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Author Topic: government shut down  (Read 13035 times)

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Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #425 on: October 16, 2013, 04:48:23 PM »
Also, keep in mind, sen is talking about how much money in food they get (though not necessarily his family) per month.  Now, generally speaking, SNAP will try and toe the line when it comes to how much you get per month - just as an example, between my SO and I, we spend about $250-300 a month on food (to note - we have to shop at a 'big box' store, we live in New England where everything is more expensive).  You're not going to find SNAP giving us $500 a month in stamps.  But just because a family gets $950 a month doesn't mean that that's necessarily what it spends.

And yes, there are cheaper alternatives - I buy store brand bread and cheese for my sandwiches unless there's a special sale on the name brand stuff - but families don't necessarily always have that option.

As for overall food costs, just keep in mind that the bill goes up non-linearly.  Buying food for four people is not one person times four.  You do have some overlap, but also some divergent stuff.  And forget a 'food coach' - the real way to have people save money is to teach them how to cook.  My wife and I bought with some spare budget money a few weeks ago the stuff to make spare-ribs - usually around $20 a plate at an Applebee's.  Some of the stuff we already had, just as part of having a stocked kitchen, but between what we used from our supplies and what we had to buy, it was probably $20 total.  Ribs, vegetables, biscuits - $20 total, fed both of us for three nights each.

Offline Oniya

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #426 on: October 16, 2013, 04:50:22 PM »
I think Dashenka's talking about teaching people how to read labels, and make sense of unit pricing.  I once sent Mr. Oniya to the store to buy Cream of Wheat.  There were two packages, same physical size, same price.  One of them was divided into little single-serving envelopes and made about 12 servings.  The other was loose (use a measuring cup to portion) and made twice as much.  So the unit price was effectively half of the 'convenient' one.  He - bought the convenient one.  >_>

Another thing is that with some families, both parents work, and may even work additional part time jobs to try to make ends meet.  Unfortunately, that doesn't leave a lot of time for cooking (which is usually cheaper and better than those packaged meals).  Case in point - a box of breaded chicken patties costs 4.59, for 10 ounces.  Buying boneless chicken breasts is $1.99 per pound - less than half the price.  Chicken thighs can be even cheaper, and bone-in pieces are even less.

Offline Dashenka

Re: government shut down
« Reply #427 on: October 16, 2013, 05:01:14 PM »
I mean that indeed. Chicken is chicken, the only difference is the part where it came from. Also, in supermarkets here they sell sliced and diced chicken breast, same amount as the normal ones but it costs you more than the normal ones. Only because they did the slicing for you. That might sound nice and handy but if you add all those little bits, you get to a lot.

Discounts always seem attractive but you have to ask yourself if you really need it. Two packets of biscuits for the price of one sounds good but if you don't need it, you still pay too much. Many people can't go to a supermarket and ONLY buy the stuff they need. Almost everybody is suseptible to discounts and cleverly placed racks of goodies nobody needs but everybody wants.
If you can learn how to deal with that, it could safe you money. I think.

Offline dragonsen

Re: government shut down
« Reply #428 on: October 16, 2013, 05:05:46 PM »
Grocery shopping is not the topic of this discussion. I have my own comments on it but will refrain for now. Back to the government shutdown.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 05:07:10 PM by dragonsen »

Offline kylie

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #429 on: October 16, 2013, 05:21:59 PM »
I think dragonsen's post goes back to my earlier post, regarding the potential long-term risks of having a significant percentage of the American population's sustenance dependent on the federal government.  I certainly realize that government aid is necessary for many people to simply stay afloat in this recession, and that unemployment is a chronic issue - however, I think all of us can agree that an "ideal future" is one where government and politics can promote the free-market economy, which attempts to provide incentives for businesses to increase full-time positions, which enables people regain their financial independence, and slowly wean the need for government programs.
          Mayyy-be we might agree -- that is, if  your concept of "free market" can somehow bypass people whose implementation of those words means precisely leaving corporations to furlough or render temporary/ expendable/  underpaid, as many people as they possibly will...  It seems like too much for this thread really to go into detail...  But I can say it's quite a campaign trying to convince some people on Elliquiy (among other places) either that local areas should be given more autonomy from big hostage-taking corps, OR that basic needs should be built into the US social system somewhat more European-style. 

(Somehow your avie with the suit and "elite" in your name keep making me think you would be on the corporate side, but lemme give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that's just for the sake of roleplay?  Coughs a little at no one in particular, except maybe myself.)

Quote
Given the volatility of American politics, and the real threat of federal default now clearly evident to us with this recent set of events, it makes me concerned that an increasing number of people will be using government programs in the future - and the potential ramifications this could have.  From the research I have done, both the Democrats and Republicans essentially have policies that ultimately yield more people on government programs.  The Republicans might claim they are against welfare programs, but their hyper pro-corporate business policies tend to favor outsourcing, leading to many blue collar workers turning to the government.
          There I can sort of agree that both have some pro-corporation tendencies.  However, I still don't think they are quite the same beast.  Particularly in this situation where you have a minority of the far right pulling strings -- and they are the far right, not the far left.  There is a difference.  Saying simply cut federal programs is ridiculous when all the conditions they seem to favor practically require more of those programs, at least more social security and economic backing for the disenfranchised. 

           I like to think that more wealth redistribution or at least less upper class tax breaks would level the playing field a bit so fewer people are just stuck, but it might not work if we only place dollar value on services and brands that we allow big corps to monopolize, defend like individuals (Citizens United) and withdraw from the workers to places that all the governing parties have agreed to make life cheaper -- meaning expendable, low quality and dirty -- for the masses and unaccountable for the monied (cheap foreign export "zones", offshore accounts).  In short, it comes back to whatever would be a "free" or better "just" market anyway, and who would ever stand up and vote to regulate for one.  Cause right now we have  -- and I should say, we are regulating for ("free," my ass) -- degrees, large or small, or something obviously not so just.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 05:24:47 PM by kylie »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #430 on: October 16, 2013, 05:24:07 PM »
*nods op Dragonsen* Just as a final rejoinder to Dashenka, taking advantage of foodstuffs being sold in "family poackage", at a lower price rŠte per kilo or per gallon when it's a larger pack, requires that the buyer has decent and well-cooled storage spaces at home. If you don't have a decently sizable freezer box, buying large packages of let's say fish or chicken every week isn't gonna be an option. Put them in the fridge (not the solid freeze compartment)  with milk and veggies and cheese - and they won't stay properly cold once you've opened them, plus everything else might become infected and dingy before it's sell-by date. m,any people can take a spacious fridge and freezer for granted, but people who are on welfare often also tend to have subpar kitchens, for some reason - at least in cities...


Back on topic. When the next debt ceiling point comes around, in January/February, aren't some people in the GOP going to say "we didn't get him last time, but we were close - have to try harder this time around!"?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 05:30:59 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #431 on: October 16, 2013, 05:40:58 PM »
          Mayyy-be we might agree -- that is, if  your concept of "free market" can somehow bypass people whose implementation of those words means precisely leaving corporations to furlough or render temporary/ expendable/  underpaid, as many people as they possibly will...  It seems like too much for this thread really to go into detail...  But I can say it's quite a campaign trying to convince some people on Elliquiy (among other places) either that local areas should be given more autonomy from big hostage-taking corps, OR that basic needs should be built into the US social system somewhat more European-style. 

(Somehow your avie with the suit and "elite" in your name keep making me think you would be on the corporate side, but lemme give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that's just for the sake of roleplay?  Coughs a little at no one in particular, except maybe myself.)

The guy in my profile picture is Frank Sinatra, a singer I really enjoy.  He more often than not wore a suit for his performances, so not much I can do there.  I'm just an average guy who tries to be fiscally responsible, and who believes that a truly free society is one where people have the economic conditions to be financially independent.  My username is just a username, and it's kind of silly to think that it means I am pro-corporations, lol.

If you read my other posts, you'll see that I actually support tax increases on multinational corporations, and tax reductions on small businesses.  I posted earlier about how the majority of American workers are actually employed by small businesses, and many small business owners are feeling the same economic crunch we are all feeling.  Think about how defensive the middle class would feel if there was a tax increase on them, because that's exactly how most small business owners feel today.  It's a struggle to just balance the checkbook each month.

The free-market is the foundational basis for America's economy, and insinuates nothing else.  If you talk to any economist - regardless of political affiliation - they will tell you without hesitation that the secret to America's prominence has been its commitment to free-market capitalism.  The primary reason it has received such heat as of late, is because of a tax code that is not taxing multinational corporations enough, taxing small business too much, and offers far too much deregulation of certain industries.  In addition, there is far too much lobbying and corporate collusion between multinational business giants and Congress.  These are the true evils, and we should attribute blame to those factors, and not on the financial system that has made the United States the world's most powerful nation.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 05:52:25 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #432 on: October 16, 2013, 06:37:17 PM »
The "free market" as this term is used in libertarianism or the rhetoric of neo-liberal economics is more of a cult slogan than an economic system, and ValthazarElite's notion of what economists "regardless of political affiliation" will "tell you without hesitation" is false. (That there is a phalanx of academics from a large set of American political science, law and economics faculties who will trot out this slogan at the slightest excuse is no surprise: those disciplines have all been massively corrupted by the same system of corporate crony capitalism that advertises itself under the hollow "free-market" slogan, and most of those academics have deep conflicts of interest as a result of being in the pay of that very edifice.)

There are less corrupt and more honest usages of "free market" out there, but they're not to be found in the rhetoric of those who want the "free market" elevated into an immutable object of veneration and the pure fetish of American Success. In fact it can quite safely be said that that very fetishism has in the past -- and does in the present -- work or at least attempt to both obscure the workings and grease the wheels of corporate corruption, and has contributed heavily to American decline.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 06:39:52 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #433 on: October 16, 2013, 06:46:56 PM »
Cyrano, you have taken what I am saying completely out of context. 

This isn't a political question.  If you look in any textbook, the fact that we have a private economy, that functions with limited government intervention, is the definition of free-market capitalism.

I am not sure how to respond to some of the points you bring up in your post, but you are associating my views with some very far right perspectives.  My post above, suggesting increasing multinational corporate taxes, should suggest that I have a much more moderate view of economic policy.

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #434 on: October 16, 2013, 06:48:25 PM »
The "free market" as this term is used in libertarianism or the rhetoric of neo-liberal economics is more of a cult slogan than an economic system, and ValthazarElite's notion of what economists "regardless of political affiliation" will "tell you without hesitation" is false. (That there is a phalanx of academics from a large set of American political science, law and economics faculties who will trot out this slogan at the slightest excuse is no surprise: those disciplines have all been massively corrupted by the same system of corporate crony capitalism that advertises itself under the hollow "free-market" slogan, and most of those academics have deep conflicts of interest as a result of being in the pay of that very edifice.)

There are less corrupt and more honest usages of "free market" out there, but they're not to be found in the rhetoric of those who want the "free market" elevated into an immutable object of veneration and the pure fetish of American Success. In fact it can quite safely be said that that very fetishism has in the past -- and does in the present -- work or at least attempt to both obscure the workings and grease the wheels of corporate corruption, and has contributed heavily to American decline.

Indeed, this is a pet bugbear of mine.  (macro)Economics is a tool for describing the resource flow of nations.  It can define the most effective way of flowing resources within and across nations.  But somehow that maximal efficiency has become a be all and end all for certain groups of society.  People recognise that literary analysis is a tool for analysing literature and noone claims that an entire nation should be devoted to producing the best literature.  Why the difference for economics?  There are many excellent initiatives that aren't the economically most efficient ones but we tolerate and encourage them because the goal of a nation state is to protect and improve its citizens, not to hit the high point on some profit/loss curve.

The free market is a economic ideal, there's no more reason to turn that into a political ideal than there is to turn Ransom's New Criticism into a political ideal.  Man cannot live on market efficiencies alone.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #435 on: October 16, 2013, 08:24:28 PM »
Boehner on Twitter five hours ago, around the time when the final deal was announced:

"Our drive to stop the #trainwreck that is the presidentís health care law will continue"

Sounds like we're in for some kind of repeat of this crisis in January, when Congress reconvenes and they'll have to consider the debt ceiling once more. *sighs*

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #436 on: October 16, 2013, 08:29:53 PM »
Boehner on Twitter five hours ago, around the time when the final deal was announced:

"Our drive to stop the #trainwreck that is the presidentís health care law will continue"

Sounds like we're in for some kind of repeat of this crisis in January, when Congress reconvenes and they'll have to consider the debt ceiling once more. *sighs*

It looks like he changed that tweet haha, because that one seems to be removed, and now it says that 4 hours ago he tweeted:

"Our fight to address the debt & provide #FairnessForAll will continue. http://on.fb.me/H24pxG"

https://twitter.com/johnboehner/

If you want to facepalm, click that Facebook link in his tweet, and read some of the comments by people on Facebook.

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #437 on: October 16, 2013, 08:30:57 PM »
The guy in my profile picture is Frank Sinatra, a singer I really enjoy.  He more often than not wore a suit for his performances, so not much I can do there.  I'm just an average guy who tries to be fiscally responsible, and who believes that a truly free society is one where people have the economic conditions to be financially independent.  My username is just a username, and it's kind of silly to think that it means I am pro-corporations, lol.

If you read my other posts, you'll see that I actually support tax increases on multinational corporations, and tax reductions on small businesses.  I posted earlier about how the majority of American workers are actually employed by small businesses, and many small business owners are feeling the same economic crunch we are all feeling.  Think about how defensive the middle class would feel if there was a tax increase on them, because that's exactly how most small business owners feel today.  It's a struggle to just balance the checkbook each month.

The free-market is the foundational basis for America's economy, and insinuates nothing else.  If you talk to any economist - regardless of political affiliation - they will tell you without hesitation that the secret to America's prominence has been its commitment to free-market capitalism.  The primary reason it has received such heat as of late, is because of a tax code that is not taxing multinational corporations enough, taxing small business too much, and offers far too much deregulation of certain industries.  In addition, there is far too much lobbying and corporate collusion between multinational business giants and Congress.  These are the true evils, and we should attribute blame to those factors, and not on the financial system that has made the United States the world's most powerful nation.

And Guess what? I agree with you completely. Here's the problem with that. The Party that often trots that out to the American people is the same party who  seems to think it's okay to stand out in front of the first African american president in history's house  waving a confederate flag.


I agree on Fiscal Conservatism. I'm fine with everything you suggest and I'm willing to support it but if  I have to vote  for a group of people who think it's okay to deny people the right to get married because of their sexual orientation , I'm not going to do it. This is the obvious problem with the modern  republican party. They have abandoned their true identity. They  care very little about Fiscal Conservatism today. They've been hijacked by Far Right Social Conservatives and  if they want to regain power , they're going to have to get away from  that outdated ideology and back to their old calling card of Fiscal Conservatism.



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Re: government shut down
« Reply #438 on: October 16, 2013, 08:32:57 PM »
I agree on Fiscal Conservatism. I'm fine with everything you suggest and I'm willing to support it but if  I have to vote  for a group of people who think it's okay to deny people the right to get married because of their sexual orientation , I'm not going to do it. This is the obvious problem with the modern  republican party. They have abandoned their true identity. They  care very little about Fiscal Conservatism today. They've been hijacked by Far Right Social Conservatives and  if they want to regain power , they're going to have to get away from  that outdated ideology and back to their old calling card of Fiscal Conservatism.

Yeah, I agree, that's why I am not a Republican.  And this is the reason why I don't think a two party political system, that groups social issues and economic issues together, is doing any justice at all for the United States.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #439 on: October 16, 2013, 08:39:45 PM »
It looks like he changed that tweet haha, because that one seems to be removed, and now it says that 4 hours ago he tweeted:

"Our fight to address the debt & provide #FairnessForAll will continue. http://on.fb.me/H24pxG"

https://twitter.com/johnboehner/

If you want to facepalm, click that Facebook link in his tweet, and read some of the comments by people on Facebook.


 ;D Thanks for spotting it, Val!

Quote from angry guy commenting at Boehner's facebook page (linked in the tweet above): "You suck. I thought you finally grew a pair. I was wrong"

Anyway, I heard last week Obama is planning to push his bid for immigration/citizenship reform in the next couple of weeks, an issue that seems to fire up the GOP every bit as much as Obamacare. So there's a new war horse waiting just outside the circus ring.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 08:46:59 PM by gaggedLouise »

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #440 on: October 16, 2013, 09:32:23 PM »
It's over. The House signed the bill. Obama will sign it next and things will get back under way. At least for a little while.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #441 on: October 16, 2013, 09:41:50 PM »
But they will get a fresh chance in January/February. The debt ceiling is due to be hit around Febr. 7, and if a new budget doesn't go through the temporary provisions end by mid-January.

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #442 on: October 16, 2013, 09:52:45 PM »
That's because this Congress since 2008 has decided that the best way to operate is by lurching it's way from one manufactored crisis to another and another, because it makes better fodder for milking simpletons back in their home distracts out of donations to have an impending crisis than putting long term solutions in place.

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #443 on: October 16, 2013, 10:02:15 PM »
At the current moment, I'm taking the fact that this was a largely bipartisan vote 81-18 in the Senate as a sign of hope that maybe... MAYBE... they will get something done.

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #444 on: October 16, 2013, 10:21:48 PM »
I hope so in the future, but I doubt it.  Judging by the types of comments folks are making on Boehner's Facebook after this agreement, I think it will only get worse, unfortunately.

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #445 on: October 16, 2013, 10:25:22 PM »
I hope so in the future, but I doubt it.  Judging by the types of comments folks are making on Boehner's Facebook after this agreement, I think it will only get worse, unfortunately.

Yeah, the Tea party are clearly gonna read this as "we would have triumphed if we had only managed to get all the Republicans in the house, and many of those in the senate, behind us." So that's what they'll long to do in the future.

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #446 on: October 16, 2013, 11:16:06 PM »
Yeah, the Tea party are clearly gonna read this as "we would have triumphed if we had only managed to get all the Republicans in the house, and many of those in the senate, behind us." So that's what they'll long to do in the future.

They will do this again and again.. looking for weakness on the other side.  Want to bet they will do this during the primary season.

Offline Laughing Hyena

Re: government shut down
« Reply #447 on: October 16, 2013, 11:45:51 PM »
And with the media doing a spectacular job pulling the strings of the citizens I have a feeling that in due time everyone will forget whom caused the shutdown or worse use their favorite scapegoat to pin it on. It's very easy to become so sickened by the current situation.

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #448 on: October 17, 2013, 12:03:27 AM »
I don't think the people in the Tea Party are necessarily bad people - perhaps the better word is, misled, and misinformed.  And definitely brainwashed by certain media personalities, like Glenn Beck.

I think their views are based on legitimate fiscal conservative principles, but they have been manipulated to stretch those views to the far right ever since the formation of the "Tea Party" as a legitimate political sub-group - in the name of "patriotism."  Though considered as a grass-roots movement, it is essentially funded by corporations, including the Koch Brothers (oil barons) in order to reduce corporate tax, and kill EPA laws.  Many Tea Party members still think global warming is a hoax, even though it is accepted in the scientific community.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: government shut down
« Reply #449 on: October 17, 2013, 12:14:32 AM »
I don't think the people in the Tea Party are necessarily bad people - perhaps the better word is, misled, and misinformed.  And definitely brainwashed by certain media personalities, like Glenn Beck.

I think their views are based on legitimate fiscal conservative principles, but they have been manipulated to stretch those views to the far right ever since the formation of the "Tea Party" as a legitimate political sub-group - in the name of "patriotism."  Though considered as a grass-roots movement, it is essentially funded by corporations, including the Koch Brothers (oil barons) in order to reduce corporate tax, and kill EPA laws.  Many Tea Party members still think global warming is a hoax, even though it is accepted in the scientific community.

They had legitimatge aims and goals before their hijacking. My issue is this, since the corporate subversion they've gone apeshit junkyard rat crazy. I mean.. they want to cut EVERYTHING and privatize it all (at least in my area). Regardless of the impact it has on their life. I mean..does anyone HONESTLY think that the corporations will suddenly stop watching their bottom line.