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  1. #81
    creepycrawler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    I see a $15 (or some relatively large increase) minimum wage as a good thing. I'm not going to downplay the risk to smaller businesses that would need to comply with that wage requirement. But if someone is going to show up for a 40hr week and work - not even bust ass, just do their job - they should be able to live off of that work. Like, have a home/apartment. Our tax dollars help cover employees at large companies because those companies aren't paying people more:
    I would love to see everybody make more money but that is beside the point. Going back to what i tried to explain, and obviously did not do a good job of it, what i would like you to rebut and maybe you can because i am certainly not an economy major in ANYTHING, is this.

    Say you have a job and you have worked there for six months or six years or whatever, but either way, you have made it up to making $15 an hour. Suddenly, the company you work for hires 3 high school kids at the new minimum wage which happens to be $15 an hour. You are going to be pissed and go demand $20 an hour because you have experience at the job. Then the people who were making $20 an hour are going to feel the same and do the same. The price of goods and or services rise to cover the pay increases and we are right back to square one and the only thing we have accomplished is to devalue the dollar.

    When Washington state went to $15 an hour a few years ago after people in Seattle "demanded it", i dont think it worked out so well because then the same people who worked at mcdonalds or wherever complained about working too many hours and making enough money that they had to pay taxes now.

    I just dont see it working out. Again, in my opinion, all it will do is devalue the dollar.
    From the only state in the USA where O'dumbass failed to carry a single county. :hail:

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1bgdog View Post
    no, i see folks being "mean" to me
    .
    lmao.....

  3. #83
    I went broad.... and mentioned since I was on this forum not this post. You may have missed that....
    Let's see where this goes, because sweater has done an AMAZING job discussing this and no one (that I have seen) been able to counter that point.
    And I hope my idea of civil is the same as yours... we will see.
    (since this is a forum no sarcasm is meant and some may see this as that)


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Matt, I just read every post in this thread. I found none “being mean” to you or belittling you. I did find some the other direction. If you want to engage in a civil discussion, great. If not, don’t bother posting in this thread again as there are others trying to have a civil discussion.
    [SIZE=4]I don't even own a Jeep, oh wait I do and it is sick! [/SIZE]:P
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  4. #84
    Did you see the "air quotes"? That was meant as subtly humor.....
    Been here for a LONG time, and not "hurt" by dudes on the internet.

  5. #85
    Captain Radon Steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1BGDOG View Post
    I went broad.... and mentioned since I was on this forum not this post. You may have missed that....
    Let's see where this goes, because sweater has done an AMAZING job discussing this and no one (that I have seen) been able to counter that point.
    And I hope my idea of civil is the same as yours... we will see.
    (since this is a forum no sarcasm is meant and some may see this as that)




  6. #86
    creepycrawler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    It's not as simple as that - minorities have been traditionally geographically segregated into areas that have less economic opportunities. You're asking people to physically move to other areas of the country where the jobs are. And when you can't even necessarily own a car and afford to relocate yourself (away from your lifelong community and family, no less) you end up stuck in the same cycle of poverty - and this is not even necessarily a racial minority problem:
    This is a dynamic that definitely comes into play but what do we do about it? The tactic of throwing them free money hasn't worked and isn't going to work. They need to get jobs. Maybe i am looking through rose colored glasses because i live in a place where anyone who wants a job can have a job and even fast food places are offering 13-14 an hour to start. We are fixing to double the size of the shop at work just so we can have the guys working one machine while waiting for parts to come in for another that they have tore down and we could use at least 3 more mechanics and we can't hire one. We stole our service manager from another Kubota dealership and stole two of our last 3 mechanic hires from rental yards.

    Maybe start a deal where ok, you still get free money but you have to paint your house this month and you have to fix your fence this month? That would be impossible to keep track of. Maybe some kind of program that would help pay for them to move and get into a rent house or apartment if it was going to a place where they can get a job.

    I dunno. What i do know is the definition of insanity meaning doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome and just throwing free money at the problem is not only getting the same outcome but is making it worse.

  7. #87
    creepycrawler's Avatar
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    As far as taxes go, flat rate across the board. No deductions.....period.

  8. #88
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    Our heath care system sucks but i attribute that suckage to our heath insurance companies as well as hospitals and no, Obamacare didnt fix anything and in fact increased insurance prices not to mention the penalties that it put on families who either couldn't afford insurance or who just didn't buy it.

    When you can go have a procedure done at a hospital and it costs half or less if you pay cash than it does when you are filing it on your insurance, there is problem. The hospitals are trying to screw the insurance companies and the insurance companies end up screwing you.

    This is another area where illegal aliens and people who are stuck in the welfare system don't help matters. As a former firefighter and EMT who lots of times either ended up driving the bus or working in the back of the bus during transport, i can tell you that illegals use 911 and an ambulance for their doctor. They know that if we hauled them in on the wahmbulance that they would get priority service and they could leave without paying a dime. Hospitals have to make up their "losses" somewhere so the rest of us get to pay for it through higher insurance costs.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    Again, I would rather err on the side of respecting someone else's request that you treat them equally and with respect. If someone wants me to refer to them as "she" instead of "he", that's a simple thing I can do that is highly likely to make that person's life a slight bit better. I personally get more confused with "they/their" but I also have never run into that situation in the wild, so to speak. I don't think I see pronouns as "ridiculous" but I agree that - shocker - some people can take them too far, and that that desire to take them too far might be rooted in so many complicated events leading up to this point to the extent that I'm not really up for trying to understand it all. I don't personally see where there have been US or local laws enacted that have required me to change my life in order to keep someone else from getting their feelings hurt. I do applaud any laws or changes that have sought to include more people regardless of age, sex, gender, creed, race, etc.
    I am with you as never having been in i situation where i had to call someone a them or a they and if i knew someone who was.... i guess i dont even know what to call them that is political correct since they name themselves so many different names now, i would call them a he or she depending on how they represented themselves and if i was wrong, i would apologize.

    Where i get sideways with this is how far its gone to make sure that once again, nobodies feelings get hurt. People just need to grow up. In my opinion, when it has got to the point that Pelosi has laid down "gender neutral" language rules for congress, its gone too far. What was it? Two days after she laid down the gender neutral rules and somebody, i think it was a democrat woman but it doesn't matter, got called out for using grandma or grandpa. This is just insanity.

  10. #90
    Thank you.
    I am not the best at words, I admit that. And I often find myself refining my original posts to clarify/"drill down" on my thoughts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post



  11. #91
    creepycrawler's Avatar
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    This should be a good study. Affirmative action... This is touchy because it ties in closely with racism which i despise but i hope to touch on that more later.

    Ugh.... where to start.

    I guess once again, i am just looking for your thoughts on this and i am just typing away as random thoughts come through my mostly vacated head.

    I know what the intentions of affirmative actions were or are but i question the results i guess is the best way i know to put it. Much like welfare, the best laid plans end up being turds. Giving the benefit of doubt, along with so many other government sponsored attempts at fixing racial divides, i don't think this helps anyone.

    I guess i am mainly looking at college entries on this but it applies to other areas as well. I wish every young adult who wanted to go to college could go to the college of their choice but they can't. Thats just life. Life doesn't give each of us the same opportunities and nothing we do will change that.

    I am single and have no kids by my choice but if i was married and had a kid, say he was just an average student but got by pretty good and graduated from high school and applied to xyz college where he really wanted to go because his friends or girlfriend was going to go there.

    Lets say that this hypothetical son made it in to said college on grades but was at the low end of the spectrum and be was bumped so a minority with worse grades could get in because of affirmative action required by the college or state or whoever.

    Is this going to increase or decrease my "empathy" for whatever nationality the person was who took my kids place?

    I just think that a lot of what this country does to "fight" racism is just backwards.

    On the next front, what about affirmative action in the political field?

    Our next president, Mr. Biden was completely pressured and forced to pick a female who wasn't white to be his vise president. Do i have a problem with having a female vice president? Absolutely not. Do i have a problem with having a non- white (i honestly dont know what i am supposed to call her) vice president? Absolutely not. Do i have a problem with a vice president being pick just because she isn't white and she is a woman? I absolutely do.

  12. #92
    Mike, thank you for your thoughtful responses. I've scanned this thread, and responded once to a supposition ClodHopper made, but have otherwise found the petty back and forth uninteresting. Ideas, though, are very interesting to me, and I'd like to participate.

    Quick background: I belong to no political party, but am a Christian conservative. I have not always been so. As a young man, I was a flaming lefty: I read Jerry Rubin, spelled America with a K, and remember commenting to a friend when Reagan was shot that it was terrible that the result would be sympathy for his positions.

    I was a fool.

    What life experience taught me was that the things that I believed were emotionally appealing lies, sold to me by those who benefited from my belief in them. The biggest lesson I learned was that people are fundamentally evil (Christians will use the word "wicked", while non-Christian conservatives will use words like "selfish", but the result is the same), and will always act in their own perceived best interest. Whether working hard to get a better job, giving time or money to the poor, or blowing one's own brains out, the prime motivation is always that the action is believed to be in one's own best interest at the time it was taken. To believe that anyone; you, me, "most people" or "everyone", will consistently behave differently is to believe a lie. Conservative principles, at their core, understand this and seek to leverage all these selfish motivations to raise the standard of living of society, as a whole. There are those left behind, to be sure, and there always will be, but the precepts of limited government and private enterprise have created a country that has been a magnet for those seeking a better life for hundreds of years. Most came to take advantage of the opportunities this country afforded them, and not to suckle at the public tit.

    Several times in your posts you used the word, "should", as in the sense of "it ought to be this way". The only "should" I know for certain is that I should be young, handsome and independently wealthy, but I am none of those things, and must play the hand I'm holding. And so must we all. While I am certain that Heaven is a real place, I am just as certain that a man-made utopia is not. It has never been, it is not now, and it never will be.

    You also used the word "empathy" several times, and generally expressed a desire to better the lives of others. I haven't the slightest doubt that you are sincere about that, and I like to think it is where you and I find the most common ground. We likely disagree rather vehemently about methods, but please take nothing I say as a personal attack. I appreciate your point of view, and your ideas, and would like to respond to several of them. In no particular order, and in trying to accurately portray your thoughts in the titles, and the text (keep me honest there), they are:

    Healthcare as a right - It simply is not. What it is is a very expensive commodity. If we pretend that is is a "right" (the Medicare-for-all idea), we drive up demand ("it's free!"), introduce even more inefficiency through the inevitable regulation, and decrease supply. This latter point is key, as some suppliers (e.g. doctors, hospitals, etc), in the face of diminished reimbursements, will simply exit the system and treat those patients who can pay large sums of cash. The typical liberal response (not necessarily yours), is to say, "We'll ban them from doing that!". Aside from the fact such a position is a preposterous government overreach, it doesn't resolve the issue. If medicine stops paying well, the gifted people we'd love to have as doctors will go into law, or engineering, or whatever benefits them most. (Remember, human beings always act in their own perceived best interest.) The net result of all of this is that yes, healthcare is free, but the lines are long for a substantially larger portion of the population than under a private system. If you get your wish here, and your kid and Jeff Bezos' kid are diagnosed with cancer on the same day, Jeff's kid will get immediate care, somewhere - simply because he can make it so - and your kid will wait, because you can no longer afford the now exorbitantly priced alternative to state supplied care. In short, all we will accomplish by insisting that healthcare is a right is to drive down the level of care for the vast majority who can get great care today, and effectively create a large "healthcare gap", much like the income gap you decry, where only the genuinely wealthy can afford thorough, timely care.

    Universal background checks for firearms purchases - These are simply not a real thing. At best, such a policy would cover those who choose to submit to it, but a willing buyer and a willing seller can simply transact a sale outside of the system.

    Gun laws - I know you don't support these but, the fact is, you voted for them, taking "a calculated risk". You mentioned counting on "a really large portion of the US populace pushing back against drastic changes to gun laws". I fear you have underestimated the suppression of conservative voices in our society. Parlor was completely eliminated by a single man's decision, and the dominant media, and individual liberals, have routinely sought to marginalize Fox and the very few other non-liberal media sites. How will 80 million gun owners - maybe closer to 90 million after the 2020 run on firearms by people of all political persuasions - "push back", if their voices are silenced or slandered by a dominant media who is resolutely behind the left? These gun laws are coming. The only chance we have against them is a Supreme Court who, for the first time in decades, can decide issues on the text of the Constitution, and those decisions will be overturned by the inevitable packing of the court.

    $15/hour minimum wage - So, why stop at $15? Why not $50/hr, so all full time workers will make $100K/year, and be able to afford a nice house? I'm nearly certain you and I can agree that that's a really dumb idea, but the reasons it's a dumb idea (e.g. inflation and the inevitable automation that would remove all minimum wage jobs from the marketplace, to name a couple), also exist at $15/hr, just to a lesser degree. "Living wage" and similar laws that attempt to legislate a standard of living are doomed to fail, because those who create them don't understand how human beings make economic decisions. If one is forced to pay $15/hr for a job, but that job can be automated for a cost of $10/hr, the job will cease to exist, and the formerly employed person will no longer be, at any wage. Again, the typical emotional response from those on the left (but also again, not necessarily you) is to decry the selfishness of the evil business owner. But you and I make those same decisions every day, when we wash our own car, rather than paying someone else to do it, shop for a product based on price, or choose a different cell service to get a better deal. As I have asserted earlier, you, and me, and that business owner that puts kiosks rather than employees at the counter of his burger joint, are behaving exactly as humans have behaved since the dawn of time. Our economic system must recognize and leverage this fundamental tenet of human behavior, not wish it a away, in vain attempts to make things as they "should be".

    I gotta go to bed but, if this discussion continues, I look forward to it, as there are lots of topics left to discuss. Education, student debt, "income inequality", he/she/it, energy... The list goes on.

    Mark
    Last edited by ScaldedDog; January 18th, 2021 at 12:04 AM.
    ''Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.'' - Plato

  13. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by creepycrawler View Post
    Say you have a job and you have worked there for six months or six years or whatever, but either way, you have made it up to making $15 an hour. Suddenly, the company you work for hires 3 high school kids at the new minimum wage which happens to be $15 an hour. You are going to be pissed and go demand $20 an hour because you have experience at the job. Then the people who were making $20 an hour are going to feel the same and do the same.
    I think that's the point, actually. People should absolutely ask for increases in pay from the minimum or any level of current salary. And And I don't think it'll shift everyone's payroll cost up proportionally all the way up the pay scale. For example - $15->$20/hr is a ~33% pay increase. But I would never be able to argue for a $100,000->$133,000 pay increase from my employer purely based on cost of living alone. Pay increases at that level (without promotions) usually are in the 2-3% range if you're lucky in my experience.

    For one, I don't solely see high school kids working behind the counter at my local Wendy's, Taco Bell, Good Times, etc. Maybe Chick-Fil-A but that place is like a cult even if it does have the best chicken sandwich around. I see a lot of adults whom I assume have themselves to provide for, if not others. And we live in a pretty prosperous area of the country (Front Range is my home turf). Minimum wage jobs should not be for high school kids - they should be for anyone who hasn't had the same opportunities that you or I have had - those can be: lack of education, f'd up home life, disability, criminal record, inexperience, and so on. Some of those things happen because of age (high school kids) but a whole ton happen for a whole ton of other societal reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by creepycrawler View Post
    The tactic of throwing them free money hasn't worked and isn't going to work. They need to get jobs.
    There's the rub, and this has been proven out: people do get jobs, but those jobs don't pay high enough wages to make it worth their time to get completely off public assistance. There have been plenty of studies about how just Walmart costs American taxpayers billions each year, a lot of it be underpaying their employees. Link to PDF if you're interested in one of them.

    Simply put - I think there's a lot of room for large corporations to absorb higher employee wages. A LOT of room. But the main thing keeping that from happening is that those corps are beholden to their investors and "the market". I have invested money, and I love getting good returns on it, but I'd be happy to shift my investments away from companies that put profit over people (I'll admit I don't know enough about the funds that I'm invested in, mea culpa)

    Quote Originally Posted by creepycrawler View Post
    Our heath care system sucks but i attribute that suckage to our heath insurance companies as well as hospitals and no, Obamacare didnt fix anything
    Ding ding ding - winner! Totally agree. But again, those companies running our health care systems are totally for-profit and those profits benefit investors who have money to spare, not the person who is $60,000 in the hole for their son's surgery.

    If healthcare was run like... oh... the several other dozen countries in our league that that have universal healthcare it would be less focused on profit and more on keeping people healthy. That is my actual true unshakeable belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by creepycrawler View Post
    This is another area where illegal aliens and people who are stuck in the welfare system don't help matters.
    It's more complicated than that. You're never going to have a system where you can remove any sort of "drain" on the system. Won't happen in society without some really inhumane things happening. So what you can do is just... get people the healthcare they need. You know why so many people use 911/ambulances and ERs for minor health issues? Because they have no other options because those other options cost them money, and they're making so little at their jobs that they can't afford even those modest costs. Again, back to my argument for paying people a living wage.

    I think I can combine these:

    Quote Originally Posted by creepycrawler View Post
    Affirmative action...
    and
    Quote Originally Posted by creepycrawler View Post
    Where i get sideways with this is how far its gone to make sure that once again, nobodies feelings get hurt. People just need to grow up. In my opinion, when it has got to the point that Pelosi has laid down "gender neutral" language rules for congress, its gone too far. What was it? Two days after she laid down the gender neutral rules and somebody, i think it was a democrat woman but it doesn't matter, got called out for using grandma or grandpa. This is just insanity.
    Yes, it is. I think it's an attempt at trying to swing the pendulum too far too quickly, and it'll irritate people and sometimes come across and stupid and a waste of time. But I don't see it as always being punitive to your or my speech or habits. Look - I went to CU in the 90's for a Sociology degree which ended up being a Women's Studies degree basically, and it was... omg some of those people need to get some hobbies. But even the most ham-fisted attempt at "political correctness" can most often be traced back to fairly recent history. Women have only been "allowed" to vote for a hundred years of America's 244 years in existence. The Voting Rights Act is 55yrs old. There are people on this forum reading this right now who have lived through times where women and people of color were actually allowed by law to be discriminated against - and even after laws were made and upheld there still is a whole ton of nudge-nudge wink-wink preferential treatment towards white dudes going on.

    I really actually think that the hard-core push for affirmative action and political correctness has eased off in the last... dunno, decade or so. And mostly, I think that's because there are a lot more women in and minorities in places where only white men used to be. Even some women are pushing back against the oft-overused "women only make 77 cents for every dollar that men earn".

    Quote Originally Posted by creepycrawler View Post
    Do i have a problem with a vice president being pick just because she isn't white and she is a woman? I absolutely do.
    I would have the same problem with it, too. But I don't think that that is the sole reason she was selected, not even close. I am certain that her gender did factor into her selection - but I think it was more along the lines of "hey look - she's smart and respected by a large portion of likely pro-dem voters, and to top it all off she's a woman." I don't know if I'm 100% against the idea that her being a woman pushed the selection of her in her favor, but I personally don't see it as an attack on my middle-age-white-man-ness and my opportunities in America.

    - mike

  14. #94
    Captain Radon Steve's Avatar
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    Mike et al,

    I appreciate the calm, reasoned responses. I vehemently disagree with some of them, but that's life.

    As far as a "living wage," who gets to determine what that means, and how much is needed? We know that it's nowhere near the same in every part of the country, but many seem to think a "living wage" of $15/h, regardless of location, will fix a lot. It won't. And as for not enough well paying jobs available, well, that's pure and utter BS.

    As for "affordable" college, we're probably all close in our opinions. Perhaps if colleges/universities didn't pay sports coaches millions of dollars, build multimillion dollar stadiums and sports venues, and spend money on a whole host of things unrelated to education, they could lower the tuition costs. I strongly believe that every college and university should be required to teach a class, with attendance mandatory, to every freshman their first semester - the subject of which is what various degrees are worth in the real world, including job prospects, pay, etc. Far too many kids end up with huge debt and a liberal arts degree that will get them a job at a Starbucks, then whine about how much student debt they have and demand that the taxpayers bail them out. Last I checked college isn't mandatory, and college loans are voluntary. Expecting the taxpayers to now assume that debt is ridiculous.

    I grew up in a very lower middle class working family. My dad worked in a meat packing plant. Yeah, where Americans refuse to work now because the work is too hard so they're mainly staffed by new immigrants, both legal and illegal. My mom worked full time at a dog grooming salon. Neither had a college education but both worked incredibly hard to provide for four kids even though they never made a lot of money. That meant no new cars, no expensive vacations, etc. They never asked for, or took, handouts of any kind. I knew they couldn't afford to send me to college so I enlisted in the military, where I took every training class I could. Yeah, I had to move, but BFD. I've worked incredibly hard to get to where I am today financially. There is NO reason most people couldn't do that now, regardless of the color of their skin, where they grew up, or almost anything else - except they don't want to. Not wanting to doesn't warrant public assistance in my book.

    Stepping off my soapbox now...

  15. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    Healthcare as a right - It simply is not.
    Well, then you and I disgree on that. I think that you have a right to be able to keep yourself healthy, and that you have the right to be able to seek help if you get sick - and that that help will not financially ruin you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    The net result of all of this is that yes, healthcare is free, but the lines are long for a substantially larger portion of the population than under a private system. If you get your wish here, and your kid and Jeff Bezos' kid are diagnosed with cancer on the same day, Jeff's kid will get immediate care, somewhere - simply because he can make it so - and your kid will wait, because you can no longer afford the now exorbitantly priced alternative to state supplied care. In short, all we will accomplish by insisting that healthcare is a right is to drive down the level of care for the vast majority who can get great care today, and effectively create a large "healthcare gap", much like the income gap you decry, where only the genuinely wealthy can afford thorough, timely care.
    What you're describing already happens today - people who have more money have more options to see doctors more quickly. Period. That'll never change, I'm not naïve enough to think otherwise. And if you want to pay more to get to the head of the line, or to see more specialists, whatever - no one's stopping you now, and no one would stop you in the future.

    But the rest of everything that you describe just simply hasn't happened in other countries that have universal healthcare. I know that I'm sick and f'n tired of having to prepare myself for a fight to the death over the thousands of dollars in medical bills that will result from any hospital stay.

    I mean, my wife was once taken to the ER for a seizure in Loveland. The EMTs (being helpful) didn't want to take her to the nearest hospital until they could get a hold of me TO SEE WHETHER THAT HOSPITAL WAS IN NETWORK OR NOT. They couldn't get to me in time, so we ended up paying ~$3,000 out of pocket for her ER visit, purely because of how much of a stranglehold insurance companies have on the industry.

    Honestly, of anything that I might talk about, debate about, universal healthcare is probably the #1 on my list and pretty non-negotiable. Too many other countries have done it right, and we've really really let private companies take far too much control of our healthcare. And every time I read something like what you're posting above, I would simply ask:

    Then what's your alternative? What would you go to decrease the risk to you and I, where 66% of bankruptcies involve medical debt? And where millions of people do not have any sort of medical insurance coverage?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    Universal background checks for firearms purchases - These are simply not a real thing. At best, such a policy would cover those who choose to submit to it, but a willing buyer and a willing seller can simply transact a sale outside of the system.
    Yup. Criminals are going to be criminals and all that. But I still think that a firearms transfer to someone else without a background check should be a crime. It's too easy to go get one and do it the "right" way.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    Gun laws - I know you don't support these but, the fact is, you voted for them, taking "a calculated risk".
    I have not voted for any gun control laws ever, and probably would not ever if I were asked to do so directly. I see that you are trying to make the connection that I have voted for gun control laws, but that's not how logic works. I stand by my "calculated risk" decision, as I felt there were more important and pressing issues than gun control that I was not willing to take a risk on.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    I fear you have underestimated the suppression of conservative voices in our society. Parlor was completely eliminated by a single man's decision, and the dominant media, and individual liberals, have routinely sought to marginalize Fox and the very few other non-liberal media sites.
    If by "suppression" you mean "not wanting to do business with" I agree. But there is literally nothing stopping "conservative voices" from being able to run their own TV shows, host their own social media networks, and keep refusing to bake gay people cakes.

    Because really, that's the perfect example: conservatives fought real hard to make sure a private business didn't have to make a cake for a gay couple (however politically motivated that cake request was). And that's cool - conservatives won in court. You DO NOT then get to claim that a private business refusing to do business with someone is a totally different situation now that the shoe is on the other foot. The gay wedding cake people did try to argue suppression when their cake wasn't going to be baked, and a bunch of smart legal-ish people disagreed, especially since the gay wedding cake people could have found a different cake provider.

    Parler ignored warnings from Amazon for literally months:

    Amazon's filing included copies of emails it sent to Parler in mid-November containing screenshots full of racist invective about Democrats, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, with a series of responses from other users to "kill 'em all."

    Amazon provided "more than 100 additional representative pieces of content" advocating violence on Parler over the following seven weeks, the company said. Another document in the filing lays out dozens of examples of posts Amazon reported to Parler, beginning in mid-December.
    Parler had plenty of time to work with Amazon on the issue or find itself a different hosting platform. But they didn't, and now people are bringing their incompetence up as "suppression" or something. Nope.

    As for my least favorite news channel, Fox News

    Quote Originally Posted by Forbes
    has dominated cable news for the better part of 20 years, it has also been the most-watched basic cable network for the past five years, with its highest ratings ever in 2020.
    I'll be honest - I actually didn't realize that Fox News has dominated TV ratings for that long of a period of time, but there you have it. Even if liberals "have routinely sought to marginalize Fox and the very few other non-liberal media sites", we actually haven't been very good at it. We've sucked at it, actually.

    $15/hour minimum wage - So, why stop at $15? Why not $50/hr, so all full time workers will make $100K/year[/QUOTE]

    Nope, not going to bite on that one. Please take a read about what a straw man fallacy is first.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    "Living wage" and similar laws that attempt to legislate a standard of living are doomed to fail, because those who create them don't understand how human beings make economic decisions.
    My support of raising the minimum wage

    and I guess we're gonna see what sort of ghetto Denver is about to turn into, right?


    comes from the very real, demonstrated ways that humans have made economic decisions up to this point. Simply put: some humans have made sure their their employees' wages have not kept pace with the cost of living in the United States in order to maximize profits that benefit themselves and investors at the expense of the working poor. And, you and I are partly to blade for this, possibly - as I mentioned earlier I probably have investments in companies that take this tack, and shame on me for not investing more conscientiously and (probably) being a hypocrite. And also for liking to sometimes buy cheap things that are produced with low margins of profit. I think pretty much anyone could cut back on almost any sort of spending / consuming, which ultimately reduces the reliance on an underpaid labor pool.

    - mike

  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    As far as a "living wage," who gets to determine what that means, and how much is needed? We know that it's nowhere near the same in every part of the country, but many seem to think a "living wage" of $15/h, regardless of location, will fix a lot. It won't.
    You are right, in that I've been far too simplistic in throwing out the $15 minimum across the board. Denver's going to $14.77 now, which I think more accurately reflects how expensive it is to live in Denver. It could be higher for NYC, even more for San Francisco, and maybe a lot less for Albuquerque or Joplin, MO. I think the point of these laws that are showing up more often in the US in local politics are the response to letting business decide how much it should pay people.

    Do we continue to pay people less, knowing that we'll end up paying them out of our taxes in the form of Medicaid and SNAP? I personally would rather see people be able to live on the wages that they earn from going to work vs. living on wages that they warn plus the money that they get from the gov't. That's more free market capitalism. Or, I guess, WTF happened that people working in restaurants and groceries used to be able to live a lot more comfortably than they do now? What changed, and how can we reverse that trend? Or is the point that we don't even want to reverse that trend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    As for "affordable" college, we're probably all close in our opinions. Perhaps if colleges/universities didn't pay sports coaches millions of dollars, build multimillion dollar stadiums and sports venues, and spend money on a whole host of things unrelated to education, they could lower the tuition costs.
    Unfortunately those are usually the things that bring in the most money to higher education. Not to say that that money goes back into academics and easing the tuition burden.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Far too many kids end up with huge debt and a liberal arts degree that will get them a job at a Starbucks, then whine about how much student debt they have and demand that the taxpayers bail them out. Last I checked college isn't mandatory, and college loans are voluntary.
    I think you'd be surprised to hear that more schools are offering programs that help ease kids into careers sooner rather than later (this coming from my father who's helped design that very type of course at the Univ. of Southern Maine). But you can't just throw up your hands and say "loans aren't mandatory!" when the overwhelming message we send to every American is that a college degree is one the most basic keys to "success". You think colleges haven't capitalized on that social pressure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Expecting the taxpayers to now assume that debt is ridiculous.
    I agree!

    But guess what happened in 2008 with the mortgage crisis? In order to avoid the implosion of our economy we bailed out banks, who profited off this crap to begin with. What's going to be the next big crisis? (one of them) The $1.5 trillion in student loans out there. And those loans aren't going to go anywhere - those loans are going to impact our economy whether you like it or not. It's just a matter of whether you think we should have a say it in before it bites us in the ass or no say in it after.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    There is NO reason most people couldn't do that now, regardless of the color of their skin, where they grew up, or almost anything else - except they don't want to. Not wanting to doesn't warrant public assistance in my book.
    I agree - there is no reason most people cannot work their asses off. But I disagree that it's only because they don't want to. Some people have not been given the same opportunities as you and I. You expect some kid growing up in the projects in South Philly with maybe a single halfway caring parent to be able to make it as far as you or I have? You seem to be arguing that there is a level playing field in America opportunity-wise, and there isn't one.

    - mike

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    Remember that healthcare is in the place it is not just because of evil corporations trying to rape and pillage. Our lawmakers have meddled and twisted the financial side of healthcare and managed to make it the most complex and impossible system around. The two support each other in this.


    The college cost issue is also a few things together. Colleges have been getting greedy while they noticed that raising tuition doesnt affect application rates. The incessant push to send every kid to college has created a greater-than-market demand for college slots. Moving college loans to government sponsored programs makes for endless amounts of nearly free money to waste on the ever rising tuition. The unnecessary increase in employment requirements (a bachelor degree required, even thought the job doesnt need it) simply because of the flood of available degreed applicants pushes on the cultural drive to send every kid to college. Demand keeps outstripping college capacity, so tuition rises. Circle jerk.

    A related side effect of the push to send every kid to college is not enough are going into the trades. The average age for our employed tradesman is getting higher and higher. We are going to hit a point where there is a great dearth of guys doing trades and the price of trade work will skyrocket as everyone competes for the attention of the few guys doing it. Going to be interesting to hear high schools having to explain why it is still so important to go to college when you can easily make more per year the rest of your life by going trades.
    Proudly un-offended.

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    The top .5%, maybe even push it back to the top .1%. This translates to around $17,000,000 per year income at the .1% range.

    But mostly? I want to turn around the trend where American billionaires paid proportionally less in taxes in 2018 than the working class:



    So while I'm not personally able to give you the exact dollar breakdown of which income brackets should be taxed more, I fully believe that an individual making $17,000,000 per year can pay more back into a system that favors the wealthy at the corporate level more than it favors 99.9% of the American population. The income inequality gap is widening A LOT:



    I'm not saying we're all just getting hosed and screwed over, but the system favors the extremely rich and wealthy and the gap is widening a whole metric sh** ton year after year.



    I find Bernie Sanders' outline of Medicare For All to be very agreeable to me.





    Steve, when was the last time you or your family were faced with a major, non-elective medical procedure and you had no medical insurance? How much have you had to pay out of pocket because you didn't have any medical insurance? Or, how often have you forgone medical care because you don't have medical insurance coverage? There are tens of millions of Americans that don't even get a chance to experience your sucky healthcare.

    That's the situation I'm talking about - we haven't gotten to the quality of care or convenience. That's a way's down the road. I'm just talking about people who don't go to the doctor or ER purely because they have no coverage and can't afford to pay out of pocket.

    A better comparison would be to hear from someone who has lived for an extended time with no medical coverage and who also was sick and see if they'd turn down your experience with healthcare. I'll put my the entirety of my next DNC-mandated quinoa harvest on the table and bet that they'd still opt for your medical coverage experience.

    I don't compare anything that American has farted around with to anything that I'd like to see in the US, including Obamacare/ACA. I compare us to the other 32 countries that have it.

    - mike
    I have been avoiding this thread, but got drug in, and found Sweater on here. The guy who changed my thinking on Gay marriage, and legalized MJ. Good to see you old pal.

    Here is my thing, and I think where we differ on Social issues. How are you going to pay for it? Your tax the uber rich idea is what I always hear from my left leaning friends when I ask this question. The problem is that You and I both know that this is NEVER going to happen. They are either boing to bribe, or loophole their way out, or move their money somewhere else. So now what? The problem I have with all of these programs (Universal healthcare, Free school etc) is that they get passed before we have a way to pay for it. Let's run govt programs like I have to run my household. Come up with a way to pay for it before we buy it.

    I think if you came to the table and said... " we have passed this new tax code that has raised $eleventybillion in the last 2 years, and will continue to raise that much forever. We are going to take that money and use it to fund healthcare for those who don't have it. (Also, leave my shitty gov run healthcare alone.) Stop spending money we don't have on the promise that we will get it back on a pipe dream.

    While we are on the subject of healthcare... Having healthcare isn't worth a crap if there are no docs who take it. We recently moved to rural MO. There are no (and I mean NO) docs in this town who take my .gov funded healthcare. If my wife wants to see an in network doc, we have to drive 2 hours to be seen. (keep in mind the people who don't have healthcare are the same one's who can't travel to get a job).

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    I agree - there is no reason most people cannot work their asses off. But I disagree that it's only because they don't want to. Some people have not been given the same opportunities as you and I. You expect some kid growing up in the projects in South Philly with maybe a single halfway caring parent to be able to make it as far as you or I have? You seem to be arguing that there is a level playing field in America opportunity-wise, and there isn't one.

    - mike
    After my 24 years in the US Military, I can introduce you to more people than I can count that did just that. My friend LT started life in the projects in Detroit. She was the poster child for all of the programs you talk about. Know what she did? Went down to the recruiter, signed up made a career of it, got multiple degrees without a single loan, and moved on into the private sector after retiring.

    As someone who has been responsible for employing people in the civilian sector for the past 4 years since retiring, I can tell you that the reasons you state for people making minimum wage are not the reasons most people are on minimum wage. The hardest part of my job is finding someone who will show up for work. If they do show up, it is not on time. and when they do get there, they don't want to work. And we pay a good bit above minimum wage, and above $15/hr.

    I just hired a tech out of a minimum wage job. You want to know why I hired him? Because he busted his ass and had a good attitude every time I saw him. I asked him for a resume, he sent it to me the next day. I called him to come meet our president on very short notice, and he did it. We hired him on the spot. We are 3 weeks in, he shows up on time, has a great attitude, and earns every dime we pay him.

    He is the first person I have hired that wasn't over 40, or prior military who was able to meet my most basic of standards.

  20. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
    Remember that healthcare is in the place it is not just because of evil corporations trying to rape and pillage. Our lawmakers have meddled and twisted the financial side of healthcare and managed to make it the most complex and impossible system around. The two support each other in this.
    Totally agree - but why not just try to make it simpler? Why not try to just level the entire playing field - instead of there being a patchwork of competing health insurance companies offering differing levels of coverage, why can't there just be one place you go to for medical care (like in all those other countries "over there" who've already done this)? I know it'll suck the life out of a whole ton of for-profit medical institutions, but again - why are we allowing such a huge profit gain on healthcare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
    A related side effect of the push to send every kid to college is not enough are going into the trades. The average age for our employed tradesman is getting higher and higher. We are going to hit a point where there is a great dearth of guys doing trades and the price of trade work will skyrocket as everyone competes for the attention of the few guys doing it. Going to be interesting to hear high schools having to explain why it is still so important to go to college when you can easily make more per year the rest of your life by going trades.
    Yeah - my parents were re-doing their bathroom recently in Portland, ME which doesn't have the exact highest cost of living in the nation. My father and the tile guy were talking about earnings potential for someone who lays tile, and my father threw out something like "I would bet someone could easily be in the $80k range for this work, right?" and the guy responded "I'm well past six figures"

    I have a 10yr old who'll start having to look at college/continuing ed past high school. And my wife and I are adamant that he'll at least start off with something like community college to build on critical thinking skills, communications skills. But we are also adamant that he's not going to head off to a 4yr degree by default unless there's more of a planned career - and we're totally in agreement that a skilled trade can be an excellent alternative to so-called white collar work (hate that term, really).

    - mike

  21. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumperMan View Post
    As someone who has been responsible for employing people in the civilian sector for the past 4 years since retiring, I can tell you that the reasons you state for people making minimum wage are not the reasons most people are on minimum wage. The hardest part of my job is finding someone who will show up for work. If they do show up, it is not on time. and when they do get there, they don't want to work. And we pay a good bit above minimum wage, and above $15/hr.
    I would agree with this. I have been hiring/firing for over 20 years. Digging through piles of resumes/interviews of people who have unrealistic expectations of work is getting worse over time. Pick the best of the bunch and still have to instill proper work habits, ie show up on time, stay til 5, stay off the cell phone, do your job, answer the phone when it rings, all the stuff you think parents would teach. Way too many people show up to an interview in flip flops and expect to get paid twice what the going rate is to spend every day playing on the phone, any length long lunches, show up if they feel like it and expect to work from home or 4 day weeks just cause it fits their life better. We have to spend a significant amount of resources to train an employee to do the task and obtain the creds and certs needed. I cannot dump that value into a person that may not show up tomorrow or next week. There are good employees out there, I do find them, but damn, the number of schmucks is growing.

  22. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by BumperMan View Post
    The guy who changed my thinking on Gay marriage, and legalized MJ. Good to see you old pal.
    Actual true LOL over here. I thought I felt a bit of a cold front moving through hell.

    Quote Originally Posted by BumperMan View Post
    How are you going to pay for it?
    Tax capital gains (which is a more refined and accurately-placed way of saying "tax the rich").

    There is no evidence that rates as low as today’s stimulate investment or benefit the economy, which means that lower capital gains tax rates are costing the government money. Nearly three-quarters of capital gains tax is paid by the top 1 percent of Americans, so treating capital gains as ordinary income (and closing related loopholes such as for carried interest and the “stepped up basis”) would meet the progressive goal of preferentially taxing the rich. These aren’t radical or new ideas: economists who study the capital gains tax have long argued in favor of equalizing the rates, and it has even been done before—by Ronald Reagan, in the tax reform law of 1986.
    Yeah it's a Politico article but it's got tons of references that hold up and it's actually pretty critical of taxing rich people vs. taxing rich corporations where the actual $ can come from. That is a change in my thinking and argument that I have to communicate more clearly. Why should the gov't step in to cover our asses when corporations and investors can slip on past using tax breaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by BumperMan View Post
    After my 24 years in the US Military, I can introduce you to more people than I can count that did just that.
    As much as I respect military service (I work alongside a ton of active-duty and veterans in my field) and that I probably could have benefitted from military service when I was a kid, that shouldn't be the only opportunity that people can have to find a way out.


    Quote Originally Posted by BumperMan View Post
    As someone who has been responsible for employing people in the civilian sector for the past 4 years since retiring, I can tell you that the reasons you state for people making minimum wage are not the reasons most people are on minimum wage. The hardest part of my job is finding someone who will show up for work. If they do show up, it is not on time. and when they do get there, they don't want to work. And we pay a good bit above minimum wage, and above $15/hr.
    I don't know how to respond to that.

    Maybe the coffee hasn't hit yet but I don't have a solution for people who don't want to work or aren't motivated to work. But I don't believe that is the reason why so many generations of people continue to live at or below the poverty line. You're thankfully providing people opportunities to get a job and advance a career - but I don't think it's fair to extrapolate that out and present it as a general truth about the working poor and how there really are big differences between opportunities in different parts of this country.

    I'm not deluded enough (yet) to think that we can give everyone the same opportunities that you or I or your friend had, but I really really think there's room for improvement. And I really really think we, as a society, should be doing something to slow down the widening of the income / wealth gap.

    And mind you, this is not all feel-good howeverthehell you spell kumbaya goodwill towards my fellow humans. Part of this should be self-serving in that no one wants large areas of their society to live in poverty, with all of the attendant side effects that poverty can bring, most notably being crime rates.

    - mike

  23. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    Totally agree - but why not just try to make it simpler? Why not try to just level the entire playing field - instead of there being a patchwork of competing health insurance companies offering differing levels of coverage, why can't there just be one place you go to for medical care (like in all those other countries "over there" who've already done this)? I know it'll suck the life out of a whole ton of for-profit medical institutions, but again - why are we allowing such a huge profit gain on healthcare?
    That idea of a single payer is basically agreeable to nearly everyone as all the decision making is done by someone else. Either the stress of picking a plan or the stress of potentially making a mistake is avoided. BUT... a single choice is rarely one that is in my best interests. A single payer healthcare is still a monopoly, granted a government monopoly, but that is no different in the end. There is no economic driver to continually improve capability, service or price. You have pointed out previously that corporate monopolies are self serving and evil. Just because the govt is doing it, do you expect a different outcome? Once these type programs are installed in our govt, they are impossible to remove or change. So they grow in cost, continually. The VA is a good example of this. Some recent improvements have been forced through by our elected officials, but the improvements were small and the cost of that behemoth continues to rise faster than the benefit.

    At one time, the VA made sense as local medical care really didnt have the experience to deal with war wounds, crippling damage and mental anguish of war. But I posit that today's medical facilities have grown beyond that dealing with the car accidents, gang shootings and whatnot that they are expected to hand now. A more serious and focused look needs to be done to evaluate if now is the time to take the VA from being a hospital system and convert it to being a medical service management organization that finds, arranges, and funds the medical needs of our service people and using the extensive medical capability of the existing industry. But because people are hesitant to change and the VA is a foundational element of government, can you imagine the grassfire that would erupt?

    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    Yeah - my parents were re-doing their bathroom recently in Portland, ME which doesn't have the exact highest cost of living in the nation. My father and the tile guy were talking about earnings potential for someone who lays tile, and my father threw out something like "I would bet someone could easily be in the $80k range for this work, right?" and the guy responded "I'm well past six figures"

    I have a 10yr old who'll start having to look at college/continuing ed past high school. And my wife and I are adamant that he'll at least start off with something like community college to build on critical thinking skills, communications skills. But we are also adamant that he's not going to head off to a 4yr degree by default unless there's more of a planned career - and we're totally in agreement that a skilled trade can be an excellent alternative to so-called white collar work (hate that term, really).

    - mike
    I have worked for many years in youth organizations teaching economic principles to youth. One of those was the cost/benefit return on college education. Even young teenagers make rational decisions when you present them the numbers. Even though I knew most of those kids would be later led astray by their best of intentioned parents, I was able to see a handful of those young people carry forward what I had introduced them to, either changing direction on planned career choice, starting at community college or skipping college completely for trade school. One young man took the last one (to the absolute anguish of his mom) and in three years was earning far more than his dad, who was at the end of his white collar career, and his parents were STILL disapproving of the choice. Some people I just cannot understand I guess.

    Of my three kids, two are pursuing college, one went trades. In the end, I dont care what someone chooses, provided it is an informed choice and they understand and accept the outcome. A lot of kids go to college without being introduced to other options and get saddled with debt like a surprise. I fully believe many of the young people calling for educational debt relief are the same ones duped into the idea that college is a solve all and were never allowed to contemplate the idea that you hire a college as an investment in your future career. Not all investments are good ones and careful choices are important.

  24. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by BumperMan View Post
    While we are on the subject of healthcare... Having healthcare isn't worth a crap if there are no docs who take it. We recently moved to rural MO. There are no (and I mean NO) docs in this town who take my .gov funded healthcare. If my wife wants to see an in network doc, we have to drive 2 hours to be seen. (keep in mind the people who don't have healthcare are the same one's who can't travel to get a job).
    But that's the point of universal healthcare - one of the goals there is that it should remove that barrier, in that every medical provider takes everyone and wouldn't have to make choices between differing insurance companies and coverage plans and whatever.

    - mike

  25. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    Tax capital gains (which is a more refined and accurately-placed way of saying "tax the rich").

    Yeah it's a Politico article but it's got tons of references that hold up and it's actually pretty critical of taxing rich people vs. taxing rich corporations where the actual $ can come from. That is a change in my thinking and argument that I have to communicate more clearly. Why should the gov't step in to cover our asses when corporations and investors can slip on past using tax breaks?
    I know it is terminology, how someone talks. But it does frame how people think. The politico article is written in a particular manner:

    which means that lower capital gains tax rates are costing the government money
    Is it splitting hairs? I dont think it is. The dollars collected by government doesnt belong to government. It belongs to the people. A reduction in tax revenue doesnt COST the government anything. The mindset that it is the government's money and the right of government to separate their money from the people is utterly wrong. There is no justification for government to extract taxes from the people and there is no evidence that the government will use those funds in a more moral, right, efficient or correct manner than a private organization. We create the government to perform certain services on behalf of the people, not the other way around. Just because someone has managed to create more personal value than another does not justify the right of government to dip in and take what they (government) feels entitled to take. Government taxation has transformed from a means to fund governmental activities to a bludgeon of social retribution.

    I am not ignoring the wealth gap. You an I may not agree on how severe the problem is but I do understand your point on that. I just dont see using governmental taxation as the primary way to address the issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    As much as I respect military service (I work alongside a ton of active-duty and veterans in my field) and that I probably could have benefitted from military service when I was a kid, that shouldn't be the only opportunity that people can have to find a way out.
    Military isnt the only option. You will see trade schools coming back as the trades pool gets thinner and thinner. The trades themselves or unions will sponser the school mostly or completely. It would require a young person to leave home and go to school, not unlike college.

    The rub is it will also require a change in culture were youth are encouraged to invest in a future by taking on a less than glamourous situation for a few years to get that benefit. Wealthy or poor, that isnt an idea that is encouraged all that much anymore today.



    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    Maybe the coffee hasn't hit yet but I don't have a solution for people who don't want to work or aren't motivated to work. But I don't believe that is the reason why so many generations of people continue to live at or below the poverty line. You're thankfully providing people opportunities to get a job and advance a career - but I don't think it's fair to extrapolate that out and present it as a general truth about the working poor and how there really are big differences between opportunities in different parts of this country.

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    I don't have the time for a lengthy copy & past reply, so I'll just ask a couple of questions:

    Mike, the first time you brought up taxing "the rich" you threw out a number of, I believe, $17M annually as the criteria for higher taxes. Now you say it should be based on capital gains. Which is it and why?

    Have you ever talked to someone "over there" who lives with single payer, government run healthcare? I've done a lot of work in Canada, and we have close friends in the UK, both of which have it. When I've asked about it the response is universally negative, which is why there is a growing demand for concierge healthcare so those hated rich people don't have long waits for care like everybody else. Is that really what you want?

    And as for true government-run healthcare, I would go to Mexico before I'd go to a VA hospital again. Yes, I'm serious.

    And a last somewhat philosophical question for all: The U.S. Constitution is pretty specific in what powers the federal government has, and says this in the 10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Nowhere in the Constitution does it give the federal government the power to implement a nationwide minimum wage, nationwide gun background checks, nationwide single-payer healthcare, or a whole long list of other things it does and wants to do. Are you okay with that? I'm not. The federal government should be reigned in and limited to what the Constitution allows it to do, and nothing else. Unfortunately I don't see that happening - ever.

  27. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    But that's the point of universal healthcare - one of the goals there is that it should remove that barrier, in that every medical provider takes everyone and wouldn't have to make choices between differing insurance companies and coverage plans and whatever.

    - mike
    I get that. Instead of solving with a single payer creating a govt monopoly, it makes more sense to me to greatly simplify the rules of medical insurance that are so twisted up that govt is stipulating where, who and how an insurance company can sell their service. Encourage true competition, rather than using government to create uneven playing fields that benefit one company over another (because money in politics). Put expenditures on medical services back in the hands of the person so hospitals have to actually list what things cost. There are additional aspects, but you get the idea. Costs will drop when hospitals compete, because they arent right now. When insurance companies actually compete, because they really arent right now. When was the last time you selected your insurance? You didnt, your employer did that for you, even if they offer 3 or 4 nearly identical "plans", that isnt a choice. When did you make any purchasing decisions at a hospital? You dont. You have absolutely no fricken idea what any of it costs and that is how they want it. And THAT is what so often drives people into financial trouble. Being the financially responsible party for what is decided by people who are not on their side.

  28. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
    That idea of a single payer is basically agreeable to nearly everyone as all the decision making is done by someone else.
    That's no different than today. I don't know about you, but I don't really get much choice in my healthcare coverage, aside from opting out of my company's plans and paying out of pocket for a separate plan which is financially unfeasible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
    A single payer healthcare is still a monopoly, granted a government monopoly, but that is no different in the end. There is no economic driver to continually improve capability, service or price. You have pointed out previously that corporate monopolies are self serving and evil. Just because the govt is doing it, do you expect a different outcome? Once these type programs are installed in our govt, they are impossible to remove or change. So they grow in cost, continually. The VA is a good example of this. Some recent improvements have been forced through by our elected officials, but the improvements were small and the cost of that behemoth continues to rise faster than the benefit.
    I haven't said that corps are evil, per se. But corps act in the best interest of their investors. And those investors are rarely the ones that are getting their asses kicked by medical bills.

    So I guess I would ask anyone here:

    What should be done about the current state of healthcare and debt due to medical bills in the US today?

    I've presented my side - follow the well-known and well-studied and well-tried and well-tested examples of many other nations in the world who've successfully overhauled their medical systems.

    What's the alternative?

    - mike

  29. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Have you ever talked to someone "over there" who lives with single payer, government run healthcare? I've done a lot of work in Canada, and we have close friends in the UK, both of which have it. When I've asked about it the response is universally negative, which is why there is a growing demand for concierge healthcare so those hated rich people don't have long waits for care like everybody else. Is that really what you want?
    I know you asked Mike, but can I say something? Nevermind, I will anyway. I also work with people all over. Canada, England, Russia, China, India, Costa Rica, many others. I like to hear their experience and they are usually pumping me on my choice of US president. [ Side note, I am amazed at how much the happenings in the US matter elsewhere, but happenings elsewhere are completely unknown here. ]

    As to healthcare. It seems like no matter who I talk to, no matter where they are from, everyone dislikes the healthcare they have and would prefer the system used by another country. Typically that preferred system in another country isnt well understood by the person wanting it. I have come to the idea that healthcare is like anything else, universally viewed as the grass is greener over there, but in reality it is not any better, just different. No system will solve every problem. Canadian and UK on payer systems have good sides and definite problems. What we do here is better on some things, but fails in others. The only people who seem to universally like their healthcare system is in Costa Rica, but when you explore further, the taxing rate there is very high to pay for it.

    Me personally, I prefer the US system. Doesnt mean it is the right one for every person in the US. But I also see absolutely no benefit to turn it upside down to one-payer as it may fix some problems, but will definitely create others. A wash. Besides, if every country does the same thing, where is the choice? Let people make life choices and elect to move to a country that better agrees with their preferences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    That's no different than today. I don't know about you, but I don't really get much choice in my healthcare coverage, aside from opting out of my company's plans and paying out of pocket for a separate plan which is financially unfeasible.



    I haven't said that corps are evil, per se. But corps act in the best interest of their investors. And those investors are rarely the ones that are getting their asses kicked by medical bills.

    So I guess I would ask anyone here:

    What should be done about the current state of healthcare and debt due to medical bills in the US today?

    I've presented my side - follow the well-known and well-studied and well-tried and well-tested examples of many other nations in the world who've successfully overhauled their medical systems.

    What's the alternative?

    - mike
    I dont believe government was created to take care of people. I dont know if that is how you view it or not. I also dont subscribe to the idea that we should exclusively focus governmental decisions on what "is best for society". Not everyone views "best" the same. That may be why I lean strongly to people being free yet responsible rather than requiring a one-size-fits-all solution that government brings. It may be an impass between us on this subject.

  31. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Mike, the first time you brought up taxing "the rich" you threw out a number of, I believe, $17M annually as the criteria for higher taxes. Now you say it should be based on capital gains. Which is it and why?
    It is the latter - taxing corporations the most, and that is an evolution of my argument. I still don't believe that people in that $17m income bracket can't be taxed at a higher rate than the "middle class". But should Amazon get away with paying 1.2% of taxes? No.

    After two straight years of paying $0 in U.S. federal income tax, Amazon was on the hook for a $162 million bill in 2019, the company said in an SEC filing on Thursday.

    Of course, $162 million is still just a fraction of the $13.9 billion in pre-tax income Amazon reported for 2019 — roughly 1.2%, in fact. The federal corporate tax rate is 21%, but as in the past, Amazon likely employed various tax credits and deductions to reduce its federal tax bill. Amazon also reported $280.5 billion in total revenue in 2019.

    Amazon has been the subject of much criticism over the fact that the company’s final federal tax burden has been particularly lacking in recent years. The company also came under fire for seeking huge tax incentives worth billions of dollars as part of its search for a second headquarters, or “HQ2,” in 2018.

    In 2018, Amazon posted income of more than $11 billion, but the company paid $0 in federal taxes. In fact, thanks to tax credits and deductions, Amazon actually received a federal tax refund of $129 million. That was a year after Amazon received a $137 million refund from the federal government for 2017.

    President Donald Trump is a frequent critic of Amazon for paying “little or no taxes to state and local governments,”
    F'n GO TRUMP!

    though the Trump Administration’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act helped to lower the statutory corporate tax rate.
    Oh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Have you ever talked to someone "over there" who lives with single payer, government run healthcare? I've done a lot of work in Canada, and we have close friends in the UK, both of which have it. When I've asked about it the response is universally negative, which is why there is a growing demand for concierge healthcare so those hated rich people don't have long waits for care like everybody else. Is that really what you want? And as for true government-run healthcare, I would go to Mexico before I'd go to a VA hospital again. Yes, I'm serious.
    Again - you're bringing up discussions about people who have healthcare and their comparisons of those programs. I'm bringing up the millions of Americans who are either not insured or so under-insured that again - 66% of all bankruptcies in the US are due in part because of medical bills! Apparently the fact that people routinely get financially destroyed after they get sick in the US won't sway many to think that we might have a situation that should be aggressively worked on.

    Obamacare attempted to do that - at least it was an attempt. The GOP has offered not a single alternative since then other than to try and rip it out - but of course the GOP wants to keep some very key portions of the ACA like covering pre-existing conditions because it turns out that an increasing share of Americans favor a single government program to provide health care coverage/.

    And I've talked with people "over there", including two doctors who work for the NHS in the UK, and they can't conceive of living in a country where you have to weigh the financial implications of calling an ambulance like my wife and her friends did a few years back, and where the EMTs were trying to figure out which hospital take her to based on being in or out of network. Good that you have that option, apparently, to go to the VA. Millions of people don't have that option.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Nowhere in the Constitution does it give the federal government the power to implement a nationwide minimum wage, nationwide gun background checks, nationwide single-payer healthcare, or a whole long list of other things it does and wants to do.
    I don't see how that argument fits into reality, Steve. Maybe the original Constitution doesn't directly spell these things out, but thank GOD the Fed has stepped in and whipped some state asses into shape because they were a giant bunch of racists:

    Following the Supreme Court's Brown decision, the court continued to strike down legal segregation throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In a series of short opinions, the court outlawed segregation in buses, parks, public golf courses, and other places. In each case, the court cited the Brown opinion. It upheld the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1967 in Loving v. Virginia, the court ruled that states could no longer outlaw people of different races from marrying each other. In that ruling, Chief Justice Warren noted that the Virginia statute, which the court declared invalid, did nothing more than endorse the doctrine of white supremacy. By the end of the 1960s, the court had ruled against all aspects of legal segregation.
    - mike

  32. #112
    PS I feel like I'm busier than a whorehouse madam during Fleet Week in NYC but I really do appreciate the discussion. I really do.

    - mike

  33. #113
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    What does racism 60 years ago have to do with medical care now?

  34. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    It is the latter - taxing corporations the most, and that is an evolution of my argument. I still don't believe that people in that $17m income bracket can't be taxed at a higher rate than the "middle class".
    They already are - by a wide margin. In 2017, the top 1 percent of taxpayers accounted for more income taxes paid than the bottom 90 percent combined. So, how much more should "the rich" pay? What's their "fair share" to use a trite campaign slogan that no politician is willing to put a number on?


    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    Again - you're bringing up discussions about people who have healthcare and their comparisons of those programs. I'm bringing up the millions of Americans who are either not insured or so under-insured that again - 66% of all bankruptcies in the US are due in part because of medical bills! Apparently the fact that people routinely get financially destroyed after they get sick in the US won't sway many to think that we might have a situation that should be aggressively worked on.

    Obamacare attempted to do that - at least it was an attempt. The GOP has offered not a single alternative since then other than to try and rip it out - but of course the GOP wants to keep some very key portions of the ACA like covering pre-existing conditions because it turns out that an increasing share of Americans favor a single government program to provide health care coverage/.

    And I've talked with people "over there", including two doctors who work for the NHS in the UK, and they can't conceive of living in a country where you have to weigh the financial implications of calling an ambulance like my wife and her friends did a few years back, and where the EMTs were trying to figure out which hospital take her to based on being in or out of network. Good that you have that option, apparently, to go to the VA. Millions of people don't have that option.
    Can we improve healthcare here? Of course. I just don't believe scrapping the entire system and starting anew is the right answer. You apparently do. While you might think it's good that I have the option to go to the VA, I literally would NEVER consider that, no matter what. They tried to kill me once and they won't get another chance to finish it.


    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    I don't see how that argument fits into reality, Steve. Maybe the original Constitution doesn't directly spell these things out, but thank GOD the Fed has stepped in and whipped some state asses into shape because they were a giant bunch of racists:



    - mike
    C'mon Mike, really? Using segregation as a straw man argument to push for more and more federal laws and control, resulting in less and less state control of their own affairs? That is NOT what the founding fathers wanted, and it's NOT what the Constitution says. The founding fathers and the Constitution is based on a federal government with limited powers, with states having the powers not vested at the federal level. We've strayed so far from that it's impossible to ever go back, but let's not keep going the same direction either.

  35. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
    I dont believe government was created to take care of people. I dont know if that is how you view it or not. I also dont subscribe to the idea that we should exclusively focus governmental decisions on what "is best for society". Not everyone views "best" the same. That may be why I lean strongly to people being free yet responsible rather than requiring a one-size-fits-all solution that government brings. It may be an impass between us on this subject.
    I don't believe government was created to take care of people either. I believe that government should be by the people, for the people.

    I believe that a government that is continuing to let people end up in financial ruin because of something completely beyond their control (illness, genetics, accidents) is a government that is NOT expressing the will of the majority of Americans.

    - mike
    Last edited by sweater; January 19th, 2021 at 12:39 PM.

  36. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    They already are - by a wide margin. In 2017, the top 1 percent of taxpayers accounted for more income taxes paid than the bottom 90 percent combined. So, how much more should "the rich" pay? What's their "fair share" to use a trite campaign slogan that no politician is willing to put a number on?
    PLEASE consider that I have tried to amend my "tax the rich!" AOC-sponsored slogan to "tax the corporations!" who are benefitting from tax breaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    I just don't believe scrapping the entire system and starting anew is the right answer.
    Nope - I believe in Medicare for All, not a fractured and splintered mess of dozens of different health insurance companies that compete with each and compete for investment and ultimately all end up pointing the fingers at each other when our medical bills are crushing us under debt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    C'mon Mike, really? Using segregation as a straw man argument to push for more and more federal laws and control, resulting in less and less state control of their own affairs?
    That isn't even remotely a straw man argument.

    Southern states making it illegal for black and white people to marry = good time to have the Feds come in.

    Standardizing health care coverage across the US = apparently that's a bad time for the Feds to come in.

    And some would argue:

    Striking down abortion laws at the Supreme Court level = good time to have the Feds come in.

    Suing in the Supreme Court (at the Federal level, mind you) to overturn other states' election results = apparently good time to have the Feds come in.

    There's SO MANY examples of "states rights" advocates pursuing their agenda at the Federal level I could go on for days.

    Where do you draw the line on when the Fed should or shouldn't get involved in state affairs?

    - mike
    Last edited by sweater; January 19th, 2021 at 12:46 PM.

  37. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    PLEASE consider that I have tried to amend my "tax the rich!" AOC-sponsored slogan to "tax the corporations!" who are benefitting from tax breaks.
    So, still allow "the rich" as defined by income pay the most taxes AND heavily tax corporations. Gotcha. You do know, I assume, that those corporations for the most part are international and are more than able and willing to move funds offshore to avoid taxes if and as needed. There's a balancing act there.



    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    Nope - I believe in Medicare for All, not a fractured and splintered mess of dozens of different health insurance companies that compete with each and compete for investment and ultimately all end up pointing the fingers at each other when our medical bills are crushing us under debt.
    So, even though you rail against healthcare for profit, you want to leave it in place and just let the federal government pay the bills instead of insurance companies? That sounds like what you're advocating for, but perhaps not. The NHS in the UK isn't just single payer, most caregivers are actual government employees, with most hospitals owned and run by the government, with the entire system run by government employees. Is that what you're advocating for? Single payer sounds good, but as always the devil is in the details.



    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    That isn't even remotely a straw man argument.

    Southern states making it illegal for black and white people to marry = good time to have the Feds come in.

    Standardizing health care coverage across the US = apparently that's a bad time for the Feds to come in.

    And some would argue:

    Striking down abortion laws at the Supreme Court level = good time to have the Feds come in.

    Suing in the Supreme Court (at the Federal level, mind you) to overturn other states' election results = apparently good time to have the Feds come in.

    There's SO MANY examples of "states rights" advocates pursuing their agenda at the Federal level I could go on for days.

    Where do you draw the line on when the Fed should or shouldn't get involved in state affairs?

    - mike
    First, the Supreme Court doesn't make laws, they interpret whether they're constitutional or not, so that's apples to oranges. Yes, there are good times to have the fed gov step in, but IMO telling every single employer in the country the minimum amount they have to pay their employees is so far over the line it's not even arguable. You may disagree, which is fine. I would like to see the Supreme Court rule on things like that, but that requires a state to bring a case since the court can't rule on anything until that happens.

    Back to my part-time consulting work...


  38. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    So, still allow "the rich" as defined by income pay the most taxes AND heavily tax corporations. Gotcha. You do know, I assume, that those corporations for the most part are international and are more than able and willing to move funds offshore to avoid taxes if and as needed.
    Who says that needs to be legal, as well? Some companies that have done that have faced some pretty strict fines for having done so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    So, even though you rail against healthcare for profit, you want to leave it in place and just let the federal government pay the bills instead of insurance companies? That sounds like what you're advocating for, but perhaps not.
    I think that you are forgetting that "lett[ing] the federal government pay the bills instead of insurance companies" can be phrased as "using my tax dollars to pay for my bills". I'm not saying that I would get a one-for-one return on my tax dollars, but I think you need to remember that this is our money that we're talking about here, not the government's. Cut out the damn middleman.

    And what's this? Health insurance companies have been posting record profits IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC THAT'S KILLED SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND AMERICANS ALONE:

    Quote Originally Posted by New York Times
    Some of the largest companies, including Anthem, Humana and UnitedHealth Group, are reporting second-quarter earnings that are double what they were a year ago. And while insurance profits are capped under the Affordable Care Act, with the requirement that consumers should benefit from such excesses in the form of rebates, no one should expect an immediate windfall.
    Holy f*** that's upsetting. It's mind-boggling. Sure am glad that all those investors are getting such great returns right now, I sure am

    (like, I'm actually totally shouting in my head right now - it's loud)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    but IMO telling every single employer in the country the minimum amount they have to pay their employees is so far over the line it's not even arguable.
    But that already happens, Steve. And has been happening for - gasp! - decades. The Fed is already trampling all over states' rights with their mandated minimum wage - it just hasn't budged since 2009. So some states are doing something about that:

    Quote Originally Posted by CNN
    The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour hasn't budged since 2009, and as of 2021, 20 US states will continue to have a minimum wage either equal to or below the federal level, making $7.25 their default baseline. The value of the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968 when it was $1.60, which would be worth about $12 in 2020 dollars.
    I think what I've advocated for is the raise of the minimum wage across the board in a way that is the most beneficial for the local community that gets to vote on it in order to adjust for more localized conditions. Denver voting on it - great! Alaska voting on it - great! Twenty other states voting to increase the minimum wage - great!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweater, that sexy beast
    I see a $15 (or some relatively large increase) minimum wage as a good thing.
    - mike
    Last edited by sweater; January 19th, 2021 at 02:36 PM.

  39. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    And what's this? Health insurance companies have been posting record profits IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC THAT'S KILLED SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND AMERICANS ALONE:

    Holy f*** that's upsetting. It's mind-boggling. Sure am glad that all those investors are getting such great returns right now, I sure am

    (like, I'm actually totally shouting in my head right now - it's loud)

    - mike

    Wait, what? Private companies are following the law, which limits their profits, and you're pissed? Is that the fault of the companies following the law? Should they ignore the profit limits in the ACA and self-limit their profits even more? What private company does that? And what on earth does the number of COVID deaths have to do with insurance company profits? More people die every year from smoking than from COVID last year and nobody cares about them.

    Mike, I've had three major surgeries this year in the middle of the pandemic idiocy. I can't tell you how insane that is right now with COVID rules in place but that's for a different discussion. As far as I know my insurance company has been billed north of $500k. I've paid my premiums, and paid ~$5k out of pocket, with the insurance company picking up the rest. IF I hadn't chosen to serve in the military (some kind of public service should be required of EVERY U.S. CITIZEN, you know, like some other countries with "free" healthcare, but that's a different discussion) and IF I didn't work my ass off for 40 years for a private company with health insurance, I'm not sure what I would have done, except work out a payment plan and make every effort to pay my debt over many years. I wasn't raised to take handouts, nor was I raised to ever walk away from an obligation, whether legal, financial, or otherwise.

    If these were easy issues to solve they would have been solved long ago, right?

    And we're in agreement that minimum wage should be decided locally, not in Washington DC.

  40. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweater View Post
    I don't believe government was created to take care of people either. I believe that government should be by the people, for the people.

    I believe that a government that is continuing to let people end up in financial ruin because of something completely beyond their control (illness, genetics, accidents) is a government that is NOT expressing the will of the majority of Americans.

    - mike
    Government meddling is what brought the messed up insurance situation to the point it is in. Handing the whole nut over the very people who managed to twist it up in the first place is not the best form of a solution.

    How about I reiterate something from before:

    Quote Originally Posted by clodhopper
    Encourage true competition, rather than using government to create uneven playing fields that benefit one company over another (because money in politics). Put expenditures on medical services back in the hands of the person so hospitals have to actually list what things cost. There are additional aspects, but you get the idea. Costs will drop when hospitals compete, because they arent right now. When insurance companies actually compete, because they really arent right now. When was the last time you selected your insurance? You didnt, your employer did that for you, even if they offer 3 or 4 nearly identical "plans", that isnt a choice. When did you make any purchasing decisions at a hospital? You dont. You have absolutely no fricken idea what any of it costs and that is how they want it. And THAT is what so often drives people into financial trouble. Being the financially responsible party for what is decided by people who are not on their side.
    There are very important aspects of economic freedom that actually work automatically. When we artificially moderate a business with excessive and often contradictory mandates and regulations, we remove the benefits that competition bring to the people.

    And single payer is a monopoly. Monopolies do not benefit society. They benefit only the shareholders/owners, at the detriment of the consumer. Who are the shareholders of government? Despite what we want to believe, it is really the politicians and unelected officials who build bigger and bigger bureaucracies, thereby justifying bigger and bigger salaries, granted to themselves and each other without the consent of the citizens. Single payer sounds really nice, but there is no effective financial controls to keep it from becoming a tax eating leviathan. "Oh, it is underfunded you say, well we will just vote it more funding from the treasury. Fire up the printers!" We are already faced with this problem with welfare and medicare/medicaid alone. I will leave SS out as that is a whole 'nother ponzi scheme.

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