Around the Web

Should we be indifferent to tyranny? Vaclav Havel was not. When asked about the Iraqi war:

I asked him about his views on the war in Iraq. He had once supported it, but now he was more tentative. The rationale, he said, had not been “well-articulated.” The timing of the invasion was “questionable.” As in the 1960s, the U.S. risked becoming an emblem of William Fulbright’s “arrogance of power.”

Then Havel stopped himself and, as he seemed wont to do, put the train of his thought in reverse. “The world,” he concluded, “could not be indifferent forever to a murderer like Saddam Hussein.”

And, so we have North Korea.

The real mystery is why, in free societies where few journalists and politicians are ever at serious risk of reprisal, truth-telling seems to be in relatively short supply. North Korea is a vast modern-day Auschwitz. Yet when George W. Bush named Pyongyang to the Axis of Evil, it was Mr. Bush who was roundly mocked. Note the balance of contempt in the New York Times’ write-up of Kim’s death from Sunday night:

“President George W. Bush called [Kim] a ‘pygmy.’ . . . Yet those who met him were surprised by his serious demeanor and his knowledge of events beyond the hermit kingdom he controlled.” O, misunderstood Dear Leader, if only we had known you better.

I wonder what the North Koreans must think of the world? That we have allowed a madman to control their country.
******

COUGH COUGH COUGH, sputter sputter … I’m … speechless. From the NYT:

Enough is enough. Congress should reform our tax law to put the brakes on further inequality. Specifically, we propose an automatic extra tax on the income of the top 1 percent of earners — a tax that would limit the after-tax incomes of this club to 36 times the median household income.

Importantly, our Brandeis tax does not target excessive income per se; it only caps inequality. Billionaires could double their current income without the tax kicking in — as long as the median income also doubles. The sky is the limit for the rich as long as the “rising tide lifts all boats.” Indeed, the tax gives job creators an extra reason to make sure that corporate wealth does in fact trickle down.

Oh, well then. As long as the median income also rises … @@

Someone shoot me now.

Here’s how the tax would work. Once a year, the Internal Revenue Service would calculate the Brandeis ratio of the previous year. If the average 1-percenter made more than 36 times the income of the median American household, then the I.R.S. would create a new tax bracket for the highest 1 percent of income and calculate a marginal income tax rate for that bracket sufficient to reduce the after-tax Brandeis ratio to 36.

So, here’s how the tax would work the government would take everything over 36 times the median income. The median income in 2009 was about $50,000. So, everything over 1.8 million that you earned would go to the government. EVERYTHING.

This new tax, if triggered, would apply only to income in excess of the poorest 1-percenter — currently about $330,000 per year. Our Brandeis tax is conservative in that it doesn’t attempt to reverse the gains of the wealthy in the last 30 years. It is not a “claw back” tax. It merely assures that things don’t get worse.

Just for future reference, this piece of brilliance was authored by:

Ian Ayres, a professor of law at Yale, is the author of “Carrots and Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done.” Aaron S. Edlin, a professor of law and of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, is co-editor of “The Economists’ Voice: Top Economists Take On Today’s Problems.”

Yale and Berkeley. You may want to avoid those colleges. Just saying.

*****

What happens when you raise the corporate rates? Well, when democrats are in charge, they give breaks to the 1%, stick it to the middle class, and pull-in less revenue. Item:

In January Governor Pat Quinn and his fellow Democrats passed a $2 billion tax hike, the biggest in Illinois history, with the income tax rising 67% and the effective corporate tax rate rising to 9.5% from 7.3%, which gives Illinois one of the highest business tax rates in the nation.

That law fired up a motorcade of lobbyists from major Illinois companies like Motorola, Caterpillar, Sears and others to descend on Springfield and seek tax breaks lest they leave for states where business taxes are much lower. More than a dozen companies have already left for Indiana and Wisconsin.

These connected companies (the 1%) – 80 of them so far – have been given tax breaks to stay.

But in January Democrats claimed that tax increases would have no economic impact. Now small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have lobbyists are stuck paying the higher tax rates. Mr. Quinn’s policies benefit the 1% of politically connected businesses at the expense of the other 99%, often small shops with 10, 20 or 50 employees.

The effect of this policy? The Illinois Policy Institute calculated that the revenue lost from the corporate tax giveaways will exceed the revenue raised by the corporate tax increase. ON THE BACK OF THE SMALL BUSINESSMAN.

Of course, I can offer nothing but support Illinois stupidity, because it can only improve Michigan’s situation.

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7 Comments on “Around the Web”


  1. I fail to see how giving that excess money to the government will keep things from “getting worse”.

    While some of it might filter down to the “less fortunate” in some form or another of government “aid”, the only party that truly benefits is the one that promises the unruly children more candy to be paid for by someone else.

    So in the name if economic equality, they are perfectly willing to steal from the most productive in society.

    I’m not sure I wanna be them when the Fit Hits the Shan.

  2. beasn Says:

    I wonder what the North Koreans must think of the world?

    They are not allowed to think. They must only do to the betterment of the collective. By collective, I mean Russia and China having a steady supply of zombie slaves. And those that mocked Bush, you know the ‘progressive media stars’, the tools of the collective – bought and paid for – are on the same page. Damn Bush’s eyes for saying what he did as if it’s a bad thing.

  3. beasn Says:

    I’m thinking the NYT needs to give up the trusts they pay the extended family, just for being, to the collective. It’s only fair.

  4. agiledog Says:

    Yale and Berkeley. You may want to avoid those colleges. Just saying.

    The main two things of note to come out of Berkeley are LSD and BSD (a version of Unix). This is not a coincidence.

  5. Car in Says:

    AD – where you been?

  6. agiledog Says:

    I have been battling dragons and demons in meatspace (i.e real life). I am slowly re-entering cyberspace.

  7. Car in Says:

    Welcome back 😉


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