Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Poor Get Richer.

I swore I wouldn't jump into the muck & mud of politics on this thing, mainly because it is like religion, it's an argument that cannot be won. I just see people who engage in endless political debates on any side, as unable to divine the fundamental truth that whatever side they are on and whatever point they choose to argue, they cannot win.

Extended political debates are like watching 3 year olds argue whether green or orange is a better color.

That said, the political face of this country is starting to resemble the hated Cali-Banger. Extreme in all regards. Not just big titties, but only the Biggest Titties On Earth will do. Not just a nice big car, but a fucking SUV that blots out the Sun. Not just a house too big, but a McMansion that is an gaudy abomination to pocketbook & neighbor alike.

Politicos seem to think that they are in a tug-O-war, pulling mightily for the control of The Vast Center. That if they are extreme enough, they will influence the vast hordes of moderates to go their way.

Libs see themselves as enlightened scholars and the vast middle as mentally pliable dullards. The RePugs see the middle as politically nomadic wildebeats to be turned to their will, or eaten. Strangley, religion seems to be the weapon of choice for both.

But again, I simply see a contingent that is wandering away from the middle, which is fine. But there is no rope. Extremist loonies actually make me go the other way.

I don't have cable at home, but the short exposure on cable-TV-enabled vacations I had to the clearly obvious right-wing ravings of CNBC were the most convincing arguments for the left I've seen in a long time. Now, the "I Told You So, Those Right Wing Fuckers Are Wrong On Everything!" lib retort is the best way to push me back to my comfy, cozy rePug roots.

And I must say, that one of a few scenarios must be true: Either Bend is FULL of extremists, or I attract Lib's like flies, cuz I don't know anyone who is just a calm moderate centrist. And by that I mean someone who has a thoughtful reason for backing whatever it is their political beliefs are.

For example, not that I am thoughtful, but I am pretty party-line Reaganesque RePug, but I do not think abortion should be outlawed. Abortion is going to happen, one way or another. Period. RePugs who don't understand that are confusing their idealism with the pragmatism of the individual. Plus, I do not believe I should blithely make political decisions regarding a womans body. More accurately, I don't believe abortion should be a political decision. It's an individual decision, not mine or some politico whore.

And ALL my lib friends use THAT example as some sort of rationalizing for ALL lib political viewpoints, and that I should see the light on ALL OF THEM, like I have BABY KILLING. No.

And equally heinous RePugs, like my beloved sister, who was a devout Dem supporter until Monicagate, are aghast, wondering why I am in league with SATAN.

Oy.

I guess my opinion on politics is that the extremists seem to think that they are engaged in a titanic debate with the enormous mass of the middle ready to roll down one side of the mountain or the other, when in reality there is no vast middle being influenced. If anything, many are repelled to the other side.

Many are flying the flag of the Cal-Banger ethos, Extremis delectatio morosa. You can see the pointlessness when these sides clash:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYlZiWK2Iy8

OK, enough of that shit, that makes me wanna puke.

I saw a short, interesting piece in The Economist:

The housing wealth effect

ANOTHER housing crisis meme circulating is that much of the recession's pain can be explained by the consumption impact of falling housing wealth. It's a pretty attractive storyline; homeowners feel rich based on their home's paper value and therefore buy more, or they actively use paper housing wealth to fund consumption via home equity loans.

Then, when housing prices fall that wealth disappears and national consumption craters.
The problem with this line of thought is that falling housing prices mean falling housing costs for renters, who experience the crash as an increase in their real wages. Rising consumption from richer-feeling renters should partially or entirely offset falling consumption from owners.

New research on the euro area by Ricardo Sousa seems to support this second view of the housing wealth effect:


This paper estimates the wealth effects on consumption in the euro area as a whole.

I show that: (i) financial wealth effects are relatively large and statistically significant; (ii) housing wealth effects are virtually nil and not significant; (iii) consumption growth exhibits strong persistence and responds sluggishly to shocks; and (iv) the immediate response of consumption to wealth is substantially different from the long- run wealth effects.

By disaggregating financial wealth into its major components, the estimates suggest that wealth effects are particularly large for currency and deposits, and shares and mutual funds.

In addition, consumption seems to be very responsive to financial liabilities and mortgage loans.


It isn't the case that falling housing prices can have no effect on the broader economy; they certainly do. It's merely the case that the effect of falling housing wealth on consumption is not the main pathway for an interaction between declining housing values and output.


I find this interesting I guess because it describes me. I don't own a home, and the attending mortgage, plus the recent stock market rebound has done wonders for my net worth.

All this plus the fact that I sort of positioned myself delta-positive for a decline, and I am better off financially than I have been in years. Maybe ever. Hard to say, as I have had homes & businesses acquired with debt, and getting a bead on these illiquid financial assets was only really possible upon their liquidation, which is strangely an event that makes me feel poorer.

So I am spending. A lot. And that's a relative statement, I guess. As I said I don't have cable. Until recently I had a 1950's era TV. But I am buying books. Going out to eat, once in awhile (Sno Cap in Redmond). I do more than single-mindedly walk through the grocery aisles at Costco. Bought my wife a blender a few weeks ago. All this, and I have enough in the bank to survive 18 months with zero income.

I guess THAT is what makes me feel rich: I can live a LONG TIME with what I have, and make all my financial committments. Which are not many. Well... maybe THAT'S what really makes me feel rich: I don't owe much to anyone.

And that was definitely NOT the case in years past when I had a nice big home I owned, or a business that certainly made me feel rich as I cycled through a fairly decent chunk of change each month. I could not have survived those times with my financial resources for more than a few weeks.

So my asset-base is far scaled down now. And maybe in some technical sense, my net-worth is lower now than it may have been in the past. But my debts are almost non-existent, which hasn't been the case since I started college. And THAT is what gives me a very serene state of mind.

And that is why I am "spending". Which basically means I am saving 50% of my income, not 55%.

And it took almost 2 years, but they finally dropped the prices enough for me to buy a game console! Wii-Hoo!

But I still don't have cable. That's a monthly check I still don't want to write.

So I'll end it this week with a great piece from The Economist:

Where it all began

Signs of stabilisation should not obscure the big problems still ahead

HE IS hardly your typical distressed seller. Hugh Hefner recently sold his personal residence in Holmby Hills, California, next door to the Playboy mansion, to a 25-year-old entrepreneur for $18m--some 36% below the asking price.

It will come as little solace to the ageing Lothario that the discount looked about right: house prices have fallen by one-third from their peak nationwide, and by much more than that in the worst-hit states, such as California, Florida and Nevada.


Although global financial sickness first erupted in American residential property, thanks to ludicrously lax subprime lending, policymakers have recently seemed more worried about asset classes to which the infection subsequently spread.

When the Federal Reserve this week extended the life of a facility to support asset-backed securities, for instance, it was more out of concern for commercial property than for housing. Nevertheless, observers agree that America's economy--and all those banks still saddled with underperforming mortgages--will struggle to recover while house prices are still falling.

The Obama administration's economic successes "will be for naught" if the housing free-fall continues much longer, says Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com.
Hence the excitement over some recent, albeit tentative, signs of stabilisation.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index, which tracks home prices in 20 cities, ticked up slightly in May, its first gain in 34 months. New construction of single-family homes rose in July for the fifth straight month.

Sales of existing homes are expected to show their fourth consecutive month of gains when latest numbers are released on August 21st (see chart 1, right-hand side).

Toll Brothers, a big home-builder, just recorded its first gain in net orders (new orders minus cancellations) for four years. With homes now at their most affordable in living memory, relative to median income, "we've finally found a level where people want to do deals," says Pam Liebman, chief executive of Corcoran, an estate agency.

The revival is largely at the lower end, which helps explain this week's $1.4-billion acquisition of Centex, a home-builder which specialises in cheaper houses, by Pulte Homes.
Dig deeper, however, and the recovery's foundations look shaky.

Rising joblessness will continue to weigh on demand for homes. The unemployment rate, currently 9.4%, is expected to peak at more than 10% some time next year.

The economic effect of unemployment is wider: as more and more of those still in work know someone who has lost their job, they will think twice before buying a property. Consumer confidence remains fragile.


For those seeking a mortgage, credit is still hard to come by. The two main federally backed mortgage agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have tightened their standards for new loans (though mortgages handled by their sibling, Ginnie Mae, have fallen in quality).

A Federal Reserve survey of loan officers, released on August 17th, suggested that banks will remain tight-fisted for some time. They are still grappling with growing losses from residential mortgages.

These will not peak until early next year, reckons Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley.
Moreover, the positive signs in housing are partly driven by short-term factors. One is the tax credit for first-time buyers that was included in Mr Obama's stimulus package: some are rushing to buy now because deals must close by November 30th to qualify.

Annual tax refunds, handed out in recent months, may also have given the market a temporary lift. Attractive mortgage rates helped, too. But these have climbed off their historic lows, despite efforts to keep them down through the Fed's purchases of mortgage-backed securities.

Many expect them to rise further as ballooning government borrowing puts upward pressure on Treasury yields.
A glut of supply will also weigh on prices, thanks to a wave of repossessions.

Foreclosures are running at record levels, with one in 355 of the nation's homes receiving a filing in July alone. Seized properties now account for almost one in four sales.

Increasingly, those losing their homes are supposedly safer borrowers with "prime" mortgages. They now account for more foreclosures than subprime borrowers, says the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).


With 1.8m homes already in foreclosure, a "similar amount" may be heading that way, reckons Torsten Slok, an economist at Deutsche Bank. Even those states that were the first to feel pain are still seeing a sharp increase in pre-foreclosure notices.

In California one type of notice, for "trustee sales", leapt by 32% from June to July, according to ForeclosureRadar, a website. Even more worryingly, delinquencies, the raw material for foreclosures, are still on the rise across much of the once-golden state.

In Orange County nearly 7% of mortgages are at least three months overdue but not yet foreclosed, up from around 5% at the start of the year.
The rise in negative equity--when a borrower's mortgage debt exceeds the value of his home--is also fuelling foreclosures, not least because many would rather walk away than keep making payments on a home that is worth much less than the sum owed on it.

Zillow.com, a property-information service, estimates that 23% of homes with mortgages are underwater. Others put it higher.

A staggering 60% are submerged in Las Vegas. Deutsche Bank's securitisation team expects negative equity to peak at 48% of total homes by 2011.

That may be too pessimistic, but all agree that the number will rise further. This matters because negative equity weighs doubly heavily on home prices, by both weakening demand (it traps potential buyers in their homes) and adding to supply (it often ends in seizure and distressed sales).


Government efforts have done little to stop the rot. Under the main foreclosure-prevention programme, only 235,000 struggling borrowers have had their loans altered to make payments more affordable, out of 4m targeted for help.

Even with a financial incentive to modify, loan servicers remain reluctant. Many borrowers are too deep in negative equity and the redefault rate is too high. "It doesn't help if you're drowning in 20 feet of water instead of 30," says Jay Brinkmann, the MBA's chief economist.

Moreover, the typical troubled mortgage is getting harder to modify because it is more likely to be the result of unemployment than an interest-rate increase.

Bringing the monthly payment down by 20% does not help when the borrower has no job.


Even if the pace of modification quickens, the overhang of unsold homes will remain dauntingly large. The inventory represents 9-10 months of supply, three times the level in a tight market, says Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist. Paradoxically, a further wave of supply could crash over the market if it is widely seen to be stabilising. Many homeowners who sat tight while prices fell will try to sell at the first sign of a turnaround, according to surveys.

In one, conducted by Zillow in July, 29% of respondents were at least "somewhat likely" to put their home on the market once the market perked up. The release of this "shadow inventory" could smother the recovery before it gathers speed.


Just as worrying is the possible recurrence of "payment shock" as interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages reset higher. Resets on subprime loans have mostly taken place, but the worst is yet to come for some other loans, especially the "Alt-A" category between prime and subprime and a nasty type of mortgage called an "option ARM" (see chart 3).

The impact may be muted, but only if the Fed can keep short-term rates very low for the next couple of years--or if the borrowers can refinance as the reset approaches.


Given these downside risks, the recent pop in house prices will probably fizzle. Most economists expect them to fall by a further 5-10 percentage points, to their long-term trend line at roughly 40% below their peak, and not to reach bottom until some time in 2010.

The pessimists predict they will go crashing through the trend-line to as little as half their 2006 high.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs, no fools when it comes to housing, hint at several years of stagnation.

They argue that the rate of home ownership, currently just over 67%, will fall back to the 64-65.5% level that prevailed before prices took off in the mid-1990s, cutting deeply into demand for properties.

This view is supported by a recent Fed study, which found that more than half of the boom-era rise in ownership was due to "innovative" mortgage products, many of which are now history.


It could be even worse.

Now that the myth of ever-rising house prices has been shattered, it may be time to embrace another inconvenient truth: that prices can take decades to recover, at least when adjusted for inflation.

A study in June by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, a regulator, pointed out that in parts of Texas house prices still languish some 30% below their 1982 peaks in real terms. Mr Hefner may not have got such a bad deal after all.

hbm, political knob-wanking makes me wet!
Buster, I'm thirsty for verbal abuse!
Dunc watches poolside as women fight for scraps on Free Comic Book Day.

191 comments:

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And I hope that everyone caught the mind-numbingly contradictory piece in the Bully today:

Hot and cold summer tourist time

The catch has been heavy discounting from lodging properties, said Alana Audette, president and CEO of the Central Oregon Visitors Association. As a result, venues may be humming, but revenues are down.

“We’re all sensing activity, and it makes us feel optimistic, but volume has not dropped off as precipitously as revenue,” Audette said.

“Revenues are definitely down because of the value-oriented offers ... (so) it’s one of the challenges we face in lodging and retail.”

She said many of COVA’s members are reporting a soft July, down roughly 10 percent from the same month a year ago, but that’s better than the 20 percent decline the association initially projected.

Audette added that August started strong but has dropped off significantly. Still, she expects the month to match figures from last year.

“Sadly, it’s not been as strong a summer as we had hoped,” Audette said.


So.... it's been BETTER than the much-feared 20% drop.... BUT it still wasn't as strong as AUDETTE had hoped.

If you read between the lines, you can see that her quotes were cherry-picked. They are making it sound like a strong Summer, when really there has been mass price-cutting. And ask Dunc, that's just a recipe to LOSE MONEY.

Has there been activity? Yes. But selling a dollar for 80 cents is an easy proposition to sell to a lot of people, and that's exactly what is happening.

So it is in reality the Worst Of All Worlds: Lower Revenue and HUGE LOSSES. The Bully just spun this thing so much it is barely perceptible. The Summer has been a 100% BUST for Bend & Deschutes County.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And they are not reminding us that we are down from last July only 10%... but oil was $150 A BARREL last July! No one was here last July!

We're down 10% from the worst July in years...

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Room-tax collections on overnight lodging properties in the city of Bend and the unincorporated parts of Deschutes County were down double-digits in June compared with the same month a year ago, according to data from the city and county.

In June, Deschutes County collected $319,914 in transient room taxes, a decline of nearly 18 percent from the $389,907 collected in June 2008. For the fiscal year that ended in June, collections fell 9.5 percent.

Room-tax collections are considered the best indicator of tourism activity.

For Bend, the city collected $292,784 in June, a decline of 11.2 percent compared with the $329,538 collected in June 2008. For the fiscal year, collections dropped 14.4 percent.

Room-tax collections for July and August will be available in September and October, respectively.


See? Cherry picked the 10% figure from a waterfall of horrible numbers. Figures.

tim said...

Orange and green are both stupid colors. Why did you pick those two as example colors

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Room-tax collections are considered the best indicator of tourism activity.

But remember: This is like total home sales volume; it may be only down 10%, but it is on lower prices, much like our local home sales scenario.

The whole market doesn't look that bad, but each individual property owner is getting killed.

But lookie lookie says Costa, we're only down a little. Cold comfort when your house is down 50%, but regional sales look great due to foreclosures, walk-aways and short-sales.

Vultures picking the bones.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Orange and green are both stupid colors...

Nuh uh! Those are the 2 greatest colors EVER!

Anonymous said...

Bewert said...
Hmmm...no takers.
===


Why is this idiot still online here when he moved months ago?

Does ANYBODY get moved by his lame political arguments?

Is Pussy even less persuasive than hbm? Is that possible?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Leisure travel is off, but La Placa said the decline has taught tourism officials in the region an important lesson.

“We’ve learned we were overreliant on the leisure traveler in Bend,” La Placa said. “Leisure travel will ebb and flow with economic conditions, but group- and event-based travel has less swings. People still travel to those types of events regardless of economic conditions, so we’ve learned an important lesson and will be diligent to ensure Bend has a long-term calendar of events and groups to supplement the leisure travel industry.”


Mercifully LaPlaca and his ilk spend MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to learn this lesson.

Predominately for touting Mt Bachy as the greatest ski hill since Olympus Mons on Mars.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

If you read that final Economist piece, you get the definite feeling that we are at the beginning of a large secular move down.

And this recent "boost" from the Obama-Jesus, is simply throwing gas on the fire. This is ALL DEBT. And debt has to be repaid.

Cash for Clunkers is a "good thing"? Really? It's probably going to result in a wave of repo's in 18-24 months as these over-levered car buyers go down. I am actually WAITING for this to happen. That's exactly when I am going to be needing a new vehicle, and I predict a super-wave of used vehicles to hit the market, everywhere.

And that is just a $3 billion government market distortion. The $700 billion "stimulus" will not unwind in my lifetime. Or my kids. We'll all owe on that FOREVER.

Fanning the flames of consumerism gone mad... with more debt-fueled consumerism. Good call. Hyper-inflation, here we come.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And as part of my thesis that we are currently in a mini-wave up, as part of a tsunami that will wash over this country for at least 2 decades, I've actually sold a few of my stock market winners.

Lithia Motors (LAD), up nearly 10 fold from it's lows, I got rid of half of this one, mainly because it had done so well as to dominate my IRA. Plus I don't believe that Cash4Crunchers has fundamentally done anything to turnaround car sales. If anything, I think when C4C ends, there will be an extended downturn in car sales... which may take awhile to start.

I also sold other mutual funds in my taxable account, which I bought late last Fall as a knife-catching exercise. Thankfully these have worked out, and I have started selling. I should be rid of all these in the next few weeks.

After that, it would take some pretty extraordinary gains for my to re-jigger my IRA's. I am happy to just sit on these mistakes. Well... not "happy". But I am now just "barely" down since this whole debacle started last year, and I am happy as hell about that.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Our stimulus so far ...

WASHINGTON — Six months after the $789 billion federal stimulus bill, advertised as a critical way to rescue the U.S. economy, became law, it has created or saved more than 300 jobs in Central Oregon, according to an analysis of stimulus spending by The Bulletin.

Nearly $82 million of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been awarded to build roads, build a small-scale hydroelectric plant and keep police officers employed in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties.


Wow, it only cost us a quarter mill each to save those 300 poverty-wage jobs....

Duncan McGeary said...

They started it. They said the best color is orange, and that's just wrong!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I like how Costa has artfully mixed in COP JOBS with a bunch of construction boondoggles.

"SATAN, SATAN, AND JESUS are expected to get jobs..."

Duncan McGeary said...

I have a feeling 'group tours' are bad for my business.

Brian said...

Love this blog even If I don't always agree. It is nice to see a view of Bend that is different than the "party line"

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

A good piece by Dunc today...

Hey, just ask if you need anything....

I don't pursue every sale.

Oh, I'm open to every sale, but I don't pursue every sale.

I figured out after many years of business that I want the customers who want me, not the ones I have to aggressively pursue. I don't want the customers who don't want me.

If I lose 10% of my sales, but shed 90% of the aggravation, it's a fair deal.

Sales aren't everything. Job satisfaction is at least as important. Bringing enthusiasm to work every day. Especially if you want to last not just a few years, but decades -- a career.

I've always said, burn-out is almost equal in danger to not making money...


Funny, but I see a parallel to the entire COVA-EDCO-COBA industrial complex thats says DO EXPEND EVERY EFFORT to go after EVERY SINGLE POSSIBLE visitor, like say, I dunno, the Cascade Cycling Classic, and the USA Cycling Junior, U23 and Elite Road National Championships.

See, in Dunc's case he has quality of life issues hooked to not going bananas to reel in these reluctant buyers.

But in Bend, we DO go bananas. But it's not quality of life sacrificed, it's taxpayer dollars. EDCO & COVA both go berzerk trying to convince City officials that we SHOULD expend every effort to get each & every visitor. They "stage" this under the guise of MONEY LOST unless we boat these basses.

Nothing could be more ridiculous.

I used to run a business, and I spent quite copiously on Yellow Pages to land every potential client. Until I realized that I was spending that last $2,000/mo to bag one-timers: People who'd only use me once then leave... except maybe when they were DYING, and I was already booked beyond 100%, and they'd call.

These are SHIT CLIENTS.

Similarly, most of the people we are attracting to Cent OR are SHIT VISITORS. They are only here because the price is low. This is the ONE TIME they will come here, and we'll NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN.

And it almost certainly cost us many fold to get them here over and above any possible profit, which there is really none. It's a double loss.

Dunc's right: Those you have to pursue too hard are almost NEVER WORTH IT. Once in awhile you might get lucky, but on the whole this strategy of GET THEM AT ANY COST is a monstrous LOSER.

And it is exactly where your taxes are going.

As an aside, when I STOPPED spending on Yellow pages COMPLETELY, my business became INSANELY PROFITABLE. Revenue was down.... but each sale made tremendous amounts, because I wasn't wasting my time or money on these RESIDUAL LOSER SALES.

Fuck the TOP LINE. Watch the bottom line.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Leisure travel is off, but La Placa said the decline has taught tourism officials in the region an important lesson.

“We’ve learned we were overreliant on the leisure traveler in Bend,” La Placa said. “Leisure travel will ebb and flow with economic conditions, but group- and event-based travel has less swings. People still travel to those types of events regardless of economic conditions, so we’ve learned an important lesson and will be diligent to ensure Bend has a long-term calendar of events and groups to supplement the leisure travel industry.”


LaPlaca is publicly acknowledging he has learned a lesson outed on this blog since Day 1:

DIVERSIFY YOU FUCKING MORONS

Leisure travel (and home building) is to Bend as Lithia is to my IRA: Too much of a good thing, that needed to be cut so that there is not so much reliance on it.

Slowly but surely these DUMBFUCKS will learn that over reliance on one sector of the economy will ultimately destroy a place.

For us it is HOME BUILDING & LEISURE TRAVEL. Great during the boom, but we never spent the lottery proceeds to diversify... no we DOUBLED DOWN, and now we'll pay.

hbm said...

"That's exactly when I am going to be needing a new vehicle"

Planning to trade up from your 1924 Hupmobile, Homer? Good for you!

But how did you keep your 1950s-era TV operating? Where did you find replacement tubes? And that the picture tube lasted that long is just a miracle.

My wife and I certainly don't live what I'd call an ostentatious lifestyle, although you probably would. (From your description it sounds like you'd say Gandhi led an ostentatious lifestyle -- a new loincloth every year, fer god's sake!) Still we have enough money in investments (not counting our house, which we own free and clear) to get by for two years at our current level of spending.

Life is short, and I believe that living like a monk in a monastery just so you can accumulate a pile of money is a waste of it. Who's going to get your pile when you're gone (assuming you don't end up spending it all on medical care in your final years)?

Consumption for the sake of consumption is stupid, but living within your means, saving a reasonable percentage of your income and enjoying a few creature comforts is neither stupid nor immoral.

hbm said...

"Extended political debates are like watching 3 year olds argue whether green or orange is a better color."

One of the best lines you ever wrote, Homeboy.

But green is MUCH better.

Anonymous said...

Blue is where it's at bitches!

hbm said...

I wonder if anybody has any data re Bend's summer tourism season vs. those of other areas. Did we do better or worse than they did?

I'm also wondering if the lousy June weather and the recession are the whole explanation. Could it just possibly be that urban sprawl, a surfeit of ugly development, increased traffic and overcrowding have made Bend a less attractive vacation destination than it used to be? It's definitely not the charming little "village" it was 20 years ago, and all the recreation sites have gotten crowded. Knowledgeable local fishermen don't even bother with the Metolius anymore, and pretty soon the same will be true of the Lower Deschutes. Smith Rocks long ago ceased to be the "hot new spot" for rock climbing; top climbers rarely bother with it anymore.

We do still have that famous sunshine -- but the sun shines on other towns too.

Anonymous said...

You certainly could'nt tell there is a recession over here in Warrenton.There are more sport fisherman than I have seen in ten years. Astoria docks too. I hear the guides are getting up to $250/person to go out on the river and are filling thier boats.Funny when you can buy a fresh fish for $20-25.Heard it is a zoo on the river.
Weather has been fair over here and local campgrounds have been packed allsummer. Restaurants and bars seen down alittle but not much, I am sure after Labor day that will change............

Bewert said...

Telling stat:

July, 2009 Room tax revenue: $211,831
http://www.ci.bend.or.us/city_hall/meeting_minutes/docs/July_Corrected_Financials.pdf

July, 2005 Rom tax revenue: $215,700
http://www.ci.bend.or.us/city_hall/meeting_minutes/docs/July_financials_Detail.pdf

Rufus said...

Hey all!

Just wanted to leave a note related to hbm's comment on Smith Rock...from the Rock and Ice (# 169) article "Still Churning in the Wake":

"Smith is different, but no less rich. Sport climbing moved on and spread. People got limestone fever, wanted steeper angles, and went to American Fork and Rifle, lessening the pressure on Smith...Yet there are more routes at Smith than ever before, with lots of 5.8s and 5.9s, many cropping up in the last five years. Today the most popular routes seem to be 5.10 and below."

As to your claim that top climbers don't bother anymore...the East Face (5.13d) of Monkey Face's pillar just saw its second true redpoint ascent (in many, many years), and, within the last 5 years, Smith has had a wonderful first female ascent of 5.14b (Beth Rodden and The Optimist). Smith might not be THE US sport climbing area anymore, not due to the economy or location, but rather, that there are OTHER areas now. However, it still ranks big time, and carries a LOT of clout when you send big. Just ask Josune.

Thanks for the reads, y'all.

Anonymous said...

How sad are you HBM?...you should seek help for your gloom dude, that shit ain't healthy.

- "Smith Rocks long ago ceased to be the "hot new spot" for rock climbing; top climbers rarely bother with it anymore.
.
.
How long should a new hot spot stay new and hot?

- Knowledgeable local fishermen don't even bother with the Metolius anymore, and pretty soon the same will be true of the Lower Deschutes
.
.
Does a spot require knowledgeable anglers to make it popular or beautiful?

As long as Salmon and Steelhead return to the lower D, plenty of people with come.

Where do you fish HBM?

Anonymous said...

You are correct- there is no middle ground anymore in politics.
I am liberal on social issues, but a fiscal conservative(can't stand all the government spending).
There is no party anymore for someone like me.

Anonymous said...

On Tim Duys economic blog, he is showing moving vans for rent, to Bend, for $108. Apparently, they are trying to move these vehicles to Central Ore. to meet demand.

Anonymous said...

Any idea of what it costs to rent a van for moving OUT of Bend??

Anonymous said...

No idea but people are moving out at a steady pace.

If you have any doubt, browse craigslist and note the number of people selling because they can't take it with them.

It's a good time to score so deals on high $ items if you have the cash.

Anonymous said...

Another horrible week in Central Oregon gone. The sunshine just bombards the senses. Looks like more of the same for this week. I guess I will have to spend my days fishing, riding my bike, camping, and hunting while waiting for this god awful weather to change...and when it does, i'll have to suffer through another season at the worst ski resort on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, there are people moving out. I see the tearful goodbyes. But it's possible we still have people moving in. I've seen people unloading their stuff into rentals. I doubt we have as many incoming as outgoing, but even if we have 75% as many, our outflow will take a long time.

With the horrible losses in high-paying jobs, I do think we'll have fewer people in five years than now, but the defaults are so slow that I don't think we'll see it all at once.

There are some knife-catching buyers now. I'm not sure how long they think it'll take to make their money back, but I'd be surprised if houses don't will cost less in five years than they do now. What we've had doesn't feel like capitulation yet. Too many people waiting on houses and not enough people hating on houses.

hbm said...

"Another horrible week in Central Oregon gone. The sunshine just bombards the senses."

Yes, the sun shines here in August. Isn't that remarkable.

hbm said...

"How sad are you HBM?...you should seek help for your gloom dude, that shit ain't healthy."

I'm not sad. Why do you assume that because I'm able to face reality I must be sad?

Why are you so angry?

tim said...

Don't kid yourselves. Despite the river and the sunshine, Bend is hell right now for a lot of people.

It's not the terrain's fault, of course.

hbm said...

BTW the titty pics leave something to be desired this week, Homer, although the girl on top in the last photo has an amazing butt. Thank you.

Bewert said...

RE: I am liberal on social issues, but a fiscal conservative(can't stand all the government spending).
There is no party anymore for someone like me.

####

That's a huge hole waiting to be filled, as there are many like you. The Republicans have really moved into a lockstep with their base. Interesting essay recently on just that in WaPo:

The problem is that the GOP is no longer a truly national party in its geographical composition or its ideological breadth. Throughout U.S. history, our two major political parties have usually contained multitudes and contradicted themselves accordingly. For much of the 20th century, the Democrats were the party of the white South, the immigrant north and labor unions. The Republicans were the party of Wall Street bankers, Main Street merchants, professionals and Sun Belt cowboys.

But today's Palinoidal Republicans have lost most of the professionals, much of Wall Street and an increasing chunk of suburbia. What they can claim is the allegiance of the white South and the almost entirely white, non-urban parts of the Mountain West. Of the 40 Republican members of the Senate, fully half -- 20 -- come from the old Confederacy, the Civil War border states where slavery was legal or Oklahoma, which politically is an extension of Texas without Texas's racial minorities. Ten others come from the Mountain West. The rest of the nation -- that is, of course, most of the nation -- has become an ever-smaller share of Republican ranks. ...

Republican ideology has shrunk alongside its geography and demographics. Where once its view of the role of government ran the gamut from Rockefeller activism to Goldwater libertarianism, today the party largely adheres to the religiosity and the anti-statism of the white South.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081902901.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

It will be interesting to see who fills that hole.

Anonymous said...

I would like to start a discussion:
What do you think Bend will be like in 10 years?
More population?
Less?
More mfg. located here?
Generally, will the economy be better or worse than the last 10 years?

Duncan McGeary said...

10 years? That's a long time.

I think Bend will be bigger, possibly much bigger. But at a more normal rate of growth. We may even see a slight decline for a couple of years.

I think the population will consist of retired baby boomers, and bike/ski bums.

Minimum wage, baby.

Bewert said...


Wyden, Merkley Announce $6.8 Million for Deschutes National Forest

August 18, 2009


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced today that the Deschutes National Forest will receive $6.825 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve access to facilities the public needs at the Deschutes National Forest and create much-needed construction jobs. The funding will combine with $8 million in existing available Forest Service funds to build a new joint administrative office facility for the Deschutes National Forest Headquarters and the Bend Fort Rock Ranger District in Bend, Oregon and create jobs in the local building trades over an estimated 16-month period.

“These Recovery funds will bring good, family-wage construction jobs to a part of Oregon that’s been having a hard time," said Wyden. “Folks in Deschutes County will have more of the government services they need under one roof -- and the building will run on state-of-the-art energy solutions that will save money down the line, too.”

“Month after month, the Recovery Act continues to support working families and move our economy to solid ground,” Merkley said. “This new facility in Deschutes County will save money, improve services and, most importantly, create jobs in Central Oregon.”

The office facility built with these Recovery funds will replace two existing leased offices with a facility that will house government offices for the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and save more than $1 million per year in lease costs. The building is being designed under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. To conserve energy and take advantage of renewable resources, a woody biomass boiler will heat the facility and the building is designed to accommodate future solar panels. The new facility will provide one-stop public information services for Deschutes county residents and visitors.

hbm said...

"Palinoidal Republicans" -- that's a great line. Or we could just call them "Palinoids" for short. I'm gonna steal that.

hbm said...

"I think the population will consist of retired baby boomers, and bike/ski bums."

Because of the Great Recession a lot of baby boomers are not going to be able to afford a new home in some resort or semi-resort community. And those who can afford to do so will have plenty of choices. Besides which, old farts (like me) generally prefer warm climates where we can wear our pastel Bermuda shorts and white patent leather shoes (with black socks) all year.

Agree about the bike/ski bums, however. But they're not much of a basis for an economy.

Anonymous said...

Sad HBM Said: I'm not sad. Why do you assume that because I'm able to face reality I must be sad?

Why are you so angry?


Hardly angry...pretty stoked to say the least. I just hear you grumble all the time about how horrid this place is which leads me to believe you are sad....but then some people aren't happy unless they have something to bitch about.

Tim

There are a lot of people in this town who are taking a serious beating...I agree with you completely. That said, everyone makes choices in their lives...some good, some not so good. Nobody held a gun to anyone's head and said "live beyond your means or else". Sure, some people drank the coolaid but they drank it willingly so who's to blame for that?

As for Bend not being the "quaint little village it once was"...WTF?

When was Bend anything other than cowboys and ski bums?

hbm said...

"I just hear you grumble all the time about how horrid this place is"

It's not "horrid"; it just has some negative aspects, such as the isolation, the never-ending winters, the ugly suburban-sprawl development of recent years, and the lack of almost anything to do besides outdoor recreation, and of course the lack of decent jobs (but that doesn't matter to me anymore because I'm essentially retired). For me the negatives have come to outweigh the positives, that's all.

"When was Bend anything other than cowboys and ski bums?"

More loggers than cowboys. But why can't you have a nice little town populated with loggers, cowboys and ski bums?

hbm said...

"What do you think Bend will be like in 10 years?

Only thing I know for sure is I won't be here.

"More population? Less?"

More, but not much more. I just don't see any way to develop an economy that would support much more. Hell, it can't support what we have.

"More mfg. located here?"

Not much. Maybe a few more specialized mom-and-pop shops with between a half-dozen and 50 employees. A large-scale manufacturing operation isn't practical here for a variety of reasons, chiefly transportation.

"Generally, will the economy be better or worse than the last 10 years?"

Worse. The whole country's will be. We've managed to destroy our middle class and I don't see how we're gonna reconstruct it.

tim said...

Of the places I've lived, Bend scores a 9 on scenery but maybe a 2 or 3 on culture, intellectual life, and the arts (although it at least does a pretty good job of trying on the arts--A for effort, D for performance).

The problem is lack of a large university. Without a university, it can't support much theater, music, nightlife, food, etc.

It is what it is. But it's not the perfect place for everyone. It's a great place for some. I can't stand the cult of "special" that's here. I hope this downturn killed that so it can just accept itself as a outdoors destination, and not the ultimate retirement town.

Now, if you add a large University, and don't make the mistake of calling it COCK, it's a whole new ballgame.

Quimby said...

>> The office facility built with these Recovery funds will replace two existing leased offices with a facility that will house government offices for the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and save more than $1 million per year in lease costs. The building is being designed under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. To conserve energy and take advantage of renewable resources, a woody biomass boiler will heat the facility and the building is designed to accommodate future solar panels. The new facility will provide one-stop public information services for Deschutes county residents and visitors.

Oh how nice, we'll put the poor little serfs to work building our fancy new gov't buildings.

I've always thought it a sad testament to America's demise when the only buildings going up (productive output) is Government buildings. Kinda like here in CO where if you're not employed by the state in some form......you're generally fucked.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to write BIG checks payable to the "U.S. Treasury" to fund the fiasco...what's the alternative?

As an aside, it would be interesting to conduct a street-poll asking to who one would address a tax payment check in the United States. I bet that 75% of people couldn't answer the question. That helps to show you how many people are paying actual taxes.

Abolish payroll tax deductions and witness a revolt amongst the masses. When you have to write quarterly checks....this bullshit really pisses you off.

Quimby said...

>> Knowledgeable local fishermen don't even bother with the Metolius anymore

HBM, WTF are you talking about?

Local knowledgeable fisherman DO have success on the Met...it's the tourists who have a devil of a time as it's not an easy river to fish.

Here's a little tip(pet) for you: think 7X

Hehe...word verification is: whine

How appropriate for a reply to sir HBM!

hbm said...

"Here's a little tip(pet) for you: think 7X"

7X? I can't even SEE 7X anymore much less tie it!

Local fishermen I know tell me they don't bother with the Metolius because it's too crowded, unless you go downstream from Bridge 99 -- WAY downstream..

hbm said...

"I can't stand the cult of "special" that's here."

AMEN! HALLELUJAH! PUH-RAISE JEEBUS!

One of the WORST things about living in Bend is having to listen to the locals brag ENDLESSLY about how fucking "special" it is and what a fucking "unique lifestyle" it has. It's no different than about a thousand other towns in the Intermountain West.

hbm said...

"Meanwhile, I'll continue to write BIG checks payable to the "U.S. Treasury" to fund the fiasco...what's the alternative?"

A better accountant?

Quimby said...

>> A better accountant?

Gawd HBM, I wish it were that simple.

Seriously though, you're a sometimes reasonable man just as I'm a sometimes lucid ranter:

Don't you think there would be hell to pay if they did away with the automatic Payroll Tax Deduction system?

Anonymous said...

One of the WORST things about living in Bend is having to listen to the locals brag ENDLESSLY about how fucking "special" it is and what a fucking "unique lifestyle" it has. It's no different than about a thousand other towns in the Intermountain West.

Why don't you name a couple that are similar to Bend?

Anonymous said...

"Besides which, old farts (like me) generally prefer warm climates"

the problem with warm climates is that they have far too many scorching hot days. unless you mean someplace like San Luis Obispo, which I think is more expensive than Bend. (and SLO does have a university--for you college town fans.)

Bewert said...

Re:
As an aside, it would be interesting to conduct a street-poll asking to who one would address a tax payment check in the United States. I bet that 75% of people couldn't answer the question. That helps to show you how many people are paying actual taxes.

####

You paying any employee health insurance premiums?

Quarterlies are part of being an employer in the US. It's a straight percentage of your payroll, plus matching some deductions. Accountants can't do shit.

But is it wrong?

Wouldn't you like to have employees that aren't worried about getting too sick?

Hell, Lance had to become an employee of Oakley, over the objections of the risk management team, to get coverage. Jim Janney said cover him or you lose all.

Not too many have that kind of friend.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a major college town...wouldn't trade it for the world. I wouldn't be the person I am today if I had grown up anywhere else...wouldn't go back period.

I got all the culture I needed in the first 20 years of my life. I'll take cold weather and outdoor fun over hanging out at a coffee bar trying to be different...just like everyone else.

Not knockin it, it's just not my thing. Profiling with a bunch of hipsters just doesn't do it for me.

The two or three times a year I need some culture, I head to PDX for a day/weekend. Once a year I end up in SoCal. Those trips are all I need to reconfirm why I live in Bend.

Culture, you'll die trying in Bend...and nobody who gets Bend gives a crap.

Quimby said...

>> You paying any employee health insurance premiums?

Gatdamn BP, this isn't about employer Health Insurance..it's about quarterly INCOME tax payments.

Hell, we went down the wrong road when employers started offering health insurance in the first place. The third party payer system (insurance-company-pays-for-it-not-me mentality) creates moral hazard and the doctors encouraged it and got really fat.

To keep it local, I read on Dunc's site that Let's Make A Space is leaving town? Really?????

Quimby said...

If all you W2 stiffs had to write a check every 3 months for your income tax payment, you'd flip your fucking lid.

Number two, delinquencies in tax payments would skyrocket because most folks aren't disciplined enough to save it.

No-one said the IRS wasn't clever.

Anonymous said...

'Let's Make A Space' opened its retail store in December 2008. According to DIAL Andy Barrow stopped making house payments about one month later. Now there's a rumor that they're shutting the door for good.

Although I would never EVER pay $3995, let alone $8995, to someone to paint and rearrange my furniture, I think this was a great idea -- for 2004-2006 that is.

He basically got people to pay to be on an Extreme Makeover television. A great idea really, but again, only for 2004-2006.

The business plan can only work if you've got people with money to burn. We all know how that has turned out.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Unemployment a glowing 13.9% for Bend last month, 15.3% adjusted.

Not a word in the Bully...

Anonymous said...

Salem is a much better city to live in than Bend. Similar recreation, better weather, and lots of fat govenment jobs paying 6 figures, with high 5 figure retirement checks.

Anonymous said...

So the government was leasing buildings at $1,000,000. per year,
and can replace that for just $8,000,000. Pays for itself in less than a decade. Private company would have done that 20 years ago. No wonder government workers are looked down on- don't have the brains of a telephone book.

Anonymous said...

Why not use the stimulus money to build a college campus buildings instead of gov't buildings?

Just start building a good-sized damned college.

hbm said...

"the problem with warm climates is that they have far too many scorching hot days"

Never bothered me. When we lived in the Bay Area I'd go for a run or bike ride or play tennis early before it got hot, go to work (in an air-conditioned office), come home and jump in the pool. Our house had no air conditioning and we almost never felt any need for it.

Anonymous said...

A large college is the one thing just about everyone agrees would help. And yet we're willing to throw away money on one dumb boondoggle after another.

When we do plot out a campus, it's at Juniper Ridge, of all places!

hbm said...

"If all you W2 stiffs had to write a check every 3 months for your income tax payment, you'd flip your fucking lid."

I used to do that when I had my PR business; it was a bit of a hassle, but not that horrible. You just had to plan for it.

Quimby said...

>> Why not use the stimulus money to build a college campus buildings instead of gov't buildings?

>> Just start building a good-sized damned college.


If it's a public college (i.e. COCC), it IS a gov't building. I believe a small private college was looking into coming to Sisters a couple years back but was run up the flag pole for being a "Christian" organization. The HORROR!!!!!

hbm said...

"Just start building a good-sized damned college."

Build it and they will come? No, I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

No, it should be private. We won't get a large public university.

Anonymous said...

No private university would build in Bend.
Private schools are expensive, and depend on 2 things:
Local people,with a very large number who have advanced degrees with good educations that want their children to have an exceptional education.
Affluent population that can afford the $30,000 to $40,000 a year for college.
40 % of Deschutes county population lacks a high school degree.
Less than 2% of the population has a masters or above.
Deschutes county has one of the lowest per capita incomes of Oregon,Washington, or California.

Bewert said...

RE: No-one said the IRS wasn't clever.

####

The cleverest part is that most people treat it as a sort of savings plan. And are incredibly happy when the government gives them their money back in the form of a refund without interest.

hbm said...

"Private schools are expensive, and depend on 2 things:
Local people,with a very large number who have advanced degrees with good educations that want their children to have an exceptional education. Affluent population that can afford the $30,000 to $40,000 a year for college."

Top-quality colleges draw students from all over the world, so the affluence of the local population isn't very important. But WHY would a top-quality private college choose to locate in Bend, Oregon? To attract brilliant students whose lives revolve around snowboarding, mountain biking and kayaking? There just ain't that many of those.

And the economic outlook for private colleges is getting weaker every day. Even long-established ones are having a hard time surviving.

hbm said...

"The cleverest part is that most people treat it as a sort of savings plan. And are incredibly happy when the government gives them their money back in the form of a refund without interest."

Yeah, I could never understand that. When I get a tax refund it pisses me off.

Anonymous said...

Guess the Tuscanny Pines debacle continues. The instigator unloaded it, but their personal house is still for sale. Started at 1.7 mill, now a mere million, and dropping.

hbm said...

"Started at 1.7 mill, now a mere million, and dropping."

Some people still don't have any perspective on this situation. People are NOT getting on waiting lists to buy $1 million houses in Bend, nor will they ever again, probably.

The Doctrine of Bend Exceptionalism fostered the delusion that prices were being driven to astronomical levels because "people want to live here" because of our "unique lifestyle," when in reality it was a speculative bubble, pure and simple.

It reminds me of the llama bubble of the late 1980s - early '90s, which also hit Bend hard. People were paying six figures for high-quality stud llamas. Then all of a sudden the bottom dropped out of the llama market.

Why? Same reason the bottom dropped out of Bend's real estate market. Llamas had not suddenly become uniquely desirable beasts; everybody didn't suddenly decide he just couldn't live without a llama. Speculators (operating on the Greater Fool Theory) bid up prices, and eventually the supply of Greater Fools ran out.

hbm said...

Addendum: One year during the height of the llama bubble, llamas were listed as the most valuable agricultural product of Deschutes County. More valuable than cattle, horses, alfalfa, anything. Honest.

Anonymous said...

I'll trade you ten Obamas for one good llama.

Quimby said...

>> And the economic outlook for private colleges is getting weaker every day. Even long-established ones are having a hard time surviving.

HBM, with socialists such as yourself forcibly extracting money from my wallet to fund grand schemes of "something for nothing", no wonder charitable giving and endowments are down these days. Big gov't is now the charity we used to voluntarily give $$$ to.

But I agree with you on one point, ain't no four year college in their right mind coming to little 'ol Bend.

Anonymous said...

"go to work (in an air-conditioned office"

yes but retired people don't work in air-conditioned offices.

hbm said...

"yes but retired people don't work in air-conditioned offices."

But we might live in air-conditioned homes. And we might have air-conditioned cars. And we might have pools.

Why do you suppose it is that Florida, Arizona and California are famous as retirement havens and Minneapolis isn't?

hbm said...

Quimby, your branding me a "socialist" tells me you're just as nuts as Buster. Too bad -- I used to think of you as a rational conservative, and we have too damn few of those these days. Good bye.

Anonymous said...

In Montana you can carry a concealed weapon without a permit, unless you go into a city.

Cities require a permit.

Good idea that we should copy.

Quimby said...

No worries HBM. We still love you, even though you undeniably advocate and argue in favor of clearly socialist governmental policies. Why even try to hide it? :)

And me....nuts? By most people's account, yes. I frankly think it's sad view into the future of lost individual liberties & freedom in the GREAT NEW AMERICA.

And....and...you're always saying good-bye to people (and blogs like this one). Is it because the making up is so sweet? My buddy had a girlfriend like that. LOL!

Quimby said...

>> In Montana you can carry a concealed weapon without a permit, unless you go into a city.

Was in Missouri recently and saw a man carrying open in a DQ. Kinda strange but I wasn't worried one bit. Just kinda shocking since we never see it anymore.

Duncan McGeary said...

I agree with HBM (big surprise). When you use the word socialist, you aren't using it as a description but as a smear.

We're all socialists.

Or not.

What was mainstream a couple of decades ago has been bent out of shape by the right wing for so long they don't recognize it anymore.

Why don't you just say communist and be done with it?

But the loony right wing prefers the word fascist. You know, to describe a black president and a gay jewish congressman.

Call me a liberal, if you wish, but calling me a socialist means you don't really want to discuss anything rationally.

Duncan McGeary said...

And before you come back at me for using the 'looney' right wing -- I'm reserving that for the shouters and the name callers.

If the shoe fits, wear it.

Duncan McGeary said...

The right wing has been wrong about everything for so long -- the economy, the health care system, foreign policy -- they simply can't seem to do anything moderate anymore.

Duncan McGeary said...

It may not seem like it, but I'd been trending more conservative in my politics over the last decade or so, looking back on the mistakes of the sixties, observing how local governments (and non-profits) mishandle money.

But the behavior of the right since Obama's election has sent me the other direction.

It's completely disgraceful, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Duncan McGeary said...

You know, it seems like the right wing had a nervous breakdown after 9/11.

And they've regressed into having tantrums since the election.

Duncan McGeary said...

O.K. anonymous trolls. Have at me.

Anonymous said...

Dunc?

Yawnnnn...

Why bother, it's just Dunc, supporting socialists like hbm.

Yawnnnnn....

Quimby said...

Quite nit-picky guys. So I'm a name-caller by categorizing your belief system?

"Socialist" Definition

Really, no offense meant...just calling 'em as I see them.

I'm afraid you're putting words in my mouth by suggesting I think you're "communists". You guys are free to label me whatever you want, I really don't care. I'm comfortable with who I am and what I believe. It is born of struggle, hardship, & introspection.

I read each of your comments with careful consideration no matter what I think of you rascals.

Bottom line, Dunc, you and HBM and most of the rest of America ("conservative" Republicans included) exhibit a desire for larger federal government influence (i.e. Pork, "a piece of the pie") where I wish it would be cut by 75%....I'm even loonier than you thought, right?

Quimby said...

>> O.K. anonymous trolls. Have at me.

I'm bored too Dunc....where the fuck is Buster????

Quimby said...

>> It's completely disgraceful, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

I agree. But I also think the Sociali---oops....lefties should be ashamed too.

Follow the $$$.

Duncan McGeary said...

Nah, you used the word socialist.

Doesn't fit, dude.

I must admit, it's been entertaining watching the Republican party destroy itself.

Shouting at public meetings has always worked so well for the left in winning over independents. Keep on doing it, guys.

Not listening to any other viewpoint but your own, in right wing radio and Fox news should keep you ignorant of current events and ensure that you stay tone deaf.

Going after minorities in nation that is turning into a nation of minorities is a winning strategy.

And if you win on stopping health care reform, that will be the biggest loss of all as costs just keep going up and people keep losing their insurance.

Just keep doing that kind of stuff.

Be sure not to do anything moderate.

Duncan McGeary said...

So why is it only the liberals who are willing to put their names next to their views.

Me, Bruce, HBM.

What, you guys ashamed of what you think?

And as far as the so called 'Independents', you quack like right wing ducks, you walk like right wing ducks, and you are right wing ducks.

That probably doubles the numbers of people who are on the other side, but I had shadowboxing. I'd rather my opponents are out in the open, you know?

Buster will come along and tell me how stupid I am to use my own name, and blah, blah, blah.

Wussies.

hbm said...

Quim: You cite the definition of "socialist," which is "one who advocates or practices socialism," but you don't cite the definition of "socialism," which is:

"1. any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state."

Have you ever heard me call for the abolition of private property? Have you ever heard me advocate government ownership of the means of production? If you have, please cite chapter and verse.

I do not advocate or support socialism and no American political figure of any stature advocates or supports socialism.

So when you apply the term "socialist" to me and other Americans simply because we advocate things like a public health insurance option, you are ignorant and best and a liar at worst.

It's just the same old Red-baiting tactic that right-wingers have been using since before the turn of the last century.

Duncan McGeary said...

Don't confuse them with facts, HBM.

Bottomline, they are hiding.

hbm said...

"But I also think the Sociali---oops....lefties should be ashamed too."

Of what? How many town hall meetings are being disrupted by screaming, hysterical left-wingers?

hbm said...

"And if you win on stopping health care reform, that will be the biggest loss of all as costs just keep going up and people keep losing their insurance."

And the Democrats will hang it around their necks just like they hung Bush around their necks in the last election. Did I ever tell you Molly Ivins' explanation of how to cure a dog of killing chickens?

Anonymous said...

"So why is it only the liberals who are willing to put their names next to their views. "

Hmm. Anyone dumb enough to put their name on a dumb blog argument must be a liberal?

Quimby said...

>> 1. any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

"Goods" being the operative word here. I believe that healthcare is a good, not a right...so in my book: you're advocating for socialism.

Duncan McGeary said...

Yeah, that's what I thought you'd say.

Wussy.

Duncan McGeary said...

Me, I'm advocating for health insurance I can actually afford.

Seems pretty capitalistic to me.

Quimby said...

>> Wussy.

Hey! No name calling!

>> Me, I'm advocating for health insurance I can actually afford.

No shit Dunc, it is expensive....and I really wish I knew the answer but it is really fucking complicated. It makes my little brain spin. I just want fairness and equability in the equation. Taking my $$$ to pay for someone else's healthcare is wrong on so many levels.

Now....me realizing that my small amount of success in life has 50% to do with my smarts and ambition and 50% to do with sheer fucking luck, I am actually a charitable person. I know that probably surprises you :) But when the state takes over what charitable organizations did in the past, I start to feel a little tighter with my charitable contributions.

For example...

Quimby's Little Brain >> "That bum pandering outside the fast food joint doesn't need my $$$, there are a dozen public agencies that my tax $$$ funds that can take care of him if he really wants help".

I usually buy him a meal anyway if he'll take it cuz I'm a sucker I guess....but that's the thought goes through my head!

Duncan McGeary said...

But the private option simply hasn't worked for me. Show me where I can get health insurance that is affordable and won't go up every year and where I don't risk being refused when I need it.

Right now I'm paying out 350.00 a month, with a 5000.00 deductible.

You know those health forms I fill out?

I put NO to every question but one; cholesterol, for which I dutifully take lipitor. I'm probably about as healthy as a 56 year old could be.

350.00 is like, what?, almost 30% of a minimum wage take home wage. And for what? Only a crisis that would cost more than 5000.00?

It's fucking broke.

What do you want to do about it?

Just say no to everything?

Duncan McGeary said...

And I'm actually paying for insurance.

People are going without, and showing up at the emergency rooms.

Yeah, that's real efficient.

Crying socialism is bogus -- we've had programs like medicaid and medicare for generations now, and I don't see many people wanting to give it up.

You want private insurance? Be my guest. But give people who are less fortunate a chance to buy insurance (My wife Linda was outright refused by more than one company, and the company she is with now has told her the premium would double every year until she reaches Medicare age.)And to buy insurance that isn't 30% of their income, and doesn't really cover anything.

No eye or dental whatsoever. 350.00 a month JUST for insurance.

And I simply don't trust them not to jack up the rate again and again and again and again and again and again, until I quit and they keep whatever I put in.

Nice.

Or to refuse me when I need it, or make it difficult in hopes I'll quit.

hbm said...

"Taking my $$$ to pay for someone else's healthcare is wrong on so many levels."

Why is it so wrong to use public resources (your precious $$$) to pay for health care and not to use them to pay for the military, for police, for fire departments, for the Interstate Highway System, for libraries, for parks, for schools, for public transit, for a thousand other things?

Another point I think you're missing: It wouldn't be taking YOUR precious $$$ to pay for somebody else's health care; it would be taking everybody's precious $$$ to pay for everybody's health care (in a single-payer system) or for everybody who chose to participate in the public-option option. And in the long run it would benefit you and everybody else because it would bring the cost of health care DOWN as it has in every other country that has adopted it.

If, thanks to government competition, you were able to get the same private insurance coverage for $200 a month that you now pay $400 for, wouldn't that be putting $2,200 more precious $$$ in your precious pocket? Or is it that you just HATE paying the government your precious $$$ but LOVE paying it to the insurance companies?

hbm said...

"But when the state takes over what charitable organizations did in the past, I start to feel a little tighter with my charitable contributions."

There is NO FUCKING WAY that private charity can fill the gap in health care. Do you have any idea how long the waiting list is to get an appointment at Volunteers in Medicine? (I do because I briefly volunteered there.)

Relying on private charity is like trying to use duct tape to fix the hole in the Titanic.

hbm said...

"wouldn't that be putting $2,200 more precious $$$ in your precious pocket"

Excuse me -- $2,400 more precious $$$.

Anonymous said...

"I believe that healthcare is a good, not a right."

Actually it's a service. Sorta like police service, fire service, transit service ...

And I don't give a fuck what "your book" says.

hbm said...

"Anyone dumb enough to put their name on a dumb blog argument must be a liberal?"

Anyone gutless enough not to put his name to what he writes must be a conservative hypocrite and liar who fears exposure.

jonathan said...

okay i cant stand it anymore, i'm going in... i've read this and several other bend blogs for years and i finally gotta say something.

Re "liberal" V. "conservative" what a pile of crap. this entire country is composed of people who simultaniously hold "conservative" and "liberal" views. anyone who does not believe this is not being honest with themselves. it is a fairly recent development that these words and thir attendant political ideas have been commodified to serve as a cudgell to seperate Americans based on some supposed divergence in our political spectrum and a nice little racket where a bunch of well connected (elites you might say)people can bank serious cash by stirring discontent. air america included tho i think they are making a lot less money than the more right leaning crew.

tim said...

The name calling cracks me up. How kindergarten can we get? I'm waiting for "poopy head." Which side will break it out first?

Anonymous said...

Current federal debt is 9 trillion dollars.
By the time Obama leaves office in 7 years, it will be approx. 20 trillion dollars.
at 5% interest, the interest alone on the national debt will be 1 tillion dollars per year.

Duncan McGeary said...

Shut up, poopy head.

Duncan McGeary said...

There aren't many blogs left that have more than a couple of liberals or a couple of conservatives who post regularly.

Usually, one side drives out the other.

And then you get the echo chamber reinforcing each other's views.

Paul-doh may think this place attracts pesky liberals, but I think there are more conservatives here.

I've heard the above viewpoint on the 'labels' of conservative and liberal not making a difference, because the rich elites rule everything, and it sounds good but I don't quite believe it.

I think it does matter.

And the rich elites do rule.

tim said...

And it's Duncan who elevates us to kindergarten. Good work! Takes us right up out of preschool. :-)

I'm so proud. It's like you all have graduated. ::sniff::

Anonymous said...

Quimby says:
"I believe that healthcare is a good, not a right...so in my book: you're advocating for socialism."

Quimby, did you actually read HBM's definition? And are you familiar with the health care proposals?

If the healthcare proposal is "socialist" then the idea would be that the government buys up all the local hospitals and make them public owned. Is that what is being proposed? I'm no expert, but I don't think so.

All that Obama is trying to do is make it easier for some people to get insurance.

Basically we have a choice of "guns or butter" in Econ 101 parlance. Would you rather spend 10 trillion over the next 10 years on wars in Iraq and Afganistan (basically a giant jobs creation arm of government), or spend a far smaller amount on making it easier for all Americans to get health insurance?

Anonymous said...

Re: Buster

He should be back from the Pacific Ring of Fire in 5 days.

Why he left during the finest weather of the year, I have no idea.

Five more days, and we'll get to hear more about Kuratek, Emma Goldsomething (the anarchist), spraying for bugs, and assorted bungholes.

Since then this blog has become positively G-rated.

Anonymous said...

Ted Kennedy - a great American.
Who can replace him?

Bewert said...

Re: Taking my $$$ to pay for someone else's healthcare is wrong on so many levels.

####

That's what insurance is--a common pool of funds to service those who need it when they need it.

Now not taxing health insurance benefits to individuals, while making those costs also deductible from the corporations income, and then making self-employed people like me pay for health insurance with after tax money is totally unfair.

Why the fuck am I subsidizing your health insurance?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how Mary Jo Kopechne (see photo link) feels about the death of HBM's idol, Teddy?

http://zackzilla.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/mary-jo.jpg

Quimby said...

Alright....maybe "socialist" was a LITTLE harsh and was used to exaggerate my point a bit.

I take it back.

But I'll have a hard time forgiving the "wussy" jab. That one hurt guys.

Duncan McGeary said...

What? You admit you were harsh?

Wussy.

Actually, I know who you are, cause you came in and introduced yourself, therefore you aren't an anonymous wussy. At least, not to me.

Anonymous said...

"Alright....maybe "socialist" was a LITTLE harsh and was used to exaggerate my point a bit."
===

Maybe with respect to Obamacare, yes.

But not to Government Motors. It fits hbm's definition perfectly. Government takeover of the means of production (private enterprise). And also much of how Bush and then Obama handled the financial crisis.

Obama is implementing many socialist policies. Expanding Government into areas never before done in America. Surprised? By the most Liberal Senator? That he likes socialist policies? I'm Shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!

And Obama is doing it just like the failed socialist programs already tried unsuccessfully in Europe, where the corrupt cronies get rewarded, and the enemies get punished. Who got their GM dealerships canceled, and who benefited from that? Obama cronies.

Anonymous said...

How did Obama cronies benefit from closing GM dealerships?

hbm said...

"I wonder how Mary Jo Kopechne (see photo link) feels about the death of HBM's idol, Teddy?"

You Kennedy-haters just never give it up, do you? 40 years ago and you're still going on about Chappaquiddick.

To take a more recent example: I wonder how the more than 4,000 dead American troops and more than 100,000 dead Iraqis feel about your hero, Chimpy McSmirk aka Captain Codpiece aka George W. Bush?

Wonder how many times Chimpy drove drunk? He was just lucky he didn't kill anybody.

hbm said...

"How did Obama cronies benefit from closing GM dealerships?"

You're asking for a rational response from somebody who does not inhabit the world of rationality, or reality. It's a lost cause.

hbm said...

"Europe, where the corrupt cronies get rewarded, and the enemies get punished."

Of course, such things NEVER happen under capitalism. We're as pure as the driven snow over here.

BTW as far as the current economic situation goes, those "failed" European countries seem to be doing better than we are.

hbm said...

I wonder what happened to this loser asshole:

http://www.ktvz.com/Global/story.asp?S=10849471

He looks like the kind of idiot who voted for Chimpy.

Quimby said...

>> I wonder what happened to this loser asshole:


Are you fucking serious HBM?

That is tasteless.

hbm said...

Quim: Yes, it is tasteless. And stupid. But I didn't post it. It was an impostor hbm. Probably some right-winger who wants to emulate his hero Karl Rove in the dirty tricks department.

Quimby said...

Doh!

Anonymous said...

I think if Ted had just killed someone from driving drunk, it wouldn't have haunted him. I think it was the call to get political help rather than physical help that tainted him.

Anonymous said...

Pretty bloody awful, and I'm talking about Kennedy's actions AFTER he swam to shore, not the accident.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chappaquiddick_incident

Not super impressive. His brothers kicked his ass all over the place in class.

Anonymous said...

"Not super impressive. His brothers kicked his ass all over the place in class."

Shut the fuck up.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

it will be approx. 20 trillion dollars.
at 5% interest, the interest alone on the national debt will be 1 tillion dollars per year.


I guarantee the interest rate won't be 5% when the debt is $20 trill.

What's sort of funny is that a lot of people are talking more about the yearly interest, not the principal... like we'll never have to pay that off.

Anonymous said...

The principal on the national debt Will never be paid off.
Since the 1970's, is has been growing, with no attempt to pay it off.
This $1 trillion per year in interest, will require substantial INCREASE in federal income taxes,and not just on the "rich" making over $250,000.
Anyone making over $40,000.will be paying a LOT more in taxes.

Anonymous said...

Who was the first liberal democrat?
Christopher Columbus.
He didn't know where he was going.
When he got there, he had not idea where he was,and he left not knowing where he had been.
And he did it all with borrowed money.

Duncan McGeary said...

Who was the first conservative?

Torquemada .

He stayed home in Spain.
He liked the status quo just fine.
He liked wearing weird suits.
He tortured anyone who didn't agree with him.

tim said...

Counties where boomers will move.

Oregon shows up #10 (Tillamook).

Quimby said...

>> Oregon shows up #10 (Tillamook).

Maybe it's the cheese.

Anonymous said...

hbm said...
"I wonder how Mary Jo Kopechne (see photo link) feels about the death of HBM's idol, Teddy?"

You Kennedy-haters just never give it up, do you? 40 years ago and you're still going on about Chappaquiddick.

------

And you don't think you would go on about something Chimpy did 40 years ago. You're full of shit. Oh, and a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

So, if you let a woman drown to death in your car,never offer an explanation of why you did not call for help,never apologize to the family, but get away with it, "all is forgiven".

Anonymous said...

I wants to buy me a mobile home in Bend. I are a junior high school graduate, so reading this blog, I thinks I will fit right in.

Bewert said...

Another Bend dream is over:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160357144969&viewitem=&sspagename=ADME%3AB%3ASS%3AUS%3A1123

Anonymous said...

Boomers move to Tillamook county? From WHERE? The Hoh Rain Forest?

hbm said...

"And you don't think you would go on about something Chimpy did 40 years ago."

First, I don't expect to be around in 40 years.

Second, Chimpy's death toll is in a whole different league from Ted Kennedy's.

hbm said...

"So, if you let a woman drown to death in your car,never offer an explanation of why you did not call for help,never apologize to the family, but get away with it, "all is forgiven"."

Kennedy should have been charged with manslaughter. If it had happened in any other state he probably would have.

That said, give it up already. It was 40 years ago and the man is now dead. He got drunk, drove a car into the water, and his passenger drowned. These things happen, regrettably. Those who insist Kennedy "murdered" Mary Jo are in the same class with the morons who believe in "death panels" and Obama's Kenyan birth. (Probably the same morons, in fact.)

Hint: If you have the wealth and power of the Kennedys and you need somebody murdered, you don't have to do it yourself. You can have it done by professionals, who would also make sure the victim's body was never found. Driving a car into a pond in the hope that the victim will drown is a very inefficient way to handle the job.

Duncan McGeary said...

Yeah, ol'Teddy isn't someone I'd have wanted to count on in a emergency.

tim said...

Kennedy didn't murder her, in my opinion. His lack of character showed in his actions after the death. Lots of people drove drunk back then. Lots of people died.

I love his phone call that night whining about the loud party, though. Classic. Telltale heart?

Anonymous said...

http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/fed_unemployment_rate/2009/08/27/252987.html check this out

Anonymous said...

"So, if you let a woman drown to death in your car,never offer an explanation of why you did not call for help,never apologize to the family, but get away with it, all is forgiven."

I watched my best friend get run over by a truck getting off the bus in high school. I was 14 at the time.

What I remember most about the incident was how we all just sat there. Nobody screamed, or cried or ran over to help. We were stunned to the point of being stupefied.

There are times when the brain can't process what happened and your actions make no sense to you or anybody else later on.

I wouldn't wish the experience on anybody.

Nobody knows Kennedy's state of mind that night but his actions are nonsensical enough to present as someone in complete disbelief of the events before them.

For those of you who insist on narrating backwards I'll repeat what I said earlier - shut the fuck up.

Anonymous said...

http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Real_US_unemployment_rate_at_16_pct_08262009.html?ref=patrick.net

Anonymous said...

We're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, signed by a president that also hasn't read it, and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke, so that illegal aliens can have coverage!

Anonymous said...

"We're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, signed by a president that also hasn't read it, and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke, so that illegal aliens can have coverage!"

AND IT WILL STILL BE BETTER THEN WHAT WE HAVE NOW.

Anonymous said...

If you are a family of 4 in the lower 40% of personal income, you pay no federal income tax, and,indeed, free medical care will be wonderful(after all, you are not paying for it>)
However, if your family has a combined income of over $50,000. you will be paying more in taxes to cover the uninsured.

Bewert said...

However, if your family has a combined income of over $50,000. you will be paying more in taxes to cover the uninsured.

####

Taxes would be increased by 1% for gross income exceeds $350,000, 1.5% for gross income over $500,000, and 5.4% for gross income over $1,000,000. See pages 197-198 of HR3200.

Anonymous said...

The LAST health care bill, Medicare Part D, was debated TWO DAYS, and voted on at 2AM. Your guys said, if you want a bill, this is what you can have.

And you now have "problems?" Yeah - problems with the TRUTH.

Anonymous said...

>However, if your family has a combined income of over $50,000. you will be paying more in taxes to cover the uninsured.

And it will still be cheaper for me than the current health insurance bills I pay.

Anonymous said...

>> AND IT WILL STILL BE BETTER THEN WHAT WE HAVE NOW.

This is absolute bullshit.

Anonymous said...

>> And it will still be cheaper for me than the current health insurance bills I pay.

Oh yeah, as long as its cheaper for you and some other poor sap is picking up the tab, you're cool with it you motherfucking leech.

Bewert said...

Re: Oh yeah, as long as its cheaper for you and some other poor sap is picking up the tab, you're cool with it you motherfucking leech.

####

Hey, asshole, you want to keep paying the 30% overhead costs to private insurance companies there is no law coming that will prevent you from doing so.

I would rather not pay for-profit overhead costs, and for bonuses for denying me treatment or finding a reason to take my insurance away when I really need it. I want a fucking bureaucrat that does not have a financial interest in denying me coverage approving or denying my doctors requests for treatments.

You are the motherfucking leach, asshole, because I have been paying higher taxes most of my life because your employer-provided health insurance is not taxed.

Let's be fair, and tax that benefit so we all are on the same playing field. That's only fair, isn't it?

Bewert said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jng4TnKqy6A

Anonymous said...

>> AND IT WILL STILL BE BETTER THEN WHAT WE HAVE NOW.

This is absolute bullshit.
=====

Not bullshit, but poor grammar as well.

"...BETTER THEN..."

was it BETTER THEN, but not NOW? How much BETTER THEN was it? How long ago was it back THEN, when it was BETTER?

Oh, you meant BETTER THAN? as in BETTER *THAN* WHAT WE HAVE NOW?

Got it.

and yes, you are still full of absolute bullshit.

Anonymous said...

"You are the motherfucking leach, asshole,"

====

The Pussy is mad, and can really swear up a storm. The Pussy has to swear since she has no logical arguments to offer.

This is the same Pussy who was named Pussy for many reasons, such as he was an asswipe Butt-blug salesman to the Bend City Council.

Who was named Pussy since his man-wife supported him so that he could blog all day in his PJs.

Who earned his Pussy name after turning tail and running to Utah, driven from Bend because he was too wussy a Pussy to man up and fight it out.

Welcome back, Pussy. Please, don't ever leave us, where ever you may go. We need the humor!

Anonymous said...

Why is some idiot from Utah even posting on a Bend website?

hbm said...

For a look at how splendidly our wonderful current unsocialized health care system works, check out this guy's blog: http://psoriatic.wordpress.com/

We need to remember that the problem with the system isn't just with uninsured people; those who have insurance are getting fucked over by their insurance companies all the time ... and being forced to pay more and more for it every year. The system needs some meaningful competition, and a public insurance option is one way to give it some.

Anonymous said...

A Hummer truck dealer in St. Louis, is now selling rifles right next to the cars.
Sounds like we need some creative marketing like that around here.
How about a bookstore/gun shop?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Why is some idiot from Utah even posting on a Bend website?"
**********

"...idiot from Utah..."
A little redundant, don't you think?

Duncan McGeary said...

"How about a bookstore/gun shop?"

What?!! You think Dan Brown is a good writer!!!

BLAM!

Bewert said...

"...idiot from Utah..."
A little redundant, don't you think?

####
Yep, that is fucking funny coming from the unemployed peanut gallery.

Bend: 354 Bend, OR Metropolitan Statistical Area 14.8%

Salt Lake: 23 Salt Lake City, UT Metropolitan Statistical Area 5.9%

Logan (started its four-year school about 90 years ago): 4 Logan, UT-ID Metropolitan Statistical Area 4.7%

Source http://www.bls.gov/web/laummtrk.htm

####

Hey, no one is stopping you from sleeping in your own shit.

Yep, I'm fine with being a dumb fuck who goes where I'm actually being recruited to work.

Enjoy your food stamps. I'm paying for them.

Anonymous said...

>>>AND IT WILL STILL BE BETTER THEN WHAT WE HAVE NOW.

That was put out there to profile lurking grammar nazi's and dumb-ass white conservatives.

>>THIS IS ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT

Looks like I got me two with one bullet.

Anonymous said...

"Enjoy your food stamps. I'm paying for them."
===

"Nothing like munching on free top ramen and watching the sunset over the cascade range."

-An appreciative Bend local

Anonymous said...

>Oh yeah, as long as its cheaper for you and some other poor sap is picking up the tab, you're cool with it you motherfucking leech.

No. I'm cool with it because it will be a better and more efficient health care system, you motherfucking luddite.

Anonymous said...

>> No. I'm cool with it because it will be a better and more efficient health care system, you motherfucking luddite.

Surely you jest.

Anonymous said...

Look at government effecency at
The Post Office
Amtrac
Social Securtiy
The IRS

Yes, we will definitily be better off.

Bewert said...

Re: Surely you jest.

####

Hey, give us some facts that prove that private insurance is more efficient than Medicare in the US, or alternatively that any of all the other industrialized countries spend less for better care than we in the US have.

Anonymous said...

"Look at government effecency at
The Post Office
Amtrac
Social Securtiy
The IRS"

Hell, I'd rather deal with all them than my insurance company.

Anonymous said...

>>>Hell, I'd rather deal with all them than my insurance company.

Amen brother.

My son who runs cross country was having trouble breathing during allergy season. Doctor gave him an inhaler (free sample normally used for asthma) from his office. It totally handled the problem and he never needed it again.

Spent the next year arguing with the insurance company that my son was not an asthmatic. It's still part of his MIB today, and it's now considered a pre-existing condition. Here's hoping he never really does develop asthma.

And if you don't know what a MIB is then you don't know how broke the current system is.

Most of us aren't complaining about the quality of medical care in America - just the system in which it is delivered.

Nuf said.

Anonymous said...

>Hell, I'd rather deal with all them than my insurance company.

My wife apparently made a comment about 6 years ago after she had an IUD put in that she had an irregular period... once. It took us 4 months to get insurance last time after being refused by three companies. Ya.. what we have is friggen spectacular.

hbm said...

It seems the only people the insurance companies are willing to insure are those who don't need insurance.

Which begs the question: Why the hell do we need the insurance companies?

Anonymous said...

Insurance companies pool money, and pay loses that an individual could not pay.
If your house burns down, could you replace it without insurance?
If you run over a pedestrian, could you pay the $1,000,000. judgement against you?
One of my friends died recenty of throat cancer (chewed "safe" tobacco all his life)
Medical bills were over $1,000,000. Family did not have to pay a cent.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Insurance companies pool money, and pay loses that an individual could not pay.
If your house burns down, could you replace it without insurance?
If you run over a pedestrian, could you pay the $1,000,000. judgement against you?
One of my friends died recenty of throat cancer (chewed "safe" tobacco all his life)


################

Oh, by the way, did I mention that my name is Ken and I can be reached at the Bend downtown office of Farmers Insurance Company?

hbm said...

"Medical bills were over $1,000,000. Family did not have to pay a cent."

Sorry, I can't believe that. He had no deductible? No co-pays?

I understand the principle of "spreading the risk." But a government-backed health insurance plan could do that just as well as a private one -- in fact better, because it would have a bigger pool to spread the risk among.

And a government program, unlike a private one, would only have to stay solvent, not constantly make bigger profits to drive its share prices up and pay seven- or eight-figure salaries to its executives -- so it would have no motive to try to weasel out of paying legitimate claims, the way many private companies do.

The anti-public option forces talk out of both sides of their mouths. On one hand they say the government would do a horrible job of providing health insurance -- and on the other they say the public option would be so superior it would force private insurance companies out of business. Can't have it both ways, folks.

Anonymous said...

The real misery rate: 24 percent
In Oregon, one in four people can’t find full-time jobs
By peter korn

The Portland Tribune, Aug 13, 2009, Updated Aug 13, 2009

L.E. BASKOW / TRIBUNE PHOTO

George Snipes uses a computer at WorkSource Oregon to search for possible job openings. The Vietnam veteran was laid off last November and now is applying for part-time work.
Here’s the thing that worries unemployed Woodstock resident George Snipes: What if things are worse, much worse, than we are being told?

They are, says Andrew Sum, an economist who heads the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. Sum has analyzed employment data for all 50 states, and he says that those charts provide statistical verification of what Snipes feels in his gut: Oregon’s 12.2 percent official unemployment rate is something of a red herring and far from a true indicator of the social hardship taking place in Oregon today.

If you really want to know how much people are suffering, Sum says, check out Oregon’s labor underutilization rate. That number combines the unemployed with two other categories of workers who don’t make it into the official unemployment rate – underemployed workers who want full-time work but can only find part-time jobs, and unemployed people who say they want work but have given up looking.

Combining those two categories with the state’s official unemployment rate brings Oregon’s rate up to 23.8 percent for the first six months of 2009, and over 24 percent for the past three months. That’s the worst in the nation, according to the center’s data, and it means nearly one in every four work-ready Oregonians is struggling to get by, an unprecedented number in post-depression America.

Sadly, a closer look at the data makes the numbers, and Oregon’s prospects, look even worse.

For instance, more than 53.5 percent of Oregon’s unemployed lost jobs that are never coming back, according to the Center for Labor Market Studies’ data. In just two years, that rate – what some economists call permanent job losses – has tripled in Oregon. That’s a growth rate that Sum also says is unprecedented.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oregon has the nation’s highest percentage of underutilized workers — those who are unemployed, combined with those working part time who want full-time jobs.

hbm said...

Every church should have a preacher like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pPlFrmkXlE

Anonymous said...

This is the preacher that every church should have.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqWaTicF0cU

Bewert said...

Interesting article about Barney Frank helping Ron Paul get his Fed Audit bill passed. "Finally we will subject [the Fed] to a complete audit. I have been working with Ron Paul, the main sponsor of that bill....The House will pass [HR 1207] in October."

http://dailybail.com/home/bailout-barney-gets-frank-about-the-fed-the-house-will-pass.html

Anonymous said...

for those of you looking for jobs, there are thousands of local government jobs in CA.that pay between $100,000 and $800,000 per year-see
www.contracostatimes.com/public-employee-salaries

Bewert said...

Interesting that 8 of the top 10 and 16 of the top 25 are involved in health care, most in two institutions: 1) Washington Hospital Healthcare System, serving a district in Southern Alameda County with 320,000 residents while earning $325M in patient service revenue and paying $190M in salaries and benefits. www.whhs.com

2) San Joaquin General Hospital, serving San Joaquin County and its 620,000 residents. www.sjgeneralhospital.com

Both seem to be non-profits, although it's hard to tell. And both embarked on ambitious building plans in 2008.

Something to think about in any reform?