Sunday, September 16, 2007

Economics and Social Policy - XXXIV

Welcome to the September 16, 2007 edition of Economics and Social Policy.

artThailand presents artThailand: We Put The World Of Contemporary Art From Thailand Within Reach posted at artThailand.

I don’t know much about Thai internal politics. Nor am I 100% anti-censorship. But the general trend of repressive governments to censor political / religious / economic speech is more than a bit troubling.

Marlon J. Broussard presents The 7 Immutable Laws of Building “True Wealth” posted at MoneyBlog.

You don’t have to be a goldbug to appreciate most of these tips.

DWSUWF presents Is Iraq like Vietnam? Lessons learned. posted at Divided We Stand United We Fall.

People always learn the wrong lessons from Viet Nam. Wrong lesson #1: we could never win. Well, at the minimum, we could have preserved a “draw” in the tradition of Korea. Wrong lesson #2: there were no adverse consequences to losing in Viet Nam. Unles, of course, you found yourself on one of Pol Pot’s lists, or had to feel on a raft, or wound up in a “reeducation”camp. No problem – only a couple of million people died, and only a few additional millions suffered thanks to the left’s victory in Viet Nam.

But don’t worry, DWSUWF has more than distilled all of the conventional (incorrect), lessons, but can’t face drawing the concusions to Iraq.

Logan Flatt, CFA presents How to Get Ahead In America (1st of a 12-Part Series) posted at PowerWealth.com.

The wonderful, and scary, part of American life is that your income and wealth is entirely in your own hands.

Leon Gettler presents The Pope and taxes posted at Sox First.

But there’s a significant difference between understanding and applying the law to minimize your taxes, vs. “tax evasion” – illegally not paying your taxes.

This distinction is on display as the ultra-rich –Buffett & Gates argue against eliminating estate taxes. They can afford the best lawyers and accountants to minimize their exposure; it’s the taxes paid by the little people that they want to see strictly enforced.

And I wouldn’t necessarily believe the press releases about how they’re going to deprive their heirs.

David Gross presents The 2008 War Tax Boycott posted at The Picket Line.

Here’s the parallel in mind-crushing stupidity – war tax protesting. What’s going to happen if conservatives start to protest the welfare state by withholding 75% of their income taxes? After all, the welfare state distorts the economy, encourages sloth and discourages strong families, and effectively keeps the poor in shackles.

Quick answer – they’re headed off to jail, protesting the bridge to nowhere, repaving all of West Virginia to honor an old Klansman, or not.

I’m certainly not gonna cry if these folks wind up in chokey. After all, Martha Stewart went up the river for amounts that compare to change that she found in sofa cushions.

By all means, use every legitimate means to minimize your tax burden. But once you start to pick and choose what taxes you will pay, and what for, therein lies the road to the Hotel Greybar. And deservedly so.

Alex Landis presents Cyber Bias: The Threat of a Two-Tiered Internet posted at AlexLandis.com.

Gotta admit, I’m not excessively wound up over net neutrality. Seems like a funny concept if the gummit’s has ta enforce it.

Matthew Paulson presents Refinancing Your Home: When It Makes Sense, When It Doesn’t. posted at Getting Green.

A nice set of practical tips.

R.Pettinger presents Why Interest Rates may not Fall posted at Economics Essays.

Sagar Satapathy presents Top 100 Economics Blogs posted at Currency Trading.net.

A nice roundup post. Some quibbles over which blogs are in what categories, but worth a bookmark.

Leticia Velasquez presents The Time I saw Blessed Mother Teresa posted at causa nostrae laetitiae.

Wenchypoo presents The Speed of Life posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo's Mental Wastebasket


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