The government cash grab blitzes the NFL

Granted that some might shed few tears for rich jocks, especially playing for an organization that has made the tax break a crucial part of its viability. However, punishing the players, no matter how wealthy, takes a lot of nerve, especially when the money goes to no good use anyway.

Some of you may be thinking this analysis is unfair because California isn’t imposing a 198.8 percent tax on his Super Bowl earnings. Instead, the state is taxing his entire annual income based on the number of days he’s working in the state.

But that’s not the economically relevant issue. What matters is that he’ll be paying about $101,000 of extra tax simply because the game took place in California.

However, if the Super Bowl was in a city like Dallas and Miami, there would have been no additional tax.

Source: Losing the Super Bowl Twice: California Taxes Cam Newton at 200% | Foundation for Economic Education

Bernie Sanders Loves This $1 Trillion War Machine

Bernie does love the single-payer system!

The Vermont senator persuaded Lockheed Martin to place a research center in Burlington, according to Newsweek, and managed to get 18 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets stationed at the city’s airport for the Vermont National Guard.

“In very clever ways, the military-industrial complex puts plants all over the country, so that if people try to cut back on our weapons system what they’re saying is you’re going to be losing jobs in that area,” Sanders said at a Q&A in New Hampshire back in 2014. “[W]e’ve got to have the courage to understand that we cannot afford a lot of wasteful, unnecessary weapons systems, and I hope we can do that.

”History has shown that Sanders has not had the courage to do that.

Source: Bernie Sanders Loves This $1 Trillion War Machine – The Daily Beast

The party in power becomes the party about power.

Socialism for the rich

A very different form of socialism for the rich protects their communities from even the dangers of a free market. A whole array of laws and policies prevents outsiders from buying up property near them, even when these outsiders are ready to pay prices determined by supply and demand, rather than by eminent domain.For example, the “open space” laws that have spread across the country to protect upscale communities represent one of the biggest collectivizations of land since the days of Josef Stalin.Upscale residents say that they have a right to protect “our community.” But not even the rich own the whole community.

Source: Socialism for the rich – Thomas Sowell – Page full

In a very real sense, this is also happening in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. The school board, staffed by wealthy professionals have no issue exacting an ever greater amount of flesh from homeowners to fund an already bloated budget, leaving the town’s working class unable to afford their own homes and to send their kids to those schools.

The Straight Dope: Is the petrodollar about to tank the economy?

As they say, you learn something new every day. That Henry the K sure was a busy boy back in the day.

Sound a bit Kissingerian? Well, the whole thing was Henry’s baby: he called the scheme “recycling petrodollars.” (“Petrodollars” as opposed to, say, “dollars” because they don’t circulate in the U.S.; economists thought it’d be useful to make the distinction.) Conveniently, the Saudis also used their petrodollar surpluses to buy munitions from American arms manufacturers, who, with Vietnam winding down, were grateful for the business. All around, a shining example of U.S. foreign policy: we enrich ourselves and impoverish the developing world while selling weapons to jerks.

Source: The Straight Dope: Is the petrodollar about to tank the economy?

The 10 Best Budget Bourbons

This is a list of task I look forward to completing. Anyone else care to join me?

Today, I’m covering bourbon. We’re lucky, as bourbon drinkers. The bourbon industry has the resources and capacity to make massive quantities of corn juice, and the expertise to do it well. This means that you can find plenty of good bourbon on a budget. Now, that’s not to say every budget bourbon is good, heck no. Some of it is dreck. But look around, and you’ll find the good stuff easily enough. Here, I’m going to discuss 10 of my favorites.

Source: The 10 Best Budget Bourbons | Serious Eats

Why the late Abe Vigoda was one of a kind in the acting world – The Globe and Mail

Abe Vigoda was only in his 50s when he appeared in “The Godfather”.

While certainly a little macabre, the decades of jokes about Vigoda’s death revealed something about the way we consider our character actors and utility players. We remember their roles, their work, their unmistakable on-camera presence, unconcerned with the sort of ghastly prying into private lives that defines A-list celebrity culture.

Source: Why the late Abe Vigoda was one of a kind in the acting world – The Globe and Mail

Hello Political Season. Goodbye Facebook

In a step intended primarily to maintain my own personal sanity, I’ve once again stepped back from Facebook, because while elections may have always brought out some of the worst in people, Facebook now gives us a front row seat to the sorry spectacle. When I stepped away, Facebook told me that my 333 friends would miss me. Somehow I doubt that. I’ve “unfollowed” most of them (as they have likely unfollowed me.) A few might, but 90% of those people never interact with me. In the past year, the post that garnered the biggest response told the world about my paternity mystery.

Meanwhile, I’ve posted dozens of politically related items and I rarely get so much as a “like.” That’s okay. I get it. For most of my adult life, I’ve embraced a political view well outside the modern mainstream. I have a funny notion of how we should conduct ourselves as a society. The thought that good people doing no harm to anyone should be allowed to live their lives without the threat of fines, citations, and jail seems to make people think I’m an idiot.

As a result, reading my timeline just makes me very sad. Half my friends want free stuff taken from people they think don’t deserve it. I’ve never understood this brand of morality, and even it it worked, I wouldn’t support it. In fact, it doesn’t work. If you get the bully to take stuff from others, the bully eventually comes after your stuff.

The friends who want the weirdo strangers to go away obviously paid very little attention in history class and certainly never studied anything further than the standard high school text. When I see Catholics calling to round up Muslims, I want to send them back in time to the first half of the nineteenth century to hear the majority Protestant population talk about the Pope. Or to a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II.

And it gets worse, of course. I see hypocrisy everywhere. Do it to them, but not me. Give it to me, but not them. We have come to the Unraveling, and the solutions scare me more than the threats.

I don’t know anyone who has a better reason to hate the wealthy than me. A rich man did something simply awful to me for which I had no recourse, but do I think that seizing his wealth will benefit you or me in any way? Not in a million years.

I don’t know why people can’t seem to connect the dots. I take a long time to develop an outlook, and I don’t think of myself as a knee-jerk anything. When there’s a problem, start from a simple premise: How do we solve it without depriving someone of what is rightfully theirs? What can we do as a society that will bring more liberty to everyone? If the premise of your solution involves hurting people you don’t agree with, then you will never convince me of its merits.

We have all experienced our own distinct journeys that shape our outlooks, but this does not mean that we should eschew curiosity and a sense of humor. It also doesn’t mean that we should dismiss the journeys of others. Pragmatism and respect demand that we better understand it, and maybe walk for a little while along that path.

Real solutions to what ails us lie in what made us great from the start. It begins with cherishing the dynamism inherent in a society that puts its trust in ordinary people to do good things, to earn and keep its rewards, and to seek no advantage through political subversion. The corrosion of politics will prove our undoing, and while I recognize its necessity to maintain order and to protect our rights, using politics as a weapon to undermine the good intentions of rivals diminishes us.

This country is not perfect. We got off to a rough start, but at no other point in world history did a society attempt what we did. The Founders gave it their best shot, with nothing to go on but their understanding of history and their own personal ideals. They had no blueprint for this, but they built something based on the most noble of ideas. Let people do right by themselves, and we will all share in the reward. On balance, they proved their case.

All I know is that for the benefit of my own well-being, I have to make a concerted effort to withdraw from Facebook until at least after the inauguration. I have too many opinions to resist the impulse to jump into frays that have no affect on anything except my blood pressure. My guy isn’t going to win the election, and hopefully, yours won’t either.

Pensions = Ponzi = Failure of Governance

I never understood the sustainability of pensions. Sure, for those who received them, they seemed too good to be true. Work for so many years, and get upwards of 100% of your working salary when you retire (depending on the generosity of your employer or tactics of your union). But how does it work when the company goes out of business or the tax roles shrink?

Looks like we will soon find out.

The #FlintWaterCrisis is not a blueprint for what would happen if libertarians abolished government and let poor people drink poisoned water, as some enemies of free markets are no doubt claiming. Instead, it’s a great example of government failing to efficiently provide even the most basic of public services due to a characteristically toxic combination of administrative bloat and financial mismanagement.

Source: The Government Poisoned Flint’s Water—So Stop Blaming Everyone Else – Hit & Run : Reason.com

Crony capitalism: No industry is immune. Especially health care. 

As General Electric gears up to move its headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to Boston, the people and communities being left behind are dreading the pain to come. The impending exodus of GE after more than 40 years is a blow from which many local companies, and the families that depend on them, may be reeling for years. Tony Hwang, a state senator from Fairfield County, doesn’t exaggerate when he describes GE’s forthcoming move as “a punch in the stomach for the state of Connecticut.” Have you ever paid someone to punch a victim in the stomach? If you’re a Massachusetts taxpayer, you have now.

Source: Luring GE to Massachusetts is rank crony capitalism – The Boston Globe