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Old 03-25-2011, 05:44 PM   #161
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They sure do a lot of shouting on that site...

I saw plenty of stuff that could be cut or eliminated in that list, but it's nebulous to claim that it is a list of "unconstitutional" departments. Unless it's been before the SCOTUS, and ruled as such, it is only opinion that it's unconstitutional. It is also a stretch to say they are all useless programs, designed to redistribute wealth.
I know the site, the author, and the list is extreme. Certainly some of those listed agencies and departments provide necessary services. But my point is there are ways and places to cut spending without jeopardizing necessary services. It seems that we have far more gov't services and programs than we had 40-50 years ago, and maybe some aren't necessary. But I'm done bashing government spending - I got my tax refund check today.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:33 PM   #162
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I suspect that removing some of those would cause pretty serious problems down the road.

I'm not a big fan of the CIA. I would like them to operate with less secrecy and probably a smaller budget. However, I think that very few people would recommend having no intelligence gathering capability at all.

I shudder to think about how a financial crisis would go without FDIC insurance.

While I would scale back the scope of what they do, I don't think completely dismantling the Department's of Energy and Education would be the way to go.

But the basic problem is that none of them is particularly expensive in a big picture sense. You could cut the whole list completely and it wouldn't balance the budget.

We'd still need to take about what we are going to do with Defense, SS, Medicare, and Medicaid.

It's like a guy not buying a Coke because he has a mortgage he can't afford. Saving that dollar is all well and good, but he still needs to deal with the mortgage.

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I was going to post my own list of removals/reductions, but I found this list to be more comprehensive.

IF THE FOLLOWING USELESS GOVERNMENT SERVICES ARE ABOLISHED.... IMAGINE THE TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS SAVED!!!!!! - Patriot Action Network
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:51 PM   #163
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i dont think that is 100% correct. for example, buffett (if he were still alive) would probably rebuild his fortune but i dont think gates would. a lot of the gates fortune required luck. he was lucky that IBM didnt care about the software rights to the operating system (PC-DOS) so they just gave them away to gates (hence MS-DOS), that wouldnt happen again. gates was lucky that he (and apple) got windows from xerox, that wouldnt happen again, etc. i think there were 1 hit wonders that wouldnt be able to reproduce their 1 hit. and hence wouldnt be rich again.

for the most part i do agree about most poor people as most would probably squander their new found wealth. but there would probably be some that wouldnt
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i would have been happy to discuss that with WS
I'd be happy to rationally discuss "facts" with you if you would post some; which is why I offered up examples of such to you regarding your post on the banking industry... The post you keep referring back to as chock-full-o' facts (highlighted above) is nothing more than speculative opinion on your part about an imaginary future outcome. How do you possibly prove any of these "what-if" notions?
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:14 PM   #164
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this makes me think you missed the point of the first post i made wrt gates. i was responding to someone who said (paraphrasing) if we gathered up all the wealth in the US and evenly distributed it to everyone, in 10 years it would again be back in the hands of the people who have it now. i then said i didnt 100% agree with that and gave a couple of examples, 1 which supported his statement and 1 which gave reason why i didnt think so (gates). i never said gates wasnt smart, didnt make good choices, wasnt talented or anything along those lines. all i said was that i didnt think he would be as rich as he is now bacause there were some lucky events and timings that happened that allowed him the opprotunity that he exploited. and since that is all history and they wouldnt happen again i didnt think he would be as rich again. i was in no way belittling his acomplishments, but i think that when you look at the facts objectively you would have to admit that there was some luck involved in his fortune.

I'm the someone who stated the above as a personal theory.....and I stand by it. But it is obviously a generalization.

I believe that luck is a factor in almost everything, but that intelligence allows some people to be more successful then others. Putting yourself in the right place, developing good relationships with other people that can help create an advantage for you, and understanding implications of situations are all essential, and are much more likely to happen because of personal intelligence rather then luck.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:13 PM   #165
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i would have been happy to discuss that with WS (or you if you like) if that had been his in any of his replies but neither question was, instead he was sarcastic and then made it personal.




this makes me think you missed the point of the first post i made wrt gates. i was responding to someone who said (paraphrasing) if we gathered up all the wealth in the US and evenly distributed it to everyone, in 10 years it would again be back in the hands of the people who have it now. i then said i didnt 100% agree with that and gave a couple of examples, 1 which supported his statement and 1 which gave reason why i didnt think so (gates). i never said gates wasnt smart, didnt make good choices, wasnt talented or anything along those lines. all i said was that i didnt think he would be as rich as he is now bacause there were some lucky events and timings that happened that allowed him the opprotunity that he exploited. and since that is all history and they wouldnt happen again i didnt think he would be as rich again. i was in no way belittling his acomplishments, but i think that when you look at the facts objectively you would have to admit that there was some luck involved in his fortune.
I don't think I missed your point. Granted there were many points being made in the thread that made it difficult to follow on a first read but....I suppose I was arguing against the second point you were originally trying to make...(that Gates would not be as rich again). I hear what you are saying though...in that IF the time for him to have made the splash had past...he wouldn't have made as big a splash.

But ...similar things can be said about most everyone in our history...so what is the point? . It's like saying...or not honoring Jonas Salk for the polio vaccine...because had he not come up with it when he did...someone else would have. Same for the locomotive...airplane..telephone...basically every great invention or modification that changed society.
So...I suppose I was questioning...your using that as an argument to that point.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:24 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by Silver

I'm the someone who stated the above as a personal theory.....and I stand by it. But it is obviously a generalization.

I believe that luck is a factor in almost everything, but that intelligence allows some people to be more successful then others. Putting yourself in the right place, developing good relationships with other people that can help create an advantage for you, and understanding implications of situations are all essential, and are much more likely to happen because of personal intelligence rather then luck.
Silver, I also agreed with your generalization and wanted to clarify it more assuming we are on same page. Gates really has nothing to do with it because he is an individual. Generally speaking some people have the self discipline and/or vision to accumulate assets by saving, investing, or running a business. On the other side some people have the ability to destroy their wealth by gambling, new cars, houses they can't afford, or other excessive consumerisms. If the wealth was taken away from them they would use what they had left to reaccumulate. Others would blow their new found wealth. Just a generalization with no proof it would happen, But I would think that would be a likely outcome for most, not all, though.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:51 PM   #167
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I think the context of the statement is important. The original claim was that if you redistributed all the wealth, in 10 years it would be back in the original set of hands.

One counter-example to that claim is Bill Gates. Yes, he saw an historically big opportunity, grabbed it, and ran with it. But, if he had to start over again, the chances are near zero that he would see another equally big opportunity. He's bright and hard working and would probably find something that would make him more money than the average Joe. But he wouldn't find another opportunity like writing the operating system for the first PCs.

There are other people besides Gates who could have run with that same opportunity. But they were born a couple years later and weren't in a position to grab it, or a couple years earlier and were committed to something else, or just didn't know IBM was outsourcing. Those other people aren't lazy grasshoppers, they're probably above average earners today. They just didn't happen to be in the right place at the right time. If we gave everyone a new start, one of them might be the guy who finds the next great opportunity.

I hear what you are saying and while what is being proposed may be true in theory of the future.. ...it did not happen that way. The facts remain in that he was in the right place, at the right time, with the right intellect and talent and and he did aggressively pursue his vision (I know we all agree on that so not debating those points).
But..to the point...that... "if you redistribute wealth it will back in the same hands in 10 years".....some might be and some might not be. But one thing seems fairly certain...for those that don't know how to handle it....it will slip thru their fingers...probably to the fingers of the ones that do know how to handle it.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:26 PM   #168
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But..to the point...that... "if you redistribute wealth it will back in the same hands in 10 years".....some might be and some might not be. But one thing seems fairly certain...for those that don't know how to handle it....it will slip thru their fingers...probably to the fingers of the ones that do know how to handle it.
I don't think people who are for wealth redistribution would be able to refute your claim. Besides, look at the absolute redistribution scheme in the past, like what the Communists have done. Where did that get them?

Of course, most people are talking about a more reasonable social system, which takes from the intelligent, the rich, the hard and smart workers in order to provide some basic needs for the dumb, the poor, the unfortunate, the invalid. Then, most reasonable people would not have a problem with that either.

When people talk about just raising taxes as a way to solve problems, it bothers me as well as many here. Because it seems to me that many of the issues might be more of a structural nature than financial. Just keep throwing money at it? Please let me explain from the perhaps naive view of a non-economist, non-sociologist.

Lack of health care in poor rural areas? How many health care providers want to live in these areas? I guess we can keep raising the pay until some doctors or nurses will bite, but what is the limit?

We all want to be desk jockeys, and paper pushers, and not want to get our hands dirty. So, all the manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas because we do not want to pollute our air and water, which may be necessary to get that iSomething that we must have. And by the way, using these tools are "cool", but we leave the manufacturing of them to others. So, we do not leave work for the high school graduates, and demand college degrees for every job.

Nobody wants their children to go work on the farm, picking strawberry. Yet, we pick on the illegal immigrants who risk their lives for the jobs that we despise.

I do not know the answers to these questions. But I will not be a hypocrite to say that the problems are all caused by my countrymen, and that I did not contribute to it.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:28 PM   #169
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Of course, most people are talking about a more reasonable social system, which takes from the intelligent, the rich, the hard and smart workers in order to provide some basic needs for the dumb, the poor, the unfortunate, the invalid. Then, most reasonable people would not have a problem with that either.
I think the operative phrase in what you stated is "basic needs". Perhaps I'm wrong but are there not already many social programs that supply "basic need"...food stamps, CHIPS health care, Medicaid, subsidized housing...etc. As far as I know..everyone that ...can substantiate a need...gets support. Please correct me if I am mistaken and supply examples. So...in my view some of this redistribution stuff is going beyond "basic need".

One of my concerns with continued redistribution of wealth efforts is this. Where in the heck does it leave personally responsibility for ones self and what are the long term ramifications of that?
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:49 PM   #170
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Another part of the question which I don't have the answer is at what point does redistribution through higher taxes works as a disincentive to accomplish anything? I just read an Ivy league business professor saying it's more economically rational to be a plumber than a doctor when you factor in the 10 years of lost wages on top of the mountain of student loan debt (assuming the parents aren't footing the bill). If you throw in an income tax structure that is too high at what point will people decide it's not worth the effort?
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:49 PM   #171
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I think the operative phrase in what you stated is "basic needs". Perhaps I'm wrong but are there not already many social programs that supply "basic need"...food stamps, CHIPS health care, Medicaid, subsidized housing...etc. As far as I know..everyone that ...can substantiate a need...gets support. Please correct me if I am mistaken and supply examples. So...in my view some of this redistribution stuff is going beyond "basic need".
There, we need to get to the basic question first. People need to agree on what needs to be done, and then what is the best approach to solve it.

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One of my concerns with continued redistribution of wealth efforts is this. Where in the heck does it leave personally responsibility for ones self and what are the long term ramifications of that?
Eh, tell me about it. My children want my wealth to be redistributed to them too!

As I am not taking it with me, and also will not be spending it all, I think I will leave them plenty, the market God willing. But I want to be sure they will know how to handle that first. And the best way I have seen with my daughter is for her to manage within her salary. Seems to work better when she knows that she must allow for money to pay her utility bills, her car payment, etc... She has not been spending $75 for a nail job, or a $100 hair cut like when she was staying with us rent free.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:11 PM   #172
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When people talk about just raising taxes as a way to solve problems, it bothers me as well as many here. Because it seems to me that many of the issues might be more of a structural nature than financial. Just keep throwing money at it? Please let me explain from the perhaps naive view of a non-economist, non-sociologist.

Lack of health care in poor rural areas? How many health care providers want to live in these areas? I guess we can keep raising the pay until some doctors or nurses will bite, but what is the limit?

We all want to be desk jockeys, and paper pushers, and not want to get our hands dirty. So, all the manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas because we do not want to pollute our air and water, which may be necessary to get that iSomething that we must have. And by the way, using these tools are "cool", but we leave the manufacturing of them to others. So, we do not leave work for the high school graduates, and demand college degrees for every job.

Nobody wants their children to go work on the farm, picking strawberry. Yet, we pick on the illegal immigrants who risk their lives for the jobs that we despise.

I do not know the answers to these questions. But I will not be a hypocrite to say that the problems are all caused by my countrymen, and that I did not contribute to it.
I get what you are saying here...and it's an interesting point...if I'm understanding you correctly. It very well may have become "structural".
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:13 PM   #173
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I'd be happy to rationally discuss "facts" with you if you would post some; which is why I offered up examples of such to you regarding your post on the banking industry... The post you keep referring back to as chock-full-o' facts (highlighted above) is nothing more than speculative opinion on your part about an imaginary future outcome. How do you possibly prove any of these "what-if" notions?
i did post facts. see the bolded text from my original post
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i dont think that is 100% correct. for example, buffett (if he were still alive) would probably rebuild his fortune but i dont think gates would. a lot of the gates fortune required luck. he was lucky that IBM didnt care about the software rights to the operating system (PC-DOS) so they just gave them away to gates (hence MS-DOS), that wouldnt happen again. gates was lucky that he (and apple) got windows from xerox, that wouldnt happen again, etc. i think there were 1 hit wonders that wouldnt be able to reproduce their 1 hit. and hence wouldnt be rich again.

for the most part i do agree about most poor people as most would probably squander their new found wealth. but there would probably be some that wouldnt
which i amplified in my 2nd post (see bolded text)
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sheezz you can run amuck, instead of seeing the truth in what i posted you attack. it is obvious that you think all wealthy people do everything right. that they are better than the rest of us.

getting back to my point about gates, IBM is also partly (maybe even mostly) responsible for "revolutionizing the PC Industry" and they made a huge mistake (which was lucky for gates) by allowing gates to keep ownership of PC-DOS as they thought the hardware was the more important piece of the puzzle. gates was also lucky that IBM didnt do what apple did when it came to the hardware. IBM was very open when it came to the hardware design thus allowing anyone to build an IBM PC clone but since gates owned the OS, all the clone pc makers used his OS (otherwise they wouldnt have been true clones) and he made a ton of money (IBM got nothing from this but if they hadnt built that PC none of this would have happened for gates). gates wouldnt have made nearly as much if IBM hadnt made the mistake of letting gates own the OS and license its use on each pc. it wasnt till his company was wildly successful that microsoft "developed" windows which apple says microsoft stole from them but really both got from xerox. i never said gates was only lucky, that he didnt work hard, or that he didnt have skills. but the fact that he was lucky cant be rationally denied. and the opprotunity he capitolized on wont come again.

the point i was trying to make was that if all the wealth in this country was distributed evenly to everyone i dont think gates would have anywhere near all his wealth back in 10 years (or in any time frame for that matter) and i gave some reasons why i thought that. i had no intension of tearing down your idol. oh and BTW i never really wrote about steve jobs, only that apple got the core of their OS from xerox, which is true.
granted i do make speculations based on those facts and i made it very clear with my choice of words (and you pointed them out in your last post) where i was speculating, but that is better than making speculations not based on facts.

and in answer to your last question, the only way would be to actually do the wealth leveling as was hypothisized in the post i was orginally responding to, but i dont think (nor do i want) that to happen.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:14 PM   #174
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There, we need to get to the basic question first. People need to agree on what needs to be done, and then what is the best approach to solve it.

Eh, tell me about it. My children want my wealth to be redistributed to them too!

As I am not taking it with me, and also will not be spending it all, I think I will leave them plenty, the market God willing. But I want to be sure they will know how to handle that first. And the best way I have seen with my daughter is for her to manage within her salary. Seems to work better when she knows that she must allow for money to pay her utility bills, her car payment, etc... She has not been spending $75 for a nail job, or a $100 hair cut like when she was staying with us rent free.
Good points. The ironic thing is by you teaching your daughter to live within her means, she will appreciate and respect more her inherited money you give her ........ In due time of course!
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:24 PM   #175
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Nobody wants their children to go work on the farm, picking strawberry.
I'd rather have my kid picking strawberries for minimum wage than collecting welfare.

BTW, I used to hoe soybeans when I was 14 for a buck an hour and all the well water I could drink...and look how I turned out. It did teach me the value of a dollar at an early age, though...
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:25 PM   #176
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I'm the someone who stated the above as a personal theory.....and I stand by it. But it is obviously a generalization.

I believe that luck is a factor in almost everything, but that intelligence allows some people to be more successful then others. Putting yourself in the right place, developing good relationships with other people that can help create an advantage for you, and understanding implications of situations are all essential, and are much more likely to happen because of personal intelligence rather then luck.
if what you are speculating (or meant to speculate earlier) is: that if there was a wealth equalization, that after some time (say 10 years) there would again be wealth inequality and it is likely that most of the people with wealth now would also be the people with wealth then; then i agree with you. i was just questioning that the disribution of that wealth among individuals after the equalization + 10yrs would be the same as before the equalization and i chose to give an example (based on some historical facts) to illustrate my reasoning
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:27 PM   #177
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Another part of the question which I don't have the answer is at what point does redistribution through higher taxes works as a disincentive to accomplish anything? I just read an Ivy league business professor saying it's more economically rational to be a plumber than a doctor when you factor in the 10 years of lost wages on top of the mountain of student loan debt (assuming the parents aren't footing the bill). If you throw in an income tax structure that is too high at what point will people decide it's not worth the effort?
I agree with this Mulligan. I think and hope ...that the powers that be will consider the backlash.
Some may not agree with me on this...but I consider that what happened in the housing market a form of redistribution of the so called wealth. To do that, requirements were lowered, Fannie and Freddie turned off their brain, no one had to document their income, down payments were made with credit cards that were supplied thru mass mailings by the credit card companies and approved over the phones, oh...don't worry about paying the principle...we'll set it up as interest only, . There was a massive push by our government to get everyone into a home. Look how well that worked out!
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:32 PM   #178
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I don't think I missed your point. Granted there were many points being made in the thread that made it difficult to follow on a first read but....I suppose I was arguing against the second point you were originally trying to make...(that Gates would not be as rich again). I hear what you are saying though...in that IF the time for him to have made the splash had past...he wouldn't have made as big a splash.

But ...similar things can be said about most everyone in our history...so what is the point? . It's like saying...or not honoring Jonas Salk for the polio vaccine...because had he not come up with it when he did...someone else would have. Same for the locomotive...airplane..telephone...basically every great invention or modification that changed society.
So...I suppose I was questioning...your using that as an argument to that point.
true, similar things could be said about other people too, so they too would illustrate my point. i was just questioning the speculation in the post i was responding to that the disribution of wealth among individuals after the equalization + 10yrs would be the same as before the equalization, i dont think it would be is all.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:33 PM   #179
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Eh, tell me about it. My children want my wealth to be redistributed to them too!

As I am not taking it with me, and also will not be spending it all, I think I will leave them plenty, the market God willing. But I want to be sure they will know how to handle that first. And the best way I have seen with my daughter is for her to manage within her salary. Seems to work better when she knows that she must allow for money to pay her utility bills, her car payment, etc... She has not been spending $75 for a nail job, or a $100 hair cut like when she was staying with us rent free.
I did and am doing the same NW. When my daughter turned 16 and wanted a gas card...like all her friends had.....I said.."Nope..you are going to put cash into that gas tank so that you understand what a tank of gas costs.

Since she graduated and got her teaching job...I haven't given her a penny. I've taken her to lunch..and those sorts of things...but not much of anything else.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:36 PM   #180
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The ironic thing is by you teaching your daughter to live within her means, she will appreciate and respect more her inherited money you give her ........ In due time of course!
Yes, I often talked to my wife about this irony. We want our children to become independent and being able to make a living. But then, if they are successful, they would not need our money. Conversely, in order for them to really need the inheritance, then they will not have been doing well, and we do not want that to happen.

So, we compromise by helping them out early in life, and not make them wait until we die. First, we help them with the college tuition, so they start their adult working life debt free. And then, I just helped my daughter buy her first home, a town home, by giving her money for the down payment.

Maybe I have just spoiled her again, but she has shown greatly improved financial skills since she was in her own apartment a year ago. From a young woman who ate out all the time, she now exchanges tips with my wife about what grocery store is running a sales.
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