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  • Tea Party Out - Coffee Party In! 23 comments
    Mar 2, 2010 10:29 PM

    Coffee Party Movement:  Alternative to Tea

    Coffee PartyFurious at the tempest over the Tea Party -- the scattershot citizen uprising against big government and wild spending -- Annabel Park did what any American does when she feels her voice has been drowned out: She squeezed her anger into a Facebook status update.

    Let's start a coffee party . . . smoothie party. red bull party. anything but tea. geez. ooh how about cappuccino party? that would really piss 'em off bec it sounds elitist . . . let's get together and drink cappuccino and have real political dialogue with substance and compassion.

    Friends replied, and more friends replied. So last month, in her Silver Spring apartment, Park started a fan page called "Join the Coffee Party Movement." Within weeks, her inbox and page wall were swamped by thousands of comments from strangers in diverse locales, such as the oil fields of west Texas and the suburbs of Chicago.

    I have been searching for a place of refuge like this for a long while. . . . It is not Us against the Govt. It is democracy vs corporatocracy . . . I just can't believe that the Tea Party speaks for all patriotic Americans. . . . Just sent suggestions to 50 friends . . . I think it's time we start a chapter right here in Tucson . . . 

    COFFEE PARTY VIDEO (I don't know how to make a video in instablog) 

    The snowballing response made her the de facto coordinator of Coffee Party USA, with goals far loftier than its oopsy-daisy origin: promote civility and inclusiveness in political discourse, engage the government not as an enemy but as the collective will of the people, push leaders to enact the progressive change for which 52.9 percent of the country voted in 2008.

    The ideas aren't exactly fresh -- Tea Party chapters view themselves as civil, inclusive and fueled by collective will -- but the Coffee Party is percolating in at least 30 states. Small chapters are meeting up, venting frustrations, organizing themselves, hoping to transcend one-click activism. Kind of like the Tea Party did this last year, spawning 1,200 chapters, a national conference and a march on Washington but with a VERY different mission statement:

    “The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans — across every demographic — who want to see cooperation in government.  We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans.  As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.”

    Take a look at the website, Facebook groups and YouTube channel and see if perhaps coffee is the beverage of your choice as well (perhaps someone would like to start a PSW chapter?):



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  • Philip Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (1336) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We have been having a spirited discussion on the member site and I thought I'd post up one exchange here to get the thoughs of others - the following 4 comments are reprinted from PSW over the weekend:
    2 Mar 2010, 10:40 PM Reply Like
  • Philip Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (1336) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » gel1 - February 28th, 2010 at 10:22 pm |

     

    Now there is a real dumb idea !.. a movement that is inverse to the Tea Paryy movement (which has a core belief of smaller government and fewer taxes). Who in their right mind would think a larger government and more taxes would be beneficial to the monumental problems we face today? This is not the solution, but is the problem, and the problem is so perverse, we all will soon not be able to afford coffee or tea.
    2 Mar 2010, 10:41 PM Reply Like
  • Philip Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (1336) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Phil
    March 1st, 2010 at 5:38 am | (Unlocked) Permalink edit lock

     

    I’m curious Gel as to what monumental problems we face today that will be solved by less government and less taxes?

     

    Obviously, less taxes would solve OUR problems as we can move or hire private security or private physicians or pad our retirement accounts, etc. but is that solving the "monumental" problems? I may have missed a lecture in Economics but I am under the impression that higher taxes are EXACTLY the way to solve a budget deficit. Something to do with balancing spending with collections or something but it must be very complex as there is so much debate about it…

     

    Since the 2003 tax cuts took effect, the top 1% have paid an average of 15% less taxes vs 7% less taxes for the rest of us. That 7% gap on 42% of the nation’s income amounts to over $1Tn of our totall deficit. Add in the 7% taken by the rest of the top 10% and the other 7% saved by the top 1% and that’s $3Tn of deficit that we are paying 3.5% interest to service ($100Bn a year - or yet ANOTHER $1Tn over the past 10 years) plus $2Tn of war spending and $3Tn in reduced corporate taxes over the same period (with ANOTHER $1.5Tn of interest racked up to fund it) and gosh, it almost seems like taxes DO have something to do with our problems but gee, I can’t quite put my finger on it - what a complicated issue…

     

    We have 50M people between the ages of 55 and 65 who have worked their whole lives and faithfully had 6% of their paychecks removed (with a 6% match from their employer that was part of their overall compensation) for their entire lives on the good faith promise that they would have a retirement account and health care system that was safely looked after by the government. THAT is the primary obligation this country is unable to meet.

     

    If we tell those people to drop dead - they won’t do that and just go away - what they will do is become a burden on their children until the system breaks down and those old people we’re screwing won’t occupy 50M homes and they won’t do much but live in someone’s spare bedroom and watch TV. Removing 5M consumers a year from the economy is going to affect you VERY MUCH!

     

    What are the other things we spend money on? War is 30% of government spending. Will small government and less taxes suddenly make us peaceful and safer or is the idea to make war 90% of the government’s function and the rest of the population can just sort out their own crap? Here’s the spending - I’m dying to know what you’re going to cut.

     

    Meanwhile, the tea party crowd can go to rallies and cry for no more government or less government and less taxes but excuse me if I prefer to concentrate my time on something I consider realistic like engaging our elected officials and trying to steer the government in a better direction - kind of like the way democracy is supposed to work…

     

    (there was a link included in this comment to a very nice visual chart on the budget at: img177.imageshack.us/i... )
    2 Mar 2010, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • tweaks
    , contributor
    Comments (180) | Send Message
     
    From

     

    www.irs.gov/taxstats/i...

     

    Check out
    Table 5: Number of Returns, Shares of AGI and Total Income Tax, AGI Floor on Percentiles in Current and Constant Dollars, and Average Tax Rates

     

    In 2006, the top 10% paid 70.79% of the income taxes. The top 1% paid 39.89%. These are IRS numbers, folks - I am NOT in these categories, but how do we think it's a moral thing to to to make them carry this kind of freight?

     

    Further, the top 50% paid 97.01% of the income taxes! That means that we're carrying the rest on our shoulders. Even more, those folks actually get cash back via EITC and other credits. My daughter is the beneficiary of that credit, so I sort of view it as one of the only times my taxes actually get to my offspring!

     

    Taking all of the money of the "rich" won't solve the problem. We need to stop the spending, starve the beast, and return to the constitutional role of government, which was intended to be extremely small.
    4 Mar 2010, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • datadave
    , contributor
    Comments (685) | Send Message
     
    Dude, income taxes aren't All Taxes, not even Most taxes (hint most people pay more payroll taxes than income taxes) add local taxes, property etc. Sales taxes etc etc and guess what the rich pay less in percentage of income.
    Paul Ryan et al keeps adding payroll taxed entities as a cost to the rich when they don't pay it. It's mostly paid by middle incomes for work, not investors. Other GOPers Santorum et al keep saying social security is part of the income tax stream but it isn't. Of course wall street GOPers want that money for themselves.
    7 Apr 2012, 05:56 AM Reply Like
  • Philip Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (1336) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » gel1 - March 1st, 2010 at 10:46 pm |

     

    Phil

     

    Late reply to your query… the "monumental problems" we face are debt problems, in my opinion caused over a very long period of time, by extravagant reckless spending by government. It is expected our national debt will exceed GDP by 2011. The US has the 7th highest ratio of debt to GDP, right behind Zimbabwe, Japan, Italy, Lebanon and Jaimaica. Our dollar has lost 15% in value since January 2009, when the Obama adnministration took over. The cost of energy, food and education could double in the next several years because of the coming inflation. To me, this is monumental, or better worded "catastrophic"

     

    This horrific mess was created by the government, so I do not believe they are the solution. Obama plans to raise the capital gains tax 33% by 2011, in order to help pay for this squandered treasure,.which is contra to capital formation for the purposes of business development. More government and more taxes will surely put our country deeper into this quagmire of deception and debt.. This great country is in deep decline and is joining the other nations that tried to tax and spend their way out of the hole. My solution is to do the inverse - incentivize our entrepreneurial members with tax breaks and end the stupid excessive government spending ( ie balanced budgets are a requisite) and terminate this spiral of throwing money at everything that the government feels is in need of a fix or a vote.

     

    The last stimulus of $784 Bil did nothing to turn the economy around, and was structured by a few non-qualified members of the House of Reps. It contained almost all pork targeted toward their re-election. It will take decades to pay this back and those who laid this on us will be long gone. 52.9 % of the population voted these folks into office hoping for progressive change - well, I see nothing but regressive change,. The promise was for change, but no definition was given, and the Tea Party movement was launched for very valid reasons, in order to effectively put these people, who have broken all of their promises, back to their districts in retirement status.
    2 Mar 2010, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • Philip Davis
    , contributor
    Comments (1336) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Phil
    March 2nd, 2010 at 3:17 am | (Unlocked) Permalink edit lock

     

    OK, great, we agree debt is a problem.

     

    Now, let’s take a look at where we are. First of all, the dollar was at 80 at Christmas ‘08, up from 70 pre-election and shot up to 89.62 by March in anticipation of Obama making big changes in policy. He didn’t and the dollar dropped back to near-Bush lows of 74 at Thanksgiving and is now back at 81.35 - hardly down 15% since "the Obama administration took over." It was Bush that not only added $5Tn in hard debt over 8 years with spending that was beyond reckless (and the largest build-up of government in history) but also diminished the revenue base by 13% through tax reductions and between that (-$400Bn a year) and the interest on the $5Tn ($200Bn a year) and the wars ($600Bn a year) he left a $1.2Tn hole to fill before a single bank, business or homeowner had to be bailed out.

     

    CHART OF DEBT/GDP: zfacts.com/metaPage/li...

     

    Since unemployment climbed to 8M under Bush and since we do have a program that pays unemployment benefits - that’s another $200Bn bill that was left over from the Bush party plus the $700Bn TARP spending plus another $500Bn in stimulus that was all ordered before Obama had a chance to put his butt in the seat. I know you are a smarter businsess man than that to blame the guy who takes over for the mess he’s trying to clean up…

     

    We were still spinning out of control in March and more aid was required - mainly because nothing was really done to fix anything in November other than to put a band-aid on a lost limb. The change Obama ran on was not to allow business as usual in Washington and to raise taxes on the top 10%, who could afford it far more than the 10% unemployed masses and I do fault him for not following through with that as NOTHING has changed at all in 14 months. Of course the Republicans have filibustered 40 bills in 14 months and have ground Congress to an absolute halt with another 140 bills tied up in procedure. No Congress has ever gotten less done in the history of this country but I do blame Obama for not declaring marshall law and chopping heads off because our country is going to hell in a handbasket and I’m sure there’s something in the patriot act that would let him send half the Republican Senators off to Guantanamo Bay if he had the balls to do it.

     

    It doesn’t matter who you want to blame for this train-wreck of an economy/country we have - what matters is how you fix it and what I’m saying is you need to accept the fact that it costs the government $3.5Tn to operate THEREFORE, if you want to meaningfully reduce the debt, they need to collect $4Tn a year. Yes, I’d love to freeze government spending, including the $1Tn military - I’d like them to have a meeting and talk about invading Afghanistan and actually say "We’d love to but we can’t afford it."

     

    I’d like to see Paygo on a go forward basis and I would like a government task force to examine every possible way to reduce spending but IT IS TIME TO PAY THE BILL FOR THE PARTY WE’VE BEEN HAVING. This country just spent $7Tn it didn’t have in the past decade - that means in the next decade we need to pay back $7Tn - is that really such a complicated idea?

     

    The government MUST collect $4Tn a year. I don’t care if they raise capital gains or put on a VAT or eliminate the SS cap or raise the top rates - whatever it takes to make sure they collect $500Bn MORE than they need and use that money to LOWER debt by $500Bn a year. That will strengthen the dollar, lower commodity prices for Americans and American corporations, lower labor costs, lower import prices and improve our balance of trade and it will impact our exports but, hopefully, domestic spending will improve enough to offset it.

     

    That’s it - very simple, a stronger America with a stronger balance sheet by simply manning up and paying our bills. Yes, that means about 15% more taxes (back to Clinton levles, when the country ran just fine and was growing well) for us but especially 15% more taxes for business, which has gotten huge breaks over the past decade. Those tax cuts were toxic and now we have to pay them back - it’s very, very simple. To continue as we are now and to put our heads in the sand and pretend we can continue to run this country without paying for it - will be the death of America and we are far too close to the edge now to let obstructionist BS stop the adults from doing what needs to be done to fix this country.

     

    JMHO
    2 Mar 2010, 10:45 PM Reply Like
  • User 164620
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Well said Phil as you can see here the last tax cuts worked brilliantly bit.ly/4Rzuuq
    2 Mar 2010, 10:53 PM Reply Like
  • untrusting investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9927) | Send Message
     
    Great link. Will have to read in more detail.
    15 Oct 2011, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • tweaks
    , contributor
    Comments (180) | Send Message
     
    The United States is not, and has never been a democracy. The founders did not WANT a democracy. They gave us a Republic.

     

    "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."

     

    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

     

    Thomas Jefferson
    3 Mar 2010, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • datadave
    , contributor
    Comments (685) | Send Message
     
    Jefferson had slaves didn't he? Most be the "mob" that he feared. Genius? Died in debt even while living off the work of others. Good writer though.
    7 Apr 2012, 07:26 AM Reply Like
  • buyitcheap
    , contributor
    Comments (1848) | Send Message
     
    Some of these liabilities are actuarial extrapolations, medicare and social security primary among them. In the spirit of keeping it simple: raise the age for collecting full SS to 73 (say for everyone born after 1955 - pick a number), same for Medicare/aid.

     

    I would eliminate the anti-trust provisions for insurers to see if that would help slow the rate of "cost creep".

     

    And while the spending didn't work, higher tax rates won't necessarily either b/c the wealthiest among us will adjust their behavior to minimize their liabilities using guys like me. :-)

     

    That said there are several sectors that are completely exempt from taxation, not counted at all, biggest among them university endowments, some have described Harvard as a huge hedge fund with a sideline education operation. I would absolutely tax all non education activities, including housing, "arts", sports, all that. I would also eliminate the deduction for the donors that give appreciated stock to get their names on a building. Further, I would impose a metric on schools such that if their endowment exceeded 4X the tuition per student, that the endowment corpus would be spent to keep it under that rate. (now I know a lot of people will say that a donation is a contract, and an endowment is a pool of individual contracts, blah, blah, blah, but tax regs can be easily written to address that and they can be part of the clauses included in the donor agreements.)

     

    And for those who would argue that school would get more expensive etc. at these larger universities, interest and dividend income exceeds total tuition, so that doesn't fly.

     

    I'd eliminate the exemption for trade associations (just lobbyists anyway) and the 527s etc, as completely unnecessary for exempt status.

     

    Bottom line is that there is a sector awash in hundreds of billlions in cash that the government is not considering and it's not doing anyone any good except the hedge fund managers who manage the funds.
    4 Mar 2010, 08:25 AM Reply Like
  • Silentz
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    I'd say that guy Phil DID miss his economics lesson...
    4 Mar 2010, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • SeekingTruth
    , contributor
    Comments (1166) | Send Message
     
    Phil, I'm with YOU!
    However, I think it does very much matter who is blamed for the mess.
    The reason is because the very same guys, and girls, that caused it, will be back clamoring for the same seats of power that they used to screw it all up!
    Since the attention span of the typical American is no longer than their next favorite sports event , they are easily fooled and misled.
    We need to know what these people did , and when they did it, and well document it for all the people that do not have the time or inclination to do so.
    If we don't do this to the necessary degree , the self serving screw ups will come back and do it all over again , except more so.
    We are no longer strong enough to endure that and survive with any prosperity left at all -------guaranteed.
    16 Mar 2010, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • SeekingTruth
    , contributor
    Comments (1166) | Send Message
     
    To buyitcheap:
    If you force people to wait until 73 to retire, you are guaranteed to kill a lot of people on the job.
    Meanwhile , their medical costs will skyrocket, and they will spend more time sick than they will in productive work.
    This will wreak havoc on an already stressed health care system, and also cause more problems in finding others to do their work in their absence.

     

    The Corporations already know this, which is why they try to run them off far before that time.

     

    The tactics they use to do this are ruinous to the health of all but the most favored and pampered of their employees because
    the mind and body of that age is unable to cope with the additional bureaucratic and intentional stresses placed on them by their employers to "encourage" them to depart.
    Need to find better and more realistic solutions.
    16 Mar 2010, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • buyitcheap
    , contributor
    Comments (1848) | Send Message
     
    Seeking Truth: I chuckle at the handle because there's not an ounce of it in your post. It was rather difficult to follow your line of reasoning because there was so little, but here it goes:

     

    We're all living longer. I know plenty of people well into their 70s still working, some are clients. My father is 75 and still working and if you hit 65 and are reasonably healthy you have a very good chance of living to 85. When SS was first put in place, the average life span was around 67 (sound familiar?) and it was intended to provide a saftey net for the last few years of life. And yes, probably people did die at work back then, which still happens now by the way, it's a direct result of being born.
    Are you implying there's some kind of right to retirement? There isn't one, unless you're a government "worker." Only if you work smart, work your ass off, save and invest wisely. (And just so we're clear, yeah I'm a top 5%er but I don't live like one b/c I find it repugnant.)

     

    Social security is a safety net, a supplement, not a retirement plan. The idea of somehow deferring SS until 73 will kill people is just silly, borne of an immature opinion and spending too much time on MSNBC. Are you suggesting that collecting Social security at 68 will "save them?" Pure canard. Plenty are collecting their SS and are still working.

     

    And "their medical costs will skyrocket", when they're working at 71 vs. 68? On what basis would they incur more cost than if they're were sitting on their butts at home? I'd argue the opposite was more likely. Non sequitir.

     

    The reason the health care system is "stressed" is because government already controls most of it. There's an awful lot of money being redirected to experimental technologies than to basic care that works. Add that to the fact that so many americans are fat sedentary slobs to which we can attribute some 50% +of chronic and high cost illness. You really want to help control medical costs, tax twinkies and chips (oft referred to as "sin taxes), and send everybody a pair of Reeboks.

     

    Here's one very interesting thought for you to seek truth on: The food stamp program (government run) primarily provides money for packaged foods - real crap - baloney white bread etc. among other things juices, really highly inflammatory disgusting garbage) go to any store outside your castle, to a real grocery store and you might see it. These are the same category of people that are the biggest consumers of health care for chronic and obesity related diseases - think there's a connection there? I do.

     

    And I addressed the "corporations" issue by suggesting they compete across state lines as a virtually zero cost (to payers) way to start bringing costs down. Frankly I don't know where that was going.

     

    Is destroying a market sector that is delivering services to 85% of the country appropriate to provide insurance to 15% of the uninsured (whether by dint of choice or other reason?) No, they get medical care when they need it, by law.

     

    So while you conclude yor diatriabe with the idea that somehow I need to find better more realistic solutions, I notice you've provided none. Care to provide one that would place more reliance on the individual and less on government?

     

    As you Seek Truth, I'd suggest you start with the Pilgrims at Plimoth Plantation, specifically, William Bradford's experience with communal gardens being a good first read.
    www.mith2.umd.edu/eada...
    17 Mar 2010, 08:55 AM Reply Like
  • buyitcheap
    , contributor
    Comments (1848) | Send Message
     
    Raising retirement age going mainstream

     

    www.marketwatch.com/st...
    16 Jul 2010, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • SeekingTruth
    , contributor
    Comments (1166) | Send Message
     
    buyitcheap: You're a top 5%er.? Never would have guessed it!
    17 Mar 2010, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • buyitcheap
    , contributor
    Comments (1848) | Send Message
     
    Low hanging fruit for fixing Social Security

     

    finance.yahoo.com/focu...
    13 May 2010, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • buyitcheap
    , contributor
    Comments (1848) | Send Message
     
    I wasn't always. No trust funds in my family tree. Got there like I would expect most people reading SA did, worked smart and worked like hell.

     

    Your response to my points are almost as good as your first post though. No actual constructive information, recommendation or counterpoint, and when presented an opportunity to respond, you can't manage more than one multisyllabic word. You should change your handle to SeekingSimilarOpinions and be honest with yourself.
    17 Mar 2010, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • PSW
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    Great stuff Phil. I joined the coffee party awhile back and here is hoping they bring some civility to the conversation. The largest part of the budget is the military industrial complex.
    "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." James Madison

     

    These are just some of the facts about our military spending...
    US military spending accounts for 48 percent, or almost half, of the world’s total military spending
    US military spending is more than the next 46 highest spending countries in the world combined
    US military spending is 5.8 times more than China, 10.2 times more than Russia, and 98.6 times more than Iran.

     

    read the rest here...if you want to downsize gov't and balance the budget here is where we need to start.

     

    www.globalissues.org/a...
    22 Apr 2010, 07:54 AM Reply Like
  • richardcavessa
    , contributor
    Comments (260) | Send Message
     
    interesting points phil.
    I wonder how long it would take for the coffee party to take over m street, as well as being lobbist best friends.
    I'm afraid were going to have to listen to the top 1%ers as well as the bought and paid for teabaggers. The good news, faux snooze will never run out of material.....
    7 May 2010, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • buyitcheap
    , contributor
    Comments (1848) | Send Message
     
    Fear not- the coffee (latte?) party is well represented on K Street, in the media, the hedge funds, and most of the major left leaning mouthpieces. Look at the facts, virtually all of the dems in the Congress are 1%ers - especially Feinstein, Pelosi, and Kerry, Rockefeller (all married/inherited their wealth, but hey...)

     

    It shouldn't be a surprise that the NY delegation is all Democrat and receive barrels of cash from the hedgies so they can maintain their right to defer comp in the Caymans or convert ordinary income into cap gain income, yeah, that's the ticket.

     

    There's a reason why when socialist/fascist agendas are implemented the society stratifies into the 1% (bureau-corpora-crats) and the rest, its when government injects itself into all aspects of a society, takes money from the productive middle class, as Obama is preparing to do via tha VAT, and it happens fastest in those societies: Soviet Union, Western Europe,China, Venezuela, and they use the same language as Obama.

     

    If you really want to see corporatists brought down to size, simply put a 100% tax on corp wealth (wealth not salaries) over $100 Million and see which party backs away from it the quickest - it will be your fellow leftists.

     

    Disclaimer: This post should not be interpreted as being pro-Bush, pro-Fox News or anything of the sort. The former was a complete idiot, the latter simply irritating.
    7 May 2010, 05:05 PM Reply Like
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