[Homestead] Gambling with retirement monies
tvoivozd at infionline.net
Sat Feb 5 15:34:51 EST 2005
Clansgian at wmconnect.com wrote:
>tvoivozd at infionline.net writes:
>>---but it will not
>>selectively cancel existing bonds which all other bondholders would
>>interpret as forerunner of default on their bonds..
>Of course it won't. Saying so is simply the antithesis of notion that that
>because SS benefits are backed by the taxing power of the US government, the
>benefits will go on unabated no matter what right until the US goes bankrupt.
>Both scenarios are equally unlikely. But recognizing that the Congress HAS the
>power to ignore the IOU's if it likes, how much more then does it have the
>power to severely modify those IOU's without appearing on the surface to
>For example, what if someone had retired in, say, 1955. Would they
>necessarily have expected on SS to maintian a car, have air conditioning in their
>house, been able to afford twelve prescription drugs, expected to have convenience
>food available for them, cable television (wide screen)? The reason they
>would not is that those things weren't givens back then. Some didn't even exist.
> No one expected them. Fact is, if all seniors lived as seniors lived back
>in 1955 (say), the SS payment they receive now would look like a lot of money.
>What people consider the necessities is going up all the time. What I expect
>to see is SS continuing pretty much it is now, but it will buy less and less
>of what is considered a minimal standard of living. Then the government could
>say, "Hey, we've kept our promise! Just because what we promised isn't worth
>anything anymore isn't something we promised, is it?"
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tvoivozhd---the one wild card in the deck is the national economy---if
it drops drastically for any reason, and a lot of factors could bring it
about (oil, biological, dirty nuclear attack,1918-type flu pandemic,
failure of knowledge-based business to replace the lost revenue of a
hollowed-out manufacturing business) few government obligations of any
kind could be met. I have no faith in the "it can't happen here"
mantra---I remember 1929 too clearly, lost $30,000 of silver-backed
Dominican Pesos when the U.S. State Department leaned on Balaguer to
dishonor them when young Trujillo fled with a boatload of them.
I view being free of debt on a mildly isolated piece of land possessing
what I regard as essential (water, wood, some pasture and garden area. a
few usable buildings) as a reasonably good insurance policy during what
the Chinese describe as "interesting times".
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