Just About Right

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Posted on : 11/12/2010 12:18:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

 A Veteran's Day Cartoon Worth Noting
 

Clay Bennett
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Nov 11, 2010
     

European Design

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Posted on : 11/12/2010 12:00:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

I found these photos from the Berlin DMY design festival to be absolutely fascinating.  I hope you will is well.

A Different Pin-Up

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Posted on : 11/12/2010 05:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

You have never seen pin-up girls like this before.  Usually, this side isn't something they put on display.

Modest NSFW warning.  Anyone that gets excited by these photos is really weird.

End The Corporate Income Tax

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Posted on : 11/11/2010 12:00:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Megan McArdle had a piece recently regarding the benefits of ending the corporate income tax.  The fact that we have one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world aside, Mrs. McArdle-Suderman offers the following reasons for eliminating this onerous and wasteful burden.

You can't tax a corporation; you can only tax a person

Corporations simply pass along corporate taxes in the price of their products.  It is just that simple.

The incidence of "corporate" taxes is not necessarily progressive.

Big companies can afford armies of attorneys and accountants to help them avoid tax liabilities.  Smaller companies that earn far less do not have the benefit of those resources.

The corporate income tax encourages firms to use debt finance, rather than equity.

I know a fair bit about this.  Consider that Apple is one of the strongest companies in America.  I remember 10-15 years ago there were many people that thought Apple was done as a computer company.  Yet they are still in the business of making computers...and many other useful gadgets.

How did they survive?  They took the road less traveled and became an asset rich company.  They own most of their corporate facilities.  As a result, they have the flexibility to invest in future products.

Most other companies are in debt.  They borrow against their buildings.  They borrow against their office furniture.  They borrow against their inventory.  And when hard times come along, they end up doing what their lenders want instead of having the freedom to re-tool, re-design, and re-orient on new products, new markets, new customers, and new profits.

If we want more stable companies, then we need to get rid of incentives that make them less stable.

You can't eliminate all the loopholes

The corporate income tax encourages firms to waste resources on tax avoidance

The corporate income tax doesn't raise that much money

The above three justifications represent the careful dance that companies and tax inspectors do with one another.  Companies waste valuable resources so they pay the least tax possible.  Tax inspectors waste valuable resources looking for corporate malfeasance.

Eliminate the tax and companies will focus on earning a profit without the contortions and market distortions caused by the corporate income tax.  And tax inspectors can go do something productive...like picking up litter in Antarctica.

Without the corporate income tax, a lot of the incentive for lobbying would go away

If getting corporate America out of the political funding game is so important, you would think that more people would be racing to end the corporate income tax.

Megan has more details, but the above should be enough to pique your curiosity.  Have a read.

Most Lethal Drug - Alcohol

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Posted on : 11/10/2010 10:59:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Courtesy of the WaPo comes word of a study of the impact of various drugs on our society.  The most dangerous substance?

Alcohol.

Yet we know that alcohol prohibition was an abysmal failure.  We should know that prohibition of other drugs has been a failure.

Why exactly are we conducting a War on Drugs?

On Our Knees

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Posted on : 11/10/2010 06:54:00 PM | By : Dann | In : ,

There was a photo that caused a stir recently.  In it a man nearly prostrated himself as Mr. Obama's motorcade passed by.  He assumed the position of the supplicant, begging for the scraps from the master's table.  The focus in this piece is on race.  The supplicant was black.  There are a few interesting thoughts for those that might be interested.

That image reminded me of a deep concern that I have that we are losing part of national identity.  We refer to the President and his paramour as our "First Couple".  The President's wife is called the "First Lady".

Those reference points harken back to the day when our nation's leader was considered to be "first among equals".  Presidents never thought to demand obeisance from a fellow American. 

This "first among equals" is revealed in other facets of our society.  One example is the union worker that expects to be considered the moral equal of the corporate officer.  He may earn less, and may not enjoy the same social circle, but his honest efforts are just as honorable as broader efforts of any captain of industry.

I am fortunate to know several people running companies that treat their employees as individuals first and employees second.  People that will shake someone's hand regardless of how manicured it may be, or how greasy it might be.  Suits can always be cleaned. 

It is this ideal that has driven our culture to expand our definitions of "person" and "equality" so that women are far closer to equality with men, minorities are far closer to equality with whites, and it does not require the greatest stretch of imagination to envision GLT folks as exercising the same rights as those of us with the more typical sexual orientations.

How might we lose this national identity that expects everyone to be considered morally equal?  Tribalism.   A clan-centric focus.  Placing a greater emphasis on smaller group identities and thereby denigrating our larger identity as "American".

When we start thinking that kneeling to an American President is an appropriate response to his passing in close proximity, we stop thinking of ourselves as being his....or perhaps her, someday....equal.  And in doing so we slowly lose part of what makes us Americans.

Why Mr. Obama Causes Worry

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Posted on : 11/09/2010 10:25:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , , , ,

Victor Davis Hanson has a brief piece that is well worth the time.  In it he breaks down the real reason why Mr. Obama...and his team....are worry some to those that desire a vibrant and growing economy.

- Economics 101

Mr. Hanson asserts that one primary concern is the Mr. Obama...and friends...appear to be unaware that the panoply of human history points to one obvious conclusion.  That individuals with the ability to better their own economic condition will achieve that result.  People living under centrally planned economies will not.

- Texas or California?

The debate is not between a fully unfettered free market and a communist state but rather it is the narrower choice between Switzerland and Greece.  I would suggest that another comparison would be Germany and Ireland.  Mr. Hanson tosses in Texas and California for good measure.

There is a difference between having an appropriate level of regulation coupled with restrained public spending and an expansionist government fully confident in its ability to tax and regulate a nation's way into prosperity.

- Neither Baron nor Insect

Mr. Hanson suggests that it is counterproductive to demonize those that have earned their wealth by adding to the many options that we all enjoy in our lives.  People like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have contributed to our national well being by creating wealth.  It is this created wealth that permits us to fund government activities.

The wealth the public sector consumes must first be created.  Demonizing entrepreneurs is counterproductive to that creative process.

- Grows on Trees?

Mr. Obama....and friends....appear to have little direct experience with the process of creating wealth.  Instead they have lived parasitic lives....my description....in jobs funded largely by taxpayers.  Having never balanced a budget, or run a major company, Mr. Obama is now in a position where both skills would serve him in good stead.

Had he embraced the individual liberty that is the foundation of our country, he might have led a company as it grew and innovated.  And with that knowledge and experience, he would be better prepared to lead us out of our current economic doldrums. 

Instead, we find ourselves subjected to theories that are simultaneously "interesting" and unproven within human history.

Is it any wonder that people with money to invest are opting to keep it in their pockets?

Mr. Hanson is more eloquent than I.  Please take the time to read his thoughts.

Another Reason Not To Trust Government

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Posted on : 11/08/2010 07:11:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

They put you in handcuffs, stuff you in the back of a police car, and stick you in jail for committing the monstrous crime of.....

.....wait for it.....

.....barbery without the benefit of currently documented government imprimatur.

Cutting hair without a barber's license.

It would be laughable were it not so tragic.