Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

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yogi
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Re: Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Post by yogi »

The demise of the Middle Class has been a topic of discussion since as far aback as I can remember. The fact that it's still said to be declining tells me it still exists. Either the Middle Class is not dissipating or it's taking an infinite amount of time longer than the naysayers have been predicting. If wealth defines the classes in America, then I can relate to the concerns of the ostensibly exploited Middle Class. Wealth is something that is visibly affected by such economic factors as inflation. Inflation is a good thing if you have a lot of assets because their value increases at a rate that typically exceeds the inflation rate. Most homes in this country benefit from that phenomena. If you own more than a single family dwelling, the value of those things too are benefiting from inflation. Investments in equities such as stock and bonds also have historically increased faster than the rate of inflation. All in all everybody's net worth increases with inflation, but the wealthiest among us benefit the most because they have more assets than the rest of us.

I can deal with inflation and it's implications. The issues I have with the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer are not those of normal economic activity. It's the planned redistribution of wealth that concerns me most. We currently have a business man as president of this country and his training in that field would naturally lead him to support the best interests of corporations and their managers. He was instrumental in creating the inflated stock market we see today, which as I pointed out above benefits people most who have money to invest in equities. The primary reason why stock prices have inflated to the levels they are at is due to the three trillion dollar tax cut he and his congress handed out to the business world a few years ago. That reduction in taxes was and is a windfall profit for every corporation, and its management, who qualified for it. That is to say all businesses. Those excess profits were assumed to be given to employees of the corporations and to trickle down to us peasants in the form of LOWER prices for the products and services of said companies. That happened in only an extremely small percentage of cases. Almost all those profits from the tax cut went into stock buybacks, which increased the cash value of the companies. This windfall surge in value has not only affected book value but also gave the owners money they didn't earn.

Think about it. During the last four years businesses, their investors, and the management have literally been given $3,000,000,000.00 to increase their wealth. How much of that did you or I receive? Are we paying less for products from those companies who benefited? Is our income increased as a result of all the good times in the business world? This tax reduction and so called business stimulus has been the largest migration of cash in our lifetimes to feed the already wealthy pockets of businessmen. It was planned and executed deliberately to cause the rich to become richer and the poor to become poorer. It had nothing to do with economic realities. That, my friend, goes well beyond Middle Class exploitation.

If you think China and Russia were not the models used in this migration of wealth, you need to think a little harder.

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Kellemora
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Re: Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Post by Kellemora »

Once again you hit the nail square on the head Yogi!
Of course the rich get richer, the middle folks stay about the same, and the poor do in fact get poorer as inflation raises costs and their meager income stays the same or even goes down.
It hurts those who no longer have an ability to add to their income even worse, like me, hi hi.
Debi went back to work to afford some of the insulin she needs.
The bad thing about this is, it shoves us over the combined income amount to get on the extra help drug programs.
But, when we did try to get extra help, it still did not cover Insulin.
It is sad when somebody 72 years old must go to work to afford a necessary medication.
Even sadder that I became ill to the point I cannot do things to help increase our income anymore.
Oh I take in typing but it pays next to nothing. And the orders are far and few between.
All total, I think I made less than 400 dollars this year doing typing work. But it helps.
I may make 20 to 30 bucks in a weeks time, but then nothing for the next three weeks.

China has so much money, the build fancy cities and roads and nobody can afford to live there.

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yogi
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Re: Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Post by yogi »

It was all a vague concept when I first heard about the plight of the older fixed income generation. I figured it would never happen to me, but then, I never really did anything to prevent it. It was a problem for a generation of people who would pass on well before I got there and, so I figured, it would all be worked out by that time. Well here I am and nothing has really changed.

This country of ours has since day #1 been known for it's freedom of choice. It's the most successful democratically run republic to ever exist. The argument is that all this freedom of choice is an incentive to make lasting improvements in the quality of our lives. While I often reflect back on the "good old days" the fact of the matter is that they were not so good compared to what I'm experiencing today. In other words the system I grew up to my ripe old age living with did a good job.

Some things about this country were taken for granted. I never lived through that Great Depression that my elders talked about, and when talk of Social Security came up I simply took it as part of what this democratically run government owes us. Well, as it turns out, they owe us nothing. The government is here to serve our needs and not provide anything more than that service. People needed a social security safety net during the Great Depression, but is it necessary here in 2020? You and I would loudly say YES! However, there is a very large group of people who feel the government should not be interfering with our private lives, particularly when they have to spend tax dollars to provide for our well being. All of that was supposed to be covered by those freedoms of choice built into the constitution. Now I'm wondering if that 244 year old constitution might need some updating. Of course not. It has worked well up to this point. What does need updating is the way our elected representatives execute their constitutional mandates. It's not really a matter of what we want, but how it's administered.

China is rapidly approaching the quality of living that we here in America pioneered. They didn't have much interest in doing so until their lower class people started earning money and amassing a power of their own. It was Richard Nixon who broke the ice with a visit to China and an invitation to participate in the modern world. China was suspicious, skeptical, and reluctant to accept the offer at first, but now they have had a taste of the good life. Their potential is still developing and it won't be long before they surpass us in economic strength. All I can say is that we better be on good terms with them when that happens.

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Kellemora
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Re: Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Post by Kellemora »

If it were not for social security, and having bought and paid for our house, I would be homeless right now.
I should have been on easy street actually. I had over 1 million dollars saved up, most of it in safe blue chip investments that paid nice dividends. I had another 120k invested in rental properties all with mortgages of course, except for the renovation houses which I bought outright to renovate and resell.
I also had excellent health insurance for me and the wife.
Little did I know there is a cap on how much money an insurance company will pay out.
And my wife hit that cap so I was forking out over 25k per month to cover her medical costs and hospitalizations.S
After I used up my savings and investments, I sold off some vacant properties.
Ended up refinancing my own home to the hilt to cover her last few months in the hospital before she died.
After she passed away, I went back to renovating and selling houses, and was able to keep up with the now high mortgage payments on my house. Then 9/11 hit and the bottom fell out of my business. I ended selling off everything I owned, with no cash back to me, then sold my house and held an auction to sell everything inside.
I was flat broke and no place to live. Stayed in my mom's basement for a few months, and brought Debi back home to her parents to live. Then to add insult to injury I was diagnosed with cancer.
I know I talked about the little house I bought to fix up down here, and my little tabletop business that gave me some cash, well enough after a couple of large overseas orders to buy Debi's share of her parents house after her dad died. Then I had to stop work to take care of her mom who was the ill one, suffering from bone cancer for many years.
Sales of my product have gone downhill steadily as technology in the industry has advanced. Then took a deep dive after the pandemic started as no one could afford to maintain expensive reef aquaria. And now that I'm ill, I rely solely on the little bit of SS I get each month. It is not enough to cover the medicines I'm supposed to be taking.
I don't see being able to get ahead again in the situation I'm currently in!

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yogi
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Re: Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Post by yogi »

Reality bites! That's what I used to say many years ago when I ran into brick walls. I don't have too many scars, but I did not escape reality altogether.

About all I can offer you is all the empathy I can muster. THAT and $4 will get you a small coffee at Starbucks, I know. If you were a coffee drinker, and I know you are not, I would send you a Starbucks Gift Card. There doesn't seem to be any justice at all in your situation, and the really depressing thought is that you are not the only person living the life you describe. Untold thousands are on subsistence level lifestyles, here, in the most prosperous nation on earth. It seems that the only option is to move on, and even then you must be wondering if it's worth it. I think it is, but also recognize making peace with yourself is the priority. I just renewed the domain name for this website. The price has doubled since we first came on line, by the way. So, Brainformation will be viable for at least another 24 months. I can't do much more than read your comments, but I know that sometimes it is helpful to just talk about things that are of great concern. I would offer to lend you an ear, but they aren't working so well these days. I can read everything you write, however. So there is that.

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Kellemora
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Re: Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Post by Kellemora »

I'm sorta proud of the fact I never filed bankruptcy, but in retrospect it probably would have been the wise thing to do.
I say that because it would have opened some lending opportunities when I moved south and went to buy a house to renovate for Debi and I.
I did get a super small slab house, not much to speak of, and it needed everything.
I had my small tabletop business which was giving me just enough money to buy materials to work on the house.
Got the electric in and inspected, the plumbing in and inspected, all passed, got a new roof on, was ready to install new thermal windows when Debi's dad, the healthy one, became ill and passed away a couple of days later in the hospital.

At this time, there was no one to take care of Debi's mom, and I had the experience to do so, being twice a widower and all from health issues. Plus something else had us worried. We were living in a single room in her mom and dad's house at the time, and if she died, there was no way we could come up with 25 grand inheritance tax.
I knew enough about real estate transactions, although they work differently down here than they did back home, I basically knew what needed to be done. It was a lengthy process and could only be done one step at a time, and with a 32 day gap between each step. And then, after I did all those steps, her very sick mom would have to live for 5 more years before it would become official. So if her mom did wind up in a nursing home, they couldn't take the house as payment.
I also sold the house I bought unfinished to another contractor to finish the job, which gave me just enough money to buy out Debi's Sister's portion of her inheritance, which would also ensure she did not have to pay any inheritance tax.
Fortunately, Debi's mom did live for five more years and the house then became Debi's free and clear with no encumbrances, and no inheritance tax when her mom did pass away later that year.
So, at least we have a house to live in that is paid for in full, except for taxes, utilities, and maintenance which is a big issue still. I have put on a new roof, new thermal windows, new doors, new wiring to most of the house, new plumbing to bathroom and kitchen, and completely remodeled two bedrooms, the bathroom and the kitchen.
Still have the den and living room to do, which normally would be a minor issue, except for I am now unable to do it myself.

It's a crooked little house, with crooked little walls, crooked little floors, and a crooked little ceiling.
But it is ours and it is paid for. So we are not homeless. YET!

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yogi
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Re: Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Post by yogi »

You mentioned the bankruptcy option in the past. I agree that it would have been the right business decision. What you did in reality was above anything business related. It realistically doesn't matter if people you owed money to got paid or not. Like yourself, they would be forced to carry on regardless. I know you to be a man of principles with some very strong beliefs in a Higher Power. And, you did what seems to be so simple but most people can't do it: "To thine own self be true."

About all us old farts have left is dignity. Yours, my friend, shines bright in the fog we call reality. Making a few bad business decisions is about average for a lifetime of effort. Making the right ethical choices is what stars are made of.

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Kellemora
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Re: Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation

Post by Kellemora »

Why thank you Yogi - much appreciated.

I've always been taught, and lived by, Honesty is Always the Best Policy!

Although, even that can come back and burn you sometimes!

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