Skip to main content

Posts

Tax Cut = Donut Cut?

Friends, With tax reform high on congress’ agenda, I’ve been thinking about how and why the government gets and spends money. In the U.S., the federal government  gets most of the money from various taxes (the rest, about 15% comes from borrowing). So, when it comes down to it, we’re buying a common good, the “things” (goods and services) on which they are spending our money. Most of it (65%) goes towards Social Security, unemployment, Medicare, health and veterans’ benefits. Another 15% goes towards the military and 6% goes towards debt and interest. The remaining 13% goes to everything else (for the OCD among you, I realize my math only adds-up to 99%, but that’s due to rounding). If you think of this as an income statement, then lower prices (a lower tax rate) will translate to less revenue (taxes) unless you can get more unit sales (a higher GDP growth rate). On that latter point, the U.S. economy has grown an average of 1.9% in the 2000s. Proponents of the plan say growth would …
Recent posts

White Flour Donuts of Color

Friends, As a whiteperson of color, I’ve always been somewhat irked by the compulsion to categorize people into neat boxes. Most people don’t fit neatly into boxes. When given a choice between “white” or “Hispanic” (check one), I realized these boxes provide a false choice.  Why does the government care what category I opt into? The way I see it, these questions on so many forms probably don’t cause division and social injustice, but they do keep the conversation going. I propose a write-in campaign (similar to elections). Most of these forms now contain an “Other” field where you can write-in your ethnic or racial background. What if we all wrote-in “Transracial”. If one or two of us do it, no big deal. If it catches-on, maybe someone will take notice and report on how silly this categorization variable is. Speaking of boxes, a dozen donut box is sitting in its usual spot, so come get your transracial self some sugar!
Happy Friday!

Of Mergers and Donuts

Friends, This week marked the completion of CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3. This transaction combines my most recent former employers accounting for 17 years of my career. It gives Level 3 the opportunity to rid itself of the brackets in its logo (the universal symbol for negative financial results) and CenturyLink the opportunity to rid itself of Glen Post.  As the two companies work to integrate, they will have several considerations to make. A name. If recent history is any indication, the name will likely be CenturyLink. Still, we in the peanut gallery like to contemplate the possibilities. Since a century is 100 years, why not combine the numbers in both companies’ names. How about we call the company 300 (100 x 3) --a valiant, yet doomed group of people.Integration. Having unofficially coined the terms red and blue network when executives said we have to stop using the terms Level 3 and Global Crossing networks, I feel like the conventio…

Headphones and Donuts

Friends, Ever wonder why headphones are labelled “right” and “left”? Sure, the sound coming-out of each miniature speaker is different, however, why does it matter which sound comes-in which ear? Would having my right headphone in my left ear (and vice-versa) while listening to Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ make me feel like I have my back to the stage? Will Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’s subliminal messaging be less effective? (listen around minute 1 of the track played backwards and tell me you don’t hear it). When I listen to Joe Walsh’s ‘Life’s Been Good’ with my headphones “backwards”, will hearing “everybody say ‘oh yeah’” with my right ear instead of the intended left change my political leanings? Perhaps there’s a risk to having the same sounds in the same ear every time. Might there be a brain-saving benefit to sometimes having the vocals in old Beatles records coming-in the left ear instead of the right? Unless someone can give me a good reason to care, I plan to take less ca…

Earth, Wind, Fire and Donuts

Friends, What a morning! Trees seem made of candy corn, chocolate cake and red licorice; a crisp breeze blows in the cloudless sky while the sun reminds us it’s good to be alive! On a perfect fall morning like today’s, it’s easy to ignore the disruptive force of Earth, Wind and Fire. No, this is not a reference to the combined Earthlink, Windstream and Broadview -whose momentum could well be characterized as being on Fire! I’m talking about the Earthquake that devastated Mexico; the hurricane-strength Wind that destroyed parts of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean; and, of course, the Fires which burned through northern California and wilderness across many western states. And even though they did not all happen in September (I know, a not-so-subtle Earth, Wind and Fire reference), they all happened far from Colorado. We were spared, and should be grateful for that. We should also consider ways to help those who weren’t as lucky -perhaps over a donut (hint, there’s a dozen…

Mystical Donuts!

Friends, For a society that claims to dislike math we sure do put a lot of numbers on things. We try to measure people –height (Ft.), weight (Lb.), age (Yr.) and money ($), yet we fail to put a number on the ultimate measure of a man… “where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” -Martin Luther King, Jr. We measure beer –alcohol (ABV), bitterness (IBU) and color (SRM), yet we forget that “whoever drinks beer, is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven!” -Marin Luther. We measure music (bars) and buildings (square feet), yet we forget that “talking about music is like dancing about architecture” -Steve Martin. Some of you might even be counting how many times I’ve quoted someone named Martin (3). A problem with all this counting is that these attempts to demystify often oversimplify that which we measure. Perhaps that’s why we have yet to put a number on things like love, hope, faith, freedom, happiness and luck –the latter imme…

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

Friends, Sometimes, heat can be a good thing. A hot day at the beach with a cold brew in your hand is awesome. If someone thinks you're "so hot!", that's a compliment. And, hot breakfast is a treat. Sometimes, it's not. A heat wave, especially if it's accompanied by humidity is suffocating. A hot-headed person is undesirable. And of course, no one wants to be left holding a hot potato. This morning when the temperature gauge on my vehicle read 260 degrees, I knew right away it was the latter kind of heat. Fortunately, donuts taste great at room temperature. Sorry for the delay and enjoy!
Happy Friday!