Cuts in Social Security, The Year Of Mobile Payments

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Cuts in Social Security, Confiscation, or Wealth Redistribution?

The Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, gave a speech on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in which he proposed,  among other things, raising the retirement age from 67 to 69. He stated that, “We should remember that Social Security at its core should be retirement insurance. I’m suggesting that Americans pay into the system throughout the course of their life, knowing that it will be there, if they need it, to support them in their later years, so seniors will not grow old in back-breaking poverty. But, if you are fortunate enough not to need it, you will have paid into a system that will continue to help Americans, neighbors, friends, who need it the most… It is fair, and it is what we must continue to do. We can only do that by changing Social Security.”

According to our government’s website, “The Social Security Act was signed by FDR on 8/14/35.Taxes were collected for the first time in January 1937 and the first one-time, lump-sum payments were made that same month. Regular ongoing monthly benefits started in January 1940.” It is important to note that it is a TAX, not an insurance premium, and it is not an insurance program.

Is this a communistic issue of“fairness” or is it an issue of out-of-control welfare and government spending? Perhaps we should remind the governor that the Social Security Act of 1935 was just a retirement program that only paid benefits to the primary worker. According to their website, “a 1939 change in the law added survivors’ benefits and benefits for the retiree’s spouse and children. In 1956 disability benefits were added…The original law contained the first national unemployment compensation program, aid to states for various health and welfare programs, and the Aid to Dependent Children program.”

My question to Governor Christie would be, before we start talking confiscation of retirement benefits, shouldn’t the law be changed by legal venues? When did Social Security suddenly become an optional insurance program for which we can select to pay premiums or opt-out? As a matter of fact, Social Security is mandatory, people are forced by law to contribute into Social Security 6.2 percent and employers also contribute 6.2 percent per employee. Furthermore, Social Security benefits are taxed again. The premise of FDR’s law was that, if nanny government did not step in, Americans were too stupid or apathetic to invest their own money to help them survive in old age.

Social Security is a tax, it is no insurance and we pay taxes even on Social Security income

Read all of this HERE.

The Year Of Mobile Payments

Ask most people what the state of mobile payments is today, and they’ll tell you it’s just kicking off. With Facebook announcing the option to send money to friends via Messenger and the release of Apple Pay last year, 2015 has excitedly been dubbed “The Year of Mobile Payments.” Yet what most people don’t realise is that these services are already lagging 10 years behind.

I’m not just talking about Google Wallet or Square, both launched in 2011, or wallets like MasterPass and Visa’s V.me, all of which have struggled to gain traction among both consumers and merchants. The latest report by InfoScout and PYMNTS.com revealed last month that 85% of iPhone 6 users still have never tried using Apple Pay, despite enthusiasts’ conviction that transactions will pick up this year.

There are places around the world, however, where mobile payments have taken a very different path 89 countries across the developing world, to be precise. Many people may already be familiar with M-PESA in Kenya (launched in 2007), the mobile money service which processes around $2.1 billion worth of transactions per month. Fifty-nine percent of Kenyan adults use M-PESA, and the platform accounts for 66 percent of transaction volumes processed through the national payments system. M-PESA users can do everything from buying groceries to paying utility and school bills, or even purchasing airline tickets, all from their mobile, and without needing a bank account.

But it’s not just Kenya where mobile money has become an integral part of peoples’ daily lives. From Paraguay to Pakistan, mobile money is rapidly gaining ground. The global telecoms body GSMA notes that in Latin America alone the number of new mobile money accounts grew by 50 percent in 2014. According to CGAP, a financial inclusion advocacy arm of the World Bank, 22 percent of Bangladesh’s adult population uses mobile money. If you live in San Francisco, London or Munich you wouldn’t necessarily know this. Europe’s first mobile money service only launched last year – in Romania.

Continue reading all this HERE.

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