Re: ‘Who fights for the people?’ [Letter, Village News, 1/30/14]

Raises in the minimum wage do nothing to combat poverty, they hurt the people that they purport to help.

A minimum wage job is one that is designed for teens and first time workers. It is a job that is for someone with no experience where if they work hard they can either move up in the company or gain experience and move on to a higher paying position. When we raise the minimum businesses refuse to hire low productivity workers with no experience for high wages, not to mention health care costs.

Income inequality is a good thing Sir. It’s what makes America great. Equal opportunities but not equal outcomes. What you fail to recognize is the fact that those CEOs you site in your piece work that much harder and deserve their pay. They work harder than you and are more productive to their business, they worked hard in school to get a good education, they worked their butt off to get to the top sacrificing their free time and working 60 hour weeks. They do all that for a reason: the desire for success and the ability to take care of their family.

This is the American dream, work hard and you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams. What you are suggesting is communist and income redistribution and these tenets were proven failures just as Reaganomics was pulling our economy out of liberal malaise.

Bill Leach

92 Responses to "Re: ‘Who fights for the people?’ [Letter, Village News, 1/30/14]"

  1. Mike W   February 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    "Raises in the minimum wage do nothing to combat poverty, they hurt the people that they purport to help."

    I feel so sorry for you sir, you are truly misinformed.

    Minimum wage was never designed for teens and first time workers, holy cow where do you get this information anyway?

    Minimum wage is / was the "lowest legal wage" you can pay anyone and it was meant to be a "livable wage" which it was at one time, but not anymore due to the cost of living (devaluation of the dollar) and therein lies the problem.
    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if a person lives paycheck to paycheck and does not feel secure about the future they tend not to spend, no two ways about it.
    It was the minimum wage that allowed me to strike out on my own at 17 and my first two kids (who are now in their 40’s) at 18. For my second two children born in 1988 and 1990 it is a different story altogether.

    "Income inequality is a good thing Sir. It

    Reply
  2. Jon Monday   February 14, 2014 at 10:39 am

    To Bill Leach,

    We have to define terms, if we want to have an intelligent and hopefully productive discussion on this issue.

    It’s that that everyone should make the same, it that everyone should benefit from the hard word and effort it takes to build a company’s profits. That is what has become unequal.

    When I ran divisions of large companies, and was president of my own company, I was not always the first in, the last out. Many times I was, but others in the company put their shoulder to the grind stone as much as me, but made far less. However, when there were profits to share and revenues increased, I recognized that I didn’t do it alone.

    My auditors would always remind me that my most valuable assets would walk out the door every evening. Without good, dependable employees, I had nothing.

    Also, I recognized that many people just wanted a solid job and that would pay a fair wage. They put in their 40 hours a week, and that is really OK. Not everyone want to be a superstar, they just wanted to put in their work, get paid, and spend time at home with their families, especially working mothers. I didn’t look down on them, I honored their choice.

    Today’s system urges people to start businesses, but it’s rare that new businesses succeed, and most workers don’t want the risk.

    The minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation. If it had, it would be over $10 an hour. Many people who argue against the raising the minimum wage forget that there are millions who make between the federal minimum wage and $10 an hour – it’s not just for starter jobs.

    Also, if you look at total gross income compared to the amount of total taxes paid, it is all too often that corporations and very wealthy people pay less than middle income families.

    The problem is not that CEOs and other executives get paid too much, but the pay for their workers has not kept pace with the top 10% over the last 30 years.

    Again, I’m not whining about my situation – my career had its ups and downs, but I landed on top. My wife and I are fully retired and have the dream life that may even put me in the top 10%, but I always made sure that those who worked under me were paid a fair wage, had health care (even the stockroom guy), and had a 401k or employee stock plan.

    When you graph how the top earners have done in the last thirty years, they go up at about a 40 degree angle, but the middle class and working class has been flat.

    The problem is Supply Side Economics, also known as Trickle Down, or Horse and Sparrow, a term used in the 1890 – the idea being that if you feed the horse enough oats, eventually there will be enough in the road for sparrows to pick at.

    Because we live in a country whose financial health is mostly dependent on consumer spending, when the vast majority of people are underpaid, the system collapses.

    Also, if companies don’t pay a livable wage, they are essentially asking taxpayers to subsidize their profits. Every worker has to live, without a liveable wage, where does the money come from?

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  3. Pink   February 14, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Mike, I also had a minimum wage job back in the late 60s, early 70s, while attending school to get a higher education. The money I made went to pay essentials, car payment, clothes, beer…. but there would have been no way that I could have supported a family on it!! It barely supported me. My husband started out working minimum wage as well, we got educations, and then we got better paying jobs. Once that happened we were able to buy our first home and start raising a family. Our children all worked minimum wage jobs while they were in school as well, our oldest daughter wore a sandwich board advertising some business while she was in college, but she certainly didn’t make that minimum wage job her career. After earning her degree, she now makes six figures.

    Minimum wage is, and should be, a starter job. People need to get an education if they want to make good money. Getting a good education doesn’t just mean an ivy league university, it can also mean a trade school, whatever you are good at and want to be. It is ridiculous to think that someone can raise a family on minimum wage. It cannot be done. We can continue to raise the minimum wage, and I certainly agree that it needs to go up every few years, but we have to remember where the extra dollars are coming from. Us. I have empathy for those less fortunate, but people need to understand that they shouldn’t be having more kids than they can afford to feed. No matter how high they raise the minimum wage, it will never be enough to cover all expenses. If you don’t try to improve your own situation, and wait around on the government to do it for you, you will end up living in poverty and blaming it on everyone but yourself.

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  4. GRUNT   February 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Mike – in this country, currently, the 31% of those earning minimum wage are between 16-19. Those 20-24 (probably a great percentage part time workers as college students) make another 24%, those over 45 – (probably a lot of those are semi-retired) another 20%, so there is about 75%.

    You started at minimum wage- as did I, but both of us advanced beyond that- it was a starter. Look at it this way: I run a store- employee ten minimum wage earners -part time all. I have a small profit and keep prices down. Now, I have to increase my wages- and with them the various taxes and insurances so my outgo goes way up, I either 1) raise prices, 2) reduce people or 3) close. How do any of those help anyone???

    Like the Obama care – it has resulted in less full time employment, fewer hours for part timers.

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  5. Mike W   February 14, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    "THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE"
    There is No Free Market

    I love ya bro but I think we’re talkin about two different things here Grunt. I know where you are coming from, my son is on the other end of that stick, his bosses won’t give him 40 hrs a week because they feel they can’t pay for health insurance. When we say equality we’re saying you should have the same chance as the biggies except they have the system gamed. For me, the hard part about making a business, especially starting out, is having the government as your silent partner (a taking, not giving) on everything you do. So what needs to be done is make the government your giving partner and get your share of the billions in tax breaks and subsidies that the billionaire biggies get and when you think about it, you can use raising the minimum wage to do it.
    Ten mega corporations control the output of almost everything you buy; from household products to pet food to jeans.
    Six Mega Corporations control 97% of the media and
    Five Mega Banks, now considered too big to fail control all the money and hold title to most of the land and homes.
    Weather we want to admit it or not, these businesses are in control of nearly every aspect of our lives, from the economy we live under, the food we eat, the quality of our water and air to information about world events and that is just too much power in the hands of too few, unaccountable, corporations and it seems to be getting worse, not better.
    I think part of the problem for most of us to understand is that when they say the

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  6. Jon Monday   February 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Just one short point:

    If minimum wage had just kept pace with inflation, it would be over $10.

    Plus all the millions who make between minimum wage and $10, should be caught up to inflation.

    It’s absolutely immoral what has happened to the working poor of this country.

    WWJD

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  7. Carla   February 15, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Bill Leach thinks that $10.10 an hour minimum wage represents Communism. Is this guy for real? I wonder if he considers $5.00 an hour Communism? How about 50 cents an hour? I bet I know the answer.

    If in Mr. Leach’s words "income inequality is a good thing", he must be positively ecstatic with where this country is headed given its growing income and wealth divisions. One would think that a proponent of a capitalist economic order would actually support policies that promote more widespread and diffuse individual ownership and private wealth accumulation. Too bad he doesn’t recognize that the very economic policies he fights against today will do nothing but in the long run help erect the scaffolding from which the entire capitalist class will one day find themselves hung from.

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  8. Pink   February 15, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Well it would appear that your true colors (red) are coming out now Carla. Threatening the capitalist population with mass extermination. How quaint. I hope that you will keep in mind what happens to the leaders of the revolution once the jack booted storm troopers have taken over and executed or incarcerated the populace. The big mouths, like you, are put up against the said same wall, and/or scaffolding, and killed right along with them. The last thing the leaders want is someone like you getting upset with them and their convoluted policies, and turning on them the way that you have turned on your country. There will not be freedom of speech, or anything else, in the kind of utopia that you envision. Aldus Huxley, for all his Brave New World ideas, is dead. Keep that in mind.

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  9. Bill Leach   February 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    The problem with our economy isnt the minimum wage its a complete lack of good high paying jobs. There are serious issues at play when middle aged workers are attempting to support children working at McDonald’s. These issues would only be exasperated by a raise in the minimum. Fast food restaurants will replace more jobs with automation. You will see more of the self checkouts and less low experience jobs. The welfare state then grows exponentially.

    The ONLY reason why businesses open and offer consumers services is to make a profit.

    I think the title of who fights for the people is apt. The answer though is conservatives. Conservatives who are working to reform the education system through pragmatic free market ideas such as school choice. School choice which can offer minorities and poverty ridden families an opportunity to get ahead.

    Conservatives who see the real immorality which is the $17 trillion debt that is being racked up and left to our children to figure out how to pay for.

    Conservatives who fight for a strong military in the face of constant calls to reduce our military power by liberals who wish us only to be one nation among many instead
    Of being the international superpower.

    Conservatives who fight for the lives of unborn babies the most innocent and helpless group imaginable.

    Conservatives who have been pro family, pro hard work, pro business, pro innovation.

    The results of the liberal agenda are clear: Health care takeover that has been disastrous and will cost our economy 2.5 million jobs and trillions of dollars. Worst foreign policy ever. Big brother spy program. Cuts to our militarys retirement. Horrible job market millions out of work.

    The liberals on here always want to limit freedom in order to promote so called equality and this is wrong. If you really care about the poor, give them an opportunity to go to better schools. Give them incentives to start a business instead of a hand out.

    That’s how you get people out of poverty. Opportunities not hand outs.

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  10. Jon Monday   February 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    To Bill,

    Just for the record, do you know where the $17 trillion came from?

    Nixon/Ford $330,000,000
    Carter $300,000,000
    Reagan $1,860,000,000
    Bush I $1,550,000,000
    Clinton $1,400,000,000
    Bush II $6,000,000,000
    Obama $5,500,000,000

    Of the debt that Obama incurred, MOST of it is from five identifiable issues:

    Bush’s war in Iraq
    Bush’s war in Afghanistan
    Bush’s unfunded Medicare Part D
    Bush’s two unfunded tax cuts that went almost entirely to the very wealthy.

    Not to mention the "conservatives" on Wall Street nearly killing our economy. All this has wiped out the middle class.

    The number of government jobs has shrunk by more than 700,000 on Obama’s watch. It grew by 1.75 million during George W. Bush’s terms.

    Do the math, and you find Republicans have added two thirds of the national debt since Nixon.

    Vote Democrat!

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  11. Carla   February 16, 2014 at 11:55 am

    @8. I think you’d best be concerned with the increasing numbers of the working poor, the social fragmentation and resulting instability caused by the policies you support rather than my rhetorical excesses. The only thing I regret about my last comment is the unfortunate use of a dangling preposition. For that I offer my sincerest apology.

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  12. Lulu   February 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Another I got mine….to heck with you type Republican. I think we should make this guy live on minimum wage for a while. I bet he’d change his tune real fast!

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  13. The United States is a joke   February 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Carla is a tool only to the extent she doesn’t support revolution. The US is a completely rigged system designed for the rich. To heck with the politicians. All of em!

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  14. Really?   February 17, 2014 at 9:29 am

    It takes a truly well-educated Prog to complain about the evils of capitalism over the $14 latte she just bought with Daddy’s credit card.

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  15. Susie Q   February 17, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Its people like this letter writer that will sink the Republicon movement. Greed! Greed! Greed!

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  16. Professor Leather   February 17, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Hello Mr. Monday.

    It pleases me when a pupil, even one of advanced age, learns so much and "Spreads the wealth

    Reply
  17. grunt   February 18, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    LULU – I beleive he did – for a while, then got skills, education, expereince and work ethic and moved on.

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  18. Bill Leach   February 18, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    To the critics, #12, #14.

    Maybe I should do a better job clarifying my position.

    No, I’m actually not rich or greedy. You probably both make much more money than I do. The point of the matter is that I’m unhappy with the facts of my economic situation which is exactly why I support conservative ideas.

    I want the opportunity to improve my situation. I want the chance to be rich and successful. I believe that if I work hard enough one day I will.

    The last thing ill want when I get there after years of hard work is for someone to vilify me for my efforts. Success is not a zero sum game. The goal shouldnt be to punish people who are rich, it should be to give more people the opportunity to become rich.

    For people in situations like mine,

    I have never been hired by a poor person. Nor are many charities funded by the poor.

    The poor and unemployed only benefit from people who have money.

    For Jon Monday and the rest of the Occupy Wall St crowd,

    The 1% you disparage for not paying their fair share actually pays 39% of all taxes collected by the federal government. That’s a whole lot more than their fair share.

    Actually anyone who made over $300,000 is in your 1% crowd.

    $300,000 is not the super rich it is educated salaried professionals. In fact 14% of the top 1% of earners were doctors.

    Jon, is it doctors who are getting paid too much for you? A very small percentage of that 1% are even in the financial sector you have so much fun bashing.

    Is success a bad thing now? Should people who work hard not be rewarded for their efforts?

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  19. Bill Leach   February 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    As for the national debt

    Jon your figures for the national debt are flat out wrong. Even by your apocryphal figures you have Obama raising our national debt by over 5 trillion dollars in less than 5 years. Is that figure acceptable to you? Obama himself called this unpatriotic.

    The real numbers though are quite worse. According to the latest treasury report(Which is posted on their website) the amount of US marketable debt has more than doubled under Obama.

    The amount was $5,749,916,000,000 at the end of January 2009 and as of January 2014 is $11,825,322,000,000. This is a106% increase.

    Yes I do agree that clearly George W spent too much money.

    But he hasn’t been in office since 2009, its time to hold your politicians accountable.
    Despite W spending as freely as he did Obama still managed to rack up more debt in five years than every other president combined in 233 years.

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  20. Really?   February 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Just for kicks, let’s do a little math. Suppose you have two people: One’s some poor schmuck making $30,000/year, the other is an evil rich guy making $1,000,000/year.

    Suppose the guy making a million has his income go up a mere 4%, to $1,040,000. Now suppose the guy making 30k has his income DOUBLE to 60k. The "gap" in their incomes has actually increased by $10,000, but this hardly seems like a "problem" that has to be "solved" for us by the same half-wits that brought us The War on Poverty and Owebamacare.

    If everyone in the country got a 4% raise, the income gap would widen. And that would be a problem? Only to the communist left. Realize now I probably lost all of the liberals as soon as I said "let’s do a little math."

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  21. Bill Leach   February 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Jon Monday you are the 1%.

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  22. Bill Leach   February 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Jon Monday, you are the posterboy for trickledown eco

    You made your millions of dollars. Then you took your millions and hired employees. You took your tax breaks and invested in your business. You at the top 1% level were able to make millions of dollars. Those millions benefitted hundreds of people either directly or indirectly.

    Jon you are the 1%, have you paid your fair share? Have you somehow attempted to hold down my wages through your greed?

    You and Warren Buffett can pay more taxes if you would like but people in my income bracket are barely getting by in this economy.

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  23. Vicki   February 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    So, what about the people who started out at minimum wage and NOW make $10 an hour, you think they will be silent or not feel somewhat jilted that a lower skilled worker than themselves, now makes equal pay?

    I worked minimum wage for many years early in my career, always moving up just a tad in pay as my skills grew. One thing did occur to me at that point…do NOT attempt to start a family on minimum wage! For some reason, it dawned on me, that gee, that would be MY responsibility, not government’s!

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  24. Really?   February 19, 2014 at 8:14 am

    On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could cost 500,000 Americans their jobs.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/02/minimum-wage-hike-could-cost-of-500k-jobs-cbo-reports/

    " I’m focused like a laser creating jobs"
    – B.O. Washington D.C.

    Reply
  25. Lol   February 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    " if you like your job, you can keep your job……Part Time."

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  26. Jon Monday   February 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    To Bill Leach,

    This is a very good example of the propaganda that the powers that be put around, that people accept without understanding the implication.

    You said, "The 1% you disparage for not paying their fair share actually pays 39% of all taxes collected by the federal government. That’s a whole lot more than their fair share."

    The right question to ask is what do corporations and individuals pay in taxes as a percentage of total gross income. That’s how Romney paid less than 15% on his millions of income. It should be a crime.

    All in all, the push back voiced here is what Aldous Huxley predicted in 1933 when he published Brave New World: You have come to love your servitude.

    BTW – I’m no where near the top 1% – in income or wealth. But if you look at the income of the top 1%, let’s take you’re word for it at $300,000 per year, and the top .1%, you’ll see that the ramp up is extreme. Most of the income and wealth is at the top 10% of the top 1%.

    If you want to get my attention about all this, explain how the middle and lower classes income has been flat over the last 30 years.

    The right answer is Horse and Sparrow economics.

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  27. I'm just sayin.....   February 20, 2014 at 7:31 am

    When the government robs Peter to pay Paul, only one thing is certain …

    Paul will be voting Democrat from there on out…..

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  28. Bill Leach   February 20, 2014 at 9:55 am

    To # 26
    Jon you refuse to address any of the issues I raise nor do you answer my questions to you.

    Now that I outed you as a 1%er now you say the real problem isn’t the 1% its the 0.1%. Wow you have to be kidding me. Jon, you are a rich guy. Face it. You are a 1%er.

    I also provided a great example of supply side working great. It is ironic that the richest guy on here bashes rich guys. I guess you’ve heard the term limousine liberal?

    Also only liberal could look at Mitt Romneys record of paying millions of dollars per year, paying millions per year to charity and somehow call this criminal.

    Jon, post your income tax returns and let’s look at your tax rate.

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  29. Seriously??   February 20, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Jon Monday has one argument for every occasion, yet he never addresses points that others commenting here, including Bill, make. Jon also tends to blame everything bad in the world on conservative talk shows, yet he is apparently the only one listening to it. I frankly don’t have the time. I have pointed out, several times, that A-list actors and professional ball players make just as much, or even more, then corporate executives, he ignores that as well. I’m no Romney fan, but he donates quite a bit of his wealth to charity. How does that make him evil Jon? …oh yeah, he’s a Republican. Never mind. Brad Pitt is a liberal, so he gets a pass. Yawn.

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  30. Really?   February 20, 2014 at 11:23 am

    #26

    You won’t get a response other than deflection, and emoting projection, and a life story….sigh. Just more of the Marxist left’s boilerplate responses, and hypocrisy. Useful idiots are not even capable of understanding why raising taxes will never bring in the amount of money that politicians think it will.

    Memo to Monday. Check out Houser

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  31. Bill Leach   February 20, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Jon Monday,
    Have you even ever read Brave New World? It’s about an authoritarian government that controls all aspects of human behavior. It is a completely nonreligious society. All of these changes were made in the spirit of progressivism.

    Wow and this is the conservative plan? Ok so Jon let me update you on the conservative platform. Ok so conservatives prefer smaller government, more human freedom, and religious freedom.

    The current democratic plan is to increase government power, increase dependency, increase acceptance of clear immorality, reduce religious freedom, control people’s healthcare, and to crush businesses and citizens that disagree with them.

    Brave new world indeed.

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  32. Pink   February 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Brave New World by Aldus Huxley is about life in a socialist progressive run society. Sure sounds like fun to me…..NOT.

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  33. Jason   February 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I feel so much richer now that I will be unemployable at a higher minimum wage….But the Unions will be HAPPY :)

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  34. Brenda   February 20, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I don’t believe that ten dollars an hour is unreasonable for the lowest paid worker given how much it costs to survive. Glad Obama is doing something positive by pushing for it.

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  35. Jon Monday   February 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

    There are too many points to address all, but I will try. I will ignore sarcastic or bomb throwing posts, as they are not worthy of spending time on.

    I’m no where near the top 1%, maybe somewhere in the top 10%. The shocking thing is that given that, I’m still vulnerable to shocks to our life that could send me back to having to consult or even take a job. If I have to pay an unexpected $5,000 bill, I have to take it out of our retirement savings, which reduces my income. Which is what I had to do to do to treat an infection I got from a back procedure that landed me in the hospital and so far has taken over 9 months to treat – after insurance. We need single payer, non-profit health care, like every other developed nation in the world. Obama care is one small step, but is a foot in the door to the right direction.

    If the minimum wage just kept up with inflation, it would be $10 an hour. That would also boost all the people who make between minimum wage and $10 an hour – lifting millions out of poverty.

    As President Obama said, no one who works 40 hours a week should not be in poverty. We all may have to pay a little more, but the only way to pay less is to save on the suffering of others.

    Along these lines, with any kind of insurance, the only way you pay less, is if someone else pays more. That’s why single, young men paid less because older women pay more. Ideally everyone should pay the same amount, except for smokers.

    Brave New World is about a dystopia, where people are so distracted by mindless entertainment, so much that they don’t recognize that they are slaves to the upper class. People come to love their servitude.

    More later – I have to do a little living of my life, right now.

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  36. Really?   February 21, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Spare us, hypocritical "i’m in the top 10%" Liberal.

    Socialist-Democratic policies have made a bad situation worse, and everyone with have a brain, and skin in the game knows it! In 2010 the American people took the car keys back via the same democratic process that elected your President and his clown car Congress, and it’s going to happen again in November.

    It’s called reality. Deal with it.

    "Elections have consequences"
    – B.O. Washington D.C.

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  37. Jon Monday   February 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    To Pink and Bill Leach,

    Left/right politics is a side show. 5 or 6 sectors of the economy control our government, and our economy. Everything else is a distraction from the real problem.

    We no longer have a democracy. It’s a oligarchy, not unlike Russia. A few power players push elections and laws that benefit them, and leave the rest behind.

    Again, the result of this is the household income has been flat for about 34 years, the result of Horse and Sparrow.

    All the rest of the issues are distracting from that point.

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  38. Pink   February 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    "Brave New World is about a dystopia, where people are so distracted by mindless entertainment they don’t recognize they are slaves to the ruling class". Thank you Jon. Precisely what you get in a progressive socialist run society. We are practically there now. Look around you. Who wants to ban religion? Socialists. Who wants everyone on the bottom to make the same wage, no matter that some work harder than others? Socialists. Who wants to tell everyone else how they should think rather than allow them to think for themselves? Socialists. Who wants to be able to play god and decide who is allowed to live or die? Socialists. As for mindless entertainment, what do you call a generation that worships rock stars and movie stars? Brave new world indeed.

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  39. Jon Monday   February 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Regarding Flat Tax vs. National Sales Tax vs. Progressive Tax:

    Flat Income Tax could work with certain provisions. Make it applicable to all income for corporations, churches, individuals, trusts, estates, etc. with no exemptions or deductions – with a $40,000 bracket, with everyone getting the first $40,000 tax free, after that all income is taxed. It could be as low as 15% which would even be enough to balance the budget and pay down the debt over a reasonable length of time. After the debt is paid down, the tax could be lowered. Unfortunately, this is not what is proposed by advocates of flat tax.

    National Sales Tax – The more wealth you have, the lower percentage of your income is used to purchase stuff. Generally speaking, those who are wealthy already have what they want, and new purchases are a very tiny percentage of income. The working poor use virtually all of their income to buy stuff. This is the most unfair and inequitable tax scheme. It is proposed by wealthy people and corporations who don’t want to pay tax. As Leona Helmsley famously said, "Only the little people pay taxes."

    Progressive Tax – which is what we have, except people and corporations have bought special privileges so that the actual tax paid as a percentage of income is far below the tax rate they should be paying. The working poor and middle class don’t have those opportunities to lower their taxes. Businesses and the wealthy complain about the high bracket rates, but pay no where near those rates.

    We could greatly lower the rates for everyone, if we eliminated deductions. Tax on gross income.

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  40. Jon Monday   February 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Pink – there are no socialist in politics, except perhaps Senator Bernie Sanders. Dems and Reps are both capitalists, but serving two very different supporters. That you believe there to be, is an example of how effective the right wing distortion really is.

    Socialism is not what leads to Brave New World, it’s class warfare after the privileged few have won. Have you read Huxley’s essays? I have. It’s about the most powerful cutting themselves in by the shear power of money in politics. In America’s case it’s mostly the 5 major sectors of the economy. Workers are the least appreciated political group and the least powerful.

    Again, why have the middle class and poor income’s been flat – it’s not because socialism has won, it’s because the very wealthy have stacked the deck and won big time.

    Just look at the winner and losers right now. Again, it’s got nothing to do with conservative/liberal – it’s about power.

    Huxley, like me, was very religious. The problem with much of religion today is that it’s really the worship of the dollar. The proof is how much the majority of Christian practice is 180 degrees from the message of Christ’s own words.

    Reply
  41. Carla   February 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    While I support raising the minimum wage law, as well as any other policy that eases the exploitation of working class people, it really does nothing to resolve the underlying causes of social inequality and injustices in this country. The policies that Jon supports are not socialist and therein lies the problem.

    http://www.dsausa.org/

    Reply
  42. Ray (the real one)   February 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    If burger flippers and burrito rollers get $10.00an hour, I deserve $1000.00 an hour, I possess REAL skills.

    Reply
  43. grunt   February 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    @Carla ..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  44. Redneck Willy   February 21, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Famous Presidential Lies
    LBJ:

    We were attacked (in the Gulf of Tonkin)

    Nixon:

    I am not a crook

    GHW Bush:

    Read my lips – No New Taxes

    Clinton:

    I did not have sex with that woman… Miss Lewinski

    GW Bush:

    Iraq has weapons of mass destruction

    Obama:

    I will have the most transparent administration in history.
    The stimulus will fund shovel-ready jobs.
    I am focused like a laser on creating jobs.
    The IRS is not targeting anyone.
    It was a spontaneous riot about a movie.
    If I had a son.
    I will put an end to the type of politics that "breeds division, conflict and cynicism".
    You didn’t build that!
    I will restore trust in Government.
    The Cambridge cops acted stupidly.
    The public will have 5 days to look at every bill that lands on my desk
    It’s not my red line – it is the world’s red line.
    Whistle blowers will be protected in my administration.
    We got back every dime we used to rescue the banks and auto companies, with interest.
    I am not spying on American citizens.
    Obama Care will be good for America.
    You can keep your family doctor.
    Premiums will be lowered by $2500.
    If you like it, you can keep your current healthcare plan.
    It’s just like shopping at Amazon.
    I knew nothing about "Fast and Furious" gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels.
    I knew nothing about IRS targeting conservative groups.
    I knew nothing about what happened in Benghazi.
    I have never known my uncle from Kenya who is in the country illegally and that was arrested and told to leave the country over 20 years ago.
    And, I have never lived with that uncle. He finally admitted (12-05-2013) that he DID know his uncle and that he DID live with him.
    And the biggest one of all:

    "I, Barrack Hussein Obama, pledge to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America."

    I believe we have a winner!

    Reply
  45. Pink   February 22, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I’m not sure which is scarier; the fact that Jon doesn’t realize that the Democratic party is being run by left wing Socialists, or that Carla believes that Jon’s problem is that he isn’t a Socialist…..

    To answer your question Jon: Yes, I have read Aldus Huxley, it was required reading in my English Lit class in college. As I’m sure you know Huxley was born into the upper class in England at a time when the aristocracy ruled supreme. Pukka Sahib and all of that. Being of Irish ancestry I have never been a fan of British rule. Huxley wrote A Brave New World in the early 30s, before anyone ever heard of Hitler and about the time the evil dictatorship of Stalin/Linen was rearing it’s ugly head in Russia. He didn’t publish the novel however until the late 50s. We had quite interesting philosophical discussions about it’s ultimate meaning in class as well as after hours beer fests.

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  46. Mike W   February 22, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Bill Leach ~ "The ONLY reason why businesses open and offer consumers services is to make a profit."

    No Bill, some people bake bread, build homes or furniture while some love to invent things and come up with good ideas because that is what they like to do and are good at. To them the customer was everything and their goal was to make you happy with their product or service, I

    Reply
  47. Mike W   February 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    In a society of clear thinking people, Wall Street should not even exist, they speculate on everything from pork bellies to jellybeans, buying and selling and buying again, without getting out of their easy chair. A barrel of oil gets bought and sold up 30 times, effectively jacking up the price before it gets to you and me, the consumer and it

    Reply
  48. Just wondering   February 22, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Comment 44….I don’t know anyone who could argue with anything you wrote.,good. Job,!

    Reply
  49. Jon Monday   February 24, 2014 at 11:02 am

    To Leah,

    Brave New World was published in 1932. That’s a fact – look it up.

    The important thing about Huxley is that he was anti-war, after seeing the utter uselessness of WWI, which led to the inevitable WWII.

    Quoting here:

    He joined the German Workers’ Party (precursor of the NSDAP) in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923, he attempted a coup d’

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  50. Jon Monday   February 24, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Regarding Huxley being a member of the British upper class – he wasn’t. His father was a school teacher, and Huxley had to work as a book editor to earn an income, after college. Even after Brave New World and coming to America, he had to supplement his income by working for Hollywood studios just for the money.

    I’ve known several people who knew Huxley personally, including one who is still alive – Huston Smith. They were good friends.

    Even later in life Huxley had to worry about bills and such. Although he came from a distinguished family, they were not landed gentry or wealthy.

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  51. Pink   February 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    @Jon: Please remember that my college days are long past (close to 40 years ago) so my memory was a little blurred by the years, I should have double checked my facts. A Brave New World, was indeed published in 1932, he did however, publish A Brave New World Revisited in 1959, and that fact led most of our classroom discussions on Huxley, which is why 1959 was stuck in my memory. You are correct about Huxley’s father being a school master however, Huxley was indeed a member of the British ruling class. I knew that was true so I looked it up and here is what I found under his Biography, and I quote: "Aldus Huxley was born into a family that included some of the most distinguished members of the English ruling class, made up of the intellectual elite…." please understand that just because someone is a member of the "ruling class" it didn’t mean that they had money, that is why so many of the "Aristocracy" married wealthy American’s who were willing to trade their money for a title. Quite a few aristocrats ended up dying in poverty, grand title intact.

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  52. Jon Monday   February 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    We needn’t quibble about the "ruling class" issues; not all all the point of bringing him up – his family was distinguished by their deeds, not by heredity. Aldous’ grandfather was Thomas Huxley, the scientist who coined the word Agnostic – taking the scientific view of religion that God can neither be proved nor disproved, but both Aldous and his family deeply believed in God.

    The point of bringing up Huxley was not about his family – but about the paragraph above – I’d love to hear you take on it.

    He was deeply against "Ruling Class" and other forms of society that granted special privilege by money or birth.

    Reply
  53. grunt   February 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    @ Mike W. True to an extent. Lots of people do bake bread because they like to, but if they do not make a profit, they shut down, so they must do business to make money. Now, some are happy making a small profit that allows them to have a house, food and transportation; others want enough profit to have a mansion, caviar and private jets. Look at several excellent businesses that have failed in Fallbrook because of too low a profit margin.

    Reply
  54. Pink   February 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I wasn’t quibbling Jon, I was merely setting you straight, after all I was confused about the year A Brave New World was originally published, and you were confused about his birth into the upper classes. He was indeed a member of the aristocracy but he despised them for the way they treated the lower classes, his take on Brave New World had to do the fact that Great Britain was a Monarchy, not a Democracy. Yes, I do know that his grandfather coined the term Agnostic, and I believe he also helped co-author the theory of evolution. Where agnostics make their mistake is in thinking that God has to be "proved" and if He cannot be, then he may or may not exist. Christianity however, is the "belief in things unseen". I have never seen God, and I probably could not prove to your, or anyone’s satisfaction, that He exists solely based on my belief in Him, however, I know without a doubt that His word is true and Jesus Christ is Lord. I know that isn’t the topic, just thought I would throw that in. (-:

    I’m not sure which paragraph you mean?? Please tell me…..

    Reply
  55. Jon Monday   February 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    This is the paragraph I wanted to point out:

    "In regard to man’s final end, all the higher religions are in complete agreement. The purpose of human life is the discovery of Truth, the unitive knowledge of the Godhead. The degree to which this unitive knowledge is achieved here on earth determines the degree to which it will be enjoyed in the posthumous state. Contemplation of truth is the end, action the means. In India, in China, in ancient Greece, in Christian Europe, this was regarded as the most obvious and axiomatic piece of orthodoxy. The invention of the steam engine produced a revolution, not merely in industrial techniques, but also and much more significantly in philosophy. Because machines could be made progressively more and more efficient, western man came to believe that men and societies would automatically register a corresponding moral and spiritual improvement. Attention and allegiance came to be paid, not to Eternity, but to the Utopian future. External circumstances came to be regarded as more important than states of mind about external circumstances, and the end of human life was held to be action, with contemplation as a means to that end. These false and, historically, aberrant and heretical doctrines are now systematically taught in our schools and repeated, day in, day out, by those anonymous writers of advertising copy who, more than any other teachers, provide European and American adults with their current philosophy of life. And so effective has been the propaganda that even professing Christians accept the heresy un-questioningly and are quite unconscious of its complete incompatibility with their own or anybody else

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  56. Mike W   February 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    @ grunt, Face it Fallbrook is one of the hardest places to go into business, especially now that nearly everyone is reluctant to spend because their financial future is not clear. Most small businesses today like the donut shop, water store, restaurants make little more than they need to keep the doors open and fast food places do much better because their profit margin is much greater because they sell factory made cr*p.
    Doing what you love to do make hard times tolerable.

    About the economy and everything else, we gringos and those working with us, here in gringolandia, generate much more money in tax dollars than most folks can imagine .. oodles of money. Naturally some make more money than others and that is well and good, because in most societies the ones who generate the most off of the "system"naturally pay more into the system. That is "society," and a society also takes care of its young, infirm, elderly and its poor and unfortunate.
    Our government is also a "system", is (was) one of the best in the world, it is an extension of society, it was established to protect the American people, our rights and our resources, and yes, our youth, infirm, elderly and our poor and unfortunate, and that was about it. Have we became the richest, most admired country in the world, only to end up an empire crumbling from within and hated by many ? I think not … So what the heck happened and how do we fix it.

    * Who soaks up most of the money and resources today ?

    * What the heck happened to the economy ?

    * How do we shift to a Sustainable Paradigm ?

    Here’s a hint:

    "It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear." – Douglas MacArthur

    "One cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other forms of propaganda." – Douglas MacArthur

    History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance. -James Madison

    If congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations. -Andrew Jackson

    The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity. -Abraham Lincoln

    Reply
  57. Pink   February 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks Jon, I believe that was the essay question our English Lit professor assigned to us as well, (-:

    I do not remember precisely what I wrote (in 200 words or less) but to be concise, I believe that Huxley was correct. Man, left to his own devices, will ultimately fail. Greed being what it is. We care far to much about "stuff" and not enough about substance. Will there be a Utopian future such as Huxley and Orwell envisioned? I believed, when I was younger, that man and society was better than that, now I am not so sure.

    Reply
  58. grunt   February 25, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    The Chinese will NOT enter the Korean War – Douglas MacArthur.

    Reply
  59. Pink   February 25, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Everybody believes in something, I believe that I’ll have another drink – W.C Fields

    Reply
  60. Jon Monday   February 26, 2014 at 9:52 am

    To Pink,

    Nice to know we’re on the same page with this. My point in bringing it up is that the dystopia that Wells and Huxley wrote about is here now – the issue is what can be done about it. Russia is more in line with the Wells prediction, and America is more in line with the Huxley prediction.

    Russia enforces the control of the population with guns and tanks – and threats of violence.

    America enforces the control of the population by distracting people from understanding that they are slaves to a system that uses them to enrich the few, at a terrible cost to the many. Huxley’s final statement was that people will come to love their servitude.

    Reply
  61. Pink   February 26, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Oh I don’t believe it is here yet Jon, that is a trifle far fetched. While I agree that corporate executives make big money, I don’t believe that our country is anywhere near Dystopian proportions. Big money has always run the country and fueled the economy. I know quite a few mid level executives that make good money, even in this terrible economy. Many corporations have left states like California to relocate to places like the Carolina’s and Texas, where they are not taxed out of existence by state government, many of these corporations are bringing their employees with them and helping them relocate in homes they can afford.

    My take on Huxley and Orwell is this. Orwell was predicting government run countries under Communism/Facism, while Huxley foresaw the progressive socialist movement, where the lower classes are lulled into believing that "daddy" will supply their every need, while the benevolent masters sit in their big fancy homes drinking champagne and eating caviar, and the lowly slaves do all the work.

    Reply
  62. Jon Monday   February 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    To Pink,

    I think you’re wrong on both counts.

    Orwell was a Socialist (and anti-Stalinist) – and saw the threat of Fascism (which is nearly the opposite of Communism) Fascism is when government and corporations join together for the benefit of corporations. In other words what we have now, but don’t like to admit.

    Communism is an extreme form of Socialism – but has never been put into practice, as it’s so easily taken over by strongmen, such as Stalin and Mao, creating dictatorships.

    Huxley was also a Socialist of sorts, but saw religion as a necessary fact of human fulfillment. His idea of an ideal society was described in detail in his last novel “Island”, published just before his death. He foresaw the same dangers as Orwell, of people being used as fodder for the ruling class but by distraction from the issues and policies that really affect their lives, rather than by force. His utopia described in Island, is destroyed by a fascist-militaristic government which had an oil- based economy.

    The left vs right, big government vs small government issues are just distractions that allows the real power players to suck money out of our economy leaving the living standards of the middle class and below to sink or at best flat, while their income and wealth increase at astronomical rates.

    The proof of this point of view is looking at the household income of 80% of the country compared to the top 20% over the last 35 years.

    All other issues are just a distraction.

    Establishment Republicans only embraced your social issues to try and win votes, as the real winners of their policies are a tiny minority of the voting public. They don’t give a darn about abortion, prayer, or even gun rights or even big government (as long as it is controlled by them); all a distraction from the RESULTS of their policies.

    True conservatives traditionally didn’t give a darn about pot, homosexuals, abortion, or even “big government”. As one Goldwater aid recently said, the conservative movement was never about big government, but about efficient government.

    His point was that if people vote for universal health care, the conservative’s job is to implement it as efficiently as possible.

    That wing of the Republican party died out years ago, taken over by the leaders of the major sectors of the economy:

    – Energy
    – Health Care
    – Media
    – Wall Street
    – International Businesses

    They just want to maximize profits – no matter what the human cost or cost to our environment.

    The real enemy of our democracy is money in politics. Let’s talk about how to fight against that, rather than squabble about side issues.

    Reply
  63. Pink   February 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    @Jon: I understand the basic difference between Fascism and Communism, my point was that both of them use jack booted storm troopers to carry out their mission; Socialists are far more sneaky. They sugar coat their tyranny with promises of equality for the masses on one hand, while lining their greedy pockets with the other. Socialism has never really been tried because what it stands for is never going to happen. The organizers always revert to tyranny and dictatorship in order to keep their people in line.

    I myself, don’t believe that there is much of a difference between the leaders of the 2 major parties, but there is a basic difference between the majority of the people who belong to either the Republicans or the Democrats. The majority of Republicans want less government, not more, equal rights for everyone including bettering oneself through better education and job opportunities, and the right to keep at least some of the money we have earned. Democrats on the other hand, want more government and more endless money pit handout programs. The Goldwater aide was right. I could care less about what people eat, drink or smoke in their personal space, or whom they do it with.

    I believe Jon, that you are just a teensy bit over the top with your view of corporations right now. I think you need to come down off the ledge and be just a tad more rational. Just my opinion. I have never been big on conspiracy theories.

    Reply
  64. Jon Monday   February 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Hi Pink,

    As I said before – for myself, I not on any ledge – I’m set, through being an active member of our economic system. Working my way up from stockroom boy to VP and GM of a company, then forming my own company, then being a part of the senior management team of a large company, I have done OK.

    The ledge I’m worried about is for the vast majority of Americans who are wage-slaves – without real prospects for a better life. There is a scientific ranking for the prospects for citizens being able to rise from the exonomic class they are born into, to a high bracket. The US ranks last among all the developed nations.

    Also, this was Huxley’s point in BNW – you don’t need jack boots to control a population under a fascist government. You just need to distract the people from what is really happening in their society. That is exactly what we have now.

    It doesn’t require any group of people to meet in smoke filled rooms, it’s just the nature of greed topping the priority of corporations who have the ability to buy laws and regulations that increase their profits, without any moral considerations or consequences.

    The consolidation of each of the sectors I mentioned into just a few major players in each group is making it worse. For instance, Comcast buying Warner Cable is going to be bad for consumers, but they have the political clout to override the purpose of the FCC and become even more of a monopoly than they already are.

    I wish for a moment you could leave behind the boogie man of, for instance, Obama being a Socialist. He’s nothing of the kind. Read some of Noam Chomsky if you want to learn what an American socialist advocates.

    The only member of congress who is even close to being a Socialist is Senator Bernie Sanders, who constantly complains that Obama and the Democratic party are too much in the pockets of the big corporations. But, he also acknowledges that the Republicans are in all the way, without any embarrassment.

    The Goldwater aid’s point about if people vote for universal health care is the telling difference. If we are really a democracy, that should be OK with you too.

    Reply
  65. Pink   February 26, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Jon: I don’t think you understand what coming in off the ledge means, but never mind, it isn’t important.

    I stand behind the first paragraph in my above post #63. Fascists have no need to sugar coat anything, that is the job of a good Socialist, and we have a prime example in the White House right now. He isn’t as bad as most, but he has people surrounding him that are. The interesting thing to me is that he is evidently not socialist enough for you, and you are not socialist enough for Carla. In my opinion Fascists and Socialists are cut from the same cloth. Wage slaves Jon? Seriously?

    Universal Healthcare sounds great on paper, but lets see how it plays out in reality. Ask some Canadians how well it has worked for them.

    Huxley was an author Jon, a good one, but he was a mere mortal and BNW was just a novel. The same goes for Orwell. I believe that our world is going to hell in a hand basket, but I don’t believe we are living in Dystopia, and 1984 has come and gone. It’s been fun discussing it with you though.

    Reply
  66. Redneck Willy   February 26, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Jon you worked your way up to where you ended up as but you worked in an industry that was never regulated by your government and were probably never forced out of your job or had to pay large amounts of money just to stay in business on onerous regulations, so your kind can feel good about themselves. Do you have any idea on what your liberals have done to the middle class in this state and across the country on over regulation and excessive taxes. Government doesn’t create wealth, only private enterprise does but its okay because you made your money while not having to deal with leftist government regulators forcing many into the abyss, depending on what industry one is in.

    Yes you did well at the expense of others. How would it have turned out if Sacramento or Washington regulated CD’s to a point where you couldn’t make any money anymore.

    Reply
  67. Carla   February 27, 2014 at 3:45 am

    @64 Hi Jon,

    I saw this in today’s LA Times. I never heard of Ron Unz before but he’s apparently a well known Republican politico. He’s actually pushing for an initiative to raise the minimum wage here in Cali to $12 an hour. Interesting that some of his talking points mirrors yours PLUS he adds things that might appeal to some more moderate Dems and Repubs further to your right.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-0226-morrison-unz-20140226,0,6284572.column#axzz2uVWt6bmU

    @45. Pink. Relax! "the Democratic party is being run by left wing Socialists". Like who?Diane Feinstein and Dick Blum? lol! Now I don’t know if I’ll ever get to sleep I’m laughing so hard. Night!

    Reply
  68. grunt   February 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Jon Monday, can you cite a web site with the "scientific ranking for the prospects for citizens being able to rise from the exonomic class they are born into, to a high bracket" I could not find it (maybe not the best internet searcher here). Thanks

    Reply
  69. Redneck Willy   February 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I got in an argument with a liberal type who skulks at one of my favored sites. Anyway I made the point that economics is a failed project. After 250 years from Adam Smith we don

    Reply
  70. Mike W   February 28, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Comment #69 "I got in an argument with a liberal type who skulks at one of my favored sites."
    Hmmm that’s quite a pigeonhole you stuffed someone into, what type would you be, and what favored site would that be, hmmm? Why don’t you show us so we can see for ourselves where and how you made that point and what outside information you presented in order to make your point? Rush or Bill O and Fox News?
    You do know you are doing exactly what the real rulers of the economy, our government and its military want you to do, fight amongst your fellows while totally oblivious to what is really going on.

    I’ll give it one more try for you, my unfriendly friend, please watch the following documentary that, by the way, is neither liberal or or anything else, it’s just history ~

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qIhDdST27g
    Secret of Oz

    Comment #68 ~ Oh clever boy, you know there is no such thing bit our own history is replete with examples of what you want, with the poor immigrants that came to this country with nothing but the clothes on their backs. There you might learn that most good folk don’t strive nor need to be fabulously wealthy, nor were they extremely competitive either. The need to own much more than you need and being overly competitive are both signs of mental illness, in fact there have been "scientific" done that show that a good majority of todays CEO’s from the big mega companies suffer from bi-polar disease. Just Google CEO Bi-polar disorder or CEO disease and and many corporations show all the signs of a Psychopath with aimless, reckless and potentially dangerous behavior.

    As far as the minimum wage goes, they are going to raise it, but not nearly where it should be, that’s the reason for this dog and pony show going on these days which is designed to make folks feel the government is working for us .. Smoke and mirrors, you know the drill…

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  71. Redneck Willy   March 2, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Mike W whomever you are; your website link tells us all one thing doesn’t it… debt; debt of the federal and state governments. Now Mike W. who is spending that money for the most part? Yes liberal democrats and is why the worst run cities and states in America are democrat controlled.

    You video is nothing new and what the conservatives have been preaching for I don’t know how long. I believe you are on the right side of the fence but do not yet know it. The plan is to stop the incredible spending by the liberals and then fix our system to how you and all of us want it to be.

    Reply
  72. grunt   March 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Mike W, was your comment aimed at #68 to me, or did you miss a number? If at me, what in the world are you talking about? It (your post) makes no sense. Jon Monday, with whom I disagree often, made a statement referencing a report. Unlike many on here, I believe him when he says he knows about – I want to see it. See, when you make intelligent arguments, other people may want to research more- maybe even get someone to come closer to your side. Unlike many examples, i.e. Grandma Ethel, his is at least worth looking at.

    Reply
  73. Mike W   March 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    @ Grunt, Sorry, I thought you were being sarcastic, there is a lot of that going on here, please forgive. I wasn’t defending Mr Monday, he is much more capable of that than I am.
    What I was trying so poorly to point out was that the great difficulties of the early immigrants seem to be happening today, yet it is now made legal due to big businesses too much influence on our laws through Citizens United and the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) where global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors rewrite state laws that govern our rights for their benefit. In their own words, "corporations have a voice and a vote on specific changes to the law which are then proposed in every state in the union by their ALEC owned congressmen. I have to ask, do we have anything close to that ability, or able to out spend Citizens United and the mega multinational corporations?
    Yes business is an intrical part of society, nobody is saying it is not, but certain aspects of it have grown out of proportion and become a cancerous growth on the face of the earth, poisoning our water and air and sending us into war through lies and deceit
    And using our military to do it while we pay for it with money loaned to us by the Fed at the same time the media is telling us to pay our debt by taking it from the poor and social uplift programs and accept austerity measures designed by the banks that took us into one of the worst depressions ever, and on top of it all, making our kids and grand kids pay for it.
    Just to show you how big business runs this country, I saw a video recently where the past head of the CIA and Homeland Security Michael Hayden, made a statement to congress or CNN, trying to defend spying on everyone in the world,

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  74. Redneck Willy   March 3, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Ha Mike W. I did watch it and your response is basic econ 101. You are too much. What do they say about a little knowledge is very dangerous. Dangerous indeed. Please google or find out all the debt holders of the US 17 trillion dollar debt. You are right however that it is beyond crazy how much this country borrows. Maybe they need to stop spending so much, eh.

    Reply
  75. Jon Monday   March 4, 2014 at 1:46 am

    To Pink and Grunt:

    Thank you for a civil conversation.

    I goggled "opportunity to rise in income by country" and got lots of hits that refer to several international studies. This NYT article refers to several studies, so it’s a good starting point:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-americans-to-rise-from-lower-rungs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Also there’s a good Wiki article about this – Wikipedia sometimes gets a bad rap, but many articles are well footnoted, referencing where the data comes from. Try posting something there without good data, and it gets taken down quickly. You can’t just post opinions, like here. Editors for the various subjects guard the integrity pretty well.

    Follow the footnotes – if you really think the article is off base.

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

    Another factor that makes it hard to compare upward mobility is that most economic data is based on household income. The problem is that compared to when I was raising my kid, so many more women are now working – so the fact that US household income for middle class and below has been flat for over 30 years is even more tragic then on face value. If you compared household hours worked for the income, you’ll see just how bad it is. It used to be mostly single income earner, and now it’s mostly two income earner, it makes the effect of flat household income even worse.

    I almost gave up writing here, because it’s almost like we speak two different languages. For instance, there are no socialists in government, period. There are some true liberals, but mostly the dems in office are center or right center. Reps are far right and getting more that way from the Tea Party influence.

    Even though Obama’s ratings are down, he is twice as popular as the Tea Party or their ideas.

    If we can’t recognize those facts, it hard to have a conversation. Look up the definition of Socialism. We’re not there, we’re not heading there.

    We have a government bought and sold by money interests.

    Why isn’t mass media reporting on Global Climate Change when they report all the predicted affects every night? It’s because their major advertisers are energy companies.

    Why can’t Europe and the US just put a financial hurt on Russia to stop what they are doing in the Ukraine. Within days the Rubble would tank, all their international banking assets could be frozen, all their visas could be cancelled. We could put them in a box within a week, which would force them to back down.

    Why doesn’t this happen?

    Because international businesses won’t allow it. They would loose too much money. Our domestic and foreign policy is dictated by the five major sectors of the economy: Finance, energy, media, insurance, and military contractors.

    I’m a capitalism, Obama is a capitalist, Republicans are capitalist, it’s really just a matter of how brutal you want to be, and how willing all of those in power are willing to sell out our national interests to big business.

    Pink said, "Socialism has never really been tried because what it stands for is never going to happen." Please provide a link that shows me evidence of that. It doesn’t exist, except in the mind of Faux News, Rush, Beck, etc.

    I think Finland, Sweden, Norway and others to a degree are as close to being socialists and are doing fine for the most part. I worked with three guys who founded a record company in the 1970s and all became millionaires and are all now retired, despite the very high taxes they paid to have universal health care, free higher education, very decent wage and worker protections. Unions have seats on the board of the companies and together with management make the company more efficient – by working together.

    In any case, no Democrat, has proposed anything that would move the US close to what they are.

    It’s just hard to talk across the canyon that separates us. But, if we could look at facts together, and leave behind the per-conceived notions, I think we could agree on a lot of things.

    I’ve always been willing to reference facts to back up my claims and conclusions. Please let’s all do that.

    BTW – As you know by now, I’m very liberal, but I own guns, I ran companies, I paid my workers well, I was happy to pay taxes, as it meant I was making a profits. My gripe is that as you go up the income ladder the lower you pay in taxes as a percentage of your income. That goes for companies and individuals. That’s what’s not fair about our tax system.

    Best,

    Jon

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  76. grunt   March 4, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Jon, thank you for the cite. You and I must have understood differently reading the same article. What I saw was that the SOCIAL changes in America have caused the stagnation in the bottom 1/5 raising (although kids have about 81% more money than parents), especially when one looks at how immigrants improve. Single mother families, lack of education are SOCAIL ills, in my opinion brought on by the democratic parties racist attitude that blacks are not as good as whites, thus need special treatment, and the benefit to a poor person of single-parent-hood: more welfare, more kids even more welfare. But that is as different discussion.
    Household income- yep, one of the problems with the

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  77. Pink   March 5, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I agree with you Grunt. I know that my kids are making twice, my daughter 3 times, as much money per year as I ever made in my career. For a woman that speaks volumes. I certainly don’t see any flat line in income there.

    Jon, it is laughable for you to say that Democrats are centrists. I consider myself moderate or center on many issues and I assure you I am no Democrat. Carla, for instance, appears to be a Communist. She may call herself a progressive liberal, but the ideas he espouses are right out of the manifesto. You may be a “moderate democrat” but there are plenty of progressive socialists running your party. Republicans want less government, not more. I have never been to a tea party meeting, and I don’t actually know any tea party members, I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum, but I know that my republican friends just want to be able to keep at least some of what they have worked so hard, all of their lives, to earn!

    I’ve been to Europe Jon, I have seen how the middle class live in countries like you mention as being the ideal. If that is your idea of a good time, it certainly isn’t mine!!

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  78. Jon Monday   March 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    To Pink and Grunt,

    I want to continue this – but I only have a short time right now. I wish there was a way to keep this thread going, without the bomb throwers and name callers take over.

    Pink – you’re absolutely right, we need to define terms, or we’re just talking past each other. We also have to agree on facts – real facts and not spun talking points from either side.

    Far right is the Tea Party – far left is Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, etc. They both want to impeach Obama, though for different reasons. I used to belong to Veterans for Peace, but the national HQ got too radical for my tastes. The local branch does things like giving out sleeping bag, food, and clothes for the homeless vets in San Diego. I support that. But, beyond those type of activities, I cannot associate myself with.

    Pink – you’ve forgotten to take inflation into account, which is the type of danger we all get into with anecdotal facts, rather than large, well balanced studies.

    I am a moderate Democrat and am very unhappy about how the party has sold itself out to business interests – which they did to raise enough money to be competitive in elections.

    Republicans have no problem with selling out to business interests, as they are the major constituency of the party – I might add, at the expense of the vast majority of the people. Both parties are guilty of that, which is why single payer health insurance advocates were not even allowed to testify at the health care hearings.

    To be clear though, on the left / right scale, there are NO progressive socialists running, or even in the small group of platform leaders of the Democrat party. If you think there are, please give examples of the policies you believe meet that description.

    Policies are what define the left/right spectrum – both "establishment" leaders of the two parties are center or right of center.

    I’m not a moderate democrat – I’m more progressive than that.

    Please trust that I’m not going by anyone’s talking points – not even MSNBC. I think Faux news is as far to the right as Ed Shultz of "Rev" Al Sharpton are to the left (can’t stand to listen to either of them). But the difference between Fox and MSNBC is that MSNBC has real conservatives as guest commentators and even one has his own show, nothing on Fox is like that.

    Further right than Fox is Rush, Beck, etc. they are fringe right with large audiences. There are examples of people like that on the left, but you’ve probably never heard of them, as they have small audiences – Mike Malloy being one.

    Gota go now – more later, if you want to continue.

    Best,

    Reply
  79. Jon Monday   March 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I realize that I said I was and was not a "moderate democrat". I guess it depends on the issue. Generally, I’m to the left of the party, though I recognize that some issues and realities require a more moderate approach.

    For instance, I think we need to take out terrorists with drone strikes – which is a whole lot better than boots on the ground. I also think that the NSA database of the metadata is a good thing, but needs tight oversight. Not sure where that puts me. But I’m for single payer health care, and that puts me far to the left of the party.

    It’s comes down to individual issues. I hope it’s that way for everyone – not just line up on every issue of whatever party.

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  80. Pink   March 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    @Jon: I also have someplace to be (Ash Wednesday, going to church) but I wanted to tell you that I did take inflation into account. Even factoring in inflation and the economy into my figures, my daughter does indeed make 3 times what I made at the height of my career. Granted she is in a different field, she still pulls in a good salary, and no, she isn’t a Fortune 500 executive. My son in law does okay too.

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  81. Mike W   March 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Comment 79 "I think we need to take out terrorists with drone strikes" Yikes Jon, what the heck? I’m sure you are aware that each and every strike takes out many more innocents than so called terrorists, including women and children? I thought you were against empire building and these wars for control and or theft of resources that do nothing to make us safe or secure, quite the opposite. Right now in Ukraine we are backing the Neo-Nazi party because they will join NATO to further the global financial elite

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  82. grunt   March 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Mike W, wrong; drone strikes are low calateral damage ordinance, engaged to minimaze damage to others. The taliban and Al Qaada have killed many, many, many more innocent women and children with one IED or homocide bomber.

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  83. Mike W   March 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Brother, Are you trying to tell me that a 20 year old kid sitting in a warehouse in Nevada in front of a monitor and a joy stick can pick out and kill one or two people in a group, give me a break here will ya? They have whipped out whole wedding parties because word came down so in so might be there .. Yikes !! You see nothing wrong with this ? If you are going to kill a man you should face him or forget. As I stated before, we, US citizens, have no natural enemies. These so called terrorists are folks who don’t want world banks and western corporations in their country taking their resources and controlling their governments.

    Back to chicken s**t drones ~ (CNN) — U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed far more people than the United States has acknowledged, have traumatized innocent residents and largely been ineffective, according to a new study released Tuesday.
    The study by Stanford Law School and New York University’s School of Law calls for a re-evaluation of the practice, saying the number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low — about 2%.
    The report accuses Washington of misrepresenting drone strikes as "a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the U.S. safer," saying that in reality, "there is significant evidence that U.S. drone strikes have injured and killed civilians." http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/25/world/asia/pakistan-us-drone-strikes/

    Think about it, What a government does to others, it will do to its own..

    This is for you grunt because I know you are a good man ~ Why we Fight ~ http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/why-we-fight/

    PS I tried to give you a link to the whole documentary but since I watched it last it has been taken down by Sony due to pressure from so called "defense" contractors. Mr Monday might be able to get you one to pass around.

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  84. Lee   March 8, 2014 at 11:55 am

    "Income inequality is a good thing Sir." Wow! Who died and made you king, Bill Leach? Income inequality is a good thing? Really? For who? What an ARROGANT statement to make, and this in 2014. Unbelievable. Let them eat cake, ey, Bill? It’s always easy to make arrogant not to mention ignorant statements such as yours: those who got everything don’t give a rat’s behind about those who got nothin’. Well, aren’t you the lofty one. What are you going to say next, that your doo-doo don’t stink?

    "It

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  85. Lee   March 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    PS.

    "Raises in the minimum wage do nothing to combat poverty, they hurt the people that they purport to help." So are you saying that as a CEO making, say, $1,000,000/year and making, say $5,000,000 the next year, you, Bill Leach, would turn down the $4 million?

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

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  86. Pink   March 9, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Considering Lee’s total lack of knowledge concerning history, and his inability to string sentences together, not to mention his failure to grasp economic issues, I have to guess that a lack of education on his part has put him at the bottom of the pile, and therefore is the reason he wants us to raise his salary. Just a hunch.

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  87. grunt   March 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Mike, I disagree with the news; seems every body we kill is an innocent – Drone strikes take out far fewer co-lateral damage than say, and infantry platoon or HE artillery. Without drones, to hit some of these guys we would need to go in with force, put Americans on the ground and in the ensuring firefight not only would our guys get killed, but so would "innocent" people. I am sure that to be on the receiving end of a drone strike is not good, neither is receiving air strike, or mortars or IED. I guess we will maintain respect for each other and agree to disagree. :-)

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  88. grunt   March 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Lee, I do not know what YOU did for a living; but compare a leader of his business (LB for short) with the trash collector (TC for short). The TC shows up for work, gets in his truck and follows his route as mapped and directed. The LB has to determine the route, how many trucks he needs, the cost of the fuel and repairs and wages, where to get the best insurance; then he has to figure the cost to customers, and how to stay competitive. If the TC fails, his family goes on welfare or unemployment, if the BL fails then all the people working for him fail. The BL has to think of products, hire the best people – means he has to judge them to see who can do it, train them. Do you think YOU would do all the extra work if you got paid the same as the 18 year old first job mail room clerk? Would you have spent the money, energy and effort to get an advanced degree if you could have goofed off during HS and got no education if you were not looking to be compensated? How many Doctors would go through the grueling training they do if not for the $$? (some, of course, but not most).

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  89. grunt   March 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    (Lee, continued): I have met many a Russian, find one Lee, and talk to them about the lack of invective. Look at that country where "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" worked out real well, huh? Here is a deal for you – find any 20 people and take off to a primitive camping site near a river, tell each that they will have a tarp, water and equal food (say rice and beans), see how much is done. I will take another 20 people, tell them we have nothing and that as we work for it, we will be rewarded – at the end of a week you will have a tarp as cover I will have a cabin or two, beds, fish for every meal. People who are with me that do not (but are able to) work will live in the tarp and eat rice and beans. Want to take that challenge? of course you don’t.

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  90. Mike W   March 13, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Grunt comment #87 said ~ "I disagree with the news; seems every body we kill is an innocent"

    Now that right there is a cop-out brother and you know it. I was not referring to "The News" I was referring to the study by Stanford Law School and New York University’s School of Law, saying the number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total casualties (moms dads and kids) is extremely low — about 2%.
    The report accuses Washington of misrepresenting drone strikes as "a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the U.S. safer," Horsefeathers !!
    Try to understand here grunt that the wordage "surgically precise and effective tool that makes the U.S. safer," is not from Washington, "not" a fact, it is an "advertising" phrase by the weapons manufacturer to sell their product to the military and the American taxpayer, nothing more. Would you go to a wedding knowing that a drone attack was going to take out two people, even if you knew which two people and could stay away from them? I think not..

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  91. grunt   March 14, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Mike W. -wrong; drones, Excalibur, Low collateral damage bombes etc. do as advertised; you are buying into a false hood. Of course some truly innocent people are killed, but very, very few. Prior to releasing ordnance a lot of work is done to ensure limiting casualties. Again, in Afghan a man can be shooting at you then drop his rifle and he is now "an innocent civilian". No cop out. If you have not been there, talk to the Marines coming home. And yes, the "smart" weapons reduce the cost to both civilians and military. To have a platoon attack to kill the HVT would result in firefights with some unguided ordnance striking civilians. And no, I would not go to the wedding there, nor would I go to a wedding here between drug dealers. Also, more Iraqis and Afghanis have been killed by their own people than by us.

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  92. Ray (the real one)   March 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Redneck Willy:

    #44 TOO MUCH, I loved it.

    Reply

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