The Eye of the Needle | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Eye of the Needle

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Sept. 21, 2011

I usually ponder, ruminate, tweet, blog, joke and seethe about some or another issue for a week or more before I write a new editor's note. This week, though, I had trouble locking onto a topic--probably because I'm so sick of divisive politics that my brain feels like just vegging in front of an Ashton Kutcher TV show with the rest of America.

But this morning--press day--I was trying to wake up as NPR came on and off between Todd slapping the snooze button. Suddenly, my uncaffeinated brain heard the words, "Boehner called it 'class warfare.'" Our illustrious U.S. House leader was, of course, red-baiting the president's plan to create jobs by, in part, reversing tax cuts on the wealthy. Boehner's argument, it seems, is that Obama is declaring "war" on the wealthy by trying to roll back their generous Bush-era tax cuts.

Just as Todd got up to get us coffee, I blinked at my fat cat, Eddie, lying next to me. "I'm going to answer that son of a b*tch my own damn self," I told him. Hey, it was early.

By the time Todd returned, I was mapping my ideas. I scrawled the words "Orwellian," "entitlement" and "war on the poor."

It is hard to imagine a more backward, means-exactly-the-opposite boondoggle than Boehner's latest trick on behalf of corporations and the super-rich. The tan man is trying to tell America--filled right now with unemployed people, many losing their homes and savings, others homeless for the first time--that to ask the wealthiest to give up their Bush tax cuts is, somehow, declaring war against them. Really?

Then, today, the GOP declared that Obama is "punting on entitlement reform" in his jobs plan that lays out all sorts of formerly-GOP ideas, and gives tax relief to everyday folks and actually-small businesses. That's "punting"? The wealthy are "entitled" to tax breaks, but the working class isn't? Seriously?

Meantime, the Tea Party is calling Boehner a "socialist" even as most rank-and-file tea partiers are hurt by the plans their funders (like the Koch oil boys) are pushing. Talk about turning Americans against Americans to benefit the few; that's the real "class warfare."

This is hard, cold fact. The vast majority of Americans are hurting. I mean real pain resulting from hunger, sickness they can't afford to get cured, losing their homes and even from being victims of poverty-driven crime. All the while, representatives sent to Washington on behalf of the wealthiest congressional districts, and those who get sucked in by that Orwellian rhetoric, are more worried about tax breaks for oil companies (which the jobs plan would decrease), limiting lawsuit damages for negligent corporations and doctors, and making sure the capital-gains tax stays as low as Bill Clinton and George Bush pushed it.

It is precisely those kinds of hand-outs to the country's most entitled that have widened the gap between the rich and poor in the U.S., according to a Bloomberg business analysis.

As of 2007, the top 1 percent of U.S. earners enjoyed 18.3 percent of national income; in 1973, their share was 7.7 percent. Not to mention, most of the richest Americans pay lower overall tax rates than those middle-class Americans have to meet. (Thus, the president's apropos Warren Buffett example.)

"The way you get rich in this world is not by working hard," economist Marty Sullivan, a Tax Analysts contributing editor, told Bloomberg. "It's by owning large amounts of assets and having those things appreciate in value."

The gap isn't about how hard people work (if they're lucky enough to have a job). The poor don't have assets, even though they may toil long hours every day. Many Americans weren't handed down wealth or land (much of which was acquired in less-than-proud ways in the first place)--making it difficult to realize the American dream, especially as the top 1 percent gobble up more of it. Understanding these realities isn't "class warfare"; it's called knowing our history and its current effects.

Now, what the Boehner crowd will tell you--wink, wink--is that the super-rich need the extra tax cuts to create lots of jobs for us little proles. Of course, that argument is bunk, and the last few years prove it. Bush pushed through the tax cuts they wanted, and where are the damn jobs? (It reminds me of Goldie Hawn in "Private Benjamin" looking for what the Army promised when she signed up: "Where are the yachts?" she whined.)

And it's not exactly a secret that many corporations have sat on piles of cash through this economic downturn, refusing to create or replace jobs until so-called "Obamacare" is turned back or the right figures out how to oust the president elected to reform health care and repeal the tax cuts on the super-rich.

Meantime, the strategy goes, any time anyone brings up this widening wealth gap or the cash hoard, just accuse them of "class warfare." If that doesn't work, call them a socialist or a commie (the same tired strategy used against "integrationists" a few years back).

Screw that. This isn't about partisanship, folks. It's about the kind of nation we want to be. It's about being strong, being educated, being healthy, being smart and being kind.

Right here in Mississippi, and under Gov. Barbour (who probably came up with the "class warfare" meme), our poverty rate (17 percent) is abhorrent. The companies that the governor tries to lure here so they can duck unions have a hard time finding skilled workers. Too many of our people, for the most part, are obese and unhealthy. And get this: In our state, the poverty rate for African Americans--whose labor built much of this state, lest we forget--is 44 percent. Let's say it again: 459,900 black Mississippians live in poverty.

Raise your hand if this is OK with you.

We live in a state that supposedly takes faith seriously. In my office, I sit under a pink sign with Proverbs 14:31 on it: "Be in solidarity with the poor." These words mean something, folks, and it's not just about sending missionaries abroad. It means here and now.

We are a state that votes against the best interests of the poor and the middle class. The poorest whites in our state get sucked into corporate-funded lies that other poor people are trying to take what little they have. We have lived through this cycle for years, and it has padded the pockets of many who have greedily taken advantage of fear of "the other." Then we point and scream for help as poor kids get their hands on weapons and kick down doors to grab big-screen TVs and bottles of liquor.

Are we really this gullible, this greedy, this cold-hearted, this short-sighted? I pray not.

Previous Comments

ID
165008
Comment

Absolutely Right on Everything! Sadly, we don't have even an option to vote for someone who is willing to stand up and do the right things to get us off the bottom of the National Barrel. Dupree will be a lot better than Bryant for Mississippi, but he is still a politician with political solutions instead of real, sustainable improvement. I suppose the think that if everything is going good, they will have nothing to attack each other with in the campaigns. ?? I've been thinking on the "Class Warfare" thing too. Take a look at my blog for my latest post, World of Class Warfare.

Author
BobbyKearan
Date
2011-09-21T12:29:27-06:00
ID
165017
Comment

Also see: Millionaires, the Middle Class and Taxes (and see the chart): Here's how to read this: 40 percent of taxpayers with incomes between 30K and 40K pay more than 12.9 percent of their income in income and payroll taxes; meanwhile, 25 percent of people with incomes over $1M pay less than 12.6 percent of their income in these taxes. This suggests that there are a lot of very-high-income guys paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. So, how it OK that the very rich pay a lower tax rate than the middle class???

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-21T17:37:39-06:00
ID
165021
Comment

Bravo once again Donna, Bravo!!!!! Where did you get the information about the poverty rate of Blacks in Mississippi? That is truly sickening, especially in the so called "most religious state in the Union".

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-09-22T09:11:30-06:00
ID
165022
Comment

Thanks, Blackwatch. Coming from someone with your intellect, that is truly a special compliment. Thank YOU.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T09:13:23-06:00
ID
165023
Comment

Also, here is the link I used for the poverty info. It was 2008-09; easily could be worse now, sadly.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T09:38:35-06:00
ID
165024
Comment

We're still analyzing the new Census info. But this "highlights" write up on that site is disturbing on its face. Verbatim: ncome, Poverty and Health Insurance in the United States: 2010 - Highlights The data presented here are from the Current Population Survey (CPS), 2011 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), the source of official poverty estimates. The CPS ASEC is a sample survey of approximately 100,000 household nationwide. These data reflect conditions in calendar year 2010. The official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent – up from 14.3 percent in 2009. This was the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points, from 12.5 percent to 15.1 percent. In 2010, 46.2 million people were in poverty, up from 43.6 million in 2009–the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty. Between 2009 and 2010, the poverty rate increased for non-Hispanic Whites (from 9.4 percent to 9.9 percent), for Blacks (from 25.8 percent to 27.4 percent), and for Hispanics (from 25.3 percent to 26.6 percent). For Asians, the 2010 poverty rate (12.1 percent) was not statistically different from the 2009 poverty rate.1 The poverty rate in 2010 (15.1 percent) was the highest poverty rate since 1993 but was 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available. The number of people in poverty in 2010 (46.2 million) is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published. Between 2009 and 2010, the poverty rate increased for children under age 18 (from 20.7 percent to 22.0 percent) and people aged 18 to 64 (from 12.9 percent to 13.7 percent), but was not statistically different for people aged 65 and older (9.0 percent).2 Footnotes: 1 The poverty rate for Blacks was not statistically different from that of Hispanics in 2010. 2 Since unrelated individuals under 15 are excluded from the poverty universe, there are 422,000 fewer children in the poverty universe than in the total civilian noninstitutionalized population.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T09:48:51-06:00
ID
165028
Comment

Asolutely wrong on everything! Well, I can't comment on the TV show, and I have no idea who Ashton Kutcher is, but as a working American who actually provides employment for others, I do feel qualified to comment on the rest of this predictably brainwashed whining. I see that you have even climbed aboard the Hoffa thug train with your "S.O.B." hate rhetoric. Predictably, you do not see the irony in calling Obama's latest boondoggle a "jobs" plan--same old talk about "creating jobs" to rebuild infrastructure (which sorely needs upgrading, but this plan has no plan to accomplish that), schools (of course, as anyone who knows the slightest bit about such projects is aware that none of this work can be done until next summer), and of course to create more levels of government regulations. This is nothing but another "spendulus" plan, with plenty of opportunity for more half-billion dollar loans to Obama's fat cat bankruptcy-declaring corporate buddies. I might suggest that you actually learn what tort reform is about, rather than declaring that it limits damages for true negligence. The most common negligence is perpetrated by the parasites of the legal profession, who file shotgun lawsuits playing the odds that their victims' insurance companies will settle as a business decision, even though no fault exists, rather than pay litigation costs. Keep in mind that the top 1% you refer to as having 18% of income (I think it's down to about 17% now) pay about 40% of federal income taxes. Here we go again with poor old Warren Buffet! Obama, who is in his back pocket (and vice versa), wants to make Buffet into some kind of folk hero because he feels guilty that his tax rate is lower than that of his secretary (and probably also less than that of Obama's $105,000 per year dog handler, but that guy does have a tough job, flying around with Bo on the Gulfstream because Obama doesn't want him on Air Force One--or maybe Bo prefers not to fly with him--who knows?) Since very little of Buffet's income is derived through salary, he will not be materially affected by Obama's "tax the rich" plan--which will also make most of Buffet's funds more attractive due to their tax treatment--gee, I wonder why Mr. Buffet is so generous in campaigning for that? You mentioned the poor working long hours with nothing to show for it; due to the recession created largely by the mortgage crisis, thanks to Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Jamie Gorelick, etc., my company has gone from 23 to 6 employees in the past 2 years. Unfortunately, since I am not a government employee, when my company runs out of money I don't go home just because there is no paycheck--instead, I work 80 hours a week trying to keep my head above water. Your "where are the damn jobs?" question is the epitomy of entitlement, not to mention ignorance of any semblance of knowledge of the economy. I suppose I am one of those "refusing to create" jobs--I guess the right thing to do would be to "create" a "job" and borrow some more money for payroll, but again, I am not the government, so I can't make up a position that serves no purpose other than to drain money from the bank (which would be analogous to the American taxpayer in the public sector) so that the entitled can have their due. And yes, anyone who actually runs a business understands the huge albatross of uncertainty that has been forced onto us by Obamacare. Oh, wait, I can get a one-time tax credit for "creating" a job? Never mind that the credit is negligible compared to the Obamacare penalty, or that there is no work for the new employee to accomplish, or that most of these new hires will be back on the streets as soon as the tax credit expires--we won't worry about that until after the next election, just like the scores of provisions of Obamacare itself, which are not scheduled to be enacted until then! "Reform health care"? I am rarely speechless, but a reply to this would be an insult to reason. The one thing you and I agree on is the Proverbs verse, but being in solidarity with the poor does not mean conditioning them to believe that government will sustain them through economic or social strife.

Author
notmuch
Date
2011-09-22T14:37:47-06:00
ID
165029
Comment

notmuch, I don't have time to go point by point with you right now, but I assure you that I am most certainly not "wrong." You haven't actually factually disputed anything I said, I will note. I own a small business, notmore. My company benefits from what you call "Obamacare," as do my employees. Now, we're able to offer our health insurance plan to those who work 30 hours, not just full-time salaried people. We will also benefit from the president's jobs plan, both as hard-working individuals and business owners. I will say this: My company is growing; we hire every chance we get, both to help our own company's growth, give some relief to our hard-working employees and to do our part to grow the economy. We even spend a few extra dollars whenever we can to support local businesses and suppliers. And this is nothing "entitled" about asking the people who promised us so many new jobs if they could pay less taxes on their wealth to SHOW US THE JOBS and to just sitting on the cash that can create them. You are so upside down here: The gap is growing, the middle class and poor are in serous trouble, and just because you act too hard-hearted to give a damn doesn't mean the entire nation is. It's time to talk back to factually challenged attitudes and excuses such as yours. I'm game; who else?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T14:43:20-06:00
ID
165030
Comment

Oh, and calling an effort to help the middle class and poor "class warfare" is "hate speech," baby doll, and I'll call anyone an SOB who does that. At some point, we've got to take the gloves off when it comes to greedy moneychangers who don't care that almost 500,000 African Americans and almost 300,000 whites in Mississippi live in poverty. We've only got one chance to live the kind of life that helps others and that we can be proud of, and so many people are spending theirs pointing fingers at the poor and blaming them for their circumstances regardless of the actual facts. Your attitudes about the poor are pathetic, notmore, as is your apparent willingness to avoid cold, hard facts in order to play politics with people's lives. I urge you to be better than this. There is always hope for addiction, even those addicted to greed and partisan politics. The good news is that you do not speak either for all business owners or all wealthy people. There are plenty of people out there who understand the facts; businesses that know the need for health-care reform (or insurance reform, to be accurate); wealthy people who know they can afford to pay, yes, their fair share (which is at least the rate that the middle class pays); and people who know they are very fortunate and that charity and largesse is not the only way to help people who have not had the same opportunities to create and accumulate wealth, as those who inherited it or, in some cases, stole it. I am not favor of hand-out after hand-out; I believe in teaching people to help themselves and believing they can. I believe in teaching people the skills and confidence they might not have learned at home, and I try to do that every day of my business life. But we can do all of that, and if we have governmental mechanisms in place *designed* to benefit corporations (especially those that will take our jobs to another country and use sweatshops without a second thought) and the uber-wealthy, then the people we mentor and teach and inspire can't catch up. The playing field isn't level by design--precisely because most of the people who design it benefit from it being unlevel. Just look at the numbers. Study the Census. Think. Try to imagine having a non-partisan opinion. This unlevel playing field may be OK with you, but it is not with me. I want all Americans to have opportunities and a chance at the American dream. I believe in actual free enterprise, and not corporate welfare--especially the kinds that means that the very wealthy have a lower tax rate than the middle class. That is sick, and it is backward, and I believe it is sinful. I believe in working hard and it mattering. That is exactly why trying to figure out how we don't have a nation that dumps on the poor and gives huge corporations and people with attitudes like yours everything they want is exactly NOT "class warfare." What is class warfare is thinking this increasing poverty gap and gap between wealthy and poor -- which make no mistake, are created by the government and both parties (like Bush/Clinton on capital gains) -- are just fine. Put another way, the government has created ways for the wealthy to get wealthier and take away more of the potential pie from the poor. The promise, and excuse, is more jobs, but when the people receiving all those governmental benefits don't create the jobs, Houston, we got a damn problem.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T14:49:02-06:00
ID
165031
Comment

As for tort reform, I bet you money I know more about it than you do. Here's one of the stories I wrote after months of very deep research: Hoodwinked: Did the U.S. Chamber Pull a Fast One on Mississippi?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T14:52:16-06:00
ID
165032
Comment

No, I don't have time either (refer back to the 80-hour work week), but I did factually dispute everything I covered. I am happy for you that your company is growing, but would you hire people if you had no work for them to do? I am with you on the failed promises of Obama's stimulus, but in fairness to him, most of the jobs created as a result of that were not in this country, so it did not materially affect our unemployment rate. It seems to me that I am not the one who does not "give a damn", although I fail to see any connection between that statement and anything I have posted here. You are the queen of factually challenged attitudes and excuses, so I cannot begin to compete.

Author
notmuch
Date
2011-09-22T15:15:53-06:00
ID
165033
Comment

Yes, I know about the 80-hour work weeks, although they started getting more like 60 or so by our fifth year. Now, I usually leave by 8 p.m. My work is meaningful every day, so I can deal with it. It is meaningful precisely because we put so much effort into training and giving opportunities to those who might not have it otherwise. I would get into my view of abundance and growth, but I doubt you'd accept it. I'll just summarize: You get what you give. I did not say a word about the "failed promise of Obama's stimulus"; surely to God you're informed enough to know that our little-big problem started before the president took office. Come on. You're not on some uninformed partisan blog here. We base what we say on facts and research. Your response above may feel like "fact" to you, notmore, but it's filled with rhetoric. I await for your actual factual challenge. You are the queen of factually challenged attitudes and excuses, so I cannot begin to compete. Right. I love it when people say that without actually presenting the so-called facts I'm getting wrong. It makes you sound like just enough flailing anonymous blogger who is afraid to sign your posts and take responsibility for your opinions. I await your facts that disprove mine. Seriously. I learn from those who challenge me -- in a serious way. Not with rhetoric. I will say this: It is hard to take anyone seriously who refers to the current health-care act as "Obamacare." That is profoundly ignorant on many levels, simply from a timeline angle if nothing else. I have never heard a person use that phrase and mean it who is serious about facts. It's pure partisanship, and dumb partisanship at that. It is a clue, though, that you're dealing with someone who isn't serious about the issues or a conversation about them, so it's useful from that angle.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T15:24:24-06:00
ID
165035
Comment

I'm not a baby doll, and although I'm also not an S.O.B., I am also would not expect any different language from you. I also do not believe in perpetuating racial division by being sure to include racial differences when quoting statistics ("almost 500,000 African Americans and almost 300,000 whites"). Although I happen to be black, I am an American, NOT an African American. As far as pointing fingers, I know a lot of poor people who blame others for their circumstances, but I cannot sincerely think of one person who blames the poor for his/her circumstances. I'm not sure how you are an expert on my "pathetic" attitudes about the poor, but I will just assume that since you are a factually-challenged, self-declared expert on anything with which you disagree, this is just more of the same. You are quite adept at name-calling! Thanks for the compliment in assuming I am wealthy; I won't bother you with the facts. Yes, the playing field has not been level for quite some time; some firms cannot participate in government projects without a certain percentage of minority participation, etc. "Study the census"? "Think"? "Try to imagine having an non-partisan opinion"? I could not have said it better myself. Your last paragraph reinforces the fact that you have about as much understanding of "jobs" as our President--gee, we're giving you all these benefits--why doesn't this magically "create jobs"?

Author
notmuch
Date
2011-09-22T15:56:38-06:00
ID
165036
Comment

Lighten up, notmore. You're accusing me of all sorts of things, rhetorically anyway, and anonymously. You've essentially called me a liar. You've told me I'm wrong on everything I said, again without any evidence of such. Then you're offended because I call you "baby doll"? Really? Notmore, you are doing the textbook partisan thing of calling health-care reform "Obamacare." Can't you see that? The package that passed doesn't even have many of POTUS' own ideas in it. Some are taken from Republicans. But it's all Obamacare to partisans on the other side. Now don't get me wrong, partisans on the left make me crazy, too. Why? Because I come to my own opinions, based on facts and research and, yes, thinking. I firmly believe this two-party nonsense is killing our strength as a nation -- getting people to believe anything one or the other party tells them so they don't have to turn off the TV long enough to think for themselves. And your last paragraph is still up in the rhetorical clouds. If you want to talk job creation, get specific. What's right about it? What's wrong? Cite sources, give numbers, get busy. Debate the specifics of the president's plan -- which certainly is a huge compromise and has a lot of Republican ideas in it. It's not like he's hiding that fact; he's giving credit where it's due. But now that he's touched it, it's suddenly the enemy? None of that makes sense. So far, you're just another anonymous commenter trying to tell me off because you don't agree with me. And I hate to tell you, but been there, done that, who cares. Maybe some questions would help you get specific: What do you propose to do to ensure that the middle class doesn't pay a higher tax rate than the wealthy (yes, like Warren Buffett)? What specific government programs do you want to cut? How much money will that save? What do we go about jobs that are lose within those government cuts? (Because there are jobs attached to government cuts.) Here in Mississippi, what do we do about the people who lose those government jobs in the short term while we're waiting a few years for all those jobs that something is going to create? While you're at it, considering that the wealthy and corporations already have those tax cuts in place, what additionally do you want to do in order to get them to create more jobs in the state and nation? ( How do we ensure that crime does not go up in the short or medium terms as government jobs are lost in Mississippi? How do we ensure that the poverty rate doesn't grow more than it has in the last few years as Mississippi loses government jobs (and all those earmarks/jobs that Cochran and Wicker like to bring home?) I'm sure I can think of some more when you're done with those. I look forward to your specific ideas.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T16:12:09-06:00
ID
165037
Comment

"training and giving opportunities"? Do you mean training people to hate those who disagree with them? My reference to the failed promise of Obama's stimulus was obviously in reply to your comment about those "who promised us so many new jobs"; as you said, where are the damn jobs? I am not a "blogger" (obviously), but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is absolutely the most uninformed, and the most partisan, forum I have ever encountered on either side. I'm glad you acknowledge that you use "so-called facts", so why not actually READ just a little bit of "Obamacare"? I don't like that name either, because "care" certainly is not even remotely involved; it is just a shorthand way of referring to that disaster. If you read it, and still want to call me ignorant, I will not be offended; I will know that name-calling is all you have left.

Author
notmuch
Date
2011-09-22T16:12:12-06:00
ID
165038
Comment

Meantime, a nice quote from the president's speech today: You know what? If asking a billionaire to pay their fair share of taxes, to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare, then you know what? I'm a warrior for the middle class," Mr. Obama said. "The only warfare I've seen is the battle against the middle class over the last last 10, 15 years."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T16:13:36-06:00
ID
165039
Comment

I have read the health-reform act, notmore, and nowhere on it is it called "Obamacare." And we've looked carefully at the parts that apply to small businesses because we own one. I actually don't hate people I disagree with; I don't hate you, not that I know who you are (I do wonder why you don't use your real name and own your ideas, being that you own your own business. It's usually people who work for others who don't have the courage to sign theirs posts. Or those who don't have the courage of their convictions.) For the record, I don't hate Boehner. I feel sorry for him. He's caught in a game that's hard to win right now, waging a war on the middle class and poor, even as the Tea Party calls him a "socialist." I'd hate to be him. I'm glad you acknowledge that you use "so-called facts", so Cute try, but it doesn't help your credibility to take my comments out of context. I said: I love it when people say that without actually presenting the so-called facts I'm getting wrong. Why don't you point out the facts I'm getting wrong instead of just accusing me of getting some stuff you can't bother to point out incorrect? This kind of bickering is tiresome. My goal is to stand up for the middle class, the poor and small businesses, not to mention all the good and caring wealthy people and larger companies that understand the road government has and must continue to play if we are to remain a strong nation. You seem to be here to break the pottery in my Pottery Barn and flail insults at me that you can't even back up.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T16:19:32-06:00
ID
165040
Comment

Also, here's a link to the Americans Jobs Act.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T16:24:11-06:00
ID
165041
Comment

Same old Obama teleprompter rhetoric! Read Mitch McConnell's comment within the linked article for a little honest perspective.

Author
notmuch
Date
2011-09-22T16:28:40-06:00
ID
165042
Comment

Also, notmore, I found this about your company: Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $2.5 to 5 million and employs a staff of 20 to 49. One way to get specific would be to explain the problems you that the health-care reform bill and the American Jobs Act would present for a company the size of yours. I'm not saying there isn't any problem; I'm sure there could be. But let's leave all the flailing behind and talk specifics. And it wouldn't hurt to paste the actual language of one of those acts to help spur further discussion. We've bickered enough; let's get specific. Who knows: Maybe there's some common ground to be found if we try. Oh, and your company sounds interesting. Maybe we should feature y'all in BOOM?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T16:29:52-06:00
ID
165043
Comment

Whatever you think of Obama and teleprompters, notmore, how do you answer how we stop the middle class from having a higher tax rate than so many wealthy Americans? Are you OK with that? Say something real and substantive here, or I'm gonna move on and find someone else to chat with who is more informed. Come on! Engage.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T16:34:32-06:00
ID
165044
Comment

Sorry, but it's not my mission to penalize the "wealthy Americans" (what? you don't have any bad names to call them?). I'm actually pretty okay with those who have 17% paying about 40%--besides, last time I checked, most jobs are provided by "wealthy" people. All of this might somehow be profitable for you, but not for me, so I will leave you to your sheep, with whom you can laugh about being able to outlast another poor working stiff.

Author
notmuch
Date
2011-09-22T16:43:44-06:00
ID
165045
Comment

Sorry to horn in, but I'm champing at the bit to discuss some of these "facts" that NotMuch has proffered here today. I'm taking three here that represent the full spectrum of "talk radio" argumentation. 1.) THE SERIOUS OMISSION ARGUMENT You mentioned the poor working long hours with nothing to show for it; due to the recession created largely by the mortgage crisis, thanks to Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Jamie Gorelick, etc., my company has gone from 23 to 6 employees in the past 2 years. OK... there's a *little* fact in here, but it's more of a lie of omission than anything. It's a "talk radio" argument to find ONLY Democrats to blame for (a.) Phil Gramm's banking "reforms" (b.) George W. Bush's "Ownership Society" and (c.) Congress' lack of oversight on Fannie and Freddie, both D and R. Anything else? The ratings agencies total miss on mortgage-backed securities? Too much easy money for developers? Lower capital gains taxes for flipping homes or owning multiple homes? Predatory lenders? Bank capitalization rules? Fraud? The FACT is there were a lot of inputs that brought about the financial crisis, with a lot of folks complicit beyond Franks and Dodd. People who argue otherwise are, and I quote, "...absolutely the most uninformed, and the most partisan..." (2.) THE 'CONFLAGRATIONARY NUMBERS' ARGUMENT Keep in mind that the top 1% you refer to as having 18% of income (I think it's down to about 17% now) pay about 40% of federal income taxes. This is a *classic* Limbaugh-ian argument, and, at least, it's a bit more clever. Unfortunately, it's also a non sequitur that happens to prove Donna's point. Donna's point was the concentration of incomes with the top 1% has increased dramatically since the late 1970s; in fact, it's increased pretty significantly since 2000. If the overall concentration of incomes in the top 1% of the population goes up, then, *by defintion* (all other things being equal, like the tax rates) they will pay a higher proportion of federal income taxes... because they have *more* of the *income* than ever before. BUT....... don't conflate their proportion of income tax paid with their *tax rates*, which is what this argument is attempting to do. (See?? They pay LOT'S of the taxes... it's totally unfair!) Put it this way. Say you and 99 other folks at NotMuch LLC each make $10. Meanwhile, I make a $1000 at JFP, Inc. Now, let's tax me at 6%. I just paid $60 in income tax, and I'm in the top 1%. Now let's tax you and your friends at 10%. You all just paid $1 in income tax, or $100. Total. That means all tax receipts add up to $160, and I paid a whopping 38.5% of the taxes, but I paid an overall lower rate. ... Two other items worth noting that help us understand what "top 1%" means -- the top 1% control about 40% of wealth in this country (as distinct from AGI, or adjusted gross income, which is the number used when we arrive at the 17-18% figure) and both of those numbers -- wealth and income percentages going to the top 1% -- have grown significantly in the past decade. And, the fact is, the *rates* paid by high-end earners are at an historical low. Meanwhile, their share of wealth and share of income is at or near an historic high. There's room for these folks to step up and be a part of the solution. (3.) THE NOT TRUE FACT: When is a fact not a fact? When it's not true. For instance, this: (and probably also less than that of Obama's $105,000 per year dog handler, but that guy does have a tough job, flying around with Bo on the Gulfstream because Obama doesn't want him on Air Force One--or maybe Bo prefers not to fly with him--who knows?) Snopes -- FALSE: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/bo.asp ...and a general note of caution to the contingent that loves to (a.) blame Obama for herpes and (b.) call *other* people fact-challenged -- if it comes to you in an e-mail that *LOOKS* like a crazy-eyed rant and says CRAZY things about all the stuff the Obama is supposedly doing, you might try The Google or Snopes.com before dropping it into your rant that is supposed to be fact-based treatise about taxation, tort reform and the mortgage crisis. For instance, Obama did not issue Islamic Prayer Day, his campaign wasn't funded by Hugo Chavez, Obama's trip to India did not cost $200 million per day, etc. It's called SNOPES.COM and it's handy for making your arguments more intelligent by basing them on what we might call "true facts" as opposed to, you know, the other kind.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-09-22T16:44:05-06:00
ID
165046
Comment

My only other comments are to notmore's last post, and then Todd can have it. Got other stuff to do, or I won't get out of here by 8! Sorry, but it's not my mission to penalize the "wealthy Americans" (what? you don't have any bad names to call them?). Of course not. Some of my best friends are wealthy Americans. I'm a free enterpriser and extremely competitive (and very American); I love the idea of people working hard to be successful and then reaping the benefits. I'm actually pretty okay with those who have 17% paying about 40%--besides, last time I checked, most jobs are provided by "wealthy" people. Whoops. We've come full circle. I know that's the argument, but you haven't solved the problem of where all the jobs are that they promised us when they got that Bush-era tax cut. At this point, it sounds like a very hollow promise to many Americans. And I'll give you one answer: Many of the jobs are not in the U.S. All of this might somehow be profitable for you, but not for me, so I will leave you to your sheep, with whom you can laugh about being able to outlast another poor working stiff. I don't even know what that means. You seem to be saying that people who work hard at a growing company (that you don't like) are sheep, but those at a company that isn't growing for whatever reason are "poor working stiffs." Actually, I'm on the side of all the poor working stiffs, regardless of what their manager believes. That's the whole freakin' point. Read my column again. And one last comment, and it is to this extremely offensive statement notmore posted above: The one thing you and I agree on is the Proverbs verse, but being in solidarity with the poor does not mean conditioning them to believe that government will sustain them through economic or social strife. If you had taken time to read 1/1,000 of what I have actually written over the years, or knew *anything* about me, this company or our philosophy, you would know how ridiculous that statement is. You're firing blanks here. The last thing we believe is that the government should do everything for people. And I despise laziness. And greed. You've nonsensically divided the world into two camps: yours, whatever that is; and all those damn liberals way on over yonder somewhere. There are many people, including the owners of this business and many people who work and post here, who know that life, the economy and successful business is a bit more nuanced. Life is not black or white, right or wrong, them or us, liberal vs. conservative. I believe that the best way to approach it is with intelligent compassion and a strong work ethic, certainly not with empty partisanship and bad "facts." That gets us nowhere fast.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T16:50:35-06:00
ID
165047
Comment

Those wanting to sort through all the rhetoric about job creation and regulation killing jobs should read this piece from Pulitzer-winning ProPublic, which we ran today: Do Regulations Really Kill Jobs Overall? Not So Much

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-22T17:20:20-06:00
ID
165048
Comment

By the way, this is a fantastic article discussing the difference between the "top of the 1%" and the "bottom of the 1%" from the POV of a financial planner who deals with both. http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/investment_manager.html What's most interesting about it is (a.) the relative hardships faced by the "bottom of the 1%" and then (b.) what you might suddenly realize when you stop to think -- THERE'S 99% of the people *BELOW* those folks in income, opportunity and future prospects. One key graf to think about: The Upper Half of the Top 1%: Membership in this elite group is likely to come from being involved in some aspect of the financial services or banking industry, real estate development involved with those industries, or government contracting. Some hard working and clever physicians and attorneys can acquire as much as $15M-$20M before retirement but they are rare. Those in the top 0.5% have incomes over $500k if working and a net worth over $1.8M if retired. The higher we go up into the top 0.5% the more likely it is that their wealth is in some way tied to the investment industry and borrowed money than from personally selling goods or services or labor as do most in the bottom 99.5%. They are much more likely to have built their net worth from stock options and capital gains in stocks and real estate and private business sales, not from income which is taxed at a much higher rate. These opportunities are largely unavailable to the bottom 99.5%. Now, here's the deal ... when people talk about the "top 1%" they're actually talking about two different groups. The folks in the "bottom of the 1%" are the people you hear a lot about -- got educated, learned something important, built a business, gave back to society, etc. The "top of the 1%" -- well... they got LUCKY. On some level, and that's a gross exaggeration, but it wasn't just "hard work" or the Puritan ethic. The "hardest working" ones started companies that were bought out, putting them into paper wealth that was re-invested. The others were born on third base, already wealthy enough from family connections to continue borrowing and investing and borrowing more. Dig a little deeper and you see exactly how much of that money is made in investment banking -- literally by pushing pieces of paper around, manipulating, packaging, rating, reselling, shorting, gambling, etc. -- without a whits worry about making a product or providing a service (other than wealth-augmentation if you're good at playing the ponies). Oh, and occasionally you'll accidentally blow up an entire economy. Fortunately, the government will come in and fix it for you. Wall Street created the investment products that produced gross economic imbalances and the 2008 credit crisis. It wasn't the hard-working 99.5%. Average people could only destroy themselves financially, not the economic system. There's plenty of blame to go around, but the collapse was primarily due to the failure of complex mortgage derivatives, CDS credit swaps, cheap Fed money, lax regulation, compromised ratings agencies, government involvement in the mortgage market, the end of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, and insufficient bank capital. Only Wall Street could put the economy at risk and it had an excellent reason to do so: profit. It made huge profits in the build-up to the credit crisis and huge profits when it sold itself as "too big to fail" and received massive government and Federal Reserve bailouts. Most of the serious economic damage the U.S. is struggling with today was done by the top 0.1% and they benefited greatly from it. So here's the deal. It's time to *charge them for services rendered*. The problem in this country is not the hard-working 99% or even the hard-working 99.5% (although they might not desperately need or deserve a mortgage interest tax deduction). And it's not the indigent, the uneducated, the displaced, the blue collar worker with no work to do, and it's not even the immigrant looking for a better way of life. Not surprisingly, Wall Street and the top of corporate America are doing extremely well as of June 2011. For example, in Q1 of 2011, America's top corporations reported 31% profit growth and a 31% reduction in taxes, the latter due to profit outsourcing to low tax rate countries. Somewhere around 40% of the profits in the S&P 500 come from overseas and stay overseas, with about half of these 500 top corporations having their headquarters in tax havens. If the corporations don't repatriate their profits, they pay no U.S. taxes. The year 2010 was a record year for compensation on Wall Street, while corporate CEO compensation rose by over 30%, most Americans struggled. In 2010 a dozen major companies, including GE, Verizon, Boeing, Wells Fargo, and Fed Ex paid US tax rates between -0.7% and -9.2%. Production, employment, profits, and taxes have all been outsourced. The problem in this country are the people who sit on their asses and make money without adding anything to the human experience, much less to U.S. coffers, and then buy influence in U.S. government that results in policies that continue to make them money while wrecking things for everyone else. So why is part of the answer not to tax these folks?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-09-22T18:05:38-06:00
ID
165051
Comment

I hope notmuch answers with a three syllable response. Barbour probably created the "class warfare" meme? Jeez, how old is he?

Author
jbreland
Date
2011-09-23T10:27:56-06:00
ID
165052
Comment

Hey Jackson: Why don't you dig in with some discussion yourself instead of just snarking all over the thing. I'd love an intelligent conservative viewpoint...

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-09-23T10:56:22-06:00
ID
165055
Comment

Agreed with Todd. I suspect you know my point: As a Republican strategist, Barbour has long helped come up with wedge memes and promote them (such as the southern strategy and its various wink-wink labels) -- it's not saying that he made up the phrase "class warfare" to believe that he could have suggested using it against the president's jobs plan.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-23T15:00:02-06:00
ID
165056
Comment

The AP recently fact checked President Obama's claims about Millionaires and taxes. "On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government." http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/story/2011-09-20/buffett-tax-millionaires/50480226/1 "Fair Share" is kind of subjective depending on who you ask but I think it is clear the President is inferring that the rich somehow pay less in taxes than the rest of us. That is where the "class warfare" accusation comes in. Because, as the story from the AP points out, The 10% of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay more than 70% of federal income taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office.". His inference is demonstrably untrue. It's obviously political and he is pitting one group of Americans against another with the label they are being unfair and greedy. I thought we were tired of these kinds of divisive campaigns? My point? Saying the rich should pay their fair share is inferring they don't when obviously they pay the greatest share of all the taxes collected. That kind of misleading argument is "class warfare" meant to divide us along income class lines. You can make the argument for raising taxes on the rich without using divisive tactics but hey, it's campaign time. One of the points notmuch was beating all around but didn't really pull the trigger on is one of the main reasons businesses are not hiring. We have an administration that has taken a very adversarial approach to business. They offer up tax incentives and then call those who take advantage of the system they helped create "tax dodgers" and "unfair" then they go on about closing the very loopholes they propose and raising taxes on those who can still make a profit. Is it any wonder business doesn't have much faith in the double speak they are hearing? I don't think either party is serious about doing anything to help all those of us that are hurting in this economy. At least not until the election is over and that is the saddest thing of all.

Author
WMartin
Date
2011-09-24T10:07:06-06:00
ID
165064
Comment

WMartin, those in the top 10% of income brackets pay more total taxes because they own 80 percent to 90 percent of America's wealth. The only people making the inference you discuss are the people who want to keep their low marginal tax rates and all of their loopholes and deductions, and those who have bought into how "unfair" it is to raise their taxes. The top marginal tax rates are the lowest they have been since the 1960s. You have to live under a rock not to have heard that already. In a time when 44 million Americans live below the poverty line and some 14 million to 20 million Americans are unemployed it makes sense to ask those who have quite a lot to pay a little more ($166,133 on average for those making more than $1 million), instead of sticking it to those who need help the most. Business sure do squeal about all the unfair regulations and the adversarial administration policies, but a lot of them are also posting record profits. (If Huffpost doesn't make you happy, just google "record profits 2011" for about 36 million hits). CEO compensation is also up again, 23 percent for the 200 largest companies. And two-thirds of American corporations don't pay federal taxes. Still making a profit? Big business in America is not hurting. They just want to make sure to keep it that way.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2011-09-25T17:39:40-06:00
ID
165079
Comment

WMartin, the AP story you posted doesn't in any way address the president's proposed Buffett Rule. It is either deliberately misleading or written by someone who doesn't understand taxes. It makes much of income taxes but says almost nothing about investment taxes until the very end. There, it provides no comparison among groups at all. So it doesn't actually shed any light on the matter. The argument Buffett made is that his effective tax rate is low because of low investment taxes. Because those rates are 15 percent, he has a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. Going on and on about income taxes, like the article you cited, completely misses the point. It does not address President Obama's argument that the extremely wealthy should be subject to some form of minimum tax. It is no secret that vast amounts of income have been shifted into investment income, largely to evade taxes. Moreover, even if we accept the article's faulty premise, it still does a poor job of describing tax evasion among the wealthy. It mentions the relatively few millionaires who evade taxes altogether. But the article's own source, the Tax Policy Center, finds that 25 percent of people with incomes over $1 million pay less than 12.6 percent of their income in income and payroll taxes. Meanwhile, 40 percent of taxpayers with incomes between $30,000 and $40,000 pay more than 12.9 percent of their income in income and payroll taxes. As Paul Krugman puts it: This suggests that there are a lot of very-high-income guys paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-09-27T14:21:29-06:00
ID
165081
Comment

We have an administration that has taken a very adversarial approach to business. You're going to have to cite some real sources on that statement, WMartin. I (co)own a business, and I find you exactly wrong. And a lot of folks over on the left aren't pleased with how friendly he actually is with business. Come on, prove it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-27T18:55:59-06:00
ID
165084
Comment

Yo Yo. Opined about the jobs act yesterday, but I don't see it today. Did my computer fail me or am I currently banned?

Author
jbreland
Date
2011-09-28T18:09:05-06:00
ID
165085
Comment

Not banned, and no comments from you showed up yesterday. Try again.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-28T19:44:07-06:00
ID
165088
Comment

I have to admit, I see a point on all sides, but these well to do folks want to enjoy all the perks they get being famous, yet expect to get it handed to them on a silver platter, seems like i heard someone say somethign to the effect on "the TALK" just a few weeks ago. by the way, off topic , why are some people not allowed to comment on JFP FB page? thanx for listening, and putting it out there,

Author
wataworld
Date
2011-09-29T12:33:32-06:00
ID
165090
Comment

That sounds like a generalization, wataworld, but no doubt it's true for some people. As for JFP FB page, no idea. It's probably a Zuckerberg thing. As far as I know, it's set for anyone to comment, at least until they abuse the privilege and act a fool.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-09-29T13:09:17-06:00
ID
165092
Comment

If you haven't seen it yet, Elizabeth Warren's discussion of how we're all in this together -- even the fabulously wealthy -- is very interesting listening (as is her alternative discussion of the deficit and reminder of how we go where we are economically): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htX2usfqMEs

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-09-29T13:24:30-06:00
ID
165094
Comment

I am a fan of Elizabeth Warren and Naomi Klein and Noreena Hertz - all wonderfully brilliant women. Thank you, Todd, for the link to Elizabeth Warren's discussion. The position that "we're all in this together" is one I've been trying to get out for a while now. I have several blog posts on the subject. There is a better way, but Government can't really do much to get us there. Also, if people are interested, there is a new site up - Our Solutions. They are going to take suggestions then hold town halls and come up with the best ideas to then submit them to congress and the president.

Author
BobbyKearan
Date
2011-09-30T08:21:47-06:00
ID
165100
Comment

@ Ronni_Mott~ When someone says that a certain group should pay their "fair share" of taxes. The inference is that they aren't. It's plain by the numbers that the people in the top income brackets are paying the majority of all taxes paid. So what would you consider a fair share? 60% 70% ...more? @ Brian C Johnson~ The article I cited talks about the President's proposed "Buffet Rule" specifically but not exclusively. There is a good reason that investment income is taxed at a lower rate than income from wages or salaries. @ DonnaLadd~ You are right. In my haste to post I left out the point that this Administration's hostility to business is certainly relative to their perspective. Solyndra, for example, would certainly not agree with my opinion. However, there are people who aren't taking the fifth on their opinion of this administration's stance on business. Gary Shapiro: the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream," Shapiro, who is the president and CEO of the Consumers Electronics Association, told The Daily Caller in a recent interview that President Obama is presiding over an administration that is the most hostile to business in his memory. "You have investigations and breakdowns of companies like Gibson. You have monopoly investigations of great American companies like Google. You have an attack on American business which is unprecedented by this administration at different levels. This is the most anti-business administration in my lifetime," he said. Bernie Marcus Home Depot co-founder: "While some may be relieved at today's jobs numbers, the reality is that our economy is struggling to recover. And a big reason for that is the federal government. The impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It's become stifling." Tom Buffenbarger, international president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers: "If President Obama ever becomes interested in creating general aviation jobs rather than using the industry as a punching bag, we are ready to work with him to advance these job and business opportunities."

Author
WMartin
Date
2011-10-02T11:36:58-06:00
ID
165101
Comment

In, this piece is a year old, but it's an interesting take on the "country club" politics against Obama and the charge that the administration is "anti-business": http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/24/AR2010062406194.html Again, even though people don't want to bring up the previous administration and its DEVASTATING effects on this country -- who knew so much damage could be done in eight years? -- it's worth nothing that some of this corporate bellyaching is being done because of the *contrast* with the GWB approach to putting business in charge of its own regulatory bodies. Really what Obama has done is reset the status quo to where it should be, and business cries foul: [i">It should hardly be a surprise that the business community is feeling a bit put upon these days. After all, it is coming off a glorious decade in which business lobbyists not only set the agenda for the White House and Congress but also headed many of the economic agencies and drafted the most important legislation and regulations. It is only now that the rest of us are having to clean up the mess left behind by this anti-tax and anti-regulatory orgy -- the enormous trade and budget deficits, the financial crisis, the environmental disasters, runaway health spending, and the widening gap between the rich and everyone else. As for your Consumer Electronics guy, first, Gibson? Really? It's a bit telling that he picks them. This has become an anti-environmental cause from the right, but shouldn't you pick someone who plays by the rules, particularly after they've been raided in the past and found, at that time, to have been knowingly sourcing from "grey market" sources? Said, the singer from Madagascar, said she has "nothing against Gibson. It's a great guitar." But that if the company is using illegal wood from Madagascar it is costing her country its diverse and valuable areas of nature. She said it's also important to help find jobs for those in Madagascar currently working in the logging trade. Also, an interesting tidbit here about Gibson's CEO that might explain why the CEA is so worried about his raids: The vast majority of the contributions listed for Juszkiewicz over the past decade went to the Consumer Electronics Association... More from that report: An affidavit filed by career Fish and Wildlife Service official John Rayfield spells out the government's case for searching Gibson property, as Reuters reported on August 25. The affidavit details a recent shipment of Indian ebony wood that was intercepted by Customs officials for possible Lacey Act violations and referred to the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Customs entry form listed California importer Luthier Mercantile International as the final destination for the shipment, when in fact, it was bound for Nashville for Gibson Guitars, according to the affidavit. But that wasn't the only problem. The affidavit states that the Customs form falsely labeled the wood as veneer sheets and listed a false tariff code "to match the false description." The Indian export declaration also misrepresented the shipment, classifying it under the tariff code for finished parts of musical instruments. The reason this matters is that, according to the affidavit, veneer sheets (less than 6mm) and finished parts are legal to export under Indian law, but unfinished wood larger than 6mm is not. Juszkiewicz contends that the U.S. government has misinterpreted Indian law. The 2008 expansion of the Lacey Law to govern these wood purchases was passed with bi-partisan support, with sponsorship by Tennessee's Lamar Alexander... during the Bush administration. (It's worth noting that there are American logging interests that are for these measures that Gibson is bumping up against.) The rest of the Media Matters entry is really good reading, not only as a case study on Fox, but also as a case study on the big business framing of the Obama administration. But the question becomes... when your hero is someone who appears not to be playing by the rules, what does that say to other folks such as, oh, I don't know... Mississippi-based Peavey and the jobs they create while (hopefully) playing by the rules?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-10-03T11:04:38-06:00
ID
165102
Comment

And to be clear, I don't mean to demonize Gibson; I can see what their problem is -- they have a business model that relies on old-growth woods sourced from unstable parts of the world. But they clearly have been warned, and it's a bit much to say that they shouldn't be regulated under existing law passed in bi-partisan circumstances. But somehow humanity is going to have to recognize that this problem is recurring over and over and over again in all sorts of industries and verticals and it's probably only going to get worse. Old growth trees and rainforests. Clean water. Oil and natural gas. Fish. Carbon. If we don't decide as a nation to lead the world in becoming more efficient in managing (and, yes, regulating) the natural resources we have, then it will be more than a presidential administration what will be "unfriendly" to "business" -- it'll be a hot, crowded, dry, resource-poor planet that'll weigh on the bottom line, too.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-10-03T11:17:56-06:00

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