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Old May 3, 2012, 08:54 AM   #876
Rocketman
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Executive compensation is mis-understood. Apple fanbois can read the recent article on Scott Forstall's stock sale and the associated commentary on further stock compensation coming due in the future.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/05/01/...e-stock-sales/

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Originally Posted by article
Forstall is also in line to receive a number of other stock grants should he remain with the company over the next several years, including a 150,000-unit grant that will vest in equal portions next year and in 2016. A separate grant of 100,000 units will vest in 2014.
The compensation is not an hourly rate. It is compensation to stay with the company given the specialized training, knowledge, and skills a person brings to the company or has been developed by the company at high cost. The employee is literally a corporate asset.

I have one relative who recently received a "retention bonus" which was both a multiple of the base salary, and deferred to a later date such that the pay is "post facto", after the services are actually delivered.

Common sense economics in no way resembles either D or R politics and fiscal policy.

The recent FEDGOV rating decrease was as a result of the rating agency determining the political system is in deadlock. Despite misdirection by some political zealots, the debt ceiling debate is not the source of that, especially since the debt ceiling was actually raised. The inability of the Senate of the United States to even bring any budget at all for three years, which if voted on would trigger "reconciliation" with the version voted in by the House of Representatives of the United States for each of the last three budget years, was.

It is this Democrat led Senate (Majority D, D Majority leader, D President of the Senate) that is the exact and precise and sole source of the lack of activity in Congress. Not the House where bi-partisan bills by the dozen have been passed and sent to the Senate for further action.

After which reconciliation would occur then the edited bill would be adopted by both houses and signed by the President. There have actually been a couple of bills that have gone through that process, just not the main one needed, the Budget of the United States of America, so the promised "one year stimulus" initiated in October 2009 (FY09) can finally be turned off 4 years later since it has NOT improved either growth or employment AND has caused currency destruction of 35-45% 10-09 to 5-12, resulting in higher food and fuel prices and that much less buying power for every dollar EVER earned, saved, invested, or spent.

That's not D, R, or T politics. That's Economics. It is however mainly CAUSED by D politics. That may or may not change in January 2013.

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Old May 3, 2012, 12:20 PM   #877
zewazir
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Originally Posted by drorpheus View Post
And then theres you, the loyal tea party liberitarian, who missed the boat by 90 years. Hey its 2012, not 1907. Hey how the debt ceiling work out for the Tea Party, did a fine job on lowering that credit rating, but hey you got morals, and more important Jesus as your right-hand man. Entitled like building an oil pipeline from canada to texas so canada can sell the oil to China, even voting that it not be sold here? That kind of entitled? Or entitled like having the freedom to bury nuclear waste on water tables? Or entitled like getting tax breaks for outsourcing jobs to third world coutries? Or entitled like crashing the economy from careless "productives" signing off loans that werent worth the paper theyre printed on, then getting them triple a rated to sell off to others to pass on the "prosperity" to the US economy?
Just one little clue: the credit rating of the U.S. was lowered because we cannot get our spending under control. We could raise the debt ceiling to 10 quadrillion dollars, and all that would happen is a bunch of Keynesian idiots would find ways to meet that ceiling.

And why don't you tell us all about those loans that were not worth the paper they were printed on? For instance, WHY would banks be making high-risk loans like that? Can anyone say GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS? Obama himself was involved in a lawsuit against banks in Chicago because they were not making enough high risk loans according to federal banking regulations.

It's absolutely PATHETIC the way people try to claim the banking crisis (not to mention out-of-control health care costs) are the result of free market capitalism. LOL. Finance and health care are the #2 and #1 most regulated industries on the face of the planet. That HARDLY makes the current difficulties the result of capitalism gone bad. What it IS, is an example of government regulation running into the ever-present law of unintended consequences.

Entitlement: as in the overall attitude of society that people DESERVE, just for existing, large homes with separate bedrooms for each and every child (plus a few spares) with attached triple car garages filled to capacity, TVs in every room, computers in almost every room, (and the list goes on and on and on and on) - and we're supposed to have it before we turn 30. Gone are the days when people were expected to work and save for those things. Now we are supposed to get them on credit, without the normal consequences of buying on credit. Never mind government debt (for a second). We, as individuals, spend over $400 Billion annually just on debt maintenance. All because we are a society of instant gratification. Waiting and saving is no longer tolerated. and it's up to government to rob the rich and give to the poor so it can all happen. THAT is entitlement.
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Old May 3, 2012, 01:52 PM   #878
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Originally Posted by zewazir View Post
Just one little clue: the credit rating of the U.S. was lowered because we cannot get our spending under control. We could raise the debt ceiling to 10 quadrillion dollars, and all that would happen is a bunch of Keynesian idiots would find ways to meet that ceiling.
Getting our nose out of other countries' business and cutting our defense budget in half would go a long way towards solving those problems. But no one wants to look 'weak' (for political propaganda) on defense by making cuts in defense even though it makes up close to half our budget on any given year. Just look at the new long term deal with Afghanistan and how much it will cost us to maintain a presence there and how much good we could do with that money in our own country instead by comparison rather than on tribal people that can't get along with each other, let alone the religious extremists waiting to take over the country again the moment we walk away.

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It's absolutely PATHETIC the way people try to claim the banking crisis (not to mention out-of-control health care costs) are the result of free market capitalism. LOL. Finance and health care are the #2 and #1 most regulated
You're right. In true free market capitalism, the market forces must compete for consumer dollars. In our system, under-the-table collusion to fix everything from gas prices to electricity to doctors visits to the malpractice insurance the doctors have to get (i.e. everyone has their hand in the pot) and then there's big corporation control over their sales outlets (e.g. to not allowing sales on Macs) or in some cases the other way around (Wal-Mart being so big and powerful it can dictate to the companies their prices for them) means that capitalism isn't running the way it was originally meant to be run, which is to benefit the consumer through competition. All these entities are constantly lobbying to fix the game in their favor while your average citizen just gets ignored by their representatives, having little power on their own, save a few consumer lobbying groups, often with their own agendas.

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industries on the face of the planet. That HARDLY makes the current difficulties the result of capitalism gone bad. What it IS, is an example of government regulation running into the ever-present law of unintended consequences.
If you're seriously suggesting that removing most or all regulations will fix all our problems, you're delusional. Most companies will not behave in ethical or moral manners if they're not being forced to. It harkens back to the days when machinery was very unsafe and accidents common and people tossed out the door as soon as they get hurt, etc. because there is always someone else waiting to get that job. How do you get living wages when they just toss you out and grab the next guy that's starving? Organized labor is the only thing that made a big difference and that's why one of the political parties has been working so hard to get rid of such groups. Yeah, it's cheaper to run without a lot of safety regulations, etc. or to not have a minimum wage, etc., but what's a person's life worth? Not much, in many countries and some would like it that way here.

Quote:
Entitlement: as in the overall attitude of society that people DESERVE, just for existing, large homes with separate bedrooms for each and every child (plus a few spares) with attached triple car garages filled to capacity, TVs in every room, computers in almost every room, (and the list goes on and on and on and on) - and we're supposed to have it before we turn 30. Gone are
Home ownership just hit a 15 year low. We have tvs in every room because they're DIRT CHEAP compared to years past when they were a significantly larger part of one's income. I just got charged $1130 by a plumber to fix a couple of valves, a pea-basket (wasn't even tightened properly and was leaking around the rim slowly when he left) and connect a sink (to the valve that broke off the wall and almost flooded my house). For around four hours work, that came to almost $300 an hour. I could have bought two 47" plasmas for that one little house call. Now who is getting screwed by whom?

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the days when people were expected to work and save for those things. Now we are supposed to get them on credit, without the normal consequences of buying on credit. Never mind government debt (for a
And we have a credit card industry that was more than happy to give those cards out to every credit risk on the planet. Personally, I have never once 20 years of having credit cards carried over a balance to another month. Like driving or anything else, personal responsibility needs to be tempered with reasonable regulatory rules governing proper behavior for all parties involved or else you get into finger pointing really fast since I maintain people (on either side) will usually NOT do the right thing without being forced to.

Quote:
second). We, as individuals, spend over $400 Billion annually just on debt maintenance. All because we are a society of instant gratification. Waiting and saving is no longer tolerated. and it's up to government to rob the rich and give to the poor so it can all happen. THAT is entitlement.
We have a society that is BASED on spending. How do you encourage people to get spending under control and save more money when that brings the markets crashing down because we don't MAKE ANYTHING anymore? We're living on a paper illusion of wealth. As long as we spend, the market keeps ticking. The moment we stop, CRASH.
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Old May 3, 2012, 03:23 PM   #879
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No, I am not proposing that all regulation be removed. As you say, the amoral would flourish at the cost of people - sometimes their lives. But there is a huge difference between assuring people are not cheated or put into unnecessary danger, and regulations whose primary purpose is to keep some government functionaries and their minions employed. AND there is a huge difference between regulations which protect people, and regulations which push one or another political or economic agenda.

For instance, the banking crisis was brought about by a large number of factors. However there is ONE overriding factor that pushed over the apple cart. To wit, all those loans which were packaged up and resold in order to generate more cash to make more loans were a precarious assembly to begin with. However, NONE of it would have happened if the federal government had not come along and told banks they HAD to make a certain percentage of their loans in high risk areas. YES, their motives were honorable, in that slums needed cleaning up (which didn't really happen anyway) and lower income people had the opportunity to own their own homes. BUT, the laws of unitended consequences made their methods a high win blowing against the house of cards they had built.

ONE: by artificially, (ie: through regulations on lending practices rather than market forces) driving up demand for both housing and new construction, those self same regulations drove prices through the roof, making housing LESS affordable to the very people the regulations were written to help.

TWO: Soaring housing prices, couple with regulations forcing banks to make high-risk loans regardless of what housing prices were doing brought about the necessity for banks to move those loans through and make more loans.

THREE: (and this is the biggie) Too many of the high risk loans ended up in default. WHY? Because the regulations requiring how banks distributed their lending practices did not consider the ability of people to pay of those loans.

Now here is the crux of the matter. Had Glass-Steagall NOT been repealed, where most democrats are pointing to a the "cause" of the 2008 crisis, the banking crisis STILL would have taken place. It would not have been QUITE as bad, but the fact is it was defaulted loans that triggered the event, and loan defaults would have risen anyway, due to the fact that banking regulations REQUIRED those loans be handed out. Obama even SUED banks to MAKE them increase their high risk loans. Conversely, had Glass-Steagall been repealed as it was, BUT banks were allowed to be more selective in who they accepted for a mortgage, basically choosing only those who were likely to be able to handle the debt, THEN defaults would not have risen like they did. Even if banks had gone ahead and repackaged their loans like they did, NOTHING would have happened because those loans would have been paid off!!

Thus, while it can be said that DEREGULATION made the situation worse, it was actually REGULATION which actually caused the crisis.
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Old May 3, 2012, 03:57 PM   #880
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As to health care and regulation, that is PRIME example of regulations being the cause of a crisis which is now being "cured" by more regulations.

YES, we need a certain amount of regulation, probably more than in any other industry, to keep out the snake oil salesmen. However, the sheer volume of regulations, many written by different agencies, some of which actually conflict with each other, are a significant factor in the costs of bringing about new medical treatments and procedures. OVER regulation is as bad, or can even be worse, than under regulation. The hoops pharmaceutical companies are forced to jump through in order to bring a new drug to market can literally be blamed for over 80% of the costs of new medications.

Of course some, even a lot of those regulations are needed, or we'd be flooded with snake oil salesmen. But they DESPERATELY need to be scaled back. A lot of people operate under the misconception that the FDA is the only agency involved in the regulation of pharmaceuticals. Nope. Several other federal agencies have regulations which affect the cost and process of bringing new treatments into the world of healthcare, to include the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, DEA, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, FTC (!), and yes, even the EPA. ALL of them have their bureaucratic fingers in the pie of health care, from medicines to equipment, to treatment procedures, to licensing, to insurance (from HC coverage to malpractice and everything in between). The result is companies that come out with new drugs (by far the hardest of hings to accomplish in the world of medicine) to new laser scalpels, have to jump through hoops for EACH agency. Some of these hoops are unnecessarily redundant. But that does not matter to the agencies, because they are too busy making sure they justify their existence to care whether someone else has that aspect covered or not. Some hoops conflict with the hoops of another agency, so the medical company is forced to use multiple methods for the SAME data to satisfy the regulations of multiple agencies. The end result is a system which unnecessarily adds literally tens of millions of dollars to the costs of bringing in each an every new medication, piece of equipment, or treatment protocol.

And here is the thing: IF healthcare costs had, over the last 5 decades or so, risen at the same rate as the rest of the economy, health care would not even be a significant political issue. Government assistance agencies would provide for those who could not afford their own, and the rest of us would be getting along just fine. But, NO, government OVER regulation has caused health care costs to rise at many times the general inflation rate (which itself is caused by government, but that's another topic) and thereby created the heath care cost crisis. Once again, the REAL cause of the health care crisis is GOVERNMENT.

Bottom line: SOME regulations are needed. And that is one of the primary functions of government. However, over regulation is as much a problem as under regulation was before those agencies were created.

Last edited by zewazir; May 3, 2012 at 04:03 PM.
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Old May 3, 2012, 04:18 PM   #881
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Originally Posted by benspratling View Post
LOL. Just funny listening to someone calling the folks who manufacture luxury "magical" computers "profit mongers". Gees. Jealous much?

FYI, profits are a numerical approximation of the benefit the customer finds to have been added to the customers.. you call them "society". Just look at the formula (profit = what a business added to society (as evaluated by the customer... ahem "society") - what a business took from society (as evaluated by other customers, right darn, "society")) . So when a business operates at the maximum profit level, they are operating at the maximum-contribute-to-society level, as evaluated by customers, I mean "society".

I mention this because, I think, maybe no one ever told you that the word "capitalism" is a marketing term that Karl Marx made up. The rest of us operate in a system called "free trade" in which we don't like it when our neighbors get jealous of our high productivity and threaten us with government force (fines, imprisonment, death) if we don't hand over the hard work of our hands for free. We're loving and compassionate people, not jealous people, which is why we don't just jail you all immediately for suggesting it, but we have limits.
I truly have no idea what your saying.
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Old May 3, 2012, 04:18 PM   #882
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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
We have a society that is BASED on spending. How do you encourage people to get spending under control and save more money when that brings the markets crashing down because we don't MAKE ANYTHING anymore? We're living on a paper illusion of wealth. As long as we spend, the market keeps ticking. The moment we stop, CRASH.
Well, that IS the 57.4 Trillion Dollar* Question, isn't it? Do we crash it on purpose - a semi-controlled crash-landing so to speak? Or do we just hang on, keep repeating the same stupid mistakes that put us where we are, and hope it hold together long enough for us to die peacefully, leaving our progeny holding the bag?

Usually, when it has reached the point of no return, the best place to put on the brakes is NOW, because waiting will just make for a worse crash.

(*The current total U.S. debt, personal and public. Do we wait until interest charges alone are greater than our GDP? Or do we do something now to change the basic premise upon which our economy operates, while there is still the remote possibility of avoiding total collapse?)
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Old May 3, 2012, 09:28 PM   #883
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It is obvious that neither party wants to fix the problem and the Federal Reserve is more than happy to cut the check to make up the difference. Do you know the Federal Reserve is buying 61% of all new government debt? That means they're just printing money. But we can get away with it because the dollar is the reserve currency of the world. The only that will bring this house of cards down is when the rest of the world gives up on the dollar. It's starting to happen but with the problems in Europe and Japan, the dollar is still considered the only safe haven. But it will stop at some point. My bet is China and the rest of the BRICS come out with their own global currency backed by gold and then the dollar is dead. Interest rates rise and the government can't afford to pay interest on the debt and is forced to raise taxes and even confiscate wealth. Then we start over. Give it 3-5 years unless we REALLY get our ***** together before then.
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Old May 4, 2012, 11:49 AM   #884
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Originally Posted by Mr_Ed View Post
I don't see a problem here. Unless an organization is a charity or something like it, it exists to make a profit.

God, I really miss the days where it was OK in the U.S. to believe that you could profit financially if you "built a better mouse trap" ...
I don't have a problem with anyone making a profit.
But I do when when they wield the "we create jobs!" as if it was charity and didn't gain anything from it!

Not speaking about Apple, specifically. Either on this or on the general topic-
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Old May 4, 2012, 12:44 PM   #885
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Originally Posted by zewazir View Post
Well, that IS the 57.4 Trillion Dollar* Question, isn't it? Do we crash it on purpose - a semi-controlled crash-landing so to speak? Or do we just hang on, keep repeating the same stupid mistakes that put us where we are, and hope it hold together long enough for us to die peacefully, leaving our progeny holding the bag?
Well, this may sound utterly crazy, but if we started moving back to a more manufacturing base, we could get away from this 'service economy' that is based purely on spending and selling 'ideas' to other countries that then screw us over in the long run. We could start to accomplish this by supporting legislation that discourages US companies manufacturing overseas and then sending the products back to the states (i.e. tariff significantly US companies making goods outside the country and then shipping them back into the country for sale). That would force many such companies to think twice about moving manufacturing outside the U.S. Don't penalize foreign companies like this and you avoid trade wars. Similarly, close gaps that allow companies to offload their taxes by moving their so-called "headquarters" off shore (common trick to move a small building to the Bahamas for just this purpose).

Get rid of the free-loaders (tax avoiders and out-sourcers) and you get rid of the problem in this country. When you figure about half our spending is military spending, you have to conclude that the COST of doing business in the US Economic system and protection of these borders is NOT FREE and therefore neither should the costs to do business here. Eliminating those free-loaders would be a huge first step towards reversing the economic free fall we've been experiencing the past few decades.

The next step (which most large corporations would not like one bit) is to cut our trade ties with China completely over a period of time. It was the most MORONIC decision ever to allow a Communist country to become our favored trading partner. I've never heard ONE person YET explain to me why I can't buy a flipping Cuban cigar in this country (because they're a Communist sympathizing dictatorship and so we MUST punish them!) YET on the same HYPOCRITICAL TO HIGH HELL hand, we make the largest Communist country in the world that treats its citizens like crap AND has nuclear weapons to boot our favored trading partner. IT'S 100% HYPOCRITICAL BULLCRAP and it has to stop! Either open up trade with Cuba and stop that symbolic NONSENSE HYPOCRISY or close down all trade with China just like with Cuba and stand tall and proud.

I favor the latter because it does us NO GOOD WHAT-SO-EVER in the long run to keep running these insane deficits with China that only props them up and makes them stronger and makes us weaker and easier prey. To me, this is the absolute height of treason for political leaders to sell out this country from within (by trade/financial laws and policies) with the very forces we fought against in Vietnam, Korea and the cold war.

Yes, it would hurt big time in the short run, but I'm convinced we need to become self-sufficient again. Before World War II, we were a fully independent country that didn't need strong ties with ANYONE. It didn't matter WTF was going on in Europe or elsewhere. It was none of our business. Now we're dependent on Communist financial backing, Communist clothing manufacturing, Middle East OIL (and all the extremist religious issues that comes with dealing with those countries) and it just seems like NO ONE see the big picture that we are destroying our country right now and at some point, we will be a 3rd world country and China will be the Superpower (well at least until their wages increase and then they fall just like Japan did in the '90s and started outsourcing their own jobs for reasons of greed). You keep the money IN the country instead of sending it out of the country and you start to stop the hemorrhaging we've had for the past decades.

In the short term, legalizing and regulating certain recreational drugs (namely marijuana) would not only help stabilize the Southern border and violence there, but would free up all kinds of money used to fight the so-called 'war on drugs' (not to mention space in jails and prisons) and create all new revenues for taxes in this country. But it seems the bleeding heart ideas of "we can't give people freedom of choice! They'll choose to become weed smoking hippies!" keeps winning out. But the LIE propagated that weed is an extremely dangerous drug (when it's safer than alcohol by far) is fading and sooner or later people are going to wake up to the fact we need solutions to our money problems and ethanol isn't it (drove up food prices and had zero effect on gas prices while simultaneously giving cars worse fuel economy with these 10% mixes out there which are also harmful for corrosion).

But like the idea of the Vatican demonizing birth control (despite the world-wide over-population crisis that will only get worse in time), it's hard to get past bad/old ideas.
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Old May 4, 2012, 01:11 PM   #886
zewazir
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Originally Posted by NunoBerny View Post
I don't have a problem with anyone making a profit.
But I do when when they wield the "we create jobs!" as if it was charity and didn't gain anything from it!

Not speaking about Apple, specifically. Either on this or on the general topic-
It's not a claim of altruism when a business says "We create jobs." It is simply pointing out that more money in the hands of business creates jobs in a normal economy, whereas the same money in the hands of government first gets filtered through a variety of bureaucracies which siphon off large sums before it is then spent on businesses which use what little is left to create fewer jobs (if any).

The point is money in private hands, even the private hands of those mean, evil, nasty, greedy, self-centered rich people, is more beneficial to the overall economy than having it taken by government to throw at problems which were mostly created by government overstepping its purpose in the first place.

----------

@ MagnusVonMagnum:
We've tried protectionist policies before. Historically, they do not work well. If we penalized U.S. firms for offshore manufacturing while leaving foreign manufacturing alone, U.S. manufacturing cannot compete, at home nor abroad. If we penalize all offshore manufacturing, we end up with trade wars and other nasty stuff.

To bring manufacturing back home, we need to create an economic environment which rewards onshore manufacturing, rather than trying to punish offshore manufacturing. And the way to do that is to reduce corporate taxation (which the consumer simply ends up paying anyway in the form of higher prices) and regulations which achieve the needed protections of people and environment without placing unreasonable cost burdens on the manufacturers. Despite cries to the contrary, the current U.S. tax codes are among the highest in the world for corporations. Add to that regulations written by lawyers instead of engineers and scientists making costs soar, and we have, literally, the most business UN-friendly federal policies on the globe.
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Old May 4, 2012, 06:26 PM   #887
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Originally Posted by JohnDoe98 View Post
See that's because you couldn't follow along. You post a link to somewhere where you claimed the analogies were a fail, but what you forget to mention, intentionally I might add, is that the standard you are holding my analogies to is not one they were ever meant to serve.
You analogies were supposed to be pertinent to this discussion. Yours were not. Now that you understand the difference -- and you told us that there were were "countless" analogies -- could you please give us a couple that are actually pertinent to our discussion?

Quote:
They all worked in their proper and original context.
For purposes of our discussion about Apple and tax law, your analogies were pointless. They provided no information to the discussion whatsoever.

You said there were "countless" analogies that applied to our discussion, but you still haven't provided a single one.

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatingBones View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDoe98 View Post
So let me ask you very simply. Let's see if you can follow along. Do you think that, in general and not talking about Apple and any of their conduct, people can engage in legal behavior that is unethical?
Yes. But our court system has spelled out that is not possible with tax law. There is nothing sinister in arranging affairs to keep taxes as low as possible. Have you bothered to look up that Supreme Court decision?
Good, so you should understand the analogies.
You still don't get it. As our Supremes have spelled it out, there is nothing sinister in arranging affairs to keep taxes as low as possible. That spells out why your three analogies were a FAIL.

BTW: please cut out the "very simply" stuff. It contributes nothing to the discussion.

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Whether that is so is besides the point of the analogies. So to mention this in that context shows just how misleading and conniving you are trying to be. Keep discussions in their proper context.
The Supreme's decision is indeed in context for this discussion. There is nothing sinister in arranging affairs to keep taxes as low as possible.

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I never claimed I would give such an analogy; I never claimed I did give such an analogy. I never attempted to give such an example, so of course the number is zero. What I offered to give countless examples of was not analogies that pertain to Apple's arranging of its affairs.
Than we both agree: you have failed to provide a single analogy pertinent to this discussion.

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Keep it up though you are doing a good job of displaying what kinds of conversations you are genuinely interested in having.
I'm interested in pertinent discussions to the topic. I'm not interested in someone's just slinging nonsense on the wall and seeing what sticks. Innuendo and spin are not gonna cut it in this discussion.

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You obviously don't want to openly discuss matters and you obviously don't want to be open to the possibility of changing your mind or perception regarding what others have said. And yet, you had the audacity to throw around terms like dogmatism?
My thesis is grounded in the Supreme Court decision and Hand's majority opinion on that decision. It is not dogmatic; it is based on reasoning. Hand doesn't use any failed analogies in his opinion.

Do you understand the difference between a Supreme Court decision and a dogmatic action?

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Well that is exactly where you started playing with a straw man of your own creation.
What exact thing did I say that you claim is a straw man? Can you quote the statement?

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When? Where? No one ever claimed to construe these analogies as applicable to Apple's behavior.
The reason to include an analogy in a discussion is because it has a point. Adding an analogy that doesn't apply to the situation at hand is a singularly pointless exercise.

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Nope, not everything is about money chap. Sometimes it is about, morals.
Such a righteous tone!

Your complaint is about the amount of money that Apple is paying.

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The court isn't infallible.
If you think the decision and majority opinion was flawed, please cite what specific in it you think is wrong. Simply uttering some summary opinion about their opinion is a FAIL.

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I'm not. I'm asking people who are proponents of the FairTax why they are calling it FairTax.
This is really simple. You call it the FairTax because that's what the creators of the initiative called it. You can google on that name and find the exact legislation clearly and unambiguously.

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My question is: What is fair about it?
With all due respect, that's not your question at all. I've already discussed in messages in this thread, and there are all sorts of sites that discuss the initiative (including the official website). Your exact question is discussed in the FAQ. If you were genuinely curious, you would have already gone to those sources.

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You realize they intentionally chose that word, and for a reason. If the tax wasn't aiming at fairness, to call it FairTax would be intentionally deceptive and disingenuous. Maybe you don't have a qualm with deception, lying, etc. I don't know. Either way, I think asking anyone who is a proponent of the FairTax what is fair about their tax proposal is a legitimate question.
The innuendo is rather pointless. If you have a valid criticism of the proposal, then make it. Go off and do some research.

Ditto for your innuendo that the Supreme Court decision we've been discussing is flawed. Look up the decision, and tell us why you think it's flawed. Give us some reasoning instead of dogma.

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And if their tax proposal isn't fair, then we need not even entertain it.
With all due respect, you seem to already have a closed mind about it -- and we can't even tell if you looked at the initiative. I cannot fathom anyone credibly arguing about tax law who isn't at least passingly familiar with the FairTax.

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Time to actually stop dodging and start answering for once.
More groundless innuendo! It's all so pointless.

I already have in addressed the question in this thread. Have you looked? If you have some comment on what I said, quote the material.
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Old May 4, 2012, 07:10 PM   #888
JohnDoe98
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Originally Posted by FloatingBones View Post
You analogies were supposed to be pertinent to this discussion. Yours were not. Now that you understand the difference -- and you told us that there were were "countless" analogies -- could you please give us a couple that are actually pertinent to our discussion?
Sigh... When someone makes a comment within the context of the discussion, let's call it (A), it is entirely appropriate, and pertinent, for someone else to raise analogies so as to contest and challenge that point (A). That's what happened here. So your claiming that the analogies are not pertinent is sheer nonsense. Just because you can't understand how they fit in doesn't mean they don't. What it means, to use some phrasing you enjoy, is that your perception of things doesn't correspond with reality. Now, again, stop twisting the words of others. You really struggle with that. I gave 3 analogies, let's call them type (B) analogies. I then said I could give more type (B) analogies to further debunk claim (A), if needed. Now you are asking me, yet again, to provide type (C) analogies since you think I claimed I would. You want me to use type (C) analogies to address the point (D) that you want addressed. I'm not going to do that. Seriously, learn to keep things in context.


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For purposes of our discussion about Apple and tax law, your analogies were pointless. They provided no information to the discussion whatsoever.

You said there were "countless" analogies that applied to our discussion, but you still haven't provided a single one.
You already said this in the first paragraph. Do you think repeating things over and over in a single post is helpful to discussions? Ask once. That is enough.

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You still don't get it. As our Supremes have spelled it out, there is nothing sinister in arranging affairs to keep taxes as low as possible. That spells out why your three analogies were a FAIL.
There you go twisting the analogies and context again. Can you even remember what they were responding to?

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Do you understand the difference between a Supreme Court decision and a dogmatic action?
I do. Do you realize a decision can be overturned if deemed inappropriate? Do you understand this reversal can be done by the courts themselves, or through new legislation? If I'm advocating for legislative reform that would make that decision and precedent worthless, then bringing up the decision doesn't contribute to the discussion. All it is, is a fallacious appeal to authority. If we are inquiring as to the propriety of the decision, then repeating over and over what the decision says contributes nothing to the discussion. I understand the ruling. I disagree with it. Is that hard to comprehend? That isn't dogmatism. I'm not claiming you must accept my assessment. I'm not even claiming my position is necessarily true. I'm sharing it and providing grounds and reasons in an attempt to persuade others. That isn't dogmatism by any standard.

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Your complaint is about the amount of money that Apple is paying.
I've told you multiple times that isn't my complaint. Why do you insist on repeating this nonsense? Are you incapable of understanding when someone tells you that isn't their complaint? If you can demonstrate that on pains of logical inconsistency I am forced to concede this is my complaint, do so! Go back, find the relevant quotes, and proceed with your conceptual analysis. But unless you can demonstrate that I must be committed to asserting what you here claim I do, you should accept that I clearly tell you that is not my complaint. By no means do I care how much, i.e. the amount, Apple payed, is paying, or will pay. That should be simple enough...

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If you think the decision and majority opinion was flawed, please cite what specific in it you think is wrong. Simply uttering some summary opinion about their opinion is a FAIL.
I did, on multiple occasions, provide the specificity you here require. You must have missed it while you were busy with other nonsense. Go back and read my comments explaining why I think the digital age is unprecedented and requires new forms of regulation. I'm not going to repeat myself over and over on that point, as I indulged you with other points.

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With all due respect, that's not your question at all.
So now you are going to tell me what my own question/concern is all about? Have you no respect for what your interlocutor says? You shamelessly twist everything out of context to fit your preselected molds. The speaker is the authority of his own words. Not you.

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If you were genuinely curious, you would have already gone to those sources.
I did, and provided specific reasons why I thought there was something wrong with the proposal. I identified one of the core principles that the proposal relies upon to work, and explained why it was inadequate. You must have missed that to.
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Old May 4, 2012, 07:11 PM   #889
FloatingBones
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
Surely you realize money that is paid to the government gets reinvested in programs and things for society??
It might get invested well, or it might be totally squandered. The $527M to Solyndra was a total FAIL. By some accounts, $3T was spent by the Fed in the last 3.5 years to create jobs -- and it has essentially no effect whatsoever.

There really is no comparison between big businesses -- even very businesses like AAPL -- and big government. Big Government, viewed as a business, is far more wasteful than any company could ever afford to be.

Your conjecture is not necessarily true.

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Too bad in scenario #1, the only people who will be getting increased salaries are the executives at the top getting 8 figure bonuses, while the retail people who have to deal with all the whiny consumers who complain about sharp edges will still make a paltry $9.
Based on what? YOu think the only people at AAPL that get bonuses are the executives? Really?
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Old May 4, 2012, 09:24 PM   #890
FloatingBones
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Originally Posted by JohnDoe98 View Post
Sigh... When someone makes a comment within the context of the discussion, let's call it (A), it is entirely appropriate, and pertinent, for someone else to raise analogies so as to contest and challenge that point (A).
If the analogies have no connection to what's being discussed, they have no business in the discussion. They're just a waste of everyone's time. Don't do that.

Quote:
You already said this in the first paragraph. Do you think repeating things over and over in a single post is helpful to discussions?
Not only were your 3 analogies all failed analogies, but your claim of having "countless" analogies was also a FAIL. It's OK to fail; but I can't understand why you continue to argue about your failed analogies.

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There you go twisting the analogies and context again. Can you even remember what they were responding to?
You were trying to compare clear examples of immoral behavior in companies to Apple's behavior in arranging [their] affairs to keep [their] taxes as low as possible. And we have precedent in our country: there's nothing sinister in that.

All of your innuendo claiming that Apple is somehow immoral is a house of cards.

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Quote:
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And yet, you had the audacity to throw around terms like dogmatism?
Do you understand the difference between a Supreme Court decision and a dogmatic action?
I do.
Based on your "audacity" comment above, you have absolutely no idea. A Supreme Court decision is based on facts and reasoning. It is the opposite of one of your dogmatic pronouncements here -- one of your multiple failed analogies.

Quote:
Do you realize a decision can be overturned if deemed inappropriate?
Yes. I live in the US and am well-grounded in its governance. I sensed a while back that you are not a US citizen and are far less familiar with how such things work.

Quote:
Do you understand this reversal can be done by the courts themselves, or through new legislation?
Of course. Do you understand the difference in significance between a Supreme Court decision and some random opinion that you utter here? That should be obvious, but I can't quite tell if you do.

Quote:
If I'm advocating for legislative reform that would make that decision and precedent worthless, then bringing up the decision doesn't contribute to the discussion.
If you were actually advocating, perhaps. Other than uttering your opinions here, what specific actions have you taken? As far as we can tell, you are just opining here.

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All it is, is a fallacious appeal to authority.
Why do you say that? Have you read the decision? Do you have specific comments about its facts and reasoning?

Your argument is the essence of dogma; Hand's decision is the essence of thoughtful reasoning.

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If we are inquiring as to the propriety of the decision, then repeating over and over what the decision says contributes nothing to the discussion.
It's an invitation for you to actually investigate the decision and read it for yourself. So far, you've given no indication that you have taken that action.

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I understand the ruling.
Prove it. Give us some indication that you have actually read the ruling.

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I disagree with it. Is that hard to comprehend?
It's hard to believe. You've given us nothing to show that you've done any due diligence in investigating that decision.

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That isn't dogmatism.
As far as we can tell, yours is the essence of dogmatism. You don't like something, but you've given no evidence whatsoever that you have researched it at all.

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I'm not claiming you must accept my assessment. I'm not even claiming my position is necessarily true. I'm sharing it and providing grounds and reasons in an attempt to persuade others. That isn't dogmatism by any standard.
It looks like dogma. So far, your reasoning has been a failure (re: the failed analogies).

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I've told you multiple times that isn't my complaint.
We don't believe you. It makes no sense: if Apple did what it did and it made no difference on the bottom line, it would make no sense -- and you wouldn't be upset.

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I did, on multiple occasions, provide the specificity you here require. You must have missed it while you were busy with other nonsense.
You have never ever made any specific commentary on Hand's majority opionion.

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Go back and read my comments explaining why I think the digital age is unprecedented and requires new forms of regulation.
You made a conjecture that Hand's decision doesn't apply. But your opinion here is inconsequential. Are there any federal lawsuits going to attempt to overturn the law? Are there any legislative initiatives? Are you supporting any of them?

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So now you are going to tell me what my own question/concern is all about?
I can tell you have absolutely no curiosity about the FairTax. If you wanted to know why its creators think it's fair, you would have read the FAQ. If you had commentary about the FairTax, you would have made them.

If you had something of substance to say, you would have cited it.

Quote:
Have you no respect for what your interlocutor says? You shamelessly twist everything out of context to fit your preselected molds. The speaker is the authority of his own words. Not you.
I stand by the words. All you've given us is some vague innuendo about the "fair tax". You've given us absolutely no indication that you have actually read any information on the fairtax.org website, the wikipedia, or any other site about the initiative.

Quote:
I did, and provided specific reasons why I thought there was something wrong with the proposal.
I just did an exhaustive search on messages that the user "JohnDoe98" has done including the keyword "fairtax". There were a total of three messages where you used that word. In the first message (#725 in this thread), you said:

I'm not. I'm asking people who are proponents of the FairTax why they are calling it FairTax. My question is: What is fair about it? You realize they intentionally chose that word, and for a reason. If the tax wasn't aiming at fairness, to call it FairTax would be intentionally deceptive and disingenuous. Maybe you don't have a qualm with deception, lying, etc. I don't know. Either way, I think asking anyone who is a proponent of the FairTax what is fair about their tax proposal is a legitimate question. And if their tax proposal isn't fair, then we need not even entertain it. Time to actually stop dodging and start answering for once.

There were no specific reasons there -- just innuendo. In the second message (#778 in this thread) you said:

Your definition is still too vague. In accordance with which rules or standards? Tell me about those. The rest sounds fine. But those standards and rules may be objectionable.

Again, no specific complaints, and no evidence that you have actually done any research into the FairTax. The third message was the one I am responding to now: nothing there, either. Did you really provide specific commentary about the FairTax anywhere?

If you want to be credible as someone to comment about the fairness of taxation in our society, you should have already done your due diligence on the FairTax.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:40 PM   #891
JohnDoe98
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Originally Posted by FloatingBones View Post
We don't believe you. It makes no sense: if Apple did what it did and it made no difference on the bottom line, it would make no sense -- and you wouldn't be upset.
Until you understand someone's positions or claims you shouldn't pass judgment on their merit or coherence. Now, when I try to explain the position to you, and why it is worth being upset about despite the fact that the money isn't the issue, you respond by either ignoring what is said, distorting what is said, or worse, as is the case here, claiming you do not believe that that your interlocutor is making his claims candidly and in a spirit of open debate. That suggests to me you are not genuinely interested in having a dialogue. Should you change your attitude, I'll happily respond to any/all of your comments/criticisms, but until then I think I'll save my time for people who display intellectual integrity, charity, and open-mindedness.
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Old May 5, 2012, 02:52 PM   #892
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Originally Posted by zewazir View Post
No, I am not proposing that all regulation be removed. As you say, the amoral would flourish at the cost of people - sometimes their lives. But there is a huge difference between assuring people are not cheated or put into unnecessary danger, and regulations whose primary purpose is to keep some government functionaries and their minions employed. AND there is a huge difference between regulations which protect people, and regulations which push one or another political or economic agenda.
Regulations are there to protect you, please list any or all the regulations that you claim to be hampering the economy? Without regulations you continue to have medicines that cause cancers, aneurysims, intestinal bleeding, and for you to wake up with a grapefruit growing out the side of your neck because the active agent in it isnt barred or regulated. You get food with diseases in it, with bacteria and chemicals that shouldnt be anywhere near anything edible. You also get greedy meat distrbuters selling you animal/livestock grade food to humans, with the same chemicals and hormones that are not meant for human consumption. You get water with cancer causing agents from chemical fracking, and nuclear titrium leaks, and chemical companies dumping contaminents into water sources or burying it near water tables and aquifers. Those fish ingest that and you later eat the chemicals concentrated in the fish's meat you also drink it when it leaks into your water sources and bathe in it. You ever notice how many people get and die from cancer presently than in the past? You get electronics that overheat and catch fire, or ungrounded items that present a risk of electrocution you also get products that dont work out of the box and nothing but a filled voicemail box to respond to. Its also why your house isnt painted in lead anymore, and why your house isnt insulated with asbestos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zewazir View Post
For instance, the banking crisis was brought about by a large number of factors. However there is ONE overriding factor that pushed over the apple cart. To wit, all those loans which were packaged up and resold in order to generate more cash to make more loans were a precarious assembly to begin with. However, NONE of it would have happened if the federal government had not come along and told banks they HAD to make a certain percentage of their loans in high risk areas. YES, their motives were honorable, in that slums needed cleaning up (which didn't really happen anyway) and lower income people had the opportunity to own their own homes. BUT, the laws of unitended consequences made their methods a high win blowing against the house of cards they had built.
The government never said give $600,000 loans to someone who cant afford nor will they ever be able to pay off the loan,and to not even check to see if theyre employed. This is where you seem to not understand exactly what happened. No slums were cleaned up in the crisis, the crisis is from new constructed subdivisions that were overinflated in price, then balloon mortgages that can fluctuate when and wherever (like 2% ballooning to 68%) is what caused the crisis, people signing theses loans with no understanding as to what theyre signing (and yes that is there own fault for being stupid), but it is equally the lenders fault as well, they more than knew that the people taking the loans could not afford them, yet still signed them, but knowing they were worthless, packaged them into securities to sell, heres where s&p triple A rated the loans when they themselves new were worthless and purged them onto the stock market, the same s&p that downgraded the countries credit rating because of the financial disaster from there triple a rated flaming garbage securities they greenlighted. It wasnt because they were trying to put new landscaping and kitchen upgrades in the projects.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zewazir View Post
ONE: by artificially, (ie: through regulations on lending practices rather than market forces) driving up demand for both housing and new construction, those self same regulations drove prices through the roof, making housing LESS affordable to the very people the regulations were written to help.

TWO: Soaring housing prices, couple with regulations forcing banks to make high-risk loans regardless of what housing prices were doing brought about the necessity for banks to move those loans through and make more loans.

THREE: (and this is the biggie) Too many of the high risk loans ended up in default. WHY? Because the regulations requiring how banks distributed their lending practices did not consider the ability of people to pay of those loans.
Your first two points are self fulfilled fantasies/prophecies.

The third is simple why did they end up in default? Because they couldnt afford the loan from day one. The same reason I dont have a ferarri or a sweet loft in Dubai.

Go to Chicago or Manhattan or Seattle with no down payment and no verifiable way to pay for the loan and try to get approved for a half a million, theyll tell you to go sit on a tree stump, its the shady lenders who said yeah we got you covered dude dont worry about it, Im not going to handle it anyway itll be in a packaged hot potato bomb security that I wont personally have to deal with. Its the lack of regulation and responsibility on the lenders behalf, you notice now a bank has to write a living will now to back it up, so now its in the banks best interest to ensure the loan stays healthy, not no responsibility and you can sell it off to whoever with no repurcussions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zewazir View Post
Thus, while it can be said that DEREGULATION made the situation worse, it was actually REGULATION which actually caused the crisis.
And a perfect horseblinded conclusion with a cherry on top.
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Old May 5, 2012, 03:56 PM   #893
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Originally Posted by bartzumbari View Post
...

Blaming a company for taking advantage of legal tax loopholes is like blaming water for finding leaks in a boat.
Pure logic. Since greed is based on one of the fundmental laws of physics!
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Old May 5, 2012, 11:38 PM   #894
FloatingBones
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Originally Posted by JohnDoe98 View Post
Until you understand someone's positions or claims you shouldn't pass judgment on their merit or coherence.
Not necessarily. How long should we wait for you to explain your positions and claims with coherence? How much tolerance should we have for analogies that are entirely irrelevant to this discussion?

Quote:
Now, when I try to explain the position to you, and why it is worth being upset about despite the fact that the money isn't the issue
That's because money is the issue. Apple wouldn't be doing what it did unless it dramatically affected how much taxes they had to pay.

Quote:
you respond by either ignoring what is said, distorting what is said
No. I'm noting that your claims make absolutely no sense. Of course it's about the money.

Quote:
or worse, as is the case here, claiming you do not believe that that your interlocutor is making his claims candidly and in a spirit of open debate.
Yes. I doubt they are candid at all. It's not a rational argument, and the law of our land has clearly and unambiguously said there is no problem with individuals and organizations working to minimize their tax burden.

One mystifying side-question: why are you using the word "interlocutor" in this discussion? Why would someone who isn't a native english speaker use such an obscure word? Who do you think is being an interlocutor in this discussion?

Quote:
That suggests to me you are not genuinely interested in having a dialogue.
I'm committed in a rational fact-based dialogue.

For instance: if you had done any research into the FairTax, you would have realized one of its shining merits: the tax applies to the purchase of all new items with essentially zero exceptions. The number of loopholes in the US tax code would be dramatically reduced; the size of the tax code itself would be cut by a factor of 1,000. You decry the complexity and loopholes of the current tax code, but you have been questioning that the FairTax wouldn't somehow be fair. That's a rather baffling inconsistency.

Do you see the disconnect? Everyone paying attention to your messages certainly sees it!

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Should you change your attitude, I'll happily respond to any/all of your comments/criticisms
Oh, please. On this topic, you have shown little interest in a fact-baed discussion.

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but until then I think I'll save my time for people who display intellectual integrity, charity, and open-mindedness.
Really? Do you think that you are open-minded about the FairTax? Do you have intellectual integrity on that topic?

As many have echoed in this thread: there is nothing illegal or immoral about Apple's behavior. The Supremes have spelled that out many decades ago; Hand's words are still alive and vibrant today. Nobody has provided a rational argument to refute those facts.
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Old May 7, 2012, 11:26 AM   #895
zewazir
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Originally Posted by drorpheus View Post
Regulations are there to protect you
Which I fully acknowledged. If you think that is the ONLY kind of regulations being written, you need to wake up to reality. The equal lending act and the Community Reinvestment Act are specific examples, already referred to (though not by specific name until now), of regulations which caused more harm than good, and whose purpose was to achieve a political agenda as opposed to protecting people from harmful practices. YES, the CRA DID require banks to make high risk loans. NO, it did not, nor was there any claim that the banking regulations "...said give $600,000 loans to someone who cant afford nor will they ever be able to pay off the loan, and to not even check to see if they're employed." (Pure strawman BS. Is that all you can come up with?) But they DID require loans be made which would NOT have otherwise passed scrutiny were it not for the CRA.

YOU are the one who plainly cannot understand the basics of the housing crisis. (Or will not admit how it came about because it runs counter to your preconceptions). Defaults rose because more people were given loans which they could not afford. More people were given loans they could not afford because the federal government REQUIRED a certain percentage of high risk loans be issued (In case you haven't figured it out, High Risk = lower probability of being paid back. No, not ZERO probability, but significantly lowered.) Obama even SUED several banks of Chicago for NOT meeting the required percentages of high risk loans.

Well, guess what? When banks are FORCED to make high risk loans, they end up with MORE DEFAULTS. It is that simple. The claim that it was only unscrupulous lenders behind the high risk loans is plainly false. Major, high profile banks which resisted issuing high risk loans were SUED into doing so. The public records are available for anyone who is intellectually honest enough to look at them.

The repeal of Glass Steagal (signed into law by Bill Clinton - so much for blaming only republicans) was a direct response to the requirement of issuing more high risk loans. Even then, they recognized that CRA had the potential to wreak havoc with the banks, so they off set that risk by allowing the derivatives market to open up to mortgages. (with the added advantage that the derivatives market created cash flow which was turned into MORE high risk loans.) Thus, in order to keep things afloat, the government was forced to reduce regulations in one area of banking (those which protected us) in order to advance other banking regulations which were written to push a political agenda. (ie: "let's get more lower-income people into their own homes.)

Now I do not fault the MOTIVES of the ELA or CRA. The desire was to create an economic environment in which more people - especially people of lower economic status (like me) couple acquire their own home, and qualify for credit cards, thus also providing a boost to the economy through artificially stimulated growth in the housing industry. But the method used was to try to REGULATE the market into the environment desired. Unfortunately, trying to regulate a market to conform to a desired outcome almost always ends in disaster - which this certainly did.

Bottom line: if it were not for government REQUIRING high risk loans (and yes they DID require it, banks were sued over it, and Obama was one who was directly involved in such a lawsuit.) then defaults would not have risen. Had defaults not risen as they did, the rest of the house of cards created by the derivatives market, though unstable, would not have had any reason to collapse the way it did. The loans sold as A rated bonds would have been paid back instead of being subjected to a high rate of default. It was the high risk loans which actually upset the apple cart, and it was the high risk loans which were REQUIRED by government regulation.

The only "perfect horseblinded conclusion with a cherry on top" in this debate is the one made by those who cannot bring themselves to admit government regulations can - and very often do - cause more problems than they solve.

Last edited by zewazir; May 7, 2012 at 11:31 AM.
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Old May 14, 2012, 09:44 AM   #896
TheStoof
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Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
If Apple was NOT paying "their fair share" the IRS would be all over them.

Apple -- like any RESPONSIBLE (shouting intentional) corporation (responsible, that is, to its shareholders) -- is doing exactly what it's supposed to do. That is, to maximize shareholder value by earning as much as possible while still complying with the tax laws.

"Tax avoidance" is markedly different than is "tax evasion".

When I itemize deductions on my tax return (which I do), I am legally "avoiding" additional taxation by claiming what deductions are available to me by law.

I assume you do nothing to avoid paying the maximum amount of taxes you owe?
In grad school. I have no assets to write off :P.
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Old May 14, 2012, 10:10 AM   #897
davidgrimm
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Originally Posted by TheStoof View Post
In grad school. I have no assets to write off :P.
Income taxes here in the US are based on income, not assets. Although states and some local governments have a property tax that is based on assets you own (even if leveraged) the Fed does not.

But the point remains - everyone whining here does all they can legally to reduce their tax burden. So if everybody else does it, why do those same people get pissy with a corporation does it or even Mr. Saverin?

Corporations have a duty to their owners to be good stewards of the corporate assets and if they are being wasteful, that is NOT being a good steward. So for deductions and tax strategies to exist and Apple (or other companies) not to take them is irresponsible to their owners unless those owners decide to give the management approval to donate (make a voluntary payment) to government.
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