Archive for the Entitlements Category

“Titters” v. “Self-Unemployed” (September 1, 2014)

Posted in Entitlements, Judicial Arrogance, On [Traits/Characteristics], Pensions, Work on September 1, 2014 by

. . .

Q          “If you plan to attract an academic clique, you need to concoct your own hip lingo.  Those who are in the know need to believe they are in a selective and exclusive circle.”

P          “I also call them ‘9-to-5ers’.  That is just not as much fun . . . or as facetious.”

. . .

P          “‘Class’ is a telling factor even though we profess to live in a class-free society.  And of course ‘Earnings’ or ‘Income’ however defined are salient traits.”

Q          “Social scientists have it covered with the more antiseptic academic catch-all phrase ‘Socioeconomic Status’.  ‘Race’ is also intertwined with ‘Socioeconomic Status’.”

P          “‘Education’ also impacts and is impacted by ‘Socioeconomic Status’.”

Q          “‘Religion.’  ‘Religion’ and ‘Race’ are related.  Some say that the most segregated hour of the week is every Sunday morning in the houses of worship.”

P          “And one’s ‘Political Party’ is one’s defining clan and secular religion.  Some hypothesize that the Red Clan hates the Blue Clan; the Blue Clan hates the Red Clan.”

. . .

P          “A nuanced understanding of ‘Employment Status’ is also revealing.  The differences between those who are employed and those who are unemployed refine the analysis.  When I poll people who are among the employed cohort, the most defining trait is the difference between those who are ‘Titters’ versus those who are ‘Self-Unemployed’.  Is someone working for the government or working for himself or herself?  The analysis can be expanded to cover anyone getting a regular pay check, yet someone working for a corporation does have an almost certain guarantee of lifetime government employment.  The distinction between ‘Titters’ versus the ‘Self-Unemployed’ is more telling and tells you as much as the other conventional traits.”

Q          “One’s employment circumstance may be even more revealing than whether one is a devotee of the Designated Hitter Rule or not.”

P          “Exactly.  The ‘Titters’ feel entitled to every single penny and will fight for every single penny.  And they are tight with every penny.  ‘I earned it.’  The ‘Titters’ do not feel that they should pay the ‘Self-Unemployed’ for their services.”

. . .

P          “When ‘Titters’ talk about the mission of their bureau, almost without fail they preface the discussion by stating that they cannot get the job done without even more money and even more personnel.  The ‘Self-Unemployed’ admit that they don’t have enough money and personnel, but they soldier on within their limited means.”

Q          “I know one guy who spends his work days twisting paper clips into animal figures and complains that the bureau can’t get the job done without even more money and even more personnel.”

. . .

P          “Those who are ‘Self-Unemployed’ recognize that money is ‘Hard come, easy go’ and are often willing to throw a few dollars into the pot even though they do not know whether the next dollar will arrive.”

Q          “I’ve notice that those who are ‘Self-Unemployed’ also may deduct a few meals that are only quasi business-related and thus spread the costs of their pinching with other citizens.  They may also a slip a few dollars in their pocket without accounting to the Great Uncle.”

P          “Pinching pennies by pinching pennies.  Not a great surprise.”

. . .

P          “Those who work for the government eat.  Those who work for themselves eat . . . what they kill . . . if they kill.”

. . .

P          “Republican Judges and Democratic Judges share one conviction – they will protect their pensions uber alles.  One judge did not have any problem with the plight of a group of new employees who were forced to fund the retirement of an earlier group of retirees even though the new employees could not participate in the retirement fund under any circumstances.”

Q          “Raw naked amoral power, the currency in courts today.  And the judge surely participates in the old plan.  Bankruptcy Judges will be increasingly deciding the issue and rarely are able to repudiate one hard reality.  Resources of a debtor are finite.  Almost all pensions today are actuarially unsound.  If the money is not there in a bankruptcy case, it is not there.”

P          “Judges other than Bankruptcy Judges will find some legal hook to order, adjudge and decree that their pensions shall be paid under any and all circumstances.”

Q          “The new employees are a generation younger than the old employees. The conflict is both intra-generational and inter-generational.”

. . .

_          “A substantial cohort of citizens are entering retirement with no possibility of even maintaining a poverty level life style.  The unfunded Social Security obligations dwarf in comparison to this unrecognized and unanticipated financial burden.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at Pensions and Other Entitlements: Pt. 1 (April 14, 2008) and Pensions and Other Entitlements: Pt. 2 (April 28, 2008) and other e-commentary under the Category on “Pensions” at

Bumper stickers of the week:

For folks not working for the government, your retirement party is now known as your funeral.

For folks who are “Self-Unemployed,” your last day on the job is also your last day on the planet.

“Perspectives on Race, Class, Gender, Titters and The Self-Unemployed 101” at 9 a.m. M W F at Mr. and Ms. R. Baron Hall taught by Adjunct Professor of Race, Class, Gender, Titters and The Self-Unemployed H. Sebastian . . . .

Pay Your Bills, Bundy! (April 28, 2014)

Posted in Entitlements, Race, Sports on April 28, 2014 by

. . .

C1          “Pay up and shut up.”

C2          “I agree.  Pay his bill.  It is that simple.  There are too many freeloaders and dead beats in American today.”

C1          “This entitlement mentality is getting way out of control.”

. . .

C1          “Lincoln’s dad was one of the first real estate property developers who cleared land and put up rail fences for folks.  Young Lincoln interned for his dad and helped with the work.”

C2          “The picture of him splitting rails was a crowd pleaser in his election campaigns.”

C1          “That experience shaped him as he moved with the land clearing business from Kentucky to Illinois.  When he was President, Lincoln signed the Homestead Act right in the middle of the Civil War in 1862 also being fought in part over land.  The legislation gave land taken from the locals folks without just compensation to immigrants who were given an opportunity to prove up the land.  A guy like Cliven Bundy or his predecessors was given free land for a little healthy outside work.”

C2          “The Bureau of Land Management is the nation’s realtor and oversees the public land not dedicated to more specific purposes.  Too many property owners who abut BLM property feel entitled to use our property for free.”

C1          “The Park Service still wears military uniforms that reflect the early days when they were engaged in combative confrontations with belligerent individuals who felt entitled to all the public land.”

C2          “If Cliven does not like BLM policy, he can write his congressman to change the law.  Congress sets public land policy.”

C1          “Or he can run for Congress.  Put up or shut up.”

. . .

C2          “Sterling revealed himself in private.  The government cannot and should not be able to use in court any testimony obtained if an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.  However, the public is free to evaluate any statement made by an individual in the court of public opinion even if the individual did not intend to be candid.”

C1          “Candid comments have the benefit of being candid.  He could have shut up.  Now he needs to ‘fess up.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

A sense of entitlement manifests itself in so many subtle ways.

Don’t judge me by what I say or by what I do

As we approach the post-O’bama era, America is still a pre-racial country.

Bundy / Sterling in 2016.  For No Change

Eu-rope Is Mal-rope (May 7, 2012)

Posted in Bankruptcy, Banks and Banking System, Debt/Deficits, Entitlements, Europe, Foreign Policy on May 7, 2012 by

. . .

1          “Putin is put in, Sarkozy is put out.  The Dutch government is dissolved.  The Greeks have had it with not having it.  The Germans have had it with having to pay for others to have it.  The Spanish have no realistic recovery plan to have it all or even to have it half.”

2          “The have-nots and even the haves have had it.  The community described as ‘Socialist Europe’ is now moving to the right.  Restrictive immigration policies are always a harbinger of hate on the horizon.”

1          “Generosity emerges when individuals meet their needs and have adequate resources to share with others.  With diminishing resources and declining opportunities, Europeans with resources are protecting their piece of the crumbling pie.”

2          “After World War I, the victors imposed unworkable reparations on the Germans that were doomed to fail and set the stage for another war.  After World War II, the victors implemented the workable ‘Marshal Plan’ that destined the economies to succeed and set the stage for an exceptional peace.  The magnanimous approach was and is considered prudent, progressive, productive and profitable.  Today, the Germans have reverted to the World War I model in a doomed effort to end the financial war raging in Europe.”    

1          “After World War II, the Germans and the Japanese learned that it is easier to take by investment than by invasion, but that lesson is being lost.  Today, a nation’s debt is really little more than a default deferred.  The Europeans need to hit the ’ctr-alt-del’ button and build a better economy.”

2          “For some time, it has been just a matter of time.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Eu-rope is Mal-rope . . . and on the ropes

Those who know the ropes realize that Eu-rope is on the ropes and at the end of their rope because they gave themselves too much rope and are now trying to rope in their excesses in a way that may only hang them all.  They are at the bitter end and are getting bitter.

Make work not war

A nation’s debt is really little more than a default deferred

In Heaven, the mechanics are German, the police are British, the chefs are French, the lovers are Italian and the entire place is organized and run by the Swiss.  In Hell, the police are German, the chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and the entire place is organized and run by the Italians.  In Purgatory, the debtors are Spanish, Portuguese, Irish, Icelandic, Italian . . . . and the entire place is disorganized and run by the ECB, IMF, FRD and GS.

The Swiss are adequate lovers . . . really

We Ain’t Ants; We Are Grasshoppers (April 9, 2012)

Posted in Depression, Entitlements, Environment, Food, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Pogo Plight, Society, Water on April 9, 2012 by

. . .

C1          “Eating out will make you eat in.  Or lose your appetite.  Americans devour too much food and waste too much food.  A friend said that he could not go a week in any activity catering to the American appetite because he could not stomach the gross waste of food.”

C2          “Americans put too much on their waists and then waste the rest.  They waist food and then waste food.”    

C1          “If Bill Shakespeare didn’t document it, Aesop did.  The timeless human experience.”

C2          “Bill on burgers, Aesop on arugula?”

C1          “I thought they relayed the ‘Ant and the Grasshopper fable’ to us to teach us to play well with others even if the others played too much.  I thought we would be directed to be a good ant and let the grasshopper come in out of the cold.  Then she read the ending and said that the ants rebuked and rebuffed the grasshopper when he sought to come in out of the cold.”

C2          “You can’t blame them.  The ants saved and gathered all summer while the grasshopper played and partied.”

C1          “But we are all playing and partying.  There are not enough ants.” 

C2          “Everyone must be an enlightened ant.  The grasshoppers are preparing by collecting guns.  The few ants must continue to save and gather and . . . collect guns.”  

. . .

[See the article “Clean your plate, save the world?: Scientific American.”]

[See the “e-ssays” titled “Beans and Bullets (April 6, 2009),” “On Entitlements (July 19, 2010)” and “Girding For The Going Grid (October 11, 2010).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Personal responsibility; fiscal responsibility; legal responsibility

Providence prefers providence

Boxing Day (December 26, 2011)

Posted in Consumerism, Economics, Entitlements on December 26, 2011 by

. . .

B          “On this day, the servants were allowed to use the discarded gift boxes from the previous day’s festivities to take some of the leftovers home.”

C          “The genesis of recycling.  I thought it also refers to the fights that break out when consumers brawl for gifts to continue the holiday celebration.  Like fisticuffs for sneakers.  Bare-knuckled negotiations to acquire something to cover one’s feet.”

B          “The Boxing Day model is a private sector approach, yet only a few lucky souls benefit.  We as a society cannot any longer create the conditions to allow everyone to work.  And we cannot continue to provide government payments to those who are not working.  And we cannot rely on private charity, even with substantial tax deductions for the contributions, to provide for those who are not working.  And we cannot not do something for those who are not working.”

C          “Cut defense spending on the hundreds of frivolous boondoggles that do not contribute to our national defense.”

B          “That is part of the solution.  We are in a box.  The best the ‘best’ can do is counsel us to ‘think outside the box’ without even understanding why we are boxed in by our limited resources.”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Sit long, talk much, laugh a lot

On Entitlements (July 19, 2010)

Posted in Congress, Entitlements, Politics, Society on July 19, 2010 by

. . .

G          “There was a time when a citizen possessed a few cherished inalienable rights and a variety of revocable privileges.  Along came this hybrid thing called an ‘entitlement’ that soon morphed into a quasi-right.  Now too many entitlements are regarded as inalienable birthrights.”

H          “There isn’t anyone in America who does not feel entitled to an easy life without effort or sacrifice.”

G          “Except some individuals in the Middle West of America.  They do not believe they are entitled to everything.  However, they do not show up on the radar because they live in an area known as the ‘flyover states.’  They are not counted and thus don’t count, although they can and do count.”

H          “The entitlement mentality infects each and every class, race, region, religion and age group in the country.  Except some individuals in the Middle West, you contend.”

G          “Americans believe that they are entitled not to die.  Repudiating one’s mortality, now that is an entitlement.  The future will be rude for most Americans.  Except some individuals in the Middle West who are better prepared to weather the coming economic tornado.  The courts first created due process rights and then the Democratic and Republican Parties embraced and expanded them with as much zeal as their constituents.”

H          “Registered Republicans pitch a hissy fit about the guv-mint, yet they demand the same or more entitlements as others.  No one is immune.”

G          “Except some individuals you know where.  Entitlements are now at the core and heart of the American DNA.”

H          “The future will be a taxing emotional transition for an unprepared people.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

The guv-mint should keep its hands off my Social Security.

Je suis entitled.

I am owed.

I am entitled.

On The Digital Revolution (March 22, 2010)

Posted in Cyberactivities, Economics, Entitlements, Estate Tax, Kleptocracy, Society, Water on March 22, 2010 by

. . .

“Most, if not just about all, of the fortunes amassed in the last ten to twenty years were stolen.  Nothing was created.  Much was destroyed.”

“Jobs created some jobs.”

“And to his credit he is still creating a few.  There are a few others who are producing and contributing, yet they are the rare exceptions.  Scrutinize the “Forbes 400” list.  Some have family money.  Some made some contribution.  Few of them have done much to produce a product or provide a service.  The companies they overleveraged will soon overwhelm the economy.  At best they structure affairs to shift risk to others or to the taxpayers.  Successful businesses are dismembered and destroyed not created.  That is the fundamental difference between the robber barons of olde and the robber barons of new.”

“No dispute here.”

“Taxing some of the stolen money is impossible when the government can be and has been taken over and overtaken by the small cabal that owns and runs the kleptocracy.”

“No dispute here.”

“Today we hold electrons not dollars.  For a few seconds one afternoon, my computer indicated that there was nothing in my retirement account.  All 000s.  All goose eggs.  That caught my attention.  Seemed like a true harbinger of what will happen in the future.  The system refreshed in a few seconds and reported familiar figures.  What about a Digital Revolution that simply eliminates from all records ownership of any assets over five million dollars by any one person?”

“Cyberactivities are the real weapons of mass destruction.  They are also the weapons of mass creation.  Sort of like nuclear technology that is creative when harnessed for positive ends and destructive when deployed for harmful ends.  A five million dollar threshold will not impact me.”

“After the Digital Revolution, when you log onto your computer, you discover that you have no more than five million per person and ten million per couple including a personal residence, a vehicle, savings, golf clubs, polo saddles, etc.  As a rough gauge of worth or value to the individual, the algorithm will treat assets within a class such as a residence, cabin, car or boat that has been owned the longest as the most valuable and will remain with the individual.  The other assets will be randomly assigned to others.”

“No impact here, yet imagine the surprise one morning when someone wakes up to discover that he owns a fractional interest in a fractionally-rigged 76 foot sloop with rod rigging and a full complement of complimentary sails.”

“That only creates another travesty.  Individuals who did not create an idea, work late at night or take a risk should not be rewarded gratuitously.  The scheme would only contribute to the entitlement mentality that is such a defining part of the problem in contemporary America.  No one seems to be producing good goods or undertaking productive activities; no one deserves any reward.  However, the Digital Revolution would make a great novel.  ‘Coming to a theater near you.’”

“Don’t worry, the Chinese will trigger the Digital Revolution, although the outcome will be far less equitable than your proposal.  Perhaps you should worry.”

(World Water Day)

(Stewart Udall 1920 – 2010)

Bumper stickers of the week:

Golden Rule:  He who has the gold makes the rules.

Carnegie made steel; today’s barons steal.

Death and Taxes: $10 M and 33 1/3 % (April 18, 2005)

Posted in Economics, Entitlements, Estate Tax, Taxation on April 18, 2005 by

(Now that the taxes are filed, it is time to deal with death)

Ben F., the key and kite guy, observed that there are two certainties in life.  Americans are so arrogant that they believe they are entitled to repudiate their mortality, although they do not believe they are entitled to pay for the effort.  Now the Congress wants to repudiate life’s other certainty, the payment of taxes upon death.  Is there no certainty in life?

Estate taxes (E taxes) are paid on the loot before anyone gets their paws on it.  Most Estate taxes are paid to the Feds, although the states will need to reach into the pot and grab a handful to survive in the near future.  Inheritance taxes (I taxes) are paid by the individuals after they get their paws on the lucre.  Most Inheritance taxes are collected by the states, although the Feds savor taxing any income from any source.

Contrary to the suggestions of their phalanxes of lawyers, lobbyists, lackeys, accountants and publicists, the rich often never paid tax on large chunks of their bounty.  Those who can afford almost anything should be afforded the opportunity to be first-class citizens.  Getting by on $10 million per couple and 66 2/3 % of the remaining stash is fair and balanced.  Anything below ten million per couple should be exempt; anything over should be taxed at 33 1/3 %.  A typical $20 M estate would yield $16 2/3 M for the kids.  That is the definition of fairness.  Fooling around with life’s certainties is foolish.  And improvident.