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lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 10:50:33 AM

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Posts: 6,373
Location: Alabama, United States


Further proof that no matter what the issue, both sides of the aisle can turn any topic in their favor or against their opponents whenever or however they choose. Yes, this is a Republican guy and he and his cronies are just as bad as the hated pinko lefties. Be clear, I'm not picking a side here. I'm equally pissed off by Reds and Blues. I do find the arguement that high gas prices saves lives to be quite ridiculous though.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Juicyme
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 1:35:33 PM

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Joined: 2/7/2011
Posts: 177
Location: between a rock and grad school applications, Unite
This video is lying. Gas was not under $2 in 2009. Also, the unrest in the Middle East is causing uncertainty in the oil world. Egypt, Libya, Nigeria aren't producing oil at this time. It takes 10 yrs to refine oil to be used. It takes longer to drill it. And to top it off the global market isn't even recognizing Brazil as a major competitor in oil as they should.

Everyone just needs to go sit down somewhere, have a glass of wine and actually write/pass legislation that actually helps the country instead of pointing fingers.

BTW Obama had a point about having a car with good mileage.
lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2:07:54 PM

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Joined: 10/4/2010
Posts: 6,373
Location: Alabama, United States
According to comsumer reports the average price of gas in January 2009 was $1.68/gallon.



Like I said this isn't a bashing on President Obama alone, but on both political parties. But to your point, yes a car with good gas mileage is a smart idea. Generally speaking of course. My problem is the complete flip flop that was done. While trying to become elected, gas prices were and issue and he sympathized. Now that he's in office and hasn't done anything about it... he's basically saying fuck you, deal with it. I despise politicians just stepping in line with their party instead of sticking up for the people. Btw, I think that conservatives that are griping about Democrats lack of doing anything is just as hypocritical since they didn't do much about it either. While I agree that drilling for oil and processing takes time and can be costly, I'd prefer ALL our elected officials acknowledge that it's a problem. Not just those that aren't in control pointing fingers at those that are. If you think gas prices are a problem with a Republican president, you should think the same when a Democrat is president.

Personally, I run a small mechanic shop and do 2 to 3 dozen oil changes a day. I know that for oil changes alone, my cost of goods sold.. i.e. OIL has gone up 10.5% since January. That may not seem like a lot, but it is huge for the bottom line here. Which is rapidly approaching the red. I don't blame Pres. Obama for that, I blame everyone in D.C. now and those that were there before. We've all seen this problem coming for decades yet nothing has been done by anyone.


Consumer reports





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Rembacher
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2:35:32 PM

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Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
Hypocrisy is definitely frustrating. In Canada, we have a political party which originally got elected running a campaign on transparency in government after a spending scandal brought down the previous government. Only once it took office, the "transparent party" has shown a tendency to ignore the transparency laws it enacted when first put in charge. Why bother put in a law that you yourself don't even intend to follow?
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 4:48:51 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,397
Damn liberals are messing up the economy.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 4:50:11 PM

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Well, if it weren't for you and your conservative big oil buddies, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 5:45:06 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,397
And there you have it ladies and gents. A man talking to himself and answering too.
Caughtcha.
Juicyme
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 6:32:29 PM

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Joined: 2/7/2011
Posts: 177
Location: between a rock and grad school applications, Unite
lafayettemister wrote:
According to comsumer reports the average price of gas in January 2009 was $1.68/gallon.



Like I said this isn't a bashing on President Obama alone, but on both political parties. But to your point, yes a car with good gas mileage is a smart idea. Generally speaking of course. My problem is the complete flip flop that was done. While trying to become elected, gas prices were and issue and he sympathized. Now that he's in office and hasn't done anything about it... he's basically saying fuck you, deal with it. I despise politicians just stepping in line with their party instead of sticking up for the people. Btw, I think that conservatives that are griping about Democrats lack of doing anything is just as hypocritical since they didn't do much about it either. While I agree that drilling for oil and processing takes time and can be costly, I'd prefer ALL our elected officials acknowledge that it's a problem. Not just those that aren't in control pointing fingers at those that are. If you think gas prices are a problem with a Republican president, you should think the same when a Democrat is president.

Personally, I run a small mechanic shop and do 2 to 3 dozen oil changes a day. I know that for oil changes alone, my cost of goods sold.. i.e. OIL has gone up 10.5% since January. That may not seem like a lot, but it is huge for the bottom line here. Which is rapidly approaching the red. I don't blame Pres. Obama for that, I blame everyone in D.C. now and those that were there before. We've all seen this problem coming for decades yet nothing has been done by anyone.


Consumer reports




I meant by using the average the price will be lower but the actual prices were higher (average = sum of all then divided by that number). I wonder do people realize that the President can't and doesn't dictate price, the market does.

But I do agree with you the party flip flops are ridiculous adn so is the finger pointing. I wish that instead of griping about things actually do some thing about it.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 9:43:02 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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lafayettemister wrote:
Btw, I think that conservatives that are griping about Democrats lack of doing anything is just as hypocritical since they didn't do much about it either


There really isn't much a political party can do to change the spot price of WTI, Brent Crude, or an OPEC forward contract, but the Republicans have definitely taken the lead on this issue. Republicans have approached it from a supply side point of view, while Democrats take a demand side point of view (seems so familiar). More drilling, more access to reserves, and less regulation vs. "buy a hybrid!".
LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 12:05:41 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
"Drill, dumbass, drill" will get us nowhere, assuming you believe that oil is a finite resource, with all the easy-access,high-quality stuff pretty much accounted for. The alaska reserve that everyone, including the President recently, is salivating over? That would last 3 months if we had to survive on it. The idea of tapping into that to alleviate pricing concerns is unbelievably short-sighted and stupid.

We're going to have to figure out different ways to acquire and produce our energy, and probably still have to scale back our ways of life assuming we have some success with that. The way we built cities here, completely dependent on cars and cheap gas forever, is going to doom us sooner than later. Whenever gas creeps up around $4 or $5/gallon, that lesson is already being felt. I don't doubt that there's probably serious grift in terms of who gets the government research contracts, but what incentive does Exxon have to do it on their own? By the time the oil tap really begins to go from flow to intermittent trickle, all the decision makers now will be snug on their yachts or dead. What the fuck do they really care?

People say that the government can't be trusted to not screw things up or distribute funds with no corruption- fine, but corporations are no more trustworthy in my mind. We're going to have to figure out a Plan B at some point, no matter where it initiates from.
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 12:54:12 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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ladyx wrote:
"Drill, dumbass, drill" will get us nowhere, assuming you believe that oil is a finite resource, with all the easy-access,high-quality stuff pretty much accounted for. The alaska reserve that everyone, including the President recently, is salivating over? That would last 3 months if we had to survive on it. The idea of tapping into that to alleviate pricing concerns is unbelievably short-sighted and stupid.


Some people living in Fort Worth (Barnet Shale) cutting the check would disagree with that first sentence. It would last three months if we knew exactly what the reserves were and if we used all of that imprecise figure as our sole means of oil. More supply, steady demand, what do we get? Forgive me for not having much faith in your analysis of the Cushing Contract.



ladyx wrote:
We're going to have to figure out different ways to acquire and produce our energy, and probably still have to scale back our ways of life assuming we have some success with that. The way we built cities here, completely dependent on cars and cheap gas forever, is going to doom us sooner than later. Whenever gas creeps up around $4 or $5/gallon, that lesson is already being felt. I don't doubt that there's probably serious grift in terms of who gets the government research contracts, but what incentive does Exxon have to do it on their own? By the time the oil tap really begins to go from flow to intermittent trickle, all the decision makers now will be snug on their yachts or dead. What the fuck do they really care?



I'm definitely with you about decreasing how much energy we consume. I remain convinced that price signals are more than sufficient means with which to take care of this. I wouldn't worry too much about what the major E&P companies are doing with their money - they're slowly liquidating right now. What will happen is that everybody will adapt and someone will innovate and we'll move on to worrying about the next problem.



ladyx wrote:
People say that the government can't be trusted to not screw things up or distribute funds with no corruption- fine, but corporations are no more trustworthy in my mind. We're going to have to figure out a Plan B at some point, no matter where it initiates from.


And this is really more a question more for WellMadeMale than you, but why the antagonism towards corporations? They're efficient for the allocation of capital and allow a democratic ownership. Is it the size of corporations, certain corporations, certain industries that you just don't like for a specific reason, or are you secretly a tax attorney who prefers LLP's?
Rembacher
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 7:22:28 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
Manny8 wrote:

ladyx wrote:
We're going to have to figure out different ways to acquire and produce our energy, and probably still have to scale back our ways of life assuming we have some success with that. The way we built cities here, completely dependent on cars and cheap gas forever, is going to doom us sooner than later. Whenever gas creeps up around $4 or $5/gallon, that lesson is already being felt. I don't doubt that there's probably serious grift in terms of who gets the government research contracts, but what incentive does Exxon have to do it on their own? By the time the oil tap really begins to go from flow to intermittent trickle, all the decision makers now will be snug on their yachts or dead. What the fuck do they really care?



I'm definitely with you about decreasing how much energy we consume. I remain convinced that price signals are more than sufficient means with which to take care of this. I wouldn't worry too much about what the major E&P companies are doing with their money - they're slowly liquidating right now. What will happen is that everybody will adapt and someone will innovate and we'll move on to worrying about the next problem.


Ok, first question I have on this is: What indication have you had so far that oil is elastic in its demand? Because for corporations to be motivated to change, they need to feel the squeeze on their profit margins, but so far, we just keep paying more without changing our buying habits. Because of this, the corporations just pass the higher prices on to the consumer, rather than looking at any significant means of reducing costs. Research is expensive, and the payoffs are not guaranteed, so there's no incentive for corporations to even start looking into alternatives as long as we keep paying for the costs of the current energy source.

This the perfect example of where government intervention is needed. Where people can see a problem coming down the road, and want to do something about it. Individually they can not, but collectively, through the organization that represents their collective interests (the government) they can fund research into solutions to the impending energy crisis.

Trusting someone else to innovate seems weird coming from someone who espouses personal responsibility. Why do we pass the buck to someone else to eventually come up with a solution to a problem we already see now. That sounds a lot like sticking your head in the sand, hoping the danger will pass you by. Doesn't it make more sense to make sure the problem gets addressed before it becomes something like the 1980 oil embargo? By the time people actually see a decrease in supply of oil, it will be too late to adjust, and we will take a huge step back before moving forward again.


Manny8 wrote:

ladyx wrote:
People say that the government can't be trusted to not screw things up or distribute funds with no corruption- fine, but corporations are no more trustworthy in my mind. We're going to have to figure out a Plan B at some point, no matter where it initiates from.


And this is really more a question more for WellMadeMale than you, but why the antagonism towards corporations? They're efficient for the allocation of capital and allow a democratic ownership. Is it the size of corporations, certain corporations, certain industries that you just don't like for a specific reason, or are you secretly a tax attorney who prefers LLP's?


I don't have the same level of distrust as WMM or even LadyX, but I'm also not going to blindly trust a corporation to look out for my best interests. Corporations do have a democratic ownership, but that is limited to those who own shares in the company, which I do not. Any Finance or Accounting class I have ever taken comes back to one rule: Corporations, above anything else, are supposed to make the most money they can for their shareholders. They even go as far as saying that a corporation that doesn't do all it can to increase the value of its shares, is short-changing its shareholders, and needs new management. So why would I trust it to look after my interests?

As for whether they actually are efficient in distributing wealth, that's highly dependent on your definition of what the proper allocation of wealth is. Is a CEO really worth 1000 times more than the labourer who actually does the thing that makes his or her company money? Being in a auto-manufacturing city right now, I'll use that as an example. A parts manufacturer will have far less disruption to business replacing a CEO than replacing a welder on the line, and yet the CEO gets paid more, and has more say. That new welder doesn't get time to learn the company, and decide a direction. If they don't hit the ground running, the whole production line slows, or even stops.
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 10:06:27 AM

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So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free enterprise system.
LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 10:47:15 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Manny8 wrote:

And this is really more a question more for WellMadeMale than you, but why the antagonism towards corporations? They're efficient for the allocation of capital and allow a democratic ownership. Is it the size of corporations, certain corporations, certain industries that you just don't like for a specific reason, or are you secretly a tax attorney who prefers LLP's?


I submit to you, the example of Wal-Mart, the US's largest employer*.

They do everything they can to maximize a huge base of unskilled labor for their own benefit. They like to say that they employ about a gazillion full-time employees, but the majority of those are 28-hour weekers, just below the level at which they have to offer benefits befitting a full-time worker. Do you know how many employees that they add to state and federal healthcare subsidy programs because the company itself refuses to offer healthcare benefits? So, taxpayers subsidize their employees benefits, allowing Wal-Mart rake more profit for their shareholders.

They take insurance policies out on their employees. I'm not talking about key executives that they'd have to incur operating losses until they filled their spot efficiently. I'm talking about bottom-rung managers on the floor. When they die, Wal-Mart cashes the policy, the family gets nothing.

They far and away lead the nation in EEOC complaints (and spare me the rhetoric about how useless a government agency like the EEOC is- that's a separate argument, and either way, it points to a disregard for both the law and the dignity of their individual employees for there to be that many red flags going up. Where there's smoke there's fire.)

They essentially extort tax breaks from municipalities in order to locate there, as opposed to a neighboring community or unincorporated land. Often, they'll make the city foot the bill for the infrastructure improvements too (at taxpayer cost). Also, they willingly take losses on products in order to drive local businesses out of work. The number of people they put out of business in separate companies is nowhere close to the number they employ in return, plus you're replacing skilled labor and business managers with unskilled low-wage workers. How is this capitalism beneficial to the common good?


I don't bring this up to expose myself as a collectivist (though in Ayn Rand's eyes, I'm sure I am), or to say that all capitalism is evil. I simply bring it up as an example of how a company with massive power is not necessarily a good thing for all, and that corporations do not by their very nature enhance the common good. As has been stated before by me and others: they exist for profit's sake. They are considered derilict in their duties to owners/shareholders if they do not maximize profits. Anymore, that's often not enough either- thus everyone's obsession with 'growth'. Growth and profit aren't what most would consider altruistic virtues by their very nature, you'd have to admit.

You might say we all have a choice not to frequent them, and that capitalistic transations are mutually beneficial, but we'd have to be awfully reductivist to really insist that this is always the case.

So, don't shop at Wal-Mart, right? Well, ok, but when their pricing is so low, and there stores are often the most convient since so much is under one roof, one is not doing the smart thing by not shopping there. Even if I chose to be principled and shop at local business that are more expensive, that 'invisible hand' is going to eliminate those options sooner or later anyway (or at least a good many of them). We're often subjected to capitalism's cannibalistic ways whether we choose to be or not.

So, if the choice is between paying a steep premium for goods or enabling a corporate predator, can we not at the very least admit that capitalism is not always this pure thing that only benefits society if left alone? What would Wal-Mart do without the regulations that ARE forced upon it? What would labor be like in this country had worker's rights laws not been enacted? (I'm not even touching the union issue, I'll quit while I'm ahead on worker's rights for now ;) )

Is every company an egregious example as Wal-Mart? Of course not. But, is Wal-Mart the only one that shows these sociopathic tendencies toward the society in which it exists? Of course not.



*yes, steviecom, this will look familiar to you :) But I'd have simply been rephrasing the same point if I didn't copy it. Yes, I'm lazy.
Dirty_D
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 2:29:12 PM

Rank: Head Nurse

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Location: Soaking up the sun, United States
and yet a look at history tells us that under other systems the average wrker had much worse time...

The job I work about half the year requires a signifigant amount of travelling(from NY to FL) and we are pulling heavy loads with a 1 ton truck and sometimes a semi. Fuel economy is what it is as there is only so much we can o to improve it, and a little hybrid car isnt an option.However, after some further research

I am not sure how much of a finite resource oil is. People have been beating their chests and predicting the end to the crude since we first started utilizing it. next to the second coming of jesus it is the biggest doomsday predicted!

neither party is without sins...Ron Paul 2012

WellMadeMale
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 4:45:07 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,299
Location: Cakeland, United States
Manny8 wrote:
ladyx wrote:
[quote=ladyx]People say that the government can't be trusted to not screw things up or distribute funds with no corruption- fine, but corporations are no more trustworthy in my mind. We're going to have to figure out a Plan B at some point, no matter where it initiates from.


And this is really more a question more for WellMadeMale than you, but why the antagonism towards corporations? They're efficient for the allocation of capital and allow a democratic ownership. Is it the size of corporations, certain corporations, certain industries that you just don't like for a specific reason, or are you secretly a tax attorney who prefers LLP's?


Xuani, you are a very quick study and you'll make a fine ACLU attorney in about another 7 years Sword Fight ;-)

Manny...I know you're not going to watch a Michael Moore film any more than you're going to spend/invest 90 minutes watching the Aaron Russo film I provided a link to, in the other thread. You've convinced me that you are hard set in your convictions and your mindset is such that other opinions which come into direct contention with your world view ... are to be disregarded - out of hand. That's cool.

You're a trader. That's cool.

You possess the erudite vocabulary which serves you very well in your career occupation, that too...is way cool. I'm not going to invest my time to attempt to persuade you. I do have 20 years experience working for corporations, and my opinions were formulated about 15 years ago and reinforced over the last decade. As Jebru stated, the primary responsibility of a corporation is the bottom line profit to their shareholders. I've seen this in operation at half a dozen Fortune 500 corporations in America. I've even seen one corporation's lead officers drive a company's share price into the ground (after they fleeced it, via stock manipulation) and left their main investors fucking bankrupted. Those top 150 officers all jumped out of the nose diving plane with golden parachutes. But that's another story.

I have worked for corporations as they pay me more (yes, I'm a whore) than working for Mom or Pop operations could pay and with the infrastructure already in place (I don't have to replicate the expensive capital outlay), I can avoid working for 'myself' as a one man, then three man, then 10 person shop and working 100 hours a week instead of 50. Been there, done that.

No, I post my comments for those who, might be like me...sensing that something is amiss, wondering why they've worked their asses off for 10 to 20 years and still are no closer to sniffing the 'good life' that they heard about in the 1950's or 60s (or maybe thought they saw their parents eeking out in the 70s or 80s). People who look around and see very little opportunity in America, after being told..."Hey, this is the land of milk and honey and people want to come here...some want to come here so badly, they'll come here illegally!!"

Geeze, where they're coming from, must be real shit holes, if that's the case.

For everyone else, this guy has already stated how I feel, and he states it eloquently, as did Aaron Russo - America: Freedom to Facsim. You can rent each or watch 'em on YouTube.



Capitalism...Hmmm, it benefits those at the top at the expense of everyone else. You might think you're going to get to the top (and more power to you, if you do), but you most likely won't. And when you do...you most likely will be a major asshole. That's a required characteristic of those in The Club. As a trader...I know you know what I'm talking about.

Hehehe, I worked in finance for 5 years dude. I can smell guys and gals like you from three blocks away. That successful, full grain leather, uber materialistic scent. Fuck you, get outta my way, get a job, ya bum.

And that's cool too. Several of my friends smell just like you. To me. You're probably a great guy.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
AngelHeart01
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 6:08:37 PM

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Location: ♥ Southern Style ♥, United States
Sorry .. I deleted it (decided I should probably just watch)

I think my comment was a little off subject (but still about corporations .. or private industry).
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 10:58:33 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,397
To Lady X: A consistent theme in most of your complaints has to do with the price two parties negotiate amongst themselves. You seem to know exactly what the right price health care should be offered to the population, you know what price, and on what terms Wal-Mart employees should accept for their labor, and what executive compensation should be. Whether you know it or not, this consistent stance tells the world that you, as a third party, know exactly the price and on what terms two parties should negotiate a contract. That's either amazingly precocious, or wildly naive.

And again, a corporation is nothing more than a business entity type. All things considered, it is a wildly successful way to organize capital to an efficient usage. It allows for democratic ownership (those despised shareholders lusting for their profits), and a vehicle for job and wealth creation. This Gilded Age caricature of what a corporation is and what it does is clouded by fear of being marginalized.

WMM: Surprisingly I've watched every Michael Moore film with the exception of Capitalism: A Love Story(some females in my life are fans). He's a sophist with a stale act.

You sound cynical from constantly being beaten down. I've never seen the point of giving up like that.
So what, you got lost in the shuffle, and now you've retired to a life of nihilism and despondence? Hope I'm not making false assumptions about you (maybe not since you've made quite a few about me, which is strange since I'm completely anonymous and shouldn't be subject to ad hominem arguments), but maybe you never had the passion needed to be great at whatever it is you wanted to be great at. Blame yourself before you blame those around you.
LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 11:27:19 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Manny8 wrote:
To Lady X: A consistent theme in most of your complaints has to do with the price two parties negotiate amongst themselves. You seem to know exactly what the right price health care should be offered to the population, you know what price, and on what terms Wal-Mart employees should accept for their labor, and what executive compensation should be. Whether you know it or not, this consistent stance tells the world that you, as a third party, know exactly the price and on what terms two parties should negotiate a contract. That's either amazingly precocious, or wildly naive.


Well, it's not the first time I've been called precocious. ;) I don't, however, hear 'naive' as a description of me very often. And you're right, in that I definitely point out bullshit when I think I'm smelling it- but to take it a step further and say that I 'know the terms two parties should accept'...well, that's taking it a bit far, as you're well aware, and being too cute by half about it. Openly questioning things is not the same as asserting complete command over exact terms...but it did make for a more zingy response, granted.

As for my skepticism itself: as a general rule I do make a point not to choose selective blindness and optimism (which, from where I stand, seems to be a hallmark of your worldview) when it comes to lopsided negotiating positions, to stick with the examples you're alluding to.

So, can I safely assume that you feel comfortable with whatever Wisconsin senator B.J. Novak (of The Office fame) throws at seniors in the way of a voucher, and by not being comfortable, we're being presumptuous about what 'two parties should negotiate between themselves'? Of course you do, we've been through that one already. However, the boy-budget-wonder, if given his way, is going to give a certain amount to each citizen, and that citizen can then pound sand if they don't like how much further they have to come out of pocket for health care. How is that a negotiation of any kind?

I'm interested in your thoughts about Wal-Mart as mentioned above, and the issue of whether a company really has society's best interests in mind, especially in an instance such as this one, where the company in question can't possibly pretend not to have affect or influence over society and business around it. A company is not invested heavily in so that they can help others; they're there to make as many shitloads of cash for the investors as possible. Do you really feel that capitalism is always mutually beneficial? I hope you know by now that I'm not completely closed to ideas that I don't naturally side with, but I'm having a very hard time seeing it that way.

Do investors not, in fact, "lust" over profits at the expense of other concerns? I think the fear of marginalization is based on clear reality of people being marginalized. It happens every day. I don't point it out for the purpose of nitpicking the flaws in otherwise good things. I point it out because it runs counter to the claims I read and hear about in terms of the 'nature' of free markets in society. I wouldn't say that capitalism is an evil concept, but I do think there's definite a top-down element that views itself as a plutocracy, and then it's up to the rest of us, sharing the remaining 5% of the 'wealth', to take our own stances on what, in fact, it is...which is the basis of my questions and opinions here. How am I off base, in your opinion?

I know Ayn Rand is a god-like figure to some, and why not I guess, the beauty of a craftsman uninhibited by meddlesome government types and those that crave mediocrity, etc. etc., but in your case, do you honestly have contempt for regulation of all kinds? Is it not obvious that it keeps certain companies from completely exploiting their workforce, environment, community government, etc? I know you have this idea where the individual employee can sit down over a Dr. Pepper and work out better work terms with shift manager #876D at Target store #10443, but it's hard for me to swallow that you're actually that naive. Clarify, if you please, MannyOcho.

I bet that John Galt clown gets tired of people asking about his identity. Get off him, let him philosophize about collectivism in peace, will ya?

Guest
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 7:01:00 PM

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ladyx wrote:
Well, it's not the first time I've been called precocious. ;) I don't, however, hear 'naive' as a description of me very often. And you're right, in that I definitely point out bullshit when I think I'm smelling it- but to take it a step further and say that I 'know the terms two parties should accept'...well, that's taking it a bit far, as you're well aware, and being too cute by half about it. Openly questioning things is not the same as asserting complete command over exact terms...but it did make for a more zingy response, granted.

As for my skepticism itself: as a general rule I do make a point not to choose selective blindness and optimism (which, from where I stand, seems to be a hallmark of your worldview) when it comes to lopsided negotiating positions, to stick with the examples you're alluding to.

So, can I safely assume that you feel comfortable with whatever Wisconsin senator B.J. Novak (of The Office fame) throws at seniors in the way of a voucher, and by not being comfortable, we're being presumptuous about what 'two parties should negotiate between themselves'? Of course you do, we've been through that one already. However, the boy-budget-wonder, if given his way, is going to give a certain amount to each citizen, and that citizen can then pound sand if they don't like how much further they have to come out of pocket for health care. How is that a negotiation of any kind?

I'm interested in your thoughts about Wal-Mart as mentioned above, and the issue of whether a company really has society's best interests in mind, especially in an instance such as this one, where the company in question can't possibly pretend not to have affect or influence over society and business around it. A company is not invested heavily in so that they can help others; they're there to make as many shitloads of cash for the investors as possible. Do you really feel that capitalism is always mutually beneficial? I hope you know by now that I'm not completely closed to ideas that I don't naturally side with, but I'm having a very hard time seeing it that way.

Do investors not, in fact, "lust" over profits at the expense of other concerns? I think the fear of marginalization is based on clear reality of people being marginalized. It happens every day. I don't point it out for the purpose of nitpicking the flaws in otherwise good things. I point it out because it runs counter to the claims I read and hear about in terms of the 'nature' of free markets in society. I wouldn't say that capitalism is an evil concept, but I do think there's definite a top-down element that views itself as a plutocracy, and then it's up to the rest of us, sharing the remaining 5% of the 'wealth', to take our own stances on what, in fact, it is...which is the basis of my questions and opinions here. How am I off base, in your opinion?

I know Ayn Rand is a god-like figure to some, and why not I guess, the beauty of a craftsman uninhibited by meddlesome government types and those that crave mediocrity, etc. etc., but in your case, do you honestly have contempt for regulation of all kinds? Is it not obvious that it keeps certain companies from completely exploiting their workforce, environment, community government, etc? I know you have this idea where the individual employee can sit down over a Dr. Pepper and work out better work terms with shift manager #876D at Target store #10443, but it's hard for me to swallow that you're actually that naive. Clarify, if you please, MannyOcho.

I bet that John Galt clown gets tired of people asking about his identity. Get off him, let him philosophize about collectivism in peace, will ya?




Of course I’m optimistic - I won the genetic lottery when I was born. Not because of wealth I was born into, or insanely good genentics which would guarantee a happy and successful life, no it’s because I have the freedom to be who I want to be. It’s an inspiring place to live unless cynicism gets the best of ya.

RE: healthcare – you’re for government control because you feel it would be more equitable, while I think the government is highly inefficient and prone to being corrupt. There’s only so many ways to say the same thing over and over again. But everything has a price. When the helpless seniors (greatest generation my ass. Tom Brokaw's a punk) request medical service, they or somebody else must exchange something for that service. As somebody in their twenties that leads an active lifestyle, I just request I’m not the one called upon to pay on somebody else’s behalf. If I want to be charitable, I can assure you the capital will be allocated much more efficiently by myself than by several layers of government.

Wal*Mart was started by a lone individual in Arkansas less than fifty years ago. From that time, it has created an enormous amount of wealth for its shareholders and workers, and put billions of saved dollars back into the pockets of its customer’s. But this isn’t enough. No, they need to be more equal. A worker voluntarily agrees to exchange their skills in return for something they value. If they don’t like the terms, they can negotiate somewhere else. Insisting on having a referee enforce the rules of the game, but also having that referee totally biased for one side because that side is perceived to be “overmatched” isn’t fair sport. Capitalism with a referee that follows a consistent set of rules and which are actually enforced is the best system to ensure fairness. Not every deal turns out to be good for both sides, but that’s life.

Everyone’s not equal, people are poor, things aren’t fair - that stale argument is where you’re off base. These things will never go away, no matter what we do. With capitalism at least each individual has the opportunity to improve their situation, which can’t be said for the usual alternatives. Wealth is constantly being created and destroyed in this country. And hell, I embrace the notion there’s a ruling elite that run this country. When I envision that, I think of soft complacent pigs just ready for the slaughter. Having the opportunity to compete with these timid cake-eaters, and dominate them in a fair competition.....this brings out the best in meShhh . And there’s a lot of us that think like that. You take away free markets, you take away my opportunity to do what I need to do.


And why the Ayn Rand references? You know what I think about her work!! I told you, and yet you still make me out to be some objectivist fan-boy who only fucks girls with bobbed hair. So just a reminder since you seem to have forgotten: I like The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged because I see the two books as a celebration of excellence. The protagonists in each are all extremely good at what they do. This resonates with me. I never finished Atlas Shrugged because once Dagny crashes her plane in Atlantis, the book takes a turn into the erotic realm with Dagny begging to go air-tight with every guy there. I just couldn’t shake the image of her getting gang-banged – not that I didn’t mind.

LadyX
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 11:24:21 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Manny8 wrote:
Of course I’m optimistic - I won the genetic lottery when I was born. Not because of wealth I was born into, or insanely good genentics which would guarantee a happy and successful life, no it’s because I have the freedom to be who I want to be. It’s an inspiring place to live unless cynicism gets the best of ya.

RE: healthcare – you’re for government control because you feel it would be more equitable, while I think the government is highly inefficient and prone to being corrupt. There’s only so many ways to say the same thing over and over again. But everything has a price. When the helpless seniors (greatest generation my ass. Tom Brokaw's a punk) request medical service, they or somebody else must exchange something for that service. As somebody in their twenties that leads an active lifestyle, I just request I’m not the one called upon to pay on somebody else’s behalf. If I want to be charitable, I can assure you the capital will be allocated much more efficiently by myself than by several layers of government.

Wal*Mart was started by a lone individual in Arkansas less than fifty years ago. From that time, it has created an enormous amount of wealth for its shareholders and workers, and put billions of saved dollars back into the pockets of its customer’s. But this isn’t enough. No, they need to be more equal. A worker voluntarily agrees to exchange their skills in return for something they value. If they don’t like the terms, they can negotiate somewhere else. Insisting on having a referee enforce the rules of the game, but also having that referee totally biased for one side because that side is perceived to be “overmatched” isn’t fair sport. Capitalism with a referee that follows a consistent set of rules and which are actually enforced is the best system to ensure fairness. Not every deal turns out to be good for both sides, but that’s life.

Everyone’s not equal, people are poor, things aren’t fair - that stale argument is where you’re off base. These things will never go away, no matter what we do. With capitalism at least each individual has the opportunity to improve their situation, which can’t be said for the usual alternatives. Wealth is constantly being created and destroyed in this country. And hell, I embrace the notion there’s a ruling elite that run this country. When I envision that, I think of soft complacent pigs just ready for the slaughter. Having the opportunity to compete with these timid cake-eaters, and dominate them in a fair competition.....this brings out the best in meShhh . And there’s a lot of us that think like that. You take away free markets, you take away my opportunity to do what I need to do.


And why the Ayn Rand references? You know what I think about her work!! I told you, and yet you still make me out to be some objectivist fan-boy who only fucks girls with bobbed hair. So just a reminder since you seem to have forgotten: I like The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged because I see the two books as a celebration of excellence. The protagonists in each are all extremely good at what they do. This resonates with me. I never finished Atlas Shrugged because once Dagny crashes her plane in Atlantis, the book takes a turn into the erotic realm with Dagny begging to go air-tight with every guy there. I just couldn’t shake the image of her getting gang-banged – not that I didn’t mind. [/size]


This is what I like about the internet. We think very differently, and I'm willing to bet we don't hang out in the same kind of places, have the same kind of friends, even read the same kind of books (except for one that I was assigned in high school). When you talk about getting psyched about plutocracy because it makes you salivate about kicking ass on the way there yourself, etc...we're on different planets. Yet, I'm glad to know you.

Okay, just so I'm clear- you're good with WalMart's business practices, specifically as detailed above? It's a real sweet story about how one smart dude got it started- and sarcasm aside, what a fucking vision that cat had, if he saw all this coming- but the history of the company really didn't have anything to do with what I was addressing.

Just to clarify/remind, I'm not advocating communism. I only point that out because when I or anyone mentions possible contradictions within capitalism, the default response is some variation of "but, this is the best system, bar none, yes it has flaws, but no other way of doing business compares!" That may be, but addressing problems that may be solvable is not the same as characterizing the entire system as basura. I think you assume I want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. All I really want is for the water to be a little cleaner, and for those in charge of the water to want to keep it clean on their own, even though I know better than to expect that. Contrary to countless potential straw-man claims against me, I don't begrudge anybody or any company their profits. But there's a difference between making money and being downright venal about it. Is that venality inevitable in a free-market system? That's my bottom-line question.

Also, did you really just say that you're not willing to pay into a system for others' behalf (in this case for seniors' healthcare)? If you're serious about that, please do not slap a straw man advisory on me the next time I suggest that conservatives really aren't concerned with providing 'safety nets' or entitlements for those who can't pay out of pocket for free-market services such as healthcare. I also know that many share that sentiment, and not just hard-core conservatives either, which seems to nullify your statement about how charity is much more efficient than government. True, if charity funds of that magnitude were given...which one would have to be very naive (optimistic?) to expect, given your own statements, and similar attitude that can be heard all over.

There's no discussion that the much-heralded 'vouchers and choice!' might not be enough (which you do seem to gleefully acknowledge), only a counter-strike about how audacious I am for claiming to know what's best and what things should cost. There's no discussion about abuse in the workplace, only a reminder that things sometimes aren't fair. Couldn't nearly every injustice in the world be dismissed by that maxim? So why aren't we complacent about every instance? Because it wouldn't be right. Are you interested in what's right? Or just what's possible for yourself despite what's wrong elsewhere, using a cynicism toward government as your cover?

Sorry about the Ayn Rand shot...I do remember what you told me. I'm sure you fuck lots of girls that don't tuck their polo shirts into their khaki shorts. And I'm again reminded that I need to re-read the highly erotic end you mention from Atlas Shrugged.

Also, where was John Galt born? Why hasn't he released his long-form birth certificate? If he won't, that's fine...I guess I'll be forced to take John Galt's word for it...


Guest
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 5:34:50 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 537,397
You don't know me - I'm an anonymous person on the internet.

On a long enough time frame everything is inevitable, like the possibility you'll one day be cured of your pessimism.

I was making a point about moral hazard, and though I always love hearing about what great soul's people on the left have, it IS an actuary fact that as a healthy male in his 20's I will be the one subsidizing other's in the market you want.

I dislike cynicism in all it's forms. Team COCO.

You seem to have a lot of question's for me, but I feel like it would be a waste of both our time If I continued this endless volleying of rehashed script. Keep up the good fight, LADYX.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2011 1:06:09 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,299
Location: Cakeland, United States
Both parties (the US Government) working in collusion, over decades - with corporations against the individuals...have created what we have today. The free lunch - at our (taxpayers) expense.



If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Buz
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011 8:58:07 AM

Rank: The Linebacker

Joined: 3/2/2011
Posts: 5,819
Location: Atlanta, United States
Both Democrats and Republicans have their reasons, though different from each other, to keep gasoline prices artificially high. Yes they are hypocrites!

Kornpopper
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011 7:28:17 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/7/2011
Posts: 108
Location: I am here, You are there!
I may be wrong but these are the reasons I choose not to vote. I believe my vote would be a waste since I would only be contributing to the continuation of the problem. Politicans all want the same thing, your vote, and they will say anything to get it. Look up George Carlin Doesn't Vote on youtube. This man was a genious for being able to see the humor of the political system and to make sense of it all for the rest of us to enjoy. As for the gas prices, they will never go back down. They are only seeing how far they can get us bent over before we break, then they lower it for a while before they go up some more.

The decisions we make dictate the life we have.
Follow your dreams, for those that do not will only try to discourage others.
lafayettemister
Posted: Thursday, August 04, 2011 8:03:56 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/4/2010
Posts: 6,373
Location: Alabama, United States
Juicyme wrote:
lafayettemister wrote:
According to comsumer reports the average price of gas in January 2009 was $1.68/gallon.



Like I said this isn't a bashing on President Obama alone, but on both political parties. But to your point, yes a car with good gas mileage is a smart idea. Generally speaking of course. My problem is the complete flip flop that was done. While trying to become elected, gas prices were and issue and he sympathized. Now that he's in office and hasn't done anything about it... he's basically saying fuck you, deal with it. I despise politicians just stepping in line with their party instead of sticking up for the people. Btw, I think that conservatives that are griping about Democrats lack of doing anything is just as hypocritical since they didn't do much about it either. While I agree that drilling for oil and processing takes time and can be costly, I'd prefer ALL our elected officials acknowledge that it's a problem. Not just those that aren't in control pointing fingers at those that are. If you think gas prices are a problem with a Republican president, you should think the same when a Democrat is president.

Personally, I run a small mechanic shop and do 2 to 3 dozen oil changes a day. I know that for oil changes alone, my cost of goods sold.. i.e. OIL has gone up 10.5% since January. That may not seem like a lot, but it is huge for the bottom line here. Which is rapidly approaching the red. I don't blame Pres. Obama for that, I blame everyone in D.C. now and those that were there before. We've all seen this problem coming for decades yet nothing has been done by anyone.


Consumer reports




I meant by using the average the price will be lower but the actual prices were higher (average = sum of all then divided by that number). I wonder do people realize that the President can't and doesn't dictate price, the market does.

But I do agree with you the party flip flops are ridiculous adn so is the finger pointing. I wish that instead of griping about things actually do some thing about it.


Wouldn't the actual prices include both the higher and lower prices to reach the average price? The numbers are factual. Our politicians aren't.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, August 04, 2011 2:39:05 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
I'm supporting Hillary Clinton for President, 2012.
lafayettemister
Posted: Thursday, August 04, 2011 2:44:58 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/4/2010
Posts: 6,373
Location: Alabama, United States
LadyX wrote:
I'm supporting Hillary Clinton for President, 2012.


She should have gotten the nomination in 2008. Many people don't like her but she definitely has more political chops than Pres. Obama. And now that she has added Secretary of State to her resume she could be even more difficult to defeat. However, it's doubtful she'll get the nomination over an incumbant. Although it is possible.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, August 04, 2011 2:50:34 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
lafayettemister wrote:
LadyX wrote:
I'm supporting Hillary Clinton for President, 2012.


She should have gotten the nomination in 2008. Many people don't like her but she definitely has more political chops than Pres. Obama. And now that she has added Secretary of State to her resume she could be even more difficult to defeat. However, it's doubtful she'll get the nomination over an incumbant. Although it is possible.


Don't look now, but there's every possibility that the big market selloff today is the beginning of a meltdown. All the US and Euro markets lost 3 to 4 percent of their total value today, and Germany's lost 10% in the last week. Even gold went down today, with investors hiding in their cash while they worry. While the US has been holding a political circus, Europe's solvency has been crumbling further. If things start to slide again, there will be no cash, or support, for government bailouts, which will only steepen the slide. Obama has put all his chips in the "jobs" circle now. If the economy continues to falter, the jobs won't come back, and politically he might very well be toast.

None of this might come to pass, or it might happen very quickly. If it does, look for the Democrats to abandon a dead president walking and cash in on 2008 remorse with a tough candidate who has only strengthened her credentials since essentially fighting Obama to a draw in 2008.
lafayettemister
Posted: Thursday, August 04, 2011 3:00:32 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/4/2010
Posts: 6,373
Location: Alabama, United States
LadyX wrote:
lafayettemister wrote:
LadyX wrote:
I'm supporting Hillary Clinton for President, 2012.


She should have gotten the nomination in 2008. Many people don't like her but she definitely has more political chops than Pres. Obama. And now that she has added Secretary of State to her resume she could be even more difficult to defeat. However, it's doubtful she'll get the nomination over an incumbant. Although it is possible.


Don't look now, but there's every possibility that the big market selloff today is the beginning of a meltdown. All the US and Euro markets lost 3 to 4 percent of their total value today, and Germany's lost 10% in the last week. Even gold went down today, with investors hiding in their cash while they worry. While the US has been holding a political circus, Europe's solvency has been crumbling further. If things start to slide again, there will be no cash, or support, for government bailouts, which will only steepen the slide. Obama has put all his chips in the "jobs" circle now. If the economy continues to falter, the jobs won't come back, and politically he might very well be toast.

None of this might come to pass, or it might happen very quickly. If it does, look for the Democrats to abandon a dead president walking and cash in on 2008 remorse with a tough candidate who has only strengthened her credentials since essentially fighting Obama to a draw in 2008.


I'm glad to see someone who can think clearly and free of dogma. Too many people who voted for Pres. Obama are still shouting from the rooftops that he is doing a wonderful job. And you're right, this is a global crisis. He has time to turn things around, but not much. I really think we are at a turning point in our history. Globally and nationally speaking. Whoever follows him is going to have a huge mess to clean up. It may take years to correct the damage done, not only in his term as president but for the last 8-10 years total. Change, true change, is needed. And the change that must take place will not sit well with the current population but is a must to ensure the future of our country and future generations.

My dear LadyX, you rock. How about you run for President and I'll be your VP, or your hidden under the desk intern. Either one will suit me fine.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
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