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Comment Re:Beware the gig economy... (Score 1) 120

If most people swap jobs every few years, does it really make sense for employers to be responsible for their retirement savings?

I have to agree with you that the whole "mandatory retirement contribution" thing is pretty much just an annoyance for all concerned today. I understand the rationale for it (because most people are incapable of long-term planning), but it's a terrible idea for people who are in jobs for a short term and need to deal with all sorts of different retirement accounts spread out in various systems.

When I was younger, I took a few short-term jobs and once worked as a state employee for a couple years. In all of these I was required to make mandatory "contributions" out of my pay toward retirement accounts. Well, with the state employee system, I was told when I left that I didn't have enough years to qualify for a pension, so unless I returned to the system, my account would accrue interest for 5 years, after which it would become dormant. I could withdraw the money and put it in an IRA or something at any time, but by doing so, I would forfeit the years of experience I had accrued in the system.

Anyhow, at first I wanted to keep options open, so I didn't withdraw immediately. And then the interest rates the account was paying was pretty good compared to how things were going in the market at the time, so I figured I'd just withdraw after the 5 years. Well, after 5 years, I contacted them, and the money was GONE. Turns out they changed the policy since I was employed, and rather making accounts just dormant after 5 years, you were summarily deleted from the system, and all of your retirement money was forfeited and returned to the state pension pool.

Next, I had a very short-term gig (actually indirectly for a different state government) and was again required to contribute mandatory retirement. In this case, it was only a few hundred dollars, but they didn't really notify me of all the details, so I wasn't even aware of this balance or where it went. A couple years later, I had moved, but they decided to send my money to some 3rd-party account management service, which charged a $15/month fee to hold my money. I wasn't aware of any of this (because I had moved and wasn't even really aware that I was owed benefits) until the 3rd-party company finally located me and sent me a statement that this account was being closed, since my balance had fallen to $12 (all the rest had gone to fees), and they could no longer maintain it... so they literally sent me a check for $12 after taking all the rest of my retirement money.

I'm currently fighting to get another small amount out of such a 3rd-party company because of other retirement benefits I wasn't even made aware of for a short-term contractual position nearly a decade ago.

Cumulatively, all of the money I've lost isn't that much compared to my main retirement savings, but it's preposterous that people all the time are making forced contributions to retirement accounts for short-term employment -- sometimes where they're not even told clearly that they even are being given those benefits other than on an unclear line on a paystub -- and then having to jump through hoops to track down or keep that money, and then deal with the hassle of moving it to other accounts.

Comment Re:Bullshit isn't the same as "lie". (Score 1) 226

As someone else said, lies are pretty easy to detect but you have to go find sources. It is amazing how media today does not provide actual sources, but layers of links to other sites repeating the same lie they themselves repeat. It is very time consuming to find actual truths, but I find it necessary today. Media has become masterful, sadly, at removing context to create a narrative based on a sliver of truth. Unfortunately, that is not the only way they lie (see below).

You are right that good bullshit appeals to emotion, but it's not quite as simple usually as reading an appeal to emotion fallacy. I think the telling thing is how people react when you suggest that people look for full sets of facts or provide a contrary opinions/conclusions. The hostility, especially from the left today, should set off people's bullshit meters.

This is an education video on how the media lies. This is also true of Politicians, just to be clear. A funny note here is that Sargon is a left of a true Liberal. I disagree with him at an intellectual level, but we could debate the disagreements. The leftists however, tend to hate him and slander him. "Dangerous thoughts" and all that.

Comment Re:I hate euphemisms.... (Score 1) 120

With the "hook-up" generation, there certainly is no shortage of sex happening, so unplanned families are going to happen regardless of want or need.

That's factually untrue. Maybe you're unaware, but birth control has been around for at least a half-century now, and abortion is cheap and easily available now (meaning chemical abortions), not to mention "day after pills". Obviously, access might be a problem for poor people, but in general, unplanned families should not be a big problem any more, especially for anyone who can afford birth control.

So we can leave having families to rich people and the very poor.

Establishing a retirement plan to fund life after employment or carrying insurance to help pay for the inevitable should never be viewed as a "luxury".

It shouldn't, in your worldview and opinion, but that's not reality. The reality is that this is how it will be, like it or not. (Note, I never said I thought this was a great way to run a society. But no one asked me on how to run this one.)

If that is the attitude of tomorrow, then we shouldn't be surprised when slavery becomes legal again in the name of unending Greed that races to establish the worlds first trillionaires.

I agree completely. I think we shouldn't be surprised when slavery is legalized, and I think it's not unrealistic to envision this.

I just don't see the point in having rosy, unrealistic and idealistic visions of what the future will be. I think we should be realistic and prepared for what it will really be like. And that's trillionaires and slavery. But don't worry, the problem will correct itself eventually, thanks to an extremely low birthrate.

Comment Re:I hate euphemisms.... (Score 1) 120

I'm not talking about specific cases, I'm talking in general: if people, in general, stop having kids, then the stuff mentioned before becomes less of an issue. So that's going to be the general trend for society: not having any kids. Then people won't have to worry much about having siblings to support (more and more people will be only children), and their only worry will be their parents (which may more may not be an issue for some people, depending on their relationship with their parents: i.e., if the parents were shitty to them while growing up, as many parents seem to be, the kids won't bother taking care of them).

And so, in the end, this whole problem in society will fix itself.

Comment Thanks for helping but I prefer the original (Score 1) 152

Its more like 100 Billion in debt.

Yes I know that (with long term factored in) but I was trying to present the worst possible number or my argument....

If you factor in your debt estimate to my original numbers, then the percentage the EU is asking for is more like 14%, not 7.5%, making the EU's request even more absurd and unreasonable...

I think you for the support but really like I said, I prefer to show that even the worst case is still too high a percentage, rather than showing a more accurate number that is more open to debate.

Comment Re:I hate euphemisms.... (Score 1) 120

This is easily mitigated these days: don't have a family. Now you only have to worry about making enough money for yourself, and saving enough for yourself on days you don't have any work.

I'm not sure if you're being serious or sarcastic. But if you're serious -- Even assuming you can personally save enough money to avoid begging on the street, you do realize that most people in the world have families whether they like it or not?? E.g., Parents, who might get ill and can't take care of themselves on their own, or even siblings who might end up out of work or whatever. Just because you don't have kids to feed doesn't mean you won't end up with any family obligations to help support. Such situations happen more commonly than you might think, and it can be a significant strain on people who have low incomes.

Comment Re:The USA hasn't recovered from prohibition. (Score 1) 144

You think you can't rest while having a drink?

There is nothing immoral about drinking, nothing. Even the fictional character, Jesus, drank. His #1 miracle was turning water into good wine.

By their own rules: They are going to hell for _not_ drinking and claiming the bible says not to drink. Mostly the latter, there is no rule that says you must, just as their is no rule saying you shouldn't.

Comment Re:And, I might start buying more from them again. (Score 1) 173

Same here. In fact what happened is that if Amazon was going to ding me for shipping, I promptly went off to eBay, located the same item (usually from the same seller!!) offered with free shipping, and after a few iterations stopped bothering with Amazon entirely.

So yeah... stop trying to make your profit on shipping, make the threshold realistic for smaller purchases, and you'll get me back.

Submission + - Last mile? UPS develops drones for the last 100 yards of deliveries... (bloomberg.com)

mi writes: A Bloomberg article describes a test conducted by UPS on Monday, launching an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a truck about a quarter-mile to a blueberry farm outside Tampa, Florida. The drone dropped off a package at a home on the property, and returned to the truck, which had moved about 2,000 feet. The company is looking to design a “rolling warehouse” system in which a drone is deployed from the roof of a UPS truck and flies at an altitude of 200 feet to the destination. It returns after dropping off the package while the truck is already on its way to the next stop.

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