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Archive for January 15th, 2013

Story Problem or Problem Story?

Tonight, the Buncombe County Commissioners were thrilled with the $350,000 they were going to give to Reich, LLC. The state, through the One North Carolina Fund, was going to donate another $350,000. Knowing anybody lame enough to watch a county commissioners’ meeting probably had no mathematical aptitude, or even a grasp of conservation laws that hit the normal person’s brain around the age of two or three; Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton talked about multipliers. The iddy-bitty, inky-dinky $350,000 the county contributed would experience a ten-fold multiplying effect. Not only would the money be spent on creating jobs, those with jobs would have money to go to the dentist, and then the dentist would be able to hire a hygienist. The whiz-bangs in elective office failed to explain to our iddy-bitty, inky-dinky brains why the money stopped after the third exchange. It seems the hygienist should be able to get her hair done, and the hair dresser would be able to buy new tools, and Goody would be able to make more hair bows, necessitating the hiring of another line worker, who could afford to fix the kitchen sink, giving a plumber money to fix his car. Should the mechanic buy the entertainment station the Reich worker put up on Craigslist, our worker would be doubly rich. As time goes on, everybody in the community would be infinitely richer. But, those of us who never took economics don’t quite know why the money stopped at the hygienist. I am supposing a law of nature prevents hygienists from buying anything.

On another hand (I don’t know which one, because I can’t count to two.), why does giving money to Reich not displace it from anybody? Are we to presume Reich prevented the commissioners from blowing the wad on overhead for the Koch Brothers’ hoard? More likely, taxing everybody just a little spreads the pain. We can look at each government expenditure as only fractions of a penny, thereby allowing ourselves to forget that half our income goes to government. And, if a third of our income goes to income taxes, another 5-10% to property taxes, 7% of what’s left to sales taxes, and more to licenses, fees, parking meters, public utilities, and whatnot – only, um, 20% – no 15% – of our income goes to taxes.

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And Then There Were Seven

The courts have decided to let Ellen Frost have the seventh seat on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. As of this writing, the newspapers didn’t know to what extent challenger Christina Kelley G. Merrill would continue to appeal. Frost was sworn in right after the commissioners’ open meeting tonight.

The good news is she repeatedly swore she would uphold the US Constitution; but then, so did the others. The bad news is the commissioners won’t have an excuse for deferring big decisions anymore.

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