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CharlieM

CharlieM
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  • The economy is confused, and so is the American public, of which 30% feel favorably toward Bernanke, 26% feel unfavorably, and 44% don't know what to think. Says one strategist: "It’s a reflection of the fact that most Americans still don’t feel the economy is in recovery. If a team is doing poorly, the quarterback gets a disproportionate share of the blame."  [View news story]
    Duude,
    I've been going back and doing some research on historical events and the economy lately. I have found that you are right about government's role is limited to incentives to create jobs.
    I found an interesting trend that want to ask SA readers for their opinion on.

    LBJ announced the US was getting hard on poverty. They rolled out Welfare, Medicaid and Medicare. Result: Our economy took a nose dive.

    Jimmy Carter's administration drove the economy into the ground with social spending and did nothing with runaway inflation and horrible interest rates. Oil rationing and the like nearly drove the U.S. to it's knees.

    I contrast this with Ronald Reagan's cut in taxes so that everyone was given the choice to use money as they saw fit and our economy flourished. He cut social spending and worked with businesses to find the U.S. as a valuable source for industry and business.

    My conclusions from this and the thing I most would like to hear other's opinions on: IF, redistribution of wealth by our government with increased taxes is such a good deal then why is that every time our government has followed this track we wind up tanking. Doesn't the Reagan approach to government have a MUCH better result? Why is it we are not cutting our spending and lowering taxes to stimulate the economy as opposed to borrowing our way out of debt?
    Jun 25 03:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chicago's Sears Tower has been Willis Tower for a while, and now Sears Holdings (SHLD) - which has groused about Illinois taxes after moving to the suburbs - may decamp to Michigan, which has put together $50M in incentives to lure the venerable retailer's headquarters. (via)  [View news story]
    1980,
    you are right about CAT. They can't get a new facility opened here in Texas before they up the size and increase the employment. I am hoping to see them relocate their base of operations from Peoria to Texas in the next couple of years. I can't begin to imagine the gains it will make for them not having to pay the state income taxes in Illinoise.
    Jun 25 02:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Frezza finds California's proposed rule that would fine automakers $5,000 per vehicle if at least 5.5% of the new cars they sell in the state aren't electric "so astonishing you have to wonder whether the destruction of an entire industry is its actual intent."  [View news story]
    1980,
    I have not had time to seek out T Boon's plans lately. I know he has been developing a HUGE wind farm in the panhandle of Texas lately. I will look for them. If you have any links for them I would really appreciate you posting them.

    I know that this is one resource/fuel we do not currently export in massive quantities. It quite possibly could get us away from foreign imports and in my way of reasoning would be a HUGE help to our struggling economy.

    Would you agree?
    Jun 21 08:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Frezza finds California's proposed rule that would fine automakers $5,000 per vehicle if at least 5.5% of the new cars they sell in the state aren't electric "so astonishing you have to wonder whether the destruction of an entire industry is its actual intent."  [View news story]
    Here's a little suggestion for all to consider as well. Being an engineer I am SERIOUSLY considering setting up a compressor at my house to use the natural gas, that comes to the house from our local utility, so that I can fill a tank on my truck. The cost of this clean fuel is almost NOTHING and is a LOT cheaper than either of these options. Here's a little breakdown on the costs:

    Truck Conversion: $2,500
    Pump and radiant cooler: $3,000

    Emissions: near nothing
    Cost to power the pump: Same as the natural gas as it will be powered from the same gas stream being compressed.
    Range of my truck on a full tank: 1200miles
    Current cost to fill that tank: $40

    I will grant you that gasoline is currently declining in cost but, the return on investment for me will be around 6 months and I will also gain on oil changes and engine life since the combustion produces MUCH less carbon and will allow me to extend the life of my vehicle by nearly another 30, 000 miles.

    WHY isn't America considering this option? We now have a HUGE surplus of natural gas and take a look at the current rates it trades at!!!!
    Jun 21 07:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Frezza finds California's proposed rule that would fine automakers $5,000 per vehicle if at least 5.5% of the new cars they sell in the state aren't electric "so astonishing you have to wonder whether the destruction of an entire industry is its actual intent."  [View news story]
    Windsun,
    That's mature and responsible isn't it? Just let AZ or anyone else carry the burdens. BRILLIANT and spoken like a real Green Weirdo!
    Jun 20 11:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Frezza finds California's proposed rule that would fine automakers $5,000 per vehicle if at least 5.5% of the new cars they sell in the state aren't electric "so astonishing you have to wonder whether the destruction of an entire industry is its actual intent."  [View news story]
    Tack,
    I doubt it. I expect to see the Fed step in and punish businesses that exit CA for places like Texas.

    I've been considering some of the thread's responses. I suppose the libs are happy with Nuclear Power Generation as opposed to other means. I find it pitiful that those "Green" windmills are killing more endangered species of birds than any power plant ever has or will.

    Like Greece, keep an eye on California for the lessons of what NOT to do for the rest of America.
    Jun 20 07:15 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AARP is dropping its opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, a move that could rock Washington's debate over how to revamp entitlement programs. AARP has always opposed previous reform efforts, but it now has concluded that change is inevitable and needs to be at the table to try to minimize the pain.  [View news story]
    Lakeaffect,
    I agree with you on the term limits. I have often wondered what the effect would have been had the 22nd Amendment included term limits for House and Senate terms. If there ever was a prime example of hypocrisy from our elected this has to be it.

    If anything, we should now be looking at lobbyists being outlawed to keep them from overshadowing the voice of the people. I find it amazing that we have and will have elected officials who have never worked outside a political office. HOW do they even begin to understand the voice of the people?
    Jun 17 01:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Still more optimism from Toyota (TM +0.4%), which bumps its earlier recovery estimate and says all plants will return to full output from July. That's from president Akio Toyoda; but then a few different forecasts have been coming out of the company, including yesterday's word that U.S. plants would get back up to speed by September.  [View news story]
    I won't be surprised to see Toyota become very proactive and start moving production to remote facilities. I expect over time to see Toyota lower their exposure to issues in Japan to just their corporate operations.

    Having worked for a Japanese automotive company they were moving in that direction nearly 20yrs ago and I suspect that the events of March will accelerate these moves for all of the Japanese automotive manufacturers.
    Jun 17 01:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Responding to increased demand, Caterpillar (CAT +0.8%) invests an additional $70M to expand construction of its hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility in Texas. The company began work on the $130M plant in August 2010, and anticipates it coming online by mid-2012.  [View news story]
    Earlier this year Cat was looking to relocate to Texas after Illinois raised their state income tax. I am betting they eventually will relocate should their plants in Texas prove to be more profitable and concessions can be worked out to help with relocation costs. There are a LOT of reasons to find it attractive to relocate to Texas. Lower labor costs without unions to deal with (Texas is a right to work state), no state income taxes and a growing skilled labor base.

    The Victoria plant mentioned here is located between to larger port cities as well. Houston to the East and Corpus Christi to the West. It will make it much less expensive to move equipment for export as well as supportive businesses with these cities in close proximity.
    Jun 17 12:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AARP is dropping its opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, a move that could rock Washington's debate over how to revamp entitlement programs. AARP has always opposed previous reform efforts, but it now has concluded that change is inevitable and needs to be at the table to try to minimize the pain.  [View news story]
    Fast track,
    I would say I have been doing just that for the past 20 years. I have been a faithful contributor to my 401k or IRA for the entire time. In doing so I have contributed 10% of my income and continued to do so even when my employers did not add a matching balance.

    I would agree to cessation of Social Security contributions for my age group but would not support stopping contributions for those that could not prepare for it. Those that are already retired, are retiring in the next 10yrs should be continued but ONLY those that are going to be drawing for retirement and not welfare.

    I have not expected to draw social security in my lifetime. I see it as just another tax my employer and I have been suckered into paying. I would like to see a mandatory requirement for matching contribution for 401k in the future but, I don't expect it. Then again, if the fed thinks their freeloading funding of social vote purchases might come to an end, I would not be surprised in the least, to see the government step in seize 401k programs for their own selfish use.
    Jun 17 12:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AARP is dropping its opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, a move that could rock Washington's debate over how to revamp entitlement programs. AARP has always opposed previous reform efforts, but it now has concluded that change is inevitable and needs to be at the table to try to minimize the pain.  [View news story]
    Duude,
    I agree with you on this point too.

    Trying to envision solutions has driven me to near obsession for possible solutions. I have researched what other countries have done and not done and have found one VERY common thread in all of them.

    If government is involved it suffers in care for the dollars spent. A socialized medicine system (Canada and England for example) have an overwhelmed system.
    Systems that rely on individual's ability to pay with either insurance or personal assets leave a lot without health care. What I did find is that systems that rely on non-government interventions do have a lower cost for health care.

    What is right, what is fair and what is best for all? I am willing to bet that if SA were to post an evening survey for something like this it would get some wild and maybe helpful insights and responses.
    Jun 17 11:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • "We need an economic program, we need a Marshall Plan," says Deutsche Bank CEO Ackermann, urging more financial assistance to the debt-troubled countries of the EU. Having the sort of influence in Europe that American bankers only dream about in the U.S., Ackermann is a man worth paying attention to.  [View news story]
    Urging more financial assistance to the debt-troubled countries of the EU, says Deutsche Bank CEO Ackermann.

    Of COURSE HE DOES!!!
    If he can get someone else to take the heat for the mess and failing Euro experiment then he's off the hook. Now isn't he?
    Jun 17 10:58 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SeaDrill: Analyzing First Quarter Results, Dividend Increase [View article]
    Budavar,
    Thank you for this insight. I have wondered if there was a problem in shares outstanding. I had noticed a difference between shares outstanding on Yahoo finance and CNN. I check CNN for after hour movements as they have a much better following on the pre/post hour tradings.

    I will follow up with them on the PR.
    Jun 17 10:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AARP is dropping its opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, a move that could rock Washington's debate over how to revamp entitlement programs. AARP has always opposed previous reform efforts, but it now has concluded that change is inevitable and needs to be at the table to try to minimize the pain.  [View news story]
    Gaping hole in the ocean,
    I agree whole heartedly with you on this. As Social Security had originally been setup we would have a HUGE windfall in it by now had it not been for the theft from it by LBJ and his liberal welfare programs. I had a professor use Social Security as an example to illustrate the difference between a Ponzi scheme and a benefit plan. The point of departure from a benefit plan and a lapse into a ponzi scheme came when social programs were loaded on the social security system.

    What can be done? Some interesting postulations came out in that class. Things like increasing the contribution amount and removing social welfare from it. WHY should those that contribute nothing to social security be allowed to take from it. You don't want to work with the skills or lack of skills you have chosen to work for then don't eat and live on charity.

    But DON'T force those that have paid into it all of their lives to take the haircut as AARP is agreeing to. What a sham and shame on AARP for agreeing to this when they represent so many that rely on these for their very lives.
    Jun 17 10:46 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford (F) reportedly will expand the number of car models it sells in China to 15 from five and in India to eight from three, and the cars will sell at much lower prices than in Europe and North America. Some of the new cars in China will sell for less than $14,500; price tags in India will be below $8,500. Shares +0.9% premarket.  [View news story]
    WHY are they able to do this in those countries and not here? What business sense is there for this?
    Jun 17 10:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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