Saturday, March 14, 2009

Class War Delusions

Someone in my past, once mentioned "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. At the time, I had never read the book, so I had no idea that it was almost a literary bible for conservatives. For those of you who do not know what the premise of this book is, it's basically about this character named John Galt, who decides he's tired of supporting other members of society, and so decides to withdraw from society. Essentially, the most selfish and unchristian character you would ever read about, outside of Charles Dicken's character "Scrooge".

Stephen Colbert has a very humorous take on the synopsis and the key message of this book:

The question "Who is John Galt?" is also answered towards the closing of the novel — John Galt is a man disgusted that non-productive members of society use laws and guilt to leech from the value created by productive members of society, and furthermore even exalt the qualities of the leeches over the workers and inventors. He made a pledge that he would never live his life for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for him, and founded an enclave (Galt's Gulch), separate from the rest of the country, where he and other productive members of society have fled.
Essentially it has become the battle cry of the ridiculous and delusional right wing idiots still left in the Republican party. Case in point, Chuck Norris, who is ready to declare himself President of Texas. Essentially, Chuck Norris has declared his intent for treason and sedition. So there you have it, crazies like Chuck Norris are pretty much all you have left of the Conservative party.

But what makes it so ridiculously laughable, is this strawman argument that they continue to float, that because you potentially have a higher marginal tax rate, which by the way is only setting it back to the original rates under President Clinton, that this essentially demotivates people to be successful. So there is this movement where they are "Going Galt", and get people to "go on strike" because they feel burdened by their successes. As Austin Powers would say: "Riiiight ...."

Yeah, I would just loooove to see that. If you had the following options:
A. Earning $0 - because you feel demotivated to be taxed on your success.

B. Earning $300,000, and having $50,000 taxed at 36% vs. 33%
Which would you pick? Of course you are going to take Option B.

Secondly, people need to learn the meaning of the word "Marginal Tax Rate". When President Obama stated that those earning more than $250,000 would be facing a higher tax rate, that does not mean that you will be taxed on the full $250,000 at the higher tax rate. It simply means, you will see a slightly higher marginal tax rate for anything you make AFTER $250,000. You have financially illiterate people out there who think that if you make $300,000, that the entire amount would be taxed at 36%.

So by all means, have the crazy right wing nut cases "Going Galt" see how far it takes them. With their "every man for himself" philosophy, I doubt they could continue to exist peacefully as a society on their own.

Talk about Dawinism in action, oh but I forgot, they don't believe in evolution or in science.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Moving Day

The worst part about moving anywhere is the day you receive your furniture and goods, and you find yourself surrounded by a mountain of boxes, with no idea where anything is.

The movers were quite quick in packing me up in Boston. They were so quick, I felt I had to move out of the way, otherwise risk being packed myself if I stood still too long! They were also equally quick in unloading all the boxes into my new apartment. It was all I could do to check off the box number in the inventory control list. It was like playing an odd sort of BINGO, with numbers being randomly called out. In the end, everything arrived, so kudos to my driver Howard Taylor, of Planes Moving Company!

The good thing for me is that, with each move, I am getting a little smarter! This time I took my wireless box with me, as well as making sure all my bedding, pillows, duvets were packed together. That made assembling my bed and getting my wireless access set up relatively pain free. I say relatively, because it always takes longer than one thinks it should.

Now it's the usual shopping trips to IKEA and Bed, Bath, and Beyond for more things one thinks one needs!

One sad note, you can clearly see in this picture, one the white boxes that followed me from Geneva, but never got unpacked - guess I don't need anything in there!
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