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Old 03-08-2011, 12:19 AM
 
26,579 posts, read 52,055,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
Here's a graphic example of where a solution to our financial problems lies ... from CBS News this evening comes a report confirming how big money flows ... flows in sufficient quantity, in just the current false oil 'crisis' alone, to resolve our debt malaise, both national and state ... yet which solution goes untapped due to a culture of avarice and greed surpassing concern for nation and society ... the money is there ... it is moving around and around everyday, leveraging and leveraging, over and over, creating speculative wealth without foundation that enriches a tiny minority of individuals to outrageous extremes while leaving the rest to wonder where their wallets went as they try to fill their tanks so they can drive to work.

The report explains that there is no shortage of oil in the world at this time (the unrest in Libya being used as an excuse, even though Libya supplies only 2% of the world market, and that other producing nations have stepped up production to make up the difference) ... that, in fact, more oil is being drilled and captured and delivered every day than is being consumed ...

"So, why then are oil and gas prices soaring again? Sean Cota of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America said "it's unbridled investment money that is dominating the market, to the point where supply and demand doesn't matter anymore."
Cota says pension and hedge funds have been pouring into the oil market, and bidding up the price. Last week, two-thirds of all oil traded was not sold by oil companies, but by investors. "The total world energy supply is bought and sold everyday about eight times," Cota added."

Where are gas prices headed, and why? - CBS Evening News - CBS News
Pension and Hedge Funds are comprised of millions a everyday Americans...

Also, the supply of dollars keeps expanding exponentially and these "New" Dollars are always in search of a return.

The same has happened since time beginning... just look at the Hunt Brothers bid to control commodities in the Silver Market... prices did run up and then collapsed along with the fortunes of the men who created the bubble.

Just saying bubbles and collapses are created all the time.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,369,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
... watching the extraordinary chasm of economic inequality widen, and the frankly obscene acquisition of wealth by the few...
I don't understand; you say this as if it were a bad thing. Income inequality is a wonderful thing! It gives extraordinary incentives to those who actually, you know, perform extraordinarily.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,369,264 times
Reputation: 15672
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimC2462 View Post
Progressive tax is needed now more than ever to even the playing field ...
[sarcasm mode=on] Yeah, let's not stop there. [whine mode=on]It's not fair that the rich pay the same for a gallon of milk as the rest of us. [whine mode=off]

Let's make everyone carry their IRS form 1040s with them, and show their Adjusted Gross Income at the cashier. "Your AGI places you at the 30% Percentile so you'll pay $2.50 for a gallon of milk. Next Customer! Oh - YOUR AGI is in the 98th Percentile so YOU have to pay $6.00 for a gallon of milk."

Ditto for gasoline -- [whine mode=on]It's not fair that the rich pay the same for a gallon of milk as the rest of us. [whine mode=off]

"You, sir, earn too much money so we're going to charge you $13.86 per gallon of gasoline, even though the previous guy only had to pay $2.87 for a gallon of regular." [sarcasm mode=off]

"... The entire liberal policy can be summed up as 'If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.' "
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:52 PM
 
7,150 posts, read 8,772,061 times
Reputation: 3806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Pension and Hedge Funds are comprised of millions a everyday Americans...

Also, the supply of dollars keeps expanding exponentially and these "New" Dollars are always in search of a return.

The same has happened since time beginning... just look at the Hunt Brothers bid to control commodities in the Silver Market... prices did run up and then collapsed along with the fortunes of the men who created the bubble.

Just saying bubbles and collapses are created all the time.
What you write is mostly true (not all) -- and doesn't change the point I am trying to make a bit. Pension funds are investing to serve millions of everyday Californians / Americans ... but ordinary Americans are not Hedge fund investors. Hedge funds are high risk activity open to only pretty small numbers of exceedingly wealthy persons. Regardless, the people who run both pension and hedge fund investing firms are making unbelievable amounts of money ... and they do not pay taxes on all they make ... there are many ways for earnings to be re-invested and hidden and sheltered and postponed -- methodologies that are simply not part of an average person's income strategy because there is little to no excess to shelter for the average middle class.

That "New dollars" are "always in search of a [new] return" is part of my point: it's all vaporware ... there is little productivity to back the creation of the quantity of "New dollars" appearing. This is all largely a function of speculation, not production. This is an industry that is entirely self-serving at the public's expense.

"Bubbles are created all the time" is correct ... why? That's both the question point to ponder -- and the source of the answer.

Doesn't matter that sizable portions of the investors are the public pension funds, either ... it's the money skimmed off the top, and the interest, that holds significant opportunity to break the cycle of borrowing and living beyond our means.

Government should always review and repair its budgets ... run as lean as possible ... renegotiate when in trouble ... and refuse to allow those skimming the cream to waltz away with profits in such excess that they compromise the health of the system. They are driving the system and we are responding.

I dispute any claim that these sharks and parasites, are significantly "smarter" or more "hard working" than millions of middle and working class citizens ... hogwash. What 'they' are is more mercenary and less responsible in return to the society that supports their acquisition of personal wealth. If there was a shred of patriotism in these traders and manipulators, if there exists the slightest regard for their communities, why do we not see any sacrifice on their part to help the state and nation regain financial stability? They will slit our throats to get every dime. I do not have any respect for their "brains" or work "ethic" -- as I consider it put to ill use other than their own excess.

An accurate, and somewhat even humorous, look at who trades our financial foundations -- from Fortune magazine:

The secret group setting the price of oil: Us. - FORTUNE Features - Fortune on CNNMoney.com

"Contrary to popular opinion, oil prices were not being controlled by Arabs or leftist dictators. They were being controlled by the same bootstrapping traders who had embarked on an extraordinary experiment from the depths of a redbrick mansion in downtown Manhattan exactly thirty years earlier.
Individuals who, like the anonymous Wall Street professionals about to unleash a crippling financial crisis on the world, took the subway and ferry to work, earned unheard-of riches, gave to charity, and thought nothing of bringing the global economy to its knees
."


Also of possible interest to you -- "Who Gets Richest the Quickest":
Hedge Fund Managers Get Richest Quickest
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:46 PM
 
26,579 posts, read 52,055,370 times
Reputation: 20358
Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
What you write is mostly true (not all) -- and doesn't change the point I am trying to make a bit. Pension funds are investing to serve millions of everyday Californians / Americans ... but ordinary Americans are not Hedge fund investors. Hedge funds are high risk activity open to only pretty small numbers of exceedingly wealthy persons. Regardless, the people who run both pension and hedge fund investing firms are making unbelievable amounts of money ... and they do not pay taxes on all they make ... there are many ways for earnings to be re-invested and hidden and sheltered and postponed -- methodologies that are simply not part of an average person's income strategy because there is little to no excess to shelter for the average middle class.

That "New dollars" are "always in search of a [new] return" is part of my point: it's all vaporware ... there is little productivity to back the creation of the quantity of "New dollars" appearing. This is all largely a function of speculation, not production. This is an industry that is entirely self-serving at the public's expense.

"Bubbles are created all the time" is correct ... why? That's both the question point to ponder -- and the source of the answer.

Doesn't matter that sizable portions of the investors are the public pension funds, either ... it's the money skimmed off the top, and the interest, that holds significant opportunity to break the cycle of borrowing and living beyond our means.

Government should always review and repair its budgets ... run as lean as possible ... renegotiate when in trouble ... and refuse to allow those skimming the cream to waltz away with profits in such excess that they compromise the health of the system. They are driving the system and we are responding.

I dispute any claim that these sharks and parasites, are significantly "smarter" or more "hard working" than millions of middle and working class citizens ... hogwash. What 'they' are is more mercenary and less responsible in return to the society that supports their acquisition of personal wealth. If there was a shred of patriotism in these traders and manipulators, if there exists the slightest regard for their communities, why do we not see any sacrifice on their part to help the state and nation regain financial stability? They will slit our throats to get every dime. I do not have any respect for their "brains" or work "ethic" -- as I consider it put to ill use other than their own excess.

An accurate, and somewhat even humorous, look at who trades our financial foundations -- from Fortune magazine:

The secret group setting the price of oil: Us. - FORTUNE Features - Fortune on CNNMoney.com

"Contrary to popular opinion, oil prices were not being controlled by Arabs or leftist dictators. They were being controlled by the same bootstrapping traders who had embarked on an extraordinary experiment from the depths of a redbrick mansion in downtown Manhattan exactly thirty years earlier.
Individuals who, like the anonymous Wall Street professionals about to unleash a crippling financial crisis on the world, took the subway and ferry to work, earned unheard-of riches, gave to charity, and thought nothing of bringing the global economy to its knees
."


Also of possible interest to you -- "Who Gets Richest the Quickest":
Hedge Fund Managers Get Richest Quickest
I have to admit the entire Wall Street/Investment scheme is foreign to me... the Great Depression was very real for my Father and Grandparents and growing up... it was made real to me from the stories I would hear about who lost this house or their business in the financial collapse.

My Grandmother thought it was the height of recklessness when I applied for my first credit card... I had to assure her that I would never carry a balance just for her to calm down.

I work with individuals that are self described currency traders in their spare time... they have day jobs yet spend a lot of time hedging their positions and mostly betting against the Dollar... it certainly doesn't seem like something just about any working guy could do if they were so inclined. Same for another fellow I used to work for... he's been buying Gold for years and is far from bashful about it... even has a small hobby claim in the Sierra Foothills where he spends his free time.

America certainly has and has had very wealthy philamprothist.... I think two, Gates and Buffet have pledge the bulk of their fortunes to charity.

I can hardly watch a PBS show without the credits naming half a dozen foundations for funding the broadcast.

The Packard Medical Center from HP fame does tremendous work for the Bay Area Community and the list goes on...

Not saying you are wrong... just that I have never really thought much about Wall Street types
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:17 PM
 
3,853 posts, read 11,644,584 times
Reputation: 2509
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirchBarlow View Post
Do you honestly believe bleeding people dry with insanely high confiscatory tax rates will help your state get out of debt? All it does is drive taxpayers out of your state and into more tax-friendly states. California is one of the most hostile states to business. Once you drive out all the taxpayers all you'll be left with are illegal aliens and no one to pay for all the social services they consume. You'll be sorry you voted 'D' all these years, but it will be too late.
Are you running for president? You got my vote!

The bottom line is that the government (all forms) is way too big. We have to shrink the size of ALL forms of government. The only way you do that is by cutting spending and reducing the amount they collect in taxes.

EVERYONE benefits from this.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:27 AM
 
7,150 posts, read 8,772,061 times
Reputation: 3806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
I have to admit the entire Wall Street/Investment scheme is foreign to me...
... I have never really thought much about Wall Street types
Well, they're a real fun bunch ... they set the foundations for our cultural / consumer heartbeat ... and much of the prices you pay for the "stuff" you don't need to live a happy and fulfilling life. The "value" they manufacture is based on little more than faith. There is only fractional product being created and consumed compared to the speculative "wealth". And now their avarice and greed is firmly on track to destroy all the "entitlements" generations have been evolving to worship.

If you are feeling more curious now, here's some related reading from a columnist with Marketwatch (a DowJones web-zine) who doesn't appear to have a political agenda, just an economic one:

The 2008 crash isn't over, just covered up

Reagan insider: GOP destroyed economy Paul B. Farrell - MarketWatch

and, just for fun:

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Old 03-13-2011, 05:30 PM
 
26,579 posts, read 52,055,370 times
Reputation: 20358
Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
Well, they're a real fun bunch ... they set the foundations for our cultural / consumer heartbeat ... and much of the prices you pay for the "stuff" you don't need to live a happy and fulfilling life. The "value" they manufacture is based on little more than faith. There is only fractional product being created and consumed compared to the speculative "wealth". And now their avarice and greed is firmly on track to destroy all the "entitlements" generations have been evolving to worship.

If you are feeling more curious now, here's some related reading from a columnist with Marketwatch (a DowJones web-zine) who doesn't appear to have a political agenda, just an economic one:

The 2008 crash isn't over, just covered up

Reagan insider: GOP destroyed economy Paul B. Farrell - MarketWatch

and, just for fun:
I thought something was brewing when the Bankruptcy Laws where being modified in a booming economy.

Part of me still thinks a lot of this could have been avoided if people would have used a little common sense instead of throwing caution to the wind.

The local media was in the thick of it too. For years there were stories about the housing shortage and how the Bay Area needed so many thousands of new homes each year just to meet basic demand... well, guess what... there are so many vacant homes in East Oakland where I live that it makes me think the entire housing shortage was made up.

Some of the stories were actually pushing the run-up in prices... saying how today's high price could very well be tomorrow's bargain and debt is good in inflationary times because it is repaid with cheaper/inflated dollars.

To some degree, folks have to accept responsibility for their actions... it not like anyone can force a person to buy a home, new car, RV, Boat or take that $10,000 vacation...

The most rampant abuses, in my opinion are the people that refinanced every 18 months or so... two used to live on my street and both lost their homes... homes that they would still have equity in had they not used them as their personal ATMs

Couldn't get the last link to work for me.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:55 PM
 
25,959 posts, read 28,359,899 times
Reputation: 24609
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
I thought something was brewing when the Bankruptcy Laws where being modified in a booming economy.

Part of me still thinks a lot of this could have been avoided if people would have used a little common sense instead of throwing caution to the wind.


To some degree, folks have to accept responsibility for their actions... it not like anyone can force a person to buy a home, new car, RV, Boat or take that $10,000 vacation...
This is what I'm thinking. I don't deny that our system is rigged. If the market for CEO pay were truly competitive, we simply wouldn't see the kind of pay packages they get. However, CEOs of large companies are a small portion of the rich.

As I said, I don't deny the economic system is rigged in favor of a few. But it seems to me, the poor & the middle class have left themselves wide open to being exploited with a few different lifestyle choices they've made:

1. Rising divorce & out of wedlock births. This is the easiest and most prevalent way to commit lifetime financial suicide.

2. Abandonment of the savings culture. Embracing the debt culture.

3. Health Care: In some ways this is the most insidious. High health care premiums have eaten into the wages of the poor & middle class and gobbled up governent tax revenues. Our high health care costs are rooted in a processed food culture that creates millions of unnecessary cases of expensive-to-treat chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, & cancer.

If these trends could be turned around, the poor and middle class would be a lot more secure financially and otherwise.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:42 PM
 
26,579 posts, read 52,055,370 times
Reputation: 20358
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
This is what I'm thinking. I don't deny that our system is rigged. If the market for CEO pay were truly competitive, we simply wouldn't see the kind of pay packages they get. However, CEOs of large companies are a small portion of the rich.

As I said, I don't deny the economic system is rigged in favor of a few. But it seems to me, the poor & the middle class have left themselves wide open to being exploited with a few different lifestyle choices they've made:

1. Rising divorce & out of wedlock births. This is the easiest and most prevalent way to commit lifetime financial suicide.

2. Abandonment of the savings culture. Embracing the debt culture.

3. Health Care: In some ways this is the most insidious. High health care premiums have eaten into the wages of the poor & middle class and gobbled up governent tax revenues. Our high health care costs are rooted in a processed food culture that creates millions of unnecessary cases of expensive-to-treat chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, & cancer.

If these trends could be turned around, the poor and middle class would be a lot more secure financially and otherwise.
Years ago I read that common thread to financial security is a good first marriage... hard to keep a couple down when they are working together instead of at each others throats.

Healthcare is interesting... co-pays and deductibles continue to rise... often companies in California are paying 10,000 total per employee covered all the while Hospital reimbursement rates are getting cut to the bone...

Several Hospitals here are rebuilding due to earthquake mandates for seismic upgrades... they are building smaller and putting money in the outskirts of the cities to minimize medical patients...

Local elective surgery for some procedures is being dropped because the reimbursement doesn't cover the cost of supplies used and the Hospital Standards continue to become more costly... years ago, they didn't need full time Compliance Officers, HIPPA coordinators or dedicated staff to keep up with state, regional, city, county, state, federal and requirements of about 40 different major insurance carriers.

The cost of many pharmaceuticals is skyrocketing and much will out date before it can be used... a former military doctor I know now in private practice said identical drugs sold to the military and civilian markets have no or much longer out dates when sitting on military shelves... one theory is the higher probability of civilian lawsuits and just the exorbitant cost of malpractice insurance.
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