Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Monday, June 27, 2005
ROFLMAO. They're only now discovering that ideological and political diversity is more important than having a rainbow of skintones? The people who publish the NYT are only now catching on to this? Tell me, why does anyone trust their analysis of anything? And how on earth can such people even begin to evaluate quality when bringing in those other voices? Do they just listen to what/who the other side values right now, guaranteeing redundancy?

posted by Rachel 6/27/2005
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Totally worth watching. I will personally testify that conditions at my school were just as ridiculously awful. I have audiotapes of my Women in the Middle East professor making equally outrageous statements. Unfortunately I was paralysed with shock and disbelief for about the first month of class, so I missed some of her best pronouncements about the evils of the US and the virtues of Iran. (This was a $3,000 class that I was required to take.) But I do have enough documentation to prove this guy's point about my college. I kept the ridiculous handouts too.

posted by Rachel 6/27/2005
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The Entitlement generation?!? The boomers are pointing fingers at their own kids? The same people who refuse to consider cuts in retirement benefits, even though numbers reality dictates that within a few decades each one of those "entitled" workers is going to be expected to pick up half of the social security and medicare tab for one retiree? (Say, John Doe age 65, recieves $1000 a month in SS and medical. Within few years, each worker will have to be be taxed $500 a month in order to continue paying benefits. Basic demographics.) The same people who expect greater benefits at an earlier age for a longer duration, than any generation before or since would even dream of asking for? Those people are throwing stones at the very generation they themselves raised?!?

Oh this is even better irony. What will you do if those kids realize that you dealt them into a Ponzi scheme without their knowledge or consent? What will you do if they collectively decide to work only enough to meet their basic needs, since the kind of advancement possible for our parents has been swallowed up in taxes, for arthritis medication that doesn't work much better than tylenol, costs many times more money, and causes strokes?!? (Or even better, Viagra.) I don't think so. You guys broke the generational compact and you're going to reap the whirlwind.

You created a world that doesn't reward hard-work. You created a world that values debt and consumer spending over savings. You overthrew the establishment. You did what felt good. You grasshoppered your entire lives. You had so few kids that the burden of caring for you, even on our terms not yours, is going to be a terribly heavy burden. You took out 100% mortgages on second homes at the peak of your earnings potential, because real estate can't be a bubble. Surely you didn't inflate the prices of homes out of the reach of your own children unless they too assume ruinous mortgages. Surely you didn't choose to speculate on real-estate gains rather than any actual savings? Right? You guys are the adults right? You guys care more about planning for the future than your own immediate gratification right?

Welcome to generational warfare. It's especially convenient that all forms of basic civility and politeness have been excised from daily life. Even better that simple manners and respect have also fallen by the wayside. Now we can all be very honest and authentic as we scream at each other.
At the signing ceremony for the new Medicare program in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson said, "No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents." But taxes to support growth in Medicare and Social Security will severely eat away at young people's income in coming years unless those programs undergo fundamental reforms.

In the 20th century politicians replaced personal savings, family obligations, and private charities with giant centralized transfer systems to support the elderly. The main programs for the elderly, Social Security and Medicare, are primarily funded by taxes on the young. That funding mechanism has set the nation on a financial collision course as the number of elderly will soar 116 percent by 2040 while the number of workers supporting them will grow just 22 percent. Without reforms, the combined cost of Social Security and Medicare Part A is expected to rise from 13.8 percent of taxable wages today to 24.2 percent by 2040. Adding in projected spending on Part B of Medicare pushes up the total projected costs of the two programs to 30 percent of wages by 2040.
This is going to make the great depression look like a cakewalk.
Tyagi’s right about one thing. There is some reason for animus between the generations. But not between Gen-Xers and WWII, it’s between Gen Xers and boomers. The boomers are the first entitlement generation, the first generation that grew up believing some groups are owed stuff by other groups, on a large scale, and that there's no problem with bringing government in to facilitate the transfer. And so, to no surprise, as they age they’re starting to flex their political muscle to make sure they get what they feel they’re owed -- Social Security and the prescription drug benefit are two examples that come immediately to mind.
They don't care that social security and medicare will bankrupt us. They don't care that maintaining this fiction prevents people from weaving any kind of safety net on their own, so when the most people need the govt net, it'll collapse.

posted by Rachel 6/27/2005
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