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liberal N proud

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Member since: Sun Aug 8, 2004, 01:54 PM
Number of posts: 53,507

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Builder of skyscraper forgets the elevator

The Builders of This Spanish Skyscraper Forgot the Elevator

The Intempo skyscraper in Benidorm, Spain—standing proud in this image—was designed to be a striking symbol of hope and prosperity, to signal to the rest of the world that the city was escaping the financial crisis. Sadly, the builders forgot to include a working elevator.

In fairness, the entire construction process has been plagued with problems, reports Ecnonomia. Initially funded by a bank called Caixa Galicia, the finances were recently taken over by Sareb – Spain’s so-called "bad bank" – when the mortgage was massively written down.

In part, that was a function of the greed surrounding the project. Initially designed to be a mere 20 storeys tall, the developers got over-excited and pushed the height way up: now it boasts 47 storeys, and will include 269 homes.


Wouldn't you think you would need an elevator at 20 floors as much as 47?

Posted by liberal N proud | Fri Aug 9, 2013, 10:58 AM (38 replies)

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows To $34.2B In June

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in June to its lowest level in more than 3 ˝ years. Exports rose to an all-time high and imports declined, signs that economic growth is stronger than previously thought.

The Commerce Department says the June deficit fell 22.4 percent to $34.2 billion. That's the lowest since October 2009 and down from May's imbalance of $44.1 billion, which was revised down.

Exports rose 2.2 percent to $191.2 billion, reflecting more sales of manufactured goods and farm products. Imports dropped 2.5 percent to $225.4 billion. Oil imports declined to the lowest level in more than two years.

The smaller deficit could prompt the government to revise economic growth for the April-June quarter up from its initial estimated annual rate of 1.7 percent.
Posted by liberal N proud | Tue Aug 6, 2013, 12:17 PM (1 replies)

McDonald's Pays $15 an Hour? - Where you ask?

The Magical World Where McDonald's Pays $15 an Hour? It's Australia

Last week, fast-food workers around the United States yet again walked off the job to protest their low pay and demand a wage hike to $15 an hour, about double what many of them earn today. In doing so, they added another symbolic chapter to an eight-month-old campaign of one-day strikes that, so far, has yielded lots of news coverage, but not much in terms of tangible results.

So there's a certain irony that in Australia, where the minimum wage for full-time adult workers already comes out to about $14.50 an hour, McDonald's staffers were busy scoring an actual raise. On July 24, the country's Fair Work Commission approved a new labor agreement between the company and its employees guaranteeing them up to a up to a 15 percent pay increase by 2017.

And here's the kicker: Many Australian McDonald's workers were already making more than the minimum to begin with.

The land down under is, of course, not the only high-wage country in the world where McDonald's does lucrative business. The company actually earns more revenue out of Europe than than it does from the United States. France, with its roughly $12.00 hourly minimum, has more than 1,200 locations. (Australia has about 900).

Find out how here: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/08/the-magical-world-where-mcdonalds-pays-15-an-hour-its-australia/278313/

Posted by liberal N proud | Tue Aug 6, 2013, 07:09 AM (19 replies)

Nat Geo Traveler Photo Contest Winners for 2013

Here is an inspiring way to kill some time for all you photogs.


Posted by liberal N proud | Fri Aug 2, 2013, 01:48 PM (3 replies)

In reality, how many jobs in America have access to public transportation?

I know the place I work in Suburban Cleveland does not have access to any one who does not have a car.

A majority of workplaces in the country do not have easy access to public transportation. Outside the central urban areas you are out of luck.

Posted by liberal N proud | Wed Jul 31, 2013, 10:37 AM (5 replies)

Montana's State-Run Free Clinic Sees Early Success

A year ago, Montana opened the nation's first clinic for free primary healthcare services to its state government employees. The Helena, Mont., clinic was pitched as a way to improve overall employee health, but the idea has faced its fair share of political opposition.

A year later, the state says the clinic is already saving money.

The state contracts with a private company to run the facility and pays for everything — wages of the staff, total costs of all the visits. Those are all new expenses, and they all come from the budget for state employee healthcare.

Even so, division manager Russ Hill says it's actually costing the state $1,500,000 less for healthcare than before the clinic opened.

"Because there's no markup, our cost per visit is lower than in a private fee-for-service environment," Hill says.

Physicians are paid by the hour, not by the number of procedures they prescribe like many in the private sector. The state is able to buy supplies at lower prices.

Bottom line: a patient's visit to the employee health clinic costs the state about half what it would cost if that patient went to a private doctor. And because it's free to patients, hundreds of people have come in who had not seen a doctor for at least two years.

Hill says the facility is catching a lot, including 600 people who have diabetes, 1,300 people with high cholesterol, 1,600 people with high blood pressure and 2,600 patients diagnosed as obese. Treating these conditions early could avoid heart attacks, amputations, or other expensive hospital visits down the line, saving the state more money.


Posted by liberal N proud | Tue Jul 30, 2013, 10:00 AM (1 replies)

U.S. chief executives can't break cost-cutting habit

(Reuters) - A disconcerting trend lurks beneath the recent round of solid profit forecasts announced by companies ranging from United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) to Wendy's Co (WEN.O): More than three years into the recovery, CEOs are still relying on cost cuts to prop up earnings.

While the cuts are not as severe as those that followed the 2008 financial crisis, companies remain cautious, mindful that revenue growth is still tepid. As a result, many appear to be more comfortable wringing efficiencies out of their businesses than gearing up for accelerated production.

The risk is those cuts may be too deep at this stage in the economic cycle, and prevent companies from responding if and when demand takes off.

"Corporate America has cost-cut just about as much as they can," said Jeffery Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial. "I think the economy is going to pick up, and if you're understaffed and don't have enough throughput in your factories, yeah, I think you're going to miss out on some things."



I have been experiencing this first hand with the company I have worked for for 30 years. It is a shame to watch them throw great technology and people to the curb so the CEO can show a profit, prop up stock prices or pad his salary. As long as this continues, there will be no true economic recovery.

Posted by liberal N proud | Mon Jul 29, 2013, 06:44 AM (3 replies)

What do drivers talk about when they are one the phone for 200 miles?

I was driving home today from Iowa where we sold off the last of my parents estate. The drive takes more than 12 hours and across 4 states.

As I exited the tool booth in western Indiana this mini-van shot past me with personal plates, a woman was driving while talking on her cell phone. This meant that she didn't use turn signals and most likely didn't check to see if anyone was in her path. As she all but cut me off and was well over the speed limit, I took mental note because I have found that you see many of the same vehicles as you travel across country, timing of stops and number of stops causes this to happen.

Halfway across the state this same mini-van passes me, she is still talking, then again as I exit the toll booth in Ohio, I pass her this time as I have the ezy-pass, she is still talking, and a little later, she goes zooming past and guess what she was doing, not picking her nose.

How does anyone talk that long? And think about the distraction that driving causes in that conversation.

Posted by liberal N proud | Sun Jul 28, 2013, 08:41 PM (20 replies)

OMG: The Prince and Duchess spent the night without a Nanny

How dare they lower themselves from that level of pomp!

The media frenzy continues!
Posted by liberal N proud | Wed Jul 24, 2013, 08:06 AM (15 replies)

Republicans appear to be doubling down on obstruction and their attack on Obama

New York Times headline: House G.O.P. Sets New Offensive on Obama Goals

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans are moving to gut many of President Obama’s top priorities with the sharpest spending cuts in a generation and a new push to hold government financing hostage unless the president’s signature health care law is stripped of money this fall.

As Mr. Obama prepares to deliver a major economic address on Wednesday in Illinois, Republicans in Washington are delivering blow after blow to programs he will promote as vital to a more robust economic recovery and a firmer economic future — from spending on infrastructure and health care to beefing up regulatory agencies. While Mr. Obama would like to keep the economic conversation lofty, his adversaries in Congress are already fighting in the trenches.

On Tuesday, a House Appropriations subcommittee formally drafted legislation that would cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 34 percent and eliminate his newly announced greenhouse gas regulations. The bill cuts financing for the national endowments for the arts and the humanities in half and the Fish and Wildlife Service by 27 percent.

For the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, Mr. Obama requested nearly $3 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs — a mainstay of his economic agenda since he was first elected. The House approved $826 million. Senate Democrats want to give $380 million to ARPA-E, an advanced research program for energy. The House allocated $70 million.


Posted by liberal N proud | Wed Jul 24, 2013, 07:51 AM (0 replies)
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