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  • Wall Street Breakfast: Chinese Shares Burst Government Support Dam [View article]
    Sorry Bob, I can't turn back globalization and the internet. The private sector is simply responding to market pressures. You can't legislate that away and public sector employees simply must face the fact that things have changed. They are afterall paid for by the private sector.

    So private sector employees are saying the public sector should be treated similar to us, the private sector employees are somehow saying lets extend and pretend because we can borrow to continue things they way they were.
    Jul 27, 2015. 02:58 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Chinese Shares Burst Government Support Dam [View article]
    I heard that most went to just a few companies like Boeing.
    Jul 27, 2015. 12:48 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Chinese Shares Burst Government Support Dam [View article]
    BO there is virtually no evidence that corn based ethanol increases food prices. What does increase food prices is oil prices and in particular diesel prices. Further, there are ZERO subsidies given to farmers for ethanol. Indeed, farmers NEVER recieved any subsidies for ethanol, at one time refiners did, not anymore.

    So what you get from ethanol is a massive increase in the supply of gasoline that over the last decade has done an yomans job of keeping gasoline prices in check. Likely the average savings to US consumers was around $1 a gallon and at nearly 140B gallons a year, that is a huge benefit to consumers.

    If you don't think supply matters for gasoline, then you certainly haven't been paying attention to how much gasoline prices skyrocket when there are supply disruptions (see CA now).

    We need more ethanol, not less.
    Jul 27, 2015. 12:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Chinese Shares Burst Government Support Dam [View article]
    dc, in the past one could make the arguement that public sector workers were underpaid compared to the private sector. That changed dramatically over the last two decades with the collapse of the healthcare and pension protections private sector companies have given. Further, government employee unions were very good at getting long term contracts with guarenteed pay increases that also eluded the private sector.

    The wage statistics now clearly show that when benefits are included that public sector workers are earnings way more than private sector workers. That can be partially due to the demise of blue collar union jobs but it is a fact public sector workers shouldn't be ignoring. The public sector workers will have to eventually go through the same sort of realignment of pay as the private sector.
    Jul 27, 2015. 12:43 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Chinese Shares Burst Government Support Dam [View article]
    Now if only we hadn't throttled the use of corn based ethanol. Not only would gasoline prices have not jumped over diesel so dramatically, but we could have supported commodity prices.

    As for the food for fuel debate, I would rather grow twice as much food as we need and use half of it for fuel than have a massive draught wipe out half of the food crop and be left with half of the world starving because there was not he option to redirect grain meant for fuel to food.
    Jul 27, 2015. 08:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Chinese Shares Burst Government Support Dam [View article]
    a64, the healthcare issue is going to become a big deal because of the massive cadillac tax that will hit these companies. The unions will hold their breath but there is no way these companies can afford to pay the tax. So there is now a limit on the healthcare benefits unions will be able to get in negotiations.
    Jul 27, 2015. 08:18 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil: Prices Will Rebound [View article]
    What explains the drop is simply the fact that diesel has lost its pricing power. Look at a chart comparing the price differential between diesel and gasoline and you will see why oil prices rose so much post Katrina. Now gasoline has actually surged again to be the pricing leader thanx to our politicians blocking higher blend limits for ethanol. The dirty little secret about ethanol is that it significantly weakened gasolines pricing power in the US and saved US consumers massive amounts of money at the pump every year, we are likely talking in the neighborhood of $100B in savings at the pump for consumers.

    So go at it, trash ethanol all you want and enjoy the high gasoline prices.
    Jul 27, 2015. 07:44 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Chinese Shares Burst Government Support Dam [View article]
    JC, the plant is anything but new. It will be interesting to see if anyone decides to pick it up.
    Jul 27, 2015. 07:41 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Chinese Shares Burst Government Support Dam [View article]
    The Verison battle is another great union dilusion. The workers believe they are enttiled to the companies profits despite the fact that their division that they work in is not very profitable at all. These are predominantly line workerrs, i.e. jobs that are vaporizing as fewer and fewer people have land lines. Their expectation is raises and a piece of the companies profits from its wireless business instead of realizing that their jobs are becoming less and less necessary and that the company is carrying them simply because it must.

    At some point these phone line carriers will walk away from the land line business because it will become unsustainable. You can't maintain such an infrastructure without the user base.
    Jul 27, 2015. 07:40 AM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Anthem To Buy Cigna For $54.2B [View article]
    crademan, interestingly the US has the highest percentage of taxes paid for by the wealthy.

    On wages for the poor the fundamental question I think everyone should ask themselves is it fair that someone who works full time can't make it? We know that many people through no real fault of their own (life and IQ lottery) can't get high paying jobs. If they are making the effort by working full-time I think we owe them a fair shake and that means a standard of living that is not in poverty. Republicans should be able to get behind that, why Democrats object I would have no clue.

    A living wage should be paid to someone who works full time, not to someone who works part time and gets paid obscene pay ($15) for standing around at McDonalds provide bad service.
    Jul 26, 2015. 09:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Anthem To Buy Cigna For $54.2B [View article]
    TAS, one of the startling facts is just how few people work for a company like Facebook that does a fraction of the revenue and employs a fraction of the people that Wal-Mart does. We seriously need to look at how we can get tax policy to align with the interests of the economy working for as many people as possible. Right now it is very advantageous to produce outside of the US and use machines rather than hire people here. Our tax policies reward this by penalizing the companies that have workers here and produce here. We need to fix this.

    A ZERO corporate tax that is replaced by a VAT is the answer. The consumption of goods and services needs to be taxed equally for all that provide those goods and services. That is pro US labor and of course gets those cheating freeloading foreign companies to pay their fair share.
    Jul 26, 2015. 11:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Anthem To Buy Cigna For $54.2B [View article]
    BO, companies are finding all sorts of ways to extort more form their workers and not reward them accordingly. It is high time we fixed this with legislation. Now that we have Obamacare and the exchange and increased access to Medicare it is high time we got rid of the massive subsidies for healthcare to the full-time employees. In many cases those employees would opt for spending less on healthcare and having more money in their pocket anyway.

    What we need is a solid safety net of basic healthcare that everyone can access. That has to be subsidized for those who choose not to pay for their healthcare but take advantage of it, so taxes on those things that create healthcare costs like, booze, cigarettes, fuel, bullets, etc. Those taxes should be used to cover the costs to hospitals for providing emergency care. The rest people can choose not to buy or pay for insurance then they are also welcome to not get treated for their chronic diseases like cancer. It's a free country and if you want to be stupid, be stupid.

    Then we need to supplement wages on the lower end for those that can't get the high paying jobs required to stay out of poverty but are putting in the hours. That means an earned income tax credit that scales with the hours worked. That should get people who work full-time up to $10.10 an hour so they are out of poverty and don't require any other government assistance. This should NOT be accomplished by forcing exactly those companies that employ these people to pay more for their labor but instead be carried through taxes which are predominantly paid for by the wealthy.
    Jul 26, 2015. 10:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Anthem To Buy Cigna For $54.2B [View article]
    BO, I would be very cautious with any energy companies. Innovations are making cheaper and cheaper energy available and with all of this global warming talking and government intervention going on conservation is becoming more and more of a fad. That means the profits in energy are likely to be fairly slim for years to come.
    Jul 24, 2015. 02:51 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Anthem To Buy Cigna For $54.2B [View article]
    Buck, I always have to laugh that the only president over the last 50 years who managed to narrow the gap between rich and poor was W. Obama is right up there with the biggest gap in history under his tenure.

    ZIRP certainly doesn't do anything positive for main street, that is for sure. Maybe for the deadbeats that borrow and never pay it back but they were helping themselves to free money before anyway.
    Jul 24, 2015. 02:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Anthem To Buy Cigna For $54.2B [View article]
    BO, I think they are giving it away because it gives them pleasure to see what "they" can do with their wealth. Buffet was right on with his comment, there comes a time when you have everything money can buy that you want to buy. Then it is just more money and he is really excited about charities that can hit home runs on some of these problems the world is faces.

    Bob might want to watch a rerun of that interview on Charlie Rose (he is on PBS sometimes to boot), it might enlighten him about what real rich people are like not the people who play rich or fake playing rich like they see on TV, another great avenue of communist propaganda.
    Jul 24, 2015. 02:47 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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