[Homestead] Gambling with retirement monies

tvoivozhd 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 
>compromise them?  
>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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