Showing posts from June, 2007

New Scientist: Paying taxes is a pleasurable duty

Interesting. In my personal experience, I find that this is true. To the extent that I believe the taxes I am paying are assessed fairly, and to the extent that I have confidence that the money will be put to good use, I find paying taxes enjoyable. I just found myself thinking the other day, as I was buying a $5 bottle of water at the Marriott: "If only a percentage of this bottle went for a sales tax, I could at least feel that by buying it I did something good." As it happened, St. Kitts has no sales tax, and that water was bottled locally, so the $5 was pure markup going to the hotel store. That didn't feel as good.

Fun facts about living in St. Kitts

Yesterday was our first month 'anniversary' of our arrival in St. Kitts. Here are some of our fun - and 'fun' - experiences. You can get more or less everything, but everything is twice the price. Bottled water, twice the price. Smoked salmon, twice the price. Car, twice the price. Canned vegetables, twice the price. This seems to be partly due to tariffs, partly due to costs of transportation, and partly because of the local monopolies. Essentially all goods are imported by two companies, Horsfords and TDC. Tariffs or no tariffs - I'd guess the duopolies have something to do with the local prices. During the first 30 days we've been here, the electricity was out about two days consecutively. You could say we have about a 94% effectiveness at having electricity. Apparently, these outages were the longest that people recall, and the reason was apparently that they were installing additional generators so that, er, there wouldn't be so many outages. :) Wha

I enjoy it, you pay for it - the socialist mindset

An anonymous commenter nailed the nature of Slovenian socialist nostalgists on the Libertarian's forum (in Slovenian): Borba proti "plehkemu" potrošništvu po mojih opažanjih borba nekaterih ljudi proti lastnemu demonu, ki bi ga lahko imenovali "slabe potrošniške" navade, zoper lastno odvisnost od potrošništva. "Kritični intelektualci", ki sem jih spoznala jaz, imajo navado, da si plačajo počitnice na Maldivih, nato pa državo pljuvajo, ker ne morejo plačati kruha (sociale), ali pa bolj vsakdanji primer, ljudje si sprčakjo denar za frizerja, bencin, avto, zmanjka jim pa denarja za plačilo elektrike in stanarine, potem pa tulijo, da jim država ne zagotavlja "temeljnih" socialnih pravic. "Kritični intelektualci" zahtevajo od občine, da jim zgradi luksuzni stadion, potem pa javkajo, ko jim zasoli ceno (socialnega) vrtca. "Kritični intelektualci" volijo župane, ki jim gradijo in dajejo luksuzne knjižnice, ne gradijo pa vrtcev.