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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 7,672

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The basic thing we must do is to begin costing the negative effects of financial decisions.

For example, a $10 million dollar road extension was built here in my county to accommodate a large energy company which said they were going to build a plant there, and they requested county taxpayers build the road. In exchange, 50 new jobs would be created.

I didn't see it as a great deal, anyway, but it really turned bad after the road was built and the company changed their mind.

They should have to pay for that new road to nowhere. They owe the taxpayers $10 million. Very simple example.

Now, a long-existing plant wants to leave a community and go overseas. Okay, but first, they must pay for the infrastructure they were using, that now will not be paid for in tax revenues. The costs of all transport to and from that plant, the educations of all the employees, the demolition and restoration of the plant area to its natural state, the expense of replacing those jobs and so on. THEIR decision made all those problems, so they should have to pay for them, in cash. It's the old, "you break it, you buy it" rule. Common sense, nothing radical, although you will hear caterwauling like unto people being boiled in oil.

As of now, they simple privatize all profits and socialize all losses.

HOW to convince the voters to not listen to all the astroturf and contrived ads about "YOU were gonna be rich some day, but not now" and "this is communism" and "this will destroy jobs", I don't know. They hold a large megaphone available on demand.

But just like a divorce where a relationship goes bad, there is a division of property, awards of support and alimony, temporary payments, custody decisions, there needs to be a settling of accounts when a business begins or ends it presence.

It's the latest stupid belief in education: similar to "if you test it, they will learn."

Yeah, "if you build it, they will come" worked in a movie, but in reality, ghost towns, abandoned malls, dead factories and many other built things are dead and empty still.

Apparently childhood development hasn't been taught in some years or is not required among management in education. These adult tactics will only convince small kids that they are stupid and worthless.

Even at the high school level, some kids are still concrete thinkers - we KNOW that most of them will get abstract, critical thought by age 25, but that's some distance off, isn't it?

Doing the same thing in Texas - giving end of course exams in April, leaving kids (and me) to wonder: so why do we go to school in May and June? We did what you wanted and took your END OF COURSE exam.

Oh, and of course, there is NO "average" person.

Compare a 61 year old near-retiree (me) with perfect cholesterol, 120/80 blood pressure, great sodium and all other counts, resting heart rate 54, never been in a hospital in my life except to be born, have my tonsils, appendix, and all the rest, except for a few teeth.

Now take one of my high school classmates - champion swimmer then, now confined to a wheelchair after having amputation from the shoulder down to control a horrible cancer and a stroke post-operation which left her paralyzed on her right side (yes, the one that was not removed).

No speech, no control over elimination at all, no ability to write, 24 hour care by paid attendants, because her husband died last year, and their only child died at 16 in a car wreck without issue. Now give us both the "average" amount required.


48 people in a room who make zero dollars a year, the poorest of the poor. Bill Gates walks in, now we are all billionaires on average. Truth is, there's just one rich guy in the room, the rest still have nothing.

"Average" is one of the mean statistics.

Cat food is $8 a pound. (A dollar for a 2 ounce can)

What they are really eating in our part of the country is beans and bread.

I own a small apartment complex where nearly all our tenants are 75+ years old. All worked their entire lives, and several are still working, because they draw a whole $947 a month from Social Security. After they pay our rent, which includes their electric and water bills, they have less than $350 to buy food, pay their medications, new socks if they need them for the whole month.

Forget owning a vehicle - no way with insurance and gasoline, even if paid for.

Most others live with their family, because most other rents are insanely high - 1 bedroom apartments are routinely $800+ with no utilities, with a requirement for first month, last month, and deposit to move in.

Just ordinary modest working people. Now why would anyone want to punish them for simply working their entire lives and doing the best they could?

Because you know, and I know, that Social Security has NO impact whatsoever on the deficit or debt, period. So these cuts, and that's what they are, are just for meanness. They are to mollycoddle a group of mean old bastards who hate and hate and yet somehow remain in office (Satan keeps his promises, apparently, although they always forget to ask for not being as ugly outside as they are on the inside.)

Mean people suck.

If the chained CPI actually goes into effect, I will act accordingly.

Google is your friend. Here's the take from Boston College.


Their analysis is that it cannot be viewed as anything other than a cut in benefits, and especially for the oldest and the poorest.

All a chained CPI does is say that people will buy cheaper and cheaper stuff as they get poorer and poorer, so instead of giving them money to buy the old stuff, we'll just give them enough to buy the cheaper and cheaper stuff.

Two problems: poorest don't have the ability to shift as readily: no transportation out of their immediate area to find these bargains, and no Internet access to order it online. Same for the oldest of the old - lack of mobility due to age, and again, lack of Internet access.

So no, the poor will not be lifted above the poverty line - the line will be moved so that they no longer are "officially" poor. This is what happened when we changed the definition of unemployed and cut the unemployment rate in half - magically. Trouble is, "discouraged" workers still don't have a job or money (their benefits have run out).

It's like changing the F on your report card to a B - hey, ma! Look! Happy for a moment, but the transcript still has the F, and you ain't going to college. How happy will ma be then?

I'm 61, and I wish people would just be honest about people my age and older - they hate us and would like to take us the gas chamber, but that conjures up negative images, so they will simply starve us in our houses and prevent us from getting decent medical care - same result.

Chained CPI is smoke and mirrors. Smoke gets in your eyes. When it gets in your lungs, it kills you.

Oh, and YES, I do hold a degree in economics. Thanks for asking!

"The woman" was not out of line. She neither induced the stupid and off-topic

comments made by the idiots, nor did she force them to say them loudly enough for others to hear. The pic of them is not Shopped - they were there, and they did what she said they did, and they need to own it. Or shut up, which I'd prefer.

I wouldn't accept this kind of crap in my high school classroom, and yes, misogyny abounds amongst 16-18 year olds.

Were these guys being paid to attend and not learn anything, to make juvenile comments, or are they supposed to be actual adults and listen, learn, and contribute? I'd have fired them both, and I spent 10 years in management in private industry before I began teaching, so I can speak with assurance about that.

The idea that off-topic assholes who were loudly invading the space of others who might want to actually take something from the session should be tolerated, much less venerated, is repugnant. Unless you think that while watching "The Sessions" in a workshop about sexuality for those with physical challenges, and attended by some with physical challenges that it would be okay for me to make jokes about "fucking crips", and especially loudly enough for others to hear, then what happened to one of the "men" should have happened to both.

And her being fired is just another example of patriarchy. Slave owners whipped female slaves for complaining about being raped. This just continues that fine old tradition.

The point is, it's a start. I personally believe that every round ought to be marked

and registered both in the casing and in the slug. I'd also like to see every barrel on file so that any round could be identified as having been fired from a particular weapon.

Every round accounted for and identified; every weapon accounted for and identified; scrupulous background checks, not this instant stuff, including a psych workup after administering the MMPI (this one would catch most of the mass shooters lately), including an inspection of the storage facility where the weapons will be secured (now this one would have prevented Sandy Hook), annual inspection of every weapon and an inventory update on ammunition to account for rounds used, license for every user to prove safety proficiency, renewed annually, liability insurance for every weapon in an amount sufficient to cover significant misuse (say $10 million as a round number, until some experience is gained, then adjust), and required paperwork transfer with all the above checks for every weapon bought, received as a gift, or inherited. At the time of transfer, any existing weapon that is not id'd by barrel from the factory will be id'd at that time. I'd also think a psych workup should be repeated at least once a decade for all owners, period, with confiscation for those failing. Things change.

Heavy prison time (20-50 years for each violation) ought to help with enforcement, as well as a lifetime prohibition on ownership for violators.

So new weapons would be subject to all the above immediately, as well as all ammunition. Existing weapons would be brought in as transfers occurred, and regular psych exams would certainly do more good than the current system: "he had money, so he looked okay to me," and I'm pretty sure all online sales should cease. Delivery of ammunition and weapons should be face to face with positive ID on both sides.

So yes, it's a start. And everyone agrees it's innocuous, so let's do it.

Here's a modest proposal.

Require every gun owner to register every firearm annually, undergo a background check to see if they will be allowed to keep them annually, pay a licensing fee annually, an insurance premium annually, and require paperwork for every gun transaction, whether sale, gift, or inheritance.

That's for existing guns.

Henceforth, every time a gun is found that does not meet the above requirements will be confiscated and the possessor shot to death on the spot, no further process needed. If the gun was registered to no one previously, that stops there. If the gun was previously registered as above and no transfer done and no theft report filed, execute them on the spot, too.

Every time a gun is used in a crime, even just showing it or just saying you have one, execute them on the spot, too.

I think in a relatively short time, you'd be surprised how law-abiding gun owners really can be, and anxious to be so.

Program is self-funded, registration and licensing and background checks should turn a tidy profit for the government. Prisons don't add a single inmate, so no increased cost there, either. All in all, a perfectly reasonable , modest solution to a problem.

Taking things out of order is always a problem.

1. Get established financially (which means educationally first, whether college, voc school, or whatever).
2. Marry.
3. Stay married a decade.
4. Now you have stable finances and a stable marriage. If you choose, have a child.
5. This means that most people will have their child around 35 years of age. How great to be able to say yes to your child.
6. Yes, I can take time today to play or to help you or just to hang out.
7. Yes, we can take time to have an actual childhood.

In order.

I tell my high school students that I didn't learn the above in a book - I lived it AFTER I did the other first.

Learning to swim is hard enough without being handcuffed to someone else AND having a baby strapped to your back while you're doing it.

Very well said. The "gravy train" just needs to be experienced by those who think it a wonderful


My mother-in-law, who worked 45 years as a waitress and raised two daughters on her own after her husband abandoned her and the girls and was never heard from again, had saved enough money to buy a small one bedroom house with a mobile home in the back yard as a rental property.

After retiring on Social Security ($746 per month) and the proceeds from the rent trailer ($300 per month), she was diagnosed with lung cancer. A non-smoker, but lived her life among the cotton fields and gins of the Texas Panhandle. She could only qualify for at-home care by selling the mobile home, because it was an asset beyond her own home, and that is not allowed.

I would invite anyone to try living on less than $800 per month and paying the difference on prescription meds, as well as the difference between benefits and amounts billed, while bedridden. She finally passed away, but that was her reward for 70 years of living and 25 years of child-raising, long before there was anything like food stamps, TANF, or other programs. No child support from the absentee husband, she simply worked extremely hard her livelong life.

Now if anyone can justify the idea that she had too many assets to receive assistance on healthcare, I'd like to hear it. A little help raising two daughters on your own might be welcome, too, but that wasn't there.

But yes, Exxon has record profits and receives a $4 billion subsidy from the government, instead of paying taxes, and Dick Cheney's company of private prisons reports record profits while he receives the finest in healthcare at no cost to himself, ever. Grand.
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