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  #31 (permalink)  
Old October 6th, 2011, 04:00 PM
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I am on this list because I once went to the web site to read, and I had to register. I did not ask to be on the email list, but I ended up on it. I just got his...

Paul,

Occupy Wall Street is spreading like wildfire. There are now supportive groups for the protests in over 250 communities in the United States and Canada.

Almost wherever you live, there is an Occupy Wall Street group near you. Many of these groups have already started their own local protests, while the others are planning upcoming events.

Daily Kos is joining with SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, to help grow this new movement of the 99%. We need to let the 1% know that we will no longer be silent in the face of the economic pain they continue to inflict on everyone else.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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Does the K in KOS stand for kommunist?:eek::eek::eek:
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Old October 6th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Fact: Susan Sarandon has joined the protests against banks and big buisness profits. Wasn't it Susan Sarandon who recently did a commerical for Disney World? Duhhhh..........

Fact: Alec Baldwin has also voiced his support against Banks and Big Business profits. Isn't he the guy who's all over the TV doing a Credit Card commercial on behalf of a bank and for which he was paid around a million dollars, recently bought a condominium in New York for around 7.5 million and has a mansion in the Hamptons? Duhhhh..............

Fact: Didn't that guy with the absurd too small baseball cap who made Fahrenheit 911 just sue the filmaker for an additional two million dollars over the 19 million he received because he felt he deserved it? Duhhhh........

Fact: To "demonstrate" just how ignorant these current demonstrators are, in Washington they gathered in protest in front of the Small Business Administration the members of which provide the majority of jobs in this country and who even support a lot of the precepts in the President's current jobs bill! Duhhhh..........

Who are these people, a gathering of the most ignorant people in the United States?

To paraphrase the late George Patton, I love it! God how I love it so!
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Old October 6th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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Haven't looked in for a while. Great discussion, troops!
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Old October 8th, 2011, 05:06 AM
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In many ways capitalism is like natural selection. They both run very efficiently. Banks are kinda like apex predators. You've probably heard, "It takes money to make money", and the banks have that money.

They use shear financial mass to do stop loss gap thefts. Any investor who puts a panic button at 10% below their price per share as a "stop loss" would avoid those nasty 50% hair cuts that were common in the tech meltdown of 2000. Today these folks loose that 10% on normal days with no news. The SEC talks about the good "liquidity" in the market that traders provide. Those high speed, high volume day traders are the banks. They are also usually the Market Maker.

"Naked" or unborrowed short selling has been illegal since the adoption of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934; yet there have been many occasions where there has been multiples of a stock's float sold in one day. This was such a regular phenomenon 3-4 years ago that the SEC created a temporary injunction named Regulation SHO. They then took public comments for years before they restrained what the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 named as illegal over 7 decades before. Hedgefunds (just branches of the Investment House Banks) moved the method of naked short selling into the options market, using their own market maker.

Remember AIG? They participated in a credit default swap with Goldman Sachs over the Abacus mortgage secularization. Goldman Sachs bought the shietiest sub-prime mortgage paper in the country and stuffed them into a Collateralized Debt Obligation and named this "investment" Abacus. This investment paper made Fannie and Freddy look like the Pinkerton Detectives, the Hardy Boys and Angela Lansbury all rolled up into one. GSachs then insured this paper at multiples of the face value with AIG (Dummys or Patsys?). This shiety bond paper was rated AAA by the #1 ratings agency. When the loans went bad GS collected their multiples of insurance money. It would be like me taking out a life insurance policy on some shmuch and then putting a hit out on them. This is just the trigger. They real money was made my shorting and insuring against default (with AIG) the entire ABX index which is the bond market for sub-prime real estate. Abacus exploded and the whole sub-prime real estate market collapsed. I doubt anybody at GSach expected it to be as swimmingly successful as it was. It was so effective that it dragged down the entire housing market...then the entire economy (which may have been due a natural correction).

Even with their very successful bets that the American economy would collapse, GS makes most of their money as a market maker taking arbitrage between exchanges. Not only do they make the bets, but they are the stickmen as well.

Know where to top brass at the SEC go when they retire from civil service? Yup, Goldman Sachs or the other top investment banks often hire them as executives or contactors. That's where the last 3 SEC Directors are today. Politicians become the board members, clean hands.

I don't mean to paint all Wall Street banks with the same brush. There are plenty that invest in Main Street. But, there are dark alleys behind Wall Street.
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Old October 8th, 2011, 08:04 AM
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[QUOTE=ToddDH;1395795] Who are these people, a gathering of the most ignorant people in the United States?

/QUOTE]

Todd, I am surprized that you label people as ignorant because you don't agree with their opinion.

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Old October 8th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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Manuel,

You mis-understand. I am not condemning someone for their opinon. For heaven's sake, everyone has one.

What I'm condemning is that time after time when these protestors are asked what they want, they can't provide a coherent answer!

It has been documented that more than just a few are being PAID to carry signs that they literally can't even read because they can't speak English! Those who do have something about which to complain are blaming "corporate greed" and "big banks!" But as I said in my second paragraph, when queried about what they would do to change the situation, they 80% of the time can't even provide an answer. In short, this is nothing more nor less than class warfare.

I have already written on another thread that this mess started when the Republican controlled House and Senate rammed through, for all practicable purposes, a disembowlment of the Glass-Steagle Act that was signed into law by then President Clinton that opened the flood gates to what has subsequently occurred. BUT those gates could have easily have been closed when the opposition controlled for actually three years, both houses of Congress, two of those years under a President of the same party! But did they? No! Why not? Don't ask me?

I don't like extremes, whether they be right or left. But I shall say this. The Tea Party was constantly being excoriated in the general media as being racist, raucous, etc. but to the best of my knowledge never did a large tea party rally leave trash and filth everwhere they went nor did they purposefully disrupt people who are employed getting to and from work and while there well could have been, at not one time on any of the general media or cable media did I ever see racial slurs on signs, etc. These people, however, most of whom are young are carrying signs with inflammatory rhetoric and leaving a huge mess wherever they go, on purpose and purposefully disrupting traffic etc. Now add to this their own admitted little knowledge of how government and/or business operates and I'm sorry, but at their ages, that is ignorance, not a "difference of opinion."
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Old October 8th, 2011, 12:31 PM
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And, Todd, who's paying those "protesters"? The SEIU, the union which organizes government employess.

Related to that, the news last evening carried a story about a woman who brought a petition to her local bank, with a couple hundred names on it, objecting to their instituting a $5 monthly fee for using the bank debit card. She also closed her account there. Do you think that she had any idea that the fee was a logical result of our great government limiting the cost the bank could pass on to the merchants? Of course not, it was just the bank being greedy for more profit.
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Old October 8th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sistersolo View Post
And, Todd, who's paying those "protesters"? The SEIU, the union which organizes government employess.

Related to that, the news last evening carried a story about a woman who brought a petition to her local bank, with a couple hundred names on it, objecting to their instituting a $5 monthly fee for using the bank debit card. She also closed her account there. Do you think that she had any idea that the fee was a logical result of our great government limiting the cost the bank could pass on to the merchants? Of course not, it was just the bank being greedy for more profit.
And just this week two retiring Bank Of America execs were rewarded with retirement packages of $5 MILLION and $6 Million dollars respectively. That money has to come from somewhere

I don't think any protesters (except the very extreme) are against capitalism or profits. And they may not have studied all the different "theories" about the cause of the financial collapse, but I think the vast majority are young people who are simply afraid for their future prospects.

There are kids graduating from college with huge bebts in their student loans, who can't find work, as well as those who didn't get through college, looking for the same jobs. Many of those people are moving back to their parents homes... if their parents have been lucky enough not to lose those homes.

And there's no denying those on Wall Street are doing very well. This is the Wall Street that was bailed out of the financial collapse they orchestrated.... and they were bailed out by public money.

The wealthy hire lobbyists to represent their cause. The masses are left to demonstrate to represent themselves.
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Old October 8th, 2011, 10:31 PM
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Kuki, you are undoubtedly correct in some of your obserrvations. The problem therein is the average protestors don't know how the system works or therefore whom to blame.

Are protestors protesting the astronomical salaries of professional sports players who make in many cases even exponentially more than the Wall Street folks? Nope! Haven't even given it a thought. Where, therefore is the difference? Are CEO's paid more than they should be? I agree that they are. But so are the sports players. I love the NASCAR analogy. If they want more money they have to go out and earn it by winning races! They not only get bigger purses but they receive more for their endorsements.

Should constraints be re-instituted to restrain not only these CEO salaries by the influence the government has? Absolutely! I said that in my last post!

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were pressured to buy all of these "bundled" low interest loans and cover them at taxpayer expense. Is that right? Of course it isn't. But who insisted they do that? Well I'll be suffocated by pig slop, it was the government!

In short, Socialism doesn't work, period! Never has, never will. One of the fastest growing part of the English economy is (are you sitting down?) private medicine practices! When it comes to this country, most folks don't know that a lot of the research into new medicines and treatments are already subsidized by the taxpayer. Should the resulting medicine or treatment be required to repay the government? Of course it should, but it isn't.

What does this boil down too? The answer is simple. It's a lack of education or in other words, ignorance! Kuki, you are Canadian. Did you know as recently as the 90's there were entire wings of hospitals in Canada that were closed simply because they didn't have the money to open them?
Did you know that at one point there was something something I think like two MRI machines for the entire city of Toronto? If the Canadian system is so grand, then why would they pay for acute cases to be treated in the states?

Am I knocking the Canadian, the British or the German health care system? I am not! Why? Simply because (especially with the British system) that's all they've known since shortly after WWII. If they're satisfied with it then that's wonderful. What I am saying is that the American people would not be so satisfied. In essence, they are spoiled, period.

What this country is gong through is nothing less than a conflagration of, for lack of a better term, of choices. These are choices we not only have to make but to insure for which they are paid.

Why are the banks charging for use of the debit cards? Thank the current administration. Banks used to charge a fee for processing credit card transactions. The government took that away. Well, Hell, somebody has to foot the bill! If banks and corporations are failing all over the country and need bailouts, would someone please explain to me why, if they have so much money?

To think that ridiculously high though they may be, the Payouts to CEO's wouldn't even make a dent in our indebtedness which projected over time is around 45 trillion dollars!!! That sure as hell ain't gonna' be made up by CEO salary cutbacks!

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Old October 8th, 2011, 10:32 PM
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Kuki, you are undoubtedly correct in some of your obserrvations. The problem therein is the average protestors don't know how the system works or therefore whom to blame.

Are protestors protesting the astronomical salaries of professional sports players who make in many cases even exponentially more than the Wall Street folks? Nope! Haven't even given it a thought. Where, therefore is the difference? Are CEO's paid more than they should be? I agree that they are. But so are the sports players. I love the NASCAR analogy. If they want more money they have to go out and earn it by winning races! They not only get bigger purses but they receive more for their endorsements.

Should constraints be re-instituted to restrain not only these CEO salaries by the influence the government has? Absolutely! I said that in my last post!

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were pressured to buy all of these "bundled" low interest loans and cover them at taxpayer expense. Is that right? Of course it isn't. But who insisted they do that? Well I'll be suffocated by pig slop, it was the government!

In short, Socialism doesn't work, period! Never has, never will. One of the fastest growing part of the English economy is (are you sitting down?) private medicine practices! When it comes to this country, most folks don't know that a lot of the research into new medicines and treatments are already subsidized by the taxpayer. Should the resulting medicine or treatment be required to repay the government? Of course it should, but it isn't.

What does this boil down too? The answer is simple. It's a lack of education or in other words, ignorance! Kuki, you are Canadian. Did you know as recently as the 90's there were entire wings of hospitals in Canada that were closed simply because they didn't have the money to open them?
Did you know that at one point there was something I think like two MRI machines for the entire city of Toronto? If the Canadian system is so grand, then why would they pay for acute cases to be treated in the states?

Am I knocking the Canadian, the British or the German health care system? I am not! Why? Simply because (especially with the British system) that's all they've known since shortly after WWII. If they're satisfied with it then that's wonderful. What I am saying is that the American people would not be so satisfied. In essence, they are spoiled, period.

What this country is gong through is nothing less than a conflagration of, for lack of a better term, of choices. These are choices we not only have to make but to insure for which they are paid.

Why are the banks charging for use of the debit cards? Thank the current administration. Banks used to charge a fee for processing credit card transactions. The government took that away. Well, Hell, somebody has to foot the bill! If banks and corporations are failing all over the country and need bailouts, would someone please explain to me why, if they have so much money?

To think that ridiculously high though they may be, the Payouts to CEO's wouldn't even make a dent in our indebtedness which projected over time is around 45 trillion dollars!!! That sure as hell ain't gonna' be made up by CEO salary cutbacks!
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Last edited by ToddDH; October 8th, 2011 at 10:42 PM.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
What does this boil down too? The answer is simple. It's a lack of education or in other words, ignorance! Kuki, you are Canadian. Did you know as recently as the 90's there were entire wings of hospitals in Canada that were closed simply because they didn't have the money to open them?
Did you know that at one point there was something I think like two MRI machines for the entire city of Toronto? If the Canadian system is so grand, then why would they pay for acute cases to be treated in the states?
Todd... I can tell you that much of what you hear about the Canadian medical system is what you want to hear.

Since May I have had a very intimate relationship with the Canadian medical system. My 82 yr old mother just came home from a month in hospital where for the majority of the time she was in critical condition.

Prior to that, in May she had been hospitalized for a month in May. Her care in both circumstances was exceptional.

This last time teams of internal medicine specialists did everything possible to bring her back from the edge. And Drs. were present 24hrs/day.

Over the past decade or so she's had her pacemaker replaced 3 different times, as more advanced and effective devices became available.

No death panels discussing if she should be treated or left to die because she was old.

Before my father passed away at 92 he received the same dedicated care.

The system does, of course, have faults. If you head to an emergency room with minor ailments, you likely have to wait, and be triaged, as the more serious cases get treated fastest. But, if you are seriously ill, the treatment is excellent.

I'm told that a decent health care policy in the US for a family of four costs $15,000/yr. ( I met a health care salesperson in Az last winter).

It's not that the medical care is "free" here. It's simply that taxes are higher, so we pay for our "health care insurance" through those taxes.

If someone wants to seek treatment in the US, or anywhere in the world, they certainly have the ability to choose to go there and pay for it.

Canada is NOT a socialist country. It's a capitalist hybrid. As I pointed out in another thread Forbes named Canada the best place to do business in 2011. The main reason for this is the banking system... where banks have to be properly capitalized. This is due to government regulation. It the banks were left unregulated we'd most certainly be in the same mess the U.S. banking system is in.

There is no denying that the spread between the wealthy and the "middle class" in the US is growing more and more distant. As that expanse grows, it will hurt not help the United States.

Capitalism is market driven. If there's no one buying, it doesn't matter how much lower taxes you ask businesses to pay, they have no one buying their product.

The US is also a nation of consumers who's citizens have become spoiled by their high standard of living. If a balance isn't found to allow a semblance of that lifestyle to exist, the vitriol we're seeing now will turn much more ugly.

Get the money out of the election process and the government, and you might find yourselves with a government willing to work for the people.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 03:13 AM
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BTW.. I think the folks on Saturday Night Live nailed it tonight....

The tea party people just want no government control, but the Occupy Wall Street people; they only want anarchy.

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Old October 9th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Kuki,

Your suggestions on solving the situation are excellent but there's one part of the equation you have to consider. Canada is still a country with plenty of room to grow. Your population is but a fraction of ours.

You are certainly correct when you say we're spoiled and that is why we use the term, we're in the "ME" generation and that is simply because up until recently, every subsequent generation was better off than their parents when it came to income, opportunities, etc. Today, however, even before the illigal immigrant situation turned into a flood, that became no longer true. The virtual flood of illegal immigrants (about nine million) has only exacerbated the situation beyond belief. This has occurred for any number of reasons not the least of which is we have not only not properly funded for lack of a better term, "old age" assistance but we have exploded our "entitlement" benefits with no means to properly fund them. And what do we do? We add more!!!

I've already written on many posts including one on this thread that one of the greatest reasons we're in the shape we're in was the gutting of the Glass-Steagle act which was specifically designed in 1938 to prevent from happening was has happened. As a result, everything is undercapitalized.

I was not knocking Canada's medical system, I was only pointing out that in major metropolitan areas as recently as the late nineties, it was insufficient in several areas, at least when compared to the US.

Even though it takes sometimes up to six months, if one cannot get the specialized care they need in Canada, they can come to the States and Canada will foot the bill. That occurs not infrequently. I personally know of at least one Canadian that did exactly that.

I had, until I was required to go on Medicare, the finest Health Insurance plan one could have. That plan is now my Medicare Supplement plan which affords me the ability to get all of the prescriptions necessary to keep me alive (currently about twelve prescriptions) at an extremely nominal charge (one medication I no longer take was an injectable that were I to have purchased a ninety day supply would have had to pay out over $800.00 whereas, I payed $45.00 dollars). Now the premiums increased every year to the point when Fran was alive I was considered to have a "family" plan and $220 was deducted from my retirement check yet when I retired 15 years ago, it was about$75.00). Since Fran died, I now pay $62.00. You are not going to believe this but before going on Medicare would I have required a heart transplant, I had a choice of what the plan called a "Center of Excellence" (all outstanding and famous facilities) and all it would have cost me out of pocket (including travel putting up my wife in a hotel, all meals, etc. included)...........a co-pay of fifteen dollars! Because Medicare is primary, I am no longer eligible for that program.

Most Americans have no idea that the current Health Care plan passed by both houses of Congress two years ago, cannot remotely continue as planned just because it would absolutely bankrupt the entire country. And yes, the medical people have finally admitted publicly what many politicians have been saying for two years...........there is now, in effect, a government agency that will have to decide what health care services they'll be able to offer to the individual patient. The physicians, who may have treated you for years and know your situation intimately will now not be able to provide the treatment they feel you need, but rather what the government feels you need! If they don't, they get a huge fine and if that continues, they'll fine them second offense, an astronomical sum! Third offense, they could face prison! See a problem there? As a result we are already losing physicians at an unprecedented rate.

I don't know how many years Canada has had public healthcare but in Great Britain they've had the NHS since right after WWII and that is now the only thing they know. But today, Great Britain, as are most of the developed nations, in such a financial bind that they're having to take a meat ax to such programs to cut down the costs. I don't know if one can do this in Canada but private medical services for which the patient pays, is growing by leaps and bounds over there. If I'm not mistaken, Great Britain is already closing entire hospitals, closing firehouses, cutting back severely on law enforcement and all government jobs. What are we doing? Hell, Kuki, we're adding government jobs by the hundreds of thousands!

We absolutely have to do two things. Get back to the basics upon which this country was founded. It's really that simple and everyone, including yours truly is going to get a big hit, one way or the other, in their wallet regardless of a person's income, whether it be great or small.

I just hope and pray that common sense will return to our "system." While it probably eventually shall, will it be soon enough? If my medical prognosis and my intuition is correct, I'll never see that day.

Todd
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Old October 9th, 2011, 12:56 PM
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There are MANY differences between Canada and the US. Aside from the fact our population I think is somewhere around 10% of that of the U.S.
Also, a huge factor is the very limited size of the Canadian Defense Budget.

In the 90's the Premier of our Province (equivalent of a state Governor) (who alo happened to be one of my regular customers) recognized our growing deficit was going to have catastrophic results if it continued on the pace it was on. Everyone in the province took a haircut... cuts in pay to all government employees, including health care workers, teachers, as well as related services. Hikes in taxes to everyone. Increases in royalties paid by oil companies (the mainstay of our economy), and reduced spending in many areas.

Within about 5 years our economy was once again on sound financial footing, and as the economy expanded salaries and services rose again, but at a pace that stayed within the parameters of a balanced budget.

When this was first introduced it met some resistance, but it was made clear that everyone would share in the burden of getting us back to financial health.

There's a huge myriad of reasons our economy has stood up better than the U.S. economy. I didn't expect it to, to be honest.

I personally believe the biggest problem in the United States is that the manufacturing sector has virtually disappeared. There were whole towns and cities that existed and prospered because of manufacturing plants in the area. Those are mostly gone, leaving wide swaths of poverty in their place.

There has to be a move away from the only thing made in the U.S. is money. Wall Street and the banks pretending they could sell paper representing money (rather than things) had a great deal to do with the situation that now exists.

The only tax breaks given out now should go those who are once again willing to "make things" in the United States (not just assemble parts made elsewhere), and to anyone hiring new people. The remainder of businesses, people, and government have to share the job of supporting a recovery.

And of course, the ability of people to buy politicians and elections is a long tradition that needs to die. Instead it was made even worse when the Supreme Court ruled to allow secret and unlimited money to go to policital campaigning.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:49 PM
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Kuki,

With that post, you hit a main problem with our economy squarely on the head. To demonstrate how much a farce the problem is, our "Jobs Czar" who is supposed to create jobs and who is also CEO of GE just moved two huge manufacturing divisions to China. With friends such as that, who needs enemies?

My great fear is that neither our citizens nor our politicians (especially the politicians) are willing to take the necessary steps that the Premier of your Province took.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 02:55 PM
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Todd, I always enjoy your informative posts. You forgot to mention all those wealthy Hollywood types who love to provide their unwanted opinions supporting the protestors of our form of government. Socialism only works in a college textbook! It didn't work in the Soviet Union, and its failure in Europe is becoming more apparent.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 03:22 PM
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I find the people that work for brokerage firms to be "very greedy". Rob and I had an account with one such brokerage firm. My so called "trusted stockbroker" never called me that our account was going into a "pool" at the office in Charlotte because I had not made a trade in over a year. I immediatedly switched brokerage firms, at our expense, to one that lets you trade online, and is there to give advice when you need it. There is a reason why "brokers" are called "brokers". The fees they charge to make a trade are outrageous! They make a fortune for a few minutes of work. Thank G-d I learned how to trade online! Maybe Wall Street will learn not to give such "big" bonuses" to their "brokers" and start to work for their "customers".
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Old October 9th, 2011, 06:10 PM
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If we don't find a way to brings jobs back to the US, there will be a lot more going on than peaceful demonstrators.
There is no excuse to have everything we use made overseas.
I don't wanr to hear any explanations. It's just a simple fact that our standard of living is eroding and the younger genration will not put up with this situation much longer.

I don't know what the answer is but neither do the people in DC.

TM
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