I had my nose in a good book long enough this weekend to get some particularly interesting economic insights out of the Panic of 1873, as reported in the 1895 copy of David Ames Wells’ “Recent Economic Changes” and there were two particularly good insights worth sharing, even though Monday’s around here are usually “thought-free days.”
The first has to do with the history of the EU. I didn’t realize, till I really got into the book that “Zollverein” (German, meaning approximately “commerce union”) was an idea that popped out of Tubingen University (too lazy to find the umlaut to put over u, sorry, I swore off umlauts (and other diacritics) after I haBe vier jahren Deutche zum hochschule gesprecht (again those missing umlauts!) and not at all well, I’d add.
The point is that the Zollverein was proposed by the Germans due in part to the sugar beet trade problems Europe was having at the time. But here’s the thing: As described, this was almost exactly like the EU! Which gets me to cooking up a new axiom:
Bad ideas can take over 100 years to be adopted, while good ideas can usually be safely disregarded from the outset.
But now to the main thought: The Zollverein was floated because the Germans had used an input tax rather than an output tax on the refining of sugar beets into table sugar.
Turns out that in 1869, it took about 12 pounds of beets to make a pound of sugar. Seemed a simple-enough deal for the Germans: In come 12 pounds of sugar beets, so its taxed as one pound of finished sugar ready for market.
But here’s the catch: By the time 1889 rolled around, there had been so much improvement in sugar refining skills, that it only took 8.65 pounds of sugar beets to get a pound of sugar.
A fine illustration of how input taxes can give an incentive to technology and how they are the kind most easily abused by corporations which, since at least the 1870′s in the literature, have wheedled and whangled their way to fatter profits while opposing honest/linear/output taxation polices.
Which when we do our bit on forensic economics this morning, we note for the first two months of Calendar Year 2011, mean individuals have paid 74-times more tax than corporations. $166.822 B vs. $2.248 B. Do the math if you don’t trust me…Hell, I wouldn’t trust me, either, at least this early on a Monday.
Care to guess where the big tax breaks have gone?
Fortunately, I’m trying to keep by blood pressure down, so I will update these when available and I won’t become a taxrouser. Much too early for that and besides: pointless.
Around the Ranch
My 24-track digital sound mixer started to act up this weekend, dropping its FireWire connection. Trouble seems to have been resolved with a poorly seated connector, but not before going hip-deep into surface-mount country armed only with a screwdriver, soldering iron, and jackhammer.
All’s well that ends well….except my ears are ringing from the test firing 400 watts of Van Halen…
Zeus the cat wouldn’t even come near the office building this morning – had to be carried out of the rain. He has his humans well-trained.
Puscilla Catsley, on the other hand, was fast enough to sneak into the house until the lighting fired off from our current round of T-storms heading off to the northeast from here.
Up the road a piece in Dallas, a fair bit of damage was reported from high winds. A couple of plastic panels blew out of the greenhouse, so as they blow out, they’re being put back in with silicon adhesive.
Today’s big project will be making another hidden door in the house. besides a “Trader Vic’s” looking dining room, I’ve really gotten into hidden bookcases and such. I’ll try to remember to snap a pic of the “door” when done.
Father Knows Best
My son (KF7OCD) called to admit the old man was right (again): An Icom 735 is just as hot a receiver as the new Icom 718. Apparently, he didn’t trust my judgment – which was that while the 718 is a good entry level HF radio, if you’re going to get a radio, save up for something with either a bigger feature set OR smaller footprint. Suggested the Icom 7000 would be more to his liking…a “DC to Daylight” radio, small and with DSP.
Not sure why, even when a parent actually has some knowledge in a subject area, that kids seem compelled to go out and test the grown up’s suggestions.
Of course, you and I didn’t do that, did we?
Still No Wedding Invite
I keep going out to the mailbox, hoping to get an invite to the royal wedding later this month. Alas, no sign of one yet.
May have something to do with pointing out that the royal wedding is on the anniversary of Hitler’s marriage to Eva Braun… or perhaps it was because I was planning to wear alligator shoes, you think?
George On Speed
Don’t know if you saw this, but here in Texas there’s a chance we could bump up the speed on some of the freeways to 85 MPH. That would reduce the time it takes to drive across Texas from 2-weeks down to about 10-days, or so it seems.
Related: I found a promising plane, so we’re looking at that, since with a cruise speed of 130 knots, it would still be a damn sight faster at 153 MPH – and no radar guns lurking…and mileage would be nearly comparable. Have to look into insurance and a lot of other details, though.
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Forensic Macroeconomics 635
Morgan Freeman’s fine performance in the movie “Deep Impact” was not the reason for proposing this course, although the possibility of an E.L.E. (extinction level event) being timed in a 1998 movie to be temporally coincident to the election and term in office of a black president, we hope is merely coincidental. However, other than space-based threats, there are a wide number of catastrophic possibilities in humankind’s future. If any of these was specifically known, giving foreknowledge of such events to leaders at any level of government, then even if relatively closely held, definable economic evidence well in advance of events is likely which could in turn define for investigators the most likely vectors of threat arrival and provide for autonomous (nongovernment) threat analysis and individuated action. This course is intended to take first steps toward identification and modeling of foreknown events.
If your computer runs slowly, you may have a problem with cookies. These little code snippets are how some websites (and spyware) recognize you, track your movement on the web and so forth. Here lately, as new class of super cookies has been evolved by the admen (and worse) that are resistant to normal cookie deletions through your browser’s interface. Flash cookies, persistent cookies, and super cookies…all easily managed with the Maxa Research Cookie Manager.
Take it for a test drive by clicking here – and it you like it, activation is easily done. If you’re a heavy web user (who ain’t?) you may find like I do that you’ve accumulating a hundred or more cookies per day. Only a handful need to be white-listed, like your brokerage account or your bank. The rest? Software designed to spy on you that robs you of computer performance. Been using it for several years and pleased as the Dickens with it.
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“Live on $10,000″ A Year
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