Monday, September 19, 2011

SCHS Pigskin Update (belated)

Since last we checked in on high school football, my alma mater Indians posted a couple of impressive victories over teams from 8AAA Division B.  First came a 38-10 win over the Oconee County Warriors at The Reservation on 09 September, followed by a 44-14 decision over the West Hall Spartans at Oakwood on 16 September.

After an open date this week, the Indians (3-1, 0-0) face long-time rival Franklin County (1-2, 0-0) at The Reservation for their first region 8AAA Division A game of the year on 30 September.  In the meantime, the Lions will play host to the mighty Gainesville Red Elephants this week.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

GOP Presidential Contenders Duel Over Social Security

In today's edition of the WSJ, the editorial board contrasts the position of Texas governor Rick Perry with that of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.   They criticize Perry for being correct but engaging in rhetoric that is too harsh, while Romney is too Obama-like in his defense of the status quo.

Be that as it may, for my money this is the best part of the editorial:

Even a pyramid system such as this could be solvent if it took advantage of compound interest. But the overriding problem is that not a dime of the payroll contributions the government collects over a lifetime is saved and invested for a worker's retirement. Social Security's pay-as-you-go financing model means that 12.4% of all wages are transferred to current beneficiaries, the surplus dollars are spent by Congress on other things, and Social Security gets an IOU from the Treasury.

In other words, the program is building up debt even as benefits become less sustainable as the baby boomers begin to retire and the ratio of workers to seniors shrinks. The feds will then have to pay out of other tax revenue to meet Social Security's obligations.

The key point is that, unlike a Ponzi scheme, Social Security can be reformed and it will have to be if current workers are to receive any return on their current taxes. Everyone serious knows what the reform options are—from changing the benefits schedule, to "progressive indexing," to raising the retirement age. We'd prefer private accounts so that young people could build wealth as a property right and not depend on the promises of politicians, while the money would be put to productive economic use in the meantime. Herman Cain mentioned it in last week's debate. But if that's too politically adventurous for the two Governors, maybe they can meet somewhere in between their rhetorical positions.

To me, this is just one more reason to like Herman Cain.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

SCHS Pigskin Update

My alma mater Indians posted a 39-0 blowout win in their home opener over the Hart County Bulldogs last Friday. This week, the Indians (1-1, 0-0) will host 8AAA Division B foe Oconee County (1-0, 0-0) at The Reservation in Toccoa. The Warriors are coming off of a 35-0 road win over East Jackson.

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Social Security Financial Follies

Just for fun, compare and contrast Things Social Security Won't Tell You, written by Jonelle Marte of Smart Money and posted on Yahoo Finance, with the points I made in a couple of my recent columns for the Banner-Herald (a.k.a. the Social Security diatribe, parts 1 and 2), No guarantees on getting Social Security check and Face hard truths about Social Security.

She does a pretty good job for a “mainstream media” type, except for continuing the fiction that the Social Security Trust Fund actually has any money in it.  On the positive side, though, she also discusses the structural imbalances in the system  favoring older workers.

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