Really, the AP just figured this out???:
Welcome to the party.
- Thomas Paine
PS: See also “Benjamin Franklin, Communist“
If we droned Mohammad Nour’s ass while he was standing next to McCain do you think maybe then we would care about “collateral damage” (and don’t even mention “due process”)?
This also shows the unholy mess we are injecting ourselves in if we take sides here. What the heck is the non-Executive branch Senator doing there anyway?
Only in our Bizarro-World of high finance could this from the AP possibly make sense:
Ok, as they quote:
but still, the point is the economy sucks #$%^ and the market goes up! Black is white, white is black, and cats and dogs are sleeping together. Oh and “free markets” my a$$.
Honestly most of the time I don’t think they have a clue why things went up and down and just make shit up that sounds plausible.
Yes, I know my language sucks today.
Here’s a snippet of a recent memo from a large hospital regarding the planned termination of their pension plan in favor of a 401(x) plan:
So I guess my question is, if despite being able to use “sophisticated" efforts” (which I assume means well trained professional fund managers) they can’t adequately fund your retirement, how is it that you, a layman are going to do better?
I am not trying to pick on the Hospital in question here, but the point remains, what are we as retirement “consumers” being sold here with this nationwide march to 401 plans?
It would strike me that if professionals can’t find a way to profitably aggregate the investments of thousands of employees, how are isolated individuals making uninformed decisions going to adequately fund their own retirements?
It’s true, 401 participants can choose from a wide range of funds (depending on what their employer has opted for), but if somehow that is magically better, why couldn’t pensions invest in the same funds and cut out the middle-man?
The obvious answer is these 401 plans aren’t going to sufficiently fund the individuals’ retirements, just the difference is that the burden of that failure is going to fall squarely on the individual. This is particularly true if you consider that many 401 funds have high management costs and at time of retirement far more retirees are likely to be badly hedged against market downturns than pensions run by sophisticated managers. That is, again, if the big guys have a hard time of making a pension work in a downturn, how in God’s name are you going to?
The larger answer is of course the retirement system is broken and essentially we are quietly kicking the can down the road when we are likely to find most retirees are at least as unprepared for retirement as the pensions they are being kicked out of. Unlike pension plans, however, there will be no corporate profits or government bailouts to make up the difference. Cat food will be the meal du jour.
Which brings us to the final point – were pensions ever financially sustainable? If the answer is “no”, then we have our answer (but still no answer for future retirees). If the answer is “yes”, then what changed? Where has the money gone?
I mean, certainly it seemed to work out for a lot of our parents.
I have a theory on where that money went, just follow the sucking sound as the money flows to the top 1%…
- Douglas Adams, “So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish“
Not saying Chavez was a cuddly guy but I will point out that despite unending news reports saying how he destroyed the country, he had:
Whereas one might note:
Clearly Venezuelans need to be educated on just how bad off they were.
Just putting this here for future reference:
“System 1″ in “Social Psychology” parlance is your “unconscious” or “emotional self” (or perhaps “ego”), whereas “System 2″ is your “conscious” or “intellectual self” (or “id”).
Most humans generally believe, or should I say, would prefer to believe that it is “System 2″ that controls “System 1″.
Reading the excellent “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman (as well as a number of other books on the subject) it is pretty clear that we’ve got it completely wrong. Rather in the vast majority of situations it is in fact “System 1″ that is running the show and “System 2″ is at best providing verification for what “System 1″ is doling out. This makes a lot of sense when one consider “System 2″ is slow, requires effort, and even (according to studies), induces the equivalent of pain to actual use.
In social situations it appears “System 2″‘s function is to really provide “cover” (aka “window dressing”) for “System 1″‘s already predetermined notions. That is, “System 2″ isn’t really functioning from an analytical sense and providing “well thought out” responses, but rather supplying plausible, but not necessarily accurate, explanations for what “System 1″ has already determined (albeit perhaps wrongly and certainly in many cases arbitrarily).
This is why intellectuals (which I would for argument sake have to include myself), don’t necessarily come out with better answers than (so-called) non-intellectuals. The “intellect” isn’t really often providing “value-add”, just better obfuscation. Worse it inclines said intellectual to believe they have a better understanding than they do (ie: be more damn sure of themselves).
This isn’t really news if one is a parent. One watches their children not necessarily improve their judgement, with age, but rather get better at justifying their judgement even if it’s just as wrong as it was before.
In fact I think the true difference between children and adults, and sadly this includes myself, is not necessarily better judgement (though experience does finally get through or rock heads eventually) but rather is their competence at windowing dress their arbitrary already predetermined positions.
That is, they are better at dishing out bull shit.
Actually “asshole” is a bit of understatement.
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