Vic says, " Even trying to compare them is silly at best."
So now when you see that the logic we've used for years with cars (identify the existing problems, and fix them, one by one) is not what you want to do with guns, you reject your own initial statement. Is there a reason why you don't want to examine why people are being killed so often, and doing what can be done to stop it? You'd make a great lawyer for criminals..
Vic, that's a good idea (apply the same logic to cars). Auto fatalities now are about half what they were 25 or 30 years ago, and they are 1/5 what they were in 1940's. Every year changes are made to reduces the injury rate and the death rate.
Unfortunately, that's not what we are doing with guns. instead the gun death rate has been and continues to increase. The same logic and methods should be used in both cases.
w.heinlein, I'm certainly not concerned about inflation now, but can Ben Bernanke take that any further? Can that strategy help us now? I think probably not.
Some here have already complained that that money goes to the wealthy, and not to the middle class or poor. They are correct. The money went to the banks and to the companies that the banks have invested in, and lent money to. And who owns those banks and companies?
It the wealthiest among us who own almost everything. The top 20 percent own the banks and companies. 95% of all American wealth belongs to the top 20%. 80% of Americans have just 5% of the total, none home, wealth. And when the top 20% become even wealthier with all that money Ben Bernanke gave to the banks, what do they do with it? Well, they save it. They invest it. And most importantly, they don't spend it.
Until and unless Bernanke's money (or the wealth of the top 20%) is used to buy goods and services, the economy will remain in the doldrums. Ben now needs to find a way to put all that cash in the hands of the 80% who will spend it, rather than in the hands, again, of the top 20%, who will not spend it. The banks have been saved. Now it's time to save the American economy.
A half million guns are stolen form people who don't know how to care for them properly. Thousands more are sold to criminals and the mentally ill. If we just solved those two huge problems, we would see the number of gun deaths begin to drop.
Then, if we are still killing more citizens than most other countries, we can look for something else that might still be causing the problem. There should be no reason at all to take away guns owned by people who handle and use them safely.
The debate is actually fairly simple: Do we want to take guns out of the hands of criminals and those who don't know how to safely use them or not? That is the entire debate. The one that we all must decide.
If we decide to take guns out of the hands of criminals and those who can't or don't know how to use their guns, then the number of guns in circulations will begin to drop, and the number times that guns are used to kill people will also drop. It will take a lot of work, and a lot of time, but first we need to decide to do it. If we don't decide to take gun out of the hands of criminals, then we will continue to see 2,500 or more people die from gun fire every month.
That's the decision ot be made, and toe consequences of the result of the decision.
Sadly, you may be right, SS. The small arms treaty may again not be supported by the US, for political, but entirely irrational reasons. You may agin again be able to show how strongly you support the ability of US and other gun manufacturers to secretly send millions of guns to the likes of Al Qaeda, Hamas, and dozens of other terrorist organizations, worldwide.
SS, there's a good reason that any cry for more refineries was ignored by the oil companies. We don't need the oil or gas!
Gasoline usage peaked at about 9.4 million barrels a day in 2006 and 2007. Since then, the demand for gasoline has been dropping (with minor blips due to the recession). In 2012 gasoline usage was at just 8.8 million barrels - down more than 1% a year. and the drop continues. The reason for the drop is simple. People are now buying cars that get 40 mpg, or even 50 mpg. Or they don't use any gasoline at all, as they are powered with natural gas, or electricity.
In the past when a company built a new refinery, they would make one with a capacity greater than what they actually needed to provide for future growth. But now, they don't need more refineries because the demand is dropping, and they know it will continue to drop well into the future. There is no future growth. In general, any refinery that is running at 99% capacity now will probably only be able to work at 90% capacity in the not to distant future.
SS says, "I only wish we were smart enough to utilize it ourselves"
That used to be the conservation message of our business and government leaders, and most citizens: use our oil slowly and carefully so we will have what we need in the future. But, sadly, today's Republicans have completely abandoned that philosophy. They now push us to build it now and use it now, with little, if any, regard for the future.
The history of our refineries over the past couple of decades is one of growth and consolidation. In the not too distant past, we had dozens of companies running at least 400 oil refineries, which each ran at maybe 70% or 80% of their capacity. Oil companies have, over the past couple of decades, bought smaller refineries, and often simply put them out of business and closed them. At the same time they have increased the operating capacity of their biggest refineries, and run them as close to full capacity as possible.
The result, today, is that we have at most 100 big refineries run by just a few companies. These big refineries now run close to 99% of their maximum capacity. That's good for profitability, which is the oil companies only corporate requirement, but it's not so good for national availability, safety, or defense. It provides no safeguard or security for the times when one or more refineries are taken offline for whatever reason.
Sadly, the conservatives are gone. And there is no one left to push for any control of the promiscuous and uncontrolled use of our existing resources.
SS, maybe you didn't actually read what I wrote? I said that local property taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, and more need to be cut. These local taxes are now being used to build and maintain infrastructure that is used by many American citizens who paid nothing for it.
And duh, that is exactly the problem that we have been experiencing for the past decade or more (Texas taking over for the Feds). The feds stop paying for something we need, so the states must pick up the slack. But the states won't collect enough taxes to cover the additional costs, so they push it down to the local cities and towns.
The change has been slow, but steady. My small town now pays thousands for groceries for the poor, unemployed, and sick in town. We pay for 90% of our school funding though local property taxes. There are two bridges on major roads here that are now closed because there is no money to fix them. And find illegal aliens? Not here. Local police here stopped a car filled with illegals a while ago. They were put in the local lockup and the Feds were called to come get them. The Feds wouldn't so the illegals were simply released.
These costs keep being moved down to the local property tax level. In my case, that's more than $12K for my little house (4 times what they were when we moved in). It's an explicit effort to transfer wealth from the middle class and the lowest classes to the richest among us. Taxes on income, investments, and wealth have continuously decreased, both federal and state. That leaves more and more for the wealthiest. At the same time taxes on homes, gasoline, and purchased good, such as clothing, food, furniture, and tools rise,in order to pay the additional costs at the local level. Taxes for the wealthiest are cut, while taxes for the middle class and poor continue to rise. It's the easiest form of wealth transfer, and we now see the results with the top 10% wealthiest dramatically increasing their wealth, while everyone else loses.
If we really want to fix the problem, then the Feds must increase taxes on income and investments, while local jurisdictions must drop taxes on real estate and necessary purchases, as it was back in the 1950's and 1960's. There is no other solution.
Now wait a minute, SS. According to your "logic", you're happy to let your health insurance premiums double every year (as you said recently), in order to pay your doctor whatever he wants. And now your doctor is quitting became he tells you he can't double his fees any more? But you blame someone in Washington, DC for that? You may be right, but maybe we could find a way to let you pay your doctors twice as much as the rest of us pay just to keep you happy.
Here are food stamp recipients by state (2008 data);
New York 2,025,853
Looks like it's pretty much in order of population (although California has a bigger population than Texas)
San Andreas Fault?
Both I5 and Rt. 101 cross California along about the same route that any north-south high-speed railroad would follow. And both roads are subject ot the same earthquake dangers that a railroad would have. Hundreds of billions have been spent on those highways, as well. Are you saying that we should just abandon those highways because there might be an earthquake some time in the next century?
And you are just wrong about the travel times. It's about 400 miles from LA to San Francisco. Most plane fights take a little under 2 hours. And, surprise, at about 200 mph, that;'s about the same time the high speed train would take, too. (Max speed for the train will be 220 mph).
But, I can see why many airlines might fight hard against such a high speed train. Given the current state of airports, and the existing on-board services and comfort, such a train would probably drain a lot of their customers. Perhaps you would continue to ride the airplanes, but many will prefer the leg room, meeting spaces, and maybe even restaurants on the trains for the 2 hour trip.
SS, you are correct (in your other reply that i can't respond to) when you say that, "More people are killed by golf clubs and baseball bats than rifles of all kinds," Here are he actual numbers for 2011:
Note that this is only for homicides, and does not include gun deaths by suicide, or accident, which are probably similar, (And there are 4 or 5 times more gun suicides and accidents than homicides)
Homicides by weapon.
Blunt objects (clubs, etc): 496
Hands, fists, feet: 728
(There are a few others in the low double digits or single digit range)
As you can see, you did not answer the question that is being asked.
About 2,500 US citizens are killed with guns in the US every month. And many, if not most, of them are the gun owners, or their friends or family. But there are not going to be any quick changes. It will probably take at least a generation before we can see any big changes, because what is really needed is a cultural and philosophical change in people's views on their need for a gun. Those changes will be quite slow to happen, however, because almost everyone thinks, "it can't happen to me.."
But you must know thta no such promise was ever made. The promise made in the ACA wast that you could keep your insurance with the same insurance company that you have used. But, this is also a free market. Insurance companies compete. They change insurance policies every year. (Did you really think that the government would freeze every private insurance policy exactly as it was in 2009?) Insurance companies compete, and they will also change their prices in order to remain competitive in their business.
Are you really complaining that the insurance industry is still a (relatively) free market run by private companies who continue to change their products in order to remain competitive? If you really want insurance policies that don't change from year to year, then your only alternative is to have the government do it.
I'll put my response to sstail here, as Yahoo doesn't let me reply to his port.
ss says, "My company provided health care doubled in price, "
And my HPQ provided health insurance increase in price this year, by less than we've seen in many years - less than 1% this year for our family of 4. One example does not make a trend, but what we are paying to HPQ this year supports the reports that I've read that say that health insurance costs are up less this year then they have been in a decade or more.
And also parts of Obamacare have already begun, and more pieces of it will start every year until about 2018, when it will finally be completely enacted. Perhaps the biggest change (the one that requires that everyone have insurance), does begin in 2014, though.
I see a bunch of reports that say that health care costs are rising more slowly now then they have in 15 years. Reports say that employers are seeing a 5% increase in health care costs, the lowest increase they have seen in many years. But, the other side of that coin is that employers are also making their employees pay most of that increase themselves, keeping employer costs to a minimum.
I would be very skeptical of any report that says that individual health insurance premium costs might need to rise by as much as 100%. I might understand if insurance companies said that their total income from premiums (not the individual premium price), might increase by a lot, because they will have quite a few new customers soon, so their sales and income would increase. But, there is no reason for actual health care cost to rise a lot, and in fact, it is probably going to level out and maybe even decrease a little in the future.
And there's the big issue - Some companies - a few companies that provide more choices. Unfortunately, most Americans don't work for those few companies, or even for the companies with fewer choices. And that's why 1 in 6 Americans still have no health insurance, and little access to health care, except for trips to the ER, which end up being very expensive for everyone, including tax payers.
Some people in Ethiopia have excellent health insurance and health care, too, but that's probably not the model we want to follow.