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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

I'd love to help get rid of him but I've got one of my own.

The meek shall inherit the earth.

The geeks are going to the stars.


It eternally amuses me that Carmack is in the aerospace biz now because now I can say that he must have decided to swap from rocket launchers to rocket ships.
Totally unrelated, but you've made me dig out Pride and Prejudice again, to read on the train. I heart Mr. Darcy, but I think the only real reason is because in my head he looks like Colin Firth.

And really, you just can't stay mad at Colin Firth.
I've also been inspired for a P&P reread.

This time through, I'm particularly struck by one quote from the editor's introduction to this Penguin Classics edition:
For the first two parts of the book Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett believe that they are taking part in an action which, if turned into a fiction, should be called Dignity and Perception.
And Warren Buffett is going to leave billions and billions to the Steve & Melinda Gates Foundation to give away for various works.

Personally, I think it would have been cool if he had put a few of his billions into space projects. That would have really impressed me.

And isn't it ironic that Mr. Buffett (hmmm, and Mr. Gates as well) have been very emphatic about being opposed to ending the federal estate tax -- and yet they are putting their billions into these foundations which means that none of those billions will ever generate a dime of estate tax (one of Buffett's requirments is that the foundation must follow all applicable rules and regulations such that no estate tax obligations will be generated).

So estate taxes are okay for normal people who have busted their asses building family businesses (pizza restaurants or furniture stores or hardware store, etc.) but not for billionaires. The super rich crowd has flocks of accountants and lawyers (and lobbyists) who will see to it that they avoid taxes.

[Full disclosure: I am in no danger of ever being in the neigbhorhood of having sufficient wealth to ever generate any estate tax issues unless I should happen to buy a winning PowerBall ticket -- and since I buy one of them about once every two or three years....]
Eh, if that gets people to donate billions to charity instead of to their layabout children, I'm probably okay with it.
i think it is pretty well established that mere millionares will never have to pay estate taxes...

but it is refreshing to see some of the richest people in America have not lost their intitiative and imagination entirely after making their pile of cash... These are first rate minds, not like the used car salesmen with guilty consciences that are the back bone of the Repubs.. And seeing as how our gummit has a total lack of imagination...
Per this piece at factcheck.org, family businesses and farms aren't all that likely to be severely impacted by estate taxes.

A lot of the current furor in the US over estate taxes comes is fueled by a very small group of very wealthy people--like the Waltons of Wal-mart. Gates and Buffett are speaking in opposition to them, for the most part. I believe Buffett and Gates feel (as did Andrew Carnegie, for what it's worth--the man who said things like "The man who dies..rich dies disgraced" and "Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.") that simply passing along vast amounts of wealth to your children and grandchildren isn't good for American democracy--and possibly, for the American economy. Carnegie also felt it wasn't all that good for the heirs!

Certainly, Buffett is going to give away far more money that his estate would have paid in taxes. Given the way the federal budget is being handled lately, it will probably be better spent this way than if it went in taxes, where it would either be servicing our immense debt to China and Saudi Arabia, or else get turned over to Halliburton &c.
Thanks space-parasite, stwish, and fidelioscabinet for your thoughts -- I essentially agree with you guys (and thanks for the link to factcheck.org -- I always suspected that the case against the estate tax was probably a bit slanted -- but then most of the clamor from both sides of any given issue is probably biased -- but even the stats on factched show that some of these cases do actually involve "real people" as opposed to filthy rich coupon-clippers)

I'm not among the crowd that thinks they should be abolished... and I do worry about the potential dangers of concentrations of vast wealth.

But I still do think it is ironic that Buffett and Gates can sound off about keeping the estate tax while working the system to avoid paying the tax themselves. Yes, they are "donating" their money -- i.e., they are using the tax code so that they can dispose of it according to their wishes while seeing to it that none of it is taxed.

My wife is claustrophobic, so I have an item on my to-do list (prioritized after all the household chores): “Terraform destination planet before emigrating.”
on second thought, do i trust the mind that invented Doom with space flight, and therefore artifical environments?...

Too bad i dont write SF... there's a story in there someplace...
John Carmack is obviously working covertly to prepare us for the day when we must face the Strogg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strogg