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  1. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 2-6-2013 I Want a New Drug

    In my opinion, there should be limits to the use of steroids, but not all out bans. Because I agree that steroids have been proven quite useful in speeding up recovery, as well as aiding in a more complete recovery. But they have also been proven to have negative effects when used for the wrong reasons over the long term.

    Drugs should not be used to build muscle, period. Don't care if you're an athlete or not. It can degenerate cartilage, cause heart problems, massive mood swings and much, much more. Using anabolic steroids strictly for growing muscle means prolonged use, and potentially major consequences.

    In sports, you see people suspended for ABUSING drugs, and then you have those who use them for health reasons, and they are treated exactly the same. I see no reason why all sports can't simply ban recreational use, and allow medical use. This can be done by allowing athletes to request permission to use for medical treatment, have the athletes present signed medical documents to their respective league offices, showing proof of use, time frame of each usage, along with the athlete's signed consent and knowledge to whatever treatment he or she received.

    With all athletes having these same rights and guidelines, there would be no competitive advantage, no excuse in court of saying "I was trying to rehab from surgery, and didn't know I was receiving a banned subtance", no confusion as to the reason of use from a fan's perspective, and they would have the opportunity to heal in the same way that any average citizen does without the worry of being penalized.

    All abuse of drugs (any usage without the previously mentioned documents of consent and legality) would continue to carry the appropriate penalties, without so many of the long and unnecessary legal battles. Because players often use the "logic" that they were unaware of what they were taking. In truth, anything that can help you heal faster should not be banned, but it is, and athletes should always be aware of what is or is not legal. Giving medical rights, and taking away excuses from those who abuse drugs should really speed up the legal process, and (maybe) deter them from future violations. It would at least draw a line between the cheaters and those who honestly aren't looking for an advantage.

    I have no sympathy for people like Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens. They used steroids for advantage, and knew it was illegal. Armstrong may have needed some help getting into shape after cancer, but we now know that he used well beyond his rehab.

    As for players who took steroids before they were banned; I think they showed a lack of character, but they are not technically cheaters. For this reason I think it's stupid that you have sportswriters standing on their high horse 25 years later, talking about morality of players, when they had good reason to believe this was going on back then and yet said nothing about it. The hypocrisy bugs me.
    Posted 02-07-2013 at 05:38 AM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  2. Old Comment
    xan's Avatar

    Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

    To those who don't understand externalities, we'll start with something simple. Coal powered electric power generating plants produce AC current distributed over power lines for private and public consumption. The plants burn coal for the heat to boil water, which moves through pipes turning turbine engines. Coal is mostly carbon, but contains various other elements and compounds, including mercury, sulfur and nitrogen. Coal is burned, producing carbon dioxide and water, but the other elements also burn, producing sulfur dioxide (acid rain), mercury oxides (known carcinogens), and also produce particulate discharge (soot). Acid rain kills crops ($), damages metal (cars, buildings, bridges, $). Mercury levels have a direct relationship to birth defects (no arms, brain underdevelopment, etc). Soot levels increase respiratory distress, causing increase in drug usage and hospitalization. These are classic examples of negative externalities, all of which are measured as a byproduct of producing electricity, and have costs associated with them. None are "theoretical." All of these costs are borne by the society at large, and are not paid for by the producer of the pollution nor is it paid for in the market price of the electricity consumed. It is borne entirely by the person affected or, in the case of public property, by the tax base. Many strategies have been implemented to shift the burden of the externality costs directly to either the consumer of power or to the producers (which ultimately gets passed on to the consumer of the power in the form of higher rates.) These include taxes, limits and unilateral mandatory prevention.

    So, now focus on guns. Let's take the example of the Aurora massacre to identify "negative externalities" of gun use. It is an extreme example, but, nonetheless captures the categories that policy makers use to frame appropriate legislation, as non-legal use of guns carry the same potential externalities regardless of scale. The assailant used a 12 gauge shotgun, an MP-15 semiautomatic with a 100 clip cartridge and a standard Glock 22 handgun. So any use outside of the target range of any of these is likely to have negative consequence, or externalities.

    70 people were shot, killing 10, and one woman's injuries led to a miscarriage. The following is a partial list of costs to society which were/are being incurred:
    • There is a loss of productivity of all of those injured or killed,
    • The healthcare system used resources to treat the injuries, including blood, devices, services and drugs, not to mention the psychological services for PTSD of the victims,
    • The judicial/penal system uses resources to prosecute, including incarceration at an average in CO of $32,000 per year,
    • There was a loss in the Aurora tax base due to the deaths, as well as departures of some families in the aftermath,
    • The movie theatre was closed for 6 months, which also caused a decrease in patronage of the stores in the mall. (there was significant damage to the theatre)

    The Harvard School of Public Health has studied gun ownership as a function of public health, much like they study any cause of mortality/morbidity. Their site captures the analysis of decades of data. They also include statistics on what I call "defensive morbidity" or the use of gun weapons in instances of self defense which cause harm (also known as defensive gun use or "DGU"). Annually, there are about 200 instances of such in the US, resulting in 69 deaths in 2011 (latest figures). It should be noted that the NRA has blocked the CDC from doing a more extensive study in coordination with state and local authorities, as many questions about gun use persist.

    Finally, I am not interested in the morality of gun ownership. I am only interested in characterizing the economic cost of gun ownership beyond the direct private cost and how one might shift the costs so that as much of the burden of the costs are borne by the direct consumer. Any other non-gun factor (e.g., drones, nukes, knives) has no bearing on the analysis. Policies directly related to the costs shifting cause behavioral changes, some anticipated, some not, and can alter the effectiveness of certain policy initiatives.
    Posted 01-23-2013 at 05:59 PM by xan xan is offline
  3. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

    In other words you don't want to answer any of my questions? That is not a form of critical thought. I use facts and common sense, not an internet list of ideas, for my own critical thinking.

    You evade nearly every question I ask with another question. I am specifically speaking to you, not anyone else. If you are offended by the directness of my replies, then perhaps debate is not for you. But I digress.

    Your social cost theory is exactly that, a theory. It goes back to the "negative externality" argument. You can not rationally make a distinction between the negative affects of a gun, without being able to prove what a person would do without one. I'll go back to the car reference. Cars are very positive in that they get us where we need to go, and they are much more convenient than traveling by horse or foot. But there are so many cars on the road that a lot of bad accidents happen. That is certainly a negative. I'm not lobbying to get rid of cars. It's simply an illustration. But if we are to make economic arguments based on things outside of upfront money, then we better go down the list of things that have negative social impact.

    I don't hear any arguments that we should get rid of prescription drugs, which people use to commit suicide by overdose at times, or people become so dependent on them that they can not function rationally without them. Or the internet which is used in negative ways, such as stalking, bullying and generally dumbing down society with all the false information and rumors circulating. There are those who use it for positive things however. So how do we determine how much positive vs. negative impact any of these things have? It's hearsay.

    You're asking me how we manage these "social costs" and who should bear the burden. How in the world do I answer that question when there is no direct evidence of the overall impact on society, as opposed to those who are personally affected by either owning a gun or being a victim of tragedy. I don't argue in theory.
    Posted 01-21-2013 at 10:40 PM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  4. Old Comment
    xan's Avatar

    Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

    For easy reference:

    A List Of Fallacious Arguments

    Critical Thinking vs Specious Arguments

    I find these concepts useful when I construct my critical thinking. Bad thinking = bad results.

    Nothing personal to anyone engaged in this discussion, either active or passive.

    To go back to the original thesis, PRIVATE gun ownership and use that is not for hunting or recreational target practice carries a social cost beyond the private costs of acquisition. How do we manage those costs and who should bear the burden of those costs?
    Posted 01-21-2013 at 01:47 PM by xan xan is offline
  5. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

    I gave you the reason for no gun insurance already. Insurance is meant to cover for damage/losses/medical. It's not a means to make up for any economic loss for the price of manufacturing anything. Where do you get the idea that's what insurance is for? The true cost of misusing a gun, is prison. That's as strong a deterrent as you can get.

    Also, I am not near dumb enough to believe your blog isn't intended to further demonize gun owners. You are trying a different angle, and it is not adding up.

    Your numbers on murders and suicides fell far short of the number of car accidents and deaths. And also, the suicide stat is meaningless. When someone is prepared to take their own life, they will do it. It would be just a easy to overdose. Would you like to talk about the negative externalities of prescription drugs? Should we not have medication because someone might commit suicide? I well stated in my previous reply that it doesn't matter what people use. They'll use what is available to them. What is the productive value of a bow and arrow? Nothing. But if there were no guns it would be used as a primary weapon. Once again, people like to hunt and also like to be protected. That sounds pretty valuable to me.

    You continue to ignore the numerous positives that come from guns. Your argument is that they are either unproductive or used to destroy or kill. But what about cops who use them to defend citizens? What about soldiers who use weapons to defend our country, or people who just want to have some peace of mind? If people are buying guns, then profit is being made. What makes you think those who don't want guns are somehow being burdened by this?

    Tell me, how can guns not provide wealth, when people buy them? Does it make you angry every time someone makes a purchase if it does not put money in your pocket? Comic books don't bring wealth to the general public, but they make money for those selling them. Isn't that the point of business? Nothing continues to pump money into the economy after it is already paid for, with the exception of service charges on our phones, and paying utilities. The main source of money for the economy is our income tax dollars. When you purchase a gun, you do pay a sales tax. Do you think we should be taxed monthly for something we've already paid for?

    The only things that hurt our economy are: 1) Businesses being so incredibly overtaxed that they can't retain enough employees to be productive, and eventually fail, causing even more jobs to be lost. 2) Those tax dollars are then used to subsidize businesses that have ALREADY PROVEN to be unproductive, and NOT used to bring down the debt. Or any form of wasteful spending by our government. If people buy guns , who cares if they ever use them? They PAID for it, didn't they?
    Posted 01-20-2013 at 06:40 PM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  6. Old Comment
    xan's Avatar

    Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

    This blog is explicitly not about the morality of guns. It is strictly about the costs to society and the individual of gun ownership in a well ordered society.

    The general postulation is that weapons have no productive value (the use of weapons does not create products or services that improve the human condition) in a well ordered society. The use of weapons either produces no value because they are not being used, or negative value, because they destroy or kill. One could argue that the inputs used to create guns do not add to the productive capacity of a nation, as they do not produce a product that increases wealth.

    The costs associated with their use are the issue. Who should bear the burden?

    Sample Statistics from the CDC:
    Murders 11,078
    Suicides 19,392
    Injuries/property damage **unknown because NRA successfully lobbied Congress to prohibit the CDC from studying or collecting data on injuries from firearms**

    What are the arguments again for not requiring insurance to own a gun?
    Posted 01-20-2013 at 12:59 PM by xan xan is offline
  7. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

    Xan, allow me to put this in plain english.

    You may use the word externalities as many times as you please, but the fact of the matter is that guns are not meant for murder. They are meant for hunting, target practice and most of all, defense. The fact that some use guns for violence is strictly a matter of it being the primary available weapon, and the fault lies with the perpetrator, not the gun.

    Genghis Khan, one of, if not the MOST brutal leader in history, ruthlessly conquered northeast Asia and built the largest empire known to man at the time, and it sustained well after his death. How did he do all this? He and his army had not guns, not bombs, not tanks, but simple things like swords and clubs. Those were the weapons of the time and Khan was able to slaughter all those people because he was smart, for one, but mostly because he had an insatiable thirst for power through bloodshed.

    That, my friend, is pure evil. And it is that sort of evil that makes any weapon dangerous.

    Why do I say this? Because it illustrates how mankind adapts. Today, guns are the primary weapons. Every day, guns are used to COMBAT violence, just as much if not more than they are used to commit violence.

    Still think guns are bad? Okay. Let's ban them. Then what? Criminals start breaking into homes, knowing the people are unarmed. But let me just play along and assume that the government could actually get rid of EVERY single gun in America... Then criminals would just find another way. They always have, and we've always had to adapt.

    So in the case of a car, it doesn't matter how many more or less possibilities (or externalities, as you would say) there are for something bad to happen. If a person wants to run you over, he can. Or it could be a drunk driver. Again, blame the person.

    As for your opinion on the costs of owning a car vs. owning a gun: It takes an absolutely evil person to commit murder. It only takes a moment of distraction to cause a massive accident and kill several people, in a car. On average, there are 6 million accidents per year, with 3 million resulting in injuries, and in excess of 40,000 deaths annually.

    Here is the link to those statistics: Car Accident Statistics -- Lawcore.com

    It is an enormous responsibility, as you are surrounded by cars at almost all times. It's not a joyride, and should not be treated that way. Insurance is necessary because if you get into a significant wreck, you MUST have help paying for the damages. So you have to pay a fee for that... I'd rather a monthly fee of a couple hundred, give or take, per month than to have to pay out of pocket for thousands of dollars in damage. Not that paying bills is ever fun, but in the case of insurance I understand the necessity of it. If you're a safe driver, your rates won't be too high.

    Guns should be taken equally as seriously in terms of how you use them, without a doubt. But guns don't carry all that risk. They can be deadly, but they are not that hard to use. You almost HAVE to intentionally shoot someone, as accidents are very rare. Yes murders happen, aswell as accidents, and it is tragic. But you cannot predict how a person will act. You get a background check, you get your fingerprints taken, and you have to demonstrate the ability to properly use the gun. That is the law, and I believe it is perfectly just. Why should anyone pay insurance on a gun? If you shoot someone you go to prison... think about that.
    Posted 01-19-2013 at 12:56 PM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  8. Old Comment
    xan's Avatar

    Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

    I don't want to distract from the intent of the thread, so I'll point out a bit of the obvious. Modern man uses tools to improve his economic condition. Some tools have no externalities, like levers, while others, like nuclear bombs have many.

    Externalities arise as a consequence of the intended use. In the case of cars, the intended use is transportation; the externalities of operating a car include pollution, collision and death. A gun's intended purpose is killing, or practicing hitting a target. Externalities of a gun would be killing an innocent person; to be extremely clear, modern law and morality do not allow many instances for an individual to make a unilateral determination of guilt.

    Guns represent a huge challenge to a well ordered society as is intended use is generally illegal except for designated hunting and target practice. For many instances of gun ownership, use entirely produces negative externalities.

    In this way, one cannot make the transitive argument of operating a car, or many other tools whose intended purpose and utility are generally unrelated to the negative externalities produced, to a tool whose intended use is to produce negative externalities.
    Posted 01-19-2013 at 08:21 AM by xan xan is offline
  9. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

    Actually, Kev, getting a gun license is an extremely rigorous process.

    Food for thought: Why is it that when somebody drinks and drives, and ends up killing people, nobody blames the car? Well obviously that's because the car wasn't operating itself. So why then do people blame guns when someone uses one to kill? There are a number of ways to commit murder. We should be more concerned about people than guns. And that is why you go through background checks before you can own a gun.
    Posted 01-19-2013 at 01:49 AM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  10. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

    Really interesting read...! I particularly wish that pro-guns folk look at the logic of your argument, particularly at the part of the requirements of owning a car in comparison to owning a gun!
    Posted 01-18-2013 at 03:25 PM by KevSears KevSears is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Posted 12-23-2012 at 07:05 PM by Nemesis Nemesis is offline
  12. Old Comment
    xan's Avatar

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    Ah... sarcasm is the one tool that never blunts.

    I am so pleased to find so many reasonable and socially conscious people. I was starting to dispair that people would agree with this rediculous proposition, like people did with the NRA statement. I am not so secretly hoping theirs was a huge punk, too.
    Posted 12-22-2012 at 05:34 AM by xan xan is offline
  13. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    Your idea of a successful economic system is to have mass mediocrity. That's what socialism is. I believe if you want more money, go earn it. I've never been above the poverty line, yet I don't ask the government to steal from the rich as if they've done something immoral by earning their wealth. Raising taxes on the wealthy just ensures that more workers will be laid off to compensate. The rich already pay about 70 percent of the taxes. What more do you want?

    At some point the wealthy will inevitably fall back into the middle class, and that's where people lose jobs. If the wealthy are paying 70 percent, then what does that tell you? It means a lot of people have no jobs. Even if the rich paid the same total amount of tax dollars as they do now, their percentage of total taxes paid wouldn't be nearly so high if there were more tax payers.

    I don't have a problem with financial aid, in and of itself. I have needed it myself, but what I have received is only to help cover my family's basic needs when money is tight. However, when I, or any of us are working we may still need foodstamps if we're not making enough, but at least we're doing our part to pump whatever money we can afford back into the economy. In other words, we don't need MORE stuff being given to us, we need jobs, we need opportunity for advancement so that we don't have to rely on the government. It's simple. If people are not MAKING money then they are not able to pay taxes and give back.

    But instead, you have big brother promising to "take care" of the poor, not by creating jobs, but by giving them more and more money to do nothing. It has created an attitude of entitlement and too many people are just sitting back, taking advantage.

    This creates two major problems: The demands continue to rise on the wealthy to subsidize the irresponsible, and secondly, those of us who are below the poverty line but want to work, or maybe get a raise, have a hard time getting either of the two because employers who would otherwise help us are cutting back instead.

    And before you say that these businesses can afford these taxes, but they just don't want to fork over the money, you might want to read this. Caldeira: How Do You Hurt Franchises? Raise Tax Rates : Roll Call Opinion

    Many of those who are referred to as "rich" are in fact not even close to being rich. Franchise businesses may have a big name, but each branch of them is run by small business owners. A fact that is pointed out in the article, is that the top 2-3 percent include 941,000 small businesses. This effects all of us. As I've stated, I'm not rich, and I know from experience that sometimes financial aid is needed. But I don't want to rely on it, and I don't want anyone else thinking they are owed it. If we have more job opportunities and more people motivated to work we will have a much more efficient economy.

    Simply raising taxes on the top 2 or 3 percent, and giving handouts is not stimulating anything, nor is it motivating those who are taking advantage of the system to at least try to work. As for Social Security, that is not a handout. It is a reward. If you don't earn enough credits over the span of your working years, you don't get anything. So nothing is being wasted there. If money is taken out of social security to pay for Obamacare, then it won't matter what age you are, or how much you worked. Your reward will be nothing, because SC will be bankrupt.

    Xan believes we should simply do a better job of saving toward our retirement. But there's one problem with that. Those who need SC aren't making enough money to afford saving much of it. Seniors deserve to be taken care of when they've paid their dues but can no longer work. Xan's plan is to just say to hell with the seniors because they are sucking money out of our pockets. First off, that is essentially euthanasia. But they are not sucking money from anyone. They have earned those credits.
    Posted 12-22-2012 at 03:51 AM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  14. Old Comment
    Posted 12-22-2012 at 01:49 AM by mike27 mike27 is offline
  15. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    By the way, people act like redistribution is a bad thing. When wealth in particular (Waltons, same wealth as bottom 42% of Americans), and income are so maldistributed, then not only is redistribution not a bad thing. It's the ONLY thing to do. Best we do it creating jobs, making sure we all have access to health care, and that our grandparents are taken care of, at least minimally. Call me a Socialist. I'll thank you. Some people foolishly believe it's a bad thing, because instead of thinking about how it affects you, they've heard someone else tell them it's bad, and they've repeated it.
    Posted 12-22-2012 at 01:31 AM by mike27 mike27 is offline
  16. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    As far as raising the retirement age, at 57 sometimes I already feel like I'm 80. People with physical labor jobs are not likely to even make it to 65, much less 67. It's a stupid idea, unless you are working in congress, or an easy money job talking on the phone all day, and shuffling papers. Add to that, a lot of folks already get fired just after they are 50. It's just a fact--and I've seen it happen anecdotally.

    And whether you want to believe all of this or not, Republicans have done this, they've nearly destroyed America. We might as well send in the orders for crowns and scepters, and thrones, as we're nearly a Dynasty, with Kings and Queens, princes and princesses, Lords and Ladies. I think some misunderstand just how much a few have, just so a small slice of the population can have wildly so, so much. Mitt has many multi-room mansions, and only pays 13 percent, making 20-30 million a year, and he doesn't even get why we're upset. We pay more than that just on SS insurance.

    Democrats aren't much better, but moving left is our only chance to salvage this mess that evil old, addled b*stard Reagan started. We've been "rushing to the bottom," for 35 years now, and at this point we're bouncing like a rock on the pond. The question is, are we going to sink, or bounce back up on the shore.

    People had better, once again, pay attention to which party butters their bread, vote in the primaries and choose those who actually help YOU on economic issues, not some jerk who is campaigning on social issues, many that have nothing to do with you, or your lives at all. Mostly they are about you voting for trying to control the lives of others, and in the process losing money economically.
    Posted 12-22-2012 at 01:28 AM by mike27 mike27 is offline
  17. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    Well let me start with a few facts. We've collected 2.7 Trillion MORE than we've paid out to SS recipients at this point. We've been loaning that money to the rich, in the form of tax cuts. What we need is to find ways to pay that money back, that the rich, and wars have taken from it, to the SS fund.

    Simple fixes are to raise the income cap. Most of us have the full 12.4 percent taken out, half from our checks, half from our employer. Economists consider that part of our compensation, so essentially we're paying that out of our checks. For all the money we make, up to the current cap, they take that out. It is at about $108,000 now. Above that, they stop taking it out. So simply kicking the cap to the curb, or raising it steadily so higher income folks will pay as much as the lower roughly 80% of us pay makes it solvent out past 2080, and beyond.

    Democrats aren't "in charge of almost everything." Republicans, due to some heavy gerrymandering, and though Democrats had a million more votes for House (of representative) seats, Republicans kept the House. If Republicans refuse to do anything majorities of 70-80 percent of us want to do, then Democrats are powerless. Add to that, the Senate has to have currently 60 votes, to choose to vote on anything. That is called "cloture." It basically means all debate is shut down, and voting can occur up and down. Republicans filibustered roughly 380 bills. This is a massively historically high figure. Usually roughly 25 bills are per 2 year period. Sadly, Republicans in order to make Obama look bad, have refused to do anything, almost anything at all. We never had 60 Senators even in the first two years, with 57, then 58 after Franken was sworn in late because of the close vote in MN.
    Posted 12-22-2012 at 01:21 AM by mike27 mike27 is offline
  18. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    I read this blog last night and was so angry, I didn't know where to begin. This is by far the sickest post I have seen on this site. And frankly, it's one of the worst I've seen anywhere. Xan, people like you are what is wrong with America. This kind of incoherent psychobabble is what our so called "leaders" are trying to force on us. The only difference between you and them, is that they aren't quite so blunt in their terminology. But this mindless, disgusting rant you have put on display illuminates just how ruthless this kind of proposed system truly is.

    Does your mother know you would rather she just die, than to be able to enjoy the fruits of her life long labor? If Grandma hadn't married your grandpa, you mother would never have existed, which means you wouldn't have either. I bet you never considered that...

    And keeping on the grandma subject that you brought up, why does she not deserve social security just because she didn't work enough to save up? Could it be, perhaps, that she was too busy staying home raising some ungrateful shmuck?... Maybe someone like you?

    I agree with SloMotion's sentiments above. This blog is a complete 180 of your previous posts about what you perceive to be the problem. So you're not even consistent. As for the other reply above, I don't know how anyone can believe this is a republican problem. Republicans have almost no say anymore. Democrats have control of almost everything. and of the problems we already face, they are proposing more of the same, and even worse. No such thing as a blue dog democrat. A blue dog is used to describe the more moderate, or liberal so called "republicans". I'm a conservative, myself. I'm tired of people refusing to take responsibility for the insane things they vote for. There have been some of these aforementioned blue dog republicans who have contributed to the problem, and you can blame them all day, that's fine. But don't pretend that liberals are somehow innocent when they are campaigning for this kind of crap Xan is talking about, everyday.
    Posted 12-21-2012 at 10:11 PM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  19. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    It's been said you can judge a society by the way it treats it's elderly and it's infirmed. Your blog seems to indicate we're failing as a society.

    There's a few fundamental flaws with your logic.

    The last generation to draw more in Social Security benefits then they paid in was the Greatest Generation, or those born roughly between 1901-1924.

    Social Security payments are based on the amount they've contributed to the fund during their lifetime. Someone retiring today, after contributing up to $500k in FICA/SocSec/Medicare taxes and rating approx. $2250/mo is not going to appreciate receiving $112.50/wk under your plan. What you're advocating is almost income distribution, except you don't indicate where all those extra funds will be going to.

    Social Security is a self-funding program and solvent through 2038. With projected increases in employment and people paying into the fund, it will continue to be solvent after that. Projected strains on SocSec by the anticipated influx of Baby Boomers retiring will be offset by Generation X, Y, Z 'ers whose numbers are equal to or more than the Baby Boomer generation.

    Medicare is a bit of a mess, but it could be fixed by simply forcing our elected officials & govt. employees to participate in the plan. It would be fixed immediately. Taking $500 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare doesn't help either. Neither does raiding the SocSec fund since the '60s. Grandma's not your problem, Xan, your elected officials are.

    Back in August, as a self-proclaimed 'independent thinker', you blogged the cost of Medicare was a 'rounding error' and 'insignificant'. You decried the use of the nation's 'most desperately needy' as a bargaining chip in the budget debates, and now you're an advocate for killing Grandma. What made you change your mind & feel SocSec/Medicare are the root of America's moral hazard?

    IDK if you're serious or just looking for knee-jerk reactions, but I think you need to rethink it a little bit. JMO.
    Posted 12-21-2012 at 05:44 PM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
  20. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    Never have I heard someone so openly advocate for the killing of grandmothers and I presume, grandfathers everywhere.

    You do realize that people who "depend" on Social Security, are people who have had exactly the low wage jobs of which you speak? It is the "reason" they need SS, because a whole life of striving, at the hardest, most thankless jobs, they've ended up not able to save anything. Prices go up, wages go down.

    Add to that, Republicans exported the best jobs, the union jobs, that people once aspired to, so the rich could make even more money. Along with that went the taxes of 30 million great, American jobs, the aspirations of the simple American Dream, to work a job, to rise up within the organization to make more. Yes, to actually be able to save.

    I'm all for creating jobs for those who can't work. But expecting people to work, when there is an unofficial unemployment rate of close to 20 percent, pretending there are jobs there for everyone, but it's just that vagabond bum won't work them, well, that's just fiction.

    We're all interconnected--when you crap on people, it gets flung here and there, you get crap on you, others, your family, your friends, the people you care about (assuming you do) get crap on them. Like it or not, these programs were put in place not as some flight of fancy. They were created to fix a problem, sadly, a problem Republicans mostly, and a few idiot corporate blue-dog democrats have once again put in place.
    Posted 12-21-2012 at 11:27 AM by mike27 mike27 is offline

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