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Silver Conversationalist

entitled granny bugged me

so, over in the Social Security forum someone posted how it made them mad that their Stimulus check wasn't directly deposited into the checking account...they'd checked the IRS tool and saw they had no information on this person's checking account. So the poster had to fill that in on the IRS tool. Consequently, a number of snarky comments were made in that post.

 

Got to say, that kinda bugged me. Whining about this. I mean, I'm a whiner too (lol), but sheesh, this struck me as silly. The Federal gov't is a huge bureaucracy with many components, many of which don't talk directly to each other, computer systems may be from the 1960's (they are still using COBOL, for crying out loud!) And many people want to "starve the beast" even more! And it has occurred that the budget for the IRS actually has been starved so they are unable to fulfill all their duties. Well, in fairness, maybe that poster was not one of those wanting to "starve the beast".

 

Anyhow, I had to reply (https://community.aarp.org/t5/Social-Security/Stimulus-Check-when-you-have-Social-Security-Deposit-e...) and I had to throw in some comments about this stimulus. I just don't get how retirees on Social Security are suffering economic difficulties as a result of COVID-19. Yes, they may very possibly be suffering economic distress, but not as a result of COVID-19 which is the point of this stimulus. So let's not mix up the remedies.

 

I read a number of popular economics books (not textbooks) a long time ago, mostly written by prominent academics (ie: not quacks). I remember them talking about "dropping money out of helicopters", which is essentially what a stimulus is. Apparently these don't work all that great and can cause problems down the road. (I think this was in a book by Milton Friedman, a conservative economist)

 

As I mentioned in my reply in the Social Security thread "So it seems that the stimulus cash for retirees is not something to assist on a humanitarian level as for a natural disaster...hurricane, etc. but is instead simply handing out dough to spend in order to stimulate the economy (but why? we can't spend it anyway, the stores are closed! lol), with someone else down the road of time having to pick up the tab; maybe my grandkids ("Thanks, grampa!")."

 

I imagine this has been discussed in this forum but I haven't had a chance to follow through this.

Esteemed Social Butterfly

The name 'stimulus check' is a misnomer.  Like @fffred pointed out, it is ideally meant to 'stimulate the economy' by buying stuff, but with businesses closed other than those offering essential services and products, what's the point?  Most people are using their checks to catch up on bills and pay the rent.

 

I currently only work a few weeks a year (exterior installation of holiday decor at commercial properties).  I don't collect SS yet.  When I first heard conjecture of issuing checks to citizens, I honestly thought it would be more of a immediate relief program to help Americans who were suddenly impacted by the sudden cessation of income.  I did not think I would get one since obviously I am not living on what little income I generate in a couple of weeks and we definitely aren't installing 30' Christmas trees and 6' wreaths on the sides of buildings now, so my job was not impacted.  My normal income has not undergone any drastic changes (we won't talk about portfolios), nor have my usual spending habits changed that dramatically.

 

When it became evident that yes, I would receive one too (dropped in my account a couple of days ago), I was pleasantly surprised.  I wasn't counting on it, but no, I am not going to send it back.  However, it will not 'stimulate' me to amp up my spending in the foreseeable future other than being able to donate a little bit more.

Silver Conversationalist

@JANMB 

@ManicProgressive 

@MsStretch 

 

ManicProgressive and MsStretch have really said all that need be said re: my comments and statements.

 

I probably do know a lot of people on SS but I am not privy to their personal financial situations, other than in a general sense via posts in the "Nextdoor.com" neighborhood forums.

 

I live on the SW gulf coast of Florida in a small city that is highly populated by various populations that could be determined by selecting the descriptives 'white', 'retiree', 'rich', 'conservative', 'professional', 'old', 'elderly', assemble those words in any combo. Also a range of poor younger people, white and hispanic, who work for poor wages and often must work multiple jobs to make ends meet. I think many of the people here are suffering financially except for a select group (well-to-do white retirees).

 

I have absolutely no doubt that many of those on SS may be constrained, and I sympathize with them. But that condition does not have anything to do with the current situation. And this was described so much better than I can do by the other posters.

 

 

 

Silver Conversationalist

OMG

 

That thread over in Social Security. Now the OP wasn't too bad. Could write well. Just mad about the technology available to the IRS (we have to break more 1960's COBOL programmers out of cryo storage in the basement to get them on this problem). 

 

But some of the followers-on?

 

Such a collection of entitled people. I will wager that they are all Fox-watching Republicans as well. They are angry that they haven't gotten their stimulus cash, they blame the government (will they blame our head of government, Mr. Donald Trump?), they blame AARP as being a worthless organization, and everyone is trying to [omitted] the retired seniors. They strike me as self-entitled and don't care about anyone or anything else. They just "want my country back!", to borrow a phrase. As long as they are not inconvenienced.

 

I know of only one group that fills that last part about [omitted for politeness] the retired seniors. And that is the Mr. Trump branch of the Republican party. I can't have seen Reagan trying to root out Social Security. Nor George H.W. Bush. George W. Bush even rolled out Medicare Part D as I recall. I had no special love for those Republican presidents but they are saints and statesmen compared to Trump, McConnell, and so many others of the current denizens.

 

Now to be clear, I have utmost sympathy for those, of any age, who are strugging to get by. I struggled to get by, but I truly believe that it is harder today to do so. There needs to be a more level playing field and a narrowing of the sharing of the spoils of what this country produces. As it is now I swear we are heading towards something like the world of "The Hunger Games". I have visited my wife's birth country of the Philippines a number of times and it is horrifying to see the stratified society...more like 1% ultra rich, 4% middle class (physicians, etc, yet still struggling), and 95% living in hovels. It is pretty awful, and it was not always that way (pre-WW2). I really believe we in the US are heading there.

 

 

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

There is no argument that many on a fixed income need more money. I just don't see why people on a fixed income need more money because of COVID.

 

Those who are still working, sure. My mom is 79 and was working, and now can't. I completely understand her getting a check. Her income has truly been reduced. 

Whether a person's Social Secuity check is large enough in general is a bigger question than just COVID related relief. 

Honored Social Butterfly

Think about this: women comprise the majority in most of the economic sectors hit hardest economically by the shut down of our economy. 40 percent of mothers in the U.S. are the primary breadwinners.  

Why women will be hardest hit by a coronavirus-driven recession. ... Women’s incomes do not bankroll some imaginary “purses and shoes” fund. and that goes for the fact there are more women who are SENIORS too.

 

The  demographic to be hit hardest by any reduction in benefits will be women, who tend to earn less, claim benefits earlier and outlive men.   The average benefit for a retired woman of 65 is $14,184 a year, versus $18,000 for men the same age.   It the average but many who took benefits cause they had to....get  less than $12,000   year.  

 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

. FredSmif =  I just don't get how retirees on Social Security are suffering economic difficulties as a result of COVID-19.

*******************************



Outside of your own comfort zone of people in your circle of life ....you made it transparent in your comments that  .you don't know many   people at all retired on S  S.      Some are working beyond 70 years old or haven't you noticed ??   

 

 I heard people on S S  were going to get the stimulus under certain incomes...I can't believe other's here have complaints --really gripes about it and that   I'm compelled  to respond   t ....what a waste of time for me too. .  


 

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

Interesting.  I don't understand why people on fixed incomes need the stimulus, either.  I thought it would just help contribute to overall spending and therefore help prop up a devastated economy.  But I am not an economist and your insight from your reading is interesting.  I will look into it more. 

 

As an aside, about COBOL,  there is a suddenly a huge need right now to hire folks with COBOL experience because many government systems are still using it, as you noted.  So that might be a job opportunity for seniors who are looking for work right now.  

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Silver Conversationalist


@ManicProgressive wrote:

Interesting.  I don't understand why people on fixed incomes need the stimulus, either.  I thought it would just help contribute to overall spending and therefore help prop up a devastated economy.  But I am not an economist and your insight from your reading is interesting.  I will look into it more. 

 

As an aside, about COBOL,  there is a suddenly a huge need right now to hire folks with COBOL experience because many government systems are still using it, as you noted.  So that might be a job opportunity for seniors who are looking for work right now.  


haha, yes, my wife saw that about the need for COBOL programmers. She asked me "what's COBOL?, Do you know it?". It was all on Twitter last week. 

 

The last time this happened was in 1999 when "Y2K" was the thing, and many early programs had to be modified to allow for 4 digit years, so that "2007" did not become "1907" for example. All the old COBOL programmers were celebrities then! I imagine that now 20 years later they'll have to wheel them out of their nursing home.   ;- )

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Silver Conversationalist

well, it's early yet but I see that the Republican posters are drifting into that discussion over in Social Security. And taking a decidedly non-Republican, non-conservative stance. Probably as it directly affects their pocketbook. lol.

 

And I myself, a liberal person, am taking a more fiscally conservative stance on this. Although I have made careful distinction on how I think the stimulus should be applied, so I don't think that I am philosophically inconsistent.

 

Such a turn-about.

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