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You want to fix this country?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Sweet Lou 4 2, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    Figure we spend so much time arguing about candidates and parties and who's a liberal and who's a right-winger - maybe it would be nice to actually just talk about problems and how you could really fix them (without too many platitudes).

    The issues:
    1. The gov't since cutting taxes in the 80's coupled with spending ballooning because of entitlement programs has created a monster deficit. The problem with a deficit is that the gov't funds the debt with U.S. Treasury bonds. The problem with that is that it competes with other investments - so when you have 13 trillion in treasury bonds (the rest of the deficit is actually owed to the gov't itself), people are buying those things as opposed to investing in things that actually create jobs - like corporate bonds or stock.

    2. Globalization. You can't stop it, nor should it be stopped. It's a boon to entrepreneurs and has made it possible to build businesses for far far less. But big corporations - it just helps line the pockets of a few. And it's not in manufacturing only that it hits, it's in service that's actually a bigger drain - programmers, customer support - any kind of labor.

    3. Automation & Education Gap: More than 80% of the jobs lost are due to increases in productivity due to the computer revolution. The jobs that are created by this require degrees most Americans don't have - so the jobs get filled by foreigners (see above). The big problem here is that there is a growing education gap where most of the jobs available (2/3 of the jobs) require a college degree but only 1/3 of people are getting them. Plus cost of education has skyrocketed to ridiculous levels.

    4. Rich get richer and workers are stagnating and drowning is because once you cut taxes so low and capital gains taxes drop to 15% companies aren't incentivized to reinvest in their businesses nor pay to retain their workers. Instead they are incentivized to pay bigger dividends to shareholders and bigger CEO salaries and monetize their business for profit now instead of making capital investments for the future.

    5. Health care costs are outpacing inflation dramatically hitting everyone hard particularly SMB's and average people. The reason for this is two fold. The number of options to treat people have increased dramatically and these new treatments, therapies, drugs, etc - are often very very very expensive. Pharma makes a killing as do medical device companies. Furthermore there is a shortage of doctors creating scarcity and driving costs up because it's incredibly expensive to become a doctor. And our system maintains this by now allowing qualified foreign doctors to practice here easily. So to become a doctor you have to pay huge sums of money and do it to make coin.

    6. Housing: There once was a time where a person who operated a machine press could buy a house for his family. The idea of that is laughable now. A one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn cost $800k and even a house in the suburbs of most American cities pushes $200k. The real household income has increased 6% in the last 30 years. Real home prices for the U.S. have increased nearly 200%. Think about that.

    These problems have nothing to do with Obama or Bush or Clinton or Bush or Reagan - it has to do with ALL of them and Congress. Because people are fighting over politics instead of reality and economic facts.

    You want to fix these problems and put this country on track?

    Then fix the tax code and make the rich pay more because they are sitting on more cash than the history of the planet and they aren't creating jobs for anyone inside the U.S. but they sure are helping the rest of the world grow. And cut spending and limit entitlement programs to control the deficit and get it back to under 50% of our GDP (right now it's near 100%). Eliminate most tax breaks for the wealthy.

    Find a way to make it more affordable for people to become doctors. Period.

    Make patents expire sooner on drugs that immensely valuable to the health of a nation and are priced high

    Use corporate tax codes to STRONGLY incentivize businesses to:
    1. Use labor here.
    2. Keep a CEO to average non-executive employee pay under 100
    3. Reinvestment into capital within the U.S.

    Eliminate tax breaks for any corporation that makes more than 50 million in profit.

    Make the capital gains tax progressive.

    Create national universities that are free of charge to anyone who commits to 4 years of service to the gov't at minimal compensation (room and board) after they graduate. This should includes doctors. You want to get people off of Food stamps and gov't housing, you want to get rid of medicaid? Then freaking educate the population so they can get jobs and turn them into tax payers.

    Do something with the education system, I have no idea on that one.
     
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  2. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

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    Alot to discuss.

    I would focus on a couple main issues.

    -Our government has got to operate more effectively. This system is not sustainable and is too vulnerable to corruption. We simply must get money out of politics, and setup term limits.

    -I really think they need to focus on auditing the government and just cut down on the waste. Where is the fraud, where are the inefficiencies. I really think there is a way to cut spending without cutting benefits to people, if we just cut out the junk.

    -Healthcare must be addressed. There can't be a profit motive in healthcare, there just can't. The free market is a wonderful thing, but it just doesn't work for industries where supply / demand is perfect inelastic.

    -Energy. We must transition from fossil fuels to something cleaner, more sustainable, and less dependent on things in the middle east. The quicker we get to clean energy, the better.

    Don't care about guns, police, abortions, prayer in schools, immigration, etc. These are distraction issues. While tragic / important at the micro level, they simply do not matter in the overall scheme of things.,
     
  3. dharocks

    dharocks Contributing Member

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    This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately with the rise of Trump. We already have the Domestic Production Activities Deduction, which a lot of small and medium-sized don't take advantage of (probably because doing so is pretty much inviting an audit). In Obama's proposed budget he suggests offering a lower corporate rate for domestic manufacturers (25% vs 28%).

    How big of a tax break do we think needs to be offered for this strategy to be successful?
     
  4. R0ckets03

    R0ckets03 Contributing Member

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    Prison reform and stop the war on drugs. I didn't look up any stats, but I am guessing we spend way too much on fighting drugs and housing 25% of the worlds prison population is it.

    Decriminalize drugs and tax the **** out of marijuana. Stop sending people to prison for petty drug possessions.
     
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  5. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    For quite some time now, the GOP has tried to make any proposal to close the income gap toxic by calling them "socialism." It was all cutting taxes, cutting spending on their side.

    If anything good comes out of this campaign, it is probably the fact that Bernie and, yes, Trump is putting a crack in this theory. Bernie is opening talking socialism and getting a good chunk of Democratic votes. Trump, on the other hand, defied GOP orthodoxy on a bunch of issues (proposing, for example, huge infrastructure spending boom) and basically proved that a huge chunk of the GOP base actually don't give a **** about "fiscal conservatism."

    The success of the "rigged system" narrative, which Bernie and Trump have pushed and even Clinton had to adapt to, is showing that current path with increasing income gap is not sustainable.


    I doubt that what looks likely to be (knock on wood) a Clinton administration will do anything all that radical and turn this country into Denmark, but I think she can get some incremental changes done.

    One important part of this may be the Supreme Court's ability to change Citizens United. Getting some of the influence of money out of elections will hopefully balance the priorities some.
     
  6. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    The prison system does need reform but I think the root issue is education. The incarceration rate of blacks who are able to read at the 3rd grade level at the age of 8 plummets. You get basic education down and this country will save far more cash. It costs $50,000 a year to keep someone in jail. Are you telling me we can't get kids to read well at the age of 8 with less money?

    It would have to be significant but applied in a way to not hurt start-ups or small businesses. In other words, for companies with a high EBIDTA - and the difference has to be substantial - on the order of a difference of 30% cutting down to 15% depending on how many jobs were being kept in the u.s. This would incentivize companies that were making a lot of cash to keep jobs here while not penalizing companies that were growing or making modest profits.
     
  7. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

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    Regarding healthcare, the cost of becoming a doctor is very high but not prohibitive. The problem lies with a ridiculous restriction on the number of residency spots and their funding.

    In addition, mid-level providers (PA's, NP's, etc.) should be a focus to help alleviate medically underserved populations. And, no I am not necessarily talking about an expansion of their privileges/responsibilities.

    Lastly, the infrastructure in this country is in dire need of reinvestment. The federal govt NEEDS to step in!
     
  8. CometsWin

    CometsWin Honorary 99’er
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    N/m :grin:
     
  9. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Define - Entitlement programs

    Which Programs are these?

    Rocket River
     
  10. Exiled

    Exiled Member

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    Tackling how Fed./Reserve works in mystiques way is a big leap into the right direction

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make that change.

    All too often people turn towards elected members of the government for hope and change - whether it's because the government does too much, does too little, is too large, or is too small.
     
  12. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    We are talking about fixing the problems in this country, if all we need to do is self improvement, why bother having a government.
     
  13. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    The problem here is with automation is less people need to work. A good engineer can make is so you need less people to do something.You just won't be able to make up those jobs since you won't need the other people. You have a process that takes 5 people and suppose they automate thing. You might need 1 tech to watch over the process and the rest of the jobs are just gone. Basically all the power goes to person with capital. They can buy the equipment outsource the software and they have eliminated 4 jobs. Suppose those 4 people get CS degrees you really need that one person to program the unit you just 4 unemployed people. India and China are pumping out engineers like crazy. The engineering unemployment there is quite high.
     
  14. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    The Fed is doing the job. They want to devalue the currency because they want you to spend money. Money being spent is who reason the economy works. If $1 today is the same as $1 tomorrow I have no incentive to spend it. If I know $1 today is .90 cents tomorrow I am going to invest it do something with it to grow it.
     
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  15. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    That is by far the biggest problem for the future. computers will be able to do smart searches in the future, so they can replace a ton of data analysts, lawyers and even many doctors. In thirty years there will not be too many jobs computers can not do, I just hope it is slow enough that I will be close to retirement by then.
     
  16. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    Huh? Why does self-improvement negate the need for a government? There are a lot of people in this world who are unwilling to help themselves. They want want change, they want things to be a certain (or back to a certain way) but are totally unwilling to put in any work towards doing so. Just saying: start with yourself.
     
  17. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    It used to be increases in productivity were tied to increases in the standard of living. That's because even as you found ways to do something with less workers, you were able to expand your business operations - so you hired more people in the service area. That's why you saw the huge shift from manufacturing jobs to service.

    You now have teams of engineers working to make your product better, your process even faster. And with the increased output and less cash spent on COGS, you invested in building a bigger sales team, or entering new markets, or on advertising.

    But the shift in the tax code puts more incentive to cash out now instead of long-term growth. We need to reward companies for growing vs. cashing out.

    Companies that make huge capital investments or hire a ton of people should get tax breaks. Companies that layoff a ton of people should pay for their job training - which needs to be made part of unemployment insurance. A big company should pay unemployment insurance not just to hand people $400 a week but also give them up to 6 months job training for the jobs of the future or in areas where there is a job shortage.
     
  18. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    One thing I have learned in my career in the business world, you don't go at it alone if you want to innovate or change - you build a consensus amongst people which in turns allows you to move forward.

    That's how you make the world a better place.
     
  19. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    You're never going to make the wealthy pay more taxes when Republicans and Democrats keep electing people like Hillary over Bernie.

    What does this have to do with making America great? It takes more hard work and the will to be a doctor than the actual cost. Indians seem not to have a problem with this.

    I dont agree with the means, but I completely agree with the goal.

    Taxes are not going to keep the COG down in relation to the cost it takes to make. Americans will need to be willing to pay more for their goods. Walmart proves Americans are not willing to do this.

    100 what? And this is socialism. Ain't gonna happen.
    What do you think the stock market is?

    First you want to give tax breaks to keep jobs in America and you want Americans to reinvest, but then you want to eliminate tax breaks if they are successful? If your company is not profitable, nobody is going to invest. If you're going to punish my company and take my tax breaks away because I am successful in bring jobs domestically, then I will just keep my jobs overseas and increase my profits exponentially. Stupid.

    Do you really think poor uneducated people coming out of high school will magically become motivated and educated because they are now in college? The public education system is failing. You have kids graduating who struggle to read and write. We have a free system already. Lets fix that one first before we extend it. This will reduce poverty, not turning colleges into paper degree mills.
     
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  20. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    By service do you mean more people working in Walmart and McDonalds.
    Pretty sure the shareholder would prefer to take those saving and just put in their pocket.

    Lets look at Lawyers:
    http://qz.com/206705/the-us-lawyer-bubble-has-conclusively-popped/

    I think some of that decline comes at the fact that ediscovery software makes having a million associates reading case files obsolete.

    Pretty soon you won't even need engineers since we will have self programming computers. At some point why do you even need humans when the computers can do everything. We are in big trouble unless society itself wants to change. The whole economy works because people spend money. If computers do everything where will people get money to do anything?
     
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