Bruce McMath | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Bruce McMath 
Member since May 15, 2011


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Re: “Presbyterian ministers speak out against anti-gay HB 1228

The Arkansas Legislature moves to protect religious bigots! Isn't that what this boils down to? How difficult is it to understand that everyone has a right to be who they fundamentally are, and so long as it does not harm society as a whole, are entitled the same respect as human beings as everyone else. How can one get out of Kindergarden without having absorbed that simple concept? Think of all the conflict that the failure to absorb that simple reasonable concept is responsible for in this world. What kind of future do we have on this planet if a large portion of the population of this country, above all others, can't grasp such a simple concept? How do you reconcile the judgment of others and animus inherent in this bill with a professed belief in the presumed teaching of Jesus? How do you reconcile it with a professed acceptance of the values this country was founded upon - equality of men and an equal right to the pursuit of happiness? Conclusion, the reasoning faculty in most people is no match for their native prejudices. If reasoning threatens just dress your prejudice in religion and it will be totally immune from attack. It is a genetic flaw in humanity that demonstrates our evolution is far from complete. I fear it makes us unfit to handle the knowledge and power that the minds of a few are handing the minds of the many.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bruce McMath on 03/31/2015 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Astronomers rap Little Rock for defeating light pollution bill

Cat guy is correct that light pollution is the outcome of millions of small cuts and no, it is not likely that an astronomer will set up on the interstate and no one is suggesting that we turn all the lights out in the city. But the light that goes up into the air does not stop at the edge of town. It pollutes the sky for many miles. Light that goes down for the most part stays down and there is no point in lighting the sky. Now this may seem a small thing to many but it is a small thing that belongs to everyone and hence a very significant thing, more significant than might meet the eye. It is called situational awareness. It would likely be a good thing if more of use bothered to witness the universe first hand once in awhile to reset our perspectives. But it is becoming an increasing difficult thing to do and while you may be happy living in a totally artificial world of human construction, that I might like to escape it is entitled to as much respect as your interest in watching the hogs play on TV or golf or anything else. It is a matter of being considerate and in a world of seven billion people consideration is becoming more important. This aside from all the other considerations noted above argue that we stop being careless and become thoughtful about our outdoor lighting. There is no legitimate harm to anyone in doing that.

Posted by Bruce McMath on 03/13/2015 at 4:42 PM

Re: “Laying blame for the financial mess

Correction, 1919 top tax braket was only 77%.

Posted by Bruce McMath on 05/15/2011 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Laying blame for the financial mess

The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns for the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for the data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.

The Money and Manipulation party has convinced the country that low tax rates on the wealthy produce jobs. It is nonsense. At the end of WWI the top income tax bracket was 90% and the roaring twenties followed. Taxes were cut seven times as prosperity brought in too much revenue. By 1929 it had been reduced to 24%; prosperity did not follow. By the end of WWII the top marginal tax rate was 94%. Again prosperity bloomed and rates were cut over time, but the top rate was still 70% in late sixties when the Dow hit a thousand for the first time and we were going to the moon.

The M&M party would have us believe the country is on a taxing binge. Since 1929, federal tax revenue as a % of GDP has been lower that the last two fiscal years only twice, 1949 and 1950.

Taxes, if not spent, can slow economic activity, but high marginal rates on the wealthy have no such effect because for the most part they don’t spend their marginal after tax income anyway. Nor does excessive accumulation of money in Daddy Big Bucks pocket generate a meaningful impact of national investment.

By the way the depression was on its way out, when the tea party mentality of the day won out and dramatically reduced federal spending and raised taxes across the board throwing the country back into recession. Only the war ended it, with the government being more than 40% of all economic activity and borrowing funding half and more of federal expenditures.

Fear mongering for political purposes is obscuring a relatively obvious policy paths. The irony is that a substantial portion of the wealthy are for higher taxes on themselves. In the long run there is nothing wrong with the country’s fiscal health that a rational health care policy, some reality adjustments to our concepts of retirement and a more progressive tax structure would not fix. As it is we are cutting spending where we should be expanding it and expanding it where we should be cutting it and the same with taxes.

Posted by Bruce McMath on 05/15/2011 at 12:55 PM

 

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