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The $53 trillion asteroid

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March 27, 2008 – Comments (7)

Oh boy, am I on a roll today.  Blog post #3.  I have become more and more fascinated with the big picture lately, rather than focusing on the minutia and picking apart individual companies' balance sheets (not that that isn't important), I have been trying to figure out where the trends are and where the economy is headed.  I'm in the middle of an interesting book on the U.S. dollar right now, Biography of the Dollar by Craig Karmin, and I'm actively looking for something on Social Security and Medicare. 

The fact that the government forces Americans to save for their retirement in the first place and then it actually has the audacity to just steal money from the fund whenever it wants to to pay for random stuff has always blown my mind.  Not to mention the fact that I'm paying tons of money into this forced savings fund and I would be shocked if it even exists by the time that I am ready to retire.  Why doesn't the government just call it what it really is, another tax?  Anyhow, I came across a Glenn Beck article on the subject this morning that's worth checking out. 

Does anyone have any good reading material on Social Security and Medicare?  I am looking forward to reading Roger Lowenstein's next book called "While America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis."  He did a good job with "When Genius Failed" the story about the implosion of Long-Term Capital Management (an eerily familiar story to what's going on today)...by the way how in the He-two-sticks did John Meriwether convince enough people to give him money again that he could start another hedge fund?!?!?!  Lowenstein also wrote a good book on Buffett.  His new book doesn't come out until early May.  Are there any good books on this subject out there right now?

The $53 trillion asteroid:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/26/beck.deficit/index.html

Deej

7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 27, 2008 at 1:08 PM, Capsperson wrote:

The only reading I do on social security and retirement is pure fiction--my statements.

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#2) On March 27, 2008 at 2:03 PM, devoish (98.57) wrote:

From paul krugman about SSI. And this from Saul Friedman.

In chapter 17 of 'The Age of Turbulence' Alan Greenspan makes it very clear that he sees Democracy as a tool of Capitalism. He sees it as a "safety valve" to prevent populist overthrows of perceived capitalist abuses.

I sincerely doubt that many Free Market Capitalists accurately recognize the success they receive from the willingness of other men to accept a modest lifestyle because they value peace above wealth. You cannot count it, but you did not get Nationalized either. Food, Water, Shelter and Doctors is not asking alot. As free market capitalism fails to deliver on these promises investments in the USA will not be safe from Populism.

It is clear to me that Democracy is being overthrown by Capitalism. I hope it works out, but I am not optomistic.

JMHO.

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#3) On March 27, 2008 at 4:33 PM, ATWDLimited (< 20) wrote:

Hey, Democracy is not about popular control over everything, thats called mod rule you dope. Thats why we have private property rights, written in the constitution. The function of the government was not to micromanage lives and own stuff, but rather to allow people to do stuff on their own. What you advocate, is socialism, national popular socialism is other wise known as... facism. Paul krug man is an not intelligent when it comes to teh government or capitolism. We are already half socialist, thats why we have social security and its debt int eh first place, some don' blame the ones who shouldered the burden of paying for your popular programs, you socialist elitist.

As for the debt bomb, we have 53 trillion in government/business/private debt as well as the Social security/medicare 53 trillion, which makes a total of 106 trillion in net debt for the US Visit my blog on it for more information. So what do the democrats/socialists want, Healthcare debt too, higher taxes, weaker economy and a backwards anti constitutionalist, anti capitalist fascist, collectivist waste land.

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#4) On March 27, 2008 at 4:49 PM, devoish (98.57) wrote:

 Atwd,

I think democracy is about teamwork. and spelling.

So... where should democracy step in?

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#5) On March 27, 2008 at 4:50 PM, AnomaLee (28.54) wrote:

Medicare dead by 2019

Social Security dead by 2042

Both of these are under optimal economic situations 

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#6) On March 28, 2008 at 8:28 AM, ATWDLimited (< 20) wrote:

US Government Jobs:-makes a safe currency-it does not tax it citizens much-it provides defense for the country-hedges the US position by errecting small tariffs, and having low regulation
Thats the US governments kob, whne it comes to the economy, not more, not less, sorry for the spelling, but the arguments still stand correct

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#7) On March 28, 2008 at 10:53 AM, devoish (98.57) wrote:

ATWD,

Low regulation is a pretty thing to say. The word 'regulation' seems to be a trigger though. When the word regulation is used half of us see price controls and petty zoning rules, while 'deregulation' half of us see uncontrolled pollution and complete lawlessness.

I think we can all agree that some regulation is good, for example: driving on the right. I also like simple regulations. I think a large part of the problem is the complexity of regulations. I think it is unfairly burdensom to large corporations to have to meet extremely different environmental standards. I would like a simple regulation: The water that comes out of your factory should be as clean as the water that went in. How you accomplish that should be up to you. How it is verified should be the responsibility of the USA. Enforcement should be the responsibility of the USA. And penalties should be severe. Every employee and owner should know his income is at risk for violations. You cannot trust a business to self regulate any more than you can trust a crackhead.

I like low taxes too. I think it is an absolutely disgusting use of my tax dollars to clean up Hinckley Cal. after PG&E polluted the place. I would also like to see PG&E mangement jailed inside Hinckley until such time as it is cleaned up. I would be more lenient if they had acknowledged the problem and quickly moved to correct it instead of trying to evade responsibility, but you may not be as soft on crime as I am. Also I think it is wasteful to maintain 7500 nuclear warheads, when 500 could easily destroy all human life on the planet.

JMHO

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