STUMP » Articles » Friday Foolery: Dumb Taxes in General » 2 February 2018, 04:00

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Friday Foolery: Dumb Taxes in General  

by

2 February 2018, 04:00

I’ve decided to let soda taxes get a pass today, because I have been coming across all sorts of dumb tax ideas in the past week.

LET’S TAX DEAD ANIMALS

The nutrient-deficient people of PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals) want meat taxed:

You Can Have my Meat When You Pry It from My Cold, Dead Hands

This is from the “Things that sound dirty, but aren’t” file. I’m talking about real meat and enviro-nazis’ real attempts to stop us from eating and enjoying our favorite foods.

…..
This is not the first time we’ve seen psychotic, state-worshiping enviro-wackos push a tax on meat. It will give them a double prize: force everyone to conform to their way of life, and give their government gods extra revenue.

Using government force to compel citizens to behave a certain way is too obviously tyrannical, so they prefer simply using government force to influence behaviors they don’t like. Hence, the “meat tax.”

Also, note PETA’s sneaky attempts at creating the illusion that people support their insane tax on meat. There are no legislative proposals on any government level to impose a tax on your favorite foods. For now, your barbecue chicken, your prime rib, your pork chops, and your bacon cheeseburgers are safe from greedy statists, but PETA is working hard to advance the deception that not only is broad, popular support for vegetarianism, veganism, and their way of life is on the rise, but that a bigger percent of Americans now wants to force their fellow citizens to live like they do. And while it’s true there are more Americans today lowering their meat intake, that number is still tiny (and by the way, since the 2017 study was commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group – an organization with an obvious agenda – I have doubts that their estimate of 3.8 percent of Americans identifying either vegetarian or vegan are in any way accurate).

3.8% actually sounds about right to me… and it would mean there are more gay people in the U.S. than vegetarian/vegan.

The reason I called the PETA people nutrient-deficient isn’t so much that they’re vegan, but that there are indications they don’t know the kind of supplementation they need when one eats no animal products whatsoever. I don’t want to encourage this unhealthy lifestyle, so I will point to the evidence of malnutrition and not to what one needs as a vegan to not end up mentally deficient.

PETA trying to change the name of the town Fishkill, in 1996:

FISHKILL, New York (CNN) — Welcome to the small, upstate New York town of Fishkill, or should it be called Fishsave?

All was quiet in Fishkill until an animal rights group, PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, took issue with the town’s centuries-old name.

PETA wants the town to change its name, claiming it suggests cruelty to, well, fish.

“It seems like a light-hearted subject at first. But the real issue behind the name of Fishkill is the violent imagery,” PETA spokeswoman Anne Sullivan said.

Fishkill Mayor George Carter can’t imagine using the name Fishsave on town signs — like the one for the elementary school.

“Picture that (school) with the new name? Oh, my goodness. Fishsave Elementary School? Good Lord,” laughed the mayor.

“I think their proposal is idiotic,” he said.

If the town of Fishkill changes its name, then what about the other towns in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with the stem -kill.

Bushkill, Schuykill, Cresskill, Cobleskill, Fishkill Plains, Peekskill, Plattekill, Poestenkill, Wallkill, West Kill, Wynanstkill…

And don’t forget the nearby rivers with similar names: the Fish Kill, the Wall Kill and the Basher Kill.

If the towns and rivers are renamed then the Catskill Mountains of New York should also be renamed.

Kill means creek
Why all the names ending in ‘kill’? One definition of the word is channel or creek — of which there are many in this mountainous Northeast region.

The area around Fishkill, New York, was founded by the Dutch in the early 1600s; the ‘kill’ part in the name is actually the Dutch word for ‘stream.’

Now, lots of people don’t know Dutch, but the -kill suffix is on so many placenames in New York, you’d think the minorly observant might understand that it’s not about killing Cats or Fish or Peeks. (what are Peeks?)

When I commented on this at the time, Stu told me that the vegans were likely missing micronutrients and not-so-micronutrients and thus their cognitive function was affected. At the time (and for many years before and after), Stu was a strict vegetarian, not partaking of dairy or meat. He took vitamin/nutrient supplementation because he studied up on the needs before he jumped into it at a time where it was extremely unusual as a lifestyle choice.

Anyway, make sure you get your necessary nutrients. Or you could pretend that a meat tax wouldn’t be an even bigger fail than soda taxes.

LET’S TAX ONLINE PORN

Dear Lord. Okay, let’s see what the proposal is.

Virginia proposes porn watching fee to prevent human trafficking:

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — The Commonwealth of Virginia might start charging people for checking out adult websites.

There is a new bill being proposed in the General Assembly that would lock all pornographic sites from your phones and computers, and the only way to unlock them is to pay the state $20.

Virginia House Bill 1592 is also known as “The Human Trafficking Prevention Act.”

Lawmakers who proposed the bill said that by making pornography less accessible on the internet, it will reduce the amount of human trafficking.

Terrie Foss of Virginia agrees with the bill.

“If people want to view pornography, that’s their prerogative. But by having it free, it makes it too tempting for other people on the web to have access that can be influenced in a negative way,” said Foss.

How would this work.

Seriously, how.

So… you have the ISPs block the sites, unless some tax is paid? The ISPs might be local. Or they may provide internet via satellite, just as my relatives living in the Appalachians could get TV reception no other way. They don’t have cable up there, you know.

Or, the lock is on each individual device? People would just buy the devices somewhere else. It would hurt local electronics retailers. Boo hoo.

How would you know which sites are adult or not? I remember in the bad old days of iffy URLs (yes, I know they’re still around), I could end up on a porn site accidentally. That has not happened to me in over a decade. The state would have to keep some sort of list, and update it constantly. I assume they’d outsource that job… and I bet the outsourced solution there would suck up most of the supposed tax revenue.

Francis Turner looked at the bill, which it does have to do with retail sales:

Let’s start off with the fact that this isn’t going to work. Not even slightly. Anyone with half a mind can think of a dozen ways technical to evade the block on a particular device (hint the words VPN and proxy feature in many of them). Still, even without that technical knowledge it isn’t going to work because residents of Virginia will simply drive across the border to a neighboring state and buy their phones or computers there – or, for that matter, use Amazon, Newegg or 10001 other online purveyors of electronic devices.

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However, just for fun let us assume that the residents of Virginia are unable to think of technical workarounds or to drive to stores across the state line but also don’t want to pay the $20 to unlock their devices. Now we have the problem of how exactly would the filtering be done. From the wording on the bill it seems that the idea is that the blocking software runs on the device itself.
…..
Given the potential for dual use sites (tumblr for example has a thriving porn section as well as other sections that are devoted to SJW whining, cats and general blogging with no easy way to differentiate between them) and the way that there are literally millions of domains and nothing stopping someone from setting up new ones, the filtering would require a lot of resources on the device even when it was letting traffic through. Given that people complain today about how their smartphones need to be recharged every few hours, having some mandatory resource hogging inspection app running that looks at every URL and decides if it is porn related would be about as popular as a cup of cold cat vomit.

Francis goes onto consider the extreme hypothetical of the law actually working to block porn, and how that would lead to more human-trafficking-for-porn, which makes sense to me… but it won’t even get to that level, because the whole idea is unworkable.

ANOTHER DUMBASS ILLINOIS IDEA: LET’S TAX THE RICH WHO HAVEN’T YET LEFT

It’s not trying to tax meat or porn, but this is an extremely bad idea…for Illinois. It’s a great idea for Connecticut or New York.

It’s Baaaaack: The Illinois ‘Privilege Tax’ Bill! – Wirepoints Original

Undeterred by national ridicule heaped on Illinois last year, statehouse Democrats are pushing again for passage of the “privilege tax” on investment managers.

HB 4293 would impose a 20% tax, in addition to all other taxes, on fees that are based on capital gains. Hedge funds, private equity and venture capital would all be hit — for as long as it took them to leave, that is.

It would push all those firms out immediately and decimate the financial and tech communities, which are among the few sectors thriving in Illinois. Just by seriously considering the bill Illinois is sending a plain message to the financial community: Leave. Expect this topic to earn national scorn once again.

Connecticut would be very happy for a new bevy of rich people to move in. It’s lost a lot of its old bevies.

New York would also be pleased to take Illinois refugees.

I have no idea why money people like to be in/near Chicago. I find it an appalling town (yes, I’m a New York bigot.) But some of the selling points, as I understand it, is that Chicago is cheaper than NYC. And… hmmm. Some people like their sports teams better?

More seriously, lots of the people have family in the area, and would like to be near them. It’s one of the reasons I stay on the east coast (ok, not really. I stay on the East Coast because I’m a natural East Coaster. Hell, when I was living in Manhattan, I lived on the east side. And then I moved to Queens. And now I’m in the northeast corner of Westchester. I’m all about east. I don’t get those weirdos who go west.)

There are various key markets in commodities and other things located in Chicago but, and here’s the thing: those markets can be moved. They don’t need to be in Chicago.

(Nor does much of anything need to be in New York or Connecticut.)

I find it amusing that Daniel Biss is one of the sponsors of the legislation, as Biss continues to show that just because one has a fancy math degree doesn’t mean one is smart. Sometimes, it’s just a case of him having different values than me, but in this case, he’s just a dumbass.

But hey, starve the beast by running away the rich people that feed it. Fine by me.

I may bring back soda taxes next week, but I have a feeling I’ll have more idiotic taxes to comment on as state legslatures gear up.


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