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Andariel
31-03-08, 11:16
Everything is so goddamn expensive, and with gas prices at an ungodly price, I refuse to drive in CA or the US. Now Iím staying in NY getting around with my metrocard as itís saving me money.

Seriously, it takes around 40 USD to fill up my tank now. My online friend in California says theyíre paying nearly 50 USD. All this recession chaos that the rich arenít personally concerned about has taken its toll on me and millions of others. For those who donít have to worry about paying for everything you need, be grateful. On CNN a news anchor was considering buying a second home because their so cheap now. :rolleyes: With the debt America is in the economy will keeping plunging and the whole world will suffer if it crashes. So Iím just saying if you need money try taking public transport if itís available to you where you live. Right now Iím saving up so I donít have to worry about all this so much.

Btw, Bush needs to take a hike.

Zac Medley
31-03-08, 11:17
I'm sorry, but a lot of us have seen this coming for many years now.

Andariel
31-03-08, 11:18
Iím just giving people some advice on how to manage as things get worse.

myrmaad
31-03-08, 11:19
:vlol: And yet many of us still voted for Bush twice.

john_york
31-03-08, 11:37
Seriously, it takes around 40 USD to fill up my tank now.


Is that all?! Costs me nearly £40 to fill up my tank now. And it's only a little tiny car.

EgyptianSoul
31-03-08, 11:40
This world is crap. Rich get richer and poor get poorer. I'm starting to feel the need to shoot myself or something so I could escape this place. :( Why is everything so wrong and getting only worse all the time.

DREWY
31-03-08, 11:48
Is that all?! Costs me nearly £40 to fill up my tank now. And it's only a little tiny car.


Me too. I fill up 2 or 3 times a week at nearly $100 AU per tank. I'll swap for $40.
(On second thoughts, I'll keep my petrol bill if you keep your US politicians- fair trade I think.)

Geck-o-Lizard
31-03-08, 11:55
http://weightweenies.starbike.com/images/lightbike/bike.jpg

DREWY
31-03-08, 11:58
Hmmm. Low on horsepower, bucket seat's a touch small and the heater doesn't work. On the bright side the air con is free.

Soma Holiday
31-03-08, 12:00
I've known for a while that the economy has gotten worse, but it's only because Americans aren't used to this. The fuel prices overseas...as everyone has said, have been this high for a lot longer. That doesn't mean I'm not worried about the economy. I don't have a car at the moment, and I walk where I need to get, but I'm in college...so if the economy does crash, I'll be one of the definate individuals directly effected by it...

I've saved us some money over the past year, but its not enough to help me in a crises, but at the moment it's doing just fine. I'm hoping the decline will end shortly, or stay the same. If it gets much worse I'm sure the chages will be more apparent in places other than the gas pump...robberies have already started to rise here...never a good thing.

TheStoryteller
31-03-08, 12:01
no comment.

I've had very bad experiences in telling US residents my opinion about where their current ecomonic problems come from :whi:

Quasimodo
31-03-08, 12:01
http://weightweenies.starbike.com/images/lightbike/bike.jpg

That'll work great for my 18 mile(about 30km) trek to college! (36 mile round trip)

That aside, I have noticed a drop in quality of living (thankfully it's mostly luxuries so far) in the past few years.

@Myrmaad - how might John Kerry have avoided this recession if he won instead of Bush?

Soma Holiday
31-03-08, 12:06
@Myrmaad - how might John Kerry have avoided this recession if he won instead of Bush?

I don't know about him...but for some reason I think if Gore had won...we'd all be living very differently...and for the better...

Geck-o-Lizard
31-03-08, 12:15
I don't know about him...but for some reason I think if Gore had won...we'd all be living very differently...and for the better...

Are you all really living "very differently" from the way you were before Bush came along? Or did you all live in mansions back then, and you're in slums now?

Obscure
31-03-08, 12:17
$40 doesn't sound too bad... Not bad at all really. My sister went to America for a month and she said everything was so much cheaper, it was unreal. Here in England we pay through our noses for everything.

Zac Medley
31-03-08, 12:21
I don't know about him...but for some reason I think if Gore had won...we'd all be living very differently...and for the better...

I don't think that the politicians have much to do with economic cycles. The US debt bubble has been swelling beyond healthy levels for the whole time I have lived here - since 1988.

This economic downturn looks like being the "Big One" that people have been forecasting for decades. The differences between Republican and Democratic policies can't stop something like this from happening.

myrmaad
31-03-08, 12:24
Are you all really living "very differently" from the way you were before Bush came along? Or did you all live in mansions back then, and you're in slums now?

We're definitely in political slums now. The Patriot Act I & II, the first-ever bailout of an Investment Bank!!! (Commercial banks are highly regulated, Investment banks are not.) Do you have a few hours? Billions of missing dollars in Iraq to Bush cronies. Valerie Plame, war for oil (documented as planned before 9/11); the most secretive presidential administration in history..... for starters, off the top of my head!

Cochrane
31-03-08, 12:28
$40 is 25Ä at current prices. I couldn't fill half of my car's gas tank for this, and my car is a rather small one with a small gas tank. Be happy for the prices you have right now. I'd be if I had them.

That aside, public transportation rocks. Well, not really, but it beats driving in crowded cities or over crowded freeways, on long-distance trains I can get work done on my laptop, and thanks to having a card from my university that grants me free public transport in a rough 50 km radius and a BahnCard 50 (which gives me 50% off on any train journey), it's even cheaper.

john_york
31-03-08, 12:34
http://weightweenies.starbike.com/images/lightbike/bike.jpg

Tell you what, I'll start using one of these to get to work as soon as they take these 'driven-by-morons' death traps off the raods of York:

[URL=http://img126.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ftrva0.jpg]http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/9730/ftrva0.th.jpg

myrmaad
31-03-08, 12:35
http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports_pigbook2007

INTRODUCTION
According to the Chinese calendar, 2007 is the Year of the Pig. Fortunately for American taxpayers, it will be a smaller pig than usual. The 2007 Congressional Pig Book has not been this little since 1999, as only two of the 11 appropriations bills were enacted by Congress and the remaining nine were subject to a moratorium on earmarks. There are no indoor rainforests, National Peanut Festivals, mariachi music grants, or teapot museums to be found.
-- Thanks Nancy! :wve:

The Congressional Pig Book is CAGW's annual compilation of the pork-barrel projects in the federal budget. The 2007 Pig Book identified 2,658 projects at a cost of $13.2 billion in the Defense and Homeland Security Appropriations Acts for fiscal 2007. Only two of the 11 appropriations bills were enacted by Congress and the remaining nine were subject to a moratorium on earmarks. A "pork" project is a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures. To qualify as pork, a project must meet one of seven criteria (http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports_pigbook2007#criteria) that were developed in 1991 by CAGW and the Congressional Porkbusters Coalition.

Quasimodo
31-03-08, 12:46
no comment.

I've had very bad experiences in telling US residents my opinion about where their current ecomonic problems come from :whi:

Now I'm curious!

myrmaad
31-03-08, 12:51
From the Conservative Christian Science Monitor. (I READ EVERYTHING)

Mortgage mess: Who gets help and who pays?

Debate over what's fair and what's wise is likely to intensify as US tries to contain the crisis.

By Mark Trumbull (http://www.csmonitor.com/cgi-bin/encryptmail.pl?ID=CDE1F2EBA0D4F2F5EDE2F5ECEC&url=/2008/0331/p01s01-usec.html) | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor from the March 31, 2008 edition

The federal government is increasingly focused on how to resolve the US mortgage mess, but the effort means grappling with controversial issues of who should receive help and who will pay for it.
Few taxpayers like to hear talk about "bailouts," especially as many tighten their own belts to deal with rising energy and food prices and falling values for their homes or stock investments.
Questions of fairness are sure to figure in the policy debate – and are already surfacing on the presidential campaign trail, on talk radio, and in congressional committee rooms. The people who might get bailed out, after all, include the same reckless lenders and often-speculative borrowers who helped cause the mess.
Should mortgage companies be forced to knuckle under so borrowers can keep their homes and avoid foreclosure? Should taxpayer money be used to help troubled banks?
To a large number of Americans, such interventions in the marketplace are wrongheaded. Still, signs of economic weakness in the past month have made a hands-off approach less likely, analysts say.
"[One] choice is to be very puritanical and say that those who have sinned must suffer. The problem is that so many have sinned that all of us must suffer," says Ed Yardeni, an economist who heads an investment research firm in Great Neck, N.Y. "The mortgage market is really way too big to [let it] fail."
As he sees it, the whole economy is beginning to suffer through a recession, caused in large measure by the decline in home values and credit availability. Policy efforts may cost taxpayers some money but could also prevent a deeper slump.
"We like to believe that we're a free-market capitalist society where everybody is responsible for their own business and financial activities," Mr. Yardeni says. "But when things start to go wrong, we ... turn to the federal government."
At the very least, some argue, help should come only with strings attached.
The Bush administration, for example, is set to unveil on Monday new proposals to improve regulatory oversight of Wall Street, alongside federal efforts to nurse the financial system back to health.
In a presidential-campaign speech on the housing crunch last week, John McCain spoke for many Americans when he emphasized personal accountability. "I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers," Senator McCain said.
Any assistance, he said, should be temporary relief to responsible homeowners.
Where does the public stand on this?
Many voters have mixed feelings, an ambivalence highlighted in one of the few polls so far that has tried to explore the question of mortgage bailouts.
In the survey, by CNN/Opinion Research in December, a slim majority of Americans said that borrowers who are defaulting on mortgages "have no one to blame but themselves." Yet in that same poll, a slim majority also supported the idea of "special treatment" to help those very home*owners avoid default.
The survey found less sympathy for banks. Nearly 3 in 4 Americans did not want to see special treatment to keep financial institutions from losing money on loans that go bad.
Many of the rescue proposals under review, however, would provide some support for lenders even as they try to keep homeowners out of foreclosure.


In one sense, taxpayer-backed help is already being provided by some federal authorities – aimed especially at averting a possible meltdown in the financial industry.
"It isn't a question of whether there's going to be a bailout," says Scott Lilly, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning Washington think tank. "It's a question of what kind of a bailout."
Among the steps taken so far:
•The Federal Reserve intervened to prevent the sudden collapse of Bear Stearns, an investment bank. But the Fed took on $29 billion worth of risk from JPMorgan Chase (which plans to buy Bear). That could expose the Fed – and by extension taxpayers – to a loss. The Fed is making other low-interest loans to Wall Street firms.
•Government-sponsored housing agencies are taking on more risk to keep home loans flowing. The cost to taxpayers may be small or large, depending on how those loans go.
•The Fed has been cutting interest rates. That helps many borrowers – whose ranks include financial companies as well as homeowners. But the move could push up inflation for all Americans, and many retirees face lower income on their savings as a result.
Where McCain voiced caution about making taxpayers pay for more housing help, Democratic presidential candidates have said the government should do more.
In a speech last week, Hillary Rodham Clinton argued that the housing crisis affects most Americans, not just those at risk of losing their homes.
"In today's economy, trouble that starts on Wall Street often ends up on Main Street," she said. She added that the decline in housing prices has meant lost wealth even for homeowners who have no mortgage to pay off.
The troubles on Wall Street also mean that many consumers and businesses who never took out a subprime loan now face tougher terms on credit cards and other borrowing.
The great risk to the economy is a downward spiral, in which losses for banks tighten credit further.
If foreclosures erode household wealth and consumer confidence, home prices could overshoot on the downside just as they soared through the roof during the boom. "It's no telling how far down you go before you find the bottom in that kind of scenario," Mr. Lilly says.
That's one reason that efforts are ramping up in Congress for additional measures designed to slow the pace of foreclosures. The leading approach, for now, seems to be one backed by Rep. Barney Frank (D) of Massachusetts and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) of Connecticut that could start moving this week.
It would have the Federal Housing Administration guarantee refinanced mortgages that make it more affordable for at-risk homeowners to avoid foreclosure.
Lilly supports this concept, but he says another approach could also spur faster restructuring of troubled loans: a tax credit to induce lenders to adjust mortgage rates downward.
In most of the plans under review, the goal is not to keep home prices from falling to a new equilibrium, but simply to avoid greater financial chaos than is already under way.

http://images.clickability.com/pti/spacer.gif

Find this article at:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0331/p01s01-usec.html

Geck-o-Lizard
31-03-08, 13:09
Tell you what, I'll start using one of these to get to work as soon as they take these 'driven-by-morons' death traps off the raods of York:

[URL=http://img126.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ftrva0.jpg]http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/9730/ftrva0.th.jpg

O Merlin I hate those bendy buses. It's not so much the drivers, they're no more moronic or pushy than any other bus drivers, but the fact the bus is twice as long, and the second half doesn't follow the same path as the first half when it's pulling in or out. I've been nearly squished by them several times. D:

john_york
31-03-08, 13:18
It's not so much the drivers, they're no more moronic or pushy than any other bus drivers, but the fact the bus is twice as long, and the second half doesn't follow the same path as the first half when it's pulling in or out. I've been nearly squished by them several times. D:


You've obviously never experienced the drivers in York!

So many times I've nearly been run over by these monstrosities - and occasionally even when I'm on the pavement!

MiCkiZ88
31-03-08, 13:20
It's 60Ä - 80Ä for a full tank here (1.47Ä per litre).. Plus food is freaking expensive atm. Actually everything is freaking expensive thanks to our wonderful taxes, which only seem to go up. Yeh, we get free health service, which I hardly use as it sucks up here. Those morons who act like God can't do anything right.. *curses*

I walk to town, as it's only 3km away from where I live. Buses (the drivers are crazy anyways.. same goes for cab drivers) hardly even stop here, and I don't have bicycle (I break them too easily <_<) so the only option is to walk, unless I want to waste all my food money on gas.

Cochrane
31-03-08, 13:38
O Merlin I hate those bendy buses. It's not so much the drivers, they're no more moronic or pushy than any other bus drivers, but the fact the bus is twice as long, and the second half doesn't follow the same path as the first half when it's pulling in or out. I've been nearly squished by them several times. D:

It can always be worse:
http://ferroequinologist.de/forums/long_bus.jpg (http://ZCochrane.deviantart.com/art/Looooong-bus-76201350)

I can't say anything bad about these 25 meter monsters, but that's mainly because I keep out of their way whenever I'm on the road.

Soma Holiday
31-03-08, 13:51
Are you all really living "very differently" from the way you were before Bush came along? Or did you all live in mansions back then, and you're in slums now?

Ofcourse not, but Al Gore was a huge environment supporter. I think the Electric car would be alot more popular now opposed to nonexsistant. Bush has paved the way for environment-friendly vehicles that only work about an 8th as good as their potential. Bush has ties to oil companies and its showing.

I'm not saying that America would be a better place had Bush lost, but I think it would be headed in a more positive direction, opposed to a pre-recession, waring, oil grubbing nation that the entire world despises. :p

digitizedboy
31-03-08, 14:01
I think the British economy sucks. Everything is so expensive here, and the governemnt keeps piling up the tax on everything. When your wages are only something like 16K a year, you can't afford to have a good life style like most people. I think I might move to Poland where everything is cheap.

rowanlim
31-03-08, 14:02
Cost of living is increasing in Malaysia, albeit steadily. I don't really feel the pinch but I do wince when I fill RM (Ringgit Malaysia) 70 for full tank of petrol. That's about USD21.70 roughly.

Perhaps we should question why is the cost of living increasing? I'm not sure about what's going on in the economic world to give substantial information :o

Quasimodo
31-03-08, 14:39
Cost of living is increasing in Malaysia, albeit steadily. I don't really feel the pinch but I do wince when I fill RM (Ringgit Malaysia) 70 for full tank of petrol. That's about USD21.70 roughly.

Perhaps we should question why is the cost of living increasing? I'm not sure about what's going on in the economic world to give substantial information :o

The cost of fuel. Which in turn increases the price of anything that has to be shipped using that fuel. The cost of fuel has gone up because of:
-various violence erupting in oil-producing areas
-no new refineries have built since for...the past 20yrs or so I believe?
-increased demand due to countries like China and India industrializing.

JamesFKirk
31-03-08, 14:47
Well, if you think your country's economy sucks, compare it to the economy of Czech Republic... We used to be the "Central European Tiger". Now, we are very likely to fall behind (for example: conversion to € is stated to be no sooner than 2013, most likely 2019, which is LATE; Slovakia, who tended to be far behind CZ, actually got in front of us, and they had easy time doing it). We have prices comparable to the standard in EU, however, the payments are on approximatelly 20-30% of EU standard. True, gas costs approx 1.2€ in CZ... but when compared to average salary (which is approx 750€), one can't even think of buying a car to have something to fill its tank with gas. I work as a IT worker, which is a prestigeous job in my country. Yet still I do not dare to dream of buying a car.
And you think you have problematic economy? :P

Gianni Bartoli
31-03-08, 14:56
This world is crap. Rich get richer and poor get poorer. I'm starting to feel the need to shoot myself or something so I could escape this place. :( Why is everything so wrong and getting only worse all the time.

Hang in there! :hug: Look for the goodness in the world! :) (I speak of course, about nature; if you try to find goodness in humans you will be sorely unsatisfied. ;))

rowanlim
31-03-08, 15:09
The cost of fuel. Which in turn increases the price of anything that has to be shipped using that fuel. The cost of fuel has gone up because of:
-various violence erupting in oil-producing areas
-no new refineries have built since for...the past 20yrs or so I believe?
-increased demand due to countries like China and India industrializing.

Thanks. Sounds like a sticky situation. Fossil-fuel is the conventional source of energy, but it's not renewable...Time's running out & prices are increasing. Difficult situation.

JamesFKirk
31-03-08, 15:28
Thanks. Sounds like a sticky situation. Fossil-fuel is the conventional source of energy, but it's not renewable...Time's running out & prices are increasing. Difficult situation.

Well, the truth is that supply of oil is diminishing, and the moment when there'll be less oil drilled then consumed is very close. On the other hand, studies confirm that most of EU can convert from oil based fuel to hydrogen within three years had there been the need of it (which most likely will be sooner than later). And there's heck of lot of hydrogen around (and it will return to the environment in exactly same form it was taken out of it), so the only problem is getting it out of the environment within "marketable" prices (for which we lack mainstream-accessible technology). Once this problem is solved, I say the fuel problem will be over (or at least, if there's the will to solve it).
On the other hand, once the EU (or another major market) switches from oil based fuel to hydrogen (or anything else), there are major political issues inbound. (Let's say you cut off the money income from buying oil from middle east countries, which is with few exceptions, the region's economy driving force; the results will be dire, in both humanitarian and regional-stability terms). Oil is simply "too deep" in the global economy structure. And increased demand (and steeping prices) only make it dig deeper...
Which is not a good thing.
(OK, leave it to me to state the obvious :D )

Mad Tony
31-03-08, 15:29
Hey, you guys in the US aren't alone. Things aren't going too well over here in the UK either. It costs around £1.07 a liter, although that's mainly due to all of Alistar Darling's lame "green taxes". Pfft, riiiiiggght. Corrupt *******s.

I do reckon the world as a whole is just going through a rough patch at the moment. I think we'll recover eventually.

Apofiss
31-03-08, 15:34
Seriously, it takes around 40 USD...

I need about 100+ USD to fill a little car here in EU, not even talking about UK <_<

I don't think it's possible for US to preserve their artificial economy. Some experts say that a hard landing is inevitable.

JamesFKirk
31-03-08, 15:40
I need about 100+ USD to fill a little car here in EU, not even talking about UK <_<

I don't think it's possible for US to preserve their artificial economy. Some experts say that a hard landing is inevitable.

Well, US economy is not that bad that it couldn't hold itself together, and it's more adjusted to it's regional economical region than to the transatlantic market situation. Which is not good, however, it's not bad either, since intermixing of markets between US and EU is not likely in the forseeable future.
I'm more concerned about China's hard landing...

rowanlim
31-03-08, 15:41
I guess it's just a sucky situation all around...More pressing is the effect of this on poorer nations, especially Third World countries...Decline in fossil fuel - increase in fuel prices - everything runs on fuel - increased cost of living - wider gap between the rich & the poor - poverty, social problems etc.

How sad :(

Draco
31-03-08, 16:07
America's Economic Troubles are over 50 years old.

Toonamy
31-03-08, 16:09
You complain that richer people get richer and poorer people get poorer.
But thats just the capitalistic way, isnt it?

Im happy our country is so socialistic.

SamReeves
31-03-08, 16:11
Energy problem can be solved:

Build more refineries

Drill for more oil.

However the wack jobs have brainwashed the EPA and Department of Interior to dangerous levels. So we sit in the doo-loop of buying from Hugo Chavez or the Middle East. Until the doo-loop is broken, expect to pay rediculous prices. The Democrats deserve a lot of the blame here since their core backers are the envoirmental wakcos.

tampi
31-03-08, 17:01
I pay 65Ä to fill up my tank :confused:

Inflation --> 4'6 :pi:


btw my country is socialistic now too :rolleyes::pi::pi:







:cln::(

LaraLuvrrr
31-03-08, 17:40
Everything is so goddamn expensive, and with gas prices at an ungodly price, I refuse to drive in CA or the US. Now Iím staying in NY getting around with my metrocard as itís saving me money.

Seriously, it takes around 40 USD to fill up my tank now. My online friend in California says theyíre paying nearly 50 USD. All this recession chaos that the rich arenít personally concerned about has taken its toll on me and millions of others. For those who donít have to worry about paying for everything you need, be grateful. On CNN a news anchor was considering buying a second home because their so cheap now. :rolleyes: With the debt America is in the economy will keeping plunging and the whole world will suffer if it crashes. So Iím just saying if you need money try taking public transport if itís available to you where you live. Right now Iím saving up so I donít have to worry about all this so much.

Btw, Bush needs to take a hike.


The problem is that we have so much corruption. The banks and the credit card companies are raises interest rates like crazy on people. Bush's administration has their head IN A HOLE I dont think Bush ever even took an economics class. And when the U.S. economy goes to **** people around the world kind of get dismayed. The Euro can come over to the U.S. like if everything were a flea market. And who do we have to thank? The Bush administration for making money like if its toilet paper and the pathetic banks and credit card companies. And also the people who bought homes they couldnt afford and charged **** loads of stuff with invisible money all that invisible money is what is putting us in a bind and giving Godly power to the banks.

Encore
31-03-08, 17:55
tampi the word socialist might be interpreted in a very diferent way by american readers! they might think you live in cuba :vlol: But you shouldn't complaint much about your country, really, we here on the other side of your border are constantly buying products and putting gas over there 'cause it's SO much cheaper, plus in average spanish people earn a lot more than we! I tell you, to many portuguese, life in Spain seems like a dream :D


The economy has been in **** for many years now over here, in fact, I'm starting to think there's no real economic crisis, since the word crisis implies it's a unique phenomenon in time, and I think it's PERMANENT!
They must like it this way because as long as they keep yelling "CRISIS!!! nothing we can do about it!!!" it's easier for us to accept the precarious situation we live in. :rolleyes:
It's a real herculean task to find a job here, unless you're prepared to deal with temporary jobs that might fire you after one or 2 years... Everyone around my age dreams of leaving for other european countries.. me included.
But the truth is, work force is becoming disposable everywhere, we have no real rights anymore; companies can do as they please, most people can't even complaint since they're so busy trying to survive. It's depressing. :( Oil prices send cost of living soaring but wages stagnate.

I'm pretty sure there must be a rupture point somehow, though. This state of things can't last for long.


Energy problem can be solved:

Build more refineries

Drill for more oil.

However the wack jobs have brainwashed the EPA and Department of Interior to dangerous levels. So we sit in the doo-loop of buying from Hugo Chavez or the Middle East. Until the doo-loop is broken, expect to pay rediculous prices. The Democrats deserve a lot of the blame here since their core backers are the envoirmental wakcos.

:vlol:!!!!!!!
Are you serious?

The whole world's going to **** and Sam blames it on environmentalists.

Mad Tony
31-03-08, 18:06
tampi the word socialist might be interpreted in a very diferent way by american readers! they might think you live in cuba :vlol: You see, I knew you'd have some sort of jab at Americans in your post, but I didn't think it'd be so obvious. :o

Please tell me why an American would think Tampi lives in Cuba?

SamReeves
31-03-08, 18:53
:vlol:!!!!!!!
Are you serious?

The whole world's going to **** and Sam blames it on environmentalists.

Dead serious. If the economy is not helped by lower energy prices, it will go into the tank prontoÖpardon the pun. Using alternative methods that are not ready for the masses won't help right now. The U.S. should use what's already on the books, coal, oil, hyrdo, and nuclearÖall of which can be safe and have low emissions technology. Undoubtedly the enviromental wackos will blindly nix every one of them.

Encore
31-03-08, 19:10
You see, I knew you'd have some sort of jab at Americans in your post, but I didn't think it'd be so obvious. :o

Please tell me why an American would think Tampi lives in Cuba?

Sigh. You are SO touchy with my posts.

I didn't mean it as an INSULT.

I mean quite literally, that in specialized literature, american authors, journalists, politicians, etc., interpret the word socialism in a diferent way (more related to communism than we here). Politics in US and Europe are very diferent, and designations of parties and stuff like that, is one example of how (we both have diferent meaning for words such as liberal, socialist, republican, etc).
Because my course is related to politics we are warned from early on, by our teachers, about this diference so as to make it easier for us to read american literature without interpreting it the wrong way.

There. No insults.

Perhaps when I write my posts I overestimate my readers since I assume people understand what I mean, when most of the time they just misinterpret me and accuse me on the basis of that misinterpretation. I will be more careful from now on. :rolleyes:

Drone
31-03-08, 19:12
Not only economy but everything (ecology, politics etc). And it's all connected to each other

myrmaad
31-03-08, 19:13
The oil in Alaska is worth less than the investment to pump it out.

However there's a fat load of oil under Pennsylvania, and those old rigs are pumping again and providing our nation with oil as we speak.

Mad Tony
31-03-08, 19:26
Sigh. You are SO touchy with my posts.

I didn't mean it as an INSULT.

I mean quite literally, that in specialized literature, american authors, journalists, politicians, etc., interpret the word socialism in a diferent way (more related to communism than we here). Politics in US and Europe are very diferent, and designations of parties and stuff like that, is one example of how (we both have diferent meaning for words such as liberal, socialist, republican, etc).
Because my course is related to politics we are warned from early on, by our teachers, about this diference so as to make it easier for us to read american literature without interpreting it the wrong way.

There. No insults.

Perhaps when I write my posts I overestimate my readers since I assume people understand what I mean, when most of the time they just misinterpret me and accuse me on the basis of that misinterpretation. I will be more careful from now on. :rolleyes:I highly doubt you didn't mean it as an insult, why would you use the laughing smiley if it was not intended to be an insult?

Also, you've made your dislike for America quite apparent, so it certainly seemed like you were taking a jab at it yet again.

SamReeves
31-03-08, 19:31
The oil in Alaska is worth less than the investment to pump it out.

However there's a fat load of oil under Pennsylvania, and those old rigs are pumping again and providing our nation with oil as we speak.

Yup, and there is potential off the California coast. But watch out for the coastal commission! :eek:

Encore
31-03-08, 19:32
I highly doubt you didn't mean it as an insult, why would you use the laughing smiley if it was not intended to be an insult?

Also, you've made your dislike for America quite apparent, so it certainly seemed like you were taking a jab at it yet again.

Did you even bother to read what I just wrote???

And where did I make my dislike for America aparent? Care to point some posts? I am not an anti-american. I am fond of certain things in the US and I'd love to visit it someday. I am against wrong actions made by any state whatsoever, if the US have some policy I disagree with I am not afraid to say it. But I never said things like "US sucks" or "americans are dumb", like some of my friends and college buddies say.

It's obvious you have a standing grudge against me, but you bet I won't waste my time explaining myself to some arrogant 14 year old kid everytime I write something about the US. I respect YOUR posts so you might as well do the same to mine.

myrmaad
31-03-08, 19:39
Tony, may I suggest you leave the interpretation of insults or not to the Americans ourselves. I saw nothing wrong with Encore's post. Another American may have a different opinion, but I think you should tend to Britain.

SamReeves
31-03-08, 19:41
I also didn't find Encore's posts inflammatory. We definitely disagree on the issue, but I didn't find myself in a ball of flames. :confused:

Now there were a couple of other posters in this thread who were decidedly shaded against the United States, but I'll allow folks to see it for themselves. ;)

TRLegendLuver
31-03-08, 19:51
This has been coming for some time now. And it seems that our economy is going to hell in a handbag. What are we to do? Stinkin enviromentalists will not let us go for our own oil in Alaska, (it wouldn't really damage the environment, and I am a big enviromentalist) and instead we ask the Saudies and the Middle Eastern countries like Kuwait for oil when they are charging $105 a barrel when we can get cheap oil (also in Louisiana) in our own country. And the $105 doesn't include the cost for import for the gas. That's like buying the cow and then having to pay for your own milk ! It's ridiculous. I live in a area where there are no buses, no taxi(s), no area except for to just freakin drive. And nothing is close where I live. So its a lose lose situation.

Paperdoll
31-03-08, 19:51
Tony, may I suggest you leave the interpretation of insults or not to the Americans ourselves. I saw nothing wrong with Encore's post. Another American may have a different opinion, but I think you should tend to Britain.

Hear hear. Ben you're not American. Quit it.

As far as the whole thing goes... I'm definitely with Encore on this one.

I have to say I'm pretty much a dumbass when it comes to politics but it doesn't take much to see where we are and where we're headed. And it is indeed depressing. With our minimum wage being 426Ä (I think) and everything being ridiculously expensive... **** how can I even think of leaving my parents house if any house I decide to rent or something will cost me, per month, at least half of the minimum wage? (if I'm lucky).

This is making me depressed X_X

2kool4u
31-03-08, 20:14
http://weightweenies.starbike.com/images/lightbike/bike.jpg

:vlol: XDD shut it!! XD :vlol: im not riding a bike when its this cold and :jmp::jmp:yay i got my permit soo now time to get my license but andariel public transportation used to be my way of getting around that is until my school gave me a bus only pass :(

Mad Tony
31-03-08, 20:18
Ben you're not American.Yeah, I know =/

On the subject of oil, I heard that there were vast oil reserves in the arctic. Is this true?

myrmaad
31-03-08, 20:22
It's a sticky wicket:

http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/27/news/economy/arctic_drilling/index.htm

Mad Tony
31-03-08, 20:30
It's a sticky wicket:

http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/27/news/economy/arctic_drilling/index.htmInteresting read. I wonder if we'll ever get our oil from there in the future.

Geck-o-Lizard
31-03-08, 20:32
You've obviously never experienced the drivers in York!

So many times I've nearly been run over by these monstrosities - and occasionally even when I'm on the pavement!

Lol, no I've never been to York let alone cycled on the roads there, but I can't imagine it's immensely different from morning rush hour in Glasgow. :p

Cochrane - those buses look insane. How do they get round corners? :eek:

2kool4u
31-03-08, 21:03
Whenever you go to the city PM me :P but i started driving around the city wow is all i can say XDD :vlol:

rowanlim
01-04-08, 01:19
Energy problem can be solved:

Build more refineries

Drill for more oil.


Energy problem is one that CURRENTLY has NO SOLUTION.

1. Fossil fuel deposits are running out.
2. Utilizing renewable energy sources like solar power & nuclear power are still in infancy stage. Solar power is not cost-effective. Silicon crystals, which are used in photo-voltaic cells, are in DWINDLING supply. Nuclear power releases alot of heat which is transferred to huge bodies of water like lakes/rivers & the increase in temperature jeapordizes the environment.

The best step we can all take, is to control consumption. At least we can try to reduce eating up the Earth's resources, hence balancing the economy ;)

Twilight
01-04-08, 01:26
yea, i wish they'd stop using oil and coal. we could be using energy efficient and environment safe resources.

fat chance, not with all this greed.

anyway, a metro card is much cheaper. subway travel is much faster than cars during rush hour.

Capt. Murphy
01-04-08, 01:46
If "They" make it so that we have to be dependent on limited resources - they can charge "us" whatever they want... Or they can just tell us whatever they want - we'll believe and accept it. So, if the Oil resoures are getting low (I mean, are they really?) then obviously we have to pay more for it.

Drilling for more oil and making more refineries may be a solution - and I agree with that idea. But in the long run it's only a temporary solution. More and more people should take advantage of free energy. Things like Wind, Solar, and geothermal.

As for the economy: unfortunately the world runs on gas (oil). When the things you buy cost more to be transported - that raises the prices of said products (and sometimes services). If the fair tax was implemented that would take a huge burden off of businesses and consumers.

FYI: Bush doesn't control Oil prices. I don't know why anyone would think such a thing. That's rediculous. I say: Prove it!

Mr.Burns
01-04-08, 02:12
Everything is so goddamn expensive, and with gas prices at an ungodly price, I refuse to drive in CA or the US. Now Iím staying in NY getting around with my metrocard as itís saving me money.

Seriously, it takes around 40 USD to fill up my tank now. My online friend in California says theyíre paying nearly 50 USD. All this recession chaos that the rich arenít personally concerned about has taken its toll on me and millions of others. For those who donít have to worry about paying for everything you need, be grateful. On CNN a news anchor was considering buying a second home because their so cheap now. :rolleyes: With the debt America is in the economy will keeping plunging and the whole world will suffer if it crashes. So Iím just saying if you need money try taking public transport if itís available to you where you live. Right now Iím saving up so I donít have to worry about all this so much.

Btw, Bush needs to take a hike.

That's cheap. I wouldn't start complaining until it reachs $10USD a gallon. That should happen in about...oh...7 years, if not sooner.


The cost of fuel. Which in turn increases the price of anything that has to be shipped using that fuel. The cost of fuel has gone up because of:
-various violence erupting in oil-producing areas
-no new refineries have built since for...the past 20yrs or so I believe?
-increased demand due to countries like China and India industrializing.

We've also passed the peak in global oil production for light crude oil.



I do reckon the world as a whole is just going through a rough patch at the moment. I think we'll recover eventually.

I doubt it.

I need about 100+ USD to fill a little car here in EU, not even talking about UK <_<

I don't think it's possible for US to preserve their artificial economy. Some experts say that a hard landing is inevitable.

Some have mentioned the word "depression". I wouldn't be surprised.

Energy problem can be solved:

Build more refineries

Drill for more oil.

However the wack jobs have brainwashed the EPA and Department of Interior to dangerous levels. So we sit in the doo-loop of buying from Hugo Chavez or the Middle East. Until the doo-loop is broken, expect to pay rediculous prices. The Democrats deserve a lot of the blame here since their core backers are the envoirmental wakcos.

Not that much out there that's easy to get now Sam. Canada has massive reserves of oil shale but was, until recently, left untouched due to the energy costs to produce it. Cheap oil is gone and with it any cheap life style.

Energy problem is one that CURRENTLY has NO SOLUTION.

1. Fossil fuel deposits are running out.
2. Utilizing renewable energy sources like solar power & nuclear power are still in infancy stage. Solar power is not cost-effective. Silicon crystals, which are used in photo-voltaic cells, are in DWINDLING supply. Nuclear power releases alot of heat which is transferred to huge bodies of water like lakes/rivers & the increase in temperature jeapordizes the environment.

The best step we can all take, is to control consumption. At least we can try to reduce eating up the Earth's resources, hence balancing the economy ;)

I would like to think this is possible but I doubt it. This could end up being a "Too little, too late" situation.

One point that I'm not sure everyone is aware of is this: Oil has many uses, among them: Plastics, gasoline (petrol), jet fuel, pesticides, preservatives and medical drugs to name a few.

marukisu
01-04-08, 03:43
...

Eddie Haskell
01-04-08, 04:02
Energy problem can be solved:

Build more refineries

Drill for more oil.

However the wack jobs have brainwashed the EPA and Department of Interior to dangerous levels. So we sit in the doo-loop of buying from Hugo Chavez or the Middle East. Until the doo-loop is broken, expect to pay rediculous prices. The Democrats deserve a lot of the blame here since their core backers are the envoirmental wakcos.

I see no problems here, unless the morons continue to throw their money away when they buy gas guzzlers. I get upwards of 50MPG with my Prius. If the people wake up than we would have more than enough gas, and the prices would plummet when the demand goes down and surpluses developed. It is a win/win/win/win situation; better mileage, less pollution, less drilling, and a lower gasoline price.

People have to start thinking rationally, a car is simply a way to get from point A to point B, not a fashion statement.

Cochrane
01-04-08, 04:38
Lol, no I've never been to York let alone cycled on the roads there, but I can't imagine it's immensely different from morning rush hour in Glasgow. :p

Cochrane - those buses look insane. How do they get round corners? :eek:

Better than you'd think, actually, but they're only used on large main streets anyway. So far, there are eight of them here, most other buses are normal 18 meter bendy buses, and they look like a tram when driving.

rowanlim
01-04-08, 04:45
I would like to think this is possible but I doubt it. This could end up being a "Too little, too late" situation.

One point that I'm not sure everyone is aware of is this: Oil has many uses, among them: Plastics, gasoline (petrol), jet fuel, pesticides, preservatives and medical drugs to name a few.


That's proving that fossil fuel are rapidly decreasing in supply not only because of the energy generation but also because of the other usages of oil...Like I said, it's a tough situation. We've got to control what we consume & at the same time, work to find a clean & sustainable energy source :(

CerebralAssassin
01-04-08, 14:47
Everything is so goddamn expensive, and with gas prices at an ungodly price, I refuse to drive in CA or the US. Now I’m staying in NY getting around with my metrocard as it’s saving me money.

Seriously, it takes around 40 USD to fill up my tank now. My online friend in California says they’re paying nearly 50 USD. All this recession chaos that the rich aren’t personally concerned about has taken its toll on me and millions of others. For those who don’t have to worry about paying for everything you need, be grateful. On CNN a news anchor was considering buying a second home because their so cheap now. :rolleyes: With the debt America is in the economy will keeping plunging and the whole world will suffer if it crashes. So I’m just saying if you need money try taking public transport if it’s available to you where you live. Right now I’m saving up so I don’t have to worry about all this so much.

Btw, Bush needs to take a hike.

it's not always the fault of the government,or the oil companies.some people just choose to shoot themselves in the foot.If I lived far away from where I worked,then it's inevitable that I'm gonna pay an arm and a leg for gas money.Is it so hard to arrange for living close to your workplace?just think how much oil will be conserved and how much the prices will drop if most people adhered to this simple principle (I understand for some people this is impossible).

oil is not renewable source of energy...if we don't do something soon then we're screwed.

Ikas90
01-04-08, 14:56
Seriously, it takes around 40 USD to fill up my tank now.

That's nothing.

In Australia, it costs about $54 USD to fill a tank
In Europe, it costs about $80 USD to fill a tank

Americans have it the cheapest.

Larapink
01-04-08, 14:58
The economy maybe suffering, but what are you going to do about it?

Lenochka
01-04-08, 15:29
I don't get why you still think its heading there :p IMO, The Economy has been in hell for a while now.

Tombreaper
01-04-08, 16:22
The economy maybe suffering, but what are you going to do about it?


Take 4 steps back for the US, others the Dollar will fall (it's already falling), and the World Economy will fall too.

SamReeves
01-04-08, 16:56
I see no problems here, unless the morons continue to throw their money away when they buy gas guzzlers. I get upwards of 50MPG with my Prius. If the people wake up than we would have more than enough gas, and the prices would plummet when the demand goes down and surpluses developed. It is a win/win/win/win situation; better mileage, less pollution, less drilling, and a lower gasoline price.

People have to start thinking rationally, a car is simply a way to get from point A to point B, not a fashion statement.

I think there is disconnect on how Americans live and Europeans live. Europe is much more compact compared to the United States. Therefore there's a lot more transit, trains, etc. You can drive short distances in electric cars, and have the infrastructure to support it. In the United States there are a lot of lonely places where an automobile is your only option. Personally I like going to these wide open spaces, and it usually requires a 4-wheel drive. I'm not apologetic for having an SUV. I enjoy it a lot. I won't stand for chicken little when it comes to energy policy. The potential is there. I feel it's just that enviromentalists have way too much of a grip on United States policy. Therefore we languish the current energy market of less for more.

myrmaad
01-04-08, 17:03
I don't mind an SUV in the hands of someone like you who actually uses it. What I mind is the soccer moms who traded up from their stationwagons and minivans to be cool, buying into the greatest marketing ploy of the 20th Century? Why? Because SUV's qualified for the :Farm Vehicle Loophole:

And if you don't want to blame Bush, I suggest you think back to September 12th 2001, when we were told that WTC was bombed because they wanted to "attack our way of life", and to buy a new car!!

What a LOAD, it was never and has never been about attacking our way of life. It has always been about our FOREIGN POLICY.

Finally, in european countries where the prices are higher, that money is returned to the people in the form of healthcare and services. We don't get that in return.

SamReeves
01-04-08, 17:18
Finally, in european countries where the prices are higher, that money is returned to the people in the form of healthcare and services. We don't get that in return.

Indeed they are higher. Taxes for everything! :(

myrmaad
01-04-08, 17:26
We have high taxes, too, but what do we get? We get to give big giftwrapped billions to big ripoff corporations (Bear-Stearns) and what do we get in return?

NADA.

Mad Tony
01-04-08, 17:27
Finally, in european countries where the prices are higher, that money is returned to the people in the form of healthcare and services. We don't get that in return.That's not a good thing at the moment, in the UK at least.

There are a lot of bad hospitals here and we have something called a post-code lottery. Basically that means that the quality of healthcare you get rests entirely on where you live. That means some people are getting good healthcare, while somebody else 50 miles away could be getting terrible healthcare.

Also, we seem to be having a hospital bug crisis, and the government don't seem to want to do anything about it. Oh, and finally, there are a fair few nurses and doctors here who can hardly speak good English. Some people even die because of the hospitals, some are just so poor. My grandma died because of the incompetence of the nurses and lack of care she received while she was in hospital.

Eddie Haskell
01-04-08, 17:28
Indeed they are higher. Taxes for everything! :(

...and yet they still live there! And most like it and prefer it over our cave man like system. Perhaps one day we as a nation will get enlightened and join the rest of the civilized world. The Bushies and the neocons still live (and want to live) in Dickens era.

Draco
01-04-08, 17:28
I'd rather decide where my money is spent. The government doesn't know what is best.

Mad Tony
01-04-08, 17:29
...and yet they still live there! And most like it and prefer it over our cave man like system. Perhaps one day we as a nation will get enlightened and join the rest of the civilized world. The Bushies and the neocons still live (and want to live) in Dickens era.I'd move to Australia or America if I could. Their way of life is a lot better IMO.
Well, actually, once I turn sixteen I can move to Australia with ease (my dad lives out there and is an Australian citizenship, and with perseverance and a lot of hard work I could move to America too :)

Apofiss
01-04-08, 17:36
There is something ugly going on under this "unlimited" limit.

As of March 2008, the total U.S. federal debt was approximately $9.4 trillion.US Senate wants to make a limit of $1 zillion.

Reuters

myrmaad
01-04-08, 17:48
Attribution for the "1 zillion" please.

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Faced with a potential government shutdown, the Senate votes to raise the nation's debt limit for the fourth time in five years. The bill passed by a 52-48 vote, increasing the ceiling to $9 trillion. The bill now goes to the president. (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5282521)


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-budget5feb05,0,4188925.story

http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/02/20/debt.limit.ap/

Laurencarter
01-04-08, 17:58
The petrol price is high every where. But here we don't have public transport. So you are forced to have a car and all we can do is pay it. Complaining about it won't make the petrol price come down though. So I just listen to others complaining about it.

Cochrane
01-04-08, 19:57
I think there is disconnect on how Americans live and Europeans live. Europe is much more compact compared to the United States. Therefore there's a lot more transit, trains, etc. You can drive short distances in electric cars, and have the infrastructure to support it. In the United States there are a lot of lonely places where an automobile is your only option. Personally I like going to these wide open spaces, and it usually requires a 4-wheel drive. I'm not apologetic for having an SUV. I enjoy it a lot. I won't stand for chicken little when it comes to energy policy. The potential is there. I feel it's just that enviromentalists have way too much of a grip on United States policy. Therefore we languish the current energy market of less for more.

The argument that europe is more compact than the US is correct - to a certain degree. Many things could actually be copied.

As an example, take car sizes. My car (Alfa 146 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfa_Romeo_146)) is significantly smaller than most american cars. I can still put in anything I need, though. It doesn't have much HP (120), but it doesn't weigh much either, and it'll easily reach speeds that aren't legal on US highways anyway. Many US citizens could do with a car of this size easily, but instead they drive cars that weigh half a ton more, have six or eight cylinders, and use nearly two times as much gas. With more modern smaller cars, crash safety really isn't a significant issue anymore, so there's no good reason not to use such a small (for me actually normal sized, I'm talking about the US here) car except for "I don't want to". Which may be good enough for some, but then one has to be prepared to pay the price, literally.

Intercity trains are another great example. I'm not saying coast-to-coast, but there are many regions of the US with lots of cities close by. An example for this would be the entire North-East, large parts of California and others. Train service there sucks, at the moment (at least compared to european levels), but that's no law of physics. If someone spent the money to establish a useful system with high train speeds, stations in good condition and locations, few delays and at service at least every other hour, US railroads could take a huge chunk of traffic from interstates and planes on trips that are less than, say, 400-500 miles. It's not a solution for everywhere (I certainly wouldn't recommend building a high-speed railroad to serve Arkansas. Sorry to all you Arkansasians out there), but for large parts of the US population it could and would actually work.

Basically the same applies to commuter trains, trams, busses and so on: More lines, frequent and reliable service, and a lot of traffic can shift over.


The wide lonely places in the US don't really matter that much (sorry to all who live in such a lonely place), precisely because they are lonely. Statistically speaking, basically nobody lives there. What matters for both economy and environment are solutions for large parts of the population, and for some of them, european solutions can be adapted if one really tries.

Apofiss
01-04-08, 20:03
I remember once wathing tv show "Pimp my ride" ...they pimped his car with a diesel engine and that guy was like: "What? wtf is that?!?"

:D

croft94
01-04-08, 20:28
Because of the U.S economic recession, my family is thinking of moving to Canada, before they gey kicked out of their jobs.

Cochrane
01-04-08, 20:42
I'd rather decide where my money is spent. The government doesn't know what is best.

Who does? You? Maybe. But if there's something for the common good, then how are you going to get all others to spend their money as well?

As an example, take public transportation or building new roads (or both). The only institution that has the power to take all the money needed and spend it is the government, as much as this may hurt. If you hope for individual contributions, then chances are high that many things won't happen.

andromeda_eats
01-04-08, 20:58
A lot of people think America "is getting what they deserve" in regards to their economy. I dont believe in revenge, but I think that a lesson learned hard is a damn good lesson.

myrmaad
01-04-08, 21:10
More than half of the voters voted for Gore :wve:

andromeda_eats
01-04-08, 21:13
Gore should be president of the world.

Mad Tony
01-04-08, 21:15
Gore should be president of the world.Are you being sarcastic or serious? :confused:

Quasimodo
01-04-08, 21:22
The wide lonely places in the US don't really matter that much (sorry to all who live in such a lonely place), precisely because they are lonely. Statistically speaking, basically nobody lives there. What matters for both economy and environment are solutions for large parts of the population, and for some of them, european solutions can be adapted if one really tries.

Those wide lonely spaces are also often places for agriculture, or places which must be transversed in order to ship goods from one populous area to another.

In America we have a commuter lifestyle - it isn't unusual to drive 20 miles or longer away from your home to get to work or college every day.
--------------------------------------------

The free market economy is what makes the U.S. great, as Sean Hannity and others would say, at least. Do regulations on businesses and banks help or hurt the economy? Would it have prevented something like the mortgage crisis from happening?

Similarly, wouldn't imposing more taxes on the rich cause them to employ less people - which would in turn hurt the middle class?
---------------------------------------------

Let's say it's true that environmentalists have politicians and others wrapped around their little finger. Are they playing on our guilt to sell us things like ethanol(which turns out to not be so efficient after all), windmills, solar panels, and other 'green' things?
---------------------------------------------

Aside from the troubles caused by the mortgage crisis, why are some European economies faring better than the United States' economy?




*On a side note, I think it's pretty rich that Al Gore should be telling us to substantially lower our standard of living while he kicks back in a rambling mansion that consumes several times more energy than the average American household.

myrmaad
01-04-08, 21:29
You're wrong almost every time.

Al Gore's house was refitted years ago, that's a snopes right there.

The problems we have are due to a free market gone crazy, the same Laissez-faire attitude was popular in the late 1800s and gave rise to the Gilded Age in our history, characterized by the famous "Robber Barons", a time that resulted in depressions, child labor, and no workers' rights. I could go on.


I would suggest reading all kinds of hard news, the Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Mother Jones, The Republic, C-Span;

Read all sides from real journalists.

and stop listening to talk radio. Those aren't journalists, they are ****-stirrers with an agenda and they spew nothing more than propaganda. No one who matters thinks they're credible.

andromeda_eats
01-04-08, 21:32
Are you being sarcastic or serious? :confused:

Hi Im Andromeda, nice to meet you, I have a tendency to be a little silly sometimes.

Mad Tony
01-04-08, 21:33
*On a side note, I think it's pretty rich that Al Gore should be telling us to substantially lower our standard of living while he kicks back in a rambling mansion that consumes several times more energy than the average American household.Yeah, I was about to bring that up. Doesn't he drive round in a huge SUV? Pretty hypocritical if you ask me.

myrmaad
01-04-08, 21:38
And I already said that story has been debunked Ben/MadTony.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/gorehome.asp



PS - I like how you just ignore facts you don't like.

Melonie Tomb Raider
01-04-08, 21:41
Any economist will tell you that it takes far more than 8 years for the economy to change drastically. Blaming Bush is an outlet. Pointing fingers is just the easiest thing to do, but there is no warrant for it.

Gas prices are expensive, yes. I'll be the first to say it absolutely sucks; however, no particular person is to blame for this. It boils down to supply and demand, and when supply surpasses demand, the price increases to keep a better balance. If the price is increased, less people will buy, but profits will be the same, and the demanded item will go out to a lot more people. It's not like gas stations randomly decided, "Hey, let's jack up our prices!" They had to. Otherwise, places like Wal-Mart would be selling it for cheap. But they're not, are they?

It's easy to look at things from the surface and say they are way too expensive, but when you look at the grand scheme of things, profit needs to be made, and prices are adjusted accordingly, for the most part. It's not gouging, or it wouldn't be in effect.

Moreover, government debt actually helps our economy. Our economy is balanced in a circulation. Part goes to debt, while the rest is distributed in various ways that I cannot list. Without the government debt, the circulation wouldn't flow properly, and our economy would suffer even greater. Not to say that our government should be in too much debt, because if we're in too much debt, that breaks the flow as well. It has to maintain a healthy balance, and right now, it doesn't seem to be in turmoil.

Gas is expensive, yes, but other than that, there really is nothing to complain about. Instead of looking things from your perspective alone, it's important to look at the big picture, and other people involved. These gas stations need profit, bottom line. If the prices were lowered, everyone would suck up all the gas, many gas stations would go out of business, and we'd be stuck with one big, major gas station that creates a monopoly by making their prices far more than they are now, because they are the only ones with the supply, and they can get away with it. We're pretty much in a perfectly competitive market right now. Gas stations simply cannot raise prices without warrant, because others would sell for less to attract more customers. The prices are higher than usual, but our demand is decreasing as well. It has to be this way.

It's economics, and it's life. There is no single person behind it, it flows the way it does because of various factors, and is being effected through much more time than most understand.

Gas prices upset me just as much as the next person, but I don't blame anyone for it. It's life, and I deal with it. It's not the end of the world.

myrmaad
01-04-08, 21:45
You're right Mel, I neglected to mention that most of this started with Reagan, and 7 years of Bush rolled the snowball down the hill. I'm sorry but I believe Bush is the worst president ever in US history and on top of that the election was stolen. I'll never ever stop being angry over that, but there's nothing I can do now but fight every day of my life to undo the damage I feel he has done, and which I predicted he would do before he ever stepped foot into the white house.

Eddie Haskell
01-04-08, 21:46
And I already said that story has been debunked Ben/MadTony.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/gorehome.asp

Never let the facts get in the way of an argument.

Will these Limbaugh and Hannity listeners ever wake up and realize that they are being used as tools by the corporate interests? Without the suckers (listeners) who eat up this nonsense they (the corporate enablers and their benefactors) would be rendered powerless. But still, the poor family living in a tin shack in Georgia who are penniless and have no job opportunities because the factory moved to China still vote against their interests because "Rush don't like that Hillary or Obama"...:(

oocladableeblah
01-04-08, 21:50
I heard on tv don't know which channel, but I heard that gas prices are so high not because we are going to run out of oil soon, but because of future estimates of what will happen when oil does run out.

Cochrane
01-04-08, 21:52
Those wide lonely spaces are also often places for agriculture, or places which must be transversed in order to ship goods from one populous area to another.
Indeed. I was talking about passenger transportation mainly.

In America we have a commuter lifestyle - it isn't unusual to drive 20 miles or longer away from your home to get to work or college every day.
With the current gas prices, it's time to rethink that lifestyle. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Europe (at least Germany) had also started on a similar route, but now the trend is going down again due to gas prices. Public transportation can solve the problem to some degree, but not fully.

Aside from the troubles caused by the mortgage crisis, why are some European economies faring better than the United States' economy?
The mortgage crisis is only part of the US's problem. It's basically what made it all come out. The US economy has long been down. Many of the traditional heavy industries, such as the car manufacturers, have basically continued to loose against competition from overseas (Europe and Japan, mainly) for many years now. The US economy has been built on mainly importing things from elsewhere and worrying about the payment for longer than the mortgage bubble already.

I wouldn't actually put blame for that on anyone. I'd have no idea how to prevent it, it just happened. What is important now is learning from that. As Melonie Tomb Raider said, it's certainly rubbish to blame all this on any single politician, including Bush. But it is a problem, and I hope you solve it soon.

Edited to add:
I heard on tv don't know which channel, but I heard that gas prices are so high not because we are going to run out of oil soon, but because of future estimates of what will happen when oil does run out.
All prices of resources are astronomic at the moment. You should see what non-ferrous metals (my favorite subject when it comes to economy) have done since 2003, it's insane. The oil price is motivated by some of the same and some very different factors, of course. What it all means in the end is that trying to make sense of any such market prices is only possible to a certain degree.

Quasimodo
01-04-08, 21:53
Hmmm, so it's OK to stereotype anyone who listens to Hannity, but don't dare try to stereotype an Obama supporter, etc.? Just because I listen to Hannity sometimes doesn't mean I believe or agree with everything he says. I mean, it's not like he's my minister or anything.

Ok, I stand corrected about the Gore stuff. Or do I (http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp)? Though not all environmentalist leaders practice what they preach (same goes for some traditionally conservative special interest groups, I'd imagine).

SamReeves
01-04-08, 22:48
Gore should be president of the world.

Uhm, no. Might I remind the forum it was Al Gore who was ready to litigate and stop the due process of the 2000 election? Nothing was stolen. They counted the chads three times, and I believe Bush came out on top each time.


*On a side note, I think it's pretty rich that Al Gore should be telling us to substantially lower our standard of living while he kicks back in a rambling mansion that consumes several times more energy than the average American household.

You are darn right Heather. Gore truly lives in a glass house.

In any case $30 for 8 gallons today. Am I happy about it? No. But I'll do my part of make demand go down, hence making the price go down.

myrmaad
01-04-08, 22:55
Speaking of. That's why I'm ticked off at Hillary. I want to punch her. Let it go already.

Quasimodo
01-04-08, 23:01
Speaking of. That's why I'm ticked off at Hillary. I want to punch her. Let it go already.

? What'd she do/say, exactly?

myrmaad
01-04-08, 23:33
OMG how much time do you have?
A few weeks ago she got really nasty by mimicing Barack as if he were preaching, which I thought was pretty uncalled for and low.

I was always on the fence to begin with, and that just turned me against her. Since then it's been one thing after the other, until I've gotten to the position where I basically agree with Jennifer (Ward Dragon), I think she'll stoop to any level to get the nom. And I think she should pack it up and go home.

SamReeves
01-04-08, 23:37
OMG how much time do you have?
A few weeks ago she got really nasty by mimicing Barack as if he were preaching, which I thought was pretty uncalled for and low.

I was always on the fence to begin with, and that just turned me against her. Since then it's been one thing after the other, until I've gotten to the position where I basically agree with Jennifer (Ward Dragon), I think she'll stoop to any level to get the nom. And I think she should pack it up and go home.

It begins with Bill. He wants a third term, and more interns. :whi:

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 00:01
I was always on the fence to begin with, and that just turned me against her. Since then it's been one thing after the other, until I've gotten to the position where I basically agree with Jennifer (Ward Dragon), I think she'll stoop to any level to get the nom. And I think she should pack it up and go home.

I'm glad you see through her now :) I hope you weren't disappointed too badly, though. It really sucks when someone you like turns out to be totally different from how you thought they were :(

Edit: As for the economy, I'm really ****ed off at FAFSA, the IRS, and the government in general right now :hea: My brother is going to college next year. He worked so hard his entire high school career, doing very well academically and managing to save up some money in a Roth IRA. Now the college he wants to go to says he's too "rich" for financial aid so they expect him to take his few thousand dollars out of the IRA, incurring ridiculous penalties in the process, until he's got nothing left. The financial aid advisor told him point blank that if he had spent all of that money instead of trying to save it, the college would have given him everything for free. So basically he's being punished for trying to be responsible and take care of himself :hea: Why the hell should anyone work in this sort of environment? It's freaking ridiculous! My father's going over all of the goddamned rules for taking money out of his own IRA to try to help my brother and it's a minefield of booby traps. You take some money out one way and you get penalized for one thing, you try a different method and you pay penalties for something else. The rules are specifically written to screw people over and steal everything! :hea:

Quasimodo
02-04-08, 00:18
I'm glad you see through her now :) I hope you weren't disappointed too badly, though. It really sucks when someone you like turns out to be totally different from how you thought they were :(

Edit: As for the economy, I'm really ****ed off at FAFSA, the IRS, and the government in general right now :hea: My brother is going to college next year. He worked so hard his entire high school career, doing very well academically and managing to save up some money in a Roth IRA. Now the college he wants to go to says he's too "rich" for financial aid so they expect him to take his few thousand dollars out of the IRA, incurring ridiculous penalties in the process, until he's got nothing left. The financial aid advisor told him point blank that if he had spent all of that money instead of trying to save it, the college would have given him everything for free. So basically he's being punished for trying to be responsible and take care of himself :hea: Why the hell should anyone work in this sort of environment? It's freaking ridiculous! My father's going over all of the goddamned rules for taking money out of his own IRA to try to help my brother and it's a minefield of booby traps. You take some money out one way and you get penalized for one thing, you try a different method and you pay penalties for something else. The rules are specifically written to screw people over and steal everything! :hea:

The government sure does go to length not to help out those who help themselves. At least it sure seems that way.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 00:23
There is a silver lining, Fafsa tells us that we can afford to spend 25 grand a year on my education. So I'm just paying it myself, but incurring student loans. The thing is there are ways to deal with the student loans. Keep his money in the bank and encourage him to get the student loans, and be smart, apply for every scholarship out there (there are tons, and every little bit helps, the local rotary clubs, all kinds) and then think about taking a couple years to teach (three I think will forgive the bulk of his debt). Look into it, there are good options. Don't be afraid of the student loans, but be careful of the non-federal ones. He should be able to borrow against the Roth IRA.

Melonie Tomb Raider
02-04-08, 00:26
Hmmm, so it's OK to stereotype anyone who listens to Hannity, but don't dare try to stereotype an Obama supporter, etc.? Just because I listen to Hannity sometimes doesn't mean I believe or agree with everything he says. I mean, it's not like he's my minister or anything.


Niiiice. :tmb:

myrmaad
02-04-08, 00:37
Actually I could have said, and have said the same things as his minister said. If you really do not understand what that was about it will be my pleasure to give you a history lesson with pictures.

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 01:06
Actually I could have said, and have said the same things as his minister said. If you really do not understand what that was about it will be my pleasure to give you a history lesson with pictures.

Unless I'm mistaken, the minister said all white people should die and if God disagrees, then God needs to be killed :confused:

myrmaad
02-04-08, 01:10
I heard it several times, I didn't hear that.

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 01:20
I heard it several times, I didn't hear that.

I knew I heard it somewhere, so I looked it up. I don't know if Wright actually said it himself, but he apparently follows the teachings of a James Cohn, who said, "If God isn't with us to kill white people, we gotta kill God. We gotta kill white people at any means we got." One of the news stories I had on in the background said this. I'm looking for something online to link to.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 01:27
How convenient. I've been getting the transcript together. I stand by what I said. I could have made a very similar presentation.

So now Barack is condemned not by his associates, by the possible associates of his associates?? Ken Lay ring a bell anyone?

Quasimodo
02-04-08, 01:29
Niiiice. :tmb:

Thanks. I thought of it while washing the dishes earlier :p

@Myrmaad - yet another reason I'm glad I've decided to go into teaching! Call me pessimistic, but unless you're someone who is extraordinarily extraordinarily scholarly and honored, or you've got a great life story because you've overcome great odds, most scholarships seem out of reach. Where's the 'brighter than average but nothing terribly remarkable" scholarships? :p I guess it can't help to try...

Back on topic, though, Cochrane brought up the point that sooner or later we'll simply have to drastically change our lifestyle. While this may be true as far as our fossil-fuel activities go, I also wonder if it might be better to just reduce government spending to a bare-bones budget/only using the taxpayer budget to maintain infrastructure and defense. Build roads, keep schools running, defend the borders. No more of this pork barrel business. Lowering taxes can only help out so much, though.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 01:33
Wow thanks for the great votes of confidence for both my baby brothers and my niece, they must all be truly exceptional.

You do realize that more of the pork barrel spending ever was done under the republican Congress since 1999? In the public record, that. And that a progressive like me is awfully skeptical when a conservative starts talking about how we can't spend any money, any inkling of the TRUE VALID reason that might be? I'll give you a hint, it's been written as a republican strategy (a strategy to keep Republicans in office, nothing more, because you see that takes away the social programs incentive to vote progressive) by Karl Rove. well that was a big hint.

And that I saw on C-span just today a very conservative fellow you'd surely recognize talking about how we need to do better funding education because we are now importing our computer and technical workers from India.

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 01:35
How convenient. I've been getting the transcript together. I stand by what I said. I could have made a very similar presentation.

So now Barack is condemned not by his associates, by the possible associates of his associates?? Ken Lay ring a bell anyone?

Barack's minister of several decades, a person Barack has called his advisor, is on the record giving sermons full of racism and hatred. His minister claims to follow James Cohn, and James Cohn in turn says that Wright's church is the one in the country which most closely follows his teachings. His teachings include what I quoted earlier. I'm still looking for references. So far the best I've got is this:

Here's the thing. His comments are based in ideology, the profoundly distorted view is not something that is just a passing motion, that just happened. In his own talking points on his congregation website, he describes his view as -- quoting -- systemized black liberation theology. Now, the reverend that Barack has enabled for 20 years credits James Cohn of New York union's theological seminary with having undertaken this systemization. Here as Cohn's description of what this theology is. You got it? So we're one person removed from Reverend Wright. He says his theology is based on this, based on this guy and his work and here's what this guy says his work is all about. Quote: Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill all gods who do not belong to the black community. Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in black power which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/7498/

Quasimodo
02-04-08, 01:35
Wow thanks for the great votes of confidence for both my baby brothers and my niece, they must all be truly exceptional.

Eh? No, I didn't mean anything like that. I just meant that I am not/ haven't done anything that traditionally wins scholarships. Just ignore me I'm babbling.. .

About pork barrel spending, yes, I know it isn't exclusive to Democrats.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 01:50
Jennifer, maybe I should let you know that of the very few heroes I have, probably the top on the list is WEB DuBois. Do you know anything about him?

I agree with so much he espoused, do I agree with everything? No. If I had the opportunity to win his praise for following his teachings I would be very proud. Could I ever follow them to the letter, frankly not a chance.

I could find very little that wasn't an exact quote of what you gave, and of that quote I'm skeptical to put it mildly, but further, so much gets twisted as you well know, consider Bush and his whole presidency and the divergence of my views to yours for a moment to really get a deep appreciation for what I'm saying here; so much gets twisted in politics in an effort to smear and besmirch, that even something completely innocent can look quite deadly. I tend to give Bush more the benefit of the doubt than I suspect he actually deserves. And I think I'm better for it.

You guys have had your chance to screw everything up. My turn is coming, I doubt we'll do as badly.

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 02:07
Jennifer, maybe I should let you know that of the very few heroes I have, probably the top on the list is WEB DuBois. Do you know anything about him?

I agree with so much he espoused, do I agree with everything? No. If I had the opportunity to win his praise for following his teachings I would be very proud. Could I ever follow them to the letter, frankly not a chance.

I don't remember that much history, or at least I have a random and spotty recollection. I even went to the effort of getting a minor in history, but most of it just didn't stick permanently :( I know I learned about DuBois but I can't really remember who he was (or anyone else from that time frame, for that matter :whi:).

In any case, I have no heroes because I've found that I'm always disappointed with them in the end.

I could find very little that wasn't an exact quote of what you gave, and of that quote I'm skeptical to put it mildly, but further, so much gets twisted as you well know, consider Bush and his whole presidency and the divergence of my views to yours for a moment to really get a deep appreciation for what I'm saying here; so much gets twisted in politics in an effort to smear and besmirch, that even something completely innocent can look quite deadly. I tend to give Bush more the benefit of the doubt than I suspect he actually deserves. And I think I'm better for it.

I'd feel a lot better if Obama would unequivocally deny that he believes that. Instead, he calls his grandmother a "typical white" person for being racist :(

You guys have had your chance to screw everything up. My turn is coming, I doubt we'll do as badly.

If the country turns socialist, then why bother working for anything? Everyone will just rely on the state to pay for everything.

Quasimodo
02-04-08, 02:10
Jennifer, maybe I should let you know that of the very few heroes I have, probably the top on the list is WEB DuBois. Do you know anything about him?

I agree with so much he espoused, do I agree with everything? No. If I had the opportunity to win his praise for following his teachings I would be very proud. Could I ever follow them to the letter, frankly not a chance.

I could find very little that wasn't an exact quote of what you gave, and of that quote I'm skeptical to put it mildly, but further, so much gets twisted as you well know, consider Bush and his whole presidency and the divergence of my views to yours for a moment to really get a deep appreciation for what I'm saying here; so much gets twisted in politics in an effort to smear and besmirch, that even something completely innocent can look quite deadly. I
tend to give Bush more the benefit of the doubt than I suspect he actually deserves. And I think I'm better for it.

You guys have had your chance to screw everything up. My turn is coming, I doubt we'll do as badly.

I think see what you mean...are you saying that Wright used the statements he did for rhetorical effect? And now that Obama has been running for the nomination, the media have dug up that rhetoric and are displaying the sound bites as if he meant his words to be taken literally?

Even though I don't know Obama personally, I somehow doubt he believes what some have interpreted Wright's sermons to mean, or for that matter that a person with that mindset would be running for president in the first place. I can respect that he wants to stay by his minister because he has baptized his children and has been his spiritual leader and so on. In a way, Obama's reaction/speech speaks volumes about his personal solidarity - a weaker person might have bent under the pressure of the media and tried to sever all ties with Wright to make themselves look better.

I definitely don't like the idea of a minister saying "Gdamn America" in a sermon, rhetoric or no rhetoric. So I'm a little puzzled why Obama tolerated it for so many years (unless this Gdamning thing is something new for Wright).

myrmaad
02-04-08, 02:14
No one is talking about this country turning into a Socialism, we are a Republic and that's not going to change. All strong nations have a responsibility to the citizens from whom they get their power, though.

For what it's worth DuBois isn't mentioned often in "history" classes. You should look him up it would give you much insight into me. I'm not your average white girl. It's a shame you missed what I wrote about my white grandmother the other day. She was exactly like Barack's grandmother. I listened to and read that speech over and over. His grandmother was EXACTLY like my grandmother. I totally get him. I totally relate to him exactly. And if you think that most white people aren't even a little bit racist you're in a dream world. I'm around them every day, and I always notice.
Quasi, you're getting me here.
I definitely don't like the idea of a minister saying "Gdamn America" in a sermon, rhetoric or no rhetoric. So I'm a little puzzled why Obama tolerated it for so many years (unless this Gdamning thing is something new for Wright).Within the context of his message that was righteous in my view. Did it have a place in church? Not in a white church, but I confess I haven't been to black church more than once in my life. (which i'll bet trumps most white people.)

Quasimodo
02-04-08, 02:17
No one is talking about this country turning into a Socialism, we are a Republic and that's not going to change. All strong nations have a responsibility to the citizens from whom they get their power, though.

For what it's worth DuBois isn't mentioned often in "history" classes. You should look him up it would give you much insight into me. I'm not your average white girl. It's a shame you missed what I wrote about my white grandmother the other day. She was exactly like Barack's grandmother. I listened to and read that speech over and over. His grandmother was EXACTLY like my grandmother. I totally get him. I totally relate to him exactly. And if you think that most white people aren't even a little bit racist you're in a dream world. I'm around them every day, and I always notice.

Racism isn't exclusive to whites. It's not exclusive to whites in America. I know you know this, I'm just tired of 'most whites' getting painted with the racist brush.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 02:19
Racism isn't exclusive to whites. It's not exclusive to whites in America.Can I get an Amen!

Did you read or hear Barack's speech?

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 02:29
No one is talking about this country turning into a Socialism, we are a Republic and that's not going to change. All strong nations have a responsibility to the citizens from whom they get their power, though.

Both Democratic candidates are running on socialist goals, such as universal healthcare and increased taxes for "the rich" which apparently includes my relatively low-income middle-class family :hea:

For what it's worth DuBois isn't mentioned often in "history" classes. You should look him up it would give you much insight into me.

He was definitely covered in at least 2 history classes I took. I remember learning about him. I just can't remember what I learned. It's so frustrating. I have little to no control over what I can remember :hea: Anyhow, I skimmed the Wikipedia article and it was informative but didn't give me a real feel for who he was. I'll try to look into it more later when I have enough time.

I'm not your average white girl.

In case you didn't guess from my comments in the other thread, I don't believe there's such a thing as an average anything :p I know there are statistical trends, but individual variation is far greater than the supposed differences between groups.

It's a shame you missed what I wrote about my white grandmother the other day. She was exactly like Barack's grandmother. I listened to and read that speech over and over. His grandmother was EXACTLY like my grandmother. I totally get him. I totally relate to him exactly.

I'm a little troubled by his choice of words. He's always so well-spoken and deliberate that it makes me wonder why he would phrase it that way. For that matter, I'm not even sure I understand why he brought it up in the first place.

And if you think that most white people aren't even a little bit racist you're in a dream world. I'm around them every day, and I always notice.

I judge everyone on an individual basis, period.

Quasimodo
02-04-08, 02:29
Can I get an Amen!

Did you read or hear Barack's speech?

Not all of it. On one hand, a person could look at his reaction as a way of saying "Let's not hate racists. Racism is an ignorance that can be cured, so don't turn people away when you want less division, not more," On the other...and now that I take the time to type it out, it sounds ridiculous - one might take it that he agrees with Wright's words, literally, and we shouldn't pay any mind to old people's racist ranting because they just grew up that way and can't help it.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 02:32
I posted this recently on a completely different topic:

A couple months ago I was visiting my dad when my nephew came over with his girlfriend and had dinner with us. We all like her. They had to leave early and I took a picture of them.
(pics removed for privacy)
After dinner the conversation took a bad turn. My dad was talking about my grandmother who passed away last spring. She was 96 years old and plenty bigoted, but I understand why. Back in those days there was a lot of black propaganda, one of the first films ever was a movie called "Birth of a Nation" an extremely racist film that came out during the presidency or Woodrow Wilson, quite a racist himself. He even screened the film at the white house. The film was about a black man raping a white woman among other racist messages. Remember there were very few films at the time, this was one of the choices to see a movie. It was about 1913. That film created a lot of tension and is one of the reasons that still today white women tend to fear black men when they encounter them. This a sociological fact and not an obvious one but I can explain and back it up if you need more information. Just let me know.

The point is my dad starting mimicing my grandmother, he's a great mimic and joker, and he started saying the "N" word. I got upset with him, and at one point I started to cry.

He hugged me and said "I'm just playing, we're just having fun", and I said, "But Dad, you didn't raise me like that... I'm proud of you! " meaning that I don't expect him to act like that because I hold him in such high regard, and he understood that. And I said, "and what about Tyler??"

Tyler is one of my grand-nephews, a wonderful smart great kid. He's my dad's great-grandson. He is greatly loved, by the family. And I asked what about him, because I fear he could overhear a conversation like this and feel bad about himself!!

A couple weeks after that I got a really sweet letter from him, and at the end he said, "I'm proud to have a daughter like you".


My point is twofold:
Sometimes we must face our own bigotry or even call someone we love on theirs. The second part is, we still love the people we love even in spite of any perceived flaws they have.For the record I'm from a pretty wealthy family, Jennifer.

Heather, they did grow up that way, and there are historical reasons for it.

Furthermore, my grandmother was a college graduate in the 20s. Pretty rare.

Quasimodo
02-04-08, 02:42
Both Democratic candidates are running on socialist goals, such as universal healthcare and increased taxes for "the rich" which apparently includes my relatively low-income middle-class family :hea:


I get what you mean. Some conservatives say the Democrat party try to make minorities, women, etc. to feel like victims in order to get their votes. This forum can be a bit like a sociology class, you get to see common misconceptions torn to shreds. Both sides are guilty of using fear mongering, I'd imagine. Can you tell I'm not too pleased with politicians as a whole? :p

From past discussions in this forum about socialized healthcare, while it goes against the 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps/independent pioneer' view many Americans share, it also might help more than we'd imagine- by taking care of everyone's basic human needs, stabilizing people so they can join the work force with the rest of us. Or it might just make people expect the government to be Santa Clause, and we'd be slowly ceding independent choice and freedom to the government by depending on them more and more.

Socialized healthcare seems to work well enough for some countries, then I hear Mixu say the free healthcare isn't that good/high quality. So the question becomes, how do we get everyone the healthcare they need without sacrificing quality or turning the populace in a bunch of moochers?

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 02:46
I get what you mean. Some conservatives say the Democrat party try to make minorities, women, etc. to feel like victims in order to get their votes. This forum can be a bit like a sociology class, you get to see common misconceptions torn to shreds. Both sides are guilty of using fear mongering, I'd imagine. Can you tell I'm not too pleased with politicians as a whole? :p

Yeah. I'm rather bitter at politicians too :p

From past discussions in this forum about socialized healthcare, while it goes against the 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps/independent pioneer' view many Americans share, it also might help more than we'd imagine- by giving taking care of everyone's basic human needs, stabilizing people so they can join the work force with the rest of us. Or it might just make people expect the government to be Santa Clause, and we'd be slowly ceding independent choice and freedom to the government by depending on them more and more.

Socialized healthcare seems to work well enough for some countries, then I hear Mixu say the free healthcare isn't that good/high quality. So the question becomes, how do we get everyone the healthcare they need without sacrificing quality or turning the populace in a bunch of moochers?

We already have Medicare and Medicaid for anyone who can't afford health insurance or get it from work. We don't need the government actively taking over the healthcare industry and running it as poorly as the public schools :rolleyes: (I'm in favor of vouchers as well due to a few of the teachers and administrators my brothers and I had to deal with in the public schools. One teacher actually threatened my class saying everyone who signed a petition asking for a test postponement was now on her hitlist. She also threatened to whup me when I asked how she calculated one of my test grades. She got tenure a year later :whi:)

myrmaad
02-04-08, 02:56
Heather, I love how you think. I'm very proud of you for thinking from all sides.

Healthcare is a tough question. We know that healthcare as we have it now in this country is quite flawed and doesn't work well. On the other hand I personally have the luxury of excellent coverage.

In the last few years I saw several cases of people in the US being jailed solely for not having been able to pay for emergency medical care they received. This is to me criminal in itself.

In Britain, I'm not sure about Mixu's country (I'm not certain his country in fact), so I'll discuss Britain's system. If you live in Britain and you are sick you can either wait for the government medical treatment to become available, which might take a few weeks, or you can pay for it yourself, or pay for extra coverage, and as long as you are taking financial responsibility you can see your own doctor at his/her earliest convenience (possibly the same day).

What is being discussed by congress (who ultimately will put together the plan for the president to sign onto but will bend a bit to a seated president's viewpoint) is a plan that should work better than what we've seen. The discussion is that people like me can choose to keep our plan that works, but to offer coverage for people who aren't covered so they have access to treatment. This could become a discussion in itself, but again I highly recommend you explore C-Span to watch what your government is discussing on your behalf. Barack's plan is to get the children covered first and foremost. Hillary's plan is to cover everyone and we all will probably pay more, even those of us who are happy with our plans. Ultimately there's always a price, but as the republican governor of Louisiana said recently, we could actually pay for the coverage out of the savings we'll get by eliminating waste (he had a great sounding plan for that) and keeping more people healthy by keeping more people healthy. Sounds funny but actually makes a lot of sense, I'm sorry I'm simplifying a lot, though.

Jennifer if you believe what you just wrote you really do need to make time to watch C-Span much more often. Medicaid and Medicare do not cover "everyone else" by a long shot. There are some great Republicans who testified on this subject before congress last week.

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 03:06
Jennifer if you believe what you just wrote you really do need to make time to watch C-Span much more often. Medicaid and Medicare do not cover "everyone else" by a long shot. There are some great Republicans who testified on this subject before congress last week.

Some of us don't have cable :rolleyes: Anyhow, if Medicare is flawed then fix it. There's no need to gut the entire healthcare industry.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 03:08
Some of us don't have cable :rolleyes: Anyhow, if Medicare is flawed then fix it. There's no need to gut the entire healthcare industry.

Our healthcare industry is quite flawed without even lumping medicare into it. This just reveals more of what you don't understand.

Quasimodo
02-04-08, 03:12
Some of us don't have cable :rolleyes: Anyhow, if Medicare is flawed then fix it. There's no need to gut the entire healthcare industry.

It's definitely understandable - and wise - to be wary of such a change so dramatic and large in scope. The only way I could see socialized healthcare being made palatable enough to make it to the president's desk is if it were introduced in phases, like Barack's plan to cover children first (I can almost hear my dad saying it now - "You'd just be encouraging illegal immigrants to have more anchor babies!").

But yes, it'd also be wise to fix Medicaid and Medicare first before diving into another government-funded health care plan.

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 03:13
Our healthcare industry is quite flawed without even lumping medicare into it. This just reveals more of what you don't understand.

If we eliminate all of the goddamned money-grubbing, ambulance-chasing lawyers then the healthcare will dramatically improve overnight. I absolutely hate frivolous lawsuits. If the doctor really messed up, then it's a criminal matter, he should be thrown in jail and his license should be revoked. All of these ridiculous lawsuits just bankrupt the hospitals, increase the doctors' malpractice insurance fees, and result in healthcare being much more expensive than it needs to be.

It's definitely understandable - and wise - to be wary of such a change so dramatic and large in scope. The only way I could see socialized healthcare being made palatable enough to make it to the president's desk is if it were introduced in phases, like Barack's plan to cover children first (I can almost hear my dad saying it now - "You'd just be encouraging illegal immigrants to have more anchor babies!").

It really depends how they're planning to do it. Will they allow people the choice of what coverage to have and where to get treated, or will it be like an HMO where they shuffle paperwork around until the patient is dead? Also, how much control will they have over the actual healthcare itself? Will all doctors become employees of the government?

myrmaad
02-04-08, 03:20
If we eliminate all of the goddamned money-grubbing, ambulance-chasing lawyers then the healthcare will dramatically improve overnight. I absolutely hate frivolous lawsuits. If the doctor really messed up, then it's a criminal matter, he should be thrown in jail and his license should be revoked. All of these ridiculous lawsuits just bankrupt the hospitals, increase the doctors' malpractice insurance fees, and result in healthcare being much more expensive than it needs to be.



It really depends how they're planning to do it. Will they allow people the choice of what coverage to have and where to get treated, or will it be like an HMO where they shuffle paperwork around until the patient is dead? Also, how much control will they have over the actual healthcare itself? Will all doctors become employees of the government?

The HMO's are the primary flaw in the healthcare system we have, so no. And the shuffling paperwork until a patient is dead, is exactly the major flaw with it. But you just said you believed that 1) "there's no need to gut the entire healthcare industry", and 2) then you tried to turn around and blame the lawyers. I hope you never need one. I hope you don't land in my courtroom.

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 03:31
The HMO's are the primary flaw in the healthcare system we have, so no. And the shuffling paperwork until a patient is dead, is exactly the major flaw with it. But you just said you believed that 1) "there's no need to gut the entire healthcare industry", and 2) then you tried to turn around and blame the lawyers. I hope you never need one. I hope you don't land in my courtroom.

When I say healthcare, I refer to the actual doctors and hospitals that are providing the care (I don't want the government to take control of every hospital in the country and micromanage what the doctors do). HMO's are a freaking bureaucratic nightmare and should be eliminated as soon as possible.

I have a great deal of respect for most prosecutors and some defense lawyers. It's the civil lawyers that really aggravate me. All of these frivolous lawsuits are destroying everything. What purpose does it serve to sue a hospital, other than to ensure that future patients receive worse treatment due to lack of funding? These damned lawsuits crop up everywhere, for every reason. Just look at the lawsuits against the cigarette companies for example. The civil lawyers argue that the companies are killing our children, but it's okay as long as they get their cut of the profits with their class-action lawsuits. If they really believed what they were fighting for, then why sue for a piece of the action? Why not just try to shut the damned company down? People who engage in frivolous lawsuits are greedy hypocrites and they don't care how much working-class people have to suffer as long as they get their millions from wherever they can finagle it :hea:

myrmaad
02-04-08, 03:40
When I say healthcare, I refer to the actual doctors and hospitals that are providing the care (I don't want the government to take control of every hospital in the country and micromanage what the doctors do). HMO's are a freaking bureaucratic nightmare and should be eliminated as soon as possible.

I have a great deal of respect for most prosecutors and some defense lawyers. It's the civil lawyers that really aggravate me. All of these frivolous lawsuits are destroying everything. What purpose does it serve to sue a hospital, other than to ensure that future patients receive worse treatment due to lack of funding? These damned lawsuits crop up everywhere, for every reason. Just look at the lawsuits against the cigarette companies for example. The civil lawyers argue that the companies are killing our children, but it's okay as long as they get their cut of the profits with their class-action lawsuits. If they really believed what they were fighting for, then why sue for a piece of the action? Why not just try to shut the damned company down? People who engage in frivolous lawsuits are greedy hypocrites and they don't care how much working-class people have to suffer as long as they get their millions from wherever they can finagle it :hea:

The lawsuits that I watched come before congress proved that cigarette companies were targeting children, lying about what they were putting into their products, lying about what they knew when they knew it, denying there was a problem after they already had internal memos that showed they knew there was a problem etc ad nauseum. It was quite interesting.

Payment is a punitive measure first and foremost. It's meant to deter a company from acting irresponsibly in the future, and as an example to others. Because we live in a free market society it's hard to shut a company down, unless they stop making a profit.

Beyond this, I will say that there are so many holes in your arguments that I honestly get the feeling you don't read at all but simply parrot talk radio hosts, who on the whole are pretty ignorant of facts.

SamReeves
02-04-08, 04:07
I believe Jen's theory has merit. Limit the ambulance chasers ability to litigate and we'll all benefit from lower health care costs. With inflation getting out of control, I'm all for it. Then doctors can practice medicine without doing a double take over their back.

I am also very opposed to any socialist medicine. It's one pillar to fall of many. What's next? Socialist cars, toilets, or banks? Sorry but I'm taking my crap when I want to! :ton:

Cochrane
02-04-08, 05:41
Back on topic, though, Cochrane brought up the point that sooner or later we'll simply have to drastically change our lifestyle. While this may be true as far as our fossil-fuel activities go, I also wonder if it might be better to just reduce government spending to a bare-bones budget/only using the taxpayer budget to maintain infrastructure and defense. Build roads, keep schools running, defend the borders. No more of this pork barrel business. Lowering taxes can only help out so much, though.

The last part is what counts: It can only help so much. Yes, of course you can lower taxes until you have a bare-bones government. But that won't stop gas and other prices from rising, and then you don't have anything left.

Government spending needs to be better distributed, with less money going to unnecessary nonsense. I think we all can agree on that, no matter where we live and who our politicians are. The question is of course, from what to where.

I, for example, would say that education has a higher priority than defense. Nobody's going to attack the US by conventional means anyway, and building a bomb does not, ultimately, help the economy as there is no value for the rest of the economy coming out. The money put into a bomb goes, quite literally, "poof". On the other hand, if you invest in education, then the result is (always assuming you do it properly) lots of well qualified people, who can use their new wisdom to help the economy by doing stuff better.

The same can be said about universal health care. Keeping people healthy is, ultimately, helping the economy, due to less days of work missed.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 09:52
Let's address the concerns that Sam brings up.

At the moment we have something that looks to me, quite look corporate socialism, let's take a moment to get our bearings again, shall we, and if you skim these articles, shame on you. It seems blatantly and depressingly clear to me that a large proportion of the general population does not know how to critically analyze sources of information:

Ex-Exxon CEO's Massive Pension Draws Fire
By STEVE QUINN
The Associated Press
Sunday, April 16, 2006; 9:20 AM (note the date = 2 years ago)

DALLAS -- A $69.7 million compensation package and $98 million pension payout to Exxon Mobil Corp.'s former chief executive and chairman Lee R. Raymond has some shareholders and economists asking, "how much is enough?"

"Some folks will ask the question, 'Is this more evidence of big oil taking an enormous windfall and retaining all the riches?'" said Mel Fugate, assistant professor for Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business.

Under Mr. Raymond, the company's market value increased fourfold to $375 billion, overtaking BP as the largest oil company and General Electric as the largest American corporation. For his efforts, Raymond, who retired in December, was compensated more than $686 million from 1993 to 2005, according to an analysis done for The New York Times by Brian Foley, an independent compensation consultant. That is $144,573 for each day he spent leading Exxon's "God pod," as the executive suite at the company's headquarters in Irving, Tex., is known.

The Irving company has drawn criticism from politicians and economists for becoming the most profitable company in history _ at consumers' expense, they say.

Exxon benefited from high oil and natural gas prices and solid demand for refined products en route to earning $36 billion last year. The company has defended its profits, saying that other industries have larger profit margins but oil companies' bottom lines stand out because they operate on a much larger scale.

Recent news of Raymond's payout and pension is stoking embers Fugate said had been starting to die out. But with gasoline prices again reaching $3 a gallon at the pump in some areas and big oil companies about to report first-quarter earnings in coming weeks, expect more fallout, economists say.

On Wednesday, Exxon reported executive compensation in a regulatory filing that showed Raymond receiving $48.5 million in salary, bonuses, incentive payments and stock awards.

His compensation package also included $21.2 million from exercising stock options, which the company stopped awarding in 2001.

His $98 million pension payout reflects 43 years of service. But he would have received nearly $17 million less had he retired just last year, according to the company's 2005 proxy statement.

In this year's proxy statement, Exxon defended the package by saying it rewards Raymond's "outstanding leadership of the business, continued strengthening of our worldwide competitive position, and continuing progress toward achieving long-range strategic goals." Raymond had been CEO since 1993 before stepping down at the end of last year.

Exxon added that Raymond's compensation is "appropriately positioned relative to CEOs of U.S.-based, integrated oil companies and other major U.S.-based corporations, particluarly in view of the long-term performance of the company and the substantial experience and expertise that Mr. Raymond has brought to the job."

Last year, Chevron Corp. Chairman and CEO David O'Reilly received a $1.55 million salary, $3.5 million bonus and $3.57 million in long-term compensation. He did not exercise any options, but owns options valued at just over $34 million, including exercisable options worth $28 million, according to Chevron's proxy.

Fugate, who specializes in executive compensation and management, said Exxon is sending a "very, very bad signal" by allowing Raymond to select the lump-sum payout.

"They are in very, very rich times, so on one hand they say, 'we can afford it,' but on the other hand they are taking an awful lot of heat because they've made too much at the expense of consumers. I'm surprised they are not being asked to justify that."

They will be at the company's shareholders meeting in Dallas on May 31. Several shareholders have placed resolutions on the agenda that, if passed, would put the clamps on some executive pay.

Shareholder Emil Rossi, author of one of the resolutions, says that although he's done well as a longtime owner of Exxon stock, he believes the executives are keeping too much for themselves.

"(Raymond) took over a good company," said Rossi, of Boonville, Calif. "He didn't bring it out from being a bad company, so his pay is clean out of reason. It's not because of his smartness."

Twice since November, big oil executives, including Raymond before his retirement, sat in Senate hearings defending their profits and deflecting accusations of gouging.
April 1, 2008, 11:10PM
GASOLINE PRICES
Profits realistic, oil execs insist
But lawmakers offer own ideas on industry behavior

By DAVID IVANOVICH
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau




WASHINGTON — Oil company executives expressed sympathy for consumers hurt by high energy costs Tuesday but defended their companies' record profits.
With gasoline prices at an all-time high and angry truck drivers parking their rigs Tuesday in protest of even-higher diesel prices, executives from the nation's five largest oil companies appeared before a House panel, where they were chastised by Democrats for their corporate profits and failure to invest more in renewable energy sources.
"On April Fools' Day, the biggest joke of all is being played on American families by Big Oil, who are using every trick in the book to keep billions in federal tax subsidies, even as they rake in record profits," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a longtime oil industry critic and chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
The energy executives tried to defuse some of the outrage over their profits — which Markey tallied at $123 billion in 2007 — at a time when many Americans are struggling to find the cash to fill up their cars.
"All Americans feel the pain of $100 oil, and it's not just at the pump," said Chevron Vice Chairman Peter Robertson. "Everything is more expensive. People are concerned about rising costs. And rightly so."
But J. Stephen Simon, Exxon Mobil Corp.'s senior vice president, and Robert A. Malone, president of BP America, pointed to figures they said suggest the oil and gas industry's profits last year were not out of line with companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Oil and gas companies, the executives said, earned an average of 8.3 cents per dollar of sales, compared with 7.8 cents per dollar for the Dow companies — which include Exxon Mobil and Chevron.
Simon said that Exxon Mobil's effective tax rate in 2007 was 44 percent, compared with 30 percent on average for 80 U.S. companies surveyed by Tax Notes, a print and online news service covering tax issues.
Simon said that over the last five years, Exxon Mobil's U.S. tax bill has exceeded the company's U.S. earnings by $19 billion.

Intense exchanges

House Democrats had telegraphed the kind of reception the executives could anticipate with the hearing's title — "Drilling for Answers: Oil Company Profits, Runaway Prices and the Pursuit of Alternatives." And the hearing lived up to expectations in what proved to be an often-testy exchange.
Markey quickly went after Exxon Mobil, asking why a company that earned more than $40 billion last year — the most ever earned by a U.S. company — has plans to invest only $100 million over 10 years in renewables and alternative energy programs.
Simon said company officials examined a range of alternative energy sources a number of years ago and were unsatisfied with their potential.
Instead, Simon said, company officials want to focus on leapfrogging current technologies and find a breakthrough for the world's energy concerns.
"The current technology does not have any appreciable impact on this challenge," Simon said.
Democrats pointed to the commitments BP and Shell have been making in alternative energy sources.
Markey wants them to do more, though, and invest at least 10 percent of their profits in renewables and alternative energy sources.
But early Tuesday, at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive officer of Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell, warned against sinking too much cash on alternatives such as biofuels if they cannot be competitive in the marketplace.
"There is no point to spend billions of dollars on a technology that is too expensive for consumers," van der Veer said.

Retirement package

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., asked Simon how to explain former Exxon Mobil Chairman Lee Raymond's $400 million 2005 retirement package to consumers struggling with high energy bills. "I would have hoped that would be behind us now," Simon said.
"That is in the past." Simon noted, however, that Raymond's package was decided by outside directors and not inconsistent with what other executives of comparable stature received.
The ranking Republican on the panel, Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, said that while "everyone knows the economic impact that gasoline can have on goods in the market ... these companies create a lot of good jobs, and their expanded investment in market-driven research and technology only serves to create more jobs."
The oil company executives are keen to fend off a bid to sock them with $18 billion in taxes to provide incentives for renewable and clean energy programs.
The Democratic-led House approved such a bill in February, but the measure has stalled in the Senate, and the White House has threatened a veto if it passes Congress.
Asked what policymakers could do to help bring down energy costs, the oil executives reiterated their long-standing call for access to areas now out of bounds to oil and gas exploration — particularly the Outer Continental Shelf off the East and West coasts.
"Altogether, these areas are estimated to hold 80 billion barrels of recoverable oil and natural gas equivalent — enough to double current U.S. reserves," said John Lowe, executive vice president for exploration and production at Houston-based ConocoPhillips.
But Markey and other Democrats were unsympathetic to the call for greater access to new areas, arguing the oil companies have not been drilling in much of the acreage they already have leased from the federal government.
The House hearing came just one day after prices at the gas pump hit a record of $3.29 a gallon for regular, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The price was down a fraction of a penny Tuesday.
Shell Oil Co. President John Hofmeister noted that while consumers may be struggling to cope with higher fuel bills, prices at the pump have risen far more slowly than crude oil prices.

Crude still at $100

The price of oil, which historically has accounted for around half the price of gasoline, now accounts for 70 percent, according to the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group. Light, sweet crude for May delivery closed at $100.90 a barrel Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
While Tuesday's session seemed to produce little meeting of the minds, Markey vowed it would be but the first of a series of the hearings the House will hold this year on the oil and gas industry.
The oil executives, Markey said, will be the winners of any contest for "most visits to Washington in 2008."

Summary: Congress Presses Oil Chiefs

By The Associated Press – 12 hours ago
PROFIT AND PRICE: Lawmakers pressed big oil companies to explain why they should continue to get billions of dollars in tax breaks when they made $123 billion last year.
RESPONSE: Executives of the country's five biggest oil companies told a House committee they know record fuel prices are hurting people, but their huge profits are in line with other industries.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: They said their companies already are spending on alternative energy projects and argued that new taxes would dampen investment and could lead to even higher prices.


This should be Part 1 of several as I have time.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 10:00
Part 2:
Addressing Healthcare Sensibly:
though there's little hope anyone will actually read it, since it's easier to base judgements and opinions on sounbytes rather than rational evaluation.
The Commonwealth Fund is a nonpartisan, private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency.
Envisioning the Future: The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Proposals

January 15, 2008 | Volume 82
Authors:Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., and Jennifer L. Kriss
Contact:src@cmwf.org

Overview


View our interactive Web feature (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/site_docs//slideshows/CandidateReport/CandidateReport.html) to compare candidates' plans.
Also read a related issue brief, The Public's Views on Health Care Reform in the 2008 Presidential Election. (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=647816)

This report analyzes the health care proposals of eight Democratic and Republican 2008 presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Rudolph Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Dennis Kucinich, John McCain, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney. Their approaches to health insurance reform fall into three categories: 1) proposals that emphasize tax incentives for obtaining insurance through the individual market (Giuliani, Huckabee, McCain, Romney); 2) proposals that build on existing private and public group insurance with shared responsibility for financing coverage (Clinton, Edwards, Obama); and 3) proposals that aim to cover everyone through publicly sponsored insurance systems like Medicare (Kucinich). The report examines differences among the proposals, and evaluates them against key principles like affordability, provision of essential services, financial protection, streamlined administration, and fair financing.

Executive Summary

Introduction

With the 2008 presidential election well under way, health care reform has jumped to the top of the nation's domestic policy priorities. The reasons are clear and numerous. The number of Americans without health insurance has continued to climb: 47 million people were uninsured in 2006, an increase of 8.6 million from 2000. In addition, an estimated 16 million nonelderly adults are underinsured as a result of high out-of-pocket health costs relative to income. And although employer-provided health insurance remains the predominant form of coverage for U.S. workers and their families, rapid growth in health care costs and premiums has weakened the ability of many firms to offer comprehensive coverage and for many families to afford it. Employers—particularly small companies—are passing more costs to their employees or eliminating coverage altogether.
The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System released a report in October 2007 that examined how our current health insurance system impedes a high performance health system overall. The report, A Roadmap to Health Insurance for All: Principles for Reform (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=553840), then outlined a set of key principles to help guide policymakers in reforming the health insurance system and to help the public ask the right questions when evaluating the health care reform proposals of their elected representatives and political candidates.
Eight presidential candidates--Senator Hillary Clinton (D–N.Y.), former senator John Edwards (D–N.C.), former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R), former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D–Ohio), Senator John McCain (R–Ariz.), Senator Barack Obama (D–Ill.), and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R)--have proposed plans for the future direction of the health insurance system in the United States that range from simple ideas and philosophies to more concrete strategies for reform. They have also put forth ideas to improve quality and efficiency, and to control costs. To inform the public discussion about possible paths to reform, this report describes the candidates' proposals, examines key differences in their vision of a future health insurance system, and evaluates the proposals against the set of key principles laid out in the Roadmap report.
Proposals of the 2008 Presidential Candidates

Three Distinct Approaches to Health Care Reform
The health care reform proposals of the eight presidential candidates offer fundamentally different visions of the future of health insurance in the United States and fall into three distinct categories: 1) strategies that emphasize tax incentives for obtaining insurance through the individual market; 2) proposals that build on existing private and public group insurance with shared responsibility for financing coverage; and 3) proposals that aim to cover everyone through publicly sponsored insurance programs like Medicare.
Tax Incentives for Individual Market Insurance. Four Republican presidential candidates—former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney-l;have proposed to increase insurance coverage through the individual insurance market with new tax incentives and deregulation of state markets (Figure ES-1).
Mixed Private–Public Group Insurance with Shared Responsibility for Financing. Three Democratic presidential candidates, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), former Senator John Edwards (D–N.C.), and Senator Barack Obama (D–Ill.), have proposed plans for universal coverage that would maintain and build on the current mixed private and public insurance system. Most include a new group insurance market arrangement often referred to as "connectors" or "exchanges" that would provide people with a choice of private and public group plans. These proposals include consumer protections, financial support for premiums for lower- and moderate-income households, expansions in state Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and requirements for individuals to purchase coverage and for employers to offer or help pay for coverage. These proposals are similar in structure to the new Massachusetts universal coverage law that includes a private–public group "Insurance Connector." In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state legislature have also proposed such a plan.
Public Insurance. Presidential candidate and Representative Dennis Kucinich (D–Ohio) has proposed a plan for universal coverage in which everyone becomes insured through a public insurance program like Medicare.
Envisioning the Future:
Key Differences in the Candidates Approaches

Overall the candidates' views of a future health insurance system are fundamentally the same within the two parties but fundamentally different between the two parties in the following key areas (Figure ES-2):
The goal of universal coverage. The candidates differ markedly on the goal of providing coverage to everyone. All the Democratic candidates support universal coverage as a goal. While the Republican candidates discuss expanding access to health insurance coverage, none to date has said that covering everyone is a goal.
Insurance markets. Both Republican and Democratic candidates, with the exception of Kucinich, envision a health insurance system that continues to be structured around private insurance markets with a supporting role played by public insurance programs. The candidates diverge significantly, however, on the way this system should operate. The Democrats see the health insurance system based primarily on broad private and public group risk pools with regulations that prevent insurers from selecting against individuals with serious health risks, while Republicans see a health insurance system that would rely nearly exclusively on individual insurance markets without consumer protections. The Democratic candidates propose to replace the individual insurance market with new group insurance "exchanges" or "connectors," with a choice of private and public health plans. These markets would be regulated by ground rules designed to ensure that anyone—even older people or those with health problems—can obtain an affordable health plan with a standard set of benefits. In contrast, most of the Republican candidates propose plans to encourage more people to buy individual market insurance through the provision of new tax incentives and changes in the tax code. Most Republican candidates' proposals could have the effect of reducing existing consumer protections that states like New York and New Jersey have put in place, such as requiring insurers to write a policy for anyone who applies and restricting carriers from charging premiums based on health risk or age. None of the Republican candidates has discussed how they would address adverse selection issues and the considerable difficulties that people with higher health risks face in securing affordable coverage.
The role of employers. Republican and Democratic candidates have fundamentally different views of the role employers will play in the health insurance system. The Democratic proposals would retain and strengthen employers' role in the system by requiring that all large employers offer coverage or pay part of the coverage costs of their employees. This would allow people to keep the coverage they have and maintain the significant financial support provided by employers. In 2005, employers contributed approximately $420 billion—over one-fifth of total U.S. health care expenditures in that year—for premiums for active employees and their dependents. In contrast, most of the Republican candidates propose changes in the tax code that could significantly alter the role employers play. Under current federal law, health benefits that employees receive from their employers are excluded from taxable income. Most of the Republican candidates have proposed eliminating or changing this special tax treatment and replacing it with a new standard income tax deduction that would apply to anyone with private insurance, either employer-based or individual market. This change has the potential to weaken the incentive of some employers, particularly small employers, to continue providing health coverage to their employees if they knew their employees could gain an equivalent tax deduction if they purchased coverage in the individual market. The Republican candidates have not addressed how they would replace any lost employer financing. Clinton is the only Democratic presidential candidate who has proposed changing the tax treatment of employer-based health benefits, suggesting capping the amount of employer contributions that are excluded from taxable income for households earning $250,000 or more to the value of the standard plan offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
Requirements that individuals have coverage. The candidates diverge on whether they would require everyone to have health insurance. Clinton would require coverage at the start of her plan, while Edwards would require that everyone have coverage when his plan was fully implemented. Obama would require coverage only for children, though he would consider an individual mandate for adults if substantial numbers of people do not buy coverage that is deemed affordable. None of the Republican candidates requires that people have health insurance.
Affordability and enforcement. With the presence of an individual mandate, it will be critical that health plans are affordable and that the mandate is enforceable. Even the ability of the Republican proposals to expand coverage will depend on whether people have access to affordable health plans. Edwards is the only candidate who has stated how he would enforce an individual requirement to have health insurance. With respect to affordability, all the leading Democrats (Clinton, Edwards, and Obama) have said that enrollees would pay a set percentage of their income on premiums, but have not specified the percentage or what would happen if affordable plans are not available. They have also focused exclusively on premiums when determining affordability, despite the fact that out-of-pocket costs can and do comprise a substantial share of family incomes, particularly in low- and moderate-income households. The Republican candidates have suggested subsidies and tax credits to help low- and moderate-income people buy coverage on the individual market but have not specified the amount of the subsidies. McCain has proposed a specific refundable tax credit for everyone that would not vary by income. The Republican candidates have not discussed how they will address the considerable variation in the value of tax credits or subsidies for health coverage purchased in the individual market when premiums can vary substantially based on health risk and age.
Ease of enrollment. The complexity and fragmentation of the current health insurance system often makes obtaining and retaining insurance difficult. Kucinich's National Health Insurance program would provide the most seamless enrollment of the current proposals. The Democratic candidates that have proposed mixed private–public approaches would fill the gap in the current system with new group insurance "connectors." However, these proposals would not make enrollment easier or more seamless and would retain the complexity in the system. To address this problem, Edwards has proposed requiring proof of insurance at tax filing and upon receipt of health services. Enrolling people through the tax system would help reduce the "churning" in and out of coverage that now characterizes the current system. Neither would the Republican proposals to provide tax incentives for individual market coverage make enrollment easier or more seamless. In theory, by separating coverage from employment, these proposals would make coverage portable, with people able to retain their health plans from job to job. But the candidates have not addressed serious problems in the individual market. Many people, especially those with health risks, have trouble obtaining coverage and staying covered over time, if the terms of their coverage change. Shifting the insurance system away from the relatively greater security of employer group coverage could ultimately exacerbate the complexity of the system, making access to insurance more uncertain and the potential for churning greater.
Quality and efficiency improvement. Many candidates from both parties have proposed strategies to improve quality and efficiency in the health care system. There is broader agreement—at least on basic concepts—across candidates from both parties on improving quality and efficiency than on the issue of health insurance coverage. The candidates' support for quality and efficiency improvement often amounts to a "laundry list" of features, compared with many of the candidates' more structured proposals regarding the health insurance system. In addition, while the candidates all discuss health care cost growth as a major problem, none has developed a comprehensive strategy for tackling it. If elected, it will be important for a candidate to incorporate these often disparate ideas—quality and efficiency improvement and cost control—into a broader vision of health system improvement.
Financing. Achieving universal coverage or expanded health insurance coverage will require a significant financial investment by federal and state governments, employers, households, and other stakeholders. Such a shared responsibility among stakeholders should be fair, based on ability to pay. None of the Republican candidates has identified a source of financing. The leading Democratic candidates would either roll back the tax cuts of the past few years or allow them to expire for households with incomes above $200,000 (Edwards) and $250,000 (Clinton and Obama). They have also identified other more minor sources of financing, as well as savings achieved through improved efficiency. The lack of details in their proposals on many key features—the size of the premium subsidies for low- and moderate-income families, the employer contribution, the increase in Medicaid and SCHIP income eligibility standards—means it is unclear whether the amount of identified financing will be sufficient.Which Proposals Hold the Greatest Promise?

To evaluate these new policies, The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System identified several key principles to moving the health system toward high performance. They include:
Provision of equitable and comprehensive insurance for all
Provision of benefits that cover essential services with appropriate financial protection
Premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs are affordable relative to family income
Health risks should be broadly pooled
The proposals should be simple to administer with coverage that is automatic and continuous
Dislocation should be kept to a minimum—people could stay in the coverage they have if desired
Financing would need to be adequate, fair, shared across stakeholders.Measured against these principles, the mixed private–public group insurance with a shared responsibility for financing proposed by the leading Democratic candidates and the public insurance reform proposals put forward by Kucinich have the greatest potential to move the health care system toward high performance (Figure ES-3). Both approaches have the potential to provide everyone with comprehensive and affordable health insurance, achieve greater equity in access to care, realize efficiencies and cost savings in the provision of coverage and delivery of care, and redirect incentives to improve quality. However, from a pragmatic perspective, the mixed public–private approach, which allows the more than 160 million people who now have employer-based health coverage to retain it—and does not require them to enroll in a new program as in the public insurance models—would cause far less dislocation.
The Republican candidates' proposals for reform that rely on tax incentives and voluntary purchase of coverage in an unregulated individual insurance market are, on their own, unlikely to achieve universal coverage. Buying coverage in the individual market will continue to be challenging if tax incentives are not coupled with an individual mandate, minimum benefit standards, regulations against risk selection, and premium and out-of-pocket spending limits as a share of income. Providing incentives for coverage in the individual market without an individual mandate or regulations against risk selection would not pool risks. Insurers would still write individual policies rather than policies for a broad group of people. Moreover, because of the substantially higher administrative costs in the individual market, covering more people this way will only increase U.S. annual spending on insurance administration.

Citation

S. R. Collins and J. L. Kriss, Envisioning the Future: The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Proposals, The Commonwealth Fund, January 2008

Instead of demonizing those who strive to protect people's rights to fair, adequate, and unharmful treatment, consider this as one alternative:
Reducing litigation costs through better patient communication
Steven R. Eastaugh Specifically, patients complain when the doctor does not listen or attempts to mislead them. According to the Harvard Medical Practice study, less than three percent of patients who experienced severe adverse events brought forth a malpractice claim. (1)
It is ironic that clinicians who fail to disclose mistakes based on fear of being sued are by nondisclosure increasing the probability of a lawsuit by nine-fold. Communicate and you save time and decrease the risk of litigation.
In 2005, American medical school graduates will have to pass a national test for communication and clinical skills before they can obtain a license to practice medicine. The $975 test sponsored by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Boards, will evaluate how well physicians communicate and interview patients and perform basic assessment procedures. It has been suggested that older physicians also take such an exam to improve the quality of care and reduce malpractice cases.
The principal affliction of the medical community is thinking that physicians cannot improve communications substantially. Communication is the first test of clinician competence. America stopped giving this exam in 1964. To reinstate the exam is a return to old-school values of communication.
According to the Medical Council of Canada, 2.4 percent of their medical students fail this exam and are ineligible to practice. Students can retake the exam up to three times per year. The seven-hour test consists of patient encounters in which the clinician demonstrates the ability to take a medical history, perform physical exams and communicate effectively with volunteers who have been trained to portray real life scenarios.
4 ways to improve communication
1. Focus on the issues
Building on the work of Erik Erikson at Harvard, a well-designed communications plan should have the four E's: Empathy, Engagement, Education, and Enlistment. (2)
Doctors should first exhibit empathy by meeting patients in the waiting room or exam room before the patients undress. In the exam room listen to the patient, look them in the eye, share the back-story, then affirm them by using the patient's own words to summarize.
Use open-ended questions and never interrupt the patient for the first minute. The average clinician interrupts the patient after only 18 seconds. (3)
Engagement sets the groundwork for a partnership between provider and patient. Ask the patient about family and work, and restate major points utilizing the person's language while minimizing technical jargon.
2. Educate the patient
Typical physicians who think they provided six minutes of patient education actually only provided 40 seconds when we play back the videotapes. Most of the 40 seconds is jargon. The majority of patients have zero understanding of the message.
To really educate, one has to probe gently to discover the patient's concerns and fears. For example, the patient might fear the side effects, or they might fear the cost of the prescription. In some areas, patients do not fill 30-40 percent of prescriptions for economic reasons.
Doctors must be clear in defining or describing terms, then ask if the patient understands. Be patient-centric, and consider what the patient is thinking: What has happened to me? When will I have the results? Why has this occurred? What will be done? Will it hurt? Why are they recommending this treatment alternative?
3. Enlist the patient
The doctor should enlist the patient as a collaborative team member in the decision-making process. Patient compliance improves if the patient is brought into the inner circle of designing the treatment plan. Technical facts are of little value if the clinician is viewed as cold or distant--unconcerned with the patient's routines, habits and lifestyle.
As part of the team approach, the clinician should suggest a treatment plan then ask how it fits with what the patient has been thinking. No education or enlistment has occurred unless the patient has questioned prior preconceptions and learned something for the future. Always close a patient visit by reviewing the treatment plan and schedule for future visits. Try to enhance follow-up concerns by telephone or e-mail.
Enhanced patient communication can be cost-effective if patient satisfaction and compliance are improved and if the length of visit is extended only one or two minutes. The patient also is concerned with time management issues, which is why e-mail visits and health education chat rooms can improve both net revenues and patient satisfaction.
The economic efficiencies of workplace redesign and staff training can enable the clinician to spend more quality time with patients. Always consider the four E's: Empathy (that must have been difficult), Engagement (what do you think is causing your problem?), Education (do you understand what we must do together to enhance your health?), and Enlistment (what support can the team give you in handling the treatment plan we designed?).
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4. Shared decisions and mutual trust
A number of federal studies suggest that the quality of the doctor-patient relationship has eroded, even for the doctor's long-time patients. (4, 5) Ineffective communication reduces the accuracy of the diagnosis and the utility of the treatment plan.
We need to overcome cultural barriers to communication. You do not want your patients to say: he shows no concern, no warmth, would not answer questions, could not listen. The traditional doctor gathers the facts, but the clinician must also discover the patient's own perception regarding their health and lifestyle habits.
Patients weigh their own internal calculus for the benefits of the treatment plan against the costs in side effects and curtailed pleasurable habits. Communicating collaboratively, and making the patient a member of the care team, can bend the patients' calculus to see the costs, risks and benefits of the treatment plan.
Periodic training sessions for the clinician and staff will help to keep people skills honed and patient-centric. The professional culture of medicine is changing, high-touch is back, and primary care values of collaboration are ascending. Embrace the change, or get run over and lose your patients.
All the software and machines in the world cannot displace the good communicator. Value creation in the minds of the public is returning to continuity of care and primary care values.
For the three decades I have worked with the Institute of Medicine, we have always called for a sustained partnership with patients based on mutual trust. With better communication comes more effective screening, prevention and health education. Better communication improves both clinician satisfaction and patient satisfaction. The result is good economics and good medicine.
References:
1. Kohn and LT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson, MS, eds. To Err Is Human: Building a safer health system. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, Institute of Medicine Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, 2000.
2. Erikson E, A New Way of Looking at Things, New York: Norton, 1987.
3. Eastaugh, S., Health Care Finance and Economics, Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett, 2003. www.jbpub.com (http://www.jbpub.com)
4. Safran D, "Defining the future of care: what can we learn from patients?", Annals of Internal Medicine, Feb. 4, 2003, 138 (3):248-255.
5. Eastaugh S, "CQI and planning," Academic Medicine, November 1999, 70(6): 465-470.
RELATED ARTICLE: IN THIS ARTICLE ...
The most common cause of malpractice suits is failed communication with the patients and their families. Explore ways that better communication could lead to fewer malpractice claims and allow health care organizations to reduce litigation costs.
By Steven R. Eastaugh, PhD
Steven R. Eastaugh, PhD, is a professor, School of Public Health and Health Services, Department of Health Services Management and Leadership, The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at 202-462-2730 or eastaugh@gwu.edu.
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
COPYRIGHT 2004 American College of Physician ExecutivesAs luck has it, one of this morning's guests, I'm watching right now, on C-Span's Washington Journal is the chairman of the Ways And Means Subcommittee on Health.

He makes the point that the report from 1998 said "Medicare would be broke in 10 years". Here it is 2008 and Medicare is still alive and kicking.

You can view most of C-Span programming and all recent years' editions of the Washington Journal including today's edition by logging onto C-Span.org and watching online for free. C-Span is non-profit public service and paid for by pennies from cable subscribers' bills.

Ward Dragon
02-04-08, 20:24
The lawsuits that I watched come before congress proved that cigarette companies were targeting children, lying about what they were putting into their products, lying about what they knew when they knew it, denying there was a problem after they already had internal memos that showed they knew there was a problem etc ad nauseum. It was quite interesting.

Which is why the cigarette companies are still functioning the same as ever while the civil lawyers made enough money to spend on expensive prostitutes :hea:

Payment is a punitive measure first and foremost. It's meant to deter a company from acting irresponsibly in the future, and as an example to others. Because we live in a free market society it's hard to shut a company down, unless they stop making a profit.

Oh come on. The cigarette companies make so much money that the "punitive damages" don't make a dent. If there's so much proof of what they are doing (which I'm sure there is) then why aren't criminal charges being brought against them?

Beyond this, I will say that there are so many holes in your arguments that I honestly get the feeling you don't read at all but simply parrot talk radio hosts, who on the whole are pretty ignorant of facts.

I feel the same way about your argument. Your blind embrace of the decrepit and corrupt system of litigation has rendered you unable to look at it clearly and impersonally. I get the feeling that you can't discuss anything without bringing your personal life into it, thereby making the argument a minefield because no matter what anyone says, you've got some personal reason to take offense.

myrmaad
02-04-08, 21:49
I wouldn't be going into Law if I didn't believe progressive change is possible. I do like to bring my personal experience to the table because I have had a vastly wide range of experiences in my life to draw from, and furthermore, you cannot possibly judge any situation objectively if you don't take into account that real people with real lives are affected by sweeping generalizations, which are at the very heart of why this country is in the trouble it's in, in my opinion. That may sound like a paradox, but actually I'm more neutral than you think. The point is to have people consider outside the box of their own experiences about how other people are affected. I could tell you about someone I heard of, but it's more persuasive, to people who are open to hearing, when they hear the personal story. This is exactly why we have people testify in court and congress. I have both the cajones and the life experience to testify candidly for what I believe is right.

There's a saying that people are "only as sick as their secrets". If people don't share their own experiences they either don't feel comfortable sharing, or they have no experience to share. Either way, no one benefits from the lack.

All in all, the personal things I share are only small percentage of all the sourced information I provide.

One thing that must really be irritating is how similarly my story about my grandmother was to Barack's story about his grandmother. A good reason to want to shut me up since it entirely drives home that point.

Apofiss
09-04-08, 17:19
A bit of "fiction" ;]

How could we Americans let this happen? How could we just do nothing? How in the world did we end up $4,900,000,000,000 in debt as a nation? Do you have any idea what this means in the future? It means that foreign nations are one day going to take over America by force to claim what is theirs. Much of America's debt is being financed by foreign nations through government bonds, etc.

Every penny of federal taxes collected now goes just towards interest. In other words, we have passed the point where we can even hope to to one day be debt-free. This is all by design folks. The Federal Reserve is the most hideous and evil monstrosity ever devised. It is the evil invention of evil, greedy, and power hungry men. The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 by several independent bankers, including the Rockefeller family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockefeller_family). There is NOTHING "federal" about the Federal Reserve, it is PRIVATELY owned and operated (apart from any government or public control). And the Federal "Reserve" certainly has no gold reserve. We are all passing around "FIAT" (worthless) money. John F. Kennedy wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve with Presidential executive order 11110 and they killed him. You see, Kennedy was for the people and the globalist elite couldn't have that.

America is being depleted and destroyed little by little. So while foreign nations are increasingly getting wealthier, America is slowly getting poorer and poorer. (charts approved by GFDR)

Social Security is disappearing right before our eyes. If the government does privatize social security, you can kiss it goodbye. Why? Well, what is the stock market? It is basically Americans betting against Americans. The stock market is simply a tool by which wealth is redistributed (gambling). With a corrupt government that CONTROLS the stock market (read up on the "Exchange Stabilization Fund"), it's a fool's game. Our government is going to dupe you out of your Social Security. Of course, you can always invest your future into government bonds which are now paying less than ONE PERCENT.

Americans used to be able to save money, not anymore. Taxes have increased and American piggy banks have gone anorexic. Save money? Ha!

You will be forced to accept a National ID card. You are already a slave to the government whether you realize it or not. The 911 criminals will NEVER be brought to justice. More and more elections will be stolen, like the 2000 presidential election. It is wickedness.

Cochrane
09-04-08, 17:49
That text combines several issues coming from completely different contexts and combines them as if they were a single issue. The connections it makes vary between strained and wild speculation. Several claims lack backing. Others do not have the necessary background information and consequently lead to incorrect or at least biased views.

In total, for the points of a balanced discussion, this text is not useful. Where did you find it?

Draco
09-04-08, 19:37
The stuff it says about the Federal Reserve and Kennedy is pretty accurate.

Apofiss
09-04-08, 19:41
Of course, how could someone actually backup or even proove such a mindless "facts", no one would ever do that.. it's crazy! right? ;) It's not worth telling where this info comes from.

Cochrane
09-04-08, 20:17
The text implies that Kennedy was shot because he wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve. This has to be backed up with some evidence, because motive alone isn't enough.

As an example for misleading facts: Saying that the current dollar is "fiat money" isn't technically wrong, but misleading. Apart from the fact that many will probably wonder what on earth italian cars have to do with this, using the term fiat implies that there are no mechanisms in place to protect the value of the dollar. This is of course wrong. One can say that these mechanisms aren't working correctly (looking at current data, it's hard to come to any other conclusion), but that's a personal opinion. Calling it fiat money without qualification is not 100% wrong, but questionable. This is one of many examples in the text.

Frankly, though, not telling the source makes me kind of uneasy. Was it created by aliens who are going to kill anyone who disagrees? I can't rule that out, so I better let this topic rest in piece, as it should.

jackles
09-04-08, 20:55
Can I just say here regarding the england, the health service does as MT says have a variable level of care within hospitals but if you are sick you usually can get an appointment with your doctor the same day. If you need hospital treatment the speed of your appointment will depend on how long their waiting list is. For instance I saw my doctor regarding a ongoing croaky voice and a week later I was sat in the hospital with a camera down my nose! Quiet often if people pay privately they get the same doctors as the normal health service provides. They get them quicker though. The reason we have a health service and benefits system, in simplistic terms, is that after ww2 the government realised that the people (many of whom were not classed as a1 when they came to enlist) needed to be looked after. The state began to take a paternalistic view.


The trouble is much of our world is governed by bureaucrats who don't live in the 'real world'

Paul H
09-04-08, 21:55
The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 by several independent bankers, including the Rockefeller family. There is NOTHING "federal" about the Federal Reserve, it is PRIVATELY owned and operated (apart from any government or public control). And the Federal "Reserve" certainly has no gold reserve. We are all passing around "FIAT" (worthless) money. John F. Kennedy wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve with Presidential executive order 11110 and they killed him. You see, Kennedy was for the people and the globalist elite couldn't have that.Some good background information on the Federal Reserve and how those behind it use their money power to control politicians, start wars, carry out false flag terrorist operations (like 9/11) and much more:

Pt 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dmPchuXIXQ
Pt 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBZne09Gf5A
Pt 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjUrib_Gh0Y
Pt 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BVNN1wqw3k
Pt 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPPFgHF9VR4

Congressman Ron Paul on the Federal Reserve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji_G0MqAqq8

USP
10-04-08, 00:40
This world is crap. Rich get richer and poor get poorer. I'm starting to feel the need to shoot myself or something so I could escape this place. :( Why is everything so wrong and getting only worse all the time.

Actually the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting richer. At least in America. In real USD.

You can also skip what even I consider to be conspiracy theories regarding the federal reserve and just read this: http://www.mises.org/store/Case-Against-the-Fed-The-P69C0.aspx.

There is nothing wrong with calling dollars "fiat currency". That's what it is. Dollars are only sought because the government declares them to be legal tender. It does not matter whether there are "mechanisms in place" to protect its value--it is backed by nothing. Only the belief that I will be able to redeem them for goods in the future. When a currency is not backed by something with intrinsic value (i.e. specie) and is used solely due to faith, it is fiat.

http://wildthing.co.in/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/weimar.jpg

"Government is the only institution that can take a valuable commodity like paper, and make it worthless by applying ink."

Draco
10-04-08, 10:18
The last time the United States Treasury had anything to do with the printing of currency was just before Kennedy was assassinated and all of the United States Notes were immediately removed from circulation. They were backed by Silver and the Federal Reserve Notes were and still are backed by nothing.

The Gold in the US Treasury was taken out of the hands of the government not long after the Federal Reserve was created.

Incidently, the Federal Reserve was created to stop things like the Great Depression. However, not only did the Fed not stop it, the Fed made it happen.

myrmaad
10-04-08, 12:06
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 11 million working Americans earn minimum wage, making less than $10,000 a year. In 2000, the richest one percent of Americans had more money to spend after taxes than the total income of the poorest 40 percent. That trend is growing and widening the economic inequality gap.


A wealth of non-partisan info (as opposed to the bull**** published by the misogynist Heritage Foundation):
http://www.wanttoknow.info/incomeinequalitymediaarticles

And this article by someone with a brain that works:
Want to Stimulate the Economy? Address Extreme Inequality

Jan 22, 08

Chuck Collins

Written for Alternet (http://www.alternet.org/story/74736/)
Every couple of years, when big investors suffer losses, Congress and their partisan economists launch into a heated debate over how to stimulate the flagging economy. This is mostly a rehash of the "trickle down" versus "bottom up" debate that dates back to the Reagan years.

Conservatives argue that the answer to the recession is to cut taxes and interest rates targeted at their Łber-wealthy and global corporate patrons. This is their program for any season, rain or shine, so it is immediately suspect.

Progressives argue, correctly, that we should target tax breaks and rebates to low- and middle-income people; their consumer spending will keep the economy chugging. Give a tax break to big corporations and the rich, and it will go anywhere on the planet in search of maximum returns. Give a tax rebate to a lower-income person or a small business and it is spent in the local economy, thus stimulating bottom up demand.

The likely congressional compromise will direct tens of billions in tax breaks to corporations and send ordinary people a check for $300 or $400. The wealthy will be further enriched, and everyone else will have extra cash to spend or pay down their Visa bill.

Whatever Congress does, however, it will borrow funds -- adding further to a national debt that now tops $9 trillion. More borrowing will continue to weaken our economy, widen our trade deficit, increase current and future wealth inequality, and postpone the bill payment for another day.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world's economists look at the United States like we're profligate fools jumping up and down on a bubble of debt. They're nervously depending on us to remain the "shoppers of the world" by borrowing money and buying imports beyond our means. But they see what we ignore: The gig is up.

Underlying our economic crisis is a polarization of income and wealth. Real wages for working people have been stagnant for decades, a horrific fact that has been masked only by increased work hours and vast amounts of private consumer debt in the form of credit cards and second mortgages. On the other end of the wealth spectrum, the superrich have so much money that they are engaging in speculative investments in search of maximum returns. This casino class, with its hedge funds and mortgage gambling schemes, have fueled further economic instability.
Congress should pass a "bottom up" stimulus package and pay for it with taxes on the rich. Three progressive tax proposals could pay for additional investments that would broaden prosperity and reduce distortions caused by concentrated wealth.

Increase top income tax rates. There are 7,500 households in the United States with annual incomes over $20 million. This private jet crowd has been the big winner of the rigged tax system of the last two and a half decades. Congress should boost the top tax rate to 50 percent on annual incomes over $5 million and to 70 percent on incomes over $10 million. This would generate an additional $105 billion a year and pay for a federal stimulus package.

Increase estate taxes. While the Bush administration is using the recession as a pretext for abolishing the estate tax by making the 2001 tax cut permanent, Congress should do just the opposite. The estate tax, our nation's only levy on inherited wealth, should be revamped to tax inheritances over $20 million at higher rates. Revenue should be dedicated to reducing the payroll tax or providing debt-free college educations. As part of reforming the estate tax, Congress should restore the credit that allows states to "piggy back" on the federal estate tax and generate billions in revenue for states. State spending on education, infrastructure and community development are among the most effective intermediate-term economic stimulus.

Tax warehouses of wealth. Over the last two decades, the Łber-rich have funneled billions of dollars -- funds that could have been taxed -- into private foundations and nonprofit organizations like Harvard University. This is the "people's money," forgone tax dollars that should help stimulate the economy. We should increase the annual excise tax on private foundations and nonprofit corporations with assets over $20 million by two percent. Foundations that fail to pay out more than 5 percent a year, excluding their overhead, should be assessed an even higher excise tax.

These measures would generate hundreds of billions to pay for immediate economic stimulus as well as meaningful investments in economic opportunity. Borrowing funds to stimulate the economy will just postpone the pain. Paying now, through targeted taxes on the wealthy, makes economic sense. Further, it addresses the root of our current economic distress, the extreme inequality of wealth and power.

Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and chair of the Working Group on Extreme Inequality, an emerging coalition of religious, business, labor and civic groups concerned about the wealth gap.

Flipper1987
11-04-08, 04:58
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 11 million working Americans earn minimum wage, making less than $10,000 a year.

And what percent of those people are teenagers & college students working part-time? Methinks alot. Heck I was one of them from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s.

In 2000, the richest one percent of Americans had more money to spend after taxes than the total income of the poorest 40 percent.

So what? Today the richest 1% pays approximately 39% of all federal taxes (opposed to 37% in 2000). Today the bottom 40% pays less than 3%, and I'm sure that many of them don't pay any federal taxes at all (yet they'll be receiving a federal rebate of $300 on taxes they never paid).

A wealth of non-partisan info (as opposed to the bull**** published by the misogynist Heritage Foundation)

So I guess if they don't subscribe to your personal political views, they must be sexists & full of crap. They're probably racists too, right? I would not dismiss HF as easily as you would.

http://www.wanttoknow.info/incomeinequalitymediaarticles

And this url you supplied may not take the viewer to a politically "partisan" website, but it is clearly left-wing. Just check out the 9/11 section.

And this article by someone with a brain that works:

LOL. Did anyone notice that no where in this article does the author suggest that Congress engage in more disciplined spending? It's all tax & spend, soak the successful, tax & spend, & raise tax rates to discourage success, innovation, & entrepreneurship. Did I mention tax & spend?

This was one of my favorite lines from Collins article:

"Tax warehouses of wealth. Over the last two decades, the Łber-rich have funneled billions of dollars -- funds that could have been taxed -- into private foundations and nonprofit organizations like Harvard University. This is the "people's money," forgone tax dollars that should help stimulate the economy."

This is typical left-wing thinking. The $ you earn isn't yours...it's the "people's" (in other words, the government's). I also love how Collins is pandering to poor people by suggesting that the gov't should jack up taxes on the rich so they can give it to the poor. This practice of redistributing wealth (& buying votes in the process) would impress even Karl Marx.

Unfortunately class warfare has become the Dem's modus operandi & it inevitably leads to the creation of larger, more expensive, more intrusive entitlement programs that further bloat the gov't & guarantee larger budgets that in turn require higher taxes. And in the end, the federal government becomes bigger & more powerful while individuals lose more & more of their economic freedoms.

The sad thing is that the US economy is going through a rough patch, the government spends too much money, too many banks loaned $$ to people they shouldn't have, everyone yells for fiscal discipline yet they scream if the funding for their pet programs decreases by a dollar, & we have people who think that YouTube videos w/ rock & roll music in the background are unassailable sources of economic knowledge.

FLIPPER

myrmaad
11-04-08, 08:48
I'm glad that what you term "class warfare" has become the issue of the dems, it's always been my issue. I don't characterize it as such, personally, I would just like some justice.

You got me wrong on this though:
So I guess if they don't subscribe to your personal political views, they must be sexists & full of crap. They're probably racists too, right? I would not dismiss HF as easily as you would.Not at all, and don't put words into my mouth, I might bite your finger.
The Heritage Foundation is misogynist because their solution to poverty is that women marry the fathers of their kids: well DUH. I'm all for marriages that work, but I would not stay married for economic security if the husband in my marriage was untenable. How about calling for men to be taught to be responsible men? I've been married more than 26 years, myself, but I'm very lucky that my husband has learned from his mistakes every step of the way, and continued to earn my respect and love in spite of our problems. I'm not saying it's always the man's fault, but the Heritage Foundation tends to put it all on the woman without addressing the men at all. The solution is to teach people how to be in successful marriages. You can't be in a successful marriage with alcohol or drug addiction, a major contributor to poverty -in a very typical scenario the husband is unacceptable because of drug or alcohol abuse and that's why the woman and her children end up in poverty. I have seen it with my own eyes literally hundreds of times. I've watched it in my own family and seen it happen to many of my friends, and it's easy to see it on the large scale when you get into urban poverty. Well why should you care, those people are by and large mostly brown. Hmm, what was that you said? :rolleyes:

Where did you get your statistics on taxation? They don't match mine. I got mine from a respected non-partisan source.

And I'm sorry, the website I posted is not a blatant instrument of the left wing, as the Heritage Foundation is.

I have no democratic party loyalty, by the way. If the republicans stopped championing big business over the individual I'd jump on that bandwagon. I watch c-span every day, and I know what congress is doing, I watch them doing it. You obviously don't. The big spenders are the Repugs.

USP
11-04-08, 19:03
Both are big spenders. That is why we say the whole thing is fixed.

dream raider
11-04-08, 19:12
http://weightweenies.starbike.com/images/lightbike/bike.jpg

And for the sake of bitter irony:
http://www.lisaaukland.com/Links/Sep13476Legs..jpg

Paul H
11-04-08, 19:19
And this url you supplied may not take the viewer to a politically "partisan" website, but it is clearly left-wing. Just check out the 9/11 section.


9/11 scepticism is certainly not confined to the left. Far from it - in fact the old left generally refuse to even look at the evidence because it doesnít fit their long ingrained dogmatic theories about who runs the world and for what purpose. And some from the 9/11 truth movement would make even you look left wing.

USP
12-04-08, 02:45
Quite a few libertarians are "9/11 truthers". It goes with the hatred for most government programs.