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Messages - Javert

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Choosing the Right Law School / Going without health insurance
« on: May 11, 2005, 10:18:19 AM »
I just found out that the University of Texas doesn't require students to have health insurance.
I checked their student plan, and it's about $835 a year. That's a significant expense.

I'm contemplating whether it's worth it. I've been insured for the last four years, and I've literally never used it. I don't have any regular prescriptions, I haven't had an illness more serious than the flu in at least six years, and I'm an all around healthy person.

In other words, I'm the proverbial sucker left holding the bag; while other people get great benefits from their insurance, I'm left holding the bag and getting screwed.

There's a chance I'll get sick over the three years, but I'm thinking not having it might be a reasonable gamble. I'll have insurance again once I actually have a law job (which is, as I understand it, a standard benefit). Until then, however, I think I can live without it, and proudly join 41 million other uninsured Americans.

Is anybody else considering just going without insurance? Do I really need it?

Financial Aid / Re: My postgraduation BigLaw budget
« on: May 10, 2005, 07:47:04 AM »
Limonjello-- Federal income tax alone will gobble up 28-33% of my salary (more, if Democrats get back in power and raise taxes on the top brackets). With other taxes (sales, property, payroll, etc., etc., etc.), the various governments are easily taking 40% of my income. Throw in loan payments, and a good chunk of my income is simply gone before I can do anything with it.

At some point, enough is enough. What's the point of enduring seven years of school, tens of thousands of dollars of loans, and 70+ hour work weeks just to give my money away? In the OP's case, it's even more extreme: IMO, it's ludicrious to ask somebody six figures in debt to donate money. First, you put your own house in order, then you help your neighbor.

With all that being said, I didn't say I would never donate to charity; I do want to contribute to scholarship funds and military charities. What I did say is that high salary earners shouldn't feel obligated to donate 10% of their income on *top* of their already high tax burden. That's one of the main purposes of a representative government determining taxation: It's a reasonable albeit imperfect way to determine everybody's fair share.

Besides, it's not like money I don't donate just vanishes; it will end up helping somebody. If I spend it, it goes back to the economy and helps employ people. If I save it, the bank will use it to lend money to others, which also helps them. If I invest it, it helps brings products to market and also indirectly helps employ people. A portion of the significant chunk that's taxed out will go directly to social programs. And so and so forth.

Financial Aid / Re: My postgraduation BigLaw budget
« on: May 09, 2005, 09:52:26 PM »
Wildcat: Do people really donate 10% of their salary to their churches?

When you factor in how much you, as a well-compensated lawyer, pay in taxes, and what percentage of your taxes help people in some way (i.e., food stamps, welfare, giving veterans a discount on college education, medicare, medicaid, HeadStart, bolstering social security, etc., etc., etc.), you're already doing more civic good than somebody who makes $40,000 and really does donate 10% in addition to paying taxes. As such, I'd argue it's unnecessary; you're already more than doing your part.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Austin LSD HH Thread
« on: May 09, 2005, 03:57:11 PM »
Ormachea-- Yeah, that sounds about right. I saw those numbers and decided NYU wasn't for me. However, 30% taxes may be a bit low. By the time we're out working, the democrats should be back in power, which will mean a raise on the top tax brackets (i.e, us). On the other hand, you seem to be assuming a mortgage right off the bat, which may be unjustified; if possible, it could be more logical to live cheaply for a few years and pay off the loans quicker, then get your house. Obviously, it'll vary from situation to situation. :).

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Austin LSD HH Thread
« on: May 09, 2005, 03:48:27 PM »
Crowdaddy-- No, the 'modify to say Ana' was to me. I made a brief mistake the first time I posted because I'm deeply, deeply retarded. Sorry about that Ana. :).

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Austin LSD HH Thread
« on: May 09, 2005, 03:33:34 PM »
Crowdaddy-- Yeah, Texas was generous with the aid. WHat's more, my parents are willing to help me out by lending me what I would otherwise borrow from a private bank; I can get a much better deal from them (and it's mutually beneficial; they can get a much better from me than by putting their money in a bank, and much safer than stocks or bonds or whatever).

It's a two bedroom apartment. I don't intend to share; I'm a total @#!*-up when it comes to living with other people. I'm not sure if there's more apartments available, but there might be. When I get there, I'll talk to the lease agent and see when more becomes available. I think the news might be bad, however; the two bedroom wasn't by choice, but because that's what they had. Of course, my move in date was inelastic, so I didn't have a lot of options.

Of course, if the two bedrooms are 609, the one bedrooms might be cheap enough that you can afford to simply live there on your own. Again, I'll talk to the agent when I get there.

Ana-- Eh, guest bedrooms are overrated. You don't want to encourage those people to visit, do you? ;). And good luck with finding storage...

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Austin LSD HH Thread
« on: May 09, 2005, 03:09:57 PM »
Yeah, is anyone else starting to freak out about the debt now that we're getting closer.  For the past year I been, "Oh, debt.  No big deal.  I'll pay it off."  Now I'm like, "What?!? Debt??!?!  I can't go into debt?!?!  What's the cheapest school that I can go to? How cheaply can I live in order to avoid as much of this as possible!?!?"

Actually, no, I'm becoming more sanguine with time.

I won't bore y'all with my calculus (although it's sweet; bargain Texas prices coupled with financial aid is awesome), but here's the bottom line:  If a family of 4 can live off of $45,000, then you can find a way to still have a nice life and also pay off your debts.  It's that simple. You may have to delay a few things you want (traveling, a jaguar, or whatever), but it's doable. And once it's paid off, you're a free person, and nobody can take that away from you....

*plans to be a free man by 2010*

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Waitlisted at Yale
« on: May 09, 2005, 10:24:58 AM »
Pookie: (btw, i chuckled at your assertion that *three* people *single*handedly had this effect.

Well, to be fair, you had Yoda's help.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Austin LSD HH Thread
« on: May 09, 2005, 10:14:02 AM »
Re: Grande Communications. It's out. I have to use Time Warner. Damn! I've also settled: I'm planning to arrive in Austin May 16th or so.

Ellie-- Smoking ban: I dunno. On the one hand, I'm really not sure it's a proper use of state power. On the other hand, I rather like the prospect of being able to go out without dealing with the smoke. I guess if it really does start shutting down bars and clubs, I'd support repealing it; in the interim, I suppose I tentatively support keeping it. Anybody else read Pandagon? Marcotte's posts about this give me pause.

On paper, I probably would have been better off going to NYU or trying to get in off of Columbia's waitlist. I just didn't want to...

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