The Social Security Lie

The idea of a national retirement plan is a sound idea but over the decades it has been bastardize to it resembles nothing of the original intent.

Social Security is the term used for the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program in the United States, run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), which is a federal agency. While best known for retirement benefits, it also provides survivor benefits and disability income. It is independent of a lump-sum pension.

Social Security is an insurance program. Workers pay into the program, typically through payroll withholding where they work. They can earn up to four credits each year.

For 2020, every time someone earns $1,410, he or she receives one credit until hitting $5,640, or four credits.2 That money goes into two Social Security trust funds—the OASI Trust Fund for retirees and the DI Trust Fund for disability beneficiaries—where it is used to pay benefits to people currently eligible for them. The money that is not spent remains in the trust funds.

A Board of Trustees oversees the financial operation of the two Social Security trust funds. Four of the six members are the secretaries of the departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services, and the Commissioner of Social Security, while the remaining two members are public representatives appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

There you now know what it is and how it works….and you did not need to waste your time on Google.

Sadly there are all sorts of trouble and problems with the program….problems created by politicians trying desperately to kill the program.

The “three-legged stool”: That phrase may not be familiar to everyone, but most people who work in public policy or private-sector insurance have heard it used to describe the U.S. retirement system. It suggests that our system for retirement security was designed to stand on three “legs”: Social Security, employer pensions, and individual savings.

Subliminally, the image evokes efficiency. A stool is a chair for people and a table for small things, but at a much smaller size and with 25 percent fewer legs.

The “stool” idea is pernicious for at least three reasons:

https://www.alternet.org/2020/10/theres-a-3-pronged-lie-that-un/

Time for the next president to sure up this program that more Americans depend on for their retirement from the workforce.  As it is today they will most likely die before they can enjoy that much coveted retirement.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Our Debt Economy

This nation has worked with a huge debt for decades…..debt being we spend more than we take in….and that is the result of those massive tax breaks and cuts that only assist the wealthy…..

And soon, probably after the next election, the GOP will return to the same lame bullshit about the debt and will demand tax cuts to get it more in line with their philosophies…..while their man in the White House is pissing money away it is some how not that important…..just wait.

This country runs on a debt economy…..

All the economic forces of the state—of both governments and central banks—must be mobilised to ensure its continued accumulation of wealth through the provision of endless supplies of money to boost share prices and other financial assets.

This was set out most clearly in a note issued earlier this month by JPMorgan Chase, reported by Bloomberg. The note said that extremely loose monetary policy—the maintenance of ultra-low interest rates and massive purchases of debt by central banks—would have to be continued for a long time.

“More debt, more liquidity, more asset reflation” was the bank’s conclusion. According to one of its leading strategists, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, there will be a $16 trillion increase in debt this year, taking the total amount of private and government debt in the global financial system to $200 trillion by the end of the year.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/07/14/debt-j14.html

A bit more information on a debt economy…looking from the UK…..

There is no limit to the quantity of money that can be created by a central bank such as the Bank of England. It was different in the days of the gold standard, when central banks were restrained by a promise to redeem their money for gold on demand. But countries moved away from this system in the early part of the 20th century, and central banks nowadays can issue as much money as they like.

This observation is the root of modern monetary theory (MMT), which has attracted new attention during the pandemic, as governments around the world increase spending and public debts become all the more burdensome.

MMT proponents argue that governments can spend as necessary on all desirable causes – reducing unemployment, green energy, better healthcare and education – without worrying about paying for it with higher taxes or increased borrowing. Instead, they can pay using new money from their central bank. The only limit, according to this view, is if inflation starts to rise, in which case the solution is to increase taxes

https://theconversation.com/modern-monetary-theory-the-rise-of-economists-who-say-huge-government-debt-is-not-a-problem-141495

The National Debt is only a problem when a Dem is in the White House and they can be blamed for all the GOP overspending.

There is a solution!

Stop worthless tax cuts and force those making billions into paying their share of the taxes……tax cutting has accomplished NOTHING for this country…..just keeps the wealthy in cigars and yachts.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Poverty Is A Disease

I know most everybody wants to believe the hype of the American Dream…..the old “work hard and get ahead”…..well that is a thought from yesteryear……it has NO reality in the 21st century…..

A personal from 12 years ago…..https://lobotero.com/why-poverty/

We are the generation that gets to witness the end of the American Dream.  The numbers that you are about to see tell a story.  They tell a story of a once mighty economy that is dying.  For decades, the rest of the planet has regarded the United States as “the land of opportunity” where almost anyone can be successful if they are willing to work hard.  And when I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was living the American Dream.  I lived on a “middle class” street and I went to a school where it seemed like almost everyone was middle class.  When I was in high school, it was very rare to ever hear of a parent that was unemployed, and virtually every family that I knew had a comfortable home and more than one nice vehicle.  But now that has all changed.  The “American Dream” has been transformed into a very twisted game of musical chairs.  With each passing year, more people are falling out of the middle class, and most of the rest of us are scrambling really hard to keep our own places.  Something has gone horribly wrong, and yet Americans are very deeply divided when it comes to finding answers to our problems.  We love to point fingers and argue with one another, and meanwhile things just continue to get even worse.  The following are 22 numbers that are very strong evidence of the death of the American Dream… http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-death-of-the-american-dream-in-22-numbers

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-oualaalou/a-broken-american-system-_b_7200806.html

Thanx to these dismal numbers the truth is that the Middle Class is disappearing…….

Everyone loves the middle class. Everyone claims to be middle-class—some to put a gloss on their sketchy escutcheons, others to dodge chastisement for their awkward riches. But in fact both the socioeconomic reality and the concept of the middle class have been turned on their heads and, at the same time, trivialized into a mere lifestyle choice.

Economically, the middle classes were once proprietors, self-employed owners of property and their own labor. Morally, they were the equivalent of “solid citizens”: decent, hard-working, law-abiding, temperate, proper, staid, virtuous, and—well, moral. The qualifications for being middle class have gotten a whole lot looser, to say the least.

What Middle Class?

Poverty is on the rise yet again……but what is poverty? I wrote a post many years ago that explains why poverty……https://lobotero.com/why-poverty/

Think about it!

The average annual income is less than $50,000….that works out to about $900 a week……ever tried living on that?

Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their report on the Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers. Using information from the fourth fiscal quarter of 2018, the BLS claims that in that quarter, the median income for a full-time wage or salary worker on a weekly basis was $900. For a 40-hour work week, this translates to a yearly income of approximately $46,800. This is a 5% increase on the previous year.

When seasonal adjustments (holidays, severe weather, etc.) are taken into account by the BLS, the median weekly earnings are $897, or about $46,644 per year.

These are very general numbers. After all, according to the BLS for this quarter there were 115.9 million full-time wage and salary workers in the U.S.

. https://www.thestreet.com/personal-finance/average-income-in-us-14852178

The truth is that poverty is expanding it is like the spread of a disease……and as such should be treated like a disease and work on a cure for the expansion……

None of it feels like enough. I feel as though I am wired for a permanent state of fight or flight, waiting for the other shoe to drop, or the metaphorical week when I don’t eat. I’ve chosen not to have children, partly because—despite any success—I still don’t feel I have a safety net. I have a huge minimum checking account balance in mind before I would ever consider having children. If you knew me personally, you might get glimpses of stress, self-doubt, anxiety, and depression. And you might hear about Tennessee.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-poverty-is-like-a-disease

I feel that we need to return to the 1960s and the War on Poverty ideal…..we fight all sorts of problems in the world and poverty is one that could solve some of the other pressing problems…..there is a cure……we just have to want to cure the disease of poverty.

Contrary to myths propagated by many critics, the War on Poverty was not narrowly focused on “expanding welfare.” “No doles,” stipulated President Johnson, and his legislative initiatives included aid to schools and universities, new job training programs, public housing initiatives, new Medicare health coverage for the elderly and Medicaid coverage for the poor, and other programs that have endured, such as Head Start, Job Corps, and Community Health Centers.

The War on Poverty’s pivotal assault on racial discrimination often goes unmentioned. In addition to persuading Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Johnson administration used the federal purse to desegregate schools, hospitals, community boards, and neighborhood programs. As new grants flowed, threats to withhold funding made

Nor should the War on Poverty be discussed only in the past tense. It is still being fought today. Although the original coordinating agency, the Office of Economic Opportunity, was disbanded in the early 1970s, many programs are still funded under new names in other agencies.

https://scholars.org/contribution/accomplishments-and-lessons-war-poverty

I stand by my assertion that Poverty is a disease and as such should be treated thusly.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

$15 Minimum Wage

One of the biggest issues for 2020 and onward is the possibility to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.  Since most jobs created by this “booming” economy are minimum wage jobs and mostly in the service industry.

The CBO has issued its finding on the raise of the minimum wage…….

A Congressional Budget Office analysis published Monday showed that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would significantly increase pay for over 27 million workers and lift 1.3 million people—including hundreds of thousands of children—out of poverty.

The CBO also found that more than doubling the federal minimum wage would boost the income of families earning less than three times the poverty rate by nearly $22 billion.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/09/cbo-analysis-shows-15-federal-minimum-wage-would-raise-pay-27-million-workers-and

The federal minimum wage in the United States is only $7.25 per hour. It hasn’t seen a meaningful boost in this required amount for more than a decade. Although it is still a comparatively high salary minimum when compared to what a majority of the world’s population receives in compensation for their work, it is worth far less today than it was when it was first raised to that level.

Because of the lack in value of the minimum wage as it currently stands, there is a political and socioeconomic push from both sides of the aisle to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. The highest value for this wage in the U.S. when adjusted for inflation came in 1968 when workers earned $8.68 per hour. Since then, the actual value of these earnings has lost over 10% of its purchasing power.

To be fair I try to give both sides of this issue…..the site ProCon.org has a debate on the rise of the minimum wage……

Proponents of a higher minimum wage state that the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is too low for anyone to live on; that a higher minimum wage will help create jobs and grow the economy; that the declining value of the minimum wage is one of the primary causes of wage inequality between low- and middle-income workers; and that a majority of Americans, including a slim majority of self-described conservatives, support increasing the minimum wage.

Opponents say that many businesses cannot afford to pay their workers more, and will be forced to close, lay off workers, or reduce hiring; that increases have been shown to make it more difficult for low-skilled workers with little or no work experience to find jobs or become upwardly mobile; and that raising the minimum wage at the federal level does not take into account regional cost-of-living variations where raising the minimum wage could hurt low-income communities in particular.

https://minimum-wage.procon.org/

My personal opinion is that it has long past time for this raise….as I look for a candidate to support this is one of the issues that I use…..along with education, foreign policy.

Hopefully this post will be helpful.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Then VOTE!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Time To End Welfare

If I linger for a moment the Right wingers will see the title and will jump to my side, pat me on the back as a well informed “liberal”…..(linger…..Linger….Linger)……

But they would be premature in doing so…..for I am not talking about the welfare that the Reaganites have hated for 50 years…if you are old enough then you will remember the “welfare Queens” the the GOP have been attacking for decades……those poor people that use benefits provided by the government.

Nope the “welfare” I am referring to is corporate welfare…..these are the programs that give lots of aid to corporations….tax, breaks, subsidies……”gimmes” tho corporations that do not need them to continue to perform……

Every Congress we have this debate about the deficit and of course to the GOP it is all that money given to poor people through direct payments or programs that is causing the problem.

You see if your payments out weigh your income then you have a deficit…..and since the income for the nation comes from taxes then lower taxes does little but make the deficit higher….and yet we keep playing the same game because corporations want it so….time for that to change….

A day after President Donald Trump touted his “scam” tax proposal, the Institute for Policy Studies’ #PayUpCorps campaign highlighted needs in infrastructure, healthcare, and other sectors that could be paid for with all the money corporations stand to save under the Koch brothers’-backed tax plan.

Trump and Republican leaders in Congress hope to cut the corporate tax rate from an already low 35 percent to 20 percent—though the Institute on Tax and Economic Policy has found that many Fortune 500 companies effectively already pay only about 20 percent of their profits in taxes, and contrary to Republican promises, the savings don’t lead to job creation.

Source: #PayUpCorps Campaign Highlights All Nation Could Do If Corporations Paid Their Fair Share | Common Dreams

And we have this conversation every Congress and the GOP usually wins in some form or another…..Trump has a tax plan as well…..and guess what nothing new….

Each of the four principles Trump claims will inform what he calls “tax reform” is actually mocked in the plans the administration is cooking up behind closed doors.

The only question is whether Americans are gullible enough to buy what Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republicans are selling. And whether Democrats will unite to expose the con and demand progressive tax reforms that are long overdue.

Source: Trump’s Tax Plan Is a Confidence Scam | By Robert Borosage | Common Dreams

I have given my idea for a tax reform….simply put….everyone pays their fair share and the deficits will shrink…..it is really not that hard to grasp…..

Of course a more realistic budget would help with those darn deficits….that will be a post for another op-ed.