Can always tell when a new version has been released

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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Ken Springer-3
Hi, Sailfish,

I had this flagged to reply to, but by the time I got the shorter
replies written, I was too tired to tackle this one.   LOL

On 12/18/12 11:18 PM, Sailfish wrote:
> My bloviated meandering follows what Ken Springer graced us with on
> 12/18/2012 4:29 PM:

<snip>

>> Don't forget, some people are actually born in these areas.   :))
>>
> Sure, but they don't know any better :)

That'll get your nose busted in some places.   <grin>

>> I agree on the folks who build new houses in those areas.  And since you
>> are paying flood insurance, I have to suspect your financial position
>> may be better than others who can't.  And if today's economy, if you've
>> got a job, are you going to quit just to move to get out of the area?
>>
> Maybe I wouldn't leave but then I wouldn't expect others to pay for my
> decision to tempt fate, either.

No matter the situation, there will always the case that are not black
and white.

>> I do think that if the rest of us help pay for you rebuilding a house,
>> which could be 40 years old and you've lived there 30 years, the house
>> should be built in a less hazardous area.
>
> I'd make that a requirement, i.e. the person would allow the government
> to take the property in exchange for the cost of relocation and building
> in less hazardous areas.

Hopefully, you don't end up with a situation where you had a 2 mile
drive to work from the old location, and a 20 mile drive from the new one.

>> Even at that, there's no place 100% safe.  I'm in the Rocky Mountains at
>> 9,000'.  You'd think I'd be relatively safe from ever seeing a tornado.
>>   But a few years ago, there were two within 15 miles of me.  Plus, I'm
>> technically in an earthquake zone.
>>
> Sure, but we're discussing the situation where people knowingly live in
> known hazardous areas. Even so, I live in a relatively safe area against
> earthquakes but, being that it's California we're talking about, I have
> pay extra for earthquake insurance added to my homeowner policy.

And sometimes, when you moved there it wasn't considered hazardous.
That happened in Ft. Collins, CO quite a few years ago, were the fed gov
came in and reviewed flood plain areas based on knew knowledge.  Housing
areas and the local airport were now in the flood plain, and initial
decision was no more buildings, modifications, etc. to any thing.  There
went everyone's long term investments in their property.  I honestly
don't remember the final outcome, but AFAIK they did not move the airport.

Which side of the San Andreas fault are you on?

  <snip>

>>> You means you folks have to pick up all their poop, too! Who needs
>>> callisthenics when you have that? :)
>>
>> It's called fertilizer!   LOL  It's part of the normal ecosystem,
>> wouldn't want us damaging that, would you?  <grin>
>>
> I'll have to remember that the next time my dog takes a dump on my
> neighbors nicely manicured lawns. I'm sure they'll be understanding if I
> explain just as such ;)

But he's a pet.  Now, if you were to raise a wolf as a pet, they might
leave you alone.    <grin>

>
> [snip /]
>
>>> Choices.
>>
>> Not necessarily.  I could live 5 blocks from the physician's group of my
>> choice.  But when that group and my insurance company can't come to an
>> agreement (and the no agreement did happen to me) I could end up driving
>> 10 miles to the nearest group that accepts my insurance.  That's *not*
>> my choice.
>>
> Sure it is, you could decide that it was important enough that to live
> in a less serene place that did offer more local availability.

I was referring to living in places like Colorado Springs.

> [snip /]
>
>>> Such is the way of all tax-funded organizations, no?
>>
>> To steal a line from "Porgy and Bess", "It ain't necessarily so."  I
>> think it depends on the working relationship between the legal body that
>> creates the organization and the leadership of the organization, and the
>> attitudes of the people working in the organization.
>>
> When we're talking about dishing tax funds, politics is always primal, no?

Sadly, yes.

> [snip /]
>
>>> I don't want to give them the option; thus, the across the board 15% cut
>>> suggestion. The database is more simple than you realize. They would not
>>> be devising new tax codes, simply creating a nationwide repository for
>>> all the state's existing ones.
>>
>> So, you first want to cut 15% which will ultimately result in the
>> reduction of the work force, mostly those that actually do the work, yet
>> add more work?
>>
> No, that's too detailed. What I'm saying is that if we simply impose a
> 15% spending cut at the highest level for these agencies (i.e., DoD,
> HHS, DoEd, DoEnergy, DoCommerce, DoLabor, &c) and let them decide how
> best to implement those cuts. Some may decide to cut their workforce,
> some will decide to drop some sub-agencies, some may decide to improve
> efficiency, whatever. The head of these departments should be held
> accountable for implementing those cuts and earn the outlandish salaries
> they are getting.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you're perspective is all, or at
least most, agencies have enough waste and inefficiency built in now
that a 15% funding would not have to result in a reduction of services.

But, what if there isn't that padding?  Then what?

> [snip /]
>
>>> I disagree. Once government gets it hands on additional revenue, they
>>> treat it like found money. To them, cuts are always something that can
>>> be dealt with later.
>>
>> While I agree with the "found money" perspective, it will always be the
>> folks that do the actual work that get fired.  Always.  They never
>> removed a park superintendent (big bucks), they get rid of the person
>> that mows the yard, cleans the toilets, talks to you behind the
>> visitor's counter, etc.
>>
> Then those areas that don't provide an acceptable level of service
> should be disbanded or the bureaucrat in charge be replaced. Again, we
> can always find reasons for not making the cuts but if cuts are in order
> (which most believe is the case today) then they have to be implemented.

First you have to define what that "acceptable level of service" is.
What might satisfy you  may not satisfy the next guy.  At the unit
level, where that acceptable level of service is the most noticeable,
the folks running the show are usually doing everything they can to get
the most from a buck.  The folks up the chain, not so sure of.    LOL

AFAIK, you can close places.  But, you can't get rid of all the
employees there.  By law, the agencies are charged with taking care of
the resource.  So, while you may close it to the public, you don't
physically abandon it.

To actually disband a unit would require Congress to pass a law to do
that.  Laws created them, only laws can disband them.

And in the case of most, if not all NPS units, come Hell or High Water,
you'll never pull it off.

>> Have you considered this?  You lay a bunch of people off.  You've now
>> created the following scenario:
>>
>>      1.  Fewer people to do the work.
> Not necessarily but in some cases, sure.
>
>>      2.  Lower revenues to the government due to lower income taxes being
>> paid.
> Yes, that's the good part. Anyone working for the government is, by
> definition, a cost-center. Government never increases GDP, only sucks
> from it.

Agreed that in reality, you're correct.  Unfortunately, the tax code
doesn't look at it that way, nor federal accounting AFAIK.  So, even
though there work does not provide a service (electrician, plumber,
sacker at the grocery) or produce a product, those employees do have to
pay income taxes that are figured into the books on the revenue side.

>>      3.  Higher expenditures by the government due to unemployment benefits.
>>
> Nope, unemployment benefits are always lower than fully loaded
> employment costs.

I had not considered that.  But it can still be a losing situation if
the agency that cuts those employees doesn't have the "fat" to get rid of.

I wish there was a way to accurately do an audit of the government, but
the size of the government is just so huge, I think the best you could
do is an agency at a time.  And it would be a mistake to judge other
agencies based on what you find there.

You also would have to consider the politics involved.  Folks in a given
agency may be against XXXX for very defensible reasons, but the occupant
in the White House has the power and authority to overrule and say "Do
it anyway."

<snip>

>> You assume there *is* administrative overhead to cut.  If a district is
>> in a poor tax base area, there is no money.  No one makes big bucks.  :-(
>>
> You're kidding, right? I don't even know of any teachers who would agree
> with that!

You can find them in areas of CO and TX, and probably other sparsely
populated areas.  They are acknowledged to be underpaid, and schools
underfunded and under equipped.  But, there's nothing that's taxable in
many of those areas that have any real monetary value.

At the same time, you have teachers in other areas that are overpaid and
provide substandard product.

> [snip /]
>
>>> The first thing that needs to happen is to go back to the policy where
>>> government workers were not allowed to unionize or go on strike.
>>
>> Agreed, but it has to come with monitoring agencies so they don't put
>> the employees in unsafe, unhealthy situations, and they actually earn a
>> fair wage.
>>
> OSHA laws apply to union and union employment. As to a fair wage, I'd
> tie their wages to the COLA index for starters.

Negative, negative, Sailfish.  OSHA applies to any and all workplaces,
including federal units and military bases.  Government pay is, and has
been, tied to union pay scales for years.  And those pay scales are not
the same across agencies, if you can believe that.  So, a WG-9 in the
Dept. of Interior is not paid the same as a WG-9 in the Dept. of
Defense.  Been there, done that.    ;-)

I don't know if it's changed, but the NPS was divided into 135 separate
areas for calculating pay scales.  Other agencies were divided
differently.  Take AK.  For the DoD, then entire state was one district
for pay purposes.  For the NPS, there were 3.

>> There was a time when fed workers were truly underpaid.  At the same
>> time, opponents of pay raises always talked about the fringe benefits
>> employees got.  But those fringe benefits, that you collected on 30
>> years later at retirement, won't put bread on your table, nor shoes on
>> your kid's feet.  And you had to be a permanent employee to get those
>> benefits.  Because of shrinking budgets, agencies ran more and more on
>> seasonal employees who got no bennies, and volunteers who usually were
>> already retired.
>>
> We're a far cry from when that was the case, if it was ever as bad as
> you state. It's just the opposite now and, the thing that makes it
> really unjust, is that the unlucky schmucks that can't get a government
> job are making much, much less and having to pay for the largess being
> paid to the public sector employees.

It 's not totally the opposite.  If it was, no military family or
civilian family would be eligible for food stamps.

>> These days, the pay scale is probably comparable, in some cases paid
>> more than public sector counterparts.  Federal law prohibits pay cuts.
>>
> Not so, just the opposite, according to this left-leaning source:
> REF:
> http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/01/chart-day-federal-government-pay-vs-private-sector-pay
>
> [excerpt quote="
> Their conclusion should come as no surprise: When you account for both
> wages and benefits, Uncle Sam is generous toward those with less than a
> college degree and stingy toward those with PhDs or professional degrees.
> " /]

Left leaning or right leaning, when you see things like this, you can
toss the majority of them in the circular file.  They are never accurate
because they look at just some of the costs of labor in the government,
not the entire pictures.  And they don't mention the benefits that can't
be calculated for an individual.

This one does seem to be reasonably fair, but I don't think I'd put much
faith in the percentage results.  It's just too generalized.

A big one is no mention of how government pay is based, IOW on union
wages.  AFAIK, most private sector employees are nonunion, and are paid
less than union employees.  To make a pay scale comparison accurate, the
pay of federal workers needs to be compared to union private sector
employees, with a 3rd column representing nonunion private sector
employees.  If you don't, you have apples in one barrel, and apples and
oranges in another barrel.

FWIW, there are some federal employees that are unionized.  Their pay is
figured differently, but I do not know the details.

Lower educated individuals do fare better.  But the chart doesn't break
out the percentage of those lower educated individuals between permanent
and non-permanent employees, of which there is a considerable
percentage.  Agencies are hiring fewer permanent lower grade employees,
who tend to be less educated, so benefits don't have to be paid.  And,
often they do not have full time jobs, meaning less than 40 hrs. a week,
and less overtime.  Take away the fringe benefits, and the actual pay
scale, $$/hr., isn't nearly as large.

A big chunk of that fringe benefit is health insurance.  Of which the
employee does pay a portion.  Retirees like me, pay 100% of the health
premium.  Health insurance costs are not based on wages, one of the
reasons that at the lower end of the payscale, it looks skewed and can
give the wrong impression.

There are many of the better educated workers who aren't doing it for
the money, they are doing it for the benefits.  It's something of a pay
me now or pay me later perspective.  You get a bigger paycheck in the
private sector, but you're more likely responsible for your own
financial and retirement planning.

Now, if you start with the government young enough, you can work 20
years, and retire.  After waiting, I think, two years, you can get
another permanent government position, work 20 years, and collect a 2nd
retirement package.  All the while collecting your retirement from the
first stint.

And there the Senior Executive Service, where some agencies hire retired
executive level employees to do the same job they've retired from.

And it's all legal.

>>> As I said, there are ways in the works for making up for this lost
>>> revenue but those methods involve increasing taxes on miles driven, not
>>> increasing them to the general funds coffers.
>>
>> Uh, this isn't making any sense as written.  How does taxing based on
>> miles driven prevent the money from going to the general fund?  AFAIK,
>> aren't gas taxes specifically dedicated to road maintenance?
>>
> Yes, admittedly it was poorly constructed, but what I meant to imply is
> that the taxes garnered from the mileage method should go into the same
> coffers now used for gas taxes and for the same road maintenance usages.

Agreed.

<snip>

>>> Then your state needs to increase you gas sales tax and, if the people
>>> are unwilling to allow it then that will enter into one of the items
>>> that people use to decide to live there, no?

<snip>

> It doesn't matter, unless you're saying that the federal money is being
> unfairly distributed to your area (in whch case, it's time to start
> banging on your congressperson and senators doors.) Otherwise, it's time
> to increase you state gas taxes or, "decide* to live elsewhere.

I wasn't saying it was unfairly distributed.  I read you paragraph as
meaning all fed highway maintenance was funded by the states.  I.E., no
fed money went to maintenance.

<snip>

> As I mentioned earlier, reading printed material sucks all the wakieness
> (<- is a word?) out of me in no time short. :)

So I'm not the only sufferer!    LOL

<snip>

>>> heh, somehow I don't think the fishies have too much to worry about from
>>> SoCal water usage. After all, it all goes back to the ocean eventually,
>>> no? And, who knows, with new technologies, SoCal may eventually be able
>>> to charge inland states for water pipe lines to refill their lakes
>>> during times of drought. Wouldn't that be a hoot!
>>
>> No, it doesn't get to the ocean any more.  :-(  The Colorado River used
>> to be a wide river flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.  Today, due to the
>> amount of water being removed, the river no longer reaches the Gulf of
>> Mexico.
>>
> Correct me if I'm wrong but lakes feed the Colorado river, not oceans,
> right? :) Kidding aside, even water sucked up for thirsty SoCalers
> eventually end up back in the ocean via the LA river bed and sewing
> treatment plants, no?

True on where/how the water gets into the river, including rainfall and
snow melt.  But my point is, so much water is removed from the river
that it no longer flows into the Gulf of Mexico as it had for centuries.

No, not all the water removed makes it into the ocean.  You aren't
taking into account evaporation from the canals, sprinklers on farms and
lawns, etc.  Nor, the amount of water in those tomatoes that get shipped
who knows where.

<snip>

> Again, clumsy writing on my part. I was conjecturing that when an
> inexpensive way can be found for desalinization, then SoCal could use it
> to produce excess usable water and sell it to states that don't have an
> ocean as an exploitable resource.

But, how much will be spent on a delivery system?  Lots of the water
from the Colorado flows downhill in canals.  Last I know, things don't
flow uphill.  So, massive piping systems with pumping stations will have
to be constructed and operated, not to mention storage facilities of
some type at the terminus.

<snip>

>> But there is a lower limit that technology can't solve.  And sometimes,
>> technology will give you poorer results.
>>
> On the whole, when one considers the dropping of mortality rates and the
> availability of other creature comforts, it's hard to find an instance
> where that's the case.

Then why aren't we #1 in infant deaths.  Why aren't we #1 in education?
  There's a lot of place where we are now 2nd rate at best, IMO.

<snip>

>> BTW, did you know we have a national mall?
>>
> I'm aware of it and have even visited it but I wasn't aware that it was
> managed by the NPS.

You'd be surprised at the looks I get from most people.  When they hear
"mall", they conjur up images of a shopping center.

<snip>

No proof reading again!     LOL


--
Ken

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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Ken Springer-3
In reply to this post by Ron Hunter
On 12/19/12 1:32 AM, Ron Hunter wrote:
> I believe the NPS manages all such lands, and Veteran's Cemeteries as well.

Mind defining "all such lands".  As for Veteran's Cemeteries, none that
I know of.  If you download this PDF file, it will list the various
types of units the NPS manages.

http://www.rff.org/rff/documents/rff-bck-orrg_national%20park%20system.pdf

I can't speak for who manages all of the Veterans Cemeteries, but
Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C, and Ft. Logan in the
Denver, CO area are managed by the US Army.



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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Ron Hunter
On 12/21/2012 12:46 AM, Ken Springer wrote:

> On 12/19/12 1:32 AM, Ron Hunter wrote:
>> I believe the NPS manages all such lands, and Veteran's Cemeteries as
>> well.
>
> Mind defining "all such lands".  As for Veteran's Cemeteries, none that
> I know of.  If you download this PDF file, it will list the various
> types of units the NPS manages.
>
> http://www.rff.org/rff/documents/rff-bck-orrg_national%20park%20system.pdf
>
> I can't speak for who manages all of the Veterans Cemeteries, but
> Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C, and Ft. Logan in the
> Denver, CO area are managed by the US Army.
>
>
>
I don't know about the one in Denver, but the one near Washington D.C.
has some rather special rules, too.
Pretty sure the NPS manages the Veteran's cemeteries in general.

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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Sailfish-2
In reply to this post by Ken Springer-3
My bloviated meandering follows what Ken Springer graced us with on
12/20/2012 10:33 PM:

> Hi, Sailfish,
>
> I had this flagged to reply to, but by the time I got the shorter
> replies written, I was too tired to tackle this one.   LOL
>
> On 12/18/12 11:18 PM, Sailfish wrote:
>> My bloviated meandering follows what Ken Springer graced us with on
>> 12/18/2012 4:29 PM:
>
> <snip>
>
>>> Don't forget, some people are actually born in these areas.   :))
>>>
>> Sure, but they don't know any better :)
>
> That'll get your nose busted in some places.   <grin>
>
>>> I agree on the folks who build new houses in those areas.  And since you
>>> are paying flood insurance, I have to suspect your financial position
>>> may be better than others who can't.  And if today's economy, if you've
>>> got a job, are you going to quit just to move to get out of the area?
>>>
>> Maybe I wouldn't leave but then I wouldn't expect others to pay for my
>> decision to tempt fate, either.
>
> No matter the situation, there will always the case that are not black
> and white.
>
Agreed. I'm not a disbeliever of all safety nets, just the ones that
protect those who choose to game the system and rely on the net to save
them when disaster strikes.

>>> I do think that if the rest of us help pay for you rebuilding a house,
>>> which could be 40 years old and you've lived there 30 years, the house
>>> should be built in a less hazardous area.
>>
>> I'd make that a requirement, i.e. the person would allow the government
>> to take the property in exchange for the cost of relocation and building
>> in less hazardous areas.
>
> Hopefully, you don't end up with a situation where you had a 2 mile
> drive to work from the old location, and a 20 mile drive from the new one.
>
It very well might happen but, then again, I would be asking for other
people's money to restore me from choosing to live in a known disaster
zone, no? Why should the taxpayers continue to be on the hook for them
by being able to continue to live in the unsafe location afterwards?

>>> Even at that, there's no place 100% safe.  I'm in the Rocky Mountains at
>>> 9,000'.  You'd think I'd be relatively safe from ever seeing a tornado.
>>>   But a few years ago, there were two within 15 miles of me.  Plus, I'm
>>> technically in an earthquake zone.
>>>
>> Sure, but we're discussing the situation where people knowingly live in
>> known hazardous areas. Even so, I live in a relatively safe area against
>> earthquakes but, being that it's California we're talking about, I have
>> pay extra for earthquake insurance added to my homeowner policy.
>
> And sometimes, when you moved there it wasn't considered hazardous. That
> happened in Ft. Collins, CO quite a few years ago, were the fed gov came
> in and reviewed flood plain areas based on knew knowledge.  Housing
> areas and the local airport were now in the flood plain, and initial
> decision was no more buildings, modifications, etc. to any thing.  There
> went everyone's long term investments in their property.  I honestly
> don't remember the final outcome, but AFAIK they did not move the airport.
>
In those situations, then it is incumbent to purchase flood insurance,
decide to move to safer ground or, live with the consequences. There's
no such thing a free money.

> Which side of the San Andreas fault are you on?

I'm west of it and generally considered a safe distance away from it
but, being within the Ring of Fire, there's really no safe-zones since
California is composed of two tectonic plates. It's been predicted than
in a gazillion years or so, San Francisco and LA will swap geographical
positions due to their slow movement converging on each other.

>>>> You means you folks have to pick up all their poop, too! Who needs
>>>> callisthenics when you have that? :)
>>>
>>> It's called fertilizer!   LOL  It's part of the normal ecosystem,
>>> wouldn't want us damaging that, would you?  <grin>
>>>
>> I'll have to remember that the next time my dog takes a dump on my
>> neighbors nicely manicured lawns. I'm sure they'll be understanding if I
>> explain just as such ;)
>
> But he's a pet.  Now, if you were to raise a wolf as a pet, they might
> leave you alone.    <grin>
>
Especially a DireWolf, http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Direwolves.
But, just my luck, it's be a protected species even after they ended up
finally driving all the California Condors into extinction.

>>>> Choices.
>>>
>>> Not necessarily.  I could live 5 blocks from the physician's group of my
>>> choice.  But when that group and my insurance company can't come to an
>>> agreement (and the no agreement did happen to me) I could end up driving
>>> 10 miles to the nearest group that accepts my insurance.  That's *not*
>>> my choice.
>>>
>> Sure it is, you could decide that it was important enough that to live
>> in a less serene place that did offer more local availability.
>
> I was referring to living in places like Colorado Springs.
>
Who'd want to live in a river? :) Anyway, I know of Colorado Springs but
have never been there. Do they not have other local medical groups than
the one mentioned above?

[snip /]

>>>> I don't want to give them the option; thus, the across the board 15%
>>>> cut
>>>> suggestion. The database is more simple than you realize. They would
>>>> not
>>>> be devising new tax codes, simply creating a nationwide repository for
>>>> all the state's existing ones.
>>>
>>> So, you first want to cut 15% which will ultimately result in the
>>> reduction of the work force, mostly those that actually do the work, yet
>>> add more work?
>>>
>> No, that's too detailed. What I'm saying is that if we simply impose a
>> 15% spending cut at the highest level for these agencies (i.e., DoD,
>> HHS, DoEd, DoEnergy, DoCommerce, DoLabor, &c) and let them decide how
>> best to implement those cuts. Some may decide to cut their workforce,
>> some will decide to drop some sub-agencies, some may decide to improve
>> efficiency, whatever. The head of these departments should be held
>> accountable for implementing those cuts and earn the outlandish salaries
>> they are getting.
>
> If I'm understanding you correctly, you're perspective is all, or at
> least most, agencies have enough waste and inefficiency built in now
> that a 15% funding would not have to result in a reduction of services.
>
> But, what if there isn't that padding?  Then what?
>
My suggestion is simpler than that. Congress passes a budget that
mandates every agency to cut %15 from last years budget and leave it up
to the highly paid administrators of those agencies to get it done. Stop
with the BS congressional hearing where each smaller agencies spends
wasteful time crying (aka, demagoguing) about hard it will be and simply
agree in a bi-partisan fashion to make these agencies do what needs to
be done.

>>>> I disagree. Once government gets it hands on additional revenue, they
>>>> treat it like found money. To them, cuts are always something that can
>>>> be dealt with later.
>>>
>>> While I agree with the "found money" perspective, it will always be the
>>> folks that do the actual work that get fired.  Always.  They never
>>> removed a park superintendent (big bucks), they get rid of the person
>>> that mows the yard, cleans the toilets, talks to you behind the
>>> visitor's counter, etc.
>>>
>> Then those areas that don't provide an acceptable level of service
>> should be disbanded or the bureaucrat in charge be replaced. Again, we
>> can always find reasons for not making the cuts but if cuts are in order
>> (which most believe is the case today) then they have to be implemented.
>
> First you have to define what that "acceptable level of service" is.
> What might satisfy you  may not satisfy the next guy.  At the unit
> level, where that acceptable level of service is the most noticeable,
> the folks running the show are usually doing everything they can to get
> the most from a buck.  The folks up the chain, not so sure of.    LOL
>
No, I don't. That's left for each agency's administrator to do.

> AFAIK, you can close places.  But, you can't get rid of all the
> employees there.  By law, the agencies are charged with taking care of
> the resource.  So, while you may close it to the public, you don't
> physically abandon it.
>
That's passive/aggressive thinking, imo. If it's clear we are getting
close to a fiscal cliff (which I'm hearing both sides acknowledging)
then hard choices have to be made to bring the budgets back into
solvency. Some things will have to go, some things will need to be cut
back on, some things may even warrant increased funding but after it's
settled, there should be a minimum of 15% savings from each agency.

> To actually disband a unit would require Congress to pass a law to do
> that.  Laws created them, only laws can disband them.
>
Of course, all of this will need to be decided by Congress, along with
apportionment.

> And in the case of most, if not all NPS units, come Hell or High Water,
> you'll never pull it off.
>
Again, you're wanting to discuss this at too low of a level. Holy Moley!
We're paying these agencies administrators huge amounts of money, it is
time to tell them to do THEIR job and make the cuts and stop whining
about this thing or that.

>>> Have you considered this?  You lay a bunch of people off.  You've now
>>> created the following scenario:
>>>
>>>      1.  Fewer people to do the work.
>> Not necessarily but in some cases, sure.
>>
>>>      2.  Lower revenues to the government due to lower income taxes
>>> being
>>> paid.
>> Yes, that's the good part. Anyone working for the government is, by
>> definition, a cost-center. Government never increases GDP, only sucks
>> from it.
>
> Agreed that in reality, you're correct.  Unfortunately, the tax code
> doesn't look at it that way, nor federal accounting AFAIK.  So, even
> though there work does not provide a service (electrician, plumber,
> sacker at the grocery) or produce a product, those employees do have to
> pay income taxes that are figured into the books on the revenue side.
>
There's two entries in the books for employee wages, debit and credit.
Employee taxes are on the credit side (~20% or so) and the rest of their
pay is on the debit side (~80% or so.) See the problem now? :)

>>>      3.  Higher expenditures by the government due to unemployment
>>> benefits.
>>>
>> Nope, unemployment benefits are always lower than fully loaded
>> employment costs.
>
> I had not considered that.  But it can still be a losing situation if
> the agency that cuts those employees doesn't have the "fat" to get rid of.
>
That has to be the responsibility of the administrators to hash out.

> I wish there was a way to accurately do an audit of the government, but
> the size of the government is just so huge, I think the best you could
> do is an agency at a time.  And it would be a mistake to judge other
> agencies based on what you find there.
>
Trying to manage it at this level has not and will not ever work since
if opens the doors to demagoguery and then everything falls apart.
That's why it has to be done at the top level and across the board.

> You also would have to consider the politics involved.  Folks in a given
> agency may be against XXXX for very defensible reasons, but the occupant
> in the White House has the power and authority to overrule and say "Do
> it anyway."

Of course, and it is that very reason why the budget has not been fixed.
Each side has too many special interests to pay back with pork that
neither side is really interested in fixing the problem but instead,
most interested in demagoguing minor things until the publics eyes roll
over.

Until they stop with these games and agree to across the board cuts, I
see no way out from backing away from the fiscal cliff.

>>> You assume there *is* administrative overhead to cut.  If a district is
>>> in a poor tax base area, there is no money.  No one makes big bucks.  
>>> :-(
>>>
>> You're kidding, right? I don't even know of any teachers who would agree
>> with that!
>
> You can find them in areas of CO and TX, and probably other sparsely
> populated areas.  They are acknowledged to be underpaid, and schools
> underfunded and under equipped.  But, there's nothing that's taxable in
> many of those areas that have any real monetary value.
>
> At the same time, you have teachers in other areas that are overpaid and
> provide substandard product.
>
Then it's time to change the paradigm on how best to educate kids, as
we've spoke about earlier. The current method is antiquated, costly, and
produces mediocre results.

>>>> The first thing that needs to happen is to go back to the policy where
>>>> government workers were not allowed to unionize or go on strike.
>>>
>>> Agreed, but it has to come with monitoring agencies so they don't put
>>> the employees in unsafe, unhealthy situations, and they actually earn a
>>> fair wage.
>>>
>> OSHA laws apply to union and union employment. As to a fair wage, I'd
>> tie their wages to the COLA index for starters.
>
> Negative, negative, Sailfish.  OSHA applies to any and all workplaces,
> including federal units and military bases.  Government pay is, and has
> been, tied to union pay scales for years.  And those pay scales are not
> the same across agencies, if you can believe that.  So, a WG-9 in the
> Dept. of Interior is not paid the same as a WG-9 in the Dept. of
> Defense.  Been there, done that.    ;-)
>
I mistyped my statement above, it should have read, "OSHA laws apply to
union and *UN*union employment."

We've already discussed the part about dropping unions from government
workforce. That's a must if we are ever to expect an improvement here.

> I don't know if it's changed, but the NPS was divided into 135 separate
> areas for calculating pay scales.  Other agencies were divided
> differently.  Take AK.  For the DoD, then entire state was one district
> for pay purposes.  For the NPS, there were 3.
>
Okay, but I fail to see what that has to do with what we're talking about?

>>> There was a time when fed workers were truly underpaid.  At the same
>>> time, opponents of pay raises always talked about the fringe benefits
>>> employees got.  But those fringe benefits, that you collected on 30
>>> years later at retirement, won't put bread on your table, nor shoes on
>>> your kid's feet.  And you had to be a permanent employee to get those
>>> benefits.  Because of shrinking budgets, agencies ran more and more on
>>> seasonal employees who got no bennies, and volunteers who usually were
>>> already retired.
>>>
>> We're a far cry from when that was the case, if it was ever as bad as
>> you state. It's just the opposite now and, the thing that makes it
>> really unjust, is that the unlucky schmucks that can't get a government
>> job are making much, much less and having to pay for the largess being
>> paid to the public sector employees.
>
> It 's not totally the opposite.  If it was, no military family or
> civilian family would be eligible for food stamps.
>
The military personnel are the ones that are really be taken advantage
of here, imo. Here they are risking their lives for the country and get
inadequately paid. When they made the huge cut in military personnel a
year or so ago, it seemed right to me that every military soldier who
was let go should be offered someone else's job in the government as a
way to show our gratitude for their service but, nooo, they were just
let go and those in government who risked nothing continued to benefit
from risking nothing.

>>> These days, the pay scale is probably comparable, in some cases paid
>>> more than public sector counterparts.  Federal law prohibits pay cuts.
>>>
>> Not so, just the opposite, according to this left-leaning source:
>> REF:
>> http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/01/chart-day-federal-government-pay-vs-private-sector-pay 
>>
>>
>> [excerpt quote="
>> Their conclusion should come as no surprise: When you account for both
>> wages and benefits, Uncle Sam is generous toward those with less than a
>> college degree and stingy toward those with PhDs or professional degrees.
>> " /]
>
> Left leaning or right leaning, when you see things like this, you can
> toss the majority of them in the circular file.  They are never accurate
> because they look at just some of the costs of labor in the government,
> not the entire pictures.  And they don't mention the benefits that can't
> be calculated for an individual.
>
> This one does seem to be reasonably fair, but I don't think I'd put much
> faith in the percentage results.  It's just too generalized.
>
> A big one is no mention of how government pay is based, IOW on union
> wages.  AFAIK, most private sector employees are nonunion, and are paid
> less than union employees.  To make a pay scale comparison accurate, the
> pay of federal workers needs to be compared to union private sector
> employees, with a 3rd column representing nonunion private sector
> employees.  If you don't, you have apples in one barrel, and apples and
> oranges in another barrel.
>
> FWIW, there are some federal employees that are unionized.  Their pay is
> figured differently, but I do not know the details.
>
> Lower educated individuals do fare better.  But the chart doesn't break
> out the percentage of those lower educated individuals between permanent
> and non-permanent employees, of which there is a considerable
> percentage.  Agencies are hiring fewer permanent lower grade employees,
> who tend to be less educated, so benefits don't have to be paid.  And,
> often they do not have full time jobs, meaning less than 40 hrs. a week,
> and less overtime.  Take away the fringe benefits, and the actual pay
> scale, $$/hr., isn't nearly as large.
>
> A big chunk of that fringe benefit is health insurance.  Of which the
> employee does pay a portion.  Retirees like me, pay 100% of the health
> premium.  Health insurance costs are not based on wages, one of the
> reasons that at the lower end of the payscale, it looks skewed and can
> give the wrong impression.
>
> There are many of the better educated workers who aren't doing it for
> the money, they are doing it for the benefits.  It's something of a pay
> me now or pay me later perspective.  You get a bigger paycheck in the
> private sector, but you're more likely responsible for your own
> financial and retirement planning.
>
> Now, if you start with the government young enough, you can work 20
> years, and retire.  After waiting, I think, two years, you can get
> another permanent government position, work 20 years, and collect a 2nd
> retirement package.  All the while collecting your retirement from the
> first stint.
>
> And there the Senior Executive Service, where some agencies hire retired
> executive level employees to do the same job they've retired from.
>
> And it's all legal.
>
Here's an article that that seems more credible:
REF:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/19/are-government-workers-overpaid-or-underpaid.html

[excerpt quote="
According to the SIPP data, the average federal worker shifting to a
private job actually accepts a small salary reduction of around 3
percent. Similarly, private sector workers who move to federal jobs
don't take a pay cut. They get a first-year raise averaging 9 percent,
well above the raise other workers get when they switch jobs within the
private sector.

. . . Nationwide, non-teachers who move into teaching receive an average
raise of around 8 percent, according to SIPP data, while teachers who
leave the profession take an average salary cut of around 3 percent.
Similarly, three recent state-level studies (in Florida, Missouri and
Georgia) using administrative records found no average wage increase for
ex-teachers.
" /]

If the first comment is correct, it's actually worse than outlined in
the article:

[excerpt quote="
The SIPP wage data used in the study does NOT include the value of
benefits. When I worked at a VA hospital, the benefit package was worth
at least $7,000 more per year than at private hospitals in the same
city. A private hospital worker making $50,000 a year in pay and
benefits would make $58,500 in an equivalent government job, an increase
of 17%.

Many workers (especially incompetent or lazy ones) seek government jobs
because after getting through the probationary period, it is almost
impossible to be fired (especially in jobs that are unionized).
" /]

[snip /]

>> It doesn't matter, unless you're saying that the federal money is being
>> unfairly distributed to your area (in whch case, it's time to start
>> banging on your congressperson and senators doors.) Otherwise, it's time
>> to increase you state gas taxes or, "decide* to live elsewhere.
>
> I wasn't saying it was unfairly distributed.  I read you paragraph as
> meaning all fed highway maintenance was funded by the states.  I.E., no
> fed money went to maintenance.

As I recall the discussion, I was unclear as to whether the state paid
for federal road maintenance but it appears that the feds do chip in
some (maybe all) for their road maintenance.

[snip /]

>> Correct me if I'm wrong but lakes feed the Colorado river, not oceans,
>> right? :) Kidding aside, even water sucked up for thirsty SoCalers
>> eventually end up back in the ocean via the LA river bed and sewing
>> treatment plants, no?
>
> True on where/how the water gets into the river, including rainfall and
> snow melt.  But my point is, so much water is removed from the river
> that it no longer flows into the Gulf of Mexico as it had for centuries.
>
Isn't the GoM essentially connected to the Atlantic Ocean? Or are you
suggesting that the loss of the flow is causing environmental damage?

> No, not all the water removed makes it into the ocean.  You aren't
> taking into account evaporation from the canals, sprinklers on farms and
> lawns, etc.  Nor, the amount of water in those tomatoes that get shipped
> who knows where.
>
Of course, but evaporation occurs even in the Colorado River, and water
used for irrigation becomes ground water and eventually either feed
sother lakes or dumps into the ocean, right? As for water being absorbed
by food, that, too, eventually makes it way back to the ocean via sewer
systems. I guess I see river water as a transitional resource, one that
left to its natural inclinations flows somewhere until it finds the ocean.

>> Again, clumsy writing on my part. I was conjecturing that when an
>> inexpensive way can be found for desalinization, then SoCal could use it
>> to produce excess usable water and sell it to states that don't have an
>> ocean as an exploitable resource.
>
> But, how much will be spent on a delivery system?  Lots of the water
> from the Colorado flows downhill in canals.  Last I know, things don't
> flow uphill.  So, massive piping systems with pumping stations will have
> to be constructed and operated, not to mention storage facilities of
> some type at the terminus.

You bet. In fact, I read somewhere a long time ago that the largest
single consumer of electricity in California is the pumps used to move
water through the state's aqueduct system. Not sure if that's now still
the case.

Ultimately, I believe drinkable water will eventually be more profitable
that oil is today. After all, water makes food.

>>> But there is a lower limit that technology can't solve.  And sometimes,
>>> technology will give you poorer results.
>>>
>> On the whole, when one considers the dropping of mortality rates and the
>> availability of other creature comforts, it's hard to find an instance
>> where that's the case.
>
> Then why aren't we #1 in infant deaths.  Why aren't we #1 in education?
>  There's a lot of place where we are now 2nd rate at best, IMO.

We aren't last in infant mortality due to a number of reasons including
the fact that we're #1 in immigration from disadvantaged countries and
also differences in counting accuracies elsewhere. But I wasn't making
the claim of US technology benefits, I was speaking of technology
overall. A simple comparison of countries that exploit technology versus
those who don't paints a very clear picture, no?

>>> BTW, did you know we have a national mall?
>>>
>> I'm aware of it and have even visited it but I wasn't aware that it was
>> managed by the NPS.
>
> You'd be surprised at the looks I get from most people.  When they hear
> "mall", they conjur up images of a shopping center.
>
I blame Mall of America!
http://www.mallofamerica.com/

--
Sailfish - Netscape Champion
Mozilla Contributor Member - www.mozilla.org/credits/
Netscape/Mozilla Tips: http://www.ufaq.org/ , http://ilias.ca/
Rare Mozilla Stuff: http://www.projectit.com/
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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Ken Springer-3
In reply to this post by Ron Hunter
On 12/21/12 2:01 AM, Ron Hunter wrote:

> On 12/21/2012 12:46 AM, Ken Springer wrote:
>> On 12/19/12 1:32 AM, Ron Hunter wrote:
>>> I believe the NPS manages all such lands, and Veteran's Cemeteries as
>>> well.
>>
>> Mind defining "all such lands".  As for Veteran's Cemeteries, none that
>> I know of.  If you download this PDF file, it will list the various12
>> types of units the NPS manages.
>>
>> http://www.rff.org/rff/documents/rff-bck-orrg_national%20park%20system.pdf
>>
>> I can't speak for who manages all of the Veterans Cemeteries, but
>> Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C, and Ft. Logan in the
>> Denver, CO area are managed by the US Army.
>>
>>
>>
> I don't know about the one in Denver, but the one near Washington D.C.
> has some rather special rules, too.
> Pretty sure the NPS manages the Veteran's cemeteries in general.

Dang.  You're right, in just a few cases.  According to Wikipedia,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Cemetery there are
146 national cemeteries.

1 cemetery, Arlington, is operated by the Army.  Remember the scandal
where remains were not where they belonged, couldn't be found, and
remains with the wrong names?

12 are operated by the NPS.

133 are operated by the Veterans Administration, including Ft. Logan
which I thought was operated by the Army.  I've got a cousin interred there.

But states also have veterans cemeteries.  TX has at least two:

http://www.cemetery.state.tx.us/

http://www.missiontexas.us/life-in-mission/attractions/state-veterans-cemetary


--
Ken

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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Ron Hunter
On 12/21/2012 8:40 AM, Ken Springer wrote:

> On 12/21/12 2:01 AM, Ron Hunter wrote:
>> On 12/21/2012 12:46 AM, Ken Springer wrote:
>>> On 12/19/12 1:32 AM, Ron Hunter wrote:
>>>> I believe the NPS manages all such lands, and Veteran's Cemeteries as
>>>> well.
>>>
>>> Mind defining "all such lands".  As for Veteran's Cemeteries, none that
>>> I know of.  If you download this PDF file, it will list the various12
>>> types of units the NPS manages.
>>>
>>> http://www.rff.org/rff/documents/rff-bck-orrg_national%20park%20system.pdf
>>>
>>>
>>> I can't speak for who manages all of the Veterans Cemeteries, but
>>> Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C, and Ft. Logan in the
>>> Denver, CO area are managed by the US Army.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>> I don't know about the one in Denver, but the one near Washington D.C.
>> has some rather special rules, too.
>> Pretty sure the NPS manages the Veteran's cemeteries in general.
>
> Dang.  You're right, in just a few cases.  According to Wikipedia,
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Cemetery there are
> 146 national cemeteries.
>
> 1 cemetery, Arlington, is operated by the Army.  Remember the scandal
> where remains were not where they belonged, couldn't be found, and
> remains with the wrong names?
>
> 12 are operated by the NPS.
>
> 133 are operated by the Veterans Administration, including Ft. Logan
> which I thought was operated by the Army.  I've got a cousin interred
> there.
>
> But states also have veterans cemeteries.  TX has at least two:
>
> http://www.cemetery.state.tx.us/
>
> http://www.missiontexas.us/life-in-mission/attractions/state-veterans-cemetary
>
>
>
I have two brothers buried in veteran's cemeteries.  One in Houston, and
the other somewhere in central Texas.  I was at the funeral, but was
only about 4, so I only recall it was really hot, and we waited at a bus
stop for hours on the way back.  Miserable day.

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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Ken Springer-3
In reply to this post by Sailfish-2
HI, Sailfish,

I had probably 75% if this written on 12/24, but could never get back to
finishing it.

I considered just blowing this off until I read the two links that are
at the bottom of the message.  My conclusion from those links is we are
in trouble when it comes to water.  Big trouble.

And, we caused it.  :-(


On 12/21/12 2:05 AM, Sailfish wrote:
> My bloviated meandering follows what Ken Springer graced us with on
> 12/20/2012 10:33 PM:

<snip>

> Agreed. I'm not a disbeliever of all safety nets, just the ones that
> protect those who choose to game the system and rely on the net to save
> them when disaster strikes.

I'm not a fan of the gamer of any system, but sometimes I'm amazed how
they managed to get away with it.

<snip>

>> Hopefully, you don't end up with a situation where you had a 2 mile
>> drive to work from the old location, and a 20 mile drive from the new one.
>>
> It very well might happen but, then again, I would be asking for other
> people's money to restore me from choosing to live in a known disaster
> zone, no? Why should the taxpayers continue to be on the hook for them
> by being able to continue to live in the unsafe location afterwards?

You'd have to call it risk management.  What are the odds of another
similar disaster happening in the same area in the next X amount of
time, versus the cost overall to relocate not just homes, but
businesses, factories, city halls, etc.  It might be that the cost to
rebuild/repair is cheaper than relocation.

>>>> Even at that, there's no place 100% safe.  I'm in the Rocky Mountains at
>>>> 9,000'.  You'd think I'd be relatively safe from ever seeing a tornado.
>>>>    But a few years ago, there were two within 15 miles of me.  Plus, I'm
>>>> technically in an earthquake zone.
>>>>
>>> Sure, but we're discussing the situation where people knowingly live in
>>> known hazardous areas. Even so, I live in a relatively safe area against
>>> earthquakes but, being that it's California we're talking about, I have
>>> pay extra for earthquake insurance added to my homeowner policy.
>>
>> And sometimes, when you moved there it wasn't considered hazardous. That
>> happened in Ft. Collins, CO quite a few years ago, were the fed gov came
>> in and reviewed flood plain areas based on knew knowledge.  Housing
>> areas and the local airport were now in the flood plain, and initial
>> decision was no more buildings, modifications, etc. to any thing.  There
>> went everyone's long term investments in their property.  I honestly
>> don't remember the final outcome, but AFAIK they did not move the airport.
>>
> In those situations, then it is incumbent to purchase flood insurance,
> decide to move to safer ground or, live with the consequences. There's
> no such thing a free money.

You do have look at the overall situation where you are.  Some places
that were designated flood plains hadn't seen running water in hundreds
of years.  <grin>  If memory serves, and I didn't pay close attention at
the time, there were no records of any flooding, except from huge rain
run off after the rare downpour, for that area.  It started out turning
into being forced to do things because Unca Sam said so.  No one in
their right mind would have done what was in the rules for that location.

I'm at 9,000', I think I'll skip the flood insurance.   LOL

>> Which side of the San Andreas fault are you on?
>
> I'm west of it and generally considered a safe distance away from it
> but, being within the Ring of Fire, there's really no safe-zones since
> California is composed of two tectonic plates. It's been predicted than
> in a gazillion years or so, San Francisco and LA will swap geographical
> positions due to their slow movement converging on each other.

<snip>

> Especially a DireWolf, http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Direwolves.
> But, just my luck, it's be a protected species even after they ended up
> finally driving all the California Condors into extinction.

Hmmm, at first, thought it was going to be a fight between Kohler and
American Standard.   ;-)

> Who'd want to live in a river? :)

Trout, bass........    <grin>

> Anyway, I know of Colorado Springs but
> have never been there. Do they not have other local medical groups than
> the one mentioned above?

There are, scattered all over town.  While there could be a situation
where there are 10 general practice medical groups within in a mile of
where you live, maybe only one accepts your insurance.  What if the
group can't get along, and the only other group that accepts you
insurance is clear across town.  You don't have control over that.  Are
you suggesting the insured sell the house and move just to be close to
where you can get medical help covered by your insurance?

<snip>

>>> No, that's too detailed. What I'm saying is that if we simply impose a
>>> 15% spending cut at the highest level for these agencies (i.e., DoD,
>>> HHS, DoEd, DoEnergy, DoCommerce, DoLabor, &c) and let them decide how
>>> best to implement those cuts. Some may decide to cut their workforce,
>>> some will decide to drop some sub-agencies, some may decide to improve
>>> efficiency, whatever. The head of these departments should be held
>>> accountable for implementing those cuts and earn the outlandish salaries
>>> they are getting.

The problem is, you are assuming things.  You do know that old joke,
don't you?

As for the budget, I'd suggest we not worry about what an agency does.
The current members of the federal government couldn't pass a budget
when the Democrats controlled everything.  Until they get off their
butts and stop acting childish, no use worrying about 15% anywhere.

<snip>

> Again, you're wanting to discuss this at too low of a level. Holy Moley!
> We're paying these agencies administrators huge amounts of money, it is
> time to tell them to do THEIR job and make the cuts and stop whining
> about this thing or that.

It's not whining in the case of NPS units.  It would be illegal for an
administrator to disband a unit.

<snip>

> Then it's time to change the paradigm on how best to educate kids, as
> we've spoke about earlier. The current method is antiquated, costly, and
> produces mediocre results.

Agreed.  Regardless of the method, old or new, it takes money.  Private
funding inside the poor areas is unlikely.  If that kind of money
existed, there would be tax base.  :-)  That means sharing from other,
more affluent school districts, the state government, or both.  I've
seen a few attempts of this, but the more affluent districts are
resisting the use of their monies in poorer locations.

To me, they aren't looking at the bigger picture down the road.  The
kids that come from there are likely to become a drag on society and the
economy.  The long term view is not something Americans seem to be good at.

>>>>> The first thing that needs to happen is to go back to the policy where
>>>>> government workers were not allowed to unionize or go on strike.
>>>>
>>>> Agreed, but it has to come with monitoring agencies so they don't put
>>>> the employees in unsafe, unhealthy situations, and they actually earn a
>>>> fair wage.
>>>>
>>> OSHA laws apply to union and union employment. As to a fair wage, I'd
>>> tie their wages to the COLA index for starters.
>>
>> Negative, negative, Sailfish.  OSHA applies to any and all workplaces,
>> including federal units and military bases.  Government pay is, and has
>> been, tied to union pay scales for years.  And those pay scales are not
>> the same across agencies, if you can believe that.  So, a WG-9 in the
>> Dept. of Interior is not paid the same as a WG-9 in the Dept. of
>> Defense.  Been there, done that.    ;-)
>>
> I mistyped my statement above, it should have read, "OSHA laws apply to
> union and *UN*union employment."

You mean, those keys on the keyboard keep moving around for you
too??????    LOL

> We've already discussed the part about dropping unions from government
> workforce. That's a must if we are ever to expect an improvement here.

Unions need to get back to what and why they originally came into being.
     And operate from that viewpoint.

>> I don't know if it's changed, but the NPS was divided into 135 separate
>> areas for calculating pay scales.  Other agencies were divided
>> differently.  Take AK.  For the DoD, then entire state was one district
>> for pay purposes.  For the NPS, there were 3.
>>
> Okay, but I fail to see what that has to do with what we're talking about?

Payscales, and how it affects the budget.  Labor costs are the most
costly part of any product or service.  Plus, it puts out some
information here about how government employee pay is calculated.

But, you also can't pay everyone the minimum.  They have to have more
than that in order to go out an buy X number of goods, providing others
jobs.  You can go too far in either direction.

> The military personnel are the ones that are really be taken advantage
> of here, imo. Here they are risking their lives for the country and get
> inadequately paid. When they made the huge cut in military personnel a
> year or so ago, it seemed right to me that every military soldier who
> was let go should be offered someone else's job in the government as a
> way to show our gratitude for their service but, nooo, they were just
> let go and those in government who risked nothing continued to benefit
> from risking nothing.

But wait, you want a 15% cut across the board, but you want to create
additional jobs for the vets?  Not against the vet jobs, *if* they are
qualified for the job.  That's not always going to be the case.

I sure hope you are suggesting existing employees should be terminated
so they can be replaced by a veteran.

>>>> These days, the pay scale is probably comparable, in some cases paid
>>>> more than public sector counterparts.  Federal law prohibits pay cuts.
<snip>

> Here's an article that that seems more credible:
> REF:
> http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/19/are-government-workers-overpaid-or-underpaid.html

<snip>

Even this author admits that getting a true comparison isn't easy.  Not
only are their no "private sector infantrymen", there are also very few
private slots for rocket scientists, archeologists, etc.  So I suspect,
that on a percentage comparison, the federal government has more of
those jobs than is available in the private sector.

And one thing not mentioned is, federal salaries do go down.  But, it's
illegal to cut existing salaries.

It's like when I was a WG-9 Maintenance Mechanic.  (Started as WG-5,
FWIW).  At the time, the wage scale was based on union wages at the
time.  X number of years later, when the payscales were readjusted lower
because average union wages fell, the base salary for a WG-9 were
lowered.  New WG-9's, whether they came from outside the government, or
moved internally to that position, were paid less than when I became a
WG-9.  But as I noted above, it's not legal to decrease the salary of an
existing employee.  (Don't know why, but possibly to keep politicians
from playing politics with the employee salaries.)

As a result, with union salaries going down, and salaries in general
going down, the difference in pay becomes more pronounced because the
government will be paying the higher payscales to existing employees
because those employees were hired at a time when the base salary was
higher.  And many of those certainly aren't going to quit.  Nor figure
they can get paid better in the private sector.

So, some time after the new guy is hired at pay rate lower than the rate
lower than what I was hired at, the payscales are adjusted upward. Let's
say $1/hr.  The new guy gets a $1/hr. pay raise.  But I already make
more than that.  If my pay is left the same, you are telling the higher
paid employees their hard work over that period of time isn't worth
anything.  That can lead to some serious morale issues.  So there's a
way built in to also reward the current employees in the system.  Those
employees get a raise that is 50% of the lower paid employee.  You get
$0.50/hr. raise.  Been there, done that.  Eventually the system levels out.

But the union payscales are always a moving target, so actual leveling
will never occur, but I think the odds are they stay closer together
than either reports seem to cover.

Maybe it's cynicism, but I think the problem with many reports like
this, the authors and their staff never dig deep enough in the the
subject to really learn how the system works before they generate the
report(s).

<snip>

>>> Correct me if I'm wrong but lakes feed the Colorado river, not oceans,
>>> right? :) Kidding aside, even water sucked up for thirsty SoCalers
>>> eventually end up back in the ocean via the LA river bed and sewing
>>> treatment plants, no?
>>
>> True on where/how the water gets into the river, including rainfall and
>> snow melt.  But my point is, so much water is removed from the river
>> that it no longer flows into the Gulf of Mexico as it had for centuries.
>>
> Isn't the GoM essentially connected to the Atlantic Ocean? Or are you
> suggesting that the loss of the flow is causing environmental damage?

My very big mistake here.  Based on a TV news report a couple years ago,
the report left me with the impression the terminus was the Gulf of
Mexico.  It isn't, it's the Gulf of California.

Looking at it that way, the Atlantic Ocean is connected to the Pacific
Ocean.   <grin>

And yes, there's environmental damage.  At the end of the river, where
now there is no water for the surrounding area.  The water that used to
flow into the Gulf of Mexico no longer exists.  No water, the local
ecology changes.  I've no issue if that happened due to natural events,
such as an earthquake changes the route of the river.  But this change
is manmade, due to the amount of water being removed.

You should head over to Las Vegas and spend a day at the Hoover Dam.
Then, look into the dropping level of the reservoir.  If the entire
hydrological system was healthy, do you think the level would be
dropping?  It didn't used to.

> Of course, but evaporation occurs even in the Colorado River, and water
> used for irrigation becomes ground water and eventually either feed
> sother lakes or dumps into the ocean, right? As for water being absorbed
> by food, that, too, eventually makes it way back to the ocean via sewer
> systems. I guess I see river water as a transitional resource, one that
> left to its natural inclinations flows somewhere until it finds the ocean.

The water doesn't get back into the ground water until you pee.   LOL

If that was true, the water level of the Ogallala aquifer would not be
dropping too.

If I understand your description, *all* of the Colorado River Water
should reach the Pacific Ocean, via the Gulf of California.  That's
where the river ends, not at the Pacific Ocean.  No water from the
Colorado should directly reach the Pacific.  But manmade projects to
supply water to So. Cal. has changed all that.

You, and absolutely everyone else reading this far, should read these links:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River

Check the last sentence of the first and fifth paragraphs.

Check sections 6.2 and 7.

Well intentioned projects in the past appear to be destroying the
Colorado River basin, including the extinction of 4 species of fish that
lived only in the river basis.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogallala_Aquifer

The 5th paragraph has a 25 year estimate for when the aquifer will dry
up.  Where's the irrigation water for agriculture going to come from?
What are people and animals going to drink?




I've never been a rabid environmentalist, but we as a society certainly
have not been good stewards of the planet.

Wasn't the Los Angeles area a basic desert before the water projects?

<snip>

> Ultimately, I believe drinkable water will eventually be more profitable
> that oil is today. After all, water makes food.

And who will be able to afford it?    :-(

<snip>


--
Ken

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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Was Greywolf
On 1/9/2013 10:24 AM, Ken Springer wrote:

> HI, Sailfish,
>
> I had probably 75% if this written on 12/24, but could never get back to
> finishing it.
>
> I considered just blowing this off until I read the two links that are
> at the bottom of the message.  My conclusion from those links is we are
> in trouble when it comes to water.  Big trouble.
>
> And, we caused it. :-(
>
>
> On 12/21/12 2:05 AM, Sailfish wrote:
>> My bloviated meandering follows what Ken Springer graced us with on
>> 12/20/2012 10:33 PM:
>
> <snip>
>
>> Agreed. I'm not a disbeliever of all safety nets, just the ones that
>> protect those who choose to game the system and rely on the net to save
>> them when disaster strikes. [...]

Any system can be gamed, and there will always be people who will game
the system. The best you can ever do is minimise harm.

--
Best,
Wolf K.
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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Sailfish-4
In reply to this post by Ken Springer-3
My bloviated meandering follows what Ken Springer graced us with on
1/9/2013 7:24 AM:

> HI, Sailfish,
>
> I had probably 75% if this written on 12/24, but could never get back to
> finishing it.
>
> I considered just blowing this off until I read the two links that are
> at the bottom of the message.  My conclusion from those links is we are
> in trouble when it comes to water.  Big trouble.
>
> And, we caused it.  :-(
>
>
> On 12/21/12 2:05 AM, Sailfish wrote:
>> My bloviated meandering follows what Ken Springer graced us with on
>> 12/20/2012 10:33 PM:
>
> <snip>
>
>> Agreed. I'm not a disbeliever of all safety nets, just the ones that
>> protect those who choose to game the system and rely on the net to save
>> them when disaster strikes.
>
> I'm not a fan of the gamer of any system, but sometimes I'm amazed how
> they managed to get away with it.
>
> <snip>
>
>>> Hopefully, you don't end up with a situation where you had a 2 mile
>>> drive to work from the old location, and a 20 mile drive from the new
>>> one.
>>>
>> It very well might happen but, then again, I would be asking for other
>> people's money to restore me from choosing to live in a known disaster
>> zone, no? Why should the taxpayers continue to be on the hook for them
>> by being able to continue to live in the unsafe location afterwards?
>
> You'd have to call it risk management.  What are the odds of another
> similar disaster happening in the same area in the next X amount of
> time, versus the cost overall to relocate not just homes, but
> businesses, factories, city halls, etc.  It might be that the cost to
> rebuild/repair is cheaper than relocation.
>
>>>>> Even at that, there's no place 100% safe.  I'm in the Rocky
>>>>> Mountains at
>>>>> 9,000'.  You'd think I'd be relatively safe from ever seeing a
>>>>> tornado.
>>>>>    But a few years ago, there were two within 15 miles of me.  
>>>>> Plus, I'm
>>>>> technically in an earthquake zone.
>>>>>
>>>> Sure, but we're discussing the situation where people knowingly live in
>>>> known hazardous areas. Even so, I live in a relatively safe area
>>>> against
>>>> earthquakes but, being that it's California we're talking about, I have
>>>> pay extra for earthquake insurance added to my homeowner policy.
>>>
>>> And sometimes, when you moved there it wasn't considered hazardous. That
>>> happened in Ft. Collins, CO quite a few years ago, were the fed gov came
>>> in and reviewed flood plain areas based on knew knowledge.  Housing
>>> areas and the local airport were now in the flood plain, and initial
>>> decision was no more buildings, modifications, etc. to any thing.  There
>>> went everyone's long term investments in their property.  I honestly
>>> don't remember the final outcome, but AFAIK they did not move the
>>> airport.
>>>
>> In those situations, then it is incumbent to purchase flood insurance,
>> decide to move to safer ground or, live with the consequences. There's
>> no such thing a free money.
>
> You do have look at the overall situation where you are.  Some places
> that were designated flood plains hadn't seen running water in hundreds
> of years.  <grin>  If memory serves, and I didn't pay close attention at
> the time, there were no records of any flooding, except from huge rain
> run off after the rare downpour, for that area.  It started out turning
> into being forced to do things because Unca Sam said so.  No one in
> their right mind would have done what was in the rules for that location.
>
> I'm at 9,000', I think I'll skip the flood insurance.   LOL
>
>>> Which side of the San Andreas fault are you on?
>>
>> I'm west of it and generally considered a safe distance away from it
>> but, being within the Ring of Fire, there's really no safe-zones since
>> California is composed of two tectonic plates. It's been predicted than
>> in a gazillion years or so, San Francisco and LA will swap geographical
>> positions due to their slow movement converging on each other.
>
> <snip>
>
>> Especially a DireWolf, http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Direwolves.
>> But, just my luck, it's be a protected species even after they ended up
>> finally driving all the California Condors into extinction.
>
> Hmmm, at first, thought it was going to be a fight between Kohler and
> American Standard.   ;-)
>
>> Who'd want to live in a river? :)
>
> Trout, bass........    <grin>
>
>> Anyway, I know of Colorado Springs but
>> have never been there. Do they not have other local medical groups than
>> the one mentioned above?
>
> There are, scattered all over town.  While there could be a situation
> where there are 10 general practice medical groups within in a mile of
> where you live, maybe only one accepts your insurance.  What if the
> group can't get along, and the only other group that accepts you
> insurance is clear across town.  You don't have control over that.  Are
> you suggesting the insured sell the house and move just to be close to
> where you can get medical help covered by your insurance?
>
> <snip>
>
>>>> No, that's too detailed. What I'm saying is that if we simply impose a
>>>> 15% spending cut at the highest level for these agencies (i.e., DoD,
>>>> HHS, DoEd, DoEnergy, DoCommerce, DoLabor, &c) and let them decide how
>>>> best to implement those cuts. Some may decide to cut their workforce,
>>>> some will decide to drop some sub-agencies, some may decide to improve
>>>> efficiency, whatever. The head of these departments should be held
>>>> accountable for implementing those cuts and earn the outlandish
>>>> salaries
>>>> they are getting.
>
> The problem is, you are assuming things.  You do know that old joke,
> don't you?
>
> As for the budget, I'd suggest we not worry about what an agency does.
> The current members of the federal government couldn't pass a budget
> when the Democrats controlled everything.  Until they get off their
> butts and stop acting childish, no use worrying about 15% anywhere.
>
> <snip>
>
>> Again, you're wanting to discuss this at too low of a level. Holy Moley!
>> We're paying these agencies administrators huge amounts of money, it is
>> time to tell them to do THEIR job and make the cuts and stop whining
>> about this thing or that.
>
> It's not whining in the case of NPS units.  It would be illegal for an
> administrator to disband a unit.
>
> <snip>
>
>> Then it's time to change the paradigm on how best to educate kids, as
>> we've spoke about earlier. The current method is antiquated, costly, and
>> produces mediocre results.
>
> Agreed.  Regardless of the method, old or new, it takes money.  Private
> funding inside the poor areas is unlikely.  If that kind of money
> existed, there would be tax base.  :-)  That means sharing from other,
> more affluent school districts, the state government, or both.  I've
> seen a few attempts of this, but the more affluent districts are
> resisting the use of their monies in poorer locations.
>
> To me, they aren't looking at the bigger picture down the road.  The
> kids that come from there are likely to become a drag on society and the
> economy.  The long term view is not something Americans seem to be good at.
>
>>>>>> The first thing that needs to happen is to go back to the policy
>>>>>> where
>>>>>> government workers were not allowed to unionize or go on strike.
>>>>>
>>>>> Agreed, but it has to come with monitoring agencies so they don't put
>>>>> the employees in unsafe, unhealthy situations, and they actually
>>>>> earn a
>>>>> fair wage.
>>>>>
>>>> OSHA laws apply to union and union employment. As to a fair wage, I'd
>>>> tie their wages to the COLA index for starters.
>>>
>>> Negative, negative, Sailfish.  OSHA applies to any and all workplaces,
>>> including federal units and military bases.  Government pay is, and has
>>> been, tied to union pay scales for years.  And those pay scales are not
>>> the same across agencies, if you can believe that.  So, a WG-9 in the
>>> Dept. of Interior is not paid the same as a WG-9 in the Dept. of
>>> Defense.  Been there, done that.    ;-)
>>>
>> I mistyped my statement above, it should have read, "OSHA laws apply to
>> union and *UN*union employment."
>
> You mean, those keys on the keyboard keep moving around for you
> too??????    LOL
>
>> We've already discussed the part about dropping unions from government
>> workforce. That's a must if we are ever to expect an improvement here.
>
> Unions need to get back to what and why they originally came into being.
>     And operate from that viewpoint.
>
>>> I don't know if it's changed, but the NPS was divided into 135 separate
>>> areas for calculating pay scales.  Other agencies were divided
>>> differently.  Take AK.  For the DoD, then entire state was one district
>>> for pay purposes.  For the NPS, there were 3.
>>>
>> Okay, but I fail to see what that has to do with what we're talking
>> about?
>
> Payscales, and how it affects the budget.  Labor costs are the most
> costly part of any product or service.  Plus, it puts out some
> information here about how government employee pay is calculated.
>
> But, you also can't pay everyone the minimum.  They have to have more
> than that in order to go out an buy X number of goods, providing others
> jobs.  You can go too far in either direction.
>
>> The military personnel are the ones that are really be taken advantage
>> of here, imo. Here they are risking their lives for the country and get
>> inadequately paid. When they made the huge cut in military personnel a
>> year or so ago, it seemed right to me that every military soldier who
>> was let go should be offered someone else's job in the government as a
>> way to show our gratitude for their service but, nooo, they were just
>> let go and those in government who risked nothing continued to benefit
>> from risking nothing.
>
> But wait, you want a 15% cut across the board, but you want to create
> additional jobs for the vets?  Not against the vet jobs, *if* they are
> qualified for the job.  That's not always going to be the case.
>
> I sure hope you are suggesting existing employees should be terminated
> so they can be replaced by a veteran.
>
>>>>> These days, the pay scale is probably comparable, in some cases paid
>>>>> more than public sector counterparts.  Federal law prohibits pay cuts.
> <snip>
>
>> Here's an article that that seems more credible:
>> REF:
>> http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/19/are-government-workers-overpaid-or-underpaid.html 
>>
>
> <snip>
>
> Even this author admits that getting a true comparison isn't easy.  Not
> only are their no "private sector infantrymen", there are also very few
> private slots for rocket scientists, archeologists, etc.  So I suspect,
> that on a percentage comparison, the federal government has more of
> those jobs than is available in the private sector.
>
> And one thing not mentioned is, federal salaries do go down.  But, it's
> illegal to cut existing salaries.
>
> It's like when I was a WG-9 Maintenance Mechanic.  (Started as WG-5,
> FWIW).  At the time, the wage scale was based on union wages at the
> time.  X number of years later, when the payscales were readjusted lower
> because average union wages fell, the base salary for a WG-9 were
> lowered.  New WG-9's, whether they came from outside the government, or
> moved internally to that position, were paid less than when I became a
> WG-9.  But as I noted above, it's not legal to decrease the salary of an
> existing employee.  (Don't know why, but possibly to keep politicians
> from playing politics with the employee salaries.)
>
> As a result, with union salaries going down, and salaries in general
> going down, the difference in pay becomes more pronounced because the
> government will be paying the higher payscales to existing employees
> because those employees were hired at a time when the base salary was
> higher.  And many of those certainly aren't going to quit.  Nor figure
> they can get paid better in the private sector.
>
> So, some time after the new guy is hired at pay rate lower than the rate
> lower than what I was hired at, the payscales are adjusted upward. Let's
> say $1/hr.  The new guy gets a $1/hr. pay raise.  But I already make
> more than that.  If my pay is left the same, you are telling the higher
> paid employees their hard work over that period of time isn't worth
> anything.  That can lead to some serious morale issues.  So there's a
> way built in to also reward the current employees in the system.  Those
> employees get a raise that is 50% of the lower paid employee.  You get
> $0.50/hr. raise.  Been there, done that.  Eventually the system levels out.
>
> But the union payscales are always a moving target, so actual leveling
> will never occur, but I think the odds are they stay closer together
> than either reports seem to cover.
>
> Maybe it's cynicism, but I think the problem with many reports like
> this, the authors and their staff never dig deep enough in the the
> subject to really learn how the system works before they generate the
> report(s).
>
> <snip>
>
>>>> Correct me if I'm wrong but lakes feed the Colorado river, not oceans,
>>>> right? :) Kidding aside, even water sucked up for thirsty SoCalers
>>>> eventually end up back in the ocean via the LA river bed and sewing
>>>> treatment plants, no?
>>>
>>> True on where/how the water gets into the river, including rainfall and
>>> snow melt.  But my point is, so much water is removed from the river
>>> that it no longer flows into the Gulf of Mexico as it had for centuries.
>>>
>> Isn't the GoM essentially connected to the Atlantic Ocean? Or are you
>> suggesting that the loss of the flow is causing environmental damage?
>
> My very big mistake here.  Based on a TV news report a couple years ago,
> the report left me with the impression the terminus was the Gulf of
> Mexico.  It isn't, it's the Gulf of California.
>
> Looking at it that way, the Atlantic Ocean is connected to the Pacific
> Ocean.   <grin>
>
> And yes, there's environmental damage.  At the end of the river, where
> now there is no water for the surrounding area.  The water that used to
> flow into the Gulf of Mexico no longer exists.  No water, the local
> ecology changes.  I've no issue if that happened due to natural events,
> such as an earthquake changes the route of the river.  But this change
> is manmade, due to the amount of water being removed.
>
> You should head over to Las Vegas and spend a day at the Hoover Dam.
> Then, look into the dropping level of the reservoir.  If the entire
> hydrological system was healthy, do you think the level would be
> dropping?  It didn't used to.
>
>> Of course, but evaporation occurs even in the Colorado River, and water
>> used for irrigation becomes ground water and eventually either feed
>> sother lakes or dumps into the ocean, right? As for water being absorbed
>> by food, that, too, eventually makes it way back to the ocean via sewer
>> systems. I guess I see river water as a transitional resource, one that
>> left to its natural inclinations flows somewhere until it finds the
>> ocean.
>
> The water doesn't get back into the ground water until you pee.   LOL
>
> If that was true, the water level of the Ogallala aquifer would not be
> dropping too.
>
> If I understand your description, *all* of the Colorado River Water
> should reach the Pacific Ocean, via the Gulf of California.  That's
> where the river ends, not at the Pacific Ocean.  No water from the
> Colorado should directly reach the Pacific.  But manmade projects to
> supply water to So. Cal. has changed all that.
>
> You, and absolutely everyone else reading this far, should read these
> links:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River
>
> Check the last sentence of the first and fifth paragraphs.
>
> Check sections 6.2 and 7.
>
> Well intentioned projects in the past appear to be destroying the
> Colorado River basin, including the extinction of 4 species of fish that
> lived only in the river basis.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogallala_Aquifer
>
> The 5th paragraph has a 25 year estimate for when the aquifer will dry
> up.  Where's the irrigation water for agriculture going to come from?
> What are people and animals going to drink?
>
> I've never been a rabid environmentalist, but we as a society certainly
> have not been good stewards of the planet.
>
> Wasn't the Los Angeles area a basic desert before the water projects?
>
> <snip>
>
>> Ultimately, I believe drinkable water will eventually be more profitable
>> that oil is today. After all, water makes food.
>
> And who will be able to afford it?    :-(
>
I will allow you to have the last word on this. I agree, somewhat, with
some of your arguments and disagree, somewhat, with some of it. However,
the discussion was a good one and I learned a lot participating in it
both from reading your research and having to do my own.

Thanks!

--
Sailfish - Netscape Champion
Mozilla Contributor Member - www.mozilla.org/credits/
Netscape/Mozilla Tips: http://www.ufaq.org/ , http://ilias.ca/
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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Sailfish-4
In reply to this post by Was Greywolf
My bloviated meandering follows what Was Greywolf graced us with on
1/9/2013 7:38 AM:

> On 1/9/2013 10:24 AM, Ken Springer wrote:
>> HI, Sailfish,
>>
>> I had probably 75% if this written on 12/24, but could never get back to
>> finishing it.
>>
>> I considered just blowing this off until I read the two links that are
>> at the bottom of the message.  My conclusion from those links is we are
>> in trouble when it comes to water.  Big trouble.
>>
>> And, we caused it. :-(
>>
>>
>> On 12/21/12 2:05 AM, Sailfish wrote:
>>> My bloviated meandering follows what Ken Springer graced us with on
>>> 12/20/2012 10:33 PM:
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>>> Agreed. I'm not a disbeliever of all safety nets, just the ones that
>>> protect those who choose to game the system and rely on the net to save
>>> them when disaster strikes. [...]
>
> Any system can be gamed, and there will always be people who will game
> the system. The best you can ever do is minimise harm.
>
Sadly, the government is the worst at doing that; after all, it's just
taxpayer money to them. Stuff to be ignored (or milked) until the shite
hits the fan.


--
Sailfish - Netscape Champion
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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Was Greywolf
On 1/9/2013 12:33 PM, Sailfish wrote:
> My bloviated meandering follows what Was Greywolf graced us with on
> 1/9/2013 7:38 AM:
[...]
>> Any system can be gamed, and there will always be people who will game
>> the system. The best you can ever do is minimise harm.
>>
> Sadly, the government is the worst at doing that; after all, it's just
> taxpayer money to them. Stuff to be ignored (or milked) until the shite
> hits the fan.

I disagree. In my experience it's the "private sector" that's No. 1 in
gaming the system. One common way of doing it: a brief discussion on the
golf course about upcoming contracts with the city, the state, whoever.
And it's private clinics and hospitals that defraud Medicare the most.
And then there's the amazing synchrony in raising and lowering gas
prices before and after holiday weekends.

Then there's your custom of "lobbying", which is merely
institutionalised gaming of the system. Only those with sufficient money
can play that game, which is why there's been a systematic transfer of
wealth from the 99% to the 1% over the last 30-odd years. It's also the
reason 47% of your citizens don't earn enough (or receive enough pension
income) to pay Federal income tax. It's a much lower percentage here,
and one reason is that the anti-minimum wage agitators here haven't had
as much of an impact as south of the border. The Ontario minimum wage is
$10.50/hour, enough that a single person can live a decent, if frugal, life.

Even in these recessionary times, the economy is producing more wealth
than it did 30, 40, 50 years ago, as measured by real GDP. So why is
there a higher percentage of the poor and near-poor, of people on food
stamps or lining up at food banks, and of the homeless? Not to mention
the 40- and 50-somethings who lost good jobs as America out-sourced
manufacturing, and consider themselves lucky to have found a new one at
1/2 or 2/3 of what they used to earn.

Etc, sadly.

--
Best,
Wolf K.
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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Sailfish-4
My bloviated meandering follows what Was Greywolf graced us with on
1/9/2013 10:32 AM:

> On 1/9/2013 12:33 PM, Sailfish wrote:
>> My bloviated meandering follows what Was Greywolf graced us with on
>> 1/9/2013 7:38 AM:
> [...]
>>> Any system can be gamed, and there will always be people who will game
>>> the system. The best you can ever do is minimise harm.
>>>
>> Sadly, the government is the worst at doing that; after all, it's just
>> taxpayer money to them. Stuff to be ignored (or milked) until the shite
>> hits the fan.
>
> I disagree. In my experience it's the "private sector" that's No. 1 in
> gaming the system. One common way of doing it: a brief discussion on the
> golf course about upcoming contracts with the city, the state, whoever.
> And it's private clinics and hospitals that defraud Medicare the most.
> And then there's the amazing synchrony in raising and lowering gas
> prices before and after holiday weekends.
>
If they're a legitimate business (e.g, not GM, not mortgage companies,
not investment companies and not financial services, &c.) then if they
"game" this system it is because the government has created the
loopholes for which they can do it. Your point about Medicare (and
Medicaid) defrauding merely proves my point about the government unable
or unwilling to police their own services.

> Then there's your custom of "lobbying", which is merely
> institutionalised gaming of the system. Only those with sufficient money
> can play that game, which is why there's been a systematic transfer of
> wealth from the 99% to the 1% over the last 30-odd years. It's also the
> reason 47% of your citizens don't earn enough (or receive enough pension
> income) to pay Federal income tax. It's a much lower percentage here,
> and one reason is that the anti-minimum wage agitators here haven't had
> as much of an impact as south of the border. The Ontario minimum wage is
> $10.50/hour, enough that a single person can live a decent, if frugal,
> life.
>
Again, a government created problem, no? Also, we've had this discussion
before but to re-iterate, every single person and family who has an
able-bodied person should be earning a wage and paying taxes. Your claim
that they can ill-afford is made up out of whole cloth. To believe that,
one would have to believe that every wage earner in that 47% has
absolutely NO discretionary income and that it's all spent on basic
food, shelter energy. None left over for fast-food, beer, movies,
smartphones, whatever. I don't believe it and I think you are too smart
to believe it yourself, you're just spewing out nonsensical bromides
talking points hoping others low-information readers will buy into it.

The point of making everyone pay into the system is have them buy into
the system. Those able-bodied people who get a free ride have no
feedbacj system to throttle their desire to continue to expect more
"free" stuff.

> Even in these recessionary times, the economy is producing more wealth
> than it did 30, 40, 50 years ago, as measured by real GDP. So why is
> there a higher percentage of the poor and near-poor, of people on food
> stamps or lining up at food banks, and of the homeless? Not to mention
> the 40- and 50-somethings who lost good jobs as America out-sourced
> manufacturing, and consider themselves lucky to have found a new one at
> 1/2 or 2/3 of what they used to earn.
>
> Etc, sadly.
>
Oh, puleasse! Please link to images of these long-lined food banks with
emaciated people.

Most of the homeless are mentally-ill and should be in institutions but
the government would rather spend the money on other pork that will
translate into votes and graft.

Some of what you say is true about the effects of globalization but, if
we're honest with ourselves, we'd admit that the 60-80s was the golden
age for wage earners and was directly due to our intact industrial
capability after WWII, i.e., we were able to demand higher prices for
our good/services because the rest of the world had most of their
industrial capacity bombed to rubble. With that said, I do blame the
multi-nationals (and the government for allowing it) for the zeal to
export not just blue-collar jobs but also high-tech jobs. These are the
type of jobs we ought to be keeping in the US to insure our next
generations continue to have a leg-up.

--
Sailfish - Netscape Champion
Mozilla Contributor Member - www.mozilla.org/credits/
Netscape/Mozilla Tips: http://www.ufaq.org/ , http://ilias.ca/
Rare Mozilla Stuff: http://www.projectit.com/
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Re: Can always tell when a new version has been released

Ken Springer-3
In reply to this post by Sailfish-4
On 1/9/13 10:31 AM, Sailfish wrote:
> I will allow you to have the last word on this. I agree, somewhat, with
> some of your arguments and disagree, somewhat, with some of it. However,
> the discussion was a good one and I learned a lot participating in it
> both from reading your research and having to do my own.
>
> Thanks!

You're welcome.  I enjoyed doing it too.  Part of the time it took me to
respond was finding the time to read the Wikipedia articles.

So many discussions like the one we had somehow devolved into petty
comments and slurs.  Glad we avoided that.

Now, if you could just tell me where I put my OS X Snow Leopard book!    LOL

--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.6.8
Firefox 17.0.1
Thunderbird 17.0.2
LibreOffice 3.6.3.2
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