Paul Bonnifield: Start of a golden age

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Dear editor,

I see America and its future in a much different way than Joe Meglen’s article, “The state of the union: Unleash free markets that made America great.”

When I was a boy, people talked about the terrible conditions while living in Routt County’s company mining town. Miners were required to live in company houses or rooming houses. Rent was set by the company. Employees were forced to buy at the company store. Pay was in script and not real money. Mine safety was a farce. Annually, men were either hurt or killed, and company spies were everywhere. Working conditions resulted in several bloody labor wars.

The New Deal’s Wagner Acts placed strict federal regulations and standards on mining companies. Now, miners own their own home, pay is in real money and mines are safer. Bloody labor wars ended with government intervention.

In his autobiography, “The Confession of a Maverick,” Ferry Carpenter tells of a destitute old man who applied to the county’s poor fund. They gave him a box of 22 shells to shoot jackrabbits. Before Social Security, getting old was a fearful experience for many Americans.

Since then, millions of Americans have lived out their last years in relative comfort. Despite its success, conservatives continue to criticize it for restricting free markets, being too expensive and promoting socialism. Nonetheless, millions of Americans depend upon Social Security and millions more are looking forward to drawing it.

The national debt was out of control. Government was smothering business under regulations. The national government was too large and invading everyone’s life. Taxes were crushing individuals and business.

Instead of failing, it was a golden age with real income going up for many Americans. It was the epic of the greatest generation in American history, and conservatives look back at it with nostalgia.

The 1960s and ’70s were one of the wildest rides in our history. The nation witnessed immense changes. Many ultraconservatives have refused to accept the changes. The Civil Rights Acts resulted in women and minorities having more freedom and opportunity than any time in all history. Because of the Environmental Protection Agency, our corporations no longer dumped raw sewage into rivers, and our air became safer to breathe. Because of federal regulations, our food was safer to eat. Federal medical assistance allowed people to correct hundreds of health problems rather than suffer. We live longer and healthier lives. We depend upon our government to meet the constitutional responsibility of providing for the common defense and general welfare.

Right now, Americans are freer than in the past. They are living longer and enjoying their last years. Opportunities are plentiful for those who see it and have the courage to try. The nation’s future is bright. We have no problems we cannot overcome. We are our own worst enemy. We must stop feeling sorry for ourselves and preaching gloom and doom.

We’re not on our deathbed. We’re at the beginning of a grand and golden age.

Paul Bonnifield

Yampa

Comments

Joe Meglen 4 months, 1 week ago

Paul,

“We depend upon our government to meet the constitutional responsibility of providing for the common defense and general welfare.”

The only purpose of government in our Constitutional Republic is to protect individual rights and defend the United States. You welcome a government solution for every issue and justify it in your articles by misusing the general welfare clause. The general welfare is used in the preamble to the Constitution. Absent a literal interpretation government has used this clause to justify controlling nearly every aspect of our lives. In doing so government attempts to usurp the unalienable rights codified in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Government does not have the lawful authority to legislate away our unalienable rights.

Preambles do not constitute power or law. James Madison, the father of the Constitution, made it clear that the preamble had absolutely no legal force. A preamble is not law. It is an introduction.

Article 1 does include a reference to general welfare. Once again James Madison made it crystal clear that the federal government can not use the general welfare clause to do anything and everything it thinks might advance the general welfare. Dictators and oppressive governments always claim that everything they are doing will advance the general welfare. If the general welfare clause meant that the government could do anything it wanted to advance the general welfare then there would be no need to list the specific and limited powers of the government. The general welfare clause would then make the rest of the Constitution meaningless.

“Right now, Americans are freer than in the past.”

The federal government, in collusion with the unconstitutional Federal Reserve System, has bankrupted our country enslaving generations beyond ours to pay for a debt that can never be paid. We, our children, grand children and great grand children are tax and debt slaves. “Right now”, if a person lives to be 90 years old, between direct taxes and the secret tax of inflation, 90% of our income will be confiscated from us. That is not freedom. It is slavery.

We agree when you state that we should not feel sorry for ourselves. What we need to do is recognize reality. The people need to understand how the unlimited growth of government destroys freedom, and then do something about it.

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Fred Duckels 4 months, 1 week ago

Paul must be taking advantage of marijuana legalization and he has found a tree with money in place of leaves. The whole secret is to vote for those willing to live beyond our means and not above a little fib now and then. What could possibly go wrong?

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Eric Morris 4 months, 1 week ago

Yes, more government regulation equals freer. Paul, please look up defintion of regulation itself before claiming muricans are freer than in the past.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 1 week ago

Is freedom measured as freedom from government or freedom from being hurt by others?

Does someone feel freer when able to enjoy a lake or river? Or when free from government regulations preventing them from polluting a river or lake?

I think it is clear that government laws can increase freedom when those laws are preventing clear and significant harm to the public.

Likewise, government can easily go overboard and regulate people's activities as part of some overall societal improvement without showing what is the harm in letting people make their own decisions.

And pot being legal in Colorado is an increase of freedom. There is simply no two ways about that. The harm of pot never came close to justifying it being illegal.

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mark hartless 4 months, 1 week ago

"So it was freedom as defined by Orwell and Kafka. Freedom as granted by Stalin and Hitler. The freedom to pace back and forth in one's cage." -RA Heinlein

The folks in Missouri yesterday define it as "Social Justice". The assumed right to retaliate with plunder and pillage and loot stores because the cops shot someone that looked like them.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 1 week ago

Are you really comparing current life in the USA as being comparable to living under Stalin or Hitler?

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Pat West 4 months, 1 week ago

He would have been hauled off and shot long ago if he had been this outspoken against Stalin or Hitler. His ability to rant are a part of the freedoms he denies.

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mark hartless 4 months, 1 week ago

Today many Americans define freedom as an ability (or right) to exist at the expense of others.

They gleefully celebrate this artificial "right" while staunchly defending it as "merciful" and "humane".

They completely ignore the hardships visited on those who are pillaged and plundered to make their comfy little existence possible.

They also usually define all hardships associated with man's natural struggles for food, clothing and shelter as oppression. Even though these struggles are universal, they believe they should NOT have to struggle, even if it means another must pull twice the load.

To them gubbamint represents freedom from the worries and concerns of providing for themselves, thinking for themselves. Just as cattle or sheep, they happily exist inside their masters fence, comsuming and believing what they are told.

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Chris Hadlock 4 months, 1 week ago

You can bitch and whine all you like. Funny thing is you are losing the argument in spite of all your heated comments. Paul got it right.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

Why do stock market crashes occur regularly? Everyone knows about them. Yet the majority always goes "all in" just before the crash. Why?

One key reason is that, while all crashes are similar, every crash looks just different enough from the last to fool the majority. Investors also have the notion that they are more "sophisticated" and "smarter" than the group that got fooled last time.

They also let greed keep them in when rational thought uncoupled from emotions would have sent them running for the exits.

The same is true of tyranny. Today many American serfs believe they are smarter and more sophisticated than the serfs of yesteryear.

Todays tyranny does not look like tyranny to them because they expect it only in the form in which it appeared last time; the form the seem to recall from their little teeny history book or from what they are told about it on network news or read when they "Google" Stalin or Hitler.

They also let greed keep them from seeing what they do not want to see. They have so much invested in their concept of how socialism will set us all free that they tell themselves it must be.

Those who want to see freedom see it, despite the drones flying over their back yard.

They see a golden age where freedom, like their real estate, would grow to the moon, despite having their every e-mail read; their every phone conversation recorded, their every street-crossing on video.

AS many of you as were wrong about real estate going up forever while you used your home like an ATM are wrong about your freedoms increasing under the watchcare of socialists; maybe even more.

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rhys jones 4 months ago

Chicken Little said the sky is falling, yet there it is.

I've been waiting for the Big Crash since the '70's -- and there have been several little ones -- yet here our States stand. Colorado blew off the Feds, went our own way -- no bad repercussions to date. That ain't free? Telling Big Brother to take a hike?

Every year gets better -- at least for me -- the economy and personal finances aside -- those will wax and wane. Every time I Google a tech problem, I realize how smart I'm NOT -- there are folks who run circles around me. The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. I thirst for it; there's not room in this head for all that could go there. My fight is not with other people -- it's with myself, to educate myself, get past my issues, become a better person. I am my major obstacle, along with my pre-conceived notions -- anybody can be wrong, including myself -- not to mention my big mouth, which gets me in more trouble...

No Fascists or Commies tell me where to work, or when to get up, or what to eat.

You can see the cloud -- or you can see the silver lining. Your choice.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

Rhys,

You used to often seem to enjoy opinijng about your lot in life; how the fed controls the $$$ and how you are poor, don't have a fancy car or home, bla, bla, bla. Yet today you see silver linings and celebrate your freedom although the Fed is more powerful today than the last time you claimed it had you by the balls!

The bread and circuses is working...??

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months ago

Good for you Paul, your glass is half full. Unfortunately I am just not seeing it your way. full disclosure I can gloom and doom with the best of them. Unemployment - WASHINGTON (NNPA) – The Black unemployment rate climbed from 10.7 percent in June to 11.4 percent in July, Unemployment among teenagers (16 to 19 years) stood at 20.2 percent in July 2014.

"The Bureau of Labor Force announcement that unemployment dropped from 6.3 percent in March to 6.1 percent in April was partly attributable to the more than 92 million Americans classified as out of the labor force, reducing the labor participation rate to 62.8 percent, a historic low dropout rate that has remained the same since April.

Adjusting the BLS unemployment number to report what is known as “U-6” – a measure that includes total unemployed, all persons marginally attached to the labor force and the total part-time employed for economic reasons – unemployment in April was 14.6 percent."

"The House Ways and Means Committee linked to an article published Aug. 4, 2013, by Associated Press economics writer Paul Wisemanthat said: “So far this year, low-paying industries have provided 61 percent of he nation’s job growth, even though these industries represent just 39 percent of overall U.S. jobs, according to Labor Department numbers analyzed by Moody’s Analytics.”

Wiseman noted part-time work has made up more than 77 percent of the job growth so far this year, with part-time work defined as being less than 25 hours a week.

Appearing on PBS’s “McLaughlin Group,” in October 2013, real estate mogul Mort Zuckerman said 88 percent of the jobs that had been created that year were part-time jobs."

according to an article from the Huffington Post (not exactly a fountain of conservative rantings) last July "WASHINGTON — Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

More from the same article "Nationwide, the count of America's poor remains stuck at a record number: 46.2 million, or 15 percent of the population, due in part to lingering high unemployment following the recession. While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white.

Stock Market - "More than three-quarters of Americans say the five year bull market in US stocks has had little or no effect on their financial well being according to Bloomberg National Poll."

National debt - $5.674 trillion in 2000. $16.738 trillion end of 2013

Inflation adjusted median national income - $51,681 in 1989. $51,017 in 2012

ISIS, HAMAS, IRAN, PUTIN, WASHINGTON D.C.

I could go on but enough gloom and doom for now. Maybe what Paul is saying is that things are so bad they can't get any worse? But hey, the sun just popped out, so time to get outside before the next rain event happens.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months ago

Hey how about it. I just noticed I ended my gloom and doom with some positives about sunshine. There is hope for me after all eh Rhys

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rhys jones 4 months ago

Yeah Dan you're doing okay. You realize every coin has two sides.

I would be counted among the poor in every category -- income, no stock portfolio, welfare (food stamps) -- but you don't hear me crying about it, lately anyway. I got myself into this mess, and I'll get myself out. I've got potential, and I'm acting on it. I could do much better in a big city -- not much high-tech here, not for an obscure apps programmer such as myself. I made the choice years ago, to stay here despite limited opportunity -- because our quality of life can't be beat. We see every day what the rich folks slave all year long just to get two weeks of. Then they're squabbling half the time they're here -- what kind of life is that?

I'd bet Mark's bank account has several more zeroes on the right side -- he has better vehicles -- property -- a home. And he's miserable, just sees doom and gloom.

I ain't got $#|+ -- a rented bedroom -- coupla changes of clothes -- two well-used computers -- an old truck I can't legally drive -- and my W2 gig has me washing dishes.

And I'm happy!! Because I see things getting better, not worse.

Life is what you make it. Some people will never be happy, and some will never not be.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

Rhys,

I could go back and pull some of your posts where you were bitchhing and fussing as much as the next guy. Back during the gun control dust-up you were irate. So don't come to me with this "I'm so happy and you're an angry ogre" crap.

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john bailey 4 months ago

and all you need is a fishing pole Rhys , tell me where to drop it off......

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rhys jones 4 months ago

Mark -- I can't say I was never bitter about developments and events -- just that the time came, I realized my bitterness served no purpose except to get myself worked up, there was nothing I or anybody could do -- yes the Fed does pull the strings on this farce, for their own gain, at our expense, and their stranglehold grows ever stronger -- and good luck fixing THAT. If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em, hence the dead-end W2 gig; my own enterprise of 20 years was going nowhere, still wilts on the vine. I finally got over most of that.

John -- What helped me get over it was a cool new gig punching keys. I learned enough failing at my own venture to succeed with somebody else's. I'm on my own schedule here, and I'd have a lot more time for it were it not for the W2 gig. But that'll wrap up for the season very soon, opening up all kinds of time for keys and lures -- I've always wanted to learn fly fishing and tying, the art of the presentation, and I hope I didn't buy that fishing license for nothing; I've just been WAY busy.

I don't have to go far for a thrill. Pretty soon I'll strap on my jet pack for a quick trip into cyberspace -- a journey into theory, as applied to reality -- worldly surroundings will become quickly irrelevant -- these trips can take some strange twists -- who knows where this stuff really happens; (I do) it ain't here -- or is it...? Ciao!! Fishing sounds fun too!!

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Michael Bird 4 months ago

I am always amazed at scholars of our Constitution who pick and choose what is or is not Constitutional. Our forfathers forsaw this when they ( they not just one but all ) saw the need for a Supreme Court to be the final decision maker. Only they have the Constitutional authority to decide legal conflicts. Not Joe nor any other living person. Sorry Joe - our Constitution excludes you and me. We can express opinions but have no authority as that is the whole point of the Supreme Court and our forfathers saw this. One can select whatever one wants from any writings but we are not the law of this land so we have no standing in law. And that is why the Federal Reserve or IncomeTaxes or anything else declared lawful by the Supreme Court is Constitutional regardless of anyone else's opinions..Nothing anyone can say can usurp this authority. We do have the power to change via constitutional amendments thtough.

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Michael Bird 4 months ago

And, yes, I know it is spelled forefathers. I am a poor typist.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

"...Supreme Court to be the final decision maker. Only they have the Constitutional authority to decide legal conflicts."

Yet the progressive left bitches about their decisions as much as the far right. Most recently bitching about their rulings that devastated Obamacare, etc. Before that bitchin' about their rulings that Corporations were people...

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Fred Duckels 4 months ago

The trials of years past that Paul describes as inhumane spawned the greatest generation. What will todays rigors of dependence spawn other than a generation of moochers.

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Dan Shores 4 months ago

Well said Paul! Congats on a fine article. Don't worry about the haters, they're gonna hate.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

And we all know that all opinions which run counter to Dans ARE hate.

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Fred Duckels 4 months ago

WIth a government job I can see how a person might see wisdom in Paul's reasoning.

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john bailey 4 months ago

ah , the golden age of socialism , can't wait...... does this mean I can quit working and ya'll gonna take care of my every want and need ? I can have some rather expensive tastes , just imagine a gold and diamond encrusted hula.....man I can just see it ,yes , yes I can....~;0)

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months ago

So Dan S. I just have to ask you. Is anybody that disagrees with Paul's article and by extension disagrees with you as you referred to the article as "a fine article" a hater. This is your exact quote. "Don't worry about the haters, they're gonna hate." I didn't notice any "hate" going on. People have opinions different then Paul and use this forum to express them. Had you complimented Paul on his article - no problem - but the hater part suggests to me that you have no tolerance for other opinions. Yes Mark H. and Chris H. used a little salty language but nothing out of bounds at least from my perspective. It's all part of the give and take of opinions. It appears to me that this is just one more instance of you ranting against any one that doesn't toe your party line and placing them in your silly little box.

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Pat West 4 months ago

Hater is a slang term the kids use for anyone that is not supporting whatever you are doing. Trolling is just being a dick for dicks sake on the internet.

I can't decide which applies to these posts.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months ago

So I am trying to figure out based on your definitions is Dan S. a hater or a troll. LOL. Hey Pat, you using some of that salty language now too. Nice. Yep I am trolling (-; cuz I am not a hater

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Karl Koehler 4 months ago

I'm curious Paul, do you think the EPA will be successful in putting those miners who now own their own homes and have seen their working conditions vastly improved as compared to the days of your youth out of work? And would that be a good development here at the dawn of the golden age?

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mark hartless 4 months ago

Hater: (n) ; a derogatory term used to describe people who are derogatory towards people; often used as an abusive ad hominem attack to dismiss any negative criticism.

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john bailey 4 months ago

and then we have posters like Saint Pat here , right ? I just love communism , see what its doing for our RCR14 , opps crap , off topic AGAIN , shame on me......

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mark hartless 4 months ago

I was just watching the news from Ferguson, Missouri. Seems the cops there have quite a selection of military provided tanks and armoured vehicles which they are using on civillians. (a violation of Posse Comitatus Act, by the way)

They have hauled a few reporters off to jail for taking their picture. Apparently one might have been interfering in police business but a couple others were just sittin' in a restaurant filming cops when they got hauled away.

I was wondering as I watched... How many of the residents of Ferguson would believe that the police killing un-armed people and using military weapons on civillians was part of Paul's New Golden Age of Freedom??

One of the ways that the progressive left's agenda has destroyed freedom is that the massive empowerment of big government is leading to the militarization of civillian police forces, thousands of no-knock raids into people's homes, and innocent civillians dying.

Again, I wonder how that fits the "Golden Age" narrative, exactly???

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mark hartless 4 months ago

Gun and ammo sales are spiking around Ferguson, Missouri.

I guess the folks back there are happy to at least have their 2nd ammendment freedoms anyway...

If you recall, it's the "Golden Age of Freedom" crowd that would put an end to THAT freedom, too, no??

In fact, this whole argument about the "Golden Age of Freedom" comming from leftists is funny, because if we do have tons of freedom it is in spite of the progressive left, not thanks to them.

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Chris Hadlock 4 months ago

yep, it's the 6th annual Obama's going to take all your gun sale this week.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

He's been the single biggest catalyst for gun sales in more than a generation.

Still, I don't hear anybody explaining to the good folks of Ferguson, MO how they are more free by getting shot and having their streets patrolled with military tanks...

Again, it's the "Golden Age of Freedom crowd that would wipe out Second ammendment freedoms if given half a chance.

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Pat West 4 months ago

And it's the lack of gun laws that has fueled the arms race among the police as they arm themselves to the level of ordinary citizens( or above) interesting system.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

There were fewer gun laws a century ago and cops didn't need tanks to keep the peace, so that statement if BS.

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Pat West 4 months ago

A century ago no one was stockpiling assault weapons, and ammo, or bombs, or building their own tanks and destroying Granby. As a response to this militarization of the public, police forces feel justified to raise their level of armament to be ready for any circumstance. So if we had better gun control, cops wouldn't need military hardware, but you say you need no gun control to protect yourself from government. I find it interesting that without your paranoia about the government, the government would not make itself into something to be paranoid about.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

Ordinary citizens don't have military tanks, armoured personelle carriers, forward looking Infa-red cameras mounted on helicopters, etc...

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Chris Hadlock 4 months ago

All policies approved and signed off by who again?

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mark hartless 4 months ago

By fans of big, powerful, centralized gubbamint... like ... YOU...

Of course there are big gubbamint republicans, just like democrats. I never said all the big gubbamint folks were on the left.

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Chris Hadlock 4 months ago

"the provision of military-style gear to local and state police at outlandish taxpayer expense began in earnest with the Reagan administration’s “war on drugs,” a disastrous policy failure whose consequences are just as far-reaching as the equally inept “war on terror” or the doomed invasion of Iraq.

But I’m sorry, liberals – you don’t get to blame the Republicans exclusively, or even primarily, for this one. It’s been a truly bipartisan effort. Militarizing the cops goes along with the larger package of “security” issues that Democrats in Congress have largely embraced for fear of appearing soft on crime and terrorism, from NSA surveillance to the drone wars to the prison-building boom."

Andrew O'Hehir

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mark hartless 4 months ago

Yep, Regean started the "War on Drugs" and Nixon started the EPA. So there are two stupid moves by republicans, right Chris???

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Chris Hadlock 4 months ago

Check the quote Mark. I believe I criticized both sides of the isle.

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rhys jones 4 months ago

Smoke and mirrors; a charade. The Brits still run America, via the Bank of England, majority stockholders in the Federal Reserve, which dictates all of our fiscal as well as foreign policies, manipulating things via the Prime Rate to best serve their interests, creating inflation via fractional reserve banking, and making slaves out of us, by sending our kids off to endless wars, which they fund by lending our taxes back to us, with interest of course, that's where the money is. They are invincible, a power unto themselves, subject to no authority other than their won. Their headquarters are fortresses. They will go to any extreme to insure their continued existence and necessity -- from blowing up our own WTC (it was a white elephant anyway) to killing our President: Three weeks after disbanding them via executive order, JFK was dead himself, and LBJ's first move was to reinstate them -- he heard the shots.

Their surveillance capabilities are awesome, and they control the media. We skirt international law and the Geneva conventions by hiring mercenaries to do the dirty work -- DynCorp, Blackwater, Anaconda... and if they die, they are not counted among American losses, as they are civilians, technically tourists.

As Alfred E. Newman used to say -- What? Me worry? You'll change the tides first, or get SW to shut up for a day. Some things you just have to accept, and move on.

I'm trolling now, hoping to soon have more time for fly fishing. There's a mess with my name on it now, though... gotta go serve da man.

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rhys jones 4 months ago

[other than their OWN -- correction; missed the 15-minute limit]

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Jeff Kibler 4 months ago

Yes Chris, you properly criticized both sides of the aisle [sic].
The simple immutable truth is: "An honest politician is an oxymoron."

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mark hartless 4 months ago

"Check the quote Mark. I believe I criticized both sides of the isle."

Yes Chris, and I agreed completely with that assesment, thank you.

Both "sides" do indeed have lots of big gubbamint fans and THAT is the problem, not whether you have a Donkey or Elephant for a mascot.

Big gubbamint pushes arming the cops like they are military, while supporters of big gubbamint generally support gun control.

Both of those facts mean LESS freedom for citizens as we move into the "Golden Age".

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Chris Hadlock 4 months ago

I still maintain that debate and discussion is the proper recourse. Arming yourself against police incursion will only lead to more shooting and death.

Yes, the Gov't has overstepped its bounds and needs to be reined in. That can be done without civil war. A militarized police force can be brought back under control with citizens taking back the reins by voting out the incumbents and making their opinions widely known.

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Fred Duckels 4 months ago

In Ferguson the shop owners were told that the law would not protect their stores and it was up to them. Guns anyone?

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months ago

police - can't live with them, can't live without them to Fred's comment "Owners of the raided stores expressed frustration that police, looking on nearby, didn’t stop the looters.

“I understand that you’re not safe either, but you still have a job to do now, and now you’re not doing your job,” Tanya Littleton, owner of the looted Feel Beauty Supply, said about police in an phone interview with CNN."

"Here’s someone else who was mystified:

Jay Kanzler, lawyer for Ferguson Market and Liquor [more about this store in a minute], said police did nothing to stop the looting in town.

“Don’t know why the … police didn’t do anything. They were told to stand down and I don’t know why,” Kanzler said.

Store owners had to take matters in their own hands:

Also targeted was Sam’s Meat Market and Liquor. After hearing that people grabbed chicken, bacon and spirits from their store, the owners arrived with guns and stood outside, warding off any further raids."

Here is the article the quotes are sourced from. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/385553/new-police-tactic-ferguson-betray-local-business-owners-rich-lowry

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months ago

Progress in the new "golden age". "The Times of India reports Robots Greet, Cook and Deliver Dishes at this Restaurant in China. It's more teatime than Terminator — a restaurant in China is electrifying customers by using more than a dozen robots to cook and deliver food. Mechanical staff greet customers, deliver dishes to tables and even stir-fry meat and vegetables at the eatery in Kunshan, which opened last week.

"My daughter asked me to invent a robot because she doesn't like doing housework," the restaurant's founder Song Yugang told AFP.

Two robots are stationed by the door to cheerfully greet customers, while four short but humanoid machines carry trays of food to the tables.

In the kitchen, two large blue robots with glowing red eyes specialize in frying, while another is dedicated to making dumplings.

Song told the local Modern Times newspaper that each robot costs around 40,000 yuan ($6,500) — roughly equal to the annual salary of a human employee.

"The robots can understand 40 everyday sentences. They can't get sick or ask for vacation. After charging up for two hours they can work for five hours," he added."

By the way, a fast food employee in Seattle that works 30 hours per week for 48 weeks per year at the new $15.00 per hour minimum wage costs over $20,000 per year, can call in sick, has to go through training and may quit at any time. Hmmmm

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Robert Huron 4 months ago

The poverty level for a family of 4 is $23600 in 2014 so if they are making a generous $15 an hour(effective in 2017) that gives them $21600 without benefits. For some reason I don't see that as a rich lifestyle. Would you work for that Dan? Hmmmm Would you rather see them on Gov't assistance like McDonald's tells their employees to do across the country to help maintain their $8 Billion profit a year? In reality the taxpayer is subsidizing McDonald's profits.

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Chris Hadlock 4 months ago

But Bob, regulation is bad. If we just let McDonalds know that they need to pay more, surely they will be a good corporate citizen and change their rates. McDonalds is an American citizen that will always do the right thing for the country after all.

That is what the Libertarian's and Tea Party believe right? After all, those poor people don't really have any work ethic or skills. They must not deserve any more.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months ago

Chris, Do you have a point you are trying to make cuz if you do I missed it. Looks to me that per Pat West you are trolling or hating on those who don't have your world view. LOL

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Chris Hadlock 4 months ago

Just trying to call attention to the fact that corporations do not and will not act for the good of anyone but their own profit interests. You cannot expect a business to make social welfare decisions or to realize that their pay scales need to change to reflect the upward trend in the cost of living. Corporations will ALWAYS do whatever makes their profit margins greater regardless of consequence. This is an area where Gov't regulation is necessary in order to create a level playing field for all.

Any individual that works 40 hours per week should be above the poverty line regardless of how many jobs is takes that individual to get 40 hours worth of work. Allowing a corporation to pay less than that only creates the entitled benefit class that so many are opposed to.

Simply put, hard work should be rewarded regardless of how unskilled that work may be. Minimum wage should be tied to the CPI in order to keep it current and not controlled by the whims of the politicians in charge today or any day..

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months ago

so then why not say that rather then hating on libertarians and tea party folks. I may not agree with all your points but at least this time you are offering an opinion which I am all in favor of. As in all walks of life there are "good" corporations and "bad" corporations. For most, unless they have a monopoly, they have to provide a service or goods at a fair price and make a profit. (Are you saying the government should tell the corporation how much profit they are allowed to make?) If not they are out of business and all those jobs are gone. Just out of curiosity, should an employee at McDonald's in New York City get paid more than one in North Platte, NE. If so how much more. Should an 18 year old high school graduate who works 40 hours at loaf n jug in Steamboat make $23,600 (poverty line family of four from Robert's post)if he has a family of four but only 1/4 of that if he is living at home with his parents. Should we slow down the illegals coming across the boarder to lower the number of people theoretically looking for work. Supply - demand and all that economic hocus pocus stuff. We have real issues in this country. The middle and less than middle class are being crushed by FED and government policies that are raising cost of food, energy, health insurance, college costs while median income is stagnant at best.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months ago

Robert, Well duh Robert. Of course that is not a rich life style. I am not sure what your point is. I started out working for and eventually managing a 7-11 and I can guarantee you I could not have supported a family of four on what they paid me. So I guess I could answer your question by saying that yes once upon a time on a galaxy far far away I did work for that. But it got me started, taught me some things about work ethic and in the long run was beneficial. My point, which apparently I did not make clear enough is that more and more jobs that can be done robotically will squeeze some people out of the work force. If corporations can substitute a $6500 robot for a $20,000 worker then there is a good chance they will. I am not trying to debate what the minimum wage should be today I am just pointing out that decisions have consequence and raising the minimum wage will cause businesses to re-evaluate their needs. Google iRobots, and this stuff is only going to get cheaper. I know, I know - corporations evil, capitalism bad. Don't tell that to Hillary Clinton whom I see is getting paid north of $200,000 + perks per speech. And you know what I say to that. You go girl. If she can get that much, good for her.

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Robert Huron 4 months ago

Having managed a Circle K store in Durango in the early 70's I know what that is all about. As for Robots they have already taken over 70% of the car manufacturing business in the last 50 years. Corporations will when they can replace a human with a machine because it is cost effective but there are exceptions. I won't fly on an airplane with just a Robot up front.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

Chris says: "Just trying to call attention to the fact that corporations do not and will not act for the good of anyone but their own profit interests. You cannot expect a business to make social welfare decisions..." That is, of course, exactly right and exactly as it should be. Nobody would invest in a company that didn't intend to pay them a return.

Then he says: "Simply put, hard work should be rewarded regardless of how unskilled that work may be." Which is an absolutely idiotic statement because he is stating that a persons pay should have an absolute minimum under which it could NEVER fall, even if they were such an idiot that they couldn't find their ass with a map. This is typical leftist progressive populist nonesense which plays well but won't stand up in the real world. Unskilled people are worth less but could get the skills to make them worth more. The reason I can't give them that skill is because it's against the law for me to start them at a wage they are worth and move them up as they learn. Chris's mindset says they're better off on government assistance learning nothing but dependance. Total hogwash.

What this fallacy leads to is a group of people saying "we need imported labor to pick our strawberries because we have told ourselves we are more valuable than the price of strawberries indicates". Now we have those people among us and it's ripping us apart. Not to mention Chris apparently has no problem buying strawbverries he knows were picked with labor that was paid less than he advocates.

If leftists put their money where their mouth was on this, they would always leave the grocery store with hardly any produce; they'd not wear many of the shoes or clothes they wear, drive the cars they drive, etc.

If we imposed alll the pay raises the lefties wanted and let prices adjust accordingly (which they would) it would be the same lefties screaming about how they were getting "ripped off".

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mark hartless 4 months ago

"Yes, the Gov't has overstepped its bounds and needs to be reined in. That can be done without civil war." Well, no s**t.

Almost nobody is proposing "civil war". Chris.

The Tea Party is doing exactly what you suggest; finding pollitical ways to reign in an out-of-control gubbamint.

And what do you do? Castigate, berate and lambaste them every chance you get!

FEW in the Tea Party call for civil war. FEW in the Tea Party are law-breakers. FEW in the Tea Party are on gubbamint assistance, own illegal weapons, tanks, slaves, or kill baby seals for a living.

But you wouldn't know it from the way people like you run them down.

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Pat West 4 months ago

Few,Few,Few, but I bet some are calling for civil war, some are law breakers, some are on government sis stance, own tanks, ect... The problem I have with Some of the Tea Partiers, is they think they can turn the federal government on a dime, or pull the emergency stop cord and get their desired result of less government, when in fact the federal government takes years to turn, and the only way to make change happen is to slowly change minds of the population, not by shutting down everything, and doing nothing to keep the system running. Hurtful rhetoric, and doing nothing politics is not the right way to bring about change, and that's what I hear from the TP. This forum is reflective of the problems within congress, strong opinions, and an unwillingness to compromise to work toward common goals prevents anyone from accomplishing anything. Even Regan compromised, and worked accross the aisle.

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rhys jones 4 months ago

You guys are flapping your gums over a moot issue. It doesn't matter what the Reps or Dems do or say -- they are just the talking heads -- the shills -- the actors, in a play directed behind the scenes. The charade and farce is a success, if it pulls you in, with all your fervor.

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Brian Kotowski 4 months ago

These liberal straw men are really very tiresome. Who's agitating for "civil war", Chris? That's a rhetorical question I don't expect you to answer, since you invented that assertion out of whole cloth and ascribed it to people who have never expressed it - a tactic I'm tempted to lambaste as childish, except that it would be unfair to children.

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mark hartless 4 months ago

"Even Regan compromised, and worked accross the aisle"

That means Tip O'neil compromised with Regean too.

When you say "The problem I have with Some of the Tea Partiers, is they think they can turn the federal government on a dime..." What I think you (and many others) actually mean is that you "have a problem with ALL Tea Partiers because SOME think..."

These people have legitimate gripes and they are trying to get some attention. And UNLIKE people in Ferguson, MO, and UNLIKE what they are accused of (like promoting civil war) they are trying to do it WITHIN the very system you folks claim to cherish.

Yet you berate them for that every chance you get.

Many, many people seem to forget an important point when they talk about how congress and the tea party is "shutting everything down", etc. That is that those representatives didn't just show up unannounced, with no authority, and start throwing grenades into an otherwise well-oiled and perfectly functioning machine. They were elected, and their vote to shut it down is as valid as your favorite representatives vote to keep it going towards the cliff.

The House of Representatives was elected by YOUR FELLOW Americans. Did it ever occur to any of you that YOUR FELLOW Americans WANT gridlock? Did it ever occur to you that the best speed for a runaway train is "ALL STOP"?? Has it ever dawned on many of you that your fellow Americans have a RIGHT to oppose your "Fundamental Transformation" of America into a socilist state? Did it ever occur to any of you that these people are voting for what their constituents want? If the two options for your life were Freefall toward the rocks or Gridlock, which option would YOU choose???

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rhys jones 4 months ago

Oh my God -- the sky IS falling!! Here, let me duck under this computer. It can't hit me then.

I won't be replaced by a robot. I MAKE the robots. Well, their alter-egos. It'll all come out in the wash, don't worry 'bout it. It's a total escape, the journey into cyberspace, this world barely relevant then. Think I'll go back, right now, and leave the troubles of the world for you to solve.

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Chris Hadlock 4 months ago

I would think that all of you would recognize that what is currently going on in Ferguson, Missouri is the very definition of civil disobedience and comes oh so very close to civil war. Police forces on one side against a highly agitated population bent on looting and destroying to protest and/or prove their point of view.

These kinds of public reactions are encouraged by the strong language that politicians seem to resort to, and much of the heated rhetoric has been coming from the hard right. Check out any of the Bundy ranch situation and tell me that is not another example of the hard right advocating for outright revolution. They were actually praised by pundits and politicians on the right for violating court orders and running the Government out of town at the point of their guns..

I call out the Tea Party and the hard right because those are the groups telling us that we do not need Gov't, we do not need any regulation, No minimum wage at all, cut taxes to the bone and forget about infrastructure, welfare, social security. Above all, absolutely no compromise......... If John Boehnor would put the Senate version of the immigration bill to a house vote is would pass by a fairly large margin (ie compromise). How does that refusal help the situation on the border? Harry Reid does much the same thing and inflames emotion instead of addressing problems.

Both sides are guilty, and we the citizens need to kick them all out and start over.

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Brian Kotowski 4 months ago

Advocating for limited government and having less of our earnings confiscated=civil war. Thanks for clearing that up. I shouldn't be surprised - no less a personage than the Plagiarist In Chief says my tea party leanings make me a terrorist. You're just regurgitating the same spew, which makes you a prevaricator and a liar.

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