November 5, 2008

At the Gingko Café...

DSC09603

... you can tell us how you really feel.

42 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Aren't Gingkos the tree that drops all its leaves in one foul swoop?

We had an oak in our back yard for a while and it clung tenaciously, bitterly to its leaves. I was always raking around Thanksgiving. I'm glad that tree is gone.

This is not a metaphor.

Ron said...

I feel I can go back to using my brain again, ignoring DC altogether, after this stupefying election.

Triangle Man said...

MM,
Ginkos can do this, but so can other varieties. They are great shade trees, but female Ginko trees are infamous for dropping lots sticky seeds.

American Liberal Elite said...

Stinky seeds.

Original Mike said...

I have a honey locust in the backyard which drops thousands of pods, mainly in Dec after the city has stopped collecting. I hate that aspect of the tree, but it's as old as I am and I have not been able to bring myself to kill it. Yet.

Triangle Man said...

American Liberal Elite said...

Stinky seeds.


Oops. Word-o. Thanks.

Stephanie Shaw said...

Sad.
My husband works his ass off. Worked his ass of through high school and college. Took out loans for med school that he paid off fully, well into his 40's. Gives charitably to his church, alma mater as well as many other groups. Suffers with cancer but works his ass off every day. But it isn't enough because he is "selfish" for thinking 40% of what he earns isn't enough to give to the government. He doesn't earn more than $250,000 but we don't kid ourselves. It will never be enough (50%? 50%?)and we will not enjoy the retirement he has worked so hard for.
I'm sad and frustrated but I will not teach my 7 year old that others are responsible for his well being.

Stephanie Shaw said...

But man is that a pretty tree.

Pastafarian said...

How I really feel:

a) Proud of the smoothness of the transition; but said pride tempered by my certainty that things wouldn't have been so smooth if the other side had won.

b) Proud of the fact that an African-American won the presidency, just a few decades after there was rampant racism and real, brutal discrimination; but again tempered by the obvious fact that he won primarily because of his race.

c) Worried, primarily about what an extremely liberal Democrat president, with solid majorities in both houses and a sweeping mandate, will do to our economy, and how I'll continue to keep our business open and provide a living for my family and for everyone that I know, should he do half of what he's promised.

d) Under-appreciated, I think that would be the best term; a man just won the presidency by running on a platform that basically puts a target on my back -- a platform that couldn't be more perfect in its intention to drive me (owner/operator of a small manufacturer) out of the country. Card check; a $9.50 minimum wage; seven paid sick days; higher personal tax rates (which S corps pay); permanent 45% death tax; "skyrocketing" (Obama's own word) electricity costs; and an "Expat Tax" (confiscation of a substantial portion of assets) if we decide to try and escape.

That's how I feel. Now pour me something a little stronger than this damned herbal tea. (Seems like about all they'd serve at the "Gingko Cafe'".)

former law student said...

but again tempered by the obvious fact that he won primarily because of his race.

Sure, just like JFK won because he was Roman Catholic, which attracted the nascent Reagan (another good Irishman) Democrats.

But, even if this were true, that makes him unexceptional -- all previous Presidents won primarily because they were white males.

former law student said...

permanent 45% death tax

Republicans talk a good game of meritocracy, but they favor winners of the genetic lottery.

chuck b. said...

I feel that Gingko should be spelt Ginkgo.

Rob said...

I'm feeling a little confused. The one political constant I've observed over the last 40 years is that a politician will do and say whatever he thinks necessary to gain a position of control, and will then do and say whatever he thinks necessary to consolidate his gains and accrue more control. Why do so many people think Barack Obama is in any way different? He is a professional politician, after all.

I am bewildered by this outpouring of political faith in the same way I am bewildered by the faith of profoundly religious people. I envy their ability to believe, but I don't seem to be able to share it.

That said, congratulations to Barack and his followers. I hope he meets all your expectations, and none of mine.

Palladian said...

"with solid majorities in both houses and a sweeping mandate"

It's the solid majorities in both houses bit that worries me. But I think you're wrong about the "sweeping mandate". In terms of actual numbers, it was a clear victory but not a landslide. There's still a near even ideological division in America, with a lot of moderate grey in between.

laura said...

feeling sunny.

Original Mike said...

all previous Presidents won primarily because they were white males.

Piercing analysis, FLS. Bush beat Kerry and Gore because he was a white male. Clinton beat Dole and Bush because he was a white male. Bush beat Dukais because he was ...

Pastafarian said...

"permanent 45% death tax

Republicans talk a good game of meritocracy, but they favor winners of the genetic lottery."

FLS, are you trying to pick a fight here in the tranquil Gingko Cafe'?

So...if I work 70+ hours per week to keep our business going, missing who-knows-how-many soccer games and recitals, pouring as much money as we can back into the business, until I die (that's my retirement plan right there) with my hand clutched around the mouse in a deathgrip; at that point, the government deserves 45% of all of the money that I've acquired, despite the fact that I've already paid income tax on it.

And the idea that I should be able to pass that wealth on to my children, who I've worked and slaved to provide for my entire life...that's some sort of great injustice, because they're genetically related to me. Much better that this money be distributed to people that I don't know.

Is that the general idea, then?

So, if when I die, the business is worth (in the eyes of the IRS) $10 million, after whatever exemption Obama decides upon (let's say $2 million), the heirs to the business will owe the government $3.6 million.

Where do they come up with that? By liquidating the business; and the assets will be worth just a small portion of the IRS's valuation. That's why there are so few multi-generational family businesses and farms.

So I'll work and slave and put what little I make after taxes back into the business, so that the business can weather "skyrocketing" electric rates and pay whatever minimum wage some idiot decides is sufficient and so on, just so that money can, in the end, be taxed one more time, and redistributed to a few thousand lazy unemployed bastards sitting on their sofas and watching television.

Perhaps, FLS, you'd like something to chase that herbal tea; try a warm, steaming cup of STFU.

Trooper York said...

It looks like the Yankees might make a run at Manny Ramirez. I don't think they will get Teixeria and two Scott Bora’s clients will break the bank. And I think Manny will want to stick it to the Red Sox. So we should sign two big time pitchers and Manny and make a few trades. We will be dumping Robbie Cano in a deal for a pitcher or two. Posada will go to first base and Matsui will be traded to Seattle. It will be a busy off season for the Yankees.

mnotaro said...

Anyone notice in Barak's speech last night...NOW he's saying he doesn't think all the damage can be repaired and all of his goals can be achieved in one year...or maybe even in one term!! Can you believe it? He is already setting up the public for when he fails at all the ridiculous promises and lies he has told...remember, he is a politician people...this is what he does for a living...and the public fell for it! Liberal illuminati at work again....

David said...

Hey, I just got my first look at the dress Michelle Obama wore last night to celebrate her husband's win. It looked like she had just finished a paintball match.

Palladian said...

former law student, I suggest you pick up some of the Ginko leaves lying around here and eat them, they say it's good for the brain, and you obviously need some help in that department.

Palladian said...

"It looked like she had just finished a paintball match."

Wait until you see what she has planned for the redecoration of the White House.

Hey, should we still call it "the White House"?

Lawgiver said...

My 22 year old son voted for Obama. We were texting last night and he compared Obama to Shakespeare's Mark Anthony. Being the pizza car driving, $20,000 in debt, soon to be dropping out of his senior year as a theatre arts major college kid, he voted for hope and change. I agreed that Obama is a gifted speaker but remarked that Obama was no Mark Anthony. Son reiterated that a man who appeals to emotion will prevail over the man of who tries to appeal to intellect. My point was that while Shakespeare's Anthony may have had the rhetoric down, he also had the military chops to back it up.

I paid for the first 40K of his education but The Bank of The Lawgiver closed its doors last January. I love my son, I hope Obama takes care of him.

Palladian said...

"I love my son, I hope Obama takes care of him."

Didn't you hear, free college for everyone!

Darcy said...

Hang in there, Lawgiver. I'd bet he'll be fine with a father like you.

Bissage said...

[T]ell us how you really feel.

No more full body massages for Gov. Palin until she settles her account!!11!1

I wasn't born yesterday.

CarmelaMotto said...

Bobby Jindal and Paul Ryan in 2012! Wooo!

former law student said...

And the idea that I should be able to pass that wealth on to my children, who I've worked and slaved to provide for my entire life

The best thing you can do for your children is teach them how to make their own way in the world. Otherwise it's rags to riches to rags in three generations. We've all heard of trust fund wastrels. Do you really want to be breeding more Paris Hiltons? Moreover, what do you care what happens to your property after you're dead? Theists and atheists agree: you can't take it with you. Further, what's the difference between people who want to control what happens to their property after they're dead, and people who want their votes to count after they're dead? In either case, they want to have a voice in earthly matters from beyond the grave.

Bush beat Kerry and Gore because he was a white male. Clinton beat Dole and Bush because he was a white male. Bush beat Dukais because he was ...

For well over a century, being white and male were the basic requirements to enter the competition. You can't win if they don't let you play.

Lawgiver said...

Tmink put up a great post about his Dad's sacrifice the other day. Here's one about my Dad.

Born in 1923 on a farm in East Texas Dad grew up during the Great Depression. He said they never wanted for food but they never had any money. Dad first started picking cotton when he was five, he also milked the cows, hunted and fished to help provide for the family. He remembers the first pair of shoes that he didn't have to share with someone else came as a Christmas present when he was eight. When he was 16 Dad wanted to go to college. No one in our family had ever gone to college before and his Dad certainly didn’t have the money for it. But there was a fallow 100 acre field that Dad and his cousin were allowed to farm in their spare time. With the profits from their harvest Dad and his cousin made it to college. Dad joined ROTC in college because they gave him a cheap place to live and some nice clothes. He wanted to be an engineer but WWII happened. Dad was commissioned because he had some college, and was a Marine Aviator for the next 20 years. I didn’t see Dad much as a child, he was in Korea in 1953 when I was born and it seemed he was always deployed to some faraway place. He stayed 20 years in the Corps for the security it brought his family. As a stock broker since 1968 Dad regularly worked 10 to 12 hour days. He was always the first to the office and the last to leave. Three years ago Dad broke his hip and along with his other medical problems he can no longer work. It’s killing him not to be able to work. Dad put all three of his kids through college but when I dropped out he tough loved me and I ended up joining the Air Force. It was the best thing he ever did for me.

I believe the continued growth of the middle class depends on the sacrifices of previous generations of poor people who took advantage of the opportunities which hard work and dedication presented them. I just wonder if today’s poor have what it takes to grow our middle class.

Darcy said...

God bless your Dad, Lawgiver. My Dad was a WWII vet as well.

If you don't already have The Greatest Generation, and especially The Greatest Generation Speaks by Tom Brokaw, I highly recommend them.

Darcy said...

That was quite a scary post, former law student, with regard to your views on an individual's property and wealth, especially after death.

Good heavens. I don't even want to know how many people think like you do.

Lawgiver said...

Thanks for the kind words Darcy!

former law student said...

I don't even want to know how many people think like you do.

Few people here believe in the redistribution of their wealth to those who have done nothing to earn it. Why should they make an exception for their property at death?

Of course, that means family farms and businesses should be exempt from estate tax in proportion to the amount of effort the kids put in.

Cedarford said...

I always think when I see a Gingko tree that I am stepping way back in time - they are a unique tree species, one of the 1st angiosperm plants to evolve. Around for the earlist dinosaurs to nibble on. No other tree species belongs in their classification family.

Nibble a berry or leaf. Mmmm, dinosaur food. Same experience can be had or given to kids with even more ancient plant forms like cycads, gymnosperms, Norwich Pines, club mosses unaltered for 200 million years..

**********

FLS - For well over a century, being white and male were the basic requirements to enter the competition. You can't win if they don't let you play.

No, we had a Native American VP elected in 1928.

What we had with blacks was a shortfall of well-educated ones, an internal battle with dysfunctional culture holding them back as much as "evil white racism" was to blame. Add in too, that each race has different abilities spread along a bell curve, and that the bell curves of a range of abilities between races, or ethnicities, do not perfectly overlap. And blacks, on average, have more shortfalls in abilities and inherent behaviors that Western and Eastern civilizations run on.
We had a rapid rise of Asians in the private sector and in government positions long before blacks had similar impact in areas where their numbers were substantial. Yes, Asian immigration was strictly limited for years so we didn't have to contend with an advanced non-Western civiization with 1st loyalty to distant Emperors - But once here, race was not the impediment for them that angry blacks and their enablers constantly complain it was for them, and still is.

former law student said...

No, we had a Native American VP elected in 1928.

How many Native Americans can grow a mustache like Curtis's?

PJ said...

Darcy: I don't even want to know how many people think like you do.

fls: Few people here believe in the redistribution of their wealth to those who have done nothing to earn it. Why should they make an exception for their property at death?

I find myself in agreement with fls here, at least in principle. I certainly think that, from a property rights point of view, a better argument can be made for exempting earned income from tax than for exempting windfall inheritances. I do believe that the better approach would be to tax inheritances as income to the recipients (perhaps at a special rate and with special provisions for extended payment of tax on illiquid assets) rather than to tax estates directly.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Republicans talk a good game of meritocracy, but they favor winners of the genetic lottery.

Hardly genetic lottery for the estate tax. 1 million dollars of estate value isn't that much to accumulate over a lifetime. Many ordinary working people can be subject to the estate tax. Almost all business owners, farmers, ranchers are hit by this tax.

This is what the exemption goes back to when the Bush tax cuts expire.

"Beginning 2011, the federal estate tax will be reinstated with a federal estate tax exemption amount of $1,000,000 and a maximum estate tax rate of 55%."

A home in California, a small business, nice car, some jewelry, a few investments, die owning a life insurance policy and ta dah! you are over the exemption limit.

Of course, I shouldn't complain about high estate taxes since estate planning and minimizing those taxes is part of my business and how I make money. :-)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Exemption limit is for an individual I might add. However, if you die and don't use your exemption in a spousal situation, you lose it.

Palladian said...

Seems like a good place to quote my friend Lysander Spooner:

"The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: "Your money, or your life." And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a "protector," and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to "protect" those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful "sovereign," on account of the "protection" he affords you. He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave."

PJ said...

Palladian: I do not take exception to any of the sentiments expressed by Mr. Spooner. Two points, however. (1) Spooner's objections appear to apply nearly equally (but see #2) to every form of taxation. My question is, if we're determined to tax something, is it a matter of indifference what we decide to tax? It is in that context that I express the view that it's less objectionable to tax inheritance income than to tax earned income. (2) One of the virtues of the estate tax is precisely that, after collecting it, the government can't follow you around demanding your gratitude.

blake said...

Ah, you see, Pasta, FLS knows better how your money should be distributed.

He's protecting your children from your largesse.

He will, of course, do nothing to protect anyone from the government's largesse.

ricpic said...

Leaves are yellow in November,
Those leaves that are left:
A sad month but mellow;
Unlike December: leafless, bereft.