Wednesday, August 30, 2006

TAXES ON BUSINESS – PART 3 (I think)

If you recall from my previous rantings, I said that businesses pay for all of their expenses by the money they get from their customers.
This is not a crime, just the way things **are**.

All of the costs of doing business – no matter what business a company might be in – are paid for by the people or other companies that buy the products of that company.
These costs include raw materials, wages, utilities, paper, pencils, rent – whatever.
In addition to the costs that I just listed, there other items like federal, state and local taxes.
I pointed this out in a preevious post.

It also includes health insurance for the employees.
Did it ever occur to you that you are paying for the health insurance of the workers of the companies that you buy products from?
Well, yoo doo.
Eevin if yoo doo not hav health insurance yurself.

BTW – understand the concept of “insurance”.
Basically, people buy – as in PAY for - a “service” that they do not need and hope they never need.
Thus, the customers who do not need the service pay for the costs incurred by those customers who actually do need/use the service.
Does this sound stupid to yoo?
Just thought I would ask.
Weird as it is – it woiks.

And this leeds mee tu a pet peev of miin.....

I think that companies should get out of the business of providing health insurance for employees.
“WHAT?” yoo sa. “How will I get any health insurance?”
Here’s how – you will shop for it just like yoo doo a car or beans.
Or like you shop for insurance for your car or house.
You will compare features/benefits against the cost of the policies offered by various companies.

To offset the loss of this benefit, companies will have to increase wages a bit.
But the increase will not have to equal the cost of the insurance they no longer provide.
Why?
Because the cost of health insurance will decrease when you introduce competition into the market.

Insurance companies are in business to make money.
DUH!
Again, not a crime.

They set their rates based on actual costs of people using their services (claims) and whatever profit margin they want to tack on top of their costs.
They justify their prices by saying that certain “populations” (groups of people) have higher or lower total claim costs than other populations.
Technically this is true.
But they never show you these figures so you can make a judgement for yourself.

Usually, the insurance companies give better (lower) rates (per policy) to bigger companies and charge more (per policy) to smaller companies.
Question: what does the size of a company have to do with the general overall health of its employees?
Or the amount of insurance claims they make?
This correct answer is: NOTHING!
This is just a way of jacking up the price of insurance coverage.

If you really wanted to tailor the cost of health insurance to actual expected claims, you would segregate all smokers, drinkers, dopeheads, and fat people from the rest of the population.
(about 70% of the population)
These people would pay the highest premiums because they are the most likely to have health problems.
No matter what size company they work for.
Then you would isolate all runners, walkers, weight lifters, aerobicists, and anybody with a bodyfat reading of 20% or less.
(about 10% of the population)
These people would pay the lowest health insurance premiums because they are the least likely to have a health claim.
Those remaining would pay a health insurance premium somewhere in between the previous two.

This is what the insurance companies do for auto and homeowners insurance.
You would only have to pay for the coverage you wanted/needed.

By having all of us shopping for health insurance, the insurance companies would reduce policy prices to get your business from their competitors.
The insurance companies would put pressure on hospitals and doctors to control costs.
Hospitals and doctors who did not provide the lowest cost services would be dropped by certain insurers, putting pressure on them to become more efficient.
The days of the ten dollar Band-Aid would be over.
The same pressure would be put on drug manufacturers causing a similar reaction.

The operation of the free market always lowers costs (in the long run), makes businesses more effecient and benefits the consumer.

Class dismissed.

Maintain the 180.

Monday, August 28, 2006

THE MESSAGE SUNDAY

The message Sunday was interesting.

It was taken from the following passage in John 17.

I have highlighted the phrases that he used to point out the items of emphasis.

20“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who £will believe in Me through their word;

21that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

22And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

23I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

24“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

25O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.

26And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”


The points:
1 Jesus desired that his followers be in unity ("one"). (v. 21, 22, 23)
2 God gave a "glory" to Jesus that he, in turn, passed on the the disciples (v.22).
3 This "glory" was for the purpose of unity. (v. 22)
4 This "glory" would make each of them complete ("perfect") - telio-o (Gr. - to accomplish a goal) in unity ("one"). (v. 23)
5 This finished unity would be visible because other people ("the world") would see it. (v. 23)
6 By seeing this unity, other people would know the God sent Jesus. (v. 23)
7 By seeing this unity, other people would know that God loves Jesus in the same way that he loves each of his followers. (v. 23)
8 Jesus desired that all of his followers be with him. (v. 24)
9 By being with Jesus, all of his followers will see the glory that God gave to him. (v. 24)
10 God gave this glory to Jesus because He loved him. (v. 24)
11 The people of the world do not know God. (v.25)
12 Jesus knows God. (v. 25)
13 The followers of Jesus know that God sent Jesus. (v. 25)
14 Jesus explained the nature of God ("your name") to the disciples. (v. 26)
15 By explaining the nature of God, the love which God gave to Jesus would be in each of the disciples. (v. 26)
16 By explaining the nature of God, Jesus would be in the disciples. (v. 26)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

ECONOMICS 201 – TAXES

You may hear/read about this concept from time to time.
This being an election year, if you haven’t heard it yet – yoo will.

A popular liberal hobby horse is modification of the tax code.
Specifically, the liberals want to increase the tax RATE of those who have high income to pay for the extra services the government provides to those who have low income.

This impulse comes directly from Karl Marx, the author of communism.
Doo yoo see the word “common” in there?
It is a clue.
But I digress.

The all-too-common rhetoric is phrased as “tax the rich to help the poor”, or some such drivel.
So lets look at how many folks be “rich” and how many be po.
This will help us see who pays and who gets.

First, lets decide how much income qualifies you as “rich”.

Let’s look at the records from the IRS for some information.
The latest verified statistics from the IRS on individual tax returns are from 2003.

Would you say that any person or family that had an annual Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $100,000 or more would be considered “rich”?
Okay, here is how the numbers roll:

Total number of persons/families with AGI of $100,000 or more = 11,491,829.
This represents 8.74% of all individual federal tax returns.
These eleven million plus people paid 59.468% of the total federal income taxes.
This leaves 91.25% of all taxpayers to pay the other 40.53%.
Just to recap – 8.7 percent of all taxpayers pay almost 60 percent of all individual income taxes.

But, yoo say, an annual income of $100,000 is not enough to qualify a person/family as “rich”.
So let’s jack up our cutoff point to $200,000 per year.

Total number of persons/families with AGI of $200,000 or more = 2,609,461.
This represents 1.987% of all individual federal tax returns.
These two million plus people paid 21.678% of the total federal income taxes.
This leaves 98.01% of all taxpayers to pay the other 78.322%.
Just to recap – 1.98 percent of all taxpayers pay 21 percent of all individual income taxes.

As yoo kan see, the “rich” ALREADY pay a large percentage of federal income taxes.

Here is my worry – I do not know were the liberals are going to draw the line between “rich” and “poor”.
It is almost certain they will not draw it as high as I did here.
Why?
Because they cannot raise the tax rate enough on just these eleven million (or less) households to get enough additional money to pay for all the programs they want to finance.
The rest of the money will have to come from yoo and mee.

And remember, income taxes on businesses are already paid by yoo and mee.

Do not be fooled by talk about tax the “rich”.
It is a lie.
If you have an income – U R rich.

That sucking sound you hear is the federal vacuum hose nosing around your wallet.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tidbits

In doing some research for my upcoming trip out west at the end of December, I came across the following:

Due to their size Bass Fiddles are not accepted in the coach cabin and are only accepted on certain aircraft types...

Antlers Must be as free of residue as possible. The skull must be wrapped and tips protected. $80 extra charge.

This is good to know as I ponder the items that I may want to take with me on my journey.

It is also interesting to note that I can take a screwdriver with me on board, but not water.

One more thing.

Do you think I would have any problems getting on a plane if I wore a head scarf and had several plastic bags of brown sugar stuffed in my pockets?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

If What A Prophet Says Comes True.....

On August 2, 2006 yers trooly posted on his blog the following -

Last week, AMD bought ATI.
What do you want to bet that in a future generation AMD multicore CPU, one of the cores will be a dedicated graphics processor.
You saw it here first.

Tooday, I found the following on -Josh are yoo watching - Digg.

AMD-ATI to make a GPU on a CPU

Or a CPU on a GPU

By Fuad Abazovic: Tuesday 15 August 2006, 08:13

ENGINEERS from AMD and ATI companies are going to start working on a unified chip that will have GPU and CPU on a same silicon. We learned this from high ranking sources close to the companies, more than once.

Don’t get too excited as it will take at least eighteen months to see such a dream come true.

This is the ultimate OEM chip, as it will be the cheapest way to have the memory controller, chipset, graphics function and CPU on a single chip. This will be the ultimate integration as will decrease the cost of platform and will make even cheaper PCs possible.

CPUs are being shrunk to a 65 nanometre process as we speak and the graphics guys are expected to migrate to this process next year. The graphics firms are still playing with 80 nanometre but will ultimately go to 65 nanometre later next year.

DAAMIT engineers will be looking to shift to 65 nanometre if not even to 45 nanometre to make such a complex chip as a CPU/GPU possible.

We still don’t know whether they are going to put a CPU on a GPU or a GPU or a CPU but either way will give you the same product. ยต

Lest you think I made this up the above can bee found at...

http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=33678

I will attempt to remain humble.....

Monday, August 14, 2006

Thought For The Day

God is not surprised by your problems.
He does not need to find a way for you to escape your distress.
He already knows the way through.
God is never perplexed, confused, or bewildered.
He knows the beginning from the end.
He has been there, done that, and designed the T-shirt.
Our challange is to simply relax and TRUST him.
Easy to say/write - harder to do - but dooable.

Enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Economics 202

Okay, today the Federal Reserve Board decided to keep the Federal Funds rate (the interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight short-term transfers) the same as it has been since the last increase.
If you got lost in the middle of that last sentence, try this – they decided to do nothing.
This is a good thing.

The Fed has been increasing interest rates for almost two years.
Seventeen times in a row.
The motive for this is to keep inflation under control.

In theory, if you increase interest rates, you cause less money to be borrowed by business, this, in turn, causes the businesses cut back on expansion plans, which, reduces the need to raise prices to finance the repayment of the money borrowed for the expansion. (pant, pant)
Got all that?

Now, your Econ 101 textbook will tell you that “inflation” is a general increase in prices of goods and services in the economy.
It is usually expressed as a percentage in a given time period – usually a month, a quarter, or a year.

If you have been paying attention to the news people in the last few months, you would have heard about how much the price of houses, and the price of gasoline has increased.
And some companies – airlines, FedEx, UPS, transportation companies - were raising prices to reflect the increased cost of fuel.
So there was some inflation in some areas of the economy.

Interestingly, these increases were isolated and did not spread to the rest of the economy.

As the price of gas increased, sales of big SUVs fell off, and sales of smaller, more fuel effecient cars increased,– a logical result – people continued to buy gas the same rate.
Many complained but did not cut back on their purchases of gas.

Here is a question that has occurred to me – in the definition of “inflation”, interest rates are never mentioned.

But if the Federal Reserve Board is raising interest rates every four or five weeks by policy changes, isn’t that inflation, too?
In other words, the US Government is taking steps to reduce inflation in private industry by creating inflation in the banking industry.

Here is another wrinkle:
One of the things that economists look at in accessing the progress/health of the US economy is the rate of growth.
Growth is measured by a number of things – job creation, average wage rates, company sales growth compared to a past period, productivity of workers, etc.
Many times – but not always – fast economic growth is accompanied by increasing inflation.
But this is not always the case.
Many times, increasing economic growth is not the cause – and does not create – inflation.
But one of the things that the Fed looks at in making its assessment of the economy is rate of growth.
And one of the effects of the actions of the Federal Reserve Board is to reduce economic growth.
While the reduction of economic growth is never stated as the goal of the Federal Reserve Board actions, it is always the result.
Always.

And if the Fed overdoes the reduction in economic growth rate – you get a recession – negative growth.
Which is the way economists say “contraction”.
What word would you use to mean the opposite of “growth”?

Question: Why can’t the government come up with a method to reduce inflation without reducing the growth rate?
Difficult to do.

The capitalist/free enterprise system is the most efficient and productive economic system in the history of the world.
It is also the most messy and most difficult to control.

Because any economy is the result of billions of economic decisions of individual people every day, it is difficult to predict the effect of just one change.

Any questions?

Class dismissed.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

One More Thought About Apple

Since Apple computer has changed to Intel chips in their computers - just like PCs - their operating system now works with Intel chips - just like PC's.
Apple's market share of the total computer market is right at 2.3%. (that leaves 97.7% for sombody else)

If Apple would release their operating system so that it would run on ANY Intel/AMD PC, they could double their market share in a year or two and prolly increase it to 10 or 20 percent (or more) in four or five years.

But Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer, is a megalomaniac. He is obsessed with keeping Apple "unique" in the world of computers. This obsession has cost him BILLIONS of dollars over the years. Now that his operating system is compatible with the hardware that runs 90+% of the computers in the world (instead of the other way around), he is within inches of being able to sell his (superior) operating system to millions of potential buyers. But he won't do it.

Rich people frustrate me sometimes.

Ultimately, Apple is doomed to failure. I don't expect to see it in its present form in 10 years.

Keep the 180.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Credit where Credit is Doo

In these days of high gas prices, we need to appreciate and acknowledge the great contribution and self-sacrifice performed by the raghead islamo-fascist anarchists by blowing up their cars, trucks and busses. In their valiant effort to offset the massive gas-guzzling, greenhouse gas producing, global warmer-upping output of auto factories all around the world, the raghead islamo-fascist anarchists are bravely disposing of their vehicles in a spectacular manner every day.

I am sure that Greenpeace, RSPCA, PETA, Earth Liberation Front and the rest of the environmental wackos are rejoicing in the determined efforts of the raghead islamo-fascist anarchists to rid the earth of all the gas-guzzling, greenhouse gas producing, global warmer-upping vehicles being torched each day.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

PUTER OBSERVATIONS

There is buzz about the move by Apple computer to using Intel chips inside.
CPU design is changing – evolving.
Time was - a couple of years ago – when the game was increasing clock speed was the way to increase performance.
Not no more.
Motorola and IBM tried to go back to basics with small instruction set CPUs a few years ago.
The idea was a CPU executing smaller instructions faster was better (faster) than a CPU executing complex instructions (like Intel).
That worked for about a year.
Apple bought into that idea and hung on to it until last year – to their cost.

AMD came along and tried to out-Intel Intel, and did for a while.
About a year.
But AMD began looking at the limits of physics and found that faster could only get you so far.
Then you set the chip on fire.
So they began designing chips that did not go faster – they went wider.
64 bit buss lines.

And now, multicore processors are coming.
Two CPUs on a chip.
The inspiration for this came from the video card makers.
NVidia and ATI and some others.
They have been working for years on trying to speed up the processing of video data so the gaming experience would be more realistic.
Gone are the days of Pong.
Video games generate tons of screen data that must be manipulated instantaneously.
The result of the video guys efforts was a processor on their card as powerful - and power hungry - and hot! – as the CPU for the whole rest of the computer.
In fact, the video processor was doing more work that the main CPU in some applications.

So the CPU guys took the hint – two processors were better than one. DUH!
In fact, two processors could run at slower speeds – use less power, and thus, produce less heat, than one big honkin processor running at 5 gigglebonkles.
So here they come – multicore CPUs.
Teamwork works.

AMD actually beat Intel to market on this design last year.
IBM announced this year that they are developing a CPU with 7 processors in it.
(why 7 and not 6 or 8 is a mystery to me because computers don’t do anything in odd numbers except 1.)
Intel announced the release of theirs last month.
AMD already has theirs out.

So now, instead of small instruction sets running super fast, a la Motorola/IBM/Apple, or long instruction sets runner even faster (and hotter), a la Intel/AMD/Sun, we now have banks of smaller CPUs running in parallel.
Cooler, faster (total thru-put), using less power.
And if two processors on a chip are good, how about 4?
Or 8?
This year it is two per chip.
Next year it will be four per chip.
The year after that.... 8?
Do I hear 16?

Oh, and guess what?
Last week, AMD bought ATI.
What do you want to bet that in a future generation AMD multicore CPU, one of the cores will be a dedicated graphics processor.
You saw it here first.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Oh, Yea?

Castro says he's stable after surgery

HAVANA-
Fidel Castro
said Tuesday that his health was stable after surgery, according to a statement read on state television, as the Communist government tried to impose a sense of normalcy on the island's first day in 47 years without Castro in charge.

............................................................

He wasn't stable before surgery, how could he be stable now?
(Unless they did brain surgery) ;)

"Normalcy"?
What is normal in a communist country?
Be careful what you think.
Be careful what you say.
Or you could wind up in prison - or dead.
Normal day in the workers paradise.

Yea, right.