Re: Biden

1

Someone tell me what is going on. I only want to perceive this through you guys.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
2

Well, we're looking at the screen of an iPad which is showing an unfogged thread with one comment, from you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
3

Bidden is killing!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
4

I mean , he will be!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
5

I had already started drinking before the debate last time, I'm not sure I can handle this without alcohol.

Oh shit their talking about youtube.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
6

So far Ryan is killing.


Posted by: ursyne | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:07 PM
horizontal rule
7

Sounds like Ryan is dissing America


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
8

Joe certainly learned from Obama's debate.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
9

Still waiting for "Osama dead, General Motors alive."


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:10 PM
horizontal rule
10

Biden called Ryan full of malarkey.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:10 PM
horizontal rule
11

"I'd like to move to Iran."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:13 PM
horizontal rule
12

The moderator has successfully cut them off more than once.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:13 PM
horizontal rule
13

It's full of hotties!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:14 PM
horizontal rule
14

11: I laughed when she said that.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
15

Biden has some great bemused/concerned expressions on tap.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
16

Super-sanctions!!


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
17

The best sanctions in the history of sanctions!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
18

Our sanctions are the sanctimostest.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
19

They're both doing fine, but Biden will be crowned the winner because he's doing so much better than Obama.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
20

How many ayatollahs does Iran have?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
21

Why did Raddatz begin with "this was a massive intelligence failure, was it not?" No, not really. You don't need any intelligence to figure out "Libya is dangerous."


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
22

and which one is the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
23

A bunch of stuff!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
24

We just got to the malarky line. You guys are ahead of us!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
25

I don"t think Joe"s grin serves him well.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
26

All I can point to is the results: they're four years closer to a weapon. Under OUR administration we will stop time!


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
27

I think Biden is doing objectively better - Ryan focuses on minutiae by comparison.

"Facts matter!"

He has also said "malarkey" three times.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
28

I don't know how it plays to undecideds, but Biden is clearly communicating, "This kid is full of.. stuff"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:22 PM
horizontal rule
29

19 is right.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:22 PM
horizontal rule
30

The debate isn't on in this bar. Just the Steelers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:23 PM
horizontal rule
31

The captioner is spelling "Bebe" as "BB".


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
32

47%!!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
33

That said, 25 is almost certainly wrong in the big picture however right it may be for debates.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:25 PM
horizontal rule
34

47%! (Yeah, I know, Minivet took my marshmallow.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:26 PM
horizontal rule
35

"Let me tell you about the Mitt Romney that I know...". If only everyone could share his church, he'd pay for their college!


Posted by: MooseKing | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
36

Wow, Ryan said the unemployment rate in Scranton has gone up since 2009, and then that the same thing happened across the nation. I never thought I could rage again.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
37

Ryan is going off on some story that I have no idea how it relates to anything.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
38

Whee! Today I'm successfully drunk before I begin watching. How are things going?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:31 PM
horizontal rule
39

Wow. I actually can't make myself watch this thing, and yet also am having trouble getting other productive work done.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:31 PM
horizontal rule
40

"Get out of the way!"


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:31 PM
horizontal rule
41

Other?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:31 PM
horizontal rule
42

Biden just blamed the Great Recession on reckless Republican spending, and not on Wall Street deregulation.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:32 PM
horizontal rule
43

Picking numbers is great... we can make it grow at 4%. Who will say 5?


Posted by: MooseKing | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:32 PM
horizontal rule
44

IMO Joe is doing quite well so far.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:32 PM
horizontal rule
45

Joe just kicked his ass on the stimulus.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
46

Never bring up car accidents around Biden, dummy.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
47

I can't watch more than 5 seconds at a time. Torture. Ryan's not coming off well with the sound off.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
48

41: Fair point, I withdraw the adjective.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
49

"I wish he would just tell the tr-- be a little more candid."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
50

Yeah, I thought 42 was weird too.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
51

49 was me. Well, Biden.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:34 PM
horizontal rule
52

47: He's not coming off well with the sound on, either.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:34 PM
horizontal rule
53

Tell the troll what? What?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:34 PM
horizontal rule
54

The way Joe is going, if Ryan brings up the $700B Medicare cut lie, Joe is going to rip off his head and shit down his neck.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
55

Here it comes!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
56

I love it when Biden starts writing while smirking.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
57

If 54 happens everybody do shots!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
58

I love it when Biden starts writing while smirking.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
59

Ugh I am so sick of hearing about this $716 billion. Is there really no effective Democratic response to this?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
60

We're going to have a 25% SS cut, so we need to have a 40% cut to stop it!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
61

Ryan's wearing too much blush.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
62

I love it lots.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
63

I'm biased, and more than a little relieved after the last debate, but it seems like Ryan keeps trying to do his wonk impression but just keeps getting blown out of the water by Biden.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
64

Yeah, as an official old fart I'm with Biden re Medicare.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:38 PM
horizontal rule
65

Shorter Joe: Romney & Ryan are lying liars who lie.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:38 PM
horizontal rule
66

Oh wait 54 to 59.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:39 PM
horizontal rule
67

Ryan sounds like a whiny child.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:39 PM
horizontal rule
68

||

Apparently this is the difference between random midwestern cities and northeastern ones: when one orders an after-dinner drink from the dessert menu at the former, the waiter says "you know that's a drink, right?"

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
69

Biden does need to stop interrupting him, even if he is full of horseshit.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
70

Resisting urge to snark on FB at a hapless student who supports Ryan.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
71

OMG what a little bitch.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
72

These guys are both better debaters than the top of their tickets.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
73

Ryan has two speeds, earnest doom and earnest scorn.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
74

I have beef stew. This is not topical but it makes me happy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
75

Me?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
76

75 to 71 but it was a joke anyway.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
77

One of my faculty colleagues is writing on FB about how awesome it would be if affirmative action is ended for good. One of my postdoc colleagues gave me a long lecture today on how Elizabeth Warren is a lying liar, and talked over dinner about how stupid anyone who a voter ID law would prevent from voting must be. I'm kind of full of RAGE right now. But also alcohol.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
78

Essear, I'm totally bewildered and appalled that your circuit is so conservative. It goes against so much of what I want to believe about the world.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:43 PM
horizontal rule
79

69 is incorrect.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:44 PM
horizontal rule
80

Biden doesn't have a record to run on?!


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:44 PM
horizontal rule
81

I wonder to what degree Joe Biden is well served by the Onion depiction of him as everyone's favorite Trans Am-driving Journey fan. Does he come off better in the debate if everyone expects him to start arguing about whether Syd or Roger was a better Pink Floyd frontman?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:45 PM
horizontal rule
82

78: Neither of them are American, which probably has something to do with it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:46 PM
horizontal rule
83

The moderator might be better at moving things along, but she's not asking good followup questions, so it's degenerating into repetitive contradiction.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
84

The guy next to me just put down his copy of "The Jungle" to eat his hamburger.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
85

He went to 3 significant figures to make it sound more wonkish.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
86

The Onion portrayal helps him. It plays into the working class image he has been referencing constantly in this debate.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
87

I'd like to think that my political assessments are disinterestedly principled,* but that Paul Ryan guy seems the kind of asshole that I have been known to leave a party/restaurant/dining hall to escape.

In unrelated news, I didn't participate in a lot of organizations in college.

* This is a joke.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
88

79: Don't the little people out there in the dark get all weird about people interrupting? Isn't it perceived as insufficiently nice or something?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
89

69 Biden does need to stop interrupting him, even if he is full of horseshit.

No, interrupt the fuck out of the fucker. Interrupt his mother. Interrupt him up his ass with a two-by-four.

In other words, 79 is right.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:49 PM
horizontal rule
90

78: Neither of them are American, which probably has something to do with it.

What are they, Austrian?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:49 PM
horizontal rule
91

Joe s getting stronger as the debate goes on and 69 is incorrect.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
92

88: Fuck the little people. How many division do they have?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
93

Why are 69 and 88 anonymous?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
94

+s


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
95

Did Paul Ryan really claim that nobody on either side is proposing voucherizing Medicare? Jesus Christ.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
96

Give us specifics.
We'll be like Reagan!
Oh, run up the deficit?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
97

90: Chinese and Israeli, respectively.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
98

1: Someone tell me what is going on. I only want to perceive this through you guys.

Same here. And you guys perceived for shit last time. So far this seems better. Keep it up.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
99

Yes, waving your hands a lot will make your tax plan more interesting. By the way, are you familiar with the career of Jack Kemp? Foundered on the rocks of being a tax crank.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
100

The income tax system only raises 100 billion dollars net? that can't be right.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
101

But I do like her "So no specifics?" and "You guarantee your math will add up?", even though Ryan never responded to those.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
102

"Not mathematically possible.... Ha!"

I like this guy.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:52 PM
horizontal rule
103

Biden got the Romney 14% tax rate in. I enjoy how they are talking at the same time.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:53 PM
horizontal rule
104

Is demagogue a verb?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:53 PM
horizontal rule
105

I love when Biden gives the moderator the "you and I both can't believe this yahoo!" look.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:53 PM
horizontal rule
106

The only TV on this house tonight is Project Runway with Steelers on the commercial break. Make Biden make Ryan break down and cry, folks. I know you can do it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
107

I doubt it was intentional, but I think the Onion thing was really good political marketing for Biden. It gave him an extra layer of ironic coolness with the younger, Internet-using demographic without reinforcing any of his actual negatives.

(On preview, maybe 86 is right, too -- could be both.)


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
108

Notwithstanding their reiterated courtesies, I'm beginning to wonder whether these two are really friends.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
109

69 and 88 were originally anonymous by accident and now continue to be anonymous because everyone thinks I'm wrong!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:55 PM
horizontal rule
110

I'm watching old episodes of Archer, which are of course full of eerie parallels to the debate.

I mean, I assume. I'm not watching, how would I know?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:55 PM
horizontal rule
111

The "smallest Navy" line is bullshit. That's counting the number of actual vessels, equating a PT boat with a supercarrier.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
112

110: DANGER ZONE!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
113

111: a PT boat is a supercarrier if you have small enough planes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
114

And, I guess, tiny little sailors.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
115

The talking over each other is fucking annoying.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
116

106: Still behind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
117

I'm loving Biden today. Just terrific.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:58 PM
horizontal rule
118

110: Hooray.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
119

The Navy shit--can they just say "How stupid do you think people are?"

Maybe I should turn this on... but what if I jinx it?

And of course there is probably nothing less inconsequential in the world than a VP debate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
120

110: I was impressed that Biden managed to work "Just the tip?" in.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
121

120: he had that candy wrapper...


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
122

Dems should just owe up to the fact they don't think the defense cuts are a very big deal.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
123

On CNN, the independent voters seem unreasonably fond of Ryan.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
124

Biden managed to work just the tip in to who?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
125

122: You'd like that, wouldn't you, hippie?


Posted by: OPINIONATED WHITE WORKING CLASS ALIENATED SINCE THE NIXON YEARS | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
126

Oh god Afghanistan is boring. They are barely distinguishing themselves.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
127

But aren't independents usually closet republicans?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
128

122: I think they're a big deal, and warranted.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
129

Awesome. Everyone loves when you go "Here's how it works...." That never gets an irritated, teeth-grinding glare.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
130

WE WILL LEAVE IN 2014!


Posted by: OPINIONATED JOE BIDEN | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
131

Ryan memorized the names of a couple Pakistan tribes.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
132

Tweet from bill maher: hello, 9-1-1? There's an old man beating up a child on my television.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
133

Good baseball on as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:07 PM
horizontal rule
134

Truly lame Ryan. Gonna keep bleeding us in Afghanistan Congressman?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:07 PM
horizontal rule
135

Libya stuff seems to have been the worst of the stuff for Dems tonight. And the moderator was an ass on it. Says the man watching selected clips on delay...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
136

I like angry Joe better than smirking Joe.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
137

136: Right, especially since his boss does not seem to be of the skull-fucking persuasion.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:10 PM
horizontal rule
138

Ryan losing composure. I'm thinking.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:10 PM
horizontal rule
139

The season premiere of The League is on after the debate, right? I sure hope Biden and Ruxin's brother-in-law Rafi don't get into one of their scrapes.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:10 PM
horizontal rule
140

I don't know; I like Biden and think he's doing well, but (ignoring facts) Ryan seems confident and snappy too.


Posted by: MooseKing | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
141

Gee, you guys aren't commenting enough. It's almost like VP debates don't really matter.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:14 PM
horizontal rule
142

Abortion. Be personal. Go!


Posted by: MooseKing | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
143

Paul Ryan looks like King Joffrey in Game of Thrones. Pass it on.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
144

136: Yes! Much better.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
145

Did Raddatz just ask them an essay question on abortion?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
146

Ugh. Let's have a Catholic-off!


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
147

Ryan on abortion could not be more nauseating. Could not. Be. More. Nauseating.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
148

We never wanted to abort our oldest daughter Liza! Abortion is easy-peasy.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
149

Agreed w/ 147. Fuck you Ryan, and fuck catholic charities.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
150

Protestantism has been an available option for [looks guiltily at half-read paperback of The Thirty Years' War] a lot of years, politicians.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
151

1,000 words.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
152

145: Worst question ever? Really, I am actually somewhat offended.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
153

Oh you believe en-soulment happens at conception for reasons of Science and Reason. Thank God! It could of been anything.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
154

147- Obviously not a problem for you, you didn't miss any periods.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
155

152: me too.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:20 PM
horizontal rule
156

That one child thing was Biden not Obama you spass.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:20 PM
horizontal rule
157

Bork attack! And Biden more-or-less slams Scalia.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:21 PM
horizontal rule
158

152: I realize that I have no attending to be offended by anything, but there's already too many acolytes of the Church of the Holy Hierarchy of Corruption, Misogyny and Hatred with an out-sized on abortion to listen to throw that kind of shit out there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
159

I would say to this young American "Grow the fuck up."


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
160

159 is correct.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
161

What a stupid final question. Raddaz dropped the ball in the last two.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
162

I'd say to him that America and it's government basically sucks.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
163

I miss Jim Lehrer, whom I've always liked.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
164

Maybe if you want to move somewhere nice consider Sweden?


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:25 PM
horizontal rule
165

I'm still outraged by the moderator saying "Let's talk about Medicare and entitlements. Both Medicare and Social Security are going broke..."


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:25 PM
horizontal rule
166

163 is incorrect.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
167

165: Seriously?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
168

165 - If you see Pete Peterson on the street, it is your duty as a red-blooded patriot to throw a shoe at him. He's an infection of the body politic.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
169

I missed him most during the first debate.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
170

The Defense Department is going broke.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:27 PM
horizontal rule
171

165: yeah, that was another black mark. But she did a pretty good job.

Okay, another really stupid question.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:28 PM
horizontal rule
172

The extra apostrophe in 162 has of course ruined everything forever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:28 PM
horizontal rule
173

Character?! What is this, 1996?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:28 PM
horizontal rule
174

152, 158: But it apparently gave Biden an opportunity to make a nice contrast with the depraved, nakedly-ambitious boy on the stage with him.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:28 PM
horizontal rule
175

Ryan is inconsistently Palining dropping his "g's."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
176

Ryan looks like a kid who whined his way into a seat at the grownups' table and now can't follow the conversation.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
177

172 bIt's exactly what the American education system delievers


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
178

CCarp retweets best tweet of night from someone named Don Pgreeba: The winners tonight? Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin. Second and third least credible GOP candidates for VP.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
179

I'm honestly not sure that I've ever despised a politician more than Ryan.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:31 PM
horizontal rule
180

Wafer speaks for me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:31 PM
horizontal rule
181

Really? I hate lots of Republicans as much as Ryan.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:33 PM
horizontal rule
182

I also hate the closing statements in general.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:36 PM
horizontal rule
183

I know a few folx close politically to Ryan's positions, and thy have the grace of doubt. Can't do that I guess if you run for high office.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:37 PM
horizontal rule
184

So, that girl I hooked up with at Chaco just texted me saying that Ryan's coloring and eyes remind her of me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:37 PM
horizontal rule
185

But not his tax plan?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:38 PM
horizontal rule
186

Apparently not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:38 PM
horizontal rule
187

That really is a hard and interesting* question? What Republican since 1980 do you hate the most? You can count their lackeys like the Supremos and Ken Starr (who is close to the top for me).

*OK, it's actually lame and stupid, but work with me here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
188

184: time I met you you didn't have his scary Wisconsin pallor-undertones. Maybe after a while in Alaska.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
189

97

Chinese ...

You expect a Chinese guy to support affirmative action when even on this blog there are people citing the way it excludes Asians from elite schools as one of its virtues?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
190

In a follow-up text she clarifies that she actually likes me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
191

Maybe Newt? But he's descended so far into parody I may have to search more. Probably Cheney should be up there maybe.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:41 PM
horizontal rule
192

Top ten in some order:
Tom Delay
Newt Gingrich
Ken Starr
Dick Cheney
Ed Meese
Scalia
Alito
Roberts
Boehner
G W


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:41 PM
horizontal rule
193

188: I am admittedly pretty pale most of the time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:41 PM
horizontal rule
194

189: where?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
195

187 - I'm going to throw out Giuliani as a dark-horse contender.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
196

Also Louis Freeh.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
197

187

... What Republican since 1980 do you hate the most? ...

Hate is the wrong word but I am no big fan of GWB.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
198

187: there's a lot of good choices, I'll grant you, but I'm pretty sure that this guy is the most hateful, smug, self-satisfied piece of shit that I've ever seen. It could be that I went to the University of Wisconsin, and he reminds me of the worst fratboys I knew there. They were very dumb people who mistook their own ignorance for important insight. Gross.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
199

183 gets it absolutely right. Doubt is so much sexxxier than certitude.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
200

Wolf BLitzer: "It "It looks like -- looks like at least to me, pretty much of a draw as far as this debate is concerned." So, I guess it was.

In my Twitter feed the TPM item on that came rigth behind Kotsko's: "So given that the media has an incentive to portray the race as close, what do you think the chances are they'll call this debate a draw?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
201

192

Scalia
Alito
Roberts

So why does Thomas get a pass? More liberal racism?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:46 PM
horizontal rule
202

193: You might be right; the worm hasn't quite bored its way into the depths of my soul like the other guys yet.

And speaking viscerally, I think I hate more media figures than politicians. May not be logical, but that is what I feel.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:46 PM
horizontal rule
203

192: Jesse Helms.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:46 PM
horizontal rule
204

Also Elliott Abrams.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:47 PM
horizontal rule
205

192: No Palin?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:47 PM
horizontal rule
206

201: Maybe go out back and fuck yourself in the ass with a meathook and howl at the moon for a bit and then come back in and we'll have a discussion on that point.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
207

178 et seq.: no love hate for Scott Walker?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
208

oops 206 ->202


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
209

No, actually 201.

But Abrams, definitely. He needs to bump someone off. Studying on Helms... if I were in North Carolina he'd probably make it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
210

205: Nah, too pathetic. I hate McCain a bit more than Palin, actually.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:50 PM
horizontal rule
211

I am old enough to remember when Lawrence O'Donnell was made of skin and bone rather than silly putty stretched over a titanium skeleton.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:54 PM
horizontal rule
212

Aaaaugh.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:57 PM
horizontal rule
213

Oh lord, the NPR people have reignited their Ryan crush. So calm, and so young!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:57 PM
horizontal rule
214

189: Yes, I'm sure he feels strongly personally mistreated both by (a) (imaginary?) comments on a blog that (I hope) he doesn't know exists and (b) his tragic experience of spending the last decade at Har/vard as opposed to all the schools he could have been at without affirmative action working against him.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
215

212: Dude, not cool. Some of us may want to sleep sometime.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
216

Sleep is for the weak, Flippu!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:00 PM
horizontal rule
217

But yeah, 212 is damn freaky.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:01 PM
horizontal rule
218

Sleep is for the week.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:01 PM
horizontal rule
219

Paul Waldman: "What really matters is how this debate was perceived by people so goddamn stupid they can't figure out whom to vote for."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
220

214: poor guy coulda gone to caltech.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
221

Speaking of, has jbs got that meathook out of his ass yet?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
222

It took me a while to figure out what was going on in 212.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
223

"I know people expect me to embarrass myself right now, or to do something reckless or silly, but I'm not going to do that--not tonight," said Biden, his voice suddenly tinged with what observers described as a degree of warmth and tender regret never before heard from the veteran politician. "I know how you people see me--the fast cars, the hitchhiking, the trips to Juárez. You know me, ol' stumbling numbnuts Joe Biden. Right? Well, shit, I'll be the first to admit that I ain't no saint. No, sir, I suppose I ain't much of a role model, either. But when it comes right down to it, even with all my flaws, I am a human being. With hopes, with dreams, and with love in my heart."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:06 PM
horizontal rule
224

Onion Biden is truly one of the great literary characters of our time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:08 PM
horizontal rule
225

[Wipes teary eye.] He's rough-hewn, but he's got a big heart, you know?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
226

What 224 said.

So the CBS snap poll gave it to Biden by 19 points; HuffPo's 300-person survey (conducted by a third party) gave the first hour to Biden 65-35. Wolf Blitzer said it looked like a tie to him. Paul Ryan, the last honest man in Washington, cannot fail; we can only fail Paul Ryan.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:16 PM
horizontal rule
227

I hate Wolf Blitzer about equal to, say, Eric Cantor or Mitch McConnell. Not Top 10, but Top 50 (but it's crowded with the whole mainstream political media).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
228

226.2: What if Paul Ryan were your little brother? Huh? What then, smart guy?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
229

Sorry about 212. It's the sort of shit that pops up in your FB feed from friends of one's former college students these days.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:23 PM
horizontal rule
230

214

189: Yes, I'm sure he feels strongly personally mistreated both by (a) (imaginary?) comments on a blog that (I hope) he doesn't know exists and (b) his tragic experience of spending the last decade at Har/vard as opposed to all the schools he could have been at without affirmative action working against him.

Not necessarily personally but on behalf of his fellow Asians. You think his opposition to affirmative action has nothing to do with his being Chinese?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:24 PM
horizontal rule
231

224 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
232

This picture will become a classic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
233

James, did I miss your evidence that people on this blog have cited exclusion of Asians as a virtue of affirmative action?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
234

What Republican since 1980 do you hate the most?

Dick Cheney.

(Also-rans/runners-up: Samuel Alito. Antonin Scalia.)


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:33 PM
horizontal rule
235

Top 1o most despised: GWB, Cheney, Gringrich, Jesse Helms, Alan Greenspan (?), Gov. Walker, Alberto Gozalez & legal cronies, Scalia, Palin, and Bachman


Posted by: J Robot | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:35 PM
horizontal rule
236

233

James, did I miss your evidence that people on this blog have cited exclusion of Asians as a virtue of affirmative action?

I was referring to comment 67 in the other thread which said in part:

I am curious if ending AA will mean that a bunch of mediocre white guys who thought they would benefit will discover to their chagrin that their preferred university now is offering "their" spot to the vastly more qualified Asian-American student who hadn't been let in to keep the numbers balanced.

Perhaps "effect" would have been a better choice of words than "virtue" although I think there is implied approval.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:38 PM
horizontal rule
237

Ugh I am so sick of hearing about this $716 billion. Is there really no effective Democratic response to this?

I think it's definitely possible. Something along the lines of "smart shopping", maybe.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:47 PM
horizontal rule
238

If I go to buy a car for $30000 but I negotiate the price down to $25000, you don't say I cut $5000 from my car budget, you say I got a bargain and saved money.
Obviously, all good responses are banned.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
239

Jesse Helms

Oh, is he allowed? The question specified "since 1980," and wasn't Helms born on the eve of Reconstruction, or something like that? I guess I thought he was too old, too gone with the wind, to merit our 'contemporary politics in America' opprobrium. But if Helms is allowed, I'd like to include him in my list, sure. After Cheney, but before the wingnut Supremes, if I had to rank them.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
240

Helms was my senator from 1973 to 2003, so I certainly got plenty of him after 1980, anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
241

But Robert Byrd was a member of the KKK!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 9:06 PM
horizontal rule
242

I'd like to add Norquist, Rove, and Luntz. I'm sure I could come up with more, but I'm note feeling very hateful right now. Biden cheered me up, and I have Eye of the Sparrow ringing in my ears.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 9:15 PM
horizontal rule
243

Yeah, Rove.

So to my list in 192 add Rove and Abrams and knock off Meese and .... I don't know, Boehner? But St. Ronnie belongs on there as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 9:18 PM
horizontal rule
244

241

But Robert Byrd was a member of the KKK!

Byrd was a Democrat and is therefore ineligible. As is for example Ralph Nader.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 9:22 PM
horizontal rule
245

I can't really work up any sort of hate for John Boehner. He's pretty generic. Now John Bolton, on the other hand, that guy I can't stand.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 10:00 PM
horizontal rule
246

Yeah, I find the few distinctive things about Boehner (his name, orangeness, and tendency to cry all the time) more hilarious/bizarre than hatable.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
247

242: I second the nomination of Norquist.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 10:17 PM
horizontal rule
248

So why'd they have this thing in Kentucky, anyway?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 10:49 PM
horizontal rule
249

Because the previous debate made it a horse race.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
250

Heyo!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 11:12 PM
horizontal rule
251

245: John Bolton is bad but Ramsay Bolton is much worse.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 11:12 PM
horizontal rule
252

245: John Bolton is bad but Ramsay Bolton is much worse.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 11:12 PM
horizontal rule
253

And fuck overly-sensitive trackpads to hell and gone with a barbed wire dildo.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-11-12 11:14 PM
horizontal rule
254

hey, hey bio; save that thing for anyone who's lost sensitivity after meathook damage and maybe needs something a little more extreme for stimulation. I'd have to say cheney, GWB, scalia, maybe I'd rock some bolton or some eliot abrams in there. justice thomas doesn't get quite the hate because he's actually principled--insane, but principled. where previous interpretations of the commerce clause logically require drug legalization votes, he has gone for it, while scalia is a partisan hack, a veritable windsock. I hated jesse fucking helms. and fuck robert byrd too; he done good by voting for the civil rights act and not breaking republican like the other white-supremacist democrats, but he was a blot on the escutcheon of our fair nation, and he should have had the shame and good sense to withdraw from public life and resign back when a fellow dem could easily be elected in his place. and strom thurmond, damn; south carolina was represented by a zombie white supremacist for like 4 terms. to be fair, what do you expect, it was s.c.! but come on, that got egregious. we have some pride. we're not florida.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:26 AM
horizontal rule
255

I am still worried that Joe Biden looks like a white-haired version of Mayor Richard Wilkins.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 3:11 AM
horizontal rule
256

I am still worried that Joe Biden would have made a better POTUS than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 3:24 AM
horizontal rule
257

The consensus that Biden is ridiculous has baffled me for some time. He was right on GM, right on needing more stimulus, right on picking Jared Bernstein as his economic advisor, and right on the so-called "counterterrorism plus" option in Afghanistan. He's like the anti-Dick Cheney - right on everything but no bugger listens, whereas Cheney got everything he wanted and all of it was shit.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:53 AM
horizontal rule
258

I'm 45 minutes early to a doctor's appointment. How annoying.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:57 AM
horizontal rule
259

Like, sitting in the parking lot in the dark for 45 minutes. Good thing I brought my iPad!


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:58 AM
horizontal rule
260

The UK commentators: shall we caper about monkey-like, to entertain while you wait?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:59 AM
horizontal rule
261

Yes please! Or make me scones.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:03 AM
horizontal rule
262

Ohhhhhh, my oooowwwwullld mahn's a dusssmann, he weahs a dusssmann's cap ...


Posted by: Capering Knifecrimean Monkey | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:03 AM
horizontal rule
263

...is she still here?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:15 AM
horizontal rule
264

I'm surprised to see Reagan get no mentions in the 'worst' conversation. I'm too young to remember much, but can't, like, so much republican harm be traced back to him?


Posted by: Alfrek Macsteinie | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:16 AM
horizontal rule
265

Why did you all stop?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:16 AM
horizontal rule
266

We're having fun, merengue?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:17 AM
horizontal rule
267

She is? Right. The next act consists of ttaM kicking a succession of people in the head, at double speed, accompanied by Yakety Sax.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:17 AM
horizontal rule
268

How droll!


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:18 AM
horizontal rule
269

[clapping]


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:19 AM
horizontal rule
270

267: If only we could somehow combine that with the most-hated Republicans lists.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:19 AM
horizontal rule
271

Lined up from right to left in order of Tory sympathies. I'm starting at the right hand end ....

[boot]
[boot]
[boot]

What? I seem to be being interrupted by a succession of glamorous ladies chasing a small baldy man.

[boot]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:19 AM
horizontal rule
272

Quasi-pwned by Blume.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:19 AM
horizontal rule
273

We have amused her! Excellent. Bring on the war owls!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:21 AM
horizontal rule
274

Clap-clap-clap. Do go on.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:23 AM
horizontal rule
275

my favorite part of the debate was when Ryan tried to take a shot at Biden for being gaffe prone, and Biden unapologetically replied, "And I always mean what I say."


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:26 AM
horizontal rule
276

It's only fair that we let you at your own most hated politicians first. Anyway, then you'll be fully warmed up for Cheney.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:26 AM
horizontal rule
277

I'd have put the shortest politicians first. You could strain a muscle trying to kick a tall one in the head if you hadn't warmed up first.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:28 AM
horizontal rule
278

re: 277

That's true, yeah. Maybe start with a few pensioners, or wheel-chair bound right-wing war veteran types [US only].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:31 AM
horizontal rule
279

I have the best interests of your groin at heart, ttaM.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:35 AM
horizontal rule
280

Congratulations on the prize, Europeans and associated British people. Everybody in Europe gets $.002, I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:38 AM
horizontal rule
281

I read this as the Nobel Committee basically saying, "OK, we give up."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:39 AM
horizontal rule
282

Good point, Moby. ttaM, stop kicking people, you'll make us look bad.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:39 AM
horizontal rule
283

I have a democratic mandate! It's the settled will of the Unfogged community that I boot people in the head.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:43 AM
horizontal rule
284

Unfogged soul patrol around me please!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:45 AM
horizontal rule
285

I like to think that JP Stormcrow shouted "Fuck the little people. How many division do they have?" while drunk in a bar.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 6:38 AM
horizontal rule
286

I like to think there's some alternate world where Onion Joe Biden hangs out with Twitter Rahm Emmanuel. They could fight crime.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 7:44 AM
horizontal rule
287

I still don't know who Michael Gove is, but commenters have convinced me to hate him.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
288

286: Or go supervillian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 7:46 AM
horizontal rule
289

re: 287

Bastard short-arsed fuckhole Education Secretary. Rising star of the Tory hard-right,* and former newspaper columnist.

* more inside-baseball UK commentators to correct me if this impression is wrong.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 7:47 AM
horizontal rule
290

It would make a lot of sense for Obama to compare R/R's Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security plans to companies changing from pensions to 401ks. It's not only accurate - the great risk shift, phase II - it also drives home that Romney embodies all the hated qualities of CEOs, and none of the good ones. But I bet he'd worry about "demonizing" his own campaign contributors.

(Most people in the private sector over 40 know what company pensions used to be like, right? Not that they had them necessarily.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
291

I'm not really a hater. It's pretty hard to find 10 Republicans (past or present) I respect.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
292

Most people in the private sector over 40 know what company pensions used to be like, right?

Companies used to have pensions, but not in a way that we can understand.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
293

290

(Most people in the private sector over 40 know what company pensions used to be like, right? Not that they had them necessarily.)

Given equal cost to the company 401Ks seem much better for the employee. The main "virtue" of traditional pensions seems to be that it is easy to underestimate how costly they actually are.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
294

Or, conversely, the main virtue of 401Ks is that the workers don't realize how much of a pay cut they took in the conversion from defined benefit pensions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
295

Why would the company change from one to the other if there was equal cost to the company?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:09 AM
horizontal rule
296

294 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:09 AM
horizontal rule
297

295: Even if they did offer something equally costly to them, which I think my employer does, it transfers risk away from them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
298

289. Looks about right. Also:

* drove three quarters of his senior permanent officials to quit within a year of his appointment by being full time obnoxious;

* plans to send special edition of KJV bible, with foreword by HIMSELF to every school in the country at taxpayers' expense;

* bears uncanny resemblance to a well known ventriloquist's dummy which was ionic in Brit popular culture for anybody much over 50.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:11 AM
horizontal rule
299

Given equal cost to the company 401Ks seem much better for the employee.

That explains why the unions were out there campaigning for all their members' pensions to be turned into 401ks, right?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:12 AM
horizontal rule
300

The big advantage of a 401k over a pension is that the latter cannot be pillaged when Bain Capital or the like takes over the company.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
301

former, dammit. Shesh


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
302

with foreword by HIMSELF

I hate that kind of stuff. The trash schedule has the mayor's smiling face and I have to keep it on the fridge otherwise I'll never remember which week is recycling. I can't even write "Dog Fucker" on it because my son can read now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
303

Sheesh dammit.

I should just give up.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:14 AM
horizontal rule
304

295

Why would the company change from one to the other if there was equal cost to the company?

Because employees would prefer the 401K. In practice of course they tended to switch to 401Ks plans of less cost to the company which employees valued as highly as traditional pensions.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
305

302: My mayor:
http://www.mndaily.com/2012/10/11/msa-bsu-host-voter-registration-event


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
306

What a prat.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:19 AM
horizontal rule
307

294

Or, conversely, the main virtue of 401Ks is that the workers don't realize how much of a pay cut they took in the conversion from defined benefit pensions.

401Ks are pretty transparent in terms of what you are getting. Traditional pensions definitely are not. This is not a virtue if employees don't value them at anyway near what they are costing the company.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:19 AM
horizontal rule
308

which employees valued as highly as traditional pensions

You know how highly the employees valued them because they didn't quit en masse? Or by some other means?

It seems equally possible that employees knew they were getting screwed and didn't feel as if they had any power to protest.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:20 AM
horizontal rule
309

294 307

Also it isn't really a pay cut if an employer finds a way to provide the same benefit to an employee at less cost to them.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:22 AM
horizontal rule
310

306: I have mixed feelings. He often seems sincere about a lot of important things, but in the crunch, he always sides with the corporations and the cops. So yeah. Given the choice though, I'd rather have a mayor beholden to the big developers who uses that capital to push for advances on social issues than the reverse.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
311

Meathooks.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
312

309: It's really a pay cut. The reasons employees liked the 401K (shorter vesting periods, fraudulent underfunding) were things the employers controlled and the employees didn't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
313

401Ks are pretty transparent in terms of what you are getting. Traditional pensions definitely are not.

THAT ISN'T CORRECT YOU SILLY MAN. If you've got a traditional pension it lays out, pretty clearly, how much you will get a year when you retire. If you've got a 401k, it doesn't.

And also the cost of risk. If you don't understand that risk is something you should be paid to take (or alternatively something that it is worth paying someone else to take for you) then...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:27 AM
horizontal rule
314

I'm having a hard time imagining a 401(k) that would cost an employer as much as a pension,over a whole workforce. Certainly none in any place I've ever worked, or anyone I know has worked.

A lot of employees misunderstand how 401(k)s work. Or did before 2008. And this is because of the way they were pitched by employers and fund managers.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:29 AM
horizontal rule
315

308

You know how highly the employees valued them because they didn't quit en masse? Or by some other means?

This has come up before. When I worked at IBM they switched to 401K type plans from traditional pensions. IBM told us at the time that one reason they were doing this is that employees had no idea how costly traditional pensions were to the company and did not value them highly. So if for example a potential employee was comparing job offers from IBM and other tech companies which didn't offer traditional pensions they gave IBM no credit whatsoever for offering traditional pensions. I found this entirely plausible as I had no idea what my traditional pension was costing the company and I didn't value it highly (ignoring it for example when computing my net worth).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:29 AM
horizontal rule
316

Let's see what the American worker wants by staring into their hearts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
317

(ignoring it for example when computing my net worth)

You have a spreadsheet, don't you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:33 AM
horizontal rule
318

315: So, you're relying on an anecdote from when 401Ks were pretty new and no one knew people facing retirement on the basis of their 401K accounts? I think most people now have a pretty good sense of the difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
319

313

THAT ISN'T CORRECT YOU SILLY MAN. If you've got a traditional pension it lays out, pretty clearly, how much you will get a year when you retire. If you've got a 401k, it doesn't.

People don't care about that (or at least I didn't). They care about current value. For a 401K this obvious, for a traditional pension it isn't.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
320

or at least I didn't

I think this makes ajay's epithet even more appropriate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:35 AM
horizontal rule
321

317

You have a spreadsheet, don't you?

Computing the present value of a traditional pension is a non-trivial exercise to say the least. With a 401K you get the number on every statement.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:37 AM
horizontal rule
322

320

I think this makes ajay's epithet even more appropriate.

I believe you are in a traditional pension plan. Do you have any idea what it is costing the state or what its current value to you is?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:40 AM
horizontal rule
323

People don't care about that (or at least I didn't). They care about current value.

Evidently you are not a normal person. People don't care about "current value". They care about what will be there in retirement. To a normal person it is a good thing that they do not have the opportunity to spend down their pension 35 years before they retire.

Admittedly the 401k is slightly better in the scenario of catastrophic hyperinflation.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:43 AM
horizontal rule
324

313

And also the cost of risk. If you don't understand that risk is something you should be paid to take (or alternatively something that it is worth paying someone else to take for you) then...

Letting someone else take a risk for you gets you involved in counterparty risk. Something most people aren't very well qualified to assess.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:43 AM
horizontal rule
325

Computing the present value of a traditional pension is a non-trivial exercise to say the least.

And, equally, calculating what sort of retirement income you'll get from a 401k of a certain size is an even more non-trivial exercise. I have no idea why it's more important to you to know present value than it is to know "how much money will I have to live on when I am old". This is really baffling me.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
326

325 is right and especially obvious because of what happened to everybody who tried to retire in 2008.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:46 AM
horizontal rule
327

"I AM EVERYMAN!" roared the SILLY MAN.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
328

Letting someone else take a risk for you gets you involved in counterparty risk.

Shearer, you have a 401k. You are already involved in counterparty risk. Can't you see that?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
329

325: This is really baffling me.

It's the kind of thing that only a non-Affirmative Action admit to Cal Tech can understand.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
330

Fuck that kind of counterparty risk. The big issue is everybody in the whole world in stuck with counterparty risk from a few dozen large banks that obviously allow any employee with a nice suit and a very short run of above average returns to have uncontrolled access to enough capital to wipe out a lifetime of savings and not be face any negative consequences.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:50 AM
horizontal rule
331

If it weren't for Ad Hominems there'd be no hominems at all.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
332

I guess we've established that people taking jobs at IBM in the 80s (?) shouldn't have been entrusted with their financial futures. Nor should nearly anyone in their 20s or 30s. Nor, even, apparently in their 50s, if caring about the present value is any guide. Yes I care a whole lot about what's in my IRAs, but only ONLY as a means to create an income stream of sufficient size.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
333

322: Its current value to me is $0 -- I don't vest until next March.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
334

330: damn right.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
335

"See my vest, see my vest. Made of real gorilla chest."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 8:57 AM
horizontal rule
336

See my loafers
Former gophers
It was that or skin my chauffeurs!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
337

323

Evidently you are not a normal person. People don't care about "current value". They care about what will be there in retirement. To a normal person it is a good thing that they do not have the opportunity to spend down their pension 35 years before they retire.

This is delusional. Lots of low income workers prefer to work off the books to avoid paying social security tax although it is a good deal for them.

Also recall the tech industry is filled with libertarian types with some freedom to choose their employer. If tech employees wanted traditional pension plans tech employers would offer them.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:05 AM
horizontal rule
338

Because all the other industries who aren't filled with libertarian types still offer defined benefit plans.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:06 AM
horizontal rule
339

I can't even write "Dog Fucker" on it because my son can read now.

Heart this.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
340

I'm inclined to be somewhat suspicious of any assertion that takes the form of "If employees wanted X employers would offer it."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
341

Lots of low income workers prefer to work off the books to avoid paying social security tax although it is a good deal for them.

Net present value, high discount rates, etc.

I think it's a lot easier to assume that people working at IBM in the 1980s just weren't very good at financial planning than to assume that almost everyone else in the country is delusional. Certainly what happened to IBM in that period would bear that out.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
342

I can't even write "Dog Fucker" on it because my son can read now.

Learn to write it in kanji?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
343

The big issue is everybody in the whole world in stuck with counterparty risk from a few dozen large banks that obviously allow any employee with a nice suit and a very short run of above average returns to have uncontrolled access to enough capital to wipe out a lifetime of savings and not be face any negative consequences.

Heart this, too. Wish I had heard someone in the debates say it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
344

I mean, seriously. "This must be the right thing to do! It's what IBM did in the 1980s!" reads like an excerpt from "Child Care Secrets of Myra Hindley and Other Insanely Wrong-Headed Ideas about Which People to Use as Role Models".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
345

Certainly what happened to IBM in that period would bear that out.

Anybody else remember the System 6 word processor? It was portable, if you had a van.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
346

328

Shearer, you have a 401k. You are already involved in counterparty risk. Can't you see that?

Make that additional counterparty risk. If you have a traditional pension you are trusting your employer to put aside enough money to fund it. Experience shows they almost never do. So you are relying on them staying in business and not finding some way of evading their obligations. This can be a big risk. If I were say a Chicago teacher I would worry about not being paid but it would be difficult to evaluate exactly how big the risk is.

If you have a 401K you are trusting that the statements you get are accurate. I don't think the odds that Fidelity (or Vanguard) is sending me fraudulent statements are worth worrying about.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:17 AM
horizontal rule
347

361.last is comically beside the point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
348

Right, they either don't understand that it's a good deal, or can't afford the luxury of understanding that it's a good deal. That doesn't mean that people deciding how to structure a policy environment ought to be swayed by their (apparently) revealed preferences.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
349

If you have a traditional pension you are trusting your employer to put aside enough money to fund it. Experience shows they almost never do. So you are relying on them staying in business and not finding some way of evading their obligations. This can be a big risk.

PBGC? That kind of caps the risk. There's nothing like that for a 401k.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
350

I was recently deciding between job offers where one had a pension plan and the others were 501Ks, and I found the whole situation very difficult to work out. It's quite possible that I undervalued the pension (the salary number from that job was lower than the others), but it was really hard to know. First it was hard to get estimates of what the actuarial values of the plans were, second even aside from the minor wait for the pension to vest, the lock-in effect is really strong. You really really want to stay at the same job forever, and if you ever move you're losing a lot. Also it seemed that the pension plan involved a bet that professors at that school would still be considered state employees for several decades, which didn't seem obvious.

I like the idea of a pension, but if employers want to use it effectively in negotiations then they really should have some independent actuarial comparisons at their fingertips in negotiation. Was IBM telling people "according to an independent estimate our pension is worth roughly the same as a 501K which contributes x% of your income"?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
351

341

I think it's a lot easier to assume that people working at IBM in the 1980s just weren't very good at financial planning than to assume that almost everyone else in the country is delusional. Certainly what happened to IBM in that period would bear that out.

IBM offerred traditional pensions throughout the 1980s. They switched to 401Ks around 2000 (over a period of time I don't recall all the details). So you could argue that traditional pensions were another sign of the failure to keep up with the industry that almost ran IBM aground.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
352

(Not actually sure the others were technically 501Ks, but defined contribution.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
353

It's better because the number go to 501.


Posted by: Opinionated Nigel Tufnel | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
354

348

Right, they either don't understand that it's a good deal, or can't afford the luxury of understanding that it's a good deal. That doesn't mean that people deciding how to structure a policy environment ought to be swayed by their (apparently) revealed preferences.

But it is something IBM executives have to account for when structuring their benefit plans.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
355

353: Oops, just noticed that. I'm also not sure they're 401k's either.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:26 AM
horizontal rule
356

I was sort of hoping that Upetgi's entire retirement plan consisted of a warehouse full of trousers.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
357

Probably 403b. I think it's the same from the point of the employee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
358

333

322: Its current value to me is $0 -- I don't vest until next March.

This is wrong of course and an example of the type of thinking IBM was talking about.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:30 AM
horizontal rule
359

The transparency point for a 401k seems really weak for a job applicant. 'We match your contribution up to X, God alone knows what it'll be worth when you retire, and what sort of income you'll have' seems to me to compare very unfavorably with 'we'll pay you half the average of your highest 3 years' as to giving an idea what the thing is actually about. I know there's a fancy term for the logical fallacy brought on by excessive certainty, but the notion that one could meaningfully compare these two kinds of approaches with some sort of arithmetic is breathtaking.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
360

And also the cost of risk. If you don't understand that risk is something you should be paid to take (or alternatively something that it is worth paying someone else to take for you) then...

That's precisely why I wouldn't work for a tech company with a pension plan.

It's hard to imagine getting any benefit out of a pension from a place like IBM. Who's actually going to stick around long enough for it to vest? And, even if you plan to stick around that long, it's only due to Gerstner + a miracle that IBM still exists at all.

If you look at IBM's competitors in the era when Shearer was hired, you're looking at companies that have gone bankrupt, like DEC, Data General, Wang, Apollo, SGI, Cray*, etc., companies that have been acquired (which often seems to be a good excuse to slash existing pension benefits), like Sun, and companies that are still around, like umm, perhaps Intel (although they weren't really competing with IBM at the time). If you pick one particular industry that IBM was in (say, microprocessors), you could list almost a hundred companies in competition with IBM, and perhaps three of them still exist today. Of those companies, MIPS has gone from being a world leader to a washed up has-been. If they had pension obligations that would probably bankrupt them. AMD has only managed to stay solvent by selling off profitable parts of the company to fund the microprocessor business, so they would likely also be bankrupt if they had a pension plan (or, more likely, they'd restructure their pensions, making them nearly worthless). ARM is doing well.

I would consider a pension to be worth approximately zero at any tech company. It's not just that little startups go bankrupt. Companies that are leaders in the field (like DEC) often don't even exist a decade later. I'm not going to put my retirement into a bet that has a 2% chance of paying off.

* this name still exists in the computing industry because someone bought their assets and started using their name, after they went bankrupt.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
361

356 -- I was going to make a seat of the pants calculation joke, but couldn't get it quite right.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
362

349

PBGC? That kind of caps the risk. There's nothing like that for a 401k.

PBGC is only for private companies. I believe most traditional pensions today (in the US) are offered by public entities which have been known to go broke leaving their workers with nothing.

And the PBGC rules are pretty complicated, only part of my IBM pension is covered.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
363

$0 is the current value to me if I quit today. The current value if I continue to work for the state depends on how long I work for the state, which is difficult to calculate. Predictions are hard, especially when they're about the future.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
364

PBGC is only for private companies. I believe most traditional pensions today (in the US) are offered by public entities which have been known to go broke leaving their workers with nothing.

Yes, because most private companies have got rid of theirs! Good grief.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
365

347

.last is comically beside the point.

So what is the point? That the TIPs in my 403b depend on the US government not permanently defaulting?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
366

363

$0 is the current value to me if I quit today. The current value if I continue to work for the state depends on how long I work for the state, which is difficult to calculate. Predictions are hard, especially when they're about the future.

It probably also depends on your future salary, future inflation and how long you live. But with a 401K you don't have to worry about any of that, you know the value with every statement. Which is my point.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:45 AM
horizontal rule
367

Oh, I didn't know about this PBGC thing. But the benefit is capped at $54k a year, which seems very low for retirement from a tech company. Just looking at my 401k and other retirement funds, I could retire and expect to draw an income of approximately half that right now, and I've been working for less than a decade at a not particularly successful tech company. I guess that cap is better than nothing, but I'd rather stick with my 401k + other savings.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
368

And ARM is a very different company, compared with its 1980s self. Bring back the Archimedes series, say I!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
369

362: There have been something like 700 municipal bankruptcies since 1937. If you calculate the annualized risk over the tens of thousands of government pensions plans, that's a fraction of a percentage point. Most of the really, recent ones have been due to financial chicanery (Orange County CA, Jefferson County Alabama).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
370

360

It's hard to imagine getting any benefit out of a pension from a place like IBM. ...

Well I am collecting one. I could even live on it if I had to. I just didn't value it a lot until I started getting the checks (electronic deposits if you want to be picky).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
371

366: The fact that it's harder to calculate with precision doesn't make it a worse deal. At any point it's trivial to calculate the lower bound of what my pension is worth (right now, $0, but it goes positive next March) and coming up with numbers for different possible scenarios (over which I have a great deal of control) is also trivially easy. I mean, trivial means fifteen minutes with a spreadsheet, but not more than that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
372

369 was supposed to have "big" in between "really" and "recent".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
373

Why, it's almost as if there are certain calculations and decisions employees have difficulty making rationally on an individual basis! If only they could form some sort of collective body...


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:53 AM
horizontal rule
374

Just looking at my 401k and other retirement funds, I could retire and expect to draw an income of approximately [$27K] right now, and I've been working for less than a decade at a not particularly successful tech company.

I don't have anything clever to say, I'm just boggling at that a little bit.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
375

More of 371: And of course the thing about a defined benefit plan that's harder to calculate, the present value, is completely unimportant because it's a retirement plan and you aren't spending it in the present, you're spending it in the future. A 401K is easy to precisely value in the present, when you're not spending it, and hard to precisely value in the future, when you are. A pension is the reverse. I think the comparison favors the pension.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
376

369

There have been something like 700 municipal bankruptcies since 1937. If you calculate the annualized risk over the tens of thousands of government pensions plans, that's a fraction of a percentage point. Most of the really, recent ones have been due to financial chicanery (Orange County CA, Jefferson County Alabama).

I would not bet the risk will be that low going forward. The underfunding in many cases is enormous and you can't expect the same amount of growth to alleviate problems.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
377

365: No. The point, which has been made repeatedly by myself and others, is that the risk of not having enough income in retirement is far greater with a 401K. You have to estimate 40 years of market returns plus the market timing risk of based on your retirement date.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
378

376: Let me guess. I should take the market performance from 1960 to 2007 ask a safe assumption for my stocks in a 401k but I can't use the pension plan failure rate from municipal governments for the same period for some reason that isn't at all special pleading.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
379

Well I am collecting one.

For one thing, I think you're lucky that IBM didn't go under. But, the main thing is that the industry has changed a lot. I know a lot of people who started their careers at IBM 20+ years ago, who are now DEs, Fellows, or VPs there. But, I can't think of anyone who started there since I started my job who hasn't already left or isn't at least trying to leave.

Part of that is the industry I'm in; I mostly know IBM microprocessor folks, and it seems that STG is losing money by IBM's internal accounting measures (even though a large part of their profitable consulting business would evaporate if they shut down their POWER line). As a result, funding is poor and people are stressed. But the bigger issue is that people rarely stay in jobs as long now.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
380

371 375

More of 371: And of course the thing about a defined benefit plan that's harder to calculate, the present value, is completely unimportant because it's a retirement plan and you aren't spending it in the present, you're spending it in the future. ...

Completely unimportant unless you are comparing job offers in which case it is the number that matters (more precisely how much it is increasing each year). It seems to me you are just confirming IBMs claim, you have no idea what your pension plan is worth on an annual basis.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
381

I have to say that, the last time we had this argument, I was convinced that James is correct -- that I expect most people undervalue defined benefit pension plans and that this is a political problem in fighting for them.

I also think that 373 is correct that there is a collective action problem going on. I like the idea that MY has floated of raising SS taxes and benefits so that SS can cover a majority of people's retirement needs, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
382

I look at this discussion and kind of think I am/we are fucked. I am sympathetic to the point that pensions have often been screwed with in the past and that contributions by employers have often been smaller than necessary (sometimes because of over-optimistic predictions about the performance of the pension's investments), so I don't think James is entirely wrong to point out that there's a substantial, likely increased, but hard-to-measure risk of a big pension failure. Similarly, however, I don't think a 401(k) investor can reasonably expect the 1960-2007 stock growth to be repeated going forward; safe assumptions are much lower and don't provide very much total growth over the lifetime of the investment. My personal current plan is just to shovel as much money as possible into the vehicles I have (401(k), Roth IRA) and desperately hope that I stay reasonably high-income and can keep shoveling at a rate that means I only need a little bit of growth. But that's clearly not a plan that works well for anyone who doesn't make a decent pile of money.

(My wife has a public-sector, defined-benefit pension, that by all reports is actually reasonably funded, but it ties her to the job for more than 20 years before it vests at all, which sucks.)


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
383

It seems to me that's you've never looked at a chart of the Dow Jones averages of the past 15 years. How much the numbers are increasing is often negative and highly variable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
384

383 to 380.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
385

You know, there's really no reason to doubt that people earning incomes in the upper 10% of society can, with some discipline, make a fine retirement for themselves, without looking for huge luck. As you go down the income scale, the amount of discipline and luck required to come out well go up pretty steeply, to the point where we're going to be looking at a much poorer elderly in the not too distant future. I don't know what the net worth figures on people now 60 look like, but this is a group that has way fewer pensions than people now 80, and that's going to make a big difference.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
386

380: Why would you say that? If I want a number for that in any year, it's fifteen minutes with a spreadsheet. (Well, fifteen minutes once to set it up, thirty seconds to input the numbers from my latest statement each time.) It'd take a certain amount of thought to determine an appropriate rate of return for an investment as low risk as a state defined benefit pension, but it's not going to be prohibitively difficult. (This number could be calculated by the plan for me on my statement, and actually might be someplace -- I don't have a statement here to look at.)

If what you mean to say is that most people find that fifteen minutes of work prohibitively difficult, so they systematically undervalue defined benefit plans, that (a) could be fixed by having the plan do that calculation for you and (b) has nothing to do with what the value of the pension actually is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
387

it ties her to the job for more than 20 years before it vests at all

That's bizarre and is illegal for private pension plans. They have to have, at a minimum, 100% vesting after 3 years (cliff vesting) or graduated vesting over 6 years (partial vesting).


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
388

386: It occurs to me now how easy it is to get that number. When I had a job with a state pension, I left before working long enough to collect (or vest). They had no trouble at all giving me the cash equivalent for my plan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
389

Why, it's almost as if there are certain calculations and decisions employees have difficulty making rationally on an individual basis! If only they could form some sort of collective body...

And if only the actions of such collective bodies revealed the preferences of employees for DB versus DC plans, even to the extent that the employees would take lower wage increases to protect or improve DB plans.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
390

it ties her to the job for more than 20 years before it vests at all

Because the laws governing defined benefit retirement plans suck. If pension plans were universal or close to it, you could just require that they be transferable. Someone who has worked at workplace A for five years, moves to workplace B for ten years, and then switches to workplace C will start off with fifteen years credit in the pension plan at workplace C. Workplace C will be able to afford it because they'll have all the pension plan contributions for workplace A and B plus interest transferred to their pension fund. This is the way it works in Switzerland or at least did up to the point my mom retired several years ago, having switched jobs on several occasions.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
391

I disagree that the calculation in 386 takes 15 minutes. If it took 15 minutes I would have done it. It wasn't even clear to me what the right calculation to make was. Plus what I want is not just the expected value but the full probability distribution, which makes it an even harder calculation.

I think James is secretly right here, though not making the argument very clearly. 360 makes a really good point. I honestly only want a pension from someone with the ability to print dollars (or *maybe* another solid currency).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
392

377

No. The point, which has been made repeatedly by myself and others, is that the risk of not having enough income in retirement is far greater with a 401K. You have to estimate 40 years of market returns plus the market timing risk of based on your retirement date.

This is a risk but it isn't counterparty risk which is the risk that someone with which you have a contract will fail to fulfill (by for example failing to pay you a promised pension). The risk of not having enough income in retirement mainly depends on how generous your plan is not what form it takes.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
393

390 also gets it right. One of the places I interviewed (but didn't get an offer at) was in Canada. The defined benefit plan there was very generous and had much better terms for what happened if you switched jobs. (Much much better if you switched jobs within Canada, but still not totally sucky if you switched out entirely.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
394

The calculation I'm thinking of is "If I quit today, starting on [Date] I get paid [Amount]/month until I die on [Actuarily Determined Date]." I'd have to mess around a bit to get the formula straight, but with that and a rate of return, that gives me a present value, no problem, and I can pull all of those numbers off my statement (or from my age, sex, and an actuarial table). I do the calculation again a year from now, and the change the present value is how much the value of my pension has increased.

What am I missing? I'd believe it's something fundamental, but walk me through it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
395

378

Let me guess. I should take the market performance from 1960 to 2007 ask a safe assumption for my stocks in a 401k but I can't use the pension plan failure rate from municipal governments for the same period for some reason that isn't at all special pleading.

Of course not. It's questionable that you should even have your retirement money in stocks at all, you certainly shouldn't be assuming a return based on a very favorable past period.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:36 AM
horizontal rule
396

The 23-year cliff vesting is bizarre, but I think is the result of repeated rounds of negotiation where the (dominant) union decided to protect its long-time members at the expense of newer ones. It used to be considered a scandalously generous pension, because one could start working at the agency (driving a bus) at age 18, retire with the pension at age 41, and start an entire second career backstopped by the pension income. Now in addition to the 23-year cliff you have to be over 55 to start collecting.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:36 AM
horizontal rule
397

395: If you have nothing in stocks, you have expected returns below inflation. This may be "safe" but it also means that nobody who isn't making something like twice the median wage can even hope to retire.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:39 AM
horizontal rule
398

A defined benefit plan, assuming you work for a government or some other entity that has a guaranteed existence for several decades, is great except in periods of high inflation. A defined contribution plan is great except in periods of low investment returns. Fortunately, I know which of these conditions will apply in the next 20 years and which will not, so I have made the appropriate choice.

Personal anecdata: my grandfather got thorougbly screwed out of the real value of his defined benefit union-based plan because he retired in 1970, and kept getting defined value checks that were wroth less and less.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
399

389: It's a mystery! Teach us, O Shearer.

sral: The point is that a fair share of risk should be borne at the collective level, and not let individuals wash up on the rocks. 401ks might be more convenient, but they put 100% of the risk on the individuals. Employees with any leverage ought to demand better.

If this principle were more widely shared by politicians, I feel sure some kind of portable, convenient defined-benefit system could be arranged: maybe companies pay into a government-managed fund based on your salary and expected needs on retirement, with reinsurance, so the guarantee sticks around after the company disappears. But instead the ideals of the system are "oh no, corporations are experiencing risk, let's help them offload it ASAP."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:50 AM
horizontal rule
400

My mother has an extremely comfortably retirement from the TIAA-CREF defined contribution due to retiring in 2007, and accumulating stock in the entire period from Dow 700 to Dow 11,000. She also got a fixed-rate mortgage in 1971 that had a negative real interest rate over part of the time period.

BTW, a defined benefit plan sucks if you die before you get to collect. Happily for my mother, my father was also in a defined contribution plan that she now benefits from.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
401

390 to 399.last, obvs.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
402

My mother has an extremely comfortably retirement from the TIAA-CREF defined contribution due to retiring in 2007, and accumulating stock in the entire period from Dow 700 to Dow 11,000. She also got a fixed-rate mortgage in 1971 that had a negative real interest rate over part of the time period.

BTW, a defined benefit plan sucks if you die before you get to collect. Happily for my mother, my father was also in a defined contribution plan that she now benefits from.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
403

If you have a defined contribution plan, you have no reason not to die.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
404

More seriously, I thought that you have to actually get your spouse to sign a form saying "I want to fuck myself over" if they aren't going to be on your defined benefit plan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
405

I think I know the kind of thing that Shearer is talking about, though it's not a good argument for 401ks. Everywhere I've worked has made a big show of explaining that my compensation is my salary, my healthcare, and the annual 401k contributions to make a big round total number. So then they can say "well, our salary is lower, but if you take into account all your compensation you're really making X!" This is a little fudgy, esp. w.r.t. health care, but I can see why companies prefer that, marketing wise.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
406

One of the guys I office share with is the son of a judge. The judge outlived two wives, before dying himself last year at 98. Not before designating my colleague as co-beneficiary, so he'll collect until he dies.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
407

406: wait, what? I'm pretty sure a defined benefit plan covers at most a spouse and minor children until they reach 19 or so. A defined benefit plan that covered the lifespans of children of the deceased would be acutarially absurd. If it's a 401k, then children get the remainder.

404: Probably true, so you're screwed only if you die unmarried. My grandfather survived his wife.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
408

More seriously, I thought that you have to actually get your spouse to sign a form saying "I want to fuck myself over" if they aren't going to be on your defined benefit plan.

Yeah, once I've hit 20 even if I haven't retired yet and get shot in the face or something they treat the pension like I'd already retired and she gets the benefit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
409

"She" being my wife.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
410

409: So, not the shooter. Possibly.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
411

What if your wife is the one to shoot you in the face?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
412

410: Possibly. She has her own pension and the teachers also pay into SS. She might just decide I'm too big a pain in the ass and take her chances.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
413

Just making 410.last extremely explicit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
414

you have to actually get your spouse to sign a form saying "I want to fuck myself over"

The marriage license implicitly covers this.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
415

I've never actually seen anything in the regs about circumstances under which the benefit would be forfeited. If she was caught maybe she just gets the checks deposited on her prison account or something.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
416

415: Ask your union rep then disappear for a few weeks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
417

Don't most states have a general "no profiting from a crime" law? I believe this from mystery novels rather than from professional experience, but it does make sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
418

I assume you have Westlaw and could look it up for us.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
419

This implies that the "slayer's rule" can be applied generally in common law whether or not there's explicit legal or contractual language on the subject. Example.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
420

God, do I ever love SLAYER laws.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
421

slayer's rule

I didn't think slayers had a benefits package.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
422

399.sral is a fair point, but, with the actual system in existence as it is now in the U.S., I don't think there's anything wrong with using Shearer's algorithm for valuing your pension, if you work at a tech company.

Of the companies I'm thinking of moving to right now, one is a startup that I'd say has a 50% chance of being solvent in a year, and perhaps a 1% chance of being solvent in a decade. Another is a startup that has enough funding to keep going for at a year, but, considering the record of startups in the area, I'd give them a 30% chance of being around in 5 years. The third is a successful established big company. Considering the track record of leading companies in the area over the past four decades, I'd say there's an 80% chance they'll still be successful in five years, and perhaps an 80% chance that they'll be solvent in a decade. So, I might value a pension at company #3 at slightly more than zero, but I wouldn't expect to stick around long enough for the pension to vest anyway.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
423

388

It occurs to me now how easy it is to get that number. When I had a job with a state pension, I left before working long enough to collect (or vest). They had no trouble at all giving me the cash equivalent for my plan.

If you weren't vested they didn't have to give you anything. Did they require you to take the cash equivalent or could you have chosen $x a month starting at age 65 (or whatever)?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
424

423: They had to give me my contributions and the returns from that. They didn't give me what they contributed to my retirement. It was exactly the same in my current job for the 401k, operationally. There was no option to take any payments on retirement. I got a lump sum which would have been taxed into nothing if I didn't roll it over into an IRA or something related.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
425

397

If you have nothing in stocks, you have expected returns below inflation. This may be "safe" but it also means that nobody who isn't making something like twice the median wage can even hope to retire.

This is true at present I think but historically bonds have yielded a bit above inflation (especially in a tax free account). Anyway just because you want high returns doesn't mean there is a safe way of getting them. One of the major problems with defined benefit pension plans is underfunding due to return assumptions based primarily on wistful thinking.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
426

424

They had to give me my contributions and the returns from that. They didn't give me what they contributed to my retirement. It was exactly the same in my current job for the 401k, operationally. There was no option to take any payments on retirement. I got a lump sum which would have been taxed into nothing if I didn't roll it over into an IRA or something related.

Well then they weren't valuing the defined benefit part of the plan at all. They were valuing the defined contribution part which is easy.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
427

I'd actually like people to pick apart 324. I'm really not all that financially sophisticated, so I could be missing something pathetically obvious, but with a rate of return and a defined income stream starting and ending on knowable dates (well, estimateable dates for death), isn't arriving at a present value trivial? If it's not, what's the problem?

Knowing what you will have earned by the time you retire is a problem, but that's the same for a 401K.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
428

And when I say 324, i mean 394.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
429

And when I say 'i', I mean 'I'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
430

After the Apple singularity we'll all be 'iI's.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
431

Knowing what you will have earned by the time you retire is a problem, but that's the same for a 401K.

I have no personal experience with DB pensions, but I think part of what JBS and sral is saying is that if the changes in the value of the pension are discontinuous (e.g., because of the vesting processes), it's hard to judge how much participating in the pension plan is worth in any given year.

It doesn't make sense to say that the participation is worth 0 in years 1 and 2 and then a lot in year 3, but it also doesn't make sense to just take the value at year 3 and divide it equally between years 1,2, & 3 -- because one might leave before vesting.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
432

394

The calculation I'm thinking of is "If I quit today, starting on [Date] I get paid [Amount]/month until I die on [Actuarily Determined Date]." I'd have to mess around a bit to get the formula straight, but with that and a rate of return, that gives me a present value, no problem, and I can pull all of those numbers off my statement (or from my age, sex, and an actuarial table). I do the calculation again a year from now, and the change the present value is how much the value of my pension has increased.

What am I missing? I'd believe it's something fundamental, but walk me through it.

You are missing the fact that you probably aren't going to quit today and your benefit is likely worth materially more if you don't. Defined benefit pension plans are traditionally backloaded, you earn most of the benefit in your last few years of employment. This means as has been pointed out above they are a bad deal for people who change jobs.

Suppose you had a plan that vested all at once after 25 years. Then you could value it at nothing for the first 24 years and at some large sum in the 25th year. However I believe the correct way of looking at it is that each year the probablity you will make it to 25 years and collect the benefit increases and that this accounts for some increased value of the benefit (as does the fact that you are closer in time to receiving it) each year. But this is obviously a complicated calculation. Backloading is generally not this extreme but the issues are the same (another of which is the plan may be changed before you reach the high earning years which happened to me to some extent). In my case my benefit is about 25% higher because I was laid off after my 54th birthday (by a few months) instead of before. If you only look at what you are guaranteed then the benefit will appear small to young (or new) employees which is what IBM was saying.

Anyway while you claim the calculation is easy you apparently haven't actually done it and it is doubtful you would do it when weighing competing job offers.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
433

It doesn't make sense to say that the participation is worth 0 in years 1 and 2 and then a lot in year 3,

Why not? If you had a contract that said "No bonus in year one or year two, if you're still working here at the end of year three you get a $[Amount] bonus", I'd think it would be perfectly coherent to attribute that income to year three. When considering the job, a provision like that would make it make sense to do your comparison over the first three years of this job and possible alternatives rather than on the first year's income only, but you still aren't earning the bonus until the third year.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:34 PM
horizontal rule
434

432: You're comparing the difficulty of figuring out what your pension payments will be when you retire with the ease of figuring out how much cash went into your 401K this year. That's not a level comparison.

It is easy to figure out how much pension compensation you have 'earned' in any given year, just like it is easy to figure out how much money went into your 401K that year. It is hard to know what your 401K balance will be when you retire (given all the uncertainties about future income, contributions, and investment returns), just like it is hard to know what your pension will be when you retire (given uncertainties about future salaries and how long you will be at any given job.)

I have, in fact, calculated the present value of the pension I've earned to date -- I gave it above. You're right that I probably won't calculate the present value of my pension once it kicks in, because I never do anything like that; I'm a complete financial slob. Doesn't mean it's not easy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
435

Suppose you had a plan that vested all at once after 25 years.

Can we limit our supposing to things that might be even vaugely legal under current U.S. law?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
436

435.1 is supposed to be in italics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
437

And supposed to say "vaguely legal".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
438

431

I have no personal experience with DB pensions, but I think part of what JBS and sral is saying is that if the changes in the value of the pension are discontinuous (e.g., because of the vesting processes), it's hard to judge how much participating in the pension plan is worth in any given year.

It's not just the vesting process, the benefits formula for a defined benefit plan is generally backloaded so that your guaranteed benefit is increasing at a much faster annual rate near retirement than when you start work. But of course you don't get the opportunity to earn the benefit at the highest rates if you don't work for many years while earning the benefit at the lower rates. So there is some value to the earlier years in that they are providing you an opportunity to eventually raise your benefit rapidly. But as you say it is very unclear how to apportion the value.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
439

The pensions that I'm familiar with depend on your final salary when you retire and on the number of years that you'll live, and both of those are bits of information that's it's hard for me as a non-actuary to get my hands on.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
440

433

Why not? If you had a contract that said "No bonus in year one or year two, if you're still working here at the end of year three you get a $[Amount] bonus", I'd think it would be perfectly coherent to attribute that income to year three. When considering the job, a provision like that would make it make sense to do your comparison over the first three years of this job and possible alternatives rather than on the first year's income only, but you still aren't earning the bonus until the third year.

If you compute the value of defined benefit plans in this way then they are generally worth very little in their early years compared to 401K plans and companies offering them will suffer when competing for employees with companies offering 401Ks.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
441

The latter isn't -- you can get a reasonable estimate without all that much information. The former problem, as I said in 434, isn't really different from the parallel problem with a 401K -- you don't know how much you're putting in in a given year until you know how much you're going to make in that year. It's a problem, but it's the same problem on both ends.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
442

441 to 439.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
443

439:

$124,356.35 and 87 if you stop playing chicken on the railroad tracks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
444

the benefits formula for a defined benefit plan is generally backloaded so that your guaranteed benefit is increasing at a much faster annual rate near retirement than when you start work.

That happens with 401Ks also, assuming you don't happen to near retirement at the wrong point of an economic long cycle. It's a natural result of compounding returns as I'm sure anybody with knowledge of math would figure out in an instant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
445

For the pension it doesn't matter what you're paid in a given year, only what your final salary is at retirement. That means way more uncertainty, relative to a 401k where it's the average salary that matters.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
446

A 401k if anything is weighted towards your early salary mattering more, since that's the part that will get invested. And it's your early salary that you actually know.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
447

394 sounds about right to me as far as it goes.

The biggest difference with defined benefit plans is the risk that a local government fails. Hard to quantify. IMO, most discussion of this is pretty hysterical. Here's a readable document about these:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/109505856/Gurtin-Fixed-Income-Presentation-TBP-Conference-10-4-12

The other risks are that there are constraints on what you can do with the present value. Nobody likes to think about disability, currency failure, or other unpleasant life changes that create a preference for money right now, but these longshot risks are the other advantage of 401(k) plans. Maybe if you get sued or otherwise incur debt there are differences also. I don't lose sleep over any of these.

I expect that my kid will inherit a lot of my IRA, and I speculate that the risk of currency collapse before the end of his life is above 30%, but this is different from a retirement calculation. There are tax differences in treatment of inherited IRA vs Roth also.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
448

No, 394 is right. It would be basically easy.

The 401k is easy to value because we indulge in magical thinking. "Present value" means the discounted value of future cash flows. We assume that this equals "stock price", because that's less work, but the evidence for this is in thin on the ground, since stock prices are much more volatile than the cash flows turn out to be. Hopefully, they'll give Shiller the econ Nobel on Monday so that this comment seems extra prescient, since this this observation is Shiller's claim to fame.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
449

Right, 401k's are uncertain too, because investment is super uncertain. I think they're both very hard to value. What you want is a good federal social insurance program.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
450

Is it really way more uncertainty? First, pensions usually depend on the highest earning year (or average of the three highest earning years), not the final year. It's usually going to be the same, of course.

So in any year, you've got a lower bound on what your pension will be if you hold out to retirement (as well as a number for what you're entitled to if you quit that day), just do the math assuming you never get another raise. I guess there's more uncertainty on the upside -- a big late raise would jack a pension way up, but wouldn't do much for a 401K -- but I don't see where more downside uncertainty comes in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
451

Life expectancy calculator from U Penn. I am apparently going to live for-freaking ever (well, 50-50 shot of hitting 95, 25% chance of getting past 103).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:39 PM
horizontal rule
452

444

That happens with 401Ks also, assuming you don't happen to near retirement at the wrong point of an economic long cycle. It's a natural result of compounding returns as I'm sure anybody with knowledge of math would figure out in an instant.

This is nonsense. With a 401K your early contributions have more time to compound than your later contributions.

With a 401K there are 2 separate issues. How much money you are adding each year and how much investment increase (or decrease) you are getting on previously contributed amounts. The amount contributed each year is a component of that year's compensation. Investment returns are not.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
453

It also isn't that hard to guess what you'll make in your last three years. The salary ranges are all posted, along with raises for years of service. You can know pretty squarely where you'll be even if you don't promote and make a guess at what positions you might promote to and know what the salary range is there.

With a couple realistic assumptions, you can get a range for end of career salary.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
454

We don't have that kind of info -- it's more like working in the private sector.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
455

452: You are once again beside the point. With a 401k, your benefits (more exactly, the amount you have to draw upon to retire) are going to go up more rapidly the closer you are to retirment because the earlier contributions are compounding. Keeping in mind the caveat about the stock market, of course.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:47 PM
horizontal rule
456

You don't? Huh. Naw, there's no mystery for us. Every position has a range, rate of increase per year until you get to top of range. You could maybe wonder whether the union will negotiate new cost of living increases, but that and the question of how high you'll promote are the only sources of uncertainty.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
457

Which is interesting to me because the first level of management gets paid only 4% more than the top of the grunt range. But they do vastly more yucky work, like managing money and schedules and people and contracts. Maybe two levels of managers does better work, but the first level of management looks entirely unrewarding to me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
458

450

So in any year, you've got a lower bound on what your pension will be if you hold out to retirement (as well as a number for what you're entitled to if you quit that day), just do the math assuming you never get another raise. I guess there's more uncertainty on the upside -- a big late raise would jack a pension way up, but wouldn't do much for a 401K -- but I don't see where more downside uncertainty comes in.

There are several forms of downside uncertainly. You may leave your job before you retire whether voluntarily or not in which case backloaded formulas work against you. The plan may change before you get a chance to earn benefits at the higher rates (IBM did this to some extent while switching to 401Ks, existing employees were protected to some extent but still suffered losses compared to the previous status quo). You may die before retirement age (or more generally soon after retirement) in which case your heirs (at least if you are unmarried and without children) get nothing. If your employer is a public entity it may go broke like Pritchard Alabama leaving you with nothing.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
459

Civil service jobs might have that, but I'm not civil service, I'm management/confidential (and was even when I wasn't managing anyone. I suppose I was confidential at that point.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
460

I'm managing people, but I'm not management. So far, nobody has noticed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 1:57 PM
horizontal rule
461

It's sort of like a civil service job, but we don't get raises for cost of living increase or raises for years of service.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
462

451

Life expectancy calculator from U Penn. I am apparently going to live for-freaking ever (well, 50-50 shot of hitting 95, 25% chance of getting past 103).

Suppose you were a guy?

Among the numerous reasons to expect us to differ on this issue is the fact that lower life expectancies for men makes 401Ks look better (compared to defined benefit plans) for us than for women.

Note in 394 you say you will take your sex into account when computing the value of your defined benefit. This means by your calculation (and by my more complicated methods as well) it will be worth more for you than it would be for me.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
463

455

You are once again beside the point. With a 401k, your benefits (more exactly, the amount you have to draw upon to retire) are going to go up more rapidly the closer you are to retirment because the earlier contributions are compounding. Keeping in mind the caveat about the stock market, of course.

Your expected retirement income doesn't go up as you near retirement (although the amount of uncertainty decreases). A certain investment return is expected (and can be pretty close to guaranteed if you are invested in US government bonds) and taken into account.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
464

450

... just do the math assuming you never get another raise...

Once again this will result in a lowball estimate which understates what defined benefit pensions actually cost your employer.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
465

I'm done. You have shifted once again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
466

Suppose you were a guy?

I'd be getting paid more. (Try the veal, I'll be here all night.)

Certainly, life expectancy figures into it. The fact that I'm likely to live longer than you are means that a defined benefit pension is a better deal for me than the same one is for you, but it doesn't mean that a given 401K program would be better than a pension for you.

There's going to be a crossover point where someone's life expectancy is low enough to make the 401K a better deal for any two retirement plans, but you'd need to do the math to find it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
467

466

I'd be getting paid more. (Try the veal, I'll be here all night.)

Really? You should sue.

Certainly, life expectancy figures into it. The fact that I'm likely to live longer than you are means that a defined benefit pension is a better deal for me than the same one is for you, but it doesn't mean that a given 401K program would be better than a pension for you.

No but it means that it is more likely that a 401K will be a better deal for me than it is for you.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:31 PM
horizontal rule
468

453 is also not at all what I was looking at. The range of salaries between full professors there was roughly a factor of 2.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
469

There's another factor that's hard to compare between pensions and 401Ks, because the present value calculation systematically eliminates it: the fact that you can't outlive a pension. If you have a pension and a 401K with exactly the same present value, the person with the 401K has less money to spend in retirement because they have to worry about outliving their resources. (If they don't outlive their resources, they may end up having money to leave their kids. If they do, they may end up being supported by their kids).

For someone with enough wealth that it's unlikely they can go through it all on retirement living expenses, that cuts in favor of the 401K, but for the other 95% of the population, a pension is less risky in that regard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
470

No but it means that it is more likely that a 401K will be a better deal for me than it is for you.

This goes back to the difference between an investment and social insurance.

It is very much a bug, not feature, for a given investment to have widely varying value for different people. But it is normal and good for different people to get different value from social insurance.

The defined-benefit pension includes a strong social insurance element.

As you point out, this makes it easy to attack as being unfair, in some circumstances, and to try to divide different classes of employees. This is socially negative (in the same way that it may be rational for an individual employer to seek healthy employees in order to minimize health costs that efforts creates social loss).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:40 PM
horizontal rule
471

[It's been a long week, and I didn't sleep well last night. I don't feel too dumb today, but I do feel like my writing is much less clear than it could be.]


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
472

Just to tie 470 back to some of the earlier comments, a defined-benefit system with a PBGC or PBGC-like entity picking up the risk of employer failure has an even greater social-insurance component to it.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
473

469

There's another factor that's hard to compare between pensions and 401Ks, because the present value calculation systematically eliminates it: the fact that you can't outlive a pension. If you have a pension and a 401K with exactly the same present value, the person with the 401K has less money to spend in retirement because they have to worry about outliving their resources. (If they don't outlive their resources, they may end up having money to leave their kids. If they do, they may end up being supported by their kids).

There are products called life annuities to deal with this problem. There is an adverse selection problem because people buying them tend to be healthier than average but it isn't too bad. There is also an inflation risk but this is true with many traditional pension plans as well.

For someone with enough wealth that it's unlikely they can go through it all on retirement living expenses, that cuts in favor of the 401K, but for the other 95% of the population, a pension is less risky in that regard.

It's true I am in the 5% here which naturally colors my thinking.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 3:04 PM
horizontal rule
474

470

The defined-benefit pension includes a strong social insurance element.

This may be true but it isn't something most people give a lot of weight to while comparing job offers.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 3:06 PM
horizontal rule
475

For those in the 5%, there's the 'You can't take it with you' problem, of course. Depends on how you feel about your heirs, but there's an argument to be made that the value of any assets you die with is zero to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 3:08 PM
horizontal rule
476

Shouldn't that show up in your discount rate?


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 3:21 PM
horizontal rule
477

350

I like the idea of a pension, but if employers want to use it effectively in negotiations then they really should have some independent actuarial comparisons at their fingertips in negotiation. Was IBM telling people "according to an independent estimate our pension is worth roughly the same as a 501K which contributes x% of your income"?

Not when they hired me. And there are a lot of problems with doing this starting with the fact that IBM is paying for this "independent" acturial assessment (and probably specifying a lot of the assumptions) meaning a prudent potential employee would be reluctant to rely on it totally.

Another problem is that IBM set up their traditional plans so your pension was based on your highest salary years prior to some date in the relatively near future which was periodically rolled forward. But of course IBM was under no legal obligation to continue rolling the date forward and stopped doing so when it terminated its traditional plans.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 3:27 PM
horizontal rule
478

367 But the benefit is capped at $54k a year, which seems very low for retirement from a tech company. Just looking at my 401k and other retirement funds, I could retire and expect to draw an income of approximately half that right now, and I've been working for less than a decade at a not particularly successful tech company.

Wow. I'm also boggling at this. I couldn't hope to get even a tenth of that, after a bit more than four years of having a 401k-like plan.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 3:33 PM
horizontal rule
479

475

For those in the 5%, there's the 'You can't take it with you' problem, of course. Depends on how you feel about your heirs, but there's an argument to be made that the value of any assets you die with is zero to you.

Perhaps there is an argument there but it won't have much appeal to a pathological miser like me. And I expect to be able to live off income without substantially reducing my standard of living which eliminates the living too long problem which arises when you try to arrange to spend all your money.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
480

Our friendly-local libertarian goes to war for what the UK calls "final salary" pensions? (i.e. DB, much prized in the UK as everyone assumes that DB->DC transition is necessarily fraudulent)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:18 PM
horizontal rule
481

Sorry, my head asplode. The Right has been hammering money-purchase (DC, i.e. like a 401k) for 30 years through a succession of horrible disasters, and Shearer thinks the weak-minded innumerates undervalue final salary schemes?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
482

465

I'm done. You have shifted once again.

It's not my fault you don't understand pension accounting.

And it is certainly not necessary for pension formulas to be backloaded, social security isn't, but most traditional defined benefit pension formulas were.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
483

I'd like to put in another plug for the Swiss system. It's made up of an SS type 'public pillar' which provides a minimum of 20% of the average salary and a max of about 40% or the average Swiss salary, funded by an uncapped payroll tax of about ten percent (split like in the US) meant to cover 80% of its outgoing expenditures, with the rest coming from general taxation- i.e. it's highly redistributive. It is supplemented by a mandatory private pension with escalating contributions - from 7% of wages for young people up to 18% for people in their fifties and sixties. Between them, assuming a more or less standard income progression and standard length career, you should end up with an indexed pension of about sixty percent of your late career income. Beyond that you have voluntary retirement funds that are similar to the American 401k system.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
484

Re: the boggling, I think the main factor is that my expenses are very low; I could live fine off of my grad student stipend, and my base salary is more than an order of magnitude higher than that.

The ESPP program is nice, but it seems to be standard at tech companies. You put up to X% of your salary into buying stock, and at the end of the period you get to buy stock at 10% (or perhaps it's 5%) less than the lowest price of the stock over the six month period. Even though our stock has performed poorly, it's been volatile, which is great for employees, if not for investors.

My compensation isn't particularly good for an engineer; because I (used to) really like my job, I've turned down job offers with total compensation > $100k more than I'm making (if you count vesting of RSUs). From the stats I've seen, I'm making much more than both the national average and the regional average, but I don't know anyone who makes anything close to either number*, so I don't know where those stats come from.

*Oh, actually, I can think of a few people who work at a large company that doesn't give raises much above inflation.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 4:55 PM
horizontal rule
485

378

Let me guess. I should take the market performance from 1960 to 2007 ask a safe assumption for my stocks in a 401k but I can't use the pension plan failure rate from municipal governments for the same period for some reason that isn't at all special pleading.

As an example of the risks to pensions from municipal governments consider this recent NYT article about Chicago teacher pensions:

The State Legislature, whose approval is needed for such changes, has said pensions must wait until next year. But Mr. Emanuel says the system is broken and he is not willing to make any increased contributions until it has been fixed. The mayor said earlier this year that making the larger contributions would lead to "direct cuts in our classrooms."

So the mayor of Chicago is deliberately withholding needed funds from the pension system in an attempt to create a crisis and force benefit cuts. Hard to say how this will end but a Chicago teacher would be ill-advised to assume their benefits are risk free.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:03 PM
horizontal rule
486

(if you count vesting of RSUs)

Rodents of Size Unusual?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:03 PM
horizontal rule
487

486

Restricted Stock Units I believe. Googling says I am correct .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-12-12 5:10 PM
horizontal rule