Author Topic: Middle class and broke article  (Read 57534 times)

mr muppet

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Middle class and broke article
« on: June 07, 2013, 12:24:20 AM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/us-money-blog/2013/jun/06/money-makeovers-bandaids-political-problem

I saw this and the whole tone of the article made me want to cry, poor middle class family with now much money, how can they go on affording a big house and $4000 a year cheer leading lessons?

Great forum btw,
Mr Muppet

cerberusss

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2013, 01:07:29 AM »
I've read both articles (the original article here: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/74865162#/74865162/6, plus the critique), and actually the original article does not stop at "brownbagging when on the road" as the critique says.

The adviser said: 1) track every penny 2) small savings add up and 3) get your retirement savings back in order.

Now the mother in the original article said: "I'm not willing to give up the cheer leading lessons" and yeah, that made me cry as well. What will be more important in hindsight -- your retirement savings or a couple of cheer leading lessons?

jdoolin

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2013, 07:46:08 AM »
I have a problem with just about everything Helaine Olen ever writes.  If you want a synopsis of any of her articles, here it is:

"People cant' save and they don't have any money and it's not their fault.  The personal finance industry is BS and financial literacy is hooey.  People are making all the right decisions and their spending is fine.  The real reasons people are in bad financial shape are high student loans, evil banks, the government and healthcare and there's nothing anybody can do about it.  So let's all just complain and complain and try to get legislation passed that will fix America."

martynthewolf

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2013, 08:37:27 AM »
I'm genuinely disappointed by the Guardian here, that article is the kind of bollocks I'd expect to catch in the Daily Mail. Is the commenter berating the author someone from this forum?

mpbaker22

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2013, 10:11:24 AM »
Quote
The Barker-Cummings family does not have a money management problem. They have a political problem. They live in the United States, where we are expected to do it all on our own. We accept this as a normal state of affairs but, in reality, it is anything but.

I'd prefer to do it all on my own, and if the government got the hell out of social security and my healthcare, I could be saving a lot more.  So Helaine can take her ass-clownishness elsewhere for all I care.  If she loves Europe so much, why doesn't she move there?  There's nothing that will make the world better like eliminating personal responsibility!

Even if we did cap executive pay and redistribute all income evenly (and assumed income overall would not drop) it's not like the average resources would be way higher than the median household now.  We just wouldn't have households below 20K/year and we wouldn't have any above 100k/year!

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 10:39:13 AM »

I'd prefer to do it all on my own, and if the government got the hell out of social security and my healthcare, I could be saving a lot more.

The government out of Social Security?  You're asking for the government to not be involved in the program that was started by the government and is administered by the government?  How exactly would that work?  People would just voluntarily pay their SS taxes?  And others would voluntarily issue checks to seniors out of the goodness of their hearts every month?

That's quite the idea you've got there!

Would you also like the government to keep their hands off of your Medicare?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 10:42:34 AM by Eric »

Joet

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2013, 10:44:29 AM »


Even if we did cap executive pay and redistribute all income evenly (and assumed income overall would not drop) it's not like the average resources would be way higher than the median household now.  We just wouldn't have households below 20K/year and we wouldn't have any above 100k/year!

Heh, I wonder how that would work, exactly? Especially if you consider (I think?) that RSU's, options, dividend income, equity awards, etc dont really show up as 'income' ? Perhaps everyone earns a more or less current median wage (~50k) or so?


randymarsh

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2013, 10:48:55 AM »

I'd prefer to do it all on my own, and if the government got the hell out of social security and my healthcare, I could be saving a lot more.

The government out of Social Security?  You're asking for the government to not be involved in the program that was started by the government and is administered by the government?  How exactly would that work?  People would just voluntarily pay their SS taxes?  And others would voluntarily issue checks to seniors out of the goodness of their hearts every month?

That's quite the idea you've got there!


I think the idea was completely getting rid off SS and then individuals would have that money to invest as they choose. Of course, we all know people wouldn't save or invest it. Then when they "retired", they'd have no money and would be destitute. Also, employers would definitely pass that 6% that they no longer have to pay on to their customers or employees in this utopia.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 10:50:33 AM by thefinancialstudent »

meadpointofview

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2013, 10:53:18 AM »
I want vastly less government not more, especially when it comes to my finances. 

Joet

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2013, 11:05:16 AM »
Underneath the covers of SS, behind forced savings, mandatory participation and all that is the true purpose: Senior poverty insurance.

Sure we are all perfect investors here, have an awesome plan, backtested to the latest Firecalc/related algo and just KNOW (we know!) that everythng will work out just fine. Except we dont know. Markets can stay irrational longer than we can stay solvent and all that. Heck we know that SS by law invests in Tbills (the horror!) and has certain aspects of pyramid-schemes to function. Ignore all that.

SS provides poverty insurance and is the final rung for most retirees guaranteeing some food to eat, and with medicare, a bare minimum quality of life. To paraphrase Obama: this country isnt going broke by taking care of Grandma.

Undecided

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2013, 11:28:46 AM »
I want vastly less government not more, especially when it comes to my finances.

What do you mean by your "finances"? Do you mean you don't want the federal government to require public companies to disclose reliable, material information? That you don't want state governments to require mortgage lenders to provide an apples-to-apples APR?

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2013, 11:52:57 AM »
I want vastly less government not more, especially when it comes to my finances.

What do you mean by your "finances"? Do you mean you don't want the federal government to require public companies to disclose reliable, material information? That you don't want state governments to require mortgage lenders to provide an apples-to-apples APR?

I always thought that was code for "I'd like all of the benefits of my tax dollars without paying any taxes.", but I could be wrong.

mpbaker22

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2013, 11:55:24 AM »

I'd prefer to do it all on my own, and if the government got the hell out of social security and my healthcare, I could be saving a lot more.

The government out of Social Security?  You're asking for the government to not be involved in the program that was started by the government and is administered by the government?  How exactly would that work?  People would just voluntarily pay their SS taxes?  And others would voluntarily issue checks to seniors out of the goodness of their hearts every month?

That's quite the idea you've got there!

Would you also like the government to keep their hands off of your Medicare?

Quite the red herring we have here!!! Thanks for contributing to the solid discussion!

mpbaker22

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2013, 11:56:54 AM »

I think the idea was completely getting rid off SS and then individuals would have that money to invest as they choose. Of course, we all know people wouldn't save or invest it. Then when they "retired", they'd have no money and would be destitute. Also, employers would definitely pass that 6% that they no longer have to pay on to their customers or employees in this utopia.

Employers would definitely pass at least part of the 6% on.  It would be personal responsibility.  If you aren't responsible, it's your own fault.  At least then people wouldn't be able to blame their SS tax with-holding for their destitution.  But hey, enjoy your 2% returns in your retirement!

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2013, 12:04:20 PM »

I'd prefer to do it all on my own, and if the government got the hell out of social security and my healthcare, I could be saving a lot more.

The government out of Social Security?  You're asking for the government to not be involved in the program that was started by the government and is administered by the government?  How exactly would that work?  People would just voluntarily pay their SS taxes?  And others would voluntarily issue checks to seniors out of the goodness of their hearts every month?

That's quite the idea you've got there!

Would you also like the government to keep their hands off of your Medicare?

Quite the red herring we have here!!! Thanks for contributing to the solid discussion!

If you'd like to explain how you'd get the government out of Social Security, I'm all ears.  Unless your solution is to demolish Social Security, because that's got about the same chance of happening as Rush Limbaugh starting a freedom colony on Mars.

mpbaker22

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2013, 12:32:28 PM »
If you'd like to explain how you'd get the government out of Social Security, I'm all ears.  Unless your solution is to demolish Social Security, because that's got about the same chance of happening as Rush Limbaugh starting a freedom colony on Mars.

Well, at the very least, we at least need to start phasing it out.  Raise the age to 70+, lower the pay out.  It's pretty clear the system isn't going to last through my retirement, so I don't plan on getting back what I put in anyway.

The problem with ponzi schemes, which social security is, is that they are difficult to end without hanging someone to dry.

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2013, 12:50:21 PM »
If you'd like to explain how you'd get the government out of Social Security, I'm all ears.  Unless your solution is to demolish Social Security, because that's got about the same chance of happening as Rush Limbaugh starting a freedom colony on Mars.

Well, at the very least, we at least need to start phasing it out.  Raise the age to 70+, lower the pay out.  It's pretty clear the system isn't going to last through my retirement, so I don't plan on getting back what I put in anyway.

The problem with ponzi schemes, which social security is, is that they are difficult to end without hanging someone to dry.

Everyone knows that SS needs tweaks in order to be sustainable.  So raising retirement ages or adjusting payouts doesn't really change the fact that it's a necessary program that pays for itself.  In fact, while I'm sure you'd disagree, my preferred tweak to SS would be to eliminate the income cap, so that all income is eligible to SS tax.  Boom, that makes SS sustainable forever.  Problem solved in one easy step.

But if you're going to phase it out, what are you going to replace it with?  It wasn't just some program invented by FDR in order to increase the size of government.  It was to solve a *real* problem of having destitute old people that were incapable of working because of their advanced age.

Also, I'd like to meet the politician that can be elected by running on a platform of gutting SS.  It's a losing proposition, so it might as well go the way of unicorns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows.

But the beauty of all of this is that SS will be around forever!  Therefore, you won't have to worry about not getting your payment back.  So lets celebrate that you can add that amount to your retirement planning, while also providing help for those that will truly need it to live.  So here's to Social Security.  *raises glass*

mpbaker22

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2013, 01:07:10 PM »




Everyone knows that SS needs tweaks in order to be sustainable.  So raising retirement ages or adjusting payouts doesn't really change the fact that it's a necessary program that pays for itself.  In fact, while I'm sure you'd disagree, my preferred tweak to SS would be to eliminate the income cap, so that all income is eligible to SS tax.  Boom, that makes SS sustainable forever.  Problem solved in one easy step.

But if you're going to phase it out, what are you going to replace it with?  It wasn't just some program invented by FDR in order to increase the size of government.  It was to solve a *real* problem of having destitute old people that were incapable of working because of their advanced age.

Also, I'd like to meet the politician that can be elected by running on a platform of gutting SS.  It's a losing proposition, so it might as well go the way of unicorns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows.

But the beauty of all of this is that SS will be around forever!  Therefore, you won't have to worry about not getting your payment back.  So lets celebrate that you can add that amount to your retirement planning, while also providing help for those that will truly need it to live.  So here's to Social Security.  *raises glass*

If you really think that is going to make SS sustainable forever, you might want to head to the loony house.  That's always the solution isn't it?  Steal from the rich and give to the poor, even if the poor are poor because their houses are too expensive.

That "real" problem could be solved by people taking some responsibility for themselves and planning for retirement!  That's the biggest problem we have in this country is no one cares about their future because big brother will take care of them.

Given the number of people paying into social security today vs. 50 years ago vs. 50 years from now, I don't know why anyone would expect to get their payments back.

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2013, 01:16:01 PM »
If you really think that is going to make SS sustainable forever, you might want to head to the loony house.  That's always the solution isn't it?  Steal from the rich and give to the poor, even if the poor are poor because their houses are too expensive.


Stealing? Stealing?  Hahahahahaha.  Alright.  Good talk Russ.  This is where I get off.  Unless you want to tell me about how taxes are unconstitutional.  I'd stick around for that.

mpbaker22

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2013, 01:27:14 PM »
All you need to know about SS

Quote
With a 3% payroll deduction, someone with $50,000 of real annual earnings during his working years could accumulate enough to fund an annual payout of about $22,000 after age 67, essentially doubling the current Social Security benefit. That assumes a real rate of return of 5.5%, less than the historic average return on a balanced portfolio of stock and bond mutual funds. Someone who was extremely risk averse could instead choose to put all of his personal retirement account into Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, accumulating enough with a 5% savings rate for an annual payout of about $13,000. Different combinations of savings rates and investment strategies would produce different expected benefits in retirement.

Put simply, SS is just bad economics.

Joet

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2013, 01:46:26 PM »
That's a false comparison. SS is poverty insurance and by law invests in IOU's and Tbills.

mpbaker22

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2013, 01:54:57 PM »
That's a false comparison. SS is poverty insurance and by law invests in IOU's and Tbills.

Except it's not primarily poverty insurance, it's primarily a psuedo investment vehicle.

Your argument is that SS should invest in IOU's and Tbills because it, by law, is required to invest in IOU's and Tbills?  Why not just change the law?

Joet

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2013, 02:03:18 PM »
The government just prints money or taxes/spends adjusts policy whenever it needs to, why subject retirees poverty insurance to market collapses? Recharacterizing SS as an investment vehicle sounds fairly revisionist to me.

My argument isnt intentionally recursive--there's a reason it doesnt invest in equities.

To quote Greenspan and other much wiser bankers than me: (ok paraphrase): If the government invested the SS trust fund in the equity markets it would result in a ginormous valuation shift and end up screwing the exact group the government is trying to protect wall street the little guy
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 02:15:23 PM by Joet »

mr muppet

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2013, 02:30:50 PM »
I'm genuinely disappointed by the Guardian here, that article is the kind of bollocks I'd expect to catch in the Daily Mail. Is the commenter berating the author someone from this forum?

That would be me :)

meadpointofview

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2013, 02:32:09 PM »
I want vastly less government not more, especially when it comes to my finances.

What do you mean by your "finances"? Do you mean you don't want the federal government to require public companies to disclose reliable, material information? That you don't want state governments to require mortgage lenders to provide an apples-to-apples APR?

I always thought that was code for "I'd like all of the benefits of my tax dollars without paying any taxes.", but I could be wrong.

Please tell me what benefits I receive from my tax dollars.  Is it NAFTA, GATT, The Patriot Act, NDAA, Government Schools, The Fed Printing Money, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace? 

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2013, 02:50:52 PM »
I want vastly less government not more, especially when it comes to my finances.

What do you mean by your "finances"? Do you mean you don't want the federal government to require public companies to disclose reliable, material information? That you don't want state governments to require mortgage lenders to provide an apples-to-apples APR?

I always thought that was code for "I'd like all of the benefits of my tax dollars without paying any taxes.", but I could be wrong.

Please tell me what benefits I receive from my tax dollars.  Is it NAFTA, GATT, The Patriot Act, NDAA, Government Schools, The Fed Printing Money, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace?

You can't think of ANY benefits you receive for your tax dollars?  None?  It's all just stolen from you and burned in a barrel for Other People™ to keep warm?

TansyPants

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2013, 04:11:32 PM »
I want vastly less government not more, especially when it comes to my finances.

What do you mean by your "finances"? Do you mean you don't want the federal government to require public companies to disclose reliable, material information? That you don't want state governments to require mortgage lenders to provide an apples-to-apples APR?

I always thought that was code for "I'd like all of the benefits of my tax dollars without paying any taxes.", but I could be wrong.

Please tell me what benefits I receive from my tax dollars.  Is it NAFTA, GATT, The Patriot Act, NDAA, Government Schools, The Fed Printing Money, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace?

You can't think of ANY benefits you receive for your tax dollars?  None?  It's all just stolen from you and burned in a barrel for Other People™ to keep warm?

Ah. I think I understand now. Meadpointofview just posted in the bookclub category praising Atlas Shrugged.

meadpointofview

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2013, 04:31:17 PM »
I am sorry is there no room in MMM for someone with view points of mine?

Undecided

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2013, 04:40:07 PM »
I am sorry is there no room in MMM for someone with view points of mine?

Slogans aren't a point of view.

Still curious about what you meant about keeping government out of your finances.

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2013, 04:40:52 PM »
I am sorry is there no room in MMM for someone with view points of mine?

There's room for any point of view.  But claiming that you receive zero benefits from your tax dollars is not a point of view.  It's just a plain falsehood.

If you would like to talk about how you wish your tax dollars were used more efficiently, I'm sure that's something all of us could get behind.  But that's a lot different then just complaining that you get nothing back from your tax dollars, when clearly you get interstate highways, national parks, national defense, air traffic controllers, and many other direct benefits along with a whole host of indirect benefits.

Jamesqf

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2013, 04:41:45 PM »
You can't think of ANY benefits you receive for your tax dollars?  None?  It's all just stolen from you and burned in a barrel for Other People™ to keep warm?

Sure, there are some benefits.  I'll even be generous, and say I might get back (or as with SS, have prospects of maybe getting back in the future) as much as fifty cents for each dollar I've paid in taxes.  That doesn't mean I can't, and don't, object to the loss of the other fifty cents.

meadpointofview

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2013, 04:54:02 PM »
What slogans? 

I didn't say there are no benefits but an overwhelming amount of spending at the federal level (and some at the state level) don't benefit me in any way, and possibly perpetuate the wasteful level of spending.

Is it safe to assume that my critics endorse wasteful wars, corporate bailouts, subsidies, the MIC, etc.? 

This is not to mention that my tax dollars pay the salaries of our honorable faithful servants (Congress) to endorse every big brother program, Federal Reserve scheme, and bureaucracy that some down the pike.

Regarding keeping the government out of my finances I will start with the fact that the income tax is unconstitutional therefore the fruits of my labor are not in their purview but alas (at the threat of being jailed) I have to pay the federal income tax.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 05:04:37 PM by meadpointofview »

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2013, 05:02:50 PM »
I think both sides have merit.

I'd love to see Universal Healthcare in the US, and affordable higher education, just like we have in Australia. It's not perfect, but better than the alternative.

There may be waiting lists for non-emergency issues if you don't have private health insurance (oh, did I forget to add that there's still such a thing as private health insurance and private hospitals in Australia?), and that'd freak out many in the US when talking about universal care. But that's the worst case scenario; the worst case scenario in the US is NO health coverage; how is that better than possibley mediocre/bad coverage? Bankruptcy due to medical debt is very common in the US, not so much where you have universal healthcare.

Education. Costs in the US are astronomical. And if you end up with huge student loan debts that aren't justified by the salary you command thanks to the degree...tough crap. In Australia, it's heavily subsidized as long as you're moving up. I.e. if you have a bachelor's degree, it won't subsidize another bachelor's degree, but would a master's (even then, only certain degrees are subsidized...wife's postgraduate in midwifery was subsidized, but not a master's...so if there's not enough actual need for the degree, it won't be subsidized). And citizens get a version of a student loan, it's paid back on your taxes past a certain income level. Never make above a (high to me) income, never pay back the loan. So...you don't have huge portions of the population being crushed by medical and student debt.

The US could learn something from a country like Australia, it's silly to say otherwise.

On the other hand, individuals have to be responsible for their personal finances. If university costs too much, DON'T GO! Get in a trade, get an associate's degree at a cheaper 2yr community college, but don't go to university just because everyone else is. Think about exactly what you want out of life, and put real thought into how to achieve that. Don't just throw lots of money at it, hoping it'll magically work out. And come 2014, there's little/no reason to not have medical coverage. Yeah, it's an imperfect solution...but you need to make the best of the current situation while advocating for changes in the system. Just screaming for someone else to fix your problems while not even TRYING to make things better yourself, is just a tad irresponsible.

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2013, 05:08:48 PM »

Regarding keeping the government out of my finances I will start with the fact that the income tax is unconstitutional therefore the fruits of my labor are not in their purview but alas (at the threat of being jailed) I have to pay the federal income tax.

And the supreme court disagrees and has for centuries.  So why would you still hold this view?  Is it not the equivalent of believing that the earth is flat?

meadpointofview

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2013, 05:19:20 PM »
It is unconstitutional because it is a direct unaportioned tax. Not one cent goes into any government program. It simply goes back into the hands of the corrupt federal reserve as payment on the debt we owe when they increase the money supply. Every dollar in circulation has debt attatched to it since it’s loaned at interest. So if thats the case, where does the money come from to pay the debt? It can only come from the central bank again, producing even more debt since that money is also loaned at interest. If we actually paid all the debt we owe to the central bank, there would be not one dollar in circulation. The end result is slavery, as it is virtually impossible for the american people to ever climb out of the self generating debt.

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2013, 05:26:07 PM »
I have to go, but I'll leave you with two thoughts.

1:  It doesn't matter if you *think* it's unconstitutional, because it's not up to you to decide the constitutionality of it.  In this case, you'd be best to accept that your thought is wrong and go about your day.  What good does it do you to believe that every court in the history of the country has interpreted the constitution wrongly, but you've done it correctly?  Seriously, how does that help?

2:  Read this:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/10/03/the-practical-benefits-of-outrageous-optimism/

MrsPete

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2013, 05:58:33 PM »
I agree with those who want LESS government involvement in our lives.  Things always cost more when funneled through Washington, and I prefer to make my own decisions.

Undecided

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2013, 11:42:13 PM »
It is unconstitutional because it is a direct unaportioned tax. Not one cent goes into any government program. It simply goes back into the hands of the corrupt federal reserve as payment on the debt we owe when they increase the money supply. Every dollar in circulation has debt attatched to it since it’s loaned at interest. So if thats the case, where does the money come from to pay the debt? It can only come from the central bank again, producing even more debt since that money is also loaned at interest. If we actually paid all the debt we owe to the central bank, there would be not one dollar in circulation. The end result is slavery, as it is virtually impossible for the american people to ever climb out of the self generating debt.

So your argument is that the income tax violates the 13th amendment? Fascinating.

You know that the Treasury is not the Federal Reserve, right?

KingMe

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2013, 06:08:41 AM »
Have you read the 16th Amendment?

mpbaker22

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2013, 06:20:09 AM »
You can't think of ANY benefits you receive for your tax dollars?  None?  It's all just stolen from you and burned in a barrel for Other People™ to keep warm?

He didn't say he receives NO benefits, but he was just pointing out all the wasteful things the government spends money on.  I think it's safe to say that the government is not nearly as meticulous when it comes to spending money as the members of this forum.  A few million dollars on this conference that allows the IRS to target tea party members ... a few hundred billion to this irresponsible financial company ... a few trillion to this war to secure more gasoline (which I'm pretty sure we dis-proportionally DON'T use on these forums).  In the end, I'd be shocked if I got back 50% of my tax dollars in benefits.
A really good example in St. Louis - A fellow named Paul McKee owns about 3,000 parcels of land in North St. Louis (the ghetto, but <2 miles from downtown).  The government has been giving him millions of dollars (total is now close to half a billion).  He's owned most of his 3,000 properties for >10 years and has built two buildings to date.  Meanwhile important architecture that was >100 years old, much of which was unique to St. Louis, has now been destroyed.  The area has become even more dangerous due to his sitting on vacant properties.  And this is all funded by the government (though not federal).  So I should trust my government why?

Quote from: Eric
And the supreme court disagrees and has for centuries.  So why would you still hold this view?  Is it not the equivalent of believing that the earth is flat?
I actually don't agree with mead on this one, but this is just a silly, illogical statement.  The earth is flat because it can be scientifically proven to be flat.  The income tax is considered to be constitutional because the supreme court says it is.  But the supreme court is not infallible.  It's not like every decision the supreme court ever made is 100% correct.  You know the court approved Jim Crow Laws, right?

Quote from: josetann
Education. Costs in the US are astronomical. And if you end up with huge student loan debts that aren't justified by the salary you command thanks to the degree...tough crap. In Australia, it's heavily subsidized as long as you're moving up.
Are there a lot of under-qualified workers with masters degrees in worthless subjects in Australia?

jdoolin

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2013, 06:54:27 AM »
Wow, that was the most successful and thorough topic derailment I think I've ever seen.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2013, 01:01:53 PM »
Are there a lot of under-qualified workers with masters degrees in worthless subjects in Australia?

Not every degree is subsidized, just the ones with an actual need (according to the government, of course). There's a need for midwives with bachelor's/postgraduate degrees, so that's subsidzed. A midwife with a master's must not be needed that badly, as that's not subsidized (though my wife is keeping her eye open in case that changes, as she wouldn't mind a master's degree). Perhaps not the best system, but seems pretty decent to me.

Jamesqf

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #42 on: June 08, 2013, 01:33:12 PM »
Education. Costs in the US are astronomical. And if you end up with huge student loan debts...

This is SO not true.  Yes, you can spend a lot of money on education, if you choose to go to the likes of Harvard or Stanford.  Attend your state university, and costs are maybe 1/10 as much.  Likewise, if you spend loan money on partying, spring break trips, a newer car, &c, you will wind up owing a lot of money: the same way you would if, later in life, you maxxed out all your credit cards on a similar lifestyle.

Then if you are in a technical field, you can get research assistanships and/or internships, which will cover a good bit of the cost.  Sometimes more, if you're good enough to land an internship at the likes of Google or IBM.

Rural

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #43 on: June 08, 2013, 03:57:06 PM »
Education. Costs in the US are astronomical. And if you end up with huge student loan debts...

This is SO not true.  Yes, you can spend a lot of money on education, if you choose to go to the likes of Harvard or Stanford.  Attend your state university, and costs are maybe 1/10 as much.  Likewise, if you spend loan money on partying, spring break trips, a newer car, &c, you will wind up owing a lot of money: the same way you would if, later in life, you maxxed out all your credit cards on a similar lifestyle.

Then if you are in a technical field, you can get research assistanships and/or internships, which will cover a good bit of the cost.  Sometimes more, if you're good enough to land an internship at the likes of Google or IBM.

Full time tuition and all fees at the state school where I teach are under $4,000 a year. That doesn't include summer school, so it's possible to pay more in order to finish faster, but that figure covers enough hours to get a bachelor's degree in four years. The majority of our students take out no loans at all (and some would do better to take out minimal loans and put a few more work hours toward studying and even attending classes, but that's a whole other discussion, and I understand why they don't want to).

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #44 on: June 08, 2013, 04:29:47 PM »
Education. Costs in the US are astronomical. And if you end up with huge student loan debts...

This is SO not true.  Yes, you can spend a lot of money on education, if you choose to go to the likes of Harvard or Stanford.  Attend your state university, and costs are maybe 1/10 as much.  Likewise, if you spend loan money on partying, spring break trips, a newer car, &c, you will wind up owing a lot of money: the same way you would if, later in life, you maxxed out all your credit cards on a similar lifestyle.

Then if you are in a technical field, you can get research assistanships and/or internships, which will cover a good bit of the cost.  Sometimes more, if you're good enough to land an internship at the likes of Google or IBM.

I somewhat covered that, in the part about personal responsibility. University itself is not an absolute requirement. Check into community college. Of course, also check into 2yrs community college + 2yrs university for that bachelor's degree if you "need" it (I didn't go into that option in the above post). On the rest...falls into the "figure out what you want and research the best way to get there, regardless of what everyone else is doing" argument. I mean, if you give it a lot of thought and decide you WANT to get in debt to your eyeballs so you can party in college...well...to each their own?

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #45 on: June 08, 2013, 05:20:28 PM »
Education. Costs in the US are astronomical. And if you end up with huge student loan debts...

This is SO not true.  Yes, you can spend a lot of money on education, if you choose to go to the likes of Harvard or Stanford.  Attend your state university, and costs are maybe 1/10 as much.  Likewise, if you spend loan money on partying, spring break trips, a newer car, &c, you will wind up owing a lot of money: the same way you would if, later in life, you maxxed out all your credit cards on a similar lifestyle.

Then if you are in a technical field, you can get research assistanships and/or internships, which will cover a good bit of the cost.  Sometimes more, if you're good enough to land an internship at the likes of Google or IBM.

Actually, if you are smart and poor, Harvard may be a lot cheaper than your state university. Same with the other big rich schools. Score super duper high on those tests, and there are scholarships a plenty.

I think a sensible government, capped at around 25% gdp, a wonderful thing. The things we can accomplish when acting for the good of the country as a whole are amazing. If you want low taxes and no government, Somalia springs to mind.

Rural

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #46 on: June 08, 2013, 05:32:15 PM »
Education. Costs in the US are astronomical. And if you end up with huge student loan debts...

This is SO not true.  Yes, you can spend a lot of money on education, if you choose to go to the likes of Harvard or Stanford.  Attend your state university, and costs are maybe 1/10 as much.  Likewise, if you spend loan money on partying, spring break trips, a newer car, &c, you will wind up owing a lot of money: the same way you would if, later in life, you maxxed out all your credit cards on a similar lifestyle.

Then if you are in a technical field, you can get research assistanships and/or internships, which will cover a good bit of the cost.  Sometimes more, if you're good enough to land an internship at the likes of Google or IBM.

Actually, if you are smart and poor, Harvard may be a lot cheaper than your state university. Same with the other big rich schools. Score super duper high on those tests, and there are scholarships a plenty.


If you're smart enough and poor, Harvard is free. Their policy, which Yale also follows, is that anyone admitted whose family income is under $60k per year goes for free (undergrad only, I think).

Hamster

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #47 on: June 08, 2013, 07:26:29 PM »
Yes, you can spend a lot of money on education, if you choose to go to the likes of Harvard or Stanford.  Attend your state university, and costs are maybe 1/10 as much. 

Then if you are in a technical field, you can get research assistanships and/or internships, which will cover a good bit of the cost.  Sometimes more, if you're good enough to land an internship at the likes of Google or IBM.

You're referring to education funded by taxes? Research Assistantships funded by NIH Grants?

Dity Guvmint spending...

Mr Mark

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #48 on: June 08, 2013, 09:05:35 PM »
Education. Costs in the US are astronomical. And if you end up with huge student loan debts...

This is SO not true.  Yes, you can spend a lot of money on education, if you choose to go to the likes of Harvard or Stanford.  Attend your state university, and costs are maybe 1/10 as much.  Likewise, if you spend loan money on partying, spring break trips, a newer car, &c, you will wind up owing a lot of money: the same way you would if, later in life, you maxxed out all your credit cards on a similar lifestyle.

Then if you are in a technical field, you can get research assistanships and/or internships, which will cover a good bit of the cost.  Sometimes more, if you're good enough to land an internship at the likes of Google or IBM.

Actually, if you are smart and poor, Harvard may be a lot cheaper than your state university. Same with the other big rich schools. Score super duper high on those tests, and there are scholarships a plenty.


If you're smart enough and poor, Harvard is free. Their policy, which Yale also follows, is that anyone admitted whose family income is under $60k per year goes for free (undergrad only, I think).

If you're smart enough and poor, Harvard is free. Their policy, which Yale also follows, is that anyone admitted whose family income is under $60k per year goes for free (undergrad only, I think).
[/quote]

We know a family making good 6 figures whose kid goes to Yale for 8k a year. True. Really smart talented kid, scholarships.

Jamesqf

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2013, 12:02:18 AM »
Actually, if you are smart and poor, Harvard may be a lot cheaper than your state university. Same with the other big rich schools. Score super duper high on those tests, and there are scholarships a plenty.

Maybe that's the case these days, but when I was getting out of high school, you didn't get much in the way of scholarships just for being smart.  You had to be the social type who could participate in all sorts of extracurricular activities, or an athlete.

Quote
If you want low taxes and no government, Somalia springs to mind.

Seems to me Somalia actually has a lot too much government, or maybe it'd be better to say too many governments: all those little Islamic theocracies and would-be warlords competing for who's going to be top dog...