Debt Rattle May 6 2015


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    Jack Delano Foggy night in New Bedford, Massachusetts 1941 • Death Of The American Dream As A Big Bubble Readies To Pop (MarketWatch) • US Trade Defic
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 6 2015]


    This link was posted over at CHS’ blog. It’s a good read, highlighting the addiction that is money and power.

    “IN my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.

    Wealth addiction was described by the late sociologist and playwright Philip Slater in a 1980 book, but addiction researchers have paid the concept little attention. Like alcoholics driving drunk, wealth addiction imperils everyone. Wealth addicts are, more than anybody, specifically responsible for the ever widening rift that is tearing apart our once great country. Wealth addicts are responsible for the vast and toxic disparity between the rich and the poor and the annihilation of the middle class. Only a wealth addict would feel justified in receiving $14 million in compensation — including an $8.5 million bonus — as the McDonald’s C.E.O., Don Thompson, did in 2012, while his company then published a brochure for its work force on how to survive on their low wages. Only a wealth addict would earn hundreds of millions as a hedge-fund manager, and then lobby to maintain a tax loophole that gave him a lower tax rate than his secretary. […]

    I see Wall Street’s mantra — “We’re smarter and work harder than everyone else, so we deserve all this money” — for what it is: the rationalization of addicts. From a distance I can see what I couldn’t see then — that Wall Street is a toxic culture that encourages the grandiosity of people who are desperately trying to feel powerful.”


    Regarding the “reduced Social Security benefits”: I’m actually happy to see that 75% of Americans are taking the more sensible option (at least the one I think is sensible for most people). The way the system is currently arranged, if you take it at 62, the cross over point where you would get more by waiting doesn’t happen until about age 78. If you were to die anytime in that ~16 year period, you would have definitely come out ahead by collecting sooner.

    There is an academic who discusses maximizing your SS, and tries to push people toward waiting, I think that is an option more open to upper income people. His argument is good, if you can afford it. But the academic department I work in has starting salaries of about $130k/year, I think life might be a little harder for people down around median household income (~$50k)

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