Wednesday, March 16, 2005

What's the fuss about? Social Security

copyright LJM 2005

On Social Security---this is what all the fuss is about…..(yeah, it’s a helluva fuss)

Dominican Republic native Demetrio Ortega's earns his keep by the sweat of his brow. His face glistened in the high humidity as he delivered beer to a South Florida merchant Thursday.
However, he worked with a smile on his face.
The 28-year-old Lake Worth resident says he knows his future is secure because he participates in his company's 401K retirement program and looks forward to relaxing in his golden years. He said he knows he can't depend entirely on Social Security.
"That's why I'm trying to do something else. I'm saving money now and I invest my money everywhere," Ortega said.
Coined by some as the 13th Generation or Generation X, those born between 1965 and the very early 80's will miss out on the current idea of retirement, where thoughts of RV-ing or kicking back in the sunshine run rampant--if they are depending on Social Security to get them there.
According to a congressional report on the solvency of Social Security benefits, those born during the 1960s will receive a little over $14,000 annually in social security benefits according to government analysts. Those born during the 1970s will receive approximately $16,400 and those born in the 1980s will pocket about $19,000. The difference is the amount of the social security benefit that is trust fund financed.
According to the report, by the year 2019, the percentage of trust fund contributions to the Social Security program will begin to decline. Although full benefits will be paid, trust fund money will make up less of the percentage. Trust fund financing is important to the solvency of the Social Security program, analysts connected with the report said.
"Outlays are projected to begin exceeding revenues in 2019 with the gap growing ever wider, thereafter," Director of the Congressional Budget Office Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin said.
The turning point in the funding structure is that in 2052 the government will be legally bound to pay only a certain amount of the scheduled benefits.
By the year 2053, there will be a 20 percent reduction in Social Security benefits paid because the trust fund contribution balance will be exhausted, government analysts said, unless members of Congress pass laws securing the future of the program.
Analysts also say that by law, the Social Security program can only pay as much as there is in the system.
Members of the Congressional Budget Office compiled the report but do not make the policy decisions on the Social Security Programs, Holtz-Eakin said.
Financial analysts have said retirement formulas have to be adjusted to save popularly for retirement.
"This has been a problem that they have realized for 20 years and Congress hadn't wanted to deal with it because it will make members vulnerable when up for re-election," Florida International University Professor of Finance, Dr. Robert T. Daigler said.
He said people in their 20s and 30 should start saving more or get higher returns on their investments--which means making riskier investments.
"They didn't expect people to live longer. Not only that but returns on stock won't be as high as in the past," he said. He too agreed that financial calculators tooled to help workers save would have to be restructured to reflect changes in social security funding—especially for those born during Generation X.
Daigler said many middle and lower class citizens have difficulty saving money. He also said younger people can recover from financial loss easier than older Americans.
"It puts people who think about it in a bind. They can put more money in an IRA after the age of 50," he said.
Locally, shoppers Thursday at a Delray Beach, Florida strip mall didn't make much of the information released.
"Yeah it bothers me but I don't know. I won't be able to survive. Maybe I'll get some investments," local employee Mary Ford said.
Boynton Beach resident Roni Luc and his wife said they wouldn’t have to worry about old age because of his savings invested in a 401K
"My investments will carry me though," the 30 year-old said.
Over the next 30 years, those born between 1946 and 1964-will rise by more than 90 percent in the next three decades to 69 million in 2030, a report last year said.
Members of Generation X will be the under 65 group who will largely be the ones paying taxes into the program.
That generation, however, will only grow by only about 15 percent-- to 195 million.
However, Social Security is currently running an annual surplus. In 2003, dedicated revenues exceeded money spent out by $68 billion. That surplus helped reduce the government's total deficit in 2003.
Some say by allowing the American boarders to soften, an influx of workers can be brought into the economy who can then help pay into the Social Security system.

sittin' too close

Why do we invade? The floor is open. Forget the fireplace, forget the ambiance in the rest of the joint--they want to sit next me, in the corner by the window. We're the black entertainment for the week.
Forreal,tho-- do I know you? Why would you sit so close? The whole restaurant is open. There are rows and rows of chairs available. But naw, you got to sit here.Me and my friend ova here mindin' ours, being loud and talkin'. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO SIT RIGHT HERE IN OUR FACES (PRENTENDING TO WRITE) WHILE ALL THE WHILE, LISTENING TO OUR SOMETIMES SACRED GIRL TALK?
Go sit ova there.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


people are funny. its lunch hour and its getting crowded in here. a woman came in earlier, with a pained and --later i found--snotty expression on her face. as if to say what are the likes of these techies doing in her and a black one at that! well!
its almost like the woman on the three stooges when she is so appalled by the rubish behaivor of the stooges.
i dont know why folks are like that but they are. then her boyfriend or whatever came in. she was obviously waiting on him and he wasn't there when she got there and she had to wait ohim. he is obviously out of her leauge. and i know she aint paying for something. the girl's a little chunky but not ugly. i guess she likes to pay. the guy has a bald cut but a distiguished receeding hairline with a crisp cotton button down shirt and black tee underneath. Very sexy, very hot guy. She is so out of her leauge. She looks like somebody's momma for real. Very demure, respectable look.
She ought to hussy herself up a bit. Make it exciting.
He sat down making pithy convo with the young techie white guy sitting next to their table. why dont they go sit by the intimate fireplace or something. it just lets me know he not that into her. and may feel uncomfortable around large groups of whites and multi ethnics. who knows. i'm just sitting here being nosey. this is like exersice for my mind.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


i'm tired of tag-a-longing. i'm tired of making do and not arguing. i'm tired sometimes of smiling and even giving the approving nodd when i really feel like telling the truth. but i bite my tounge and keep doing the same ol' things to keep the peace. But im tired of taking on the chin--one for the team. whatever. but im tired of fighting for everything. even to accomplish the smallest detail is tiresome because my spoiled ass can't go sit on a beach somewhere like right now.
i'm tired of pretending not to like the guy (s) i like because anything like that would be a disruption of life and could throw everything off. i'm tired of searching for hotspots because I don't want the nice people at panera to get tired of me. i'm especially tired of whining.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


i decided that i want a hero for a man. not a messy with oil and vinegar sandwich hero but a superman, green lantern blah blah blah hero. Not a trick for a man or a slave overseer for a man or a dad for a man or a child for a man but a regular ol' hero for a man--like a friend that is always on top of stuff you care about. ya know, some one i look up to and dont find much fault with. someone who can be emulated. someone i may learn good things from--y'know, like a hero.


OK, Panera is the best hotspot. I challenge anyone to find better. And the serve soup.
Anyway, how many of you noticed how others behave at the Starbucks? I clean up after myself when I spill sugar or vanilla powder. I also avoid pouring hot coffee into the trash--the employees said they don't know why customers do that and it's messy.
Watch next time to see if the customer standing next to you cleans up after him or herself.

the beginning-country talk

Why did my gateway notebook crash the hardrive after three days?
Why did it take me two days to access the Web wirelessly? Why didn't I get a DELL? Well now I have to go because Jr. NBA basketball practice calls...