April 20, 2014

Richard Brand: Trickle Down?

The economic theory that if you give corporations more money, they will hire more people, invest in research,  and open more stores continues to be a myth.  The Trickle down politics of the Republican Party since Reagan forward has not happened, is not happening, and will not happen.

The News and Observer from Raleigh on Sunday, December 22 has on page 1 of section E further evidence that trickle down does not happen.  The article is entitled “Firms buy stock to give shareholders a bonus.”  The story is the Cisco has authorized the buying back of $15 billion dollars worth of company stock in the coming year. That is more than the $10 billion they made in net profits last year.  It is two and a half times what it spent on research and development and it comes just after Cisco has announced that it will lay off 5% (4000 people) of its employees.

The article says, “This is what U.S. multinationals do now with their cash. Rather than tout big new investments, raise workers wages or hire more employees, companies are more likely to set aside funds to reward shareholders.”  The 30 companies of the Dow Jones industrial average have authorized $211 billion in 2013″ in stock buy backs in 2013. That is three times what those companies spent on research and development.

Buy backs reduce the number of shares outstanding which is supposed to mean that each of the remaining shares becomes more valuable;  the reduction in the number of outstanding shares means that the earnings per share goes up, and more importantly CEO’s salaries go up because their pay is linked to stock performance and so as share price goes up the CEO’s performance rating goes up.

Cutting taxes for the rich, for the major corporations, for the fortune 500 does not “trickle down” to workers, to communities, to more research, but to those who own shares. Most minimum wage workers do not own a lot of shares.  It is just another reason why the rich are getting richer and the middle class is getting poorer and the poor are really getting punished.  It is one of the reasons that Pope Francis says that the current operation of the capitalist system is flawed and dangerous.

Rick Brand

Comments

  1. Jack Johnson said on:

    You are an idiot.

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  2. royal rooter said on:

    Have you ever heard the old saying, “Monkey see, monkey do”? Rick merely repeats the same tired rhetoric passed down by the Democatic party at the national and state level. I read several newspapers and the article above appears in many different papers…always above the name of the local party chairman.

    Rick fails to understand that many senior citizens benefit greatly from dividends provided by the very corporations and tax policies in existence which he loves to bash.

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  3. Jack Johnson said on:

    If companies had more money they would hire more. but since this economy has been stagnant for the past five years (the longest recession in history) companies are cutting their costs and people are investing in the stock market because the interest rate is pitiful and no money can be made there. Obamanut is suppose to be against big business but he is actually causing them to flourish because of the stagnant economy. And since they have a one year reprieve from Obamacare they still don’t know how it will affect them. i use to have great insurance but now it is crap thanks to obamahead. You Democrats don’t use any common sense so you will always be stupid. This is the sorriest president in the history of this country and i hope he drowns in obamacrap.

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  4. Rick Brand, do you not see the irony of remarking on Pope Francis and his absurd comments about capitalism? How does the Pope and the Catholic church get money – capitalism! When you ran a church in town, how did you get money for your parish – capitalism! How did your parishioners make money to give to your church – capitalism!
    Communists are the ones who hate capitalism. The government seizing tax dollars and giving it to corporations is communism and it is Democrats like yourself that support those very policies, more irony. Capitalism and the free market isn’t flawed and dangerous but it has been corrupted by communists like yourself and many in Congress who despise the Constitution and the limits it places on their power, instead putting the power in the hands of individual citizens. Capitalism has led to a higher standard of living and more individual liberty and freedom than any other system at any other time in history.
    We run a corporation in this County that does nothing but pay out taxes and employ people and we work extremely hard to provide a service and product that is in demand by our customers and it burns me up when you talk about corporations like the dirt under your feet. Capitalism is moral and communism is immoral, and you were a preacher, go figure.

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  5. Publius said on:

    I note Mr. Brand, that your very uncivil detractors use insult and innuendo rather than trying to dispute the facts you present. Corporations are using their hoarded cash to buy back their stock, rather than expanding and thereby creating jobs. This is an inconvenient truth that the Republicans hope nobody will notice. When someone like yourself attempts to draw attention to this, hosannas of hate arise.

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  6. It is true, Publius, if you cannot debate the facts, you attack the messenger.

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  7. Royal, I can’t find any other copies of this article on other websites. Can you link the ones you found this article on as you said?

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  8. royal rooter said on:

    Go to the archives of the Raleigh News & Observer, the Greensboro Daily News, the Charlotte Observer and the Washington Post and start looking around May, 2012 , and you will note the similarity of articles written by Democratic Party chairpersons attacking Mr. Romney, President Reagan and big business in general. Rick is just being a “good soldier” and follows the beat of the liberal left. Some of us who saved and invested over many years have the right to reap the benefits of dividends provided by the free enterprise system. Does Reverend Brand yearn for the glory days of Jimmy Carter? I bet he is happy to cash his retirement checks which are mostly funded from the dividends of the very companies that he loves to bash.

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  9. That’s not what you originally said, you said this article above is in other papers pasted with the local DNC person on it. If you would read the original piece from Rick, he is specifically referencing the N&O from December of 2013. How is it possible over a year previous this same piece from Mr. Brand was written?

    What you’re ‘trying’ to say is Rick is repeating the same ‘message’ as others have before.

    Which is what every member of every party inevitably ends up doing when writing about views within their party. What he wrote was typically stereotyped as Democrat speech. So what. The GOP doesn’t write typically stereotyped Republican speech?

    If the local GOP person would write here, you don’t think he’d be praising capitalism, denouncing medical care, and we could all point and say this same sort of article was written all around the country? At least Rick cares enough about his views to discuss them here, and all he gets is republicans calling him an idiot. Shows your class perfectly.

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  10. Publius and Mingo, rethink your own words about shooting the messenger and being uncivil. I was debating the facts about what Rick Brand said, that capitalism is flawed and dangerous, by reminding him that the capitalist system is how he and his church made money and it is hypocritical or being in mental denial not to admit that. Maybe it doesn’t alarm you to hear capitalism being denigrated, because you don’t understand that the only other alterative is communism, or individuals giving up their individual freedoms to be controlled and managed by the government. (Churches suffer the most from communism and look today how needy people in the community don’t turn to the local churches for help and support but to the federal government, where they are a faceless number.)
    Corporations aren’t evil entities with Snidely Whiplash running things. They are cooperatives of people working together to provide a good or service to other people that want to purchase that product or service because they desire or need it. They can’t take money from the government, they only give money to the government. If the government is giving corporations money, like cash for clunkers or bailouts, that is communism. But blame the proper cause – big government for redistributing society’s money, not corporations who can’t take a dime from the govt unless the govt hands it over to them – get it?
    And remember who stock holders are – investors who have risked their money to support a business venture, or they are you and me with money invested in mutual funds or a 401K plan – yes, all stock holders. Now, I have no clue what a “US multinational” is, but I’m sure it’s real bad because Rick said so – but in his mind “corporations”, “stock holders”, “capitalism” are all evil words. The words he loves are “government power” and he hates capitalism, but he just can’t quit be so honest to admit that he adores the communist way, the antithesis of capitalism. Communism places no value on the individual, as our Constitution does. Communism is all about the “common good” and the foolish notion that government can make everyone absolutely the same, where our Constitution guarantees the same opportunity for every individual knowing they will all make independant decisions. Communism has led to more death and misery in the last 100 years, millions dead at the hands of govt, and yet Rick Brand wants that for our society, unbelievable. Capitalism and the American way has led to more individual liberty and freedom and prosperity than any other place or time in history but he calls it “flawed and dangerous”.
    I don’t know how Rick Brand comes up with his editorials but I never called him an idiot, just debated the facts from a conservative point of view – that if you hate capitalism you must be a communist and if anyone can refute that, have at it.
    Be very afraid of the day when no one speaks up in defense of capitalism in America.

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  11. Publius said on:

    He was critical of a common corporate practice of buying up stock instead of expanding and creating jobs. Was he wrong? “You are an idiot, “says Jack-what an intellectual and clever response. I think the capitalistic model is a little more robust than you give it credit for. The vehemence of your response makes me believe that you know he is correct and feel guilty.

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  12. royal rooter said on:

    I agree 100% with what Dagny said above. I don’t know Rick Brand at all except from his editorials, so when I disagree with him, it is not personal. I will repeat what I know to be true. Many of his writings have appeared in other newspapers touting the liberal line.

    So what if corporations buy back their stock to make their shares more valuable. In the long run, individuals who have saved benefit (even preachers, Rick). Charities, retirement funds, churches and colleges benefit. I could go on and on, but I will close by telling Rick and his left-wing friends that our great country will survive despite the efforts of those like them. Capitalism will flourish long after communism has been buried and forgotten.

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  13. Jack Johnson said on:

    Publius if you believe that then you are an idiot too. If I am not mistaken you said the economists predicted a robust recovery for 2013 after the election of 2012. So what has happened? A robust recovery like you said? This is not a recovery but the longest recession in the history of the United States. This is the worst president in the history of the United States. Maybe if you want to pay for other peoples healthcare you can do so while mine blows up in smoke. Democrats don’t use common sense. Your president who is suppose to be against big business has actually helped them by having a stagnant economy for such a long time that they cut all costs possible including wages and no one has anywhere to go because there aren’t any jobs. Competition in the job market wouldn’t allow this to happen. This healthcare law was rammed down people’s throats and is a complete failure.

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  14. Publius said on:

    Jack: “You are an idiot. “

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  15. “Cutting taxes for the rich, for the major corporations, for the fortune 500 does not “trickle down”….” Rick Brand, is it not Democrats who engage in corporate games of favoritism and yet you want to pretend it is Republicans granting favors?
    In July, President Obama “decided” to exempt corporations for another year from having to comply with Obamacare but left the individual requirement/mandate in place. Many of us question his authority to wave a wand and make it so, instead of taking the measure to Congress, who are supposed to represent the citizens. Democrats, is that “fair” to require individual citizens to comply with this beaurocratic monstrosity that had to “pass before we knew what was in it” but allow certain crony companies and unions to take a pass? All this wasted time and energy on another unsustainable entitlement program, instead of dealing with the nation’s debt….Shame on both parties in Congress.

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  16. Royal Rooter said, “Rick and his left-wing friends – our great country will survive despite the efforts of those like them. Capitalism will flourish long after communism has been buried and forgotten.”
    I pray you are correct. When those who you would think should be some kind of moral authority are consistantly editorializing against capitalism, completely unafraid and unapologetic about doing so, while someone who identifies themselves as a Tea Party member has to worry about tax audits and investigation from their own federal government, that’s scary. 100 million people died because of communism in the 20th century; as many people fought to come to America to escape communism and live under our Constitution that promises freedom for the individual and yet these geniuses actually condemn capitalism and want to repeat the communist horrors. Yes, they want to see people lumped into groups of victims, dependant on the government to dole out favors, like they do to the unions and corporations. Then comes the government taking guns away from law abiding citizens and google what always happens next, a clue it has to do with the 100 million dead people in the 20th century. Think it can’t happen in America in the name of the “common good”? Call me paranoid but my Father fought socialism and communism and spent 4 years in a POW camp and I can’t understand why people like Rick Brand and friends and political party want to relearn the lessons of the 20th century again on the backs of innocent people in America. Actually, it is all about power and American individual power and the Constitution must be dissolved so the geniuses in government and those that can’t hack it in the free market can seize their power. But not if me and Rooter and others here at HIH have anything to do with it!

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  17. Publius said on:

    “Call me paranoid…” OK, Dag, you’re paranoid.

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  18. royal rooter said on:

    Amen, Dagny. I seem to recall Rev. Brand saying that he enjoyed watching videos of Rev. Jeremiah Wright spewing his hatred of America. I believe that he said he found Wright’s sermons to be “enlightening” or words to that effect. We all know that Obama sat in Wright’s congregation for 20 years and listened to his nonsense. This says a great deal about Obama and Brand.

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  19. prudence said on:

    It seems that Michelle Obama remained behind in Hawaii –a gift from the President so she could spend time with her friends–as she celebrates her birthday. Does this mean Air Force One will go back and pick her up?

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  20. Publius said on:

    Yes. The President and his family gets free military transportation.

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  21. Jack Johnson said on:

    Anon3 the economist do you still stand by your economic prediction of 2012 “The economy is projected to add 14 million jobs over the next 4 years. In fact, the economy is on pace to achieve that already, no matter who is president..”

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  22. Jack Johnson said on:

    It seems your numbers are sort of like Obamas. Lies. If you like your health insurance you can keep your health insurance. Period.

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  23. Jack, I’m not sure yet. It’ll be hard to beat Bill Clinton’s 11.5 million he added in 4 years, total of 22.7 million in his 8 years. In Obama’s first 4 years, more jobs were added in all of Bush Jr’s 8 years.
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobs_created_during_U.S._presidential_terms

    What I was referring to was Mr. Romney’s promise during the campaign that if he won the election he would generate 14 million jobs over the next 4 years. I said then that the economy was on pace to add 14 million already, because that’s what the studies I was reading then were saying. So far, no doesn’t look like it. But I believe we have had a better shot of it during Obama than we would have with Romney. And I absolutely fault GOP for political stupidery in congress sabotaging DNC efforts.

    I do like my current health insurance. Although it’s pricey. And looking so far on healthcare.gov site I’ve quoted my same plan, deductible, copays, out of pocket etc, and looks like I can get it about half of what I’m paying now. I want to do more research first before taking it on though to be sure I’m right about that.

    Dagney, good comments from you. One thing though, tea party people were not the only groups targeting for taxes. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2013/07/12/democrats-offer-new-evidence-that-irs-targeted-progressive-groups/

    Jack you’re starting to participate more at least.

    Royal, I don’t agree with you at all on your comments regarding Rick’s article being published before.

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  24. Jack Johnson said on:

    Balancing a check book doesn’t make you an economist is that not right anon? Copying and pasting government statistics that obviously are skewed in favor of Obama such as the incorrect unemployment rate before the election makes for a great economist? Balancing the check book by spending less than you take in is the fundamentals of economics. You don’t have to increase my taxes to fund government waste. Tax and spend is your philosophy but it is truly an ignorant policy.

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  25. Jack Johnson said on:

    Speaking of budgets which president has increased the debt more than anyone in history? Obamahead has the deficit at over $17 trillion. What an economic theory. Talk about balancing a checkbook? Maybe Mr. Obamahead needs to learn how. By the way if you want to pay for illegals healthcare then go ahead but don’t force it on me. I have gone from a good healthcare plan to crap and now I have a $5000 deductible that I have to pay out of my pocket. It is not the just the premiums that one has to look at it is the copay and deductibles and the forced payments we have to make to cover for pregnancy and healthy people who don’t want to work but live off the government which this Communist president is trying to make happen anyway. People didn’t vote for him because he was any good it is because they are part of the ignorant masses that are told by their preachers and democratass leaders that he is a messiah and of course if you are against him then you must be a racist. I don’t give a damn if he is purple he is the sorriest president of all times. If he doesn’t get his way he just issues a presidential edict which is illegal and gets it done. This da butterfield is as stupid as him.

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  26. Publius said on:

    Jack Johnson: I thought your numbers were a little suspect, so I did some research. Bush added 5.1 trillion to the debt and Obama added 983 billion to the debt (most of which was due to the continuation of Bush policies-tax cuts and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act). Note that Bush’s numbers are in trillions and Obama’s numbers are in billions. You do know the difference? In case you don’t, I’ll briefly explain: a trillion equals a thousand billions.

    Incidentally, the real debt master was Ron Reagan. He increased the debt by 186%. and his heir Daddy Bush increased it by another 54%.

    A modest proposal: Stop getting your news from the rightwing-nut echo chambers. Winston Churchill: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”.

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  27. royal rooter said on:

    Publius, I took your advice and made a phone call to the office of Senator Harry Reid (hardly a member of the right wing). A very pleasant lady took my request and called me back in about an hour. My request was to compare the increase in the national debt since President Obama took office with the increase in the debt during the 8 years of President Bush.

    According to her, the national debt under Obama has risen from $10.6 trillion in January, 2009, to $17.3 trillion at the end of December…an increase of 63%. The increase during Bush’s 8 years in office was $4.9 trillion.

    I am not sure where you got your information, maybe Reverend Brand. If you doubt my numbers, call the esteemed Senate Majority Leader’s office.

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  28. from article above

    “The deficit (or, if the number is positive, the surplus) is the amount of change in the national debt in one year caused by the difference between spending and tax receipts. The national debt itself is the total stock of debt owed by the federal government. Even though the deficit has decreased dramatically, the national debt itself is still increasing in absolute terms, and has only just begun to fall as a percentage of the economy.

    This confusion needs clearing up. While a deficit can be seen as a barometer of administration policy, the debt reflects longer-term trends in government spending and policy. George W. Bush, for example, exploded the deficit by cutting an array of taxes, and taking the nation to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, longer-term factors such as health care costs also contributed — the same factors that are enlarging the debt under President Obama.

    While Obama has succeeded in winding down the U.S. military’s two biggest foreign entanglements and rolling back tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — thus lowering the deficit — it remains to be seen whether the Affordable Care Act will fulfill its goal of reducing health care costs.

    Furthermore, the main economic drawback of a growing debt — interest payments eating up a greater share of tax revenue — is not a great concern right now, as interest rates remain so low and borrowing remains cheap. Indeed, many economists like Paul Krugman and Ben Bernanke say the U.S. should be growing deficits right now, to provide further stimulus to the economy and to put idle resources to work to bring down unemployment.

    In any case, the facts on the deficit contradict the widely held notion that the Obama administration is crazily out of control when it comes to the nation’s finances. In order to have a rational discussion about the economy, government programs, and the level of government spending, voters need to have a better idea of what the deficit actually is.”

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  29. Royal, you researched:
    Obama took it from 10.6t to 17.3t an increase of 63%
    Bush increased his by 4.9t. But you don’t cite the % or the starting point.

    So if Obama started at 10.6t, subtract Bush’s 4.9t increase leaving 5.7t starting point. So:
    Obama took it from 10.6t to 17.3t an increase of 63%
    Bush took it from 5.7t to 10.6t, in increase of 86%

    Granted we’re not through with Obama’s term yet…. but based on what you’ve said looks like Bush was worse. Someone correct my math if I’m wrong.

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  30. royal rooter said on:

    Anon3….Bush’s annualized increase was 10.7 over 8 years. As of December 31, Obama’s annualized increase has been 12.8 for 4.94 years….63.2% divided by 4.94 years. These numbers came from Senator Reid’s office, so I assume they are correct. Stated a different way, Obama’s rate of annual increase is 19.6% greater than Bush’s. (12.8 minus 10.7 equals 2.1….2.1 divided by 10.7 equals 19.6)

    Your math is correct, but you didn’t carry it far enough. Rachel Madow on MSNBC tried to make a similar argument recently, but several people corrected her math.

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  31. Jack Johnson said on:

    The deficit doesn’t matter? You say we need to increase the deficit to spur the economy? Surely these mentally retarded economists that you refer to must be on drugs. And by the way, when you say the deficit is the difference between spending and tax revenue, you should emphasize that the major problem there is that spending is out of control and that is the major problem. The lack of common sense is what you tax and spend liberals don’t have. Oh by the way president obamahead today said that we need to increase unemployment payments for a record 6 years, which gives no one any incentive to work, so that Sally will turn up her thermostat so that the electric company might hire some workers. So unemployment benefits creates jobs. Where do the unemployment benefits come from? My tax dollars. So I will have to turn down my thermostat so the electric company will end up not hiring any workers anyway. To say that unemployment benefits creates jobs shows essentially how stupid this president is. and when this healthcare crap is fully instigated you will see even further problems. The next thing on the agenda is to legalize all illegal aliens so that we can pay for their healthcare and that they can vote for democratasses. If you think this president is doing well then you are an idiot.

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  32. Jack Johnson said on:

    Your cut and paste knowledge is outstanding. But how is your common sense? Do I owe my tax dollars to the lazy Americans who don’t want to work but to live off the government? Anon and publius why don’t you look up the % of Americans on entitlements as opposed to Jan 2008? Why don’t you state those numbers? Do you really think that the democrats dont want to create an entitlement society? They couldn’t win on jobs so they decided to use the war on women and gays amd illegal aliens and of course race baiting to win the election. I tell you what. Lesee the poll on the number of Americans who want obamacare eliminated? why don’t you report those numbers? why do the democrats win by scaring the ignorant masses into believing lies that they spew? trying to get the american people mind off of obamacare by talking about unemployment benefits? mr obamahead said the economy is really recovering so why do we need to extend unemployment for a record 6th year? I don’t really need to use cut and paste statistics. Just common sense. The more money that I have in my pocket the more I will spend. It is not the governments job to take my money and spend it at will on whatever they want. By the way the Democrats have the presidency and senate so don’t blame the problems on congress. at least you have the senate until the fall because we will definitely regain it.

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  33. Publius said on:

    Jack: You call it “cut and paste,” more intelligent people think of it as research to arrive at an informed opinion. But don’t let me interfer with your rants. You’re obviously having fun. Go for it. Just to really class-up your screeds, may I suggest using “obama-dodohead,” when referring to the President. I heard that term on a playground recently.

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  34. Jack Johnson said on:

    I graduated with honors with a Masters of Economics so when you want to call someone a balancing your checkbook economist you may want to think twice. I will be more than happy to challenge you to an IQ test.

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  35. prudence said on:

    Publius: Why are you spending time on playgrounds??

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  36. Publius said on:

    Jack: OK, Mr.. Master of Economics, I suggest you try to get your tuition back, since they didn’t teach you the difference between debt and deficit (see post 25 above where your confusion is most evident). Apology accepted.

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  37. royal rooter said on:

    Publius, since you are telling people to apologize, why not express your sorrow for your gaff in comment #26? You stated that the Obama administration has contributed only 983 billion dollars to the national debt when actually that number now exceeds $6.7 trillion in less than 5 years according to Senator Reid’s office.

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  38. Publius said on:

    royal rooster: Are still trying to claim that you contacted a U.S. Senator’s office over the phone and got budget information? Get real.

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  39. Rick Brand said on:

    Some where in all of this I read where there are some who believe that the major corporations pay taxes and give dividends to retired people. As I have read most of the Fortune 500 companies pay no federal income taxes and as Cisco is doing, they are not paying more dividends they are buying back shares which takes shares out of the hands of investors. Apple for instance pays no federal taxes.

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  40. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    I’ve enjoyed reading the postings on Mr. Brand’s article. The opening comment set the course for this discussion; denounce the massager with name calling. Comments have not strayed far despite the efforts of a few. Mr. Brand’s article very specifically points out why trickle down economics has failed. I think those opposed to Mr. Brand’s view may have a skewed view of the economic pyramid. Trickle down economics is working when the economic pyramid is upside down resting on its apex. The apex of a pyramid will function as a stable fulcrum so longs as the mass of the base is steady. So one question should be is the pyramid unbalanced?

    Last night I stumbled upon a news article “We Need to Talk About Ted.” I clicked on the link and listened to Benjamin Bratton’s TED Talk. Mr. Bratton is an associate professor of visual arts at the University of California, San Diego. About half why through his talk he compared communism and capitalism. The following is copy and pasted from Mr. Bratton’s talk (http://www.bratton.info/projects/talks/we-need-to-talk-about-ted/)

    “Communism in theory is an egalitarian utopia. Actually existing Communism meant ecological devastation, government spying, crappy cars and gulags.
    Capitalism in theory is rocket ships, nanomedicine, and Bono saving Africa. Actually existing Capitalism means Walmart jobs, McMansions, people living in the sewers under Las Vegas, Ryan Seacrest…plus —ecological devastation, government spying, crappy public transportation and for-profit prisons.”

    Have Walmart jobs unbalance the economic pyramid?

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  41. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    Back at the mid-point of the last century General Motors and US Steel were behemoths of the American industrial capitalism. Both corporations directly employed a quarter million and their stocks paid cash dividends. Today, Facebook and Google are behemoths of this century’s American technological capitalism. Both corporations each employ about 10, 000 mostly contract labors and their stock pays zero dollars in dividends.

    Is the difference between GM & US Steel circa mid-20th century and Facebook & Google circa first quarter 21st century unbalancing the economic pyramid?

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  42. royal rooter said on:

    Publius….Yes, I have contacted Senator Reid’s office several times. I find that when I quote information as coming from his office, people such as you, who handout bad information, tend to crawl back in their hole. By the way his phone number is 202-224-3452. His clerks are very polite, very friendly and have gotten any information that I requested post haste.

    You need to apologize for giving out bad information about Obama’s record on the national debt. (See your comment #26). I do like your quote from Sir Winston Churchill about lies. You should apply it to yourself.

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  43. royal rooter said on:

    Reverend Brand, you conveniently ignore the fact that many, major US corporations pay dividends to us retirees. I just received my year-end statement from my investment analyst and I will give you 6 examples from my portfolio: The Gap, Johnson & Johnson, Duke Energy Progress, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and Consoliated Edison. I believe that all of these companies pay taxes. In any event, millions of retired people who saved and invested over the years now reap the benefits of the great engine which is capitalism.

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  44. elmwood said on:

    Interesting comments by all. here is question for all. .We always hear about social security running out of money .How come we never hear about welfare running out of money ? What is interesting is that first group worked for their money ,the second did not.

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  45. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    Good try there Royal Rooter. That is not Senator Reid’s office number. No sir that is a number to Watson Messaging Service. : – )

    If I was any good as a script writer I would continue on. I’m not and I won’t.

    I will say it helps me when I see others transpose numbers, letters and even whole words as I do. Senator Reid’s official office number as listed on http://www.Senate.gov is (drum roll please)
    202.224.3542.

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  46. royal rooter said on:

    Mr. Bobbitt…You are absolutely correct. My typing skills are nothing to brag about and I transposed the two digits. 202-224-3542 for my comments. The fact remains that I have dialed the correct number several times and each time reached a person who received my question, researched my inquiry and called me back with an answer.

    See Publius, I am not reluctant to admit my errors. I am still waiting for you to correct yours in comment #26. Most of the time staff members in congressional offices are very helpful in answering inquiries for information.

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  47. Publius said on:

    OK royal rooster, decide when

    ou’ve finialy found a stable truth foundation, get back to me. Where’s the educated Jack, Master of Economics and ignorannt of economics?

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  48. Jack Johnson said on:

    So I mistyped the word debt in my first sentence in #25. My mistake. I meant deficit. But I still will challenge you to an IQ test anytime mr Publiass.

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  49. Out in Left Field said on:

    Jack your apology is void. Why? Someone with an earned masters degree from an accredited brick & mortar institution of higher learning would have made that error once, on their first exam in Econ 101. That ‘error’ was not a typo. Someone who feels the need to challenge another to an IQ test is ill-equipped to enter an intellectual discussion. That sort of a challenge in a simple apology indicates the insincerity of the apology. Someone who feels that name calling wins points or demonstrates their supposed intellectual prowess is actually demonstrating their immaturity. Name calling in an apology further discredits the apology. My rejection of your apology was anticipated, especially by someone with self proclaimed high intellectual prowess and holding an earned masters degree from an accredited brick & mortar institution of higher learning.

    Mr./Ms. Publius correctly proposed that you broaden your news sources and readings to avoid the echo effect of Fox’s newstainment and conservative talk newstainment programming. I concur with that suggestion.

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  50. Well said and on point OILF. Anyone using that derogatory language and challenging an IQ test needs a self esteem inventory.

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  51. Deception said on:

    on a more serious note did anyone see the Friday’s edition of the Daily Dispatch where a Convicted Killer who busted up into an establishment and shot another human being in the chest with a Shotgun got a sentence of 9-11 years in the State Prison System? He had been in the Vance Co. Jail waiting on the trial for the past 3-4 years so if my math is correct he will end up serving about 9-10 years total for KILLING another man w/o reason other than an attempt to rob him? The 9-11 year sentence in the State Prison is usually cut in 1/2 within the first week of incarceration so for blasting this man with a shotgun this punk will serve less than 10 years for MURDER!!!! You wonder why all these punks run around your town packing heat and shooting up your city? This is the reason!!! They don’t get any time for the crimes they commit!! Was this man’s life he killed worth more than 10 years? I’m sure his widow and his kids would say YES w/o a shadow of a doubt. But a lil’ punk who didn’t want to get out here and work for a living decided he wanted to attempt to rob a poker game and this man paid the ultimate price for it.

    My question to the VCSO would be why wasn’t the individual who was inside the bldg. and according to Court Records in constant contact with the KILLER via cell phone prior to and after the MURDER ever charged with a crime? It’s seems to anyone with 1/2 a brain that this was a set-up from the word GO!!!! Shame on Vance County and any member of the Judicial System who think this is JUSTICE!!! One thing is for sure for the lil’ punk who blasted Mr. David Perry……lets hope that one day JUSTICE will be served!!!!

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  52. Still debating communism over capitalism? Michael Bobbitt reposted: “Communism in theory is an egalitarian utopia. Actually existing Communism meant ecological devastation, government spying, crappy cars and gulags.
    Capitalism in theory is rocket ships, nanomedicine, and Bono saving Africa. Actually existing Capitalism means Walmart jobs, McMansions, people living in the sewers under Las Vegas, Ryan Seacrest…plus —ecological devastation, government spying, crappy public transportation and for-profit prisons.”
    I take it Michael is agreeing both systems are equally bad? His repost omits that Communism was responsable for 100 million innocent people being murdered by their governments in the 20th Century. It is so naeive to claim that the worst part of it is ecological devastation and bad cars. It is also simplistic to say that Capitalism is merely rocket ships and Bono saving Africa. Where is the mention of individual liberty, freedom and prosperity that capitalism unleashed in America?
    Millions of people have come to America to escape communism and yet progressives today condemn the free market and want everyone to think that complete government control of individuals, companies and the morals of society should be handled by a few powerful elitists who can legislate for the “common good”, just like all the Communist leaders of the last century did.
    Rick Brand refuses to acknowledge that if corporations are getting special favors from the government, it is the progressive pollititians who have legislated and granted those perks, it’s called crony capitalism and Democrats adore cherry picking industries to “save”. Don’t blame the companies, blame the politicians in Congress who have legislated the favoritism, Rick.
    Michael Bobbitt picks General Motors and US Steel as behemoths of American industrial capitalism. These are 2 companies who were devastated by Unions and government regulation, classic examples of perverted capitalism that progressives like to hail as examples of failed capitalism. He refuses to read Atlas Shrugged because he is terrified of the truths he would be exposed to in the novel, and the eery parallels Ayn Rand predicted that are coming true today, in the past claiming that the book is beneath his intellectual prowess (well, the print is small and over 1000 pages but I think he could handle it). Rand grew up in communist Russia and knows personally of what she writes and it is a fascinating and compelling read.
    Why would these 2 men support communism and denigrate capitalism? Have they not studied the history of the last century or American civics? My Father fought the Nazis and 70 years later there are Americans who have never learned the history of that war, have forgotten the deadly reality of oppressive government, or psychologically choose to ignore the bitter and ugly lessons learned in the last century as they regurgitate their communist propoganda and expect no resistance.

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  53. royal rooter said on:

    Dagny, that is a great comment….well written and well conceived. The only thing I might add is directed to Reverend Brand who does not understand that the payment of dividends by corporations is a major part of “trickle down economics”.

    How about it, Rick, should I not bother to deposit my dividend checks that I received recently? Thirty years ago when President Reagan was successful in getting Congress to reduce my effective income tax rate, I was able to buy stocks in multiple corporations which pay dividends. For years, these dividends have enhanced my standard of living. Reverend Brand would have us believe that capitalism is evil because many people choose to save and invest and take care of their own families instead of looking to the government for their needs.

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  54. prudence said on:

    In my opinion–the nearly month-long comments on “Trickle Down” , though thought provoking, and in many cases well written have said all that can be said.

    Time to move on–anyone have a topic?

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  55. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    Prudence you have the floor what would you prefer we discuss? The number of HiH reader making a comment has been limited of late to the same small group. I have heard some people say the blog site is lacking its edge. Some others have told me the blog site is more informative. Prudence gives us a topic to discuss.

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  56. Doen’t Phil still own HIH, it sounds like Michael does now from the comments above. Rick Brand provided a real edgy topic, if you ask me.

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  57. elmwood said on:

    Good topics create good comments. Thanks Rick for bringing this up for discussion

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  58. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    Dagny, I was only encouraging prudence, or anyone else, to open a topic for discussion. My apology for making you think my reply to prudence was more than it was.

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  59. Rick Brand said on:

    As in so many of the current debates in our society there is either one way or the other. The possibility that there are shades of truth and that the argument for one side is not an argument in the extreme. Calvin suggested that all of us need to be subject to the other so that the “others” might put a check on our sins. Wall Street bankers needed a check on their greed before the housing bubble burst, but there was no check. Corporations need a check on their greed so that the environment is not completely destroyed. Capitalism needs a check on it so that the whole of society can be balanced. The push by corporations for more and more tax breaks, the push for less regulations has resulted in a dangerous gap between the few rich and the many poor. Capitalism has done very well in this country in the past when taxes on corporations were higher and more effective. There is no movement to eliminate capitalism. The argument made by many that “more money to corporations resultes in more jobs, more research, more economic stimulus” has been made so often that it is the big lie that has come to be believed. I was only pointing out that the reality is that corporations are not hiring more people, paying more wages or increasing those beloved dividends that have been mentioned here. I would argue that corporations ought to pay taxes to support this country which has provided for them the foundation for their business.

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  60. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    Mr. Brand you have said more eloquently what I have been attempting add to this conversation. The issue of trickle down economics is more complicated than any hydra Hercules battled.

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  61. Capitalism isn’t wrong, just misguided. When corporations move our mining, mills and manufacturing plants to other countries, how does that benefit the job market in our country? If the middle class is being sucked dry, how does that make for a healthy economy? Yes, dividend checks are great and helpful but without a job, who can invest? The only thing wrong with great ideas is that less honorable people pervert them.

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  62. royal rooter said on:

    When labor unions hold guns to the heads of corporations, EPA makes totally unreasonable restrictions, taxes become onerous, Congress imposes fiascoes such as Obamacare, the EEOC and NLRB are packed with leftists who are anti-business and elections are won by Socialists such as Obama, corporations are forced to move out of the United States in order to survive.

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  63. good article. US has very high corporate tax rates, some pay none, some pay lots, and it may or ay not depend on company size.

    http://money.msn.com/tax-planning/companies-paying-the-most-and-least-in-taxes

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  64. I won’t bore everyone with refuting every sentence in Rick Brands last post but where is there a check on government greed? And we did build our business with great sacrifice and hard work, and we pay, pay, pay the government for the “priviledge” to work our butts off and provide a service to our customers. The policies he and Michael endorse have ruined America. They have no respect for the Constitution or the individual. They embrace communism and hate capitalism and don’t like being challenged about it, hence their change in tone so that now they say capitalism just needs a little reforming and it is a complicated issue. Well there is nothing complicated about it. Communism leads to loss of liberty, misery, and death. Capitalism leads to liberty, happiness and prosperity. American Patriots are everywhere, guys. We may not be as vocal as the progressives but don’t forget that we are out here and will fight to preserve traditional American values, as our Founding Fathers created the country. Keep worshipping at the alters of Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Marx et al because that is exactly the policies you are endorsing and the history of those men is the side you are on, I would be ashamed to admit it but at least you are honest.

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  65. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    If you are interested in this long running topic at noon today and repeated tomorrow at 6am is WUNC’s (radio) program The State of Things. The topic is trickle down economics. The interviewee is William Greider a correspondent for The Nation. Mr. Greider is speaking later today at Duke University. According to the promo, Mr. Greider “[is the man to get] Ronald Reagan’s budget director to admit that trickle-down economics was a sham meant to bring the nation’s top tax rate down”. I’ll be listening hope you do also, then we can talk about what we heard and learned.
    Link to WUNC’s webpage for The State of Things:
    http://wunc.org/post/william-greider-blasts-money-politics

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  66. royal rooter said on:

    Michael, who cares what you call it, “trickle down economics” or something else. The idea was to cut the tax rate and put more money in the pockets of citizens. President Reagan said many times that people know better how to spend their own money than the governmen does..

    It worked for me and my family.

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  67. Companies are more than capable of governing themselves. Company behind W.Va. spill files for bankruptcy. http://www.wral.com/site-of-w-va-spill-was-subject-of-2010-complaint/13305659/

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  68. Isn’t it sad that too many companies aren’t self regulated in an ethical manner? Even sadder is that employee and community safety is less important than profit. Part of the motivation for moving jobs to other countries is not just low wages but low environmental standards. No amount of legislation is going to change the behavior of unethical people. I resent the hell out of the breaks corporations get for taking jobs off-shore; when those breaks should be to help American businesses upgrade their environmental safety features and keep people working AND healthy.

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  69. Publius said on:

    Zep, corporations don’t/can’t operate ethically as you describe. They have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize stockholder value. For instance if it were legal to grind up your grandmother and use her for dog food, a Purina stockholder could sue Purina for not doing so, if he could prove doing so would increase margin.

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  70. Nice explaination, Publius. That is exactly what I’m saying; low ethics in favor of profit. Does legal necessarily mean right?

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  71. Rick Brand said on:

    The above arguments about the fiduciary responsibility of corporations is just another argument for why trickle down does not work. More workers, more wages, more research do not increase profits for stock holders. Hire more people, costs go up some even if the taxes are forgiven. more research is a higher cost, more wages increase costs. Some of these things would increase the profit of the corporation in the long run, but that is never a significant factor. Higher wages would increase employee loyalty and reduce training and recruitment. More research would increase products and improve the quality of products and insure the survival of the corporation but again long term thinking is rarely a part of management’s priorities. If stock price is the ultimate goal, then trickle down is going to have a hard time happening.

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  72. Rick Brand said on:

    Ayn Rand vs.The New Testament. I prefer to die with the New Testament vision of life rather than Ayn. I have read both.

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  73. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    Mr. Brand, your post 73 is the funniest posting in a long time. Thanks for the hardy laugh.

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  74. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    I have re-read the initial article Mr. Brand posted and Mr. Royal Rooter’s numerous postings. (I assume it is a Mr. Rooter). Ignoring the smoke machine postings and the shoot the messenger posting I believe Mr. Rooter and Mr. Brand are opposite sides of the same coin. Mr. Rooter’s real objection seems to be that Mr. Brand’s article pulls back the curtain exposing the charade known as trickle down economics. I will use Wal-Mart, an investment of Mr. Rooter’s, as the coin to show the two sides.

    1. On June 7, 2013, Wal-Mart announced a $15 billion stock buyback. This buy back was an extension of the program started in 2011. Wal-Mart’s cash dividend in August 2010 was $.3025 per share by August 2013 the cash dividend was $.4700. An example of how buying back one’s own stock increases the dividend for the remaining shares benefiting CEOs and investors.
    2. Wal-Mart is the US’s dominate retailer of foreign made goods. Wal-Mart does not develop consumer products. Instead Wal-Mart’s research and development is focused on the lowest cost of production in such places as Bangladesh.
    3. Wal-Mart is America’s largest low-wage employer paying an average of $9.00 per hour for a 20 hour work week. With Wal-Mart’s stock price hovering around the $75 a share range, the typical Wal-Mart employee would spend 41% of a week’s pay to buy one share. That typical employee would have $105 to meet one week of Maslow’s lowest level of needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

    Wal-Mart is an ideal example of trickle down economics for Mr. Brand’s article and an ideal investment for Mr. Rooter. Same coin different sides.

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  75. And with Rick Brand’s last statement, and Michaels’ response to it,they acknowledge how big a threat the novel Atlas Shrugged is to them and their progressive agendas. So much so that Michael is scared to read it and Rick has to draw the New Testiment into the discussion to defend the weak moral ground he finds himself on when he crucifies capitalism.
    Rick, you are chair of the Democrat party in Vance County, the political party that clearly supports abortion and the public funding of abortion. 55 million babies have been aborted in America since 1973. More black babies were aborted in NYC last year than were born. In communist China, where capitalism doesn’t exist, women are forced to have an abortion if they already have a child. How do you reconcile your political beliefs with your New Testiment vision of life?

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  76. Publius said on:

    Dag: Having read virtually all of Rand’s book as a teenager, I’m well versed in her cult of selfishness. She was well in front of the curve. Her anti-religious teachings were such that other conservatives of her time-specifically William F. Buckley-considered her anathema. She clearly detested the altruistic Lamb of God. Rand’s influence on you goes far in explaining your extreme reaction to Rev, Brand’s economic sermon.

    Atlas Shrugged is no threat to progressives. Actually, the book exposes to everyone the moral center of modern libertarianism: “Ï want the world and I want it now!”

    I find it odd that you divert over to abortion. I would have thought that freedom of choice would be consistent with the libertarian mindset.

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  77. Publius, Rick Brand makes a moral supiority claim when he compares Ayn Rand with the New Testimate, he hides behind the Bible and implies he is a better Christian than me with his remark, and yet he won’t take a stand against the Democrat partys embrace of abortion and many other relative subjects, despite being a retired Presbiterian minister who relied on capitalism to make his living – his initial complaint. Hypocracy abounds, can’t you see it? There is a whole lot you don’t understand about the libertarian mindset, start by reading Atlas Shrugged, where Michael and Rick are afraid they will see themselves, don’t peg me.

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  78. Publius said on:

    Dagney Taggert: As I clearly stated in my post, I have read almost all of Rand’s books (missed We the Living). Let me be perfectly clear, I have read that brick Atlas Shrugged TWICE. I am highly conversant with the objectivist strain of libertarianism, a vehemently anti-christen philosophy, that would take a uniquely neurotic Christian to belong to-there is where I peg you.

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  79. prudence said on:

    Yawn.

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  80. Better a neurotic Christian than a hypocrite Christian.

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  81. There’s a difference? Really?

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  82. Michael Bobbitt [Verified Account] said on:

    Dagny, I thought of you when I read these two articles:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/no-light-bulbs–no-shower-curtain–no-hot-water–welcome-to-sochi-202446189.html

    and

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/all-visitors-to-sochi-olympics-hacked–nbc-news-152815731.html

    Sort of sums up your concerns except the problem is in Russia not the good ole U. S. of A.

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