Friday, July 27, 2012


Greg Laswell - How The Day Sounds


Tuesday, July 24, 2012


The Latest from Rush

Friday, July 20, 2012


Marillion - Incommunicado

Friday, July 13, 2012


Gold leaves - The Ornament


Thursday, July 12, 2012


7 Credit Myths Even Smart People Believe

Everybody knows how important it is to maintain good credit, but a lot of people don’t know how. Some think it’s necessary to revolve a credit card balance to get a higher score or don’t know the impact of checking their own credit. Even people who consider themselves financially savvy or who do a fine job managing their own household budgets can be misinformed. A recent survey revealed some sizable gaps in America’s knowledge when it comes to our credit, and we talked to some credit counseling professionals who shared the most common myths they have to debunk.


Monday, July 09, 2012


Dear Person Seeking a Job: Why I Can't Hire You

I'm afraid that to many people who have never signed the front of a paycheck do not understand business and the calculations that go into hiring.  This is a cogent essay on those calculations and why rising costs crimp plans to expand through adding more employees.

In other words, as costs of hiring anyone to do anything have climbed while revenues have stagnated, the threshold to hire an employee keeps getting higher. Back in the day, I could hire a young person out of high school for a modest cost in overhead, and the work-value they produced to justify the expense was also modest. I could afford to hire marginal workers and as long as they didn't get in the way too much and ably performed basic tasks then I could afford to have them on the payroll.
The same was true of older workers, veterans living on the beach who wanted work, etc.--I could afford to give all sorts of people a chance to prove their value because the costs and risks were low.
That's simply less true today. The costs and risks are much, much higher.Liability has become a lottery game where anyone with assets or income is a target for "winner take all" lawsuits. I would have to be insane to hire someone to work around my property on an informal basis: if the person injured himself, I would face the risks of losing my property to the legal defense costs and potential settlements that exceed the homeowners' insurance policy.
In an office environment, I could be sued for harassment or for engendering a "stressful work environment." If you think these kinds of cases are rare, you need to get out more.
Simply put, the feeble hope of increasing revenues does not even come close to offsetting the tremendous risks created by having employees.

Please read the whole thing.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


Francois Hollande's great experiment

All supply side economists owe Francois Hollande a debt of gratitude because he is about to conduct a great experiment in the effects of tax policy on an economy.  

Fiscal consolidation has taken centre stage in France and, in the short-term at least, it will be tax-led.
While the spending restraint announced by Mr Ayrault [France's PM] this morning is by no means negligible - annual rises in public expenditure will be capped at 0.8% for the next five years - the government will focus its efforts on revenue-raising measures to meet its budget deficit target of 3% of GDP in 2013.

While this won't be old-style tax-and-spend socialism, it will be a tax-based retrenchment.

The message that Mr Hollande seems to want to convey is that if he's forced to undertake deeper austerity measures, then it will be mainly through soak-the-rich policies. France is committing itself to austerity with a strongly socialist flavour. There's a sharp break, politically and to a lesser extent economically, with Mr Sarkozy's more business-friendly fiscal policies.

Wonderful.  We need this kind of clear delineation, proof that tax policies affect behavior.  Either they do or they don't.  Soon we will know.  Good luck France.

Now, that the Socialist politician has moved into the Élysée Palace an exodus of the wealthy is on the horizon. Geneva and Brussels are also profiting from the rush of tax refugees. But no other city is as successful at attracting wealthy immigrants as London, whether it's oligarchs from Russia, China's nouveau riche, oil princes from the Middle East -- or rich French fleeing Hollande.
Britain offers wealthy foreigners incentives that are practically unparalleled in Europe. For example, the state exempts foreign residents from having to pay tax on income generated outside Britain. For some, having a British residence can save them millions.
London Mayor Boris Johnson, who speaks perfect French, recently encouraged workers in France's financial sector to move to the City. "Bienvenue à Londres," he said in February. "This is the global capital of finance. It's on your doorstep."
Hollande, for his part, declared the banks to be his "enemy" during the election campaign. He hopes to collect up to €300 million with his wealth tax. But it's just a short journey from Paris to the tax haven on the other side of the English Channel -- on the Eurostar train service, it takes just two hours and 17 minutes. More than 300,000 French people are believed to already be living in London -- more than the population of Rennes, Reims or Avignon.

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Friday, July 06, 2012


The Fly's - Got you where I want you


Wednesday, July 04, 2012


What Gay Marriage Means

My answer to the Maggie Gallagher's gay marriage, and axiomatically, marriage debate.

IMHO, the U.S. is becoming more libertarian.  This is reflected in the attitudes towards same sex marriage.  The Left was smart and framed the debate as being about the freedom to marry, a deeply conservative institution that gays want to join.  Who can be against people wanting to be more conservative?  It is difficult to argue against people wanting to be married because it is difficult to say that SSM damages marriage more than the widely accepted institution of divorce.  Conservative women are not clamoring to give up the perks of family court and they are not, as far as I can see, less likely to use that institution to harm their ex-husbands.

Honestly, I am conservative and I have yet to read a decent argument against SSM.  (I would appreciate someone linking one.)  For a change, the conservative movement ought to think more holistically.  The Left still doesn't give a damn about marriage but they know how to frame the debate in terms of freedom; an appeal that will garner a lot of support in our narcissistic society.  How about we strengthen marriage by arguing for more freedom, freedom for men.  Argue that unmarried men should be free to choose not to be parents.  Choice for men.

Use their arguments against their interests.  Leftists are always about protecting their identity groups. They will never abandon unmarried women or their interests.  Leftist policy positions always protect their constituencies.  Here is a chance for conservatives to use their tactic against them.  Force Leftists to argue for choice for women but against choice for men.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012


'The Star Wars That I Used To Know' - Gotye 'Somebody That I Used To Know' Parody


Monday, July 02, 2012


Stung by Recession, Young Voters Shed Image as Obama Brigade

Polls show that Americans under 30 are still inclined to support Mr. Obama by a wide margin. But the president may face a particular challenge among voters ages 18 to 24. In that group, his lead over Mitt Romney — 12 points — is about half of what it is among 25- to 29-year-olds, according to an online survey this spring by the Harvard Institute of Politics.  And among whites in the younger group, Mr. Obama’s lead vanishes altogether.
Among all 18- to 29-year-olds, the poll found a high level of undecided voters; 30 percent indicated that they had not yet made up their mind. And turnout among this group is expected to be significantly lower than for older voters.
I was talking to one of the lifeguards at the pool in our subdivision.  She was lamenting that she felt lucky to have a summer job at all.  She is going into her senior year at ISU.  Her friend who goes to the local community college, living locally full time could only find a job as a nanny for $60/week.  I didn't push it but I got the impression that the economy was her first concern given she would be in the job market in a year.  

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