Saturday, December 27, 2014
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Greco-Portuguese Protesting in Wisconsin ...
Didn't us all make endless fun of the French and the Greeks and the Portuguese (among others) when they did this kind of stuff over the past year or so in response to threats "public" workers might have their compensation adjusted to reflect (the more sober) economic reality?
At least nobody's burned up any cars yet here (that I've heard).
This guy did this topic better than me:
First Photo - http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2011-02/59511888.jpg
Second Photo - http://fiatcollapse.blogspot.com/2011/02/global-unrest-year-in-pictures-of-world.html
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Why Do We Have Taxes? - GOOD QUESTION!!
A good friend recommended this article (called "Why Do We Have Taxes?) in the context of a discussion we were having on Facebook about health care and rights and whether the services a government requires its constitutents to perform constitutes slavery. I had recommended this article (called "What Is A Right?") to him, prompting his recommendation.
I thought the "Why Do We Have Taxes?" article deserved a line by line refutation.
At least its second paragraph certainly does.
- Only without governments would there be no taxes; therefore, without taxes there would be no governments.
- Taxation is one of the several ways by which governments raise money to pay for the goods and services that they are called on to provide.
In the case of the USPS, the laws were passed because private entrepreneurs were outperforming the government mail service on price and quality of service. Government hates competition.
In the case of taxi cabs, there are many stories about how government policies artificially limiting the number of licensed cabbies in various cities have made life worse for people who don't have cars and need transportation so that the cab companies and cab drivers who do have the licenses can charge prices in excess of what they could charge if the government wasn't limiting - by force of law - entry to the field.
- Governments lack the major sources of revenue available to other sectors of the economy and must therefore rely on taxes to finance the majority of their expenditures.
- Unlike businesses, governments generally produce very few goods and services that can be sold, especially at a profit.
In fact, completely contrary to what this author says, I bet that for every single good or service a government provides, there is a transaction involving the exact same good or service being purchased in a private transaction.
- In addition, governments don’t have wage and investment income as do individuals and families.
Governments do not generate enough profits from their investments to pay for all the activities they undertake. Instead they force their constituents to finance the difference.
- Without these sources of income, governments have little choice but to finance their spending needs by assessing businesses as well as individuals.
Moving on ...
- Governments are continually searching for additional funds to pay for the needs of their citizens, businesses, and bureaucrats.
- At the local level, taxes support spending for schools roads, libraries, athletic facilities, fire and police services, and the salaries of county and municipal employees.
- States collect taxes for highway construction and upkeep, public colleges, buildings, and law enforcement.
- The federal government levies taxes in order to provide its citizens with an interstate highway system, a capable military force, health services, an Internal Revenue Service, thousands of parks and monuments, and scores of other things.
SKIPPING TO THE END (of the article) ...
- In summation, although unpopular (and many may argue, unfair), taxes are a necessity.
- The standard of living of a modern society demands it; governments must collect the revenues in order to provide the goods and services that their citizens need, want and demand.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
On Questions and Answers - Part 1
Q: How many federal employees earning more than $100,000 per year in salary does it take to destroy American's productive economy?
A: A lot less than those of us who aren't employed by the federal government are currently financing.
Which is why I am happy to see this article in USA Today (of all periodicals), noting that:
- Almost 19% of the employees of the federal government now pull down salaries in excess of $100,000 per year. (This is compared to ~14% at the beginning of the recession/economic crisis. This also does not include bonuses or overtime pay.)
- The number of employees of the U.S. Defense Department making salaries in excess of $150,000 increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009. That is a more than five-fold increase in the number of such highly-compensated individuals.
- In the U.S. Department of Transportation, at the beginning of the recession, there was only one employee earning more than $170,000 /year in salary. Now (as of June 2009), there are 1,690 such employees. I believe that is an increase of 1,690 fold, for you arithmetic whizzes.
NOTE 2: These numbers (stunning enough) to not include employees at the White House, in Congress, working for the US Postal Service, intelligence [sic] agencies, or uniformed military personnel. (Not knowing any better, I'd think the White House, Congress and the intelligence agencies likely would push that average federal salary higher, and that the USPS and uniformed military folks would likely pus that average lower.)
Monday, December 07, 2009
Continuity, Thy Name is Obama - Part 6 (O=W)
Creepy, dude. This (photo) is.
I was just reading about the new bumper stickers achieving growing popularity with the (disappointingly few) Obamites who still remember they don't like it when the U.S. goes around killing innocent people in various places around the world.
The bumper stickers that say: O=W.
If Obama continues his warmongering, hopefully those bumper stickers will get more and more popular. Here's the (excellent but soberingly blunt, as usual) article where I read about this by Bill Lind, by the way: CLICK
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Continuity, Thy Name is Obama - Part 5
The Bush administration refused to sign an international treaty about land mines. According to the report on Reuters I link to below this decision by the Bush administration was a change in U.S. policy (presumably from Clinton?) and Bush and his bunch said they would never join.
Now comes the Obama administration ... acknowledging that they will NOT "change" the Bush-era policy.
CLICK to go to that Reuters report if you like.
By the way, I don't know enough about the land mine treaty to have an opinion on whether the U.S. government should or should not sign it. I'm not expressing an opinion on that. This is just another installment in my collection or reports noting things that Obama is not doing differently from Bush. I'd note that a lot of the continuity is to do with killing. The war industry are well-connected politically. Big shock.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Continuity, Thy Name is Obama - Part 4
In May 2009, President Obama sent his first proposed defense budget to the U.S. Congress. Reports on what was in it varied, and there is spin (naturally) all over the web on the topic. My conclusions?
For fiscal year 2010:
- For spending that is apparently general Defense (sic) department funding , Obama requested four percent (4%) more money than President Bush requested for fiscal year 2009.
- In the aggregate, Obama requested one and a half percent (1.5%) more money than President Bush requested for fiscal year 2009. 
(I know this report is belated, but I do think it's highly relevant inasmuch as Obama has since been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.)
 This DoD press release calls it "discretionary budget authority to fund base defense programs" (so who can say what that really means).
 This article is my source for the 1.5% increase.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Ron Paul Interviewed by TIME Magazine
An Establishment mouthpiece asks questions from regular people.
This is a very good piece I thought, and as always I appreciated Dr. Paul's unflinching consistency on the principles of liberty. Especially poignant to me is his response towards the end about the Obama administration's approach to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (where Dr. Paul notes (1) Obama is not pulling the U.S. out of Iraq; (2) Obama is actively expanding the war in Afghanistan; (3) Obama is continuing to bomb Pakistan; and (4) Obama is perhaps more dangerous than Bush because the formerly anti-war LEFT has gone pretty much silent since his election).
Here's the URL for Facebookers who don't get the video.
Ron Paul Interview With Time Magazine
Here's a link to the LewRockwell.com blog where I found the article.