Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Taxation Without Representation

Tax Burden of Top 1% Now Exceeds That of Bottom 95%".

Full disclosure: I'm pretty sure I'm part of that bottom 95%, though I didn't find the cut-off.

Kissing up to the rich is wrong (and against my faith).

But so is demonizing the rich. Particularly in light of this.

Corollary: Like it or not, you're beholden to the rich. They're your benefactors. (Don't like that? Then pay more taxes yourself.)

Think about the teenager who continuously bad-mouths his parents, except when he's holding out his hand for his allowance. Want to be like that?

Corollary: What happens to these richest 1% has a hugely disproportionate effect on the government's income revenue. There's no Magic Money Fountain, despite what you've been led to believe. (That's its own future post.)

"Markets" need to experience pain (as feedback), or they become dysfunctional, anemic. This tax arrangement is very anemic, and it will likely have consequences. People don't appreciate what they don't pay for. Even poker has an ante. Not good.

But doesn't James 2 claim that the rich are exploiting me? You could read it that way, but the balance of Scripture doesn't roundly condemn being rich. James lists specific immoral actions, like exploitation, unjust lawsuits and even slandering Christ's name. Like greed, none of these things are unique to the rich, or apply to everyone. (I'm also convinced real exploitation--historically and globally--bears little resemblance to what goes on in the United States.)

Via Instapundit

Update: Tom Maguire is irritated by how the original article presents things, with more discussion in the comments.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Evaluate this claim

You're a teacher. One of your students walks up to your desk, slaps down his last test, a D+ grade, and says, "you need to make this an A!"

You say, "Why?"

He says, "I got this D+ because you prayed to Satan against me. So change it."

You say, "No I didn't."

He says, "If you didn't do it consciously, you did it unconsciously. And this D+ is proof!"

Before you can answer, he pulls out a newspaper clipping and slaps it on your desk. It's a story about a teacher in your own state who claims to be a Satanist.

Then he pulls out a petition signed by many of the kids in his class, that states that they believe the same thing.

What do you say next, and why? How do you go about evaluating a claim like this?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?