Good morning, everyone.
There's an interesting passage in Max Chafkin's new book on Peter Thiel, The Contrarian, wherein Thiel expresses that he views greed as preferable to envy. Far from the "greed is good" message of Wall Street's Gordon Gekko, Thiel expresses a preference for the livelier of the two vices. One can choose to stew in resentment of one's peers and spend his days tearing them down, or one can enter the arena and play his hand against the other combatants. The book is an interesting read and remarkable only because Chafkin seems genuinely perplexed and angry that a person can live freely without liberal politics.
This morning, we take a breezy look at Mayor Cooper's new budget proposal, talk about what the American people really want, and take a dig at Janet Yellen's attempt to tax hot air.
Thanks for reading.
WHAT'S IN A BUDGET?
Mayor Cooper’s office submitted his Capital Spending Plan this past Friday. The Capital Spending Plan is different from 2022’s fiscal operating budget of $2.6 billion dollars that was passed by Metro Council, then signed by Mayor Cooper back in June.
The Capital Spending Plan outlines how the administration would like to allocate funds over the next fiscal year. The transparency of capital spending has improved over the last decade, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways the administration can work their way around the system. Councilmember Bob Mendes does a great job of explaining what the Capital Spending Plan is, how to review it, and what he is looking for as a Metro Council Member. Read his brief here.
The Capital Spending Plan must be reviewed and passed by the Metro Council. This process will take place in the next council meeting on November 2nd.
- Parks, schools, and infrastructure seem to be the focal points of Mayor Cooper’s Capital Spending Plan.
- Budget Loopholes: The Nashville Zoo is getting $15M for parking?
- Twitter Reacts: Zoo “Parking Budget”
- REI targets Lebanon for cutting-edge 'net zero' distribution hub, nearly 300 jobs (Biz Journal)
- Entertainment venue planned next to Bob Dylan whiskey house site in SoBro (Biz Journal)
What the people want
A recent CBS poll revealed that Americans held the Biden administration most responsible for the ongoing surge in inflation and problems on the US-Mexico border. Two issues, coincidentally, the administration has made motions to do nothing about.
It's true that the administration can do little for inflation. The conditions in place that have lead to supply shortages and supply increases arose, in large part, due to the slow awakening of the world economy from lockdown mandates. At the Federal Reserve, it's official policy that mention of the word "inflation" — or worse, "hyperinflation" — will bring it into being. So, when Jack Dorsey tweeted, "Hyperinflation is going to change everything. It’s happening" a whole host of PhDs at the Fed erupted as ancient tribes of men might have when a tribesman uttered a forbidden word, running to their cubicles and fiddling with their models in order to assess how the hex might effect the market.
As for the US-Mexico border, the administration appears entirely unconcerned. At Biden's own Delaware beach house, however, a $500k barrier around the premise using tax payer dollars at the behest of the DHS will go up in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, VP Harris — the appointed "czar of the border" — waxes poetic about human rights and celebrates the release of the nation's first ever National Gender Strategy. The concerns of the administration are not the concerns of the people.
With the Infrastructure Bill laying dead in a ditch and Biden's more aggressive "End All Pain and Suffering" Bill going to the butcher, all our leaders can do is motion impotently about pioneering new forms of gender expression and clamoring on about how groups of people lack adequate rights — they don't. It's a stark reminder how divorced the Biden administration is from the Democratic principles they claim to defend.
Taxing Hot Air
Janet Yellen's announcement that taxes levied on the unrealized gains of billionaires will help pay for Biden's social and clean energy initiatives caught everyone's attention yesterday. At present, leaders claim the new tax will only apply to less than 1,000 people with $1 billion in assets or $100 million in income for three consecutive years. Regardless of who it applies to, the tax is more akin to theft than it is a proper tax and brings with it a whole host of questions.
The Revenue Act of 1913 brought back the income tax for the first time since 1872 in the United States and marked a transition away from the USG relying on tariffs for revenue. Initially, the income tax only affected about 3% of the population, targeting those that made over $3,000 a year at a rate of 1% and those making over $500,000 at a rate of 6%. It also enacted a primitive form of the Corporate Tax. The Revenue Act of 1913 was the "foot in the door" lawmakers needed to expand taxes levied on people and businesses. Just three years later, the Revenue Act of 1916 reinstated the estate tax, raised the income tax, and created a variety of others taxes on goods like munitions.
While the new administration's tax on hot air will apply to only the wealthiest in the nation, this is also how the income tax started. Initially targeted at only a small, wealthy portion of the population, Woodrow Wilson sold the removal of tarrifs as good for consumers while Republicans at the time maintained it would undermine domestic producers. As it turns out, the Revenue Act of 1913 was the first in a long series of legislation that pioneered newer and more complicated forms of taxation. Under Yellen's lead, the tax on unrealized gains is no different and everyone should call it what it is. Theft.
- U.S. President Joe Biden's hand gesture at a CNN town hall in Baltimore did not indicate white power, contrary to claims on social media. (Reuters) In a Freudian slip of sorts, Biden actually meant to express that the concept of taxation (especially the income tax) is rooted in White Supremacy. Few understand this.
- A Pre-Med Letter of Resignation, With (Self) Love & Liberation (Harvard Crimson) "When white supremacy invades the bodies of those of us who dare to be Black, female, and breathing, it reproduces as a crippling affliction that accompanies us everywhere — physically, psychologically, and spiritually."
- Twitter’s own research shows that it’s a megaphone for the right (Protocol) Rest assured, the Twitter team is on it doing a "root-cause" analysis to discover the "why". These are big questions.
- Twitter suspends Rep. Banks’ account for misgendering trans health official (NY Post) The offending tweet stated: "Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first ‘female’ four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day"
🔪 REVIEW: HALLOWEEN KILLS
THINGS TO DO
🖼 The Frist Art Museum has an exhibit celebrating ascendant Art Deco art from the 1920s and 1930s running until January.
Thoughts and news concerning everyone's favorite viral pandemic.
- 🟢 The New Public Health Despotism (Unherd) "Specifically, to play one’s part in Covid theatre, as in security theatre at the airport, is to suffer the unique humiliation of a rational being who submits to moments of social control that he knows to be founded upon untruths. That these are expressed in the language of science is especially grating."
- 🤡 People who got Covid-19 vaccines were not only less likely to die from the virus, but they were less likely to die from any cause over the following months, researchers have reported (@CNN)
- Vaccine Mandate Threatens Major Trucking Disruption, Industry Insiders Say (Epoch Times)
- Jacinda Ardern admits Covid plan will lead to two-tier society in New Zealand (Telegraph)
- Large protest against vaccine mandates in New York City (Disclose.tv)
- As some police fight vaccine rules, DeSantis says Florida will pay them $5,000 to relocate: ‘We’ll treat you better’ (Washington Post)
- No, President Biden can’t make you get vaccinated (Dallas News)
Around the Web
📈 Corporations Understand Inflation Better Than The Fed Jack Dorsey sent the tweet heard ‘round the world on Friday night. He explicitly called out hyperinflation, which has been historically considered an off-limits topic for executives and politicians in developed nations.
📉 Is the U.S. Economy Headed toward a Recession? A lot of news institutions are going to breathlessly tell you about the latest spending negotiations on Capitol Hill, or the latest on the congressional January 6 commission, or the latest infighting within Facebook about politics. Whatever you think of those stories, there’s a hugely consequential story coming down the pike that is getting much less attention: Evidence pointing to a coming U.S. recession is starting to pile up.
📉 Is inflation better than the alternative? Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein explains
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Rand Paul says crypto could become the reserve currency of the world if more people lose trust in government
- President Biden tells kids reporters “get to ask you all kinds of questions and you try to figure out how you’re gonna avoid answering them”
- Dave Chappelle Willing to Discuss ‘The Closer’ With Trans Community, but Says He’s ‘Not Bending to Anybody’s Demands’
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A Graph to Ponder
Words of Wisdom
“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine the can design.”
F. A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism