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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Your description of the Australian private retirement accounts is interesting. It makes the intermittent US proposals to privatize social security look even more like a scam.

    Achieving socialism by other means is amusing.
    • Please note that:

      1. The government is still the welfare provider of last resort. If your super money runs out during your retirement, you move onto the standard Old Age Pension, fully funded by government. But the standard Old Age Pension is NOT a lot of money. It really is a last resort.

      2. Australia has never really had corporate pension funds like the US, or government "social security" entities. Pensions are funded out of general revenue. That is, out of normal taxes.

      3. This has all been introduced over
      • Obama's prospects look good, though it is hard to say how much that mean at this early date. Unfortunately I don't think he will be able to do anything radical, even if he wins an overwhelming victory. The separation of powers that is the basis of the American government prevents that, as it was designed to. I fear we will not solve our financial problems with any radical new ideas; I assume we will just debase our currency in the traditional way.
        • Obama's prospects look good, though it is hard to say how much that mean at this early date. Unfortunately I don't think he will be able to do anything radical, even if he wins an overwhelming victory. The separation of powers that is the basis of the American government prevents that, as it was designed to. I fear we will not solve our financial problems with any radical new ideas; I assume we will just debase our currency in the traditional way.

          Better that, than what Obama would do, which is violate our Constitution and destory our liberty.

          Not that I feel strongly about it or anything.

          • Well debasing the currency is survivable, we have been through that before. Pudge why do you say Obama would violate the Constitution and destroy our liberty?
            • Pudge why do you say Obama would violate the Constitution and destroy our liberty?
              Oh, where to start. We could talk about his attempts to get rid of most guns, violating the Second Amendment. Or his desire to take away the right to hire and fire employees at will, violating the First Amendment right to association, the Fifth Amendment right to due process, and the Tenth Amendment right to keep unenumerated powers at the state/local level.

              (For those who don't know what it means, the Tenth Amendment means that if something is not a power delegated to the federal government -- and "general welfare" is not such a power -- then the federal government can't do it. And yes, that means most of what the federal government does is literally unconstitutional. And no, just because the Supreme Court has not struck something down, or has upheld it, doesn't magically make it constitutional: constitutionality is what the Constitution says, not what the Court says.)

              There's also, more germaine to this discussion, his plan to force all companies to automatically, without prior approval from the employee, put the employee's money in a pension plan, which also violates the Fifth and First and Tenth Amendments as per above (regarding the First, that may be a little less obvious, but many people don't believe in retirement savings, and it violates your right of association to force you, as an employer, to participate in such a program). Of course, Social Security itself is a violation of the Tenth as well, and his goal is to expand it.

              (As well as violating my civil rights, his stated plan makes no sense: he wants to drastically increase the amount of income the payroll tax applies to. But this is only "necessary" because rich retired people are getting paid Social Security: we are literally taxing the upper middle class to pay rich retired people. Means testing makes far more sense, but he won't do it, because he wants everyone to rely on the system as much as possible, to give government more power over our lives. And at the same time these rich retired people are collecting Social Security, he also wants to make sure that many of them don't pay any income tax: so they are not only taking money from me that they don't need, but they don't even have to pay tax on much of the money they earn, up to $50,000.)

              He also wants to GIVE FREE MONEY to people who save. If you make less than $75,000, he will give you $500 if you invest $1,000. Just give it to you. This also violates the Tenth Amendment, of course.

              And don't even get me started on his liberty-defying, unconstitutional, and bankrupt-before-it-even-leaves-the-drawing-board health care plan. Shudder.