Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thoughts on the new Timmy Burger

Burger Horton's?  Tim King?  Whatever.  Let's talk about taxes and corporations.

Item one: Corporations don't pay taxes, no matter how much money the government collects from them.  Corporations are made up of people.  A corporation first pays its bills and employees, then it invests in the future of the business, then it pays dividends.  Any money taken from the company in taxes reduces the amount of money available for those three possibilities.  So corporate taxes reduces employee compensation, investment and growth, or dividends.  So what is the tradeoff?

We'll concede that the government gets tax revenue which it needs to fund needed services (we can argue later about whether the services it is providing are actually needed or even Constitutional).  Is corporate tax a good deal for the government?  Well, if the company were paying their employees more there would be more income tax revenue, if the company were investing more it would grow and generate more sales and hire more employees (more revenue to the gov), and if the company were paying dividends to its stockholders the government would be collecting more income tax.

So let's assume that the first two are a wash.  The government gets its revenue either way.  The middle option, however, reduces jobs and growth, hurting the economy in general.

So what does that have to do with Burger King and Tim Horton's?  Well, Burger King is trying to reduce the taxes it pays in order to maximize the money it has available for employees, investment, and dividends.  It is doing this in a perfectly legal way, but there are a fair number of people in government (mostly leftists) who are screaming about the greed of their actions.  Decisions have consequences.  You can't have the highest corporate tax rate in the western world and expect that companies won't try to avoid paying it.  If it is legal to move to Canada (or Ireland or Switzerland) then companies will do so.  It is legal and it is ethical.  Corporations are created to make money for those who invest.  Confiscatory tax rates make it more difficult to make money for the investors, so the logical thing to do is to move somewhere with lower rates.

Burger King, eh?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Is it something in the water?

Californians are happy with Obamacare by 56% according to a new poll but...

... they think that insurance companies shouldn't be able to raise the rates so much.  There is a ballot initiative coming up this fall in California which would let the insurance commissioner veto any rate increases by insurance companies.

WTW?   What is it about Californians that they can't figure out that it is the details of Obamacare that is forcing the insurance companies to raise their rates in order to stay in business.  If the ballot initiative passes (which I have no doubt it will) many of these insurance companies will either go out of business or stop doing business in California.  It is simple math.  If you are required to provide a package of benefits you have to charge enough to cover the cost of providing those benefits.  Obamacare has increased the number of items that health insurance is required to cover which is why all the basic plans are being cancelled.  They don't meet the new minimum requirements.  What Obama called "substandard" plans.  Never mind that people were perfectly happy with them, the government decided that they weren't good enough.

Every time I think that maybe living near the surf would be worth the trouble of living in California, the people in California go and make it that much harder.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The unravelling of the Ferguson narrative

The police officer has facial injuries from the encounter, possibly (although this is unknown for sure at this time) a broken eye socket.  CNN, however, has reported that he absolutely does not have a broken eye socket.

In other words, we don't actually know what happened.  There clearly was a scuffle as witnesses have already stated that Brown went after the officer in his car and that a gunshot was fired inside the car.  Witnesses have also stated that Brown rushed Wilson right before he was shot, contradicting Brown's friend who said that Brown put up his hands.

Yet another reason to wait until all the facts are in before you hold up your sign saying "Arrest Darren Wilson".

Thanks, Mr. President

For what it's worth, my health care premiums went up 6.3%.  What happened to my cut, Mr. President

You may remember that I blogged about the fact that my single-(foster)-mother-of-four sister Alice had her health insurance cancelled (she liked it but couldn't keep it, btw).

Another broken promise.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The scooter scam

This might explain why there used to be so many commercials from The Scooter Store promising that if Medicare didn't pay for your scooter, they would. The Scooter Scam

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Inspirational Reagan Quote #1

I know there are lots of them but this is one that caught my eye at the Reagan Library.

Can you think of a time when any family thirsting for opportunity, left a democracy to live in a country that was not free?

Spirit of American Festival, Decatur, Alabama, July 4, 1984

Click the link for the full speech.

More to follow.

The Nine Principles of Policing

From London's Metropolitan Police, apparently one of the first actual police forces, formed in 1829, (from Civitas, The Institute for the Study of Civil Society.  These make a ton of sense to me.

The Nine Principles of Policing

1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.

3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.

4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.

5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion; but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.

6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.

9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.