The Big Think

May 14, 2011

Tiny Town

Filed under: Education,Humor and Fun,Maker — jasony @ 9:26 am

This is just incredible. Since posting the link the other day I’ve gotten lost in the dozens of “making-of” videos that the head builder has posted over the past few years. The level of detailing and custom work for this place is beyond anything I had thought.

Check out this video. It’s in German, but there’s a small cc button in the lower right that turns on the English captions. After this one is done, don’t miss the many, many others that show how the whole project came together.

If you’re one of my computer programming friends you’ll especially like this episode where they go into a little bit of detail over how they control the custom takeoff parameters of each individual plane type.

I must visit this place.


Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 8:35 am

According to my calculations based on government data, such married couples will begin receiving monthly Social Security checks that will, on average, total about $550,000 after inflation. They will receive health-care services paid for by Medicare that, on average, will total another $450,000 after inflation. The benefactors will be a generation of younger workers who are trying to support themselves and their families while paying taxes to finance the rest of government spending.

We cannot even remotely afford to make good on these promised benefits. Although our system of personal liberty, free enterprise and limited government has made us an affluent and upwardly mobile people, we are not yet a nation of John Beresford Tiptons…

The existence of so many million-dollar couples is not the result of elected officials carefully weighing the needs of senior citizens against the financial ability of younger workers to meet these needs. Rather, it is the result of decades of separate legislative actions by both political parties to liberalize retirement and health-care benefits, the sum total of which no one has bothered to calculate.

Social Security and Medicare were the result of natural human impulses to create safety-net programs to prevent poverty in old age and to help needy senior citizens with their medical bills. But the programs are flawed…

Many of the million-dollar couples believe they rightfully deserve the benefits they have been promised. They have, after all, spent all of their working years paying into Social Security and Medicare. And true enough, the typical 66-year old couple and their employers, on their behalf, have contributed nearly $500,000 in payroll taxes (in today’s dollars) toward these benefits during their working careers.

But regardless of how much they have contributed, the hard reality is that the federal government has already spent it. No matter how deserving they are, it is younger generations of workers who have to come up with the money.

Via Wall Street Journal

As the saying goes, what can’t go on forever… won’t.

It’s a shame that the Greatest Generation fought so hard for a world where they could give their children everything, and then did.

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