Friday, December 10, 2010

where'd the taxes go

Look at wages, GDP, and taxes.. 2009 the total wage for the US was about 6 trillion, GDP was 14.14 trillion,, that means about 8 trillion dollars was earned in means other than wages. Average and poor didn’t get much if any of that. So the top 10% of the richest, who took in 50% of all revenue, and who’s tax rate was at the top, 39%, should have paid 39% of 7.07 trillion dollars which is 2.7 trillion dollars. the other 50% of earning would have been paid by the other 90% of the population at an average of around 15%, (the bottom 10% would have paid no taxes) this would have been another .9 trillion dollars. total government tax revenue of 3.6 trillion dollars. Funny though, the government only took in 2.1trillion in taxes in 09. The total was .6 trillion less than what the top 10% was suppose to pay. So it is obvious that the rich, while whining about their high tax rate, aren’t really paying it anyway.. The total tax revenue for 09 was only 14% of all earnings.

Where'd all the taxes go?

This is not to mention that the average wage is going up faster than the median wage. What does this mean? Well median wage is after you take out the extremes, the very poor and the very rich and average again.. median wage is $26k, but average wage is $40k. And we know the very poor cannot skew the wage up, so that means the very rich are now making more compared to the average person than they use to.. This is shown in the fact that the average wage for US CEOs has gone up 500% since 1990 but the average work's wage has only gone up 9%.

Without some parity, the average American will start having a hard time buying the products the rich are selling. The constant outsource of production to other countries, so the the rich can increase their profit margin, is harming and will kill this country if not controlled.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dear 21st Century

Dear 21st Century.

I am here to comment on the future I see, a future that has wound through history to arrive in this present. The advances in some things have been so incredible as to take my breath away. From the horse and buggy to rockets and men on the moon is indeed wondrous. The progress of relations between black men and white men has not moved so quickly, but has at least it has continued to move forward. But the government I truly believed was “of the people, by the people, for the people” has become of the politicians, ignored by the people, for big business.

I have a hard time fathoming how most Americans can not care how their lives are being run, and those that seem to care, care only about complaining. As wrong as I felt the Confederacy was, it was a people standing up for what they believed and taking action. People that knew what was at stake, elected leaders they trusted and supported them. For the Americans on both sides that cast their lots to eternity for this country’s great ideals, it is imperative that all those who follow must maintain vigilance over the course of this country and its leaders.

It is time for the people to reunite this divided house. It is up to every person to plant the seed of honor, of honesty, of the next future, in the present before we destroy ourselves. If we do not reclaim our government soon it will not be worth retaking. If we use not our ballots we will be forced back to bullets when the safeguards of our liberties are removed from the constitution. If you do not have the heart to help I beg you to hold your criticism of those that stand against the tide of injustice. With truth we can meet any crisis and now is the time to demand truth from our leaders, and part from those who lack integrity.

It is hard to talk ill of my great country, but it is harder yet to look upon a people that are not wiser today then they were yesterday. If you want to be proud of this place you live, you must live so this place will be proud of you. My great concern is not with whether the government has failed, but whether the people are content with that failure. Do not be content with anything less than excellence in your leaders, and do not confuse affluence with excellence. With an assault of ballots we the people can overthrow, not the constitution, but the men who pervert the constitution.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Veto the line item veto.

Pork, pork barrel spending, hardmarks, softmarks, earmarks. They keep changing the name but it is all the same thing. Politicians inflating the budget by adding unnecessary crap to needed bills. There have been a couple of attempts to give the president line item veto, but what good would that do? If congress passed a bill that really was needed and the people wanted it, but the majority of those that voted for it was of the other party, the president could line item veto the good parts, and the oppositions pork while leaving his own party's pork intact. Not a good idea at all.

What I say we need is a concise bill into law that requires every line on any new bill must be directly related to and reference the 1st line of the bill or the line directly preceding it. Sure this would mean there would have to be a lot more bills going through congress, but they would all be of manageable size and the politicians might actual read a few of them. Does anyone think any of the Senators or Representatives actually read the over 2000 pages of the current health care bill before voting on it. Or even the 451 pages of the bail out bill. I seriously doubt it.

Somehow the pork has got to stop.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's the difference?

      Are you a conservative, or a liberal? Is there another choice? In modern politics there doesn't seem to be. Do the people that call themselves by one, and insult people by calling them the other, even know what they mean? For the most part, no! What does is matter, and where did the moderates go?  The basis of the word liberal is from the Latin "of freedom", and conservative is from the Latin "to preserve" Put them together and you get "to preserve freedom". And that is just what it takes, both sides and everything in between.  If this country and government "of the people, by the people, for the people" would have been truly conservative we would have been stuck in the last century, or worse yet stuck in the 19th century and still have slavery. If we had gone on a truly liberal track we would have degenerated into a capitalist aristocracy and from there into a revolution either toward communism or socialism. We need both sides of all the coins, liberalism and conservatism. We need capitalistic conventions and socialist programs. Without the balance, we degenerate into the worst of which ever we fall toward.

Five thousand years ago Socrates taught “all things in moderation” Buddhism teaches “the middle way” Confucianism has “doctrine of the mean” Taoism has “yin and yang”. Everyone knows of the balance of nature. Martial arts, sports, and dance all emphasize balance both of body and mind. It has been said that a healthy nation is a dramatic balance between the will of the people and the government. Yet the human race has been pathetically slow to learn this. People see a problem and jump on a knee-jerk movement to the farthest extreme from it never realizing they passed the solution along the way.

The battle between right wing and left wing rages on, with most people not knowing the difference between their own right and left hands, let alone the intricacies of liberalism, conservatism, forgetting all about the moderate, vaguely remembering hearing about libertarianism and not even knowing the existence of liberal conservatism, conservative liberalism, libertarian conservatism, social liberalism or economic liberalism. And only knowing of socialism, communism, and Marxism, as evils to be avoided, but without knowing anything about them, not having a clue why they should be avoided.

     Many people use the terms conservative and liberal to align themselves with political parties, which also is way off base. No one is 100% liberal and no one is 100% conservative no matter what they say. The big difference in what people who consider themselves conservative and liberal, whether they really are or not, is that those that think they are conservative make most of their decisions based on fear, and those that think they are liberal make most of their decisions on hope. Both are needed to make things work. Base all decisions on fear, and we are back to the 19th century, base them all on hope and things become chaotic and spin out of control.

     So the hard part is deciding which things in America need to be social programs, which must never be, and which can work either way depending on what the people are most comfortable with.  Some for social programs are easy to pick, police protection, fire protection, and education have been social programs for a long time and when managed properly work best that way.   

     Easy ones for free enterprise are any small businesses, any entertainment, anything that is not necessary for basic day to day living, provided it does not become a monopoly. Of course there are already laws against monopolies so that should not be a problem. And there is no reason that private enterprise cannot do the same things social programs do. They should be encouraged to compete with social programs to keep them from becoming fat, lazy and a drag on the budget.

     Some are not so easy but the idea that every citizen should have basic health care is sound.  This can be worked as a social program or as free enterprise provided there is a provision for covering those that truly cannot afford it. Part of the current problem is that people that cannot afford it, wait until their issues are so bad they need a hospital then go to emergency. They cannot afford to pay so never do and the insurance companies make it up with higher premiums to those that can. Fact is if as a country we would have provided basic preventative medical to them, most would not have needed emergency room treatment and it would cost less for everyone in the long run. 

      Albert Einstein said “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving forward. And that is what we have to do. We need to stop worrying about who is conservative, who is liberal and pay attention to what they have actually done. Did the politicians we voted in shore up the needed social programs, did they free up the competition in business, and find a solution that worked for the in between. If not, vote them out!!!

We need to vote for the person, not the party. The classic argument is that we are forced to vote for the lesser of two evils. But it is not a two party system. There are often dozens of candidates from as many parties. They are not taken seriously, not because they are not serious or valid, but because the average person cannot think beyond two possibilities. Everything is left or right, up or down, in or out, right or wrong, black or white. In reality it is all gray matter, pun intended. For almost any situation in the world there are multiple possible outcomes. It depends on what result is desired, what needs to be accomplished, and almost never is that conducive with running to either extreme.

When voting for someone who does not have a track record people need to learn the issues. People need to vote for the candidate that actually knows the issues and has the best answer to the problem, not the best rhetoric. It does not matter if it is the rhetoric you like, it is still rhetoric, do not listen to it. If you really take the time, time away from Monday Night Football, reality shows and soap operas, to learn the issues and to learn what some of the options are. But if you do and be ready to vote for the person with answer, regardless of what party they are from, eventually politicians will come around, they will have to. If they do not, you will know enough to be ready to take their place. After all our government is a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” and you are the people.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is the economy bad, or just the people running it?

Sure the economy is bad, for most of us. Unemployment is up, jobs are hard to find. But when I go to the store, or a mall, or a restaurant where there are people buying things, the lines are much longer than they use to be and the excuse I get is, they are short handed because of the economy. What, you have people lined up to hand you money, and you will make them wait, take a chance of them going someplace else, because the economy has "forced" you to cut your staff? This makes no sense to me at all.

Funny thing about this economy it seems to be its own excuse. On the news the other day, they reported the sales of high end luxury yachts out of the Miami manufacturing plant, has more than doubled in this bad economy. They have had to put on extra shifts. It seems the corporate big wigs have used the economy as an excuse to cut jobs, underpay employees, and in general increase their personal wealth. And this in turn makes the bad economy even worse for the average and below person while they continue to rake it in.

Right now, 10% of the population owns about 80% of the wealth, and the top 1% own about 42% of the wealth.
In the US from 1960 to 1990 the average CEO's pay was between 50 and 100 times the average workers pay.
From 1997 to now it has ranged from 300 to over 500 times the average workers pay.

Corrected for inflation, from 1990 to 2005 the average CEO's pay as gone up 298%, minimum wage has gone DOWN 9.3%

If the economy stays bad long enough, some of these wealthy, but not those at the very top, will also be affected. Then they will start to push the politicians to make real change. But until then it is just bunch of people with money, ruminating with other people with money on why what they are doing is the right thing to do, even it is does not help anyone but them.

Unless of course we start to actually pay attention to politics, learn the real issues, and start voting for people that can actually answer questions on the issues, not just vote for or against a party. The system is not two party, we have made it that way, but that is for another day.

Florida teachers

Many Florida teachers have not had any raises in three years, even though they had contracts with the state for raises for the last two. And that includes they have not gotten any steps for years of service, so a teacher that has been teaching for five years is still making the wage for two years of seniority.

The current governor cut the state school budget twice (which was already the lowest in amount of money spent per student in the entire country). He also rescinded the state constitutional amendment the required that no more than 25 students per teacher, so the schools cut staffing to be able to meet the new lower budgets. Still not sure how the governor was allowed to violate the state's constitution?

Plus he gave huge property tax breaks to people buying new homes that cost more then their previous home!!! This hurts both the school districts people are moving out of because they lose the tax base, and the districts they move into because they do not receive the normal amount of tax base per new student they are use to.

And obviously the only people that were buying BIGGER houses were the ones that had money and have not been hurt by the economy, so why give them a big break?

Now they are trying to throw out tenor with the excuse that there are bad teachers they cannot get rid of. Which is totally false, if a teacher is bad they have no problem getting rid of them. What they are really doing is trying to get rid of teachers at the higher end of the pay scale so they can hire in new teachers at lower wages.

Starting wage for a teacher in Florida is $33K, and people think not bad for 9 months out of the year and only working 7 hours a day.. But the facts: 1, they work 10 months a year in Florida. 2, average teacher day with at school is more like 9 hours, with another 2 hours a day at home doing school work. All this with no overtime or extra pay. You think the kids have a lot of homework, you should be a teacher. So that is 11 hours a day for 45 weeks. That is not counting holiday weeks, or the fact that some do grading and such during the weeks of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Spring Break when they are off. So it adds up to 2475 hours a year average. That is $13 per hour. Workers at Costco start at $11 per hour, and they didn't have to go $40k in debt to get a degree.

If you work a regular 40 hour a week job you work 2080 hours a year. Minus the paid holidays and vacations which can vary. For someone having worked many years in the same job and get 5 weeks vacation a year, (teacher don't get extra vacation as they have the four weeks of summer off), they work 1800 hours a year for thier pay.

Doesn't really seem fair to me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

testing the waters

Ok, here is my first blog. Silly name. Blog, short for Web Log,,, how many even know that? About as many as know the actual definitions of liberal and conservative? Not very many. Hopefully I can shed a little light on the darkness of political thought. And that is what I will try to do here.