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Old 04-14-2005, 12:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Kiss Chapter 7's goodbye. Thank you Pres. Bush

Well, chalk a big one up for the credit card companies. They got their wish. Now, Ch. 7's are going by the wayside.

When I was in law school 24 years ago, I was taught that an honest and deserving debtor was allowed an opportunity to start over with a clean slate. Not anymore. This is going to hurt hundreds of thousands of people. Most debt today involve not just credit cards but massive medical bills.

The U.S. is truly turning into the most heartless country on earth.

http://money.cnn.com/2005/04/13/pf/b...ex.htm?cnn=yes

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – In a widely expected move, the House on Thursday approved a bankruptcy reform bill that has already passed the Senate.

The House vote virtually guarantees the bill will become law since President Bush has indicated he will sign it. The president could sign the legislation as early as next week.

The reform bill will make filing for bankruptcy more difficult, and it will give creditors more recourse in some instances.

So, experts say, if you were thinking about filing for bankruptcy to clear your debts, you might think twice -- or act twice as quickly, since major provisions go into effect six months after the bill is signed into law.

Under current law, the majority of consumers who file for bankruptcy do so either under Chapter 7 or under Chapter 13.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your assets (minus those exempted by your state) are liquidated and given to creditors, and many of your remaining debts are cancelled, giving you what's known as a "fresh start." In 2004, over 1.1 million people filed for Chapter 7, accounting for roughly 72 percent of non-business bankruptcies.

Since many Chapter 7 filers don't have assets that qualify for liquidation, credit card companies and other creditors sometimes get nothing.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you're put on a repayment plan of up to five years. Any debts not addressed by the repayment plan don't have to be paid. Last year, there were 445,574 Chapter 13 filings.

After the bill becomes law, fewer people will be allowed to file under Chapter 7; more will be forced to file under Chapter 13.

Lawmakers who favor the legislation argue that it would prevent consumers from abusing the bankruptcy laws – using them to clear debts that they can afford to pay.

But consumer advocates argue that the bill is a gift to creditors – particularly the credit card industry, which may receive $1 billion or more from repayment plans due to the expected increase in Chapter 13 filings, according to Robert McKinley, CEO of CardWeb.com.

"The bill simply doesn't balance responsibility between families in debt trouble and the creditors whose practices have contributed to the rise in bankruptcies," said Travis Plunkett of the Consumer Federation of America in a written statement.
Key changes

Here are some of the major changes the bill would implement:

A qualifying test: Currently, it's up to the court to determine if your case qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Under the new bill, your income will be subject to a two-part means test. First, it will be subject to a formula that exempts certain expenses (rent, food, etc.) to determine whether you can afford to pay 25 percent of your "nonpriority unsecured debt" such as your credit card bills. Second, your income will be compared to your state's median income.

You won't be allowed to file for Chapter 7 if your income is above your state's median and you can afford to pay 25 percent of your unsecured debt, said California-based bankruptcy attorney Stephen Elias, who is coauthor of the book "How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy." But, he said, you may be allowed to file for Chapter 13.

If your income is below the state's median but you can pay 25 percent of your unsecured debt, you may be able to file Chapter 7, but the court can still require you to file Chapter 13 instead if it believes that you would be abusing the system by filing for Chapter 7, Elias said.

Under current law, the court has great latitude in deciding whether debtors may file for bankruptcy in consideration of their personal circumstances. Under the bill, there will be few if any exceptions made to the means test, no matter how sympathetic your case, said Leon Bayer, a bankruptcy attorney in Los Angeles.

Determining what you can afford to pay: Currently, if you file for Chapter 13 today, the court determines what you can afford to pay based on what you and the court deem to be reasonable and necessary expenses.

Under the bill, the court would apply living standards derived by the IRS to determine what is reasonable to pay for rent, food and other expenses to figure out how much you have available to pay your debts. The IRS regulations are more stringent, and to contest them means asking for a hearing from a judge, which can mean more time and expense, Elias said.

Tougher homestead exemptions: Currently, if you declare bankruptcy, the state where you file may allow you to protect from creditors some or all of your home equity. In Florida, for instance, your home may be entirely exempt, even if you bought it soon before filing. In Nevada, you may exempt up to $200,000.

The bill, however, places more stringent restrictions on the homestead exemption. For instance, if filers haven't lived in a state for at least two years, they may only take the state exemption of the state where they lived for the majority of the time for the 180 days before the two-year period.

Filers may only exempt up to $125,000, regardless of a state's exemption allowance, if their home was acquired less than 40 months before filing or if the filer has violated securities laws or been found guilty of certain criminal conduct.

Creditors' recourse: Currently, creditors who won't receive any money owed in a bankruptcy case may contest the ruling if it's a Chapter 7 case, but not if it's a filing under Chapter 13.

Under the new bill, that right to contest is extended to creditors in Chapter 13 filings.

Lawyer liability: Under the new bill, if information about a client's case is found to be inaccurate, the bankruptcy attorney may be subject to various fees and fines.

What that means for consumers is it will be harder to find a bankruptcy attorney willing to file because of the liability and the additional work required to verify a client's information, Elias said.

Those who are willing are likely to charge more.

Credit counseling and money management: Under provisions of the new bill you must meet with a credit counselor in the six months prior to applying for bankruptcy. And before debts are discharged, you must attend money management classes. You must pay for any fees charged.
What should you do?

For those people who have considered bankruptcy, the time to act may be now, consumer advocates say.

Talk to a good bankruptcy lawyer, Plunkett said. If together you decide bankruptcy is the right call, you might consider speeding up your plans to file. If the bill is passed into law, its main provision won't go into effect until six months after passage, Plunkett said.

Typically, it can take a couple of weeks to file for bankruptcy, said Bayer.
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To me this falls under the category of taking responsibility for your actions. Maybe I'm a heartless bastard, but you spent the money PAY IT BACK!

I'm in collections for several things, thanks to my ex, my kids, and some very poor decisions on my part, I've been offered programs similar but for me it's always been a matter of pride to actually pay them off! Heaven forbid these people be held accountable for their actions!

Granted, there are situations where the circumstances are outside the control of the people involved, but they're not getting rid of Chapter 7, just making it harder to qualify. Over the past five years I've known entirely too many people that file for bankruptcy simply because they're too lazy to do the work necessary to pay off the debts. They got 8 credit cards while their credit was still good, maxed out all of them, then lament that they don't have the money to pay them off. To me that translates to "You shouldn't have spent the money in the first place then!"

Alright alright :P /rant
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow...

Where have I been? I didn't even know that the bill had made it that far.

Personally, I think this is terrible...

I understand that a lot of people abused bankruptcy, but this is getting a bit ridiculous. In my business, I see a ton of people that will take 20+ years of their income, providing they live very, very frugally, to repay their debts.

Hopefully I am misunderstanding a portion of the bill, or we could be in for a very interesting situation...

Many of the bankruptcies that I have seen have been caused by people that were once earning a higher income that had manageable debt losing their jobs and taking huge pay cuts. Also, medical collections are a large part of these bankruptcies as well. I would have far fewer issues with this if we were first able to take care of the ridiculous cost of health insurance...
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As someone who works in the credit industry, the blame doesn't and should not fall ENTIRELY on the debtors. Our society has ingrained it into people's heads that the "Buy Now! Pay later!" method of purchase and acquire has painfree consequences. That, as we are seeing, is not the case. Good credit practice advisement and resources are now the mainstream because it didn't come across naturally before. The rule of thumb in life to strive by is simply don't take in more than what you can pay out. And as always, our bodies also have a way of needing special attention from time to time.

There are many people who rightfully file for bankruptcy due to life situations beyond their control; however, there are those few that have abused the system. As always, it only takes a small messup to change things for everyone.

I am very wary about the changes this will bring, on both sides of the credit.
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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insisting on personal responsbility doesn't make the credit card companies responsible for predatory lending practices.

frankly...i think we need accountability on both ends. our culture of debt is not healthy, nor is the facilitation of this by credit companies.
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Old 04-14-2005, 01:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I know of a number of people who abused the system, planning bankruptcies and running up huge debts once they were executing those bankruptcies. I don't consider them friends even though they are "family" as I'm too disgusted by what I've witnessed.

The system was in place to help those that needed help. Like all programs that get abused, they get cut and the people who needed them to begin with suffer.

shame, but that's the America we live in.
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Old 04-14-2005, 01:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinguerre
insisting on personal responsbility doesn't make the credit card companies responsible for predatory lending practices.

frankly...i think we need accountability on both ends. our culture of debt is not healthy, nor is the facilitation of this by credit companies.
Yes, personal responsibility would make the credit card companies liable for their actions, that's the whole point of the idea, to be personally responsible for your actions, regardless of the consequences, or maybe because of the consequences. If the credit cards companies were being responsible they wouldn't use predatory lending practices.
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Old 04-14-2005, 01:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So, now that the credit card companies got what they wanted, this means that they'll be offering much better rates for the consumers, right? Yeah, I didn't think so.
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Old 04-14-2005, 01:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I find it incredibly ironic that the federal government is trying to tell me to be more fiscally responsible. I mean....Buy now, pay later. Isn't that the standard call to action in Congress these days?

Fucking hypocrites.
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Old 04-14-2005, 01:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is just the beginning. Our country is in far far over its head in debt and the time is coming to pay it.

The problem is a vast majority acquired that debt making higher wages than they do now, so payment is even that much harder.

Is this a sad day?

YES and the beginning of many more.

Is this a GOP way to make the rich richer?

Some can look at it that way, but in the end when the middle class can't afford to pay their debts AND be able to maintain the lifestyle crucial to our economy or barely even make a living, the rich will suffer also..... so short term gains will prove to be long term losses for the rich that benefit today.

Is there a way to avoid this?

NO, impossible, again I stress, the debt (consumer debt, trade deficits, Federal defits, corporation defits from mergers, leveraged buyouts etc.) is far too high to do anything about.

What can be done to save us?

Well this is where the party politics differ:

the GOP leadership realize:

- that the poorer the people the more religious they become, this benefits their religious right benefactors so there's benefits
- the rich short term profit as they can buy up land at Sheriff's auctions dirt cheap
- they can blame all this on masses but allow individuals to believe it was everyone else
- if they keep cutting taxes on the rich and cutting social programs, the masses become indentured making almost slave wages, the short term is great for the rich


the Dem. leadership realizes:

- wages must be increased and the threat of inflation is bullshit because CEO's and upper management make far more than they ever have in the past
- social programs and education are needed to develop a more intelligent work base that can again be the best and most innovative
- tax bases can be increased by tariffs, finding ways to keep factories here and regulating imports and small business loans to keep business growth up.
- universal healthcare, so that the medical debt (which is extremely high and probably our worst enemy) can be eliminated. The scare tactics that it would decrease the effectiveness of care, that it would take away the pharmaceuticals incentives to develop drugs and all the other GOP propaganda would be far outweighed by the fact that companies could free up that benefit monies to pay workers more, workers would be able to spend/ save/ lower debt more because they wouldn't have outrageous insurance, medical and prescription bills to worry about.


Then there is the growing in support solution to just erase all debt as a country and start over, however beautiful that may sound there would be problems (such as other countries forgiving our debt

Finally, there is the NEW WORLD ORDER conspiracists viewpoint and while their ends are whacky, this may very well be the best solution for the world to keep it out of depression and war.

- This solution would be for everyone to start over ALL DEBT forgiven and 1 world currency, 1 world minimum wage and 1 world trade. While countries would remain sovereign as to their laws and customs the economics would be based on every country producing and consuming
.

I think no matter how we look at it the end of society as we know it today is and has to come to a fast ending sooner rather than later. The debts are too high and payment is coming due.
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Old 04-14-2005, 01:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't think this should be a partisan issue. I think it is true that this wouldn't pass in a Democrat-led Congress, but a whole bunch of Dems voted against cloture (the only way to stop the bill) and then voted against the bill to pretend to be opposed to it, so the way I see things both sides are at fault.

Also, this bill has nothing to do with people "gaming" the system. Sure, some people do that, but it more has to do with this:
Quote:
More than 1.5 million families had to declare bankruptcy last year—half because of unexpected and extraordinary medical expenses. Millions more totter on the edge of bankruptcy. The large numbers of bankruptcies is a clear sign about the tenuous state of the economy—millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules could be pushed at any time to financial ruin by job loss, business failure or major medical expenses. The pressure valve for these families has historically been bankruptcy but now Congress is making things tougher for these hard-working folks in order to secure billions in profits for creditors.
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Old 04-14-2005, 01:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
I don't think this should be a partisan issue. I think it is true that this wouldn't pass in a Democrat-led Congress, but a whole bunch of Dems voted against cloture (the only way to stop the bill) and then voted against the bill to pretend to be opposed to it, so the way I see things both sides are at fault.

Also, this bill has nothing to do with people "gaming" the system. Sure, some people do that, but it more has to do with this:
With your quote (I don't know how to post it), it shows the problem we face.

As I stated above, yes short term (and that is all we (as a nation) seem to really focus on anymore) the credit card companies and the debt holders do get their billions.

However, in the end the whole world suffers because once the middle calss can no longer afford to buy and consume at the standard today, everyone loses.

What good is owning all the land and housing when noone can afford to live in it? What good is owning debt when noone can pay it off?

In the end we're facing quite possibly a depression that will send us back to the dark ages.

If the US fails and we can't pay our debts every other country suffers and eventually will go into depression because they rely on us to consume, our "aid" and our debts. Selling companies to overseas countries may go unnoticed, but trust me foreign countries send troops over or demanding payment will not get very far with the people, and lead to war.
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Old 04-14-2005, 02:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinguerre
insisting on personal responsbility doesn't make the credit card companies responsible for predatory lending practices.

frankly...i think we need accountability on both ends. our culture of debt is not healthy, nor is the facilitation of this by credit companies.
Absolutely. Yes people should be responsible with their money, but credit card companies are exasterbating the problem by giving out their cards with way too much credit on it to people who would have a very very hard time paying it back if they max it out. It doesn't help that companies jack your rates way up for anything they can possibly think of. My sister works for a credit card company and she has heard of credit card companies raising someones rates because they were approaching their credit limit. That's right, approaching the limit was a "credit risk" and so they up the rates...

On the other hand, I've also heard of people running up huge bills, sinking that money into some "exempt" asset like their house. Then declaring bankruptcy and walking away with a bunch of equity in their house for free.

Something needed to be done, was it the right thing? I dunno. I see this hurting a lot of people in the short run, but maybe enlightening the rest to stop them from getting themselves into trouble in the long run.
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Old 04-14-2005, 03:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Nobody owes you credit...a credit card......a loan..a living. Pay your debts and live like you may lose your job and have to take a pay cut. Credit is a tool, grease for the wheels...it helps to ease timing of cash flow etc... Maybe we give people too much credit for being adults.

Come on heartless? It's easy to to hate a Monolithic faceless industry like the credit card industry.....What if it was you who had to suck it up and absorb that loss....well in the end we all do. Higher interest rates, higher prices, more onerous terms from companies who want to insure against a loss.

The rich are rich not because they go around screwing people out of their money rather they are rich because of what they do with the money they have. Honest and deserving debtors can still work something out. A 5 year plan..sounds fair. Honoring their promise to pay..right on.

A person has no business running up debts they can't repay. Yes it's painful paying it all back, I've had to do it. The habits I developed doing it have carried over to today and now somehow I don't feel like a victim of the credit industry.
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Old 04-14-2005, 03:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just had another thought ....maybe instead of social studies we should teach finance in our schools....Ok not instead of SS...but maybe include it in Math classes or something. Did anyone here have any exposure to the implications of this issue in High School or College outside of a business major? It would have saved me a whole lot of trouble.
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Old 04-14-2005, 03:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yeah, nofnway, I took an Applied Economics course in high school that did a good job of scaring the shit out of me regarding credit cards, loans, and other such adult things. I agree that it is a course that should be taught to try and ensure people are smarter with their money and avoid unnecessary debt.

The problem, though, as I stated early, is that the vast majority of bankruptcy cases are UNavoidable debt. Half of all families declaring bankruptcy do so because of unavoidable and unpredictable medical expenses, such as a bad car accident or a family member being diagnosed with cancer. Most of the other 50% of cases are people who work hard, play by the rules, and are hit nonetheless with job loss or business failure. Life is unpredictable, and can include some hard blows. Bankruptcy was one way to help people deal with those obstacles. While some cases consist of irresponsible adults who made poor money decisions, the vast majority of cases involve regular, honest folk who suffered some terrible luck. We shouldn't be punishing them.
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Old 04-14-2005, 04:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Ok, the understanding I have is that they expects us to pay our debts back but look at the main example we have to learn from. The National Deficit. The way I see it, we, as consumers, are expected to pay back debts when we are subjected to job loss, minimum wage, gas prices raised - and yeah, we can always walk or take the bus but if you live in the desert like I do where it's really hot in the spring, summer and fall and already walk 45 mins to and from work due to urban sprawl, as well as spend 8 hours on my feet during my work with only two 15 minute breaks during that time, then travel can be tiresome and time consuming.- child care, car care, taxes, etc. It's too easy to get into that debt...and that's without including any medical debts...

Some people I know have racked up 10K in hospital bills due to no insurance (they're job doesn't offer it and they make too little to afford to pay for it) but D.E.S. turns around and says they make too much or expect information that is difficult for a person to obtain due to his or her circumstances...

I don't know about this bill...IMO, it seems to me that this country, overall, is headed in the wrong direction from these choices and decisions. I'd love to see these rich politicians walk for 45mins to work, stand on their feet for 8 hours, then walk for 45 more minutes...if it's hell in this heat for a 25 year old to do it for 5 days a week, I imagine a politician couldn't/wouldn't do it...
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Old 04-14-2005, 04:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
I know of a number of people who abused the system, planning bankruptcies and running up huge debts once they were executing those bankruptcies. I don't consider them friends even though they are "family" as I'm too disgusted by what I've witnessed.

The system was in place to help those that needed help. Like all programs that get abused, they get cut and the people who needed them to begin with suffer.

shame, but that's the America we live in.
Cynthetiq - You've hit the nail on the head!!!

It's all about getting something for nothing! We as a society do not take enough action when we see something that pisses us off. I think if we did then America would be a better place because we would be weeding out all of the freeloading pieces of crap that are bringing down this great country!
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Old 04-14-2005, 05:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
I know of a number of people who abused the system, planning bankruptcies and running up huge debts once they were executing those bankruptcies. I don't consider them friends even though they are "family" as I'm too disgusted by what I've witnessed.

The system was in place to help those that needed help. Like all programs that get abused, they get cut and the people who needed them to begin with suffer.

shame, but that's the America we live in.

Likewise.

My mother worked for a credit collection department at a bank once and the stories she told were appalling.

For every honest, just-got-in-to-far debtor, there were two or three that were in it to screw the bank.

My own experience was working for a loan company that specialized in mobile home loans...we hated even considering certain people for loans.

One of these groups was native americans on reservations. Once a home got on the reservation many would stop paying on the note because it was harder than hell to repossess.

I agree that credit card companies are partly to blame, but no one makes you accept the cards and run up the debt.
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Old 04-14-2005, 06:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I wouldn't have too much of a problem with tightening up the requirements if they would also exempt people with large medical bills. Maybe if the law specifically targeted credit card customers for tougher requirements.

Wouldn't it be poetic justice if this bill wound up costing the credit card companies money because of lost business? Even with all the bankruptcies today I understand that their profits are at record high levels.
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Old 04-14-2005, 06:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by flstf
I wouldn't have too much of a problem with tightening up the requirements if they would also exempt people with large medical bills. Maybe if the law specifically targeted credit card customers for tougher requirements.

Wouldn't it be poetic justice if this bill wound up costing the credit card companies money because of lost business? Even with all the bankruptcies today I understand that their profits are at record high levels.
I agree. In fact, 100% agreed.

I also feel that credit and financial education should be available in detail to everyone young and old but also, perhaps, have something like a "financial awareness" day for high schools and colleges everywhere, even better...every school. I know that my idea may seem like a pipe dream but I've seen less likely programs become mainstream for every school...even in a tiny town like Tombstone, Arizona, we still had programs and awareness classes like I saw in Duarte, California. This would help nip this problem in the bud...

On another note, these people who rack their debt up and then just don't pay sound like they don't understand what they're really up against. I do know, being a former employee, that American Express has a "red flag" program (started in 1996) where a person (by SSN) who racks up debt with them and does not pay, lets the 7 or 10 years pass (depending on how they get it off of their report) and then repeats their actions are put on a system list to where the person can owe American Express once, the second time it happens, if the person just doesn't pay but lets it fall off after 7 years or declares bankruptcy, the person is blackballed for good.
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Old 04-14-2005, 07:07 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Not to say it is untrue, but I find it questionable that there are people who would rack up the debt and then declare bankruptcy - do they not understand what they are doing to their credit for 10+ years??? The marks I have on my credit are there for about 2 more years then they should be falling off...being a college student off and on, and working jobs that pay me enough to ensure I have a 24/7 eye on my finances, etc. has forced me to live without being able to afford to pay what former C.C. companies are asking me to pay...my punishment, as I see it, is bad credit (quite the embarrassment) to which I can only have a credit card if I get a special offer from one (in which Company A purchases an old debt from Company B then gives me an offer to their card to use with a small credit limit after I pay off the old debt balance - which is placed on the card) or get a secured one.

Growing up is one thing I feel a lot of people MUST do in order to understand the importance of their credit. I have paid off a few of my debts on my credit in the past but my large ones are unreasonable. In 2 + years, when my credit is ok again will I repeat my past? I can promise you I will not...having to go 7 years without a cell phone plan (non-prepay) or the difficulty in getting an apartment (and even, in some cases, employment) has taught me enough.
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Old 04-15-2005, 12:12 AM   #23 (permalink)
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The synchronicity of this thing is particularly disturbing, on the heels of the cancellation of the Estate Tax. We're talking about Feudal States of America. My credit card just wrote me to tell me that they increased my limit by 33% at a time when I owe them more than ever, scary.

If this bill doesn't teach people to not get ill or have accidents then I don't know what will...is there anyone of any political persuasion who understands why this doesn't at least have exemptions for medical care?

I get that this is supposed to teach us responsibility blah blah close loopholes...but for me, if they're going to treat people who go on reckless spending binges the same way they treat people with cancer, then I might as well do the former. I'm sure to incur insurmountable debt at some point in my life, so I may as well have fun doing it.
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Old 04-15-2005, 03:05 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I felt the need to add this being a veteran myself and seeing this part of the bill was rebuked by House GOP and Bush....... some fucking patriots they are. Cut the veterans benefits, close VA hospitals and send our boys to war illequipped and now this ..... (The highlighted portion) HOW CAN ANYBODY SUPPORT THIS PARTY???????

(This article also shows by the voting #'s that it was a bi-partisan bill. I still believe this is a sign of worse things coming (notice the other highlighted part where Corporations filing bankruptcy won't have it easy either)...but still you don't punish the people defending your country.... esp. when you barely pay them enough to live on if they are single..... let alone have a family.)



Quote:
Bush Will Sign Bankruptcy Bill

Thu Apr 14, 6:29 PM ET Politics - Reuters


By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bankruptcy legislation making it tougher for heavily indebted Americans to wipe out their obligations won final congressional approval on Thursday and President Bush said he looked forward to signing it into law.

Sought for years by banks and credit card companies that say people are abusing bankruptcy to escape repayment, the measure cleared the House of Representatives on a 302-126 vote. It passed the Senate last month by 74-25.

The bill now goes to the White House, where it is seen as part of the Republicans' legal reform agenda.

"I commend the House for acting in bipartisan fashion to curb abuses of the bankruptcy system," Bush said in a statement that called the changes in the bill "commonsense reforms."

"I look forward to signing the bill into law," he said.

Opponents say the bill is too harsh on ordinary Americans, arguing many of those filing for bankruptcy were driven into debt by unemployment, a medical crisis or divorce.

The measure contains an income test to determine if people should enter compulsory repayment plans, rather than have their assets liquidated to repay creditors.

"This bill will help stop fraudulent, abusive, and opportunistic bankruptcy claims by closing various loopholes and incentives that have produced steadily cascading bankruptcy claims," said Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner.

Personal bankruptcy filings have risen in recent years, but last year were down 3.8 percent to 1.6 million.

Critics also charge the bill ignores loan-shark style practices that entice people to borrow and then hit them with high interest and fees. They say it adds insult to injury by forcing those filing for bankruptcy to have credit counseling.

"This is the most special-interest-invested bill that I have ever dealt with in my career in Congress," said Rep. John Conyers (news, bio, voting record), a Michigan Democrat first elected in 1964. "It massively tilts the playing field in favor of banks and credit card companies and against working people and their families."

The AFL-CIO labor organization denounced the measure as "further proof that big business is steamrolling legislation through Congress."

Some parts of the bill affect corporate bankruptcies. It lets creditors close out their derivatives contracts with companies that have filed for bankruptcy, a provision aimed at reducing the risk of financial crises. Another provision tightens the rules for companies that are filing for bankruptcy and want to pay retention bonuses to executives.

TORTURED HISTORY

The core of the bill was written in 1997 but it has had a tortured history. The House passed versions of it eight times but it usually stalled in the Senate. Once when it did pass the Senate, former President Bill Clinton gave it a "pocket veto" by refusing to sign it after Congress went home.

The final way forward in the Senate was cleared last month when senators defeated an abortion-related amendment that had scuttled agreement on the measure in the previous Congress.

While it was largely a Republican project, the measure ultimately won considerable Democratic support. Seventy-three House Democrats joined 229 Republicans in voting for it.

In their haste to get the bill to Bush, House Republican leaders refused to consider amendments on the floor and voted down a Democratic attempt to return the bill to committee with instructions to exempt veterans from the measure's means test.

Some experts predict a rush to file for bankruptcy before the law takes effect six months after Bush signs it.
LINK: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._bankruptcy_dc
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Old 04-15-2005, 06:08 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Thanks President Bush?

How many Democrats voted for this abortion? Why just pick on Bush for your scorn? There's more than enough to go around...
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:00 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
Thanks President Bush?

How many Democrats voted for this abortion? Why just pick on Bush for your scorn? There's more than enough to go around...
A little less than 1/3 of the "yes" votes were from Democrats (R = 229, D = 73).

LINKY

However, it doesn't identify which Democrats voted for it, it just gives names, no political identity.

However, my friggin' comrades all voted for the friggin' thing.

Edit: Well, it does identify. "(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)"

One of the Democrats who voted for it is a brand new guy from my state (Colorado)--that was interesting.
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:05 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
LINKY


However, my friggin' comrades all voted for the friggin' thing.
You got that right.
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Old 04-15-2005, 04:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
the Dem. leadership realizes:

- wages must be increased and the threat of inflation is bullshit because CEO's and upper management make far more than they ever have in the past

So you're suggesting that wages should increase, but costs won't go up. I can't come up with any other interpretation of your statement. Interesting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
- social programs and education are needed to develop a more intelligent work base that can again be the best and most innovative

"Knowledge is good."
Statue inscription from Animal House



Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
- tax bases can be increased by tariffs, finding ways to keep factories here and regulating imports and small business loans to keep business growth up.

Raise tariffs, and any of our industries that depend on imported goods will go in the tank. Can any of our economists point out a tariff that's worked out in the long term?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
- universal healthcare, so that the medical debt (which is extremely high and probably our worst enemy) can be eliminated. The scare tactics that it would decrease the effectiveness of care, that it would take away the pharmaceuticals incentives to develop drugs and all the other GOP propaganda would be far outweighed by the fact that companies could free up that benefit monies to pay workers more, workers would be able to spend/ save/ lower debt more because they wouldn't have outrageous insurance, medical and prescription bills to worry about.
I can't state this as an established fact, since it hasn't happened, but I think by raising costs substantially, you just sent our exports to the same toilet that's holding our import-related businesses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
- This solution would be for everyone to start over ALL DEBT forgiven and 1 world currency, 1 world minimum wage and 1 world trade. While countries would remain sovereign as to their laws and customs the economics would be based on every country producing and consuming.
I don't think the Chinese will be beating down our doors to get involved with that deal. Neither will our other upstanding trading partners like OPEC, Cuba, Venezuela ...
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Old 04-15-2005, 05:35 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Be aware that demographics have proven that the Largest number of bankruptcys are "divorced women with kids." Think about that for a minute....those receptionists, accounting assistants, retail clerks, bank tellers, mechanics, flag crew person for the State....

This fact was stated by my CEO today at work & he got this from his controller/stock/tax agent who works at a large financial firm. CEO guy's a millionaire and even He thinks it's horribly wrong! This is not something that seems fair in any way. Only the CREDIT CARD COMPANIEs will benefit from this bill. Sadly, they will continue to raise interest rates on cards people use. It's also a fact that some people have to use cards to buy food.

Debt isn't normal or healthy for anyone.
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Old 04-15-2005, 06:02 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunnychile
Debt isn't normal or healthy for anyone.
Ya, the government should cut down on their debt before they legislate ours. The national debt is a much larger threat to our economy imo.
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Old 04-15-2005, 06:13 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
- social programs and education are needed to develop a more intelligent work base that can again be the best and most innovative
You do know that there was a time when the federal government was not involved in education and social programs were nothing close to what they are today, and yet back then we were still the "best and most innovative," don't you?
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Old 04-15-2005, 06:55 PM   #32 (permalink)
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pan6467 I didn't want to get into this, but I am finding it difficult to stay silent.

We agree, at least, in what the problem is. The majority of individuals and the government are spending like there is no tomorrow and the US culture only breeds this behaviour. However that is mostly where the similarities between our opinions end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
the GOP leadership realize:

- that the poorer the people the more religious they become, this benefits their religious right benefactors so there's benefits
- the rich short term profit as they can buy up land at Sheriff's auctions dirt cheap
- they can blame all this on masses but allow individuals to believe it was everyone else
- if they keep cutting taxes on the rich and cutting social programs, the masses become indentured making almost slave wages, the short term is great for the rich
I can kinda see your points here but this is not the root of the problem. Yes, people do feel like it is everybody else that is ruining everything and they are just doing their best and it is not their fault when they are in fact contributing to the problem. Yes, the rich are getting tax cuts, but so is everyone else. Just because the rich have more does not mean they should be taxed proportionally more than anyone else. These are the people that are investing in companies, creating jobs, innovating new ideas and driving the economy. You think all their money is just sitting around in a big money bin like Scrooge McDuck? Please....

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
the Dem. leadership realizes:

- wages must be increased and the threat of inflation is bullshit because CEO's and upper management make far more than they ever have in the past
- social programs and education are needed to develop a more intelligent work base that can again be the best and most innovative
- tax bases can be increased by tariffs, finding ways to keep factories here and regulating imports and small business loans to keep business growth up.
- universal healthcare, so that the medical debt (which is extremely high and probably our worst enemy) can be eliminated. The scare tactics that it would decrease the effectiveness of care, that it would take away the pharmaceuticals incentives to develop drugs and all the other GOP propaganda would be far outweighed by the fact that companies could free up that benefit monies to pay workers more, workers would be able to spend/ save/ lower debt more because they wouldn't have outrageous insurance, medical and prescription bills to worry about.
I don't agree with ANY of this.
1. What on earth does a tiny percentage of the population's wages have to do with the threat of inflation.
2. Yes people need to educate themselves to be productive in society but people need to have personal responsibility. They have to realize that they need to get their priorities straight and go educate themselves instead of buying those 20 inch rims and the newest cell phone. Social programs are not going to teach them this. They are going to teach them they don't have to fend for themselves and that they can rely on the rest of society to drag them along.
3. No no no NO. Outsourcing jobs and cheap imports forces the United States to retool it's work force to actually be valuable and productive in the world. If we subsidize these people we take money from the industries that are actually productive and give it to the people who are not. This brings the whole country down.
4. Again, personal responsibility. 2/3 of the population is overweight and a lot of them are happy that way. If people took responsibility for their own well being instead of relying on the "system" to take care of them they would eat right, exercise and try to keep themselves as healthy as possible. If this happened the cost of health care would be much much lower and they could save time and money for themselves. Reliance on a system only makes it acceptible for people to be unhealthy and makes things worse. I know there are people who do actually get sick for circumstances out of their control and everyone should have coverage, but that is not the country we live in today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Then there is the growing in support solution to just erase all debt as a country and start over, however beautiful that may sound there would be problems (such as other countries forgiving our debt

Finally, there is the NEW WORLD ORDER conspiracists viewpoint and while their ends are whacky, this may very well be the best solution for the world to keep it out of depression and war.

- This solution would be for everyone to start over ALL DEBT forgiven and 1 world currency, 1 world minimum wage and 1 world trade. While countries would remain sovereign as to their laws and customs the economics would be based on every country producing and consuming.
Honestly, do you think this is EVER going to happen? Yeah it might straighten things out, but humans are too bitter, selfish and unforgiving for people to even fathom this scenario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
I think no matter how we look at it the end of society as we know it today is and has to come to a fast ending sooner rather than later. The debts are too high and payment is coming due.
Again, we agree on this at least. But people need to get their collective heads out of their collective asses and realize they need to take care of themselves instead of whining and demanding the rest of us take care of them.

On a side note, I realize I probably just infuriated more than half of TFP but I'm sick of hearing the argument that everyone needs to take care of everyone else. It's your life, take responsiblity. I'm 22 and have my own place, my own car and my own job. I payed for my own education from merit scholarships and work. I have no debt and I take care of my body with exercise and proper diet. I don't expect anyone to give me anything I haven't earned, neither should anyone else.

I can't believe I'm actually gonna submit this.
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:44 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
I wouldn't have too much of a problem with tightening up the requirements if they would also exempt people with large medical bills. Maybe if the law specifically targeted credit card customers for tougher requirements.

Wouldn't it be poetic justice if this bill wound up costing the credit card companies money because of lost business? Even with all the bankruptcies today I understand that their profits are at record high levels.
I don't see why that would have been difficult. Unless something changed since I've checked into it and read the news reports, they made exemptions for people who incur legal debt as a consequence of crimes against abortion clinics. That's about as blatant as a party can be, in my opinion. I have no idea the rationalizations the ground-level members of the republican party can tell themselves to stomach this crapola. Even the bible states that debt amnesty should be granted after 7 years.
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Old 04-16-2005, 05:30 AM   #34 (permalink)
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by madcow
pan6467 I didn't want to get into this, but I am finding it difficult to stay silent.

We agree, at least, in what the problem is. The majority of individuals and the government are spending like there is no tomorrow and the US culture only breeds this behaviour. However that is mostly where the similarities between our opinions end.
It's a start if 2 opposites see the same problem and are able to converse in rational terms. It shows compromise maybe possible and a solution can be worked on. I would rather you admit you agree on some rather than just argue the points you disagree on.

I thorougly respect you for this.


Quote:
I can kinda see your points here but this is not the root of the problem. Yes, people do feel like it is everybody else that is ruining everything and they are just doing their best and it is not their fault when they are in fact contributing to the problem. Yes, the rich are getting tax cuts, but so is everyone else. Just because the rich have more does not mean they should be taxed proportionally more than anyone else. These are the people that are investing in companies, creating jobs, innovating new ideas and driving the economy. You think all their money is just sitting around in a big money bin like Scrooge McDuck? Please....
I'll give you a good example, I don't make much and I do live fairly well within my means tho. My cell phone doesn't recieve a signal in my apartment, so I called SBC for the cheapest landline available. They offered 30 calls a month for $2.95 monthly connection fee. Cool...... HOWEVER... $12 is added in taxes so my monthly bill is now $14.95 (no long distance, no pay per calls, no caller ID, no voice mail, nothing 30 calls (incoming and outgoing) a month and .08 cents a phone call over the 30.

So I am paying $12 in taxes on a $3 phone bill...... how is that fair to the poor? How can a person making less than me, who has a phone as a sole way of communication (and to say it's a luxury is BS because you need one to get a job, get any kind of credit, even just emergencies...). So me or this poor person paying 400% in taxes on our phone service is ok, yet the rich (someone making more than $5 million/year) paying maybe 5% more in income taxes is unfair.... I guarantee the poor person, and I miss that $12 far more than that rich guy would miss another 5% of his income.

What are they investing in? Where is the growth industries in America? If there is this great influx of investment in our country why are we continuing to go deeper into debt, while wages continue to go down?

Please note my answers to this next section will appear in this quote in GREEN and italicized.

Quote:
I don't agree with ANY of this.
1. What on earth does a tiny percentage of the population's wages have to do with the threat of inflation.

How can you justify saying that paying your workers a $1 more an hour increases your cost when the upper management is making more % wise over their employees than ever before...... In other words... paying say 1,000 workers $1 more an hour ($40,000/wk.... $2,080,000/yr) is costing the company more than that $5 million dollar bonus the CEO gets, those $50,000 bonuses VP's get...... We're expected to believe that $1 an hour grants them to raise their prices while not cutting the CEO's, and VP's pay???? Plus, the workers have a little more money in their pockets, to spend, to save to work with.

Also, that very tiny percentage controls the vast majority of the wealth.


2. Yes people need to educate themselves to be productive in society but people need to have personal responsibility. They have to realize that they need to get their priorities straight and go educate themselves instead of buying those 20 inch rims and the newest cell phone. Social programs are not going to teach them this. They are going to teach them they don't have to fend for themselves and that they can rely on the rest of society to drag them along.

I didn't say social programs would help educate them, some may.... but it is a far better policy to help give hope to people and a belief that they can succeed, by giving small business loans, by allowing the poor access to universities and colleges without going heavily into debt, than to offer low waged jobs that go nowhere, college educations that have them maxed out on loans, and the prospect of no future. I would much rather placate the masses by giving them hope and faith than to point fingers and say, "fuck you get a job at McDonald's" work your ass off and get nowhere in life.... and that my friend, is what is happening at an alarming rate in this country.

Our country has not been so divided and hate filled since the Civil war and we better find some way towork together and solve the problems. Instead of pointing fingers and saying the poor are lazy and the rich pay too much in taxes. Same as, we need to stop pointing fingers and say the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, so fuck them. ETC.....We need to work on a solution everyone can live with instead of a solution that just 1 side can and fuck the other side.


3. No no no NO. Outsourcing jobs and cheap imports forces the United States to retool it's work force to actually be valuable and productive in the world. If we subsidize these people we take money from the industries that are actually productive and give it to the people who are not. This brings the whole country down.

[I]Bullshit, Outsourcing jobs and cheaper labor continues the downward spiral at a faster rate. Let's use Canton, Ohio for example. Hoover closes shop and moves out for cheaper labor so that the "company" can show better profits. However, the employees that made $15/hr are now forced to make $8 yet pay the loans off they took out when they made $15.

Property taxes in the rich areas go up to make up for the lost income of the Hoover plant. Property values in middle class areas bottom out, thereby those people have no way to sell their house to pay the loans. Schools suffer, police, fire, all services get cut..... and again city income taxes and property taxes keep going up so that the city can run....... so the people who lost their jobs and are making far less are heavily in debt and cannot sell out just to break even...... it's a bottomless pit and the foreclosures are skyrocketing.

SO again it is fair that these workers get this situation handed to them, while the company itself goes overseas pays those workers $1.25, increases their profits and the executives make millions in bonuses and salary raises....

That is a true and factual acount of what is happening in North East Ohio.... They are not cutting jobs and closing because they can't afford to pay these people, they are moving out to increase profits and salaries of executives....[/I]



4. Again, personal responsibility. 2/3 of the population is overweight and a lot of them are happy that way. If people took responsibility for their own well being instead of relying on the "system" to take care of them they would eat right, exercise and try to keep themselves as healthy as possible. If this happened the cost of health care would be much much lower and they could save time and money for themselves. Reliance on a system only makes it acceptible for people to be unhealthy and makes things worse. I know there are people who do actually get sick for circumstances out of their control and everyone should have coverage, but that is not the country we live in today.

Again, bullshit..... would you rather watch family members that have cancer or some other disease spend every penny they have because insurance ran out and they have to buy outrageously priced meds, and go through excrutiating pain.... Come on.... fucking bullshit.... I'll use the same argument you do for tax cuts for the rich.... These people worked lifetimes to make money and to live a little bit of the American dream and you would rather have them lose it all, while facing death than to offer them a healthcare system that protects their hard work?

You take out what companies pay for their employees healthcare, you take away the payments for the meds, the premiums and the deductibles and guess what..... everyone has far far more money to spend, save, whatever. To say that a human's life is not worth trying to save because they cannot pay for healthcare or to say that someone should lose everything because they are sick.... is disgusting and very hypocritical of these "pro-life" religious right GOPs. If life is so valuable, then why are they so fast to take away every penny a person has for life saving medical procedures....

And we won't discuss how a universal healthcare system (or a system that is on a sliding scale, would promote healthier and happier workers that could maybe possibly be more effective....
Quote:
Honestly, do you think this is EVER going to happen? Yeah it might straighten things out, but humans are too bitter, selfish and unforgiving for people to even fathom this scenario
.

I offered many different scenarios.... one of them or a combination or something fair has to be found or we are done.


Quote:
Again, we agree on this at least. But people need to get their collective heads out of their collective asses and realize they need to take care of themselves instead of whining and demanding the rest of us take care of them.
Ok, when the debts come due, you have no middle calss anymore and a populace heavily indebt. Our economy is built one CONSUMPTION...... when people can no longer consume at the rate they are, or to a healthy degree.... and can only consume necessities..... guess what..... ALL INDUSTRY GOES DOWN THE SHITTER.

The world's economy is built on the USA's consumption when we can no longer consume, unless one of these third world countries can pick it up.... the world will go into depression.

And guess what, the debts are coming due.

Quote:
On a side note, I realize I probably just infuriated more than half of TFP but I'm sick of hearing the argument that everyone needs to take care of everyone else. It's your life, take responsiblity. I'm 22 and have my own place, my own car and my own job. I payed for my own education from merit scholarships and work. I have no debt and I take care of my body with exercise and proper diet. I don't expect anyone to give me anything I haven't earned, neither should anyone else.

I can't believe I'm actually gonna submit this
At 22, it sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders and I applaud that, wish I had taken advantage of the oppurtunities I had had when I was 22.

(BTW I blame noone but myself for my mistakes, and except for help with school and grants (that are available already) to start my recovery center, I ask for no help from anyone, to pay my bills. But I suppose asking for scholarships (even though I am a Dean's list student), affordable loans that I can repay and private and public grant monies that are already avaible to others.... makes me a leech in your eyes..... even though there would be no way for me to afford school, let alone my recovery center without the help.)

So because you take care of your body and exercise.... if you get (God forbid and I truly wish none of this upon you) ALS, or any form of MS, if you have a child and it is born with CP, or your wife gets breast cancer..... and in any one of those situations your insurance runs out, the meds send you far into debt..... you feel you are the one responsible for it all ..... God Bless you for that..... but unfortunately reality is you are in a very very small minority in that attitude and even the rich use all the government resources they can, plus they can afford better health insurance (guess that's why those Hoover executives moved the plants overseas so they could boost their bonuses and salaries).

Talk to me in 20 years when an accident happens or you get "downsized" and you watch everything you worked for disappear.

On a personal note, like I said, I thoroughly respect you for your opinions and DO NOT EVER KEEP QUIET FOR FEAR OF PISSING SOMEONE OFF. You are passionate at a young age, intelligent and have some good points, I honor those, may not agree, but that's not personal..... RESPECT AND HONOR I HAVE FOR YOU IS PERSONAL .

I am glad you did submit this post, because it opened dialect and as I said at the beginning, we both see the same problem (maybe different reasons) but we are able to open a dialect and express our views and perhaps utilize both sides to find a fair and equitable solution for both sides. WE ARE BEING FAR MORE MATURE AND RESPONSIBLE THAN THE PEOPLE IN POLITICS RIGHT NOW WHO REFUSE TO EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THE OTHER SIDE MAY HAVE 1 GOOD POINT.

In our little community here at least we are getting to see both sides and to have dialect ....... it may not help the world but it helps every single one of us that reads this and learns from both sides.
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Last edited by pan6467; 04-16-2005 at 05:33 AM..
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:01 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
I'll give you a good example, I don't make much and I do live fairly well within my means tho. My cell phone doesn't recieve a signal in my apartment, so I called SBC for the cheapest landline available. They offered 30 calls a month for $2.95 monthly connection fee. Cool...... HOWEVER... $12 is added in taxes so my monthly bill is now $14.95 (no long distance, no pay per calls, no caller ID, no voice mail, nothing 30 calls (incoming and outgoing) a month and .08 cents a phone call over the 30.

So I am paying $12 in taxes on a $3 phone bill...... how is that fair to the poor? How can a person making less than me, who has a phone as a sole way of communication (and to say it's a luxury is BS because you need one to get a job, get any kind of credit, even just emergencies...). So me or this poor person paying 400% in taxes on our phone service is ok, yet the rich (someone making more than $5 million/year) paying maybe 5% more in income taxes is unfair.... I guarantee the poor person, and I miss that $12 far more than that rich guy would miss another 5% of his income.

What are they investing in? Where is the growth industries in America? If there is this great influx of investment in our country why are we continuing to go deeper into debt, while wages continue to go down?
Don't really know how to argue against this repsonse cause I don't feel too strongly for the income tax anyway. I feel we should move towards a system that uses a consumption tax. That way the people actually using up resources are the ones who pay and it encourages people to save, which is something very few people do. Wasn't the average savings rate .2% of income last year?

What wages are you talking about, I've noticed wages actually going up over the past years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
How can you justify saying that paying your workers a $1 more an hour increases your cost when the upper management is making more % wise over their employees than ever before...... In other words... paying say 1,000 workers $1 more an hour ($40,000/wk.... $2,080,000/yr) is costing the company more than that $5 million dollar bonus the CEO gets, those $50,000 bonuses VP's get...... We're expected to believe that $1 an hour grants them to raise their prices while not cutting the CEO's, and VP's pay???? Plus, the workers have a little more money in their pockets, to spend, to save to work with.

Also, that very tiny percentage controls the vast majority of the wealth.
Are these workers worth $1 more an hour? Nothing is forcing them to work for that company. Companies do not owe their workers higher wages unless they deserve it. If they have the skills to demand a higher wage they can go find a company that will pay them for it. I agree some CEO's compensation packages are ridiculous but I think you fudged your numbers there a bit. I don't know of any medium sized company like you say where the CEO is getting a $5million dollar bonus every year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Bullshit, Outsourcing jobs and cheaper labor continues the downward spiral at a faster rate. Let's use Canton, Ohio for example. Hoover closes shop and moves out for cheaper labor so that the "company" can show better profits. However, the employees that made $15/hr are now forced to make $8 yet pay the loans off they took out when they made $15.

Property taxes in the rich areas go up to make up for the lost income of the Hoover plant. Property values in middle class areas bottom out, thereby those people have no way to sell their house to pay the loans. Schools suffer, police, fire, all services get cut..... and again city income taxes and property taxes keep going up so that the city can run....... so the people who lost their jobs and are making far less are heavily in debt and cannot sell out just to break even...... it's a bottomless pit and the foreclosures are skyrocketing.

SO again it is fair that these workers get this situation handed to them, while the company itself goes overseas pays those workers $1.25, increases their profits and the executives make millions in bonuses and salary raises....

That is a true and factual acount of what is happening in North East Ohio.... They are not cutting jobs and closing because they can't afford to pay these people, they are moving out to increase profits and salaries of executives....
Granted that situation sucks and no one would like that to happen to anybody but that company did not owe these people jobs. The jobs were the company's to give out where they wanted to. It's a very competetive world. Say Hoover doesn't move their plant, their profit margins are lower than the competition. Now another company comes in who did move their plant overseas or wherever and can undercut Hoover's prices. Now Hoover has to match them or risk losing a lot of market share which brings in less money. The value of the whole company goes down and they end up having to shut down the plant anyway. Yeah it looks like Canton got screwed but if the only thing in that city was the Hoover plant they were putting all their eggs in one basket anyway. Plus, was it the best thing for these people to try to make their career out of a factory job for $15 an hour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Again, bullshit..... would you rather watch family members that have cancer or some other disease spend every penny they have because insurance ran out and they have to buy outrageously priced meds, and go through excrutiating pain.... Come on.... fucking bullshit.... I'll use the same argument you do for tax cuts for the rich.... These people worked lifetimes to make money and to live a little bit of the American dream and you would rather have them lose it all, while facing death than to offer them a healthcare system that protects their hard work?

You take out what companies pay for their employees healthcare, you take away the payments for the meds, the premiums and the deductibles and guess what..... everyone has far far more money to spend, save, whatever. To say that a human's life is not worth trying to save because they cannot pay for healthcare or to say that someone should lose everything because they are sick.... is disgusting and very hypocritical of these "pro-life" religious right GOPs. If life is so valuable, then why are they so fast to take away every penny a person has for life saving medical procedures....

And we won't discuss how a universal healthcare system (or a system that is on a sliding scale, would promote healthier and happier workers that could maybe possibly be more effective....
I think we are arguing about two different things here. Of course I want everyone to have health care. Everyone has health risks and it makes perfect sense to have everyone pay into a system so the unfortunate people who do end up getting sick can be taken care of. What I am saying is that the price of health care is so freaking high because people don't take care of themselves. The leading killer of men and women is heart disease which a vast majority of which could be avoided if people would exercise and eat right. Diabetes is on the rise because of the nation's growing waistline, people continue to smoke years and years after it has been proven that cigarettes destroy your body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
I didn't say social programs would help educate them, some may.... but it is a far better policy to help give hope to people and a belief that they can succeed, by giving small business loans, by allowing the poor access to universities and colleges without going heavily into debt, than to offer low waged jobs that go nowhere, college educations that have them maxed out on loans, and the prospect of no future. I would much rather placate the masses by giving them hope and faith than to point fingers and say, "fuck you get a job at McDonald's" work your ass off and get nowhere in life.... and that my friend, is what is happening at an alarming rate in this country.

Our country has not been so divided and hate filled since the Civil war and we better find some way towork together and solve the problems. Instead of pointing fingers and saying the poor are lazy and the rich pay too much in taxes. Same as, we need to stop pointing fingers and say the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, so fuck them. ETC.....We need to work on a solution everyone can live with instead of a solution that just 1 side can and fuck the other side.
Well I guess I'm not really sure what you mean by social programs if you don't mean educational programs. And I'm not arguing against them if that is what you are thinking. It's just that from what I've seen a lot of people are content to complain about everything and waste their money than go and try to better themselves using the programs that are available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
(BTW I blame noone but myself for my mistakes, and except for help with school and grants (that are available already) to start my recovery center, I ask for no help from anyone, to pay my bills. But I suppose asking for scholarships (even though I am a Dean's list student), affordable loans that I can repay and private and public grant monies that are already avaible to others.... makes me a leech in your eyes..... even though there would be no way for me to afford school, let alone my recovery center without the help.)
Well I don't know where you got this opinion of me, considering I did much the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
So because you take care of your body and exercise.... if you get (God forbid and I truly wish none of this upon you) ALS, or any form of MS, if you have a child and it is born with CP, or your wife gets breast cancer..... and in any one of those situations your insurance runs out, the meds send you far into debt..... you feel you are the one responsible for it all ..... God Bless you for that..... but unfortunately reality is you are in a very very small minority in that attitude and even the rich use all the government resources they can, plus they can afford better health insurance (guess that's why those Hoover executives moved the plants overseas so they could boost their bonuses and salaries).
I think I've already addressed this above.

Quote:
Ok, when the debts come due, you have no middle calss anymore and a populace heavily indebt. Our economy is built one CONSUMPTION...... when people can no longer consume at the rate they are, or to a healthy degree.... and can only consume necessities..... guess what..... ALL INDUSTRY GOES DOWN THE SHITTER.

The world's economy is built on the USA's consumption when we can no longer consume, unless one of these third world countries can pick it up.... the world will go into depression.

And guess what, the debts are coming due.
Again this is what we agree on, but I don't see a solution to it except for people to be responsible for themselves and realize what is going on. Maybe when it happens everybody will wake up.

Edit: BTW thanks for your kind words. I'm glad I did submit my post and I guess your reaction is why I love this place.
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Last edited by madcow; 04-16-2005 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:22 AM   #36 (permalink)
 
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the american economy has relied on consuerm credit to assure its general functionality since 1945 or so---so long as the organization of the american economic system in general was coherent, or could be understood as being a position where coherence was assured for the foreseeable future, then the question of allowing debtors recourse to bankrupcy was fine in that bankruptcy could be seen as an individual situation or collection of them and not as a signal of trouble in the system itself.

the structural transformation of the american economy away from its nation-state based variant, has been going on since the early 1970s. the right of course has nothing to say about this, because they put themselves in a position of cherrleading for capitalism no matter what--so their programs have in the main been about denying these transformation or working to institute ideological positions that woudl function to preserve the bases for conservative ideology on top of structural changes that they can say nothing critical about. but these changes have gone on and continue--the last quarter trade figures offer an interesting example of this, the differeing interpretations of them from the states and elsewhere, one focussed on textile industries exclusively because they were still trying to work within the nation-state to redress economic damage being done to them, the other looking at the spaces of american heavy indsutry as reflected in these figures.

there will come many points, and i fear with increasing frequency, where behind the smokescreen of conservative ideology, you will see choices being made that show how the right actually plans on dealing with teh social consequence of these transformations in teh overll organization of capitalism: forced to choose between preserving corporate interests and those of people, corporate interests win every time. the redit insdustry faces real problems if the social consequences of this new form of capitalism systematically undercuts the ability of economically marginal (and not-so-maringal) folk from paying. better to trap them, to eliminate escape routes. betwee to fuck over people for the greater corporate good. thsi the way things really work in the states.
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Old 04-17-2005, 06:30 AM   #37 (permalink)
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pan, in your reference to telephone bills, I agree about the percentage of taxes.

But in reference to poor, the poor get a different plan if they make X dolllars.

information is listed here:
Quote:
http://www02.sbc.com/Products_Servic...-1-3-3,00.html
Types of Universal Lifeline Telephone Service
For qualifying households, connection and monthly charges for Lifeline service are 50% less than for basic residence service. Other than price, the service is the same service provided to all SBC California customers. Additional discounts are available to qualifying customers who live on Tribal Lands or have a deaf or hearing impaired member of the household.

Lifeline customers do not pay certain monthly surcharges and fees, such as the "Federal Subscriber Line Charge" of $4.42 per month.
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Old 04-21-2005, 06:44 PM   #38 (permalink)
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the government should cut down on their debt before they legislate ours. The national debt is a much larger threat to our economy imo.
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Old 04-21-2005, 08:09 PM   #39 (permalink)
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IMO - Maybe people will start acting responsibly with their money now. Huge personal credit is wrong and if people don't know it, they have their heads under a rock. People who utilize credit because "it is available" or credit card companies "make it too easy" are just another leach on the back of hard working Americans. I don't buy the medical out either.

The American education system needs to put a priority on instruction in personal finance. It should be taught in all American schools and be a requirement for graduation.
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