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By matt davies
Mar 18, 2012

Ryan Williams wrote:
For everyone else: "If you're not a liberal when you're young, you don't have a heart. If you're not a conservative when you're old, you don't have a brain."

And: "Compromise is the cornerstone of democracy."


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By Ball
From Oakridge, OR
Mar 18, 2012
Sam Perkins; Ground-up FA; named because it's big and smooth

David Sahalie wrote:
but the US is going bankrupt because of the the 1% of the 1% that don't want to pay any taxes.


You could rob every billionare in the US blind and it wouldn't come close to paying off the debt.


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By Ball
From Oakridge, OR
Mar 18, 2012
Sam Perkins; Ground-up FA; named because it's big and smooth

matt davies wrote:
"Spending on Social Security is projected to rise much less sharply, from less than 5 percent of GDP today to about 6 percent in 2030, and then to stabilize at roughly that level." -From the CBO 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook


Then you won't mind if I opt-out, then


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By matt davies
Mar 18, 2012

Ball wrote:
Then you won't mind if I opt-out, then

I'm curious as to what you think I would mind and what I wouldn't, based on quoting a neutral statistic from the CBO.


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By JPVallone
Mar 18, 2012

David Sahalie wrote:
but the US is going bankrupt because of the the 1% of the 1% that don't want to pay any taxes.


Haha, that's me, I started paying taxes in France, and it's saving me money and I get more from what I put in. Maybe I am the reason the system is messed up?

If your all pissed at the 1% of the 1% blame me, I take full responsibility.


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By Umph!
Mar 18, 2012

David Sahalie wrote:
. . . if the koch brothers and their ilk were 'job creators' in this country as fox likes to call them (not 60 countries), i could buy your argument. instead, they hoard their money because they know the chaos coming and want a yacht while the ship is sinking while the rest of us don't have a lifeboat.


Here ya go, David:

“As an American company, Koch Industries employs over 50,000 Americans. In total, the number of American jobs that indirectly supported Koch Industries is over 200,000. In Wisconsin, Koch Industries provides nearly 3,000 jobs directly and 11,000 jobs indirectly. More importantly, many of those jobs are good-paying union jobs. So why the hate?”

“. . .Kochs have given more than $600 million in pledged or donated money to arts, education, and medical research, including (but not limited to):
New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell: $15 million
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: $25 million
The Hospital for Special Surgery: $26 million
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: $30 million
Prostate Cancer Foundation: $41 million
Deerfield Academy: $68 million
Lincoln Center's NY State Theater: $100 million
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $139 million

Here we have civic-minded business leaders engaging in their right to participate in the political process -- and also donating large amounts of wealth to philanthropic causes."

Looks like they're job creators and big American philanthropists.

Why all the "Koch" hate?


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By Umph!
Mar 18, 2012

Ryan Williams wrote:
. . . but what socialist doctrine do you speak of? Obama hasn't really gotten anything done since he became president, certainly nothing that I would call socialist.


He (Obama) has made it very clear from the onset that he favors, and will strive for “redistribution of wealth”. His own words: “. . . when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

There are the well-known, highly public policies/acts: Obamacare, the bailing out of the auto industry and banks (of course I know Bush “started it”, but Obama expanded on it, and we aren’t talking about yesterday’s pile of crap, we’re talking about today’s), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
All the while attacking corporations (and Wall Street components) that don’t support Big Government visions and involvement.


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By matt davies
Mar 18, 2012

Umph! wrote:
He (Obama) has made it very clear from the onset that he favors, and will strive for “redistribution of wealth”. His own words: “. . . when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” There are the well-known, highly public policies/acts: Obamacare, the bailing out of the auto industry and banks (of course I know Bush “started it”, but Obama expanded on it, and we aren’t talking about yesterday’s pile of crap, we’re talking about today’s), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. All the while attacking corporations (and Wall Street components) that don’t support Big Government visions and involvement.

If Obama has had any practical influence on the redistribution of wealth, it is from the bottom up via bail outs and stimulus. I am not going to argue these were absolutely bad policies, but it f'ed up the natural ebb and flow of markets, which is the very justification for the supposed egalitarian and self-correcting nature of capitalism. In a way, he (and Bush) broke it and then said it didn't work. The justification was not doing anything would have been worse for everyone, we'll never know.
There needs to be some governmental enforced redistribution of wealth, in my opinion. We are in critical danger of accidentally creating an American aristocracy based on the influence of wealth, some might even say a Kleptocracy, which has amassed fortunes that almost guarantee inexhaustible political and social favor forever. The players at the top end of the financial system who are supposed to be the guardians of the free market rigged the system in their favor, and the govn't helped them, then didn't hold them to their supposed free-market values when the music stopped and it came time to pay the band. Every American taxpayer is now on the hook for what a very small cabal of crooks perpetrated on the economy. Then they gave themselves bonuses.
As a society, we are to blame as well. Free money is bullshit, but even "responsible" investors got talked into believing it existed in ridiculously complicated algorithms manipulated to show infinite wealth creation with no production of anything. Sure, I'll take 2!
I am definitely a small government, classical liberal, social Libertarian-leaning kind of guy, but I do believe one of the legitimate functions of government is to protect society from predators, especially economic ones. If the gov't isn't going to let markets work, it should also not allow those who profit from their dysfunction keep their ill-gotten-gains. Tax them, and if they want to relocate, ban their services in the USA, or prohibitively tariff their products. This is still the number one market in the world, where the most wealth is created. I don't believe for a second that a political will to hold corporations socially responsible to the system in which they operate is going to plunge us into the dark ages, or even make us non-competitive in the world market.
A little quote from my man TJ: "There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class. The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government?"


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By Jason N.
From Grand Junction
Mar 19, 2012
Indy pass

Umph! wrote:
He (Obama) has made it very clear from the onset that he favors, and will strive for “redistribution of wealth”. His own words: “. . . when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” There are the well-known, highly public policies/acts: Obamacare, the bailing out of the auto industry and banks (of course I know Bush “started it”, but Obama expanded on it, and we aren’t talking about yesterday’s pile of crap, we’re talking about today’s), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. All the while attacking corporations (and Wall Street components) that don’t support Big Government visions and involvement.


Sure, in that context it comes across as a fairly socialist position. But in the context of the way wealth distributions in the US has been moving for decades, I think it becomes more reasonable - wealth has been being redistributed by the "free market" for quite some time. What I don't understand is why the most wealthy don't see it as a problem? Huge disparity of incomes doesn't make for a very nice place to live, just look at the banana republics of the world. But perhaps I'm being too optimistic about the type of world most people would like to live in.


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By Ball
From Oakridge, OR
Mar 19, 2012
Sam Perkins; Ground-up FA; named because it's big and smooth

The role of government is to put us in our place so the people above the law can take it easy. They're doing a very good job


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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Mar 19, 2012
Wall Street, Moab, UT

Ball wrote:
Then you won't mind if I opt-out (of Social Security), then


I won't mind as long as I'm not paying taxes to support you if you run out of money from a bad private sector investment.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Mar 19, 2012
El Chorro

Jason N. wrote:
Sure, in that context it comes across as a fairly socialist position. But in the context of the way wealth distributions in the US has been moving for decades, I think it becomes more reasonable - wealth has been being redistributed by the "free market" for quite some time. What I don't understand is why the most wealthy don't see it as a problem? Huge disparity of incomes doesn't make for a very nice place to live, just look at the banana republics of the world. But perhaps I'm being too optimistic about the type of world most people would like to live in.


Ding Ding Ding!

The wealthiest of the wealthy don't even understand what it's like to live in the real world.

I don't know the statistics, but London has to be one of the most imbalanced cities in the world in regards to the distribution of wealth. The family that my wife works for quite literally can't get along normally in the world w/o a live in nanny, a cleaner, a cook and a Personal Assistant (my wife). When my wife is on vacation she gets calls from her boss asking about the simplest things.

I don't think that everyone should earn the same amount of money (and I'm quite happy with the existance of rich people), but when you see someone lose a watch that costs more than you and your wife's combined salaries and the go and buy another one the next day, you begin to wonder if this is the best possible system for all people.


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By Jason N.
From Grand Junction
Mar 19, 2012
Indy pass

Ryan Williams wrote:
Ding Ding Ding! The wealthiest of the wealthy don't even understand what it's like to live in the real world. I don't know the statistics, but London has to be one of the most imbalanced cities in the world in regards to the distribution of wealth. The family that my wife works for quite literally can't get along normally in the world w/o a live in nanny, a cleaner, a cook and a Personal Assistant (my wife). When my wife is on vacation she gets calls from her boss asking about the simplest things. I don't think that everyone should earn the same amount of money (and I'm quite happy with the existance of rich people), but when you see someone lose a watch that costs more than you and your wife's combined salaries and the go and buy another one the next day, you begin to wonder if this is the best possible system for all people.


+1


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By Umph!
Mar 19, 2012

I agree with some of what's been said.

I'm absolutely coming from a smaller government, and bigger "free market" position. Government is needed in many ways. . . but it also needs to be kept in check.
I don't support all of these bail outs. I don't support growing the Gov simply for greater oversight and financial control of the public (in all sectors). I don't believe in increasing taxes on big business, and pushing business out of America because of the governemnt/tax structure, and their ridiculous appetite.

The US just surpassed Japan (who was #1, and is now going in the other direction) in regards to corporate/business tax. Through experience, they've decided that higher taxes push business (and jobs/money) out; and in the long run, more "imports" become destructive to the economy/society.

Instead of raising taxes (on everyone), the Gov should be reducing its own footprint. . . and should start with the military (arguably our largst financial burden).
The amount of wasteful spending is absurd - I saw it in the active Army, afterwards as a contractor, and I read/hear about it now.
www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/06/military-spending

Instead, we increase the debt ceilings (via foreign involvement) and build the Gov to support new acts: Budget Control Act of 2011.

This system we are supporting now is killing us, and quickly; fully unsustainable. Throwing more money at it, and taxing it more, has proven to be ineffective (not just in the US, obviously).


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By matt davies
Mar 19, 2012

Umph! wrote:
I don't believe in increasing taxes on big business, and pushing business out of America because of the governemnt/tax structure, and their ridiculous appetite. .

I think the threat of business leaving the US to avoid higher taxes is a red herring to divert attention away from sloppy business practices and absurd executive compensation. The other red herring is job creation. Bring more outsourced jobs home, bring executive compensation back to 20 to 1 ratio (a la Galbraith), and then we talk about lowering your taxes.
I totally agree about the gov't using corporate greed as a justification to expand its own power, but there has to be a middle path, and corporations are raging out of control. The accepted business paradigm right now is corporations exist to make profit uber alles. I believe there needs to be a policy shift to bring the focus of corporations back to providing a product that is necessary and beneficial to society first, profits (a very close) second.


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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Mar 19, 2012

matt davies wrote:
I think the threat of business leaving the US to avoid higher taxes is a red herring to divert attention away from sloppy business practices and absurd executive compensation.


Businesses may not leave, instead they hold billions in taxable assets off shore. Would you rather have $5 billion taxable at a lower rate or $0?


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By matt davies
Mar 19, 2012

JoeP wrote:
Businesses may not leave, instead they hold billions in taxable assets off shore. Would you rather have $5 billion taxable at a lower rate or $0?

That's a false choice. Pass legislation mandating American corporations keep their holdings onshore.
Edit: There is this perception in the business world that the US is blessed and should count itself lucky that all these wonderful corporations choose to operate here. It's time to flip the script.


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By Colby Wayment
From Ogden, UT
Mar 19, 2012
Me on Teardrops on the City

David Sahalie wrote:
i never said people traveling don't make a carbon footprint, of course they do. what i did say is that rednecks blame obama... because they are stupid.


I know you never said people traveling don't make a carbon footprint. I was merely pointing out your self-righteous/hypocritical position.
-- rednecks blame Obama... because they are stupid.
-- you blame rednecks... because you are stupid.

David Sahalie wrote:
or, the US could try to consume less frickin oil! you don't need to drive a vehicle the size of an apartment in japan to commute to work.


case in point.


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By Umph!
Mar 19, 2012

matt davies wrote:
I think the threat of business leaving the US to avoid higher taxes is a red herring to divert attention away from sloppy business practices and absurd executive compensation. The other red herring is job creation. Bring more outsourced jobs home, bring executive compensation back to 20 to 1 ratio (a la Galbraith), and then we talk about lowering your taxes. .


Japan is changing their tactics, because it's a reality and not misleading rhetoric. They're (businesses) like you, a consumer - find the best deal to save money.

I like your idea, but I don't see that it will cut it in today's world economy where businesses can choose a location that fits them best. You can dangle the carrot in front of their noses, but they'll likely just step to the side and pick their own from the garden.


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By matt davies
Mar 19, 2012

Umph! wrote:
Japan is changing their tactics, because it's a reality and not misleading rhetoric. They're (businesses) like you, a consumer - find the best deal to save money. I like your idea, but I don't see that it will cut it in today's world economy where businesses can choose a location that fits them best. You can dangle the carrot in front of their noses, but they'll likely just step to the side and pick their own from the garden.

I see your point about business relocating to save money, but what I'm advocating is making relocating a losing proposition by excluding relocated businesses from participating in our market, which is still the largest in the world (although that may change soon). Fence the garden.
Edit: It may be that I'm overestimating the importance of the American market, or underestimating the will of the rest of the world to change corporate "ethics". Meaningful and lasting change would have to involve a global paradigm shift concerning business. The US should lead the way!


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