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Wildfires Pile Woes On California Pot Industry After Tough Year

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      I am putting this post under the "Business" category due to the cost to the Marijuana Industry, but it is also essential for people to note that Southern California's four raging wild fires in the Los Angeles area have forced 200,000 people to evacuate and destroyed hundreds of homes.

      San Luis Obispo County has scores of pot farms, some of them larger than one acre (0.4 hectare). Growers in Los Angeles, on the other hand, tend to set up indoor operations due to lack of open farmland, he said, meaning they are better protected from smoke. The city has more than 10,000 grows, the industry estimates, many of them small.

      Things could be worse for the marijuana industry in the state, Allen said, except for the fact that particularly hard-hit Ventura County does not issue permits for pot farms.

      The smoke billowing from the latest blazes could be damaging for growers in San Luis Obispo County, up the coast to the north of the city, as well as in Los Angeles itself, he said.

      The October wildfires significantly damaged or destroyed 73 licensed pot farms in Mendocino and Sonoma counties, Allen said. Others without permits were also hit, he added, although most of those were unlikely to come forward.

      "It's been a very intense year," Allen said.

      To read the entire article: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/12/07/wildfi...

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      Senator Warren Scrutinizes Equifax.

      Senator Warren at her best. You don't know how lucky you are to have her :)

      (some)

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      Did You Wire Money Through Western Union And Get Ripped Off By A Scam?

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          Then you may be able to get your money back. It seems Western Union knew scammers were doing this, and let it happen, in order to make money.

          If this happened to you, between 2004 and January of this year, you can get your money back, per a settlement Western Union reached with the Federal Trade Commission. Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter.

          http://komonews.com/news/consumer/scam-victims-who...

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          Trump Says U.S. Won't Be 'taken Advantage Of Anymore.' Hours Later, Pacific Rim Nations Reach ....

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              "And then, less than 24 hours later, 11 Pacific Rim countries collectively shrugged and moved on without the U.S."______________________________________________________________________

              'President Trump delivered a fiery speech on trade here Friday, declaring that he would not allow the United States to be “taken advantage of anymore” and planned to place “America first.”

              'And then, less than 24 hours later, 11 Pacific Rim countries collectively shrugged and moved on without the U.S.

              'On Saturday, the countries announced they had reached a deal to move ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade pact that Trump threw into question when he withdrew from it earlier this year.

              'The agreement represents something of a rebuke of Trump, coming near the end of his five-country, 12-day swing through Asia, and reflects the willingness of other nations to proceed without the buy-in of the United States.

              'A statement early Saturday trumpeted a breakthrough on the “core elements” of the trade agreement. “Ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership,” it read.

              'The deal was originally expected to be announced Friday — the same day Trump addressed business leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit here, in a speech heavy on tough talk and protectionist rhetoric — but was delayed after Canada raised concerns.

              'The decision to move ahead with the TPP agreement, minus the United States, reflects how Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal created a vacuum other nations are now moving to fill, with or without the president.'

              https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/post-p...

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              Watch: Snax Haven. How To Hide The Secret Sauce And Save Millions

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                  Nifty little video provides a good explanation of how corporations pay little or no tax.

                  It's quite remarkable that huge US corporations can sell billions of dollars worth of product around the world without paying tax in the US or abroad.. What's Mr Trump's opinion I wonder..

                  “U.S. multinational firms are the global grandmasters of tax avoidance schemes that deplete not just U.S. tax collection but the tax collection of most every large economy in the world,” said Edward Kleinbard, a former corporate lawyer who is now a professor of tax law at the University of Southern California.

                  https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/watch-snax-haven-hide-secret-sauce-save-millions/

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                  Do State Tax Incentives As Job Inducements Really Work?

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                      I originally wrote these words under another topic heading, as a reply to jerryab. I got so carried away (involved, caught up in thought) I ended up with enough words to justify using the reply as it's own stand alone topic.

                      ...........................................................................................................................

                      How Republicans use tax incentives to pay companies for new hires?

                      Their way of doing that is on the front end. Republican led red state governments typically pay companies to stimulate their economies by offering them an up front tax break as a lure if they should choose to locate a job producing businesses in their state. The incentives normally include property tax abatements, income tax discounts --based on the number of people the company hires--, and free job readiness programs at cost to the state for the training of new hires. Such is what makes up a good part of why a company such as Boeing chose to build it's new assembly plant in South Carolina instead of Washington State, or elsewhere, and it is also why the film industry has flocked to Georgia making it now the third ranked state in the union, behind New York and California in the production of movies and film. As of last report it could become number one this year. Though such moves, in tandem with anti-union efforts, do tend to also help lower the salaries of those who work in such industries.

                      The drawback to such incentives are that while they do work to stymie the loss of state Revenue it is debatable as to whether or not they add new revenue to the state treasury. As the states continue to slash public services, privatize others, and raise fees and offer communities the opportunities to use local option sales taxes as a means of raising revenue to replace funds normally distributed by the state to do things such as building a new school.

                      Some states that have used such incentives have dropped them because of what some existing business say is a built in unfairness. Companies that have been doing business in the state prior to the incentives are paying the full rate of taxes and are demanding to have some of their taxes abated or expenses offset or else they may move out of the state, or country. It is a double edged sword of sorts.

                      So whether or not Republicans can use these tax tricks, incentives and lures, to say they have created more jobs and revenue, and be truthful about it, depends on whether or not the tax burdens of the average worker has been lessened and the job opportunities and workforce enhanced. Typically with such devices you gain on one hand and lose on the other. If you lose more on the other then the state typically discontinues the incentive programs. If you gain more on the one hand the state typically continues down the road with the incentives.

                      Even some blue liberal states, such as California, are starting to offer incentives to retain industry and/or attract new ones.

                      __________________________________________

                      Example 1 ---> South Carolina:

                      "As details of the top-secret deal slowly trickle out, a (Charleston) Post and Courier analysis has found that the incentive package promised to Boeing is worth more than $900 million, at least double the highest estimate first circulated by state officials.

                      In part, that's because original estimates did not include county property and sales tax breaks."

                      ___________________________________________

                      Example 2 ---> Georgia:

                      "The main reason for the industry's staggering growth is the state's film incentive program, which awards up to 30 percent of what a production spends back in transferable tax credits that can then be sold on the free market. The most recent iteration of the credit was rolled out in 2008."

                      ___________________________________________

                      Example 3 ---> California:

                      "Legislation to expand and extend incentives to keep film and television production in California passed a major milestone.

                      As expected, the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act of 2014 was approved by the state assembly Wednesday by a unanimous vote of 71-0."

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                      U.S. Withdraws From Anti-Corruption Group's Oil And Petroleum Rules

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                          'The U.S. has pulled out of a pledge to conform to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, an international group that was formed to add transparency and accountability to how governments manage natural resources. The U.S. says it can't comply with all of the EITI's requirements.

                          'A State Department spokesperson says the U.S. will remain as one of 17 "supporting countries" of the initiative. A U.S. representative also serves on the EITI's international board.

                          'In response, the EITI's director cited America's prominent role in energy production and added, "This decision sends the wrong signal."

                          'The EITI collects and shares data from government and companies that show how much money is being paid and received for oil, gas, mining and renewable energy operations on public lands. The group was first formed 2002, at a meeting of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

                          'President Trump's administration announced the U.S. withdrawal Thursday via a letter to the EITI's board from the U.S. Office of Natural Resources Revenue Director Gregory Gould, who said:

                          '"While the U.S. government remains committed to fighting corruption in the extractive industries sector, and the ideals of transparency [in the EITI] ... it is clear that domestic implementation of EITI does not fully account for the U.S. legal framework. Effectively immediately, therefore, the United States must withdraw an an EITI Implementing Country."'

                          http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/03/...

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                          The Bank Are Regulating Our Pay As Well

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                              This seemingly innocuous downgrading of a business because of perceived concerns is a peek into another factor that keep wages where they are, and are not. When a Bank tells a company that they think their business model is paying its employees too much, what are other businesses supposed to take from that? What are people supposed to take from this? We are not numbers, no matter how hard they try to shove us in that box. We do not respond to market trends and prognostications because we are human beings with real needs. Besides, those numbers those Banks have been coming up with for the last 30 years have been anything but accurate and the next time they need a bail out, I hope we remember this kind of action that disproportionately hits the poor again.

                              https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/18/chipotle-downgrade...

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                              Eminent Education

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                                  One of my best friends is having his home and property taken from him through Eminent Domain. He is not against the move as it is for a new Elementary School. Yet the District's offer is nowhere enough to even move within the same county let alone anything near what he has now. They have a water source that was tested and the water coming out is 600 years old, before the industrial age. His wife is a naturopath and has native growth and harvestable plants on their property. So I wrote a letter to the Editor of our local paper and they didn't publish it of course. A lot of collusion in this I believe, if not then a whole bunch of muddied politics. The School board is run by a guy that is more developer than educator and it is showing in this Eminent Domain action. I am putting this up here and linking it to rally Support for the five families affected by this that have to be in court tomorrow at 9am, in downtown Everett, WA. This is not the intent of Eminent Domain, the meaning is you pay them enough to move next door if they have to.

                                  We have all heard the phrase before, “It’s for the children.” In the best intentions much is done with that refrain in mind. We are asked to vote on, and are taxed by, we support their extracurricular activities, and defend their rights to a fair and proper education. We even move when we are in the way of that progress, that “for our children.”

                                  The Everett School Board has voted 4-0, to use the very powerful and more widely used these days, Eminent Domain Process to drive property owners off of their properties. In the Eminent Domain process, you are supposed to receive fair compensation for your property that the government is condemning in order to obtain it. In the case of the Everett School District, they are using pricing measures that do not even allow these people to move next door, let alone a fair and honest evaluation. The numbers being reached by the ESD, and the property owners are far different than what the market says it should be. So in order to fight the few property owners, Eminent Domain is being used.

                                  Eminent domain is the exercise of the power of government to acquire private property necessary for a public use on the payment of just compensation and following due process of law. Proceedings to take property under eminent domain are referred to as “condemnation” proceedings. The property that governments may condemn includes fee title as well as lesser interests in real property, such as easements, and also “non-physical” interests such as air rights.

                                  Under long-standing case law, for a proposed condemnation to be determined by a court to be lawful, the condemning authority must prove that: (1) the use is really public; (2) the public interest requires it; and (3) the property appropriated is necessary for that purpose.

                                  Private property may not be taken for private uses, except for limited purposes authorized by article 1, section 16 of the state constitution. That section states, in part, that “Private property shall not be taken for private use, except for private ways of necessity, and for drains, flumes, or ditches on or across the lands of others for agricultural, domestic, or sanitary purposes.” Nevertheless, the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), raised concerns over whether the state constitution allows local governments to exercise the power of eminent domain for economic development purposes. See The Kelo Decision and Condemnation for Economic Development.

                                  http://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Legal/General-Government/Eminent-Domain.aspx

                                  In the midst of paperwork meant to boggle the average mind, RCW’s that may or may not pertain to your case, and all manner of double speak, they always win. To be served papers on the 7th of a month and expect a 50 plus year family property to be vacated by the 20th of that same month is ridiculous at best and flies into the face of fairness. The Everett School Board and it’s ringleader who happens to be a professional at expanding properties more than education, needs to pay up and play fair and square. Needless to say that the property is already accounted for in a rezoning that will make it worth ten times the amount they have assessed it at. So this is not only a land grab in the most blatant way, but also a money making scheme for the district in the long run. Yes, we want our kids to be taken care of, but at which cost? I think it would serve them to teach right and wrong before they teach how to make money by any means.

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