Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Second Amendment

I got curious, so I did something crazy. I googled "repeal second amendment". 

What came up made me both laugh and snort furiously at my computer.

Here I give you six opinion pieces: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

I'll let you read them and make your own assumptions, but here's my opinion on the matter. 

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

What part of "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" don't people understand? It wasn't meant for only militias, it wasn't meant for only hunters, and it is NOT an outdated, archaic clause in an otherwise brilliant piece of work.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Social Security in trouble?? Nooooo....

CNN story here.
The recession strikes again. Maybe now our dumbass politicians will consider one of the only options that will save the broken system that doesn't involve taxing us at levels that would make the Swedish blush. Social Security was created in 1935 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 128. Instead of utilizing asset allocation with the taxpayer money that was flowing in the politicians decided that the "investments" needed to go into risk-free government treasury bills. Here's a logarithmic graph comparing the returns of small and large-cap stocks' returns and the T-Bills that the Social Security money is invested in. Photobucket Notice that if you invested $1 back then in T-Bills it would be worth around $18 2004. If you had invested $1 in large-cap, which are relatively safe compared to mid and small-cap, you'd have around $2,500. If the politicians back then had had the balls to allocate even just a small percentage of the FICA revenue in small-cap funds we wouldn't have this problem with the system today. Here's a linear graph of the Dow's returns from about 1928 to today. Photobucket Over its life, it has averaged 10.83%. So, even if you vehemently hate George W. Bush and all of his policies, can you at least see that what he wanted to do in 2005 with Social Security was a sound idea that could've helped with this today? Opponents claimed he just wanted to give Americans' retire money to Wall Street and his corporate fat-cat friends. Uh huh. People used that as an argument. Sad, huh? What he really wanted to do was let people invest 4% of the 7.65% taken from every one of your paychecks in whatever they wanted, including stocks, bonds, bank CDs, money market funds, mutual funds, etc.. Only 4% of the total (7.65% is taken from your paycheck and an extra 7.65% is paid by your employer) would be available for alternative investments. The other 11.3% would have been invested in T-Bills, just like it has always been. It was a voluntary participation program. Those who didn't want to participate didn't have to, and the system would've worked the same for them as it had for the generation before them. So, are the politicians going to look at the facts and do the right thing, or are they going to do what will keep them in office in 2010? I guess we'll see.