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Old 06-01-2014, 02:35 PM
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,485 posts, read 5,947,197 times
Reputation: 16194


Originally Posted by jzeig104 View Post
You MUST be joking, LOL!!! You actually think there is a left wing conspiracy to get people to move to population centers? And to do it via keeping internet out of the hands of rural people?? There are meds for paranoia this extreme.
Yeah you beat me to it. Why do conservatives have an overwhelming amount of people who think this way? A liberal would nave make such an idiotic claim about the right
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:35 PM
Location: Seattle Area
1,716 posts, read 1,591,292 times
Reputation: 4125
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
I find it strange that some people seem to think that others who have different philosophies, opinions, preferences or circumstances MUST adapt to what they themselves think is a "better" or "inevitable" way of thinking or living.

It seems a rather cold and unfeeling attitude, in my opinion. Sure, "survival of the fittest" and all that (and I certainly have no quarrel with Darwin) but when dealing with human beings rather than giant tortoises or peppered moths it does come across as a bit harsh.

In any case, like most news stories this one seems more of the Chicken Little variety than anything else. Alarmist media-catching title and cherry-picked content.
You misunderstand as I am not saying he must adapt in order to comply with my views. Take my response in context and you will see that I believe he must adapt because the premise of the OP was that SSA offices will close. Therefore with offices closed, logic tells us that SR must adapt and find other means to interact with them despite his preference for face to face.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:37 PM
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,249,708 times
Reputation: 14870
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Catchy title for the link, but no, Social Security is not threatening to close all field offices. Here's a summary of the strategic vision drafted by the Academy of Public Administration, minus the Union's hyperbole.

SSA draft vision calls for smaller workforce, fewer offices | Federal Times | federaltimes.com

Lenora ... our resident SS expert voice of reason
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:58 PM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,763,041 times
Reputation: 32309
I have read the summary of the draft report for which Lenora provided us a link and I agree that it presents a less draconian vision than the thread title. In other words, the thread title is misleading. I would point out:

1. The study is a draft, not the final version of the study. The draft was released in order to solicit feedback, which then can presumably be incorporated into the final report.

2. Changes as basic and far-reaching as those proposed, while not as far-reaching as the misleading thread title would have us believe, would have to be approved by Congress. In other words, the Social Security Administration cannot simply, on its own, "close all field offices". Nor has the SSA "threatened" to do that.

Congress is extremely sensitive - some might say too sensitive - to offending any segment of its constituency. How many blue ribbon committee reports have ended up simply taking up space on a shelf? I would expect a further streamlining of operations with the eventual closing of more field offices, but I don't see the wholesale closing of "most" field offices because of the pandering of Congress to negative reaction, even if we could agree - which I'm not sure I do - that closing most field offices would be a good idea.

Want an example? We are still receiving Saturday mail delivery, which I think is a travesty. The postal service is bleeding red ink, but even a reasonable measure such as eliminating Saturday delivery gets shot down.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:17 PM
48,516 posts, read 84,032,619 times
Reputation: 18050
Its like anything else these days; humans are expensive. SS is already in financial trouble and they will have to reform and this is likely just a start if it happens.People always hate to lose a service provide but if it means losing the need for service by losing money by system going under ;it has to happen.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:46 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
18,134 posts, read 23,037,051 times
Reputation: 35387
I embrace the online world. I find it really convenient. Just today, a Sunday, for instance, I was able to find out how much it would cost to send a package to Canada (granted I have a small scale at home), and even complete the info needed for the customs form, and print everything out myself. I even saved about $1.50 in postage by doing everything online. I then was able to drop it off at a local post office drop box. I didn't have to talk to anybody to do it, and didn't have to stand in line. The lobby was open, so I could drop off my package in a secure location that is temperature controlled. But the office was closed - and unneeded.

Nowadays, I find it really inconvenient to have to stand in line somewhere. I pretty much only do business now in a brick and mortar store if it's something I can't order online (fresh salad mix, milk, etc.) or can't get free shipping.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:01 PM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,224 posts, read 1,358,078 times
Reputation: 6420
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I never have a problem with reducing the cost of government. I'd never go anyway, I just prefer doing everything online. Hopefully they find someone better than the guys that did the healthcare site and have it running smoothly by the time I need it in 7-8 years.
The social security and medicare websites have been around for years and have steadily improved to the point where they are excellent.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:22 PM
10,824 posts, read 8,079,355 times
Reputation: 17034
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
The social security and medicare websites have been around for years and have steadily improved to the point where they are excellent.
DH and I have been handling our parents' affairs for many years now, and it's undeniably true that the website and phone services for both agencies have dramatically improved, to the point that the idea of losing brick-and-mortar doesn't bother me at all. We've recently (last month) been especially pleased with the medicare phone service.

~sigh~ If only commercial insurance websites and phone service were doing the same rather than rapidly falling into a sinkhole. But that's a topic for another forum.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:27 PM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,224 posts, read 1,358,078 times
Reputation: 6420
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Like most older people, I've had internet since around 1997 or so (many had it much sooner) but I still want to speak to a human being in person. I've had bad experiences with SS when talking to them on the phone. If I called the local office I got one answer, if I called the national office I got another answer. Finally I made an appointment and went there in person. I was given plenty of time to explain and they listened and asked questions. It made a huge difference and I don't care if I had to wait 15 minutes for my name to be called (or number or whatever) it was well worth it. There's something to be said for actual face to face human contact.

Originally Posted by Yakscsd View Post
Well then you better learn to adapt. The whole point of this post was that the SS offices are going away. It doesn't really matter to me if they do or don't as i prefer online contact. But those like yourself who prefer face to face contact will need to adapt.
The plan is for 2025!!!! An "older person" in today's world is not going to be applying for social security in 2025, thus no need to adapt. The 2025 retirees will be the tail end of the baby boomer generation. They do everything online now and have been doing so for many years... and they don't need cable, satellite or dsl, just their smartphones. I suspect face-to-face contact will still be available in 2025, it just might be by Skype or similar, and not physically face-to-face.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:33 PM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,224 posts, read 1,358,078 times
Reputation: 6420
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
With that thought in mind, IMO they should also reduce the number of IRS employees.
They already have reduced staff... congress cut their budget with the sequester, remember? But IRS does have a very comprehensive and searchable web site. Much of the info is actually written in plain English.
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