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  • #76
    Originally posted by danlb View Post
    Don't be so sure. Some of us don't think it's crude to discuss money. Here's the real breakdown; And income of $300K and up puts you in the 1% . Top 5% is only $150K and higher. Top 50%??? $37K

    I know several 1%'ers. They are not that much better off than I am.
    I am retired with my Pension. I am not any %. I live within my means, my wife Bronwyn and I. Oh, Nurse Bronwyn still has to work, only 49, too young too retire. JR

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    • #77
      With my pension, I must be in the bottom 80% of the deplorables.

      The only reason I'm able to own a shop is because everything else is paid for. I suppose I could buy all new machines but they would outlive me. I want my machines (farm and shop) to be worn out or broken when my number comes up. Then I'll know I got my money's worth out of them.

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      • #78
        With my pension, I must be in the bottom 80% of the deplorables
        What I love about english is that statements like that can be interpreted so many ways. To be in the bottom 80% could mean that you have more income than 80% of the people. That puts you at the 80th percentile which (according to the chart in the link I posted) is more than Zero but less than $75,000.

        The other way to interpret it is that you are making less than 80% of normal, which puts you at the 20th percentile, or around $15,000.

        Either way, the key is to be able to live within your means. I'd love to sell the house and move to a saner area. The cost of living here is outrageous.

        Dan
        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

        Location: SF East Bay.

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        • #79
          What I find interesting is unemployment is at an all time low but it seems as if homelessness and panhandling are at an all time high. There must be some terrible fudging going on about the statistics.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
            Bull crap.
            Capitalism is good when restrained from the worst sorts of activities. It tends to be efficient, and usually finds the right path. When it does not, the state has the duty to correct that problem without being too heavy-handed. We ARE the state, and as such, can make the rules. It is , literally, "our way or the highway". That is what it means to have a country..... until things get perverted by a few.
            Great article about how the notion that came to be considered gospel: "profit above all", came from an article by Milton Friedman in the New York Times in 1970.
            "The Origin Of 'The World's Dumbest Idea': Milton Friedman"
            Https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevede.../#612d1730870e

            Sad era for Americans, it was just 4 years before Laffer sketched the Laffer Curve of Trickle Down on a napkin for Cheney and Rummy. Both ideologies have done much to destroy the USA as we knew it.
            "Almost everything Republicans get wrong about the economy started with a cocktail"
            https://qz.com/895785/laffer-curve-e...d-reaganomics/
            Last edited by gellfex; 06-03-2018, 08:37 PM.
            Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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            • #81
              Originally posted by 914Wilhelm View Post
              What I find interesting is unemployment is at an all time low but it seems as if homelessness and panhandling are at an all time high. There must be some terrible fudging going on about the statistics.
              What I find interesting is the amount of retired folks that are living way too frugally. Does everyone just retire with only social security and/or pensions? No large 401K? No retirement planning for the "golden years"?

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              • #82
                I am living comfortably enough on $1400/mo SSA benefits augmented by mostly part-time design engineering work and some money in the bank and IRAs. I have always lived frugally but I've never "suffered". Most challenging was getting and paying for medical insurance, which I was able to get in spite of pre-existing conditions through a state-subsidized plan, and for the past 4 years well covered by Medicare. My taxable income has been below "poverty level" but I don't feel impoverished and I don't use"food stamps" even though I might qualify. I'm not greedy and I give to charities. I also pay about $4000/year property tax, mostly based on land value. The houses are not much more than shacks, but they meet my needs, and are 100% paid for, as are both my vehicles.
                http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                USA Maryland 21030

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by 914Wilhelm View Post
                  What I find interesting is unemployment is at an all time low but it seems as if homelessness and panhandling are at an all time high. There must be some terrible fudging going on about the statistics.
                  Take away optimism and hope, replace these with futility and despair. People stop trying.

                  If people aren't ACTIVELY looking for work, well then, they must not be unemployed. Down goes the unemployment number.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
                    What I find interesting is the amount of retired folks that are living way too frugally. Does everyone just retire with only social security and/or pensions? No large 401K? No retirement planning for the "golden years"?
                    Many, many people do retire only with SS and / or pension.

                    My retirement plan was to work 38 years for the phone company and then work another 10 for another company with a second pension. The retirement plan I agreed to provided a full pension at age 55 (with 30 years of service) with full medical benefits for life. In later years I found that the pay scale at Ma Bell was 20 to 30 percent lower than most companies, but the benefits were much better than most so that was OK.

                    When you are paid 30% below market rates you don't have a lot to invest in the market, especially if you are dumb enough to cut your assets in half during a divorce.

                    In the early 1990s the fully funded pension plan was transformed into a 401K, with all the risks and benefits that the stock market has. We were not given a choice other than to take an early retirement if we wanted to retire under the pension plan. Major drawback there... the 5 percent per year penalty for every year that you were under 55. This was a killer for some of us who joined when we were young. A 40 year old with 23 years seniority and a $65K a year income would get a pension of about $10K a year pension if they took the early retirement.

                    The crashes of 97, 2000, 2002, 2008 and all the other depressions taught me quite well that if you have $1000 and lose 20% in a bear market, you have 800 to invest when the market goes up 20%, making your investment worth $960 when it's recovered.

                    The wife and I are doing fine on our SS pensions. We just don't do things as frivolously as we used to.
                    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                    Location: SF East Bay.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by gellfex View Post
                      Great article about how the notion that came to be considered gospel: "profit above all", came from an article by Milton Friedman in the New York Times in 1970.
                      "The Origin Of 'The World's Dumbest Idea': Milton Friedman"
                      Https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevede.../#612d1730870e

                      Sad era for Americans, it was just 4 years before Laffer sketched the Laffer Curve of Trickle Down on a napkin for Cheney and Rummy. Both ideologies have done much to destroy the USA as we knew it.
                      "Almost everything Republicans get wrong about the economy started with a cocktail"
                      https://qz.com/895785/laffer-curve-e...d-reaganomics/
                      yes, laffer and other laughs. but it was really keynes who layed ground to the economic stupidities of our times. the economists have destroyed the world.

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by 914Wilhelm View Post
                        What I find interesting is unemployment is at an all time low but it seems as if homelessness and panhandling are at an all time high. There must be some terrible fudging going on about the statistics.
                        When unemployment rates are touted as being low, there is some fudging going on. The unemployment statistics are based on the number of persons drawing unemployment compensation. When those persons stop receiving unemployment comp. due to reaching the cut off limit, they are no longer counted as unemployed, even though they have not found a new job.
                        “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                        Lewis Grizzard

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                        • #87
                          What I find strange about the supposed implementation of the "Laffer Curve" is that the "sweet spot" appears to be somewhere around 50%. The 91% top bracket was clearly too high, although it may have been necessary during the war. The later top rate of 70% was also probably too high, although manageable. But cutting it to 28% as Reagan did was far too extreme. If the curve is symmetrical, total revenues would be the same at 70% and 30%, so 28% would result in a (small) net loss.

                          Also, this is a marginal tax rate, so only earnings over and above a certain threshold are taxed at that rate. I think perhaps some math-challenged people think that if you earn $1 million, you would have to pay $910,000 and only get to keep $90,000. I think a 50% tax rate would be ideal, especially if it were only applied on taxable earnings above a baseline of, say, $30,000, which roughly corresponds to the proposed minimum wage of $15/hour (which is pretty close to a good average wage, in real terms, in 1968). At that time, minimum wage was $1.60/hr, which was almost $11/hr in real terms, adjusted for inflation. In 2013, it was $7.25, and has been stagnant at about that level since 1990.

                          https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42973.pdf

                          Economics can be tricky, but it makes sense to me that the nation will be far healthier and wealthier if everyone has the wherewithal to earn at least a $15 minimum wage, while increasing the income of millionaires via tax breaks will not result in their spending more to boost economic growth. The majority of the population will need to have enough income to cover basic costs of housing, food, and medical care, and enough extra to spend on discretionary items such as higher quality tools, without having to work two jobs or extreme overtime. When we can afford American-made goods and services, our manufacturing and retail economy may flourish.
                          http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                          Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                          USA Maryland 21030

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