Friday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. A book about strength and forgiveness in Rwanda noted.
  2. Violence in Sri Lanka, warning video is unedited and violent.
  3. Toward a better small engine.
  4. OODA and the healthcare debate.
  5. A SCOTUS decision to note for those who use computers.
  6. Cool astrophysics.
  7. Economics and healthcare … disincentives noted.
  8. Earth and solar radiation and a transistor analogy.
  9. Retirement and savings and Singapore.
  10. Eugenics and the Administration.
  11. Brandon has links … (I thought the one on genius very much worth your time … and that was just one of many).
  12. Market and Russia.
  13. A film reviewed, 12.
  14. Another film, Surrogates.
  15. Guantanamo and Estonia.

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  1. Boonton says:

    Retirement and savings and Singapore.

    If I had my way, I’d replace unemployment insurance with a revolving savings plan. You have to put 5% of your pay into a savings account whose composition will be regulated (in other words you can have some stocks but you can’t use the account to ‘play the market’…you’ll have to keep a balanced portion in safe instruments).

    Contributions can be taken out after 5 years. In other words, if you’re 25 yrs old and started working at 20 you’d be able to take out those contributions. Or you can leave them in. Leaving aside interest income (which let’s assume is very low), people would have at least 5*5% or 25% of pay in their accounts. Or more if they allow their accounts to grow rather than cashing out every chance they get. For those with low income, the gov’t could top off the accounts with contributions similiar to the way the earned income tax credit would work.

    I would also add to the mix an idea that Hillary floated when she ran for President but got trashed. Every baby born gets $5,000. Put it into the account and let them tap it at 18 as part of their national ‘endowment’.

  2. Boonton says:

    Eugenics and the Administration.

    Appears to be the wrong link.

  3. Mark says:

    On the link, it should be fixed now. Thanks for pointing that out.

  4. Mark says:

    Why don’t you do that for retirement too?

  5. Boonton says:

    I think the 5 yr period provides an intermediate step between retirement, which is long term, and unemployment insurance which is a short term event. Should you happen never to be unemployed or only have brief spells you can roll the accumulation into retirement (something you can’t really do now).

    On retirement I think the problem with 401K type accounts is two fold:

    1. They tend to get cashed out too quickly and/or have their balances reduced by excessive fees, excessive market churning or whatnot. This is evidenced by their failure. They’ve been around over 20+ years now and the avg balance is like $30K. This would be a retirement diaster and doesn’t even take into account the crash.

    2. The retire with a lump sum model runs the risk of that lump not being sufficient to hold you through to death if you live a long time.

    SSI’s a nice complement to traditional savings in that you get an annuity when you retire….checks for the rest of your life regardless of lifespan.

    In the ideal world I’d like to create a simple, portable type of annuity sold in very small increments (like $100). This would take the place not only of social security but also private and public pension plans. Instead of each union negotiating a pension plan (which may end up being over or under funded), employers would simply purchase ‘annuity units’. Employees woudl likewise have to buy them in place of social security and individuals could buy additional ones if they want ’em.

  6. Love the comments on the eugenics link (which, by the way confuses eugenics with population control.) Ah, Republicans, so sane and rational:

    Obama must be stopped at all cost. We as Christians can not allow his agenda to go any further. He not only doesn’t support Christian values but is attempting to bring America to it’s knees. What better way for a terroist to bring America down than through his economic and social policies. We must not forget what our founding fathers wanted for the United States of America and what our constitution stands for. God Bless America.