Duly Noted: Communism, the Antidote to Global Warming


Some bits in the mosaic of our time are overlooked because we look for boulders. This column presents underrated issues/ideas that might deserve attention.
1. Allegedly, fair taxes reflect the assumed ability to pay. Generally, the criteria applied are, however, not economic put political. This makes taxation subject to pressures that might be devoid of much economic sense. At the same time, the principle is reversible. The ability to pay depends, ultimately, on the extent of the taxes levied. Therefore, high taxes ultimately reduce tax revenues
2. The foregoing opens the door to a related speculation. Prices reflect the value subjectively attributed by the users of goods to what they consume. The share of the disposable income used to attain a good is also determined by the extent it is consumed by the rest of the public. If this is so then, one can argue that with taxes we pay for something we buy. Therefore, the amount of tax collected from individuals could depend on the usefulness to them of whatever taxes buy. In this case, those with low incomes should pay more taxes than those with above average incomes. After all, the former derive more benefits from tax-financed services than the latter.
3. As so often, our economy totters at the threshold to the future. As it moves forward, it needs ever more people with skills and especially the ability to acquire new and applicable knowledge. Meanwhile a counter-trend is discernible. The educational systems of modernized and correspondingly wealthy countries engage in a newfangled luxury. It is to permissively teach ever less to a growing number of learners to be entertained. Instead of skills, the victims of fancy theories are equipped with degrees.
4. Quote from a paper. “North Korea has not yet recovered from the famine of the 90s.” To do that, Korea must first recover from Communism.
5. That famine was due to bad weather. It is notable how different the weather north and south of the 38th parallel is. There is no famine in the ROC. Communism’s collectivized agriculture is a great idea hindered by the fact that since 1917, wherever it was implemented, the weather turned bad. That is what must have caused food output to slide south. This correlation might make Communism into an antidote to global warming and drought. Producing bad weather, Communism might be able to save mankind from being boiled like spaghetti.
6. The reaction of African leaders to Zimbabwe’s secret election’s secrets tells us something. These leaders are color blind when they need to react to the plight of those suffering. They rise to a high level of color consciousness when the ruling perpetrator of the hardship needs to be judged. Alternatively, is it just the fraternal loyalty of dictators?
7. Kenya must be the “best governed” country of the globe. If not quite then, she gets the title “the most governed state.” We hope that her new coalition government will be less destructive than the civil war the deal is designed to end. The new arrangement gives that country ninety ministers. (Think here of the 14 Secretaries of State that run the US with 300+ million inhabitants.) So much talent directing Kenya must bring heaven to earth there. On the other hand, it might dig the deep holes into which the pillars of corruption will be firmly sunk.
8. The Democrats promise (17 April) to react forcefully if nuclear weapons are used against Israel. Once this happens Israel will have acted and if not, then it will be too late. In this latter case a welcome excuse – the fait accompli – will serve the preferred cause, that of resigned inaction.
9. More bold action. Piracy is becoming a growing problem to international shipping. A few recent cases received much attention. As a result, an international task force commenced to operate around Somalia. On the 21st, a German frigate had the intention to board a boat. The vessel appeared to be the mother ship of a speedboat with armed men equipped with machine guns and armor piercing weapons. However, the rules set for German ships prohibit the use of force. Therefore, the plan had to be dropped. In the end, it was a US ship that carried out the boarding.
10. The effective defense of the West – and of politically-economically advanced societies in general – pre-supposes an activist alliance. A compact is meant whose terms would credibly deter challengers. It must also have the means to crush (yes, what else?) attackers when needed. This implies a unity of purpose. Some of NATO’s major members are increasingly incapacitated by internal pressures that demand something that approaches neutrality. The list of reservations regarding threats and the appropriate approved reaction is lengthening. As a result, the current alliance blocks itself before inching forward, and hinders the execution of agreed upon measures when in action. Therefore, the US might have to recruit partners within the formal alliance that are willing to share the common burden. At the same time, America also needs to make a commitment. It is that it shall not abandon its partners when her permanent electoral campaigns produce a poll suggesting that ducking brings more votes than steadfastness can.
11. As long as there will be Jimmy Carters around to play the redeemer, terrorism will continue to pay. At least one accomplishment by a boastingly modest person with many failures to his credit.
12. Carter met and embraced a leading terrorist who, like Brezhnev, also got a ritual hug. After the talks Carter emerged to trumpet his success. Hamas was prepared to accept the existence of Israel! (Put facetiously, with this only the presence of those confounded Jews continued to stand in the way of peace.) By return mail, Hamas took everything back that Carter thought Hamas had promised. Had it been able to judge intelligently, in its own long term interest, Hamas should have built Carter up and exploited him to a greater extent as a “useful idiot.”
13. Ahmadinejad has the habit of accepting petitions in public places and he also acts on some of these. The scene reminds one of old-style monarchs. Sticking to the present, it is likely that the custom creates more political capital for the Leader than the value of the extended help might be to the petitioners. Behind the practice, there is a system.
(1) The benign ruler creates hardship by his abuses.
(2) A few people get help from the ruler so they can individually overcome the problems he has caused. Without him, both the succor and the problem would not be there.
(3) All are made to feel thankful and hope for relief. The worse conditions become, the more will rising needs make this to be the case.
14. Even voting majorities cannot change the facts. They can only determine the response to them.
15. We might be depleting our resources. The search for alternative supplies is on. Perhaps we should find a way to convert nuts into fuel. The supply seems to be not only vast but also expands. Take this one, which, although it is from April, is seriously not meant as an April fool joke. Well, a publicly financed Swiss ethic commission that seems to take itself seriously came up with a gem. It concluded something like that plants have a personality and hence possess an innate dignity. Therefore, to protect their natural rights, they must not be mutilated. (How to become a self-taught mass murderer? Mow the lawn!) Presumably, this respect for all living things includes eating them, which, by the standard set, might be a form of unconscious cannibalism. This writer’s main concern is what might happen to vegetarians. Until now, we were told that not eating animals makes one virtuous. Now those who went along should not eat plants either. This creates a few difficulties but also brings a solution. Applying such newly discovered ethical standards, the problem of over-population and, thereby that of man-made pollution, will soon be under control. Finally, the polar bears and heated-up Al Gore will be alone.
16. Another case from the “hard-to-believe” file. Jan Sokol, a Slovak Bishop has celebrated a mass honoring the 61st anniversary of the execution of Monsignore Jozef Tiso. If the name does not ring bells, you might think that Pater Tiso was a clergyman that the Communist had martyred. Not at all. Tiso was the head of the Nazi Slovak state that existed between 1938 and 1945. Its uniqueness is that it paid the Reich for every Jew that the architects of the “Endlösung” accepted for disposal. There is also a demand afoot to make Tiso a saint. Herewith the writer nominates the lions of the arenas to become candidates. Use this case as an illustration to what extent misplaced ethnic loyalty can blind chauvinists.
17. Just in. In Nepal the Maoists have won an election. Many voted for them in to stop their insurgency and terror. The likely result is that they will continue to do legally what they practiced as subversives. Additionally, count on the weather turning bad (see item 5). After a decent interval, be prepared for the refugees from the new “workers’ paradise.”