Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When is rich too much?

There has to be a point when even pro capitalist folks and the millions of wannabe millionaires in the US start to think this is absurd.

In my book, NO individual or family on this planet should have wealth valued into the billions of dollars.  I'm not saying governments or mobs with torches and pitchforks should levee laws to prevent this from happening; I'm saying that we a human beings in the global 21st Century should collectively agree on a point when too much wealth is moralistically more criminal than recreational drugs, speeding and gay marriage.

I mean my income has GREATLY increased for the next several months, but it's still what many in the US would consider low, yet I think it's pretty darn good (it's an enlisted person's military paycheck).  It would have to increase again at a rate of ~25 times to equate to a yearly income of $1 million.  Not one person NEEDS an income of that amount (and yes, I'm keeping taxes in mind as I say that--even a 50% rate leaves one with enough to buy a superfluous home in JUST ONE YEAR).  THEN there are thousands that make in a year what even this income would take a decade or three to accumulate.  Even if you're one of the rare few that start a small company from nothing and quickly produces a product that half the US buys at least once, is it that easy to forget where you came from or to have little to no sense of what you could do for your community and fellow human beings?  Is your $20 molded-plastic smartphone cover--that could be profitable at $1--a good enough gift to the people of the world?

Huhhh.  Are people just becoming that greedy or are we losing touch with reality this much???

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Historical Income Tax Rates in the U.S. or We Just Like to Believe Rich Politicians

In response to 21 September 2011 episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the subsequent googling of past income tax rates…finally

I like it when Jon Stewart points out when rich people are just wanting ways to get richer, but when it comes to people talking about how we can't POSSIBLY grow economically as a nation any taxes are raised by those that can afford it, he should mention the historical federal income tax rates the U.S. has had. 

It doesn't take much time to research creditable, factual info.  Just to give you an idea of what you may find, from 1932 to 1986 the top bracket was never below 50% and topped out at 94%.  During the boom after the Great Depression and World War II, it was around 90%.  When adjusted for the ever-lovely inflation, for most of our income tax history, if a "married filling jointly" household made between ~$100,000 and $250,000, they paid 50% or more. 

That being said, our infrastructure over the past few decades has increased – as it should to some degree for any growing nation – while our taxes have gone down.  If you use almost any other rich country on the planet as an example, we should be paying more in taxes for the physical size of our country and the amount of App Store-like variations on public services.  I imagine it is mathematically plausible to lower taxes SLOWLY over time if things are being managed REALLY well for the long-term, but we obviously have seen this isn’t good for the long-term stability of the economy.  To me, it’s as if you prefer investing for your long-term future by frequenting Las Vegas instead of an “old- fashion” savings account or investing in shiny metals and rocks that still seem to grow in allure since caveman days. 

Now my personal opinion probably means I should just move to another country that has collectively figured it out better instead of saying we need to manage our money better, pay more in taxes, spend more on education, research, public transportation and healthcare (universal).  To me, it's not class warfare to raise taxes a little on very wealthy people; it's class warfare when you don't and MOST people are doing pretty poorly by comparison.  I don’t need a lot to live a comfortable, nice life.  I also don’t want my nation’s government to take from the rich and just give it to the poor – even though this sharing idea is how things worked before civilization if you wanted to survive often.  You’re doing pretty good and the family in the hut or tree next door isn’t doing so well, you share the extras you have. And when you’re down on your luck and they’re doing swell, the favor is returned.  We probably wouldn’t have made it beyond tribes if we had the mentality many have today.  So much for coming together to help your neighbors (towns and states) and fellow tribe members (U.S. citizens) in which sharing what you had with everyone for the greater good was what you had to do to survive in hard times.    

Taxes and government hoopla aside, I think we've become a much greedier, selfish nation than we were just a few decades ago.  There was a time when it was OK to "get by" or that making two or three times more than the national average was a wealthy/rich lifestyle.  What happened to us that 10, 20 or 100 times the national average isn't enough?  Even if you don’t want to take into consideration how well those that live around the poverty line have it in places like the U.S. compared to billions of others around the world, there’s a point when we need to calm it down with inventing more insanely expensive things to spend the money we think we need.      

I understand getting angry about government spending and poor management with good agencies, but we don't seem to care enough to elect decent "representatives" to congress or establish a better way of doing so, so it's kind of hard to complain about that in turn.  Elect the rich and they will try to protect the rich, i.e. themselves. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When is free speech anything but?

When is free speech anything but?
30 August 2011
Tullahoma, Tennessee

In response to: Do we really need the National Weather Service

WOW.  I'm so...I...pffff.  I don't know where to begin. 

I'm so blown away by what some people can say that have a strong outlet for their nonsense.  If there's anything that needs to be shut down, it's Fox "News".  I truly believe there's a point where you lose you right to free speech.  We...AHHHHH.  There's a point when your "speech" becomes malicious.  Sometimes it's because of your ignorance; sometimes it's completely intentional.  Just because the Constitution didn't spell out to a T what its intent was, doesn't mean we can't exploit it to a point when it becomes more harmful that having it.  If I can say all people with dark skin should be rounded up and buried alive and saying it with true conviction, that's not right.  I have something wrong with my brain.  I need to be medically evaluated to see if I'm a safe member of SOCIETY in which almost everyone on this planet lives in now.  If I can't be helped and can function as a member of this society/civilization, I lose certain right afforded to being apart of said society/civilization.  Why bother having LAWS.  Why bother saying murder is "wrong" or something that's forbidden?  We are really missing the point of a lot of things we've established over our existence as a species.

Now I’m not advocating making laws or whatever to take a person’s ability to express their opinion or outlaw saying certain things.  I’m talking about losing your right to do so through certain mediums.  I person can stand in a public place or online with a personal, independent blog and say what they wish – to some degree – but to be allowed to say some things through certain mediums is different.  In this case, this is a NEWS medium.  These people are doing so with the support from a large corporation under the rouse of journalism.  News is not an opinion column.  It’s starting fact.  When a news outlet starts giving opinion, whether in segments away from the main headlines, it grows increasingly dangerous.  More so when you have a viewership this doesn’t do a lot of thinking about the topics for themselves.  Believe it or not, there was a time when what was being reported over the airwaves had to present equal time for multisided topics.  Lobbying took care of that.  Oh, look, big money calling the shots with our news.  Hmmm.  In capitalism, money is in control.  The people with the money generally want to have it where they keep making more regardless of what this means for others.        

We are in some serious trouble if stuff like this can be said and a lot of blind followers take this as something of substance.  It's really becoming painfully obvious a growing number of people have no clue what civilization is and what and how a MODERN functioning state/nation/government works and its function in a society. 

Oh my.  I might be having a stroke right now.  I’m actually having to do controlled breathing right now. 

I'm sorry folks, true capitalism is not a model for the 21st century.  When people were able to live off the land on ALL their own for the most part -- I mean a lot of children didn't survive to adulthood and 40 was old age, and there was a lot of people dying from a lack of the basic elements of human survival -- something like that could work, i.e. paying (more like bartering or trading) for only what you needed.  Our current way of life, it cannot work.  I really think some of these people didn't go to school, or are the greediest people on the planet, or just are not capable of completely thinking through anything.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Melting Sea Ice & My Lack of Posting

So I have completely ignored the whole idea of having an active blog (I still hate the word blog).  It's not as if I have an actually following or readership, but I guess you have to be active to do so.  I meant to post all my rants I get on on here, but that didn't last long.  I was also going to pull out all my archived rants and post them here too for the world to see just how crazy a person can be with their thought process.  Plus, I need practicing writing and putting my thought on "paper" (and to practice proofreading and editing).  Most rants end up on Facebook or as a comment on some website and that's were they stop.  NOT TODAY!  It's time I get back at it and end any future in politics before it starts!  And what better way to kick it back off than with GLOBAL CLIMATE WARMING CHANGE!!!  

Melting Arctic Ice
13 August 2011
Tullahoma, Tennessee

In response to:
Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis
Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog on Rapid Arctic Sea Ice Loss
1962 Exxon Ad

If you're one that doesn't believe in climate change/global warming/whatever-the-popular-terminology-of-the-time-is or don't have an opinion or don't know what to think, you need to look at the data.  I know, data is boring to many, but if you want to have an opinion worth a shit, you must know it.

You wanna know why the weather in the U.S., or more specifically in your neck of the woods, has been pretty screwy the last several months, this is why.  Remember all that flooding?  Things like this are contributing factors.  Montana saw record snowfall and there was/is record heat in the South. A lot of abnormal weather patterns lately. Climate change/global warming means changes in the weather patterns you're use to.  Some places will see more than others.  Some will even be welcomed.  The usage of the term, "unseasonal" increases.

It's more than just a couple of degrees [Celsius] of warming and melting ice. (And as a reminder, just because winter still occurs and even record lows are recorded in some places, it's about the OVERALL GLOBAL temperature.  The Earth is always seeking equilibrium and if it's really cold somewhere, it's going to be really hot somewhere else.  Remember matter is neither created nor destroyed and the planet is on a tilted axis, seasons, blah blah blah.)  Right now we are in a period of climate destabilization.  We certainly haven't been as stable as the weather on a planet like Jupiter, but we've had a pretty generalized pattern of weather for each region on Earth for quite a while now with any changes usually be very gradual (not even traceable over a human lifetime even).  This just means there will be larger swings in weather for some places, and it will be harder to forecast its coming.  The Earth is a HUGE system from the view of one small human on it.  It takes time for it to respond to a given change in the equation.   If you want to talk CO2 emissions, scientists believe there is around a 50-year feedback timeframe before we see its full effects on the global system.  Man, science is so fun and interesting!  I wish someone would have made this apparent when I was growing up:/  Some got close, but...oh look, a squirrel...I wonder if it...oh, Looney Tunes is on!  

The of the main reasons the U.S. has more deniers than any other country is because money controls what we think and do more so than other countries.  That, and we are a little lazier when it comes to news and paying attention to important topics.  Pop culture wins more often than things of actual importance.  But, one can ignore or deny all they want.  The Earth is going to continue on doing what it has done for a few billion years--evolve.  It doesn't need humans (although we have sure given it a helping hand on this go-around).

And what rant on climate gate would be complete without an Al Gore reference to give deniers something easier to talk about!  Al Gored!  *Note: I do not use Al Gore as a source for my climate related references.  Although I do believe he means well and isn't making things up, I prefer to get my data from climate scientists; NOT oil industry geologists, TV meteorologists, political scientists, economic experts or Prof. Glenn Beck.  Al Gore no more than a reporter or educator in this regard.  Just like I will not settle with what I hear on the news or read in some random place on the internet, I go to the source.