Criticism. Essay. Fiction. Science. Weather.
As it stands today, our system of taxation is pretty effective: We tax citizens to bring in a certain sum; then, our government spends hundreds of billions more than that sum. It is based upon the principle that, if such a system exists until the universe begins shrinking, entropy will reverse and the laws of mathematics will change accordingly. Many people, however, do not have the patience to wait that long and have begun demanding changes
in the tax laws. These requests range from wanting more taxes, fewer taxes, and the option of paying taxes using promotional material from David Lee Roth's brief radio gig.
The problem with most tax proposals is that they do not address the primary problem with tax-paying: the fact that we are paying taxes. Certainly we need infrastructure, a military, and public education... as well as bridges to sparsely populated Alaskan
islands and airport screeners that scan for under-wire in brassieres. Without these things and many others, our society would collapse upon itself, forming a black hole of anarchy into which the entire world would be sucked like kettle corn up a shop vac. But, are taxes the answer?
What if taxes were abolished? We'd all essentially get raises, which we would spend upon goods and services, which would spur the employment of millions of others who wouldn't pay any taxes either. Many theorize that, with no taxes being paid, the net income taken in by the government would be zero; however, they don't take into account the increased number of workers who aren't paying taxes. An extra four million people paying zero percent should add up to something... especially if you consider the small, but significant, percentage paying taxes out of habit or accidentally
. But, even taking into account the ignorant and confused, we will still come up short. From where will the money to run our nation come?
Well, we spend more than we take in now... where does that
money come from? I suggest that we borrow our entire
budget. With interest-only payments, we could set up a balloon payment for the year 2030. When that payment is due, we could declare bankruptcy and disband as a nation, with "blue" states going to Canada
and "red" states going to Mexico. (Maine could hide under some linens until the whole thing blows over.) Just let the bankers try to collect from say, Mississippi, where the only answer they get will be, "No habla English, senor". If they send repo-men, we could park Minnesota out behind Quebec where no one will find it.
After seven years, the former United States could reform into a country again. It shouldn't be difficult, because Canada and Mexico will be pretty sick of us by then. If they want to keep the states that have been under their control, those states can simply sneak out at night when no one is looking. They won't chase after us for fear of looking "needy." The best way for Canada and Mexico to save face would be to publicly declare, "New Mexico didn't dump me
... I dumped New Mexico." With our credit clear, we could simply start borrowing again... possibly under a different name, such as "The Democratic Republic of the Americas" or "Sprint/Nissan
presents the Democratic Republic of the Americas". If the international bankers looked at us suspiciously and asked, "Say... don't you look a lot like the United States?" we could answer, "The United States? Those bastards still owe me money." This would be best accomplished while sporting a fake moustache and tinted contact lenses. Foolproof.
But, what about the institutions that make the loans? Aren't they the victims? Hardly!
You see, when our nation defaults on a loan due to bankruptcy, that loan is insured
. And, the insurance companies will have plenty of extra money
due to the fact that they won't be paying any taxes
. It is a closed system... like a snake devouring its own tail, only without reptile saliva. And, it is sustainable
The problem is one of conception. Economics is not a science. It's barely even an acceptable topic of conversation. Economics is a myth, like the Yeti or Billy Carter
. Too many people erroneously see the amount of money in the world as finite; whereas, it isn't even limited by the amount of paper or coinage we can produce. We earn and spend money that never even exists as currency.
It is simply a concept on a database. We have to believe in it and everything will be fine. It is the Norman Vincent Peale
model of economics. And, it's swell!
When Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez made comments in San Diego suggesting that women and baseball go together like fish and bicycles, 90runs tried to ignore it. The incident got plenty of media attention, his views weren't incredibly original, and the whole thing really may have been a poorly delivered joke, anyway (was Hernandez mocking misogyny?).
And if Hernandez had never asked, "What is going on here? You've got to be kidding me," and gone on to say, "I won't say that women belong in the kitchen [how generous of you, Keith], but they don't belong in the dugout," Cy Young Award-winner Rick Sutcliffe's drunken ramblings from the very same stadium may have been shrugged off.
Sutcliffe, who has an announcing gig with ESPN, stopped by the local broadcast booth to have a chat with commentators Matt Vasgersian and Mud Grant. Apparently these two men couldn't tell that Sutcliffe was absolutely hammer-schmammered. Delightfully, Vasgersian sounds absolutely flabbergasted when Sutcliffe suddenly and unpredictably mentions George Clooney. "George Clooney???" responds Vasgersian, as though he has no idea in what could possibly have affected Sutcliffe's brain. The most amazing thing about it is how long it went on for before he was cut off. Even after his unwarrented evocation of the name of George Clooney, Sutcliffe was able to get off a, you-guys-are-best tirade in which he asked why Vasgersian was still broadcasting on the local level.
The initial reaction, I think, is to be embarrassed for Sutcliffe and ESPN. But one eventually has to wonder, what are they putting in the water in San Diego? Baseball is a game of superstitions, and were I an announcer, I'd be hesitant to step into the press box of Petco Park.