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  1. This 1099 business seems like a back door way of steering more business towards union shops (larger companies). Does anyone else see that or I am seeing things?

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — July 11, 2010 @ 1:35 pm - July 11, 2010

  2. They are not “forced” to cut jobs. What they don’t want to do is to cut into their profits and use the money for the good of their employees. White Castle could choose to make less money and have healthy employees or make more money and cut jobs. I am glad our government stands as a buffer between the work force and greedy corporations like White Castle. I hope the employees bring a lawsuit and continue to vote for common sense, conservative Democrats.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 11, 2010 @ 2:05 pm - July 11, 2010

  3. Tell ya what, Ash…

    You start donating 55% of YOUR net income to a local food bank, then come back here and feel free to preach to me about how “greedy” White Castle is, ok?

    Another Obamaphile who believes there should be a limit on how much people should be allowed to make…

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 11, 2010 @ 2:13 pm - July 11, 2010

  4. “Another Obamaphile who believes there should be a limit on how much people should be allowed to make…”

    Unless they are professional athletes (LaBron James) or Hollywood elites (Oprah). Why haven’t we heard Mr. Obama slam them?

    Ashpenaz : Look up ROI. Then think for a moment before making such a stupid comment. You are making liberals look bad. I’d really love to know what line of work you are in and whether or not you work in the public or private sector. I am always amazed at the liberal’s ignorance of basic economics.

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — July 11, 2010 @ 2:41 pm - July 11, 2010

  5. Ash says…

    I am glad our government stands as a buffer between the work force and greedy corporations like White Castle.

    For some reason, his inane statement above brings to mind a scene from The Godfather, Part II:

    Senator Pat Geary: Mr. Cici, was there always a buffer involved?
    Willi Cici: A what?
    Senator Pat Geary: A buffer. Someone in between you and your possible superiors who passed on to you the actual order to kill someone.
    Willi Cici: Oh yeah, a buffer. The family had a lot of buffers!

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 11, 2010 @ 2:52 pm - July 11, 2010

  6. Actually White Castle and IHOP (and others) only need to fire all their young, poor workers.

    They can replace them with retirees or spouses of working persons.

    That way the total of 9.5% of income won’t be reached.

    Of course it will suck if you are a young mom with no hubby.
    But who forced you to make that choice?
    Not Obama!
    He doesn’t think females ought to be burdened by a baby.

    Comment by Nan G — July 11, 2010 @ 3:53 pm - July 11, 2010

  7. This is dedicated to all the rube who own businesses who voted for Obama because they though he understood their needs and would help them:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Signed a small business owner who didn’t fall for hope and change..

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 11, 2010 @ 3:58 pm - July 11, 2010

  8. Ooops. Should have been rubes!

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 11, 2010 @ 3:58 pm - July 11, 2010

  9. White Castle could choose to make less money and have healthy employees or make more money and cut jobs. …

    Ash, please read up on the deals made between business and the Feds during the Hoover administration, where businesses agreed to cut profits in order to keep employees employed. Note that the end result was not only that the businesses could not sustain those employees for long, and ended up having to fire the employees anyway, but, because those businesses cut profits in order to do so, many went out of business, which means ALL the employees permanently lost their jobs.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 11, 2010 @ 4:05 pm - July 11, 2010

  10. PS. Ash, if I may ask, what exactly do you do for a living?

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 11, 2010 @ 4:06 pm - July 11, 2010

  11. If ObamaCare goes though, many businesses–including strong chains–will cease to exist or shrink massively to cope with the monstrosity. ObamaCare will be repealed since private businesses cannot cover their employees as Obama Democrat Congress has written the law.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — July 11, 2010 @ 4:18 pm - July 11, 2010

  12. Sure, you can ask! I run a meth lab. With undocumented workers.

    White Castle could take the profits and distribute them fairly which would allow them to keep their employees and give them health insurance. They could also hire more accountants to deal with the paperwork. But instead of distributing profits, the executives want rather fire people and keep their high salaries.

    The government is forcing them, not to fire people, but to distribute the profits fairly so that everyone has health insurance. If the government wasn’t stepping in, the executives would hire 8-year-olds for 70-hour weeks and give them a single aspirin a month as their health care benefit, but only if they could show they actually lost a limb.

    Where do YOU work? Is your management making a lot more money than you and doing less work? How often have you used the “open-door” policy to give honest feedback about your working conditions? Do you see HR as your friend? Do you look forward to the days when the higher-ups come for a visit and do you tell them the truth when they say “How’s it going?”

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 11, 2010 @ 5:55 pm - July 11, 2010

  13. If the government wasn’t stepping in, the executives would hire 8-year-olds for 70-hour weeks and give them a single aspirin a month as their health care benefit, but only if they could show they actually lost a limb.

    And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Modern American Left regards business in this country – as a necessary evil who, absent the boot heel of government on it’s throat, would gladly enslave great multitudes of poor, oppressed citizens in the name of profit.

    Ash, your sentiment as quoted above is beyond any question, among the most comprehensively ignorant view of capitalism I have ever read. Given your attitude toward business, I have to wonder just how the hell you manage to go to work each day without giving in to your desire to line your oppressive employers up against a wall, ala Ceacescu, and liberate the proletariat.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 11, 2010 @ 7:25 pm - July 11, 2010

  14. Have you ever heard of a little country called China? I rest my case.

    But I also offer as evidence the meatpacking industry of the early 20th century. And the coal mining industry of today. And Toyota. And BP. And the health insurance industry.

    Again, do you trust the management at your job to put aside their profits so that you can keep your job, let alone have benefits? Do you trust your HR department?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 11, 2010 @ 7:29 pm - July 11, 2010

  15. Again, do you trust the management at your job to put aside their profits so that you can keep your job, let alone have benefits? Do you trust your HR department?

    Considering YOUR attitude toward seemingly ANY company’s management, I should think you aren’t the slightest bit interested in hearing the opinions of commenters on a conservative website.

    On the upside, your unadulterated disingenuousness in soliciting said opinions confirm the long-held belief that you are, essentially, a concern troll.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 11, 2010 @ 7:37 pm - July 11, 2010

  16. And before you start responding with the inevitable “but you haven’t answered my question!,” bullsh*t, perhaps you’d do me the courtesy of answering my request first:

    You start donating 55% of YOUR net income to a local food bank, then come back here and feel free to preach to me about how “greedy” White Castle is, ok?

    Do that, Mother Theresa, then come back here and preach to me about how beholden the owner of my company really is to my standard of living.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 11, 2010 @ 7:41 pm - July 11, 2010

  17. Actually, Ash has said that he chooses to work two part time jobs and neither offer insurance or minimal insurance.

    So yes, Ash doesn’t want to change his lifestyle to get private insurance, either by himself or through an employer. He wants to continue what he’s doing… and make you pay for it.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 11, 2010 @ 7:43 pm - July 11, 2010

  18. Just read Ash’s comments as linked to by Llivewire.

    Ash, while I sympathize with your situation, I can’t help but observe that you’re lashing out at business in general as a result. Clearly, your comments in this thread are more emotional than rational, and your difficulties with both your health and your mother’s seem to explain that.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 11, 2010 @ 8:15 pm - July 11, 2010

  19. I appreciate Ash’s comments – it only serves to open the door for a rational discussion of his unsupportable, irrational belief system. And thank you #17 for pointing out the probable basis for Ash’s antipathy towards employers – he works part time, humm. 2 part time jobs if we are to beleive his disclosure about employment. As to being a meth dealer who employees illegals – that would require him to actually care and supply 50% of his profits to those who work for him – aint gonna happen home boy. Ash is like the rest of the people who state that “the man is keeping them down” and whine for more benefits – I am speculating here – lack of education, lack of employability based on his personal decisions at some time in his life. Unfortunately, we cannot delve into his history or we could potentially find out the “why” related to the “where” he is at this point in his life.

    Comment by Duffy - Native Intelligence — July 11, 2010 @ 9:45 pm - July 11, 2010

  20. Have you ever heard of a little country called China?

    Yes, I have, and so have an awful lot of businesses. And the more you mandate that companies give up their profit as YOU and the government see fit, more of those companies will move their business there. Or do you propose to make it illegal for a company to move to China?

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 11, 2010 @ 10:12 pm - July 11, 2010

  21. Isn’t Ashpenaz amazing?

    He’s already admitted that he’s lazy, fat, unqualified, and insubordinate.

    Of course, then he screams and whines that he isn’t getting his “fair share”.

    How much should the government force people to pay lazy, fat, unqualified, and insubordinate workers, Ashpenaz? Should they get paid the same as qualified, personable, and hardworking people?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 11, 2010 @ 10:36 pm - July 11, 2010

  22. The reason I am working part-time is because employers don’t want to hire full-time because they would have to pay benefits. When I was working at Borders Bookstore, I worked 35 hours “part-time” because 36 hours was “full-time.” I also had to work “overtime” which meant I was actually working full-time but without the benefits.

    Just so you know, I now have 4 part-time jobs. None with benefits. And I have lost enough weight to qualify for a minimum health insurance policy. With Obama’s program kicking in, I might be able to afford the kind of health insurance I would get with a full-time job. So, I’m not actually lazy or all that fat. Lots of Americans are working multiple part-time jobs in this economy, and we are all going to be grateful when everyone has to buy health insurance.

    1. Premiums will go down.

    2. More full-time positions will open up since health insurance will no longer be a factor.

    3. I, and others like me, will be able to get the tests we need to check for strokes, prostate cancer, colon cancer, etc. and all the things that simple, inexpensive preventive care will prevent.

    So, I ask again, do you think your management is on your side? Would they sacrifice their salaries so you could be safer and healthier?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 11, 2010 @ 10:54 pm - July 11, 2010

  23. 1. Premiums will go down.

    Wrong, as evidence already shows.

    Massachusetts has the most expensive family health insurance premiums in the country, according to a new analysis that highlights the state’s challenge in trying to rein in medical costs after passage of a landmark 2006 law that mandated coverage for nearly everyone.

    The report by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit health care foundation, showed that the average family premium for plans offered by employers in Massachusetts was $13,788 in 2008, 40 percent higher than in 2003. Over the same period, premiums nationwide rose an average of 33 percent.

    Next:

    2. More full-time positions will open up since health insurance will no longer be a factor.

    You haven’t read the law yet, have you, Ashpenaz?

    Employers under it are REQUIRED to provide health insurance — and if they don’t, they pay a penalty.

    Therefore, they will not hire — because they are being forced by the government to pay even higher prices per employee, making each new employee even more expensive than it is now.

    And finally:

    3. I, and others like me, will be able to get the tests we need to check for strokes, prostate cancer, colon cancer, etc. and all the things that simple, inexpensive preventive care will prevent.

    You can already get them. You do not need insurance to go to a doctor and have tests done. You just have to be willing to pay.

    Do you know why you’re fat, Ashpenaz? Because you ate too much, which means you spent a lot of money on food. Why don’t you take some of that money and instead of buying food you don’t need to eat, get some health care, if you’re so desperate for it?

    Answer: You aren’t willing to pay, Ashpenaz; you want other people to pay for you.

    So, I ask again, do you think your management is on your side? Would they sacrifice their salaries so you could be safer and healthier?

    So you want them to give up their salaries so you can shove your fat mouth full of food you don’t need, sit on your lazy ass, and get free health care, all at their expense.

    Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.

    Proverbs 10:4

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 12, 2010 @ 1:17 am - July 12, 2010

  24. And on the same vein:

    Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.
    Proverbs 12:24

    Lazy people want much but get little,but those who work hard will prosper.
    Proverbs 13:4

    A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers,but the path of the upright is an open highway.
    Proverbs 15:19

    A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.
    Proverbs 18:9

    Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin,for their hands refuse to work.
    Proverbs 21:25

    Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.
    Proverbs 26:16

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 12, 2010 @ 1:24 am - July 12, 2010

  25. #21: “He’s already admitted that he’s lazy, fat, unqualified, and insubordinate.”

    And the Obama Administration has a name for people like that, NDT: Justice Kagan.

    Comment by Sean A — July 12, 2010 @ 6:28 am - July 12, 2010

  26. So, I ask again, do you think your management is on your side? Would they sacrifice their salaries so you could be safer and healthier?

    And I again must insist that you address MY request first. Once you’ve demonstrated the courage of your convictions, I’ll be more than happy to discuss your ideas on wealth redistribution.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 12, 2010 @ 7:16 am - July 12, 2010

  27. Where do YOU work? Is your management making a lot more money than you and doing less work?

    Ah, I love this canard. You hear this all the time from the liberal / Ralph Nader anti-business camp, usually in the form of the lazy, fat-cat CEO who does no work except stealing money from the company and sitting on mountains of cash, and, occasionally, wallowing in it! Most who espouse this stilted POV usually have NO IDEA what CEO’s do, how much work they do / have done in order to get to that position, or how much responsibility they carry. Yes, there are plenty of examples of criminal CEO’s who literally stole the companies money and drove the business into the ground, Bernie Evers and Ken Lay come to mind. Yet for every one of those, there are hundreds of thousands of CEO who are running their companies properly.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 12, 2010 @ 8:16 am - July 12, 2010

  28. Ashpenaz throws down the liberal gauntlet:

    They are not “forced” to cut jobs. What they don’t want to do is to cut into their profits and use the money for the good of their employees.

    Market “forces” regulate their profits. The “forces” are call McDonald’s Burger King, etc.

    White Castle could choose to make less money and have healthy employees or make more money and cut jobs.

    Wow! How about the workers quitting White Castle and becoming high paid and benefit swathed employees elsewhere? Perhaps White Castle should turn to robots and fire the workers. That is what General Motors did to stay alive and Government Motors has not smashed the robots.

    I am glad our government stands as a buffer between the work force and greedy corporations like White Castle.

    White Castle is a privately held company being run by the third generation of the family. The family probably has plenty of money, so why not just sell the chain off to the poor employees and take their money and run? Do you think that 435 individual stores with no corporate structure would last more than a nano-second? After all, making Slyders is not rocket science. Why has White Castle made an empire where others continually fail? Really, Ashpenaz, I crave your insight and logic.

    I hope the employees bring a lawsuit and continue to vote for common sense, conservative Democrats.

    What, pray tell, is your idea of a “conservative Democrat?” I suppose it is someone who sets the profit level of the entrepreneur rather than automatically initiating a state take over of the business.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 12, 2010 @ 10:25 am - July 12, 2010

  29. Conservative Democrat=Hillary.

    None of you are discussing, even obliquely, the management and HR at your jobs. You don’t have to use names. Just tell us how much you like and trust them. Explain how they would put your safety and health above their own salaries.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 12, 2010 @ 11:10 am - July 12, 2010

  30. Ash, we don’t have to.

    See, I choose to work at my job. If I didn’t like the benefits and didn’t feel safe, I’d choose to work elsewhere. Just like you choose to work multiple part time jobs and pay for internet access, rather than a higher premium on insurance.

    I always thought Conservative Democrat = Zell Miller. It sure as frak doesn’t mean Hillary “Human rights don’t matter” Clinton.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 12, 2010 @ 11:33 am - July 12, 2010

  31. None of you are discussing, even obliquely, the management and HR at your jobs.

    That’s largely because you have yet to tell us how wonderfully altruistic it is to donate over half of your net income in order to benefit the poor and hungry, and how effectively you can still pay your bills.

    Comment by Eric in Chicago — July 12, 2010 @ 12:07 pm - July 12, 2010

  32. None of you are discussing, even obliquely, the management and HR at your jobs. You don’t have to use names. Just tell us how much you like and trust them. Explain how they would put your safety and health above their own salaries.

    Eric nailed it, Ashpenaz.

    You are shrieking about how other people should give up their salaries to ensure your health and safety, but refuse, absolutely REFUSE, to give up your own. You won’t explain how YOU would give up your own salary to pay for other peoples’ health and safety.

    And you just handed us Example A of how completely hypocritical you are.

    The Clinton’s $11 million mansion is said to be purchased within the next few weeks. Just in time for the wedding of their only daughter, Chelsea to Marc. The 7000 ft.² home is located in Bedford Hills, in a town called Westchester New York. The actual estate is called Clover Hill Farm.

    The rustic, $11 million mansion is actually priced at $10.9 million and includes five bedrooms and six bathrooms, with two half bathrooms.

    Inside the country style home, is two fireplaces, one of the chefs kitchen and one In the wood paneled library. The mansion is actually 10 years old and has exposed wood beams.

    For two people. Seven thousand square feet, five bedrooms, and six bathrooms for TWO PEOPLE.

    And what do you have to say? NOTHING. In fact, you applaud this. You are demanding everyone else have money taken away from them to pay your bills while you gush and blabber over multimillionaire Obama Party members.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 12, 2010 @ 12:18 pm - July 12, 2010

  33. I am willing to pay whatever taxes are required to give everyone health insurance, to give undocumented workers guest worker passes, to make sure everyone has social security and long-term care, to pay for a minimum wage, to have food inspection and worker safety regulations, etc. etc. So, if that turns out to be 55%, I’m all for it.

    Now, answer my question.

    The reason the Clintons can afford that kind of house is because they’re common sense conservative capitalists. Who support things like health care for people who aren’t as rich as they are.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 12, 2010 @ 12:35 pm - July 12, 2010

  34. OK.

    I, like you, have two jobs.

    I am a credentialed substitute here in Central California. My management, the stupid Democrats running the state, SUCKS! They let a foreign entity, a union, dictate everything concerning the pay and benefits I would get if I get a permanent job as a teacher. That would be fine, except both the unions and the politicians they own, know absolutely nothing about running anything in any efficient, cost effective manner. As a result of baseline budgeting, their fiscal ineptitude, reckless management dispersement of pension funds, and their blind overspending on everything, the state is broke beyond repair and teachers are getting laid off instead of being hired, which means that, even though I have two credentials, I’m probably not going to be teaching this fall.

    At my second job, things are just as bad. My boss is a cheapskate and won’t give me a raise because he says he can’t afford to. He also doesn’t provide any health coverage. The Tech who goes out in the field is rally quite lazy and gets paid way more than he deserves. The accountant often forgets to enter payment into quickbooks in a timely fashion. I swear I could do a much better job…. Oh, wait, that would be me. So is the tech. So is the boss. You see. I actually own and run my own business, Frog’s Pool Service and Spa repair. Even though my business is tiny by comparison to, say White Castle, I have actual real life operational insight into how things work when you are running a business.

    Ultimately, the first responsibility of a business, any business, is to make money. Gobs of it, if possible. Second increase the size of your business, which, as a byproduct, means hiring employees to perform the growing amount of work. Yes, to keep employees, especially the good ones, you do have to provide incentives to keep them from jumping ship. But, the core responsibility of the business is still to make money. Now, you may look at the amount of profit they make and call it “obscene”, but those who actually run the company, who are advised by people who have run other businesses, know by example what happens to a company that sacrifices the amount of profit for other things. The less profit you have, the less likely you will be able to remain in business to cover unforeseen expenses, or to be able to weather the storm when hard times come.

    Just take inventory of all the companies that went down and disappeared during the last two year. Why are so many gone? Because they didn’t earn enough and keep enough profit during the good years, and instead relied on borrowing to facilitate normal day to day operations. They got to that point because the lost sight of the first rule of running a business – make a real profit. Both your employers, by hiring you and others part time, are doing just that, making sure they run in the black. You said you work for Borders. Why are they keeping most of their staff part-time? Because there is this little thing called the Internet, where people can buy books cheaper than in the brick and mortar store. Given that taxes and rents, and , especially the ever escalating price of energy, have gone up in the last two years, to keep the books as cheap as possible and compete with the internet, Borders must control cost by keeping you and others part time and reducing the cost they have to pay, or they will not be able to keep the stores open. Which means you lose one of your jobs.

    Must go work now.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 12, 2010 @ 12:50 pm - July 12, 2010

  35. The Clinton’s new place has SIX bathrooms? Sheesh, they must have SERIOUS bladder or colon problems.

    Comment by Jim Michaud — July 12, 2010 @ 12:53 pm - July 12, 2010

  36. I am willing to pay whatever taxes are required to give everyone health insurance, to give undocumented workers guest worker passes, to make sure everyone has social security and long-term care, to pay for a minimum wage, to have food inspection and worker safety regulations, etc. etc. So, if that turns out to be 55%, I’m all for it.

    When you factor in all the different taxes, fees and other hidden expenses place on various products and services by our governments state and local in order to finance their appetite for your money, you ARE ALREADY paying that amount! How much more money can you afford to take out of your paychecks and still be able to pay rent and buy food and pay the power bills and pay for internet service?????

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 12, 2010 @ 12:58 pm - July 12, 2010

  37. I am willing to pay whatever taxes are required to give everyone health insurance, to give undocumented workers guest worker passes, to make sure everyone has social security and long-term care, to pay for a minimum wage, to have food inspection and worker safety regulations, etc. etc. So, if that turns out to be 55%, I’m all for it.

    Ash, please, tell me true. Have you EVER owned a business in your LIFE?!?!?!?

    I simply cannot believe you have, given your insistence upon the ridiculously self-destructive sentiments you’ve stubbornly clung to in this thread.

    Comment by Eric in Chicago — July 12, 2010 @ 1:27 pm - July 12, 2010

  38. I am willing to pay whatever taxes are required to give everyone health insurance, to give undocumented workers guest worker passes, to make sure everyone has social security and long-term care, to pay for a minimum wage, to have food inspection and worker safety regulations, etc. etc. So, if that turns out to be 55%, I’m all for it.

    Then do it, Ash. Put your hourly wage where your mouth is, and do it. Stop playing with the Monopoly money of progressive economics and put your own ass on the line.

    It costs absolutely nothing to obtain an EID from the SSA. Do that, hire people to do as many of the tasks in your life as you can, pay their health insurance and insure the level of well-being you seem so sure you owe them, then come back here and continue with this nonsense.

    Otherwise, you’re accomplishing nothing more than proving to everyone (in THIS forum at least) that you’re every bit the concern troll we believe you to be.

    Comment by Eric in Chicago — July 12, 2010 @ 1:34 pm - July 12, 2010

  39. I am willing to pay whatever taxes are required to give everyone health insurance, to give undocumented workers guest worker passes, to make sure everyone has social security and long-term care, to pay for a minimum wage, to have food inspection and worker safety regulations, etc. etc. So, if that turns out to be 55%, I’m all for it.

    Goalpost move!

    You see, Ashpenaz, Eric already challenged you to put your money where your mouth is NOW.

    You start donating 55% of YOUR net income to a local food bank, then come back here and feel free to preach to me about how “greedy” White Castle is, ok?

    So why aren’t you doing it NOW, Ashpenaz? Why do you refuse to hand over 55% of your salary to pay for other peoples’ needs? Are you greedy and selfish?

    The reason the Clintons can afford that kind of house is because they’re common sense conservative capitalists. Who support things like health care for people who aren’t as rich as they are.

    Goalpost move!

    Remember what you demanded that managers do previously, Ashpenaz?

    So, I ask again, do you think your management is on your side? Would they sacrifice their salaries so you could be safer and healthier?

    According to you, people should SACRIFICE their salaries. They should not get ANYTHING.

    Now you’re spinning and blabbering that it’s OK to be rich as long as you “support” it. You adamantly refuse to force the Clintons to “sacrifice their salaries” as you are demanding that other people do.

    That’s where your hypocrisy comes in, Ashpenaz. You insist that other people give up their salaries completely. You won’t give up yours, and you won’t demand that your fellow thieving liberals give up theirs.

    So what we have here is this, Ashpenaz:

    – You are whining that other people should give up their food for the hungry — while you yourself are overweight and continue to overeat.

    – You are whining that people should be forced to give up their salaries for “the poor” — while insisting that the Clintons should be allowed to keep money sufficient to buy a house four times larger than the average American family for half the number of people.

    So why should anyone else give the poor food, when you won’t? Why should anyone else give up their salaries, when the Clintons won’t?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 12, 2010 @ 1:53 pm - July 12, 2010

  40. I am willing to pay whatever taxes are required to give everyone health insurance, to give undocumented workers guest worker passes, to make sure everyone has social security and long-term care, to pay for a minimum wage, to have food inspection and worker safety regulations, etc. etc. So, if that turns out to be 55%, I’m all for it.

    Get yourself thrown in prison and get all of those benefits with no tax burden whatsoever. You can probably get some light duty prison camp with internet and computer usage. Get an I-Pad and con OAR into buying books for it. Become a model prisoner and get furlough privileges. Just fight to be kept in prison. They are always trying to throw you out just to make you pay your own freight. The government has no heart, you know.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 12, 2010 @ 2:40 pm - July 12, 2010

  41. “Ultimately, the first responsibility of a business, any business, is to make money.”

    No, it’s not. It’s to make a useful product or provide a useful service to society. And give dignity to its workers. Do look at the philosophy of Warren Buffett.

    As long as the Clintons pay the same percentage of taxes, or a larger percentage based on their larger income, I don’t care if they or anyone else is rich.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 12, 2010 @ 3:57 pm - July 12, 2010

  42. No, it’s not. It’s to make a useful product or provide a useful service to society. And give dignity to its workers. Do look at the philosophy of Warren Buffett.

    I honestly cannot believe you had the balls to post that. Seriously.

    Ash, you have now done the impossible, although I remain grateful that you feel so unencumbered as to express yourself freely here.

    You have, in a matter of a single paragraph, effectively confessed the economic manifesto of what was formerly known as the Modern American Left. I have to say, I really miss you guys. You were a lot more fun before you made the mistake of assuming you had been granted unlimited power to kill capitalism.

    Comment by Eric in Chicago — July 12, 2010 @ 4:25 pm - July 12, 2010

  43. No, it’s not. It’s to make a useful product or provide a useful service to society. And give dignity to its workers. Do look at the philosophy of Warren Buffett.

    I honestly cannot believe you had the balls to post that. Seriously.

    Ash, you have now done the impossible, although I remain grateful that you feel so unencumbered as to express yourself freely here.

    You have, in a matter of a single paragraph, effectively confessed the economic manifesto of what was formerly known as the Modern American Left. I have to say, I really miss you guys. You were a lot more fun before you made the mistake of assuming you had been granted unlimited power to kill capitalism

    Fortunately, you were so thoroughly misinformed and misled, you’ll be lucky if you find a reason not to throw yourself off the highest roof on November 3rd.

    My one hope for you is your refusal to commit to tithing 55% of your net income to a food pantry. That refusal tells me you have a bit of capitalist left in you, ergo you lack the guts to fully give yourself up for the cause of altruism.

    Keep preachin, brother. If I ever see you panhandling outside my local Starbucks, rest assured I’ll be more than willing to confirm your notion of capitalism – by refusing to give you a cent.

    Comment by Eric in Chicago — July 12, 2010 @ 4:30 pm - July 12, 2010

  44. So Ashpenaz’s example of a good economy is the oppressive, anti-free speech rule of Communist China.

    All of his past & future comments are now explainable due to his love of Communism.

    Comment by GayPatriot — July 12, 2010 @ 5:25 pm - July 12, 2010

  45. No, it’s not. It’s to make a useful product or provide a useful service to society. And give dignity to its workers. Do look at the philosophy of Warren Buffett.

    Do you have any freaking idea how many “useful products or useful services to society” businesses have been launched, and died? Why, BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have to make money to stay in business, period. How useful to society was the pet rock? How useful to society is a chia pet?

    Warren Buffett’s philosophy is fine and all, until you have to run a business that doesn’t involve making money on other peoples money. I respect his investment savy and his frugal instincts. But he’s not run a business that has had to compete tooth and nail in order to survive a competitive market place, such as Borders, or my business. He has the luxury of choosing to invest in companies that make PROFITS, and bailing on them when they don’t. And Buffett’s expertise advise on how to run an economy has helped Arnold Schwarzenegger run California how????

    PS. Buffett also only paid 19% of his income in 2006. That is a far cry from your 55% that you think he should be paying. Why does he get a break? Because he’s rich. Rich people, like Buffett, Clinton, and Gore all use the best accountants who can keep their tax liabilities lower than the rest of us. And you wonder why they oppose a flat tax!

    PPS. Buffett’s firm Berkshire Hathaway benefits directly from the death tax, as they sell investment packages that enable other rich people to get around it. Yep. That’s our Warren Buffet.

    Hypocrites!

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 12, 2010 @ 5:33 pm - July 12, 2010

  46. No, it’s not. It’s to make a useful product or provide a useful service to society. And give dignity to its workers. Do look at the philosophy of Warren Buffett.

    Oh yes, let’s.

    Billionaire Warren Buffett, himself a major employer via subsidiaries of his Berkshire Hathaway holding company, doesn’t see any reason to hire back tens of thousands of workers at his own first until there is a clear sign of recovery.

    Buffett doesn’t expect to hire “until orders start coming in,” he told CNBC in an interview. As for the consumer economy, he added, “you’re not going to have people feeling good until jobs come back.”

    Berkshire units have jettisoned 25,000 in the last year and a half.

    And what was it you said above about corporations that cut jobs, Ashpenaz?

    They are not “forced” to cut jobs. What they don’t want to do is to cut into their profits and use the money for the good of their employees.

    So what we have here is another example of you citing an Obama Party supporter as an example of good behavior — who is doing exactly what you excoriate other people for doing.

    Buffet and Clinton have figured out the way to manipulate the Obama Party base like Ashpenaz. As long as you claim to support their Marxist wealth-redistribution agenda, you don’t actually have to do anything of the sort. You can continue to rail against the evil rich and retire to your massive compound on Martha’s Vineyard.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 12, 2010 @ 5:41 pm - July 12, 2010

  47. It’s to make a useful product or provide a useful service to society. And give dignity to its workers.

    I do know of the perfect example of a business that operated in this exact fashion – Air America!

    OK. The content sucked! But it did provide a useful product or provide a useful service to like minded Americans. And gave dignity to its workers – in the form of HUGE contracts! They forgot one little thing….. THEY HAD TO MAKE PROFITS TO STAY ALIVE!!!!! You have to prove you can make money before you syndicate into the radio market, or grow your business. They started from the wrong end to begin with, because they had faith that they were superior and were providing “a useful service to society”. Obviously, that didn’t work.

    They built the business on the exact model you propose. They’re dead. Even through the recent hard time, involving cost cutting, and an aborted career change, mine is still alive after 10 years.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 12, 2010 @ 5:57 pm - July 12, 2010

  48. So, Toyota and BP and the coal mining industy–who do not produce good products and also do not care about the safety and health of their workers–those are the models of free market capitalism? What was that movie about the tobacco industry? Or the one about Silkwood? or Antz?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 12, 2010 @ 7:09 pm - July 12, 2010

  49. Antz???? Really?????

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 12, 2010 @ 7:40 pm - July 12, 2010

  50. Toyota, one of the two auto manufacturers that produce THE HIGHEST MPG RAITED CARS (AND FLEET) OF ALL THE AUTO INDUSTRY, does not produce good products???????????

    REALLY????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    PS. One reason I’m not voting for Jerry Brown for gov in November- he tried to sue both Toyota and Honda, the producers of the cleanest autos on the market, for emitting carbon dioxide in the state. Toyota, as a result, pulled its only auto manufacturing plant out of the state. More jobs creation from a California Democrat… They do love us in Tennessee.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 12, 2010 @ 7:49 pm - July 12, 2010

  51. #48 Ash
    The coal industry is responsible for 80% of all electricity in America. If you ‘ve got a problem with them, I hope you’ve shut off all your applicances and A/C this summer. Or else you are a fraud.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 12, 2010 @ 8:19 pm - July 12, 2010

  52. How come I never see a liberal start a company and give away all the mean ole PROFITS? ALGORE has started those carbon credit scam companies and has kept all the profits, got a new girl friend and is building a new 40,000 sq ft mansion.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 12, 2010 @ 8:20 pm - July 12, 2010

  53. It’s odd that you keep pointing to the Clintons and Al Gore as the kind of heartless capitalists that you admire. Are Republicans simply not as good with money?

    Are carbon credit scam companies as successful as gold investing scam companies?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 12, 2010 @ 8:54 pm - July 12, 2010

  54. Are Republicans simply not as good with money? Are carbon credit scam companies as successful as gold investing scam companies?

    Are you as completely incapable of admitting you’ve been conned as you’re proving yourself to be, or is this simply a case of a domestic partner having been so completely abused, said partner isn’t willing to watch as their abuser is led off in cuffs?

    Comment by Eric Olsen — July 12, 2010 @ 9:17 pm - July 12, 2010

  55. Are carbon credit scam companies as successful as gold investing scam companies?

    Yes, and more so, as the value of carbon is completely made of thin are, whereas with gold, you can hold it, touch it. It’s a real commodity with intrinsic value. It’s called species, and backs many economies throughout the world. Therefore carbon trading is the much bigger, more complete scam!

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 12, 2010 @ 9:22 pm - July 12, 2010

  56. I am willing to pay whatever taxes are required to give everyone health insurance.

    No, you’re not. You’re willing to use ***force others** pay whatever taxes are necessary to give ***you*** a level of healthcare that you haven’t earned. It’s that whole “putting Caesar before Jesus” thing you are prone to, Ash. (Or Marx.)

    The… Clintons… they’re common sense conservative capitalists.

    No, they aren’t. Newsflash: Your declaring it won’t make it so. Hate to break it to you Ash, but there are no Harry Potter wizard powers and you really don’t have any.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 13, 2010 @ 3:21 am - July 13, 2010

  57. Ash-as-Harry-Potter: Spoutus Bullshittius!

    What’s funny, for me, is that I can think of a company that does make a (small) profit, takes care of its employees and customer base, but it wouldn’t meet Ash’s critera since it doesn’t “make a useful product or provide a useful service to society.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 13, 2010 @ 6:37 am - July 13, 2010

  58. Ben and Jerry’s?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 13, 2010 @ 9:25 am - July 13, 2010

  59. It’s to make a useful product or provide a useful service to society. And give dignity to its workers.

    I have been thinking that painting fingernails is not really a productive use of talent.

    I think the government should round up the Vietnamese and take away their fingernail equipment and reeducate them to treat toenail fungus. That is a noble and worthy cause.

    Plus, the fungus police could monitor people at the beach or wearing open toe footwear or at the TSA stands in the airports where passengers would have to also remove their socks and stockings.

    Then, the toenail fungus police could order the person to get a state approved toenail fungus evaluation and program.

    Naturally, painted toenails would result in an immediate fine.

    And, it goes without saying that the program would bring dignity to the workers who are actively engaged in ending the scourge and plague of hidden lower digit misery.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 13, 2010 @ 9:48 am - July 13, 2010

  60. Yes, Ben and Jerry’s employees do get a few more perks than those who work at, say, a McDonalds or even Baskin Robbins. Here are a couple of reasons why they are able to do this.

    First. Ben and Jerry’s operates under an interesting set of circumstances as they are in a niche market. They are a boutique brand, which means they can and do charge a lot more per lb of product vs manufacturing cost than other types of food outlets..

    Second. Compared to the other competition, which is principally Baskin Robbins, they have much fewer stand-alone retail outlets, which means, when compared to other companies, they don’t have a lot of employees. They also sell ice cream at grocery store all over the country. This is where they make the bulk of their profit, and that extra profit supplements their “lavish” treatment of their store employees.. This is a rather unique situation that most companies selling product can not do. How many other products can you name that sell both in every supermarket in the country, and also has individual store fronts. Starbucks is the only one I can think of, and even they have had to close some stores because they over-expanded.

    Third. Because they are a boutique company, there is little competition. They have no real competition. There is Haagen Dazs, but B & J’s leapfrogged them years ago and never looked back. They are much like the American auto industry in the 1960′s, or Microsoft in the late 1990′s. They are the one dominant company in their perspective market.

    In short. ban and Jerry’s is in a rather unique situation, one that all business would like to be in.

    One other thing. You work for Borders. As I mentioned earlier, Borders has to compete with the ability of people to buy book cheaper on the Internet. If people readily bought ice cream off the web, I suspect Ben and Jerry’s would have a harder time maintaining their current business model.

    Ash, the next time you decide to read a book on economics, do not read a screed written by the likes of, say, Buffett or Krugman. The problem with books by the likes of them, and conservatives businessmen for that matter, is that the economics in the books are polluted by the political ideologies of the writers. Read instead an actual textbook on theory, something like “The Economy Today” by Brad Schiller. That will give you a more well rounded understanding of economics as a whole. No, this doesn’t mean you’ll need to shed you political views when applied to economics, but at least you’ll have a better understand of economic mechanics as a whole.

    Must go work now.

    PS. I think this will become a good post for my blog.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 13, 2010 @ 11:29 am - July 13, 2010

  61. This is far and away the best recent book on basic economics:

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Economy-Grows-Why-Crashes/dp/047052670X

    It is a quick read. Most economists need to read it. If you care to have me defend the appellation I gave, let me know.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 13, 2010 @ 3:20 pm - July 13, 2010

  62. My favorite book on the economy (After Das Kapital and Small is Beautiful, of course) is The Undercover Economist by Tim Hartford.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 13, 2010 @ 3:29 pm - July 13, 2010

  63. You read?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 13, 2010 @ 4:24 pm - July 13, 2010

  64. Ash, one reviewer of the book you mention notes:

    Granted, the book has its flaws, principally its (market-driven) lack of any equations or graphs and, more important, its refusal to take up any serious questions of macroeconomics. If you want to understand how recessions occur or how federal spending affects the world and national economy, then you’re out of luck.

    That would be a pretty big omission, and a very incomplete book on economics..

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 13, 2010 @ 5:37 pm - July 13, 2010

  65. Das Kapital was never liked by the critics.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 13, 2010 @ 6:19 pm - July 13, 2010

  66. … Yes, and they were right!

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 13, 2010 @ 6:37 pm - July 13, 2010

  67. If you want to understand how recessions occur or how federal spending affects the world and national economy, then

    … read my rec at #61, which explains it beautifully.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 13, 2010 @ 8:23 pm - July 13, 2010

  68. Das Kapital was never liked by the critics.

    …and is something that you have now just made a -positive- comparison to. “A surprise, that.”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 13, 2010 @ 8:25 pm - July 13, 2010

  69. Also: what critics could you be talking about? It’s a smash hit among society’s self-appointed critics. Another “Planet Ash” moment, I guess.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 13, 2010 @ 8:31 pm - July 13, 2010

  70. ILC – forget it. Ash is absolutely cemented in the dead-end philosophy of Marxism. He will never strive to be more than a bookstore employee. It’s too bad, because there is so much information right at his fingertips that he will never quest to know.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 13, 2010 @ 8:34 pm - July 13, 2010

  71. The only liar greater than the one claiming to have read both Wealth of Nations and Das Kapital is the man who claims he understood either one.

    Das Kapital is hard to find in a strict, complete translation and volumes II and III are not just imponderable but thankfully rare.

    Most copies of the “classic” first volume are abridged and highly annotated so the poor schlub slogging through it is tricked into thinking he knows what is going on. Regardless of all that, it is a moribund tome with little relevance to the modern world. One British economist remarked at the time of its appearance that the book has a beginning, a muddle and an ending.

    However, I have no doubt that Wikipedia can make a cribber believe he is an expert.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 13, 2010 @ 10:52 pm - July 13, 2010

  72. Perhaps it’s one of those things that the critics just pretend to like.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 14, 2010 @ 10:58 am - July 14, 2010

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