Thursday, May 14, 2009

penny pincher

Wow. Sometimes I am really thankful I can be so informed 24-7 of all that is going on. Sometimes I hate the fact that I can be so informed 24-7 of all that is going on. As if the strain on every socioeconomic class in America is not enough, we’re going around the social security benefit being depleted again. Once again this subject is coming up. 8.9 % of Americans are currently out of work. I’m not sure they are concerned with the year 2037 or 2083. They might be more concerned with today.

That means Social Security will have to turn to its trust fund to make up the difference between Social Security taxes and the benefits being paid out beginning in 2016. The trustees projected the trust fund would be depleted in 2037, four years earlier than the 2041 date in last year's report.

At that point, the annual Social Security taxes collected would be enough to pay for three-fourths of current benefits through 2083. To tap the trust fund, the government would have to increase borrowing or raise taxes because Social Security bonds exist only as bookkeeping entries.

Okay, so people in the 21 to 34 age group might be good until 2083. There goes my plan on living to be 105. Okay. I get it. The country is hurting; physically, mentally, financially, and socially. I just get tired of the money media, wall street,, yahoo finance, AOL Money, etc. I mean, I keep up with current events. I keep up with the world. I keep up with friends. Does anyone wonder why social-networking sites have grown exponentially in the past 3 years? Maybe because I’d rather find out about my friend having a baby, a buddy getting engaged, someone having a party, or maybe just glancing over some pictures a person posted. Why the hell would I want to continue to read that life won’t be getting better for a whole lot of people? I know. I have to face reality, but how many of you might pick up a novel, an autobiography, a magazine about improving your self-image rather than dwell on the current state of affairs?

As if job loss, unemployment benefit increase, homelessness, hunger, and loss of a secure future aren’t frightening enough. Maybe someone will suggest that I don’t want to deal with real-life problems, but I’ve been one of the 8.9% in the past and do understand that feeling. It is not something I enjoyed. I learned a lot from it. I learned I would take any job to have income. No job is ever too menial, demeaning, discouraging, or disheartening as long as there’s a roof over your head and food in the bellies of your loved ones.

I never thought I would loathe uber-rich & super-duper successful people so much as I do now. We’re not talking about the people who make a few bucks. I’m talking about the people that clear a few million or more a year as individuals. Hiding US dollars overseas and creating trust-fund babies that will only help themselves. We need to look closer at the people holding the strings. There is no way a man like Bernie Madoff and a few buddies could throw a rock across the economic pond and have it cause as many ripples as it did.

Mr. SEC chairman? Would it have been a better clue if Madoff had a Dalmatian with dollar signs for spots? Or maybe a huge gated entrance made of gold with dollar signs as handles? Guess not. Could of just been an episode of CRIBS, right?

Am I ranting yet? Probably. I guess that with all of these oversight committees, the IRS, the SEC, the FBI, the FTC, the CIA, & the strong arm of the law that we’d be able to catch a one-man magic show. It’s all good. This guys family will have to endure years if not decades of pain just for having the name. I don’t even know if anyone is innocent in that situation because when you are making a billion a year everyone gets to enjoy that kind of living. I just don’t get how you might catch up to someone average who didn’t pay the appropriate city wage taxes or forgot to mention the school district they live in on their 1040, but you can’t catch a guy who had 3,200 clients, international accounts, and billions of dollars in stolen contributions & fake earnings on investments.

I know no one is impressed when a fisherman catches a guppy. They’re just a product of the hunt, so let them go. Go after the whales and you’ll be able to feed the tribe for a long time.
I think somewhere along the line these guys behind the curtains got the American Dream all mixed up after a few too many happy hours and few days of shredding in the back office. It really shouldn’t be too difficult to be ethical in business when the deterrent is prison, but I digress. I know the desire to be on top of the world can lead people to do ridiculous things in any facet of life. I’m not obtuse to that dynamic.

I guess I’m just confused as to how someone can live the life of a success while they are nothing but a fraud. I guess these days you can buy cred.

Have a great weekend. I’m off to Chicago to find a sugar momma. Just kidding. Really, I’m kidding.

If money be not they servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him. -Francis Bacon


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