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Politics 101: Entitlements


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, corruption, dishonesty, ethics, freedoms, Govtfearmongering, lies, media, military, politics, propaganda, socialsecurity )

Kit
- 610 days ago - dailykos.com
Many Americans don't understand the term "entitlements." Anyone hoping to preserve the social safety net should avoid the word, which makes Social Security and Medicare sound like frivolous handouts to undeserving snots.



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Comments

Kit B. (277)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 10:03 am
(Cartoon image: Jill Sorenson)


So I really did see this billboard over the summer, on I-5 in southern Washington. Anyone who travels between Portland and Seattle with any frequency is aware of the cultural institution known as the "Uncle Sam billboard." It always has some extreme right-wing slogan next to a likeness of Uncle Sam. Apparently a farmer started it decades ago, and now the fabled sign is maintained by his son. (I neglected to include Uncle Sam when I drew the cartoon; I was so gobsmacked by the sentiment that I forgot all about him. And the internet tells me belatedly that the exact wording was "Should people receiving entitlements be allowed to vote?", but I'm too tired to fix it now.)

Clearly the sign is the handiwork of an ignoramus, but it touches on something that's been bothering me for a while. Many Americans don't understand the term "entitlements." Anyone hoping to preserve the social safety net should avoid the word, which makes Social Security and Medicare sound like frivolous handouts to undeserving snots. The fact that anti-poverty measures like food stamps are also referred to as entitlement programs only adds to the confusion, not that denying voting rights to poor people is any less reprehensible.

I wouldn't dismiss this billboard guy as a lone crackpot, either. TPM recently reported on conservative columnist Matthew Vadum, who suggested that registering poor people to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. I smell a meme.
************

by Jen Sorensen for Daily Kos
 

Arielle S. (316)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 10:11 am
In the past year, I've met a woman who would not give her used refrigerator to a black woman because "they get so much stuff". I've heard a retired, wealthy man say that anybody who wants to work can get a job. And I've heard a presidential candidate diss 47% of the people he wanted to represent. Sometimes it's embarrassing to be a human being....
And Matthew Vadum should spend six months or a year as a homeless man - then we'll see how he feels.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 10:11 am

This is an older article, one from last year, but no less relevant today. I submit this because I do believe we must have a public discussion about the real issue of entitlements, not the change of the lexicon as presented by one side of this issue. We are all easily influenced by the ongoing political rhetoric that we hear used every day. The word entitlements has now become a word that is used to describe those who wish live from the government teat and not care what it may cost the public in taxation. It's a convenient twist in the true meaning of the word, yet is quickly affecting the national discussion.
***
entitlement
noun
1. the act of entitling.
2. the state of being entitled.
3. the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as Social Security or unemployment compensation.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 10:53 am
Thanks, my friend. The problem is that the word "Entitlement" was cooked up for use by the Tbagggers and Republicans to describe people's "Earned Benefits", just to turn their people against a segment of society who have already worked their years and paid into SS and Medicare and now are receiving the Benefits they paid for. They are not free. The Rs and TPs cannot stand to see the sick, the disabled, the seniors, the students, the single moms, the retired, or anyone not them, to receive any benefits at all. They'd rather we all be out begging in the streets for what we have spent our lives earning, and those who were not able to do so because of disabilities or illness. They are a bunch of selfish a$$es, who cannot stand it that THEY don't have ALL the money.
 

Roseann D. (178)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 10:57 am
Calling them Entitlements is inaccurate since we've EARNED that money and it's set aside for our futures. Now if you want to talk Entitlements, let's take a look at GOP paychecks...what have they done to EARN their money over the past decade?
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 10:58 am
It all comes down to the "I've got MINE....not SCREW YOU" attitude demonstrated so ably by the Republicans in our past election.

The Constitution talks about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Are those "entitlements?" How about breathing? Or...how about breathing clean air? Are THOSE entitlements?

 

SuSanne P. (181)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 11:18 am
Thank you Kit, although this is just so WRONG. After viewing the actual Uncle Sam Billboard "No Mexican Olympic Teams...All The Runners and Swimmers are Here" I can't even imagine the Hate that has been confusing everyone for so many years. Pam you always impress me with your short and concise words..."The Constitution talks about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." "Are those "entitlements?" "How about breathing? Or...how about breathing clean air? Are THOSE entitlements?"
Many feel that way...How pathetic our Gr$$dy politicians are... WE THE PEOPLE is WE the 1%
 

Nancy M. (201)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 12:03 pm
"TPM recently reported on conservative columnist Matthew Vadum, who suggested that registering poor people to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. I smell a meme."

WOW. Such hatred from people.

And the comments here. Not wanting to give away a used refrigerator?

The "right" jas become so demented, they seem to get worse every day.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 12:06 pm
Clicked on of the links in your article Kit, about the billboard, and found another very interesting article. Here it is about the man who put up the billboard:

""If he graduated, he would have been drafted. He quit early so he could get a deferment, and he farmed instead of going into the service." Like many of his politically like-minded brethren, Hamilton couldn't be troubled to bother actually going to war, despite the fact that later in life he had plenty to say about those who didn't "support" the troops. By not graduating, he apparently continued to seek academic deferments, a favorite of the next generation of conservatives to dodge the draft during Vietnam (Vice President Dick Cheney receivied five)."

Even back in WWII, there were people getting out of going? WOW.
 

Tamara Noforwardsplz (185)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 12:56 pm
Hate begets hate and so on...."You reap what you sow". Is that an entitlement too?
 

Jae A. (323)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 1:02 pm
Ditto to all that Pam W said first off.

That being said...all great comments and green stars plus applause worthy so far. Thanks kit for sharing.

Fortunately for the nation the Teabagger Klans anti-American...ProRacism ...ran out of influence long before the last election...that became clear when the GOP didn't pick any of their favorite guano extremist morons to run against Obama. Their end will come with their last yelps of hate and hyprocracy as they are pushed back into their pits of misery...all the signs of that are currenlty very noticable, not only on care2 but most sites where political catagories are their focus but within even Republican media...except those of the Murdock insanitea chain...

Later in the month we will be reading their hyped titles of how the left have declaired war on Christmas...again...but by early Jan. it will be back to 'entitlements'....but without their mentioning of Corporate Entitlements they are so supportive of.........

Geee Fricken wizzzzzzzzz...and pass the biscuts please. It's time for some comfort food ..enough of their poisonous snack trays and Teabagger Klan Koolaid....better known as.... rightwing politicans and their rethoric.

IN closing...I repeat...Ditto to all that Pam W. said above.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 1:04 pm


My own thoughts on entitlements is simple. Should I decide I want to pay for something and then I do that, then that item is something that I am entitled to own. I like most of America paid for Social Security and Medicare, that Congress has over the years abused their privileges and in turn abused and misused those funds is not the fault of those who paid in good faith. I can not in good conscience allow this discussion about "entitlements" to become yet another national discussion about those who wish to abuse the system.

Thanks for reading the article and leaving your thoughts, if I can send green stars I do.
 

Angelika R. (146)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 1:32 pm
When I read it for the first time I also stumbled upon that word, it sure is not the best choice for what it stands for in this context. In German we simply say SOZIALLEISTUNGEN (social benefits)
In my view your term points more towards the recipient (is why there can be so much nasty interpretation) while ours expresses more the givers side. (less inviting to twist and smear)
Also, the word LEISTUNGEN stands for both sides, i.e. what s.o. ows you or has to serve you with and also your own merits and achievements.
One way to prevent such dirty games and abuse for politics.
 

Angelika R. (146)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 1:39 pm
Kit-how couls Congress abuse and misuse those funds that americas paid for SS? I thought they cannot be touched as they go to a treasury fund? Are you saying they helped themselves taking from that money?? Now THAT would be criminal in my view.-?
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 2:09 pm

Maybe that is just more of the many "legends" about Social Security, though there have been reports of the Congress dipping into the Social Security and Medicare funds to finance secret operations for many years. This group that more clearly defines how SS is invested says that is not true. Thanks Angelika for making me back track and correct myself.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3299

 

Angelika R. (146)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 3:08 pm
Alright Kit, that sounds good. And they confirm that media has contributed to that "legend".
"The U.S. government has never defaulted on its obligations, and investors consider U.S. government securities to be one of the world’s safest investments." so no sweating there.
 

Gloria picchetti (287)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 3:41 pm
I don't care what you call Social Security but the fact is I worked for it & don't touch it.
 

Yvonne White (231)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 4:10 pm
As a Baby Boomer & an American I feel ENTITLED to Every Right & EVERY Guaranteed benefit that I was Educated to Know was mine! Obviously politics has Down-graded my expectations Somewhat, but what I have known can't be "un-known" as Easily as the young can simply be left Uneducated..so it will be a L-o-n-g time before politicians can Safely screw over the aging masses!;) Or am I alone in this thinking? Gotta find that Gray Panthers recruitment letter..;)
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 4:56 pm
I believe what Kit is trying to say is that the word "entitlements" in our country has gotten a bad name. People in America are receiving medicare who have never paid a dime into it. People in America are also receiving social security who have never paid a dime into it. These people feel entitled to receive these benefits even though unlike many Americans who have paid into it they have not paid into it. So, those who haven't paid into anything feel "entitled" to receive the same benefits as people who have paid into it.

Don't get me started on the illegals who are also receiving social security and medicare who haven't paid a dime into it.

For me personally, I hope I never have to take social security. But, the government tells me I have to start taking it at age 68 or 69. The government also says that I must go on medicare at age 65 when I actually want to keep my private insurance carrier. In fact, I would like it just fine never to have to go on medicare. Save that for the people who need it. Millions of Americans don't want medicare. They can afford private insurance. See how screwed up the system is? If medicare would just allow only those who need to go on medicare apply for it and leave the rest of us alone just think how that would reduce the cost of medicare! But our government insists that all Americans must go on medicare at age 65. And now we have ObamaCare....how lucky can we be? Not only can we not have excellent healthcare that we can afford to pay for it but we must now be told which procedures we can have and which ones we can't because ObamaCare won't allow it. See how ridiculous this is? Leave Americans who can afford private health care alone and lighten the burden on the taxpayers. But, no, that's not the way it works.
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 4:58 pm
Regarding medicare, I don't even care that I paid into medicare. I simply don't want to be on it. So, keep my money and spend it on one of those Americans who have never paid a dime into it and leave me alone.
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 5:15 pm
Same with ObamaCare....I want no part of it. I just want the government to leave me alone and let me decide for myself what I feel is best for me. If our country embraced this mentality that millions of Americans don't want to go on a government controlled healthcare plan and can afford to pay for their own private insurance would that no lesson the financial overburden the already overburdens medical expenses facing the taxpayers today? The only way out as I see it is to invest yearly in concierge medicine which is an upcoming option for many Americans. Primary care doctors in this system will continue to see their patients who are forced on medicare whether they need it or not because of the annual fee that is paid to them which pays them what they deserve to be paid for seeing patients. These concierge doctors are dropping down from 2,000 patients a year to 600 patients a year. Finally, the upper tier physicians have found a way to be compensated adequately for the work they do for paying patients instead of what the government/Obamacare tells them they are worth.

Works for me.
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 5:26 pm
There's always a way to outfox the fox. Concierge medicine is doing just that. They have an enrollment period. Only those who pay the fee will see their preferred physician. This gives the physicians the extra compensation they deserve. Why is this important? Because the physicians do not want to be over run with medicare and medicaid patients because the government pays them $20.00 for a visit when they can get $50 to $60 a visit from a paying patient. None of us can blame the physicians. They easily spent well over $200,000 for their medical education and the government expects them to be satisfied with being paid substandard costs? It doesn't work that way in our country. The best physicians are invited into the "concierge medicine" concept. They will be in a position to refer their patients to the "best" doctors when the need arises.

What I love about America is that innovation begins here and this is a very good example. The government hates it I am sure but Americans will always resist being controlled by the government. And, that's a good thing. Obamacare should be for those Americans who need it and hopefully with millions of Americans opting for the concierge route it will enable ObamaCare or medicare/medicaid to have the flexibility to offer better care for those enrolled in it. I call it a win/win.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 5:34 pm
TU Kit. Are bribes considered entitlements I wonder...
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 5:41 pm

Most probably Armand, some consider bribes their proper remuneration for being in a given position,say Congress for one.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 5:42 pm

I am certain that Ayn Rand never expected to be dependent on Social Security and Medicare, and yet, she was.
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 5:50 pm
None of us should be forced to go on Medicare, Kit. Yes, we paid into it but we don't want to have to go on it. Give what we paid into it to those who have never paid into it. It lifts the burden of the escalating costs of medicare to the taxpayers. No, I'm not the 1%. I'm a middle class American who has charted my life course to be personally responsible for what I want in what I consider a quality lifestyle. I'm willing to give what I paid into medicare to someone else who needs it. I not only do not need it I don't want it shoved down my throat. I'll happily give it to someone who actually needs it.

What is your response, Kit? I'm sure it will be good.
 

Angelika R. (146)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 5:55 pm
and she had no shame accepting it? Wow
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:06 pm
What is not being said here is that the majority of Americans have excellent credit, have paid off their mortgages, have money in savings and retirement investment accounts. Yes, we have paid into social security although we know it was always the worst investment anyone can make financially but we paid into it knowing full well there was no way in hell we could live on one check.

When Obama stepped in during the mortgage meltdown and tampered with the natural recovery of the real estate market he was wrong to do so. What he didn't understand that millions of Americans had the credit and money to step in and buy up the foreclosures in record time. However, once he tampered with that natural recovery by realigning mortgages which was responsible for months of red tape meanwhile the values were continuing to drop, Americans stepped aside. Why on this earth would anyone lock into a foreclosure tied up for four months when the value was going to drop another $30,000.00 stay seated at the table? That's how incompetent Obama is. He needed to stay out of the fray but he had something he wanted to prove and unfortunately the only thing he proved was that he didn't know what the hell he was doing. Sadly, the foreclosures sat and sat and sat. Everyone lost on that deal....the banks, the mortgage companies, Americans who would've helped the economy by buying up foreclosures.....what a circus Obama created. And now millions of Americans are still under water because Obama stopped the natural recovery of the real estate market. We've had recessions in America since 1948. Some of you who may be interested should read the study on those recessions. I researched it. I read it. Most recessions in America recovered in 14 months real estate driven and real estate corrected. The subprime debacle presented a different "twist" but Americans with excellent credit could've solved this problem if only Obama had stepped out of the way. Obama gave new meaning to "enhancing a deep recession."
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:16 pm

No, Angelika she had no shame. She was still selling her drivel as her own delusional facts, even while taking both Social Security and Medicare.

And the depression of 1873? How fast was that recovery? How many died of starvation when there was no government intervention?
 

John C. (79)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:22 pm
So happy to do so, and thank you for your contribution! Please feel obliged to do the same.
I cannot see how social security can be insolvent. Illegals must pay in if they work and will never be able to collect. I have paid in all my life and conservative people say the same thing to me. Excuse me but there is a problem here.
I only have to count the Ferrari's to see where the problem with that program is.
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:26 pm
Kit, you can hardly compare 1873 to what is going on today. That was way back then and this is now. The world has changed in case you haven't noticed. People died of starvation because there was no government money to make it better. Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged saying that capitalist gave up on society because innovation and hard work were not rewarded by society.
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:29 pm
John, if I'm arguing with someone who is counting Ferrari's I'm arguing with somebody whose concentrating not just the top 1% but the top .03%. Don't be ridiculous, John. The wealth producers of this country don't own Ferrari's. The wealth producers of this country own Cadillacs. when the earn them. The Ferrari owners are Hollywood moguls who get their own tax breaks to keep California economy going on a bandaid.
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:30 pm
typo: Who is concentrating...
 

Roseann D. (178)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:36 pm
The 1% has their own Entitlement program : BushCo tax cuts. From what I've seen, rather than creating jobs, they used close to 1 Trillion in tax cuts to fund defeating Obama and other candidates they disagreed with. Yet, another great reason to end the Bush Tax cuts.
 

Cam V. (417)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:55 pm
We are entitled to what we earn in life. We are entitled to help IF we need it and in some cases that help must be given to members of our society for life. But for most it should NEVER become a lifestyle and yet in America, with the increase in your entitlements under this current administration it will become a problem for you. You cannot possibly have fifty percent of your population supporting the other fifty percent yet you are almost there.

If the Bush tax cuts end - end them on everyone. Go ahead and see how that will further erode your middle class. Go ahead - increase it on the rich. That will pay the interest on the money you owe China for a few weeks but then what? It does not address the bottom line which is a government out of control with the spending.

BTW we never pay as much into SS etc. as we get back. When those programs were first set up our life expectancy was not as high as it is today. We are living longer so really shoud contribute more. Here in Canada our retirement age is now raised to 67. It helps .....
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 6:55 pm
Roseann, your comments are getting worse by the minute. Unemployment under George W. Bush was as low as the 5% range. Whatever are you talking about, Roseanne?

Are you referring to going back to when Clinton was president? When we let the Bush tax cuts expire we simply go back to when Clinton was president. In other words, it was a reprieve from the Clinton era? No big deal. Let them go back. I don't have a problem with that and I bet the majority of Americans don't care either.

I love this quote: "But there is yet another area where the Bush tax cuts fail even more spectacularly. President Bush—having inherited a record surplus from President Clinton—promised in 2001 that his tax cuts would not harm the overall federal budget picture. Bush argued in selling his huge tax cuts that, “I know a lot of folks around America are worried about national debt, as am I. We [will] pay down $2 trillion of debt over the next 10 years.” Not only that, said Bush, but, “We’ve got a trillion dollars of contingency set aside over the next 10 years. And there’s still money left over. There’s still money left over.”

The reason I love this quote is because President Slick Willy Clinton, who was impeached for lying under oath about his affair, in OUR Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky, took money OUT of social security to show this SURPLUS and let IOU's in its place. Honestly, it would be better if you could make this stuff up but we can't. Bill Clinton is a piece of work.
 

Roseann D. (178)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 7:06 pm
Worse...Aka in Diane speak.. That means Ive nailed her butt to the wall. Apparently Diane has an extreme case of delusional amnesia...luckily, the bureau of labor statistics show just how woefully wrong you are Diane.. As you can see, by Dec 2008 under Dubya, unemployment was at 7.3 and contined to freefall from his failed policies once Obama took over. It takes awhile to recover from such a nosedive. Sorry sweetie, you are wrong, as usual. http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000
 

Roseann D. (178)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 7:13 pm
It would be great Diane if you could post links to credible sources like I've just done. Taking your word for it just doesn't cut it without proof of your statements. Thanks for accommodating and understanding.
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 7:19 pm
LOL....Roseann....is that your tongue in your cheek? :-)
 

Lin Penrose (92)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 7:40 pm
Thanks Kit, noted, I think & hope. Changing the 'entitlements' arena from some of we 'senior citizen' suck-ups and we tax-payers (47%), to the multitude of ways the military and resource acquisitions (of other countries and the U.S.A resources) has drained this country's economy with an 'entitlement' frame of many minds. The comparisons of costs with all the variables is hilarious and awful. The description "entitlement" seems to be in the minds of the beholder, giver and taker.

Regarding Ayn Rand: Reading her books at my impressionable, mentally & intellectually hungry age of 21, she gave me the first glimmer of a strong female overcoming male dominance in the world. She gave me the first hint that I, as a female, was worth more than I had been lead to believe were my limitations. I don't and didn't then, like the business, financial, and political voracity portrayed, though found it true . However, her books and characters gave me some important parameters. Surely many of you have read or found people, readings, or experiences that have profoundly changed your lives. Ayn Rand, along with Rachel Carson and so many other extraordinary persons changed mine.

I am partially dependent on Social Security that was taken by our government, out of every paycheck in my earning life, from both my employer and self. Medicare was also taken by our government. Should I feel shame to get back some of what I earned and my employers were forced to pay for those purposes?

I'm fairly sure that our government played many different games with the $ paid in, with many different players. I'm also fairly sure the government(s) felt "Entitled" to use that play (tax payers for a couple of hundred years) money in any way it (they) felt it could be used. Entitlement - ?



 

Susanne R. (249)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 10:38 pm
Corporate Entitlements: Good for Business?

Corporations are going to take all the deductions they can. That’s just good business. But is it good policy?

Corporations are not the bad guys: but continuing policies that encourage them to underfund their obligations to their country is stupid and dangerous. Corporations, like the individuals who have paid into their pensions and retirements over their lifetimes, will take from the government what the tax code entitles them to.

But corporate entitlements are a vast array of items. Unlike an easily quantified line item like social security, Medicare or Medicaid, corporate programs are spread through tax breaks, tax credits, deductions, grants and more. Calling it a patchwork is an understatement. It’s a Rubik’s cube: those who can fit the pieces together win, providing millions for attorneys, lobbyists and auditors, not innovation.

To continue reading this article: Corporate Entitlements: Good for Business?

I don't think that any "one person" has the right to speak on behalf of "Uncle Sam." The farmer who leads others to believe that HIS opinions are valid because they're displayed on billboards with the likeness of Uncle Sam is making the poor old man who symbolizes our country appear to be a dim-wit. As an American, I find that insulting.
 

Carrie B. (304)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:20 am
I am still trying to figure out where Diane obtains her false information. Must be from Faux Noise, Hot Air, Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck. Thank you Kit for an excellent post!
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 5:42 am
"We are entitled to what we earn in life. We are entitled to help IF we need it and in some cases that help must be given to members of our society for life."

Exactly Cam. I have earned some amount of salary in my life and I have paid into SS and Medocare. Thus, if I get there, I will use it. If it gets to a point where I need to use Medicare, I will. BECAUSE I"VE EARNED IT.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 5:58 am
" Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged saying that capitalist gave up on society because innovation and hard work were not rewarded by society."

She was writing about the socialism of Russia, where she was from. It was not about capitalism.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 6:14 am
"Regarding Ayn Rand: Reading her books at my impressionable, mentally & intellectually hungry age of 21, she gave me the first glimmer of a strong female overcoming male dominance in the world."

I agree to some extent Lin. You read her books and initially there are good points. Work hard, take care of your self, etc. I expect that everyone on this thread has done just that. Then she takes it to an extreme which is twisted and totally unrealistic. I laugh through the last third of each.
 

John Gregoire (257)
Monday November 26, 2012, 6:44 am
Something earned or saved is hardly an entitlement!
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Monday November 26, 2012, 7:24 am
If you really want an example of entitlement and privilege then look no further than the two party system of the USA; a country I happen to like. Here is a can do nation hampered by a do nothing partisan political system. Reagan began the cycle the US finds itself in now. In fact he almost bankrupted the nation with his bankrupt the Evil Empire obsession. I don't understand how he can be held up as a pillory of successful leadership. He was a IMF/WCB stooge just like Clinton and everybody else since Woodrow Wilson. Globalization and outsourcing came to fruition under Clinton who blatantly told the American public on national TV that is was going to happen. Don't even get me started on putting US troops under UN command during the Somalia fiasco. That was to save European face for failing so badly in the Balkans and the US having to bail them out. Pride goes before a fall says the proverb. The problem is that in order to bring about change you need to drastically overhaul the system. Governing should be about the issues facing the nation and the world - not someone's bipartisan ego in order to serve the multicorporations and the financiers just a little bit better by bending John and Jane Q Public a little further over the sawhorse.
The two idioms "the one with the most toys wins" and the "narcissistic generation - it's all about me" that personify entitlement and privilege need to be dispelled and the ugly reality brought home to enlighten them.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 7:28 am
Great comment. While I don't necessarily agree with every detail, I do agree that it started with Reagan.

 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 9:30 am

Those 47%: They Do Pay Their Share of Taxes:

When people are poor (making minimum wage) or unemployed or students or retired or disabled, maybe they don’t pay very much in federal income taxes. But they pay the following other taxes:

Payroll taxes, including Social Security and Medicare (if they have a job).

State sales taxes (if they buy things in stores).

Local property taxes (either because they own a house or because they pay more in rent so the landlord can pay property taxes).

Excise taxes on things like gasoline.

Taxes and fees on drivers’ licenses, telephones (both land lines and cell phones), cable TV, permits for doing things, etc.

Almost all of those other taxes are regressive, meaning poor people pay a bigger percentage of their income on taxes than rich people do.

For factual and truthful information about Social Security and who can collect or when see the government web-site, or call the area Social Security office. If you have not paid into Social Security but are permanently disabled, once that disability is verified you may collect a minimum amount which barely covers the basic needs for survival. In that situation you may also be eligible for Medicaid.

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10127.html
***
I have read the "founding father" if you will, of corporate economy, Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations" who even then could see that if the government did not keep a tight reign on corporations in the form of regulations, than the corporations would destroy themselves and the government.

I have read all of Ayn Rand's books both fiction and non-fiction. In that idealized world, only those who own the mega-businesses are the heroes and the mere worker should have no voice, only deep gratitude toward the owner. Those books, with their larger than life super characters and minimized workers, do not look to the real life situations for workers. In a democratic society it is our firm belief and constitutional right to organize for our own benefit, demand fair pay for a fair day's work and take those demands to the authority best able to assist in that reach for fair treatment.

The depression of 1873 was the model of a do-nothing government and the motivational reasoning behind government to begin to institute policies to prevent the people from starving. When those in charge have their own manipulations back-fire, the people in the lower working class should not pay with their life because greed was allowed to dominate the economy.
 

Craig Pittman (45)
Monday November 26, 2012, 11:29 am
Another excellent article thanks Kit. There are a great many things we feel we are entitled to. One of them is certainly the natural resources from other countries. Another is infrastructure including water and sewage treatment, electricity and communications A lot of these entitlements we take for granted. Many developed countries have universal health care where all citizens are entitled to the same quality health-care. There are many countries where its citizens are not entitled to a safe source of drinking water. I for one believe that in this wealthy nation we are all entitled to make a living wage. Some of the richest corporations in the world like Walmart and MacDonalds to name just two obviously disagree.
Many of us sometimes are quick to criticize the sense of entitlement of others but most of us here feel entitled living pretty high on the hog compared to a major portion of the earth's population and we do so at the cost of the environment of the workers in third world countries. One could reference here the horrible fire in the garment factory yesterday in Bangladesh.
I think everyone on earth is entitled but perhaps the entitlement could be spread around more equitably.
 

Gene Jacobson (246)
Monday November 26, 2012, 12:17 pm
"Clearly the sign is the handiwork of an ignoramus, but it touches on something that's been bothering me for a while. Many Americans don't understand the term "entitlements." Anyone hoping to preserve the social safety net should avoid the word, which makes Social Security and Medicare sound like frivolous handouts to undeserving snots. The fact that anti-poverty measures like food stamps are also referred to as entitlement programs only adds to the confusion, not that denying voting rights to poor people is any less reprehensible."

Lots of great comments here. But a lot of obfuscation as well. Since these programs were begun, Congress has been borrowing against them, virtually immediately, leaving iou's in place of the money they used for pet projects. Since most of that time Congress was firmly in Democratic hands, we must admit to our complicity in this, at least to the complicity of our predecessors. The real problem is what the paragraph I quoted takes on. People simply don't understand the term. You are entitled to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness by our constitution, you are not guaranteed any of them. You are entitled to the fruits of your labor and this is the category into which Social Security and Medicare fall - you have contributed to them all of your working life. Part of the problem is the artificial caps on contributions, part of the problem is previous Congresses having essentially raided the cookie jar and part of the problem is that those who have more than they need see Social Security and Medicare as "gifts" to which people are not entitled. We have these two programs mixed up with "welfare" which is an entirely different component of the social safety net and which exists so that children need not suffer because of the failings of their parents, legally or morally. If the right to life is a constitutionally granted right, and it is, then it follows that under that same constitution allowing children to starve or be without medical care because of their parents failings or hardships is also unconstitutional. Which is why welfare programs exist at all. But neither social security nor medicare are welfare programs because they are programs to which the recipient has contributed all of his or her working life, in the case of homemakers who draw based on their husband or wife's contributions, we have as a society deemed their homemaking an essential part of our society as well. These two programs must be separated out from the discussion on entitlements because they are not in any way unearned.

The secondary thread here in the discussion is ending the Bush tax cuts for those making more than 250,000 per year. The argument against allowing them to expire is painfully simplistic and inadequate. These are the job creators and allowing those cuts to expire will harm the economy. Well, they have been in place for more than 10 years so where are all those jobs that were created hiding? China? The Caymans? They certainly haven't had the intended affect here of job growth or we wouldn't have an unemployment rate of 8%. So why would keeping them in place create jobs now when no jobs were created in the first 10 plus years? What happened is the rich got richer - the gap between the richest and poorest is the widest it has ever been, so someone certainly benefited, but it was not the middle class. So, how does doing more of the same and expecting different results fit into this discussion? That is the definition of insanity, you know. We've been down this road, it did not work. So now we try something else. Keep the tax cuts for the middle class and raise revenues by letting them expire for upper crust. It isn't like that will actually hurt them, cost them a house or a Paris birthday trip or anything. It is the middle class who create jobs and for them the tax cuts should remain. We can quibble about what the top rate should be, it certainly will never approach what it was pre-Reagan - though that rate certainly did not dissuade anyone from working as with that rate we became the dominant industrial power in the world. That is what we should be focused on now regaining our status industrially, educationally and innovatively. If we are going to give tax credits for business, let them be given for new and innovative, green, processes that contribute to the greater good, not for continuing the practices that have the world on the brink of ecological and environmental disaster. We are a creative people, we always have been, we can resolve these issues if we can set ideology and partisanship aside and work on them together as Americans dedicated to improving the quality of life for all of our citizens and in the doing the rest of the world as well. Why not become again a great exporter of goods, services and ideas not weapons? Why not contribute to the greater good with our foreign aid dollars by exporting technologies and medicines and food to nations in desperate need. No nation desperately needs armaments, but many do need economic help. Why not be a beacon of hope once more for the world rather than a homing beacon for missiles? I think we'd make more friends than enemies if we SAW more friends than enemies out there in the world at large. We need new approaches here at home and out there in the rest of the world. That should be the work we are about right now. If it were, well, who would have reason to hate us? If we come in peace and spread freedom, only despots need fear us. And they should. The rest of the world will experience us as ambassadors of good will. We need this new beginning. I think the world does too.

 

Past Member (0)
Monday November 26, 2012, 12:17 pm
That shows the right wing insanity to a tee. Imagine if they took the first step to shun the liars. We'd be on our way to full sanity!
 

Past Member (0)
Monday November 26, 2012, 12:22 pm
Oh, btw! We pay for this insurance. The proper word is benefits. A payment made by an insurance company. In this case, the very low overhead, federal government.

The right pits all of us against each other with pure bull sh*t. Half of us drink their kool aid. Half battle against them. HELLO!
 

Past Member (0)
Monday November 26, 2012, 12:29 pm
"Regarding medicare, I don't even care that I paid into medicare. I simply don't want to be on it. So, keep my money and spend it on one of those Americans who have never paid a dime into it and leave me alone."

There it is! Pissy Diane is part of the 1% and doesn't need our system. We're all pee ons to her. Glad we got that straightened out.

Every time I read her BS, it's the fox lies. It would take hours and hours to correct her. She doesn't want or need to be corrected in her little calloused mind. She's set for life!

Who wants to wager, she'll cash every one of those SS checks... Maybe she never had to work a day in her life. She just cooks. What scum!
 

Gloria picchetti (287)
Monday November 26, 2012, 12:30 pm
When Boehner says we need to do something about entitlements I want to tell him to get a job & pay for his own insurance & retirement.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday November 26, 2012, 12:32 pm
I know really poor people that can't pay into medicare because of the massive job loss started by GW Bush (mabus) tax policies in 2007. It did NOT start in 2008. Nor could it even be entertained that Obama started it. That's just plain stupid. Diane!
 

Mary Donnelly (47)
Monday November 26, 2012, 12:33 pm
Thanks Kit. I like the comments better than the post.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday November 26, 2012, 12:52 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week

Bless all of the honest, informed people on Care2. You will all be rewarded after this life. As for the greedy. I wouldn't want to be YOU.
 

Roseann D. (178)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:01 pm
;-d Pam W... Well we know Diane's Achilles Heel. Post links to credible sources like statistics to blow her absurd claims out of the water. God, that woman is so full of Bullpuckey... It's like tip-toeing through a cow paddy corral.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:03 pm

I am woefully out of green stars but so many here did try to offer their own insights to progress and not regress the discussion so I send my thank you to: Arielle, Barbara K, Pam W, SuSanne, Nancy M, Roseanna, Jae, Tamara H, Angelika, Gloria P, Armand, John C, Lin Penrose, John Gregorie, Theodore S, Craig P, Gene J, Mary D, Susanne R, Carrie B.....If I missed one just know that I do thank you for making a positive contribution.

Should there be lingering questions about Social Security then do please go directly to their web-site or the site for the CBO, any one of many factual sites offered by both the government and many fact checking annalists. The fiscal cliff, curb, hill or what ever cute name is in the current vernacular is also discussed on the CBO site. Think, do your research and then double check all things.
 

Roseann D. (178)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:12 pm
All those Ayn Rand comments above, one thing I would like to know...Did she write her books before,during, or after she was on welfare?
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:23 pm

Ayn Rand's last publication in her pen name was in 1979. In her real name Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, she was on the Social Security and Medicare relief programs. There is also some suggestion that may have "double dipped. From an article in Huffington post:

An interview with Evva Pryror, a social worker and consultant to Miss Rand's law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified that on Miss Rand's behalf she secured Rand's Social Security and Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O'Connor (husband Frank O'Connor).

As Pryor said, "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out" without the aid of these two government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn "despised government interference and felt that people should and could live independently... She didn't feel that an individual should take help."

But alas she did and said it was wrong for everyone else to do so. Apart from the strong implication that those who take the help are morally weak, it is also a philosophic point that such help dulls the will to work, to save and government assistance is said to dull the entrepreneurial spirit.

There are other publications that show they were written with her assistance or cooperation almost until her death.

I hope this helps answer your question, Roseanna.
 

David Menard (43)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:27 pm
Benefits I pay for with MY tax dollars are not an entightelment
 

Yvonne White (231)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:42 pm
My uncle's girl friend (they live in Texas) didn't enroll in Medicare when she could have - you Don't Have to pay into or collect from Medicare...She was certain Medicare was a rip-off & she could just save the money..but it only took one bad bout of pneumonia that she had to pay All of expenses for hospital & testing & prescriptions for her to decide Maybe it would've been smarter to have Medicare (especially since "real Insurance" was so freakin' high at her Age & a smoker!).. so good luck to everyone who believes they don't need Medicare & Never will.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:53 pm
Angelika
Is it true the average German factory wage is $54 an hour? How wonderful!
 

Cam V. (417)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:55 pm
That 47% does not pay into your Federal Income Tax program directly and BTW that number is almost fifty percent now Kit.

Nancy, my point is we need to pay MORE into those entitlement programs. When they were first brought in as I said our life expectations were a lot shorter than they are today. Here in Canada this had created a huge problem for us. We are about to enter an era where there are more of us here retired and not working than there are people actually working and propping our program up.

When I said we raised the retirement age to 67 - that is the age you can now apply and start receiving your government benefits with no penalty. We actually DO NOT have a mandatory retirement age anymore. If you turn 67 and do not work for something like 30 days before and or after you turn 67 you can start recieving the benfits. Once you get them you can also return to work if you like with no penalty.

BTW Clinton did borrow from the SS Security fund and left it bankrupt and he was not the first President to do that. Do your own research and you will find it is true. In Canada my government is banned from borrowing from that fund but it still will not be enough to pay for all of us at some point in time.
 

Cam V. (417)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:57 pm
Why do you folks keep bringing up that Rand woman? I am just curious to know why?
 

Cam V. (417)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:58 pm
.... I should have added I know who she is and what she is about .... I just do not understand what she has to do with anything.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:58 pm
Rand- because some on the right worship her Cam. YOu ought to try her sometime.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:00 pm
"Nancy, my point is we need to pay MORE into those entitlement programs."

I am not sure exactly what you mean by this but there is one good way to bring in more into the SS program here. And that is the raise the cap. How many here know that once you reach a certain level of income in a year, you no longer pay in.

And yes, our age to get SS has been raised as well.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:03 pm
"For me personally, I hope I never have to take social security. But, the government tells me I have to start taking it at age 68 or 69." Diane

Actually Diane, you don't have to take it. Not at all. I know people with a great deal fo money who have refused to take it. If you feel you have enough- then go for it.

And actually you can wait till the age of 70. If you do, what you reeceive each month will be higher than if you take it earlier.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:04 pm
And actually Diane, I know that there are elderly now who are not on medicare either. If your company allows you to take insurance on into retirement, then do it.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:13 pm

We do pay far more each year into both Social Security and Medicare, and many feel that the highest income brackets should also pay into these programs. No one plans to have to use them, but none of us has any clue to what the future may hold. Both my husband and myself paid all of our working years into what is called Optional Retirement Plans - ORP's but I made the choice to also pay into Social Security and Medicare. Good thing I did as those monies in "investments" (what a joke) were all but destroyed by the mess and juggling with money by the banks and Wall Street gang. While your Diane seems to think that anyone who lost money was stupid, most people that lost money were not stupid, they made the mistake of believing that neither the state or company that held their pensions would be so careless. Then again, is it really careless or simply naive to believe that system we believe is the BEST of all possible systems was rigged against us?

Please Cam - you know exactly why Ayn Rand slips into these conversations.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:18 pm
ANd in fact, it is the people managing the programs such as your Optional Retirement Plans that were the ones who messed up, not you Kit.
 

Gloria Morotti (14)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:28 pm
Thanks.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:31 pm

It was indeed. Though universities and school districts all over the country were persuaded and induced to invest in these scams by the same hucksters that are still out there doing the same things all over again. I do have some money in very safe investments.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:35 pm
The same thing with the mismanagement of all these companies. They love to blame the workers and yet they still get bonuses for ruining the company.
 

Roseann D. (178)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:47 pm
Cam, depending on your career path, working until 67 is not a viable option for some professions...roofers, movers, jobs, that require precision and a steady hand, and other physically demanding jobs. Changing professions is not easy...downgraded pay, higher health costs at later ages, and additional living expenses. Retraining? Well, that costs time and money and physical stamina...Considering how the GOP wants to cut grants and loans, that's not always a viable option either. Plus, there is the trend that many companies prefer to hire younger workers that they can mold and pay less than more experienced workers.


As it is, statistics show it's harder for workers to find employment over the age of 50. Has that trend changed in Canada since you've raised your age requirement? Also don't buy the life expectancy myth. The top 1% and people who have great healthcare plans tend to live longer, but people who haven't been able to afford healthcare, their life expectancy has actually decreased.

Ayn Rand...it was in response to the comments mentioning her...And since the topic is Entitlements...it was pointing out that even though she disdained Entitlements, she had no problem collecting them for herself when she wanted or needed them, making her a Hypocrite.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 2:52 pm

Ah, yes it all the fault of the workers, the factory workers, the workers at the many Big Box stores that have all but wiped out the local competition, the workers that teach your children, put out your fires, the police and on and on the sad story goes. With out those workers there would be no US or any other country on the planet.

Obviously Cam, you do lack an understanding of pay roll taxes and income taxes and who is paying what. Do not think for a single moment that those 47% or even 50% are not the backbone of this and your country. Without the low paid, poorly respected workers, nothing would be built there would be no infrastructure.
We do pay taxes, and we do pay for Social Security and Medicare, and all of us together do want this country to be successful, for all the people not just a few people.
 

Dave C. (213)
Monday November 26, 2012, 3:18 pm
thanks, Kit, good post.......
 

Tom Edgar (56)
Monday November 26, 2012, 3:42 pm
I've said it before, but trying not to be a bore. Those who brag about their ability to insure their lives and do not wish others to have a decent health care system, because they have never been earning enough, primarily because of the abysmal wage system & working conditions prevailing in America, The general prevailing attitude of these so unchristian people is epitomised in a saying we mariners of WW 2 had when gaining sanctuary on a raft or lifeboat. "Up you Jack I'm inboard."

Additionally I add. Don't be so sure that your insurers will pay out when you most need it. They could refuse or even be non existent . Some Companies have already gone into liquidation with the Principals disappearing, along with the funds. As my Insurance Company Executive friend said. "We'll loan you an umbrella, but when it rains heavily we want it back."

Roseann D.. Ayn Rand wasn't the only hypocrite. The Government and the Churches are full of such people.
Newt Gingrich and the Bakkers spring readily to mind. The list is too large to print here. I believe it was the Jesus bloke who said it was the biggest sin of all. He also reckoned on being his brother's keeper too. Some of the other homilies attributed to him are pretty good also, but not too many of the G O P self righteous like to religiously follow in his footsteps, after all he WAS one hell of a Social Justice propagandist.
 

Joseph G. Paquette (1)
Monday November 26, 2012, 3:50 pm
Noted, signed, & twitter entry made
 

Joanne Dixon (36)
Monday November 26, 2012, 4:20 pm
These comments are so great (except of course for the ones that are so awful but which stimulated others into responding in truly great details) that there isn't much to add. I would note that if you want to talk about handling burglary tools to criminals, it sounds like registering CEO's to vote - or possibly registering corporations as people.

We are so used to certain phrases, it's interesting that PBS aired this week an episode of Antiques Roadshow UK that included a brief tour of a Workhouse, one of the ones that Dickens was always (rightly) complaining about. Interesting to see, and interesting to learn they were essentially for the unemployed and disabled. The unemployed were referred to as the "indolent, undeserving poor," and were used to perform hard, physical labor. The disabled got to be called the "deserving poor," but that concession certainly didn't make life easy for them. And, like jails, you couldn't just leave. So this is where we get our concepts of deserving and undeserving poor. Not very pretty.

PS Tom Edgar, you would like my bumper sticker. "You call me liberal, but I'm to the right of Jesus."
 

Angelika R. (146)
Monday November 26, 2012, 5:01 pm
Jason R. (53)
Monday November 26, 2012, 1:53 pm
Angelika
Is it true the average German factory wage is $54 an hour? How wonderful!

HUH, now who suggested THAT? Did i miss something here?
 

donald Baumgartner (4)
Monday November 26, 2012, 5:20 pm
Great article, THanks!!!!
 

Robert Tomlinson (64)
Monday November 26, 2012, 6:41 pm
The real entitlement believers are the defeated republicans. They just cannot accept the fact that they got whipped in November. They act as if they are entitled to the White House and the two houses of congress. I have never seen such a sad case of being able to "dish it out, but can't take it." Some of the GOPers have talked about wining back the House, BUT the dems got hundreds of thousands of votes more than the republicans. They won because of gerrymandering. The irony is that Mr. Romney's comments about the 47% came back to bite him in the worst way. In the final tally......Mitt received 47% of the vote. That had to hurt! Of course, he could not lose gracefully. He talked about the gifts we all received from Obama during the election. I am still waiting for my gift.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 6:46 pm

I dunno, Bob you and I worked very hard on this campaign maybe our gift was an early (VERY early) wrap up on November 6. That was about the best gift I could have asked for. Though Jon Stewart had a funny gift bag.

There's that 47% again, seems to linger around Mister Romney.
 

Cam V. (417)
Monday November 26, 2012, 6:46 pm
No actually, I do not have a clue about that Rand woman. I have heard about her. Tried to find out what she is about but can't make heads or tails out of what it is she stands for so I gave up. Not important enough to me to follow up on her.

 

Susanne R. (249)
Monday November 26, 2012, 6:54 pm
Speaking of entitlements, tonight's 'Ed Show' featured a video clip of bank executive Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, talking about how the middle class is going to have accept the fact that they can't continue to live off Social Security benefits for "30 or more years" after having worked and paid into the program for 25 years. Hmmm... That would mean that the average person, if they retired at the age of 65, would have begun their career at the age of 40. Who buys into that kind of B.S.? When the fact-checking was done, it turned out that the actual statistics were very different from what the lying billionaire was trying to sell us. In reality, most people work for 38+ years and collect Social Security for about 16 years. Do these disgustingly wealthy, morally bankrupt blowhards who are trying to place the blame for the deficit on hard-working Americans really think they're taken at their word? They're trying to avoid having to pay higher taxes! We all know what their word is worth, and we learned that lesson the hard way...

Another good point that was brought up was the type of work that people do. Some jobs are physically punishing, requiring individuals to be on their feet all day, do heavy lifting, perform repetitive motions, and be exposed to dangerous chemicals or breathe contaminated air. Doesn't it make sense that these people will not be able to work for as many years as those who sit at desks? Anyone who thinks otherwise needs a good dose of reality!
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 7:02 pm

Ayn Rand born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum; February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, Rand moved to the United States in 1926. She worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood and had a play produced on Broadway in 1935–1936. After two early novels that were initially less successful, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel The Fountainhead.

In 1957, she published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward she turned to nonfiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own magazines and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982. Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected all forms of faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism, and rejected ethical altruism. In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral and opposed all forms of collectivism and statism, instead supporting laissez-faire capitalism, which she believed was the only social system that protected individual rights. She promoted romantic realism in art. She was sharply critical of the philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her, except Aristotle.

Rand's fiction was poorly received by many literary critics, and academia generally ignored or rejected her philosophy. The Objectivist movement attempts to spread her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings. She has been a significant influence among libertarians and American conservatives.

And.....Back in the late 1920s, as Ayn Rand was working out her philosophy, she became enthralled by a real-life American serial killer, William Edward Hickman, whose gruesome, sadistic dismemberment of 12-year-old girl named Marion Parker in 1927 shocked the nation. Rand filled her early notebooks with worshipful praise of Hickman.-----“Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” she wrote, gushing that Hickman had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.’” (quote from Ayn Rand)

Ayn Rand's Fiction

Novels

We the Living (1936)
Anthem (1938)
The Fountainhead (1943)
Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Other Works

Night of January 16th (originally produced in 1936, published in 1968)
The Early Ayn Rand, edited by Leonard Peikoff (1984)
Three Plays, edited by Richard E. Ralston (2005)

Ayn Rand's Non-Fiction
Non-fiction Books Published in Rand's Lifetime

For the New Intellectual (1961)
The Virtue of Selfishness (1964)
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966)
The Romantic Manifesto (1969)
The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (1971)
Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (1979)

Non-fiction Books Published Posthumously

Philosophy: Who Needs It, edited by Leonard Peikoff (1982)
The Voice of Reason, edited by Leonard Peikoff (1989)
The Ayn Rand Column, edited by Peter Schwartz (1991)
Letters of Ayn Rand, edited by Michael S. Berliner (1995)
Ayn Rand's Marginalia, edited by Robert Mayhew (1995)
Journals of Ayn Rand, edited by David Harriman (1997)
The Ayn Rand Reader, edited by Gary Hull and Leonard Peikoff (1999)
Return of the Primitive, edited by Peter Schwartz (1999)
Russian Writings on Hollywood, edited by Michael S. Berliner, translated by Dina Garmong (1999)
The Art of Fiction, edited by Tore Boeckmann (2000)
The Art of Nonfiction, edited by Robert Mayhew (2001)
The Ayn Rand Sampler (2002)
Ayn Rand Answers, edited by Robert Mayhew (2005)

Now Cam you too can have a working if some what limited knowledge of Ayn Rand. A woman worshiped by some conservatives, and despised by many. She also felt that because she wanted to, it was okay to have an ex-martial affair, he husband's feelings were of no regard to her. Her true champions are none other than Paul Ryan and Rand Paul and others.

I have read her books - all of them.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 7:19 pm

Even if a woman or her husband were to take time off for children at home, (about 10 years) not often possible any longer. No one begins their working life at 40 and works for only 25 years. It is to the overall advantage of society for people to retire at 65 and allow room in the work force for younger people but even if one has accumulated all required 40 credits (1 credit per year) before 65 they cannot begin to collect that money until 65, not without a penalty. Even when they do retire, and many will be faced with this, Social Security is barely enough to live at the poverty level. I worry about those who have lost so much in this round of market maneuvers.

Thanks Susanne for that information from "The Ed Show".
 

Angelika R. (146)
Monday November 26, 2012, 8:17 pm
"Penalty"?? Whaht exactly would that be? So obviously you do NOT have options like early retirement or partial retirement like we have.-?
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 8:25 pm

To remove private funds like an IRA (for one example) there is a 10% tax.

For Social Security the penalty is:

Early Social Security Retirement Vs. Full Social Security Retirement
What Is the Earning Limit Penalty for Someone Drawing Early Social Security Benefits?

History

Full retirement age changed with the 1983 Social Security reform, and the enactment of these changes will continue until those born in 1960 reach full retirement age. Under the reform provisions, workers born from 1945 to 1954 must reach age 66 for full retirement age. Social Security adds two months to full retirement age for every year subsequent to 1954--for example, a worker born in 1955 must be 66 and two months of age to meet full retirement age--up to age 67 for those born in 1960 and later. Since full retirement age advances forward, there are more early retirement years or months under the 1983 reform.

Significance

Early retirement for Social Security purposes can be as early as age 62, and continues until the year you reaches full retirement age, currently 66 or 67. The span between age 62 and full retirement age is 48 months for those born between 1945 and 1954, and is 60 months for those born in 1960. Early retirees are subject to three types of penalties: less income monthly, penalty for work income and taxation of benefits.

Early retirees receive less Social Security income each month than those who wait until their at full retirement age to collect benefits. Social Security bases the calculations on the full retirement age benefits or primary insurance amount, reduced for early retirement. A worker who chooses to collect Social Security benefits at age 62 will receive about 25 percent less than if he waits to full retirement age at 66. Each year in that age group represents 5 to 7 percent, so retirement at age 63 is about 20 percent less than at 66.

Penalty

Social Security imposes a penalty on retirees who continue to work and makes in excess of the allowed income. In 2010, that income threshold is $14,160. The penalty is $1 for every $2 made in excess of the threshold amount for that year. A more lenient penalty applies for months immediately preceding the retiree's birthday in the full retirement year. Social Security recalculates the benefits at full retirement age and adds those working months into the equation.

Taxation

Early retirement often triggers taxation by the Internal Revenue Service. Retirees who have a combined income of more than $25,000 (2009 figure) who file an income tax return individually must pay taxes on part of their Social Security benefits. Those married filing jointly must pay taxes on Social Security benefits if their combined income is in excess of $32,000. Combined income is a special formula just for calculating tax on Social Security benefits. Calculate combined income with the adjusted gross income from your IRS Form 1040 plus non-taxable interest and 50 percent of Social Security benefits. The IRS taxes Social Security benefits by this formula at full retirement age as well.


Read more: Social Security Penalties for Early Retirement | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_7312182_social-security-penalties-early-retirement.html#ixzz2DOTgxapS
 

Wayne W. (12)
Monday November 26, 2012, 8:27 pm
"the government tells me I have to start taking it at age 68 or 69. The government also says that I must go on medicare at age 65 when I actually want to keep my private insurance carrier. In fact, I would like it just fine never to have to go on medicare. Save that for the people who need it. Millions of Americans don't want medicare".

No, Diane, you are incorrect. Collecting SS and MediCare are entirely voluntary. Here's how you refuse to participate:
Terminate enrollment with Medicare Part B
How do I terminate my enrollment with Medicare Part B when I have other health insurance?
http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1499

No one who has not paid into the SS trust fund can collect SS retirement benefits..Illegals pay into the SS Trust Fund but can never collect. It is impossible for Social Security retirement benefits to add to the national debt. Completely eliminating Social Security retirement benefits would not lower the national debt by a dime

.Illegal immigrants pay Social Security tax, won't benefit
http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2017113852_immigtaxes29.html
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 8:29 pm

Thank you, Wayne - very true.
 

JL A. (272)
Monday November 26, 2012, 8:41 pm
So many people with factual information from credible sources to educate any here that are misinformed! Thank you all ever so much! One minor factual enhancement to what has been provided: if a person is deemed disabled before 65, that is one exception that permits a withdrawal from IRAs without penalty. A second related one is that if a person is deemed disabled per Social Security's strict criteria and documentation and other requirements, they can begin receiving their benefits before their age of retirement...and become eligible to use their Medicare after 18 months.

Some private health insurers require that you take Medicare whenever you become eligible in order to be covered by your policy with them.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 8:51 pm

Thanks J L for adding that important fact about those who are disabled. I do realize that gaining that from Social Security is not easy and for some requires years of waiting and more than a few doctors to sign off on the requirements.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Monday November 26, 2012, 9:04 pm
You're very welcome, Kit, and you make excellent points!

I DID stay home for ten years to care for my children, and I still worked for 33 years before I took an early retirement to help care for my grandchildren so that my daughter could resume her career without interruption or consequence. I started working part-time (35 hours per week) two months after my father died, at which time I was a 17-year old high school junior, and I didn't take a break from working until I was married and pregnant with my first child. I went back when both of my children were in school for a full day. Fortunately, I was able to land a good part-time position so I was able to get them off to school in the morning and be home when they got off the bus. I'm not complaining about my situation. My husband retired earlier this year after 38 years of service with the same company. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been employed and to have always had health insurance for ourselves and our family, but we also know that not everyone was or is as fortunate.

When we hear the kind of blather that we're hearing from millionaires and billionaires who are trying to keep the Bush tax cuts in place, it makes us furious! Does the CEO of Goldman Sachs really expect us to believe that the average person works 25 years and collects Social Security for 30 years? My situation is not the least bit unusual, and yet I worked for a total of 33 years --even though I took ten years off to raise my children and retired six years before my full retirement age of 66 -- and I have a Social Security Statement to prove it!

Pardon my anger and disgust, please...
 

Angelika R. (146)
Monday November 26, 2012, 9:11 pm
Thx for that info Kit, I see. It is a little different from our system and here retirement age of 67 only went into effect Jan 2012. However, WOMEN can still start retirement at 65 WITHOUT any "penalty"(I see now what is meant by that, it has sounded like "punishment" to me) provided they have payed at least 45 yrs.(1-3 yrs for raising children are also counted). But we have a number of different types of retirement, also serving those who cannot work up to age 67 for health reasons.
If we dont mind a penalty of 14,4% and have payed at least 35 yrs we can retire at age 63.
And there are several more varieties.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday November 26, 2012, 9:14 pm

To be honest, I rather enjoy that anger and hope it is contagious. We have a right to be angry and outraged. Most of us have worked all of our adult lives and now because the Wall Street debacle many will have no choice but to continue working and still hope that some part of Social Security will help to make the road a little easier. That anyone attempts to tell you otherwise, or call Social Security a Ponzi scheme is full of hate, misdirected anger and a total lack of real information. BE ANGRY, be very angry.
 

Angelika R. (146)
Monday November 26, 2012, 9:14 pm
Thy JL for that additional info, that makes the whole thing look more "familiar", more humane and more like ours.
 

JL A. (272)
Monday November 26, 2012, 9:44 pm
You are welcome Angelika. One of the more recent improvements is that the disability no longer must be expected to permanently prevent work and benefits no longer stop if one tries to work ( if it didn't work out, to start with cumbersome application and eligibility process all over again)--you can try to work again up to six months and not lose eligibility. This change facilitates rehabilitation and efforts towards accommodations with adaptive equipment, etc.--far more humane.
 

Cam V. (417)
Monday November 26, 2012, 10:38 pm
Now why the hail would the right be attracted to someone like that Rand woman? Heard of Atlas shurgged but never saw the movie. Rand sounds more like a progressive than a conservative. Thanks Kit .... I am addking her to my reading lists.

Again raising taxes on the wealthy is only a stop gap measure. Much, much more needs to be done to help the many. Income tax reform would help as sounds like your system is pretty complicated down there. Why doesn't Obama appoint a team to get that worked on?

BTW I do like Paul Ryan but Rand Paul I am still out on. He is not as kooky as his father is ....
 

Pamela C. (75)
Monday November 26, 2012, 11:51 pm
To me, "entitlements" are what I associate with the Wall Street/Park Avenue billionaires, who think a day of taking in interest from their investments is hard work.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 5:04 am
Thanks.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 6:50 am
Ayn Rand, a progressive? surely you jest.
 

Kit B. (277)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 7:26 am

You really need to read the books, Cam. Ayn Rand rolled in her grave when you said progressive in the same sentence as her name. Why would the right or Tea Party adore Rand? Because she is the basic movement encapsulated through her non-fiction writing. I have no need to make this up, read the books, read some history of the republican (conservative) party in the late '30's get to know the frame work. Eisenhower eschewed the Randian thinking that was very popular in his day. For many Ike was a well loved and admired General and president. He had is reasons as did others for raising eyebrows when Rand was at her zenith in the 1950's.

Yes, Cam we know that raising taxes the tiny bit that they will be raised is only a small but helpful relief for the revenue disparity. The amount of income tax reform we need and those who would be most affected are not about to allow that to happen.

Good, you like Paul Ryan, well Ayn Rand reached heroic levels in his mind until he was told she was an atheist, then he no longer discussed her. Hypocrite. Do you ever listen, really listen to just how idealistic and totally impractical his ideas are? And....Rand Paul, that's a man cut from very similar cloth, and far less honest or stable as his father at an earlier age. Ron Paul was and is a devotee (as is his son) of Ayn Rand.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 11:24 am
Oops Angelica, it was productivity...
Average Cost Of A Factory Worker In The U.S., China And Germany...
Their wages are 11 percent higher than those in the U.S. -- largely because their unions are more powerful. How does the global workforce differ? The average productivity of Taiwanese factory workers is $34.06 per hour, and the average productivity of German factory workers is $55.21 per hour.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/average-cost-factory-worker_n_1327413.html

Good graphs showing Germany to be superior.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 11:25 am
Fox / Sun

Why Cam doesn't know anything.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 11:46 am
He's too busy trying to tell us things we already know to realize that we simply disagree and perhpas he doesn't really know all that he thinks?
 

Cam V. (417)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 4:02 pm
The Tea Party groups I am in do not follow Rand Kit and it is only propaganda that says we do. We have five points we stand on and NONE of them had anything to do with Rand.

The raise in taxes on the rich will pay the interest on your debt for eight days. Thats all ..... Until you get REAL reform going America is going to keep going down the fiscal drain. What are you all willing to give up in order to correct things?

All I hear so far are what you will keep .... so what will you give? Ready to give up interest deductions? Ready to give up what? It has to move in both directions in order to ensure the solvency of the programs a lot of people rely on but all I hear is keep what you get for free or else/

What lies behind the 'or else'? Another fiscal crisis in America worse than the one that happened in 08? What then? Real reform is needed here and negotiation is the only way that will happen. You can put all the propaganda out there that you want to but it still comes down to math - which never lies.

I do like Ryan and his ideas on how to reform a lot of your monetary things there. At least he is not afaid to present them in spite of the demonization that takes place. It is a starting place.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday November 30, 2012, 7:15 pm
There is another issue commonly ignored:

There are currently two different ideas about how U.S. Social Security really works. The problem is that on paper, they look identical.

Many of the political Left see it as a contribution-program through an independent fund handled by the government. You pay in and then, when you need it, you get the money out. Many on the political Right do not distinguish between the trust fund and the government's general accounts. they see the payments into it as a tax, and the payments out as coming from taxes and the government's general funds, not contributions.

The question of whether they are contribution-funds or entitlements arises from at least two sources:
First, obviously, the funds are handled through a government-agency, and the contributions, from payroll taxes if I recall correctly, are legally required, like other taxes. Functionally, from the taxpayer's perspective, the accounts might as well be mixed.

Second, the entirety of the Social security Trust Fund, as of last month, was lent to the Federal Government in the form of Treasury Bonds and Certificates of Indebtedness: http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/investheld.cgi
The interest on those funds, and even the payback of capital, which has already been spent, comes from tax-dollars or other borrowing by the federal government.

With the difference between the two scenarios being a matter of philosophy of future congressmen and presidents, and who here really thinks they are about to completely stop raiding it for funds for the federal government, or balance it outside of investments with interest exceeding the interest-rates on the bonds?
 

Lynn Squance (227)
Friday November 30, 2012, 10:01 pm
Some really excellent comments. Gene --- Amen!

I like the definitions of entitlements from the cartoon. You sure can tell where progressives stand and where the Republican/Teabaggers stand.
 

federico bortoletto (32)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 6:29 am
Grazie
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 9:40 am
"The Tea Party groups I am in do not follow Rand Kit"

No? You vote for people that DO! So, how are you different?
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 9:57 am

Nah, Jason. Cam did not vote in the American election, though he may well support the Harper government in Canada.

The problem within the Ryan budget is one of good policy, policy that allows for economic growth of the country. America flourishes when all people have the opportunity to own a piece of the product of wealth. No, I am not addressing what Cam and others may call "redistribution" of wealth. I am addressing the need for not falling back on policies that failed this country, it's people and in fact, have failed the world.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 10:50 am
The problem with social security is that it is the absolute worst investment anyone can make. I feel sorry for my children and grandchildren. I will continue to encourage them to take care of themselves financially through private investments.

Kit, the only way that "the people" will have an opportunity to own a piece of the product of wealth is through their own personal choices in life and through hard work. It shouldn't be handed to anyone. What people put into something is what they should expect back in return. I am a personal responsibility American, one of millions in America, who has charted a life path whereby I can live comfortably after having worked hard for over 5 decades in my life. When people don't put anything into their own lives when planning for retirement, where do you come up with that people want to own a piece ofthe product of wealth? Wealth is earned, Kit. Wealth isn't a given for anyone.

 

Nancy M. (201)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 11:29 am
"Kit, the only way that "the people" will have an opportunity to own a piece of the product of wealth is through their own personal choices in life and through hard work."

I agree with the idea of hard work but nobody wshoudl have to work two or three jobs and still not be able to pay rent. Nobody working two or three jobs should be in the position of having to live in a car or be evicted. That happens all too often in some parts of the country.

Too many people work incredibly hard while the CEOS take all the money and won't pay a fair wage or p[rovide benefits.

Compare Walmart and Sam's Club to Costco.

Which would your rather work for?

""

These days wealth is TAKEN. Just look at Hostess. The executives wil get bonuses while the workers will lose their pensions.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 11:47 am
Hey Cam, the Tea Party groups in the US sure do follow Rand. And Mourdock. And any number of other creeps.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 11:55 am

Right on point and thank you, Nancy.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 2:40 pm
What part of the taxpayer's fund every year over $60 BILLION in fraud and abuse and, yes, that includes people who fake having disabilities? We cannot, as a country, continue on this path. I've mentioned several times that the liberals need to take a look at what is happening in France today. They have raised taxes on the rich to 75% because entitlement costs are so high (pensions, healthcare, etc). So, what will these large corporations and smaller businesses do? They will pack up their equipment and move to Portugal or wherever they can taking the jobs with them. Portugal or any country would be more than happy to have them move in and bring millions of jobs with them.

Our government has done such a poor job of managing medicare, medicaid and social security that it is out of control now.....the $60 billion a year in fraud and abuse should tell you just that.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 2:42 pm
I don't consider any American who believes in smaller government and fiscal responsibility creeps. I would call them concerned patriots of America.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 3:34 pm
When Mourdock says that rape is a gift from God, he's a creep. I don't find that to be the attitude of anyone I consider to be concerned or a Patriot.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 1, 2012, 4:53 pm

I agree Nancy and those in Congress (both Houses) that have been more concerned about preventing Obama's reelection, than doing the work that Congress is meant to do - they are creeps. Far from being patriots.
 

Mark Wickens (0)
Monday December 3, 2012, 7:57 pm
"Kit B.": Since you evidently find Ayn Rand’s personal life so fascinating, it‘s surprising you get it so wrong. Ayn Rand was not dependent on any government support. She left a very substantial estate. Yes, it is likely she took the benefits every senior citizen was entitled to. The significance of this action is non-existent. It certainly didn’t conflict with her stated opposition to the welfare state. She paid into these programs and was, I imagine, quite happy to get some of her money back.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday December 3, 2012, 8:20 pm

Well, little troll person you could have looked this up for yourself but it seems your personal opinion has more value than actual facts. Mark Wickens here are more FACTS about Ayn Rand:

Say it ain't so Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum. (aka Ayn Rand)

A heavy smoker who refused to believe that smoking causes cancer brings to mind those today who are equally certain there is no such thing as global warming. Unfortunately, Miss Rand was a fatal victim of lung cancer.

However, it was revealed in the recent "Oral History of Ayn Rand" by Scott McConnell (founder of the media department at the Ayn Rand Institute) that in the end Ayn was a vip-dipper as well. An interview with Evva Pryror, a social worker and consultant to Miss Rand's law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified that on Miss Rand's behalf she secured Rand's Social Security and Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O'Connor (husband Frank O'Connor).

As Pryor said, "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out" without the aid of these two government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn "despised government interference and felt that people should and could live independently... She didn't feel that an individual should take help."

But alas she did and said it was wrong for everyone else to do so. Apart from the strong implication that those who take the help are morally weak, it is also a philosophic point that such help dulls the will to work, to save and government assistance is said to dull the entrepreneurial spirit.

In the end, Miss Rand was a hypocrite but she could never be faulted for failing to act in her own self-interest.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-ford/ayn-rand-and-the-vip-dipe_b_792184.html
 

JL A. (272)
Monday December 3, 2012, 8:35 pm
Thanks for standing up for facts, "truth, justice and the American way" Kit--so sad when people can't or won't read.
 

Angelica C. (84)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 9:23 am
Re: personal responsibility Americans
What happens to the "personal responsibility" parent who has a child who develops a catastrophic illness that causes the family to first lose their health insurance, and then the father to lose his job because he is a liability in the workplace without health insurance? What happens to the single woman who has a career she loves and is on her way to building up a nice nest egg for retirement when she finds out that she has cancer? What happens to those who have worked in companies for many years and are suddenly told (as Sensata workers were before Thanksgiving) that their jobs are going overseas and they will now have to scramble to find other jobs in a country where many jobs have gone overseas? Are all these people just merely irresponsible? Are they now lazy?

You want to talk about entitlements? Let's talk about those republicans who are well insulated against ever having to know what goes on in the real world with real people. Must be nice to just turn a blind eye and not be bothered by the suffering around you. Must be great to feel so entitled.
 
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