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occidental
Posted: Dec 27 2009, 05:51 PM


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QUOTE (light in the tunnel @ Dec 27 2009, 04:49 PM)


No offense, but people like you are the reason I warn other people to avoid stocks.

Imagine that, light in the tunnel tells people not to invest in the stock market. I suppose you would prefer a system that only allowed a select few to control the market. Is that something else you think the state should take over, for the good of the ignorant people?

This post has been edited by occidental on Dec 27 2009, 05:52 PM


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light in the tunnel
Posted: Dec 27 2009, 07:05 PM


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QUOTE (adoucette @ Dec 27 2009, 05:15 PM)
Well the housing market and what happened to it isn't that simple.
A house for most people was never primarily an investment.
But I think in some cities (Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas, LA etc) it did morph into primarily an investment.

Which then due to political pressure on lenders, a long period of lending based on little to nothing down to people with relatively weak credit along with a rapidly expanding population fueled this rapid escalation in house prices such that on the way up there was almost no way one could lose money in real estate.

In my observation, too many humans tend to look for explanations on the basis that they blame someone else and give themselves a way to feel like they are not part of the cause of a problem.

The problem was not that some people in some cities bought houses primarily as an investment and others only secondarily. The problem is that there is a fundamental distinction between use-value and exchange value. People buy houses to live in them, i.e. use them, but in the meantime they enjoy the idea that their house will appreciate and fund all kinds of other things like retirement and kids' educations. If word gets out that what caused the credit meltdown was real-estate speculation, tons of self-exonerating sheep-type people will convince themselves that THEY were not in it for the money therefore THEY are innocent victims of all those "money-grubbers" that were just in it for the profit.

The fact is that bubble boom and burst is the result of spending creating revenues, which creates an incentive to invest, which creates more income, which creates more spending, and so forth until the system gets overinflated and people start pulling out because they don't want to fund the level of spending that has grown out of the boom, either through taxes, investment, or whatever.

If people were extremely disciplined in their spending and always held out for a lower price, appreciation would not occur, inflation would not result from appreciation and investment in it, and the only money that would be made would come from labor-based value-additions.

But people aren't disciplined in spending. They see something that tickles their fancy. They decide that they only live once, and then they pay whatever they can negotiate for it. That kind of spending is what creates profit for speculation. If people were completely rational they would refuse to pay more than the cost of materials, labor, and would avoid buying in locations with unreasonable land values.

All those other factors you mention just fuel the flame of undisciplined desire and spending.
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light in the tunnel
Posted: Dec 27 2009, 07:19 PM


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QUOTE (adoucette @ Dec 27 2009, 05:24 PM)
Huh?

Why is that?

In fact I'd think I'm a stabalizing influence in the market and my buying patterns, buying low and holding through downturns, can't be bad for other investors.

Arthur

I suppose you could look at it that way, but in the end don't some people have to lose money for others to win in the stock market? Isn't the loser the person who sells last? Or the person who sells to stop losses only to have the price recover and go up again?

I was going to go on about this in response to another post that suggested that I would allow an elite or government to control industry, but why post twice so I'll just go on about it here.

My naive idea about the stock market when I first learned about it was that it was a way for people to vote on and invest in large enterprises. This is what it is in essence. It's just that speculation completely divorces the stock price from the value of what the company is doing. No, a terrible business won't grow, but a mediocre business will grow tremendously based on good news about the popularity of its product.

Furthermore, some companies seem to be magnets for sales and investments without actually doing that much. Ebay and Google are like this to me. They basically set up a public computer program and then get people to invest tons of money in it, but what is the need for all that investment capital? It erodes the fiscal discipline within the company to have so much excess investment capital, which itself is an impetus for waste and irrationality in the economy.

The stock market I would like to see would sell shares in specific projects, not companies. You create a business plan and pitch it online. Then people are able to evaluate your budget-request, costs, etc. and if they decide to fund your project, the total amount of revenues from the project gets distributed among the shareholders and that's it, the stock is dissolved.
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adoucette
Posted: Dec 27 2009, 09:26 PM


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QUOTE (light in the tunnel @ Dec 27 2009, 02:19 PM)
in the end don't some people have to lose money for others to win in the stock market? Isn't the loser the person who sells last? Or the person who sells to stop losses only to have the price recover and go up again?


No.

Company issues X number of shares for $1 to fund expansion.

Person A buys 100 shares for $100.

Bunches of other people look at the company and also buy shares.

Company uses money to expand and through good management, good products and marketing their sales and profits increase.

The price of the shares rise to $2 and they pay dividends of 2c per share.

I buy 50 shares from person A for $100, which is all profit since he still owns $100 worth of stock plus the dividends accrued.

2 years later the stock has continues to gain and is now worth $3 a share.

I sell my stock and net $50 plus the dividends.

No one has lost any money.

And no one will unless the price of the stock falls and you sell while the price is lower.

Which is not an inherent requirement for either the investor or the stock.

So, no it's not a win/lose type system.

Which is why my investing doesn't hurt other investors.

In fact, it can help them, as when I'm buying a stock whose price has fallen, I'm helping the investor who has a paper loss in the stock, because my purchases tend to increase the stock price.

QUOTE
The stock market I would like to see would sell shares in specific projects, not companies. You create a business plan and pitch it online. Then people are able to evaluate your budget-request, costs, etc. and if they decide to fund your project, the total amount of revenues from the project gets distributed among the shareholders and that's it, the stock is dissolved.


Yikes.

Few companies would ever want to make the details of their new projects public because it would kill any chance they have for being a market leader.

Even if companies were willing to share that level of info with the public, it's hard enough doing research on a company to determine if one should invest in it, but if one had to get down into the nitty gritty of specific projects then investment would dry up.

For instance in my own industry, what we do is so arcane that only other people pretty intimately involved in the things we do (like our competition) would ever be in a position to evaluate the pros/cons of one of our new projects.

No, when you buy stock you are investing in the company and its people and you trust them to do their own program management and you want them to do it behind closed doors.

Arthur

This post has been edited by adoucette on Dec 27 2009, 09:56 PM


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adoucette
Posted: Dec 27 2009, 09:54 PM


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QUOTE (light in the tunnel @ Dec 27 2009, 02:05 PM)
If people were extremely disciplined in their spending and always held out for a lower price, appreciation would not occur, inflation would not result from appreciation and investment in it, and the only money that would be made would come from labor-based value-additions. 

But people aren't disciplined in spending.  They see something that tickles their fancy.  They decide that they only live once, and then they pay whatever they can negotiate for it.  That kind of spending is what creates profit for speculation.  If people were completely rational they would refuse to pay more than the cost of materials, labor, and would avoid buying in locations with unreasonable land values.

All those other factors you mention just fuel the flame of undisciplined desire and spending.

Not necessarily true.

In Boston the rise in houses was not based on speculation but because demand far outstripped supply.

The key factors in play were:

The big swell that was the aging Baby Boomers, at this time were en mass entering into parenthood and with it house buying, either first time, or trading up from starter homes.

Boston was seeing a boom in high tech and medical industries which was bringing in lots of new people and also fueling it with high paying jobs, but also creating lots of demand for housing.

The desegregation of Boston Public schools had been so poorly handled that ongoing white flight from the city due to its deteriorating school system was pushing ever more young parents from the city to the suburbs.

All three pushed up the demand for houses and with it the prices in the suburbs of Boston.

The idea that someone would turn down a great job in Boston or move to where there were good schools for their kids because they weren't going to pay "more than the cost of material and labor" is frankly naive to the extreme.

But the fact that they took the job and paid a lot for their house is also not indicative of "undisciplined desire".

You really need to be a tad less judgmental, because you really do come across as thinking that most of the people in the country are stupid.

Arthur


--------------------
"We cannot prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point; that we have seen our best days. But so said all before us, and with just as much apparent reason. On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?"

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light in the tunnel
Posted: Dec 27 2009, 11:15 PM


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QUOTE (adoucette @ Dec 27 2009, 09:26 PM)
No.

Company issues X number of shares for $1 to fund expansion.

Person A buys 100 shares for $100.

Bunches of other people look at the company and also buy shares.

Company uses money to expand and through good management, good products and marketing their sales and profits increase.

The price of the shares rise to $2 and they pay dividends of 2c per share.

I buy 50 shares from person A for $100, which is all profit since he still owns $100 worth of stock plus the dividends accrued.

2 years later the stock has continues to gain and is now worth $3 a share.

I sell my stock and net $50 plus the dividends.

No one has lost any money.

And no one will unless the price of the stock falls and you sell while the price is lower.

Which is not an inherent requirement for either the investor or the stock.

So, no it's not a win/lose type system.

Which is why my investing doesn't hurt other investors.

In fact, it can help them, as when I'm buying a stock whose price has fallen, I'm helping the investor who has a paper loss in the stock, because my purchases tend to increase the stock price.







I would say it goes more like this:

A company wants to increase its revenues so it hires consultants or uses some other means to come up with a new business plan that will attract investment.

Everyone knows that the business plan doesn't have to do anything other than create buzz.

Once the buzz is created and is spread around, people want to "get in on the ground floor." So, initially, investment starts with relative insiders. This is not necessarily insider trading, but this is relatively few people who catch early news of a new product or market expansion.

It doesn't matter if the people getting in on the ground floor actually believe in the product or business plan. The only thing they need to believe in is that the buzz is good enough to attract other investors, because once investors start buying in, the stock price snowballs upward.

So now the question is how long it will snowball before people realize that what they are investing in is not going to pay off as big as all the people buying into it want it to. Once people start to realize that, the selling begins and the snowball goes the other way. By the time everyone has gotten out, the end price reflects only who is willing to continue holding because they would practically lose their whole investment by selling at that point anyway. So then it becomes their game to get new suckers to buy in to try to drive the price back up to the level it was before it started crashing, so that they can recoup their initial investment.

It would be great if there was a way to separate the speculation snowballing from the actual value-addition of whatever is being produced, but it's not possible because the price reflects both innate value AND speculative trend.

QUOTE
Yikes.

Few companies would ever want to make the details of their new projects public because it would kill any chance they have for being a market leader.

Even if companies were willing to share that level of info with the public, it's hard enough doing research on a company to determine if one should invest in it, but if one had to get down into the nitty gritty of specific projects then investment would dry up.

For instance in my own industry, what we do is so arcane that only other people pretty intimately involved in the things we do (like our competition) would ever be in a position to evaluate the pros/cons of one of our new projects.

No, when you buy stock you are investing in the company and its people and you trust them to do their own program management and you want them to do it behind closed doors.

Lol. I post a method that would prevent buzz-driven speculation and profiting off pure hope of price-appreciation, and you say it's too complicated. You can't trust anyone to do their own program management behind closed doors because they have built their careers on pulling strings to manipulate speculation.

There would be no reason, in my method, for business plans to disclose every trade secret they plan to use. All they have to do is disclose their full budget for what is spent on what in the entire production and distribution process. They can black box their "secret recipe" and just explain why it will give them an edge against competition. The important part is precisely that they cannot ride the wave of their reputations. That means that they can't abuse them to drive up costs beyond what is necessary to accomplish whatever they do.

Corporate waste is the biggest drain on the economy, imo. I have heard a lot of complaints about big government, and I don't doubt that government spends and wastes a lot of money. But I think corporate government/management spends and wastes at least as much and probably much more.
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light in the tunnel
Posted: Dec 27 2009, 11:17 PM


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QUOTE (adoucette @ Dec 27 2009, 09:26 PM)
No.

Company issues X number of shares for $1 to fund expansion.

Person A buys 100 shares for $100.

Bunches of other people look at the company and also buy shares.

Company uses money to expand and through good management, good products and marketing their sales and profits increase.

The price of the shares rise to $2 and they pay dividends of 2c per share.

I buy 50 shares from person A for $100, which is all profit since he still owns $100 worth of stock plus the dividends accrued.

2 years later the stock has continues to gain and is now worth $3 a share.

I sell my stock and net $50 plus the dividends.

No one has lost any money.

And no one will unless the price of the stock falls and you sell while the price is lower.

Which is not an inherent requirement for either the investor or the stock.

So, no it's not a win/lose type system.

Which is why my investing doesn't hurt other investors.

In fact, it can help them, as when I'm buying a stock whose price has fallen, I'm helping the investor who has a paper loss in the stock, because my purchases tend to increase the stock price.

I would say it goes more like this:

A company wants to increase its revenues so it hires consultants or uses some other means to come up with a new business plan that will attract investment.

Everyone knows that the business plan doesn't have to do anything other than create buzz.

Once the buzz is created and is spread around, people want to "get in on the ground floor." So, initially, investment starts with relative insiders. This is not necessarily insider trading, but this is relatively few people who catch early news of a new product or market expansion.

It doesn't matter if the people getting in on the ground floor actually believe in the product or business plan. The only thing they need to believe in is that the buzz is good enough to attract other investors, because once investors start buying in, the stock price snowballs upward.

So now the question is how long it will snowball before people realize that what they are investing in is not going to pay off as big as all the people buying into it want it to. Once people start to realize that, the selling begins and the snowball goes the other way. By the time everyone has gotten out, the end price reflects only who is willing to continue holding because they would practically lose their whole investment by selling at that point anyway. So then it becomes their game to get new suckers to buy in to try to drive the price back up to the level it was before it started crashing, so that they can recoup their initial investment.

It would be great if there was a way to separate the speculation snowballing from the actual value-addition of whatever is being produced, but it's not possible because the price reflects both innate value AND speculative trend.

QUOTE
Yikes.

Few companies would ever want to make the details of their new projects public because it would kill any chance they have for being a market leader.

Even if companies were willing to share that level of info with the public, it's hard enough doing research on a company to determine if one should invest in it, but if one had to get down into the nitty gritty of specific projects then investment would dry up.

For instance in my own industry, what we do is so arcane that only other people pretty intimately involved in the things we do (like our competition) would ever be in a position to evaluate the pros/cons of one of our new projects.

No, when you buy stock you are investing in the company and its people and you trust them to do their own program management and you want them to do it behind closed doors.

Lol. I post a method that would prevent buzz-driven speculation and profiting off pure hope of price-appreciation, and you say it's too complicated. You can't trust anyone to do their own program management behind closed doors because they have built their careers on pulling strings to manipulate speculation.

There would be no reason, in my method, for business plans to disclose every trade secret they plan to use. All they have to do is disclose their full budget for what is spent on what in the entire production and distribution process. They can black box their "secret recipe" and just explain why it will give them an edge against competition. The important part is precisely that they cannot ride the wave of their reputations. That means that they can't abuse them to drive up costs beyond what is necessary to accomplish whatever they do.

Corporate waste is the biggest drain on the economy, imo. I have heard a lot of complaints about big government, and I don't doubt that government spends and wastes a lot of money. But I think corporate government/management spends and wastes at least as much and probably much more.
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adoucette
Posted: Dec 28 2009, 12:04 AM


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QUOTE (light in the tunnel @ Dec 27 2009, 06:15 PM)
I would say it goes more like this:

A company wants to increase its revenues so it hires consultants or uses some other means to come up with a new business plan that will attract investment.

Everyone knows that the business plan doesn't have to do anything other than create buzz.

Once the buzz is created and is spread around, people want to "get in on the ground floor." So, initially, investment starts with relative insiders. This is not necessarily insider trading, but this is relatively few people who catch early news of a new product or market expansion.

It doesn't matter if the people getting in on the ground floor actually believe in the product or business plan. The only thing they need to believe in is that the buzz is good enough to attract other investors, because once investors start buying in, the stock price snowballs upward.

So now the question is how long it will snowball before people realize that what they are investing in is not going to pay off as big as all the people buying into it want it to. Once people start to realize that, the selling begins and the snowball goes the other way. By the time everyone has gotten out, the end price reflects only who is willing to continue holding because they would practically lose their whole investment by selling at that point anyway. So then it becomes their game to get new suckers to buy in to try to drive the price back up to the level it was before it started crashing, so that they can recoup their initial investment.

It would be great if there was a way to separate the speculation snowballing from the actual value-addition of whatever is being produced, but it's not possible because the price reflects both innate value AND speculative trend.


Oh horsepucky.

The massive global exapanison of business and industry over the last century has been about creating products and services not BUZZ.

You obviously haven't a clue about the business world.

Why post about something you know nothing about?

Arthur

This post has been edited by adoucette on Dec 28 2009, 12:18 AM


--------------------
"We cannot prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point; that we have seen our best days. But so said all before us, and with just as much apparent reason. On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?"

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adoucette
Posted: Dec 28 2009, 12:27 AM


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QUOTE (light in the tunnel @ Dec 27 2009, 06:17 PM)
Lol. I post a method that would prevent buzz-driven speculation and profiting off pure hope of price-appreciation, and you say it's too complicated. You can't trust anyone to do their own program management behind closed doors because they have built their careers on pulling strings to manipulate speculation.


No, product managers build their careers on making successful PRODUCTS.


QUOTE
There would be no reason, in my method, for business plans to disclose every trade secret they plan to use.  All they have to do is disclose their full budget for what is spent on what in the entire production and distribution process.  They can black box their "secret recipe" and just explain why it will give them an edge against competition.  The important part is precisely that they cannot ride the wave of their reputations.  That means that they can't abuse them to drive up costs beyond what is necessary to accomplish whatever they do. 


They already publish their budget, its all in the annual report.

In fact they disclose who runs the company and how much they are paid.

In fact they disclose all the things they think could hurt them.

Etc etc

Which you would know if you ever bought any stock.

But again, you appear to be talking about something you know nothing about.

Here's a stock I mentioned earlier.

FINL

See the lower left on this page for links to all sorts of info.

Oh, and they really do have stores and they really do make a profit.

http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:FINL

QUOTE
Corporate waste is the biggest drain on the economy, imo. 


Highly unlikely, imo.

Arthur



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Thomas B. Macaulay
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light in the tunnel
Posted: Dec 28 2009, 12:51 AM


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QUOTE (adoucette @ Dec 28 2009, 12:27 AM)
No, product managers build their careers on making successful PRODUCTS.

The most popular product I have seen in recent years is the ipod. What is worth over $1000 for an mp3 player except buzz?

I had a friend who bought image-rights for Nike from sports celebrities. What is worth paying many thousands of dollars for about a celebrity endorsement except buzz?

It's buzz from the drawing boards to the retail outlets. It is pure inflation. Nothing but making and spending more money on a status to create an elite that excludes more people by pricing them out of the game.

How is social exclusion a product worth investing in? It only is if you know that when you come out on top of someone else who you've managed to exclude through business practices, that they will be flipping you burger or doing your dishes next time you go out to eat with the money you made by investing in the elitism status industry.

I would rather invest in affordable, higher-quality goods so more people could live better for less. The problem with doing that, though, is that I don't know of anyone in business who is not competing for high-level salaries, elite status, and even the means to waste resources and generate more CO2.

I would love to invest labor and time in a business project I can believe in, but they all seem like scams to create more status, consumption, and other waste to me. Sorry if this offends your sense of innate goodness in economics.
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adoucette
Posted: Dec 28 2009, 01:59 AM


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QUOTE (light in the tunnel @ Dec 27 2009, 07:51 PM)
The most popular product I have seen in recent years is the ipod.  What is worth over $1000 for an mp3 player except buzz?

I had a friend who bought image-rights for Nike from sports celebrities.  What is worth paying many thousands of dollars for about a celebrity endorsement except buzz?

It's buzz from the drawing boards to the retail outlets.  It is pure inflation.  Nothing but making and spending more money on a status to create an elite that excludes more people by pricing them out of the game.

How is social exclusion a product worth investing in?  It only is if you know that when you come out on top of someone else who you've managed to exclude through business practices, that they will be flipping you burger or doing your dishes next time you go out to eat with the money you made by investing in the elitism status industry.

I would rather invest in affordable, higher-quality goods so more people could live better for less.  The problem with doing that, though, is that I don't know of anyone in business who is not competing for high-level salaries, elite status, and even the means to waste resources and generate more CO2.

I would love to invest labor and time in a business project I can believe in, but they all seem like scams to create more status, consumption, and other waste to me.  Sorry if this offends your sense of innate goodness in economics.

BS

The ipod came out at $400.

Was it worth it?

Well a lot of people thought so.

I bought my daughters each a 30 GB model (~$250) several years ago and it's by far one of their favorite things, it's almost always with them and they each have many thousands of songs.

When my daughter got married last October, she compiled her own songs and made a playlist and hooked it into the sound system at the hall, and saved herself MORE than the ipod costs, so yeah, one could say it can be worth it.

But you don't have to invest in Apple, there are thousands of socially responsible companies to invest in and to paint them all with a broad brush as you do is frankly silly.

http://www.socialinvest.org/
http://www.domini.com/
http://michaelbluejay.com/sri/

(I haven't vetted these, they are just for an example, but I personally know of plenty of companies, including my own, which are socially responsible)

You obviously HATE free enterprise and I suspect it's because you are a failure at it.

Arthur

This post has been edited by adoucette on Dec 28 2009, 02:02 AM


--------------------
"We cannot prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point; that we have seen our best days. But so said all before us, and with just as much apparent reason. On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?"

Thomas B. Macaulay
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Mike Wofsey
Posted: Feb 9 2010, 07:26 AM


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I've looked through this thread with some interest, it is a long-running one.

I am a physicist, finishing up my Ph.D. at the University of Alabama. A few years ago I switched my intended area of research from aerosols to desalination. Along the way I came up with some ideas applicable to solar desalination. The University patented the ideas and I started a technology transfer company partly owned by the University. We got a small grant from the EPA for the research and we also received seed funding from a business competition to help start the company.

Now we're selling personal-scale solar desalination units and we're gradually ramping up production, and trying to find an investor to help bring our company to the next level. Our main goal is water for Developing Nations, and we feel solar stills are a good choice for that application since they are require only simple maintenance and they do not require consumables.

We expect that with our next round of investment that we will be able to bring down the per unit cost of a specially-made unit to be cost effective for Developing Nations. (We currently sell to people with yachts and for emergency preparedness from our webiste: seapanel(dot)com.)

As part of my research, I've done a lot of testing and theory on solar desalination. So if any other scientists or researchers are interested in looking into this area, I would be please to help! Please excuse my guest status, I haven't used PhyForum in years and I can't remember my login id.
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Quantum_Conundrum
Posted: Feb 13 2010, 08:57 PM


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QUOTE (adoucette @ Dec 27 2009, 08:59 PM)
You obviously HATE free enterprise and I suspect it's because you are a failure at it.

Arthur

Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Refundable Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Credit, welfare, foodstamps...



All of those prove "free enterprise" does not work...if it did, they wouldn't be needed...
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adoucette
Posted: Feb 13 2010, 09:26 PM


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QUOTE (Quantum_Conundrum @ Feb 13 2010, 03:57 PM)
Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Refundable Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Credit, welfare, foodstamps...

All of those prove "free enterprise" does not work...if it did, they wouldn't be needed...

Actually these programs are all paid for by the taxes collected from workers in the free enterprise system, so yes it does work.

Arthur

This post has been edited by adoucette on Feb 13 2010, 09:27 PM


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"We cannot prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point; that we have seen our best days. But so said all before us, and with just as much apparent reason. On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?"

Thomas B. Macaulay
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lenpure
  Posted: Feb 20 2012, 07:52 AM


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Haha, if there is a simple solution, it won't be necessary for mid-east countries to build water purifying factories with heavy investment.


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[URL=http://www.lenpure.com]Enviromental Test Chambers[/URL]
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