Learning Economics And Watching Movies: Human Action, Taxes, Andrew Niccol's Gattaca (1997) and Anon(2018)
Again It is time for me to make one of those cocktail posts where I mix many random elements/topics to make a great read/watch. I've been paying more attention to economics; especially Austrian Economics. I'm bit of a noob so I'd be happy if someone tell me why it is called "Austrian Economics". I've tried some reading. So let's get on with that.
Human Action by Ludwig von Mises
Where To Read/Listen
You can get the whole thing for free at https://mises.org/library/human-action-0 which is the official MISES INSTITUTE website. You can buy a Hardback version at their website too. Personally i'm a PDF person. It doesn't take space like the audiobook and I can re-read any part at any speed I want. I have much reading to do. So fa my thoughts can be mostly aligned with the following review.
At first, Mises spends what seems to be an inordinate amount of time explaining and defending what would appear to be simple common sense logic. Eventually, it becomes apparent why this is necessary; modern economics, outside of the Austrian School, spends most of its time trying to obfuscate and deny simple common sense logic. I pressed through these chapters and I'm glad that I did. The initial sections set the stage for the type of reasoning that would be necessary to follow the rest of the book. This book filled a lot of the holes in my understanding of Austrian Economics. I kept finding myself chuckling aloud when, on page after page, Mises would make yet another brilliant and irrefutable point against statism and socialism, often blasting away common assumptions which are rarely, if ever, questioned by society at large. I was most impressed by his theory on the problems of economic calculation in socialism. The book was a tough read, but definitely worth it!
Few Things About Taxes That You Probably Didn't See Coming
I've come to understand how much sense Austrian Economics make. Few days ago I came across another article which showed how senseless and bizarre the current economic realities are. I welcome you to put these numbers side by side with the numbers at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita
Who pays income tax?
Us, and almost nobody but us.
“Us” being the kind of people who read American Consequences.
People who make more than $134,299 a year pay 83.9% of U.S. individual income tax. (Add those who make more than $79,499 and it’s 97.3%.)
Only about 27 million of us – in a nation of 325.7 million – are shelling out that 83.9%. Each of us is carrying the freight for eleven other people.
And we’re getting a damn bad deal for our labors.
America’s infrastructure is crumbling.
America’s public education system stinks.
America’s military is splendid but underpaid and overstressed.
America’s national debt is soaring.
America’s Social Security and Medicare programs are woefully underfunded.
Crime is prevalent. America’s murder rate is 4.88 per 100,000 population compared to a rate of 1.58 in France, 0.92 in the U.K., and 0.31 in Japan.
Poverty is prevalent too. America, the richest nation in the history of the world, has 43.1 million people living in poverty. Meanwhile our federal government spends $729 billion a year on poverty programs – $16,914 per poor person when the “poverty threshold” for a household of two is $16,240.
Furthermore, our borders are not secure. (Lena Dunham swore she’d go to Canada if Donald Trump got elected and she’s still in the U.S. What is ICE for?)
We work every day, all year long, and incompetence, malfeasance, and misappropriation take the profits.
Going on strike is what we Americans have traditionally done when our bosses are “Malefactors of Great Wealth” who treat the people working for them like dirt.
We’ve got a bunch of Malefactors in Washington. They may not be, technically, Constitutionally, our “bosses,” but they definitely boss us around. A federal budget of $4.09 trillion is Great Wealth and then some. We’re in 24% to 37% tax brackets, so we certainly work for them. And they treat us like dirt.
Let me pause for a moment in my righteous indignation to point out that the “we” we’re talking about are not “the rich.” We ain’t rich.Yes, $134,000 a year is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. But a couple of years ago USA Today ran an interesting article by Howard R. Gold, “What it Costs to Live the American Dream.”
Next Part Is The Craziest And Most Surprising
Mr. Gold defined “living the American Dream” as having enough money for a family of four to afford decent food and clothing, own their home (that is, pay off its mortgage), have one reasonably new car, a good health insurance policy, and the means to fund a modest retirement account and put away about $2,500 a year for the children’s education. Mr. Gold estimated the annual pre-tax income necessary for this dream life to be… $130,000.
The livers of the American Dream going on strike is, I know, not an original idea. Ayn Rand proposed it more than 60 years ago in her novel, Atlas Shrugged. Rand imagined America’s “productive individuals” escaping from a government run by collectivist “looters” and hiding out somewhere in the Rockies in a place called “Galt’s Gulch.”
Individual income taxes provide the federal government with 47.3% of its revenue. Payroll taxes – and there won’t be many of those without us on the payroll – provide another 34.1%. And corporate taxes provide 9.2%
Movie Watch-list: Andrew Niccol
Andrew Niccol made a smash hit amazing box office flop called Gattaca (1997) as his debut film and I've watched many of his movies and they were good if not SUPER AMAZING! His movies have this weird sense of creating disconnect (Except for Gattaca) and some might be turned off by that. Me........ Well, did you even read this post I made?
In case you don't mind spolilers or have already watched this hidden gem, here is a bonus video for you.
As for some great quotes, this is the best I could find.
I just saw the trailer and was glad that this was a Netflix movie and sad because I have too much to watch already. The very first thing the trailer reminded me of was Laughing Man storyline from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
My concerns are that movie seems to be too high concept for its own good the effects look sort of cheap. Some of the reviews look positive though. So I'll get into this pretty soon.
The film addresses the issue of online constant tracking, data tranparency and privacy, in a world where records can be falsified and therefore no one can know the truth anymore. Anyone with the means can thus find a hacker to delete his misdeeds. Rings any bells ? Whether you think of Bitcoin and it's blockchain technology, the Facebook data sold to spin doctors world wide (in the UK and the US, that we know of). Here we try to solve murders, but how do we do it when the murderer is deleting his/her online meta data and can't be tracked or found? You'll find out.To the uneducated critics, in case you did not know, everything sci-fi addressing major contemporary issues isn't a Black Mirror wannabe. The track-record of this film-maker speeks for itself. He's been on this very issue of fundamental freedoms for decades and he is not new to the sci-fi genre. Indeed Writer/Director Andrew Niccol started questionning major philosophical and now everyday issues, back in the 90s when he made the screen adaptation of "A Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley (1932), the formidable Gattaca (1997). Some writers have it in them to question whether our fundamental freedoms are endangered by technology and this one has consistently done so over the years, with the brilliant Truman Show or Lord of War, and his work skillfully brings us to the depth of the questions he asks in a very entertaining fashion, and whether it is a drama or a comedy, it is always relevant. Clive Owen is perfect as the detective in charge, a classic detective of the genre : somber, smart, sad, somewhat rebellious with great instincts. A must see.
You've got some real eye for hidden gems. Excellent recommendations worthy of many resteems. Out of the Andrew Niccol movies I've seen, In Time was the only one I thought of as mediocre. The rest were amazing. I really do think that the disconnect he create is a feature and I've felt that reading many of the books by Arthur C. Clarke too. I enjoy it. It's not cinematic or hypnotic but deeply interesting. I haven't finished Altered Carbon yet. But it seems to be the type too.
BTW go make a Sucker Punch post already. it was heavily underrated and utterly misunderstood. I'd personally call it a total masterpiece.
PS: READ Frédéric Bastiat's The Law (1850)
Thanks for bringing up rédéric Bastiat's The Law (1850). I guess I'll get to Sucker Punch (2011) pretty soon.
S1m0ne (2002) was probably the most disconnected. It was like reading an academic paper about certain events and I do think it worked well. After all it was a movie to think about. It was about artificiality and facades and sort of a mix of black satire and GitS.
You got a great article. Frankly, I read your article superficially. But, this was enough for me to see that the situation in which was America. And I thought that negative economic dynamics only in the underdeveloped countries, for example, like in Ukraine. Good luck to you and Love.
I think right kind of thinking can make and unmake a country or community. Places like Dubai, Singapore and even post WWII Japan/Korea were at terrible states. But they grew upto become giants in world economy.
Argentina sed to be one of the richest countries in the world too.
You really are so full of creativity boss @d-zero, this is absolutely great again..
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