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2/24/11

Will you ever get rich?

It used to be an easy question to answer if you were headed to Wall Street.

Not so much today...

Yet another look at America's growing wealth gap doesn't instill confidence.

In fact, if you stop to actually read the article you may wind up looking in the mirror and asking yourself some difficult questions with regards to your goals, aspirations and ambitions.

Proceed... with caution.

Very disturbingly the poorest 90 % of Americans make an average of $31,244 a year. While the richest 1% make a hardly inspiring $1.1 million plus.

Two Very Disturbing Extrapolations

1) $31,244 is a very humble amount of money. It is a very humble amount of money if you are a single person in their 20's living in a studio apartment in a not-so-terrific urban neighborhood. Taking into account this must read Zero Hedge article, (assist to VTech Forever on that one) we can safely say that the majority of today's middle class...really is poor. For an average of ~$30K to apply to 90% of the population (i.e. ~270,000,000 people) there has to be an anchor of dead weight pulling down the honest hardworking sub-six figure crowd subsidizing them.

But who cares...we are the elite,right?

Let us examine...

2) $1.1 million dollars is a nice chunk of change. Let's be clear. A mil definitely does not buy you what it once did. But it's still a nice number...

However...

If the top %1 of Americans (i.e. 3,000,000) make a mil...how discrepant is that figure, really?

Considering how many F50-1000 bosses make a lot more, considering the billionaires and media megastars involved...how many people are actually making that much?

Isn't it highly likely that the "typical Wall Street stiff making $400K/year" is the caboose pulling down this party wagon?

Isn't it actually becoming a reality that in the top 1%, the monkeys and the chimps are the anchor babies making the disgusting discrepancy seem more paletteable in this sort of analysis?

Tell me, monkeys...

What do these figures tell you?

Then think about it and answer honestly...

Will you ever really be rich or will you be paying someone else's free lunch so the real %1 do not have to?

Comments (353)

2/24/11

Whoa, whoa. 90% of the kids on this site will be like Henry Kravis or Bill Gross. These kids were born to drive out operational efficiencies and beat(cough front-runcough) the markets.

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
2/24/11

I blame the Mexicans for taking our jobs.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

2/24/11

If making over $1mil a year is "hardly inspiring," then you need a reality check. And yeah, the average is thrown off but higher numbers, but there aren't 10,000 Warren Buffetts covering up for poor people in the top 1%. While there are people making $400k in that sample, for many of them, 400k isn't the most that they're going to earn in their careers. Even Henry Kravis made 400k at some point on his way to billions.

If you define the "rich" cutoff as making $20 million a year, you're almost definitely going to be disappointed. Even if the last person in that top 1% doesn't make an astonishing number, he's still out-earning 99% of the American population. If that seems pathetic to anyone, that person needs to wake the fuck up. Being one of 10,000 entry-level analysts each year doesn't mean that your definition of financial success should suddenly be Henry Kravis. I get the desire to not be skimming by at the 50th percentile, but the kind of mindset that deems the 99th percentile too low is just setting you up for disappointment. There's always someone richer.

One of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.

2/24/11

It makes me a little sad seeing these things.
Even though I don't make money for myself, I hope I am not ignorant enough to just hoard everything I have.
Padres have given me a pretty decent look on the world, seeing how my dad started with $200 in America and now 22 yearsish later he can afford to get both his kids German cars and do many philanthropic non-profit organizations, I hope I can do more with my life.
Rambled

It's what you put into it

2/24/11
rbkchoi:

It makes me a little sad seeing these things.
Even though I don't make money for myself, I hope I am not ignorant enough to just hoard everything I have.
Padres have given me a pretty decent look on the world, seeing how my dad started with $200 in America and now 22 yearsish later he can afford to get both his kids German cars and do many philanthropic non-profit organizations, I hope I can do more with my life.
Rambled

Cool I'll take half of your earnings since you're feeling philanthropic :)

In all honesty I get what you're saying and I too plan to reach back to society one day. My concern of course is how will the $ be used, and is it productive. I think the best solution is sort of a meritocracy of philanthropy for example scholarship endowments to high potential students who have earned it.. Now am I being too risk adverse in my philanthropy? Maybe, but I feel like so much $ is lost through the system, taxed and just plain wasted

2/24/11

Had the real estate prices increased/progressed proportionally with non-wall street pay increase, the folks making 31k would have better life styles.

2/24/11

In my darker hours, I scan the web looking for a place in the Islands where I can just disappear to. The thinking goes: Fuck this, I'll go be poor in paradise.

Get busy living

2/24/11
UFOinsider:

In my darker hours, I scan the web looking for a place in the Islands where I can just disappear to. The thinking goes: Fuck this, I'll go be poor in paradise.

This kind of reminds me of this joke.

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
2/25/11
UFOinsider:

In my darker hours, I scan the web looking for a place in the Islands where I can just disappear to. The thinking goes: Fuck this, I'll go be poor in paradise.

Literally made me laugh out loud, UFO. I do the same...

2/25/11
XPJ:
UFOinsider:

In my darker hours, I scan the web looking for a place in the Islands where I can just disappear to. The thinking goes: Fuck this, I'll go be poor in paradise.

Literally made me laugh out loud, UFO. I do the same...

Sweet, I'm thinking the Caribbean, how about you?

As for the inequlity debate, I've had a taste of both sides, so I can offer this:
As long as the ruling class brings home the bacon and for the most part leaves the average person to their own affairs AND there is a decent chance of getting to that level if someone REALLLLYYYY wants to work that hard, inequality isn't all bad. Personally, I've worked jobs that were low paying but very enjoyable, so I didn't care about the low status....but getting out of that situation was hellishly difficult.

However, when the ruling class starts raping the system and neglecting their responsibilities [the children typically do this, vis a vi: Paris Hilton], they deserve whatever happens to them when the starving mob bends them over and makes them their biach. At this point in life, I manage people at one job, I'm a senior member of my weekend job, I associate with the literal ruling class of my area and I'm a partner in a side business: Yeah I'm getting paid $^6, but if I slack off, then other people suffer and I will be [figuratively] dragged out and shot.

It's a mix of background, smarts, and work ethic, and you basically have to choose where you want to fit into the system. Personally, I steer clear of grand theories of how the world / our country should be organized. That's a job for extremely power hunrgy old men, which I am not.

Get busy living

2/25/11
UFOinsider:

As for the inequlity debate, I've had a taste of both sides, so I can offer this:
As long as the ruling class brings home the bacon and for the most part leaves the average person to their own affairs AND there is a decent chance of getting to that level if someone REALLLLYYYY wants to work that hard, inequality isn't all bad. Personally, I've worked jobs that were low paying but very enjoyable, so I didn't care about the low status....but getting out of that situation was hellishly difficult.

I really don't think there's a ruling class in this country, and I also think that when bankers use terms like that, it does a disservice to the profession.

We live in the US, which is ultimately ruled by a constitutional democracy. And voters can always vote for a socialist if they don't like the current situation.

However, when the ruling class starts raping the system and neglecting their responsibilities [the children typically do this, vis a vi: Paris Hilton], they deserve whatever happens to them when the starving mob bends them over and makes them their biach. At this point in life, I manage people at one job, I'm a senior member of my weekend job, I associate with the literal ruling class of my area and I'm a partner in a side business: Yeah I'm getting paid $^6, but if I slack off, then other people suffer and I will be [figuratively] dragged out and shot.

Dude, aren't you still a college student? You can talk about the "ruling class" whe you graduate. Frankly, I think working/well-off adults who talk that way are utterly clueless and likely to stop being part of the "ruling class" they like to define so much, but at that point, you will at least be free to talk about it without having the fact that you're a college student hanging over your head.

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us and because we see the big picture of accruals and eponential returns working in finance. We work like crazy, we save like crazy, eventually that starts bearing fruit for us- fruit that we might lose, but we will hopefully be able to maintain. But it doesn't mean there's some sort of caste or class system in this country. My grandpa lives on $10K/year and he is even more capitalist than me- Capitalism means he doesn't need to work in old age because he spent his whole life saving. And he gets the same vote everyone else does.

So IMHO, libertarianism always needs to come with a healthy dose of egalitarianism and populism. Capitalism- arguably even civil liberties as well- have a duty to prove to 51% of voters that those things are worth keeping. And not so the "ruling class" can stay on top but so that everyone who has struggled and worked and thrifted like crazy can keep what they've worked so hard for.

2/25/11
IlliniProgrammer:

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

I honestly don't find that very convincing.

IlliniProgrammer:

Capitalism- arguably even civil liberties as well- have a duty to prove to 51% of voters that those things are worth keeping.

Are you arguing that in capitalism, the majority of the people need to "agree" with something? Not true. You can satisfy niche markets, unlike one size fits all governmental "solutions." If you want a blue car, you can have a blue car. If I want a green car, I can have one...

Also, it's actually a myth to think that democracies lead to policies that 51% of the population agrees with. This has been researched extensively by public choice economics, which takes the romance out of politics. But, I don't want to go there...

2/25/11
econ:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

Once people figure out that no matter how hard they try they will stay crushed in debt at the bottom of the social pyramid they'll stop believing in the field of diamonds and start wondering why the rich deserve their palaces.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
econ:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

Once people figure out that no matter how hard they try they will stay crushed in debt at the bottom of the social pyramid they'll stop believing in the field of diamonds and start wondering why the rich deserve their palaces.

With all due respect, the majority will never be at either extreme. As long as the vast majority are more or less content, not a whole lot is going to change.

Get busy living

2/25/11
UFOinsider:
monkeysama:
econ:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

Once people figure out that no matter how hard they try they will stay crushed in debt at the bottom of the social pyramid they'll stop believing in the field of diamonds and start wondering why the rich deserve their palaces.

With all due respect, the majority will never be at either extreme. As long as the vast majority are more or less content, not a whole lot is going to change.

True. I think for a revolution to really get off the ground there have to be food riots. It seems to be the one common thread that spans pretty much any coup in history.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
UFOinsider:
monkeysama:
econ:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

Once people figure out that no matter how hard they try they will stay crushed in debt at the bottom of the social pyramid they'll stop believing in the field of diamonds and start wondering why the rich deserve their palaces.

With all due respect, the majority will never be at either extreme. As long as the vast majority are more or less content, not a whole lot is going to change.

True. I think for a revolution to really get off the ground there have to be food riots. It seems to be the one common thread that spans pretty much any coup in history.

I don't know enough to comment beyond saying that food riots in the US are highly unlikely.....

Get busy living

2/25/11
UFOinsider:
monkeysama:
UFOinsider:
monkeysama:
econ:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

Once people figure out that no matter how hard they try they will stay crushed in debt at the bottom of the social pyramid they'll stop believing in the field of diamonds and start wondering why the rich deserve their palaces.

With all due respect, the majority will never be at either extreme. As long as the vast majority are more or less content, not a whole lot is going to change.

True. I think for a revolution to really get off the ground there have to be food riots. It seems to be the one common thread that spans pretty much any coup in history.

I don't know enough to comment beyond saying that food riots in the US are highly unlikely.....

True. Maybe gas riots could happen. I could see a latino uprising like the riots after the MLK assassination if things start to go really south in the immigration department. Or simply the drug war moving north enough to take over Arizona or New Mexico. I could definitely see a failed state situation where the Feds have to come in to restore order as Arizona is bankrupt and literally can't keep the drug runners from taking over the capital.

Outside of that there's not a whole lot of popular uprising in this country. It's demographically too old to really support a youth movement. The only dissent we've had from the two party system is an octogenarian right wing fringe group which is disorganized and doesn't really have a coherent philosophy - kind of sad really.

2/25/11
econ:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

I honestly don't find that very convincing.

What do you mean? The US, above all, is a very pragmatic country. We use capitalism not because it's necessarily the "right" thing to do, but because it works. We were willing to support undemocratic regimes in Guatemala, Iran, Nicaragua, Chile, and Argentina because it made sense- even though it wasn't necessarily right, so if voters get angry enough and convinced enough that capitalism is broken, there is no stopping them- just like there is no stopping the unrest in Libya even though Gadhaffi holds more power within Libya relative to the populace than the rich do in the US.

If becoming a Peoples' State makes sense to ~60% of voters and they are motivated enough in that belief, that's probably what will happen. Therefore, as a matter of pragmatism, it is the duty of those for whom capitalism is working well for to make sure that it's also working well for most people in this country.

IlliniProgrammer:

Are you arguing that in capitalism, the majority of the people need to "agree" with something? Not true. You can satisfy niche markets, unlike one size fits all governmental "solutions." If you want a blue car, you can have a blue car. If I want a green car, I can have one...

Absolutely. If you want a green car, and have the money, you can have one, and it's not up to other people to tell you what to do. But the industrialists of the 1890s saw that people, rightly or wrongly, get angry when someone has a green Rolls and they can't afford a green bicycle. That's bad for business, even though it might not be the industrialists' faults.

So they spent money on public libraries and gyms, cut back the workweek a little, and it resulted in a system where there was some very minor redistribution of wealth, but nobody was complaining.

The notion of there being an economic ruling class doesn't accomplish anything for the would-be "ruling class" members and it only serves to piss off people who aren't members of this "ruling class".

2/25/11
IlliniProgrammer:

Absolutely. If you want a green car, and have the money, you can have one, and it's not up to other people to tell you what to do. But the industrialists of the 1890s saw that people, rightly or wrongly, get angry when someone has a green Rolls and they can't afford a green bicycle. That's bad for business, even though it might not be the industrialists' faults.

So they spent money on public libraries and gyms, cut back the workweek a little, and it resulted in a system where there was some very minor redistribution of wealth, but nobody was complaining.

The notion of there being an economic ruling class doesn't accomplish anything for the would-be "ruling class" members and it only serves to piss off people who aren't members of this "ruling class".

Quoted for truth.

2/25/11
IlliniProgrammer:
econ:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us

I honestly don't find that very convincing.

What do you mean? The US, above all, is a very pragmatic country. We use capitalism not because it's necessarily the "right" thing to do, but because it works.

Sorry, I should of been more clear. I understood your statement as saying that people on this site are financially successful (or will be in the future) which is why the support capitalism. My argument is that capitalism helps "the poor" a lot too. In fact, I would argue it helps the poor more than the rich.

2/25/11
IlliniProgrammer:

So they spent money on public libraries and gyms, cut back the workweek a little, and it resulted in a system where there was some very minor redistribution of wealth, but nobody was complaining.

Are you talking about the public libraries that were funded out of their private wealth? Or are you talking about politically funded public libraries? There's a huge difference, at least from a libertarian point of view...

2/25/11
IlliniProgrammer:

Dude, aren't you still a college student? You can talk about the "ruling class" whe you graduate.

Many revolutions were started in universities....

2/25/11
IlliniProgrammer:
UFOinsider:

As for the inequlity debate, I've had a taste of both sides, so I can offer this:
As long as the ruling class brings home the bacon and for the most part leaves the average person to their own affairs AND there is a decent chance of getting to that level if someone REALLLLYYYY wants to work that hard, inequality isn't all bad. Personally, I've worked jobs that were low paying but very enjoyable, so I didn't care about the low status....but getting out of that situation was hellishly difficult.

I really don't think there's a ruling class in this country, and I also think that when bankers use terms like that, it does a disservice to the profession.

We live in the US, which is ultimately ruled by a constitutional democracy. And voters can always vote for a socialist if they don't like the current situation.

However, when the ruling class starts raping the system and neglecting their responsibilities [the children typically do this, vis a vi: Paris Hilton], they deserve whatever happens to them when the starving mob bends them over and makes them their biach. At this point in life, I manage people at one job, I'm a senior member of my weekend job, I associate with the literal ruling class of my area and I'm a partner in a side business: Yeah I'm getting paid $^6, but if I slack off, then other people suffer and I will be [figuratively] dragged out and shot.

Dude, aren't you still a college student? You can talk about the "ruling class" whe you graduate. Frankly, I think working/well-off adults who talk that way are utterly clueless and likely to stop being part of the "ruling class" they like to define so much, but at that point, you will at least be free to talk about it without having the fact that you're a college student hanging over your head.

I think a lot of us take on libertarian attitudes because capitalism has worked for us and because we see the big picture of accruals and eponential returns working in finance. We work like crazy, we save like crazy, eventually that starts bearing fruit for us- fruit that we might lose, but we will hopefully be able to maintain. But it doesn't mean there's some sort of caste or class system in this country. My grandpa lives on $10K/year and he is even more capitalist than me- Capitalism means he doesn't need to work in old age because he spent his whole life saving. And he gets the same vote everyone else does.

So IMHO, libertarianism always needs to come with a healthy dose of egalitarianism and populism. Capitalism- arguably even civil liberties as well- have a duty to prove to 51% of voters that those things are worth keeping. And not so the "ruling class" can stay on top but so that everyone who has struggled and worked and thrifted like crazy can keep what they've worked so hard for.

Ruling class = people who make the decisions in society. I'm not interested in parsing words here, I simply make the point that as long as the system keeps the majority of people satisfied, the level of inequality is irrelevant....AS LONG AS the people all the way at the top keep the system going: which is the case in the US. In other places, say Libya, not so much

Get busy living

2/25/11
UFOinsider:

Ruling class = people who make the decisions in society. I'm not interested in parsing words here, I simply make the point that as long as the system keeps the majority of people satisfied, the level of inequality is irrelevant....AS LONG AS the people all the way at the top keep the system going: which is the case in the US. In other places, say Libya, not so much

Well, if that is the case, voters make the decisions in society and for every decision, there is someone else who has to wind up agreeing with it. If you want to hire me, I don't have to work for you. If you want to move 2 million barrels of oil somewhere, someone can always quit on you and screw everything up.

So there is no real ruling class in in a democratic capitalist society. It's a bunch of different people making decisions about the country's economy- maybe with some having more decision making power than others- and everyone getting the same say about the country's politics. You only have a ruling class in a communist society.

2/24/11

Do you mean top 10% make 1.1 mil? That would be 30 million people, but you keep saying the top 1% and 30,000,000 people. 10 would be easier to believe than 1, I imagine the top 3,000,000 in america make well above 1.1 mil on average.

"The only point in making money is so you can tell some big shot where to go."
-Bogie

2/24/11
MSFhopeful:

Do you mean top 10% make 1.1 mil? That would be 30 million people, but you keep saying the top 1% and 30,000,000 people. 10 would be easier to believe than 1, I imagine the top 3,000,000 in america make well above 1.1 mil on average.

typo
fixed

2/24/11

Isn't it kind of inevitable that there will be a large pay gap? Wealth grows exponentially; the more you have, the faster it grows, so it is theoretically impossible for the general population to ever catch up to the folks at the top, and, the if you have slightly more, you will eventually (over generations) widely outstrip those slightly below you.

Just an idea; thoughts?

2/24/11
The Man:

Isn't it kind of inevitable that there will be a large pay gap? Wealth grows exponentially; the more you have, the faster it grows, so it is theoretically impossible for the general population to ever catch up to the folks at the top, and, the if you have slightly more, you will eventually (over generations) widely outstrip those slightly below you.

Just and idea; thoughts?

^ This is the logic driving the reaction that manifests itself in what we call the progressive tax.

Get busy living

2/24/11

The 90/10 Rule works for almost everything. It's human nature. Survival of the fittest.

2/24/11
Jackiesinthesun:

The 90/10 Rule works for almost everything. It's human nature. Survival of the fittest.

Back in my day it was the 80/20 Rule...

2/24/11

This is sort of a side topic I guess but

Who else here has siblings?
Do they have your earning potential?
If not, will you look out for them in the future? Be their superman?

I ask bc I have a sister in (sigh) art school and a brother who is likely to be earn an 'average' income

2/24/11
GOB:

This is sort of a side topic I guess but

Who else here has siblings?
Do they have your earning potential?
If not, will you look out for them in the future? Be their superman?

I ask bc I have a sister in (sigh) art school and a brother who is likely to be earn an 'average' income

Take care of your family, brah!

2/24/11
GOB:

This is sort of a side topic I guess but

Who else here has siblings?
Do they have your earning potential?
If not, will you look out for them in the future? Be their superman?

I ask bc I have a sister in (sigh) art school and a brother who is likely to be earn an 'average' income

I do. My father passed, and he was the FUCKING MAN, but now I'm the patriarch. If he was still around, I'd still be working my nice, happy job in my hometown. But since my family can't yet survive without financial help, I'm here to slash and burn for a decade or so. After that, who the hell cares

Get busy living

2/24/11
UFOinsider:
GOB:

This is sort of a side topic I guess but

Who else here has siblings?
Do they have your earning potential?
If not, will you look out for them in the future? Be their superman?

I ask bc I have a sister in (sigh) art school and a brother who is likely to be earn an 'average' income

I do. My father passed, and he was the FUCKING MAN, but now I'm the patriarch. If he was still around, I'd still be working my nice, happy job in my hometown. But since my family can't yet survive without financial help, I'm here to slash and burn for a decade or so. After that, who the hell cares

Sorry for your loss bro.

I feel the same way. It's the burden of being the smartest and most logical. I know that at 15 years into my career my annual compensation will nearly equal what they each has made over the 15 years... Sad but true. This is why my dad is still grinding really hard at 56.

2/24/11
GOB:
UFOinsider:
GOB:

This is sort of a side topic I guess but

Who else here has siblings?
Do they have your earning potential?
If not, will you look out for them in the future? Be their superman?

I ask bc I have a sister in (sigh) art school and a brother who is likely to be earn an 'average' income

I do. My father passed, and he was the FUCKING MAN, but now I'm the patriarch. If he was still around, I'd still be working my nice, happy job in my hometown. But since my family can't yet survive without financial help, I'm here to slash and burn for a decade or so. After that, who the hell cares

Sorry for your loss bro.

I feel the same way. It's the burden of being the smartest and most logical. I know that at 15 years into my career my annual compensation will nearly equal what they each has made over the 15 years... Sad but true. This is why my dad is still grinding really hard at 56.

Yeah, I figured that since money is such a factor just go into an industry that pays buttloads and get that worry out of the way. I look at so many people I know that dream of winning the lottery, and I've decided to do the next best thing: go out and earn it. The upside is that a lot of my family who don't make a lot contribute in the way of intagibles, so they keep me sane while I go through this soul crushing industry.

monkeysama:

This shit makes me want to find a rich person and eat them.

Do better - BECOME RICH

Get busy living

2/24/11
UFOinsider:
monkeysama:

This shit makes me want to find a rich person and eat them.

Do better - BECOME RICH

That's like telling a black kid in the ghetto that he could be Michael Jordan if only he shot hoops every day and tried REALLY hard. Rich is 1/10th of one percent numbnuts. 40 percent of people today have a college education, 15 percent have a masters degree. The difference between you and me is that I KNOW I'm not a special little snowflake. Since it's so silly I'm going to respond to you with literature:

Tyler Durden: Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

2/24/11
monkeysama:
UFOinsider:
monkeysama:

This shit makes me want to find a rich person and eat them.

Do better - BECOME RICH

That's like telling a black kid in the ghetto that he could be Michael Jordan if only he shot hoops every day and tried REALLY hard. Rich is 1/10th of one percent numbnuts. 40 percent of people today have a college education, 15 percent have a masters degree. The difference between you and me is that I KNOW I'm not a special little snowflake. Since it's so silly I'm going to respond to you with literature:

Tyler Durden: Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

^ I've been down that road and there's nothing there, trust me. If you don't get the job you want, take any job, but just stay in the game. Not everyone can be billionaires, but in this country, it's highly likely that with enough effort, thought, and time that you can do very well for yourself.

Hit the gym for an hour and then get networking again, you'll thank yourself this time next year when you're in a better place.....

Get busy living

2/24/11
GOB:

I feel the same way. It's the burden of being the smartest and most logical. I know that at 15 years into my career my annual compensation will nearly equal what they each has made over the 15 years... Sad but true. This is why my dad is still grinding really hard at 56.

Why is that so much of a burden for you? I've got 2 younger sisters, they're both smart and extremely talented but still it's most likely that I'll make more then both of them and I can't wait to be in a position to be able to help them out or support them or just buy them something really nice that maybe they can't afford alone. I want to be the head of my family and take care of my family. Family is everything we've got in this world and it's above all. Your friends can betray you, your wife might be leaving you but blood connection remains. For me money is just a means to an end, surely not the destination.

2/24/11
bigimot:
GOB:

I feel the same way. It's the burden of being the smartest and most logical. I know that at 15 years into my career my annual compensation will nearly equal what they each has made over the 15 years... Sad but true. This is why my dad is still grinding really hard at 56.

Why is that so much of a burden for you? I've got 2 younger sisters, they're both smart and extremely talented but still it's most likely that I'll make more then both of them and I can't wait to be in a position to be able to help them out or support them or just buy them something really nice that maybe they can't afford alone. I want to be the head of my family and take care of my family. Family is everything we've got in this world and it's above all. Your friends can betray you, your wife might be leaving you but blood connection remains. For me money is just a means to an end, surely not the destination.

I really like this post!!!

Banking.

2/24/11

I don't think your average Wall St stiff makes 400K, most associates break that. I'd put the number more around 800K which let's face it, is still very respectable.

I'd also say that most of the kids headed to the street know full well about this gap. Most don't go to Wall St to become billionaires, they go to make the aforementioned 800K, buy a 7 bedroom house in CT, buy the BMW 760li and the Ferrari for the weekend and send the kids to Phillips Exeter. Basically, most go in just wanting to join the very top of the upper middle class.

2/24/11
IBD_Captain:

I don't think your average Wall St stiff makes 400K, most associates break that. I'd put the number more around 800K which let's face it, is still very respectable.

You think the average guy on wall street makes 800k? Seriously? I doubt its anywhere near that number.

2/24/11
IBD_Captain:

I don't think your average Wall St stiff makes 400K, most associates break that. I'd put the number more around 800K which let's face it, is still very respectable.

I'd also say that most of the kids headed to the street know full well about this gap. Most don't go to Wall St to become billionaires, they go to make the aforementioned 800K, buy a 7 bedroom house in CT, buy the BMW 760li and the Ferrari for the weekend and send the kids to Phillips Exeter. Basically, most go in just wanting to join the very top of the upper middle class.

Jesus. Now I have to name drop Michael Douglas and spell out that I'm quoting fucking Wall Street? You kids are really slacking these days.

As for $800K buying all that, perhaps...in 1987.

Try a 4/3 in Westchester, a Windstar for her, a Navigator for you and a happy daily trip to Our Lady of Whereverdafukk for the little ones.

2/24/11

In before ANT finds this thread and tells us that everyone should be able to feed a family, provide for a college education and healthcare, and destroy communism (SOCIALISM AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!) on 30k a year.

This shit makes me want to find a rich person and eat them.

2/24/11
monkeysama:

In before ANT finds this thread and tells us that everyone should be able to feed a family, provide for a college education and healthcare, and destroy communism (SOCIALISM AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!) on 30k a year.

This shit makes me want to find a rich person and eat them.

30K is about what my parents made when I was born. In all honesty, my mom raised two kids on <$60k/year. yes, my dad paid child support, but that's not much.

If you feel so inclined, sign over half your paycheck each pay period to those less fortunate. Don't push your ideology on those that want to keep what they earn.

2/24/11
txjustin:
monkeysama:

In before ANT finds this thread and tells us that everyone should be able to feed a family, provide for a college education and healthcare, and destroy communism (SOCIALISM AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!) on 30k a year.

This shit makes me want to find a rich person and eat them.

30K is about what my parents made when I was born. In all honesty, my mom raised two kids on <$60k/year. yes, my dad paid child support, but that's not much.

If you feel so inclined, sign over half your paycheck each pay period to those less fortunate. Don't push your ideology on those that want to keep what they earn.

If I was making over a million a year I would sign over 500k. As it is, I'm unemployed and fast becoming unemployable. I doubt I'll have anything looking like a middle class career, much less be able to afford to have children. How long ago were your parents making that kind of money? Things have gotten much worse as time has gone on as is shown by some of these statistics.

2/24/11
monkeysama:
txjustin:
monkeysama:

In before ANT finds this thread and tells us that everyone should be able to feed a family, provide for a college education and healthcare, and destroy communism (SOCIALISM AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!) on 30k a year.

This shit makes me want to find a rich person and eat them.

30K is about what my parents made when I was born. In all honesty, my mom raised two kids on <$60k/year. yes, my dad paid child support, but that's not much.

If you feel so inclined, sign over half your paycheck each pay period to those less fortunate. Don't push your ideology on those that want to keep what they earn.

If I was making over a million a year I would sign over 500k. As it is, I'm unemployed and fast becoming unemployable. I doubt I'll have anything looking like a middle class career, much less be able to afford to have children. How long ago were your parents making that kind of money? Things have gotten much worse as time has gone on as is shown by some of these statistics.

They made that 25 years ago. My dad currently makes ~$60K/year and my mom makes ~$70k a year.

2/24/11
txjustin:
monkeysama:
txjustin:
monkeysama:

In before ANT finds this thread and tells us that everyone should be able to feed a family, provide for a college education and healthcare, and destroy communism (SOCIALISM AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!) on 30k a year.

This shit makes me want to find a rich person and eat them.

30K is about what my parents made when I was born. In all honesty, my mom raised two kids on <$60k/year. yes, my dad paid child support, but that's not much.

If you feel so inclined, sign over half your paycheck each pay period to those less fortunate. Don't push your ideology on those that want to keep what they earn.

If I was making over a million a year I would sign over 500k. As it is, I'm unemployed and fast becoming unemployable. I doubt I'll have anything looking like a middle class career, much less be able to afford to have children. How long ago were your parents making that kind of money? Things have gotten much worse as time has gone on as is shown by some of these statistics.

They made that 25 years ago. My dad currently makes ~$60K/year and my mom makes ~$70k a year.

Ah...so then what was your point again? Have they ever not been in the top 10 percent of income?

2/24/11
monkeysama:
txjustin:
monkeysama:
txjustin:
monkeysama:

In before ANT finds this thread and tells us that everyone should be able to feed a family, provide for a college education and healthcare, and destroy communism (SOCIALISM AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!) on 30k a year.

This shit makes me want to find a rich person and eat them.

30K is about what my parents made when I was born. In all honesty, my mom raised two kids on <$60k/year. yes, my dad paid child support, but that's not much.

If you feel so inclined, sign over half your paycheck each pay period to those less fortunate. Don't push your ideology on those that want to keep what they earn.

If I was making over a million a year I would sign over 500k. As it is, I'm unemployed and fast becoming unemployable. I doubt I'll have anything looking like a middle class career, much less be able to afford to have children. How long ago were your parents making that kind of money? Things have gotten much worse as time has gone on as is shown by some of these statistics.

They made that 25 years ago. My dad currently makes ~$60K/year and my mom makes ~$70k a year.

Ah...so then what was your point again? Have they ever not been in the top 10 percent of income?

My first job out of undergrad paid $24k/year. That was 3 years ago. That count?

2/24/11

The fact of the matter is middle class incomes have been largely stagnant for almost a generation while the hyper wealthy has had their income explode. I just don't see how Obama raising the top income bracket by 2% is that crazy a policy choice.

2/24/11

If this pisses you off, don't dare click on THIS:
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-ine...

2/24/11
Edmundo Braverman:

If this pisses you off, don't dare click on THIS:
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-ine...

Opinions aside, that was very well put together. +1

2/24/11
Edmundo Braverman:

If this pisses you off, don't dare click on THIS:
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-ine...

If that pisses you off dont date click on THIS:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6674234/Citigroup-Oct-16-2005-Plutonomy-Report-Part-1

...Citi's infamous Plutonomy Report 6 years old but still relevant

2/24/11
michaelj901:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6674234/Citigroup-Oct-16-2005-Plutonomy-Report-Part-1
...Citi's infamous Plutonomy Report 6 years old but still relevant

This was the state of old Rome before the emperial period began: plutocracy, rule by the rich, which is a subset of oligarchy: rule by the few. This is nothing new, and is the natural progression of civilizations, with royal families official or otherwise to institute themselves being the next logical step. If the logic of the founding fathers holds, at this point our citizens will move to begin dismantling the government that protects this background power structure. The only thing that can put this trend on hold is to have the $30K+/- provide a day to day lifestyle that is acceptable, and maintain civil liberties. Also, in the US, charity is much more prominent than in any other civilization of history.

The counterpoint that I always get is this: While I agree that Bill Gates is about to give away more money at his death than has ever been done in all of history, he has effectively trumped any civil society and retained personal control of the decision making process. Why should I vote if one man can throw some pocket change around and wield more power than my state? What if he chose to give this money to his progeny, as the Waltons have, and cultivate them to be the new ruling class? What would happen then?

The Tea Party would seem like moderates.

Get busy living

2/25/11

oops, double post.

Get busy living

2/25/11

oops, triple post

Get busy living

Best Response
2/24/11

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

Honestly, fuck them. I didn't realize my hard work was so someone else can slack and be taken care of.

How is it a rich persona fault. Most wealth comes those who giro school. Not just ivy league schools. You get a state school education, work two jobs, save and plan and build wealthy.

Why is it that immigrants, who don't speak English, can come here with nothing and follow that simple plan and do well, but Amerxans, with all the advantage in the world look for help and someone to blame.

So tired of this topic. Be free and accept responsibility. I'm not your parent and I am not your friend. Goof off, shot out kids, spend too much and suffer the consequences.

We keep helping out the weakest links.

Oh well. I guess I should be punished for working hard my whole life. I must have done something wrong. And we wonder why this country is going down the tubes.

2/24/11
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

With that kind of logic, the demographics of our country could get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

2/24/11
GoodBread:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

With that kind of logic, the demographics of our country could get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

No one will listen, but that is why I no longer care. Condoms are cheap and easy. Bringing a life into this world is a big responsibility. People who cannot afford to raise a kid, yet have them anyway an then cry to me for money get no sympathy.

Once again, in America, those who plan and save have to finance the losers of society. Not my problem.

2/24/11
ANT:
GoodBread:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

With that kind of logic, the demographics of our country could get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

No one will listen, but that is why I no longer care. Condoms are cheap and easy. Bringing a life into this world is a big responsibility. People who cannot afford to raise a kid, yet have them anyway an then cry to me for money get no sympathy.

Once again, in America, those who plan and save have to finance the losers of society. Not my problem.

Which is why, IMHO, this country needs to have a one or maybe two child policy when it comes to welfare and social services.

We will pay welfare and/or EIC for 1 child.

If you have more, that is your problem. Please consider putting them up for adoption and giving them parents who actually have the skill to raise them. Also please consider your birth control options.

The problem is that hungry people always generate costs for people who can take care of themselves. We either have to feed them or spend more money maintaining law and order. So I think the only solution here is for people on the public dole to have fewer children.

2/24/11
IlliniProgrammer:
ANT:
GoodBread:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

With that kind of logic, the demographics of our country could get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

No one will listen, but that is why I no longer care. Condoms are cheap and easy. Bringing a life into this world is a big responsibility. People who cannot afford to raise a kid, yet have them anyway an then cry to me for money get no sympathy.

Once again, in America, those who plan and save have to finance the losers of society. Not my problem.

Which is why, IMHO, this country needs to have a one or maybe two child policy when it comes to welfare and social services.

We will pay welfare and/or EIC for 1 child.

If you have more, that is your problem. Please consider putting them up for adoption and giving them parents who actually have the skill to raise them. Also please consider your birth control options.

The problem is that hungry people always generate costs for people who can take care of themselves. We either have to feed them or spend more money maintaining law and order. So I think the only solution here is for people on the public dole to have fewer children.

Finally, I totally agree with you.

2/24/11
IlliniProgrammer:
ANT:
GoodBread:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

With that kind of logic, the demographics of our country could get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

No one will listen, but that is why I no longer care. Condoms are cheap and easy. Bringing a life into this world is a big responsibility. People who cannot afford to raise a kid, yet have them anyway an then cry to me for money get no sympathy.

Once again, in America, those who plan and save have to finance the losers of society. Not my problem.

Which is why, IMHO, this country needs to have a one or maybe two child policy when it comes to welfare and social services.

We will pay welfare and/or EIC for 1 child.

If you have more, that is your problem. Please consider putting them up for adoption and giving them parents who actually have the skill to raise them. Also please consider your birth control options.

The problem is that hungry people always generate costs for people who can take care of themselves. We either have to feed them or spend more money maintaining law and order. So I think the only solution here is for people on the public dole to have fewer children.

Illini I don't think you get it. The College Board is estimating that the cost of a college education will be 400,000 dollars by 2015.

Think about that for a minute. This says that 90 percent of Americans are making 30k a year. Right now 40 percent have a college degree already. If we're generous and assume that a kid out of college can make 40k a year (on average) he'd have to save 4k, ten percent of his income, for 100 YEARS to pay back that loan, without interest. 100 YEARS! Forget retirement, forget medical care, forget being able to afford kids.

The American people can no longer afford to be educated enough to live in anything but poverty. Talking about welfare reform only serves to underscore how sadly out of touch you are with the enormity of today's problem.

2/24/11
monkeysama:

The College Board is estimating that the cost of a college education will be 400,000 dollars by 2015.

That's ridiculously beyond reality for 95% of the schools/people in this country

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

2/24/11
monkeysama:
IlliniProgrammer:
ANT:
GoodBread:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

With that kind of logic, the demographics of our country could get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

No one will listen, but that is why I no longer care. Condoms are cheap and easy. Bringing a life into this world is a big responsibility. People who cannot afford to raise a kid, yet have them anyway an then cry to me for money get no sympathy.

Once again, in America, those who plan and save have to finance the losers of society. Not my problem.

Which is why, IMHO, this country needs to have a one or maybe two child policy when it comes to welfare and social services.

We will pay welfare and/or EIC for 1 child.

If you have more, that is your problem. Please consider putting them up for adoption and giving them parents who actually have the skill to raise them. Also please consider your birth control options.

The problem is that hungry people always generate costs for people who can take care of themselves. We either have to feed them or spend more money maintaining law and order. So I think the only solution here is for people on the public dole to have fewer children.

Illini I don't think you get it. The College Board is estimating that the cost of a college education will be 400,000 dollars by 2015.

Think about that for a minute. This says that 90 percent of Americans are making 30k a year. Right now 40 percent have a college degree already. If we're generous and assume that a kid out of college can make 40k a year (on average) he'd have to save 4k, ten percent of his income, for 100 YEARS to pay back that loan, without interest. 100 YEARS! Forget retirement, forget medical care, forget being able to afford kids.

The American people can no longer afford to be educated enough to live in anything but poverty. Talking about welfare reform only serves to underscore how sadly out of touch you are with the enormity of today's problem.

Its 400,000 by 2026.

2/24/11
monkeysama:

Illini I don't think you get it. The College Board is estimating that the cost of a college education will be 400,000 dollars by 2015.

Those are projections based off of historical cost increases. A huge factor was that education became very computerized in the '90s and the last decade. Additionally, states have been providing less funding to schools and private schools have been transferring more money to support underprivileged students.

Ultimately, the ultimate cost of the kind of four-year education you could have gotten in 1973 is roughly the same today- inflation adjusted. It's just that there's a little more technology today- likely to taper off going forward- and the cost is getting allocated differently.

The American people can no longer afford to be educated enough to live in anything but poverty. Talking about welfare reform only serves to underscore how sadly out of touch you are with the enormity of today's problem.

But again, China is probably going to have WWIII with one of its neighbors. So we will probably see reduced competition in the jobs sector- likely during our lifetimes. And while it is tragic, the US gets to see more silver lining than cloud in all of this. We have political stability, we have food, and we have enough energy resources to keep the economy at least limping along until we get onto nuclear.

2/24/11
monkeysama:
IlliniProgrammer:
ANT:
GoodBread:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

With that kind of logic, the demographics of our country could get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

No one will listen, but that is why I no longer care. Condoms are cheap and easy. Bringing a life into this world is a big responsibility. People who cannot afford to raise a kid, yet have them anyway an then cry to me for money get no sympathy.

Once again, in America, those who plan and save have to finance the losers of society. Not my problem.

Which is why, IMHO, this country needs to have a one or maybe two child policy when it comes to welfare and social services.

We will pay welfare and/or EIC for 1 child.

If you have more, that is your problem. Please consider putting them up for adoption and giving them parents who actually have the skill to raise them. Also please consider your birth control options.

The problem is that hungry people always generate costs for people who can take care of themselves. We either have to feed them or spend more money maintaining law and order. So I think the only solution here is for people on the public dole to have fewer children.

Illini I don't think you get it. The College Board is estimating that the cost of a college education will be 400,000 dollars by 2015.

Think about that for a minute. This says that 90 percent of Americans are making 30k a year. Right now 40 percent have a college degree already. If we're generous and assume that a kid out of college can make 40k a year (on average) he'd have to save 4k, ten percent of his income, for 100 YEARS to pay back that loan, without interest. 100 YEARS! Forget retirement, forget medical care, forget being able to afford kids.

The American people can no longer afford to be educated enough to live in anything but poverty. Talking about welfare reform only serves to underscore how sadly out of touch you are with the enormity of today's problem.

Dont be fucking stupid. A 4 year degree will never cost 400k because no one would get it. once the present value of the extra income you get over the years from the degree is less than the cost people will just say fuck it

2/24/11
PTS:

Dont be fucking stupid. A 4 year degree will never cost 400k because no one would get it. once the present value of the extra income you get over the years from the degree is less than the cost people will just say fuck it

Most likely, people will just live at home and go to community college, which still costs about $50/credit hour. There are some really good community colleges in the US like BMCC.

2/24/11
PTS:
monkeysama:
IlliniProgrammer:
ANT:
GoodBread:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

With that kind of logic, the demographics of our country could get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

No one will listen, but that is why I no longer care. Condoms are cheap and easy. Bringing a life into this world is a big responsibility. People who cannot afford to raise a kid, yet have them anyway an then cry to me for money get no sympathy.

Once again, in America, those who plan and save have to finance the losers of society. Not my problem.

Which is why, IMHO, this country needs to have a one or maybe two child policy when it comes to welfare and social services.

We will pay welfare and/or EIC for 1 child.

If you have more, that is your problem. Please consider putting them up for adoption and giving them parents who actually have the skill to raise them. Also please consider your birth control options.

The problem is that hungry people always generate costs for people who can take care of themselves. We either have to feed them or spend more money maintaining law and order. So I think the only solution here is for people on the public dole to have fewer children.

Illini I don't think you get it. The College Board is estimating that the cost of a college education will be 400,000 dollars by 2015.

Think about that for a minute. This says that 90 percent of Americans are making 30k a year. Right now 40 percent have a college degree already. If we're generous and assume that a kid out of college can make 40k a year (on average) he'd have to save 4k, ten percent of his income, for 100 YEARS to pay back that loan, without interest. 100 YEARS! Forget retirement, forget medical care, forget being able to afford kids.

The American people can no longer afford to be educated enough to live in anything but poverty. Talking about welfare reform only serves to underscore how sadly out of touch you are with the enormity of today's problem.

Dont be fucking stupid. A 4 year degree will never cost 400k because no one would get it. once the present value of the extra income you get over the years from the degree is less than the cost people will just say fuck it

Ok....that only makes it harder for 90 percent of Americans to know how to become middle class as there is no longer a path to get there. It makes the future all the more uncertain.

Don't call me fucking stupid dickhead.

2/24/11
GoodBread:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

With that kind of logic, the demographics of our country could get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

This is why the rich need to have more children, the poor can just PIITB.

2/24/11
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

Honestly, fuck them. I didn't realize my hard work was so someone else can slack and be taken care of.

How is it a rich persona fault. Most wealth comes those who giro school. Not just ivy league schools. You get a state school education, work two jobs, save and plan and build wealthy.

Why is it that immigrants, who don't speak English, can come here with nothing and follow that simple plan and do well, but Amerxans, with all the advantage in the world look for help and someone to blame.

So tired of this topic. Be free and accept responsibility. I'm not your parent and I am not your friend. Goof off, shot out kids, spend too much and suffer the consequences.

We keep helping out the weakest links.

Oh well. I guess I should be punished for working hard my whole life. I must have done something wrong. And we wonder why this country is going down the tubes.

Did you even read the OP's post? You just advocated that 90% of this country stop procreating and said fuck you to them. This is why I never take you seriously.

2/24/11
awm55:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

Honestly, fuck them. I didn't realize my hard work was so someone else can slack and be taken care of.

How is it a rich persona fault. Most wealth comes those who giro school. Not just ivy league schools. You get a state school education, work two jobs, save and plan and build wealthy.

Why is it that immigrants, who don't speak English, can come here with nothing and follow that simple plan and do well, but Amerxans, with all the advantage in the world look for help and someone to blame.

So tired of this topic. Be free and accept responsibility. I'm not your parent and I am not your friend. Goof off, shot out kids, spend too much and suffer the consequences.

We keep helping out the weakest links.

Oh well. I guess I should be punished for working hard my whole life. I must have done something wrong. And we wonder why this country is going down the tubes.

Did you even read the OP's post? You just advocated that 90% of this country stop procreating and said fuck you to them. This is why I never take you seriously.

Left meet Right. have fun....

Get busy living

2/24/11
UFOinsider:
awm55:
ANT:

If you have no skill or education and can only make 30k per year, what business do you have bringing a child into this world?

Honestly, fuck them. I didn't realize my hard work was so someone else can slack and be taken care of.

How is it a rich persona fault. Most wealth comes those who giro school. Not just ivy league schools. You get a state school education, work two jobs, save and plan and build wealthy.

Why is it that immigrants, who don't speak English, can come here with nothing and follow that simple plan and do well, but Amerxans, with all the advantage in the world look for help and someone to blame.

So tired of this topic. Be free and accept responsibility. I'm not your parent and I am not your friend. Goof off, shot out kids, spend too much and suffer the consequences.

We keep helping out the weakest links.

Oh well. I guess I should be punished for working hard my whole life. I must have done something wrong. And we wonder why this country is going down the tubes.

Did you even read the OP's post? You just advocated that 90% of this country stop procreating and said fuck you to them. This is why I never take you seriously.

Left meet Right. have fun....

This isn't a left or right issue. What he advocated is off the political spectrum and into crazy town territory. You can't argue with someone who just advocates giving a big fuck you to 90% of his countryman.

2/24/11

Hey monkey, could you tell me where you donate all of your income to? You always push for more tax and anti rich, I am sure you walk the talk and redistribute your own wealth to those who have lesser than you.

Or maybe you just want to take from others and not do it yourself.

2/24/11

Too busy making excuses and not busy enough solving problems. Booooooooo hoooooo, cry me a river.

You want to make money in America? Go long Kleenex abs tampons. Bunch of pussies crying all the time.

2/24/11

We have rule of law in this country. No one is stopping someone from working hard and making wealth. This is not what Rome was.

Nation of hand outs and babies. We dot deserve to be great anymore. Pathetic.

2/24/11

This country is full of entitled whiny lazy pieces of shit. Anyone in this country with a work ethic and half a brain could easily become a millionaire. The problem is that people do not know how to budget their money, forego instant gratification through purchases of meaningless crap and make the appropriate sacrifices to grow their wealth (i.e. stop popping out kids you fckng idiot, study harder, work longer, etc.)

I am sick and tired of the excuses and paying for other people's entitlement programs.

Monkeysama, you dont have to be "special" to build wealth and lead a satisfying life. You're just a negativity spreader who at the moment is down on his luck.

2/24/11

Fuck you AWM. I advocate procreating when you can take care of your child. I know personal responsibility is foreign to you.

Also kid, 30k x2 people is 60k. Enough to raise a kid, but not 3 or 4.

2/24/11
ANT:

Fuck you AWM. I advocate procreating when you can take care of your child. I know personal responsibility is foreign to you.

Also kid, 30k x2 people is 60k. Enough to raise a kid, but not 3 or 4.

So do I, and when I suggested that people on welfare should have their welfare taken away if they have more kids you made it sound like it was such a crazy idea that the government control procreation.

All you do is rant about the poor. How about offering a solution? You are not going to change the mentality of a huge proportion of this country by telling them they are lazy and stupid. The government needs to take a hard line solution when it comes to this kind of stuff, its the only way people are going to change.

2/24/11

AWM, do you have to sweat my nuts on every post. Let monkeysama argue the liberal side, at least he is intelligent about it. Your sycophant behavior is lame.

2/24/11

I dunno Midas. My grandparents live on $10K/year combined and are very happy. Grandpa heats his home with firewood he chops in the woods, and a lot of their vegetables are grown in their backyard garden.

It is a much different lifestyle than most of us urbanites. I don't think money can buy you happiness, but free-time, family, and a sense of your place in world does.

For a married couple, $63K/year goes a long way outside NYC. In fact, $63K/year in Sheboygan, Wisconsin goes as far as $134K/year in Manhattan:
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving...

So I would not feel too bad for our friends in Akron in the bottom 90%. They are probably enjoying better lives than many Manhattanites while working less.

Will I retire a billionaire? Or even an eight-figure millionaire? Probably not (short of massive inflation). Will I retire happier than most billionaires? You can count on that. :D

2/24/11

AWM, for the one millionth time, if you really believe what you say, sign over at least half of your future earnings to social programs to help your fellow countrymen. Maybe it has to do with we don't like being robbed, aka taxed, to subsidize those that are too lazy. There are exceptions to those that need social programs, yes I admit that, but not what we have now.

2/24/11
txjustin:

AWM, for the one millionth time, if you really believe what you say, sign over at least half of your future earnings to social programs to help your fellow countrymen. Maybe it has to do with we don't like being robbed, aka taxed, to subsidize those that are too lazy. There are exceptions to those that need social programs, yes I admit that, but not what we have now.

What are you talking about? I have taken very hard line positions on welfare reform that protect the tax payer. All you is call people lazy. Fuck you.

2/24/11

Haha, I bet you've never had to do anything on your own. Daddy on Wall Street takes care of you. I can just envision you as some skinny pimple faced virgin sitting behind his computer with a shit eating grin on his face right now.

2/24/11
txjustin:

Haha, I bet you've never had to do anything on your own. Daddy on Wall Street takes care of you. I can just envision you as some skinny pimple faced virgin sitting behind his computer with a shit eating grin on his face right now.

What is your (practical) solution to the welfare issue?

2/24/11

AWM, I'll get back to you on that later tonight.

2/24/11

We can solve this problem easily. EASILY. With three steps:

1) Adopt a flat tax. All income levels pays 10%. Taxes average around 40% right now; that would do wonders for everybody's budget. Plus we'd actually have growth.

2) Remove restrictions on health insurance companies to let them compete nationally. Cost of healthcare would go down.

3) Start drug testing for welfare. I'm not totally heartless; the help should be available, but if anyone chooses not to take advantage of it, they're on their own. There has to be proof that they're genuinely trying to improve their lot. I don't want to support someone who sits around all day and does nothing; I would be willing to pay to help someone get off the ground. But the Feds don't make that distinction, and it has to stop.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

2/24/11
Pfalzer:

We can solve this problem easily. EASILY. With three steps:

1) Adopt a flat tax. All income levels pays 10%. Taxes average around 40% right now; that would do wonders for everybody's budget. Plus we'd actually have growth.

2) Remove restrictions on health insurance companies to let them compete nationally. Cost of healthcare would go down.

3) Start drug testing for welfare. I'm not totally heartless; the help should be available, but if anyone chooses not to take advantage of it, they're on their own. There has to be proof that they're genuinely trying to improve their lot. I don't want to support someone who sits around all day and does nothing; I would be willing to pay to help someone get off the ground. But the Feds don't make that distinction, and it has to stop.

1) It's easy to pay 10 percent when you aren't using 100 percent of your income to eat. Bad idea.

2) I agree completely. We also have to repeal the laws that give health insurers protection from antimonopoly laws and create a public healthcare "pool" that offers no frills healthcare for all citizens.

3) I say we drug test banking CEOs. I'm not totally heartless; bailout money should be available, but if anyone chooses not to take advantage of it, they're on their own. There has to be proof that they're genuinely trying to improve their lot. I don't want to support someone who sits around all day and bankrupts the country; I would be willing to pay to help someone get their golden parachute. But the Feds don't make that distinction, and it has to stop.

2/24/11

^ I looked it up and you are correct. My original point still stands - even bringing up welfare reform when we're talking about the income of 90 percent of the population is not even absurd but rather insulting. What we need in this country is wealth reform.

2/24/11
monkeysama:

^ I looked it up and you are correct. My original point still stands - even bringing up welfare reform when we're talking about the income of 90 percent of the population is not even absurd but rather insulting. What we need in this country is wealth reform.

Wealth reform? Why don't you changer your username to "SocialismRules"?

2/24/11
txjustin:
monkeysama:

^ I looked it up and you are correct. My original point still stands - even bringing up welfare reform when we're talking about the income of 90 percent of the population is not even absurd but rather insulting. What we need in this country is wealth reform.

Wealth reform? Why don't you changer your username to "SocialismRules"?

Welfare reform? Why don't you changer your username to "FascismRules"?

2/24/11
monkeysama:
txjustin:
monkeysama:

^ I looked it up and you are correct. My original point still stands - even bringing up welfare reform when we're talking about the income of 90 percent of the population is not even absurd but rather insulting. What we need in this country is wealth reform.

Wealth reform? Why don't you changer your username to "SocialismRules"?

Welfare reform? Why don't you changer your username to "FascismRules"?

I think you should look up the definition of fascism because I'm anything but fascist.

2/24/11

1 child, 2 child policy? Whatever happened to freedom and capitalism? You guys are assuming that every child born to parents who make under 30k will end up being a welfare recipient. No. These guys will be the farmers, construction workers, burger flippers, nurses, school teachers, policemen, firemen, secretaries, and for a lucky few bankers of our future. If we restrict demographic growth now, the US will be forcing a dwindling amount of workers to pay for millions of baby boomers' Medicare and shriveling tax receipts. Good luck pushing IPOs and mergers when your markets are inexorably shrinking (you guys do realize people making under 30k buy Ipods and use Facebook too, right?).

The American middle class isn't being destroyed by welfare recipients and Obama. It is now on the losing end of global imbalances correcting themselves as wage differentials between developed nations and the BRICs are being compressed and we ever so slowly creep back into being competitive in the industrial field. The people getting hit are the workers taking pay cuts and giving up benefits to keep their jobs. The winners are the top 1% dispensing advice and providing capital for the intervening restructuring process.

2/24/11
GoodBread:

1 child, 2 child policy? Whatever happened to freedom and capitalism? You guys are assuming that every child born to parents who make under 30k will end up being a welfare recipient. No. These guys will be the farmers, construction workers, burger flippers, nurses, school teachers, policemen, firemen, secretaries, and for a lucky few bankers of our future. If we restrict demographic growth now, the US will be forcing a dwindling amount of workers to pay for millions of baby boomers' Medicare and shriveling tax receipts. Good luck pushing IPOs and mergers when your markets are inexorably shrinking (you guys do realize people making under 30k buy Ipods and use Facebook too, right?).

I specifically said anyone on the public dole. If you are on welfare, we are no longer going to fund 15 children. I do think we can infer that people who rely on the government for help will have trouble training their children to live independently.

If you earn $7K/year, do not claim welfare, and want to have 15 children, that's great! We just can't afford to pay people to have children if the parents are already collecting welfare.

We can afford the mercy of prohibiting Darwinism for one generation of people who can't support themselves. If your parents can take care of themselves, we can afford to support you. We cannot afford indefinite generations of suspending Darwinism. People who cannot support themselves without government help should not be having more than two children.

2/26/11
GoodBread:

1 child, 2 child policy? Whatever happened to freedom and capitalism? You guys are assuming that every child born to parents who make under 30k will end up being a welfare recipient. No. These guys will be the farmers, construction workers, burger flippers, nurses, school teachers, policemen, firemen, secretaries, and for a lucky few bankers of our future. If we restrict demographic growth now, the US will be forcing a dwindling amount of workers to pay for millions of baby boomers' Medicare and shriveling tax receipts. Good luck pushing IPOs and mergers when your markets are inexorably shrinking (you guys do realize people making under 30k buy Ipods and use Facebook too, right?).

The American middle class isn't being destroyed by welfare recipients and Obama. It is now on the losing end of global imbalances correcting themselves as wage differentials between developed nations and the BRICs are being compressed and we ever so slowly creep back into being competitive in the industrial field. The people getting hit are the workers taking pay cuts and giving up benefits to keep their jobs. The winners are the top 1% dispensing advice and providing capital for the intervening restructuring process.

Good post.

2/24/11

I'm seriously considering just making this my sig.

This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that? Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stope them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it - talking trade balances here - once we've brain-drained all our technologies to other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwave ovens in Tadzhikistan and sell them here - once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel - once the Invisible Hand has takn all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider prosperity y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else

music
movies
microcode (software)
high-speed pizza delivery

2/24/11

This is just a preview of one of the things on tomorrow's Bonus Bananas, but I thought it was germane to the conversation.

If you live in America, your statistical odds of becoming a millionaire are 1 in 22. That's pretty strong.
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-ine...

2/24/11
Edmundo Braverman:

This is just a preview of one of the things on tomorrow's Bonus Bananas, but I thought it was germane to the conversation.

If you live in America, your statistical odds of becoming a millionaire are 1 in 22. That's pretty strong.
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-ine...

If you ever want to retire you need 2 million in order to afford healthcare and not having to work into your 80s. I consider that terribly low.

2/24/11

Does anybody know exactly how they measure this stuff? Like, some people are wealthy but don't make a very high salary (stock options, for example)? Other people receive bonus as a large chunk of their salary? Are bonuses being included?

2/24/11

Yawn. People always advocate wealth reform, but never start with themselves first.

It is jealousy and an inferiority complex. Pretty sad really. Oh well. Thank god people know better and socialism is marginalized at best in this country. The poor can keep dreaming of the government solving their problems while better people take initiative and do it themselves.

More and more people should stop giving to charity. If they are going to use the goverent to punish and tax me they should only rely on the government. Don't cry to me when you are starving. Cry to the government who you have used to reduce my wealth.

I work for myself and my family. I will not work hard so another person doesn't have to.

Socialism fails all the time because it is counter to human nature.

2/24/11

^^ If you want to retire at 50.

In retirement, non-medicare medical expenses are projected to be $250K. In the interest of conservatism, let's double that to $500K.

Beyond that, you need about 20 times your desired income for an inflation-adjusted lifetime annuity from a AAA rated insurer at 65. So to retire on $40K/year in addition to social security, you need $1.3 million.

Bear in mind that many retirees also have pensions and other retirement assets that are typically not counted towards "millionaire" status.

I am not worried about America in the long run. The average 401K balance is at a 10 year high and the average worker is saving 8% of their income per year before company match for retirement. Tack on a 3% employer match, and you're within the 10-15% of income range that you need to save in order to retire at 65.

In reality, most people will work until 70 and perhaps part-time until 75-80, In reality, the average American has it much better off than they did back in the '50s when the average person at the age of 62 was only expected to make it a few years, rather than 30.

2/24/11
IlliniProgrammer:

^^ If you want to retire at 50.

In retirement, non-medicare medical expenses are projected to be $250K. In the interest of conservatism, let's double that to $500K.

Beyond that, you need about 20 times your desired income for an inflation-adjusted lifetime annuity from a AAA rated insurer at 65. So to retire on $40K/year in addition to social security, you need $1.3 million.

Bear in mind that many retirees also have pensions and other retirement assets that are typically not counted towards "millionaire" status.

I am not worried about America in the long run. The average 401K balance is at a 10 year high and the average worker is saving 8% of their income per year before company match for retirement. Tack on a 3% employer match, and you're within the 10-15% of income range that you need to save in order to retire at 65.

In reality, most people will work until 70 and perhaps part-time until 75-80, In reality, the average American has it much better off than they did back in the '50s when the average person at the age of 62 was only expected to make it a few years, rather than 30.

Since when have workers ever saved 8 percent?

2/24/11
monkeysama:

Since when have workers ever saved 8 percent?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-23/fidelity-...

This despite everyone supposedly drawing down their retirement accounts to cover living expenses in a recession, 10 years of a flat market, and a lot of retirements occuring over the past 10 years.

2/24/11
IlliniProgrammer:
monkeysama:

Since when have workers ever saved 8 percent?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-23/fidelity-...

This despite everyone supposedly drawing down their retirement accounts to cover living expenses in a recession, 10 years of a flat market, and a lot of retirements occuring over the past 10 years.

Um.....yeah. That's account BALANCES. Over the same time period the stock market gained something like 30 percent. So you're saying that investments increased by 10? That means we have people investing in VERY conservative portfolios or 401ks decreased because of all the babyboomers. It says nothing about the savings rate.

Here's the BEAs take: http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?...

So the savings rate has historically been between 3-5 percent for the last twenty years and recently it's six percent. So let's be generous and say he saves every last penny after expenses. Sure why not! Our boy is going to college and he learned his lesson from the crash of 2008! And we want to retire with 1.3 mil, I think that's what you said. Let's start making that money when they're 24 (after college) and assume they have 25k in student loans (that's the national average) with an interest rate of 6.8 percent (the average for Stafford loans). We'll also assume he's going to pay it back as soon as he can so he doesn't get killed by the interest. He's smart, he went to college for a reason and he'll be damned if he's going to let compound interest bite him in the ass!

To make this simple we'll assume the rate of this guy's raises are about the same (3 percent), which is in line with how much we're going to make his food and rent rise (3 percent, we'll call that inflation). Over the last thirty years income has remained flat with inflation so I don't think this is an unreasonable assumption. We're also talking about what 90 percent of American's make, so we're probably being crazy saying he'll come out of college making 31k (after all 40 percent of Americans have college degrees). We'll be generous and say that the interest the guy earns on savings is ten percent what with the growth in China and all (even though most Americans don't really dabble in the stock market and the China phenomenon we'll doubtfully last his entire employed life).

We'll make food and rent 15k a year. Round numbers, if he spends ten dollars on food a day that leaves 11350 for rent which is 945 a month. That's a little high but I guess we can just say that the difference is what he would pay on clothes and other incidental expenses. So about reasonable. Food/Rent/Incidentals rise in price at 3 percent a year.

Taxes are ten percent a year flat tax. Complete craziness, but we'll just assume it as someone else in this thread thought that might be a good national policy. That tax also applies to capital gains from savings too remember.

Here's the numbers:
Age Income (Thousands) Food/Rent Loans Taxes on Income I-F/R-T Savings Taxes on Cap Gains Final Savings
22 31 15 25 3.1 12.9 0 0 0
23 31.93 15.45 13.8 3.19 13.29 0 0 0
24 32.89 15.91 1.45 3.29 13.69 0 0 0
25 33.87 16.39 0 3.39 14.1 14.1 0 14.1
26 34.89 16.88 0 3.49 14.52 15.51 0.14 15.36
27 35.94 17.39 0 3.59 14.95 17.06 0.16 16.9
28 37.02 17.91 0 3.7 15.4 18.76 0.17 18.59
29 38.13 18.45 0 3.81 15.87 20.64 0.19 20.45
30 39.27 19 0 3.93 16.34 22.7 0.21 22.5
31 40.45 19.57 0 4.04 16.83 24.97 0.23 24.75
32 41.66 20.16 0 4.17 17.34 27.47 0.25 27.22
33 42.91 20.76 0 4.29 17.86 30.22 0.27 29.94
34 44.2 21.39 0 4.42 18.39 33.24 0.3 32.94
35 45.52 22.03 0 4.55 18.94 36.56 0.33 36.23
36 46.89 22.69 0 4.69 19.51 40.22 0.37 39.85
37 48.3 23.37 0 4.83 20.1 44.24 0.4 43.84
38 49.75 24.07 0 4.97 20.7 48.66 0.44 48.22
39 51.24 24.79 0 5.12 21.32 53.53 0.49 53.04
40 52.78 25.54 0 5.28 21.96 58.88 0.54 58.35
41 54.36 26.3 0 5.44 22.62 64.77 0.59 64.18
42 55.99 27.09 0 5.6 23.3 71.25 0.65 70.6
43 57.67 27.9 0 5.77 24 78.37 0.71 77.66
44 59.4 28.74 0 5.94 24.72 86.21 0.78 85.43
45 61.18 29.6 0 6.12 25.46 94.83 0.86 93.97
46 63.02 30.49 0 6.3 26.22 104.32 0.95 103.37
47 64.91 31.41 0 6.49 27.01 114.75 1.04 113.7
48 66.85 32.35 0 6.69 27.82 126.22 1.15 125.07
49 68.86 33.32 0 6.89 28.65 138.84 1.26 137.58
50 70.93 34.32 0 7.09 29.51 152.73 1.39 151.34
51 73.05 35.35 0 7.31 30.4 168 1.53 166.47
52 75.25 36.41 0 7.52 31.31 184.8 1.68 183.12
53 77.5 37.5 0 7.75 32.25 203.28 1.85 201.43
54 79.83 38.63 0 7.98 33.22 223.61 2.03 221.58
55 82.22 39.79 0 8.22 34.22 245.97 2.24 243.73
56 84.69 40.98 0 8.47 35.24 270.57 2.46 268.11
57 87.23 42.21 0 8.72 36.3 297.62 2.71 294.92
58 89.85 43.47 0 8.98 37.39 327.39 2.98 324.41
59 92.54 44.78 0 9.25 38.51 360.12 3.27 356.85
60 95.32 46.12 0 9.53 39.66 396.14 3.6 392.54
61 98.18 47.51 0 9.82 40.85 435.75 3.96 431.79
62 101.12 48.93 0 10.11 42.08 479.33 4.36 474.97
63 104.16 50.4 0 10.42 43.34 527.26 4.79 522.47
64 107.28 51.91 0 10.73 44.64 579.98 5.27 574.71
65 110.5 53.47 0 11.05 45.98 637.98 5.8 632.18
66 113.82 55.07 0 11.38 47.36 701.78 6.38 695.4
67 117.23 56.72 0 11.72 48.78 771.96 7.02 764.94
68 120.75 58.43 0 12.07 50.25 849.15 7.72 841.44
69 124.37 60.18 0 12.44 51.75 934.07 8.49 925.58
70 128.1 61.98 0 12.81 53.31 1027.48 9.34 1018.14
71 131.94 63.84 0 13.19 54.91 1130.22 10.27 1119.95
72 135.9 65.76 0 13.59 56.55 1243.25 11.3 1231.95
73 139.98 67.73 0 14 58.25 1367.57 12.43 1355.14

That's a little hard to read, but if you want you can throw it into excel and delimit it.

2010 US life expectancy for a dude is 75. He makes his nut at 73, so he's got 2 years to enjoy it before he buys it.
Which I feel is fair assumption given that we're talking averages. Oh, and he's not allowed to marry, get sick, have kids, or otherwise splurge or be stupid in any way with his money.

Jesus Christ guys. Your solution to this problem is welfare reform? Are you out of your fucking minds?

2/24/11
monkeysama:

Um.....yeah. That's account BALANCES. Over the same time period the stock market gained something like 30 percent. So you're saying that investments increased by 10? That means we have people investing in VERY conservative portfolios or 401ks decreased because of all the babyboomers. It says nothing about the savings rate.

No. I'm saying that you have one picture today and one picture from 10 years ago with roughly the same demographics- with some people being born, some dying, some coming into the workforce, and some retiring.

Ten years ago, we had come off of a 300% gain in the markets over the prior ten years.

Ten years ago, we had a strong economy with 4% unemployment.

For all of the complaining everyone does, would it surprise you to know that the typical worker today has managed to save MORE in his/her 401K than the typical worker of 10 years ago (who is roughly the same age and has been saving for just as long)?

Truth is that people have done a much better job of saving for retirement over the past 10 years than 10-20 years ago.

Here's the BEAs take: http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?...

So the savings rate has historically been between 3-5 percent for the last twenty years and recently it's six percent. So let's be generous and say 5 percent. And we want to retire with 1.3 mil, I think that's what you said. Let's start making that money when they're 24 (after college) and assume they have 25k in student loans (that's the national average) with an interest rate of 6.8 percent (the average for Stafford loans). We'll also assume he's going to pay it back as soon as he can so he doesn't get killed by the interest. He's smart, he went to college for a reason and he'll be damned if he's going to let compound interest bite him in the ass.

This is non-retirement savings, for the record and excludes 401k contributions and pensions.

2010 US life expectancy for a dude is 75. He makes his nut at 73, so he's got 2 years to enjoy it before he buys it.
Which I feel is fair assumption given that we're talking averages. Oh, and he's not allowed to marry, get sick, have kids, or otherwise splurge or be stupid in any way with his money.

Well, yes, that's life. Life was never designed for 30 years of retirement, and if you're planning on dying at 75, you can probably retire earlier. Also, if you are living on $31K/year, you need to save only $600K for an inflation adjusted lifetime annuity at 65- assuming $0 in Social Security, which BTW, I think is a good program that can continue in its current form if we raise the retirement age. This is a much better situation than people working until they died like the past 5000 years of civilization.

Regardless, the worker can retire at 65 on his savings alone- and any Soc. Sec he'd be able to get on top of that would be a bonus. He has 20x his earnings and can stick it all into a lifetime inflation-adjusted annuity. And if inflation-adjusted rates are high like back in the late '90s, he can probably even retire at 61-62.

Jesus Christ guys. You're solution to this problem is welfare reform? Are you out of your fucking minds?

Well, yes. Fewer families of 15 kids->fewer workers-> less competition-> higher wages for this guy.

2/24/11

Illini, I'm still not comfortable with that kind of social engineering. Doing that would in essence equates to the U.S. having an authoritarian/communist relationship with part of its citizens. Besides, people on welfare are a drop in the bucket when it comes to this country's fiscal problems and implementing such a radical solution is in poor taste when so much could be done to reduce the wealth gap by other means.

2/24/11
GoodBread:

Illini, I'm still not comfortable with that kind of social engineering. Doing that would in essence equates to the U.S. having an authoritarian/communist relationship with part of its citizens. Besides, people on welfare are a drop in the bucket when it comes to this country's fiscal problems and implementing such a radical solution is in poor taste when so much could be done to reduce the wealth gap by other means.

Nobody is being an authoritarian here. If you're on welfare, you can have three kids, but we're only going to pay welfare benefits for two. Please consider putting your third child up for adoption.

2/24/11
GoodBread:

Illini, I'm still not comfortable with that kind of social engineering. Doing that would in essence equates to the U.S. having an authoritarian/communist relationship with part of its citizens. Besides, people on welfare are a drop in the bucket when it comes to this country's fiscal problems and implementing such a radical solution is in poor taste when so much could be done to reduce the wealth gap by other means.

I agree that the cost of welfare itself is a relatively minor blip in the grand scheme of the economy. But what about the loss of a potentially productive part of the population? With the way our current welfare system is set up, a a portion of the population may have greater benefits to having another child than to enter the workforce.

2/24/11

Fair enough, although there are much bigger leaks in our economy that I'd like to see taken care of first.

2/24/11

Thread Update:

Getting laid helps. Try it. Resume banter.

2/24/11

I think a bigger problem is that our society is no longer content with being "middle class". No one "needs" to send their kids to private schooling, drive foreign sports cars, wear a Rolex, etc. I'm sure 50 years ago there weren't millions of people bitching and moaning about making $150,000 a year..

2/24/11

First off, I am at fucking work, but this topic pisses me off so god damn much, I have to respond.

1) Do any of you actually look at the data backing this "thesis" up? Whenever I see shit like this, I always want to look at the raw numbers. I suggest you all do also.

The chart and premise of this article come from this paper, linked to below.
http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton%20ariely%...

This is the standard definition of wealth, given to all respondents.

"Wealth, also known as net worth, is defined as the total value of everything someone owns minus any debt that he or she owes. A person's net worth includes his or her bank account savings plus the value of other things such as property, stocks, bonds, art, collections, etc., minus the value of things like loans and mortgages."

This is the height of the paper. The rest of the paper is about showing people graphs of wealth equality and which people would prefer. They conclude that people prefer Sweden's distribution and that they under estimate the wealth distribution in America.

WOW, revolutionary. People PREFER an even wealth distribution.

I PREFER women to want me all the time and never complain. I PREFER making 400K a year and getting my way all the time.

Last time I checked, the Bill of Rights didn't include jack shit about what people prefer.

How about asking yourself, why do high earners and more affluent people have wealth? My thoughts are as follow.

Lower income people or people who are more poor tend to fixate on possession. Material goods. They want to look and feel rich. You see this with all kinds of market research studies and spending patters. They don't buy assets or wealth, they buy goods or name brand shit.

Look at the recent mortgage crisis. People bought massive homes, maxed out credit cards, cleaned out their home equity. They all felt and looked rich. But in truth they were poor.

"Anthony, why is someone with a BMW and 40 LCD TV's in a McMansion poor??"

YOU HAVE DEBT, NOT ASSETS

Gather round children, story time from Anthony.

I used to work in a factory, since age 18 to 21. I worked my ASS off. I think I made 8.00 an hour when I started. I also lived at home. You know what I did. I saved, invested and bought assets.

I put money into I Bonds, CD's, Mutual funds. I was putting 16% into a 401(k), etc. When I did buy things I tended to buy expensive watches (which have actually appreciated!). I had no debt. I bought a car and paid it off in two years.

"Wow Anthony, how did you do that? How did someone working in a FUCKING FACTORY accumulate WEALTHY, not DEBT"

BECAUSE I AM NOT A RETARD AND I SAVED MY MONEY INSTEAD OF PISSING IT ALL AWAY

This chart and graphic would be horrible if the world had FINITE wealth. We DO NOT.

Rich people hold wealth because they save, invest, buy houses, land, business, art, etc. They buy other things, yes, but they usually do not go into bone crushing debt to have these things.

This is why immigrants are so successful. They buy assets, not crap. This is why Indian people and Chinese people are so successful. They don't buy Air Jordans, they buy fucking newsstands.

Let me switch gears. Suppose we taxed the wealthy in an attempt to redistribute the "wealth". Unless you teach lower income people to save, they will simply take this money and buy more shit with it. Wealth is not transferred or redistributed. Wealth is taken from the rich and cash is given to the poor. Wealth is only created when debt is reduced and assets grow.

You could take all the savings from the rich and give it to the poor and the poor would still not have wealth because they would spend all of their money.

If you want to redistribute wealth to poor people, you MUST FOLLOW THESE STEPS

1) Take from the Rich

2) Government gets money

3) Government buys bonds

4) Government gives bonds to poor people and does not allow them to sell them

5) Government takes poor people and pays all of their debt

6) Government does not allow poor people to spend more than they make

There you go. Debt will be zero. Budget will be balanced and they will have assets (the bonds) which will give them wealth. That is the only way.

OR YOU COULD JUST LET PEOPLE BE MOTHER FUCKING FREE AND LET MONEY GET SPENT ON WHAT PEOPLE VALUE. RICH WILL SAVE, POOR WILL BY NIKES AND WE WILL LIVE IN A FREE GOD DAMN COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!

2/24/11

Amen Ant!!

2/24/11

Fucking someone tell me I am wrong? We magically think that people will start saving. This country had a god damn negative savings rate forever.

Wealth is simply Assets>Debts

2/24/11

But here's the thing Ant. We live in a democracy, and if we have this system, we have a small group of people who keep getting richer and we have lots of poor voters and class envy. This never ends well for rich people. You may be 100% right from an idealistic standpoint, but from a pragmatic standpoint, we should consider ways that we can avoid having the government encourage welfare recipients to have extra children.

2/24/11

Illini,

I am a strong proponent of population control and decline. But what can we do? Being pragmatic, anything that is anti human gets a horrible rap. No way a bill restricting cash pay outs to people on welfare based on the number of kids would pass.

Atlas Shrugged man. I realize it must suck and look unfair, but you are doing wrong by taking from people who have earned it.

I don't know. Ill let this topic develop more and think over things. I need to crank out some work, but I will be back.

No more socialism. Lets discuss how we can get poor people to accumulate assets and not debt. This will involve more than simply tax and redistribute methods.

2/24/11
ANT:

Illini,
I am a strong proponent of population control and decline. But what can we do? Being pragmatic, anything that is anti human gets a horrible rap. No way a bill restricting cash pay outs to people on welfare based on the number of kids would pass.

I hate the PCness that flitters around the recent debates regarding whether or not Planned Parenthood should have its federal funding cut. Liberal word dancing of "choice" and "reproductive health."

I think PP should be increased tenfold, allowing them to offer free abortions, on demand, day or night. Every aborted fetus is worth 100,000x its weight in gold if you consider the social and economic ramifications of this unwanted child being brought into the world and supported by the public welfare system.

2/24/11

I would like to be the first to make a market on Anthony having a heart attack. The over/under is 35. The under is 3:1 and the over is 3:2. PM me for paypal info.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

2/24/11
happypantsmcgee:

I would like to be the first to make a market on Anthony having a heart attack. The over/under is 35. The under is 3:1 and the over is 3:2. PM me for paypal info.

Hahaha!!! HPM, I think that's the hardest you've ever made me LOL (and trust me, that's saying something).

I said it before and I'll say it again, this is the best coverage of income inequality issues I've ever heard discussed: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2008/11/richard_e...
(Richard Epstein is truly a f*cking genius!)

2/24/11

Monkeysama, what do you suggest specifically? I'm genuinely curious.

2/24/11
txjustin:

Monkeysama, what do you suggest specifically? I'm genuinely curious.

The first thing we need to do is change the rhetoric in this country. Anyone who can count without having to use their fingers knows that something is terribly, terribly wrong.

Second, we need tax reform. We need a tax based on wealth, not income. This would encourage spending while also apportioning the amount of tax to those who could best afford it. It also wouldn't distinguish between capital gains tax (interest earned income) and working income. The tax would be apportioned based upon the Gini coefficient - the more unequal society became the more the wealthy would need to pay. Tax brackets would go all the way to the top and be as smooth as possible. None of this top tax bracket at 250k bullshit.

Third we need budgetary reform. Congress sets a budget at the beginning of every year, a week before tax day, and everyone has to pay according to their current wealth. If deficit spending is needed or unavoidable the Federal Reserve would make an announcement and emergency spending would be used to cover the shortfall. If the deficit isn't balanced by the time of the next year's budget every congressmen is recalled and general elections are in place for election to office the following month. None of the current sitting congressmen are ever allowed to hold public office again.

Fourth we need corruption reform. Every federally elected public official gets the median wage of a citizen of the country, for so long as they are in public office. They are not allowed to accept money from any outside source after they have been in office and they are not allowed to accept any money from outside sources for 2 years before being elected. Sound harsh? It is. No one will ever run for office again you say? I doubt it. We have too many people who want to milk the tit of the public trust at the expense of the general welfare as it is. We can find 435 power hungry publicity hounds by throwing a rock in times square.

Let's do those things for starters.

2/24/11
monkeysama:
txjustin:

Monkeysama, what do you suggest specifically? I'm genuinely curious.

The first thing we need to do is change the rhetoric in this country. Anyone who can count without having to use their fingers knows that something is terribly, terribly wrong.

Second, we need tax reform. We need a tax based on wealth, not income. This would encourage spending while also apportioning the amount of tax to those who could best afford it. It also wouldn't distinguish between capital gains tax (interest earned income) and working income. The tax would be apportioned based upon the Gini coefficient - the more unequal society became the more the wealthy would need to pay. Tax brackets would go all the way to the top and be as smooth as possible. None of this top tax bracket at 250k bullshit.

Third we need budgetary reform. Congress sets a budget at the beginning of every year, a week before tax day, and everyone has to pay according to their current wealth. If deficit spending is needed or unavoidable the Federal Reserve would make an announcement and emergency spending would be used to cover the shortfall. If the deficit isn't balanced by the time of the next year's budget every congressmen is recalled and general elections are in place for election to office the following month. None of the current sitting congressmen are ever allowed to hold public office again.

Fourth we need corruption reform. Every federally elected public official gets the median wage of a citizen of the country, for so long as they are in public office. They are not allowed to accept money from any outside source after they have been in office and they are not allowed to accept any money from outside sources for 2 years before being elected. Sound harsh? It is. No one will ever run for office again you say? I doubt it. We have too many people who want to milk the tit of the public trust at the expense of the general welfare as it is. We can find 435 power hungry publicity hounds by throwing a rock in times square.

Let's do those things for starters.

So what happens when all of the rich people move to the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands or Brazil and take most of their wealth with them?

2/24/11
IlliniProgrammer:
monkeysama:
txjustin:

Monkeysama, what do you suggest specifically? I'm genuinely curious.

The first thing we need to do is change the rhetoric in this country. Anyone who can count without having to use their fingers knows that something is terribly, terribly wrong.

Second, we need tax reform. We need a tax based on wealth, not income. This would encourage spending while also apportioning the amount of tax to those who could best afford it. It also wouldn't distinguish between capital gains tax (interest earned income) and working income. The tax would be apportioned based upon the Gini coefficient - the more unequal society became the more the wealthy would need to pay. Tax brackets would go all the way to the top and be as smooth as possible. None of this top tax bracket at 250k bullshit.

Third we need budgetary reform. Congress sets a budget at the beginning of every year, a week before tax day, and everyone has to pay according to their current wealth. If deficit spending is needed or unavoidable the Federal Reserve would make an announcement and emergency spending would be used to cover the shortfall. If the deficit isn't balanced by the time of the next year's budget every congressmen is recalled and general elections are in place for election to office the following month. None of the current sitting congressmen are ever allowed to hold public office again.

Fourth we need corruption reform. Every federally elected public official gets the median wage of a citizen of the country, for so long as they are in public office. They are not allowed to accept money from any outside source after they have been in office and they are not allowed to accept any money from outside sources for 2 years before being elected. Sound harsh? It is. No one will ever run for office again you say? I doubt it. We have too many people who want to milk the tit of the public trust at the expense of the general welfare as it is. We can find 435 power hungry publicity hounds by throwing a rock in times square.

Let's do those things for starters.

So what happens when all of the rich people move to the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands or Brazil and take most of their wealth with them?

ALL. Every single last one of them is going to leave? I somehow doubt it. How many people would flock to this country who see that the middle class is growing and it is worthwhile to be a working American again? Somehow I don't think this enters into your calculus.

If we could shave off .25 percent of long term GDP in this country for a 20 percent rise in the median wage it would be a trade worth taking. If, I as the benign emperor of the universe, could make the median wage in this country rise to 40k and 100 billionaires left I doubt I would lose much sleep at night.

2/24/11
monkeysama:

ALL. Every single last one of them is going to leave? I somehow doubt it. How many people would flock to this country who see that the middle class is growing and it is worthwhile to be a working American again? Somehow I don't think this enters into your calculus.

None of them would have money, they would compete against US workers for nonexistant jobs that left with the global rich, and the US would experience a much milder version of the transformation that happened to Zimbabwe once Mugabe went socialist. The rich white people left when he took their land, and the country went from the breadbasket of Africa to a total mess. Some of it had to do with corruption, which I'll discount here, but a lot of it also had to do with wealth distribution. When rich people leave, countries suffer.

If we could shave off .25 percent of long term GDP in this country for a 20 percent rise in the median wage it would be a trade worth taking. If, I as the benign emperor of the universe, could make the median wage in this country rise to 40k and 100 billionaires left I doubt I would lose much sleep at night.

We'd really be talking about moving towards negative GDP growth for a number of years for that coercive of a move. I really think we'd be talking about 70-80% of the rich people leaving if things got bad enough (the equivalent of 75%+ marginal tax rates.)

Expect a permanent halving of GDP growth and probably a loss of a minimum of 20% of GDP over ten years for that- and perhaps a situation at least half as bad as Zimbabwe- perhaps an 80% loss in GDP- if enough rich people leave. Under more extreme socialism, everyone shares the suffering.

2/24/11
IlliniProgrammer:
monkeysama:

ALL. Every single last one of them is going to leave? I somehow doubt it. How many people would flock to this country who see that the middle class is growing and it is worthwhile to be a working American again? Somehow I don't think this enters into your calculus.

None of them would have money, they would compete against US workers for nonexistant jobs that left with the global rich, and the US would experience a much milder version of the transformation that happened to Zimbabwe once Mugabe went socialist. The rich white people left when he took their land, and the country went from the breadbasket of Africa to a total mess. Some of it had to do with corruption, which I'll discount here, but a lot of it also had to do with wealth distribution. When rich people leave, countries suffer.

If we could shave off .25 percent of long term GDP in this country for a 20 percent rise in the median wage it would be a trade worth taking. If, I as the benign emperor of the universe, could make the median wage in this country rise to 40k and 100 billionaires left I doubt I would lose much sleep at night.

We'd really be talking about moving towards negative GDP growth for a number of years for that coercive of a move. I really think we'd be talking about 70-80% of the rich people leaving if things got bad enough (the equivalent of 75%+ marginal tax rates.)

Expect a permanent halving of GDP growth and probably a loss of a minimum of 20% of GDP over ten years for that- and perhaps a situation at least half as bad as Zimbabwe- perhaps an 80% loss in GDP- if enough rich people leave. Under more extreme socialism, everyone shares the suffering.

You think that I would just take rich people's land wholesale? You're seriously comparing me to Mugabe, that colossal dick head? I'm talking about raising the highest marginal tax rate to 5 mil maybe and raising taxes on the highest end by 5 percent. I'm talking about health care reform with a public pool for people if they get sick. I'm talking about banning private companies from providing nonbankruptcy protected student loans and getting the government to offer them again. I'm talking about school vouchers. I'm talking about supporting unions and putting punishments in place for corruption and deficit spending.

I am NOT Mugabe.

2/24/11

Monkeysama, it is hilarious to me that you have turned your way of thinking around so much in the past few months.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

2/24/11
happypantsmcgee:

Monkeysama, it is hilarious to me that you have turned your way of thinking around so much in the past few months.

I blame ANT for emboldening me.

2/25/11

.

2/24/11

Rage man, fucking rage.

I honestly want to help the poor, but I think the Left uses them as a weapon. Really upsets me.

Look at us guys. I literally want to kick the shit out of a poor person because of this topic. They probably don't even care. It is Democrats and Liberals who are pushing this garbage.

How many genuinely poor kids are on here advocating this shit. You always here rich or well off people pushing this redistribution bullshit.

Democrats want slaves and poor people are the closest thing to it. The use the carrot of free money then rich as their enemy.

In reality, the rich employ them, buy goods and services and help them.

2/24/11

I support the bottom two things.

2/24/11
ANT:

I support the bottom two things.

I will also chime in that if we switch to the FairTax model, a National Property Tax- which only covers military, state, and defense spending- with the VAT covering everything else- would also be reasonable.

If you own $1 Billion worth of oil fields, aren't you happy they're in the US and not, say, Libya right now? Keeping those assets safe costs something- military and state spending.

2/24/11

^^^^^

Booyah

Yeah, how do you stop people from leaving or not working as hard????????

HOW DO YOU STOP THEM, I am waiting to hear it.

2/24/11
ANT:

^^^^^

Booyah

Yeah, how do you stop people from leaving or not working as hard????????

HOW DO YOU STOP THEM, I am waiting to hear it.

Well,you do it by playing fair and reasonable and emphasizing the value of the state. People won't leave over a 45% marginal tax rate. Given that it is not the 1950s where the only states not entirely destroyed by WWII are communist, however, I don't think most rich Americans would tolerate a 90% marginal tax rate. I think most of them would just leave.

2/24/11

I agree with a lot you said with the exception of your tax reform opinion. I am more of a Fair Tax kinda guy.

2/24/11

ANT,

Today's rant of yours reminds me of this song from 2007.

Also, I love your quote from before about Kleenex and tampons.

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
2/24/11

ALL. Every single last one of them is going to leave? I somehow doubt it. How many people would flock to this country who see that the middle class is growing and it is worthwhile to be a working American again? Somehow I don't think this enters into your calculus.

I love that statement. If I am being rich and singled out and raped do you think I am going to give a shit.

You are dogging the question.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO STOP PEOPLE?

Are you?

Are you going to allow money to go overseas?

Your thesis also relies on people not pissing that money away. Take a look at lottery winners. They got a ton of money and most are broke right now.

2/24/11
ANT:

ALL. Every single last one of them is going to leave? I somehow doubt it. How many people would flock to this country who see that the middle class is growing and it is worthwhile to be a working American again? Somehow I don't think this enters into your calculus.

I love that statement. If I am being rich and singled out and raped do you think I am going to give a shit.

You are dogging the question.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO STOP PEOPLE?

Are you?

Are you going to allow money to go overseas?

Your thesis also relies on people not pissing that money away. Take a look at lottery winners. They got a ton of money and most are broke right now.

I'm saying "How are you going to stop people from leaving?" is the wrong question. If I can raise the median wage by 10k and 10 billionaires get huffy and move to Singapore, I don't give a shit. So long as I can raise the standard of living for 90 percent of Americans I would be more than willing to raise taxes on the wealthy.

2/24/11

45% TAX RATE!!!!!!

Fuck that dude. At 45% I stop working hard and start looking to move and move if possible.

I would renounce my citizenship at 45% and piss on the flag. America doesn't exist in my heart at 45%.

ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!!

OMG

45%

AAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

2/24/11
ANT:

45% TAX RATE!!!!!!

Fuck that dude. At 45% I stop working hard and start looking to move and move if possible.

I would renounce my citizenship at 45% and piss on the flag. America doesn't exist in my heart at 45%.

ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!!

OMG

45%

AAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Anthony, that's fine. You can leave. I really like this country. I'll stick it out until at least 55%, then it gets a little iffy. I'm gone at 75%, though.

Most people will stay until they become convinced that tax rates are "unfair." 45% isn't unfair- it's below what we had under Reagan. Once we get above the Carter tax schedule, though, this is no longer America. I'm heading for a country that's friendlier to smart folks willing to work hard.

2/24/11
IlliniProgrammer:
ANT:

45% TAX RATE!!!!!!

Fuck that dude. At 45% I stop working hard and start looking to move and move if possible.

I would renounce my citizenship at 45% and piss on the flag. America doesn't exist in my heart at 45%.

ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!!

OMG

45%

AAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Anthony, that's fine. You can leave. I really like this country. I'll stick it out until at least 55%, then it gets a little iffy. I'm gone at 75%, though.

Most people will stay until they become convinced that tax rates are "unfair." 45% isn't unfair- it's below what we had under Reagan. Once we get above the Carter tax schedule, though, this is no longer America. I'm heading for a country that's friendlier to smart folks willing to work hard.

45%

Are you talking Federal levels or Fed & State combined?

Are you factoring sales tax, county/city tax, fees, fines, and all the other quasi tax?

I pay friggin 45% all in tax right now.

2/24/11

I am moving to China or India. You talk to people over there about building wealth and they understand. In America if isn't fair unless you have Air Jordans and an X5.

My people are brown and yellow. Cannot handle this shit anymore.

2/24/11
ANT:

I am moving to China or India. You talk to people over there about building wealth and they understand. In America if isn't fair unless you have Air Jordans and an X5.

My people are brown and yellow. Cannot handle this shit anymore.

Hahaha....they would eat you alive.

2/24/11
monkeysama:
ANT:

I am moving to China or India. You talk to people over there about building wealth and they understand. In America if isn't fair unless you have Air Jordans and an X5.

My people are brown and yellow. Cannot handle this shit anymore.

Hahaha....they would eat you alive.

I date an Indian girl and her whole family thinks just like me. That is why Indian people and Chinese people utterly dominate.

People who come from poor countries (not bullshit American poor, real poor) know how to work and save and appreciate this country.

Fat, stupid, lazy "Americans" don't appreciate it anymore. They think they are owed something.

Puke.

You want to hang out with real Americans. Go to China town or Edison.

These people have the spirit of America in their heart.

2/24/11
ANT:
monkeysama:
ANT:

I am moving to China or India. You talk to people over there about building wealth and they understand. In America if isn't fair unless you have Air Jordans and an X5.

My people are brown and yellow. Cannot handle this shit anymore.

Hahaha....they would eat you alive.

I date an Indian girl and her whole family thinks just like me. That is why Indian people and Chinese people utterly dominate.

People who come from poor countries (not bullshit American poor, real poor) know how to work and save and appreciate this country.

Fat, stupid, lazy "Americans" don't appreciate it anymore. They think they are owed something.

Puke.

You want to hang out with real Americans. Go to China town or Edison.

These people have the spirit of America in their heart.

Edison NJ?!?!
HAHAHAHAHAHA
Can't believe this is what its known for

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
2/24/11
ANT:

My people are brown and yellow. Cannot handle this shit anymore.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLslKUp04DY

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

2/24/11

Thank god in this country, the surest way to get kicked out of office is to even mention taxes.

2/24/11

LOL

Illini just called you Mugabe. You didn't even get to be a cool dictator lol

2/24/11

Well it is known for delicious Indian food, being the largest deposit of Gold outside of Ft. Knox and people who know how to work hard and appreciate America!

2/24/11
ANT:

Well it is known for delicious Indian food, being the largest deposit of Gold outside of Ft. Knox and people who know how to work hard and appreciate America!

ANT's theme song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BN1jSpiyIM&feature...

2/24/11
ANT:

Well it is known for delicious Indian food, being the largest deposit of Gold outside of Ft. Knox and people who know how to work hard and appreciate America!

I grew up just south of Edison. We always knew it to be more <a href="wwww.sushiwithmygirls.com>sushi than Indian.

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
2/24/11

LOL

Thanks for adding some much needed levity in this thread.

How you feeling? Better I hope.

2/24/11

Yeah, I got over my cold I think. Thanks.

2/24/11

In summary, I think there's three things people understand in this country in terms of taxes. And none of them are GINI taxes.

1.) Property tax
2.) Sales Tax
3.) Income tax.

If monkeysama wants to use a National Property Tax to ONLY fund the military, I think that makes a lot of sense. We can use a combination of sales tax and less progressive income tax to fund domestic spending. We need to spend some money on giving people opportunities (like an efficient means of giving people college educations), but not on subsidizing poor people for the sake of it.

If we start redistributing wealth, the tax base is going to leave. But you can justify some taxes (like a national property tax) by saying that it costs money to keep Libya and Egypt out of the US via the US Military and the justice system.

You can always get money out of rich people by justifying the cost. On top of that, you can get a little bit more by asking them to do their neighborly/patriotic duty. But you can't have coercive redistribution. IMHO, that starts to happen past 55% federal taxes with a 5% state tax allowance (with an itemized deduction for state tax paid.)

2/24/11

Well see, I am pro choice, but I would ideally like to live in a world where no one has an abortion. Birth control, condoms, morning after pill, etc are all cheap and easy ways to prevent pregnancy. Abortion is a very messy and horrible thing.

I've seen the pics and the videos. Whether you think life starts at birth or before, it is fucking nasty seeing something that resembles a human baby being sucked out of a womb.

2/24/11
ANT:

Well see, I am pro choice, but I would ideally like to live in a world where no one has an abortion. Birth control, condoms, morning after pill, etc are all cheap and easy ways to prevent pregnancy. Abortion is a very messy and horrible thing.

I've seen the pics and the videos. Whether you think life starts at birth or before, it is fucking nasty seeing something that resembles a human baby being sucked out of a womb.

I don't agree with her on much, but I like Hilary Clinton's take on abortion: "It should be legal, safe, and RARE."

2/24/11
persimmon:
ANT:

Well see, I am pro choice, but I would ideally like to live in a world where no one has an abortion. Birth control, condoms, morning after pill, etc are all cheap and easy ways to prevent pregnancy. Abortion is a very messy and horrible thing.

I've seen the pics and the videos. Whether you think life starts at birth or before, it is fucking nasty seeing something that resembles a human baby being sucked out of a womb.

I don't agree with her on much, but I like Hilary Clinton's take on abortion: "It should be legal, safe, and RARE."

Incidentally that is EXACTLY how I feel about steak.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

2/25/11
happypantsmcgee:
persimmon:
ANT:

Well see, I am pro choice, but I would ideally like to live in a world where no one has an abortion. Birth control, condoms, morning after pill, etc are all cheap and easy ways to prevent pregnancy. Abortion is a very messy and horrible thing.

I've seen the pics and the videos. Whether you think life starts at birth or before, it is fucking nasty seeing something that resembles a human baby being sucked out of a womb.

I don't agree with her on much, but I like Hilary Clinton's take on abortion: "It should be legal, safe, and RARE."

Incidentally that is EXACTLY how I feel about steak.

You made me smile SB for you!

2/24/11

I'm all for contraception and safe sex practices as well, but the religious right is doing everything it can to defund PP. Complete bastards.

2/24/11
monkeysama:

I'm all for contraception and safe sex practices as well, but the religious right is doing everything it can to defund PP. Complete bastards.

How is somebody a "completely bastard" for not wanting to be forced to pay for something they have a moral problem with based on some fundamental beliefs that are held very close to their hearts? Maybe, you don't share their beliefs or agree with them on anything, but you certainly don't have the right to force them to fund something that is against everything that they stand for just because you believe in it or it may be "economically convenient." Again, I always feel like the coercive agent is more the "bastard" than anybody who is just trying to mind their business.

2/24/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

I'm all for contraception and safe sex practices as well, but the religious right is doing everything it can to defund PP. Complete bastards.

How is somebody a "completely bastard" for not wanting to be forced to pay for something they have a moral problem with based on some fundamental beliefs that are held very close to their hearts? Maybe, you don't share their beliefs or agree with them on anything, but you certainly don't have the right to force them to fund something that is against everything that they stand for just because you believe in it or it may be "economically convenient." Again, I always feel like the coercive agent is more the "bastard" than anybody who is just trying to mind their business.

I'm anxiously awaiting monkeysama's response to this one...

(And, before you start name calling and whatnot, let me assure you that I believe in a woman's right to choose.)

P.S. Totally off topic, but I'm gonna be pissed if this thread gets bigger than the capitalism/inequality one! Just playing, I could give a rat's ass. The debates on these forums are highly entertaining lately. The only thing they need, is more HPM (and more cowbell, but that's another story...)

P.S.S. Ignore me, I'm drunk...

2/25/11
econ:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

I'm all for contraception and safe sex practices as well, but the religious right is doing everything it can to defund PP. Complete bastards.

How is somebody a "completely bastard" for not wanting to be forced to pay for something they have a moral problem with based on some fundamental beliefs that are held very close to their hearts? Maybe, you don't share their beliefs or agree with them on anything, but you certainly don't have the right to force them to fund something that is against everything that they stand for just because you believe in it or it may be "economically convenient." Again, I always feel like the coercive agent is more the "bastard" than anybody who is just trying to mind their business.

I'm anxiously awaiting monkeysama's response to this one...

(And, before you start name calling and whatnot, let me assure you that I believe in a woman's right to choose.)

P.S. Totally off topic, but I'm gonna be pissed if this thread gets bigger than the capitalism/inequality one! Just playing, I could give a rat's ass. The debates on these forums are highly entertaining lately. The only thing they need, is more HPM (and more cowbell, but that's another story...)

P.S.S. Ignore me, I'm drunk...

Well we kill REAL people in foreign countries every day that have a tenuous, if any, link to "terrorism". Do I get to choose not to fund that? That's pretty fucking close to my heart and shits all over my belief system.

Anxiously awaiting econs' response.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
econ:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

I'm all for contraception and safe sex practices as well, but the religious right is doing everything it can to defund PP. Complete bastards.

How is somebody a "completely bastard" for not wanting to be forced to pay for something they have a moral problem with based on some fundamental beliefs that are held very close to their hearts? Maybe, you don't share their beliefs or agree with them on anything, but you certainly don't have the right to force them to fund something that is against everything that they stand for just because you believe in it or it may be "economically convenient." Again, I always feel like the coercive agent is more the "bastard" than anybody who is just trying to mind their business.

I'm anxiously awaiting monkeysama's response to this one...

(And, before you start name calling and whatnot, let me assure you that I believe in a woman's right to choose.)

P.S. Totally off topic, but I'm gonna be pissed if this thread gets bigger than the capitalism/inequality one! Just playing, I could give a rat's ass. The debates on these forums are highly entertaining lately. The only thing they need, is more HPM (and more cowbell, but that's another story...)

P.S.S. Ignore me, I'm drunk...

Well we kill REAL people in foreign countries every day that have a tenuous, if any, link to "terrorism". Do I get to choose not to fund that? That's pretty fucking close to my heart and shits all over my belief system.

Anxiously awaiting econs' response.

Are you presuming I support that? It should be obvious from everything we've discussed on this site that I do not...

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:
econ:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

I'm all for contraception and safe sex practices as well, but the religious right is doing everything it can to defund PP. Complete bastards.

How is somebody a "completely bastard" for not wanting to be forced to pay for something they have a moral problem with based on some fundamental beliefs that are held very close to their hearts? Maybe, you don't share their beliefs or agree with them on anything, but you certainly don't have the right to force them to fund something that is against everything that they stand for just because you believe in it or it may be "economically convenient." Again, I always feel like the coercive agent is more the "bastard" than anybody who is just trying to mind their business.

I'm anxiously awaiting monkeysama's response to this one...

(And, before you start name calling and whatnot, let me assure you that I believe in a woman's right to choose.)

P.S. Totally off topic, but I'm gonna be pissed if this thread gets bigger than the capitalism/inequality one! Just playing, I could give a rat's ass. The debates on these forums are highly entertaining lately. The only thing they need, is more HPM (and more cowbell, but that's another story...)

P.S.S. Ignore me, I'm drunk...

Well we kill REAL people in foreign countries every day that have a tenuous, if any, link to "terrorism". Do I get to choose not to fund that? That's pretty fucking close to my heart and shits all over my belief system.

Anxiously awaiting econs' response.

Are you presuming I support that? It should be obvious from everything we've discussed on this site that I do not...

By the way monkeysama, I'm a little confused by your response. Is that your attempt at dodging the question? Or is your response really, "Right-wingers want to force me to fund something I'm morally/ethically against, so I want to force them to fund something they're morally/ethically against."?

2/25/11
econ:
econ:
monkeysama:
econ:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

I'm all for contraception and safe sex practices as well, but the religious right is doing everything it can to defund PP. Complete bastards.

How is somebody a "completely bastard" for not wanting to be forced to pay for something they have a moral problem with based on some fundamental beliefs that are held very close to their hearts? Maybe, you don't share their beliefs or agree with them on anything, but you certainly don't have the right to force them to fund something that is against everything that they stand for just because you believe in it or it may be "economically convenient." Again, I always feel like the coercive agent is more the "bastard" than anybody who is just trying to mind their business.

I'm anxiously awaiting monkeysama's response to this one...

(And, before you start name calling and whatnot, let me assure you that I believe in a woman's right to choose.)

P.S. Totally off topic, but I'm gonna be pissed if this thread gets bigger than the capitalism/inequality one! Just playing, I could give a rat's ass. The debates on these forums are highly entertaining lately. The only thing they need, is more HPM (and more cowbell, but that's another story...)

P.S.S. Ignore me, I'm drunk...

Well we kill REAL people in foreign countries every day that have a tenuous, if any, link to "terrorism". Do I get to choose not to fund that? That's pretty fucking close to my heart and shits all over my belief system.

Anxiously awaiting econs' response.

Are you presuming I support that? It should be obvious from everything we've discussed on this site that I do not...

By the way monkeysama, I'm a little confused by your response. Is that your attempt at dodging the question? Or is your response really, "Right-wingers want to force me to fund something I'm morally/ethically against, so I want to force them to fund something they're morally/ethically against."?

No, I'm saying that it's impossible to create a policy response to an issue that satisfies everyone, so claiming that someone is offended by a policy response or doesn't like it doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. If EVERYONE is offended by a policy response or think it's morally reproachful then clearly that's a different case. Today, slavery is a good example. 99 percent of people would say we should not revert back to a slave society (although how we treat illegal immigrants in this country may be another matter).

However, take abortion. Clearly it's a divisive issue with some in favor, and some not. I would say it's about as close as any policy can be to dead even 50/50. If we don't allow abortion pregnant women will shove clothes hangers up their vaginas to abort, where if we do allow it they can do it safely in a clinic. So the obvious answer is one death is better than two. No one can stop a women if she chooses to abort either - it's a crime that can't be prosecuted. Much like IP law (at least where downloading music comes in) it's an unenforceable law and I am against having unenforceable laws on the books - it cheapens the peoples respect for governance and paints law enforcement as ineffectual and silly.

My example with the war shows an example where a decision was made that, even if some people are offended, the majority felt, at the time the war was started, that society would be worse off if we did not take action. I was, and still am, in the minority. That is slowly changing as even the right begins to realize that spending billions fighting overseas when we don't have enough money at home might be a bad idea. My main argument with the war is that it shows a blatant hypocrisy of the right - namely that they are against killing fetuses but foreign people are ok. Specifically the Christian right, as their Christianity tends to only extend as far as their neighbors' pants. Another of my favorite of the (Christian) rights' critiques is that spending money on teachers' salaries is socialism, but when a failure of education leads to higher crime they favor building bigger prisons. I imagine that the Republicans who favor Scott Walker in Wisconsin are also in favor of "getting tougher on crime". But perhaps that's a discussion for another time.

2/25/11
monkeysama:

No, I'm saying that it's impossible to create a policy response to an issue that satisfies everyone, so claiming that someone is offended by a policy response or doesn't like it doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. If EVERYONE is offended by a policy response or think it's morally reproachful then clearly that's a different case. Today, slavery is a good example. 99 percent of people would say we should not revert back to a slave society (although how we treat illegal immigrants in this country may be another matter).

I totally agree that it's impossible to create policies that satisfy everyone. In fact, that's one of the main reasons I'm in favor of a society which allows even more decentralized decision making. In other words, lets limit the number of issues we decide via a centralized (political) process, as political solutions are necessarily one size fits all and must therefore leave a lot of people unsatisfied. So, the decision about when life begins will have to be made politically (since, of course, we can't just allow each person to have their own definition of when life begins, and therefore their own definition of when murder occurs). But, that doesn't mean we have to fund abortion publicly, since that forces a lot of people to fund murder (at least according to how they define murder). I personally do not believe that life begins at conception, but I still do not want to force people to fund abortions with their tax dollars.

P.S. Unfortunately, the funding of the military and the decision about going to war has to be made politically. So, I agree that it sucks to make people pay for something they don't agree with, but I feel that in this case it's unavoidable. That's the distinction I would make between funding abortion and funding the war.

P.S.S. Why do you keep talking about coat hangers? I never said we should outlaw abortions. All I said was that they shouldn't be funded with tax-payer money. That's a crucial distinction.

2/24/11

Why should the government fund abortion clinics? The government should not be pro or anti child birth.

2/24/11

Just like everyone crucified Bush for not funding stem cells. He didn't ban it, he simply did not let the government fund it.

2/24/11

The government should fund abortions clinics because it's a helluva lot cheaper than caring for lifelong incarcerated criminals.

2/24/11
persimmon:

The government should fund abortions clinics because it's a helluva lot cheaper than caring for lifelong incarcerated criminals.

And economic considerations are everything right? Well now that we've settled that, let's get to work, we have a lot of elderly people to kill off over the next few years.

BTW - I know you're trolling, it was funny, I'm just making a point for others to see. Because I feel like a lot of people actually think like this.

2/24/11
rebelcross:
persimmon:

The government should fund abortions clinics because it's a helluva lot cheaper than caring for lifelong incarcerated criminals.

And economic considerations are everything right? Well now that we've settled that, let's get to work, we have a lot of elderly people to kill off over the next few years.

I worked in a nursing home for two years and I know positively that more than half of them there would very much welcome an assisted suicide. Give them a great send off, family and friends remembering their lives (if they have any left that would even show up) some nice music, and a nice downer with some ecstasy thrown in there, and they'd sign up left and right.

I don't buy this sanctity of life bullshit. I believe in quality of life. When I need to be taken care of like a two year old, take me out back and shoot me.

2/25/11
rebelcross:
persimmon:

The government should fund abortions clinics because it's a helluva lot cheaper than caring for lifelong incarcerated criminals.

And economic considerations are everything right? Well now that we've settled that, let's get to work, we have a lot of elderly people to kill off over the next few years.

BTW - I know you're trolling, it was funny, I'm just making a point for others to see. Because I feel like a lot of people actually think like this.

Oh, I missed your second part. No, I'm not trolling. I genuinely support the idea of easier access to abortions, and that children should be given up for adoption or aborted unless a family is fully ready to raise him. Ideally, the kid would not have been conceived in the first place, but I'm gay so I can't really weigh in here.

And we have separation of church and state in my fine country (USA). I don't appreciate religious fanatics trying to force the rest of us to abide by their standards of when life begins.

2/25/11
persimmon:

And we have separation of church and state in my fine country (USA). I don't appreciate religious fanatics trying to force the rest of us to abide by their standards of when life begins.

I agree, there is separation of church in state in our fine country and I also don't appreciate religious fanatics trying to force the rest of us to abide by their standards of when life begins. You realize that, philosophically speaking, atheism and agnosticism are as much a religion (belief system) as Christianity and Judaism, right? It seems to me that the atheists and agnostics around here are much more fanatically zealous in their beliefs than the Christians I know. So, I ask you, who are you, as an agnostic or whatever you are, to force Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. to abide by your standards of when life begins?

That's something I've never understood from those that are "so offended" in such a fanatical way by so-called "religious fanatics" "forcing" things upon them.

2/25/11
rebelcross:

I agree, there is separation of church in state in our fine country and I also don't appreciate religious fanatics trying to force the rest of us to abide by their standards of when life begins. You realize that, philosophically speaking, atheism and agnosticism are as much a religion (belief system) as Christianity and Judaism, right? It seems to me that the atheists and agnostics around here are much more fanatically zealous in their beliefs than the Christians I know. So, I ask you, who are you, as an agnostic or whatever you are, to force Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. to abide by your standards of when life begins?

That's something I've never understood from those that are "so offended" in such a fanatical way by so-called "religious fanatics" "forcing" things upon them.

As an agnostic I stick to what's most practical and pragmatic. Before abortion was legal, women did it themselves (or were forced by the men they were having affairs with) and frequently ended up dead. So let's make it safe and legal and available to them. Seems pragmatic to me. I also don't go around killing those who vehemently oppose abortion, whereas some religious fanatics kill abortion providers.

As an agnostic who doesn't believe marriage should be managed AT ALL by the state (we should have civil unions for all couples who want it, if you want to get married, go to your church), I don't go around trying to support laws that discriminate based on one's sexual or gender orientation or preaching hatred, fire, and brimstone on anyone else.

I don't think you're right that agnosticism is as much a religion as anything else. I don't ascribe to any dogma regarding how to think, whereas my crazy-ass born-again Catholic brother does anything and everything his church tells him to do. Religions colonize the brain and logical, pragmatic thinking.

2/24/11

LOL

2/25/11

Pitcher or catcher?

2/25/11
ANT:

Pitcher or catcher?

For you, I'd catch.

2/25/11

Oh my!

I always describe myself as omni-attractive lol.

I do think we should teach sex education in school and provide free contraceptives.

Also, the USA is at replacement rate or slightly negative. We grow as a nation through immigration. Not much organic growth. You see this with all developed nations.

2/25/11
ANT:

Oh my!
I always describe myself as omni-attractive lol.

Whatever, I'm sex-positive (read: slutty) and you sound rich.
HA ;)
[now i'm trolling]

2/25/11
ANT:

Oh my!
I always describe myself as omni-attractive lol.

You don't exist without pics!
[Or whatever it is you breeders say to any woman who ever posts on this site.]

2/25/11

HAHA

This site does have all kinds of sexual connotations.

SILVER BANANA

Gorrila

King KONG!!

hahaha

2/25/11

Pics of GTFO

2/25/11

^^^A religion is a belief system plain and simple, You have your belief system, it is what it is, there is no way to assign a quantitative value to it. Hence you believe what you believe as much as I believe what I believe. You are as a religious as I am (and, yes, I grew up a Christian, deal with it.) Some people are more fanatical, if you will, and more likely to act upon their religious beliefs, hence some Christians might do harm or Atheists may protest in the streets, etc. In fact, in today's society, it seems the greatest amount of fundamentalism and public uproar is from the atheists and agnostics amongst us who have basically waged a very vicious public war on all those that hold a different belief system (well not "all" those, just those that are more associated with America i.e. Christians.)

That being said, the problem with your argument above is everything you have said is based upon what you believe. You believe abortion is more practical and pragmatic, I know some people who believe it's murder...so how are you going to settle that? It matters not what "seems pragmatic" to you, that fundamentally dodges the ethical conundrum you have gotten yourself into. You want to force people to fund what in their hearts is murder. And don't play semantics with me, abortion is not as clear cut as the death of somebody standing before us, there is debate on the issue, so neither you are I can say for sure what actually constitutes murder in the case of a fetus. However, based on your belief system it is not murder and because it "seems" practical you want others to fund it. To be fair, how about I make you fund a government campaign that publicly denounces homosexuality, because I'm concerned about the "stigma" homosexual children go through, and it fits with my belief system. How about you are forced to fund a program that will draft all homosexuals to the military because it's a practical way to keep our military stocked, and according to my belief system homosexual lives aren't as valuable.

How do we deal with this? Whose belief system wins? How about nobody's belief system wins. How about if you believe it you go fund it and "make it available" because that's what you believe. Or are you just too fanatical in your beliefs to not force everybody else to follow suit?

I don't care about the marriage issue, not talking about it, it's not relevant to this matter.

2/25/11
rebelcross:

Hence you believe what you believe as much as I believe what I believe. You are as a religious as I am (and, yes, I grew up a Christian, deal with it.)

You sound like Anne Coulter. I am not religious, I am agnostic. This means I have no religion, which means, FALSE, I am not as religious as you. Was your holy water spiked with idiot juice?

My beliefs are not based on doctrine, divinity, religion, spirituality, or anything at all related to religion, so, no, I am not as religious as you or, or anyone for that matter.. And as far as your discussion of "belief systems" goes, no, I do not belong to a system. You're dumb for grouping all agnostics, atheists, etc., together. Whereas the Catholic Church has its official word on things, there is no High Authority (dressed like fabulous drag queens, might I add... have you seen the variety of hats the pope has?) That Thinks For Us to guide the agnostics of the world. I am an independent and claim no allegiance to anyone or any label. Except that of "awesome."

rebelcross:

In fact, in today's society, it seems the greatest amount of fundamentalism and public uproar is from the atheists and agnostics amongst us who have basically waged a very vicious public war on all those that hold a different belief system (well not "all" those, just those that are more associated with America i.e. Christians.)

You ignorant, xenophobic piece of shit. This is not a Christian country. It is not your country. It was founded by Christians on the principles of separation of church and state, and what made it great has been immigration, and largely of non-Christians. Without WWII and the persecution of Jews, we wouldn't have gotten the brilliant Jewish scientists of Europe to come lead our scientific explosion.

Fundamentalism? You call atheistic and agnostic thought fundamentalism? To which Word of God (or anything) are we fundamentally returning to? When someone wants to use the Qur'an for their constitution, I call that fundamentalism.

rebelcross:

That being said, the problem with your argument above is everything you have said is based upon what you believe. You believe abortion is more practical and pragmatic, I know some people who believe it's murder...so how are you going to settle that? It matters not what "seems pragmatic" to you, that fundamentally dodges the ethical conundrum you have gotten yourself into. You want to force people to fund what in their hearts is murder. And don't play semantics with me, abortion is not as clear cut as the death of somebody standing before us, there is debate on the issue, so neither you are I can say for sure what actually constitutes murder in the case of a fetus. However, based on your belief system it is not murder and because it "seems" practical you want others to fund it.

I can fully empathize with the understanding that abortion is murder. I see how one could be so passionate about the issue. My brother and his family march in Washington every year on the anniversary of Roe V Wade.

But what about a woman who needs a life-saving abortion at 7 months of pregnancy? Pro-lifers I have talked to still would not allow her to get an abortion. Laws forcing women to death for the sake of protecting the POTENTIAL of life in the form of a fetus is plain idiocy, and is a hole in the whole logic structure that pretends to defend innocents from needless death. So, I dare say, this abortion should be allowed, and if one abortion should be allowed, they all should be allowed.

rebelcross:

To be fair, how about I make you fund a government campaign that publicly denounces homosexuality, because I'm concerned about the "stigma" homosexual children go through, and it fits with my belief system.

I don't have to fund government campaigns for this because these denunciations fall from the dribbling lips of cunt politicians every day.

rebelcross:

How about you are forced to fund a program that will draft all homosexuals to the military because it's a practical way to keep our military stocked and according to my belief system homosexual lives aren't as valuable.

This would constitute hate speech and arguably be persecuted as a threat against a protected class / minority of Americans. Gays are (somewhat, sometimes, in some places) a protected class, just as usually, a woman's right to choose is a protected right. Why? Because our justice system has judged on these issues based on our CONSTITUTION, not on some religious beliefs. Anti-abortion legislation is passed in states based on popular referendum bolstered by religious beliefs, not on legal judgements.

rebelcross:

How do we deal with this? Whose belief system wins? How about nobody's belief system wins. How about if you believe it you go fund it and "make it available" because that's whay you believe. Or are you just too fanatical in your beliefs to not force everybody else to follow suit?

I don't care about the marriage issue, not talking about it, it's not relevant to this matter.

I'm not fanatical, and you lemming Christians exhaust me.

2/25/11
persimmon:

You sound like Anne Coulter. I am not religious, I am agnostic. This means I have no religion, which means, FALSE, I am not as religious as you. Was your holy water spiked with idiot juice?

My beliefs are not based on doctrine, divinity, religion, spirituality, or anything at all related to religion, so, no, I am not as religious as you or, or anyone for that matter.. And as far as your discussion of "belief systems" goes, no, I do not belong to a system. You're dumb for grouping all agnostics, atheists, etc., together. Whereas the Catholic Church has its official word on things, there is no High Authority (dressed like fabulous drag queens, might I add... have you seen the variety of hats the pope has?) That Thinks For Us to guide the agnostics of the world. I am an independent and claim no allegiance to anyone or any label. Except that of "awesome."

As ingenious as you seem to think you are with your mindless dribble of what constitutes an agnostic or an atheist or a whatever, you have completely missed the point of my saying it is merely a belief system. Agnosticism is as much a chosen belief system as is Christianity? Do you deny this? I don't care if you have a higher authority or not...you believe what you believe as much as I believe what I believe, follow me here:

Religion = Belief system

Your have a belief system, I have a belief system, hence, philosophically speaking, we are both religious in our own ways. My religion is one that has me to believe in a certain higher authority, etc...your religion is one that has you believing that you have no way to know what the universe holds. You believe that as much as I believe what I do. We are equally religious.

I guess that makes me Anne Coulter, huh? I did enjoy the anger this somehow caused you...but I guess only those of us that believe in a "higher authority" can somehow be "fundamental" about those beliefs.

BTW - I love how people like you, who really have nothing to say or follow no pattern of logical reasoning love to drop the names of right wingers you hate in your diatribes (i.e. Glenn Beck, Anne Coulter, O'Reilly, etc.), even though nothing I've said has anything to do with anything they may have said...nor do they have anything to do with this issue. Keep trying though.

persimmon:

You ignorant, xenophobic piece of shit. This is not a Christian country. It is not your country. It was founded by Christians on the principles of separation of church and state, and what made it great has been immigration, and largely of non-Christians. Without WWII and the persecution of Jews, we wouldn't have gotten the brilliant Jewish scientists of Europe to come lead our scientific explosion.

That's a cute story and nice an all. Perhaps you can point me to where I said this was a "Christian" country. I said Christians are associated with this country and hinted that that's possibly the reason that they've become a target of people who hold certain belief systems that are against this country. Guess that makes me a xenophobic piece of shit, huh? I thought I was Anne Coulter...but just look at the anger you have displayed at the very misconception that somebody may have hinted such a horrible thing...perhaps the "piece of shit" is you...dare I say, a Christophobic piece of shit. "Awesome" huh?

persimmon:

Fundamentalism? You call atheistic and agnostic thought fundamentalism? To which Word of God (or anything) are we fundamentally returning to? When someone wants to use the Qur'an for their constitution, I call that fundamentalism.

It does help to read what I've written. And for those who may be illiterate, I suggest reading it a few times over (and no I'm saying all homosexuals are illiterate, though I know you would love to make this accusation of me as you have shown a pattern of such misconstrued reasoning.) You'll notice I've said that acting out upons one beliefs denotes the idea of "fundamentalism." It has nothing to do with a word of anything nor does it have to do with being agnostic or an atheist or a Christian or a Muslim or purple or green (please show me where I called "atheistic and agnostic thought fundamentalism" as you say.) What matters is that if one is to act upon their beliefs in an extreme way, it is fundamentalism within that belief system. You are as capable of fundamentalism as a Christian or a Muslim if you are to act out upon your agnostic beliefs against those who don't share your beliefs. I would posit that your angry rant against me is fundamentalist in nature due to your very vicious approach to the Christian belief system which I hold. I would also posit that if you look at the streets or watch TV you will see more displays of anti-Christian sentiment from agnostics towards Christians than you see the other way around, hence, I sense strong undertones of fundamentalism by many agnostics in this country. Funny, how I am somehow the right wing crazy Christian zealot that is bringing down this country, when all I want to do is be left alone and go about my own business, and all you and your ilk wants to do is attack me day and night for what I believe and force me to fund the programs that you see fit and live in a way that you see appropriate. I've never forced nothing upon you. I know you're so brainwashed into believing "Christians are evil, they are destroying everything." But take a harsh look at reality, maybe it's time to look in the mirror. You proved it in your rant.

persimmon:

I can fully empathize with the understanding that abortion is murder. I see how one could be so passionate about the issue. My brother and his family march in Washington every year on the anniversary of Roe V Wade.

But what about a woman who needs a life-saving abortion at 7 months of pregnancy? Pro-lifers I have talked to still would not allow her to get an abortion. Laws forcing women to death for the sake of protecting the POTENTIAL of life in the form of a fetus is plain idiocy, and is a hole in the whole logic structure that pretends to defend innocents from needless death. So, I dare say, this abortion should be allowed, and if one abortion should be allowed, they all should be allowed.

Glad to see you show some maturity here. Outliers are outliers, we can make exceptions in the case of outliers, I don't want to get bogged down on that now. Two irresponsible kids making a baby and then wanting me to bail them out is a very different situation from a mother who is about to die if she gives birth to the kid. It's not fundamental to the overriding argument. One is a sacrifice to save another, one is a sacrifice out of convenience or economic concerns or whatever. So I don't by into the idea that "if one should be allowed, they all should be allowed." That's like saying, "if one prisoner should get out of jail earlier, they all should get out of jail earlier." Different circumstances in different cases. Legal or not, legal in special cases or not, I still have a big problem with you forcing my grandpa to pay for it.

persimmon:

I don't have to fund government campaigns for this because these denunciations fall from the dribbling lips of cunt politicians every day.

Cool story bro, you dodged the issue.

persimmon:

This would constitute hate speech and arguably be persecuted as a threat against a protected class / minority of Americans. Gays are (somewhat, sometimes, in some places) a protected class, just as usually, a woman's right to choose is a protected right. Why? Because our justice system has judged on these issues based on our CONSTITUTION, not on some religious beliefs. Anti-abortion legislation is passed in states based on popular referendum bolstered by religious beliefs, not on legal judgements.

Ugh what...? Oh so hate speech against you is a problem, but murder against a fellow human isn't? As quickly as you say my scenario constitutes "hate speech" and a threat is how quickly I will return the favor by informing you yet again that your idea of abortions constitutes "murder." It comes down to belief system, see what I am saying? You somehow managed to disregard this logic and made your belief system vastly superior. I, the "xenophobe" as you put it,, am the one saying that no belief system is superior. As much as you should not have to deal with the scenario I put forward is as much as I should not be forced to fund abortion. Very simple logic here.

persimmon:

I'm not fanatical, and you lemming Christians exhaust me.

Funny, you seem pretty fanatically against anything that doesn't adhere to your belief system, and yeah it's a belief system...lest your mind be empty and you be incapable of belief. Believing in nothing is as much a chosen belief as believing in something. Deal with it. So walk in lockstep with your fanatical anti-religious buddies...keep drinking the kool-aid. Everybody else is a "lemming" right? As your voices all echo at the same time...

2/25/11
rebelcross:

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

I think you have a very fundamental misunderstanding of what constitutes a religion and fundamentalism.

You assume that because you know I identify as gay and agnostic that you know anything whatever about my belief system. Don't group me in with anyone else. Assume nothing about my belief system. Up until this point, the only thing you really know is that I support a woman's right to choose and I think it's good social policy to provide reproductive services, including abortions, to the women of our nation. Whereas, on the other hand, you say, "I am Christian," I get a pretty good idea of what your belief system is.

Um, my Anne Coulter thing was spot on. She wrote a book called, "The Church of Liberalism" which tried to squish everyone unlike her into a cohesive belief system that mimics Christianity in form but is antithetical to it in content.

I don't have anything against all Christians, but the Christian right who hates me and women. Do us a favor and have your people shut up. The people you see marching in the street are out there as a reaction. They are reacting to bullshit. When I was out marching against the passage of Prop 8 in San Francisco, I was there with fellow agnostics, anarchists, Christians, Muslims, Jews and people who were reacting to religious-fuelled bigotry. I don't have anything against anyone's religiously-inspired belief system so long as they keep it the fuck out of our public space and out of our laws.

2/25/11
persimmon:

Um, my Anne Coulter thing was spot on. She wrote a book called, "The Church of Liberalism" which tried to squish everyone unlike her into a cohesive belief system that mimics Christianity in form but is antithetical to it in content.

Oh, I forgot to add: THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE DOING. That's why I called you Anne Coulter.

2/25/11
persimmon:
rebelcross:

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

I think you have a very fundamental misunderstanding of what constitutes a religion and fundamentalism.

You assume that because you know I identify as gay and agnostic that you know anything whatever about my belief system. Don't group me in with anyone else. Assume nothing about my belief system. Up until this point, the only thing you really know is that I support a woman's right to choose and I think it's good social policy to provide reproductive services, including abortions, to the women of our nation. Whereas, on the other hand, you say, "I am Christian," I get a pretty good idea of what your belief system is.

Um, my Anne Coulter thing was spot on. She wrote a book called, "The Church of Liberalism" which tried to squish everyone unlike her into a cohesive belief system that mimics Christianity in form but is antithetical to it in content.

I don't have anything against all Christians, but the Christian right who hates me and women. Do us a favor and have your people shut up. The people you see marching in the street are out there as a reaction. They are reacting to bullshit. When I was out marching against the passage of Prop 8 in San Francisco, I was there with fellow agnostics, anarchists, Christians, Muslims, Jews and people who were reacting to religious-fuelled bigotry. I don't have anything against anyone's religiously-inspired belief system so long as they keep it the fuck out of our public space and out of our laws.

First of all you dodged everything I said, and you were probably afraid to read it because it hit close to home. Second of all, I don't give a shit what your belief system is, the point is that you have a belief system. And you don't seem to have the logical capacity to understand that you feel as strongly about your belief system as I do about mine, because we both believe in it...it's impossible to believe what you believe in more or less than somebody else...it's just your belief. And you are very fundamental in that belief as verified by your vicious anti-Christian rant. This is simple stuff, genius. Just because they told you that you don't have an organized religion does not mean that you don't philosophically have a belief. Nice try, though.

Nice with the blah blah blah, complete cop out. Totally "awesome" by you as you like to say. What a hypocrite, your more of a fundamentalist zealot than the "evil Christians" who you think are out to get you. By the way, I don't know many Christians or right wingers that hate women. In fact, I love women...I love models actually...so..yeah don't know what you're getting at there, cool attempt at rhetoric though.

And I don't care about the time you went out and had Jews and Christians marching side by side with you. Turn on any channel on TV and if you don't see the constant anti-Christian rhetoric then you're just...dare I say...biased or sick or twisted or...sick.

2/25/11
rebelcross:

I am a victim, so please forgive my faulty logic and misinformation!

From Wikipedia:
Fundamentalism is strict adherence to specific set of theological doctrines typically in reaction against the theology of Modernism.

I think for myself, fundamentalists do not have to.

2/25/11
rebelcross:

^^^A religion is a belief system plain and simple, You have your belief system, it is what it is, there is no way to assign a quantitative value to it. Hence you believe what you believe as much as I believe what I believe. You are as a religious as I am (and, yes, I grew up a Christian, deal with it.) Some people are more fanatical, if you will, and more likely to act upon their religious beliefs, hence some Christians might do harm or Atheists may protest in the streets, etc. In fact, in today's society, it seems the greatest amount of fundamentalism and public uproar is from the atheists and agnostics amongst us who have basically waged a very vicious public war on all those that hold a different belief system (well not "all" those, just those that are more associated with America i.e. Christians.)

That being said, the problem with your argument above is everything you have said is based upon what you believe. You believe abortion is more practical and pragmatic, I know some people who believe it's murder...so how are you going to settle that? It matters not what "seems pragmatic" to you, that fundamentally dodges the ethical conundrum you have gotten yourself into. You want to force people to fund what in their hearts is murder. And don't play semantics with me, abortion is not as clear cut as the death of somebody standing before us, there is debate on the issue, so neither you are I can say for sure what actually constitutes murder in the case of a fetus. However, based on your belief system it is not murder and because it "seems" practical you want others to fund it. To be fair, how about I make you fund a government campaign that publicly denounces homosexuality, because I'm concerned about the "stigma" homosexual children go through, and it fits with my belief system. How about you are forced to fund a program that will draft all homosexuals to the military because it's a practical way to keep our military stocked, and according to my belief system homosexual lives aren't as valuable.

How do we deal with this? Whose belief system wins? How about nobody's belief system wins. How about if you believe it you go fund it and "make it available" because that's what you believe. Or are you just too fanatical in your beliefs to not force everybody else to follow suit?

I don't care about the marriage issue, not talking about it, it's not relevant to this matter.

Yeah without abortion clinics preggers are just going to throw themselves down a flight of stairs to abort. Or shoot up with drugs. And you'll never convince the Christians. Their sandal wearing skyfairy wizard daddy says it's murder so they're against it. He also says love thy neighbor and not to be greedy, but those are hard to follow because it puts constrictions on ones' own actions, and so it's hard and not fun. Who wants to be nice to people and not be rich as fuck while others suffer? Fuck that, am I right?

2/25/11
monkeysama:

Yeah without abortion clinics preggers are just going to throw themselves down a flight of stairs to abort. Or shoot up with drugs. And you'll never convince the Christians. Their sandal wearing skyfairy wizard daddy says it's murder so they're against it. He also says love thy neighbor and not to be greedy, but those are hard to follow because it puts constrictions on ones' own actions, and so it's hard and not fun. Who wants to be nice to people and not be rich as fuck while others suffer? Fuck that, am I right?

This is pretty fucking comical. First of all, get it straight, never once did I even approach the issue of the legality of abortion or whether abortion clinics should exist. Not even close to what my argument was...I'm tired of that argument it's an argument for another time. I'm talking about your forcing people to fund abortion, but again, you changed the point and the argument like you always fucking do.

BUT I must say, your defense of abortion here is laughable. Without getting into the debate of whether or not abortion should be legal, you CANNOT seriously justify it by suggesting it should be legal because "without abortion clinics peggers are just going to throw themselves down a flight of stairs to abort." You know you have to do better than that...that's like me saying "well, we might as well give the terrorists what they want, because they're just going to keep terrorizing if we don't." You know those "might as well" arguments don't work. Argue for it on the basis of what it is, don't excuse a possible unjust action because people might react in negative ways. That is a failed attempt, you're better than that.

And no need for the fairy stuff with the Christians. Look, I know to you, in your twisted version of reality, religion is the worst thing that's ever happened in the history of the universe. And I know a lot of you were more scared of George W. Bush because he carried a bible than you were of a terrorist that carried a machete to slice your throat with. I get it, no need for the fairy stuff. You know what Christians believe in, maturity goes a long way in getting your point across. I wouldn't insult your heritage or background if I knew what your bloodline was.

2/25/11

Man that was a good post. I am smart and awesome.

2/25/11

Alright I'm stepping in. Agnosticism is AND is not a belief system. It is a belief system in that it is the position you hold on metaphysics. It is not a belief system in that you don't go to church and you don't spend any of your time considering your actions on a religious level. So thinking about metaphysics for an agnostic could be very low (ie very low religiosity). I tend to think about it more than most and consider myself a secular humanist agnostic.

Now then.

Let's get back to hating on rich people.

2/25/11

Speaking of religion I thought this was appropriate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKWI41G8h_A&feature...

2/25/11