A billion in perspective......

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unfaithfulsfan
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A billion in perspective......

Post by unfaithfulsfan » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:11 am

From an email I received the other day.....

The next time you hear a politician use the
word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about
whether you want the 'politicians' spending
YOUR tax money.
A billion is a difficult number to comprehend,
but one advertising agency did a good job of
putting that figure into some perspective in
one of it's releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were
living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain...

let's take a look at New Orleans ....
It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.
Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) is presently asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS
to rebuild New Orleans .

Interesting number... what does it mean?
A. Well... if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, and child)
you each get $516,528.
B. Or... if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans,
your home gets $1,329,787.
C. Or... if you are a family of four...
your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D. C < HELLO! >
Are all your calculators broken??

SPEAKING OF TAXES

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Ta x
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurringCharges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago...
and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt...
We had the largest middle class in the world...
and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened?
Can you spell 'politicians!'
And I still have to press '1' for English.
"A payphone was ringing and it just about blew my mind,
when I picked it up & said 'Hello' this foot came through the line"
~Bob Dylan

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Darkstar » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:38 am

nice one! must be an older email though i figure 1959 to be about 1.5 billion seconds :mrgreen:

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by FZ1 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:54 pm

They missed gas guzzler tax...I like it though
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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Kougar » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:53 pm

Nice post. :)

Just heard on the news GM is burning through $1 Billion a month in cash now. And OPEC just cut oil production by 1.5 billion barrels...
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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Nobahar » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:23 am

Every politician we have spends money. "Fiscal" conservatives spend money by embroiling themselves in wars, even if you take into account Bush's tax cuts- he, and partially with the help with a republican congress, have spent proportionally more money than any other term in the history of this country. Democrats have been kind of notorious for spending in terms of welfare programs and other support causes for the middle to lower classes.

I am wholly in support of a fiscal president. However, I honestly believe that even if Obama didn't raise taxes on the top 1% of society (anyone who makes under 250K/year gets a larger tax cut), he seems to have more of a let's try to balance our budget mentality. Most people think of Democrats more as wanting to be socialists, which I suppose can be true sometimes, but the real deal is that even a fiscal Republican won't abolish one of the taxes on your list and they probably voted for them too. Running up a huge deficit every year is just as unsustainable as having a socialist country provide everyone with services as the population grows (even countries like Canada can't indefinitely provide people with high-quality health-care, quality either drops or they start paying the money out of their own pockets- more taxes).

I know what McCain is saying, but it's really a matter of who I would trust more with the spending of my money. Bush's tax cuts haven't even come close to being spent as they were intended, that money goes into our gas tanks and groceries- not into any other sector of the economy. I suppose this community is an exception cause our money here goes into the Silicon Valley sector :P

Ultimately the decision is really simple though, McCain is really old and Palin is dumber than a 5th grader.

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by jakegub » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:41 pm

Nobahar,

You seem to have a lot of things right, except for your conclusion about how easy the choice is. Neither one are going to balance the budget correctly (we need Ron Paul for that) and both health care reformations are borderline terrible, so in terms of national security, energy independence, Supreme Court nominations, and what financial ideal will most likely benefit this greatest nation in the world, Obama is clueless.

Now about the age thing, The average age of all presidents who died of natural causes is 74 with a standard deviation of 10. This includes all deaths prior to antibiotics and vaccines.

Of the past 8 presidents who died, the average age is 84 with a standard deviation of about 7. This even includes a president who died of Polio at age 63. So the age thing is ridiculous to even consider especially since Barack Obama is a smoker with a history of recreational drug use. He has supposedly quit, but reporters have suggested otherwise.
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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by moon111 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:07 pm

Kougar wrote:Nice post. :)

Just heard on the news GM is burning through $1 Billion a month in cash now. And OPEC just cut oil production by 1.5 billion barrels...
I have no doubt that GM isn't doing well. But I would really have to see someone analyze their books before agreeing. They're in the business
of making money, not vehicles. And if that means adding expenses that normally would be spread out over years, so be it. A government
hand-out is awefully attractive looking.

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Nobahar » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:45 am

jakegub wrote:Nobahar,

You seem to have a lot of things right, except for your conclusion about how easy the choice is. Neither one are going to balance the budget correctly (we need Ron Paul for that) and both health care reformations are borderline terrible, so in terms of national security, energy independence, Supreme Court nominations, and what financial ideal will most likely benefit this greatest nation in the world, Obama is clueless.

Now about the age thing, The average age of all presidents who died of natural causes is 74 with a standard deviation of 10. This includes all deaths prior to antibiotics and vaccines.

Of the past 8 presidents who died, the average age is 84 with a standard deviation of about 7. This even includes a president who died of Polio at age 63. So the age thing is ridiculous to even consider especially since Barack Obama is a smoker with a history of recreational drug use. He has supposedly quit, but reporters have suggested otherwise.
Maybe the choice isn't that easy, and I agree neither will budget correctly but I am sure Obama will cause less deficit than McCain, since I am still equating McCain to Bush at least 80% of the time, hence Obama is the relatively fiscal candidate. Interesting how they feed garbage about "taxes and spending" when you dissect their plans you see otherwise, unless you believe Obama is going to introduce a lot of new spending- which he only said he has to spend more to solve the healthcare crisis, and even I am a little resistant to him doing that.

You can't use statistics to determine how long someone will live just cause he is president. While I don't think McCain will die in the next four years, you and I can't say he will or won't, could be accidental, could be that they didn't completely get rid of the cancer and it appears somewhere else in his body and cripples his ability to work, could be a stroke or a heart attack. Cheney has had them, he survived them though- you can't say that everyone will survive three heart attacks, Cheney is either lucky or has access to the most amazing physicians at a heartbeat away (the reason he survived is both). In any case, it doesn't defend McCain's poor choice of VP.

The rest of what you said about Obama is Republican propaganda. Obama admitted to past use of drugs when he was younger and equated it to bad decisions during his awkward years, I'm not sure if McCain admitted to any use- but Bush has. I guarantee you in his 70s, McCain is using more drugs right now than Obama ever has. Oh, but they are prescribed drugs and somehow are better for your health? I'm sure being tortured at a POW camp in Vietnam also made some irreparable damage to McCain's health.

Sorry this was a little offtopic, but when people talk about spending they usually equate it to Obama now that McCain has been brainwashing people with that rhetoric. It made me think about it when I read the post.

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by jakegub » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:28 am

Nobahar,

Fair enough, but the smoking thing is still legitimate and now it turns out Obama is looking a lot more socialist than he was letting on. I was already really upset about his comment about nominating supreme court justices who would make decisions that were fair and just in the final debate. (versus decisions that are constitutional) and now this 2001 interview about how you could possibly use the courts to bring about redistributive change, but that the political support isn't there for it.

I absolutely won't support socializing anything. I'm at the bottom of wage earners right now, but I plan on working my way to being "rich" someday and would appreciate being able to keep my money and donating it to things I consider worthwhile instead of having it distributed for me to whomever or whatever some politician thinks will get him/her votes.
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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Skippman » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:35 pm

The problem we have is one of the concept of "social justice". People have a tendency to see the gap between themselves and those who are sucessful and assume that the "rich" have gotten that way unjustly. This thinking is reinforced by the illusion of the "corporate fat cat" who has defrauded his company of millions/billions. While there are no doubt people who have done this (Enron, Martha Stewart, Karl Icon, etc) there are likely more people in that position who havent (Bill Gates, Steve Faucet, Richard Branson, etc.).

I agree that "tax loop holes" need to be abolished. How we go about that, I'm not certian. I'm no expert in the tax code. I'm for imposing a flat tax plus consumption tax with maybe a cut off for a certain low end of the income ladder but that plans seems poor as well as the cut off point would be between a 0% tax and a 10%+ tax, meaning someone who made $1 more would suddenly be taxed on the lot. But rather than a progressive tax we need to look for a more uniform tax code that would treat all citizens equally. Rather than "punish" the successful. For instance, corportations need to bear more of the tax burden.

As for defense spending, we spend less on defense contractors durring war time than we do durring peace time. This is a fact. The budget that would normally be allocated for "war production" is in fact decreased to account for the increase in consumables such as fuel, medical supplies and treatment, and food. Companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martian, etc actually make less money durring war time than they do durring peace time. Why does this matter? Because those jobs (software development, aerospace engineering, chemisty, etc) are all high skill and require specialization. Where is a engineer who designs JDAM's doing to make $115K a year if Boing goes out of business? Overseas more than likely as many of Russia's engineers found out after the fall of the USSR.

Speaking of defense spending, how would you like to be the pilot who crashed that B2 a few years ago? "Uhm, sir? I just lost a 2.2 Billion dollar asset. No, it wasn't an aircraft carrier, it was a bomber...." :prayer:

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by aircommando13 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:50 pm

250 billion dollars for New Orleans?

I know that purchasing the raw materials and paying contractors and workers to build the structures is expensive, but it sounds like they want to just build a whole new city all in one shot
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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Nobahar » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:30 pm

This is more responses and political discussion, I actually am glad there are some valid points in this topic. I'd say the majority of Republicans I meet are voting McCain because he is Christian and represents their core values when they don't even have any idea what Obama's values are (or that he is a Christian too apparently).

The location of New Orleans was just a high-risk area, which obviously the original settlers didn't think about. Spending money to rebuild it is stupid, if people want to go back and live there they will bring money and develop it. If the risk is too high, they won't. That's how capitalism works.

And yes, to jake, I am also concerned about his more socialist-like leanings, he is not as extreme as Europeans but definitely somewhere between Bush and Sarkozy (much closer to Bush honestly). But when you talk about supreme court, there are plenty of issues that aren't really within the constitution per-say. Copyright laws, for example, have had to be reinterpreted since the internet age came about for obvious reasons. The constitution can be archaic and vague at times, and I prefer a more moderate out-look to a strict Scalia-like interpretation. Besides, 7 of the 9 justices were chosen by Republicans. As long as we don't get things like Roe v. Wade overturned, I'm fine with the Supreme Court.

I'm against socializing too, as I have a situation that is actually really similar to yours. The real issue for me is that I want politicians who will analyze the outcomes of situations rather than just voting for issues based on blocks or partisan philosophy. Four years ago the majority of Republicans denied global warming as scientific evidence, mostly because they philosophically are against regulating business as it is expensive and could result in losses to the economy. However, there comes a point where you weigh the strain of the environment begins manifesting itself through natural disasters (more likely droughts and skin cancer) to get the idea that those policies are hurting the economy more than some regulation will. McCain is the first Republican presidential candidate who actually acknowledged global warming, while Democrats also make mistakes (see Roosevelt on social security). However, economically it's hard to explain how Republicans have hurt us over the last twenty years. Let's just say that free market has limitations, globalization while initially benefiting us is destroying our economy in worse ways than the mortgage crisis (consider China's economic powerhouse and Saudi's large stake in our economy).

I don't think people like Bill Gates got there unjustly, he created a product that changed the world (oversimplified but true). Where we run into problem is while he makes billions and billions and the corporate entity known as Microsoft forms, that's when they think about how to sustain their financial empire. Destroying competition is one thing, most Americans don't have the expertise in building a computer- but they need computers for a variety of reasons. When every computer-building company they turn to comes loaded with Windows, where you essentially have to buy the software regardless of whether you use it, that's a monopoly. According to free market philosophies, monopolies can't sustain themselves for a variety of reasons I agree with, but Microsoft is semi-protected under copyright law. Why, for example, can't we force them to make their code open and public for OLDER versions of Windows so that people can build off those?

I suppose Google is going to be Microsoft's monopoly buster, or they will merge into a mega-monopoly. Google hasn't released an OS yet, but they are working their way toward something like that it seems. Chrome was a very bold step (even though Google owns Mozilla, Chrome was a more official stab at Microsoft). This might work for software/technology, but how about big oil? Even if I found oil under my house, how would I ever compete with the gigantic machine that is big oil- I'd just get bought out (or killed probably, you're dealing with ruthless greed). You think oil companies in the U.S. compete with each other? OPEC is 12 different COUNTRIES that don't compete with each other and have a pretty large impact on the global market. I'm not saying oil should be nationalized, as I said- I'm no socialist. However, breaking them apart with antitrust laws CAN work (see AT&T break-up and the large boom in phone companies). Republicans, by nature of being in the pocketbook of big business, and by use of fundamental brain-washing to gather votes from "Joe the plumber" America, will block this from happening. That's why corporations and CEOs get richer and everyone else poorer. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are people who give back large chunks of their palace to solve global problems like AIDS and malaria and I commend them highly. The majority of big business don't do any sort of thing (big oil claiming release of alternative energy too risky, Philip-Morris, etc).

I say someone like Mr. Obama tax them, THEN give them a nice tax break if they do what we want them to do, sell some H cells at Exxon and give GM a very considerable tax break if they start selling H cell cars.

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Skippman » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:21 pm

Nobahar wrote:I suppose Google is going to be Microsoft's monopoly buster, or they will merge into a mega-monopoly. Google hasn't released an OS yet, but they are working their way toward something like that it seems. Chrome was a very bold step (even though Google owns Mozilla, Chrome was a more official stab at Microsoft). This might work for software/technology, but how about big oil? Even if I found oil under my house, how would I ever compete with the gigantic machine that is big oil- I'd just get bought out (or killed probably, you're dealing with ruthless greed). You think oil companies in the U.S. compete with each other? OPEC is 12 different COUNTRIES that don't compete with each other and have a pretty large impact on the global market. I'm not saying oil should be nationalized, as I said- I'm no socialist. However, breaking them apart with antitrust laws CAN work (see AT&T break-up and the large boom in phone companies). Republicans, by nature of being in the pocketbook of big business, and by use of fundamental brain-washing to gather votes from "Joe the plumber" America, will block this from happening. That's why corporations and CEOs get richer and everyone else poorer. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are people who give back large chunks of their palace to solve global problems like AIDS and malaria and I commend them highly. The majority of big business don't do any sort of thing (big oil claiming release of alternative energy too risky, Philip-Morris, etc).

I say someone like Mr. Obama tax them, THEN give them a nice tax break if they do what we want them to do, sell some H cells at Exxon and give GM a very considerable tax break if they start selling H cell cars.
I'll deal with your oversimplifcation of the AT&T divestigure in a momement. To that lasat point I invite you to read Ayn Rands "Atlas Shrugged". The goverment cannot, through economic incentives, foster compitition in an industry. They can only hamper companies already in existance to "artifically level the playing field". GM is in it's own dire straights right now through it's refusal to adopt more energy friendly technologies. This is evident by thier miniscule $5.45 (as of the time of this posting) stock price. Had they invested like Honda and Toyota in more energy efficent techologies it's likely they would not be in this position. The Volt is simply "to little/to late".

As for the AT&T break up I invite you to provide me the name of one company that owns it's own telephone network that isn't the direct descendent of a RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company). You won't be able to, because the simple fact is none of these so called "phone companies" actually own a network. They may own a switch here or there but thier interconnects are largely leased from the RBOC that they control. Verizon, AT&T, Quest, etc are all fromer AT&T companies. The current AT&T has simply been remerging what they were when they began. These other so called "phone companies"? They've been reselling Bell services at below cost pricing (as regulated by the PUC) and putting the profits in thier pockets. McCloud doesn't own a CO. Smoke Screen, Birtch, etc. none of them own thier own network. You know where AT&T's compition came from? New techonologies like wireless, VoIP, and the cable networks selling service.

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Kougar » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:28 pm

moon111 wrote:
Kougar wrote:Nice post. :)

Just heard on the news GM is burning through $1 Billion a month in cash now. And OPEC just cut oil production by 1.5 billion barrels...
I have no doubt that GM isn't doing well. But I would really have to see someone analyze their books before agreeing. They're in the business
of making money, not vehicles. And if that means adding expenses that normally would be spread out over years, so be it. A government
hand-out is awefully attractive looking.
Wall Street Journal's business relies on their journalists doing the analyzing... The problem is the Big Three automakers have been blacklisted by the "new" current credit industry, and are about to see their credit ratings downgraded due to dismal outlooks for the auto industry. So that leaves them no ability to pull in loans, all they have left is their income and cash reserves. At current book evals that is expected to last them less than 12 months before 2 of them flat out run out of reserves. It doesn't help their last "booming market" in Asia is also just as badly hit by the credit mess, slump in demand, and heavily slowing Chinese economy.
Nobahar wrote:Maybe the choice isn't that easy, and I agree neither will budget correctly but I am sure Obama will cause less deficit than McCain, since I am still equating McCain to Bush at least 80% of the time, hence Obama is the relatively fiscal candidate. Interesting how they feed garbage about "taxes and spending" when you dissect their plans you see otherwise, unless you believe Obama is going to introduce a lot of new spending- which he only said he has to spend more to solve the healthcare crisis, and even I am a little resistant to him doing that.
That is just it... Neither candidate is going to improve the deficit any, and Obama seems to be to be the the person that plans to make it worse. First, he is equivocating larger tax breaks, which means less Gov income. Tehn he built his platform on dramatically expanding healthcare coverage to the US, and regardless of my personal stance, healthcare coverage is a colossal expense to undertake.

Something around 10% of Canada's GDP, and 7 % of the UK's GDP is dedicated to healthcare spending. Guess what 7% of our total 2007 GDP would be? $980 Billion. Guess what % we actually spend on healthcare? It was ~16% of our GDP in 2005. In 2007 we spent $2.3 trillion on healthcare. And this is before Obama expands healthcare coverage to the entire US population.... :-k

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Nobahar » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:51 pm

To Skippman:

Actually been meaning to read Atlas Shrugged, after school maybe- or a long break. I'm not sure I entirely understand your AT&T argument, are you suggesting the decline in prices for telephone services is not a result of the break-up but just competition from wireless, VoIP, and cable? These latter technologies are relatively recent, the gap is about two decades where prices declined without competition?

Otherwise AT&T's monopoly would have continued up until these technologies I'm assuming. I agree these companies don't own a network, but these little companies compete with each other (originally it was MCI and Sprint). They are not the same as AT&T reemerging (except in the case of Cingular). Not sure if I am understanding you correctly.
Kougar wrote: That is just it... Neither candidate is going to improve the deficit any, and Obama seems to be to be the the person that plans to make it worse. First, he is equivocating larger tax breaks, which means less Gov income. Tehn he built his platform on dramatically expanding healthcare coverage to the US, and regardless of my personal stance, healthcare coverage is a colossal expense to undertake.
Here are the tax proposals in simple format: Image Image

According to that, McCain actually means less gov income unless you assume McCain plans to cut programs and Obama plans to spend more. The only area where this was evident is healthcare coverage, McCain argued more spending but Obama didn't propose NEW spending much, it's more like funding the same programs unless McCain wanted to cut them to make up for his tax deficit. I have no idea how healthcare coverage in this country is so expensive compared to Canada/UK, part of it is we have a larger population- but definitely we have a lot more strain on the hospitals still.

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Skippman » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:49 am

Nobahar wrote:To Skippman:

Actually been meaning to read Atlas Shrugged, after school maybe- or a long break. I'm not sure I entirely understand your AT&T argument, are you suggesting the decline in prices for telephone services is not a result of the break-up but just competition from wireless, VoIP, and cable? These latter technologies are relatively recent, the gap is about two decades where prices declined without competition?

Otherwise AT&T's monopoly would have continued up until these technologies I'm assuming. I agree these companies don't own a network, but these little companies compete with each other (originally it was MCI and Sprint). They are not the same as AT&T reemerging (except in the case of Cingular). Not sure if I am understanding you correctly.

Atlas Shrugged in one of the 10 books you have to read in your life time. You may not agree with it's message, and it's a bit long winded at points, but Ayn Rand makes a valid argument. What pulls humanity along isn't governement or religion (although both have an impact on your life) it's industry itself. We as a society progress through technological inovation, vision, and ambition. Someone can tell you all day long that you're going to be successful, but until you grab the chain of industry yourself and pull it those are just words. In the effort to help everyone, we've forgotten the basic tenement of "You don't work, you don't eat." TANSSTAFL

As for the AT&T situation, prices did not start to come down radically until the invention of new technology allowed for compitition. The point behind the break up of Ma Bell was intended to allow other companies the opritunity to grow revenue and build thier own networks, something which never happened. Imagine your a car maker like GM/Ford/Toyota/etc and I decide I want to make a car. Well I don't have a factory or workers. So I tell the goverment it's unfair because you have all the equipment and I have none. So the goverment says fine, you can buy cars from Toyota at below cost and resell them as your own. Does that make sense to you?

The REAL compitition for AT&T came from the same place all compitition comes from, emergent technologies and ideas. The cell phone had the biggest impact on AT&T and contines to do so to this day as more and more people shun conventional POTS service in favor of cell phone technology. The compititon generated by these CLECs (Sage, McCloud, etc) is artifical. They're not competing, they're reselling a product that they didn't build in the first place because the government told AT&T they had to. Now that there are competative networks (cell, VoIP, cable, etc) the FCC and FTC finally have to admit that AT&T has the right to reform itself. Compition comes from ideas and technology, not from government enforced regulation.

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Nobahar » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:31 am

I agree with what you are saying, but I suppose that also means until someone develops and distributes a cheaper alternative to using oil, our whole economy is at the whim of those companies.

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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Skippman » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:50 am

Nobahar wrote:I agree with what you are saying, but I suppose that also means until someone develops and distributes a cheaper alternative to using oil, our whole economy is at the whim of those companies.

It's already happening. Ethenol, BioDesiel, Hydrogen, Solar, Electric, etc. The problem is people expect there to be this overnight change. Like they'll wake up tomorrow and the problem will be solved. Technology by and large is evolutionary, not revolutionary. In an ideal world we'd all use electric cars that were charged either off the grid (powered by nuclear energy) or charge them in our homes (by solar/wind/geothermal/etc).

Nuclear energy gets a bad rap. It's relativly safe and would be much less wasteful and enviro-friendly if we wern't so terrified of recycling nuclear waste like France does (the byproduct is Plutonium). I'm entirely for solar and wind power and thing the huge wind farms in Kansas are among one of the most beutiful engineering projects I've ever seen. But even wind power isn't enough for some eco-nuts who claim they kill birds. Well, it's kill birds or kill everything on the planet with greenhouse gases. Take your pick.

I am working on blueprints for a house I want to build in 10 years that sould be entirely self sustaining. I'm waiting on certain technologies to mature first like Solid State Lighting and the new Solar Shingles. Think of the compact florescent bulb and how much that's changed everything. No heat generated so it's both thermally efficent and electricty efficent yet the adoption of the technology is still relativly low.

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Sporg
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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Sporg » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:01 am

Skippman wrote: I'm entirely for solar and wind power and thing the huge wind farms in Kansas are among one of the most beutiful engineering projects I've ever seen.
This past summer I drove out to Denver and I couldn't believe how much the wind farms had grown in a year (since my previous trip).

One thing I do want to bring up though, if you tax businesses more do you think they eat that? I would think that it gets passed on to the consumer. So even if my taxes are left relatively untouched I will be paying higher pricers for goods and services. Even if that is only pennies at a time, it will eventually add up.
I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.
~Bertrand Russell

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Alathald
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Re: A billion in perspective......

Post by Alathald » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:05 am

Here's my view, the world goes around because of taxes. And a flat percentage just doesn't cut the mustard. A flat tax of 10% means a lot more to someone making $50,000 (leaving them with $45,000) than someone making $500,000 (leaving them with $450,000). Granted, there are good arguments on both sides on the flat tax issue but here's mine:

When the poor get a tax break they take that money and spend it almost immediately. That means any extra money they get back goes straight back into the economy, usually into local businesses (or Walmart but that's another issue). This keeps the flow of money going and our economy strong.

When the middle class have extra money, they often put back a little bit for retirement (usaully in stocks or 401Ks) and spend the rest. Granted, not always on American goods but for the most part there is.

When the upper class gets a tax break the theory says they will take that money and reinvest it in American industry thus strengthening our economy. Back in reality however, they, for the most part, only want more money, not necessarily from American companies. So what happens is when they get a tax break (which, under Bush, they did) they'll invest it in the industry that looks like it will make the most money (which they did) even if it happens to be out of the country (in this case, China). That keeps the flow of money, to bad most of that money is flowing straight to china, where they are using it to build their industry (as Skippman said, another foundation of the economy) rather than us using that money to build our industry. So we continue to grow weak and China continues to become strong.

So which is it? Smaller government and lower taxes for the wealthy? Or some regulation and taxes that will keep our economy moving?
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