Tax studly swaggering

July 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

In Gulliver’s Travels, we see this, as a contrast to Vice taxes:  Tax envy-producing qualities, as reported and assessed by the taxpayer himself.   For example, the “highest Tax was upon Men who are the greatest Favourites of the other Sex, and the Assessments, according to the Number and Nature of the Favours they have received; for which, they are allowed to be their own Vouchers.” Call it the “Swaggering Stud” tax.

Gulliver’s Travels — Full text, searchable

July 5, 2015 § Leave a comment


Caps omitted in this copy.

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with

almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or

re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included

with this eBook or online at « Read the rest of this entry »

Gulliver’s Taxes

July 3, 2015 § 1 Comment

Gulliver looks at tax policy, in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels:

I heard a very warm debate between two professors, about the most commodious and effectual ways and means of raising money, without grieving the subject.  The first affirmed, “the justest method would be, to lay a certain tax upon vices and folly; and the sum fixed upon every man to be rated, after the fairest manner, by a jury of his neighbours.”  The second was of an opinion directly contrary; “to tax those qualities of body and mind, for which men chiefly value themselves; the rate to be more or less, according to the degrees of excelling; the decision whereof should be left entirely to their own breast.”  The highest tax was upon men who are the greatest favourites of the other sex, « Read the rest of this entry »

Tax marijuana like milk?

June 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Backing up posts manually, I came across one from May 30, 2010: “Free choice to use tobacco and alcohol — Tax free!”

Tax cannabis like corn flakes? Here, from the Raleigh newspaper, is a pure expression of that view. Taxes that “should be abolished” include “all differential excise taxes on tobacco, alcohol and entertainment.”  The link has expired, so my old blog post is the only place I can find it. This is a point of view I disagree with, but I can’t prove it wrong. It prevails or loses, depending on who has the votes. « Read the rest of this entry »

Copy this website with attribution

June 22, 2015 § 1 Comment

Please feel free to download and and save and repost anything on this website,, with attribution.  Godaddy gave me a scare, indicating that this website would disappear on June 24 unless I engaged in some computer work that’s beyond me.  I think I’ve dodged that bullet, but general principles call for saving content routinely.  That, too, involving “file transfer protocol,” is beyond me.   When I lose the rest of my marbles, this website will soon vanish.  For what it’s worth.

Unplowed ground

June 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

I was talking about the California Blue Ribbon Commission and the taxation of cannabis with an elected official in North Carolina, one who spends a lot of time saying the same thing over and over.  (A lot of this time involves battling the other side of the political spectrum.)  This official expressed some envy about tackling something new — about questions we don’t have answers for.

It would be very useful to index the taxes on alcohol and fuels (gasoline, jet fuel) for inflation.  To me, that’s an obvious reform.  But if I were to take up that reform as an issue, I would have to say the same thing over and over again:  Index these taxes.  Even though I make plenty of mistakes, it’s more fun to work on unplowed ground.


WA Credit union accepts cannabis growers

June 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

This was news to me before the ACLU of WA-WOLA trip to Spokane, which educated me about this practice, already described in an article from September 2014:

“Unlike many banks worried about the drug’s federally illegal status, Spokane’s Numerica Credit Union has offered accounts to marijuana growers and processors (retailers are not allowed). Numerica wouldn’t confirm the number of accounts it’s opened or the amount of its application or monthly fees, though a spokesperson said special fees were necessary for the ‘initial and ongoing due diligence’ on the accounts. Growers and retailers tell the Inlander the application fee alone is $1,000.”

The rationale I heard for “no-retailers” is « Read the rest of this entry »


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