Thursday, May 17, 2007

Couple of things

- The Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department is seeking to raise fees to offset rising costs, which is understandable. The question I've always had for the longest time is ... why don't citizens inside Athens proper have the ability to choose their solid waste disposal company? When I lived outside the traditional city limits, I had that luxury, and I was afforded the chance to get a company which picked up more than once a week and gave me a larger can to hold my garbage bags. Unless I'm gravely mistaken or someone over at Public Utilities flat out lied to me, I'm stuck with one provider. And make no mistake ... it's not like they don't do a good job, but the lack of choice frustrates me.

- I understand why there is no need to build a library, but it's still kind of a shame. Nonetheless, the proposed facelift to these three parks all sound quite good, particularly the ones for East Athens. Connecting that park by a scenic walkway to Dudley Park is an outstanding idea.

- I commented on Blake's suggestion that we consider making the commission full-time and built in on marginally.

- Well, hello non-story. Also, note to self, don't screw with overworked and underappreciated firefighters.

- Here's a confusing analogy which doesn't work well and only makes me hope that gratuity was included on their bill.


Blogger Josh said...

Firefighters may be overworked, but they are anything but underappreciated. Hell, aside from my profession (teachers) and perhaps the military, firefighting is probably the most overappreciated line of work. That's not to take away from anything they do, but since 9/11, we've put firefighters on a holy pedestal.

Still, without them, we wouldn't have "Rescue Me," the best show on television. Oh, and saving lives and stuff. That's cool too.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The analogy is not only easy to understand, but spot on.

The wealthy pay the freight and, for their trouble, are castigated by the very people who benefit from their largesse.

Only in America.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Polusplagchnos said...

I also think the analogy isn't that confusing, but perhaps an accurate one would have the first four or six working in the kitchen, preparing the meal. Or, perhaps, include racial and gender qualifications.

I note, though, that if the analogy is to tax cuts, the "owner" of the restaurant reduced the cost of the meal at his grace. So, even those who encourage tax cuts still have to admit, analogically, that the government owns the restaurant, sets the prices, and doesn't return what is owned by customers, but returns what it itself took as profit, for services rendered.

In America, we prefer our socialism to be subversive.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

I also think the analogy isn't that confusing, but perhaps an accurate one would have the first four or six working in the kitchen, preparing the meal. Or, perhaps, include racial and gender qualifications.

Well played.

1:11 PM  
Blogger hillary said...

God, those poor, poor rich people.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. That's where the analogy falls short. No demographic bean counting, no lumping people into groups. Instead, an erroneous presentation of individuals as, well, individuals.

You got me there. A horrible shortcoming in the analogy. He didn't break it out for age, gender, religion or lack thereof, pigmentation or lack thereof, sexual orientation...

...or lack thereof.

Obviously, not a real-world scenario. At least not one liberals can see and relate. They don't see individuals; they see subsets of demographic groups.

Ya got me there.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Polusplagchnos said...

So, if the analogy works for objectivists and fiscal conservatives, heck, even libertarians, the point is that they see poor and modestly rich individuals as potential thugs and murderers?

Come on, anonymous. If you like the analogy, really look at it. It shows that middle class and high class people are just as bloodthirsty and murderous as the very poor, when it comes to envy and greed. So, this is nothing about freeloaders or welfare bums or "the poor", but rather an analogy playing upon some idealized vision we all have of the frightened, paranoid hyperrich. Unless you're hyperrich yourself, if you're middle class or abouts you are just as much a target of that analogy's indictments as the people who live off the largesse of the wealthy. The analogy's point, the very point of much of this fiscal conservative defense of reducing tax burdens for wealthy entrepreneurs, is that we all live off their luxury and largesse. That includes you, anonymous, and that includes you as one more willing to kill the rich man out of greed.

But identifying with the hyperrich won't make any person, even the sycophants who believe the idealizations and the hype, that much more powerful, or that much more honest, or that much more noble.

At any rate, you're quick to repent of your earlier language in talking about "the very people who benefit" from rich people's largesse, whatever that group of people was in your mind, to talking about how liberal people really should be thinking about and struggling for the individual. As if analogies are really about factually relevant persons to begin with...

But, hey, if you're okay with saying that the collected middle class people, when focused with the right motivation, can overthrow the very small number of hyperrich, then welcome to Leninism 101.

Again, are you trying to be socialist or just don't realize what you're applauding?

11:13 PM  
Blogger Polusplagchnos said...

Johnathan, about the trash lack of choice issue:

What about hauling one's own trash? Is that also disallowed, supposing you're right about what the PU person said to you?

4:12 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

I could haul my own trash to the land, and have done so before. The primary obstacle is that I don't have a truck to get it there, which is what I would prefer to use to do so.

Plus, I don't mind absorbing the cost of paying the appropriate vendor to do so.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Jared said...

On another note, this analogy is hardly original or new:

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where does the analogy account for those whose income is from investment, not working? They only pay taxes on HALF of their income at all, so how does that work?
It doesn't. Oversimplifying the U.S. tax situation as that people who make a lot of money from working pay a lot of taxes and those that don't make much money from working pay very little federal income tax only tells part of the story. This oversimplification fails to appreciate that high-wage-earners subsidize those who make their money from investment much more than they supplement low-wage-earners. Poor people who don't make much money and therefore don't pay much in taxes are a straw man in tax discussions.


12:29 PM  
Blogger Polusplagchnos said...

Johnathan, I love to tell the story. Wendy and I haul our own trash in our little Ford Taurus. What you do is get yourself a really nice and large tub and use that for the really nasty stuff. Wash and rinse out your cans and bottles and jugs, and recycle them, using the receptacles the county provides, keeping them in a similar large tub. Important papers can be shredded and stored, whereas all other paperboard products kept also in a large tub and recycled when that tub is filled.

We've reduced our waste stream to the landfill so much by recycling absolutely everything we can that our "bill" is the $0.50 per bag we take in. And we take in five bags practically every month and a half. Including gas for your own delivery, it saves you a lot of money. And you make a trip out to the landfill often enough to appreciate efforts to keep that thing running.

Personally, I think everyone should make a trip out to the landfill, drive their car out and walk up to almost right up where the bulldozer arranges everything. It's an experience to have.

Thanks for the link, Jared. I know that I have seen that analogy used often on the internet. I just didn't realize that it was word for word sent in to the paper like that.

1:03 PM  
Blogger hillary said...

There was also an article somewhere (Red & Black? ABH?) about how annoyed UGA economics prof David Kamerschen gets that his name is often slapped on the story as its supposed author.

1:47 PM  

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