Skip to main content

Wednesday is May Day.
  • A new Pew Research Center study notes that the lower 93% of households saw their wealth decline by 4% during the "recovery" from 2009-2011. Meanwhile, the top 7% saw their wealth increase by 28% during the same period:
    From the end of the recession in 2009 through 2011 (the last year for which Census Bureau wealth data are available), the 8 million households in the U.S. with a net worth above $836,033 saw their aggregate wealth rise by an estimated $5.6 trillion, while the 111 million households with a net worth at or below that level saw their aggregate wealth decline by an estimated $0.6 trillion.1
    The upper 7% saw its share of the nation's total wealth increase from 56% in 2009 to 63% in 2011.
  • Are you a GenX'r? If you plan to retire at 65, your benefits will be cut by 18% under current law because full benefits do not kick in until 67. If you wait until age 70, you will get 8% more. Of course, most of you will be saying "Retirement? What's that?" and will work until you drop dead.
  • Those of you born after 1980 have lived your entire lives in the era of neoliberal economics. Tax cuts for the rich, free trade, and limited government have been in effect during your entire existence. For the youngest among you millennials, if you're a teenager aged 16-19 your unemployment rate is 24.2%. Your welcome. Signed, your elders.
  • You still ought to move your money, if you have any.
  • Good news: The U.S. has jumped from 12th place to 8th in the nations with the fastest broadband rankings. We have an average Mbps of 7.4. I have never seen my Optimum cable modem get 7.4, and never the 15 Mbps that is promised.
  • Children given an allowance less likely to save?
  • Old film noir recommendations are back!

    This week I'm recommending The Blue Gardenia (1953) starring Anne Baxter and directed by the great Fritz Lang. You might know Lang's work in his more famous work The Big Heat, but this is one my Lang favorites. This is one of what I call a "Why not?" films. As in, why not watch it despite it not being a truly film noir jump off and more of an early 50's style mystery. However, Anne Baxter is young and beautiful which is good enough for me. And there's a special cameo by Nat King Cole!

Tags

Poll

How much cash, if any, do you carry around?

8%615 votes
24%1869 votes
29%2266 votes
20%1575 votes
14%1065 votes
1%114 votes
1%78 votes

| 7589 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Lang Best Known for Metropolis and M (14+ / 0-)

    Both considered among the best films ever made...I love Metropolis and show it every year in class to demonstrate to the young 'uns that silent films can be cool...

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:05:43 PM PDT

  •  Comet Ison and Mars Oct.18th (11+ / 0-)

    If you haven't heard yet a comet named Ison is streaming toward earth. It has the potential of being the brightest in modern history. Some estimates have be a magnitude of -12 or above around the end of November. That would make it as bright as a full moon. But don't believe all the hoopla. No one knows just how bright it will be. It might be a big bust like Kohoutek back in the 70's. A realistic value of -8 is a good guess. That would be brighter than Venus and would be visible in the day time. But I should caution that when it reaches that brightness it will be very close to the sun, and as I am sure you know, you really don't want to look directly at the sun.

    Is also possible that it will get so close to the sun that it will break up.

    Around Oct. 17 - Oct. 19 it will be very close to Mars. It will still be too dim to view with the naked eye, but should be visible through binoculars or even a small telescope. At it's closest it will be just over one square degree from Mars. This is will not only make it easy to find, but will also offer a possible pleasing image of a planet and comet in one frame.

    The average binoculars have a filed of vision of about 6.5 degrees, so you will see a orange dot and a blurry thing to its left. Telescopes typically have a much smaller filed of vision with a 20 mm eye piece giving something like 0.5 degrees. With a 30 mm-40 mm eye piece you should be able to see both. It will raise at about 4:00 A.M. in the East and by 6:00 a.m. shortly before the sun raises it will be at about 107 degrees and 34 degrees up in the sky.

    Using Cartes de Ceil, this is what you would see at 1.5 degrees on Oct. 18th.


    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:07:34 PM PDT

  •  Stop the "Work Until Dead" Nonsense (24+ / 0-)

    There are few jobs that hire employ people over 55. They years between then and 70 will be years of hunger and homelessness. Good luck to all.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:11:05 PM PDT

    •  And the 'premium' is 8% PER ANNUM (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreyHawk, mimi9, DRo, JeffW, JesseCW, Calamity Jean

      meaning 24% higher monthly benefits if you delay to age 70.

      And, of course, when you're about 83 you will have received the same amount whether you retired at 62 or at 70 - but from that point on, your monthly benefit continues at whatever it was to that point. Which in turn means that by delaying until 70 you will have received a LOT more in benefits at age 90 than someone your age who retired at 62 or even 65 with your same contributions history.

      Moral: If you're planning to live past 83, hold off claiming benefits as long as you can.

      Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

      by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:22:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course, if you're poor you've only (13+ / 0-)

        got a 50/50 shot at 67 if male and a 50/50 shot at 70 if female.

        "Paid Activist" is an oxymoron.

        by JesseCW on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:25:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup. (5+ / 0-)

          So take what you can get starting at 62.

          Everyone should retire at 62 if you don't feel you have a shot at 83.

          Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

          by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:28:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would only add this (6+ / 0-)

            Those individuals who take SS benefit at 62 take a 30% reduction in benefit than those who take benefit at full retirement age currently at 66.
            Some recent research I looked at has shown a trend of close to 50% of retirees are being forced by the recession into this situation.

            “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

            by Bozmo2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 01:36:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's going to be even worse to take it at (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bozmo2, se portland, Calamity Jean

              62 once retirement age is 67.

              Many of these people are simply going to have to work part time until they die, or be homeless.

              "Paid Activist" is an oxymoron.

              by JesseCW on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 02:13:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  In other words (0+ / 0-)

              At age 77, you can have received 70% for 15 years or 100% for 10 years or 124% for 7 years. As I noted above, the crossover point is near the median life-expectancy-at-65, or about 83 years of age.

              Makes sense to me.

              Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

              by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 02:32:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've done this same analysis for clients, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright

                and reach roughly the same crossover point.

                •  Bozmo's link above is based on FRA = 67 (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bozmo2

                  so I've stated this in those terms, which specify a 30% discount at age 62.

                  I'm not sure what the discount is from 66 to 62, but it's roughly a quarter, IIRC (or less than I've described).

                  I know what the principle behind it is and it makes actuarial sense, I think. But, as I've stated elsewhere, delaying retirement until 70 and then living to 95 - or having your spouse live to 95 - gives you a big leg-up on your cohort, as does having the cap removed and insuring several hundred thousand dollars a year in income and then living a long time.

                  People who think the poor are screwed in SS because they receive so many fewer months of benefits should be leery of increasing the cap and potentially helping the well-off still more.

                  Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                  by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 04:55:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I was with you until your last paragraph ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, Clem Yeobright

                    Increasing the cap is a bad thing?

                    “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

                    by Bozmo2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:06:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Increased contributions means increased benefits (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Bozmo2

                      At the high end, it would take a long time to get back what you put in - except the people who will be eligible for the high benefits are the people who will be collecting the longest.

                      SS actuaries say that as a group the high-earners/high-collectors will not recoup their contributions and therefore raising the cap can be expected to be a net plus to SS. But individually, some will make out like bandits just by living a long time. If you're collecting $15k a month (in 2013 dollars) and you've already gotten back everything you put in, it's going to annoy a lot of poorer people living on their $900 a month.

                      And that's based on predictions of life expectancy that may not be accurate 30 years from now. What if it becomes routine for someone with $100k a year to spend on medical care to live to be 100? And what if s.he is collecting $200k a year from SS covering those costs?

                      See a problem there? It sort of changes everything, doesn't it?

                      Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                      by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:32:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I do see your point (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Clem Yeobright

                        “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

                        by Bozmo2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:39:32 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  If your SS is $1500 and your b-in-l's is $2500 (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Bozmo2

                          it's something you can deal with, especially if your wife is drawing $750 'on your account' and his wife has passed on, for example.

                          But if you are drawing $1500 a month and your brother-in-law and his wife together are getting $15,000 - which would happen if he had averaged $800k a year for 35 years (all in 2013 dollars) - it may be harder to be philosophical.

                          And if your kid is self-employed and making $50k a year and scrambling to pay $6,200 in Social Security tax - that is, paying in a whole year 12 days of his uncle's benefit - you could even become doubtful about the legitimacy of SS, couldn't you?

                          SS will be fine if we raise the minimum wage and get the economy growing again.

                          Trying to 'punish' the wealthy using Social Security may turn into a fool's errand, and I don't think it's wise. The last laugh may not be ours.

                          Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                          by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:57:09 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You make many valid points and I agree (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Clem Yeobright

                            the solution will be in employment.

                            “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

                            by Bozmo2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:03:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Right now, there's a lot of income (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Bozmo2

                            not subject to FICA: the Earned Income Tax Credit.

                            For some reason, we've decided that it's fine in our society to pay people less than they need to live on in their employment and then have the government make it up to them with a negative income tax. But that money doesn't get counted for retirement: no contributions, no benefits. The SS income replacement formula then errs in assuming it is genuinely based on total income.

                            If we raise the minimum wage to a living wage, the income that people actually end up with will be the basis for their contributions to SS and also their benefits from SS. And we can get rid of the EITC (or cut it back to deal with extraordinary cases only).

                            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                            by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:13:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  I guess I was thinking about raising the ceiling (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Clem Yeobright, Cassandra77

                        on the portion of income subject to SS tax. Doesn't SS have a maximum benefit amount ~$2500?

                        “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

                        by Bozmo2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:49:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  SS pays income replacement on a formula (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Bozmo2, WillR

                          and it is committed to replacing 15% of income at the high end.

                          Since there is a maximum amount of income you are allowed to insure - the 'cap' - there is a maximum benefit by the formula, which actually is about $3500 for an individual who has earned the cap for 35 years and delays retirement until 70 - plus, of course, half again for a spouse and perhaps the same for an ex-spouse (or two).

                          It wouldn't be much of an insurance program if increased premiums didn't generate increased benefits, would it? It would just be an income tax by another name.

                          Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                          by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:04:39 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  We can add another tier above the old cap (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Clem Yeobright, Bozmo2

                            and replace at something more like 8%.

                            This will still be great for those folks who have just a few years of very high income, like many athletes or musicians who get a break, because they'll pay more in in the good years doing a lot to raise their lifetime average.

                            But it will be very little in the way of return for those with multi-million dollar yearly incomes.

                            "Paid Activist" is an oxymoron.

                            by JesseCW on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:09:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sounds like Simpson-Bowles. (0+ / 0-)

                            Someone will have to go testify to Congress that we've managed to re-work the SS formula in such a way we can guarantee that a certain class of people will get screwed over - even though the concept and the principle of SS is that nobody is guaranteed to be screwed over, just more or less likely to get back his/her contributions in benefits.

                            Why would we want to do that?

                            If it's an income tax, then why not add it to the income tax? Why distort Social Security?

                            It's like selling lottery scratcher tickets with a maximum payout of 99 cents and then compelling people to buy them.

                            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                            by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:49:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How would anyone get "screwed over"? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cassandra77, Bozmo2, Clem Yeobright

                            We've already accepted the principle of a smaller percentage return for the very well off.

                            That's been integral to the program since its start.  It's nothing new.

                            As the life expectancy for the poor continues to widen and life expectancy for the very wealthy continues to climb, we're going to have to address the gap or wind up with nothing but lemon socialism.

                            "Paid Activist" is an oxymoron.

                            by JesseCW on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:05:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Live long enough and you get 'your money' back (0+ / 0-)

                            Now you want to fiddle with the formulae to make it physically and mathematically impossible for a certain subset to recoup. You don't want to go to Congress and say

                            Very few upper income people will be able to recoup their contributions; hell, a couple would have to delay retirement until 70 and then both live to be 86 before they started pulling down $3m in benefits per year above and beyond anything justified by their contributions while working and how often is that going to happen?
                            So you make sure you can tell Congress people above the current cap will have to live to be 127 fucking years old in order to recoup (hehehe) - and THAT is supposed to bolster support for SS in Congress OR in the population in general? I'm going to guess even the people getting the $800/month SS benefits would think that unfair and demeaning to themselves and the nature of their income replacement benefits.

                            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                            by Clem Yeobright on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 01:15:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "Live long enough and..." Dude. A working class (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Clem Yeobright

                            male with no diploma has a 50/50 chance of making full retirement age.

                            Period.

                            Getting "your money back" is a bad joke for the people who make this country function already, and it's getting worse, not better.

                            Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

                            by JesseCW on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 10:15:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're right. SS should be SUSPENDED (0+ / 0-)

                            until nobody dies before 66. And Boeing gets those damned batteries fixed ... And gay athletes get the respect they deserve too ... Dammit!

                            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                            by Clem Yeobright on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 10:28:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I want to thank you for taking the time and (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Clem Yeobright

                            patience to have this discussion with me. It has been very informative and I see it from an entirely different perspective although I think we agree more than disagree on a few things. :)

                            “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

                            by Bozmo2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:14:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  But the entire system HAS to be... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Clem Yeobright

                        But the Social Security HAS to be...
                        ...based on actuarial premises if it's to be self sustaining and achieve its goals of insuring people for lifetime retirement. As a result, there will be outliers who get more/less than others.

                        The table below, if my math is correct, shows about what a person at various AIME levels would receive under current law if it had been effect (indexed for inflation of course) forever and if there had never been a FICA cap.

                        This table really only applies to people who started working in 1990 or later. Note that almost all current retirees, as well as those currently under 43 years of age, who worked throughout their life had at least some of their wages taxed below the current 12.4% FICA rate yet don't receive a benefits reduction to reflect this - so they are generally receive better "return on investment" on their FICA taxes than those who retire twenty years from now.

                        The first three rows represent the current bend points and cap.

                        Annual
                        Average
                        Indexed
                        Income
                        Annual
                        Benefits
                        % Benefit vs.
                        FICA Contribution
                        (Relative)
                        $9,492 $8,543 90%
                        $57,216 $23,814 42%
                        $113,700 $32,287 28%
                        $10,000,000 $1,515,232 15%
                        Raising the cap clearly can't "hurt" lower income people. Anyone who makes a middle class income, on the average, over the top 35 years of their career likely subsidize those who made less. Clearly those who reliably hit the cap in their top 35 earning years (for example, a typical engineer in a technology center) already subsidize others.

                        Roughly speaking (mostly because I'm ignoring people who work many years and die before 62 and not trying to account for the increasing retirement age), unless workers who make an inflation adjusted career average income of over the current cap have an average life expectancy much higher than that of a low income worker (say 77 years vs about 125 years!), the increased benefits to the well-off will be exceeded by the increased contribution of the well-off.

                        There is obviously the risk that opening this discussion up in the political arena will make all those whose career average inflation adjusted income (actually the top 35 years worth) exceeds $9,500 (i.e., about 1/2 of minimum wage for regular full time work) aware of the progressive (politically - economically the policy is regressive) nature of FICA taxation and reduce support for the entire system, so it may not be wise to push to raise the cap and expose the little understood phenomena that probably less than one out of 200 voters understand.

                        •  A couple of points (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          WillR

                          1. Couples. You leave out the spousal benefits. Change the number on the bottom row in the middle to 2,272,848 and you have a different situation: the break-even point comes at about age 85, and if the high-earner delays retirement to age 70 and takes 24% more per year, it comes a few months sooner still. After that the $2.2m or $2.7m per annum is a complete drain on SS. Then, after one member of the couple passes on to just reward, the survivor continues to receive the somewhat unjust reward of $1.5m or $1.9m for perhaps another 10 or even 15 years. True, collectively SS still probably comes out ahead, but individually some people will do VERY well. And fiddle with life expectancy at retirement just a bit arbitrated by income level and you've put SS in the soup, haven't you? And for what? To punish high earners, right? Punish ME similarly, PLEASE!

                          2. Progressivity. How can you call it 'economically regressive' that the lowest-earners recoup 100% of the contributions made in their name in 5 years - or about 3 for a couple - and those in the middle in under 10 while those at the top may require more than 25? And I say 'made in their name' to treat with the 'true' FICA rate of 12.4%, and not the 6.2% that many people would use to evaluate their benefit/cost situation.

                          3. The danger to SS is not, I think, that people will be awakened to a realization that SS is a bad deal for them - because it's not - but that 'we' will re-engineer it to the point that we'll be feeling okay with our $1500 a month (plus the wife's $750) in benefits until we hear a friend or neighbor say

                          My brother-in-law is retiring next month and he and his wife will be getting $15,000 a month in Social Security. They're going to take a 6-month world cruise with some of it and bank the rest.
                          That doesn't happen today and it doesn't have to happen ever, as long as we forget about 'punishing' the well-off.

                          Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 12:53:13 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  2300 is the maximum monthly amount right now (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Bozmo2, Clem Yeobright

                        So if they pay in on more earnings and keep it at that amount, things would be better.

                        I belong to the Honey Badger Wing of the Democratic Party. We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. Have you seen our videos?

                        by Cassandra77 on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 06:30:47 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  But that's a function of the formula, NOT a cap (0+ / 0-)

                          For the record:

                          SS says the maximum product of the formula for a 66-year-old retiring in 2012 was $2513

                          http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/...

                          but if that same person were 70 s.he would receive a 32% bump and thus receive over $3300 per month ...

                          What would be the sense of a statutory cap anyway?

                          Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 07:05:38 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I am curious about your thoughts on means testing (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Clem Yeobright

                            in addition to increasing the ceiling or even removal of the ceiling?

                            “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

                            by Bozmo2 on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 08:23:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  SS is a little program with a simple purpose (0+ / 0-)

                            People who can't - or shouldn't be asked to - work any more need a source of income replacement so they don't have to depend on the charity of relatives or greatly reduce their standard of living. It should be that one creates enough wealth during one's working years to devote a part of an excess beyond immediate needs to manage that. It's part of human dignity, and if it doesn't happen to be true for a specific individual there is enough 'play' in the economy that it can be made true.

                            SS is not intended to replace ALL income or even the 90-28-15 shares of income to all levels; it's intended for the basics. You contribute to insure up to the maximum income you are allowed to insure (the cap), and you draw benefits based on your contributions. Spousal (and ex-spousal) benefits are an utter anomaly in this system; try negotiating an annuity that will pay you 50% more than the next guy because your spouse happens to be alive - and then another 50% because your ex-spouse is too.  The human dignity principle trumps all the rest and it's figured into the actuarial calculations.

                            Means testing and benefit ceilings are antithetical to the insurance concept of SS. As is insurance of investment income which some here vigorously advocate (unearned income, of course, continues past retirement and it would be silly for SS to pay a supplement replacing it when it never went away, wouldn't it?)

                            My recommendation: Leave Social Security alone. I've not seen a 'fix' proposed that doesn't threaten it at its core.

                             

                            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

                            by Clem Yeobright on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 09:03:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  And become handy scapegoats (11+ / 0-)

      for neoliberal deficit hawks and others seeking to foment inter-generational resentment.

      I was forced by unemployment to take early SS, and now work when I can as a temp. Everyone I work with is either under 25 or over 55. The Village in their infinite wisdom considers us all "employed".

      Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

      by chuckvw on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:26:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We Need to Work This Message (7+ / 0-)

        We hear all the time that retiring a few years later is a minor inconvenience that can be overcome by accepting a few additional years of employment.

        Not so.

        I'm actually not happy to see it make an appearance on the front page here. I know it was tongue-in-cheek, but it's naive and hurtful. The vast majority of people won't be able to simply keep working until they die as benefits evaporate.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:30:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Funny you say that. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreyHawk, se portland

          The cost-of-living adjustment is only interesting if you're going to be receiving benefits for 10 years or more.

          People who check out early will not have any reason to care about the formula for their few annual increases. The initial benefit calculation is not threatened.

          That whole argument concerns only people who will live past 75 and especially those who will make it to 90.

          That's just the way it is.

          Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

          by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:35:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They don't think the labor pool is (5+ / 0-)

        bloated enough until they can hire someone to wipe their ass for them at less than a dime an hour.

        "Paid Activist" is an oxymoron.

        by JesseCW on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 02:15:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for saying it (13+ / 0-)

      so that I didn't have to.

      I sound like a broken record on the subject, but some things need to be constantly repeated for them to be understood.

      All the people who talk about working 'til they drop haven't hit 55 in the common workplace yet (that is: government employees or independent contractors don't get ousted at the same rate as the rest of the workforce) or they are very lucky to work where they do.

      The underclass being created with these horrible ideas will be vast and deep unless something is done to reverse the plans.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:31:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But "work until dead" doesn't just mean (8+ / 0-)

      "dead from old age" anymore.

      Increasingly, it can come from lack of adequate healthcare and poor dietary options.

      Or things going "boom!" when they aren't supposed to (guns, fertilizer plants, tar sands refineries, parades...)...

      •  Yep. People NEVER used to die because of (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreyHawk, a2nite, JeffW, johnny wurster

        diet and lack of access to health care. That is TOTALLY new!

        And explosions too ... NEVER happened when I was a kid.

        Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

        by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 01:02:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow...never? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, tardis10, DRo, JeffW

          Ever?

          ...I want to move to your childhood neighborhood. (Unless it's been subject to increasingly dangerous deregulation, lack of regulatory oversight and increasingly lax enforcement of rules, regs & quality standards).

          Of course, I might've been referring obliquely to recent incidents that are more likely to happen now than then, when "way back when I was a kid" things like near-meltdowns of nuclear reactors and discoveries of toxic waste dumping spawned things like superfund cleanup sites and regulatory revamping toward more - not less - safety.  

          Was the past perfect? No. But the future holds increasing chances of deadly disasters if we continue to ignore the need for regulation, enforcement and oversight.

          And people had - at least for a while - increasing chances to retire and have some degree of a life. Now, with the income disparity on top of shredding the safety net(s) and making life far more volatile & less regulated, "work until dead" is taking back some of its far less palatable and more expansive definitions.

          ...so, hopefully you were snarking a riff on my comment, but if not I hope the above helps to clarify my meaning & intent. :)

      •  You Thief! (8+ / 0-)


        Uploaded with ImageShack.us


        Uploaded with ImageShack.us


        Uploaded with ImageShack.us

        It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

        by se portland on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 01:39:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  People over 55 have the lowest unemployment rate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      Of any age bracket. And young people have the highest. Certainly there are cases of ageism but the idea that the 55+ set is being systematically discriminated against just isn't borne out by the real numbers. Not only do they have the lowest unemployment numbers but they also have a growing share of the labor market while fewer and fewer young people can find work and have much more non-mortgage debt. Daily Kos tends to be an older crowd and as such only has immediate experience with ageism directed at older people and tends to see it as more widespread and common than it really is and virtually ignores the systematic attack on younger people that's currently happening.

      Before anyone jumps in here and attacks me for blaming older people and fomenting generational fighting, I'm not, I'm pointing out a serious problem that gets all but ignored in conversations about age and employment.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:16:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "The sun'll come out tomorrow" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        Bet your bottom dollar on tomorrow ....

        Easy when you're 23, not so easy at 55. So you're 23 and you don't get your break for another 10 years; you still have 30 years to capitalize on it. If you're 55 and your break hides from you for 10 more years ... ouch!

        I'm agreeing with you, AoT; here at DK there's a lot of empathy for the person staring at a blank wall after some unanticipated career twists and falls and not quite so much for the younger set with no career yet to fall short in. I've personally seen one suicide by a 26-year-old with a decaying (and unused) 5-year-old degree in his pocket who couldn't see a bright side either.

        Thanks for pointing this out.

        Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

        by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:37:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When I was working, I had $500 to $1000 (5+ / 0-)

    in my right pocket, but since I've retired it's been $100 to $250 or so.

    A few times it has proven handy - even vital - to have cash on hand, but for 40 years or more it just made me feel secure.

    Is that how a gun feels to people who don't have $50 to their name?

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:12:36 PM PDT

  •  Ever since reading David Nir's (9+ / 0-)

    post last week about Mark Sanford printing the numbers of people he invited to call him, I've been indulging the guilty pleasure of reading (and occasionally contributing to) his entirely unmoderated Facebook page.

    Yesterday afternoon, he posted a pic of a supporter with a damn good question:

    Many commenters pointed out that the pair will be debating tomorrow night at the Citadel.

    Republicans represent both sides: the insanely rich and vice versa.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:24:11 PM PDT

  •  PBS Frontline "The Retirement Gamble" required (14+ / 0-)

    viewing. This week's episode is 100% disheartening - "normal" people can't make ends meet let alone save money for retirement and if you do have some funds (an inheritance?), the investment/mutual fund community will soon grab what they can. (Spoiler alert: 65-year old host, Martin Smith, concludes he'll work until he drops.) Video: http://www.pbs.org/...

    No defined benefit retirement plans, no Social Security, rapacious investment "advisers", no savings, and low rates of return - homeless and hungry retirement in poor health. USA USA USA

    BTW, ISP test 5.81 Mbps. Advertised as 1.5 to 6.0.

    •  Martin Smith Is Extraordinarily Fortunate (7+ / 0-)

      If he has an employer who will promise him, after 65 years of age, that kind of job security and the wages and benefits to support him through his old age.

      If he did indeed declare that, he is parading something that would seem like an obscene luxury to 99% of working people ... as some sort of suffering.

      Listen to me everyone:

      YOU MOST LIKELY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SUPPORT YOURSELF AFTER AGE 65 BY CONTINUING TO WORK UNTIL YOU DROP.

      Yes -- some classes of self-employed people and government workers will be able to soldier on for a while, but most people will not.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:36:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "McCaskill won't rule out 'boots on the ground' in (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, chuckvw, GreyHawk, ferg, KayCeSF, Sylv

    Syria. oddly enough,

    ...Conversely, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), appearing alongside McCaskill, said he is willing to rule out sending in American troops. "I would go even beyond that, I would say no," Chambliss said, weighing in after McCaskill...

    Meanwhile:  The Pentagon is sending about 200 troops to Jordan, the vanguard of a potential U.S. military force of 20,000...

    ...or more that could be deployed if the Obama administration decides to intervene in Syria to secure chemical weapons arsenals or to prevent the 2-year-old civil war from spilling into neighboring nations....
    and:  Jordanians protest proposed US troop deployment, possible attack on Syria...
  •  I love what I do, so I'll be doing it as long as I (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, GreyHawk, JeffW

    am physically and mentally able.

    And as long as the job is available.  If the corporatists completely privatize education, music programs may become extinct.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:29:43 PM PDT

  •  plastique, it takes up less space in the wallet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Book of Hearts, GreyHawk

    around here, I can use it pretty much everywhere
    paid off monthly, no balance

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

    by pickandshovel on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:34:10 PM PDT

  •  I love Film Noir (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, fou, JeffW

    so I'll try to see that one.
    There was that line in Pulp Fiction where she talks about Elvis fans and Beatles fans.
    A person can like both of them but will always prefer one over the other.
    Another dividing line seems to be Film Noir and Westerns.
    I'm not a fan of Westerns on spec. It all depends. But I love Film Noir.
    i knew someone else that said I Can't Get No Satisfaction and Stairway To Heaven were other dividing lines, but in a different way.
    It's more about both songs being anthems of a generation.
    if you're one age it's ICGNS, if you're another it's STH.
    I say if you're another are they are both really great songs.
    If you're me ICGNS is explaining a state of affairs that exists in the world. STH takes that as a given and has a world weary feel to it. It believed in,
    "We can change the world,
    It's dying, it's dying,
    to get better."
    But got it's feelings hurt when nothing seemed to stop the war and injustice etc...
    ICGNS would counter that with that's why you must stay angry but use it to your advantage. Kinda like Don't get mad get even.
    I could go on with this, two songs arguing lines of attack and M.O.'s maybe another time.

    I do have a question.
    I just had Windows taken off my computer and Linux Mint installed. Here's my question. If I recommend a comment it registers it. The number goes up 1 for the recommendee. But after a few seconds I can recommend that same comment again.
    You know that saying, "I wish I could recommend that comment 1,000 times."
    Well now I can.
    Anybody know anything about that?

    "Too much. There's too much fucking perspective now." David St. Hubbins

    by nellgwen on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:37:56 PM PDT

  •  Nothing surprising about that. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, GreyHawk, mimi9, JeffW

    I wonder, though, what it would look like if you compared the lower 50%, 75% with the upper 50%, 25%.

    The losses have not been uniform -- people out of work for a long time, people unable to hold onto their homes, etc, have lost more than others.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:48:06 PM PDT

  •  Tar Sands refinery in Detroit blew up yesterday. (11+ / 0-)

    Yeah, this is a great argument for Tar Sands refinement & the state of technology with regard to Keystone XL:

    http://shar.es/...

    Detroit - A massive explosion has been reported at a tar sands oil refinery in Detroit, Michigan on Saturday afternoon, prompting a mandatory evacuation order for parts of a nearby city.

    Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/...

    (via & h/t - https://www.facebook.com/...)
  •  Please vote for Kossacks for Netroot Nation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rat racer

    scholarships.

    Navajo puts in a plug for them in her New Day Diary today:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I am particularly pulling for Sreeizzle2012, a Maryland Kossack who has helped to organize several of our meetups.

    Click on the blue button to vote:

    http://nn13.democracyforamerica.com/...

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 01:12:24 PM PDT

  •  I saw (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, se portland, tardis10, pgm 01, PSzymeczek

    something about barges blowing up in Mobile, AL. the other morning, but saw nothing about it on TeeVee - then I forgot where I saw it on "the internets". Went to reddit, nothing there. It was a old age brain fart, I reckon. The article said that the barges had been emptied of nat. gas, and blew up while being cleaned out. Did that happen?

  •  One woman who gets around and irritates me... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, JeffW, Calamity Jean

    MSNBC keeps inviting Amy Holmes to sit with anchors.  Yes, Amy Holmes, the one who is a news anchor on Glenn Beck's The Blaze show, and sometimes on as a panelist with Bill Maher. The woman is supposedly an "independent conservative" political contributor for CNN and is often on FOX news, too.  According to Wiki she once wrote Senate Floor statements for Bill Frist.  

    Every time I listen to her I want to throw my shoe at the TV.  She can never say anything nice about President Obama and most of what she says is hyperbole.  But hey, must be nice to be paid to go on every network and spew nonsense.

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 02:17:25 PM PDT

  •  The only reasons I carry cash at all? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSzymeczek

    1. Change

    2. My roleplaying game. $2 each week for each of us.

  •  We pay an arm and a leg for internet service (0+ / 0-)

    through Comcast but I get 25 Mbps down and 3.52 Mbps up in the basic tier.  I would get a slightly better upstream if I switched out my Docsis 1.1 modem to a Docsis 3, Comcast sent me a notice a while back that my modem was now obsolete but I have not replaced it.  It will work for a while and then it will start to rapidly connect and disconnect causing significant lag but they have yet to cut me off.

  •  Children given an allowance less likely to save? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSzymeczek

    Of course I'm a baby boomer so maybe the object of giving kids an allowance has changed, but I was given an allowance so I could buy what I wanted to buy: as opposed to what my parents wanted me to want if they were buying it for me.
    That meant I had to wait to accumulate the amount I needed for that object. It also meant that if I squandered it on other things, it would take longer and longer to save the correct amount.
    The lesson was instant gratification vs. gratification later on. Like the marshmellow experiment with toddlers: wait to eat the marshmellow and get 2 later, or eat the one in front of you now.
    It was never about saving money just for the principle of saving. My baby-sitting money was a separate issue but all and all it was about learning descretionary spending.
    Apparently some of our CongressCritters, Social Scientists and former Presidents did not learn that particular lesson very well.

  •  Bad news: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW
    The U.S. has jumped from 12th place to 8th in the nations with the fastest broadband rankings.
    The way these ratings are done in the US--by the FCC--are pretty bogus.

    In the US ratings of broadband service availability, a zipcode (which the ratings are broken down by) is considered as fully served by broadband if even one residence in that zipcode is served by broadband.

    As you can imagine, this distorts the figures, especially in rural areas.

    The rest of the world, from what I understand, actually base their ratings on the actual number of households served by broadband, and don't use large geographical areas as aggregation points.

    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 03:44:18 PM PDT

  •  Congress needs out retirement money... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    ...to buy tanks that the Army doesn't want.  

    Wall Street hedgefund managers need all that juicy retirement money to squander on the next bubble, while they laugh all the way to their offshore, tax-free bank, after we bail them out again.

  •  17.63 Up, 4.13 Down (0+ / 0-)

    Charter Cable, small southern Oregon town. Changed, before was under 5 MBPS up and just over 1 down.

    And while I went with the bigger cable company, last year we dumped Chase Bank and went with the small, locally owned, locally operated bank per OWS's recommendations.

    So it goes.

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

    by TerryDarc on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 09:22:51 PM PDT

  •  Look for a New Job in May (0+ / 0-)

    I've declared the merry month of May as a key opportunity to look for better paying work. If workers would make an effort at the same time to find better pay it would drive up wages.

    Please take the time on May Day to commit yourself to looking for more money over the next month.

    Take advantage of the famous free market and re-market your services. We should make it our purpose to raise wages back to the point where labor is 60% of business income, like it was for most of the 20th century.

    Think of all the good it will do for society if you are paid better.

  •  Just so you know, boomers have to wait until 66 (0+ / 0-)

    to retire.  I'm 64 right now and I can't draw SS without
    penalties on the benefit and any additional earnings from work.  

    I belong to the Honey Badger Wing of the Democratic Party. We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. Have you seen our videos?

    by Cassandra77 on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 06:24:20 AM PDT

  •  Unemployed (0+ / 0-)

    I have been unemployed for over a year, I have an MBA, I have nearly tapped out my entire 401k and my savings are gone, I long ago gave up health care as it costs to much per month, last month I cancelled my wireless phones and cable TV, I am unable to collect UI as I resigned to care for my child who as ill, and has fully recovered, I am preparing my self for the reality that I will end up either in an entry level job with 20 year olds, or getting a job at TGIF Fridays as  waiter.  I am so embarrassed by my situation, next I will have to sell my home to have available cash for daily living.  Please say a prayer for me and others lwho are in the same situation.  Thank you

  •  re: old film noir (0+ / 0-)

    I love a dame in a pencil skirt.

    "The opposite of faith is not doubt. It's certainty."

    by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 08:11:55 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site