Cleaning up the shop

On Sat, 23 Jan 2010 20:12:00 -0800, Hawke
<snip>

<snip> ========While not one of the overt objectives, the three pronged actions suggested actually avoids having to treat the major financial institutions, including the banks, as public utilities with constant governmental oversight of their daily operations, limitations on rates of return, control of investments and improvements, and possibly mandated "public" representatives on their board of directors.
Historically, "public utilities" exist as a separate class of private business because of their inate monopoly nature. The economic reality is such that it not practical to have "competition" in some capital intensive areas such as electrical power generation/distribution at the consumer level, natural gas distribution, etc. Theoretically a monopoly is allowed to exist/operate, possibly under a governmental franchise, but is subject to much greater governmental regulation including limits on pricing and returns on investment. [Note the use of the word theoretically.]
The three suggested reforms should eliminate the current system of financial Oligopoly and result in increased competition and financial viability, *WITHOUT* the need for "close and constant supervision," (beyond routine compliance auditing) especially if the "small enough to fail" size caps are enacted. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/oligopoly.asp
It will also be vital to secure the "loose cannon" of the Federal Reserve Banking System. It will be vital to reconstruct/reorganize this institution, possibly eliminating or transferring some functions and adding others. The imposition of GAO auditing on all actions and activities, and the expansion of FOIA to include the FRB will be vital. What is now clear is that the FRB has long had its own, more-or-less "hidden agenda," which has increasingly diverged from the "long-term best self interests" of the American people. A useful and symbolic first step would be the refusal by the Senate to re-confirm Dr. Bernake as Chairman of the FRB for a second term, given his preemption/co-option by the financial industry and his adamant refusal to supply Congress with requested data.
Unka George (George McDuffee) .............................. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. L. P. Hartley (1895-1972), British author. The Go-Between, Prologue (1953).
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wrote:

<snip>
And what is this "hidden agenda," George?
--
Ed Huntress



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wrote:

f
Read the latest report from the BLS.
IIRC, 46% of working age citizens were not employed. The highest ever.
--

Dan

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On Thu, 21 Jan 2010 10:48:02 -0800, Gunner Asch

===========To amplify Gunner's observation with a regional news item about one of the state's most affluent areas see: http://www.sacbee.com/topstories/story/2506262-p2.html?commentSort=TimeStampAscending&pageNum=3&&mi_pluck_action=page_nav#Comments_Container
<snip> From rustic vineyards to elegant country clubs, the rolling hills of El Dorado County paint a picture of quiet wealth.
But the recession is taking a toll on an area that traditionally has been one of the most privileged in California.
El Dorado County's unemployment rate was 12.6 percent in December, matching Yolo's for the highest three-year jump in the Sacramento region. Foreclosures continue to batter the area, with 889 homes lost in the county last year, 150 more than in 2008.
Perhaps most startling for an area that boasts $35,000 club memberships and $100 pedicures, the number of people dependent on food stamps in El Dorado County jumped 31 percent between September 2008 and September 2009, according to the California Budget Project.
That number is more than five points higher than the statewide increase, and the biggest jump in the region. "We're not seeing a slowdown. We're probably up (over last year) around 35 to 40 percent now," said Cynthia Wallington, program manager in the county's Department of Human Services. <snip> =======Be sure and at least scan the reader comments.
Unka George (George McDuffee) .............................. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. L. P. Hartley (1895-1972), British author. The Go-Between, Prologue (1953).
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On Tue, 02 Feb 2010 11:21:31 -0600, F. George McDuffee
<snip a bunch of good stuff>

============More information on actual under- and un- employment rates in the U.S. continues to dribble in, much of it in the foreign press.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/business/8499693.stm 09:13 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010 US jobless numbers hide scale of problem
By John Mervin Business reporter, BBC News, New York
The headline number only reveals a small part of the problem. <snip> So a common comparison these days is the recession of 1982-83 - that's the last time America grappled with 10% unemployment.
Which means it's chilling to note that it now takes twice as long (more than 20 weeks) as it did in 1982-83 for an unemployed person to find their next job.
Unemployment is always nasty. But it's even worse when it's accompanied not just by stress and anxiety but by real deprivation.
That is the experience of increasing numbers of Americans as unemployment benefits run out before the next job can be found. <snip> Bigger number
Read a little further through the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly report and jobless rates that are already way too high for comfort, only get higher.
President Obama
Like all developed economies, the US has arrived at its method of counting the unemployed over many years and via some controversial choices.
As a consequence, the headline unemployment rate, the one that's still stubbornly close to 10%, is in fact a rather narrow measure.
To be counted in that oft-reported tenth of the labour force you have to be out of work, and have actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.
It's the four weeks requirement that cuts out a lot of people who would undoubtedly like a job, if there were any jobs to be applied for, much less secured.
Don't worry, the Bureau does count those people - it just doesn't count them in the official unemployment rate, the one that gets reported first and most frequently by journalists battling for space and air time.
Instead, they get defined as things like "marginally attached" or "discouraged" workers.
This allows the Bureau to offer "alternative measures of labour underutilisation", which, to the untrained ear, sounds like awful gobbledygook and unemployment by another name.
And if you take the widest of these measures, which in plain English counts everyone who doesn't have a full time job, and blames that on economic reasons (as opposed to blaming it on being sick, old, or in training) then America's "labour underutilisation" rate went past 17% at about the time its "unemployment" rate hit 10%.
A rate of 17% presents everyone with a picture of an American economy where more than one in six people who want a job, can't get one. <snip> Because if America's economy has moved out of recession, it remains mired in an unemployment crisis. <snip>
FWIW -- the essential first step in solving any problem is identifying it.
Unka George (George McDuffee) .............................. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. L. P. Hartley (1895-1972), British author. The Go-Between, Prologue (1953).
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F. George McDuffee wrote: ==============> While anecdotal "evidence," it is all we are likely to get.

Yes indeed, it's the free market at work and you have to love it. The irony is that for years I heard nothing from the right wing but how great the free market is and how capitalism is the greatest system in the world. Yeah, it is when your country has economic domination of the world. But now as China is passing Japan as the world's number two economy and is growing at 10% the U.S. is losing it's preeminent economic position. As our economic position declines and as other countries rise and pass us up it creates a vicious cycle in this country. The examples of these factories closing and people being put out of work are more and more common. As the workers struggle to find replacement jobs they only find worse and lower paying jobs. This trend sends the entire population in a downward spiral with the living standards going too. But that is just how the free market works. Somebody has to lose. Whenever a new country takes over the lead in economic activity the former leader declines. Sometimes the decline is severe and sometimes it's permanent with the former economic powerhouse being turned into a poor country. That's what is happening to us. We're declining. It's easy to see and to measure. That's how the free market works though, right? There are a few winners and a lot of losers. It was great when we were the economic winners. It's not so fun anymore when we're losing is it? But that is what you have to accept in a free market. Most players lose just like in Vegas. As long as we're sticking with the free market we better start getting used to it. Maybe it'll turn around in time for your children or grandchildren to see things improve. Maybe not though.
Hawke
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FYI, All that "free" stuff is totally taxable as far as the IRS is concerned.
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rangerssuck wrote:

Why do you think he doesn't use Ebay?
--
John R. Carroll



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John R. Carroll wrote:

If the IRS wants a flat rate box of cats, I'm sure Gunner will oblige. How do you assess the value of a barter transaction for tax purposes until someone finally resells their side of it?
--
Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
ianm[at]the[dash]malcolms[dot]freeserve[dot]co[dot]uk
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IanM wrote:

I can tell you how the State of California does it. They just plop down a big number based on average earnings in various categories and replacement value. Then they sieze and sell everything. Anyone on the other side of the bartered arrangement is liable if the Franchise Tax Board or State Board of Equalization thinks they knew or should have known what was going on. At that point, they start going through those assets and they don't ask politely. They lien and levy. There were a lot of small tool and die shops in the LA area that converted to 100 percent contract work. When the guys that worked for them didn't pay their taxes, those shops suddenly found their bank accounts lighted by the full amount of witholding at single zero. I know one guy that had to close up. A father and two son operation. I worked with one of the sons a couple years after the event.
The State of California can, and does, go where the money is and lets the party's sort things out in court later.
--
John R. Carroll



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On Thu, 21 Jan 2010 14:17:29 -0800, "John R. Carroll"

It could be because he wants to hide his income, but it might be because he doesn't have a credit card or Paypal account. Hard to get either of those without a bank account, which a lot of deadbeats like gummer don't have for fear that any money they deposit, even temporarily, will get snarfed up by creditors.

Then they won't waste much time on gummer. Most of the stuff he drags home was destined for the dumpster for good reason. Society's best chance of forcing him to pay his fair share is to mine his subsistence lifestyle by taxing mountain dew, tobacco, monster, and junk food, at 100%. Beyond that they could they could get what he's supposed to be paying in property taxes, by charging him a nickel for each Usenet post. :-)
Wayne
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On Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:45:00 -0800, Gunner Asch

If your pennilessness is so recent, then how come you have a nearly 3 decade record of dodging creditors? http://tinyurl.com/d7hkkp http://tinyurl.com/l68gh3 If you had a full time job up until lately, then how come you've never been able to afford to pay property taxes even when they were <$200 per year?

You had insurance in the same way that you have "acreage".

No, you're one of the dedicated deadbeats who prefer to blame everybody else.

My gawd, your excuses are soooo pathetic and ludicrous. If you really want to work then swear off your keyboard for good. Otherwise, learn to enjoy ridicule.
Wayne
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Dear Sir, t Thank you very much for the personal testimonial on your problems with the current health care system. We really appreciate hearing personally tragic stories from people like you, who through no fault of their own, are left with little or no recourse but to seek government assistance to pay for their emergency medical expenses. Your plight points out so clearly why the country is in such need of a universal health care system. It is indeed a tragedy that so many other people just like you will be driven into destitution merely because of a medical emergency. Thanks again. And remember the only solution to the problems facing people in situations just like yours is to vote for Democratic candidates. I'm sure we can count on your vote considering what happened to you.
Hawke
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On Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:28:05 -0800, Hawke

That last part is certainly true in a lot of cases, but gummer's isn't one of them. He chose a dead end area and a lifestyle guaranteed to make his life shorter, more miserable, and more costly to society. He chose to work part time for less than minimum wage, and to spend whatever money he could hide from his creditors on hoarding junk and firearms. He chooses to waste his life on Usenet year after year, even to the point of spending more time complaining about a single vehicle repair and the cost of it and how he could do it if he wanted to, than it would have taken to knuckle down like the rest of us and do the job himself. He chooses to pretend that it's better to promote "the great cull" and to BS and scapegoat, than to get off his ass. In short, he chooses his toys, vices, and fantasies, over honor and reality.

Ha! Tom Gardner has volunteered to hire him, and assures us that he can make big money by doing it. Having claimed that on a public forum, I'd expect Tom to really go the extra mile to make it worth gummer's while and to ensure his success. The trip should be a piece of cake for master survivalist gummer. All he really needs to do is stick his thumb out and he can be sleeping in Tom's guest room in a couple of days. Once he's got that great job which allegedly includes health insurance, he can spend his evenings regaling us with tales of how wonderful it is to contribute to a successful enterprise, fish on the weekends, bench press V8s, slay bigfoot with a vernier, etc. Unfortunately, none of that can happen because Obama and Pelosi are taking turns pinning gummer to his computer chair!
So he'll instead spend his last breath cursing Hillary or whatever. Between now and then he'll alternate between the contradictory strategies of boasting about unlimited talent and resourcefulness, and claiming to be a victim deserving of pity... sometimes on the same day, and occasionally in the same post!
Wayne
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Since you are a belever in personal responsibility, the first step I would recommend is taking personal responsibility for your situation. The choices affect outcomes, for everyone, you included.
Secondly, a part of the reason why insurance rates are so high, is that people without insurance, like you, are clogging emergency rooms in hospitals, who are required to treat them.
Had an insurance reform been passed, that would provide people like you with access to affordable preventive health care, your own treatment might have cost the society less.
Not being able to afford health insurance at older age, is my personal nightmare and it is something that bothers me every day. I do not care if I would be slightly less wealthy, due to extra costs, and would be very happy to know that there is no possibility of being left withnout health coverage.
i
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On Fri, 22 Jan 2010 17:02:06 -0600, Ignoramus6241

But...but..but..Im a Democrat! That means its someone else's fault. In fact..its the fault of the Rich! And the Corporations! So THEY have to pay for it.

Yes indeed. $2,5 Billion last year alone was spent on health care for Illegal Aliens. Illegal Aliens that the Democrats refuse to stop allowing into the country. And in fact..encourage them to come to Del Norte.

Yes and?

Indeed. Tell that to the President and get him to FIX healthcare, not destroy it.
Now about my personal problem...whatcha gonna do about it? After all..I am a Democrat.
Gunner
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Not so, booby: the Health Insurance rates are high because of the Malpractice Insurance companies who require long lists of very expensive tests be run so that the MI company lawyers can easily defend the doctors/technicians/EMTs/hospitals from other lawyers (Binder & Binder and Sokolove come to mind) who expect to make millions over some jerk's hangnail that got infected a month after going to an emergency room.
BTW, since the MI beancounters insist on the tests the HI beancounters "negotiate" with the doctors/hospitals/clinics/etc. for reduced rates. (After all, they're actually going to PAY.)
FWIW, Medicare/Medicaid does the same thing...
If gummint demands free health care through Emergency Rooms then it's up to gummint to pay for it.
The FIRST (and most obvious) step - also the most effective - should be to simply shoot all of the lawyers...
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Pure bullshit.
Been there researched it all before and found out malpractice premiums on average have actually dropped in the past decade--besides, they never amounted any more than a very small fraction of medical costs in the first place.
http://tinyurl.com/yfzee2u
--






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Dunno what planet you're from but here on Earth's North American Continent the exorbitant malpractice rates have forced a great many Medical Specialists to give up their practices.
You're the Bullshit Specialist and, therefore, accustomed to wallowing in the stuff...
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Name 3 of these supposed "Medical Specialists" and provide positive evidence showing how malpractice rates were anything other than a minor factor monetarily.

Nope, I've independantly researched the subject already is all.
That said--in the rare case where a doctor has been sued and found guilty several times for incompetance then instead of his complaining about insurance rates I would rather that he take up a more suitable line of work.
--


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