When you tax productivity, you produce poverty. (Adam Smith, 17th century economist)
Turn on the TV and listen to politicians. The mantra for Obama's election in 2012 is "tax the rich!" OR
"make them pay their fair share."
I'm sure President Obama sincerely believes that increasing the taxes paid by the richest Americans is the right thing to do. Maybe he's really going to do it. Maybe he's saying it just to win the masses over. I can't really say.
What I can try to say though is that there is nothing wrong with Romney, or any other guy for that matter paying 15% or lower on capital gains. I daresay that it would be UNFAIR to increase the capital gains tax. If anything, it should be lower. Before you think I was paid by the GOP to say trash let me explain.
Say you have two people: Jack and Jill. They both do some work, and are paid with two apple pies. They both pay one apple pie as taxes and now have one pie left each. Now, Jack eats his one remaining pie. Jill trades hers for three oreos. Would it be fair for Jill to pay additional taxes on her three oreos? I'm thinking its not, right? After all, if she hadnt traded it, she was entitled to a full untaxed pie.
In the same way, lets say Jack and Jill work for $2 each. They both pay $1 as taxes and have $1 left. Jack spends his one dollar. Jill does not spend hers but either loans it or trades it for a future $3. When she gets the $3 in the future, why should she pay additional taxes on it? She already paid when she earned it! This is the same exact reasoning with capital gains taxes. Its why there are some people who think even 15% is too much and capital gains should be taxed at 0. Because capital gains is money you invested instead of spending. And if you tax capital gains the same way you tax ordinary income, most people will have no incentive to save their income and invest it, because it would be like double taxation. They would be more inclined to spend it instead. And what happens when investments and savings fall and people spend all their income? There will be no money for business, no new jobs created, no growth and definitely less income in the future. So government has every incentive to encourage people to not spend their remaining,after-tax dollars, and invest it instead. Thats why the gain on investment is taxed less. And that is the incentive raising the capital gains taxes will be taking away. America will pretty much be kissing their investment dollars goodbye because once you tax something, you get less of it. No one wants to save money after taxes, invest it only to pay more taxes after they generate returns. And incase you don't know it, investors like Romney and Buffet and all others even though they pay such a low rate, have already paid ordinary taxes because the companies they invest in already paid corporate tax on the money made for them. It is the remaining, the one apple pie left that is returned as capital gains and taxed only 15%. So if you want to calculate the true tax rate Romney and co pay, add the corporate tax their companies pay, and then the individual low rate. If you do that, the real tax rate they pay is already more than 35%.
Meanwhile, the next time someone says its unfair for capital gains to be taxed at a low 15%, tell them to take their income AFTER they've paid normal tax, then go and invest it and then watch it get taxed again. Then tell me who is being fair to who. Stop listening to politicians when they seduce you with what you want to hear in order to vote for them. Think different. Peace out.
Motherhood is privilege. But there is no question that the best privilege is enjoyed by the child that was raised by a good mother.
There is no kind of love that equals it in the whole world and probably, beyond too.
Its a promise that in the contest of life, you always have someone in your corner. And NO ONE should take that for granted.
This is exactly three years since I first stared at my own corner and only emptiness stared back.
My mother passed on. I still hurt everyday, think about how she feels about the things I do everyday, wish I could make her hear how much I love her everyday.
Im happy for those whose moms are still there with them.
Its really an honor.
Much outcry is constantly being made about money in politics. Everyone condemns it as bad, the politicians score cheap points opposing it, while even the corporations blamed for it, would rather not do it. But after all the hell raised, the influence of money in politics is increasing instead of decreasing.
Here's what I suggest: stop giving government all these unnecessary regulatory powers. You can't legislate your way to perfection, so this impulsive increasing of regulations for government to tackle every problem in sight, real or imaginary is the real reason money is increasingly pouring into politics. With mounting regulations, corporations will have to run to government for permission to do everything. Its not that they won't still do it, the politicians will just be paid for it. So at the end of the day, government becomes a tool to enrich a few fat cats, without doing anything any differently. Strip government of unnecessary regulatory powers, corporations will have fewer reason to lobby it, and bingo, politics is free of money, or at least less encumbered.
Most regulations are really not as necessary as you think. Majority of it are already regulated by self-interest and market risk. Politicians just use it as a way of grandstanding to gain votes, or say they did something. So for those of you congratulating the current Democrats on Dodd-Frank Financial Regulation bill, as we speak, corporations are still calculating how much more money that bill is going to cause them to spend, on lobbying. Its running into billions, and only 39 out of the approximately 1300 specific regulations are in effect for now. So expect billions more. And you know the funny thing? A finance expert, asked by the Senate committee said "I don't think this bill will really prevent another recession." Say whatt????
So there you go. You can stop asking for politicians to make these rules that they're just going to apply to people based on the highest bidder, or you get used to the fact that money will continue to influence politics. You can't have both. Choose one.
I firmly believe, beyond all reasonable doubt, that Starbucks is part of an evil plot to enslave the mind of people everywhere, and make us addicted to their products. I am not kidding!
Okay, swear I am the only one who goes in everyday, moaning about how expensive starbucks is, and yet absolutely unable to resist that frap, or latte. God, how that latte makes me come alive. How delicious it is! Am salivating right now, craving coffee, and its past midnight. See what I mean? And don't you see how its like NO ONE ELSE can make coffee that has quite the same effects as Starbucks? Hell, I just tweeted this today:
And they do.
But...what if the secret to the awesome addiction-inducing deliciousness of Starbucks coffee isn't just due to their excellent brewing skills. What if there is something more sinister at work? *cue in 80s horror film suspense music* What if there is a mind-game and a spiritual channeling game involved that mentally hooks you to them, making you keep coming back? You think am kidding? Okay, take a good look at their logo:
Siren: The two things at her head are the split mermaid tails
I know am not the only one who has wondered who that nice pretty lady is. Well, she's a figure from Greek mythology known as the Siren. Look it up. They're mermaid-like creatures, with a split tail which is what she is holding up on the sides of her head, although they cropped out the original. My point though is, in greek mythology, what does the siren represent? They represent addiction, obsession and finally, death.
Yea, I do. Totally.
So you mean Starbucks deliberately put this image used to represent addiction, obsession and death, onto their corporate logo? And somehow, their product happens to be addictive, cause people to obsess over it, and finally lead to death. At least financially I have died a thousand deaths because of them. Just in case you are not convinced, just in case u think, oh naaah, this is just a cute picture they put in there to look cool, here's what Starbucks 'senior writer' wrote on their web page while explaining the logo. You can go read it, but Im just going to quote a few of what he says:
"...the Siren has always been there. She is at the heart of Starbucks."
You mean, she's not just something you picked cos its good looking? She is at the heart of starbucks? Something that represents addiction, and obsession is AT THE HEART of your company? Say it aint so. He continues with this:
"there is a lot more to her than just the design and how she looks."
Oh Lord. So its true. There is something entirely spiritual to their logo. Again our writer guys confirms:
"for me she's kind of the Final say on the spirit of everything I write and everything we do. Even as I'm writing this, I wonder what she thinks. (She likes it, by the way.)"
She talks to them! And approves everything they do! And its all geared towards making you obsessed, addicted, and finally leading to your death. Financially or otherwise. Im done. This is all too much for me. The idea that a company would engage in such evil is just numbing to me. Maybe I need to pour me a hot cup of coffee to wake me up again. Oh wait, we have a Starbucks in my school. They got me yo! Adios!
"The foulness of the slave is the direct result of the baseness of their master."
People, when they don't feel threatened, are gracious and pleasant. Most of the time, when people are hateful, aggressive, suspicious and envious towards one another, I believe they are afraid of something. Its not always obvious, because most of our fear is subconscious. We aren't always aware of why we are afraid of a person, so we cloak it in resentment, hate and aggression. Think about the history of this country's racism. Having enslaved the black people for economic purposes, I believe the white race was in morbid fear of what would happen when black people decided to give them back a piece of their own meal. All that inhumanity, violence, exclusion, and hate was their fear. MLK was able to succeed with the Civil Rights struggle because he could penetrate their fear, and inspire hope. His message was that the black man was not in search of vengeance, but of equality. That was the difference between him and the likes of Malcolm X etc. We saw that again with Obama. But thats all an aside.
My question is...there is a lot of hate and aggression running rampant in the world again. And it makes me wonder, what are we as a collective, afraid of? Why the fear? Among Western powers, there is a definite paranoia among their governments. Its palpable. The laws spewing out of most western countries stink of fear, and its infecting the people. What are Western powers afraid of? That the world is running out of resources? A people revolt? A loss of power to rising nations in Asia? A fall in their economic status? What is the fear???
For someone to breathe fire around every one and anyone its two things involved: he wants to get something, or he is afraid of losing something. What are we so afraid of losing? And is it worth all this pain we are unleashing on the world?
Like everyone else on earth, I long for happiness. But the manner in which I chase after it has changed a lot in recent years. I owe this to sheer experience and the wisdom that comes from learning once again the lessons that your parents taught you as a child, which, at the time you did not truly understand. Now I do.
Happiness is satisfaction.
Unhappiness is found in longing.
But the only kind of happiness we are promised in this world is the fluctuations of longing, and satisfaction. Of desires achieved. There is no constant satisfaction. And desire that is unachievable is torture.
However, I have longed learned that there is a wrong way to pursue happiness. And that is chasing the thrill.
Getting high, having sex just because the urge hits you, pursuing pleasure at every corner may seem like "the life!" but I've come to realize its not. It literally depresses you, because it wears you out mentally. It takes a certain kind of self devaluation to open yourself to all influences. And whether you realize it or not, your mind reacts to that. You feel devalued. You feel cheapened. Of course it doesn't happen immediately, which is why when it happens, we don't often realize why we feel the way we do. Emotions are thoughts. Millions of thoughts that hit you at the same time, and even though they are not individually articulated, they leave you in a very defined state of mind. And at the back of the mind of every thrill chaser is the question "What is the point of all this? that expresses itself as an emotion: sadness, unrest, depressions and weakness that often forces us to once more go back to the same thing that we thought gave us a momentary thrill. And that is how vicious cycles take over.
There was a time when I agonized over the meaning of life. I flirted with the nihilist idea that life was just a big joke played on us. That there was no particular meaning to it. So I wilded out all the time. But I was never truly happy until I learned that life is all about responsibility. For yourself, above all. But also for the ones around you, starting from family, and going all the way to the world. I have been happiest when I was doing productive things to improve my life, the lives of the ones I loved, or the society I was in. And my happiness was strengthened when I said no to things which had no direct impact on my productivity, no matter how pleasing they were.
It takes a lot of effort to build the discipline for a different kind of pursuit of happiness. It helped that I had a very strong family that taught me lessons I didn't realize I was learning until many years on. But I noticed, that my values and morals have solidified the more that I practice discipline. And that I find it easier to reject things that I would normally be too weak to say no to. And funny, I am a much happier person today than I ever remember being.
You know it was only a matter of time before Nigerians occupied something. After all, when Arab spring happened, we are already pining for a Nigerian summer. And then occupy protests raged around the world, and Nigerians, eternal attention whores felt left out. Jona merely gave them a reason to occupy.
For the record, I think it makes sense for the subsidy to go. But typical of the careless way the government does EVERYTHING, Jona and co chose the worst possible way of implementing it: overnight removal. Now, I know the fuel being pumped now probably already got subsidized but hey, tell that to the birds. We are predators, all of us. And the government well and truly spares nary a fuck.
Our protesters on the other hand, seem to be stuck on mamby-pamby land of N65/liter fuel never mind that that price was agreed on when oil was like $80 per barrel. Laudable, courageous but ultimately naive.
It only saddens me that people are dying for this. And Mallams like EL RUFAI are dancing like a jealous co-wife whose husband was finally giving a bit of attention. Inciting people and stuff. Thats the sad part..that our people will come out of this just as ignorant and easy to hoodwink as they went in.
But then again, maybe the Occupy will scare our government enough to be more careful. Im not holding my breath, but you never know.