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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Are They That Naive?

The Roanoke Times, as usual, thinks Obama's scheme to tax offshore profits will work. Ah, the minds of little children:
Cracking down on tax shelters
editorial

A chill breeze is blowing through offshore tax havens, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not pleased.

Following through on a campaign pledge, President Obama announced plans to target overseas tax shelters and bring in an additional $190 billion or so in tax revenue over the next decade.

A chamber economist decried the proposal. "The U.S. multinationals employ millions of American workers," said Martin Regalia, chief economist for the group. "If you make the parent companies less profitable, you're not going to create more jobs."

But Obama's proposals are sensible and fair. [link]
No, they're not.

Unless you consider two countries taxing the same profits (as will be the case in certain circumstances) "fair." And unless you think corporations that can move offshore lock-stock-and-barrel (as thousands have already, to places like China) "sensible."

The president would have done his country a favor by lowering the crushing tax rates this country has imposed and keeping those corporations here. But then that would have been too ... sensible.

Annie B May Have An Opponent

It looks like Virginia's 6th District is going to have a contest. And that's good. And if this person is chosen to be the Democratic nominee for the House of Delegates seat, it'll be an all-female contest:
Democrat to challenge incumbent in 6th District
By Sharla Bardin, Roanoke Times

Carole Pratt says she can be a strong advocate for the unemployed, small businesses and rural health care if she is elected to the House of Delegates in the 6th District, which includes all of Bland and parts of Giles, Pulaski, Tazewell and Wythe counties.

Pratt, who lives in Pulaski County, said Monday that she will challenge Del. Anne Crockett-Stark, R-Wytheville, for the seat.

Pratt, 57, a Democrat, said, "With unemployment doubling, I'm really so anxious to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem in Richmond for the people who are having tough times in the district.

"The thing that pushes me to run is the economy and the number of jobs we've seen flow out of the district over the last year."

Pratt said she practiced dentistry in Pulaski County with her husband for 32 years and is now retired. She said she also served on the commonwealth's board of health in Richmond and is now working with the National Rural Health Association. [link]
Well, the résumé is woefully weak, and I'm not sure what she means when she says she's "part of the problem," but I like a good contest.

This could be a hoot.

Learn To Ignore Them

Bret Stephens, writing in the Wall Street Journal, has 'em pegged:
Swine-Flu Hysteria

Of course the winner of the contest is [Vice President Joe] Biden, since he lacks even the excuse of a self-interested motive. But standing right behind the vice president is a legion of heavily credentialed panic proliferators.

These are the people whose terrifying forecasts you last heard during the avian flu panic of 2005 (deaths to date: 257, according to the World Health Organization) and the SARS panic of 2002-2003 (774 deaths). By contrast, garden-variety flus typically kill upwards of 30,000 Americans a year.

You might also have a vague memory of the "mad cow" panic that gripped the world in the 1990s. In his 1997 book "Deadly Feasts," Richard Rhodes warned that the human variant of mad cow, known as vCJD, might kill as many as 500,000 people a year in Britain alone. So far, total confirmed cases world-wide run to around 150.

In other words, despite all the processes of globalization that are said to be leading us toward nature's great comeuppance, trend lines indicate we are better equipped than ever to minimize the effects of a pandemic.

Why? Because wealthier people tend to be healthier people, and because wealthier societies have more to invest in medicine and research, and because a higher standard of living tends to correlate with more personal space. Also, because globalization means information sharing across boundaries, and rapid adoption of best practices, and greater transparency. [link]
"Garden-variety flus typically kill upwards of 30,000 Americans a year." Yet I heard Fox News's Shepard Smith last night announce in histrionic tones the death of a Texan at the hands of swine flu.

One, for God's sake.

And I'll bet these people expect us to take them seriously ...

Food For Thought

A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said: “Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even one year old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together.”

So the doctor said: “Okay, and what do you want me to do?”

She said: “I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.”

The doctor thought for a moment and after some silence he said to the lady: “I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.”

She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

Then he continued: “You see, in order for you not to have to take care of two babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If you're willing to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. And there would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.”

The lady was horrified and said: “No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!”

“I agree,” the doctor replied.