Sunday, June 12, 2005


Envy unleashed at the New York Times: "In a front page editorial (Sunday June 5), thinly disguised as its lead news story, The New York Times has unknowingly provided a case study in envy and ignorance. The 'article' is titled 'Richest Are Leaving Even the Rich Far Behind,' subtitled 'Tax Laws Help to Widen Gap at Very Top.'.... an attentive reader, willing to go to the trouble of doing some simple addition based on numbers supplied along with the graphics, is able to see that the bottom 80 percent of all taxpayers in 2001 paid only 29.5 percent of all federal taxes, while the top 20 percent of taxpayers paid the remaining 70.5 percent of all federal taxes and that the top one-tenth of one percent of taxpayers paid 12 percent of all federal taxes. The Times is upset because under the Bush tax cuts, in the year 2015 the top one-tenth of one percent of taxpayers is forecast to pay only 10.8 percent of all federal taxes"

Corporations and governments "The idea that big corporations are untamed beasts that wreak havoc upon civilized society is immensely popular throughout the academy everywhere in the world, including the United States of America. Most professors in the humanities and social sciences, a great many writers, journalists, artist, and entertainers -- centered mainly in New York City and Hollywood -- cling firmly to their view that corporations are a threat to the well being of nearly everyone in society and that those who do not share this belief are deluded, period. It is not only Ralph Nader who embraces this idea and the only reason Nader hasn?t reached national political office is that he is viewed as a naive idealist who wants to take on forces that must be appeased, not fought."

French soul-searching: "But there's one area in which France would love to emulate that place across the Atlantic -- the ability to foster small businesses and turn them into big ones. It's not exactly haute culture , but these days this is a vital topic here in France, where the unemployment rate has been stuck between 9 and 10 percent for a quarter of a century and where not a single enterprise founded here in the past 40 years has managed to break into the ranks of the 25 biggest French companies. By comparison, 19 of today's 25 largest U.S. companies didn't exist four decades ago. That's why France is looking to the United States for lessons.... It's no small thing for a country like France to admit its weaknesses, yet many opinion leaders here now concede that France has the rhetoric of a world power without the economic means of one".

The waiting game "It is always instructive to look at how the government controls what we do in our leisure time. Almost everyone now accepts the notion that government should control business, since almost everyone seems to believe that people are basically rotten and will lie, exploit and manipulate others if given half a chance. The idea of a man or woman in business who thinks that honesty and integrity might be a means to success now seems to be utterly foreign to our way of thinking. Therefore, government -- which people conveniently forget is run by other people, but people who somehow are far more perfect than the rest of us will ever be and not subject to the foibles which plague all non-governmental humans -- must regulate business for 'the public good.'"

Foreign aid counterproductive: "Over the past 50 years, foreign aid has largely been counterproductive: it has crowded out private sector investments, undermined democracy, and enabled despots to continue with oppressive policies, perpetuating poverty, says the International Policy Network (IPN). The reason countries are poor is not that they lack infrastructure -- be it roads, railways, dams, pylons, schools or health clinics. Rather, it is because they lack the institutions of a free society: property rights, the rule of law, free markets and limited government"


No comments: