My opposition to the HST in BC is based on two simple reasons.
The BC Liberals flat-out lied about their plans not to introduce it.
(see below) When Ontario did it, they did it the right way: the plan was
introduced to the public before the election, and people voted with
The BC Liberals have not operated the province with any fiscal
restraint. (Seriously, $600 million for a new roof for BC Place, and it
can't even close up while it's raining?) Instead, they've had to rely on
at least two major one-time sell-the-farm gambits (the BC Rail sale and
the HST coming with a crucial $1.6 billion one-time gift from the
feds) to make ends meet.
The BC Liberals in 2009, right before the election:
"The harmonized GST would make it harder for future provincial
governments to lower or raise sales tax rates, which reduces
flexibility. In short, a harmonized GST is not something that is
contemplated in the B.C. Liberal platform."
Just to be sure, the restaurant association asked whether it would be
consulted if the Liberals changed their minds. "We do commit to engage
in consultation with industry prior to any potential future tax changes
that affect food," was the reply.
A few months later, when the election was over, they turned around and
implemented it so quickly it was clear they'd been planning it before
the election. As further documents revealed.
Come to think of it, the lies about the sale of BC Rail - from the
state of its finances to whether it even was a sale or "merely"
a 990-year lease, remind me a lot about the similarly dishonest
post-facto fearmongering about turning over the HST.
Put it this way: I don't care whether the HST is better or worse for the
province than the GST/PST. The important things to me are that a
democracy cannot be run by lying to the electorate, and that the BC
Liberals must stop selling the future to pay for today.
posted at: 17:29 Thu 26/May/2011 |
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From comments in this Crooked Timber post, a somewhat overlooked
part of "evolutionary psychologist" Satoshi Kanazawa's extraordinarily
crap article for Psychology Today:
For example, because they have existed much longer in human
evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes
than other races.
As comment #30 points out, this is staggeringly stupid:
Does he think that other "races" were created from scratch more
recently than Africans with no deleterious mutations? Even using his
assumptions they will have inherited harmful mutations from their
ancestors in just the same way as Africans have.
And as you say, all this ignores the fact that harmful mutations will
be selected against. In reality we expect a balance between natural
selection (lowering the frequency of harmful mutations) and new
Seriously, saying something this dumb ought to be grounds for your alma
mater to revoke your PhD.
Considering they've stood by him as he's made
other scientific and methodological gaffes, I expect LSE and
Psychology Today will probably promote Kanazawa instead.
posted at: 21:04 Wed 25/May/2011 |
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Premiums and 'Obamacare'
As the one year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act nears, The New York Times notices that health insurance
premiums still haven't gone down. Just the opposite, in fact:
We know, for example, that benefit mandates drive up the cost of
insurance. This ought to be self-evident to anyone who's ever
purchased, say, car insurance: A bigger benefit package means more
expensive premiums. The same is true in the health insurance market.
Now, is there anything in that NYT article that Reason left out?
Some insurance industry lobbyists say the new federal health care law
is driving up premiums. But Vincent Capozzi, senior vice president for
sales and customer service at Harvard Pilgrim, said that only one
percentage point of the increases here was attributable to the federal
law, mainly its requirement for free coverage of preventive services.
Another percentage point results from new state laws requiring coverage
of hearing aids and certain treatments for autism, Mr. Capozzi said.
Most of the remainder, he said, reflects increases in the use and cost
of medical care by small-group customers, with adjustments for
demographic characteristics like age.
This in a story that's talking about increases this year of 20-40
percentage points! Perhaps mandates are not, in fact, the main driver
of costs, hmm, Reason?
posted at: 04:01 Tue 08/Mar/2011 |
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This Week in Cretins: Dana Rohrabacher
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher tweets:
Just met in Berlin with leaders of the Northern Alliance who defeated
the Taliban. #Afghanistan #freedom
And Aug 9th:
.@JC_Christian Osama fought Soviets, funded by Saudis not US. I always
opp. support 4 radicals like him unlike Clinton who backed Taliban.
.@JC_Christian @tigrs99 @blogdiva No Taliban til post Bush Sr, Clinton
backed Taliban vs Muj mods, Bush Jr only in office few months b4 9/11
Wow, sounds like Republican Dana Rohrabacher decries the Taliban and
wants to blame them on Clinton, right?
This would be easier to take if it wasn't coming from a guy who
(previously) had "lobbied shamelessly" for the Taliban:
posted at: 21:37 Mon 09/Aug/2010 |
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Arthur Laffer in today's WSJ
In a stunning turn of events, the Reagan-era lead supply-sider Arthur
Laffer has penned an editorial for the WSJ coming out in favor of... tax
But wait, it gets better! To shore up support for his claim, he gives a
brief description of the Great Depression:
And then there's the Hoover/Roosevelt Great Depression. The Great
Depression was precipitated by President Hoover in early 1930, when he
signed into law the largest ever U.S. tax increase on traded
products--the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. President Hoover then thought it
would be clever to try to tax America into prosperity.
... I guess nothing very notable happened in 1929.
posted at: 04:05 Tue 03/Aug/2010 |
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