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Old 10-07-2008, 10:23 AM   #141
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I think the point about the weaker dollar made by flashbackk is a good one. When we were in Canada in the early part of the decade, 65¢ US would buy $1.00 C. Last time I looked, a week or so ago, the Canadian dollar was worth more than ours. So their economy has been stable and ours hasn't using that dollar index which closely resembles the relationship between Canada and the US currency.

It used to be cheap to go to Canada, but not anymore. We all know one reason of many, fuel is so expensive is the cheap dollar. Anything imported is more expensive. Cheapening the dollar was a conscious administration policy to promote exports and benefit multinational companies. Union busting has been another policy because when unions are weak everyone's wages suffer. You might think the policies are to have an underclass in the US to make cheap products to sell to the rich in other countries.

We've spent a lot of time in Canada. I've never heard anyone complain about health care there. Sure, they have a lot of taxes, and they do complain about that, but Canadians live quite well. When you draw them out they seem confused about the way the US does things and some attribute it to the influence of lobbyists. Yes, Canadians can be smug about their usually uncorrupted government and quite shocked when there is a scandal. But it appears that government in Canada is a lot more democratic and efficient. Unions are a lot stronger too. The 2 countries are much alike and we could learn from Canada, but we ignore them, a foolish and perhaps arrogant mistake. Did you know there will be an election to choose a new government on Oct. 14 in Canada? I'll bet they know everything about our elections. I don't know if there have been credit problems in Canada like here—even the NY Times doesn't have much about Canada and the Wall St. Journal closed their bureau there almost 2 years ago. The only stories I've seen about Canada lately are the shoes with feet in them washing ashore in BC. Maybe our Canadian friends on the Forum could tell us how the economy is there and how they have handled things.

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Old 10-07-2008, 12:11 PM   #142
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Yes, we're having an election a week today. A year early I might add.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:19 PM   #143
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Socialism?????????

It might work for a while in places with smaller, more efficient governments, that are not in hock up their ears, and perhaps less corrupt.

Myself? I just don't understand why someone else wants to pay for my benefits. Or, just how my needs can be met by someone trying to lay out a one "size fits all" program.

When a third party is paying for anything, corruption and abuse run rampant.

I don't want someone else having control over my well being, and I certainly don't want control over others.

Their is not, nor has there ever been a free lunch.

Thanks, but no thanks, I prefer to go "Dutch treat".
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:41 PM   #144
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Alot has been said in this thread. Getting back to the origional question- How will an economic collapse affect the RV/TT lifestyle? I believe the key word here is COLLAPSE ! Webster says collapse , to break down suddenly; fail; give way; to fall down or fall into pieces; cave in; failure or breakdown, as in business, health, etc.. To me that dosen't sound good, nor will it benefit our hobby or lifestyle in any way. I believe we live in the greatest country in the world (just my opinion) we will survive this mess. Some will be hurt worse than others, as for me i feel the pain.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:43 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Foster View Post
Myself? I just don't understand why someone else wants to pay for my benefits.
When a third party is paying for anything, corruption and abuse run rampant.
We are all in this together and we do pay for others when we pay any taxes to local or national government. If we didn't, every road would be a toll road, we'd have to pay the cops and fire fighters individually for their services. Some people couldn't and it would be open season on them for crooks and arsonists. I prefer to promote a sense of community and to help each other when we can. As for health care, it's only getting worse in this country and we are on the verge of a crisis—doctors are quitting, more and more people are not getting much care, and it's often impossible to find a doctor who has time to listen to customers. It works better in every other developed country.

Corruption and abuse seem to be human problems everywhere and I think start with a fear if "I'll screw you before you screw me" plus a belief it's a zero sum game. We'll never eliminate it entirely, but I don't want to give up trying.

Interesting discussion. But we did hijack the question about the RV lifestyle.

Gene
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:56 PM   #146
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Getting back,,,, It will not effect my camping one bit.... In fact going to ZION NP friday if I can get my trailer put back together.... Fuel prices are down and I wanted to go the following weekend to Zion but the camp ground was full..... So it doesn't look like its affecting to many others either...

OR maybe: they have to live in their RV on the run from the bank because the bank already took their house and is now after their trailer

Things to ponder. But not for me.....back to the AS
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:07 PM   #147
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Points well taken about roads, fire and police protection.

However, the failure of socialism is going on right now in our own US of A.

The Social Security Bill was signed into law by FDR on August 14, 1935. The first Social Security check was paid to Ida Mae Fuller on January 31, 1940. That check was for $22.54, the cost of which was split out to 42 people paying into the system.
Today, the cost of each Social Security check is split out to just four people paying into the system, and that number is getting smaller.

Chain letters just don't work very long. Social Security is a "pay as you go" chain letter.

Any investment to create income must have "investment over time" in the equation, or it is doomed to failure at it's inception.

I don't think that this sort of discussion is "hijacking" the thread. "I want it now" and "I am entitled to it" are some of the things that contribute to the present situation.

Keep on Airstreaming.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:58 PM   #148
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Jim, there are relatively easy ways to fix the social security system. Once people earn somewhere around $96 K per year, they stop paying into the system. The top income earned used to be much higher adjusted for inflation, and could be restored to the higher income it would be if inflation had been worked into it. It would help a lot. Some of the numbers about when the system runs out of money appear to be too pessimistic. The annual inflation adjustment for payouts to recipients may be too high and that needs to be looked at.

Social security is in far better shape than Medicare. One thing taking money from Medicare is Medicare Advantage which is the alternative to Medigap insurance (Part B) and was created to enrich insurance companies and was sold as increasing coverage to us old people. Many treatments are denied by insurers in this program. Payments to insurers by Medicare are high and payouts for medical care are low—I was talking to a doctor a couple of weeks ago and he figures the Medicare Advantage insurers are getting a profit almost equal to 50% of the combination of premiums and government subsidy. As originally constituted, Medicare's administrative costs were around 3% and it was extremely efficient—it's much higher now after all the changes brought by a conservative Congress and administration. When the people in charge don't want a program, don't trust them to fix it—they'll find a way to screw it up because they want to bring it down. In fact, isn't that what they've done to the government in the past 8 years?—look at FEMA, the SEC, Justice Dept., etc.

It would be almost impossible to take away Medicare or further screw it up without an elderly revolt. Can you see all us grey hairs marching, crawling, stumbling our way to Washington, waving our canes (torches and pitchforks get heavy after a while)? So we have to fix it. Most Americans want these programs and as health care gets worse and worse, a single payor system becomes inevitable. Most of what we hear in the US is that single payor systems in other countries don't work, but we are being told that by the health insurance companies who are making profits out of the present chaos. Ask the people who actually know as I have when in Canada.

Yes, Jim, they are all pay as you go programs and I can't think of any other way to do it. Maybe the payments for social security and Medicare should be invested in Chinese government bonds. The idea that the taxes to pay for these programs is just invested in treasury bonds and then the bonds are borrowed to pay for other things is silly. I won't contend everything done makes sense and it was probably some sort of compromise to make it look like the money was in a "lock box".

Gene
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:03 PM   #149
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What we need is a good war to fix the economy....

WHAT??...we already have two.

Never mind..
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:04 PM   #150
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Perhaps if the feds stopped "borrowing" money from the SS trust fund to pay for pork and the income limit was raised (after all, they get SS when they're eligible), we wouldn't have the projected deficits in SS...

Seems as if gov't money is becoming increasing "tight" not because of healthcare, social security, medicare, etc., but because of subsidies and bailouts. Maybe it's payback time for those who were bought...

The numbers used several years ago to describe the "projected" bailout costs of social security (used to promote the privitization argument), pale in comparison as to what's bandied about now for Wall Street. It'll be well over a trillion dollars when all is said and done. That's not counting the bailout that was slipped in for the auto industry just last week. Or the costs incurred for the 2 wars. Or for buying votes via "pork" for a congressman/senator (of either party! ).

This discussion we're having regarding the current economics isn't a hi-jack of a thread, it's what the thread is about. So far, we don't know what the repercussions will be for us and out Airstreams...

I absolutely do not believe we've been told the truth as to the extent or severity of the economic current situation we're in - or what else is coming down the pike. Seems each day, if you dig enough and avoid the partisan (choose your flavor) media, you find out something new that's getting federal money to keep total economic collapse and chaos from occuring.

We've lived happily & secure for the most part as a country. Relatively secure (some more than others). This is hard to fathom.

How will it affect us as Airstreamers? Looks like maybe we'll be seeing less of one another coming up.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:26 PM   #151
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My concern is a president, both houses of congress and at least two new supreme court judges all with the same ideology. Quite frankly, I won't miss any meals and everything we own is paid for, including commercial properties. Social security should be means tested along with medicare.

I'd be happy to pay my way at the doctor's office, but I damn well resent the idea that I should pay higher taxes "because it's the fair thing to do".

I have one other thought; if we're in a recession, why is it tough to get full hookup reservations at many popular RV parks?

"you're only young once, but you can be immature the rest of your life!"
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:33 PM   #152
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Will the current situation change what Lynn and I do? Probably not much. That, of course, depends somewhat on the tax situation in the future. Every dollar they take, is a dollar I won't be spending in my local economy, wherever local happens to be at any given time. We have planned outings with our Airstream every month through December, 2009. Some close, some not so close.

Speaking of taxes,,,,,,,,, When I stopped working for someone else, and went into business for myself, there were some rude awakenings.
I not only paid what I had been paying into Social Security, I got to pay the half my employer had been contributing. That's right, "self employment tax" is the part an employer pays for every employee.
One year we paid more in income tax than the total price we paid for our home. What did I get from the IRS for that? I got a bill for a $240 error on my return.

We are very happy with our medical coverage. Any change would be unwelcome.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:35 PM   #153
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Talking Everything I know about the economy I learned in the Onion

I didn't really understand the bailout until I saw this nice representation in the latest edition of the Onion, Americas finest news source, now its all clear to me.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:42 PM   #154
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800+ billion dollars..

Write your Congress Critter and tell 'em you would be satisfied with a million each for everyone. Problem solved.
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