Editor Mark Schaaf firstname.lastname@example.org
Politicians often count on voters having short memories and hope they will fall for their spin.
3:33 pm on Monday, June 18, 2012
So are you saying Sen. Sanders is counting on our short attention spans? Or are you saying he is pointing out the trend that OTHER politicians count on our short attention spans?
Because I agree with you, they have a vested interest in us staying in the dark and not remembering the past or learning from history. But I have to side with Sen. Sanders here as the one who is, more or less, summarizing recent history instead of counting on our short memories (of the last 3 years) to base our decision making on.
4:20 pm on Monday, June 18, 2012
@Matt I agree with you ----
Funny how his pointing out the obvious would even be questionable
Thats right, and Barack Hussein Oblameo owns it all, thanks for reminding us sir.
4:21 pm on Monday, June 18, 2012
Splain It Alfred ?
11:57 am on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
You bet yer bottom dollar, Alfred! Barack Obama inherited a budget surplus and a booming economy in 2008, and he's had a wonderfully cooperative bipartisan Congress to help him further his agenda. Isn't that right?
Alfred, where was the Dow when George W. Bush left office? Where is it now? Where would it have been under McCain? (Maybe the Dow is a bad indicator. How about the unemployment rate?)
12:01 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Honestly, do you have to be as old as Senator Sanders to remember how things used to be, how badly they've deteriorated and why?
Lately, it seems like the GOTP expects us to have an attention span of less than four months. Extend the Bush tax cuts in January of 2010 and then be all aghast about a revenue shortfall and deficit by April of the same year. Oh-oh -- better take it out on Grannie!
12:19 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
What do you think the result of massive tax hikes will be in 2013? Do you think it will help the economy?
1:19 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
People will have less money to spend, and it won't be good. But I'm willing to pay my 5% more just to get Paul Ryan to shut it.
They aren't going to be that massive. We all managed to pay them during the Clinton years.
1:38 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@The Donny Show...Anyone with the least bit of intelligence understood that the tax cuts imposed under Bush would someday be taken back. Also, bringing back the payroll tax to where it is supposed to be was inevitable. To live in a fantasy world that taxes wouldn't return to normal is just plain foolishness. Whether you and others like it or not, it's not only going to happen, but needs to happen.
2:28 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Randy....you and others complain about the economy, the fixes, the changes, etc. You know that a move will HURT the economy but you think it is good it will happen. Do you wonder why the Republicans have won most major elections the last few years? Your side has no vision to make things right.
Lyle. Attacking someones intelligence and then making a point is a great way to indicate you have no point.
Supposed to be? Determined by whom?
Normal? Says who?
Raising taxes is the worst thing that can happen to us. Why take more from people that already are giving too much?
2:35 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@Donny Show -- Mitt Romney's tax plan will lower taxes for those making the most, raise them for those making the least and have the same effect on the economy. Thirty years of being extra nice to the rich folks has brought us to this
Why do Republicans win elections? Because they can buy them and they can convince the low information voter that it's in their own best interest to get screwed over. That's the only explanation for it.
2:49 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@The Donny Show...Attacking someone's intelligence is not the point of my comment, but the rational expectation that taxes will return to what they were before the George W nonsense.
Whether we are already paying too much in taxes or not is based only on opinion and perspective. You are much to young to know about high taxes. When the tax laws changed under Reagan I was in the 72% tax bracket and went down to the 39% bracket. However, I actually had more spendable income at that time before the tax changes, including more investments. You want to reduce the debt, let's pay it off in the only way we can, through adequate taxation to cover expenditures.
3:06 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Bout time we tax the poor. They take and take and take from the rich and producers. Reverse wealth distribution is in order after this socialist experiment failure.
8:36 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Donny Show, tax increases have been imposed throughout our history. The Grover Norquist "no tax increases" meme is relatively new and completely impractical.
Why on the one hand is it fine for the biggest corporations to make the largest profits in U.S. history (by raising prices or shrinking packages, etc.), but not to accept those same price hikes when it impacts our government? How about telling the corporations to drop their prices?
O the contradiction, the double standard, the hypocrisy. Mr. Sanders has it right. Let the people who made the mess pay for the mess. And any attempts to gouge consumers to pay themselves back will be met with tar and feathers! ; )
8:41 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Government has created much of its own mess.
What price hikes affect government? Most the rise in the cost of government is self imposed, how can you blame the corporation for that?
8:48 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
J.B., the government purchases goods and services across the spectrum. That's why I question why Grover doesn't squeal when corporations raise prices but does when the idea of increasing government revenue through taxes comes up.
Grover Norquist is no patriot, in my opinion.
11:53 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Why should the government not live within its means as I must? I don't get to tell my employer that he must pay me more because the cost of a product went up.
9:35 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Bren, the fact that you think we should "tell corporations to lower their prices" says it all. I believe in the free market. You dont do you?
If the market speaks any business that wants to stay in business will react. We dont need to "tell them" to react.
Enjoy your day on the commune.
8:14 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
J.B., first of all remember that "we" are the government. It's there to serve us. If I need to pay a bit more in taxes to be feel secure when traveling, to ensure that programs ad agencies are running (such as the USDA, Social Security/Medicare, military, etc.), I'm fine with it. Government is law and order. Who wouldn't want that, except for the political anarchists and those who would increase profits (at least in the short term) in an environment of fewer regulations, checks and balances.
Donny, my statement was rhetorical. Obviously we don't get upset at corporations for doing what they are constructed to do--make profit. At the same time, innocent people shouldn't suffer because of lack of government revenue. This is the greatest country in the world, I believe. It's embarrassing that smaller, more resource-poor nations take better care of its people. We are just as, and more than, capable as they to ensure a decent quality of life for every citizen. Why don't we, then?
9:12 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Have you ever sent an extra check to the IRS over and above your legal tax burden in order to fund the programs you support?
Of course, straight from the liberal play book, if you cut taxes we lose only those agencies that keep us safe or all the children in the US go hungry. Obviously there is absolutely not fat lining the walls of the massive marble buildings in DC.
12:18 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The problem is you can NEVER touch any social program that caters to the young, the old, the poor, etc. The perception is always worse than the reality. SOOO we just keep digging deeper and creating more people dependent on Uncle Sam. It is the left wing play book to keep voters. It is, also, ONE of the biggest problems we have.
8:24 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Or we could roll back the unaffordable Bush tax cuts and get out of the habit of invading foreign countries without actual evidence of wrongdoing and hiring 120,000 contractors (at an average salary of $100k) to provide sub-par administrative services to American servicemen and women and bully the local citizenry. It's estimated that more than 100,000 Iraqi children and adults were killed, maimed, or injured during the war.
If you wish to continue believing that putting a few calories into a child's diet or providing health services to an elder is wrong, then all I can say is, "thank you, Good Samaritan."
8:55 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Classic. When in doubt, blame Bush.
Remember before we went into Iraq Saddam had killed millions that you libs didn't seem to care about and of the 100K killed only 13% were at the hand of Coalition soldiers. Of course all deaths are bad; however, you are throwing that number out with no context, again. Also, both sides were in favor of the war when it was politically beneficial.
10:16 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
@J.B. Schmidt...Are you attempting to say that George W Bush isn't the major contributor to the problems we are now experiencing? He was, by any measure, the weakest and most ill advised president we have had in the last forty years. Recent surveys of public opinion about who is the worst president ever, W was the overwhelming winner.
It is obvious that the War in Iraq was not justified and you can spin it however you want and you'll come up with the same conclusion. It has been a highly expensive and underfunded expedition with no apparent positive outcome. I have difficulty why you would continue to defend such a failure as president. Remember the economy began to unravel in 2007 and was in free fall by the summer of 2008. Obama took office under the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression and you want to blame him for the pain and suffering that we've been going through? Let's keep it real and stop the blame game. It is not constructive to finally bring us out our economic dilemma.
10:40 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Not to pull an alfred, but that post leaves me thinking you are either ignorant or arrogant.
If a housing crisis that has been in the works since the late 1970's must be burdened on Bush, then it must be asked why the Democrats that controlled the congress from 2007 through 2009 did nothing to stop the crisis from happening. To may knowledge Bush never vetoed a housing crisis saving measure; in fact, Barney Frank defended the practices involving Freddie and Frannie that crippled the housing market up to and after it happened.
Whether you agree with the war or not, both parties voted for it. Not to mention that our current president has only expanded the scope of who and where we bomb with no regard for loss of life and you libs appear to be OK with that.
Obama has had 3 years including 2 years where he had a Democratically controlled congress and nothing was changed from the Bush years, accept he added additional layers to the government in the from of Obamacare. That won't even be fully implemented for another couple of years. Rather then fix the country, you libs have only established that 8% unemployment should be considered the new normal.
Also, I believe that Obama and Bush share relatively the same approval/disapproval rating; accept Bush's are getting better and Obama's are slipping.
The only reason to blame a prior administration is if you know your current administration has done nothing of value.
10:56 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
J.B., both parties voted on Iraq based on the false memes that 1) Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, 2) Saddam Hussein was in the process of creating weapons of mass destruction, and 3) Saddam Hussein was in communication with terrorists. Both parties, and the U.S. public were exploited on that one.
I haven't heard or read that 8% unemployment was "the new normal." One should refrain from mendacity unless the goal is to mislead. Regardless, statements such as this will not stand in a politically mixed room.
I also reject the inference that Barack Obama owns the recession. It was years in the making as you indicate, and exacerbated by deregulation and regulation side-stepping during the Bush administration. The damage to ordinary citizens' retirement savings and current income has been extraordinary. Debt is up, income is down, leading to a generation far more dependent upon Social Security and Medicare than those before.
I recently read that the student loan bubble will be the next to burst. Another disaster, years in the making.
11:22 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Concerning the Iraqi casualties, what context would be useful to you here? Does it matter whether civilians died because of military, contractor/mercenary or insurgent actions, or injury/disease? The simple fact is that 100,000 people were killed, maimed, or injured because of the Iraq "War" (where the word "war" is redefined as "invasion.")
Where you get the idea that "libs" didn't care about Saddam Hussein's genocide against the Kurds and other Iraqis I have no idea. Have you forgotten years of sanctions, the first Gulf War? The situation just prior to the Iraq War was that the sanctions were working. If longterm U.S. policy in the Middle East had been upheld Iraq could well have been one of the first countries to experience the Arab Spring. The entire Middle East situation could have a very different construct. One cannot call this hindsight because international leaders had repeatedly warned the Bush administration of the folly of precipitous action. Who will forget the derogatory Rovian name-calling of these leaders as "Old Europe." The "case" for war was debunked prior to the invasion but after Congress approved appropriate action (not invasion).
And for whom, precisely, was this war "beneficial?" Halliburton (who moved its HQ to Dubai to avoid paying taxes on all that no-bid contract income). The oil companies that received long-term drilling contracts. Contractors/mercenaries paid many times what U.S. soldiers were making.
11:57 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
I never said Obama owns the crisis; however, he does own the recovery and with real unemployment (those no longer looking) at 15%, it has been an epic failure. If 8% won't be the new norm, please explain what Obama is doing to change it: Obamacare?, Amnesty?, funding failed green energy companies?, Having Hollywood parties?
The school loan bubble, another example of progressive failures. Notice that liberals cling to academia.
As for context, I refuse accept the murders of Iraq citizens by US enemies as an impact of the Iraq war brought on by US involvement. The middle east has proven they like to kill each other no matter what is happening. Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, could have gotten them and we don't know when he got rid of them. Was the intelligence wrong? Maybe. Was it the intelligence the rest of the world used? Yes. I don't think that everything in the war was done correctly; however, continue the blame game when our current leader (and the libs personal idol) has racked up as much debt, done little to change anything in the middle east and will most likely be the president under whose watch Iran gets a nuclear weapon, is hypocrisy at its finest.
12:21 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
We should borrow and spend more, that will fix it! 5 trillion isn't enough.
11:33 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Steve, do you honestly believe that George W. Bush would have started stimulus spending without a recession? You claim to be a job creator, but I have to ask how one can conduct business without having a firm understanding of its financial/developmental timeline.
Do you have evidence to back up your statement that "5 trillion isn't enough" ...?
11:37 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
You are still combining bailout with stimulus when they are two different animals.
Obama has spent 5 trillion or so with very little to show for it, maybe we should spend another 5 trillion, not cut any spending and see how fast we can become Greece or Spain.
12:34 am on Friday, June 22, 2012
Bren, as a job creator I am a boss and need to make good decisions constantly. I have proven over and over I am a better boss than you would be. This can be related to better decisions for the greater good. You placed your bet on Obama and Barrett. Both are failures.
Now you know why I am a job creator, work constantly and increase the free market with my decisions and you do not.
2:22 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The politicians Want to keep the populace confused and one of the most effective ways they do it is by creating multiple kinds of taxes and pretending that they serve different purposes. In reality, all the money goes to the same place.
The best example of this is the perpetual argument over the income tax, and whether it is fair in its quasi progressive form, and that a flat tax would be easier and fairer to all.
What is not mentioned is that the Vast Majority already Pay a FLAT RATE TAX!!!
It is called the Payroll Tax --- and it is a Flat Rate Tax that applies to those earning maximum wage base of $106800 for employees and self employed.
Now before anyone starts to say that this is a special tax that goes into a "lock box" for Social Security --- WRONG !!! There is NO way to collect this tax and to park or invest it somewhere for later use.
Social Security is a Pay as You Go System -- what the wage earners pay into it now, is what is paid out to those who collect it. And the excess goes into the General Fund --- Always has !!
The beautiful part about the Flat Rate Payroll Tax/Self Employment Tax.is:
Since the cap is $106,800 approximately 5% of the highest paid workers make more than that and they do not pay that flat rate tax on the amount they earn over the $106,800 !!
Therefore 95% of Americans pay a flat rate tax, that the upper 5% don't. And if the upper 5% have good tax lawyers, we already know they pay little or nothing in income tax.
2:31 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Are you quite certain that excess FICA taxes go into the general fund? The Social Security FAQ says that by law this excess must be 'invested' in Treasury bills, which then becomes part of the national debt but frees up other tax revenues which would not otherwise have to be borrowed.
2:32 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The way I read your statement, 100% of Americans pay a flat rate tax on the first $106,800 of their earnings. This isn't the same as 95% pay a flat rate tax and 5% don't...
2:43 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
It doesn't quite work that way. People who work for an employer pay roughly 7% FICA with the employer making up the other half. Self-employed people pay the entire 15% but get to deduct half of it. Then, if you make enough, you get to pay income tax, state income tax, etc.
I always paid federal and state income tax in addition to FICA when I was employed. When self-employed we paid 15% of gross even in those years when we owed no income tax. Property and sales taxes get paid regardless of income or tax liability.
7:26 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Of the 15.3% collected on earned income, as FICA, only the OASI and DI taxes (12.4%) stop at $106,800, the Medicare (2.9%) tax is not capped.
People on Social Security with higher incomes also pay income taxes on their Social Security 'Income';that would be called a 'tax on the tax' that they paid during their working years. Furthermore, they pay more for Medicare coverage as a function of their total income in retirement. So, for some, we are penalizing them for having saved, scrimped and invested during their pre-retirement years.
People do not contribute to SSI based on their interest, dividend, or capital gains income, but,they do not collect, either.
8:01 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@Jay, not everyone who saves, scrimps and invests ends up with a whole lot of retirement income in addition to SSI. It depends on how much you could scrape together, how well your investments did, and where the market was when you had to start liquidating.
7:59 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Randy... True, not everyone is in the same boat and we will always have some exceptions. In every 40 year, working life time frame, the market and/or bonds always does much better than SS, even if you cashed out in March of 09. SS only returns to you about a 1%, inflation adjusted, growth rate on your contributions.
You will note that SS is not a flat tax, higher wage earners pay more for the Medicare portion, while employed and again 'in-retirement' too. The top earners pay 'income tax' on the SS payments, they do not return the money to SS, but it goes in the 'general fund'(I find it strange that this money not being refunded/recapitalized within the SS trust fund??).
Unless I missed something, I did not think that SS was designed as fully funded retirement for one and all. It should be, though, with the taking of a 15.3%(12.6% SS) portion of my paycheck. That's more than enough up-front funding to provide me with a check 3 to 4 times the money, near risk free, that my latest statement from SS says they might be sending out in the future.
8:56 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Jay -- You didn't miss anything. We were always supposed to save on our own for retirement in addition to SSI. And I frequently heard how much better a savvy investor could do with the FICA if s/he had it to put into the market. Very likely that's true, but there's a lot of risk. The biggest risk I've discovered (in addition to the almost regular loss of one third of a portfolio's value) is having to 'sell low' -- taking a disbursement in a down market.
So there's something to be said for the two-pronged approach of a guaranteed return, even if it's very little, coupled with market investment. I had hoped not to have to require SSI at all, but it didn't work out that way.
2:47 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@ Randy That is like your wife saying she is going to spend $10,000 but don't worry, because she will give you an IOU that she will cash later --- now you may ask what she will cash it with --- but in any case she spent the cash, it is gone !!! Maybe your kids will have to pay it back sometime.
@CD Let me restate it ---- 95% of Americans pay a Flat Rate Tax on ALL their earned income --- while the upper 5% only pay on their earned income up to $106,800 -- and the more they make, the lower the percentage is when spread out over all their earned income.
2:54 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@David Tatarowicz...You forgot to mention all those who have no earned income to be taxed. They not only don't pay income tax, but they also don't pay any payroll tax and currently they are only taxed at a rate of 15% capital gains instead of 25%.
3:07 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
No, David, it's like me buying a bond -- US government, local government, corporation, whatever -- which the bond issuer uses the money for its needs, pays a yearly interest dividend, and agrees to pay the money back to me at the end of the term. Yes, someone will have to pay that money back eventually, but they're the ones doing the borrowing. I don't see why the Social Security trust fund is any less deserving of having its money paid back than a private investor or the Chinese.
I agree it';s stupid to keep putting so much money on the national credit card, but debt obligations are debt obligations. FICA was doubled in the early 1980s to 'prepare' for the large expenses of the Boomers in their retirement years and has run at a surplus ever since. If the government now decides it was just general revenue after all and pulls the rug out from under us, that's unconscionable.
3:09 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
So now you have arbitrarily decided who is rich and who is poor. Never mind the $250K Obama wants, let make the top tax bracket $106,801, because obviously they are scamming the system to the detriment of the poor.
3:12 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@Lyle -- I'm at the stage of life with very little earned income to tax. It's all liquidated IRA money, which is fully taxable at whatever rate I qualify for. I pay income tax on the IRA distributions I need to take to pay my property tax. I make nowhere near what Mitt Romney does, and my effective tax rate is twice his.
9:59 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
You knew full well what the tax rate would be on your IRA's when you draw disbursements from them back when you opened the accounts. So, if you wanted to have tax rates like Romney currently has, then why didn't you invest your money like Romney did instead of opening IRAs, as after all, then you would currently have the same effective tax rate as Romney enjoys today, would you not?
No one was stopping you from doing this, were they? So, how do you justify being upset at Romney's current effective tax rate, when you had the same opportunity to do exactly what he did to be able to enjoy those kind of rates today? Essentially, it sounds like you're mad or jealous or envious of Romney just because he was smarter with his money than you were with yours. Is that really being fair?
9:05 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@JRH -- Actually, I didn't know what tax rate I'd eventually be paying, because income tax rates and capital gains tax have both changed since I opened my IRAs. Roth IRAs weren't available yet (although I do wish I'd changed over to Roths back when we had an even lower income and an extra dependent). The future is always a crap-shoot.
We had regular, non-IRA mutual funds, which we used to supplement income and put our son through school. Don't assume I'm financially illiterate.
The only reason I would be upset at Mitt Romney's current tax rate is that much of it may be deferred compensation from his Bain years, and that in years past our family had to pay a higher rate for capital gains.
12:22 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@JRH - In patiently following the comments here, I try to suppress a comment until totally outraged or nauseated. Your comment that Randy1949 should have invested his money like Romney did instead of in a 401(k) is stupendous in its vacuity. Romney is from another world than us mere middle class souls that toil/toiled in the vineyards of the epicurean rich. There is no chance that a middle class lad is born to the head of a major auto company, gets a Harvard education, and gets hired by a vulture capitalist outfit. Chances are that 401(k) has not gone up much in the past ten years, either, thanks to Wall St., and the banks, i.e., Romneyville.
You insult the middle class.
8:29 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Dirk, I agree with you. I know I certainly couldn't have attained Romney's wealth...coming from the middle class, thinking that I could attain that much is almost as absurd as a mixed person raised by a single Mother could go to Harvard and end up being the POTUS one day.
10:48 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Chris - Obama is not at all wealthy like Romney. But you make a good point, it is not where you are in life, it is how far you came. Obama obviously came farther and had more challenges, a superior human being.
10:55 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Well, Dirk, you may be correct, Obama isn't as wealthy as Romney...but Romney is also 15yrs. older, so let's see what the net worth of Obama is in 15 years, then you can compare apples:apples.
Your point was that those in the middle class can't make something of themselves and attain great heights is just patently false...but hey, who's attacking the middle class?
10:58 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
He's just a man, Dirk. Get off of your knees.
11:03 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
That 'upper 5%' also do not get SS credits on anything they don't pay. They receive a smaller percentage of SS benefits (as a percentage of their total earned income) than those with lower incomes. Doesn't seem all that unfair. It seems better than making them pay SS taxes on 100% of their earned income and then having them receive much larger SS benefits when they retire...
12:09 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012
I heard a statistic that Mitt Romney is wealthier than the past 6 presidents combined. That level of wealth is extraordinary. As I understand it he had family wealth behind him to help him on his way. I would also suggest that Romney has a gift for reaching his personal and financial goals without being distracted by collateral details, unlike many other business people. This is reflected by the amount of treasure he has amassed, tucked into U.S. and international accounts.
I'm still trying to figure out how Romney's unique profit-generating skills would translate into providing quality of life services to the American people.
Well then, let's do it. Let's get our pitch forks, torches and head towards Mequon, Elmbrove, Brookfield and the Lake Country pillaging the the money that obviously belongs to us who haven't earned it. We steal from them until they are middle class.
The entire time, the middle class will not become any richer because there is not enough wealth in the top 5% to spread around to make everyone's life better. Instead we will just have any increasingly more powerful government controlling larger and larger portions of the countries wealth. Then they can determine who wins and fails at this game of life.
8:40 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I don't think it's the government getting larger, J.B., it's just falling more and more into the control of corporate and other special interests. They will squeeze every last drop of profit out of our democracy and leave it a husk, just as Bain Capital did to a number of companies.
8:44 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
You forgot to include ALEC.
I am glad you are able to blame private sector consistently all the while ignoring the socialist agenda of higher taxes and more entitlements.
8:27 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Bren - "They will squeeze every last drop of profit out of our democracy and leave it a husk, just as Bain Capital did to a number of companies."
"I don't think it's the government getting larger..." Crawl out from under your rock.
8:35 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
J.B., ALEC is funded by corporate contributions. Thought we were discussing government? Another question: if Romney, who has stated he believes life begins at conception, is elected president, how big will government have to be to make sure that adults, especially women, are behaving themselves and not acting in ways that the right-wing fringe now guiding the GOP bandwagon would consider immoral? Who makes sure that the forms of hormonal birth control that would almost certainly be banned are not smuggled in from progressive countries? Who peeps into bedroom and car windows to ensure that women are keeping those pills between their knees when in the company of males? Some folks anarchically call for smaller government while simultaneously and tacitly expecting government to be the morality police.
Ima, you would compare the investment of new energy technology at Solyndra to the economic crisis which began under George W. Bush?
Instead of trying to insult me ("crawl out from under your rock") why don't you do some research before posting? It will make you appear better-informed.
8:48 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Please point to me in the Romeny campaign anything you are talking about. For that matter, please point any prominent Republican politician calling for anything you alluded to. Please provide actual press releases or quotes from candidates that are taken within context and not a joke some old man made on your morning talk shows.
8:52 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
J.B., have to run to a meeting, but here's a link to a video of Mitt Romney making this statement on Mike Huckabee: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/10/03/334190/mitt-romeny-constitutional-amendment-abortioneption/?mobile=nc
Here's the takeaway quote:
HUCKABEE: Would you have supported a constitutional amendment that would have established definition of life beginning of life at conception?
9:03 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
What does that have to do with any of the 'peeping' you were talking about? You are taking the viewpoint of the majority of Americans.
Just more liberal scare tactics.
11:58 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
J.B., if you had been following the recent legislative session in Mississippi you would be aware of a "personhood" bill that was defeated. This bill, as written, would have also banned most forms of hormonal birth control (i.e. "The Pill.").
Mitt Romney held a town hall meeting in Iowa during that time, and a woman in the audience asked him about his anti-abortion stance and its impact on hormonal birth control. She explained how hormonal birth control works, of which he was clearly ignorant. Here's a video link (apologize for the commercials and its being imbedded in a Rachel Maddow segment--all I could find on short notice). The video is edited for commentary, but the Romney discussion begins at :48. Watch the rest if you wish, but the woman's explanation to Romney of how his stated position on Huckabee ("Life begins at conception") could also lead to a ban on most hormonal birth control methods is explained beginning at about 2:40. http://blisstree.com/live/hilarious-video-of-the-day-rachel-maddow-teaches-mitt-romney-and-all-other-dudes-about-birth-control-854/
I believe that the moment that life begins cannot be guessed or accurately measured until fetal cognition testing is developed. I find it "scary" indeed that a presidential candidate would make a serious statement of policy intention on national television 1) based on mystical belief not fact and 2) in ignorance of the potential legal ramifications of his position.
Liberal scare tactic or simple facts?
12:31 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Cognition testing can also be applied to a post birth child and in some countries is used as justification for infanticide.
So you have nothing stating directly from Romney your assertions from your previous post. Instead you have Proposition 26 that was defeated by the people. Yet, because he had a question he couldn't answer means that all republicans want women pregnant and banned from all contraceptives. Well, you have me convinced.
12:33 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012
I can't find your assertions about Romney and his stance against hormonal birth control anywhere within his official platform. Do you have a link that indicates that this is a part of his official platform?
As Rick Santorum told a debate audience in response to a question, just because he's talking about his own views of morality doesn't necessarily mean that he would prefer legislation attempting to govern in accordance with it. That's what real leaders do, because they realize that they're role models to others. One thing that all the GOP candidates have repeatedly stated time and again is that they value freedom first and foremost.
So clearly, your liberal scare tactics are most definitely taken out of context because no where can I find wherein Romney has stated that he'd support such legislation to ban/outlaw pre-conception birth control devices.
You've been spinning so much lately, I think you're starting to get dizzy. Perhaps it's time to stop spinning and instead enjoy a nice glass of kool-aide instead ;-)
3:24 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@ Lyle: "Also, bringing back the payroll tax to where it is supposed to be was inevitable."
"TO WHERE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE"???
Is there a mandate from GOD that specifies where tax levels are supposed to be? We are a free citizenry. We determine what our taxes should be.
The problem with your tax and spend more mentality is that you refuse to look ways to cut spending. We waste alot of money at the federal level, just as we still do in state and local government even after Governor Walker's reforms.
And when when you realize that taking the money out of people hands takes that money out of the economy. The rich get the biggest tax breaks. Well duh, they pay the most taxes. So what if they get several millions or billions by keeping taxes low. They will either spend it or invest it. Either way it will create JOBS!!!
And that's what we need right now!
3:53 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@The Anti-Alinsky...Sorry that you are so upset, but during Saint Regan's Administration the payroll tax was set to account for the upcoming boomer retirements. As a "free citizenry" does that mean we should be irresponsible?
There is no argument from me that a great deal of money is wasted in all government, but that is a constant process of controlling, but it is just as great a sin to underfund government to please the special interests of the rich minority. We got into all this trouble in the first place with macro supply side economics and free trade agreements. As soon as everyone fully understands how we got to where we are the sooner we will become a democracy again.
5:14 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I'll play along - if supply side economics and FTA's are the problem, then what are your proposed solutions?
5:42 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@JRH -- We could start with federal corporate tax policy that rewards creating jobs here in the US -- just like Governor Walker is trying to do with corporations that create jobs in this state.
6:03 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Why do we continue to allow the government to pick winners and losers in the tax game? Lets reward business in general for operating in the US. Lets reduce the overall business tax so we are not the highest in the world. Lets bring all business tax down to 25% and eliminate all loop holes. Remove the government's ability to pick the winners, let the American public do it with their own pocket book.
6:08 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
That would actually be fine with me, J.B. as long as the companies were actually producing their goods here in the US.
6:27 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
If the headquarters of the company is in the US doing business it needs to be 25% regardless of their business decisions. Remember, no loopholes. Otherwise, we will get differing ideas of production or subjective tallies as to how much is produced. Lastly, their could be very justifiable reasons for doing business over seas that has no impact on the US job market. Taxing variables is impossible.
6:34 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Why would a company need to manufacture cheap electronics that last only a few years overseas? We don't have workers who can do that here in the US?
7:07 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
We stand on different sides of this issue. You like to claim that government must restrict business from making appropriate decision because they harm workers. I am saying that the government restrictions have forced business do look elsewhere for more favorable business conditions.
All business needs to pay taxes and they all need to pay it equally. Once you segregate out actions as deserving extra taxation, we have created a loophole. Loopholes will always be exploited and avoided. I think that the lower tax rate alone could return business to America.
7:11 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
If a company is doing business here, at least they are employing someone! Let's give them incentive to produce here...like less regulation, lower taxes, and celebrate success and wealth creation.
7:15 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I'll hand off the pass to Lyle. I'm not sure how anyone who has lived here for the past 30 years can still believe in supply-side economics.
7:49 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I'm not upset Lyle, just amazed that you feel there is a certain level of taxes we have to hit. This country operated for it's first 130 years without income taxes. When the 16th amendment opened up the Pandoras box of direct income tax, the citizens were promised it would be a low rate. In reality it didn't take long to skyrocket.
Randy, supply side economics have been shown to work over and over. Why can't you accept that lower taxes contributes to growth?
7:54 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Supply side works? Really? What was George W. Bush's rate of job creation as compared percentagewise to that of other Presidents?
9:48 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Obama is the only president without one net job created.
Bush had an extremely low unemployment rate for most of his term, there were no other jobs that could be created when everyone is working. There were hiring shortages. Compare apples to oranges much?
Randy - if you do not like it here - Delta is ready when you are. Try Europe.
8:40 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
This is my home, Ima. I've probably lived here longer than you have. Your suggestion that I leave because some greedy jackhats have sold out regular Americans is insulting.
8:40 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Steve, there are charts and graphs out there based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics that would contradict your statements. The economic crisis began during the Bush administration.
Ima's comment about leaving the U.S. for Europe "if you do not like it here" is interesting. That's precisely what about 2,000 Americans do each year--to avoid paying taxes.
11:27 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Blame Bush, blame Bush, blame Bush, blame ALEC, blame Bush
You guys are a broken record. Obama has about 1.6 million jobs to go to break even. I thought the guy was wanted the job to "fix" all of Bush's mistakes and create jobs and stuff
5:20 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@Randy --- I am not sure if I am saying this correctly -- maybe Jay Sykes can help us out --- but the government is collecting the payroll tax and NOT investing it anywhere --- how could they?
Yes I know they invested in GM and other such bailouts, and we are going to make a profit from that --- but that was an exception --- the payroll tax gets spent on SS and Medicare and what is not spent on those is spent in the general fund --- when we were Not Running Yearly Defiicits -- it was because we were taking in so much payroll tax and spending it.
There is NO lock box --- there are only accounting tricks, slight of hand, and semantics
5:38 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
"By law, income to the trust funds must be invested, on a daily basis, in securities guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the Federal government."
"The numeric average of the 12 monthly interest rates for 2011 was 2.417 percent. The annual effective interest rate (the average rate of return on all investments over a one-year period) for the OASI and DI Trust Funds, combined, was 4.401 percent in 2011. This higher effective rate resulted because the funds hold special-issue bonds acquired in past years when interest rates were higher."
I agree that borrowing from ourselves is an accounting trick, and the interest rate is not very impressive. But it is only a set of worthless IOUs if the government decides to break faith with this one class of investors.
Or is your entire point that poor wage-earners pay a much higher percentage of their wages in 'taxes' than do millionaires, at which point I will agree with you. FICA is a poor man's tax that begins on the first dollar earned, without deductions or exemptions. To collect it and then vilify beneficiaries as looking for a handout is beyond duplicitous.
7:41 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Sure it's all accounting, but I like the Idea of segregated funding for things like SSI and the gasoline tax for roads and bridges. I think it is easier to identify problems before they get lost in the ether;need I remind everyone about Governor Doyle's foray into the Medical Malpractice fund.
8:31 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tatarowicz - crawl out from under Obama's rock - no profit from GM to be had.
9:40 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
For all the blustery partisan back and forth on this board, and the false and completely misleading analysis from Senator Sanders that led off this conversation, one thing is clear - that both sides love to point the finger at others for our problems as opposed to looking in the mirror and across the street at our neighbors. Not a single post has identified the core root of the problem, probably because we as a culture have a problem of late with accepting self-blame and taking personal responsibility for our actions.
Why is there such an obsession in this country today with prosecuting the proverbial drug dealers and holding them largely responsible for our national woes as opposed to holding the junkies accountable for creating the demand? What happened to personal responsibility? Take smoking as just one example - a completely voluntary act, right? And yet, because of people smoking, everyone's costs for medical care is higher than it otherwise would be. And instead of scolding those who smoke or letting them fend for themselves when it starts to adversely affect their health, what do we do as a nation and as a people? We blame the evil rich tobacco companies, filing individual and governmental lawsuits against them! Is this seriously what America has become?
9:41 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
If you really want to know what caused America's current economic woes, stop blaming the drug dealers and start blaming the junkies - the American consumer, who sold out the American dream of the first half of the twentieth century in favor of cheap products and services. Look in the mirror, look at your neighbor, look at the people of our country as a whole and the greed perpetrated by our consumerism. That's the real culprit, plain and simple.
Instead of choosing fair wages and benefits, we, en mass, chose cheap iPods so that even those on welfare could afford to have one, thus making everyone more equal. And when faced with the reality of the situation that such choices have inevitably led to, we fail to even recognize the core root of the problem, complacent in our ignorance and greed with our new found lifestyles, instead finding it much more convenient to blame and make boogeymen out of others.
Until America wakes up to REALITY, our problems will never be solved, because, quite frankly, we don't want them to be solved. We demand cheap goods so that a pauper can essentially live like a millionaire, while at the same time demanding a mass of well paying jobs with cadillac benefits. As a society, we've become lazy and overly expectant, demanding that we have our cake and be allowed to eat it to. But in a global economy, it doesn’t work like that.
9:42 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
On the one hand, we demand cheap iPods, while at the very same time using our other hand to point the finger at the company for outsourcing the jobs that provided us with the cheap iPod! We've become a nation of hypocrites! The government can't fix our problems. Only we the consumers of this country, and quite literally the rest of the world, can fix the problem by waking up and start voting responsibly with our dollar bills!
Free trade is great and ideal, but it only works equitably for all when everyone is playing by the same set of rules. Until then, we need to implement fair trade policy while we're still the world's largest consumer of finished end products. And that means that not everyone is going to be able to afford an iPod anymore. So, the next time your neighbor roles up in a brand new non-union labor made foreign car, are you going to congratulate him on the purchase, or give him hell for it? Who are you going to be - an enabler of bad behavior and hypocrisy or someone that actually wants to help fix the problem instead of continuing to contribute to it?
Instead of the trade unions dumping hundreds of millions into political campaigns, why don't they buy air time promoting the purchase of American made goods? Wouldn't that make sense? And yet, you never see it. Something is fundamentally wrong here!
This is the bottom line REALITY people - plain and simple! We hold the ultimate power. The choice was always ours. The question is, how are we going to exercise that power and choice in the future going forward? Are we going to be a bunch of spoiled whiny finger pointers (as it would appear), or are we going to wake up and correct the errors of our ways?
10:13 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
@JRH...You finally got something right. However, don't forget the 65 years of consumer brainwashing from Madison Avenue all paid for by business and the growth model.
12:14 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
You know Hoffa - he just calls it like he sees it!
Brainwashing, hey - are you going a little MK-Ultra on us now?
12:49 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@JRH..Go back and read my posts "What Have we gotten ourselves into Part -I and Part II. December 15th and January 16th.
9:10 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Those cheap products that we Americans buy with made in China labels are what has hurt our economy the most. Corporations tried to resist outsourcing to China by keeping a quality product. ( Milwaukee Tool for example )
They eventually had to give in to the cheaper products and cheap labor.
This is why we are at 15% unemployment.
9:26 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Craig -- I'm constantly told that we, the public, demand those cheap iPods and other Chinese made goods. No, we don't. First of all, have you ever tried to find a product that is made in the USA? Not so easy. If I need a six-pack of socks and all that I can find is something made overseas, I'm still going to buy the socks.
And while I appreciate being able to afford an iPod or a TV set, I've come to realize that they don't last anywhere near as long as they used to, which makes them expensive in the long run. My current refrigerator, an Amana, has lasted 25 years. How long will its replacement, bought for the same price, last me? And, JRH, a person needs a refrigerator.
9:30 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Refrigeration is just a fad...
9:36 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Yeah, right. Just like the horseless carriage and the light-bulb.
9:44 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Randy...Forget the socks; Buy the jeans! Let me help you with your Buy American shopping spree. Here they are,the American Made Levi's are on sale for, as low as, $98. ;)
11:49 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
If you want a new refrigerator, then save up and buy an American made Viking, Wolf, or Sub-Zero. American made products are out there. You just have to be willing to save up and sacrifice other luxuries in order to get one. That's the way Hoffa lives. Sub-Zero refrig purchased 3 years ago for nearly $10k. Worth every penny. That meant forgoing vacations for the last 6 years. But I believe in the cause.
Unlike most, Hoffa actually walks the walk and doesn't just talk the talk - who here can say the same?
Hoffa is probably one of the least blame worthy people for the current state of our economy that you'll ever meet. That's why Hoffa is probably one of the only people on the internet that actually has a justified right to complain about things! That's what makes Hoffa so upset at our fellow citizens that sell our country out on a regular basis without even thinking about it and then have the mendacity to complain! Like those Occupy @sses that complain about there being no jobs for them, as they wear their expensive foreign sweat shop made shoes, and use their Chinese made electronic gadgets, and drive their foreign non-union labor made Prius - nothing but a bunch of HYPOCRITES!!!
True story - when Hoffa met his ex-fiancée nearly 10 years ago, she owned a non-union built foreign car. Hoffa told her that if our relationship was going to work, that she'd have to sell it and get a union built domestic vehicle with a US built powertrain and at least a 65% or higher domestic parts content. Within two weeks, the Honda was gone and she had a nice Buick Riviera!
Hoffa is committed to our country and economy - who else here can honestly say the same? Or is Hoffa surrounded by hypocrites?
11:53 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Here's socks made in the USA:
Start opening your eyes and walking the walk instead of just continuing with your unjustified complaining!
12:07 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The best American made jeans that Hoffa has ever purchased:
Everyone on my x-mas list got a pair last year!
12:13 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
As soon as the brands you mention, Viking/Wolf/Sub Zero, are rated at the top of their class for quality and longevity, then I will be the first to buy them...or the Ford/Chrysler/GM cars. You can't accuse consumers of being hypocrites, when there are less expensive products that are made of higher quality. We can all point to the TV from 20 years ago, or the washer or dryer that was American made many years ago, and lasted a lifetime...but that's all anecdotal. Compare apples:apples. Are foreign cars still of a higher quality than union made cars? By ever objective measure, they are. Are consumers the idiots or hypocrites for buying better quality, or are the companies/workers that produce the higher priced/lower quality product to blame for trying to treat the consumer like a sucker? On the flip side, you are right, people can't complain that highly paid manufacturing jobs are no longer domestic...I will agree with you there.
12:18 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Hoffa Hits a Double: Sub-Zero/Wolf is all USA manufacturing and Wisconsin based too. Some of its products are manufactured in Wisconsin.
Buy those Wigwam socks and winter hats made in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
12:24 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@ Hoffa -- Randy is getting tired of being lectured about thrift by someone half his age when Randy has been living that same sort of abstemious lifestyle since 1972 give or take. My Jeep is 17 years old. I still own an RCA TV that I got in 1990, although it's been retired to guestroom duty because the sound and picture were failing.
You talk about foregoing luxuries as if you're the only one. My last vacation was in 1989. Not only do I walk the walk, I literally walk rather than drive if it's possible.
12:45 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Show me objectively that domestic union labor made vehicles are of an inferior quality to foreign non-union labor made vehicles. Fact of the matter is that it can't be done objectively as you claim, otherwise, every single auto publication would come up with the same list every year, but they don't, do they? Also, how well a car lasts depends upon how one drives it and maintains it. The fact of the matter is that Detroit's quality has always been on par with their foreign competitors. However, there are many people like you that are duped by the propaganda campaigns.
Ranked #1 in quality.
Boy, you're really striking out today, aren't you?
12:56 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Let's put it this way, JRH, American made sock are not easy to find at the KMart, to which I walk to purchase socks, underwear and blue jeans, because life has not been as generous to me as it has to Hoffa.
I can't save up for something. I've done my saving up, and now it's a matter of letting go of it as slowly as possible, because I don't know how long I'll live.
1:20 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
You know I like you and that I'm not trying to pick on you. I applaud your lifestyle choices, having embraced such myself. However, if you're as committed as you claim to be, then one has to wonder why you were complaining about the lack of American-made socks and refrigerators when they clearly exist.
1:28 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
You clearly have access to the internet. So, cut out the middle man retailers and order directly from these great American manufacturers - what's stopping you from doing that. The USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc man will then deliver your order directly to your door - it saves you the trip to the K-Mart! What could be better?
1:33 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
While I agree with you on most things...here's a rating showing the ratings of fridges for the popular bottom freezer-
Here is for the built ins
How about side by side: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/kitchen-appliances/refrigerators/side-side-refrigerator-ratings/ratings-overview.htm
How about for Sedans:
And gas ranges:
2:08 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Hey Hoffa, the space that one's 'Frigidaire' now resides would generally not accommodate a Sub-Zero, unless one was doing a complete kitchen redo. That goes for almost every range that one wants to replace with a Wolf or Viking too.
2:09 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
If Consumer Reports is the end all objective analysis, as you appear to be advocating, then how come UL, Forbes, JD Power, Motor Trend, Car and Driver, ConsumerRatings.com, C-net, etc all come up with different lists of who's number 1 for quality, despite also claiming to be wholly objective? After all, an objective analysis would imply that that facts and variables are all the same, correct? So how are all of these ratings agencies coming to different conclusions then? After all, objective facts don't change, do they?
Like I said before, there is no way to objectively analyze the quality situation of a product's usability and longevity because once a product falls into the hands of a consumer, how the consumer uses, treats, and maintains that product is variable and wholly dependent and none of those analysis's provided by Consumer Reports, or anyone else for that matter, properly accounts for this, do they?
I've only ever owned North American union labor built autos, as has most of my family. My '77 Cordoba is still running like a top. In fact, none of my family has ever complained about having quality issues with their cars over the last 30 years. Are you trying to tell me that we're just lucky and represent the exception as opposed to the norm? Meanwhile, I've had friends that have had nothing but trouble with Hondas, Mitsubishis, and Toyotas.
The only constant variable that my experience has led me to conclude is that those that use their products as intended and maintained them properly saw good service from such products, while those who beat the crap out of or neglect their stuff tend to have the problems and/or had to replace them fairly quickly.
The way Hoffa drives, he gets 100k miles + out of a set of semi-metallic brake pads.
2:35 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Jay Sykes -
As of 2011, GE still built some standard sized units in Louisville and Indiana. Frigidaire, although now owned by Swedish conglomerate Electrolux, still has plants producing frigs in Ohio. The point is, usually an option is available if you just search for it and insist upon it when opening your wallet!
And both Viking and Wolf offer ranges in the standard sizes of 24 inch, 30 inch, 36 inch, 48 inch, 60 inch.
So, I'm not really sure as to the point you're trying to make here.
8:12 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Hoffa, I understand the point you were making...about not complaining about jobs moving off shore if you personally don't buy American made goods. My point is that manufacturers have also let consumers down by charging a premium yet not delivering a premium product that justifies the price. So while the consumer choice helped drive jobs off shore, manufacturers have driven consumers to over seas product.
You know as well as anyone, that jdpowers does not do objective testing, nor does the other sources you list. Objective tests should come back the same...IF the tests are identical. Besides, I looked up jdpiwees for sedans...and they rank foreign sedans higher than domestic...just saying'.
You cannot link to an industry website, and use that as a fact that a certain brand is number 1' when that industry makes money off of marking up that product.
You state that since you have chosen to overpay for a product, you have not taken a vacation. Well, I just remodeled my kitchen, and the money we saved on going with the highly ratedSamsung dishwasher, stove, range, and fridge, over the pricier Viking and Sub-Zero (with no higher performance I might add) allowed us to hire a local firm to design and re- build our patio...thus helping to drive domestic payroll:)
11:23 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
And I fully understand your John Stossel-esque position on trade. Personally, when it comes to trade, I'm more of a Michael Savage kind a guy myself. But in all reality, the truth of the matter is that the quality differential in comparisons of like kind products between domestic and foreign produced goods is negligible at best and is only of any real importance to snobby elitists, and I believe that you realize this to be true.
As I originally stated, I have no trouble with free trade so long as everyone is playing by the same set of rules. The Koreans aren't the worst players in the game, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. The problem I have with free trade in an unfair global economy is that it will always inevitably lead to the exploitation of labor, the environment, and governments. A company that is able to realize the lower costs of doing business in other countries will always be able to create a superior product at a lower consumable price because they'll be able to re-invest more money into product development while maintaining their profit margins.
11:24 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
In order for an American firm to compete or keep on par with innovation, it eats into their profit margin, thus encouraging off-shoring. And quite frankly, I don't blame companies for off-shoring their operations. But I do blame the government for allowing it to happen and the consumers of this country for enabling it while being hypocritical on the matter.
We are Americans. We take pride in pushing our will, our values, and our culture onto the rest of the world. So, instead of racing to the bottom to compete with other trading nations that don't play by our standards - fair labor, responsible to the environment, doesn't exploit governments - why don't we instead force the rest of the world to comply with our standards? As the largest consumer of end products, we have the power to force those kinds of changes. We control a majority of the demand for finished goods. A Fair Trade Alliance with the EuroZone and other fair players would help to accomplish this. But instead of pursing this, many have chosen the opposite approach as we continue to slowly lose our control on demand - why???
11:25 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I feel like we've lost our sense of what it means to be American. I never served in our armed forces, but my father, and both maternal and paternal grand fathers, and great grand fathers did. So, while I may prioritize patriotism over other considerations in my consumerism, I see it as being something positive that I can do for my country. Landscaping projects and low-paying service sector jobs aren't what created our strong and large middle class - sustainable heavy industry did. And our population is far too large to think that we could even start to maintain our strong middle class without heavy industry as being the primary support.
10:44 pm on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Lyle, who drives that growth model? It's investor demand...basically individuals who demand short term growth. You can't say the nebulous " Madison ave." or corporations...because those are all driven by the individual, or the proxy of individuals who open up their IRA statements, or pension statements and demand a double digit growth rate each and every year, damn the long term consequences of short sighted planning.
9:55 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Chris...Who drives the growth model? The answer is simple, consumer demand! The purpose of "Madison Avenue" is to create demand whether the consumer needs the product of not. The success is measured in indiscriminate consumption for products based on want and desire; not necessarily need based. As investors, you are gambling on the acceptance and sale of products or services offered in the market. For example, do we need cheap i-Phones, or more importantly do we even need i-Phones? Sales are created by convincing the consumer that they need i-Phones and then to continue growth pricing must come down to reach deeper market penetration. It is not the investor that drives the market but the consumer demand. Marketing is always trying to "rig the game". Once the consumers have been sufficiently fleeced, then you hear "buyer beware".
10:11 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I don't know, Lyle, because I don't even have a cell phone much less an iPhone. What is it they do that makes them so desirable? I will say that I have seen the advantages of certain technological advances. A computer with internet capabilities is practically indispensable for running a business and as a source of information. The iPod I finally broke down and bought replaces several feet's worth of vinyl or CDs on a shelf, and my old sound system was dead anyway. Same with an e-reader. No trees died to bring me the latest Stephen King novel. These 'toys' are useful tools.
What would they cost if made in America? It's hard to say, because some of the savings on foreign labor simply go into extra profit margin.
10:20 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The condescension of the effete Mr Rube is nauseating...see folks, you rubes don't know any better than to buy iPhones because we are brainwashed into buying them. See we are too stupid to know that we are being 'fleeced', as the haughty Mr Rube sits on Patch all day commenting on how smart he is.
Hey Rube, a simple examination of your life is in order before you glance down your nose at us hoi polloi using our iPhones.
11:20 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Randy....You and I are old enough to remember the world before the digital age. Did we do business-yes, did we communicate-yes, did we have a means to get us from point A to point B-yes; much of what we desire is not based in need. Is it more convenient - obviously. For someone who spent months in the library in the past do research for undergraduate and graduate degrees, I would hate to give up my computer with internet access because it makes research so much more efficient, but I could do the same work without it. I just think we need to keep things in the proper perspective.
11:25 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Alfred...LOL, you just too funny. Keep it up, you're great comic relief.
11:41 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Are you able to offer anything productive?
11:42 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I would say you are misquided on who drives the growth model. It's the investor who drives the growth model, not the consumer. Are they sometimes one in the same...of course they are. Could ipods be sold at a cheaper profit margin? Of course they could...but why aren't they? Individual investor, or their proxies, demand a certain rate of return, and that is on a quarterly basis. So what does that drive companies to do? Either raise prices, or reduce cost to drive the continued year over year gain in profit. I'm not naive enough to believe that advertising doesn't play a role, or isn't effective. But why do companies advertise...to increase market share, and bottom line, as demanded by the investor.
12:15 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Lyle -- As someone who typed letters on an old Royal manual model and kept books with an adding machine that spit out tape (and that was a luxury) I'm not going to agree that word processors and spreadsheets are frivolous. I'm sure I could sort cotton by hand rather than using Eli Whitney's gin, but there are things that definitely increase our productivity and make our lives better.
That said, I don't really need a phone that takes pictures and has my new best friend Siri to tell me if it's raining outside. I think 95% of the people who have these devices aren't using them at their full potential.
@Chris...Your business perspective is certainly deluded. Whenever I have set up companies I had to prove to the investors that their was a market need. ROI is an estimate at best. The greater the ROI means the greater the risk. People who demand certain ROIs causing management to cut corners, etc are creating conditions for disaster. One of the reasons why the Japanese ate our lunch in the 1980s was that they planned out as far as 25 years. They also made the capital investments to implement their plans. there is a reason why high growth industries don't last, they are opportunistic in function. Look at insurance companies, they project growth over much longer periods at sustainable rates where companies tied to high consumer demand products are limited to a much shorter window, much of it based on speculation. The IPO of facebook is a prime example of overestimating the ROI based on supposed demand. I'm sorry, I never did buy into supply side economics, especially if you take the longer view. Of course there are opportunity for all kinds of investors, but investors don't drive the economy, demand does.
Old entrepreneurial saying: "Find a need and fill it. If a need doesn't exist, create it."
1:02 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Here's a comparison on the iPad. Model compared at the time cost $729.00.
Draw your own conclusions.
1:05 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Yes, but what's the profit margin? Note, the sale price was adjusted to maintain the same profit margin.
1:22 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The article mentions the profit margin and what it would be if they sold it at the current price. Do I need to find that for you as well, or can you go back and re-read it on your own?
1:35 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Ah yes, Lyle reminds us of the lesson learned from Costner's 'Field of Dreams' (1989) - "If you build it, [they] will come," (originally "he will come," but popularly misquoted).
1:46 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I actually prefer listening to vinyl over anything else. Hoffa has an extensive collection of hair metal / melodic rock / AOR on 33 1/3 LPs/EPs, and singles on 45s.
7:30 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Lyle, that is exactly my point. By investors to continually to expect/demand a high ROI, they cause companies to make very short sighted decisions. Wouldnt a CEO love to have the low pressure of delivering a 5% growth in stock price year over year? Investors demand more than that...and it doesn't matter the industry it seems...but it is fueled by the investor first and foremost.
8:13 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Chris...Now I get what you're saying and I apologize. I can see now that we were talking about a similar phenomena. I agree that investors demanding short term ROI has led to a weakening of quality and ethics in business management. I have personally experienced what you are referring to; resulting in a difference with the board that led to my resignation from the firm. Five years later they went bankrupt by draining all the profit and not investing in new product development.
9:25 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
No problem Lyle. I think the point is that all to often the individual is to blame, though it is often easier to blame the nebulous, or a straw man if you will.
8:41 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
David, the private sector is doing fine, stop scaring people and telling them lies about the economy.
@JRH You are right that we are our own worst enemies. We bemoan the loss of jobs to China, and then buy everything at Wal Mart.
We are not even very smart buyers anymore --- when Grandma bought furniture, she looked for quality because she was investing and not planning on replacing it anytime soon, if ever.
Now people buy pressed board covered by photo finish laminate or plastic that looks like real wood, but is not even close. But they buy it so cheaply that they just throw it out when it gets damaged or worn, the stuff grandma bought could be refinished a dozen times, made of real wood and quality workmanship.
12:04 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Hoffa still exercises his consumerism like grandma. Hell, I still have and use my Texas built and California assembled Curtis Mathes televisions! See above for even more examples. Can you honestly say the same? If not, then what gives you the right to complain about anything?
Before any of you complain here again, you should all look in the mirror and ask, do I exercise my consumerism like Hoffa? If not, then what justifies you to complain here on Patch?
Start walking the walk instead of constantly pointing the finger and blaming others. Start chastising your family members and neighbors for their poor consumerist habits. This is a philosophy and a mindset that needs to change, and that's how it starts. Make your co-worker feel like crap on daily basis for pulling up in a Honda instead of a Jeep or Buick until they change. But if you're not willing to do this, then please stop complaining and spreading your hypocrisy on the Patch!
That's all Hoffa asks - is that honestly too much?
9:40 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Jay You are right that someone can do better with their money than investing in Soc Sec. Except that Soc Sec is Not a Pension Plan. It is a Social Safety Net.
Not only retirees pull from Soc Sec, don't forget about the permanently disabled, and survivor benefits. It is not truly a "put in and get out" program.
It was the proverbial pig with lipstick on -- if the govt sold it as a Social Safety Net it had low probability of passing into law, so they dressed it up as a retirement plan. They also put the retirement age at 65 because the actuarial tables at the time put that as the normal Drop Dead Age !!!
The downside to private investment is that like a poker game, if you happen to cash out when you are flush, you are a winner -- but if everybody heads to home when you are down on your chips --- Loser !!
11:00 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@David -- Neither is any kind of insurance a 'put in and get out' program. Some people never have that auto accident or catastrophic illness, just as some people die young before collecting any SS benefits, while others become disabled and collect for a much longer time.
There's another reason for 65 as the retirement age -- they wanted to encourage people to stop working and free up the jobs for younger workers.
The SS program,FICA tax, is made-up of four distinct programs: Medicare, Old age, Survivors, and Disability. These products are all well understood individually on an actuarial basis, as each of these is widely available in the private market. The government knows exactly what each of these portions cost to run, but, like David said an an earlier comment 'they want to keep us confused'. They only break-out the Medicare portion on the paycheck. Last I remember seeing, Medicare is 2.9%, Old Age is 10.3%, Survivors & disability (together) are 2.1%.
A Social Safety Net sounds like 2 or 3% of my pay. Through the taking of 10.3% of my pay, by definition, it is a retirement fund. Any which way one wants to measure, it's a 'fund' with a pathetic return on investment, for a retirement fund or a social social safety net
11:52 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Of all the liberal talk regarding more business regulation and higher taxes in order to handle the increase government spending, employee benefits or 'greedy' profits, we actually have it playing out before our eyes and it looks bad for socialism.
12:51 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Excellent source JB - the FT is the most respected business / economic publication in the world!
12:32 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I agree with all the comments about avoiding the overconsumption road to hell from both right and left. If you do not like China, do not buy Chinese products. If you are a patriotic American, buy only American. If you are also a progressive, do not buy Koch Bros. consumer products (list available on request!).
1:12 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
And should conservatives avoid the union label? The Koch Bros. comment was about as stupid as they come.
1:17 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
So progressives advocate against buying Wisconsin union labor made products simply because they are a subsidiary of Koch Industries. How do you progressives justify that to the union workers employed by the Kochs? Koch Bros have operations in 37 states and have actually increased their domestic investment, while others like Obama's buddies over at GE, continue to outsource their operations. And yet, you still profess that the Kochs are somehow evil and Obama is righteous. Please! David Koch's primary mission in life is to cure cancer within his lifetime - yeah, he seems like a real bad guy all right!
Of Koch industries 67,000 total employees worldwide, 50,000 of those are located in the U.S.
In fact, the unions themselves have come out and said that the new contract with the Kochs is one of the fairest organized labor contracts currently in force in the US.
2:55 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Dirk Gutzmiller isn't known for being the sharpest knife in the drawer. Too many years on the goobermint teats.
3:39 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Avoid buying any label you want. It is the American economic freedom we all enjoy, and here right wingers calling you stupid if you do so. Must have touched a raw nerve. Believe in the freedom to buy or not to buy any product, do not let these detractors tell you that you are wrong for doing so.
Here is one list:
Koch Products & Companies Include:
- Angel Soft
- Angel Soft Ultra
- Brawny paper towels
- Dixie cups (& napkins & plates)
- Insulair cups
- Perfect Touch cups, paper products
- Quilted Northern
- Sparkle paper towels
- Vanity Fair napkins & paper towels
- Mardis Gras napkins
- Zee Napkins
- Georgia Pacific products
- Image Plus
3:52 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Thanks Dirk, now we all know what to buy, including Palermo's Frozen Pizza and Sprecher sodas!
3:53 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I never called you stupid Dirk. I said your comment was stupid, but I guess you are too stupid to know the difference.
3:54 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Dirk, you're going to need a bidet. At least have the intestinal fortitude to spring for one of Kohler's American made models.
4:03 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Kohler has given to repulicans too. Dirk may have some trouble with his quest, a lot of business owners have supported republican candidates and causes.
4:14 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@Greg - Thanks for your explanation of why you think someone that exercises his American freedom to choose his purchases is stupid. Your explanation was vacuous. And why is it that someone that LEAPS INSTANTLY to the defense of the Koch Bros. is not a paid corporate tool, and if yo are not paid, you really do have a sad view of what life is.
4:24 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
@JRH - For all those union employees of Koch Industries, as soon as the Bros. get the laws changed and the NLRB out of the way, may God have mercy on their souls.
There are labor laws currently that keep unions in place, in spite of the employers' desire to get rid of them all. . If you are going to try to convince anyone that the Koch Bros. are content with unions in their midst, good luck. You are trying to use the Koch union jobs as a form of extortion over progressive buyers. Those union jobs will be mostly gone in a few years if right to work, etc. takes over.
4:26 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I leaped to the defense of no one. I just pointed out that your concept was moronic and after reading your other comments, on the subject, I realized it is not just the concept that is at issue.
4:39 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Greg - Who is the monon? You certanly did take that Koch Bros. bait like a fat carp biting on stinky cheese. Man, you love them. And the rest of the Kochie monsters that leaped within seconds of reading my post. Corporations are people too, and maybe the marriage laws can be broadened for people like you.,
4:58 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I did not matter if it was Koch or any other business owner, your comment comes from a weak mind.
7:54 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Darn, The Anti-Alinsky was looking forward to buying new products to support the Koch Brothers. The Anti-Alinsky already buys most of the products on that list.
11:23 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Anti-Alinsky - You go out of your way to buy Koch Bros. products.? They do seem to concentrate on products for people like you: paper towels, dixie cups and plates, toilet paper, cheap paper napkins, Stainmaster carpet, etc.
10:03 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Gee Dick you are just so clever. Maybe Greg is right about you.
10:32 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012
3:46 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Thank you Dirk, I will now buy 3 and 5x more of these products than I usually purchase.
4:04 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Alfred - A juvenile reaction from a curmudgeonly troll.
8:39 pm on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Dirk - Know anyone who has died of cancer? Did you know the Koch's have provided $750M towards research? $750 Million. Not bad.
11:06 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Ima - Maybe I am wrong about the Koch Bros., maybe they do have some conscience. When I research the Kochs, high incidences of cancer are found around their plants and factories. Petrochemicals, plastics, paper bleaching, etc.
You should probably stop using those products and causing all this cancer.
11:51 am on Thursday, June 21, 2012
@Steve -- Stop using toilet paper? Good luck with that. The byproducts of paper pulping are toxic and will cause cancer unless steps are taken to keep the exposure to a minimum in the plants and not release them into the environment. But that costs money.
One of the Koch brothers had cancer himself, which accounts for the philanthropy.
12:03 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012
We could have fun making-up bumper stickers.
Your GM emissions have killed more people than my toilet paper.
TOILET PAPER KILLS
Cure Cancer, Don't Wipe
3:33 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012
Whomever you blame, brace yourselves for the day when we stop financing our debt at the present 1.8% rate and return to the historical average of 5.8%. That is the day when the public votes in a politician that is ready to "clean house."
Use your knowledge of history to decide what kind of politician that will be.
6:00 pm on Thursday, June 21, 2012
@Luke...What kind of politician do you want or expect?
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