13 April 2005

Taxing away the barbarians

The Trustafarian Leftists don’t notice the estate tax as it is because they’re wealthy enough that they can afford to take the hit without a slip in lifestyle. The people it hits are entrepeneurs on the way up who are big enough to have to pay the tax, but not so big that they don’t notice it. (If you have most of your, say, $4.5m net worth in a big illiquid asset—a closely-held business—and have to pay tax at 40%+ marginal rates on everything over $1.5m, the tax is a big issue for you.) In effect, the estate tax is not a tax on inherited wealth so much as it is a tax on upward mobility.

Maybe that’s why the Trustafarian Leftists like the estate tax so much—it reinforces social stratification by reducing the opportunity for the “wrong” sort of people to accumulate wealth.

Mike Morley

It’s a universal human tendency to want to pull up the ladder right after you’ve climbed up.

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Watch me pull a plot out of my hat

[source, source]

Catching U.S. officials slightly off guard, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is seeking a long-term security partnership that could keep U.S. troops there indefinitely and make permanent the military relationship that began when American forces invaded his country in 2001.

I was going to drop this on one of the lefty sites I engage on, but I’m sure they’d just that clearly Karzai is just a CIA plant, dancing to the mental commands beamed at him from the neo-cons’ orbital mind control lasers and Burns is just spinning on behalf of Cheney via the Halliburton cabal.

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Surely there are worse campus newspapers...aren't there?


The Daily Illini, student newspaper at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, reports that alum Rick Kaplan, now president of MSNBC, spoke on campus on the subject of blogging:

He said bloggers can act in a mob mentality and may not be accurate in their reports.

“The bloggers’ accuracy rates are good for baseball, not for journalists,” Kaplan said. “A baseball player can make seven out of 10 at bat and be highly respected. If journalists are only right seven out of 10 times, this would be terrible.”

Which raises an obvious question: What is Ted Williams—whose lifetime batting average was a mere .344, and who only once, in 1941, did better than four out of 10 at bat—doing in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

That’s not surprising. This is the newspaper that, while I was in school there,

  • Reported on an election and gave three different vote percentages for a candidate on the same page.
  • Reported breathlessly on the release of a “colorless, odorless, tasteless liquid” in to a stream on campus. It turned out to be the chemical called “water”.
  • When the University wanted to raise the required average for student employees to C, the editorial board resigned in protest.
  • When I told my friend there to not put floppy disks on steam radiators because they’d melt, that made her the local computer expert.

We always referred to it as the “Daily Idiot” and it frequently lived down to the name.

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The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank gives the game away, though:

Most Republicans skipped the hearing, leaving Democrats largely unchallenged as they assailed Bolton’s knack for making enemies and disparaging the very organization he would serve.

That would be the U.N.—but of course the American ambassador to the U.N. is supposed to serve America, not the U.N.

They try so hard to keep up appearances but get tripped up by the little things like this.

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