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Global warming? You will whimper and beg for global warming before nature is done with you: "Poor man’s polar vortex to make shocking summer return in eastern U.S. next week" By Jason Samenow July 10 at 10:35 am
I am sure that there can be great savings in the use of physical plant. In a previous millennium when I was a student in college, we had classes at 8 a.m. My kids who went to college over the last decade(a Midwestern member of USC's peer group) never had an 8 a.m. class. A week has 168 hours, you have to be able to use more than 16 of them for classes.
I think 30 years at no interest would be viewed as a penalty.
Help please: Who is the "you" in "you can only match..."? Would the term policy planners help instead of the second person pronoun? What I was trying to say is that converting Social Security, which is a defined benefit plan, into a defined contribution plan, such as the one you suggest, creates difficult issues of actuarial mathematics. The foundation of this problem is that the benefit in Social Security bears no relation to when dollars were earned (other than by better or worse inflation adjustments). In a defined contribution plan the the oldest dollars are, because of compound interest, the most valuable. In the current design of Social Security, the first important step in calculating benefits is determining the AIME (average indexed monthly earnings). For this purpose, the person who begins his career earning X dollars per month, steadily increases those earnings (remember this is indexed so we are think about real dollars, not inflation), until he makes 2X dollars, will have the same AIME as a person who starts by making 2X and steadily sees his earnings decrease. The same AIME would get the same benefit. But, in a savings based system the first person, the increasing earnings person would have a smaller balance than the second example, because of compound interest. The only way to equalize them is to penalize number 2 or subsidize number 1. The Optimist system is just, and so is the existing system, but they work differently. If I were a young person now, I would want to be enrolled in the Optimist system. But, people in their 50s and 60s might object and insist on staying in the old system. The transition between systems is fraught with challenges, and one of them is political, and created by demographics. There are more people in the old system, who are closed to retirement (i.e. the Baby Boomers), than there are in younger cohorts. To me the only way to defuse this conflict, is to stretch it out and make the transitions generational. Benefit caps, retirement age increases, and formula changes will help. We should also look at things that will make current benefits less valuable, such as eliminating the partial exemption of benefits from income taxation, and increasing our reliance on excise taxes.
"In any case, nontransferable bonds could be structured to at least minimize the benefit difference, if not eliminate it." I don't want to be a wet blanket, but I believe that if you study the Social Security Handbook, an official government document that explains benefit calculations, you will find that you can only match the old age pension portion of Social Security with a defined benefit plan, if that plan subsidizes low earning participants and penalizes high earners. My own belief is that in order to reform the system we need to decrease benefits, and squeeze them down for people who earn more than the mean. If you who want to understand the policy options that are being discussed, the CBO did an excellent study “Social Security Policy Options” in July 2010 laying out the options, their benefits, and their costs:
The problem with this proposal is that the current SS system has some a lot of tilts and quirks in it. First, the monthly benefit for seniors is 90% of $761 of Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME), + 32% $761 to $4,586, + 15% over $4,586. AIME is based on your 35 best years, indexed to average wages for the year (not CPI). It considers only amounts subject to OASDI contributions, which are capped, currently at about $107,000/yr. ($9000/mo.). The result is that lower paid workers receive a much higher percentage of their base in benefits. It may be far in excess of the amount they paid in. Conversely, a high earner will receive a lower percentage of earnings as his benefit, and his rate of return will be negative. Duplicating this benefit structure in a defined contribution plan is difficult without resort to subsidies and penalties. I don't think you are totally wrong, but the prime issues will always be the same. How much redistribution does the system require? Who will fund the payments? The workers through FICA? or general revenue? What happens to the employers contributions? Do they go to individuals? I am going to cut this off here because it is too long for a blog comment.
God bless Mitch Daniels and his family. From what we have learned publicly, his wife and children have been through quite a bit. The way the Democrats and the so called "Main Steam Media" practice the politics of personal destruction, their personal attacks on Daniels, his wife, and children would have been unremitting and unconstrained by facts or decency. I, for one, am happy that Gov. Daniels has chosen to spare his family the ordeal of a Presidential campaign.
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Folks, unbunch your panties. What you have here is a politician giving a political answer to a loaded question. Listening is something politicians do all the time, even, or especially, with people they can't stand. Here from the Time Mag Article: "I respect science and the professionals behind the science so I tend to think it’s better left to the science community – though we can debate what that means for the energy and transportation sectors." He will let them argue about the "Navier Stokes differential equations", and we will decide what to do. It is a long way from Al Gore.
If they have DNA from one or more of OBL's children, and from the kids mother, it would make the identification much easier. I believe that one or more of his wives and or children have been living in the west.
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You wouldn't want a trial to reveal how ineffectual and useless the SEC really is, would you?
"Al Jazeera has more complete news than the New York Times and its bias against Israel is much smaller." That is going to leave a mark.
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2011 on Al Jazeera at Pro Commerce
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How old is this lame B$? How about half a century: “I shouted out, “Who killed the Kennedys?” When after all It was you and me.” “Sympathy For The Devil” by M. Jagger & K. Richards from “Beggar’s Banquet” by The Rolling Stones 11/01/1968 “Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism” by James Piereson, Encounter Books (May 21, 2007), ISBN-13: 978-1594031885 “The Day the Music Died: Camelot and the American Left.” National Review Online – June 19, 2007, 7:00 a.m.: MILLER: Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist. Have liberals been reluctant to accept this fact? And is their reluctance at the heart of all the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination? PIERESON: Liberals who were rational and realistic accepted the fact that Oswald killed JFK but at the same time they were unable to ascribe a motive for his actions. They tended to look for sociological explanations for the event and found one in the idea that JFK was brought down by a “climate of hate” that had overtaken the nation. Thus they placed Kennedy’s assassination within a context of violence against civil rights activists. They had great difficulty accepting the fact that Kennedy’s death was linked to the Cold War, not to civil rights. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., in his 1,000-page history of the Kennedy administration, published in 1965, could not bring himself to mention Oswald’s name in connection with Kennedy’s death, though he spent several paragraphs describing the hate-filled atmosphere of Dallas at the time — suggesting thereby that Kennedy was a victim of the far right. The inability to come to grips with the facts of Kennedy’s death pointed to a deeper fault in American liberalism which was connected to its decline. MILLER: It’s like that line from “Sympathy for the Devil,” by the Rolling Stones: “I shouted out, ‘Who killed the Kennedys?’/When after all, it was you and me.” PIERESON: Yes, that song reflected a deep belief in liberal culture, that somehow “we” had killed the Kennedy’s — when in fact an anti-American Communist killed President Kennedy and a Palestinian nationalist killed Robert Kennedy, both in retaliation for American policies abroad. Oswald killed President Kennedy to interrupt his efforts to eliminate Castro; Sirhan killed Robert Kennedy because of Kennedy’s support for Israel. The irrationality of this belief was connected to the unraveling of liberalism, demonstrating that liberalism was not the rational doctrine that it claimed to be.
More seriously, the pit into which we can fall if we cannot find a transcendent morality is very deep. "Humanists are, in fact, free riders. They come along after centuries of hard work in prime divider societies where the zero-sum dominating imperative ruled social and political relations. In those long and painful years, some people, driven to by a sense of divine authority, systematically, and at great personal cost (sometimes one’s very life) pursued the generous impulses of positive-sum interactions. Now that we’re raised in a civil society, where we’re trained from childhood to cooperate, to eschew violence, to seek the positive-sum interaction, such behavior comes much more easily. The [Humanist] Society can put up billboards reading: “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.” But in a world where it’s “rule or be ruled,” where the nice guy is a sucker who’ll predictably get the short end of the stick, where alpha males use violence with impunity to dominate others, “for goodness’ sake” doesn’t cut much ice. Indeed, it’s quite risible." And follow Professor Landes' links to his other articles.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2010 on The Morality of the Übermensch at ShrinkWrapped
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New Religion? Bahh. How about an old one? "Then, whispered Castro, those first men formed the cult around tall idols which the Great Ones shewed them; idols brought in dim eras from dark stars. That cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom."
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2010 on The Morality of the Übermensch at ShrinkWrapped
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Robert Heinlein's novels were paeans to the virtues of free markets, free men, and private association.
150? That is not adequately cooked. Less than 165 is not hot enough to kill bacteria.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2010 on Talking Turkey With Harold McGee at Al Dente
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You don't catch me telling folks how to eat. Michelle should spend more time trying to slim her caboose and less time running her mouth.
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"The Chelsea Clinton wedding will take place at the Astor Courts part of the old Astor estate, Ferncliff, on the Hudson, once an enormous compound. The home is owned by Arthur Seelbinder and his wife Kathleen Hammer." New York Times slideshow of the spectacular fix-up: I know the owners. A nasty piece of work. "Quite a fee for a couple who have spent virtually their entire lives in public service" Remember the January 2001 presidential pardons. They were like rotten mackerel in the moonlight, they shined and they stank. I believed then and believe now, that the Clintons got paid in money for those pardons. Rich and Green in particular would have paid a nine digit number for their pardons. I assume that Bush knew about it and kept quiet in return for Clintons' silent acquiescence to his administration. "Lots of shady characters, and lots of dirty deals. Every name's an alias just in case somebody squeals. It's the lure of easy money, it's got a very strong appeal." "Smuggler's Blues" 1985 G. Frey & J. Tempchin.
The problem here is the job, and whether we want to see it executed well or not. The new tsar will be responsible for creating a new bureaucracy and promulgating a set of rules to control the behavior of many people. The job is daunting, and it would be for the most skilled administrator. Law professors, no matter what their qualities as teachers or scholars, have no background in administration, nor in bureaucratic politics. Whatever the new tsar does, she will face immense bureaucratic resistance inside the Fed, which does not want her, and is not kindly to outsiders. Just getting office space, tables, and chairs will be a challenge. The rules will be meet with challenges from every lawyer and lobbyist on K Street. The tsar will come to believe that the proposed rules were replaced by Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal". The tsar will be denounced by politicians from both parties on the evening news and the Sunday morning gabfests. The only conclusion I can draw is that the tsar will have to have the political skills of a Bismark and the hide of a rhinoceros. My best guess is Prof. Warren, if she were to be named tsar, would be on the road to Cambridge with her tail between her legs within a year. Whether that is a good thing or not depends on your view of D-F and whether its provisions are a good thing or not. I think D-F was a bad thing designed to produce a million times more bureaucratic cluster#&%@! than financial stability. Naming Warren as consumer tsar would only increase the amount of bureaucratic cluster#&%@!ing. Confusion to the Enemy!
The proxy provisions of D-F (that is also the grade I would assign it) were put in there at the behest of unions. The unions, which can't get any traction with workers anymore, want to use them to harass management. That is all. There is no substance to them.
My wife made me sit through The Triplets of Belleville. It was horrible beyond belief. Just mentioning it makes me sick to my stomach.
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We'll add below one of the other Obama covers that Remnick alludes to, referencing Obama's alleged Muslim ties from the 2008 campaign. Alleged?
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"As one possible route indicator for Sestak, in last month's special election in Pennsylvania's 12th District, Democrat Mark Critz won the old John Murtha seat ..." I don't think that election stands for very much. The Pennsylvania primary was a peculiar business. There was one statewide open race that attracted national attention (Specter v Sestak) so there was a huge motivation for Democrats (but not Republicans) to turn out. Pennsylvania primaries are closed. Independents cannot just waltz in and take a partisan ballot. So there was not much incentive for Independents to turn out. Another point is that there was a primary election to select the candidates on the November ballot at the same time as the special election to fill the open seat. Here are the actual finals for the PA 12th Congressional District Primary election and the special election. 12th Special Election Critz 70,915 Burns 60,740 Libertarian 3,158 Total 134,813 %D 52.60% 12th Primary Critz 59,658 OD1 16,645 OD2 6,407 Total D 82,710 Burns 26,098 Russell 19,711 Total R 45,809 Grand Total 128,519 %D 64.36% ================================= A couple of observations: 1. There were only 6K more voters in the Special Election than in the Primary Election. I would guess that a lot more independents will show up in November. 2. There were almost twice as many D voters in the Primary as R voters. That ratio will be lower in November. 3. In the Special Election Critz only picked up 11K of the 23K voters who supported a Democrat in the the primary and who did not vote for him in the primary. Burns on the other hand picked up all of the R primary votes and 15K more votes. With independents and more R turnout in the fall, Burns may have a decent chance.
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The premise that the SEC is correct or that their interpretation of the law is correct has always annoyed me. They have long been inclined to wild flights of fancy in their interpretations of the law and their regulation and forms. The Williams act group has been especially subject to that disease. I once tried to get them to agree that I could rely on interpretations of the law from 2 Court of Appeals decisions. No dice, they wouldn't buy it, they could not refute it, they just got stubborn and refused to accept that Courts of Appeals are authorities on the law. My misgivings about the SEC have been proved in spades over the last decade. They can't catch obvious crooks, they can't regulate things that are in front of their faces (their people were in the offices of Lehman Brothers as it went down), and they spend their time chasing trivia like the Williams act. Here is my idea for the SEC. Shoot, scoop, and shovel. They have failed. Get rid of them.