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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Judge Rightly is Not Some Guys Name

Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011, at 8:07 PM

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I am about to make folks mad again. I know I will because I'm going to talk about the poor. I've had normally mild mannered types unwind when I talk about the poor.

The poor are a touchy subject aren't they? And yet, I am trying to be more "Sennnnsaative". I want to try and understand Liberals, and the way they think, so I can help them recover.

I know several young women, family members, relatives, friends, who, after high school, worked hard, and got their educations, then married, then had children. They did these things in that order, and today, have successful families and sucessful business lives.

Now here is my question for the Liberals. Again, I am just trying to understand the Liberal mind. If there are women who did not do what the successful ladies did to gain success, why should the responsible women be forced to pay for the irresponsible women?

Constantly we are told that we must not Judge. Liberals crack me up. They know that verse is in the Bible, so they throw it in the face of those who question the behavior of those who find themselves "poor". I will not take time to give a Bible lesson to those who do not beleive the Bible anyways. However, the Bible I read is replete with admonitions to judge rightly.

No doubt, there are young women, now poor because they spent their younger years in the back seat of cars rather than the classroom. They have had two or three or four or more children with different fathers, and now they need assistance to live. Successful women are told they must not Judge.

However, they are told they must pay.

And yet at the same time, those "poor" are certainly Judging the wealthy, aren't they?

Well, aren't they?

Are they not at this very moment judging folks who have money, and success? They are judging them, and judging them with contempt, hatred and vile.

So, let me get this right. The women who did the right things, and are now successful, have no right to call out the behavior of those they are forced to support. Really? Yet, those who live off the work of others, may freely judge those who support them?

You see, this is where you gotta be a bit wacky to be a Liberal.

Liberals talk about fairness all the time, yet seldom do anything that is fair.

Police will tell you that 70% of what they deal with every day comes from the abuse of alcohol. Well then, can it be assumed that 70% of poverty, or what we call poverty, can be traced to alcohol as well?

I also find it interesting that you cannot say no to the poor.

The responsible women seem to have no right to ask the irresponsible women to shape up, to get educated, to stop drinking, and stop having children out of wedlock. Instead, the ladies that did things the right way, are told to shut up and put up. Provide food, clothing, housing, medical, education. Provide it, and shut up. Are you heartless? Don't you care?

And yet again, in the Liberal world of alternate realities, we must always say "No!" to the successful and the wealthy.

They must be told 'No!'.

You have made enough money!

No, you cannot pass on your wealth to your children.

You can not feel good about your success, you must feel guilty, you must apologize to the poor for your success.

Right now there are 40+ million on food stamps. How many of these folks have big flat screen televisions?

Careful. I can feel your blood pressure building. I'm not being sennnnsaative again huh?

Is that an unreasonable question? Last Winter, in Georgia, a welfare mom, and her mother, and daughter, are complaining that they did not get any money to pay their heating bills for the Winter.

In Georgia.

A sappy reporter, anxious to show the misery of these three women in mean-spirited America, snaps a picture of them in their living room, with a huge four thousand dollar flat screen TV, X-Box and other electronic goodies, in the background. Oh, but we must not judge.

Listen Liberals. Listen up and learn something. You will not learn this in school, so I pass this truth on to you for free, no charge. Ready? Here goes - and pay attention, as raw unadulterated truth is about to be uttered.

You do not heap benefits upon folks engaging in destructive behavior. When you subsidize bad behavior, you get more of it.

You Libs need to read that again, and let it sink into the ashen crevices of your brain.

Irresponsibility is destructive behavior, is it not?

Yet the rich or successful, in the delusion that is the Liberal mind, must constantly be judged.

They are in fact judged to be greedy by the left. When success comes to those who work for success, they are most certainly judged, and worse than that, they are penalized, demonized and smeared for their success by those who demand their money.

Hey, it's a wacky world with Libs in charge.


Comments
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[Show in chronological order instead]

Grandmajo

Not trying to make a point, just providing information and food for thought.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Nov 2, 2011, at 10:33 AM

Geezer - we are off in the weeds.

If you want to continue to mock my life's work please feel free to do so at:

wmarsh@extex.net

I will send you 3 presentations and you can decide for yourself if hard work is the answer or just sitting around is the answer.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Nov 2, 2011, at 6:46 AM

Wallis

First of all I did not make the statement that Exxon was reporting their taxes wrong. I provided links to analysis of "how" Exxon was reporting their taxes - I prefer to let the readers decide if it was wrong or right.

Maybe you could add another point to your list of motivational key points that you use in your lectures at OU Business College on Entrepreneurship, right after the use of intimidation.

6. Misreprentation of someones comments to reach your objective.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Nov 2, 2011, at 6:31 AM

Grandmajo

Thanks for correcting my spelling.

It made me think more along the lines of Timothy McVeigh on steroids. These guys were planning to manufacture 10 pounds of Ricin and then spread it on roadways in four metropolitan areas where it would be picked up by passing automobiles and further spread.

Following is the affidavit by the FBI Agent which prompted the charges.

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sectio...

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Nov 2, 2011, at 5:54 AM

Geezer - You are the one that claimed Exxon was reporting their income tax wrong. I was just stating that if you were correct you should do something about it. The only way you could accuse me of intimidation is if you can't back up your claim. Otherwise, you are stating a fact and I am just applauding you and encouraging you to do something with this Earth shattering news that you just shared.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Nov 2, 2011, at 5:42 AM

Grandmajo

I thought the following article would be of interest to you because of your avitar.

"We have met the enemy and he is us"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45125741/ns/...

http://www.fbi.gov/atlanta/press-release...

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 10:47 PM

Wallis

Good idea Wallis.

Maybe you could add that to your list of motivational key points that you use in your lectures at OU Business College on Entrepreneurship, right after risk management.

5. When all else fails, use intimidation to reach your objective.

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 9:13 PM

Very nice wallis...very timely contribution.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 7:49 PM

Geezer - You need to call the SEC and bust Exxon. They are lying on their balance sheet and you just caught it.

You will be on TV with Olbermann as the whistleblower of the 21st century.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 7:29 PM

By Marybeth Hicks

> Call it an occupational hazard, but I can't look at the Occupy Wall Street protesters without thinking, "Who parented these people?"

> As a culture columnist, I've commented on the social and political ramifications of the "movement" -- now known as "OWS" -- whose fairyland agenda can be summarized by one of their placards: "Everything for everybody."

> Thanks to their pipe-dream platform, it's clear there are people with serious designs on "transformational" change in America who are using the protesters like bedsprings in a brothel.

> Yet it's not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but rather the fact that I'm the mother of four teens and young adults. There are some crucial life lessons that the protesters' moms clearly have not passed along.

> Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters' mothers should have taught their children but obviously didn't, so I will:

> * Life isn't fair. The concept of justice - that everyone should be treated fairly - is a worthy and worthwhile moral imperative on which our nation was founded. But justice and economic equality are not the same. Or, as Mick Jagger said, "You can't always get what you want."

> No matter how you try to "level the playing field," some people have better luck, skills, talents or connections that land them in better places. Some seem to have all the advantages in life but squander them, others play the modest hand they're dealt and make up the difference in hard work and perseverance, and some find jobs on Wall Street and eventually buy houses in the Hamptons. Is it fair? Stupid question.

> * Nothing is "free." Protesting with signs that seek "free" college degrees and "free" health care make you look like idiots, because colleges and hospitals don't operate on rainbows and sunshine. There is no magic money machine to tap for your meandering educational careers and "slow paths" to adulthood, and the 53 percent of taxpaying Americans owe you neither a degree nor an annual physical.

> While I'm pointing out this obvious fact, here are a few other things that are not free: overtime for police officers and municipal workers, trash hauling, repairs to fixtures and property, condoms, Band-Aids and the food that inexplicably appears on the tables in your makeshift protest kitchens. Real people with real dollars are underwriting your civic temper tantrum.

> * Your word is your bond. When you demonstrate to eliminate student loan debt, you are advocating precisely the lack of integrity you decry in others. Loans are made based on solemn promises to repay them. No one forces you to borrow money; you are free to choose educational pursuits that don't require loans, or to seek technical or vocational training that allows you to support yourself and your ongoing educational goals. Also, for the record, being a college student is not a state of victimization. It's a privilege that billions of young people around the globe would die for --- literally.

> * A protest is not a party. On Saturday in New York, while making a mad dash from my cab to the door of my hotel to avoid you, I saw what isn't evident in the newsreel footage of your demonstrations: Most of you are doing this only for attention and fun. Serious people in a sober pursuit of social and political change don't dance jigs down Sixth Avenue like attendees of a Renaissance festival. You look foolish, you smell gross, you are clearly high and you don't seem to realize that all around you are people who deem you irrelevant.

> * There are reasons you haven't found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks, gauged ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting. Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity isn't a virtue. Occupy reality: Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4 percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It's not them. It's you.

>

This pretty much mimics my thoughts that I posted a couple of weeks ago.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 7:26 PM

In the first months of this year, Exxon (XOM, Fortune 500) says it paid $3.1 billion in taxes in the United States -- more than even the $2.6 billion in profit it made selling oil and gas. To get to that number, the company includes the federal and state gasoline taxes that the company collects from drivers and passes on to government coffers. It also includes payroll taxes the company pays on behalf of its employees.

The problem here is that Exxon is counting as part of its tax burden a tax that it simply does not pay. The gas tax -- which is 18.4 cents per gallon, plus whatever individual states decide to levy -- is paid entirely by consumers. Unless Exxon wants us to believe that it is knocking 18.4 cents (or more) off of every gallon it sells, and turning that money over to the government, this number is absolute hokum. (Many economists also consider the employer side of the payroll tax as being paid by employees, in the form of lower wages, making Exxon's number even worse.)

The fact of the matter is that the government is spending billions each year to support an industry that clearly doesn't need it and that already takes advantage of the byzantine U.S. corporate tax code to lower its tax payment far below the rate that's on the books. Instead of accepting that the rationale for oil subsidies has vanished, Big Oil is concocting bizarre numbers to justify continuing taxpayer giveaways to a hugely profitable industry.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/05...

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 6:13 PM

Also keep in mind that big companies in the real world do not spend money "for the tax writeoff". Real companies in the real world are publically traded stocks. These stocks trade on Earnings. Therefore, they must keep expenses within industry norms because they are competeting against one another.

A foreign concept to our liberal friends on this board. People actually competing against each other and the consumer winning with lower prices and better products.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 5:28 PM

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=XOM+Inco...

Exxon paid a tax rate of 40%. Do the math if you are able.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 5:17 PM

That story doesn't contradict a thing I said. You need to read the entire story.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 5:14 PM

This is very interesting...seems to contradict what Wallis is claiming.

But an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process.

According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.

And for many small and midsize oil companies, the tax on capital investments is so low that it is more than eliminated by var-ious credits. These companies' returns on those investments are often higher after taxes than before.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/busine...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 11:49 AM

-A fossil fuel subsidy is any government action that lowers the cost of fossil fuel energy production, raises the price received by energy producers or lowers the price paid by energy consumers-.

The Cost of Production will stay the same whether you can deduct the expense or not. The Cost to drill a well will not change if you deduct expenses. The oil field workers will not get paid less if you cannot deduct your expenses.

The government action will not immediately raise the price of the oil and gas (over time the price will rise because companies will pay more taxes and have less capital to reinvest due to higher taxes but not even you would consider that a subsidy).

The price of oil and gas will not drop due to paying higher taxes (if anything the price will rise due to lower production but again that is not s subsidy).

Therefore, again, oil companines are not recieving subsidies.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 11:07 AM

Hopefully these articles will shed some light ont he topic, Geezer and Wallis:

As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Subsidies

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/busine...

Budget hawks: Does US need to give gas and oil companies $41 billion a year?

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/20...

Despite Rhetoric, Cutting Oil Subsidies Would Have Little Effect on Gas Prices

http://www.propublica.org/article/despit...

Good Question: Why Does Big Oil Get Taxpayer Subsidies?

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/05/12...

Oil Industry Subsidies $21 Billion - Ethanol Subsidies $60 Billion

http://reason.com/blog/2011/05/16/oil-in...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 10:59 AM

stefffanie

I knew it would just be a matter of time until you showed up.

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 8:50 AM

Wallis

Spoken like a true oil and gas man - good try.

A fossil fuel subsidy is any government action that lowers the cost of fossil fuel energy production, raises the price received by energy producers or lowers the price paid by energy consumers.

The following link provides access to an analysis (PDF Document) of all Energy Related Incentives dating back to 1950.

http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/doc...

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 7:59 AM

FYI all states do charge a revenue tax for oil and gas. It is called Severance Tax. The Severance tax for the State of Louisiana is 12%. Coupled with the 35% corp tax rate oil and gas producers are paying 47% tax rate for operations in Louisiana. Louisiana has a State Tax as well.

Texas has a 4.6% Severance tax rate and has no State Tax.

Food for thought. Lower tax rates = more revenue to the taxing agency.

OK Geezer - argue with the facts. No thought involved to recite what you are told to think.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 7:55 AM

FYI - Ethanol is not an oil company thing. It is a corn thing.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 6:41 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidy

This is a subsidy. Non of your examples apply.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 6:37 AM

Section 431, 432, 433, 434,435 and 436 are expenses deductions not subsidies. Section 437 and 438 haven't been applicable in about 7 years.

What you are calling a subsidy is in fact deducting expenses.

If you want to eliminate expense deductions then it is no longer an income tax but a revenue tax. Therefore call it a revenue tax.

No oil company gets paid for oil it does not sell. A subsidy is something for nothing. Please go back to pre- 2009 definitions for words.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 6:34 AM

Wallis

I can't for the life of me figure out why you think that the oil and gas industry does not receive subsidies. You can call me non-knowledgeable all you want but that is not going to change the facts.

The main reason the Presidents "American Jobs Act" was denied debate in Congress was because it contained elimination of Oil and Gas subsidies. These subsidies are clearly stated in the submittal to Congress. The following are included in Subtitle D -- Repeal Oil Subsidies, beginning on page 43 of the GPO document.

Section 431--Repeal of Deduction for Intangible Drilling and Development Costs in the Case of Oil and Gas Wells.

Section 432--Repeal of Deduction for Tertiary Injectants.

Section 433--Repeal of Percentage Depletion for Oil and Gas Wells.

Section 434--Section 199 Deduction Not Allowed With Respect to Oil, Natural Gas, or Primary Products Thereof.

Section 435--Repeal Oil and Gas Working Interest Exception to Passive Activity Rules.

Section 436--Uniform Seven-Year Amortization for Geological and Geophysical Expenditures.

Section 437--Repeal Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Credit.

Section 438--Repeal Marginal Well Production Credit.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC-112hdo...

The above is not even a complete list Wallis. Tax Payer net also completed a study of Oil and Gas subsidies and provided cost projections for 2011-2015 totaling $55 billon.

http://www.taxpayer.net/user_uploads/fil...

The Congressional Research Office also produced a report on this issue. See page 18 of the following report.

http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/R41769_20...

-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Oct 31, 2011, at 9:52 PM

Mickel,

You conveniently ignore the remainder of my sentence. It is probably better to represent someone's argument honestly.

You forgot to address that I wrote, "as a result of 8 years of utterly failed fiscal policies, tax-cuts during the waging of 2 wars, a ridiculous amount of bailouts, TARP, etc., ad nauseum."

Regarding alter-egos, I explained what happened. Whether you believe that or not is irrelevant.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 31, 2011, at 4:46 PM

Interesting you note 2008 as the "date of change" Benevolous - kind of synchronous with the Dems taking control of both houses in the Senate...Hmmmm?

Nice alter ego...maybe I was right on target with my earlier posts after all.

-- Posted by Mickel on Mon, Oct 31, 2011, at 4:05 PM

Benevolus, I will accept your explanation. I was wondering what happened to the Benevolus I used to correspond with.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Sat, Oct 29, 2011, at 9:38 AM

Please, allow me to give my sincerest apologies to the board. I failed to log out after my last post (Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 10:33 AM) and my bonehead roommate decide to begin posting under my name.

I hope you will regard the discourteous and mocking tone that ensued, and forgive my oversight. I can assure everyone that I will not let this happen again.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 8:04 PM

See...Wallis isn't a COMMUNIST like stefffanie cause he uses these !!!!!!! I love MERICA, jus like WALLIS!!! Cause LIBS er STUPID an we knows it.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 7:42 PM

Benevolus - Please stop being disrespectful to the United States of Amercia!!!!!!

You are proving that you hate Amercia but mocking it.

Go back to KOS.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 7:36 PM

Mike commits TREASON every time he takes a breath!!! The TRUE light is consertive!! How can these LIBS hate everything that is so good bout MERICA?! They just hate and hate. I hate em.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 7:04 PM

Funny how Benevolus showed up right when Mike started naming names on the KOS site. Ben was always on the verge of bear baiting in everything he/she wrote.

Not surprised by the inmature replys. Liberals do seem to behave like spoiled children most of the time.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 2:30 PM

Stefffanie is TOO liberal!! She doesn't use nuff of these !!!! an she dont captilze nuff LETTERS! She even siad she is a lie and lies are LIBS!! Filthy tresspassing LIBERAL ROBOT = Stefffanie!! Math dont lie cause math isn't LIBERAL. Literature and poems are LIBERAL, an everyone here is poety writing LIBERAL ROBOT.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 1:50 PM

I seen the LITE!!! OH yes, stefffanie, I seen IT! Filthy tresspassing LIBS. An its not jus Wall Street ther trespassin on..It's MERICA!! They dont blong here...yer ignerant an wrong if you think they do!

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 1:09 PM

Ya'll kinvinced me!

Liberals er STUPID! And also ther STUPID! They LIE! Prolly cause ther so STUPID! Why? Why do these filthy LIBS lie and hate business? Yer dumb an wrong if you dunno. It cause ther STUPID!

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 11:42 AM

Mickel,

"At least with Bush, there was a steady increase of growth."

Right up till 2008, then the bottom fell out as a result of 8 years of utterly failed fiscal policies, tax-cuts during the waging of 2 wars, a ridiculous amount of bailouts, TARP, etc., ad nauseum.

All Obama has done is extend Bush era fiscal policies. That's why you feel tumultuousness. Not viewing this from the perspective of liberal or a conservative frees a person from wearing rose colored glasses. Both admins have been awful.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 10:38 AM

Wallis,

"You think that people cannot achieve."

This is simply not true, and frankly, nothing I said above at all would indicate I believe this, which means you are playing make believe.

Agreeing to disagreeing is fine. But stop framing my arguments dishonestly.

My goal here is not to disrespect you, but rather to have a conversation. I have held up my end, and I expect the same of respected businessman and community member.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 10:33 AM

To the arguement that the system is rigged and unfair: I will give you the name Dan "Rudy" Ruettiger.

To the argument that government should have some stake in shoring up the lives of the down-trodden; I say hogwash.

Our government was never intended to be involved in that aspect of US citizens lives - and our country has wasted untold resources trying to cash the checks that some politicians mouth wrote. As I said before - welfare should have a sunset built into the benefits. People don't just voluntarily wean themselves off of a free-money ride.

Boomer - I can relate to you. I had an employee with child support garnishments; and I had to pay another employee for one full day a week just to ensure we were doing everything correctly to get the correct payments to the correct agency. That's almost a week a month in lost productivity to comply with nothing more than what is written on a piece of paper (regulations). Non-business owners can't relate.

Benevolous - thanks for reminding us about the generous loan program that Mr. Obama offered small business. The problem is: His economic policies are so unstable, (including his health-care) that there is absolutely no way most small business are going to go on the hook for more loans when they can't get a read on what will happen in just two years. At least with Bush, there was a steady increase of growth. You may be tired from the last 11 years of our leadership - I've only felt fatigued from the last 5. (coinciding when the Dems got control of the power and the money in Congress)

-- Posted by Mickel on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 9:05 AM

OK Ben. We are finished with our banter.

You think that people cannot achieve. I think they can. We have discussed this and we should just agree to disagree.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 5:45 AM

Benevolus - There are winners and losers. I never said there weren't. What I have always said is that we can all win if we:

1) Have a Goal.

2) Obtain the Knowledge and experience to achieve the goal.

3) Live within your means

4) Manage Risk.

I do lectures at the OU Business College on Entrepreneurship. You would be shocked and amazed how motivated young people are today. You seem to enjoy discussing the try nots. I see the can do's on a daily basis. Therefore, I think the glass is more than half full and I am fighting to get as many people as I can on the band wagon. In America, your goals can be realized if you have a plan and are prepared to work your lifetime to achieve your goal. It doesn't come overnight.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 5:38 AM

Yawn

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 12:43 AM

SWNebr Transplant

"We are told that globalization is good for everyone, if one believes that shouldn't our employees be benefitting as well?"

Huh?

"Find a new job maybe."

And if jobs don't exist in the first place? American companies have stopped production domestically, and shipped jobs overseas. Its been happening for a long time now.

"You seem to be assuming people are victims and have a negative outlook."

Some people are inherently disadvantaged, you agreed with me just a few posts above. "Victims" is your word.

And my outlook is great. I think that we live in extraordinary times. And I think that we have before us the opportunity to do some pretty amazing things and realize our full potential as a nation.

However, the last two presidential administrations have shown themselves entirely incapable of dealing with any of the great crises of our time--war, prosperity, education, recession, etc.

11 years of inept leadership has also tempered my optimism. I hope you can forgive this.

"On the one hand you say we need have better education than say China or India..."

No I didn't say that. You said that for me. I guess any two point can be incompatible if you make them up.

What I really said was that we need our students to be competitive. We need em in the race. I am not sure what to make of someone who disagrees that American students deserve the best education possible.

"The educated classes are not the producers in any country I'm aware of."

We are leaving the age in which dropping out of high school will still land a person a solid career as laborer. Not to say this doesn't still happen, but the instances are fewer and farther between. You can look at mean incomes between high school dropouts vs high school graduates vs college graduates if you need confirmation of this point. Education is the singularly most important issue of the day in my opinion.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 10:44 PM

"How can we as a society demand that people work, and then defend the production of our goods on foreign shores?

How do we demand that people get off welfare when the market collapses and companies begin layoffs by the hundreds of thousands?"

I have your answer, Benevolus!

You don't "demand" these things in a free country.

I cannot "demand" that anyone work; I cannot "demand" a job; I cannot "demand" that goods sold here be made here; I cannot "demand" that someone hire you; I cannot "demand" the economy to get up and run at my will.

Not if we are free!

But I should not be responsible for the irresponible, either, no matter who "demands" such nonsense.

The "command and control" economy, run by the government, like you want, was used in the USSR, Communist China, Cuba and now Venezuala. Every one of these attempts led to economic collapse.

Inherent in the demands you ask about is this. How can you "demand" that the government take my money to use for those who will not do for themselves? Am I free or not? If God gave me freedom of choice, whether to help the poor or not, why do you wish to take that freedom away? Why are you so full of demands on others?

God grant me the courage to change what I can, the serenity to accept what I cannot change, and (most importantly) the wisdom to know the difference.

I realize I cannot change your way of thinking, Benevolus. I accept that serenely. I will not bother you further with lucid thoughts, or attempt to correct your misunderstanding of the world in which we live.

You are on your own now, swept up in a sea of wishful thinking, safe in cult of liberals at work, and secure in your liberal circle of friends. You folks know without a doubt that you, the elites, are smarter, wiser, more caring, and better people, than the conservatives who pay for your liberal agenda, and who pay the taxes that employ you in the safety of your ivory towers.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 10:17 PM

Benevolus,

Sorry, I thought those were rhetorical questions.

To your first question: We are told that globalization is good for everyone, if one believes that shouldn't our employees be benefitting as well?

Second question: Find a new job maybe. Otherwise the answer is that there will never be a way off welfare. I suppose we could just vote, or incentivize people to get off welfare.

You seem to be assuming people are victims and have a negative outlook.

You also appear to be arguing two superficially incompatible points. On the one hand you say we need have better education than say China or India, yet on the other you say we need to produce domestically. The educated classes are not the producers in any country I'm aware of.

I would like you to flesh out how voting or regulating will create jobs. When business are incentivized, people complain that it isn't fair. Also what incentives do you offer, loans to Solyndra, or tax breaks to energy companies?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 9:43 PM

SWNebr Transplant,

"It seems to me that it encourages competition."

How so? I don't see it that way.

"You seem to be implying America is doomed as a success."

We aren't doomed, but we will not hold the head seat at the world table much longer without serious reconsideration of how we conduct education; how we treat poor people; how we think of the disadvantaged.

"How does your argument provide for equalizing the number of jobs with the number of applicants? By legislation?"

By voting, by regulating the market, by incentivizing businesses to produce domestically. I am not so naive as to believe unemployment will ever go away, but any nation that demands its citizens work, should expect that its citizenry would demand that the conditions for employment are ample, safe, and pay enough to support a decent life.

Now...your turn to answer my questions:

How can we as a society demand that people work, and then defend the production of our goods on foreign shores?

How do we demand that people get off welfare when the market collapses and companies begin layoffs by the hundreds of thousands?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 8:43 PM

Benevolus,

"In a phrase, the equitable diffusion of opportunities"

How does this eliminate the competition that results in winners and losers? It seems to me that it encourages competition.

Interesting that China and India succeed by using many of the same tactics that had previously made the United States successful. You seem to be implying America is doomed as a success.

"In the same way one demands equal rights for equal pay, the right to marry who they want, the right to not be discriminated against, etc"

I don't think your argument stands firm here. In your previous examples there are equal quantities involved. How does your argument provide for equalizing the number of jobs with the number of applicants? By legislation?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 8:30 PM

SWNebr Transplant,

In a phrase, the equitable diffusion of opportunities. Our society is no longer run on man power and labor, our country is now, more than ever, reliant on sophisticated science, technology, and machinery. Bill Gates teaches us this when he gives speeches about the importance of educating Americans to compete against Chinese and Indian students who are hired IN AMERICA because our students are not competent enough to be employed by our own companies.

In order to be productive in the present, and in the future, we need creative, competent, and highly literate Americans, and as many of them as we can get.

Two alarming facts:

1) In less than a decade, China will be the largest English speaking nation on Earth

2) India has more honor students than the US has students.

Competing against ourselves, creating classes of winners and losers, and ignorantly plodding down our current trajectory diminishes all of us.

"Also, how does one demand a job?"

In the same way one demands equal rights for equal pay, the right to marry who they want, the right to not be discriminated against, etc.

How can we as a society demand that people work, and then defend the production of our goods on foreign shores? How do we demand that people get off welfare when the market collapses and companies begin layoffs by the hundreds of thousands?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 8:11 PM

Benevolus,

What does your America inhere?

Also, how does one demand a job?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 7:15 PM

Wallis,

You wrote:

"You are arguing that without help from the Government people cannot make it."

No. I am arguing that SOME people need help. And that all Americans should have a safety net should they one day need it.

You wrote:

"People must earn the chance to keep a job because if you aren't willing to do that job to the best of your ability someone else is."

People must be enabled to work. You, Wallis cannot demand that someone go to work if nobody is hiring, or if all of our jobs have been shipped overseas. That is the height of foolishness! No Wallis, if society is to demand of its citizens that they contribute to the economic well-being of the nation, then people have the RESPONSIBILITY to demand that work is available to them. To use your words, "To say this is not true is ignorant."

You wrote:

"Therefore, if you wanted a trophy you worked harder because when you got that trophy it was special. And when you didn't get the trophy it was ok to be upset. The sting was called motivation."

Your America inheres that life is a competition. But in any competition there are winners and losers. So the US is the way you want it, you are a winner Wallis, and yet you have the audacity to whine and cry like a child about the losers?

You can't have your cake and eat it too, so I am told.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 5:03 PM

stefffanie

You appear to be one of those people that just can't accept that others may have a different opinion than yours. This is very common, but most people have learned it is not necessary to insult someone in an attempt to justify their opinion.

Why don't you just abide by the terms of service the Gazette has provided, like everyone else does?

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 4:53 PM

steffanie

If they go through the appropriations process and are successful, then there really isn't a problem as far I can see.

As for your last question, it probably has to do with the will of the people and who they voted in to represent them.

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 2:34 PM

stefffanie

Why don't they just give them a tax break through the normal process? If support is sufficient there should be no problem.

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 1:52 PM

Boomer62

I understand what you are saying, but the individuals tax money never makes it to the State Treasury where it is later appropriated and approved through a budget process which allows public input.

Regardless of who initiated the program all tax revenue should go through an appropriations process and be subject to public review.

Isn't it done that way in Nebraska?

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 1:29 PM

Look at MF Global stock. Jon Corzine is running that company. In Obama land he is a genius.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 12:53 PM

Geezer, the link shows something very interesting.

The liberals in Illinois recognize their biggest employers are overtaxed...so they are giving them a stealth tax break so the companies won't move to the south. They don't have to write checks to the companies or lower their tax rates. The employee is unaffected. Whoopeee!

Crony capitalism (via stealth) at its best.

We can look for more stuff like this from the loonie left. Coming to a state near you soon.

Remember who held out for special tax breaks for Nebraska before he would vote for ObamaCare?

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 11:26 AM

I admire steffanies passion; we all (both left and right) have it. I abhor her methods. There is absolutely no need for disrespect just because someone disagrees with your viewpoint. Calling others names only belittles yourself. Benevolus knows I disagree with many of his/her(?) views, but we can still have a respectful disagreement.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 10:13 AM

stefffanie

It must of went over you head - the link has to do with an Individuals State Tax Obligation and where it ends up.

If you can not be respectful to me, please keep your disgusting comments to yourself.

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 8:54 AM

Wallis

Is this what you consider working harder to get what you want?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2T7LszSS...

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 7:40 AM

Benevolus - You do not agree with me. You are arguing that the system is rigged and people cannot make it without help.

You are arguing that without help from the Government people cannot make it.

We could not be farther apart. People don't have the right to demand a job. People must earn the chance to keep a job because if you aren't willing to do that job to the best of your ability someone else is.

Benevolus - Your America may be one where every kid gets a trophy but in my world first place did. Therefore, if you wanted a trophy you worked harder because when you got that trophy it was special. And when you didn't get the trophy it was ok to be upset. The sting was called motivation.

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 6:19 AM

We agree Wallis.

The government does a reasonable job taking care of people with the various social programs we have instituted. Churches that help their communities are amazing resources as well. We can and should always make our government systems better though...less fraud, less over payments, etc. Our aim should not be to cease helping poor people, or to take funding from these social programs. That is the ultimate point here.

I think able-bodied people have the right to demand a job, the means to support themselves and a family, and equal access to the ladders of upward mobility in any great nation.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 8:44 PM

People have access to food. People have access to medical care. People have access to shelter. There are backstops by the government and churches and charities to address all of those areas.

In the end people must do for themselves. It has always been that way and it always will be that way.

For you and me to continue this discussion is useless and a waste of time.

You think that people are owed just because. I think that children and the elderly should be cared for. If you are able bodied you need to go to work.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 8:34 PM

SWNebr Transplant,

Very often the least motivated students with no parental support can be found in urban areas, and typically, in the poorest areas of our cities. Here you will find absentee parents, parents in prison, parents working two or three jobs, etc. However, there are amazing stories of success in inner-city schools, and I think we have to admit that in many cases, these students go home to less than ideal families, but attend a school that encourages them in ways that their parents cannot.

Here are some examples. I have tried to include a mix of academic research and anecdotal stories:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6...

http://www.jstor.org/pss/2295067

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story...

http://www.temple.edu/lss/htmlpublicatio...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story...

There are even examples of schools successfully instituting programs motivating PARENTS to motivate their children.

http://www.jstor.org/pss/1001715

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 8:14 PM

Wallis,

I can't speak for geezer, but I don't find you offensive at all. I just think that the world is far more complicated than you appear to think it is, and I know for a fact that there are enormous advantages and disadvantages in this country (and world) based on nothing more than who your parents happen to be.

We agree that hard work and motivation can overcome a lot of hardship, and in some cases, it can turn the disadvantages one faced into badges of courage and perseverance. But we have to acknowledge that for some the game is rigged, and for others, their condition is terrible, predictable, and worse of all, preventable.

In an economy of scarce resources, where people outstrip the food supply and basic accommodations for healthy living, it is understandable that men would fight for and deny to others food, water, shelter, access to the ladders of upward mobility, etc.

But today, when America abounds with excess in all imaginable things, for our government to deny vulnerable citizens, IN ANY WAY, access to food, clothes, health care, physical security, and/or the material goods necessary for living a comfortable life is sheer insanity.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 7:59 PM

Benevolus,

I have difficulty believing your argument that apparently a school can teach a child motivation. Everything I have experienced says the opposite. A motivated child succeeds in school, not the school succeeds in motivating the child. In the articles you read or people you know, how many successful students have you seen that were motivated by school and not supported at home?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 7:42 PM

OK Benevolus and Geezer I suppose your answer is the Government should give you something.

That hasn't and will not fly so you better move on. Otherwise, you will complain until you die a bitter person.

I will also not back off that in America working hard and having goals and holding yourself accountable is a way in which you should live your life.

I cannot believe that you two and Mike continue to argue with that. For a person like me It is impossible to comprehend quitting and expecting the Government to support me just because I was born in the United States.

Yet, that is what you folks want and you are actually trying to argue with me that you are right.

Sorry if I have offended you guys but I believe that a goal of everyone should be the best you can be. That doesn't mean you have to win - just give 100% effort. Now, some people fool themselves and claim that they have tried but they just couldn't make it. That may seem right but try again and again and again. Nothing is easy in life because if it was easy it wouldn't be special.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 7:17 PM

Oops, my memory failed me. I guess I should double check my Bible verses BEFORE I post. That should be Psalm 79:8. Dyslexia for cure hope find I they.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 6:18 PM

Doodle Bug,

I wouldn't want to give the impression that I do not think self-motivation important. Clearly, it is. However, I am persuaded by the argument that if a child is unmotivated for whatever reason, it is the responsibility of a good society to find a way demonstrate to that child the importance of motivation and work, rather than ignoring the child...offering nothing more than cliches like, "just pull yourself up by the bootstraps." Schools offer us a medium through which to instill values like self-motivation, but we are failing in too many cases to do just that.

Anyway, if a child finds himself in any condition by accident of birth, we cannot blame the child.

I particularly find this Bible passage helpful in constructing my thinking in this matter.

"Do not hold against us the sins of the fathers; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need." Psalm 78:9

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 6:14 PM

Benevolus, I am loathe to give any credence to any of steffanies comments due to her acidic replies. But I think she has offered the prime example of what education and self-motivation can still accomplish in America (and you have some idea of my opinion of our current educational system).

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 6:00 PM

SWNebr Transplant,

No problem, misinterpretations happens. Not a big deal. I hope you understand my argument more clearly now.

Regarding your list of questions, here is what I know for sure, history is full of examples of people rushing to fix complex problems quickly and without deliberation. I also know that too many people refuse to recognize that the game is rigged. So at least an early step in breaking the cycle of social reproduction might be getting people to acknowledge that it exists in the first place.

Beyond that, your thoughts are as good as mine, I am sure. I am inclined to argue that historically education has been a great equalizer, offering anyone from any background a chance at upward mobility. But I think that over time education has become a mechanism that facilitates social inequality, rather than uprooting it.

"Talk about slothful thinking."

Exactly my point. I am glad someone understands Steffanie's assessment of things.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 5:19 PM

Wallis

Your statement:

Please explain to me why you and all Liberals always have excuses why the American Dream does not work.

I guess it all depends on what is required to reach that objective Wallis.

It probably has something to do with a certain percentage of American Citizens who think their ideas and beliefs are beyond compromise or scrutiny -- that their beliefs alone should be reason enough to deny others an opportunity to achieve their goals, or even an opportunity to express their opinions without being ridiculed or being mocked. This is self evident in this blog.

A prime example of this ideology was contained in the link I provided for you concerning the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality editing the report on Sea Level Rise in Galveston Bay, by the Houston Advanced Research Center. To me, this is a clear example of political intervention of scientific data and subsequent conclusions reached by those analyzing that data. In other words, their scientific opinion didn't matter because it was not in line with the political beliefs and needs of Governor Perry.

They could have easily offered a counter argument to balance the paper if required, but failed to do so -- instead opting to censor references to the scientific conclusions.

Isn't that a one sided argument Wallis? Yet you wonder why some question if the American Dream still applies to them.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 4:04 PM

Touche, Steffanie.

I grew up without much in the way of things. But I had parents who taught me to work hard and to fear the Lord. All you really need, along with freedom of opportunity.

Speaking of work....gotta go. There are inherent advantages in working.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 3:49 PM

"My uncle smoked for fifty years and lived to be 85. Therefore, everyone can smoke and it clearly isn't harmful to your health."

Talk about slothful thinking.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 3:45 PM

Benevolus,

"I was referring to a conclusion made in senatorial meeting, which Geezer asked me to read. It wasn't my conclusion it was the conclusion of Mr. Kutz (if I remember correctly). I shouldn't think a guy of your intelligence could confuse that."

Apparently you have a higher opinion of my intelligence than I do. I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your comment, but in looking back over your entire post and the section that I copied from, I see no reference to it being Mr. Kutz's conclusion. Specifically when you said: "Here is what the main point was for me," I thought you shifted from an objective recitation of facts above to a subjctive conclusion which you drew. With my limited intelligence, I may have been less confused if you had said it was Mr. Kutz's opinion not yours.

On to social engineering,

You said: "And process repeats itself...and repeats itself...and repeats itself." While I agree this is the case, what do you think should be done about it? It is easy to point a finger and recognize a problem, it is much harder to identify a cause and solution. Is the solution to raise the level of the poor or reduce the level of the rich? Both? Neither?

If that is the way it has always been what is the way to stop it?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 3:44 PM

My uncle smoked for fifty years and lived to be 85. Therefore, everyone can smoke and it clearly isn't harmful to your health.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 3:39 PM

SWNebr Transplant,

When I wrote:

"Here is what the main point was for me from reading this, Geezer, it isn't fraud that we should be focused on."

I was referring to a conclusion made in senatorial meeting, which Geezer asked me to read. It wasn't my conclusion it was the conclusion of Mr. Kutz (if I remember correctly). I shouldn't think a guy of your intelligence could confuse that.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 3:00 PM

Inherent advantages exist within the system. Advantages that are distributed unequally to specific kinds of people.

For example, those children who come from middle class families (relative to those who come from poor families), are more likely to go to college, more likely to live longer healthier lives, are more likely to earn more money over their lifetime, and are thus more likely to participate in the American dream.

A child from an upper-class family is even more likely than a poor child or a middle class child to reap all the aforementioned benefits of life in America.

And process repeats itself...and repeats itself...and repeats itself. It's called social reproduction. But I will never buy the argument "it's always been that way, so that's how it has to be." That is "slothful" thinking.

A system that is SET UP to give advantages to certain people is inherently flawed. To quote Wallis, "if you disagree with that idea than [sic] you are wrong."

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 2:34 PM

Because Wallis, the American dream doesn't always work, and when it does work, it works better for some than others. You may be seeing this from the perspective of someone born in an older generation, but I can tell you, the landscape of what is possible in this country is has changed, and I suspect it has everything to do with America transitioning from a society that produces, to a society that consumes.

Put me in what every category helps you makes sense of the world. I promise you I do not care.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 1:19 PM

Benevolous - The way to address all of your concerns is to have a goal and work to achive that goal.

That is all.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 1:15 PM

Geezer as far as your non-knowledge of oil and gas the only "subsidy" that one could argue was for reduced royalties for offshore oil and gas leases when oil was less than $10 bbl. The government then canceled that program and collected the royalty ex post fact (under Bush).

Wallis Marsh

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 1:10 PM

Geezer and Benevolus - Please explain to me why you and all Liberals always have excuses why the American Dream does not work.

I get sick of the can't arguements. Only quitters quit and in America, even if you fail, you can try again and make it. The only way you guarentee failure is to not even try.

So I will add Geezer and Benevolus to the Mike column.

Keep complaining. The rest of us are trying hard everyday.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 1:02 PM

Benevolus,

I may have poorly paraphrased your argument but I don't think I misrepresented it.

"Here is what the main point was for me from reading this, Geezer, it isn't fraud that we should be focused on."

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 12:46 PM

Benevolus,

Does Dr. Leavitt also address families impact on education? I agree that the unitended consequences of policy is usually the cause of equally if not more significant issues down the road. I think there are other unintended consequences at play here. I believe that the best teacher in the world can't do much with a student that isn't ready or interested in learning.

Here are some other articles you can read if you desire.

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&...

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 12:39 PM

SWNebr Transplant,

Whew...you are a breath of fresh air. Thanks for responding.

The authors of Freakenomics and Super Freakenomics provide me with a partial response to your argument, the rest I will handle myself.

Levitt and Dubner argue for the existence of "the law of unintended consequences." They use, as an example, women's rights, and the declining ACT/SAT scores of pre-service US college students. They argue that an unintended consequence of widening the professional fields available to women to include law, business managment, engineering, etc., was that previously the best and brightest women gravitated toward education. In essence, they have found statistical evidence of "braindrain" over the last 30 years where our teachers are concerned.

The problem, of course, isn't that women's rights somehow ruined education. The problem is that the field of education, given a choice, is not attrative to our best and brightest students.

Home life plays a role, to be sure, and it is important. I would never argue that the solutions to education are uni-facted either. In fact, I think a good deal of school reform should take place outside of the school (hence, my support of welfare). But research from the schools of economics from Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, and Chicago, as well as countless colleges of education and sociology, have demonstrated beyond reproach that the single most important factor in student achievment is teacher quality.

I went ahead and Googled it for you. You can read for yourself.

http://www.google.com/webhp#hl=en&sugexp...

Regarding my argument about SS Disability and fraudlent claims, you are misrepresenting my argument.

I said that the "QUESTION IS would we spend more money investigating fraudulent claims than we would gain by stopping fraudulent claims."

Folks were complaining about money and cost to taxpayers, and if money is really the issue, then the right and wrong of fraud is secondary to the cost if it is true that catching fraud is more expensive than fraud itself. However, if the right and wrong of fraud is the primary concern, then money has to become a secondary issue, and we must increase rather than decrease the money allocated to SS. That was my argument.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 12:18 PM

Benevolus, you are confused about freedom.

Freedom to succeed automatically entails the freedom to fail. It cannot be otherwise. You lament poverty existing next to great wealth, but I see that as natural. It's not wrong, it's just inevitable.

What you and others want is guaranteed success. But it doesn't work that way; it never has.

That's why EVERY society has always had poor as well as rich. You want equality for everyone, but surely, even you, will recognize that we are all different in ability, desire, dedication, work-ethic, perseverance, and courage. How then, can there be equal outcomes? It's just not possible. That's why it has never existed anywhere.

Why you continually wish for the impossible is beyond rational thought. I cannot comprehend such bankrupt idealogy as you advocate.

Sorry you have stopped reading my posts. I assume I was correct that you work for the government, and in education since you did not refute either assumption. College professor would be a good guess, based on how you write, what you write, and what you believe.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 10:48 AM

Benevolus,

I think you are looking at the symptoms and misdiagnosing the illness.

"Regarding education. I agree that parents are important and necessary figures, no argument there. But from a policy perspective, its hard to demand that a single mother working two jobs and raising three kids has to be there after school to make sure her kids are doing their homework.

It is much easier, policy-wise, to ensure that between the hours a child is in the care of a state run institution that the child is being taught by great teachers, administrators, coaches, etc. If we want motivated, smart, capable students, we do not want to get skimpy on our educators."

We've tried that policy for last 30 years or so and during that time our quality of education has continued to drop. The path to success starts early and at home. If you want smart, capable students, you need to not have a skimpy home life, not the way you portray it. It's much harder to address what I see as the real issues so we blame the schools and say they need to be "better". The solution is not uni-faceted as many seem to suggest.

I think you exhibited this tendency earlier when you seemed to imply that because it would be hard to do something about flaws in the disability system, nothing should be done. In regards to the entitlements, I am a lot less concerned about people gaming the disability system than those that game welfare systems. Sometimes the issue isn't ease or cost but is doing the right thing.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 10:37 AM

stefffanie

I don't see where the article references tax credits.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 10:23 AM

Wallis,

Of everything you wrote above, I like these statements best, they brightened my morning:

"To say this is not true is ignorant."

"If you disagree with that idea than [sic] you are wrong."

You may be right about why millions come here (though many are granted asylum and many are refugees and thus are here for very different reasons than economic success). America offers opportunities that only a few other places on Earth can boast.

However, whatever you think the founding principles of America are, and why you believe they are attractive to immigrants, you gloss over (are ignorant of?) the enormous American contradiction where immigrants are concerned.

In fact, we have a society that manifests the most extraordinary contradictions:

We are mastering the forces of nature, curing the uncurable, solving the most sophisticated technological problems, yet our nation is continuously brought to its knees by our lack of control over the stock/bond/housing/etc markets.

Here, dire poverty walks hand in hand with the most extravagant living the world has ever known.

Here, an over abundance of goods and products of all kinds comes with privation, misery, and starvation.

Breakfastless children walk to school past bankrupt banks and corporations still operating in the black and offering their CEO's multimillion dollar pensions.

Strong and capable men and women wander the streets in search of employment by the millions, but all of America's production occurs overseas.

Economic parasitism, either within or without legality is so ubiquitous that the history of honest labor has decayed to the point where the wages paid to workers are too meager to allow them to buy back the goods they produce.

Consumption has replaced production as the American dream, and deliberate waste is revered as the highest economic wisdom. Why produce a carburetor that gets 100 miles to the gallon when that will bring ruination on oil tycoons?

But there is hope!

In our age, there are few civilizations fashioned in such short a time that are more humane, beautiful, or majestic than ours. So many of our early faults and moral hiccups (slavery, Jim Crow, women's rights, etc) are relegated to the status of relics of the past.

But if we are to place any credence, WHATSOEVER, in the validity of your principles above, they must enable us to address the current contradictions that confine and constrict American greatness.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 10:22 AM

Mickel, you're the man! And you are absolutely on target about the liberals/socialists punishing those who create businesses and jobs.

In my business I see it every day. People who have the courage to start a business are always astonished at the amount of money, effort and time they have to spend meeting the multitude of government regulations, taxes, and laws.

Just writing a paycheck involves Social Security tax withholding, federal income tax withholding, state income tax withholding, federal unemployment tax, state unemployment tax, 401(k) withholding, and medical insurance withholding. Even worse is if your new hire has garnishments against them.

Garnishments require you to know and understand complex withholding formulas that vary state to state. If they have more than one garnishment, or garnishment for child support, look out! If you don't withhold the correct amount, the court will punish the employer by making them pay up any shortfall from mistakes in computing the witholdings.

Then you get to compute and pay sales tax which involves keeping track of taxable sales, exempt sales, and partly exempt sales.

If you manufacture something, you may get to deal with excise taxes on top of all the rest.

Then the OSHA, EPA, and other regulators are lurking in the weeds, wanting to make a headline at your expense.

And there are so many people wanting to sue businesses to make a bunch, sometimes using a free gov't-provided attorney via LegalAid. Lots of times businesses settle out of court with them because that's cheaper than defending yourself even if you win.

If, after dealing with all these gov't requirements, the business actually makes money, then our progressive income tax will take up to 35% for federal income tax, 15.3% for self employment tax, and 7% typically for state income tax. You get to keep the rest, whoopee. But the socialists claim that's not enough!

They want it all. I know they claim to only want a "fair" portion, but their definition of "fair" is whatever the government "needs".

And people think businessmen relocating to China are "greedy". They're only sensible and rational.

Which is something liberals/socialists never are.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 10:19 AM

Wallis

Here is a complete breakdown Wallis and I believe it was put out by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt...

As far as your comment:

In America, anyone who has a dream, forms a plan and obtains the knowledge required to succeed can reach that goal.

I believe that to be true as long as everyone plays by the same rules of engagement. Unfortunately that is not always the case. As I hear from many bloggers on this post about the Crony Capitalism in regards to Solyndra. This happens on both sides of isle Wallis, even in Texas.

http://info.tpj.org/reports/pdf/PerryRGA...

Seems like George W. Bush was not the only Texan to edit a scientific report they didn't like. It appears that Governor Perry is following in his footsteps to some degree by editing the scientific report regarding the sea level rise in Galveston Bay.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/10/...

Richard A. Muller, renowned warming skeptic just recently participated in a historical temperature data study which has led to him changing his mind about Global Warming. Spend a few minutes of your valuable time and read what he has to say.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 9:13 AM

http://www.oilandgasjointventures.com/ta...

Geezer - This "Tax Credit" for enhanced fuels is for small companies. However, small companies cannot afford the $8.5 million per well it costs to drill for Shale oil.

Normal companies do not qualify - So please cite the subsidies that oil companies get.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 6:33 AM

Geezer - Please cite 1 subsidy oil companies get. The IDC "subsidy" people in the press cite is deducting expenses over a 5 year period. Last time I checked, deducting expenses was not a subsidy. I define a subsidy as getting something for nothing.

To everyone else - Business should fail if they are poorly run. The business cycle rewards prudent operators and punishes inexperience and recklessness. This last cycle (and continues) has tried to postpone that.

So if you want to blame Bush please do that. If you want to blame Obama please that also.

The key is the continued actions by the feds is only making this worse. The President continues to think that raising taxes and spending more (Tax and Spend) is some sort of solution. The real solution is a Pro-Business government that lets the private sector create jobs and stops this us vs. them attitude. In a strong economy a rising tide lifts all boats. Bankers and Wall Street Hedge fund Managers don't mean anything to people in Arizona or Michigan or Ohio or Florida. This useless infighting is an absolute waste of time. Tea Party Protestors and Occupy People have more time on their hands than I do because except for the weekend or an occasional hour or two I am to busy working my day job. I am sure most of you are in the same boat (or you should be).

At the same time, this infighting has gotten to me as well. The Democrats have ignored the economy and targeted business. They have adopted a Socialist agenda. To say this is not true is ignorant. Sam is a Capitalist and is fighting to save his (and my) way of life. Mike is a Socialist and was "offended" when a bunch of non-Socialist disagreed with him. I am not sure what the make up of the board is now BUT if you are a lefty Liberal or Socialist you are in the minority on this board and the rest of us will defend the founding principals of America.

Those principals are: In America, anyone who has a dream, forms a plan and obtains the knowledge required to succeed can reach that goal.

If you disagree with that idea than you are wrong. If you were right and Americans depended on Government to make it then you need to talk to the millions of people around the World that want to come to America. They want to come to America for the opportunity to succeed.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 6:27 AM

Mickel,

I am quite sure that you would be hard pressed to find anybody who wants to "punish those who exercise the initiative, take the risk and provide the jobs for others who merely want to occupy a position in said company?" Liberals included.

In an earlier point, I demonstrated that in the recent culture of big business bailouts (which certainly helped those businesses) created by the Bush/Obama administrations, only Obama directed money to small businesses ($15 billion for small business lending in March 2009).

If you recall the the technology boom in the 90's, Clinton's administration was pivotal in incentivizing risk-taking entrepreneurs to begin developing the technologies that have made the internet possible.

Regarding education. I agree that parents are important and necessary figures, no argument there. But from a policy perspective, its hard to demand that a single mother working two jobs and raising three kids has to be there after school to make sure her kids are doing their homework.

It is much easier, policy-wise, to ensure that between the hours a child is in the care of a state run institution that the child is being taught by great teachers, administrators, coaches, etc. If we want motivated, smart, capable students, we do not want to get skimpy on our educators.

As far as God in education is concerned, that is up to the parents, as it should be. The public school is a secular place.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 11:51 PM

steff - your ideology is killing me...redistribution! Here I thought I was scoring some points by recommending putting a hat on the mohawk....

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:06 PM

Benevolus - as the owner of six small businesses; (two of which I still own and operate) my comments were based on personal experience both in the matter of seizing opportunity and growing from the exercise of developing that opportunity.

It's fine if someone wants to get an education (or not) and work for someone else. My question is why do liberals want to punish those who exercise the initiative, take the risk and provide the jobs for others who merely want to occupy a position in said company?

My two present businesses: I saw a need, provided a means for accomodating people with services and goods who had the needs, employ people who are interested in doing the work (and doing a good job); collect the monies and distribute them to employees, material suppliers, transportation companies, advertisers, other creditors, and let's not forget the government. At the end of all of that - my pay is less than that of my employees for the time and effort that I expend (ratio wise). Why do I do it? Independence.

I'll concede the point to you on education - however, I believe that the education needed starts in the home. I also believe that the values needed to acquire this education stem from a relationship with God. I'm practically certain this will raise flags, hackles, etc. Yet I maintain my position. Treating people right is biblical, not secular.

PS - as I said before - my comment was expressing surprise about behavior from you I had not seen before.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:00 PM

Mickel,

Regarding entitlement, Ken Robinson argues that most post-WWII societies in the first world hold kids in school with a story: go to class, pay attention, work hard, graduate high school, go to college, and you will get a good job.

This story, according to Robinson, used to be true. Even more, it made sense to arrange schools so that the largest portion of high school graduates went to work in factories because America was a producer. It made sense that a smaller portion went to college to become managers, accountants, and bureaucrats. And it made sense that of those who went to college, an even smaller portion went into law, medicine, engineering, and an even smaller portion became college professors.

Robinson argues that our system of education is largely unchanged from its conception, but that the story we tell our kids about going to school is no longer true.

Jobs are shipped overseas. You need a highly technical college degree to get a good job. Bill Gates began investing heavily in US schools (charters and others) because he noticed exactly what you point out. American high school graduates and even college graduates are unemployable (to use your term). Gates created his foundation because he was tired of hiring Chinese and Indian employees, by his own admission.

Like Ken, I would argue that in a world that is becoming more, not less technologically advanced, and in a nation that over time (not suddenly) has shifted from a nation of producers to a nation of consumers, that education makes the nut. We need to re-envision what we are doing in schools if we wish to effect the changes you desire. Returning to a previous point, this requires that the best and brightest minds in the nation are standing in front of children in all of our classrooms.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 9:32 PM

I'm going to try to explain lending a lifestyle, I believe this means "One who is on welfare all there life", or cradle to grave, slamming out babys like a screendoor in a hurricane. I could be wrong, I didn't do any research as usual. Someone wrote about my other response, "off handed compliments aside, you are of course most welcome. Complaining and that other thing you write are fine, it's just that more people will listen if you are cool about it, and even more people will listen if you are cool about and you bother to do even a little research". Well! sorry dude or dudette, homie don't do research, don't have time , don't care, don't live on this blog like others. As far as cool, all I have to say to that is different strokes for different folks or different cools for different fools.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 9:31 PM

So Mickel,

You say will not involve yourself with the snarkiness, venom, or bullying of other posters when they aren't addressing you?

I wasn't, of course addressing you, or anything that you wrote when you replied to me? So why the double standard? Hypocrisy, perhaps?

You said yourself, I haven't been uncivil to you, and I do not wish to start now. But obviously what you just wrote is disingenuous.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 9:09 PM

g'majo...my advice to young people is to take every opportunity they get to improve their situation. I encourage them to give their employer 110%. Show up to work at least 15 minutes before start time, be ready to start at start time. Work until end time, and then take care of your personal needs. Learn every skill in your current position. Learn the job of the person next to you. Do these things and you can write your own ticket; as you will have made yourself practically indispensable. Unique personal expression may be awkward in some positions - IMO individuality is fine, but take out the nose (lip, eyebrow, cheek) ring if you're serving food. Put a long sleeve shirt over the tatoos if you are working in a professional office. Others come to mind, but you get my point. When you are employed, you represent your employer. One should reflect their employer appropriately.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 8:22 PM

Getting back to the subject matter - I was re-reading some of Sam's original post and it struck me that there has been a paradigm shift in society that seems to have "suddenly" popped up.

I'm speaking of many people (typically the younger set, but not uniquely so...) have this idea that they can get out of high school, vo-tech, or college and are entitled to the 3 bedroom split level, with a two car garage (filled with a hummer and a 2011 Camaro) all the toys and all the trimmings; without putting in their dues.

In my business - I run into people all the time (from a myriad of professions) who lament that they cannot find anybody who actually wants to work. The people who buckle down and get it done, typically will have the initiative to take some calculated risk and become their own boss; or will move on to bigger or better opportunities. No problem with someone improving their life circumstances - but sometimes I don't believe there is an unemployment problem as much as there is an unemployability problem. The flat statistics make a two dimensional point - but our problems run deeper than that.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 7:39 PM

Two final thoughts on that subject Benevolus - and then I'm fine with moving on...You say it's hypocritical that I don't say anything to the posters on the "right" while taking issue with those on the left.

The members of the "right" to which you take umbrage, don't bother me because they are not addressing me or my proposed subject matter as they are you. This could be because we tend to agree on basic principles. This could be because they are not leveling their comments towards me. Either way - I said I did not condone nor condemn them for who they are or for their opinions - which is far from hypocritical. If they are not addressing me, I feel no need for lengthy diatribe with them. I understand their point of view - and yes, I have at times offered correction where I thought it might be appropriate and proper. I do take issue with posters asserting opinion from the left because I disagree with them in large part. I don't believe in saving the whales while aborting the human babies. I don't believe in a socialist economic system. I believe global warming is political and economical and is far from sound science. These are just a few examples, and I have debated them at length on this very web-site.

One last thing - you seem to be just as fine with the snarkiness, venom and bullying conducted by those on the left, as you claim that I am tolerant of those on the right - as of yet I have not witnessed you taking fellow liberals to task. So I suppose you are eating out of the same pot from which you are dishing.

The genie is out of the bottle in that this is the internet - where one has to type their comments, review them for publication and then click on "submit" to publish them. There really is no excuse for callous exchanges; hence there is no need to apologize for them. Michael once called me stupid - my reaction was silence. I'm completely aware of my own faults and foibles and am 100% secure with who I am as a person. His comment, IMO, was incorrect and only served to properly shade his own abilities at discourse.

I don't recall ever having been uncivil to you - so I don't believe I need to appeal to you for the benefit of the doubt. You have not been uncivil to me either. My previous comment was merely angled to reflect my surprise at the tone of your comments to other posters.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 7:27 PM

stefffanie and Grandmajo

That was just an example for Boomer.

There is an office for Faith Based Initiatives and the President is a big supporter. President Bush in 2001 set aside $8 billion and that was just the start - 10 years and still running strong.

Speaking of big losses of Federal Funds we should probably talk about Haliburton or KBR - $30 to $60 billion dollars.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/30...

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 7:24 PM

Mickel,

The genie is out of the bottle? You mean that I am human, and react to stupidity as anyone else does? Sorry to have confused the issue.

I can assure you that I suffer fools no more gladly than you do, and that the venomous, snarky, and bullying comments above that emanate from right-wing posters are just as irritating to me as they are to everyone else. And these folks appear just as foolish to me as Michael does to us both. What is hypocritical is that you are perfectly fine with snarkiness, venom, and bullying, so long as it comes from the right, and is directed toward posters who are to the left of you.

Finally, where you wear your politics and emotions and religion are of no consequence to me. Nor is your opinion of who or what I am, or who or what anyone else is for that matter. All that is relevant in debate are facts, logic, and reason.

Stick to that, and civility will follow from there.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 6:34 PM

Benevolus - the other posters on this blog are who they are...they haven't wavered from being who they are, and I have yet to hear them apologize for who they are or for their opinion. I'm not saying that I condone nor condemn their remarks or their behavior - but they are consistent and I don't expect anything different. The same also applied to you - you were who you were until the snarky side showed up and now I see someone else. The Genie is out of the bottle, per se. Exactly how would that be hypocritical?

I wear my emotions, my politics and my religion on my sleeve. Everybody who knows me, knows exactly where I stand on any given subject. I don't suffer idiots very well, and I don't tolerate liars. I also despise people who think they are better than others simply because they may have a higher education, or a better vocabulary; or have more time to look up various subject matter on the internet.

You may not like me - to be honest, it's more important that my wife and kids like me - but that doesn't mean we can't be civil.

Ciao

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 6:07 PM

Boomer62

Don't get me wrong, I think that Faith Based Organizations have a place in providing assistance for those that need it - and yes, most funds are provided through donations.

However, many do receive Federal Funding for various reasons.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/121...

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 6:02 PM

^^^ That is "right-leaning posters that aren't completely insane"

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 5:34 PM

Doodle,

I have to admit, I do not read many of the posts from those who would rather flame than debate. For example, when Michael posted above I skipped it, for the same reason I skip Grandmajo and Stefffanie, and more recently Boomer...reading the thoughts of these posters, and trying to converse with them eventually becomes utterly pointless.

I notice you don't engage these posters much either. I think I am like you, at some point the noise becomes too loud and ridiculous.

I do like you, Brian, Geezer, and SWNebr Transplant. To be honest, you two are the only posters I have read that are not completely insane.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 5:32 PM

not upset, just frustrated. Michael first; bigdawg, wildhorse; there are others, but they have not posted on this thread yet. They generally respond in kind, which is fine, then complain about the very thing they are doing. Although we dont agree politically, I respect your and geezers research and presentation of facts. I still believe you can find research to validate any point of view, a prime example being the whole global warming debate. The earth is warming; that is measurable; the debate being on how much effect being caused by man.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 5:17 PM

Churches don't get welfare. They survive on voluntary contributions.

My "contributions" to the government are not voluntary, in spite of what Harry Reid has said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7mRSI8yW...

He's beyond goofy.

Behind every government edict, regulation, tax or law stands a government enforcer man with a gun to back it up. Never forget that.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 5:00 PM

Here it is again by the way. I accept your apologies.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychar...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 4:53 PM

Mickel,

If snarky outbursts, venom, and bullying are offensive to you, then your opinion of the posters above must be very poor then, right? You aren't a hypcrite are you? Or is it okay to be snarky, venomous, and bullying as long as my political perspective matches yours?

Doodle,

I am not sure that I read anything from left-leaning posters, let alone left-leaning posters being offensive. Admittedly, I have not read everyone's comments. For example, I stopped reading Stefffanie, Boomer62, and Grandmjo when they lost their arguments and began the attack.

So maybe I missed something. Who among the left leaning posters upset you?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 4:49 PM

Boomer62

Thanks for the reply, it is appreciated.

Just wanted to make sure we didn't leave any socialist organizations, forms of government, or occupations out of the discussion.

How about Churches - where do they fall in regards to socialism?

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 3:56 PM

Geezer, YES they are all socialism!!! Are today, were yesterday, and will be tomorrow.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 3:40 PM

just a little jab Benevolus. Michael was not right; he's about as far left as you can get. He was CORRECT about some posters though. I am going to assume that some of the "left" leaning posters have also offended you; much as some of steffanies posts have offended me.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 2:31 PM

Michael was absolutely right about some of these posters. I am beginning to see his point about "ya'll".

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 2:21 PM

So...your point is that America is a debtor nation; the debt is the largest in the world and is almost 100% of GDP.

Congratulations, you're one of those glass is half full people aren't you?

The point is: America has no room for the waste that has grown exponentially for years. Americans are sick of it - and they are sick of the excuses as to why we can't address it NOW. Some measures will involve sacrifice; but it's better to feel a sting now than to bleed out later.

Also, I must say, Benevolus; that my opinion of you has decreased dramatically following your snarky outbursts. I had always considered you a thoughtful opponent. Now I see you as venomous and bullying. I truly am sorry to say that - hoping it was merely a moment of weakness.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 12:58 PM

You want to find countries with the largest debt.

I will help you along with this also...

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 12:33 PM

Let me help actually, since I know very few of the posters above actually try to argue or research or read, etc...

Creditor nations have invested more resources in other countries than the rest of the world has invested in them. To determine if a country is a creditor nation, one must account for the the nation's overall debt balance when calculating the balance of payments.

Creditor nations can sometimes lose their status and become debtor nations. This happened to the United States in 1988 when its balance of payments turned negative.

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cred...

Nations that have invested fewer resources than the rest of the world has invested in them are known as debtor nations. In 2006, The United States was the world's biggest debtor nation, posting a trade deficit of more than $61 billion and total debt of trillions of dollars.

One of the biggest contributors to America's status as debtor is the availability of inexpensive manufacturing capabilities in China, as more and more U.S.-based businesses spend vast amounts of money in China for that purpose.

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/debt...

Duh.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 12:30 PM

Haha...you might want to look up the definition of creditor and debtor nations before posting nonsense.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 12:27 PM

The link doesn't work. What were you saying about an EPIC FAIL?

Here is something that works, that is demonstrative of my point. It's even interactive, so those of who do not like to read can have fun pointing and clicking ad looking at colors.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychar...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 11:27 AM

Demographers use an equation called the dependency ratio. It measures the amount of people between 0-14 and 65 and over as compared to those people aged 15-64. The equation is:

DR = ([pop.0-14]+ [pop. 65+])/(pop. 15-64)

Something we have to consider population change, seeing as how healthcare costs are and always have been most expensive for those under 14 and those over 65, and seeing as how SS begins around 65.

If the population of a nation is older (i.e., if there is a baby boom, but subsequently the net natural increase/net migration remain low), then as the baby boom generation ages there will not be enough people in the 15-64 range to support dependent citizens.

This is the major issue faced by most European nations, as well as the US. The US is lucky though because it has a very large Latino population and these women, according to PEW, are driving the population sustainability in the US.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:47 AM

Boomer62 and stefffanie

Just one question I would like you to answer.

Do you consider all of the subsidy programs for Agriculture, the Oil Industry, Railroads, State and Local Governments, etc., etc. to be socialism?

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:47 AM

The EU has nations that have huge social programs and they can afford it because we Americans help them. We help everyone. Rather, our leaders help everyone, with our money. You don't see the Kennedys, Rockefellers, Bloomberg, etc use their OWN money to fund such stuff. Oh, no, they use everyone else's money.

The EU is trying to solve the problems of too much debt by loaning the debtors more money! It's beyond ridiculous.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/25/news/int...

Social programs always start small and grow. They are similar to cancer. They are parasites that grow unabated until they kill the host. We are seeing the endgame of socialism now. We saw it in the old Soviet Union and China. They had to change.

Reality, coming to a country near you soon!

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:31 AM

Also, I wasn't arguing that the EU is doing well, I was arguing that the EU has examples of nations that have strong economies and cradle to grave healthcare. This fact complicates the EU (which is not a country by the way), as being representative what happens when social programs fail at the national scale. The reason it is complicated is because contained within the EU are examples that disprove the hypothesis that social programs cripple nations. This is just not true in all cases.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:25 AM

Benevolus, do you not know that the EU is asking for assistance from the IMF (International Monetary Fund for which the US provides over half the funding)?

Yeah, they're in great shape with our help. We have provided for their national defense since WWII at a tremendous cost. They used their funds for the socialistic programs you mentioned, while we paid for their defense against the Soviets. We paid to rebuild their infrastructure, as well, after WWII.

"The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money" Margaret Thatcher. In case you don't know, we're there. So are most of the other western democracies.

But for true-believer socialists, there are no limits. Limits only apply to non-believers.

Keep the faith, baby!

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:12 AM

Haha...look at the state of you two. No counter-arguments, just insults. Boomer and Stefff, I will take your lack of motivation to actually argue with facts as sloth, and I will take your anger and insults as envy.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:12 AM

I am going to take a guess here, Benevolus. You work for the government in some capacity. Probably in education. Teaching others how to think like yourself.

Your methodology reminds me of the so-called scientists in the 1600s who believed you could know how things worked without doing any physical research. If Aristotle said a 5 pound weight would fall 5 times as fast as a 1 pound weight that was proof enough. When Galileo dropped the weights from the Tower of Pizza they hit the ground at the same time. He also proved the Copernican theory of the planetary system, and these guys accused him of sorcery and wanted him executed! They wouldn't believe what they saw with their own eyes.

If you came home and caught your wife in bed with another man and she claimed they were rehearsing for a play the guy was writing, you'd believe her. You'd tell her to go ahead and finish up while you fixed dinner for everyone.

I know guys getting SS disability who mow lawns, cut firewood to sell, shade-tree mechanic, handyman, etc. Anything where you don't get a W-2 or a 1099 at the end of the year. They don't report it for income tax, and they sure don't tell the Social Security people! (HINT: they aren't really disabled).

Incredulous! Nothing to see here, nothing happening, keep moving, eyes to the front.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:01 AM

Two counterpoints:

The first is that welfare programs in the US date back to 1935 with the original passage of the Social Security Act. For the better part of 100 years the US has had welfare of some kind or another, and the only two times the US has been on the brink (the Great Depression and the Great Recession) welfare had absolutely nothing to do with it.

The problem with bringing the EU into the argument is that while you can point to Spain, Portugal, and Greece as being on the brink, I can just as easily point to Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, etc., all of which have stronger economies than the US (lower unemployment, higher per capita GDP, higher mean incomes), and all of which have cradle to grave health care, and all of which combined to bailout Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 9:54 AM

WTI (Crude Oil) went into backwardation yesterday for the first time since July 2008. This is very bullish for oil prices (going higher).

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 5:59 AM

Also, Mr. Kutz's AERO program shows promise in being able to track and flag fraud and waste in many programs. In addition, as the computational and data storage capacities of computers increase, these efforts will inherently become easier to run and more efficient. As a result, those who break the law and file fraudulent claims will eventually be required to pay the money back.

In the meantime, the program does far more good than it does to "lend a lifestyle" (whatever that means). So yes, if it costs more to the American public to find, track, investigate, litigate, recoup, and punish fraudulent claims (and it very well may, I don't know), there is NO smart reason to pursue that trajectory if the complaint is cost in the first place.

If the morality is what is irksome to you then raise revenues, fund an investigation unit for the SSA, and get after the slothful and envious. But quit complaining about the money.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 12:17 AM

Sloth and envy are not provable or quantifiable in any way. They are subjective, non-pragmatic, and entirely unhelpful in dealing with real world problems because the air is too charged around their usage. In a policy arena that needs more, not less, abstractions, sloth and envy only complicate an already complex landscape.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 12:00 AM

Some of us work AND go to school, like myself, and still find time to under-gird our opinions with facts.

Off-handed compliments aside, you are of course most welcome. Complaining and that other thing you write are fine, it's just that more people will listen if you are cool about it, and even more people will listen if you are cool about and you bother to do even a little research.

It's not "the answer" but in my experience it's a step in the right direction.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 10:26 PM

Some of us work, like myself and haven't much time for looking up facts, so when some of you do, its appreciated. It gives us all a better insight.Thank you. As for the bookkeeping and the Fraud, it comes as no surprise to me. Anytime I have delt with a bureaucracy, I have found the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Do I have the answer? No! I'm just a bitcher and a complainer.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 8:42 PM

Regarding the 62,000 CDL's...the GAO investigated those 20 cases not the SSA (I will leave it to you to familiarize yourself with these agencies). So why they picked 20 to investigate and not more you would have to ask them.

In any case, this fact ruins this argument, "The folks at social security don't want to know, and they don't care."

Moreover, Mr Kutz from the GAO, who found these numbers and presented them to the committee in question, also admitted that many states allow a person to renew their licenses without a test, and that the reporting may have been affected by that fact.

He proposed a system called the AERO system, which among other functions, would flag those people for investigation who were issued their CDL after they had been allowed disability.

Also bear in mind, the numbers of people gaming the system are miniscule. Remember, .03 of 1% are fraudulent claims. Though, I suspect you could cause that number to raise (to what I don't know) if more money was allocated to a SSA Special Investigations Unit.

The bigger question is, would we spend more money investigating fraudulent claims than we would gain by stopping fraudulent claims. It very well could be that stopping fraud costs more than fraud itself, considering how little of it there actually is.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 6:31 PM

Boomer62,

I encourage you to read the report for yourself. The question you raised was asked: why didn't they investigate more? One answer is that there is no funding for the Social Security Administration to conduct such investigations.

But you are 100% dead wrong about more people getting disability checks equating to raises and increased power coming to Social Security workers/book keepers. That is actually a very poor argument. The reverse, may be true, that with less waste and more accuracy there will be more budgetary money to pay workers. But I have never heard a single case of federal employees getting paid more for either increasing or decreasing waste. Decreases in waste that cause more revenue if almost always redirected to other causes (usually reducing the deficit).

I know you dislike supporting your arguments with facts, but here is another place where you could prove me wrong if you can show me the numbers. So far, my argument is fully intact because rhetoric, animosity, and zealotry, while fun to read, do not a counter-argument make.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 6:20 PM

So 62,000 people on disability got commercial drivers licenses AFTER going on disability (just in the 12 states they checked in). And our government investigated just 20 of them.

Benevolus, you are killing your own argument here! Why didn't they investigate more? The folks at social security don't want to know, and they don't care. The more people getting checks, the more power the bureaucrats have and the more they get paid. It's government as usual.

After all, it's not their money they're wasting, is it?

But you ignore what's right in front of you, to pursue the fantasy that all is well, Sgt. Shultz!

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 3:42 PM

Benevolus

Thanks for your reply, it is appreciated.

I thought along the same lines as you with one exception. I couldn't understand how so many individuals on disability had managed to obtain their CDL after being classified disabled. I suppose many were non-interstate drivers and not subject to physical exams which might help explain the numbers. Still, it makes me ponder how many legally disabled people may be operating commercial vehicles on public road systems.

I think the officials weighed in to determine if there was really a need to implement some system of cross checking different data bases to assure accountability of disability recipients. The samples I believe just represented about 12 states.

Thanks

-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 3:21 PM

Geezer,

Thanks for the research, in particular thanks for your willingness to go to straight to the source. It is no easy thing to sift through 198 pages of minutes from a senatorial committee meeting. I am glad to see someone takes their ability to argue/think seriously enough to hinge their thoughts on something other than whimsy, talking points, and/or faddish opinions.

You write: "please give us an idea on how they arrived at the data estimates and what you see those estimates representing."

From what I can understand the GAO estimates were the result of a statistical analysis of Social Security disability data. It appears that the statisticians at the GAO identified 24,500 potential candidates for fraudulent claims out of the 4.5 million persons who received disability checks.

They were able to identify 1,500 fraudulent claims, and the committee points out in the opening statement: "While 1,500 out of 4.5 million represents a small percentage--about 0.03 of 1 percent of the total--those 1,500 employees received disability benefits totaling $1.7 million per month."

This was point above. Very few people game the system detectably, and the cost, while offensive, is an equally small portion of the budget appropriated to SS Disability.

The second data set compared the disability rolls to a database of 600,000 persons holding a commercial driver's license, as well as another database, and identified 62,000 individuals who received their commercial driver's license after their disability start date. They chose/found (it was unclear which) 20 cases to investigate.

But as they point out, this was not a representative sample. Meaning, it was not randomly generated, rather, it was a purposefully selected sample. This means that these 20 cases cannot be generalized to larger populations.

Here is what the main point was for me from reading this, Geezer, it isn't fraud that we should be focused on. It is book keeping. It seems that errors in book keeping that result in over-payments and payments to people who are no longer disabled are the costliest and easily corrected portion of the budget.

But book keeping is not a case of poor people gaming the system. It is an error in the book keeping. As always, the reality is more complicated than the limited perspectives of ideologues.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 1:25 PM

It CAN be done. I have nothing against helping people who need a helping hand - but all assistance should be to lend a hand, not lend a lifestyle.

That says it all.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 5:46 AM

Dido's on that Keda...

-- Posted by orville on Sun, Oct 23, 2011, at 6:52 PM

Mickel wrote, It CAN be done. I have nothing against helping people who need a helping hand - but all assistance should be to lend a hand, not lend a lifestyle. Very well put! I hope there is not many who would disagree with this, after all a person would have to have a hardening of the heart to hate the poor.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Sun, Oct 23, 2011, at 6:47 PM

In a matter of three years you have gone from a high school drop-out pregnant Taco Bell worker here in Russellville to now "having had a job that allows me to know and interact with a lot of people receiving permanent disability payments from the taxpayers."

So stiffannie, you did all of this without a nickel of help from welfare or anybody else??

(yeah right)

-- Posted by Wildhorse on Sun, Oct 23, 2011, at 12:56 PM

There are different definitions to "poor". When I was 17, I had my own place, went to school full time, had a part time job, and paid my bills. I didn't have a lot, but my old jeep was paid for, and I generally had something to eat. I made less than 12k a year and you could have called me "poor", yet I would not have agreed with you.

I was in a position of transition and used opportunities to better myself.

I didn't want government assistance.

Fast forward to when I was a single dad. Again, things weren't always optimal, but I provided for myself and my son and didn't expect or want government assistance.

It CAN be done. I have nothing against helping people who need a helping hand - but all assistance should be to lend a hand, not lend a lifestyle.

-- Posted by Mickel on Sun, Oct 23, 2011, at 11:22 AM

after reading kedas post im sure poor people are dogs.

-- Posted by president obama on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 8:57 AM

poor people are dogs?

-- Posted by president obama on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 7:39 AM

stefffanie posted, My dad told me a long time ago "if you give someone something, they will take it"

Another adage is, feed a dog once and he will be by your front door everyday waiting for the next handout. And in my own words, whine until you feed him again, and then he will turn around and urinate and poop on your lawn. Does this sound familiar?

-- Posted by Keda46 on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 12:02 AM

what is worse, someone who commits fraud or the person who watches it happen and does nothing about it. cmon stuffany, put on your cape and be a superhero and go bust them.

it sounds to me like you have a government job

-- Posted by president obama on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 10:47 PM

Stefffanie

and it is time to start prosecuting the frauds at the least and ending the giving at the most.

Well said

-- Posted by Geezer on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 8:22 PM

Boomer62

I was just reading a report that I know you and some of the others would be interested in reading. It also deals with fraud primarily on the Social Security Disability side of the equation. The report discusses how use of multiply data sources are being incorporated in efforts to help decrease the loss of revenues due to intentional fraud. It contains sworn testimony by members of Congress expressing how they view this issue.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111shr...

This is a good one for you to look at Benny -- please give us an idea on how they arrived at the data estimates and what you see those estimates representing. I would be interested in your opinion.

Sam -- part of the report talks about the number of citizens that are obtaining a CDL license after being classified disabled. I am sure you would like to comment on this also.

Another link you might want to look at details the increase in indictments of big time healthcare fraud. The increase in Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions has increased by 85% over last year - 903 in the first eight months of 2011.

http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/258...

-- Posted by Geezer on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 6:14 PM

now you are getting interesting, really good discussion for several days then boom, snarky insulting exchanges.... just after mikey chimes in.

HMMMMMMMM?

Liberals...take from the rich give to the poor...

protest wall street on your mac book pro, after calling your bro on your iphone sipping your latte grande.

I have worked the same job for 3 decades,these wanabe anarchists sp? need to suck it up, get a job and pay off their loans, just like i did.

ahhh now i feel better... grins and glee

-- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 6:04 PM

Now for inspired writing at its best:

http://dailyreckoning.com/the-natural-co...

It touches on the Occupy protests.

Bill Bonner, by the way, predicted the housing debacle, nearly 10 years before it came. Did you know that the current debt owed on houses in Orlando, FL and Las Vegas, NV is more than the value of ALL homes in those two cities? Brought to you by Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer, Chris Dodd, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae. Only a government sponsored entity could make so many horrid loans!

And the taxpayers make the banks and GSEs all whole with the continuing bailouts, while the fools who borrowed the money walk away. Makes ya proud to be an American.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 4:22 PM

What causes poverty? Choices perhaps? People make choices every day of their lives. Some choices are good, and they prosper from them whether financially, emotionally, or even physically. Sometimes we make bad choices, and we suffer. Many times our children suffer greatly as well. Sometimes those bad choices last for generations.

All those bad choices are born of either greed or pride. Our human nature (sin) tells us we must have it all. The best cars, houses, vacations without having the means to pay for them. So we borrow. Sooner or later we must pay for for that greed. One job is not enough for the family to make ends meet, so otherwise nurturing spouse must now seek employment. Now the children's emotional needs are sacrificed to avoid bankruptcy.

It never stops there, we still want more and better. We buy what we cannot pay for, so we work longer and harder (slavery). Our children see this and accept this a normal human behavior. Soon their lives are swallowed up in greed and slavery to debt.

A death of a husband or a divorce can drive a single mother with children into poverty. Again, to make ends meet, she sacrifices the children for money. Pride keeps her from accepting help. Pride keeps the children from seeking help. A vicious cycle begins.

With every bad choice we make in our lives, there is always another choice to make. It is the one that leads to correct (righteousness) the bad choice. Again, it is human pride that often prevents us from even considering it. I see somewhere someone brought Jesus Christ into the discussion. What did He say about greed and pride? Get rid of them! He also says we are to take care of the poor, even before ourselves. Can we do that if we ourselves are slaves to debt?

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 4:21 PM

Dear Proud Liberal Mike:

We all knew you couldn't stay away.

We all knew that was a lie.

Some took bets in a pool as to when you would return.

Steffanie, I forgot who won that pool. I am glad you have done good things with your life, and with your mind. Mike hates it when people do well without government assistance; to him it's just wrong. Good for you; you rock, lady!

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 4:04 PM

Benevolus, here is an article from CBS news recently. It explains how easy it is to fraudulently claim disability, how little is done to prevent it, and how difficult it is to report it and get bureaucrats to do anything about it.

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/10...

The system "relies on the honesty of the applicant" (read that as "encourages people to lie"). And nobody checks. A great many claim back trouble, since that cannot be disproved. They all know which doctors will give them the papers needed to get disability. It's a huge business. Have you not seen the law firms advertising on TV every night, that specialize in getting you on disability?

How CAN you not know this stuff? Do you need to change your name to Incredulous?

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 3:58 PM

You mean anybody that justifies his/her stance based on what they consider to be facts? Is any dispute of your own logic reason enough to label someone else a liberal?

-- Posted by Geezer on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 1:46 PM

Stefffanie

I have not seen any post of Benevolus that would indicate he is a liberal other than he disputes your opinions and those of others.

Can't we all just provide an opinion without labels being attached?

-- Posted by Geezer on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 1:34 PM

I must congratulate you Stefffanie. In a matter of three years you have gone from a high school drop-out pregnant Taco Bell worker here in Russellville to now "having had a job that allows me to know and interact with a lot of people receiving permanent disability payments from the taxpayers."

Either you somehow in that three year period had a baby, got your GED, and got the collegiate experience to put in that position (which apparently was in the past) or you have yet again been caught in a lie in order to prove an unprovable fact that you made up.

When does the lying stop _______________ (please just insert whatever name you are going with now)?

Oh wait, I know, it doesn't. Much like Sam you are fully aware of the constant lies that you post to this website to excuse your hatred for people that don't believe the same way that you do.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 1:00 PM

Boomer62,

So far you haven't contradicted anything I have written. It does seem that the likes of you, stefffanie, Sam, etc., dislike the usage of "soft science" in universities, but don't mind using qualitative data, personal anecdotes, etc., when you are trying to prove a point. It seems that soft science trumps hard methodologies when it suits the whims of the posters above.

Anyway, your experiences are not generalizable. We do not know (though you could find out) the political affiliations of the Ways and Means Committee above. I suspect that like most committees, it is bipartisan and that the findings are legitimized by both Democrats and Republicans.

Like I said. Saying the world is a particular way because you FEEL it is may be interesting. But it isn't all that helpful in a discussion of facts.

Find me the numbers. Save your soft science explanations and stories for the Fiction Writing professors.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 12:54 PM

I love how you use the Bible, Sam, to justify your hate and hypocrisy but you admonish anyone using the Bible to point out your hate and hypocrisy.

Are you not just as bad as the people you admonish? If you solely use the Bible to allow yourself to pass judgement (right or wrong) are you not completely and utterly missing the point of the Bible?

I will continue to be amazed at how you can call one group of people protesting against the government patriotic and true Americans and call another group of people protesting the same government evil, deadbeats, and anti-American.

Kudos on your continued hypocrisy.

By the way:

"Police will tell you that 70% of what they deal with every day comes from the abuse of alcohol."

Care to back up this wonderful statement with any facts?

"Well then, can it be assumed that 70% of poverty, or what we call poverty, can be traced to alcohol as well?"

Wonderful job Sam. An assumption based on an unproven fact. I love your work with statistics. Make up a random percentage and then take that percentage and assign it to a group.

Why do you hate the poor so much? If you were a true follower of the Bible instead of simply using passages out of context to justify your hatred you would know that Jesus supported the poor. He didn't blindly hate the poor because he was told to do so as you have been.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 12:50 PM

Benevolus, a close friend used to work for a welfare office. She told me how you could tell if one of their "clients" was lying--their lips were moving!

If the lie is accepted and not disproved, there is no fraud. So there are only 2% who have been proved to be lying. That only means the administrators of the welfare system wish to increase their power and position, rather than decrease the number using the system. Motivations count. What is the motivation for those running the sysgem to cut off the undeserving, or even count them.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 11:18 AM

Benevolus, is your experience so limited to the members of the Liberal well-off elite, that you have never known of anyone who was entirely capable of working but was on disability? Have you ever visited the poor in public housing? Have you ever opened your eyes to what is actually happening in the lives of the poor, and how they arrived at that station?

You ignore what people did to become poor, you ignore why they remain poor, and you approve of rewarding them for it. Nolo problemo.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 11:04 AM

Sam, you hit it outa the park with this one!

You have summed up the problem with socialism.

Socialism sounds so fair and warm and fuzzy and nice and beautiful, but it plays out like a football team using a draw play every down for the whole game. By the end of the first quarter, the offense loses yards on every play, the smart players quit the team, and it starts to rain on the players who are too stubborn quit.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 10:57 AM

Boomer62

The good thing about statistics is they can be disputed and proven wrong. Unlike opinions. So, if you do not trust these numbers, then you should do the work to challenge them. Perhaps find statisitcs that contradict what the Ways and Means Committee found.

Becoming angry about numbers and then blindly criticizing them without foundatation is not more useful than just accepting numbers without thinking.

In other words, prove it wrong.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 10:56 AM

Benevolus, you are quoting government produced statistics. Do you really believe these are accurate? Would the government actually produce statistics showing they are wasting our money? Or would they massage and produce the numbers that show they are doing an excellent job with our tax dollars?

You are looking for five legs on a cat.

After all, statistics have given us global warming, class warfare, and extreme poverty in the richest nation on Earth. Just accept the stats, don't bother thinking, don't question their accuracy.

Secondly, Stefanie was talking about fraud by the disability recipients, not the poor generally. My experience is like hers--the system is full of people who could easily work.

Christ, Himself, told us the poor would be with us always. And, as always, He told the truth.

When you reward something with subsidies you get more of it. The truth of that can be seen by the rising number of poor people since Lyndon Johnson got the War on Poverty started.

When you punish something with taxes and penalties, you get less of it. The truth of that can be seen by the decline in rich people--apparently only 1% of us are rich. Did the rest move to China? Or India? Or Indonesia? Or did they just decide to quit working so hard since they were punished for it?

These days it pays to be a Victim. If you're rich just pay your taxes and shut up. Do not complain. Do not object. And above all, do not slam the door on your way out.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 10:50 AM

stefff said... How do you report a fraud when they have done everything the idiotic government has required them to do to get certified as disabled?

The answer is listed above for both federal and state reporting. Just because someone has managed to get ahead of the system for a while doesn't mean they get to stay there... Report to the proper reporting investigators.

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 10:06 AM

For example, I could make the opposite claim. My hands on research is working with poor people in Lincoln. I know these people on a personal level and I can say from my experiences that 98% of their claims are justifiable.

You see, this is why we need objectivity or "hard science" as you like to say. Your personal story is more qualitative, and is much "softer" than a statisitical analysis.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 10:06 AM

"I am not a trained statistician..."

That much is clear. You are, by your own admission ("I know these "statistics" on a personal level") presenting what is called anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence, while perhpas interesting, is not representative of or generalizable to large populations.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 10:01 AM

Your experience is different than mine stefff, but no matter... did you report the freeloaders?

Special Investigations UnitInvestigation of recipient fraud in Medicaid, energy assistance, Assistance to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD), Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF), Social Service Block Grants (Title XX) and the food stamp programs.

For investigation information:

Phone for Lincoln and greater Nebraska: (402) 471-9375 OR in Omaha:(402) 595-3789

Email:

Investigations.SIU@dhhs.ne.gov

Written complaints may be submitted in Lincoln to:

Cheryl Silva

DHHS Division of Public Health Investigations

1033 O Street, Suite 500

Lincoln, NE 68508

Written complaints may be submitted in Omaha to:

Janet Blackman

DHHS Division of Public Health Investigations 1215 S 42nd Street

Omaha, NE 68105

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 9:46 AM

By the way. You should report those fradulent claims that you know of. Do us all a favor. Here is the website...

http://www.socialsecurity-disability.org...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 9:42 AM

Please cite research when making unbelievable claims.

Most estimates put fradualent welfare claims at less than 2% of the welfare budget. Mathematically speaking, less than 2% is far under "well over half," by 48% to be precise. Read for yourself. Or persist in ignorance.

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/legacy/hum...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 9:40 AM

stefffanie I am curious...

You say that folks working 2 or 3 jobs, (the working poor as described above) have unabashed envy and sloth... how would you change that?

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 8:39 AM

Sam,

You certainly haven't made me mad. Poor arguments rarely upset me. Your opinion, predictable as it is, simply isn't persuasive. If you bothered to research your posts, you might do something other than preach to the choir. If the point here is to convince the two posters above that liberals are bad, you may as well write your "Done" piece as well.

For me, I like reading your stuff, but your opinions need more facts to persuade me. For example, even a little research would have taught you that the majority of the US poor have jobs, often two or more. Hence, "the working poor."

Now, we can agree that many folks game the welfare systems. And we can agree that this needs to end. However, a little research would have revealed that you pay FAR more tax money, going away, for bank bailouts, Wall Street scams, housing collapses, auto industry bailouts, etc.

Joe Moocher sitting on his couch collecting welfare checks and playing Call of Duty 4 is costing you a fraction of the Bush/Obama culture of bailing out businesses and banks.

Paying for the poor should be the least of your concerns at this point. While you worry about the smallest fractions of our nation's budget, the people you so admire, the "successful" are ringing up trillions of dollars in handouts/gubment welfare. All the poor people in US history combined can't boast that kind of price tag.

The successful are literally looting the US Treasury, and even China has to stand in line.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 7:37 AM


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