Daily Digest

Daily Digest - May 11

Monday, May 11, 2009, 10:01 AM
  • Struggling Americans Forced To Work Extra-Dimensional 4th Shift (H/T PineCarr)
  • Broke Movie Posters, with super quotes. One, two and three
  • Broke, Movie Trailer
  • Smart Grid City (Video)
  • What If It Doesn't Work?
  • Average Hourly Earnings Growth (Chart)
  • Obama begging Saudia Arabia for help! In Secret meeting
  • ABC News, Elderly (Video)
  • A Case Of Gangster Government? (Video)
  • Office of Management and Budget (Link found on Peter Peterson's blog)
  •  Enormous Settlement Failures In The ETF Market (H/T PineCarr)
  • "Rats Outperform Humans in Interpreting Data"
  •  A few A(H1N1) Links Dr. Henry Niman's Map 3,204 U.S. Cases as of this wrtitng, A(H1N1) Current Timeline, CDC Cases

Economy

Struggling Americans Forced To Work Extra-Dimensional 4th Shift (H/T PineCarr)

CINCINNATI—According to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Labor, skyrocketing consumer prices coupled with stagnant wages have forced many Americans to work a fourth shift in another dimension in order to make ends meet.

The extra-dimensional shift, which occurs on a time axis at right angles to that of normal reality, allows American workers to supplement their incomes, while still maintaining the morning, afternoon, and overnight shifts they need in order to stave off bankruptcy.

"The maximum 24 hours of possible work time offered by our plane of existence is simply not enough to provide a living wage in the current economic climate," Labor Secretary Elaine Chao wrote in a letter introducing the report. "These difficult circumstances have compelled 76 percent of the American workforce to seek additional hours in an alternate space-time dimension, where more competitive pay can help them to avoid years of crippling debt."

Many cash-strapped citizens such as Glenn Vernacini, a master welder at the GE aviation plant in Evendale, OH, have welcomed the opportunity to pad their income by working extra shifts in lateral time, only to return at the exact same moment they left. Vernacini, however, admitted that his regular trips to the alternate universe have taken their toll.

"It's hard, but what other option do I have?" Vernacini said. "Having every atom in my body split and retranslated into a different form of matter just to make a few extra bucks isn't exactly my idea of fun, but my family needs to eat."

"I age an extra eight hours every time I work the fourth shift, and it's really starting to wear me down," Vernacini continued. "And having to buy a new shirt every time my body is flattened out to 4,000 times its usual surface area is one more strain on my budget that I don't need."

Some businesses have already installed a rip in the space-time continuum in their break-room areas so that employees can report for work in the other dimension as soon as their Earth shifts end. People who regularly work the fourth shift have reported that the tasks they perform are more or less exactly the same as during their other shifts, though they have to contend with frequent plasma storms and occasionally meet themselves leaving for one shift as they arrive for another, which can be demoralizing.

"The worst part about my job in the other dimension is trying to digest the silica-based food product they serve in the cafeteria," said Thomas Kinney, a line inspector who takes on a fourth shift three days a week at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in alternate Atlanta, GA. "It's probably the most painful part of working a fourth shift. That, and not getting to see my kids grow up." 

Broke Movie Posters, with super quotes. Onetwo and three

Broke, Movie Trailer

Smart Grid City (Video)

What If It Doesn't Work?

To begin with, the powers-that-be are trying to keep the sinking ship afloat until a) the economy somehow manages to turn around of its own volition; b) the vast array of ailing businesses figures out some other way of plugging the holes in their balance sheets and overcoming the breakdowns in their business models; or, b) the whole mess can be dumped into somebody else's (e.g., the next Administration's) lap.

Those pulling -- yanking? -- the strings are also trying to make use of programming techniques that have long been advocated and employed by "personal development" gurus and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) experts -- that is, get people feeling better about themselves and believing in the vision of good times ahead, and they will act in such a way as to make it happen.

The problem, of course, is if things don't work out according to plan, and all that time, money, and energy turns out to have been for nought. In "What Keeps Me Awake At Night: Economy Edition," Information Arbitrage addresses this very issue.

Average Hourly Earnings Growth (Chart)

Obama begging Saudia Arabia for help! In Secret meeting

A secret American delegation was sent by US President Barack Obama this week to solicit Saudi Arabian and other Gulf rulers for hundreds of billions of petro-dollars for investment in US and global economic stimulus plans, DEBKAfile's exclusive Gulf sources report. They came away empty-handed.The chilly welcome received by the delegation, which met finance ministers and the heads of banks in Riyadh and the five emirates, was generated by wide disapproval of the US president's policy of engagement with Iran. Two other US missions had just been and gone, headed by defense secretary Robert Gates and special adviser to the US secretary of state for South Asia and Gulf affairs, Dennis Ross. Both failed to allay Gulf anger and trepidation over this policy.

Our Gulf sources report that the third delegation, which unlike the first two was unannounced, argued that since US economic recovery was not expected to turn the corner before 2011, Gulf investors still had a unique opportunity to partner the US in helping the world economy out of its doldrums. The general message was that if they Gulf rulers fail to invest in US and international markets at this point, they would miss out on the rewards of the recovery.

Not all the data presented to the Gulf officials matched the figures published in Washington and other western countries. They were informed on the quiet that Federal Reserve Governor Ben Benanke had been "premature" in his optimistic forecast of "slightly positive" growth in the second half of this year, particularly in the fields of banking and construction, and a recovery that will "strengthen" next year - even though US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday, May 6, it was "a good, independent, credible forecast."

The Gulf states were urged to help the global economic back on its feet because, according to US data, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would by the year 2018 rank as the world's fifth-largest economy after the US, China, Japan and the EU. “As major players in the world economy, you cannot stand on the sidelines,” they were told.

President Obama's discreet approach figured in general terms at the GCC meeting of heads of state and finance ministers meeting in Riyadh Wednesday, May 6, which was convened to establish a regional central bank. But no decisions were taken.According to our sources, the negative vibes between the Gulf and Washington over the Obama administration's policy of favoring Tehran have made these Arab rulers doubly wary of responding to the US president's appeal for a Gulf stake in US and global economic recovery

 

ABC News, Elderly (Video)

$34,000,000,000,000.00 obligations and not a cent in Medicare.

A Case Of Gangster Government? (Video)

Office of Management and Budget (Link found on Peter G. Peterson's blog)

Enormous Settlement Failures In The ETF Market (H/T PineCarr) 

Dear Ms. Morris:

Here are my comments on the proposed rule to reduce regulatory burdens on the issuance of ETFs. In general, the proposal to simplify the process for issuing ETFs is a great step forward and such reform is long overdue. However, there is a serious problem in the ETF market that the Commission should address as it standardizes procedures for creating new ETFs. The large and protracted settlement failures in the trading of ETFs indicate that there is something wrong, either in the design of the ETF product or in the structure of secondary market trading.

The Commission should address the enormous settlement failures in the ETF Market.

When a seller fails to deliver a security on the normal settlement date, an owner of the security is effectively forced into making an involuntary stock loan to the seller [Nice way of explaining it]. This violates one of the basic property rights of an owner, the ability to exclude others from the use of the property. In addition, it may deprive the buyer of the ability to earn stock lending revenue, as well as voting rights. The buyer may even have to pay higher tax rates on substitute dividend payments, which are taxed differently than normal dividends.

In response to numerous complaints, the Commission adopted Regulation SHO to reduce settlement failures. Under Regulation SHO, the Commission mandates special rules for securities in which failures to deliver exceed a certain "threshold" of size and length of failure.

As of this writing, over 100 ETFs and ETNs are on the Regulation SHO Threshold List.1 These settlement failures affect some of the largest ETFs as well as the smallest. For example, the iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) experienced over 30 trading days in the year 2007 in which over 10 million shares failed. These failures were for over $1 billion worth of shares each day. Similarly, the original SPDR Trust (SPY) experienced at least 10 trading days in 2007 with settlement failures of over a billion dollars per day.

Inclusion on the Regulation SHO Threshold List often makes it hard for investors, particularly retail investors, to engage in short sales. Many brokers will not take the effort to locate shares in order to execute short transactions in Threshold stocks. I have been personally told by my broker that shares were unavailable for shorting some ETFs on the Threshold List. Ease of short selling is one of the attractive features of ETFs, and thus the large settlement failures diminish one of the important features of this important product class.

(More)

Respectfully submitted,

James J. Angel
Georgetown University
McDonough School of Business
Washington DC 20057
(202) 687-3765

"Rats Outperform Humans in Interpreting Data"

Maybe we should put rats in charge of foreign aid research, by William Easterly: Laboratory experiments show that rats outperform humans in interpreting data... The amazing finding on rats is described in an equally amazing book by Leonard Mlodinow. The experiment consists of drawing green and red balls at random, with the probabilities rigged so that greens occur 75 percent of the time. The subject is asked to watch for a while and then predict whether the next ball will be green or red. The rats followed the optimal strategy of always predicting green (I am a little unclear how the rats communicated, but never mind). But the human subjects did not always predict green, they usually want to do better and predict when red will come up too, engaging in reasoning like “after three straight greens, we are due for a red.” As Mlodinow says, “humans usually try to guess the pattern, and in the process we allow ourselves to be outperformed by a rat.”

Unfortunately, spurious patterns show up in some important real world settings, like research on the effect of foreign aid on growth. Without going into any unnecessary technical detail, research looks for an association between economic growth and some measure of foreign aid, controlling for other likely determinants of economic growth. Of course, since there is some random variation in both growth and aid, there is always the possibility that an association appears by pure chance. The usual statistical procedures are designed to keep this possibility small. The convention is that we believe a result if there is only a 1 in 20 chance that the result arose at random. So if a researcher does a study that finds a positive effect of aid on growth and it passes this “1 in 20” test (referred to as a “statistically significant” result), we are fine, right?

(More)

 A few A(H1N1) Links Dr. Henry Niman's Map 3,204 U.S. Cases as of this wrtitng, A(H1N1) Current TimelineCDC Cases

26 Comments

Denny Johnson's picture
Denny Johnson
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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

From Enormous Settlement Failures In The ETF Market (H/T PineCarr) above.

Conclusion: naked short selling is happening in ETFs and it is probably an even greater problem than it is in stocks. This is because the total amount of shares in the market for ETFs is constantly changing, which obscures naked short selling.

Stay away from ETFs, especially gold/silver ETFs based in the US (GLD/SLV).

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DrKrbyLuv
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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Enormous Settlement Failures In The ETF Market (H/T PineCarr)

Davos - great dig, the entire article is worth a read (Thanks for posting the "Conclusion" Denny).

Obama begging Saudia Arabia for help! In Secret meeting

DEBKAfile's exclusive Gulf sources report

For what it's worth, my experience has been that DEBKA is not a reliable source of information.

Larry

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Well,

I am not sure what to think about the spin put on the Medicare story.

I meet old folks every day that live hand to mouth. They don't know if they should pay for their food bill, their prescription bill or their heat/electric. Thank god spring is here and they get a reprieve from the cold. The heat will be here soon enough.

Who all is collecting Medicare I ask. Are there only folks who have paid into the system collecting? Or, are there lots and lots of folks who have never deposited a dime into the system collecting benefits? The same can be side for Social Security.

Mainstream media once again getting the story WRONG!

 

Perhaps, we should just turn them into permaculture fertilizer? We don't listen to them and learn from their mistakes anyway.

 

FWIW - C.

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Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

 Hello RN Carl:

I agree, but I think they should have a cutoff point. I know a lot of retired folks with middle class to high net incomes who could afford this. Take care

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11
Davos wrote:

 Hello RN Carl:

I agree, but I think they should have a cutoff point. I know a lot of retired folks with middle class to high net incomes who could afford this. Take care

+1

We have the same issue here in Australia.

The truth is, the majority of the baby boomer's got married but only 1 went to work while the other stayed at home and raised the family and only one contributed towards the retirement fund. Now 2 people are wanting to draw on the money saved that only 1 paid in. I see this pattern repeated in my parents, in-laws and a whole swag of their friends as well - it's predominantly the model of that generation.

Old folks may think they are entitled to the money but in reality they have not paid in enough - nowhere near enough to cover all the same wanting to draw on it as well as keeping pace with rising medical costs.

In the end they will have to give up some benefits because if they don't, there will ultimately be riots on their hands and do they really think they can defend themselves against the young? This is what revolutions are made of - when the rich keep robbing from the poor and ignore the plight of the poor. Do people think that everyone is just going to sit back and allow wealth to be taken from them and given to others? I don't think society will remain civil under these sorts of conditions. I already see a hatred growing for the elderly, which I disapprove of, but it's undeniable growing as people see the wealth continue to go disproportionally to the elderly out of their own pockets. Young people are not adverse to paying for things themselves and working hard but they resent people getting a free lunch when they have not paid for it or have not paid enough.

The reality is that older generations didn't contribute anywhere near enough and they believe a lie that they have because they have been fed a lie all their lives from politicians that the pittance they have put away is enough when it's not. Time for a reality check because it will either come willingly or it will come at the end of a gun ultimately. This problem is going to have to be faced in just about every western country because none of them have put away enough money.

EDIT:

RNcarl wrote:

Well,

I am not sure what to think about the spin put on the Medicare story.

I meet old folks every day that live hand to mouth. They don't know if they should pay for their food bill, their prescription bill or their heat/electric. Thank god spring is here and they get a reprieve from the cold. The heat will be here soon enough.

Who all is collecting Medicare I ask. Are there only folks who have paid into the system collecting? Or, are there lots and lots of folks who have never deposited a dime into the system collecting benefits? The same can be side for Social Security.

Mainstream media once again getting the story WRONG!

 

Perhaps, we should just turn them into permaculture fertilizer? We don't listen to them and learn from their mistakes anyway.

 

FWIW - C.

The story isn't wrong - it just tells the greater picture.

Social Security is tiny compared to funding for baby boomer's retirement due to the numbers involved.

The simple truth is that the baby boomer's have not put away anywhere enough money and now they want to collect off the rest of society because this was the model that was set - the expectation that following generations would be greater in number to cover for those departing - well, that isn't the case - so there's a shortfall.

Blame the politicians of the era of the baby boomer's for not making the hard choices about putting enough money away for later and blame the baby boomer's for not putting away enough money.

Sorry but as unpalatable as the story is and as sad as it is to hear the plight of people living hand to mouth, the reality is that there is not enough money in the system to pay for all those wanting to draw on it because that generation didn't set aside enough money.

Let every man carry his own cross I think is a truism and to expect the current generation to pay for the wealthiest generation to have ever existed (the baby boomer's) is wrong. Let them sell their assets to help pay for it all - they have enough on mass - in fact, they hold th majority of the worlds wealth by a long long way - they have done alright compared to every other generation to have ever existed. This is the big picture.

If I make a bad investment choice due to ignorance or being fed a lie and I believed it, then I don't expect others to bail me out - it a cost that I wear because I made the wrong choice - same situation here I think.

Let's put it another way. Would baby boomer's be happy to fund the retirement of the current generation? I seriously doubt it but yet they expect it the other way? Expectations expectations expectations - this is what's wrong with the picture and it needs information to set expectations right because from where I stand the baby boomer generations expectations are way out of line compared to how much they have actually saved. They have amassed vsat assets compared to other generations and they want trillions in benefits when they have not saved the same trillions?

I wonder if the same picture is true of current generations too? Have current generations saved enough?

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Study being published in Science estimates the case fatality rate of A(H1N1) to 0.4%, about the same as the Asian flu 1957-58.

www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;1176062v1

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Britain lodges Falklands Islands oil claim

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25466403-23109,00.html

I think we will see a lot more of this in the future :-(

I would even say it will come to wars when the reality hits that oil is peaking or past peak...

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

 The Martenson Tribe?

9:30 point.

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Mavari, I think your analysis is spot on. The boomers and every subsequent generation have been coddled from day one.  Our politicians have promised us a rosy future that they can't possibly deliver.

At some point the hard choices are going to be made - whether that change comes peacefully remains to be seen.  It is going to mean that reaching the magical age of 62 doesn't automatically entitle you to sit on the porch in your rocking chair for 30 years.  Those that can work will have to do so. 

I think caring for the elderly is going to become more of a family responsibility than a governmental one. That worked great for the 10,000 years prior to social security.  It can work again. 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11
maveri wrote:

<snip> Let every man carry his own cross I think is a truism and to expect the current generation to pay for the wealthiest generation to have ever existed (the baby boomer's) is wrong. Let them sell their assets to help pay for it all - they have enough on mass - in fact, they hold th majority of the worlds wealth by a long long way - they have done alright compared to every other generation to have ever existed. This is the big picture. <snip>

If you remember from the Crash Course mentioning the Baby Boomer "bulge", the younger generations in the USA aren't numerous (or wealthy) enough to buy up all those assets that they'd need to sell off to pay for their retirement.  So the boomers (at least in the US) at large don't have that option, and without Social Security many will be screwed TWICE over...

... But as unfortunate as that is, I completely agree with you in that those Social Security obligations simply can't be met over the long haul and the Boomers will have to face up to that.  It stinks and is certainly not fair to some Boomers who truly need or will need that income, but that's simply the way things have turned out.  As Denis Leary said, "Life sucks, get a f***ing helmet!".  Do the best with what you've got and try to find realistic solutions instead of holding onto a plan that we KNOW won't work.  And even if it COULD work (at the likely extreme cost to other generations) I would argue that it's not the right thing to do. 

An older coworker of mine would periodically joke with us younger guys and say, "Dammit, get back to work! You're supposed to be funding my retirement!".  We all make a show of laughing and tell him, "Retire? What makes you think you get to RETIRE?".  And that's where the truth lies... on some level most of us now know Social Security is a joke.  A soon to be very unfunny joke.

- Nickbert

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Secretlee
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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Warning! Stupid question follows:

What's a "truism"?

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11
Secretlee wrote:

Warning! Stupid question follows:

What's a "truism"?

tru·ism : an undoubted or self-evident truth ; especially : one too obvious for mention

http://mw1.m-w.com/dictionary/truism

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

 If Social Security is a joke, it's not a very funny one to someone who involuntarily paid into it for 35 years but has yet to draw a dime out.  I don't want younger folks to work so I can collect, I JUST WANT THE MONEY I PAID IN BACK.  Keep the )@Y$ing interest, just pay me the small fortune (to me) that you took with the PROMISE to return it in my retirement years.

You want to see one pissed off old fart,  you got it.  And I'm not alone, here.  So when they tell us "sorry, we blew the money on other stuff, pretty funny, heh, heh... you get zero", it won't be pretty.  What do <we> have too loose when we've already lost it?  

Nope, not pretty at all.

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Maveri

To blame us Baby Boomers for not saving enough might be fair enough. We could rightly be blamed for believing the political spin and voting in the politicians who blatantly lied to us about our social security state of affairs. Not that voters had or have real choices. Both sides of politics are equally complicit.

It was not necessarily that we did not save enough, but rather the tax (inflation) that has destroyed our capital. Nothing has changed over the years to cause the abatement of this insidious form of taxation. Quite the contrary the current spate of "rescues" and money printing by the central banks will accelerate this wealth destruction.

Greenspan unerstood the issues very well when in 1966 he wrote:

"In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves."

At the very least we need to constrain the money printing (debasing) ability of the central banks and preferrably do away with them all together!

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11
Secretlee wrote:

Warning! Stupid question follows:

What's a "truism"?

 

Not a silly question at all :-)

I'm a really really bad speller - I thought for a second there I had mispelt the word. I live for the speller checker!

Looks like someone else has answered anyhow so I'll leave it at their more than adequate answer.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not against the elderly, in fact, over the years I have grown in appreciation of their wisdom and ability to not undulate so much when things come along - I'm just against people (myself included) who when a distortion is revealed, refuse to change and dogmatically stick with what they want to stick with.

What I find so interesting is that we seem to be heading into a 'taking stock' age. I just thought of that silly term in this context but to me it means that assumptions are being questioned, a vast stock take is under way and a true snapshot of costs (whether financial, energy based, population based etc) is being done to try and gain a definitive picture of the current state of play for everything.

So far the stock-take is revealing business is not going well at all...

:-)

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11
stan.chucks wrote:

Maveri

To blame us Baby Boomers for not saving enough might be fair enough. We could rightly be blamed for believing the political spin and voting in the politicians who blatantly lied to us about our social security state of affairs. Not that voters had or have real choices. Both sides of politics are equally complicit.

It was not necessarily that we did not save enough, but rather the tax (inflation) that has destroyed our capital. Nothing has changed over the years to cause the abatement of this insidious form of taxation. Quite the contrary the current spate of "rescues" and money printing by the central banks will accelerate this wealth destruction.

Greenspan unerstood the issues very well when in 1966 he wrote:

"In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves."

At the very least we need to constrain the money printing (debasing) ability of the central banks and preferrably do away with them all together!

 

See my recent post :-)

I thought people may misinterpret my ramblings as having a go at the baby boomer's - nothing of the sort is meant - my poor word usage perhaps.

Just as I have not taken stock of many many things in my life, so also the baby boomer's.

No judgment or disrespect intended - otherwise you might even think that I'd want to exterminate you all Nazi style - nothing further could be in my mind.

We are all in this together whether we like it or not - I just hope the baby boomer's can see the big picture and change - the same as I am changing and am being dragged kicking and screaming into a world very different to what I thought I'd see in my time on this planet. I am finding the changes I have to make monumental also.

So PLEASE, accept my apologies if it came across that I was implying that they have undertaken this deliberately - I think most of them have not - they have done what I have done, just followed what they thought was right without checking. Now we are all having to do a stock take and reality is catching up with us all.

This planet is to be shared by all generations and we all will need to make sacrifices for each other in the years ahead.

:-)

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Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Well,

 

Davos, I am sure that we all could share anecdotal evidence on both sides of the equation. Meaning, there are those folks who couldn't survive without Medicare, and there are folks that could not only survive without Medicare but can have better care if they don't evoke their benefits.

When I was typing my response, I asked myself, "Oh yeah? can you prove it?" Not questioning the part about folks living hand to mouth, I have personally witnessed that many times over on a daily basis. The part I was questioning was:

Who all is collecting Medicare I ask. Are there only folks who have paid into the system collecting? Or, are there lots and lots of folks who have never deposited a dime into the system collecting benefits? The same can be side for Social Security.

A quick Goggle search provided this:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers Medicare, the nation's largest health insurance program, which covers nearly 40 million Americans. Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for people age 65 or older, some disabled people under age 65, and people of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant).

So, If I have kidney failure, no matter what the cause or my age, I can be covered under Medicare. Is that fair?

What about this:

Yes, if you are an adult, you can apply for disability benefits online.

If you are applying for disability benefits for a child, you can fill out some of the necessary information online, but you must contact Social Security to apply.

To find out how to apply, please choose the type of benefits you wish to apply for:

If you have further questions, call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY, 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday Or, you can visit your local office.

So, if I am a child, or have never worked and have a disability and never paid into Social Security I can draw benefits?

Please do not vilify the elderly who only are doing what they are being told.

 

The problem is, there are too many persons collecting versus what has been paid in, even with interest. Even with interest PROPERLY invested. I will still submit, that while it may have been politically correct to expand benefits to those individuals who no doubt need help because of age or disability, I think it was wrong to dip into the only pot that still had money left in it. The SSA pot.

My father was 74 when he retired. I was almost 15. My mother worked long enough to collect "her own" Social Security. Now, my father also collected a check from Social Security for me. Actually, the checks came with MY name ONLY on it. Why was I entitled to a Social Security check? I had never paid into the system. Even at 15 I knew that there was something "not right" about me collecting. I never saw a dime of that money, my parents needed the money to provide for my welfare.

I still say, ABC got the story WRONG. It isn't only the folks who SHOULD be collecting that are out stripping the ability of the system to pay for them, it is all the folks in my opinion who are collecting from that system that never paid a dime into it and should NOT be collecting from it!

Now, what if we had all that money that was paid out over the last 30-40 yeas that went to persons who never paid into the system? How much more solvent would SSA/Medicare be? Actually, SSA was a nice big pot of money that DID have enough money in it IF it was continued to be used for what it was intended for. NOT to have added the additional programs leeching from it.

How on earth would an insurance company stay alive if it was required to expand benefits to persons who never held (paid into) an insurance policy from their company? They surely couldn't. Yet, this is what your government has asked SSA to do for the last 40 years!

FWIW - C.

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Now,

I re-read my last post.

OK - So here we are. It really does not matter how we got here. The reality is, here we are. What can we do to move forward.

C.

sensei's picture
sensei
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 30 2008
Posts: 26
Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Stan, I don't think anyone is blaming your generation.  Yours happened to be the first to really buy into the empty promises and lies, but every generation since then has done just the same.  The boomers get singled out because they are the ones standing in line now that things seem to be coming to a head. They are rightfully expecting to finally get the carrot that has been dangled in front of them for the past 40 years.  They kept their end of the bargain and expect to be rewarded. The problem is there is no carrot - never was.

Some people - probably most people on this site - are keen enough to understand that and are doing their best to adapt to reality.  Unfortunately, the majority (regardless of age or generation) don't share that vision.  They want their carrot and don't give a flaming fart what that might mean for the rest of the country.  That is where the contention is going to arise.

 

Secretlee's picture
Secretlee
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 6 2009
Posts: 13
Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Ok, thanks for the "truism" definition... 

"A problem cannot be solved by the same kind of thinking that created it." - Albert Einstein. Is this a truism? Or is this not an "obvious" truth? Whats an obvious truth? isnt that relative? Probably shouldn't even be thinking about this.. I just (even though I've seen the definition many times) dont understand this word.

About blaming the boomers, I couldn't see anyone assigning blame here. What is - is. My parents are baby boomers. I see them as dear and nice people who went by the rules. Who made the rules? Who knows, who cares. Its all in the past. I dont think any of us could foresee these events. As Chris said in the Crash Course, who knew that we would be able to fish the seas dry? Certainly not the baby boomers who came with the emotional sense of loss associated with WWII, and certainly not any one of us that could have done something along the way.

However, the facts remain. We are in a fairly precarious position and I for one am excited to see how it will all work out, regardless of whose fault it was.

"The only thing that separates us is our beliefs. When we realise that we can create or discreate our beliefs with ease, the right and wrong game will wind down and peace will ensue." H. Palmer.

maveri's picture
maveri
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 20 2008
Posts: 159
Re: Daily Digest - May 11
Secretlee wrote:

...

"The only thing that separates us is our beliefs. When we realise that we can create or discreate our beliefs with ease, the right and wrong game will wind down and peace will ensue." H. Palmer.

I like that - I like that a lot

My parents are baby boomers. They worked hard, put money aside and now want to collect on what they believe they have squirrled away.

They are not taking the message lightly that there is not enough left in the kitty for them.

I have 4 young kids - it has not been easy for me handling the fact that the earth is over populated either, so I understand in measure how the baby boomers feel - except in the baby boomers case, it comes down to money, which can be shared - it's a bit dificult to cull populations :-)

Perhaps we will eventually end up like Star Trek - where money is seen as simply as a means of exchange and that investments in knowldege and scientific endevours is where the wealth resides *I wish*

nickbert's picture
nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1208
Re: Daily Digest - May 11
Roundhouse wrote:

 If Social Security is a joke, it's not a very funny one to someone who involuntarily paid into it for 35 years but has yet to draw a dime out.  I don't want younger folks to work so I can collect, I JUST WANT THE MONEY I PAID IN BACK.  Keep the )@Y$ing interest, just pay me the small fortune (to me) that you took with the PROMISE to return it in my retirement years.

You want to see one pissed off old fart,  you got it.  And I'm not alone, here.  So when they tell us "sorry, we blew the money on other stuff, pretty funny, heh, heh... you get zero", it won't be pretty.  What do <we> have too loose when we've already lost it?  

Nope, not pretty at all.

I sympathize... I may not have been paying into it nearly as long or as much as you, but same as you I had no choice in the matter and all I want is to have the same value returned to me that I put into it.  And like you, I'm probably not going to see a penny of my money either.  The simple fact is that the money is not there anymore and gone for good, and the promise was essentially broken a long time ago (whenever it was they allowed that money to be used for general spending... sometime in the early 80's I think).  Maybe one thing that makes me view it the way I do is that I never had any expectation I'd see the money again to start with.  Call it Gen-X cynicism or whatever you like, but something told me it was a a broken promise from the time I started my first job.  Despite this I still occasionally get miffed when I think about it all, but for the most part I just try to resolve myself to making a comfortable living without that money and continue to never take anything the government says at face value.  And, when the opportunity presents itself, to take an active hand in kicking out the chowderheads responsible for creating/perpetuating this and other government abuses.  If I had my way, I would sentence each and every one of them to cleaning up after very large, very incontinent zoo animals for the rest of their days

- Nickbert

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Listening to BO talk about how they will make health care more efficient...really, you have to be kidding. We all know how efficient they are??? I am in the medical field & really I see it maybe better for me. I want to slow down anyway & not work such long hours. With the increase in taxes it makes it an easy decision. Call it the Obama shuffle.

People want what they see as free medicine..free everything...wait til they see it really work LOL. This is one of Americans biggest problems IMHO they fall for all these "absolutely free" things. This country did not become GREAT with freebies & Big Govt.....quite the opposite.

As far as the ETFs are concerned. It looks like they are better as a day trading instrument. Look at the FAZ & FAS from the the beginning of 2009. It doesn't add up well from what I can see. One of these days some of these ETFs might stop trading & set off some real interesting reactions in the market.

 Peter Schiff has such a great way with words. Have a good laugh at his analogy on the jobs report & #s.

 

maveri's picture
maveri
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 20 2008
Posts: 159
Re: Daily Digest - May 11
idoctor wrote:

...

 Peter Schiff has such a great way with words. Have a good laugh at his analogy on the jobs report & #s.

 

+1

I enjoy listening to Peter - he recently talked about the stress tests and likened it to building a bridge and running a couple of gerbils over it to test it - I laughed long and hard at that one and Peter himself nearly burst out into a laugh as well.

To add humor into your message can often mean you are very comfortable with your message and in that regard, Peter certainly has his message well rounded.

I'm chuckling just thinking about his Gerbil comment again...

Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 929
Re: Daily Digest - May 11

I realize that there is a separate forum for this, but I figured it's big enough to throw out here once in a while...
 

Ron Paul's HR 1207 - the Federal Reserve Transparency Act has recently seen great increases in sponsorship. The bill now has 149 cosponsors as of May 11. See here: http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d111:18:./temp/~bdaE4a:@@@P|/bss/|

dcm's picture
dcm
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 14 2009
Posts: 219
Re: Daily Digest - May 11

Let's see, other than spending all the money in the "trust fund" on other things and not putting enough funds away for the original purpose, the government got Social Security pretty much right.   

Once again, The Onion:   

WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush signed an ambitious Social Security plan into law Monday that will allow citizens to bet a third of their payroll taxes on their favorite sports teams.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/30808

 

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