When you consider the time value of money, the average person will only get back half of the money they pay into Social Security. Only the bottom 20% get back more than they pay in, they get 25% interest on their forced contributions. Incredibly, 80% get back less money than they pay in.
Social Security is mostly a wealth transfer program. Workers transfer their wealth to the federal government. Only a small group benefits from this huge bureaucracy and tax scheme.
I did a spreadsheet several years ago to compute how much retirement savings I would have if, instead of Social Security “contributions”, I had bought gold with the money. As of the end of 2008, I would have had (at today’s prices) $1.2 million worth of gold. With that amount, I could purchase a life annuity paying way, way more that the gummint is going to give me: about $7400 a month instead of $2300 a month under the program. And: if I die tomorrow, there will never be anything from the gummint, but if I owned gold, I could leave my kids a nice little nest egg.
Like any other gummint program, Social Security is a total rip-off.
We’ve moved on to gold and silver already.
Got some gold and silver too, but not nearly as much as I’d have if my retirement funds had purchased them instead of going into the stupid government program. My other investments are mostly in stocks of companies located in countries with relatively hard currencies. Hoping to do really well because of QE-whatever number we’re on. lol
Sounds like it might work. Fiat currency nations undergo such a brutal brain drain and skill atrophy. All the trades and competencies handed down for generations are gone now.
Look at the remnants of the southeast textile and furniture making regions. Everyone sits on an upholstered couch, no one knows how to make one anymore. Only the giant supplers make everything for the giant big box retailers. Every other nation has to make our stuff, we only have to print money.
I wish I could cancel my social security account, receive a lump sum, and stop the charade of rolling the dice and going in circles advancing my token towards go.
It’s their monopoly board, and they say every month you pass “Go” they give you $2300 worth of colored paper until you die. Is there a way to live beyond our years and keep collecting the payments from beyond the grave? Unless you carry a huge life insurance policy, that may be the best way. Might as well have your executor sign up for lots of credit cards as well, you want everyone to be well taken care of.
Biological death doesn’t have to mean financial death if you make the necessary plans today.
Ask yourself if we’d be having the Social Security time bomb if we were still on a stable currency. It’s an interesting thought experiment, because if you take away most of the destruction caused by inflation, 14% (7% of your gross + employer match) of a lifetime of earning actually should be enough to live on in retirement. Oh, you won’t be high on the hog, but you won’t be worried about eating cat food either, especially if you own your home (and it isn’t in a high property tax municipality).
BTW, could the social sec problem be solved by selling off government assets? It seems to me there’s plenty of federal land that could be liquidated, and of course the gold in Ft Knox (although it really should be returned to it’s rightful owners). Prior to the progressive era, federal land sales were one of the primary ways to fund the government.
I have suggested selling off government assets in the past as well. but the more I think about it it can go a step further. Vast resources on federal government owned land have been given away for pennies to insider interests. What remains is still considerable. What would rates in line with the real market value bring? What if anyone could bid on the leases to drill oil or mine copper or whatever and then sub-lease? What would it bring then?
I could see that a competently managed federal government in the public interest probably would not require tax payments to operate. Although the damage may be too great to achieve that now.
I think you’re right BrentP. In 40 years, China has risen from a lower 3rd world tier nation where peole starved in the winters, to a place with 400 million people joining the middle class.
Scientists and engineers can over see the process. Environmentalist scientists and engineers can have a tandem mandate to make it beneficial in the long term.
Leadership just means opening the land, effectively monitoring progress, and getting rid of everyone who is unable or willing to comply.
There’s plenty of land in the US, we can support the whole world and trade for anything we want. Woods, grass, earthworms, there’s plenty of science for everyone. A nationwide project makes fiat money somewhat irrelevant. For example, I believe electricity is free in China.
Going to church, having a bunch of feelings about hugging trees, marching in protests, having a bureaucratic office, these are all irrelevant to our standard of living. Sometimes, you have to be the little red hen and do the work. Let the other animals dream about how to divy it up.i
Government assets become central bank assets that benefit noone.
Assume the average person pays in $320k and gets back $160k. If our payments were held in gold with say an average acquition cost of $400 an ounce, the gov would get their cut and we’d get back at least twice what we paid in too, assuming gold stays above $1600.
Or instead of gold, give us a life estate in Raw Fed land. Land that’s worth $1 trillion. The national parks make wildlife vulnerable, nature needs people to stay robust.
A sane country would extract resources and sell the dwelling rights at auction. All the jobs you want are there, about $1200 an acre in minerals.
To keep things the way they are, mandate that mined land be put back in original or better condition.
Retiring with dignity on your own land supervising the younger generation who do the physical work and pay you mortgage payments on improved land. Sounds like realistic social planning to me.
Actually we should be getting “royalties” from mineral rights that the Feds get from mining and oil interests. Alaska pays it’s citizens a royalty check every year so why not the rest of us denizens of Mordor? These royalties would then be rolled into tangible gold until retirement whereupon you can then take possession or cash out. In either case the physical goods would have to be there to back you up. Now, of course, this is only possible were the criminals in charge to allow it.
Its that salesman douchebaggery you see everywhere these days. Their “job” is to trick, lie, confuse, whatever it takes. They’re on commission, and are a type of confidence man trying to keep the con going as long as they can.
I would like to start a company with a package that includes every channel in the world. Maybe then I’d be watching something better than Rocket City Rednecks.
Greasy slimy pigs, all of them. Good luck, and Happy Hogging!
I believe it and also believe many other things are geared similarly.
Here’s an example kind of off topic, but just happened to me last night (for the millionth time). I was thinking to cancel my Direct TV satellite programming because I’m sick of paying $40 a month for commercials. When I got them on the phone I realized I had been paying double for the past 4 months. They had been billing me for some shit called the “Sunday Ticket.” It is some football shit (never watch the crap). Anyhow, they told me I have to pay for the entire season and have already paid $130 into it. I was like “listen mang, I’ve called ya’ll four times since I registered for Direct TV asking each time to just provide the basic programming.” Each time I called had been after some recent uptick in my bill. I am guilty of not watching my bills well, true. These slimey motherfuckers will sneak shit onto your bill and they do you a favor and remove half the bill after you realized they fucked you. The guy on the phone (supervisor) said he normally won’t remove the “Sunday Ticket” after the season starts, but he’d do me a favor and cancel it as of now and gibbs me back one month of the bill. I was like, let me get this right.. “You’ll cancel the service you snuck into my account and gibbs me back $30 of the $130 you stole from me?” What a fucking deal!
Been through this over and over with this company.
Depending on how much of the cancellation fee I actually get charged will determine the amount of ranting I do on the web and with BBB.
“Please cancel my service effective right now and send me the $240 cancellation fine.”
Fuck Direct TV!
Two huge problems:
1. Gross fucking abuse of automatic billing
2. Sneaky corporations stealing