3.08.2005

Aha Moment, Tax idea

Longtail V. Lessig - I figured out what I couldn't before. This quote sums it up.
"What's changed is the presumption that the primary rights-holder is the best at extracting the commercial potential of creative material. Instead, anyone can do it: the advertising company that remixes an old movie to sell a car; the Linux t-shirt done Warhol-style, or just plain old DJ magic. "
What an idea. It's a good argument against the extension of copyright terms or at least against the automatic extension. I wonder if Lessig used the Longtail in his Supreme Court battle vs. Ashcroft. Here's an idea, works are copyrighted automatically just as they are now but after 10 years or so you have to renew that copyright. It should be made a simple process.

Cash Registers and Space Ships - Progressive Consumption Taxes
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0308/p01s03-woeu.html
The following argument is based on the fact that cash registers now have more processing power than the Apollo space program which managed to land on the moon. http://www.jimthompson.net/palmpda/Silly/power.htm Flat taxes are successful but problematic because of a wealth divide that ensues. If a cheap point of sales device was created that could do slightly harder math so that more expensive items are taxed at a higher rate then a flat(ish) tax could be adopted in America. The only problem is that everybody would need to upgrade their point of sale devices. The government could temporarily subsidize the manufacturers of those devices to make their use a reality. Maybe 3 classes of items could be created. Cigarettes and booze could be taxed at a higher rate as they are now but you could also create a bare necessities category for things like food, water, toothbrushes, cleaning supplies and other household necessities which would carry little or no tax. You'd also keep the luxury tax for things like caviar and Bugattis but everything else would be subject to the default tax.

Next time
UofSA - Countries as Colleges - Countries will recruit top prospects.
Glen Reynolds on Satellite TV in the middle east.

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