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Toolboxnj

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Toolboxnj last won the day on November 3 2016

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  1. Leisure should be a reward for productive activity. I work approximately 50 hours a week (give or take) eight months of the year, so I take advantage of the summer months which are generally less stressful and do not have significant deadlines. That times off is a both a reward for what I've accomplished the previous few months and some time to recharge for the next cycle. If you work hard and achieve a goal, your mind needs time to recharge and focus on things. I find that reviewing work on Fridays, for example, is a huge waste of time. Instead, I generally perform my admin work on Friday (which doesn't take much brainpower) which detaches myself from the engagement so I can see things in a different/new light on Saturday or Monday.
  2. Not a fan. We need a team to dismantle these bankrupting social welfare programs, not sustain or "tweak" them. I might be dreaming, but it's difficult to get excited. Ryan is also not a fan of right-wing libertarian politics or ideals and he's gone out of his way to say that.
  3. Obama, but only if the republicans can take the majority in the Senate and continue gains in the House. This would clear the way for Chris Christie and super majorities in 2016 and a true right-wing revolution.
  4. Ron Paul runs into the same problems that other conservative Xtains have. I don't know the man, but I know his views but his faith-based philosophy leads to contradictions in his politics. He's more like that crazy uncle you see once a year at Thanksgiving than a serious politician or, god forbid, president. Saying that, Johnson is the only small-L libertarian in the presidential race. While I would support him, his lack of visibility doesn't make him a serious candidate either.
  5. Didn't really enjoy it. Think it does damage
  6. Anyone going to see the movie in NYC tomorrow night?
  7. A couple take-aways: Politically, libertarians are inept. If his father campaigned away from the Iraq war and "empire" (which were a non-issues to the American public in 2008) and more toward economic issues he would have had more support. Rand is having his "Ron Paul vs. Giuliani debate" moment now. Remember when the GOP base attacked Ron Paul after he purportedly blamed the US for the 9/11 attacks in the debates? Even if he was right, it's not smart move against Rudy. Philosophically, libertarians are inept. Instead of bring up the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its flaws, Rand should be out praising small businesses and the morality of self-interest and self-reliance. Take the focus from politics and start hitting home economic and political freedom as a MORAL issue not just a political or economic issue. Even with those flaws, which Rand Paul is not entirely at fault for, where can I send this guy a check to get him to Washington?
  8. I think it's important to separate the right for a woman to have an abortion and the actual federal funding for women to get abortions. As with any health care procedure, one should have the right to pursue the procedure so long as it's on their own dime. I oppose federal funding of abortion just as I oppose federal funding for breast cancer research or AIDS/HIV drugs for derelicts in the inner cities.
  9. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/books/re...irsch-t.html?em Kirsch's article is more of a personal attack on Ayn Rand than anything. It doesn't address the philosophy of Objectivism which I wouldn't expect anyone writing for the New Republic to be a fan of. Read for yourself.
  10. Just finishing it up myself. For its historical context of religion, it's really good. It's difficult to believe how the religious can defend the history of faith with honesty. However, I have the same takeaways as others in this thread. Otherwise good people are forced toward religion because they associate atheism with amorality and immorality. Without fleshing out a positive morality for atheism, individuals will continue not to trust the irreligious.
  11. Yea, but it's not just Barack and Michelle pushing the service message. It's a big thing on the Republican thing too (Powell, Bush Sr. come to mind). I actually don't mind them talking about service so long as government force isn't used to coerce me into serving others. Obama is just a parody of the culture that elected him. The popular philosophy in the United States is the Judeo-Christian mindset (nevermind the atrocious term) which preaches service/altruism to its followers. He's only speaking to the culture, that's all. However, at the end of the day, how many A&M students are actually going to visit grandma at the nursing home and pick up needles in the park? Not many, and those who do it I say "your loss".
  12. Ultimately if there were no SEC or regulations governing markets investors would develop alternative systems to judging investments that are probably more effective. As an auditor, I believe that public companies would have more flexibility in their reporting which is ultimately judged by the market. At the end of the day, markets would balance as individuals would be able to balance the risks of material misstatement as this is now judged by the (corrupt) Big-4 accounting firms and the (corrupt) government.
  13. I agree with the above post. Say I am an auditor at a public company with access to draft financial statements. If I call my trader buddy at Citibank and give him numbers ahead of the market that would be unethical as well as a civil and criminal act because I am entrusted with this confidential information. He can profit potentially millions of dollars and if all I risk is losing my job, that would not be enough of a deterrent. That is why I never understood the arguments against insider trading laws because I believe that individuals like myself should not be able to profit asymmetrically when a fiduciary duty exists (by contract). I don't think it's "Marxism" to prevent certain individuals with privileged access to information to profit asymmetrically from that knowledge. Insider trading does not create wealth when you profit from such actions. You are merely conning the system. I'm not sure how capital markets would function without such safeguards. I guess the counter argument is when a fiduciary duty does not exist. Well, what is the need for insider trading laws in that circumstance? I'm not sure. The markets should ultimately decide, but a certain level of transparency is needed. I think it's a thorny issue. I also don't think it's good enough to go to some quote or website and say "hey, I found this here and it says insider trading laws are Marxist" and then think you have some kind of argument. I believe that Capitalism.org is an important website, but we cannot fall into the trap that many here do such as quoting Ayn Rand or some other person to defend a position and then calling it a day. It is lazy and it makes such positions rather tenuous to defend.
  14. I personally like the ING Sharebuilder. So long as you have earned income, you can open a tax sheltered IRA. Or, if you pay little to no federal income taxes, a Roth IRA which is funded with post-tax earning may be a better bet. Just hope the government doesn't change its mind in the future about the taxes With Sharebuilder, you have automatic deductions from your checking account (monthly, bi-weekly or weekly) which are directed into investments of your choice. For $12/mo, you get 6 "transactions" which isn't bad when you consider that discount brokers charge $15-25 a trade. With the amount of ETFs (electronic traded funds) that are on the market, you can create a balanced portfolio using dollar cost averaging. Considering that it would only take $208 bi-weekly to max your retirement account, it's a good way to be disciplined and build wealth over time (not trading it away). Just be careful with your selection of investments. Fortunately, I have several retirement vehicles (not counting socialist insecurity) so I can diversify myself across the investment spectrum. You shouldn't dip into what they call "leveraged ETFs". Stick with sector-specific ETFs that spread risk, yet allow you to be a part of all markets. For instance, with my 401k that my employer contributes to, I tend to pick more broad investments such as an S&P index fund, a government bond fund, a TIPS fund. For my IRA, I am a bit more aggressive with the ETFs. I contribute to four: financials, energy, biotech and technology. It's ok that I have the overlap in the technology because my 401k broad index investments are much more diversified. Then I have the defined benefit plan (pension) which is invested for me. Then I have my play money in the trading account which I play with options strategies and more speculative investments. Truth be told, I've been hammered in the trading account over the past year but it's been fun. Remember to utilize the ONE gift that the government gives: the power to defer taxes with the IRA and 401k. It's a shame that people don't take advantage of the opportunity. Personally, I try to contribute everything I can (about 20% of my gross salary right now) because every additional dollar I invest, that's one less dollar I'm not taxed on (right now, anyways... but I can better manage the taxes later in life). It really helps lowering the tax bill.
  15. Directive 10-288 just passed.
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