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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
malander
12:14 PM on 11/07/2010
I own a home in Mexico and in the US, Americans better start making road trips there so they can see what they are in for. I personally like the rustic lifestyle in the 500 year old village my home is in, but my snooty US neighbors couldn't cope. Mexico didn't have a mortgage crisis, for the most part, they own their homes outright, credit is very hard to get , it is a cash society. They don't spend what they don't have. That is why you don't see as many new cars, the low wages don't allow these purchases. They make do with what they have. We have spent ourselves into oblivion an credit and just made the rich richer.
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MajorKong
If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally
12:38 PM on 11/07/2010
Mexico has a lot of resources. If it were run like, say Taiwan or Switzerland, rather than as an oligarchy it would be a very wealthy country.
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12:59 PM on 11/07/2010
Assume your great hacienda in MX is not near "Drug war" as seems like a lot of the folks there are not quite as secure or safe as you make it out to be? Almost open warfare from what I read and not to highly recommended to get out of main gov controlled areas.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
malander
02:12 PM on 11/07/2010
My comments never covered safety or that my home was "great" , those are your words. My comments were about spending and financing. Don't try and twist this your condemnation of Mexico, the US will be facing the exact same issues soon enough. When more people are pushed to poverty, they too will start armed robbery and assault to get what they need to live.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
petitveritas
12:10 PM on 11/07/2010
We could be so much better than we are.
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01:13 PM on 11/07/2010
Well that is not going to happen, While all were baying and shouting about congress 2010 elections, Rove and buds spent millions getting state governments and governors. and media stood by silently. So now Rove got R control of most states, veto proof controls in D Governor states. They will redistrict to R advantage and openly said that was the long term plan. So while all dance about and discuss Tea Klan impact on R's etc, that political genius of long term planing Rove, got what the R;s really need and most are not seemingly aware of what and the importance of what did go down. Just wait kiddies, they have just started the take over. To many spend time running now Rove and rather then respecting how good this guy really is, he/money sat out 2008 so D's would win and have inevitable huge hole dug under them, Obama is not tough enough and D's not disciplined or organized enough to do much, Rove knew it. FYI has anyone noted ANY of the D's "stars" out there fighting for D/O, not a word form Kerry, or other big guns. wonder why? Sorry folks but Rove/money won as expected and Tea Klan/Palin is not a real threat to them. R big money created TP, it can destroy it as fast.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
spinotter11
Spinning through life and trying to understand it.
02:25 PM on 11/07/2010
"We could be so much better than we are."

Amen a hundred fold. And may I add, we would be so much happier if we were more loving and giving.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
TruelyFedUp
Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.
03:20 PM on 11/07/2010
And frugal.
12:02 PM on 11/07/2010
If you are a shareholder, which today most people are in some form or another, did you speak up by going to meetings, or writing letters, in response to these outlandish salaries paid? Nope, nobody did. So the rich did get richer because nobody was watching them. Look at Bell CA. How on earth do city officials make 500,000 for any city job? It happened right under the nose of the citizens. How on earth did municipalities promise union retirements in the six figure range? Again, nobody was watching. PAY ATTENTION. I got to yearly budget meetings in my small town. All of us in our community know where the money is going.

BTW, a few more facts.

2008

140,000 filers in the top 1 percent of the 1 percent group. Avg income was 6 million. Avg income taxes paid was 1.36 million. Effective rate was 22.7%.

Keep in mind that this 6 million was derived differently than the guy making 100,000. So be rest assured that a lot of that income came from capital gains and dividends and is why the effective rate is lower overall. Also keep in mind that this sub group has the money to pay for financial help and how to find all those crazy loopholes. Loopholes are written for the rich, and credits are given to the poor.

MR PRESIDENT: How about simplifying our tax system? Why must we go through this arduous tax filing each yr?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
winwithoutrwar
12:41 PM on 11/07/2010
It cannot be doen because the system of simple tax filing would cause millions jobs currently held by accountants, financiers.
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01:03 PM on 11/07/2010
Ummm what about the 15% rate before deductions awarded to mostly upper 1% or the fact that "average income" was the TAXABLE incomes, NOT gross? Cute numbers game there but not very complete.. kind of like many "Small businessmen" running for office know the pain of taxes" and forget to mention over half at $250K range are lawyers.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
ChrissyOne
12:01 PM on 11/07/2010
...and that one percent STILL desperately need a tax break. >.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
muck-raker
give me liberty or give me death
12:06 PM on 11/07/2010
ChrissyOne...yep, F&F and here is another kind of 1%: Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which got $10 billion and debt guarantees from the U.S. government in October, expects to pay $14 million in taxes worldwide for 2008 compared with $6 billion in 2007.

The company’s effective income tax rate dropped to 1 percent from 34.1 percent, New York-based Goldman Sachs said today in a statement. The firm reported a $2.3 billion profit for the year after paying $10.9 billion in employee compensation and benefits.

Goldman Sachs, which today reported its first quarterly loss since going public in 1999, lowered its rate with more tax credits as a percentage of earnings and because of “changes in geographic earnings mix,” the company said.

The rate decline looks “a little extreme,” said Robert Willens, president and chief executive officer of tax and accounting advisory firm Robert Willens LLC.

“I was definitely taken aback,” Willens said. “Clearly they have taken steps to ensure that a lot of their income is earned in lower-tax jurisdictions.”

U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat who serves on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said steps by Goldman Sachs and other banks shifting income to countries with lower taxes is cause for concern.

“This problem is larger than Goldman Sachs,” Doggett said. “With the right hand out begging for bailout money, the left is hiding it offshore.”
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
Librick
May the four winds blow you safely home
11:50 AM on 11/07/2010
"Hey mista tally man, tally me bananas." 21st century American dream.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
blisster
Need more micro-bio fuel for my mitochondria
11:41 AM on 11/07/2010
American serfs unite....for a tasty bowl of stone soup,
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
petitveritas
12:09 PM on 11/07/2010
Watch out. The moral of the story of "stone soup" was socialism! It is a slippery slope to doom when you have a society that works together to take care of everyone.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
dartagnan
12:39 PM on 11/07/2010
Dude, you TOTALLY missed the point of that story.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
TruelyFedUp
Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.
03:30 PM on 11/07/2010
Oh, absolutely! It is far better to start illegal wars and blast the hell out of people so we can go on being capitalists. Think of the horror of each of us trying to figure out how to take care of each other. Shudder...
11:37 AM on 11/07/2010
There's a misconception of what the actual political spectrum does and should represent. The conventional wisdom is that we are liberal, conservative or somewhere in between. The (hopefully) emerging paradigm involves neither. Instead, on one end of the spectrum should be "Corporatist" and on the other end, "Populist." Democratic and Republican descriptors mean next to nothing anymore. The real tension is between corporatists and the rest of us. That's where the line has to be drawn. The sooner we, as a nation, understand that the paradigm has shifted, the sooner we can attend to the societal changes that must take place for all of us to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

The rest of the political shows are just that, including the Tea Bagger program. They're presented as distractions, as are the constant framing of political issues as personal victories or defeats, or as affronts to "freedom" or "liberty." That's all nonsense. What's behind all of these presentations is a vested interests to keep the truth hidden: that corporatists are impoverishing the US through continually rushing to move good-paying jobs overseas, which leaves the rest of us with nothing to do but serve one another food and sell Chinese-made products.

If corporatists have their way, we're all headed for making Chinese-level wages. That's a guarantee. And that's what's being hidden.
11:34 AM on 11/07/2010
Boycotts and strikes are the only way for large groups of people in the bottom income brackets to gain the attention of the wealthy. Stop buying at Walmart. If you work there, stop going to work. Stop seeing films put out by 20th Century Fox, stop watching Fox stations, stop reading USA Today, etc., if you want Rupert Murdoch's attention. Wealthy people can only remain wealthy with your money. Take your money out of the stock market and out of your bank. Those with cash will listen. The only thing standing in people's way is their own selfish self interest. People fought and died so that you could work an 8 hour day instead of a 14 hour one. Today's generation is too far removed from the reason for unions and activism, so now they are dooming themselves through stupidity to go back to situations where the fight has to be won again.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
eyelashviper
In wilderness is the preservation of the world
11:32 AM on 11/07/2010
The Banana Republic description is most apt. I've lived in Florida for many years, including Miami-Dade county (no longer), and I used to tell visiting friends that living there was like being in a very expensive Banana Republic, with no American Embassy as sanctuary.
With Rick Scott and Marco Rubio being elected, the middle class here is doomed.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
muck-raker
give me liberty or give me death
11:49 AM on 11/07/2010
eyelashviper...thanx for the heads up what YOU are now seeing will be coming to many neighborhoods soon...agreed the middle class jobs are all gone, where? try here.. You are F&F

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7932485454526581006#
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
eyelashviper
In wilderness is the preservation of the world
11:56 AM on 11/07/2010
Back atcha.
Scott's reign as Governor will make Jeb look downright liberal. Say goodby to schools, infrastructure, environmental protection, and say hello to more obscene corporate profits (Scott doesn't see a need for limits to insurance costs to consumers, here in a state where home insurance is already untenable for many)
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
MrDOB
11:27 AM on 11/07/2010
Their plan is almost complete. Yet we sit by and do nothing but put the arses who put us here right back in.
11:16 AM on 11/07/2010
Behind all of the populist Dem word-finesse is the fact that the way to prevent a plutocracy from maintaining a hold on the rest of us is to tax them, to shift the distribution of wealth to the middle and working classes, and the quickest way to do that is through government collection of taxes and government distribution of wealth through federal work and research projects. Cries of socialism will always be heard by those who will lose some a portion of their wealth, but there is only so much legitimate wealth to go around.

There was a reason that Eisenhower's 91% tax rate for the wealthy was in place at the same time that the middle class flourished. That tax rate was the firewall against plutocracy. Now, there is no firewall. Corporatists have taken over the process, and will NOT surrender their wealth without a fight. And it might be a bloody fight. The alternative? There will be a television in every household, and a trickle of electricity to keep it on. And you know why.
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11:16 AM on 11/07/2010
The US has become the NRA. All guns and no brains. 700 bases, invade 'em, bomb 'em mentality, and no other cutting edge work to be had.
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
Cacey
Ignore rudeness, honor discussion
10:55 AM on 11/07/2010
I spend much of the year in a so called Banana Republic which should actually be called a Microchip Republic since the biggest export here are Intel Chips. At this point, I see a small country moving up the food chain and in many ways passing the big fish thanks to a successful National Health Care System now nearly 60 years old, a drive toward a green economy and most because of the people who care for their country and the lack of religon playing a political role. Here, I also can contribute more even though I am on a limited income and those contributions are welcomed and not snowed under by the large corporations that dominate the American political system. I continue to be a resident of and pay taxes to the US. But having seen much of the world in my 67 years, I feel the US has much to learn and a need to learn it swiftly.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
joyf1
Glad I live on an island.
12:37 PM on 11/07/2010
I know of some Americans either retired there or wanting to retire there.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
PBMac
01:04 PM on 11/07/2010
Bully for you. Were are stuck here.
10:54 AM on 11/07/2010
Well there is a way to stop it...even works in the so called banana Republics...when the people here (if the ever do) wake up to all of this then those same people as a group just shut down…they just stop doing whatever it is that they are doing period…and then everything else shuts down right behind it…

Various European countries do it all the time and we do hear some about that…we never hear about it in South America), the people just go on strike…and when no one is doing anything then no money is being made by the 1% and that is the only thing that hurts them, other than going over the moats and getting all tribal on them…so anytime America wants to wake up the system, all it has to do is to stay home for a week or two…if the system does not get that, then just stay home until they do…no bus, no parking lot attendants, no fireman , not cops, no shopper keepers or checkout clerks, no anything…and all of these people in the streets with signs saying they are not going back to work until there are some changes…1% of the people cannot control 99% of the people unless that 99% wants them to…that’s the choice that will be coming soon enough..
11:25 AM on 11/07/2010
FoxNews is Orwell's nightmare. The only way for "people here" to "wake up" is to understand the role of propaganda in today's electronic media. But that takes critical thinking, and we have a dwindling supply of critical thinkers in today's culture. Instead, we have a relentless presentation of a narrative that protects corporatists from exposure-- the exposure that they are draining the wealth out of the US in obscene fashion. The narrative from sources like FoxNews is intended to obfuscate the truth. It doesn't matter what the subject matter is, as long as it's diversionary, as long as it's visceral, as long as it's divisive, and as long as it hides the truth. This is exactly what Orwell predicted, and this is exactly what's happening.
11:57 AM on 11/07/2010
Excellent post.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
DixieMelody
IsoBlue in Red Idaho
10:49 AM on 11/07/2010
As usual, many comments are saying in essence, "You who voted for Republicans brought this on yourselves and on us who voted for Democrats."

But. . . weren't TARP (originally $7 billion and now grown too $14 TRILLION) and the bailouts on President Obama's watch? And continuing the two monumentally expensive "wars"?

Voting Democrat or Republican seemingly makes no difference since we as individuals are barely hanging on no matter who we vote for.

And articles like never help. . . just rubbing salt in our wounds by pointing out the obvious but never offering a solution.

And "Vote for Democrats" are just empty words when it comes to turning things around for the US, because voting is seemingly just an illusion that we have any power over our own destinies.
11:02 AM on 11/07/2010
Not to let the dems off the hook by any stretch, BUT, TARP was enacted under the Bush Administration in October '08. Just a fact.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/40028600
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schatsie
Reality is not disney world
11:13 AM on 11/07/2010
and that was the same time that the Bush Treasury GAVE WELLS FARGO tax abatement on 70 BILLION dollars in income.....NO FRIGGING TAXES FOR WELLS FARGO......but for you and me....
11:47 AM on 11/07/2010
The Obama administration consistently takes credit for TARP. Which it is? I know the answer. The bailing out started under Bush and was endorsed by Obama which basically makes them the same.