kirisutogomen: (lifeboat)
Very nice NYTimes interactive on corporate taxes

A few random observations:

The numbers are totals from a six year period from 2007 to 2012.

"Effective tax rate" is simply total taxes paid divided by total profit. Some companies that lost money still paid a lot of tax, the extreme example being AIG, whose net six-year profit was negative $83 billion but still paid $8 billion in taxes (a weird case, of course, because the US government owned them for a bit in the middle there). Citigroup had a net loss of $24 billion over the period but paid $20 billion in taxes.

Just recently Apple got reamed for paying less tax than some guys thought they should, but their effective tax rate is roughly comparable to IBM, Google, GE, and Coca Cola, and well above Verizon, Boeing, Amazon, or Ford.

A year or two ago there was a lot of yakking about how we needed to close tax "loopholes" for Big Oil. All the blather never resulted in any change, but Big Oil seems to have been paying a lot of tax already. ConocoPhilips paid $58 billion in taxes on $79 billion profit, Chevron paid $85 billion on $220 billion, and ExxonMobil $146 billion on $395 billion. Unfortunately the chart only includes S&P 500 companies, so Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum do not appear.
kirisutogomen: (Default)
Not everything that government ought to be doing ought to be done by the federal government.

Not everything worth doing ought to be done by government.

In other words, "X is a good thing and we should do it" is not sufficient reason for the federal government to do X.

Even if X is a good that is universally required, that in itself does not tell us how it is best provided. We do not have collectivized farms, or government-run supermarkets, or state-operated clothing stores. Thank goodness.

Go ahead and argue the specifics of any given issue, but don't think that "hey this promotes the general welfare" is enough to justify a federal agency.
kirisutogomen: (Megiddo hockey)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to camp out in your park, strew trash all over, and forcibly block the local farmers' market.


Mar. 28th, 2011 08:50 am
kirisutogomen: (Default)
Resolved: A person should not be allowed to run for political office unless they can correctly answer this question.

"Is the following deductive reasoning logically valid?

Premise One: Something Must be Done
Premise Two: This is Something
Conclusion: Therefore, This Must be Done"
kirisutogomen: (Default)
If I were you, I'd restrain the urge to whip out the bullhorns and lead your comrades in an invigorating round of "YES WE DID". I'd hate to see you so soon forget the lesson of "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"; you might want to think about the idea that maybe all that's happened is really the easiest, smallest step of the process, not the whole kit and additionally caboodle. Passing a law (overthrowing a government) is much much easier than actual reform (nation-building).

It's one of the most common political mistakes to think that passing a law is the solution to a problem. You really need to be a bit more careful about follow-through. Check to see if the law is doing what you thought it would. I especially suggest this because the just-signed law is in fact not going to do anything like what you think it's going to.


Feb. 9th, 2009 08:17 pm
kirisutogomen: (Default)

A little silly, sure. But no sillier than the original. I mean, I can stick any word I want on someone's picture, whether it's "HOPE" or "CHANGE" or "TAPIOCA". Doesn't make it true. If I feel anxiety or apprehension looking at the man's face, telling me that you feel hope doesn't change anything, and if I already feel hope when I see the man's face, well, showing me a picture isn't going to change that either.
kirisutogomen: (NGC 4631)
This is the sort of thing [ profile] dpolicar usually posts, rather than me, but it was my mother who pointed me at it, and I figured people might be interested anyway: Obama and Religion.

Also, I saw the movie Traitor and it was better than I expected. It wasn't precisely the genre the ads had suggested, either, which had something to do with my pleasant surprise.
kirisutogomen: (Megiddo hockey)
I'm voting for McCain. If you disagree with my political choice, that's OK. If you think I'm a bad person because of my political choice, you are hereby invited to go fuck yourself.
kirisutogomen: (Default)
Don't want to argue about Palin. It'll just piss me off.
So what will I do instead? )


Feb. 5th, 2008 01:27 pm
kirisutogomen: (Default)
Turns out I couldn't vote. I thought I was registered Republican, but it turns out I was registered Libertarian, and there is no Libertarian primary. I've now switched to unenrolled, because it seems like the dominant strategy, but I guess it doesn't take right away, so no voting for me today.

Incidentally, I took a look at the Working Families Party ballot, and (in my precinct) there were no actual candidates to vote for. You could mark "No Preference" for a couple of things, but there weren't actually any names. Seems like with even a half-decent write-in campaign you could get the Presidential nomination. I should have thought of that a couple of months ago; I could be running for President. :-)
kirisutogomen: (Default)
Probability of winning nomination:

McCain 90%
Romney 8%
Ronald Reagan 2%

Clinton 56%
Obama 44%
kirisutogomen: (NGC 4631)
G.K. Chesterton on modern political reporting: On the Cryptic and Elliptic.

Of course, sometimes politicians can be unintelligible without the help of journalists:
Huckabee is vertical
kirisutogomen: (NGC 4631)
With two months before Super Duper Tuesday, I ought to update the tables of presidential primary contestants. Previous editions were in April 2006 and June 2007, documenting the collapse of John McCain, Mark Warner, and George Allen, and the rise of Barack Obama and Fred Thompson. Highlights of the conversations included [personal profile] arcanology's pronouncement that someone betting on Mitt Romney would be crazy, and [profile] greyautumnrain's suggestion that Mitt Romney would not only win the primary but also the general election.

To the Bat-tables, Robin! )
kirisutogomen: (Default)
What an ugly word. )
kirisutogomen: (Megiddo hockey)
Last spring, I posted a few implied probabilities for party presidential nominees. Obviously things have changed in the ensuing 14 months, so I figured I should update the table, and also link to a summary of a paper describing an entirely different, yet strangely accurate, method for predicting election winners.

Major differences from last year include the disappearance of Mark Warner and George Allen, and the appearance of Barack Obama and Fred Thompson.
Table behind cut )


kirisutogomen: (Default)

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