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Old 03-28-2007, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Dilworth - Charlotte, NC.
549 posts, read 2,191,318 times
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I was watching the discovery channel and they said withing a few years India will have the largest under 25-year-old population.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:12 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 34,090,057 times
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What about Columbia, S.C.? It seems like it's an affordable retirement spot. And why does SC always get skipped over. So many people move to Tn. or NC, but SC is rarely mentioned.
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:21 AM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,153 posts, read 17,441,055 times
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I feel we need to become more democratically socialistic in our approach to government, and put an end to the corporate capitalistic ideals that are causing a painfully imbalanced socioeconomic demographic. If we continue to let corporate interests run amok, unchecked and unchallenged, the working middle class will soon be tethered to unrepayable debt, and another era of 'serfdom' will return.

And who is going to pay for this? Isn't the middle class already taxed to death, with more taxes planned? Those who think socialistic societies are the answer, take a look at European countries and their taxes. Is that really how we want to end up?

I think one of the problems that we face with the numbers of baby boomers who will retire is a shake-up of the stock market as they pull their retirement savings out. Anyone nearing retirement, or in retirement, needs to keep a close eye on their investments and what the market is doing and where it is projected to go.
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Old 04-12-2007, 11:06 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
239 posts, read 1,187,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southward bound View Post
I feel we need to become more democratically socialistic in our approach to government, and put an end to the corporate capitalistic ideals that are causing a painfully imbalanced socioeconomic demographic. If we continue to let corporate interests run amok, unchecked and unchallenged, the working middle class will soon be tethered to unrepayable debt, and another era of 'serfdom' will return.

And who is going to pay for this? Isn't the middle class already taxed to death, with more taxes planned? Those who think socialistic societies are the answer, take a look at European countries and their taxes. Is that really how we want to end up?

I think one of the problems that we face with the numbers of baby boomers who will retire is a shake-up of the stock market as they pull their retirement savings out. Anyone nearing retirement, or in retirement, needs to keep a close eye on their investments and what the market is doing and where it is projected to go.

Who is going to pay for this, you ask? I think it's about time that corporations start paying their fair share. Look at the oil companies, and the obscene profits they've been raking in, while our gas prices continue to go up-up-up. That's just one, of many, examples of capitalism run amok.

The middle class is already unfairly taxed in comparison to the elite 'upper' class. These socio-economic inequities are growing and taking over this country. We're not supposed to have a 'class' system, but that's exactly what has developed in the last couple of decades. It's getting harder and harder for the middle class to keep up with rising costs and stagnant wages, while the wealth of our economy is increasingly becoming concentrated among the super rich.

You also mention European countries, asking if that is the way to go. Well, certainly they have their problems too, but overall, their quality of life is better than ours. They have better health care systems, they take longer and more frequent vacations, they work less and play more! Europeans are generally more satisfied with their 'way of life' and quality of life than we in the United States.

I am not saying that capitalism is all bad and we should end it entirely, or that our democracy is doomed. I think we all need to take a hard look at what has happened, however, to our country, and try to 'tweak' it back to being the finest system in the world.

Everything needs adjustment from time to time.
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:03 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,489,903 times
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Wow, what a bunch of socialist BS that you've bought into.

The Europeans are now in a terrible downward economic spiral as they grapple with more benefits and less work producing an impossible to maintain economy. They're crashing right now, and I don't envy the high unemployment rates ... and the long national vacation times for many workers that shut down portions of the economy. Every aspect of what the socialists think is wonderfull ... guaranteed employment, for example ... is strangling the economies. Companies cannot hire the labor force they need, they must keep all workers they hire whether or not they're what skills are needed. So a lot of companies aren't hiring, up goes the unemployment rate.

Their health systems don't produce better health results. Follow the links on this site to the Canadian system, as a nearby example of the problems and lack of timely service many put up with. Ever looked at the state of dental health in Europe, for example? Ever had a friend have to wait a year or more for elective surgery, like a knee replacement?

Those "greedy" corporate profits are actually below a normal rate of return in the oil business. They've put up with a lot to bring you a good supply of product and ready availability in this country. Now you want to take away the incentive they have to perform, which will kill the companies ... with adverse consequences. You think gasoline is expensive now? Wait until a government bureauracy takes over the whole thing ... it will be infinitely rarer and much more inefficient to produce something you need. People aren't going to work at oil companies for free any more than you are willing to work for free doing what you do.

You folks with a warped sense of entitlement to equal outcomes still don't grasp what the "super rich" do for the real world economy. They invest their money (really, it's not all in a sock under the mattress) in businesses which create jobs which result in products and services which people buy. And that pays your wage/salary.

You could, for example, take a Bill Gates wealth and pay a lot of people a bit of money today. But he'd be broke in a few days, and the golden egg would run out. Take Bill Gate's money and invest it in business, products and services, and you've got a wealth creation machine that makes hundreds of thousands of people money today, tomorrow, and well into the future.

Wealth in the world is not a "zero-sum" game. It's not a limited finite amount of money to which an unequitable distribution pie is applied. There's more business ideas being developed all the time, which create more jobs, more wealth, and more economically independent people.

The Brits tried some economic social tinkering a few years back. Taxed the "rich" 115% of their earnings for awhile. Yes, that's right ... they taxed the "rich" 15% more than they earned in a year, so that they could distribute the money via public programs. You know what happened? The "rich" didn't have the resources to invest in business/jobs anymore. The British economy tanked instantly, with many more people going on the "dole", out of work. The socialists there still haven't learned the lesson ... they see somebody driving a nice car, and they think "I'm gonna tear that person down to my level".

The beauty of the USA capitalistic economic system is you can see that nice car going down the street and want one, too ... and you can work to get it. In the socialized countries with very high social taxation and job regulation .... you can't work to get it because the government has set the playing field up to deny you the opportunity.

If the USA system needs adjustment at this time, it's to favor more independence from government interference and handouts. Some of you must have short memories from the Carter years in the USA when a lot of socialistic regulation of jobs and opportunity was regulated .... with disastrous results.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:46 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
239 posts, read 1,187,512 times
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Sounds like sunsprit's a fan of the 'trickle down' theory that has worked ... OH so well for the poor and middle class in the U.S. Sounds like sunsprit has swallowed an awful lot of the propaganda that's spewed by the right-wingies.

Here are some facts:

The combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans is a record-breaking $1.25 trillion. That's about the same amount of combined wealth held by the 57 million households who make up half the U.S. population.

The economy is booming for billionaires. It's a bust for many other Americans.

A record 400 Americans are billionaires -- and a record 47 million Americans have no health insurance.

America has 400 billionaires -- and 37 million people below the official poverty line.

The official poverty line for one person was just $9,973 in 2005 (latest data). That wouldn't cover the custom-made men's shoes ($4,128) and Hermes purse ($6,250) on the Forbes Cost of Living Extremely Well Index. The official poverty line of $15,577 for a three-person family is lower than the cost of the Patek Philippe men's gold watch ($17,600).

The Forbes 400 minimum is up $100 million since 2005, but the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $5.15 an hour -- just $10,712 a year -- since 1997. GOP leaders in Congress have been holding a raise for minimum wage workers hostage to more giant tax cuts for wealthy inheritors.

Wealth isn't trickling down. It's flooding up -- from workers to bosses, small investors to big, poorer to richer.


[This is from Common Dreams.Org / http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0928-31.htm]

What is that? Oh, you're response is, "TOUGH LUCK! The poor oil companies are below the normal rate of return...."? Well, sunsprit, I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion. Let's take Exxon, as an example: "The nation's largest oil company reported net income in the fourth quarter of $10.7 billion, or $1.71 a share, compared to $8.4 billion, or $1.30 a share, a year earlier." [http://money.cnn.com/2006/01/30/news/companies/exxon_earns/] (broken link)

We're talking NET income, pure (uh-hum) profit here folks! Some of that gets back into the economy, of course, but not in the way you're talking about. That sort of turn around of profits does not happen anymore. Some people have been fed that kind of propaganda since their toddler days, but fail to investigate what's going on here & now with this country and the world.

Want another example of corrupt big business that harms this country? Let's talk about Halliburton! They received something like $20-Billion in war contracts thanks, in large part, to their affiliation (politely stated) with our illustrious V.P. "Dick" Cheney, much of which is unaccounted for and some of which they state they'll repay for various abuses. They are finally under investigation by the NOW Democratic Congress (the Republican Congress refused to investigate them despite obvious egregious problems and complaints) and so what do they do? They are fleeing to Dubai! Huh! Isn't that interesting? Corporate responsibility and patriotism at its very finest, wouldn't you say? (You know, I'd forgive them everything, and wish them farewell, if only they'd take Vice Dick with them! )

Whatever. Your arguments, sunsprit, are myoptic, even laughable. I'd argue the points some more.

As for me, I retired early (I'm in my mid 50s and have been retired for 14 years), have a beautiful home along the coast, three nice cars and everything I could possibly need. I'm covet nothing from anyone, thus my arguments for economic equity are not mired in greed and/or envy as you imply. I worked during a time when some of your arguments were true: Get a good education (an affordable education at a decent college), work hard, be innovative and ambitious, and you'll succeed. That is NOT the case anymore. The cards are stacked so high against so many, there is no way that system works for the average Joe/Jane Public any more. All lower income kids and many middle-class kids can't afford to attend college any more! If kids don't get educated they can't compete in the world. If things continue the way they are now, soon it'll only be the wealthy who are able to afford an education, get decent jobs, afford to run for political offices and have influence on society. The rest, 'We, The People,' will be relegated to a worker-bee status from birth until death.

Last edited by Waterlily; 04-13-2007 at 05:39 PM.. Reason: No name calling please
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:58 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,489,903 times
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Obviously, we're going to descend into the depths of name-calling, aren't we, furyu ... because your irrational analysis is blind to what's going on, economically. In my personal experience, those who can't make it in this marketplace are the ones who strictly want a handout and don't want to work. The unemployment rate in many locales is functionally zero in today's marketplace ... anybody who wants to work and is willing to learn a skill or trade can and will be hired; they may have to move to where the action is at.

For background, I'll again point out that I come from a blue collar working man's background, an hourly wage-earner who sought out the american dream. And, along the way, taught many others how to do it, too, and helped them have their share of the american dream. I, too, was able to retire at age 50, but chose not to; I'm working harder than ever at a new career at age 60 and loving every minute of it. And I'd paid for my ranch/farm, resort home, airplane, a fleet of 23 cars, several collectable motorcycles, horses, livestock, high end audio system for my records, boats, and so on. "it ain't bragging if it's true"

I did it and so can the rest of you who choose to do so. I'm helping a number of would-be automotive techs get into the game I was in. Know what? It's worth around $100K per year these days to be a good auto tech/diagnostician. The grease monkey days are over, unless that's all you want to do ... mount tires, install batteries, or change oil at the local lubritorium. (PS, the fellow who's a "tire assistant manager" at your local tire shop might be making high 5 figures between salary and commission sales).

Trades are getting $30+ per hour in a lot of locations these days. Salespeople in a lot of businesses are making $100K without a college degree.

The prosperity is out there if you want to work and go where the action is at. I've got a friend who left Colorado real estate (and a successful career) to retire in Florida in a condo with a private slip at a marina for his boats. Know what he's doing now? running a lawn care business for the retired folks who don't want to do it themselves. Making more money than ever, and he pays his help above average wages to attract and retain good quality people. He doesn't employ illegals, and pays a living wage and a commission to his workers (they get bonuses for bringing in new business). I turned him on to the decorative garage epoxy flooring business, and now his lawn care crews are heading out and doing that, too ... at a higher wage when they do that work (big incentive to sell those services) and a commission for each job sold. This isn't rocket science, folks, it's the american dream at work .... Find a niche, provide service and satisfy your customers with happy employees busting their butts for a good wage.

I went on a San Diego based charter fishing trip to Cedros Island a year ago. Met a (hispanic) fellow from Los Angeles who was having the time of his life bringing his four sons on one of their two annual family fishing trips. Know what they do? They're gardeners in Beverly Hills and surrounding affluent areas! Maybe the older gent was stretching the truth (maybe he wasn't), but he claimed his boys each took home far in excess of $100K per year. (OK, maybe they used some low cost foreign labor ... I don't know). Dad seemed to know his way around a bunch of expensive cars, too. The fishing gear they had made my old collection of Senators look like junk, and they were happy to share it with me. Really nice guys, and able to be homeowners even in California's crazy housing market.

Had another friend go fishing in Alaska, left a stockbroker job in Denver. He's making $80,000+ per year working as a sportfishing deckhand and cleaning fish dockside for the tourists. It's a busy 6 month working season for him. The rest of the year he kicks back and skiis or just tours the backcountry.

Read an interesting report today in Cheyenne's paper. They studied the Michigan workers that Wyoming aggressively recruited to move away from their depressed areas and come to Wyoming. Almost 40% have left after a year in Wyoming. The "work ethic" wasn't there for a lot of them according to the businesses studied ... everybody wanted a job and a paycheck, but a fair number didn't want to work for their pay. Thanks for giving the job opportunity to somebody who needed it ...

My garbage man is an interesting character. I understand he has a PhD ... something to do with European art history or philosophy ... he keeps the framed degrees on the back side of the door to his bathroom. Couldn't stand the faculty politics, went out and bought a garbage truck and a route in our county area. Takes home over $70,000 per year. Enjoys working outdoors, doesn't mind having to wear carhartt coveralls and gloves, driving around the county roads. Has to work extra hard some days to make up for holidays or snowed out days. He's done in the early afternoon most days, gives him time to go ride his horses. I don't believe you'd need his degrees to find work and employment.

Do you know how much the managers make at the typical fast food restaurant? I've got several for clients who bring home over $60,000/year. They started out flipping burgers, got in-house training, and moved on up to management though about 8-10 years.

How about supermarket checkers? The scale in our area of the country is about $20/hour for full time employees with benefits. You don't need much education to run the cash register for a supermarket. That's a $50,000/year job if you figure in the benefits. And, they're seeking people to train for management jobs or department head jobs, too.

Maintenance techs? Wage scale in our area is in the mid $20/hr range with benefits and uniforms. Move on up to a superintendent job and $80-100K is the range. With advanced training, faster promotions are in the cards. It's a high demand job. HVAC techs, too. You don't even have to own your own tools ....

Trickle down is more than a theory. It works if you look at capital at work. Let's look at that for a moment, can we, and take the envy out of the equation for those folks who have a lot of disposable income?

The historical rate of return for oil companies has been around 8%, which is far below the desirable rate for a corporation of about 12%. Who owns the oil companies? mostly institutional investors, like insurance companies, retirement funds, teacher's unions, etc. In short, those of you derive retirement income of some sort are generally invested in these companies. The raw numbers add up to a large dollar figure in today's sales volume, but the fact remains that oil companies haven't been a great return on investment for a long time compared to tech stocks, medical stocks, etc. Oh, by the way, more money is paid by those oil companies in taxes to the governments than they make off each product. Does the government have invested capital at risk here like the oil company? Does the government take a hit in earnings when the oil company explores an area and doesn't find oil?

Having found your slice of the american dream pie, furyu ... retiring before you turned 50 ... just what are you doing to give back to american society and financial development? Do you teach others how to do what you did? Is there a market for it today? Do you charitably volunteer your time? Do you do anything to help others understand how to improve their financial lot?

or do you just want to sit back and ***** about how unfair the "system" is, even though you got your share?

Gotta run ... got horses to feed before the snow flies hard tonight.

Have a better day ....

Last edited by sunsprit; 04-12-2007 at 07:17 PM..
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,712 posts, read 33,740,349 times
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Originally Posted by Waterlily View Post
It's just starting to happen. Baby Boomers will be retiring by the millions within the next few years.

I am wondering if some cities or states will be minus a lot of population in the near future. Will there be lots of retired people moving south?

There is the work place issue as well. With millions retiring will we have enough workers?

What is your vision of the USA in about 10 or 15 years?
I would say anything to do with healthcare would be a good career choice for people entering the workforce now. Since those jobs run the gamut of education levels, it looks promising. I mean, even if you are into technology, something to do with medical technology might be a good choice.

I can't think of a better demographic to attract to a town, than retirees. If I was trying to grow my town, I'd do what I could to attract retirees. Towns set up to attract retiree transplants are smart in my opinion. Retirees are responsible for very little property or violent crime so an influx of them is not going to place a burden on law enforcement. They place no burden on the schools yet they still pay taxes to support them. They aren't commuting to work everyday so they aren't stressing the roads. They're good for stores and restaurant businesses year round (and during weekdays) who can also hire them if they want to work. Doctors tend to retire later than other professions so I would try to attract older doctors to my town, too. Retirees volunteer more. In NC, for example, 77% volunteered an average of 7.4 hour per week. They're good for tourism (tourists visit an area 3 times on average before buying and stay 5 nights per visit per a study by Jacksonville State University).

I suppose I see more one level living in new homes being built, maybe s shortage of skilled medical personnel, the television industry losing even more audience numbers if they continue to market new TV shows to 18 - 49 year olds, dwindling movie box office numbers for the same reason, the travel industry seeing a boom and of course, the collapse of social security just like the President said.
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 645,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furyu View Post

The middle class is already unfairly taxed in comparison to the elite 'upper' class. These socio-economic inequities are growing and taking over this country.
Obviously, my earlier post rankled the nerves of somebody so here it goes again!

Let's take a look at who REALLY pays the taxes in this country!

"The middle class is already unfairly taxed in comparison to the elite 'upper' class."

OK, fine. What would you consider a fair share? If the top 10% was earning 70% of all the income but only paying 58% of the taxes, that wouldn't be fair, would it? Well ... let's see what the figures show.

In 1993, at the end of the Decade of Greed, the top 1% were paying 28.7% of all taxes. They earned only 13.8% of all earned income. Oops! sounds like they are paying a bit more than their fair share, doesn't it? What about the top 10%? They were paying 58.5% of the income taxes but earning only 39% of the income. The top 50%? Paying 95.2% of the taxes, earning 85% of the income. The bottom 50%? Earning only 15% of the income but paying just 4.8% of the income taxes.

Update ... In 1996 the share of the income earned by the top 1% reached 16%. Remember: They're paying one third of all the taxes. So ... who is getting away with not paying their fair share? Looks like the bottom 50% to me ... not the evil, hated, mean, nasty, wicked rich.

And by the way, should it really bother you that a person can spend $4,000 on a pair of shoes? Think about it. If he has a net worth of $100 million that pair of shoes is in the same proportion to a guy with a $1 million net worth buying a $40 pair of shoes.

People, you need to get over the idea of condemning the producers in this country. If you don't have what they have, work for it! Don't tax them so that you can have it to.
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Old 05-12-2007, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,712 posts, read 33,740,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furyu View Post
Who is going to pay for this, you ask? I think it's about time that corporations start paying their fair share. Look at the oil companies, and the obscene profits they've been raking in, while our gas prices continue to go up-up-up. That's just one, of many, examples of capitalism run amok.

The middle class is already unfairly taxed in comparison to the elite 'upper' class. These socio-economic inequities are growing and taking over this country. We're not supposed to have a 'class' system, but that's exactly what has developed in the last couple of decades. It's getting harder and harder for the middle class to keep up with rising costs and stagnant wages, while the wealth of our economy is increasingly becoming concentrated among the super rich.

Everything needs adjustment from time to time.
Maybe the middle class should buy only what they can afford, stop trying to keep up with the neighbors. How many TVs do you need? Why does a couple with no children buy a 5 bedroom 3 bathroom house and then whine about property taxes or the cost of utilities to maintain it? Do your kids all have cell phones? How much was spent on your wedding? How much did your middle class kid spend to go to the prom? Why do you need a vehicle the size of the physically handicapped school bus (from when you were a kid)? Who thinks they have a right to buy a house right after they get married? How many of your middle class kids own a car that is less than 5 years old?

How come there are jobs for illegal aliens where students used to work and we hear "these are jobs Americans won't do" from the politicians/special interest groups? Are the spoiled middle class puffball American high school students too lazy to hold a part time job these days or is that kind of work beneath them?

How come we have to import so many people in the science, math and technology fields where there is money to be made? Is it because soft little Justin and Susie might have to work too hard in science and math classes so they don't take them? Who's clamoring for no homework for your lazy kids? Lazy teachers? Lazy boomer parents? Lazy students?

Who the heck is majoring in, for example, Women's Studies in college...my guess is not people who are looking to better themselves monetarily when they graduate? How about a "no common sense" tax for them? Who are those pea brain young people that Jay Leno and Sean Hannity stop on the street who can't identify the Vice President or the Speaker of the House but know all of the American Idol finalists? Are those the people we let vote for elected officials because some celebrity (who probably didn't graduate from high school) tells them to?

How many kids these days are entering college and have to take some remedial reading/writing class because you wouldn't make the criteria too hard for an A or a B in high school so as not to damage their self-esteem? Who is still living at home when they're pushing 30 because there is no way they'll start at the bottom?

Keep increasing the stupid lazy non-competitive middle class youth and that means the smart not-afraid-of-hard work middle class youth will be among the rich when they get older because they will be in demand while your mouse potato/couch potato/joystick potato/mall potato will be whining about not getting enough handouts. They're only looking for the government to indulge them like their parents did.

And generally speaking:

How many people from capitalist countries are breaking down the doors to move to some socialist country? Who is swimming to Cuba? And who are those Canadians coming into the US for decent healthcare because they have to wait so long for diagnostic tests and surgery with Canada's "wonderful" nationalized healthcare system. What about that 9 - 10% unemployment rate in lazy (we get 5 weeks vaxcation and only work 35 hours) socialist France?

I say people who work harder throughout their life and make decisions to better themselves economically should keep their money. In fact, I think we should have a lazy stupid tax for people who think they have a right to live beyond their means and who think the government should be their indulgent mommy and daddy once they leave their teens.
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