90% Communist

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist party?”  That was a question asked during one of the darker spots of our governmental history.  A time, not unlike today, where the appearance or accusation of impropriety could ruin a person – usually to the financial and political betterment of some… Continue reading 90% Communist

Musings for the day-

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately related to the recent tax bill. The posts center around that idea that everyone should go back to a barter system so that nothing is taxed. This is usually supported with the following statement, “If we all barter for goods and services, it’s free.” I see similar posts centered around growing your own food, it’s free!(That’s a post for another time, but a compatible argument)

The absurdity of this statement cannot be understated. 1st – Bartering in the United States is taxable, so even then, the .Gov gets its shekels. 2nd- Money is, at it’s basest level is a representation of time. Time = Money. When you barter something, you’re still trading your time- time to gather materials, to fashion a product, whether it’s by trade or agriculture or a product of your education, such as surgery or IT work and trade it for something else that you want. The flaw in the above posts, of course, is that whoever has something you want may have no need of what you offer. Or they may not place the same value on their time and efforts that you do. How many original comic books produced by you does the dentist want for fixing your cavity? By using the coin of the realm as the medium of exchange we enable a far more flexible and efficient economy.

This is pretty obvious when you spend a moment on the problem, but it is remarkable how many people choose to ignore it in favor of maintaining their political or philosophical position. I have friends, anyone from regular Joes & Janes that oppose the idea of taxation, to highly educated conservatives and hippy commune loving liberals to Constitutionalists and Libertarians. They may have different reasons for supporting the above silliness, but all of them ignore the same basic flaw.

Most of us want more money for ourselves, and to feel that we’re rewarded for the work we do without having to give so much of it away, however much that amount may be. With that said, a bad argument rooted in disinformation is worse than the honest truth. Keep it honest, people, it will serve you better.

Free Time

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately related to the recent tax bill.  The posts center around that idea that everyone should go back to a barter system so that nothing is taxed.  This is usually supported with the following statement, “If we all barter for goods and services, it’s free.”  I see similar… Continue reading Free Time

The past couple of weeks have been pretty centered around the whole Net Neutrality debacle. It was a given that the FCC under Ajit Pai was going to repeal it, but what is going to happen next has been less clear. There’s a lot of alarmist stuff passing through my feed, but quite honestly, this won’t be a clear case of suddenly all of the Internet costs you extra. Here’s what is more likely to happen, in fact some of it has been happening for the past couple of months in anticipation of the repeal.

You’re going to start seeing more service offerings from your cable and cell phone providers. I know that sounds like the exact opposite of what you’ve been reading, but hear me out. These services will duplicate familiar 3rd party offerings, such as Netflix or Dropbox. But unlike those services, these ones won’t count towards your bandwidth cap or be throttled for “network reliability” reasons. Of course, there will be a bit of a fee for that, but not much more or less than what you’re already paying for those other services, so why not bundle it all in? If you’re on Charter or AT&T, you might have already been getting calls/emails/texts offering you the option to try their new alternatives.

Previously free services will be phased out in favor of paid options. Sure you’ve been using apps like Verizon’s Cloud to back up your photos and contacts for the past several years but now they’re getting rid of that in favor of a new, better option. Yeah it costs a bit more per month, but you can store more and it’s integrated right into your phone. Plus it won’t count against your data cap, unlike when you use apps like Dropbox or Good Drive. And because it is a Verizon service, you’ll never have to worry about connectivity issues and network slow down like when dealing with those 3rd party options.(Not that you had to before, unless of course they’re being deliberately throttled, right?)

The loss of Net Neutrality won’t result in a huge wave of blatant abuse, it will be more subtle than that, I promise you. For every deliberate act of abuse there will be ten more that won’t be obvious at all. And behind it all will be a bunch of paid shills – Congressman, radio hosts and network talking heads telling you that everything is fine. And behind them will be a bunch people you know – your teachers, your friends and family, pastors and local leaders who repeat these things as truth, never questioning their veracity. Everything is fine.

Everything is fine, indeed…

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