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Gary Horton: Our hearts are not with our children

Posted: February 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Most folks understand that the tax policies of the past 30 years have created a great wealth disparity in the United States.

Amazingly, today the top 1,100 individuals control a full 20 percent of all of America’s wealth, and the top 1 percent control approximately 40 percent!
Meanwhile, the bottom 25 percent of Americans own virtually nothing, while the lower 50 percent of Americans possess only 2 percent of our total assets.

That’s 180 million Americans with not much more than a rent bill, a paycheck, and the clothes on their backs.

So much for the “middle class.” That American notion is long gone. You, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clarita, may think there’s still a middle class, but if you’re sipping your coffee, reading this paper, you are actually far, far removed from the new American “average.”

Nowhere are the repercussions of this disparity of wealth more dire and pressing than on the lives of our children.

We’ve often heard it said that “Our children are the future of America,” but for a majority, our kids’ prospects look weak and their avenues upward are increasingly bleak.

Meanwhile, Congress continually berates the poor, cuts back on food aid, child health care and education — while simultaneously providing subsidies to corporate sponsors and reduced tax rates to elite Wall Streeters like Mitt Romney.

Our “For the People” government has been hijacked by the new elite, and nowadays exhibits scant regard for the day-to-day struggles of the vast majority.

I’m writing from Ithaca, N.Y., visiting my son and his wonderful young family. Chris and Trish have a young son with a daughter soon on the way.

Mom and dad are both professionals, both of whom had great opportunity and who’ve worked extremely hard to achieve their careers and success.

But for a truth, both were also launched well by caring parents with resources to help through all phases of their education. And not all kids get that, do they?

Chris’ son is enrolled in eight-hour day care three days a week. This allows the parents to pursue their careers while also providing enriched care for their son.

I visited the facility, and it was wonderful. It’s a neighborhood not-for-profit charging a sliding scale for clients, depending on ability to pay.

For Chris and Trish it’s expensive, but worth it. For those receiving a stipend, it’s a godsend.

The downside is the facility serves only 110 kids, and with just three others like it in Ithaca, that leaves plenty of working families with no affordable options for toddler day care.

Professional families like Chris and Trish will always be able to afford enriched solutions for child care. But all across America, a vast majority struggle to make work time, child care and financial ends meet.

So many struggle just to arrange any sort of supervision, let alone enrichment, while Mom or Dad are at work.

We have a gap in how America cares for its kids, and it starts from birth with a patchy health care system and continues right into toddler and preschool care.

Politicians talk about being “pro-life,” but their care about kids stops when we get to the price tag of child heath care, day care and quality education. Such politicians seem more “pro-birth” than “pro-life.”

Conversely, many European countries are very “pro-life” and provide community child day care as a community service.

Public day care is just part of the community structure, like we have elementary school.

Kids learn social skills and early education while mom or dad can work, secure in knowing everything is OK with the kids. Overall results indicate the public investment in parenting and child enrichment results in higher educational results, less crime and greater happiness.

Many decry such countries as “socialized,” but those who get upset at increased investment in our kids are brainwashed by their reactionary party’s sold-out-to-the-elite messaging.

Sane folks might think our American elite would prefer a well-educated, productive, peaceful majority rather than an increasingly desperate 60 or 70 percent. But apparently the elite have not yet come around to the advantages of an educated, productive and peaceful American populace.

Yes, providing something as basic as day care for hard-working Americans may cost $20 billion or $30 billion a year.

But as the world’s greatest incarceration nation, we’re already spending $200 billion a year putting once-disadvantaged kids, now criminal adults, behind bars.

We can adjust our tax and social priorities to help struggling families start their kids out with a fair shot while assisting working families in their quest for self-sufficiency. Publicly funded community child care is a win-win for kids and wage-earners alike.

So are our hearts with our kids, or are they chained to our rich? Are our hearts tender enough to spare a few tuppence for the kids, or do our rich need even more, and more, and more?

Gary Horton is a Santa Clarita resident. “Full Speed to Port!” appears Wednesdays in The Signal.

 

Comments

JM: Posted: February 5, 2014 5:28 a.m.

The schools provide the same educational opportunities for every student. Every year the Hart District develops students that go to the very best universities in the country. The opportunity is there for those who rise to the challenge. Is it at all possible that those who you are worried about come from families who don't value education, don't put it as a top priority? Without the parents placing education as a top priority in the home it is tough for the kid to excel.


ricketzz: Posted: February 5, 2014 6:46 a.m.

Where does it say a college education is much help these days? Name a job that can't be outsourced and study that. Plumber, hair stylist, landscaper, TV installer. That's about it.

The OpEd is correct. The Aristocrats have pulled up the drawbridge and filled the moat with Piranha. The cake eaters are at the gates. The terror will be short and brutal.


therightstuff: Posted: February 5, 2014 7:53 a.m.

We are now entering the sixth year of Obama's tenure. Under his policies the rich have gotten richer while another $7,000,000,000,000 has been added to our national debt. Who's name does Horton call out....Mitt Romney!

How does this kind of worthless partisan crap help our children?


chico: Posted: February 5, 2014 8:00 a.m.

What's wrong with being chained to the rich? Isn't that what Obama has done with the poor?

We better get working on making a lot more rich people, cuz it looks like its getting crowded in the poor house, and somebody's gonna have to pay for that. --edited.


17trillion: Posted: February 5, 2014 8:10 a.m.

"Meanwhile, the bottom 25 percent of Americans own virtually nothing"

If you have one cent of net worth you have more assets than 75 million people. So what? How do we fix this? Is Mitt Romney still to blame.

Horton, do you and Vignola snuggle together at night and come up with Republican rants? You offer nothing, typically. Furthermore Gary, I'm still waiting to hear about how much you pay your people and the fine pension plan you have set up for them? I know you have a boat and several properties and live the good life, so I'm sure you share a lot of that with your valued employees, right?

Libs are such hypocrites!


JohnnyCash: Posted: February 5, 2014 9:39 a.m.

"We have a gap in how America cares for its kids, and it starts from birth with a patchy health care system and continues right into toddler and preschool care."

Wrong. Caring for our kids starts before they are conceived.

Every American by the age of 12 knows how babies are made and what those vending machines in men's bathrooms dispense (not slimy balloon animals). What they don't know is that children born to never-married (different from unmarried which includes divorcees and widows) mothers are more than 400% more likely to live in poverty than those born into married households.

Marriage status is the most significant factor of childhood poverty according to the 2010 census data. Combine this with graduating from high school and waiting until 21 to have the first child essentially eliminates poverty.

I'm not advocating we try to legislate morality, but the state's attempts to replace the financial contributions of the father is not working.

It's a horrible situation that cannot be solved without negatively affecting some kids: do we shift the financial burden of parenthood from the government to the parents now, or do we continue to fund a policy that ensures poverty for generations to come?


philellis: Posted: February 5, 2014 9:47 a.m.

Where does it say a college education is much help these days? Name a job that can't be outsourced and study that.

Does that mean that we are outsourcing jobs to uneducated workers?


17trillion: Posted: February 5, 2014 9:58 a.m.

"Does that mean that we are outsourcing jobs to uneducated workers?"

Silly Phil, of course it does. This is why we need to legalize 11 million more of them!


technologist: Posted: February 5, 2014 10:47 a.m.

"Amazingly, today the top 1,100 individuals control a full 20 percent of all of America’s wealth, and the top 1 percent control approximately 40 percent!"

Wealth isn't the same as income. The wealth gap in the USA is nothing new. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealth gap has increased by a mere 2.2% since 1962. The rich have always been a lot richer than other economic segments. And this applies globally as well.

http://www.epi.org/files/page/-/BriefingPaper292.pdf

The only reason why this is a topic now is Mr. Horton and fellow travelers are flacking for further growth of the state and redistribution of private property. Demonization of the wealthy as "hoarders", etc. is designed to whip up divisions in society for politicians to exploit.


OldReliable: Posted: February 5, 2014 12:08 p.m.

Gary Horton: Our hearts are not with our children

Democrat Party = Abortion


projalice11: Posted: February 5, 2014 2:03 p.m.

How petty is this?

This is not the first time this petty question has been asked.


"Furthermore Gary, I'm still waiting to hear about how much you pay your people and the fine pension plan you have set up for them? I know you have a boat and several properties and live the good life, so I'm sure you share a lot of that with your valued employees, right"

IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS


technologist: Posted: February 5, 2014 2:56 p.m.

"The terror will be short and brutal."

Do you pine for the revolutionary glory of 1787 and 1917, ricketzz?


Indy: Posted: February 5, 2014 6:19 p.m.

Gary,

Good column. Not surprised that the religious conservatives here detest most of what you wrote since they for the most part support a ‘libertarian market fundamentalist’ type of social Darwinism and dismiss government as some scheme to redistribute wealth . . . versus addressing the shortcomings of capitalism.

In any event, the concentration of wealth is a disturbing trend in our nation made worse by a congress ‘owned’ now by the same ‘few’ with the money.

Not sure how we can overcome this since the ‘money’ is very good at ‘messaging’ and getting people to vote against their own interest.

Keep throwing out the statistics . . . the ideology based posters here will ignore them but there are other readers that need these numbers to put conservative ideology into perspective.


technologist: Posted: February 5, 2014 7:12 p.m.

"Keep throwing out the statistics . . . the ideology based posters here will ignore them but there are other readers that need these numbers to put conservative ideology into perspective."

Speaking of ignoring statistics, what are your thoughts about the fact that wealth disparity in the USA has only increased 2.2% since 1962, Indy?


therightstuff: Posted: February 5, 2014 8:06 p.m.

"""Keep throwing out the statistics . . ."""

I think we can all throw out Mr. Horton's statistics.

And keep ignoring the last five years and keep blaming Mitt Romney. It is this alternative view of reality that is setting up far-left ideologues for another shellacking like in 2010.


TeaHugger: Posted: February 6, 2014 10:59 p.m.

Remember the days when daycare wasn't such a necessity? Taxes were lower, and families chose not to max out their lifestyles. Parents were actually able to raise their own kids, or in tough cases, extended family (grandparents, uncles and aunts) came alongside to help. The nanny state wasn't so necessary back then, was it?


ricketzz: Posted: February 6, 2014 5:17 a.m.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable" -John Kennedy

This chart is worth at least 100,000 quotes from Fox "News":

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph


therightstuff: Posted: February 6, 2014 7:22 a.m.

Interesting graphs ricketzz. It listed the top 10 richest people in Congress. Seven of the ten are Democrats. That fact is worth 100,000 quotes from your president about income inequality.


philellis: Posted: February 6, 2014 8:27 a.m.

TRS, we all know that libs exclude other libs when denigrating Republicans for doing the same things that other libs do. Remember how Republicans get slammed for marital peccadilloes, yet Democrats are given a pass. Remember who the big proponents of DOMA were and who the naysayers on the Civil Rights Act were.


17trillion: Posted: February 6, 2014 11:46 a.m.

"IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS"

Here we have the insanity and stupidity of the left on full display. It's ok for Horton to devote a long column pissing and moaning about what Boeing pays their workers, (they actually pay them very well), but how dare anyone question what a 1%'er like Gary pays his workers.

The left is morally bankrupt and incapable of seeing their own hypocrisy.

Hey Gary, I know you read this. Come on, what do you pay your workers? I'm sure it's more than the "scraps" Boeing pays it's workers, right?


17trillion: Posted: February 6, 2014 11:47 a.m.

"IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS"

How come it's none of my business what Gary pays his workers but it's his and your business what McDonalds pays theirs?

Some of you people are literally dead from the neck up!


technologist: Posted: February 6, 2014 2:19 p.m.

You were expecting consistency of logic, 17t?


ricketzz: Posted: February 7, 2014 6:46 a.m.

I don't like the current crop of Democrats. Show where I've said they were anything other than paid shills for the Globalist Elite. I don't believe in govt any bigger than what is required to keep the corporations from taking over the world. Right now the govt is helping the corporate takeover and that is why it is a rogue govt. This is an existential threat, akin to that of King George's to the Colonies.

Your children see you "playing along to get along" and despise you for it.


Indy: Posted: February 7, 2014 8:07 a.m.

Hey 17trillion, I know you read this. Come on, what did you pay your workers before you sold out? I'm sure it's more than the "scraps" Boeing pays it's workers, right?


Indy: Posted: February 7, 2014 8:08 a.m.

TeaHugger wrote: The nanny state wasn't so necessary back then, was it?

Indy: What government programs do you find offensive?

Ps – how many kids have you put into public school?


17trillion: Posted: February 7, 2014 9:50 a.m.

The difference is Indy is that I didn't write a column complaining about Boeing. What a business pays their employees is their business but if I inject myself into a conversation and complain about how a company pays their employees, I should expect the same questions about mine. I didn't call what Boeing pays "scraps", Horton did. Apparently irony is something a bit too foreign for you.

But for your purposes Indy, I paid my people 10 bucks an hours and almost all of them were not skilled in what I did and had to be trained. On top of that they could make commission and bonuses each month. We also had contests and after 6 months they got an automatic 100 dollar a month credit to be applied to a company health plan. I also had a 401k that I contributed 50% of what the employee contributed. Almost all of my promotions were organic and several of my former employees went on to open their own companies. I had 4 executives making 6 figures, a dozen managers making 50-60k a year plus bonus and probably 25 supervisors making 35-40k a year.

See how easy that was Gary? And finally Indy, I'm normally loath to answer your questions since you don't have the stones to ever answer one directed at you so don't make a habit out of it.


technologist: Posted: February 7, 2014 10:56 a.m.

"Indy: What government programs do you find offensive?"

So many opportunities, it's a challenge to know where to begin!

Here's a start:

http://www.downsizinggovernment.org


CaptGene: Posted: February 7, 2014 4:02 p.m.

Indy Nile suffers from irony poor blood.


TeaHugger: Posted: February 7, 2014 4:34 p.m.

Indy, in response to my post, you asked what gov't programs I found offensive, and how many kids have I put in public schools. I am not sure of the relevance of the second question, but thanks for asking about my kids! I have 2 daughters that went through public schools, and they are both currently in private colleges, where they both earned excellent academic scholarships. They love God with all of their heart, and are doing fantastic in their studies.
I think that a major factor in their success was that we chose to live a little less extravagant lifestyle, which allowed my wife to stay home to raise them. When possible, I believe that is a better option than allowing the state to raise them eight hours a day.

The purpose of my post was just my observance of the changing of our society, unfortunately because of the well-meaning, but wrong-headed policies of the left.

I think that it is a better choice to wait and have kids when you can afford them, rather than count on big government to feed them breakfast and lunch at school each day, and take care of them all afternoon without your input.


TeaHugger: Posted: February 7, 2014 5:00 p.m.

I realize that there are extenuating circumstances, and not every family can have one working parent (especially with President Obama's economy!) and one parent stay at home to raise the kids. But it is sad that in my lifetime, that has gone from being the norm, to being the rarity.


ricketzz: Posted: February 8, 2014 7:07 a.m.

Who is this "The Left" of whom you speak?

Everybody I know wants a return to the pre-Phil Gramm regulatory environment re: bank regulation, to stabilize financial markets and provide certainty to retirement investors. I know that is hair on fire Marxism but I'm willing to bear the stigma.


technologist: Posted: February 8, 2014 11:56 a.m.

"Everybody I know…"

Hmm…if this is your premise, it could be problematic.


TeaHugger: Posted: February 8, 2014 1:48 p.m.

Ricketzz, "the left" of whom I speak are the leaders in the Democrat Party (which I assume are the people you support) who have put in to place policies that have weakened our society. They have continually raised taxes, which makes it tougher for single wage earner families. They have increased the welfare state, by making it easier for capable people who choose not to work to stay unemployed and live off our dime. They have appointed leftist judges who have gone against the will of the people and redefined marriage. They have increased regulations to the point of inhibiting job growth, which has increased unemployment and the welfare rolls. I could go on and on. That is "the left" of whom I speak.


Indy: Posted: February 8, 2014 4:22 p.m.

17trillion,

Yes, I’m impressed that you paid 50% into what the employees paid. My company I work for today gives me 6% matching.

When I was in business, I was lucky to take $40k a year mainly due to the competition and the use of illegal ‘cash workers’. The people I worked for gained that ‘income differential’ which prohibited me from providing any retirement benefits.

That’s one of the reasons I got out . . . although if I had stayed in, I would have benefited from other strategies that might have allowed a more appropriate employee compensation.

As far as loathing the questions, you have the traditional ‘quick quip’ that implies people like me haven’t a clue . . . and that’s part of the reason I often don’t waste with your questions, especially if their slogan based.

I would only add that if Gary is in a ‘competitive market’ that exposing his wage scales would allow his competitors to acquire his profit margins and that’s not appropriate. I would have thought a businessman like you would have picked up on that.

In any event, large corporations can indeed leverage the oversupply of global labor today and capture excess profits as a result.

This is one of the reasons that unions are really the last defense for labor to have any change at all at capturing the ‘productivity’ gains of capital that today only benefit the ‘owners’ of same including the stockholders. And of course, the CEOs that are sitting on ‘many boards’ that pay each other exorbitant salaries is rarely mentioned by conservatives when criticizing unions, that do lend their monies to the democrats like the large businesses that lend their money to the republicans.

Sad that in the political scope of that battle that the issues of ‘wage differentials’, over supply of labor, resources constraints, and population growth get lost . . . and politicians including Obama continue to promise ‘unlimited’ growth that will never be realized.


Indy: Posted: February 8, 2014 4:36 p.m.

technologist wrote: "Indy: What government programs do you find offensive?"

So many opportunities, it's a challenge to know where to begin!

Indy: What I see from you as a libertarian market fundamentalism that you seek to enslave people from using their common insights in the form of government such that only those that possess the superior skills will dominate our economy as is the case today as the 1% take 20% of all income per year.

I realize that people like Senator Rand Paul who promotes libertarianism is basically economically and business wise illiterate

His quaint recitals make him sound knowledgeable but it’s only ‘making the sound’ since most of his recitals are easy to rebuff. Sad that the media is also full of economic illiterates that can't tell when someone is providing statements that are simply false and misleading.

Please feel free to quote him and I’ll address same.


Indy: Posted: February 8, 2014 4:43 p.m.

TeaHugger wrote: Indy, in response to my post, you asked what gov't programs I found offensive, and how many kids have I put in public schools. I am not sure of the relevance of the second question, but thanks for asking about my kids! I have 2 daughters that went through public schools, and they are both currently in private colleges, where they both earned excellent academic scholarships. They love God with all of their heart, and are doing fantastic in their studies.

Indy: The reason I ask about the ‘quantity’ of ‘seats’ demanded in our public school system gets to the ‘cost’ of same. Today, it’s about $9,000 per student per year. The average total cost to put on child through k-12 is about $117,000,00.

For two kids, that roughly $234,000.00. You can run the numbers yourself if you will if you’ve paid that money to the state through your PIT and sales taxes. Some of the dollars also come from property taxes and about 8% from federal taxes but I think you see my point.

Today, we have ‘no limits’ to the amount of children that a family can send to public schools. Yet, the tax rates are ‘fixed’ in nature. This is why public education is always underfunded since no politician of either party will confront the public with the cost.

We can get into a broader discussion but I’ve suggested a ‘2 child normalized’ budget that I’ll put in this thread for your review and comment.

But I do appreciate the information simply to enter the cost issue into the discourse.


Indy: Posted: February 8, 2014 4:43 p.m.

Normalized budgeting . . .

This post isn’t meant to be an extensive analysis of everything that might be involved in the process of properly budgeting our state’s budget, but let the discussion begin.

As you know, the state budgeting process ‘appears’ disjointed to most taxpayers mainly due to the contrasting ideologies of what government should or shouldn’t provide. This thread isn’t for that discussion.

If we could for a moment set a baseline that for all government services currently approved, the budget from year to year would be a summary of the various programs costing needs based on the ‘demands’ of the public.

These demands could be either direct (say the number of kids you send to k-12) or indirect (how many people become eligible for a given program based on ‘need’ like programs to help the poor and elderly – these are based on life circumstances other than direct cost that are ‘decisions’ by a taxpayer).

So based on this strategy, the budgeting process becomes straightforward. Just like in my business days, the budget for a given item is based on its ‘demand’ (size, number, etc.) and costed accordingly based on historical costing (including trends – like the price of milk increases a few % points each year).

Thus, in a perfect world, if the inflation of all costing items (state programs) was 0, the population was stable, and historical demand for services was flat/constant, there would be no need for tax increases and the budget would be the same.

Likewise, if the demands by the public went down, so could the taxes and vice versa.

Thus, the taxing issue which seems so incomprehensible is actually a very straightforward process . . . but as we see, becomes convoluted by politicians arguing everything from the duties of government to the maintaining/expanding state infrastructure now or later based on citizen demands (number of schools for example).
Sadly, our state elected leaders continue to ignore the demands of the public . . . made worse since most of the public is unaware of even the ‘direct cost’ of services provided directed to them. (very very few of the voters will say read the Governor’s Budget Summary)

Sadly, this whole process of budgeting is very poorly presented by politicians to the public usually because the politicians approach the process from ideology and not reality.


Indy: Posted: February 8, 2014 4:44 p.m.

So some might ask: How would it work? And that is indeed what this thread is trying to do by beginning to answer to that question.

At the highest level, I’ve done that here by looking at the state budget ‘normalized’ for demands either direct or indirect.

If the budgeting process needs to account for increased cost from higher demands (more kids in say k-12), if taxes aren’t raised, then we run deficits or services are curtailed (witness the 30%+ public school dropout rates that have persisted for some 30+ years . . . .).
We can get into the trade offs of many of the taxing and budgeting decisions but from a budgeting standpoint, the need for higher or lower taxes is straightforward provided it’s done in a rational manner consistent with basic management and accounting principles . . . all of which have been known for more than a 100 years. (noting that the US has perhaps the best schools of management in the world yet you’d never get that feeling from the political ‘waste and fraud’ rhetoric)

It’s unfortunate, that our government isn’t set up to offer the public such a budget explanation in a manner that would make it understandable since the explanation gets ‘lost in politics’. Put another way, any single family that budgets their own personal expenditures just needs to see that in context that millions of families exist with similar expenses and incomes and putting all of that into a ‘public budget’ that meets the demands of those very same families with respect to government services.

Suffice it to say, the management tools, techniques, and strategies exist to make the budgeting process straightforward and why our leaders don’t approach it in this manner is disturbing.


Indy: Posted: February 8, 2014 4:52 p.m.

TeaHugger wrote The purpose of my post was just my observance of the changing of our society, unfortunately because of the well-meaning, but wrong-headed policies of the left.

Indy: Again, which of these policies ‘of the left’ do you wish to discuss? Just say the ‘top three’.

TeaHugger wrote I think that it is a better choice to wait and have kids when you can afford them, rather than count on big government to feed them breakfast and lunch at school each day, and take care of them all afternoon without your input.

Indy: Hey, when I grew up in the 50s, the ‘single’ income wage earner was indeed the norm. But cost have risen since even during the early 70s, gasoline cost about 25 cents per gallon at the Union 76 station next to CSUN. Today, it’s far higher since oil is far more expensive to extract (think 5,000 feet of water . . . thus the EROEI is much less . . . raising the price).

And waiting for having a family when you can afford it is sound.

But many families in the nation can’t afford not to have both parents work. Even here in SCV-land, a one bedroom apartment can be over $1,000/mth. Thus, a parent employed at the minimum wage needs to work about 2.5 weeks before eating.

And there’s simply no way possible for many families to afford the ‘free’ public education they are promised.

So that’s why I’m in these discussions in that you are indeed free to raise your children anyway you see fit . . . it’s only when they/you impact the tax system ‘we all are in’ that I want to get involved and start telling people that public education isn’t free, that if you demand more than you can afford, you get what we see today . . . more than 1 student in 4 dropping out of high school . . . who’ll more than likely end up on minimum wage.


Indy: Posted: February 8, 2014 4:59 p.m.

TeaHugger wrote: Ricketzz, "the left" of whom I speak are the leaders in the Democrat Party (which I assume are the people you support) who have put in to place policies that have weakened our society. They have continually raised taxes, which makes it tougher for single wage earner families.

Indy: I see that you’ve answered my question to Ricketzz . . . so here are some responses:

When parents have put about 1 person in 6 in CA k-12, where do you expect the money to come from to fund that effort?

TeaHugger wrote: They have increased the welfare state, by making it easier for capable people who choose not to work to stay unemployed and live off our dime.

Indy: When there are today about 3 people looking for ‘each’ job, is the solution to let them go homeless?

Can you provide any studies that document that people are basically ‘lazy slackers’?

TeaHugger wrote: They have appointed leftist judges who have gone against the will of the people and redefined marriage.

Indy: This is usually an issue brought forth by a religious conservative. Does government ‘force’ anyone to marry anyone they don’t wish to?

Likewise, on the national scale, do you support a separation of church and state as put forth into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers in the Bill of Rights?

TeaHugger wrote: They have increased regulations to the point of inhibiting job growth, which has increased unemployment and the welfare rolls. I could go on and on. That is "the left" of whom I speak

Indy: Can you cite a specific ‘job killing’ regulation?


technologist: Posted: February 8, 2014 5:22 p.m.

"This is one of the reasons that unions are really the last defense for labor to have any change at all at capturing the ‘productivity’ gains of capital that today only benefit the ‘owners’ of same including the stockholders. And of course, the CEOs that are sitting on ‘many boards’ that pay each other exorbitant salaries is rarely mentioned by conservatives when criticizing unions, that do lend their monies to the democrats like the large businesses that lend their money to the republicans." - Indy

CEOs are accountable to their boards and stockholders for returning value for dollar.

Review these details about public sector union compensation accountability to taxpayers:

Consider Redwood City, where three fire captains and one firefighter made between $434,274 and $452,733 in total compensation in 2012. One police officer made $463,690 in total compensation. In all, nine employees made over $400,000 in total compensation with a total of 33, mostly police and fire department employees, making over $300,000 in total compensation in 2012.

Those are staggering sums anywhere, but in a city with a population of just 79,009, they’re a recipe for fiscal disaster.

Redwood City is hardly alone. The city manager in Temecula, population of 105,208, made over $497,000, while the advisor to the city manager made over $436,000, both in total compensation. The Fire Battalion chief in the city of Milpitas, population of 68,800, had a compensation package that topped $494,000 in 2012.

Then there’s the Orthopedic Surgeon in Kern County who took home over $1 million in pay and benefits in 2012.

While compensation for public employees keeps driving up taxes, it’s also pushing California tuition sky high. Two University of California Directors made over $900,000 each in 2012, excluding the cost of any benefits. Thousands of UC and California State University employees made over $200,000 in 2012, excluding benefits.

From the state’s top positions to those at the bottom, Transparent California makes it easy for citizens to find inflated salaries and benefits for many public employees. A Monterey County Secretary made over $146,000. An Alameda County sheriff took home over $541,000. The Parks and Recreation Directors in San Jose, Santa Rosa, Cupertino and San Mateo each made over $240,000.

Thousands of firefighters made over $200,000 in salary and benefits in 2012, with hundreds taking home over $300,000.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/02/07/hundreds-of-california-government-employees-are-paid-over-400000year/


technologist: Posted: February 8, 2014 5:28 p.m.

Indy: "What I see from you as a libertarian market fundamentalism that you seek to enslave people from using their common insights in the form of government such that only those that possess the superior skills will dominate our economy as is the case today as the 1% take 20% of all income per year."

Rather than an ad hominem against me, how about a rebuttal regarding the necessity of the agencies listed in the link I provided?

You continually challenge which government programs should be cut and I answered with very specific details.


technologist: Posted: February 8, 2014 5:38 p.m.

Indy: "The reason I ask about the ‘quantity’ of ‘seats’ demanded in our public school system gets to the ‘cost’ of same. Today, it’s about $9,000 per student per year. The average total cost to put on child through k-12 is about $117,000,00."

As I stated in another column thread that you ignored:

Prove that education is underfunded, Indy. I'll help you get started; compare USA per pupil spending with other advanced Western economies.

U.S. education spending tops global list, study shows

"The United States spent more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student. When researchers factored in the cost for programs after high school education such as college or vocational training, the United States spent $15,171 on each young person in the system — more than any other nation covered in the report."

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-education-spending-tops-global-list-study-shows/

I'll stipulate that citizens are receiving a poor return on their investment. I'd posit it has more to do with education monopoly's outsized spending on administrative sinecures. That has nothing to do with class size.

Class Size Around the World
By CATHERINE RAMPELL

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/class-size-around-the-world/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 --edited.


technologist: Posted: February 8, 2014 5:52 p.m.

Indy: "Can you cite a specific ‘job killing’ regulation?"

Coal Plants Affected by EPA Regulations

The Associated Press reports more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants will close and another 36 plants could also be forced to shut down as a result of new EPA rules regulating air pollution.

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/energy-environment/coal-plants-to-shut-down-from-EPA-regulations.html


technologist: Posted: February 8, 2014 5:58 p.m.

TeaHugger wrote: They have increased the welfare state, by making it easier for capable people who choose not to work to stay unemployed and live off our dime.

Indy: When there are today about 3 people looking for ‘each’ job, is the solution to let them go homeless?

The response is to ignore your straw man. Note that TeaHugger qualified the unemployed status as "choose not to work".


Indy: Posted: February 8, 2014 6:03 p.m.

technologist wrote: "This is one of the reasons that unions are really the last defense for labor to have any change at all at capturing the ‘productivity’ gains of capital that today only benefit the ‘owners’ of same including the stockholders. And of course, the CEOs that are sitting on ‘many boards’ that pay each other exorbitant salaries is rarely mentioned by conservatives when criticizing unions, that do lend their monies to the democrats like the large businesses that lend their money to the republicans." - Indy

CEOs are accountable to their boards and stockholders for returning value for dollar.

Indy: This is the LOL!

If you’ve read my prior post, many of the CEOs sit on each other’s boards and each gives the other pay compensation far about what they worth.

Stockholders appear to tolerate this because they do take higher earnings even if the work force finds itself unable to gain the advantages of productivity increases without the same type of approach using unions.

Additionally, we have seen small city elected clowns defraud their citizens but that’s nothing to do with the CEO issue.

Glad to help you out with that . . . .that again is why understand the words as strung together is so important since principles and concepts require more than simple word definitions.


technologist: Posted: February 8, 2014 6:25 p.m.

The LOL is that you failed to rebut my facts, i.e. that CEO compensation rates are voluntary. I did read and quote from your post. And of course, you ignored the union compensation issue other than blaming citizens. What of their elected representatives agreeing to unsustainable union agreements in return for political donations?You're the one in need of assistance, Indy. --edited.


technologist: Posted: February 8, 2014 6:32 p.m.

"Glad to help you out with that . . . .that again is why understand the words as strung together is so important since principles and concepts require more than simple word definitions." - Indy

Do tell. Do you imagine you'd win an English language composition contest with me, Indy? Shall we let your "guest readers" decide?


ricketzz: Posted: February 9, 2014 6:19 a.m.

Technologist is now defending corporate governance inbreeding and primadonna CEOs.

Do you really think this is a worthy legacy for our kids? Won't they like you better if you'd show a little resistance to the corporate machine (that you admire, like a toady). Will your legacy be neofeudalism?


CaptGene: Posted: February 9, 2014 8:37 a.m.

Does it surprise anyone that the only poster that comes close to agreeing with Indy Nile is ricketzz? The funny part is that Indy Nile probably thinks that's a good thing!


technologist: Posted: February 9, 2014 11:59 a.m.

"Won't they like you better if you'd show a little resistance…"

They do, especially when I expose your straw men, hyperbole, dearth of critical thinking, unsupported assertions, conspiracy theories, etc. Would it surprise you that I've used the posts of yourself and Indy as fallacious argumentation methodology with my 3 sons?

If you're incapable of leading by example, at least be a warning to others. Thanks for the assist! --edited.


TeaHugger: Posted: February 9, 2014 1:39 p.m.

As you may have noticed, I am a new "poster" on this site, and find it very interesting, but also a little frustrating. (By the way, thanks Technologist for some of your responses to Indy for me. I have been pretty busy, and sometimes don't always have time to get online to respond in a timely manner. Fortunately, your answers were concise and well-stated, and probably a lot better than what I would have said!)

I am sometimes frustrated, because when a question is thoughtfully answered (like the excellent answer about job-killing regulations by Technologist), those posters on the left ignore the answer, and never admit that they lost that argument. They just go on to another question. Hopefully, we can learn something from each other, and give credit when it is due.


hopeful: Posted: February 9, 2014 3:01 p.m.

Teahugger - I wish you luck on this site. For the most part, I gave up responding on this site because the people you are referring to won't change. Every time I was asked a question, I always answered honestly, but you will find that a few of our left-leaning "friends" on this site won't answer a single question asked of them. Not only will they not answer any questions, they won't acknowledge any facts that go against their "ideology-driven" beliefs, and yet they accuse others of being partisan and close-minded! Of course, Indy wins the prize for all of the above, but also happens to be THE MOST arrogant poster, who seems to think he, and he alone is the one who knows all the answers to all the world's problems.

Like you, at one time, I had hoped to learn from the people on this site, and in many ways, I have. Despite not always agreeing with him, I think Stevenhw presents some of the best arguments from the left. He is always well-reasoned, and although he may get heated like the rest of the posters, he isn't arrogant and he does appear to be open-minded.

Technologist, 17trillion and a few others also have good arguments for the conservative side of the aisle.

Then, there are a few wacky people on the site who provide great comic relief, or at least make you shake your head in disbelief.

Then there is Indy...the sole reason why I don't want to participate anymore.


technologist: Posted: February 9, 2014 3:23 p.m.

Hopeful, a key insight I hope to impart to you is that acknowledgement of cogent arguments by forum trolls or drive by posters isn't required. A valid position stands on its own.

Like any community, there are those who add value and the inverse. I hope you continue to post here when you feel motivated to do so. For example, I appreciated you sharing your personal experiences and research results when discussing health care legislation. I noted that others did as well.

Welcome, TeaHugger. As a new participant, you'll no doubt make contributions and in turn formulate your own opinions about this community.


TeaHugger: Posted: February 9, 2014 3:57 p.m.

User Removed Comment.


TeaHugger: Posted: February 9, 2014 4:09 p.m.

Thank you Hopeful and Techno for your encouraging words!


TeaHugger: Posted: February 10, 2014 3:29 p.m.

I don't know about you, Indy, but I really appreciate constructive criticism. It makes me better. In light of the recent posts, if you don't mind, can I offer a little to you? Please take this in the way it was meant; making this forum better, and helping to make your viewpoint stronger for your side of the argument. Shakespeare said that brevity is the soul of wit. You are obviously an intelligent person, but your arguments would be much better read if they were shorter and more concise. And also to the point. If someone asks you a question, try your best to answer that question, before asking another. If they win that point, acknowledge it. We will try to do the same on our side.
I appreciate this forum by the Signal, and really hope that it stays civil and informative. I look forward to you helping me become a stronger debater!
Thanks!


emheilbrun: Posted: February 10, 2014 4:52 p.m.

TeaHugger...what you currently perceive as some form of intelligence by Indy, you will soon realize is merely a Pavlovian type response to certain words or phrases that then manifests itself through monotonous repetitive cut and paste responses. Just for fun mention hard work and watch what happens.


ricketzz: Posted: February 11, 2014 6:10 a.m.

Technologist; What unsupported assertions? I have material in mind to back up my claims. Just ask. Don't reply with "there are so many I don't know where to start" style wiggles please. Thanks.

TeaHugger; what is your stance regarding Pentagon spending? Corporate Welfare? Homeland Security? Should the USA be free again? Are we really that afraid of a puny first strike? Afraid enough to give NSA a pass?

Name the Corporation whose ships the Sons of Liberty vandalized. Extra points if you don't have to look it up. What is fascism? Thanks.


TeaHugger: Posted: February 11, 2014 8:32 a.m.

Wow, answering all those questions is going to be HARD WORK!


technologist: Posted: February 11, 2014 9:43 a.m.

"Technologist; What unsupported assertions? I have material in mind to back up my claims." -ricketzz

How about that one?

Better yet, this: "You can't govern 300,000,000 people without Totalitarian means, period." - ricketzz

Contrary to your assertion that I'm unable/unwilling to be specific, your screeds offer, as they say, a target rich environment.


Indy: Posted: February 11, 2014 7:13 p.m.

technologist wrote: The LOL is that you failed to rebut my facts, i.e. that CEO compensation rates are voluntary.

Indy: Here again, you lack the business acumen to understand how these CEO sit on each other’s boards and vote themselves huge incomes!

Today, CEO income is about 175 times that of the base worker versus just 25 times in the 60s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_compensation_in_the_United_States

technologist wrote: And of course, you ignored the union compensation issue other than blaming citizens.

Indy: Union wages have not gone up 700% since the 60s compared to CEOs . . . since they have to ‘negotiate’ their raises with management versus just sitting on boards that just ‘vote’ themselves higher income.

technologist wrote: What of their elected representatives agreeing to unsustainable union agreements in return for political donations?

Indy: Politicians aren’t involved in the boards other than they get lobbyist dollars directed at same

technologist wrote: You're the one in need of assistance, Indy.

Indy: Here again, the offer still stands . . . . let me be your business teacher . . . explain what the words mean when strung together . . . you’ll be better for it and can actually start addressing the issues like CEO pay closer to reality versus the libertarian alternative universe you currently exist in.

I’m here to help!


Indy: Posted: February 11, 2014 7:15 p.m.

technologist wrote: "Glad to help you out with that . . . .that again is why understand the words as strung together is so important since principles and concepts require more than simple word definitions." - Indy

Do tell. Do you imagine you'd win an English language composition contest with me, Indy? Shall we let your "guest readers" decide?

Indy: Since you’re afraid to disclose your educational background, since you have a good vocabulary, English major?

That would explain a lot of your inability to understand business and economic concepts . . .


Indy: Posted: February 11, 2014 7:17 p.m.

TeaHugger wrote: I am sometimes frustrated, because when a question is thoughtfully answered (like the excellent answer about job-killing regulations by Technologist), those posters on the left ignore the answer, and never admit that they lost that argument. They just go on to another question. Hopefully, we can learn something from each other, and give credit when it is due.

Indy: Again, just state one regulation that’s a job killer from your perspective, just one . . .


Indy: Posted: February 11, 2014 7:20 p.m.

hopeful wrote: Of course, Indy wins the prize for all of the above, but also happens to be THE MOST arrogant poster, who seems to think he, and he alone is the one who knows all the answers to all the world's problems.

Indy: I guess the old adage still is in effect . . . it takes one to know one.

I find your lackluster posts here to be mostly self-centered recitals as to why you think the world revolves around you and only you.

You can’t see beyond yourself . . . and what other folks are facing.

And of course, even back in junior high school, kids that studied and understood the topic were always termed ‘know it all’.

Today, I find the phrase complementary.

In any event, your knowledge of business and economics is on par with most of the conservatives here and is basically just conservative ideology.

That’s one of the reasons why it appears I know all the answers since I have the MBA plus the years of experience running a business.


Indy: Posted: February 11, 2014 7:22 p.m.

And just out of curiosity, hopeful, what is your background?


TeaHugger: Posted: February 11, 2014 8:22 p.m.

Indy, you asked me to state one regulation that is a job killer. Have you ever heard of Obamacare? See, short and to the point! Bingo!


TeaHugger: Posted: February 12, 2014 9:10 p.m.

Oops, Obamacare isn't one regulation, it's thousands upon thousands of regulations. And the Prez keeps changing them everyday to get through the 2014 elections!


technologist: Posted: February 12, 2014 9:39 p.m.

"That would explain a lot of your inability to understand business and economic concepts . . ." - Indy

Risible considering you wrote this:

"And since the US uses more than 20% of the world’s energy with only 5% of its population, is that concentration of wealth addressed in the other studies you’ve read?"

And were unable to rebut my response of:

How else would the USA produce ~25% of global GDP with 5% of population? With your professed economic expertise you no doubt understand that requires energy. Or are you proposing a significant reduction in economic activity to normalize the USA economy with less productive nation states?

Regarding wealth concentration, wealth isn't the same as income. The wealth gap in the USA is nothing new. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealth gap has increased by a mere 2.2% since 1962. The rich have always been a lot richer than other economic segments. And this applies globally as well.

If there's no significant difference in wealth concentration since the halcyon days of Camelot and the Great Society, what's your point?

http://www.epi.org/files/page/-/BriefingPaper292.pdf

You continually boast but fail to execute on simple concepts.


technologist: Posted: February 12, 2014 9:46 p.m.

"That’s one of the reasons why it appears I know all the answers…" - Indy

Really, your narcissism is a bit much considering how you're on the receiving end of logic and data spankings on a regular basis.

Didn't your parents teach you it's far better to receive personal compliments from others then make them yourself?


ricketzz: Posted: February 12, 2014 7:16 a.m.

Technologist thinks we are free. Maybe he is, but most people are zombies. They are asleep in their cocoon pods. The media keeps them dumber than puppies. They eat brand name genetically modified nutrition free food, the human equivalent of a cheap pet diet, complete with massive runny stools. They are kept sexually confused and convinced throwing money at something will cure it. They run on almost pure emotion and think reason is gay and French. The idea of "sacrifice" is for poor rural types who have always fought our wars and fed us.

The country was 1,000 times better when there were more practices designed to enhance democracy. Education is essential to intelligent choices being made in the voting booth. Most people have no idea how this country started (watch "1776" on YouTube), let alone how sacred their act of voting is. The other essential to Liberty institution now lost is journalism. Corporate governance of megacorporations requires news be ratings-driven. News should tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear. Without the mental capacity to digest virtually non-existent news the "citizen" is rightfully deemed a "consumer".

We are indeed in the midst of an Idiocracy even more sinister than the movie. This is because corporations like us malleable. They are like the Cylons. Not good.


technologist: Posted: February 12, 2014 9:02 a.m.

Indy: Did you discover this article and determine it was about you?

http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-report-confirms-you-are-most-interesting-most,34857/


Indy: Posted: February 12, 2014 12:18 p.m.

technologist wrote: "That’s one of the reasons why it appears I know all the answers…" - Indy

Really, your narcissism is a bit much considering how you're on the receiving end of logic and data spankings on a regular basis.

Indy: I think the kicker is that posters like you that like to cite sources without reading or discussing them here find it difficult to believe others unlike you can nevertheless think beyond ideology.

I think that’s the real hurdle here . . .

technologist wrote: Didn't your parents teach you it's far better to receive personal compliments from others then make them yourself?

Indy: LOL – again, when you can’t defend your positions, you go off into outer space with nonsense like this . . . I’ll go back to your posts here where you constantly ‘pat yourself on the back’!

But I see you’ve got the word risible back in you posts!


technologist: Posted: February 12, 2014 1:22 p.m.

"Indy: I think the kicker is that posters like you that like to cite sources without reading or discussing them here find it difficult to believe others unlike you can nevertheless think beyond ideology." - Indy

Heh. You better check your WaPo Texas case cite in the voting ID column thread. You've been spanked again because you stopped your research at the point your ideology was affirmed.


ricketzz: Posted: February 13, 2014 7:12 a.m.

Texas has gone too far. They will swing blue very soon. In spite of efforts to keep poor people from voting.


technologist: Posted: February 13, 2014 1:23 p.m.

"Texas has gone too far. They will swing blue very soon. In spite of efforts to keep poor people from voting." - ricketzz providing the perspective from California

Will Blue Texans have any votes outside of Austin? Let's use the gubernatorial election as a litmus test.

Hope, as they say, springs eternal.


ricketzz: Posted: February 14, 2014 7:29 a.m.

Houston is Blue. San Antonio is Blue. Austin you mentioned. Lots of inner city Dallas is Blue,(plus, they moved very poor people to the suburbs) so the Red gets diluted there. The Rio Grande Valley is Blue. Parts of El Paso are Blue.

The Governors office was Blue when I left Houston, no reason it can't be Blue again. The GOP isn't doing itself any favors by bad-mouthing Latinos, not in Texas (built by Blacks and Latinos; "you didn't build that, you hired someone.")


technologist: Posted: February 14, 2014 2:48 p.m.

"The Governors office was Blue when I left Houston, no reason it can't be Blue again."

Really? Two words: Wendy Davis. Texas hasn't had a Democratic Governor in 20 years and Ms. Davis is no Ann Richards.


ricketzz: Posted: February 20, 2014 6:03 a.m.

Texans eventually tire of being seen as racists and hicks; Greg Abbott is a disaster. He makes Rick Perry downright erudite by comparison. Great move kicking off the campaign with a confessed draft dodger and child molester; a man who used a Hitler quote to describe our (and his) President. Perhaps Abbott is trying to out gross Perry. Cowboy bravado vs more uninsured poor people than any other state, #49 in education, #1 in Superfund Cleanup sites (not quite, but close).

The OFA shock troops are going to turn Texas purple in 2014, blue in 2016. They are arriving now. They will register people and follow through until the votes are cast. They are relentless.


CaptGene: Posted: February 20, 2014 7:44 p.m.

Tech, I agree, Davis is a fraud. Richards had substance, Davis had a Sugar Daddy. ricketzz fantasy about a blue Texas is wishful thinking on steroids.


technologist: Posted: February 21, 2014 10:43 p.m.

"The OFA shock troops…"

During World War II the Red Army of the Soviet Union deployed five Shock armies. Many of the units which spearheaded the Soviet offensives on the Eastern Front from the Battle of Stalingrad to the Battle of Berlin were Shock Armies.



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