Thursday, November 27, 2008

Clearing Up a Few Common Misconceptions

So I received a forwarded email petition stating that "the Senate voted this week to allow 'illegal' aliens access to Social Security benefits" and we need to forward this email on to everyone we know to get signitures urging the president to veto this bill (note there is no bill number referenced in the email).  The email continues "It is already impossible to live on Social Security alone. If the government gives benefits to 'illegal' aliens who have never contributed, where does that leave those of us who have paid into Social Security all our working lives?"  Okay.  Now I need to post something to the blog to clear up a few misconceptions for the benefit of the like 3 people who read my posts.

For starters, there are illegal aliens who get a social security number.  And once they get a social security number, they have the social security payments withheld from their paychecks.  If they are only paid in cash and there is no paper trail well that's a totally different story.  So misconception #1 illegal immigrants have never contributed to social security is false.

Misconception #2 really needs to be addressed.  People believe that they have paid into social security similar to the way you pay into a 401K or IRA.  THAT IS FALSE!  Social security has NEVER worked like that.  Social Security is really more like a Ponzi Schemeusing the the "rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul" principle to work.  The current labor force (who are paying social security taxes) is supporting all those who receive their check.  (Side though: I wonder what happens when the labor force is smaller than the recipients.  Hmmm.  Oh wait that's a few years away).  So when you get the mailing from the social security administration that looks like an investment statement explaining how much you have paid, realize this is misleading and a waste of your tax dollars.

So to review: Just because a worker is an illegal immigrant doesn't mean they haven't paid taxes including social security.  And you are not paying into anything when it comes to social security.  The statement that it is impossible to live on social security, however, is true.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Life is Good

Our blog has fallen silent over the past few days. This is largely because I have been busy at work for a change and have not found time to post to the blog like I used to. Imagine that - working at work.

I really like my job. I enjoy the challenge that each day brings and actually look forward to going to work. I still enjoy going home more, but it is great to have a job that you don't dread going to.

Life upstate is good. Yes we have had snow and I don't think it got above 30 degrees today but that doesn't matter. We like it up here. We do miss our friends in New York a lot. I personally miss the reading time I had on the ferry. I don't get the same chance to read.

But life is very different. The traffic reports last about 30 seconds so I spend quite a bit of time surfing the radio stations trying to catch the report. Then I realize that even when there is heavy delays it isn't as bad a normal traffic on the Staten Island Expressway.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

So in case your wondering we are still alive

We have survived yet another move. It seems that we always seem to move around this time of year too. This will be the second year that we were "homeless" for Christmas (meaning not living in our own place). I love my new job. It is so much better I can't begin to express it. We continue to look for houses. This is a really complex problem with no simple solution. The calculus involves trade-offs, loads of trade-offs. Factor in we are not exactly sure what we are looking for (number of bed rooms, style of house, how much we are willing and able to fix up, etc). We have seen quite a few and our buyer's agent is great. I know once we make the decision we will post it here.

Thanks for the emails (I know Danielle's received some). Our phone is not working because half of it was packed in a box somewhere and it is in storage. We should take a picture of our storage shed. You can see the expert packing job that we did. We just found our cable to our camera so we will be uploading pictures soon.