We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, December 19. 2013
Another friend has a new book out: JerusaLand: An Insignificant Death
Reddit bans climate debate
Caffeine + alcohol protect your DNA
Ultra-Right Philistine Glenn Reynolds Condemned
Duck Dynasty's' Phil Robertson ignores the PC rules
Affluenza? Ethan Couch and the media outrage machine
Robert Reich's envy: He covets. That is his nature:
The truth about parenthood
The Gov. of Maine grew up on welfare
Scientific Groupthink and Gay Parenting
Are Boys Irrational? Not if you distinguish biology from economics.
Here's a job for ya: US Diversity Recruitment Partner
Bloomberg Sounds Alarm Over ‘Labor-Electoral Complex’ in Final Speech as Mayor
Are newspapers losing ‘mass media’ mojo?
Non-citizens caught voting in 2012 presidential election in key swing state
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U.S. law enforcement agencies are conducting thousands of investigations using a law that makes violating state wildlife statutes a federal crime, often ensnaring hunters and fishermen for seemingly minor infractions.
Some even suffer stiff federal prison sentences.
I have no trouble believing most want a higher minimum wage, but that is really in the abstract as Peter Schiff found out when he asked Walmart customers if they would like to pay 15% more if the minimum pay was increased to $15/hr.
Predictably, the author of that column says that raising the minimum wage to $15/hr would have a much smaller effect on prices. Maybe yes, maybe no. As I have said before, why don't those people who think people aren't paid enough start a business and show us how it's done. Either they or we will learn something.
The mainstream media won't mention that this "minimum wage" fight is only about the "poor and downtrodden" on the surface. What it is really about is increasing union wages. Most union contracts have provisions that if the minimum wage is increased, the union pay scales are increased accordingly. More free stuff for unions.
Yes, unions and politics. The sooner we get both out of business, the better.
and not just union wages.
Social security, unemployment checks, government pensions, and a lot of other things are all linked to minimum wage levels as well.
If the minimum wage goes up, everything that's by law X% of minimum wage goes up.
Which means taxes need to go up on everyone making more than minimum wage to compensate. Which the left of course loves as it "punishes the rich" and "reduces income inequality".
That it also destroys jobs and raises prices while at the same time reducing peoples' buying power to pay those prices, causing increased poverty among far more people than it helps raise the income of is of course never mentioned by them (if they even understand).
I have no problem with people wanting a higher minimum wage if they are also polled to ask:
1. do you mind being replaced by a machine?
2. do you mind being shifted to part-time or temporary work?
3. do you mind being laid off if the company can't afford to keep its staff at current levels?
4. do you mind paying more for the goods you currently purchase to cover the cost of increasing this wage?
Problem with polls like asking people if they want a higher minimum wage is they don't follow through with the eventual consequences of the action.
Consequences? I thought Obama outlawed those by executive order, on the White House blog. I know he thinks he did.
Pelosi: Being an Illegal Alien is Not a Reason to Deport Someone
I would think it is preferable to the alternative treatment of individuals who break the law, i.e., incarceration.
Well, with immigration amnesty seemingly going to be pushed through, the fall back is to price those immigrants out of the market
Unz is different. A fierce opponent of Hispanic immigration, he realises that minimum wages cost unskilled workers their jobs and that (Hispanic) immigrants are mostly unskilled. As Bryan Caplan says, “For Unz, the disemployment effect of a high minimum wage is a feature, not a bug.”
I am opposed to the IRS giving tax incentives/deductions for "donations". I don't care if the rich want to give away billions of dollars of their own money but let them pay taxes first. After all if they avoid taxes on that money then all of the rest of us have to pay higher taxes so they can support some cause they believe in but we may not. Let them give away their after tax money.
Generally, I'd agree with you. Except that the disincentive to donate without the break then means that the money for these things has to come from 'somewhere'. Which, of course, will usually mean the Federal government.
This is one of the problems with income taxes and the credits that go along with income taxes. You start telling people what is 'worthwhile' or 'worthy', but when you start to fret about declining revenues for the government, you start cutting back on what is 'worthy'.
Then the 'worthy' groups start seeing their revenue decline, and eventually appear, hat in hand, at the doorstep of the Federal Government, who agree that it's a shame all these groups are suffering, and "YES, WE can help you."
Then EVERYBODY pays for stuff that Reich originally complained was only enjoyed and paid for by the very wealthy. Once more, the very wealthy get a benefit for the reduced costs which are applied to the average taxpayer (just like they did in TARP and the auto bailouts, and every other subsidy which has taken place over the history of federal subsidies).
I'm all for one of two things:
1. Get rid of income taxes and replace it with a transaction (Tobin-style) tax on financial transactions of all kinds. A quick look at this would indicate that .1% on every transaction would easily replace all income taxes, and would be the MOST progressive of taxes. In addition, tax all purchases that do not include, food, clothing, or shelter (under $500,000) at a flat 10% rate.
2. Set income taxes at a flat 16% with absolutely no subsidies for business or credits for businesses or individuals.
I'm partial to the first solution. I think income taxes represent theft, whereas taxing purchases of non-essentials is a choice which consumers can choose to make or not make, particularly if the tax is transparent.
I agree, GoneWithTheWind. This types of tax incentives created the sham that are these 'foundations' that rich people and Hollywood types create. A supposed charitable organization through which they can funnel their money to support their relatives and friends, while donating very little to charity at all...all tax free b/c it's a 'non-profit'!
There has been controversy for some time surrounding Kim Kardashian who auctions off expensive goods (likely given to her for free from companies who want her to promote their brand) and then only gives about 10% of the proceeds to charity, while keeping the rest for herself. Shameless.