Author Topic: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology  (Read 9422 times)

cheapass

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2017, 09:58:45 AM »
I m vested in a pension plan after working (and subsequently quitting) after 6 years. You can leave a pension to your heirs. You're really comparing a defined benefit plan to your 401k?? Is this a joke? A 401k is the one with no real benefit. You get to contribute with pre tax dollars to pay (presumably) into a smaller tax bracket when you retire? big whoop.

Most pensions I've heard of end after the employee and/or spouse dies, no benefit to the heirs.

What happens if your former company goes bankrupt after you retire? Oh shit, looks like its cat food for dinner. The Dallas police and fire pension fund is in the shitter because the city made some shifty real estate investments. I'd hate to depend on the integrity of a single institution for my retirement, much rather have the risk spread across thousands of companies in VTSAX.

I'm dodging 28% tax right now, and I get to choose what tax rate I want to pay on that money later by how much I withdraw annually. Planning on doing a backdoor IRA to Roth so I don't have to pay the 10% penalty for early withdrawl but even if I stay in the 15% tax bracket (putting me at less than 10% effective rate) and pay Uncle Sam a 10% penalty I'm still paying less than 20% on that money. 401K has huge benefits, source: math.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 10:16:44 AM by cheapass »

NorthernBlitz

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2017, 10:16:54 AM »
You mixed two different things.
I was refering to the average stock market return, 7% is the inlation adjust return of the S&P.
4% is SWR according to the Trinity study.

I don't think I have.

I think that using these different rates is answering different questions.

Using 7% answers the question: What is the return I'd expect if I averaged together all of the alternate futures if I put the money into the SP500? I think that the 7% number is a mean, but if it's a median, this would also be the number you'd beat in most alternate futures if you were all SP500.

Using 4%: What is a number that I'll beat in the (vast) majority of alternate futures if I have a 50/50 SP500/Bond allocation?


FIPurpose

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2017, 10:25:22 AM »
Her larger point is the economic system that we have in the U.S. basically games it against the U.S. worker. Pensions are gone...

Pensions being gone is a good thing in my opinion. Employees aren't chained to a single employer for 40 years with a carrot on a stick dangled in front of them. Pensions are also not conducive to early retirement, why let an institution determine when you can stop working? With 401K's, employees control their own retirement dollars and can pass their portfolio on to their heirs (can't exactly do that with a pension). Many pensions rely on the solvency of the corporation, that's a lot of risk tied up in a single company (Enron?).

I can't really think of any benefit to the pension, other than that it is a "hands off" lazy approach to retirement.

I m vested in a pension plan after working (and subsequently quitting) after 6 years. You can leave a pension to your heirs. You're really comparing a defined benefit plan to your 401k?? Is this a joke? A 401k is the one with no real benefit. You get to contribute with pre tax dollars to pay (presumably) into a smaller tax bracket when you retire? big whoop.

And pensions are better because they get actively managed for huge fees and allow freedom of investment choice... wait.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2017, 10:41:53 AM »

However, I can't get her argument against paying herself first. I am a professor so it is part of my job to have these intellectual arguments, but when my colleagues do this I agree on the one hand, but they offer no solutions whatsoever (although a critique of the system is part of the solution). And I deeply believe that if you pay yourself first, with education, you can create financial independence, even if you don't have as much money. Even if you don't earn high incomes like some of the folks here (including myself to an extent).

I guess (and sorry for the rambling) my larger point is their inability to see that we have a savings crisis in this country. We can work to change the economic system all we want, but that doesn't mean we need to also take responsibility for ourselves to dig out a bit and carve out our own independence and economic worth.

I know some of you might say don't feed the trolls. But that isn't my style. I argue for a living. It gives me great pleasure, even if this upsets met. So I guess what I am asking for are your reactions. Arguments for/against? Ideas?

Thanks.
She didn't posit an argument against saving, she delivered a rant. A key point in an argument or discussion is both sides have to be amenable to persuasion and discussion. Your colleague didn't listen to you, they ignored you and delivered a monologue. The critique wasn't part of a solution, it was a play to sound enlightened by repeating someone else's arguments.

What was the problem with saving? The opposite is spending and how is that superior, did they answer that? In the USA you are allowed to gift money to the government, if desired. You can also donate to charities, fund research or create bursaries (bursaries differ from scholarships, they target the poorest in society). Does your colleague do any of these things or are they ranting from the moral low ground, everyone but them should give back.

dude

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2017, 11:06:06 AM »
Her larger point is the economic system that we have in the U.S. basically games it against the U.S. worker. Pensions are gone...

Pensions being gone is a good thing in my opinion. Employees aren't chained to a single employer for 40 years with a carrot on a stick dangled in front of them. Pensions are also not conducive to early retirement, why let an institution determine when you can stop working? With 401K's, employees control their own retirement dollars and can pass their portfolio on to their heirs (can't exactly do that with a pension). Many pensions rely on the solvency of the corporation, that's a lot of risk tied up in a single company (Enron?).

I can't really think of any benefit to the pension, other than that it is a "hands off" lazy approach to retirement.

I m vested in a pension plan after working (and subsequently quitting) after 6 years. You can leave a pension to your heirs. You're really comparing a defined benefit plan to your 401k?? Is this a joke? A 401k is the one with no real benefit. You get to contribute with pre tax dollars to pay (presumably) into a smaller tax bracket when you retire? big whoop.

And pensions are better because they get actively managed for huge fees and allow freedom of investment choice... wait.

To argue that the 401k is the better option is to ignore all the evidence regarding them.  The most recent study showed that a minority of people with available 401k's actually contribute to them.  The Dalbar study shows year after year how poor people are at investing -- they consistently buy high, sell low.  Moreover, data shows that far too many people borrow against their 401k's and subject themselves to early withdrawal penalties. Pensions don't have to be tied to an employer.  There's plenty of proposals to create portable pensions.  They also do not have to be expensive. But they have to be funded -- THAT's the main problem pension plans, especially public sector plans, have run into; the employer not making good on its promise. The "retirement crisis" is a product of the 401k age.

I'm not saying the 401k is a bad thing -- I love mine -- but for many it's just not working. There's a better way.  I think the current Federal Employees Retirement System has it right and should be the model country-wide.  It provides a modest pension, a very low-cost 401k (TSP) and Social Security. This three-legged approach can mitigate the downsides of the 401k, and can also serve to supercharge the retirements of focused savers.

Luck12

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2017, 11:08:54 AM »
Pensions being gone is a good thing in my opinion. Employees aren't chained to a single employer for 40 years with a carrot on a stick dangled in front of them. Pensions are also not conducive to early retirement, why let an institution determine when you can stop working?

Most people don't realize 401K's weren't supposed to replace pensions, but to be a supplement to them.   

http://www.npr.org/2017/01/03/508075236/retirement-account-pioneers-regret-what-they-started




dude

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #56 on: February 24, 2017, 11:10:58 AM »
Pensions being gone is a good thing in my opinion. Employees aren't chained to a single employer for 40 years with a carrot on a stick dangled in front of them. Pensions are also not conducive to early retirement, why let an institution determine when you can stop working?

Most people don't realize 401K's weren't supposed to replace pensions, but to be a supplement to them.   

http://www.npr.org/2017/01/03/508075236/retirement-account-pioneers-regret-what-they-started

Yep, as I recall, it was an executive compensation scheme.


FIPurpose

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2017, 11:23:09 AM »
To argue that the 401k is the better option is to ignore all the evidence regarding them.  The most recent study showed that a minority of people with available 401k's actually contribute to them.  The Dalbar study shows year after year how poor people are at investing -- they consistently buy high, sell low.  Moreover, data shows that far too many people borrow against their 401k's and subject themselves to early withdrawal penalties. Pensions don't have to be tied to an employer.  There's plenty of proposals to create portable pensions.  They also do not have to be expensive. But they have to be funded -- THAT's the main problem pension plans, especially public sector plans, have run into; the employer not making good on its promise. The "retirement crisis" is a product of the 401k age.

I'm not saying the 401k is a bad thing -- I love mine -- but for many it's just not working. There's a better way.  I think the current Federal Employees Retirement System has it right and should be the model country-wide.  It provides a modest pension, a very low-cost 401k (TSP) and Social Security. This three-legged approach can mitigate the downsides of the 401k, and can also serve to supercharge the retirements of focused savers.

So you're argument is that there's not enough 401k's have annuity options? Everyone already has SS. So... more people just need to be automatically enrolled in annuities for their 401k.

Ann

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2017, 11:34:46 AM »
Yeah, Facebook arguments are just exercises in frustration. 

I agree that the co-worker has not made her own position clear. 
*Is "paying yourself first" selfish because one should instead live an almost monastic life and eschew worldly possessions in favor of charity?
*Is it selfish because you are taking away her comforting victim mentality by suggesting there are solutions, when she feels there are none and she does not have any accountability for her own situation? 
*Or does she feel that by broadcasting a "bootstraps" mentality, it de-motivates the privileged people from instigating social changes needed to help the truly despondent?
 
That's why I don't like Facebook arguments!  You can request clarity, but they can ignore you.   You can walk away if they refuse to engage in a constructive manner, but people are still going to be posting and adding to it.  And there always seems to be someone who tries to "help" your own argument by using some inane logical fallacy that you wouldn't want associated with you at all!

Maybe you can suggest that you talk about it in person if they are interested.  Then hide that particular feed. 


BTDretire

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2017, 12:04:33 PM »
You mixed two different things.
I was refering to the average stock market return, 7% is the inlation adjust return of the S&P.
4% is SWR according to the Trinity study.

I don't think I have.

I think that using these different rates is answering different questions.

Using 7% answers the question: What is the return I'd expect if I averaged together all of the alternate futures if I put the money into the SP500? I think that the 7% number is a mean, but if it's a median, this would also be the number you'd beat in most alternate futures if you were all SP500.

Using 4%: What is a number that I'll beat in the (vast) majority of alternate futures if I have a 50/50 SP500/Bond allocation?

 OK.

BTDretire

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #61 on: February 25, 2017, 11:46:34 AM »
I started a thread over in Ask a Mustachian Data to stop the FIRE naysayers.
The purpose was to develop data to show the naysayers that you can save and become
finacially independent. I guess I haven't really answered the moral argument, of whether it's right,
I just figure it's stupid not to take care of your future and and immoral to rely on the public to take care of you.
BTW, 51.5% of families live below the median income, are they immoral for not earning more to give to others?
 What I did was take the median income, save and invest 30% of that into the S&P. It takes about 25 years to save enough to live off of 4%.
I pulled median income from the US Census Bureau Data.
I used >http://www.moneychimp.com/features/market_cagr.htm< to calculate an investment in the S&P.
 It would take 25 years of saving and investing to retire on 70% of median income, which was $39,561 in 2015.
Assumes you started saving 30% in 1991 and stopped in 2015.
 I was generous in that I put the savings in at the beginning of each year. (just easier)
You would need to shield all the 30% and any growth from any taxes.
Fees were not subtracted.


koshtra

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #62 on: February 25, 2017, 01:25:25 PM »
There are two very different things being conflated by your colleague. One is the strong and wonderful communal ethic of subsistence societies (or classes). The other is people who are WAY above subsistence level spending everything they earn (or more than they earn!) in a capitalist economy. I think there's a strong Marxist argument to be made that conflating these two is about as false as false consciousness gets.

retired?

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #63 on: February 25, 2017, 01:44:39 PM »
Acting in your own self interests (i.e. the definition of selfish) is always the right thing to do.

Selfish <> mean, greedy, uncaring, etc.

Even when volunteering, donating, or helping someone else, if you are doing so because that is what you think is best and it is what gives you the most 'value' and promotes your well-being, then you are being selfish.

People also misunderstand the moral aspects of capitalism (the U.S. is not a truly capitalist society).

Definition of capitalism
:  an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market


what's wrong with that?  free choice and individual ownership rights.

BTDretire

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2017, 03:05:25 PM »
Acting in your own self interests (i.e. the definition of selfish) is always the right thing to do.

Selfish <> mean, greedy, uncaring, etc.

Even when volunteering, donating, or helping someone else, if you are doing so because that is what you think is best and it is what gives you the most 'value' and promotes your well-being, then you are being selfish.

People also misunderstand the moral aspects of capitalism (the U.S. is not a truly capitalist society).

Definition of capitalism
:  an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market


what's wrong with that?  free choice and individual ownership rights.

 Nothing! In fact it is a desirable philosophy.
Even those that have a different opinion have a higher standard of living because of capitalism.
Even the poor in capitalistic countries are well off compared to the poor in non capitalistic societies,
because there is excess capital to take care of them.

Drifterrider

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #65 on: February 26, 2017, 09:15:52 AM »
Anyone who argues against paying your self first has no money and expects others to support them.  The are excuse makers.  They always will be.

There are only two types of people:  those who make things happen and those who watch things happen.  There is no middle ground.


retired?

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #66 on: February 26, 2017, 12:30:13 PM »
Anyone who argues against paying your self first has no money and expects others to support them.  The are excuse makers.  They always will be.

There are only two types of people:  those who make things happen and those who watch things happen.  There is no middle ground.

Amen, brother!

NoVa

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #67 on: February 26, 2017, 01:50:14 PM »
Anyone who argues against paying your self first has no money and expects others to support them.  The are excuse makers.  They always will be.

There are only two types of people:  those who make things happen and those who watch things happen.  There is no middle ground.

Amen, brother!

There is a third group, those who wonder what happened. Sadly, they seem to be the largest group.

tyort1

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #68 on: February 26, 2017, 02:23:41 PM »
Anyone who argues against paying your self first has no money and expects others to support them.  The are excuse makers.  They always will be.

There are only two types of people:  those who make things happen and those who watch things happen.  There is no middle ground.


I like to watch myself make things happen.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #69 on: February 26, 2017, 02:24:18 PM »
By purchasing stocks and bonds you are investing in corporations and in your government who both then take that money and create jobs, spend it to help others or some combination in between.  Paying yourself first fuels the economy which helps everyone.

Stache-O-Lantern

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #70 on: February 26, 2017, 02:35:01 PM »
There are two very different things being conflated by your colleague. One is the strong and wonderful communal ethic of subsistence societies (or classes). The other is people who are WAY above subsistence level spending everything they earn (or more than they earn!) in a capitalist economy. I think there's a strong Marxist argument to be made that conflating these two is about as false as false consciousness gets.

Great post.  Spot on. Succinct.  Koshtra, you should post more!

4n6

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #71 on: February 26, 2017, 04:57:47 PM »
Thanks to all who responded on this thread. I think this is really good discussion that we are actually going to turn into a formal debate AND might inspire a blog post or two. Keep responding.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #72 on: February 26, 2017, 07:24:14 PM »
By purchasing stocks and bonds you are investing in corporations and in your government who both then take that money and create jobs, spend it to help others or some combination in between.  Paying yourself first fuels the economy which helps everyone.

No, by buying stocks you are buying stocks from some other guy who has them, the money goes to a private citizen. The company only got to sell it's shares once.

Tabaxus

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #73 on: February 26, 2017, 07:51:58 PM »
By purchasing stocks and bonds you are investing in corporations and in your government who both then take that money and create jobs, spend it to help others or some combination in between.  Paying yourself first fuels the economy which helps everyone.

No, by buying stocks you are buying stocks from some other guy who has them, the money goes to a private citizen. The company only got to sell it's shares once.

The only reason there is a market for primary stock issuances is the secondary market for sales, so that's not really fair.

Drifterrider

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #74 on: February 26, 2017, 08:20:01 PM »
Anyone who argues against paying your self first has no money and expects others to support them.  The are excuse makers.  They always will be.

There are only two types of people:  those who make things happen and those who watch things happen.  There is no middle ground.

Amen, brother!

There is a third group, those who wonder what happened. Sadly, they seem to be the largest group.

I will concede that as they were probably not watching:) 

cheapass

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #75 on: February 27, 2017, 06:32:58 AM »
Her larger point is the economic system that we have in the U.S. basically games it against the U.S. worker. Pensions are gone...

Pensions being gone is a good thing in my opinion. Employees aren't chained to a single employer for 40 years with a carrot on a stick dangled in front of them. Pensions are also not conducive to early retirement, why let an institution determine when you can stop working? With 401K's, employees control their own retirement dollars and can pass their portfolio on to their heirs (can't exactly do that with a pension). Many pensions rely on the solvency of the corporation, that's a lot of risk tied up in a single company (Enron?).

I can't really think of any benefit to the pension, other than that it is a "hands off" lazy approach to retirement.

I m vested in a pension plan after working (and subsequently quitting) after 6 years. You can leave a pension to your heirs. You're really comparing a defined benefit plan to your 401k?? Is this a joke? A 401k is the one with no real benefit. You get to contribute with pre tax dollars to pay (presumably) into a smaller tax bracket when you retire? big whoop.

And pensions are better because they get actively managed for huge fees and allow freedom of investment choice... wait.

To argue that the 401k is the better option is to ignore all the evidence regarding them.  The most recent study showed that a minority of people with available 401k's actually contribute to them.  The Dalbar study shows year after year how poor people are at investing -- they consistently buy high, sell low.  Moreover, data shows that far too many people borrow against their 401k's and subject themselves to early withdrawal penalties. Pensions don't have to be tied to an employer.  There's plenty of proposals to create portable pensions.  They also do not have to be expensive. But they have to be funded -- THAT's the main problem pension plans, especially public sector plans, have run into; the employer not making good on its promise. The "retirement crisis" is a product of the 401k age.

I'm not saying the 401k is a bad thing -- I love mine -- but for many it's just not working. There's a better way.  I think the current Federal Employees Retirement System has it right and should be the model country-wide.  It provides a modest pension, a very low-cost 401k (TSP) and Social Security. This three-legged approach can mitigate the downsides of the 401k, and can also serve to supercharge the retirements of focused savers.
It sounds like the main "problems" with 401k's is that people don't contribute enough, don't choose the optimal funds, and/or withdraw money early. All of these are choices that people make against their best self-interest. It doesn't mean the plan is flawed because some idiots don't understand how it works.

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spokey doke

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #76 on: February 27, 2017, 07:52:19 AM »
Perhaps the best response now would be to link to this thread...

prognastat

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #77 on: February 27, 2017, 08:43:12 AM »
I would say there are likely a few problems with her argument.

1. She isn't critiquing your argument, she is critiquing capitalism in general. Your argument is given our current system my way is the best way to get ahead. Her argument is how dare you support the current system. It doesn't refute your premise that your way is the best way given the current system.
2. Is she actually living up to her own standards? If she isn't living on the least amount necessary and giving away the rest of her money to help others less fortunate due to our current system she is actually partaking in capitalism far more than you are.
3. If you spend less of your money you are effectively reducing demand for products and services lowering their value and potentially making them more available for others and also reduced demand would hopefully mean reduced production which in most cases would be beneficial to the environment which I am sure she would agree is a positive.
4. If you invest your savings you are investing in the economy which is likely to assist companies in growth and would lead to more employment opportunities for others.
5. By paying yourself first and getting to a point where you are financially independent you will in all likelihood reduce your burden on the system allowing for it to assist those truly in need.
6. If you manage to FIRE you might actually get to a point where you can help people in ways you enjoy without a profit motive. This could be volunteering or simply helping out locally so not only would your investments be helping you could be providing your time to help society too.

When it comes down to it yes it is selfish given you are focusing on yourself, however it is not bad/wrong. Now if she is living at the lowest standard of living necessary without luxury and donating everything else to efficient worthwhile charities she might have a case for her way of life, however I doubt so and suspect your way of life is actually the one far beneficial.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 08:46:46 AM by prognastat »

GU

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #78 on: February 27, 2017, 12:47:28 PM »
1.  As others have mentioned, we have the "privilege" of paying taxes first.  And what a privilege it is; about 50% of the U.S. population pays $0 in income tax (yes, if they work, they pay SS & Medicare tax, but that is a best thought of as a social insurance premium that entitles one to a benefit later on, not a pure tax). 

The federal government spends about 60% of its budget on transfer payments (SS, Medicare, etc.).  http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go     Add on top of that the transfer payments done at the state/local level (Medicaid, public school funding, state welfare programs, etc.) and one comes to realize that the U.S. is huge tax-and-transfer welfare state, regardless of left-wing complaining to the contrary.  Sure, I would change some of the specifics of these programs to make them fairer (and cheaper!), but the U.S. has not been a "selfish" country for a long time.  On top of all the social insurance programs we already have, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of charitable giving as well.

2.  Most people do not want to be truly free, because that means having to bear responsibility for the consequences of one's actions.  Most people would like license to act, but do not want to bear the burden of their actions.  Nobel Prize winning economist James Buchanan wrote an interesting piece on the topic "Afraid to be Free:  Dependency as a Desideratum" (pdf online for free).  Ensuring that you can support yourself and not burdening society with your care is one of the noblest things a person can do, it is the opposite of selfish, but in today's world, it's practically countercultural. 

3.   When Thomas Piketty's book "Capital" came out a few years ago, for many the unthinking response was "SEE, I was right, now enact all of my preferred policies!"  I took a different lesson from the book:  I should get me some capital.  [As an aside, both the data and the conclusions drawn by Piketty have not gone unchallenged, but even accepting it as gospel, pouting about it won't help anything].

LalsConstant

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #79 on: February 27, 2017, 03:25:54 PM »
One of my colleagues argued "Pay yourself first," is a selfish, capitalist ideology that could only come from a perspective of privilege that ignores the reality that most people live in, which is one of dependence (economic, social, ecological)." Moreover, she points out that those who obtained early retirement are those who earned in the top 30% of income, took advantage over the system (because of financial literacy and saving) which is the dictionary definition of privilege.

Her larger point is the economic system that we have in the U.S. basically games it against the U.S. worker. Pensions are gone, people work longer for less, etc. And I don't disagree with her. I actually share similar ideological sentiments.

If there was ever an award for sophistry, I would like it awarded to this woman.  Right.

1. Selfishness is a moral paradigm within limits; if you gave away all of your own food and water you'd die.
2. Capitalism is simply the economic system of nature; it is what exists when no other system such as feudalism is imposed by force.  No ideology or values are inherent to it.
3. Accomplishment is not privilege; consequences like early retirement are ex post, not ex ante.
4. Everyone lives in a state of "dependence"; economic scarcity affects everyone rich or poor.
5. Define the phrase "games it against the U.S. worker".  Statistics about income, wealth, etc. always have to be examined very carefully because the methodology used to compile them can be very misleading.  Furthermore, when studies have actually been done on the same individuals over time (U of Michigan and the IRS each did such a study), it has been found that individuals typically do not stay in the same quintile of the statistical income distribution their whole lives.
6. It is true some people will have more money than others, however informing others to ape the financial tactics of the rich will optimize the situation of people who are not rich.  I am not rich, yet statistically despite having an income in the 48th highest percentile for my demographic, I am in the 72nd highest percentile for net worth.  I accomplished this by mimicking the behaviors of the wealthy and prudent which apply to my personal situation.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 03:28:35 PM by LalsConstant »

GU

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #80 on: February 27, 2017, 06:43:52 PM »
1.  As others have mentioned, we have the "privilege" of paying taxes first.  And what a privilege it is; about 50% of the U.S. population pays $0 in income tax (yes, if they work, they pay SS & Medicare tax, but that is a best thought of as a social insurance premium that entitles one to a benefit later on, not a pure tax). 

The federal government spends about 60% of its budget on transfer payments (SS, Medicare, etc.).  http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go     Add on top of that the transfer payments done at the state/local level (Medicaid, public school funding, state welfare programs, etc.) and one comes to realize that the U.S. is huge tax-and-transfer welfare state, regardless of left-wing complaining to the contrary.  Sure, I would change some of the specifics of these programs to make them fairer (and cheaper!), but the U.S. has not been a "selfish" country for a long time.  On top of all the social insurance programs we already have, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of charitable giving as well.

* * *

You are ignoring sales, property, auto registration, tolls and VAT taxes, which pay for much of local infrastructure.  Everyone pays significant taxes to fund infrastructure and services we all benefit from, roads, schools, public safety workers, hospitals.

Sales tax, for example is pretty much regressive, as the poor tend to consume a higher percentage of their income.  Even if they are in subsidised housing, they tend to pay rent via vouchers to a landlord who pays property taxes.  Saying the poor dont pay their share is shallow thinking, though some of the other points have merit.

* * *

My point wasn't that the poor don't pay their fair share.  Rather, that the U.S. is not some dystopian, manifestly unfair hellhole to the average person (as implied by the woman in the OP's story), and also that being a "privileged" middle or upper-middle class professional does not come without its costs. 

To your point about the poor paying state and local taxes, of course, but the regressivity point is oversold.  The poor pay for groceries with SNAP (i.e., food stamps), and items bought with SNAP cannot be subjected to sales tax by federal law.  Furthermore, most states have voluntarily exempted groceries, clothing, housing, medications, and other necessities from sales tax.  You really only pay sales tax on non-necessities in most states, and presumably these items are a smaller portion of the poor person's budget. 

I'm sure the sales tax is still regressive on its own, but I'm not very impressed by that point.  The overall system of tax-and-transfers is progressive.  Property taxes are paid via rent, but if you're using vouchers, you're not bearing the burden of the property tax.  Tolls are paid by the poor and rich alike, but are avoidable by taking public transportation or side roads, at least where I live (it might make the trip take longer though). 

I don't think I disagree with you much, but don't oversell the regressivity of the subnational sales tax in the U.S.

Kaspian

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #81 on: February 28, 2017, 02:24:20 PM »
Rather, that the U.S. is not some dystopian, manifestly unfair hellhole to the average person (as implied by the woman in the OP's story)...

Wait, yes it is! Many overfed people sitting behind a keyboard in their cozy, massive, suburban basements have suddenly come to believe that they're actually the living embodiment of the Mockingjay.  ;-)

stoaX

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #82 on: February 28, 2017, 02:27:02 PM »
Rather, that the U.S. is not some dystopian, manifestly unfair hellhole to the average person (as implied by the woman in the OP's story)...

Wait, yes it is! Many overfed people sitting behind a keyboard in their cozy, massive, suburban basements have suddenly come to believe that they're actually the living embodiment of the Mockingjay.  ;-)

Thanks - I got my laugh for the day!

MoonLiteNite

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #83 on: February 28, 2017, 11:03:48 PM »
Not sure of the exact saying, but there are two that come to mind

"if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem"
and
"a starving man can't help another starving man"

I believe both are very true, the only way you are not causing harm to others is being able to take care of yourself
and
If you are begging for food and money, you surely are NOT providing food or jobs to others.

So me having lots of money, being able to tip well, pay someone to cut my hair and provide me with a well cooked meal is one of the most kind things i can do as a human. Because of my wealth, i can share it to others :)


obstinate

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #84 on: February 28, 2017, 11:15:27 PM »
Maybe she is just objecting to the phrase without understanding it. Is her problem with the idea (first, save), or the words?

I can understand if she's coming from the perspective of Marxist ideology, where accumulation of personal wealth is a bad and selfish thing. But if that's not what she's getting at, I cannot really understand the objection.

As always, you must remember the critical rule of internet arguments: she who cares least, wins. Don't let people rile you up.

stoaX

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #85 on: March 01, 2017, 08:58:50 AM »
...it was a play to sound enlightened by repeating someone else's arguments.

Amen.

tyort1

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #86 on: March 01, 2017, 09:27:35 AM »
"Capitalism" is a selfish Capitalist Ideology. 

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #87 on: March 01, 2017, 01:15:24 PM »
...
However, I can't get her argument against paying herself first...

No disrespect intended to your friend but I think the reason you can't wrap your head around her argument is that it's based on emotion rather than logic.

People like to feel morally superior. I know I catch myself doing it a lot. For example, when boycotting a product because I don't support the ethics of the company's business practices or because the country of origin has a government whose actions I object to. These are examples of emotional decisions masked as financial ones. My not buying one bottle of shampoo won't impact the company in the least. But it makes me feel good so I might just do it anyway.

While I respect her points about privilege, education and the system being set up to benefit those who already have enough; I also think she might not be speaking from a very self aware place. I can see how 'pay yourself first' could inspire a deep discomfort that would create a knee-jerk reaction from someone concerned about income inequity. Honestly, I don't believe that selfishness is inherently bad. If I'm being selfish by not spending every penny I earn then that's positive selfishness - or to put it another way: self care.

TheStachery

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Re: Pay Yourself First is a Selfish Capitalist Ideology
« Reply #88 on: March 01, 2017, 08:59:18 PM »
Capitalism is Freedom.  I don't want to live in a society that doesn't embrace capitalism. 



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