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Saturday, Sep. 20, 2014

Dealing With BDS (Battered Democrat Syndrome)

Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011, at 6:30 AM

(Photo)
I listened to President Obama last week in Kansas as he took to the political pulpit to preach the gospel of Socialism. This sermon I have heard before, from guys like Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro.

What really struck me was the manufactured crowd. They were all cheering for the President to lock them away in an economic prison.

They were begging for serfdom. This makes you wonder as to why Democrats demand that others control them. Why do Democrats so easily give up responsibility for their own lives?

They are suffering from Battered Democrat Syndrome.

After all, look at what the Democrat leaders think about the folks.

Barack proudly tells the Democrats in attendance, that he thinks they are incompetent and incapable of running their own lives. He doesn't come right out and say, "you folks are stupid", he just act likes it.

Hey Liberals, don't get mad at me, but look at the facts. It is your heroes that tell everyone that the average citizen can not get along with out government helping all along the way.

You are told that you can not educate yourselves without government help. Then they help you by getting you into tens of thousands of dollars in debt - to them, and then they hand you a degree that is useless in many cases.

You have been conditioned to think that you can not find a job, or buy a home, get health care, or even buy your own food, without government. Your Democrat leaders think you incapable of even deciding what light bulb to use.

They don't think you are capable of deciding what you should eat, so soon, they will control what you eat.

Soon, Liberals will have the schools serving three meals a day because they do not think you can feed your own children. Aren't you insulted when a bunch of snobby Democrat leaders think you are such a clown that you would have kids and not feed them?

Some Liberals don't even think you know how to wipe your own backside without instructions. Your Democrat leaders treat you true believers like you are a bunch of morons.

Again, don't get mad at me.

On the contrary, we Conservatives know that you folks are capable of living your life without the constant interference of government. We know you can run your own life better than some government worker can.

This has got to be rough on you poor Liberals. Wow! I actually feel for you, I do. It is sad to see the people you libs trust the most, do not trust you one damn bit.

Democrats! I want to tell you that you can escape the clutches of BDS. The path out is simple, not easy, but simple. Decide today that you, not Barack, not some government hack, but YOU, are now in control of your life.

Resist taking anything from government. Decide that you will not take food stamps, but that you will feed yourself. Take responsibility for feeding your own children and tell the government to shove it. You do not have to continue to be a victim of BDS.

I think you can do it. You don't need government. Don't listen to the oligarchy when they tell you that you need them to survive. You don't.

Decide that you'll make it through college without one single government loan. Sure, it is not easy, but you can do it. Don't buy the lie that you need to start your life off in deep debt to a bloated runaway government.

You don't need the government to buy a house either. Refuse to take any government backed loan of any kind. Trust the hard way and trust that with some pain, will come some gain.

I know it won't be easy to break away from your abusive party rulers. For decades now, they have been talking about how weak you are, how your life will be Hell if they don't come in and run it for you.

This is really political abuse. It is psychological battery and really a nasty thing to do to folks who support them and put them into office.

Once you break the chains of BDS, your eyes will be opened, and you'll see how you were battered into an almost zombie-like state in which you need the government to do everything for you.

Stop BDS today and good luck!


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

While I do not agree with most of the handouts, I am sure it is much better to work for the post office, quit and then go work with some illegals while spreading the good word of conservatism.

This reeks of irony.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 7:09 AM

Remember this when you hit the age you are eligible for SS and Medicare. Remember this when you think about the bank bailouts. Remember this when you see companies take advantage of near slave labor. Remember this when another country hates us because we have to find another reason to feed the rights war machine.

Lets face both sides think we are not capable of taking care of ourselves. Isn't that the reason government is needed? To control the masses.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 7:29 AM

"While I do not agree with most of the handouts"

A pretty broad and vague statement that leaves a lot of room for interpretation...does this mean that you believe the handouts are not enough? Are the handouts not diverse enough in terms of population, demographics, or other? Should more of the handouts be given to you?

"I am sure it is much better to work for the post office,"

What's wrong with being employed at the post office? Last I understood, it was an honorable profession, staffed with people who live in the community in which they work, who take a little pride about their work. Are there some problems with the PO? Sure, so let's get some management that can run the operation while steering it towards running in the black.

"quit and then go work with some illegals while spreading the good word of conservatism"

Haven't we heard from a myriad of progressives that there is nothing wrong with illegals? Why now the conflict? Don't illegals do the job that Americans won't do? Aren't illegals future Obama voters? And aren't the illegals, by working in this country - exercising conservatism? Aren't they showing some initiative, engaging in some rugged individualism, taking the risks, working hard, and seeing it pay off? Why now do you have a problem with their presence?

And exactly how is all this ironic?

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 7:44 AM

I admire your attempt to deflect for Sam, Mickela.

However you can go back and read Sams stances on such things.

Such as My Trip to The Dark Side or WTG Arizona.

And now he turns around to say that you should not accept anything from the government. I guess that doesn't include a wage.

I have no problems with illegals working jobs others are unwilling to do. Nor do I have any problems with anyone working at the post office.

Handouts need to be reduced and cut.

But then again we are talking about Sams opinion, not mine.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:16 AM

bberry, you missed the point entirely, probably on purpose.

You probably NEED your government to run your life, but a lot of us don't.

I have never had a student loan, received a food stamp, received an unemployment check, or received any sort of welfare of any kind.

I realize that's an unusual statement these days. But I really don't need government "help" in my life or the government interference in my life that always comes with such "help".

Sam is right. That's the road to serfdom.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:45 AM

"I have never had a student loan, received a food stamp, received an unemployment check, or received any sort of welfare of any kind."

Me either, but if that's me needing the government, then I guess we're in the same boat.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:47 AM

Oh and as far as missing the point:

"Resist taking anything from government. Decide that you will not take food stamps, but that you will feed yourself. Take responsibility for feeding your own children and tell the government to shove it. You do not have to continue to be a victim of BDS."

Again, I guess that doesn't include a wage.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:52 AM

bberry

"I admire your attempt to deflect for Sam, Mickela."

Resorting to mockery so early this morning, does this mean you have lost the argument with Mickel or have no fuel for your own argument?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:57 AM

SWNEbr,

No. Unlike you SWNebr, I gave something along with it to back my argument.

And yet you show up again with nothing of substance to add to the conversation.

Thanks for making my point.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:02 AM

To continue further, I will give credit to both Mickel and Boomer. At least they attempted to dispute my argument, and while we disagree and even throw in a poor jab here and there, they at least can debate the subject at hand.

I wish I could say the same for you SWNebr.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:11 AM

If you work for the government, yes, you should be reimbursed for your time. It would be immoral otherwise. Also, if you receive money from the government without working for it, it is every bit as immoral. It is different from a charity, which I do support fully, governments money is every body's money.

I see the Obama administration is taking a hard line stance on Iran and the downed drone. They're asking "please, can we have it back".

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:15 AM

If government money is everyone's money, how is receiving benefits immoral? After all it is their money right?

I do agree there is a difference, but so is working for them and then saying you should turn down everything from the government.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:18 AM

bbery,

Do you really wish that were so?

What argument did you make, your first post made no argument.

Here I will disagree: "Handouts need to be reduced and cut."

"Handouts" in my opinion need to be eliminated. There is a difference between a handout and a hand up, to use a trite cliche. When people need assistance and the government is planning to provide that assistance, there needs to be strict oversight over where that money goes and who is getting it. I also think there should conditions placed on all government assistance that encourage, strongly, people to work off of assistance.

For you to equate wages earned while working for the government with "handouts" indicates to me that you are either petty or stupid.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:20 AM

SWNebr,

I know that must have been hard for you.

The first response of mine was to point out the hypocrisy. You're right, there wasn't an argument to be had there.

As far as handouts, you believe they should stop funding social security, medicare, medicaid, student loans, tax credits, subsidies etc?

While I do not agree with this, I do believe TANF should have less funding and more restrictions.

It would seem to me it would be more feasible to run food stamps like they do WIC, and tell people what they can get with it. If they do not like it then they aren't that hungry. Whatever isn't spent should roll over to the next month and decrease the amount given to them.

As far as welfare/tanf, I believe that is on a 5 year limitation were people are required to begin working or supporting themselves. That may be a little off however.

I didn't equate handouts to receiving a wage. I pointed out the hypocrisy that Sam says you should receive nothing from the government. Well, a wage happens to be something, isn't it?

I appreciate the debate. I can keep this civil if you are also willing to.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:38 AM

And pocketing money given to a govt official by a lobbyist is ok. I think this is worse for our govt then helping those is need. I will agree their are plenty of people who abuse the system. At the same time their are people that do need alittle help to get through a rough patch. These programs need tweeked and worked on like many of the programs that are supported by the right. When will everyone wake up and realize this isn't a right or left problem? It is a total system failure.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:01 AM

I wasn't deflecting Sams comments, bberry - I was attempting to get clarification of yours.

I appreciate your response but am still wondering how the post "reeks of irony"?

Geezer has had some interesting posts pertaining to subsidies. I for one believe that there should be a gradual sunset on all subsidies and for the time allowed to collect monies in the form of unearned entitlements. Specifically, I believe that there should be assistance to people who find themselves in a bad situation; but that assistance should taper off and disappear in about five years.

There are some exceptions of course, disabled being among them. But the multi-generation families who make a living off of government hand-outs needs to go the way of the Dodo.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:03 AM

Sorry - posted before I read your latest post, bberry.

I see we have some common ground on the reform side, and I'm sensing that more and more of Americans are feeling the same.

This is really a no-brainer, folks. Helping people to help themselves is empowering to them. Just handing out monies or goods hasn't proven to be a good idea.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:07 AM

bberry,

"And now he turns around to say that you should not accept anything from the government. I guess that doesn't include a wage."

You did equate earning a wage with "handouts" taken from the government or you are just being petty, the choice is yours. Most readers will ascertain that wages are earned and not "accepted".

"As far as handouts, you believe they should stop funding social security, medicare, medicaid, student loans, tax credits, subsidies etc?"

I do not consider entitlements "handouts" but I would agree theat all of those programs need serious revision. I would support the elimination of most tax credits that I am aware of, there may be some that are necessary that I am not thinking of. Same with subsidies. Soc security and med need revisted. I don't really have any problem with student loans off the top of my head, I have more problems with the rising cost of education.

Why do you consider programs that people have specifically paid into "handouts"?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:09 AM

You were deflecting my comments by assuming those were my opinions and not of Sams. And if you read Sams prior opinions on either, including this article, you would understand the irony.

How can you be against illegal immigrants if you have no problems working with them and make no effort to report them? Just the same as how can you tell everyone not to receive something from the government if your previous employer was the post office, aside from a prior blog reffering to those who worked there as liberals and "The Dark Side" etc.

That is the irony Mickel.

I do agree with decreasing subsidies and helping people get back on their feet rather than just giving money to them and hoping for the best.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:11 AM

carlsonl,

"And pocketing money given to a govt official by a lobbyist is ok"

I disagree.

"When will everyone wake up and realize this isn't a right or left problem? It is a total system failure.'

My honest opinion is never especially when people such as most of the posters on these boards, continue to label others and try to score points rather than seek solutions. After all if you disagree withe me in anyway, you must either be a "liberal" or a "conservative" to be mocked.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:12 AM

"You did equate earning a wage with "handouts" taken from the government or you are just being petty, the choice is yours. Most readers will ascertain that wages are earned and not "accepted"."

Here is where I think we divide our opinions.

"should not accept anything"

I think in the best interest of continuing our debate, I will simply admit I was wrong and go from there.

A lot of those associated with the program are handouts and since they are they are not entitlements. This is also true because not everyone pays into these that receives benefits. Though, I do not fault anyone actually in need of them.

There was an article on MSN though about a couple that was receiving handouts while living in a $1.2M house and frequently traveling etc.

It is people like this who ruin it for those who do, and is why there should be more accountability when given benefits.

I have no problems with loans since they are paid back. But I also do not think OWS is right in thinking they should have their loans forgiven. That comes down to individual responsibility.

I hope this answers your questions. If not, I will try to elaborate more.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:19 AM

Because bberry, many receive benefits without having ever paying into it. I for one, do not ever expect to receive any social security benefits despite paying into it. Many will not, and that is the immorality of it.

Social security was a dishonest attempt to buy votes, now we are paying that price. End it now.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:20 AM

I know CPB, but then it really isn't everyones money in my opinion.

I am unsure if Social Security would really need to be ended if it were ran correctly. But through misuse and no political figure wanting to tackle it being the third rail of politics, it leaves one to think otherwise.

If someone attempted to reform it, I would not hold it against them. But then again, try getting that person elected.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:23 AM

I must admit bberry - I wasn't tying your comments to past blog posts.

bberry and CPB - There are plenty of folks involved in agriculture right here in this locality; that receive more dollars in subsidies than I generate in net income in a year. There is a website to view the recipients of Nebraska subsidies - I think I just googled "nebraska subsidies" to find it. Some of the monies may be justified, however, I believe that a revision needs to be made on many of the ag policies.

Try getting THAT guy elected, too.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:38 AM

I've actually come across that same site before, and wondered why people received so much for such things.

I read somewhere those that benefit the most from it are those that own the most land because they are still able to collect money on sub par land or crop performance while the rest of their land profits well.

Geezer did make the point in another article, I think it was about the post office funding actually, that they should look into to decreasing these subsidies since profits are up substantially. I would have to agree.

But you're right, that person will most likely never be elected.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:45 AM

Who says I'm not at my job?

As far as hunting and gathering, the club is too heavy and I can afford to go to the grocery store for a little while longer.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:52 AM

bberry,

Social Security, Medicaide, and Medicare are entitlements, I did not mean to imply that they were handouts, I was trying to distinguish between them. In your original question to me about handouts, you lumped them all together which made me infer that you consider all of those programs "handouts".

"This is also true because not everyone pays into these that receives benefits."

Soc Sec, and Meds are entitlements because there are specific taxes that people pay to fund them separately from general funds. This doesn't mean that everyone who recieves these benefits has paid into them, they still are entitled to them.

For example someone who is disabled from before they are adults, you know one of your favorite slurs, has not paid into medicaid or SS but are eligible for SSI and medical care anyway because others pay specifically for those programs. I don't think many people object to the theory behind those programs even if they object to how the programs are managed.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:53 AM

But this begs the question Jo, what are you doing on the internet?!

Of course, I kid.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:53 AM

grandmajo,

Nope, I am a student suckling at the government's teat. Job are for slobs :P

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:54 AM

yes jo you got your break. Back to the kitchen.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:55 AM

SWNebr,

I guess we could mostly narrow this down to TANF and Medicaid. Do you see these as entitlements or handouts?

These two programs are ones I'd both refer to as handouts and that I like to see reformed as they both fall under Social Security and I believe are paid by FICA taxes.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:58 AM

Which appliance was it Jo and can it make me toast? Both are legitamate questions. ;)

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:59 AM

This makes me laugh. Sam travels down his Big Government roads riding comfortably in an 18 wheeled, 75 mph contradiction.

Keep sucking that government tit Sam, and then come back here to your sucklings and complain about how you have made a career, bought your house, bought presents for your kids at Christmas, all because of socialism.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:00 AM

ok back to topic. I have a hard time believing that food stamps and welfare will ever go away. I would suggest that instead of trying to tackle the almost impossible task of removing them it should be pushed that people do public services for these things. Say an hour of work for every 10-15 dollars received. Can you image how clean our towns, cities and ditches would be if this was done. This would allow us to take away that nasty word handout. You could also limit the programs. This would eliminate the people who quit jobs because they get more in handouts by not having it.

I don't know if it would work. Just a thought I had about them.

I also don't think that govt employees should be allowed to unionize. Any raises should be reflected by cost of living a performance. And work conditions should fit osha guidelines and nothing more.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:07 AM

bberry,

I'm not sure how I'd categorize them. I believe the government calls them entitlement. The biggest problem I have with programs like that is the tremendous potential for abuse. I know people make all the arguments about how the small amounts involved individually don't measure up to big subsidies but I think they both need evaluated. Personally I don't have any problem with people who actually need the help, but I think the operative words in TANF are Temporary and Needy.

I think people who need help deserve help, I think people that game systems do not. Thus I support shelters and soup kitchens and pantries. When people are truly needy they swallow pride and ask for help. I have a lot less sympathy for the person who is in the state office arguing about benefits or shopping at walmart on assistance while texting on their new Android phone.

I am also not convinced on medicaid one way or another. Preventative medicine reduces costs, but in my experience many people on medicaid especially if on other assitance, tend to not use the preventative nature of the program and turn it into a way to pay at the emergency room or urgent care center.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:08 AM

Jo how can you be rolling dough and typing on your hidden device? :P

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:08 AM

SWNebr,

The problem with soup kitchens and pantries I would imagine they are just as susceptible to abuse as government programs. Though the government funds neither of these and probably provide less of an impact when abused.

It is hard to accept either situation because of misuse.

Going further into the health care issue, I speculate at the possibilities of subsidizing non profit or even free clinics rather than just paying for everything at for profit clinics as well as potentially subsidizing mandatory health insurance.

The clinic in McCook, which is for profit, charges $110(though they give a slight discount for cash) for an office visit as well as $40 just for someone to administer a shot, and $20 more dollars per shot after the first . This doesn't even include the cost of the vaccination.

We can continue this that if insurance cost for a family around $300 a month, the insurance in some cases still requires at least a $500 deductible, a $40 copay, and now even taking on co-insurance of 20% or more.

It's not rational to pay $300 a month for insurance only to have to pay another $40 plus deductible and co insurance for a $110 office visit so they can over charge you to get a flu shot.

It makes more sense to subsidize the public health department, or even the urgent care place which lower than any office visit I've been to at the clnic, at lower the cost than funding someone elses bottom line.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:35 AM

And soup kitchens/pantries probably provide less of an impact when abused*

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:36 AM

Crap, I also meant to say, pay another $40 co pay.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:38 AM

bberry,

I do not see that as a problem with pantries and soup kitchens. I voluntarily donate to those programs and I accept that some people will "abuse" the system. However I make the decision not some bureaucrat. Besides if someone wants to go to the trouble to stand in line to "abuse" the program I would argue that is not abused, they are giving up time and convenience to go there. Have you ever been to a shelter or kitchen? People who go there do so because they have no other option usually.

"It makes more sense to subsidize the public health department, or even the urgent care place"

What percentage of your income are you willing to spend to subsidize the health department? Do you have a model in mind for this program or will it be developed from scratch? What about the unintended consequences such as lost time, quality, decision making ability?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:54 AM

I think Florida took a step in the right direction requiring drug tests for benefit recipients. Though I do not recall what happened afterwards.

I also wonder it is really feasible about working recipients still receiving large tax refunds while they are receiving benefits.

Wouldn't it make sense to use their refund to fund the benefits that they are receiving? Or at least take the amout they are receiving out of the return?

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:55 AM

bberry,

I think that law was found unconstituional in Floriday.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 12:00 PM

"What percentage of your income are you willing to spend to subsidize the health department? Do you have a model in mind for this program or will it be developed from scratch? What about the unintended consequences such as lost time, quality, decision making ability?"

This is the problem, you would have to determine how you would subsidize them instead of paying for medicaid or subsidizing insurance.

There it is a lot to consider still, with the danger of going into more socialism instead of reducing costs associated with programs already in place.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 12:02 PM

I do recall something about that Jo, but I wonder how many of them just showed up to take the picture and not use the soup kitchen?

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 12:03 PM

It's a valid question, just as it is also valid why they provide money for those on benefits to have cell phones.

Perhaps they should require phones for food.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 12:42 PM

bberry, where in the world did you find the reasonableness I have detected in this thread? You have posited MANY things I certainly agree with.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 12:46 PM

Bad tacos perhaps.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 12:52 PM

In seriousness Doodle, it is much easier to debate something with reasonableness when people aren't attempting to insult or degrade one another, myself included.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:07 PM

I hope I didn't skim over the part where you discussed the assertion that people can feed their own kids. While I agree that government is all up in my junk, once you see firsthand that people ARE NOT feeding their children, you would not make such a brash statement. It may be due to the vicious cycle of government involvement, it might not be. Now, to justify what I am saying, my solution might be that there are "hand-ups" as discussed, not "hand-outs" so that these people who take no responsibility for these innocent children who come to school on an empty stomach, have some consequences. In a perfect world, from my conservative view, people would be able to take responsibility for feeding their child before they come to school, but we don't live there.

On a completely separate note, when I am crowned king of my Petoria, there will be a test and a license provided that allows or disallows people to have children. Seems like I want MORE gov't though...I'd be a heck of a dictator!

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:12 PM

Speakez,

I think the rest of us were agreement there is no problems with providing assistance to those who need it such as using it to feed kids. As far as Sams opinion, I cannot vouche for that. We also continued to agree that the programs should be reformed to both meet these needs and rule out abuse in the programs. And although it may not rule abuse out entirely, it would probably cut down on some of the costs. Although arguably may increase administrative costs, though you could argue that money is spent going back into the economy and not for delving out hohos, chips, and soda to those food stamps etc.

At least I think we did, I do not wish to speak for everyone though.

As far as license for children, it does bring up a great point as far as healthcare and TANF.

I would think those on benefits should be required to be on birth control such as the IUD or implant etc, and if they do not wish to agree then they must not be that hungry.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:22 PM

Maybe the cell phones are prepaid phones they have so that potential employers can get ahold of them.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:23 PM

There are alot of things that could explain the phone. But I do see the irony in the picture and the first thought that would cross most peoples minds.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:30 PM

If I'm not mistaken, Benevolus works for the government. Is he a recipient of socialism (per his post above)? Or is it compensation for work done, services rendered? I think it's the latter, although as often as he posts during the day, it might just be a socialist handout for work not done, lol.

I tried to find benevolus in the dictionary. Not there. Perhaps it's a conjoining of benefits and marvelous. Oh, my!

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:39 PM

The few things that came to mind when thinking of the photo. He could have the phone and no plan and just be using the camera. Then I thought how the heck did he charge it. The job deal was a joke but still could be a slight possiblity. When I look closer the phone doesn't appear to be a smart phone as it looks very similar to the phone I carry. Other things the clothes he is wearing appear to be somewhat clean and new. It could be freshly donated. In the end I am willing to bet this man is in fact not homeless and just used to opportunity for a photo.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:42 PM

Boomer,

I guess I am unsure of your point. I do not recall where Ben made any argument against those receiving benefits nor working for the government.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:43 PM

Here you go Boomer.

benevolus

Latin Adjective benevolus m. (feminine benevola, neuter benevolum); first/second declension

1.benevolent, kind, friendly, favorable

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:50 PM

I was pointing more towards the fact it was an everyday person showing up to take her picture. But with the way our political leaders and their spouses are (ON BOTH SIDES) it honestly wouldn't suprise me if it was a stunt.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 2:00 PM

I ran across an interesting article concerning the price of Farm Land that I thought some of you folks would want to read. It sure makes one wonder what the future of farming will look like, especially for the younger ones trying to get a foot in the door.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/1...

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 2:10 PM

eh grandma we re-elected the previous circus and history tends to repeat itself. I am not a obama fan, although I do agree with some of his ideas. I am not seeing anything to attract me towards the right this election. If things continue like they seem to be. It will come down to voting for the less of two evils.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 2:14 PM

It is an interesting point Geezer and although land values around here are maybe 1/5 of that around here, it makes you wonder if it's only a matter of time before they reach those levels.

But when you can pay that much for land you get "x" amount of subsidies for regardless of performance every year, the question is why wouldn't you pay that much for it?

It somewhat reminds me of China wanting to invest in US infrastructure.

If anyone has a clue in Washington, I hope it's a resounding NO.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 2:20 PM

"If I'm not mistaken, Benevolus works for the government. Is he a recipient of socialism (per his post above)?"

I am not sure that full-time graduate students can be thought of as government employees, especially when a large portion of university funding comes from tuition, revolving trust funds, and alumni donations.

Regardless, what I WOULD NOT do is take advantage of all the opportunities afforded to me by our government (i.e., other American citizens), and then come on here whine and complain about socialism.

I wouldn't do that because I like to try to make you all dig to find my hypocrisy...I certainly wouldn't just lay it out in front of you like old gubment cheese as Sam does in this blog.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 2:31 PM

I can only hope Tim Tebow quits trying to be a QB and becomes president and saves us all from oblivian.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 2:37 PM

On a serious note I agree with the fact that healthcare needed the reigns pulled in abit but I think he went about it all wrong and the timing was terrible. The bailout I don't think will ever be fully known what it did. It may have prevented things from being worse and then again it may not have. I did like the fact he (appeared to) wanted to bring both sides together. To be real honest I think he truely wanted to accomplish the things he ran on but quickly found out it is alot easier said then done. He also had the misfortun of taking over a tanking economy. As far as the drone would you rather we try and go in and take it rather then ask. As far as it not having a self distruct I think that one is on the military machine and designers then the president. I highly doubt any president has had oversight on the design of military equipment.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 2:45 PM

I don't think China holds that much of the US debt. If I recall correctly, the US holds a lot of its own debt by printing more money.

But I may be mistaken.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 2:55 PM

Oops? That makes it about 10% or 1.148 trillion. I do not recall how much the debt has increased though over the last few years.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:04 PM

According to that 4.66 Trillion of our debt is held by other countries which is less than half. Still looks like I'm pretty accurate.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:06 PM

Ok, I may be mistaken but I think that figure is nationally accumulated foreign securities held by China measured in US dollars.

Every where else I see, China holds up $1.6 Trillion in our securities.

I am incorrect, perhaps you can correlate the difference for me why one says $1.6 and that says $3.2? Thanks.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:21 PM

If I am*

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:22 PM

Let me make it clearer to avoid confusion, I think those are also securities from other countries held by China.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:27 PM

Yes!

Get Tebow a public venue where his religion actually does matter! I like your thinking Gma-Jo. Then maybe the GOP/Fox News can throttle him in front of the country for whatever version of Christianity he happens to take the most comfort from.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:27 PM

grandmajo

The difference is that the sum shown on page 6 of your link also includes private sector securities. If you read the last two paragraphs on page five it gives the amount of $1.6 trillion and an explanation. Take a look and see what you think.

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:35 PM

Well I posted that for my own benefit so I could make sure we are on the same page. I don't think we are.

I assumed China holds around 10% of US debt since I do not recall what we're up to for total debt.

Did you read the summary starting on page 2?

It says China is the worlds largest and fastest holder of foreign exchange reservres which totaled 3.2 Trillion. It goes on to say China was US largest holder of securities which totaled $1.6 trillion. It goes onto say it helps fund budget deficit of $1.17 Trillion.

Maybe I missed your point though.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:39 PM

Well it is alarming since we've sent more money to China since it entered the world trade organization in 2001.

However, China still only holds $1.6 Trillion in US securities.

As far as investing in our infrastructure, it is different to lend the money rather than to own it.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:45 PM

grandmajo you do realize that our national dept isn't 100% in foreign holdings right? That is the only way I get the fact that china owns around 25% of our foreign holding debt and you coming up with 4.66 trillion. Even then that number would be off by a few trillion.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:51 PM

I guess I have no other way to explain this to you.

I'm unsure where you get naive from, when the number comes from the link you provided.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:54 PM

Here is a money saving tip. Stop making pennies and nickles. As it costs more to make them then they are worth. :) I am sure this will solve the debt problem in no time. LOL In all seriousness just thought it was an interesting fact and it is a quick read.

http://www.faithandfinance.org/2011/12/h...

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:57 PM

This might help.

"What other country's debts are we issuing Treasury notes for Brian??

DUH!"

Other countries sell their securities to. China also buys them. The number was simply translated or measured into US dollars for relativity.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 3:59 PM

Nothing just trying to figure out how you came up with 4.66 trillion out of china holding 25% of our foriegn debt.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 4:05 PM

Owning our securities is not the same as owning our infrastructure. If they were to invest directly into our infrastructure they would become part owners of it. This would mean they could influence us through our infrastructure not just our securities.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 4:05 PM

I should have clarified the term invest. They do not want to simply lend us the money.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 4:07 PM

I think it would also help to clarify that China owns a total of $1.6 Trillion in securities. This amount isn't being increased yearly. Which means China isn't the only one to make up our budget deficit.

The chart you provided was global securities owned by China. The total amount was shown in US dollars.

It wasn't stating China owned $3.2 Trillion of US securities alone.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 4:18 PM

Great just great. We might be looking at another wingnut from Texas in washington. Funny thing is that businessmen talked him into running. Is that what washington needs another corperate puppet??

http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball...

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 4:35 PM

Welcome back Jo.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 5:29 PM

Corporations are "people" now, carlson. So really a corporate puppet is a "people" puppet. And don't we all want someone in office who serves "people"?

Unions are not filled with millions of people. They are filled with millions of socialists, who we know are not people.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 5:30 PM

lol

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 5:34 PM

You are being too pedestrian (mendaciously so), and given the bereftness of your acumen, I would posit that obsequiousness should be your orientation to those with a greater capacity and penchant for acquiring knowledge.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 7:45 PM

eh if you are going to do it more like Tebow for president '24

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:26 PM

Gma-Jo hates the Constitution, carlson.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:26 PM

Tebow wouldn't be eligible til 2024 election. that is where bene got that from.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:33 PM

Tebow is not old enough to be prez according to Art II; Sec 1 of the Constitution.

That you want to wipe your backside with the Constitution and put him in office before the required age-limit leads me to the conclusion that you must hate the Constitution.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:45 PM

I just thought I would correct you and myself since you are apparently going to go through with it. Thought I might try and save the argument from coming up later. Guess I was a little late on that one. My bad.

CARLSON FOR PRESIDENT '20

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:47 PM

Second mile is a biblical reference...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:52 PM

??? must have missed something

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:55 PM

Carlson, I was replying to Gma-jo

"How about Sandusky for President? You surely won't have any reservations about his religion, will you, iggy???"

Second mile is a biblical reference...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:59 PM

Holiday dinner, Gma-jo. Christmas dinner is offensive.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:03 PM

That's because you are a bigot.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:10 PM

Tebow crap!!! I go lay the kids down and this convo takes a wild turn.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:18 PM

Wisdom is far more important than mere knowledge, benevolus. Wisdom is acquired through experience.

As Winston Churchill so aptly put it, "If you're 20 and not a liberal, you have no heart. If you're 40 and not a conservative, you have no brain." He was talking about the natural progress of people as they mature, acquiring experience and wisdom.

Using big words is not wisdom; self-lauditory ones, even less so. It's not clear writing, either.

I recommend "Elements of Style" by Strunk & White. It's considered the classic on effective writing. As a short book, it can be read frequently to refresh its lessons in one's mind.

I am reminded of my need to read it again.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:36 PM

Big difference between intelligence and wisdom. I've seen many intelligent people do some of the most stupid and cruel things. Wise people don't.

Wisdom is living life skillfully.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:43 PM

I truly believe I will always be an independent. But I could see myself as I age going from left leaning to right leaning. Basically when i am tired of trying to pursue the result of an evolving human race that does stuff for the betterment of humanity as a whole rather then just for my individual self, and just becoming happy with the status quo and not wanting to deal with change.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 9:56 PM

hmmmmmmm......In a way yes. Because the only change I see mentioned is to go back to the way it used to be.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:09 PM

What happened here??????? I leave and it turns into Christmas dinner, Churchill and Tebow for President.

Jo, have you been hitting the eggnog again?

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:14 PM

I'm working on it now.

-- Posted by bberry on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:37 PM

actually in a way I think both want more and less govt. They are just on opposite ends of where this should take place. As far as age i think both have a wide age range. It is just that most people view the right as older, stuck in the ways of the past, racist, profit driven, jesus freaks. I think most view the left as younger, tree hugging, no god, hippies that want handouts and a free ride. I think both are wrong.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 10:43 PM

Speaking to the demographics of Republicans, it is true that generally speaking they are older, more likely to have strong religious affiliations, are more likely to have higher incomes, and interestingly enough are as likely to hold a college degree (challenging that "liberal" college bias BS).

http://books.google.com/books?id=_UgawOE...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articl...

Even more interesting are the affects of the demographic shifts in the US. Between 2001 and 2009 the GOP marked losses in party affiliation in every category from region, to sex, age, and income.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/118528/gop-lo...

The explanation?

"Increasingly, Republican strength outside the urban areas counts for less. "There's just not enough rural folks and small-city people left in America in the key states that determine the electoral college to offset that difference," Lang said. "You're out of people."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 11:39 PM

I am simply confirming that, on average, there is legitimate reason to believe that the right is characterized by people who are:

"older, stuck in the ways of the past, racist, profit driven, jesus freaks."

Although those descriptions are admittedly more divisive than necessary (and while 'racist' is apt in many cases, in just as many it probably is not).

Firm right-wingers are a dying breed though (literally). And since the GOP cannot change the demographic shift, they will have to change (or at least soften) their political positions regarding the poor/welfare, minorities (Latinos in particular), and homosexuals, as these demographics continue to rise.

Interesting stuff really...the numbers indicate that the country is naturally shifting away from conservatism. The Dems, to your point, are capitalizing on, and benefiting from, these demographic shifts.

This is smart politically; it is also ethically defensible. Changing/increasing demographics should have their interests represented in government. Likewise, a dwindling or shrinking demographic should see a commensurate decrease in their representation.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 1:35 AM

"Changing/increasing demographics should have their interests represented in government."

This is especially true when people don't even know what their interests are and vote against them right?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 10:39 AM

SWNEbr,

Changing/Increasing demopgrahics doesn't always mean they do not know what their interests are.

One could reasonably assume for them to vote in a particular manner means that they had at least one interest in mind.

As fas as the rest, I am unsure there has ever been a nominee to keep everyones interests in mind.

-- Posted by bberry on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 10:51 AM

Strike that, I will correct myself.

I forgot about Mitt Romney, I forget he'll tell everyone what they want to hear.

That's along the same lines isn't it?

-- Posted by bberry on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 10:59 AM

One thing I can say for sure - we do not have a lack of shovel ready projects as the media often portray.

The Republican Party is pushing for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for all the jobs it will create. It almost seems like the GOP in congress is not listening to the GOP at home. Didn't we just have a special session to address this issue?

We have projects that are higher in priority than the Keystone XL pipeline. We should have been doubling up on getting the damaged flood control systems from this summers record flooding repaired before the spring floods arrive.

Why aren't we hearing anybody talk about that? Jobs from North Dakota to Louisiana.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 12:26 PM

"This is especially true when people don't even know what their interests are and vote against them right?"

Yes. For example, I will never understand the blue collar worker who continually gets screwed by the companies s/he works, for who then votes for the anti-union guy, who then further devalues the blue collar worker and her/his rights.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 12:50 PM

We have tens of thousands of Military Personnel coming off of overseas deployment and we are wondering what to do with them. Maybe we should put them to work refurbishing our countries flood control system and old military bases which could be used as temporary housing in times of need -- such as now.

This would also be solid justification for keeping the military budget at current levels. I think more people would be inclined to support the military in this fashion, at least until our country gets back on its feet again.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 1:01 PM

The GOP's pledge to never raise taxes, even if it means getting rid of tax loopholes has got to come to an end.

Our country has to stop giving tax incentives to companies that shield their earnings in offshore subsidiaries and then wait for a tax repatriation holiday to bring it back home at a lesser rate. If you are given a tax break or incentive to create jobs you should have to create the job before receiving the incentive.

The 2003 tax cuts for the wealthy were sold to the American Public as a means of creating jobs. It is time for them to either sh$t or get off the pot - we no longer have the luxury of subsidizing the wealthy.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 1:31 PM

Any entity responsible for outstanding tax debt or environmental remediation should not be allowed to repatriate any funds through a tax repatriation holiday unless the difference between the regular nominal tax rate and the reduced tax rate is applied to those outstanding issues.

It is time for industry to meet their obligations to the public -- no toxic waste cleanup, no more tax breaks for those companies -- the American Tax Payer can no longer afford to subsidize industries that continue to drag down the American Economy and the health of our citizens.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 3:09 PM

You make good points Geezer, and I have also thought about this some.

Why are we waiting for repatriation, when we could possibly have better effects from waving taxes off for all new businesses for a few years.

Or possibly offer tax incentives to those that hire each new employee, or having met a quota of new employees etc.

-- Posted by bberry on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 3:53 PM

As a business owner (two actually) I have to admit that the "tax incentives" in place right now would never tempt me to expand my business in the current economy, and with the uncertainty of Obamacare.

The incentives in no way come near to diluting the cost of hiring a new employee. The employee must justify their own cost by increasing productivity and profit over and above their position. I'm in business to provide goods/services; but I'm also in business to provide for my family.

Obamacare looks like it may be repealed in the Supreme Court, however, there is enough implementation of it so far that it has already taken a toll. The only saving grace is that our healthcare plan is a HDHP. Otherwise there would be no plan.

I've never had an increase of productivity and/or profit because of more regulations. I've lost productivity of employees who must devote some of their time, not to my business - but to dotting the "i"'s for the government.

-- Posted by Mickel on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 4:24 PM

Mickel

Regulations come and go and have been doing so for a long time. Companies either learn to work within the regulations and be competitive against other like businesses, or they soon cease to exist.

If you are losing your competitive advantage due to regulations that everyone in your industry has to abide by, I would be looking real seriously at another cause being the underlying problem.

I don't say that to be insulting by any means, I say that from experience in having run my own business for over thirty five years. Instead of always complaining about new regulations we were faced with, we chose rather to embrace them as a challenge. We concentrated our effort on attaining in depth knowledge of the regulations and the options available for implementing them -- especially in how they applied to our clientele. It has worked well for us -- my son is currently working on a large construction project in the Bahamas, my daughter is currently working on a project in Utah and heading to Nevada in several weeks to work on another project, and my nephew is working on several different long term projects in Wyoming and Idaho.

This may not apply to your business model, but it has been a winner for us.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 7:05 PM

The thing about new regulations is the cost. We, as business owners, can pass those increases on to our customers. The question is, at what level is the consumer going to stop buying our services. Is there a point where we must cut our services to meet our expenses, and cover the needs of the smaller customer base?

This is not a question of questionable off shore tax shelters, but a real life application of supply/demand economics.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 7:48 PM

Chunky

I just don't see it being totally that way.

Every tax shelter results in a loss of tax revenue, but also means that those individuals and companies now have an unfair advantage in the business community. They now have a higher percentage of profits than the ordinary business and can use that advantage against their competitors in many different ways.

They are not forced to seek out the lowest cost per item or services to stay competitive. They can now afford to produce the item they once purchased or pay a higher price just to run you out of business -- not to mention that the tax payers have to make up for the loss of those tax revenues adding insult to injury.

It has negative implications on our whole economy, top to bottom. The tax revenue lost in tax havens could be used to spur small business growth for example.

Take a few minutes of your time and read the following link.

http://businessagainsttaxhavens.org/wp-c...

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 8:42 PM

So when my customers say "I can no longer afford your services", what am I to do. Refer them to your link? How does that change our, the customer and mine, situations right now?

Rarely do I lose business to large corporations. When I do, it's not because of price, but billing convenience.

If you cannot see this as a reality, then your business knowledge is very limited.

I'm a flat tax fan. I do not believe in tax loopholes, shelters, havens and etc.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 9:22 PM

Geezer - I wasn't complaining, I was making a true statement. And my two businesses are growing despite challenges in front of them. That being said, the growth hasn't reached the stage to employ new people. And it doesn't look like that will soon change.

One of my former businesses had to do with helping customers realize and maintain compliance with regulations. My experience in that field (21 years) proved to me, that many times regulations don't make a situation better; they just make it different. Most regulations (in my experience) are passed without the input of the people whom they will affect.

I agree with your statement that regulations come, however, the part about "they go" is a little more iffy. Mostly they morph into something else.

-- Posted by Mickel on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 10:45 PM

Chunky and Mickel

I want to thank you guys for taking part in this discussion. I realize that we may be far apart in our political views, but the only way we can ever hope to help our country is to keep going forward the best we can.

This old man is going to call it a night.

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 11:11 PM

Does anyone else find it curious that just as the war in Iraq comes to an end, the unemployment rate drops to pre-2008 levels, and all this happens less than a year out from the next presidential election cycle?

I wonder if Obama isn't playing chess while the rest of us are playing checkers.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Dec 15, 2011, at 9:11 AM

Chunky

Cost of doing business is contained in the price of your product or service offered. Every business is subject to some form of regulations, not just yours. What do you do when some of your suppliers have to raise their prices and you can't find a cheaper source? Don't you find yourself incorporating your new expenses into your product price? If you don't, your business won't be profitable for long.

When I started my business I was charging $35/hour for a three man crew, vehicle, and all equipment. Today we have to charge $135/hour for the same services yet our percent of profit remains relatively unchanged. We still remain competitive in our field because the cost of doing business by our competitors has also increased by roughly the same amount. Although the price per hour has increased significantly we are now able to accomplish in one day what used to take weeks to accomplish.

In my field the cost of doing business in the past was predominantly associated with the number of employees and the cost of equipment and supplies were the least of our expenses. Today it is just the opposite, technological advances in the equipment we now utilize has eliminated the need for as many employees -- but the cost of the equipment continues to rise as further technology becomes available and clients specifically request the products from that technology. We constantly have to assess our equipment purchases to stay as competitive as possible without over extending ourselves. The difference between being on the leading edge of technology and being on the bleeding edge of technology is a very thin line.

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Dec 15, 2011, at 11:57 AM

Geezer,

It is more feasible to reason this when providing a service. You can defer the costs to the customers since all businesses in the same service would have similar costs as new regulations arise.

It would seem more difficult though to assume this in a retail service. You can only only defer so much cost to the consumer before they stop going. We will use Walmart as an example versus a small area retail store.

Which is more likely to happen? Consumers continue purchasing at the small business defering the total cost of a limited amount of goods. Or are they eventually going to stop going to small businesses and go to Walmart where the cost is more easily spread out amongst a wider variety of goods making it cheaper for the consumer?

-- Posted by bberry on Thu, Dec 15, 2011, at 1:08 PM

I also think this is the main point CPB was getting at. You can only "just charge more", (to paraphrase), to a limited extent before consumers simply stop going there while looking for the cheapest option.

-- Posted by bberry on Thu, Dec 15, 2011, at 1:11 PM

bberry

Isn't that also the theory behind the invention of Co-ops? As a group the purchase of goods is less because of the volume discount. Do you think that has had anything to do with the rural communities struggle for existence, or has it been a blessing?

I can't speak for all service industries, but the one I am involved with produces a product - a tangible item that the client pays for us to produce. That is done primarily because it is cheaper to have us produce it rather than them hiring the qualified workforce and supplying the equipment to produce it themselves.

However, technology may soon replace a portion of our services in a way we cannot compete. High definition satellite imagery is gaining more ground every day. Only the big box stores -- the Wal-Mart's of my field -- will be able to purchase unlimited access to high definition satellite imagery.

I think they call that progress or something like that.

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Dec 15, 2011, at 4:48 PM

Or, it goes like this. A small business owner provide a service to customers, a service the customer themselves can do, but at a great and expensive risk of failure.

The government passes a new mandate, the manufacturer spends millions, it not billions, to change the formulation of the product to meet new federal guidelines.

The manufacturer then passes their cost on to the next level of consumer, the distributor. The distributor then passes their accumulated costs to the next consumer, me.

I then passes all of my accumulated cost on to my customers. At a point, those customers, often times a business, decides they can no longer afford my services and attempt to solve their problems on their own. Should they fail, many times the business doesn't survive due to unexpected, and unreasonable costs.

The business fails, people are unemployed. That is the price of government regulations. Supply/Demand laws work better, if there is a demand for a new product or service (safer, less expensive, labor saving, etc), someone will provide it.

Coop's work great, for generic products. Specialized products, not good.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Thu, Dec 15, 2011, at 5:05 PM

Geezer,

Not all businesses are able to form co ops because their services/goods aren't the same.

As far as progress, how do you plan to compete?

CPB,

I wanted to ask why you were in favor of flat taxes other than closing loop holes?

-- Posted by bberry on Thu, Dec 15, 2011, at 5:17 PM

bberry,

I am a firm believer that the purpose of our form of government is to provide for the good for all people. Therefore it only makes sense that all people should pay into the system. If not money, then time.

With a low flat tax, and more people paying into it, we eliminate tax loopholes, and shelters, we can eliminate a lot of business deductions which become a wasteful effort to escape a tax penalty. It is not just a few items to throw together, it's an overhaul of the tax code. I have stated these points in other posts.

Not real sure where you got the idea that was all I was for.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Thu, Dec 15, 2011, at 6:41 PM

CPB,

I dont think everyone would be paying more in a flat tax because I can't see them cutting benefits nor increasing costs on those receiving benefits.

If they did increase costs from taxing income, I could actually see benefits being increased.

So all it seems to me that we would have accomplished is income reduction to government while increasing benefits.

In my opinion, it would simply shift the tax burden from the wealthy to the middle class.

Same would hold true for a fair tax.

I just noticed you said you were a flat tax fan so I was curious on what you thought outside of loophole reduction.

It wasn't my intention to imply you were completely in favor of it.

-- Posted by bberry on Fri, Dec 16, 2011, at 7:41 AM

bberry,

Remember also, I'm against all federal benefits and entitlements. That should be a state's right.

The tax burden would not be shifted, merely expanded.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Dec 16, 2011, at 1:49 PM

CPB,

True but being against benefits and entitlements doesn't mean they are going to eliminate them upon introduction of a flat tax.

Hence it would shift since lower income ranges would increase in taxes since they already pay little, and high income taxes would drop since they pay a lot more.

-- Posted by bberry on Fri, Dec 16, 2011, at 3:27 PM

The elimination of benefits and entitlements is paramount. Without that a flat tax won't work. Eliminating junk like social security and medicare/medicaid, which the middle class does pay for, and substituting a flat tax in it's place. Therefore, the tax burden is expanded. That would also force an overhaul of the medical industry's charge scale.

By closing the loopholes and shelters, which the wealthier pay accountants to find, means they will be paying a larger share of their income than they do now.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 8:51 AM

CPB,

The key word would be "if" they eliminated benefits. I'd put any amount of money you'd like on betting they would not get rid of all entitlements altogether.

While the middle class pays for some, the highest income pays the majority.

Therefor, the tax burden is still not expanded. It is shifted.

Even if they did, it's a matter of simple math.

You can't drop a tax rate on the highest income bracket to match those of the lowest tax bracket and expect to have the same income to the government without any other compensation.

I agree, it would be possible if they reduced the federal budget by over 50% (the entitlements), but reality dictates that it isn't going to happen.

As far as the medical industry charge scale, the number of insurances were double that of the providers.

I am not sure quite if medicare/medicaid is accepted everywhere or if it's a PPN or not, but if not it would seem to make sense to switch to it and make providers more competitive. Any that refused to reduce rates would lose payment from medicare/medicaid. But then again, I am unsure if they are already reduced for medicare/medicaid patients. I was guessing no.

-- Posted by bberry on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 10:39 AM

The rich, or wealthy, do what they have to do to hide or look for useless tax deductions, especially the liberal rich. That's why so many of them pay little or nothing in income taxes. Take those away, make them pay a flat rate.

Most in the middle income bracket pay little or no income tax, there's is all FICA, and SS. Eliminate those and have them pay a flat rate. Yes that's quite a shock when you've never payed before.

The poor shouldn't have to pay any income tax. There's not really that many of them and their wages are would be insignificant to tax.

As far as the medical side, probably should have left this out of the discussion. Next to the legal profession, they are just as corrupt. The insurance lobby has completely corrupted our medical care, this would take a complete overhaul. The choice would be either free market, public takeover, nothing in between.

That's my 2 cents. What's yours?

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 3:15 PM

Actually, they did a study about that and very little of them skip out on their taxes. If the majority of them did, where would the government get most of their income?

I will see if I can find the link for you.

Eliminating FICA would reduce income to the entitlements. Since I don't believe these are anywhere, we'd end up borrowing money to pay for these especially after the income loss from the decrease of tax revenues on the wealthy.

The poor shouldn't pay any taxes, but to make it a true flat tax they would be taxed the same rate as the rich.

I also think insurance industry is corrupt and in no way should it be subsidized nor required. When you double the amount of insurers to that of the providers, you can expect medical costs to increase especially when they are out to pay as little as possible.

I wonder how a majority of them are getting away with charge large monthly premiums, co pays, deductibles, and now even after you satisfy the deductible, co-insurance.

MSN had the article of 1 of 2 Americans being considered poor and one of the factors was medical bills.

How are Americans becoming so poor if health insurance provides such a useful function?

It makes a person wonder if they'd be better off to stop paying high premiums co pays etc, and simply make payments directly to the providers.

In case of large medical bills, providers are willing to work with people to set up payment plans or even bill reductions. If a family is paying $400 a month for premiums why not simply make that as the payment to the provider?

With the loss of health insurance industry, you could speculate that cost would remain competitive because people would choose to go where it was cheaper depending on medical service availability.

They wouldn't simply being paying into a company in hopes they cover their checkups or other medical related services. Nor would providers leave costs higher because they are able to over charge insurance companies.

They'd be better off directly subsidizing providers or medical colleges to help increase the amount of providers. Or have current providers perform some sort of function in return for tax deductions, such as free clinic duty.

I am sure there is a lot I haven't considered, but some speculation I had.

-- Posted by bberry on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 4:45 PM

I also think there should be cost transparency when going to a provider. If insurers are able to find a base pay rate on services rendered, why aren't providers able to administer them according to the same rate?

You would think there would be some regulations related to cost instead of allowing free market to decide.

-- Posted by bberry on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 5:08 PM

Here you go...pretty convincing argument for the Affordable Care Act, and you may recognize the setting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHRY52l2o...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 2:37 PM

Benevolus,

Isn't the view from the video against that of your chosen canidate? I am confused. Trying to follow all the "richness" that you are displaying...

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 1:39 AM

I think there are good points about the Affordable Care act and there are bad points.

After reading through a good amount of the 374 pages of the act, it calls for a standardized cost. Though now it escapes me if this was for insurers or providers.

I also see it favorable to be held accountable for what they spend premiums on while mandating a medical expense ratio, they quoted 80% mandatory spending of premiums for medical care, and 20% for advertising, wages, overhead expenses etc.

Though I am unsure if this was just the actual figure or just an example.

However, I am unconvinced of lowering costs through an insurance exchange nor the billions of dollars appropriated to it along with refunds and tax incentives.

It also allows for assisted suicide.

And from what I read they are able to fine individuals up to $750 a year for not having insurance.

I will probably read more into this, but it is somewhat disturbing.

-- Posted by bberry on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 8:33 AM

Who is my chosen candidate?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 2:19 PM

Oh I see, Didymus, you assume that I support Obama and plan to vote for him again. That's pretty "poor" thinking on your part.

But then again Obama supported the Affordable Health Care act, and signed the revised senate version into law in 2009. So you cannot be talking about Obama...now I am really interested....who do you think is my candidate of choice?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 2:58 PM

Benevolus once stated that he would rather have four more years of Obama than have any of the current primary candidates leading the country.

I suppose that narrows it down.

-- Posted by Mickel on Wed, Jan 25, 2012, at 5:35 PM


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