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>27 February 2004
Just a few things to say for today:
It is REALLY nice outside in NYC today. I hope it gets warm soon.
I have a happy hour and two birthday parties to go to.. busy day today!
I am never surprised at how much effort it takes to really learn the truth about something. I spent 4 and a half hours in a meeting about the 101-A lead paint bill paper that we're writing for my land use/housing law class. Good for the brain, but bad for the sleeping schedule.
Today is one of those - "Nice to be alive" kind of days. I'm gonna just enjoy the rest of it.
>26 February 2004
That's just the way it is.. some things may never change!
I was perusing Thomas Sowell's site and came on the following quote:
To liberals, "compassion" means giving less productive people the fruits of the efforts of more productive people. But real compassion means enabling less productive people to become more productive themselves. That way, the poor have not only more material things but also more self-respect, as well as more respect from others, and the society as a whole has a higher standard of living and less internal strife.
I think that he hits on something important here. The value of a handout versus the value of something earned. Your average mechanic who makes 35k a year and lives in a small house probably is happier with his life than some rich trust fund kid who gets everything handed to him.
You just don't appreciate the value of something that is given to you. In some perverse way you end up feeling that somehow you deserved this handout and that you are still getting cheated. Lets take a look at the old-age entitlement programs:
We have a system in place now that once somone hits the age of retirement (now defined as 65), that they needn't have saved one cent in their name during their years of work, and are guaranteed a paycheck that at least allows them to maintain a decent if not a little meager existence. They automatically have healthcare coverage, so that should anything happen to them, they are guaranteed treatment.
The age old threat of dying old and poor has literally been banished from our country.
So what happens? The elderly feel that they are somehow getting cheated out of something, and thus the push for the new drug package was born.
When you get something for free, when do you stop asking for more?
My guess is never.
>23 February 2004
I'm pretty much done with two new songs this week, Dub and Careermove (tentatively named). 8 more to go! i'm gonna try my best to hook up a small Brooklyn gig somewheres if I can get 10 quality songs together before May.
>21 February 2004
Today is the make-up Valentine's day. Last weekend, the flights were super expensive so this weekend I flew home so that we could do the low-key Val's day. It's a nice day already and hopefully it'll get nicer.
It's not just about the jobs, stupid
I have long had a problem with people using 'jobs' to justify programs, funding, tax policy changes, or etc.. People just throw out that "X # of jobs will be created!" and then just go along with whatever plans that appealed to them in the first place.
I have a scenario for those folks. In many inner cities, the most lucrative 'job' is that of drug dealing. Through drug dealing, many youths have a much higher chance to earn a decent living than by many other reasonable opportunities.
If you could eliminate the drug black market by either 1) Legalizing drugs or 2) Finding some way to make the 'war on drugs' effective enough to actually deter drug dealing. (Both choices offered just as to appease whichever side of the ideological fence taken on the issue of drugs), then you would "eliminate" thousands or even hundreds of thousands of jobs.
So would the "jobs are all that matter" folks want the current drug situation to stand pat? Is it okay for all of this damage and destuction on communities, neighborhoods, families and individuals okay because it offers jobs?
I'd imagine not.
>20 February 2004
Sweet, sweet.. sunshine
In FLA right now. Its like 72 degrees out. Wonderful. simply simply wonderful.
>16 February 2004
Progressive = Regressive?
Now, I'm not rich. Nor do I claim that I might ever be.. However, in this talk about fairness and equity that gets thrown around so often, how fair is this?
The top 50% of wage earners pay 96% of federal taxes. What? I'm SURE that the bottom 50% of wage earners have more than 4% of the nation's wealth. Also, the top 10% of earners pay almost two thirds of the total tax burden.
Ten percent of the nation's population paying 66% of its budget doesn't sound very equitable to me...
I don't know what the correct tax policy might be, but if all these super lefties complain that the rich aren't paying their fair share.. what might that fair share be? 100%?? (I probably shouldn't joke about that because more likely than not, it is what they think that the rich should pay..)
From the Joint economic committee:
(given in order)
Percentiles Ranked by AGI
Adjusted Gross Income
Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid
Top 1 %
Top 5 %
Top 10 %
Top 25 %
Top 50 %
Bottom 50 %
>13 February 2004
It's us against them!
Today I read a column written by Holman Jenkins of the WSJ editorial board. It goes a decent way to explaining what the deal is behind this whole drug costs health care hullabaloo that's going aorund lately in all of the Democratic campaigns. It goes something like this:
If this column sounds like one four years ago, that's because Democrats are running against their usual list of "enemy" industries. The party's standard trope is that you're being denied things you need and deserve because enemies are keeping them from you, cheap drugs being today's case in point.
No demagogue, left or right, fails to present himself as champion of the great, victimized majority against some tiny and exploitive elite. This argument is convenient for two reasons. Difficult issues like health-care financing, involving real tensions between hard-to-reconcile goals, can be reduced to utmost simplicity: On one side are the legitimate claims of voters who want cheaper drugs or whatever; on the other are the illegitimate claims of those who "stand in the way."
Populist claptrap serves another purpose, visible on the very persons of the candidates: They swell with confidence and invulnerability when posing as defenders of the "little guy" rather than as champions of the party's own array of special interests and voting blocs (which is what they are).
The force really at work is fear--fear on the part of Democratic leaders that they have nothing to offer; fear that their party's captivity by groups tied to existing programs forecloses any chance of innovative thinking.
I'd just put the whole damn thing here, but.. read the whole thing for yourself!
>12 February 2004
I am super super tired today. I was on the phone last night with Heather from 1:30 till almost 4 in the morning. Arguing about what? Somehow, its not enough to love someone, you have to love someone in the exact way that they want it.
Well I hope that we can just kinda throw away the "how do we get there" issues and just make sure that we're in fact, there.
>10 February 2004
It's not Friday, and I got lots of shit to do..
And I needs to find a job... J. O. B. Today I heard from K. Backus, which was nice. I probably put in about 6 or 7 other resumes as well, so i'll sit back and see if I hear back from anyone. (City of Plantation, anyone?)
>09 February 2004
Sent away the deposit for the PR place. I'm really looking forward to going surfing again and spending with with Vain and Mark. It'll be a fun time.
Now if only I don't go broke between now and then, it'll all be good..
>02 February 2004
Laid down a new song at Joey's tonight after the super bowl party. It was cool - I hope to have more! the supa bowl party was fun too. Met some inneresting folks. The band connection has extended my friend network like 10 times more that just school alone ever could have, and that's pretty cool.
Now it's sleepytime!