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#525458 - 11/15/03 08:19 AM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Samuel Catalino Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
Quote:
Originally posted by Happy:
Dean Milburn is almost as gay as Sam. Maybe they should ass-fuck.



Nice to see you again Jack. How are things under the bridge?
_________________________
"If we lose a hundred troops a week, then Dean will be our next Prez." Jack V, avid Dean supporter with no concern for the troops.

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#525459 - 11/16/03 10:14 AM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Samuel Catalino Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Warren Sapp is a hell of a football player, but if getting paid millions to play football is slavery, I'll trade places with him.


Although I have little respect for him, he is in the better position to judge the way things are in his atmosphere.
Nor do I believe he is a hell of a football player, he just has a big mouth.


Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
My understanding is the the consequences result from the company yanking the Visa and sending them home. I'm pretty sure that both the H1-B and L-1 visas require an employer to sponsor the visa holder. Thus the employer holds all the cards. If these can be considered dire, it's no less dire than cancelling their visas and sending them home. Let me know if there additional consquences I'm not considering.


By the employer, you mean the contracting company that brought them over in the first place, right? They also sign contracts with this companies or their are understandings with these companies, and some of them are very unfair and do not comply with the laws of the United States and I have heard of some of these people sue the companies and other things that have happened to them. You would have to look this up yourself and do your research yourself

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
What were the immigration policies when the the first Catalino left what I assume is Europe? Some great x ?# uncle of mine was with Stephen Austin in his first Texas community. That means there were Milburn's here as far back as the 1820s-30s. I doubt they had to do much more than buy passage on a ship, show up one of the port cities and start heading west. Overtime the policies have become much more restrictive.


They were not restrictive at all. I don't think my grandfather came over to take someone's job though. Other of my ancestors were already here and did not immigrate to the USA.
There are reasons why policies became more restrictive, but I am sure you know what those reasons are.


Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
To the more specific discussion, none of the hijackers had H1-B or L-1 visas. Most of them were on student visas or tourist visas. I can't find evidence any of them had green cards or were able to work here. More broadly, some number (about half I think) were in violation of the terms of their visas, which indicates a problem with enforcement, not with the laws themselves. Also, given that thousands of people and millions of dollars worth of narcotics cross our border every year, despite efforts to stop that flow, it's clearly not possible to seal borders as large as ours. The visas may have been the easiest way into the country, but the lack of those visas would not have precluded entry or pilot training elsewhere.


They had student visas and they were not going to school. There are distinct possibilities that these (H1B and L1)visas could be exploited as well by terrorists. There are no security measures for them, if the terrorists decided to exploit them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Most importantly, I've never claimed to favor open borders. Even somebody of a strict laissez-faire bent, would allow intervention where national security was involved. Sure, a more restrictive program aimed at keeping out terrorists, might have some economic costs, but so does letting terrorists into the country.


Which is why we need to tighten up our security with immigration and our borders. We are too damn vulnerable!

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Under which set of rules, those around in 1800, 1850, 1900, 1950, 2000? Rules that have tended to favor northern Europeans vs. Asians and Africans?


Well, Africans were forced to come, I am not that familiar with Asians history. The immigration rules no longer favor Northern Europeans, so I do not know what your point is.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Specifically, I'd be interested in hearing about the dire consequences faced by the Indian ex-pats, that go beyond repatriation. I'd also be interested in whether or not problems with the program are inherent or enforcement related. But remember, it may sour me on the implementation of the program (that the company can restrict the ability of the employee to seek other work is something I oppose), but probably not on having a more open labor market. I'll leave it to you to decide if its worth it or not.


As I said above, you can do the research on your own.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
If the life, liberty, pursuit of happiness rights are innate in all men (I'm not sure if you believe they are or whether they accrue only when provided by a legal structure), then I believe we have an obligation to aid in reducing the repression of those rights world wide. One way to do that is to aid countries in developing their own economies. We do this in a number of ways. In the long run it is beneficial to us to do so. Allowing guest workers not only aids this process, but as I've argued (I know you remain unconvinced) it benefits us all. So even without a moral imperative, enlightened self interest tells us to do so.


I believe in the virtue of selfishness and the doctrine that you can not help others while your house is not in order, so I reject your misguided altruism.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
No Sam, I don't favor a one world government, but that doesn't mean that I don't think that we should use political and economic means to end the caste system (which in an industrial society amounts to a class system anyway, its really a tool to keep the oligarchs in power). Programs to educate and employ those born into lower castes here and abroad so that they can move up the ladder economically can only help that situation. To do otherwise, you end up with castes based on nation states "An American Caste" and and "Developing nation caste" I'm not saying we should give preference to Indians. The labor market may favor Indians over Mexicans over Australians for IT work. It apparently favors Latin American ex-pats for agriculture.


Dean, you may say you do favor a one world government political structure, but by being an economic globalist, you will find you can not have one for without the other.
Your comments like "American caste" just seems to me that you favor a One World government political structure. That troubles me.
As far as I am concerned, I want a system that favors USA citizens as workers before any others.


Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
The programs in place now are insufficient. Would a program that made sure that made sure these fellows wouldn't end up homeless have prevented their suicides? I can't say for sure, but something pushed them over the edge, and if a program removes that something, then I can see it aiding in those cases.


Insufficient? That is an understatement if ever I heard one. I would say the visa program had a hand in these people's ultimate fate. Of course, unless you feel that the market was served by these people's deaths and losing their homes.
I don't.


Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Not true. Mere elimination of the visa program would not prevent the jobs from moving abroad. That's why you have your tariff plan. For these purposes we'll assume that we can actually determine the correct size so that those IT jobs are maintained at their current salary. So we now have a higher input cost than we would otherwise. That tells us we'll get lower output at a higher price. So if they are making consumer software, fewer consumers receive the benefits of that software and those that do, receive a lower net benefit because they're paying a higher price. But what happens if the software is for a firm that uses it as an input in their production process (and ERP like SAP R3 fits the bill). That raises the cost to that firm to produce its goods, which means the firm will produce less (and at a higher price), but what does producing less really mean? It means that some number of the people involved in the production process lose their jobs, because they don't need as many. You've saved some jobs at the cost of other jobs. We've talked about Gary Hufbauers research on the cost of the steel tariffs in the other thread. Paul Samuelson quotes them again in his column this week.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/991188.asp

"Gary Hufbauer and Ben Goodrich of the Institute for International Economics, a think tank, estimate that tariffs preserved 3,500 steel jobs; by contrast, they think that the tariffs might have cost steel users between 12,000 and 43,000 jobs. "

Based on these numbers, we've caused pain and suffering for at least 8500 more people than we would have without the tariff. The amount of displacement will vary by industry based on the relative elasticities of demand for the products involved, but it is undeniable that subsidizing jobs in one sector will cause the loss of jobs in a related sector.


We shall never know until the Visa program is eliminated.
The interesting thing about the tariff and the impace is that I wonder how many of those jobs were lost because of the current economic situation.
I believe you did mention that it backfired on Bush in that the Steelworkers are backing Dick Gephart(sp) (if I hear one more time about his father being grateful being a Union worker (which his brother said was a lie), I will go scream!)instead of Bush.
Another interesting thing is that though the local paper was against the steel tariffs, it favors the citrus one and for reasons I agree with.
The reasons are not because of the cheap labor in Brazil, but of the numerous chemicals used there that are outlawed in the United States. Sure the price is lower, but what happens if the product causes long term effects?


Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
I don't find open forums totally useless, although I will agree they're unlikely to change anybody's mind. I disagree re: job retraining programs. It's the nature of markets. I'm not at all convinced those jobs at Siemens could have been saved indefinitely.


I disagree with you because they do not change anyone's mind, which although I have been invited to some of these forums, I don't bother. Why? It solves nothing except getting people worked up about forces they have no control of.
For job retraining, you have to have an aptitude for the job you are retraining for.
You may be right about those jobs at Siemens, but Mike was probably in a better situation to make that call better than you or I
_________________________
"If we lose a hundred troops a week, then Dean will be our next Prez." Jack V, avid Dean supporter with no concern for the troops.

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#525460 - 11/17/03 08:24 AM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Samuel Catalino Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
It sounds like theft to you because you are treating property rights as some type of natural law, that they are innate and absolute. I disagree with this point of view. Property rights are not absolute, they exist only to the extent that society wishes them to. Provided government represents the will of the governed, it would not be impermissible (no matter how unwise) for government to have control over everything. Look at the capitalist democracies of the west, they have chosen a fairly wide range of governmental control over economic affairs.

Given your underlying assumption of inviolate property rights, I'm not surprised my redistributive policies bother you, what I am surprised by is that you are willing to support a policy that is inherently redisributive at the same time.


It is theft when you take from someone without their consent, isn't it? It just looks like you believe that the wealth and property never belonged to the person to begin with, or that seems to be the impression you are giving me. If the majority support this kind of theft, then out goes your moral absolutes as they are dictated by the whims of a passing fad. That does not make sense to me.

I only favor fair trade, and any redistributive policy I would support would be to make it an even playing field between the countries. The citrus tariff is one thing I mentioned earlier, actually, because of the chemicals the citrus in Brazil may be exposed to, I would not allow the citrus to come into our country because of the potential danger it poses to the consumers of the USA.


Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Even if the natural state is no restrictions, both a national security exception, as well as a general wealth creating bias, would say to exclude terrorists. What was the value of the WTC? How much did the economy lose because of the attacks? What was the value of the future wealth created by those who died? A policy of creating wealth would exclude terrorists.

If you don't agree the natural state of the labor input is borderless, why do you not treat the factor inputs of raw materials and captial equipment the same way?


I can't believe you wrote that. Ask the people who lost their friends and family that were murdered at the WTC their economic value. The terrorist's ultimate objectives are political, not economic. It also created a demand for security which sapped from the economy where those resources could have been used some where else. Not to mention it gave us The Patriot Act and another useless beaurcracy, Homeland Security.

I have answered that question before. Those inputs stay within the borders of the countries, they are not subject to visas nor do they go back and forth from country to country.


Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
No the government interference in the market came with successive waves of limitations on immigration. The visa program was an attempt to alleviate this. Did big business seek expansion of the H1-B to cut costs at a time when IT wages were skyrocketing, absolutely. Did they lie about the condition of the labor market to do it? I don't think so. It seems to me that the planned reduction of the H1-B visas (it was written as a sunset provision into the legislation), and the inaction by Congress to keep the increased limits, indicates to me, that with the economy slowed, the tech sector particularly hard hit, that the powers that be are trying to shrink the labor market. I don't agree with what they're doing, but it indicates to me that government is actually keeping with the spirit in which the increases were passed to begin with. I would not expect to see this, if there were some sort of unholy deal going down.


I reject that as untrue. Immigration policy has nothing to do with those visas. It was government intervention to patch an imagined shortfall of labor and increased that surplus of labor that benefited corporations. It was a lie then, and is a lie now. Government intervened directly with the free market forces on the side of the corporations in this matter, for it was them who lobbied for the increase of the H1B visas, and most of this took place after the 2000 scare.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Does this include all guest workers, no green cards at all? Does this include tourist and student visas (which most of the 9-11 hijackers hold)? Seems to me the elimination of tourist visas would hit your home state (FLA right?) pretty hard. What does a Catalinoesque immigration policy look like?


Well, it would be better than a Milburn policy that brought the devastation such we saw on 9/11. Dean, you see what happens when you use that sort of techniques in a discussion. It disintegrates to ad hom, and does that serve either of us?
It might hurt the drug traffic here as well, of course, unless you favor the free market of narcotics into the United States?
I favor limited time in the USA for those visas and follow up on the students in that they are going to class and workers that are working in the USA and not bringing the whole family over to siphon off our resources, which is one of the reasons California has as many problems as they do.


Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Well Sam, I have to admit I didn't see the implications of your insistence on the "two of them = one of us" stance. It's a clever argument. If I accepted your assertion that it was the case, I might be convinced. You admit above that it is a minority of the cases (not most). Based on the numbers cited in the Cheney thread, there are 480k H1-B visa holders and 325 L-1 visa holders. We'll assume here that everyone of the these visa holders is doing a job that could be done by an unemployed IT professional. The IEEE, a group that has lobbied heavily against the H1-B program, states that there are 230k IT professionals currently without employement in that field. So the ratio is 3.5 foreign workers to every American unemployed.

The math doesn't work out. If on average each American is replaced by 3.5 guest workers, and as you said, a majority of the time the the replacement ratio is no more than 2, so let's assume that half the foreign jobs can be done by half as many Americans, thus layoff 402.5k guest workers and hire about 201k Americans. That leaves 29k Americans to do the jobs of the remaining 402.5k guest workers, for a ratio of 14 foreigners to every one American. On average. It makes no sense at all. You may not like the program, but you have to admit there appears to be a need for it to one level or another.


There is no need for it. I imagine it will all bear itself out in higher costs in IT in due time and those who planned it will say: "Gosh, it sure looked like a good plan at the time."

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Here you go again Sam, trying to tar me with the brush of the Status Quo. Combine my trade policies with a redistributive bias and strong anti-trust enforcement, and the problems you see now, go away. Unless the industry in question is totally monopolistic, some of the cost savings will be passed down in the form of lower prices.


That is my point. If you have the enforcement, you don't need the redistributive bias.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
I've worked for four different public corporations in my career, and at every single one of them, on more than one occaision, one of my job duties has been to prepare investment analysis for IT projects of various size. Information systems create wealth in at least a couple of different ways. They improve productivity of the employees, so that the same amount of work can be done by fewer of them. This cuts costs. They can also provide information that allows for better decisions to be made, improving returns on investments. They can also provide better response to customer demands, improving the bottom line of the producer and the satisfaction of the consumer. So I have to disagree with you there. It may look like they are treated as a mere cost, because they aren't typically a profit center, but the returns are implicit in the success of the rest of the business, i.e. what would the cost of not having the systems be.


Dean, I am telling you that the bottom line that those who make the decisions above look at IT as a cost, not a wealth producing center. The only reason that IT exists at all is that prevents costs from rising.
You may say you save the company X amount of dollars on a certain project, but you have not produced wealth for the company.
I have worked for a number of large companies and know that to be the case.
_________________________
"If we lose a hundred troops a week, then Dean will be our next Prez." Jack V, avid Dean supporter with no concern for the troops.

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#525461 - 11/17/03 09:21 AM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Samuel Catalino Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Merriam Webster online defines globalism as "a national policy of treating the whole world as a proper sphere for political influence ". I'd have to say I subscribe to that. As human beings I think we owe it to the rest of the world aid them in reaching our standard of living and enjoying our political freedoms. As a self interested SOB, I think we disengage from the world at our own peril.

Like I said, I'm not at all familiar with this concept of a New World Order other than an impression that Bush I used it in a speech and that it has become the cornerstone of a conspiracy theory held in common by a number of people I'd call right wing nuts. But I'm not sure what exactly it means. Since you said it was something Bush I subscribed to I did a search for the speech he used it in. He said

"What is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea - a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle, and worthy of our children's future."

Nothing I can disagree with there.

The second reference is

"The world can therefore seize this opportunity to fufill the long-held promise of a new world order - where brutality will go unrewarded, and aggression will meet collective resistance."

Can't say I disagree with this either. Sounds to me like Bush was getting was that he wanted to see the bipolar face off that characterized the cold war replaced by a cooperative bias in support of those universal aspirations. The same spirit of multilateralism that led to a true international coalition in Gulf War I. Of course since then, I think we've seen another line drawn between Western Modernism and Fundamentalist Islam. Perhaps the aspirations aren't all that universal, or perhaps we are perceived as placing ourselves above the rest of the world in obtaining these aspirations (throwing our weight around internationally perhaps).

If this is not what you understand by New World Order, let me know.

In terms of UN wealth redistribution, I'd want to know specifically what you're referring to. In terms of the dues being based on the size of the economy rather than the population of the country, I don't have a problem with that. And that puts an inherently redisributive bias on anything the UN does.


Well, I am a citizen of the USA first. I am not a globalist, nor do I want the UN to dictate to my country what to do and how to do it.

I reject the NWO, and the UN. I do not favor an isolation role (for such is impossible) for my country, but favor my country first among all others. I respect other citizens of other countries' right to do likewise.


Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
But what about the reduction of tax revenues from lowered profits by higher call center costs? It cuts both ways.


Being that those call centers we are talking about are overseas and give no tax revenues, it makes the point moot.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Now there is an issue we can explore, the efficiency of markets. If the outsourcing is indeed more costly than staying at home, the market needs to correct itself sooner rather than later. I think the way to do this is to unfetter them. Firms that don't have much competition can afford inefficiency, they're already making profits. That's why we need strong antitrust legislation and enforcement.


Well, time will tell. In the meantime, you can end up with frustrated consumers who have to deal with substandard service and as that is the trend that all companies are going, it will ultimately not benefit either the consumer or the corporation and just create more animosity between the two. It is just an economy of effort, or waste thereof.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Where does the distribution come from though? I agree it is redistributive because it comes from the customers for the product. Without a tariff I can make $100 per widget. You put a $10 tariff on me, so at my previous price I only make $90 per widget. So I naturally attempt to take my price up to $110 (I'll concede that depending on the elasticity of demand for the product, I may only be able to realize some part of the $10 in price increases). So the consumer pays, the government takes the money, and does what with it? Also you seethe at government inefficiency, what kind of structure do you envision implementing and maintaining this tariff structure?

Re: $100 sneakers, sure the materials and manufacturing costs are low, but look at the marketing expenses. They are part of the product cost as well. Essentially the shoe companies spend a fortune trying to get fleeting monopoly power in the form of branding, and also to enforce a perception that price = quality. In the market system all that matters is that the buyer thinks the shoes are worth $100. Those of us loathe to spend $40 on sneakers might think those kids are dumb, but they're happy.


The thing is that the consumer can either choose to purchase it or not to purchase it. Bang goes the redistribution. Of course, if the corrective action is taken prior to all of this taking place, the jobs stay here, and that is what we really want, don't we...to stop it before it happens?

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Okay, what if a consortium of Indian businessmen buy a majority stake in an American corporation?


Easy. It is no longer an American corporation; however, if they choose not to move the production process, it should be considered as an American corporation for trade purposes.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:
Well I was thinking more of oil. Not that we really lack oil here, what we lack is cheap oil. Many nations have a comparative advantage in the production of crude oil. So we buy from them, because we can put our other resources to more profitable use. Protecting the spotted owl by removing forests from the available timber supply is definitely a market intervention. What it indicates to me is that the trees are held in higher value by society where they are than they would be as timber. By the way, the same thing applies to your job protection policy. In a democracy, folks might go along with you and ban those visas, because they are willing to bear the costs of maintaining those jobs. My problem is that the real costs are more far reaching than are typically considered in policy discussions on the issue.


Well, being that we do not drill for oil in the many places that we are prohibited from drilling, well there goes the free market concept. Perhaps we would be self-sufficient.
I guess as long as people drive their SUVs and guzzle the gas, the consumer will hinder all attempts to develop other technologies to effectively use energy or create energy alternatives. Then there is the environmental folks who also obstruct as well.
There are a lot of factors at play, and many of them are neither market or economic driven.
_________________________
"If we lose a hundred troops a week, then Dean will be our next Prez." Jack V, avid Dean supporter with no concern for the troops.

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#525462 - 11/17/03 09:29 AM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Samuel Catalino Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/99
Posts: 4447
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean R Milburn:


No, I'm not backing of on it. Based on my reading of Acts, I'm convinced that the early church was communal. Here's why:

1. the relevant verses all support this interpretation, in fact I think all you're disputing is whether the sharing of property was a one time event related to Pentecost.
2. I believe that the verses immediately subsequent to the originally quoted verses in Acts 2, indicate a passage of an indefinite period of time.
3. Thus I don't think the description in verse 4 is a mere repetition of what occurred in Acts 2. It (along with much of the first part of acts) serves as a description of how the church lived generally in the days when it was still a small Jewish sect.
4. I concur that the cautionary tale is a warning. But if the sharing of property was a one time event, what is it a warning of? Seems to me, it's a warning to share everything with the believers and to hold nothing back.

That's pretty much it. I see where you're coming from, it's just not the reading I get from it.


1. That is true, but after that event, there is no mention of property dividing or the practice being continued, which is why I reject your view that the early church was a communal by the definition you cited and further readings about the early church in the Bible does not support that.
2. I do not. I believe it is a very short span of time and see nothing that goes contrary to that conclusion.
3. I also disagree, I believe it may have been the first act of the early church and did not last but for a short period of time. Nor are there any places in the New Testament that continue this practice beyond those two days in question.
4. I see that it is a warning not to lie or deceive the Holy Spirit, that is what it looks like to me. To think anything else could mean to infer something that is not there or to place your own meaning there. The transgression mentioned there was "deceiving the Holy Spirit", not a failure of sharing the proceeds of the property.
_________________________
"If we lose a hundred troops a week, then Dean will be our next Prez." Jack V, avid Dean supporter with no concern for the troops.

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#525463 - 11/17/03 10:33 AM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Dean R Milburn Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/99
Posts: 2043
Loc: Indianapolis
Quote:
I believe we shall have to agree to disagree on that note.

The definition of moral is consistent throughout time, through late Middle English. And Ethics is the science of Morals, or customs.

I am sure you may find other examples of words coming from Latin and Greek that meant something else other than their English counterpart, or that it had another meaning, perhaps as a piece of tail for expressions' sake.


A couple of issues.

1. If the meaning of moral (as both a noun and an adjective) has been consistent since the middle ages, it has consitently had to do with isssues of right vs. wrong. Given a position that morals are subjective, then they could indeed be considered to be customs, but not all customs rise to the level of morals. For example, it is customary in the United States to put ketchup on french fries. This is a custom with no moral content as it isn't right or wrong to put ketchup on french fries.

2. I think this is an example where we have two words from the same root, mores and morals, that no longer mean the same thing. Happens all the time as language evolves. A driver can be both a golf club and a chaffeur.

Quote:
We are at an impasse. I do not think that policy should favor one whose suffering is less than the other.


Provided that the one who is suffering more is a US citizen.

Quote:
And I answered this question before. Patriotism, which you casually dismissed and said that I sounded like some politician.

The definition that George H W Bush came up with pretty much sums it up, which seems to me to be globalism politically and economically. That I have mentioned before. No, I do not think it has to do with a graduate of my high school (Hulk Hogan, who was a few years ahead of me) who had a group called New World Order in the wrestling circles.


I know you said patriotism. I want to get at what that means exactly. Can you provide an underlying statement of what it means to you? And why my policy is unpatriotic?

I addressed GHWBush's use of New World Order above, let me know if there are any additional points from Bush that need addressed. We may just disagree with what Bush meant by the term.

Quote:
If this has to do with H1B and visas, it is not redistributive, as these are measures that have been implemented which are redistributive and do cause pain to those it directly affects.


Wrong again. If you raise the price of my SAP R3 implementation, then you are taking away from me the amount of that increased price. That's redistributive. If you want to say, its justified because I was never entitled to that lower price to begin with, that's one thing (although it really doesn't jibe with your stance on "theft"), but to deny it's redistributive is illogical.

Quote:
As for the progressive(which I like to refer as repressive for that is a more accurate description) income tax and your moral absolute to help those less fortunate than yourself, I find it wasteful (as I have stated in the best) and takes choice away from individuals who may favor some charities over the others. The policies you seem to favor give those people no choice in the matter.


Charitable contributions are fully deductible up to $139,500 in adjusted gross income (married filing jointly), they are typically 80% deductible after that, so for the vast majority of Americans, their tax bill should play no part in their decision to give to charity. People do have choice in the matter, at the ballot box. Just like everyone does in our society.

You see the government as wasteful, yet you are calling for what would have to be a massive bureaucracy to administer the many varied tariffs your policy implies.

Quote:
Only when trade is not fair in the classical sense. If free trade was indeed practiced as fair, I would not have a problem with it. When governments get involved in any way, shape or form, it is no longer free and no longer fair. That is why you have the problems we have.


Of course you want a lot of government involvement in the form of deciing what is and isn't fair. The WTO already exists to look into what is and isn't a fair tariff, and it looks as if we may be clobbered over the Bush steel tariff.


Quote:
It is also kind of interesting about the problems that Microsoft is having with Europe, and of course, China is going with Linux, so that should be interesting as well.


Okay.

Quote:
Unless the economy gets drastically worse, which in my opinion it may remain the same, there are no Democrat candidates that will defeat Bush, and I suspect there will continue to be gains in the Republican column, I suspect there shall be a Republican senator replacing the retiring Bob Graham.


Decent analysis, I'd add Iraq as a wedge issue. I don't think the economy has to get much worse if some populist dem can spin it as pretty damn bad. No coat-tails though, you're dead on about the congress.

Quote:
What do you think war is in its' purest form? I would say murder might be an accurate definition.


I'd disagree. Killing in a "just war" (to open up a different ball of wax) would not rise to the level of murder. Neither does self defense. All murder is killing, but not all killing is murder.

Quote:
Do you often relate things about people bringing people to a certain philosophy/religion without having the definition of that philosophy/religion?

If you don't have a definition of the philosophy, why did you bother to bring it up?


Actually the definition of Christianity that would be relevant here is Lewis', since he's the one who said Tolkein brought him to Christianity. I'm fairly certain Lewis occaisionally wrote on the topic, so if you are that interested, I'm sure his books are available at your local library.

And Sam, if we can't agree on the definition of simple terms like "moral" or "redistributive" or "progressive tax", I fail to see how discussing a defintion of Christianity will get us anywhere at all. Such discussion inevitably devolve into a "no true Scotsmen" type situation.

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Contracts in the legal sense.

My word is my bond, when I say I will do something, I do it. As a human being, I know we all have frailities and can fail. I accept this failing among others as I hope they accept mine.
If any choose to stab me in the back, I remember it.
I respect other people and their property and wish for it to be recripocated.
Does that give you an idea of where I am going with this?


Yeah, I think I know where you're going. Prinicple of non coersion and all that. Sounds like Libertarianism to me (classic liberalism). Combine that with your economic isolationism, and you get something a lot like Pat Buchanan.

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#525464 - 11/17/03 11:23 AM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Dean R Milburn Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/99
Posts: 2043
Loc: Indianapolis
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By the employer, you mean the contracting company that brought them over in the first place, right? They also sign contracts with this companies or their are understandings with these companies, and some of them are very unfair and do not comply with the laws of the United States and I have heard of some of these people sue the companies and other things that have happened to them. You would have to look this up yourself and do your research yourself


You're responsible for supporting your own assertions. If this is so pervasive you should have not problem coming up with some links. I've conceded that the treatment of the visa holders isn't always the best (the one that sticks out in my mind from looking at the topic a few years ago was tight living quarters (8 guys in a 2 bedroom apartment, often hot bunking). But this was because 1. They couldn't seek another job without going home and 2. They preferred staying here to going home.

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They were not restrictive at all. I don't think my grandfather came over to take someone's job though. Other of my ancestors were already here and did not immigrate to the USA.
There are reasons why policies became more restrictive, but I am sure you know what those reasons are.


The laws became more restrictive as the immigrants became less Northern European Protestant. It was xenophobia plain and simple. In terms of jobs, I'm not at all sure that the 2nd and 3rd generation Irish Americans were at all happy to see boats come ashore from Italy. But in time, the economy grew and there were enough jobs for all.

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They had student visas and they were not going to school. There are distinct possibilities that these (H1B and L1)visas could be exploited as well by terrorists. There are no security measures for them, if the terrorists decided to exploit them.


Sure they could be exploited, or they could sneak over the border the way thousands of other people do everyday. It's not a hard country to get into.

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Which is why we need to tighten up our security with immigration and our borders. We are too damn vulnerable!


Mind giving me the broad strokes on your immigration policy and border protection policy?


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Well, Africans were forced to come, I am not that familiar with Asians history. The immigration rules no longer favor Northern Europeans, so I do not know what your point is.


My point is this. You said that immigrants can go through the same thing everybody else did. My point being that the rule have shifted overtime. Not everyone has (or ever had) the same opportunity. Our ancestors (the ones who weren't here when the Europeans landed), had opportunities that don't exist today.


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I believe in the virtue of selfishness and the doctrine that you can not help others while your house is not in order, so I reject your misguided altruism.


I said, Pat Buchanan, perhaps Ayn Rand is more appropriate. While I reject self interest as a virtue, in the long run, your policy is counter to self interest, in that it results in a lower standard of living. You are also rather altruistic in your calls to reduce the pain of those displaced by the market. Under the virtue of selfishness, I should only care if it affects me, and frankly I'm more affected by higher IT prices than I am by Joe Programmer losing his job to an Indian national. Your "doctrine" is demonstrably false.

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Dean, you may say you do favor a one world government political structure, but by being an economic globalist, you will find you can not have one for without the other.
Your comments like "American caste" just seems to me that you favor a One World government political structure. That troubles me.
As far as I am concerned, I want a system that favors USA citizens as workers before any others.


Sorry to trouble you so. Even under your own criteria of favoring US citizens as workers, your policy is lacking since it will cost jobs in other parts of the economy. You have to deal with the unintended consequences.

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We shall never know until the Visa program is eliminated.


Nothing is sure Sam, but we have 150 years of economic theory and case studies to tell us what the likely effect is. Considering how much you agonize over the pain inflicted by the visa program, for you to shrug off the potential effects as "we'll see" is astonishing.

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The interesting thing about the tariff and the impace is that I wonder how many of those jobs were lost because of the current economic situation.


Like the studies haven't taken that into account. It isn't particularly hard to do with regression analysis.


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I believe you did mention that it backfired on Bush in that the Steelworkers are backing Dick Gephart(sp) (if I hear one more time about his father being grateful being a Union worker (which his brother said was a lie), I will go scream!)instead of Bush.


Yep, its backfired, and it will backfire again if the WTO allows retaliation for the tariffs. Retaliation specifically targeted at Pennsylvanian exports. Not that it has anything to do with whether or not the tariffs cost more jobs than they saved, which they did.

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Another interesting thing is that though the local paper was against the steel tariffs, it favors the citrus one and for reasons I agree with.
The reasons are not because of the cheap labor in Brazil, but of the numerous chemicals used there that are outlawed in the United States. Sure the price is lower, but what happens if the product causes long term effects?


Wow, a Florida paper supporting a tariff that helps a local industry while decrying one that doesn't. Will wonders never cease?

If there is fear of long term effects, then the products should be banned outright, not just made more expensive.

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For job retraining, you have to have an aptitude for the job you are retraining for.


Agreed, but folks holding down 100k IT jobs would likely have the aptitude for a great number of things, I'm sure they already possess good general management and project management skills, are probably conversant in other business functions and so on. I'll concede it's harder to find something for the high school drop out working in a textile mill.

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#525465 - 11/17/03 11:48 AM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Dean R Milburn Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/99
Posts: 2043
Loc: Indianapolis
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It is theft when you take from someone without their consent, isn't it? It just looks like you believe that the wealth and property never belonged to the person to begin with, or that seems to be the impression you are giving me. If the majority support this kind of theft, then out goes your moral absolutes as they are dictated by the whims of a passing fad. That does not make sense to me.


We have a major paradigm difference here. You see property rights as innate and absolute (well as absolute as they can be with the kind of restrictions you place on the utilization of labor). I see property rights as deriving from the society itself. (part of it is religious conviction, it all belongs to God, He's just letting us use it). So ultimately society determines what is and isn't appropriate use of those rights. Society having created the framework (in many ways, but particularly the protection of property rights), is entitled to a piece of the proceeds. It's no more theft than it is to take wealth for immigration controls, or border protection. Or would you fund those policies some other way?

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I only favor fair trade, and any redistributive policy I would support would be to make it an even playing field between the countries.


With an even playing field there is no propensity to trade. That's why its called the theory of comparative advantage. No advantage, no trade. You've still never told me how you'd deal with the advantage provided by sheer labor force size, even if you eliminate subsidies, tax breaks and what not.

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#525466 - 11/17/03 12:35 PM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Dean R Milburn Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/99
Posts: 2043
Loc: Indianapolis
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I can't believe you wrote that. Ask the people who lost their friends and family that were murdered at the WTC their economic value. The terrorist's ultimate objectives are political, not economic. It also created a demand for security which sapped from the economy where those resources could have been used some where else. Not to mention it gave us The Patriot Act and another useless beaurcracy, Homeland Security.


Oh get off your high horse and read what I wrote, I said even if there wasn't a legitimate national security concern, the policy would be justified under laissez-faire because of the economic costs. All I'm doing is responding to your absurd notion that a more open immigration policy would mean I had to let in terrorists. Sound human policy, sound political policy and sound economic policy would all dictate limiting terrorism.

Speaking of useless bureaucracies, what should we call your tariff ministry?


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I have answered that question before. Those inputs stay within the borders of the countries, they are not subject to visas nor do they go back and forth from country to country.


So you want to treat raw materials and capital equipment the same way as you treat labor? I would take that to mean that no nation could export these things. I was under the impression it would be okay for those things to cross borders, but not labor, so I thought you were being inconsistent. Now I see you're just anti trade. While not a good philosophy, it is consistent.


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I reject that as untrue. Immigration policy has nothing to do with those visas. It was government intervention to patch an imagined shortfall of labor and increased that surplus of labor that benefited corporations. It was a lie then, and is a lie now. Government intervened directly with the free market forces on the side of the corporations in this matter, for it was them who lobbied for the increase of the H1B visas, and most of this took place after the 2000 scare.


Reject it all you want, doesn't mean you're right. The government made the market freer. Your continued rejection of this reality is nuts. You're wrong about the timing of the H1-B bills, an expansion of the program was passed in 1998, with additional increases in the caps passed in 2000. Those increases lasted through 2003, and were allowed to expired, bringing the number of available visas from 195,000 to 65,000. At the time the last extension was past, the economy was still flying high, and salaries (and staffing) had yet to adjust to pre Y2K levels.

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I favor limited time in the USA for those visas and follow up on the students in that they are going to class and workers that are working in the USA and not bringing the whole family over to siphon off our resources, which is one of the reasons California has as many problems as they do.


I'll go along with your enforcement provisions, but of course all that means is that any potential terrorists will actually have to go to class. I am surprised that you favor any guest workers at all, with or without families. How do you propose to determine whether a guest worker is needed or just taking a job from an American?


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There is no need for it. I imagine it will all bear itself out in higher costs in IT in due time and those who planned it will say: "Gosh, it sure looked like a good plan at the time."


I imagine you're wrong. And like I said, if you're right, it's a huge business opportunity for someone. Since you've carefully limited your earnings, you might not have the capital to swing it, but maybe you can get a small finders fee from somebody.

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That is my point. If you have the enforcement, you don't need the redistributive bias.


While it would alleviate it, I don't believe that antitrust policy is enough to stop what I believe to be a detrimental inequality in wealth distribution. It's a step in the right direction.


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Dean, I am telling you that the bottom line that those who make the decisions above look at IT as a cost, not a wealth producing center. The only reason that IT exists at all is that prevents costs from rising.
You may say you save the company X amount of dollars on a certain project, but you have not produced wealth for the company.
I have worked for a number of large companies and know that to be the case.


You're wrong. Your example proves it. How is wealth created? When the value of the output is greater than the value of the inputs. The true value of the inputs and outputs is the amount of utility derived from them. In a market system, we measure this utility in prices. Thus the when the price of the goods exceeds the price of the inputs, then value is created. Monetized, that value is called profit. If an IT project keeps costs from rising (taking into account the IT costs), then value is increased. The same output is achieved with fewer inputs. But it doesn't stop there, the cost savings can then be invested in other projects that produced value, and so on, so there is a multiplier.


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You may say you save the company X amount of dollars on a certain project, but you have not produced wealth for the company.


Just think about what this statement means. What does saving "X amount of dollars mean"? How is that money saved? By not spending it on additional inputs. Thus the productivity in total has increased because we have created the same output for fewer inputs. By definition we have created additional wealth.

I apologize in advance if there is some old English root of wealth that gives it a different meaning that the one I am using.

If this is not how those at the top of the companies you've worked for consider IT investments, please let me know the names of those firms, I want to short-sell their stock.

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#525467 - 11/17/03 01:01 PM Re: Nutty laws in Vermont....?
Dean R Milburn Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/99
Posts: 2043
Loc: Indianapolis
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Well, I am a citizen of the USA first. I am not a globalist, nor do I want the UN to dictate to my country what to do and how to do it.

I reject the NWO, and the UN. I do not favor an isolation role (for such is impossible) for my country, but favor my country first among all others. I respect other citizens of other countries' right to do likewise.


I saw nothing in GHWBush's use of the term "New World Order" nor the dictionary definition of "globalism" (which actually specified "national" policy) that says anything about UN dictates. Is there some additional definition I need to be aware of? Was I incorrect in using GHWB's definition of it?

When other nations enact policies to put their citizens first, you decry that as unfair, and want to counter. That's all well and good, but then they counter and we counter and so on. Ultimately, nobody is trading, and we are all worse off.

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Being that those call centers we are talking about are overseas and give no tax revenues, it makes the point moot.


Being that the call centers are outsource or expat operations of American firms, the point is not at all moot.

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Well, time will tell. In the meantime, you can end up with frustrated consumers who have to deal with substandard service and as that is the trend that all companies are going, it will ultimately not benefit either the consumer or the corporation and just create more animosity between the two. It is just an economy of effort, or waste thereof.


Until some intrepid entrepreneur sees the market need and jumps into the breach. Where or where will we find him? Sarcastic? Sure, but that's what market theory says will happen. Why don't you think so?

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The thing is that the consumer can either choose to purchase it or not to purchase it. Bang goes the redistribution. Of course, if the corrective action is taken prior to all of this taking place, the jobs stay here, and that is what we really want, don't we...to stop it before it happens?


You're right, the consumer chooses, and what happens if they don't buy the product at a higher cost? What happens to the jobs you saved then? You need to think this through Sam. You see saved jobs, end of story.

I see that as just the beginning of a sad tale that leads to higher prices (which leads to lower spending on other items, which leads to reduced output which leads to lost jobs), I see lower output (caused by higher input costs, leading to lost jobs). I would rather stop those things before they happen.

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Easy. It is no longer an American corporation; however, if they choose not to move the production process, it should be considered as an American corporation for trade purposes.


Thanks. What about a company held by an American who takes Indian citizen ship?

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Well, being that we do not drill for oil in the many places that we are prohibited from drilling, well there goes the free market concept. Perhaps we would be self-sufficient.


The main benefit of foreign oil is production cost. The price of oil goes high enough, and it will begin to outweigh the effective value placed on the ANWR and so on. We've also got a lot of oil shale in the Rockies that has too high an extraction cost today.


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I guess as long as people drive their SUVs and guzzle the gas, the consumer will hinder all attempts to develop other technologies to effectively use energy or create energy alternatives. Then there is the environmental folks who also obstruct as well.
There are a lot of factors at play, and many of them are neither market or economic driven.


Actually they're mostly economic. SUV's exist because gasoline is so cheap (look at it historically adjusted for inflation), that gasoline cost is not that much of a consideration. Compare that to the 1970s when gasoline was very high compared to historical values, and there was a shift toward more economical cars. You're right, until gasoline becomes comparatively more expensive, you will see few attempts to replace gasoline engines on a large scale (unless R&D makes the the non gas cars as good, but cheaper). Environmental considerations are also market driven. There is a value placed on a clean environment. When the costs of having that patch of forest outweigh the benefits society places on it, it will be cut down.

Whether we drill in the ANWR or not, I doubt my great grandchildren will be driving cars for which gasoline derived from crude oil is the primary source of propulsion. The cheapest available supplies will be drilled first, leading to higher and higher gas prices from about 2020 on out. At some point a different fuel will be substituted, because it is more cost effective.

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