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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:49 pm 
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None the less, it's absurd for one bunch to be demanding jobs and debt forgiveness, while another is demanding gold standard and bank failures. Paradox.

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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Oh I agree, you can't have it both ways.

The question, really, is do you want to fix the mess or not? Seems to me too many people want things to be the way they were. Not going to happen. The situation wasn't sustainable and now we're all paying the price.

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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:30 pm 
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Smitty-48 wrote:
Nerdmom920 wrote:

If you don't think we should raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, then how are we going to continue to pay to support our infrastructure?


Growth. The only way to pay the bills is to grow out of it. People want products. They want to buy crazy shit they wont be able to afford. They want taxes cut. They want jobs. They want cars. They want houses. They want, they want, they want... they don't want to grow their food in their yards and wear burlap sacks... consumer society.

After a while, if people chant "gimme, gimme gimme, or else", people start bending the rules to make the stretch and to win elections.

People are still chanting it. There will be perverse incentives as a response to this OWS! as well.

The collapse was all in response to populist demands in the first place. People blew up a bubble and lived in a fantasy.




But there are no more frontiers. No more room for expansion, and thus extremely limited capacity for growth. Populations are growing older. There is no more boomer generation driving up macro demand. None of our nations can grow in the same way as we once did. If I bring up possible ways we can expand, people shit on those ideas. So fuck it. No growth. You won't see much growth the way things are now. There is no more new world. No more frontiers. No more territories. No more places with valuable resources just laying on the ground. It's over. We had a chance to move on. But people were to occupied playing for beans. The only meaningful areas for economic expansion were in space and in the sea. That's pretty much it. There still remains a large area for growth in terms of energy, computer science (especially AI), and a few other industries, but it is highly limited and specialized.

You can't just sit there and utter "growth" as if we don't already know it would be fantastic to achieve some economic growth. It just isn't there. Your nation should understand that better than our own.

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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:37 pm 
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Dr. Strangelove wrote:
. It just isn't there. Your nation should understand that better than our own.


We don't buy into that new American "zero sum game theory" up here. There's always new horizons, new tech, new innovation, new frontiers... I think Canadians have adopted the old American way of thinking now, at least the ambitious ones; Onwards and Upwards, and if the Boomers are old? Invest in Geriatric care and medical devices, etc...

Canada is shaking off the old mindset. Even with the economic turmoil, I would say Canadians are on the move... entrepreneurial spirit is catching on.

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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:34 am 
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lakepsailor wrote:
Nerdmom920 wrote:
I think that's actually the point. No one should be getting a free lunch, including the top 1% that doesn't want to pay higher taxes.

How are the "1%" getting a free lunch? Is the government paying them somehow? If that's the case what about the 40% who pay NO federal taxes today? Aren't they getting a free lunch?



That 40% figure does not include property taxes, sales tax, taxes on utilities, etc. That is simply Federal Income tax.


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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:37 am 
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lakepsailor wrote:
Nerdmom920 wrote:
My reasoning behind transitioning the subsidies from commodities to vegetables is to give a jump start to an industry that really needs it. I agree that in the end we shouldn't be subsidizing food, and in the end those programs should sunset. Unfortunately, I have no idea how long it would take to stabilize that type of food system.

4H is really great, but it's for kids. I'm talking about a program geared towards adults who have an existing farm business or who want to get started in the farming business. My reasoning for that is that farms are HARD to make work, and when you have the paradigm shift that is necessary to go from conventional farming toward organic, or from not farming at all to farming, you need help in order to be successful. I just see our farmers aging or being pushed out. My greatest fear is that we all end up dependent on a few producers that hold the lion share of land and resources to grow food.

You know that gardening is cheap, I know that gardening is cheap. But have you picked up a gardening book lately? No one's really showing people how to do gardening on the cheap. Not to mention, in many cases we're talking generations of people that have been indoctrinated with the idea that having a vegetable garden is for the crazy survivalists. I mean, people are going to court for the right to have vegetable gardens. Don't get me started on HOA's. We are not a society that understands the benefit of growing your own food. People do understand tax breaks though, and people respond well to positive reinforcement. Again, this is something that could be scaled down as time passes. Once you know you can depend on yourself to eat, that becomes the reward. We have to remember that everyone is not us, everyone does not have the resources we have, the opportunity, nor the vision.

As far as the A&M programs, perhaps we can model a national program off of them. Again, we need something that will work for folks who aren't in school and don't have access to one of those A&M programs. These types of classes can be easily implemented in Adult Education Programs across the country.


Vegetables are nice, but they don't keep. There's a reason we grow so much grain (even before the invention of agribusiness) and it's all about shippable and storeable nutrition. You need to eat in the wintertime and when there is a drought. Nothing replaces grain.

Also, the subsidies MAY create an initial jump start but if the economics aren't there the farms will fail. The farm has to make money or the farmers will starve and move to the city. The farmers that can make money growing veggies are doing so, but asking a farmer in the mid-west to change from staple grains won't work. Neither the soil nor the rain patterns are suitable. It was grassland before, and it's basically grassland now.

Farming co-ops, USDA and a lot of colleges (LSU for example) all have programs to help educate farmers. Not only on new farming techniques but also on how to manage a business. It's about the only program USDA does right. Sadly, it's also the smallest part of the USDA.

The problem with "organic" farming is it's inefficient. It takes a lot more time and money to spread enough pasteurized cow manurer on a 100 acre field to compete with the yields available using man-made fertilizers. And you better hope that manurer is WELL pasteurized. The reason we've been seeing e coli contamination of "organic" vegetables (like bean sprouts and cabbage) is farmers try to cut corners by using unprocessed waste. Until someone finds a way to boost the crop yields similar to "non-organic" farming and drives the crop price down it'll stay a niche market.

The problems you are discussing, re: gardening won't be solved with government intervention. My personal feeling is most people will have to go hungry for a while before they'll get off their rumps. You can "educate" them all you want but gardening is WORK. Without a fairly powerful incentive I don't see it becoming very popular. There are plenty of resources available for those who have the motivation. Check out your local public library sometime. You'd be surprised at some of the gardening books available.

BTW: Check out Instructables. It's a great place to get "on the cheap" tips for things like compost bins and rainwater storage. If you're going to be serious about gardening, you need a compost pile. It cuts down on discarded waste too.


We keep vegetables and fruit through canning,freezing, drying, freeze-drying and pickling. Some of it not so nice (see what orange juice concentrate really is) but effective nonetheless.

Also, organic farming is actually more efficient than conventional, if you're doing it right. This is what the education programs are for. You can't just slap some organic fertilizer in your soil and call it good. At just about every level of farming, a different process is used, a different perspective is needed. Read, "One Straw Revolution", it's a quick read and a good look at the different mindset that is needed to farm organically.

Many of those farming programs are geared toward conventional farming. Row-cropping(really inefficient), heavy tillage of the soil, petroleum based everything. It's a system that is going to inevitably fail once oil becomes too expensive to even put in cars. Farming organically is not some fad or some leftist dream of utopia. It's pretty much the way people are going to have to start living very soon. I would say in my children's lifetime.

The farming industry has a lot to fix about itself. We only see about 10% of any given crop in the grocery store. The rest are either inedible(because of rot, or not being ripe at harvest) or are considered Seconds(perfectly edible, but doesn't look pretty). I am always left speechless at the strictures put on food in order to bring it to market. Most of it is simply made up in order to maximize profit at the expense of good common sense. The problem in this country is not that there isn't enough food. The problem is how to wrest it from the hands of industry so that the people can eat it. Which is why you give people tax breaks to grow their own. Once a person has grown their own beans, they're not going to look down their noses at some rust spots on beans at the grocery store. It will be familiar to them, we will have normalized food.

I liken conventional farming to "helicopter parents". Many farmers are constantly hovering over their soil and crop, ready to add this chemical, take that test, whisk away every weed, lest it encroach on one of their precious plants nutrients or water. I'm not saying that they shouldn't care about their crop, but sometimes nature's solutions are just more effective in both the short and long term.

Then incentive for farming or gardening organically initially is the tax break. Over time, farmers will find that they are building soil instead of depleting it, and that the soil holds more nutrients, including water, is able to withstand droughts, floods less readily and that they are spending less money on pesticides and herbicides because they are allowing natural processes to take the place of their own labor. For home gardeners You get to eat food that you grow, and at least for a time, you get paid for it. The reason why you fund a program, is because without funding nothing in our capitalist society gets done.

When you say, if the economics aren't there, what do you mean exactly?


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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:57 am 
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Here's the thing. Americans totally set up our economy to be a service/consumer-based economy. This, in my mind was the first mistake. We don't make things to sell anymore and especially we don't make things for ourselves. Whatever we did make is being farmed out to the cheapest buyer or in the case of China, our government is allowing cheap imports to be dumped on our shores, the net result is driving out of business our existing industry. We can't pay people pennies per hour in this country, so in the simple interest of salvaging our economy, we can't continue with treaties like NAFTA and CAFTA.
It's not about socialism or libertarianism. It's about staying competitive every way we can. We're like the British trying to fight a guerilla war in the Americas. Or, like the Americans trying to fight a guerilla war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just doesn't work. I'm not saying we should get xenophobic in our policies, but we should be doing business with countries whose standard of living somewhat resembles ours.
There are no jobs to be had, and the people who are out on Wallstreet and just about every financial district in every major city in this country aren't hanging out trying to game the system. They simply want jobs so they can pay their bills. And for the record, there has never been ANY pure ideological political system represented in any country. Socialism makes public schools, public roads, forms a common government. Libertarianism gives us the concept of private ownership. Each idea has it's roles, and no one has ever survived trying to live in extremes.


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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:12 pm 
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Nerdmom920 wrote:
lakepsailor wrote:
Nerdmom920 wrote:
I think that's actually the point. No one should be getting a free lunch, including the top 1% that doesn't want to pay higher taxes.

How are the "1%" getting a free lunch? Is the government paying them somehow? If that's the case what about the 40% who pay NO federal taxes today? Aren't they getting a free lunch?



That 40% figure does not include property taxes, sales tax, taxes on utilities, etc. That is simply Federal Income tax.

Agreed, but then EVERYONE (including the rich) pays the rest of these taxes as well. So it zero's out in terms of comparison.

This is why the whole term "fair share" is bogus feel-good speak. Sure it sounds nice, but define exactly what a "fair share" is. And it has to be for EVERYONE, not just for one group. You can't say "well x is fair for this group but not fair for y" because, by definition, you aren't talking about being fair anymore. You're trying to change the rules mid-game.

I'm not singling you or anyone here out on this. Congress has been playing this game for decades now. They always talk about taxing "the other guy" while in reality hitting us all. That's why I keep saying there is no "them" here, only "us".

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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:33 pm 
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lakepsailor wrote:
Agreed, but then EVERYONE (including the rich) pays the rest of these taxes as well.

How about Social Security taxes? You and I are paying x% of our wages into that fund, but over some limit, there is no additional taxation. And if, like the One Percenters are wont to do, you are getting income from investments, you don't pay into Social Security & etc on that at all.

You want it simple? How about a 9% wealth tax? Nine percent of everything you own goes into the community fund. And, since corporations are people too, they also qualify.

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 Post subject: Re: We are the 99 Percent
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:04 pm 
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audadvnc wrote:
lakepsailor wrote:
Agreed, but then EVERYONE (including the rich) pays the rest of these taxes as well.

How about Social Security taxes? You and I are paying x% of our wages into that fund, but over some limit, there is no additional taxation. And if, like the One Percenters are wont to do, you are getting income from investments, you don't pay into Social Security & etc on that at all.

You want it simple? How about a 9% wealth tax? Nine percent of everything you own goes into the community fund. And, since corporations are people too, they also qualify.


How about we fix the damn tax structure and quit all the games? Why should ANYONE be surtaxed? You're talking about social security/medicare, how about surtaxing smokers? People who are obese? Those folks take far more than their "fair share" of the budget for services. Shouldn't they be paying in to compensate?

That's the problem with playing these games, everyone is eligible if you want to go that route. Everyone wants to tax the other guy, well life don't work that way. When I started getting hit with the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax, the original "One Percenter" tax) I had to raise my rates and cut some no longer deductible business expenditures to compensate. So, in effect, everyone lost. My customer's bills went up, some companies I spent money with lost revenue.

This is why the whole argument is childish and really, really stupid. We don't need an outside enemy to get the country to destroy itself. We're doing it all on our own.

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