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  • On 21 Apr 2014 in What the 1% doesn't want you to know, futuresmc said:

    Zak says

    i love krugman: "if you take just a small percent you can make the lives of the poor better..."

    So why is 40+% of my income being taken and the lives of the poor are still crap?

    Because that money isn't going to the poor. It's being siphoned off by the rich whose lawyers and lobbiests write the tax code. Only a tiny fraction of our taxes goes to any kind of social investment.

  • On 31 Mar 2014 in Obama Says The Constitution Is Out Dated- International Law Is Supreme, United N, futuresmc said:

    SoftShell says

    Say Hello to the Declaration of Socialism, worldwide edition.

    Do you even know what the word 'socialism' means?

  • On 30 Mar 2014 in Some Thoughts On The Best Way To Die, futuresmc said:

    Personally, I'd prefer quick and unawares. Perhaps being blown up in a massive explosion without ever realizing I was in the slightest danger.

  • On 26 Mar 2014 in Old people now aligned with Republican Party, futuresmc said:

    tvgnus says

    Seniors move from reliably Democratic to reliably Republican •  They are racially distinct from other age groups They may be a bit crotchety if you walk on their lawns, but there are more of them than ever before and thats shifting part of the U.S. political landscape.

    I'm not so sure this will remain constant. Remember, the Boomers are now living with their kids and even those that don't share an address get along better with them than previous generations. When they see their kids leave their 20's still struggling with student loan debt and it finally hits them that Junior will never be able to buy a house; when they realize that their daughters are past their reproductive years and won't give them grandchildren, not by choice but because their financial situation never permitted them to have kids; when they reach retirement age and start feeling the years, only to understand that they can't retire and may never be able to, then they'll turn on the Republicans. Right now the Boomers are still just a tad too young to appreciate the hell that's coming for the American dream. In a few years all bets will be off.

  • On 22 Mar 2014 in Blood and Stones: "landlords really cant extract much more rent", futuresmc said:

    While I agree rents can't really go much higher, landlords can extract more value from their rentals by lobbying to have renter protections reversed.

  • On 22 Mar 2014 in Tech companies cartel conspiring to keep engineer wages low, futuresmc said:

    mmmarvel says

    tatupu70 says

    Of course it is collusion and price fixing. It is the very definition of price fixing. You have to understand this....

    Wait, wait, wait - you want to call it price fixing, okay, so what. All that has to happen is that the engineers refuse to take the employment at the price offered. I don't think anyone is holding a gun to their heads. You tell them I won't work for less than X dollars, when they offer less, you turn down the job. At some point there is a lot of work that needs to be done and no people to do it. Guess what? At that point the employers start offering more.

    If the free market actually functioned, you'd be right, but when things like this happen, these supposedly self-made 'makers' who employ these engineers run to the government and beg for H1-B visas to bring in engineers from all corners of the globe.

  • On 20 Mar 2014 in We need more cops not more highly paid cops, futuresmc said:

    corntrollio says

    Why is it this way, where supply way outstrips demand, and yet wages keep going up to the point where being a cop is a top 25% salary + massive pension? Are the police unions really that strong? Corruption? Public sector-industrial complex?

    How do we get so little for so much money?

    Because the true job of the police is to protect the rich from the rest. All the low wage jobs and lack of opportunities are causing great pain in this nation and eventually there will be an explosion. Large numbers of people will take to the streets or stop paying their taxes in a coordinated effort or some other act of civil disobedience, and then those well paid cops will be sent in to crack skulls, at least until drones get sophisticated enough to replace the cops on a large enough scale.

  • On 20 Mar 2014 in The baby boomers forgot about their kids: Do we have any housing bulls..., futuresmc said:

    zzyzzx says

    jojo says

    Nah! They're all gonna move in with you.

    What makes you think that they ever left?

    They won't be leaving but thankfully the boomers get along great with the millennials. They'll let their kids live with them until they can't work any longer and their kids will help care for them in their old age. It works out quite well as it permits them to transfer the house into their kids hands before they get seriously old. That way, should they develop a medical condition that will require more care than their kids can provide, they can go into the nursing home on medicaid and the house will have long been the property of their child that never left the nest, making it untouchable once they pass away.

  • On 18 Mar 2014 in Rich have more money, not more brains, futuresmc said:

    tovarichpeter says

    On the right, the rise of populists including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz still makes wealthy donors eyeing 2016 uncomfortable.

    Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are NOT populists. My family has always been deeply populist. I'm descended from the original, mid-western, free silver populists and I can tell you that both Cruz and Paul are corporatists to the core. A true populist fights government subsidies and regulations that tilt the economic playing field. A true populist fights the offshoring of jobs and supports the right to unionize. Populism is about ensuring that those that own the means of production treat those that work for a living fairly. It's about equality of opportunity and the curtailing of corporate political power. Paul and Cruz are career politicians who take corporate dollars and do corporate bidding. Even when they talk of curtailing or dismantling the Federal Reserve and bringing back a gold standard, their plans are geared to make Wall Street comfortable, placing the burden of such a transition on working people who depend on a wage and save for retirement in 401k's. Elizabeth Warren is as close to a true populist as you will find in Washington. She's not perfect as she has made statements on social issues like reproductive rights and gay rights which no pure populist would take a stand one way or another on, but she's the closest example of what populism supports. Ted Cruz is a social conservative nutjob and Rand Paul is a fair-weather libertarian who will dump libertarianism on any given issue the moment a deep pocketed donor tells him to.

  • On 15 Mar 2014 in Republican tax reform proposal curtails housing inflation subsidies, futuresmc said:

    Dan8267 says

    "Republican tax reform" is an oxymoron.

    While I wouldn't go that far, this proposal is a sole Republican's idea. The rest of his party will never let it be considered seriously. He's just trying to score points with the folks back home safely knowing it will never even get voted on. If the Republicans were serious about closing market-harmful loopholes, they would push the idea collectively.

  • On 13 Mar 2014 in Killing The "We Paid Our Taxes; We Earned Our Benefits" Social Security Ponzi, futuresmc said:

    jojo says

    @futuresmc

    Well, if that's the case then medicare should be able to negotiate with suppliers.

    I totally agree. I would even go farther as it should be able to set standards of care and then offer patients the option of a free vacation to a place like India in order to get surgeries and other expensive treatments for half the price. Yes, you might have to sweeten the deal with some pocket money to spend on souvenirs or a spa-like hotel near the hospital for recovery, but when you have a procedure like hip or knee replacement that costs thousands less per patient overseas and you have many people who need such a procedure, you still save money by enticing them to use the cheaper alternative. And when you consider that Baby Boomers love to travel and explore anyway, you have a built in market pipeline to savings as they age.

  • On 13 Mar 2014 in Killing The "We Paid Our Taxes; We Earned Our Benefits" Social Security Ponzi, futuresmc said:

    jojo says

    Ok it soinds like you are correct about medicare and medicaid (I will have to look at the details). However, lifetime payouts from medicare fare exceeds what people pay into the scheme.

    That's a function of inflation and anti-competitive, pro-corporatist laws, not the nature of Medicare. You can't blame Medicare for corrupt politicians and central bankers who created this inflation and lack of less expensive choices.

  • On 8 Mar 2014 in Here's Why Gen X Has The Most To Worry About, futuresmc said:

    hrhjuliet says

    Revolution with the above suggestions would be a powerful force. As long as we are united and eager to sacrifice, we can be the change we want to see in the world.

    I agree with a peaceful revolution. Anything else would be suicide. The oligarchs can buy way more arms and foot soldiers than we ever could. We need to get into the streets and gum up their works. Shut cities down with masses of people, particularly the larger, more economically important cities. Violence will only give the corporate media the images it craves to pain any resistance as hoodlums and terrorists. Disciplined, peaceful protest will give us a better chance.

  • On 2 Mar 2014 in Should retirement age be indexed to life expectancy?, futuresmc said:

    Bellingham Bill says

    Medicare is another story, I don't have any easy answers for this financial tsunami coming.

    Boomers in no way paid in what they're going to take out this decade and next, and I don't know how our politics are going to be able to deal with the funding burden Medicare is going to present soon.

    Being a leftist, I'd just sock the rich as necessary, but these days the rich can fight back just fine, apparently.

    The problem with Medicare is the cost of healthcare overall. It's not strictly a problem with old, sick people. Allow for Americans to get drugs online or overseas in specific approved pharmacies or travel to specific hospitals to have procedures at a reduced cost (you might have to incentivize this with free airfare and special hotel accommodations for their recovery (Boomers love traveling to exotic places and will likely still crave the stimulation in their old age) and you can bring down some costs. Yes, special interests will howl, but the alternative is single payer healthcare for all and the US is too big a market to permit that. This is not by any means a major solution but inventive ideas like it can be cobbled together to bring down costs for Medicare, even if single payer can't be achieved outright.

  • On 2 Mar 2014 in Should retirement age be indexed to life expectancy?, futuresmc said:

    jojo says

    Point taken. But people are living longer so shouldn't this be incorporated in some way?

    We've already raised it a few times. We've already taken the life expectancy gains into account. However, what I think you're getting at Jojo is quality of life, that is people living the same span of years but in physical conditions that would permit them to work longer without causing health issues. And that gets back to my original point. Social security and the two other severely busted legs of the three legged stool of retirement not only protect retirees from poverty but serve the function of cycling the generations through the workforce at a predictable rate. This in turn allows each generation the opportunity to secure some level of wealth so they don't bottleneck with a large generation of desperate seniors at the top who will never let go of their paychecks until they physically can't work any longer. Getting rid of that life cycle aspect to programs like Medicare and Social Security gluts the labor market and helps drive down wages at the same time it prevents serious discussion of closing tax loopholes and cutting subsidies to those who do not strengthen the nation as a whole.

  • On 2 Mar 2014 in Should retirement age be indexed to life expectancy?, futuresmc said:

    jojo says

    @futuresmc

    I'm not sure I agree with you on this. Additionally, when these programs were created more people were working for each retired person and people did not live nearly as long as today. Many people contributed and received little or nothing back. That is not the case today.

    So isn't this just another case of corporate welfare that allows companies to pay sub standard wages?

    I'm not saying this is just a trick to protect corporate welfare, but one volley in the class war that has created this mess in the first place. If wages had risen with productivity the way they did before the great divergence of the 70's and 80's. If pensions had been protected and 401k's regulated to protect the assets of those that worked for that wealth, if the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, if 'welfare reform' and its ilk hadn't shredded the social safety net for the long term unemployed etc. then we could easily raise the retirement age to meet demographic demands without inflicting misery on those reaching the end of their productive years in this ongoing jobs drought. Unfortunately those things did happen and if we actually want to prevent those that worked hard and played by the rules from ending up in mass destitution while working themselves until they keel over, we have to break with this mindset that economic policy has to protect the rich no matter the suffering others in society experience. Stiglitz is absolutely right. We are not in the hole we're in because of natural law or even economic outcomes based solely on human nature. We are here because of legislative effort to siphon off wealth from the middle and working classes and redistribute it upwards to the rich. The only positive way out is to rebalance the scales, even if only just enough to maintain the status quo of retirement.

  • On 2 Mar 2014 in Should retirement age be indexed to life expectancy?, futuresmc said:

    jojo says

    People are living longer these days. Does it make sense to have the govt provide benefits for many more decades of life than when Soc Secuiry and medicare were originally implemented. Or does it make better sense to adjust the age at which people are eligible for these benefits based on life expectency?

    Retirement benefits don't merely serve the needs of retirees. They also clear the path for younger generations to get onto the economic ladder. Back when jobs were plentiful and even full time minimum wage could provide for the basic subsistence of a person, raising the retirement age by accessing life expectancy might have been a great idea, but now it's just a way to cut 'entitlements' so that the rich don't have to have their loopholes and subsidies (corporate welfare) reconsidered.

  • On 1 Mar 2014 in 4 reasons Americans are losing interest in owning a house, futuresmc said:

    CaptainShuddup says

    And because of the basic fundamental want and need, especially in a Democratic society. If owning a house is impossibly out of reach for most people, who would otherwise like to think of them selves as Middle class. Then eventually there will be political hell to pay. I would be concerned trying to invest in bulk properties, communities will be riling against the corporate serial landlord, commoditizing residential single family properties. With the goal to rent out.

    While I agree, I think the bigger issue with renting is the ability of rents to swing wildly when Wall Street maximizes its speculative ability in rental housing. They'll be pilling on campaign contribution cash to deregulate rental markets so they have no responsibility to the home's upkeep. They'll buy and sell homes, raising and lowering rents as markets shift due to renter initiative or lack thereof, forcing renters to move year by year or when properties change hands or families are priced out of previously affordable markets. In short, the uncertainty created for renters will be the corporate investors' undoing. You can still feel middle class if your rent stays reasonable and you have the option stay for as long as you choose to do so. When you're hopping from foot to foot, wondering when the eviction notice is coming despite the fact that you're paid up and never cause trouble, then people get angry.

  • On 15 Jan 2014 in Warren's war on job destroyers, futuresmc said:

    thomaswong.1986 says

    Odd, since many small business do employ workers who might be handling cash... and certainly Banks would almost require employees to go throw background checks... overall such reviews are required by various regulatory bodies to counter fraud and embezzlement as part of their risk assessment. Would you hire a former criminal to handle cash ?

    is it doing away with discrimination or regulations ?

    And yet some of the biggest criminals are the most well heeled Wall Street Titans. They steal all the time. This idea that being poor makes you more prone to steal is 19th century BS that needs to be exposed for the self-serving nonsense it is.

  • On 15 Jan 2014 in Christie,Were you thinking about running for President?, futuresmc said:

    With the far right wing of his party being as mean spirited as they are, this is exactly what Christie needed to CLINCH the Republican nomination. Remember, if he doesn't win the primary and get the base excited, he can't run against the Democratic candidate in the general. He's an East Coast Rep. Governor who worked with a Democratic president to preserve his state when Hurricane Sandy left it a mud hole and took FREE medicaid money from the federal government when it was offered to his state as part of Obamacare. On those merits, the right would never accept him.

    Romney and McCain tried to to claim they were hard core conservatives but their records left them exposed as hypocrites. Tea Baggers and other right wingers love bullies, particularly bullies who bully for no other reason than to harm 'liberals'. Mark my words, this will give the nod to Christie in the long run. If he stays Governor, he got away with it. If he looses his office, he can play the victim of 'liberal conspiracies', no matter how much evidence for his guilt exists. Either way he's the frustrated neocon's hero, so he doesn't have to run around lying that he's 'severely conservative', he's the bully of their dreams.

    He already has the East Coast Republicans wrapped up with all his corporate tax loopholes and privatization experiments which go on long after they've failed the taxpayer who foots the bill. Now he's working the whaco-bird wing of the party, and he's getting there. He's very clever.l

  • On 28 Aug 2013 in Jail Becomes Home for Husband Stuck With Lifetime Alimony, futuresmc said:

    zzyzzx says

    I would have stopped paying earlier, while I still had some money, and used it to relocate overseas. I think he is a moron for paying as long as he did.

    The man has kids. It's quite possible that he thought he might be able to get another job and continue with the payments. Ditching the country would leave him severed from his kids for the rest of their childhoods. I believe he gambled out of love for his children and lost.

  • On 10 Aug 2013 in BART trains will run Monday one way or the other, futuresmc said:

    SFace says

    The people are not critical. But the infrastructure. Largely funded indirectly by transportation tax and directly funded by sales tax. How would you feel paying property tax for police protection. But no police service.

    Strikers don't destroy the infrastructure; they just refuse to work while on strike. What the taxpayer paid for is still in the city's possession and working no differently than before. It's the labor they haven't yet paid for that's in question.

  • On 8 Aug 2013 in If you don't borrow, bankers will have to find real jobs, futuresmc said:

    bgamall4 says

    If you stop the housing recovery you will crush the bankers. And they know it.

    Unfortunately, this is untrue when you live in a globalized oligarchy. The bankers will be bailed out, or bailed in, or have their debts made payable through inflation, etc at the expense of the working people in one form or another no matter what they do to the people.

    People need to relearn that housing decisions need to be made on the basis of where they need or want to live and not because of the investment potential of the site.

  • On 2 Aug 2013 in So, let's see what happened to the black community, futuresmc said:

    epitaph says

    The African tribes wanted the European goods and were willing to trade their own people as slaves to get these goods. These tribes also did this with the Arabs in the same fashion.

    Actually, they didn't trade 'their own people'. They traded neighboring groups. It's more like a Frenchman selling an Englishman into slavery. They're both white, even share some common history, but they see themselves as very different.

  • On 29 Jul 2013 in The Bogus High-Tech Worker Shortage: How Guest Workers Lower US Wages, futuresmc said:

    HydroCabron says

    Does not the creation of a protected class of domestic economists fly in the face of the fundamental principles of their discipline?

    No, actually, it wouldn't. Most economists today serve the oligarchic model. To them, there is no precept so sacrosanct that it can't and shouldn't be done away with if it impedes the machinations of current market winners.

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