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View Poll Results: Should the Federal Minimum Wage be Raised?
No, those jobs are for teenagers and 2nd incomes. 58 67.44%
Yes, to about $10/Hr. 14 16.28%
Yes, to about $15/Hr. 11 12.79%
Yes, to $_____/Hr. 3 3.49%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-11-2016, 05:13 PM   #221
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It's damn near impossible now to fill those lowest level manual labor jobs now because sitting on a couch pays so well these days. The culture of laziness is so pervasive I dare say you might have to threaten some men with a whip to get them to do work.
I realize (or, at least, I assume) that fooger's post was written partly in jest, but it's an on-point satire of a lot of the drivel I hear both from politicians and from the less well-educated portion of the electorate.

The past was better because everyone had tiresome, menial jobs working on an assembly line or as a farm laborer. Back then, you could work 30 hours a day in the coal mine and maybe be able to afford some tiny little house in a company town. One car per family, if they were lucky, and the idea of having sufficient disposable income for things like overseas vacations and a cushy retirement fund wasn't even within the realm of plausible dreaming for the working class. Not that it really mattered, as you had about a 50% chance of not even living long enough to retire.

We live comfortable lives, with plenty of food and access to turbochargers and the internet, precisely because large corporations (be they tech companies or farming conglomerates) made large capital investments to improve productivity. You can trace this phenomenon all the way back through history to when ancient man learned how to work with iron, carve wheels out of wood and stone, and so on.
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Old 03-12-2016, 02:37 PM   #222
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So, the idea here would be to incentive business owners not to invest in technology and equipment to improve productivity?
The idea would be to make replacing labor with machines less attractive by artificially increasing the cost of doing so.

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How far do you take that? If a worker uses a CNC lathe as opposed to a manual lathe, is that capital labor? What if the worker uses a power drill instead of a hand-operated drill? Or a steam engine as opposed to an ox?
The only reasonable way that I can see to do so would be to leverage an additional tax. This tax would be a tax on business activities (so wage earners are exempt). The tax will be based on the "earnings of employees" - effectively what is the value that the employee takes when they walk away from work? (This is to prevent all "employee spending" from counting - such as spending on gym equipment or break room furniture at the workplace/etc.; when an employee leaves work, they cant take break room equipment with them)

So based on the employee "take home package", a business can deduct a set percentage of their additional profits (say 25%) which are not subject to the "capitol profits" tax. (A 25% rate effectively suggests that an employer gets 1 unit of profit out of each of an employees 4 units of paid work) All profits earned above 25% of what a business pays their employees are then subject to the "capitol profits tax". (There must also be a rule that says that you, as the business owner, can't simply pay yourself all of the profits and claim that the business made little or no profit - I figure a leveraged pay limit would work well here - a business must determine it's average salary package value, and is then limited to claiming 5x that salary value per employee.)

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Bakeries which want to be successful in such a regime will have to ditch their modern electric / gas ovens in favor of cooking with wood in iron stoves. Except that even the iron stove is a capital investment, so that makes the baker's labor capital labor. So... campfires?
In the case of a bakery, they do have significant capitol investments, but compared to their wages paid, they make very little profit as a percentage - in this case, such a bakery would likely be able to get under the "we only profit 25% of our total employee salary package value, so we're not subject to the tax" threshold - and even if they exceeded that threshold - they still get to keep the first 25% of their profits, not subject to this tax.
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This is, of course, reductio ad absurdum. But it illustrates the problem with drying to draw some arbitrary dividing line down the middle of workforce productivity.

You can't legislate a return to the pre-industrial era.
Example:
Business "R" has annual profits of $4 million

Business "R" pays a total of $18 million as "employee salary packages"

Business "Rs" tax obligation for the capitol profits tax starts at 18,000,000 * .25 = $4.5 million; $500k more than their profits.

Business "R" is not subject to the capitol profits tax.



Business "Q" has annual profits of $35 million

Business "Q" pays a total of $20 million as "employee salary packages"

Business "Qs" tax obligation for the capitol profits tax starts at 20,000,000 * .25 = $5 million; so the remainder of $30 million is subject to the capitol profits tax.

If the capitol profits tax rate is 20%, they will pay $6 million in capitol profits taxes.


The two factors that we can use to control the effect of this process are the "salary package percentage" (in this example, I used 25%) and the tax rate (In this example I used 20%)
In order to reduce a tax burden, Business "Q" can either hire more employees or pay a higher average salary to its current employees.
The tax gained from this, in addition to the taxes that are currently paid to people on welfare, will also be used to subsidize labor.

Imports will also be taxed, those taxes can be used either to subsidize exports (creates a death spiral of unsustainability) or to also add to the labor subsidy pool.

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Old 03-12-2016, 03:01 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
The idea would be to make replacing labor with machines less attractive by artificially increasing the cost of doing so.


The only reasonable way that I can see to do so would be to leverage an additional tax. This tax would be a tax on business activities (so wage earners are exempt). The tax will be based on the "earnings of employees" - effectively what is the value that the employee takes when they walk away from work? (This is to prevent all "employee spending" from counting - such as spending on gym equipment or break room furniture at the workplace/etc.; when an employee leaves work, they cant take break room equipment with them)

So based on the employee "take home package", a business can deduct a set percentage of their additional profits (say 25%) which are not subject to the "capitol profits" tax. (A 25% rate effectively suggests that an employer gets 1 unit of profit out of each of an employees 4 units of paid work) All profits earned above 25% of what a business pays their employees are then subject to the "capitol profits tax". (There must also be a rule that says that you, as the business owner, can't simply pay yourself all of the profits and claim that the business made little or no profit - I figure a leveraged pay limit would work well here - a business must determine it's average salary package value, and is then limited to claiming 5x that salary value per employee.)


In the case of a bakery, they do have significant capitol investments, but compared to their wages paid, they make very little profit as a percentage - in this case, such a bakery would likely be able to get under the "we only profit 25% of our total employee salary package value, so we're not subject to the tax" threshold - and even if they exceeded that threshold - they still get to keep the first 25% of their profits, not subject to this tax.
You are aware, there are a lot of businesses without employees... And if I took on a 'contractor' it's an expense. You also don't account for all the other costs that go into making a 'product' which are all expenses to the business and determine the ultimate profitability.

Not to get into the "you didn't build it BS" but as the owner of the business, why should I be limited to the profitability of the business so long as I'm paying the taxes I'm legally obligated to.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:02 AM   #224
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Notice I mentioned "profits", and not "revenue". The concept of taxing "revenue" is absurd.

Yes, if you take on "contractor", it's an expense, and it also reduces your profits - if you want the bonus 25% tax benefits, then hire an "employee" instead. Also, I HIGHLY doubt that your business doesn't have any employees. Some self-employed discount the fact that they themselves are the sole employee of the business. If you are the "employee", then figure out how much you are paying yourself - it's probably a commission of a pretty large percentage of the "profits". Then figure out how much remaining "profit" (probably pretty close to "$0") is distributed to "shareholders" (probably "you"), and that is the tax basis.

All of the other costs that go into making a 'product' are - again - Costs. Costs reduce profits.

Regarding your last stanza, your profitability is still unlimited just as it is today, we are merely adding an additional tax to those profits above a certain threshold which is defined by your employee salary package.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:34 AM   #225
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Notice I mentioned "profits", and not "revenue". The concept of taxing "revenue" is absurd.
I know what you mentioned. Notice, I never mentioned "revenue". And I do know the difference.

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Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
Yes, if you take on "contractor", it's an expense, and it also reduces your profits - if you want the bonus 25% tax benefits, then hire an "employee" instead.
Believe me, the last thing I want, or need, is a more complicated tax system and one that favors adding people over a capitol piece of equipment that might enable higher productivity by the people currently employed (were I the owner of a business that produced goods).

If you truly want to raise the income level of people then train them better and more of them. I can see a tax credit offerred to companies that offer an in house training program (like the old apprentice programs).

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Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
Also, I HIGHLY doubt that your business doesn't have any employees. Some self-employed discount the fact that they themselves are the sole employee of the business. If you are the "employee", then figure out how much you are paying yourself - it's probably a commission of a pretty large percentage of the "profits". Then figure out how much remaining "profit" (probably pretty close to "$0") is distributed to "shareholders" (probably "you"), and that is the tax basis.
I don't know why you would HIGHLY doubt my business doesn't have any employees? It's what I said...

Under the IRS definition of an employee, we have none. We're a 2 person LLC legally registered in the state. Both of us are "members"... We take our gross revenue, less business expenses and the remainder is taxed at the personal rate. I get none of the "benefits" of being an employee but we also have none of the pain of being or having employees. But I'm sure you know all that...

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Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
Then figure out how much remaining "profit" (probably pretty close to "$0")
Nope, wish it was but we try and be honest on our expenses. MY 1040 line 17 for 2014 was $126,xxx and 2015 will be $152,xxx. And I paid taxes on those amounts.

In Soviet Russia, it was common to employ many times the labor it required to do a task. When a machine tool client of mine sold them machinery it was always noticed how they would never utilize the productivity of the machine tools and typically a shift would have 2-3 times the operators needed. Now I realize Soviet Russia is not the USA and it's only a point of comparison. It's not the role of government to employ it's citizens. It's the responsibility of it's citizens to be employed/employable.

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Old 03-13-2016, 04:14 PM   #226
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It's the responsibility of it's citizens to be employed/employable.
I suspect that you too think we can educate ourselves into prosperity?

There's a reason that you practically have to have a masters degree to get hired as a teacher these days; It's not that the teaching profession requires the education provided by a masters degree, but rather in a profession where you have 10 jobs available and 50 applicants, 15 of which have masters degrees, there simply is no reason to look at the pool of applicants which do not have either masters degrees or an extensive background. Now I wouldn't recommend anyone ever aspire to be a teacher, it simply doesn't make economical sense in a profession flooded with highly qualified unemployed. In this scenario, if the school hires only teachers with masters degrees, then what do the 5 remaining masters-degree-holding teachers do? How about the other 35 applicants who are fully trained, qualified, and capable of teaching? This scenario isn't identical to the rest of the world, but it's a perfect example of what happens when you have too many trained workers and no way for them to earn a living. What would you tell the 5 aspiring teachers who hold masters degrees? "If only you guys had more education..."

In today's world, I would tell the 40 unhired people to go to tech school and learn to weld - but what happens in 5 years when we have 10 welding jobs and 40 fully qualified welders?

I'm not a "tax" addict - in fact, I'm currently aspiring to achieve the top tax bracket, not to pay more taxes, but because of a higher income, and I had a "welcome to the republican party" conversation with my wife when she asked where all the money she was making was going. I'm a "small government" guy, but I'm also an economist.

It's ridiculous to expect that people will "educate and train themselves into a job" - there are far too many people that are too mentally incompetent to do anything more than menial repetitive processes - the jobs most easily outsourced to 3rd world countries or replaced with machines. This system never degrades into the socialized work process you outlined because employers still have to pay employees that they hire - which means that employees must still perform a task which is profitable to the employer. If a factory still wants to utilize a fully automated manufacturing process, they are more than welcome to do so, they simply need to factor in the tax when they are making the decision of whether to hire people or buy machines. The higher import taxes will make those manufacturers far more competitive with imports anyway, so it could very easily make sense to not automate a production line so heavily. A good economy begets a good economy, so since each worker is taking home more money, they'll easily be able to cover the increase in prices that comes from either buying the chinese-****+import tax or from buying the more expensive american-**** without the tax, and they'll be able to afford more goods on top of that, which means you'll sell more things, helping to offset a little bit of that tax you paid on your exceptional profits.

Regarding your whining about how your LLC will be unfairly taxed because you have no "employees", ask a 5-year old how to solve that problem; it sounds like they're more likely to come up with the correct solution - "If they do employee-like things, then you simply treat them as employees." Is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

The concept of "we can educate and train ourselves into prosperity" is the exact and specific reason why college education costs are so incredibly absurd today, but we are no better off than we were before we decided to "educate and train ourselves into prosperity" - sure, the highly educated have better jobs than the less educated, but if the entire population were educated at 1 level below what they are currently educated at, would individuals be more or less prosperous? What if everyone were magically educated to one level higher? All of your high-school diplomas are now tech-school certified, tech school graduates have associates degrees, associates degrees are now bachelors degrees...all the way up to doctors which have become more educated "super-doctors" How much more are the super doctors making today than they were yesterday? Probably not a dime more - meanwhile, what has happened to the cost and time of education?

The economically efficient solution is actually really simple - completely abandon all income redistribution - let the unemployable die of starvation, let medicaid patients die of medical issues, ignore children whose parents have died in a horrible automobile accident... It's efficient and guaranteed to take us back into prosperity - but with the obscene value that we place today on human life, how realistic is it?
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:39 PM   #227
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I suspect that you too think we can educate ourselves into prosperity?
No, but we can mechanize our way into productivity. It was called the industrial revolution.

I can't quite figure out what the desired end-state of your proposed world is, but in general, humans have always tended to seek out technology to improve productivity, and the overall human condition has always improved for this.

It started back when early farmers discovered that they could hitch a plow to a horse, and work more ground that way.

Under your system, those greedy farmers with their tractors and combine harvesters should be punished for producing food too efficiently. So we tax them until it becomes less unprofitable for them to get rid of the tractors (and horses) and instead hire a bunch of people at $15 per hour to till the ground by hand. Hopefully the billions of people who starve to death because they can't afford food anymore won't mind.


If you look back at history, there have been many innovations which allowed machines to displace human labor. Direct-dial telephone switching put millions of phone operators out of work. The inventions of the windmill and water-mill allowed millers to greatly increase food production without hiring additional laborers. Automated can-making machines increased the productivity of can-makers a hundredfold. Sail-powered ships took away the jobs of thousands of slaves, and then steam power reduced manpower requirements per ton of shipped cargo ten-fold again. Shoe leather is cut by machines instead of with knives. Toothpicks are produced by automated lathes rather than by men with whittling-knives.

But industrialization doesn't take away jobs, it creates them. Every time you increase the productivity of industry, the economy benefits as a whole. Consumers can afford more things, so they buy more things, and this ripples all the way down the supply chain to foundries and chemical plants and the company which produces machine screws, and the company that does plastic molding, and the company which excavates raw materials to make all this **** out of.


Before the invention of the ENAIC and similar machines, the word "computer" refereed to a person who labored at a mechanical calculator (itself a capital investment) to solve problems. The invention of programmable computers wiped out this entire class of labor, but created millions of new (and high-paid) jobs in its wake. We live in a better world because we no longer reply upon men with mechanical calculators to solve our engineering problems.


I'm sorry, man, but you can't legislate away technology. And I, for one, don't want to return to the stone-age.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:47 PM   #228
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:07 PM   #229
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:09 PM   #230
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(Two Youtube videos)

Perez' Law: Any person who, in the course of debate on a web forum, posts a youtube video as a response to an argument rather than crafting his own counter-argument, is considered to have lost the debate.

But I'll bite:

I totally get your point. Machines are becoming smarter and more versatile, and will soon displace humans from menial, repetitive mental tasks just as they have already displaced them from menial, repetitive physical tasks during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Why do you consider this a bad thing?
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:12 PM   #231
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Perez' Law: Any person who, in the course of debate on a web forum posts a youtube video as a response to an argument, rather than crafting his own counter-argument, is considered to have lost the debate.

But I'll bite:

I totally get your point. Machines are becoming smarter and more versatile, and will soon displace humans from menial, repetitive mental tasks just as they have already displaced them from menial, repetitive physical tasks during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Why do you consider this a bad thing?
I don't consider it a bad thing - I consider it a great thing. Today it's a great thing for the individual that owns the capitol - I'm suggesting we make it a great thing for society.
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:26 PM   #232
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I don't consider it a bad thing - I consider it a great thing. Today it's a great thing for the individual that owns the capitol - I'm suggesting we make it a great thing for society.
But it IS a great thing for society.

We have so much food that obesity is now a crisis and being thin is a novelty. Contrast to a thousand years ago where "beautiful people" in paintings were fat, because only royalty and nobility could afford enough food to get there.

We have so many cars and busses and trucks and trains and ships that air pollution and traffic jams are a concern. Two hundred years ago, sending a letter across the country was novel, much less traveling there yourself.

We have computers and microwave popcorn and Netflix and Chipotle and multiple pairs of shoes and turbochargers and paper towels and cell phones and antibiotics and kitty litter, and we have radio and television and pop-ups and ads in elevators to convince us to buy all of these things using he huge amount of money that we all have as a result of our comfortable jobs which wouldn't exist were it not for mechanization.


So, again, how is this bad? Do you honestly believe that the quality of life for the average person was better in 15th century feudal Europe? Or in Egypt under the Pharaohs? Or in a cave, worrying about mountain lions and whether you'd stub your toe and die of sepsis the next day?


Yes, we are more unequal than we were a hundred years ago. But even the poorest of today are better off than the poorest of 1916.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:13 PM   #233
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When not working is incentivized, you get more of it.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:32 PM   #234
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Yes, we are more unequal than we were a hundred years ago. But even the poorest of today are better off than the poorest of 1916.
Moreover, if anyone wants to live like it's 1916, or 1616, that option is still available. You are allowed to eschew refrigerators and dishwashers and fast food and telephones and cars and electricity and modern healthcare. Your lifestyle will be incredible frugal and you will endure 10+ hours of difficult physical labor just to grow your own food and retrieve clean water and manually wash your laundry and everything else that you take for granted.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:52 AM   #235
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:14 PM   #236
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:31 PM   #237
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:12 PM   #238
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Future of fast food? Carl’s Jr. CEO contemplates restaurants where diners ‘never see a person’
POSTED 4:50 PM, MARCH 18, 2016, BY JEREMY TANNER, UPDATED AT 05:08PM, MARCH 18, 2016


NEW YORK – The CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s says he sees automated restaurants as the future of the industry and a solution to rising minimum wages.

“I want to try it,” Andy Puzder told Business Insider. “We could have a restaurant that’s focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.”

Eatsa is a fully-automated lunch spot that provides healthy meals at the touch of a button. The first location opened in San Francisco’s Financial District, and the company has since expanded to Los Angeles as well. The menu consists of bowls for $6.95 that include Japanese, Mexican, Mediterranean and other international themes.

Puzder has spoken publicly against states raising the minimum wage, saying that it cuts down on companies’ ability to compete. He said both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are making a big mistake pushing for the mandatory raises, adding, “Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?”

Puzder says that while he likes the idea of automation, to employ it at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants would take an extensive amount of engineering to replicate what is currently a complex process.

While customers will not be alone in Carl’s Jr. restaurants anytime in the near future, Puzder think full automation is what Millennials will eventually prefer. “Millennials like not seeing people . . . I’ve actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there’s a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody.”

So far, Puzder’s comments have not been well received by many on social media, who took to Twitter to blast the CEO’s “Jetson’s”-like vision of the future:
(A bunch of twitter posts written by angry people that I can't embed here)
The idea of having a fully-automated place to grab a quick bite is hardly a new one, however – inspired by Berlin’s 19th century coin-operated cafeterias, Automats reached New York City in 1912. For a nickel, a busy commuter could lift a hinged window and pull out a meal, neatly wrapped in wax paper. Many of the Automats also had a steam table from which diners could help themselves to a variety of hot foods.


Automats ended up fading into history in the 1970s, ironically in part because of the popularity of fast food restaurants, according to historians. Many Automats ended up being replaced by Burger Kings and Arby’s in New York City.

Future of fast food? Carl?s Jr. CEO contemplates restaurants where customers ?never see a person? | New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:17 AM   #239
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What goes around, comes around. Dad used to talk about the automats in NYC when I was a kid.
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:52 AM   #240
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Future of fast food? Carl’s Jr. CEO contemplates restaurants where diners ‘never see a person’
POSTED 4:50 PM, MARCH 18, 2016, BY JEREMY TANNER, UPDATED AT 05:08PM, MARCH 18, 2016
Imagine the epitaph; 'Amongst other lifetime contributions, Andrew was central to the introduction of the Monster Thickburger to our American dietary agenda.'

I kid....

That got me thinking about this recent Indy news (Apparently they were looking for a 'customized' Monster Thickburger );http://fox59.com/2016/01/23/couple-c...ato-complaint/

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