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Archive → June, 2011

California Pulls a High Tech ‘Yosemite Sam’ Move

Yosemite Sam is, or was, a colorful rootin’ tootin’ California cowboy created by Warner Brothers Cartoons. Based on the ’49er image of a rough ‘n ready gunslinger, Yosemite Sam occasionally shot himself in the foot while Bugs Bunny casually outwitted him. Testing brains versus brawn, these classic cartoons lampooned trigger happy meat heads and, as always, elevated the higher valued brain power of the waskilly rabbit (rascally rabbit, as pronounced by another trigger happy meat head, Elmer Fudd). Using that proven Hollywood method of powerful if subliminal suggestion, the cartoons’ message was clear to impressionable little kids and meat heads alike: Use your head, you’ll do better.
Fast forward 70 years to the home of Yosemite, the supposedly golden state of California. Yesterday, that Liberal-laden welfare state signed into law a new tax on Internet sales. Because interstate commerce is constitutionally protected above individual states’ financial interests, taxes on Internet sales aren’t really legal or legit. Most consumers take some risk when they purchase online, and the absence of state taxes (a huge 8.75% in California), is an overall small but relatively large reward for taking that risk. Returning items by mail costs buyers money, and not paying sales tax offsets those costs.
Well, here we are, many decades after California became one of America’s premier economies, and the elected officials of that once-great state have decided to return to the 1700s way of doing business rather than embrace technology, mobile consumers, and the blurring of boundaries everywhere (like they enjoy the blurred boundary between California and Mexico, a blur long sought and much enjoyed by Liberals everywhere). Rather than leveraging technology to work for California, in this instance, California Democrats choose to take the one-dimensional approach to gathering revenue. Taxing Internet sales was projected to gather about $200 million annually, but with amazon.com and other big Internet sellers immediately ending their high-tech advertising relationships there, the state is now projected to lose about $135 million in taxes paid by the owners of those advertising businesses. And because many of those owners have said that they will now relocate to a nearby state without Internet sales tax, California loses those tax payers as well as the creative brain power that those entrepreneurs brought to the state.
Like all mis-named “progressives,” Liberals are ultimately interested in just one thing, and that is power. Like Yosemite Sam of old, the California Democrats behind this foolish move understand power alone, and by golly, they will exercise power simply because they can. For the simple sake of having it and demonstrating to all around that they have it. But like Yosemite Sam, California has shot itself in the foot. The net result of their Internet tax appears to be just about a complete wash, with the added loss of yet more smart working people from the state.
Like their ideological counterparts in North Korea and China and Russia, California’s Democrats are most satisfied to exercise power for power’s sake, regardless of the collateral damage. Shooting themselves in the foot never felt so good, except for the entrepreneurs and remaining taxpayer left behind in the growing exodus of brain power leaving that Statist state.
Hopefully, my own home state of Pennsylvania, also long a haven for high taxes and unfavorable business conditions, will find a way to take advantage of the Yosemite Sams now running California government, and funnel their loss into Pennsylvania and make it our gain.

Are Liberals the new conservatives?

After years of disproven Liberal theories and beliefs about specific policies (the effectiveness of gun control) and assumptions (all wars are bad wars), I was wondering if Liberals showed any sign of change. Talking with Liberal friends, debating politics on FaceBook, the conclusion is that Liberals are the new conservatives, in the sense that conservatives were asserted to be unwilling to change, or accept necessary change, back in the 1970s. Conventional wisdom was that conservatives were stodgy, stuck in their ways. But measured by that yard stick, it’s Liberals today who are unwilling to accept that their ideas are disproven and that change is good. Stay tuned for more on this subject.

Doctors and Social Security Numbers

Last year I took my then-twelve-year-old daughter to a medical doctor for treatment. The desk clerk would not allow us to get treatment until we provided a Social Security number. Naturally, I refused and cited chapter and verse from federal law about how that demand was not legal. She would not relent, and we left. Today, after weighing the potential costs to the Republican doctor, who should know better and with whom I don’t really want to have a dispute (there being a shortage of Republican doctors), I am beginning the process to correct the situation. Stay tuned.