Sat, 29 Mar 2008
Two Local Morons
We have not one but two local morons who have opened their mouths and
proven the fact. First, we have the Deputy Mayor of Potsdam, Ruth Garner,
who was quoted by the Daily Courier-Observer as saying:
"If everybody is allowed to put out signs on all of the things
they agree or disagree with, good God, it would be chaos," said
Welcome to America, Mrs. Garner, where we have freedom of speech.
Whether you feel that voters' opinions are "chaos" or not, you don't
have the ability to control their speech.
Second, we have Tom Sauter, who has earlier made
a fool of himself. Apparently that's part of his job description,
because he continues to do it. DANC (Tom's employer) is going to run
fiber optic cables to the counties' industrial parks. First, fiber
optic cable is not magic. The phone company and
cable companies are happy to run fiber wherever they need to, in response
to customer demand. So whenever DANC starts spouting the magic of
economic development through fiber optic cable, I have to cough "bullshit"
into my hand. Second, the very article announcing this points out that
of eight industrial parks, two or three have fiber optic lines. Tom (the
moron) then tries to claim that there would not be overlap with
private companies in the areas in question. Is Tom ignorant of those two
or three industrial parks that do have fiber? Or is he, again,
Note that I hold out no criticism of Tom Sauter the person. A guys's
gotta make a living. I just think that his job requires him to utter things
which are utterly stupid.
Posted [12:15] [Filed in:
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] politics,economics [digg this
The IRS is wholly evil.
We "did well" on the stock market last year. We "made a lot of money".
Now the IRS say that because we bought stocks for one price and sold them
for a higher price, that's income on which we owe taxes.
Ha, ha, ha.
Anybody who's been tracking the market knows that it's substantially below where it
was last year. I didn't in fact make any income from the stocks, I rolled
it over into different investments ... investments which lost value.
But even though the income that the IRS says I "made" and which I never
accessed, is now gone, I still have to pay taxes. The IRS considers that
you have income whenever you have access to the money. Well, that's a great
theory, but it simply defies logic. If I have a key to your house,
the IRS considers that I've entered your house, even though I may never
ever have been to your city. If you wrote me a check, and I never
cashed it, the IRS considers that to be income, simply because I could
have cashed it. And yet, I didn't, and the money to pay the non-income taxes has to
come from somewhere else.
So, you might say "well, sorry, Russ, that's the rules; sucks to be you."
And yet as an economist I need to point out that while this rule gains
the government money, it makes our society poorer. Since I never got
the income they claim I got, I have to liquidate some other investment.
I have to consume my capital. Whenever you engage in capital consumption,
you make not just you worse off, you make everyone worse off because one
and only one thing makes workers more productive and enables higher pay
for workers: capital.
Yet again, government actions hurt citizens.
Posted [00:35] [Filed in:
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] irs,taxes,evil,economics [digg this
Sat, 15 Mar 2008
Too many poor
There are too many poor people in New York State. We could try to
increase their wealth through the same old same old methods of income
redistribution, or economic development. Or we could try some
innovative new scheme, like ... paying them to leave. Why not? Let's
make New York State a better place to live by getting rid of its poor
So, the plan works like this: poor people register their intention
to leave with New York State. The first tax year that they file taxes
in another state, we pay them some reasonably large sum of money, like
$5,000. If they stay away another year, we pay them $2,000, and then
$1,000 and then $500.
Shocked? Does this sound like a horribly cruel scheme, designed to
rip asunder the communities of poor people?
Consider, instead, getting rid of a different set of people: the
rich. Let's do as the Working
Families Party wishes. Only, instead of paying the rich to leave,
we'll tax them if they stay. Let's increase the taxes of everyone
earning over $250K by 1%, over $500K by 2%, and over $1M by 3%.
The Working Families Party calls this "fair". Yet they would
undoubtedly howl in outrage if the exact same scheme was seriously
proposed as I did in the first two paragraphs. Why is one thing fair
when proposed for the rich, and yet outrageous when proposed for the
Posted [11:33] [Filed in:
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] economics [digg this