You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 05, 2016, 06:54:43 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.  (Read 1914 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« on: April 08, 2012, 01:00:09 AM »
Okay.. been thinking about some of the changes we need to consider to improve our country and innovate in ways that we've let lie too long.

1. Mass Transit. It took the gents in Detroit three decades to 'cure' lots of cities of Mass Transit. There was a concerted effort to kill trams in LA, several trolley cars were bought  (and shut down) by GM. Why not reverse the trend and look for ways to spread out the traffic woes. For example, Downtown Atlanta (picked at random) could use a high speed rail system leading into the city from several of it's interstate hub/connections. It isn't something that could happen overnight but could do a lot to reintroduce jobs and industry to the country and reduced workday congestion in areas (with good planning). I figure it would take a decade or more to work up a proper plan/system to do.
2. Internet backbone. Most of the 'big ISP'  groups in the US have no desire to spend more than the absolute minimum to maintain/upgrade their backbone. Comcast hasn't moved off their 250 gig/month cap, though it's put 'holes' in it for it's own service and 'preferred clients'. Find a way to encourage the US catching up with other countries.. or look into what parts are still 'owned' by the government and how they are accessed. We're falling behind. Seriously. Congress wants to regulate the internet but is twichy about installing 'new authorities' at the same time. We need need a decisive cyber-security agency with both talent and concrete directives. Split off the computer section of the NSA and roll the FBI's cyber-crime division to it. Let the NSA handle intelligence and this new division become the heart of our cyber-security forces.
3. Corporate Taxes. This is the big bugaboo.. I'm tired of the words 'not profitible' in the US. It's crap by and large. We reward big business for outsourcing, hiding cash out of the country. Want to make it profitable? Stop giving benefits that encourage 'hiding' and 'outsourcing', reduce the overall rate some (35% is rediculous and the highest in the first world.). Cut out the loop holes, and be firm about it. GE got rewarded for moving BILLIONS overseas and took a gain from their tax burden, at the same time they eliminated thousands of US jobs. Yes, the classic business model isn't going to work for the current US environment but lean management and innovation have shown that manufacturing can and does make a profit in the US. The EU and many Asian countries have locked down their markets and give breaks to their businesses, provided they stay in country why can't we?
4. Stop looking down on blue collar jobs. I'm guilty of this. My great grandfather, and great uncle, were refrigeration repair men. They worked on grocery storey refrigeration and ac systems. When my great grandfather died, his 'dinky business' was worth something in the area of 2 1/2 million dollars. My great uncle offered to train me in AC repair and bring me into the firm. Right now, the guys who bought him out at that price have contracts that pull in something in the order of that price every 2 years.. for a 10 man business that services three groceries chains in two states. I'd very likely be a rich man if I had taken him up on it. And would have work to this day. Vocational training has long been a bad word, even as folks like Rick Santorum sneers at college education.  Higher education doesn't HAVE to be college.. it can be a vocational training school or apprenticeship program. If I had been smarter in the Navy I'd have gotten my A&P (Airframes and Powerplants license) and I could be working in my job skill as a tech for boeing right now. (Even though the A&P license has no bearing on my skills)
5. Encourage business to reinvest in the communities. Instead of just handing them utility bonds and such, offer them tax breaks for 'community' investment.  Donate to schools for tax breaks.. look at ways of building your community up rather than simply putting the money in the bank.

I know this is pie in the sky foolishness but anyone who looks at the 'trickledown' plan can see that if you don't make our domestic market profitable businesses won't work to make it so. They'd rather be lazy. Government should be looking for ways to grow business rather than wringing their hands as they blame the other party.

Offline Tiberius

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 01:50:58 AM »
But it is definetly true the US has a lot of things its doing wrong and should be doing better, unless someone makes the first move be it the government, business or the people in general the country is going to continue to slide and stagnate until its in a position likely worse then Greece is sitting in.

Australia where I live doesn't have anywhere near as much problem with the jobs thing but there are things this country could be doing A LOT better

A) Need to re-structure government departments so they don't waste resources that could be used much more efficently else where. Our biggest internet service provider Telstra owns about 90% of internet and phonelines, but instead of the government working out a contract plan with Telstra to buy parts of their infrastructure for their NBN, (National Broadband Network, similar in function to Singapore's city-wide ethernet system) They decide to build a completly new network, digging new cables instead of leasing the already existing lines. The result being a massive cost blow out as it doesn't offer much difference at all.

B) Electoral processes, we're still using paper ballots that take weeks to properly count, why computers still aren't being used in the electoral process is mind-boggling.

C) Laws, our laws have massive loopholes in them that allow petty criminals to get away with out and out fraud and theft.

D) Our banks are super greedy and will end up in much the same manner as America's banks if they don't change their greedy self-serving practices. Our government's reserve bank is a toothless chiahuaua when it comes to controlling interest rates and what the banks do.

E) Resources, mining companies are slowly destroying our country, lying on environmental impact statements then not doing anything to even attempt to repair the damage caused. Gladstone Harbor is one big example with the dredging poisioning the fish. And lying about its cause saying its not them, but a natural cause, the toxin itself is natural but its being disturbed by their dredging so they're playing with words to get away with it and the government is letting them.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 12:19:31 AM »
None of these ideas are going to happen (good as some of them are).  The reason is simple: Americans cannot remove their collective noses from the corporate rectum.  They have been conditioned to believe that whatever is good for Bill Gates and George Soros and the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch is good for them.  So Americans will go right on being the anal servants of the wealthy elite for as long as the food and the toilet paper hold out.

Sucks to say it, but it's the truth.

And in 2025, when America has become a hollowed-out shell of what it was, when we have Third World slums from sea to shining sea with a handful of wealthy enclaves, we will still have Fox News around to tell us that this is the fault of poor people and undocumented immigrants, and that if only we make the rich richer still, things will get better.  And Americans will still buy the bullshit hook, line and sinker.

We're a nation of suckers and sycophants, and we're getting what we deserve.

Offline Serephino

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 02:25:38 AM »
People keep saying that if we take out the loopholes in corporate taxes and tax them more, they'll leave.  My question is, where exactly are they going to go?  If they move to one of those horrible Socialist European countries, they'll be paying more in taxes than they would here; quite possibly double.  If they go to a poor third world country, do they really think they won't get robbed?  Seriously, where else in the world are they going to go that they'd have it any better?  It's an empty threat, but one that seems to be working.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 02:43:27 AM »
People keep saying that if we take out the loopholes in corporate taxes and tax them more, they'll leave.  My question is, where exactly are they going to go?  If they move to one of those horrible Socialist European countries, they'll be paying more in taxes than they would here; quite possibly double.  If they go to a poor third world country, do they really think they won't get robbed?  Seriously, where else in the world are they going to go that they'd have it any better?  It's an empty threat, but one that seems to be working.

Thing is.  They have gamed the system for so long they don't pay a fair share at all.  If we are going to give them tax breaks why not give them ones that encourage development here? NAFTA was a mistake, for all three countries involved. No one made out too much but the multinationals.

They used to get tax breaks for R&D, we got things like carbon fibers, Tang, medical research, microcircuitry, and more out of that. example: Burlington Industries had a R&D divisio that had over a hundred researchers in the Research Triangle. They came up with new dying methods, no types of denim, Kevlar, better manufacturing methods. As well as improved safety measures and weaving technology. Congress killed the R&D tax break and it went under in two years. A lot f talent and research went overseas.

Give big business tax breaks, but make it so it works for someone other than heir lobbyists and accounting divisions. 

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 03:05:00 AM »
People keep saying that if we take out the loopholes in corporate taxes and tax them more, they'll leave.  My question is, where exactly are they going to go?  If they move to one of those horrible Socialist European countries, they'll be paying more in taxes than they would here; quite possibly double.  If they go to a poor third world country, do they really think they won't get robbed?  Seriously, where else in the world are they going to go that they'd have it any better?  It's an empty threat, but one that seems to be working.

Lol horrible socialist states, that made me laugh. Yes we are evil, we feed our poor Oh noes!!!! the horror.

Seriously though, these horrible socialist states have, as mentioned in the original post, a much lower corp tax rate, averaging about 25% against the US' 31%. Secondly, the EU actually rewards foreign companies bringing in their money, and their jobs by further tax breaks, incentives and subsidies. especially if you decide to move into one of our poorer eastern members.

Going to a third world country less profitable? You know how little it costs to buy off the average African government, when compared to the gains of having your money there? Plus, if the rulers do decide to try and fuck you, there's always some opposition army around the corner.


Trust me, the only thing keeping US companies in the US is the poor pay more mentality the US seem to have, where the richest people, and remember corporations are people too, pay a smaller percentage in taxes than the average shop owner or factory worker.

Offline Tiberius

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2012, 06:24:30 AM »
Most American/European corporations have more then enough assets to pay off those governments, how else to do you think Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations access those regions?

Offline Serephino

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 04:00:26 AM »
True, but if any government saw all that money suddenly pouring into their country, do you really think they wouldn't take advantage of it?  From what I hear, the US isn't the only country in trouble right now.  A government could take one big payoff, or raise taxes to tap that cash cow.  I'd be willing to bet that if we raise corporate taxes to 30% and a bunch of companies leave, whatever country they go to will suddenly have a 29% tax rate.  If nothing else, the governments will want a pretty big pay off, and not just a one time thing.  Americans are dumb enough to look at all that pretty money sitting in banks and settle for a few nice perks.  I'm not sure the rest can be said for the rest of the world. 

I saw a thing on the news where some companies are actually not outsourcing anymore because it's no longer cheaper.  Because of all of our money going to places like China, minimum wage has gone up there.  Then, because of oil prices being what they are, shipping goods all the way over here has shot up pretty bad.  Add to that, technology is better here than the poorer countries.  One American with a good machine can do the same amount of work as three Chinese workers.  So a few companies actually figured out it would be cheaper to say build a factory in Pittsburgh, and ship the goods only a few hundred miles around the east coast.

I was happy about that.  My boyfriend and I have both been saying for a while now that the government needs to start encouraging companies to stop outsourcing.  It makes little sense to be worrying about China and India when our own economy is in the toilet.  Sure, goods became cheaper, but all the Americans who lost their jobs can't afford them.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.  And by that very definition, most of the Republicans in office are insane....   
 

Offline Tiberius

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 07:19:03 AM »
"Republicans" is subjective lol, to be a Republican you first need to follow Republic principles lol. One example I can find is a real Republic is a country like Germany. That is Republic, not the half Democratic, half Corporate government America has.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 11:29:30 AM »
The thing is.. Serephino the current corporate tax system is riddled with loop holes. Yes, right now our top corporate tax rate IS 35% but with loop holes and exceptions you get cases like GE in 2010. GE made 14.2 BILLION dollars but because they moved most of it overseas (to the tune of 9 BILLION) and the exceptions they have spent years and millions with lobbyists to get the tax code tweaked to their benefit they paid NOTHING in taxes for 2010. In fact they got a 3.2 billion dollar tax benefit.

Not all of the 'off shore' money was earned there but some was moved their to minimize their US earnings. At the same time they did that in 2010 they laid off something in the order of 10,000 workers US side. And from 2007 to 2010 they've laid off over 20,000 workers stateside.

We've let the people being taxed set the bar for what is charged to them, how to avoid being billed.  GE's largest division if their finance division these days and good chuck of that is dedicated to findign ways to avoid paying taxes. pulling a 3.2 billion tax benefit tells me they know their job.

if we can build an environment where it is encouraged for our biggest companies to move their cash overseas to the point where they can get a tax benefit, we can sure as hell make a tax environment that can encourage them to come back home and make a friggin profit.

Offline Serephino

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 02:17:11 PM »
I don't disagree with that.  Thing is, you'll have to get Congress to start listening to you, and stop listening to the lobbyists.  Good luck with that.  Although, the online petition movement seems to be doing at least some good. 

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2012, 02:24:29 PM »
I don't disagree with that.  Thing is, you'll have to get Congress to start listening to you, and stop listening to the lobbyists.  Good luck with that.  Although, the online petition movement seems to be doing at least some good. 


Agreed but when only half of all eligible registered voters actually register.. and usually less than HALF of them actually vote; we have a problem. If we could get more people to vote, and pay attention to what our leaders do.. you'd find a hell of a lot more politicians paying less attention to the lobbyists and more attention to their promises.

I'd love to see some manner of reform effort going through to lessen the effects of special interests.. I had high hopes for the President when he first took office given that he put in an 'exclusion' time between serving as a member of his staff and working for a special interest.

of course that was before he started peeing on the constitution.

Offline Serephino

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2012, 03:40:37 AM »
I've always encouraged people to register and actually vote.  I've voted every year since I turned 18, except once, and I think it was because my car was in the shop.  I do think that's a big part of the problem.  A very small percentage of people are speaking for everyone.  Up until recently politicians didn't fear any backlash.  That was one good thing President Obama did; got young people's attention.  There was a record turnout at the polls in 2008. 

Now all these voter ID laws are being passed.  Funny how it wasn't important until people started paying more attention and ended up pissed at the Conservatives in office.   

Offline Zakharra

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2012, 10:24:00 AM »
 I do think the voter ID laws are needed. We should be sure that it is only citizens that are voting and it can help cut down on voter fraud. It's silly to argue against voter ID when you need an ID to do almost everything else in this country.

 From what I understand, a lot of people aren't that happy with the Democrats either. Look at the Congressional and Presidential approval numbers.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 10:25:15 AM by Zakharra »

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2012, 11:39:27 AM »
True but notice how the voter IDs laws popped up RIGHT after the GOP got stomped in the metaphorical nuts and were passed JUST before the new election cycle? In several states, ID laws increased while DMVs to issue them were downsized.  Add in changes to early voting and other events and there is a clear attempt by both parties, depending on who lost power in a given region to diminish voting output in key voting populations.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2012, 12:10:15 PM »
True but notice how the voter IDs laws popped up RIGHT after the GOP got stomped in the metaphorical nuts and were passed JUST before the new election cycle? In several states, ID laws increased while DMVs to issue them were downsized.  Add in changes to early voting and other events and there is a clear attempt by both parties, depending on who lost power in a given region to diminish voting output in key voting populations.

And what about the very poor and those with unusual situations who are citizens and under the new laws can't get a state issued REAL ID approved ID? I will note unlike driving, working, seeking social welfare programs voting is a Constitutional right so any laws that keep a homeless pauper from voting is offensive just like it would be to me if they said women couldn't vote again or blacks couldn't vote yet those are clearly acceptable to not discriminate against, and if your poor and disadvantaged its okay.

When did the Constitution say that is now acceptable?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2012, 01:10:08 PM »
 If I remember right, the voter ID thing has been an issue since 2000. A few states, one of the Carolinas or Virginias was offering to pay for them. The citizens wouldn't be charged anything (other than taxes already paid). Yet it was derided as being a racist and bigoted law. The same thing in Arizona (I think it was that state) more recently. It seem,s like every time the voter ID issue comes up, it is the Democrats who are the ones standing in the way.

 I don't know about anyone else, but that does not look good for them. Don't they want to know that only American citizens are voting?

 I now remember about 6-7 years ago, I think there was an initiative in New York City that a law was being considered that would give non-citizens, foreigners from overseas who live here with visas, the right to vote in city elections and possibly the state ones too. Basically giving them some of the rights of US citizens without being one.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2012, 01:44:52 PM »
It's a sticky situation. Growing up in various parts of the south, I know a LOT of counties over four states that have had graveyards voting the party line (varying by the particular county) most of the time I grew up. I have seen people OPENLY abuse the voting system by admitting that they were voting in multiple counties (again.. both sides).

So, while I understand on one side the need to worry about about the issues the IDs were released to cover, but making it a PAY for ID issue has cross into the old 'Poll Tax' issues. Add in to that, restricted access (in some states) due to shut down/relocated DMVs, the inability to provide an address as an obstacle, and you do have a genuine problem with registration. Top that off with restricting absentee ballots, minimizing early voting and other 'reforms' to 'save' money and there is an argument to be made that SOMEONE is trying to minimize voter registration, ease of access and disenfranchise the extreme poor. Or rather, given the spread of the changes, someone is advising the established parties how to do it.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2012, 04:36:12 PM »
 Either way, there needs to be a voter ID system established and if the Democrats keep standing in the way it's going to get easier and easier to imply that they -want- voter fraud. It's stupid not to have some sort of registration to keep better track of who actually votes.

 Slight sidenote here, and to make sure that the owners of the company that makes the electronic voting machines is probably an American company, not one overseas.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2012, 06:34:00 PM »
Either way, there needs to be a voter ID system established and if the Democrats keep standing in the way it's going to get easier and easier to imply that they -want- voter fraud. It's stupid not to have some sort of registration to keep better track of who actually votes.

 Slight sidenote here, and to make sure that the owners of the company that makes the electronic voting machines is probably an American company, not one overseas.

That doesn't mean it will work. Electronic voting machines have been made by US companies.. like the MASSIVE screwups made by Diebold, who if I recall rightly had to RENAME their voting machine division to get out from underneath their screw ups.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2012, 11:34:32 PM »
 
That doesn't mean it will work. Electronic voting machines have been made by US companies.. like the MASSIVE screwups made by Diebold, who if I recall rightly had to RENAME their voting machine division to get out from underneath their screw ups.

 If what I hear is accurate though, the biggest electronic voting machine company in the US was bought out by a Spanish one, so the votes we cast in the US are being tallied, recorded and sent back here from Spain.  Frankly, that scares the hell out of me.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2012, 11:36:13 PM »

 If what I hear is accurate though, the biggest electronic voting machine company in the US was bought out by a Spanish one, so the votes we cast in the US are being tallied, recorded and sent back here from Spain.  Frankly, that scares the hell out of me.

Just like getting military uniforms from China..sigh..

Offline Serephino

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2012, 01:20:02 AM »
One of the arguments against the voter ID laws is what are college students to do?  Some students are far away from home, and can't make the trip just to vote.  I guess it depends on the state if they can get a state ID, but what if they can't?  Fortunately, the law passed here in PA will accept school ID's as long as they have a photo, and Penn State is changing their ID's to have a photo on them. 

Ruby also has a point.  What about the homeless that don't have valid ID's?  Since they're homeless, they don't count?  It's one of those slippery slope things.  If you prevent one legal citizen from voting, that's wrong.  It's not that anyone wants voter fraud, they just don't want another poll tax.

Electronic voting machines scare the hell out of me period.  I don't trust computers with something that important.  They can glitch or fixed, which, didn't that supposedly happen in Wisconsin?

Offline Torch

  • Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain/Trieste's sarcasm buddy
  • Suspended
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2009
  • Location: USA
  • Gender: Female
  • "Soul meets soul on lovers' lips." P.B. Shelley
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2012, 07:54:17 AM »
One of the arguments against the voter ID laws is what are college students to do?  Some students are far away from home, and can't make the trip just to vote. 

You don't have to make a personal appearance at the polls to vote.

Absentee ballots have been used for years by college students, folks in the military living overseas, expatriats living abroad, etc.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Thoughts of things we (as a country) could do.
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2012, 09:57:39 AM »
One of the arguments against the voter ID laws is what are college students to do?  Some students are far away from home, and can't make the trip just to vote.  I guess it depends on the state if they can get a state ID, but what if they can't?  Fortunately, the law passed here in PA will accept school ID's as long as they have a photo, and Penn State is changing their ID's to have a photo on them. 

Ruby also has a point.  What about the homeless that don't have valid ID's?  Since they're homeless, they don't count?  It's one of those slippery slope things.  If you prevent one legal citizen from voting, that's wrong.  It's not that anyone wants voter fraud, they just don't want another poll tax.

 But if you do not enact voter ID laws, the voter fraud gets in anyways. Using the excuse, and it is only an excuse, that some people might be disenfranchised because they can't get their ID is foolish. Why? Because there will always be someone who will be disenfranchised. Voting is a right that should be protected and I would support the government paying for the ID cards just to get them in the hands of the people. And if some people didn't get them, that is their fault if they have the means and ability to do so.


Electronic voting machines scare the hell out of me period.  I don't trust computers with something that important.  They can glitch or fixed, which, didn't that supposedly happen in Wisconsin?


 As Torch pointed out, absentee ballots can be used. There should be a way to make it viable with voter ID laws.