Link Stats
Added By: Alex
Added on: 07/23/2010 @ 1:19:07 PM
Link View Count: 461
Economics
Economics
Rate this Link
Yours:

Rated 0 times.

Residents warn of recall if council members remain

$787,637 salary for Chief Administrative Officer (whatever that means) is one thing, but "a state pension of more than $650,000 a year for life" starting at age 56. F that. Twice. Maybe the residents should skip a recall vote and just all stop paying taxes. I imagine their budget surplus will go bye-bye when all these guys are collecting their pensions and the city is paying another set of employees ridiculously high salaries.

Ranting a bit here, but lately, in multiple different realms, wastefulness/bad prioritizing/lack of concern about debt are just driving me crazy.
View External Link [news.yahoo.com]
Back to Link List
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
07/23/2010 @ 02:17:24 PM
 Quote this comment
clearly he needs to put food on his table even after he retires just like the rest of us, right? The difference is, his food consists of filet mignons on tables of gold and pearl.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
question_mark.gifBorn Conservative (Guest)
07/23/2010 @ 03:36:53 PM
 Quote this comment
THIS...... is what happens when residents "ignore" local politics.
They should have more courage and be more vigilant.

I would also advise anyone running to replace these people, to eradicate this current setup, in favor of LOWER TAXES.... DOH?

All it really takes is a nightly chat out by the backyard fence... you know, like it was BEFORE CABLE....
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3354 Posts
07/24/2010 @ 12:00:18 PM
 Quote this comment
Speaking of bad prioritizing:

http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/13219
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
07/24/2010 @ 12:14:27 PM
 Quote this comment
Which brings up one of the things that bugs me the most, different "funds" and all the shuffling money from one fund to the other and all the earmarking in general. You put the money in one fund, then you create a budget to spend it from that one fund, that's all you need. You don't need a billion funds, some of which you can raid at any time and some of which you dasn't ever touch.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
07/24/2010 @ 12:17:01 PM
 Quote this comment
I don't know. I mean, they did set aside money, presumably responsibly, a little at a time, specifically for that. There's always going to be something more important in the grand scheme of things.

To me the only way you can make anything of this is if you feel that art is always a waste of money and that the government should never pay to pretty up the cities.

I suppose you could take exception, even if you're generally ok with art spending, about the particular "extravagance" of spending all that on this one thing.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
07/24/2010 @ 12:25:30 PM
 Quote this comment
I think you can also take exception with not paying for needs and instead paying for luxuries in economically difficult times. Unless they really don't need those firefighters, in which case they should just fire them and be done with it.

Also, while art is not always a waste of money, there are lots of other places that I'd rather see my tax dollars go.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
07/24/2010 @ 12:51:41 PM
 Quote this comment
Right, I mean, the "laying off firefighters" thing is a possible red herring. Why not employ everyone as a firefighter during tough times?

Though your priorities can change during tough times, cities are generally always strapped for cash. Even if not, there are almost always "better" things it could spend the money on.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3354 Posts
07/24/2010 @ 02:11:53 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:17:01 PM
I don't know. I mean, they did set aside money, presumably responsibly, a little at a time, specifically for that. There's always going to be something more important in the grand scheme of things.


I know what you're getting at, but shouldn't we want/insist, that our money be spent on the most important things. Yes, different people will have differing opinions over what is most important, and the politicians will have to figure out how to merge everyone's interests together. I would be willing to bet, however, that most people would conclude that things like police, fire, and roads are some of the more essential needs and a $850,000 sculpture for city hall is not, especially when you are running a multi-million dollar deficit.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
07/24/2010 @ 04:46:30 PM
 Quote this comment
I guess all I meant was it's not like this is the first and only government entity to invest in art. There was always something more "important" when those were built too, I'm sure. Though it serves no real purpose, it's hard to deny that they add to a big city atmosphere.

Edit: Let's say you were broke, and you knew you'd couldn't just go buy yourself something totally superfluous, like a jetski, but you put away a minuscule amount every paycheck. A few years down the road you had enough to buy a used one, but you're still just barely making ends meet. Is it totally irresponsible to buy that jet ski? I'm not so sure. You could make a case either way. You didn't buy it on a credit card, you went about it the right way, but in the end money is money, and there's still probably something "better" you should do with it.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
Jeremy screwed with this 5 times, last at 07/24/2010 5:13:20 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
07/24/2010 @ 06:55:15 PM
 Quote this comment
That's your own money. If you want to eat ramen all year so you can buy a jet ski, that's great. This is America, do what you want with your money. If my tax money is going to pay for "unnecessary" (and it's arguable if this or not) art instead of firefighters, infrastructure, tax cuts, etc. then I'm not a happy camper. I realize that this is probably just one of a million examples across the country, but that doesn't mean I have to like it or that we have to continue to let government spend in this way.

Or non-government for that matter. I'm irked because my church just approved a new sign that was a pet project of it's 50th anniversary even though we have outstanding bank loans for 2009 budget deficit and aren't doing any better this year. Sure, a nice looking sign would be great if the money was there, but it's not, and in the information age a nice looking sign on what is mostly a residential road now is probably not going to do a lot of good.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
07/24/2010 @ 06:57:26 PM
 Quote this comment
This is starting to slide into a new topic, or maybe just a sub-topic, but I love this paragraph from an article about Aaron Rodgers:

"You know what Rodgers will tell you is an underrated virtue? The ability to tolerate disappointment. We've tried to eliminate disappointment, run it off like a deadly virus. The world's most potent economy collapsed when too many people decided they couldn't bear to be disappointed. They bought houses they couldn't afford and cars they didn't need. They believed that a parent's most appalling failure is a disappointed child. Oh, no, we can't disappoint the children. Lord forbid we allow our kids to be deprived. The dirtiest word in the English language: no."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5380493
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
07/25/2010 @ 11:56:22 AM
 Quote this comment
Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 06:55:15 PM
That's your own money. If you want to eat ramen all year so you can buy a jet ski, that's great. This is America, do what you want with your money. If my tax money is going to pay for "unnecessary" (and it's arguable if this or not) art instead of firefighters, infrastructure, tax cuts, etc. then I'm not a happy camper. I realize that this is probably just one of a million examples across the country, but that doesn't mean I have to like it or that we have to continue to let government spend in this way.


That really wasn't the point of the question. Obviously you "can" buy it, the question was would it be irresponsible or not.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
07/26/2010 @ 08:12:02 AM
 Quote this comment
Alex Wrote - 07/24/2010 @ 12:14:27 PM
Which brings up one of the things that bugs me the most, different "funds" and all the shuffling money from one fund to the other and all the earmarking in general. You put the money in one fund, then you create a budget to spend it from that one fund, that's all you need. You don't need a billion funds, some of which you can raid at any time and some of which you dasn't ever touch.


This isn't possible even in my personal finances. I have more that one set of "funds" for different categories of expenses. I can see the need for something like a government to need to do something similar if not more in depth.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
07/26/2010 @ 01:27:33 PM
 Quote this comment
It's mostly a matter of perception, but basically you have income, savings, expenses. If have a jet ski fund that you put $10 in every month, and then something crazy expensive happens to your house that insurance doesn't cover, what are you going to do? Not fix your house because that $1,000 in the jet ski fund absolutely can only be used for a jet ski? No, you're going to steal the money from that fund so you can fix your house (assuming you don't have enough money in your "rainy day" fund to cover it). Which makes the jet ski fund kind of pointless in the first place. That $10 a month goes into your savings, and when you have sufficient savings you can go get a jet ski.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have a budget that says here's my income and here's where it's going, I'm saying it's a waste of time to break down the savings portion of your budget into X number of categories, with Y number of projects in each category, etc. when really it's all savings (things with liquidity issues would be separated though, meaning 401ks and such).

And instead of having ear marked funds, just manage a priority list of savings funded expenses.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
07/26/2010 @ 01:33:54 PM
 Quote this comment
Are talking personal finances again? Because I sort of do take the time to come up with x number of categories with y number of projects. If for no other reason than it gives me goals to shoot for, and it helps me know how realistic some of my goals are. Is the personal finance analogy lost here finally?
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
07/26/2010 @ 01:36:35 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:56:22 AM
That really wasn't the point of the question. Obviously you "can" buy it, the question was would it be irresponsible or not.


I agree that it would not be totally irresponsible. Assuming you also saved up enough for associated, towing, insurance, maintenance, accessories, etc. You'd probably be better of renting a jet ski once of year if you're that strapped for cash.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
07/26/2010 @ 01:38:45 PM
 Quote this comment
Alex Wrote - Today @ 02:27:33 PM
It's mostly a matter of perception, but basically you have income, savings, expenses. If have a jet ski fund that you put $10 in every month, and then something crazy expensive happens to your house that insurance doesn't cover, what are you going to do? Not fix your house because that $1,000 in the jet ski fund absolutely can only be used for a jet ski? No, you're going to steal the money from that fund so you can fix your house (assuming you don't have enough money in your "rainy day" fund to cover it). Which makes the jet ski fund kind of pointless in the first place. That $10 a month goes into your savings, and when you have sufficient savings you can go get a jet ski.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have a budget that says here's my income and here's where it's going, I'm saying it's a waste of time to break down the savings portion of your budget into X number of categories, with Y number of projects in each category, etc. when really it's all savings (things with liquidity issues would be separated though, meaning 401ks and such).

And instead of having ear marked funds, just manage a priority list of savings funded expenses.


Yeah from a personal finance standpoint, this is pretty much the exact opposite of what most personal finance experts recommend. I've always been pretty good with money, and I still have separate "accounts" for anything large that is going to be paid sometime in the next 1-3 years (yearly homeowner's insurance, vacations, charity, etc) along with a separate emergency fund account. With pretty much any online savings account, this is simple, and then I immediately know exactly what the balance in my checking account represents.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
07/26/2010 @ 01:49:52 PM
 Quote this comment
Scott Wrote - Today @ 01:33:54 PM
Are talking personal finances again? Because I sort of do take the time to come up with x number of categories with y number of projects. If for no other reason than it gives me goals to shoot for, and it helps me know how realistic some of my goals are. Is the personal finance analogy lost here finally?


Should have included a quote, yes I was talking personal finances there. If it works for you then feel free to ignore me, but I'd still say you're wasting your time. I'm not sure how the "goals to shoot for" is really helpful. Are you going to spend less on food or work more overtime to get to your goals quicker?

Micah Wrote - Today @ 01:38:45 PM
Yeah from a personal finance standpoint, this is pretty much the exact opposite of what most personal finance experts recommend. I've always been pretty good with money, and I still have separate "accounts" for anything large that is going to be paid sometime in the next 1-3 years (yearly homeowner's insurance, vacations, charity, etc) along with a separate emergency fund account. With pretty much any online savings account, this is simple, and then I immediately know exactly what the balance in my checking account represents.


checking account = money to blow on a whim?

I can see doing this for homeowner's insurance or other expenses with a known due date that are expensive. Although insurance isn't that much, but if you meant property taxes I'll give it to you
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
07/26/2010 @ 02:29:04 PM
 Quote this comment
Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:49:52 PM
Scott Wrote - Today @ 01:33:54 PM
Are talking personal finances again? Because I sort of do take the time to come up with x number of categories with y number of projects. If for no other reason than it gives me goals to shoot for, and it helps me know how realistic some of my goals are. Is the personal finance analogy lost here finally?


Should have included a quote, yes I was talking personal finances there. If it works for you then feel free to ignore me, but I'd still say you're wasting your time. I'm not sure how the "goals to shoot for" is really helpful. Are you going to spend less on food or work more overtime to get to your goals quicker?


I very well might spend less on food, actually, at least going out to eat or other things. Buying Roundy's products exclusively can help too. But my "goals to shoot for" are things like finishing off my basement and other household projects. With my different categories, I know exactly how much I have for such a project, and I contribute to this fund differently than I do my vacation fund or other funds.

I have categories for general living things (groceries, gas, phone, internet, mortgage, etc). And I also have a separate fund for home expenses for things like finishing off my basement eventually, yard projects, and things like that. I also have a separate "fund" for vacations. All of them are of course a last resort to pull from in the case of an emergency, but if I put them all into one fund, I am deceiving myself in how much I actually have available for house projects or vacations. Also, when I know I have X amount of dollars for vacations, I don't have to stress out about how much my vacation might cost and if the vacation will leave me without food to eat for the rest of the month. Also, I find it helpful to pay cash for everyday things like groceries and common things, and just fill the "account" (ie, an envelope) with cash at the beginning of every month. This way, I am forced to make that money last for the month, which makes me not spend too much on things that are seemingly variable but everyday expenses.

I've wasted more time correcting overspending "mistakes" in the past that this system actually saves me a lot of time in the long run. It also is a lot less stressful when I can go golfing out of my "golf fund" when I'm not worried that this money isn't robbing me of my next meal; I already have golf money set aside, so I've already accounted for how I'm going to pay for food or somesuch. So in other words, it's a waste of time NOT to do it my way! emoticon

Also, my homeowners insurances is included in my mortgage payment. So I don't even have to plan for that at all. Isn't that the norm?
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
Scott perfected this at 07/26/2010 2:33:27 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
07/26/2010 @ 03:16:44 PM
 Quote this comment
Our insurance isn't included, but our property taxes are escrowed. Insurance should be very little, considering what it covers. I don't remember what we pay for that, but compared to the amount we pay for car insurance, and after the "bundling" discount, I remember thinking it was practically thrown in.

We can debate all night about if the approach is stupid or not. (We don't do it.) I think Alex's point was mainly that you aren't going to not eat for a month because your food account is empty, while you have $300 in your golf account, and as long as that's the case, it's rather pointless in the end to literally separate the funds, as opposed to just tracking your expenditures. Though at a certain point it's debatable what the difference between the two approaches is anyway. (IE "We have to buy roundy's and eat in, because that money is for golfing" vs "I know I want to go golfing next week, and money will be tight this month, so we should eat in and buy generic.") In one sense, that's an important distinction, because you shouldn't "overspend" on food the next month, at the expense of a rainy day fund, or whatever just because there's a surplus in the "food account." Such an approach could easily lead to spending more money vs just setting a budget. In another sense the difference is splitting hairs.

It's extra stupid when the Government does it though, because they spend months arguing to set up some fund that can only be touched for x, y, or z then spent the rest of the time trying to weasel every possible loophole to accessing said money, usually by getting pretty liberal (read practically lying) with classifying an expenditure. So it would be like Scott and Mellisa setting up a "Vacation" account they vow to only touch for Vacations as well as a "Food" account, and then when the food account is running low, classifying a night out to eat as a "vacation" since the restaurant was in another town. It quickly devolves into an exercise in stupidity. You have $x at your disposal, no matter how you slice it.

I guess when it's all said and done, I see this topic both ways. I'm not an art person, but there was no doubt someone protesting every overly ornate building, fountain, park, monument, statue, stadium, lake, river, library, rec center, etc, a local/state/Federal Government has spent money on. There was, no doubt, always something more practical to spend money on at those times too, however I think we'd live in pretty different cities without those things.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
Jeremy screwed with this 10 times, last at 07/26/2010 4:29:34 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
07/26/2010 @ 05:28:22 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:16:44 PM
We can debate all night about if the approach is stupid or not. (We don't do it.) I think Alex's point was mainly that you aren't going to not eat for a month because your food account is empty, while you have $300 in your golf account, and as long as that's the case, it's rather pointless in the end to literally separate the funds, as opposed to just tracking your expenditures. Though at a certain point it's debatable what the difference between the two approaches is anyway. (IE "We have to buy roundy's and eat in, because that money is for golfing" vs "I know I want to go golfing next week, and money will be tight this month, so we should eat in and buy generic.") In one sense, that's an important distinction, because you shouldn't "overspend" on food the next month, at the expense of a rainy day fund, or whatever just because there's a surplus in the "food account." Such an approach could easily lead to spending more money vs just setting a budget. In another sense the difference is splitting hairs.


Just for the record, I track my expenses extremely closely, from everything to groceries to a $1.20 soda I buy at a gas station, and everything else. And, yes, I do "loosely" interpret some things as "vacations" or whatnot if my grocery money is running low (or take money out of my gasoline category if I drove less that month and need grocery money) But, I have gotten to a point where I hardly ever run out of grocery money (or my other daily expense categories) because I've learned how much I can spend over a period of time for a given month. My system is moreso to make sure I know I have money to spend on fun things, like golf, or vacation. Not to hamstring me to a point where I can golf but can't eat.

But if I tracked only my expenses and not a plan for how I'm going to spend money in the future, I probably would never have enough money for a vacation because I would nickel and dime myself on other things because I do technically have the money. It's what motivates me to make my lunch everyday and not go to McDonald's pretty much ever. I've lived without this strict plan and I've gotten into trouble (not like "oh crap my credit score just plummeted" problems) . If someone who didn't have a system that worked for them, I would give them the full endorsement of the way I do it just because since we started going about it this way it's gotten a lot less stressful. And because of the system I use, it actually cuts down on the amount of time we have to spend discussing finances. It's surprisingly efficient.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
07/26/2010 @ 10:19:19 PM
 Quote this comment
Scott Wrote - Today @ 05:28:22 PM
But if I tracked only my expenses and not a plan for how I'm going to spend money in the future, I probably would never have enough money for a vacation because I would nickel and dime myself on other things because I do technically have the money.


You could plan it out without actually putting money in separate envelopes. But there is a distinction that at least you can actually sum up your funds fairly easily, as opposed to many governmental financial books that are so messed up with ear marking and borrowing from funds and what not that nobody can even tell where the bottom line actually is.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
07/27/2010 @ 09:30:20 AM
 Quote this comment
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/07/obama-budget-deficit-taxes/1?csp=hf

Only a $25 trillion federal deficit by the end of 2020. emoticon
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
Alex edited this at 07/27/2010 9:31:15 am
Leave a Comment of your very own
Name:
Comment:
Verify this code
Verify the Code in this box, or sign in, to post a comment.
click me!
There's an emoticon for how you feel!
click me!
My Files
Sign up, or login, to be able to upload files for Nutcan.com users to see.