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  1. #101
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Your premise is that taxes should prevent wealth from increasing. That is not taxation, it is confiscation. And, no, our tax system does not move wealth upward. Economic sucess increases wealth and you want the tax system to prevent that increase of wealth.
    The primary reason for the increasing gap among the income groups is that the rapidly increasing number people competing for lower pay keeps them down, while those numbers do not impede upper income people.
    My premise is self-ownership.

    And you need to stop talking in ignorance, get out of your deep indoctrination, and learn something. It is a fact that Republican policies have increased the after-tax wealth of the few at the expense of the many, repeatedly -- the numbers don't lie, and they're there for anyone to find. If the after-tax income jumps farther for one group than for another, that means that the government is applying coercion to favor the advantaged group.

    If you look at the numbers, they show clearly that the reason that wealth keeps getting concentrated is that the government has by predominantly GOP policy been rewarding people who get income without working. In other words, they've been rewarding the greatest evil of capitalism: that those who work not at all can become wealthy on the backs of the people who actually work.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  2. #102
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerfan482 View Post
    That's not true either. No system works. Every system will eventually lead to tyranny. Why? Because it is human nature. Some people want to lead and some want to follow. In any system that has ever or will ever be implemented, there will always be those who rise up above the others and use that advantage to further their own interests. People, by nature, are selfish and will almost always look out for themselves first. It's been proven throughout history. Whether you're a communist/socialist economy, a free market economy, or anything in between, the result is always the same when it comes to wealth and power.
    Very well said Tigerfan. All systems will eventually fail, if they are left to themselves without regulation. I believe in term limits for all politicians, not only for office, but also for lifetime.

  3. #103
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    I've been looking for that thread where I stated this was beginning to be a police state. Can't find it so this looks like a good place for a hangup.
    Now just tell me this is not a police state strategy! Just! 2 undercover agents, no it does not say 2 so rest Ben, or Jack, a group of ABC agents, and that is not kindergarten teachers, approached a 20yo, in Virginia, near a University, for possibly buying a 12 pack of beer. Beer! Call her mother and tell on her! This is ridiculous, (I can't believe my spell check says I got that right), anyway, when will it end?

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/0...r?detail=email

    Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:29 AM PDT
    University of Virginia student arrested in near fatal mix-up with police—for buying bottled water

    by Jen Hayden

    --snip--

    A group of state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents clad in plainclothes approached her, suspecting the blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water to be a 12-pack of beer. Police say one of the agents jumped on the hood of her car. She says one drew a gun. Unsure of who they were, Daly tried to flee the darkened parking lot.

    "They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform," she recalled Thursday in a written account of the April 11 incident.

    "I couldn't put my windows down unless I started my car, and when I started my car they began yelling to not move the car, not to start the car. They began trying to break the windows. My roommates and I were ... terrified," Daly stated.
    BEWARE! Harassing the Indian may result in sudden and severe hair loss.

  4. #104

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Self ownership is another one of your strange idiosyncratic notions with no established meaning and which therefore does not contribute to discussion.
    No. the numbers do not show that the increases in wealth are at the expense of the many. What they clearly cannot show is a cause and effect because it does not exist. The successful pay higher rates of income tax than lower income groups. Therefor, government coercion is against the successful and not against the many. What you really feel, but are not analytical enough to realize. is that you want the government to coerce the successful so that they cannot increase their wealth.
    You share with Marx the fatal fallacy of not realizing that business creators, innovators, managers and investors do work. His notion was that the innovators, builders and managers should not receive more than the physical laborers, because they do not work harder. Indeed, the system should just let the workers do the managing. It does not work.
    The real reasons that capital gains should be taxed at a lower rate are that, have accumulated over a period of time, much of the gain is just inflation of the currency. Taxing inflation of the currency is actually a taxation of the original buying power, not income. The Constitution allows taxation of income, but not the direct taxation of assets, without apportionment among the states. Sure, poor and rich alike experience inflation on a short term basis, but, since the poor do not hold for long periods, they do not experience the cumulative long term effect, except as they own assets. More than that, high capital gains taxes discourage investment in new job creating facilities, and discourage the buying and selling of assets. History shows that with lower capital gain taxes, more revenue is collected because of the increase buying and selling.
    Most importantly you lack the intellectual honesty to face up the the fact that your prejudice favoring massive continuous influxes of poor labor hold the poor and less educated down. A few start small businesses, but the overall effect of immigration is to hold wages down and it increases competition for jobs all the way up to the most skilled professions jobs.

  5. #105
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Sorry, but you're wrong. By the time wealth and power are sufficiently concentrated as to pose a threat to liberty, the market is no longer free.

    A free market always works.
    A free market never works for one reason - it can never exist. Name one free market in the world today. Name one free market 10 years ago. 30 years ago. 100 years ago. You're argument is ignoring the very point I made - the human element will always result in the same thing. You like to argue these idealized, textbook systems disregarding the fact that we live in the real world and have to take into account more than just a theoretical model. Communism, when done in its theoretical form, is supposed to be the perfect system for any society, but we all know how that turns out when you introduce humans into the equation.

  6. #106

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerfan482 View Post
    That's not true either. No system works. Every system will eventually lead to tyranny. Why? Because it is human nature. Some people want to lead and some want to follow. In any system that has ever or will ever be implemented, there will always be those who rise up above the others and use that advantage to further their own interests. People, by nature, are selfish and will almost always look out for themselves first. It's been proven throughout history. Whether you're a communist/socialist economy, a free market economy, or anything in between, the result is always the same when it comes to wealth and power.
    Both Capitalism and Democracy recognize the selfish nature of people and are designed to harness those impulses for the common good. It is the selfish desire to better oneself and ones family which causes people to work nights in their garage, inventing the next widget which they can sell and get rich, which motivates and empowers the free enterprise system. The critical feature is the freedom to better oneself. And it is the suppression of individual motivation which dooms socialism/liberalism/communism. The big problem is that many people, even leaders do not understand. The liberals have developed a philosophy that only their constitutents should be selfish and greedy. It is fine for workers, union bosses, trial lawyers and politicians to be greedy.But other people should not be allowed to pursue self interest. The person who starts a business should not try to get rich. He should accept a modest return and altruistically pay out the rest in wages, dooming the business to eventual failure. If he does make a good income, the government, liberalism teaches, should confiscate much of it, not simply to raise money, but to take it away from him so he will not have too much.
    Similarly, representative Democracy anticipates that different individuals and groups in society will have competing self interests and is designed to force compromises. But from the beginnings of representative democracy, the danger has been that the many people will simply use governmental power and taxation to pull everyone down to poverty. By taxing and regulating away the ability to create jobs, everyone is doomed to poverty. We are not there but we are well on our way.
    Last edited by Benvolio; July 10th, 2013 at 05:43 AM.

  7. #107
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Both Capitalism and Democracy recognize the selfish nature of people and are designed to harness those impulses for the common good. It is the selfish desire to better oneself and ones family which causes people to work nights in their garage, inventing the next widget which they can sell and get rich, which motivates and empowers the free enterprise system. The critical feature is the freedom to better oneself. And it is the suppression of individual motivation which dooms socialism/liberalism/communism. The big problem is that many people, even leaders do not understand. The liberals have developed a philosophy that only their constitutents should be selfish and greedy. It is fine for workers, union bosses, trial lawyers and politicians to be greedy.But other people should not be allowed to pursue self interest. The person who starts a business should not try to get rich. He should accept a modest return and altruistically pay out the rest in wages, dooming the business to eventual failure. If he does make a good income, the government, liberalism teaches, should confiscate much of it, not simply to raise money, but to take it away from him so he will not have too much.
    Similarly, representative Democracy anticipates that different individuals and groups in society will have competing self interests and is designed to force compromises. But from the beginnings of representative democracy, the danger has been that the many people will simply use governmental power and taxation to pull everyone down to poverty. By taxing and regulating away the ability to create jobs, everyone is doomed to poverty. We are not there but we are well on our way.
    Monetary wealth in the world is a finite amount, which means that in order for someone to get more, they have to make someone have less. It also means that you can't "pull everyone into poverty". If, in some parallel dimension, the government did manage to pull everyone's worth down below the poverty level, then the poverty level, by definition, would change. It's an impossible feat and not realistic. I dislike your ideas on wealth as much as I dislike Kalindhar's. The idea that you can get wealthy and then use that wealth to cultivate power which you then use to build more wealth and power is not a workable system either. People should have an opportunity to be successful, but not to the detriment of others. As I stated before, when one person gets filthy rich, that wealth has to come from somewhere, and it's those without much where it comes from.

    And I don't understand from your example how the business owner making a modest income and distributing the rest in wages and other expenses is going to doom that business. Why does an owner have to be incredibly rich for a business to be successful? Why do the employees have to make as little as possible for the business to be successful? Why do consumers have to pay very over inflated prices in order for the business to be successful? Take Apple for example. They pay their higher ups ridiculous amounts of money, they pay almost nothing to their manufacturers overseas, they hide money in overseas accounts to avoid taxes, and they have over $100 billion sitting in the bank that they've done nothing with. They haven't even come out with a decent product in 2 or 3 years.

  8. #108

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    You are totally wrong in believing that monetary wealth is finite. On the simplest level, the Federal reserve creates money on a daily basis by bookkeeping entries loaning money to banks and the Federal government. Yours is a concept left over from pre industrial times, which I call vineyard economics. Most wealth came from the land, owned by the strongest land lord. But the vineyard can only produce so much in a given year. If the peasants want more, the owner must take less, and if the owner wants more, the peasants much take less. But industrial economics are much different. The same piece of land occupied by a factory, does not have a finite limit to the value it can produce. With equipment improvements, the same employees can contine to produce more and more, with increasing income available for owner and eorkers. Further, the exchange of money becomes more and more rapid. One person pays to another who pays to another etc, many times a year. The specific amount of money changing hands is far less important than the speed at which it can change hands.
    A business which is limited to a modest return is doomed because it cannot expand and create more jobs or save for future fortuitous events. But the bigger problem is that if the incomes of creators of businesses are limited, the incentive to create is destroyed. Why scrimp and save for or work long hours and take all the risk if, after all that, you are limited to modest income? Why not just join the masses content to work 8 to 5 and take no risk? If you do save you can get a modest return in savings bonds with little risk.
    You are incorrect in seeing the economy as very rich and very poor. We still have about the highest median income in the world, even after the government siphons much of the cost of labor away from the workers. Even so, it could be much better if we did not intentionally create massive poverty. The rich are not the problem. The politicians are.
    Last edited by Benvolio; July 10th, 2013 at 07:31 AM.

  9. #109
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by cm98059 View Post
    Very well said Tigerfan. All systems will eventually fail, if they are left to themselves without regulation. I believe in term limits for all politicians, not only for office, but also for lifetime.
    A free market will never fail -- but a free market isn't free. Some think that capitalism left to itself will maintain free markets, but that's been seen to be laughably false just in the U.S. No, to have and keep a free market requires (shudder) government regulation. Yes, that's inviting meddling in the market, but -- and here's the real truth of economics -- there's no such thing as a market (or economic system) without meddling. Again, some say that so long as it isn't government meddling it's okay, but coercion is coercion, injustice is injustice, and tyranny is tyranny regardless of who or what is holding the power -- royalty, bureaucrat, business monopoly, church, party, corporation, or whatever.

    At root, a free market requires mechanisms to provide and maintain a level playing field. So far, government has been the instrument of doing that, and regardless of its poor record, for the most part it's still the instrument we have.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  10. #110
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Most importantly you lack the intellectual honesty to face up the the fact that your prejudice favoring massive continuous influxes of poor labor hold the poor and less educated down. A few start small businesses, but the overall effect of immigration is to hold wages down and it increases competition for jobs all the way up to the most skilled professions jobs.


    Go back and read what I've said about immigration, here on JUB. If you can reconcile my proposals of military bases on the border, using the border for anti-insurgent training; allowing private property owners on the border to build their own fences in whatever style they please; authorizing local militias to patrol the border in their counties; sentencing illegals caught committing crime to building a border fence, turning the coyotes/guides who bring people in illegally over to the military as non-uniformed invaders... and more, with your assertion above, I'd love to see it!

    The mental gymnastics should be a treat.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  11. #111
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerfan482 View Post
    A free market never works for one reason - it can never exist. Name one free market in the world today. Name one free market 10 years ago. 30 years ago. 100 years ago. You're argument is ignoring the very point I made - the human element will always result in the same thing. You like to argue these idealized, textbook systems disregarding the fact that we live in the real world and have to take into account more than just a theoretical model. Communism, when done in its theoretical form, is supposed to be the perfect system for any society, but we all know how that turns out when you introduce humans into the equation.
    No, I like to argue in reality. The reality of economics is that a free market system is the natural inclination of how humans want to do things. That's why it will work, always -- it uses people's natural inclinations.

    That is totally apart from the fact that there are also the natural inclinations of greed, manipulation, cheating, etc. But those are why, once currency was invented, a free market isn't free.

    I just use the same approach good engineers use: the theory tells what the world is in its pure form, so you design toward that. But then you ask what impurities in the world are going to mess with your design, and adjust (the hydraulics of keeping a river in its traditional channel is a great comparison).

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  12. #112
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post


    Go back and read what I've said about immigration, here on JUB. If you can reconcile my proposals of military bases on the border, using the border for anti-insurgent training; allowing private property owners on the border to build their own fences in whatever style they please; authorizing local militias to patrol the border in their counties; sentencing illegals caught committing crime to building a border fence, turning the coyotes/guides who bring people in illegally over to the military as non-uniformed invaders... and more, with your assertion above, I'd love to see it!

    The mental gymnastics should be a treat.
    I'm so glad you are discussing this with everyone else. I'm learning something, just don't know what it is, yet. I'll let you know much later.
    BEWARE! Harassing the Indian may result in sudden and severe hair loss.

  13. #113

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post


    Go back and read what I've said about immigration, here on JUB. If you can reconcile my proposals of military bases on the border, using the border for anti-insurgent training; allowing private property owners on the border to build their own fences in whatever style they please; authorizing local militias to patrol the border in their counties; sentencing illegals caught committing crime to building a border fence, turning the coyotes/guides who bring people in illegally over to the military as non-uniformed invaders... and more, with your assertion above, I'd love to see it!

    The mental gymnastics should be a treat.
    Easy. All these ideas relate to illegal immigration. You have elsewhere favored the continuation of large scale legal immigration. The effect on Americans of the two types is not much different.

  14. #114
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Why is immigration your go-to? Any topic, you immediately relate it to immigration. You've fixated on it and can't see beyond it. How do you not see that? Kulindahr is making fine points and you jump to immigration. While I do not entirely agree with his ideals, the groundwork is much the same. Read his posts one more time, this time, forget about your mantra and just read what he's saying. He's not making wild assertions, they're very straightforward and concise.
    Last edited by mightbe; July 10th, 2013 at 01:16 PM.

  15. #115

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by mightbe View Post
    Why is immigration your go-to? Any topic, you immediately relate it to immigration. You've fixated on it and can't see beyond it. How do you not see that? Kulindahr is making fine points and you jump to immigration. While I do not entirely agree with his ideals, the groundwork is much the same. Read his posts one more time, this time, forget about your mantra and just read what he's saying. He's not making wild assertions, they're very straightforward and concise.
    Most of my posts on this thread do not mention immigration, but economics. But you cannot logically discuss poverty in America without discussing the massive, continuous inflow of new poor into America. It is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

  16. #116
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    A free market will never fail -- but a free market isn't free. Some think that capitalism left to itself will maintain free markets, but that's been seen to be laughably false just in the U.S. No, to have and keep a free market requires (shudder) government regulation. Yes, that's inviting meddling in the market, but -- and here's the real truth of economics -- there's no such thing as a market (or economic system) without meddling. Again, some say that so long as it isn't government meddling it's okay, but coercion is coercion, injustice is injustice, and tyranny is tyranny regardless of who or what is holding the power -- royalty, bureaucrat, business monopoly, church, party, corporation, or whatever.

    At root, a free market requires mechanisms to provide and maintain a level playing field. So far, government has been the instrument of doing that, and regardless of its poor record, for the most part it's still the instrument we have.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_market
    A free market is a market structure in which the distribution and costs of goods and services, along with the structure and hierarchy between capital and consumer goods, are coordinated by supply and demand unhindered by external regulation or control by government or monopolies.[1]
    Your postulate that free markets require government regulation is in direct contradiction to a free market. Your statement that a free market isn't free demonstrates right there that a true free market is impossible to obtain. A market with government regulation and interference from monopolies by definition is not a free market.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    No, I like to argue in reality. The reality of economics is that a free market system is the natural inclination of how humans want to do things. That's why it will work, always -- it uses people's natural inclinations.

    That is totally apart from the fact that there are also the natural inclinations of greed, manipulation, cheating, etc. But those are why, once currency was invented, a free market isn't free.

    I just use the same approach good engineers use: the theory tells what the world is in its pure form, so you design toward that. But then you ask what impurities in the world are going to mess with your design, and adjust (the hydraulics of keeping a river in its traditional channel is a great comparison).
    You obviously don't like arguing reality because the reality is free markets don't exist. People don't desire and aren't naturally inclined to a free market system. They're inclined to a system that sets prices based upon what the individual wants, and when such a situation doesn't exist, then they demand government regulation to bring the market more towards what they want. And this isn't totally apart form the natural inclinations of greed, manipulation, cheating, etc. because those are all factors that contribute to and change the economy.

    And as an engineer, I will tell you that this is not an approach that is used. You must be confusing engineers with researchers. Engineers take a real-world problem, with all of the constraints and limitations that exist, and design around that problem set. If you are an engineer that designs to the theoretical and then goes back and changes your design to meet the real world variants, you're going to be doing almost an entire redesign (and you're not going to be a very good or very employed engineer.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio
    You are totally wrong in believing that monetary wealth is finite. On the simplest level, the Federal reserve creates money on a daily basis by bookkeeping entries loaning money to banks and the Federal government. Yours is a concept left over from pre industrial times, which I call vineyard economics. Most wealth came from the land, owned by the strongest land lord. But the vineyard can only produce so much in a given year. If the peasants want more, the owner must take less, and if the owner wants more, the peasants much take less. But industrial economics are much different. The same piece of land occupied by a factory, does not have a finite limit to the value it can produce. With equipment improvements, the same employees can contine to produce more and more, with increasing income available for owner and eorkers. Further, the exchange of money becomes more and more rapid. One person pays to another who pays to another etc, many times a year. The specific amount of money changing hands is far less important than the speed at which it can change hands.
    A business which is limited to a modest return is doomed because it cannot expand and create more jobs or save for future fortuitous events. But the bigger problem is that if the incomes of creators of businesses are limited, the incentive to create is destroyed. Why scrimp and save for or work long hours and take all the risk if, after all that, you are limited to modest income? Why not just join the masses content to work 8 to 5 and take no risk? If you do save you can get a modest return in savings bonds with little risk.
    You are incorrect in seeing the economy as very rich and very poor. We still have about the highest median income in the world, even after the government siphons much of the cost of labor away from the workers. Even so, it could be much better if we did not intentionally create massive poverty. The rich are not the problem. The politicians are.
    I am not wrong at all. Wealth and money are two completely different things. The government can print as much money as it wants, but the value of that money will decrease as more is introduced into the market. So while the amount of money can change, the amount of wealth will generally stay the same. And your claim of money changing hands faster isn't necessarily true, and it neglects the fact that while wealth flows quickly at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, it accumulates and moves much slower at the top. Thus, those at the top hoarding the wealth aren't putting it back into the system at a rate which would keep the money flow moving and will result in a lower amount of money to pass around the bottom - thus resulting in poverty.

    And businesses limited to a moderate return can expand and create more jobs as their demand increases. You, like most conservatives, ignore the basic principle of supply and demand and just jump to the conclusion that more money equal more jobs, which it does not. Fulfilling the need for 10 widgets at $5 a piece and fulfilling the need for 10 widgets at $10 a piece will fulfill the exact same demand, I just make double the profit on the widgets for $10 a piece. That extra profit doesn't mean that I need to fulfill a demand for more than 10 widgets, it just means I keep more money. The rich are the problem because they are the largest contributors to poverty. The classic human propensity for greed will drive wages lower, profits higher, and work demands to the maximum. When the goal is to maximize the benefit for the few at the top, then no one at the bottom benefits regardless of what economic or political system is in place.

  17. #117

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Obviously you are wrong in believing that the value of money goes down in direct proportion to the increase in money. All our deficit spending in recent years has put many trillions of new money into circulation, with almost no inflation. I think some time it will catch up, but the Democrats think it can go on indefinitely.
    You seem to believe the wealth of the rich is inactive. No, they do not stuff it all into their mattresses. Most of the wealth was achieved in stock appreciation and is still invested in companies where it is providing jobs and the capital for expansion.

  18. #118

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    In the real world if you increase the price of widgets, the sales go down. Lower the price and sales volume increases and unit costs goes down as indirect expenses are spread over more units. Decreasing price,or increasing profits.
    Eliminate the dreadful rich and what happens? Government ownership? It has been tried. Workers own? Fine, it happens today, but only after some selfish person starts the company to get rich.
    Why do you resist the simple fact, that an excess of available labor results in lower wages?
    Last edited by Benvolio; July 10th, 2013 at 07:37 PM.

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Easy. All these ideas relate to illegal immigration. You have elsewhere favored the continuation of large scale legal immigration. The effect on Americans of the two types is not much different.
    I've favored the modification of legal immigration, particularly by favoring those with high education and needed skills, especially skills which will help provide Americans with jobs. That is not a position favoring "large scale" immigration of any sort -- a rate that is but a fraction of a percent of the current total is not, by any mathematical measure, "large scale"; nor, for that matter, is it even enough to provide the population growth our current economic system requires.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Most of my posts on this thread do not mention immigration, but economics. But you cannot logically discuss poverty in America without discussing the massive, continuous inflow of new poor into America. It is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
    If you check scholarly sources, you'll find that immigration is maybe an 80-pound gorilla, or perhaps half that. More important are government policies that distort the economy, and political agendas that block initiatives for freeing up the economy to provide new jobs. Together, the administrations of the last twenty years have managed to prevent the economy from generating somewhere between twelve and eighteen million jobs. Between those and the ones the economy should have generated if capitalism hadn't reared its dark side, this country should now have thirty million jobs more than it presently does. Legal immigration isn't even enough to keep up with that demand -- if government hadn't fucked it.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Obviously you are wrong in believing that the value of money goes down in direct proportion to the increase in money. All our deficit spending in recent years has put many trillions of new money into circulation, with almost no inflation. I think some time it will catch up, but the Democrats think it can go on indefinitely.
    You seem to believe the wealth of the rich is inactive. No, they do not stuff it all into their mattresses. Most of the wealth was achieved in stock appreciation and is still invested in companies where it is providing jobs and the capital for expansion.
    The Democrats got that from Dick Cheney and his disciple/puppet George Bush, who believed they could print money forever to pay for wars that did nothing for us.

    And the wealth that sits in stock does nothing for the companies in which its held: they got money when the stock was first sold, and after that it's just a game for those who can afford to play to make money without earning it.

    If we want to reward people for investing, the only income from stocks that should get tax benefits is that of the first buyers -- everything else should be taxed at a very high rate, as should all unearned income.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    In the real world if you increase the price of widgets, the sales go down. Lower the price and sales volume increases and unit costs goes down as indirect expenses are spread over more units. Decreasing price,or increasing profits.
    Eliminate the dreadful rich and what happens? Government ownership? It has been tried. Workers own? Fine, it happens today, but only after some selfish person starts the company to get rich.
    Why do you resist the simple fact, that an excess of available labor results in lower wages?
    Why do you resist the fact that high wealth inequality --more specifically, high income inequality -- results in a weaker economy?

    If the government hadn't trashed our future by depriving us of the thirty million additional jobs we should have today, and if the minimum wage were $12/hr, the US economy would be booming enough that by dropping the Bush tax cuts across the board we could actually look forward to paying off the debt. But if corporations would pay decent wages (enough so people wouldn't think about needing a union), we could make a major step toward that despite government mishandling.

    Right now we should have an economy that would be begging for another twelve million immigrants on work visas just to handle the load, with every last able-bodied person in the country presently employed already. But you bark up the wrong tree, chasing a symptom rather than a cause.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerfan482 View Post
    Monetary wealth in the world is a finite amount, which means that in order for someone to get more, they have to make someone have less. It also means that you can't "pull everyone into poverty". If, in some parallel dimension, the government did manage to pull everyone's worth down below the poverty level, then the poverty level, by definition, would change. It's an impossible feat and not realistic. I dislike your ideas on wealth as much as I dislike Kalindhar's. The idea that you can get wealthy and then use that wealth to cultivate power which you then use to build more wealth and power is not a workable system either. People should have an opportunity to be successful, but not to the detriment of others. As I stated before, when one person gets filthy rich, that wealth has to come from somewhere, and it's those without much where it comes from.

    And I don't understand from your example how the business owner making a modest income and distributing the rest in wages and other expenses is going to doom that business. Why does an owner have to be incredibly rich for a business to be successful? Why do the employees have to make as little as possible for the business to be successful? Why do consumers have to pay very over inflated prices in order for the business to be successful? Take Apple for example. They pay their higher ups ridiculous amounts of money, they pay almost nothing to their manufacturers overseas, they hide money in overseas accounts to avoid taxes, and they have over $100 billion sitting in the bank that they've done nothing with. They haven't even come out with a decent product in 2 or 3 years.
    I agree with you almost entirely. One point that I differ with you on is this, the standard used for what constitutes monetary wealth. If you use land or any other actual good then yes, there is a finite amount of wealth. However, if you just print this arbitrary symbol, then you can try to convince the masses that there is an unending supply of wealth. I think some Republicans & the majority of Marketing Firms want us to think the latter, by their constantly telling us that we can have money if we work hard enough for it. Personally, I have to think Benvolio believes that wealth is abundant because his Republican Gods keep telling him that it is so. It is in his Bible from his god, so it must be true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    You are totally wrong in believing that monetary wealth is finite. On the simplest level, the Federal reserve creates money on a daily basis by bookkeeping entries loaning money to banks and the Federal government. Yours is a concept left over from pre industrial times, which I call vineyard economics. Most wealth came from the land, owned by the strongest land lord. But the vineyard can only produce so much in a given year. If the peasants want more, the owner must take less, and if the owner wants more, the peasants much take less. But industrial economics are much different. The same piece of land occupied by a factory, does not have a finite limit to the value it can produce. With equipment improvements, the same employees can contine to produce more and more, with increasing income available for owner and eorkers. Further, the exchange of money becomes more and more rapid. One person pays to another who pays to another etc, many times a year. The specific amount of money changing hands is far less important than the speed at which it can change hands.
    A business which is limited to a modest return is doomed because it cannot expand and create more jobs or save for future fortuitous events. But the bigger problem is that if the incomes of creators of businesses are limited, the incentive to create is destroyed. Why scrimp and save for or work long hours and take all the risk if, after all that, you are limited to modest income? Why not just join the masses content to work 8 to 5 and take no risk? If you do save you can get a modest return in savings bonds with little risk.
    You are incorrect in seeing the economy as very rich and very poor. We still have about the highest median income in the world, even after the government siphons much of the cost of labor away from the workers. Even so, it could be much better if we did not intentionally create massive poverty. The rich are not the problem. The politicians are.
    This entire post is false. The federal reserve is based in the gold system. There is a specific amount of gold in the federal reserve. Each time they print more money against that specific amount of gold in the fed, the value of ALL THE MONEY IN CIRCULATION IS DECREASED. Therefore, every dollar put into that factory to produce those unlimited amounts of goods you claim loses value. Every dollar you pay those employees to produce the goods loses value. Every widget you create requires an increased investment of capital to make. And as each exchange of money becomes faster, and each time the government prints more money increases, the value of the money further and more rapidly decreases. This in turn means that as those wealthy business you favor put more of the profits in their pocket, the value of each of those profits decreases. Therefore they need to increase the number of the profits they put into their pocket in order to maintain the amount of wealth that they have. So now, with every cycle, less money is returning in the form of investment in the company. Less money can be given to the employee in the form of wages. Less money can be spent to create the widgets, because the owner needs to keep more of the money in order to maintain his own wealth, because each time the government prints more money, his money decreases in value.

    Also, a business limited to a modest return is not doomed to fail, as you claim. If I start a business, and I take a modest salary, I can put the majority of the profits back into the company. Into employees, into infrastructure, into quality assurance, among other things. This creates an improved product. The improved product, then improves the profitability of the company, but since I am keeping less of the profit, and putting more of it back into the economy, the government does not have to print more money as frequently, therefore, the value of the money I have does not decrease as fast, so I can continue to maintain my modest wealth far longer than your preferred model. It creates value stability.


    Quote Originally Posted by tigerfan482 View Post
    Your postulate that free markets require government regulation is in direct contradiction to a free market. Your statement that a free market isn't free demonstrates right there that a true free market is impossible to obtain. A market with government regulation and interference from monopolies by definition is not a free market. {EDIT}... {EDIT}You obviously don't like arguing reality because the reality is free markets don't exist. People don't desire and aren't naturally inclined to a free market system. They're inclined to a system that sets prices based upon what the individual wants, and when such a situation doesn't exist, then they demand government regulation to bring the market more towards what they want. And this isn't totally apart form the natural inclinations of greed, manipulation, cheating, etc. because those are all factors that contribute to and change the economy.
    I do have to disagree with you regarding the existence of free markets in the world. There are free markets today in the third or fourth world countries. It is a perfect example of the free market system in process. I have this item. You want this item that I have, and you have that item. You and I are both businesses in that practice. If you and I strike a trade, we have a free market system. But If I am not interested in that item you have, but that guy over there has the other item that I do want, but he will not trade with me, because he does not like me, and he wants the item you have, you now have to decide if you are going to continue to maintain a free market system, or if you are going to create a forced market by whether you walk over and trade with him, or walk over hit him over the head and take the other item and then trade with me keeping the item you had to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Obviously you are wrong in believing that the value of money goes down in direct proportion to the increase in money. All our deficit spending in recent years has put many trillions of new money into circulation, with almost no inflation. I think some time it will catch up, but the Democrats think it can go on indefinitely.
    You seem to believe the wealth of the rich is inactive. No, they do not stuff it all into their mattresses. Most of the wealth was achieved in stock appreciation and is still invested in companies where it is providing jobs and the capital for expansion.
    We have been experiencing inflation for decades. Our currency is based on precious metals. The value of the dollar is exactly how much precious metal it will buy. Since the amount of precious metal has not decreased, and probably has increased, that means that every time it takes more dollars to buy the same amount of precious metal that the value of the dollar has gone down. It is obvious, that you have no idea what the Democrats think. Here you go again, telling everyone that they are wrong, not offering any sort of solution, and pointing fingers.
    Last edited by cm98059; July 11th, 2013 at 03:19 AM. Reason: attempted to fix formating in one quote that didn't link correctly.

  24. #124

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    I've favored the modification of legal immigration, particularly by favoring those with high education and needed skills, especially skills which will help provide Americans with jobs. That is not a position favoring "large scale" immigration of any sort -- a rate that is but a fraction of a percent of the current total is not, by any mathematical measure, "large scale"; nor, for that matter, is it even enough to provide the population growth our current economic system requires.
    Wow. What have we been arguing about? I have always said that I favor bring in scientists and doctors. I would even agree that we may someday reach a point where immigration might be need for the economy. For now, we should achieve the growth by finding jobs for the existing poor and unemployed.

  25. #125

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by cm98059 View Post
    I agree with you almost entirely. One point that I differ with you on is this, the standard used for what constitutes monetary wealth. If you use land or any other actual good then yes, there is a finite amount of wealth. However, if you just print this arbitrary symbol, then you can try to convince the masses that there is an unending supply of wealth. I think some Republicans & the majority of Marketing Firms want us to think the latter, by their constantly telling us that we can have money if we work hard enough for it. Personally, I have to think Benvolio believes that wealth is abundant because his Republican Gods keep telling him that it is so. It is in his Bible from his god, so it must be true.



    This entire post is false. The federal reserve is based in the gold system. There is a specific amount of gold in the federal reserve. Each time they print more money against that specific amount of gold in the fed, the value of ALL THE MONEY IN CIRCULATION IS DECREASED. Therefore, every dollar put into that factory to produce those unlimited amounts of goods you claim loses value. Every dollar you pay those employees to produce the goods loses value. Every widget you create requires an increased investment of capital to make. And as each exchange of money becomes faster, and each time the government prints more money increases, the value of the money further and more rapidly decreases. This in turn means that as those wealthy business you favor put more of the profits in their pocket, the value of each of those profits decreases. Therefore they need to increase the number of the profits they put into their pocket in order to maintain the amount of wealth that they have. So now, with every cycle, less money is returning in the form of investment in the company. Less money can be given to the employee in the form of wages. Less money can be spent to create the widgets, because the owner needs to keep more of the money in order to maintain his own wealth, because each time the government prints more money, his money decreases in value.

    Also, a business limited to a modest return is not doomed to fail, as you claim. If I start a business, and I take a modest salary, I can put the majority of the profits back into the company. Into employees, into infrastructure, into quality assurance, among other things. This creates an improved product. The improved product, then improves the profitability of the company, but since I am keeping less of the profit, and putting more of it back into the economy, the government does not have to print more money as frequently, therefore, the value of the money I have does not decrease as fast, so I can continue to maintain my modest wealth far longer than your preferred model. It creates value stability.




    I do have to disagree with you regarding the existence of free markets in the world. There are free markets today in the third or fourth world countries. It is a perfect example of the free market system in process. I have this item. You want this item that I have, and you have that item. You and I are both businesses in that practice. If you and I strike a trade, we have a free market system. But If I am not interested in that item you have, but that guy over there has the other item that I do want, but he will not trade with me, because he does not like me, and he wants the item you have, you now have to decide if you are going to continue to maintain a free market system, or if you are going to create a forced market by whether you walk over and trade with him, or walk over hit him over the head and take the other item and then trade with me keeping the item you had to begin with.



    We have been experiencing inflation for decades. Our currency is based on precious metals. The value of the dollar is exactly how much precious metal it will buy. Since the amount of precious metal has not decreased, and probably has increased, that means that every time it takes more dollars to buy the same amount of precious metal that the value of the dollar has gone down. It is obvious, that you have no idea what the Democrats think. Here you go again, telling everyone that they are wrong, not offering any sort of solution, and pointing fingers.
    I cannot imagine where you got the idea that the dollar is based on precious metals. It definitely is not and has not been for decades. If you continue to claim that it is, please, please provide us a source.
    If you need research, Wikipedia, Gold Standard is an easy place to start.
    Last edited by Benvolio; July 11th, 2013 at 05:33 AM.

  26. #126
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    cm, IIRC the dollar was cut loose from any objective underpinning, precious metals or anything else, under Nixon.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Wow. What have we been arguing about? I have always said that I favor bring in scientists and doctors. I would even agree that we may someday reach a point where immigration might be need for the economy. For now, we should achieve the growth by finding jobs for the existing poor and unemployed.
    The trouble is that the current model of growth requires more customers, not just more workers. Eventually we have to get away from that; the planet is already too full. But... what we've been arguing about is the blanket assertion you make that immigration is bad.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  28. #128

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    The trouble is that the current model of growth requires more customers, not just more workers. Eventually we have to get away from that; the planet is already too full. But... what we've been arguing about is the blanket assertion you make that immigration is bad.
    If we find jobs for our existing unemployed, they will be customers.

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    If we find jobs for our existing unemployed, they will be customers.
    Not when most jobs are not enough to support even basic survival.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    People have to be paid living wages as well,which they aren't in many places.

  31. #131

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    Not when most jobs are not enough to support even basic survival.
    If we limit immigration, competition for workers will increase and wages will,slowly rise.

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    If we limit immigration, competition for workers will increase and wages will,slowly rise.
    Yeah, no, it wouldn't happen. Employers have no reason to increase wages because even if you removed all immigrants magically, Republican-driven anti-job policies still make sure the unemployed vastly outnumber job openings.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
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  33. #133

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    Yeah, no, it wouldn't happen. Employers have no reason to increase wages because even if you removed all immigrants magically, Republican-driven anti-job policies still make sure the unemployed vastly outnumber job openings.
    It is too late and too hypocritical to start that pretending you care about our unemployed. Your advocacy of immigration proves that you do not.

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja108 View Post
    People have to be paid living wages as well,which they aren't in many places.
    Raising the minimum wage by .10/hr for the next two years would help. I'm not a great fan of minimum wages, but in this instance we need a corrective. Without increased spending by the general populace, we're not pulling out of this, and the only ways to do that are either create jobs via government spending or require higher wages for those already working. Of the two, the latter has the best chance of happening.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  35. #135
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    It is too late and too hypocritical to start that pretending you care about our unemployed. Your advocacy of immigration proves that you do not.
    Invocation of that false dichotomy is getting tiring.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post

    It is too late and too hypocritical to start that pretending you care about our unemployed. Your advocacy of immigration proves that you do not.
    False, because I don't accept your false premise that immigration harms America. You've consistently proven you know nothing of immigrants, or their actual effect on American economy.
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

  37. #137

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo85 View Post
    False, because I don't accept your false premise that immigration harms America. You've consistently proven you know nothing of immigrants, or their actual effect on American economy.
    You have consistently proven that you don't give a damn about Americans.

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    You have consistently proven that you don't give a damn about Americans.
    Which, even if true, is irrelevant not just to this, but to any topic on CE&P ever made...
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Ben, Texas Dems (like Perry) went over to the Pubs BECAUSE they were no longer felt welcome in the Democratic party.

    50 years ago SOUTHERN Dems were all Republicans as we understand that term today. That is racist, reactionary, religion mongering tools - who tried to fuck over everyone unlike themselves.

    Nice to know that the MODERN GOP was so willing to provide a comforting home for them. The poor dears needed to go somewhere...
    ATTACK OF THE LIBERAL ELITE

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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    cm, IIRC the dollar was cut loose from any objective underpinning, precious metals or anything else, under Nixon.
    That is probably true, the dollar has been worthless Since Nixon was in office too.

  41. #141

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by cm98059 View Post
    That is probably true, the dollar has been worthless Since Nixon was in office too.
    Hardly worthless. Like gold or anything else it has the value which people give it. Objectively, a Picasso painting is not woth much-- they are not even very attractive--but people value them highly so they are worth millions. Gold is not much different but it lasts and is pretty. Until recently the Dollar has been valued world wide for its stability and universal acceptance and by its backing by the history' s largest economy. Further, it and the currency representing it, are legal tender for all debts public and private. The result is to make it valuable for debtors as a means to liquidate their debts. Alas, Obama seems determined to destroy its value by totally unrestrained borrowing and spending. He knows that eventually people and countries will stop being as willing to accept the risk which it represents.

  42. #142
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    I fervently wish you'd never talk about art AT ALL... Every time you do it, God gives a kitten brain cancer...
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

  43. #143
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    (the dollar) Hardly worthless. Like gold or anything else it has the value which people give it. Objectively, a Picasso painting is not woth much-- they are not even very attractive--but people value them highly so they are worth millions. Gold is not much different but it lasts and is pretty.
    There is a difference, though. The Picasso can only be looked at and appreciated (with beauty in the eye of the beholder) - it can't be "used" for anything. And, yes, the Dollar is like that - it's "useful" only because people have arbitrarily given value to it. A $100 bill is printed on nearly-worthless paper which can't be "used" for much of anything...other than spending it.

    Gold, though, is one of the best (or maybe THE best?) conducting metal there is**, which is neither radioactive nor "impossible" to find. I think gold is the most malleable substance known - I remember when I was a kid, I read that one ounce of gold can be molded into a single strand of wire 600 miles long.
    Gold is the most malleable of all metals; a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter, or an ounce into 300 square feet.
    **wiki article says that two metals are more conductive "per volume" than gold: copper, and something else I forgot already LOL. Also says that it is the most malleable substance (pounded into the thinnest-possible sheet), but one or two metals are more ductile (changed into wire) - THAT is the 600-mile-long wire - ductile properties, not malleability.

    I just wasted a couple hours surfing through Wiki. Thanks Benvolio for making me waste part of an evening LOL. No, you didn't cause it...that was MY choice...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold

    We probably all own things which have tiny amounts of gold in them, because even with its huge cost, it has properties which cannot easily be substituted. Gold is very non-corrosive, compared to other conductive metals etc. It is also entirely non-toxic...It is not affected in any way by any form of our body chemistry.
    "All legal U. S. residents who are 18 years or older, shall have an unconditional right to vote." - We need a 28th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution which resembles this...NOW!

    VOTING: Just remember: "Be careful of what you DON'T wish for. You might just get it." GET OUT AND VOTE for what you DO wish for.

    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires" - Susan B. Anthony

  44. #144

    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Yes. Gold has value for the purposes you suggest. Nevertheless, those uses do not justify the high value which it has, which like the painting and the dollar, results from the value people give it. It's price and rarity place it out of reach for most utilitarian purposes.

  45. #145
    JUB Addict cm98059's Avatar
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    In 1970, the last year the dollar was tied to gold, The minimum wage was 1.60. Which would be equal to $6.47 in 1996 dollars.
    In 2012, the minimum wage was $7.25. Which would equal $4.97 in 1996 dollars.
    In 1970 that $1.60 would buy a specific bundle of goods. The cost of that exact same bundle of goods in 2012 would cost $9.46. Which would convert to $6.46 in 1996 dollars.

    This means that a person working in a minimum wage job in 1970 had more buying power than a person working in a minimum wage job in 2012. In fact, using 1996 dollars, the 1970 minimum wage would still buy the same bundle of goods, and the buyer would still have one penny in his pocket. the 2012 minimum wage doesn't buy the same bundle of goods. in fact, the 2012 minimum wage is $1.50 short of buying the same bundle of goods that the 1970 wage buys using 1996 dollar values. Using the 2012 numbers, the same bundle of goods that you could buy for $1.60 in 1970 would cost you $9.46 in 2012, but the minimum wage in 2012 was only $7.25 a gap of $2.21.

    This tells me that the dollar was worth more in 1970 than five dollars was worth in 2012. Which leads me to the conclusion that we were paid less in 2012 then we were paid in 1970. Wages have gone down, but the cost of goods has increased. This means that the purchasing power of the population has decreased. Kuli's idea of raising the minimum wage by $0.10 an hour is not enough, we would have to raise the minimum wage by about $2.20 to achieve the same standard of living that we had in 1970. We were better off when the dollar was tied to the price of gold.

  46. #146
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by cm98059 View Post
    Kuli's idea of raising the minimum wage by $0.10 an hour is not enough, we would have to raise the minimum wage by about $2.20 to achieve the same standard of living that we had in 1970. We were better off when the dollar was tied to the price of gold.
    I had to go back and read my post, because I recall my idea as raising it by .10/hr per quarter or something, not just .10/hr. Somehow I didn't write that.... Given the time stamp, I was probably trying to pay attention to three things at once after a long day.

    At ay rate, I'll make clear my idea by saying raise the minimum by .10/hr every other month; seeing your numbers, I'll extend the period from two years to fifty months.

    BTW, at forty hours per week, that's a mere sixteen dollars a month increase in purchasing power. With about two million workers getting the minimum wage (more than that earn less!), that's a rather unimpressive thirty-two million dollars in resulting spending with each increase. Workers would certainly appreciate getting the whole $2.50/per hour increase at once, but such a large jump at once would have negative side effects it would be better to avoid.

    But by the end of the first year, the increase in purchasing power would be $96, which to someone on the bottom of the economic pyramid is significant -- even though total extra spending in the economy would come to just (sum of 2[months]*n*32[$]mn, from n = 1 to 6) roughly $1.3bn dollars.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  47. #147
    JUB Addict cm98059's Avatar
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    I had to go back and read my post, because I recall my idea as raising it by .10/hr per quarter or something, not just .10/hr. Somehow I didn't write that.... Given the time stamp, I was probably trying to pay attention to three things at once after a long day.

    At ay rate, I'll make clear my idea by saying raise the minimum by .10/hr every other month; seeing your numbers, I'll extend the period from two years to fifty months.

    BTW, at forty hours per week, that's a mere sixteen dollars a month increase in purchasing power. With about two million workers getting the minimum wage (more than that earn less!), that's a rather unimpressive thirty-two million dollars in resulting spending with each increase. Workers would certainly appreciate getting the whole $2.50/per hour increase at once, but such a large jump at once would have negative side effects it would be better to avoid.

    But by the end of the first year, the increase in purchasing power would be $96, which to someone on the bottom of the economic pyramid is significant -- even though total extra spending in the economy would come to just (sum of 2[months]*n*32[$]mn, from n = 1 to 6) roughly $1.3bn dollars.
    You are better with numbers than I am, but there is a large portion of the population that because they receive tips are exempted from minimum wage requirements. Which came around in the last three decades. It was in the 1980's when it was decided for the first time, that tips were taxable earnings. Before that, tips had been a reward to a server for excellent service. These are concepts that need to be reversed as well.

  48. #148
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    Re: Is America Turning into Texas? Woe is us!

    Quote Originally Posted by cm98059 View Post
    You are better with numbers than I am, but there is a large portion of the population that because they receive tips are exempted from minimum wage requirements. Which came around in the last three decades. It was in the 1980's when it was decided for the first time, that tips were taxable earnings. Before that, tips had been a reward to a server for excellent service. These are concepts that need to be reversed as well.
    Yep -- they make up the majority of those actually being paid less than the minimum.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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