Category Archives: Finance

How finance affects current events

Greenland Spring Thaw Comes Early

This is by far the earliest Greenland has seen their spring thaw. It is more than a half month earlier than anytime in the past.

This is just another proof of global warming.

Global warming will be devastating to the world’s economies whereas moving off fossil fuels today would actually stimulate economies.

When do we Just Say No to fossil fuels?

We Are Now In the Sixth Great Extinction

According to numerous university research studies, the earth is now in the 6th great extinction.

Why should you care?

According to their findings, humans will be one of the earliest species to vanish.

Every time we hear someone denying global warming, we need to humiliate them so their stupidity doesn’t infect other people. We have to fix this train wreck and we have to start serious changes immediately.

Go and read this BBC article. Then, get active.

 

Stop the TPP

The Free Trade trade agreements, like the pending TPP agreement destroy America’s sovereignty. Take this case for example.

Want to know what maggot infested third world country your meat is coming from? Forget it. Foreign companies can sue the US for our laws that protect the American consumer.

The TPP will only make this worse. We need to roll back all these foolish trade agreements and go back to protecting our consumers, our industries, and our economy.

Obama Success

How Things Have Changed Since Obama

Under Bush Under Obama
Major attacks on our soil Trade Center Twin Towers None
Number of Wars Lied Into 2 0
Benghazi Attacks 11 1
New Jobs per Month -700,000 +200,000
Health Insurance Inflation Rate Over 30% 12%
Price of gasoline Over $4.00 – Drill Baby Drill Under $3.00
Economy Greatest recession since Great Depression Stock Market at all time high
Common Sense of Conservative Voters Poor Even Worse

 

The Republicans hate Obama so much they want the good old days back.

And, get ready. We’re going to see them and much worse that we could have imagined.

Question #3 Amendment to Nevada Constitution

It is a real disgrace but we are suffering a multi million dollar ad campaign, or should I say lie and deceive campaign against the amendment, Nevada ballot measure, question #3.

I will try to add some reality to the actual question and try to dispel the most common lies and deception. Most of the talking points can be found at their website, Coalition to Defeat the Margin Tax Initiative.

  1.  The tax is a small, contrary to the claim, “huge,” in the lies. 2% is a small tax.
  2.  The tax is only calculated on the gross sales if the company wants to file that way. Even then, it’s 70% of 2% or 1.4%. Not all so huge.
  3.  If the business decides to, they can claim tax only on proceeds after subtracting cost of goods sold (and that includes labor/payroll costs). In other words, a business that is making millions in sales but little or no profit will have little or no tax since cost of goods sold will be almost as much as gross sales.
  4. The money collected will be put in the State Distributive School Account, to be distributed in a manner provided by laws that already govern those funds. There is no risk that the funds will not go to the school district.
  5.  Few if any businesses will have to close or relocate because of this tax. However, if the companies elect to move rather than repaying the community that supports them, then I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

So much for the down side of this ballot measure. Let’s now consider the good:

  1.  It is in the state’s best interest to decouple the school system funding from our property taxes. The way the system works now, those poor communities where property taxes are low have the lowest funding for their schools.
  2. Getting away from the destructive notion that the rich get a free ride in Nevada because we don’t expect them to pay their fair share in income taxes, is a good move in the right direction.  After all, this tax is only for businesses with more than $1 Million in revenue.

If I’ve missed anything here, go right ahead and make your case in the comments below.

 

OMG!! EBOLA!

We are now seeing Ebola victims in hospitals all across Africa, in Spain, Germany, and the USA, and so many more.

I hear people say it’s Obama’s fault. Well, the same people say everything is Obama’s fault so their arguments are meaningless. But how should we be dealing with this nightmare?

Should we shut down our airports and turn away everyone from every country that might have an Ebola patient? Maybe only the ones with brown or black Ebola patients?

If we decide to shut down the airports, we should also shut down our sea ports. And for that matter, maybe we should just start shooting anyone who looks like they might be trying to come to the USA.

Well, okay, I was being facetious, but these issues have to be discussed seriously and without fear and hatred.

Thomas, the Ebola patient who died in Texas followed screening guidelines. The news at first was reporting that he lied on the questionnaire, but it turned out that he didn’t realize his relative had Ebola at the time. She died later.

This demonstrates and a little common sense indicates that there is no way we can prevent any and every case from coming to the USA. We should be diligent and limit the numbers who come but to expect to get 100% is just a dream.

So, what do we do to successfully manage this disease once it’s come to the USA? Obviously what we’re doing now isn’t working. The health care worker who worked on Thomas has now come down with the disease. Again, obviously what we’re doing now isn’t working.

We need a national health care system that can work as a unit, following guidelines for preparing for the incoming patients and guidelines on how to treat the patients. This can’t be done on a for-profit basis. Why would a hospital pay the money up front to prepare only to find that they never get an Ebola patient. Thomas was turned away from the hospital on his first visit because they couldn’t make money on him.

What is even more important is that since the Texas Governor wants to play politics with the lives of poor working Texans, a full 25% of working Texans do not even have health insurance. They are not going to be going to the doctor when they really  should be. They’ll wait until it’s an emergency and then go to the emergency room in the hospital, all the while spreading the disease.

Thankfully we have Obamacare to help those in the Democratic states. They will be going to the doctors rather than spreading the disease. The red states? All I can say is I hope they wake up before it’s too late.

The Demise of the Republican Party Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Single Issue Voters Getting Manipulated

Almost all of America agrees with the policies of the Progressive Left. This includes agreeing with the majority of the following issues:

  • The rich have gotten too rich
  • The rich have too much influence over our political system
  • Our political system needs to be more representative of the needs of the middle class
  • We need to fix the economy so we can bring back the middle class in this country
  • We need to take care of the least among us, including extended unemployment benefits, food stamps, food for poor children
  • We need to fix our broken health care system
  • We need to get off fossil fuels and need to start developing energy systems for the 21st century
  • We need to do something about global warming and the freaky once-in-a-century storms we’re seeing every day, now

In fact, not only does the vast majority of America believe these things, the vast majority of REPUBLICANS believe these things.

So, if that’s true, then why does anyone still vote republican? The answer is obvious and this answer explains why America is at a greater risk than ever of being destroyed by the wealthy, at the hands of the the Republican voters who believe all these things. This answer should scare the dickens out of you.

The Republican party and the top 1% of our wealthy elite have found a way to get the average Republican to vote against America. This sounds like hyperbole, but bear with me. The vast majority of Republican voters are single issue voters. In other words, they are willing to see all the other issues, mentioned above, go to Hell as long they get their one hot item issue. Even if they don’t get the one issue, they’ll vote for a party that lies to them and says they’re going to provide it.

And, what are these single issues that the Republican voter will vote for even if it means the destruction of America? What are the things that are so important that they’re more important than our economy or more important than everything else our country stands for? You’ve probably guessed. But here is a short list of things that some fanatics will vote for, even if it means voting against everything else that matters to them.

  • Gun rights
  • Abortion restrictions
  • Birth control restrictions
  • Putting women in their place at the back of the bus
  • Putting minorities at the back of the bus
  • Putting gays in their place
  • Protecting the great white class in America
  • Religious control of our country
  • Getting rid of the black man in the white house
  • Undoing equal rights
  • Benghazi
  • Anything Fox News says

The wealthy have found out how to control these ignorant fanatics to vote against everything that matters to them, just so long as they foolishly believe their one-ticket item will finally be addressed.

And now that the Republicans in the Supreme Court have opened the flood gates and allowed the wealthy and transnational corporations control of our political process, we are seeing billions of dollars spent to get those fanatics mobilized.

Come election day, these fanatics will be wetting their pants from all the scary advertising and will be the first ones in line to vote.

All the while, the rest of America will watch in horror at the spectacle that we see every election year and most will neglect to even get to the voting booths.

Big money will be controlling the fanatics more than ever this election year. If the rest of us quietly watch from the sidelines, we can kiss this country goodbye. Not goodbye in the future or goodbye next year or in a few years. If we don’t fix this right now, we will not get another chance.

Talk to your friends. Talk to your neighbors. Try to wake up your single-issue voters in your family to the fact that they’re being manipulated to vote against their own best interests and the best interest of their country.

More than anything, get everyone you know to register and get out and vote.

The Demise of the Republican Party Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

The Endgame

Ever play the game of Monopoly?

Losing the game of Monopoly

You know how it ends. Eventually no one has anything left but the rich.

We now live in the new Gilded Age where the wealthy own more than all the rest of us combined. We are in the final stages of the game of Monopoly and we’re losing. We are giving away our money and our government and our freedom to the billionaires and transnational corporations.

You know it’s true. Your income doesn’t go as far as it used to. You have probably experienced a loss of pay or of benefits or employment and probably know others who have as well. Your expenses keep going up but your wages don’t.

And what’s worse, is you doubt that it will be getting any better.

In fact, we are so far along the game of Monopoly that the rich are not only taking everything from us, but they’re even changing the rules of the game so they make even more faster.

The only way we win this game of Monopoly is to get politically active. Get out there and join groups and start leaving comments correcting the websites and blogs that shill for the wealthy.

But, most importantly, get out there and start talking with your family and your friends and your neighbors. They all feel the same way you do. Everyone knows we’re losing this game of Monopoly and we have to get active, right now, if we expect to fix this before it’s too late.

What kind of America are you going to leave for your children and grandchildren? Will they be slaves for the wealthy or will we demand our fair share of the profits of this great and wealthy country?

Get active and get three other people to join you in getting active.

The games almost over.

Cancel The Trade Agreements

The millionaires and transnational corporations are trying to sell us on another trade agreement, the TPP.

Free trade causes a giant sucking sound

This job killing trade agreement will do tremendous harm to Americans, just like all the other trade agreements have. We’ve seen one trade agreement after another and we’ve been promised how each will bring prosperity to Americans, but things just keep getting worse.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that we’re being sold a lie. These trade agreements have American workers competing with the starving and even the slave laborers of other countries.  How do we expect to keep our American quality of living when we’re competing with workers in third world countries? We can’t obviously, and that’s why things are continually getting worse, right here at home.

These trade agreements don’t even help the other countries’ workers because all the  money goes to the corporations.

Way back in the old days, we had a presidential debate where Ross Perot came right out and said that if we sign these trade agreements, we would hear a giant sucking sound as all our jobs left the country.

He was right!

It’s time, right now, today, to cancel all the trade agreements and quit listening to the millionaires and transnational corporations lie about how wonderful life will be if we just believe them this time.

But it’s time, right now, today to call our representatives and the president and tell them all that we want out of all the trade agreements and we want to put our tariffs back in place.

Time is running out. We are quickly losing control of our government to the rich and multinational corporations and we have to start fighting, today, to get our country back. It will be too late before we know it.

Free Trade Agreements...

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Keystone XL Pipeline – It Ain’t Over Yet

The oil industry is pouring millions of dollars into marketing, telling Americans that it’s all over but the crying and it doesn’t matter if we think it’s our country or not, they’ll do what they damn well please.

I’m seeing pundit after pundit repeating the billionaire marketing jingles.

But it ain’t over. Americans aren’t going to just bend over and take it up the pipeline. There is still plenty we can do and our numbers are still growing.

But, it’s time, today, to make a stand. Let the billionaires and their XL Pipeline cheer leaders know that this is still our country and we don’t want the stinking toxic sludge coming across our country just so the billionaires can refine it in the Gulf Coast and then ship it all out of the country.

This pipeline will actually cause our gas prices to go up because none of the gas that is refined will be sold in America.

America doesn’t want the XL Pipeline and we will be heard.

Oh, those poor misunderstood billionaires and oil executives and transnational corporations. Don’t you just feel sorry for them?

Get involved. It’s not over yet.

Republicans Block Unemployment Vote Again

by
Matthew

The Republican party wants so badly for the poor to just die, that they are even preventing the unemployment bill from coming up for a simple vote.

If they weren’t blocking Democracy, the vote would likely pass and the poor and unemployed would be spared more hardship.

But, no, they don’t even want it to come up for a vote so they blocked even the hopes of voting on it. The Republicans filibustered the unemployment bill, again.

What kind of a person would obstruct Democracy just so more poor people would starve to death?

Only a Republican.

Enough Trickle Down

How’s that whole trickle down economics working for you?

Do you realize we’ve been in Reganomics for over 30 years now and it’s tearing this country apart.

It’s time we quit with the lies of Trickle Down economics, or Voodoo economics as the Republicans used to call it.

It’s time to roll back the Reagan tax cuts and start rebuilding our middle class. It’s time to end the trade agreements and go back to the tariffs that worked for 200 years.

Check out Thom Hartmann’s article on the failed state of Reaganomics.

Vacationing While Unemployed Starve

It might be hard for most people to believe, but the Senate just went on a week long vacation.

The Republican Senators wouldn’t even allow a bill to come up for a vote, for an emergency extension of unemployment benefits.

Talk about fiddling while Rome was burning. The Republican party is not interested in governing this country. Their sole intent is to prevent anything from getting done.

Then, when election day comes, they can spend millions of dollars saying it was all Obama’s fault and the typical Republican voter will believe it.

The Republican voters are almost as bad for America as are the crooks they elect into office.

Worst part is that at the end of the day, the Republican voters don’t even know or care what they’ve done.  All that matters is that their team won.

Fiddling while Rome burns is the same as filibustering and then going on vacation while unemployed freeze to death and starve.

Ah, the party of misplaced morals.

Nevada’s Booming Economy and Right to Work for Less

Nevada’s Booming Economy
by
David Schlecht

This morning’s news reports that Nevada’s wages in the second quarter of 2013 were the highest ever. Wow, Nevada must be just booming. Imagine, they’re getting paid the highest EVER. You might want to give up your mediocre job in whatever state you live in and move to Nevada.

But wait. Let’s look at those numbers.

2011 Wkly Wage Pct chg
Q1 802
Q2 816 1.7%
Q3 845 3.4%
Q4 852 0.8%
2012
Q1 846 -0.7%
Q2 815 -3.8%
Q3 820 0.6%
Q4 877 6.5%
2013
Q1 844 -3.9%
Q2 829 -1.8%
Q3
Q4

So, over the past 2 1/2 years, a Nevadan’s wages went up a measly 3% During that same time period, inflation went up 6.8%.

In other words, the average Nevadan’s wages were reduced by 4%. In other words, Nevada lost $829 X .04 or $33 a week or $1,716 per year.

This is quite the opposite of what the worthless news media is reporting.

Worse, still, is that the “average” wages is a worthless number because it makes one think that wages on the “average” person has gone up but in reality the average person’s wages went down while the wages of the top 1% of wage earners went up by a greater number. These reports need to report the “mean”, not the “average” The “mean” value is the value where half the population makes more than that number and half of the people make less. This number is going down even though the average is going up.

One reason Nevada’s wages are so miserably low is that we are a “right to work for less” state. In other words, we’re not too smart when it comes to governing ourselves. Having said that, let me finish by saying that I am seeing Nevada coming to our senses. We are now majority Democratic and the majority are getting involved in the political process. Maybe we can reverse this “right to work” nonsense.

 

Another Homeless Person Freezes to Death in Reno

Another Homeless Person Freezes to Death in Reno
by
David Schlecht

Considering that we’re supposed to be the nation that gives the most to charities, why are we also the country with the highest incidence of child poverty, child hunger, and homeless freezing to death?

I can hardly recognize this country anymore. What has happened to us? It’s not okay to be greedy. It’s not okay for the wealthy to pay less than 90% taxes. Holy cow! How many yachts to they need?

It’s wrong for a person to have a mansion if it means even one person has to be homeless to make it happen.

Greed is not good. Libertarianism is immoral. And, most importantly, this is not the America we all want to live in.

America is the Most Generous Country

America is the Most Generous Country
by
David Schlecht

It’s the season for giving. How generous are we in America?

I’ve seen it reported many times that America is one of the most giving countries when it comes to charity. Let’s consider this for a moment and see if it makes any sense.

There are lots of ways to give to “charity” including religious giving, giving to non-profit organizations, giving of one’s time, skills, and services.

What’s more, how much of your religious or non-profit giving actually makes it to provide actual services for the cause?

We measure our non-profits by the percentage of money actually spent on the cause. In a capitalist economy, this is backwards. The thing that matters the most is how well the money is spent. If you donate $100 and the non-profit uses that to advertise and brings in $1,000,000 then that’s a whole lot better than giving $100 to the cause. So, spending 0% on feeding the poor is in most cases better than spending 100%.

But, why is this true? Why do charities have to advertise? Why do they have to spend money advertising? In a truly giving society, they wouldn’t.

In fact, if America was truly the biggest giver to charity, there would be no need for non-profits as we would collect money for the poor in our taxes.

Another thing to consider is how your charity dollars are actually being spent. If you’re giving money to a billionaire televangelist or a church with multi-million dollar facilities, then you’re not really giving any money to charity. You’re being a putz.

So, let’s compare America to the countries that actually give more to the cause. In America, we spend a small fraction of our income on charity. Sure, you might give 5% or 10% to your church, but the billionaires give zero percent, on average. So, let’s average that out. The middle class and the poor make 10% of the increase in GDP and they pay 5-10%. That’s a total of a whopping 1% on average per person. Not too charitable if you ask me. And, of that 1%, how much has to go into advertising, marketing, building million-dollar churches an making the televangelist rich?

On the other hand, countries that take care of their people pay 50% in taxes and the majority of it goes to the people.

What a difference, don’t you think? 1% compared to 50%. But, of course, we don’t consider these other countries to be giving to charity. How blinded can we Americans be?

It’s time we started putting our money and taxes, and demanding that the wealthy elite pay their fair share. We should go back to the 92% tax bracket we used to have on the billionaires.

This would help prevent the greedy, and unethical televangelists and avoid wasting your contribution dollars on marketing.

The best charity is a reasonable tax rate that takes care of the people.

 

Where is All the Money Going?

Where is All the Money Going?
by
David Schlecht

We see the nation’s Gross Domestic Product go up almost every year. This is an indication in the increase in wealth of the country. That’s how much new product and services we’re creating and selling.

That’s a lot more money each year. So you and I should be seeing our paychecks go up a whole lot every year since we should be getting a fair share of the increased profits.

But our wages are actually going down, especially when compared to our cost of living.

So, where is all this extra money going?

It’s all going to just 100 people, who are greedily hoarding the money while the rest of the country gets poorer. Hardly seems right, does it?

A small select few, just 100 people, received 241 billion dollars more. There’s where the increase in our country’s wealth went.

Well? What are you going to do about it? Are you going call your representative right now, today, and say you’re mad as hell and you’re not going to take this anymore?

Good. Call them today, tomorrow and every day until they start fixing this mess. I will be, too.

Fiscal Farce Avoided

Fiscal Farce Avoided
by
David Schlecht

I refuse to call it the Fiscal Cliff because that’s just the Republican party’s effort to turn this into a crisis so they can hammer away at America’s social safety net.

So we avoided the fiscal disaster they were so warning us about. But, it didn’t get averted on the 31st and the world kept spinning didn’t it? It wasn’t a cliff at all, now was it?

So, now that it’s been avoided, what is next? Here’s what we can now expect.

The Republican party will use each and every possible excuse to take the economy hostage again. We will see this come up time and again and each time the Republican will try to strip away a little more of America’s core values, you know, the values of caring for one another.

At a time when we need to start demanding that the government spend more money to get us out of this Republican great depression, the Republicans want to cut spending. Does that seem backwards to anyone else?

So, expect more hostage taking.

Expect more demands to cut government.

Expect more demands to cut regulations, and let more people die.

The rich, the real rich, you know, the ones making more than a million dollars a year, well, they aren’t paying any more in taxes. They don’t pay payroll taxes because they take their income as capital gains. In fact, they don’t even pay tax on the income until they actually sell their stocks. And when they do, they’ll still be paying half the tax rate (20%) that the highest workers pay (39%).

The real workers will be paying an additional 2% in Social Security tax but the wealthy will be paying basically nothing for the social safety net.

Those selling multi-million dollar mansions and making more than a quarter million dollars in pure profit will have to pay a couple dollars in Obamacare tax.

To the dismay of the Republicans, the unemployed will get to continue to eat, grandma won’t be thrown under the bus, and the handicapped will not be left to die on park benches.

But, it’s not over. The Republicans will be back in two months demanding more cuts in the American way of life.

We are the richest country in the world and the Republicans are telling us we can’t afford to feed our starving poor. Shame on them.

Are We Better Off Than 4 Years Ago?

Are We Better Off Than 4 Years Ago?
Dave Speck

I know we’ve all heard the Republican party saying we’re so much worse off with Obama and the Republican voters conveniently forget that we were on the brink of another depression thanks to Bush. But, here are the headlines from just four short years ago. You know, the Republican era. My how things have changed!

STOCK SHOCK FELT ROUND THE WORLD. Gets ‘nasty’ as Lehman tanks, Merrill vanishes, AIG wobbles [New York Daily News, September 16, 2008]

Depression Coming? Boil Some Beans; Ladies Who Quilt Give Tips On Surviving Tough Times [Albuquerque Journal, September 21, 2008]

One day on the brink On Wednesday, it seemed U.S. economy might collapse [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 21, 2008]

‘Great Depression’ closer than U.S. admits, report finds [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 27, 2008]

Will Bush become the new Hoover? [Politico, September 19, 2008]

Developers bend under housing meltdown [Colorado Springs Gazette, September 27, 2008]

Depression seen possible [Florida News-Press, September 27, 2008]

Wall Street Meltdown Continues [CNN, September 17, 2008]

Is It Really the Next ‘Great Depression’? [NPR, September 19, 2008]

Behind Closed Doors, Warnings of Calamity [The New York Times, September 20, 2008]