The State of the States

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chuck jeronimo
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Re: The State of the States

Post by chuck jeronimo » Sun May 01, 2016 11:15 pm

Ok, I think I got a handle on this UPS thing now. While they've always had a theft problem, that is not the main issue. The big issue is the US Dept. of Labor forcing UPS to "Bail-In" and support the failing AFL-CIO Pension Fund. UPS was tired of the "loans" i.e. looting of the AFL-CIO pension fund so they opted out in 2005. Basically a successful business being forced to support a corrupt and failing government. That's it in a nutshell.
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Re: The State of the States

Post by Andres » Mon May 02, 2016 10:22 am

chuck jeronimo wrote:Ok, I think I got a handle on this UPS thing now. While they've always had a theft problem, that is not the main issue. The big issue is the US Dept. of Labor forcing UPS to "Bail-In" and support the failing AFL-CIO Pension Fund. UPS was tired of the "loans" i.e. looting of the AFL-CIO pension fund so they opted out in 2005. Basically a successful business being forced to support a corrupt and failing government. That's it in a nutshell.
I don't understand.
Who was looting the AFL-CIO pension fund? The government, or AFL-CIO insiders?
If it was AFL-CIO insiders, how is the AFL-CIO . . . (which is a non-government organisation) looting its pension fund related to supporting a corrupt and failing government?
I'll grant you that both the AFL-CIO and the government are corrupt, but that does not imply that one is the other, or that they are the same.
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Re: The State of the States

Post by Andres » Mon May 02, 2016 10:42 am

Catching a Flight? Budget Hours, Not Minutes, for Security
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/03/busin ... .html?_r=0

One of the consequences of having a government "lead" by psychopaths.
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Re: The State of the States

Post by Ripsigg » Tue May 24, 2016 9:58 pm

Andres wrote:I am reading sporadic reports of supplies which in the past were plentiful and available in the US are now less available.
Unfortunately, the US is such a big market, that if a product is not produced for the US market, there might not be the economy of scale to produced it for anyone. Incandescent light bulbs are an example.

The most worrying was a report on the subject regarding medication/drugs related to children's health:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/us/dr ... .html?_r=0

I can't comment on medicines but Walmart is having a problem keeping store shelves stocked. They used to have the best supply chain in the world but not anymore. This isn't isolated, it's widespread and there have been business articles about it.

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Re: The State of the States

Post by bert.douglas » Tue May 24, 2016 11:35 pm

The absence of incandescent lightbulbs is due to a law on energy conservation that basically banned them. So now you have to buy the more expensive CFL or the much more expensive LED type bulbs. It is not difficult to find bulbs, just difficult to find money to pay for them.

The new bulbs are supposed to actually save money over time because they last a long time and use less energy. However, I seem to be replacing dead bulbs at the same rate as before.

I was in my walmart supercenter yesterday and everything seemed normal.

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Re: The State of the States

Post by frozen-north » Fri May 27, 2016 10:02 am

I am not sure in which thread it fits better, since it touches on air travel:

For most of my alleged adult life I have wanted to live in a third world country, and now that my native United States has kindly accommodated this wish, all I do is bitch. It’s bad enough that our income and wealth disparity rivals that of Guatemala, now our tax dollars are actively promoting this ever-deepening caste system.

'The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare'

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/27/ ... s-warfare/
(Link found thanks to a link to Counterpunch provided by hlf2888)

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Re: The State of the States

Post by JHyre » Sat May 28, 2016 6:40 am

In re counterpunch article, I stopped reading at this quote: "TSA is paid for with tax money, and as the rich no longer pay taxes just about anywhere on earth, you and I are paying for their fast-track through security. Nice gig if you can get it."

That is not true, and easily verifiable. Indeed, the opposite is the case in the US and most of the industrialized Western world. Insofar as US income taxes are concerned, the rich pay out of proportion to income. Once you factor in payroll (not really "taxes", but "contributions" to pensions and the like, right?) and other taxes, the progressiveness of taxation flattens out mostly, but not entirely. The idea that the rich no longer pay taxes just about anywhere on earth is ludicrous, and such a writer can be relied upon to similarly err with other "facts".

Just more class warfare and the demand for more goodies to be seized by force from those who create them.

So how's that socialism working out?

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Re: The State of the States

Post by admin » Sat May 28, 2016 10:23 am

yea, the poor and the middle class can't pay taxes in the United States. They don't have any money. So, yea, actually, it pretty much has to be a myth that the rich don't pay taxes.

I touched on this a bit over in another thread, but is really more appropriate to post it over hear.

I just got back from my first visit to the States a few weeks ago, since I started this thread back in 2008.

What a shock. 8 years on from the "start" of the financial crisis, and the country was a waist land of failed or failing business, abandoned buildings, empty malls, roads with no commercial traffic. I seen so many empty, abandoned strip malls, I was half tempted to try and buy one, except it was obvious from the few that still were open that there was no where near sufficient shoppers to support them. You go in to a store, 10,000 square feet or some ridiculously oversize space, and there is like three employees for every shopper (if there were any shoppers at all).

Every time I spoke to an american, for more than a few mins, they turned the conversation to just how broker they were, in some form.

Now, the places there was money, when you scratched the surface, you quickly realize most of that money was either foreign or derived from a foreign source. The downtown Miami banking sector seemed to have no shortage of Ferraris in the parking lot. The super high end real estate market seemed to be doing o.k., but the rest of the economy was full of ghosts. Tourism related type stuff was doing o.k., but again that was generally dependent on foreign sources of income. Latin Americans and such on vacation or whatever. The few malls I went to that did have a lot of people shopping going on, when you got close to them you realized the people with all those bags in their hands were from somewhere else.

As I said before, I have seen economic recoveries in the United States, and that is not what they look like. The U.S. never recovered from 2008, even if it had, it is now statistically time for another full blown recession to start (the arguments are beginning about are they already in one). This time there is no wiggle room in the economy to absorb a shock.

Half of U.S. households would struggle with a $400 emergency:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-f ... story.html

The housing market for the rich is growing, while the housing market for the poor is shrinking:
http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2 ... t-Over-Yet

What was most disturbing, was just how disturbed everyone I talked to was. For lack of a better technical description, it was the incredibly high percentage of people I talked to that were just 'bat shit crazy'. By the second week, I found myself avoiding talking to the americans I met on the street absolutely any more than required. Perhaps they were always like that, and I know they were to some degree, but I am pretty sure it has increased; or, I have become super sensitive to it. I would start talking to someone, say at a local bar, a restaurant, a park, and it did not take long to determine that this person is not quite right. Many, within a min, I realized I needed to physically get a away from them, as they were just outright dangerous to be around.

I would say somewhere around 20% or more of the people Americans I talked to fell in to that category, where my self-preservation radar was just screaming in the back of my head RUN!!!! Another say 25-30%, over the course of a few more mins of conversation, that at first seemed fairly normal, if not a little dull, would drift in to something so completely off the map of 'reasonable topics to discuss with a stranger you just met on the street', that my self-preservation radar would at least hit the 'cut this conversation, and get the hell out of here ASAP'. None of these conversations lasted more than about 10 mins, before they did or said something that indicated a serious mental illness. I am not psychologist, I have a bit of related behavioral science training, but I am mostly talking about just ho hum hardwired social survival instincts being set-off by the behavior of the person I am interacting with. Based on a such limited sampling, I would say somewhere north of 25% of the people walking down the street in the United States were sufficiently mentally ill to be dangerous to themselves or others.

We actually had an incident that pretty much confirmed this, over a parking space, where two people actually threatened to kill us and the police got involved. Even there, the reaction of the people was so totally disproportionate to the issue at hand it was mind blowing. I had simply asked a lady if she could move her car over about 6 inches, because it was parked slightly askew and in to the neighboring parking space we were trying to get in to as to be too tight without scratching her car. I was very polite and matter a fact about the problem, and they just exploded for no reason and physically threatening us.

Unfortunately that conversation, prior to them going full postal, was too short to detect in advance that something was wrong. I had asked her if she could move her car over, about one to two sentences, for about 20 seconds total time. She replied "just give me a second". I patiently waited for her to move her car over, and next thing I knew her and her boy friend are out of their car and screaming at me they are going to kick my ass and physically threatening us. A few mins later we have police and private security involved over a frigen parking space. In two seconds, it went from a run of the mill request of someone for a run of the mill thing, to multiple people with guns and weapons on scene and everyone postured for extreme physical violence. It was just a fucking parking space. It was really unbelievable, and objectively fascinating if I was not in the middle of it. Either my radar failed me on that occasion, or the conversation was just too short to detect in advanced the bad shit crazy nature of the people.

So, yea, after a week of that I just quit talking to any Americans I did not absolutely have to talk to, and most were people just working like waiters, car rental places, and so on. Absolutely no unnecessary conversations or interaction with anyone. By the second week, there was a few times were I got cornered in to conversations against my will. Even then, everything seemed to be o.k. at first, but I kept telling myself 'wait for it', 'wait for it', 'wait for it'; and sure enophe, few mins later, there it was. Some red flag, full flairs, sirens blazing, 'this person is not quite right', turn of the conversation.

If they have increased in craziness, the only theory I have regarding the cause is that the overall financial instability and insecurity in the society has really increased the level of overall stress leading to people with an overall marked increase of people, that were perhaps before marginally mentally unstable, to now widespread numbers of people that are just batshit crazy dangerous to themselves and others.

What blows me away more than anything, was the shear tiny sampling size relative to the amount of batshit crazy people I encountered. I think, over two weeks, I likely spoke to max about 100 americans. About half to 3/4 were of course of those people fall in to the just buying something at the store, a waiter, or whatever. There was not reason to talk to each other beyond the brief business at hand. So, of the remaining 25-30 people I talked to at any length, something like a full 10 of them fell in to 'there is really something wrong with this person' category, including the crazy lady with the car. I would say another 10 of the 25 people, were not dangerous, but were not quite right either. They were the types that easily would drop in to conversations about their financial condition, how they were struggling, or drift in to something that indicated they were under a lot of stress in their life. That leaves about 5 out of the 25 people, that I don't know if there was anything wrong with them. Perhaps, a trained shrink, with a few weeks examination might find something wrong with them, but I would say that last 1/5th, were at least functional on a daily basis.

That is a pretty frigen scary sampling, and I don't recall crazy people being that common in the United States. I knew they were a lot of crazy people, just not on that scale.

What makes me believe it has increased however, is not this sampling of Americans on its own so much; but compared against the back-drop of having traveled and lived all over the world and I can not recall any society, anywhere, I have traveled to that had that high of a percentage of people that were that mentally unstable. One skill you refine the more you travel, especially when you are at linguistic disadvantage, is to focus on people's body language. Not so much what people say, but how they say it. When traveling, you often have split second impressions to work with, when determining if someone is a threat or not. Are they nervous, is there signs of deception, tones of voice, sometimes even are they saying too much, even if you don't understand what they are saying, in a situation that does not require a lot of conversation; they add up to a pretty good set of indicators about human behavior you can use to determine people's intentions.

Now, perhaps I am all wrong about this. I just had some bad luck, but let's assume for a moment this is a real issue. That financial insecurity has led to mental insecurity on a wide basis in the United States, which leads to a wide mental problems in the overall population. That right there, the high levels of stress and mental instability in the society, is more damaging to the overall economy than just about anything else. It is not really the sort of thing that is measurable with Fed surveys, or looking at people's bank accounts. It is also not something, that even if the economy started recovering, would allow for an economy to recover. It would seriously, and perhaps permanently, effect the productivity of an economy. It is irreparable damage to the employment base of the society. Something that might not work itself out for a generation or more, especially if the source of the insecurity continues for years. The united States is suffering from massive Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Only wars could cause more direct damage. Look at how long it took for the great depression damage to work its way out of the system. Many of that generation died or are dying still traumatized by that.

I arrived in the States feeling like an alien anthropologist, trying to figure out how this strange culture functions; I left feeling like a visiting psychiatrist trying to evaluate the patients at an insane asylum to determine just how dangerous the population was.
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Re: The State of the States

Post by bert.douglas » Sat May 28, 2016 10:58 am

Well, perhaps some of what you see is a real change in culture.

You are from the upper midwest. Stiff upper lip. Don't talk about your problems.

Now everybody watches these awful afternoon talk shows, which do nothing but air dirty laundry in public. Many put every detail of their lives on facebook.

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Re: The State of the States

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Sat May 28, 2016 1:32 pm

Nearly 60 percent of Americans — the highest ever — are taking prescription drugs
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to- ... ion-drugs/

And how about those multiple prescriptions and their cross interactions and the effects on the brain?

Let's not talk about the prevalence of non-prescription drug use and abuse.

Many of generation Y were raised on ADHD drugs. And I'm sure that huge expanded list of vaccines during their growing up years didn't help their brains much.

Pineal gland calcifying, intelligence lowering fluoride probably a factor in there somewhere.

How about all the GMO and processed foodstuffs that is everyday on the menu in the USA and virtually impossible to get away from? The EM pollution from com towers to the pollution from fracking, big agro, decades of mishaps in the nuclear research and power industries, etc.?

Then add the war on the people via the law enforcement, educational, mass media, political and economic (hello Wall Street bankers, psychopath CEO's of the intelligence-military-security-pharma-big med-big agro-big food-energy-media complex) systems.

I'd say the average American brain is quite "fried".

And the only ones who can see it soo clearly are expats like admin and perhaps the controllers on the dark side.
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Re: The State of the States

Post by admin » Sat May 28, 2016 1:40 pm

Yea, I would describe myself as being more from the West side of the Mississippi. Perhaps it is a Florida / East side of the Mississippi thing.

Seriously though, a lot of the people I talked to were not from Florida. They were there on vacation, or originated from somewhere more north. The accents and the snow white skin (or super new sun burn) tended to give them away. Yea, there was some real southerners in that mix, but surprisingly not a lot.
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Re: The State of the States

Post by admin » Sat May 28, 2016 1:43 pm

eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:Nearly 60 percent of Americans — the highest ever — are taking prescription drugs
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to- ... ion-drugs/

And how about those multiple prescriptions and their cross interactions and the effects on the brain?

Let's not talk about the prevalence of non-prescription drug use and abuse.

Many of generation Y were raised on ADHD drugs. And I'm sure that huge expanded list of vaccines during their growing up years didn't help their brains much.

Pineal gland calcifying, intelligence lowering fluoride probably a factor in there somewhere.

How about all the GMO and processed foodstuffs that is everyday on the menu in the USA and virtually impossible to get away from? The EM pollution from com towers to the pollution from fracking, big agro, decades of mishaps in the nuclear research and power industries, etc.?

Then add the war on the people via the law enforcement, educational, political, economic, mass media (hello Wall Street bankers, psychopath CEO's of the intelligence-military-security-pharma-big med-big agro-big food-energy-media complex) systems.

I'd say the average American brain is quite "fried".

And the only ones who can see it soo clearly are expats like admin and perhaps the controllers on the dark side.

Perhaps the government is right about ordering all those extra bullets, guns, and building FEMA camps. Someone that was semi-sober, took a look and realized the biggest threat to the United States were all the crazy Americans and sooner later were going to need to commit them.
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