comments by futuresmc

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Mon, 18 Aug 2014, 2:03am PDT   Like (5)   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 1

zzyzzx says

Having said that, I'm sure that at least some of those 60% that have little or no savings are state and local government employees with lavish defined benefit pension plans who really don't absolutely need to save anything for retirement. So the problem is bad, is not quite as bad as the article suggests.

Lavish? Those pension plans work in lieu of the Social Security checks workers might have otherwise gotten. When you work for a municipal or state institution and become eligible for a defined pension, you only get a fraction of what you would have gotten from Social Security, usually less than $300 a month. The only thing lavish about retiring from a public service occupation is that your post-retirement income is supposed to be more stable and harder to fleece than those Wall Street manipulated private sector retirement accounts that don't have the backstop of a government behind them. This idea that public sector workers are on easy street once they reach retirement is think tank propaganda meant to convince everyone else that raiding the pension funds of cops, teachers, and sanitation workers is a morally acceptable means of balancing budget deficits intentionally caused by cutting taxes to the point where we can't fund the government services we need to get from day to day without running up debt.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Fri, 25 Jul 2014, 3:12am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 2

The dollar isn't going to collapse. Too much of the world depends on American military support to allow the nation to suffer hyperinflation to the point where the dollar collapses, at least for the moment. We pretty much pick up the slack so that Europe, Japan, a good portion of South America, etc, can keep a show army and navy to look sufficiently able to defend themselves, but if threatened, the US would take the lead and do 90% of the fighting. This is not to say we won't have another 2008 like panic, we most certainly will, but nothing that will completely undo the dollar any worse than the other big currencies.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Wed, 23 Jul 2014, 5:47am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 3

wave9x says

Carolyn C says

What about the kids that have to go to and from school through the alley. What kind of danger will the kids be exposed. Just so a couple of self absorbed pigs can feel elevated. Discusting!

Oh god, playing the "poor innocent children" card. If a woman is poor, gets knocked up, and has a baby, that is her problem. It doesn't give her the right to a penthouse suite in Trump Tower.

Sorry if the idea that poor kids exist in NYC offends you, but reality is sometimes offensive. However, there was no surprise for the developer. Remember, he KNEW he had a deal to build affordable housing units. He signed that deal. The people who voluntarily buy the higher end units knew there would be lower income people in the building. Now he wants to change the plans and add a poor door. Where does he get off promising one egalitarian design and then delivering another, yet still getting all the goodies he's getting for including the affordable housing? Your stereotypical assumptions about the nature of 'low income' people aside, this is a case of a rich developer trying to pull a fast one on taxpayers, an overage person would never get away with. If the initial promises were made with a common entrance, then they need to remain that way and the wealthy should have to suck it up.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Wed, 23 Jul 2014, 5:21am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 4

indigenous says

This problem is more justly and efficiently handled if the government stays out of it. People do what is best for them without any help from the overlords.

Technology and about 40 million immigrants and dwindling resources will play a part in the future.

But it will be worse if politics interferes.

Small government = oligarchy. This has been the lesson of the past 40 years, irregardless of good intentions. A well proportioned government provides adequate checks and balances and enforces the rule of law, which is why oligarchs hate it. What you're proposing is handing complete control of government over to a tiny minority whose best interests lay in siphoning as much wealth as they can for themselves and making life unbearable for the rest.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Wed, 23 Jul 2014, 3:07am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 5

Of course we could nip this fraud in the bud if congress was willing to fund appropriate oversight, but that would go against the neoliberal tenet of 'small government'. You create a program, then refuse to adequately staff the agency that oversees its efficiency. That's the real fraud, but thankfully there's just enough talent in the GAO to catch things this time.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Tue, 22 Jul 2014, 6:25pm PDT   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 6

Dan8267 says

That's what I said. Disarm the cops.

While some disarmament is warranted (tanks to podunk town sheriffs, really?), more important are stronger protection for civilians. We also need accountability for cops when they use these weapons. Cops are not soldiers; they're law enforcement. They're meant to be part of society, not outside it.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Tue, 22 Jul 2014, 4:00am PDT   Like (2)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 7

Peter P says

Nothing is more demeaning than making choices for someone else.

Exactly. The developer should not be making a choice for lower income tenants as to which door they can use to access the apartments they've paid for. The developer made the deal with the city. The wealthier tenants knew there would be lower income people living in the building. The only person making a choice for another is the developer. If he didn't want class co-mingling in his building, he shouldn't have signed a contract with the city that required adding affordable housing. He did so because he wanted all the benefits and tax goodies adding those units brings.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Mon, 21 Jul 2014, 10:30am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 8

You do realize that most of the cheap food is also high calorie crap? The poor buy cheap food because that's all they can afford. They are fat but malnourished.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Fri, 18 Jul 2014, 2:04am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 9

New Renter says

And why can't homeless people be relocated to the abandoned cities of the midwest? Plenty of shelter there.

Homeless people have the same rights as everyone else, to live in whichever city they please. These cities need to fix the situations that create so many homeless, not squeeze the tube and make it some deindustrialized midwestern city's problem. But then, there's no shake-down profit for the private sector to be gleaned in fixing the problem, so it never gets done. Gotta love America.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Mon, 14 Jul 2014, 12:02am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 10

Bellingham Bill says

The shit that that French dude wrote about in Les Miserables really happened in 19th century France. The Irish also starved, as did much of Europe here and there, all because there was too many people and not enough work, or available free land to engage in mere subsistence farming.

It gets worse as robots will be taking agricultural jobs as well. While certain elements of the 19th century crisis will rear their ugly heads, what is happening will become far worse as everything a human can do a computer will be able to do better. Some artistic jobs will remain open as I don't believe human consumers will want to partake in the artistic product of computers, but that will leave a tiny subset of the population employed. For all of recorded history humans have had to work to live in one form or another. I seriously don't know how we'll cope when the option isn't there anymore. As much as we gripe about it, work structures our lives. Without it, who knows what will happen?

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Sun, 13 Jul 2014, 9:55am PDT   Like (2)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 11

Oligarchies only respond to the dictates of the rich and powerful. There are no laws or common sense rules or regulations, such as giving better rates to the credit worthy when loaning government money, that supersede the will of the bankers.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Tue, 8 Jul 2014, 9:51pm PDT   Like (6)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 12

By taxing EMPTY offices you force landlords to lower rental prices so that new businesses can come in and do their thing. Speculators who want to hold out for bigger rents will have to pay taxes while they wait. This will get the economy hoping, by bringing REAL producers to Paris to set up shop and making the hoarders of real estate pay for the unemployed who can't get work because new business formation is stymied by high rents. Well done Frogs. Well done!

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Mon, 23 Jun 2014, 4:25pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 13

Yeah, but you need to be connected to a water source for your plumbing, electrical wiring, septic system installed, heating and air conditioning (depending on where the house is geographically), etc. The house itself is the least of the expense.

Although I do admit that is a nice shed.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Mon, 23 Jun 2014, 4:17pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 14

The Professor says

Age war. The oligarchs love it when we fight amongst our selves while letting them get away with robbery, burglary, and murder.

Precisely. This is what they want. They want the Xers and Millennials to demand reduction in Social Security and Medicare and other senior-targeted programs. Then, when those get passed, the Oligarchs can get new tax cuts for themselves. They want Boomers to see a zero sum game when it comes to education, healthcare subsidies and other spending that mostly benefits the younger generations, so that the money freed up from making society work for the majority of people can once again result in greater tax cuts for oligarchs. We've seen this before in the culture wars where the only winners were the oligarchs as they shifted to stingier formulas for calculating Social Security cost of living adjustments and making student loan debt non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. We can't fall for this BS again. There is no age war. There is only a class war and the oligarchs are winning.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Mon, 9 Jun 2014, 4:50am PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 15

Heraclitusstudent says

That's BS.

If your brain decides you should do this or that, then you do it.

Why it decides it could be after some reasoning. Meaning it is not based on noise, though of course a lot of time we decide things randomly as we should in absence of other valid criteria.

Yes, but IF this were true, the 'meaning' might be the brains way of covering for the random fluctuation. After all, we humans always look for patterns and narratives in our lives. If we respond to some random neurological jolt, we create a story around it so we don't loose the logical cohesion we need to experience reality as a sane and predictable thing. That's why the severely mentally ill often believe that they're behaving rationally despite their brains being bombarded but inappropriate chemical signals.

Irregardless of why we have free will, maintaining it socially and legally is the most important thing. If we concede it's just some brain fluctuation, we hand over reality itself to people who think the free market can do better. It's bad enough they already deny the existence of involuntary unemployment. Too much of our law and our custom is based on the idea of free will to deny it's existence as well.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Fri, 6 Jun 2014, 5:24pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 16

And yet, even with the fraud, Medicare is STILL more cost effective and efficient that most private health insurance plans. Imagine what we could do if we had Medicare-For-All and took some of the savings from what we currently spend on healthcare to enact well funded, near-draconian strict fraud busting programs. America would save a bundle?

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Fri, 30 May 2014, 9:04am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 17

zzyzzx says

Trickle down does work! It's just that currently it trickles down to Mexico, China, India, Brazil, Thailand, etc. With the appropriate import duties, it would trickle down to someplace in the US. I blame Clinton for that, since he did sign NAFTA.

On this we can agree. We need a government that seeks to create living wage jobs in the US so people can take care of themselves and their families without the need to avail themselves of public assistance. Americans are willing to work hard, but only if that hard work keeps them safe, healthy, and regularly fed. This is why we need regulation that incentivizes hiring Americans.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Thu, 29 May 2014, 11:23am PDT   Like   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 18

Heraclitusstudent says

Strategist says

Changing technology has been with us ever since they invented the wheel. Workers in dying technologies will always be susceptible to being laid off, retraining and retirement. New generations come in and learn new skill and get jobs that never existed before.

Until now, most new technology were about doing faster and better things that were already done before. Planting food, extracting ore, producing metals, assembling stuff. The "new" jobs were evolutions of the old ones even if sometime radically changed.

At some point we will see technologies that simply don't require *any* humans. It's not even a question of speed. It will be an integrated self-maintaining machine from ore to recycling.

And the new technologies can think. Previous generations had dumb technology. Now we have Watson and it's ilk. This throws jobs that require human brain power and discretion onto the scrap heap. As AI evolves there won't be anything a human can do better than a computer. We are well on our way to this future and we have to figure out what we will do once no human or only a tiny minority of human artists are qualified to work. Humans have spent thousands of years primarily defining ourselves by our labor and our abilities to acquire resources and now we're on the loosing end of that proposition. I have no idea how this is going to end.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Thu, 29 May 2014, 3:10am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 19

donjumpsuit says

Also, how about things that are not breaking the law or regulations. Such as when laws or regulations are made to increase inequality, or remove barriers for the rich or powerful to get more rich and powerful.

Like increases sales tax, increasing tolls, decreasing funding for science and education, decreasing funding for infrastructure. Also using public funds to build stadiums for sports teams who already rake in inexorbinate sums of money.

Ah, but that's why there's such a fuss. Multinationals and banks have been shifting the tax burden to the average person for years. If services like AirBnB or Uber come in and cause deficits, some of those special carve outs might have to be rethought.

futuresmc   befriend (1)   ignore (1)   Tue, 27 May 2014, 8:08am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 20

zzyzzx says

It should get lazy people off of "disability" and doing jobs that Mexicans currently do, and that should be very good for the US. Why do you hate American workers?

Americans would be happy to do those jobs for a living wage and adequate worker safety laws. Unfortunately, American employers don't want to be forced by a limited labor market to offer either, so they hire illegal foreign workers and lobby for visas to bring in guest workers legally. If our government would adopt an American worker friendly attitude, we could significantly cut our anti-poverty programs by strictly limiting the foreign competition within our own borders and giving our workers bargaining power to attain the wages that would feed their families without government assistance. Unfortunately, all you want to do is cut spending on anti-poverty programs while at the same time allow totally unfettered labor arbitrage. That is a recipe for destitution of the majority of Americans, no matter how hard they work, and that is morally indefensible.

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