December 16, 2014

At the Christmas Café...

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... you can talk about anything you want.

IN THE COMMENTS: EMD said: "I hope to God/Bhudda/Allah/Flying Spaghetti Monster that's a 'holiday" tree."

And I said: "It's a Christmas tree, and it even has a sign in front of it telling us it's a Christmas tree." Here, look:

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56 comments:

Hagar said...

Jobd desciptions:
Transportation engineers devise plans so that people and goods can move freely.
City planners try to prevent that from happening, or at least make it as difficult and expensive as they can
Traffic engineers try to keep the system somehow working anyway, as best they can.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Based on the post's title and text I feel like I need to talk about my two front teeth.

Louis said...

Elites contrive to divide us so that their interests are regulated their way and their wars happen on their schedule while we struggle to be grateful for stagnant wages. A candidate who articulates right from wrong will be heard and we will elect them. In that regard, it is always 2008. 44 can be said to have disappointed us, but that only deepens our hunger for, as Elizabeth Warren says, a government that works more for us and less for [Wall Street].

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Louis said...

...while we struggle to be grateful for stagnant wages.

Instead of struggling to be grateful for stagnant wages, you might consider improving your skills so that you provide more value to your employer. If your value significantly exceeds your wages, then either your employer will have to raise your wages, or you can take your skill somewhere else.

EMD said...

I hope to God/Bhudda/Allah/Flying Spaghetti Monster that's a "holiday" tree.

Alex said...

Nobody wants to talk about the collapse of the Russian economy?

mccullough said...

I've been a lifelong Bears fan but hate the owners. They inherited a team built up by others and don't care about winning. Instead they hire a bunch of yes men who don't know much more about NFL football than the owners. It's like how the Ford family almost ruined Ford Motor Company.

I'm not giving the Bears any more of my time or money until the Bears have different ownership. I'll just follow the other NFL teams.

Halas should have sold the team before he died. His daughter and grandsons have ruined it. They would starve if they had to build a business on their own or work for someone else.


Louis said...

Ignorance, the free market is a beautiful thing but not the answer to all problems in all times. The government spends hundreds of billions more than it finds the will to collect so that future generations can pay for our operating expenses; the GOP is going to need a bigger argument than individuals should work harder. We need to start paying for all of our government. The entities in the best position to pay more (banks, corporations) are the interests best served by the status quo so contribute to both parties so freely.

EMD said...

We need to start paying for all of our government.

Go right ahead. You can pay more than you owe in taxes, mi amigo.

Put your money where your soul is

EMD said...

The government spends hundreds of billions more than it finds the will to collect

This is rich.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...the GOP is going to need a bigger argument than individuals should work harder.

I don't speak for the GOP ( and they do not speak for me ) but I'm not arguing that anyone should work harder. But working harder certainly seems to me to be a better choice than struggling to be grateful for stagnant wages.

But you are certainly free to make a different choice.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

We need to start paying for all of our government.

We need to limit government to what we are willing to pay for.

Louis said...

We need to limit government to what we are willing to pay for.

The cupboard is bare if you go looking for cuts. It is the 21st century and this is the West and we have long decided that a certain amount of social spending is in the interest of the public welfare. I am not necessarily for increasing the amount spent on the social safety net, I just want to see it paid for. I want to see it paid out of the corporate profits which depend on peaceful civil society.

I think it's a serious problem that we are just used to deficit spending. It's also just a political problem, not an economic one. A republican for eliminating that deficit would be a candidate for my vote.

Jimmy said...

Chip 'n' Dale's "Pluto's Christmas Tree" is maybe the best Christmas cartoon of all time.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmq7qc_1952-mickey-mouse-pluto-chip-n-dale-pluto-s-christmas-tree_shortfilms

p.s. to Ann you could change your Amazon shopping link to 'smile.amazon.com' and that way Amazon contributes a % of each purchase to charity

Tank said...

There is no need to cut spending in gov't. We can spend as much as we want. Just print and borrow more money. How many years in a row we been doin that? No problem. Things look good. The stock marked is up, way up. Russia is down. Time to spend more, and cut taxes. That's my platform, I just need a candidate.

garage mahal said...

I think it's a serious problem that we are just used to deficit spending.

The deficit has been falling, and no one has noticed, or cared.

Louis said...

The deficit has been falling, and no one has noticed, or cared.

Thanks to the Budget Control Act. (Thanks GOP!) But even the Ryan budgets don't eliminated the deficit entirely, which is my main evidence for asserting that the cupboard is bare for spending cuts.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The cupboard is bare if you go looking for cuts.

Not true.

It is the 21st century and this is the West and we have long decided that a certain amount of social spending is in the interest of the public welfare.

Yes, but we have not agreed on how much spending.

I want to see it paid out of the corporate profits which depend on peaceful civil society.

Nice civil society you got there. Be a shame if something happened to it...

I think it's a serious problem that we are just used to deficit spending.

I agree.

It's also just a political problem, not an economic one.

I don't know what you mean by just.

Louis said...

Ignorance, by "just" I mean that the deficit is small enough as part of GDP that clearing it is doable. There are nations that have serious budget problems but we don't need to be one of them. The debt is unquestionably approaching too large so there is no good reason we shouldn't erase the deficit with a modest set of taxes on wealth in the form of land value and corporate profits as well as carbon. We could even cut corporate income tax, individual income tax and capital gains taxes as part of the same deal.

TosaGuy said...

"We need to start paying for all of our government."

or we could reduce our government to be in line with what we pay.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Louis is correct. Power is gained through spending. Each and every shit-little involved gains through spending and language, arcane at best, inserted in legislation in order to provide benefits for the select few with access.

The little turd-boys walk around saying "you are too stupid to understand plebe shut up so we can crush you for not toeing my line."

Hagar said...

I think the thing about the President's "Executive Order" on immigration that is not an Executive Order, but a series of memoranda the he may, or may not, have sent to various Federal agencies - and I wish you luck in finding out if such letters have been sent, and, if so, what is in them - is to kick the checkerboard so that no one knows exactly what "the law" is.

Is that "un-Constitutional"? For the Executive to deliberately cause chaos in the execution of the duties assigned to the Executive Branch?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I was afraid that was what you meant by just a political problem.

You mean the problem could be solved if the other side just agreed with all of your positions.

The problem with this view is that the other side realizes that the problem could be solved if you would just agree with all of their positions.

Drago said...

Louis: "The debt is unquestionably approaching too large so there is no good reason we shouldn't erase the deficit with a modest set of taxes on wealth in the form of land value and corporate profits as well as carbon. We could even cut corporate income tax, individual income tax and capital gains taxes as part of the same deal"

LOL

Pull the other one.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The debt is unquestionably approaching too large so there is no good reason we shouldn't erase the deficit with a modest set of taxes on wealth in the form of land value and corporate profits as well as carbon.

As long as you ignore corporations moving out of our tax jurisdiction, cutting jobs, and leaving wages to stagnate, plus another wave of foreclosures, and all that those entail, plus second and third order side effects, then yeah, sure, there is no good reason not to do what you propose.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...with a modest set of taxes on wealth in the form of land value and corporate profits as well as carbon. We could even cut corporate income tax,...

So your plan is to raise taxes on corporate profits, while cutting the corporate income tax?

Louis said...

The useful difference, I think, is that spending is action. Further, in our system its a ratified act. Every dollar spent by the government is because two houses of congress agreed on it and (usually) a President agreed. So we have a priori reason to believe there is some reason to think the spending is reasonable.

I said above that the Ryan budgets prove that not many more spending cuts can be tenable. I stand by that. Where would you cut?

Ann Althouse said...

"I hope to God/Bhudda/Allah/Flying Spaghetti Monster that's a "holiday" tree."

It's a Christmas tree, and it even has a sign in front of it telling us it's a Christmas tree.

FullMoon said...

Watched " Rainmaker" with Katherine Hepburn. It made me wonder what is the big deal about her? I have seen her in numerous productions and she is just not all that. She is competent, sure, but "greatest actress'? Give me a break.

That Frank Sinatra is another one. He could sing ok, but the guy never wrote a song or played an instrument, not even a harmonica.
He was a underrated actor in my opinion, though. Man with the golden arm where he was a junkie was excellant.
Another thing, what is it with these Lo-Cal people. Basically forced semi-starvation. Science has proven that lo carb is the answer to obesity. They will argue fanatically all day about it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Watched " Rainmaker" with Katherine Hepburn. It made me wonder what is the big deal about her?"

Watch "Bringing Up Baby" and "The Philadelphia Story."

Maybe Cary Grant is just great... or the 2 of them are kind of artificial in a way that creates an alternate reality.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Where would you cut?

ACA subsidies and the ACA related Medicaid expansion would be a nice start. Not a huge amount for next year, but a significantly growing one for the future, and thus an area that we should not have added when were were already running a deficit.

Farm subsidies.
Extended unemployment.

Louis said...

As long as you ignore corporations moving out of...
We would remain one of if not the greatest places to do business for any number of reasons including the certainty that a balanced long term federal budget would provide the market. The taxes I am proposing don't target business functioning, and don't target businesses owned by individuals or families. What is targeted is the place where cash can be most easily collected. The people hurt would still be the owners of profitable businessss and would be paying lower income taxes and business income taxes and investment taxes. Mortgage costs would go higher (because of land value), but that can be shaped to not make living too much harder by exempting child and senior residences. Working people would see their take home pay go up along with comparatively minor increases in prices as companies seek to increase their cash flow. If carbon is being taxed then gas prices could be regulated to remain around $3 (our answer to OPEC).

So your plan is to raise taxes on corporate profits, while cutting the corporate income tax?
I don't agree with any rationale I have seen for taxing income of individuals (or families) or corporations. Taxes serve to discourage behavior and we ought not discourage income. Profits incentivize themselves so we can tax with less fear of unintended consequences.

garage mahal said...

Oh thank goodness the tree is called a Christmas Tree. That's very important!

pm317 said...



Buddha

Alex said...

garage - names have meanings, you know. Of course I hear that all fucking day long from your social justice warriors.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Oh thank goodness the tree is called a Christmas Tree. That's very important!"

Thank goodness it's lit by 2000 energy saving LED's. Now the Koch Brothers won't make as much money on the Power Plant that they got in that cheap no-bid contract. The one that you and all the lefties warned about.

Wait, that didn't happen?

Anonymous said...

I believe anyone serious about cutting the deficit could do so, as President, quite easily.

Announce that during your Presidency you will veto any legislation that increases spending year over year. That you refuse to cut spending and instead will cap spending.

This is a trick of language, of course. In our modern day parlance, when the news and politicians say cut, what they really mean is a decrease in the increase. But, they've fooled the public at large into thinking they mean cut, and so using the word cap will make you sound both tough and moderate at the same time.

"No, I will not cut any budget. In 2016 we spent X number of dollars. We will spend the same number of dollars in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. And on into 2024 if the public agrees with me."


This mean the Congress will have to figure out how to move money around. Want to increase the budget for DHS? You need to cut the budget somewhere else. Want to increase food stamp spending? Decrease DOJ.

Use the bully pulpit to repeat over and over, it's a cap in spending until the deficit is under control. Why can't Congress live within it's budget?

Anonymous said...

Oh thank goodness the tree is called a Christmas Tree. That's very important!

Just words?!

garage mahal said...

Pelican Lake is a fabulous fishing lake. Pelican Lake, the village, is one of the rough place. Seems like there was always someone getting stabbed or shot in the taverns when I was growing up 10 minutes away.

Louis said...

Eric, Why can't Congress live within it's budget? The question is why does Congress choose to budget the sale of debt into its operations.

Keynes said that governments should spend to fill demand gaps during recessionary periods, but that can't justify the constant deficit spending.

mrs.e said...

It's a Christmas tree, and it even has a sign in front of it telling us it's a Christmas tree.

Of course.

EMD said...

The Philadelphia Story is Top 5 for me of all time.

Cracking good time.

Coconuss Network said...

I remember as a young girl, not yet high school age, visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago with my girlfriend and her mother to see the international Christmas trees, a most beautiful sight.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's a Christmas tree, and it even has a sign in front of it telling us it's a Christmas tree.

Right on. As I've expressed before, "It's not a Holiday Tree unless you had it up for Halloween."

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"The question is why does Congress choose to budget the sale of debt into its operations."

Power.

Influence today meaning you will cash in tomorrow.

This is a link Louis may find interesting, if I may presume to know what the man finds (maybe) interesting.

It is the Instapundit.

It is relevant, even though written nearly twelve months ago.

The name of the blog with the nearly-twelve-months-old fresh take makes the use of the term irony acceptable here.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Louis said...

I don't agree with any rationale I have seen for taxing income of... corporations. ... Profits incentivize themselves so we can tax with less fear of unintended consequences.

Do you not realize that corporations already deduct their expenses from their income, and so are already only taxed on their profits?

garage mahal said...

It's great there is a sign informing us that this particular tree is a Christmas Tree. The War on Christians has really been confusing. Labeling is important!

n.n said...

Merry Christmas!

I wonder what motivates people to live in America, then to exercise subversion of its established political, economic, cultural, and religious (i.e. moral) standards.

Original Mike said...

"Where would you cut?"

Everywhere. 1% across the board every year. Or, eric's plan of capping spending at this year's level works.

Louis said...

Do you not realize that corporations already deduct their expenses from their income, and so are already only taxed on their profits?

Ya know, I don't what I was thinking. Maybe I was trying to get to the problem of business investment.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

The question isn't what Goliath knows;

The question is what does your dog know?

Is this consciousness?

Yes; PAY ME.

Althouse gets 4% of, roughly writing, 1.58 trillion dollars (US).

wv: enaut

indeed

mccullough said...

The Christmas tree has pagan origins. The early Christians incorporated it to help pagan converts. They also moved the date of Jesus birth from the summer to close to the winter solstice.

Christmas is really a pagan holiday

Renee said...

The public school one of my kids attends has more Christmas decorations, then the Catholic school my other kids attend.

Why do municipalities even do this to begin with? Downtown commerce?

The Church doesn't get decorated until 23rd, because we're observing Advent.

sparrow said...

Cary Grant is great but Hepburn was wonderful in Baby. I'd add African Queen to the viewing list as well Hepburn could do more than comedy.

Gahrie said...

Right on. As I've expressed before, "It's not a Holiday Tree unless you had it up for Halloween."

My Christmas tree stayed up all year this year since last Christmas.

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
It's great there is a sign informing us that this particular tree is a Christmas Tree. The War on Christians has really been confusing. Labeling is important!


They had to label it so people like you would know what it was.