OT- CONTEST!!! Guess public sector household earnings

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Submitted by sdrealtor on January 13, 2012 - 1:12pm

We are going to have a contest and the winner gets a decent bottle of wine. I just got back from a potential clients and saw their year end paystubs for last year. I did not list the property because it didnt fit what I thought I could do. Its a dual income household. Both work in the public sector. One in health care and the other in public safety. Lets see who can guess the 2011 gross earnings for the household not including any benefits paid for by their employer.

Have at it and dont be afraid of going over.

Contest runs through Monday.

Submitted by Aecetia on January 19, 2012 - 5:59pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
Good point. Nowhere is nepotism more prevalent than in government jobs. Don't believe it? Watch all the job changes and appointments as playoffs when a new politician takes office.

Excellent point sdr and absolutely correct. We see it with the D.A., the Sheriff, etc. If they cannot force people that supported the other guy or gal out when they take office, then they transfer them to a dead end job where they will never get promoted. It is as full of cronyism as a D.C. lobbyist.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 19, 2012 - 6:11pm.

Why doesnt taking a job at a software start up with an unproven record in hopes that it hits big time instead of working in county IT department not count? The employee working for the county has security, a stable job with little to no risk of a layoff, regular promotions if they just keep their head down, do their job and keep their mouth shut they have a nice pension at the end of the rainbow. On the other hand, the one that goes to work at the start up will most likely be on the streets looking for a new job in 6 to 24 months. Why is that not taking a risk and shouldnt that person be rewarded if the help one of the few winners succeed?

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 19, 2012 - 6:14pm.

Aecetia wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
Good point. Nowhere is nepotism more prevalent than in government jobs. Don't believe it? Watch all the job changes and appointments as playoffs when a new politician takes office.

Excellent point sdr and absolutely correct. We see it with the D.A., the Sheriff, etc. If they cannot force people that supported the other guy or gal out when they take office, then they transfer them to a dead end job where they will never get promoted. It is as full of cronyism as a D.C. lobbyist.

From the sad but true department, some of the most coveted positions back in Philly are the bridge toll collectors. You know those jobs that employ our best and brightest coin collectors and change givers. Most make 6 figure incomes and all the jobs are notoriously given as political payoffs.

Submitted by Aecetia on January 19, 2012 - 6:24pm.

Amazing. I did not think you had to have human collectors. I think most of the South Bay is unmanned or unwomanned and they just use cameras to collect the scofflaws who do not pay, but I could be mistaken.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 19, 2012 - 6:29pm.

Times have surely changed and I suspect there are less of these jobs with the Fastrac system making them even more coveted and tougher to get. I just crossed the Golden Gate a few times over the holidays and I paid a live collector each time so I'm sure those jobs stille xist in this country for "our best and brightest" coin collectors and change givers. Thank heavens for that!

Submitted by briansd1 on January 19, 2012 - 7:01pm.

You mention Philly, sdrealtor. As a part-time resident, I love it. Center City is nice because I like the city feel with people walking around on the streets.

But the infrastructure sucks compared to other rising cities of the world.

Philly is run-down and full of lazy government employees. I got 2 $50 tickets twice for unbundled trash. But it wasn't me. In fact, I'm the one who picks up all the trash and tidy up in front of the houses.

I got the fines because I marked my recycle bin with my house number, so the idiot enforcement officer just picked my address. Guess what? My bin in now unmarked. It's not worth my time to go the hearing.

BTW, you can use any recycle bin if you mark it "recycle". But if you want an official recycle bin you have to drive 20 miles out of town to get it. Oh, you need a PA ID because a utility bill can't do. Of course, since I don't have a PA ID, I wasted my time.

Septa is run like crap without much automation. You buy the ticket on the train and they still use paper punch tickets. For all we know the ticket controllers could pocket the money. From an audit standpoint, it's scary.

Smart phones now be used as credit card readers. Most airlines now only take credit cards on board.

Go to any of the big cities in developing countries around the world and they have new automated systems. As an American, I'm really embarrassed that our top cities are falling so far behind.

Japan is a country with a notoriously heavy bureaucracy and nepotism runs rampant also. But at least they have modern public services.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 19, 2012 - 7:26pm.

Could pocket the money? Dont even think about our best and brightest ticket punchers thinking about doing that!

I tried to warn you. Philly is perfect example of what happens when unions and government run a city with nepotism, corruption and greed. Most people who could afford it have fled to the suburbs long ago. Its nice to come into town for a show and dinner but living there is a nightmare not to mention the wage tax for drawing a paycheck in the city.

Submitted by an on January 19, 2012 - 9:41pm.

Aecetia wrote:
Amazing. I did not think you had to have human collectors. I think most of the South Bay is unmanned or unwomanned and they just use cameras to collect the scofflaws who do not pay, but I could be mistaken.

I was in Florida last year at Disney World and they still have manned/womanned toll booth. Maybe it's a east coast/west coast difference.

Submitted by CA renter on January 19, 2012 - 10:57pm.

pri_dk wrote:
"Do some research" is another way of saying "I don't have any evidence, but I'll just tell you it exists anyway."

Since you are so skilled at it (and the rest of us are inept), please show us some "research" that demonstrates how companies like Qualcomm, Intuit, Apple, Microsoft, Genentech, etc. get their capital, R&D, or ANY significant funds from "taxpayers in almost every case."

Sorry you have to do it yourself. But I'm certain that none of us feel like spending hours googling for some fact that doesn't exist in the desperate hope of finding something that supports your point of view.

"The US government spends more than other countries on military R&D, although the proportion has fallen from around 30% in the 1980s to under 20%[1]. Government funding for medical research amounts to approximately 36% in the U.S. The government funding proportion in certain industries is higher, and it dominates research in social science and humanities. Similarly, with some exceptions (e.g. biotechnology) government provides the bulk of the funds for basic scientific research. In commercial research and development, all but the most research-oriented corporations focus more heavily on near-term commercialisation possibilities rather than "blue-sky" ideas or technologies (such as nuclear fusion)."

"An additional advantage to government sponsored research is that the results are publicly shared, whereas with privately funded research the ideas are controlled by a single group. Consequently, government sponsored research can result in mass collaborative projects that are beyond the scope of isolated private researchers.

"

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

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

"The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $6.9 billion (FY 2010), we are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing."

"We are tasked with keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery in areas from astronomy to geology to zoology. So, in addition to funding research in the traditional academic areas, the agency also supports "high-risk, high pay-off" ideas, novel collaborations and numerous projects that may seem like science fiction today, but which the public will take for granted tomorrow. And in every case, we ensure that research is fully integrated with education so that today's revolutionary work will also be training tomorrow's top scientists and engineers."

http://www.nsf.gov/about/glance.jsp
---------------------

"The content and examples provided here illustrate some of the economic benefits the nation reaps when companies are created as a result of discoveries in federally funded university laboratories. While there are countless companies that have made use of the fruits of academic research, the roots of the companies highlighted here can be traced directly to seminal research conducted at a university and sponsored by a federal agency.

Were it not for the federally supported research, these companies – their products and services, and the jobs and economic growth that have resulted – likely would not exist."

"Universities conduct the majority of basic research in the United States— 55 percent in 2008. Business and industry conduct less than 20 percent of basic research in the United States."

"The federal government is the primary source of funding for basic research conducted in the United States, providing some 60 percent of funding. The second largest source of basic research funding is the academic institutions themselves."

http://www.sciencecoalition.org/successs...
-----------------

Medical research [Note: this is for ALL R&D, not just basic research. - CAR]

"Biomedical research and development (R&D) is a large enterprise in the United States. In fiscal year (FY) 1999, the last year for which comprehensive survey data are available, federal spending on health R&D was $15.7 billion—21 percent of all federal expenditures on R&D that year (NIH, 2004a). Those figures are much larger in 2004, if only because the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—which supports roughly 83 percent of federally funded biomedical research—doubled between FY 1998 and FY 2003 and currently stands at more than $28.0 billion. The other major funders of biomedical research are the for-profit pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical equipment industries, which have outspent NIH in recent years."

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_i...
-----------------

"Founded in 1887, the National Institutes of Health today is one of the world's foremost medical research centers, and the Federal focal point for medical research in the United States. The NIH, comprising 27 separate Institutes and Centers, is one of eight health agencies of the Public Health Service which, in turn, is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."

http://www.nih.gov/about/FAQ.htm#NIH
------------------

"Details about where the agreed upon $38 billion in cuts will come from are still emerging, but one of the hardest hit agencies will likely be the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s largest investor in biomedical research."

"Funding “basic science” doesn’t sound appealing in lean-budget times, but cutting research in times of economic woe is counterproductive. Nearly 90 percent of the NIH research budget gets distributed across the country, employing scientists and lab technicians. And miracle cures don’t spring fully formed from the R&D departments at Pfizer and Merck. Jon Retzlaff, director of government affairs at the American Association for Cancer Research, explains that basic science takes too long for pharmaceutical companies because “their investors don’t have that timeline. They take something very promising and then try to take that to the finish line. [The NIH] is really the foundation of everything that the pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies are able to do.”

http://www.thenation.com/article/159847/...

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

No need to spend hours searching for facts that "don't exist." Just Google "funding sources for basic (scientific) research." It's pretty simple for those of us who "get all our information from Rolling Stone articles."

Your turn, "Mr. Financial Genius Who Doesn't Like to do Research, but Likes to Attack Those Who Bring Facts Instead of Emotional Propaganda."

Submitted by CA renter on January 20, 2012 - 1:46am.

More, from 2007. Again, this includes all R&D, not just "basic" research.

"B Distinguishing between research and development is
important in evaluating the effectiveness of the government’s
R&D spending and the benefits it may provide.
Research (particularly basic research) may be
conducted without a specific commercial purpose in
mind, but it may nevertheless have large “spillovers” in
the economy because the knowledge it produces may
be useful not only to researchers in other fields but
also to businesses seeking to develop new products and
production processes. Development occurs closer to a
product’s introduction so that its benefits go more
directly to innovating firms and their customers. The
federal government funds about half of all research in
the United States but only 17 percent of development.
[That's left to the "private" market, so they can earn a (govt-subsidized!) profit from it. - CAR]
Since the early 1980s, federal spending for research
has grown more steadily and more quickly than federal
spending for development.
B Federal funding of research—particularly of basic
research—is generally viewed favorably because of its
large potential for spillovers and the corresponding
economic benefits. Nonetheless, the economic returns
to basic research are difficult to measure because the
progress that results from research may be hard to
identify or to value and the interval between the
research and its application to a product or process is
sometimes long."

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/82xx/doc8221/...

Submitted by CA renter on January 20, 2012 - 1:49am.

"Basic Research: A Declining National Commitment
In 2006 the total expenditure for R&D conducted in the U.S. was about $340B in current dollars. Of this total, basic research accounts for about 18% ($62B), applied research about 22% ($75B), and development about 60% ($204B).[8] Over the past decades the U.S. institutions contributing to the output of basic research have shifted dramatically.[9] Although industrial contributions to national R&D now far outpace Federal R&D support, only about 3.8% of industry-performed R&D can be classified as ‘basic’, with the remainder devoted to applied R&D. For industry-funded and performed R&D, the basic percentage is about the same for 2006, 3.7%. This percentage of basic research performed by industry has hovered slightly below 4% of all industry-performed R&D for most years since the late 1990s.[10] In 2006, industry funded 17% of U.S. basic research, and performed 15% of it.

The Federal Government is the second largest source of R&D funding (28%) following industry. Federal expenditures vary greatly from agency to agency in terms of amounts, directions, and objectives, depending upon the mission of the particular agency.[11] Federal funding is the primary source of basic research support in the U.S. (over 59% in 2006[12]), of which about 56% is carried out by academic institutions. U.S. basic research is also funded by foundations (about 10%), universities and colleges (about 10%), and state and local governments (about 3.5% through funding of academic basic research).[13] Federal obligations for academic research (both basic and applied) and especially in the current support for National Institutes of Health (NIH) (whose budget had previously doubled between the years 1998 to 2003) declined in real terms between 2004 and 2005 and are expected to decline further in 2006 and 2007. This is the first multiyear decline in Federal obligations for academic research since 1982.[14] The intent of Federal policy is to increase support for physical sciences research in future years.[15]"

http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsb0803/st...

Submitted by CA renter on January 20, 2012 - 2:46am.

Aecetia wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
Good point. Nowhere is nepotism more prevalent than in government jobs. Don't believe it? Watch all the job changes and appointments as playoffs when a new politician takes office.

Excellent point sdr and absolutely correct. We see it with the D.A., the Sheriff, etc. If they cannot force people that supported the other guy or gal out when they take office, then they transfer them to a dead end job where they will never get promoted. It is as full of cronyism as a D.C. lobbyist.

Yes, there is corruption and nepotism at the political level. I'm referring to "boots on the ground" positions. These positions are open to everyone. I know a number of people who could NOT be hired because of their relationship to upper-level management (anti-nepotism rules and/or it was simply frowned upon and everyone knew the union guys wouldn't like it -- that's one of many positives about unions: they can hold their "bosses" accountable and not worry as much about repercussions).

Submitted by harvey on January 20, 2012 - 8:22am.

Car, those (ridiculously long) posts are referring to University research.

None of this money goes to any corporations. Sure, some corporations benefit from the science, but - except for a handful of small programs (e.g. Solyndra) - there are NO significant direct financial payments from the government to corporations for their R&D or capital investments.

"Do some more research," and find us some corporate financial statements of local technology companies (publicly available balance sheets & income statements) that show any substantial entries of the form "payment from government."

Good luck.

Submitted by CA renter on January 20, 2012 - 11:47am.

pri_dk wrote:
Car, those (ridiculously long) posts are referring to University research.

None of this money goes to any corporations. Sure, some corporations benefit from the science, but - except for a handful of small programs (e.g. Solyndra) - there are NO significant direct financial payments from the government to corporations for their R&D or capital investments.

"Do some more research," and find us some corporate financial statements of local technology companies (publicly available balance sheets & income statements) that show any substantial entries of the form "payment from government."

Good luck.

When you want to learn something, sometimes you have to READ.

Those numbers do not just include universities (you're referring to grant money?); they include government grants to private and public people/entities, research done by government agencies, etc. Money spent by state universities and state spending on basic research is separate.

If you can't understand how massive government spending on basic research subsidizes "private" companies, I can't help you. It is fascinating, though, how you like to claim that I'm the one who doesn't understand economics. Funny.

Submitted by CA renter on January 20, 2012 - 11:56am.

pri_dk wrote:
Car, those (ridiculously long) posts are referring to University research.

None of this money goes to any corporations. Sure, some corporations benefit from the science, but - except for a handful of small programs (e.g. Solyndra) - there are NO significant direct financial payments from the government to corporations for their R&D or capital investments.

"Do some more research," and find us some corporate financial statements of local technology companies (publicly available balance sheets & income statements) that show any substantial entries of the form "payment from government."

Good luck.

But, since you asked (and I believe this is NOT included in the spending numbers I posted above):

Research & Development Credit:
Frequently Asked Questions

What is California's Research & Development (R&D) Credit?
The California R&D Credit reduces income or franchise tax. You qualify for the credit if you paid or incurred qualified
research expenses while conducting qualified research in California. You receive 15 percent of the excess of current
year research expenditures over a computed base amount (minimum of 50 percent of current year research
expenses). You claim the credit on the return for the taxable year you incurred the qualified expenses.

https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/misc/1082.pdf
--------------

Section 41 allows taxpayers a credit against tax for increasing research activities. Generally, the credit is an incremental credit equal to the sum of 20 percent of the excess (if any) of the taxpayer's qualified research expenses (“QREs”) for the taxable year over the base amount, and 20 percent of the taxpayer's basic research payments.

The research credit provisions originally appeared in section 44F of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as added to the 1954 Code by section 221 of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. Section 471(c) of the Tax Reform Act of 1984 redesignated section 44F as section 30. Section 231 of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 redesignated section 30 as section 41 and substantially modified the research credit provisions. Congress revised the computation of the research credit in the Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1989.

The research credit was not in effect for the period July 1, 1995 through June 30, 1996. The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, P.L. 104 188, reinstated the research credit for the period from July 1, 1996 through May 31, 1997 (i.e., 11 months); thereafter the research credit was extended to June 30, 1998 and June 30, 1999 1). Under the Tax Relief Extension Act of 1999, P.L. 106 170, the research credit was extended to June 30, 2004.2 The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004, P.L. 108-311, further extended the research credit to December 31, 2005.

Commerce Clearing House (“CCH”), the Bureau of National Affairs (“BNA”), and the Research Institute of America (“RIA”) have published helpful materials on the research credit. These materials are available on Westlaw and/or LEXIS. 2004 Stand. Fed. Tax. Rep. (CCH); Cohen, 556 T.M., Research and Development Expenditures; 2004 U.S. Tax. Rep. (RIA).

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0,...

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 20, 2012 - 12:02pm.

CA renter wrote:
Aecetia wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
Good point. Nowhere is nepotism more prevalent than in government jobs. Don't believe it? Watch all the job changes and appointments as playoffs when a new politician takes office.

Excellent point sdr and absolutely correct. We see it with the D.A., the Sheriff, etc. If they cannot force people that supported the other guy or gal out when they take office, then they transfer them to a dead end job where they will never get promoted. It is as full of cronyism as a D.C. lobbyist.

Yes, there is corruption and nepotism at the political level. I'm referring to "boots on the ground" positions. These positions are open to everyone. I know a number of people who could NOT be hired because of their relationship to upper-level management (anti-nepotism rules and/or it was simply frowned upon and everyone knew the union guys wouldn't like it -- that's one of many positives about unions: they can hold their "bosses" accountable and not worry as much about repercussions).

This may be the way things happen in our little corner of the world but that would be the exception. I'm also guessing alot goes on behind the scenes that such a vigilent do gooder doesnt see. Anecdote time.

I have two friends from high school. Lets call them Jack and Joe who both wanted to be firemen and applied together as best friends.

Joe's dad was a Fire Captain. Jack's dad was a union elevator repairman. Joe was a very good athelete. Jack was a world class athelete and almost made the US Olympic team. I saw him do back flips off the top of buildings and land on the ground unhurt as well as dive off 100 ft cliffs. He could climb anything and was as strong as anyone I have ever known pound for pound. Joe wore glasses and Jack had eagle eyesite. Joe had just below average and Jack had just above average grades/test scores. Both went to average colleges and I dont think either graduated. Both were great guys and were very popular though Joe had a penchant for drinking a bit too much.

One just retired at age 49 from the fire department with a full pension and ironically just became a realtor. The other is working as an elevator repairman. Wanna guess which is which?

Submitted by CA renter on January 20, 2012 - 12:21pm.

Anecdote time:

I knew three kids whose fathers worked for some of the largest departments in the country. One of their fathers was one of the highest-ranking officers, and the fathers of the other two were management-level. All were athletic and kept their noses clean, did all the "right" things to get the jobs, but didn't get them because of their fathers' positions.

I know one kid whose father was the highest-ranking officer in another, smaller department, and he was also unable to get work in that department.

That's not to say that friends/relatives can't get hired. However, in order to get hired, they often have to perform at the very top, and it's understood that they should have a more humble demeanor if they do get the job. Having the boss's cocky, unqualified kid get a job over other more-qualified applicants does NOT sit well with unions types.

FWIW, athletic ability is just ONE component necessary to get the job. Work/volunteer experience, education, intelligence, psychological health, personality (you're living with multiple people in a tight environment for long periods of time -- are you easy to get along with?). You have to have a calm personality/not prone to panic or emotional decision-making; have to be trustworthy and dependable, have integrity, etc. All of these factors play a role in whether or not someone will be hired. In many cases, athletic ability is not even at the top of the list.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 20, 2012 - 12:31pm.

Jack has it over Joe in every component you mention in a big way. Like I said, maybe its just in CA where cronyism isnt rampant but I find that hard to beleive. Perhaps you only see what you want to see. Its impossible to say the 3 you know didnt get their jobs because of their dad's positions as you cant see the back room dealings. Additionally, having a dad in the department helps one to know exactly what "doing all the right things" means....wink wink

Submitted by harvey on January 20, 2012 - 12:50pm.

CAR,

"Basic research" is a very small part of the overall economy - and that's not what we were talking about anyway.

We are talking about RISK.

So, let us return to your claim that private-sector company risk "comes from taxpayers in almost every case."

So far you've provided no evidence to back it up.

But here's how you can do it:

- Show me a single Fortune 500 corporate income statement that has more than 0.1% of revenue (or even more than 5% of their R&D budgets) coming from government grants.

- Show me a single Fortune 500 balance sheet that has more than 0.1% of shareholder equity or notes payable originating from government money

(No you can't use GM and other "bailed out" companies for this one - they were unusual exceptions and only represent a small percentage of total market capitalization. Remember, we are looking for evidence of "in almost every case" here, right?)

- Show me examples of common FDA-approved cancer, cardiovascular, or other beneficial drugs that have more than 10% of the total development costs coming from government money.

- Show me the total cost to bring a new cellphone to market (including infrastructure/cell tower costs.) Show me where more than 1% of the cost comes from government money.

- Show me how most start-up companies that fail are bailed out by the government so that the employees can keep their jobs.

In other words, show me how the government bears all the risk, and everyone successful in the private-sector enjoys a worry-free path to riches.

(Huge bonus points if you can provide a few basic examples and coherent argument without cutting/pasting more than 500 words.)

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 20, 2012 - 12:54pm.

CAR
You just made my point better than I ever could with your anecdote when you said "All were athletic and kept their noses clean, did all the "right" things to get the jobs, but didn't get them because of their fathers' positions."

That is exactly how the system operates. They got their jobs because they know exactly what all the "right" things to get the job are.

Is it a level playing field when one candidate knows the questions and more likely the answers to the test beforehand? Do we really get the best and brightest that way?

Submitted by CA renter on January 20, 2012 - 4:19pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
CAR
You just made my point better than I ever could with your anecdote when you said "All were athletic and kept their noses clean, did all the "right" things to get the jobs, but didn't get them because of their fathers' positions."

That is exactly how the system operates. They got their jobs because they know exactly what all the "right" things to get the job are.

Is it a level playing field when one candidate knows the questions and more likely the answers to the test beforehand? Do we really get the best and brightest that way?

Not at all talking about "knowing the answers to the test," or any such thing.

I'm talking about knowing what kind of education and experience is necessary to get the job. Anyone can get this information if they ask. These kids might have had an advantage only because they probably knew earlier on what to do, but everyone has the same opportunities. This is the same advantage that any kid has if they decide to follow in their parent's footsteps, though. It's not exclusive to public service.

If you don't believe me, go ahead and ask all these public servants who are so open with you about their finances. Ask them how well it would go over if the boss's kid got hired over someone else who was better qualified.

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