Friday, June 29, 2012

Obama Care and Freedom

On a personal level I'm quite pleased with the ruling from the Supreme Court recently upholding the Constitutionality of Obama Care. The reason is because I think it provides a path for doing some of the things I've dreamed of doing, but was concerned I'd never be able to do.

Here's one. I've thought about how fun it would be to hike the Appalachian Trail. But I kind of feel like I can't do it. Why? I'd probably have to be willing to quit my job, and that would mean I wouldn't have subsidized health care from my employer. In the US you have to always have health care. If you don't and you develop a pre-existing condition you're screwed. I suppose you could get a cheaper policy, but those have their own risks, like high, unaffordable deductibles.

Basically I think walking away from your job before you hit Medicare age is tough. You can do it if you have a ton of money and can either afford your own policy or afford to pay out of pocket for medical expenses should they arise. It's obviously possible to do it, but it's risky for those that don't have a lot of money.

But now it seems to me that it will be possible. I have young kids and I won't be retiring any time soon. They need to finish college first and I really want to see them do it without graduating with a mountain of crushing debt. Also I have a house, and along with that I have a house payment. But I'm estimating that both of those expenses will be behind me when I'm 51 years old.

I think at that point I won't need a lot of income. I've talked before about consumerism and how I try and resist it. In fact I'm trying to reduce the amount of stuff I own. I'd rather own fewer things. My house is filled with too much stuff. Tote bags, shoes that are never worn, books that I'll never read or won't read again. If I got rid of all the stuff I don't really care about, how much space would I need? A lot less.

Less space means less utility cost, less maintenance cost. It means I can live on a smaller income.

Suppose I could live on an income of $25K/yr. I think that's doable when you aren't consuming unnecessary things. When I'm 51 I'll have saved enough to draw that kind of income from my 401k savings. How much would health care cost me? If I'm reading this right it's $291/yr (since I'm married). Not the $14K/yr or so that I pay now (along with my employer).

It seems kind of exciting. 51 is not that old, and I can conceivably retire by then if I'm willing to live modestly. Maybe I can ride my bike from New York to Los Angeles. Maybe I can do a lot of charitable work. Maybe I could live in a foreign country for an extended length of time. It opens up a lot of possibilities, allowing me to do what I want, not necessarily what I would otherwise have to do. Work. It's kind of freedom enhancing.

54 comments:

Examinator said...

Jon,
A fair point all round.
I have Two advantage over you ....that is that I am by nature a utilitarian.(I mean that in the functional not philosophic sense.) i.e. I don't buy wants rather needs.
E.g. most of my paper books are non fiction and double as references.
My novels (a recent indulgence) are on a book reader and memory cards.
My cell phone is 7 years old but does what it is supposed to... makes phone call.
My TV is only free to air and 20".
My vehicle is 18 Y.O. Subaru and TOR of that time. I have a brilliant mechanic who specialises in the brand. ergo it's in great condition and it's efficient. I could buy a new one ...but I ask why? it does what I need.
I live in an average house and have a man cave to hold the tools. I have no need.
Even the desk I'm working on is an old (circa 1976) highly polished electric organ that didn't work A neighbour gave me, I converted. I sold the guts Copper wire etc for scrap which paid for the conversion i.e. a matching Wall nut table top. No I 'm not handy it was bog simple. When we moved we sold off/gave away our belongings, all but those 'we couldn't part with' which wasn't much. In truth the furniture we bought here is the first co-ordinated new stuff since we got married 30+ years ago. It was never a case of we couldn't afford the consumerism we generally took the view that if it worked, did the job why replace it.

And having dual citizenship dad was American , mum (she insists on this not mom ) Aussie. I choose to live in Australia permanently now. there is a health safety net. I also have a private health insurance which costs the grand sum of $ 1800 per year of which the tax rebate is well over 50% of that. Specifically I have no real NEED for a salubrious / profligate lifestyle .

Filling in some contextual facts I was raised in Papua and New Guinea educated in PNG/Australia and the US and have worked in 5 different countries. Left school at 16 back to Night school at 21 then Uni at 29 again at night . Consequently I'm not of the belief that any culture is superior or lessor … all have their up sides and their down sides..... Not surprisingly I'm NOT a fan of Nationalism per se. If someone came to me with a project or ideology based on patriotic/ religious grounds My reaction would be “good luck with that... next ”

Today I'm a consulting partner in a consulting firm to businesses. If you like I'm prematurely semi retired. More accurately, I work to live and do not define my self by my exec position, what I own or assumed 'power'.
I live or starve on the merit of my ideas and or competencies.
When I boast(?) “I've been there, done that, seen that, bought the tee shirt that says so and hides the scars” it's not an idle one.
But that is perhaps for another time.

Chad said...

This is rich, Jon is applauding the taxation of the poor and the middle class.

It might cost Jon $291/yr, Only because he is making everyone else - or should I say working people and businesses pay the rest. What kind of care do you think you'll get for $291/yr? Is unbelievable you think that is somehow good - sad as well.

No Personal Responsibility again - your actions become everybody else's problem..

No worries on my end, this will not last. This is the kiss of death for Obama, the Right and specifically the Tea Party just forgot about everything they hated about Romney and are energized. He'll repeal the law on day 1 and with a republic House and Senate they will close and lock the gate behind them this time.

Even if Obama gets re-elected because he built a base of Jon's (give me free stuff) the Senate still looks to go R so they will attempt to repeal or simply not fund it.

The last wave will be the Republican Governors who have already vowed not to accept the massive expansion of Medicare per the Supreme Court ruling allows. I heard it was 21 governors so far and growing - 19 of which are donor States so that will also help kill this.

This all window dressing anyhow, once Republicans take all 3 again they will tear the heart out of it anyway so you will not be able to quit your job at 51 just to hike the Appalachian Trail. But you could get a second job to speed up your retirement planning to enable you to retire and hit the trail early.

$5.5 million dollars came into the Romney purse since the ruling and the timing to wake up the base could not have come at a better time.

This thing is the titanic in so many ways.

Jon said...

I love it, Ex. You are doing it right. In the US as you know the constant consumerist propaganda is very difficult to resist, and you can see the effects. People buying stuff they don't need, probably don't even want after a week, and yet they are working hard to earn money to pay for all their junk. And the huge house they have to have to fit it all. It's a very easy trap to fall into. I look at the stacks of junk in my house and realize I've fallen for it too.

Moving has probably been good for you in that it has made you prioritize your posessions. I love that your car is old, runs well, and is good enough. We have two cars. I drive a 17 YO van. It's not great in terms of the way it runs. No A/C, some things that don't work. It's a Ford Windstar. Not a particularly reliable car. But my plan with our second car (2005 Honda Accord) is to maintain it well and keep it forever. Great car. Haven't had a single problem with it except routine maintenance. 125K miles. My hope is to get at least 350K miles out of it, and if it goes longer, great. The quality is good enough that I think I may make it.

In any cases, these choices you've made have you to the point where you can afford to do what you want. That is my goal. In Australia (damn good health care system) it's a lot easier for you. If I understand Obama Care right it just got easier for Americans. I'm happy about that for sure.

Also of course happy that 50 million Americans have the possibility of getting a little basic care, rather than just the option of going to the ER at which point it may be too late.

Jon said...

Yeah Chad, sometimes taxation is good. In theory if you have democracy you should be pleased to pay taxes. These are monies that allow the people to implement policies that they prefer as a group. What's the problem?

You're going to pay in either case. You can pay insurance premiums. 30 cents of every dollar wasted in overhead. Or you can pay taxes and do it like it's done in every other industrialized country, where overhead is more on the order of 3% and correspondingly overall costs are about half, producing better outcomes.

Suppose right now you're looking at a family of 4 that makes $40K/yr without employer provided coverage. $17K for an insurance policy isn't in the cards. Now they'll be taxed. They'll have to pay maybe $1,000. And they'll be able to go get a physical and identify problems before they arise. Should they be outraged that they are now paying taxes? No. They'll be pleased.

Obama Care and Romney Care are virtually identical. Romney also eliminated the pre-existing condition problem by requiring everyone to pay. And he penalized those that don't pay even more than Obama does. But now he's going to "repeal it on day 1." Why? Because he's pandering to the ignorant. He knows the current system, with annual 10% increases in costs so the CEO bonuses and overhead can be expanded, is unsustainable. Republicans have no alternative. Just status quo. More and more people with nothing. Costs through the roof. Poor overall results.

Romney's position is a tough sell. He's got to say that what he did in Massachusetts, which he regularly bragged about, is a terrible idea. Nominating this guy to carry the torch on this issue was really stupid. Also nominating a guy that completely shares Obama's posiitions on war and civil liberties. Why elect the pandering cynic when the true believer holds the same positions?

Jon said...

Good luck with this candidate of yours.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/29/1104485/-Mitt-Romney-explains-why-the-Obamacare-is-a-tax-argument-is-a-complete-nonstarter

Chad said...

Let's be clear, he is not my candidate - but I will vote for Romney 1,000 times over the second worst President in US History.

Again - who's paying the balance Jon? Healthcare does not cost $1,000 per year. If it does it will be the worst care in the world.

It will be repealed, but if it's not there are going to be some private doctors - the most skilled in the world - that will be in the drivers seat. Your care will be given by a 2nd year resident pissed off about making $52k per year. Good luck with that Jon.

Romney has been clear and this is one area I fully agree with him, health care is a State's right issue. If Mass wants a single payer rock on - I won't live there, but good luck.

Chad said...

Not to mention, your kids will be waiting 8 hours to get mess for the croup. That is the type of healthcare that costs $290/year.

You get what you pay for.

Examinator said...

Chad,
'Vote a thousand times' really?
a. I think that is illegal :p
b. The constitution allows 2 times pres ergo you can vote for him twice. if he makes it to a second nomination.
c You don't even know what sort of Prez he'll be
d. You really believe the hyperbole of elections? Strewth!
e. 'Obama' the worst prez ever?
and you know this how? You have intimate knowledge of all 42?
Some how I have my doubts on that.

Is/was Obama the greatest prez? hardly! is he the worst? evidence would suggest not. Especially since they all had different times and different circumstances. The most intelligent thing any of us can say is that he had/has his failings.
Among the most prominent is that he hasn't lived up to expectations... but whose fault is that? Hmmmm.
Republican intransigence,undue dominance of the idiot far right? undue influence of self serving corporations? Public stupidity, inanely over expectations (i.e. a heroic saviour who would 'wave a magic wand and all the problems would ??? disappear?) without them doing squat.
USA ..the home of self reliant entrepreneurs, conquerors of all etc etc . in American DNA/culture! What a load of unmitigated Bull excreta.(that at least can be useful)
Grow up America and smell the decay and urban myth.
Do I think Obama care is the greatest system? give over.
It seems to me that it needs work but it's a step in the right direction.
As for your tax argument? Give over Tonto you haven't addressed the anomalies that benefit primarily your $600 million (?) corporation that the poor, middle class subsidise MORE in their taxes.
You haven't one put up a cogent factual refutation to the issue I've posed....Hyperbole and assertion is no argument.
Finally I'm more concerned about the appalling state of the Supreme Court. Justice Scalia's falling off his judicial perch with his political diatribe.
Without independent, impartial, objective Supreme court GOD HELP America and Americans.

Examinator said...

Jon
Have no doubts Robert's decision was strategic as opposed to principled.

PS As a consulting Partner I earn what I NEED. To maintain my modest life style i.e. I work maybe 2 days per week on average.
Apparently I have specific expertise that is sufficiently in demand that I can do this... They would like me to work more, but I work according to the agreement we struck. My taxable income (no dodges) is less than $45k. I simply have no NEED for more. I do a lot of volunteer type stuff non paid board type thing with some hands on volunteer 'bush care' environmental regen and weed/pest eradication for the council. I head a group.
Hence I have time to think and actually have a life that isn't defined by my employment.
I work to live not work to live.
BTW if you worked for our consultancy or in Aust you get 4 weeks annual leave and 3 months after 10 years and oh yes there is mandatory superannuation employer pays half and you pay half ...if you leave before retirement you get your contributions + interest but only part of the employer's contribution, depending on your length of service. Plenty of time for your mountain sojourn....BTW look up Cradle mountain (Tasmania Aus) now that is spectacular wilderness or maybe Franklin River. You want snow ? They have a greater area of snow than Switzerland then there's New Zealand 3 hrs away! I left out the desserts, wild Gorges, Tropics and islands, The Great Barrier reef. Any wonder why as a country, it's sport, out side activity MAD ?
Do I point out too that Aust was the only country that didn't go down the pan during the GFC. Yes the banks apart from being some of the most profitable in the world are among the highest regulated (gee hey Chad, I wonder how that is... capitalism and socialism?) I'd even put it to you that the average citizen has more meaningful freedoms than The USA and its paranoia. Mind you it's trying hard to catch up thanks to the USA. Could it do more/ better! You can bet your sweet bippy it can.
One has to wonder that History including modern, Australia has a rate of inventions per head per capita equivalent to...um the USA.
Is it a paradise ….no such a thing! Is it the best country in the world? Silly question Is it better than the US ? our family THINKS SO, all of us have migrated here. My wife and I were the last.

Chad said...

Easy Ex, I said I would vote for Romnay a thousand times over the Destroyer - not actually planning on placing a Thousand votes. However the Democrats stretch voting laws so .... Na. I believe Obama is the 44th Prez so their are 43 before him.

By the broken promises, record debt and inability to lower the unemployment alone he is a complete failure. Also Ex - the Democrats controlled the House, Senate and Prez chair for 2 full years so blaming the Republicans is like peeing into a heavy wind sir and another lie. They could have passed budgets (novelty), the dream act, socialism and whatever they wanted to in two years. The people of this great country were so ticked off and upset by the dictators vision/progress that America saw the single largest swing in House and Senate seats in American history! So to say they blocked progress - damn skippy they are following the wishes of the voting people.

Chad said...

Here are just a few of Obama's failures that will eventually put him at the very bottom of the rankings.

Increased the deficit more than $7 trillion, causing the first-ever downgrade in the U.S. credit rating and for the first time raising serious questions about U.S. financial stability.
Issued 106 new major rules that cost U.S. businesses $11 billion in implementation and more than $46 billion each year with more coming.
Blocked Boeing's new South Carolina factory from opening to assuage his union supporters.
Raided a Gibson Guitar factory for violating an arcane India law even though India does not believe the law has been broken.
Issued an "ambush" election rule allowing quick unionization and limiting an employer's ability to present reasons for non-unionization.
Restricted how companies hire unpaid interns, cutting the link between students and employers.
Blocked the construction of the Keystone Pipeline that would have given jobs to thousands of American workers, further reducing the domestic oil supply and forcing our ally Canada to turn to China as a more willing partner.
Cut authorization of permits restricting drilling in Gulf and slowed permitting of new oil drilling so our future oil supply will be restricted and gas prices will be higher.
Mandated third party certification for all manufacturers participating in the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program, which has raised costs for manufacturers and created a disincentive for participation in the program.
Funded Solyndra and other unworthy companies, wasting taxpayer money but also discouraging other privately funded companies from entering the market.
Only moved on Bush free trade agreements and failed to enter one new free trade agreement, even while our competitors have entered many, making U.S. goods more expensive to export.
Pushed for passage of card check legislation that would infringe upon the rights of workers and make the United States a less desirable place to open a business.
Created a new rule requiring every employer to post notices on union "rights," (found illegal by a federal court in April).
Changed rules on unionization votes so the majority of employees no longer need to vote to unionize, allowing easier unionization.
Disparaged the city of Las Vegas twice, which led to an immediate and dramatic fall-off in hotel room bookings and hospitality jobs.
Proposed onerous restrictions on government officials attending trade shows, threatening vital cooperation between business and government to create jobs.
Mandated that every hotel swimming pool have special access for the disabled, causing pools to close or hotels to add expensive add-ons, hurting the hotel industry and employment.
Imposed a requirement that every employer with more than 49 employees provide health care insurance or pay a fine.
Allowed the United States to become the highest corporate tax nation in the developed world.
Required every children's product to undergo expensive testing, threatening thousands of small businesses that make children's products.

Chad said...

Demonized businesses and one-percent i,ncome earners consistently as greedy.
Increased the number of IRS audits of successful job creators while dramatically cutting audits of those reporting no income.
Proposed regulating gas fireplaces in homes, threatening a large segment of the market despite no energy rationale.
Failed to approve one new nuclear plant, increasing our energy dependence.
Defended EPA "strong-arming" of property owners by threatening fines -- March 2012 Supreme Court's unanimously rejected EPA position.
Ignored proposals of his own Bipartisan Deficit Commission and thus guaranteed further choking deficits and financial uncertainty.
Imposed a 2.3 percent new excise tax okn innovative medical devices.
Imposed a new investment income "surtax" of 3.8 percent.
Raised the Medicare Payroll tax from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent.
Required every individual to buy health insurance as part of his healthcare reform, which the Congressional Budget Office says will cost twice as much as the White House originally advertised.
Proposed a seven percent hiring quota for "disabled" workers in every job category for government contractors, creating a new expensive burden to doing business with government.
Expanded the definition of "disabled" to include people with diabetes and heart disease, among others, and specified new quotas for hiring under this definition.
Opposed "repatriation" of U.S. corporate profits made overseas (and already taxed), thus encouraging U.S. companies to invest those profits in foreign enterprises.
Proposed higher taxes for business-use airplanes, raising the cost of many U.S. operations.
Sought to give the IRS the power to license all tax preparers, discouraging entrepreneurs by raising the cost to enter the market.
Attacked the Supreme Court twice directly, undercutting confidence in the separation of powers.
Raided California medical marijuana facilities, harming entrepreneurs and threatening medical treatments.
Sought and signed the Dodd-Frank financial reform law with its hundreds of new rules and restrictions that impose billions in new costs on financial companies.
Advocated for the "Buffett Rule," which would discourage U.S. investment and barely dent the deficit.
Expressed plans to raise the capital gains tax, which would discourage U.S. capital formation and drive investment overseas.
Created new emissions standards for industrial boilers that may cost hundreds of thousands of U.S. businesses a total of $14.5 billion.
Pursued his campaign pledge to adopt electronic medical records, at an estimated cost of as much as $100 billion. The plan is already costing jobs.
Set new energy-use mandates for many products, discouraging innovation and consumer choice and raising product costs.
Imposed new restrictions on the number of hours driven by truck drivers, costing more than $400 million with no proven additional safety benefit and raising the cost of goods shipped in the United States.
Failed to confront drug company payoffs/rebates to doctors, thus raising the cost of health care.
Negotiated secret trademark treaties that are so secret their effects are unknown.
Failed to make government more transparent by restricting FOIA requests, according to the Washington Post, making review of government actiLons difficult.
Neglected to do anything about providing guns tol Mexico drug cartels, which resulted in the death of U.S. Border Patrol agents, causing worldwide doubt as to U.S. rule of law.
Perpetuated the fraud of "green jobs" to sell and justify stimulus funds with little evidence to support the market for these jobs.
Investigated leading U.S. companies, such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Intel and Qualcomm, which encouraged other countries to do the same.

Jon said...

The way it would work for me, Chad, is that I pay more than I extract now in my working years, then pay less in my retirement years.

It's possible I'd end up paying less than what I would extract. That's how insurance works. If you don't like it, fine. If you think the law should have been struck down as unconstitutional, fine. I don't really know much about how the law works.

What we're talking about here is how this law enhances freedom in a sense. It does become possible for me to do some of the things I've long dreamed of doing. Without getting a second job, spending little time with my kids while they are young, etc.

Don't be so totally single minded, unwilling to see any kind of upside whatsoever. I understand your objections, though I think they are misguided. But don't you think it's a good thing that a lot of people can now retire early and enjoy their lives by doing things they wouldn't normally be able to do until they are too old? There are new possibilities.

Also when I quit my job what will happen is my employer will replace me. The work I do needs to be done, and as far as my employer is concerned it doesn't matter who does it. Rather than me working though I don't really need the income (only the health care) someone else that probably needs that income can take over.

Chad said...

So your saying that it is the governments responsibility to make sure you can retire at a fairly young age then - man you are extremely twisted.

Everything you have said so far about how this supposedly would work can be accomplished better and more efficiently through the Private sector. What you want is a pacifier and a warm blanket from your government when they don't have one to give. You call it closed minded, but I called it being realistic - government is broke, there is no money and there is not one single thing that government has done in it's history more efficiently than the private sector.

What your failing to accept/understand or consider is that if we shrank gov't, shrank regulations and you specifically embraced capitalism you might have been able to work up the corporate ladder to a position where you might be able to earn a considerable amount more money allowing you to retire by 50 - on your own.

Being realistic, not closed minded my friend.

Examinator said...

Chad
[“I would vote for Romnay a thousand times over the Destroyer” ] Hyperbole
How do you know what sort of prez he might be? Seems more than a little rash to me, you're painting yourself into a corner ….if he declares war on Iran as he's threatening, think Mega deficit. or the USSR crash (down sizing) from unsustainable military expenditures.
Oh yes the big issue the rump of the Republicans cite is that the Dems are too close to the heartless Money Gnomes of wall street (the job destroyers) ! Who is Romney he's one of them Bain and partners haven't created one middle class job for the masses. And, do I mention that Romney as governor was the one who was the behind a scheme for (spit) socialised medicine.
While I'm on the topic of '''socialised” medicine The experience of Australia is that it's cheaper (more capital efficient) to subsidise minor medical issues at the GP than to let them degenerate to much more costly ER emergency or chronic conditions. The flow on advantages to Business by doing so is significant. Also it hasn't stifled the entrepreneurial GP either.
It is a nonsense to suggest that doctors, Corporations, hard working rich are disadvantaged by some level of socialisation. It is only the excessively myopic or greedy that want a Malthusian system, they ignore the reality of history and 'human nature' (read neuropsychology/ behavioural psychology) . A system where there are simply temporary winners and a rising tsunami of Losers. Common sense should dictate that too many losers = revolution. History proves this time and time again. Even the States are founded on that principal of reality.
One of the reasons The US economy is in the tank is because of the wars and made worse by selling arms to unstable/tyrannical regimes e.g. the Shar who spurred/created the Muslim extremism... then they armed Iraq et al. Chad you really need to shed your myopic vision and look at the causal factors. Regardless of you views and ideology you need to consider the reality that the view “ what is good for the dis-United Sates of America and its self indulgent right (sic) is good for the rest of the world” simply put, it isn't! And what's more, it is very very doubtful that its 'allies' would be quite so, if the USA didn't throw its weight around so readily. In effect the Republicans have gone from a party of ideology to that of 'reactionary'.
[“…. the Democrats stretch voting laws so”] do I remind you that the last prez who wanted a 3rd term was um Republican.
[“I believe Obama is the 44th president so their are 43 before him.”] um yes and No. One Prez had two terms of 2 years with a break in the middle so there were 44 presidential terms but 43 people. Therefore 42 people before him. It makes no sense to judge a presidential period in your frame of reference, judging a person twice.
PS “ :P” is text for naa naa poking tongue out ….a joke. Yes, I have a sense of humour too

Examinator said...

Jon,
Here's a challenge for Chad and his
$600 million corporation
http://www.skepticalscience.com/help-send-peter-sinclair-mt-baker.html#commenthead
Here is a scientist who is actually raising money to do research with one of the world's most experienced and respected Glaciologists ...
And it's in US America too.
He can gain actual research he can test....
Wanna bet Chad will claim bias and do nothing.
PS I've put in.

Jon said...

No, Chad, I'm not saying it is the governments resposponsibility to take care of me. I'm not even saying that what we have in Obama Care is better than a wholly privatized system.

Read my words carefully. All I'm saying is that this does open up new possibilities. Look what wwe had before was not a free market system, right? I have to assume you weren't to thrilled with it either, right? A consequence of our quasi private hybrid system is everyone has to work. Until retirement age.

Let's suppose a fully privatized system brough costs down dramatically. Maybe it would. You know what I'd say if we adopted it? One good thing about our new, totally free market system is you can retire early and do some of the things you would enjoy rather than working until retirement age. Pretty sweet. Now that we have a free market in health care costs are low enough that I can literally alter my life plans. Let's at least be happy about that, even if there are still some problems.

BTW, the main reason our government is broke is because Medicare must operate within this quasi privatized system that produces astronomical costs. Single payer would eliminate our deficit in one shot if results were similar to what they are in other countries.

But that's a separate question. What I'm talking about here is the fact that in a sense Obama Care is freedom enhancing. Options become available that weren't there before. Love it or hate it for other reasons, this reason remains.

Jonathan said...

Jon,

First congrats on having a game plan that helps you retire by age 51, and also for living within your means and not being sucked into consumerism. If things pan out with Obamacare and you feel this gives you the safety net to leave corporate America and live outside of a group heathplan, more power to you. A couple things to think about though – First, Obamacare aside, what’s wrong with setting aside a $10,000 safety net, getting a high deductible (say $10,000 max limit out of pocket) health plan with reasonable premiums, and then getting out from under your current job? Assuming you could provide the same level of income working for yourself as you have now, I think you’d find this surprisingly affordable.

Secondly, when people talk about differing their retirement and what they love doing until they are 60+ (or in your case, 51), one thing people usually forget is that they are using up the best years of their life (health wise etc) waiting for this. When thinking about risk/reward for sticking it out on their job for 1-2 more decades, people tend to weigh the perceived downside (things not working out if I left, what if I had a heath problem or were not insurable, etc) against their status quo, but what they forget is the major downside of watching 10-20 years of their life melt away missing out on what they really want to do. They also forget that even their 1% chance worst case scenario they feel they are being responsible by protecting themselves and their family against, usually wouldn’t even be nearly as catastrophic as they fear. Three years out you get cancer, ok – go back to corporate America and get back on a group plan. Looking back, would you really be glad you worked your differed lifestyle plan for those three years, or be glad you could have spent 2 years climbing the Appalachian trail with your family 3 months out of the year anyway?

Personally, I couldn’t fathom living the next 10 years of my life in medocraty and in quiet desperation, and not trying to live out my passion, and spend as much time with my family as possible instead of my cube.

Everyone else,

I find it partially humorous and also somewhat sad that these discussions devolve so quickly into political name calling. If we spent as much time and energy working towards trying to better our own situation and the lives of our family, as we do arguing about what the government could, should, will, or won’t do, which prevents us exercising our God-given (or impartial Darwinally utilitarian emergent) rights, I think we’d all be able to retire decades earlier. 

Examinator said...

Jonathan,
Fair observations, I'll try to do better.

Jon,
It seems that I'm trying too hard to have a debate i.e. draw out FACTS AND CONSIDERED ANALYSIS, in order to advance conversations from the pointlessness of gain saying.

It is one thing to say Obama isn't meeting our expectations but it it is another thing entirely to say that he's 'the destroyer' et al then use as proof a series of actions that I in my ignorance or ignoring the substantive causal factors.
That is neither accurate or a reasoned (able) position.

If one makes a statement that he is holding back business etc assertion alone isn't enough. Nor is it reasonable to use hyperbolic 'talking points' like business hasn't had enough time to put the case to counter Unionism.
Left/right (sic) ideology aside it is beholden on the arguer to give Facts.... credible data numbers i.e. independent analysis proof that people can read/challenge.
I am prepared to support my assertions with references if needed(which is part of my job).

Its a bit like the nonsense that is put up against AGW ....if one analyses the dissident scientists(sic) 90% of them have no established fact based arguments based on specialist, specific,relevant discipline knowledge or experience (expertise) to be given the vague term of expert in the field.
I don't pretend to be an expert in anything or even have a superior knowledge of the above.
However, I do know where to go to get expert advice and an sufficiently objective to make judgements beyond the prosaic self interest.
My purpose for being here is to learn not myopic mindless prejudiced ideology. i.e. Venting emotions. pointless and navel gazing (aka polarisation, partisanship)
This country (USA) and most of the western world have more than enough emotional outlets. What we don't have is enough real attempts to add advanced (ing) conclusions/solutions.
Time has past for belief in magic (an all conquering saviour Pres, solutions, god(s) that will make it right).
We are the First (Known) species that has the ability to knowingly influence our evolution. But will we rise beyond sophisticated cave persons emotionally to do so or.....
Having said my piece I'll back off unless people wish to DEBATE me with an end direction in mind , other than regressive dogma.

Chad said...

My day has started well, got deep under Ex's skin so much so he repeated himself multiple times. Blog's by design are open forums to express opinion.

My view of Obama is based on facts (previous list) - just considering the first ever downgrade in US History, the largest tax increase in US History, sustained high unemployment and the executive order Dream Act places him in the discussion right there.

Second tier issues - attack on Capitalism, failed (miserably) energy policies, gov't take over of private companies and his bank policies. Remember the too big to fail and his promise that banks won't have that much power ever again. Study it - the big banks have more power than ever.

Third tier - his bold face lies to the American people. From transparency lies, to the use of executive order lies, to his health care lies to his dream act lies - this man has lied (all caught on camera over and over again) so many times it is shocking.

Jon - I've always agreed that one direction would be the wrong direction. There is no one single path that is absolute - I think that my views work much better of course, but I also understand that too much of anything is not a good mixture.

Ex/Jon - My above comment is exactly why I subscribe to States rights. To Ex specifically, I think that excluding my myopic whatever, I have the most sound and open ideas of anyone on this board. I do not want to force you to participate in my ideas, but in return will ask you to not force me to participate in your ideas. Each State should have the power to make these decisions and be set up in the shadow of the people living in that state. Ex will move to the State most representing his ideals, I will move to my state and Jon to his - we can affect real change our states policy and no state can tax another state and no state can take money from the federal gov't so all ideas must stand on their own merits. That is real right there Ex - debating how 3 branches make policy for 330 million people is ridiculous and we will never ever agree. Let the states make these decisions and it will work itself out very well.

Jon said...

What makes it tough, Jonathan, is college expenses and the house payment. Of course you can get out from under a house payment. Possibly. If my wife would go along. She's the person that tempers me a bit, blocks me from pursuing crazy schemes thoughtlessly.

I feel obligated to help my kids with school though. Shrot of just telling them to pound sand, what are my options?.

The final hurdle after the house and college is the health care. You're right that it's possible to figure it out, especially if you are prepared to take on some risk. This seems to make it easier though.

Jon said...

Chad, do you really think the downgrade is a big deal? These are the same institutions that rated mortgages AAA. After they downgrade US treasuries, what happened? Demand for treasuries went up. Interest rates fell, meaning borrowing for the US became easier than ever. Why listen to them like their opinion matters? They are wrong like every time.

As far as states rights, the right wing push for that is transparent. State governments, being smaller, are easier for corporations to push around. That's why all the credit card companies are in South Dakota. Honeywell gets most of their income from the government (defense). They threaten the state they reside for subsidies or they will move. So their home state pays out. They get federal government money, then subsidy from taxpayers in the state because the state is too weak to resist. State level corruption is a lot more significant. Federal government has problems, but even second tier corporations can bully the state, polluting the waterways, demanding subsidies, buying their way into ever larger profits at the expense of people, poor or otherwise. Look at the outrageous prison industrial complex. Judges sending everyone to prison, filling the pockets of the owners of the prison management companies. So the right wing think tanks love state rights, naturally. Their corporate backers prefer it, becuase though the federal government check on their destruction is too weak, it's still stronger than what a state can manage, so the corporations want to see even that small check removed.

Liberterians today (as the word is now understood in America) really advocate pure tyranny. They want everything in the control of private concentrations of wealth, with no public input whatsoever. An interesting article on this phenomenon here.

http://crookedtimber.org/2012/07/01/let-it-bleed-libertarianism-and-the-workplace/

Jonathan said...

Jon,

I'm not advocating leaving your job and taking a substantial paycut which would prevent you from meeting your other financial goals such as paying for your kid's college. My position is that it's entirely possible to transition out of corporate America, working for yourself, and once your income is say 75% of what you currently make currently, you can leave your 9-5, get your income up to close to or even more than it currently is.

This change alone can free up your time to allow you to take those dream trips you had planned on taking during retirement, or bring your lifestyle more inline with the life you hope to have decades down the road.

One common concern people often have is "ok, even if that were true, what about my health insurance" to which I point out that even today there are many viable options. If this becomes even less expensive because of Obamacare, all the more reason to start building that business today, so you can transition out 2-3 years down the road.

For someone who spends so much time and effort researching so many topics, I think you owe it to yourself to study those who have become entrepreneurs and strike it out on their own so you could way the risk/reward yourself.

I also think you'd find it informative to see examples of successful people bringing legitimate value to the marketplace
and how they are less affected by the politics and policies of the day. Just to name a few random sites...

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/about/

http://www.48days.com

http://www.tropicalmba.com/

Paul said...

From where Chad pulled his list -

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/04/27/the-list-could-be-longer

Chad - perhaps you ought to have given them some credit. Otherwise you are plagiarising.


I've been clicking through some of the links in the originating article. Many are seriously laughable. BTW - 28 and 29 are the same thing.

Chad said...

Jon, there was corruption in the T-Ball League my son plays in so what's your point? I would rather attempt to handle corruption at a State level versus a Federal level any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Also if a State gov't becomes that corrupt the individual has the opportunity to move one state over.

In reference to Honeywell - good for them, they employ tons of people, they do real good in the local community so pushing for less taxes is a really great thing. It keeps the State and Local Gov't lean and mean - no excess to allow some idiot politician the ability to buy a $200k statue or bump salaries for themselves to unsustainable levels.

See your so blinded by hate toward profit, you don't realize that Honeywell needs a solid community to conduct business and they want that as well. Profits are top of the list yes, but they can not be successful without good people and they won't attract customers if they are pigs.

By the way, I am spit balling here, but isn't North Dakota doing great right now? At the same time there is not much of nothing up there so the State should have to fight to keep them. Besides that - why is it bad that States have to fight to keep businesses again? Federal gov't imposes new regulations, new taxes and new burdens on companies (Obama Care) so they need to get back that money somewhere or else the costs of their goods and services just went up to cover more taxes.

Just my 2 cents sir.

How's your hand, hope your getting better.

Examinator said...

Chad,
I've tried several different way to make a simple point.
That blogs can be many and varied things.
I prefer an exchange of reasoning backed by facts and analysis not emotion.
Neither is this a competition I have no interest in convincing you of anything.(period)
My sole intention was to provide a wider more in depth analysis in order to go somewhere.
Not tis, tis not (gain saying)
It is one thing to say unions are bad and in some cases, they like corporations are. But a blanket anything is simply another form of anti-democracy.
You could have given figures and examples of how unions et al are bad you didn't! you just keep repeating hyperbolic talking points.
My experience world wide well across 17 countries 5 in which I lived for an extended period makes me not so convinced that they are always Good or Bad. it ALWAYS depends on the context.
It is arguable that they have and do achieve much. In the final an analysis they are simply another form of both democratic rights and a counter to Capitalist excesses.
The counter forces that by design an essential and integral part of CAPITALISM and Democracy.
What isn't a productive part of either C & Dis the unnecessary Partisan conflict.

Expressing prejudices and representing them as opinions is NOT what I think Jon's site is about. But as usual I may be wrong.
You can be assured that you haven't gotten anywhere near 'under my skin'. what concerns me is that you think upsetting some one is a good thing! Frankly that is never been my intention.
It isn't that I don't see your or understand what you are saying its that you clearly miss what I am saying.

Examinator said...

PS
Your opinions and views tend to assert mutual exclusivity under all situations i.e. Democracy or Obama, Absolute capitalism or some dictatorship, Financial ruin.
This is total black or White (period)
Mine is not so rigid.I seek deeper analysis.
The older more experienced I get the more greys I see and as Socrates said " the more I learn the more I realise I don't know or understand"

Examinator said...

Jon,
This is only peripherally relevant but take a look at this.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18673220
If there was ever a need to keep tabs on the medical'industry' this is it.
NB I'm not anti Capitalism or anty Big Phama per se rather human nature is such that if they think they can get away with something they will. regardless of Ethics or responsibilities to the people.

Jon said...

Absoluterly, Ex, and what should we expect? I tend to think also that what you are dealing with is people that aren't necessarily bad. It's not like they want to see people harmed by these drugs. But when you have an incentive structure like this, what should you expect? People pursuing profits aggressively. And of course it's much worse in smaller countries with weaker governments (following the states rights methods Chad prefers). According to Wikileaks I think it was in Nigeria that these pharmaceuticals carried out testing of their products on young children, with high casualty rates and other injuries. The consequences are small because the government is too weak to resist, so the actions are rational from the perspective of the corporation pursuing profit maximization.

Jon said...

So Chad let's recognize here that you've once again put the lie to your concern about welfare, high taxes, and government waste. Honeywell is a defense contractor. So most of the money they earn is coming from the taxpayer. Everyone else has to pay so they can make bombs and what not. They are to be lauded for taking taxpayer money because in your mind this "creates jobs." So they take that money and earn profits, but they don't want to pay any taxes on it. That way more can be sent to the owners. Companies working in the private sector that are a bit smaller may not have the clout to get away with it. They earn their money via the free market and have to pay taxes on their earnings, putting them at a disadvantage with respect to Honeywell. That's great in your mind. Corporate welfare is great.

On the other hand welfare that feeds a hungry person also creates jobs. When the peasant purchases food, this creates jobs for those that create and distribute that food. So why don't you support welfare for the poor, like you support welfare for the rich? In fact this welfare for the rich is positively harmful. Bombs are made and dropped on innocent people. They get our tax money to do that, make profits doing it, and won't even pay taxes on that profit. When a poor person buys a sandwich that also creates a job. When he goes to the doctor he creates work for doctors. And the grocer actually is willing to pay taxes so that children can get an education.

Why do you support this corporate welfare, which destroys peoples lives by bombing them and deprives our children of education, but you won't s upport welfare for the poor, which creates jobs and funnels money back into the public sector so kids can learn math?

Jon said...

Thanks Paul. I was also looking for Chad's source, but my Google skills failed me.

Chad said...

Turn it to fit your objections, I'm okay with that.

Never been a war type of guy FYI.

Chad said...

The gov't will by bombs o blow up people, I don't hold Honeywell responsible for that.

Chad said...

My concern for those in need are great, but my charity stops at irresponsibility. You forgive irresponsibility and hide behind the lie of charity and doing good as your cover.

Examinator said...

Jon,
Spot on.
What Chad obstinately refuses to acknowledge is, as I've said many times before,is that Capitalism like Charity are TOOLS for people. Like a hammer or a gun they are only as good or bad as the PERSON wielding them.
As a sales VP he knows there are honest hard working sales people then there's opportunists that will play fast and loose with the system, their clients, company rules, to gain UNearned rewards or advancement...the consequences are inevitably bad for the company and the client and other employees.
Every one of us has experience or knowledge of the heavy handed spiv Used car salesman(sic). That does NOT mean that every sales assistant/salesperson is dodgy.
But it does mean that if you give incentive the environment where a person whose goals are solely money/gain without APPROPRIATE controls people will tend to adopt the end justifies the means.
In addition to this people being social animals will often be carried on by public opinion or peer pressure. Few people will swim against the popular grain. i.e. if you see someone breaking the law and report it YOU are likely to get public opprobrium regardless of who is in the wrong. (e.g. whistle blowers, by exposing duplicity/lies and indifference to the laws they are often victimised. One shouldn't forget the famous 1960's experiment where subjects were instructed to initiate “electric shocks” to a victim who gave unacceptable answers .. 80+% administered the “ pain/ lethal” . These were a broad spectrum or the public. Variations involving money have shown the same tendency...”Big Brother” et al uses variations of this principal.
In short People, corporations, countries, societies need monitored/parameters in which to operate to reduce the inevitable destructive conflict that is endemic in what we call 'Human nature' in order to exist.
This is immutable Fact. Once this is acknowledged we can then move on to where to draw the line on SPECIFIC issues. Logically implicit in this is the context. i.e. we all agree that killing other humans is wrong.. its one of the Christian 10 commandments and the same principal exists in different forms in most (all that I know of) religions. However almost all acknowledge contextual exclusions. Many are similar but most stress one key factor ….The societies greater good. Likewise most Philosophic ideologies also have the same 'greater good' intention/goal . Even Democracy, socialism, communism have the same intention only the methodology changes.
The primary conflict between them is the natural tendency towards elitism, exclusionary-ism (USA withdrawing from international courts etc). On a prosaic issue here the conflict WITHIN (US/western) democracy is the Double Standards. i.e. the over assertion of private rights to the demonstrable benefit to the Whole.
US citizens DEMAND dominance by virtual and actual force at the denial of others. (Malthusianism) This extends to divisiveness WITHIN the national(s) interests.
It has been demonstrated scientifically that ignorance/ myopic self interest (that is often based on ignorance and emotion/3rd party self interest manipulation seek 'advantage' via this natural tendency. Clearly these if unchecked are counter to DEMOCRACY.
The ultimate truth in all this is.
1- there are NO ABSOLUTES.
2- Extremes of Either end are destructive to the whole.
3- Context is God
4- There will always be good and bad actions from people
5- That in any society there needs to be monitoring of anything human (locks just keep honest people honest)
Therefore conversations that exist to only emotionally vent are unproductive and are the equivalent of 2yo's foot stamping.
Comments like Obama is the 2nd worst prez or Unions are universally/absolutely bad, Mexicans are sponges on the system is simply foot stamping ignorance unless proven by specifics not vague generalities

Jon said...

You don't hold Honeywell responsible. Of course. They are the recipients of billions in corporate welfare, but they are rich. So you're not likely to have a problem. This kind of thing helps your stock portfolio.

The poor are a different story. They get much less welfare. But now it's time to talk about taking responsibility. Not for Honeywell. No need for them to earn their keep under free market conditions. They're rich. They can suck on the governments tit and you will pay no attention. Those damn illegal immigrants though. They really get you upset. Why won't they take responsibility?

Honeywell is creating jobs by taking government money and making purchases with it (hiring engineers, purchasing materials, etc). That's laudable. Of course the poor also create jobs when they take government money and buy themselves a sandwich or maybe go to the doctor. But when they do it, even though they do much less of it, they are evil and must be stopped.

Jonathan said...

Jon,

When thinking about the poor and those that are on welfare, I think talking about Honeywell misses the point. I think it’s a real shame when people are locked into a cycle of dependency on someone other than themselves, regardless if it’s the government, friends, or family. It’s not that recipients of welfare are evil, or it’s an inefficient use of money, or the economy could be stimulated more or less by getting the cash to slosh around the economy. Many people, including myself see it as a form of bondage and dependence, and indeed I would call it dehumanizing to be in caught in a state where the need to work and become an independent contributing member of your family and society. No, I’m not talking about the disabled or those who truly cannot work, I’m talking about those who choose not to. To the extent that the government or society (or even me myself) enable this type of behavior, we are culpable to contributing to their detriment.

You can argue that there are far worse issues, that people are being inconsistent in their views towards big businesses, or that it is the best current solution out there given the alternatives, but the fact remains that this is a serious issue in our society, and many people are not comfortable to do nothing about it. I also think it’s fairly obvious that to break the cycle of dependency, there needs to be more accountability.

The communication breakdown often occurs when someone says something like “I think if people don’t work they shouldn’t eat” to which the response is “yet you have no problem that the top 1% don’t contribute, and you’re ok with them getting paid 500 times more than….” and so we go around and around with our platitudes.

I personally would be interested in hearing the pros and cons to the best way to help your deadbeat relative who sits on the couch all day collecting unemployment, and then trying to determine if this scenario does or does not apply to segments of the population on welfare for instance. I think I’d learn a lot from a discussion like that, although I’m sure this would quickly devolve into a left v right discussion in about 2.5 messages…

Chad said...

I call on Honeywell, have done business with them a few years ago - I find them to be very good at what they do. Not familiar with the N. Dakota branch though, I call on the corporate office in Morristown, NJ.

Bet you hate all these awards.

http://honeywell.com/News/Pages/awards-recognition.aspx

They employ 132,000 people and over 19,000 engineers so they are doing a lot right. Sure they have also made some mistakes like a lot of companies and have paid for those mistakes.

They made a pretty good push to hire my wife a few years ago, but we had absolutely no interest in living and raising our kids in New Jersey.

To answer your question - I support holding any company that does bad business accountable for wrong doing under the law.

Jon said...

An able bodied person that has reasonable work options and chooses not to is not someone that deserves welfare. That's a point of agreement we would have.

But here's a key point. Our productivity and efficiency is pretty good these days. The fact of the matter is fewer and fewer people are required to work in order to meet the needs of the people who have money. There really isn't enough demand to employ everyone. There are going to be people seeking work that just won't be able to find it. That's the nature of capitalism. What are you going to do with those people?

The Department of Labor keeps pretty good statistics and there's a significant portion of the population actively looking for work that just can't find it. We also have corporations generating record profits, largely because the large number of unemployed makes it possible for corporations to compel their employees to work longer hours even though they aren't compensated. That high unemployment rate is preferred by corporations. It's more profitable. So you are going to have a lot of people that want to work and can't. What are we going to do with them?

The way we distribute our goods and services is basically you can sell your labor or you can be really rich and own the factory and you get income by virtue of that ownership claim. What do you do with the people that aren't wealthy enough to make money via an ownership claim and only have their labor to sell, but are unable to find work?

Or what about the single mom that is able bodied, but has a 1 year old and a 3 year old as well as a husband in prison?

I say let's take a look at the fact that the super rich have more money than they can spend and corporations have record profits. Let's go back to a tax scheme like what existed in the 60's. Those higher top marginal rates were great for the economy. Let's scale back the military industrial complex, who do more harm than good. Let's end the crony capitalistic health care system we have and adopt the kind that exists everywhere else in the world. We could radically expand social services and have an enormous surplus rather than a deficit.

There's plenty to go around. It's just that the people that accumulate the most of it (not by working but by compelling via force to have workers send the revenue they generate to them since they are the owners) just want to accumulate more even though they can't even spend what they have. That's foolish. And in the end it harms the rich as well as society crumbles.

Do we really have evidence that there's good reason to be concerned that expanding social services creates all these dependency problems that are so detrimental to society? What happened back in the 60's when Social Security was expanded and Medicaid was created. Was it really so bad for the economy? In fact it was the best economy our country ever experienced. So I say don't worry about the moral hazard until there's some evidence that it causes harm.

Jon said...

Honeywell good at what they do. What's that? Spending your tax dollars? A homeless man could also spend your tax dollars just as well. Welfare recipients could spend in a way that creates 132,000 jobs if you were to distribute to them the kind of money that is distributed to Honeywell. Why do you support creating jobs via war rather than creating jobs via feeding the poor?

Chad said...

Ex - So who is in charge of these regulations that will crack down and do all this good? So your thought is to put someone of something in charge of determine the rules of the game and the do's / don'ts of business practices? How does that panel get put together an how can you ensure that they won't abuse their power?

Please admit that what your proposing is not only impossible to manage, it is more likely to create a negative business environment.

What bothers me most or should I say scares me the most about your idea is the thought that a one size fits all works because it does not. Hence my only thought and answer to ever political question out there - let the States decide for themselves what is best.

This idea that one central think tank can make decisions for all 310 million legal citizens and the 20 million illegals is really foolish.

The point and really the foundation of this country was based on the ability for us to be free. Yes Jon, our history of how we got here is littered with many mistakes, but the premise was for freedom and hopefully we can all agree on that. So let's really embrace that idea and let's allow each and every state make these key decisions so we don't have to live in Ex's 50 shades of grey area if we don't want to. I will happily admit that I tend to be very black or white on issues and I like it that way.

I will never be on the same page as Jon politically, but that is an okay thing. I also do not want Jon's ideas to pull the argument to the middle either and I would suggest that he feels the same way. He believes in his path, I believe in my path so let's put these ideas to real practice.

Let's be really honest, there is a revolution coming and it's not that far away. I really think that there will be a State or a group of States that leaves the current union and forms it's own gov't. I am only hoping that it can happen peacefully, but it is going to happen.

Chad said...

Jon - I appreciate you passion, but I'll ask you the same thing as I asked Ex.

When you take this money from those who earned it by taxing or stealing it away - who gets to decide how it gets distributed and furthermore how will that in any way promote individual responsibility? You asked about the single mom who has two kids and dads in prison. Why did she have any kids #1 and why is her bad individual choices suddenly my responsibility again?

Also once you finish pulling all of the money out of the so called evil hands and give it to the group of people you deem worthy what will make them get off their lazy asses and work ever again?

There are other ways to get that money off the sidelines and back into the game Jon and I'll tell you what - some of my ideas actually do involve using tax as a tool. But most of it involves allowing those with money to take risks with investments without being penalizes to take those risks.

Besides Jon if you think that jobs have left the USA for 'Greener' pastures now, when you put that kind of taxation in place businesses would close by the millions.

Think opposite Jon, think like the rich who are always 5 steps ahead of gov't. What would make an investor stop collecting 4% or 5% on interest and really put their money out there? Your trying to fight a bear with a plastic fork my friend. You can poke at him and poke at him, but all your doing is pissing him off. Offer him a giant raw steak, make him your friend and you'll get what you want slowly.

Spit ball session, what would happen if capital gains taxes for the next 5 years were set at 5%, better yet set cap gains taxes at 2% or even zero.

Forget about taxing money away - its just not going to happen.

Examinator said...

Jonathan specifically but also everyone
You are absolutely correct in most of what you say, certainly the bit about solutions.On that my thoughts exactly.
However, two point you overlook.
the first is the causal factors to this poverty trap. In 3 word it's 'lack of opportunity'.
And there the issue gets complicated e.g. You need say pickers for fruit, vegetables. So you have low educated people. They as humans are entitled to human rights. By that I mean to have children, to have health care, homes, schooling, life Liberty and happiness etc. Now, the reality their wages are such that they can't afford any of the above...the wages are simply not enough. Then one has to consider the reality that this work is hard and boring and those that do it have reduced productive and actual life spans...( accumulation of medical issues of this heavy labour. Arthritis, cataracts, skin cancers the list goes on. Read the govt stats.) Of course this is as a direct consequences of by the nature of the work poor nutrition due to lack of money, ignorance, Lack of education, intellect, Lack of affordable health care et al.
Now supposing, these people don't move on ..for what ever reasons and here there is another set of complications. Suppose now we ignore the realities of neuro psychology (perhaps *up to * 60% of the personality) and conditioning (family/ local environmental influences) these children have what opportunities to improve? Answer if it's in the poorer states (usually red states) not much at all if any. There is a clear link between this sort of hopelessness and crime, escapism (drugs, booze apparent laziness) . May be eventually when Mom and Dad *can't * work see the above causal factors these children MIGHT get a job in the same fields.. and that presupposes technology doesn't mechanise in the mean time AND That some corporate type who has all the advantages the field worker and their children don't decides there's more in importing the produce from currently lower paid countries.

Now human right or freedom of choice raises its shiny locks so what do we do? And who's job is it anyway?
Insist that the children ignore their family security (such as it is) to take up a equally low paying soul/body destroying job cleaning the toilets of the rich et al.... all that has done is move the problem and reduced those people and their rights to the level of a serf (wage slave). ( PS in my younger days I did that on steroids...worked as a 'rat' on a sewerage pumping tanker. Try getting a girlfriend after a day of that or even affording one.)

I note that Chad's wife had the luxury of having a choice that wasn't Hob's, Move or starve! And life being what it is there are no guarantee they won't stave anyway ? Those sort of jobs fly under the radar and conditions pay etc all too often borderline 3rd world.

Examinator said...

Part 2
The next concern I have is the unjustified assumption that those who 'choose not to work' really have a choice in the real sense of the word. Sure there are a few but a proper analysis of stats would indicate that they are a TINY portion of the unemployed. With that ill informed mind set it's too easy to blame the circumstantial victim. … “I did ok so because they didn't there's something wrong with them.”.
Well I came from a refugee and was adopted by what might be called a Sthn White Trash father. Who sought his future in PNG and married an Aussie of the working class 'deserted mum of 7'. I grew up with the PNG natives children and was skilled in their culture and mindsets. Finishing up as a National General Divisional manager now a consulting Partner in a Firm of Business Consultants.( Whoopee :| ? Meh) My point is here I've lived both sides of the 'tracks' and racial cultures...both the have not and the haves as a consequence I look deeper to the root causal factor.... a broken system. One in which the minority rich and their non human/non voting tools (corporations) have Disproportionate Power and are largely uncontrolled.
Simply put 'fire' is good it allowed us to evolve into humans....but too much fire is Catastrophic... i.e. Colorado

Examinator said...

Chad,
Dis-United States of America hey. The same arrangement as the EU now tell me how well that worked out.

Chad said...

Ex - what is Hob's?

Still not following along Ex - apologies for that.

Doesn't everything begin with individual responsibility sir? Another words you speak of the poor, the uneducated and those with low skills. So why are they having babies that they can't afford, can't teach valuable skills to and continuing to expand the problem?

Also, when and why does someone else's irresponsibility - which I can not control - suddenly become my problem sir?

Don't we owe it to every citizen to make sure that this problem has a solution - they need to stop making bad choices and making babies that start in this world behind the starting line so how can we do that?

I did not have a child until I was 32 years old. Why - because I was not ready and could not care for a child. Why are my good choices not rewarded sir? I have no idea if my children will turn out to be great citizens, but I know that they will be given the best chance to. I am confused a little by the theory that because someone else decides to be irresponsible why that becomes a burden that the productive members of society then must bear. I just can't subscribe to that.

I will be the first in line to help a good family that falls on hard times for whatever reason.

Chad said...

About my wife - she earned the right to be able to say no to Honeywell, to Lexis Nexus and to every other company suitor that has and will come calling. She has a Master's Degree in her field, she is a Six Sigma Black Belt, has a 'certificate' as a master in SAP, she is the VP for the area Toast Masters group and she continues to add more accolades as she builds her career portfolio. I will take a lot of credit there - when we met she was working for Eddie Bauer/Spiegel and had no plans to expand her portfolio or move up the chain - she was content making $32k a year. I convinced her that there is a lot more out there for her and helped her diversify her career portfolio then to sell her skills to the next company.

She and I have done what most do not - we continue to sharpen and expand our skills to make sure that we bring value to any company we work for so I am pretty confident (God willing) that we will not ever be in a position where putting food on the table will be a critical issue. Life throws funny curves balls so saying it couldn't happen is certainly short sited, but there is not much that we haven't done to ensure that we will stay employed in this world.

09931616-c78c-11e1-81c0-000bcdcb2996 said...

Chad:

>>Another words you speak of the poor, the uneducated and those with low skills. So why are they having babies that they can't afford, can't teach valuable skills to and continuing to expand the problem?<<

They are having them because they are uneducated.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/97facts/edu2birt.htm

The next step is to make them even more uneducated, and make it harder for them to get birth control.

That should fix that problem.

Jon said...

When you take this money from those who earned it by taxing or stealing it away - who gets to decide how it gets distributed and furthermore how will that in any way promote individual responsibility?

In a democratic society obviously the people decide democratically. We don't have that in the US. The people want less spent on defense and more on social programs.

But you didn't answer my question. You applaud Honeywell as they spend tax dollars on bombs that kill innocent people because they create jobs. But if you give the poor similar quantities of money they also spend it and it also creates jobs. Food service workers, education providers, health care providers. Why do you prefer the former to the later? Can you answer this question?

Regarding your states rights and how the policies you prefer would be pleasing to investors and create paradise, I've already said this to you many times. States have been compelled to impelement your preferred policies repeatedly? The Soviet Union following the collapse. The Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. Guatemala, Bolivia, Argentina, Haiti, and all of Africa. Investors paradises with low tax rates, no government regulation, and barely anything spent on health care via the government. All private for profit stuff. We call these places the third world.

Don't let this point though distract you from the question I ask above. Why prefer corporate welfare to welfare for the poor? Both create jobs.

Examinator said...

Chad,
Hobs = the Devil
Hobs' choice= the devil's choice
i.e. A choice between two horrendously bad options eg which of your children to sacrifice to certain death so the other can live!
It is in much of the classic literature and several movies from the 50's to the 80's

If I understand you correctly you are on about about "rights".
Yet your view is to deny poor people the "right" to have children...or a reasonable life

You really haven't thought this through you are now bordering on the ridiculous.

According to you only rich people should have children. Call it by it's correct term EUGENICS... That's right Nazi master race all over again only here the determinate is money.

PS the Communist (spit) Chinese (1 child policy)did this and the downstream problems are now raising its Ugly head.... Human nature. Infanticide, increase in abandoned children prejudices against females (eugenics i.e gender determination.)
There is simply not enough women to go around... Resulting in sexual crime increase, buying wives (women are cattle?).

Oh yes the Egyptians ran a hierarchical system like your and that turned out well too Brother and sister mating etc to maintain money and privilege.

You also ignore idiot offspring , genetic limiting of the gene pool that has worked out well for the spread of genetic diseases and maladies. Like haemophilia which is rife in royalty of Europe. The fate of some pedigree animals should tell you that to.

BTW Thanks for nothing! According to you I shouldn't be born Oh yes and neither should many of your iconic entrepreneurs, stateperson's including Ronnie etc.

Something for you to think about, with all the Billions in the world today *it is fact* that by doubling progression of parent needed by each generation. It is impossible to have enough forebears without cross overs i.e All Anglo/Europeans alive today can rightfully claim direct decendency to Emperor Charlemagne.So if you reduce the gene pool...good luck.

Capitalist is predicated constant growth that needs the haves and have nots. No poor to exploit as workers and or consumers without this the whole edifice collapses.... you really need to read more.

Also who would do the menial tasks but the disadvantaged. Rich children who don't have the innate skills to maintain the wealth... yer right!

All these points are predicated by your Black or white no greys.

Simply put it wouldn't work and what is most surprising, it that it stands out like Elephant Penises. (7 foot long)And you flatly refuse to see it.
PS don't go to African bush it could end up ...unfortunately
:)

Chad said...

I gotta give you some credit, reading your reply at a full campsite it got people laughing - thought I saw one guy I just met spit some beer through is nose. Even the 2 Liberals in the group had some choice things to say in your direction. Both agreed with my core thought - they know I am not a Nazi, but saying that the root cause - something that is at the core of the problem is irresponsibility on the part of individuals who then look to the whole to pay for their choice. We actually had a great discussion last night amongst a mixed group.

Anyhow I expected a very small minded response and actuallly predicted you would toss out a Hitler reference so you did not let me down. Do appreciate your thoughts, they are entertaining at the very least.

Had some more thoughts, but I am on vacation with my family and am in chill mode so it is tata for now, got some scotch to drink and storiesmto tell!

Jon - I get what your saying about Honeywell BTW, like I said before I am not a big war guy. However I don't agree with your assessment fully. Again would like to engage you on that one, but right now it is play time so it's a rain chck for now sir?

Examinator said...

Chad

I stated clearly that all the rubbish thinking in the response was predicated on your preference/All these points are predicated by your Black or white no greys
I've always argued that life isn't that simplistic.
I said [ “All these points are predicated by your Black or white no greys”]
I did NOT say I believed any of them NOR did I accuse you of being a Nazi.
All I said was that these were the obvious extensions of your predilection to offer views in the extreme i.e. either Black or White.
FYI I clearly don't believe the world or issues are Black or White but rather a progressive scale of greys the determining factor is always the context.
BTW Eugenics which your view is part of WAS also best known but not exclusively as part (one feature) of Nazi “ master race” exclusiveness/eliteness e.g one could also point out that the same tendency is endemic in Israel ( Jews are the chosen race.... their words not mine).
If you continue to read my comment you really should stop projecting every comment as an attack on you. I was simply illustrating the logical extension of *****B/W reasoning *****you ' like it that way' (your words not mine)
If you get your jollies from MISREPRESENTING what I actually said then so be it. Glad to be of service always glad to spread mirth.

Examinator said...

Chad,
Given we disagree on the binary options of either Liberal or Conservative. I dispute your definitions of both terms as being fundamentally flawed/inaccurate and inanely simplistic.
Its a bit like saying that because I'm white skinned and speak English as my 'native' tongue I am British or British descent...I'm simply not.

Therefore Comments like "your liberal friends agree with your basic premise" is as meaningless as saying the cab driver agrees with you it isn't proof of anything other than they share A (singular) opinion .

You insist that you are a conservative, that is your right, no matter how flawed or inaccurate your definition is.

I too have the right not to be labelled by terms that are so vague as to be meaningless. NEITHER do I conform to either of the real definitions of the terms.

Jon said...

Ex, don't take the old "You're good for a laugh" stuff too hard. Standard stuff for Chad that he's also told me. Chad, I've had several people say derogatory things about what you've written but I don't share here because I don't think it adds any value to the discussion. So what's the point? OK, your conservative friends think some of the things I say are laughable. My liberal friends think the same of you. Is this surprising? So why bring it up? I just assume it feels good to you to ridicule someone but frankly I feel like if I did that to you it would bring me down more than it brings you down. Do what you like, but I don't think it reflects well on you.