Death and taxes? How about death, then taxes? As we debate taxing, spending, and the proper role of government, one author has proposed the politically impossible: charging people for Medicare after they’ve died. Although it’ll never happen, his suggestion comes close to my (admittedly idiosyncratic) views on taxes. I would support an estate tax of 100 percent if it resulted in the elimination of all other taxes. Americans would pay no income taxes, no sales taxes, no payroll taxes, no property taxes, and no investment taxes during their lifetimes. As a tradeoff, we wouldn’t be able to pass money along to our children. Seniors would have an incentive to put money into the economy, and we could mitigate (although not eliminate) the impact of inherited wealth. Why not?
Archive for the ‘Pardon My Planet’ Category
At first glance, it would seem that the amateur accountant in this strip can’t do math. If she earned a quarter every time she balanced her checkbook, her total would be something like $1.25 or $1.50, right? Yes, but only if she didn’t earn interest on those quarters. Let’s say she balanced her checkbook once a month, then placed her 25-cent reward in a savings account that awarded 5 percent interest at the end of each month. By the end of April, her cumulative deposits and interest payments for the year would have totaled 113 cents. If she balanced her checkbook again in May, then deposited her quarter in the account (remember, interest does not accrue until the end of the month), her total would jump to 138 cents. (Actually, it would be 138.14078125 cents, but I think she can be forgiven for rounding down.)
I’m not buying this guy’s story – not in the least. Why would he utter the words “visiting Jennifer Aniston” in a noisy recruiting office? If a recruiter asked him what kind of job he was looking for, would he say “visiting Jennifer Aniston?” It doesn’t make sense. There is no job that lists, among its primary responsibilities, checking up on Rachel from Friends. (Okay, maybe Personal Assistant, but if you’re applying for that job, you’re showing up at Ms. Aniston’s house to work.) But let’s be charitable and say this reluctant soldier was making a funny, or engaging in a bit of harmless fantasy. His statement still doesn’t make sense. If this guy could get paid to do anything he wanted, he’s telling us he would choose “visiting Jennifer Aniston?” That’s what he would want to do? Visit her? Come on, buddy. Pick another verb.
Wow, that’s harsh, and I’m not talking about the whole terminal illness thing. I’m talking about the notion that green goes with black. Take a walk through your local forest preserve and you’ll see that green goes with brown. Then, slip a pair of black dress shoes over a pair of brown socks and you’ll see that those two colors are like oil and water. If green loves brown and brown hates black, then wouldn’t it make sense for green to hate black by proxy? Of course it would. Now if the woman in this strip had blue eyes, she might be able to pull off an all-black ensemble. Personally, I think silver and yellow go best with black, but if her eyes were either of those colors she’d probably be lying in a hospital bed next to her husband instead of talking to a doctor about his condition.
I seriously doubt that the fish in this strip has a more compelling backstory than the dog. It’s not that the fish is boring (okay, it’s probably a little boring) but that the dog is relentlessly interesting. For one thing, it’s wearing pearls instead of a dog collar. Was this dog a member of the aristocracy or did he pry those out of a costume trunk hidden in the back of a storage locker used by vaudeville enthusiasts? The dog also appears to have a head that’s slightly larger than it ought to be, given its tiny body. That’s not interesting in and of itself, but it does suggest the dog has more character quirks than that lame, perfectly proportioned fish.
There’s a factory on the northwest side of Chicago that very nearly touches the Kennedy Expressway. Tacked prominently onto one of the factory’s windowless walls are letters reading, “help wanted.” Underneath those letters is a marquee of sorts where the owners can post available positions. For as long as I can remember, the marquee has either been empty or has read, “no help wanted.” It’s a sad sight, but it also serves as a reminder of a bygone era: one in which manufacturers established themselves as the basis of the American economy, became important anchors for city neighborhoods, and advertised new jobs on the sides of their buildings.