Anachostic

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Tag Archives: conservative

Shades of Taxes

I recently watched a video on the dangers of “socialism.”  It was an animation and was intended to be humorous while delivering its message.  The illustration given was a classroom where it was announced that everyone would get the same grade, averaged from all the tests.  After the first test, everyone got a B, the next test, everyone got a D, the last test, everyone got an F.  This is how socialism works, apparently.

The problem with the illustration is that the subjects are of two distinct personalities: selfish and lazy, which is how anti-socialism people view the world.  You are either selfish and in it for yourself only, which is why you are a capitalist, or you are lazy and don’t want to do anything, which is why socialism is so great for you.

The world is so full of absolutes right now, it’s disgusting.  You are either Left or Right, Pro or Con.  And that designation, aside from having no variance, also has no subsets.  There will always be those that will fight for a cause and those that don’t care about it.  There will always be people who care about doing a good job and those who don’t see the point in it.

Here’s an anti-socialist viewpoint: why have garbage cans on the street?  Eventually everyone’s going to just throw their trash on the ground, because there’s no gain in using the garbage can.  All the effort of trying to keep the streets clean is wasted on those that don’t care, so why bother.  I mean, either you’re 100% for litter control, in which case you’d handle all of your trash needs yourself and have no need for government-subsidized garbage can entitlements, or you’re not, in which case the ground is your garbage can.

Flippant as it is, it exposes the hypocrisy of anti-socialists.  If it’s something they support, good, otherwise, fuck off.  These people want life to be a’la carte.  They want to pick and choose every single piece of their life experience.  So why not?

Yes, why not?  Everyone bitches and moans about their tax dollars going to pay for something that they hate.  So why not let them choose?  Why not?  I think we have enough diversity in America that everything would be funded as it’s needed.  You’d have your rich, educated types diverting their tax money to education programs, earth and hippie types allocating for environmental causes, farmers propping up agriculture subsidies, rednecks and bulletheads giving all their tax dollars to defense.  Despite all the stereotypes, it would all work out.  And you’d have normal people allocating some here and some there, balancing things even further.

So all this stuff about Congress budgeting and allocating and taxing and robbing people to pay Paul, it all goes away.  Each year, the income tax forms are collected and everyone has contributed a flat tax of 10%, 12%, 15%, whatever.  Everyone has indicated on their tax form whether they want their taxes spread equally or according to the category assignments provided.  You will actually have a tangible value assigned to the service, instead of “These people insist their service needs more funding.”

I’m Taking My Ball and Leaving. Screw You Guys.

On: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ceo-workers-youll-likely-fired-131640914.html

Fresh in the news is a story about a business owner warning his employees they might be fired if Obama is re-elected.  This story cannot be let go without commentary.

Here’s the summary: the business is profitable despite the bad economy, but if taxes are raised or levied on him or his business, CEO will cut jobs or just flat-out close the business.

Included in the lengthy email is a story about how CEO grew up modestly and sacrificed to build his company.  More words describe how he lives and breathes his company.  More words about how he never takes time off work because he is constantly running his business.  This passionate essay is hard to ignore, after all, who doesn’t appreciate hard work?  But, as he even admits, a lot of his employees work hard also.  But, the message is pretty clear.  His ego is well in charge.

Let’s address the issue of taxes.  If taxes are raised on him or his business, he’s quitting.  If his taxes go up, he’s going to punish his 5,000 workers and the economy by closing the business.  First, this is arrogant, selfish, and childish.  Second, it’s unnecessary since he could sell the business without hurting anyone.  Now, if taxes go up on his company, he’s cutting back or closing the business.  The greatest thing I learned from the FairTax book is that taxes are nothing but an expense to a company and they will pass that expense on to the consumer.  So if taxes/expenses go up, either prices go up or profit margins fall.  If CEO is threatening to fire people, it’s because he wants to preserve his profit margin.  Additionally, it shows that CEO feels the best course to efficiency is by eliminating people.  Of all the possible way to increase efficiency, less people is the route he takes.

Let’s address the issue of compensation.  The whole letter is supposed to make you feel like CEO is just like you, and in the early days of the company, I’m not going to argue, he probably worked side-by-side and was just like the other workers.  Then, things grew and CEO elevates higher and higher, leaving the rank and file behind.  I don’t argue this; this is how business operates.  But a business owner has technically two sources of equity: the salary and expenses he costs the company, and the intrinsic value of the company itself.  But to say you sacrificed and continue to pour all your money back into the business is somewhat egregious since obviously some money goes to living expenses and the value of the company is a safety net other employees don’t have.

And the touting of sacrifice brings me to the final and most important point.  Why are there people like CEO?  Why isn’t everyone like CEO?  CEO and others like him would like you to believe that you are either not capable of operating at their level or that you are lazy and worthless.  And that’s not true.  The fact is, the majority of people don’t enjoy building and running companies.  It’s a lot of work.  But so is manufacturing, so is farming, so is digging a ditch.  And people do these things because they enjoy doing them.  Damn you if you think you are somehow more valuable to society because your enjoyment is building a business and having others make money for you.  You are doing what you do because you like doing it and presumably you are good at it.

That’s why this CEO letter is so pathetic.  If he truly loved his job and enjoyed what he did, there would be no stopping him.  He would absorb the changes and continue.  But where are his thoughts?  They are not focused on the success of his business or even on his personal success, they are focused on what he feels he is losing.  He wants more.  Are these the people we should be respecting?

The bottom line is this.  If you are not enjoying your job anymore, quit, and shut the hell up.  Otherwise, you are acting like a baby.  Grow up and do the right thing.  Life will go on without you.

Warning: Political Topics Inside (Gas Mask Recommended)

On my way to dinner tonight, I found myself thinking of a few political issues.  Just some unanswered questions that run through my head that I don’t care to really know the answer to.  Well, I kind of care about the answer, but I don’t think the people that profess to have the answer are objective enough to have an unbiased answer.  Such is the current political climate where no one trusts anyone else.

Anyway, I was thinking about left vs. right and how the right always accuses the left of overspending on social programs.  They’re too expensive, they always get more expensive.  Doesn’t anyone consider that there is a growing population?  It would make logical sense that if the population is growing, the cost of providing social services for that population will grow as well.  Solution: we need less people.  Welcome to my soapbox.

The other argument is that social services make people dependent on government.  The right claims that they want all people to be independent and self-supporting.  Well, not really.  They want people to be just as dependent on government, too, but instead of offering social services, they offer security.  And how is that benefit sold?  Through fear.  Fear of anything and everyone.  It used to be fear of external sources: communists, Islamic  radicals, Chinese superpower.  That’s been supplanted by fear of internal sources: your fellow Americans.  So to summarize, you can get your shackles in your choice of color: red or blue.

But the original point of my post was not intended to be political, it just ended up that way because I was thinking about the stalemate on the debt ceiling and how our government needs more revenue to support the left’s social services and the right’s defense/offense initiatives.  The best way to do this is to make sure everyone pays taxes.  The best way to do that is by enacting the FairTax.  When I hear that there is a way to make drug dealers and illegal under-the-table laborers pay taxes, I’m fully in support of it.

The FairTax has been stalled many times and I suspect quite a bit of it is because of the enormity of change it involves.  Much like any huge undertaking, like converting to electric vehicles, it’s a balance between building the infrastructure and building the products.  In this case, the product is the FairTax, and the infrastructure is how to capture and report that revenue.

So, how much closer could we get if someone like Amazon made a press release saying “our website code is ready to support the proposed implementation of the FairTax.”  And a month later, EBay/PayPal announce their sites are ready to go once it is enacted.  If these two major shopping companies embrace and proactively  adopt this concept, it could put pressure on other companies to be prepared, just in case.  Then when most everyone is ready to handle the change, it’s a tacit acceptance of the change itself.

And isn’t that a wonderful reversal: having businesses tell the government how they want to handle revenue reporting?

Driven

The last couple days I’ve been thinking about people who are true capitalists.  These are people who are always pushing forward, pushing themselves to do bigger and better things.  To hear conservatives talk, you’d think nothing in the world would ever get done without these people.  And when I hear things like that, sometimes I think there’s something wrong with me because I don’t have that drive.

But I also think, are these people really happy?  They never reach their goal.  There’s always something more to do.  Then I backed up and looked at my own life.  My quality of life improved at the point I stopped wanting more.  Well, that’s not the best way to say it.  My life improved at the point I stopped defining happiness as having more.  It’s more about how I hear people say, “if I had a 64” TV, I’d be happy”, “if I only had to work 20 hours a week, I’d be happy”, “I wish I could find an awesome deal on a new house.”  It’s so… specific.

So now you get what you want.  Then what?  You want something else.  You’re never focused on what you have now, you are always looking forward to what you want, keeping yourself in a perpetual feeling of non-fulfillment.  Obsessing over the lack of something keeps it in front of you, gives it power, even giving it power over you.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an object, a condition, or a person.  very simply, if you are always telling yourself “I need more money,”  don’t you always need more money?  Yes, because that’s what you keep saying.  If you keep telling yourself, “my life sucks,”  your life will suck, because no one’s arguing the point – certainly not you.

Epiphany

There is an infographic I found a while ago that I found quite interesting.  At the time I found it, It was a “that’s neat” response.  Upon revisiting it and doing some critical thinking, I realize that it answers so much about the current political environment.  Some questions it explains:

  • Why can we never have world peace?
  • Why can we never be equals?
  • Why must some people be poor?
  • Why do those poor people typically vote for Democrats?
  • Why are rich, white people typically Republicans?
  • Why are we so screwed up right now?

The key, for me, is understanding the base motivations of Conservatives and Liberals.  It also made me realize how liberal I am, so consider this your warning.

For reference, the graphic is at: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/left-vs-right-world

Typically, when you hear pundits talk about right/left, red/blue, Republican/Democrat, they focus on stereotypes: Democrats want to raise taxes, Republicans want to start wars, Democrats want government to control your life, Republicans only care about the rich people.  No one ever talks about why these parties do this.

A simplistic view is that Liberals want everyone to get along and to be treated equally, while Conservatives want defined classes of people.  Why do Conservatives need classes of people?  Because their whole ideology is based on getting personally rewarded for your personal efforts – the harder you work, the more reward you get.  Sounds pretty good,  and I agree with it until I realize that this requires a winner and a loser.  Your success results in failure for others.  Their success results in failure for you.  So, successful people want to remain successful and keep others that would threaten their success as subordinate. “The rich get richer.”

Why are they called Conservatives?  Because they resist change.  Things are fine just as they are, with us in control.  How far back do you have to go to see Conservatives resisting change because Conservatives were in power?  All the way back to the days of slavery.

So on the other side you have Liberals, who are always changing things in the interest of balancing power, making advancement possible for people who don’t have the resources available to richer people.  And Conservatives hate that.  First, because they didn’t get any help for their success, and second, because it gives them competition.

The other light bulb burning brightly from my study of this graphic is a key word applied to Conservatives: fear.  It is found in the relationship of parent to child.  Parents control their children through fear.  It’s been nearly 10 years that we have been besieged with a non-stop torrent of fear mongering from our Republican leaders.  When we finally received a break – in the message of “Hope” – the Republican message remained unchanged, but refocused.  Now instead of fearing an external enemy, we must fear our own government.  But only because the current president is a Democrat, once Republicans take over again, we can start worrying about the rest of the world.

So in summary, having Conservatives in charge means things will not change.  That’s great if you are a Conservative yourself and/or you are content with the way things are right now.  The problem with being Liberal is that your nature is to promote equality.  This tactic doesn’t work against a Conservative, who does not believe in equality and whose prime mission is to rise above and control others in order to succeed – little more than base, primal, instinct.

2012 can not come soon enough.

Adventures in Marketing

Some people just shouldn’t be in Marketing. On my morning commute, I listen to an AM radio station, which has some pretty bad commercials. Some of the ones that really make me wonder are the mortgage companies. I know they’re falling on hard times, but they don’t seem to be presenting their case very well.

The best (or worst) guy is trying to impress his listeners that some lenders are taking advantage of you. However his choice of words shocks you and you don’t hear the rest of the message.

"When your mortgage payment goes up by $200 a month, you can dislocate your jaw and swallow it like a snake eating an egg, or you can pay some predator to refinance your mortgage. Hi, this is blah from blah Mortgage…"

Snakes? Dislocate your jaw? Huh? A later commercial that I didn’t hear enough of to transcribe basically had a theme about hurting children and how anyone that hurts children will have it come back to them. A third commercial talked about the collapse of the economy with people jumping out of windows.

A line from another mortgage company commercial was:

"If you knew you were going to get hit with a bat, wouldn’t you duck?"

Why do I need to get hit? With a bat? Why do children have to get hurt? Why do we all jump out of windows?

It must be some kind of fear tactic, but the fear is probably driving the potential customers away from them. Idiots.