Suffering, Police State, and the Ditching of Unhappiness

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-01-24 16:09:45 -0500. -- GH

When I was a young, broke but care-free philosopher in the University of Arkansas, hanging out with poets, working at a red-neck bar for beer money, and fancying myself a writer, I worried a lot. The bar had a big red button behind the counter, right above a double-barrel, twelve gage shot gun. I was told it was loaded with rock salt. Pressing the red button killed the juke box and called the cops. I only had to use those bar-back tools once, then promptly quit.

Fair Fines and Flatulence Taxes for the Half-Glass Empty Class

I'm so happy I found this haven for lost diaries... Again, I posted this at the KOS and watched it slide down the great orange slopes. Again, it was rescued, and praised by a few diligent readers there. And, again, I bring it to you. Thank you for being here.

"I guess it depends if you're a half-glass empty guy or a half-glass full guy."
—George W. Bush

Ever get a parking ticket when you were a half-glass empty guy? Or maybe you were a full-glass full guy, in Bernie Madoff's old neighborhood, and you've had some million dollar months? A $100 equals a tenth of a grand a month, one ten-thousandth of a million. If you make $50,000 a year (a little above the median), that ticket is 0.024% of your monthly income. If you make $12 million  per year, it's 0.0001%, approximately 240 times less than the median American's unhappiness over the same violation.

A flat tax would be more fair than a flat fine. At least with flat income taxes, we'd all be paying the same percentage of our income.

Dwindling tax revenues force governments to look for ways to balance their budgets. Draconian nose amputations are showing up in emergency rooms all over America. More are on their way. Regressive taxes are just worsening the pain on the lowest earners.

Waking the Dead - Book Review Discussion

book coverAaron Barlow brings his perspective to this review of Waking the Dead: A Review of The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: Getting High Minded About Love and Haight edited by Steven Gimbel (Chicago: Open Court, 2007)

Barlow states:

But trivial this book is not. As Gimbel goes on to say, some of those Deadheads who argued all topics into the wee hours while listening to traded tapes of Dead shows went on to study philosophy seriously. This volume is the result.

Read the review on the Journal and come back here to discuss!