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Thread: Z8 & Politics -- Mostly OT

  1. #1
    Z8 Madness
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    Z8 & Politics -- Mostly OT

    Meg Whitman spent about $140M of her own money to run for governor here in california. If she, instead, spent that money to buy Z8s, should could buy 1120 Z8s at a cost of 125K each. I think she blew her money on nothing if you ask me

    But seriously, she could use that money for fellowships, say in science and engineering (I'm inserting my bias here), and have 1120 students get a valuable collage degree from an excellent University. These 1120 students would, for the most part, become part of the work force and contribute millions each to our nation and GDP. The impact would be big, to say the least.
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  2. #2
    I'm very happy that neither she or Fiorina will be influencing our lives, though I feel we've gone from simple bad governance to hate filled stalemate in Washington.

    It is interesting to see how the banksters are now financially backing Rep Inc, ensuring a total stalemate while they continue to plunder our resources with their ridiculous and insane addiction to Keynes, and gambling on madly irresponsible debt.

    This chart from one of the blogs I subscribe to puts it in very clear perspective. The real financial collapse is still ahead of us. We've seen the trailer, but the main attraction is yet to commence.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  3. #3
    Z8 Madness
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    That's scary beyond imagination.
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  4. #4
    Z8Mania
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    How about this:
    Consider how much money is spent on all elections marketing. By the pro business lobbies, by the unions, by whomever they are. Then tell me, if they really wanted to help the country- why not just make a fund out of that money for the benefit of the nation? They could use it to pay down debt, or educate, or whatever. In the end people spend their money because they think they can get a good return on investment. They are all the same, both parties. There is only one winner in this election cycle: the media companies. This must have been like a stimulus bill just for them!

  5. #5
    Jerry, I beg to differ, the only winners are Rep & Dem Incs, the banksters 'divide and conquer' puppets, and the big corporate spenders. We the people are always the loosers in this no win game.

    Talking of stimulus, can you imagine what the USA would be like today had the bank bailout trillions been give to us the people? Of course it would have all been deposited in the banks, and created untold wealth across the nation, stimulating no end of growth, but instead it has all gone into the financial black holes like JPM, GS, etc where we the people will never see it paid back.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  6. #6
    Z8 Madness
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    Jerry, much of the social/political/economic dynamics of this nation are well beyond my pay scale and I admire Andrew and your insight into these things and am fascinated by how much you guys read and educate yourself.

    However, my daily job as a professor is about making things simple and looking at problems in an abstract way. You may ague that as being a worthless academic exercise, but, every once in a while, it works.

    In my opinion, prosperity comes from hard AND efficient work (production). You can make something out of nothing by putting energy into it. For instance, I can cut down a tree and build my family a table and a few chairs. That would be positive contribution to my family (not so for the tree of course). A nation that works hard and become more efficient at producing what is needed will prosper and become wealthy (i.e., China). Money is nothing but the fluid that facilitates exchange of products.

    I'm afraid, in US, there is a desire to become wealthy without hard work. We no longer wash our cars, clean our homes, iron our cloths, polish our shoes, fix our homes, or produce, in a competitive way, at factories. Instead, everyone is after the "quick $". Making money out of thin air has replaced making a product out of nothing. Everyone wants to be a manager. Everyone wants to be a broker. Everyone wants to be a "business man" (translation, hope to make a lot of money). For a long time, we "produced" technology and advance equipment (rockets, satellites, planes and computers), but we are falling behind on that front as well.

    Combine the above with extraordinary greed at the high-corporate level and I have to side with Andrew when it comes to where we are headed.

    Lets hope all of this is wrong.
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  7. #7
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I usually avoid political discussion as it's usually a downward spiral, but I actually applaud Meg Whitman for using her own funds to campaign, regardless of her views. What's the cost to the taxpayer every time Obama flew out to CA over the past few months to fundraise and campaign for Boxer? Cost of the plane, secret service, and most importantly time. Doesn't he have a day job? No president should be allowed to party fundraise while in office. It's things like this that need to change, but without a radical shift, I don't see us getting anything more than soundbites. I can't stomach any of the career politicians.
    thegunguy

  8. #8
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    What's the cost to the taxpayer every time Obama flew out to CA over the past few months to fundraise and campaign for Boxer? Cost of the plane....
    The plane alone, assuming that they are flying only one and not multiples for security reasons, runs us $100,000/hour. That's enough to employ 1,785 people for a day's work at the federal minimum wage. But I guess, to be fair, that same $100,000 will trickle down and go into the homes of the pilots, maintenance people, airport personnel, etc. and eventually make its way into our restaurants and service sectors unlike the millions Mrs. O recently spent on her European vacation. Oh oh, I think my buttons were pushed.

  9. #9
    Indeed, me too, constantly! I really can't stand any of them, they are all freeloaders who align themselves with the will of the people to get elected, then promptly turn around and do the bidding of the banks and corporations once they are elected.

    It is so sadly corrupt, but yet they manage to continue dividing the population neatly into two halves - left brainers and right brainers - each election. With a system that appeals equally to those two fundamentally different mindsets they manage to divide and conquer, and very few can see beyond the con trick of the donkey and the elephant because they are so stuck in the division that is conquering us all.

    I do live in hope that real change will come, but since we will likely always be made up of left and right brainers in equal portion we need a new system that unites us all powerfully and positively. This is something I'm trying hard to envision, but don't have a solution yet. I'm working on it because it is the final chapter of the trilogy I'm writing, so it is on my mind constantly, and I'd love any thoughts and suggestions from the team.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  10. #10
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    This was not a glorious victory for the Republicans, more like a second chance to deliver on their original "Contract for America" back in 1994. I would like to think that these two feuding parties will put aside their petty differences and actually get something constructive done, like jobs and economic growth, but I wouldn't count on it. I am afraid we are in for two more years of political gridlock. What our country really needs is a truly viable third party that is beholden to no special interest groups. Then and only then the Democrats and Republicans may clean up their acts. Me personally? I can't stand carreer politicians and think that both Senators and Congressmen should have term limits just like the President has. Some of these Congressmen who were defeated last night have been in office since the mid 70's!! Nothing good can come from someone who has been in office for 35 years. What the election last night showed was that the vast majority of the electorate out there is extremely dissatisfied, to put it mildly.
    Marty

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  11. #11
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    Might as well jump in to the pool. The vast majority of the money given to the banks was already given to the people in the form of mortgages that went to purchase over priced homes during the housing bubble and from which many mortgage holders are now walking away from their responsibility to pay back what they borrowed. I feel for those that have lost jobs in this poor economy and cannot afford to keep their homes, but for those that have not and just simply borrowed more then they could afford on speculation that they could refinance or pay it off through ever rising home prices I do not have the same sympathy. I agree with the comments a few post down that hard work is what made America what it was and will be what returns us to our potential in the future. Do not get me wrong, there is plenty of blame to go around for the blunders that greed allowed to happen both on main street and wall street. All I am saying is that the part played by main street seems to be forgotten as I suggested it would be back in Sept. 08. Now for the numbers, according to the Treasury web site the following stats are worth reading. www.financialstability.gov/impact/

    TARP is Now Expected to Cost Less than $50 Billion ? A Fraction of the $700 Billion Originally Authorized. Substantial increases in TARP repayments and declines in expected TARP expenditures have dramatically reduced the expected cost of the program. Treasury is now confident that the lifetime cost of TARP will be less than $50 billion ? a fraction of the $700 billion originally authorized. As a share of GDP, the government?s financial interventions to address the financial crisis are now expected to cost less than the GAO?s estimate of what it took to clean up the Savings and Loan Crisis in the 1980s.
    Taxpayer Returns Already Total $234 Billion, and We Want to Make Sure Taxpayers Are Repaid in Full. Taxpayers have already received a combined $234 billion in revenue from TARP investments. Three-fourths of the TARP funds provided to banks have already been returned, and taxpayers will ultimately receive a substantial profit from those investments. And the Administration remains committed to passing a Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee to make sure taxpayers are fully repaid for any remaining costs of TARP.

    Back to my humble opinion now. The way that the Fed is bailing out banks today is not through TARP but through a Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP). The low rate of savings to stimulate the economy is also meant to allow banks to borrow at near zero and reinvest at higher interest rates or make loans. This is perhaps the largest transfer of wealth from savers to banks and borrowers. That is how banks have been recapitalizing themselves. For better or worse, without banks there is no capitalism so they are here to stay.

  12. #12

  13. #13
    OMG, I never, ever thought I'd like anything that Glen Beck ever did, but he just surprised the heck out of me with this....

    Andrew Macpherson

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  14. #14
    Z8Mania
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    Couple of thoughts, all JMHO, YMMV, etc, pdq

    0- How are we the people always the losers? Every system has its problems. I'll still take ours over the other choices. You know what they say right? Some times you win, some times you lose, and some times--- it rains.

    1- If we didnt do the bailouts and stimilus, we might not be having this discussion. I've spoken with several people who would know and they all say that we were anywhere between 1 day to 1 hour from a complete run on the banks. FDR was right when he said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself- and in our world a run on the banks=fear of the worst kind. There could be food riots, race riots, reduced police etc. IMHO, while it is distasteful, Bush and Obama have done what they must to make sure we don't sink.

    2- We've been see sawing back and forth for sometime now and thats because the electorate wants everything but doesn't want to pay for it. Its the point RedZ8 makes. I think there is much to what you say but I would point out that ours is a very dynamic country, there are people willing to work hard, and the US has always been a country of contradictions. Its tempting to simplify, but reality is rarely simple. I would add to your list of people not willing to put in the work, the fact that almost no one will put on snow tires anymore. Its just too much work for them.

    3- Meg Whitman. Agree. She didn't cost tax payers for her run, but its a valid criticism to ask why she was so busy that she didn't vote all those years. Now she wants to be a part of the process she ignored for so long. Lets face it, she wanted more power.

    4- Completely agree that every president uses the power of the office to leverage his party/ interests. Anyone notice that Michele Obama has exploded the staff of the First Lady?

    5- People borrowing too much. Totally agreed. This plays into RedZ8s point- everyone wants to show how they are victimized. They were duped, they were taken advantage of. How about this: we were greedy, we were lazy. We thought we could get something for nothing. Its all finger pointing. Great point on the numbers. When you look at what happened and what people think happened- there is a gulf so wide its the size of the Grand Canyon.

    So WTF do I know? I donno. Words of wisdom: don't be tempted to overgeneralize. I think we will get out of this; but its gonna be hard. And thats OK.

    Other words of wisdom: most of us here are pretty damn fortunate.

  15. #15
    Z8Mania
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    Wow- good video find Andrew.

  16. #16
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Here is some scary news that just crossed my desk. Wonder if anyone knows if this is true. A customer of mine who is in the gold business is trying to get me to invest some of my SEP retirement plan into gold. One of the attachments he sent me indicated that the Government is readying a plan whereby they can Nationalize any and all 401K's, Roth IRA's, and the like. They can simply step in and seize this money to help with the stifiling national debt and start a Government run retirement system. Don't we already have this? I believe we call it Social Security?
    Marty

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  17. #17
    This sounds like fear mongering to make his sale!

    If they really tried to do that I predict it be the spark that starts the rebellion, and leads us headlong into all out civil war. Since no one trusts the government, why should anyone want to trust them with their money?

    I am wary on gold, because you can't do much with it, including selling it now with the new rule that any transaction over $600 has to be reported. I think gold could be a great store of wealth, if you have plenty of wealth and can lock it away in Switzerland for a bundle of years, but I'm not sure how relevant it is here and now. If they were try to take over our pensions then they will certainly tax gold, both on purchase and sale, and could also start confiscations as they did in the 30's, so I'm just not sold on gold. Buy land, or maybe a farm if you really want to rest easy.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  18. #18
    Freedom Ouray's Avatar
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    It is an old story that has been making the rounds for months. I think the root maybe a professor at the New School or something like that who made the case for this to occur. Mark Levin, the radio host, focused on this story a month or so ago..

  19. #19
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jim's Avatar
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    Gentlemen,
    Everyone of these politicians is clueless on monetary policy. Here's the deal, Gold doesn't "pay" a coupon and Wall St loves coupon payments, you know for index funds, pensions etc, so it's never been or going to be a trade for the Street. However, the opposite is the truth world wide as history clearly points out, so own it. Btw, the $600 reporting bs will be repealed very soon along w/other "healthcare items", is my bet.
    The Street likes facts and predictability and now they're thinking a 9% budget deficit is sufficient to overcome the drag from the 0% policy and the size of the Fed?s portfolio (who knows??) to support GDP at modest levels of growth, perhaps just above levels of productivity increases, which means a very modestly improving employment outlook, like we just saw yesterday.
    But not enough for a meaningful reduction in the output gap, which probably requires a fiscal adjustment like a payroll tax suspension, or a jump in private sector credit expansion via houses and cars.
    QE2 will add a bit more drag, but probably not enough to make much difference.
    Extending the tax cuts is a positive for demand versus letting them expire.
    But that would not be a tax cut, just not a tax hike.
    And there?s a chance it would get ?paid for? with a spending cut elsewhere, maybe social security or medicare, repeal mgtg deduction, after the sustainability committee reports Dec 1 and scares them all.
    Still looks like fear that we might be the next Greece is turning us into the next Japan.
    But, remember, anyone buying equities in front of the QE announcement in Japan ultimately got crushed in the ensuing few months and years.
    A sticky wicket it is Andrew etal..we see.

  20. #20
    Z8Mania
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    Or you can buy a Z8, drive it, enjoy it and remember the smiles are tax free.

    FOR NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. #21
    Z8 Madness
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    Not in california, they more than doubled the car tax. That's on top of the 10% income tax, property tax, sales tax, etc. etc.
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  22. #22
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jim's Avatar
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    Jerry, I like your spirit as it's all so depressing. Your right, turn the TV off and the Music way up! Dance, Live and love everyday...but do sleep w/one eye opened as there are very definately dark forces at work in this cycle.

  23. #23
    Z8Mania
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    Oh, I'm not a gun owner, but if I were I'd have it under my pillow and loaded. As it is I have my attack dog at the ready.

    My point is simply that its easy to slip down the negative highway and that only makes you more negative and so on.

  24. #24
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jim's Avatar
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    Negative highway, excellent, I like that, I think I write a song about that.......anyway,.....So, I was at the range last week and a guy was telling me about the upcoming turmoil, you know civil unrest, rent to high, sos in DC and it went to where we would go and what we would do and with whom. He recommend I read "One Nation Under Surveillance" by Boston T Party (seriously). OMG, just got it from Amazon, can't put it down.