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Mingus

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All that said, I'm not sure things would have been significantly different without the bailouts. Some of the big names would've failed. So what? The man on the street would've been covered to a large degree by Deposit Insurance.

The man on the street's retirement fund was wrapped up in/full of the complex derivatives that relied on dodgy NINJA loans. So were a variety of pension funds and other sources of income. Sure, deposit insurance protects checking/savings accounts, but people (like H3g3l) with substantial sums set aside in purportedly safe investment vehicles got hosed. Moreover, if the big banks had all gone tits up at once, the market would have had a sudden credit shortage/credit shock, which would have been detrimental to any small business that relies on invoices to order their supplies. The market relies on the provision of credit, and the sudden death of several major banks would have been catastrophic for our economic vitality.
 
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Maxx

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The man on the street's retirement fund was wrapped up in/full of the complex derivatives that relied on dodgy NINJA loans. So were a variety of pension funds and other sources of income. Sure, deposit insurance protects checking/savings accounts, but people (like H3g3l) with substantial sums set aside in purportedly safe investment vehicles got hosed. Moreover, if the big banks had all gone tits up at once, the market would have had a sudden credit shortage/credit shock, which would have been detrimental to any small business that relies on invoices to order their supplies. The market relies on the provision of credit, and the sudden death of several major banks would have been catastrophic for our economic vitality.

If. I doubt all or even most would've failed. Like h3g3l, I got hosed pretty good too, and I'm not sure the hosing would have been worse if they'd just let it run its course. Its possible the recovery might have been swifter with all the uncertainty removed.

Note to H3g3l: We're agreed on the decline issue. Not sure it can be stopped, but is it necessary to speed it up? I usually try to avoid mentioning the parallels to the Roman Empire. It seems defeatist somehow. Poul Anderson's Flandry series comes to mind when I think on this subject

Dominic Flandry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Everyone else, especially the Europeans: Sorry for any offense. You have what you have and are rightly proud of that. Fact remains, the U.S.A is still the big dog by any objective economic measure. Sadly, I'm not sure how long that will continue.
 
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Mako

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Income tax is only one of a zillion taxes. Publicize a little tax credit to a few people that probably don't even pay income tax, then take it back from them many times over in other ways.
Then please, instead of this idle speculation. Go through Obama's tax hikes and let's examine who they apply to. Put your money where your mouth is.

You're saying the individual people who took on mortgages way beyond their means, or tried to get rich quick by flipping houses bear no responsibility for overheating home prices to unsustainable levels? So we're all just babies incapable of managing our own affairs? People are stupid, government is smart?
Hurray for strawmen! Because misleading advertisements, sales people, contracts have nothing to do with that? The banks taking absurd risks with credit default swaps aren't the predominant cause? Nope, everything is poor peoples fault, not those in control approving loans for people without doing checks if they could pay them back. The banks have no accountability, they were just forced to give out all there money and had no way of controlling themselves.

False assumptions on all counts. The point is that insurance makes health care cost more, not less.
Funny how countries with single payer pay less then you. It's almost like you're completely wrong and willfully ignorant to the facts.

I mean, sure it in theory it could cost less if people ONLY paid upfront in cash when they were sick. It's not like insurance is in case people get sick and can't cover the cost upfront each and every time, and so by having insurance they'll be covered (in theory) and the difference will be made up to the insurance company by payments before and after. I mean, it's not like that's exactly what insurance is for, right?
Though the insurance companies used to have the option of just dropping people for their care being too expensive, then those people not being able to get insurance else where due to preexisting conditions and have to rely on emergency care which places the cost is on the taxpayer, making it even more expensive having to treat illness and injury when it's life threatening.

No, not due to the stimulus. Yes, the economy typically turns around on its own if you don't put too much in its way. The stimulus came way too late in the business cycle to do anything more than run up debt.
The CBO disagrees.

so·cial·ism (ssh-lzm) KEY

NOUN:

Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.
Gee, you can pick up the dictionary, now how about the important part when you actually apply that instead of throwing out brash accusations with no support. You're stating the Obama is bringing into socialism, I'm asking you to explain and prove your statements. As last I checked, finacial and helathcare are still in the control of the private sector.

I've got a degree in Economics. How about you?
Truthology @ Truthy U. When you fail to demonstrate knowledge, you lack that knowledge. Filling answer A into column B then turning around to show little understanding doesn't equate to being educated.

Anti-trust law has worked reasonably well over the years

Breaking up a monopoly is very different than bailing out a failure, and big is not the same as monopoly. Monopolies do not typically fail, they result in non-optimum prices.
Then we're in agreement here. Surprising but welcoming considering the rest of your post is ranting about government control. It's surprising you trust the government to enact anti-trust laws but not impose regulations to ensure non-abusive or overly risky business practices by the financial sector without calling it socialism.

The financial bubble had nothing to do with monopolies. It had to do with management at some financial institutions ignoring or improperly assessing risk.
Yet just a couple moments ago you were blaming it on poor people. Funny. The problem is that a set number of business's had so much control and influence on the economy that their failure and mistakes have global implications. That's a problem.

Personally, I think the propeller heads who came up with the computerized risk algorithms probably had the numbers right, but were ignored by management or weren't forceful enough in pointing out the impending disaster
David X. Li's Gaussian copula. Completely ignores risk, makes a shit ton of money really fast though. Until no one can pay back their mortgages and the whole things goes ass-up.

I'll give you that there needs to be some tweaking of banking regulation.
Reinstating Glass-Steagall that the republican controlled congress repealed in the 90's, stopping credit default swaps, you know that supposive "socialist action".

I could never understand how all this buying, selling, and packaging of mortgage obligations serves any useful purpose. That's probably how they lost their sense of true risks. Too many levels removed from a guy on the street with more debt than he had any way to pay.
Yet, it's the guys fault who was sucked into believing he could pay it and not the bank that gave them the money without being responsible for their business practices?

All that said, I'm not sure things would have been significantly different without the bailouts. Some of the big names would've failed. So what? The man on the street would've been covered to a large degree by Deposit Insurance.
Some of the bail-outs weren't needed, and there is some shady dealings within the treasury department I'm not fond of. But if more banks were to collapse, that's more lost jobs, even less loans, etc. The problem was there was not enough regulation in the bail-outs, which allowed companies to mismanage funds, and still not give out business loans. The banks concentrated on paying off the government first, which is good and bad in some senses.
 
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Maxx

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Yet just a couple moments ago you were blaming it on poor people. Funny. The problem is that a set number of business's had so much control and influence on the economy that their failure and mistakes have global implications. That's a problem.

You're the only one who said anything about poor.

Paying more than a property is worth with debt that is beyond your ability to pay was happening at all income levels. Everyone (banks, home buyers, lenders, the government) naively assumed that everything would be OK because real estate prices are uni-directional. Guess what.

That's no different than the dotcom bubble in 2000. No different than the crash of 1929, the tulip bubble of the 1600's, beanie babies, 60's muscle cars, etc. etc.

Regulating the last bubble after its already burst doesn't help. How about we work on the next one BEFORE it bites us? TAXES.
 

Chillhouse

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I can now see why people from my country fail to understand some Americans' opinions and think Americans are crazy.
We're all shaking our heads on a 24 hour basis.
 
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Mako

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You're the only one who said anything about poor.

Paying more than a property is worth with debt that is beyond your ability to pay was happening at all income levels. Everyone (banks, home buyers, lenders, the government) naively assumed that everything would be OK because real estate prices are uni-directional. Guess what.
Predatory lending predominantly targeted low income homes and those on fixed incomes to refinance. There is fall out through the wh0ole market in the way securities were bundled, but the defaults started at the bottom and rippled up. These loans should have NEVER been given out, it is the fault of the banks in this case as it is their choice whether to give the loan or not.

That's no different than the dotcom bubble in 2000. No different than the crash of 1929, the tulip bubble of the 1600's, beanie babies, 60's muscle cars, etc. etc.
I don't even know how to respond to that. It's so detached from reality as each has a differing causes and solutions.

Regulating the last bubble after its already burst doesn't help. How about we work on the next one BEFORE it bites us? TAXES.
You've ignored the cause of each bubble, then have attributed a solution that's not being proposed. Things such as the dotcom issue were worked out in the private market by companies (read:google) figuring out how to make money in a different fashion and not just expecting people to pay for a service they once got for free. The tulip bulb bubble and burst was because people realized "we're buying tulips...", it had no inherent worth, it's completely inapplicable to homes. The 1930's crash was protected against with acts like glass-steagall, which I noted was repealed in the 90's and is a large part of why the banking crisis was so pronounced.
 

Mingus

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Oh man, so true. Everyone in every other western nation outside the US is just shaking their heads at the US on a 24 hour basis.

To be honest, so are some of us in the US and almost every expat you'll meet. (UK/US dual citizen and expat here...)
 
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Let's revisit the start of the conversation.

I, too, hate paying taxes in this country. I hate it not because they're "high" (they're not), but because I have no control over where the money goes or how it's spent (on interest, I suspect).

I would really like to have the direct- or even representative-... er ... representation insofar as casting "tax dollar votes" with my money. And I'm talking about wide categories here: education, health care, defense, R&D (ARPA), paying down debt, etc.

In this way, I would get to feel that my tiny bundle would go to the programs that *I* want to support. And other people can have same.

To circle back to the start, Maxx, is the complaint here that taxes are too high, too onerous (God help you if you own an active business, an investment property, and collect rent), or just plain misused/misapplied?
 
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Mako

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Let's revisit the start of the conversation.

I, too, hate paying taxes in this country. I hate it not because they're "high" (they're not), but because I have no control over where the money goes or how it's spent (on interest, I suspect).

I would really like to have the direct- or even representative-... er ... representation insofar as casting "tax dollar votes" with my money. And I'm talking about wide categories here: education, health care, defense, R&D (ARPA), paying down debt, etc.

In this way, I would get to feel that my tiny bundle would go to the programs that *I* want to support. And other people can have same.

To circle back to the start, Maxx, is the complaint here that taxes are too high, too onerous (God help you if you own an active business, an investment property, and collect rent), or just plain misused/misapplied?
Do you understand the problem with such a system and why it isn't enacted anywhere on the planet? Saying this country (as in America) is flawed as it applies to every country. The payment of taxes to sectors that possibly need them would be disproportionate. A system could not sufficiently function, as it would require a voter base educated in every issue. Though that would be ideal, examining the political process in every western democratic nation it's a snipe hunt.
But let's play the hypothetical, to enact such a system where people decided to divide how their tax dollars were spent in which sectors would require an even larger tax system to comply and distribute it. My guess is that not many people are going to be checking "Use my tax dollars to support the tax collection/distribution" area. It would be a self defeating system.
However, you do have a say in how your tax dollars are used by your regular voting in the various stages of government. If you don't agree with the way those current candidates are handling things, then one should consider running or boasting someone else who more accurately reflects such ideals.
 
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Do you understand the problem with such a system and why it isn't enacted anywhere on the planet? Saying this country (as in America) is flawed as it applies to every country. The payment of taxes to sectors that possibly need them would be disproportionate. A system could not sufficiently function, as it would require a voter base educated in every issue. Though that would be ideal, examining the political process in every western democratic nation it's a snipe hunt.
But let's play the hypothetical, to enact such a system where people decided to divide how their tax dollars were spent in which sectors would require an even larger tax system to comply and distribute it. My guess is that not many people are going to be checking "Use my tax dollars to support the tax collection/distribution" area. It would be a self defeating system.
However, you do have a say in how your tax dollars are used by your regular voting in the various stages of government. If you don't agree with the way those current candidates are handling things, then one should consider running or boasting someone else who more accurately reflects such ideals.
Of course I understand, hence my comments about things being "untenable" or "impossible" or "impractical" a page (or 2, or 3) back.

I'm outlining an ideal here, and was pretty certain that it would be obvious that an industrialized nation would be well beyond it for practical purposes (just like coming off a fiat currency ... although, maybe we could have a Fiat currency, now that one of the Big 3 auto makers has paired with Italian auto makers... Hmmm...).

Long story short: I'm probing to see if it's the taxation level or distribution that spurred the original post. As for me, I think the taxes are too low across the board, but I would ideally like to see one of two extremes emerge: (a) Pay-for-play everything, in which I'm taxed 0% of my earnings, pay 0% sales and property tax, etc., and fork over money to drive on a road, go to a park, take medicine, etc. (b) Tax-for-everything, in which I'm out 40% of my income, but don't have to worry about medicine, health care, education, use taxes, etc.

Neither of these systems are going to happen in a large nation today, but these are the two extremes with which I am most comfortable, because I know what to expect. For me, this is what it comes down to: I'm irritated not knowing quite where we're going or how my money today may or may not be used tomorrow. That's me; I was curious about Maxx.

(Did you REALLY think I thought this was implementable, Mako? Tut-tut... :p )
 
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Maxx

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You've ignored the cause of each bubble, then have attributed a solution that's not being proposed. Things such as the dotcom issue were worked out in the private market by companies (read:google) figuring out how to make money in a different fashion and not just expecting people to pay for a service they once got for free. The tulip bulb bubble and burst was because people realized "we're buying tulips...", it had no inherent worth, it's completely inapplicable to homes. The 1930's crash was protected against with acts like glass-steagall, which I noted was repealed in the 90's and is a large part of why the banking crisis was so pronounced.

Huh???

A bubble by definition is bidding up in value of some item beyond its intrinsic worth to humans. The tulip bubble is exactly the same as the dotcom bubble, the real estate bubble and all the others. Google is of course a survivor, but the underlying issue was the bidding up of anything related to communications. The U.S., even the world landscape is still littered with empty buildings and corporate corpses from that mess, not to mention the human cost of livelihoods and savings destroyed. Lucent (nee Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of once great AT&T) and GEC (once proud British equivalent of General Electric) are a couple good examples. U.S. manufacturing never really recovered from that. Glass Steagal didn' prevent it. There's a bubble of some sort every 7 years or so and has been for as long as I can remember. Is there a way to stop irrational human behavior? Unlikely. Short of putting me in charge and letting me plan the entire economy. I'm more than qualified to decide who gets the McMansion in the burbs and who doesn't<wink><wink> I'm not going to debate whether Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are more to blame for this one than the "evil banks and loan companies", the idiots in Naperville paying half a mil plus for a giant cardboard shack with no shade, or the moron who bought the house next door, tried to flip it and took an $80k bath when the market came down around his ears. It doesn't matter. Irrational behavior on all ends.

H3g3l: My concerns are less with quantity than quality.

1. The federal government is sticking its nose in (and spending our money on) things that are not its Constitutional business. I'd be less concerned if they were adequately caring for the things that ARE mandated to them, like securing our borders. Things like schools should be under state and/or local control. It costs the same either way, but at least I can get in the face of my local school board, and my vote at election time means a lot more to them than to some guy 1000 miles away holding a national office. (ears burning Dick Turban?)

2. Tax regulations are a complicated mess. I think I might even be in favor of a national sales tax. IF AND ONLY IF they get rid of all this other nickel and dime crap. As it is now, not only do I have to write the checks, I have to go through inordinate pain and suffering to figure out the number. I know Mako will scream REGRESSIVE TAX, and TORTURING THE POOR, and it is, in theory. The reality is, if you've got real money, you can figure out ways around the income tax system as it is, so a sales tax might be more fair in that respect.

3. Pay-as-you-go for everything? Interesting thought. A lot of the ways that's implemented today annoys the crap out of me, but at least I retain some level of control over my existence and budget. The way government works now, we get it at both ends. Last time I was carried away in an ambulance after a bike crash, I still got an absurd bill for the service even though my property taxes pay for the fire department. (the guy who doored me ended up paying.....).

4. Quantity? No, we're not as bad as the quasi-socialist European states, but that doesn't mean its OK. I'm not as fat as the average American either, but that doesn't mean I couldn't stand to drop a few pounds.
 
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maxx said:
2. Tax regulations are a complicated mess. I think I might even be in favor of a national sales tax. IF AND ONLY IF they get rid of all this other nickel and dime crap. As it is now, not only do I have to write the checks, I have to go through inordinate pain and suffering to figure out the number. I know Mako will scream REGRESSIVE TAX, and TORTURING THE POOR, and it is, in theory. The reality is, if you've got real money, you can figure out ways around the income tax system as it is, so a sales tax might be more fair in that respect.

There's one more big benefit to sales taxes.
A sales tax is difficult to avoid paying even if you got your money illegally, under the table.
Canada has been moving in that direction for many years, even though Harper reduced the rate of GST, which has been critisized by many people as the wrong way to go.
It's not too hard to draw a correlation between a lower tax rate and the resulting deficit.

Here in B.C. we will have the HST come into effect in June. The HST is the combining of federal and provincial sales taxes into one tax.
The result will be the elimination of the whole provincial government department responsible for collecting the provincial sales tax saving a considerable sum of money.

As a result of the increased income and reduced expenses, business taxes with be eventually eliminated. This move should increase incentive to invest in business growth, and we all know business leaders are smart enough to avoid paying alot of business taxes while making investigating those tax avoidence strategies difficult and expensive to investigate.

Higher income earners generally buy more stuff, and therefore would pay more taxes.
Just think how sweet that would be; the drug dealer buys his girlfriend a nice sports car with his tax free income, and pays a wack of tax on it.
 
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Mako

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Huh???

A bubble by definition is bidding up in value of some item beyond its intrinsic worth to humans. The tulip bubble is exactly the same as the dotcom bubble, the real estate bubble and all the others. Google is of course a survivor, but the underlying issue was the bidding up of anything related to communications.
Defining what a bubble is doesn't explain the underlying cause of each bubble and what the trigger was that caused it to burst. You're generalizing on a massive scale with a complete disregard for specifics.


The U.S., even the world landscape is still littered with empty buildings and corporate corpses from that mess, not to mention the human cost of livelihoods and savings destroyed. Lucent (nee Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of once great AT&T) and GEC (once proud British equivalent of General Electric) are a couple good examples. U.S. manufacturing never really recovered from that. Glass Steagal didn' prevent it.
I'd ask you if you knew what glass-steagall was as this makes no sense but precedent in this topc has shown that you'll parrot a definition without applying it.

I'm not going to debate whether Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are more to blame for this one than the "evil banks and loan companies",
Yea because Chris Dodd and Barney Frank really have nothing to do with it. You're once again throwing out accusations, and if I try to call you on them you change the subject.


You still; haven't explained why Obama is supposedly trying to make America socialist and leading it into a communist dictatorship, you've over-generalized with text book definitions to avoid analyzing specific causes ad triggers of market bubbles and bursts, and not you're arbitrarily throwing in democratic congressmen names. It's just one big exercise in misdirection.

the idiots in Naperville paying half a mil plus for a giant cardboard shack with no shade, or the moron who bought the house next door, tried to flip it and took an $80k bath when the market came down around his ears. It doesn't matter. Irrational behavior on all ends.
Things such as flipping houses existed before and even after the market bubble. Trying to blame it on this is ludicrous. The big problem was the bunk loans given out that should have never been approved.

2. Tax regulations are a complicated mess. I think I might even be in favor of a national sales tax. IF AND ONLY IF they get rid of all this other nickel and dime crap. As it is now, not only do I have to write the checks, I have to go through inordinate pain and suffering to figure out the number. I know Mako will scream REGRESSIVE TAX, and TORTURING THE POOR, and it is, in theory. The reality is, if you've got real money, you can figure out ways around the income tax system as it is, so a sales tax might be more fair in that respect.
You can figure you way out of a sales takes even easier. You can close the loopholes used to avoid the income tax system.

4. Quantity? No, we're not as bad as the quasi-socialist European states, but that doesn't mean its OK. I'm not as fat as the average American either, but that doesn't mean I couldn't stand to drop a few pounds.
It's always amusing when conservatives start ranting and raving about socialism, completely igonoring when socializing a sector in another country made it better, and more cost effective then the U.S. Neo-capitilism only ensures inequality favouring the rich, pure systems do not work.

---------- Post added at 11:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:24 AM ----------

There's one more big benefit to sales taxes.
A sales tax is difficult to avoid paying even if you got your money illegally, under the table.
Canada has been moving in that direction for many years, even though Harper reduced the rate of GST, which has been critisized by many people as the wrong way to go.
It's not too hard to draw a correlation between a lower tax rate and the resulting deficit.

Here in B.C. we will have the HST come into effect in June. The HST is the combining of federal and provincial sales taxes into one tax.
The result will be the elimination of the whole provincial government department responsible for collecting the provincial sales tax saving a considerable sum of money.

As a result of the increased income and reduced expenses, business taxes with be eventually eliminated. This move should increase incentive to invest in business growth, and we all know business leaders are smart enough to avoid paying alot of business taxes while making investigating those tax avoidence strategies difficult and expensive to investigate.

Higher income earners generally buy more stuff, and therefore would pay more taxes.
Just think how sweet that would be; the drug dealer buys his girlfriend a nice sports car with his tax free income, and pays a wack of tax on it.
Ontario is doing it too. Things that were exempt from this tax in my province were things such a groceries, gas, children's clothing, newspapers, prescription medicine, and goods designed for people with disabilities.

Not exactly expensive luxury items such as cars. Actually, I decided to go look up BC taxes as well. I don't seen an exemption for cars there either, so could you source me to that? But let's play the game, your example is horribly flawed as it's not just drug dealers who buy cars. I'm going to guess more non-drug dealers buy cars then non-drug dealers. The new tax if cars were exempt before would put the price, or the loan with interest rather out of reach or causing a larger burden.
 

Izzy

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I propose this:
The single mother's manifesto | J.K. Rowling - Times Online

The fact that the American state would have utterly despaired JK Rowling to the point of inability is a testament to the failures of our current system of governance in its tax collection and the development of a safety net.

As for mortgages: the lesson learned is that poor, generally under-educated individuals in the field of finance, will believe that their bank is a trustworthy organization trying to help them. Do keep that in mind. The way the 'banking' sector versus the 'finance' center are portrayed in American media consumption and through decades of the US government seemed to imply that the bank was partially your friend. That was a problem.
The solution isn't to 'blame poor people', as is popular to do. Loose banking regulations allowed for banks to offer something that should have never been there to offer so that they wouldn't be tempted to screw over people with.

And finally, in education: your local school board, heck, elected state school boards, know as much about education as I know about administering mental health care to veterans - pretty much nothing above 'folk methodology'. Education is a field where EXPERTISE and SYSTEMATIC KNOWLEDGE is far more important than 'local attention'. Local administration, National standards and training.
 
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Maxx

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And finally, in education: your local school board, heck, elected state school boards, know as much about education as I know about administering mental health care to veterans - pretty much nothing above 'folk methodology'. Education is a field where EXPERTISE and SYSTEMATIC KNOWLEDGE is far more important than 'local attention'. Local administration, National standards and training.

I fail to understand how changing 'state' to 'national' on one's business card confers knowledge and expertise.

It DOES remove accountability and sense of urgency when you're 1000 miles away from the issue and the people you're supposed to be serving. Arne Duncan hasn't gotten any smarter since the move, but I bet he's relieved to be out of the reach of the Chicago press.
 

Fruitkitty

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I fail to understand how changing 'state' to 'national' on one's business card confers knowledge and expertise.

The implication is that national standardization can be more easily put in the hands of the experts who should be directing such standardization. With decentralized standards in the hands of elected officials, it's much easier political ideology to trump rational policy; Kansas can substitute intelligent design for actual science and Texas can bastardize history. Local politics are more extreme than state politics are more extreme than national politics, so put the standards in the hands of the federal government.

Yes, in theory, the federal government could make the same extreme changes at the national level, but in reality such would be politically untenable because you'd spark a massive outcry in over half the country. Any realistic national standards would be moderate and when written would draw upon the best experts across the nation.
 

Claw

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Fail to understand some Americans' opinions and think Americans are crazy.


*Sigh* Its just that the more extreme you are, the louder your voice is in my country. :wallbash:
It LOOKS like we are ALL ignorant, irritating, and downright mad.
Okay, so there are alot of them. >.> but there are plenty of people whom Consider the possibility that not everything they think is 100% correct


That and Western sterotypes are as big in england as the highclass englishman sterotype is in america. From what I have heard.
 
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Maxx

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The implication is that national standardization can be more easily put in the hands of the experts who should be directing such standardization. With decentralized standards in the hands of elected officials, it's much easier political ideology to trump rational policy; Kansas can substitute intelligent design for actual science and Texas can bastardize history. Local politics are more extreme than state politics are more extreme than national politics, so put the standards in the hands of the federal government.

Yes, in theory, the federal government could make the same extreme changes at the national level, but in reality such would be politically untenable because you'd spark a massive outcry in over half the country. Any realistic national standards would be moderate and when written would draw upon the best experts across the nation.

Respectfully disagree.

Ask yourself a couple questions

1. At work, are you more effective and commited to a project if a) you believe in it and have some level of control and input to the process and execution or b) the project complete with process and guidlines are handed down to you from "higher up"?

2. Why does my school district, and many others like it in the suburbs, significantly outperform the Chicago Public Schools in every possible way, even though CPS has more resources and spends quite a bit more per student?
 

the0silent0alchemist

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ill give another bad example of leaving things to the states.

in the eastern part of australia the murrey-darling river system is the biggest,, actually its the biggest in the country. it extends from the state of queensland downwards through new south wales, victoria and finally reaches its mouth and end in the state of south australia, yep the river crosses 4 states, not even ounting the ACT which is the equivalentof washington D.C in terms of its political boundaries.

that systemis also the countries lifeblood and supplies water to many of the farms in thestates breadbasket in the eastern seaboard. which id guess constitutes HUGE proportiion of EVERYTHING in the country, except for deserts.

and the murry-darling is dying for a number of reasons

bad irrigation practices causing dryland salinity (whre salt at times encrusts on the surface)
damming, and diversion of water. now my lecturer on aquatic ecology has worked on that system

we are, by altering rivers we are removing a systems ability to filter water, yes it does that. weve only just now been able to replicate this in the form of tertiary waste treatment processes (if your government mentions tertiary treatment of sewerage. rust me. thewater is SAFE and extremely clean all the issues you may have heard (UK people will have heard about some of these before) about sewerage treatment to make it drinkable. occured in plants that went only up to the secondary treatment stage.

now. as a stdent in environmental sciences in partcular, looking at ecosystem health. ive known for a while of these problems, and ive this last 2 months learned a shitload about water-systems, and can you GUESS whats holding up the government drawing up effective management strategies. you guessed it, the states, its almost like trying to herd cats,no its worse than that. and the sentiment is simply that if the gov cant ovverride the states soonish. we will LOSE the murry darling basin.

other countries have been able to ovverride their states and make areas mostly under one authority. if we had ben able to do it. we wouldnt be having these problems.

and dd i mention the murry basin feeds into the great artesian basin. which is a huge underground water basin. and in a place lie australia wherewe are known for droughtsand dryness, we need as much water as we can get.
 
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Mako said:
Ontario is doing it too. Things that were exempt from this tax in my province were things such a groceries, gas, children's clothing, newspapers, prescription medicine, and goods designed for people with disabilities.

Not exactly expensive luxury items such as cars. Actually, I decided to go look up BC taxes as well. I don't seen an exemption for cars there either, so could you source me to that? But let's play the game, your example is horribly flawed as it's not just drug dealers who buy cars. I'm going to guess more non-drug dealers buy cars then non-drug dealers. The new tax if cars were exempt before would put the price, or the loan with interest rather out of reach or causing a larger burden.

The reason B.C. is going HST now is because Ontario is doing it now. B.C. was worried that the business investment would go to Ontario instead of B.C. if we didn't impliment the HST too. It is very unpopular with the public though, depending on what poll you look at, it's between 60 and 80% against.
The government will go ahead and bring this in, it's the right way to go.

The point wasn't about the exemptions, or who buys cars. It's the ability to avoid paying taxes.
The drug dealer is not paying any income tax, but he will pay the HST, you have to launder that money somehow, the tax man will get a cut.
And lets face it, someone walking around with a big wad of cash in their hands is going to spend it.
It's a tax shift from income taxes to consumption taxes. Easier and cheaper to collect, much more difficult to avoid.
The people who buy more stuff will be paying more tax, the people who buy less stuff will end up paying less taxes.

The exemptions for the HST will be the same as the ones for the GST.
Most items for the disabled are GST exempt and will continue to be exempt under the HST.
Did you know adult diapers are PST and GST exempt? Soon HST exempt.
 
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