progressivism

The Nation mag: Single-earner households are cheating the government out of tax revenue

Have you ever cleaned your house? Walked your dog? Made a meal for your kids? Well according to the NYT and, more recently, the “progressives” at The Nation, you’ve stolen from the federal government through lost tax revenue, you dirty thief.

From The Nation:

…single-earner households are getting a bonus another way: the labor a mother or father performs in the home caring for a kid or wiping down a counter is unpaid and therefore goes untaxed. When two parents work outside the home and pay someone to watch their children, both those incomes are taxed.

That has got to be the most idiotic group of words to ever form a paragraph. This ins’t progressivism or liberalism as they were once defined. Quite the opposite. This is totalitarianism. This line of reasoning (for lack of a better word) is based on the notion that the government owns you and you must work for it. You are not your own. You and the things you steward belong to the government.

Twitchy has more:

You see, by being a stay at home parent, you are a recipient of government benevolence because your “labor” is not taxed. Funny. We were always under the impression that it was income that was taxed, not labor. But the moonbats are actually arguing that by performing labor without income, you are technically stealing—or at least receiving benefits—from the government. Your labor is not your own.

Read the Rest

Here are a few responses:

Can someone remind me of the term for the view of history that, as time goes forward, people inevitably move closer to liberation/social conditions inevitably improve? I thought it was histotical progressivism but I haven’t been able to find anything and I KNOW there’s a real term for it somewhere in some Foucault piece or something.

Listening to the timbre of the conversations at the Dane County Farmers Market, one of the largest in the country, you’d think the topic was vaccination or Gaza. “What exactly is in this scone?” “Are your emus happy? How much space do they have to roam free?” “When you say ‘flour’ on the label, what kind of flour is that?”

Yet food pantries remain full of the same canned pumpkin and expired boxed meals they always have. Obese people are shamed and told what to eat, while people deemed skinny enough to have an eating disorder are also shamed for not taking care of their “health.” There is a serious disconnect here that should tell anyone who’s paying attention that this is not about justice or health in any form––it is about vanity.

When asking the server how the animal being served was prepared, no one seems to wonder whether that server has basic health insurance or whether that server is affected by the fact that the restaurant industry has one of the highest rates of sexual harassment and lowest rates of pay. When waxing poetic about the “salt of the Earth” farmers from which they buy their unpasteurized milk, no one seems to worry that an estimated 10 percent of American farm workers are children. When pearl-clutching over the things we “don’t know” about GMOs, as Kavin pointed out, no one seems to be concerned about their presence in groceries found at Price Rite––only products sold at Whole Foods.

If you are not as concerned about the people handing you your food in the restaurant as you are about the pigs on the farm where it was grown, your approach is classist….If you start telling someone all about your new trendy diet or asking them about theirs without knowing if they have an eating disorder that may be triggered by your prattle, your approach is ableist. If you tsk-tsk at people who are overweight for what they are eating and claim you’re concerned about their health, yet you’re not actively campaigning to make healthy food more accessible and affordable, your approach is sickening and I don’t want you in my activism.
In America, though, life seems to move faster than anywhere else on the globe and each generation is promised more than it will get: which creates, in each generation, a furious, bewildered rage, the rage of people who cannot find solid ground beneath their feet.
—  James Baldwin, ”The Harlem Ghetto” 
France ends 75% tax on rich after it fails

In, perhaps, the least shocking news of 2014, France’s 75% super-tax failed to bring in as much income as the progressive socialists who sold it to the unsuspecting French public said it would.

From Reuters (via Yahoo! Finance):

When President Francois Hollande unveiled a “super-tax” on the rich in 2012, some feared an exodus of business, sporting and artistic talent. One adviser warned it was a Socialist step too far that would turn France into “Cuba without sun”.

Two years on, with the tax due to expire at the end of this month, the mass emigration has not happened. But the damage to France’s appeal as a home for top earners has been great, and the pickings from the levy paltry.
"The reform clearly damaged France’s reputation and competitiveness," said Jorg Stegemann, head of Kennedy Executive, an executive search firm based in France and Germany.

"It clearly has become harder to attract international senior managers to come to France than it was," he added.
Hollande first floated the 75-percent super-tax on earnings over 1 million euros ($1.2 million) a year in his 2012 campaign to oust his conservative rival Nicolas Sarkozy. It fired up left-wing voters and helped him unseat the incumbent.

Yet ever since, it has been a thorn in his side, helping little in France’s effort to bring its public deficit within European Union limits and mixing the message just as Hollande sought to promote a more pro-business image. The adviser who made the “Cuba” gag was Emmanuel Macron, the ex-banker who is now his economy minister.

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As usual, this was a progressive tax policy based off of envy, rather than sound economics or principles such as liberty. And its result was utter predictable.

As we’ve written before on this blog:

…maximizing revenue to a centralized government is a bad idea from the beginning. People should be able to keep the money they earn, plain and simple. But that aside, if your goal is to maximize revenue, the last thing you want to do is raise taxes on the rich to ridiculous levels. When the rich aren’t burdened by high taxation, they spend more money, take more risk, hire more employees, invest, etc. When spending and profits and employment go up, so does tax revenue. However, when the rich are burdened (or threatened) by high taxation and regulation, they spend less, hire fewer workers, invest less, take less risk and find ways to hide income. This obviously leads to less tax revenue. It’s a principle explained perfectly by the Laffer curve

Massive tax hikes almost always have the opposite of their supposed intended effect.

We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.
—  C.S. Lewis
Statists never sleep: PA Dem wants to ban human silhouette targets

I wish I could report to you that this was an article from The Onion, but it isn’t. It’s real. There are actually people this stupid. And they hold positions of power.

Here’s the text from his official legislative page:

In the near future, I will introduce legislation amending Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, which will address the use of human silhouette targets at shooting ranges.

Rather than perpetuate violence by continuing to allow individuals to practice their target shooting by shooting at human silhouette targets at shooting ranges, my legislation will prohibit the use of targets that depict human silhouettes at shooting ranges across the Commonwealth. Instead, silhouette targets could include, but are not limited to the following: white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, and elk.

My legislation creates a new section under Title 18 Chapter 61 regarding firearms and other dangerous articles. Specifically, the bill prohibits the use of human silhouette targets at shooting ranges across the Commonwealth except by law enforcement officers, military personnel or other public safety personnel in line with their official duties. If a person violates the provisions of the new section, he or she will commit a summary offense.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Are they just completely out of problems to solve in Pennsylvania? Because I can think of 128 billion problems they have.

H/T: AoSHQ, The Truth About Guns

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One in two adult American women is a former Girl Scout—a statistic I had thought very unreal when I first came across it, despite falling on the positive side of it myself. Say what you will about the vests, but those goody-goody girls I had worried would tarnish my cool? They have become one of the world’s most powerful and progressive women’s organizations.

more.

Elizabeth Warren's 11 Commandments of Progressivism
  1. "We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it."
  2. "We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth."
  3. "We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality."
  4. "We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage."
  5. "We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them."
  6. "We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt."
  7. "We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions."
  8. "We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work."
  9. "We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America."
  10. "We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform."
  11. "And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturnHobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”

Story here

Lawmakers look to ban powdered alcohol before it hits the shelves

When in doubt, ban it. It’s the government way.

From Yahoo! News:

Powdered alcohol hasn’t even arrived in stores yet, but states already are moving to ban the product touted by its inventor as an easy way to mix a drink on the go.

Colorado is the latest state considering prohibiting “Palcohol” amid concern it will increase underage drinking. The product is marketed as an ounce of rum or vodka in powdered form, which is then added to water.

Each serving is the equivalent of a shot of liquor, according to Lipsmark, the company that owns Palcohol.

"I think being proactive and jumping out in front of the problem is probably the right thing to do," said Chris Johnson, executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado. "It really doesn’t have any place in our society, powered alcohol. We have enough problems with the liquid kind."

Johnson said he fears powdered alcohol will make it easier for children to “sprinkle it on top of their Wheaties for breakfast” and increase the potential for alcohol poisoning.

"It can be a very dangerous thing," he said.

Read the Rest

It should be illegal because it might be dangerous? I suppose we should ban swimming pools, fireplaces, sports, sex, amusement parks, eating, staying home, leaving homesleepingnot sleeping, pets, tractors and peanuts while we’re at it. Any of those things might be dangerous. Or, you know, we could let free people make their own choices and live with the consequences. That might work too, right?

As a teetotaler, I have some objectivity when it comes to this issue. I personally think it is unwise to purchase a substance that can be easily misused and could potentially have horrible consequences. That’s not a good combination. But you know what? It’s none of my business what others do. I can give what I believe to be sound advice, but I am not arrogant enough to think that I have the right to coerce anyone to do, or not do, anything, so long as they are not infringing on the rights of others.

As usual, let’s remember the immortal words of C.S. Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

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I was a progressive until I learned the hard way that it is wrong to assume that when police arrive they will help or protect you. Fortunately, I’m still alive to say these things. Others aren’t so lucky.

Whenever you’re advocating for the government to come to the rescue [of anyone], maybe first you should check your privilege.

Groundbreaking Report: Federal agents 'directly involved' in most high-profile US terror plots

This is huge, people. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, the federal government has participated in what amounts to entrapment in several (perhaps most) terrorism cases since 9/11, in some cases creating terrorists “out of law-abiding individuals.”

From the Guardian:

Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the “direct involvement” of government agents or informants, a new report says.

Some of the controversial “sting” operations “were proposed or led by informants”, bordering on entrapment by law enforcement. Yet the courtroom obstacles to proving entrapment are significant, one of the reasons the stings persist.

The lengthy report, released on Monday by Human Rights Watch, raises questions about the US criminal justice system’s ability to respect civil rights and due process in post-9/11 terrorism cases. It portrays a system that features not just the sting operations but secret evidence, anonymous juries, extensive pretrial detentions and convictions significantly removed from actual plots.

"In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act," the report alleges.

Out of the 494 cases related to terrorism the US has tried since 9/11, the plurality of convictions – 18% overall – are not for thwarted plots but for “material support” charges, a broad category expanded further by the 2001 Patriot Act that permits prosecutors to pursue charges with tenuous connections to a terrorist act or group.

In one such incident, the initial basis for a material-support case alleging a man provided “military gear” to al-Qaida turned out to be waterproof socks in his luggage.

Read the Rest

This kind of abuse of power is exactly what our founders warned us against. The various arms of the federal government (FBI, NSA, CIA, EPA, ATF, IRS, DHS, etc) are nothing but an unconstitutional fourth branch with virtually unlimited power and no accountability. If the allegations in this report are true, it should be enough to make anyone, progressive or otherwise, question the proper role of government.