Monday, May 18, 2009

Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich -

Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich -

Laffer and Moore are idiots. Or treasonists.

America was at its strongest when our tax rates on the top earners (and on capital gains) were at their highest.

Nothing in history suggests a downturn or negative effect by reasonable progressive taxation in times of need. Nothing in history shows any significant improvement in the lives of the vast majority of our citizens when we game the system to let the extremely wealthy retain more of their extreme wealth.

Yet, politicians and jerks like Laffer and Moore have repeatedly been able to con a significant percentage of voters into supporting economic policies clearly against our self-interest.

Time to build a strong middle class - this is the only way America can survive and prosper.

California Reckoning -

California Reckoning -

Fundamental misunderstanding of the political and economic situation in California leads to ignorant editorials like this.

Repeal Prop 13! 13 Was not a populist tax revolt. No grandmothers were being kicked to the curb as their property taxes increased with their property value. 13 was simply a power and money grab by state politicians and already-wealthy interests, and led to fundamental changes in both residential real estate and local government.

The boom and bust cycles that followed 13 in CA, although not unprecedented, have simply led to exclusion - the majority of residents of much of CA can't afford to buy a home here, something people from out of state or insanely out of the middle-class, like Murdoch's minions. When your neighbor, simply by staying put, pays 1/10 of what you do in property taxes for the same 1959 tract home, something's fundamentally wrong.

When CA goes from the top of the heap in education and other hallmarks of society to nearly the bottom, something's fundamentally wrong.

It's the state's voters who have voted away local power and local jobs. When we give this to a state legislature but also tie their hands with restrictive proposition after restrictive proposition, it is us who drove into this gridlock.

Yes, vote down these initiatives, except for 1F as a symbolic gesture (in my opinion, legislators should work for no pay until they get the state working reasonably again). But we will all need to suffer , and pay more, for our shortsighted devotion to the insane Jarvis extremists.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Copyright Critics Rationalize Theft -

repeatedly assert, copyright is an unjustifiable tax, a monopoly, and a bar to
creativity, why wouldn't they or anyone else be against it, as in fact they are?

Copyright is no more a tax than the price a merchant charges for an item in his shop or what a laborer receives for his labor. Nor is it a monopoly any more than you have a monopoly on the sale of a watermelon you might grow in your garden

Mark Helprin is an idiot, and shouldn't be allowed to write about a subject which he obviously does not understand.

Who suggests copyright is a tax? No one. It is an exclusive Right to Copy, on par with other rights established in our constitution. It is a Right with exclusions. These exclusions limit who owns the right, how long the right is, what can be protected, etc.

These exclusions have always been designed to be the balance between monopoly and chaos, and our congress, imbued with the power to regulate copyright, has a tough task to enforce a position of balance between the free creation of works and the free commerce of works.

The Statutes of Queen Anne wouldn't work anymore, since the technology to distribute is not concentrated to a wealthy and powerful few, but freely available to each creative artist.

Calling infringement theft and infringers pirates do nothing to encourage more, and better, works of the creative arts. The theives and pirates are in-fact the best customer of the creative artists - every distribution entity knows this, yet won't address it because they have an infantile need to hold on to how they have done things in the past.

Us vs. Them arguments simply serve to secure a hierarchical distribution system rooted in past technology and a revenue distribution system clearly benefitting the already-wealthy few. We need to protect more-firmly the ability of each creative artist to derive direct revenue from his or her work.

Helprin, read copyright law and the constitution, and grow a creative heart, and get back to us.