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Member since: Mon Jun 1, 2009, 02:51 PM
Number of posts: 494

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Posted without comment.


I generally agree, but

for T-Mobile's international roaming charge, you can blame that on India's telecom for gouging T-mobile. International roaming on US carriers is expensive because the US carrier must use the foreign telecom's towers, network, etc., to deliver messages and calls. Foreign telecoms know that a large chunk of US cell users in their country are there on business, and therefore are likely to be reimbursed for calls, so the charge out the wazoo for US and European customers to use their networks.

As for domestic calls in India, India is known to have the most competitive wireless network system in the world. I don't know the framework or how this developed, but there is MASSIVE competition among Indian wireless carriers, which has driven prices way, way down. A lot if this is due to a large overbuild of the telecom infrastructure in the 1990s. In the last 90s, everybody thought that all Western companies were going to move call centers to India, so they invested billions in that telecom infrastructure. While the call center industry in India has exploded, it hasn't been near on the scale as expected (largely due to backlash from Western customers who hate having calls routed to India). So, you have an overbuilt IT infrastructure that has caused prices to plummet and the number of competitors to multiply. This will get you low, low prices.

I've always been intrigued by this idea ...

... and a similar (but not identical) concept such as the negative income tax.

It has support across a wide swath of the ideological spectrum, including far-right wingers and libertarians. Their argument is that if would be more efficient to simply replace all forms of social programs with this idea and avoid the administrative costs that those programs will inherently generate.

I'm not sure how it would play out in the real world, but the idea is definitely worth exploring.

This. ^^^

If a student loan is in default, the government has then shelled out $ to the lender as guarantor. Just like tax debt owed to the IRS, this type of money to the government can't be voided in bankruptcy.

Walmart Chairman giving big $$$ to Obama SuperPAC

I know this is coming from a RW rag, but just wanted to see what people's opinions were.

Most of the arguments he makes here are BS (Walmart benefits from a HIGHER minimum wage? Really?!?), it doesn't change the fact that I'm uncomfortable with this billionaire retail hack giving tons of cash to our candidate.


Fiat currency.

In the early 1970s, the last vestiges of the gold standard went away. This was caused largely because of the oil shock, but also due to debts the US had accrued during Vietnam. This allowed governments to inflate away lots of problems.

Great ...

... sounds just like those low-interest home loans everybody was talking about a few years ago.

Either way, people aren't going to have money to pay off loans, regardless of the interest rate, unless there are JOBS available that pay a decent wage.

I think this is a big part of it ...

... this idea that inertia would always keep America on top, that things would always be the way they are.

In the first 20+ years of the postwar era, most of the world's capacity for industrial production had been blown to shit. Europe was devastated, as was Russia and Japan. Places like China, India and Africa were nothing but subsistence agricultural backwaters. The United States, on the other hand, was supplying the Allies' insatiable appetite for industrial products while facing little direct threat of invasion or strife on its soil. As a result, the war enabled our factories to become the world's most productive and technologically advanced.

After the war, the rest of the world was desperate for all types of goods. Steel, cars, trains, buses, aircraft, engines, just to name a few. The United States was the only country that could provide these things in meaningful quantities. There was no competition. Some corporate executives, union leaders, and politicians believed it would "always" be this way.

Of course, it wasn't. The only constant is change. Did we just think Europe and Japan would lay idly by while we were the sole suppliers of industrial products? Of course not. It was only a matter of time before they started making their own stuff, and then started to export it.

To a degree, this is an oversimplification, no doubt. Policy blunders and poor decisions were made, and all sorts of external factors impacted the decline of American manufacturing. But I think the immediate postwar era, and the subsequent remobilization of industry abroad, has a lot to do with it.

Not to discount this at all,

but I just saw this on HuffingtonPost:


I am surprised ...

... that Etheridge could even pay that amount.

I know she's a big star, but I didn't think she earned enough coin to live THAT lavish of a lifestyle.
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