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Old 03-25-2015, 08:37 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
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After some good discussion about retiree income inequality in another thread perhaps is it now time to discuss what if anything should be done to alleviate some of the results discussed. Not saying we should or shouldn't that is for society to discuss and decide. However if there is to be a response should it be government driven or individually/collectively driven by the private sector. There is another thread to discuss how we got here. This is the ok we are here now what thread. Thoughts suggestions, ideas etc? Remember indifference is also a response along with a more proactive position.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,455 posts, read 1,156,015 times
Reputation: 5500
Wow! I have the feeling that this thread will need to be heavily moderated. There is no doubt that politic will enter the discussion and it will be hard to prevent some venting, ranting or heated discussions ;-)

TurbogP,
It will be quite a challenge for you to steer the discussion course on the right track, douse off some flames to maintain a civility tone in this thread ;-)
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:04 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
When not provoked a lack of civility is a reflection on ourselves
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,788 posts, read 4,841,461 times
Reputation: 19479
Okay....I'll wade in here and be prepared for my head to be bitten off. There is income inequality in all age groups from children to old age. It is not society's job to make everyone's income equal. For the helpless (children, disabled, very aged) there are already programs in place (AFDC, Disability, SS and SSI, Medicare) to assist. I realize that they provide a pretty meager living, but they will keep you dry and fed with the help of some local charities, albeit not a life of luxury or anything one would ASPIRE to. For the able-bodied in the middle between childhood and old age, there is what most people do...work.

As far as change, I believe that the upper limit for SS withholding should be removed. I think we all, including the super rich, should pay the same percentage of our income into the pool during our working years. This alone would probably save SS for many years. I believe that minimum wage should be raised to at least $10 initially, and then adjusted every year or two in accordance with the COL index. I would also like to see the federal income tax converted to a simple flat tax for everyone, except those who are already living on government funds (it seems counterproductive to tax SS or welfare, right?). I think an approximate 10% flat tax with personal exemptions as the only deductions might do the trick. It seems that the richer folks with more financial savvy and ability to make their money work for them, are the ones who get the most tax relief and advice in sheltering their assets. Doesn't really seem fair. Lastly, I also believe that financial basics such as banking, budgeting, the power of compounding interest, and the dangers of debt should be mandatory in high school. In our school district no one got out of high school until they passed a swimming survival course in PE, no one should get out without passing a money survival course in my world.

Last edited by TheShadow; 03-25-2015 at 12:04 PM..
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,455 posts, read 1,156,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
There is income inequality in all age groups from children to old age. It is not society's job to make everyone's income equal
Totally agree. Even the communist/socialist countries fail to achieve this misguided goal.

Quote:
For the helpless (children, disabled, very aged) there are already programs in place (AFDC, Disability, SS and SSI, Medicare) to assist. I realize that they provide a pretty meager living, but they will keep you dry and fed with the help of some local charities
I surely hope that some of our politicians fail in their efforts to weaken these programs.

Quote:
As far as change, I believe that the upper limit for SS withholding should be removed
I second this proposal.

Quote:
I believe that minimum wage should be raised to at least $10 initially, and then adjusted every year or two in accordance with the COL index
Agree.


Quote:
Lastly I would like to see the federal income tax converted to a simple flat tax for everyone
I agree that the income tax structure/code should be revised but not sure whether a flat tax rate is the solution.

Quote:
I also believe that financial basics such as banking, budgeting, the power of compounding interest, and the dangers of debt should be mandatory in high school.
Agree 100% and would like to see free financial education offered to low income and senior citizens. There are a lot of brain power and financial experience in the retired boomer group, I'd like to see some non-profit organizations setup to have retirees volunteer to teach others, and the government gives tax credit for the volunteer time.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:26 PM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 990,367 times
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Recognize that not everyone minds the inequality, and that a working person can have a good life without a million dollars saved for retirement. Make learning a trade just as good an aspiration as getting a degree. A college education should be about getting an education. It should enhance your life. Too many people with a piece of paper and a big debt.

I'm not sure the minimum wage is a good thing. If a person with a small business wants to pay me $5 an hour and I want to work there, that should be between me and her/him. (showing my age )

Vote. If you don't like the way things are going, find the people that you think can make a difference and support them. I am always surprised to find that some of the biggest talkers do not vote.

That said, I am for less government in general. I wish it would get out of the insurance business and quit calling it "healthcare"
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:39 PM
 
950 posts, read 715,158 times
Reputation: 1615
removing the cap on SS tax?

Up until now, the more you paid into SS the higher your benefits. If we remove the cap on SS tax , will there be no cap on the size of SS checks?

Removing the tax cap but not having the amount paid in have a correlation to amount received is a major change in the SS system .
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,592 posts, read 17,582,380 times
Reputation: 27682
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
Okay....I'll wade in here and be prepared for my head to be bitten off. There is income inequality in all age groups from children to old age. It is not society's job to make everyone's income equal. For the helpless (children, disabled, very aged) there are already programs in place (AFDC, Disability, SS and SSI, Medicare) to assist. I realize that they provide a pretty meager living, but they will keep you dry and fed with the help of some local charities, albeit not a life of luxury or anything one would ASPIRE to. For the able-bodied in the middle between childhood and old age, there is what most people do...work.

As far as change, I believe that the upper limit for SS withholding should be removed. I think we all, including the super rich, should pay the same percentage of our income into the pool during our working years. This alone would probably save SS for many years. I believe that minimum wage should be raised to at least $10 initially, and then adjusted every year or two in accordance with the COL index. Lastly I would like to see the federal income tax converted to a simple flat tax for everyone, except those who are already living on government funds (it seems counterproductive to tax SS or welfare, right?). I think an approximate 10% flat tax with personal exemptions as the only deductions might do the trick. It seems that the richer folks with more financial savvy and ability to make their money work for them, are the ones who get the most tax relief and advice in sheltering their assets. Doesn't really seem fair. I also believe that financial basics such as banking, budgeting, the power of compounding interest, and the dangers of debt should be mandatory in high school. In our school district no one got out of high school until they passed a swimming survival course in PE, no one should get out without passing a money survival course in my world.
Social Security is a redistributive scheme as it is. It takes income from the working (presumably younger) and redistributes this income to those who primarily aren't working (the elderly). As I'm sure the vast majority of people on this forum know, but that many in the general public don't, is that there is no "piggy bank" with your funds in it just for you, and SS is not "investing for you on your own behalf." Younger people like myself are essentially getting nothing more than an implicit IOU for our retirement as long we've contributed our fair share prior to retirement. SS provides a meager living for the elderly but deducts from my current lifestyle and investing patterns.

I wouldn't mind if the SS upper limit was removed - after all, why should anyone be taxed at a lower effective overall rate just because they earn more? Lots of people want to raise the FICA contribution person, but that only enforces the redistributive effect on the people who do not go over the threshold further, so I'm opposed to it.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,592 posts, read 17,582,380 times
Reputation: 27682
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogie'smom View Post
Recognize that not everyone minds the inequality, and that a working person can have a good life without a million dollars saved for retirement. Make learning a trade just as good an aspiration as getting a degree. A college education should be about getting an education. It should enhance your life. Too many people with a piece of paper and a big debt.

I'm not sure the minimum wage is a good thing. If a person with a small business wants to pay me $5 an hour and I want to work there, that should be between me and her/him. (showing my age )

Vote. If you don't like the way things are going, find the people that you think can make a difference and support them. I am always surprised to find that some of the biggest talkers do not vote.

That said, I am for less government in general. I wish it would get out of the insurance business and quit calling it "healthcare"
The amount of income one "needs" is certainly subjective, but there are certain minimum "floors of comfort" most people value, and that level of comfort costs "X" dollars. Some people will desire no less than a mansion, others can suffice with a single-wide trailer, but how many people will be fine with living in nothing but a tent in the woods? Most everyone wants electricity and indoor heat/plumbing, so you're going to have a a water or power bill, or have to pay for the equipment to generate well water/energy yourself.

Lots of people say money doesn't matter, but if they had none, their tune would change quickly.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:58 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
Outstanding and kudo's to all. Very intellectual thoughts and discussion so far. Shadow still has his head fully intact!

Last edited by TuborgP; 03-25-2015 at 01:37 PM..
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