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06:38 PM on 02/24/2010
One of the most ignorant articles I read in some time. It buys into the myth that artificially increasing wages helps an economy. Mises.org does a great job dispelling this, but if just increasing wages would help our economy why not makes the minimum wage $100 an hour? Or $1000/hour?
12:13 AM on 02/25/2010
I think the point is that real wages for the top 10% are shooting up while everyone else has stagnant or declining real wages. In other words, the wealthiest are getting wealthier and the poorest are getting poorer. Now the middle class is getting poorer. Every piece of statistical evidence I've seen from the last 20 years suggests this.
Looking at the economy solely as a whole is an oversimplification.
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yakmeat
Nearly all of us are both makers and takers.
12:21 AM on 02/25/2010
And if eating vegetables is so good for you, why not eat 55 lbs. of broccoli a day?

If exercise prevents obesity, why not do a decathlon every other day?

If too much sugar causes cavities, why not just save some trouble by pulling out all of your teeth?

If it takes extreme hyperbole to make a point, why not ask if the point is entirely valid?
ThatsTheTheWayItIs
religion, ideology, partisanship are delusional
06:19 PM on 02/24/2010
Interest on debt is slavery, or at least indentured servitude.

What a great scam! The rich run the country and
- tell the young they need a college education or they'll be poor
- loan them the money to go to college, then live off their debt
- that makes more college graduates, which
- drives down labor costs, so corporate profits and stock rise

The rich get richer and the next generation gets poorer, except those born rich.
05:02 PM on 02/24/2010
Most people in the world do not own a car. Few have a couch. Americans buy these things, sometimes on credit.
ThatsTheTheWayItIs
religion, ideology, partisanship are delusional
05:40 PM on 02/24/2010
All the people in the developed world (other than US) have those things, and they don't need to borrow to buy them.

FYI within 10 years there will be 2 billion cars in the world. That's one per 3-4 people, meaning most families in the world WILL have cars. I'll bet they buy them with income, not debt.
05:49 PM on 02/24/2010
Most people do not live in the developed world. But you have missed my whole point. Far from a ponzi-scheme, capitalism is what makes the world develop.
02:56 AM on 02/25/2010
The problem is that Americans NEED cars -- unlike in most parts of the world, cars are a necessity here.
11:52 AM on 02/25/2010
no they aren't
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Peyton Farquhar
04:25 PM on 02/24/2010
Workers need unions? LOL. Evidently, the writer of this ridiculous piece has never heard of California. Public unions continue to bankrupt the state. When you see that unions have given retirees six digit pensions plus platinum plated bennies that would make the congressional aristocracy green with envy, you'd sing an entirely different tune about unions. Unions screw over everyone who pays taxes. the answer isn't more unions: the answer is to have a federal govt that actually works FOR the people instead of the corporations.
ThatsTheTheWayItIs
religion, ideology, partisanship are delusional
05:44 PM on 02/24/2010
The unions did work for the people: the workers, not the taxpayers. The rich CA taxpayer is coddled as it is; look at the incredibly regressive Proposition 13 property tax you have: taxes paid on the purchase price of the home, not it's current value. As Warren Buffet notes, he pays more property tax on his $500K Omaha home than on his $5M CA home.

What you in CA need is a tax system that works for the people, not for the rich.
09:01 PM on 02/24/2010
The fact is, we should not be paying ANY property tax on our main homes/residences. We have the right to own property free and clear of government interfearances. If the economy is bad and you cannot afford to pay the taxes, they take your property even after 30 years of paying it off, and improving the land. That isn't right.

As for unions. I have worked for unions, good and bad. The union is what its members make it. PERIOD. I have worked for non unions shops too, some good some bad. The bad ones have high turn over rates, the good ones are hard to get into.

Unions are not the problem nor the solution here. The fact is our economys problems were started back in the 90's with steps being taken to form NAFTA and global trade zones. NAFTA, North America Free Trade Act, destroyed our economy.

As far as the student loan industry is concerned, Look at the historical record. The governments own Corporation, Sallie Mae, has lead the charge in 90 percent of all changes to the Higher Education Assistance Act, since its beginning. SLM has been at the root of changing the system of one of non profit, that helps studens and ensures America has qualified higher educated persons to fill positions that require higher education, to a system that parasites off of ALL students and is in reality a detriment to future stablity of America's future.
03:37 PM on 02/24/2010
What most people don't get is that if they paid 40% more in taxes but didn't have to pay for health insurance, dental insurance, day care and all the rest, they'd be ahead of the game. Right now we pay taxes, and then use the remaining income for those very things we otherwise then wouldn't have to purchase. If I had to pay for example $100 more in taxes for universal health care but didn't have to pay health insurance premiums, I'm way ahead of the game. Even at $200 I'm still ahead. Premiums are $5000-$8000 on average versus $2400 more in taxes.
ThatsTheTheWayItIs
religion, ideology, partisanship are delusional
05:49 PM on 02/24/2010
Exactly true. When both taxes and health care costs are combined, we in the US pay more than most developed nations. Like low prices, low taxes are useless if you get nothing for them.
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plumnelly
01:41 AM on 02/25/2010
Exactly!
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Mark Mack
02:58 PM on 02/24/2010
Thanks. Mr. Samuels. Yeah, the student loan system has pretty much been socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor and Bush privatizing the system has made the lenders even more audacious and unfortunatley Sallie Mae and its competitors have NOT been falling on deaf ears in the Senate while President Obama is trying to close the privitization system and streamline it.

Here's an article on how the archaic lender subsidies provided lenders with a $1 billion tom foolery that the Republican Congress and Republican Administration knew would happen.
http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/devil-details/bush-knew-about-1-billion-student-loan-boondoggle-lender-says/1451/

With the Supreme Court ruling back in 2005 the Student Loans are collectible by Social Security, the issue regarding Student Loan and Bankruptcy is even more pressing and timely, now that the Supreme Court has decided to deservedly hear the ladder argument.
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Schaef
02:54 PM on 02/24/2010
The irony of your article being, that the government has been buying up student loans like crazy in the last year or so.

Sort of like how they bought up a bunch of mortgages, and then the housing market tanked, and their solution was to buy even more.
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incognito-ergo-sum
ProgLibFemHumanist. Thanks tax payers for paying
02:48 PM on 02/24/2010
Student loans are much like credit card loans, there is no collateral. With nothing to repossess, the students have little to fear from the lenders. They can get a job and send a small amount each month, never intending to repay because that will be impossible for most of them.

Once they lose their fear of being sued for payment, which hardly ever happens, they just forget about the loans. When I got my last credit rating the student loan was not on there.

Check your credit with the free credit . com because I have great credit due to some lady with the same name purchasing and paying for large items with department store cards.

To whomever you are, namesake, thank you very much, and keep charging.
04:43 PM on 02/24/2010
If "in" is a Latin prefix used to negate the root it is attached to, then your name, incognito, would be most apt.

You are unabashedly ignorant of the nature of student loans, which are the most burdensome form of private debt that exists. Student loan debt is "nondischargeable" in bankruptcy, meaning you can effectively never get rid of it. Whereas if you took out $100,000 to start a business, and it utterly failed, you could erase that debt through the bankruptcy process, if you took out $100,000 to get a degree to get a professional job, and you failed to obtain one, there would be no way to eliminate that debt. You could find even a minimum wage job, and still get 25% of each paycheck docked by your student loan creditors. In other words: a failed educational investment will crush you for life.

I hope you don't find this out the hard way. But you can organize to prevent this fate from befalling you; go to www.studentloanjustice.org to join us!
04:56 PM on 02/24/2010
Oops, I didn't see that 'n' - I should have said that if "in-" is a Latin prefix used to negate the root it is attached to, then incogito would be a more apt pseudonym for you.
05:10 PM on 02/24/2010
Thanks! I will certainly take a look, since I graduated from law school at the wrong time and am crushed under a mountain of debt with no effective way to pay it back at the moment.

You're right in that if you have dream and open a business, you could file bankruptcy if it didn't work out. If you have a dream to be a international lawyer and graduate into a tanked economy, lie I did, then I have no way to lessen the burden.
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05:55 PM on 02/24/2010
Watch what you say. They just came after me for a private student loan that was made 15+ years ago. They took me to court too, and I lost. Sudent loans are on your back permanently until paid off. Banks need money now more than ever, they are going after ALL student loan defaulters BIG TIME. It's guaranteed profit for them to collect, thanks to the US Congress! Your time will come soon.

My balance wasn't so big, so they won't be garnishing my wages or putting a lien on my house, yet.
06:45 PM on 02/24/2010
I got my student loan forgiven. They discovered I have not worked for 11 years, paid no taxes, have no job. They gave up. If a person has none of the above, the only thing left is to jail them which they won't do.
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incognito-ergo-sum
ProgLibFemHumanist. Thanks tax payers for paying
09:33 PM on 02/24/2010
ChickenLips, thank you for the reply. Yes a student loan is on your back forever, but the mess of collecting these defaulted loans must be reaching critical mass about now (see that 20,000 lets me post this technical stuff).

For the poster with a kid in college, you can no longer get a bankruptcy on just credit card debt, thanks Republicans. But you can use the credit cards to pay off some or all of the debt, then you will fight private corporations, not the Federal Government. It is easier this way.

If I ever win the lotto I will cheerfully pay of my student loans, and there are many, but right now I do not expect to be sued. I have played phone and mail tag over my loans for years, because I wanted the disability insurance on the loans to pay them off. Now, if they keep track of me, they will get paid when I die. Every one of my loans had insurance with them.