Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nugatory, Really? Really?

Martin Wolf of the Financial Times has occasionally written some compelling economic critiques. I think I first read something scathing by him courtesy of a Krugman link.
So anyway, he's reporting that two Very Important Economists — VIEs — say higher tax rates for the rich must include increases in capital gains taxes, although he strangely declines to use that term. (Maybe there are other kinds of income from capital, I wouldn't know.)
Anyhoo, thanks for the Word O' Teh Day, Martin.
Nugatory: without power.
At present, the far lower taxation of income from capital than from work makes the taxation of ultra-high incomes nugatory.
Oh, yeah. The bottom line:
Historically, the emergence of huge inequalities in wealth and political power has destroyed democratic republics, turning them into entrenched oligarchies, instead. This is bad politically. It is almost certain to be bad economically, too, as the oligarchy uses its power to reduce economic competition...The case for reform has become overwhelming. 
The Financial Times. The Financial Times.

Anecdote Is Not Data

and other logical fallacies may be found here.
Don't know about you, but I really need a handy guide.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Election Year Gold

"So remember, Americans, when you step into that voting booth, ask yourself, 'Who should I vote for, the guy I like. Or the guy I don't like'."

A Second-Best Mercedes

The best car ad evah has apparently been taken down from Craigslist, probably because once Andrew Sullivan linked it, the servers went on strike.
But here's a pretty good one for your amusement on this intermittently sunny but still ass-freezing cold last Friday in April.

Richard Nixon once said "Human existence is in the struggle." You could buy a car that will try and hide you from all the dangers of the world, but it won't save you; all the alarms, all the air bags, and the low sodium lattes in the world won't save you. Some day you will die. But at least you can die with the wind in your hair.
Alternatively it would make a good parts car.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Me Tarzan, You Fido

Dogs answer an age-old question, how come us and not the Neanderthals?
The dominance of modern humans could have been in part a consequence of domesticating dogs—possibly combined with a small, but key, change in human anatomy that made people better able to communicate with dogs.
I turn to observe the crew of three on the couch (Gus, who has declined to go outside yet, it is raining), the floor (Fat Mama Cooper, the canine meatloaf) and on my bed (Baby Shorty, nothing but the best for her). I believe they would help me survive if need be, they recognize mutual benefit.
On the other hand, Neanderthals just weren't all that smart, they hadn't innovated in 250,000 years, dogs or not. Dogs were just one of our new tools.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Catholic Bishops

Here's Sullivan's take.
This will be their cause - not saving universal healthcare from repeal, not bringing illegal immigrants out of the shadows, not protecting the poor, but affirming that religious liberty is at stake if they cannot keep the pill from their female employees' insurance, 98 percent of whom use it at some point in their lives anyway.