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Index » Regional/Local » USA/Canada » Thoughtful Suggestions for Improving America Page: Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 7, 8, 9, 10, 11  Next
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AliGator

AliGator Avatar



Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 9:15pm

 KurtfromLaQuinta wrote:
Thoughtful Suggestions for Improving America...
Flush the toilet.

 
If it's yellow, let it mellow
If it's brown, flush it down

/has saved countless gallons of water with this method


zipper

zipper Avatar



Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 9:14pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

Whether a salary cap for contractors gets considered will probably depend on what points grandstanding congressmen think they can score with it. But it isn't any particular random number I object to, or even a random ratio of numbers—the problem begins when there is any such requirement. It's another hoop to jump thru and it costs the same to certify that your CEO makes less than $471K /year or $500B, whether your CEO earns $500K or works for table scraps. And yes, the taxpayer is the loser. Time that poor bastid lost a little less.

I'll close by correcting your quote: it's Gerald Ford, not Jefferson, but it is a thought worthy of the gentleman from Virginia.
 
Exactly. That's my own job security.

KurtfromLaQuinta

KurtfromLaQuinta Avatar

Location: Really deep in the heart of South California
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 9:10pm

Thoughtful Suggestions for Improving America...
Flush the toilet.


Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 8:28pm

 kurtster wrote:
Getting back to the main point of salary caps for doing business with the government still needs consideration at some level.  Government contractors are required to meet certain standards in order to do business in the first place.  So rather than a draconian cutoff of $400K, perhaps a government imposed ratio between the lowest and highest paid position might be a more rational compromise.  The taxpayer is the loser no matter what.  Those with nothing left to lose become the most dangerous.

I close with this quote from Thomas Jefferson:

 

'A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.

 
Whether a salary cap for contractors gets considered will probably depend on what points grandstanding congressmen think they can score with it. But it isn't any particular random number I object to, or even a random ratio of numbers—the problem begins when there is any such requirement. It's another hoop to jump thru and it costs the same to certify that your CEO makes less than $471K /year or $500B, whether your CEO earns $500K or works for table scraps. And yes, the taxpayer is the loser. Time that poor bastid lost a little less.

I'll close by correcting your quote: it's Gerald Ford, not Jefferson, but it is a thought worthy of the gentleman from Virginia.

kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 7:36pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

You may get your wish—in the end crap like TARP may burn the national house down, a piece at a time, tossed into the furnace for short-sighted heat.

As for free enterprise, how exactly does adding a layer or two to the effort required to do business promote it? Can you see that forcing the feds to buy from distributors rather than direct from manufacturers will make buying things cost more rather than less? And what purpose does creating an intermediary for buying, say, an aircraft carrier serve?

I share your desire to end the gravy train (the one that pays my salary) but my motivation isn't to punish anybody, but to promote accountability and efficiency to the solutions to our problems. I also want to get some first-class R&D talent connected to solving problems rather than chasing grants, but the way the federal purchasing system works now it's almost impossible to wean a company off the teat. If you streamline the overhead to be competitive in the private sector you'll wind up with executives in jail for violating the many many many safeguards in place to make sure that the government can track where every penny of the $600 hammers they buy went. It's cold turkey or stay on the federal gravy train.

If paying an executive 7 or 8 figures helps cure cancer I have no objection. Competent leadership is not cheap. "Non-profit" means only that the organization is run so that anything left over from running the organization is not distributed to shareholders, not that everybody who works there lives off a trust fund. ACS and UW have to compete with private sector entities for talent. Those organizations can offer things a non-profit never can, like equity. It makes sense then for non-profits to pay even a bit more than their competition, and again if they are fulfilling their mission I have no problem with that. Get rich curing cancer? How is that worse than getting rich selling Barbie dolls or cigarettes?

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is the organization you're thinking of, I think. Their early history was dogged by accusations that it was just a tax dodge for Howard Hughes, who signed over all his Hughes Aircraft stock to it. Their new CEO is Robert Tjian; I'd bet money he'll make well into the six figures in this post. Read his bio and see if he doesn't sound like he's worth every penny.
 
Nice rebuttal.  Thanks.  I agree with most all of your points.  I still have a hard time with high salaries in not for profits, but yes competent leadership is not easy to find.  Federal purchasing and bidding is indeed an area where I defer to your insight, however, whatever allows the purchase of a $600 hammer needs to be halted.  On the other hand, foreign companies should not be supplying our military with aircraft or warships, even if they are a lower bidder.  I have a problem with that.

Getting back to the main point of salary caps for doing business with the government still needs consideration at some level.  Government contractors are required to meet certain standards in order to do business in the first place.  So rather than a draconian cutoff of $400K, perhaps a government imposed ratio between the lowest and highest paid position might be a more rational compromise.  The taxpayer is the loser no matter what.  Those with nothing left to lose become the most dangerous.

I close with this quote from Thomas Jefferson:

 

'A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.'



katzendogs

katzendogs Avatar

Location: Pasadena ,Texas
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 7:15pm

 Zep wrote:
Canuck fight!

And it isn't on a rink!
 
My boss is one of "them." I'll have to bring that up! {#Angel}
Zep

Zep Avatar



Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 7:10pm

Canuck fight!

And it isn't on a rink!

katzendogs

katzendogs Avatar

Location: Pasadena ,Texas
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 6:49pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 kurtster wrote:
If the taxpayeys are paying the freight, then it is our business.

I add to this that I would rather see the whole house burn down than see crap like TARP run down the taxpayers throat. 

I sense you are afraid of true free enterprise, the kind that finds a way to prosper on its own, without help and protection from the government.  What I propose supports that.  Do you believe that it would be impossible to find a niche that would not support itself, free from government support ?

Yes, it might add a layer or two, say if the Pentagon buys Apple computers for some reason.  Apple would not sell them directly to the Pentagon, they would be purchased from a wholesaler that would be subject to the rule.  The only benefit Apple receives is that they sell a widget.  The wholesaler would increase the price according to how much it costs to stay in business and keep the doors open as opposed to living large while their employees make peanuts.  That would prevent unnecessary markups and/or better wages for the employees of the wholesaler.  As the saying goes, "you can't take it with you", redistribute the profits to your employees, or don't do business with the government.  Something is better than nothing.

I am the last person to want to see Socialism spread like tainted peanut butter.  I want a new paradigm that rewards independence and entreprenurial genius and penalizes dependence on the taxpayer.

Edit:  And explain to me how Non Profit organizations like the American Cancer Society and the United Way are non profit when their executives receive 7 or 8 digit salaries ?

Edit, Edit:  An example of an organization doing it the right way is the Research Trust left behind by Howard Hughes.  The actual name escapes me, but the endowment is around $10 B and they refuse any government involvement and have done more to improve healthcare and find cures than anyone else.

You may get your wish—in the end crap like TARP may burn the national house down, a piece at a time, tossed into the furnace for short-sighted heat.

As for free enterprise, how exactly does adding a layer or two to the effort required to do business promote it? Can you see that forcing the feds to buy from distributors rather than direct from manufacturers will make buying things cost more rather than less? And what purpose does creating an intermediary for buying, say, an aircraft carrier serve?

I share your desire to end the gravy train (the one that pays my salary) but my motivation isn't to punish anybody, but to promote accountability and efficiency to the solutions to our problems. I also want to get some first-class R&D talent connected to solving problems rather than chasing grants, but the way the federal purchasing system works now it's almost impossible to wean a company off the teat. If you streamline the overhead to be competitive in the private sector you'll wind up with executives in jail for violating the many many many safeguards in place to make sure that the government can track where every penny of the $600 hammers they buy went. It's cold turkey or stay on the federal gravy train.

If paying an executive 7 or 8 figures helps cure cancer I have no objection. Competent leadership is not cheap. "Non-profit" means only that the organization is run so that anything left over from running the organization is not distributed to shareholders, not that everybody who works there lives off a trust fund. ACS and UW have to compete with private sector entities for talent. Those organizations can offer things a non-profit never can, like equity. It makes sense then for non-profits to pay even a bit more than their competition, and again if they are fulfilling their mission I have no problem with that. Get rich curing cancer? How is that worse than getting rich selling Barbie dolls or cigarettes?

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is the organization you're thinking of, I think. Their early history was dogged by accusations that it was just a tax dodge for Howard Hughes, who signed over all his Hughes Aircraft stock to it. Their new CEO is Robert Tjian; I'd bet money he'll make well into the six figures in this post. Read his bio and see if he doesn't sound like he's worth every penny.
  Are you in some kind of witness protection program? Because you make too much sense!


Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 6:44pm

 kurtster wrote:
If the taxpayeys are paying the freight, then it is our business.

I add to this that I would rather see the whole house burn down than see crap like TARP run down the taxpayers throat. 

I sense you are afraid of true free enterprise, the kind that finds a way to prosper on its own, without help and protection from the government.  What I propose supports that.  Do you believe that it would be impossible to find a niche that would not support itself, free from government support ?

Yes, it might add a layer or two, say if the Pentagon buys Apple computers for some reason.  Apple would not sell them directly to the Pentagon, they would be purchased from a wholesaler that would be subject to the rule.  The only benefit Apple receives is that they sell a widget.  The wholesaler would increase the price according to how much it costs to stay in business and keep the doors open as opposed to living large while their employees make peanuts.  That would prevent unnecessary markups and/or better wages for the employees of the wholesaler.  As the saying goes, "you can't take it with you", redistribute the profits to your employees, or don't do business with the government.  Something is better than nothing.

I am the last person to want to see Socialism spread like tainted peanut butter.  I want a new paradigm that rewards independence and entreprenurial genius and penalizes dependence on the taxpayer.

Edit:  And explain to me how Non Profit organizations like the American Cancer Society and the United Way are non profit when their executives receive 7 or 8 digit salaries ?

Edit, Edit:  An example of an organization doing it the right way is the Research Trust left behind by Howard Hughes.  The actual name escapes me, but the endowment is around $10 B and they refuse any government involvement and have done more to improve healthcare and find cures than anyone else.

You may get your wish—in the end crap like TARP may burn the national house down, a piece at a time, tossed into the furnace for short-sighted heat.

As for free enterprise, how exactly does adding a layer or two to the effort required to do business promote it? Can you see that forcing the feds to buy from distributors rather than direct from manufacturers will make buying things cost more rather than less? And what purpose does creating an intermediary for buying, say, an aircraft carrier serve?

I share your desire to end the gravy train (the one that pays my salary) but my motivation isn't to punish anybody, but to promote accountability and efficiency to the solutions to our problems. I also want to get some first-class R&D talent connected to solving problems rather than chasing grants, but the way the federal purchasing system works now it's almost impossible to wean a company off the teat. If you streamline the overhead to be competitive in the private sector you'll wind up with executives in jail for violating the many many many safeguards in place to make sure that the government can track where every penny of the $600 hammers they buy went. It's cold turkey or stay on the federal gravy train.

If paying an executive 7 or 8 figures helps cure cancer I have no objection. Competent leadership is not cheap. "Non-profit" means only that the organization is run so that anything left over from running the organization is not distributed to shareholders, not that everybody who works there lives off a trust fund. ACS and UW have to compete with private sector entities for talent. Those organizations can offer things a non-profit never can, like equity. It makes sense then for non-profits to pay even a bit more than their competition, and again if they are fulfilling their mission I have no problem with that. Get rich curing cancer? How is that worse than getting rich selling Barbie dolls or cigarettes?

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is the organization you're thinking of, I think. Their early history was dogged by accusations that it was just a tax dodge for Howard Hughes, who signed over all his Hughes Aircraft stock to it. Their new CEO is Robert Tjian; I'd bet money he'll make well into the six figures in this post. Read his bio and see if he doesn't sound like he's worth every penny.

samiyam

samiyam Avatar

Location: Moving North


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 6:30pm

 Welly wrote:

I deal with police on a fairly regular basis and I'd far rather interact with city cops than the RCMP any day. The RCMP have a systemic problem and have had for years. So please don't talk to me like I have no idea.
And I don't hate you. Jeebus. Touchy or what?
 
Y'know... I keep hearing the theme song from "Dudley Do-Right" in my head... 

samiyam

samiyam Avatar

Location: Moving North


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 6:28pm

 Beaker wrote:



You are aware that our police forces act only within the powers that our elected officials grant and allow them, right?
 
You funny guy! 

Welly

Welly Avatar

Location: Lotusland
Gender: Female


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 6:27pm

Beaker wrote:

Hey, you're the one who kneejerked up this: "Tell that to Robert Dziekański."

Carry on.

{#Rolleyes} you just love using provocative language don't you? Yeah, okay, as you said, carry on.

katzendogs

katzendogs Avatar

Location: Pasadena ,Texas
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 6:23pm

What's all the Canookistin stuff? {#Arrowd} quit jackin' the evil American threads! {#Wink}
Welly

Welly Avatar

Location: Lotusland
Gender: Female


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 6:19pm

Beaker wrote:



Go ahead. Slam an entire police force for the actions of a few.

Whatev.

edit: ps: I'm a big fan of Jamie Graham. Hate me even more now?

I deal with police on a fairly regular basis and I'd far rather interact with city cops than the RCMP any day. The RCMP have a systemic problem and have had for years. So please don't talk to me like I have no idea.
And I don't hate you. Jeebus. Touchy or what?

Welly

Welly Avatar

Location: Lotusland
Gender: Female


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 6:07pm

Beaker wrote:

Do try and think a little more literally from time to time, rather than seek to score the easy cheap points, m'kay?

Cheap shot? Really? Tell that to Robert Dziekański.
Welly

Welly Avatar

Location: Lotusland
Gender: Female


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 5:59pm

Beaker wrote:



You are aware that our police forces act only within the powers that our elected officials grant and allow them, right?

{#Roflol}  {#Roflol}{#Roflol}
good one!
samiyam

samiyam Avatar

Location: Moving North


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 5:52pm

Force the police to patrol without guns... like they do in Great Britain.


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 4:08pm

 
Lazy8 wrote:
And what if it isn't? The burden of compliance would fall on anyone doing business with the feds at any level. Or do you want to add yet another accounting/compliance requirement: state what portion of your company's income comes from federal contracting as well, documented with this form and that table and audited by this certified accounting agency, paid for out of overhead. None of which cuts the grass.

It doesn't matter that the guy cutting the grass doesn't make more than $471,000/year (and as far as I'm concerned, bully for him if he does)—he has to prove he doesn't, and proving he doesn't takes time and money. It means there's no point taking on a federal contract for a small job—you'll lose money. You need to take on lots of federal contracts or charge more for them, putting you at a disadvantage to a company that does nothing but. You're accomplishing the opposite of your intent.

Isn't this the same argument for letting illegal aliens in the country ?  That no one else would be willing to do the work ?

I consider it both: a misguided attempt to fix a problem caused by red tape with more red tape. Motivating it by a desire to punish those who took advantage of the system Congress put in place doesn't change the outcome or punish those truly responsible. The guy cutting grass didn't get any TARP money.

It just the cost of doing business with the taxpayer.  This would slow down the acceptance of funds from  boondogles such as the TARP fund.  If you can't find a way to swallow the pill, then go out of business.

I can imagine the impact on MLB: none at all. An exemption from antitrust law can be undone separately, at any time. So do that, and leave the lawn maintenance guy alone.

If the Antitrust exemption for MLB was left intact, owners and players would be subject to the $400k rule.  Ticket and hot dog prices would again become afforfable.
 
No, I wouldn't. I'd rather see each company's owners set compensation based on the value added by the employee, or the scarcity and necessity of the work s/he does. Or whatever the owners of the company want to use—it's none of our business. If they pay too much the cost of their goods and services will go up and somebody who pays less gets the job.

You want my idea? Scrap the requirements irrelevant to the actual work. Eliminate the intrusive and burdensome accounting rules that govern every minute detail of doing business with the government; rules that bloat administration within companies and make them uncompetitive with non-governmental customers.

As for TARP and other such boondoggles: even easier. Don't do it. Admit there are problems government is helpless against, and concentrate on the ones it can help with, and should help with.

 
If the taxpayeys are paying the freight, then it is our business.

I add to this that I would rather see the whole house burn down than see crap like TARP run down the taxpayers throat. 

I sense you are afraid of true free enterprise, the kind that finds a way to prosper on its own, without help and protection from the government.  What I propose supports that.  Do you believe that it would be impossible to find a niche that would not support itself, free from government support ?

Yes, it might add a layer or two, say if the Pentagon buys Apple computers for some reason.  Apple would not sell them directly to the Pentagon, they would be purchased from a wholesaler that would be subject to the rule.  The only benefit Apple receives is that they sell a widget.  The wholesaler would increase the price according to how much it costs to stay in business and keep the doors open as opposed to living large while their employees make peanuts.  That would prevent unnecessary markups and/or better wages for the employees of the wholesaler.  As the saying goes, "you can't take it with you", redistribute the profits to your employees, or don't do business with the government.  Something is better than nothing.

I am the last person to want to see Socialism spread like tainted peanut butter.  I want a new paradigm that rewards independence and entreprenurial genius and penalizes dependence on the taxpayer.

Edit:  And explain to me how Non Profit organizations like the American Cancer Society and the United Way are non profit when their executives receive 7 or 8 digit salaries ?

Edit, Edit:  An example of an organization doing it the right way is the Research Trust left behind by Howard Hughes.  The actual name escapes me, but the endowment is around $10 B and they refuse any government involvement and have done more to improve healthcare and find cures than anyone else.

winter

winter Avatar

Location: in exile, as always
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 18, 2009 - 3:28pm

 zipper wrote:

I so love your communication skills and your ability to grasp the details and apply them to the big picture in a way that anyone can comprehend.
 


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