Out of touch rich guys and tax time fun

I’ve only got a few minutes at lunch, so I need to keep this brief. (good thing I type 85 words per minute!) Since I’ve been spending more time watching TV lately (baby in my hands and I’ve got to do something) I’ve been watching more of the news punditry, and the stupidity is driving me batty. I can’t believe that I’m about to defend Mitt Romney of all people…

For the record, I’m not a Romney supporter. My issue with him is that I don’t think he is conservative enough, or at least he totally fails to articulate his belief in the philosophy if he is. I don’t like government healthcare and I don’t like gun control, two things Romney has in his past. I said it in 2008 and I’ll say it again now, electable in Massachusetts means unpalatable most everywhere else. I suppose I’m one of those Anybody But Romney conservatives they keep talking about, but I’d amend that to Anybody But Romney As Long As It Isn’t Newt Gingrich, because holy crap, that is a dude with some serious baggage.

That said, whoever gets the Republican nomination is a billion times better than Barack Obama.

But back to Romney, two things.

First, his 15% tax rate… I’ve been a professional accountant for most of my adult life, and hearing non-accountant news morons talking about taxes makes me want to take a flamethrower to their studio. Listen, you ignorant sluts, that is the capital gains tax. That is the tax that you pay on investments. Investment income is different than regular income.

When you invest and purchase stock in a company you pay capital gains taxes on the profit you make. However, that money has already been taxed, because the corporation you own stock in pays the corporate tax rate on what they make. So, keeping it simple, you buy stock in a company. That company made a profit and already paid a much higher corporate tax on what they made. They pay you a dividend and you pay 15% on what you made. If the money you used to buy that stock came from a regular income, then you were taxed when you received it at a higher rate as well. Oh, but rich guys inherit their money! Okay, that inheritance got taxed too, and depending on when he got that inheritance, it might have been at the highest tax rate of all (and ironically Romney donated his inheritance to charity too).

Right now most of my money comes from 1099 income, which means that I also get to pay all those withholdings that most people who get a paycheck never even see because their employers pay for them. (just think what everybody in America could do if they got a 16% raise tomorrow?) So my overall tax rate percentage is way higher than Romney’s. I’m totally cool with that, and you should be to, because if you are smart then eventually you will be living off of your investments as well.

So, income gets taxed higher. Investments get taxed lower. That’s why rich guys who now live off of their investments pay a lower overall rate. That’s why Buffet’s secretary gets taxed at a higher rate than her megalomaniacal attention whore of a boss.

“But they need to pay their FAIR SHARE!” you bleat.   

Dude paid more last year than you’ve paid in your life times five, but that’s not fair enough? But I digress. You want to tax the rich more? Okay, raise the capital gains tax… And watch as the economy tanks even further.

Here’s the thing about why capital gains needs to be lower than income tax…

RISK.

When you invest in something, you are gambling with the money you already have. There is no guarantee that you will make a profit, and in fact you may lose everything. Risk is the greatest disincentive to investment.  The only reason we have investment is because the potential rewards outweigh the risks. As you lower the incentives to invest, you lower the amount that will be invested. The second biggest disincentive is that even if you make $100 on that stock you bought, you’re going to give the government $15. Raise that to $35 and you just made risky investing look even less interesting. Make it not worth it, and people quit investing their money at all and sit on it instead. Then watch the economy implode.

“But fair share! FAIR SHARE!” sob sob whine blather.

Because half of us not paying anything in income taxes at all isn’t fair enough? Okay, so raising the capital gains tax is stupid, but you still want to stick it to those pesky rich people. I know! Let’s raise the corporate income tax! Rich people own corporations! That’ll show them!

(for the record, do you have a 401K? Then you own corporations too)

Despite already having one of the highest corporate tax rates in the functioning world, let’s go ahead and jack that sucker up! Except that corporations look at taxes as another expense. If you tax them more, they simply pass that along in the cost of their product to the consumer, as in you and me. If the expense becomes too much of a burden and causes their prices to rise to the point that they are noncompetitive, they either go out of business and you lose your job, or they move to another country that doesn’t molest them as much, and you still lose your job. They exist to make a profit for their stockholders, not to pay for your good time.

See why class warfare sucks?

And the second topic that is ticking me off, Romney is “out of touch from the common people” a meme that I’ve heard repeated over and over… (I can’t believe I’m defending Mitt Romney here, ugh).

I’m a Mormon, same religion as Mitt Romney, so I do know one thing about the whole Out of Touch Rich Guy crap they’re trying to sell. Romney has been what we call a Stake President. If you have any clue at all what a Stake President does, then you would know that there is no such thing as a Stake President that is out of touch with the issues of the common man.

This is how it works. Latter Day Saints don’t have a professional clergy like most churches. We have volunteer leaders. You don’t ask for a job, but rather you are asked to fulfill an assignment by the volunteer leaders that are above you. We don’t get paid.

I’ll try to keep this simple. The LDS church is divided into Wards. A Ward covers a geographic area, and is usually made up of 500-1,000 people. A Ward is run by a Bishop. Bishops still have their day jobs, but they fulfill a church calling which is equivalent to a pastor or priest in other churches. Most Bishops put in another fulltime job worth of hours a week fulfilling this unpaid calling. They normally do it for 3-5 years before they get released and get put out to pasture to go be a Sunday School teacher or Scoutmaster or something awesome like that which only takes up a few hours a week.

Unless they get called to be a Stake President afterwards. An LDS Stake is made up of about 8-10 Wards. The Stake President is the man that runs the whole Stake. The Bishops report to him. It is a ridiculous amount of responsibility. Like being Bishop, you will usually fill this calling for 3-5 years, during which you will age 10.

Now here’s the thing. Bishops and Stake Presidents aren’t just managers. They’re ecclesiastical leaders. Most of what they do consists of helping individuals in their Wards or Stakes. Every problem that pops up in some member’s life, every family issue, every marriage, every birth, every death, every divorce, every crisis, Dad got laid off, Mom got hit by a truck, Little Timmy is having trouble in school, whatever, that’s the bread and butter of what a Bishop deals with daily. Mormons have our own welfare system and the Bishops are in charge of it. Part of their job is to counsel, uplift, and help the members through their trials. If there is a sad story because of a bad choice or past baggage, then a Bishop has heard it at some point.  

So Mitt Romney has spent a giant chunk of his life listening to the daily problems and concerns of normal people, and then helping them find solutions. (which for Mormons usually don’t involve the government) He was a community organizer before community organizing was cool.

My main problem with Romney is his overall squishiness. He should OWN THIS ISSUE. But he doesn’t. He gets pushed around by the press and has his morals questioned by a serial adulterer who worked for Freddy Mac. “You only paid 15% in taxes!” and we get squish squish squish, instead of “Which was all I was legally required to pay, and I’ve  given more to charity than half the democrats in congress put together, and I didn’t take a salary for being governor or saving the Olympics, so SUCK IT, NEWT! BLAM!” My gosh, if we actually got some fire out of the guy like that we wouldn’t all be so meh about him.

 

125 Responses

  1. I agree. He should have said that most of his income came from capital gains WHICH IS TAXED AT 15%. And while $370,000 is only a little less than 20% of his total income, he should have remembered that it’s a lot to most people. He should have really hammered how much he gives to charity. You can’t step in the same river twice, especially in politics.

  2. The thing I don’t like about Romney is he’s the guy for people too embarrassed to register as Democrats. He has basically pilot-programmed everything Obama supports, and I doubt we’ll see any difference whatsoever if he replaced Obama next year.

    And Newt’s the guy who got run out of Congress for ethics violations, made the Contract With America, and then trampled it.

    Have you seen Ron Paul’s investment portfolio? http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2011/12/21/the-ron-paul-portfolio/
    I think he’s the smart one.

    • Okay, now I have to defend Newt, and it’s all your fault.

      He was run out of congress for ethics violations that were bogus. He was bombarded — as Sarah Palin was in Alaska — with a bunch of phoney baloney accusations and he eventually was exonerated for every single one of them. The Republicans who helped run him off were seriously squishy against the Democrat/media machine and we haven’t had a strong, conservative leader in congress since then.

      He did pay an outrageous fine. Why? Because the GOP wanted the matter to go away so he copped to a couple of minor violations (that the IRS later said were bogus — he violated no rules). So his enemies in the House milked him for over $300,000 (an unprecedented amount) for a couple of minor things that later on were proven to be false charges.

      Newt has a lot of baggage and some serious flip flops and mistakes (a photo op with Pelosi? WTF?), but he’s also been very dishonestly maligned on other things (like this) as well.

      RE: Romney — some passion would definitely help him. When I watch him I don’t see him as any kind of match for the stage managed euphoria of an Obama campaign.

      • Sorry to do that to you. It had to be as painful for you as defending Romney was for me. :D

        Man, we are in a bad way this year.

      • I wasn’t blaming you, Larry, I was blaming Mike. :)

        I know exactly how you feel. We’re in a very sad state these days. None of the candidates remaining was my choice to begin with but I’ll vote for any of them over Obama.

      • Exactly. There’s no reason to make stuff up to defame these guys; their records stink for themselves. :o

        The GOP field looks like the island of misfit toys this year. You know something’s wrong when you find yourself pining for real statesmen like Dole and Kemp…

      • Dole… Ouch.

        But then again, Obama has been so awful that he has me wishing for a return to the frank honesty of Bill Clinton. :D

      • I’m more on the “Anyone but Ron Paul” train, seeing as how the man just makes up accusations and numbers out of thin air on stupid issues that could be validly critiqued with facts (he’s not just a tin-foil-hat guy, but blatantly dishonest to boot… not to mention the lunacy of the company he allows himself to be associated with). Compared to him, a Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum would be really welcome.

        I was pretty much against Romney till I started realizing some things about him that make him not so bad in my opinion. Same goes for Newt. Baggage these guys definitely have, but they’re human as well. Do we exclude politicians from the “anyone can change” possibility?

        As long as Santorum gets the VP slot, I’ll be fine with Mitt or Newt in the Oval Office.

      • I’m so with you on the Ron Paul thing. His fiscal ideas are good — I agree with most of it — but his foreign policy and the company he keeps are some scary crap.

        His supporters flock to blogs and fill up the comment streams with utterly dishonest nonsense, too. Ultimately, all the good things he supports domestically are destroyed as ideas in the rest of the filth.

      • NKR,

        As opposed to all those sane, ideologically consistent other GOP candidates?

        Look, when Ron Paul is the tastiest-looking bite out of the turd sandwich, it says more about the rest of the ingredients than it does about him…

      • Newt may be a firebreather, but given his marital history, I could never back him. He’s either completely narcissistic, or has horrible taste in women. If he can’t get his personal life right, I doubt he can right this nation. Hell, he’s claiming to be a Goldwater Conservative when it has been proven he was working hard for Rockefeller.

  3. The fire is the thing. I really think the only reason Newt’s still in the race is because people want a candidate who shows some passion.

  4. I really wish they would have individuals, instead of employers, pay their taxes. Let’s see how many people stop screaming about the other guy not paying enough when they have to deal with the paper work and the actual amount that is paid to the government.
    Wait, what am I thinking. I know people who run their own business who think that taxes should be higher.

    • I have been saying for years that if we want to see an honest-to-God revolution in this country all we would have to do is do away with both withholdings and quarterlies and make everyone pay their taxes out of freaking pocket on April 15th. But then, similar to Larry all of my income is 1099. So I already pay all of my share myself and out of pocket. This would also force our government into some semblance of fiscal responsiblity in that they would only receive tax revenue once a year and have to take good care of it for the next 364 days.

  5. Sorry, when you started talking about Stake Presidents, I immediately thought about that book:

    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
    :-)

    -Scott

  6. I don’t like Romney (or Gingrich for that matter) but I’m glad you posted this because I’ve been wondering what the big freaking deal is about his taxes.

  7. Dude paid more last year than you’ve paid in your life times five, but that’s not fair enough? But I digress. You want to tax the rich more? Okay, raise the capital gains tax… And watch as the economy tanks even further.

    Uh-huh.

    http://www.angrybearblog.com/2010/12/top-marginal-income-tax-rate-should-be.html

    Stick to what you’re good at – guns and fantasy catering to the lower end of the market.

    • *snort*

      Perhaps you should stick to what you’re good at, whatever that might happen to be.

      The reality is, tax rates don’t matter. Spending matters.

      You can use any taxing system you like, so long as spending doesn’t increase faster than GDP any taxing system will eventually balance the budget and create a surplus.

      http://pjmedia.com/blog/theres-good-news-and-bad-news-about-the-us-budget/

    • he he he… A link to pseduo academic non-real world number crunching and unproven economic theory with a tenuous grasp of history that is questioned rather soundly right in the comments that you linked to. Man, you sure showed me!

      Especially since I was talking about capital gains (and even explained the difference without using any big words) and you linked to a post about the theoretical top income tax rate.

      And in addition to being good at guns (extremely so) and fantasy (even with that whole bestseller thing, TV deals, and prestigious award noms, I forgot I’m a right winger, ergo incapable of writing good fiction and must be kept in my place) I’m also a really good accountant. Main reason I haven’t quit my day job is because I make a whole lot of money as the finance manager for one of the most successful companies in my state. (top 100 overall, and 6th largest woman owned company in Utah, which is one of the only states that is actually doing well), where I deal with the actual real world application of government regulations, as opposed to academic navel gazing and theoretical bullshit.

      So as Mitt should have told Newt, SUCK IT, BITCH. :D

      • And here I thought I was going to be out of line if I called the nitwit a nitwit.

        *takes notes*

      • I wouldn’t have said anything if he hadn’t made fun of my readership. You guys are anything but the low end. Make fun of me, cool. Make fun of my fans, stuff gets hardcore up in here. Badmouth my readers and Welcome To The Thunderdome!

        And for the record, since this post mentions my religion, don’t let my overall lack of compassion for the stupid and addiction to casual swearing color your perception of Mormons. Most of us are waaaay nicer than I am. :)

      • But of course, the first thing that has to be done to any writer who is not of the Ideological Elect is to dismiss him as an idiot and writer of “mere pulp.”

        Of course, in their day Heinlein, Asimov, Anderson, Clarke and the rest were “mere pulp writers.”

        It was only in retrospect that we realize how great they truly were.

        Besides, for the nitwits among us, “and,” “is,” and “the” are big words…

      • And here I was just going to ask “Who is Mike Kimmel and why should we give his claims any credence?”

      • Don’t sweat the swearing thing LArry. I swear proficiently and constantly. My rip apart of the State of Disunion campaign speech is profanity laced condescend fest.

      • he he he… A link to pseduo academic non-real world number crunching and unproven economic theory with a tenuous grasp of history

        Remind me again what evidence you provided for your economic babbling I quoted?

        BTW, the high end writers win awards. What exactly have you won?

      • Since you are an anonymous random troll in my blog comments, I don’t owe you jack squat. You hit and run posted a link that had very little to do with the topic of the blog post, and then demand that I present you with evidence to refute it? Up yours.

        Besides, we all know that when somebody on the right gives evidence, then it is merely anecdote, while anything from the left is evidence. Liberal pulls it out of his ass on a blog = Absolute truth. Conservative says anything = You need eleven annotated citations! Normally with toads like you, when one of my readers takes the time to respond thoughtfully with actual data, you just ignore it and bleat some crap about social justice anyway.

        And as far as winning awards, (I type this mostly for my edification because I suffer from the sin of pride) :) last year I was one of the 5 wordlwide finalists for the John W. Campbell award, which is about as big as awards get in my field. I lost to Lev Grossman. Oh, man. That stings. I only came in the top 5 in the world for the 2nd most prestigious award a fantasy novelist can get. I’m like Inception to his The King’s Speech! Oh noes! How ever will I live? Surely I will fade into obscurity like other such Campbell finalist losers. Man, look at this list of nobodys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Campbell_Award_for_Best_New_Writer Like who is this George Martin guy anyway? Or Brandon Sanderson? Sheesh. :D

        Other than that, top 5 Book of they year, top 5 highest average review, and #2 fantasy on Audible, 2x NYT bestseller, four or five time Locus bestseller, 1x EW bestseller, 2 books on EBR’s top 10 of 2011 list, I think I’m a Whitney finalist this year, and fingers crossed for TGC:HM getting a nom at WorldCon for 2012. Counting that stuff, 6 books released in 3 years, and the TV deal, and the foreign translations in 7 countries, and 18 more books under contract, that’s not too shabby for having only been doing this for 3 years. Personal highlight was when two of the bestselling urban fantasy novelists of all time gave me great reviews in the same week. Besides that I get my real awards every six months when I cash my gigantic royalty checks, which were sufficient to pay off half the mortgage of my mini mansion overlooking a ski resort over the last year.

        Do you feel sufficiently stupid yet, or do you want to keep digging that hole? When you little sniveling twerps come over to pick a fight you always try to somehow dismiss my opinions because I’m an “inferior” writer. (I even had a post about your standard playbook on here a while back, since you guys always work off the same narrative to shut up those you disagree with. So no matter the fact that I get peer respect from the best, have a ton of fans, and sell a lot of books, they will always say that anybody who disagrees with the groupthink is a hack).

        Here, let me help you. Next up, don’t forget that I’m a member of the evil Military Industrial Complex. You morons love to glom onto that. Or you can skip that and go right to the part about how I’m racist, which is how all arguments with you trolls always end up eventually anyway. :)

      • Two questions:

        1 – Why are you arguing about tax issues with a practicing accountant? That doesn’t seem very intelligent to me.

        Regardless of what you think of Larry’s writing, you can’t argue with the fact that he has 6 books released that have sold well enough for him to make a solid living writing. He also listed quite a few awards that he has either won or been nominated for. Which brings us to question number 2:

        2 – If you don’t like his writing, why are you even here?

        I read quite a few books, and the Monster Hunter books were some of my favorite reads from last year. They were fun stories with interesting characters (Go Skippy!).

      • Besides, we all know that when somebody on the right gives evidence, then it is merely anecdote, while anything from the left is evidence. Liberal pulls it out of his ass on a blog = Absolute truth.

        But, Larry, you haven’t given evidence. All you gave was a half-assed assertion based on your vast economic experience as, er, an accountant.

        The link I gave was a carefully explained regression analysis based on data put out by the IRS and BEA – he even points to the data and shows the Excel results. That’s not exactly “pulling it out of his ass”, now is it?

        In fact there is one side pulling it out of his ass, but it’s not Kimel.

        And let’s face facts regarding your writing. You pander to a large market segment and do well at it – but when it comes to contemporary fantasy you’re hardly Tim Powers (*) or Charlie Stross (**), and when it comes to true fantasy you’re hardly Joe Abercrombie (***) or Brandon Sanderson (****), now are you?

        Indeed, you’re going to have to work at it to raise yourself to John Ringo’s standard.

        But you keep doing what you’re doing, and making a good living from the sort of people who read your books. And when they want to, they’ll mature in their reading tastes and switch to something better.

        (*) World Fantasy Awards, Locus Awards, Philip K Dick Awards
        (**) Locus Awards, Hugo Awards
        (***) David Gemmel Legend Award
        (****) Sadly overlooked so far.

      • Oh, anonymous internet jackass… You realize that in order to cite my inferiority as an author, you named friends of mine and guys that have given me positive reviews, and then pontificated about how I have failed to win awards that I’m not eligible for… In that vein my books have also failed to win Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award.

        But typical playbook with you guys, pick an issue, even if you have to fabricate one, and attack, attack, attack. Usually this will cause most people who disagree to shut up.

        To sum this up for the new readers, because those of you that have been here a while have seen this repeatedly:

        I’m a writer and I disagree with the groupthink, ergo I’m a bad writer. I’ve seen that over and over again, and it usually works on the new guys that are still trying to build their fan base, or most conservative novelists who are worried about offending potential readers, but it pisses you guys off that I still won’t shut up. Every few blog posts, another one of these idiots tries the same tactic again. I’ve had some success in most of the ways that a writer can measure success, so you’ve now latched onto either award wins or your personal taste as a measure of what constitutes success.

        By that standard there are a handful of awards every year, but tens of thousands of new books. Something like 99.999% of authors haven’t ever gotten to be a finalist for one of these. I have. But that still isn’t good enough, because the important thing is to demonstrate conservative inferiority. Even though really, I write in a genre that doesn’t get awards, and I write to entertain an audience rather than to create “message” fiction or please the literati. Me getting nominated at all causes English professor’s heads to explode. (which is the main reason I like getting nominated for stuff).

        Orson Scott Card and Dan Simmons, two of the greatest writers alive who have won just about everything, don’t win awards anymore now that they’ve come out of the closet as having opinions that differ from the accepted dogma groupthink, and the overwhelmingly PC voters that make up most of the Special Order of Fandom that votes in these things can’t tolerate that. Card doesn’t like gay marriage and Simmons pointed out that there are a lot of Muslims that really would like to saw our heads off, and you little trodlodytes had to come out of the internet woodwork to yell at them, and what do you see in your narrative? They’re no longer *good* authors and their opinions should be dismissed. Even when a noted liberal author dares to have an opinion that is different, they have to be furiously squashed. Like what happened to Elizibeth Moon last year.

        You guys just can’t tolerate somebody disagreeing with you.

        And my opinions on the reality of CORPORATE taxes, as an accountant that actually deals with corporate taxes daily, does not count, because you posted a link to a huge post that is about PERSONAL income tax written by a hypothetical economist I’ve never heard of, and I failed to hop to and take my time and provide an exhaustive rebuttal because you demanded it, also demonstrates that my opinion doesn’t count. Gotcha.

        Oh, you libs. You failed to point out that I’m bald too.

      • So you don’t like Larry’s books and you disagree with him on the matter of taxes – why are you here? Just trolling? Let’s insult the author and his fan base! What have you written lately? Just curious.

        And as for this “true fantasy” business? Joe Abercrombie was nominated for the Gemmel Legend Award for Best Served Cold. He didn’t win (other than best cover art). He lost to Graham McNeill’s Empire. So this paragon of “true fantasy” was beaten by an author of what you would probably consider pulp shared world fiction. Your shoddy research doesn’t hold up by the way because Sanderson has won a Gemmel Legend Award. This isn’t the point though. Larry is not Joe Abercrombie or Brandon Sanderson…but he’s not trying to be. Larry has yet to even write a “true fantasy” novel so the whole thing is pretty much moot.

        Oh, by the way. Having mature reading tastes? That’s not about being an exclusionary elitist asshole. It’s about being able to enjoy a wide variety of literature without being a pretentious snob about it. Funny that you should mention Joe Abercrombie by the way because his books have caught flak from “true true fantasy” elitists who think everything needs to be a Tolkien knock off.

      • That really is an odd one to bring up. Abercrombie is freaking awesome, but he faced a big up hill slog from the traditionalist critics who thought he was too dark and pulpy.

        But what do you know about literary criticism, Mr. Sharps! Oh… Wait… Congrats on the new book reviewer job, Nick. Good for you. Steve told me. You’ll do great.

        And good news, I have pitched and sold an actual epic fantasy trilogy. It will be my first foray into that genre. I’m pretty pumped. It won’t be out for a few years though.

      • Last last thing. If you want to play “My Authors vs Your Author” it might do well to remember that though your author might have more awards, my author would survive longer in a post-apocalyptic worst case scenario :P

      • In case the apocolypse is like prison, the first thing I’m going to do is shiv another fantasy author, just so everyone knows not to mess with me. Though that might for a very tense Writer Nerd Game Night.

      • None of this explains how Larry claimed that an increase in the capital gains rate would be injurious to the economy and our Anonymouse internets genius refuted him with a link to a post regarding the top marginal income tax rate, then stands around going “[citation needed. citation needed.]” like a Wikibot on the fritz.

      • Well, Tam, just remember that any argument you make will be invalid because you haven’t won Moter Trend’s Car of the Year award.

        Remember back in the old days of forum moderation? I could’ve sworn that our trolls were tougher back in those days. You had to bring your A game to troll on dial up. :D

      • “Remember back in the old days of forum moderation? I could’ve sworn that our trolls were tougher back in those days. You had to bring your A game to troll on dial up.”

        Back then you had to be smart enough to operate a modem in order to participate in discussions. This is obviously not the case today.

      • By that standard there are a handful of awards every year, but tens of thousands of new books. Something like 99.999% of authors haven’t ever gotten to be a finalist for one of these. I have. But that still isn’t good enough, because the important thing is to demonstrate conservative inferiority.

        Riiiiiight.

        Keep telling yourself that, Larry, if it makes you feel better.

      • Keep telling myself what? The truth?

        Well, since I’m stuck with a very large baby in my lap anyway, I might as well take the time to respond. Not for the anonymous idiot troll, but for anybody else who is still reading this.

        The vast majority of published novels will never win a prestigious award. How many big awards are there? A couple dozen across all genres? How many books are competing for those wins?

        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/18/books/the-last-word-how-many-books-are-too-many.html Looking at just fiction novels from professional publishing houses (no self pubs) there are over 10,000 new novels in America each year alone.

        The thing is, the really big awards aren’t limited to just American finalists. One of my fellow finalists for the Campbell last year was a South African. (the very awesome Lauren Beukes) When you look at the rest of the world you can see that the numbers of books published are much higher. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_published_per_country_per_year Of course, that is all books, but I didn’t see a seperate breakdown for fiction vs. non, but you get the general idea. Americans actually read very little per capita compared to England or Germany.

        http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/06/fiction-affliction-diagnosing-july-releases-in-urban-fantasy-and-paranormal-romance The month my last urban fantasy novel came out it was up against THIRTY other new novels in the sub-genre of urban fantasy alone. (and I outsold almost all of those and MHA spent 16 weeks on the top 50 bestseller list in fantasy on the Nielsen Bookscan).

        Using the biggest award in sci-fi as an example, let’s be conservative and say that there are a couple thousand new professionally published sci-fi or fantasy novels every year eligible for the Hugo. 5 of those will be finalists. One will win. And it will more than likely be someone who has been around for awhile and built up a considerable fan base amongst the Hugo voters. Which is why everyone is expecting Vernor Vinge to win this year, even if we haven’t actually read his new book yet.

        There is only one winner per year for best novel. Of those Hugo winners, there will be repeat winners, like Bujold or Heinlein. Which will even further skew the odds away from the average author of winning anything.

        All that said, even after getting a Campbell nod last year, (which was a shock, because I am an unapologetic writer of fun explody pulp and would rather die than write “message” fiction) it was a nice little feather in my hat, but overall as far as a boost to my career it paled in comparison to the publicity I got for breaking onto the national bestseller lists. Because at the end of the day, getting an award nod just means that you were popular with one small group of people who decide that sort of thing, wheras getting onto the big lists means that you are popular with a large group of people who give you money. Believe me, as far as paychecks go I’d much rather be Michael Bay than Darren Aronofsky. And the stuff that wins awards often isn’t the same as the stuff that sells.

        Hell, I’d trade ten Hugos for one of Stephanie Meyers’ royalty checks. :D

        If you go back through the prior Campbell award winners, you will see many names that you don’t recognize now because they wrote a few books and then faded into obscurity. Then you’ve got some of the folks who placed where I placed who are ass kickers. Or as Lois Bujold told me right after I lost, she lost the Campbell too, but she’s doing okay. :)

        Most actual professional writers aren’t hung up on awards, because it is kind of silly, rather pointless, and odds are will ultimately be very frustrating. The fact that our anonymous douchebag that still can’t differentiate between income and capital gains taxes has felt the need to latch onto awards as the measure of what makes someone a good writer just further demonstrates his relative ignorance of yet another career field. I’ll probably just end up deleting any further comments from him.

      • Yep. You know when the troll starts to elongate sarcastic words that he’s just plain run out of ideas.

      • This guy brought a pickle to a gunfight.

      • Thanks Larry! EBR is awesome and Steve is a heck of a boss, I’m proud to be a member.

        And a Correia epic fantasy series? Trying not to salivate. Trying hard.

      • Anonymouse,

        Still waiting to hear the explanation on how your linked theory on the top marginal rate counters (or even has anything to do with) Larry’s comment on the capital gains rate.

        Help me out here.

      • Larry,

        Remember back in the old days of forum moderation? I could’ve sworn that our trolls were tougher back in those days. You had to bring your A game to troll on dial up. :)

        This guy couldn’t change the tire on gunkid’s tactical wheelbarrow.

      • If Larry is a hack writer, then I want to be a hack writer too…. b/c that “hack” makes boatloads of money off his work.

        Numbers, dorkus; they always screw libtard arguments in the end. Then again, facts, not just those numerical, do the same thing too.

      • If Larry is a hack writer, could we please get some more hack writers working full time writing their hack work? I’ve enjoyed the shit out of Larry’s books so far and am really bummed that I’ll be waiting several months before I can read the next one.

      • scary thing is, Larry isn’t even working on it full time.

      • More’s the pitty.

        I got spoiled bad in the last two quarters of 2011.

    • Oh, it wants to play…

      Can you please enumerate for us, oh great one, exactly which awards you’ve won, what novels you’ve written and while we’re at it just how many times _you’ve_ been on the NYT bestseller list?

      Then, if you could, oh great genius of economics who had the gall to argue figures with an accountant, would you please be so kind as to refute the figures Charlie Martin had in the link I posted?

      Do be so kind as to use charts, I do so love charts.

    • Nope, sorry, doesn’t work in a global economy. People were offshoring money when the rates *were* higher and you could NOT transfer money in and out of the country in the blink of an eye. If they suddenly and drastically raise the capital gain tax… or pass a law enabling such a raise- then you’re literally going to see billions of dollars disappear from the US economy and go overseas literally overnight.

      • That’s exactly what happened to France ‘tween wars, according to Mr. Shirer. The Fourth Republic started treating rich Frenchmen as cash cows to be milked, so they left France and took their money with them- with the expected results for the French economy.

    • Anony-mouse (how original),

      Well gee, Larry (and a few others) beat me to the punch on this one. Exactly what the hell are you doing lurking around here if you have such a low opinion of this blog’s author and its followers? Since Larry already parsed your link for the irrelevent, psuedo economic nonsense it is, I’ll refrain (yeah that was a winning argument). But if you are so hot to trot to see a 65% tax rate look around. We are all getting close to paying that or more, unless you are one of those who receives back more than you pay in.

      For someone like Romney, who makes a large amount of money on capital gains taxed at 15%, as Larry pointed out, all that money that was invested to earn that money taxed at 15%, was taxed at 35% or probably more, since some of it was likely earned prior to the “Bush tax breaks”. Plus he along with the rest of us pay out the nose for the following: If his home state has an income tax like mine does, there is another percentage. Folks who live in cities like New York also pay a city income tax. Then there are city, county and state sales taxes, Federal excise taxes, gasoline taxes, vehicle registration fees (tax), property taxes (business and residential). If you have some kind of professional license and have to pay a fee or renew it periodically, that is another tax. If you own a business there are business taxes or business license fees. Had a drink or smoke lately? MOST of what that cost you was taxes. Hell, if you sell dope ILLEGALLY in my state, when I bust you, I can charge you with failure to procure a tax stamp for your illegal product (clever huh).

      The list goes on and on, so when you really think about it, not only are the rich guys probably already paying a ton of taxes, but so are we all. And when it’s all counted up, even the folks who get paid by the Feds for taxes they didn’t pay, are paying out the wazoo in taxes on everything from that huge flat screen that their unearned income refund bought, to everything else they consume or use.

  8. I don’t like Romney for the reasons Mike S. gave above. As for Newt, well, I don’t like him for many reasons but “I cannot spare this man. He fights.”

  9. That’s one of the most interesting things I’ve ever read about Romney. Thanks for the insight into the leadership of the church. I knew nothing about his church background, and it totally humanizes him and makes him more appealing as a leader of PEOPLE than any political office he’s ever held. As an Obama supporter, I now want Gingrich to be even more successful against Romney, because if he ever does get a little fire in his belly, he could be trouble. Good info, Larry.

  10. “They exist to make a profit for their stockholders”
    Feeww That’s all right then because as we all know that the only people that own stocks are those guy’s in the top hats and moncals.

  11. I liked Huntsman. He got the whole ‘after the election you serve your country’ thing that seems to be lacking today. I wanted to see him debate Obama because he thought things through, gave intelligent answers and is a solid guy.

    Newt is a nutcase – seriously, all the dems will have to do is play some of his recorded meltdowns while in office where he was saying he was the savior of the world and it was too hard to have to save everyone and it was such a burden while bawling… that sound suspiciously like a crash from untreated mania with messianic delusions.

    I am an independent voter and a middleaged female,

    Arizona has immigration right and has reduced the influx of illegals by 60% in the last year – so hard line repub there

    I like my guns, I know how to use them and have given my teenagers the basics of knifefighting and the basics of poisons both chemical and herbal too. All of them know how to process their own kills and yep we put our own turkey, goat, goose and so forth on the table

    Yet Obama has been better than Bush to the military (Still pissed about him firing CSM in 2003 because the CSM told him that troops deserved things like body armor and support and that if he cowboyed it more men would die that should and don’t get me started on the outing of CIA officers and blowing a vital intelligence source for a political fit – btw I was trained as a HIC so its personal)

    I do taxes too, and I am one of the sick people out there that enjoys it. I mainly do VITA and even got written up for awards in the military for my work. I just treat it like a formula interrogation and try to draw out even the income sources they were hiding. The big secret nobody likes to talk about is that thanks to EIC, ACTC and similar a lot of the lower income employed folks consider tax time their yearly bonus. Some people pay 0 income taxes and get up to $6,800 in returns and out of that pay about $2000 in self employment.

    Basically I draw about 50/50 between the two partys and like the old school Republicans better than the ones that rose with Newt and after. It ticks me off that we have strayed from nuts and bolts politics into bible thumping. It would horrify our founding fathers. I want a good, ethical manager with a real clue as to what is going on in the world.

    Now that I am out of the military, I run Operation Wolfhound with my husband and we can not even give the government the methods and KIS management proceedures for very specific VA problems even though we are basing it on our own work that has changed 1K into over 1 million in donationated aid for vets… Some things are terribly broken and I don’t think either party has a demonstrated willingness to fix a single thing.

    • Having had Huntsman as my governor, and having met him a couple of times, I’m not a fan.

    • Alicia..re Huntsman,.nope the MINUTE a far left wing assbag like Chrissy “I’ve got a tingle going up my leg” Matthews THANKS you for being the sanest candidate in the race? Sorry..you cease to be a viable candidate.

      Newt? I don’t know that he’s really a nutcase. However he[like Paul] is a long time career politician and therefore a part of the problem. I will admit to enjoying it thoroughly when he bats around these “moderators” like a cat with a mouse.

  12. Very nice post Larry. Short and to the point on the economics. So well written that any high school graduate should be able to understand the ideas you addressed (sigh).
    One small critique. I wish you would have written more on the “evil profits” corporations make.

  13. Lefticle economic theory has something called “inelastic prices.” It’s okay to raise corporate tax rates if the price is “inelastic,” because then the cost of taxes can’t be passed on to the consumer.

    This completely misses the point that a corporation can just not engage in business that isn’t profitable enough, and/or relocate.

    • If a producer’s costs go up and it cannot raise its prices it will produce less. Demand will not change so there will be a shortage in that producer’s goods or services. It’s called the LAW of Supply and Demand.

    • “This completely misses the point that a corporation can just not engage in business that isn’t profitable enough, and/or relocate.”

      THIS. One thousand times this. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve tried to engage self-proclaimed lefties in debate on this subject only to have them be COMPLETELY UNWILLING to even CONSIDER that raising corporate takes will change corporate behavior: be it passing along the cost or stopping production on goods that are no longer profitable.

    • Digging into the depths of my memory for when I took Microeconomics (Hey, I needed a couple of “social science” classes for my physics degree). An “inelastic” price is one where when the price changes quantity demanded (as opposed to “demand” which is something different) changes a small amount so that increasing price reduces total revenue (a simple example: doubling the price cuts sales to less than half). An elastic price is one where increasing price leads to increased total revenue (doubling price leads to sales more than half or, contrariwise, halving price more than doubles volume).

      Sales volume still goes down with increased price and up with increased. And if somebody else (like, say, an offshore company) can sell for less than you can your customers will tend to go to him.

      So the idea of “inelastic prices” is not just “lefticle economic theory” but the application? Um, no, doesn’t work that way.

  14. The thing that is missed in all this “Fair Share” misdirection is how much is a fair share for the Government to take, considering all of the waste, fraud and corruption it is spent on.

  15. You know it’s not looking good when people you weren’t even giong to vote for at the beginning drop out and you’re disappointed at how things look now.

    Romney will not defend my right to own guns. For me that’s a big black blot that I cannot get past.

    Newt is shit nuts. But as stated above the man seems to enjoy pissing off the left, so there is that.

    Then there’s that funny little guy Ron Paul. I love half of his ideas and find the other half to be completely absurd. Fifty minus fifty is zero.

    I wish Bobby Jindal would take a stab at the presidency. Based on what I know about him I’d be happy to vote for that guy. Even moreso if he had former UN ambassador John Bolton as his running mate.

    All I can say at this point is that I would love for any party to run someone who can answer a question quickly and intelligently. Everyone running right now reeks of politician.

    • Unfortunately, he’s not going to do that. He’s too busy pissing off the teachers’ unions in my state, much to my delight. He won re-election with 66% of the vote, wasn’t really close.

      Yes, there’s bitching about things he’s doing wrong, but he’s head and shoulders better than Governor Babineaux “BLANKSTARE” Blanco. That woman set female politicians back at least a decade with her craptastic running of the state before, during, and after Katrina.

    • “Romney will not defend my right to own guns. For me that’s a big black blot that I cannot get past.”

      Massachussetts has its own Sullivan law, called Bartley-Fox. I have never heard of Romney, as governor, mounting even pro-forma “symbolic”* opposition to that. For me, the very idea that an adult citizen with a clean background must procure a police-controlled license merely to possess a handgun in one’s residence, is an abomination. This leads my to call him out for inadequacy of concern over civil liberties.

      (* My late second fiancee defined symbolic as “The word adults use when they play at let’s pretend, to make believe that their activity has real-world effect when in fact it hasn’t.”)

      To reiterate something everyone here knows, the privately-owned handgun is the law-abiding individual’s first line of defense against interpersonal criminal aggression. All that law-enforcement can do, is only after the fact. If a declared would-be armed robber lies dead on his intended victim’s shop floor, just where is the wrong? If a declared would-be rapist lies dead at his intended victim’s feet, again, where is the wrong?

  16. Good post Larry, and thanks for pointing those issues out… On a side note, Buffet’s secretary makes over $200k/yr no surprise she’s in a high bracket, but then again she’s not a ‘normal’ secretary…

  17. I’m writing in Mike Rowe’s name when I vote, like I do every year. (Yes, the host of Dirty Jobs)

  18. And I thought I was the only Mormon to swear; but I live in Lehi, and technically it is still part of Happy Valley, so there are more of the kind that look down their noses here than in other parts of the state.

  19. The end game of leftist economic theory always ends up with a gun in somebody’s face, forcing them to do something they don’t want to do, to support an goal achievable by no other method.

    Normal folks call this slavery..

  20. Larry,

    I think the average time for Stake Presidents is higher than 3-5 years. It’s more in the range of 8-10. My Stake president is pushing 8.5 already and other Stake Presidents I’ve talked to are in the same range.

    • My only stake calling ever has been stake auditor, so you may be right. Most of mine have been around 5 years.

  21. Mitt Romney says that the government forcing citizens to buy insurance (“Individual mandate”) istoatlly acceptable because it’s the CONSERVATIVE solution.
    That’s enough all by itself to make me vote for Gingrich.
    The gun control bills he’s proudly signed, pro-abortion stance he proudly took, tax raising he proudly did, the total economic mess he left Mass in, and the incessant pandering to Democrats that Mittens engages in- that’s just a bonus.

    And to the folks who will brush his entire career in elected office aside because “he was a Republican governor in a Democratic state”- so this excuses him from having principles, does it? If the House and the Senate flip Dem in 2014, will that excuse cover President Mitt’s wholehearted cooperation with his new legislature’s priorities- no matter what those are? What about if it’s just the Senate?

    I also have a serious problem with how he’s conducted his campaign: It should be possible for Mitt to win against this horribly flawed Gingrich person without making it more difficult for Gingrich to win against Obama if he does end up being the nominee. Mitt doesn’t see it that way: it’s more important that Romney get the nomination than it is that a Republican candidate win the election. Did someone mention character?

  22. So why do I have to go to a science fiction writer’s web site to get an explanation of a Republican candidate’s church service instead of hearing it from a professional journalist?

    Nevermind. I answered my own question.

    Journalists ( as a category – I accept that there are exceptions ) are the stupidest, laziest people on the face of the earth.

    • Speaking as a journalist, most of us are neither dumb nor lazy. It’s not really that.

      The problem most journalists, myself included, have is that we’re overworked. Newsroom staffs have shrunk the point that many are doing the job of three people. You just don’t have _time_ to dig deeply. So you hit the surface of issues and hope people will dig deeper on their own.

      When you combine this with the generally leftist bent of most of my colleagues and the fact that many of them don’t really understand the issues themselves, not through lack of intelligence but rather because they don’t really have time to delve deeper either, and you get shoddy reporting.

      Much of this can be laid at the feet of our corporate masters. The bean counters (sorry Larry) tend to look at the newsroom as a loss leader which produces no revenue and so it’s the first place they start cutting. Most of them have never spent a day in the newsroom so they really have no idea what it is we do, or how hard it can be to do it. So instead of cutting the middle managers at the NYT who make twice what the average reporter makes (you didn’t think this was a high paying profession did you?) they start firing reporters and photographers. Then quality of coverage goes down, readership drops, circulation drops and they don’t get it. So they fire editorial staff because “they’re not motivating their people.”

      This is not really to excuse shoddy reporting, but more to explain, at least partly, why it happens.

  23. Yeah, but was he a Stake President in Massachussetts? ’cause if so, I’m still going to claim he hasn’t been in touch with the common people. He’s just been in touch with a bunch of Massholes. ;)

    I dunno, man. If Romney gets the nod, I’m voting for Obama. At least if Obama wins, all the Republicans in Congress will fight against the President’s Health Care and Gun Control schemes, instead of for them.

    That said… Vote Ron Paul!

    • Man, Ogre. I so agree with you on Romney. I feel unclean for having defended him, but if we’re going to dislike somebody we might as well dislike them for the crap they actually did as opposed to stuff they made up.

      And I just can’t get behind Paul, which isn’t saying a lot since I’m not behind any of the other last men standing either. I love Paul’s take on personal freedom and domestically I find myself agreeing with him. But then he starts talking foreign policy and I die a little inside.

      • Exactly. I so agree with his stance on things like gun control and the outrageous idea that the Constitution should be used in governmental decision making, and how the TSA is standing on the throat of our freedom. Then he starts talking about things like Iran’s nuclear program and he scares me shitless.

      • Yeah, My real candidate is Gary Johnson, but… Well, he’s on the libertarian ticket.

        So, actually, I’ll probably vote for him, even though I’ll be “throwing my vote away” to do so.

        Hey, who knows, maybe he’ll even win. :D

      • The thing with Paul’s foreign policy is that we need to have the grown ups on the republican party admitting that he’s right on his analysis of some of the causes of the situation, even if he’s wrong about what to do about it.

        Even though I’m completely willing to believe that the terrorist leadership hates American for being America… it just has to be much easier for them to recruit when they can actually point to young Muhammad’s cousin who had his shop blown up by US air power and his uncle’s friend held in Guantanamo. Now maybe our interests in the area are such that we need to risk that for the good we can do overall, or to prevent greater harm… but we need to at least acknowledge that our actions do have effects on the people they are being enacted upon, which seems to be more than the other republican candidates are even willing to admit.

        I’m all for a strong foreign policy, but that doesn’t mean I need the guys in charge of it to stand in front of a crowd flexing their arms and grunting to prove that they know what they’re doing.

  24. Thanks for the information on the LDS and your view on Econ101.
    The point that you already paid plenty of taxes on your investments is lost on most folks.

    I will say when I hear a company mantra go from making a profitable product that our customers need to keeping shareholders happy I start working on my resume.

  25. I have to say with all due respect, that anyone who believes the whole Joseph Smith stories regarding the LDS church doesn’t deserve to be President.

    Mr Correia, can you tell me with a straight face that you believe in magic underwear, seer stones, and all the rest of it? Truly, the Emperor has no clothes. We don’t even have to discuss the whole idea of polygamy, but surely it’s obvious at the very least, the LDS church is a perversion of Christianity.

    I don’t believe Mormons are bad people, I just believe they haven’t looked at their own beliefs with a critical eye.

    • If you’re going to go by that standard, then so is the Catholic church, Lutherans, Baptists, Eastern Orthodox, and the variety that is/was practiced in Ethiopia (you know, where the bible has three books that the Catholic church removed…)

      • I’m not a defender of Mormonism (opposite, in fact), but this argument is pathetic on its face. However, this venue is not the best place to discuss theology and false religions, especially with people you only know as strangers and where you only have the equivalent of a soundbite to get the point across.

        So give it a rest here, would ya?

    • One could say the same thing about most, if not all, religious beliefs but that would be to be as unfair as you are being above.

      I am what many Mormon’s would call an “apostate Mormon” (old slang term is “Jack Mormon.” I know longer believe the Church (for a variety of reasons) but have no animus against it or the believers therein. I describe myself, depending on mood, as either “a practitioner, if not exactly a believer of Asatru” or “an Asatru leaning agnostic.” Generally less believer, more agnostic, but still.

      The Universe is a big place and, there’s a lot of room for stuff beyond human knowledge and comprehension including the possibility of deity or deities. Still, once you make the leap to actively believing in same, the rest is just details.

    • Straight face on. Yep.

      Oh, and thank you for not thinking that 13 million of us aren’t “bad”, merely stupid. That’s mighty nice of you.

      You know, as a rule of thumb, when I talk about other people’s religion in their living room I would try to do so without using the most disparaging descriptions possible. Normally that would be considered uncouth. If you told me to my face that my religion was a “perversion” I probably wouldn’t punch you in the mouth, but only because I’m nice like that.

      My underwear isn’t magic. We haven’t practiced polygamy since before my great-grandparents were born. What I personally believe as far as God is my business.

      And since this blog post was about politics, you’ve got a third of the country that thinks you are just as nuts as you think I am, because to them you also have an imaginary friend in the sky that tells you what to do. To them, the fact that your invisible friend tells you slightly different things than my invisible friend doesn’t make you any less crazy than me… So if I were you or some other Mike Huckabee minion, I would be very careful choosing what lines of division I want to set up and which hills I am prepared to die on.

      • I’m glad you’re the one to use the “imaginary friend in the sky” line. I thought about it, but as a non-believer I figured it really wasn’t my place, particularly not in your “home.” ;)

      • Lived all around the country, around just about every major religious population we’ve got, and I’ve got to say LDS folks are the nicest people on average I’ve ever been around – great co-workers, great neighbors, and just easy to get along with. I can’t quite get my ahead around the doctrinal structure, but that applies to my protestant upbringing as well. If I had to choose an organized religion, I’d go LDS – conservative, good folks, and prepared – any religion that encourages (if not flat our requires) its members to be prepared for whatever comes down the pike impresses me.

        36 acres of prepping – damn, that’s a religion:
        http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=19018266&title=new-lds-bishops-central-storehouse-opens-for-business

      • As for preparation, I’ve got enough food stored for 6 people for one year, and enough guns and ammo to reenact Black Hawk Down for 72 hours. :)

      • I’m a devout Southern Baptist, and yeah, I got some doctrinal issues with the Mormons. But then I also have some major doctrinal issues with the Roman Catholic Church.

        You know what tho? We agree on about 98% of stuff both within our faiths and politically. So I can work with them both.

        The doctrinal issues? Those we can either agree to disagree on or we can fight it out later. There’s larger issues to worry about, like, you know, the survival of our country?

        This idea that we all have to agree 100 percent with someone to work with them is killing our country.

      • I wasn’t ready to trot out the invisible friend argument either on your blog.

        Thanx for pulling it out for me.

        If Jesus can walk on water, he would have no trouble getting to America … heh.

      • Just so you guys know, I love my fans. :)

        And I’m willing to bet that I have a much higher than normal percentage of readers that worship Thor. Call it a hunch.

      • Oh, and as to whether Mormons are Christians or not? You know statistics show about half the people in a Baptist church on any given Sunday aren’t Christians, I figure I can let the Lord sort that one out.

        That’s His business, not mine.

      • As far as God sorting it out, I like the words of late attributed to Marcus Aurelius (although almost certainly never said by him, not even in the original Latin): “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

      • I tell my kids the slimmed down version of that; words are just words, no matter how pretty or contrite. Your life is your prayer.

      • Or Aslan’s words to Emeth near the end of “The Last Battle.”

      • Wait – you mean your underwear *doesn’t* have an extradimensional space to carry another gun?

        What kind of epically awesome pulp fantasy writing gun nut are you if you don’t have that?????

    • Terry, its as rediculous as virgin birth, a guy living in a whale, a large group of people being fed on a couple fish and a loaf of bread… I do not judge one miracle as any less valid than another.

      I am not LDS, but when I was in the military, most of my MI friends were because of the fantastic sense of education, values and duty that their church teaches. MI needs folks who speak other languages and are willing to put their life on the line for their country. Mormons were a larger percentage in MI than they are in the general population – nuff said. I personally attended their church and wished I could join, I admire them greatly but I can not get the Joseph Smith thing and that is my loss.

      My kids have dated LDS kids and I wouldn’t have minded them marrying into the church. The FLDS are as far away from the LDS as any other cult is from its founding faith. Just look at Jim Jones, David Koresh and a good dozen other ‘Christian’ cultists.

      I think the Mormons have a better application of their faith than a lot of other religions out there. My grandmother was Catholic woman of the year, wife of a deacon and ran a charity, I remember going to her and saying there was a family in need of help and being told ‘we already met our quota this year’. My husband and I, with 2 toddlers and only on an E-5′s salary bought that family of 5 school & church clothes and food for most of that year and no, they were not of our church or even our faith. If my grandmother had been a mormon, she wouldn’t have had a ‘quota’ she would have just helped.

      • In defense of your grandma “meet quota” is also a way of saying “ran through the budget”.

    • “Mr Correia, can you tell me with a straight face that you believe in magic underwear, seer stones, and all the rest of it? Truly, the Emperor has no clothes. We don’t even have to discuss the whole idea of polygamy, but surely it’s obvious at the very least, the LDS church is a perversion of Christianity. ”

      If it’ll piss people like you off, I’d agree to anything. Hell, I’d even play a game of “guess which seer stone pattern I picked for my favorite sacred underoos” with you, just to watch the veins on your forehead stick out. Which is why I’m a terrible Mormon.

      Then again, since you’ve appointed yourself gatekeeper of what is and isn’t Christianity, why don’t you tell us which versions of the myriad of Christian practices do meet with your approval on the “Not f*cking crazy” scale. Or, as you laughingly put it, those who have “…looked at their beliefs with a critical eye.”

    • I am an atheist.

      Terry, can you tell me with a straight face that you believe that: the Bible contains no errors, the flood of Noah, a 6000 year old Earth, Adam and Eve creation, and Transubstantiation ( magic cannibalism! )?

      Sorry, but from my viewpoint, Larry’s religious beliefs are no sillier than yours.

      If Jesus can walk on water and be raised from the dead, then he can certainly teleport ( or even walk! ) to America and preach to Native Americans / lost Jews.

      Until you can trot out your version of Gos for us to look at and measure, please don’t expect Larry to trot out his for your inspection.

      • “…Transubstantiation ( magic cannibalism! )?”

        Ooh! That sounds cool. Where can I read up on that? I don’t remember a lot from Sunday school, but I’m doubly annoyed that I don’t remember that!

        Hook a brother up!

      • I’m not going to poke any more fun at Christianity here.

        You should be able to google up the term yourself.

    • With all the reasons to support or oppose a candidate… this is what you come up with?
      The question isn’t what he does in church on Sunday- it’s how well or poorly he’d serve the nation.

  26. Respectfully requesting indulgence from moderator and colleagues for an off-topic post, I think people here would like to know that there is a brand new Kalashnikov, tentatively called the AK12, in the works.
    http://english.pravda.ru/russia/economics/26-01-2012/120338-kalashnikov_ak_12-0/

    For myself, I would prefer an FAL; or, if one absolutely must use 5.56×45, a Ruger Mini-14.

  27. But what is the “correct” relative level of CGT? The question should be asked about where CGT should be relative to income tax. As any good accountant can tell you, when you have a level of CGT lower than income tax, this creates an incentive to rebrand income as capital gains. (Let’s leave aside the issue of whether carried interest for private equity should count as income or capital gains). And yes, I know that there is the split between short term and long term gains.

    Generally lower taxes are better because every tax creates a negative incentive effect. I can go with the view that CGT rate should be lower than income tax rates – both because of the need to incentivise entrepreneurs, and those providing capital to firms and because the income is post-corporate tax, but I suspect in the US the rate could be a little higher to reduce arbitrage. BTW there is a great deal to be said for getting rid of corporation tax (which is distortionary and bad since it distorts the incentives of corporations when they make investment decisions) and just taxing it when the household gets it. (the problem being that this also transfers wealth to overseas owners of US firms). Another idea would be to reduce the tax deductability of interest on debt, which would reduce the incentive to increase leverage.

    FWIW, I rather liked Jon Huntsman.

  28. I’m voting for Ted Nuggent
    with Lewis Black as VP.
    and I would hope they pick Larry Corriea as head of the treasury.

    IF I have to pick between Insane (republicans) and Stupid (democrats)
    I’m going to pick for maximums and home the carnage is entertaining.

  29. Larry – I love your books but thank you so much for this blog: whether I agree or disagree, I have never found you uninformed or unentertaining.

    Sadly, I feel you with respect to Mitt Romney.

    I am a Masshole, registered republican voter, and I realize full well that in other states I would not stand a John Carpenter’s “The Thing” style blood test for conservative and would be burned as a consequence.

    I understand completely being uncomfortable in support of Romney as a conservative. But with respect to his record as a governor of Massachusetts, please understand that he was not elected bring about good conservative things, but rather to be at times an impediment varying from speed bump to actual barrier to a fully corrupt democratic majority in a state legislature led by by a succession of at least three indicted and convicted felons, who though they leave office the legislature that remains fights to try to make sure those miscreants retain their pensions. It’s a mad, stupid world in the state of Mass.

    Mitt could not even succeed in getting rid ot Matt Amorello in the MTA and head of the “Big Dig” until those tunnels managed to kill.

    He did manage to get the tolls shut down west of rte. 128 on the Mass Pike, an effort of nearly his entire tenure as Govenor of Mass. It took Deval Patrick almost no time to reinstate them.

    I may be stuck in the Mass-like “best of a few options available”, I find myself supporting Mitt.

  30. As an avid Romney supporter, I appreciate your take on this (even though you’re not a fan of the guy.) Facts are facts, and yeah, I agree he should play this up a lot more.

    Oh well. If he wins the nomination (and it’s looking that way) there’s still time for him to put this in play in a general election. Keeping my fingers crossed that he does–his “fire in the belly” against Newt is what crushed the Grinch in the last two debates.

    Thanks for your insight and commentary, Larry.

  31. Little Timmy would do better in school if he could just stay away from that darned well…

    • He can’t help it. Lassie the mind control dog keeps making him do things like this.

      That dog has a terrible case of Munchhausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.

  32. I didn’t take the time to read all the responses, so maybe someone’s already hit on this-

    All these “fair share” types when informed they are kicking their retirement plan in the nuts have done an immediate about face on the issue.

  33. Just a couple things (I don’t have any idea if you’ll actually ever see this Larry, new to the forum, so don’t know how active you are on comments). First, big fan. I never read ‘monster books’, but was given a signed copy of the first MHI by my secretary, and holy crap, instant fan. I’ve thought of trying to come to one of the local signings here in Utah, but haven’t ever gotten out. Love your work, excited about the aforementioned epic fantasy trilogy. More specifically, enjoyed your post here about Mitt, one correction though, Stake Presidents usually serve for 8-10 years, so, even more sacrifice of personal time. Anyway, huge fan of your ‘subpar’ fantasy (as described by some elitists).

    • Dan, thank you. And I do read all of the comments posted on this page.

      As for Stake Presidents… Man, that is one brutal job. The only stake calling I’ve ever held is auditor. :)

      • I usually end up in Scouts myself, though I’d rather teach Sunday School. I’m an avid reader, mostly straight fantasy, but I have to say, the one thing you books have that I just love, and seems to absent in most fiction (unless its specifically a humor novel i.e. Xanth), is the humor. I can’t tell you how many times I literally laugh out loud reading the books, which is quite a feat seeing as they can go from that to seriously intense and back again all in a chapter. Anyway, very cool that you stay so involved with the fans, can’t wait for the next book.

      • Is there a “like” button for this one Larry?

  34. This post, and the subsequent comment replies, makes me glad to be a fan.

    Kickass Larry.

  35. [...] markets and economics has allowed me to realize that they are full of crap. However, I then read THIS over at Larry Correia’s place and it was like “yea thats what I wanted to say”. [...]

  36. This article, much as I truly loathe agreeing with the Huffington Post, makes a couple key observations- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-kennedy/mitt-romney-the-inevitabl_b_1272066.html

  37. Warren Buffet just doesn’t know when to shut up.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/02/27/432749/buffett-corporate-tax-myth/?mobile=nc

    If my math works out correctly, he’s proposing a corporate tax rate of 185%.

  38. [...] people.  He knows, because he had that job once.  He was a Stake President in his church and Larry Correia does a much better job of explaining that than I ever could. Mostly because I’m not Mormon and didn’t have any idea what a stake president was [...]

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