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Skowhegan, Maine




 
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Author Topic: Skowhegan, Maine  (Read 19733 times)
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2007, 04:40:43 PM »

Tom,
Sounds like you need imports who will work cheaper than locals to increase profits.
Yes when there is no hope everything falls apart.
You can always join the Army.....
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KA2PYQ
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« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2007, 08:32:54 PM »

The sooner you realize that the "imports" (imported people)
aren`t worth it anymore, the sooner you get onward. When
they get to America, there`s a limit how many things they
can stick in their mouths at the same time and not get very
sick. The same sways true in their original lands and is
happenning. It`s often not helpful to us to be excessively
pitying or angry at the time. Here`s a self- contained plan.
Start a club at a local High school. Get an entire Sophomore
or Junior class interested in a production line of work. After
school they do the work. No two or three shift manufacturing
but good enough. Many of them will do fine until they`re
almost retirement age and want to retire at the same time.
Don`t try it with the Senior class; they`ll think they`re
going to afford college until they find themselves sleeping
(or rather, living) under cars and in pigeon coops.
Note that the government will fight this plan tooth and nail.
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2007, 10:26:33 PM »

Wasn't it government supposed ot serve the people Irb.
I don't have a problem with federal taxes but local tax is extortion.
(but then there is the unlimited cred card limit)
HTF does a school cost 30 mil and a mile of flat road a mil.

Time for another tea party


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W1RC
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« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2007, 05:29:53 AM »

Drugs? Crime? Teenage pregnancy? Ayuh, welcome to Maine: The Way Life Never Was. The only hope we were ever born with was changing the linens of the rich and famous, or moving the hell out like most of my generation has. Careless sex, crime, and substance abuse are the end products of a lack of hope; be it in the urban jungle, or in rural Maine. Skowhegan is no better or worse than any non-coastal (or extreme eastern coastal) community in Maine.
--Thom
Kilimanjaro Africa One Zulu Goat Cheese

This well-written paragraph could be aptly used to describe life in many parts of the country, such as Apalachia, the Deep South, etc, etc, etc.  Face it, this country is not exactly a caring society.  The middle class is disappearing and the chasm between the "haves" and the "have-nots" is widening.  Deep down under the veneer it's every man (or woman) for themselves.  The evidence of this is the shameful lack of basic universal health care.  We really don't care about our neighbors especially when it costs us money.  Think about it.

73,

MisterMike
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2007, 09:09:46 AM »

Don't confuse letting your neighbor take responsibility for themselves with not caring.
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2007, 11:27:51 AM »

Steve you have missed the point because in many cases the cards are stacked against many people due to the policy thrust upon them.
The laim excuse is lack of responsibility.
Many times it is lack of opertunity.

I know a guy who works in construction and he is very good at what he does. He was born with a framing hammer in his hand. He knows all the tricks and does beautiful work. Now he has to compete with illegals for work. How is that his fault?
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W1UJR
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« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2007, 12:03:21 PM »

As for your carpenter friend, you're right, that's not his fault Frank.
Some on my side of the aisle may say that is capitalism at work, but I don't buy that.
Its the fault of the Federal government for not enforcing our laws, and protecting national sovereignty.

I believe what Steve was referring to was the concept that those who work should pay for, or subsidize, the health care for those who do not.
America is the land of opportunity, if one does not like one's station in life, and the benefits, or lack thereof, that said station entails, then they need to better themselves, make responsible choices, and improve their lot in life. The burden for such should not fall on you or I do so for them.

I feel the ultimate act of compassion is when you teach your neighbor to fish, rather than do the fishing for him.
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Ed KB1HVS
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« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2007, 12:13:46 PM »



I know a guy who works in construction and he is very good at what he does. He was born with a framing hammer in his hand. He knows all the tricks and does beautiful work. Now he has to compete with illegals for work. How is that his fault?

  Well ask the ones who hire. I recently had to do repair work to my roof due to storm damage. I called to company who did my roof 22 years ago to do the job. When he showed up the first time 22 years ago he had all locals doing the job. I knew all of them. This time was all "legals" who did the job. They did do a FB job but when I asked what happend to the local kids he use to hire for the summer outdoor work the reply was "I coulden't find anyone who wanted the work and besides these guys do the same job faster and cheaper". I was a bit yellafied with that. I have no problem with people trying to earn a living but I felt the answer was a half truth. I know lots of locals looking for work and just cant find it. The fishing industry here is all but kapoot so there is a lot of idle hands. This company just hired the cheaper ones.
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2007, 12:30:14 PM »

Bruce I understand and agree with the concept and also understand the party line excuse.
It is very easy to sit back and tell others to better themselves when you have it good.
Ed's story is the prime example of a system gone bad because someone else isn't doing their job which effects others lower on the food chain.

now before I bring out the board narks I'll eat my bag of strawberries.
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W1UJR
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« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2007, 12:45:45 PM »

Their job which effects others lower on the food chain.

now before I bring out the board narks I'll eat my bag of strawberries.


Hi Frank,
Guess I am unclear on your point, doesn't the customer really determine the outcome/wage scale?
Well, would Ed be willing to pay more for someone to do the job?
Without getting too far into politics of it, isn't the free market what this is all about?
In America, you can chose to deal, buy from, or sell to who you want to, right?

For example, for the last two years at my home and office I have employed a lawn care firm who
does an excellent job, but charges me almost twice what my previous company did.
But its worth it to me as they do a much better job, don't run into things, we frequently receive compliments on the
landscape, etc. I know that the owner pays his employees much better than his competition, they are polite, well groomed,
well spoken, and through. So isn't that just the free market working, the price is set with the perceived, or in this case real, value?

By the way, Peter did an excellent job handling the Gray Hair Net last night!
The static was severe, but he handled it like a pro!
With the static, I missed some things, did he get his ham ticket?
I was busy getting the Rollins rig on the air, a pair of TZ-40s.

-Bruce

PS - Hope those strawberries were not harvested "off-shore" or with the aid of "illegal aliens"?  Shocked
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2007, 01:21:44 PM »

Bruce,
I tend to agree and pay more. When I buy a tool I first look at the name then where it was made. I just paid almost double for a tool to get made in the USA and was glad I did.
Now if I try that with a pair of shoes I would be making sandles with an old tire and a hunk of rope. I have no control over that market.
This is an example of things that happen out of the little guy's control.
Many times cheap laybor doesn't decrease price but does increase profit. I don't feel we have a free market anymore for many items. This puts a lot of middle class people out of work which bums me out.

Pete likes to hang out in the shack and I let him operate the big switch last night. I had him taking meter readings for me while working on a rig. I figured it was the TZ40 rig but the static monster was killing you. Actually a good test night for the SDR which was no better than the stock Racal. The Flex sync detector was driving me crazy breaking lock and relocking while the racal sync stayed on the signal.
I finally went back to straight AM. I do like the cool display so find myself running both and getting used to the slight delay. 
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k4kyv
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Don
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« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2007, 01:24:05 PM »

This is  getting further and further off the original topic, but now that the subject was raised...

I believe what Steve was referring to was the concept that those who work should pay for, or subside, the health care for those who do not.

Like it or not, we already do that anyway. Medical facilities generally are required to provide essential care for those unable to pay.  But they recuperate their losses with a slight (or substantial?) increase in the rates they charge paying patients for services rendered.  Patients' costs are usually covered by insurance, but the insurance companies in turn recuperate their loss by increasing your premium.   

The way insurance works is that everyone pays a calculated "average" cost of recovery from fire, natural catastrophe, illness, etc. into a pool.  Money is taken from that pool to compensate, or subsidise recovery for individual losses, plus a private insurer skims off a little extra as profit.  It's basically a gambling operation.  You bet the insurer that you will suffer a loss, and the insurer bets that you will not.  If you "lose" the bet by suffering no loss, then the insurer wins by not having to pay you anything, and you are only out the cost of your insurance premium, and everyone is happy.  OTOH if you "win" the bet by suffering a loss, the insurer pays out of the pool to finance your recovery.  You are still only out the premium, so you are happy.  The insurer may not be happy about having to dip into the pool, but that's what they agreed to do when they took your bet.  The technical term for this is actuarial.

Medical care, like fire and police protection and K-12 education, should be treated as a public utility, since it has become essential for survival while costs have spun beyond the personal resources of most individuals.  It isn't free in the sense that everyone with an income pays into the system (places a bet that they might get sick or hurt), but no-one should be forced into bankruptcy because of unavoidable illness.  What we would pay in taxes for universal health care would end up being about the same as what we (and our employer) already pay in the form of insurance premiums, but everyone would be covered.

We pay taxes for fire and police protection whether we ever need those services or not.  We pay for public education even if we don't have kids in school.

When I buy a tool I first look at the name then where it was made. I just paid almost double for a tool to get made in the USA and was glad I did.
 
Or better still, I always keep my eye out for older, used top-of-the-line tools at flea markets and yard sales.  Much of what is made in USA these days is about the same low quality as what is produced offshore. But the black hole that hovers around my place is particularly fond of old, high quality tools.  The more irreplaceable and the higher the quality, the more likely they are to vanish off the face of the earth when not in use (and there is no-one around here to steal them - they just disappear).
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
Licensed since 1959 and not happy to be back on AM...    Never got off AM in the first place.

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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2007, 01:45:30 PM »

Don, Right on. I've paid medical incurance for years and only used it once when I blew out my back. I'm sure the day I retire I will need something and won't be able to afford it.
Of course those who have the cradle to grave deal will tell us to better ourselves.
The Civilized world can manage it while we become the third world of excuses.
 
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Ed KB1HVS
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« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2007, 01:52:56 PM »

Bruce I understand and agree with the concept and also understand the party line excuse.
It is very easy to sit back and tell others to better themselves when you have it good.
Ed's story is the prime example of a system gone bad because someone else isn't doing their job which effects others lower on the food chain.

now before I bring out the board narks I'll eat my bag of strawberries.


 Frank, this contractor use to go to the High School carpentry shop each spring with a sign-up sheet for those interested in work for the summer to help shingle roofs and help with framing etc. Good experiance for a decent living for the future. My brother workeed for him for a summer. My only guess is he had to have workmans comp insurance and had to at least pay the minimum to his workers. Had I known I think I may have looked elsewhere but Im also guessing this has become a common practice.
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2007, 02:01:02 PM »

sure win win. No insurance to pay and higher profit margin.
And nobody has to worry about getting busted because homeland security is looking out for us.
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KA1ZGC
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« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2007, 02:31:03 PM »

Getting back to the topic at hand:

Tom,
Sounds like you need imports who will work cheaper than locals to increase profits.

That would make the problem worse instead of better, Frank.

The trouble with living in the state of Maine is not a lack of profits. Not by a longshot. It's a lack of decent paying jobs for those who live here.

The mentality at the state government level (both executive and legislative) is to structure the government to allow tourism to flourish. Unfortunately, the tourist zones make up a ridiculously small percentage of the landscape.

One thing that is (falsely, IMHO) considered to be a discouragement for tourism is large companies whose employees are well-paid, fully insured, and well taken care of. The tax code in Maine is so completely lopsided that any business bigger than a general store gets the living bejesus taxed out of it, and those businesses pack up and move to Massachusetts. I don't blame them.

Then the state government sets up task forces (or focus groups, or whatever verbarrhea they call it now) to try and figure out how to keep our youngsters from moving out of state. Not once have they come up with allowing the large corporations we all left to work for set up shop here. Nope, that might intimidate a tourist, and we don't want anything marring the landscape of The Great New England Poverty Amusement Ride.

So, towns with all the money they need as a result of tourist spending get even more funding from the state, and the rest of us get shafted.

This is why Skowhegan, like many central, northern, and western Maine towns, looks like a trash heap with sidewalks. As far as anyone in Augusta is concerned, any town that fails to attract tourists is just a liability. The sooner towns like Skowhegan self-destruct, the happier the Maine state government will be.

That's why I left here 8 years ago, and why I'm leaving again as soon as the opportunity arises. I'm not the only one: the population of the state of Maine has remained mostly static for well over 20 years. That means for every child born in Maine, someone is moving out of Maine.

Yep, there are tons of smart people born here every day. That's why they don't live here anymore.

--Thom
Killer Album One Zappa's Greatest Compositions
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KB1IAW
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« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2007, 03:16:23 PM »

Quote
That means for every child born in Maine, someone is moving out of Maine.

On this we agree, Tom. My kid with his freshly minted college degree has elected to remain in the Midwest even though he would much prefer living here.
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2007, 04:33:35 PM »

Wow. You guys sure can read a lot into a simple statement. Carry on with your stuck in the box, party line thinking. It's quite amusing.
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Ed W1XAW
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« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2007, 04:36:04 PM »

Holy cow Tom!  

I'll grant that I'm from the coast and probably can't fully appreciate life in the inland but do you really think its that bad? Like a lot of folks I could get a big raise if I moved to NYC, and I know I bucked the trend when I moved back to Maine after grad. school but to me it doesn't seem that bad.  In fact I want to be here.  I'm an evil shoe importer.  Those of you who want shoes made here again belly up to the bar and pay the 40% premium for U.S. shoes, with 98% import penetration I'll tell you that you will have a hard time finding them.  My wife used to teach up in Mexico and we lived in Auburn so I'm definately not one of those folks that never has spent time inland but I think there are opportunities here in the state for sure.  Those guys in the trades don't seem to suffer anyplace (plumbers, electricians etc) and on the coast they live like kings.  By way of disclosure I grew up in Bath which is a very blue collar place with some of the best jobs in the state (Bath Iron Works) so it's not like I'm throwing a Cape Elizabeth spin on the state.  By the way,  I was in Bar Harbor 10 days ago and half of the tourist workers I saw were either East Europeans or Russians (young people).   

On the Ham Radio side of this,  I'd say there is no danger of the yuppification of our hobby in Maine or MA.  I don't know what it is like in CA.  Can't think of anything much less yuppified than a hamfest.  

73 de Ed
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wa1knx
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« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2007, 07:17:42 PM »

go see mr moore sicko movie, if you want a peek at healthcare. its
my biggest issue, I pay $650 a month out of my own pocket.  If you
watch his movie, you see if you buy your own health insurance and
have to fill out a disclosure statement watch out. if a big claim comes
along,they have staff to through and nit pick anything to deny you
coverage. a woman didn't declare a yeast infection, and got denied
for a huge bill.  docs get bonuses for denying procedures. review
panels get bonuses for denying big health claims. aetna, cigna, humana, keiser
wonderful companys.
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am forever!
WA1GFZ
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« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2007, 08:07:38 PM »

Hey Ed,
I gladly pay an extra 40% for shoes make here. China shoes hurt your feet and have no arch support. I had bad toe in camber as a kid and need to wear quality shoes. I have a chink pair or 2 work boots and they are crap!
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Ed W1XAW
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« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2007, 12:06:11 AM »

Hey Ed,
I gladly pay an extra 40% for shoes make here. China shoes hurt your feet and have no arch support. I had bad toe in camber as a kid and need to wear quality shoes. I have a chink pair or 2 work boots and they are crap!

Check in the tongue down about an inch or on the heel counter for country of origin marking, they are probably not made here because almost nobody still manufactures shoes in the U.S., the main exceptions being government contracts and some specialty items.  They're are a couple athletic manufacturers hanging in here in the states.  It's incredibly labor intensive as the average high quality shoe can have over 200 small operations to make.  You can get all levels of QC in China and it might surprise you that our QC guys have told me that the quality in China often surpasses Italy today.  The Maine shoe-making generation is mostly no more but Maine had the best genuine handsewns in the world when it was active as the workforce is phenomenal.  There was a time when there was a shoe factory in many towns but no more because the average person won't pay extra and the average 10% duties don't touch the cost differential. Maine factories all did the same thing, optimized manufacturing in hopes to compete,  switching to imported uppers when that wasn't enough and eventually shutting down U.S. operations when they could no longer compete or realized that they were losing what they made with imports by trying to keep U.S. operations afloat.  Brazil and Italy are going through the same process now.  I don't disagree that it would be great to see a revival of U.S. shoe manufacturing but I doubt we'll see it anytime soon. Seriously, start check the country of origin of goods when you buy and you won't see much made here.   Best,  Ed

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WU2D
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CW is just a narrower version of AM


« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2007, 10:33:44 AM »

For your information we do not have Hillbillies up here in New England, we have Swamp Yankees.

Some guy in a funny jacket comes up to the fam and stats settin up geah.

I go out and sez - "hey what ya doin?"

He says that he is a "suveyin" and thinks hes' found that I'm not in maine tall, that I'm actually in New Hampha!

I sez thank gawd - I dint think I could take anothua Maine winta...

Mike WU2D
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W1RC
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« Reply #48 on: July 12, 2007, 12:52:26 PM »

Don't confuse letting your neighbor take responsibility for themselves with not caring.

Steve you have missed the point because in many cases the cards are stacked against many people due to the policy thrust upon them.
The lame excuse is lack of responsibility.  Many times it is lack of opportunity.
 
I hope I don't get moderated again..............

Often it is circumstances.....not a lack of responsibility.  It is always someone else, until it happens to you.

Is it right that important medical decisions that affect YOU and those you love are being made by bean counters and clerks, and not physicians?

You work hard all your life, good job, good bennies......until something goes wrong.

Your wife gets sick - cancer, heart attach, accident, whatever.  Insurance (if you have it) kicks in.  But next year your renewal goes sky high and you can no longer afford it.  Now YOU have to pay those bills and for the meds.  Your cost is HIGHER than what the insurance company pays. 

Then you lose the house, savings, KW1, everything you have.

Of course if you were a welfare bum and have nothing you'd be treated for free.

Ain't right in a civilized society; the wealthiest nation in the world.

73,

MisterMike
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