Monday, May 23, 2011

Friday, November 26, 2010

There is no "Tax the Rich"

by Kiran Hill on Monday, November 1, 2010 at 3:35am

I was just eating breakfast at the chow hall, and they had some program on ABC.

I would never watch ABC of my own accord, but there it was interrupting my breakfast.

So the main gist of the show was that "Taxing the Rich" would solve everything. That the taxing of the rich was necessary and was good, and what the hell the rich have lots of money so what do they care if they part with a little more of it? They are still rich right?

This is a very childish logical flaw that many of my otherwise liberty minded friends fall for. Actually a bunch of republicans fall for that too. (I am looking at you Ben Stein).

This graph shows projected gains from tax increases and real gains.
Any possible benefits of the tax increase disappear quickly, but the harm remains.

It is childish, like the logic in believing a pyramid scheme, or a Nigerian email scam.

It is harmful for various reasons, and it is good for no reason at all.

Any increase in taxes on anyone is an increase of a burden on the economy that everyone pays.

Any increase in taxes is a decrease of wealth to all (except for those that make millions from the government tit)

In the free market if you over tax or over regulate people or products, they move to where they are not overtaxed. When they move, the society that they move from is deprived from the legitimate taxes that they used to pay, and deprived from the benefit that they provided to the economy with their existence. This makes it harder for the poor to escape being poor.

a tax burden in a free market is a burden on everyone.

Taxes on the wealthy are done with the premise that it will help the poor, and make the rich less rich. This idea is ludicrous when thought through, or when looked at historical examples. Giving someone handouts while simultaneously preventing them from helping themselves is the cruelest and most common practice of the modern day liberal. In our country and in foreign policy.

Any tax increases on the wealthiest, might hurt some of the wealthy for the first few days, but it hurts the poor in the long run.

This is your money, that is mostly being wasted, misspent, and given to politically connected thieves.

I hate it when people say "i am more than happy to pay for roads and drinking water". I am more than happy to pay for shit that I pay for willingly.
This image depicts what is really happening. Paying for something you want is not the same as being hijacked for something you might appreciate that is not as good as it would be if you paid for it willingly.

Lawsuits and Freedom

The litigiousness of American society being the major factor limiting freedom in our country. Not a factor, the major factor limiting freedom. Because of fear of lawsuits we can't have Euro Rally type races here. ... I LOVE those races.

The cost of frivolous lawsuits was brought up during the health care debates. Two things to make health care more affordable include ending frivolous lawsuits, and allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines (thus shopping for cheaper and better plans, and for insurance companies with a better record of paying out).

Both of those were religiously fought by the democrats.

(A third and even more important way of making health care better and more affordable (and thus wholly remove the need for public health care) would be to remove the the tax subsidy of employer health insurance. The removal of that subsidy would have the effect of health insurance being attached to the person, and not the company the person works for.)

The thing about the lawsuits thing. And end to frivolous lawsuits is mainly fought by Democrats because they are beholden to the lawyer lobby.
But there is a moral reason to favor the lawsuits. At the end of the day, lawsuits allow the most powerless amongst us some justice. Something that democracy doesn't, and something that regulation also doesn't do.
I want an end to frivolous lawsuits. I want an end to the cost that they have for all of society. I want an end to the limits that those lawsuits have on liberty. But I don't want an end of the chance that the grocery bagger has to bring the CEO to justice (albeit still a slim one).

I have been struggling for a solution to this one.

I have been all over Europe, i have spent much time there. I prefer, and I am free-er in America. Despite the lack of Euro type Rallys. (Not NY, i prefer Europe to NY, and to MA)

My New Haircut

A New Jersey man gets seven years for being a responsible gun owner

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Victory in Afghanistan

I think the war in Afghanistan has been from the beginning very important and necessary.

Initially it was done very well with Special Forces aiding Northern Alliance troops in defeating the Taliban. Also American troops engaging Taliban and Al Qaeda in open battle was an important part of victory.

I am concerned that the fight has become folly lately though. That we are doing nation building wrong, and that we are creating enemies where we don't need to be.
And I think that McChrystal is a great general, everything I have read and heard about him says that he is on the right track. His knowledge and understanding of the situation, above tactical culturally and strategically is above par. I greatly admire the guy. I also admire his boss Gen Patreaus, as well as the National Security Adviser that Obama appointed. I believe that they understand the strategic situation, and the minefield that they are walking in. And that they understand where other powerful militaries have gone wrong.

I don't know what strategic and policy recommendations the generals are making to the president, or if they feel that it is their place to make the policy recommendations that would make the war much more easily winnable.

They must know these two truths:
1 truth is that the war on drugs is not winnable. Whether to fight it as a war can ease at all the pain of drug addicts or their communities is debatable i suppose. I personally don't think there is any net positive effect to having government try to stop people from using drugs that they want to use. But that is arguable I suppose. But I think we can agree that to propose that the war on drugs is winnable is delusional.
2nd truth is that the result of war on drugs in Afghanistan and Colombia gives money/power/recruits/legitimacy to our enemy. To an enemy that otherwise would have none of the above.

So, I fear that the war in Afghanistan will turn our like the war in Columbia, only worse. Worse because the consequences of not winning are graver than those of not winning in Colombia. The war in Colombia has been going on as long as I have been alive, but the only consequence of not winning that war is that the lives of many Colombian civilians are destroyed, and the crime rate in Columbia, Mexico, and the US is higher than it would otherwise be.
The consequences of not winning in Afghanistan are graver, because of the goals of our enemy in the region. The enemy in Afghanistan that we empower with the war on drugs is an enemy that will destroy us if they can. Pakistan is one of the stakes in the war, and Pakistan has nukes.

I guess another consequence of the drug war in Colombia (and the US) is a loss of liberties in the US. I suppose the necessities of those liberties, or whether those liberties would be lost for another reason without the drug war, can be argued.

I fear because of the drug war, that the war in Afghanistan comes to resemble the war in Colombia (with the added danger that radical Islam is far more viable than Communism).
But I do maintain some hope that instead of resembling Colombia, that McChrystal is able to win the larger war. To discredit the Taliban, and Al Qaeda, and to make the unwinnable drug war part of the war, a minor part of the war, and not important to the overall situation on the ground to the majority of Afghans, or to American strategy.
With our current policy that enables the Taliban to enrich and empower itself from our futile efforts at drug control, I fear that might be wishful thinking.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Does our government really do "killing" that well?

Some people like to point out as an example of how well government can do by pointing at our military.

So, about the government being good at killing people, a couple of points.

The material that they are working with 'American Men', already a very killing people.

The budget that they are working with, 'gigantic'.

The last war that we got into without really having a standing army was WW2.
That was also the last war that we unequivocally won.
WW2 and every war prior to that we did unequivocally win. So really how well is the government doing with that?