2020 US Presidential Election

   #41  

Mike R

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Just for laughs, lets put the $15/hr proposed minimum wage into perspective.

 
   #42  

D-Dub

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@Mike

that is a great example, it happens all the time with all kinds of products, and probably has been going on for as long as creation of stuff and profit has been around;

manufacture reduces product size/features/weight/whatever > keeps price level > increases profit
increment in small/slow enough manner, people rarely notice or don't care enough if they do notice
product is minimized to the point where it becomes a different class of size/weight/features
product is 'upgraded' back to original+ specifications with a new increased price
repeat
profit

some few obvious examples;

fountain soda > used to be 32 ounces > down to ~28 ounces in some places
pizza > large used to be 16" and cost 10-12$, 14" med, 12" small > now if your lucky to find a 16" pizza its an extra large and cost 30$ > most large are 14", and 12" are the new medium
burgers patties constantly shrink until they come out with a new mega burger
you mentioned candy bars, look at twix, now in 'left' and 'right' single bar packages.

one of the few things that are similar but different, is fuel... the volume stays the same (gallon/liter), while the price can fluctuate radically and quickly.
 
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   #43  

Uwe

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I do feel like national minimum wage does need to increase.
Why you you think government should determine how much people are paid?

-Uwe-
 
   #44  

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Another reason Universal Health Care doesn't work here in the US as much as it might elsewhere in the world, is the sheer levels of profiteering that are permitted to happen in the industry.

U.S. health spending twice other countries' with worse results



Two of the biggest crime syndicates in the US are the Health Care industry and the Student Loan sharks.
I take one exception, it’s the HC Industry and the UNIVERSITIES.
 
   #45  

Jack@European_Parts

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Did you know Snickers bars actually used to be bigger than they are now? Most people didn't realize it was actually shrunk.
I did and that's why I stopped buying them and stuck with the Charleston Chew & is indeed as it was 40 years ago.
 
   #46  

PetrolDave

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Almost every candy bar in the UK has been reduced in size, but with no change in price, as part of a "Government initiative" to reduce the amount of sugar children eat - but they just eat more candy bars...
 
   #47  

DV52

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@DV52, yes it is a terrible decision to make. But if it is as life or death, then it should be something that any parent would not think twice about.

Aside from that, these people are in the country *ILLEGALLY* to begin with.

There are numerous ways for people to legally immigrate to this country (and any other country).

I have many friends who are immigrants, who came in through the legal process.

Why should anyone who cannot follow the basic tenants of law, be welcomed into the country they are breaking the laws of ?

If I or another decided to move to Australia and became a bum, living off your taxes and paying none of my own, would you find that acceptable?

What if I or another came to australia to take your job for a cheaper wage because your employer could pay me cash with no taxes or insurance or other accountability ?

What if I or another came to australia to become a local crime overlord that enslaves your children with drugs and other illegal and immoral activities?

I can't imagine anyone finding that acceptable, well except perhaps for those actually doing those very things and more.

D-Dub: very interesting points - well worth making. My observations follow:

"But if it is as life or death, then it should be something that any parent would not think twice" - Of course, I have absolutely no doubt that all "undocumented" parents would prioritize the life of their desperately ill child over their own deportation (that's an easy scenario). But what if a visit to the hospital also means the deportation of the other siblings in the family - back to an environment that they risked life-and-limb to escape in the first place? Back to an environment where the siblings have no comparative future? Sure we could simply say "well it's their fault because they entered the country illegally" - but I'm not sure that it's that easy a response. Absolutely terrible decision!!!

"If I or another decided to move to Australia and became a bum, living off your taxes and paying none of my own, would you find that acceptable?" - D-Dub, if you wanted to come here and become a bum (what an odd word to use?), I have lodgings for you at my place and I will even feed you!! :). If anyone else wants to do the same, then I hope that if they arrive, Australia would treat them humanly. We have publicly funded hospitals and I don't believe that they would be handed over to our authorities. I don't mind sick folk of any status within Australia using my hard earned taxes, and I expect that the authorities will do their best to find and to process illegal folk - but I see this as an entirely separate matter to providing healthcare to those that do arrive illegally and are sick


"What if I or another came to Australia to take your job for a cheaper wage because your employer could pay me cash with no taxes or insurance or other accountability?" - First I have never accepted the notion that I have a right to a job. When I was working (retired now), I competed for work and I considered it a privilege to have a job. And to help in that competition, I did stuff that I hoped gave me a competitive edge. My position on universal access to healthcare does not mean that I believe that it's OK for illegal immigrants to trash Australia's way-of-life. As I have said before, these are entirely different issues that can be separated and can be tackled separately.

As to your point about working for a "cheaper wage" - Australia has a central wage authority (separate to Government) that determines the minimum pay. In another post, Uwe asked Ross "Why you you think government should determine how much people are paid?". My foreigner response to this question is that despite the fact that I believe in so-called "free-markets", I'm firmly of the view that no country (not even America) has such a thing. However, like America, we allow commercial markets to determine wages in almost every industry - but we allow a central authority to set the minimum allowable wage for those that don't have much negotiating power against their employer. This isn't rampant socialism! We do this because, unless the markets are truly competitive (and none to my knowledge are truly competitive) ALL so-called "free-markets" need oversight. We do allow self-regulation in most industries - but not surprisingly, we find that in many cases greed and commercial self interest prevails! I'm not sure if America has a similar minimum wage setting authority - if it does, I would urge that you keep it!!



"What if I or another came to australia to become a local crime overlord that enslaves your children with drugs and other illegal and immoral activities?" - if anyone does this I expect that our authorities would do their best to find, prosecute and deport the criminal - but I would argue that they have access to healthcare services (even for the most heinous criminals) - Sure, if they were taken to hospital by the police, then I would expect that they were processed by the law - but if they simply attended the hospital on their own - I do not expect a medical institution to become judge, jury and executioner (read deportation informer) - that's not their role and my taxes shouldn't fund Hospitals to do this (I don't think that medical staff are qualified for this role nor that they should be resourced to do this).

Don
 
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   #48  

lepa71

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I kind like Buttigieg and Harris but until Mitch is holding the Senate nothing will happen. If they would work out between 2 of themselves as POTOS AND VP then that would be a great combo. I'm neither D or R. I also wish we would have more parties than 2.
 
   #49  

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I also wish we would have more parties than 2.
I wish parties didn't exist in politics - in any party political system all that happens is that all "representatives of the people" think they are right and that anyone from another party is wrong. Working together in the best interests of the country is of no interest to them, just personal gain and power - even if it screws the country.
 
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   #50  

DV52

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I don't find the two to be mutually exclusive. If pockets weren't being lined, and if things were done more efficiently. I, and I'm sure many others would be open to providing healthcare for everyone. However, so long as a majority of that money is being wasted, I will not support universal healthcare.

I don't know how much wasteful spending goes on in Australia or even other parts of the world such that do have such systems like Europe, but the US just bleeds fountains of money into the most obscure and inane places.

If the Government really wanted to fix the problems this country is experiencing right now, there are a few things it needs to do IMO.

1. Close tax loopholes. In the US, it only takes ~$400,000 a year to be in the top 1%. However a vast majority of those in the top 1% don't have enough money and resources to actually take advantage of these loopholes, and often times end up paying an effective tax rate at 50% of higher. This is often times the small business owners who do account for a large portion of jobs here. Meanwhile those in the Top 0.01% (i.e. CEO's of huge companies) will pay effective tax rates lower than 20% because they have the best of the best tax people and can more readily shift their funds and assets in way that aren't really feasible for the rest in the top 1%. This isn't to say that I think the rest of the people in the top 1% shouldn't be paying higher taxes than the middle class, but the whole notion of attacking these "greedy rich people". Is very misguided and not at all reaching the intended targets that those in the middle class have in mind.

2. Cutting the useless spending. Instead of writing some long winded blurb on this feel free to read this list here. And this was a decade ago, I'm sure things have only gotten worse since then.

3. As previously alluded to, I think it's gotten to the point where banks and healthcare services need to have stricter regulations imposed upon them. They've shown that they clearly can not handle themselves responsibly. The finer details of HOW to go about this, I quite frankly haven't the slightest clue, but something has to give there.

4. Get the f*** out of the rest of the world. Drastically reduce foreign aid and fighting proxy wars. One great notable example is how much money is hemorrhaged into Israel alone. Cut down the size of the military (QUALITY > quantity). Sorry but when you are allies with a vast majority of the other world powers (besides Russia and China) You don't need to spend the most on military over 2 fold. If that means turning away young teens looking to enlist, then so be it. If you want more details on the ridiculousness of the size of the US Military, watch this video.

What I feel won't have an impact either way, is lowering or raising taxes. Lowering taxes encourages businesses but results in a lower portion of the pie. Raising taxes, discourages businesses but increasing the portion of the pie. From the government's perspective, the tax rate ultimately becomes relatively unimpactful.

Mike: Agreed - the two are not mutually exclusive - but neither are they jointly exhaustive. As Dirk Gently of the Holistic Detective Agency (great series by Douglas Adams) always says - everything is interconnected! I'm not sure why you believe that a service that is basic humanity to a fellow human (within America's border) should be denied because someone is gouging funds from the service!

To my mind, the provision of the service is the fulfillment of a fundamental value-set which goes to the the question of who Americans are as a first tier country - the inefficiency and ineffectiveness in the way that taxes are deployed in the provision of that service is a prosaic (albeit not unimportant) matter that needs separate attention. Prohibiting the former because of the latter doesn't remove our responsibility as sentient, caring humans - it's a bit like the tail wagging the dog IMO.

And no, Australia's health-care system is far from ideal - but because we are a smaller nation with a smaller GDP (and therefore a smaller Tax purse), we probably can't afford the type of gouging that America tolerates. Perhaps that's the real issue - America is a victim of its own success and the Government just doesn't care about its health-care overspend!!

Don
 
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   #51  

DV52

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I wish parties didn't exist in politics - in any party political system all that happens is that all "representatives of the people" think they are right and that anyone from another party is wrong. Working together in the best interests of the country is of no interest to them, just personal gain and power - even if it screws the country.
Dave: we inherited our Westminster system from your country (incidentally, my belated thanks for also sending us your convicts ;)) and we have had many instances where the balance of power in Government has been held by independent, or smaller parties. Without exception, when this has occurred, it's been absolutely shambolic. Important decisions are made by those that have only a small representation and our experience shows that generally, the rest of the country is held to ransom by single issue parties. Alas, parties working together for the common good of the country seems to be an oxymoron in modern politics

Give me a two party system any day with a clear mandate at election time - or if I can't get that, give me a benevolent dictator with a VCDS cable (do you happen to know any?)

Don
 
   #52  

lepa71

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I wish parties didn't exist in politics - in any party political system all that happens is that all "representatives of the people" think they are right and that anyone from another party is wrong. Working together in the best interests of the country is of no interest to them, just personal gain and power - even if it screws the country.
I don't think this will work at all. It means that every representative will pull to their own direction and nothing will be done. You have to have parties with somewhat common goals.
 
   #53  

PetrolDave

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You have to have parties with somewhat common goals.
I would agree IF the parties had "somewhat common goals" but it seems to me that this is a rare situation.

How often have the parties in the US agreed on things in the common interest (apart from during war time) - from my viewpoint on the "other side of the pond" I would say rarely.

And in the UK for the last 3 years the 2 party system has just lead to stalemate with Parliament unwilling to agree on any solution to the Brexit issue.

I would rather have elected representatives actually representing those who voted for them than being simply party "lobby fodder". Business works on the basis of negotiation and agreement (often on the "least worst" option), so why can't Government?
 
   #54  

lepa71

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I would agree IF the parties had "somewhat common goals" but it seems to me that this is a rare situation.

How often have the parties in the US agreed on things in the common interest (apart from during war time) - from my viewpoint on the "other side of the pond" I would say rarely.

And in the UK for the last 3 years the 2 party system has just lead to stalemate with Parliament unwilling to agree on any solution to the Brexit issue.

I would rather have elected representatives actually representing those who voted for them than being simply party "lobby fodder". Business works on the basis of negotiation and agreement (often on the "least worst" option), so why can't Government?
Lobbys still get their representatives by manipulating people. This is why you do need more than 2 parties. This way one party can't keep people hostage.
 
   #55  

Uwe

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Give me a two party system any day with a clear mandate at election time - or if I can't get that, give me a benevolent dictator with a VCDS cable (do you happen to know any?)
I don't think you'd be very happy with me as Benevolent dictator in the political sense. ;)

-Uwe-
 
   #56  

Jack@European_Parts

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I don't think you'd be very happy with me as Benevolent dictator in the political sense.

-Uwe-

I would......

I know you, as do I, we know how to work hard without hardly working by working smarter & because we make work fun and a priority for a superior result or adaptation & that we can improvise and sacrifice to help others without being told too & even in a shit situation know how to make the garden grow fruit & with said shit, right?
 
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DV52

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I would......

I know you, as do I, we know how to work hard without hardly working by working smarter & because we make work fun and a priority for a superior result or adaptation & that we can improvise and sacrifice to help others without being told too & even in a shit situation know how to make the garden grow fruit & with said shit, right?
Jack: Hagiography is all good and well but does Uwe have the killer instinct and can his alter-ego (President Merkin Muffley) pass the simple "pub-test":

Test 1: Can he order an armed strike on an axis-of-evil country that has an estimated casualty count of 150 in retaliation for downing an unmanned drone?

Test 2: Are his twitter skills up-to POTUS standard?

Test 3 :Is his use of emphasis when pronouncing everyday words idiosyncratic (and therefore hilarious) and can he say "China" correctly - or does he pronounce it "Ch-eye-na". If the latter, then he truly is POTUS material !!;)


Don
 
   #58  

Jack@European_Parts

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That's the nice thing about change, you get to see what you had and what you have now & what your new expectations going forward could possibly be or adapted too, right?
 
   #59  

Uwe

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Test 1: Can he order an armed strike on an axis-of-evil country that has an estimated casualty count of 150 in retaliation for downing an unmanned drone?
No, just like Trump, I would fail that test.

Test 2: Are his twitter skills up-to POTUS standard?
I would use an alternative platform that doesn't ban or censor people they disagree with.
(Notice I have not thrown anyone out of this Bar for posting political opinions that I disagree with?)
#FreeJamesWoods !!!

Test 3 :Is his use of emphasis when pronouncing everyday words idiosyncratic (and therefore hilarious) and can he say "China" correctly - or does he pronounce it "Ch-eye-na". If the latter, then he truly is POTUS material !!;)
Hmm, something like that might indeed be needed. For example, many presidents have pronounced "nuclear" as "nukular" ("nuke-you-lar"). I'm confident with a bit or practice, I could pull it off.

-Uwe-
 
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@Don

instead of illegally trying to take advantage of another country, perhaps all those people should band together to *improve their own country(ies)*.

america does not currently have universal healthcare, so your solution of 'git universal healthcare' is while well meaning, entirely irrelevant.

bums: for how long, and how many would you feed and bed? are you doing this currently for your own natural citizens? if not why not? or why would you do that for illegal immigrants and not do everything you could for your own current countrymen? are you currently running a free orphanage to your native orphans? what about for any other homeless natives? if you would, what about the risks to yourself and your family be providing all this food and bedding to complete strangers (natives or immigrants)?

jobs and wage: america has a minimum wage system, the problem of illegals is that they work *outside the law* which means they often make less than minimum wage, employers employ them so they (the employers) don't have to pay taxes or healthcare or even provide the minimum wage or working conditions. Not only are the immigrants being exploited, but the country is being denied the additional tax generation. So your point of any accepted method of minimum wage is also irrelevant.

criminals: (convicted) criminals in america already get full healthcare, food and (ostensibly) a safe sleeping environment, which is often way beyond what the typical illegal immigrant (or even our native homeless) get provided. Police generally don't take convicted criminals to hospitals, they generally would be provided care by their current jail or prison system. None of which is relevant to the actual crimes that folks commit.

criminals who are not caught, of course continue to run around doing whatever crimes they want, unimpeded by banalities of everyone else living a 'normal' life.

btw I appreciate the dialog, and I apologize if at any point I come across as aggressive or overboard.

I am fully cognizant that all of this are complicated matters, there is no single universal solution, and that every situation can be unique.

While I believe that all mankind has a few fundamental rights, I do not believe that people who break the very laws of the country they are in illegally, should be granted the protections and privileges of that countries native citizenry, nor allowed to use or subvert those laws, protections, and privileges as a way to extend their illegal presence.

If you want to come to america, I welcome you, as long as you follow the rules and proper immigration procedures.

I would hold myself to the same if I were to immigrate to some other foreign country.
 
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