US elections 2021-2022

Vash01

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I'm in the same boat. Trying to figure out where on the West Coast I can afford to retire to be somewhat near friends/family and not be in a rural area with a bunch of Trumpsters and poor health care.

And after working hard for many years and saving and contributing to Social Security, I shouldn't have to work at Walmart to be able to afford whatever medicine I end up needing. It infuriates me that so many members of Congress oppose Medicare being able to negotiated prescription prices. They argue that the companies need more money for R&D, but other countries pay less that we do and pharmaceutical companies seem to have more than enough cash for stock buybacks and dividends. American seniors should not be subsidizing drug prices for everyone else, including hte rest of the world.

I read J.D. Vance's book. I didn't like him then and questioned how honest he was being. He definitely seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. I had no interest in watching the movie. I reallllly don't like him now.
What really irritates me is that they call Social Security and Medicare 'entitlements'. We contribute to both our entire working life. It is Our money! Long before these two were introduced, old people used to do any work, including cleaning peoples' homes, to make ends meet. We shouldn't have to do that. If republicans have their way, 99.9 percent people in the country could be under poverty level, while people like Bezos make trips to other galaxies. It infuriates me that the rich pay less taxes than the middle and lower class.
 

once_upon

Enough
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24,917
I was fully vested at 7 years, but the pension plan was converted to an employer match of your 403b contributions around 1992 or 1994.

At that time the pension was converted into a 403b, any credit I had was placed into an account set up by the financial group the employer selected. I was not financially savvy enough at that time to realize I should be contributing to it too. I did start contributing to it in 1996. As I said, I was fully vested so the employer matched up to 9% for me. The employer did no match until 3 years (3% match), 4 years (4%,), 5 years (7%), 10 years (9%) - I'm pulling memory from 30 years ago, so I might be misremembering the exact numbers.

Anyway, not a whole heck of a lot.
 
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Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, T&M, P&C
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I was thinking about New Mexico too. It seems saner than Arizona these days.


Not me! I have stayed in places way longer than average for my industry but even so, the days of having a pension are over.
NM is saner than Arizona, and so are many other states but I have no connection with those places.

I will need to figure out a way to have a decent life in California. WA was on my list (still unaffordable) but my nephew is moving to the Bay Area. So no point in going there. Even Oregon and parts of CA have nutcases. I am looking at home prices in Fresno. They are not as crazy as the Bay Area. That seems to be the closest in affordability and it is just 2.5 hours from the Bay Area. I even explored places like Stockton, Modesto, Madeira, Gilroy (that one is in the Bay Area though) and there is nothing affordable.

Had I made the right decision in the early 1990s I would have lived in the Bay Area, with Their salaries and at that time I could have bought a house. I worked in AZ with their salaries which are lower than average for the country. So I am kind of stuck now. I can't even afford to buy one in even Texas anymore.

If California is impossible I may consider the Houston area, which is currently affordable. I will be even further away from family but I have other connections that can partially make up for it. Is Kari Lake worse than Abbott? Yes! She is pure Trump! My blood boils when I hear what she is saying. No way I can hear her or see her on my tv screen daily.

Sadly the democrat Katie Hobbs running for Gov in AZ comes across as weak, even to me. Doesn't she have anyone to guide her? She wears casual clothes, speaks in a girlish voice, and has recently started wearing a jacket but it is orange color. She says the useful things but as you all know, nobody listens to policies. it's all about emotions, She needs to appear powerful or Lake will run her over. If Hobbs wins, Lake will not concede. She has already said so. There will be recounts, coutcases, and even violence. I am really worried.
 
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Allskate

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11,937
NM is saner than Arizona, and so are many other states but I have no connection with those places.

I will need to figure out a way to have a decent life in California. WA was on my list (still unaffordable) but my nephew is moving to the Bay Area. So no point in going there. Even Oregon and parts of CA have nutcases. I am looking at home prices in Fresno. They are not as crazy as the Bay Area. That seems to be the closest in affordability and it is just 2.5 hours from the Bay Area. I even explored places like Stockton, Modesto, Madeira, Gilroy (that one is in the Bay Area though) and there is nothing affordable.

Had I made the right decision in the early 1990s I would have lived in the Bay Area, with Their salaries and at that time I could have bought a house. I worked in AZ with their salaries which are lower than average for the country. So I am kind of stuck now. I can't even afford to buy one in even Texas anymore.

If California is impossible I may consider the Houston area, which is currently affordable. I will be even further away from family but I have other connections that can partially make up for it. Is Kari Lake worse than Abbott?
I couldn't stomach Abbott or Lake. I did live in the Bay Area in the 1990s, and I wish I had bought a home then. I had friends and colleagues buying 1 bedroom condos that are now worth a fortune. I was intent on paying off my student loans as soon as possible. I left the Bay Area for a job and now can never hope to afford to buy a place there. I used to think about the Sacramento/Davis area, but housing prices have skyrocketed there in recent years. Actually, they've skyrocketed everywhere. To me, Fresno would not be worth it, even though some of my best friends live in the Bay Area. I'd rather find a place in the Pacific Northwest. You can find nutcases in any state. To me, the issue is how many nutcases live around me and who is governing my city and state.
 

ballettmaus

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Messages
17,855
Louis may be okay with "grandma" working at Walmart but I am not. (Unless she is doing it for a bit of pocket money or to get out of the house.)
It depends. If it's someone who does it so that they don't sit around all day then I'm good with it. If they have to do it because they can't make ends meet otherwise then I'm with you.
 

SkateSand

Cat Servant
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2,006
I think I just read that the median social security payment is $1,600 a month. I live in a depressed area, although it is California, and the monthly rent on a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment (no pets) is $1,000 and up, if you can even find one. My social security income is $1,200 and I worked my entire life since I was twenty and retired at sixty-six (I didn't really intend to retire at sixty-six; it just turned out that way due to a combination of the pandemic and having a new manager from hell). If we didn't also have my husband's teacher's pension, we wouldn't be able to afford to rent an apartment here. The RV park charges $460 a month just to park our RV (which we bought because we couldn't find a rental that allowed pets). And it's the cheapest one in town. When the dust settles and we are moved into our new home, we won't be paying anything for housing other than upkeep, but not everyone is so fortunate and that's only because we sold our house and have the equity to put into a new one. But if I were single, didn't own my own home, and trying to live on $1,200 a month in California, it would be very, very shaky.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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52,301
Depends on where you work. Both corporations where I worked, I was vested at 5 years. Small companies, no.
In my entire 45-ish years of working, I only worked at a place with a pension plan once and when that company was bought out, the pension plan was dissolved.

It's just not normal in my line of work.

What really irritates me is that they call Social Security and Medicare 'entitlements'.
Technically entitlement when talking about the federal budget doesn't mean what we think it does. But unfortunately, certain politicians use that to their advantage to make people forget that SS and Medicare are not welfare programs.

I am looking at home prices in Fresno. They are not as crazy as the Bay Area. That seems to be the closest in affordability and it is just 2.5 hours from the Bay Area. I even explored places like Stockton, Modesto, Madeira, Gilroy (that one is in the Bay Area though) and there is nothing affordable.
All those places you've mentioned are so hot! :lol:
 

purple skates

Shadow Dancing
Messages
22,275
And how the heck do you think younger people feel, whose retirement years will come at a time where Social Security is projected to be insolvent?



Even if it means that their children and grandchildren will have to work until they’re 90 or 100, and / or never have any of the things that their parents had because of crippling levels of taxation far beyond what their parents ever paid. Selfish, selfish, selfish.


Yeah, it’s clear you’re in it for yourself.

The situation sucks. I’m adamant that EVERYONE must contribute financially to fixing it. No exempting old people who are able to pay and/or work. We’ve done too much of that already. What’s good for your children and grandchildren should be good for you, too.
You can’t pull the rug out from under people who planned on having a retirement benefit. That’s cruel, especially when they paid into the system in good faith.

The federal government stole from the trust fund in the flush years. They have to make good on that now. There’s lots of places they spend money on that isn’t in their constitutional wheelhouse that they could shift to paying back what they took. But that would hurt their ability to raise money from special interests.

As for future years, I tell all of our 20-something new employees to maximize their employer funded retirement program and put another 25% aside in their own. If they do that from the start the won’t miss the money in their paycheck as they progress through life.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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52,301
Yeah, it’s clear you’re in it for yourself.
:rolleyes:

You can’t pull the rug out from under people who planned on having a retirement benefit. That’s cruel, especially when they paid into the system in good faith.

The federal government stole from the trust fund in the flush years. They have to make good on that now. There’s lots of places they spend money on that isn’t in their constitutional wheelhouse that they could shift to paying back what they took. But that would hurt their ability to raise money from special interests.
Well, that's a better answer than I was going to give.

I've heard about how SS is going broke and it won't be available for this or that generation for decades. Supposedly it wasn't going to be available for me because Baby Boomers would use up all the money. As I predicted, it's still here.

IMO, two things are going on. 1) Some people want to privatize SS and are doing their best to propagandize the message that the program is broken (similar to the propaganda about the Post Office from people who want to privatize that) and 2) Congress stole some money out of it and hasn't returned it.

The first isn't a real problem and the second isn't caused by the people faithfully paying into the system and counting on the government to keep its promises so why should they be the ones to "fix it" by eating cat food, becoming homeless, taking on crappy and stressful PT jobs, etc.
 
D

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You can’t pull the rug out from under people who planned on having a retirement benefit. That’s cruel, especially when they paid into the system in good faith.

So have we. The oldest millennials, like me, who had jobs since we were 16 have 25+ years of paying into the system in good faith already. I'd really like someone to have a fair solution that doesn't just dump the problem on the young. It's a huge failure of a developed, wealthy society that we are regressing, with younger generations having it harder than older generations. (Not to mention how we sold out the youth during the pandemic. I'll spare everyone that soapbox again, but I'm never going to forget what the government did to my nieces, nephew, and countless others like them.)

As for future years, I tell all of our 20-something new employees to maximize their employer funded retirement program and put another 25% aside in their own. If they do that from the start the won’t miss the money in their paycheck as they progress through life.

But what are you telling the 50- and 60- somethings? You and others seem very willing to give a heavy dose of medicine to young people while completely exempting older people. How about work another 5-10 years, or take on a retirement job, and you won't miss the money that won't be there in your Social Security check? :saint: Why do only young people need to make up what the federal government stole (to benefit largely boomers)?

Maybe we need to recast retirement as public service, a time to give back for the advantages you've had in life. Tie social security benefits to a government job, kind of like a work-study job for college. We're not going to be able to sustain the current levels of retirements without massive levels of immigration (which will again hurt younger people). The best solution is for Boomers to work a bit longer. I'd be OK raising the official retirement age, where you get benefits with no work, to 80. With life expectancies, it's probably realistic. Those who need to can sign up for a little government-assisted job to get them to 80. Of course, one can retire before 80 but with private funds. (And this platform would have zero chances of ever being supported by any sane political candidate :lol: ).
 

once_upon

Enough
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24,917
You are ok with people like my mom, working as a nurse with dementia?
Or my sister in law who had ocular strokes (both eyes) with limited vision driving to work as an accountant not able to see numbers,
Or my father in law who had COPD dependent on oxygen and couldnt walk from his chair to the door(yes some related to smoking, but some related to occupational exposure to paint fumes and some chemical exposure while in the service)?
Or my aunt working as a nurse who had brain metastatic tumors and couldn't remember who I was or read markings on syringes to draw up medications?

I'm really not.
 

BittyBug

Disgusted
Messages
25,416
@Louis forcing seniors to keep working is not going to help younger generations the way you think it would.

When older people don't retire that harms younger employees because those older people are staying put in jobs with seniority, blocking avancement opportunities for less senior workers. It also costs companies more money because those older people tend to have higher salaries. There's a reason why large companies periodically do buyouts for older / longer service employees - to open up career advancement opportunities for their younger workforce and to cut costs.

So it's not quite as simple as you seem to think it is, unless you think that seniors should just step aside and take some menial job because they're somehow wronging society by continuing to live, which is what your posts seem to imply.
 

once_upon

Enough
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24,917
Some of us retired at 65 or 67 or 70 play a very important role in society too.

For 6 years, I was grandma day care. Helping those parents be able to save for house payments

Many retirees at my church take people to doctor's appointments.
A group developed a non profit that provides (free of charge) non perishable items like diapers, cleaning tools, toilet paper, toothbrushes, tampons, etc.
Another group established a food pantry - again without charge.
Some volunteer with a group that goes to disaster areas, such as the current Kentucky situation.

Most of those activities depend on retirees, because others cannot take time off work or have family commitments which do not allow them to do it.

My sister and her husband deliver meals on wheels in a very rural economically depressed area. Where many do not want to drive miles for delivery.

I could name others, but one does not need to continue to work to their 80's to be providing valuable services. Which one could think of as "paid work for SS benefits". I'm sure Louis can't, but others might be able to see value in retirees
 

Susan1

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12,006
@Louis forcing seniors to keep working is not going to help younger generations the way you think it would.

When older people don't retire that harms younger employees because those older people are staying put in jobs with seniority, blocking avancement opportunities for less senior workers. It also costs companies more money because those older people tend to have higher salaries. There's a reason why large companies periodically do buyouts for older / longer service employees - to open up career advancement opportunities for their younger workforce and to cut costs.

So it's not quite as simple as you seem to think it is, unless you think that seniors should just step aside and take some menial job because they're somehow wronging society by continuing to live, which is what your posts seem to imply.
You guys are forgetting who you are talking to. He didn't care if old people died of covid either.
 

clairecloutier

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14,264
It's kind of horrible and also completely unrealistic to expect people to work until 80. I've watched my parents and in-laws go through their 70s (they are just around 80 now). And all four of them have been blessed with reasonable good health through this time (no serious cancer/heart disease). However, all four have also become definitely more feeble and fragile as they've progressed through their 70s. They tire much more easily, need more sleep, need to be more careful in their movement, and have just generally slowed down. They need hearing aids and inhalers and other medications just to get through the days. They shouldn't have to be working at this age. People are simply living longer these days, and governments and society are going to have to come to grips with this. Forcing old people to work until 80 is not the answer.

And frankly, I don't want to hear how the government can't afford SS and Medicare. First of all, they can start finally taxing the wealthy and corporations and forcing them to pay their fair share. After that happens, then we can talk about other changes that may be necessary. But not until then. :mad:
 

BittyBug

Disgusted
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25,416
And frankly, I don't want to hear how the government can't afford SS and Medicare. First of all, they can start finally taxing the wealthy and corporations and forcing them to pay their fair share. After that happens, then we can talk about other changes that may be necessary. But not until then. :mad:
And overfunding the military industrial complex. I'm all for a strong defense system, but the amount of money and waste that each year gets funneled to defense contractors is ridiculous.
 

Vagabond

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Messages
23,179
43 Republican senators just voted against capping the price of insulin at $35 for people with diabetes.
This strikes me as politically reckless. The percentage of people who either have Type 1 diabetes or have someone in their immediate family with Type 1 diabetes is enough to swing many a statewide election.
 

once_upon

Enough
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Susan1

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This strikes me as politically reckless. The percentage of people who either have Type 1 diabetes or have someone in their immediate family with Type 1 diabetes is enough to swing many a statewide election.
They were talking about this this morning - article from 2019

"When inventor Frederick Banting discovered insulin in 1923, he refused to put his name on the patent. He felt it was unethical for a doctor to profit from a discovery that would save lives. Banting’s co-inventors, James Collip and Charles Best, sold the insulin patent to the University of Toronto for a mere $1. They wanted everyone who needed their medication to be able to afford it."
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, T&M, P&C
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53,813
@Louis forcing seniors to keep working is not going to help younger generations the way you think it would.

When older people don't retire that harms younger employees because those older people are staying put in jobs with seniority, blocking avancement opportunities for less senior workers. It also costs companies more money because those older people tend to have higher salaries. There's a reason why large companies periodically do buyouts for older / longer service employees - to open up career advancement opportunities for their younger workforce and to cut costs.

So it's not quite as simple as you seem to think it is, unless you think that seniors should just step aside and take some menial job because they're somehow wronging society by continuing to live, which is what your posts seem to imply.
It is not as simple as you described. Companies find ways to get rid of their older employees (used to be over 50; I think now it is over 60) by forcing them into retirement, or laying them off, by firing them by writing false reviews, etc. The buyouts are for CEOs, VPs, etc. Common employees like technical people (and lower), first level managers, and sometimes mid level managers can't just keep working. In one of my past jobs I was laid off to make room for a new college graduate. If I am capabLe of doing good work, I see no reason to step aside to make room for a 21 year old (and I wasn't even that old, just a highly qualified employee with many years of experience).

I have seen an employee who was over 60 lose his job through a fake layoff just because he was older. It was a low level position And he was doing his job well. There is shortage of skilled workers in sone fields. I have seen an 80 year old engineer doing one of the best jobs and he enjoyed the work. Just because someone is old it doesn't mean he/she cannot do the work. Also it makes no sense to replace a highly skilled worker with one without the skills required to do the job.
 
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caseyedwards

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18,630
Is price controls the best answer? It wasn’t in other areas. Seems like in the 70’s everyone agreed price controls on gas were ineffective.


It’s a feel good solution of no value or merit in the long run.

FDA with their approval process and regulations creates monopolies that can drive up costs. Look what FDA has done to baby formula in America- reduced supply dramatically
 
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once_upon

Enough
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24,917
FDA with their approval process and regulations creates monopolies that can drive up costs. Look what FDA has done to baby formula in America- reduced supply dramatically
What exactly is your understanding of the formula situation? Because I don't think it is what you think it is
 

caseyedwards

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18,630
What exactly is your understanding of the formula situation? Because I don't think it is what you think it is
It’s not that the fdas requirements and regulations mean very few companies are in the market and when one of the companies that met all regulations had a recall there was a massive shortage? If it’s not that what’s the problem?
 

once_upon

Enough
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24,917
It’s not that the fdas requirements and regulations mean very few companies are in the market and when one of the companies that met all regulations had a recall there was a massive shortage? If it’s not that what’s the problem?
Is it the FDA that has 90% US market controlled by 4 companies? Or is it corporate greed and buy out of smaller formula companies over the years? Or is it corporate greed that applies for patents? Or is it the lack of plants? Or the inability of Abbott to provide proof the plant is clean?

When I was a clinucal pediatric nurse in the mid 70's to mid '90s I worked with a group pediatric gastroenterologists who were developing formulas for infants with severe milk/soy protein intolerance. Research studies to develop a precursor to Alimentation. I dont remember all the details but they turned over the formulation to a formula company (for a huge profit I'm sure).

Vivonex was another formulation - I do not know who bought that one.

Neocate formulation was discovered to be missing a key nutritional element and we had infants develop scurey. I can't remember the issue with Nutramegin but it was lacking something, Enfamil had to have iron added to it's formulation. Meat based formula was absolutely horrible and with Alimentation being developed for the milk/soy protein intolerant babies no longer needed.

Most formulas were discontinued not because of the FDA but sound medical research. Companies that produce formula are owned by 4 major companies, with Abbott being one of the largest.

The US government is the biggest consumer of infant formula through the WIC program. In that sense there is governmental oversight.

But the biggest issue in lack of formula-is the number of plants (4) in the US which makes formula. The largest one had a contamination issue, linking deaths/illness in infants to that plant. Shut down of 1/4 or more formula production is going to be a huge impact, especially since it produced much of the WIC contract.

So...is it WIC government contracts, lack of plants in the US, reduction in the number of formulas available for consumption, plant contamination issues or FDA not provided the proof that the plant is clean?
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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26,324

caseyedwards

Well-Known Member
Messages
18,630
Is it the FDA that has 90% US market controlled by 4 companies? Or is it corporate greed and buy out of smaller formula companies over the years? Or is it corporate greed that applies for patents? Or is it the lack of plants? Or the inability of Abbott to provide proof the plant is clean?

When I was a clinucal pediatric nurse in the mid 70's to mid '90s I worked with a group pediatric gastroenterologists who were developing formulas for infants with severe milk/soy protein intolerance. Research studies to develop a precursor to Alimentation. I dont remember all the details but they turned over the formulation to a formula company (for a huge profit I'm sure).

Vivonex was another formulation - I do not know who bought that one.

Neocate formulation was discovered to be missing a key nutritional element and we had infants develop scurey. I can't remember the issue with Nutramegin but it was lacking something, Enfamil had to have iron added to it's formulation. Meat based formula was absolutely horrible and with Alimentation being developed for the milk/soy protein intolerant babies no longer needed.

Most formulas were discontinued not because of the FDA but sound medical research. Companies that produce formula are owned by 4 major companies, with Abbott being one of the largest.

The US government is the biggest consumer of infant formula through the WIC program. In that sense there is governmental oversight.

But the biggest issue in lack of formula-is the number of plants (4) in the US which makes formula. The largest one had a contamination issue, linking deaths/illness in infants to that plant. Shut down of 1/4 or more formula production is going to be a huge impact, especially since it produced much of the WIC contract.

So...is it WIC government contracts, lack of plants in the US, reduction in the number of formulas available for consumption, plant contamination issues or FDA not provided the proof that the plant is clean?
Seems like justice department anti trust division should get involved
 

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