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Old 12-16-2010, 12:32 PM
 
4,724 posts, read 3,775,562 times
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These never ending threads regarding the so called 'entitlement' dilemma are simply the manifestation of pop journalism. In the USA piece the writer poses the SS system as some kind of confounding quagmire of self centeredness and characterizes the old by the cartoon figure next to the column, with his big bag of money the aged gent rises above the supposed clamor of youth with outstretched arms wanting their "share" of the geezer wealth. We have become a nation of wanters, young and old have their own economic/political priorities and the pols pander to both groups in order to get the votes they need.

To read these kinds of articles and think that the views of various writers are emanating from a vacuum of non bias reporting is naivete' manifest, most people who see fit to convince through the media have their own agenda and worse yet become shills for a not so obvious attempt to "pave the way" for future legislation at the federal level. None of us over sixty should forget that the assault on the SS system usually stems from those in the investment business that would love to have that SS money in their control to "grow the wealth" in the markets.

Of course the recent events in that esteemed market have left many Americans poorer and facing their retirement years in worse shape than they were ever expecting to be. In fact most of the howling about "unfairness" that has become the mantra of our youth is the result of their lack of economic knowledge and an accompanying preference for letting others think for them. Most of these young people spend more on socializing and blinging than they ever pay into the SS system, but when listening to the radio and TV infotainment gurus you'd think the youth were paying the lions share of somebody's dinner tab.

From those who insist that they would have a ton of money in their pockets from the investment of the equivalent amount of their SS contribution had that been possible, perhaps they could explain their rosy view of investment advantages to those who saw their 401K's greatly diminished . Not to mention the fact that many of our youthful countrymen were taking their "wealth" from all that home equity money to buy boats, bigger homes, nicer cars, and then wanted some sympathy for being so gullible about the "miracles" of our ponzi driven markets. I don't think we'll ever arrive at the perfect system of retirement, the old need to move on so that the youth can go to work, the youth need to see that we in the boomer generation didn't always have money, I, like a lot of folks, struggled early on in my work life, living frugally eventually paid off, I'm comfortable now but that cartoon figure holding the big bag of dough is not representative of the overall truth of things for older Americans.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:00 PM
 
4,724 posts, read 3,775,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
This article obviously has struck a chord with some.

I will state that if someone has truly paid for something than they are entitled too it. No argument there.

However, it would be interesting to look at the amount most seniors have paid into the Social Security and Medicare system and compare this with what they have received. With people having retirements that now last twenty to thirty years the reality is that many take more out of the system than they put in and all the interest the money could have reasonably been earning as well.

That's the problem. Is it really an entitlement if you haven't paid for it?

I also have difficulty with the idea of the senior who is very defensive of his her right to collect Medicare, yet opposes some sort of similar option for younger people. Health insurance was much cheaper in the past and the prospect of getting a job with good health insurance was better than as well. No one will want to hear this argument either: But if we have limited resources what is a better use for money? Healthcare for someone who is 80 years old and requires extensive hospitalization or preventative health care for someone younger who will contribute many years in the labor force? You don't have to be an economist to answer that one.

I recently represented a woman who before her death consumed over $500,000 in medical expenses paid for both by Medicare and Medicaid. I doubt she earned that much in her entire lifetime. That money had to come from somewhere and it didn't come from her meager contributions to Medicare.

My age, 51, gives me a unique perspective. I am what is called a member of the "sandwich generation". I care for an aged mother. My wife and I also are raising an 11 year old girl and sending an 18 year old son to college. At work, I work around many of what is called "Generation X". I see the problems that all the generations are facing in this country right now. I think what is needed--that is sorely missing--is some sort of compassion, or empathy. We may have "entitlements", but so do others. We may have needs, but so do others.

I liked the article. The author is not imprisoned by being of a certain generation. He can think out of the box. He wants what is good for the country--not just a segment of it.

More dialogue is needed between the generations. Fewer lines need to be drawn in the sand. And, at the risk of being labeled a "socialist", I will say that all of us Americans are in this together. Ultimately, we will all either swim or sink together.
I started working in 1962, I and others paid the lions share of the tax base that provided the present infrastructure in the US. Looking back through that period of US history we see the endless military venturing that posed a financial liability for many generations in the future just as today's wars are infringing upon our entire societies future well being, we always seem to find the money for killing but argue over the amount we should spend on the living. Why worry about being called a socialist? The socialization of all that contrived debt relief of recent days should tell you that we are indeed a quasi socialist nation, it's an inverted kind that assures the migration of wealth to be an upward directed flow but it is still the redistribution of the collective wealth. You are very generous in giving the writer the benefit of the doubt in regard to his motives, you may want to look a bit harder at what may be his real reason for such a condemnation of the so called entitlement system.

My neighbor is in his thirties and just bought a new Cadillac Escalade, he lives in a much bigger home than mine, his buddies all drive huge new trucks, he speaks of their recent vacation to Florida for two weeks, he drives truck for a living and spends as though he earns twice his wages. frugal? No he isn't and that is what drives so many of these younger folks overall financial views, they've had the good life at the home of their parents and now they want to continue that lifestyle, their incessant infatuation with gadgets and bling is revealing to say the least. I realize that we can't paint the youth with the broad brushstrokes that they insist upon using when contemplating us older folks but I do see a lot of the entitlement mentality in their thinking. My contention is that if we all take a good long breath of air in our attempts to understand the needs of each of us we'd probably concede that we are pretty much the same in our needs, but not our wants.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
35,972 posts, read 36,042,499 times
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For me it's about rationing treatment (notice I did not say rationing benefits which goes along with that whole "You'll still have the same benefits" schtick as Obamacare was promoted.

I ask the younger adults who are for Obamacare this, "Are you willing to take in your parents, run errands for them and be at their beck and call because the government just wants to give them a pain pill and won't pay for their knee surgery, hip surgery or any other surgery that keeps them active in their old age?" I usually get a stony face response. The really young people (college age) think it's their parents' problem to worry about grandma and grandpa so they don't give a hoot but ask the 40 year olds that question.

The Virginian: Taking a pain pill and dying: In Obama's own words.

Did they give Ted Kennedy an aspirin when they found out he had a brain tumor?

Obama said “you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill."

“That’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues,” he said in the April 14 interview. “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health- care bill out here.”

Obama questions Hip Replacement for Terminally Ill

That's what life in death decisions will be about. Resources with seniors getting the short end of the stick.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,697 posts, read 5,842,337 times
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I think it's regrettable that someone who hosts a show on aging like the author of this opinion piece would single out the 65+ crowd as being selfish uncaring old coots. There are members of the "Me Generation" of every age - people who could not care less for their fellow man, but rather want what they want, when they want it, and not a minute later. That kind of attitude is absolutely not restricted to any particular age group.

As for Social Security, it's "death by a thousand cuts" is getting a real boost via the insane so-called compromise tax bill that includes - incredibly, as if NO ONE in Congress learned anything from the Bush tax cuts - a "temporary" 2% reduction in payroll taxes, the taxes that fund Social Security.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Florida -
9,870 posts, read 12,440,296 times
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One of the things that creates 'class warfare' is euphemistic labels manufactured by the media and politicians, that are usually more politically correct, than accurate. When welfare used to be called "welfare", a lot of people resisted and postponed taking 'charity.' But, call it an "entitlement" and everyone wants to make sure they 'get what's coming to them' -- including illegal immigrants, multi-generations who rarely put anything into the systems that support them and others looking only for handouts, instead of 'help getting back on their feet so they can again be self-supporting.'

Today, a number of benefits earned and paid for by veterans, retired workers and others ... are being tossed into the same "entitlement" pot as give-away benefits going to those who did not work for them or pay anything in. That, sadly, seems to be the typical approach of liberals seemingly intent on creating a 'sense of entitlement' in potential voters, who are really only 'entitled' because the media and politicians have told them that they are ... and that those "greedy, lucky rich people should 'be forced to pay -- until they also need 'entitlements."

Inevitably, there will always be more 'needs' and people eager to point out that 'other people should meet them' ... than there are available resources. Just as inevitably, there will always be sufficient greed and corruption to ensure that people who are not entitled to the help, get more than their fair share. The reality is that you can't legislate morality, integrity or generosity. Those personal values seem to be largely missing from the public forum and deserve a lot more attention than they get.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 18,936,212 times
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Default What does this post mean, exactly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
For me it's about rationing treatment (notice I did not say rationing benefits which goes along with that whole "You'll still have the same benefits" schtick as Obamacare was promoted.

I ask the younger adults who are for Obamacare this, "Are you willing to take in your parents, run errands for them and be at their beck and call because the government just wants to give them a pain pill and won't pay for their knee surgery, hip surgery or any other surgery that keeps them active in their old age?" I usually get a stony face response. The really young people (college age) think it's their parents' problem to worry about grandma and grandpa so they don't give a hoot but ask the 40 year olds that question.

Obama said “you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill."

“That’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues,” he said in the April 14 interview. “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health- care bill out here.”

That's what life in death decisions will be about. Resources with seniors getting the short end of the stick.
In the second paragraph you seem to be saying that Obamacare is not going to allow knee and hip surgery for the elderly. Then later on you quote Obama saying he is against hip replacements for the terminally ill. These are not the same things at all. The elderly who can be helped to get around in their old age are not the same as the terminally ill. I don't even like Obama, but how could anyone quarrel with the quotes you have given? Are you saying you are in favor of wasting money on hip replacements for the terminally ill? If so, why? What would be the point? If I am ever terminally ill I sure hope I don't have to go through something like hip replacement surgery. Just get me to a hospice and keep me out of hospitals.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:55 AM
 
31,028 posts, read 37,123,149 times
Reputation: 13326
So Sarah Palin is right about Death Panels?
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 18,936,212 times
Reputation: 32439
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
So Sarah Palin is right about Death Panels?
I have no idea because I don't know what she said about death panels. I consider Sarah Palin an idiot and I don't pay attention to her pronouncements.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:31 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,849 posts, read 32,140,308 times
Reputation: 22508
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
OK, I'll say what no one else wants to say.

I started working when I was 12 and I'm still working. I paid for all the wars and politics I never believed in. I paid huge amounts in taxes and got nothing in return. I paid for the deficit before the current deficit. I was always on the paying end. I paid for everyone else's SS benefits for years. Yup, you took it from me. Right off the top.

So now I'm getting old and it's time for me to finally collect something. Yes, I have a sense of entitlement. I paid for it. I am just as concerned for those poor workers who will shoulder the bill as their grandparents were for me. Sorry, but you folks can suck it up and pay just like I did.

Want to change something? Fine. Change the rules for the people who are 20 or 21 and still have a lifetime of work ahead of them. I already paid and put in my time. Of course it's not fair. It wasn't fair when I was paying either.
Exactly!

Are all these "disabled" people (who are in fact too lazy to work) drawing from Social Security? (They get SSI, so I am assuming it is coming out of the same pot. Correct me if I am wrong).

If this is the case, then we need to crack down on THEM, instead of criticizing older people for wanting to collect on something they have paid into for 40+ years.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:58 AM
 
11,142 posts, read 10,700,466 times
Reputation: 35720
Quote:
Exactly!

Are all these "disabled" people (who are in fact too lazy to work) drawing from Social Security? (They get SSI, so I am assuming it is coming out of the same pot. Correct me if I am wrong).

If this is the case, then we need to crack down on THEM, instead of criticizing older people for wanting to collect on something they have paid into for 40+ years.

I am going to reitterate that unless your withholdings from payroll and medicare taxes, plus some reasonable rate of interest, come close to equaling the pay out you receive than you didn't really "pay for it".

Now, if the law gives you the right to collect those benefits notwithstanding that fact, I see no evil in collecting the benefits. I would not ridicule someone for doing that to which they have a legal right to do. Its just the way the ball bounces.

What I find objectionable are those seniors who really haven't paid their own way when it comes to those benefits whining about those of us in the work force who want something like universal healthcare for all ages.

The issue is one of fairness, wanting what is good for the entire country, and not being a hypocrite.
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