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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

People with a history of "self-mutilation," bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA Today. ... [A]ccepting recruits with those mental health conditions in their past carries risks, according to Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatrist who retired from the Army as a colonel in 2010 and is an expert on waivers for military service. People with a history of mental health problems are more likely to have those issues resurface than those who do not, she said. "It is a red flag," she said. "The question is, how much of a red flag is it?" read more

Friday, November 10, 2017

Steven Rosenfield, Alternet: On Tuesday Wisconsin quietly added itself as the 28th state to call for a constitutional convention. 34 are needed to force a rewrite of the constitution that the republicans (who control every participating state) claim to love. They want to tear it up and rewrite it so that it will be easier to cut programs that benefit the needy but much harder to raise taxes or add spending. They want to remove language that has stymied their efforts in recent years. Little things like equal protection under a law, the right to due process, freedom of the press, etc. The draft new constitution is available on the ALEC website. It is a scary read.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

The republicans like to argue about global warming and the effects of pollution and the role of the EPA as if it is all just a mental exercise in hypotheticals and theory. It is not. We know what happens without pollution controls. We have seen it before here in America before the Clean air act. We can see it abroad now. This is what deregulation will get us. It isn't theory it is observation

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

One of the most common refrains against corporate taxes and taxing dividend income is that it is "double taxed" taxed at the corporate level and then at the personal income level.

Now in a stunnningly hypocritical about face they want to remove the exemption for State and local taxes from the federal income tax code. They are fighting hard to make sure working class Americans whose income comes from labor get double taxed and possibly triple taxed at federal, state, and local levels.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ex Trump aide Sebastian Gorka has Joined a group founded by Pizzagate Truthers.


"As for prior tax cuts, even though Johnson is a very well respected economist there are plenty of studies that show that those tax cuts caused our GDP growth rate to double over the next ten years, and don't forget that Obama, in 2010, not only extended those cuts but two years later made most of them permanent, which helped the continued recovery in 2012."

No there is not a single study that shows tax cuts caused growth. There are studies that show growth happened after tax cuts but every time it was temporary and none of it went to lower and middle class Americans.

Reagan's tax cuts came at the beginning of the tech revolution. They did not cause the tech revolution or the economic boom brought by the tech revolution. The policies enacted did, however allow the formation of the dotcom bubble and we all know how that worked out for most people.

While household incomes have grown, Individual incomes are at late 1970s levels.

If you actually include housing, transportation, and energy in inflation calculations instead of leaving them out and pretending there is no inflation, real wages have fallen for most Americans.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.99% per year. Prices in 2017 are 197.0% higher than prices in 1980.

In other words, $1 in the year 1980 is equivalent to $2.97 in 2017, a difference of $1.97 over 37 years.

Yet in raw dollars according to FRED the median individual income in 1980 was $22,038. In 2016 it was $31,099


So even if you buy the artificially low inflation rate excluding housing, transportation, and energy of 197% since 1980, real median wages have only risen 41% so purchasing power has declined 53%

Math works

#34 HATTER: My spouse's 401k serves two purposes [a] free money from the employer match that coworkers who chose not to fund one lose out on and [b] price appreciation over time of assets due to reinvestment of capital gains and dividends as well as advantage of dollar cost averaging from her weekly paycheck. I mange it for her by selecting which of the funds to have in to [there is quite a large choice offered]. The overall value has risen quite nicely over the years and should has even done decently in downturns like '08 due to more conservative investment with a farther out 'window'.

#37 | POSTED BY MSGT AT 2017-11-20 04:25 PM | REPLY

They have you suckered into funding their double digit gains by allowing some people to average 8% They have suckered you into believing that letting you spend your own money to buy a retirement package is a benefit they are giving you. They conned you into believing that taking home salary MINUS your 401(k) is better than getting full salary now and pension later

Ask the people who retired 2 weeks before the "downturn" how they did in the "downturn"

If you get lucky and stay healthy until you retire and get lucky again by not having a market "downturn" after you retire you can do ok. Reality however is that many people can't afford to fund their 401(k) unless they go without meds or rent or something else.

You have a job that pays enough to live OK AND fund your 401K. good for you but that doesn't mean people who don't are lazy or stupid. They are just underpaid

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