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The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. Message Board

karlvanderslootiii 8 posts  |  Last Activity: Aug 16, 2014 8:14 AM Member since: Aug 7, 2012
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  • I needed a couple oil filters for my cars. I use the K&N HP1010 because its a really good filter and good or synthetic oil which I use. I checked out the price on Walmart. Walmart online sells it for $31.88 and Amazon sells it for $10.97. Walmart should just shut their online sales site right now because there aren't that many stupid people out there to sustain it.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii Jun 3, 2014 4:14 PM Flag

    Don't know about their soda but they had a good sale on their stock yesterday. Up 4% today after earnings. No matter if you want soda, paper towels, dishwashing liquid or company stock, WMT is the wrong place to go for all.

  • Oh yes, I know what you’ve heard. And it’s true, as the state’s boosters like to brag, that Texas does not have an income tax. But Texas has sales and property taxes that make its overall burden of taxation on low-wage families much heavier than the national average, while the state also taxes the middle class at rates as high or higher than in California. For instance, non-elderly Californians with family income in the middle 20 percent of the income distribution pay combined state and local taxes amounting to 8.2 percent of their income, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy; by contrast, their counterparts in Texas pay 8.6 percent.

    And unlike in California, middle-class families in Texas don’t get the advantage of having rich people share equally in the cost of providing government services. The top 1 percent in Texas have an effective tax rate of just 3.2 percent. That’s roughly two-fifths the rate that’s borne by the middle class, and just a quarter the rate paid by all those low-wage “takers” at the bottom 20 percent of the family income distribution. This Robin-Hood-in-reverse system gives Texas the fifth-most-regressive tax structure in the nation.

    Middle- and lower-income Texans in effect make up for the taxes the rich don’t pay in Texas by making do with fewer government services, such as by accepting a K-12 public school system that ranks behind forty-one other states, including Alabama, in spending per student.

    Moving a business to Texas also turns out to have tax consequences that are inconsistent with the conservative narrative of the Texas Miracle. Yes, some businesses manage to strike lucrative tax breaks in Texas. As part of an industrial policy that dares not speak its name, the state government, for example, maintains the Texas Enterprise Fund (known to some as a slush fund and to others as a “deal-closing” fund), which the governor uses to lure favored businesses with special subsidies and incentives.

    But most Texas businesses, especially small ones, don’t get such treatment. Instead, they face total effective tax rates that are, by bottom-line measures, greater than those in even the People’s Republic of California. For example, according to a joint study by the accounting firm Ernst & Young and the Council on State Taxation, in fiscal year 2012 state and local business taxes in California came to 4.5 percent of private-sector gross state product. This compares with a 4.8 percent average for all fifty states—and a rate of 5.2 percent in Texas. With the exception of New York, every major state in the country, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, has a lower total effective business tax rate than Texas. If you think that means Texas might not offer as much “liberty” as advertised, well, you’re right.

    The same study compares how much businesses in different states pay in taxes for every dollar they get back in government-provided benefits. Using methodology developed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the study first allocates public spending between households and businesses. Certain expenditures, such as for health care and welfare, are treated as benefiting only households; others, such as for police, fire, and highway transportation, are treated as benefiting businesses as well. The big question mark here is how to treat education spending, since businesses differ in how much education they require from their workers. But regardless of how that allocation is made, California businesses as a whole still get a far better deal on their taxes than those in Texas.

    For example, under the assumption that spending on education benefits only households and not businesses, California businesses pay $2.30 in taxes for every dollar they get in benefits, while Texas businesses pay $5. By this measure, Texas is the ninth-worst state in the country in the cost/benefit ratio it offers businesses on their taxes. Assuming that 50 percent of education spending benefits business, California businesses pay $1 in taxes for every dollar they get in benefits, while Texas business pay $1.50. Either way, it’s no wonder that Texas’s economic development efforts rely so heavily on (largely false) advertising.

    The business case for Texas does not speak for itself. It may be a great place to be a big oil or petrochemical company, or a politically favored large corporation able to wring out tax concessions. Its state laws are also hostile to unions, and its wage levels are generally lower than in much of the rest of the country. But for the vast majority of businesses, which are small and not politically connected, Texas doesn’t offer any tax advantages and is in many ways a harder place to do business. This is consistent with Census Bureau data showing that a smaller share of people in Texas own their own business than in all but four other states.

    Before the 1980s, Texas followed a long, populist tradition that tried to protect family farmers and other small-scale businesses and consumers. Under its 1876 constitution, for example, Texas enacted consumer protections against predatory mortgage lending, with provisions that ironically helped to hold down foreclosures in Texas during the Great Recession. In 1889, Texas became the second state in the country to enact an antitrust law. Two years later, it further pioneered government regulation of big business by establishing the Texas Railroad Commission, which went on to protect wildcatters and other small-scale oil producers by regulating the oil industry in ways that kept outside Goliaths like Standard Oil at bay. But since the 1980s, “pro business” in Texas has more and more come to mean just pro Big Business.

    The comparatively low levels of entrepreneurship in Texas in turn help to explain its comparatively low rates of upward mobility over the last generation. Here the evidence comes from a recent study, led by Raj Chetty and colleagues at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, which tracked children born into families of modest means in different parts of the country and determined how many of them managed to move up the economic ladder when they became adults. The findings are illuminating.

    In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, children who grew up in families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution had only a 12.2 percent chance of rising to the top fifth as adults. Those who grew up in or near San Diego or Los Angeles had even lesser odds—only 10.4 and 9.6 percent, respectively. It’s depressing that for so many Californian children, the chances of realizing the American Dream are so slim. But California looks like the land of opportunity compared to Texas.

    In the greater Austin area, children who grew up in families of modest means had only a 6.9 percent chance of joining the top fifth of earners when they became adults; in Dallas, only 7.1 percent; in San Antonio, just 6.4 percent. Yes, Texas offers more chances for upward mobility than places like Detroit and some Deep South cities like Atlanta. Yet the claim that Texas triumphs over the rest of America as the land of opportunity is all hat and no cattle. Children raised in the postindustrial wasteland of Newark, New Jersey, during the 1980s, it turns out, had a better chance of going from rags to riches than did children born in Houston, which was the best city in Texas for upward mobility during that time.

    No wonder then, that the flow of Americans moving to Texas is so modest. The state may offer low housing prices compared to California and an unemployment rate below the national average, but it also has low rates of economic mobility, minimal public services, and, unless you are rich, taxes that are as high or higher than most anywhere else in America. And worse, despite all the oil money sloshing around, Texas is no longer gaining on the richest states in its per capita income, but rather getting comparatively poorer and poorer.

    It’s hard to think of any two states more different than Texas and Vermont. For one, Texas has gushers of oil and gas, while Vermont has, well, maple syrup. As early as the 1940s, Texas surpassed Vermont in per capita income. Vermont had virtually nothing going for it—no energy resources except firewood, no industry except some struggling paper mills and failing dairies. By 1981, per capita income in Vermont had fallen to 17 percent below that of Texas. That year, the state’s largest city elected a self-described “democratic socialist,” Bernie Sanders, to be its mayor. Vermont, it might seem, was on the road to serfdom and inevitable failure.

    But then a great reversal in the relative prosperity of the two states happened, as little Vermont started getting richer faster than big Texas. By 2001, Texas lost its lead over Vermont in per capita income. By 2012, despite its oil and gas boom and impressive job creation numbers, Texas was 4.3 percent poorer than Vermont in per capita income.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii Jun 23, 2014 5:08 PM Flag

    You republicans give meaning to the world absurd. You say she shouldn't run because she takes one drug yet you were very confident that 5 heart attack Cheney could take over the role of president and all those heart problems were nothing to worry about. You can keep trying with your silliness but Hillary is not going away and will be the next president of the United States of America. 8 years of Hillary is going to be unleashed on the republican party.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii Jul 2, 2014 8:48 PM Flag

    So if you want to pay a lot of taxes and make very little money then Texas is the place for you.

    "Texas has more minimum-wage jobs than any other state, and only Mississippi exceeds it with the most minimum-wage workers per capita."

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii Aug 16, 2014 8:14 AM Flag

    Do you have something against drunks? Alice Walton isn't going to like that.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii Aug 9, 2014 10:25 PM Flag

    That's dumb whats even dumber is the republicans want to sue Obama for doing his job.

  • karlvanderslootiii karlvanderslootiii Aug 6, 2014 8:47 AM Flag

    Excuse me. I can't speak for anyone else but I know that our net worth has tripled under President Obama. How do I know this, you may ask. I worked for a number of years in the casino industry and because of my position, I had a Class I license and in order to renew my license each year, part of the what was required was to turn in a net worth form with supporting documents and in case one might try and alter the supporting documents, me and my wife had to sign a document that gave them access to any of our accounts. Talk about government intrusion. You don't have to go through this to be president. They could go to our bank, brokerage, etc., present this document and they could get any information they wanted. I did take an early retirement two years ago but we continue to figure our net worth each year because it is a great exercise and everyone should know exactly what's going on in their financial life. I have proof that our net worth has tripled and in fact, a little more than tripled.

    On another note, I also trade a lot of stocks and I do my own taxes with Turbo Tax. I could easily import that information to Turbo Tax and that would be so easy but instead I enter each stock trade individually myself and spend probably four hours entering the info. It would be so much easier just to import the info from my brokerage and would be done very quickly but I found that its a great exercise to do each year. When you trade as many stocks as I do each year, you forget about a lot of the trades. By entering them individually, you go through a great review of what you did before and more importantly are given a reminder of what you did right and the mistakes you made during the year. I know that by reviewing my mistakes, I have avoided those same mistakes in future trades. It has nothing to do with my net worth but thought I would throw that out there because it really does help a lot to do a yearly review .

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