How to save your money from the blue hairs!

YOU'RE YOUNG?  AND YOU THINK THERE'S NOTHING IN THIS ELECTION TO INTEREST YOU?"

WRONG!

Today's bit of bad news comes to us from Betsy Frank, the executive vice president of research for MTV Networks.  She says that only one-third of young people polled in July said they were certain to vote in November.  That compares to MTV's 1992 polling data, which showed that 57 percent were certain to vote.  Back then, young people were "energized" by Bill Clinton's and Ross Perot's presidential campaigns.

Wait … there’s worse news.  Those same MTV poll results show that 25%  -- now listen to this – 25% of young American voters between the age of 18 and 24 cannot name the two people running for president on the Republican and Democratic tickets.

One person interviewed on NBC news last night referenced all of the time being spent discussing Social Security.  His young adult says that this just doesn’t have anything to do with him.

Can you folks believe this?  Can you believe that our young people are not only so pathetically ignorant … but so disinterested in what in the hell is going on?

OK --- I’m blessed with a good number of young people listening to this show.  A much younger audience than the normal talk radio audience.  I think it’s because we have a lot of young men fantasizing about Belinda and young women fantasizing about Royal.  It could be visa-versa --- in this day and age.  Whatever reason … they’re there.

OK …. Let’s spend a few minutes here trying to get young people a little interested in what in the hell is going on in this election.

We’ll start with this Social Security thing.  

Only old people are interested in Social Security, right?  You’re a long way away from getting any Social Security, and besides … by the time you get that old you won’t need it anyway.  So, big deal.  These politicians can talk all they want about Social Security and you just can’t get interested.

Fine.  But let’s deal with some realities here.  

You know all those blue hairs in their 60’s and over?  The old people who are interested in Social Security?  Well, kids …. about 65 percent of the wrinkled class will be voting in two and one-half weeks.  And you’re crowd?  The MTV types?  Well, about 28  percent of the eligible voters your age will cast a vote.  

Advantage --- Blue Hairs.  Big advantage.  Their advantage.

Now --- let’s noodle this out just a bit more.

Those 60+ year-old blue hairs want something of yours.  They want your money.  They want your money for their Social Security checks.  They want your money for their prescription drugs. They want your money for senior citizen centers.  Hell, they want your money for just about anything you can imagine.  

OK – fine.  So they want your money.  Big deal, it’s yours, right?  They can want all they want, but they can’t get it.  You earned it and it’s yours.  

Yeah … sure it’s yours.  It’s yours until the government decides to take it away from you.  

Now might be a good time to give you young voters a quick little lesson in government.  We’ll restrict it to telling you of the one asset that government has that you do not have.  It’s an asset that ONLY government has.  Nobody else – not you, not your parents, not businesses, not those evil corporations, not your favorite sports team …. nobody– except government.  That asset is the legal ability to use DEADLY FORCE to accomplish its goals.  Deadly force --- that’s guns.

OK --- now that you know what asset government has that you don’t, let’s get back to those blue hairs and all of their votes.

These politicians who are running for office --- you know, the ones you can’t name – they want votes.  Want, hell … they need votes.  They need those votes to keep their positions in our Imperial Federal Government.  Hey --- they like it up there in Washington DC.  They get special parking places at Washington’s airport, they get cheap haircuts and free exercise facilities.  They get quick seating in restaurants and free tickets to sporting events.  They get to hang out with sports stars and other celebrities.  They get prestige and fame.  And they get ---- power.  

You remember those guns I was telling you about --- the guns that government can use to accomplish its objectives?  Well, guess who gets to determine just exactly what those objectives are!  Hey!  You got it!  The politicians!  

So – to boil this all down to the bare, ugly, stark-naked bottom line.  These politicians are running for office so that they can get to be the ones who get to use the guns to force people to do the things they want them to do.  

Now --- one of the things these politicians will be able to do if they get that power is that they will be able to use those guns to take stuff (that usually means money) away from some people and give it to other people.  More often than not they will take that money away from people who don’t really matter to them when the elections roll around, and give it to the people who do matter.

Uh oh ---- looks like we’re right back to the beginning of our little lesson, aren’t we?  Remember those percentages?  Over 60 percent of the blue hairs vote, less than 30 percent of your young friends vote.  So, just which group do you think matters to the politicians?  

Brilliant!  You’re right!  The blue hairs!  

And which group really doesn’t matter!  

Bingo! You did it again!  YOU don’t matter --- because you’re going to be cataloging your CDs, oiling your skateboard or polishing your Camero when those blue hairs are voting.

What does this all mean?  This means that the wizened crowd, our so-called Senior Citizens, are going to be using their clout with these politicians to rip you off.  They will instruct the politicians to seize as much of that money you are earning right now as they possibly can and use that money for their prescription drugs and other such goodies so that they can use their own money for nicer vacations, dinners out, newer cars, condos at the beach, tickets to Spring training baseball games and for repaving their shuffleboard courts.

Now --- let’s go back to that booooooring Social Security thing.  

I don’t know if you pay all that much attention to your paychecks or not.  If I were to ask you just how much money you make every two weeks you would probably say something like “I take home blah blah blah blah.”  

Hey, I didn’t ask you how much you “take home.”  I asked you how much you earned.  What’s the matter … don’t you know how much you earn?  Well, don’t feel all that bad.  That’s just exactly what the politicians want.  They want you to think in terms of your “take home” pay.  That’s why they plunder your paycheck before you ever see it.  They know that there would be an instantaneous and brutal tax revolt about 96 seconds after working Americans had to write their first check for federal income taxes and Social Security if it wasn’t taken out of their checks before they ever saw it.  And that booty the politicians seize?  It includes about 15 percent of everything you earn for Social Security!  (Please --- at least tell me that you’re not stupid enough to fall for that “you pay half, your employer pays half” nonsense.)  

OK --- so you think that you’re going to get all of that Social Security back, don’t you!  Its going to be there for you when you retire, right?

Time for a little reality check.  There is absolutely NO guarantee that you will get one single cent of that money back when you retire.  There is no federal law that says you are absolutely entitled to get your money back when you get old.  If those politicians – the men with the guns – wanted to, they could pass a law three days before you retire saying that you don’t get squat …. and there’s not one thing you could do about it.  You see, once that money is taken from you it’s theirs.  Theirs, period.  It is NOT set aside in any account with your name on it.  It’s taken from you and paid to some blue hair on the first day of next month.  Anything extra that’s left over after the blue hairs get their checks is just put into the general fund and spent by the feds on water slides in critical congressional districts.  The government gives the Social Security folks a little IOU that says it will pay the money back to the Social Security Administration when it’s needed to cover the checks.  

NOW --- we come to a difference between the candidates.  Al Gore (he’s the Democrat, in case you didn’t know) has one idea.  The Republican, George Bush, has another – and the Libertarian, Harry Brown, has yet another idea.

Pay attention ---- this is YOUR money we’re talking about.  

First – every one of these candidates wants to guaranteed to Senior citizens that they are going to get every penny that’s coming to them.  Nobody is suggesting that we stop sending the blue hairs their checks.

So --- what’s the difference in the plans, and does this difference matter to you at all?

Al Gore first.  He wants to change the way Social Security benefits are funded.  First --- he wants to continue taking nearly 15 percent out of every one of your paychecks … but he wants more!  He also wants to start using general income tax revenues to pay Social Security benefits!  This means that the politicians could then use those guns not only to seize that first 15 percent of your salary – but to also boost your income taxes to get a little more!  And then raise those taxes again – and again --- and again – every time there’s an election, just to get some more of those Senior citizens to the polls!   Again --- absolutely no promise, no legal guarantee that you will get any of this money back.  In fact, if you happen to die before you start collecting benefits --- all that money taken from you?  Gone.  Vapor.

Now – George W. Bush.  He’s a little better, but not much.  Bush wants what they call “privatization” in Social Security.  But only a little privatization.  Bush wants you to be able to keep 2 percent of that 15 percent the government takes from you and put that 2 percent in you own private retirement account.  That’s an account that will be there for you – and only you -- when you retire.  You get it all --- you get it all plus any interest it may have earned!  If you die before you collect your benefits the money would go to your heirs.   (Your “heirs” are people like your mother and father and your wife or your husband or your children --- if you ever have any and can remember who they are when it comes time to do your will. I can’t leave anything for granted here ---- hell, you don’t even know who’s running for president.)

Now – Harry Browne.  He’s the Libertarian.  I know, you haven’t heard of him.  That’s because you spend too damned much time watching MTV.  Anyway, Harry Browne thinks that it would be best if you would just be allowed to keep your own money and invest it for your own retirement.  He can’t see where the government has any moral authority to put a gun to your forehead and grab that 15 percent of your earnings to buy votes from wrinkled citizens.  If you invest wisely in your retirement you’ll be able to retire early with a lot of money and you’re going to have a great time living on the beach and traveling the world.  If you ignore retirement investing you’re going to end up being supported by your relatives in some double-wide somewhere in Mississippi.  Hey --- that’s called freedom.  And with freedom comes the freedom to make choices.  And with the freedom to make choices comes living with those choices.  

So .. there’s one reason for you to be a little interested in this election.  The reason is YOUR money – 15 percent of your earnings.  One politician wants all of it. One wants most of it.  Another wants you to keep it.  Interested?

Listen --- I know I’ve reached the end of your attention span.  But one more thing.  Let me give you a little example of how much more money you could have for retirement if you invested your own money instead of letting the government take it from you for its Social Security income redistribution scheme.

You see … back in the early 1980’s the county workers in Galveston County, Texas voted to pull themselves out of Social Security.  Here’s the kicker.  They continued to pay exactly the same amount out of their paychecks into a county operated plan.  Each one of the employees had their own account.  Their money.  Their account.  

Now, back in 1996 a little study was made of just what these county employees were getting and going to get when they retired.  I’ll make this simple … Just a simple comparison of what they would have got under Social Security and what they are getting under their private plan.  This is for a $50,000 a year employee and these are 1996 figures ….

Under Social Security …. $1,302 every month.  $15,624 a year.  That’s less than they were making when they worked.

Under their private plan …. $6,843 every month.  $82,116 a year.  That’s more than they were making when they worked.

So --- it boils down to this.  When you retire --- that is, if you don’t OD on meth or prang your Trans Am and live to retire --- would you rather see your monthly income go up or way way down.

Duhhhhhhhhh.

Now --- if you’re not even a little interested in who’s running for president, you deserve exactly what you get.
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