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Old 01-31-2014, 06:25 PM  
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Income Inequality and the real reason it needs to be addressed

Okay, the Left loves to rant about "fairness" when it comes to income inequality but that's a bunch of liberal BS. So let's get past the emotional arguments of fair vs. unfair and address why and when income inequality becomes a bad thing.

There comes a point in just about every imaginable scenario where too much of a even a good thing becomes a bad thing. What we have seen in the last decade and even more so in the last 5-6 years is just that. What's good for the rich and big corporations is starting to become bad for the country as a whole. The middle class is being weeded out by liberal politicians as well as what is amounting to nothing more than corporate greed.

A financially healthy middle class is needed for a strong economy. Unfortunately that is not what we have nor are we headed on a path to getting back to healthy. The middle class is what drives this country and it is disappearing for all the wrong reasons. While big business is cutting jobs or import\exporting jobs, creating an environment of job insecurity and stagnant wages, liberal politicians are squeezing more money out of the middle class with their failed policies.

When you look at the last several years, everything has risen except 2 key factors, jobs and wages. The cost of gas has risen, the cost of food has risen, the cost of health care is rising and the stock market is rising. Meanwhile jobs and wages are doing dick.

There comes a point where "what's mine is mine" becomes a bad thing. The rich and big corporations who have enjoyed record profits and a rising stock market are doing so for what is tantamount to nothing more than a fleecing of the middle class. Companies have laid off thousands of workers to increase profits in the name of "shareholder value". As the record profits come in we seem trillions being spent on non-productive things such as share buy-backs and such. Couple with the Bernanke influenced environment of low interest rates, the rich and big corps are feasting while everyone in the middle class continues to famine.

I am a capitalist and a free-market kind of guy but I can also see what is happening right in front of our eyes. Corporations have no loyalty to their employees and thus in the long run their customers. Wall St. now dictates every move of these companies with their "quarterly earnings estimates" and companies are allowing it to happen.

The best analogy I can come up with to describe the problem is one of losing weight. If you are overweight then losing weight is good and healthy. However, losing too much weight becomes unhealthy and though your initial goal was to watch the scale go down the point comes when the scale going down is now bad. Companies have got to start valuing their employees more and their CEO's a little less. The "shareholders" in which whose name all this cutting and thievery is done will benefit just the same if not more so. A healthy employment base gives companies the consumer base they ultimately need to grow.

Right now as Democrats are pushing the Immigration Reform issue so the can garner more voters, the Chamber of Commerce and big business is championing the issue in the name of cheaper labor.

The middle class is running out of money, folks. The jobs are not coming fast enough, the pay is not rising fast enough and the job security is running away too fast.

So when it comes down to it, it is not about what's fair and what isn't. It's about what is healthy for this country's economy and what isn't.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:28 AM   #61
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:25 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Baby Lee View Post
In case, judging from my rep, some thought I was kidding.


People actually didn't like that comment the amazon thing was in?

I do not agree at all the technology will replace everything, myself.

A machine can't clean itself, yet. Can't close down the store. Can't give good customer service. Can't handle complaints. Can't do a lot of things.

But that Amazon things is really, um interesting.

While some people claim you can't measure and predict people in an economy, here Amazon is going and predicting what you will buy to ship it closer to you before you buy it.

Big Data is the next big thing.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:34 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
People actually didn't like that comment the amazon thing was in?
kidding joking, not kidding being an asshole.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:36 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I'm not being defensive at all, so rest easy.

I asked two very reasonable questions.

1) What you meant by "trickle down"? I'm not asking for a detailed economic analysis with footnotes here, I'm just asking a layman for a layman's description of how it works.

2) How do you know it hasn't worked? Let's stipulate that "the middle class is in a world of hurt right now, those good paying jobs that created the best middle class/strongest country in the world are leaving this country by the dozens every year". What makes you so confident that what's going on in those respects is due to whatever it is you think "trickle down" is?
Trickle down is a term to refer to the idea that tax breaks or other economic benefits provided to businesses and upper income levels will benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole (wikipdia)

All called Reagonomics - refers to the economic policies promoted by U.S. President Ronald Reagan during the 1980s and still widely practiced. These policies are commonly associated with supply-side economics, referred to as trickle-down economics by political opponents and free market economics by political advocates.

2) How do I know its failed?

Well, giving companies more money, doesn't created demand, therefore doesn't drive job creation. And lower taxes also reducing company reinvestment into the company, and instead promotes quick, short term earnings. But I'm sure you won't understand that.

Lets look at something conservatives claim to care about, debt.

Prior to Reagan's embrace of supply-side, every four-year presidential term but one since World War II had seen the federal debt decrease as a percentage of GDP. The only exception (Nixon-Ford) had seen a modest 0.2 percent increase. Since then... well debt.

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Old 02-01-2014, 07:17 AM   #65
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1. Are stagnant wages amongst rising corporate profit a cause for concern? Is the increasing disparity between wages and profits a problem?

I'd like people to set aside their feelings on what the government should or shouldn't do in relation to the question, and just answer the question at its core.

I see so many threads here that immediately set aside an issue to get into a fight over what one side or the other perceives as the hidden agenda behind the issue.

Is it possible to say "X is a problem" while holding the strongest conviction that the government shouldn't address it?
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:13 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
Okay, the Left loves to rant about "fairness" when it comes to income inequality but that's a bunch of liberal BS. So let's get past the emotional arguments of fair vs. unfair and address why and when income inequality becomes a bad thing.

There comes a point in just about every imaginable scenario where too much of a even a good thing becomes a bad thing. What we have seen in the last decade and even more so in the last 5-6 years is just that. What's good for the rich and big corporations is starting to become bad for the country as a whole. The middle class is being weeded out by liberal politicians as well as what is amounting to nothing more than corporate greed.

A financially healthy middle class is needed for a strong economy. Unfortunately that is not what we have nor are we headed on a path to getting back to healthy. The middle class is what drives this country and it is disappearing for all the wrong reasons. While big business is cutting jobs or import\exporting jobs, creating an environment of job insecurity and stagnant wages, liberal politicians are squeezing more money out of the middle class with their failed policies.

When you look at the last several years, everything has risen except 2 key factors, jobs and wages. The cost of gas has risen, the cost of food has risen, the cost of health care is rising and the stock market is rising. Meanwhile jobs and wages are doing dick.

There comes a point where "what's mine is mine" becomes a bad thing. The rich and big corporations who have enjoyed record profits and a rising stock market are doing so for what is tantamount to nothing more than a fleecing of the middle class. Companies have laid off thousands of workers to increase profits in the name of "shareholder value". As the record profits come in we seem trillions being spent on non-productive things such as share buy-backs and such. Couple with the Bernanke influenced environment of low interest rates, the rich and big corps are feasting while everyone in the middle class continues to famine.

I am a capitalist and a free-market kind of guy but I can also see what is happening right in front of our eyes. Corporations have no loyalty to their employees and thus in the long run their customers. Wall St. now dictates every move of these companies with their "quarterly earnings estimates" and companies are allowing it to happen.

The best analogy I can come up with to describe the problem is one of losing weight. If you are overweight then losing weight is good and healthy. However, losing too much weight becomes unhealthy and though your initial goal was to watch the scale go down the point comes when the scale going down is now bad. Companies have got to start valuing their employees more and their CEO's a little less. The "shareholders" in which whose name all this cutting and thievery is done will benefit just the same if not more so. A healthy employment base gives companies the consumer base they ultimately need to grow.

Right now as Democrats are pushing the Immigration Reform issue so the can garner more voters, the Chamber of Commerce and big business is championing the issue in the name of cheaper labor.

The middle class is running out of money, folks. The jobs are not coming fast enough, the pay is not rising fast enough and the job security is running away too fast.

So when it comes down to it, it is not about what's fair and what isn't. It's about what is healthy for this country's economy and what isn't.

Great post. I haven't read past the first couple of pages yet, and I don't usually insert myself too much into economic discussions because I really don't have any good answers and freely admit it's not my best subject.

But it's really pretty crazy how much inflation has happened in my lifetime compared to how little middle-class skilled labor wages have increased. I won't pretend to have figured out why, exactly, but Pete is right, it's not healthy.

I will throw out some possible contributors that have helped push us down this road, but mostly for discussion. Again, I'm no expert.

Trade agreements that remove tariffs and make it cheaper to take jobs to places where the standard of living for workers is considerably lower.

In my lifetime, women have joined the workforce in mass, basically doubling the workforce without doing anything close to doubling the number of jobs. Remember when a guy working at Sears could support a family without a second income? It wasn't a great job then, either, but it was possible. Now, two incomes is the norm, and damn near required for most people.

Greed - a lot of people believed Gordon Gekko when he said greed was good. A lot of bankers and stock market investors quit giving a shit if it was legal or ethical as long as the money was rolling in. Big bankers basically write the banking laws, and they don't give a shit about the little guy, or ethics. CEOs began making more money by lunch on their first day of work than their average employee made in a year.

None of this is on the small business owner. Most are just trying to get by and stay in business and uncle Sam fleeces them repeatedly while the big hitters lobby for policy that lets them pay nothing.

I believe in the free market, but right now the market is rigged. The rules are different if you have enough money because the people with enough money make the rules. They don't go to jail when they get caught stealing billions, they pay a fine of millions at worst.

After running a business into the ground while paying themselves handsomely, the big guys should be left to die and be replaced by new, young and hungry start-ups. But instead they get bail-outs and take bonuses once they get the taxpayer's money in hand.

I don't have any answers, I think we're all ****ed.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:50 AM   #67
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What, other than create charts and speculate on the root causes of this "problem" would we do about it? ( Please someone define "it")

First, Im not totally clear what the problem is. That means to some Im cold hearted. Stupid. Hard headed. Or being just a butt. But the simple fact is we will always have charts that show some folks make more than others. Some businesses do better than others. There will always be cool charts and graphs. But the question is So what? No one clearly states the problem. Mr Iquana elegantly states solutions. To what, we don't know. But its elegant.

Some seem to feel the problem is the middle quintiles are not seeing wages go up while the top quintile has. Or so it seems. But Im still looking for graphs and data that show that clearly. Household income pre tax is really not it, Hourly wages paid would be good. With unemployment where it is household income id a lousy measure. And hours worked is dropping. Thats a government goal as well. They have redefined full vs part time but reducing the hours 25%.

If you are in a job that you have been in for 5 years, do you make less today than 5 hers ago?

If its the issue Obama wants us to believe, he is proposing what that will deal with it?

Amnesty or some easy path to citizenship for illegals? CBO says that will in fact lower wages paid. Simple math says thats the truth.

Raise minimum wage? That won't address it either. Paying more for the same thing is not a improvement in the economy, its just more cost. Businesses are no different in that respect than your household. Raising your light bill increases your cost for zero production increase. Same with minimum wage.

In that line, if minimum wage is the answer to some problem, what problem is it? Was that a problem in Obama's first two years in office? What did we do about it then? Why?

Why do businesses not invest? One, they don't need to expand. Productivity is rising with the current investment levels. So? Do you spend money at your house because the Grocery store needs to sell more milk? No. Well maybe you should, like business should invest in stuff they currently don't need. The marginal return for a dollar spent in the business and the expected return long term vs the cost are considerations. People would benefit from a more fiscal management mindset. If you don't need stuff you don't spend. Save it. When you need it you will have the money.

Why do businesses invest? Well they could have sales that exceed capacity. Good reason, they may have new product developments that require factories. Or business is overall good and they think it will grow more so they invest.

Raise taxes on business. That will work right? Well it will if your problem is that we don't tax business enough. But it won't ad jobs. It won't create more stuff. It won't make stuff cheaper. It won't raise anyones pay. Hmmm...that dint help the middle quintiles a damn.

Raise taxes on the rich! Good job old boy! But wait. The middle quintiles didn't get more pay. No jobs were created. Better schools! Well no, that doesn't work. Hmmmm bugger that idea then.

Interest rates. One reason banks are in trouble was...they were not making money. Or they were stupid and lost a lot doing stupid things. They should have been punished for that. But Government didn't want them punished. So we bailed them out. Hurrah!!! But wait. We passed laws that burden them with new regs that in the end raise consumer cost. Did all that make more money available? Sure, we printed the hell out of money. That would drive business to invest because money is cheap. But wait....they didn't. Why? Cause they don't need to expand. They just refinanced old high cost debt with new low cost debt.....profits move up. Good huh? But it didn't address this issue folks keep having.

food for thought or cannon fodder.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:25 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
What, other than create charts and speculate on the root causes of this "problem" would we do about it? ( Please someone define "it")

First, Im not totally clear what the problem is. That means to some Im cold hearted. Stupid. Hard headed. Or being just a butt. But the simple fact is we will always have charts that show some folks make more than others. Some businesses do better than others. There will always be cool charts and graphs. But the question is So what? No one clearly states the problem. Mr Iquana elegantly states solutions. To what, we don't know. But its elegant.

Some seem to feel the problem is the middle quintiles are not seeing wages go up while the top quintile has. Or so it seems. But Im still looking for graphs and data that show that clearly. Household income pre tax is really not it, Hourly wages paid would be good. With unemployment where it is household income id a lousy measure. And hours worked is dropping. Thats a government goal as well. They have redefined full vs part time but reducing the hours 25%.

If you are in a job that you have been in for 5 years, do you make less today than 5 hers ago?

If its the issue Obama wants us to believe, he is proposing what that will deal with it?

Amnesty or some easy path to citizenship for illegals? CBO says that will in fact lower wages paid. Simple math says thats the truth.

Raise minimum wage? That won't address it either. Paying more for the same thing is not a improvement in the economy, its just more cost. Businesses are no different in that respect than your household. Raising your light bill increases your cost for zero production increase. Same with minimum wage.

In that line, if minimum wage is the answer to some problem, what problem is it? Was that a problem in Obama's first two years in office? What did we do about it then? Why?

Why do businesses not invest? One, they don't need to expand. Productivity is rising with the current investment levels. So? Do you spend money at your house because the Grocery store needs to sell more milk? No. Well maybe you should, like business should invest in stuff they currently don't need. The marginal return for a dollar spent in the business and the expected return long term vs the cost are considerations. People would benefit from a more fiscal management mindset. If you don't need stuff you don't spend. Save it. When you need it you will have the money.

Why do businesses invest? Well they could have sales that exceed capacity. Good reason, they may have new product developments that require factories. Or business is overall good and they think it will grow more so they invest.

Raise taxes on business. That will work right? Well it will if your problem is that we don't tax business enough. But it won't ad jobs. It won't create more stuff. It won't make stuff cheaper. It won't raise anyones pay. Hmmm...that dint help the middle quintiles a damn.

Raise taxes on the rich! Good job old boy! But wait. The middle quintiles didn't get more pay. No jobs were created. Better schools! Well no, that doesn't work. Hmmmm bugger that idea then.

Interest rates. One reason banks are in trouble was...they were not making money. Or they were stupid and lost a lot doing stupid things. They should have been punished for that. But Government didn't want them punished. So we bailed them out. Hurrah!!! But wait. We passed laws that burden them with new regs that in the end raise consumer cost. Did all that make more money available? Sure, we printed the hell out of money. That would drive business to invest because money is cheap. But wait....they didn't. Why? Cause they don't need to expand. They just refinanced old high cost debt with new low cost debt.....profits move up. Good huh? But it didn't address this issue folks keep having.

food for thought or cannon fodder.
HCF, I like you and generally support your takes but you are far from being "spot on" on the economic issues. In fact you are so far off I wouldn't know where to begin to straighten you out. But just to give you a start, banks are have and always will make money. The problem is they were allowed to do stupid things with said money and then we the taxpayer were forced to bail them out.

Also I don't recall anyone outside of typcal liberals advocating higher taxes on businesses.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:39 AM   #69
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HCF, I like you and generally support your takes but you are far from being "spot on" on the economic issues. In fact you are so far off I wouldn't know where to begin to straighten you out. But just to give you a start, banks are have and always will make money. The problem is they were allowed to do stupid things with said money and then we the taxpayer were forced to bail them out.

Also I don't recall anyone outside of typcal liberals advocating higher taxes on businesses.


Pete....why did we bail out banks?


I agree. Higher taxes are generally advocated by liberals. I don't think I said anything different.


Pick a spot to show what I said was so far off you don't know where to begin. I may learn something. Just focus on something and not a sweeping generality and a deep sigh.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:48 AM   #70
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Pete....why did we bail out banks?


I agree. Higher taxes are generally advocated by liberals. I don't think I said anything different.

Why did we bail out the banks? It's called cronyism. The very guy who started the whole 40-1 leverage ratio, Hank Paulson, sat in front of Congress a few short years later asking for billions of tax payer $'s to bail out his buddies overt at Goldman Sachs.

And what the end result turned out to be was not new laws to prevent such crap again but new laws to give the Fed Gov even more power over the banks.

So as it has been stated, the middle class was fleeced to funnel the wealth to a few and what we got out of it was richer rich people, poorer poor people and a poorer middle class.

Take a look around, HCF, you see it all over the place. Big business has now made it SOP for boards own minimal amounts of stock in a company, reward the top executives regardless of success or failure, play wet nurse to Wall St. analysts and **** the employees to do so. If it were merely a small amount of companies doing this it would not be worth mentioning. But when it becomes mainstream it starts to snowball and impact the economy as a whole.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:56 AM   #71
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Why did we bail out the banks? It's called cronyism. The very guy who started the whole 40-1 leverage ratio, Hank Paulson, sat in front of Congress a few short years later asking for billions of tax payer $'s to bail out his buddies overt at Goldman Sachs.

And what the end result turned out to be was not new laws to prevent such crap again but new laws to give the Fed Gov even more power over the banks.

So as it has been stated, the middle class was fleeced to funnel the wealth to a few and what we got out of it was richer rich people, poorer poor people and a poorer middle class.

Take a look around, HCF, you see it all over the place. Big business has not made it SOP for boards own minimal amounts of stock in a company, reward the top executives regardless of success or failure, play wet nurse to Wall St. analysts and **** the employees to do so. If it were merely a small amount of companies doing this it would not be worth mentioning. But when it becomes mainstream it starts to snowball and impact the economy as a whole.

OK....now back up. We bailed out banks because they were about to fail. Why? Bad investments and over leveraged trading that was legal but probably should not have been.


Don't answer a simple question with some hyperbole laced rant against cronyism. **** all man....stay on point here....the bank bail out/ripped off middle class/Board of Directors/ stock portfolios......thats a lot of ground you just covered and had zero to do with the question, Why did we need to bail out banks. Im not saying there wasn't and isn't a cost to the bail out. In fact the bailout should likely never have happened...but thats a different discussion.


This will be hard to do. Lets try again How was Joe Welder and his Wife Bonnie the school teacher in Kansas City "fleeced"?
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:59 AM   #72
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OK....now back up. We bailed out banks because they were about to fail. Why? Bad investments and over leveraged trading that was legal but probably should not have been.


Don't answer a simple question with some hyperbole laced rant against cronyism. **** all man....stay on point here....the bank bail out/ripped off middle class/Board of Directors/ stock portfolios......thats a lot of ground you just covered and had zero to do with the question, Why did we need to bail out banks. Im not saying there wasn't and isn't a cost to the bail out. In fact the bailout should likely never have happened...but thats a different discussion.


This will be hard to do. Lets try again How was Joe Welder and his Wife Bonnie the school teacher in Kansas City "fleeced"?
Dude are you serious with this shit? The bank bail out ripped off the middle class via stock portfolios as well as a shitload of tax payer $'s being handed over to the very boards that caused this shit. We didn't need to bail out the banks. Get that through your head. In fact the best thing that could have happened is if they were allowed to fail and let the free market do its thing. Just like everyone on the Right wanted to do with GM.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:05 AM   #73
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HCF, understand this, Goldman Sachs had a shitload, I mean a shitload of money they were going to lose because of how they screwed over AIG. They received 100 cents on the $ via the bailout. The entire bailout was laced with so many layers of crap icing to distract you from that very fact.

GS got AIG to write insurance swaps, then bet against them and when they crapped out and AIG couldn't fork over the money to GS, Hank Paulson came running to the rescue. Oh yea, where was Hank Paulson when he started the 40-1 leverage game?? Goldman Sachs.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:10 AM   #74
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HCF, understand this, Goldman Sachs had a shitload, I mean a shitload of money they were going to lose because of how they screwed over AIG. They received 100 cents on the $ via the bailout. The entire bailout was laced with so many layers of crap icing to distract you from that very fact.

GS got AIG to write insurance swaps, then bet against them and when they crapped out and AIG couldn't fork over the money to GS, Hank Paulson came running to the rescue. Oh yea, where was Hank Paulson when he started the 40-1 leverage game?? Goldman Sachs.

Yes.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:13 AM   #75
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Dude are you serious with this shit? The bank bail out ripped off the middle class via stock portfolios as well as a shitload of tax payer $'s being handed over to the very boards that caused this shit. We didn't need to bail out the banks. Get that through your head. In fact the best thing that could have happened is if they were allowed to fail and let the free market do its thing. Just like everyone on the Right wanted to do with GM.

I agree we did not have to bail them out. Huzzah, we agree!

I can't address your assertion that stock portfolios were tanked. That is entirely dependent on the portfolio, what was in it, and how has it been managed since. Few people share specifics on their own situation.

You create a lot of heat but not a lot of specifics.
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