In the Stray Thoughts column of the October 2004 issue of this newsletter, under the heading Corporate Claptrap, I published a statement that was critical of a different AOL practice. The problem reported by Jeffrey is far worse than the one about which I complained in October of 2004. As of the present writing, Jeffrey hasn't been able to discontinue his AOL service. I suggest that each AOL subscriber who wants to discontinue his service should call conscientiously every month, demand termination of the service, and then use the free service forced upon him in lieu of cancellation. Eventually, such a large number of subscribers will be using AOL for free that AOL will have to change its policy. Meanwhile, don't enter into any transaction that requires a credit card number as a prerequisite. Any such requirement suggests that the company is a den of thieves.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
The economic process presented in this article has been simplified and idealized so that the principles and consequences illustrated by it will be easier to understand. However, the results apply just as well to larger and more complex real-world transactions.
Suppose that you're paid $10 for doing a job. If you pay a 10% income tax on the $10, then you'll have $9 remaining. If you spend the $9 in a store and pay a 5% sales tax, then you'll spend only $8.55 because 45¢ was diverted to the sales tax. If the merchant pays a 10% income tax on the transaction, then he'll have only $7.70 left from your purchase. If he uses the $7.70 to pay an employee and diverts 20% of it to the various taxes associated with having an employee, then he'll pay the employee only $6.16. The employee will have to pay a 10% income tax, leaving him with $5.54. When he spends the $5.54 and pays a 5% sales tax, he'll be able to spend only $5.26 because the other 5% went to the sales tax. The reduction in the usable residue of the original $10 is exponential and, in theory, won't reach zero. However, it will be quickly reduced to a useless amount. Is it any wonder that people can't live within their incomes and are forced instead to live on credit?
When you consider that all funds are taxed at least once per transaction, it's amazing that anybody has any funds at all. With such a large proportion of our funds being siphoned away as taxes, one has to wonder how replacement funds enter the economy. I suggest my essay, They Can Fool Too Many of the People Too Much of the Time. It's available in printed form upon request or on my website in Essays about Money, Taxes, and Corporations.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Over the years, I've had a few friends who were homosexual. Personally, I don't approve of homosexuality but I recognize that, in principle, another man's private behavior isn't any of my business so long as it isn't imposed upon me against my will. However, I am critical of homosexuals as a group for usurping the word gay. They already had several monikers. They didn't need another one. Furthermore, there wasn't a good synonym for gay. There were a few words (lively, vivacious, blithe, convivial, festive) that had variously similar meanings but none that gave the same sense as the original meaning of gay. Thus, the homosexual's usurpation of the word has left us without a good way to describe our mood when we have a feeling of cheerful and lighthearted excitement or merriment. Gay was the only word that precisely described that mood.
You can decide for yourselves whether or not you believe that homosexuality is a civil right, a disease, a preference, an abomination, or whatever else somebody wants to call it. However, there isn't any doubt that homosexuals, as a group, have needlessly ruined an otherwise perfectly useful word. I'm taking it back. At least in this newsletter, they're not gay. They're homosexual.
|A White Man's Notes
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Bologna Did you know that there's a National Society of Black Physicists? Yes, it was mentioned in a report on All Things Considered (NPR) on Monday, April 11, 2005. If I tried to start a National Society of Caucasian Physicists, then I'd be castigated as a racist and a bigot, yet the Negroes can get away with all of the bigotry that they want just by calling it civil rights.
Letters to the Editor
On page 1, the footnote #2 is a little unclear to me. What did he warn us about? That people would have a choice to buy complex stuff?
Lady Nancy the Enchanting
That footnote might have been a little obscure. Vance Packard was addressing the aggressive marketing techniques that were being developed to manipulate people's attitudes. The marketing practices in use today have developed directly from the ones that he reported in his book. To the best of my memory, the book was published sometime in the 50s or 60s. I remember reading the book and going to a lecture on it while I was (I think) attending San Antonio Junior College during the middle 60s.
We are being bombarded by the media, (books, T.V., Newspapers, etc.) about the danger of steroid use (enhancing "our" bodies performance) by those in Baseball (& other sports?). I even learned something new that baseball is EXEMPT from the Sherman "anti-trust" Act. So, baseball is a "commercial MONOPOLY", a business, NOT a sport! Are our children taught this in school? This is why Congress can "subpoena" the players etc. to their hearings and FORCE the "rules & regulations" on those involved. ALL this hoopla will expose a lot of TRUTH, and I pray that the people WAKE-UP! It is ALL about CONTROL PEOPLE CONTROL, and it's not just the players, it's EVERYONE. They (the Gov't) control (FORCE YOU TO ABIDE BY THEIR VIEWS) the children, the parents, the schools (K-12 & colleges), businesses and employers, etc. and even though it's about "steroids" now, let's explore the near future.
Plain Jane intelligent, in HS or college, great voice, wants to "cut a record" or song she wrote but is refused because she's not "American Idol" material. So, she sues the company and a lot of related businesses because she's denied her chance (millions of $ in lost (denied) income), (sponsors), etc.
So congress then steps in and says "Breast Implants" (BI) are illegal because they "enhance" a girl's chances of becoming a singer or movie star. (Oh, who are we kidding? Without the BI, collagen, botox, etc., one does not become a star, Hooter's waitress, or multi-million $ singer!!) Or, the other side of the coin: A naturally beautiful girl with "talent" (i.e. doesn't need BI, liposuction, plastic surgery) doesn't get a "job" because some Plain Jane with all the "enhancements" got it sues for "discrimination". So, does Congress have the right to hold "hearings" on why movie stars, or singers with "enhancements" shouldn't give up their Oscars & Grammy's?? Yes! (Unless they are Gov't "approved" enhancements on which all taxes, kick-backs & political contributions have been paid!) because it's a business!! This is your communistic Gov't at work, so be good slaves and follow all your master's rules, and don't forget to pay the exorbitant "ticket fee" to participate in your favorite "business"!
I wonder if we would have invaded Iraq if we didn't have all those technological "enhancements"?? Maybe your readers can find a few more "examples" Keep on keeping on!
Well Sam, being an (ex) licensed auto & aircraft mechanic, I totally agree with your assessment of our car designs! I used to use aircraft parts & fittings in my cars, but it was to make it work more efficiently, not more complex! i.e. bored & stroked, balanced, chromed, clean, etc. (65 Mustang!). Then they brought in "metric screwdrivers" and that was the beginning of the end!
If they ban performance enhancing drugs then they should also ban performance enhancing equipment, clothes, diets, and training. That's the rule, right? Anything that enhances performance should be prohibited? How about shoes, contact lenses, shoulder pads, a good diet, a good trainer, quick reflexes, skill?
Why does OUR species fight wars against itself? (humans against humans) Karl; Windsor, Connecticut
My thanks to the following: Sir James the Bold, SantaClara Bob, Lady Jan the Voluptuous, and Frank, of San Jose, California.
I don't play softball anymore so I've sent my entire collection of softball bats to your address. Glad to help.
Amish Spring Break Activities
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Sam Aurelius Milam III, Tuesday, April 9, 1991