Sunday, July 15, 2007

On Wealth and Taxes and Giving Back

From the New York Times, an intriguing story on wealth in America--wealth whose parallel is a century old. Not since the Gilded Age has American wealth concentrated like it has in the top 1 percent of income earners. Robert L. Crandall, former president, CEO, and chairman of American Airlines speaks about the unique possibilities for wealth in the United States. He cogently aggresses a U.S. tax code blind to the protections the U.S. affords large businesses--and subsequently the American uber-rich. Louis Uchitelle writes for NYT:
"The nation’s corporate chiefs would be living far less affluent lives, Mr. Crandall said, if fate had put them in, say, Uzbekistan instead of the United States, 'where they are the beneficiaries of a market system that rewards a few people in extraordinary ways and leaves others behind.'

'The way our society equalizes incomes,' he argued, 'is through much higher taxes than we have today. There is no other way.'"

We write too many passes in this country largely because we think: "It could be me. It could be me that is rich and wants to avoid paying heavy taxes." Crandall nicely points out an overlooked logic. We have a lot of work to do, it begins by recognizing the cagey in the time-tested American epigram "equal opportunity."

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Correspondent Inference Theory: A Little Clarity

Providing a little clarity, something I think I had more of closer to 9-11 and the run-up to the Iraq disaster, is an article by Bruce Schneier in Wired. He comments expertly on Max Abrams paper, Why Terrorism Does Not Work. We could all stand to relearn that while some actions can only be understood as nonsensical, all actions are precipitated by demands. Learn about correspondent inference theory.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Know you are but what am I? China and the US Ban on Their Seafood

Here's an observation regarding a quote pulled from a CNN Money article "China Slams US Over Seafood Ban." China's nanny nanny poo poo in response for the US blocking imports of seafood because of evidence of tainted goods:
"In one apparent response in Beijing, Chinese officials announced the seizure of substandard food shipments at its ports.

In the past week, China seized two fruit shipments from the United States and warned it would apply greater scrutiny to U.S. cargoes, even as it tightens monitoring of manufacturers at home."

What does this have to do with education? Not much, but it does remind me of the type of school-yard antics and jejune tit-for-tat I'd expect from children, not countries. What if we started teaching our kids that the more they learn about the world, the more they will realize that not that much changes from school.

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