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I can’t stress how important facts are – facts derived from vigorous research, and the ability to replicate that research. People can believe what they want to “believe” but the natural world works on science and if we don’t understand it we can not adapt or make rational decisions. Too often our policy makers legislate ideology disregarding practical reality. Abortion is a prime example. Make abortions illegal all you want but people will still need them for a myriad of reasons. Abortions aren’t going away no matter how hard we wish them to so we need to legislate that if education is still not enough then safe medical care is not outlawed.

The environment is another area where science has to be the go to metric. Sea levels are rising and pollution is bad for our health. Once we get beyond the climate cover up by the polluting industries we can address and implement the changes necessary to preserve our billion dollar coastal economies. People come to the shore because the air is clean and you can swim in the water. If you change that our economy declines. Implementing a carbon tax will preserve jobs. Promoting roof top solar will create a multi generational boom in job creation. Moving away from a profit driven healthcare system will lower health care costs and increase productivity.

These are well established facts but money in politics has crippled our ability to govern practically for the macro-economy (another well established fact). We need true patriots willing to be brave and stand up and do the morally correct thing for the Country.

Paul Burke

 

Comparing government and a single family budget is a false comparison – heck of a sound bite but not really apples to apples – think of the government as a circulation system.  We are the least taxed western society but because we are such a huge country with 350 million people (thereabout) we have an enormous tax flow.  DC is the pump that recycles and directs that tax money to our stated priorities through our alleged representatives. Money is like blood circulating through the market system with every transaction large or small that’s why Wall Street spends so much time worrying over consumer spending (70% of our economy is based on it) and George W. Bush told us to go out and shop after 9/11.

But hide that money off shore out of the markets and you starve the circulation of our market system.  Yes taxes are “redistributed” by consensus to do the things that individuals can’t get done by themselves (interstate highway system, space station, aircraft carriers). Since congress makes the laws and controls the budget it settles on congress to direct the spending.

They could spend less on discretionary spending and plow our tax dollars back into research and development, education or build bridges to nowhere in order to win favor in their districts. In an economy of scale our trillion dollar budget sure sounds big to you and me in the middle class in our homes around our table but the revenue the federal government has to work with based on our lowest in the western world taxes is actually a little short on the revenue side due to the necessities and demands on our country as a whole and as big as it is…..wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes.

One bugaboo always picked on by those that want to privatize and charge fees for what are currently free public services (no overhead, commissions, or profit margins to employees, CEO’s and shareholders) is social security.  If the Congress raised the limit on the amount of income that is subject to the social security contribution (tax) from $100,000.00 to say a million social security would be solvent for multiple generations. Understand that income earned over $100,000.00 isn’t subject to social security tax so as a percentage you and I pay a vastly larger percentage of our income to social security than Bill Gates or the Koch Brothers…..(not fair)

In conclusion big government isn’t “bad” in a big country but rather necessary to coordinate all that goes on in such a large diverse population….also I would point out the government isn’t bad or evil – its just an institution – its the people that potentially populate that institution that are either good or bad.

Having had months to negotiate any kind of budget long before sequestration took place a few in congress are holding up the budget process.  They are causing the economic blood to stop flowing and threatening to kill the economy because their views are in the minority and they were unable to achieve them through the legislative process by having bills go back and forth between the Senate and the House.

You can’t hijack the economy and threaten to stroke it out but you can take your case to the American people and try to win elections.  A certain segment of society hates the president I wasn’t too fond of George Bush but advocating killing the economy to win environmental concessions is literally hostage taking. Or hijacking the economy to get background checks and close the gun show loophole is just as wrong.  The only way to accomplish that is to state your case and run candidates who will then vote for the change that coincides with the will of the people.  We the people that’s how its done.

Congress has taken the economy hostage and is threatening to kill the economy when they had all the time in the world to control their own spending which they are in charge of and campaign to the entire nation on repealing the affordable care act which they did but lost that appeal to the american people. And the american people want our lowest in the western nation taxes to go toward caring for the sick, and curtailing corporate greed.  Perhaps we are a christian nation or at least a caring one?

Our politicians should honor that sentiment and look for other ways to advocate for their pet peeves rather than threatening to sabotage the economy to achieve their minority aims – aims that were not persuasive in the last Presidential election to the majority.

 

 
 

Be very careful about what you wish for – right to work means outlawing unions, outlawing unions means the wallmarting of America. 

When there is a strong middle class with money to spare demand is created and jobs follow demand.  Pay everyone starvation wages and the economy crumbles.  Boehner went to India and Bangladesh and came home liking what he saw.  What did he see?  He saw a hugely well financed elite 1% living like kings and slave wage workers crammed into sweat shops earning a dollar a day living in slums with no concept of weekends off…holidays yeah right. 

Unions serve a purpose, unions gave you holidays, weekends off, healthcare and pensions.  Since Regan the CEO’s have been trying to rid themselves of those pension obligations.  The only honorable thing to do is honor the pensions, grandfather the law and move everyone into 401ks.
 

 

BUT if you do that you have to regulate Wall Street and reinstate Glass Stegal because the power elite the guys with the gold who make the rules play fast and loose with other peoples money.  The game is to fleece the middle class with EVERYONE taking a bite out of us – make an allegedly indispensable product (phone, cable, gasoline) and then raise the price every year. 

Greed is what turned Wall Street into a mess, greed crippled our economy.  Unions, lawyers and politicians are our only recourse to corporate greed and the criminals who rob you with a fountain pen.  The large print giveth the small print taketh away.  Why do you think all those representing the Koch Brothers of the world continue to advertise, promote, and scream that lawyers, unions and government are YOUR enemy.  Because in reality they are your ONLY recourse. 

Funny thing is the corporate power elite will starve the macro-economy of its disposable income and ruin their own markets.  The markets which are 70% driven by consumer spending.   So goodbye unions, hello tort reform, goodbye collective bargaining, good bye government and goodbye middle class. 

We’ll be left with only the hyper wealthy 1% and the 99% poor beyond poor wage slaves.  Funny thing is one of the wealthiest manufacturers are the gun makers so the power elite is starving us and whittling us down to an uneducated, non-influential, too poor, broke and tired to make a difference nothing distracted by booze, sports, religion and sex but also flooding the streets with weapons.  Well isn’t that just plain stupid?  The chickens always come home to roost and even the 1%ers army is outnumbered. 

I hope it doesn’t pan out that way but every time you do the 1%ers bidding we all march between that ultimate confrontation between the haves and the have nots. 

The haves would be wise to make sure the have nots aren’t destitute, dumb and easily manipulated.  Raise the minimum wage, turn our public schools into beacons of a well rounded education including civics, art and literature.  Keep their bloody hands off our solvent, secure social security, get obamacare installed as quickly as possible, cut the pentagons budget, lower our wage (payroll) tax that comes out of our gross pay, raise the social security cap so all income is treated equally, and tie CEO pay to a reasonable percentage above their lowest paid employee. 

The invisible hand of the market is a ghost.  It doesn’t exist, free markets do not exist, and championing free market is just another way of saying absentee management works.  Absentee management doesn’t work, never has and never will. 

We live in a world wide managed market system with a competing complex set of rules and trade agreements.  Our military keep shipping lanes safe, our tax dollars clean up industrial malfeasance, corruption and pollution.  There’s nothing heroic, or successful about dog eat dog.  We come together to build societies and promote a better world for ourselves.  Its a question of balance.    They want you poor, broke, uneducated, non-influential fighting each other and distracted.  Vote “your” pocket book not theirs.  Unless you are a thieving billionaire you should never vote republican.

The reason the “she lied about having Native blood” story doesn’t stick with independents, moderates and progressives is that such an accomplished woman wouldn’t have to manipulate an application to get into college.  Now it might stick with less accomplished people who routinely pull shenanigans to gain advantage in even the most minor of situations, to get ahead, slide in on a commission the didn’t really earn, borrow money, never pay it back, con, steal, cheat the wife, back stab for a new position at the office, or run a toll booth. But to the independents and moderates its entirely plausible that her grand parents passed down a story and perfectly natural that she not only believed it but was proud of it and isn’t that just like the rest of us so in fact its kind of charming whether true or not.  Plus there is also a steamy forbidden love angle at the heart of it all and that resonates positively with a lot of romantics out there.  Its actually heart warming and I hope its true and realize its of absolute no significance if grandma was embellishing or repeating an old story she heard and of no significance if a twenty something Elizabeth Warren was proud of that story.

At the end of the day serious people concerned about serious policy don’t believe it makes a bit of difference as her overall character is impeccable, her resume is outstanding, her track record is one of accomplishment, and that she is a voice standing up to the most powerful in Congress the well funded Wall Streeters.

Most people who understand the advance calculations of derivatives and the wall street computerized algorithms and models are usually offered a ton of money to come work for wall street. If regulators can understand the advance calculus that Wall Street uses to make money when bubbles burst and the rest of us loose they are offered big, big money to come work for Wall Street instead of the significantly lower paid positions at the SEC. The same offers were most likely made to Mrs. Warren but apparently she refused to sell out. That’s why Wall street dumped so much money Scott Browns way because he’ll do or say anything for money.  Are people still falling for that cream puff model turned regular guy in a truck motif?

In any event the smear campaign against her will continue as long as she is a threat to those so lavishly working the system for their own personal gain. In fact the more they smear the better job the rest of us know she is doing.

There is a Country to run and Wall Street is out numbered by Main Street in more ways than one. Its long past due to balance the playing field. With Corporations only contributing 9% to the revenue stream of the Federal Government and you and I and main street providing the rest its time for Corporate America to ante up and act like they are a part of this Country not above it because they are multi trans nationals who pay their CEO’s gobs of money instead of paying their taxes.  Its actually pretty shameful on its face then add on top they came crying to the rest of us for the bailouts and its just plain criminal.

For the record her great great great grandmother is Cherokee. O.C. Sarah Smith and listed on an electronic transcript of a 1894 marriage application as Cherokee.  I for one hope some of the more honorable Native American sensibilities inform her thinking.

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Profit, Taxes, Warren Buffet, and The Global Survival of Mankind

The idea that profit is the end all be all number one priority misses the mark by a landslide. Profit has to come down on the list of priorities to number five somewhere below sustainability (yes the environment) health, education and security. We need sustainability to live on this our one and only planet everything else comes second, and therefore manage our resources in a sustainable fashion. Clear cutting, slash and burn short term profit making is good when it’s pet rocks but devastating when it is the actual environment, food chain/food source, that sustains us. That being said money is a tool not a lover or friend or companion or neighbor, or something that fulfills us. That void inside you if it exists can not be filled up with money. Helping one another is the only way to fill that void no amount of booze or broads, good score cards, seats, or wide screen televisions or fine cigars or country club memberships or visits with celebrities will achieve that goal. So as to why we are here that should be obvious by anyone past 50 years old – to help each other.

In order to foster a more equitable society we need to quite frankly spread the wealth. If the wealth is concentrated in a few hands you will have war, and civil unrest. An uneducated population is treacherous. The war in the mid east is the haves versus the have nots – who else would be willing to blow themselves up unless they felt what’s the difference my existence is subhuman anyway.

The estate tax and Buffet’s opinion about it speak directly to those concerns. Those manipulating the tax code behind the veil of the beltway do so at their own demise, miss the big picture, are looking for short term gains and forget who and where they are.

Paul Burke
Author – Journey Home

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Paul Burke is some fantastic, talented writer. Journey Home is an eye-opener. It is down to earth and humanly raw! I highly recommend it as a must read!!" -- Knowledge Tree Bookstore
I randomly stumbled upon this book online and it looked intriguing. Little did I know that it was more than just a curious cover...a wonderful picture of nature and a nice mindset of our place within it. I recommend the hell out of it!" -- Jonny Bear
Paul, I got Journey Home sent to my house and eagerly devoured it on a trip to New York and back via a long delay courtesy Delta Airlines. You proved to be a great companion... YOU ROCK -- Ken
I just finished reading Journey Home and I can't tell you how bowled over I am. It is so insightful and powerful and it emanates such wonderment of reality. It is Phenomenal on so many levels...tremendous! -- Aimee'
When I first started reading Journey Home I couldn’t put it down! Each person and situation became vivid in my mind. I could feel the book. It became one with me and the sounds ... here on Big River. The unexpected twists and turns, continued to peak my interest, and the first night I read till I could see no more. Then, as I awoke I read till I was done. A book of this quality is an Amazing Gift for all to read and Understand!!!! -- Dusty

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