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Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cataclysm - Part V

Moderators: LyricalRico, WizStorm, miller31time, nate33

Post#821 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sat Jan 5, 2013 9:39 pm by gesa2

I don't get any of the logic behind the debt ceiling. Congress appropriates funds and sets the tax rates, not the president. Every bit of that debt is already encoded in budgets that have already passed. If you believe in changing the budget, then change the budget, don't default. It's like me saying to my wife "Our spending is out of control, we need to stick to our budget better. So I'm not going to pay our mortgage". It makes no sense at all.
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Post#822 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sat Jan 5, 2013 9:40 pm by hands11

First of. Just watching the Chris Hayes show that comes on Sat and Sunday morning. I really recommend everyone who is interesting in learning about policy watch it. Doesn't matter which side you line up with, it's just a very good show that explains the details of policies. They cover what is going on much more then promoting what should go on.

Here is something I didn't know before watching it this time. Seems NASCAR got a tax brake in this last deal. We all know that is in our national interest - lol Chris Hayes response was funny. He said, people like NASCAR then laughed. He is just a really smart person. How he knows so much about policy and process amazes me.

The payroll tax holiday was left to expire and got little coverage in the news. I'm fine with that. If we want to say Social Security pays for itself as it has, then we don't want money from the general fund paying for part of it which is what was happening with the payroll tax holiday. If they want to do some forms of tax cuts for the middle class as stimulus ( which is what this was holiday was for ), they need to do it another way. Bush just sent everyone a check. Remember. Same effect. Different name. Obviously less overhead in just taking less out of your check then having to send you one but names matter.

As for Hilliary. Honestly. I don't know how people will respond to that when the time comes. It will need to get vetted and it will. We are talking 3 years from now also. You know like I know that a majority of people don't understand these type of things in great detail. I just know in general that the macro momentum is that their are more women in politics. The senate just added several women. I think there will be momentum for any viable Dem and a women Dem will have an advantage. She is a smart experienced women. Hillary was a first lady. Then a Senator. Then a head of State. She has the experience and the Clinton name is still a good one. He earned her spot as next in line. I don't think Biden would want the job. I could be wrong.

I would think it is shes to lose. If we are talking her against Chrisy. Well, he has the added baggage of being an R, fat and not a women. If you haven't noticed. The pendulum has swung. Being an conservative R is like being a liberal Dem used to be. That doesn't help having an R next to your name. People like to vote for the winning team and right now, that is the Dems.

If I was to take a wild guess, I would say most popular labels people would identify with today politically would be a moderate dem or progressive dem. And those number will grow from here until next election.

Christie is an interesting dude. I'm sure he could make a bigger name for himself nationally by running in the primaries, but not sure his message would be better then Hilliary. Now he does have the advantage of being a huge man. Maybe the country is ready for it first Fat Man president since TV. Hmmm. I think they would go women before they go Fat. Christie has time. He is still pretty young. But honestly, I don't think he will ever be president. He will be a McCain type. A player, but not the leader of the nation.

If you know history, emancipation goes in this order. People of race i.e. being black. Then women. The Gay. I don't think an openly gay president would happen for a while. Not in my life. I don't think at least. But the white guy string has been broken. I think you will see a Spanish one soon enough. But it will be a Dem Spanish. Not a token.

The country just did their first black skinned president. Two terms even. A women will happen soon. Hillary makes a lot of sense and she isn't getting any younger. The country may just want to do it. Hard to overcome that kind momentum. It had a lot to do with Obama's first term election. Same will be true for a women. When the country is ready, they are ready.
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Post#823 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sat Jan 5, 2013 10:08 pm by hands11

noworriesinmd wrote:@hands - I now know you are not an economist and you need to not follow the hype (I'm not attacking you)

EVERY modern President has handed over an economy going into recession.

Bush - Obama
Clinton - Bush
Reagan - Bush/Clinton

I was taking an Economics class at a top 10 University when Bush #2 was elected and that was our finals question, to predict where the economy was going and what we'd do to solve the "predicted" recession.

I know I over simplified things. However, people try to make things complicated to enslave minds and to make a topic more complicated than it should be. There is a reason why we are not a direct Democracy (people...unfortunately don't always think long term)

I'd rather debate simple principles
1. If you spend more than you take in, you will run out of money.
2. It is easier to make a deal with 2 people in the room vs 20. (State coming to consensus vs Country)
3. A person will rarely do something that goes against their self interest
4. Deals that done in back rooms and rarely are better than ones vetted by a truly free market.


Excellent. You sound like a smart person who is fair minded. I have no problem debating with people like that.

I also studied business in college and took economics classes so I know a little though its been a few years since I was in school. My last 20 years have been building a company more on the sales, marketing, business and product development side of things. So calling something a laffer's curve isn't so much my way as much as describing a laffer's curve principle without the name. But I don't mind people using the wonk talk. It gets me to look it up and then I remember some about the actual names for things.

As for simple principles. 1 and 2 are clear cut. Can't really argue against that.
3 is more subjective. It depends on what you see as your self interest. Me or big picture. Do you do what is good for you personally or what is good for your kids and family which you view as good for you personally. Take that a step farther and some would say what is best for my country is good for me personally. A patriot. Some people give there very lives following this logic of self interest. Then you have people that say what is best for the world is good for me personally because that is what is best for my family therefor me. And every mix of those things. So that is not so clear cut. But it is central to the debate because of how different people focus on this topic differently.

4 is kind of messy as well. That can mean lots of things. The masses can be very stupid at times. But if we have politically honest people and a smart public, then 4 can work well. Sadly, the masses can get feed bad information and when they are, they can vote for bad things. Remember. Hitler was elected. Germany was a national moment that got out of control. Hitler even started his legislative sessions talking about God. 4 is not as clean cut as you make it.

Most people don't know the first thing about economics nor have they studies it at the college level. So you are talking about the vast majority of the electorate not having any idea about this stuff. Then even of those that do, you have macro and micro people. You have capitalists. The combination of that along with your #3 makes for vastly different view on how economics should get applied as policy.

There is lies the read debate. And thats without even introducing the physiologic facts in how people take in information and process it. That is where the messaging of politics comes in. At its worst, it propaganda. At its best, it inspiring a nation to greatness.
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Post#824 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sat Jan 5, 2013 10:21 pm by popper

gesa2 wrote:I don't get any of the logic behind the debt ceiling. Congress appropriates funds and sets the tax rates, not the president. Every bit of that debt is already encoded in budgets that have already passed. If you believe in changing the budget, then change the budget, don't default. It's like me saying to my wife "Our spending is out of control, we need to stick to our budget better. So I'm not going to pay our mortgage". It makes no sense at all.


You make a really good point gesa2. I think the simple explanation for why R's would exercise their authority to restrict additional debt now vs. in the past is that the Fed recently announced that they will double their monthly contribution to stimulus, which will now total $80 Billion per month vs. the previous $40 Billion a month. They are doing so to keep interest rates low and because there are not enough pigeons to finance our long term U.S. debt right now. Congress has no control over the Fed however the President does and he is happy about the Fed's actions. The only way the R's can stop the insanity is to restrict debt by way of their authority over the debt limit.

If the Fed refrained from this stimulus interest rates would skyrocket and all hell would break loose. Instead, they are pushing the "all hell breaks loose" down the road and making a solution to our economic problems that much harder and more costly to achieve.
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Post#825 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sat Jan 5, 2013 10:25 pm by hands11

gesa2 wrote:I don't get any of the logic behind the debt ceiling. Congress appropriates funds and sets the tax rates, not the president. Every bit of that debt is already encoded in budgets that have already passed. If you believe in changing the budget, then change the budget, don't default. It's like me saying to my wife "Our spending is out of control, we need to stick to our budget better. So I'm not going to pay our mortgage". It makes no sense at all.


Lol.

Awesome and concise. Send that to the DNC and tell them to use it. You are right. Most people don't understand this and that is how they get fooled when politicians lie to them with messaging that sounds like it makes sense. Obama wants a blank check to spend as much as he wants. lol.. Sounds like a bad thing. I don't want the President to have that power. Only the negotiations on what would get spent already happened when they appropriated it. That was the time to fight about it. Besides, as the economy grows, debt levels will keep going up even if debt to GDP stays the same.

All that is happening is the Rs are trying to get two bits at the Apple. They want what they want and so they are trying to use this as a way to get it. Like Blazing Saddles the movie. If you haven't watch it, there was scene where this black fella, I think he was the sheriff, well he ended up in some old Western white town and they were coming at him. So he points the gun to his head and say, don't move and the N gets it. Then he walked himself out the room with the gun to his head holding himself hostage.

What is funny.. well not funny.. crazy actually .. is that the Rs used the logic of spending and then growing the economy fast enough so that growth would lower the debt to GDP as the core of there platform and economic principle for the last 25 years. Only their spending was in the form of tax cuts that were not paid for. Do people really not understand this ?
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Post#826 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sat Jan 5, 2013 10:39 pm by hands11

popper wrote:
gesa2 wrote:I don't get any of the logic behind the debt ceiling. Congress appropriates funds and sets the tax rates, not the president. Every bit of that debt is already encoded in budgets that have already passed. If you believe in changing the budget, then change the budget, don't default. It's like me saying to my wife "Our spending is out of control, we need to stick to our budget better. So I'm not going to pay our mortgage". It makes no sense at all.


You make a really good point gesa2. I think the simple explanation for why R's would exercise their authority to restrict additional debt now vs. in the past is that the Fed recently announced that they will double their monthly contribution to stimulus, which will now total $80 Billion per month vs. the previous $40 Billion a month. They are doing so to keep interest rates low and because there are not enough pigeons to finance our long term U.S. debt right now. Congress has no control over the Fed however the President does and he is happy about the Fed's actions. The only way the R's can stop the insanity is to restrict debt by way of their authority over the debt limit.

If the Fed refrained from this stimulus interest rates would skyrocket and all hell would break loose. Instead, they are pushing the "all hell breaks loose" down the road and making a solution to our economic problems that much harder and more costly to achieve.


Pop

You are missing the most powerful economic stimulus of all. Peoples belief that things are getting better. That is what gets people from hording to investing. That makes the GDP go up. That is what ultimately raises asset values. Interest rates need to stay low right now. The housing problem is getting cleaned up more and more all the time. Once that reaches bottom and starts to recover, people will have more wealth again. That will bring in more state revenue. That revenue get invested back into the system. Then with a stronger economy, you can do a combination of growing the economy and trimming spending to lower the debt to GDP more. That is the process are we currently in. Its not happening over night. Its a process. Eventually the economy is healthy enough to absorb allowing interest raise to start going up. Just go look at what happen post WWII when we peaked at 120% debt to GDP.

We took a major major hit when the banks where failing and the equity bubble was busting. This is the softer landing. In time if we keep these policies in place, we will recover more and more until we are in the clear.

What we need to manage is getting through the baby boomers retiring. But that has been the case all along. We know this 25 years ago. And you know what. Clinton left us in great shape to do it. Some other president and party screwed it up. Two wars. Unpaid for tax cuts. Medicaid D. Dept of HLS.

But they are working it out. All hope is not lost. Progress has been made. We are headed in the right direction. Don't worry. Dems will clean up the Rs mess just like they did after Reagan/Bush. They are used to doing that by now.
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Post#827 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sat Jan 5, 2013 10:44 pm by popper

hands11 wrote:
gesa2 wrote:I don't get any of the logic behind the debt ceiling. Congress appropriates funds and sets the tax rates, not the president. Every bit of that debt is already encoded in budgets that have already passed. If you believe in changing the budget, then change the budget, don't default. It's like me saying to my wife "Our spending is out of control, we need to stick to our budget better. So I'm not going to pay our mortgage". It makes no sense at all.


Lol.

Awesome and concise. Send that to the DNC and tell them to use it. You are right. Most people don't understand this and that is how they get fooled when politicians lie to them with messaging that sounds like it makes sense. Obama wants a blank check to spend as much as he wants. lol.. Sounds like a bad thing. I don't want the President to have that power. Only the negotiations on what would get spent already happened when they appropriated it. That was the time to fight about it. Besides, as the economy grows, debt levels will keep going up even if debt to GDP stays the same.

All that is happening is the Rs are trying to get two bits at the Apple. They want what they want and so they are trying to use this as a way to get it. Like Blazing Saddles the movie. If you haven't watch it, there was scene where this black fella, I think he was the sheriff, well he ended up in some old Western white town and they were coming at him. So he points the gun to his head and say, don't move and the N gets it. Then he walked himself out the room with the gun to his head holding himself hostage.

What is funny.. well not funny.. crazy actually .. is that the Rs used the logic of spending and then growing the economy fast enough so that growth would lower the debt to GDP as the core of there platform and economic principle for the last 25 years. Only their spending was in the form of tax cuts that were not paid for. Do people really not understand this ?


Hands, I'm not sure that you understand what's going on. Please see my response to Gesa2 directly preceeding your post. 99% of the country does not understand what the Fed is doing to our economy (with Obama's blessing). If interest rates were allowed to reach their market value our economy would tank overnight and there would be intense pressure on the govt. to reduce spending. What Obama and the Fed are doing is creating a mirage of economic growth financed through the devaluation of our currency. You're a smart guy, surely you can see where this will all end.
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Post#828 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sat Jan 5, 2013 11:16 pm by hands11

People not living in the fake bubble they lived in from 2000-2007 ?

Pop. I get what they are doing. That is what the Fed is chartered to do. To take out the highs and lows. They are buying time with the housing mess gets cleaned up. People are still short selling and cleaning up their financial situation. First we bailed out Wall Street. Now they are cleaning up the mess for people which also still affects the banks. It was a hug mess to clean up.

What they are doing now is not so much the problem as what they did under Bush that got up here.

The recession we needed to feel was the one that should have happened under Bush.

Saying the Fed in under the control of the president is MEH. If that is true for one, it is true for all.
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Post#829 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:03 am by noworriesinmd

When I went to school, there was a lecture series about the media and America.
The panel came to the conclusion that American's will begin to move around people who share their same beliefs AND they will listen to new broadcasts that reinforce their view of the world. Hmm, almost 10 years later that is what we have.

Personally, I can't stand listening 5 minutes to Chris on MSNBC or Hannity on Fox.
I can't believe how "snarky" Chris is, Saturday mornings. Sometimes I want to throw a chair at the TV because he is such an ass. I feel the same way about 90% of the people on Fox and MSNBC. I hate when people quote those stations. Both stations are full of propaganda and distorted facts twisted to re-imforce a view point that is just slanted enough to be "right", but in actuality is wrong.

I'll take your point that #3 & #4 are subjective.
Personally, I do believe that people will always act in their self interest (basic tenant of economics). Even someone sacrificing their life is doing it for a reason, that I might not understand. No act is selfless, even parenting.

#4, I only added that because I hate how the Federal Gov't is adding more laws to the books. Most laws that you and I are subjected to are state and local laws...not federal. This is starting to change because legislators want to give the appearance of doing something vs solving problems. There is a book I read awhile back that talks about how each of us commits three felonies a day. Did you know one of the biggest contributors to legislative think-tanks is the Private Prison Lobby...think about that.

The debt ceiling vote is a joke. However, I don't like any President picking and choosing what they will and will not do. What they will and will not enforce. After Nixon the Presidency lost a lot of power...however the pendulum is swinging back..... Congress used to have to authorize all spending, the debt celiing was a way to give more leeway to the Executive branch.

I said all the above because everyone wants what they don't have to pay for. People are MAD at Obama because payroll taxes are going back to normal. People are mad because they are being forced to save for retirement & medical expenses in later years. Most people don't realize that Employees/Employeers pay SS/Medicare taxes. I don't even want to talk about Workers Comp. These things are designed to protect all of us in the future. However most American's only care about "today". I believe you fight tooth and nail to prevent any federal program from becoming reality...not because I'm evil, its because it is ripe for abuse. When half of America can't agree on anything, yet something is shoved down the other halves throat and is told "deal with it", that relationship will not last long. A short victory now, causes long term damage in the future.

I've been blessed to have a very successful career and now a fast growing company. I've been able to do things that I could only imagine when I was younger. It came with a price. No partying in my 20's. Working full time through school. Working at night. Many sleepless and long days. I am know reaping the benefits of 20 years worth of work, but it saddens me that American's don't truly understand what is going on. A lot o f people feel entitled. In high school, my freshman year there were over 200 people in my class, by the time I graduated...less than 60 walked the stage.

The Tea party was made into an extremist group. They were given the labels "A war on Women". "Racists", etc...however 90% of the people in that movement just wanted the Gov't to stop spending more than it took in.

The Occupy Movement was also made into an extremist group. "Hippies", "Loosers", when most of the people who supported them saw the unfairness of a system that, for example, pushes PhD's in science and Math though loans...but when you graduate there are few private or academic PhD jobs available..which you have a mortgage in college loans.


Guess what is the most PROFITABLE entity in the world, DOUBLING the profit of the most profitable company in the world..Gazprom. This entity had profits this year of almost 90 BILLION this year....guess who it is..the Fed.

We talk about consolidation of power in Russia and China, when it it happening in the US in front of all of us.

I'm sorry for ranting, but SS/Med/Healthcare/debt ceiling/Presidential Power is all pointing to the lose of power by the people. We cheer symbolic victories instead of solving real problems. When I was younger, I wanted to run for office bad. I did everything I was supposed to do....now I just shake my head and wonder if we are all mad.
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Post#830 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sun Jan 6, 2013 3:57 am by montestewart

rant all you want, noworriesinmd, that was a good read.
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Post#831 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sun Jan 6, 2013 10:20 am by nate33

Epic post, noworriesinmd. Nice job summarizing the frustrations of many, including myself.
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Post#832 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Sun Jan 6, 2013 11:27 am by Induveca

nate33 wrote:Epic post, noworriesinmd. Nice job summarizing the frustrations of many, including myself.


+1

Sounds like we've lived similar adult lives noworriesinmd. The entitlement you speak of literally helped me make my decision to leave the country.

I couldn't stomach paying for many of the programs which enable this logic......
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Post#833 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Jan 8, 2013 11:27 am by popper

As long as the electorate continues to reward such irresponsible behavior there is little hope for our economic future.


Tuesday marks the 1,350th day since the Senate passed a budget. The law requires Congress to pass a budget every year, on the grounds that Americans deserve to know how the government plans to spend the trillions of taxpayer dollars it collects, along with dollars it borrows at the taxpayers' expense. But Majority Leader Harry Reid, who last allowed a budget through the Senate in April 2009, has ignored the law since then.

There's no mystery why. The budget passed by large Democratic majorities in the first months of the Obama administration had hugely elevated levels of spending in it. By not passing a new spending plan since, Reid has in effect made those levels the new budgetary baseline. Congress has kept the government going with continuing resolutions based on the last budget signed into law.

While Reid has forbidden action, the House has passed budgets as required. Senate Democrats have been highly critical of those budgets, designed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. But under Reid's leadership, Democrats have steadfastly refused to come up with a plan of their own.


http://washingtonexaminer.com/byron-yor ... OxG628zO8B
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Post#834 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Jan 8, 2013 11:50 am by Induveca

Here's an interesting reality of modern manufacturing that American lawmakers/voters aren't realizing for the most part....

Have a guy I know down here in Dominican Republic. He has been very successful manufacturing over the past 30 years, both in the US and overseas. He sold his old company, which was almost 100% overseas manufacturing, moved back to the US for early retirement in 2009.

One year later, and had a new idea and decided he was going to manufacture in the US. Old US partners jumped aboard again, and they went to setup shop in Georgia or a few other southern states. The cost was unheard of, it would have cost him nearly 2000% more to operate in the US, and he would turn out 1/3 of the products vs his old overseas shops. This was basic assembly, he would have had to purchase the components in Asia. That would add even more time. In his overseas shops, it was built and assembled in one factory.

He saw it through for about 9 months, tried to make it work via state and federal tax cuts and got it down to around 6x the cost of doing business in the Caribbean through promised tax cuts and grants. He was willing to go about it purely to stay in the US.

Here's where it all changed. When it was time to acquire strategic partners in the area of patents, and seed funding (you never spend your own money with a great idea), the business, as all businesses do these days immediately had multiple non-Americans in the fold (mostly EU). They all told him he was sitting on a gold mine, but not if he manufactured in the USA. Tax breaks change, governments change, well-meaning mayors/governors change. Basically his 1400% reduction in costs were non-existent. They were empty promises, best case scenario half of them would come through and at odd times. Basing a business off of these financials was suicide. The business was very sound, but the variable of manufacturing in America on such a large scale was foolish with global economic realities.

Despite his good intentions, once a certain amount of equity was given up and a board formed....the company relocated manufacturing overseas. It's hard to attract equity/board members when you're pitch is "I want to stay home and will spend 600% more to do so). He's now back in the Caribbean, and business thriving. He's on pace to do over 1 billion dollars in revenue this year alone. He goes back to Georgia twice a month for 4 days to see some family and shop.

Here's the best (and worst) part. His largest customer is the US Government.
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Post#835 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Jan 8, 2013 12:46 pm by DCZards

Indu, I'd be interested in knowing what the higher US costs were the result of...health and safety regs, environmental regs, employee salaries and benefits, all of the above?

And, yes, elected officials and tax laws do change. Democracy is messy and sometimes unpredictable.
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Post#836 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Jan 8, 2013 5:00 pm by Induveca

DCZards wrote:Indu, I'd be interested in knowing what the higher US costs were the result of...health and safety regs, environmental regs, employee salaries and benefits, all of the above?

And, yes, elected officials and tax laws do change. Democracy is messy and sometimes unpredictable.


Salary, land, facilities, parts, shipping, HR, transportation, utilities, taxes, union involvement, government bribes are far less. No need to pay 100-200,000 dollars yearly to DC lobbyists.

For instance, the Dominican Republic gives tax free status to foreign companies and company owners operating out of free zones. They do it to create manufacturing jobs for the local population...it also acts as a sort of
technical university.

It has worked very well, I'm working with former factory workers turned business owners 25 years after implementing the program.

So no taxes, 3500-7000 a year salary per employee vs 25000-40000. Land is free, vs a 3 million dollar facility outside Atlanta. No interview process, literally have tens of thousands of experienced employees here ready to manufacture who appreciate the free zone jobs.

Our workforce education is certainly worse, but it doesn't take a liberal arts
degree to slap mechanical parts together.

Final nail in the coffin is there is a very friendly government here if you network enough, and it's centralized in one city. Easier to grease the wheels if you need favors.
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Post#837 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Tue Jan 8, 2013 10:39 pm by DCZards

Induveca wrote:
Salary, land, facilities, parts, shipping, HR, transportation, utilities, taxes, union involvement, government bribes are far less. No need to pay 100-200,000 dollars yearly to DC lobbyists.

For instance, the Dominican Republic gives tax free status to foreign companies and company owners operating out of free zones. They do it to create manufacturing jobs for the local population...it also acts as a sort of
technical university.

Final nail in the coffin is there is a very friendly government here if you network enough, and it's centralized in one city. Easier to grease the wheels if you need favors.


The cost of doing business in the US is no doubt much higher than it is in the Dominican Republic. It's always going to be that way. Pretty much everything here in the US is more expensive and, in most instances, of a higher quality.

The US has high standards as it relates to workers' rights, environmental protection, workplace health and safety, child labor, wages and benefits, retirement/healthcare security, etc. And, as problematic (and expensive) as these standards may be, I think most Americans wouldn't have it any other way. It's part of our "social compact."

I'm convinced that the US can--and will--maintain these core values even as we work our way out of these difficult economic times. The last thing I would want to see us do is to try to compete with a country like DR in what would essentially be a race to the bottom.

Oh, and that "very friendly government" that creates opportunities for "networking and greasing the wheels." I believe that's called corruption and bribery.
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Post#838 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Wed Jan 9, 2013 12:13 pm by Induveca

DCZards wrote:
Induveca wrote:
Salary, land, facilities, parts, shipping, HR, transportation, utilities, taxes, union involvement, government bribes are far less. No need to pay 100-200,000 dollars yearly to DC lobbyists.

For instance, the Dominican Republic gives tax free status to foreign companies and company owners operating out of free zones. They do it to create manufacturing jobs for the local population...it also acts as a sort of
technical university.

Final nail in the coffin is there is a very friendly government here if you network enough, and it's centralized in one city. Easier to grease the wheels if you need favors.


The cost of doing business in the US is no doubt much higher than it is in the Dominican Republic. It's always going to be that way. Pretty much everything here in the US is more expensive and, in most instances, of a higher quality.

The US has high standards as it relates to workers' rights, environmental protection, workplace health and safety, child labor, wages and benefits, retirement/healthcare security, etc. And, as problematic (and expensive) as these standards may be, I think most Americans wouldn't have it any other way. It's part of our "social compact."

I'm convinced that the US can--and will--maintain these core values even as we work our way out of these difficult economic times. The last thing I would want to see us do is to try to compete with a country like DR in what would essentially be a race to the bottom.

Oh, and that "very friendly government" that creates opportunities for "networking and greasing the wheels." I believe that's called corruption and bribery.


Zards, I agree 100% with what you said. But I've bribed everyone in DC as well. DC is equally corrupt.

I've seen lobbyists and high ranking officials accept trips / cash / car financing to get things done in DC. Lobbyists are more than happy to get money where it needs to go, and magically whatever you needed passed gets passed.

As my father told me (when peso was 6 to 1 US dollar) a government bribe in DR is 100 pesos, Venezuela 100 dollars, USA 10,000 dollars.

Still holds true. Befriend powerful lobbyists and you'll see how corrupt the US is......
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Post#839 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Wed Jan 9, 2013 5:03 pm by Zonkerbl

U.S. lost its comparative advantage in light manufacturing years ago. Don't know what this story tells us.

We are mildly competitive in high tech manufacturing, but only just. We are good at airplanes, software, financial advice, administrating far-flung international corporations, and inventing new stuff.

The folks who are researching ways to use genomic information to cure cancer are located here. Transgenic animal research is done here. Biologically engineered crops were invented here.

Not everything we invent is going to be manufactured here. Ipods are manufactured in China, and virtually all 3G cellphones are imported. We get the royalties and license fees -- not a lot, granted.

Yes, the U.S. is a lousy place to manufacture things. We have a set of policies that says if you are going to provide manufacturing jobs here, they have to be safe and clean and high paying. So we don't have that many manufacturing jobs here.

So all the really good jobs are in high tech industries requiring a fairly advanced degree. That means there are no particularly good jobs for high school grads, and precious few good jobs for bachelors.

So... you can go two ways with that. Try and win a race to the bottom with China, or invest more in education and create good, safe, clean, high paying high tech jobs that we have a competitive advantage in.

And that's a bipartisan issue. Both the Dems and the Republicans want this. Since it requires investment in soft, icky, bleeding heart liberal things like education rather than missiles, I kind of trust the Dems to do it right. But business folks have been lobbying for better higher education since I've been in the biz, which includes 8 years working with Republicans.
Jazz comm: (about the free Chick Fil-a) "They should be giving away free paper bags"
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Post#840 Re: Political Roundtable Cosmic String of Cat
Wed Jan 9, 2013 5:14 pm by noworriesinmd

I have to agree that the US is somewhat corrupt.
Money = Access. Anyone who tells you differently does not have enough money.

Did you know you can meet and get your picture taken with ANY President for a fee?
I know because I attended a DNC function, last year, where I was told I could if I met certain goals.
Every politician is available. You might not be able to sway their opinion, but you HAVE access which someone in the Projects does not have. We all heard about fundraisers during the election, everyone there...was there because they PAID.

I bleed Red, White, and Blue. For all our imperfections, there is no place on this planet I'd rather be a citizen of...but all politicians can be met for a fee, because elections cost money.


That said, read up on 3D printing. Manufacturing as we know it will exponentially change in 10 years.
Manufacturing jobs will go back to the US to higher paid workers....the difference is that you'll only need 10% of the workforce you have now.

China and other countries are great for "just in time" manufacturing, but transportation costs are high.
With 3D printing, in the future, you'll be able to manufacturer parts onsite with the part being given to you via software code.
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