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The One Percent Pt. 2

For discussions of events and conditions not necessarily related to Peak Oil.

Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby baha » Thu 22 Jun 2017, 05:53:01

Ha, Ha, You got to just love it...

I told you folks the story of the big fancy company I left because they invaded my privacy. I lectured the HR dude about the solar industry and what you should do to fit in.

About a year ago NC cancelled the state solar incentives...Politics. The solar industry took a big hit. The big fancy roofing company with deep pockets has closed their solar division. And they are looking for someone to support and maintain their existing systems under contract. The very dude I lectured called my current boss to inquire.

Well, guess who is the reining king of solar maintenance in the Raleigh area? :) Me :-D :lol:

I feel like telling him to come out to the house and we will sit around a campfire, smoke a joint, and discuss it. But I won't.

The changes we need will come from the bottom up. I have control now...You will meet my social requirements or you can eat shit and die :) Living by my own values and not backing down to TPTB is only getting easier.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby baha » Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:40:55

This is a good example of a paradigm that needs to change...

This will be the fifth time I have turned down a maintenance contract. I don't want to be under contract. To me, this guy is trying to sluff his responsibilities onto me. I didn't install it. How am I supposed to know how much maintenance it will need and set the price higher :) It's a gamble. Kind of like insurance and health care.

I don't gamble and I hate statistics. I have no debt and my expenses are low so a reliable monthly income means nothing to me. I am happy to get paid when I work.

And that's what I tell them. I will be happy to fix your system anytime. We charge $100 truck roll and $75/hr. I don't do contracts. And I am not 'on-call'
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 22 Jun 2017, 12:37:46

Well, allow me to point out that although I don't have a real good grasp of your personal situation, I gather that your lifestyle is changing as you position yourself for retirement.

Once upon a time, I was a corporate digital design engineer, who moved from project to project based on pure performance and the impressive sales of my product designs. Then I became an engineering manager, who still worked on design projects, but also worked with a project management specialist who stroked the schedule and also had to hire/fire/manage a group of younger engineers, as my design skills were no longer current. Then the last 10 years of my 34-year career, I was a sustaining engineer, keeping the maintenance contract revenues flowing from both mine and other engineers' products in the installed base.

That last phase was interesting enough, but as the installed base of Tandem Computers products dwindled and was replaced by first Compaq logo'd products and then HP NonStop products, my group shrank from 19 people to just me. Then when offerred early retirement, I jumped at the chance, and the 80 grand salary bonus and two years of medical/dental/vision benefits was gravy.

As the Gratefull Dead sang, it has been a long, strange trip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJhIG8wc3Ok
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 22 Jun 2017, 13:56:48

baha wrote:And that's what I tell them. I will be happy to fix your system anytime. We charge $100 truck roll and $75/hr. I don't do contracts. And I am not 'on-call'

After spending my last 15 years at IBM frequently 'on call' for a giant pile of critical customer database systems -- you definitely have the right idea there.

Hell, it got to where they'd try to find me to bail them out even when I wasn't on call. And I did answer a late night page at some point and (for one example) solved a problem in 3 hours that roughly 30 people had made ZERO progress on in 24+ hours before I responded, and then conducted an informal class on my own initiative to teach various groups how to at least try to diagnose some of those types of problems. But was I thanked for the great help? No -- I was yelled at for not answering my pager promptly even though as I pointed out, rather emphatically "I WAS ***NOT*** ON CALL! I AM NOT YOUR SLAVE, UNLESS YOU WANT TO ACTUALLY ***PAY ME*** for the hours you expect me to answer my pager every time it goes off!" (I was so pissed I didn't care if they fired me. Funny -- dumb as they were, they seemed to realize that getting such problems solved mattered, so the subject was dropped).

A few of those "events" with management with nary a clue got me to make getting the hell out of there my primary goal, so in that sense, they did me a favor.

I took a wimpier role than you. I hung around longer, so when I left I was completely done with working for anyone else.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby baha » Thu 22 Jun 2017, 15:04:23

Thanks OS,
I worked network support in IT for a long time. I know all about the 'on-call' attitude. It's like starting a government agency. Once you open the door you can't close it again.

The corporate attitude has become 'Your time is mine and you will jump when I say jump'. Back then, when I went on vacation, I would tell them I am going caving for a week and cell phones don't work underground. What can they say?

It's all about setting the hook. I have learned my lesson. Try to set a hook in me and you will find I have slipped away.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby baha » Thu 22 Jun 2017, 15:31:34

KJ - you and I have a lot in common. While you were more successful, I was more out of control :twisted: And after 5 or 10 years I need something different.

We do offer maintenance contracts and give 24 hour response time to those systems we install. I consider that part of my responsibility to my customers. Not so for any other system.
A Solar fuel spill is otherwise known as a sunny day!
The energy density of a tank of FF's doesn't matter if it's empty.

https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=19844186-d749-40d6-b848-191e899b37db
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 03 Jan 2018, 19:39:42

I thought I would refresh what it means to be a 1% member, as of today:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050615/are-you-top-one-percent-world.asp

In brief, if your annual income is $32,400US, you are a 1% member in the world as a whole. If you make $447,000US annually, you are in the 1% in the USA alone. (These measures are in AGI, Adjusted Gross Income.)

In terms of net accumulated wealth if you possess $770,000 you are among the top 1% in the World. In the USA you would need at least $7,000,000US in total assets.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 03 Jan 2018, 19:55:35

KaiserJeep wrote:In brief, if your annual income is $32,400US, you are a 1% member in the world as a whole. If you make $447,000US annually, you are in the 1% in the USA alone. (These measures are in AGI, Adjusted Gross Income.)

In terms of net accumulated wealth if you possess $770,000 you are among the top 1% in the World. In the USA you would need at least $7,000,000US in total assets.

1). So clearly, most Americans won't feel truly "rich" if they are in the top 1% for the world.

2). Even for the American 1%, clearly lifestyle and where you live has a big impact.

For someone in a small city or rural setting that doesn't have "crazy" expectations as far as lifestyle, that level of income or assets should be enough for them to feel mighty comfortable and secure, even if not truly "insanely" rich.

OTOH, for upwardly mobile types who want to have multi-million dollar homes, boats, super cars, foreign fancy vacations multiple times a year, and all the other nonsense to match, in a place like NYC or SF, they might well "struggle" to be satisfied, given taxes, etc. (My heart bleeds -- I'm just looking at arithmetic here).

Of course, the truly super-rich that people tend to vent their spleen about so much, those with investable net worth in the $100,000,000 range and up, say, are a tiny fraction of the one percent.

Not that I'd expect a largely functionally illiterate US electorate to firmly grasp that.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 01:29:28

Speaking of disparities of wealth, how is this for percentages
The World's 8 Richest Men Are Now as Wealthy as Half the World's Population
http://fortune.com/2017/01/16/world-ric ... -equality/
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 03:21:26

onlooker wrote:Speaking of disparities of wealth, how is this for percentages
The World's 8 Richest Men Are Now as Wealthy as Half the World's Population
http://fortune.com/2017/01/16/world-ric ... -equality/


Not sure why that matters, frankly. In case you are wondering, those 8 men and the size of their fortunes:

1) Bill Gates - $75B
2) Armancio Ortega - $67B
3) Warren Buffet - $60.8B
4) Carlos Slim - $50B
5) Jeff Bezos - $45.2B
6) Mark Zuckerberg - $44.6B
7) Larry Ellison - $43.6B
8 ) Michael Bloomberg - $40B

But during the time they amassed their fortunes, the average human income on Earth also increased. In fact, in every income level, and in spite of massive population increases, per capita incomes are increasing. Even after you factor out inflation, real purchasing power is slowly increasing for everybody.

The largest benefit was to the wealthiest individuals. But I noticed one thing when I wrote down the above figures while viewing the linked video.

None of those 8 men looked happy.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 14:14:23

KaiserJeep wrote:In case you are wondering, those 8 men and the size of their fortunes:

1) Bill Gates - $75B
2) Armancio Ortega - $67B
3) Warren Buffet - $60.8B
4) Carlos Slim - $50B
5) Jeff Bezos - $45.2B
6) Mark Zuckerberg - $44.6B
7) Larry Ellison - $43.6B
8 ) Michael Bloomberg - $40B

In terms of "fairness", making sure very rich people pay a reasonable level of income taxes on ALL their income except some "large" standard deduction which everybody gets, would be a big improvement. (A large deduction like $25,000 or something would be very significant to the middle class, and would be meaningless to very wealthy folks).

So, for example, if the top tax rate were 25%, but Bloomberg had to pay that tax on virtually ALL his income of, say, $2 Billion, he'd pay $500 million in taxes. No dodging for tax exempt bonds, trusts, and other tricks. He'd just have to pay it.

Scale down and the guy making 2 million on his $40 million holdings pays $500,000. Every rich person every year. Even every upper middle class person every year, for that matter, depending on where the top rate kicks in. (If the rate isn't unreasonable, it could kick in at upper middle class levels).

It's not confiscatory, and it's consistent. To the extent it can't be avoided with lawyers and CPA's, it has a sense of fairness.

But we can't do that. The liberals, who scream about tax breaks for the wealthy, were against ending EVERY tax preference (that I saw) the GOP proposed in the 2017 tax overhaul. The cry was, of course "don't gore MY ox. Make somebody ELSE pay!"

And so it goes. In reality, the wealthy pay a huge proportion of the US income taxes. The liberals don't think it's enough. But since they strongly block any move toward a fairer, flatter system (as will rich people), it will never change much.

They're their own worst enemy. So who do they blame every single time? The GOP of course. It's politics as usual.

Disclosure: I'm FINE giving up some tax breaks if it means people like Mitt Romney and Bill Gates, etc. (i.e. all wealthy people) pay the top effective rate on ALL their income.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 14:52:53

Outcast, your post makes much sense. Unfortunately, that enormous amount of money those few people have bestows them with enormous power also. And they are active in making sure their status does not change
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 15:48:20

I said I don't know why the income disparity matters, or the accumulated wealth disparity. Because the quality of life is stilll improving for everybody, with the system we have today in place.

IF in seeking to make the system "more fair", you were to impose changes where these 8 wealthy men go into "conservation mode", and seek to preserve what they have, along with the rest of the 1% (those 8 men are only the top 0.00001%), the real possibility exists that things would get worse for the 99%. As it stands today, in spite of world population growth, things are improving for everyone - apparently, not fast enough for some of you.

In fact in the USA we tweek the tax code every year. My wife the CPA is scrambling to keep ahead, this year more than other years, because of the degree of changes, but she has to refresh her knowledge every year, whether the D's or R's are in charge.

She has digested the import and told me that the changes will not make a big difference to us, but will have a major impact on my daughter's family, where her husband works full time for the University of Wisconsin in Madison as an IT specialist, while she does odd jobs and cares for the twin grandkids. My Son-In-Law is UW staff, not Faculty, in a mid-level supervisory IT role, but the standard deduction and tax bracket changes will effect them still. Niether of them has outstanding student debt, or is currently a grad student, which is apparently a very good thing, as grad students and those with outstanding balances on education loans are about to feel the Republican lash. No wonder the acadamia nuts are screaming.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Revi » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 11:00:49

We are entering the time where those one percenters are going to be the only ones who are eating regularly, flying around the world, living what was a formerly middle class life. The rest of us will live "at their pleasure". Call it peak oil or whatever you want, we are going to see a diminishment of our living standards. They were ridiculous anyway. Snowmobiles, wave runners, monster trucks and 10,000 square foot houses were artifacts of a culture where consumption was seen as a spiritual quest. The second decade of the 21st century is going to end either with a bang, or a whimper...
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 12:27:20

Revi wrote:We are entering the time where those one percenters are going to be the only ones who are eating regularly, flying around the world, living what was a formerly middle class life. The rest of us will live "at their pleasure". Call it peak oil or whatever you want, we are going to see a diminishment of our living standards. They were ridiculous anyway. Snowmobiles, wave runners, monster trucks and 10,000 square foot houses were artifacts of a culture where consumption was seen as a spiritual quest. The second decade of the 21st century is going to end either with a bang, or a whimper...

Since WHEN does eating regularly equate economically (or even remotely close) to flying around the world?

Since WHEN, given food stamps and the roughly 100 other anti-poverty federal programs that US taxpayers pay about $1 trillion for annually cause lots of hunger in the US? (Not to even mention all the state and local programs and the charities).

Try starting with a reasonable premise, like in the US eating daily is normal. Flying around the world is something only the upper middle class and above does -- not the middle class as a normal thing.

If you're going to start with an unreasonable premise, and then conclude with "a bang or a whimper" (i.e. SOMETHING) will happen - we're supposed to conclude what? That you're spreading FUD as doomers do?
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 12:37:01

onlooker wrote:Outcast, your post makes much sense. Unfortunately, that enormous amount of money those few people have bestows them with enormous power also. And they are active in making sure their status does not change

Agreed. But the normal VOTERS are complicit! Per many NYT articles and opinion pieces while the tax law was being debated, the left leaning crowd was pounding the table to keep all their tax preferences. They were exhorting their peers to call and write their congressman and lobby to keep those tax preferences.

Assuming everyone reading the NYT isn't the 1% (I'm certainly not), it's NOT only the wealthy who are causing the problems, re tons of tax breaks the rich can build on/twist to pay little taxes, at least in some cases.

It's like conservative voters in red states voting for people who are were cutting off medicaid funding and hurting their medical insurance under the ACA. It wasn't just "mean old rich people" in power doing this -- it was the "poor" hurting themselves.

Sure, everyone (at least the rational and educated) tends to work in their own self interest. I get that. But I think the idea that the 1% just control things is dead wrong. They only have 1% of the vote, after all.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 13:02:46

This is a ridiculous discussion. The wealthy including the 1% pay the majority of taxes already, and that is not changing. The Republican tax changes mainly apply to Corporations which have seen a serious reduction. That is most likely to reduce unemployment even further from an already low level, and stimulate an economy which is in serious need of some stimulation.

The problems of the Middle Class arise from automation and globalization, not directly related to tax policy. Trump has promised to address those issues and so far has been doing so. Tax reforms are another campaign promise that he has kept.

I'm not a Trump fan as I have said more than once. But if he maintains his practice of fulfilling promises he'll not only see a second term, but a Republican successor.

Remember that the majority of Americans are in the 1% in the World. Remember that the DJIA busted through 25,000 this week, although traditionally setting a new high mark leads to profit taking and a down close on Friday.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby ralfy » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 21:24:56

In order for the one percent to maximize their profits and ROIs, and generally to see the bulk of their wealth (which consists on numbers in hard drives) maintain its value, more of the 99 percent have to increase borrowing and spending. Because if the latter doesn't get what they want, then the value of the wealth of the former diminishes, and the results won't be pretty.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 06 Jan 2018, 08:41:06

ralfy wrote:In order for the one percent to maximize their profits and ROIs, and generally to see the bulk of their wealth (which consists on numbers in hard drives) maintain its value, more of the 99 percent have to increase borrowing and spending. Because if the latter doesn't get what they want, then the value of the wealth of the former diminishes, and the results won't be pretty.
You seem to ignore that those numbers in hard drives are backed up by real estate including forest and farm land, factories, stores, office buildings, hotel towers and resorts, golf courses, railroads and the rolling stock etc.
We the ninety nine percent get to use all of these things at prices we are willing and able to pay and should not begrudge the stock holders their dividends.
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Re: The One Percent Pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 06 Jan 2018, 09:01:06

I submit to you again, that what matters per say is not the actual wealth but the commensurate power that wealth bestows. If you look at all countries and if you look at the trajectory of our human world, one can plainly see how all actions and policies are tilted to benefit the already wealthy. That makes sense given the close tie in our human world of money and power.

So, instead of Governments being there to try and prepare for the consequences of our huge population in overshoot we have governments subverted and corrupted by the power of money and beholden thus to the money brokers. That is why making headway to prepare for PO and Climate change and slowing down the momentum of Modern Industrial Civilization and even population growth has not been addressed sufficiently. We live for today and the hell with tomorrow because our money masters like it that way and yes we normal citizens in rich countries also. We are also relatively rich in comparison to the mass of impoverished on the planet. This by the way was evident in other former civilizations and their downfall.
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