High Taxes and American Greatness

High Taxes and American Greatness

The Golden Era of American Greatness occurred in large part thanks to the highest taxes in U.S. history, as shown in the graph below [1]. Those taxes paid for an unprecedented national infrastructure, massive technological innovations, advanced education, a relatively effective government, social programs to stave off another Great Depression, and the most powerful military forces in human history. Those sky-high taxes were mitigated by a complex system of exemptions. Taxpayers (corporate and otherwise) who invested money back into the country – and who thus sustained the economy and society with methods other than government tax-funds – could lower their Read more »

Guns, Media, and Money

Guns, Media, and Money

The United States was built upon five things that are biting us hard in the ass right now: 1. A literally religious mythology of divine favor. 2. A culture founded entirely upon buying and selling goods. 3. A revolution conducted by eloquent idealists who also owned slaves. 4. The slavery and genocide of everyone who dared to get in the way of the first three elements. 5. A conflux of mass media, technology and literacy unknown in the world until that point. That mass-media – from broadsides to newspapers to TV to the internet – has sold Americans the impression Read more »

"Not Part of the 99%"? You're Fooling Yourself

"Not Part of the 99%"? You're Fooling Yourself

“I’m not part of the 99%.” That’s the catch-phrase of a counter-protest that misunderstands the entire nature of the Occupy movement. Buying the lies that 99% activists are just a bunch of unemployed hippies looking for handouts, people like the following young student trumpet their work-ethics, and chide the rest of us for not being them. (Later, after this essay was originally posted, the sign-holder’s claims were utterly debunked. Go figure…) Parodying the various signs held by Occupy demonstrators, this picture epitomizes a view that misses the entire point of the protests. “The 99%” does not refer to people who Read more »

Economics, Knowledge & Power

Economics, Knowledge & Power

Especially these days, all Americans should be required to take a real-world Economics course – in high school if not earlier. I’m not talking about “Home Ec,” that throwback to women-in-the-kitchen days that (last I knew) offers some practical household skills but teaches little, if anything, about real economics. Nor am I referring to Advanced Placement business course, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) or other “egghead” courses for high-aspiration nerds (like I was in high school). I mean a real, practical overview of economics: history, principle, cultural factors, real-life application, and core economic ideas like value, exchange, and Read more »

Profits, Pirates, and the Bottom Line

Profits, Pirates, and the Bottom Line

  Here’s a random thought on business management, informed by decades as both an employee and a business owner:   A large portion of American business practices (and non-American business practices, as well) are driven by an erroneous concept of “the bottom line.”  When cutting corners, pay or benefits, people often claim to be “watching the bottom line.” Is this really good for business, though? Not if you want that business to last.  A week or two ago, I got into a debate with an online acquaintance. Our disagreement? Does a business exist to sell a product or service to its customers, Read more »

Natural Impulses, Young Animals, Shadow Manifestations, and the Nature of Maturity

Natural Impulses, Young Animals, Shadow Manifestations, and the Nature of Maturity

As I often discuss with both my partner Sandra Buskirk, my girlfriend Coyote Ward, and our buddy Kelly Berger, the major (and fairly recent) disconnect between our animal natures and the technological world we have created in the last 2 1/2 centuries is profound. We’re going to be sorting it out for centuries, but right now it’s leading to crises on many different levels – crises that have the potential to destroy us as a species, and take a large part of the world we know with us. As a man with my own history of violence (both my own and the Read more »

Reckoning Day for the Corporate Citizen

Reckoning Day for the Corporate Citizen

(Originally posted in mid-2011, shortly after the Occupy Wall Street protests had begun, this post’s original appearance had garnered over 20,000 views and almost 1000 Shares. Subsequent events have made the article even more pertinent than it was when it was first written.) The Corporate Citizen is in the dock. He (and let’s be honest, the Corporate Citizen is implacably masculine) has a fire under his ass right now that no amount of bribery, mockery, or denial can extinguish. He may have bought the Supreme Court, Congress, the cops and maybe even the president, but he’s in trouble. The crows have Read more »