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What is Race? What is Slavery? and What is United?


Comment For Your Thoughts
July 22nd 2013

What is race?

Go look in a Dictionary and you will see many definitions, but you will not see that it all breaks down to one meaning, some one is something that you are not, or, trying to be better than some one else, trying to be the richest, or trying to be number one.

Can you deny that you don’t want the most money, that you don’t want to be numero uno, the top dog.

Look around you, you have one group that think they are the supreme and can do any thing they want, and in the mean time they are giving people who will stand up for this Country and fight for it to keep it free, then you have ones that will do any thing to cause trouble, these are cowards, they hide behind masks and ware hoodies to hide their faces, they destroy property, they don’t care who owns it, just as long as they can destroy some thing, or steal what ever they can get their hands on.

I am not talking about any one race, all it takes is one, and the rest follow, I can say one thing Blacks do stand up for their rights, but they go to far, however, the rest of the people could care less what happens to this Country. Look at the laws that have been passed and what have they done, nothing, why because they believe what the news media says, they don’t listen to all sides, they take it as the  gospel truth, the news media only want’s to sell papers not the truth.

What is Slavery?

Slavery is what all working class people are today, they are slaves to the rich, same as in the past, slave owners were the rich and backed by Government, and the same stands today, so no matter who you are today, if you are not corporate execs, at the top, then you are a slave and have to abide by their rules, no matter what color you are. You can say that you don’t work and are getting aid from the Government, well then, you are a slave of the Government, if you are not the top dogs then you are a slave.

What is United?

It sure not this Country today, this Country has become a nation of the divided, where would this Country be today if early settlers had not fought to be free from Dictators, well look around you, you have let this Country slowly move back to that time when we had the wars here, is this what people want today is to go back to where one person rules this Country, if not you are doing a very good job of going back in time.

This Country can not call it a UNITED States, it is a long way from it today, today people have become more divided now then they were in the past, and as long as we have people trying to keep every one fighting each other, we will never become UNITED and be able to ward off a Dictator.

Come on people let stop fighting each other, let protest against these people who are keeping this Country from Uniting, causing hate among people, if we want to form a better union we have to join arm and arm and fight unjust taxing, Discrimination, and a Dictating Government before we start fighting against our selves, it is its people who make a Country great, not the Government, people are the Government, not the other way around, and today the Government is the problems of every thing going wrong.

Any one other than a black Shoots or hurts a Black, you have a riot and destruction, and not all of them in these riots are black, but that is what they want you to believe, but turn every thing around, so what’s the big deal, there no discrimination when the reverse happens.

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The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
971659_10201821470364958_692813271_nYou know Ben Stein has a good comment about this Country of today: My confession: I don’t like getting pushed around for being a  Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for  being Christians….

I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.

I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I  can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God  as we understand Him?

I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are  wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little  different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not  funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

In light of recent events – terrorists attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she  was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.

The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself.  And we said  OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our  children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr.  Spock’s son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.  And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it  doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard  enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with, ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to  hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send  ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think  twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward  this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will  think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it. No one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and Respectfully,

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Categories: Democrats, Freedom, Governments, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, personal freedom, Politics, Profiling, Republicans, Rich, safety, violence, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

All Protesting Organizations Hurt the Rights of Free American


Comment By Bob L.
o6-04-2013

These organizations say thru are for protecting the people, but they are no more than a group of people who are taking money from taxes, to promote violence and to change the Constitution to help them selves.

In this article I read a lot of comments, and there was a lot of sense made in what was said, but it is a shame that this is made for the good of all Americans, not just a minority of people.

Are people so ignorant now that they can not see that our Government, Democrats, Republicans, Independence, and any organizations that want to get into Government, they are not looking out for the people, they are only looking out for them selves to get the free perks that they give them selves.

You can blame the GOP all you want, but when it comes down to it, the Democrats are also in it up to their necks, so put the blame where it lies, GOVERNMENT, they are the case of all the problems in this Country, if you don’t believe it look back in to history and see how this all came about.

It was the rich that started slavery, it was the Government who promoted it, it was not just one group of politicians, it was all of them, Even the Presidents.

There is a lot of articles on Slavery, and it was not just the blacks, it was Native Americans, it was Whites, as well as Blacks, and of today it is still going on today with all, if you are not in the two hundred thousand percent income you are classified a slave by all above.

Every thing is always the GOP, this shows just how little Americans pay to the news, they seem to listen and believe the news media that is tied to families and relatives working in the White House, in other words this is called a Conflict of Interest.

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About 140 arrested in NC during NAACP protest

Associated Press
By Chris Kardish, Associated Press | Associated Press
06-04-2013

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — About 140 people have been arrested during the latest weekly demonstration led by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP against the state’s Republican-led General Assembly.

Police estimate that roughly 1,000 people attended a rally late Monday afternoon behind the Legislative Building. Hundreds later entered the building, with those intending to get arrested wearing green wrist bands.

Those arrested were taken away in plastic bindings. They bring the total arrested in the weekly demonstrations to about 300. The rallies have taken place nearly every Monday since April.

Hundreds more waited outside to cheer on those arrested as they were transported to a detention facility.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has spearheaded demonstrations to protest cuts to social programs, changes to voting laws and other issues championed by the GOP.

Categories: Abuse, America, Democrats, Freedom, Governments, GREED, JOBS, Money, News, Obama, People, Politics, Republicans, Rich, Unemployed, White House | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

College Sticker Shock, WHY?


Comment by Bob L.
05-20-2013

Sticker Shock for colleges? Ask the GREEDY Professors and Administrators.

I read an article here the other day and it made the comment that they have to raise them to keep their Professors, start there, if you want to stop it, boycott these Colleges, plus you could probably get a better Education by going to local Community college. 

Is it that by going to a Big Name College, you can Party and walk around with your nose up in the air Bragging that you went to Blah Blah  College and not really getting the Education that you deserve, which is, go to a party School, or a go to a  less expensive College and get an Education.

As you read this article you will see a lot of double talk to why the cost is so high, basically it all stems to GREED, Public Schools are having the same problem.

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The Lookout

Sticker shock: New college graduates, here is why your education cost so much money

By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo! News The Lookout
05-20-2013

When high school senior Jenny Bonilla got her college acceptance letter in March, she felt shock and heartbreak rather than joy. That’s because the letter from Goucher College, a private liberal arts school in Baltimore, also brought news that she would owe an unaffordable $20,000 a year in tuition and board, even with a scholarship the college was offering.

Bonilla had been in the running for a full ride to Goucher but eventually lost out because her parents’ combined income of $57,000 a year was deemed too high.

“That was heartbreaking,” she said.

Bonilla’s experience is all too familiar to many students and their parents contemplating college, as higher education price increases have far outpaced the growth in middle-class wages over the past three decades.

The average tuition and fees at a public, four-year university rose to $8,655 in 2012-13, not counting the costs of room and board, according to the College Board. That’s 250 percent more than it would have cost in 1982, when a year of college would have set the average student back just $2,423 in today’s dollars.

The tuition at private colleges has increased at a slightly lower rate over the same period: the average four-year private institution costs $29,056, not counting room and board. It would have cost $10,901 in 2012 dollars back in 1982.

The pricey degree comes with big returns, on average: College educated workers earned 79 percent more than high-school educated workers in 2012, and were much less likely to be unemployed.

The pain of the price hikes has been partially offset by an increase in federal grants and tax breaks for college, as well as by private schools offering deeply discounted tuition rates to lower-income students. But even with that help, some students like Bonilla are finding themselves locked out of the system.

Why is college so much more expensive now than it was 30 years ago? Economists fall into two main schools of thought in explaining the trend.

One theory, referred to as “Bowen’s Rule,” says that the decisions made by many colleges and universities—such as how many administrators to hire and how to spend its cash—primarily drive the cost.

A competing theory, called “Baumol’s cost disease,” posits that higher education is expensive because of outside macroeconomic factors that affect other businesses, like the cost of hiring highly educated workers.

In other words, it’s either the colleges’ fault, or it isn’t.

In their book, “Why Does College Cost So Much?” Robert Archibald and David Feldman, economists at The College of William & Mary, are firmly in the Baumol camp. They argue that a college’s hefty price tag isn’t actually surprising at all, given that it depends on the performance of its workforce—highly educated professors and teachers who provide a face-to-face service, not a material good.

Larger economic trends have jacked up the salaries of highly educated workers across the board in recent decades, while the cost of face-to-face services has also remained high, since technological advances do not necessarily make these services cheaper.

Feldman used the example of the cost of a haircut, which has also outpaced inflation in the past 30 years.

While technology has made factories vastly more efficient at producing goods for less money, technological advances have not been able to make the time a haircut takes shorter or replace the skilled person who has to give the haircut. College is like a haircut on steroids, since the barbers have PhDs.

“Higher education is an industry where there’s not a whole lot of productivity growth and not a whole of scope for productivity growth,” Feldman said.

The vast majority of most colleges’ budgets go to personnel, and that cost is unlikely to come down any time soon.

Benjamin Ginsburg, a political science professor at John Hopkins University, takes the Bowen view.

In his book, “The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters,” Ginsburg argues that a significant increase in administrative employees is in part responsible for college’s runaway pricing.

He writes that between 1975 and 2005, the faculty to student ratio has remained fairly constant at universities, while the student-to-professional staffer (such as an admissions officer) ratio increased from one to 50 to 1 to 24.

“As colleges and universities have had more money to spend, they have not chosen to spend it on expanding their instructional resources—that is, on paying faculty,” Ginsburg writes. “They have chosen, instead, to enhance their administrative and staff resources.”

Feldman discounts this argument. He points out that students demand a broader bundle of services from college now than they did 50 years ago, and that the price reflects that. Students want staffers to plan student life activities, career counselors, fancy dorms, nice gyms and up to date technology.

The economy as a whole, not just higher education, has also shifted to include more administrative positions in the past decades, he argues.

Some argue that colleges have had no choice but to hire more administrative staff, in part because they are so thoroughly regulated by both state and federal governments. Colleges are required to report to the government all gifts accepted from foreign governments, supply information about the salaries of coaches, and prove they commemorated Constitution Day every September 17, among other rules. Complying with the regulations requires staff.

“Externally imposed regulations increase the cost of doing business and that cost is passed on to consumers,” Terry Hartle, one of the chief lobbyists for the higher education industry, said.

State budget woes have also hiked the cost of many colleges. Sandy Baum, an economist and independent policy analyst for the College Board, says the price increases at public institutions have been driven by declining support from states, which have cut higher education in order to balance their budgets.

“It’s not actually that the colleges are spending more money on the students, it’s that they’re getting … much less money per student from the state government,” Baum said.

That means students aren’t necessarily getting more for their money, especially at public institutions.

Advances in technology might help colleges cut costs in the future, either by allowing them to have fewer in-person classes as more people take classes online or by streamlining some library costs, among other possibilities. But higher education experts say there’s no silver bullet.

“Colleges are looking at how to save money and they need to look harder because it’s just so expensive,” said Baum. She mentioned increasing technology, streamlining government regulations and cutting back on administrators as some possible things to help costs. “There’s no miracles there,” she said.

Jenny Bonilla didn’t have time to wait for a miracle. Bonilla’s father lost his job just days after she received her letter from Goucher, reducing the family’s annual income to $40,000.

Bonilla’s parents didn’t want her to take on $60,000 in debt, and knew they couldn’t come up with the money to help her on their own. They decided she should enroll in nearby Prince George Community College for two years and then try to transfer to a four-year public school from there.

“I applied to so many schools and then for me to end up at community college is kind of devastating,” Bonilla says.

Categories: America, Children, Democrats, Education, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, Republicans, School Kids, Taxes, Unions, White House | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Senate narrowly passes first budget in four years


Comment For:  Senate narrowly passes first budget in four years
03-23-2013

How about that the Senate finally got off their butts and finally passed a budget in four years, Now Wait a Minute, they did not do it for the Country, they did it for them selves, because of elections coming up in 2014 and are afraid for their job, this shows that they don’t care about this Country one red cent, and shows that they only got elected for the money, not the people who elected them.

Did these people ever go to School? I can not see how you can pay off your debt by spending more money, I guess what I learned in school was just waisted time when I could have continued working full-time then go to school, but what I learned in school was that if you spent more than you make, you have to pay it back or you go in to debt, but I guess that was wrong according to the way our Government looks at how debt works, lets see if you, lets say you make $10.00 dollars an hour and spend $20.00 dollars of that $10.00 dollars, over time you won’t have a debt to pay back?, from the way I see it, this is how the Government thinks, 2+2= 40 Two Dollars in taxes, put that Two Dollars in to the General Fund means Forty Dollars can be spent, that is Government Math. (Lack of, or over Education)

Every time Government talks about Entitlements they go against the people who will get hurt the most, but I have not seen or heard about the Entitlements that the Government and other organisations receives every year, they always go after the ones that will get hurt the most so they will pass more taxes so they can spend more on trash, junk, or other Countries, but not in this Country where it is needed. 

A Canadian said it right in the 70’s, http://youtu.be/oJ_okAgAUGE     and Americans have let it go on, they have become lazy, and not caring about the Country they live in (greed has taken control), they have let the Government take over their lives and every thing they do, they have not stood up against Government when they are told that their vote does not count, and the same thing when the Courts side with what Government wants, and let them get away with it, it is time that Americans get a Back Bone and stand up to the Government, Environmentalist, Special Interest Groups, and Religion Haters, and take OUR Country back, other wise, you get what you ask for, NOTHING,  but A Corrupt out of control Dictator Government.

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Senate narrowly passes first budget in four years

By David Lawder | Reuters
03-23-2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate on Saturday narrowly passed its first federal budget in four years, a move that will usher in a relative lull in Washington’s fiscal wars until an anticipated summer showdown over raising the debt ceiling.

The budget plan was passed by a 50-49 vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber. Four Democratic senators facing tough re-election campaigns in 2014 joined all the Senate Republicans in opposing the measure, which seeks to raise nearly $1 trillion in new tax revenues by closing some tax breaks for the wealthy.

The Senate budget, which reflects Democratic priorities of boosting near-term job growth and preserving social safety net programs, will square off in coming months against a Republican-focused budget passed by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.

Neither of the non-binding blueprints has a chance of passage in the opposing chamber, leaving Congress no closer to resolving deep differences over how to shrink U.S. deficits and grow the economy. But they give each party a platform from which to tout their respective fiscal visions.

The Democrats’ plan from Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray aims to reduce deficits by $1.85 trillion over 10 years through an equal mix of tax increases and spending cuts.

The Republican plan from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan seeks $4.6 trillion in savings over the same period without raising new taxes. It aims to reach a small surplus by 2023 through deep cuts to health care and social programs that aid the poor.

Murray said after the vote that she would try to work with Ryan on a path toward compromise.

“While it is clear that the policies, values, and priorities of the Senate budget are very different than those articulated in the House budget, I know the American people are expecting us to work together to end the gridlock and find common ground, and I plan to continue doing exactly that.”

SHUTDOWN THREAT

Passage of a stop-gap government funding measure on Thursday lowered the temperature in the budget debate by eliminating the threat of a government shutdown next week.

“We’re going to get a breather here. Congress will let things cool off a bit and there’ll be other issues that come to the forefront in the spring,” said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group, a firm that advises institutional investors on Washington politics.

These issues include legislation on gun control, immigration reform and initial work on simplifying the tax code, which is particularly important to Republicans.

Joining Republicans in opposing the Democratic budget were Democratic senators from conservative-leaning states: Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Voting for a budget that raises tax revenues could increase their vulnerability in congressional elections next year and put Democrats’ thin majority at risk.

In the lead-up to the Senate vote early on Saturday morning, the body considered more than 100 largely symbolic, non-binding amendments to the budget aimed at scoring political points and staking out positions.

Among notable amendments, the Senate signaled strong support for allowing states more authority to collect sales taxes on Internet purchases [ID:nL1N0CEERE], for approval of the controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline [ID:nL1N0CEE57] and for repealing a tax on medical devices imposed by President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.

The Senate also voted 99-0 to end policies that subsidized large banks considered “too big to fail” but came out against imposing taxes on industrial carbon emissions.

Ryan’s plan aims to reach a small surplus with no tax increases by 2023 through deep cuts to social safety net programs. This enables Republicans to claim that they are more responsible by balancing the budget.

“The House budget changes our debt course, while the Senate budget does not,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.

BATTLE OVER “BALANCE”

In a taste of the ideological debates to come, Murray claimed that the Senate budget was more “balanced” because it emphasized job growth and offered an equal amount of revenue increases and spending cuts.

The Senate had not passed a budget resolution since 2009 because of fiscal policy disputes with House Republicans that forced Congress to turn to numerous stop-gap spending measures to avoid government shutdowns.

To protect their thin Senate majority, Democrats avoided exposing their members to potentially damaging votes to raise taxes ahead of 2012 elections, arguing that a 2011 budget deal set spending levels for several years and made the non-binding budget legislation unnecessary.

But this year, under the February debt limit increase law, members of both the House and Senate faced pay suspensions if their chamber had failed to pass a budget by April 15.

Although lawmakers in both parties have called for a return to normal budgeting procedures after years of stop-gap spending bills and high-pressure deadlines, there is little chance that they can work out differences between the two budgets.

“The idea of conferencing them is kind of a joke. You would expect that if there were a chance of success, they wouldn’t have planted flags on completely different planets,” said Sean West, U.S. policy director at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy.

Ultimately, it may take another 11th-hour deal between Obama and congressional Republicans to set a fiscal path forward as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, he said. The Treasury is expected to exhaust its borrowing capacity around late July or early August.

In 2011, a similar fight over the debt limit shook financial markets and cost the United States its top-tier credit rating.

(Editing by Pravin Char)

Categories: America, Corruption, Democrats, Financial Crisis, Governments, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, Politics, Taxes, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Oh I am Not An Alcoholic


Comment For: I am not an Alcoholic
02-18-2013

drunk10When I hear some one say that I am not an Alcoholic, when are they going to stop lying, seeing this article proves just that, you are an Alcoholic, when you won’t let the alcohol percentage drop shows that, SO stop lying to your self and every one else, you are an Alcoholic, if not then stop drinking all Alcoholic  beverages.

How would our Country ru with out Alcoholics, especially the Government and the News Media with all their parties.

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ABC News Blogs

Maker’s Mark Won’t Cut Alcohol Content

By ABC News ABC News Blogs
02-17-2013

Maker’s Mark drew a storm of complaints when the venerable bourbon distiller announced this week it would be diluting its whisky due to anticipated supply shortages, but today it announced it is scrapping the plan.

“While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision,” the company said in a statement released today. “You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down.”

Effective immediately, the company said, it was reversing its decision to lower the alcohol content of Maker’s Mark, and would resume production at 45 percent alcohol by volume.

“The unanticipated dramatic growth rate of Maker’s Mark is a good problem to have, and we appreciate some of you telling us you’d even put up with occasional shortages,” said the statement, signed by COO Rob Samuels and chairman emeritus Bill Samuels Jr. “We promise we’ll deal with them as best we can, as we work to expand capacity at the distillery.”

The response came after angry Maker’s Mark lovers took to Twitter to complain about the company lowering the alcohol content.

“Hey, @MakersMark Raise prices if you must, but don’t mess with success! Ever heard of New Coke? #bourbon” wrote one Twitter user.

Maker’s Mark had said it was forced to make the decision to decreasing the proof of its whisky from 90 proof to 84 proof because of “unforeseen demand.” Bill Samuels Jr. had said that the brand wanted to keep its prices competitive.

“While not every part of the country has seen shortages yet, many have, and the demand is continuing to grow at a pace we’ve never before experienced. While we are investing today to expand capacity for the future, by producing 42 percent ABV Maker’s Mark we’ll be able to better meet our ongoing supply issues without compromising the taste,” he said in a statement.

The one-brand company doesn’t purchase bourbon from other distillers, making forecasting difficult. The age range of the whiskey, five years nine months to seven years, had allowed the brand to keep ahead of market shortages in the past.

The owners said they had tested the watered-down bourbon themselves and validated their own findings with consumer research. Both agreed that “there’s no difference in the taste,” Samuels said.

Categories: Abuse, America, Democrats, Governments, Health, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, Republicans, safety, violence, White House, Yuppies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

What Does it Take for these Government Nitwits To Learn it has to STOP NOW


Comment For Nitwits
02-14-2013

If our Government keep going the way they are I am going dunce-cap-hatto start a dunce award scale, 1 to 5, and the article coming up I give this one a  FIVE 5

When are these nitwits going to under stand that they are the problems in this Country, just because people pay taxes that they are end less and can not sustain continual spending without consequences. Pay Raises and taxes need to stop now or we will be back into a Depression you will never get out of no matter what you do, and this Obama Administration has this Country headed in that direction on a fast track by telling you what to do, and if you have not noticed you better look harder, because you are blind.

Just look at what they are doing to this Country, they are putting people on the street with no place to go but an early grave, not all the people can not continue to pay for the people who can not live with what they have, BUT NO, they must have Fancy Streets, Fancy Buildings, these are the people who have to have something better than every one else, better Pay, better Benefits, and the Fancies Homes and Cars, well this all ends up costing every one else money they can not afford to continually pay.

Who said that College Education would teach you to be smarter than a High School Education, well who ever said it did not learn any thing in College, look at all these Politicians that brag about going to College and having a good education have come out being the Dummies people on earth, they don’t know the differences from a Penny to a Dollar, just like workers are a dime a dozen, but it is the knowledge of the job not the Education, you can have all the education in the world, but if you do not have the knowledge you know nothing, and our Government shows that.

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Should You Renounce Your Citizenship?

By Caroline Kim | Yahoo! Finance
Wed, Feb 13, 2013

Would you renounce your U.S. citizenship if it meant you’d be sending less of your hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam?

As Americans face higher taxes and stricter enforcement, a growing number of them are, indeed, deciding to turn in their US passports. As of 2013, 77% of Americans will pay higher federal tax rates because the cuts in Social Security payroll taxes expired when Congress passed its tax package on New Year’s Day.

But the wealthiest households face the highest tax increases. From 2009 to 2011, the number of expatriates, or those who renounced their U.S. citizenship, doubled to 1,781.

Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, which provides financial services for expatriates, said that since the start of this year, 48% more of his clients in January than in a typical month inquired about moving funds abroad and the possible tax implications of changing citizenship.

The income tax rate rose this year to 39.6% from 35% for individuals earning more than $400,000 a year and married couples earning more than $450,000.

The Tax Policy Center estimated that those who earn more than $1 million would pay an average of  $170,341 more in taxes.

Green said there’s a tipping point for most people with regard to tax issues affecting their choice of location and citizenship. “If there’s only 10% tax [on income], no one would be leaving. But if there’s 90%, then most people would leave,” he said.

Federal taxes aren’t the only issue, though. Increases in state income tax rates factor into these decisions as well. Recently, California enacted Proposition 30, which raised state income tax rates to 10.3% from 9.3% for individuals making at least $250,000 and 13.3% from 10.3% for those earning at least $1 million. Golfer Phil Mickelson publicly voiced his concern over the tax increases and threatened to leave California because of the higher rates.

Famous Faces
In the first three quarters of 2012, more than 1,100 people left the United States, according to the Federal Register, which tracks Americans who renounce their citizenship. (The Federal Register doesn’t make note of why these people give up their citizenships; we can only guess there are financial considerations in many situations.) Among them, one of the most high-profile examples was Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who filed to relinquish his U.S. citizenship in September 2011; Facebook had its initial public offering in May 2012. Saverin, a Brazil native, had already been living in Singapore for three years after emigrating to the U.S. in 1998. He could reportedly save as much as $100 million in taxes because Singapore does not tax capital gains.

Saverin isn’t the only famous renunciation. Singer and socialite Denise Rich also gave up her citizenship last year under her maiden name, Denise Eisenberg. She is well-known as the ex-wife of former international fugitive Marc Rich, a commodities trader who was indicted on 50 counts of wire fraud, tax evasion, racketeering and other charges. But on his last day in office in 2001, former president Bill Clinton pardoned Rich. Reports claimed that Eisenberg gave up her citizenship to be closer to her long-time partner, an Austrian citizen. Austria also has tax benefits for nationals who live abroad for more than half the year.

Chinese kung fu star and actor Jet Li held American and Chinese citizenships, but dropped both in 2009 in order to be a citizen in Singapore. (Singapore prohibits dual citizenship.) In interviews Li indicated that he chose Singapore because it was free from paparazzi and provided language opportunities for his children.

Most recently, actor Gerard Depardieu made headlines for renouncing his French citizenship to become a Russian citizen in order to avoid France’s proposed 75% tax on earned income above $1.4 million. Russia has a flat 13% tax rate.

Ready to Tear Up Your Passport?
According to a 2012 study published by the Research Institute of Industrial Economics that examined the mobility of billionaires over the past two decades, “70% [of those billionaires] have migrated from higher to lower capital gains tax country … One-third of the billionaires that moved went to small countries defined as ‘tax havens,’” including Switzerland, Bahamas and Singapore.

If you want to join the pack, the process to renounce your citizenship isn’t very difficult.

The U.S. Department of State says that in order to do so, one must “appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer, in a foreign country (typically at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and sign an oath of renunciation.”

But before you take the plunge, be aware that if you forego your U.S. citizenship, there’s no turning back. The U.S. government won’t reinstate it if you change your mind later — so think it over carefully.

In 1965, movie star Elizabeth Taylor attempted to expatriate to keep her European income from being subject to American tax law. But she did not get approval from the State Department because she refused to disavow “all allegiance to the United States of America.”

And you might be saving money in the long run, but you still have to pay an “exit” tax, according to the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act passed in 2008. This applies to those whose net worth is $2 million or more, or whose annual income tax average for the past five years is $145,000 or more (as of 2008 and adjusted annually for inflation each year). One exception applies to people who were born with dual citizenships. For the exit tax, a 15% tax applies to capital gains above $651,000, and tax on other assets like a retirement account, would be at the normal income rate up to 39.6%. These assets are taxed as if the individual were selling or withdrawing their monetary funds from the accounts on the last day of their American citizenship.

Already Living Abroad?

So is giving up your rights and privileges as a U.S. citizen worth it? If you live and conduct business mostly in the U.S., it may not be the best decision. Renouncing your citizenship isn’t just about taxes— it also means no more protection from the U.S. government; possible issues with travel visas, including traveling and staying in the U.S. for long periods of time.

But it may be worth it if you already live in a foreign country. The U.S. is one of the few nations that taxes its citizens regardless of where you live in the world. As long as you remain a U.S. citizen, you will be taxed on your income even if you’re living abroad. But if you aren’t a citizen and live in a foreign country, you don’t need to pay any income tax.

“[Renunciation] seems to be more pronounced with Americans, and that’s more with Americans currently living abroad,” Green said. “It’s easier if you’ve already left the country. There are less factors involved [in changing citizenships].”

In the case of Saverin, he was already living in Singapore and did not have deep ties to the U.S. because he hadn’t been here very long. In his case, the financial benefits were clear: he would’ve paid a 35% federal tax rate in the U.S. in addition to 15% on capital gains, while in Singapore his tax rate would be  20% at most and no capital gains tax.

So how would your tax burden stack up? If you earn $1 million a year, that’s almost $396,000 you’re keeping in your pocket (based on the top 39.6% income tax rate) if you said goodbye to the U.S. and took up residency in a place like Monaco, which doesn’t tax income at all. If you were to earn the median household income of $50,054, according to the Census Bureau, then you’d be saving $12,500 (based on a 25% federal tax bracket).

Categories: America, Children, Democrats, Financial Crisis, Freedom Lost, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, personal freedom, Republicans, Rich, Taxes, White House, Yuppies | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Postal Service to cut Saturday mail to trim costs


Comment: It is about time
02-06-2012

It is about time that they told the Government to go take a flying leap off their high horse, I look at it this way, if the Government does not use their services then they should not have any say on how they run the Postal Service.

mailtruck-copyRemember here a while back the article about the Government using FedEx to deliver their mail at a higher price then the Postal Service, and now they have just about totally stop using them all together, but expects them to follow their rules, and so they can keep taking money from them for their gain.

I my self blame a lot of their problems on sponsoring bike riders in an other Country for one, and I think the worst is putting out a new stamp out every month for some dingbat who wants their name or organization on it, why not put out TWO stamp, FIRST and CRAP, and leave it at that, then the cost would go down to operate, and freeze all wages and benefits to all, now and in the future.

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Postal Service to cut Saturday mail to trim costs

By PAULINE JELINEK | Associated Press
02-06-2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to deliver packages six days a week under a plan aimed at saving about $2 billion annually, the financially struggling agency says.

In an announcement scheduled for later Wednesday, the service is expected to say the Saturday mail cutback would begin in August.

The move accentuates one of the agency’s strong points — package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010, officials say, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet services.

Under the new plan, mail would be delivered to homes and businesses only from Monday through Friday, but would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays.

Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages — and it repeatedly but unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to approve the move. Though an independent agency, the service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.

It was not immediately clear how the service could eliminate Saturday mail without congressional approval.

But the agency clearly thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side regarding the change.

Material prepared for the Wednesday press conference by Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, says Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.

“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” Donahoe said in a statement prepared for the announcement. “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”

But the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Fredric Rolando, said the end of Saturday mail delivery is “a disastrous idea that would have a profoundly negative effect on the Postal Service and on millions of customers,” particularly businesses, rural communities, the elderly, the disabled and others who depend on Saturday delivery for commerce and communication.

He said the maneuver by Donahoe to make the change “flouts the will of Congress, as expressed annually over the past 30 years in legislation that mandates six-day delivery.”

There was no immediate comment from lawmakers.

The Postal Service is making the announcement Wednesday, more than six months before the switch, to give residential and business customers time to plan and adjust, the statement said.

“The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports these steps as a responsible and reasonable approach to improving our financial situation,” Donahoe said. “The Postal Service has a responsibility to take the steps necessary to return to long-term financial stability and ensure the continued affordability of the U.S. Mail.”

He said the change would mean a combination of employee reassignment and attrition and is expected to achieve cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually when fully implemented.

The agency in November reported an annual loss of a record $15.9 billion for the last budget year and forecast more red ink in 2013, capping a tumultuous year in which it was forced to default on billions in retiree health benefit prepayments to avert bankruptcy.

The financial losses for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 were more than triple the $5.1 billion loss in the previous year. Having reached its borrowing limit, the mail agency is operating with little cash on hand.

The agency’s biggest problem — and the majority of the red ink in 2012 — was not due to reduced mail flow but rather to mounting mandatory costs for future retiree health benefits, which made up $11.1 billion of the losses. Without that and other related labor expenses, the mail agency sustained an operating loss of $2.4 billion, lower than the previous year.

The health payments are a requirement imposed by Congress in 2006 that the post office set aside $55 billion in an account to cover future medical costs for retirees. The idea was to put $5.5 billion a year into the account for 10 years. That’s $5.5 billion the post office doesn’t have.

No other government agency is required to make such a payment for future medical benefits. Postal authorities wanted Congress to address the issue last year, but lawmakers finished their session without getting it done. So officials are moving ahead to accelerate their own plan for cost-cutting.

The Postal Service is in the midst of a major restructuring throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Since 2006, it has cut annual costs by about $15 billion, reduced the size of its career workforce by 193,000 or by 28 percent, and has consolidated more than 200 mail processing locations, officials say.

They say that while the change in the delivery schedule announced Wednesday is one of the actions needed to restore the financial health of the service, they still urgently need lawmakers to act. Officials say they continue to press for legislation that will give them greater flexibility to control costs and make new revenues.

Categories: America, Democrats, Governments, GREED, JOBS, Money, Olympia, People, Politics, Republicans, Unions, White House | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Is the Obama and Democrats Bank Swipe Tax in Your Future


Comment: Where did it all start, Can you Hear Obama & Democrats NOW
01-30-2013

78281926-jpg_001814Obama’s Protecting the middle and low-income people just got even better and more expensive, thanks to Obama and his Democrats with their Dodd | Frank control of the banking system on how to protect Americans with bank regulations, that the Democrats pasted because of banks greed and how they ripped off Americans, they call it Credit Card swipe Tax.

America Just keeps getting better and better every day.

Say goodbye to more bank branches  and job loses

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Credit card checkout fee taking effect

CNN Money
By Emily Jane Fox | CNN Money
01-29-2013

You might want to think twice before whipping out your credit card. As of Sunday, stores in most states could start charging you a “checkout fee” when you pay for something with plastic.

The new fees stem from a multi-billion dollar settlement announced in July between credit card issuers and millions of merchants.

Visa, MasterCard and nine major banks agreed to a $7.25 billion deal to settle charges that they were fixing credit card processing fees. As part of the settlement, credit card issuers said they would reduce these “swipe fees” — fees paid by merchants to issuers when cards are used — but only for eight months

In addition, the settlement also gave retailers the option to tack on a surcharge if a customer uses a credit card. The retailer can only charge enough to cover the processing costs, which is about 1.5 percent to 3 percent of the total purchase, according to watchdog group Consumer Action.

This fee doesn’t apply to purchases made using debit cards. And it will still be illegal to charge the new fee in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

Many big players in the retail industry have been up in arms about the settlement. Stores from the nation’s largest retailer down to small businesses have lamented the agreement, claiming that it transferred the wrongdoings of credit card issuers to the consumer.

In November, the National Retail Federation and more than a dozen retailers asked a judge to reject the proposed settlement. In a brief submitted to a U.S. District Court judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., the trade organization wrote that the new fees threaten a merchant’s ability to keep prices low for customers.

Wal-Mart, Macy’s, JCPenney, Limited Brands, Gap Inc. and The Neiman Marcus Group were among those who joined the NRF in claiming that “raising consumer prices by adding an ‘interchange tax’ is no remedy for Visa’s and MasterCard’s continuing monopoly abuse.”

In a separate statement, Wal-Mart said that it wasn’t interested in adding the surcharge to allow credit card companies to continue charging unfair fees. Target called the agreement “bad for both retailers and consumers.”

Merchants have a choice as to whether to implement the surcharge, but it poses quite a dilemma for them: Either get stuck footing the bill for the swipe fees, or risk transferring the cost to customers in an already competitive environment.

Last summer, Target said it had no interest in charging customers who use credit cards more “in order to allow Visa and MasterCard to continue charging unfair fees.”

Smaller merchants echoed these concerns over the deal, saying it doesn’t go far enough.
MasterCard said it doesn’t expect most merchants to put the surcharge into effect, since stores won’t want to drive away business.

“We anticipate that they will not impose checkout fees, particularly because the value merchants derive from card acceptance far exceeds their costs,” the credit card company said in a statement.

Categories: Abuse, America, Democrats, Financial Crisis, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, Taxes, White House | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

IMPACT: From the Recession take from the poor gives to Democrats Rich


Comment By Bob L.
01-23-2013

They say five years after the recession, but people we have not come out of the Obama Recession we are still in it, and we are on the edge of another Depression if you have not noticed, and if this Administration does not get their head out of their a== to protect this Country, I thought that is what they were elected to do, not protect themselves, it is sooner coming than you think.

BERNARD CONDON and PAUL WISEMAN, these two can see it, why can’t any one else see it, I saw it coming Ten years ago, but not as bad as the last Six years, it did not take a Brain Surgeon to see it, because if it took a smart person to see it, the Government and these Think Tanks could have seen it coming, but they were to busy patting themselves on the back for what they are doing to America.

Now I know why no one else can see what is going on, just go to Facebook and tweeter, and look at them standing in front of a Mirror taking pictures of them selves with their fancy expensive phones to see what is coming, they are to busy doing that to worry about this Country.

And a word about the Article, COMPUTERS DO NOT BUY PRODUCTS, working people do, so here is where GREED BYALL mostly Public Employees through Taxes, is rearing its UGLY head.

 

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The Associated Press

By BERNARD CONDON and PAUL WISEMAN | Associated Press
01-23-2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.

And the situation is even worse than it appears.

Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What’s more, these jobs aren’t just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren’t just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.

They’re being obliterated by technology.

Year after year, the software that runs computers and an array of other machines and devices becomes more sophisticated and powerful and capable of doing more efficiently tasks that humans have always done. For decades, science fiction warned of a future when we would be architects of our own obsolescence, replaced by our machines; an Associated Press analysis finds that the future has arrived.

EDITOR’S NOTE: First in a three-part series on the loss of middle-class jobs in the wake of the Great Recession, and the role of technology.

The AP’s key findings:

—For more than three decades, technology has reduced the number of jobs in manufacturing. Robots and other machines controlled by computer programs work faster and make fewer mistakes than humans. Now, that same efficiency is being unleashed in the service economy, which employs more than two-thirds of the workforce in developed countries. Technology is eliminating jobs in office buildings, retail establishments and other businesses consumers deal with every day.

—Technology is being adopted by every kind of organization that employs people. It’s replacing workers in large corporations and small businesses, established companies and start-ups. It’s being used by schools, colleges and universities; hospitals and other medical facilities; nonprofit organizations and the military.

—The most vulnerable workers are doing repetitive tasks that programmers can write software for — an accountant checking a list of numbers, an office manager filing forms, a paralegal reviewing documents for key words to help in a case. As software becomes even more sophisticated, victims are expected to include those who juggle tasks, such as supervisors and managers — workers who thought they were protected by a college degree.

—Thanks to technology, companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index reported one-third more profit the past year than they earned the year before the Great Recession. They’ve also expanded their businesses, but total employment, at 21.1 million, has declined by a half-million.

—Start-ups account for much of the job growth in developed economies, but software is allowing entrepreneurs to launch businesses with a third fewer employees than in the 1990s. There is less need for administrative support and back-office jobs that handle accounting, payroll and benefits.

—It’s becoming a self-serve world. Instead of relying on someone else in the workplace or our personal lives, we use technology to do tasks ourselves. Some find this frustrating; others like the feeling of control. Either way, this trend will only grow as software permeates our lives.

—Technology is replacing workers in developed countries regardless of their politics, policies and laws. Union rules and labor laws may slow the dismissal of employees, but no country is attempting to prohibit organizations from using technology that allows them to operate more efficiently — and with fewer employees.

Some analysts reject the idea that technology has been a big job killer. They note that the collapse of the housing market in the U.S., Ireland, Spain and other countries and the ensuing global recession wiped out millions of middle-class construction and factory jobs. In their view, governments could bring many of the jobs back if they would put aside worries about their heavy debts and spend more. Others note that jobs continue to be lost to China, India and other countries in the developing world.

But to the extent technology has played a role, it raises the specter of high unemployment even after economic growth accelerates. Some economists say millions of middle-class workers must be retrained to do other jobs if they hope to get work again. Others are more hopeful. They note that technological change over the centuries eventually has created more jobs than it destroyed, though the wait can be long and painful.

A common refrain: The developed world may face years of high middle-class unemployment, social discord, divisive politics, falling living standards and dashed hopes.

___

In the U.S., the economic recovery that started in June 2009 has been called the third straight “jobless recovery.”

But that’s a misnomer. The jobs came back after the first two.

Most recessions since World War II were followed by a surge in new jobs as consumers started spending again and companies hired to meet the new demand. In the months after recessions ended in 1991 and 2001, there was no familiar snap-back, but all the jobs had returned in less than three years.

But 42 months after the Great Recession ended, the U.S. has gained only 3.5 million, or 47 percent, of the 7.5 million jobs that were lost. The 17 countries that use the euro had 3.5 million fewer jobs last June than in December 2007.

This has truly been a jobless recovery, and the lack of midpay jobs is almost entirely to blame.

Fifty percent of the U.S. jobs lost were in midpay industries, but Moody’s Analytics, a research firm, says just 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs gained are in that category. After the four previous recessions, at least 30 percent of jobs created — and as many as 46 percent — were in midpay industries.

Other studies that group jobs differently show a similar drop in middle-class work.

Some of the most startling studies have focused on midskill, midpay jobs that require tasks that follow well-defined procedures and are repeated throughout the day. Think travel agents, salespeople in stores, office assistants and back-office workers like benefits managers and payroll clerks, as well as machine operators and other factory jobs. An August 2012 paper by economists Henry Siu of the University of British Columbia and Nir Jaimovich of Duke University found these kinds of jobs comprise fewer than half of all jobs, yet accounted for nine of 10 of all losses in the Great Recession. And they have kept disappearing in the economic recovery.

Webb Wheel Products makes parts for truck brakes, which involves plenty of repetitive work. Its newest employee is the Doosan V550M, and it’s a marvel. It can spin a 130-pound brake drum like a child’s top, smooth its metal surface, then drill holes — all without missing a beat. And it doesn’t take vacations or “complain about anything,” says Dwayne Ricketts, president of the Cullman, Ala., company.

Thanks to computerized machines, Webb Wheel hasn’t added a factory worker in three years, though it’s making 300,000 more drums annually, a 25 percent increase.

“Everyone is waiting for the unemployment rate to drop, but I don’t know if it will much,” Ricketts says. “Companies in the recession learned to be more efficient, and they’re not going to go back.”

In Europe, companies couldn’t go back even if they wanted to. The 17 countries that use the euro slipped into another recession 14 months ago, in November 2011. The current unemployment rate is a record 11.8 percent.

European companies had been using technology to replace midpay workers for years, and now that has accelerated.

“The recessions have amplified the trend,” says Goos, the Belgian economist. “New jobs are being created, but not the middle-pay ones.”

In Canada, a 2011 study by economists at the University of British Columbia and York University in Toronto found a similar pattern of middle-class losses, though they were working with older data. In the 15 years through 2006, the share of total jobs held by many midpay, midskill occupations shrank. The share held by foremen fell 37 percent, workers in administrative and senior clerical roles fell 18 percent and those in sales and service fell 12 percent.

In Japan, a 2009 report from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo documented a “substantial” drop in midpay, midskill jobs in the five years through 2005, and linked it to technology.

Developing economies have been spared the technological onslaught — for now. Countries like Brazil and China are still growing middle-class jobs because they’re shifting from export-driven to consumer-based economies. But even they are beginning to use more machines in manufacturing. The cheap labor they relied on to make goods from apparel to electronics is no longer so cheap as their living standards rise.

One example is Sunbird Engineering, a Hong Kong firm that makes mirror frames for heavy trucks at a factory in southern China. Salaries at its plant in Dongguan have nearly tripled from $80 a month in 2005 to $225 today. “Automation is the obvious next step,” CEO Bill Pike says.

Sunbird is installing robotic arms that drill screws into a mirror assembly, work now done by hand. The machinery will allow the company to eliminate two positions on a 13-person assembly line. Pike hopes that additional automation will allow the company to reduce another five or six jobs from the line.

“By automating, we can outlive the labor cost increases inevitable in China,” Pike says. “Those who automate in China will win the battle of increased costs.”

Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles iPhones at factories in China, unveiled plans in 2011 to install one million robots over three years.

A recent headline in the China Daily newspaper: “Chinese robot wars set to erupt.”

___

Candidates for U.S. president last year never tired of telling Americans how jobs were being shipped overseas. China, with its vast army of cheaper labor and low-value currency, was easy to blame.

But most jobs cut in the U.S. and Europe weren’t moved. No one got them. They vanished. And the villain in this story — a clever software engineer working in Silicon Valley or the high-tech hub around Heidelberg, Germany — isn’t so easy to hate.

“It doesn’t have political appeal to say the reason we have a problem is we’re so successful in technology,” says Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at Columbia University. “There’s no enemy there.”

Unless you count family and friends and the person staring at you in the mirror. The uncomfortable truth is technology is killing jobs with the help of ordinary consumers by enabling them to quickly do tasks that workers used to do full time, for salaries.

Use a self-checkout lane at the supermarket or drugstore? A worker behind a cash register used to do that.

Buy clothes without visiting a store? You’ve taken work from a salesman.

Click “accept” in an email invitation to attend a meeting? You’ve pushed an office assistant closer to unemployment.

Book your vacation using an online program? You’ve helped lay off a travel agent. Perhaps at American Express Co., which announced this month that it plans to cut 5,400 jobs, mainly in its travel business, as more of its customers shift to online portals to plan trips.

Software is picking out worrisome blots in medical scans, running trains without conductors, driving cars without drivers, spotting profits in stocks trades in milliseconds, analyzing Twitter traffic to tell where to sell certain snacks, sifting through documents for evidence in court cases, recording power usage beamed from digital utility meters at millions of homes, and sorting returned library books.

Technology gives rise to “cheaper products and cool services,” says David Autor, an economist at MIT, one of the first to document tech’s role in cutting jobs. “But if you lose your job, that is slim compensation.”

Even the most commonplace technologies — take, say, email — are making it tough for workers to get jobs, including ones with MBAs, like Roshanne Redmond, a former project manager at a commercial real estate developer.

“I used to get on the phone, talk to a secretary and coordinate calendars,” Redmond says. “Now, things are done by computer.”

Technology is used by companies to run leaner and smarter in good times and bad, but never more than in bad. In a recession, sales fall and companies cut jobs to save money. Then they turn to technology to do tasks people used to do. And that’s when it hits them: They realize they don’t have to re-hire the humans when business improves, or at least not as many.

The Hackett Group, a consultant on back-office jobs, estimates 2 million of them in finance, human resources, information technology and procurement have disappeared in the U.S. and Europe since the Great Recession. It pins the blame for more than half of the losses on technology. These are jobs that used to fill cubicles at almost every company — clerks paying bills and ordering supplies, benefits managers filing health-care forms and IT experts helping with computer crashes.

“The effect of (technology) on white-collar jobs is huge, but it’s not obvious,” says MIT’s McAfee. Companies “don’t put out a press release saying we’re not hiring again because of machines.”

___

What hope is there for the future?

Historically, new companies and new industries have been the incubator of new jobs. Start-up companies no more than five years old are big sources of new jobs in developed economies. In the U.S., they accounted for 99 percent of new private sector jobs in 2005, according to a study by the University of Maryland’s John Haltiwanger and two other economists.

But even these companies are hiring fewer people. The average new business employed 4.7 workers when it opened its doors in 2011, down from 7.6 in the 1990s, according to a Labor Department study released last March.

Technology is probably to blame, wrote the report’s authors, Eleanor Choi and James Spletzer. Entrepreneurs no longer need people to do clerical and administrative tasks to help them get their businesses off the ground.

In the old days — say, 10 years ago — “you’d need an assistant pretty early to coordinate everything — or you’d pay a huge opportunity cost for the entrepreneur or the president to set up a meeting,” says Jeff Connally, CEO of CMIT Solutions, a technology consultancy to small businesses.

Now technology means “you can look at your calendar and everybody else’s calendar and — bing! — you’ve set up a meeting.” So no assistant gets hired.

Entrepreneur Andrew Schrage started the financial advice website Money Crashers in 2009 with a partner and one freelance writer. The bare-bones start-up was only possible, Schrage says, because of technology that allowed the company to get online help with accounting and payroll and other support functions without hiring staff.

“Had I not had access to cloud computing and outsourcing, I estimate that I would have needed 5-10 employees to begin this venture,” Schrage says. “I doubt I would have been able to launch my business.”

Technological innovations have been throwing people out of jobs for centuries. But they eventually created more work, and greater wealth, than they destroyed. Ford, the author and software engineer, thinks there is reason to believe that this time will be different. He sees virtually no end to the inroads of computers into the workplace. Eventually, he says, software will threaten the livelihoods of doctors, lawyers and other highly skilled professionals.

Many economists are encouraged by history and think the gains eventually will outweigh the losses. But even they have doubts.

“What’s different this time is that digital technologies show up in every corner of the economy,” says McAfee, a self-described “digital optimist.” ”Your tablet (computer) is just two or three years old, and it’s already taken over our lives.”

Peter Lindert, an economist at the University of California, Davis, says the computer is more destructive than innovations in the Industrial Revolution because the pace at which it is upending industries makes it hard for people to adapt.

Occupations that provided middle-class lifestyles for generations can disappear in a few years. Utility meter readers are just one example. As power companies began installing so-called smart readers outside homes, the number of meter readers in the U.S. plunged from 56,000 in 2001 to 36,000 in 2010, according to the Labor Department.

In 10 years? That number is expected to be zero.

___

NEXT: Practically human: Can smart machines do your job?

___

“The jobs that are going away aren’t coming back,” says Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of “Race Against the Machine.” ”I have never seen a period where computers demonstrated as many skills and abilities as they have over the past seven years.”

The global economy is being reshaped by machines that generate and analyze vast amounts of data; by devices such as smartphones and tablet computers that let people work just about anywhere, even when they’re on the move; by smarter, nimbler robots; and by services that let businesses rent computing power when they need it, instead of installing expensive equipment and hiring IT staffs to run it. Whole employment categories, from secretaries to travel agents, are starting to disappear.

“There’s no sector of the economy that’s going to get a pass,” says Martin Ford, who runs a software company and wrote “The Lights in the Tunnel,” a book predicting widespread job losses. “It’s everywhere.”

The numbers startle even labor economists. In the United States, half the 7.5 million jobs lost during the Great Recession were in industries that pay middle-class wages, ranging from $38,000 to $68,000. But only 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs gained since the recession ended in June 2009 are in midpay industries. Nearly 70 percent are in low-pay industries, 29 percent in industries that pay well.

In the 17 European countries that use the euro as their currency, the numbers are even worse. Almost 4.3 million low-pay jobs have been gained since mid-2009, but the loss of midpay jobs has never stopped. A total of 7.6 million disappeared from January 2008 through last June.

Experts warn that this “hollowing out” of the middle-class workforce is far from over. They predict the loss of millions more jobs as technology becomes even more sophisticated and reaches deeper into our lives. Maarten Goos, an economist at the University of Leuven in Belgium, says Europe could double its middle-class job losses.

Some occupations are beneficiaries of the march of technology, such as software engineers and app designers for smartphones and tablet computers. Overall, though, technology is eliminating far more jobs than it is creating.

To understand the impact technology is having on middle-class jobs in developed countries, the AP analyzed employment data from 20 countries; tracked changes in hiring by industry, pay and task; compared job losses and gains during recessions and expansions over the past four decades; and interviewed economists, technology experts, robot manufacturers, software developers, entrepreneurs and people in the labor force who ranged from CEOs to the unemployed.

Categories: America, Democrats, Education, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, Politics, Rich, Unemployed, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Faults Promises of the Fiscal Cliff


Faults Promises as long as the Rich have Control of the Government.
12-29-2012


There are Faults Promises in the fiscal cliff, no matter what happens, the biggest losers no matter what the out come, is going to be the people who can least afford it.

They talk about Entitlements, it always comes up to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but what they are not telling you is that a lot of these Entitlements are for the Rich, take farm aid, WHAT, yes there a lot of Wealthy people who are getting this help as farmers that don’t even run their farm, these people are News people, CEOs who draw millions in wages who never see the farms they run except in a Picture, but yet they get this farm aid and leaving the real farmer struggling to keep their farms from going under and having to sell them to the Greedy Rich, this also includes Real-estate moguls.

Years back there was a bomb shell dropped about people getting farm aid that were not even a farm, they were a Tennis Ranch, a Horse Ranch, and it goes on, but they don’t want to touch these types of Entitlements because these are programs for the Rich. 

A good example of what is going on in this Country today, Government Agencies don’t under stand what all this spending to help the rich and people who want every thing, every time you want you put a strain on the poor who can not get pay raises every year, look how long it has taken to get a raise for people making minimum wage, and in the mean time cost of living has gone so high that low-income people are one step to living on the street because to find a place to live, the prices keep going up to where for every Dollar that is made Seventy Cents ($.70) goes to rent, what is left, Utilities, Gas to go to work and repairs, this takes another Fifteen Cents ($.15), then you have taxes, would you say that is Eight Cents ($.08), so what is left for food to feed your Family, Fifteen Cents ($.07) but yet they want to keep spending money that they don’t have, so who is paying the price, NOT the RICH.

They make statements like wages should be allowed to raise, this is just like Raising Taxes, Prices, this also goes for the Government, every time they get their Automatic Pay Raises and Cost Of Living, WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN, the same thing we are doing now, heading back to a Great Depression, but you better add another Great to that, but this time it will be total Destruction, because people today are so greedy that the person with the biggest BOMB will survive, but what will that prove, NOTHING, because there will be nothing left. If you look at it now, it has already started, killing and stealing, and Robbing others who don’t have it like the rich, go after them they got it not the poor.

Categories: Abuse, America, Children, Financial Crisis, Governments, GREED, JOBS, Obama, People, Politics, Profiling, Republicans, Rich, Taxes, Unemployed, Unions, White House, Yuppies | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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