The latest Ig Nobel Prizes are out, and some of them are pretty entertaining.
One, though, was just depressing:
LITERATURE PRIZE: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.
It’s reports all the way down at the GAO!
On an NRO post excoriating Santorum’s strong anti-libertarian bent, commenter YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAARGH has this to say:
The problem with the Republican party today is that they are the party of Boromir: they don’t want to destroy the state, they want to use it for good. They mean well–as does Mr. Santorum–but that’s because, like Boromir, they don’t understand the problem.
I read something similar in a piece yesterday talking about how it’s all well and good that the Republicans want to cut departments and programs like PPACA, but what are they going to replace them with?
Why do they need to be replaced with anything? Most of te stuff the feds are tied up in isn’t any of their damn business in the first place, so why would any sane person who just cut the government replace it with anything at all?
I just want the government to leave me alone. And because I’m such a nice, friendly guy, I want the government to leave everyone else alone, too. Is that so much to ask?
Dave Barry’s summary of all of the tragedies of 2011 is excellent; I especially like this bit:
I’m not saying that the entire year was ruined by sleaze. It was also ruined by other bad things. . . . It was a year in which a significant earthquake struck Washington, yet failed to destroy a single federal agency.
We can always hope that the next DC quake is more effective.
In her opinion piece haranguing about the need for higher taxes on the rich, Sally Kohn says:
Stop calling big business the “job creators.” They have all the resources imaginable and they’re still not creating jobs. It’s time to put more money in the pockets of working Americans so they can spend it, create demand and finally kick-start the economy.
I don’t think she understands how business works (and since her byline says she’s a strategist, political commentator, founder/CEO of a think-tank, and a magazine contributor, her not understanding how business works is obvious).
Companies don’t exist to create jobs.
Companies exist to maximize shareholder revenue.
Companies create jobs because they get more of a return on their investment by paying someone to perform some task than they would by just investing that money.
Ms. Kohn later goes on to say:
Almost three in four Americans support raising taxes on the wealthy so we can put government to work getting all of America working again, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
That’s not the government’s job.
And yet neither of the postal worker unions are willing deal.
The USPS can’t change its benefits packages without going to Congress for approval. No wonder they’re hemorrhaging money.
Aren’t government-mandated monopolies great?
Worried about default? No problem!
The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.
And here I used to think Alan Greenspan knew what he was doing.
I’m beginning to think that economists just make this shit up as they go along, to justify their preconceived notions (just like the rest of us, in fact).
Wizardpc sums up the budget/debt ceiling debate most succinctly:
Democrats, Republicans, and Obama: Behold! We have a deal! And there are massive cuts.
Democrats: Republicans are evil, and these cuts are going to kill Granny.
Republicans: These cuts are awesome. We totally won!
Tea Party: Umm…these cuts don’t amount to much more than a rounding errror. $100b a year? And most of the cuts don’t come until like 8 years from now? If those were binding, wouldn’t the current budget be the one Republicans came up with in 2003? [emphasis added]
One Congress cannot bind another. That’s not how it works. Anyone claiming otherwise is trying to pretend cuts exist where there are none.
Wait, you’re writing an opinion piece for CNN. That’s entirely possible.
What could possibly go wrong?
Millennials will get their turn to royally screw up in ~10 years or so, when they’re eligible to run for POTUS. Until then, we’ll just have to deal with the same old Boomer and Gen-X screwups we’ve got.
For some reason, though, I imagine a millennial in charge of everything would only result in a different kind of problem.
Not degree. They’d still screw up, just in a completely different way.
Is a sales tax holiday!
This weekend only, Arkansas stores aren’t collecting sales tax on clothes or school supplies.
Which means that they’re still more expensive than Amazon. I did pick up a new shirt, thanks to a $10 coupon I got in the mail to try to get me to spend at Kohls. Since I only bought the one shirt, and it was on clearance, I only ended up paying $2.60. Given how many other people were there, I don’t think it will be a big problem for them, though.
While I’m talking about taxes, I’d like to thank everyone who bought stuff through the Amazon links over the past 8 months; I made ~$35, and then Arkansas passed one of those damn anti-amazon sales tax laws. My affiliate account has been shut down. They’d rather get nothing at all (since Amazon closed all affiliate accounts based in state, to avoid collecting sales tax) than a percentage of what affiliate owners make, I guess.
Politicians are idiots.