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View Diary: It's Time To Shame The Democrats (168 comments)

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  •  You are included in this CPI cut. (14+ / 0-)

    All benefits/wages that rise with inflation will be affected.  It will affect your retirement, because your earnings will be lower.

    •  Sure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, stellaluna, 2laneIA

      ...but my point was my wages were already affected not withstanding a change in the particular CPI that was used (and the shallow yet important point that a reduction in the rate of increase is preferrable to the lack of increase Fed employees have been dealt...especially for really young folks that came into the workforce over the last several years).

      But your point is valid and good.  Obviously it will affect anyone that draws social security, or fed benefits of some type down the road.  I'm not sure who would fair worse younger folks like me who are on the newer system (FERS) since Social Security is a component of our retirements or older workers who are still on CSRS(x% of high three salary = retirement income) but have their COLA adjustments decreased.  Time or a spreadsheet and some number crunching will tell I suppose.

      My ultimate point in posting is that there are cuts and their are cuts...I just dont feel comfortable calling a cut in the rate of increase a cut (unless it is followed by the caveat... in the rate of increase).  I'm not saying that a cut in the rate of increase is good, just that I wish we were more precise in our language.  Too much scientist in me I guess.  

      "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

      by snappydogs on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 02:26:04 PM PST

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      •  I don't think you fully understand (8+ / 0-)

        Social Security benefits have been declining for decades due to substitution bias and the exclusion of food and fuel from the CPI calculations.

        If you're not familiar with "substitution bias"...

        Now according to the claim that substitution bias causes inflation to be over estimated, please consider that someone living on Social Security isn't choosing between sirloin or hamburger. They're choosing between hamburger or not eating. Not eating or eating less healthy food has an effect on health cost and life expectancy. Speaking of which, have you heard that the life expectancy for some low income people is declining?

        That's why it's so cruel to raise retirement age or the eligibility age for Medicare.

        Oh well...I'm feeling old, sick, and tired anyhow.

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:05:37 PM PST

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        •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)

          I do appreciate and understand the economics beneath the concepts we're talking about, admittedly not as well as I could but I don't enjoy economics or economic discussions as a rule.  My aversion is mostly due to the prestigious biz school at my alma mater and the pricks that it turned out (including my friends).  The Harvard article is a good one. I believe I had seen something along the same point elsewhere more recently.  This is the ultimate cruel irony...the ones who will actually need it most may reap the least benefits over their lifetime.

          I like longer discussions and analysis not simplifying for the sake of a stronger point...again the scientist in me ...too big a delta.  But then again I'm a nimrod for picking this scab when in fact I tend to agree with the basic narrative albeit for slightly different reasons.  I just usually try to be as accurate as possible at first and then over time focus to the take home point, then I can't be accused of obfuscation since I explained the nuance at first.  I hate watching well meaning progressives get destroyed by a sad sack of shit because they went straight to the money quote, which can get flipped on its head easily and That lets the uneducated Neanderthal frame the rest of the water cooler discussion since he will invariably say...nope granny got more this year than last year so your lying...then you gotta back the train up and start to talk about how things really work but he's already called you a liar and then all your left with is calling them stupid.

          Sorry there...projected some young folks I've seen get sent packing when they had a receptive audience but went straight to the end of the argument.  

          Thanks again for the Harvard article.  I'm actually quite versed in environmental economics so I'm waiting for the day when all of these externalities that float out into the ether are required to get internalized and show up in the cost of goods and services.  Yes 20 dollar gas may be a pipe dream I know but talk about some real freaking substitution bias!

          "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

          by snappydogs on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:18:00 PM PST

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          •  Good and thoughtful reply. Thank you. (4+ / 0-)

            Now...getting back to the rate of increase thing...

            There's an real increase in total cost of Social Security due to the baby boomer bulge. There is no increase and therefore no rate of increase for individuals. The purpose of COLA and CPI is to prevent losing ground. We old folks are not getting rich.

            Forgive me for stating the obvious. I'm not trying to talk down to you. I'm just very aware of how framing influences the discussion. Total cost and individual payments are two very different discussions. In fact we could branch off into the coming labor shortage requiring an increase in immigration or the related ratio of the work force to retirees...but not tonight. ;-)

            Thanks again and have a good night.

            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

            by Just Bob on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:09:41 PM PST

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            •  You too (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob, elwior

              Sounds like fun some other time. Bedding down the kids myself and awaiting snowpocalypse.   I'll try to have visions of happy seniors dancing in my head (implying a happy ending)!

              "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

              by snappydogs on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:24:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  If the rate of increase (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob designed to keep you in the same place you were, in economic terms, then it is not an increase.  It is maintaining the status quo.  The current status quo is an average benefit of around $14k a year. Without COLAs, that $14k would buy even less than it does now.  I have neighbors who are living on it, and they are making choices relative to heat/power/food/transportation/medicine that you would not like to be faced with.  Letting them fall further behind is immoral and cruel.

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