Commerce

On Arcologies

SimCity 2000

Ok, so it's been far, far too long since I posted anything -- and yet I continue to pay for hosting, so it's time I wrote something again. There's an article about an architect planning on building a building based upon the shaped of a dragonfly wing here. From the article, the building would feature urban farming:

The Chief Justice Blinks

Last week the Supreme Court shocked everyone by ruling that ObamaCare was constitutional, and while I was fully prepared to hear liberals declare victory in the wake of the opposite ruling, I was shocked to see conservatives pulling the Baghdad Bob routine. How can this ruling be seen as anything except cowardly and wrong?

The Perils of Rejecting ObamaCare

An incredibly chilling interview with Neal Katyal, US Solicitor General who argued in defense of ObamaCare's individual mandate in the lower courts. Read it and weep: The original text of the interview can be found here.

Follow the jump for my take on it.

People of Walmart (Sexy And I Know It)

This one is for Will, who loves to mock Walmart patrons. Me... I like Walmart myself.

Super Mario = Personal Finance Manager

Super Mario is My Personal Finance God

Lifehacker has a great article discussing whether there are ways to make personal finance decision-making into a more gamelike experience. Imagine if we could focus the same kind of passion and energy devoted to video gaming towards personal finance? Or is that absurd?

Honestly, I think it's a great idea for a game. The keys are nicely laid out in the LF article, but should go into more detail. The article correctly points out that the key to 'gametizing' (not actually a word) personal finance is scoring. How can you gauge your progress? The article goes into good detail on how to mentally impose a gaming mindset on personal finance decision-making.

For example: if you've got a debt you want to reduce to zero, picture it as a boulder or endgame boss that you plan on defeating. Your net worth can be considered your 'score'. But what about more complex decisions -- should you rent or buy a home? Can these decisions be gametized?

But what about making personal finance into an actual game? Could it be done? And if so, what form would it take? Would it be fun to play, or feel like Quicken with fireballs?

Some observations after the jump.

Finally, Time Enough for E-Books

Time Enough At Last

Well, it finally happened.

First it happened to my father who (along with my mother) spends one month out of the year in Florida, and decided it was a hassle to ship so many books south for the winter. I bought him a Kindle e-book reader and he loves it. That was two years ago. This year my mother got one and she's using it and loving it as well.

American Crisis: Too Many Rich People

It's the Rich White People Who Are Dragging Us Down!

After reading today's posted results of Gallup's latest poll, I realize now why I don't like taking surveys. It's  the openly stupid questions. The main feature of the poll results is that Americans are almost evenly divided on the topic of 'income redistribution'. Roughly half of Americans favor it. It brings to mind an episode of SpikeTV's 'The Man Show' in which the two male hosts ask women to sign a petition denouncing the 'suffraging' of women.

But that wasn't the poll question that surprised me the most.

Attention Fools: It's Not a Tax Cut

It's Not a Tax Cut

This is why I tend to hate journalists so much: they're inveterate liars.

The mainstream media outlets are spinning the Republican-backed 'Tax Cut' bill as a reduction of taxes, but it plainly (on balance) does not cut anyone's taxes. Look at the headlines regarding the bill itself:

How Will the Obama Tax Cut Bill Affect You?

Reaction to Obama Tax-Cut Deal with Republicans

Obama has agreed to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, not cut them further. So would people please stop calling it a tax-cut? All the Obama administration has done is agreed to not cut the Americans' collective throats any deeper with more taxes. The whole point of calling this the Obama Tax Cut Deal is to not call it 'Obama Extends Bush Tax Cuts', because that would ascribe something positive to the former administration, which would undercut the Obama administration's need to shift all criticism onto the former president.

Google Effective Tax Rate 2.4%

Google Effective Tax Rate 2.4%

There's a news story out today declaiming the fact that Google only pays about 2.4% in taxes by passing their money through Ireland, the Netherlands, and then finally sending the money to island nations that have little or no income tax.

This method is apparently so widespread that the technique has a name:

Quote:

Google’s income shifting -- involving strategies known to lawyers as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” -- helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.

Making Obesity Illegal

It's of some note that former Republican Speaker of the House New Gingrich has labeled the Democrats the 'party of food stamps' recently, but now there's word that New York state is seriously considering forbidding the use of food stamps for purchasing sugary soft drinks.

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