November 8, 2012

Bits Bucket for November 8, 2012

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Comment by tj
2012-11-08 00:48:54

this is what the socialists don’t know about the long and winding road of socialism, that ends at the destination of tyranny. this is what that socialist, psychopath bill ayers was talking about when he said “we’re going to open minds or open heads”.

below is just one example of a “re-education” camp in north eastern korea. there are more that reach all the way into the southern part of korea. also, this was written in 2004. there are more articles like this one, the most recent i’ve seen was written in 2011.

it wasn’t evil corporations or banksters that did this. it was big government.


North Korea’s gulag

A series of shocking personal testimonies is now shedding light on Camp 22 - one of the country’s most horrific secrets

In the remote north-eastern corner of North Korea, close to the border of Russia and China, is Haengyong. Hidden away in the mountains, this remote town is home to Camp 22 - North Korea’s largest concentration camp, where thousands of men, women and children accused of political crimes are held.

Now, it is claimed, it is also where thousands die each year and where prison guards stamp on the necks of babies born to prisoners to kill them.

Over the past year harrowing first-hand testimonies from North Korean defectors have detailed execution and torture, and now chilling evidence has emerged that the walls of Camp 22 hide an even more evil secret: gas chambers where horrific chemical experiments are conducted on human beings.

Witnesses have described watching entire families being put in glass chambers and gassed. They are left to an agonising death while scientists take notes. The allegations offer the most shocking glimpse so far of Kim Jong-il’s North Korean regime.

Kwon Hyuk, who has changed his name, was the former military attaché at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing. He was also the chief of management at Camp 22. In the BBC’s This World documentary, to be broadcast tonight, Hyuk claims he now wants the world to know what is happening.

‘I witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating gas and dying in the gas chamber,’ he said. ‘The parents, son and and a daughter. The parents were vomiting and dying, but till the very last moment they tried to save kids by doing mouth-to-mouth breathing.’

Hyuk has drawn detailed diagrams of the gas chamber he saw. He said: ‘The glass chamber is sealed airtight. It is 3.5 metres wide, 3m long and 2.2m high_ [There] is the injection tube going through the unit. Normally, a family sticks together and individual prisoners stand separately around the corners. Scientists observe the entire process from above, through the glass.’

He explains how he had believed this treatment was justified. ‘At the time I felt that they thoroughly deserved such a death. Because all of us were led to believe that all the bad things that were happening to North Korea were their fault; that we were poor, divided and not making progress as a country.

‘It would be a total lie for me to say I feel sympathetic about the children dying such a painful death. Under the society and the regime I was in at the time, I only felt that they were the enemies. So I felt no sympathy or pity for them at all.’

His testimony is backed up by Soon Ok-lee, who was imprisoned for seven years. ‘An officer ordered me to select 50 healthy female prisoners,’ she said. ‘One of the guards handed me a basket full of soaked cabbage, told me not to eat it but to give it to the 50 women. I gave them out and heard a scream from those who had eaten them. They were all screaming and vomiting blood. All who ate the cabbage leaves started violently vomiting blood and screaming with pain. It was hell. In less than 20 minutes they were quite dead.’

Defectors have smuggled out documents that appear to reveal how methodical the chemical experiments were. One stamped ‘top secret’ and ‘transfer letter’ is dated February 2002. The name of the victim was Lin Hun-hwa. He was 39. The text reads: ‘The above person is transferred from … camp number 22 for the purpose of human experimentation of liquid gas for chemical weapons.’

Kim Sang-hun, a North Korean human rights worker, says the document is genuine. He said: ‘It carries a North Korean format, the quality of paper is North Korean and it has an official stamp of agencies involved with this human experimentation. A stamp they cannot deny. And it carries names of the victim and where and why and how these people were experimented [on].’

The number of prisoners held in the North Korean gulag is not known: one estimate is 200,000, held in 12 or more centres. Camp 22 is thought to hold 50,000.

Most are imprisoned because their relatives are believed to be critical of the regime. Many are Christians, a religion believed by Kim Jong-il to be one of the greatest threats to his power. According to the dictator, not only is a suspected dissident arrested but also three generations of his family are imprisoned, to root out the bad blood and seed of dissent.

With North Korea trying to win concessions in return for axing its nuclear programme, campaigners want human rights to be a part of any deal. Richard Spring, Tory foreign affairs spokesman, is pushing for a House of Commons debate on human rights in North Korea.
‘The situation is absolutely horrific,’ Spring said. ‘It is totally unacceptable by any norms of civilised society. It makes it even more urgent to convince the North Koreans that procuring weapons of mass destruction must end, not only for the security of the region but for the good of their own population.’

Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said: ‘For too long the horrendous suffering of the people of North Korea, especially those imprisoned in unspeakably barbaric prison camps, has been met with silence … It is imperative that the international community does not continue to turn a blind eye to these atrocities which should weigh heavily on the world’s conscience.’

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 07:09:00

Yep, that’s what happens when a small group of oligarchs runs your country. Aren’t you glad our oligarchs just lost?

Comment by knockwurst
2012-11-08 07:47:21

TJ, Romney was your last chance! Into the FEMA camp for you!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 09:45:25

Sorry if the Republicans run Ryan/ Martinez (as in Gov. Martinez of New Mexico), they unite their base and cut into both the Hispanic gap and the gender gap. She is a crack shot so the NRA loves her too.

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Comment by oxide
2012-11-08 10:12:06

Ryan for President? He couldn’t even bring home Wisconsin.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 12:48:49

Or Gore Tenn. in the number 2 spot. It does make a difference which spot someone is on the ticket.

Comment by jbunniii
2012-11-08 13:31:33

Actually Gore had the opposite problem: Clinton/Gore took Tennessee in both 1992 and 1996, but Gore/Lieberman failed to carry the state in 2000.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 14:51:13

Actually with Gore he could not bring it in with the #1 spot.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 09:15:20

a branch davidian may disagree.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 09:28:30

We affirm our previous prediction that Eric Holder would get his Waco moment during O’s second term.

Good movie detailing how Janet Reno gassed and burned all the women and children alive:

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Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 09:35:15

You never hear much from them.

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Comment by michael
2012-11-08 12:46:31

nope…no you don’t.

Comment by Carl Morris
2012-11-08 09:30:23

Aren’t you glad our oligarchs just lost?

They did?

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 09:33:42

Did Rove’s guy win? No? Then, yes, the oligarchs lost.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 12:49:58

Any one that can raise one billion dollars is being supported by the oligarchs.

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 13:34:12

Big money = oligarchy, aqdan?

Then we should minimize the accumulation of big money in the hands of the few, no?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 15:54:52

Define big money? Obama talked about millionaires and billionaires and then went after people making over $250,000 a year. I do think that billionaires pose a potential threat to democracy but there is a practical question that maybe you can answer and I cannot. How do you raise the taxes of billionaires substantially without them just leaving the country thereby depriving the country of any revenue from them?

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 16:21:56

Let ‘em go, if they’re a threat to Democracy, and possess so little patriotism. I’m curious where they’ll find more security for themselves and their money.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 16:55:36

Maybe if we were not running a trillion dollar deficit we could afford that attitude.

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 17:16:18

We’ve run those deficits with them here. Perhaps we’ll do better without their big-money distortions of democracy .

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 11:13:49

Say what you will about the North Koreans, but they sure know how to deal with their FB’s.

Comment by Dale
2012-11-08 13:40:25

You are wasting your time TJ. It is so much easier to be flippant than to think about what you just read. Have to blindly follow the party line (which by the way is how dictators are able to seize power).

I am waiting to see when the drone strike-kill list will include domestic targets.

Comment by tj
2012-11-08 16:47:27

I am waiting to see when the drone strike-kill list will include domestic targets.

me too, Dale. me too..

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Comment by nickpapageorgio
2012-11-08 17:27:57

“will include domestic targets”

I bet we will see that during this next term.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 23:54:54

That, plus legalized marriage between dogs and cats.

Comment by BetterRenter
2012-11-08 14:05:07

“Aren’t you glad our oligarchs just lost?”

They did? Wall Street lost? How did that happen, since they’ve been supporting Obama, and Obama’s been supporting them, all along?

Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 07:21:11

Oh please. Socialism isn’t Stalinist Communism. What about Scandinavia? They’re socialist and they live better than we do.

Comment by sfhomowner
2012-11-08 10:48:57

As In Colorado states above, you can have socialism and democracy AT THE SAME TIME. Or you can have socialism and authoritarianism AT THE SAME TIME.

Capitalism is also an economic system. You can have capitalism and democracy AT THE SAME TIME or you can have capitalism and authoritarianism AT THE SAME TIME.

Without starting from this basic understanding, dialogue becomes impossible.

Consider the mix-and-match examples below:
Sweden (socialism + democracy)
Cuba (socialism + authoritarianism)
United States (capitalism + democracy)
Chili under Pinochet (capitalism + authoritarianism)

From this we can have more interesting and discussions about whether capitalism without regulation will always overpower real democracy or whether democracy is really possible with a regulated or planned economy.

But the confusion of economic systems and political systems obfuscates the issues.

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 11:30:36

It’s tj, sf. Nuance and critical thinking aren’t part of his repertoire, but a little hysteria in the AM is always good for laffs.
Here are a couple more examples to blow a synapse in his pea-brain:

Singapore (capitalism+totalitarianism)
Guangzhou (rampant capitalism+communism)!

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 16:08:06

Just because Rio calls Chile, Chili, does not mean you have to follow suit.

I agree you can mix and match for a while but I think that you will find that a free enterprise system will lead to more political freedom while a planned economy will soon need to use force to keep its people and their money within the country and it will lead to authoritarian rule. Sweden never reached being a planned economy (true socialism) and actually moved back to more capitalism the last few decades.

Argentina has played with socialism many times and authoritarian rule resulted due to the economic collapse, caused by the policy. It is on the brink again. At the turn of the 20th century many immigrants picked Argentina over the U.S. because they thought it had the better future but statism crushed its prospects.

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Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 18:01:21

Get out of your narrow constructs and into the real world, quirk, and you’ll find that your “systems” are a lot more fluid than what your informational sources might suggest. Repression and cronyism transcend political boundaries and definitions, as do creativity and compassion.

Turn off the radio and take a walk.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2012-11-08 17:30:34

“What about Scandinavia? They’re socialist and they live better than we do.”

Without the de facto support of the US military they would have bankrupted themselves many years ago. But keep saying that, it’s really convincing to the ignorant.

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 18:14:17

Oh tell us, nicky, how the US “protects” non-aligned Scandinavia from its friends and trading partners?

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Comment by nickpapageorgio
2012-11-08 20:13:24

Don’t be silly, it’s implied, we are the world’s police. Easy to be Santa Claus when you don’t have to spend money building tanks and ships.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 23:57:18

“Easy to be Santa Claus when you don’t have to spend money building tanks and ships.”

Nobody put a gun to Uncle Sam’s head and made him assume his preferred role, did they?

Comment by Diogenes (Tampa, Fl)
2012-11-08 20:46:04

They are not a multi-cultural cesspool. I get really tired of people pulling up countries and systems that have no relation to ours and then claiming we could be just like them.
It’s not even a close comparison.
Since the passage of the 1964 Immigration reform acts, we have become a lot less white than any SCandinavian Country, though they are trying to emulate us in the most recent past. When the find they have a permanent welfare class to care for, they won’t find it so appealing. Then it will be too late.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 07:48:35

Will the posters on this board who favor a move to North Korea style communism please raise your hands?

P.S. I mistakenly had assumed the propaganda campaign would end for a while after November 6, 2012.

2012-11-08 08:36:08

It’s the only thing left since the Beard has taken care of the rest.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2012-11-08 08:39:49

Hysterical wailing is the new means of discourse for the ight.

Comment by San Diego RE Bear
2012-11-08 13:46:49

“I mistakenly had assumed the propaganda campaign would end for a while after November 6, 2012.”

Well, you know what they about assuming. :D

But we still adore the optimism PB!

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2012-11-08 17:33:08

” I mistakenly had assumed the propaganda campaign would end for a while after November 6, 2012.”

Anti-communism is not propaganda. Communists have killed over 100 million people worldwide during peace times.

Comment by GrizzlyBear
2012-11-08 08:42:12

What a sad sack you are. Turn off Rush Limbaugh and open your own mind.

2012-11-08 08:47:42

But then the tiny brainlet would fall out. Then what happens?

Comment by SFBayGal
2012-11-08 15:08:06

Becomes a zombie? ;)

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Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-08 08:50:41

below is just one example of a “re-education” camp in north eastern korea.

Where was your re-education camp? Wichita right? :)

2012-11-08 09:28:15

Waco, TX.

Comment by Blue Skye
2012-11-08 09:55:37

Psychopaths do awful things to their fellow humans when their power is unchecked. That’s why checks are important. You don’t have to be from Kansas to know this.

Besides, you’re not paranoid if there really is someone after you!

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-08 11:53:46

Where was your re-education camp? Wichita right?

Wichita= Koch Bros. HQ.

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Comment by nickpapageorgio
2012-11-08 18:08:23

What does that have to do with communists being killers?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 23:59:01

Acting paranoid might encourage someone to come after you.

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Comment by sfhomowner
2012-11-08 10:51:44

Re-education camps have been part of our democratic and capitalistic United States of America, too.

Ask the Native Americans and the Japanese Americans.

Comment by SFBayGal
2012-11-08 15:09:43


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Comment by nickpapageorgio
2012-11-08 18:26:35

“Re-education camps have been part of our democratic and capitalistic United States of America, too.

Ask the Native Americans and the Japanese Americans.”

Nice try. Your moral equivalency argument will not work, communists are killers 100+ million world wide during peace times. Communism and communist re-education camps in this country are okay with you? Please tell us, come clean.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-09 00:00:40

Please tell us under which bush the commies are hiding, so we can all steer clear of them.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2012-11-09 00:23:34

I don’t know…What bush are you hiding behind?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-09 00:31:49

Oh, I get it…I’m the commie.

I will have to buy a copy of the Communist Manifesto and get started on my reading tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion, Nick!

Comment by Neuromance
2012-11-08 09:49:39

tj: I think the most important thing to remember is that everything is not a slippery slope to everything else.

People are first and foremost interested in their immediate quality of life - quality of food, shelter, clothing. So, if a suboptimal system provides a high quality of these basics, they’re probably going to accept it without comment.

I do appreciate your concerns about the “system.” The system is the infrastructure inside which our society exists. Corrupting the system, or having a destructive system ultimately does almost certainly lead to bad results.

Regarding the comparison of our government to North Korea, I think the comparison is flawed. We do have a big government relative to GDP. So do they. But, so does Sweden. And Germany. So - that in and of itself, is not the problematic factor in the negative outcomes seen in North Korea.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 09:51:02

“I think the most important thing to remember is that everything is not a slippery slope to everything else.”

It’s very difficult for black-and-white thinkers to latch onto this point.

Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2012-11-08 11:06:17

Everything not being a slippery slope to everything else is a slippery slope to NOTHING being a slippery slope! Won’t somebody think of the children?

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Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 12:54:42

And the slipperiest slope of all, Gay Marriage, will lead to man-on-dog action.

Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2012-11-08 15:31:22

Strange, I always thought it was ‘last call’ at the bar that led to that.

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 09:59:28

I sure hope that people explain this to the far left…that implementing “means testing” as a way to deal with the entitlement program budget issue is not a first step to eliminating the programs, but part of a way to make them permanently solvent.

Comment by sfhomowner
2012-11-08 10:55:08

I’m on the “far left” and support means testing and also believe that anyone on public assistance who is able should be working at something (clean the parks, assist with elderly, etc.).

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Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 11:14:04

I wish that was a universal view.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 11:34:02

They should start in your city by cleaning up the BART stations.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-08 11:56:13

I….support means testing….anyone on public assistance who is able should be working at something (clean the parks, assist with elderly, etc.).


Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 14:16:15

Question sfhomowner…do you support means testing for CURRENT retirees?

Comment by sfhomowner
2012-11-08 15:23:17

Question sfhomowner…do you support means testing for CURRENT retirees?

Hadn’t thought about it, and I am wary of changing the rules on people retroactively, but means testing is apparently already in place, to some extent:

‘Means testing’ to bolster Social Security?
It’s already happening.

Spending down to qualify for medicare also already exists.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2012-11-08 23:36:09

believe that anyone on public assistance who is able should be working at something (clean the parks, assist with elderly, etc.).

And what do you do with them after you realize that some of them aren’t nice to the elderly?

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-11-08 23:46:12

SF why are you so cruel and insensitive?

Workfare is a failure because its punishment and not a hand up

Making people with college degrees clean the parks is humiliating……you should make all the high school dropouts do that …its on their level and teaches them work is a good thing.

For people with a good education and jobs history you need to find a job for 20 hours a week in their field so it makes it easier to get off of the system and find a real job again…

I’m on the “far left” and support means testing and also believe that anyone on public assistance who is able should be working at something (clean the parks, assist with elderly, etc.).

Comment by CeeCee
2012-11-09 00:51:33

That’s an issue. I’m a CNA and I’ve seen a lot of people mistreat the elderly and disabled, even though they are qualified. You’d actually have to have those people go through training before they can assist anyone. It’s probably better to stick to cleaning up parks, highways, etc.

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-09 01:04:47

Were you OK with the retroactive nature of Prop 30 (the increase in taxes was as-of January 1, 2012)?

“Spending down” as far as I can tell is for Medicaid, not Medicare.

My simple question is this:

What is the difference between taxing the rich more to make Medicare solvent and giving the rich fewer benefits to make Medicare solvent?

The answer is big government vs. small government. I favor the latter, and thus means testing (ie. shrinking the amount of money that goes out from the government to Medicare recipients with the means to pay more for their own care, as opposed to keeping the benefits for those people intact, and raising taxes on current workers to make up for it).

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 12:38:42

When I hear the cry for means testing, I hear someone who has NEVER had to apply for any kind of social assistance, because contrary to popular MYTH, it is NOT easy to get ANY kind of social assistance.

You can easily prove me wrong by actually applying for it yourself.

Granted, some states ARE easier than others, but they ALL have means testing already in place.

But even the abuses that do occur make up only a tiny. TINY fraction of the MUCH larger ongoing financial fraud in this country.

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Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 13:22:17

“contrary to popular MYTH, it is NOT easy to get ANY kind of social assistance.”

Indeed. I know a few members of the “Free Sh#t Army”. Some of them sleep in their cars in the local WalMart parking lot.

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 14:50:24

I’m not talking about safety net programs (unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc.), which are already based on need.

I’m talking about entitlement programs, which are based substantially on AGE, and means testing as a way to blunt the cost of the big entitlement programs.

Social Security and Medicare as the two biggies.

As far as I know, these ones are pretty easy to sign up for and receive.

Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 14:52:43

As far as I know, these ones are pretty easy to sign up for and receive.

I would hope so, since we all pay into them.

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 15:06:09

“I would hope so, since we all pay into them.”

Yes, but (particularly with respect to Medicare) we haven’t been paying in enough relative to the benefits we have been receiving.

The information I read indicates that people roughly get back what they pay into social security (if not a bit less than they pay in).

For Medicare however, the amount paid in is approximately 1/3 what they have been getting back out.

That math just doesn’t work.

So, how do you fix it?

Do you make non-retired people pay $400 to get $300 in benefits?

Do you make non-retired pay $300 to get $300 in benefits, and have those retirees who have the means pay more for their care now?

Do you restrict end-of-life treatment options (put into doctor’s hands) to reduce that $300 to $225?

All of the above?

A different option?

Done right, everyone will get dinged somewhat. People, depending on ability will either lose options, pay more, and/or get less.

Done wrong, the burden will be placed entirely on one group of people.

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 16:41:56

I don’t about you, but I, as do millions of people, PAY into SS and Medicare and they ALSO have means testing.

Prosecution of Medicare fraud is by far, the most important fix and is happening at a record pace.

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 17:48:42

I guess I’m not familiar enough with them…how are Medicare and SS means tested?

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 17:51:46

BTW, the Simpson Bowles commission estimates the savings from prosecuting Medicare fraud at less than $10B through 2020.

Doesn’t move the needle.

This is NOT by far the most important fix.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2012-11-08 17:54:36

“Do you restrict end-of-life treatment options (put into doctor’s hands) to reduce that $300 to $225?”

The problem with end of life issues is it is hard to know when you are at the point of no return. Sometimes, you spend a lot of money and a person lives for many happy, productive years afterward. Stephen Hawking is a one example - a creative thinker trapped in a failing body. If the NHS was not providing him with round the clock care, would he have survived this long?

I am not sure doctors want the responsibility for making end of life decisions. They know how imperfect their predictions of longevity are.

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 18:03:51

Doctors have such decision making ability in other countries with single-payer systems.

This is a MAJOR reason they spend less on healthcare in those countries.

A dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about.

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-11-08 00:54:53

Now that oh has won i need gov assistance in getting fuel for my car where should i go? I cant go walking in the slush i have no boots either…

It will take me a little time to perfect my helpless act…but i have a dream.

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 07:11:48

Dude, you’ve got your helpless act down pat. Aren’t teen interns beating you out in your employment search?

Comment by knockwurst
2012-11-08 07:48:34

The dude’s been blaming young women for his joblessness for years, and telling us that the government should pay off his credit cards. Not much bootstrapping going on in the DJ circuit.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2012-11-08 08:00:44

The deejay circuit is one where enterpreneurialism is required. I know a couple of fellows who are on that radio station that I used to be on. Their show is on Friday nights, and it’s a good one.

Yes, they’re being deejays for free on that station. (I was too.) But they also announce the name of their show website during their Friday night program. If you go to that site, you can view the playlists and link to the other websites that they have for their respective deejaying businesses.

Their efforts are proving to be quite successful. I rarely hear them both on the air at the same time. Methinks that they’re starting to get a lot of paying gigs on Friday nights.

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Comment by oxide
2012-11-08 07:55:12

Seriously, DJ has been (not) paying off his $3000 CC debt and presenting the chickypoos in HR with his out-of-date paralegal training for years, it seems. In that time, he could have moved.. well, anywhere, or gotten a brand-new college degree in.. well, anything. While the US suffers from a lack of careers, there still ARE places you can go for jobs if you’re willing to move a thousand miles and spend a little $$ in updating your education. Just off the top of my head: DJ likes zydeco music. Why not move to Louisiana or Texas, get a cheap apartment ($800/month for a marginal 2-bed in Baton Rouge), work a lucky-ducky job, re-attend court reporting or paralegal school, and do zydeco gigs on weekends. No, it’s not the greatest of arrangements, but anything has got to be more financially viable than being underemployed in Brooklyn/Queens.

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 11:50:00

Or he could have learned written English.

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Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 11:38:32

Florida?! That must have taken effort….
You, sir, are no alpha.

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 13:29:03

I’ve come to the heart of darkness, my friend. I’m heading upstream…

The weather’s a little nippy, though.

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Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 16:59:52

The horror….

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 17:47:54

Never get out of the boat, absolutely godd@m right.

Unless you’re going all the way…and you brought a jacket.

Comment by CeeCee
2012-11-08 01:54:09

Hello, everyone. Most of you have no clue who I am. I am not exactly new to this blog; I have been reading for quite a while. I have posted very few comments, though. I saw a comment from yesterday that caught my eye. It was about how no one expects 22 year olds to know anything about the Housing Bubble/Student Loan Bubble. Well, I just wanted to finally introduce myself and, well, learn. I am only 21 years old, and I haven’t met anyone my age the least bit concerned about the future of this country, or even the world economy.

I started getting concerned back in 2007, and even though I didn’t exactly know WHAT was wrong, I felt like something wasn’t right with the economy. However, I lived in an area where the housing bubble had little effect on, so I would only see what seemed like weird stories about housing prices in some areas rising to what seemed like ridiculous prices. At the time, even though I was worried, I didn’t have much of a concern as I was 16 and my parents were fine financially.

I’d love to try and understand some of the deeper issues that caused all of this, what the potential impacts could/will be, and how current policies are effecting an actual correction. However, since I’ve never cracked open an economics book, I feel a little overwhelmed. I understand some very basic ideas that would be enough to make anyone (well, should make anyone) a bit worried. I’m not too good at connecting how one variable (such as a policies) affects other variables (such as unemployment levels), though.

With as little as I know, though, I’m somehow extremely skeptical about the economy getting better. I hear it from people I know, the media, even some politicians. I hate to go by hearsay, though, and I’d prefer to base my views on evidence and data points.

No matter what optimism is said to be regarding employment and the economy, it just doesn’t seem to be getting better. In fact, I’m afraid it will get worse. So, I figured, the best thing I can do would be to arm myself with information.

Does anyone have any guidance for me? Any thoughts, starting points, any books to start reading, any concepts? Does anyone have any advice about employment trends, also? I’m extremely cautious about even attempting to go to college right now, and extremely debt adverse. And, anyone I attempt to talk to about these issues thinks I’m crazy and everything is fine….

Comment by Lip
2012-11-08 07:38:42


Congratulations on your insight and your attitude. There are others your age, but not many.

Right now you are doing the right thing about college, especially if you don’t have a plan or a goal. Approach it cautiously. I would suggest that you go to school part time, work part time and try to figure out how you want to live your life.

Try to find something that you actually like as you could spend a major portion of your life working.

If you go college full time, try to consider the costs and the return on your investment.

As far as books or reading, how about using the website Real Clear Politics? They have both conservative and liberal articles every day. They have different subject areas to read including the main page, Markets, World and Sports.

Best of luck and remember to trust your own intuition.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 07:41:23

you may be able to go back and read the archived posts on the above websites.

Comment by sfhomowner
2012-11-08 11:04:51

Cee Cee,

Be sure to read everything you can from all sides.

Read Howard Zinn AND Ayn Rand.

Listen to Rachel Maddow AND Fox News.

As people get older they get stuck in their ideas, and refuse to even consider opposing viewpoints. Don’t get caught up in the idea that everything has to fit together perfectly: sometimes we have to live in the gray areas.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 12:51:01

+ 1

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Comment by Dale
2012-11-08 14:06:52

Cee Cee, I am not sure you need to read Ayn Rand/Atlas Shrugged - I have a feeling we are about to live it (unless of course you like spoilers that is).

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Comment by rms
2012-11-08 07:42:07

“I am only 21 years old, and I haven’t met anyone my age the least bit concerned about the future of this country, or even the world economy.”

Our youth were better informed (engaged?) when there was a draft.

Comment by Bluestar
2012-11-08 08:09:00

Indeed! It was a big mistake to stop the draft. Back when there was the draft there was also the alternative of joining the peace corp too.

Comment by Montana
2012-11-08 09:37:53

Yes, bring back the draft, so we can protest it again!

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Comment by scdave
2012-11-08 09:53:07

It was a big mistake to stop the draft ??

My dead brother would disagree…..

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Comment by Bluestar
2012-11-08 10:55:59

I couldn’t vote in 67 but my number didn’t come up ether.
I wish I could have voted to prevent the war he died in. Draft the military, pay them fairly, train them well but don’t use them as mercenaries like we have done for 60 years. Also shut the revolving door between the pentagon and the defense business.

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 13:56:21

sc, I still feel your loss and it still makes me weep. I’m sorry.

Our country needs a National Guard and a secret service; the rest is imperialism. The military draft was the worst kind of slavery, and totally incompatible with an educated populace. You can’t have free thinking AND a totalitarian State.

The Peace Corp was not an option, btw, merely a deferment, and you could still be drafted after serving. More to the point, it was a CIA front, and volunteers were expected to gather info and serve as forward observers.

If I give anything to Donald Rumsfeld, it was credit for recognizing that computerization of the military and the world wide web plus an involuntary armed forces = a revolution waiting to happen. Wisely, he ended the draft as precautionary and used “cost-effectiveness” as the excuse.

However, I DO support some sort of voluntary service FOR EVERYONE who wants full American citizenship (education, health services, the right to vote and qualify for benefits, etc.)

Most of us take membership in this society entirely too much for granted, and by not involuntarily mixing with fellow citizens outside of our own demographic have suffered political insularity and fearful divisiveness. At least the involuntary military united nearly everyone involved in it against the military….

Comment by scdave
2012-11-08 14:26:26

I DO support some sort of voluntary service FOR EVERYONE ??

I agree…Mandatory two years somewhere between age 18-24…You pick the years…Lots of choices on how & where you serve but serve you will..

Comment by sfhomowner
2012-11-08 15:28:45

The military is almost 30% African American.

No jobs, college too expensive? Join the army!

Anyone else see the problem here?

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 18:19:41

What if young people could join civil service apprenticeships, community-based teaching programs, conservation, infrastructure repair and maintenance, child and elder care programs, etc., for what a military enlistee makes, AND receive the same social education and civil benefits?

Comment by Steve J
2012-11-08 13:25:45

Peace Corps is very hard to get into.

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Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 07:44:01

Live at home and do two years commuting to community college. Transfer to State U for the last two years and live at home if you can. Drive a used Honda or Toyota. Don’t live like a 30K millionaire:

Comment by X-GSfixr
2012-11-08 10:24:48

Don’t get married. Marriage should be illegal for anyone under 25.

Unlike some of the others on this board, I believe that debt isn’t necessarily bad, when properly managed. You’ve got to be aware of what debt “costs”, and making sure that what you buy with it is worth it. (Like for education…..but as overpriced as education is, this may not apply anymore).

The “rules” are changing rapidly …..what worked for your parents may not apply anymore.

In this economy, your plan should be keeping the ability to “walk” if/when your employer starts screwing you around, or if a better position/job comes along. Every job that I’ve ever had (or that anyone I know) that was worth having came about from word of mouth. And “better” doesn’t always mean more money. Experience/training that helps get you where you want to go is “worth” something too.

This means not getting stuck in an upside down house. This means not turning into a debt slave……nothing sucks/raises your blood pressure worse than waking up and thinking “I’ve GOT to work, because I have a bunch of bills to pay”.

This means having some money set aside to be out of work for a few weeks. And if you absolutely feel the need to get married, making sure the significant other has the ability (and the desire) to do the same.

Face it, if work was any fun, they wouldn’t have to pay you to do it.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-09 00:20:59

“Face it, if work was any fun, they wouldn’t have to pay you to do it.”


There are people who enjoy their work and make a bundle, too. What your statement ignores is that the supply of goods and services and demand for them are what determine the price, not whether the goods or service provider is enjoying his or her work.

In contrast to your mistaken point, I’d guess enjoyment of work and pay are positively correlated: A person who is good at his job is more likely to enjoy it, a person who enjoys his job is more likely to do it well and earn more than another who hates his job, and earning more money may help increase the enjoyment of work. Can you see the many positive feedbacks here?

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Comment by ibbots
2012-11-08 07:49:00

The most important data point is your own, don’t let fear be the driver.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 08:01:55

And, anyone I attempt to talk to about these issues thinks I’m crazy and everything is fine….

I believe that is how many of us felt before the housing bubble collapsed. I eventually learned to keep my mouth shut around the people in my daily circle, other than close loved ones, but I don’t get the impression that older adults whose personal lives and careers bore the brunt of the Great Recession think ‘everything is fine’ — take people who lost their job or homes during the financial crisis, for instance, or people who had to sell homes because of financial difficulty, only to discover they were worth $100Ks less than what they believed they were.

Perhaps the hardships of the Great Recession did not directly impact the lives of those in your circle, as young people tend to not be as vulnerable to an economic crisis as older people with families and jobs who may own assets such as houses, businesses, cars, etc. Or it could be that those you know who were affected don’t like to discuss the painful details. I have had very little discussion outside of this board, because I have learned over the years that most people I know find economics to be either boring or distasteful.

2012-11-08 08:13:33


Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-11-08 11:53:52

Doesn’t burying one’s head in the sand create intrinsic risk that it will get chopped off at the neck?

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Comment by Dale
2012-11-08 14:16:48

“I eventually learned to keep my mouth shut around the people in my daily circle”

I was fairly persistent at trying to talk people out of buying a house but after they “pulled the trigger” I would never bring it up again.

Comment by Lemming with an innertube
2012-11-08 08:02:14

my 2 cents.

you’ve taken the first step in that you are interested in getting information. figure out the things that interest you. unless you are interested in a field that requires college, i personally think recreational schooling is just a form of procrastination and a frivolous waste of money. (i dropped out of college after 2 classes)

learn a trade.

i just retired from a career in advertising sales to many different types of businesses. it’s my observation that the best positioned people (in business and personal lives) are the ones that keep overhead low and when things got ugly, could weather the storm.

take a personality test (such as meyers/briggs) to get an idea of your personality type. it helped me. you have to look at yourself as self employed and take responsibility for finding opportunity. the days of getting a “good” job and you’re set are gone.

also, find someone whom you really admire (who’s nearby) and learn from them. you’d be surprised to find that people love to teach others who are anxious to learn. a mentor will give you more information that you will absorb quicker. many of the posters on this blog have taught me over the past 6 years, just by me reading almost daily. and the posters here are professionals in many fields.

the biggest thing is don’t spend all of your time analyzing, you’ll never start. just get started, you can always change what you’re doing. promise yourself you will do something to get started NOW.

and finally, think for yourself. you will get all kinds of advice, you have to filter and decide what things mean to YOU. this is true your whole life.

good luck!

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-08 08:55:09

learn a trade.

Or a craft if you have aptitude towards one.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 09:08:33

There is a great wealth of suggestions here.

“i personally think recreational schooling is just a form of procrastination and a frivolous waste of money. (i dropped out of college after 2 classes)”

I agree with the point that college is not for everyone, and that experience is oftentimes a better teacher. I started college as a music major, but after a couple of years realized that one best learns how to perform by pursuing opportunities to perform and actually doing it.

That said, many professions have minimum post-secondary education requirements. You most likely would not succeed as an engineer, scientist, medical doctor or university professor without many years in the classroom.

“learn a trade.”

Knowing how to do something that everyone needs to have done and that most other people would rather pay you to do than do it themselves is one of the best forms of unemployment insurance.

“take a personality test (such as meyers/briggs) to get an idea of your personality type”

I found this very useful at the point in my career when I did it, and wish I would have done it earlier (I was over 30). Besides gaining insight to who I was and how my personality is similar to and different from others, I obtained valuable information about how personality types line up with professions.

Comment by oxide
2012-11-08 09:10:45

unless you are interested in a field that requires college,

ALL fields require college, even if you want to work at Applebees, simply because all the other applicants will have some college. If nothing else, a BA is proof of “not a total loser.”

I advocate the two-year plan to learn a real trade. Stay out of liberal arts.

Comment by Neuromance
2012-11-08 13:46:21

“Stay out of liberal arts.”

Important point. Unless you plan to go to graduate or professional school, approach liberal arts majors with care.

For-profit colleges make no bones about it - they’re in it for the money. Give them X dollars, they give you a certificate, after you do a little song and dance.

Non-profits are similar in the sense that if you choose Underwater Basket Weaving Gender General Studies, they’ll be happy to take your money even though the degree will be nearly worthless. Because they’re interested in the bottom line profit too.

Now, to be fair - I know English majors working retail, and I know English majors working for big government contractors making six figures writing proposals and technical documents. Other liberal arts types making good money working for government. HOWEVER, if you do a liberal arts major, make sure you get great grades. Don’t take it as ticket to party while the accounting, computer science and engineering majors burn the midnight oil.

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Comment by Lemming with an innertube
2012-11-08 17:33:02

you’re right oxide and my job “required” a degree, but my experience and record got me hired. the 2 top earners (consistently) in the office were the two women without a college degree. which leads me to another point that i feel strongly about.

ceecee, don’t know if you’re male or female, but as a female i NEVER wanted to be equal to the men in my office (lots of lazy ones, and no i’m not a man hater, like them alot). when the company decided that the commission structure needed to be more “evenly” spread amongst all sales reps, things went to sh1t. it wasn’t worth it to me anymore and luckily i got my opportunity to cash the chips in. Be the BEST at whatever you do and blow away objectives.

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Comment by oxide
2012-11-08 18:13:29

Lemming, you said you just retired, so you’re probably at least 60 or so. And 40 years ago, yes you could have a career without college, because so few people had college. By the time college became commonplace, you had enough experience to over come the young guns with college. That doesn’t apply anymore.

Comment by Lemming with an innertube
2012-11-08 19:02:23

Comment by oxide
2012-11-08 18:13:29

Lemming, you said you just retired, so you’re probably at least 60 or so. And 40 years ago, yes you could have a career without college, because so few people had college. By the time college became commonplace, you had enough experience to over come the young guns with college. That doesn’t apply anymore.

i must clarify, i worked for the same company for 31 years, but only the last 15 spent in commission sales, so my sales experience came from service rep type jobs. im only 51, and it was dumb luck that i was able to retire when my company got sold. but, oxide i do agree that a 2 year degree to learn a trade can be had for little money and is a good idea. i’m actually considering changing gears totally, but still don’t know what i want to be when i grow up. so i just spend a lot of time reading this blog, pondering. so please, people, keep it interesting!

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-09 00:47:00

Thanks for these posts, lemming. Marketing was also veddy veddy good to me….

And CeeCee, sales is a highly underrated field for getting to know a specific industry, and if you’re motivated, move yourself into a management track. If you’re any good, it also pays very well.

Perhaps more importantly, outside sales will put you in a position to meet a wide variety of people in a wide variety of places. Traveling/working overseas on the corporate dime is a total hoot, and if you pick the right field, a smart, articulate, and well-groomed sales rep can end up an amazing social life. ;-)

Comment by Bluestar
2012-11-08 08:03:36

Be a very cautious consumer of information. I like to read the essays of Doug Nolan on
As to your employment outlook you can expect to change careers many times over your life so you might end up going back to school later to make your self more employable. Be sure to get a strong foundation in math & physics early on.
Some of reading suggestions: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly ( You might like Reinhart and Rogoff - This Time Is Different, Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Fooled by Randomness & The Black Swan - The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Any thing by Richard Feynman.

Be wary of anything & anybody that uses religion as a basis for their world view.

Go listen to some live acoustic music every once in awhile. :)

Comment by AmazingRuss
2012-11-08 08:42:35

Most of us are gonads strapped to a transportation system between the ages of 15 and 25. Give them time, they’ll come around.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 08:47:53

remember this…it’s hard to be rational…it means you don’t get to believe what you want to believe.

(loosley quoted from a youtube TED presentation i saw on the irrationality of politics)

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-08 08:48:04

Does anyone have any guidance for me? Any thoughts, starting points, any books to start reading, any concepts?

Here’s a great article and concept. You have to read the whole thing. These clippings below do not capture it all.

Capitalism, After The Election

Clayton Christensen has an interesting article in the New York Times, pointing out that no matter which candidate wins the presidency tomorrow, the economy will still be on life support, and will remain so for the foreseeable future, with no real turnaround or presidential remedy in sight. The article is strong on parts of the diagnosis, but doesn’t go far enough in terms of appropriate action….

(What we need and why we aren’t getting them):
……“Empowering innovations” transform complicated and costly products available to a few into simpler, cheaper products available to the many. Examples include the Ford Model T, the Sony transistor radio. IBM’s personal computers, online trading at Schwab and cloud computing. Empowering innovations create jobs, because they require more and more people who can build, distribute, sell and service these products.

…..The chance of an empowering innovation “paying off” in terms of money for the company is somewhat less than 25 percent, while the chance of an efficiency innovation “paying off” in terms of money for the company is usually more than 90 percent. Once the goal is one of making money, empowering innovations never have a chance, no matter what the tax rate or the discount rate.

Similarly, the internal rate of return focuses attention on short term gains at the expense of medium-term sustainability. So the instead of investing in empowering innovations that pay off in five to eight years, a focus on internal rates of return encourages investments in quick wins in efficiency innovations, even if these actions end up killing jobs, the firm and the economy….

…..Maximizing shareholder value: the dumbest idea in the world

Maximizing shareholder value is a powerful idea that attracted many fine thinkers over the years. It was simple. It was elegant. It was intuitive. It had one big problem: it didn’t t work.

Comment by Neuromance
2012-11-08 10:19:28

1) Per Lemming with an Innertube, take the Meyers Briggs to get an idea of your personality type. Try to find a career that will suit your personality type. Know thyself. Don’t lie to yourself.

2) Stay away from debt as much as possible. It’s modern day indentured servitude. The government and Wall Street all push it on us, but Wall Street funds politicians. Politicians serve themselves first, the highest bidder second, and the constituents third. So they push debt too. They’re not evil, just human.

3) Debt is not always bad. Too much debt is bad. Debt used to build something which will then return value greater than the debt is good. However, this is a difficult equation to figure out.

4) Pay off your credit cards every month. There’s utterly no credit score benefit to maintaining a balance. That’s an urban legend. In fact, it is harmful to your credit score.

5) Your actual question - what caused all this. Well, a few things. In economics circles, it’s well known that when a high wage country trades with a low wage country, the wages in the poorer country come up, and wages in the high wage country go down. I think that’s what we’re experiencing. The declining standard of living.

5a) There is a tremendous amount of bad debt in the world. This has led to crisis here and abroad. The most basic question one needs to ask is, “Why would lenders make loans they don’t care about having repaid?” The reason is They don’t retain any repayment risk.

It’s a fantastic business model. You drag a hobo in off the street, make him sign a few documents saying he’s good for a 500,000 dollar loan. You sell the loan to investors and pocket a hefty fee. It’s like printing money. It was a house of cards. And it collapsed because the bad debt - the repayment promises - could not be paid off by the hobos. Wall Street profited handsomely. The taxpayers are paying the tab.

The excess debt taken on by countries masked the declining standard of living - and when I say that, I mean the basics are becoming more expensive. The government economists have a measure for inflation which excludes “volatile” items like food and energy ( for the methodology) What they do look at are washing machines and iPads. Which, thanks to China, are not more expensive. So - minimal inflation per their metrics.

6) Going forward. Always try to build your resume. It’s your meal ticket. When you’re young especially, don’t stay in jobs which aren’t providing resume benefit too long. Don’t job hop unless absolutely necessary. By job hopping, I mean leaving some place before you’ve put in a year there. Gotta give it a year to see if it’s actually going to work out. But it’s not an ironclad rule.

7) Don’t just read sources you agree with. Don’t listen to “preaching to the choir” type stuff exclusively. Read things from the opposite end of the spectrum. And other stuff you disagree with. It’s a better way to reach accurate descriptions of reality than just listening to echo chambers.

8) Try to leave wherever you are a bit better than you found it.

My $0.02. Good luck with figuring out the answers that work for you.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-09 00:13:16

“3) Debt is not always bad. Too much debt is bad.”

It’s also a VERY wise decision to avoid using debt to catch yourself a falling knife real estate purchase. There is no better way to become an underwater f-d buyer (aka UFB).

Unfortunately, this advice applies these days to many degrees which college students earn using student loans they will never be able to repay. Educational credentials can go underwater, same way as houses can…

Comment by Pimp Watch
2012-11-08 11:44:34

Does anyone have any guidance for me? Any thoughts, starting points, any books to start reading, any concepts?

Ignore all the other BS you read and start right here.

“Realtors group admits sales figures were bogus”

Then ask your parents if a house is an investment. If they say yes, ask them where they came up with that false notion.

Then come back here and report your findings.

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 11:52:03

Welcome back. Did you ever make it to Oil City?

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 12:08:08

CC, please excuse my momentary lapse.

I’d recommend that you get a copy of Ha-Joon Chang’s thoughtful and very readable “23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism” and absorb some of his koans.

A few include:
“The washing machine has changed the world more than the internet”
“There is no such thing as a free market”
“More education in itself is not going to make a country richer”

Then, if you can find a copy on Amazon, read Jerry Farber’s 1960’s classic, The Student as Nigger” and Harry Browne’s ode to post-Ayn Rand “me-ism”, “How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World.

Learning to look beyond what “they” say is the first step to finding what matters to “you”. Most of us never even get that far.
Please keep us posted?

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 12:52:02

That was me.

I’ll keep it simple.

Never stop learning. It will take a lifetime to learn the many thing that make up the world picture. They simply cannot be taught in any short periods of time.

Do learn practical skills. You will not be ripped off as often when you know what you are talking about.

It’s sad but true, but it’s often who know and not what you know, although what you know can help you keep the gains from who you know. But be careful who you know.

Stay strong. Doing the right thing is almost punished as much as doing the wrong thing, but it’s worth it later in life when you are given more responsibility and rewards. Your reputation will mean everything by then.

The worst part is you will always be a stranger to your peers. Get used to it.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-09 00:22:46

“Never stop learning.”

And you don’t need to sit in a classroom to do so, either. You can learn plenty just by experiencing previously unexplored facets of life, or trying to acquire new skills.

Comment by frankie
2012-11-08 13:56:49

Try “The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists”

If you can get past the politics, it’s a good read. More importantly to me it hammers home the point that people don’t change, he was writing a century ago but the people he describes could be walking around today. Actually his politics are important, like many people he believed he and people like him had the only solution for every ill; people who believe that are in my opinion dangerous (whether from left or right or a religious stand point), still with all his faults it’s a bloody good read.

Comment by CeeCee
2012-11-08 20:21:23

Wow. First of all, I would love to thank everyone who replied! I see nothing but great advice. It made me feel like I have a starting point. Luckily, I see several ideas pointed out that I’m already doing:

1. I’m debt adverse, but not to the point I think it’s harmful. I just feel like I should take on a minimal amount of debt for the product I receive. That’s also one of my current issues with college, as it went past inflation.

2. Unfortunately, I do not really have family. For lack of a better word, my family is nuts and I prefer not to be around them. So, I’ve been on my own since I was 18. However, I am currently married. It has the plus of qualifying me for financial aid if I do decide to go, since we do not make that much money. We also live with his mother and pay some rent, but it’s nothing horrible, so we are saving. I’m hoping if we decide to go to college, we can keep the debt to under $20,000 for both of us.

3. I actually read a lot of articles, papers, and books based on different views. I used to consider myself Republican, and then Democrat (I was young and didn’t know any bettter). Now, I just think our political system should be renamed ‘bullcrap”. There is such a lack of consideration of different variables that seem to effect one issue, and I don’t like extremism (unless something drastically needs to change). I embrace civil rights, and I am for humanitarianism. However, I also realize that medicare and social security need to be reformed. I see a lot of propaganda everywhere, and a lot of people blame the most vulnerable people of society for the economy’s ills. However, my need for truth, however disappointing that truth may be to my emotions, is more powerful than anything else. I consider my core views correct, or at least on the right path, but I evolve them based on actual information at hand. This information can be well rounded, but sometimes, someone is just completely wrong and it’s important to recognize that. I dislike how many people I know do not think many issues have gray areas. I see almost every issue involving multiple variables as complex, as opposed to just scapegoating.

4. I’m atheist, and for a secular society. However, I do not mind religious people, so long as they aren’t…nuts. I do hate how someone can say the word god and you get millions of drooling brainwashed people soaking up every word, though, even if those words are harmful to other people…

5. I had dreams of being a research scientist. I scrapped that really fast when I found the employment prospects. I figure I can always learn on my own, even if it’s not at the research level. I also had a dream of going to medical school, but I’m weary about it now. It’s mostly just the debt. So, I want to make sure I have a good back up plan. Doing 4 years of physics will not get me a job (so I will choose a WAY more practical field if I go), and medical schools only accept so many. I have felt like I need to give to humanity for a long time, and it seemed perfect. I also feel like a doctor armed with information about the economy would be better able to help reforming healthcare policies.

6. I’ve thought about a trade. I’m a female, so a lot of people advised me not to. However, it seems like a great idea. You can get a paid apprenticeship, and work while you learn. It also seems like a GREAT idea to know how to fix things by yourself. If I ever become unemployed, I’d like to at least be able to try and do a side job (self employed).

7. I’ve also taken that personality test before, and I think I should go back to the results in order to help guide me. Thanks for that suggestion.

Pimp Watch, I wanted to reply to the question you want me to ask. My mother does not think housing is an investment, but she’s making a stupid decision. She is 51, and couldn’t even pay off a $40,000 house. It’s been over 10 years. She makes $60,000 a year, and for a long time, she got a LOT of money in child and spouse support. She can’t even save a down payment for a new house in a low cost of living area, and she wants to buy a house costing $150,000 with almost no down payment.

My father, on the other hand, does think of it as an investment. However, we did not live in an area where the housing bubble happened (small town in PA). He also went to business school, works for an insurance company (got laid off from a bank in 2008), and had his rich mommy and daddy buy his $40,000 house (when he makes $80,000 a year). He is in debt up to his eyeballs, and keeps adding to it.

Now, my husbands family is hilarious. His mother is very poor, and she wants to buy a house here in SoCal. His one aunt bought for $300,000 (around 2004), but her income should have never allowed that to happen. All of his family are deep in debt, and they all have friends who bought at over $750,000 (and are living rent free). And, on top of this all, none of them think this is crazy. Most of them are also 30k millionaires, and they want to drag me into it. NO THANKS.

PS-I thought this was a little funny. I know 3 people that are/went through college.

One is an engineer, and thinks everyone should be an engineer because jobs are plentiful and pay well (even though he is in a bad paying job and there seems to be an oversupply). He’s also planning on buying next year, haha.

The second is going through the UC system and studying film. He thinks he’s going to be a rich director when he comes straight out of college….

The third studied philosophy at Cal State. He is very intelligent, but extremely naive. His professors told him that philosophy majors have great job prospects, and businesses hire them above anyone else because of critical thinking skills (as opposed to someone in business school). He has a bachelors, and is $20k in the hole. He was overqualified to work at McDonalds, but he got a job where his father works (at a place that needed NO degree, just a bit of training). I think it’s manufacturing or something.

Thanks again for the great advice. I feel welcomed to this blog, and I hope to learn from you all.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2012-11-08 20:50:45

Don’t be suckered. Don’t buy housing right now.

Comment by CeeCee
2012-11-08 20:58:13

I don’t plan to for a long, long time…if ever.

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Comment by Neuromance
2012-11-08 22:01:15

Here’s an important point - “Housing is not the path to riches.”

Another point: The driver of house prices from 1970 to 2008, is not the driver of house prices going forward, as far as I can tell.

The ability to sell off the loan started in earnest with Lew Ranieri in the late 70s. This allowed the lenders to start shedding repayment risk, putting upward pressure on the amount they would loan. They kept pushing and pushing, exploring the edges of loan quality. Finally in the 2000s, there was not even the pretense of worrying about whether the loan would be repaid, with the advent of Option ARMs and NINJA loans (No Income No Job or Assets). And it was when house prices skyrocketed and the peak of the bubble was reached.

House prices are directly linked to the amount one can borrow. And we’ve reached, and surpassed, “Peak Debt.” So, I don’t see house prices going up like they did for our parents. Right now house prices are being propped up by government intervention. My guess is a gentle decline for several years until they come back in line with wages.

Robert Shiller of the Case Shiller index said recently that “Housing is a lousy investment” and has been for most of the previous century, and that one should only buy if one is interested in consuming the product that housing provides.

I think buying a house has a lot of benefits. It has a lot of costs too. It’s like a key. You have to see if it fits the lock of your situation.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-09 00:34:44

” It’s like a key. You have to see if it fits the lock of your situation.”

Catching a falling knife by using a low-down payment mortgage to buy a house definitely puts a lock on your situation!

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-09 00:25:50

“His mother is very poor, and she wants to buy a house here in SoCal.”

Typical wannabe Owner Society member…

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-09 00:29:48

Oops…I guess it’s “Ownership Society” (luckily that expression went the way of W…)

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Comment by ahansen
2012-11-09 01:10:29

My sister (divorced, broke, and with a 9-year-old daughter,) went back to school (enrolled in a junior college at age 29 and did her math and physics requirements), then transferred to university for her BS, and got her MD at age 33.

As a California resident, the CC>CA state college>CA university route is probably the most rational (unless you can find a benefactor), and with the inevitable public health care reforms coming (we need more docs), your chances of getting into med school right now are vastly better than hers were. Please reconsider; if you can handle the work/study load, you’re the kind of thinking person they’re looking for.

You’re also a damned good writer.

Comment by Carl Morris
2012-11-09 09:29:52

Also, if you decide at some point you really want to become a doctor, consider the military. That’s one way to do it without a lot of debt.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2012-11-09 09:27:51

One is an engineer, and thinks everyone should be an engineer because jobs are plentiful and pay well (even though he is in a bad paying job and there seems to be an oversupply).

That’s funny and typical of engineers, I think. I’m an engineer and I don’t regret it, but it’s not for everybody. If I had understood the possibilities better at 20 I might have done something else.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2012-11-08 22:52:51

Give thanks every day for the sunrise and sunset. Attitude will have a significant impact on your health, success, and happiness.

Make a plan. Be prepared to abandon it when it is not working. Then make another one.

Look for a sense of humor and intelligence in a mate. Take the sense of humor over intelligence.

Play to your strengths. Dennis Rodman had issues, but he was able to succeed in the NBA based on rebounding. I recommend “Now, Discover Your Strengths ” By Buckingham and Clifton.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 05:21:02

Denver Post - Amendment 64 not prodding Colorado to promote marijuana tourism:

“Colorado’s tourism champions have long baited their hooks with just about anything to lure destination travelers. Urban adventure, mountain fun, arts, music, food. Craft beer. Craft liquor. Even craft cheese.

But don’t look for any hand-rolled Indica doobies on those tourism hooks anytime soon.

Critics of the amendment — which nearly 55 percent of state voters approved on Tuesday — assailed the proposal with dire warnings of marijuana tourists turning Colorado into a red-lighted den of iniquity, a la Amsterdam.

The new law — which allows possession of less than an ounce of marijuana — was opposed by most Colorado lawmakers, including the governor. Richard Scharf, president of Visit Denver and chairman of the Colorado Tourism Office, warned that passage of the amendment could hobble the state’s travel industry.

“If Colorado receives international media attention as the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana in their Constitution, Colorado’s brand will be damaged, and we may attract fewer conventions and see a decline in leisure travel,” Scharf said in a press release two weeks ago.

Al White, director of the tourism office, said it’s premature to begin thinking about marijuana marketing because the Colorado legislature still needs to sculpt regulations surrounding the new law, which likely won’t take effect until early 2014. Even then, don’t expect any ads mentioning Colorado’s green nuggets, its famous Rocky Mountain High or its newly elevated role as the highest state in the country.”

2012-11-08 06:42:44

into a red-lighted den of iniquity, a la Amsterdam.

Have these people even been to Amsterdam?

I seriously doubt that Colorado has anything akin to either the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk, or the Van Gogh Museum.

As for the Herengracht, one can only dream of owning a house there.

(It may not be obvious but at one point, the two great competing powers were Spain and the Netherlands. They had the money to throw into frivilous pursuits like the arts and it shows.)

What on earth are these people babbling about? Have they been smoking something?

Comment by AmazingRuss
2012-11-08 08:43:46

They are intoxicated on thir own farts.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 08:55:19
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Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 12:14:22

Agreed, Puss. I was an exchange student in Breda and the place changed my life. Amsterdam is magical and tidy and entirely fabulous and Colorado should BE so lucky.

Colfax in Denver it ain’t.

Comment by pdmseatac
2012-11-08 08:45:29

Colorado wasn’t the only state to legalize marijuana. Washington passed a similar law, so expect the Washingtonians to siphon of some of the tourists.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 09:10:18

But we are closer to the population centers of the Midwest, East Coast, the South. The weed tourists will be spending their tourist dollars here, not in WA.

Also, our law allows for growing six plants per person, your law does not.

Comment by Young Deezy
2012-11-08 09:44:33

Only Six plants? Some counties here in CA allow up to 99 per person. For medical use only, of course. ;)

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Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 10:15:49

We think the limit is because of concern over commercial scale grow ops in residential areas starting fires.

Comment by Montana
2012-11-08 13:48:52

sokay, Obama’s justice dept will put an end to all that.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 05:25:49

Washington Post - Teabaggers Riot at Ole Miss:

“A protest at the University of Mississippi against the re-election of President Barack Obama grew into crowd of about 400 people with shouted racial slurs as rumors of a riot spread on social media. Two people were arrested on minor charges.

The university said in a statement Wednesday that the gathering at the student union began late Tuesday night with about 30 to 40 students, but grew within 20 minutes as word spread. Some students chanted political slogans while others used derogatory racial statements and profanity, the statement said.

Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones promised an investigation and said “all of us are ashamed of the few students who have negatively affected the reputations of each of us and of our university.”

Police were initially alerted to Tuesday’s uproar by people who saw Twitter posts about it. The students were told to leave, but about 100 came back later. One person was charged with public intoxication and another with failure to comply with police orders. There were no reports of injuries or property damage.

One picture that spread rapidly on social media shows people burning an Obama campaign sign, but the university hasn’t confirmed that the picture was taken on campus. The chancellor said some photos shared on social media showed things that were not seen by police on campus, but the reports of uncivil language and racial slurs appeared to be accurate.”

Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 07:23:33

A protest at the University of Mississippi against the re-election of President Barack Obama grew into crowd of about 400 people with shouted racial slurs

This happened in Mississippi, the heart of the old Confederacy? Knock me over with a feather.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 07:30:10

But this sentiment isn’t limited to the South, as evidenced by the sign you saw in Loveland to “De-nig America”.

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-11-08 08:22:43

We just have to face it there are far more black racists then white ones today, and that is what the pollsters totally forgot to count in their numbers.

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Comment by That's Racist®
2012-11-08 08:52:46

That’s Racist®

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-08 09:04:11

there are far more black racists (in America) then white ones today

Mathematically impossible.

Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2012-11-08 11:20:22

The math (13% of the country is black, 63% white) makes that unlikely.

Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 09:08:28

True, but there were no riots at CU or CSU. And let me tell you, they do riot at CU.

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Comment by WT Economist
2012-11-08 10:01:36

“Two people were arrested on minor charges…There were no reports of injuries or property damage.”

To have a proper riot on a U.S. campus, you need to win or lose a sports championship. Politics? I’ll get those who showed up couldn’t even name the Governor of their state.

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 13:04:04

“Racial slurs?”

Shocked I tell. Just shocked! :roll:

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 13:19:25

What’s up with the name change, birdboy?

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 05:28:52

Riots over Obama’s win at Ole Miss? Who’dathunk?

2012-11-08 07:17:04

I saw that but somebody really needs to teach them how to riot.

Los Angeles Riots, 1992 (1) - YouTube - 123k - Cached - Similar pages
Oct 22, 2011 … 1992, the year of the South Central riots (complex civil disturbances) The riots left more than 50 dead, over 4000 were injured and cost $1 …

Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 07:26:15

Just wait until we elect the next president, possibly a Hispanic. By then they’ll have learned how to properly riot.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2012-11-08 07:32:08

If we elect a Hispanic president, I expect to see much better fiestas at the White House.

Best this current president has done was Fiesta Latina on PBS. Which omitted musical acts like the Nortec Collective and the Mexican Institute of Sound.

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Comment by Bluestar
2012-11-08 08:20:23

Viva Los Super Seven!

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 13:06:35

My fiestas would have to include Esquivel’s music.

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 08:04:07

“teach them how to riot…”

White Southerners are quite expert at rioting. They’ve been doing it for a long time- but we used to call it lynching.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 08:07:02

Perhaps the Ole Miss riot was more of a political statement, than an expression of unbridled, anarchic rage.

Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 14:55:02

If shouting racial slurs is a “political statement”, which I guess it is in the confederacy.

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Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 08:08:01

How did I know Unknown Jethro would show up with his ever-present library of black crime videos?

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 07:56:31

Note that this article was the top headline on Drudge Report two hours ago, but it has since vanished from the front page.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 08:24:22

it was up last night on Drudge. i have mentioned the story to a few people and none of them have even heard of the story.

if it hadn’t been for drudge…i would not even know about it.

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 08:41:44

I saw it on yahoo’s home page. It’s all over the place.

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Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-08 09:02:31

University of Mississippi “riot”

The South Shall Rise Whine Again

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 13:08:55

Having lived many years in the south, I can say with authority… you got that right!

2012-11-08 14:20:30

When you keyboard libs get together you`re quite a keyboard mob yourselves. :) Where do they teach you to attack in groups anyway?

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Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 16:05:19

Commie school.

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 16:44:09

Where? Why, the neocon strategy book, where else?

Blowback is a Mitch, ain’t it?

Comment by 2banana
2012-11-08 05:38:15

Just read that democrats control 2/3 of both chambers of the California House/Senate and, of course, the Governorship.

Republicans blocked many taxes increases. Now the democrats can do what they want without one republican vote.

Is this the end of Prop 13?

Comment by Lip
2012-11-08 07:41:04

It means that flood gates will be open for those folks leaving CA. Lookout AZ, UT, OR, WA, CO, NM, etal.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 07:47:56

California equity locusts, do NOT move to Colorado!

Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2012-11-08 11:21:58

Awesome! Cheaper apartments and better commute times!

Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 08:57:32

I could see popular support for Prop 13 eroding as it rewards long term homeowners over those who purchased more recently.

Case in point. I looked up on zillow the house my parents once owned in Fountain Valley. It’s still owned by the same people who bought it from them in the early 70’s. They pay about $1200 a year in property taxes. If I bought the house next door (allegedly worth 600K) I could end up paying $6000 per year in property tax.

I like Colorado’s TABOR system. Instead of focusing on taxation, it controls spending.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 09:34:49

I heard from somebody recently that not only are the people that bought the house protected from the new property tax rates that if the house goes to their children they still receive their tax rate. Does anyone know if that is really true? If so, Prop 13 has created a form of royalty.

Comment by Montana
2012-11-08 09:45:14

Yes I think it’s true. My father had a house in Cal and I looked into it at one time. Assuming the child is the legal heir..I think they have to actually live there too, not just rent it out. But we know how that goes.

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Comment by scdave
2012-11-08 10:01:23

Does anyone know if that is really true ??

Its kinda true…It goes by county not state law…

Here is my county;

Parent-Child Transfers Prop 58 - Santa Clara County Assessor…your…/parent-to-childApr 20, 2011 – The transfer of real property between parents and children may be excluded from reappraisal for property tax purposes. You must file a claim to …

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Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2012-11-08 11:23:47

It is true, and is one of the dumbest things about prop 13. The ACTUAL dumbest thing about prop 13 is you can sell commercial property without triggering a reassessment if you create 3 legal business entities and have them each buy 1/3 of the building since reassessments are only triggered if 1/2 of the building changes hands in a transaction.

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Comment by Dale
2012-11-08 14:39:37

I believe it may also cover commercial property, which may explain why you see so much sitting vacant.

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Comment by Dale
2012-11-08 14:41:13

OK, I should have read the entire post.

Comment by scdave
2012-11-08 09:57:39

Is this the end of Prop 13 ??

No….A proposition passed by the voters can only be overturned with another proposition…Now, the slezeballs may try and find another way to tax, but that is also limited due to past propositions…

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 10:09:08

No way prop 13 will end.

It might change to only apply to primary residences, but I don’t see any way that it ends.

Comment by scdave
2012-11-08 11:25:06

It might change to only apply to primary residences ??

That would also take a state wide vote…It would fail…

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 12:27:55

I’m not so sure it would fail.

If the choices were:

1. Higher income taxes (which can now be raised by the Democrat supermajority without proposition); or
2. Change prop 13 to only apply to primary residences

I think the people would vote for the change in Prop 13.

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Comment by scdave
2012-11-08 14:38:01

2. Change prop 13 to only apply to primary residences

I think the people would vote for the change in Prop 13 ??

No way…You realize the combined net worth of all the owners of commercial real estate in California…Trillions of dollars…Intel Built their building in Santa Clara 30 years ago…Ditto for Apple in Cupertino…The taxes on these facilities (just to mention 2) would go through the roof….You would immediately hear CEO threats of moving and the CRE industry would raise a billion dollars to defeat it…

I am not arguing that its right or wrong…I am just putting forth that it ain’t gonna happen…If it could happen, you would have seen it come to a vote already…Them tax & spend dem’s have already ran the idea up the flag pole many times…It dies a silent death because at the end of the day they know its DOA…

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 14:46:55

How to commercial property owners deal with property taxes in other states?

They deal with property tax increases as the value of their property goes up…it’s a cost of doing business.

The fallacy of “the CEOs will move” is that most places they move have property taxes based on today’s values anyway.

One idea I saw in this regard had to do with having re-assessments for commercial properties happening only every 5 years or so, and they had a somewhat limited increase for those who have owned property for X years…to blunt the pain, but over a period of decades, things would normalize.

The problems that the politicians have is the problem that I have with Prop 13. If you simply utter the words “change” or “reform” in the same sentence as “prop 13″, you get EVERYONE screaming at you…before you even give the idea.

I had my MIL fly off the handle at me for about an hour before I could finally get through her head that I wasn’t proposing to increase her taxes.

Tax increases are great…until they are increased on me.

Which is why prop 30 won, and prop 38 got killed…

Comment by Pete
2012-11-08 15:22:39

“Tax increases are great…until they are increased on me.
Which is why prop 30 won, and prop 38 got killed…”

I see your point, but prop 30 also mandates a sales tax increase, which will affect everyone.

Comment by scdave
2012-11-08 16:19:35

which will affect everyone ??

And there is the answer….Everyone should pay, not just some isolated group….

The fallacy of “the CEOs will move” ??

Fallacy ?? You are kidding right ??

having re-assessments for commercial properties happening only every 5 years or so ??

The county tax assessor’s are salivating over the thought…Thats what they need…More money…

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 17:25:00

I wish they didn’t need more money, but now that we have supermajority of Democrats in Sacramento, the money will be spent. Which of us are they going to skin? More and more in CA the burden of government is falling on the workers as opposed to property taxes–it’s really getting out of hand.

So, you think the CEOs of companies like Intel and Apple move…where?

All their employees are here, with their homes, and their Prop 13 locked in property taxes.

Remember, MOST companies do not own their real estate…they lease it.

IF a company moves elsewhere, guess what? Their property taxes would go up there also.

Here is some math to consider:

Let’s say the property value for property tax purposes in Cupertino for Apple is $100 per foot. This costs the owner $1 per year in property taxes…this equates to about $0.083333 per month, per square foot.

“Typical” CAMs might be $0.75 to $1 per month, so this $0.083 per month is +/- 10% of the CAM (common area maintenance) charges. Let’s say that rents are ~$2.50NNN per month. This means that property taxes make up a few percent per year of the older tenant’s total real estate cost.

These rents would put the value of the building at +/- $425 per square foot today…a 7% cap rate.

1. Often, tenants are already subject to property tax increases if the building sells and the property taxes go up (thus increasing CAMs).
2. If the tenant owned the building, the real economic cost includes the rent they are NOT paying, etc., so their total cost of ownership would rise by +/- $0.27 per square foot per month if property taxes went up to the full market value instantly. This represents an increase in their real cost of less than 10%.

If you think CEOs are going to get up and leave for an increase in cost of a quarter per square foot per month, I think you should look at rents in the Bay Area and see how many tenants have left over the past 2 years, as rents have risen WAY more than a quarter.

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-09 01:10:15

@Pete, the sales tax increase is miniscule (which the wealthy also pay…more, since they spending more).

I guess it makes people feel good that everybody is bearing some cost, even though 0.25% on items subject to sales tax is generally a pittance…$10k in spending is $25 more in tax.

Question, if broadening the base was OK, why didn’t they simply raise the tax rates on lower income folks?

Answer: Because the sales tax increase is innocuous and more likely to pass.

Comment by sfhomowner
2012-11-08 11:08:50

Is this the end of Prop 13?

One can dream…

Comment by Pimp Watch
2012-11-08 05:39:17

So how long before the next episode of The Empire Strikes Back occurs and we’re ass deep in another disastrous war?

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 07:35:03

According to this interview we heard on Fresh Air, we are already at war with Pakistan:

Comment by rms
2012-11-08 08:00:12

I’m sure the war colleges have a tough time recruiting top talent for a role in nation building a-la the Judeo-Christian empire.

Comment by Ryan
2012-11-08 10:36:33

So many places to choose from. Yemen, Mali, Sudan, Syria, Pakistan….the choices are endless.

Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2012-11-08 11:25:34

Ripley knows how to deal with these things.

Comment by Ryan
2012-11-08 19:22:36

If only it were so simple. Those pesky Geneva Convention and UN rules are such a pain.

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2012-11-08 05:58:13

Be it right or be it wrong I talked to 2 long time business owners yesterday who are seriously considering shutting it down and the 2 of them combined would put a lot more than 22 people out of work.

Vegas Employer: Obama Won–So I Fired 22 Employees

November 7, 2012 6:09 PM

CBS LAS VEGAS-A Las Vegas business owner with 114 employees— fired 22 workers today as a direct result of President Obama’s re-election. “David”( he asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons) told Host Kevin Wall on 100.5 KXNT that “elections have consequences”.

Hear David’s call by clicking here:

Comment by ibbots
2012-11-08 07:15:40

Yep, shut down your business, that’ll showem!

2012-11-08 07:36:24

A lot of people were hanging on. Out of the 50 million that voted for each candidate (1 got roughly a couple of million more) how do you think the break down went as far as those who match employees Social Security and those who don`t?

Wall Street and the big Banks that you all rail against will do fine either way but there are a lot of people who run businesses that are not doing fine.

Not saying it`s right or wrong just saying it is.

Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 09:05:56

A lot of people were hanging on.

So they would have let those people go anyway. It’s not like Romney could have waved his magic wand and business would have suddenly picked up.

I have seen more than a few “small businesses” fail, and many that did failed because they couldn’t compete with big box stores and chain businesses. On our main street there are two burger joints across the street from each other. One is a recently rebuilt Mickey D’s, which is always busy. The other is a mom-n-pop place called Fatso’s, which is always empty. Fatso’s makes better burgers, but they are struggling to survive.

I also have a friend who tried to open a mom-n-pop espresso place. He had a loyal following, but it just wasn’t big enough to make ends meet. Meanwhile, the Starbucks a few blocks away is bustling. After five years he gave up. He didn’t blame the “economy”, he just realized he couldn’t complete with Starbucks.

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Comment by X-GSfixr
2012-11-08 10:41:07

All of the “Mom and Pop” parts makers/subcontractors in Wichita are disappearing.

Nothing to do with Obama. The depression in mid-size and smaller corporate jets started when the Banksters blew up the economy, then started hoarding all of the QE cash.

If you want to see a mini version of what would have happened if they had let GM and Chrysler slide down the poop chute, look no farther than General Aviation……they didn’t get a bailout. Sales/flight hours still 50-60% of 2007 levels. Mid level manufacturers and vendors disappearing. OEMs in Chapter 11 trying desperately to find Chinese buyers, who are the only people who seem to have cash. The Chinese just wanting the tooling and intellectual property, to haul off to Harbin, and dumping the US workforce. The survivors shipping off jobs to Mexico, where they are being introduced to various problems with QC, workforce retention, and questions about how the FAA can do adequate “oversight” when the narcos are shooting/kidnapping gringos.

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2012-11-08 12:29:46

Yep, I think this is another case of where correlation meets cause-and-effect.

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 13:13:32

“Yep, shut down your business, that’ll showem!”

:lol: Right?

That’ll sho’em reel gude!

Seriously, please do close your business. And take your dumbass attitude with you.

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 07:17:57

No one shuts down a successful biz because of who won the presidency. But people do like an excuse when shutting down an unsuccessful one.

2012-11-08 07:44:38

7 Million Americans Not In Labor Force Want Jobs Now!

By Noel Sheppard | September 07, 2012 | 07:42

The Labor Department released its highly anticipated jobs report for August Friday, and the numbers were lousy.

Although the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent, that’s because another 368,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force.

This brought the labor force participation rate down to 63.5 percent, the lowest it’s been since September 1981.

Meanwhile, the number of people not in the labor force increased by 581,000 to a staggering 88.9 million.

Making matters worse, the number of people out of the workforce that want a job now increased 403,000 to 6.957 million.

That’s right - almost 7 million Americans are currently not in the labor force but they want to work immediately.

These are all terrible numbers

Comment by X-GSfixr
2012-11-08 10:49:26

Gee if those 7 million people had full time jobs, government expenditures on food stamps, UE, etc would go down, and tax receipts would go up.

Even better, instead of sitting on giant cash hordes, start handing out some pay raises to the wretched refuse, who haven’t seen one in 10 years.

Native American chiefs weren’t considered “great” unless the whole tribe prospered, and the sick/old were provided for.

Our current “chiefs” are of the “don’t leave money on the table for the wretched refuse” persuasion.

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Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 11:18:29


2012-11-08 07:53:46

our sloth in Florida

If you are refering to me come on down here and I`ll Mitch slap your @ss. :)

I would like to thank Beyonce for teaching me some new verbage.


Beyonce Reacts To President Obama’s Re-Election (PHOTO)

Posted: 11/07/2012 10:24 am EST Updated

After learning the results of the election, the 31-year-old singer posted another photo to her Tumblr. On lined paper, she simply wrote:


Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 08:49:22

“Mitch slap”

Ooh, hasn’t Jethro been threatening violence a lot lately? That’s where you go when you’re at your wit’s end. The empire is crumbling, isn’t it?

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2012-11-08 12:55:19

“Ooh, hasn’t Jethro been threatening violence a lot lately?”

Do you mean to tell me that the word MITCHES is supposed to mimic a word that sounds like that and starts with a B? Well if that`s the case I am really sorry, I didn`t ever think in a million years that Beyonce would say an awful thing like that to 50 million people. I thought it had to be a happy word meant to bring the country together.

Beyonce how could you do that to me?

2012-11-08 08:04:32


Comment by Arizona Slim
2012-11-08 08:12:31

Here in Tucson, there have been quite a few reports of restaurants closing. Almost every time, the owners blame The Economy.

Well, it’s a good thing that our local fishwrap allows online commenting. That’s where you can learn the truth about these places. Y’know, things like the food was terrible, the service was awful, the owners stopped caring about the place, the new management ran it into the ground.

In short, The Economy is just a handy excuse.

Comment by Montana
2012-11-08 09:50:54

Too many people go into the restaurant/B&B/hobby store business who don’t belong there! I think that tightknit immigrant families do better at this, basically by having everyone work whatever number of hours it takes.

Even so, the local Thai place here just closed after about 15 years.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 09:54:18

…by having everyone work whatever number of hours it takes.

This is a little-known (to some) secret of success in almost anything: A willingness and ability to work long, hard hours.

And as you suggest, immigrant families tend to ‘get it’ better than most Americans.

Comment by scdave
2012-11-08 10:19:20

Even so, the local Thai place here just closed after about 15 years ??

And more may close…You know why ?? Tax reform…How many times have you been in a small restaurant and see them ring-up a zero when you are paying your tab ?? More than I can count…If we can just collect the tax that should be paid we will be fine…To many people riding in the wagon and to few pulling it…Tax reform will change that…

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 10:12:17

It doesn’t sound like he shut it down, just cut back…is there a 100 person threshold for anything in Obama’s legislation?

There are a number of articles that have been written about restaurant owners cutting down hourly workers to less than 30 hours so they fall under the “full time” threshold, which will eliminate their requirement to provide healthcare under the new law.

All those unintended consequences…

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 16:47:20

The restaurant business is the most backwards, volatile and rife with fraud of all the service businesses.

NEVER own a restaurant or bar.

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Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 13:16:40

“No one shuts down a successful biz because of who won the presidency. But people do like an excuse when shutting down an unsuccessful one.”

We have a winner.

2012-11-08 14:06:48

“We have a winner.”

“He said Boeing would cut the number of executive jobs an additional 10 percent by the end of 2012, bringing overall cuts in its executive team to 30 percent”

We have another winner.

Boeing Announces Big Layoffs in Defense Division

Published: Wednesday, 7 Nov 2012 | 2:59 PM ET

By: Reuters

Boeing announced a major restructuring of its defense division on Wednesday that will cut 30 percent of management jobs from 2010 levels, close facilities in California and consolidate several business units to cut costs.

The company told employees about the changes on Wednesday, in a memo obtained by Reuters and confirmed by Boeing.

Boeing, the Pentagon’s second-largest supplier, said the changes were the latest step in an affordability drive that has already reduced the company’s costs by $2.2 billion since 2010, according to the memo.

He said Boeing would cut the number of executive jobs an additional 10 percent by the end of 2012, bringing overall cuts in its executive team to 30 percent for the past two years, a move that would result in a 10 percent cut in management costs.

A company spokesman declined to say how many jobs had already been cut from the 2010 level.

Rival Lockheed Martin has reduced its management ranks by about 25 percent in recent years after announcing a voluntary buyout.

Boeing said it would also expand its efforts to cut supply-chain costs by working closely with its suppliers, but did not provide details. -

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Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 16:48:47

Boeing has been hiring and firing for as long as I can remember. That spans many decades.

Comment by Lip
2012-11-08 07:44:57

This is just the beginning. Many small business owners were holding out with the hope that Romney would be chosen. Now that it’s not happening the business costs are going to start rising and they’re going to have to get rid of the dead wood.

If you don’t make your boss money, why should he keep you?

Comment by Blue Skye
2012-11-08 07:56:12

I know of some employers that are limiting employees to 29.5 hours per week because of Obamacare, but that increases “employment”.

Comment by Steve J
2012-11-08 13:31:35

That means unemployment will go down.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 07:58:00

Agreed. The weak economy picked up just a little on the hope that Obama would be gone but not investment will be gone. Moreover, we have not even felt the defense cuts. Now, that the election is over the government will probably allow compliance with the law and notice of layoffs will go out.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 08:06:32

Not gonna happen. MarketWatch reporting that Ole Weepy Eye John Boehner says House Republicans ready to accept new revenue to avoid fiscal cliff.

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2012-11-08 08:20:24

Man what an actor. The Weeper Of The House is back centerstage.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 08:10:11

“Moreover, we have not even felt the defense cuts. Now, that the election is over the government will probably allow compliance with the law and notice of layoffs will go out.”

Couldn’t some bipartisan cooperation on the fiscal cliff help avoid those cuts?

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 08:35:20

Look spending more than you take in will create jobs no matter where it is spent although you can spend it better in some areas than others. However, now that Obama has maxed out the U.S. credit card with six trillion in new debt, we will need to cut government spending or increase taxes which in the short term at least will increase not decrease unemployment.

The people that complain about austerity in Europe point out the higher unemployment rate, but you have austerity because you are broke not because it is a short term job producer. I said it a few days ago, the best job creation, (during this up cycle) is behind us and it mainly occurred to cyclical factors that had nothing to do with Obama’s policies.

In the panic that happened after the stock market crashed companies cut too many people and destocked their inventories. Once they realized that they had cut too many they stopped laying people off and started to rehire, that is why the recession stopped in June 2009 prior to virually any stimulus money entering the economy. Of course, you do not overspend by a trillion a year and not stimulate the economy so that has created job, although around zero net) but jobs will be lost when we try to balance the budget. The increase regulations have depressed job growth in the private sector.

Bottom line, the growth we saw over the last four years will be more than over the next four years and we may even turn negative for some of that time. The best years of Obama are not ahead of us, they are behind us.

Yes sensible cuts and tax increases are needed and should be bipartisan. I think that the “unity” government is a silver lining in the last election since the Republicans do not want to be in charge of this mess alone. I just wish we could levy the tax increases only on the rich Republicans that blocked effective enforcement of the borders including doing away with state laws which punished employers. They have reaped what they sowed in the last election. California should especially call its new taxes the illegal immigrant surcharge since that would be truth in advertising.

Comment by Bluestar
2012-11-08 08:54:53

Your da’ man Dan. Your fricking clairvoyant dude. I still can’t get over how you nailed the election.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 08:58:08

From what had been reading for the past several months…the economy was going to tank after the elections no matter who won.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 09:17:31

I think that is true since you cannot cut a trillion dollars from government and not have it tank. The question is who would have been better to get business to invest to soften the blow? I reluctantly came to the conclusion it would be Romney. Which if you read my posts from four years ago you would know was not easy. I consider him part of the banking elite that has ruined the middle class. He did say the right things about China, immigration and the Fed reserve toward the end but I cannot blame people for not believing him.

In fact, you know I understand that minority voters would want to give the first minority president a full eight years to prove himself. I think it was a mistake and they will suffer far more than I will from it. However, they are my neighbors, co-workers and friends and they are happy about the result and I am glad for at least a short time they are happy.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 11:48:19

Some in the business press but I heard many stories in the MSM about how lucky the new president was going to be to inherit an improving economy with them particularly the housing market.

PS I tried to poste an earlier comment which never posted and sense it was over an hour ago where I concede that many knew it was going to tank but that comment is limited to the business press and not the general press.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 12:17:40

I think I posted this after the conventions but I said the biggest mistake made by each party was:

Democrats – we inherited a bad economy but our policies are making it better.

Republicans – the economy is still really bad but our policies will fix it.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-08 12:37:19

I understand that minority voters would want to give the first minority president a full eight years to prove himself.

President Obama won by a majority.

And this is mind-boggling:

The Republicans have won the majority in the Presidential Election only once in the last 6 elections. (2004) Again, the Republicans have won the popular vote only once in the past 6 elections which will span 24 years - almost a quarter of a century.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 13:01:22

Bluestar, I never predicted the election. I thought it was too close to call and if you move around a few hundred thousand votes and it is a Romney win, with a minority of the popular votes.

When I do make predictions, I will match mine against your predictions anytime. I have been bullish on gold for years, I stated that the printing of money under Obama would benefit the rich and kill the middle class and when I first said it I was attacked by your side but it has happened.

I was one of the first to state that the nominal prices of housing would be prevented from falling further dramatically and I made that call three years ago. I also said and am saying global warming has stopped. Want to bet on whether this year is warmer than 1998?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 13:14:32

Bill Clinton did not win a majority of the popular vote in either one of is elections either. He owes his first election due to Ross Perot who took more votes away from the R than the D. When a democrat wins like Reagan then you have something to really brag about. When you pick up 60 + seats in one year, you have something to brag about.
No question Bush diminished the republican party just like Carter diminished the democrats. However, despite all the House being up for election the Republicans retained control. We are a 50/50 nation and the next four years will determine which way we go. The Irish use to vote almost exclusively democratic not they are part of the Republican base. If Obama does not do better the next four years than he has the last a lot of support from all ethnic groups will change.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 13:50:46

And just for clarification it was falling dramatically from the 2009 levels. Also, I pointed out the bubble in social media stocks and many on this board disagreed with me.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-08 14:02:29

I stated that the printing of money under Obama would benefit the rich and kill the middle class

The middle-class was killed long before “Obama’s money printing.” It was killed by right-wing, rich-get-richer economic dogma taking over public policy.

I also said and am saying global warming has stopped

Climate change and weather pattern craziness is ongoing.

I never predicted the election.

Spoken like a minor league politician covering his bum. Your pages and pages of biased poll dissection were less than useless.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 14:58:00

Stock market down around 450 points in two days. Of course, it dropped over 500 points after his election but that he could blame on Bush even if it was fear of this policies. Now, the stock market is his.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 15:15:18

with all due respect dan…he’s gotten away with blaming bush for the past 4 years…what makes you think it want work with his supporters for 4 more?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 15:24:09

I don’t expect all of them will concede or even most of them but when you are a 50/50 nation, and when the Republicans retain the House we are, you do not need to change very many.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 16:20:43

So Rio do you want to bet on whether this year is warmer than 1998? I say it will not be. You can’t have AGW until you have GW. Next year is the last time the natural factors may be lined up for a record and then the temperature falls off the mesa and heads down for about two decades in a normal jagged path.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 16:52:53

Breaking news from NOAA the El Nino alert has cancelled. For six months they have been saying an El Nino would develop and now this.

I told this board that because the PDO had gone into a cold phase, El Ninos would be less frequent and less intense. All the record years have been El Nino years. So if NOAA, is correct, big if, not only will there not be a global temperature record for this year there will not be not one for next year. In fact, neither one of them will reach the 1998 level. More and more Co2 into the air every year, Gore running around saying co2 is the primary reason for GW and the best we have been able to do in the last 16 years is exceed 1998 by a few hundreds of degree a couple during strong El Nino years and now we are way below 1998. Some warming gang.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2012-11-09 00:50:09

” 50/50 nation”

There is a definite urban/rural divide. Urban goes Democrat and rural goes Republican. You can see it in every state with a large population center. Even Utah has a Democratic representative from Salt Lake City. Romney’s Mormon coattails were not enough to overcome the urban/rural divide in the home of the Mormon church.

I was really surprised to see Heitkamp win in North Dakota and Tester win in Montana - two states that are primarily rural.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2012-11-09 07:16:31

I told this board that because the PDO had gone into a cold phase

Rasmusen has the temperature up in Alabama.

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2012-11-08 13:35:05

Many small business owners were holding out with the hope that Romney would be chosen.

Why? Is he going to buy them phones? Pay the mortage/rent on their building?

If what you say is true, these are businesses I’d avoid.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2012-11-08 08:47:05

What a wuss. I’m becoming ashamed to be associated with conservatives like this.

Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2012-11-08 11:33:44

I have no problem with him laying of 22 people because Obama won. He’s being proactive to what he thinks will happen in his business environment. However, he’d kind of an idiot to publicly go off about it like that. He’s just alienated a portion of his customer base! And not just obama supporters. I suspect he’ll be laying off more than 22 as his business drops and I’m pretty sure he’ll blame it on Obama, not on his public tirade.

2012-11-08 06:20:11

ahansen, this one is for that scrappy line drive hitter.

This kid rocks! “See you next year boys” :)

Sam Gordon - A 9-Year-Old Girl Football Star. [VIDEO] | Most … - 22k - Cached - Similar pages
9-year-old Sam Gordon from Salt Lake City, Utah is a star player in an all-boys … Sam’s dad, Brent has put together this highlight video of his daughter scoring, …

Comment by ahansen
2012-11-08 11:48:23

Wild beasts? Bring ‘em on. A pack of pre-teen boys? Even I’M not THAT nurtz. :-)

Comment by Jojo
2012-11-08 06:35:37

“a red-lighted den of iniquity, a la Amsterdam.”

I wonder if any of these “critics” has ever been to Amsterdam, which is in fact a very pleasant and cultural city.

Comment by 2banana
2012-11-08 06:38:13

If you stay out of the muslim sections…

Comment by That's Racist®
2012-11-08 08:50:54


Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 06:40:47

Well it’s in Europe, right? So it’s commie and has super-long lines of people dressed in rags waiting for health care. What more do we need to know?

2012-11-08 06:49:36

We typed the same thing.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 07:02:21

Denver is not a “pleasant and cultural city” which is why it is best experienced while stoned.

2012-11-08 07:42:22

Excellent. And now one can do that!

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Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 14:50:35

The only way I would ever attend Denver’s famed Stock Show, would be under the influence … and maybe not even then.

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Comment by Bub Diddley
2012-11-08 07:13:59

For Goon Squad, a little something about your hero Gary Johnson:

The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics

Gary Johnson was a corrupt governor who privatized his prisoners with gruesome results, who wants to privatize the federal government and strip us of anything that might protect us from the Kochs and the rest of the oligarchy, and dismantle all the social programs including Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, college grants, minimum wage laws, even child labor laws — and in return, he’ll you smoke pot. If your state votes to legalize pot, that is. If you’re state still wants to put you in prison for smoking pot, or even stiffen those penalties, sucks for you.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 07:39:48

Never said he was our “hero”. We want Ron Paul’s platform of ending the Federal Reserve, Dennis Kucinich’s platform for nationalized health care, and to shrink the Military Industrial Complex, which both of them support.

There is (as of yet) no single candidate or party advocating this platform.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 07:44:33

add “dismantle the FIRE economy”

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 08:40:55

Ending the Federal Reserve and cutting off Uncle Sugar’s supply of crack cocaine stimulus to the banksters will do just that.

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2012-11-08 08:18:07

I just joined the Goon Squad-Michael Party.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 12:46:22

We have no desire to ever run for anything but would happily fill a Charles Colson, “hatchet man”, role in the campaign of the right candidate.

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2012-11-08 15:44:59

Yeah. Well just don’t end up a felon and freak like Chuck Colson.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 07:46:12

i heard he even supports assassinating U.S. citizens abroad without due process as well.

Comment by Ryan
2012-11-08 10:49:27

Wasn’t he on board with indefinite detention without due process as well?

Comment by X-GSfixr
2012-11-08 11:00:06

Enough with the crying about “assasinating Americans”.

We “assassinated” a Chitload of “Americans” in World War Deuce.

Most of them wearing the uniform of the Wehrmacht, or the Japanese Army or Navy. Some were there voluntarily, others were not, but they ended up getting whacked all the same.

I can’t get too excited about a problem induced by someone choosing to put themselves in the crosshairs……hang out with the Taliban/Al Queda in Yemen, Pakistan, or Afghanistan, innocently or not, and there’s a good chance that Mr. Hellfire will pay a visit. So stay the hell away.

Common Sense is rapidly disappearing.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 11:51:29

I agree we have a responsibility to minimize “collateral damage” but not an obligation to avoid it all together.

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Comment by michael
2012-11-08 12:21:04

you’re right…enough with due process…round up muslim americans and put them in detention camps.

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Comment by X-GSfixr
2012-11-08 12:38:41

Did I say that? No.

The US Government’s treatment of Muslims here legally is atrocious/embarrasing, and making more enemies/creating more problems that it’s worth.

So is the “torture” policy. We shouldn’t even be talking about a “torture” policy. Supposedly, we are spending a gazillion dollars for state-of-the-art double-nought spies…..all of those Einsteins should be able to come up with interrogation techniques that don’t require torture.

Where is Hanns Scharff when you need him?

Maybe the Red Cross needs to go into these areas, and determine whether these guys are “civilians” or not>

What? The International Red Cross won’t go into the tribal areas, because all of their people will get kidnapped and/or beheaded? So we have to take their word that all of these guys are innocent civilians? Bummer for them.

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 14:25:02

Were Confederate soldiers read their rights before being shot in Civil War battles? Could they contact their attorneys?

Comment by Ryan
2012-11-08 19:26:39

C’mon now, we are so much more enlightened now. We have elected and re-elected a Black President. In that day and age, Jim Crow would have given the Prez’s forefathers the Southern brush back.

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 07:14:23

Bloomberg - McDonald’s Monthly Sales Fall First Time in Nine Years:

“McDonald’s Corp, the world’s largest restaurant chain, said sales at stores open at least 13 months fell 1.8 percent in October, the first monthly decline in nine years, as U.S. customer traffic decreased.

Analysts projected a decrease of 1.1 percent, the average of 14 estimates compiled by Consensus Metrix. Sales at U.S. locations dropped 2.2 percent last month, Oak Brook, Illinois based McDonald’s said today in a statement. Analysts also estimated a decline of 1.1 percent for stores there.

The shares fell 0.8 percent to $86.17 at 8:27 a.m. in New York. McDonald’s slid 13 percent this year through yesterday.”

Comment by azdude
2012-11-08 07:24:58

stock is priced for perfection. buy low sell high. They have been raising prices constantly. their value meals are often over 6 bucks now.
I only order off dollar menu if I go. Wait for a major correction in this stock.

Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 08:49:08

Fast food burger prices are through the roof. A lot of items that used to be on the “dollar menu” at many chains are now approaching the $2 mark, and the “dollar menus” are being relabeled “value menus”

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 09:03:42

A slippery slope that began when McD’s replaced the $1 Double Cheeseburger with the $1 McDouble (still has two patties of pink slime, but only one slice of cheeze).

What will Carl’s Jr. do when they can no longer afford to sell their vaunted “Six Dollar Burger” for $6?

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Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 09:30:08

Well, places like Red Robin now charge $9 for a basic burger, so I guess Carl’s can safely relabel it.

Comment by FreeHands
2012-11-08 10:35:31

What will Carl’s Jr. do when they can no longer afford to sell their vaunted “Six Dollar Burger” for $6?
The “Six Dollar Burger” at the Carls Jr near me already costs more than $6, but not quite $7.

Comment by Blue Skye
2012-11-08 09:17:16

The price of corn has about trippled in the last six years.

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Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2012-11-08 11:37:30

Hashbrowns just hit the $1 mark, up from 69 cents the last time I checked.

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Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 13:28:44

…as I’ve been saying about inflation these last several years…

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Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2012-11-08 14:09:11

I think even burgers at fast food joints have jumped on the “luxury” bandwagon. I think Carl’s and Jack-in-the-Box started it with high priced burgers. You charge more for it and customers think they’re getting something better. Works great until everybody does it.

It either becomes the new normal or (my guess) makes them all due for a contraction.

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Comment by In Colorado
2012-11-08 14:48:46

I was never impressed with Carl’s “$6 burger”

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 07:19:36

MarketWatch - Groupon investors sour ahead of results:

“Analysts surveyed by FactSet estimate Groupon will report a third-quarter profit of 4 cents a share, on $591 million in revenue.

Despite expectations for strong double-digit growth on the top line, investors have largely soured on the stock. Groupon’s shares closed at a new low of $3.76 on Wednesday — more than 80% below the company’s IPO price of $20 a share on Nov. 4, 2011.”

Comment by Arizona Slim
2012-11-08 07:20:51

Slim started acting school last night.

Good instructor, great fellow students, and oh, do I have a lot to learn. On this, the morning after, I’m feeling VERY humbled.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 08:14:27

Humility often proves an important step on the path of learning.

Comment by Lemming with an innertube
2012-11-08 21:25:55

so cool that you’re putting yourself “out there” and doing something out of your comfort zone. hope you enjoy it!

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 07:43:10

so how are things in NYC and NJ?

Comment by goon squad
2012-11-08 09:45:20

New Jerseyans with homes swamped and blacked out by Hurricane Sandy face another hardship: a cutoff of Cristal champagne, Grey Goose vodka and an herbal brew called Kamasutra, “the natural spirit of seduction.”

The exclusive New Jersey distributor of those and other liquors, Fedway Associates Inc., was still cleaning up yesterday after a 10-foot surge of Hackensack River floodwater inundated its Kearny warehouse last week, according to its Facebook page. Losses will be “in the tens of millions,” the posting said.

The Horror! The Horror!

2012-11-08 08:07:53

LIRR was down yesterday.

It’s a bit of a mess but not too bad.

Comment by aNYCdj
Comment by Blue Skye
2012-11-08 09:08:18

Power is still out at my sis’ in North Jersey. An inch of snow.

Comment by That's Racist®
2012-11-08 09:14:24

Snow is Racist®

Comment by X-GSfixr
2012-11-08 12:44:42

Snow has a liberal bias.

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Comment by goon squad
Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 08:38:50

The Plunge Protection Team is struggling mightily to prevent Mr Market from continuing his selloff.

DJIA 12,932.27, -0.46, -.00%
SPX 1,394.72, +0.19, +0.01%
COMP 2,937.49, +0.21, +0.01%

Nov. 8, 2012, 9:14 a.m. EST
Will yesterday’s big decline be reversed?
Commentary: What history tells us about the days after elections
By Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (MarketWatch) — The odds that the stock market will rise today are little better than a coin flip.

That’s hardly Earth-shattering news, of course, except for an unintended implication of my column yesterday. Read Nov. 7 Mark Hulbert column: Interpreting market’s day-after reaction.

I am afraid I may have encouraged investors to expect that a big down day after the election would reverse itself as early as the next day. Such a turn of events would be very welcome, of course, given the Dow’s drop on Wednesday of more than 300 points. See Market Snapshot for details of the Wednesday selloff .

Unfortunately, though, the reversal to which I referred in my post-election column is over the longer term: between what the market does on the day after the election and its direction over the full four years of the subsequent presidential term.

That reversal does not apply to what happens on the day after the day after the election.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 09:14:02

The force of economic gravity is unusually strong today, making a dead cat bounce difficult to muster:

DJIA 12,905.86, -26.87, -0.21%
SPX 1,391.56, -2.97, -0.21%
COMP 2,930.53, -6.76, -0.23%

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-11-08 14:45:10

And the winner is: GRAVITY!

November 8, 2012
DJIA 12,811.32,-121.41, -0.94%
SPX 1,377.51, -17.02, -1.22%
COMP 2,895.59, -41.70,-1.42%

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 10:05:13

With so much money moving out of stocks and into bonds, what props up the stock market these days? It seems like Mr Market has been trying to assume the crash position all year long!

AP News
Cash pulled from stock funds 15th straight week
Posted on November 07, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Investors withdrew money from stock mutual funds for the 15th consecutive week during the period ended Oct. 31. Bond funds continued to attract new money, as they have all but one week this year.

The movement of cash was in line with the conservative approach that many investors have taken since the financial crisis of 2008. Money has consistently been withdrawn from stock mutual funds and added to lower-risk bond funds.


Investors withdrew a net $1.89 billion from U.S. stock funds, the Investment Company Institute said in a preliminary report Wednesday. Withdrawals have exceeded deposits for 15 weeks in a row, dating to July 18.

Cash was pulled out during the latest week as the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index rose 0.2 percent in a shortened trading week. Financial markets were closed on Oct. 29 and 30 due to the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

The ICI said a net $548 million was withdrawn during the latest week from funds investing primarily in foreign stocks. Those funds attracted cash through most of the first half of this year. But withdrawals have exceeded deposits for 15 consecutive weeks dating to mid-July.


Investors deposited a net $2.62 billion into bond funds, which have attracted new cash in all but one week so far this year. The latest week’s total is down from the $6.61 billion in net deposits during the previous week.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2012-11-08 13:57:32

I hope the decline won’t be reversed before I get around to buying some stocks.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 09:15:41

Suddenly, after months of irrelevance, it is the Greek economic situation which is sinking the entire U.S. stock market?

Nov. 8, 2012, 11:02 a.m. EST
U.S. stock erase gains on Greek concerns
By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks fell Thursday, erasing moderate gains after Bloomberg News reported that European Union ministers would delay a Greek aid call for weeks.

“These headlines are moving the market lower, but the German finance minister was hinting at this early this morning,” emailed Peter Boockvar, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 09:19:03

If elections were decided by geographic area or percentage of counties going to a particular candidate, Romney would have won by a landslide.

What County-by-County Results Tell Us About the Election

The most detailed results from the 2012 election show the voting patterns for each county in the country. Changes from the previous election give us an idea of what geographic and demographic trends are impacting national politics.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 09:24:31

Did a refusal to accept federal assistance doom Romney’s campaign?

Updated November 8, 2012, 10:32 a.m. ET

How Race Slipped Away From Romney

BOSTON—Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest men ever to run for president. And yet the lack of money earlier this year stalled his campaign, and he never really recovered.

The election pointed to the nation’s demographic future: white men had no purchase in the presidential election and for the first time they will be a minority in the House Democratic caucus. Neil King reports on The News Hub. Photo: AP Images.

The GOP nominee emerged late last spring from a long and bruising Republican primary season more damaged than commonly realized. His image with voters had eroded as he endured heavy attacks from Republicans over his business record. He also felt compelled to take a hard line on immigration—one that was the subject of debate among his advisers—that hurt his standing with Hispanic voters.

More than that, Mr. Romney had spent so much money winning the nomination that he was low on cash; aides, seeing the problem taking shape, had once considered accepting federal financing for the campaign rather than rely on private donations.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 10:08:32

Bloomberg News
Banks’ Young Romney Donors Lament as Fox Damps Soiree
By Max Abelson on November 07, 2012

The young Wall Street Republicans filling an East 60th Street tavern were sipping grapefruit-vodka cocktails under flag-colored balloons when Fox News delivered election results that quieted them.

“Look,” Matthew Swift said to A. Beaumont Allen, pointing up at a screen as Fox called Ohio for President Barack Obama. The two 26-year-olds paused as the TV flashed Obama’s re- election around 11:20 p.m. on Nov. 6. “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” the Smiths ballad with lyrics about a car crash, came on the stereo. A woman implored the crowd to drink.

Concord 51, a political-action committee of young professionals, threw the party for guests who work in private equity, consulting, law, hedge funds and corporate strategy.

“A group like this — successful, proven young people — it’s empowering, it’s great, it’s awesome,” Matt Amling, who works in Washington with banks on regulation at Treliant Risk Advisors LLC, said before Obama won. “Young professionals coming out supporting Mitt Romney and the Republicans is huge.”

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 13:33:26

It’s corporate statism, is all it is.

Comment by Lip
2012-11-08 10:14:48

Who Coined the Phrase “Free Shit Army (FSA)”???

I find myself using it frequently and I wish to thank them.

What happens when the FSA is larger than the worker bees?

Comment by polly
2012-11-08 12:45:57

A lot of the “FSA” are worker bees and they may work a lot more hours than you do. A lot of the rest of the FSA are old, infirm, or both. Another large chunk are minor dependents of one of the above groups.

The ones who are adults don’t vote at the same rates as other populations (see working more hours, above), so their voices are less influential than the better paid people who don’t qualify for government funded benefits when working.

Comment by WT Economist
2012-11-08 13:51:09

Right on. (Which is to say, statistically accurate).

The money goes to the seniors who voted for tax cuts when they were working. At the federal level, that’s who it goes to. At the state and local level, it’s debt and pensions.

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 14:15:05

A retired professional once said to me that all he wanted to get out (of Social Security) was what he paid in.

I told him that he already got it by virtue of all the deficit spending that occurred when his elected politicians were in office (and I wasn’t old enough to vote). He didn’t have a good comeback to that one…

It’s this group (already retired) that will scream most loudly with any sort of “means testing”, which means I expect them to be largely exempt from any “means testing” standard (I could be pleasantly surprised, but I’m not holding my breath).

It is the under 50 year-olds who will definitely be screwed. We will pay more now to make up for the overspending/overpromising of the current retiree’s prior elected officials, and get less later through means testing.

Nothing like “paying our fair share”…I’m not saying that this isn’t what NEEDS to happen (the math is the math), but I don’t think ALL those responsible for our overspending/overpromising benefits are going to bear their fair share of the pain (even if that sharing is only limited to those with the means).

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Comment by sfbubblebuyer
2012-11-08 15:36:00

There will be LOTS more renewed interested in bank accounts in the caymens when you get mean tested for Social Security. It’ll be a middle-class pursuit too, then! Look poor as you can on paper, my friends!

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 17:45:09

And we’ll become like France, where they have a wealth tax (not income mind you, wealth). Hiding assets has become an artform there.

I think the only way means testing will work is basing the “means” off of income, not assets. There would be an uproar over making grandma sell her paid-for house to pay for medical care–it’d never fly on assets (there would be all sorts of loopholes/exemptions worked into the laws).

Comment by Lip
2012-11-08 13:52:51

Dear Polly,

I know who they are and I am actually very interested in your assessment.

What do you think is going to happen when they keep voting themselves more and more benefits? I mean, what are CA, IL and a multitude of cities going to do when they no longer have enough taxpayers to pay for the benefits that they’ve promised?

Do you think these debts and deficits can continue to grow into infinity?

Comment by polly
2012-11-08 15:40:24

The states/municipalities will go bankrupt and it will all have to get worked out. The feds are not going to bail out the states on this becaus if they do one, they will have to do all of them and there isn’t remotely enough money.

In an ideal world? The state obligations to pensions would be reduced through a complicated process of “unspiking,” reevaluating disability ratings, and a few other reductions. In reality? It will probably be a lot messier and less fair than that.

Keep an eye on the muni backing your muni/private activity bonds.

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Comment by WT Economist
2012-11-08 17:49:53

State and local finance is one of the things I know the most about.

I don’t own any muni bonds.

“In an ideal world? The state obligations to pensions would be reduced through a complicated process of “unspiking,” reevaluating disability ratings, and a few other reductions.”

In an ideal world, in addition to getting rid of the spiking, all the retroactive pension enhancements of the past 20 years would be undone (I don’t think the Feds got any).

But that would still leave the hole caused by taxpayers not putting enough in to pay for the pensions that were promised to begin with. Who is sacrificed for that?

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-11-09 02:04:03

WT….whats wrong with that?

It sounds fair to me…if the spiking caused a lot of the present financial problems so that’s where you aim for first.

then lets see how short we are before tax hikes to cover the hole.

2012-11-08 15:04:19

Ron Paul: Election shows U.S. ‘far gone’

November 8, 2012, 11:56AM

Rep. Ron Paul, whose maverick presidential bids shook the GOP, said in the wake of this week’s elections that the country has already veered over the fiscal cliff and he sees no chance of righting ship in a country where too many people are dependent on government.

“We’re so far gone. We’re over the cliff,” the Texas Republican told Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” program. “We cannot get enough people in Congress in the next 5-10 years who will do wise things.” The video can be seen at

Mr. Paul, who is retiring after 12 terms in the House, said voters on Tuesday rejected Mitt Romney because he had opposed the government bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.

“The people in the Midwest voted against him: ‘Oh, we have to be taken care of!’ So that vote was sort of like what we are laughing at in Greece,” Mr. Paul said.

“People do not want anything cut,” he said. “They want all the bailouts to come. They want the Fed to keep printing the money. And they don’t believe that we’ve gone off the cliff or are close to going off the cliff. They think we can patch it over, that we can somehow come up with some magic solution. But you can’t have a budgetary solution if you don’t change what the role of government should be. As long as you think we have to police the world and run this welfare state, all we are going to argue about is who will get the loot.” -

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 16:50:37

Went over the cliff 30 years ago when the FIRE was first deregulated.

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Comment by nickpapageorgio
2012-11-08 21:39:21

You think deregulation created the free sh.t army we have today? Don’t you think hair brained progressive strategies such as cloward and piven are more to blame?

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 13:37:03

“What happens when the FSA is larger than the worker bees?”

They get jobs on Wall St, crash the economy and then get bailouts at the worker bee’s expense.

Comment by Ryan
2012-11-08 19:35:11

Fear the FSA for once they understand the danger to their “S” they will be angered to violence towards those who mean to reduce it.

Likewise, the R’s will figure out how to entice and fracture the FSA with certain incentives to differentiate themselves from the D’s. This is a whole new paradigm.

Comment by Neuromance
2012-11-08 10:30:54

The “No Banker Left Behind” policies. I understand the banking system is very important to a society. As a result, the banks have to be closely regulated, like utilities. Otherwise, they can take entire countries hostage while they plunder the public treasuries.

How the Greeks Accepted New Austerity
By Nick Malkoutzis on November 08, 2012
Bloomberg Businessweek

Greece’s coalition government, formed five months ago, never expected a honeymoon period. After a fractious vote on a new round of austerity measures in Parliament on Wednesday, it knows it is involved in a grim battle for survival.

Prime Minster Antonis Samaras has one more immediate hurdle to clear on Sunday, when lawmakers vote on the 2013 budget. The ballot will take place just a few hours before euro zone finance ministers meet on Monday. The government had been hoping the Eurogroup would agree to release the €31.5 billion ($40.2 billion) in loans Greece has been expecting for several months. But it seems this decision will be put off until the country’s lenders decide how to tackle its financing gap and make its debt sustainable.

Most of the money will go toward completing the €48 billion recapitalization of Greek banks. Samaras stressed that for the first time since the country’s bailout was launched in May 2010, only a small proportion of the loan, €3.2 billion, would be used to service debt. Until now, about three-quarters of the money Greece has received has gone toward meeting bond and loan maturities.

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 16:51:55

Darn those over-regulations!

Oh wait…

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 10:46:24

New LPS Mortgage Monitor came out today.

Regarding state-by-state non-current loan rates:

EVERY state had an increase in their non-current loan rate, except 2, who stayed the same:

California stayed the same at 8.6% (now in the bottom third of all states non-current loan rates); and
Hawaii stayed the same at 11.6%

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-11-08 14:39:56

“California stayed the same at 8.6%”

1. Hmmmmmm…

2. How does that rate compare to historic norms?

Comment by Rental Watch
2012-11-08 17:09:46

Normal is about 5%.

Florida today is about 20%+.

Comment by Neuromance
2012-11-08 12:10:54

Free market at work - if people wish to invest in markets with companies like these, feel free. Eventually the investors will get the picture and leave the companies and the market. Some will make big money. Some will lose their shirts.

But, it is theft from the public treasury and the taxpayers to have government step in and pay off bad bets. Government backing of any individual or company means that entity ultimately has access to the government’s currency printing press.

Girl Dies as Pluristem Sells on Gains With Miracle Cells
By David Wainer - Nov 8, 2012 10:05 AM ET

Pluristem Therapeutics Inc.’s (PSTI) stock doubled in Nasdaq trading from May through September, helped by three news releases announcing that patients’ lives had been saved by injections of the company’s experimental stem cells.

After the stock soared on the positive news, two top executives profited by selling shares at the highest price in more than four years as part of a pre-determined program. When the first of those patients, a 7-year-old girl with a bone- marrow disease, died four months after the company said her life had been saved, Pluristem was silent. The company raised $34 million selling shares a week later.

Pluristem’s lack of disclosure is in a gray area of the law, said Jacob S. Frenkel, a former SEC enforcement lawyer who commented on the Pluristem press releases after Bloomberg News brought them to his attention.

“Selective reporting is ethically questionable,” he said in a telephone interview. “If you’re going to promote treatment success you need to man up when you get failure.”

Comment by X-GSfixr
2012-11-08 13:23:55

“Selective reporting is ethically questionable”

Forward this to Faux News

Comment by John Banner
2012-11-08 13:57:18

And all the other news outlets as well.

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 13:54:24

Damn over-regulation!

Oh wait…

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2012-11-08 14:47:17

Why Obama may be loath to cut mortgage-interest deduction
November 8, 2012, 10:10 AM

Obama is likely to resist fully gutting the mortgage interest deduction as the White House and Congress duel over ways to cut the growing deficit and debt.

At least that’s the view of Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia Trends. Kolko said that’s because the ten states that benefit most from the mortgage interest deduction all voted for Obama in the presidential elections on Tuesday. (see Kolko’s table below)

Kolko added that the average household in an Obama-voting state claims 66% more for the mortgage interest deduction than the average household in a state that voted for Republican Mitt Romney.

“If Obama takes a swing at the mortgage interest deduction, he’ll be hurting his supporters and putting his fellow Democrats in a tough political spot,” he said.

That said, Kolko qualified his comments to point out that Obama is open to cutting the mortgage-interest deduction for wealthy borrowers.

– Ronald D. Orol

Comment by polly
2012-11-08 15:52:06

People didn’t talk about it much, but in his first presidential race, the president advocated for converting the mortgage interest deduction into a credit at a particular percentage (I think it was 20%). That means anyone claiming it whose highest marginal rate is 15% gets a slightly higher benefit and people whose highest marginal rate is 28% or whatever get a smaller benefit. And it is also a little more common to cap the size of a credit calculated this way.

Once I took the Life Long Learning Tax Credit. You multiplied the actual amount of qualified expenses (tuition, fees, books) you had by 20% and that was deducted from your tax (not your income). The base amount was capped at $10K so the credit was capped at $2K. God, I had some great tax planning that year.

Comment by michael
2012-11-08 15:05:01

“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” - ludwig von mises

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2012-11-08 16:28:38

Exactly. We have chosen the latter over the last five years.

Comment by ecofeco
2012-11-08 16:53:41

The last 30 years.

Comment by our sloth in Florida
2012-11-08 19:00:56

How long do we get?

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2012-11-08 17:35:01

Robert Palmer was good before he turned into Robert Palmer.

Sneakin Sally Through The Alley by Robert Palmer - YouTube - 217k - Cached - Similar pages
Jul 12, 2008 … Early funk from blue eyed soul stirrer Robert Palmer. R&B Funk Pop Soul New Orleans.

Comment by aNYCdj
2012-11-09 02:14:04
Comment by nickpapageorgio
2012-11-08 20:08:40

How does one become part of the free sh.t army? Is there an application and interview process? I want mines!!!

Funny thing is, this attitude may become more prevalent in the 50k and under crowd, why should they have to work any longer? Pride? That is a huge base for income tax that will go poof.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-08 23:43:42

Is this a good time for dips to buy?

Nov. 8, 2012, 9:53 p.m. EST
Asia stocks fall but off lows after China data
By Michael Kitchen

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Asian markets traded lower Friday morning, taking cues from losses on Wall Street and elsewhere over concerns about the U.S. “fiscal cliff” and Europe’s debt crisis. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average lost 0.9%, South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.1%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gave up 0.5%, the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 traded 0.4% lower. Many of the market moved off their session lows, however, after Chinese consumer price data showed inflation lower than expected in October, suggesting more room for the People’s Bank of China to ease policy further. Among notable movers, Tokyo-listed Trend Micro Inc. dropped 3.5% after reporting third-quarter results, while Sony Corp. fell 1.6% and Nintendo Co. dropped 2.8% after data showing drops for U.S. videogame software and hardware in October. In Hong Kong, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. plunged 5.4% after warning of a drop in first-half net profit and margins.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2012-11-09 00:44:51

Speech to campaign staff brings Obama to tears
November 9, 2012
By Ken Thomas
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — In a new video released by his campaign, President Barack Obama wipes away tears as he thanks members of his campaign staff and volunteers.

Obama’s campaign released a five-minute video of the president’s address Wednesday to members of his staff at his Chicago headquarters. The short speech came a day after he won re-election.

The president talks about his work as a community organizer in Chicago and tells staffers and volunteers that they will do “amazing things” in their lives.

Obama becomes emotional when he says that even before the election results, he felt the work he had done “had come full circle.” He tells staff members that he is proud of the work they did, then pauses to wipe away tears.

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