|linkstravaganza: defeating the norquist pledge, morgan freeman in an LGBT ad, C++ pitfalls
||[Dec. 11th, 2012|03:55 pm]
Apparently I'm only doing these once a month now. That's OK! Here goes:
- America...And The Rest - hey, looks like stimulus was a better choice than austerity, no? Maybe there's something to this Keynesian stuff.
- Grover Norquist, author of the "never ever vote for a tax increase" pledge, is facing somewhat of a revolt in the Republican party. Which I think is good: the idea that you could sign a pledge saying never to vote for anything, no matter what the circumstances, seems rather short-sighted. (I'm talking about economics here, not, say, civil rights and such)
- Warren Buffett still thinks we need higher taxes on the wealthy.
- A long article about the recent marriage initiative fights in the four states. Spoiler alert: we win!
- Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Washington state, here are pictures of happy people, including Dan Savage!
- And since the Supreme Court will be hearing same-sex marriage cases, the Onion gets a scoop with an editorial from Clarence Thomas: I Get To Determine Whether Gay People Can Marry.
- Morgan Freeman narrates an LGBT equality ad! First they ignore you, then they fight you, then Morgan Freeman does an ad for you, then you win.
- I found this page of C++ pitfalls both enlightening and depressing. There seem to be an unbounded number of very small mistakes you can make that still compile and yet act very wrong.
- A long story about the origins of Lost, at Grantland of all places.
- The new SimCity is coming in March! Check out this 10 minute strategy video to get a feel for what it will be like. I am excited!
> (I'm talking about economics here, not, say, civil rights and such)
So is Norquist. For him, taxation is about civil rights, since it is through the tax code that we control so much American behavior and how we finance so much of the rest of the infastructure that gives government power. If you're carving a civil rights exception, then Norquist isn't all that off base, if you accept his premises.
Oyyy. Taxation is the price of living in a civilized society. A civil rights argument that "the government shouldn't stop me from doing X" I can understand (and approve!), but "the government shouldn't take marginally more of my money to do...things" is not a civil rights issue.
If your Dad had charged you an ice-cream tax, you would understand where Grover is coming from.
Tax breaks to encourage charitable giving. Tax breaks to encourage home ownership. Taxes to discourage smoking. Tax policy drives all sorts of behaviors.
I actually agree with Grover to that degree. My difference is that I fully support the government providing those guidances because -- assuming all else is working as intended -- they are guidances that we have all agreed upon by voting in our republic. Some significant amount of conformity is necessary to allow us to have freedom -- because "freedom to" is no more or less important than "freedom from". The far Right seems to value "freedom to" far more, IMHO.