Remember Me?

 Straight Dope Message Board Remember Me?

#1
01-14-2018, 09:14 PM
 Velocity Guest Join Date: Jun 2014 Posts: 10,721
"Entitlement" now means the opposite of entitlement

I see reflexive comments on Facebook these days whenever someone suggests axing Social Security or Medicare: "Don't you dare call those programs 'entitlements!' We paid into those programs all our lives, we earned them, we deserve them."

Although, IIRC, nobody actually has a legal right to those benefits (if Uncle Sam abolished those programs tomorrow, suing the US govt would get you nowhere) - don't sentiments of this sort imply that "entitlement" means something you do NOT deserve, and is a handout given out to freeloading people? It's like entitlement now means something you did not earn and do not deserve.....in other words, are not entitled to.
#2
01-14-2018, 09:35 PM
 Voyager Member Join Date: Aug 2002 Location: Deep Space Posts: 42,206
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Velocity I see reflexive comments on Facebook these days whenever someone suggests axing Social Security or Medicare: "Don't you dare call those programs 'entitlements!' We paid into those programs all our lives, we earned them, we deserve them." Although, IIRC, nobody actually has a legal right to those benefits (if Uncle Sam abolished those programs tomorrow, suing the US govt would get you nowhere) - don't sentiments of this sort imply that "entitlement" means something you do NOT deserve, and is a handout given out to freeloading people? It's like entitlement now means something you did not earn and do not deserve.....in other words, are not entitled to.
So you know that a lawsuit challenging the sudden elimination of these programs would lose as a fact? I can imagine contractual arguments, and maybe a few more. Of course it wouldn't matter because Congresspeople voting for this would be forced out of office if not drawn and quartered real fast.
Plus you seem to ignore that people have paid good money for these programs. Can this be ignored? Is that the Trump U version of civics. "You paid me? Sucker!"

BTW, people like me who have paid the max for ever know that we won't see the same return as those who have paid the minimum, because Social Security is progressive. That's understood and fine with me. Drastically cutting benefits so that those making $200K won't have to pay any more is not. #3 01-14-2018, 09:36 PM  GaryM Charter Member Join Date: Jun 2000 Location: St. Louis, MO 50mi. West Posts: 4,544 I agree with your premise that "Entitlement's" meaning is not understood by many folks today. It means that you are entitled to some benefit by virtue of some law or rule. Such as social security, if I paid in, I get benefits. I'm not sure why some people don't understand that. They seem to confuse it because some people seem to think that they are entitled to a free collage education or free housing. GaryM __________________ GaryM #4 01-14-2018, 09:40 PM  Saint Cad Guest Join Date: Jul 2005 Location: N of Denver & S of Sanity Posts: 12,396 Quote:  Originally Posted by Voyager So you know that a lawsuit challenging the sudden elimination of these programs would lose as a fact? I can imagine contractual arguments, and maybe a few more. What pray tell are the terms of the contract? __________________ If all else fails, try S.C.E. to Aux. #5 01-14-2018, 11:18 PM  Noel Prosequi Member Join Date: Aug 2006 Location: In the Ning Nang Nong Posts: 1,326 When discussing personal characteristics, the expression "entitled" means that the person described goes about behaving as though his every wish is a right, and the world in general and other people in his circle in particular some how should indulge him. It means in this context an unjustified sense of entitlement. So yes, describing someone as "entitled" as a personal characteristic is pejorative, and means the opposite of the traditional meaning of the word. The example in the OP has someone taking umbrage at the quite correct use of the expression because the pejorative use has become so common and well-established, even though it is patently inapplicable when talking about Soc Sec rights. #6 01-14-2018, 11:24 PM  doreen Charter Member Join Date: Dec 1999 Location: Woodhaven,Queens, NY Posts: 5,431 Quote:  Originally Posted by GaryM I agree with your premise that "Entitlement's" meaning is not understood by many folks today. It means that you are entitled to some benefit by virtue of some law or rule. Such as social security, if I paid in, I get benefits. I'm not sure why some people don't understand that. They seem to confuse it because some people seem to think that they are entitled to a free collage education or free housing. They confuse it because certain people want them to confuse it. "Entitlement" means a specific type of program ,one where everyone who meets the requirements receives the benefits and which does not have a set budget ( unlike other programs which are funded by block or other grants and have a set budget - if all of a city's Section 8 vouchers have been awarded, there are no more to be given out whether you meet the eligibility requirements or not) But the way the word is used , it picks up the some of the derogatory meaning of "sense of entitlement" which is often used to mean that someone feels entitled to something that they do not in fact deserve.This makes people think "entitlement program" refers to only to "welfare" programs - mainly Temporary Assistance to Needy Families , which ironically, is not an entitlement program. And that's how they get to SS is not an "entitlement program" - because what they actually mean by it is that it isn't welfare. And it's not- but there's a reason politicians talk about reforming or cutting "entitlement programs" rather than "welfare programs". The reason is because SS and Medicare etc are on the table , too - some people are just starting to see that but are unwilling to oppose cuts to "entitlement programs" because they imagine they don't have a problem with cutting all those other ones. They probably would have a problem cutting all those other ones since they include most VA programs, unemployment insurance, military and Federal pensions - but they would probably try to define those away as "not entitlements" as well. #7 01-15-2018, 12:49 AM  jayjay Guest Join Date: Nov 2000 Location: Central Pennsylvania Posts: 36,261 The Right has been working on crossing those wires for a very long time now, at least since Reagan. Forty years of lying about terminology seems to work pretty well for them. #8 01-15-2018, 03:27 AM  Voyager Member Join Date: Aug 2002 Location: Deep Space Posts: 42,206 Quote:  Originally Posted by Saint Cad What pray tell are the terms of the contract? I'd guess that it might be possible to argue that paying money to the government specifically to get later benefit would be an implied contract, But I'm no lawyer, and there might be better avenues. We'll never know since killing these programs would be political suicide. Look how Bush fared. #9 01-15-2018, 06:22 AM  septimus Guest Join Date: Dec 2009 Location: The Land of Smiles Posts: 15,496 Quote:  Originally Posted by jayjay The Right has been working on crossing those wires for a very long time now, at least since Reagan. Forty years of lying about terminology seems to work pretty well for them. It was just a week or two ago that I complained about Google's definition of "exponential." Now, I'm afraid I want to blacklist the entire Google Dictionary. Quote:  Originally Posted by Google Chrome's default dictionary en·ti·tled inˈtīdld,enˈtīdld adjective believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. "his pompous, entitled attitude" OTOH, Merriam-Webster hasn't lost its sanity ... Quote:  Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster Definition of entitle entitled; entitling \in-ˈtīt-liŋ, -ᵊl-iŋ, en-\ transitive verb 1 : to give a title to : designate 2 : to furnish with proper grounds for seeking or claiming something "this ticket entitles the bearer to free admission" ... although that may be, in part, because it lacks a separate entry for "entitled." This discussion recalls a dialog from my early SDMB days, when I was just getting to know all y'all. I was trying to explain why SocSec is an "entitlement" and used the example of bond interest as another "entitlement." Dopers (Hi, John !) responded that neither I nor they knew anything about bonds. #10 01-15-2018, 11:47 AM  Bricker And Full Contact OrigamiSDSAB Join Date: Dec 1999 Location: Northern Virginia Posts: 55,324 Quote:  Originally Posted by Voyager I can imagine contractual arguments, and maybe a few more. Really? Contractual arguments? I'm not sure I see the elements of a contract here. Can you explain further? __________________ It was always the Doctor and Sarah. #11 01-15-2018, 08:13 PM  UDS Guest Join Date: Mar 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 7,921 Quote:  Originally Posted by septimus It was just a week or two ago that I complained about Google's definition of "exponential." Now, I'm afraid I want to blacklist the entire Google Dictionary . . . For what it's worth, the Oxford English Dictionary give two senses of "entitled". The older sense is "that has a legal right or just claim to do, receive, or possess something", and in that sense someone who qualifies for social security benefit by meeting the conditions set out in the social security legislation is certainly entitled to be benefit. (They may cease to be entitled to the benefits, at least in the "legal right" sense, if the legislation is changed to impose new conditions which they do not meet, but the political costs of such a change would likely be high.) The newer sense, which the OED marks as "chiefly N. Amer.", is "believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment; spoilt and self-important". There are cites going back to 1977. #12 01-15-2018, 08:17 PM  TriPolar Guest Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: rhode island Posts: 38,029 Quote:  Originally Posted by UDS The newer sense, which the OED marks as "chiefly N. Amer.", is "believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment; spoilt and self-important". There are cites going back to 1977. Once again American politics makes Newspeak a reality. #13 01-15-2018, 08:40 PM  Voyager Member Join Date: Aug 2002 Location: Deep Space Posts: 42,206 Quote:  Originally Posted by Bricker Really? Contractual arguments? I'm not sure I see the elements of a contract here. Can you explain further? I'd have to look, but I suspect some literature from Social Security states directly or implies that ones payment to Medicare and Social Security will result in benefits later. Clearly this isn't a standard signed contract, but don't you think someone who needs to come up with arguments against yanking away all benefits would use this? I did not imply successfully. The information does not promise or imply any given level of benefits, so reducing (not eliminating) benefits could not be opposed in this way. #14 01-15-2018, 09:19 PM  msmith537 Guest Join Date: Jan 2001 Posts: 26,481 Quote:  Originally Posted by Velocity I see reflexive comments on Facebook these days whenever someone suggests axing Social Security or Medicare: "Don't you dare call those programs 'entitlements!' We paid into those programs all our lives, we earned them, we deserve them." Ergo, they are "entitled" to them by law or contract. Which is what the term means, with respect to benefits. I think people confuse it with the term "entitled", as in "believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment". People are stupid. Last edited by msmith537; 01-15-2018 at 09:19 PM. #15 01-15-2018, 11:40 PM  septimus Guest Join Date: Dec 2009 Location: The Land of Smiles Posts: 15,496 Quote:  Originally Posted by UDS The newer sense, which the OED marks as "chiefly N. Amer.", is "believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment; spoilt and self-important". There are cites going back to 1977. Interesting. Before 1977, I think, one might speak of "a sense of entitlement," shorthand for "an inappropriate sense of entitlement," but the "sense of" has an antagonistic (negating) role. Even in Google's example ("his pompous, entitled attitude") the words "pompous" and "attitude" might imply that "entitled" is said with a sneer and has an antagonistic role. Semantic shifts where a word mutates to its opposite meaning are not unheard of(*), but it's annoying that the confusion of mutating "entitled" to mean its opposite has been promoted and exploited by American politicians. * - But I can't think of good examples. Linguists, please help! The first that occurred to me is a dreadful example: the opposites "poison" and "potion (of medicine)" which come from the same Old French root, but Cicero was already using the Latin word to mean a potion of poison. #16 01-16-2018, 12:27 AM  UDS Guest Join Date: Mar 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 7,921 I think there's a distinction in usage which most English speakers will recognise (although, obviously, not those mentioned in the OP). If I say that somebody is entitled to X or Y or Z, that's either a statement of legal fact ("John is entitled to a one-third share in his father's estate") or a moral assertion ("I think Mary is entitled to give her account of what happened before we make our final decision"). Whereas if I say simply that someone is entitled, without any express or implied referent as to what it is that they are entitled to, that invokes the pejorative sense; that they have an inappropriate sense of entitlement to whatever it is they please. #17 01-16-2018, 12:49 AM  chappachula Guest Join Date: May 2002 Posts: 5,299 gee whiz, language is complicated!! 'Cause, ya know, sometimes words mean more than one thing. For example: to "plead". You can plead not guilty. And later you can plead with the judge to have mercy in sentencing you. And sometimes, ya know, the usage of certain words changes over time. For example : "Colored". It's just a way to describe somebody's skin tone, right? In legal documents, entitlement still means what it always meant: "you get what is rightfully yours". In common American dialect over the past 25 years, entitlement now means "you're a bitch who thinks that everything is yours". Last edited by chappachula; 01-16-2018 at 12:50 AM. #18 01-16-2018, 01:01 AM  TriPolar Guest Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: rhode island Posts: 38,029 Quote:  Originally Posted by chappachula In legal documents, entitlement still means what it always meant: "you get what is rightfully yours". In common American dialect over the past 25 years, entitlement now means "you're a bitch who thinks that everything is yours". Well, you know, it was bound to happen because people thought they were entitled to vote, to go to the same schools as everyone else, to be allowed to have the job they wanted. Now, you never hear people talk about how they are entitled to own guns. #19 01-16-2018, 01:29 AM  chappachula Guest Join Date: May 2002 Posts: 5,299 Quote:  Originally Posted by TriPolar Well, you know, it was bound to happen because people thought they were entitled to vote, to go to the same schools as everyone else, to be allowed to have the job they wanted. Now, you never hear people talk about how they are entitled to own guns. Sorry, but I don't understand you.What's your point?You seem to be agreeing with me. All the examples you list match my definition of entitlement as used in legal documents: Things which the law provides equally (in theory) to every citizen. Then there is the other, newer, version of the word entitlement .For example, the accusation often hurled at Hillary, or even at GW Bush, that they think they deserve to be given a job , just because of their last name. #20 01-16-2018, 02:33 AM  foolsguinea Charter Member Join Date: Jan 2000 Location: Tornado Alley Posts: 14,849 But somebody popularised that meaning in our lifetimes. And somebody wants us to think that 'entitlements' in a political sense has a meaning closer to the new meaning than the old one. Who? When language changes, look at who's doing the changing, and ask why. #21 01-16-2018, 03:44 AM  Noel Prosequi Member Join Date: Aug 2006 Location: In the Ning Nang Nong Posts: 1,326 My first experience with the word "entitled" to mean spoilt was in a psychiatric context, to avoid using value-laden words like "spoilt", etc. Don't have the energy to check, but I recall its appearance in DSM V, maybe in describing BPD. So I suspect it has been co-opted for political purposes from a legitimate context. #22 01-16-2018, 04:11 AM  I Love Me, Vol. I Charter Member Join Date: May 2003 Location: Bay Area, CA Posts: 3,948 Quote:  Originally Posted by UDS If I say that somebody is entitled to X or Y or Z, that's either a statement of legal fact ("John is entitled to a one-third share in his father's estate") or a moral assertion ("I think Mary is entitled to give her account of what happened before we make our final decision"). Whereas if I say simply that someone is entitled, without any express or implied referent as to what it is that they are entitled to, that invokes the pejorative sense; that they have an inappropriate sense of entitlement to whatever it is they please. [Bolding mine] If you said to me that someone is entitled... for example: "John is entitled." The first thing I would think is, "Entitled to what?" and I would ask you that. #23 01-16-2018, 04:50 AM  septimus Guest Join Date: Dec 2009 Location: The Land of Smiles Posts: 15,496 Quote:  Originally Posted by I Love Me, Vol. I If you said to me that someone is entitled... for example: "John is entitled." The first thing I would think is, "Entitled to what?" and I would ask you that. Yes. For the alternative meaning, one would write "John feels entitled." Should we add simple English usage to the long list of the bitter issues dividing the increasingly polarized U.S.A.? #24 01-16-2018, 08:25 AM  TriPolar Guest Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: rhode island Posts: 38,029 Quote:  Originally Posted by chappachula Sorry, but I don't understand you.What's your point?You seem to be agreeing with me. All the examples you list match my definition of entitlement as used in legal documents: Things which the law provides equally (in theory) to every citizen. Then there is the other, newer, version of the word entitlement .For example, the accusation often hurled at Hillary, or even at GW Bush, that they think they deserve to be given a job , just because of their last name. Yes, I agree with you. People never have a problem with their own entitlements, they just don't like 'those people' demanding what they are entitled to. Mainly because they see anything that is an advantage to others to be a disadvantage to themselves. #25 01-16-2018, 11:15 AM  BobLibDem Guest Join Date: Jul 2003 Location: Home 07 NCAA HockeyChamps Posts: 19,649 Facebook memes on Social Security are among the worst of Facebook memes. One goes "Make Congress pay back the$(insert whatever number you want) TRILLION that it stole from Social Security". No, Congress didn't steal the money. When SS runs a surplus, it buys T bills. When it goes into deficit spending, it can cash them in. The money is still on the books as an asset.

Another goes "If you worked for 40 years averaging $50K and invested the SS that you and your employer paid, you'd have$ (insert large number) which would give you $X per month if you just take out 3% per year. And the average SS check is only$Y! It's a PONZI SCHEME!" Jesus. I tried to replicate the math and came up with a much smaller number as the meme grossly overestimates the amount paid in taxes and the earnings they could have made, and the average SS check is irrelevant to the comparison to their $50K per year for 40 years example. These Facebook memes are meant to undermine confidence in Social Security. The genius of them is that they are created by those that want to destroy it but shared by millions who are concerned about losing it. The truth is that Republicans have been trying to destroy Social Security for 80 years, and they're getting desperate as their stranglehold on power is about to be lost. Don't believe any Facebook meme about SS and don't believe any Republican about SS. #26 01-16-2018, 11:43 AM  Jackmannii Guest Join Date: Oct 2000 Location: the extreme center Posts: 29,090 It's an "entitlement" to someone who thinks we pay too much for it or that it shouldn't exist. My subsidy is another matter entirely. #27 01-16-2018, 01:00 PM  BeenJammin Guest Join Date: Nov 2017 Posts: 256 Quote:  Originally Posted by TriPolar ...they just don't like 'those people' demanding what they are entitled to. Nobody "demands" a real or actual entitlement. - Because they are formally, by whatever law, rule or regulation applies, entitled to it. Last edited by BeenJammin; 01-16-2018 at 01:01 PM. #28 01-16-2018, 01:02 PM  Ludovic Charter Member Join Date: Jul 2000 Location: America's Wing Posts: 27,495 Quote:  Originally Posted by BobLibDem Another goes "If you worked for 40 years averaging$50K and invested the SS that you and your employer paid, you'd have $(insert large number) which would give you$X per month if you just take out 3% per year. And the average SS check is only $Y! It's a PONZI SCHEME!" Jesus. I tried to replicate the math and came up with a much smaller number as the meme grossly overestimates the amount paid in taxes and the earnings they could have made, and the average SS check is irrelevant to the comparison to their$50K per year for 40 years example.
The calculations may or may not be off on the margins: when I did the calculations it indeed looks like one would come out ahead by investing. However, it does assume that there is enough room in the economy to meaningfully invest an additional amount almost equal to what's currently in the stock market. My guess is that it would unlock only a limited number of investments, and would mostly dilute the existing ones and cause the actual yield on these new post-SS investments to drop far down. Existing investors would make out like bandits of course with so much money chasing a limited number of equities.

And that's even avoiding the caveat that the system was meant mostly to ensure people weren't flat broke in retirement, which investing would not guarantee.
#29
01-16-2018, 01:14 PM
 TriPolar Guest Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: rhode island Posts: 38,029
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BeenJammin Nobody "demands" a real or actual entitlement. - Because they are formally, by whatever law, rule or regulation applies, entitled to it.
People are often denied what they are entitled to.
#30
01-16-2018, 01:18 PM
 BeenJammin Guest Join Date: Nov 2017 Posts: 256
Quote:
 Originally Posted by TriPolar People are often denied what they are entitled to.
That's new one on me. Can you give an example?
#31
01-16-2018, 01:36 PM
 TriPolar Guest Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: rhode island Posts: 38,029
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BeenJammin That's new one on me. Can you give an example?
Many groups of people have been denied their Constitutional rights based on the color of their skin. Women have been denied their rights just based on their gender. Even when this was seen as unjust it was often accompanied by the idea that it just wasn't time to change things. The right to vote, the right to free speech, the right to equal protection under the law are entitlements, and people have been denied what they were entitled to, and when they have eventually received what they were entitled to it wasn't because they sat around and waited, it's because they demanded to have what they were entitled to.
#32
01-16-2018, 01:46 PM
 BeenJammin Guest Join Date: Nov 2017 Posts: 256
Quote:
 Originally Posted by TriPolar Many groups of people have been denied their Constitutional rights ...
You seem to be under some misunderstanding about what an entitlement actually is, in the context of this thread. Your statement, while certainly true, has nothing to do with the definition or administration of entitlements. In specific cases where an entitlement was wrongly denied, there was a law, rule or regulation wrongly made or applied to support enacting such denial.

So now I will request a "specific" example, or cite, as t'were.

Last edited by BeenJammin; 01-16-2018 at 01:46 PM.
#33
01-16-2018, 01:56 PM
 TriPolar Guest Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: rhode island Posts: 38,029
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BeenJammin You seem to be under some misunderstanding about what an entitlement actually is, in the context of this thread. Your statement, while certainly true, has nothing to do with the definition or administration of entitlements. In specific cases where an entitlement was wrongly denied, there was a law, rule or regulation wrongly made or applied to support enacting such denial. So now I will request a "specific" example, or cite, as t'were.
I'm not understanding what you see as a difference. Jim Crow laws were used to deny people what they were entitled to. Can you give me an example of what you consider an entitlement that is somehow different? I am talking about the denial of entitlements, whether through statute or otherwise. If there is a Constitutionally sound denial of an entitlement to someone, they aren't entitled, and there is no entitlement to deny.
#34
01-16-2018, 02:03 PM
 BeenJammin Guest Join Date: Nov 2017 Posts: 256
Quote:
 Originally Posted by TriPolar I'm not understanding what you see as a difference. Jim Crow laws...
An entitlement is formalized by law, rule or regulation - such as Jim Crowe laws, just like you said.

People denied under Jim Crowe were not entitled, by definition. Sure it was wrong, but that's not what this thread is about. Maybe you should start a new thread about civil rights entitlement miscues?
#35
01-16-2018, 02:13 PM
 TriPolar Guest Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: rhode island Posts: 38,029
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BeenJammin An entitlement is formalized by law, rule or regulation - such as Jim Crowe laws, just like you said. People denied under Jim Crowe were not entitled, by definition. Sure it was wrong, but that's not what this thread is about. Maybe you should start a new thread about civil rights entitlement miscues?
They were entitled because the Jim Crow laws were unconstitutional. I don't know what you are getting at. You are either entitled to something or not. Sometimes people have been denied what they were entitled to. If they were not entitled they weren't denied.
#36
01-16-2018, 02:18 PM
 BeenJammin Guest Join Date: Nov 2017 Posts: 256
Sorry you are not getting it.
#37
01-16-2018, 03:46 PM
 puddleglum Guest Join Date: Oct 2000 Location: a van down by the river Posts: 5,560
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BobLibDem Facebook memes on Social Security are among the worst of Facebook memes. One goes "Make Congress pay back the $(insert whatever number you want) TRILLION that it stole from Social Security". No, Congress didn't steal the money. When SS runs a surplus, it buys T bills. When it goes into deficit spending, it can cash them in. The money is still on the books as an asset. Another goes "If you worked for 40 years averaging$50K and invested the SS that you and your employer paid, you'd have $(insert large number) which would give you$X per month if you just take out 3% per year. And the average SS check is only $Y! It's a PONZI SCHEME!" Jesus. I tried to replicate the math and came up with a much smaller number as the meme grossly overestimates the amount paid in taxes and the earnings they could have made, and the average SS check is irrelevant to the comparison to their$50K per year for 40 years example. These Facebook memes are meant to undermine confidence in Social Security. The genius of them is that they are created by those that want to destroy it but shared by millions who are concerned about losing it. The truth is that Republicans have been trying to destroy Social Security for 80 years, and they're getting desperate as their stranglehold on power is about to be lost. Don't believe any Facebook meme about SS and don't believe any Republican about SS.
SSA did a study that calculated the rate of return by income group and filing status. For very low income people the return is around 4-4.5%, for low income around 3-3.5%, for medium 2-2.5%, and for high income its around 1.5-2%.
By comparison the 20 year returns for the S&P 500 is 8.2%, and the Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index returns 5.3% for 20 years.
#38
01-16-2018, 11:05 PM
 septimus Guest Join Date: Dec 2009 Location: The Land of Smiles Posts: 15,496
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ludovic The calculations may or may not be off on the margins: when I did the calculations it indeed looks like one would come out ahead by investing. However, it does assume that there is enough room in the economy to meaningfully invest an additional amount almost equal to what's currently in the stock market. My guess is that it would unlock only a limited number of investments, and would mostly dilute the existing ones and cause the actual yield on these new post-SS investments to drop far down. Existing investors would make out like bandits of course with so much money chasing a limited number of equities. And that's even avoiding the caveat that the system was meant mostly to ensure people weren't flat broke in retirement, which investing would not guarantee.
Thank you, Ludovic. Big existing stockholders are certainly rooting for the SS-stock market boondoggle, since SocSec funds would perforce follow the 'Buy High - Sell Low' strategy. Another, admittedly simplistic, way to grasp the illogic is to reflect that U.S. Treasury long bonds are not undervalued: the interest rate is set by the free market.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Quote:
 Originally Posted by BeenJammin Sorry you are not getting it.
I followed this sub-debate and all I can do at this point is remark that TriPolar's rubber and BeenJammin's glue.
#39
01-17-2018, 08:17 AM
 BobLibDem Guest Join Date: Jul 2003 Location: Home 07 NCAA HockeyChamps Posts: 19,649
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ludovic The calculations may or may not be off on the margins: when I did the calculations it indeed looks like one would come out ahead by investing. However, it does assume that there is enough room in the economy to meaningfully invest an additional amount almost equal to what's currently in the stock market. My guess is that it would unlock only a limited number of investments, and would mostly dilute the existing ones and cause the actual yield on these new post-SS investments to drop far down. Existing investors would make out like bandits of course with so much money chasing a limited number of equities. And that's even avoiding the caveat that the system was meant mostly to ensure people weren't flat broke in retirement, which investing would not guarantee.
I don't doubt that one theoretically could do somewhat better by investing, however the meme grossly overestimates what one would put in (lumping the Medicare tax in the mix and ignoring lower past contribution rates). Moreover, it completely ignores the disability insurance benefit and the portion of the contribution that supports that.
#40
01-17-2018, 09:47 AM
 BeenJammin Guest Join Date: Nov 2017 Posts: 256
Quote:
 Originally Posted by septimus T I followed this sub-debate and all I can do at this point is remark that TriPolar's rubber and BeenJammin's glue.
And many thanks for contributing to the paralipsis in this thread, as well!
#41
01-17-2018, 01:59 PM
 Really Not All That Bright Guest Join Date: May 2003 Location: Florida Posts: 67,343
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Voyager I'd have to look, but I suspect some literature from Social Security states directly or implies that ones payment to Medicare and Social Security will result in benefits later. Clearly this isn't a standard signed contract, but don't you think someone who needs to come up with arguments against yanking away all benefits would use this? I did not imply successfully. The information does not promise or imply any given level of benefits, so reducing (not eliminating) benefits could not be opposed in this way.
A contract requires an offer by one party, acceptance by the other, and mutual consideration (both parties getting something they value).

Social Security is not a contract. The government doesn't "offer" Social Security enrollment, and participants don't "accept" it. The law says everyone has to (other than a fairly limited group of federal and state employees), whether they "accept" the agreement or not.

There are some arguments that the right to receive Social Security benefits is guaranteed by law - but not contract law - but to date, they have all failed.

Look at it this way: if the federal government was on the verge of insolvency, do you actually think any court would order it to continue making SS payments?
#42
01-17-2018, 11:27 PM
 septimus Guest Join Date: Dec 2009 Location: The Land of Smiles Posts: 15,496
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright ... Look at it this way: if the federal government was on the verge of insolvency, do you actually think any court would order it to continue making SS payments?
The debate is about the meaning of the word "entitled."

In the rules of Major League Baseball, a batter is entitled to walk to first base if he's hit by a pitched ball. Obviously he's not going to make it if the ball split his cranium or put him in a coma.
#43
01-18-2018, 02:17 PM
 Damuri Ajashi Guest Join Date: Jul 2006 Posts: 19,515
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Velocity I see reflexive comments on Facebook these days whenever someone suggests axing Social Security or Medicare: "Don't you dare call those programs 'entitlements!' We paid into those programs all our lives, we earned them, we deserve them." Although, IIRC, nobody actually has a legal right to those benefits (if Uncle Sam abolished those programs tomorrow, suing the US govt would get you nowhere) - don't sentiments of this sort imply that "entitlement" means something you do NOT deserve, and is a handout given out to freeloading people? It's like entitlement now means something you did not earn and do not deserve.....in other words, are not entitled to.
This is a view held mostly by people who are trying to deal with the cognitive dissonance of voting for people who want entitlement reform but want to believe the people they are voting for are only talking about "welfare queens"
#44
01-18-2018, 10:34 PM
 Chessic Sense Guest Join Date: Apr 2007 Posts: 6,598
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi "welfare queens"
Does anybody even say that anymore? Has anyone since Reagan used that term?
#45
01-18-2018, 11:06 PM
 septimus Guest Join Date: Dec 2009 Location: The Land of Smiles Posts: 15,496
Wasn't it the late Senator Russell B. Long (son of Huey the Kingfish) who said
Don't disentitle you, don't disentitle me,
Disentitle that other fellow behind the tree!
?
#46
01-19-2018, 10:02 AM
 BigT Guest Join Date: Aug 2008 Location: "Hicksville", Ark. Posts: 33,340
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Chessic Sense Does anybody even say that anymore? Has anyone since Reagan used that term?
I admit it's not common anymore, but I definitely heard it a good portion of my life, and I my first memories are after Reagan.

The underlying concept continues, however, and Damuri describes it pretty well. Some people still seem to assume that welfare mostly goes to people who don't need it. That's why it's presented as an entitlement, while Social Security is not.

The term now means "something I don't think you should be entitled to."

Last edited by BigT; 01-19-2018 at 10:02 AM.
#47
01-19-2018, 10:17 AM
 Bryan Ekers Guest Join Date: Nov 2000 Location: Montreal, QC Posts: 56,442
#48
01-19-2018, 10:24 AM
 Really Not All That Bright Guest Join Date: May 2003 Location: Florida Posts: 67,343
Quote:
 Originally Posted by septimus The debate is about the meaning of the word "entitled."
The debate may be. The post I responded to is not.
#49
01-19-2018, 10:48 AM
 BeenJammin Guest Join Date: Nov 2017 Posts: 256

A) People who think they are entitled, but really are not

B) Entitlements purported to be real, but actually are not

C) Un-entitled people not getting their due

D) Entitled people getting too much

E) Word used out of context to deceive

F) Something else

? If -F-, please expound further...
#50
01-19-2018, 11:00 AM
 TriPolar Guest Join Date: Oct 2007 Location: rhode island Posts: 38,029
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BeenJammin F) Something else ? If -F-, please expound further...
It's about the change in definition of entitlement. It used to mean something you were entitled to. Now it means something you aren't entitled to but want anyway.

This has been pretty clear in every post in this thread except for yours.

 Bookmarks

 Thread Tools Display Modes Linear Mode

 Posting Rules You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts BB code is On Smilies are On [IMG] code is Off HTML code is Off Forum Rules
 Forum Jump User Control Panel Private Messages Subscriptions Who's Online Search Forums Forums Home Main     About This Message Board     Comments on Cecil's Columns/Staff Reports     General Questions     Great Debates     Elections     Cafe Society     The Game Room     Thread Games     In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)     Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)     Marketplace     The BBQ Pit

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:19 PM.

 -- Straight Dope v3.7.3 -- Sultantheme's Responsive vB3-blue Contact Us - Straight Dope Homepage - Archive - Top

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com