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Old 01-21-2008, 04:14 PM   #21
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Disagree... alternative fuels is not the answer. Not yet.
i'm not talking about ethanol.... it is starting to look like no matter how it is produced it is a net energy loss. I'm talking about nuclear, geothermal, etc.
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Old 01-21-2008, 04:33 PM   #22
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this is all just another political scam meant to take focus away from the real problems...if they really want to help the economy they would lower the ammount of taxes they take out and let people keep more money to begin with...this is just some BS politics scheme
you can pretty much say that about the last four years of Bush's presidency. Go back and look how many things he released to the press on a FRIDAY right before everyone stopped reading the news for a weekend.

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Are you telling me that the richest 1% didnt get the largest tax break?
Clearly you guys aren't making over $300,000 where the real tax breaks kick in. and what about the deliciously old school AMT?

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i'm not talking about ethanol.... it is starting to look like no matter how it is produced it is a net energy loss. I'm talking about nuclear, geothermal, etc.
I'd love a realistic way to produce nuclear power. you just have to overcome two small details: waste disposal and public stigma
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:13 PM   #23
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the waste disposal is easier then the stigma. lol
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:16 PM   #24
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i'm not talking about ethanol.... it is starting to look like no matter how it is produced it is a net energy loss. I'm talking about nuclear, geothermal, etc.
Gotcha, I agree with that statement. Trying to reduce our dependency on foreign oil through passenger vehicles is asinine. Due to the bulk of plastic goods and petroleum/gas power plants and industries passenger vehicles really don't count for ****. Of course, the same is true of emissions, but that doesn't stop them from ******* with our cars.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:27 PM   #25
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I forgot the name of the company, but they are designing a supersonic commercial aircraft that utilizes hybrid turbofan/ramjet engines that should cross the big pond in 4 hours.

The good part - It runs on Hydrogen = Zero emissions.
Bad part - It doesn't have windows, too much heat due to the high speed. Other bad part - Current technology doesn't allow mass production of hydrogen with low net carbon output.

Check it out in the latest PopSci.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:27 PM   #26
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One suggestion, move everything over to electric, cars blah blah blah. Get some algae that releases hydrogren as a byproduct. And then build some fuel cell power plants.

Fuel Cell cars will never work.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:52 PM   #27
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and what about the deliciously old school AMT?
AMT is starting to become a serious problem, IMO. I understand the original concept, and it wasn't a completely horrible idea, but when it starts being something that I (a yachtless, non-millionare apartment-dweller) actually have to worry about, then something is wrong.

But to answer all those who blindly chant "The Rich Get All The Breaks" I have just one question. Have you actually looked at the income tax table recently? Here it is for 2007: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040tt.pdf

Notice that Mr. & Mrs. Brown, with their GEDs, their shitty jobs, and their $25,300 income pay less than 12% of their total earnings in Federal tax. By comparison, their neighbors Mr. & Mrs. Rodriguez, who worked their asses off seven nights a week and ate ramen noodles for four years to put themselves through school and thus are now employed as engineers and enjoy a combined income of $170,000 must forfeit nearly 22% of their earnings to the tax man.

Of course, we all know that investing in the stock market is only for the rich, and to help maintain stereotypes the Rodriguez' have historically invested some of that money in the securities market. They decided last week to sell a couple of holdings that they purchased last February. The stocks are up, way up in fact, but look out- they'll be assessed a 28% tax on all those gains as punishment for wisely investing their money rather than spending it as fast as it comes in.

News flash: People with large incomes pay more tax, both in absolute dollars and as a percentage of total income, than people with small incomes do!</rant>

This country rewards stupidity, laziness, and complacency.

If nothing else, this one should bowl you over: My mother, who lives back in Florida, works for a home healthcare agency. She's an RN with a BS, who nowadays spends most of her time doing management *****, filling in occasionally for the field nurses when needed. She related to me a story of a visit she'd made recently- a 30's(ish) couple, the fellow had been injured in a M/C accident (no lid) and was out of work. The wife worked as a waitress. The tiny home where they live was cleanish but old and run-down. At some point during the visit, the wife, while gesturing towards the large, new HDTV set observed "That's the kinda TV ya gotta make payments on."

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Last edited by Joe Perez; 01-21-2008 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:16 PM   #28
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Joe, but the fact your just forgot to mention is the minimum cost of living. That doesn't change if your rich or not.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:30 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Loki047 View Post
Joe, but the fact your just forgot to mention is the minimum cost of living. That doesn't change if your rich or not.
right. a loaf of wonderbread is still a buck 99 whether you make $5/hour or $50/hr.

oh, also, joe. who sells taxes before the lower capital gains rates kick in?
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:44 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
i wonder how good ol boy bush is going to pay for his next war.

oh and the 800 may not go out and buy a ps3 but it might just make it into a cheap investment in the stock market.
he'll just borrow money from a communist, authoritarian state to spread democracy and freedom across the world.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:47 PM   #31
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he'll just borrow money from a communist, authoritarian state to spread democracy and freedom across the world.
Anyone else feeling extra chinesey today?
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:15 PM   #32
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Kung hai fat choi!

There's a misleading statistic out there for every occasion. Here's another that I read in a retail-marketing trade rag - I don't remember the numbers exactly, but they're close enough to get the point across. Basically, something like 88% of all discretionary spending in the US is done by about 6% of the population. This number kind of scares the **** off most retailers, since that means the Walmarts and Kmarts and Targets of the world are cutting each others' throats over the remaining 12%, which is why they keep trying(usually without success) to sell more upscale products in their stores to attract members of that 6% who spend all the money.

It also kind of implies to me that 94% of the population is so busy just maintaining that the $800 is going to mostly toward staples, with the rest likely going toward a little of that discretionary spending, which means it will probably all end up being spent at Walmart.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:17 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Loki047 View Post
Anyone else feeling extra chinesey today?
as soon as the walmarts go out of business and the dollar stores become penny stores, the chinese will start their worker revolution cuz they wont have enough cheap **** to build and they'll be bored.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:26 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
as soon as the walmarts go out of business and the dollar stores become penny stores, the chinese will start their worker revolution cuz they wont have enough cheap **** to build and they'll be bored.
There's 1.6 Billion people over there. Watch out when they get pissed off over having nothing.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:48 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Loki047
Joe, but the fact your just forgot to mention is the minimum cost of living. That doesn't change if your rich or not.
Sure it does. After all, what exactly is the minimum cost of living?

I'll grant you that owning a car is pretty much a necessity in most American cities. A "minimum" car (one with four wheels, an engine, and a seat or two) costs $1,500. For that, you can get a well-used Honda Civic or a VW Rabbit Diesel with a salvage title, damaged body and grungy interior, but otherwise sound-ish mechanicals. Teach yourself how to maintain and repair it. Heck, buy two so you always have a spare.

But do the Smiths actually own a "minimum" car? Nooooo. They pay too much attention to the billboards (as as a radio guy, blaming outdoor advertising is pretty much my last resort) that tell them they need a pre-owned Lexus, or a new pickup truck. After all, it's zero down and only $129 a month! Besides, they deserve a car with a warranty and A/C, don't they? Hell, my 18 year old sister-in-law who has a crappy job, is a total flake, and has zero sense of responsibility, drives a leased 4WD Nissan Titan! Talk about someone who ought to be in the "minimum" segment!

My stepfather Wayne is an absolute guru when it comes to cheap vehicles. Right now he's got a big Dodge pickup and a Lincoln Towncar, and I doubt if he paid $2,000 for either of 'em. He'll bomb around in 'em for a couple years, held together with spit & twine, then junk 'em if anything major happens and find something else. One of his two adult daughters is a three-time recipient of his cheap-car-divining ability. She has never been without wheels. The other daughter is a primma-donna who "needs" a Nissan Murano to replace the Saturn she wrecked back in December (sans collision coverage). She is currently carless. Which one of the two is more "minimum?"


What exactly is a minimum food budget? When I was in college, I had a roommate who lived for a whole year eating absolutely nothing but slices of imitation cheese with either horseradish or BBQ sauce (both stolen from Arby's) on top. He suffered no lasting harm. The Smiths however find that sort of thing beneath them and also find food preparation inconvenient, so they get take-out from Chili's or pop into KFC several times a week. They could probably save $100 a week here and yet still fulfill the FDA's technical dietary requirements, but they don't want to. You know those bagged cereals on the bottom shelf at the supermarket that are like $2 for a 3lb. bag? Those go a long way. So do potatos, cabbage, bulk spaghetti (dried) with salt & butter, rice, the beef in the supermarket's "It Expires Today" rack, and so many other minimum standards of food.

Ok, a gallon of gas is a gallon of gas. Although it isn't is it? The Smiths, if they'd listened to me and bought that VW diesel, would be getting 50 MPG right now. Instead, they bought that nice low-mileage El Camino (cuz that was a bitchin' car back in the day) and are getting 12MPG. And would it kill Mrs. Smith to actually use her feeble little brain to figure out how to consolidate all her shopping into one weekly trip along a planned route? Because heading out to some store or another every single evening because "I forgot X" or "I'm in the mood for Y" doesn't make sense even if you drive an EV1.

And a gallon of milk is a gallon of milk. But you know what, I can't remember the last time I bought a gallon of friggin' milk. It's just not a necessary dietary staple. For that matter, have you priced bulk powdered milk lately? It's astoundingly cheap, has a nearly infinite shelf-life, and is roughly equivalent to the wet stuff in terms of nutritional completeness. When we were kids and went down to Puerto Rico to spend time with the family, real milk was a rare luxury, usually purchased only for the espresso. The powered stuff was good enough for everything else.


We talk about minimum expenses of living, and yet nobody really has a clue what that means.

What it really comes down to is this: You reap what you sow.


Can't find a high-paying job 'cuz you ain't got no education? Bullshit. Take a few night courses at the community college, get certified as a welder or a mechanic, or something for God's sake.

Single mother, two kids, can't afford daycare and therefore can't work? Bullshit. A: shoulda been a bit more careful about the morons who you let stick their dick in 'ya to begin with, and B: you apparently can't afford to maintain the kids anyway, so you might as well offload them into the foster system while you waitress you *** off to pay for an education that'll allow you to land a job that'll come with some basic benefits and cover daycare for the rugrats. Either that, or consider moving to a more rural area where one of your aged neighbors will offer to look after the little ones in the afternoon, no charge. Yes, these towns do still exist.

Maybe you're somebody who is genuinely stuck in a dead-end job with no prospects, no way out? Tough ****. Shoulda paid more attention in High School, maybe stayed outta trouble. But in the end, you're fucked and life ain't fair. Try suicide: Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.


Let's see. I live in San Diego county, where the "cost of living" is very high. In fact, as an overall state, CA is a close third in cost of living, right below DC and HI. Housing, gasoline, groceries, I pay more for everything. My 1 bedroom apartment is $1,700 a month. 91 octane is $3.50 - $3.60 a gallon. As a result of this, my salary scale is adjusted upwards relative to what it used to be when I lived in Cincinnati OH, working for the same company.

As a reward for this promotion, the Fed placed me in a higher tax bracket. My actual standard of living is lower than it used to be (I don't own a home, I have less surplus income, etc) and yet since I'm in a higher income bracket I pay more tax, both in relative and absolute terms.

I oughta be screaming that the Fed doesn't take into account where I live when deciding what percentage of my income I gotta pay in tax. After all, the difference in housing cost between Joplin, MO and Carlsbad, CA is the same whether you're looking at a condo or a mansion.

But you know what? I don't care. SoCal is worth it.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:54 PM   #36
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Bravo.

But good luck selling common sense and personal responsibility to mouthbreathing Nascar fans.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:04 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by xturner View Post
Basically, something like 88% of all discretionary spending in the US is done by about 6% of the population.
This is nothing new. Heck, it was more unequal back when the Rockefellers and the Carnegies roamed the earth. Look at it this way:
Although 1 in 5 Americans has 0 (or negative) net worth, the mean average net worth for all Americans is $55,000.

Bill Gates is worth $59,000,000,000.

Therefore Bill Gates has 1,072,727 times the spending power of the average American. And remember that Gates himself is included in that $55,000 number, so it's artificially high. And there are a *lot* of wealthy people in this country. Granted, not so many multi-billionaires per se, but enough investors, CEOs, brokers, plastic surgeons, lawyers, and even dot-commers buying multi-million dollar airplanes to fly to the villa where their multi-million dollar beach house is, with the multi-million dollar yacht in the harbor out back.

Every penny of that is discretionary spending and yet Wal-Mart never had a shot at any of it in the first place. If it makes you feel better, neither did Macy's or Brooks Brothers. While I believe the number you quoted is true, it's important to distinguish between discretionary spending and consumer retail spending.

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It also kind of implies to me that 94% of the population is so busy just maintaining that the $800 is going to mostly toward staples, with the rest likely going toward a little of that discretionary spending, which means it will probably all end up being spent at Walmart.
Yup. And if they'd just lay off the discretionary spending at Wal-Mart for a year or two, and save / invest the money instead, then after a while they might find that they've got a little nest egg building up.

And let me be very clear. The Chinese aren't communists. Socialists, maybe. But even that line is blurry these days. Heck, I own stock in a number of Chinese firms. You can't buy stock in a Communist country, remember? That's capitalism.

There is only one proper communist country left in the world. And **** the true communists. **** them right in their lazy, conformist asses.

Last edited by Joe Perez; 01-21-2008 at 08:16 PM. Reason: Mean average, not median.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:04 PM   #38
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You guys need to understand money creation and the fiat monetary system. Fiat money is money that is created out of nothing and backed by nothing other than faith, and the fact that our taxes are required to be payed in Federal Reserve notes.

Whenever money is created out of nothing, it dilutes the existing money supply. Whenever the money creation is greater than the expansion of the economy, you get inflation.

The corporations/insiders closest to the creation of money benefit by being able to spend the money before the inflation that follows the creation percolates through the economy.

Read the links I posted in this thread. They are very educational.
http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=264448
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:37 PM   #39
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OK I'll throw in my few cents.

So $800 might not seem like a lot to most of us but for some people that's 6 months of food or 3 months of rent. I'm not saying that $800 will "stimulate" the economy but what it will do is buy some good will of the people which is what Bush wants. GW has an ego the size Texas and he won't want to leave office with a 61% disapproval rating.

As for nuclear power, the prototype FUSION genernator is set to be built this year in France. Less nuclear waste, shorter life for the nuclear waste produced, and impervious to run-away chain reaction.

Personally my bet is still on solar.
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:18 PM   #40
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Its the fact that the monye will be used to pay down existing consumerism, instead of sparking new spending.

Look at the fact that my generation, based on current investment, 1 out of 3 will have no retirement fund. That is scary.

JoeP always enjoy your stories; and thats because they are stories. lata playas
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