Life is meant to be more than simply persuading each other into spending money and consuming goods and services.
The fact that “sales” is the artifice of lies, pressure and Jedi mind tricks to compel people to do things they don’t really want doesn’t help its case.
Advertising can, theoretically, be something good. If you are in the market for a thing and there’s information about that thing at a certain price, that can actually be helpful. Unfortunately, most advertising has devolved into petulant attempts at distraction and attacks on the subconscious. Not just merely advertising, they are better classified as “persuasion attempts.” Some estimates claim the average American is subjected to 15,000 persuasion attempts per day. That’s hinky.
It seems obvious the game has shifted from being informative (advertising) to persuasion warfare (psychology). And it doesn’t have to adhere to the rules of the Geneva Convention or even be honest. Not content to simply remain available in case you might need something, the free market win-based transaction paradigm is now hunting you down to make the kill. The consumer is prey.
Taxes are funds taken by the awesome power of governmental force. As such, they are sacred in my mind. Taxes must not be used frivolously. Taxes must always be respected. Taxes must not be used to benefit some at the detriment of others. There are certain things taxes should be used for and certain things that must never be allowed to happen. Because taxes are monies taken by force that’s just the way it has to be.
What happens when tax dollars are used on advertising? Bad shit.
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Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return and the media went nuts.
Every angle got explored. The narratives were legion.
- Romney gave a “gift” the the government by overpaying on his taxes.
- Romney’s 2011 rate of making charitable donations is higher than Obama’s. 29.4% for Romney vs. 21.8% for Obama.
- Romney’s tax return was crafted to prove he always pays at least a 13% rate as he previously claimed.
- Romney could have given more to charity but it would have lowered his tax rate.
- Romney’s taxes prove he’s not fit to be president based on his own words.
These are interesting times.
And on every side of every single one of those points there are voices shouting that it proves something and other voices shouting that it proves the exact opposite.
It’s enough to make your head spin. Ah, spin. That word is also interesting.
I have a different sort of question about all of this, though: Where Mitt Romney is concerned, what kind of “charity” are we talking about?
An analysis (by Business Insider) shows in years 2009 and 2010 the “vast majority” (approx. 80 percent) of Romney’s charitable contributions were directed to the Mormon Church.
As always, where Romney is concerned, the financials get rather complicated. The donations take the form of tithes and other contributions, like stock donations.
Interestingly, though, if you set aside Romney’s contribution to his own church, suddenly Obama has the higher rate of charitable contributions. And that’s not exactly the same narrative they want to be sold. Factor in that wee little fact and suddenly Obama’s rate of charitable giving becomes four times higher than Romney’s.
So the question becomes: Is giving to your own church the same as giving to a “charity?”
Carmen, read to the end. The musical selection at the bottom has, hopefully, just the right amount of twang. Maybe you can finish one of my musical selections for once? 🙂
Call it “Triple Down Economics,” if you will.
Do you know some of the general specifics of the tax plans of the GOP candidates? Today I want to examine a surprising aspect of the plan offered by Rick Santorum.
To preface these comments, let me say this: I don’t know much about taxes except that I get screwed over by them and that if you took all of the tax money I have paid and will pay in my entire lifetime you wouldn’t have enough money to pay for the red paint to make the letter “U” in “USA” on the side near the bottom of the Saturn IV rocket.
I have no idea what the hell the bloody difference is between the “Child Tax Credit” and the “personal exemption for dependent children.” In fact, if I did, I’d ask you to shoot me in the head.
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How important is it to pay your taxes? Pretty important, I’d say. Especially when failure to comply can result in more time in jail than if you shot two people in the head and killed them in cold blood.
Richard Hatch, the original winner of the TV series Survivor is back in trouble for his taxes. He turned himself in to authorities on Monday and will begin serving a nine-month sentence for violating the terms of his probation for tax evasion.
Hatch previously served a three year sentence for tax evasion. He was ordered to pay taxes on show winnings and other income but has not completed refiling of his 2000 and 2001 tax returns.
I didn’t know this, but Hatch was currently a contestant on Donald Trump’s reality show The Apprentice.
“It sounds like a very tough predicament,” Donald Trump tells PEOPLE. “I may ask him if there’s anything I can do … I may get involved and ask him what the hell is going on.”
On the current season of Apprentice, Hatch quickly made enemies of Jose Canseco and David Cassidy, who accused the reality star of shoving him. Cassidy was ultimately fired.”He wasn’t loved on set because it’s a competition but I will say he was respected,” Trump said, adding that helping Hatch pay his debt is “something I’d think about. He’s been a great character on the show.” Source.
The judge surprised even the prosecutors by adding an additional three months to Hatch’s sentence beyond the six month maximum per federal sentencing guidelines.
The IRS says Hatch owes $2 million.
Hatch will now have to pay a staggering $2 million to the IRS.
The debt includes not only his Survivor winnings, but further income he has made since appearing on the show and penalties for his evasion. Source.
Times are apparently hard for Hatch, who told the court that he’s only made about $27,000 since his release from prison in October 2009, which would put him even below my scrawny income. Hatch has been looking for work though, claiming he pursued employment in “marketing” to working on a fishing boat.
Personally, I think the judge should have been a bit more lenient. It’s not like Hatch plugged two people full of lead. If that was all he done he would have already been off probation by now.