Category Archives: Politics vs. math

A tax plan for Biden #3 – taxing corporations *updated*

The first two parts of this series of posts updated first some quick hits and then larger principles that I recommended to the Biden campaign last summer when Joe emerged as the front-runner candidate. The Trump administration really screwed up the U.S. Tax Code even worse that it had been, especially in business taxes. We need desperately to restore both tax… Read more »

GameStop, Double Indemnity and four old investment stories

Double Indemnity

Now that GameStop is drifting back to pre-craze valuation levels I would like to step back and suggest that this phenomenon has simply been the confluence of four old investment stories and one great old movie. The stories are, in brief: Short selling is not some intrinsic evil, however it does frequently elevate an old ethical dilemma called moral hazard…. Read more »

A tax plan for Biden #2 – guiding principles *updated*

Tax expenditures 2018

In Part One of this series, I updated several “quick hit” actions a Biden Administration could take to restore some measure of sanity to the U.S. tax system. In this part, I want to update my four basic principles for a fairer, simpler, and more effective federal income taxing system. I believe these principles also to be legislatively achievable. But… Read more »

A tax plan for Biden #1 – the quick hits *updated*

Progressive tax rate

I first published my three-part recommendation for a Biden tax plan when his nomination looked assured last July. This is an update to first part of that recommendation. If you have any contacts in this new administration, please pass this post on. Joe Biden has long been honest about the reality of raising taxes to offset the reckless and economically… Read more »

John Lewis hopefully gets his last say

      1 Comment on John Lewis hopefully gets his last say

I am most pleased that one of the priority bills in Congress during this post-Trump session is the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (designated H.R. 4 in the new Congress) which is intended to correct flaws in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I will detail this bill later in this post. Although this bill is much needed after… Read more »

Kids, can you say epistemology?

      5 Comments on Kids, can you say epistemology?
Blaise Pascal

Zen kōans (similar to parables) are notoriously hard to source, but the “stick” theme is common. This “stick kōan” about accepting reality is of unknown provenance, but it makes its point: The master held out a large bamboo stick and asked the student “Is this stick real?” The student, trying to show his superior understanding, replied, “How can we know… Read more »

Betting your life on “The Truth”

      No Comments on Betting your life on “The Truth”
Junction

One of the unnecessary tragedies arising from the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol was the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt, a documented QAnon conspiracy theorist. Ms. Babbitt was the first to enter through a glass door into the secured House Speaker’s Lobby, which had been smashed by her fellow insurgents. Capitol police assigned to protect the U.S. “line… Read more »

When the Confederate flag is marched through the U.S. Capitol

Trumpist goons.

It has always been about people’s perceived position in the racial/socioeconomic hierarchy that they helped to create. Here is a quote from a person involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021: “This is not America,” a woman said to a small group, her voice shaking. “They’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot BLM [note:… Read more »

Learning to chill on the Defense budget

      No Comments on Learning to chill on the Defense budget
U.S. Defense Spending compared

Simultaneously refusing to extend financial aid to the teetering economic bottom of the U.S. populace, the Senate voted a New Year’s Eve bi-partisan override of President Trump’s veto of the $741 billion defense authorization bill. This bill always sets me off for its size, its over-extended purpose and its embedded corruption, but this year I have decided to take a… Read more »

Probability, uncertainty and inanity with the coronavirus

Bayes theorem

The very bad polling outcomes from the 2020 U.S presidential election pointed out the key differences between two often-confused topics. Pre-election polls are measured in percentages and look like probabilities, but they are really trying to quantify uncertainty, and there is a very big difference between the two that the public largely does not understand. The same confusion has bled… Read more »