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Everything posted by ashw_justin

  1. Obama's Socialism

    This brings to mind McCain's derisive "spread the money around" comment in the last debate, in criticism of his opponent. I can't see that being an unpopular notion to a lot of voters right now. What small percentage of voters are more afraid of the relatively poor than of the relatively rich these days?
  2. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Of course I read your post. But I still wanted to try make my points without sounding like such an ass, you know. The last time I took this much shit, the topic was legalizing drugs. The extremely unpopular side that I argued was that if all drugs were legalized, then there would be a danger of the public becoming enslaved by heroin-and-cocaine dealing corporations that operated like McDonalds, because when it comes to certain things, people might not be able to take care of themselves. I could have been saying the same thing about people getting screwed by Wall Street against their best interests, because they didn't know any better. But instead, now I argue on the other side, that people should be able to take care of themselves when it comes to financial planning. We need to respect that people can decide what to do with their money. This, however, makes them accountable for the state of their personal finances, in as much as they have the freedom to manage them. I think that this needs to be acknowledged, especially by the outspoken by the same champions of personal freedom and choice. Now I know that it's important to tear me a new anus for sounding like an overly self-impressed obnoxious smartass prick (I'm sure E-rock can put this better), but what is it going to be, guys? You did a pretty good job of convincing me to accept peoples' freedom and ability to choose what is best for them. But doesn't that mean there has to be at least some personal accountability here?
  3. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Alright, maybe I'll piss people off a little less (and maybe even sound like less of a jackass) if I ask questions instead of making statements regarding things about which I don't claim to be an expert. If I'm wrong, I'd prefer to be schooled, than to be meaninglessly insulted. Let's assume that no 401k gives employees the choice of putting their money in something besides the stock market (I suspect that this is not entirely true, but what do I know right). Why were/are employees who were not comfortable with the volatility of the stock market, comfortable with benefit plans offering no other options? Yes investing works, and it also promotes economic growth. But it is volatile, and that makes it risky. Why are people only coming to terms with this now? If they had no other choice, why? A scarier thought, how much of the inflation (er, "appreciation") of stock market prices in the 80's and 90's is directly attributable to the emergence and prevalence of of stock-heavy 401k investment programs? What if the bull market of the 80's and 90's the result not of extraordinary growth in business, but an increased demand and overvaluation due to a huge new body of captive investors? What happens when these people start asking for their money back? According to Schiller, price increases far outpaced earnings growth during that bull market. He called it irrational exuberance (borrowing a phrase from Greenspan I'll add, to save some the trouble of trying to burn me on this detail). Well what if it wasn't really exuberance at all, but as others also say, a pyramid by which Wall Street siphoned off the wealth of the working public by promoting compulsory investment programs that thrived on fundamental misconceptions about the riskiness and value of stock market investments? On the brighter side, the DJIA is still valued at ~8000-9000 right now. Does that really mean that retirees are going to be out on the street begging for change to pay for medical treatment? I don't think so. In fact, doesn't the current market value still represent a handsome return over the past 20-30 years? So isn't the response to this apparently "normal" market behavior a little exaggerated? Furthermore, why should anyone assume that their long-term wealth is equivalent to wildly fluctuating market prices? Everything is smoothed out over time-contributions, gains, losses, withdrawals. ps. of course this has to do with little Levi, he'll have to plan his retirement for the possibility that some psychotic megarichtards will allow the financial system to collapse again and erase a bunch of his unrealized gains.
  4. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Seriously, nobody had the option of investing in something besides stocks in their 401Ks? Where that is true, then yes, rethink that, it sounds like an egregious limitation on the freedom, rights and privacy of employees. They most certainly should be given the right to decide how to invest their retirement benefits. (And not just so that I can wag a finger at them.)
  5. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    If you can look back and wouldn't/couldn't have done anything differently, well then good for you. If that is really true, then I'm willing to bet that you will fare relatively well. At least you did the best you could, and what you/we know now presumably will help you/us later. If the unrealized wealth wasn't really there in the first place, then that explains where it went. Apparently the "unrealized gains" that we thought we were getting for free were of the easy come, easy go variety. Sounds like it's time to rethink 401Ks, among other things. But hindsight is 20/20 and apparently I'm a callous, clueless, asshole on the internet. Can I go now?
  6. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    "Prole," you miss the point. Some are definitely more guilty than others. I am talking about individuals realizing what (perhaps limited) amount of choice (power) they have, which goes hand in hand with accepting responsibility for one's choices. But fine, "my friend," deny your ability to make choices, do nothing, and be victimized eternally by those whom you serve.
  7. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    I already said I didn't know what risk options are provided in most 401Ks, but if you had an one that forced you to buy only stocks, then nothing I am saying has anything to do with you. Clear? True or False: retirees who had the option to invest in bonds, and did, are suffering far less losses right now than those who didn't?
  8. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Well at least we are beginning to agree on something. What I suggested was "relatively low-risk" investments. I gave Fed bonds as an example, but you're free to choose whatever investment you think is best for your money. Just don't cry to me about it if it doesn't work out if you're not going accept that you made a choice (assuming that you had one).
  9. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    I think the misunderstanding here is that to me, examining one's own involvement and responsibility in the disaster comes before blaming others. I have not once heard anyone say, "shit, I fucked up a little too, because I should have known better." That could mean investing differently in the past, or being more politically active. If nobody thinks that their actions in the past could have had any bearing on this crisis whatsoever, then we are truly fucked, because that means that there is nothing to learn, and nothing the common person can possibly do about it in the future. I hope you can agree that this is a ridiculous notion, but one that depends on the failure to take any personal responsibility for the state of this country.
  10. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Everyday persons' not particularly novel economic recovery plan by: some random guy on the internet who may or may not know anything (amazing that I actually have to explicitly say this) 1. Get up 2. Stop crying 3. Pull your shit together and figure out how to take care of yourself for the time being 4. Admit that you could have done better 5. Accept personal responsibility, learn from any mistakes you made 6. Wrestle your country's public financial system from the greedy mutherfuckers who have, and will continue to, fuck you as a matter of economic principle. (Suggest voting, and being a little more careful about where you put your money.) Discuss, or ignore. Let's try to keep the discussion to items 1-6, as opposed to screaming about how I am a stupid dick or whatever, ad nauseum.
  11. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    "Hugh," your coming around. Probability. Why are people shocked when something we know can and probably will happen, happens? Grow the fuck up, people. It sucks, but it's not the end of the world, and the sooner you stop bawling and bitching about how it's not fair, the sooner you'll be able to pick up the pieces and move ahead. Empowerment begins with introspection. To the other anonymous, irate shitslinger... I'm the one who is angry? Maybe you should take a step back and look at the heaping pile filth that you have aggressively flung in my direction. Look, it's already obvious that you don't have a clue what I have said, or what I am about. This is not because I wasn't clear, rather, it is because you are too busy jacking off to your own attempts at character assassination to listen. You don't want to understand what I am saying--that wouldn't suit your purpose of twisting my words for your own sick entertainment. -I am blaming everyone, in proportion to their responsibility ("everyday people" the least as it turns out ) -my background is irrelevant; I am not saying a single thing that a 17-year-old electrician couldn't tell you -I'm obviously subject to these societal woes -I never said that I know everything (seriously, WTF?) -your personal views on who you think I am, from a relatively sparse posting history, are both uncalled-for and irrelevant It's plainly obvious that I'm simply throwing out an alternate way of looking at things, that unfortunately for you delusional sissyboys does not align with your need to viciously blame everyone but yourself, and your need to perpetuate a view of reality that may be vanishing before your eyes. You ought to stop trying to falsely assign to me arguments and feelings that I have not made, and do not possess. It is a waste of your time and my time (although you clearly enjoy it). More importantly, it is not fair to the everyone else that you attempt to invent an enemy out of me, instead of agreeing with me that it's time for us to sack up and move on.
  12. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Aside from you being the biggest dick with the smallest weenie on CC.com, you clearly don't know shit about 401K's. Here's some facts, douche-bag: The conventional wisdom on 401K's is that you have to be in stocks for a long time to reap the benfits. Otherwise put your savings a money market and let inflation steal your retirement savings away from you. Bond funds have lost money in many people's 401K's. But you're right, everyone should have ignored the conventional wisdom and counted on overly conservative means to carry us through. P.S. You're a fuckstick. Your tourrettic outbursts are getting pretty ridiculous. Did you just characterize an avoidance of a 40%+ loss in one's retirement fund as "overly conservative?" Perhaps you're just bitter for having bought wholesale into Wall Street's brainwashing to the effect of "inflation is the greatest threat to your wealth." That's right folks, if you don't give us every dime you own today, then it will be worthless tomorrow! Nevermind what we're going to do with that dime... Clearly, we let them shove the Gospel of Growth a little too far down our throats, and now we are left vomiting up the poison, rueing our very willing ingestion of the bullshit, and awaiting the dreadful financial hangover. Like a spoiled teenager, we imagine that we can keep rapidly growing forever. What will happen when it becomes impossible to continue pretending that real production is guaranteed to increase exponentially? Are we now already seeing signs of the inevitable temper tantrum?
  13. The Debate

    But that's such a narrow vision. Together with all of that Clean Coal, we'll just glide into the future on these wings of clean and limitless energy. Treehuggers, earthhumpers, and fishkissers alike rejoice! It's alright though, if that doesn't work, then we can just eat our babies when the military-industrial complex starts demanding that U.S. agriculture produce nothing but biodiesel (or ethanol, or what have you) to fuel the war machine. (Hopefully we'll have done away with those "women's rights" once and for all by then.) ps. I apologize in advance for the absence of profanity and personal attacks in this post. sickie
  14. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Well I am not knowledgeable about 401Ks, but I thought that most gave the employee/investor sufficient leeway in the choice of investments to have at least presented the theoretical possibility of avoiding the stock market depreciation of the past few weeks. Or can you not buy bonds in most 401Ks? I'm not trying to kick people while they are down. I'm trying to make sense of this just like everyone else, and thinking about what individual investors could/should have done differently, which bears directly on how to invest in the future. We don't have a lot of control over what the banks and markets do, but do have (some) control over what we do with our earnings and investments.
  15. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Maybe as a result of this little Levi will put a little less blind faith in the financial and investment systems, and find ways to keep his earnings under a tighter reign. Especially as he nears retirement, when most of his investments should be as low risk as he can find, such as federal bonds (they tried to tell his parents' generation the same thing, but some of them didn't listen, and then got angry when the stock market crashed). Or alternatively, we could just tell him that this was all the work of a few evil guys, that free markets are not supposed to be self-correcting, and that he doesn't need to worry because the government will be deciding what's best for his earnings now. Flame away.
  16. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    God no, I wouldn't want to perpetrate another market meltdown on poor innocent Wall Street!
  17. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    No shit oh wise one, believe it or not, even in the ivory tower we read the newspaper. But your point is...? Since when is it sound business (more importantly risk-free) to blindly believe shoddy ratings, inaccurate data, and unrealistic models? Seriously--this isn't even a question of whether or not the false wizardy was scientifically or even mathematically valid. We are seeing the proof that the people at the controls either don't have a fucking clue what they are doing, or overtly intended to invent some quick profits and run while causing a meltdown. Coming back to my original point (which you have yet to address by the way), trying to blame the insane business decisions of delusional and terribly negligent executives on academics is ridiculous. Part of what these guys (execs) are paid the big bucks for is to know when something is too good to be true. Case in point (and trying to bring this shit back on topic)--you don't automatically agree with Gary just because he is an academic, now do you? Well apparently, that's where you and I differ from the guys in control of these billionaire investment firms. Oh and
  18. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    I'm not praising the conmen who nucleated this crisis. I'm simply pointing out that we should have been smart/wise enough to tell them to go f' themselves in the first place. So I think your hostility is mostly misplaced, but I understand if you need a punching bag. I'm not saying that there aren't tragic victims, or that they deserve to lose everything. The punishment should fit the crime. Certainly the insiders who knowingly perpetrated this rape and pillage of public finance deserve to lose everything and be exiled from the business world, or worse. However, the lay investor (in which class I count myself, by the way) is not innocent in this matter--we went right along with it, and our willing, overly faithful participation in the illusory system of "unrealized wealth" was a necessary ingredient for the current crisis. Let me be crystal clear about my view here: nobody who couldn't risk the current stock market crash should have invested in stocks. Nobody should have taken out a mortgage that they couldn't pay off, even if housing prices deflated. No business should have been paying for everything with easy credit (debt) that wasn't likely to last. All of these things are painful, but true. Show me an investor who truly lost everything (which by the way probably rules out most of the relatively innocent people whom you are defending), and I'll show you a stupid investor. Nobody should have pretended that this couldn't possibly happen [again]. Fortunately, most people people have something left, and will get by, despite this hardship. This is because they were conservative enough to limit their exposure to risk, and wise enough not to live beyond their means. Furthermore, as a civil society we are going to do what we can to soften the landings.
  19. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    The Scientific Method Theory: people are too greedy to realize when an investment is too risky, or "too good to be true." Hypothesis: if I confuse these rich greedy guys enough, they will have no choice but to believe me and give me all of their money. Experiment: Use impressive scientific degree to legitimize pretty models promising astronomical returns forever, collect money from greedy rich people. Result: Disappear with suitcases full of money to secret retirement getaway while the rest of civilization suffocates on its own greed and stupidity. Theory: intact.
  20. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    ps. here's my own reading recommendation: a book whose message was considered scandalously novel on Wall Street... while at the same time boringly obvious to even the novice quantitative scientist. The easiest way to success on Wall Street is to take intellectual credit for good luck and/or coincidental covariance. Just because one's bullshit routine includes crunching numbers, regression analysis, or "backtesting," doesn't make one a mathematician or a scientist. Not even if one manages to get the bullshit published. Now learning from our mistakes and adequately appreciating uncertainty and risk: that would be on the way to being scientific.
  21. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Nice try bitches, but the only "mathematicians and physicists" who end up in finance are the failures and charlatans. Real "mathematicians and physicists" would be the first to tell you that market psychology has absolutely nothing to do with the quantitative sciences that they study. But who is stupider: the pretenders claiming that simply crunching numbers is scientific, or the greedy businessmen and investors that bet billions on it? Where is the business sense that these people were supposed to have learned in business school? ps. good electricians make good money You realize there are papers on these exact instruments you could read and not look like such a fucking retard all the time? Of course that'd mean you'd look like the Charlatan and not the Wharton grad 1) Charlatan should only be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence. 2) Wharton is a business school, not a school of physics or mathematics. So how are you refuting my original point exactly? 3) You need to get a life if you read enough of my posts to know what I "look" (did you mean sound?) like all of the time. 4) You don't really have anything to say, but you'll post anyway because being an asshole makes you feel good. It's okay, we understand.
  22. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    What does an unremarkable highschool transcript get you nowdays, anyway? If the boy wants to start a profession and start learning how to make it in the real world, all power to him. It doesn't sound like he was going K-16, and a relatively worthless high school diploma isn't going to feed his family. Apprenticeships can be a great alternative to college, just depends on the person. Let's not forget that a lot of PhD programs have a pretty strong "apprenticeship" component. Many if not most of us are training for some technical profession, we just get there in different ways.
  23. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Fixed that for you
  24. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Nice try bitches, but the only "mathematicians and physicists" who end up in finance are the failures and charlatans. Real "mathematicians and physicists" would be the first to tell you that market psychology has absolutely nothing to do with the quantitative sciences that they study. But who is stupider: the pretenders claiming that simply crunching numbers is scientific, or the greedy businessmen and investors that bet billions on it? Where is the business sense that these people were supposed to have learned in business school? ps. good electricians make good money Oh look, douche-bag #2 decided to join the party. You know, the other guy besides Gary who thinks he has the world figured out from the ivory academic tower because he can throw softball criticisms at everyday people and thinks he sounds smart because of it. Good luck teaching at junior college fellas! Well first I am flattered, really. But I am saddened by your barely veiled hatred of "everyday people," evident in your suggestion that it takes a monk in an ivory tower to tell them that there's nobody else to blame but themselves. Freedom baby--it has a bad side too. Whooda thunkit? Real freedom means you have the power to destroy yourself. Or be a baby daddy instead of graduating. But tell you what, I won't judge people, as long as they don't try to make me accountable for their mistakes.
  25. Palin's to-be son-in-law HS dropout

    Nice try bitches, but the only "mathematicians and physicists" who end up in finance are the failures and charlatans. Real "mathematicians and physicists" would be the first to tell you that market psychology has absolutely nothing to do with the quantitative sciences that they study. But who is stupider: the pretenders claiming that simply crunching numbers is scientific, or the greedy businessmen and investors that bet billions on it? Where is the business sense that these people were supposed to have learned in business school? ps. good electricians make good money