such mundane and inconsequential things has gotten to me. 


Agreed, and I am starting to feel the same as you. I love the MMM blog, but the forum is wearing down on me. Reading about women reusing cloth towels for wiping after number 1 (disgusting and unsanitary) etc. The information is interesting and new at first, but now it's just a circlejerk between holier than people trying to one-up each other about how much more extreme they are when it comes to being cheap frugal.


ha ha  You were the only poster I found holier than thou on that thread. 

I use tp but I don't think it's up to me to judge others who are trying to be kind to the environment.  And yours was the ONLY nasty, judgmental comment on that thread.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: judgemebymyusername on January 29, 2014, 04:16:20 PM
but something has changed either in me or in the users here.  The level of idiocy and time wasting on such mundane and inconsequential things has gotten to me. 


Agreed, and I am starting to feel the same as you. I love the MMM blog, but the forum is wearing down on me. Reading about women reusing cloth towels for wiping after number 1 (disgusting and unsanitary) etc. The information is interesting and new at first, but now it's just a circlejerk between holier than people trying to one-up each other about how much more extreme they are when it comes to being cheap frugal.


ha ha  You were the only poster I found holier than thou on that thread. 

I use tp but I don't think it's up to me to judge others who are trying to be kind to the environment.  And yours was the ONLY nasty, judgmental comment on that thread.

Yeah, I was such a NASTY person for sticking up for the nice mother in law. So happy to see you come here and find me just to berate me. Get over yourselves, and thank you for proving my point.

For the record, I was referring to a different post altogether. Believe it or not there are multiple people here who think not using toilet paper is the norm.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Eric on January 29, 2014, 05:30:41 PM
but something has changed either in me or in the users here.  The level of idiocy and time wasting on such mundane and inconsequential things has gotten to me. 


Agreed, and I am starting to feel the same as you. I love the MMM blog, but the forum is wearing down on me. Reading about women reusing cloth towels for wiping after number 1 (disgusting and unsanitary) etc. The information is interesting and new at first, but now it's just a circlejerk between holier than people trying to one-up each other about how much more extreme they are when it comes to being cheap frugal.


ha ha  You were the only poster I found holier than thou on that thread. 

I use tp but I don't think it's up to me to judge others who are trying to be kind to the environment.  And yours was the ONLY nasty, judgmental comment on that thread.

Yeah, I was such a NASTY person for sticking up for the nice mother in law. So happy to see you come here and find me just to berate me. Get over yourselves, and thank you for proving my point.


BPA made three posts on this thread before yours.  So he's stalking you?  I'd be done with this forum too if I started with the perspective that everyone is a holier-than-thou jerk and that every post that I didn't agree with was a personal attack on my own lifestyle or decisions.  Seriously, why are you the judge of others habits?  If it doesn't affect you, then how can you get so upset over it?

Maybe you should consider your OWN online tone and how it causes others to react to you.  Starting on the defensive is a terrible way to enjoy any online interaction.  I would say YMMV, but that seems to be your exact mileage.

For the record, I was referring to a different post altogether. Believe it or not there are multiple people here who think not using toilet paper is the norm.

So what?  Do you believe in online cooties?
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Eric on January 29, 2014, 05:34:26 PM
The forum however is plagued with morally repugnant and ethically dubious individuals. 

I don't really get this.  I imagine I've seen most of the hypothetical threads, and most of them are just thought experiments.  I guess I don't take them that seriously.  Or is this like the old poker rule?  There's a sucker at every table.  If you're not sure who the sucker is, it's probably you.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: NinetyFour on January 29, 2014, 05:40:19 PM
Not sure where the "idiocy" is.  Who knows--maybe I am one of the idiots.

I have only had real problems with two of the posters here.  One of the people--well, I just don't read any of his posts anymore.  The other one seems to have mostly disappeared from these parts.

I also just stay away from the fights that occasionally break out--many of those fights seem to involve some overly healthy egos.

I find that I especially like the journals.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 29, 2014, 05:44:53 PM
Okay...I so have that Faith Hill song stuck in my head because of the thread title.  :D

Maybe we could write a parody?  I've been stuck home with the flu.  I need to go back to work, I think.  I promise not to write parodies when I reach RE.

I like this forum for the most part.  I even liked to read that story about the guy who lives without money and dumpster dives his food and uses leaves instead of tp even though I don't think I could ever do that. 

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 29, 2014, 05:46:45 PM
Not sure where the "idiocy" is.  Who knows--maybe I am one of the idiots.

I have only had real problems with two of the posters here.  One of the people--well, I just don't read any of his posts anymore.  The other one seems to have mostly disappeared from these parts.

I also just stay away from the fights that occasionally break out--many of those fights seem to involve some overly healthy egos.

I find that I especially like the journals.

All internet forums of any size have some drama. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: judgemebymyusername on January 29, 2014, 06:15:31 PM
but something has changed either in me or in the users here.  The level of idiocy and time wasting on such mundane and inconsequential things has gotten to me. 


Agreed, and I am starting to feel the same as you. I love the MMM blog, but the forum is wearing down on me. Reading about women reusing cloth towels for wiping after number 1 (disgusting and unsanitary) etc. The information is interesting and new at first, but now it's just a circlejerk between holier than people trying to one-up each other about how much more extreme they are when it comes to being cheap frugal.


ha ha  You were the only poster I found holier than thou on that thread. 

I use tp but I don't think it's up to me to judge others who are trying to be kind to the environment.  And yours was the ONLY nasty, judgmental comment on that thread.

Yeah, I was such a NASTY person for sticking up for the nice mother in law. So happy to see you come here and find me just to berate me. Get over yourselves, and thank you for proving my point.


BPA made three posts on this thread before yours.  So he's stalking you?  I'd be done with this forum too if I started with the perspective that everyone is a holier-than-thou jerk and that every post that I didn't agree with was a personal attack on my own lifestyle or decisions.  Seriously, why are you the judge of others habits?  If it doesn't affect you, then how can you get so upset over it?

Maybe you should consider your OWN online tone and how it causes others to react to you.  Starting on the defensive is a terrible way to enjoy any online interaction.  I would say YMMV, but that seems to be your exact mileage.

For the record, I was referring to a different post altogether. Believe it or not there are multiple people here who think not using toilet paper is the norm.

So what?  Do you believe in online cooties?

Didn't realize you all were on the same team here. I don't look at the usernames and track each person's comments individually, I just read the text and respond, regardless of who's writing it. I only noticed that this guy was on the other post because he brought it up.

I don't know why you guys are saying things like I "attacked" the OP on the post. Once again, it sounded TO ME like she was attacking her MIL and was offended by her MIL's kindness. People, her MIL was gifting her toilet paper, paper towels, and aluminum foil, because she thought that was the nice thing to do for her new daughter in law. I must be the only person here with a kind mother who would be thoughtful enough to do the same. I felt like OP was unjustifiably talking bad about her MIL without thinking at all of the other person's position. But again, I'm the asshole for pointing this out. You're the 3rd of 4th person to tell me so. I guess that's what I get for going onto a forum about frugality and trying to stand up for such wasteful things like using a renewable resource in our daily lives.

I thought if I stopped commenting on that other thread, it would be done and people would get over it. Nope, moved along to a different thread and agreed with the OP and here you all are trying to point out how I'm "imposing my way of life on other people" because I think it's weird to not use toilet paper. I don't recall telling the OP she MUST use toilet paper, hell I didn't even suggest anything near to it. But I'll say it, OP should have shut up and graciously accepted the gift from her family member. You folks on this website and this forum are in the minority. Most people don't agree with what you (we) are doing. But treating other people like shit for not agreeing with you is not going to get people to see your point of view.

That being said, I'm out. I can't fucking stand the arrogance of people like you in real life, and I can't stand it online other. I'm going to go wipe my ass now with some TOILET PAPER and I sincerely hope that one of you is offended by it. Then I'm going to drive my happy ass to the store in my pickup truck and buy some more. If you're looking for me you can find me on reddit.com/r/frugaljerk. This post describes this forum perfectly: http://www.reddit.com/r/frugaljerk/comments/1ctu1l/another_fat_cat_throwing_away_luxury_what_should/

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: beltim on January 29, 2014, 06:18:15 PM
This thread has taken an awesome turn.

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Eric on January 29, 2014, 06:30:52 PM
I don't even know what thread you're talking about dude.  But...

I'm going to go wipe my ass now with some TOILET PAPER and I sincerely hope that one of you is offended by it.

This is a great line.  Can I use it in my signature?
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 29, 2014, 06:47:06 PM
I don't even know what thread you're talking about dude.  But...

I'm going to go wipe my ass now with some TOILET PAPER and I sincerely hope that one of you is offended by it.

This is a great line.  Can I use it in my signature?


I have no idea what dude is talking about either.  As B pointed out, I was talking about another thread apparently.  All I pointed out was that from an environmental perspective, I can see why some people would be opposed to using tp and paper towels. 

And that is a great line. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 29, 2014, 06:50:15 PM
Wait.  Dude is B.  How strange.  I didn't know we could change our usernames.

This is kind of tripping me out and I thought the flu meds were out of my system.  ;)
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Dr.Vibrissae on January 30, 2014, 01:01:26 PM
Be honest, do you sometimes scan through posts you never thought you'd be interested in because they occasionally take a turn for the awesome?  That's how I ended up following this post.  Granted, I'd hate to see the majority of them go this way.

For the record, I do think it's weird not to use TP, but I doubt a washable single use pee-blotter is any more disgusting and unsanitary than washing and re-wearing panties.  Probably less so.  Oooh, big idea: disposable paper underwear!

Nuts, I just checked and it already exists http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Underwear/dp/B0029OSXSQ (http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Underwear/dp/B0029OSXSQ).

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 30, 2014, 02:30:05 PM
Be honest, do you sometimes scan through posts you never thought you'd be interested in because they occasionally take a turn for the awesome?  That's how I ended up following this post.  Granted, I'd hate to see the majority of them go this way.

For the record, I do think it's weird not to use TP, but I doubt a washable single use pee-blotter is any more disgusting and unsanitary than washing and re-wearing panties.  Probably less so.  Oooh, big idea: disposable paper underwear!

Nuts, I just checked and it already exists http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Underwear/dp/B0029OSXSQ (http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Underwear/dp/B0029OSXSQ).

I didn't intend to push Dude over the edge, FWIW.  Ooops.  Since he and I got into it about the paper towels and toilet paper on another thread, I thought I'd point out that he wasn't exactly reasonable after claiming I wasn't.  I guess I could have just shut up but despite the Canadian stereotype, I don't do that well.  :D

Guys don't normally wipe at all for number one, right?  (I am a woman and either I've dated some really gross guys or that is normal.)  I guess that's what you mean about the underwear thing.  And I've washed enough of my kids' skidmarked underwear to be a little less grossed out by possible urine stains.  But I do wipe!  I DO WIPE WITH TP!!!

Poor Clutchy never imagined his thread would go this way.  Sorry, Clutchy for my role in the derailing.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Dr.Vibrissae on January 30, 2014, 03:36:27 PM
As far as I'm aware guys don't use TP after urinating, maybe I should start a poll...

If clutchy is true to his word, I'm sure he stopped reading this particular thread of idiocy several posts ago, but I also apologize for contributing.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 30, 2014, 04:09:39 PM
I hope Clutchy goes back to that airport thread.  I think he will like the response Bigote gave.  :)

And I honestly laughed out loud about the pee poll.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: rocksinmyhead on January 30, 2014, 04:39:04 PM
I feel bad, but the last few posts on this have definitely made me laugh out loud.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: lithy on January 30, 2014, 06:59:52 PM
As far as I'm aware guys don't use TP after urinating, maybe I should start a poll...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7gLJ5idfSA

Oh man, this thread.  Every forum has the meltdown types...
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Kriegsspiel on January 30, 2014, 07:09:08 PM
Men don't wipe, we shake. Careful though, any more than 3 and you're playing with it.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 30, 2014, 09:10:14 PM
lol  Pure Gold.

Dab!!!!

Did you?!?!

And playing with it.  lol

The next time my son annoys me, I'm going to stand outside the bathroom door when he's going and ask him if he dabbed. 

And now I'm truly acting like an idiot.  I'm sorry again, Clutchy.  I cross the line between silly and obnoxious a lot and you actually seem like a really nice guy. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Dr.Vibrissae on January 30, 2014, 09:17:44 PM
I was going to ask if Dude had read any of the posts in praise of menstrual cups and cloth pads, but then I thought better of it.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: rocksinmyhead on January 31, 2014, 07:06:38 AM
I was going to ask if Dude had read any of the posts in praise of menstrual cups and cloth pads, but then I thought better of it.

haha!

if someone tells me my DivaCup is gross(er than tampons), I will definitely punch them in the face
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: MsSindy on January 31, 2014, 07:44:45 AM
Normally I mind my own business, so I generally only have my own experiences as a frame of reference for a lot of things (esp more personal things).  So, I actually find it rather fascinating to hear about what other people do (voyeuristic perhaps??).  I don't really agree or disagree with how anyone wants to live their life; I'm just, like, "huh, really, interesting".  I pause and consider if I would like to incorporate that into my life.....sometimes not so much!  But I never feel compelled to put down others for how they want to live their life.  Most every point can be made with some tact  (or just don't bother).

These last few comments however, really made me chuckle...it's the sophomoric side of me, I guess!  It's nice to see it lighten up though.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: sheepstache on January 31, 2014, 07:59:14 AM
Listen, since we're all here anyway...
I keep wanting to comment on the TP topic that urine is sterile, so maybe people would feel less squeamish about it.  Probably not, because who lets facts get in the way?  But worth a shot.
But it turns out that's a popular misconception!
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120409164156.htm
There are actually small quantities of bacteria in some women's bladders (the paper only had female test subjects).  And this is taking samples directly from the bladder, not contamination during the urination process.

So, the more you know. 

edited for sense-making
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Samsam on January 31, 2014, 08:09:33 AM
a TP thread!...kinda.  So timely, I just bought bidet hookups for all my toilets. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Cromacster on January 31, 2014, 08:35:55 AM
Quote
A guy walks into a drug store, and is moving up and down the aisles, obviously searching for something. The pharmacist comes out and asks if he can help the guy.
"Yeah, my wife sent me in here to buy her some tampons" replies the guy.
The pharmacist tells him, "No problem, that'll be in aisle twelve, Feminine Products."
A few minutes later the guy walks up to the counter and puts down a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string.
"What's this," asks the pharmacist. "I thought you were looking for tampons"
The guy says, "Well, a few days ago I asked my wife to pick me up a carton of cigarettes. She came back with a tin of tobacco and a pack of rolling papers, because they're SOOOO much cheaper. I figure if I have to roll MY own, she can do the same."

source:
http://www.jokebuddha.com/Tampons/recent/2#ixzz2rzUGPllX (http://www.jokebuddha.com/Tampons/recent/2#ixzz2rzUGPllX)
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: MgoSam on January 31, 2014, 10:38:31 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Bank on January 31, 2014, 12:11:00 PM
I only get bugged by the, ahem... "diversity of views," when I'm particularly interested in a topic thread and it veers wildly off into arguments and slander for the better part of a page.  Makes it harder to find the good stuff.

Haven't seen anything unethical here personally.  I attribute the weird stuff to most of us being batshit crazy in one way or another.  Otherwise we wouldn't all be collected around a Canadian messiah who's trying to spend most of his life kicked back while simultaneously saving the world.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: GuitarStv on January 31, 2014, 12:28:58 PM
You say it like anyone had any doubt that our saviour would be Canadian.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy on January 31, 2014, 12:33:06 PM
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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 31, 2014, 02:24:17 PM
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.

Hmmm.  Clearly I missed those threads. 

I do like MMM's sense of social responsibility. 

I hope you do stick around.  While admittedly at times cult-like with our Canuck Saviour, really you form your own philosophy in life and I don't think there is anything wrong with disagreeing vehemently with others.  As long as we don't start namecalling and stuff.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Angelfishtitan on January 31, 2014, 02:38:29 PM
I have a hard time adhering to any philosophy that becomes predatory/amoral/unethical and would want to dissociate myself from it.

People use many reasons to use almost any philosphy immorally, holy wars anyone? You can't turn away from it solely due to someone using it for inappropriate justification.

FIRE in my opinion is generally amoral, as in the first definition, not having to do with morals. Whether you save quickly or work for longer time by itself isn't a moral quandry, it more or less only affects you. Mustachianism specifically adds in parts to this journey, most values of which are on the moral side of the spectrum, in particular lessening your environmental impact.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: beltim on January 31, 2014, 03:00:55 PM
I had a feeling that was part of the cause but from reading around for the last year I'm sure it's a minority of people here that agree with those actions. I was surprised by how many people commenting agreed with them, but I think it's more because most people who disagreed stayed out of the argument. As I said, from reading the rest of the forums most people do seem to stay on the ethical side of things


A poll indicated it was a big majority, not a vocal minority. 
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/ethics-of-er/
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: beltim on January 31, 2014, 03:15:41 PM
I had a feeling that was part of the cause but from reading around for the last year I'm sure it's a minority of people here that agree with those actions. I was surprised by how many people commenting agreed with them, but I think it's more because most people who disagreed stayed out of the argument. As I said, from reading the rest of the forums most people do seem to stay on the ethical side of things


A poll indicated it was a big majority, not a vocal minority. 
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/ethics-of-er/
Lol, this topic came up after rootofgood's controversy so I figured it was related and didn't even look at it. Maybe everyone else did the same?

I just voted so I could see the results and very few who did vote agreed with welfare, food stamps, or reduced lunches. I'm somewhat surprised at the EIC amount but even I wavered on the Pell Grant...though that may have been because of my specific situation (married at 18 so never had to take my parents info into account on FAFSA and we still only qualified for anything the first year). And even that one with 199 votes is pretty small considering that at one point today there were 432 people in the forums at once

Well, I said most of what I want to say on the topic in that thread, but I just wanted to bring up the poll to show that the OP isn't coming out of nowhere. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: marty998 on January 31, 2014, 03:25:00 PM
I had a feeling that was part of the cause but from reading around for the last year I'm sure it's a minority of people here that agree with those actions. I was surprised by how many people commenting agreed with them, but I think it's more because most people who disagreed stayed out of the argument. As I said, from reading the rest of the forums most people do seem to stay on the ethical side of things


A poll indicated it was a big majority, not a vocal minority. 
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/ethics-of-er/

None of those particular poll options exist in Australia (except for welfare) so I voted none of the above. I was surprised to click that link and see the results. (I voted early in that thread and the early results were different). I would not FIRE and then go on welfare, that to me is repugnant.

I find it depressing that some people cannot see the connection between collecting welfare when they don't need it, and fucking their fellow neighbour because taxes have to be raised to pay for that welfare. It shits me that my taxes go a long way to paying for *some* people who are unwilling to provide for themselves. Yes I know there are genuine cases of need, but where is that line drawn.

This gentle rant brought to you by a bleeding heart leftie.

And for those out there who think this thread is wasted space and a bad read guess what! You can't use it as toilet paper!





Forgive my bad joke for the day :)

***

I should edit for accuracy, some of the poll options have vaguely similar equivalents in Aus, but general point is that I don't think it's right to choose not to provide for yourself and your own and collect benefits intended for the genuinely needy.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro on January 31, 2014, 03:58:25 PM
I thought the OP was a bit off on the post but then I looked at the alarming poll results...

I agree that collecting welfare after early retirement should not be permitted.  How can you do that anyway?  In Canada it is means tested and this includes investments.  And why would your child get subsidized school lunch?? 

You know, my view is that if you retire you should be doing it on the backs of other taxpayers.  It doesn't matter how many loopholes you find: you don't need the social support if you voluntarily decide to stop working.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on January 31, 2014, 04:12:34 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: bacchi 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: beltim 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA 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? 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Eric on January 31, 2014, 05:00:55 PM
If that poll proves anything, it's that having kids makes you immoral.

[ducks]
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: galaxie 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: NumberJohnny5 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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.

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA 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. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: NumberJohnny5 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: NumberJohnny5 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: NumberJohnny5 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: quilter 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: ace1224 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
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/ethical-dimensions-of-student-loan-income-based-repayment-plans/msg154792/#msg154792
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: NinetyFour 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
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: TreeTired 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Spork 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: avonlea 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA 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.

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA 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.  :)
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: sheepstache 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: spider1204 on February 02, 2014, 11:46:35 PM
I'm just a perfectly rational being responding to the incentive scheme placed before me.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: sheepstache 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA 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!  ;)
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Samsam 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: sheepstache 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy 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
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy 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. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: wtjbatman 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)
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: NeverWasACornflakeGirl 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: adam 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Daley 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...
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: adam 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 :)
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA 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.

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: dragoncar 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Kriegsspiel 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: mlipps 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: totoro 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
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: sheepstache 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
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: limeandpepper 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.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: bugbaby on February 08, 2014, 10:40:03 PM
Is anyone finding it ironic that OP started a thread about the absurdities on the forum such as the bidet nazis, and now we've tangented off into treatise on the frontiers of toilet innovation?

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on February 09, 2014, 07:27:49 AM
Is anyone finding it ironic that OP started a thread about the absurdities on the forum such as the bidet nazis, and now we've tangented off into treatise on the frontiers of toilet innovation?

The OP was referring to those people he finds morally dubious, not the bidet nazis. 

The douche (pardon the pun...I couldn't help it) who mentioned the bidet thing was someone else who then had a meltdown and decided to leave.

I can understand the confusion since bidet guy is quoted as "B" and then changed his name before he melted.

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: jnik on February 10, 2014, 12:53:19 PM
Maybe we need MMM Gold - members with over 100 posts get access, or pay a $6 annual fee or whatever.
I love the idea of a part of the forum with an annual fee. Just so long as anybody subscribing can't post in the main forums...it would be a good test!
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on February 10, 2014, 06:39:02 PM
Maybe we need MMM Gold - members with over 100 posts get access, or pay a $6 annual fee or whatever.
I love the idea of a part of the forum with an annual fee. Just so long as anybody subscribing can't post in the main forums...it would be a good test!

The question is would the true mustachians pay $6/year to belong to a forum?  I don't belong to forums I have to pay for. :)
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: dragoncar on February 10, 2014, 06:50:01 PM
Maybe we need MMM Gold - members with over 100 posts get access, or pay a $6 annual fee or whatever.
I love the idea of a part of the forum with an annual fee. Just so long as anybody subscribing can't post in the main forums...it would be a good test!

The question is would the true mustachians pay $6/year to belong to a forum?  I don't belong to forums I have to pay for. :)

It's not to "belong to a forum" it's to belong to a super elite subsection of a forum.  It's extremely exclusive and just being a member will get you all kind of perks such as my private collection of Vogon poetry and access to never seen before behind the scenes footage.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Insanity on February 10, 2014, 07:10:48 PM
It's not to "belong to a forum" it's to belong to a super elite subsection of a forum.  It's extremely exclusive and just being a member will get you all kind of perks such as my private collection of Vogon poetry and access to never seen before behind the scenes footage.

I actually am part of a forum where we do pay (more like donations since it isn't required, the owner moderates who has authority to join).  the person doesn't make any money off of ads (unlike MMM) and there has been an interesting side effect to it..

the owner's son was in a massive car accident last year.  so bad he was in a coma for a month or so.  Some how, he had barely a scratch on him, but he did have major head trauma (the car ended up in a tree).  The owner had money left over from the last year round of donations which was going to be used for the boards this year.  The owner needed to access those funds, and EVERYONE on the boards said go ahead and most gave more this year and said to use the left overs for the owners financial situation as well.  We are all more than "acquaintances" even though most of us have never met.  Our on-line personas may not match our real selves (most do at this point though there are some who like to just start trouble occasionally), but they come close.  We truly do care about each other more.  I've been part of that group going on almost 7 years.  Even though some have lost interest in the main theme for the boards, they hang around to keep in touch.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: RootofGood on February 10, 2014, 09:11:12 PM
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.

Hey, it's good to see you again from Reddit/r/personalfinance! 

For the record, I'll continue on the IBR.  I'll be repaying these loans for ~23 more years.  Some years zero, other years a few thousand dollars, maybe more if my investments do well and I spend more money.  And then I'll owe a fat tax bill on any amounts forgiven at the end of year 23. 

Since I retired 5 months ago, I've ended up with a fair bit more income than I expected (investment returns, revenue from my blog, other projects, and being invited to do some freelance writing at a very nice compensation level given the amount of work involved).  With what I know now, there's a distinct chance we'll be paying more each year on my loans than what I expected, but it's really dependent on income.  I make more, I pay more.  Mathematically, it's a tax (to me).   

And I don't really feel like rehashing the "ethics of IBR" since there's a thread 200 posts long already devoted to it.  :)  To be fair to us, we never used the degrees that the loans were for.  That's why our incomes weren't high enough to repay the loans in full.  We probably made a mistake getting the advanced degrees given the cost and loss of income during those years of school.  We didn't really "benefit" from the education. 

Our system says "get an advanced degree, we got your back.  And if you end up doing something different in life, we can work out a deal on repayment".  That's just the way the system is set up.  If you don't like the results of the system, I'd suggest (as I did in the thread on ethics of IBR) examining the system and fixing what's broken, not going nuclear on those participating in the system per the bargain that was offered. 

On a side note, I'm a little humbled that I caused a major wave of disruption here a few months ago.  Wow! 

Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy on February 10, 2014, 11:10:15 PM
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.

Hey, it's good to see you again from Reddit/r/personalfinance! 

For the record, I'll continue on the IBR.  I'll be repaying these loans for ~23 more years.  Some years zero, other years a few thousand dollars, maybe more if my investments do well and I spend more money.  And then I'll owe a fat tax bill on any amounts forgiven at the end of year 23. 

Since I retired 5 months ago, I've ended up with a fair bit more income than I expected (investment returns, revenue from my blog, other projects, and being invited to do some freelance writing at a very nice compensation level given the amount of work involved).  With what I know now, there's a distinct chance we'll be paying more each year on my loans than what I expected, but it's really dependent on income.  I make more, I pay more.  Mathematically, it's a tax (to me).   

And I don't really feel like rehashing the "ethics of IBR" since there's a thread 200 posts long already devoted to it.  :)  To be fair to us, we never used the degrees that the loans were for.  That's why our incomes weren't high enough to repay the loans in full.  We probably made a mistake getting the advanced degrees given the cost and loss of income during those years of school.  We didn't really "benefit" from the education. 

Our system says "get an advanced degree, we got your back.  And if you end up doing something different in life, we can work out a deal on repayment".  That's just the way the system is set up.  If you don't like the results of the system, I'd suggest (as I did in the thread on ethics of IBR) examining the system and fixing what's broken, not going nuclear on those participating in the system per the bargain that was offered. 

On a side note, I'm a little humbled that I caused a major wave of disruption here a few months ago.  Wow!

I'm glad you're doing well Root.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: bacchi on February 11, 2014, 12:40:40 AM
  If you don't like the results of the system, I'd suggest (as I did in the thread on ethics of IBR) examining the system and fixing what's broken, not going nuclear on those participating in the system per the bargain that was offered. 

There's a difference between ethics and law.

But, hey, let's not rehash all that business.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: BPA on February 11, 2014, 04:39:47 AM
It's not to "belong to a forum" it's to belong to a super elite subsection of a forum.  It's extremely exclusive and just being a member will get you all kind of perks such as my private collection of Vogon poetry and access to never seen before behind the scenes footage.

I actually am part of a forum where we do pay (more like donations since it isn't required, the owner moderates who has authority to join).  the person doesn't make any money off of ads (unlike MMM) and there has been an interesting side effect to it..

the owner's son was in a massive car accident last year.  so bad he was in a coma for a month or so.  Some how, he had barely a scratch on him, but he did have major head trauma (the car ended up in a tree).  The owner had money left over from the last year round of donations which was going to be used for the boards this year.  The owner needed to access those funds, and EVERYONE on the boards said go ahead and most gave more this year and said to use the left overs for the owners financial situation as well.  We are all more than "acquaintances" even though most of us have never met.  Our on-line personas may not match our real selves (most do at this point though there are some who like to just start trouble occasionally), but they come close.  We truly do care about each other more.  I've been part of that group going on almost 7 years.  Even though some have lost interest in the main theme for the boards, they hang around to keep in touch.

I agree that forums can be pretty fantastic when it comes to supporting people outside the scope of the original intent of the forum.  I've belonged to the same one for 10 years and have become good friends with lots of people there (including Self-Employed SWAMI whom I've actually only met once in real life).  I don't pay for it though.  We do voluntarily donate money though if one member is in a tough spot like the time one member's husband died and she was in a tight spot financially. 

I laughed at Dragoncar's description of the perks.  No small feat to make me laugh when I am barely awake. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: RootofGood on February 11, 2014, 07:39:12 AM
I'm glad you're doing well Root.

Thanks, hope you are well, too.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Elyse on February 11, 2014, 08:17:25 AM

Our system says "get an advanced degree, we got your back.  And if you end up doing something different in life, we can work out a deal on repayment".  That's just the way the system is set up.  If you don't like the results of the system, I'd suggest (as I did in the thread on ethics of IBR) examining the system and fixing what's broken, not going nuclear on those participating in the system per the bargain that was offered. 


Which is why there is absolutely nothing "wrong" about picketing at someone's funeral, right?

Just because something is legal doesn't make it not a dick move.

These openings exist for people that need them.  I believe in free speech, but I still think picketing anyone's funeral is awful.  But if we barred it, more far-reaching laws would soon follow that would hurt society.  In the same thought, if I lost the ability to do my job in a non-disabling way, I appreciate that these programs exist.  Because what dumbass would purposefully get a degree they won't use and can't repay?  I understand picking a different industry if you realize your degree is not what you thought it would be after you got in the work force... but why not own up to your own ignorance in getting that degree in the first place?  Why put that responsibility on people that were not a part of your decision? 

And you don't have to listen to people when they say to get a degree.  Following others down a cliff "because it will be fun, trust me" doesn't make it less stupid. 
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: Bank on February 11, 2014, 02:43:03 PM
And I don't really feel like rehashing the "ethics of IBR" since there's a thread 200 posts long already devoted to it. 

And yet that's exactly what you did.  At length.  And have already drawn several negative responses that seem as though they could be the beginning of giant off-topic flame war. 

If you can sleep at night, then I don't see why this particular thread needs to be entertained by your parade of self-justifying excuses.  Especially if you have already published them elsewhere, where I was able to ignore them.  If you have something to say about handling or reacting to unethical behavior on the Forums, then I'd be interested.  Potty humor, while off topic, is always appreciated as well.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: dragoncar on February 11, 2014, 02:59:33 PM
And I don't really feel like rehashing the "ethics of IBR" since there's a thread 200 posts long already devoted to it. 

And yet that's exactly what you did.  At length.  And have already drawn several negative responses that seem as though they could be the beginning of giant off-topic flame war. 

If you can sleep at night, then I don't see why this particular thread needs to be entertained by your parade of self-justifying excuses.  Especially if you have already published them elsewhere, where I was able to ignore them.  If you have something to say about handling or reacting to unethical behavior on the Forums, then I'd be interested.  Potty humor, while off topic, is always appreciated as well.

Yeah, stop talking about it already.  You made your choice (which since we're offtopic, I agree with).  To thine own self be true. 


*of course, neither a borrower nor a lender be
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: jimmymango on February 12, 2014, 11:13:31 AM
Just want to thank OP for showing me http://www.reddit.com/r/frugal_jerk (http://www.reddit.com/r/frugal_jerk). Funny stuff and relevant considering RootofGood's appearance in the thread.
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: clutchy on February 12, 2014, 05:07:42 PM
Just want to thank OP for showing me http://www.reddit.com/r/frugal_jerk (http://www.reddit.com/r/frugal_jerk). Funny stuff and relevant considering RootofGood's appearance in the thread.

I couldn't let the fatcats just waste this good thread.  ;)
Title: Re: I can't do it anymore...
Post by: jimmymango on February 12, 2014, 07:49:45 PM
Can't talk. I'm plotting to steal lentils ;)