I saw this story right off this morning and thought: Kay, you are probably apoplectic right about now. And rightly so. For some time now, twenty years at least, I have had the nagging feeling that the late 20th century was an interlude or an aberration in human history. Most of us alive today cannot remember when unions were illegal and any attempt to unionize was met with state sanctioned violence. Most of us alive today cannot remember when the working class could live a middle class lifestyle because they were well paid. Most of us today cannot remember a time when the elderly did not have the cushion of Social Security. Most of us today cannot remember a time when children as young as 8 or 10 worked in often dangerous conditions doing hard labor for 12 or more hours a day and few would get through the 4th grade. But that is what we seem to be going back to.
Then HuffingtonPost had this little story that proves the old adage that 'figures don't lie, but liars figure'. It all depends on the numbers you use to do the figuring. We have been bombarded with stories of late about how unfair our corporate taxes are and that the 35% tax rate on business revenues is one of the highest in the world. That may be true but that doesn't say what proportion of the GDP businesses actually pay in taxes and that has been going down steadily since its high in the late 1940s. That raises the question: if our corporate taxes are the highest in the world how come business are paying so little of the tax revenues?
This should have come as a surprise to no one and I am amazed at the number of supposedly intelligent and supposedly well-informed commentators who were surprised. Much as I despise the loudmouthed bigots who have neither a sense of propriety nor shame, I don't see how the Supreme Court could have come to a different decision. I would suggest that communities who want to effectively and non-violently deal with these assholes take a page out of a couple of communities who did not get nearly enough publicity--they made sure that every available space anywhere near the funerals was occupied before the Westboro people arrived.