Wednesday 5 November 2014

Tax Recommendations

Mindles H. Dreck has some thoughts on how retailers engage in "progressive" taxation via price policies - An interesting point I hadn't thought about. What really struck me, however, was the link to the Jane Galt tax plan written in November:

"Well, here's the Jane Galt version, guaranteed to please no one but its author:
1) Get rid of all our poverty programs, except those aimed at the disabled, and temporary unemployment assistance, and institute the negative income tax. That is to say, the system should be continuously progressive, from a steep negative rate of up to 100% on very low earners, gradually declining until it zeroes out around $28,000 a year, and then rising gradually until it maxes out around 35% on the top brackets.

2) Eliminate FICA and pay for Social Security and Medicare out of general revenue. It's time to stop pretending it's a pension system, when there are no assets in the "trust fund"

3) Eliminate the corporate income tax

4) Eliminate the special treatment for capital gains. All income should be taxed at the same level, regardless of its source.

5) Eliminate all deductions. Period, end of statement. No mortgate, student, child, etc. All causes are equally worthy in the eyes of the person who possesses the deduction; it is a waste of our time as a nation to sit around arguing about who deserves what.

6) Just say no to the Value Added Tax. In theory, it's a good tax. In practice, because it is extremely hard to tell what proportion of the price of anything represents the tax, it removes the good and natural pressure upon tax rates.

7) Get rid of the estate tax, and tax the capital gains on whatever is sold."

I particularly liked #5 but then they need to be taken as a whole. She goes on to explain why for each of these, then concludes: "So that's Jane's plan. As you can see, it would be efficient, fair, and has absolutely no chance of ever getting passed..."

Now, isn't that the damn problem? If something makes sense, has practicality, and solves numerous problems, it has "no chance of ever getting passed" because of politics, special interests, and a tendency towards maintaining corrupt relationships because they provide advantages to one group over another, e.g. rent seeking activities.

What is a libertarian to do? Bitch, I suppose... and help dump the entrenched incumbents.

Friday 8 March 2013


While numerous folk etymologies surround this word, there is no widely accepted etymology. An alternative spelling attested in 1600 is cornmudgin, in Holland's translation of Livy, rendering frumentarius "corn-merchant". This has been suggested as the original form of the word, but OED notes that curmudgeon is attested some years before this, concluding that cornmudgin was merely a nonce-word by Holland. The word is attested from the late 1500s in the forms curmudgeon and curmudgen, and during the 17th century in numerous spelling variants, including cormogeon, cormogion, cormoggian, cormudgeon, curmudgion, curmuggion, curmudgin, curr-mudgin, curre-megient.

Friday 11 May 2012


Caesalpinioideae is a botanical name at the rank of subfamily, placed in the large family Fabaceae or Leguminosae. Its name is formed from the generic name Caesalpinia.

The Caesalpinioideae are mainly trees distributed in the moist tropics. Their flowers are zygomorphic, but are very variable. Nodulation is rare in this subfamily, and where it does occur nodules have a primitive structure.
Because the Papilionoideae and Mimosoideae arose from within the Caesalpinioideae, the Caesalpinioideae is paraphyletic. Therefore, it is likely to be split into several subfamilies, although it is not yet clear what those subfamilies should be.

In some classifications, for example the Cronquist system, the group is recognized at the rank of family, Caesalpiniaceae.

The genera may be classified in four tribes, Caesalpinieae, Cassieae, Cercideae and Detarieae. The tribe Cercideae has sometimes been included in the subfamily Faboideae (aka Papilionoideae) in the past.

Wednesday 28 December 2005

Criticism of Blogs & Bloggers

Here is a fascinating post at La Shawn Barber's Corner referring to a healthy dose of criticism of bloggers by Kathleen Parker. Barber comments on the power of blogs:

Dropping the self-centered defensive pose for a moment, I realize she has a point. Blogs are a powerful new medium, and I believe blogging is catching on so fast because the power and freedom of expression it provides are intoxicating. It is truly an alternative to the dominant media, and ordinary people -— non-journalists - can cajole, criticize and chastise MSM.
Quick example: the Washington Post wrote a story about embeded journalists, and according to milblogger Bill Roggio, one of the subjects of the story, they got it wrong. Big surprise, right? Well, Bill has a national platform from which to respond. Lucianne Goldberg, proprietor of the popular and nationally-recognized conservative news filter,, linked to Bill'’s response. Hundreds of thousands of people, probably more than actually read the Post story, will read Bill'’s corrections. (Read the transcript of his interview with Hugh Hewitt)

Back in the day, he'’d have been relegated to a Letters to the Editor section, maybe, or a phone call to the reporter, which may or may not have been returned. With a link from Lucianne, Bill's side of the story will get a lot of play. That'’s power.

Then, she makes this comment about anonymity:

But unrestrained power coupled with little to no accountability is a dangerous thing. As a blogger who'’s been the subject of nasty and false statements made by bloggers and in comment sections by anonymous cowards, I know what people are capable of saying when they get caught up in online anonymity. When you'’re not man or woman enough to stand behind your words using your own name, high ideals like accountability and responsibility are mere afterthoughts.

Okay. When I started this blog, I wasn't sure what I really wanted to do with it, and maintaining anonymity, though rather wimpish, seemed like a good idea. This was probably driven by a lack of confidence, working in this new realm; or just cowardice. As it has evolved, I have some thoughts on strengthening the content; fully accepting responsibility for that content seems like a better idea.

Thank you, La Shawn Barber.