Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Link Roundup - taxes, tyranny, tortoises and free speech

Here are some interesting stories from around the Internet that I came across and wanted to share:

* Union argues that Indiana right-to-work law infringes on free, er, subsidized speech - it's hard to believe but a union in Indiana is arguing in court that the state's new right-to-work law, which makes union dues voluntary and not a requirement for employment, impedes their right to free speech because it cuts the amount of money they have to 'communicate' that speech.

They're claiming that free speech depends on funding. As the article says:

The right to free speech does not include the right to publication, or of revenue either resulting from or in service to that speech. The act of refusing to join does not keep the union from expressing itself. It just means that they may not have access to the best platforms from which to deliver that speech, which puts them in the same boat as everyone else. Perhaps they should spend more time convincing people to support them voluntarily than in getting courts to forcibly extract cash from workers in order to pursue their own political purposes.

* Mojave Solar Project Killing Threatened Desert Tortoises - Environmentalists and conservations have documented that the have documented that the have documented that the BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar power project in the Mojave Desert has directly caused many desert tortoise deaths, in addition to disturbing the natural environment of all the reptiles in the area.

It's bad enough that the project is costing more than $2 billion. Shamefully, the solar energy from Ivanpah will be three times more expensive than natural gas or coal. What's even worse is that the state's Public Utilities Commission has estimated that customers will see their bills increase up to 50% for renewable energy as a result.

But the kicker is the hypocrisy of all who support the project. Could you imagine the outrage, outcries and demonization that would come from politicians and the media if this was an oil or coal plant doing the same thing?

* Women vs. the State - the National Center for Policy Analysis has summarized a recent Reason Magazine article on how women fare under many laws. What I thought was particularly interesting was the tax ramifications which many people don't think about:

• Unless a wife makes more than her husband (and 72 percent do not), the government will tax the first dollar the wife earns at her husband's highest marginal rate.

• This tax policy and the steep jump in the marginal rates as a couple's income rises discourage women from working, as they receive disproportionately low after-tax compensation.

• The effect is a marriage penalty on women's desire to work.

• According to economists Nada O. Eissa and Austin Nichols, married women increased their employment substantially in response to reductions in marginal tax rates following the 1986 tax reform, and similar results were seen again in the 1990s.

• It also explains why, despite the fact that almost 80 percent of working mothers say they would prefer to work part time, almost two-thirds work full-time instead.
And speaking of taxes, since they're are due by April 15th, this article from Cato is especially timely...

* American Income Tax Tyranny - This article details several types of tyranny in the tax code, including the lie that our taxes are imposed by the 'consent of the governed':

The United States has the most progressive (i.e., unequal) tax system in the world. The bottom 50 percent of income earners, on average, receives more in tax benefits than they pay in taxes — while the highest earners pay a wildly disproportionate amount of their income in taxes — despite the myth that Warren Buffett has a lower tax rate than his secretary. A progressive income tax only meets the test of “consent of the governed” when a majority of each class of taxpayers consents to its tax rate. Otherwise, it is tax tyranny of a low-tax-rate majority against a vote-poor, high-tax-rate minority. The apologists for the progressive income tax claim it is only “fair,” ignoring the fact there is nothing at all “fair” about taxing at a higher tax rate those who work longer and harder and/or spend more time acquiring an education and work skills. It is destructive and tyrannical for a society to tax the most productive, innovative and job-creating people at a higher rate than others.
But this is only one such tyranny. I hope you'll read the entire article.

No comments:

Google Analytics Alternative