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Author Topic: When to say too much?  (Read 4299 times)
Conrail Quality


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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2008, 11:49:43 PM »

Sheldon:

Federal debt in 1968: $365.8 billion 
Federal debt in 2008: $10.664 trillion
Increase: About 29%

Your tax numbers actually seem slightly low, then (your taxes only increased by 20%). Or we could try to pile on debt perpetually...

Timothy
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Timothy

Still waiting for an E33 in N-scale
WGL
Great Northern


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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2008, 04:15:19 AM »

 Bob, I went without health insurance for 5 years.  Then, I paid $2500 a year with a $2500 deductible.  The premium has increased to $3000 a year. I've been healthy enough so that the insurer hasn't had to pay anything.

 In 1938, movie star Carole Lombard paid 85% of her income in taxes.  Up to the 1950s, the top federal income tax rate was about 90%.  Today, it is 35%, & billionaire Warren Buffett will tell you that a lot of rich people get most of their income from capital gains, which are taxed at 15%.  Many of our biggest corporations paid no federal tax last year.  Since the rich are paying much less now, the rest of us have to pay more.  This is the first time an administration has cut taxes during a war & just charged the war on its Chinese & Japanese credit accounts.  Meanwhile, our infrastructure is crumbling, & politicians are calling for more tax cuts.
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ebtbob


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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2008, 08:56:55 AM »

Good Morning All,


         Here is my perspective on the original comment.   Yes....prices are up by a considerable margin if you just look at pure numbers.  But I think there are some subtle(sp?) changes in us as modelers.  Let me prefice my comments on saying that not only am I serious(not a rivot counter) modeler,  but also work partime in a train store in the NW subs of Philadelphia.
          I see modelers who appreicate things like finer added on detail,  not molded on detail.  Also,  like it or not,  we are much more of a ready to run society,  so the pre-built type product sells well today.
          Next,  and really not un-noticeable,  is the advent of DCC which has,  in turn,  increased the interest in sound equipped engines.
           Thinking of the ready to run cars.    In my earlier days,   Athearn,  Varney,  and Roundhouse(MDC) were the three manufacturers I enjoyed.   Now think of the time that it would take you to build a car and pay yourself what you would consider a reasonable wage - today - and where does the cost of the car go to.   At my store,   when I assemble a car or detail an engine I charge $10 an hour and that is cheap for this area.    Next thing you know,   that Athearn ready to run car is not so expensive when you factor in the cost of putting on those detail parts such as grab irons etc.  or you consider the time it took to file smooth and paint the under frames of some of the MDC products or paint the weights for the Athearn cars.
      Next,  lets look at Athearn blue box diesels.   Remember putting all the details on the truck side frames and installing those metal hand rails?    All was time consuming.   Also remember that the Athearn line - Ready to Run - is also quite different in respects to the drive trains.   Drive shafts now connect the motor and flywheels to the gear towers,  so that annoying "Athearn nosie" is reduced by about 75% and the engines run,  in my opinion,  much better than in the past.
       So.....I think cost is how you look at it.    And.......another thought,  remembering that I said I work at a train store.   All the stores in our area were open on Black Friday,  and while I must admitt the crowds were not what they were a year ago,   we were still  hopping pretty good most of the day.   Also,  you must know,  diminishing numbers on Black Friday has been going on for more than two years now.
        One last thought......remember,  a store only has so much space and manufacturers now produce things in limited runs.   How do you stock your shelves under these conditions?   You try to bring in what sells since boxes on the shelves are earning you no money.    In our store,   we rarely,   and I mean rarely get requests for things like blue box kits from Athearn and we do get some in,  they just sit there.  Bowser,  whose kits are really nice do not sell as well as the ready to run cars.   Same goes for Proto 1000 and Proto 2000 from LifeLike.

Bob
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Bob Rule, Jr.
Hatboro, Pa
In God We Trust
Not so much in Congress
GATSME MRRC - www.gatsme.org
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2008, 06:05:42 PM »

Timothy,

They can stop spending anytime they want as far as I'm concerned. Government is too big, too intrusive and doing too many things not in it's "Charter".

But what do I know, I'm just a hick with a pickup truck and a gun.

Sheldon

PS - Bob Rule is spot on about the products and prices these days.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 07:34:29 PM by Atlantic Central » Logged
SteamGene

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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2008, 07:16:58 PM »

Sheldon,
Ole Tommy Jefferson mentioned that the Constitution probably needed to be rewritten every 40-50 years.  I think he's right.  Or at least every 200 years. After all, what would happen if a bunch of sailor types mailed a letter to Congress asking them to grant a Letter of Marque to them?   This is not the same country they had in 1808 and the people don't really speak the same language.  I have taught linguistics and language history and I will tell you that there are words in the Constitution which do NOT mean today what they meant when it or the Bill of Rights were written.   
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2008, 07:58:58 PM »

Gene,

I don't disagree with any of that. But we do know what those words meant then, and we know what the intent was. We should follow it or have an adult dialog about changing it. It has a mechanism for change. But we should not just ignore it and do whatever we think we can get away with. Examples - the monitary system, gun rights, self defense, taxes.

The problem with following the rules is it would bring attention to the rights we stand to loose (or have lost already) and require our leaders to actually explain themselves.

If we want socialism, let's take a vote, change the Constutition and get on with it, rather than this subversive undermining of our rights as discribed under the current system. Thing is, explained like that, it might not be welcomed by as many as some think. I think the leaders know that.

But back to the orginal issue, most people who complain about the cost of things have no idea why things cost what they cost. Anyone who thinks someone should sell them things at a lower price, should be asked if THEY want to take a pay cut. Because that is what they are asking of the merchant, maker, etc, etc, who are involved in bring them whatever it is they want to buy. If a business man wants to sell more of what he is selling, and can lower his price to get me to buy it, good for him. If he feels he needs to get a certian price to make a fair profit, its my choice, do I want it at the price he is offering or not.

The price of ANYTHING is only determined by how bad I want it and how bad you want to sell it!

O my, gasoline is going to be $5.00 a gallon! I laughed months ago when people said that. In fact I predicted $4.00 would be the top and it would return to something less than $3.00 (the historical average ajusted for inflation) before long. It is $1.70 here today.

Sheldon



« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 08:59:20 PM by Atlantic Central » Logged
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2008, 09:23:29 PM »

As a side note:

I just recently purchased some Proto2000 F7's (no DCC, no sound) and and paid just a little less than retail, because I wanted them and could aford them, spending about $800 on six locomotives (all powered).

I also just purchaced some PCM F3's (again, no DCC, no sound) from Factory Direct Trains, at the VERY, VERY low price of about $130 for an ABBA set (4 powered locos), again because I could aford to take advantage of their desire to get rid of them, and, it was something I wanted.

I consider both to be fair prices based on simple "market" conditions.

I don't use DCC and don't like sound, that lowers my "cost" of modeling quite a bit compared to some. When those things became available I looked into them, decided their value to me, and decided my money would not be spend on them. Neither is a good "value" in my opinion, at least not for my modeling goals.

Sheldon

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SteamGene

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« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2008, 10:22:46 PM »

But we do know what those words meant then, and we know what the intent was.

Sheldon, No, most people don't .  I will say I do, or am very close to the mark.  I'm afraid you don't, nor do most people today.  Because of that, you do NOT know what the intent was for several important Amendments. 
I remember as a Cub Scout in the early 1950's receiting the Promise to "be Square," and laughing because the beat definition of "square" had already gotten to Milwaukee grade school boys. 
That's just minor considering important things.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
grumpy

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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2008, 01:50:16 AM »

The desire for lower pricing is what has made Walmart profitable and has driven down the quality of a lot of items. You will notice that all of our train models are made in China and regardless of the markings are all made by 3 or 4 mfg plants in China. Quality control appears to be insignificant when you consider the cost of quality control against the cost of repairs. If the return rate is 1 to 2% and is spread over the world it would just be considered a cost of doing business. A forum like this helps to spread the word about the dissatisfaction with the quality of some of the models we purchase
If you press  for lower pricing you may get it but at the cost of lower standards of quality.
Don Sad
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2008, 01:14:07 PM »

Good Morning All,


         Here is my perspective on the original comment.   Yes....prices are up by a considerable margin if you just look at pure numbers.  But I think there are some subtle(sp?) changes in us as modelers.  Let me prefice my comments on saying that not only am I serious(not a rivot counter) modeler,  but also work partime in a train store in the NW subs of Philadelphia.
          I see modelers who appreicate things like finer added on detail,  not molded on detail.  Also,  like it or not,  we are much more of a ready to run society,  so the pre-built type product sells well today.
          Next,  and really not un-noticeable,  is the advent of DCC which has,  in turn,  increased the interest in sound equipped engines.
           Thinking of the ready to run cars.    In my earlier days,   Athearn,  Varney,  and Roundhouse(MDC) were the three manufacturers I enjoyed.   Now think of the time that it would take you to build a car and pay yourself what you would consider a reasonable wage - today - and where does the cost of the car go to.   At my store,   when I assemble a car or detail an engine I charge $10 an hour and that is cheap for this area.    Next thing you know,   that Athearn ready to run car is not so expensive when you factor in the cost of putting on those detail parts such as grab irons etc.  or you consider the time it took to file smooth and paint the under frames of some of the MDC products or paint the weights for the Athearn cars.
      Next,  lets look at Athearn blue box diesels.   Remember putting all the details on the truck side frames and installing those metal hand rails?    All was time consuming.   Also remember that the Athearn line - Ready to Run - is also quite different in respects to the drive trains.   Drive shafts now connect the motor and flywheels to the gear towers,  so that annoying "Athearn nosie" is reduced by about 75% and the engines run,  in my opinion,  much better than in the past.
       So.....I think cost is how you look at it.    And.......another thought,  remembering that I said I work at a train store.   All the stores in our area were open on Black Friday,  and while I must admitt the crowds were not what they were a year ago,   we were still  hopping pretty good most of the day.   Also,  you must know,  diminishing numbers on Black Friday has been going on for more than two years now.
        One last thought......remember,  a store only has so much space and manufacturers now produce things in limited runs.   How do you stock your shelves under these conditions?   You try to bring in what sells since boxes on the shelves are earning you no money.    In our store,   we rarely,   and I mean rarely get requests for things like blue box kits from Athearn and we do get some in,  they just sit there.  Bowser,  whose kits are really nice do not sell as well as the ready to run cars.   Same goes for Proto 1000 and Proto 2000 from LifeLike.

Bob

Good points, Bob. It's really true, time is money.

Wow, at your store you assemble kits for customers? I never would have thought anybody offered a service like that in this day and age!  Shocked
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