Tuesday, March 25, 2014

that Built the USA 
and Made it Great 
has Fallen Prey to 

The Cato Institute released an updated 2013 study (original study in 1955) showing that welfare benefits pay more than a minimum wage job in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Even worse, welfare pays more than $15 per hour in 13 states. 

According to the study, welfare benefits have increased faster than minimum wage. It's now more profitable to sit at home than it is to earn an honest day's pay.

Hawaii is the biggest offender, where welfare recipients earn $29.13 an hour, or $60,590 a year for doing nothing.

Here is the list of the states where the pre-tax equivalent yearly “salaries” received by welfare recipients pay more than available jobs:

1. Hawaii: $60,590
2. District of Columbia: $50,820
3. Massachusetts: $50,540
4. Connecticut: $44,370
5. New York: $43,700
6. New Jersey: $43,450
7. Rhode Island: $43,330
8. Vermont: $42,350
9. New Hampshire: $39,750
10. Maryland: $38,160
11. California: $37,160
12. Oregon: $34,300
13. Wyoming: $32,620
14. Nevada: $29,820
15. Minnesota: $29,350
16. Delaware: $29,220
17. Washington: $28,840
18. North Dakota: $28,830
19. Pennsylvania: $28,670
20. New Mexico: $27,900
21. Montana: $26,930
22. South Dakota: $26,610
23. Kansas: $26,490
24. Michigan: $26,430
25. Alaska: $26,400
26. Ohio: $26,200
27. North Carolina: $25,760
28. West Virginia: $24,900
29. Alabama: $23,310
30. Indiana: $22,900
31. Missouri: $22,800
32. Oklahoma: $22,480
33. Louisiana: $22,250
34. South Carolina: $21,910

As a point of reference the average Middle Class annual income today is $50,000, down from $54,000 at the beginning of the 2008 Recession.

Hawaii, DC, and Massachusetts pay more in welfare than average workers are able to earn there. Is it any wonder that so many stay home rather than look for a job. Time for a drastic change. America is virtually bankrupt.

Have we gone mad? How could we hope to undo this extravagant stupidity in public policy?

US Presidents: 
$400,000 a year while in office

Representatives  and Senators: 

Speaker of the House:

Majority or Minority Leader 
Average income for teachers - $40,065
Average Salary of Soldier DEPLOYED IN

Think about this:

Nancy Pelosi, already a very rich woman, earned $174,000 a year as a US Representative. She earned $223,500 a year as Speaker. She receives $193,400 a year as Minority Leader. Doubtless at the rate things are going others who follow in her wake will eventually receive more

Nancy Pelosi is just one of many hundreds of senators
and representatives that float in and out every

[NOTE: The retirement income members of congress receive (from is, the taxpayers) is determined by a formula that takes into account the years served and the average pay for the top three years in terms of payment. For example, a member elected before 1984 ... who worked for 22 years and who had a top three-year average salary of $153,900 would be eligible for a pension payment of $84,645 per year. A member elected after 1984 would have been enrolled under the FERS plan, and their pension payment under the same conditions ($153,900 top three-year average salary and 22 years of service [not in citation given]) would be $55,404. [not in citation given].[3] In 2002, the average pension payment ranged from $41,000 to $55,000.[4]]

[NOTE: The average annual retirement income in the USA for a COUPLE is about 50K, but the figure’s meaning is distorted, because it averages in the incomes of the super-rich, which may amount to millions per month and hundreds of millions per year –– or more ––  along with that of the burger flippers, lawn care service workers, store clerks, waiter and waitresses, domestic assistants (i.e. house maids), etc. Omitting the top 5% would doubtless bring the average down to less than 20K per year. Exact figures are not readily available.] 

Don’t you think paring down the rewards that come through serving in congress would be a good place to start paring down the costs of government?



  1. "But, but , but..." sputters the leftwing toady of the all-powerful state, CATO is funded by the Koch brothers!

  2. Impressive, take every possible benefit, make the erroneous assumption typical for all fringe right wingers that every recipient receives all benefits and voila salde du merde.

  3. I assume FreeThinke at least suspects that this article is bullshit. So why did he post it?

  4. To expose the "moral hazard" at the core of Leftism, of course.

  5. OH how I wish it WERE BS!

    Unfortunately, it's not.

    Facts are facts -- but not to a crypto-Marxist when they counter his worldview.

    You people really have NO idea of what's right, good, true and real. NONE. Your smug assumption of superiority, because of the wicked indoctrination you've received -- or the prejudices that came with an inferior background -- or both -- would be comical if the type of thinking it represents hadn't had such a devastating effect everywhere it's been tried.

  6. Thank you, Speedy!

    I did considerable research before I posted this. That is why it appeared so late. The version I received via email WAS filled with agenda-driven inaccuracies. I took the trouble to remove those, but of course, my effort to improve the product had no effect.

    Anything that opposes the Leftist Agenda MUST be denounced as "a LIE," "a DISTORTION," "BS," or "a mean-spirited defense and implicit support of RACISM," "Hatred for LGBT's," "Anti-Semitsm," "Xenophobia," "the product of Ignorance," or when all else fails, "STUPIDITY."

  7. I hate to be too pessimistic but does anybody think that there might be a war going on? A war directed at the American people themselves and the very founding ideals of those individual who stepped forward to establish a country dedicated to the principles or the primacy of individual rights and limited power of the state to infringe upon those defined rights.

    more and more it appears we live within a confined cone of dome of lies in the form of "news". More and more that "news" is nothing but propaganda—i.e. BULL SHIT.

  8. The pressure others to reform is great.
    Whoever won't conform inspires hate.

    An Ethos prevalent demands adherence,
    Or be lent a feigned sincere appearance.

    No one will tolerate what he despises,
    So, he'll berate who otherwise advises.

    The Bowels of Belief is where we live
    Where challenge never has Relief to give.

    Parochialism jails, and then it smothers
    Conformity impales, then kills all others.

    ~ FreeThinke

  9. Waylon,

    I think you are exactly right.

    The only legitimate question is this"

    Is this the work of Marxists and their many derivatives, OR has it been the work of The Oligarchs all along who have simply USED the Marxists as they've exploited everyone else?

  10. My guess is that many people here don't really personally know anyone who is on welfare. You do realize that it's all based on cost of living, right? So of course, areas with expensive costs of living are going to give out more in welfare.

    But what many of you are not thinking is that these numbers include things like Medicaid (which is complete bullshit, because health benefits are never calculated into someone's hourly wage, especially considering most people are part of employer plans that cover most of the premium costs).

    I can tell you this for a fact, FT: in terms of the actual cash assistance, in Ohio, most families are only getting around $300 per month. I don't think the max goes over $400, and that's even if you have a huge family.

    The bulk of the money goes towards food stamps. A family of 4 gets over $500 a month. But, food stamps don't buy gas, reliable transportation, clothing, and other necessities associated with self-sufficiency.

    Don't get me wrong FT. I work with the welfare population every day, and they all piss me off for the most part. There are some *serious* problems with the welfare system in this country, and I could go on for days about what's wrong with it economically, socially, and politically, but I can't stand misinformation.

    Go visit the average welfare recipient, and then you'll see that the numbers listed above don't really translate to standard of living the way you would think they do.

  11. And one more thing.

    FT the other day you mentioned that you're all about reading between the lines and not taking things literally.

    This is an instance where you seriously need to read between the lines.

    You can read those numbers, take them at face value, and get all upset--or--you can actually take some time to consider what those numbers actually mean. Ducky alluded to it. I consider you to be a man of intelligence, so I won't spell it out to you.

  12. My wife worked as a part time caretaker. A women with medical disabilities who was on assistence lived in conditions that none of us would wish wish on anyone. We live in MA, #3 on the list.

    Ducky and Jack are correct.

    Certainly there are many issues with the welfare system that should be fixed. Just as there are real economic and social drivers of the problem.

    Everything is not always as it seems at first glance and thinking beyond the narrow confines of conventional wisdom is required to solve problems. And this nation does have problems with thus issue.

  13. As you discovered editing this piece, this material is often presented alongside a lot of lies and nonsense. Perhaps you can understand my suspicions without impugning my motives. Remember what I've been saying about honesty, I am perfectly serious.

    I remain doubtful about these numbers. You can see the Cato institute answer some of the obvious criticisms here: http://www.cato.org/blog/work-vs-welfare-trade-response-critics

    I note that the Cato Institute publication contains caveats which are stripped from your presentation. Those caveats are important. Presented above, it looks like you're saying that a typical welfare recipient gets £50k in certain states. The original report does not say that.

    To indulge in politics for a moment: it could be that the institute designed their article to be extracted from and distributed as it came to you, stripped of context and cut with the kind of bullshit that you scraped off it. It's read meat for the conservative troops! This is an old trick: lend your extravagant claims some false legitimacy by simultaneously offering a far more modest paper for scrutiny.

    All the ideologies are fraught with moral hazard -- that's why politics is not a straight-forward fight between good and evil, and you are wrong to characterise it that way. The hazards of leftism can be read from history without resorting to any dubious studies such as this; but there is equally robust historical lessons about the hazards of laissez-faire conservatism, as illustrated memorably by eg. Dickens.

    The 19th Century Poor Law reforms were intentionally punitive. What was the impact on the poverty rate?

  14. It's now more profitable to sit at home than it is to earn an honest day's pay.

    I wonder if I could have a better income by going on welfare here in Virginia?

    I'd go bonkers if I didn't work, though.

    Just ask Mr. AOW what it's like to sit on one's a$$ when one would much rather be WORKING!

  15. BTW, I did have to sit around on my a$$ for several months following my car accident in May 2005. Not a good time, I tell ya.

  16. "I wonder if I could have a better income by going on welfare here in Virginia?"

    No, you would not AOW. Like I mentioned, Welfare is generally tied to cost of living, and although the numbers above would suggest that it actually keeps up with middle class cost of living, that's not true at all.

    As I explained, those who are "long term" welfare people only survive on it because they were living in squalor in the first place.

    At my job, we have only a few middle class citizens actually apply and use cash assistance. You can tell, just by the look on their face, that they're frightened because welfare is not enough to maintain a comfortable, middle class lifestyle.

    I'm not suggesting that it SHOULD be able to maintain a comfortable, middle class lifestyle.

    Considering my clients only get about $700ish per month in money they can actually spend (that is food stamps and cash assistance combined) I always tell them that even if they get a MINIMUM WAGE job working 40 hours a week, they will tripple their income.

    The welfare "lifers" are not lifers because the money is good. They're lifers because it's literally all they know. Just as people like you and I were taught as we were growing up that we're supposed to work for our money, they were taught growing up that they don't have to. And since they already grew up in squalor, they're typically comfortable with it.

  17. Jack,
    I'm not complaining, but I should say that, compared to those with a comfortable middle class living conditions, I actually live a lifestyle which is quite Spartan.

  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. The POINT is not how much each WELFARE CLIENT actually RECEIVES, but rather how much each TAXPAYER is forced to GIVE.

    That government bureaucracy almost invariably
    tends to be wasteful, inefficient, and primarily self-serving should be regarded as a GIVEN.

    It is the SYSTEM, ITSELF, that is innately corrupt and therefore reprehensible.

    We could quibble about 'facts and figures, dollars and cents, comparative amounts, etc. all day every day and never get anywhere. It is my contention -- and that of every other true Libertarian-Cinservative that very CONCEPT of "The Welfare State" is inherently undesirable -- in other words NO DAMNED GOOD -- PERIOD!

    It is not a matter of "IMPROVING the EFFICIENCY" of the Welfare State, or making the amounts received more generous, and the salaries of administrators less so at all.

    The object is to DISMANTLE, and ELIMINATE the very IDEA of Welfare Statism altogether.

    There are MUCH better ways of being kind, generous, just and merciful to the unfortunate and ill-favored.

  20. FT: Your observation that it's not about the money that's provided to the welfare recipient but more importantly the intrusion of the state apparatus of coercion and physical force to extract the product of the effort of the producer to give to the welfare recipient is astute and absolutely true.

    Robbing Peter to pay Paul as your man, GBS, would say.

    RE: your question above.

    IMO, Marxism is a tool used by those who would rule us. Whether one calls them "Our Betters — Who Know Better", the Oligarchs, or The Capstone Committee, or whatever,it is Marxism that has been tried and proven to be the most effective system of total control of a country and its population, so it would likely be the choice of those that would impose a One World Government to create an all encompassing tyranny exceeding any that has been yet imposed on a smaller geographic test ares, such as the USSR and eastern Europe after WWII. That's my humble opinion anyway.

  21. Interesting observing the "progressive" mind in high dudgeon over your pulling the evident weeds out of the post here with the accusatory admonition to not only clean out the bull shit but to shit can the post entirely.

    How astute are these "progressive" minds in scraping the bull shit off the current fetish of the News" of the so-called free world and free minds of the West. I'm speaking specifically about the ongoing demonization of Russia and Vladimir Putin by the likes of say Zbigniew Brzezinski, who's one of the leading mind benders of the Western world, and currently asserting that Putin is acting like Hitler. As if "Zbig Daddy", himself, isn't one of the leading powers behind the idea to create a One World State tyranny.

    But conveniently omitted from this demonization is the act which preceded the annexation of the Crimea: The American State Department assisting in the destabilization of the elected President of the country and replacing him with a hand-picked stooge of the State Department. Nary a peep is heard in the West about the putsch installing Yatsynuk.

    Not much doubt that the big lies today are preparing the sheeple for another big surprise, another "world changing event" perhaps.

  22. FT,

    This is what I find frustrating. You present an argument, and then you present facts for the purpose of supporting your argument.

    Then, when someone like Ducky, jez, or myself call into question the veracity and the context of your facts, you immediately retreat to "well, let's not quibble about facts. This isn't about facts!"

    And just to be clear, the reason we're all calling this into question is because your post seems to be griping about how much money welfare recipients are receiving. You didn't mention anything about whether or not welfare should even exist.

    So when you come out and say "well, that's not the point! The point is something else entirely," it looks like you're simply trying to change the argument entirely because you can't offer a rebuttal to my refutation.

    In my responses, I address what you say in your articles. It's your blog, and you can do whatever you want, but I would appreciate it if in turn you address what I actually say.

    If the facts are irrelevant to your argument, then why did you bring up the facts in the first place?

  23. Has anyone here ACTUALLY studied Karl Marx, his life as well as his works?

    Does anyone realize that Marx was not a totalitarian, that he in fact abhorred totalitarian methodology of governing? The individuals who took Marx's economic theories and used them to oppress people an achieve their ultimate ends, POWER over the masses (Lenin, Stalin, et all) are not representative of Karl Marx.

    Modern Totalitarian Communism is not Marxism. Marx one said, and I paraphrase... as for me I'm not a Marxist.

    I do not hold the TRUE Marxist philosophy which would NOT be the totalitarianism of 20th century communism. Why? Because ultimately it creates DEPENDENCY and the desire and will to achieve and maintain independence through ones own efforts is diminished.

    However, the concern we all should have is this, when people are unable to find and maintain employment that provides a reasonable level of economic security for themselves and their family bad things can and usually do happen. Sometimes thinking outside the constraining parameters of the model we grew up solidly believing in and supporting is required to meet the new realities of a changing nation and world.

    Fearing the boogeyman, is one thing, refusing to respond to and resolve issues in a way that corrects the root cause is the real enemy we face.

    But hey, some of us are neither a Marxist, Communist, Totalitarian, Anarchist, Socialist, Capitalist, or any other one pure ideology. We merely want to find solutions to very real and complex problems that face the nation and its people.

  24. Not having consulted the exalted higher minds of Marxism, and being unable to understand how anything but tyranny could be the end result of a Marxist system that does not recognize property rights, that the means of production is to be governed by an association of all for all—bureaucrats on steroids—I suppose, and the end result would be anything but absolute power concentrated in the hands of the "elect" or the "elite", I'll defer any embrace of Marx or the psychosis of Marxism.

    The best example of the product of his thinking would be the man himself, who in the eyes of many was a barking mad lunatic. But that could be the attraction since one could always say they haven't sunk to the level of psychosis and hatred of Karl Marx, himself.

    And we all know when the state of absolute Marxist paradise is finally achieved on Earth, the state will wither away.

    Calling all committed Marxists to defend the god of Marxism.

  25. Alfred E had a saying What me Worry
    Now Obama H has changed that to "What Me Work"

    Why would someone work at Walmart when they can get just as much by not working. Welfare was intended to be a assistance not a living.

    He who taketh away doesn't get elected or a Mitt said It's all about the Free Stuff.

  26. Marxism, (as opposed to 20th century communism) were it achievable by humans, which it is decidedly not, and history has indeed proven this so, would be an ideal society in which economic security and liberty would be achieved. Unfortunately Marx (and Engels) strayed into the netherland of utopian ideology of wealth transfer from the wealthy to the poor.

    The concept of a more equitable distribution of the total economic pie is not in and of itself a bad idea. If one thinks about it it should be self evident that the ideal society would be one with a VERY strong middle class (like the one that existed in America for a brief time).

    We no longer have a strong middle class and it is shrinking. We have a growing "marginal" class and a growing lower class. At the same time the nation's wealth distribution is continuing to consolidate and increase at the top echelons of the economic strata.

    Unless people in this nation begin to take off their rose colored glasses, start thinking a bit differently and outside the confines of conventional wisdom, we will Waylon experience sort of a "self fulfilling prophesy."

    The threat of social upheaval and violence grows when a significant portion of society feels they have been left out with little hope of getting in to the club.

    Marxism could never work because of the basic flaws in its assumptions. Capitalism, which by the way Marx actually admired, he just saw capitalism as a stepping stone to the next higher economic and social level, will fail if it refuses to recognize and adjust to modern global economic realities.

    As for me Waylon? I'm a capitalist with a Randian penchant for looking out for ones rational self interest. I just happen to think it needs to be functioning in a way that benefit the whole of American society. It is no longer 1776, 1890, 1950, or even 1980. Whatever that says to anyone.



    The song a leftist sings

    Through years of endless springs --

    The gurgling cesspools make at eventide --

    The murmurs and the sighs 

    Masturbators hide --

    A great Collective Theme!

    That's Stalin by Starlight.

    My heart and I agree

    The State is everything to me.

    ~ Mala Propsky

  28. "The 19th Century Poor Law reforms were intentionally punitive. What was the impact on the poverty rate?"

    I don't know enough about the history of England to answer intelligently, BUT in turn I feel I must ask in turn, "What overall long range effect have The New Deal, The Civil Rights Act, The Voting Rights Act, The Great Society, Open Admissions, Obamacare, and now The Ravages Obama is daily visiting on our society with his pen and his phone had on the Poverty Rate and overall Quality of Life in the USA?

    And Les, thanks for the lecture on Marxism, but I'm one of those terrible people who sincerely believes RESULTS are ALL that COUNT.

    And Jack, whether you like it -- or even KNOW it -- or not -- we are engaged in a Civil War not with conventional weapons but with competing ideologies. I can't see much-if-any value in quibbling over academic theories and intellectualized interpretations of reality.
    feel I must repeat once again: "ALL is FAIR in LOVE and WAR."

  29. RN, I find it incongruous being a self identified Randian, that you'd strain the dregs of Marxism looking for some redeeming feature in a steaming heap of manure that asserts that the "ideal" society would be one which denies the existence of personal property to the members of that society and believes that the society could exist with its members just taking whatever they need from the collective pile of goods that would be produced by that society, since money itself would not exist.

    The guiding principle of that Marxist world would be the ideal: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need". Need being the ultimate requirement to make a claim on that society could only be made possible by the some unmentioned invisible power that would decide what would be produced and restrict the so-called demand of the needy on the enslaved toilers required to produce it.

    And this is a "utopian ideal"?

    The only thing amazing to me in this is that so many allegedly intelligent people claim to be Marxists subscribing to the fantasies of a raving lunatic. It's more likely it was a driving passion of Marx that desired to see the entire structure of Western civilization razed and utterly destroyed, including the ideas upon which it rested.

    And Western civilization does rest upon the Christian religion. One could conclude that Marx sought to destroy that as a means of destroying Western civilization. And replacing it with Marxism since to him Christianity was only the "opiate of the masses".

  30. Well put, Waylon. Whether destruction of Western Civilization was Marx's intention or not that, perforce, would be the inevitable result if his policies were fully implemented without a fight. We're drawing closer by the hour to that dreadful fate, because most are unaware of the danger they're in -- that frog-in-the-pot syndrome again -- and too many of those who have at least an inkling seem to prefer endless academic argument to taking a decisive stance foursquare against the deadly foe.

  31. FT,
    The POINT is not how much each WELFARE CLIENT actually RECEIVES, but rather how much each TAXPAYER is forced to GIVE.

    Of course, that is THE POINT!

  32. ..and Democrat's think that all the racists come from Dixie.

  33. Written by RN USA... "Marxism could never work because of the basic flaws in its assumptions. Capitalism, which by the way Marx actually admired, he just saw capitalism as a stepping stone to the next higher economic and social level, will fail if (its advocates) refuse to recognize and adjust to modern global economic realities."

    Choice is all yours people. Carry on...

    BTW FreeThinke, results is all that maters. How well I realize this, having spent the VAST majority of my adult life managing departments and entire plants.

    The question you need to ask yourself is exactly what is desirable "results."

    Star thinking outside the constraints of 18th and 19th century thinking.

    Ah, never mind, its too late.

  34. If Marxism could never work -- a position with which I agree entirely -- why in Heaven's name would any sensible person want to WASTE precious TIME trying to "understand" Marx's "true intentions."

    As Bitch Cassidy famously said years ago at FPM, when confronted with one of many instances of prissy over-intellectualization [less politely known as Mental Masturbation]:

    "You Don't Have to Eat a Pound of Shit to Know it Don't Taste Good."


    And bless you, dear Bitch! I shall always remember you with fondness and deep gratitude for that sage observation. Truly you were a woman after my own heart.

    1. Perhaps FreeThinke sensible people "waste" time for the purposes of:

      1) Understanding
      2) Debunking the myths
      3) Stripping the boogeyman of power by honest argument exposing the pit falls.
      4) Take and apply knowledge gained to ones advantage, or put another way, ones long term rational self interests. Something applicable to entire societies as well.

      Of course to achieve the above requires honest study, discussion, and the willingness to dispose of the platitudes, hyperbple, and bullshit. Far to many do not even make the attempt.

  35. Sorry, Thersites, but that doesn't count as "racism." It's only THEIR way of DEFENDING themselves against the racism WE have brutally imposed on "them."

    All good leftists, and self-styled "intellectuals" know that racism only comes from one direction -- i.e. The Evil White Man.

    It's the same with "anti-Semitism." We are never -- EvEr -- supposed to acknowledge the well-documented historical Talmudic hatred and resentment of Christianity, or the scheming machinations of Jewish intellectuals to undermine White Christian dominance by mocking, scorning, deriding, lampooning, seducing and bullying the young away from the beliefs and most cherished traditions of the dominant culture.

    Never never NEVER underestimate the power of the pen and the treacherous souls determined to make mischief practicing sophistry while perpetrating calumny.

    Thought is more powerful than The Bomb.

  36. Racism interestling enough is color and ethnicity blind. Racism is caused by the combination of ignorance, fear, hate all fueled by tribalism.

    There are liberal racists, consevative racists, white racists, black racists, yellow racists, and if there were purple people there would be purple racist

    Education, understanding, and tolerance of diverse attributes that exist among people is the cure for racism.

    As to segregated schools. Well, it is true that people tend to be drawn to those with similar attributes, race, culture, language, etc Thus we find pockets of such concentrations all around America. Sometimes things simply are what they are.

    Begin at the top, read again, repeat..

    Oh, one final word... Dump hyperbole, platitudes, rationalizations, and bullshit. Makes the intellectual picture clearer.

  37. Les, I highly recommend that you apply for a Lectureship in Sociology or the History of Western Civilization -- possibly both -- at one of the universities. I'm certain they'd welcome you with open arms, and you would really be in your element at last. You wouldn't have to do any preparation whatsoever, because it's obvious you already know it all.

    You and academia were made for each other.

  38. Mr. FreeThinke,

    In acknowledging your high regard for my intellectual honesty and clarity I must say thank you.

    I must also admit to enjoying an intellectually honest and stimulating discussion in the issues of the day. There is nothing like it to get the brainwaves really activated.

    As a point of interest, I spent my entire adult life in the manufacturing arena, both as a technician (operator) and management. Management encompassed 320 years. So, my background is that of GETTING THINGS DONE EFFICIENTLY.

    It is unfortunate that so many, particularly on the far right (as well as the far left)seem incapable of reasoned and rational discussion. Must be the emotions getting in the way.

  39. Typo's, caused by the lack of thorough proof reading have always been a problem for me.

    Try 32 years in manufacturing management. It ain't biblical times after all. :-)



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