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April 19, 2014

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OTHER VOICES:

What happened to our country?

Another view?

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I did not go into debt I could not afford or buy a house I could not afford. I am not a bank or a mortgage lender or a Wall Street guy. I followed the rules. Even so, as we continue to borrow and print money for all the bailouts of people who did not follow the rules, everything I obtained by playing by the rules is worth less and my future is less than it should have been. I am told we can’t financially punish those truly responsible because to do so would crash the economy. So we borrow and print money for the bailouts, and that crushes the future for people like me, who played by the rules.

I want to wake up and find this is a dream because I live in the United States of America, and this could not happen there. Where I live, you are rewarded when you play by the rules and those who don’t are punished accordingly. But I wake up and find it isn’t a dream and I wonder what happened to the country I live in.

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  1. Simple Michael, ask any honest person, even liberals, in the country today. You'll get the same answer. In an effort to assist the most needy among us, the US, thanks to people and government, created a welfare state of dependent entitled lazy Americans. It's not a new phenomenon. Or limited to the US. History tells us it was inevitable. And Europe and the US are living proof.

    CarmineD

  2. I'm reminded of the story about passengers on the starboard side of a sinking ship who insisted they were ok because the hole was on the port side.

    We're all in the same boat, Michael. Sure, it's too bad we couldn't have punished the Wall Street greed without taking Main Street completely into the dumpster with them, but we couldn't.

    Take satisfaction in personally doing the right thing and quit obsessing about what's wrong with the world. Find your satisfaction in what's right with your world or it'll do you in, man.

  3. CarmineD sez "the US.... created a welfare state of dependent entitled lazy Americans". You misunderestimate us Carmine. Be careful or you'll give arrogance a bad reputation.

  4. Comment removed by moderator. - -

  5. Government is not like a family and to try to make such an analogy, as Bradley Chapline does, is ridiculous:
    http://rooseveltinstitute.org/new-roosev...

    "With one brief exception, the federal government has been in debt every year since 1776. In January 1835, for the first and only time in U.S. history, the public debt was retired, and a budget surplus was maintained for the next two years in order to accumulate what Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury called "a fund to meet future deficits." In 1837 the economy collapsed into a deep depression that drove the budget into deficit, and the federal government has been in debt ever since. Since 1776 there have been exactly seven periods of substantial budget surpluses and significant reduction of the debt. From 1817 to 1821 the national debt fell by 29 percent; from 1823 to 1836 it was eliminated (Jackson's efforts); from 1852 to 1857 it fell by 59 percent, from 1867 to 1873 by 27 percent, from 1880 to 1893 by more than 50 percent, and from 1920 to 1930 by about a third. Of course, the last time we ran a budget surplus was during the Clinton years. I do not know any household that has been able to run budget deficits for approximately 190 out of the past 230-odd years, and to accumulate debt virtually nonstop since 1837."

    So when is this great collapse conservatives are panicking over going to occur? Remember that vague hand waving is not prediction. I want a solid date based on verifiable facts, but I won't hold my breath that anything other than more babble will occur on this subject.

  6. It's OK that my business information was posted. What's sad is the conclusion the letter writer draws:

    That a business that processes legal documents for a part of the public that cannot afford attorneys is somehow bad or illegitimate.

    This is a perfect example of backward logic. 'I don't like this persons views.' 'I will take his legitimate business and try to make him look bad because he holds views contrary to mine.'

    If anyone is interested is viewing a big part of what has gone wrong in the country... on both sides... just look at this posters actions and his backward logic.

    Michael

  7. It's not the people, it's the politicians, and the company executives.

    Everday "Americans" play by the rules. The working families of American play by the rules. Political leaders, company executives, the bad seeds in control of financial levers...those having authority over how much to charge on lending money for mortgages, car loans, student loan, credit cards.

    So, Michael stop feeling sorry for yourself. Your burden is self inflicted. You change your self described problem at the ballot box. Just like those people in Ohio and Florida who stood in line for hours to vote. They were determine to make a difference...and they did on November 6, 2012. Why don't you do the same in 2014.

    Stop complaining, use your power of one vote with many others.

    The America People play by the rules. It's the leadership Michael. Something you can change.

  8. Company ethics under the Bush administration contributed heavily to our financial condition during the recession, if the root cause.

    Ethics and acceptable business practices, at all level in business, large and small, saying...cheating is acceptable. Lying is acceptable. Breaking the law is acceptable. A group not playing by the rules.

    Then "they" say, it's the American people who is at fault...lets make them pay for our wrong doing!

    Under the Obama administration, more company executives, more small business owners, more employees who were dishonest in dealings were, charged and jail more then any other time in history. And that is only the tip of the dishonesty.

    So, stop your complaining and throwing out the same old tried song about small businesses and lodi-toti.

  9. As a country I truly believe that we have temporarily lost our way,in the daily operation and function of our cherished system these past 20 years or so.It seems we are doing today, some of the same things as we did during the great depression back in 1929 and into the 1930's.

    But some how we managed to get out of the great depression and move on to becoming the greatest prospering country on earth. We did this by both parties working together for the solution that took place during this awful time in our history.

    Things won't change until we take of the gloves (politicians) and start working together to make our country right and whole once again.The doom and gloom we are now facing can be fixed,just like it was fixed back in the 1930's,how I can't say but there is a way.We just have to find it.

  10. Action coming from honest leadership is America's way to prosperity.

    The US Government has a role.

    Staying holed-up in your house and throwing verbal rocks, by saying, "I would do it that way" or saying, "If that were me..blah, blah.." is not how this country works my friends.

    Just because one serves in the military or was once involved in making difference does give a pass into the cheap seats to call the empire a bump while the game is on. Get off your ass and get on the field. The game is one...now! What you did before, or who were does not count if your not willing to be involve now. To make a reasonable difference for good of the majority. A reasonable good, that can be sustained and followed by others.

    Action from honest leadership is idealistic in America today, as told by the dishonest. One must ask self, where do I stand?

    Please, no excuses, just do it.

  11. The comments I have received are pretty much what I expected. Unfortunately, I don't believe we will recover like we did after the Great Depression. I hope we do, but I don't expect it.

    I expected the attacks from the Progressives here. They believe the Democrat party isn't part of what's gone wrong and that is too bad. That party, like the Republican party, participates and perpetuates the status quo because doing so benefits them.

    Supporting the same people in our two major parties and not demanding term limits and public financing of campaigns 'guarantees' that what we see will continue until it can't and then 'all bets are off'.

    It's on all of us to change because we allowed this to happen. Both Progressive and Conservative letter writers here have the same issue, in my opinion. Both sides see that we have important issues to resolve. The problem is that each sees their party as the solution, when if fact they are just a cog in the corrupted machine that is the Congress of the United States of America.

    Michael

  12. "You misunderestimate us Carmine. Be careful or you'll give arrogance a bad reputation." @ Jim Weber

    I never undersestimate the American people. Our government does and has for the last 50 years and still. It is the arrogance of government, and our elected leaders, which believes it can do better for the people than they can do for themselves, when they have the will to do it.

    CarmineD

  13. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...

    Worth watching for a bit of insight.

  14. Michael...We are recovering. The country has seen 47 recessions and depressions. What is currently unique are very long life expediencies. At my age 56 that's a good thing.

    No world wars, massive famines, few pogroms. The flu doesn't wipe out a big chunk of the worlds population any more. Not a bad time to be around.

    In terms of Mr. Caslers info we call it "free advertising." If I or any friends divorce he will get a call. Might as well give some business to fellow Sun bloggers.

  15. Carmine...Americans are signing up by the hundreds of millions for govt programs. Many would be starving without them. This isn't oppression it is progress.

    Prior to Medicare only half of seniors had any access to medical care. The affluence had insurance and were paying 3 to 5 times as much for coverage as the young. In today's dollars that would be thousands a month for a retired couple.

    Medical technology and access to care are the reason guys like us have a good chance to make it to 80.

    I spent a couple weeks in the wine country with a friend over the holidays. Visited some gold mines. The stamping mills were so loud in the 1800s they could be heard from five miles away. In addition mercury was used in the process of finding the gold. Workers went deaf at 2 weeks and many died from mercury poisoning shortly there after. They got a additional .15 cents a day for working in the mill.

    Working at a job that maimed and killed in a couple of weeks is oppression....medical care not so much.

    Govt is providing exactly what folks want. Low taxes and entitlements. The price is deficits.

  16. Michael...you might want to follow proceedings of the financial meetings currently underway in Davos. The CEO's of USB and Goldman-Sachs led a panel of bankers stating that banks and financial institutions had nothing to do with the global recession, that none did anything illegal or immoral and that bankers deserved more compensation for their work and not less. In the meantime a number of American lenders have agreed to settle all outstanding claims against them by the feds for $$$$ and no prosecution of individuals or institutions. I don't disagree with your "playing by the rules" notion, but I would like it to apply to everybody.

  17. Bradley wrote this:
    "I don't do bailouts! I don't give loans to anybody, for any reason! I don't give money to others who cannot meet their monthly financial obligations! "

    Now, unless all his money is in a mattress, he has bank accounts and investments. Where does he think that money is going?

  18. "The problem is the baby boomers.. yes thats many of you! Out number the younger generations and are retiring now in numbers larger than workers paying into the system!" from bimmerdude

    Exactly. However, if the liberal policy of abortion wouldn't have killed 55 million babies since 1973 we would have more paying into the system now.

    http://www.numberofabortions.com/

  19. Jeff has no clue how evolutionary biology works in terms of conception rates versus birth rates and why a majority of conceptions may be lost before a woman even knows she was pregnant. Women are typically born with ~300,000 eggs while men produce millions of sperm throughout their life. Only a small fraction of such cells coming together result in a fertilized egg and attrition from terrible malformations further reduces this number.

    Now, if you believe in the christian mythology you just have to explain why that deity performs more abortions than humans have ever thought of attempting by allowing for gross deformities and rejection by the mother's body of a fertilized egg for other reasons as well. See here for a more comprehensive list of birth defects for that fraction that make it to term (or not):

    http://health.nih.gov/category/GeneticsB...

    This clearly shows that if such a christian deity exists (There is no objective evidence for this) it is evil.

    While Jeff is at it perhaps he could explain why the bible says it is OK for parents to kill children who disobey them.

  20. A top ten list of birth defects (NOT for the squeamish!):

    http://listverse.com/2010/09/08/top-10-b...

  21. MKC: Lack of regulation. Government's essential function (beyond defense of borders) is to enforce the laws of the land. Hasn't been happening. Real estate explains it all. IF government had been regulating the mortgage industry we would not have seen multitudes of fraudulent mortgages and foreclosures--because those who can't qualify wouldn't have got the houses they dreamed of. Instead of performing an essential function (regulation) the government opposed reason and insisted that "minorities" be given mortgages they could not afford on houses they could not afford. No argument than non-minority people (who would that be?) were also given inappropriate mortgages on houses they could not afford. My point is that the Big Guys need to play by the rules so that our economy, society, culture can maintain a footing in the known world. Now, I'm all for cost-effective reasonable regulation, not downsizing it to "self regulation" by any industry. And, I'm all for rational regulations that CAN be enforced. Endless laws by Nevada Legislature with no means of enforcement is another topic entirely.

  22. Comment removed by moderator. Excessive re-posting of copyrighted material.

  23. Mark: I do not oppose anyone QUALIFIED from purchasing a home or getting decent mortgage rates. I do oppose government subsidizing selected groups and individuals whatever their minority. Your factoid does not include the costs of "supervising" CRA program including the costs of additional regulations on banks. Therefore, your argument is without merit.

  24. Long life spans are a direct result of liberalism. Not to long ago people were lucky to make it to 45. Most of us would be dead.

    Before Von Bismark brought entitlements to the world in the 1860s it was not uncommon for folks to get medical treatment from the local blacksmith. That is why a busted leg meant death in many cases.

    Pigs can really fly!!!! I thought that only happened when I was going through Delirium Tremens. Time for some wine.

  25. "Carmine...Americans are signing up by the hundreds of millions for govt programs. Many would be starving without them. This isn't oppression it is progress." @ Gerry Hageman

    There are many in real need and we as as a country should be measured by how well we treat and care for the least among us who are in real need. And I'm sure we can and should do more for them. BUT, we went overboard. We blurred the line between true need and just plain I want and am entitled. When times are good, we can afford to be generous. But when times are bad, as they are now, we can't. Sooner or later we run out of other peoples' money to redistribute. Just like countries in Europe have.

    CarmineD

  26. Interest rates reflect risk under normal circumstances. Mortgages would be 12% plus without govt. support. Delinquencies have been staggering over the last several years but you can get a 3.5% mortgage.

    Many of the practices that were going on before the crisis are back in play. Hybrid financial instruments are yet again generating much of the bottom line for banks and other financial institutions. Another crash is in the cards over the next 10-15 years. "Greed is good"

  27. Carmine....We redistribute some money and print the rest. People seem to like it. It is going every place. Even China is spending trillions to set up Universal Care which will cause them to borrow money the likes of which will make us jealous. Their surpluses will evaporate quickly with 1.4 billion people to care for.

    There might be other ways to do it but deficit spending has been the way for the last couple hundred years. The next few hundred years who knows?????

    A great evening to all!

  28. Carmine,

    "There are many in real need and we as as a country should be measured by how well we treat and care for the least among us who are in real need. And I'm sure we can and should do more for them. BUT, we went overboard. We blurred the line between true need and just plain I want and am entitled. When times are good, we can afford to be generous. But when times are bad, as they are now, we can't."

    I refer you to Matthew 25:31-46. I did not read a "BUT" in there.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?sea...

  29. Michael,

    You are living in a capitalist country, so we all must accept the results of capitalism gone wild, unless we are willing to put limitations on just how wild it can be allowed to go.

  30. Michael,

    I recommend for you, and anyone interested, the current Davos 2013 talks, an annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. It expands one's perspective of reality.

    http://www.weforum.org/events/world-econ...

  31. "Even China is spending trillions to set up Universal Care which will cause them to borrow money the likes of which will make us jealous. Their surpluses will evaporate quickly with 1.4 billion people to care for." @ Gerry Hageman

    There is a huge difference between us [as in the US] and China. China owns their own debt. The Chinese people do. We don't. China owns our debt.

    CarmineD

  32. "I refer you to Matthew 25:31-46. I did not read a "BUT" in there." @ peacelily

    ACtually there is although you have to read between the lines to see it. Here it is:

    "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."

    Where do you think those who are not in need but receive the same benefits as those who are will go? The right or left side?

    All my religious life, panhandlers have meandered around the churches and parking lots I attended during Masses. Scheming with fake babies [dolls]wrapped in blankets in baby sacks on their backs and bellies. They look for easy marks to get money. From St. Patrick's in Washington DC to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Summerlin, NV. Every pastor will shoe them away. Every single one. Even threaten to call and/or call the police if they come back. You know, I even give them money knowing they are a fraud. Pastors just smile at me and say I'm a pushover. Just like our government: A pushover.

    CarmineD

  33. "More like incapable of admitting when you are wrong..." @ Jeff

    You're not paying attention. Admitting that I give them money, knowing they are a fraud, and although the pastors tell me not to, is admitting here that I am wrong. Surely the pastors aren't.

    Try and keep up.

    CarmineD

  34. BTW Jeff, I would argue that in God's eyes I am doing good, right/wrong, even if the scammers are are fraud. God knows my heart as he does those of the scammers.

    You of all should know this without me telling you.

    CarmineD

  35. Comment removed by moderator. Personal Attack

  36. Carmine,

    "Between the lines" would make it subject to interpretation by whoever reads it. That is fine for personal spiritual use, but not for exegesis.

    I am not the judge of which are sheep and which are goats. I leave that to Jesus. It is he who puts Love above all else.

    I think you shared you own love by ignoring the religious who suggested ignoring the least among us.

    I once before Saturday evening Mass because of the treatment of a homeless person at the altar railing praying aloud. It destroyed my disposition, so I couldn't stay. I felt Jesus was the homeless man, and it was wrong to kick him out of the church. He was the opportunity for the community to serve Jesus, to express Love, a positive response to the gift of faith. It was an opportunity to live the Gospel and put the words into action. A fullness of worship.

    There were other options available that would have been acts of love had thought preceded the rush to get the man out of the church.

  37. Jeff Gardner,

    "However, if the liberal policy of abortion wouldn't have killed 55 million babies since 1973 we would have more paying into the system now."

    That is a good political rationalization. No abortions means more Social Security tax withheld to pay for the retired baby boomers.

    Now, that 55 million would have some variables in it.

    No stillborns, or birth deaths. No severe birth defects, or deficiencies that would make work impossible. No accidental deaths or murdered of the 55 million. No deaths in war. None living in poverty with minimum wage and less than 40 hours of work a week reducing the SS tax withheld. None unemployed. None underemployed. No extended illness or disability. No mental retardation. None dying early from many causes. None becoming criminals and living in prisons. None dying for lack of availability of abortion.

    I'm sure there are other circumstances I could add to the list, but these are sufficient to cull from the 55 million.

    I wonder how many conservative or Republican women, or their daughters of have taken advantage of those liberal abortions? No statistics available on that, but I know some.

    We could have also opened our borders to whoever wants to work here legally so they pay Social Security taxes.

  38. Let's hear it for the lawyers who work at helping people get on disability!

  39. "It's your political views that you are wrong in, and cannot admit it. Preznit Romney even agrees with me. Last wrong situation : Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi!" @ Jeff

    Not so not so. About 400,000 votes for Romney/Ryan in VA, NH, Florida and Ohio made the difference for the Obama win. Electoral College with winner takes all skews the win.

    I opine that if Hillary runs for anything in the future, millions and millions of people will be wearing T shirts with her image appearing before Congress, in those awful black rimmed glasses, pounding her fist on the table and the words: "4 Americans are dead.... What difference does it make."

    Those words and that image will haunt her forever. And she'll NEVER EVER run for President. You heard it first from me.

    CarmineD

  40. "I think you shared you own love by ignoring the religious who suggested ignoring the least among us." @ peacelily

    Yes and no. Pastors are doing what they are suppose to do. Protecting the fold.

    You may have caught this on the news in the Summer 2012. A couple stole the Poor Box at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. The video, which the Church had on camera, show the couple, one a lookout and the other the thief, lift the huge box carry out of the Church and put in the man's car. It was estimated about $800-$1200 was inside. One month's offerings. It was 2:30 PM on a Sunday afternoon. Between the noon Mass and the last Mass of the day at 5 PM. People were inside the Church when it happened.

    The couple scoped out the Church in advance. In the spring they approached the Pastor and asked for financial help. The Pastor used the rainy day fund to provide rent money and car repair money to the couple. Since the Pastor operates an Outreach in the Church, one of 5 in the valley, food and clothing in abundance were also provided to them on a weekly basis. The day the couple heisted the poor box the Pastor saw them in the Church and spoke with them. Asking if they were doing okay.

    They were not caught. Despite a police report and the video, it's not a priority. We opine the couple took off for another state probably to do the same.

    A parishioner who made the poor box, which we supect was broken apart to get the money, made another one. We anchored it the wall studs to avoid another occurence.

    The real poor were deprived by the theft.

    CarmineD

  41. BTW Jeff those shortage of 400,000 votes for Romney/Ryan was in a vote count of 120 million votes cast.

    CarmineD

  42. "I once before Saturday evening Mass because of the treatment of a homeless person at the altar railing praying aloud. It destroyed my disposition, so I couldn't stay. " @ peacelily

    Sadly, especially with the mentally ill who seek refuge in the Church, these behaviors are common. Happens all the time. Pastors are disparaged regardless of how they handle these cases. The regulars, if the pastors do nothing, scoff that they will not come back because they can't worship in peace and quiet. The visitors say, if the pastors do address the detractors curtly, that the pastors are not men of God. It's a Catch 22.

    Being religious people of God is one of the most difficult callings in the world. That's why, at least in the Catholic Church, we have a huge shortage of both men and women going into the religious life.

    CarmineD

  43. Actually, it is "Figures don't lie, but Liars Figure"