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  1. Neomalthusian

    "Creative" Accounting

    All government agencies? Looks like most of this concerns the Department of Defense, which given the often classified nature of the work they do, is not that mind-blowingly shocking. That's not to say there's enough internal controls and fraud and abuse prevention mechanisms in place. Maybe there are, maybe there aren't. But the purpose of a standard financial audit is to make publicly available the information that shareholders (or prospective shareholders) need to be able to make decisions, or in the case of government to allow the public to be able to hold the government accountable. How the people can hold its government accountable for military expenditures is a tall order, because as I said, it is typical for countries' military-related activities to be kept shrounded in quite a bit of secrecy.
  2. Z09, you kind of opened yourself up to a lot of this criticism by stating things that make it seem like you don't understand tax brackets. However, the continuous populist appeal to super-high marginal tax rates of the post-WW2 era are highly obnoxious, because they ignore several things. 1) The high tax rates of the 1950s were paid by virtually no one, there were numerous loopholes that allowed wealthy people to avoid extremely steep tax bills, and tax revenue as a % of GDP was not significantly different than what its average has been since the 1980s. So if increasing revenue as a percent of GDP is not indicated as a likely result of super-high income taxes, what is the point? 2) Capital immobility in the post-WW2 era compared to today. Numerous prominent economists who favor progressive taxation on high incomes and wealth have called for first establishing unprecedented new levels of international cooperation regarding controlling the movement of cross-border financial assets so that progressive tax systems can actually do what they're supposed to do. Why would they recommend this, if a single nation could effectively just aggressively tax its own wealth without it backfiring? This recommendation is ignored by high-tax-advocating left-wing populists. 3) We have truly fiat currency today, which we did not have in the post-WW2 era, and it's the world's reserve currency. Why does this matter? Because it means the federal government does not have to worry about taxes and debt in the traditional sense that a non-monetarily sovereign entity like a municipal government does. Instead, it only really has to worry about inflation and the over-consumption and/or monopolization of important real resources (money isn't itself a real resource). This means governments can focus more on the types of taxes that achieve certain policy or behavioral goals such as discouraging overconsumption and controlling inflation, rather than having to think about taxation as a means to procure money to turn around and spend (because government doesn't have to, it can essentially spend money into existence). But when you're a liberal populist running for elected office, these technical realities are inconvenient impediments to riling up the idiots.
  3. No it isn't. Like I said, tell it to the most conservative jurisdiction you can find. People who work in government understand the need to maintain basic decency and order. There are minimum standards to being able to dwell within a government's jurisdiction. People who don't like paying their garbage bills can't create landfills in their yard. People who don't want to pay sewer bills can't bury their excrement in the yard. People who make living spaces such that they're outside the law are asking for the government to intervene, and it will, even in conservative jurisdictions. I've worked in a conservative jurisdiction, in the freedom-loving Alaska, no less, which is always full of anti-government private property individual liberty champions. Nonetheless, the law is the law, and I don't (and didn't) put up with law-violators' petulant belly-aching. That's not really pertinent to the legitimacy of public health codes.
  4. Gotta love websites where sh** like this is embedded in its articles: Noah's family discovered on lost island? (Incredible Pictures!) Suggestive of the intelligence level of the site's most frequent visitors.
  5. We need to elect leaders who will take action to combat man-made global magnetic pole shift.
  6. Want to go lecture some of the nation's most conservative city councils to repeal their public health code? Go for it. But acting like New York City is some uniquely Communist nightmare because of public health ordinances that are ubiquitous even in rural towns is just plainly silly. Even our very most conservative local governments have laws regarding this stuff. How many times have I said this now? Are you paying attention?
  7. Most deep red Republican-voting freedom-loving municipalities have standard public health codes establishing local government power to declare private property a public health threat or nuisance and call on local law enforcement to close the property to occupation and remove the occupant. The mayor may well be bluffing with some of his insinuations that he knows wouldn't survive an hour before the courts, but there's a decent chance the bluff is to grab attention of some of the lawless dirt-bag landlords New York City has a reputation for and hopefully inspire them to stop breaking laws.
  8. I have zero partisan desire to defend De Blasio based on his politics or anything else, in fact I'd enjoy smearing him all day long on several issues. But on this one I have to give him some benefit of the doubt. Even if he's threatening to do things that would be "communist" and unconstitutional, if it's part of a provocative posture to grab the attention of crappy landlords who abuse tenants and violate public health codes with their rentals to remind them to follow the law, then I kind of get it.
  9. That's right. In this case, there appears to be reference to making rentals "unlivable." Most municipalities have public health codes that forbid living in spaces without, for example, connection into the sewer system, and in those cases where people are living outside of the public health code, even in conservative municipalities, the government establishes authority to condemn dwellings from habitation and force people out to figure out a solution to their situation that doesn't violate the public health code. This is done so that people don't dwell in their own cess pools. And when you consider this, it begins to look like this article from Fox is partisan hack journalism.
  10. Each side of the left-right political spectrum has its extremes that gets into "fvcked up" territory.
  11. It's delusional ideology. It's people make-believing that there are rich people somewhere behind the scenes who can just cut the check, but don't want to, but can be forced to.
  12. Who does California think is going to pay for its wildfire damage? Its residents, or its residents? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/business/energy-environment/pge-bankruptcy-california.html Dennis Herrera, the city attorney for San Francisco, where PG&E has its headquarters, mentioned the possibility of a publicly owned utility to ensure affordable and reliable power. He said his office would “remain vigilant” that the company would not “shift its failures onto the back of hardworking residents.” It's a utility. How does $30 billion in liability just get "paid for" by the utility without affecting the utility's customers (residents)? Where do these people (critics of "the company") envision the money will come from?
  13. Bunch of political hacks in this thread who neither understand nor want to understand the dynamics of our health care system.
  14. The same linguistic transposition happened to ESPN's Mike Greenberg. I guess the Rochestor Mayor should not rest until his career is ended too, yeah? Speaking of, now the mayor is grandstanding about bringing "healing" to the people, after she was the one that spearheaded the career assassination of an innocent dude for a simple linguistic flub. Screw this narcissist. Resign and go teach Critical Race Theory at some third rate community college.
  15. Glad to see some agreement on this one.