Friday, March 7, 2014

Republicans prefer that you have no choice but to work until you die

Are Republicans really arguing that if you find yourself in a position where you can retire that this is a bad thing?  Here's Paul Ryan:
“The way I see it, let the other side be the party of personalities. We’ll be the party of ideas, ” he said. “And I’m optimistic about our chances—because the Left? The Left isn’t just out of ideas. It’s out of touch. Take Obamacare. We now know that this law will discourage millions of people from working. And the Left thinks this is a good thing. They say, ‘Hey, this is a new freedom—the freedom not to work.’ But I don’t think the problem is too many people are working—I think the problem is not enough people can find work. And if people leave the workforce, our economy will shrink—there will be less opportunity, not more. So the Left is making a big mistake here. What they’re offering people is a full stomach—and an empty soul. The American people want more than that.”
As the popular early retirement blog Mr Money Mustache has noted, if you want to retire early and are prepared to live in some way other than a typical American consumer, Obama Care is your friend.  Yeah, that's not enough for some people.  Exotic vacations, the latest cars and fashions, the latest electronics.  OK.  Obama Care doesn't prevent that.  What it does is say that if you're a different kind of person that wants something else, now you have that choice.  For Paul Ryan this is a bad thing.  You should be compelled to work for a wage, whether you want to or not.  You should not be given options that allow you to pursue a different path.

If someone that is 50 years old now decides to retire due to Obama Care, what that will often mean is that employers will need to find a skilled laborer to fill that slot.  That could be a young kid with a lot of student loans, maybe a family.  A guy that isn't at the point where he can get by on $25K/yr.  That kid will get this job, and get experience that he now can't get because he's working a McJob right now due to the fact that more elderly people just aren't at a point where they can retire yet.  This is a big improvement.  New choices available for the 50 year old.  Job opportunities for the 25 year old.  Paul Ryan doesn't want to see this happen.  Why?

One reason is because when people are scared and have few options they work for less.  If you must work to survive you can be pushed around.  If you work only because you want to then naturally you won't work unless the conditions are good.  That can harm profits, which means less for the super wealthy.  Making the super wealthy a little more wealthy is definitely more important than freedom of choice for a 50 year old and a decent skilled job for the young.


Chad said...

Again point missed - this is about individual responsibility. If you have the means to retire regardless of age and live out your years without stealing from someone else then fantastic - hopefully you've done well enough to pass on some of your net worth onto your kin to help them get started. When retirement can come not from a life of saving for the day, but rather simply because they get a certain amount of healthcare regardless of what has been saved or earned - its just not right, healthy or whole - its unsustainable.

Ryan's bigger point is what I have been preaching for sometime - get unemployment down to under 4% and all of this goes away. The 50 year old you referenced would be in high demand because of his skills, experiences and knowledge and can demand a larger income and since jobs are available the business would hire the 25 year old apprentice as well - grooming him for the day the 50 year old has earned enough to live out the rest of his days in the way he wants to and again with any hope will have some money left to pass down to the next generation.

You have this so far backwards it is not even worth the discussion.

Ask yourself one question - this is the question no liberal can avoid.

Can your idea survive all by itself - can every person retire whenever they feel like it and the economy survive? No it can not - the burden is simply passed from some to another and then paid for by the private sector.

Can every human retire once they have made enough money to live out their days and the economy survive - absolutely.

Jon said...

This is what I see as Ryan's point, and I'm not sure you're getting it. Sure, he has lots of problems with Obama Care. Doesn't like the tax hikes, doesn't like that some get health coverage without paying, doesn't like the regulation involved. Those are various problems he has, but that's not the problem he has that I'm highlighting here. So focus on this one problem Ryan is concerned about.

Now under Obama Care some people that previously had no choice but to work now can voluntarily stop working. This is a bad thing because it means we have less people working. Ryan literally believes that when people reach a point where they can work voluntarily or not, this is bad, because with less people working less stuff is produced (he's right about that) and the economy shrinks (he's also right about that).

It is more important to grow the economy by putting people in a position where they have no choice but to work than it is to create conditions that allow people to freely stop working. The less people that ultimately reach a point where they no longer need to work the better (until of course it affects him and his rich backers, then you'll see him flip.)

Chad said...

You use of the word 'choice' is very interesting to me. If a healthy - capable of working - individuals choice directly affects the pocket book of anyone else then how can that be deemed at choice? After all your preaching about social responsibility and we need to take care of all these people isn't that kind of choice the most selfish one possible? You use choice and freedom almost as punch lines at time. Your okay with a 50 year old bailing out on all his responsibilities, but when I want to remove myself from his decisions financially then I/we are a monster.

Sorry - focus right.

Yea I don't think your fully understanding his position. Your laser beam focus on the rich, producers and earners I can see how you took it that way. I took his comments entirely different - he saying that Obama Care has shifted the burden of responsibility from your 50 year old who was going to work everyday to pay for HIS insurance (novel concept right) now does have a choice to hand off his bills to the next guy and retire. Wipes his hands clean and walks out the door, but is that really going to fulfill that mans dreams?

I think that Ryan is saying that if we had more jobs, more competition - first off we wouldn't need Obama Care and second that 50 year old may retire from doing whatever he was to open his own business and continue being a contributing member of society or his experience and skills would be more valued and could use the next 10 years putting together a really nice retirement package where he will not have to pass his debt to the next person.

I find your arguments fascinating and concerning at the same time - it is almost as if your saying out loud that there is a select group of people that should be able to retire at say 50 and then they should be able to pass on their financial burden to those of us who plan on working and paying for our lives until our bodies give out or until we have collected enough financial resources to retire without burdening others.

I regress back to my original comment - Can every single person in America retire at age 50 without the economy collapsing?

You know the answer to that.

Jon said...

Well, I'm not going to argue with you about what he said, because it's right up above for you to read. Here his concern is not mooching, it's about the consequences of people now having the choice to stop working (the economy shrinks and this is bad). People having a choice to pursue their own interests rather than saying grinding away at Wal-Mart as a cashier, this is a a bad thing that they now have the freedom to walk away from that Wal-Mart job and maybe spend more time with their families. If you don't think that's what he's saying I say look at the words I quoted and show me how that's not what he's saying. Don't just go off on a tangent about how you don't like mooching. That's beside thepoint.

You say Ryan is saying that if we had more jobs things would be better in certain ways. Yeah, he's ALSO saying that. He's saying more than one thing. Just read his words.

Can everybody retire at 50 without the economy collapsing? Well, nobody is doing anything that is going to lead to that situation, so why bring it up? But let's say we adjusted SS so that retirement at 50 was feasible and everybody did so, say with some transitional period. The economy would contract. In my opinion it wouldn't have to collapse.

Chad said...

So I should read only what Ryan said and ignore the title of your piece.

I would love nothing more than to spend every waking moment of my time with my young children Jon and I bet millions more of us feel the same way so what is your point? When you have a child you should quit work or is it just a select few that should?

Your thoughts are incomplete in so many ways it's hard to address them all and therefore I am not going to try.

The idea that work is bad and paying for yourself is bad and making money is bad and that a contracting economy is good is quite simply is foolishness and not worth a discussion. It makes zero sense.

Jon said...

So I should read only what Ryan said and ignore the title of your piece.

Not getting you here. The title is consistent with the text I quoted. He's unhappy that people that formerly were unable to retire now can because for him it's bad for the economy when more people have the choice to leave the work force because their budget now allows it.

I would love nothing more than to spend every waking moment of my time with my young children Jon and I bet millions more of us feel the same way so what is your point?

We can create conditions that allow more people to have that choice. But Ryan doesn't want to do that. When more people have the choice to leave the work force the economic output is reduced. That's bad. For him.

that a contracting economy is good is quite simply is foolishness and not worth a discussion. It makes zero sense.

If weekly hours were increased to minimum of 80 per week and let's just suppose consumption went up along with it so the economy survived I'd say it would be better if the economy contracted. It can be better to have a contracting economy. It might make people happier. That's what matters to me, not increases in GDP. This is the difference between Paul Ryan and liberals. We want to see people happy. Constructing a system that leads to maximum accumulation of possessions doesn't make people happy. So if 50 year olds could retire and they did it would mean the economy would be smaller than otherwise, but people are happy.

Ultimately we can't sustain forever increases in GDP because in the real world it means depletion of usable resources and environmental destruction. We are going to contract eventually.

Chad said...

We are not getting each other clearly. Why does the person our using as a taking point get to retire? Is it because he's made enough to cover his expenses or is it because of a BS law that shifts the financial responsibility to the next guy - it shifts the burden giving a person a chance to quit and ties more debt to the another group. You want to ignore that.

No we can not create conditions Jon - not a free country - I personally can create that condition by making tons of money. That's your fault, Gov't can not create that condition without a fundamental and complete change. In which case I would fight it - many others as well to create a free society to earn as much as we can. We would break away from the cult.

It makes me happy - it makes my kids happy - my nephews ask every week nearly to leave their 'happy home' to visit and stay with uncle Chad because we do things - we have things. You can tell yourself that not having the means to do things does not create happiness, but I know this - I will take where I am now 100 times over when I had no money. We enjoy great opportunities because of money. We just upgraded to a new RV, put a new offer on a house with land, booked several RV trips to great places and smiles everywhere - when things where tight not so many smiles. You read your books and those scholars and I will live in the real world.

Chad said...

Money absolutely enhances our time on earth - 100%. It affords us great opportunities to make great memories.

Jon said...

You want to ignore that.

I do want to ignore that because I want to focus on one subject at a time. I want to talk about argument A from Paul Ryan, but you won't. You'll only talk about argument B. Why can't we just talk about the one argument I'm referring to? The stuff you want to talk about is fine, but we've already covered it many times. Let's talk about how Ryan thinks it's bad for the economy when people find themselves in a position where they have the option to retire. Set how that came about aside for just a moment.

We enjoy great opportunities because of money

I'm not telling you what to do, I'm just saying that what is happiness for you needn't be happiness for everyone. Nothing that's happening here is about forcing you to live a smaller lifestyle. This is about allowing others that don't need tons of possessions to pursue a different path.

Chad said...

Argument A can not be discussed without including Argument B.

Ryan is clear and he's absolutely right - if the difference between retirement is ObamaCare or no ObamaCare then - ie the difference is the individual works to pay for their medical or the individual gets to shift their costs to others then it is not a true choice. In that scenario the individual should not have the 'choice' to retire and should work to pay for their own foot print.

You've interpreted that he is saying that retirement by itself is bad - he is saying that retirement that shifts additional costs back to the working people within the economy is bad which it absolutely is. Retirement alone is not bad - assuming no additional cost burden is shifted back into the labor pool and economy.

Never said my happiness was the baseline, but how can anyone find true happiness when the earner is tied to people who 'choose' to live a so called smaller life style by shifting their costs on to others. Another words the minimalist has the option to so called unplug by shifting their costs to me, but I am unable to have the option to unplug from the minimalist finacially.

Your blinded by your views - let me ask you this. If it is your goal to recycle jobs and allow for earlier retirement why are you not fighting for me to keep MORE of my earnings which would allow my earlier retirement? It's normal, fine and good for your guy to shift his costs on me to retire which in turn pushes my retirement out - where is the logic there?

If the minimalist can not pay for their living then they need to find work and pay for their existence - if that means they need to work to pay insurance - that is good.

I'll be interested in hearing if you support my version of minimalizing or unplugging? One of the ways to bring retirement closer for my wife and I is to keep more of what we make. So we are on the hunt for a new home and have been very disciplined to look in a specific area only. We just put a bid on a house that will have a mailing address outside the reach of city income taxes and property taxes of our desired city yet is within the school district we want. Saves us $6k per year which will be put directly into our investment portfolio. Going to have some acres so we no longer have to park our RV off site, HOA fees so another $1,400 a year in savings there. A few other strategic investments to reduce our income tax burden as well by about $5,500 a year as well.

I assume your supporting those ideas to move our retirement date up right?

Chad said...

Keeping in mind of course Jon that when we decide to retire, we will have saved enough on paper to more than outlive the money. Obviously no one can predict or plan for catastrophe's, but we will not purposely be a burden to the next earner down the chain and by God's good grace we should be able to leave them with something to help springboard their lives.

Jon said...

Argument A can not be discussed without including Argument B.

Not true at all. The argument is that if people have the option to retire the economy is harmed because of the reduced amount of work. That's true whether this choice came about because many billionaires decided to make it possible by offering gifts, whether they all collectively won the lottery, whether Obama redistributed taxes to allow it to happen. The conclusion follows independent of the reasons for the choice now available. You can't seem to discuss this argument without reverting to red herrings, but I'm not interested in the separate discussion at the moment. I think focus is important. Otherwise the logical threads get lost and progress isn't made.

Your blinded by your views - let me ask you this. If it is your goal to recycle jobs and allow for earlier retirement why are you not fighting for me to keep MORE of my earnings which would allow my earlier retirement?

When it comes to the middle class and upper middle class, I actually do support allowing you to keep more of what you earn. I actually don't have a big problem with the rich keeping what they earn. I argue though that the super rich don't do anything. They get the money. We do the work. That's what it means to earn your money as a capitalist as opposed to a laborer. They have property rights with regards to the building, tools, computers. We use those tools and create value. We use that value to pay our wages and other expenses of the business. We then send the rest to them. They don't do anything. We earned the money. They just get the lions share of the money we create.

If you don't buy that, set it aside and consider my view on taxes. I actually don't support tax hikes for you. I support the kind of tax rates that existed in the 50's and 60's. The super rich have rolled those back on themselves, though mostly kept them steady for the rest. Growth rates, unemployment rates, and various other measures were better then. Also our nation was more democratic. Inequality erodes democracy. You can't have both.

So you're right, I think you should keep more of your earnings. Retire earlier and make room for the young.

Chad said...

Only if a stay below a certain income level right? Once you go over a certain earning threshold or become a trust fund baby then your going to tax them into oblivion even though the Gov't has never - ever shown any ability to utilize revenues correctly at any level - interesting plan.

You enjoy referencing how things were in the past (or in another country) and you try to compare them to today (or in America) and I find that very difficult to not only understand, but for me it holds very little weight to be honest.

How things were in the industrial revolution - well hell they were booming beyond booming because it was all new. City's were transformed - new technology like the telephone and TV and indoor plumbing, cars and all these types of things that never existed - then you factor in a totally different mentality for people. They believed in hard work, they believed in discipline, in individual responsibility and in country - they also believed in God heavily, family and taking care of their own. They also believed in having a mother at home - a single income family and they believed in marriage. There was also not a whole lot of children out of wedlock because of that sense of responsibility.

There was no real EPA - there was no real heavy hand of gov't and even though the theoretical tax rates were high on paper - nobody came close to paying anywhere near the percentage of income they are paying today - no where near when adding up all the taxes we pay today. Hell I remember my Grandfather telling me that his father only paid taxes on 20% of what he earned for all 35 years that he worked and my Grandfather for many years claimed 1/2 of what he actually made as well - cash businesses back then mainly so making those kind of statement they just don't work for me. What part of the 50's/60's do you want and how would that relate to today or would it even relate.

We can look at the past to see what worked then, but things are different - way different today making most of what happened back then obsolete ideas IMO. My dog could have been President in the 50's and 60's and America would developed exactly the same as it did - it was on co-pilot.

I still am struggling with what answers your looking for from me. Your comment was "you should be compelled to work for a wage, whether you want to or not. You should not be given options that allow you to pursue a different path." That is the talking point so why do you feel that I am off topic. If the pursuit of a different path is given to a person by shifting financial responsibility onto another person or group of people then it is not an individual choice JC. Nothing that Ryan said is wrong - when you cost shift things to allow a small group of people to do what they want then how are you able to call that an option? Where am I going wrong here?

Ryan said he believes the economy would shrink - which it will and he said the problem is that people can't find work - which they can't. Nowhere in that statement did he say that retirement is a bad thing - he is saying the bad thing is shifting costs and leading certain Americans to believe that not working is a great option is dangerous - which it is. Reading between the lines - more jobs means more competition which means lower unemployment and more people paying for themselves - all good things.

Not sure why you think I missed something.

Examinator said...

There is an interesting article in the English Independent today about "not seeing cyclists."
In essence it demonstrates how the mind works i.e. it tends to work on 'Remote control' it assumes, sees what it's inclined(trained to see).
There is research that suggests that people's reasoning is much the same...highly influenced by what it "expects" (wants) to see and ignores contrary evidence/ fact that doesn't fit that expected conclusion.
Chad is a past master/black belt 10th Dan of this .
His argument he refuses to consider so many variables i.e. what does one do with the old once they aren't as adept at their appointed tasks? (past their maximised (corporately speaking) profitable, used by dates?
In his world a worker who isn't up to the profit maxim best is therefore disposable. Supposing say a clearly better , more knowledgeable, skilled (what ever Chad is) offers his services to his employer at a cheaper rate..? From the boss' point there is no down side... bye bye Chad. What is to become of Chad particularly if he's say late 40's? By his logic he'd be ok to put his children in a lessor school, down grade his lifestyle house, move to god knows where etc to accommodate his lessor employability at the current level.
The problem with Ryan's ethereal spit balling he's simply not considering the realities of the 'maximiser mentality'.
There simply isn't enough jobs. The whole point of capitalism is to reduce costs and that means reducing the biggest recurrent expense on the balance sheet... employment costs.
There isn't enough highly qualified jobs around either.
As I've said before some Indian universities are turning out more Top quality Graduates in some areas each year than any 4-5 US unis combined. Such competition means that the price of these graduates are decreasing.... below the cost of educating them....One doesn't have to be a genius to see that smaller populations (350million) V ( 1.6billion) the smaller will lose. The only winners will be an ever decreasing pool of the uber rich.
Current US stats show that trend today.

Examinator said...

There are a number of issues and real world situations that Libertarians (sic) don't consider let alone deal with.
The only inevitable absoluteconclusion any political philosophy is anarchy and law of the jungle. It is either arrogance or stupidity to assume/ postulate that any one of us is invincible. There is always someone who is bigger meaner, more sociopathic that will inviscerate any opposition.
Ergo the only solution is to allow some authority to remove the EXCESSES at either end . Some liberals are too far left and some Conservatives are too far right.
What is meant by 'too far' is a constantly moving definition.
Reality abhors Stasis and those who seek to hold back change are well doomed to irrelevance/ extinction.
EVEN Christianity has changes and will continue to change.

Chad said...


If someone sells more than I can and can do it at a cheaper rate than I can then I fully anticipate being displaced, replaced or need to have a compensation adjustment - those are all good things - very positive things.

I then can take my skills/knowledge to a competitor, I can start my own company or I can change course and go completely in another direction.

Thankfully my skill/knowledge specific to my industry does not weaken my value due to age - experience and industry knowledge is a highly sought after commodity. A great majority of Senior Exec's in my line of work stay working way past retirement age.

Now if your skills or what you can sell to employers is your labor only - well then you do have a shelf life and that person best prepare for the day when they become less productive - I have done what I need to do - why should I expect less of someone else? Once again you want to tie unassociated peoples together because it makes you feel good yet the people who display discipline, who work their entire lives, who have the appropriate amount of children based on their income, who take care of their home, family and finances have ZERO influence on those who do the opposite yet you want me to be tied to other people who did not put in the time and work necessary to be successful. Specific to this discussion - you want me to be apologetic that they must work in their later year to pay for what they need to live?

I am expecting to work about 40 years in total before thinking about retirement - in income taxes alone I am on pace to pay more than $500,000 into the pot - that is income taxes alone - that is a very nice retirement package!

That does not including State, Local, Sales Tax, Gas Tax, Carbon Tax, Idiot Tax, Phone Tax, Property Tax, Liberal Tax, Poor Taxes, payroll tax, soc sec tax and we can continue on and on with the list of taxes for most of the day. By all accounts - all taxes piled up will consume probably about 40% (conservatively) of all my earning for all 40 years of my work life. If I average $120,000 over those 40 years - nearly $2 million bucks will be torn from my arms - a great great deal of that taken unjustly.

The problem continues to be that you and the Left want to hold me responsible, but ask nothing of the irresponsible.

Retirement is not a right - it is a privilege only offered to those who actually work, save and plan. Unfortunately the irresponsible continue to force the responsible to work longer and longer to hit that mark because more and more is taken.

If not raped by taxes - my wife and I might be able to actually retire (see above $2 million bucks) earlier - we can make way for the next wave, but when 40% (minimum) of our earnings year over year get taken from us - we accept that we will be working later in our lives which will decrease the opportunity for the youth coming up and through.

In this society - We allow people who have no business having children the right to do so without consequence. Family values have become Lady Gaga and not working, not paying for the things you need suddenly has become an American right. My wife and I stopped at 2 children - don't you think we would love to have had 4 or 5 children? We stopped because we understand our financial obligation and since I have to pay for other peoples kids - because of their poor choices we have to stop at 2.

Jon can't do this, but as a guy who claims to be center line - why is it impossible for you to admit where the actual problem begins and to hold those people responsible?