From Saturday’s New York Times:

Americans are being taxed more than twice as heavily on earnings from work as they are on investment income, a new study has estimated. The study, which applied the most current tax laws to a database of 186,000 tax returns, found that federal income taxes on wages and other earnings average about 10.7 percent and that payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security take another 12.7 percent. By contrast, federal taxes on investment income average about 9.6 percent. . . . [T]he average tax rate on ordinary earnings was 2.1 times that on investment income when Mr. Bush became president and became 2.5 times after last year’s tax cuts . . .

☞ Most of this tax benefit goes to multi-millionaires . . . and, no we don’t have enough money to run the government, so we’re having to borrow $500 billion a year from your kids . . . but how could this be bad? Heck, even Ralph Nader is a multimillionaire these days. So to those relative few Americans who aren’t wealthy (does anyone these days not earn a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year from dividends and capital gains?) – and whose kids just lost their music and gym classes – I say: hey, pal: work harder. Not only will it enrich you, the taxes on your additional earnings will help to finance further tax cuts on my investment income. A win-win.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDIES

Nick Papadopoulos: ‘I am putting together a workshop on Information Cartography and systems thinking and would like permission to print and use your column on The Aswan High Dam and Unintended Consequences. Is this o.k.?’

☞ It’s so funny when you get e-mail meant for someone else – Anna or Arthur or perhaps Abner Tobias. Clearly, I have never written a column on The Aswan High Dam. I know two things only about this dam – that it’s in Egypt (I seem to remember the Soviets helping to build it while I was building a damn in the brook behind our house) and that, presumably, it is high. But just before I disabused this person, I searched my past columns to be sure and found that – oops – I had done this after all, seven years ago. Reading it over, I realized that it complements the recent Chernobyl link. What we don’t see can harm us. A President who turns back environmental progress seems to be doing nothing harmful – you can’t see or smell it. But environmental shortsightedness sure harmed the Egyptians.

What this has to do with Cartography, of course, is painfully obvious.

What? Do I have to draw you a map?

(OK, I have no idea what it has to do with Cartography. But I’m glad Nick has seen fit to include it in his workshop.)

ANOTHER WAY TO ESCAPE AOL?*

America Online has finally opened up its email format so that you can download your messages using standard email programs like Outlook. Click here for instructions – or here, if you are WAY smarter than I am.

*Which I wouldn’t even consider doing if AOL would let me upgrade from Version 5 to Version 9. But ever since Version 6, it has told me I should upgrade – but also that I can’t upgrade because my address book is too big.

 

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