Investing in Precious Metals 101 Ad
  • Blog
    © Blueximages | Dreamstime.com

    Time to Focus on ‘Return of Capital’

    Reflections on the day after the election
    by Adam Taggart

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 5:01 PM

I am more concerned with the return of my money than the return on my money.

– unknown (often attributed to Mark Twain or Will Rogers)

The U.S. Presidential race is now behind us. And this morning the world woke up and realized that all the issues the election postponed now lie before us.

In his victory speech, President Obama focused on moving 'forward':

Obama's re-election puts 'forward' to the test

"You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We've got more work to do."

That's not a bad list of several of the bigger challenges we face: perniciously high and persistent unemployment, trillion dollar annual deficits, a complex and unequal tax code, overdependence on fossil fuels (domestic as well as foreign, I would add), and population management. These are truly prodigious issues that our nation is struggling with, in many cases for decades without resolving.

But that list of woes is not near complete. Add to it our national over indebtedness and insolvency, our eroded manufacturing base, escalating costs of food/fuel/health care, our outdated infrastructure, our failing educational system, accelerating global depletion of and competition for key resources, an aging population, the most dramatic wealth gap in our country's history, and an unsustainable monetary system. For certain, there are also many other competing problems that can be further added to this 'worry list'.

The hard truth is that these problems are not going to be resolved in the next four years, irrespective of whoever won the election last night.

In fact, as Chris so often states, many of these are not problems; they are predicaments. Problems have solutions. Predicaments have only outcomes. Outcomes that need to be managed. And if you're jawboning about 'solving' a predicament (which our politicians have made a full-contact sport out of), you're wasting precious time.

So, the big question is: what approach exactly are we going to use to move 'forward' from here? From what we're seeing so far, the best I can tell is we are going to continue to throw money at these problems/predicaments until it's clear to all that won't work anymore.

The Bush and Obama administrations have seen exploding debt and deficit levels accompanied by staggering issuance of new money by the Federal Reserve. There is little to indicate that this policy is going to change as long as our economic malaise continues. In this way, the government is taking future wealth from our children's pockets.

And it seems increasingly clear that the government will take more of the current wealth from ours, too. Rather than take the pain of reigning in spending, government demonstrates, time and again, its preference to raise revenues via taxation.

PIMCO's Bill Gross predicts the same:

Gross: Fixing 'Cliff' Will Mean 'High, Higher' Taxes

A newly re-elected President Barack Obama will push for higher taxes — including a dividend-tax hike that will cause a substantial drop in stocks, Pimco's Bill Gross told CNBC Wednesday.

Obama will get little time to enjoy his election victory Tuesday, as he will have to get to work quickly with Congress to avoid the nation's "fiscal cliff" of looming mandated tax increases and spending cuts.

One likely remedy for revenue-raising will be to take the current dividend tax rate of 15 percent and hike it five to 10 percentage points, said Gross, co-CEO at the firm that runs the largest bond fund in the world and has $1.8 trillion assets under management.

"Obama ran on a higher-tax agenda," Gross said during a "Squawk Box" interview. "Marginal income taxes go from 35 to 40 (percent), capital gains from 15 to 20, dividends from 15 to who knows what…so they could go high, high and higher."

Risk-averse investors prefer dividend stocks, which are common in pensions and mutual funds even though they've largely underperformed other market indexes over the past four years.

Consequently, Gross said, higher dividend taxes would make those companies less attractive and thus take the stock market down 5 to 10 percent.

That's "the ultimate danger here for the stock market," he said. "Dividends are sheltered in 401(k)s, they're sheltered in pension funds. At the margins investors pay dividend tax rates. To the extent that you raise them from 15 to, say, 25 (percent), that implies in terms of equaling after tax rates another 5 to 10 percent down in terms of stock prices. We've been very spoiled for the last 10 years."

Last night, California passed Proposition 30, which approved an increase in the income taxes for 'wealthy' Californians (those with income >$250K). Education is by far the state's top expenditure, yet it ranks at or near the bottom of the nation on most school performance ratings. But rather than tackle the difficult work of determining how to spend their existing budget more effectively, it's far easier for Sacramento to address shortfalls by increasing taxes. Which is why Governor Jerry Brown crafted and championed Prop 30. Pity the Californian taxpayer, who already suffers the highest state income taxes in the U.S.

This is likely a preview of what's to come in future years. As we bump (or slam) into the hard limits of our predicaments, our political leaders will throw greater amounts of our current and future wealth at them. Like a drowning man frantically reaching out for anything that can possibly keep him from going under, our federal and state governments will grab for sources of revenue with equal desperation as they drown under their debts.

The markets are certainly concerned today. The Dow is down over 330 points as I write this.

We are entering the era of investing where the risks are increasingly disproportionate to the downside. The prudent investor should be much more concerned these days with return OF capital, versus return ON capital.

Though, more accurately, the priority should be return of purchasing power. It does no good to get your dollars back if they've been devalued in the interim.

The following steps have become 'no-brainers' at this point:

  • Find yourself a trustworthy financial adviser who will invest your paper capital with these risks in mind (we endorse several).
  • Own some gold and silver as insurance against a currency crisis.
  • Diversify into other hard assets if you're able to, particularly those with potential to produce primary wealth (timber, livestock, vegetables/grain, minerals, energy, etc.).
  • Assess your employment situation – how vulnerable is your income? Invest in ways to make yourself more valuable to your employer, add additional source(s) of income, and/or create your own business. 
  • Invest in increasing your personal resiliency (homestead investments, skill-building, physical & emotional health, and community)

Welcome to the future.

Related content
» More

125 Comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 6:38pm

    #1

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Adam, you nailed it my

    Adam, you nailed it my Brother. You know, everything looks like a negative feedback loop to me. Are these your thoughts too? If so, are we going to be able to get ahead of this? It seems that the FED is always late to react, and is this time any different? Everywhere a Predicament so how do you get people to Demand anything when everyone sees the Predicaments?

    OT: Your honey is really terrific. What really surprises me is just how long it lasts, its flavors just keep on giving. I have $100 bucks for a worthy cause, and would buy 4 more jars of same. Let me know, whenever.

    Regards

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 6:38pm

    #2

    westcoastjan

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 177

    Good stuff Adam

    Adam, I think you make a vaild case for defensive investing and focus on preservation of wealth, at least until the politicians can demonstrate serious resolve to deal with the predicaments. I do not have a lot of faith that this will happen any time soon as they have been all talk and no action when it comes to collaborating. The ideological gulf is wide. I expect they will dilly and dally around the looming fiscal cliff, and then at the last moment, after driving us all crazy with it, they will come to some sort of compromise, once again kicking the can down the road.

    There is only one sure thing that you can count on – yourself, and your abilities to take care of yourself. That will be the deciding factor going foward on whether or not you are able to live life prosperously.

    Coffee break over, back to work.

    Jan

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 6:40pm

    #3

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2222

    And the layoffs continue...

    Boeing Company Layoffs

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 6:53pm

    #4

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2491

    Goldman agrees

    This just in from Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs (via BusinessInsider: "GOLDMAN: If You Make Over $250K, Your Taxes Are Going Up")

    We are making slight changes to the fiscal policy assumptions embedded in our forecast. President Obama has indicated he would veto legislation that extends the 2001/2003 tax cuts for income over $250k, while congressional Republicans have objected to decoupling them from the middle-income tax cuts. In light of the President's reelection, we have opted to assume that the upper-income tax cuts will expire. These are worth $56bn in 2013, and their expiration is likely to increase the drag on growth from fiscal policy by around 0.2 percentage points in 2013, on a Q4/Q4 basis. While there is a clear possibility of a compromise at a higher income threshold like $1 million, this is roughly balanced by the possibility of fiscal restraint from other unexpected sources, or the possibility that Congress fails to address the fiscal cliff until early 2013.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 7:14pm

    #5

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Can we all just work together and fix our problems...Please

    http://popwatch.ew.com/2012/10/12/sean-penn-and-kid-rock-spar-over-politics-drink-to-freedom/

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 7:32pm

    #6
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1353

    Where to put our money

    First, as a passing note, I note that neither the President nor Adam mentioned climate change in the "parade of horribles."  Will it take another devastating hurricane or other climate related disaster before climate may again be mentioned in polite society?  What was that third E again?

    Moving on to money, the way I read it the USD is headed down, stock markets are now controlled by HFT and bonds are in a bubble that will pop as soon as interest rates rear their ugly heads.  So, where does my money go?

    Adam's checklist:

    Trustworthy financial advisor – check

    Gold and silver – check

    Employment situation – retired

    Personal resiliency – check and continuing

    That leaves only timber, livestock, vegetables/grain, minerals, energy, etc.  How do I acquire them?  futures markets?  That ain't going to happen.  Go into the farming, mining, timbering or oil business?  Seems unlikely.  I suppose I could loan money to local businesses or farmers, but the return of equity seems marginal if not downright risky in today's economic environment.  Any other suggestions?

    Doug

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 7:44pm

    #7

    cmartenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4476

    Tax the rich!

    I am quite unsettled by the idea of putting tax hikes that impact one segment of the population to a vote.  It brings to mind this quote:

    "When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

                — Benjamin Franklin.

    What's next, a ballot initiative to take the private assets of 49% of the population?  I know that's extreme, but the idea of asking the majority what it thinks of taking more money from a minority is somehow just not in the spirit of things for me.  Just too many ways for all of that to end badly.

    I know it's been said, but the whole idea that the schools in CA have been 'rescued' by this tax hike (yes, that's the language being used) demonstrates a complete failure to address the core of the problem.  Perhaps the schools have become too expensive for some reason or there are better and more cost effective ways to run things or any of a number of other essential starting points for the conversation?

    Here's a prediction:  the state will collect less than it thinks, some will be diverted (or 'borrowed') for other-than-school purposes, and nothing will be fixed except that the population of people earning over $250k in CA will shrink.  In just one or two years the schools will have chewed through whatever additional funds came their way and the whole problem will resurface.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 8:33pm

    #8
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 316

    tipping point

    My gut tells me this is the tipping point. We are now at the point where the individuals on government assistance have the ability to vote themselves raises at the expense of the producers and those with assests.  In California we received an even bigger hit – the Democrats now own 2/3 (super majority) of the legislature and can raises taxes at will.  Prop 13 will probably get gutted before too long.

    Recently Erik Townsend researched the best place to live on this planet.  His goal was simple – where to best ride out the coming storm.  Maybe Erik could do the same for the 50 states with the 3E's and freedom in mind and Chris could interview him. 

    Nate

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 8:42pm

    #9
    kenny qiu

    kenny qiu

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2008

    Posts: 27

    Obamacare

    After last night election , on my way home, I felt scared. Obama's care is real.

    I spoke to my insurance people two weeks ago about employees' insurance in 2014. There is no way we employers can meet the reqirement. I spoke to my suppliers,business is very slow everywhere. Obamacare 12 month from now,will kill many business in one shot.

    So the first thought is "sell" the business while it still worth some money in next 6 months. The last 6 months near 2014 will be too late if more people realize what will happen,right?

    I know many business will try to cut into 30 hour mark. The way of running a business will be change forever. At least, the office,shopping center's store hours being cut. So the rent $ per sq ft no longer valid. It will be too high. It will cribble the commercial real estate again. People running two 29.5 hour job or one 29.5 hour job will not spent money  as today with one full time job. The spending habbit will change although they may have same amount of income since lay off and cut hours everywhere. People will be scared. The worse of all, business will not expend and reinvest untill "dust settled". We are looking at a very probable  "Depression" in front of us now.

    There will be more jobs fly out of America, or we call it "out sourcing" again.

    So my "Time to Focus on 'Return of Capital' may be sell-sit-watch three step mode.LOL.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 8:42pm

    #10

    Poet

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 976

    Prop 30 And The Sorry State Of Education Held Hostage

    Prop. 30 was designed to fool the California electorate, and it did.

    No On Prop. 30: Gimmick, Not A Solution (October 9, 2012)
    "The California School Board Association pointed out that the governor's initiative "…does not provide new funding for schools." Instead, under Prop. 30, politicians can take existing money for schools and use it for other programs and then replace that money with the new taxes. The official title and summary of Prop. 30 states "these additional revenues would be available to fund programs in the state budget." It is clear that Prop. 30 is just another budget gimmick."
    http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/No-on-Prop-30-gimmick-not-a-solution-3934241.php

    I wouldn't call it a gimmick. I'd call it holding a hostage to collect ransom.

    But the real reason California's education system is in such trouble is because of several factors. Amongst them:

    1. Reductions in education funding from the state government.
    2. Academic bloat. As Charles Hugh Smith has pointed out, in about 20 years' time, the University of California at Davis grew its managerial/administrative staff from 3.2 per 100 students to 12.9 per 100 students. (You would think that technology and process improvements would reduce that need.)
    3. Unfunded pension and health care liabilities that need to be met – especially after poor stock market performance and money lost after investing in AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities that the banks knew were bad.
    4. The one thing no one dares mention: Free public education for the illegal immigrants ($8,700 per student per year – which is less than the average $10,000 in other states), and at the college level, in-state tuition and eligiblility for free financial aid (Cal Grants) based on income and need. Close to 10% of California workers are undocumented. Half of illegal immigrant households have children. You do the math.

    Poet

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 9:07pm

    #11

    jonesb.mta

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 11 2008

    Posts: 77

    401k

    Now that he doesn't have to run for reelection again, expect Obama to seize 401k's and "manage" them for us. More automatic money for the stock market, Goldman Sachs and fiends will take most of it I'm sure. Fiends was a typo but I felt fiends fit better than friends.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 9:14pm

    #12
    kenny qiu

    kenny qiu

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2008

    Posts: 27

    unemployment

    If some people asked to take a 29.5 hour job, is it better off to claim unemployment? Yes, it is most of the time. Mish, you maybe wrong. Unemployment rate may go up.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 10:26pm

    #13

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Prognosis

    I believe that the power is again gridlocked with one side controling one house and the other side controling the other.

    Fascism is when Capital becomes the Government.

    The Fascists in the USA like gridlock. Expect no substansive Law reform to emerge from the Sturm und Drang. Max Keiser's Rape and Pillage of the financial wars will continue.

    Divide and conquor works at the top as well.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 11:19pm

    #14
    Kikoman

    Kikoman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 19 2012

    Posts: 1

    What a mess we got ourselves into

    Hi! everyone,

    In 2008 I was part of the nre revolution, today I just want to cry.  I do not think the world will end, but the future will be very hard and difficult for most.  Families will be dislocated and fragment away, many will die, starvation and epidemics will over take some and a few will survive.  I am 65 years old and preparing as best I can, but I have no illution about surviving the next downturn. After reading the CRASH COURSE, I see clearly for the first time what the future holds for us.  Thank you for the warning Chris  I hope other hear or read your words and do something about it.  I am going to go on and prepare as best I can.  Maybe I will last long enough to teach others to prepare and face the future with some hope.

    Kikoman

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - 11:56pm

    #15

    charleshughsmith

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 15 2010

    Posts: 683

    tax and spend

    Good summary, Adam. As my wife noted yesterday, "there is never an option on the ballot for improving efficiency."

    Chris raises something I've discussed at length, the Tyranny of the Majority.  The top 1% pays 34% of federal income taxes, the top 10% pay 70% of the Federal income tax, the top 25% pay 87%. The bottom 50% pay 2% (not counting 7.65% Social Security payroll taxes, of course). With roughly half of all households already receiving direct government checks/assistance/transfer payments, we are probably already at the point where the 51% approve tax increases that fall mostly on a minority.  

    While those who only work part-time simply don't make enough to pay more taxes, what's happening is the least productive sectors of the economy (those protected by the Central State) are increasingly being subsidized by whatever is still nominally productive in the private sector. The "ratchet effect" is in full force: government can expand but it is incapable of shrinking. Yet how can a government keep expanding while the economy stagnates?

    What nobody dares discuss anywhere is the rising pressure a la Greece to move one's income to the underground cash-only economy to escape taxation. When is "paying your fair share" enough? What is a "fair share"?  

    Add up all taxes and many of us are already paying 50% or more: 13% self-employment (soon to revert to 15.3%), 25% Federal on any income above $34,500, state income taxes, sales taxes, $12,000 in property taxes annually, and $13,000 in stripped-down healthcare insurance that would be paid out of taxes in "socialist" countries. In effect many of us (not rich but not poor) are paying "socialist" tax rates but without the mostly "free" higher education and healthcare you get in countries like France. 

    As one member noted here, the option is to opt out before taxes/healthcare go even higher.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 12:52am

    #16

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 198

    Perspective

    Take a look at the history of the income tax.  Rates were much higher during the Great Depression and World War II.  Just saying.

    I cringe at some of the anti-tax currents being voiced here, but have to remember that many of you are posting within the context of what is coming….and I am in fact in the same boat.  I don't want my tax dollars just thrown away. 

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 1:05am

    Reply to #7

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 198

    Taxation

    Just think some taxation is worth it, however, maybe I need to devote more time to preps.  The more the goverment takes, the less I have to prep with. 
    Peace,
    Jason

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 1:28am

    Reply to #15
    treemagnet

    treemagnet

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 14 2011

    Posts: 279

    caught in the middle

    are folks who don't receive state/federal welfare and on the other end, don't prosper/benefit from the money printing that circulates and pools around elites with contacts in cronyism, etc.  Folks who see their purchases buying less, far less, than it used to and suffering from the "benefits" experienced at the extremes are, in a very real way, paying more and receiving less…..sure sounds, feels, and hurts like increased taxation to me.  I feel like an eskimo floating on an ever shrinking patch of ice.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 2:07am

    #17
    JF

    JF

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 08 2009

    Posts: 1

    Population Management

    To fear those who would debase or seize our money, while at the same time calling for better "population management", as Adam did, is a bit short-sighted.  Who is qualified to manage population and make the life and death decisions?  Surely it is not the state.  We've seen the barbarity of state-sponsored population management as practiced in China.  Let's stick with the inalienable right of life, endowed by our Creator, that the Declaration of Independence speaks about, and stay away from "population management."

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 2:32am

    Reply to #17

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2491

    I'll respond, but won't let this thread get hijacked

    JF: As I responded earlier today to someone who had a similar reaction: 
    Your comment demonstrates why population management is such an important issue. It can't be raised without inflaming emotions, so rare is the leader who's willing to raise it. And by going unaddressed, the risk of problems created by overpopluation grow unchecked.
     
    Your heated response is one of the most common and presumes that those who raise the topic are out to create a master class at the expense of the rest of the populace.
     
    I ask you, are these not important questions to consider?

    what should our national immigration policy be?
    with a continued increasing population (439 million by 2050 estimates the US Census Bureau), when will the US begin hitting unacceptable limits given our finite resources?
    presuming we want to avoid a chaotic collision with overpopulation (on both national and global levels), what steps should we be considering today? Which ones achieve the best odds for success, balanced with fairness and respect for human rights?

    You may not agree, but I think these are responsible and prudent questions to be raising now. To be unwilling to do so is reckless, in my opinion.
     
    FYI – I do not want this thread to get hijacked by reaction to this emotionally-charged topic and we'll moderate these comments heavily if need be. Chris and I will be tackling population as a topic on the site directly in a few weeks – that will be the right forum for a full-blown discussion on this subject.

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 4:30am

    Reply to #17
    robbie

    robbie

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 16 2008

    Posts: 57

    Wow, if that's what

    Wow, if that's what constitutes a heated response I may need to recalibrate my temperature meter. I think others may call this "prior restraint". Granted, this topic may be better dealt with in a future forum, but let's not shutter reasonable discussion. I get enough of this at lunch in MA.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 5:02am

    #18

    CleanEnergyFan

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 29 2012

    Posts: 104

    Where are the "safe havens" for free market freedom-lovers

    This election is a tipping point as mentioned earlier.  I think many producers will conclude that we have probably past the point of no return and will look for alternatives.  I would like to see a thread devoted specifically for discussing alternative locations to wait out the coming storm where harD working people are not vilified and Made to pay for the sins of those who would rather vote for a living.  I am personally thinking about Costa Rica….beautiful country with great people who are not looking for a handout, small government, lots of individual freedom, great weather, lots of fresh water and plenty of natural resources and mostly renewable power.  I live in Texas which is about as free as any state in the US but until we succeed we are still under the rule of the Federal Government.     I am ready to vote with my feet because I can't see any way to win at the ballot box and we have a government that clearly doesnt respect the limits of power defined in our Constitution    I look forward to connecting up with others who are looking for alternatives to our current direction.  

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 5:18am

    Reply to #16

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Marginal rates were higher, but so were loopholes

    [quote=Jbarney]Take a look at the history of the income tax.  Rates were much higher during the Great Depression and World War II.  Just saying.
    I cringe at some of the anti-tax currents being voiced here, but have to remember that many of you are posting within the context of what is coming….and I am in fact in the same boat.  I don't want my tax dollars just thrown away. 
    [/quote]
    Jbarney,
    You are correct that marginal rates were much higher – up to 90%. Unfortunately, the folks who would have been subject to those usurious rates had a myriad of loopholes to crawl into. Can you imagine anyone but a fool paying the top rate? Make sure you count the oranges with the apples.
    Reagan lowered the tax rates and closed many of the loopholes. That was a good step. If he hadn't vastly increased (tripled) the national debt in his 8 years, I'd say he was a very good president.
    Grover

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 8:35am

    Reply to #17

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Gallows humour.

     I get enough of this at lunch in MA.

    Right on, R. I am pegged for a nutcase. I laugh along with them. Any laugh is a good laugh, even if we are laughing at different things.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 12:16pm

    #19

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Adam, we had this

    Adam, we had this "emotionally charged" discussion before as a member here decided to chastise a member because he gave his opinion about how he would control population growth reduction. This after being prodded to share his opinion is how I interpreted it.

    I happen to believe the problem is that we have two camps. Those who know we will have population moderation, and it's impolite to discuss because it makes you look around the room and wonder who will need to go. I'm in this camp, and think it best to avoid and move to more pressing issues as there are many.

    Then we have the other camp who get to express how this population management issue could be dealt with in ways not fully imagined, and that would mean eliminating 5 Billion from this planet. That's a lot of Folks and means using some truly horrific weaponry.

    So lets muse shall we. We moderate by gassing, nuclear, chemical, biological, and all means necessary and lets get started now. Lets be thoughtful and get on this problem right away. Lets have a lottery, like was done to pick who would be drafted towards the end of the Vietnam conflict, on Nation TV. A committee table will need to be constructed, we use nice comfortable chairs too as this subject requires those making the decision to be attentive. How many members do we think we will need? What are the rules, and will we let the people vote in the end? Perhaps we do it by race. We should start now as we will need to screen these good Folks that would run this program. Didn't we do this before? Genocide it was called, right? Lets call it what it is shall we because that is what it is.

    Can we please be polite and just stick our heads in the sand and not deal with this just now? It is too Jim Jones of the famed Kool-aid incident like.

    Can we please make this our last choice of discussion, and deal with the Fiscal Cliff, debt ceiling, and all other things first? 

    If it is necessary to remove this posting then do please cancel my subscription. Nothing personal, it's just I am not dealing with this subject again. I don't mind being the first one eliminated for the cause. Thank you

    Respectfully Given

    BOB

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 2:01pm

    Reply to #15

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Charles, I am a big fan and

    Charles, I am a big fan and this is known. I thought of you as I read Adams post.I was asked by a friend who simply thinks Obama as "The Prince of Darkness" (I do not), and asked me why Obama was elected. My answer to him I thought was simple. When you have bloated government and want to keep your job as you work for the government or related jobs dependent on government then you vote for the known quantity. When you are benefiting from our entitlement state in the form of welfare, SSI checks and all other pacifying payments you have those receiving these payments as protecting their self interest so vote for a known quantity. This represents 51% of the population with many more Baby Boomers that will soon enter entitlement phase, voting too for a known quantity. So the percentage is actually higher as we Baby Boomers want our entitlements there when we show up to collect. That is why I believe Obama was elected. 
    I should add too, that 61% of those receiving payments are white, and 33% colored as it is most often thought a racial divide mostly benefiting the Blacks but that is not really correct.
     Now you have your blue states locked in as the President (current) is a known quantity. I don't think it goes beyond this.
    The next President, and there after just has to assure these folks are taken care of, and the percentage will just grow from here as the Baby Boomers move into entitlement age, and protects their self interests.
    How can we balance our Fiscal Issues when pandering to the vote of this most impressive voting block? I just don't think Congress has the brass to tackle this issue without taking great risks of offending an ever growing entitlement class. This has to end badly as Congress, while saying the right things so colorfully, and with a back door opened for quick escape are just locked into the same ole same ole.
    I remain hopeful for change but I'll believe it when I see it. We either have cash pumping out by the Trillions until the cash overwhelms the system or retrenchment removes the cash in the system by debt repayment or default. We'll see. I know this though, when push comes to shove that the morality issue is not an issue any longer, and default/bankruptcy will be a valid escape from debt, and running up the last few bucks on the credit card will happen just before this bankruptcy is declared. Human nature when all the leaders are taking similar advantage of this most easy, and legal recourse.
    So happy you take the time to comment here often. Good stuff really.
    Respectfully Given
    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 2:35pm

    #20

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Things that make you/me go Hmmmm...

    Bank Of England Halts QE After "Potency Questioned"
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/08/2012 07:38 -0500

    Bank of EnglandBarclaysBloomberg NewsBOECitigroupEuropean Central BankGross Domestic ProductJapanLloydsMervyn KingMonetary PolicyQuantitative EasingrecoveryUnited Kingdom

    In what may be the most disturbing news of the day, moments ago the BOE announced it is halting its own version of QE3, and capping the asset purchase program at £375 billion after "some policy makers questioned its effectiveness in supporting a recovery that remains lackluster." Could it be that even that peculiar Homo Sapiens subspecies known as "economist" is starting to realize that when applying the same "remedy" time after time to absolutely no avail, and where even the market no longer responds to unlimited injections of liquidity, then perhaps it is time to end said "remedy" altogether? And how long until the voodoo shamans in the dark lit room at Marriner Eccles follow through? Sadly, if Japan, and its 9 (so far) rounds of easing, is any indication, we have a lot more pain to go before what has been glaringly obvious to every hotdog vendor and shoeshine boy is also understood by Economics Nobel prize winners.

    From Bloomberg:

    The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee led by Governor Mervyn King kept its target for asset purchases at 375 billion pounds ($598 billion) today, ending its third round of quantitative easing. The decision was forecast by 35 of 45 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The remainder had forecast an increase of as much as 50 billion pounds.

     

    Today’s move suggests the London-based central bank may focus on credit-boosting initiatives such as the Funding for Lending Scheme to ignite growth. Increased inflationary pressures may also have prompted policy makers to hold fire even as surveys point to renewed weakness after the U.K. economy surged 1 percent in the third quarter.

     

    BOE Deputy Governors Paul Tucker and Charles Bean both suggested in recent speeches that asset purchases may no longer have the same impact on the economy as when first introduced in 2009. At the same time, Martin Weale has questioned whether loosening policy is right with inflation above the central bank’s 2 percent target.

    The UK needs more hedonically edible iPads because inflation appears to be an issue:

    Inflation was at 2.2 percent in September and King said last month that recent energy costs increases mean it will stay above the goal “well into next year.” Renewed signs of price pressures combined with the third-quarter gross domestic product data and comments from MPC members led banks including Citigroup Inc. and Barclays Plc to abandon forecasts of more QE today.

     

    “The widespread expectation of unchanged policy marks a sharp turnaround from forecasts just a few weeks ago that QE would be expanded,” said Chris Crowe and Blerina Uruci, economists at Barclays in London. “This is partly due to evidence of firmer inflationary pressures.”

     

    The MPC had new growth and inflation forecasts at today’s meeting, which it will publish next week. Minutes of the meeting, showing how the committee members voted, will be released on Nov. 21.

    Finally, since one never says never in Keynesville, it is likely only a matter of time before the insanity returns:

    Even with QE halted, the Bank of England still has the FLS, which it set up with the U.K. Treasury and is aimed at boosting lending. The program began in August and as of last month, 30 financial institutions had signed up, including Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Barclays.

     

    “QE still has a benefit and those benefits will stay there — they’re not unwinding any purchases,” said Alan Clarke, an economist at Scotia Capital in London. “And they won’t close the door on it, they’ll leave their options open.”

    And now, we look forward to the ECB confirming that when it comes to failed monetary system, for every good cop there is at least one absolutely insane cop.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 2:42pm

    #21
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1353

    Irony

    Am I the only one who sees great irony in Chris and Adam being willing to 'go to the mats' to discuss population control?  The only reason population may be a problem in the US is that we consume way more resources per capita than any nation on earth.  China and India have about a third of the world's population and will likely grow by the billions by 2050.  We have very limited leverage to dictate the population policies of these nations and the rest of the third world where the problem is greatest.

    OTOH, Chris and Adam are resolutely unwilling to discuss a far more pressing problem, climate change.  We can have a decisive impact in that arena if the political will is there to do something.  I would suggest that climate change is far less controversial than population control, and is subject to scientific evidence, unlike population control which has all kinds of religious, ethnic and political overtones.

    Just my $.02.

    Doug

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 3:27pm

    Reply to #21

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 810

    Doug - Please understand that

    Doug – Please understand that this is not a poke in the eye.Why do you feel you need Chris or Adam to weigh in on Climate Change?  There is a fantastic,data rich, on-going discussion in another thread here on PP.com.  Do you feel that what Adam and/or Chris think about climate change would validate what is already there? 
    I don't.  The information already stands on it's own two feet.  Jacques Yves Cousteau could show up and throw down and I don't think it would make much difference to the data that speaks volumes without saying anything.
     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 4:16pm

    #22

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    I so agree DOG-in-a-pile as

    I so agree DOG-in-a-pile as there are many well qualified and intelligent speakers on the subject here at PP that frankly align better with me and how I see things, and they are in the field experts so who am I to question their numbers. Where Adam and Chris are not in their class (meant no disrespect).

    Frankly Dog, your views nuclear are clearer thinking than many thoughts Chris has spoken of in the past (again no disrespect to the Professor) and so I weight towards your opinion when you two have your discussions.

    Mark Cochrane being the other expert here at PP I found fascinating and extremely giving and bright.

    Have a Great Day Folks

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 5:02pm

    #23

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 810

    Thanks but.......

    Whatever dark and nefarious forces running amok unchecked on this site that modified my post and added the link to the The Definitive Global Climate Change (aka Global Warming) Thread, hear this……

     

     

    Thanks. 

    Now, please tell me how you freakin' did it because every time I try to do that text highlight linky thingie I end up going to an 80s Grateful Dead show and that is quite possibly the worst thing that could happen to anyone.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 5:28pm

    Reply to #23

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2491

    It was me, Dogs

    You're welcome. Figured the post had more punch if folks knew which thread you were referencing.Adding a hyperlink is pretty straightforward:

    find the URL you want to link to
    copy it
    find the menu bar at the top of the Comment box you've written in and find the 'Link' icon (it looks like a globe with a chain link beneath it – I'll post an image below)
    highlight the text you want to hyperlink
    click the Link icon
    a pop-up widow will appear. Paste the url into the provided field.
    click OK

    Here's the icon to look for in the menu bar in Step 3 (highlighted by the red box):

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 5:32pm

    Reply to #10
    doug green

    doug green

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 07 2011

    Posts: 54

    Sounds like question 7 here

    Sounds like question 7 here in Maryland, where they use casino revenues for education.  But that only DISPLACES current funds for education one for one that can then be used for whatever porkbarrel program O'Malley can dream up.  I voted for it only because the word cut isn't in our socialist governor's vocabulary, and figure voluntary revenues via gambling is better than yet another tax hike to me.  I'm already getting jacked up with about 5 new tax increases between last year and next year. Also, a measure passed in Maryland that gives illegals, I mean "undocumented immigrants"  in-state tuition rates…

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 6:03pm

    #24

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 810

    Thanks Adam

    Like this?

    Enjoy…….

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 6:25pm

    #25

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Adam, that was way cool of

    Adam, that was way cool of you. I used it to get Marks name as it aluded me.

    Hey!, can you change the scores of the World Series? Now, that would be cool. Or hook me up and Ill do it!

    Still… GRIEVING… here.

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 7:56pm

    #26

    Poet

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 976

    Red States Also Most Dependent

    Aaron E. Carroll, MD, MS at Indiana University tells us that in 2010, residents of the 10 states Gallup ranks as “most conservative” received 21.2 percent of their income in government transfers, while the number for the 10 most liberal states was only 17.1 percent.

    Source Article: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/02/14/how_blue_america_subsidizes_red_america.html

    And here's a NATIONAL HEAT MAP OF DEPENDENCY on government benefits…

    The Geography of Government Benefits (February 11, 2012)
    "The share of Americans’ income that comes from government benefit programs, like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, more than doubled over the last four decades, rising from 8 percent in 1969 to 18 percent in 2009."
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/02/12/us/entitlement-map.html?ref=us

    Check out the interactive chart that breaks it down to the county level.

    Note that veterans' benefits only account for 0.4% of personal income. And look at which states need the most income support.

    And, here's a MEASURE OF TAX DOLLARS COLLECTED VERSUS RECEIVED

    Most Red States Take More Money From Washington Than They Put In (February 16, 2012)
    "The states that contributed more in taxes than they got back in spending were more likely to have voted for Obama in 2008 and were more likely to be largely urban. (There are some clear exceptions: For instance, New Mexico, a rural, Democratic state, gets more federal money per tax dollar than any other state.)"
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/11/states-federal-taxes-spending-charts-maps

    So to those of you for whom this is new… Please, adjust the anecdotes that you are telling accordingly.

    Poet

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - 10:13pm

    #27

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    Die off

    Bah humbug!  We're going to reduce our world population severely, but not in any thoughtful, organized, compassionate way.  We're going to run wilfully into any one of several walls directly ahead of us (war, pestilence, environment, energy) and millions or billions are going to die prematurely.  It might be more than "necessary" or it might be less than "enough," but it's coming.  The one percent who see it coming won't be able to alter the course sufficiently or measureably, despite the best of intentions and good ideas.  Let's be kind to one another as we hurtle toward extinction (or mere Armageddon).

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 12:04am

    Reply to #27

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2222

    Bah

    [quote=thc0655]Bah humbug!  We're going to reduce our world population severely, but not in any thoughtful, organized, compassionate way.  We're going to run wilfully into any one of several walls directly ahead of us (war, pestilence, environment, energy) and millions or billions are going to die prematurely.  It might be more than "necessary" or it might be less than "enough," but it's coming.  The one percent who see it coming won't be able to alter the course sufficiently or measureably, despite the best of intentions and good ideas.  Let's be kind to one another as we hurtle toward extinction (or mere Armageddon).
    [/quote]
    I'd be curious to hear Arthur's take on this one…

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 1:39am

    Reply to #18
    Thomas McCoy

    Thomas McCoy

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 08 2010

    Posts: 12

    Nice to hear someone else

    Nice to hear someone else considering Costa Rica.  It really is a reasonable alternative for US Citizen.   I understand there is already a large expat population from the US and other places there.  Perhaps the topic of 'Safe Havens' would make a good Group within the Prepare section of the website. 

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 3:00am

    Reply to #27
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1353

    thc0655 wrote:Bah humbug!

    [quote=thc0655]
    Bah humbug!  We're going to reduce our world population severely, but not in any thoughtful, organized, compassionate way.  We're going to run wilfully into any one of several walls directly ahead of us (war, pestilence, environment, energy) and millions or billions are going to die prematurely.  It might be more than "necessary" or it might be less than "enough," but it's coming.  The one percent who see it coming won't be able to alter the course sufficiently or measureably, despite the best of intentions and good ideas.  Let's be kind to one another as we hurtle toward extinction (or mere Armageddon).
    [/quote]
    Agreed.  Population control will happen, but we (US) won't have much to do with it because it won't happen here.  We can't stop it or significantly alter its course.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 3:51am

    Reply to #27

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2222

    Doug wrote:thc0655

    [quote=Doug]
    [quote=thc0655]
    Bah humbug!  We're going to reduce our world population severely, but not in any thoughtful, organized, compassionate way.  We're going to run wilfully into any one of several walls directly ahead of us (war, pestilence, environment, energy) and millions or billions are going to die prematurely.  It might be more than "necessary" or it might be less than "enough," but it's coming.  The one percent who see it coming won't be able to alter the course sufficiently or measureably, despite the best of intentions and good ideas.  Let's be kind to one another as we hurtle toward extinction (or mere Armageddon).
    [/quote]
    Agreed.  Population control will happen, but we (US) won't have much to do with it because it won't happen here.  We can't stop it or significantly alter its course.
    [/quote]
    Sure about that?  Be mindful of the "normalcy bias".  Just sayin'.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 5:00am

    Reply to #21
    John Lemieux

    John Lemieux

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 02 2012

    Posts: 208

    We Need To Consider What A Radically Different Climate Means

    On this site we come together to learn about, and then consider how our monetary systems are flawed and greatly missmanaged. We discuss what the implications of these realities likely are and how they might it effect our lives and our world. And with this new knowledge and deeper understanding we can discuss ways of finding solutions. Or we discuss the various 3 E issues so we might find ways to prepare and protect ourselves from financial loss and many other kinds of hardship.I know that great change unlike anything humanity has faced is now upon us. And I am currently doing my best with what time and resources I have availible to learn and to discover the truth in regards to what has caused these many converging world crises.  I also seek to understand why we are failing to successfully respond to them.  
    It has been argued here at PP that climate change is an insignificant problem, or that this is an insurmountable and therefore an unsolvable problem so why bother discussing it, or that by reducing our personal material and energy consumption as a response to the 3 E crises we can effectively responsed to the climate change crises. My belief is that the same underlying causes of our financial and resource and other crises are also the cause of the climate change crises as well.  
    My opinion is that becuase we now know that climate change is real and very serious that all the issues and effects of climate change must to be considered in an inclusive and wholistic manner along with the other pertenent 3E issues here. The reason for this is because of the broad implications of the catastrophic environmental, social and economic damage and hardship that will result from climate change. My belief is that climate change must to be a primary concern here if members are genuinely concerned about the state of our world. 
    Individual efforts to reduce consumption and energy use are part of a possible approach to addressing this crises, but these efforts will make no difference unless we also achieve dramatic cuts to worldwide greenhouse gas emmissions. But the current reality (and likely future reality) is that we are increasing C02 emmissions and we will likely have caused additional very harmful methane gas to be released as a result of arctic sea ice melt and thawing permafrost.
    So the point is that we are not going to escape or avoid this issue irregardless as to whether we believe that we can prevent climate change from continually getting worse or not. Or if we make the personal effort and lifestyle change to reduce our energy use. 
    The climate change thread mostly helps to us to better understand the science of climate change and the discussion there does address related climate change issues as well. But if the intention of PP is to play a meaningful part in the possibility of somehow playing a meaningful part in trying to create a World Worth Inheriting we must openly acknowlege, factor in and deal with the truth of what the present and coming climate change crises could mean in terms of it's underlying causes and it's broad environmental, social, political, economic other impacts.
     
     
     
     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 5:04am

    #28

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Geez, I don't like this

    Geez, I don't like this conversation but I have thought that the heavy population centers around the world are most certainly near their food source and water, we can reasonably be assured of this. Now that means the mass GENOCIDE of large groups must be done close to these resources. So, this makes sense and why? The weapons needed to manage population will be environmentally unfriendly so what is the point of even carrying on about all of this. What we seek in effect will be destroyed for many years to come. Done with this topic now.

    Adam!….Arrrrrgggghhhh!!!, but I love you Brother.

    Can't shoot the messenger and it is something we will deal with.

    In many war time situations, due to logistics, 4 Star dudes have to make these type decision all the time. I think of the Philippines during WW ll as a classic example of tragic consequences. The Death March is a difficult remembrance. Of sheer will and determination many Men  seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

    It's like we are running to the end of the story without trying our damdest to solve the issues and make a better life and a future right now.

    Respectfully

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 6:05am

    #29

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Red/Blue might not be the only correlation that could be made

    [quote=Poet]

    So to those of you for whom this is new… Please, adjust the anecdotes that you are telling accordingly.

    [/quote]

    I'm not sure you can call Red States conservative or Blue States liberal.  Republicans are not conservative and the Democrats are not liberal.  They both just like to spend and tell others how to live their lives.  It used to be Republicans concentrated on small government, limited spending and Liberals used to concentrate on civil liberties.   Neither major party stands on principals any longer…

    NM does receive a huge amount of the tax dollars per capita because it is a large state with a small population (2 million – population density 17.6/mile), relatively poor (not a lot of tax dollars paid) with a large number of Indian reservations, large area (3 Interstates), large military installations (3 air force bases and a missile/spacecraft testing range) and two national labs (Sandia and Los Alamos).

    So I've been trying to figure out why people are Democrats and Republicans since neither party seems to represented the ideals people attribute to them.  Why do people vote for those that don't represent them.  It seems like it's come down to the same rabid behavior of sports team fans.  It doens't matter if the team is good or bad, you associate with them and the other side is the enemy.  Or at least that seems to be the message of current politics.  Perhaps it's why this last election seems to be everyone voting for the least offensive (lesser of two evils).

    Here is an interesting visualization of the election results I came across:

    Maps of the 2012 US Presidential Election Results

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 6:23am

    Reply to #21

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 1189

    Three strikes and we are out....?

    As I see it, we have three interrelated problems.1. Global fiscal crisis – Immediate crisis that is going to cut us all long wide and deep in a short period of time. Whether we tumble into a deflationary deppression or a Wiemar style hyper inflation, economic pain will be the order of the day. Just plain miserable but ultimately survivable as we perhaps re-establish a hard currency based system. Major issue but recoverable to some level of normalcy within a decade or so.
    2. Energy/resource scarcity – With the advent of peak oil we've already arrived but the ramifications will play out over several decades. The screws will be tightened every year as the costs of most everything rises as energy gets more expensive and materials get more scarce. Financial collapse may stretch the problems out longer and in the worst cases we can mine our decaying infrastructure for a time. Efficiency, reuse and recycling can all slow the problem but not fix it. Ultimately we have to either accept much lower populations or we have to accept much lower material standards of living (probably both in the end). The pie is only so big. Note, population reduction doesn't have to be through a draconian policy or some nefarios scheme. In all likelihood, the finanical crisis will start us on the road down all by itself. Look to Greece, less health care and other support leads to higher death rates. Once death rates exceed birth rates then the population will trend down.
    3. Climate change – this is a wildcard and will play out over centuries to millennia. The die has been cast and we can no longer avert this. This is the death of a thousand cuts, more flooding, droughts, heat waves, mistimed frosts, hail etc. We have little appreciation of just how much we rely on climate staying roughly within a certain range (it's always just been there for us for 10,000 years, so we take it for granted). We will learn though. Put in crassly humanistic terms this will make everything more expensive. We can't fix it or cure it but if we work real hard at proactively dealing with items 1 & 2 above we can mitigate it. Think of it as taking tylenol to keep the fever from getting life threatening for our children and grandchildren. People needn't get so bent out of shape about this, we have to deal with our resource and population issues anyway. This just lends a note of urgency.
    We don't get to pick and choose what we want to accept, we have to deal with all of this and it won't come for free. If we can get a government that actually functions then it will require substantial cuts in entitlements, increases in management efficiency AND tax increases that are sufficient to cover the debt payments. Tax and spend is unsustainable without a rapidly growing economy, cut tax and spend is just plain suicidal, cut spending and tax will be unpalatable to all but seems to be the corner we've painted ourselves into.
    Mark

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 7:29am

    #30

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Agreed Mark. Lets get to

    Agreed Mark. Lets get to work.

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 10:11pm

    Reply to #27

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 810

    Time2Help wrote:I'd be

    [quote=Time2Help]
    I'd be curious to hear Arthur's take on this one…
    [/quote]
    "We have to get of the planet."
    The Mayans are coming in December to take us all to Arcturus on their spaceships. 

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 10:20pm

    Reply to #27

    Wendy S. Delmater

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2009

    Posts: 1418

    No, Dogs, I have it on authority...

    The Mayans are coming in December to take us all to Arcturus on their spaceships

    No, Dogs, I have it on authority…we'll be fine. *cue guitar and fiddle music*

    “Hi, Tom Bodett trying to make sense of this Mayan calendar. It seems to end Dec. 21st, 2012. That’s, unsettling. Oh well. Still plenty of time this year to stay at Motel Six and get a clean comfortable room for the lowest price of any national chain.  And we’re still taking reservations for after Dec. 21.  All due respect to the Mayans.  Sorry, King K’inich Ahkal Mo’ Nahb. Nothing but love for ya.  I’m Tom Bodett for Motel 6 and we’ll leave the light on for ya.”

    See? You and Arthur have nothing to worry about.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 10:24pm

    Reply to #27

    Wendy S. Delmater

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2009

    Posts: 1418

    as to the subject

    I agree that we should be more concerned about the return OF our money than the return ON our money.Dogs and Dr. Chris are both gonna get a great return on their solar panels. If I had the money, I'd put up as many as would fit on my roof. Oh well, we've at least started with our first batch.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 10:51pm

    Reply to #27

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2222

    Dogs

    [quote=Dogs_In_A_Pile][quote=Time2Help]
    I'd be curious to hear Arthur's take on this one…
    [/quote]
    "We have to get of the planet."
    The Mayans are coming in December to take us all to Arcturus on their spaceships. 
    [/quote]
    ROTF!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 10:53pm

    #31

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    First the Moon has to be in the 7th house...

    …then we skedaddle. Dah!

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

    Peace

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 10:58pm

    Reply to #27

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2222

    safewrite wrote:I agree that

    [quote=safewrite]
    I agree that we should be more concerned about the return OF our money than the return ON our money.
    Dogs and Dr. Chris are both gonna get a great return on their solar panels. If I had the money, I'd put up as many as would fit on my roof. Oh well, we've at least started with our first batch.
    [/quote]
    I feel ya…I just picked up 3x 250W grape solars with the associated batteries/charge controller, inverter, etc.  Ka-ching!  Need one more to round out the kW.  5kW is quite a bit of coin (at least from my perspective), and a helluva lot of area.  This stuff is not cheap.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - 11:15pm

    #32

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    What are you Folks paying for

    What are you Folks paying for your systems? I'm in the process of seeing if I can put them up as I live in an attached condo community. I will live elsewhere when Barb retires so I would like to have a sense of costs.

    Thanks

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 12:10am

    Reply to #27

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 810

    Small request for safewrite

    [quote=safewrite]

    The Mayans are coming in December to take us all to Arcturus on their spaceships

    No, Dogs, I have it on authority…we'll be fine. *cue guitar and fiddle music*

    “Hi, Tom Bodett trying to make sense of this Mayan calendar. It seems to end Dec. 21st, 2012. That’s, unsettling. Oh well. Still plenty of time this year to stay at Motel Six and get a clean comfortable room for the lowest price of any national chain.  And we’re still taking reservations for after Dec. 21.  All due respect to the Mayans.  Sorry, King K’inich Ahkal Mo’ Nahb. Nothing but love for ya.  I’m Tom Bodett for Motel 6 and we’ll leave the light on for ya.”

    See? You and Arthur have nothing to worry about.
    [/quote]
    safe –
    Next time please put NSFVWDF* in the subject line.
     
    * Not Safe For Viewing While Drinking Fluids

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 1:34am

    #33
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    Active solar

    Bob,

    I have finally given in to putting an active solar system on my passive house.  I liked the purity of the house being the system. No moving parts, nothing to break or repair. Integration and simplicity.  Following nature where everything serves multiple purposes. Oh well……..practicallity won out.

    I oversized the active hot water system to do some space heating with as well.  Hot water systems have the fastest payback periods, 7 to 8 years, PV's are still out in the 15 to 20 year range.  Hot water systems for a family of 4 are around 8.5k, but with typical state and federal incentives you can get it down to 4.5k.  If you have good exposure you can produce 60 to 70% of your hot water needs.  Hot water can be around 40% of your energy needs.

    There are PV leasing programs available where you agree to buy the electicity for the panel installer, so no cash up front and electrilc bill is locked in, you can opt to buy the panels at the end of the lease period. Installer takes all the incentive credits.  These programs usually only work where there are stong local incentives.

    Germany last month alone has installed as many panels as there are in the USA in total.  If you get depressed about what 's going in the USA, look around, there are whole other countries that "get it".

    "Let the Sun Shine In, the Sun Shine in………."

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 2:26am

    #34

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Get it? Not! Just a sign of subsidies

    [quote=treebeard]

    Germany last month alone has installed as many panels as there are in the USA in total.  If you get depressed about what 's going in the USA, look around, there are whole other countries that "get it".

    [/quote]

    A bit of an exaggeration.  US has about 3.5GW of installed PV and Germany installed 1GW in September.

    But yes, Germany has about 212 W/person of capacity installed and the US has about 8 W/person.  I'm doing my part to raise the US average with our 6,500 W/person system (13kW). wink

    Germany's rate of solar installation doesn't show they "get it", rather it shows what happens when you massively subsidize something.  That growth rate will likely drop significantly since they cut the subsidies substantially this year.  Also, all those subsidies have led to an unsustainable corporate environment and many of the solar manufacturers are struggling because they never had to actually compete.  As we have seen many times in the past, governments can blow bubbles…

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 2:59am

    #35

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Solar costs...

    [quote=RJE]

    What are you Folks paying for your systems? I'm in the process of seeing if I can put them up as I live in an attached condo community. I will live elsewhere when Barb retires so I would like to have a sense of costs.

    [/quote]

    Bob, you might want to check out Affordable Solar, they offer kits so you can see what pricing runs for the parts in case you want to do it yourself or just to use for negotiation from others.  Then you will need to check out the incentives for your location at DSIRE, for sure you get 30% Federal tax credit, but you may be able to get more by state/utility.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 3:21am

    #36

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    rhare, I have spent some time

    rhare, I have spent some time on this, and are really paying attention here to what people are using and their savings. My intentions are to build on property I have in the North Country of Michigan. I want to get started now building a log cabin on a Lake but as my Lady is working (Hospital) and the medical coverage as part of her benefits being the sole motivation as we don't want catastrophic health cost should something crazy happen taking a good chunk of our cash reserves. I just had (last 3 years) neck, eye and a couple minor surgeries that totaled well over $200 thousand that if I had no insurance would have been a nice bite out of my rump. Don't want that. Additionally she loves her work so I wouldn't want to start something my Lady may not be ready for just yet. 

    rhare, my intentions are to build everything myself, and I am getting wind charts from the area I plan to build in the future and do the math to see what I could expect by using wind power.

    I appreciate anyone's personal costs figures as I will want to balance that against other things.

    Regards

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 4:11am

    #37

    RNcarl

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 13 2008

    Posts: 179

    Return of capital

    Interesting,

    simply put from what I have "learned" on this site is:

    A.) All fiat money returns to its intrinsic value ~ 0

    B.) The organism has way too many parisites on it making it sick (the planet) and it is running a fever (global warming) to rid itself of the parisitic illness. One of two outcomes will happen. One, the fever does not break the infection, and the planet dies(as we know it) or two, the fever causes a reaction that reduces the parisitic load to return the organism to homeostasis. 

    Item B is self correcting wether we like it or not. Item A was caused by us so we can correct it. 

     

    Preservation of capital is simple, understand that fiat money has no intrinsic value so trade it for that which does have intrinsic value. And, stop being a parisite. You stand a better chance of not becoming extinct. 

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 4:14am

    #38
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    Agree to disagree

    We fundamentally disagree on the perfection of "free markets" and the role public institutions in society, we have some common ground, but will never see eye to eye.  IMO Germany did the right thing, blowing a "bubble" in the solar market.  As energy prices continue to rise they can pull out the subsidies and let the thing run on it's own.  Certainly there will be some difficulty in the transition, but even as their growth slows they will be outstripping us by an order of magnitude.  They are and will stay way ahead of us on that front as a result of their approach to the problem. We are falling down in that regard.  I admire your individual efforts, but they pale in comparison to what a community can do when acting collectively (I know how evil that sounds to you – apologies ahead of time).

    As we are arriving at the upward curve of the hockey stick on most resource and fiscal issues and germany is subsidising the solar industry preparing for whats to come,  what's happening in the USA:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8CqaHTygSc&feature=related

    I know, I know, it's all the governmets fault.

    Sorry for the exageration on the solar panel facts, someone told me that today in a passing conversation and I could not believe it, should have research that before posting. Must have been in the past quarter.  The statistic is still pretty damn stunning.

     

     

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 4:58am

    #39

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Cost request...

    I went back and looked at some notes I had from one of Chris's interviews with a radio host. 15% savings in his region with a payback of 7 years. This sounds good to me. Thanks for the help.

    Chris, why the hell if you know this that others in your area don't take advantage as you did? Is it because their the same walleye Folks there as in my neck of the woods? This broadcast I think was a couple years ago, have you seen any changes there, in your neighborhood and community? Have you effectively changed your community to action? The political Folks heading your District? That would be interesting to know,

    You have here because we are receptive, and I for one are waiting to be approached now rather than explain and get that look any longer because until their ready I can't help. I guess I'm asking if your powers of persuasion in your community had garnered any more people to do as you have.

    Regards

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 6:36am

    #40

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Voluntary versus Forced - same song different venue

    [quote=treebeard]

    We are falling down in that regard.  I admire your individual efforts, but they pale in comparison to what a community can do when acting collectively (I know how evil that sounds to you – apologies ahead of time).

    [/quote]

    Actually not, I completely support he community doing this type of thing as a collective.  When it's voluntary and the community wants something we can accomplish great things.  What I have a problem with is when a few individuals in a government decide what is best for a large chunk of the population. What if they are wrong?  What if they aren't considering other alternatives?  Also, when people are "forced" to do something they are much less invested in it and so they don't strive to do the best they can.

    I actually believe in strong community, but community is voluntary, government does not create community, rather it pits one group against another as we have seen in our recent political landscape.

    [quote=treebeard]

    Sorry for the exageration on the solar panel facts, someone told me that today in a passing conversation and I could not believe it, should have research that before posting. Must have been in the past quarter.  The statistic is still pretty damn stunning.

    [/quote]

    I agree it's pretty stunning.  I certainly have tried to convince everyone I know to get their money back from the government and to install solar.  Now, as much as I try to get people I know to install solar, it's still a subsidy for the rich (as most subsidies are), since the poor will be unable to take advantage of the incentives but they have to pay for it in higher utility bills.

    The problem I see with solar subsidies is they don't really address the issue – solar subsidies are a band-aid for other issues – living beyond our means and subsidies for other forms of energy.  I suspect we actually agree about a lot of the problems, I just suspect we don't agree on the causes or potentially the solutions. For example, the problem with the German and Spain alternative energy bubbles is that the state picked the winners and the losers.  How many alternative solutions died because of the subsidy to PV?  How many people would have reduced usage instead of just adding PV and continuing their current lifestyle (I fit in this category).  Many of the companies that are now suppliers will perish because they do not have a product that is cost competitive and can't survive without subsidies (we have seen that here in the US market – Solyndra, A123, …).

    Just as the Fed distorts money, that money and government influence then distort the markets so that they do not create the things people need at the price they can afford.  I don't think markets are perfect, but they certainly do a better job of allocating risk and allowing those with good ideas to flourish than centrally planned, often politically motivated solutions.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 6:52am

    #41

    acomfort

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 07 2008

    Posts: 11

    Population, Global Warming, Resource depletion

     

     

    Global Warming,  Resource Depletion, Population

    There is noway that this group can throughly cover any one of these topics without talking about the others.  

    If we were not using so many resources we would not be causing global warming.         If world population was only 100 million of us we would not be worrying about resource depletion or causing global warming.   

    I understand the dificulty of discussing over population . . . To discuss fixing it you will see many things that were good may now bad.   Examples: Having kids, agriculture, life saving devices,  fossil fuel driven labor saving devices, cheap transportation, maybe fire and cooked food,  and the list goes on and on and on.  

    The Fuckit Slump

    Oil’s running low at the pump,
    Not due to some interim hump;
    We’re ready to quit
    ‘Cause we don’t give a shit,
    And we enter the Fuckit Slump.

    Starvation hits, nobody’s plump,
    Global warming beats on our rump;
    When it doesn’t mean squat
    That it’s getting too hot,
    We’re into the Fuckit Slump.  

    Air wafts by a nuclear dump,
    We inhale a plutonium lump;
    Fresh air provides
    Radionuclides
    To go with the Fuckit Slump.

    It’s all of us, you’re not a chump,
    The boiling frog still doesn’t jump;
    Let’s be succinct:
    We’re going extinct,
    So we’re doing the Fuckit Slump. 

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 2:27pm

    #42
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    The perfect is the enemy of the good

    I totally agree with your position in the abstract, but I do not believe that human beings at present are capable of organizing themselves at present in the way that you suggest. I hope that someday we evolve enough that we can live in a society in which every transaction is voluntary, and people are free do as they choose. In some ways the form of government is irrelevant. If everyone were Jesus Christ like, any form of government (or none at all) would do. If everyone were Adolf Hitler like, no form of government or nongovernment would do.

    The question is, how do we get there and what do we do with ourselves in the meantime. I fundamentally believe that responsibility leads to freedom and not that freedom leads to responsibility. Pushing an agenda where Freedom is the slogan word and responsibility is mentioned only in passing leads to the collective pathological behavior we see today, where fame and wealth are worshipped, self indulgent self destructive behavior is the cultural norm. Human behavior leads the to form of government not vice versa.

    Germany's method of achieving the solar development may not be the ideal. But if the majority of German's didn't believe in it, it would not have happened. Characterizing it is the few foisting it on the many is inaccurate. We are moving slowly in the direction of both better forms of achieving collective decision making and making better collective decisions. But to hold one hostage to the other is counter productive. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 4:15pm

    #43

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    I have no clue how anyone

    I have no clue how anyone else here does their thing. Me, I just do it. I don't wait on the government or any person's timeline. I get it done. If it makes sense to me then I won't relax until that system is in place. End of story.

    Respectfully Given

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 5:35pm

    Reply to #42

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 810

    treebeard wrote:We are

    [quote=treebeard]
    We are moving slowly in the direction of both better forms of achieving collective decision making and making better collective decisions. But to hold one hostage to the other is counter productive. The perfect is the enemy of the good.
    [/quote]
    California's Proposition 30 would indicate otherwise.  A majority votes to tax a minority so the majority can have someone else pay for something the majority wants.
    Yup…..that's awesome decision making at work there.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxcLNHasPx4

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 5:42pm

    #44

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    The Absurdity of Wealth Concentration in the Modern World

    Speaking of outer space, has anyone seen the L-Curve of wealth concentration in the US – and I imagine it would be even more exaggerated for the world as a whole – and this chart refers to incomes, not actual wealth as of 2003.   As I understand it, wealth has continued to concentrate since then:

    http://www.lcurve.org/images/LCurveFlier2003.pdf

    So, from the stats of that time, if you stacked up the median income of the US population, $40,000, on the 50 yard line of a football field representing the income distributions in the US from the lowest at one goal line (0 yard line, presumably $0) to the highest (at the 100 yard line – Bill Gates), the median income $40,000 as a stack of $100 bills would be about 1.6 inches high, sitting on the 50.  Those with income at the 95 percentile earning $100,000 would have a stack of hundreds about 4" high.  At the 99th percentile, $300K, the stack would be about a foot high.  According to the write-up, Bill Gates income would be a stack of hundreds about 30 miles high, at the upper end of the statospere, and tens of thousands of feet above where Felix Baumgartner stepped off of the balloon gondola for his joy ride the other day.

    When I was working on the documentary on corruption a few years ago, I made a 3D model in Excel of wealth concentration in the US, and it was an eye opener.   If you create a 10 x 10 matrix of wealth by percentiles in the US, you have an extremely flat area like the Great Plains for almost the whole area, except for a giant Mount Everest with exponentially rocketing foothills the very last few squares in the corner near the 100th percentile square.

    I agree with Chris' basic position, and the basic information, that taxing alone is absolutely not a solution in itself to the major problems we face – it can’t raise close to the funds needed for the current budget commitments – and it absolutely can be part of a syndrome of "taxing someone else" instead of setting priorities and making the real reorganizations, cuts, and improvements to efficiencies where they need to be made.   But, like JBarney, I also cringe at the overdone anti-tax currents on this thread and this site.   Additional taxes and fairer distribution of the world's vast wealth are part of any budget balancing that includes any kind of social safety net in the US.  And IMO, capitalism absolutely doesn't work without providing some safety net and fairness, as we saw in the 1930's.  To the extent we’re all uncomfortable with “class war”, revolution, taxation and redistribution of wealth, we might as well prepare to be uneasy for awhile, because stark differences in wealth and welfare of people is absolutely part of the problem right now everywhere, and it’s worth not forgetting that – beyond all the distracting talk about eternal “freeloaders” which IMO is in part, an avoidance. 

    A lot of the wealthy are freeloaders, too. I’m sorry, though they may all be great guys, I don’t have that much respect for a system that delivers outrageous billions to Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or George Soros and gives them control over so much of the planet’s resources, let alone Donald Trump.   They don’t need it.  I don’t need it, either – someone else does.   So, how do we change that? As Chris discussed before, one model to look at is the Swedish approach of a mix of free market, higher taxation and higher general welfare – gov't balanced against free markets.   Like many here, I tend to believe it’s likely the larger system is too ossified, corrupt and in denial to change in time and become more fair and principled, either by evolution or revolution.  So, in reality, we are more likely to be left to our own devices and organizing in more localized communities.

    I’m not a particularly religious person, but apparently Matthew was a good dude with a nice quote in the Christian Bible that pertains to this thread and this problem at all levels:

    “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

    As times get tougher, doesn't it seem our heart needs to be with our larger community as many have said, on whatever level we can make that work, and that that’s the only place to lay up treasures in the end and find a bit of heaven?

    How about "the return of principles" instead of "the return of principal"?  Are both possible?  If not, and we're bound to all be "general partners" with 100% at risk, like it or not, is there a way at this point to do it happily with other people?

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 6:25pm

    #45

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    kelvenator, I watched as a

    kelvenator, I watched as a boy in the neighborhood unwrapped a large two piece Snickers with his little Brothers (4 total). He broke apart the large pieces into smaller and visably simular pieces and shared with his Brothers and a neighbor boy who drifted over. I felt pretty good about that as this is at the heart of the human race were my thoughts. There is hope, I just feel it deeply.

    Nice essay

    Best Ragards

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 7:06pm

    Reply to #7
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    the gloves are off

    [quote=cmartenson]I am quite unsettled by the idea of putting tax hikes that impact one segment of the population to a vote.  It brings to mind this quote:

    "When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
                — Benjamin Franklin.

    What's next, a ballot initiative to take the private assets of 49% of the population?  I know that's extreme, but the idea of asking the majority what it thinks of taking more money from a minority is somehow just not in the spirit of things for me.  Just too many ways for all of that to end badly.
    I know it's been said, but the whole idea that the schools in CA have been 'rescued' by this tax hike (yes, that's the language being used) demonstrates a complete failure to address the core of the problem.  Perhaps the schools have become too expensive for some reason or there are better and more cost effective ways to run things or any of a number of other essential starting points for the conversation?
    Here's a prediction:  the state will collect less than it thinks, some will be diverted (or 'borrowed') for other-than-school purposes, and nothing will be fixed except that the population of people earning over $250k in CA will shrink.  In just one or two years the schools will have chewed through whatever additional funds came their way and the whole problem will resurface.
    [/quote]
    Throughout my entire adult life, I've always willingly paid my full share of taxes, considering them the cost of living in this country and the benefits inherent to that situation.  As I've learned more over the years, however, I've become increasingly disillusioned with the entire situation.
    I realize now, after seeing the taxes (both overt and covert) that this administration has planned for us, the very best investment for me at this time is not precious metals, timberland, arable land, livestock, alternative sources of power, skill development, or aquisition of other productive assets and/or businesses, although these all have merit.  I realize now that the very best investment for me is to seek out and hire the very best tax lawyer and attorney money can afford and restructure my entire life, livelihood, and future to utilize every available legal means to reduce my taxes to the lowest possible number, if not zero.  I've always preferred simplicity and directness and standing apart from the morass of legal and regulatory entanglement but realize now, such a course of action is no longer tenable if I want to financially survive or even thrive in the coming years.  To paraphrase a statement frequently made by the Viet Cong, I have to "grab them by the belt and pull them close", using the nature and design of their own system to my advantage.
     
     
     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 7:19pm

    Reply to #27
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    one of the ground zeroes

    [quote=thc0655]Bah humbug!  We're going to reduce our world population severely, but not in any thoughtful, organized, compassionate way.  We're going to run wilfully into any one of several walls directly ahead of us (war, pestilence, environment, energy) and millions or billions are going to die prematurely.  It might be more than "necessary" or it might be less than "enough," but it's coming.  The one percent who see it coming won't be able to alter the course sufficiently or measureably, despite the best of intentions and good ideas.  Let's be kind to one another as we hurtle toward extinction (or mere Armageddon).
    [/quote]
    thc0655,
    It was interesting to see in your stomping grounds (i.e. Philly), some of the wards had 99% of their vote for Obama.  Yikes!  I'd sure hate to be there when things start to get dicey.  I can see why you're thinking the way you're thinking.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 7:23pm

    Reply to #32
    DRS78750

    DRS78750

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 30 2009

    Posts: 3

    RJE wrote:What are you Folks

    [quote=RJE]
    What are you Folks paying for your systems?
    Thanks
    BOB
    [/quote]
    16 months ago, my 9.2KW grid-connected/dependant system cost $1.23/watt after rebates and tax credits. Today the same system would cost only $0.46/watt.  This means you should be able to install a 5,000 watt system for less than $2,500 in my area. My utility rebates $2/watt so you need to take that into account. Without the rebate, today's cost would be $1.86/watt. Missouri is a net-metering state, so I get credited for any excess energy generated.  I calculate my ROI on a daily basis and it mostly ranges between 10% and 20% (on a yearly basis).  And all of that avoided cost and billing credit is tax free. It is probably the best long term investment that I have made.
    I used the 30% tax credit to free up enough IRA funds to install a 2-ton ground source heat pump to heat all my water and entire house.
    Dave

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 7:28pm

    Reply to #28
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    population reduction monograph

    [quote=RJE]Geez, I don't like this conversation but I have thought that the heavy population centers around the world are most certainly near their food source and water, we can reasonably be assured of this. Now that means the mass GENOCIDE of large groups must be done close to these resources. So, this makes sense and why? The weapons needed to manage population will be environmentally unfriendly so what is the point of even carrying on about all of this. What we seek in effect will be destroyed for many years to come. Done with this topic now.
    [/quote]
    Don't worry Bob.  It really doesn't have to be accomplished with any loud booms, radioactive fallout, chemical clouds, pestilence, induced famines, or other fear producing drama. 
    Given enough time, fluoridation and GMO foods are expected to take care of the problem quite nicely.
    http://www.projectcamelotportal.com/files/PDF/water-flouridestory.pdf

     
     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 7:39pm

    #46

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    A Couple of Links on the Scandinavian Model

    I think these provide an interesting counter point to the large representation of the quite individualist, Libertarian view here on the site, and the idealization of the individualist ethic in the US generally:

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/the-us-could-learn-from-scandinavia-4e6qv31-169856786.html

    This link below (after some gratuitous pictures of Swedish models) talks about how the Swedish economic model may not transfer as well to the US, because Sweden is much smaller, and more homogeneous – more like a smaller community, rather than large, diverse and cumbersome like the US.  It also points out that Sweden has been very adaptive – after setting up an 80% high end tax rate early on, it moved away from an over-emphasis on taxation and the social welfare state towards lower taxes and more free market reforms awhile back when over-taxation became too much of a drag on the economy.  Nonetheless, Sweden's been reducing its debt level while retaining much of its social welfare system for all citizens – heath care, education, retirement, etc:

    It's an open question what kind of balance is possible in the US, but it doesn't seem we hear much real discussion of the values, priorities, and dollar amounts involved in various options. We tend to hear more about extremes.   Maybe we'll just have to sort it out in smaller than national regions.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 8:00pm

    Reply to #46
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1353

    kelvinator wrote:I think

    [quote=kelvinator]
    I think these provide an interesting counter point to the large representation of the quite individualist, Libertarian view here on the site, and the idealization of the individualist ethic in the US generally:
    http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/the-us-could-learn-from-scandinavia-4e6qv31-169856786.html
    This link below (after some gratuitous pictures of Swedish models) talks about how the Swedish economic model may not transfer as well to the US, because Sweden is much smaller, and more homogeneous – more like a smaller community, rather than large, diverse and cumbersome like the US.  It also points out that Sweden has been very adaptive – after setting up an 80% high end tax rate early on, it moved away from an over-emphasis on taxation and the social welfare state towards lower taxes and more free market reforms awhile back when over-taxation became too much of a drag on the economy.  Nonetheless, Sweden's been reducing its debt level while retaining much of its social welfare system for all citizens – heath care, education, retirement, etc:

    It's an open question what kind of balance is possible in the US, but it doesn't seem we hear much real discussion of the values, priorities, and dollar amounts involved in various options. We tend to hear more about extremes.   Maybe we'll just have to sort it out in smaller than national regions.
    [/quote]
    I had the good fortune to spend some time this past summer with a young Swedish journalist who had flown to the US to attend an "Age of Limits"  weekend and learn more about peak oil, which she claimed was virtually unknown in Sweden.  She was quite pleased with the cradle to grave healthcare and education system in Sweden.
    Obama's piddling attempt at healthcare reform missed the whole point of socialized medicine.  He left control with the insurance industry.  There will never be a viable healthcare system as long as they are in charge.
    Doug

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 8:22pm

    #47

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    ao, I liked your essay as it

    ao, I liked your essay as it was a nice blowing off of your frustrations. That's a good thing.

    The simplest path is to be a part of the majority. Look for a government job, get poorer or simplify your life and you won't need allot of stuff. Live with less and it becomes more actually. I dare say more rewarding. That way you won't have to spend your labors paying for lawyers who write the Bills that Congress supports but have never read, that actually take from us even more of our labors. Wash, rinse and repeat, and you just keep getting more frustrated, paying more of your labors to fight what the lawyers are writing in Bill form being promoted by the political ball less puppets who are screwing you in the first place.

    In the end what you have paid to get more in the form of tax relief is eaten up by those that you seek help from, and you end up probably paying more for legal council than the taxes you want to save. Then the politicians come back wanting more as Chris said the cash gets diverted, and we start this thing all over again as those who are poor, have a government job or are now dependent on government for their earned entitlement programs vote for more taxes on you and probably will eliminate the tax advantage you seek by hiring accountants and lawyers, by closing all the loop holes and subsidies that you pay them to take advantage of in the first place. No more tax deductions for mortgage, health care, child care, and things like that.

    Then the Fed floods the system with cash, raises gasoline prices, food prices, through inflation that is stated as 2% when the reality is most likely 6%, at least for food and gasoline and your $50,000 dollar income is $3000 dollars less as inflation rocks your family budget, and the tax savings you sought to get by hiring lawyers and accountants just isn't helping you at all.

    Finally, what happens is you get a letter from the IRS wanting your books and a meeting to question you about all the deductions you have taken, and so you have to rehire the lawyer, the accountant to come with you and plead your case as you are ultimately responsible, and not the lawyer and accountant, and on average end up paying back $1500 in savings you paid the lawyer and accountant who haven't truly a clue because the tax system is so complicated that even GOD himself hasn't a clue of how to interpret that beast. At the end of the meeting you shake hands with everyone so relieved that you won't have to spend a day with some truly awful people who have an eye on those baby blues of yours in a prison somewhere who like you just wanted justice by hiring an accountant and lawyer to relieve some of their stresses too. They are in prison because all the stress and everything having been piled on them they get irate at the tax man, during a meeting, and calls him a crook, mother fucker and he can kiss my ass. They get pissed at their accountant, lawyer and are completely at their wits end. At trial the judge sentences them, and brands them the bad guy, and as they are placed in their sell the policeman tells them, "now have a nice day and please, behave yourself". The beasts in all the cells they have just past to get them to their new crib all notice them Big Beautiful Blue Eyes they have and say, "hey, have a nice day, whistle and look forward to seeing you later". 

    Man do I ever feel your pain. Obviously!

    My story, less is more and just try that first. Imagine, no change in life style, debt free, and you can choose to do what you want. Ah, FREEDOM. I have green eyes by the way.

    Have a Great weekend.

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 8:52pm

    Reply to #46

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    Agreed

    Doug said:"Obama's piddling attempt at healthcare reform missed the whole point of socialized medicine.  He left control with the insurance industry.  There will never be a viable healthcare system as long as they are in charge."
    I agree, Doug.   As just an example, I read polling when healthcare was being debated that the public largely favored the vilified "public option" – especially before the insurance/GOP funded misinformation parade about "death panels" etc (as though the insurance companies themselves weren't already death panels based on who and what they'll cover).   The public option was the closest thing to single payer and might have hoped to provide at least some cost control, but Obama wouldn't even support that, or mass bargaining for drugs.   Yet, all we heard about from mega-media was how many people hated "Obamacare", which was stupidly crafted to require people to buy insurance from insurance companies – not a great political or practical approach.  
    Well now, some kind of universal health care was just enshrined as more permanent in the election, but it's not a great plan and doesn't have appropriate cost controls.    Just about every other developed country in the world does healthcare better and cheaper than the US per person with government involvement, but somehow, you can never really hear about or talk about that here amidst all the yampooning about outrageous socialism, etc.   This is how the GOP ends up with their own "unskewed" polls that show them winning when they aren't, or data that shows climate change doesn't exist when it does, and that the American healthcare system is the best darn system in the world when it's not.   Tough to make smart decisions when you can't talk about facts.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 8:53pm

    #48

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Hate of the wealthy - easier than real conversation.

    [quote=kelvinator]

    So, from the stats of that time, if you stacked up the median income of the US population, $40,000, on the 50 yard line of a football field representing the income distributions in the US from the lowest at one goal line (0 yard line, presumably $0) to the highest (at the 100 yard line – Bill Gates), the median income $40,000 as a stack of $100 bills would be about 1.6 inches high, sitting on the 50.  Those with income at the 95 percentile earning $100,000 would have a stack of hundreds about 4" high.  At the 99th percentile, $300K, the stack would be about a foot high.  According to the write-up, Bill Gates income would be a stack of hundreds about 30 miles high, at the upper end of the statospere, and tens of thousands of feet above where Felix Baumgartner stepped off of the balloon gondola for his joy ride the other day.

    [/quote]

    Good graphic if your goal is to promote hate of the wealthy, but absolutely useless at showing the problem.  How about you then show a graphic if you take all the obscene wealth from them evil rich people (the billionaires – essentially the Forbes 400) and distribute it evenly to everyone?

    Net worth of Forbes 400: $1.7T

    Number of housholds in the US:    112M (assuming your median income was households)

    That means every household in the US gets a grand total of $15K, one time!  Now what?  In your diagram you now have a one time bump to everyone's stack of a 1/2".  Wouldn't look very impressive on your graph would it.  And that's a 1 time bump for 1 year.

    I think it's important to notice that that $1.7T is mighty close to the amount we are over spending in our federal budget every single year!  Or about 1/3 of our real deficit if you accurately (GAAP) account for the entitlements. 

    [quote=kelvinator]

    To the extent we’re all uncomfortable with “class war”, revolution, taxation and redistribution of wealth, 

    [/quote]

    Then why generate inflammatory displays like your chart?  I think it's pretty easy to show that "eat the rich" is not a solution.  Don't get me wrong, I agree that the wealth gap is as issue, but promoting class warfare will not solve the problem, nor will taxes on the rich – despite all the rhetoric, there simply are not enough rich people.

    [quote=kelvinator]

    I think these provide an interesting counter point to the large representation of the quite individualist, Libertarian view here on the site, and the idealization of the individualist ethic in the US generally:

    [/quote]

    Oh, the Sweden crap again!  Why is it that people like to pull out the Swedish model and say look how wonderful it is.  What you seem to fail to point out is that Sweden has twice the per capita national debt as the US.  Yes, you can build wonderful things by going into debt, but eventually they fail.  Swedish health care miracle is nothing but an unsustainable illusion built on debt.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 9:03pm

    Reply to #32

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Dave, thank you so much.

    Dave, thank you so much. Numbers I can use. Good stuff and appreciated.BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 9:05pm

    Reply to #46

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Competition and consumer preference is the best cost control

    [quote=kelvinator]Well now, some kind of universal health care was just enshrined as more permanent in the election, but it's not a great plan and doesn't have appropriate cost controls.
    [/quote]
    Your right, but neither do any of the other socialized medicine programs.  The proper cost control method is to have those who are paying for it and getting benefit asking how much does it cost.  Only the individual can make the decision if the benefit is worth the cost.
    Even if you think the government should be involved in health care, then the best thing would be to hand everyone a card loaded with X dollars to spend on health care.  They can choose to buy insurance, an HMO, or just pay for health care directly.  Or perhaps they will buy a new TV with it and decide they don't want health care.   But at least you then have consumers shopping around for the best deal, or making the decision about what procedures are worth doing.  If people don't ask then you either have rationing by some third party or you get spiraling costs.
    Gee, Greece has socialized medicine, I wonder how that's working out for them now?

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 9:38pm

    Reply to #46

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    As We Know, We Disagree rhare

    My goal is not to promote hate of the wealthy at all, and that wasn't the tone of my post, if you hadn't noticed.  It was to talk about values and priorities.  It's to talk about other alternatives than a tiny percentage of humanity controlling most of the world's resources.   Is it possible to do that without free market people like yourself starting to yell "class warfare" and pretend that riots will be incited and the mobs will start gathering at the gate if we let them know the actual facts of wealth concentration?  Personally, I have zero ambition to be a billionaire.  What a bother.  But, as I said in earlier discussions with you, to me the notion that the power of the vastly wealthy won't always need to be counterbalanced by a gov't of the people is a fantasy.At least you do acknowledge that "the wealth gap is an issue", while not talking about how to address it.   From my point of view, the wealth gap, as I said, is beyond an issue, it's an absurdity.   I don't at all assume that redistributing the wealth from the rich to everyone will solve the world's problems.  It won't.  But I'm certain that the "free market" cult's idea that the unregulated free market on its own – particularly at this point in history – can create anything close to a world that worth living in for the vast majority of people is utter nonsense, and all the historical evidence I see is to the contrary.  It's going to take a balance between free market and gov't.   Every study I've seen shows better health care under government supported systems in other countries but as I say, if we can't agree on facts, we're just not going to be able to have a discussion, are we?   Keeping blinders on in the service of a belief benefits no one.  You can say I'm doing that, and I can say you're doing that – sadly, then, it's time to give up, and we can each talk to people we find more open with whom we share more world perceptions and more agreement on facts.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 9:43pm

    #49

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Belief in the benevolent govenrment

    [quote=treebeard]

    I totally agree with your position in the abstract, but I do not believe that human beings at present are capable of organizing themselves at present in the way that you suggest. I hope that someday we evolve enough that we can live in a society in which every transaction is voluntary, and people are free do as they choose. In some ways the form of government is irrelevant. If everyone were Jesus Christ like, any form of government (or none at all) would do. If everyone were Adolf Hitler like, no form of government or nongovernment would do.

    The question is, how do we get there and what do we do with ourselves in the meantime. I fundamentally believe that responsibility leads to freedom and not that freedom leads to responsibility.

    [/quote]

    I like to debate from the extremes – I'm sure no one has noticed that. laugh

    Anyway, I don't think the character or morality of the individual is near as important as you believe. Let's take a quick stab at some "moral" demographics (totally a guess on my part):

    • 5 % of the population are saints – The Jesus Christ types
    • 5 % of the population are very good, will help anyone with little concern for themselves
    • 80 % of the population is neutral – looks out for themselves, family and neighbors, really just care about living and will help others occasionally during times of crisis
    • 5 % of the population are bad, the criminals who will steal from others as long as they don't get caught, care little for anyone other than their family
    • 5% are the Hitlers, psychopaths who it's only for them, throw grandma under the bus if it would get them more.

    This is of course just like any other population, a bell curve of morality, responsibility, etc.  So as a society what do we want to protect against?   You seem to argue from the point that we need government so that the Christ types can have power over the rest of the population to keep us safe, make the right decisions, etc.  That we need government to watch out for us because without them we would fall into chaos.  However, the problem as I see it, is the good are generally fairly passive and don't generate conflict and don't believe in violence to get their ways.  The only way government has to maintain order is via violence.  Either you comply or you are eliminated (killed or imprisoned).  So instead of getting the Christ types into power we end up with the Hitler types who have no problem with the violence.   I believe this is the problem we have now.  Those that desire power/greed are in the government because it allows them an advantage.  I also believe that even if you have the best of intentions, if you use government (force) to implement your plans you end up as a tyrant anyway.  Larken Rose has a good video on this:

    I also belive that responsiblity is a learned characteristic.  You learn to be responsible when your free to choose actions that create discomfort for you (starvation, cold, social outcast, etc).  If you are forced instead, you now can blame your problems on the one that forced you and you never learn responsiblity.  Responsibility comes from natural feedback loops.   If you treat people well, run a business that provides good products, then you do well.  If you are mean, or provide bad service you fail.  If you can't force your will onto others you have to win them over.  This applies to business and personal relationships. 

    So let get back to our monetary/energy situation.   Germany (and the US) has picked PV as the winner.  Government has decided for you to funnel money into PV, its it right?  What if concentrated large solar plants was a much better choice – they are now priced out of the market.  What if conserving or putting the money into efficiency was a better payoff than PV?  All we see is what was done, not what might have been done.

    [quote=treebeard]

    Germany's method of achieving the solar development may not be the ideal. But if the majority of German's didn't believe in it, it would not have happened. Characterizing it is the few foisting it on the many is inaccurate.

    [/quote]

    Hmm, I guess by that logic, the majority of the US believes the wars are right and that the bankers needed to be bailed out.   Do you agree?  What you have in Germany is just like you have here.   I'm sure there are strong political and monetary interest using govenment to force it's citizens to comply.  The only difference is this time the force is for something you believe in.  Next time it won't be….

     

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 11:26pm

    Reply to #47
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    RJE wrote:ao, I liked your

    [quote=RJE]
    ao, I liked your essay as it was a nice blowing off of your frustrations. That's a good thing.
    The simplest path is to be a part of the majority. Look for a government job, get poorer or simplify your life and you won't need allot of stuff. Live with less and it becomes more actually. I dare say more rewarding. That way you won't have to spend your labors paying for lawyers who write the Bills that Congress supports but have never read, that actually take from us even more of our labors. Wash, rinse and repeat, and you just keep getting more frustrated, paying more of your labors to fight what the lawyers are writing in Bill form being promoted by the political ball less puppets who are screwing you in the first place.
    In the end what you have paid to get more in the form of tax relief is eaten up by those that you seek help from, and you end up probably paying more for legal council than the taxes you want to save. Then the politicians come back wanting more as Chris said the cash gets diverted, and we start this thing all over again as those who are poor, have a government job or are now dependent on government for their earned entitlement programs vote for more taxes on you and probably will eliminate the tax advantage you seek by hiring accountants and lawyers, by closing all the loop holes and subsidies that you pay them to take advantage of in the first place. No more tax deductions for mortgage, health care, child care, and things like that.
    Then the Fed floods the system with cash, raises gasoline prices, food prices, through inflation that is stated as 2% when the reality is most likely 6%, at least for food and gasoline and your $50,000 dollar income is $3000 dollars less as inflation rocks your family budget, and the tax savings you sought to get by hiring lawyers and accountants just isn't helping you at all.
    Finally, what happens is you get a letter from the IRS wanting your books and a meeting to question you about all the deductions you have taken, and so you have to rehire the lawyer, the accountant to come with you and plead your case as you are ultimately responsible, and not the lawyer and accountant, and on average end up paying back $1500 in savings you paid the lawyer and accountant who haven't truly a clue because the tax system is so complicated that even GOD himself hasn't a clue of how to interpret that beast. At the end of the meeting you shake hands with everyone so relieved that you won't have to spend a day with some truly awful people who have an eye on those baby blues of yours in a prison somewhere who like you just wanted justice by hiring an accountant and lawyer to relieve some of their stresses too. They are in prison because all the stress and everything having been piled on them they get irate at the tax man, during a meeting, and calls him a crook, mother fucker and he can kiss my ass. They get pissed at their accountant, lawyer and are completely at their wits end. At trial the judge sentences them, and brands them the bad guy, and as they are placed in their sell the policeman tells them, "now have a nice day and please, behave yourself". The beasts in all the cells they have just past to get them to their new crib all notice them Big Beautiful Blue Eyes they have and say, "hey, have a nice day, whistle and look forward to seeing you later". 
    Man do I ever feel your pain. Obviously!
    My story, less is more and just try that first. Imagine, no change in life style, debt free, and you can choose to do what you want. Ah, FREEDOM. I have green eyes by the way.
    Have a Great weekend.
    BOB
    [/quote]
    Bob,
    Thanks for colorful answer, lol.  However, the story you cite is of the average schmuck trying to deal with the tax system the way some other average schmuck has told him to deal with the tax system.  What you seem to overlook is folks such as the Rothschilds and Rockefellers who have set up trusts and foundations and other tax avoidance and reduction strategies and walked away paying to little or no taxes (and very capably defend their ability to do so).  Obviously, they're politically connected on the grandest scale on this planet but one can learn from their model which is exactly what I intend to do.  And if you're honest, accurate, and thorough with what you do, there's much less angst and expense associated with a meeting with the IRS folks.  I know of one family that set up businesses, trusts, foundations, etc. employing various family members in various capacities and reduced their taxes to next to nothing.  They then had one of those dreaded meetings with the IRS folks and after it was over, they were actually congratulated by the IRS for how ably they had use the tax code to their benefit while still abiding by the law.
    By the way, I got a nice tax refund this year on my extension of $7617 with using what I learned this past year.  I even went down to the local IRS office to make sure it all met with their approval but interestingly, the folks there seemed to know less about their own tax code than I did. 
     
     
     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - 11:33pm

    #50

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    In the 60's "bullshit" was

    In the 60's "bullshit" was called on the government and the Elites, and we found ourselves with pacifying results that actually benefited society but led to Nixon. We called Nixon out but not until he closed the Gold window and as they say that was that.

    Great strides were then made through the years by the radical now turned liberals. Along the way their kind hearts gave away the house, and the Super Doctors extended life beyond the 67 year mark that was the ceiling for collecting the greatest social engineering project ever conceived in the Social Security Act of the Roosevelt Administration. If only we had just raised the bar for when you could collect SSI commensurate with life expectancy then our issues would be less a predicament and more a problem solver type thing. That being just raise the age to 69, 70, 72, 74, 77, then 79, then 83. SSI taxes would just stay as they are or we sell a little more tax instead of an economy buster larger tax. We were NOT ever suppose to see a dime of SSI and is why people saved and planned a different retirement. Once we could see that we would have SSI as a supplement to our savings we realized we could consume ever larger portions of our future needs now, enjoy life while we were young and kick back when we were older.

    The problem is the predicament now, and to change that will be no small task.

    So we have "managed population" discussions. We have burned through more energy because instead of being frugal we went for it all and burned the shit out of dead things. We became glutinous and greedy as we all envisioned the rich life style, and are now stuck with debt that we spent on future desires and ate them all up in the present and we call foul because we are saddled with extreme debt that we and the government must pay back. What is so unfair is that we point the finger at government and don't think to point the finger at ourselves, and we are the government. You know, "government by the people for the people". We got what we wanted Folks. So I call "bullshit" on the people, That means you and me.

    Along the way we forgot the only truth in existence and that is math. How would things look if SSI couldn't be collected until the age of 75. Would this problem be solved or is it to be managed as a predicament. How would things look if we weren't buying so much from the future that we had more than enough dead things to manage a future, and had the energy to do that?

    Now we get cute with the math, if only we extend and pretend maybe the numbers will change when in fact the numbers will crush us as the moment of truth is finally set free.

    I must get out of my office.

    Have a good weekend

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 12:29am

    Reply to #46
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1353

    Quote:It's going to take a

    [quote]It's going to take a balance between free market and gov't. Every study I've seen shows better health care under government supported systems in other countries but as I say, if we can't agree on facts, we're just not going to be able to have a discussion, are we? Keeping blinders on in the service of a belief benefits no one.[/quote]Say it brother!  Last I heard the US was first in healthcare costs and 37th in healthcare results.  The entire advanced world is on socialized healthcare and provides better healthcare at lower prices.  At some point you have to deal with facts.
    Doug

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 1:04am

    Reply to #46
    John Lemieux

    John Lemieux

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 02 2012

    Posts: 208

    I'm In Support ot the Canadian Healthcare System

    I'm Canadian and I am thankful for, and fully supportive of our public healthcare system. And I am also  greatly admire Tommy Douglas, the founder of our public system.  But I also realise that it will be very challenging to maintain our system especially as our population continues to get older.Of course nothing is perfect, but I believe that most Canadians are thankful for what we have here. And that they would not like to have a for profit US style health care system. J.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 2:42am

    #51

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    ao, I took liberty as I

    ao, I took liberty as I sometimes do for effect and levity, thank you for enjoying it a bit. You are very bright ao and I am certain that you have things pretty worked out for your circumstance. Good Luck.

    Hey, I had a visit with the tax man, and I was very intimidated but it ended rather harmlessly. It is where I got some of my material to respond, and then just let things go way to far! LOL

    Regards

    BOB 

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 2:59am

    Reply to #46

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    It's About Values

    John said:"…I also realise that it will be very challenging to maintain our system especially as our population continues to get older. Of course nothing is perfect, but I believe that most Canadians are thankful for what we have here. And that they would not like to have a for profit US style health care system."
    IMO, it makes a huge difference what a community or a society's values and priorities are, and how directly and realistically they can talk about what works and what doesn't work, about how to adapt.   I really respect that Canada and most sane countries have made it a priority to find a way to provide healthcare to citizens.  At this point, US healthcare is like a Rube Goldberg contraption, an outcome reflecting the schizophrenic shouting match caused by the over-dominance of healthcare insurers and other big political funders in public healthcare debate in 2009.  As John says, Canada may have a hard time making its system work as the population ages, as will likely be true everywhere.  They may have to make changes, and may even have to scale back benefits in some respects.  Maybe they'll have to strongly curtail the extremely high end-of-life care expenses can be typical, and only provide them for people who have chosen to buy additional insurance for that purpose or want to pay out of pocket, or develop some other scheme.  I read a post recently in which a guy said his brother spent more in healthcare on the day he died than the rest of his entire life.  
    But the point is, Canadians and other countries made a priority of providing universal health care, and that has a major impact on people's feeling about their relationship to their government and the basic fairness of their society.    Math will always be math, but a country that makes a priority of providing health care, and provides heathcare information to its citizens that helps bring down its healthcare costs may end up in a better spot than a country that idealizes lifestyles of the rich and famous who made a ton of money setting up trashy fast food chains that make citizens fat and chronically prone to be sick, for example, and with some tendency to suppress health facts that would be a buzz kill for those businesses and cut into profits.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 6:44am

    Reply to #46
    John Lemieux

    John Lemieux

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 02 2012

    Posts: 208

    It's About Values, And Keeping Integrity Healthy

    Thanks Kelvinator for expanding on my comment.And I especially agree with this comment in your post,
    "Canadians and other countries made a priority of providing universal health care, and that has a magor impact on people's feeling about their relationship to their government and the basic fairness or their society. " 
    And it is certainly about values, and keeping integrity healthy.  
                                                                            A Definition Of Integrity
    Integrity is a personal choice, and uncompromising and predictably consistant commitment to honour moral, ethical, spiritual, and artistic values and principles.
                        And Plato shared Soctrates's belief that that there should be an "art of living".
    "Similiarily a man can live well only if he knows clearly what is the end of his life, what things are of real value, and how they are to be obtained… If man imagines that the end of life is to gain wealth or power, which are valueless in themselves, all his actions will be misdirected"
    Plato also believed that society must be ruled by leaders who have "learnt, by long and severe training, not only the true end of human life, but the meaning of goodness in all it's forms"

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 7:02am

    #52
    richardgordon

    richardgordon

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2011

    Posts: 5

    Understanding the REAL problem.

    "The Bush and Obama administrations have seen exploding debt and deficit levels accompanied by staggering issuance of new money by the Federal Reserve….

    "…In this way, the government is taking future wealth from our children's pockets."

    "…And it seems increasingly clear that the government will take more of the current wealth from ours, too. Rather than take the pain of reigning in spending, government demonstrates, time and again, its preference to raise revenues via taxation."

    I read so much misguided hysteria in the press and it usually all wrong.  This article is no different.

    First of all, how do you define wealth?  Is it a million dollars?  $25 million?  How about $50 million?  But, that's only money.  Its not wealth.   Money is just a score card for figuring out how well or poorly you are doing.  And as a measure of wealth its not very reliable. Real wealth is the clean air we breath.  The forests we depend upon for producing all kinds of products.  Its the seas filled with marine life.  Its the magnificent views and mother nature.  Its the ecosystem.  Wealth is technology and innovation.  Its patents and processes. Its a highly educated workforce.

    Adam Taggart suggests that the government is squandering our future.  Well he's right, but in a totally different way than he means.   Our governments are focusing on entirely the wrong problems.  For example, in Canada our government is determined to exploit the Alberta oilsands.  For what?  Money!  In the process it is degrading not only Alberta, but its also destroying YOUR climate as well.  In thirty years time when we have passed the tipping point of runaway global warming we will be shaking our heads and screaming bloody murder because our governments were warned over and over again to fix the problem.  Sadly, we will realize what fools we all are.  We could have solved the REAL problems.

    As for the debt or deficits.  I strongly recommend you read  a book by Randall Wray called Understanding Modern Money. 

    From this book you will learn that governments.  Particularly the US Government can borrow UNLIMITED amounts of money and it can create UNLIMITED amounts of money.  Morover, taxation is not theft as so many right wing ideologes believe.   Taxation is a way for governments to keep control of inflation and the money supply. 

    What is absurd is that Right Wing Republicans would have everbody beleive that "exploding debt and deficit levels accompanied by staggering issuance of new money by the Federal Reserve  is taking future wealth from our children's pockets."

    Interesting how when Bush and Cheney were in power, Cheney declared "deficits don't matter".  Suddenly they do.  Another inconsistency is when the Right screams "SOCIALISM" when ordinary people are taken care of, but when the financial system is destroyed by the Banks and Financial system then its OK to pump trillions of Dollars into the banks to save them.  And its OK to spend trillions of dollars on unecessary wars with Iraq and Afganistan but its not OK to spend money on healthcare or infrastructure or education.  Mitt Romney declared that one of the first things he would do is get rid of PBS.  

    People in America don't really understand what wealth is.  You think its money.  Its not.  Its the 300 million people whos tallents drive the richest nation on Earth.  And no matter how many trillions of dollars is pumped out by the Federal Reserve, that wealth is still going to be there.  So too is the land, and the resources of the United States.

    On the other hand if you don't make sure your people are educated and taken care of.  If you don't protect the environment and if you let your infrastructure fall appart, you really will take the future wealth from your children.  Its time for America to get its priorities right.

     

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 7:35am

    #53
    GlobalJoe

    GlobalJoe

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 11 2012

    Posts: 1

    Stable Economies

    Would someone give me some suggestions, directions and recommendations regarding my strong

    feelings that my $US? would be better exchanged into Candadian or Australian $ and bonds ?

     

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 2:26pm

    #54
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    Sorry for the rant but...

    Thanks Richard, John and Kelvinator for your excellent thoughts. To echo your same sentiments, its all about values and our relationship with each other and natural systems. The “economy” could be doing “great” and we still could walking off a cliff ecologically and spiritually. Thank god the money system and economy is crashing, if we had found some way to keep our “economy” “going” in its present form, we would be committing collective suicide.

    Native Americans called europeans the fat takers, riding across the great plains in our iron horses slaughtering buffalo by the millions just for sport. Building McMansions and buying expensive cars for what? Have things changed? The question is will human being grow up and get beyond their petty self centered small minded thinking, my gold, my silver, my house, my money, my stuff. How will I survive?

    If we don't change I, me and mine with we, us and ours we collectively are done. And that “we” needs to be inclusive of all the people and species on the planet. The foundation of capitalism, that if fervently seek to maximize my own personal utility, my own personal gain that is really not self centered and greedy, because if I become rich, then I will create jobs and everybody will get rich. [email protected]#%! You can throw all the higher math and pontifications ivy league Phd's at it but those are still the psychopathic musings of a 2 year old. How can we say that and pass the red face test as grown adults. Yet that has been the rationalization for this insanity we call western “culture” for decades. Forget the ism's, gold standards, free markets, big government, small government, whatever, we need to grow up or perish!!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 2:58pm

    Reply to #7
    richardgordon

    richardgordon

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2011

    Posts: 5

    It might be the only solution..

    If you read the quote,  Ben Franklin he is saying something quite different from what Chris Martenson is suggesting. 
    My reading of the Ben Franklin quote is that if political parties are elected on the basis of all the public money that is handed out to their supporters then the Republic is in real trouble.  You only need to look at Greece to see how true that is.  And I totally agree with that sentiment.
    As for the public demanding that the rich be taxed on the same basis as the working poor, how will that destroy the Republic?
    If you look at the facts you will see the complete opposite has taken place over the past 20-30 years.

    The rich are paying far less of their income than they ever have.  Romney's tax rate of 14% on income of many millions is obscene when compared to the tax rates paid by the rest of us.
    CEO's have seen their incomes increase from 50 -100 times their average employe's wages to 500 times their employees wages.  That is unconscionable.
    Middle class Americans have seen their incomes and standard of living stay the same or decline, by contrast, the further you go up the income ladder the better the richest 5%, 1%, 0.1% have done over the same period.

    America's economy is becoming more and more like Zimbabwe where the rich own and control everything and everybody else owns nothing..  If the rich own and control everything and the lower and middle class own just barely enough to eat, who is going to buy all the products the economy produces?  I realize that globalization has on balance increased wealth and prosperity for everyone, but now that we (in North America) have outsourced all the jobs to China, which in turn will reduce their production costs by replacing workers with robots, who is going to buy all the stuff our economies produce if huge swaths of the economy is unempolyed or too poor to buy the products our economies produce?
    In fact, the election was a turning point.  The people were not voting themselves more money, they were voting for more equity.  They were voting to change the warped and distorted system of government in America where the richest can purchase an election.  Somehow, the people saw through the blizzard of lies and disinformation and realized "if we don't get our economy back now, in the future we will merely be indentured servants of the richest 1%.
     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 3:24pm

    Reply to #53
    richardgordon

    richardgordon

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2011

    Posts: 5

    Here's the truth about the Canadian Dollar.

    Both the Canadian $ and the Australian $ represent a claim on Canadian and Australian assets respectively.  And because both countries are rich in natural resources in a world wich resources are depleting at an ever increasing rate it is percieved that these currencies are good investments.  On the other hand, the US $ represents a claim on the real wealth of the United States.Fact # 1:  If you look at GNP per capita PPP (which represents the real productive capacity of a country)  Canada produces $40,041 per person annually.  On the other hand the US GNP per capita PPP you will see that the US produces $48,441 Australia produces $39,465 GNP per capita at PPP. (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-per-capita-ppp)
    Fact # 2: Canadians travel to the US to buy many products and services because they are 20-30% cheaper.  For example its cheaper to buy a car in the US vs Canada.  So infact the Canadian $ is overvalued quite significantly.
    So if you really want to protect your wealth, a better way of doing it is buying great American Companies like Apple or Oracle, or Google or Stryker.  These are the entities that produce real wealth.  Money is not wealth.  Its only a medium of exchange.  It doesn't matter if the American $ evaporates in value.  Every other currency in the world will also evaporate at the same rate, since inflation will be transmitted to all the other currencies in the world.  If America devalues its currency, other countries will be forced to devalue their currencies otherwise their manufacturing sectors will become less competitive.
    The truth is America's economy is still strong.  Are there problems?  Certainly! But there are problems everywhere.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 5:14pm

    #55

    Greg Snedeker

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 22 2012

    Posts: 380

    California education.

    What's going in California is what's going on in the rest of the country. The price of education, both public and private, has been rising and is out of reach for many families and municipalities. The return on this education is now questionable, just ask any recent college grad. How much debt must a student incur for the employment market that's available? If you really want to know what's wrong with all our schools right now, talk with teachers (not administrators).

    As a teacher, I can tell you there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of leaving the profession. Too much emphasis is placed on one type of education, cognitive learning. Science and Math, that's all we hear. It's the only thing we heard from Obama's mouth when he addressed the subject of education. Ask yourself why that is? Are these the things that are going to save our future? Isn't Chris's book a testament to the fact that these are the very things that have created the predicament we're in?  We are slowly killing true education one test at a time. I see it every day. Teachers teaching to the standardized tests, SATs, ACTs, APs, IBs. How many of you have proctored an SAT exam? I did a few weeks ago. Students sitting in rows filling in little bubbles – this is not education, it's a narrow quantification of content retention. It tells you very little about a student, but it's what we emphasize in education – grades and test scores. I'm not saying we should get rid of tests and assessment, but right now, it seems these are the only things that matter. Stop trying to quantify our children!!!

    Now we want more "effecient" methods of teaching…on-line/asynchronous courses, computerized/teacherless courses. This is what is being heralded as the solution to our budgetary problems. You wouldn't want a sociopath teaching your child, well… a computer has no capacity for empathy. The estimates are that 70 to 75 percent of higher ed faculty are part-time adjuncts, and 2012 is the first year in history where administrations outnumber full-time faculty on every campus in the U.S.

    My recommendation? Return education to those who teach. Administrations are way too big and they are making curriculum/class decisions on a daily basis. They are stepping into our classrooms and telling us what to teach, how to teach, and how to assess. Core syllabi are becoming the norm. There is very little room for the teacher to bring his or her life experience to the classroom, but this is the very thing that needs to happen to bring back true education and the love of learning! The changes that were supposed to reform education have come from the top, many of whom never taught in the classroom (Corporations – Federal Politicians – State Politicians – Administrators). So please, stop blaming teachers. Those at the top need to take a look in the mirror if they want to know what's wrong with education!  

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 6:09pm

    Reply to #53

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Globaljoe, I would pay

    Globaljoe, I would pay attention to the Canadian and Australian dollar as they are commodity driven, and the housing problems now imploding will cause their dollars to get slammed a bit. I would bet their printers will get fired up as well. Hey, everyone's doing it so…Tough situation everywhere are my thoughts.
    Respectfully Given
    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 5:42am

    #56

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2222

    Dadgumit!

    Petition for Texas to Succeed from the Union

    and a list of current petitions:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petitions

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 2:18pm

    Reply to #46
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    Doug wrote:Last I heard the

    [quote=Doug]
    Last I heard the US was first in healthcare costs and 37th in healthcare results.  The entire advanced world is on socialized healthcare and provides better healthcare at lower prices.  At some point you have to deal with facts.
    Doug
    [/quote]
    How much of this has to do with our extremely unhealthy diet?

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 3:14pm

    #57
    mnschur

    mnschur

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 11 2012

    Posts: 1

    have you gotten any response to your inquiry....

    about how to acquire investments in tangibles such as livestock, timber, etc?

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 7:40pm

    Reply to #46
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1353

    joemanc wrote:Doug

    [quote=joemanc]
    [quote=Doug]
    Last I heard the US was first in healthcare costs and 37th in healthcare results.  The entire advanced world is on socialized healthcare and provides better healthcare at lower prices.  At some point you have to deal with facts.
    Doug
    [/quote]
    How much of this has to do with our extremely unhealthy diet?
    [/quote]
    That's a good question and I have not had much success if finding an answer.  The closest I came is this article that, first, states that the US has the highest obesity rate, but then suggests that socialized systems have more leverage to persuade people to pursue more healthy lifestyles:
    http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/u-s-health-care-costs-more-than-socialized-european-medicine/
    [quote]It confirmed that the U.S. spends more per capita on publicly funded health care than almost every other country in the developed world. And that includes countries that provide free health care to all their citizens.[/quote]
    [quote]“However, the overall level of health spending in the United States is so high that public (i.e. government) spending on health per capita is still greater than in all other O.E.C.D. countries, except Norway and the Netherlands,” according to the Paris-based organization’s Health Data 2012 report.
    Combined public and private spending on health care in the U.S. came to $8,233 per person in 2010, more than twice as much as relatively rich European countries such as France, Sweden and Britain that provide universal health care.
    Are Americans healthier as a result? The U.S. has fewer doctors per capita than comparable countries, and fewer hospital beds. But more is spent on advanced diagnostic equipment and health tests.
    Life expectancy has risen in line with that in other developed countries, but the average American life span of 78.7 years in 2010 was below the O.E.C.D. average. Obesity in the U.S. was the highest in the 34-nation survey.[/quote]
    [quote]Commenting on the latest O.E.C.D. figures, an editorial in Gannett’s The Advertiser noted: “America pays big-time money for health care and gets Third World results.”
    “The greatest public good comes from universal access to care that emphasizes prevention and health education,” according to article. “The European systems, often socialized or with health insurers forced to offer basic plans to everyone, can do that. Ours doesn’t.”[/quote]
    I don't know how that leverage works, but it would be worthwhile finding out to see if its workable in our system and/or under Obamacare.  I doubt it.
    Doug

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 8:23pm

    Reply to #46
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    Doug wrote:Quote:Commenting

    [quote=Doug]
    [quote]Commenting on the latest O.E.C.D. figures, an editorial in Gannett’s The Advertiser noted: “America pays big-time money for health care and gets Third World results.” [/quote]
    [/quote]
    That's a humorous quote…I do believe lots of folks from around the world come to the US for various kinds of treatment. Not sure that folks would come here if we had a Third World health system…
    I have read that one of the cost drivers for prescription drugs is that our drug costs are variable/free market, whereas a country like Canada keeps them capped. For example, the costs to R&D Lipitor are mostly borne by us, whereas Canada will cap what the drug companies can charge for Lipitor to their health care system. This ends up forcing the US to bear the R&D costs for the world.
    Anyways, I'm not quite buying that socialized medicine is better at promoting a healthy lifestyle. I think it has more to do with our culture and lifestyle. We've become too much of a fast food, eating in a rush, cost concious society. Basically, we have become detached from our food and where it comes from. It is great to see healthier stores such as Whole Foods growing by leaps and bounds, but we've got a long ways to go. And not just here…just google 'Diabetes epidemic'. It's a worldwide problem.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 8:59pm

    Reply to #46
    John Lemieux

    John Lemieux

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 02 2012

    Posts: 208

    It's About Culture and Lifestlye

    I'm Canadian and I would agree with joemanc's comment that a universal health care system doesn't seem to influence the population to adopt healthier lifestyles. I don't see it that way anyway.Except there may be a sort of cultural infuence, or difference here in that our universal healthcare system is a reflection of less of a dog eat dog mentality than in the US. I don't know as I have never lived in the US. But I think that a universal system may help to reduce the stress, fear and worry about the costs of possible injury or illness. I know that am very thankful for what we have here and I hope that we can maintain our system. But with our current neo-conservative ( Ok, in my view they are approaching a more neo-facist type power here ) government and petro state economy I'm concerned that we are going the way of the Republican Party in the US.
    But I sometimes try and imagine what it would be like to have to worry about getting sick and having the additional stress and worry of financial hardship. Or to see that happen to someone else here. No thanks! And I am also comforted by the fact that everyone here irregardless of their financial means, social status or background is able to access our universal health care system. J.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 9:30pm

    Reply to #46
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    John Lemieux wrote:But I

    [quote=John Lemieux]
    But I think that a universal system may help to reduce the stress, fear and worry about the costs of possible injury or illness.
    [/quote]
    While I am not a fan of socialized medicine, there is some truth to this statement.
    One more thing I wanted to add about the culture/lifestyle/socialized medicince – what incentive does a person have to eat and live a healthy lifestyle knowing that socialized medicine will take care of every expense if/when he/she gets sick? There is none. Perhaps the only way for the unhealthy masses to live a healthy lifestyle is for them to experience a shock, say, a heart attack.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 11:04pm

    Reply to #46
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1353

    Quote:One more thing I wanted

    [quote]One more thing I wanted to add about the culture/lifestyle/socialized medicince – what incentive does a person have to eat and live a healthy lifestyle knowing that socialized medicine will take care of every expense if/when he/she gets sick? There is none. Perhaps the only way for the unhealthy masses to live a healthy lifestyle is for them to experience a shock, say, a heart attack.[/quote]Without commenting on cause and effect, the numbers seem to suggest that people in countries with socialized medicine are healthier that those of us in the US.  Is it only Americans who live unhealthy lifestyles?  I'm curious to know what kind of system Russia has.  Given their rampant alcoholism, smoking and diets (the last I'm speculating a bit) I wonder what their general health and life expectancy are like.
     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 11:57pm

    Reply to #46

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    ANNNDDDD!,... You joemanc are

    ANNNDDDD!,… You joemanc are the 100Th posting on this thread!!! Maybe the first ever here at PP!!!. As this gets you no free gifts or gentle applause let me just congratulate you and have a great day.Levity has its place and I hope you Folks somewhat enjoyed this.
    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 12:35am

    Reply to #46
    John Lemieux

    John Lemieux

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 02 2012

    Posts: 208

    The Incentive To Lead A Healthy Lifestyle Is To Be Healthy

    I don't believe that having a socialized health care system has any significant effect on Canadians lifestlye choices. I mean who would choose to purposely lead an unhealthy lifestyle thinking that it will be paid for by taxpayers? Certainly not me or anyone else I know. And everyone knows that there is no health system that  is going to necessarily cure you if you get sick anyway.I think it is things like ones level of education, attitude, gender, family background and culture that have the largest influence on our lifestlye choices.  I live where there is a socialized health care system but I certainly believe in the proven tremendous physical, mental and even social benifits of following  a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. 
    One downside universal health care that I can think of is that the well off sometimes don't like having to settle for what a socialized system offers. So they currently  go to another country to obtain the best treaments money can buy. But speaking for myself I have a positive veiw of our health care system here in Canada. And I think that the  quality of health care is generally very good. Although our aging population and serious shortage of family doctors in many regions of the country are just two of the many big problems we are facing here.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 2:04am

    Reply to #46

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 810

    RJE wrote:ANNNDDDD!,... You

    [quote=RJE]
    ANNNDDDD!,… You joemanc are the 100Th posting on this thread!!! Maybe the first ever here at PP!!!. As this gets you no free gifts or gentle applause let me just congratulate you and have a great day.
    Levity has its place and I hope you Folks somewhat enjoyed this.
    BOB
    [/quote]
    Bob –
    You will love this one then……
    2910 and counting

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 2:08am

    #58

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Socialized stupidity....

    [quote=John Lemiuex aka Vanity Fox]

    and serious shortage of family doctors in many regions of the country are just two of the many big problems we are facing here

    [/quote]

    Hmm, but you don't think the socialized medicine might just have something to do with your shortage of doctors?  Socialized health care is just manipulation like we see with money, housing, etc.  It all sounds good until you discover things like rationed care, one size fits all policies, and shortages of doctors/medicines, etc start occurring.  It's all because the stakeholders are not making the cost/benefit analysis by voting with their dollars. 

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 3:02am

    Reply to #58
    John Lemieux

    John Lemieux

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 02 2012

    Posts: 208

    Nooo! Not Vanity Fox! Too Funny

    rhare,You sir not only appear to me to be extreme and overly ridged in your chosen idealogical beliefs, but you are now coming across as paranoid as well. And besides calling me Vanity Fox is ridiculous as he is a far more articulate and eloquent than I could ever hope to be.
    I now realise that it is a waste of time thinking that someone with your ridged kind of mindset would even consider anothers veiwpoint that differs from your own. But nevertheless, I'll say that as far as the doctor shortage goes there could be a whole lot of reasons for that such as retirements, greater workload as cases are more complex as the patients get older, more tests and proceedures being done on each individual patient and I'm sure there are more.
    The truth is that I don't know all the reasons why. But I thought that it was safe to voice my opinion here and to participate in discussions as long as I am civil and avoid religion and other controversial topics. The fact is that I have lived in Canada all my life. And I and everyone else I know are supportive of our health care system although I'll admit that like most everything else in life it isn't perfect.  
     
     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 9:48am

    Reply to #46

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    ...that's a lot Dogs.Dogs, I

    …that's a lot Dogs.
    Dogs, I just traded my Colt for a Kimber and Man!, what a SWEET piece. I am getting back to how I shot back in the day. I put stickers at different spots on my silhouette target and start that Tick, Tick,Tick rhythm in my head before I shoot so that I have a nice sight , shoot, sight shoot…I think I am there. My (grown) son is just incredible with his rhythm and skills, amazing really.
    NO Hockey! Arrrrggghhh!!!
    Be Good
    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 10:08am

    Reply to #58

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    John, your approach and

    John, your approach and contributions, as well as involvement are appreciated. All of us have our stuff so read past the stuff and hear the other stuff.rhare can appear to be biting (he makes learning points though) but he did ask a good question. That being, socialized medicine may have something to do with shortages of Doctors. If  Doctors could go elsewhere to make MORE cash, I believe they would, so YES socialized medicine has its effects where options that are more beneficial for Doctors/Nurses exist. I believe socialized medicine can create shortages. Supply and Demand thing. My wife hired a couple of Canadian nurses to work on here staff as we are very near the border. The pay is better and benefits. Many Canadian patients come to her hospital for elective surgeries for personal reason's, and I believe, well, it was a choice because…?
    Be Good John
    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 3:01pm

    Reply to #46
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    Doug wrote:Without

    [quote=Doug]
    Without commenting on cause and effect, the numbers seem to suggest that people in countries with socialized medicine are healthier that those of us in the US.  [/quote]
    Having been to Australia and Britain, I can tell you they too lead unhealthy lifestyles, yet they both have socialized medicine. One of my Aussie friends I believe told me they are the 2nd or 3rd unhealthiest country in the world. I believe the US and Britain are up there as well, maybe 1,2,3. Though I was just searching around and found Australia is a healthy country yet, they have a diabetes epidemic on their hands. Go figure…
    [quote] I'm curious to know what kind of system Russia has.  Given their rampant alcoholism, smoking and diets (the last I'm speculating a bit) I wonder what their general health and life expectancy are like.
    [/quote]
    That's a good question – I remember quite a few Russians died during the heat wave 2 summers ago – they were drunk from drinking vodka, surprise, surprise, then jumped into water to keep cool, only to drown. And this is a country we had a Cold War with…

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 8:37pm

    Reply to #58
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    John Lemieux wrote:And

    [quote=John Lemieux]
    And besides calling me Vanity Fox is ridiculous as he is a far more articulate and eloquent than I could ever hope to be.
    [/quote]
    Not to mention the last name Lemieux is about as Canadien as one can be, eh!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - 10:44pm

    #59

    raw milk mike

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 10 2012

    Posts: 6

    Jobs, taxes, the deficit, the rescission, a balanced budget

     

    Jobs, taxes, the deficit, the rescission, a balanced budget, health care, climate change and SOPA;

    Please tell me if I'm wrong.

    There are too many jobs in this country. We work too many hours for too little pay. Our retirement age is too high and we have too little time off.

    Taxes are way too low. Reagan and Bush have slashed them to next to nothing. We could probably double our revenue by simply returning to a pre-Reagan tax rate. We could probably double it again by simply closing a few loopholes.

    If you don't like the deficit start charging the federal reserve interest on the money we let them print.

    The rescission is caused by too little government spending and large companies stashing tax free cash offshore.

    All U.S. paper currency is born out of debt. If we pay it all back the dollar will cease to exist. Besides we pay interest on it so it literally can never be paid back. Which means the budget can never be balanced and attempting to do so only worsens the rescission.

    If you legalize fresh foods you can replace medical care with health care. If you have good food you don't need bad medicine.

    Climate change is called cap an trade(the next stock market) please look it up. It has nothing to do with weather.

    Disinformation is already a major problem on the net but SOPA(Stop Online Piracy) (government censorship) will end the Internet as an information source.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - 1:00pm

    #60

    Lnorris

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 28 2011

    Posts: 78

    Has anyone checked out

    Has anyone checked out Ann Barnhardt's Youtube video "The economy is going to implode."?

    If you can get past her extraordinarily long pink tie and her reference to being a martyr at the end it's an interesting 2h 30min broadcast.  Her information about GS, BAC, Citi and the other banks regarding CDS exposure is pretty awesome.  

    It's worth watching if you want to understand the risks that are inherent in this computer driven market.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - 2:27pm

    #61

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Lnorris,I'll look it up but

    Lnorris,

    I'll look it up but just in case do you have a link?

    Thanks

    BOB

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - 4:50pm

    Reply to #61

    Lnorris

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 28 2011

    Posts: 78

    To RJE: barnhardt.biz

    The link is barnhardt.biz then click on her you tube link on the left hand side of the page. I can’t post the link directly using my cell phone.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - 7:42pm

    Reply to #60

    raw milk mike

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 10 2012

    Posts: 6

    Ann Barnhardt's

    p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

    p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

    The first twenty five minutes were fabulous then she went crazy. She does an in depth explanation of money but than starts talking about interest with no discussion about what interest is. As a matter of fact she even interchanges the two as though interest and money are the same thing. Then she suggests that all bankers are Jewish and that Islam is evil. She started out by saying she wasn't going to get specific then boom after twenty five minutes she gets very specific and totally loses perspective.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - 8:08pm

    #62

    raw milk mike

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 10 2012

    Posts: 6

    Ann Barnhardt's “The economy is going to implode.”

    I just listen to some more, man she's hilarious.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - 8:12pm

    #63

    raw milk mike

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 10 2012

    Posts: 6

    Ann Barnhardt's

    I'm not saying she's wrong. It's just her reasons I have a problem with.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Nov 14, 2012 - 8:30pm

    Reply to #63

    Lnorris

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 28 2011

    Posts: 78

    She does hold extreme views

    She does hold extreme views in several arenas that I do not personally share.  Her you tube interviews regarding the financial crisis I find to be really interesting.  She nails MF Global  and what happened with the customer segregated funds, so I respect her for that.  

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Thu, Nov 15, 2012 - 3:20pm

    Reply to #63

    raw milk mike

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 10 2012

    Posts: 6

    Ann Barnhardt

    p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

    I just listen to her speak on You Tube about MF Global. She sounds very very intelligent as long as she sticks to what she knows. I love it when she swears but I think we could all do without her nonstop raciest commentary. I have found that racial stereotypes are always incorrect and are never based in fact.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 17, 2012 - 4:41pm

    #64

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2491

    And the tax deluge begins...

    Here's a list of new taxes that may kick in next year (from BusinessInsider):

     

    Here are some of the new taxes you're going to have to pay to pay for Obamacare:

    • A 3.8% surtax on "investment income" when your adjusted gross income is more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint-filers). What is "investment income?" Dividends, interest, rent, capital gains, annuities, house sales, partnerships, etc. Thanks to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, taxes on dividends will rise rise from 15% to a shocking 43.8% on January 1st, unless Congress cuts a deal with respect to the fiscal cliff. (WSJ)
    • A 0.9% surtax on Medicare taxes for those making $200,000 or more ($250,000 joint). You already pay Medicare tax of 1.45%, and your employer pays another 1.45% for you (unless you're self-employed, in which case you pay the whole 2.9% yourself). Next year, your Medicare bill will be 2.35%. (WSJ)
    • Flexible Spending Account contributions will be capped at $2,500. Currently, there is no tax-related limit on how much you can set aside pre-tax to pay for medical expenses. Next year, there will be. If you have been socking away, say, $10,000 in your FSA to pay medical bills, you'll have to cut that to $2,500. (ATR.org)
    • The itemized-deduction hurdle for medical expenses is going up to 10% of adjusted gross income. Right now, any medical expenses over 7.5% of AGI are deductible. Next year, that hurdle will be 10%. (ATR.org)
    • The penalty on non-medical withdrawals from Healthcare Savings Accounts is now 20% instead of 10%.  That's twice the penalty that applies to annuities, IRAs, and other tax-free vehicles. (ATR.org)
    • A tax of 10% on indoor tanning services. This has been in place for two years, since the summer of 2010. (ATR.org)
    • A 40% tax on "Cadillac Health Care Plans" starting in 2018.Those whose employers pay for all or most of comprehensive healthcare plans (costing $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for families) will have to pay a 40% tax on the amount their employer pays. The 2018 start date is said to have been a gift to unions, which often have comprehensive plans. (ATR.org)
    • A"Medicine Cabinet Tax" that eliminates the ability to pay for over-the-counter medicines from a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account. This started in January 2011. (ATR.org)
    • A "penalty" tax for those who don't buy health insurance. This will phase in from 2014-2016. It will range from $695 per person to about $4,700 per person, depending on your income. (More details here.)
    • A tax on medical devices costing more than $100.  Starting in 2013, medical device manufacturers will have to pay a 2.3% excise tax on medical equipment. This is expected to raise the cost of medical procedures. (Breitbart.com)

    And if you live in Calfornia and make >$250k in income, you'll likley be interested to know that Prop 30 is retroactive to Jan 2012. So make sure to factor that into your tax planning for April…

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Nov 17, 2012 - 4:58pm

    #65
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1353

    Fed's got it under control

    Don't worry about a thing, the Fed's got this jobs thingie under control:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-16/fed-s-lockhart-says-aggressive-easing-needed-to-revive-jobs.html

    [quote]Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said forceful central bank policies will remain needed to spur job growth even if Congress averts sudden tax increases and spending cuts at the end of the year.

    “I expect that continued aggressive use of balance sheet monetary tools will be appropriate and justified by economic conditions for some time even if fiscal cliff issues are properly addressed,” Lockhart said today in Charlottesville, Virginia. Fed easing isn’t aimed at “abetting” fiscal policy by reducing the cost of financing the federal deficit, he said.[/quote]

    [quote]Chicago Fed President Charles Evans has proposed holding interest rates near zero until unemployment falls to 7 percent so long as inflation does not breach 3 percent. Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota has suggested continuing with zero rates until unemployment falls to 5.5 percent so long as inflation remains below 2.25 percent.

    “We are likely to have to begin to tighten before we get to full employment,” Lockhart told reporters. “So I am more comfortable with one of the interim target numbers, say 7 percent, conceivably 6.5 percent” as the unemployment rate threshold. Currently the jobless rate is 7.9 percent.[/quote]

    [quote]Failure to avert the fiscal cliff may create “new challenges to monetary policy and an uncomfortable tension between monetary policy and fiscal policy,” Lockhart said in his speech. In response to an audience question, he said,“there is no direct link in terms of intention between the low-interest rate policy and the financing of the deficit.”[/quote]

    Oh, "new challenges" and "uncomfortable tension" don't sound so bad.  I thought we were in trouble for a minute there.

    Doug

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Nov 18, 2012 - 4:11pm

    Reply to #65

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 810

    Doug

    [quote=Doug][quote]
    <snip>“there is no direct link in terms of intention between the low-interest rate policy and the financing of the deficit.”[/quote]
    [/quote]
    Bet there are at least 47 indirect links masked in layers of obtuse FED-speak bullshit

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Jan 18, 2013 - 12:34am

    #66

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2491

    And the (tax) hits keep coming...

    From BusinessInsider:

     

    CALIFORNIA SCREWS SILICON VALLEY: Entrepreneurs And Angels Socked With Absurd Retroactive Tax

    As a way of encouraging entrepreneurs and investors to start companies in California, the state has long offered a tax deduction for those who start, invest in, and eventually sell companies.

    This tax deduction allowed entrepreneurs and angels to exclude 50% of any gain on the sale of "Qualified Small Business" stock.

    California's capital gains taxes are a high 9%, so the deduction reduced the capital gains rate to 4.5%. This encouraged the entrepreneurs to start and keep their companies in California, instead of decamping to lower-tax states.

    And, for many years, California entrepreneurs and investors have taken advantage of the deduction.

    But now the state has apparently decided that it no longer needs to encourage entrepreneurs to start and keep their companies in California.

    So it is eliminating the tax deduction.

    Far more startling, the state is eliminating the deduction retroactively–going all the back to 2008.

    In other words, anyone who sold their California company in the past 5 years and took advantage of the tax deduction is now going to have to pay the tax.

    With interest!

    Sigh… while this is exactly the kind of tax-grabbing predicted in my article above, I still find myself surprised by the swiftness and overtness with which tax hikes are rolling out these days.

    To copy Chris and quote Lily Tomlin:

    No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up.

    Login or Register to post comments

Login or Register to post comments