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Does anyone oppose this Government handout to poor?(73 posts)

Does anyone oppose this Government handout to poor?Continental
Sep 2, 2003 7:25 AM
After years of following the crops, migrant worker heads to college thanks to national program, OSU

Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Rob Phillips

OAK HARBOR, Ohio — In the steaming sun, Silvia Mata, 18, pulled a peach from an orchard tree and placed it in a basket strapped to her shoulders.
A bandana kept the sweat away from her face while each piece of fruit added weight to an already sore back.
"This is not work for me or any other teenager," said Mata, a migrant worker for six years.
But on Sept. 17, she'll step out of the orchard and onto a college campus as one of 11 in the inaugural group of Ohio State University's College Assistance Migrant Program.
The program, funded through a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2002, provides financial and educational aid to migrant students.
"Overall, we want to help students with the transition from their lifestyle as a migrant into the university," said Jose Villa, an assistant vice provost and director of the program.
The program — the only such one in Ohio and one of 43 nationwide — provides orientation, tutoring, counseling, study groups and mentoring.
As migrants who go where the work is, "the instability and disruption of their education has made it difficult for them to grasp the necessary academic skills to be able to survive in an environment such as Ohio State," Villa said.
Yet "even though they've been very mobile, these young men and women have still maintained solid academic backgrounds," he said.
Mata first came to the United States from Mexico with her family when she was 6. She and her parents and two sisters — now 24 and 13 — followed the crops from Texas to Ohio to Florida. Mata began working in the fields at age 12.
The three sisters often started the school year in Powell, in Delaware County, and ended it in San Benito, Texas, sometimes by way of Florida.
The OSU program gives "migrant students an opportunity to achieve in life," she said. "It lets us know that there is help out there and we can do it."
Mata and most of the other students in the program are recruited and receive first-year scholarships from the federal money. The OSU offices of Minority Affairs and Student Financial Aid will provide scholarships for the remaining three years if the students maintain good grades, Villa said.
Nationally, 82 percent of students in the program return after their first year, said Mary Suazo, a team leader for the program at the Department of Education in Washington.
If not for Villa's recruitment efforts, Mata would not be a Buckeye.
"I was just too scared," she said. "But he encouraged me a lot. I appreciate him for believing."
yeah. who's gonna pick my fruit now?mohair_chair
Sep 2, 2003 7:43 AM
Handouts are a fact of life in the government. You'll never get rid of them, so when it comes to handouts, I much prefer the kind where opportunities are given rather than cash. Who knows where the cash goes (although it doesn't take much imagination with a lot of the recipients.)

Give someone an education who could not afford it otherwise and least the money isn't going to waste, unless they major in something unemployable, like art history :). Plus, you are creating a taxpayer, so consider it an investment that should have a very high return over the years. I'm all for it.

Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he'll sit in a boat and drink all day. No, wait, that's not how it goes....
Hmmmm. The American Dream at workKristin
Sep 2, 2003 7:52 AM
The only condition not mentioned, which I would like to see is citizenship. These girls support our economy by working our farms for next to no pay at ages when American born girls are not allowed to work. (Though, don't fool yourselves, many poor 12 year old girls are forced to work doing all sorts of things you don't want to know about.) Here is a girl who has maintained good grades despite the fact that she has been working full time since she was 12, regularly bounces from school to school and has English as a second language. That says something. Who better to invest in. She will become an asset to our nation and a blessing to her family. I don't see how we can go wrong.
Migrants are critical to the economy,TJeanloz
Sep 2, 2003 7:59 AM
I would prefer that they not be citizens. Migrant workers are absolutely critical to the farm economy, even here in Massachusetts. They aren't taking jobs from any citizens - no American would take those jobs, even if the pay were quadrupled.

These immigrants are exactly the kind of hard-working, risk-taking people that built the United States, and it is undoubtedly a stronger investment than in anybody else.
American's will and do work alongside migrant workers on farms.Kristin
Sep 2, 2003 8:03 AM
They just aren't the type of American's you socialize with. Trust me on this one--I know more than you think about such things.
Not on my farm,TJeanloz
Sep 2, 2003 8:06 AM
I socialize with all types of Americans. Our family orchard employs exactly 0 Americans in a picking capacity. Would if we could.
Not on mine either.OldEdScott
Sep 2, 2003 8:14 AM
I live in an area of high redneck unemployment, but when it comes time to cut and put up alfalfa, cut and house tobacco, or put a new roof on the old barn when it blows off every year or two, I would be at a loss for labor if it weren't for the Mexicans. Redneck whites will NOT do farm labor for any amount of money.

I have counted on Mexicans for all my farm labor for at least seven years now.
You've never employed the children of these rednecks?Kristin
Sep 2, 2003 8:20 AM
If not, have you been propositioned to employ them?
Nope. They're too busy driving cars moreOldEdScott
Sep 2, 2003 8:26 AM
expensive than mine down to the convenience store to buy lottery tickets.

I would LOVE to employ 'em. I did hay and tobacco when I was a kid, and it was a great experience. Twelve-hour days in the hot sun, learning how to cuss like a grownup. But I've asked and there's no interest.
Most would think that is something ....Live Steam
Sep 2, 2003 8:50 AM
I would say :O) Wow how ........... ? You sound like a Republican now :O)
'Conservative,' Steam.OldEdScott
Sep 2, 2003 9:06 AM
I'm a conservative. I want to conserve the rural way of life, and American values, for future generations.

You're confusing 'conservative' with 'Republican'. Republicans are the opposite of conservative. They are Radicals, who believe in trampling family values and American's rich egalitarian heritage in pursuit of Profits and the Natural Right of the aristocracy to oppress those less fortunate so they can get richer. The triumph of those beliefs would turn America's core value system upside down, and hence are not conservative at all.

I condemn the shiftless lottery-rednecks hereabouts because their laziness and irresponsibility play right into Republican hands. Every time they buy a lottery ticket with the baby's (or whould I say babies') milk money, they lend weight to the Repub argument that it is the Aristocracy, not the unwashed masses, who contribute to society and therefore deserve the beneficience of the government and its increasingly retrograde tax policies.

How's that? Sound more like me?
Isn't that the same as ...Live Steam
Sep 2, 2003 9:30 AM
a Conservative being against affirmative action? These are the same ideals. We want someone to get public assistance on merit/need and not ethnicity.

I think your view on this is a biased as you think I am on many issues. Your view is influenced by your participation in this labor as a kid. You believe if it was good enough for you it should be good enough for anyone who is in need of a job. I agree with that view, but it is not a Dumocratic view. It is a "conservative" view as you pointed out. I have the same problem with someone looking for a handout and then spending the milk money on drugs, booze, gambling, cigarettes, high priced clothes, etc. I believe that you, MJ and others seemed to have a problem with that view. I believe MJ called me a racist.

How do Republicans want to trample family values? This is the platform Bush ran on. "Compassionate Conservative" - the government will help you if you have a real need, not because you think you need it or think you deserve it or based on ethnicity.

Your position sounds like you want to keep these migrant farm workers down. I guarantee that your position on this is not shared by your party brethren - at least it's not the party line. It's not PC according to certain standards. You sound a little confused here. Where did taxes come in? If you earn and pay taxes, you get a refund. It's actually pretty simple and straight forward.
Isn't that the same as ...OldEdScott
Sep 2, 2003 9:58 AM
-- I oppose affirmative action of any sort. Always have. It's paternalistic, racist and imperialist.

-- Public assistance should indeed be based on need rather than ethnicity. I believe it already is.

-- Belief in the value of work and a solid work ethic is neither Dumocrat nor Republican. That's where you falsely ascribe views to Dumocrats that aren't there.

-- The lottery rednecks I'm criticizing are not on public assistance. They're p!ssing away their own money. But I have no fondness for anyone on public assistance spending money on drugs, booze etc. Again, that is neither a Dumocrat nor Republican position.

-- Nowhere did I say or even hint that I want to keep the immigrant farm laborers down. They're great people. I admire them and want them to succeed.I was sarcastically indicating that I hope they get some of the money I pay the jefe -- the implication being that I deplore what I suspect is exploitation, or at least REAL serious skimming. Before you jump on me for still participating, I've TRIED to hire Mexican laborers independent of the Anglo jefes so I can pay them directly. Have had no success. They won't do it.

-- In the discussion at hand, Republican trample family values through tax and other policies that favor corporate farming over family farming, agri-biz consolidation over ag diversity and rural development over rural preservation.

-- You can make the perfectly logical argument that 'if you don't pay INCOME taxes you shouldn't get an INCOME tax refund.' Clever. The point IS, the tax cuts didn't HAVE to be tied to the income tax. Doing so assures the poor don't get it and better off folks do, which seems to the the point. But if you had any interest at all in getting some of the taxes THEY paid back to the poor, you could have designed a refund scheme that would accomplish that, given the fact that they DO pay taxes to the federal government.
No interest in THAT, eh?

-- I'm 100 percent certain you aren't a racist.
Isn't that the same as ...Live Steam
Sep 2, 2003 11:02 AM
Below you said you opposed the assistance this girl was going to get for college. Did I miss something or was that a facetious point your were trying to make?

I am missing something about the "lottery rednecks". You criticize them for what reason if they can buy lottery tickets with their own money? Because they don't want to pick your tobacco? It sounds like they have other jobs if they are buying the objects of their vices with their own earned money. Something's missing here.

How could "tax cuts" not be tied to TAXES? Anyone that is working, but is earning what is considered to be in the poverty level, does not pay any taxes. "Poor" = "poverty". They get anything may pay through withholding, back plus additional money through the EITC.

I did not make a judgment about you using the intermediary. He is well established and the workers will not cross that line for fear of retribution. Kind of like a union boss. That is something a democrat can identify with I am sure :O)

So it appears that Old Ed is a gentleman farmer. Quite possible you are part of the aristocracy you condemn. It also appears that your magnanimous gesture of helping the "poor farmers" fend of the corporate homebuilders gratis was somewhat self-serving?
That's one of the most ridiculous things I've read...TJeanloz
Sep 2, 2003 11:16 AM
"Anyone that is working, but is earning what is considered to be in the poverty level, does not pay any taxes."

Yeah, no sales taxes, no property taxes, no capital gains taxes, no excise taxes, no taxes on the cigarettes and alcohol, no taxes on gasoline.

You're right, these freeloaders aren't paying anything.
That is not what I said or at least not what I ...Live Steam
Sep 2, 2003 12:33 PM
meant. We are talking about the tax refund and cuts for "INCOME TAXES". But to answer your post - many in the "poverty level" of income don't pay some of the taxes you brought to light. Capital gains? Property taxes - well some may. The others are use taxes which are equal across the board for everyone. I also never called them freeloaders. I wonder, is it board fashionable to attack me with unwarranted barbs?
Unwarrented barbs,TJeanloz
Sep 2, 2003 12:39 PM
Who says that the tax refund is an "income tax refund"? Maybe income taxes are getting lower because other tax streams are increasing.

Explain to me how a capital gains tax, or a cigarette tax, is a "use" tax? What, exactly is a smoker using? Or someone with capital gains? They also are not equal for everyone - some people have a far greater need to consume gasoline than others (those who live in rural areas, for example).
Unwarrented barbs,Live Steam
Sep 2, 2003 12:55 PM
The refund isn't an income tax refund? What is it then? It is a tax cut and credit from the Federal coffers. I didn't say capital gains was a use tax. Please re-read my post. I did say that the others were use taxes. That is what they are. You use them and you pay. You don't use them and you don't pay. By definition that is a use tax. If you smoke you pay a tax to smoke. Hey I am not for some of these taxes, but they are there. The use taxes are equal in that everyone pays on an equal scale based on consumption.

As for rural areas needing to drive more - most rural areas have lower gas prices and lower tax on gas. Their RE taxes are lower also based on farm use.

I am not sure where this debate arose from, and I did not call anyone or intimate anyone was a freeloader. You however, cannot deny that the tax cut and credit Ed refered to isn't a change in the structure of the income tax. If is isn't, then please explain to me what it is.
Unwarrented barbs,TJeanloz
Sep 2, 2003 1:06 PM
It is a change in the income tax, but from an economic perspective, it doesn't really matter where the tax comes from. Just because the refund mechanism is via the IRS, it doesn't mean that the source of the money was actually the income tax.

Furthermore, you seem to have confused consumption taxes, which include sales tax, cigarette tax, alcohol tax et. al., with use taxes (commonly called "fees" by politicians who are afraid of raising taxes), which include tolls, hunting permits, etc. A use tax is the tax you pay explicitly to USE a common good - like a toll. When you smoke, you aren't using any common good, merely consuming something.

Niether of these taxes are "equal", because different demographics are required to consume and use things differently. For example, the amount that we pay to upkeep our roads is not "equal", as some commuters must always pay a toll, while others never do, though the funds go to help both groups. We could, for real life example, tax yachts that cost more than $10MM at the rate of 50%. This tax is not "equal" - it targets the wealthy disproportionately, because very few poor people will be buying $10MM yachts - even though they WOULD pay at the same rate.

Lottery tickets are the interesting reverse, where mostly poor people are paying a higher percentage of the burden.
Sorry for "USING" the wrong term :O)Live Steam
Sep 2, 2003 6:06 PM
Yes consumption tax. Ironically Clinton, the alleged champion of the poor and under-represented, went after Big Tobacco to endear himself with the liberal elite. This only further burdened the poor. The penalty for Big Tobacco was higher taxes on their products which the poor could ill afford to pay and who disproportionately "use" more of.

If not from income taxes, what is the source of the money? As far as I know the only source of revenue for the Federal Govt. is from income taxes. Where else do they get revenue from?

Nothing is ever truly equal in life, but consumption taxes come close as do use taxes. Yes many commuters pay tolls and use more gas to get to work from places father away, but those that live in the inner city pay higher prices for other goods and services - at least they do here in NYC and other major cities. Prices for common goods are generally cheaper in rural areas. There are lots of trade-offs in life.

I don't really understand your lottery ticket analogy. No one is required to purchase lottery tickets.
You should learn more about tax structure...TJeanloz
Sep 3, 2003 4:59 AM
Before you go spouting off about tax cuts.

"As far as I know the only source of revenue for the Federal Govt. is from income taxes. Where else do they get revenue from?"

Lets see:
Capital gains
Corporate profits
Dividends (lower now, but still taxed)
Import tariffs (the primary source of income until 1912)
Heavy tires
Airplane tickets
Telephone usage (one of the more comical taxes)
Social Security tax

Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, but the Federal Government has never met a tax it didn't like, so there are probably more. It is true that more money comes from the income tax than from other sources, but these other sources do make a significant contribution to the Treasury.
My POINT, Steam, which you missed entirelyOldEdScott
Sep 3, 2003 6:11 AM
is that there are MANY federal taxes actually paid by the poor and working classes, just as TJ points out. IF you wanted to design tax relief for ALL Americans, you would design relief of the taxes that ALL Americans pay (assuming you believe the poor are Americans).

But the Bushies, knowing full well that the poor pay no income tax, designed tax relief that CLEARLY would not apply to them -- only to those relatively or greatly better off.

Of COURSE, it's logically insane to give an income tax 'refund' to those who pay no income taxes. That's the POINT, isn't it? -- they intentionally chose to focus on 'relieving' a tax that would not help the poor.

It clearly was no oversight on their part. The loud sentiment is: "Screw the poor. Everyone else needs tax relief desperately. But they don't need a dime."

You gotta give up this 'they pay no income taxes, how can they get a refund?' refrain. It only proves my point!
Ed, not to be a pain in the argument,TJeanloz
Sep 3, 2003 6:15 AM
But in the end analysis, I believe that those on the lower end of the scale did, in fact, get a tax refund (the $300 or $600 check, which I didn't get). I could be wrong on this, but I thought there was some agreement reached on it.

The funniest part of that whole refund scenario was the single mothers [not to single out single mothers, but they seemed to be the ones the news talked to] the news interviewed who said things like: "I don't know why they think this $600 will help the economy, I'll spend it in less than a week and hardly notice the impact."

Yes, you will spend it...
Right, I believe the howls of outrage ledOldEdScott
Sep 3, 2003 6:40 AM
Karl Rove to do a quick political calculation that the damage should be contained and the poor should get something. Not disputing that.

My point was, the original plan as designed and submitted by the administration, and initially passed by Congress, would have left the poor out entirely. And that could not have been an 'oversight.'

I just marvel at how much wailing and gnashing of teeth there is about the absolute necessity for the downtrodden rich to get tax relief. Maybe that's true, who knows? The economy may in fact benefit down the road if we relieve them of some of their misery. But it's just unconscionable to pretend to 'compassionate conservatism' when you (generic 'you') blithely ignore the more immediate, pressing, real-life feed-the-baby needs of the poor and working poor in your grand scheme to bring tax relief to the overburdened masses.
Point not taken - maybe you should be more accurateLive Steam
Sep 3, 2003 6:36 AM
TJ many of the tariffs that you brought up must go back to the system they were derived from by law. Gas tax goes into the federal highway budget not for some social program. Same for most of the other tariffs. Capital gains and dividends are an income tax as are corporate profits. SS tax must go back into the pot for SS. That is the law and not discretionary. I know you are a banker and have more financial knowledge than I care to know, but you also know that this is the case with these tariffs you mentioned.

You and Ed say the poor pay other consumer taxes. Well that's correct, but the states regulate those and receive the revenue from them. The Fed has no say over them. The only way the Fed can give money back to the people is through a social program (handout) or through an income tax rebate/cut. That is the bottom line. The cigarette tax, as I mentioned goes to the state that sets it. This has become a further burden on the poor because of Clinton's actions against the tobacco industry. The penalty was to give states individual latitude in setting a much higher tariff on sales. The poor pay more now to smoke.
I'm the one being accurate, you don't understand the systemTJeanloz
Sep 3, 2003 6:51 AM
It is not true that funds are required by law to pay for things. The gasoline tax, while it primarily funds highway spending, is not required by law to go entirely to Federal highway projects. Over the years, a large amount of gasoline tax has been spent on bicycle trails, for example. SS taxes do not have to go to social security - you certainly remember Al Gore's proposed "lock box", which would have required that these taxes go solely to social security. This is not the current law. As far as I am aware, no tax is Constitutionally required to go to any particular program.

It is also not true that cigarette taxes are set by the state, or go to the state. When you buy a pack of cigarettes, (as with a gallon of gasoline), you are being taxed by BOTH the state and the Federal government. The current Federal tax on cigarettes is 39 cents/pack.

Furthermore, it is not true that the government can only give a refund via income tax cut. As you aptly point out, some people who paid no tax received money, so this could not have been a rebate or cut. The Government has it well within its power to just write a check to everybody, which they did this year.
I will have to research this furtherLive Steam
Sep 3, 2003 7:15 AM
The gas tax as well as many of the other taxes I believe must go to the system that generated them, but I am not 100% certain of this. Bicycles are a form of transportation that is why the money came from that coffer. I believe that money can be "borrowed" from SS, but SS tax dollars are accounted for dollar for dollar. Didn't you get you SS statement like the rest of us?

As for your last point. I stated that in my previous response. It's called a HAND OUT! I agree that the Fed can do this any time they want. There are tons of social programs that hand out money and services to the indigent/needy as well as an equal number of state regulated programs. I have no problem with that. Just call it that and not a "TAX CUT" or "TAX REFUND" if they are not paying taxes. Bush in his election platform stated that he would reduce taxes - INCOME TAXES. He is doing that. If they cut the other "TAXES" such as gas, airline tickets, etc..................., everyone, including "the RICH", would benefit too. That is unless they ask each individual for a 1099, W2, a copy of your returns or a copy of your stock portfolio, before you make a purchase.

While the Fed does get revenue from cigarette sales, the higher amount goes to the state. At least it does here in NY.
Only old people get SS statementsTJeanloz
Sep 3, 2003 7:24 AM
A HAND OUT can only come from one source: tax revenues. Thus, any check from the Government to you, is a rebate of taxes you (or somebody else) will pay or did pay. Regardless of who did the original paying, a check from the Government is a tax rebate.

Social Security is a giant ponzi scheme, and people in my generation who know what's going on know that we won't possibly get a dollar-for-dollar return. However, Congress could, at any time (and at their detriment), declare an end to Social Security. Social Security is not a Constitutional right, it is a legislated system. All funds get wrangled around by the legislature every year - but it's ignorant to say that the poor don't pay any taxes.
OK you win because you .....Live Steam
Sep 3, 2003 7:45 AM
got to call me ignorant. First your reading comprehension is atrocious. Please show me where I said "the poor don't pay any taxes"! They you can be right. Until then you are just being argumentative for the sake of being so. The original argument goes back to Ed's statement about the Bush tax cut. The Bush tax cut is an "INCOME TAX CUT". Period. If you want to cut taxes for people that "DON"T PAY INCOME TAXES", go right ahead. Show that on a balance sheet. That would be magic. If you want to cut consumer and use taxes, that is different. As I stated we all pay those based on how much we use them. If you want to hand out money, go ahead and do that, but it's NOT A TAX CUT OR A TAX REFUND, if you didn't pay any tax to begin with. If you want to just hand out money to anyone then call it something else other than linking it to taxes. Call it a Federal allowance or something else. It is naive to believe that the Bush tax cut/refund/rebate is not coming from federal income tax dollars. If you want to say that the money is all held in the same pot fine. But the intent was to give back money to families and individuals that paid "INCOME TAX" on what "THEY EARNED". Anything other than that is a "WELFARE PROGRAM".
There you go, turning something aroundTJeanloz
Sep 3, 2003 7:59 AM
I never called you ignorant, I said that it was ignorant to say that the poor don't pay taxes, which it is.

I've never seen the Bush tax cut called an "INCOME TAX CUT". I've seen it referred to as "The Bush Tax Plan", which is far more accurate, because it has broad-reaching cuts in income taxes, estate taxes, and dividend taxes.

You really shouldn't use any financial terms in your arguments, because when you do, they don't make any sense. You couldn't possibly show an income tax payment (which is a flow) on a balance sheet, which is a static statement. If we want to show it on the appropriate statement, which would be an income (or cash flow) statement, it would look something like this:

Income: $10
Income tax: $ 0
Expenses (with tax): $10
Net cash change: $ 0

Refund on expense tax paid: $ 3
Total taxes paid: $ 0

Net cash change +$ 3

This is a tax refund, on taxes paid, even though no income taxes were paid. This is not a welfare program, it is, in effect, a tax rebate or cut. Back in the 1990s, Coloradans used to get these checks all the time, because sales tax revenues (as well as income tax) were growing faster than the state was allowed to spend them.
TJeanloz, do you happen to know. . .czardonic
Sep 3, 2003 10:27 AM
. . .if it is true that the average Social Security recipient exhausts their total contribution to the system within 3 years? I believe that I heard this several years ago on 60 minutes or some such program.
I don't know, but it shouldn't be hard to figure out,TJeanloz
Sep 3, 2003 11:07 AM
That sound like an extreme, but it shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

Figure that the average person pays in for 40 years, or, should we estimate 45 years? Hell, we'll say 50 years, benefit of the doubt. Let's also boldly assume that people have been paying in at 12.4% for their entire 50 years (which is not even close to true, the original tax rate was 1%).

Sum of per capita income over the last 50 years is actually a much harder statistic to come by than you might think, but as a gross estimate, we'll start at $40,000 today and reduce by $7,500 every 10 years (this is TRUELY a crude estimate). Sum of the 50 years is: $1.25MM. This also makes the assumption that you earned the average - which ain't how SS works (there is a cap).

Total paid in, if tax were constant (which it hasn't been):

Average recipient gets ~$10,000 per year. So we're looking at 15 years. Keep in mind that every calculation here, from years worked (a 50 year career would be from age 18 to 68), to dollars earned (earning $10,000 as an 18 year old in 1953 would have been quite something), to not reflecting the lower tax rates of previous years (it started at 1%, is now 12.4%), has biased this number higher, and we've gotten to 15 years - assuming the payout doesn't increase at all (which won't happen).

The argument against this crude analysis (and it is crude), is that the $155,000 you put in should have been gaining interest at some nominal rate. Which is a fair criticism.

Bottom line is that if I had more free time today, I could and would do a much better job, but at most, I think 15 years is the top end of it.
Interesting. Thanks. (nm)czardonic
Sep 3, 2003 11:21 AM
This little study here doesn't answerOldEdScott
Sep 3, 2003 11:39 AM
that specific question, but it illustrates what a complicated job it is to sort out rates of return, given all the variables, wild assumptions etc.
there are a couple more arguments againstdr hoo
Sep 4, 2003 3:14 AM
1- you do not consider spouses in your calculations. They mostly did not pay into the system (thinking current generation of retirees here), but do draw out... usually longer than the husband.

2- medicare is not included in your ~10k a year. Throw in the health insurance value of THAT and it won't take long to get done with what was paid in.

Nice estimation btw, crude as you say, but close enough to get an idea.

Currently there are 3 taxpayers for everyone on ss. In a few years, after the boomers all retire, it will be 2 taxpayers/retiree. Anyone see a problem? Clearly we must kill the old before it is too late!
Like I said, crude,TJeanloz
Sep 4, 2003 5:06 AM
The calculation of spousal survival benefits doesn't need to be made, because the question is how long would it take for a person to exhaust his contribution. The spousal benefit doesn't (I believe, but could be wrong) make the annual payout larger, it merely continues the payout after the earner has died.

Medicare is not included, but to be fair, we pay a whole seperate tax for that (2.9%), so the medicare income stream would also be larger. Granted, with the current costs of healthcare, it wouldn't be close.

But I'm not saying that the previous analysis was spot-on, or even very close.
It could be true for the earliest SS retirees...PdxMark
Sep 3, 2003 11:13 AM
My understanding is that the first generation or two of SS retirees came out very, very well. For them, the 3 year number might be accurate. I don't think it's that good now. For those of us who will not retire for 10-20 years, the return will be even more modest.
FWIW, I heard this at least 10 years ago. (nm)czardonic
Sep 3, 2003 11:23 AM
Facetious. I wanted a chance to say "It's MY money" again.OldEdScott
Sep 2, 2003 11:20 AM
Never denied being a gentleman farmer. I'm also a landlord (12 units or so, depending on how many are in livable shape). So what? We all have to brutally lose money at something.

It may be a bit self-serving to help the farmers against the developers. Again, so what? It's a cause I believe in, and have helped pro bono on many occasions in many near and distant places. Will in the future too.

As a Cracker myself and a responsible leader of the Crackro-American civil rights movement, I'm obliged to deplore irresponsible behavior among my People. Great liberal leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton do it among their People too. Lottery tickets are the crack of the Crackro-American movement, a scourge we must fight to eliminate. And yeah, I think if Crackro-American youth were taught the value of work by cutting my tobacco, instead of learning by example to view lottery tickets as a wise investment in the future, the C-A community would be better off. I'm a do-gooder that way.
And this is where I fly off the handle...PdxMark
Sep 2, 2003 11:47 AM
Pointing out that without taxes being paid we undermine the economic and social infrastructure that holds us all together and allows us to earn enough money to spend crazy amounts on bike stuff. Tossing in that government reliance on lotteries is a spineless and cynical tax on those who are least able to afford it.

For good measure I insult Ed, before realizing he's baiting me for the fun of it...
LOL! I still remember with pleasure theOldEdScott
Sep 3, 2003 8:34 AM
day I became Doug and had you sputtering and calling me a moron! LOL! LOL!
Great liberal leaders?Live Steam
Sep 2, 2003 12:43 PM
Common'! Jackson and Sharpton great? I have never heard either of them criticize their constituency ? for anything. They are both pro affirmative action and both have accepted payoffs from corporate America to go away rather than represent what they feel is their cause. Please, these two are jackals with only concern for themselves.

I am a bit concerned about the builders vs the farmers debate. The builders represent thousands and posibly millions of Americans who have a stake in the company through stock/bond shares. Don't thier interests matter too? Or is preserving your lifestyle more important than the interests of the few concerned farmers? I am not making a judgement yet. Just confused about who and what is important and why.
No. Their 'interests' are purely economic and do NOT matter.OldEdScott
Sep 3, 2003 5:02 AM
As a Jeffersonian, and someone who wants to be left the hell alone to live your life as you have chosen, you should understand this. You want the government off your back. I want the capitalists and corporations (in the form of these developers) off mine.

Private economic gain does NOT trump individual freedom, Steam. Sorry. I don't give two sh!ts about the economic interests of distant stockholders. That's colonialist, imperialist bullsh!t. What are these farms, anyway? Raw material to be strip-mined for the British masters back in London?

They have a right to make a living. I have a right to make a LIFE. And a life is more important than fattening ANYONE'S bank account. If you want to take the position that making money trumps human life, you will have deeply disappointed me.
LOL again! I used the phrase 'great liberal leaders'OldEdScott
Sep 3, 2003 8:37 AM
specifically to get you jacked up, and here you are!

(Piece of advice, my friend: Don't tangle with TJ on economics. He'll eat your lunch. He's eaten mine several times, and I'm much, much better informed than you!)
Reminds me of a few of ...........................MR_GRUMPY
Sep 2, 2003 8:52 AM
the crappy jobs that I did, when I was putting myself through school. Better to be in the hot sun with fresh air, than unloading a freight car, full of 400 pound coffee bags, in the hot sun.
Well then, much has changed since 1983Kristin
Sep 2, 2003 8:19 AM
I don't really feel like sharing the details, so I'm not going to.
You're right.OldEdScott
Sep 2, 2003 8:42 AM
In 1983, when I and most of my farm brethren had bigger operations than we do now, we'd never even SEEN a Mexican farm worker in Kentucky. That was a California phenomenon that seemed exotic to us. We hired local men (and some women) who were between jobs, or drunkards who just liked to work occasionally, we helped each other, and as you point out, kids ALWAYS signed on to learn how to do the work and make some money for themselves or their families. It was a nice community thing.

Nowadays, you call up the Anglo jefe on his cell phone, tell him what you need, and on the appointed day at the appointed hour, a gang of highly motivated Mexicans descends on your crops and strips them bare like locusts in a shocking and fabulously quick display of work ethic. You pay the Anglo jefe and they're gone. Presumably they see some of that money.

It's a pretty efficient economy. But a lot has been lost, too.
Same for roofersPaulCL
Sep 2, 2003 9:09 AM
I recently had a new roof put onto my house - paid by my insurance company thanks to a hail storm.

All of the workers were Mexicans. In Kentucky! Each of my 6 neighbors had new roofs (rooves??) put on with Mexican crews. I asked the roofing company owner about this 'phenomina'. He informed me that the Mexican workers are motivated, come to work on time, work like dogs, are sober, and are great employees. On the other hand, he said he had an 'anglo' (is that the right PC term??)crew. The anglo crew worked more slowly, had more days off for injuries, had a regular problem with drunk roofers, and were a bunch of malcontents. He said this phenomina was standard in the industry.

By the roof is perfect. The Mexican guys were very nice, very polite, and did my 3 day roofing job in 2 days for a great price.
What did Crockett say to Travis at the Alamo?OldEdScott
Sep 2, 2003 9:11 AM
"Man, why are all those ROOFERS shooting at us?"

Standard joke in Kentucky.
I've heard that onePaulCL
Sep 2, 2003 12:22 PM
But then again, I'm in KY.

I'm just amazed at the population boom of hispanics in my area. My wife's church is opening a new church with a recruited hispanic minister. New Mexican restuarants - good, authentic restuarants - opening all over the place. Regrettfully, the bad side is there also. The crime rate in Boone County (major city: Florence) is also booming. I'm not blaming the hispanic population boom, just the county's overall population boom itself.

National Geographic this month on modern slavery...Spunout
Sep 2, 2003 11:39 AM
Ed, I do not fault your methods. When there is work to be done, money pays for it, and the rest is economics.

The methods that deliver the labour to your job might be distasteful also. But, the root of this thread was about a scholarship, and that is a grand gesture to be preserved. In one sense, at one time, this girl could have been considered a slave.
Is that legal?Duane Gran
Sep 2, 2003 12:15 PM
A serious question... is it legal to knowingly employ people, even on a contract basis, who may not be citizens? Do you issue a 1099 statement for anyone when you pay the jefe?
You aren't employing anybody,TJeanloz
Sep 2, 2003 12:41 PM
Your paying a guy to roof your house. How he gets it done, and who he employs to get it done, is his problem.
Sep 2, 2003 3:18 PM
Any of the unpaid laborers (of a contractor or even subcontractor, at least here) could lien the house for unpaid wages. However, if their legal status is "questionable," I doubt they will be making a stink.

You aren't employing anybody,Duane Gran
Sep 3, 2003 11:58 AM
Your paying a guy to roof your house. How he gets it done, and who he employs to get it done, is his problem.

This sounds like a recipe for disaster. What if he hires children? Makes them work 16 hour days? I realize that it is hard to compete if everyone else does it, but it sounds like a recipe for a burgeoning underclass.
It has,TJeanloz
Sep 2, 2003 8:43 AM
When I was a little kid (yet old enough to be employed in the labor camps), we had a mix of migrant and domestic workers. As the years went on, more and more of the domestic workers were able to get full-time jobs, until all that were left were migrants. Even in the current employment market, I don't think any of them has considered coming back.
This is puzzling. I'll tip my hand I guessKristin
Sep 2, 2003 9:36 AM
See, my experience was entirely different. I have worked on 2 farms in my life. I was at those farms for entirely different reasons and had entirely different experiences at each one.

The first farm I worked at was a shubbery in New England. I was 13 and I was being forced to work there, instead of going to school, by a foster parent. Yes, your tax dollars hard a work. At this farm, much farther east than Kentucky, there were many Mexican migrant workers. There were also plenty of American women. And if you think that there is no status among the impoverished masses, think again. As a white girl, I was given an assignment in the hot house. A priveledge enjoyed only by white women. 110 degrees on a cool day, and I was one of the lucky ones. Rape is not an uncommon experience in the fields. Sadly, since this priveledge was not extended to the foreign girls; the greatest threat to the white girls was being jumped by the angry hispanic women. And why wouldn't they be angry?

I'm a million miles from that time. I have a nice job in an ergonomially correct chair. But it hardened me in many ways. It forged my impression of this world. And its difficult for me to believe that some other 13 year old girl isn't expereincing something similar today. And I wonder if the owner of a family inherited farm can really understand what its like to be a laborer. Not be be insulting, but even if you work the land, you are still the owners son and people will behave differently around you than they will when you are not there.

In contrast, the second farm I worked at was a self-supporting Christian ministry. I found that doing difficult and often ugly manual labor was very good for me as a person. I will always relish that time of my life. Plus I can stack a cord of wood with the best of 'em!!
I'm not pretending to know what it's like,TJeanloz
Sep 2, 2003 9:47 AM
You're right in that I have no real idea of what life is like for people who depend on the farm for work. But I do know who is employed in the fields. Interestingly enough, we don't have any women, or Mexicans, for that matter.
I oppose it.OldEdScott
Sep 2, 2003 8:00 AM
It's MY money, etc etc.
Mr. Ed is being difficult again? But of course! nmKristin
Sep 2, 2003 8:04 AM
What's to oppose?Live Steam
Sep 2, 2003 8:47 AM
There is another person who will be educated and hopefully instill this same sense of achievement in future generations so they will eventually be removed from the public dole. This program isn't based on some ethnic quota. It is based on economic need. This person is earning her college tuition through working at educating herself. She should be required to achieve a minimum required grade status, but other than that, this is a good thing. I also think public funding for vocational training is fine too - why wait until someone ends up in prison for that? But it all should be based on economic need and not ethnicity. They do not go hand in hand.
How far would you extend this program?Continental
Sep 2, 2003 10:33 AM
Would you support this program if it were expanded to give scholarships and academic assistance to children of welfare mothers with 5 kids and unknown fathers? Would you extend it to all students whose parents can't pay for college? Would you extend it to everyone, regardless of income? Or should it be limited to hardworking poor kids with a touching story?
How far would you extend this program?Live Steam
Sep 2, 2003 11:11 AM
I don't think it should be limited other than on a purely numbers basis. Well I have to qualify that somewhat. There needs to be some show of good faith on the part of the recipient. The minimum requirement should be some passing grade of a certain level with a test for proficiency given prior to releasing the money. However the funds are not limitless, so a first come first served basis is needed.

I don't care if their mother smokes crack. If the kid has enough gumption to achieve success from the depths of that life, I am with them 100%. I am not for handing out endless dollars to the mother though. That is where we have a problem.
If son of crack whore gets bad grades in lousy school he's out?Continental
Sep 2, 2003 11:33 AM
I've always thought that having an inept, uncaring mother is a worse handicap than being deaf or blind. If a kid doesn't have enough gumption to overcome having a lousy, uncaring mother does government help him? Or do we limit help to those who have demonstrated potential to be high achievers and good tax payers? Are funds really limited making rationing on first come first served is necessary?
Even the low achievers have potentialKristin
Sep 2, 2003 12:23 PM
Some of them are low acheivers because of the crappy parenting they recieved. When placed into a better environment with good role models, there potential begins to shine through...though it may take some time before its evident.

I was legally on my own at the age of 16. I was out of school and working at Burger King. My future didn't look so bright. I was given the opportunity to attend Job Corps and so I enrolled. For 18 months I received a roof, free food, skill training, a drivers license and a GED. Sears paid for most of it, while the government covered the rest. (Of course, Sears gets a huge tax break for sponsoring the school.) I don't know how I would have come by those things if not for that program.

There are lots of people who go thru the program and leave only to become crack addicts. Its too bad. But I'll tell you something. There were days that if you lined me up next to the future crack addicts of America, they would have looked like the better bet. I was a rebellious and willful trouble-maker. But I got thru the program and I got on my feet because of it. I got fired from the first few jobs I had. But I soon learned what it took to make it in the corporate world. You can't determine someones potential by looking at their parents. And sometimes you need to just give the money away and hope for the best. Sow generously and you will reap at least something. Sow frugally and you may reap nothing at all.
Just like Francemohair_chair
Sep 2, 2003 11:45 AM
In France, at the end of their equivalent of high school, you take a test called the baccalauréat, or the "bac." It's sort of a week long SAT. Pass it and you get to go to university free (mostly). Fail it and you become a baker or a trashman or a crop picker. That's a very simplistic description of how it works, but that's the basic idea. I would love to see that apply to public universities in the USA.

The French idea, which I agree with, is that anyone should be able to go to public univeristies without regard to income, but everyone has to qualify academically. If you are rich and stupid, don't despair. There are private universities in France, and they can do whatever they want with admissions, so the rich stupid kids can always get that degree. Or they can come to the USA!

Not everyone in France likes the French system, especially the ones who don't pass the bac. Even those who do pass get upset when they are "advised" to choose scientific or liberal arts careers based on their test results.
re: Whats the problem?jrm
Sep 2, 2003 12:00 PM
She sounds like shes got the grades and ambition to complete college. This is the land of opportunity, right. I have no problem contributing to the future of someone like her.
Save the aid for the wealthy who can work the system, by Godcory
Sep 2, 2003 12:40 PM
I live in an old house that's been surrounded by million-dollar-plus homes in the last six or seven years. We're all about the same age, 40s to 50s, with kids in high school or college, and the neighborhood, excluding us, is pretty well-off. Hot topic at all the summer parties this year has been how to qualify for financial aid when the kids go away to school--what do you have to report as income, what can you move around so it doesn't count, what can you claim as a debt or obligation against your assets? If we can afford to give aid to people making mid-six figure incomes who know how to work the system, we can kick a little loose for the poor.
:-) nmKristin
Sep 2, 2003 12:57 PM
Shameless, by GodPdxMark
Sep 2, 2003 1:41 PM
Wow. Nice neighbors.

With conversations like that at the summer party, I wonder why they'd even bother to move assets around. Why not simply lie on the application forms, leave out a few asset accounts. Because afterall, it is THEIR money, they pay (some) of their taxes, they're much more ENTITLED to that financial aid than some wastrel from a poor family that lacks drive and character.
I'd give them all free collegeDougSloan
Sep 2, 2003 3:32 PM
I'd favor giving every single poor person who can academically qualify free college education. Probably the best spent tax money ever. A partial solution would be government loans for college that are forgiven after certain service after college, sort of like physicians agreeing to practice in rural areas or military service.

Yep. Agree entirely. nmOldEdScott
Sep 3, 2003 5:25 AM
Re: I'd give them all free collegekilimanjaro
Sep 3, 2003 12:05 PM
You mean like the Americorps program that the Bush administration has cut funding for? Sorry, could not resist