Bill USA's Journal
Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,922
Number of posts: 3,922
Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that
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What price increase would McDonald's need if they increased wages 35% to $10?..9.8% with same Profit
... found McDonalds P&L at (http://www.stock-analysis-on.net/NYSE/Company/McDonalds-Corp/Financial-Statement/Income-Statement). Wages expense comes to about 25% of revenues. With appropriate changes to their P&L, I found that a 9.8% increase in Prices (Revenues) would maintain the same profit rate (a healthy 19.8%). If the wage increase was spread over two years the annual price increase needed would be 4.8%.
A $2.00 order would increase to $2.10 the first year and $2.20 the second year. The increase to the workers wages would be, over two years, 35%.
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Dec 30, 2013, 06:54 PM (9 replies)
revelations of GOP Nazi-like machinations to attack Democrats and undermine rational, democratic government....
Believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives, a group of prominent conservatives in Washington—including the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner—has been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for "a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation," according to documents obtained by Mother Jones.
Dubbed Groundswell, this coalition convenes weekly in the offices of Judicial Watch, the conservative legal watchdog group. During these hush-hush sessions and through a Google group, the members of Groundswell—including aides to congressional Republicans—cook up battle plans for their ongoing fights against the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, progressive outfits, and the Republican establishment and "clueless" GOP congressional leaders. They devise strategies for killing immigration reform, hyping the Benghazi controversy, and countering the impression that the GOP exploits racism. And the Groundswell gang is mounting a behind-the-scenes organized effort to eradicate the outsize influence of GOP über-strategist/pundit Karl Rove within Republican and conservative ranks. (For more on Groundswell's "two front war" against Rove—a major clash on the right—click here.)
One of the influential conservatives guiding the group is Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a columnist for the Daily Caller and a tea party consultant and lobbyist. Other Groundswell members include John Bolton, the former UN ambassador; Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy; Ken Blackwell and Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council; Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch; Gayle Trotter, a fellow at the Independent Women's Forum; Catherine Engelbrecht and Anita MonCrief of True the Vote; Allen West, the former GOP House member; Sue Myrick, also a former House GOPer; Diana Banister of the influential Shirley and Banister PR firm; and Max Pappas, a top aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Among the conveners listed in an invitation to a May 8 meeting of Groundswell were Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News Network; Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who resoundingly lost a Maryland Senate race last year (and is now running for a House seat); Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society; Sandy Rios, a Fox News contributor; Lori Roman, a former executive director of the American Legislative Exchange Council; and Austin Ruse, the head of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Conservative journalists and commentators participating in Groundswell have included Breitbart News reporters Matthew Boyle and Mike Flynn, Washington Examiner executive editor Mark Tapscott, and National Review contributor Michael James Barton.
I have begun posting about this on M$M sites in hopes of making it known to those who may not ever hear about it. It certainly won't be brought up on the corporate media (NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS). I urge everybody to post about this in at least a few places about the web so more people will become aware of the GOP's affinity for the use of propaganda and disinformation.
also see: Audio Emerges Proving Secret Conservative Organization Behind Benghazi “Scandal” from DainBramaged
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Dec 30, 2013, 04:14 PM (16 replies)
Recent government data show that SNAP spending, which doubled as a share of the economy (gross domestic product or GDP) in the wake of the Great Recession, fell slightly as a share of GDP in fiscal year 2013, which ended September 30. (See Figure 1.) Moreover, CBPP projects that, in fiscal year 2014, SNAP spending will not only continue to decline as a share of GDP but will fall 5 percent in nominal (non-inflation-adjusted) terms, largely because of the expiration this month of the 2009 Recovery Act’s benefit increase. As the economic recovery continues and fewer low-income people qualify for SNAP, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects SNAP spending to fall further in future years, returning to its 1995 levels by 2019.
As a House-Senate conference committee considers changes to SNAP as part of the Farm Bill, some critics have called for large SNAP cuts in part on the grounds that SNAP is growing out of control. But these recent data show that that the spending growth has ended and that SNAP is following the pattern of previous recessions, as CBO and other experts expected.
Background: SNAP Grew Significantly in Response to Recession
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) caseload growth in recent years resulted primarily from more households qualifying because of the recession and more eligible households applying for help. CBO has confirmed that “the primary reason for the increase in the number of participants was the deep recession . . . and subsequent slow recovery; there were no significant legislative expansions of eligibility.”
SNAP caseloads grew in part because more households qualified for the program due to the recession and lagging recovery. The number of people with incomes below 130 percent of the poverty line (the SNAP income limit) rose from 54 million in 2007, before the recession, to 60 million in 2009 and 65 million in 2012, allowing more households to qualify for help from the program.
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Dec 23, 2013, 08:01 PM (3 replies)
WASHINGTON — The 20 states choosing not to expand Medicaid will lose billions of dollars in federal funds, according to a new study released Thursday.
By 2022, Texas could lose $9.2 billion by not expanding Medicaid as allowed under the Affordable Care Act, while Florida could lose $5 billion over that period, the study conducted by The Commonwealth Fund shows. Commonwealth was founded in 1918 to improve health services for Americans.
Also during that period, the study showed, Georgia could lose $2.9 billion, while Virginia could lose $2.8 billion.
"There are no states where the taxpayers would actually gain by not expanding Medicaid," said Sherry Glied, lead author on the study. "Nobody wins."
Study: Refusing Medicaid expansion will cost states billions of dollars
The Affordable Care Act requires the federal government to pay 100 percent of the costs of expanding Medicaid for three years. After that period, the law mandates the federal government pay 90 percent of the costs of expansion.
The 10 percent investment that would be left to the states, the study’s authors conclude, would be justified by the huge investments from the federal government.
“States that choose to participate in the Medicaid expansion will gain considerable new federal funds,” the study’s authors write. “States often seek to increase their share of federal funds, lobbying for military bases, procurement contracts, and highway funds. Federal funding provides direct benefits and bolsters local economies.”
Conversely, states that refuse Medicaid expansion will continue to be on the hook for billions in uncompensated care costs – as when uninsured residents visit the emergency room. By refusing to expand Medicaid, Texas will forgo $9.2 billion in federal funding in 2022, the authors said. Florida, another state that has said it won’t expand Medicaid, stands to lose more than $5 billion.
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Dec 23, 2013, 05:56 PM (4 replies)
... Democrats ... when you hear any Repugnants say "well, there's 5 million people who had insurance they liked and they can't afford it now because of Commie-Obamacare"
.... be sure to say to them: "Aside from the fact that these people had fake insurance that did not provide full coverage (like it did not provide for hospitalization if you got sick .." WHAT!?...NO HOSPITALIZATION??!?") ---- What about all the states with Republican Governors who are refusing to expand Medicaid, leaving 4.8 million unable to get insurance subsidies thru the ACA and who will be without ANY FUCKING MEDICAL INSURANCE BECAUSE YOU REPUGNANTS ARE DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO MAKE OBAMACARES FAIL? EXPLAIN THAT TO ME, YOU FUCKING SCHMUCK...if you would please."
Twenty-three states are currently not planning to move forward with the Medicaid expansion, which was meant to cover millions of low-income Americans. The population they leave behind is mostly young, minority, single adults, according to two new data briefs from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Their analysis is one of the most in-depth looks at the population that falls into this coverage gap, too poor to qualify for insurance subsidies (those are available only to those who earn above the poverty line, about $12,000 for an individual). They're also shut out of the traditional Medicaid program, which tends to cover low-income parents, children and those with disabilities.kff1
Kaiser estimates that approximately 4.8 million people will fall into this no man's land of health-care reform, where they do have the option to purchase private insurance on the individual market -- but would have to do so without any financial help from the government.
Three-quarters of those who will fall into this coverage gap are adults who do not have children. As Kaiser notes, this reflects the limitations on the current Medicaid program. While some states do use the publicly-funded program to cover low-income, single adults, that's the exception rather than the rule. Nine states currently offer coverage to adults, with income limits that range from 10 to 200 percent of the poverty line ($1,1490 to $22,980, respectively).
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Dec 23, 2013, 05:45 PM (12 replies)
LINKS TO THIS ARTICLE SHOULD BE POSTED IN COMMENTS ALL OVER THE INTERNET - esp. M$M sites!
Actually, the average incomes of the top 1 percent of Americans have grown steadily over the last century or so, especially when compared to the flat-lining incomes for the bottom 90 percent of Americans. But as you can see in the above chart, it wasn't until the 1980s that the rich really started to pull away from the normals.
We created the chart using the World Income Database, a collection of data compiled by a group of economists who focus on the incomes of the rich, poor and middle-class. The chart plots the average income of the top 1 percent of American earners against the average income for the bottom 90 percent of Americans between 1913 and 2012, using real 2012 dollars.
In 2012, the top 1 percent took home more than $1 million on average, while the average income of the bottom 90 percent of Americans was $30,438. Compare that to 1917, when the top 1 percent's average income was just under $300,000 and the bottom 90 percent took home slightly more than $11,000 on average.
So how is it that the U.S. income gap has grown large enough for us to claim the title of worst inequality in the developed world? There are a variety of explanations:
The U.S. Has The Worst Income Inequality In The Developed World, Thanks To Wall Street: Study
A new paper by economists Facundo Alvaredo, Anthony B. Atkinson, Thomas Piketty, and Emmanuel Saez lays out just how much better at making inequality the U.S. is than everybody else and tries to explain how it got that way.
Since the 1970s, the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S. has roughly doubled its share of the total American income pie to nearly 20 percent from about 10 percent, according to the paper. This gain is easily the biggest among other developed countries, the researchers note. You can see this in the chart below, taken from the paper, which maps the income gains of the top 1 percent in several countries against the massive tax breaks most of them have gotten in the past several decades. (Story continues after chart.)
The higher the dot, the more income inequality has grown in that country. See the red dot waaaay up in the left-hand corner, far away from everybody else? That is the United States, where the top earners have made more while getting their taxes slashed by over 40 percent.
This echoes an OECD study from earlier this year that found the U.S. had the highest income inequality in the developed world. It followed only Chile, Mexico and Turkey among all nations.
Posted by Bill USA | Sun Dec 22, 2013, 04:36 PM (12 replies)
(emphasis my own_Bill USA)
Bitter ideological warfare among commissioners and congressionaland White House indifference have yielded an agency less able to fulfill its stated mission: to “prevent corruption in the federal campaign process by administering, enforcing and formulating policy.”
Two newly minted commissioners, Republican Lee Goodman and Democrat Ann Ravel, have pledged to find common ground and work to strengthen the FEC’s standing. Odds are that they’ll lead the agency next year as chairman and vice chairman. The other commissioners talk of the agency reasserting itself after months when the six-member commission operated with only four or five slots filled.
But plenty of folks don’t believe them. The roots of the agency’s dysfunction remain in place, reformers and some former commissioners argue. Only wholesale reforms, they say, could pull the FEC from plunging into irrelevancy.
“The commission just seems to look inward and almost wonder aloud if a decision has an ideological impact, and if so, they shy away from it,” said Frank P. Reiche, a Republican who served as an FEC commissioner from 1979 to 1985. “It’s sad — very sad — and the agency is almost doomed to failure for carrying out its statutory mission unless reform measures are implemented and adopted by Congress.”
Posted by Bill USA | Sat Dec 21, 2013, 03:22 PM (3 replies)
George Osborne, Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, and the prime mover behind his country’s austerity agenda... now after 3 yrs of contraction of Britain's economy under the pressure of austerity is finally showing some signs of recovery .... and George is claiming austerity worked!
As Krugman points out, this kind of logic reminds him of when Moe asked Curly why he was banging his head on the wall, Curly answered: "Because if feels so good when I stop"
...In 2010, most of the world’s wealthy nations, although still deeply depressed in the wake of the financial crisis, turned to fiscal austerity: slashing spending and, in some cases, raising taxes in an effort to reduce budget deficits that had surged as their economies collapsed. Basic economics said that austerity in an already depressed economy would deepen the depression. But the “austerians,” as many of us began calling them, insisted that spending cuts would lead to economic expansion, because they would improve business confidence.
The result came as close to a controlled experiment as one ever gets in macroeconomics. Three years went by, and the confidence fairy never made an appearance. In Europe, where the austerian ideology took hold most firmly, the nascent economic recovery soon turned into a double-dip recession. In fact, at this point key measures of economic performance in both the euro area and Britain are lagging behind where they were at this stage of the Great Depression.
It’s true that the human cost has been nothing like what happened in the 1930s. But that’s thanks to government policies like employment protection and a strong social safety net — the very policies austerians insisted must be dismantled in the name of “structural reform.”
Was it really austerity that did the damage? Well, the correlation is very clear: the harsher the austerity, the worse the growth performance. Consider the case of Ireland, one of the first nations to impose extreme austerity, and widely cited in early 2010 as a role model. Three years later, after repeated declarations that its economy had turned the corner, Ireland still has double-digit unemployment, even though hundreds of thousands of working-age Irish citizens have emigrated.
Posted by Bill USA | Fri Dec 20, 2013, 03:38 PM (4 replies)
... as climate models are being revised to improve their accuracy ... scientists keep finding that their previous predictions of temperature and sea level rise were too conservative. What is unfortunate is that the general public will only begin to appreciate this fact only too late. The scientists are finding out we have less time than they previously thought to do something to rein in - or at least slow down - Global Warming.
Of course, to look on the 'bright' side, you will be able to buy that beach cottage much cheaper than you thought possible as people begin heading for higher ground. Coastal dwellers will probably learn to appreciate GW deniers when they can sell their currently coastal property to them at a price they never dreamed of getting.
Glaciologists fear they may have seriously underestimated the potential for melting ice sheets to contribute to catastrophic sea-level rises in coming decades which could see increases of a metre or more by 2100.
The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contain about 99.5 per cent of the Earth's glacier ice and could raise sea levels by 65 metres if they melted completely – although experts think this is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future. However, a survey of the world's top 26 glaciologists found most believe melting of the ice sheets could be more rapid and severe than previously estimated. They believe that melting of the ice sheets alone this century would be likely to raise the average global sea level by 29cm, the poll found, but there is a five per cent chance of it increasing even further by a catastrophic 84cm.
This would take the total sea-level increase to well over a metre if other factors such as the thermal expansion of oceans and runoff from mountain glaciers are taken into account.
"Our analysis shows the biggest uncertainty when it comes to sea levels is the contribution from the ice sheets," said Professor Jonathan Bamber of Bristol University, lead author of the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
"It shows glaciologists believe there is a one-in-20 chance of sea levels rising by a metre or more by 2100, and a metre rise in sea level is really very serious.
Posted by Bill USA | Thu Dec 19, 2013, 07:58 PM (7 replies)
Last month saw the hottest global November surface temperature on record, according to the latest data from NASA.
Earth’s surface temperature in °C for each November since 1880 (compared to base period, 1951-1980). Red line is smoothing with a 15-year filter.
Of course, the global surface temperature is only one of many indicators the planet just keeps warming, as I wrote in my September post, “Faux Pause: Ocean Warming, Sea Level Rise And Polar Ice Melt Speed Up, Surface Warming To Follow.”
Now two new studies demolish the myth that warming — including surface warming — has not continued apace. Stefan Rahmstorf, Co-Chair of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, discusses the first paper at RealClimate:
A new study by British and Canadian researchers shows that the global temperature rise of the past 15 years has been greatly underestimated. The reason is the data gaps in the weather station network, especially in the Arctic. If you fill these data gaps using satellite measurements, the warming trend is more than doubled in the widely used HadCRUT4 data, and the much-discussed “warming pause” has virtually disappeared.
“There are no permanent weather stations in the Arctic Ocean, the place on Earth that has been warming fastest,” as New Scientist explained five years ago. “The UK’s Hadley Centre record simply excludes this area, whereas the NASA version assumes its surface temperature is the same as that of the nearest land-based stations.”
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Dec 17, 2013, 08:05 PM (3 replies)