Cellar Door Skeptics 178: New Theory on Distribution Method for Salaries

Cellar Door Skeptics have an extended weekend but cram out an episode between cooking and working this holiday week. We apologize for not releasing on Wednesday but we promise this episode is worth the wait.

The show begins with a conversation on a new theory that has been tested by a few companies where they give more money to those on the bottom of the workforce verses distributing it back to the top.The team also talks about Ford’s job restructuring and how Trump’s awesome plans have really “helped” that industry. We also look at an article that talks about how Trump has maneuvered his tax returns and created standards for others in a similar class to do the same.

The show ends with a discussion on a new scientific discovery about how volcanoes form as well as the Quick Saves of the week.

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Links
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/15/executive-pay-salaries-carecentrix-senior-team-employees
——–
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1183-6
https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=298562&org=NSF&from=news
——–
https://n.pr/2LXcNV5
https://twitter.com/berniesanders/status/1130504934884085761?s=21
——–
https://www.thenation.com/article/irs-taxes-trump-audits/
——–
Quicksave
Hanna: Time to bury grandma and then eat her nutrients
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/washington-becomes-first-state-to-legalize-human-composting/
Tanner: NASA Deep Space Missions
https://www.space.com/nasa-deep-space-radiation-mission-biosentinel.html

Cellar Door Skeptics 174: Wight Walkers Carbon Foot Print

Click on Image to Listen to the Show!

The shows starts off with the duo talking about End Game and the recent GOT epic battle. They try and leave out all the spoilers and focus just on their experiences with these shows.

The show continues with examining if Non-believers could be the key to swing the election for the democrats or if it will just be another Trump 2020 pony show. They look at the recent studies that show non-belief has surpassed christians and how this could affect things.

A great article from a local paper sparked their interest and they delved into what is the difference between Liberal Socialism and Democratic Socialism. If you believed that Bernie is a Democratic Socialist do not miss this segment as they dissect the beliefs of some of the recent candidates.

Last article for the night covers an NPR report on whether or not companies like Blue Apron are better for the environment than grocery stores. No the duo has not sought sponsorship, but they are interested in examining the carbon footprint each has.

The show closes as usual with their Quick Saves of the week.

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Links
——
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/27/opinion/is-trump-good-for-trump.html
http://ryanburge.net/
https://twitter.com/ryanburge/status/1108183399364263936
http://www.norc.org/Research/Projects/Pages/general-social-survey.aspx
——
https://www.hollandsentinel.com/opinion/20190420/ray-buursma-no-its-not-socialism?utm_source=SFMC&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GHM_Daily_Newsletter&utm_content=GTCP_HS&utm_term=042119
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_socialism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism
——
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/04/22/716010599/meal-kits-have-smaller-carbon-footprint-than-grocery-shopping-study-says?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20190422
——
Quick Saves
Tanner: Munchies and Weight Gain
https://www.michiganradio.org/post/msu-study-marijuana-users-gain-less-weight-non-users
Pupper Firefighter
https://i.redd.it/kk7kprajuvt21.jpg

Cellar Door Skeptics 162: Do Democrats Oppose Walls / New York’s Late Term Abortion Law

The duo starts the show off talking about the charity of the week. The Holocaust was a huge tragedy that plagued the world in the 30s and 40s. The charity is a local memorial museum that helps everyone know the history of the atrocities that happened to millions of people.

As the show continues on, Tanner talks about some of the recent articles pushed by the Anti-Choice groups that believe the New York law allowing women to have abortions after 24 weeks due to complications is going to lead to women having numerous abortions because they just want to. The articles use fear tactics, fake news, and slippery slope arguments to try and conflate the real news of women being able to make their own choices about their health care.

The final segment Hanna did some research to investigate how many times democrats have voted for a wall. He looks into if it is a valid argument many trumpsters pose and what we need to know to ensure that we can make informed decisions when it comes to the next election cycle.

The show ends as always with Hanna’s and Tanner’s Infamous Quick Saves of the week.

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Intro Music: http://aloststateofmind.com/

Links
——-
Intro Segment: No One Legalized Spontaneous Late Term Abortions
https://www.facebook.com/100000337958310/posts/2266342413387002?sfns=cl
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/18/late-term-abortion-experience-donald-trump
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/ss/ss6624a1.htm…
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1363/4521013
https://drjengunter.wordpress.com/…/donald-trump…/
https://drjengunter.wordpress.com/…/hey-rubio-an-obgyn…/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151926/
https://calumsblog.com/2019/01/26/yes-new-yorks-abortion-law-is-as-extreme-as-it-sounds-or-more/
http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/january/a-sad-and-evil-day-new-york-legalizes-abortion-up-to-babys-birth-day-on-anniversary-of-roe-v-wade
https://www.facebook.com/calumiller/posts/10156603360417550?comment_id=10156603802277550&notif_id=1548522447175338&notif_t=feed_comment_reply&ref=notif
Segment Local Charity of the Week: Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus
https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/international-holocaust-remembrance-day
https://www.holocaustcenter.org
Segment: Democrats Want Open Borders and Hate Walls!” Or Do They…?
https://cellardoorskeptics.com/2019/01/26/democrats-want-open-borders-and-hate-walls-or-do-they/
Quick Save Segment
Tanner: Static X Reunion
http://loudwire.com/surviving-static-x-members-wisconsin-death-trip-20th-anniversary-tour/
Hanna: To Shit or Not to Shit
https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/ahyizp/this_is_some_dope_shiet/

“Democrats Want Open Borders and Hate Walls!” Or Do They…?

Just to be clear, dear conservatives, I have been seeing posts and videos about the supposed “HYPOCRISY” of Democrats and their leadership over border wall spending; just to be sure you are talking about the how they voted for Comprehensive Immigration bills in October 2006 and April 2013 and the passage of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 right? You know, three times where Democrats voted for walls and security and fences and patrols!… Wonder why they did that if they want open borders? Hypocrisy, or at least its definition, more accurately resembles how you are able to make both these claims at the same time… But I digress…

Well, I’ve pulled 4 bills that are relevant here and they are listed below. For the first House Bill I did not include an analysis because its extreme nature made it a non starter even for many Republicans, but it is a reason why the Secure Fence Act passed so it is necessary to include herein.

So, here we go.

  • H.R.4437 – Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005
    • Extreme yuck, you go look it up.
  • S.2611 – Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (Schumer, Biden, Clinton, Obama Yea Votes) 5/25/2006
    • The major difference between H.R. 4437 and S. 2611 was the proposed legalization for illegal immigrants in S. 2611. The Senate legislation allowed illegal immigrants who have been in the country for more than five years, estimated to be 7 million in number, to apply for citizenship by paying fines and back taxes. Illegal immigrants who have been in the country for 2 to 5 years, numbering around 3 million, would be allowed to stay in the country without fear of deportation, but after 3 years would have to leave the U.S. and could apply for citizenship abroad. Those in the country for under 2 years would be required to return to their original nations. Thus, with some waiting, 10 million illegal immigrants could be eligible to become citizens. The fine is around $2000, but some sources say it could have been higher.
    • The Bill also introduces a H-2C visa, or “blue card.” This visa allows employers to bring in outside workers for up to 6 years, after which the employee must spend one year in their original country. The Bill proposes 370 miles (600 km) of fencing along highly populated areas near the border; H.R. 4437 proposes 700 miles (1,100 km) of fencing.
    • The Bill does not mention any expanded role for local law enforcement for border enforcement tasks (primarily for interior enforcement) the way that H.R. 4437 does. There is an added clause, the Inhofe Amendment, an English-only proposal that makes English the “national language” of the United States aiming at discouraging services in any other language than English (YUCK but an obvious compromise to get a vote and one that should not have been made…).
    • The bill would also increase the annual cap for H-1B work visas from 65,000 to 115,000, with an automatic 20% increase year on year, thus increasing the number of information technology and other professionals from foreign countries eligible to work in the U.S. It also would lower the standard by which judges determine who is eligible for refugee status from “clear and convincing evidence” to “substantial evidence.”
    • It would allow illegal immigrants who later become legal to collect Social Security benefits based on social security credits earned while they were illegal. Also, the United States federal government would have to consult with Mexican officials before commencement of any fence construction on the U.S. side of the border.
    • This bill has been compared to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
  • H.R.6061 – Secure Fence Act of 2006 9/14/06
    • Democrats normally in favor of looser immigration laws saw the Secure Fence Act of 2006 as the lesser of two evils, according to a Boston Globe report that detailed the legislative process. Around that same time, the House passed legislation that would make any undocumented immigrant a felon.
    • “It didn’t have anywhere near the gravity of harm,” Angela Kelley, who in 2006 was the legislative director for the National Immigration Forum, told the Boston Globe. “It was hard to vote against it because who is going to vote against a secure fence? And it was benign compared with what was out there.” (H.R.4437…)
  • S.744 – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act 2013 (Schumer, Sanders Yea Votes)
    • The bill dealt with immigration reform. It proposed to increase some security along the southern US border with Mexico, allow long-term illegal immigrants to gain legal status, and to increase the number of guest workers over and above those already present in the U.S. through a new “blue card” visa program.
    • The sponsor of the Bill, Senator Arlen Specter, introduced it on April 7, 2006. It was passed on May 25, 2006, by a vote of 62-36. Cloture was invoked, which limited debate to a 30-hour period. The parallel House Bill H.R. 4437 would have dealt with immigration differently. Neither bill became law because the two Houses were not able to reach an agreement to go to a conference committee. The end of the 109th Congress (January 3, 2007) marked the defeat of both bills.
    • The bill was voted out of Committee on May 21, 2013 and was placed on the Senate calendar. On June 27, 2013, the Senate passed the bill on 68-32 margin. The bill was not considered by THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY HELD United States House of Representatives and died in the 113th Congress.
    • If enacted, the bill would have made it possible for many undocumented immigrants to GAIN LEGAL STATUS AND EVENTUALLY CITIZENSHIP. It would have increased border security by adding up to 40,000 border patrol agents. It also would have advanced TALENT BASED immigration through a points-based immigration system (you know like Trumpy and the Republicans say they want).
    • New visas had been proposed in this legislation, including a visa for entrepreneurs and a W visa for lower skilled workers. It also proposed new restrictions on H1B visa program to PREVENT ITS ABUSE and additional visas/green-cards for students with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees from U.S. institutions. The bill also included a $1.5 billion youth jobs program and repealed the Diversity Visa Lottery in favor of prospective legal immigrants who are already in the United States.
    • The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this reform bill would have reduced the U.S. fiscal deficit by US $197 billion over the next ten years and by $700 billion by 2033. Its report also states that, if the bill had been passed, U.S. wages would have been 0.1 percent lower in 2023 and 0.5 percent higher in 2033 than under current law. The Social Security Administration said that it would help add $276 billion in revenue over the next 10 years while costing only $33 billion.

So yeah, in 2006 with a 1/3 legislative minority the Democrats took a lesser of two evils strategic step and in 2013 supported a comprehensive moderate immigration bill that added border security but also made immigration safe, legal, and fair. One that was not even considered by House Leader John Boehner. Sure, Sanders and Obama and Hillary and Schumer and Pelosi have a history of voting for border security, just like you forgot to read what was actually in the bills.

In conclusion, #Maga Men and Women, your criticisms and smoking guns are generally a bad argument since the Democrat’s bills had much of what you and your president have recently demanded but you wouldn’t vote for it when Obama was in office. Its not my fault you chose to be obstructionists instead of politicians, but you need to at least read something before you say it proves that you are winning.

A Democracy of Kingship

For more from David, click HERE

America is an amazing country. We as a people have managed, despite tendencies to the contrary, to maintain and expand a democratic representative government for nearly two-and-a-half centuries. We have gone from a system where the color of one’s skin determined slavery, to being seen as only 2/3 of a person and eventually having full voting rights. We have gone from a culture where women were considered too frail in temperament to consider politics, to having full voting rights and now running and winning positions in government. We came from a feudalism where the worth of a person was more determined by their familial name than the power of their ideas and the passion of their lives. We did all this and more, yet we find ourselves tacitly accepting and overtly seeking the very loss of political freedom that drove this country to exist and persevere.

 

Many can likely remember the headlines when Barack Obama became president in 2008. “Change” was the word of the day and like a progressive savior he was to usher in a new era of anti-moneyed interests and fight for the common person upon which his campaign was supposedly based. Setting aside the ridiculous rhetoric out of the conservative pundits and pop-media politicians decrying Obama’s action as that of a king, there is still some comparison with the headlines and progressive rhetoric leading up to his presidency. Mainstream media has done a fine job of promoting this narrative and to an American public enamored of the Hollywood-ization of politics, the focus on a single person and family is certainly a lot easier than attempting to understand the myriad relationships and complex political arrangements of a large bureaucratic federal government. As our technology has made all things individual capable of being social, so then that same technology has made all things local into national. Cut off from any sense of empowerment through our local governments, we seek to find in the Presidency a banner-man to climb that tall hill of Washington corruption and lead the masses to victory.

 

obama headline 2008In “Escape from Freedom“, Erich Fromm discusses the nature of freedom within the context of human social psychology. It is worth quoting him at length here:

“Both factors, his need to live and the social system, in principle are unalterable by him as an individual, and they are the factors which determine the development of those other traits that show greater plasticity. Thus the mode of life, as it is determined for the individual by the peculiarity of an economic system, becomes the primary factor in determining his whole character structure, because the imperative need for self-preservation forces him to accept the conditions under which he has to live” (p. 16).

With this in mind, let’s consider the latest ascendent to the progressive populist throne, Bernie Sanders, and the political context that he rises within, a context that seems forgotten by the American people.

 

In “Fortune,” it was noted: “Saez and Zucman show that, in America, the wealthiest 160,000 families own as much wealth as the poorest 145 million families, and that wealth is about 10 times as unequal as income.” This inequality is not simply a reflection of an economic system creating a modern-day oligarchy, it is an indication of our political system as well. To win a seat in Congress takes money, but the amount has dramatically increased over the years. From 1986 to 2012, the average cost to win an election for the House of Representatives has risen from $360,000 to $1.3 million, an increase of 344%. During the same time period, the average cost to win an election for Senate has risen from $6.4 million to $10.4 million, an increase of 62%. The Presidential election of 2012 was the first time in which over $2 billion was spent by the candidates themselves, with a grand total from all organizations and groups at over $7 billion. To put this in context, that’s more than the entire GDP of Bermuda in 2012.

 

Much is currently being made, as it was during Obama’s campaign, of Sanders’s appeal to the general populace. His campaign page has the line “not the billionaires” to indicate his interests are with the populist 99%. This is not a hard case to be made, as a look at the contributors to his political campaigns shows. For the purposes of distinguishing Sanders from Hillary Clinton, Vox published a side-by-side comparison of donors since 1989. While only one of Clinton’s top 20 donors are non-corporate, 19 of Sanders’s top donors are unions. Were this merely an issue of ideological purity, the numbers would be an open and shut case of who is truly for the people rather than the vested interests of the disproportionately powerful. However, taking a look at the numbers again we see a remarkable problem, Clinton’s number one donor has given more than Sanders’s top 13 donors combined. With an acknowledgment of how much money is required to win political campaigns, we can see that the issue of being elected is not one of ideological populism but economic disparity. When that disparity is connected with the grotesque difference in wealth inequality, we are no longer discussing a representative democracy.

 

When faced with such distinct inequality in wealth and the absurdity of campaign finance, the solution is often presented as connected to voting. With that in mind, there are two more points to consider, both having to do with incumbency. For the congressional elections of 2014, incumbents enjoyed a heavy advantage in financing their campaigns. The average amount of money raised by an incumbent over their challenger was 12 times as much money for the Senate and for the House of Representatives, nearly 6 times as much money. This monetary discrepancy carries over to the rate in which incumbents get reelected, which in 2012 was 90%. Lest we think this was an aberration, the 2010 election saw an 85% reelection of incumbents and that was the lowest number seen since 1970, also at 85%. We are faced with a situation where it is not ideas and character which determine an election, but money and whether the incumbent is still breathing.

 

The American people are not merely not voting, with voter turnout in 2014 at 36.4%, the lowest since World War II, when they do they are simply voting in whatever name they remember. To be fair, 2014 was a non-presidential election year when turnout tends to be higher. In 2012 the turnout was 58% and in 2008, 62%. Those numbers are considered high, in a country governed by those who are supposed to be of the people and for the people, and yet are being elected into office by less than 2/3 of the eligible population. It is as if after having fought so long to get equal suffrage we gave up any pretense to caring for it.

 

IMAGE_206To quote Bernie Sanders: “Ninety-nine percent of all new income generated in this country is going to the top 1 percent. How does it happen that the top 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent? My conclusion is, that that type of economics is not only immoral, it is not only wrong, it is unsustainable.” When faced with such incredible wealth inequality, where to be elected requires monetary acquisition greater than small countries, and when those already in office possess such a distinct advantage in getting reelected it’s a serious question as to why they bother campaigning anyway, little wonder then that the American people feel powerless and reach out in emotive exuberance for anyone who seems to care. However accurate the concern being expressed by Sanders and previously by Obama is and may have been, no single person will effect the change popular sentiment desires.

 

From Fromm: “Thus a man, trapped in a fire, stands at the window of this room and shouts for help, forgetting entirely that no one can hear him and that he could still escape by the staircase which will also be aflame in a few minutes. He shouts because he wants to be saved, and for the moment this behavior appears to be a step on the way to being save – and yet it will end in complete catastrophe” (p. 152).

 

For all the good people like Sanders desire to accomplish, their will is not that of a king, no matter the hope-filled longings of those desperate for that good. Until the American populace looks beyond a name, looks beyond the social separateness resulting from identity politics, to a genuine appreciation for a government of and for the people, any change will be like the flames of a will-o-wisp.  Only when groups are more concerned with building a system that provides real opportunities for the majority rather than scrambling for the scraps from the powerful, will full social upheaval occur. So long as we remain divided by declarations of which group has had more evil done to them, we will never rise up to follow even the most charismatic banner-man to the shining city upon the hill.

 

For more from David, click HERE