Why Now?
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
  Things You Should Know
A panel, made up generally of the people who wrote the tax laws, is looking at new ways of screwing them up has come to the conclusion that there are too many tax breaks.

Apparently hearing the testimony of people who actually fill out and file their tax returns has convinced the panel, including former Senator Connie Mack of Florida, that the income tax system is pretty complicated. It might have been a clue that the tax code is contained in a two volume set, each volume larger than the New York City telephone book, that this is a rather complex system.

For those unfamiliar with the tax code, which encompasses everyone in Congress and most of the planet, what happens is that Congress decides it wants people to spend money in a certain way, so it exempts money spent in that way from taxation.

This "social engineering" often has hilarious results. For example, a local government gives massive tax breaks to a big store to locate in its area, and discovers the big store destroys all of the existing businesses and there is no more business tax income and the government is bankrupt.

The BBC has an interesting report on revising historical views: Guide to management, the Genghis Khan way. There is a review of the rise of Genghis to power and his techniques for expanding and maintaining his empire.

It is interesting that among the basic premises of his technique was rewarding people who actually did their job well and in providing good pay to all his employees. This might explain why some people don't seem to be very successful as "empire builders" even when they supposedly have all of the "tools" normally thought necessary.


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