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jonathankaplan


Onward

...wherever you go, there you are...


Entries by tag: government

a no risk investment?
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jonathankaplan
If I did the math right, the Jefferson Nickel is composed of 3.75 grams of Copper and 1.25 grams of Nickel, such ingredients worth a bit more than 7 cents in metal value? (Please, check my math...) Given the nature of movement of commodities during inflation/deflation, and, although I can see 3 small types of risk (opportunity loss/cost, storage/security concerns, and hefting charges), aren't U.S. Jefferson Nickels a pretty much risk-free investment?

no more politics as usual round here. Plank #2
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jonathankaplan
Change the National Legislature from Bi-Cameral to Uni-Cameral.
(Gee, how many of you can guess which house of the US congress I want to eliminate?)

Get rid of the US Senate.
This legislative body is flawed in so many ways. It's origination is a sop to the less rebel founders who liked the idea of a US House of Lords, so even at birth, it is a bastard. There is no way that Delaware (as example) should have as much sway in a legislature as California. An ugly flip side is, there is no way that 2 people should have ALL the "senatorial" power of a state as large AS California. As just one wrong in THAT, it gives lobbyists way too much control ease. Having two houses in the legislature instead of one creates the gridlock, the long waits for bills, it is unproductive. The US House of Lords is superfluous.

Give most of the powers of the current Senate to the House of Representatives. Allow each State Governor the right to appoint one additional overall state representative. Give some of the other powers to the Judiciary. Give a few of them to the Executive. Additionally, thanks to computer communication, we now have an opportunity to create a forum for direct action by the populous. Somehow, devise a system that gives the people a direct computer voice in legislation.
The Senate is a foul cancer on the American politic. Let's get rid of it.

no more politics as usual round here.
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jonathankaplan
(Tongue in cheek.)
I'm tired of politics as usual. I'm tired of Washington lobbies getting what they want. We are going to change that. We the people deserve better.

In that spirit, I am forming the People's Party. We are going to change many things about government, streamlining all the way, making it a bit easier for those of us at the top to just act, as needed, while also increasing the direct involvement of the individual in national affairs. Your voice will be heard and recognized much more directly than our current half-assed representative government. As always, my door will be open to hear any suggestions Joe Plumber has to offer.

Since I am a financial person, here is the first Plank (of many) of the People's Party Platform.

The Federal Income tax will be eliminated. In its place we'll install a National Sales tax, combined with a Value Added tax (food exempted). This Tax will be designed to be revenue neutral at the start, then, each month, will be adjusted in small increments to fit our national Spending. We WILL balance the budget, and mainly by spending cuts. No more deductions, earn as much as you want. Other taxes may or may not be eliminated. (As example, the inheritance tax stays. The capital gains tax will be eliminated.) I and my advisors will look at all other taxes on a case-by-case basis. The only other thing I can say for sure at this moment is two things. One, the sin and usage taxes will go up. Higher taxes on cigarettes and gasoline, as example. The other thing is, the wealthy will pay more. They are the ones who have most lived the American Dream, they couldn't have lived it anywhere else, and they SHOULD pay more as a result. (I know you don't want to hear that, even if you aren't wealthy, because you hope to be there some day, but if we don't take these actions now, you'll never make it. We are doing this for you.)

That is the opening plank of a comprehensive program to overhaul government. A number of other planks are forthcoming, discussing topics like immigration, health care, security, national service, globalization, etc. The above policy plank will, in the long run, encourage working, earning, saving, and investing, something this country needs to remember, we need to recall the values that made the USA great in the first place.
Any comments welcomed.
Thank You.

it is usually Them
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jonathankaplan
I'm posting this Senate committee testimony without comment.
It is a surprisingly quick read.
Makes me think of Daniel Drew or Jim Fisk (or Jim Rogers, for that matter).

Commodity prices flying...

change the US government poll, part two
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jonathankaplan
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Please see the Introduction to this poll here for some explanation of scaling, etc., if needed.

Take another poll.Collapse )



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change the US government poll, part one
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jonathankaplan
.
Please see the Introduction to this poll here for some explanation of scaling, etc., if needed.

Take one pollCollapse )



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Introduction--change the government Polls
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jonathankaplan
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In the following two polls please rate each initiative on a 1-7 scale. (LJ only allowed 15 entry slots on each poll, there are 30 proposals total, thus it took two polls and this introductory message. Sorry about that, you'll breeze right through it if you want, I promise.)
A one (1) means you completely disagree, a two (2) is strong disagreement, a three (3) is mild disagreement, a four (4) means you are neutral to the proposal, a five (5) is mild agreement, a six (6) is strong agreement, and a seven (7) means you completely agree with the proposal.

In answering, try to consider each proposed general initiative as if this were the one fundamental change that our oh-so-slow Congress can come up with for this session (maybe for the next 3 sessions).
Don't preference between proposal/counter-proposal, merely compare the proposal you are rating to the current state of affairs.
Try not to let difficulty of implementation affect your rating of the proposal too much. Pretend you are too idealistic to worry about that!



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do go changing
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jonathankaplan
You can change one structural thing (large or small) about the US system of government.
What change do you make?

(Two rules---

Most importantly, structural, legal, and/or fundamental changes only. Your change should be something that we envision the founding Fathers would be discussing (if they could), not something that people like Bush and Hillary obsess over.

Also, no explanations of position, justifications, motivations, rationalizations, predictions of result, nothing like that. The only explanatory statements (in your opening salvo) should be of implementation of your change, and then only if needed. All rationalizations, motivations, etal. can come out in after-comments, if necessary.)

(My change is a comment below.)



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giving too much credit
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jonathankaplan
No, this isn't a post about the coming credit deflation.

via queso, in this thread,
I get to see this Zogby poll.
The second question reads, "Would you favor (the following) methods if it meant increased protection from terrorist acts?" There is then a list of governmental intrusions that various Repubs and Demos have responded to, which would they allow in order to "increase protection from terrorists". These acts are:
(The first number is percentage overall, the second is Democrats, the third Republicans, the fourth Independents.)

Allowing video surveillance of public places 80% 77% 87% 74%

Allowing your purse, handbag, briefcase,
backpack, or packages to be searched at
random anywhere 55% 45% 66% 52%

Allowing regular roadblocks to search
vehicles 48% 38% 62% 44%

Allowing your car to be searched at random 45% 37% 60% 36%

Allowing your telephone conversations to be
monitored 37% 20% 56% 34%

Allowing your mail to be searched at random 36% 26% 49% 31%

It is very bothersome how many people are willing to concede to the government major search power in order to have the illusion of increased security. Half of all Republicans would favor EVERY intrusion listed above? Who are these people?

It is sickening how changed the Republican party is from where they were just two generations ago. If Hell exists, Goldwater is waiting at the gates for GWB to show up so he can inflict some pain.

It is criminal what the campaign against terror waged by the Bush administration has done to the foundational principles of the US populace. Manipulating the populace into this --security at any cost-- mindset is the worst, most foul presidential action I have witnessed since the time of Nixon.
Who is president rarely matters on the local level. But Bush and his gang are so bad I finally care, anyway. Even makes me wish I had voted for Gore (even though I lived in Illinois at the time).

One good thing, there is a real chance this credit crash is going to occur on Bush's watch and that financial calamity could (finally, sufficently) sour the populace on GWB.
I hope it isn't too late.



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