This brief polemic is not from the head, the heart or even from the soul….more from the nerve endings!
Pain and suffering
I am destruction
I am angry
I am total
Lyrics Courtesy of Iggy Pop
Pain and suffering are often thought of as being much the same; they can be experienced separately…..
Pain is fundamentally unpleasant sensation.
Suffering is something we do with our pain.
New research shows that more than a quarter of us suffer daily pain, …the BMA (an inherently conservative body) estimate that approximately 6 million people in the UK suffer chronic pain – I am one of those people
The willard Hotel in D.C. The ‘agency’ of things?
This is the Willard Hotel in Washington; if you look closely you can see it is on a famous street, and I walked past it when I was at a conference recently. Nothing remarkable, I know…but then I saw a placard on the wall (indeed there were at least six of them) and it changed both my view of, and reaction to this building. Lincoln stayed there just prior to his inauguration and Martin Luther king wrote, or at least finalised, his ‘I have a dream’ speech whilst staying here. (And, because I counted, I can tell you that it takes almost exactly 15 minutes to walk from the front door of this hotel to the very spot King stood -in front of the Lincoln memorial – to deliver that highly consequential speech). A President with the name of the Ulysses spent much time in the bars of the hotel and, allegedly, it became the place to meet and influence him – hence the term lobbyist as it was in the hotel lobby that such advocacy often took place. (This is rather odd because Ulysses, the book, is the story of a single day – 16th June 1904 – the same day, some 105 years later, that I wrote this little think piece!!
Richard visiting his distant relative in Washington 09Tax systems shape how we think about consumption
“Taxes class themselves readily according to the basis on which they rest. 1. Capital. 2. Income. 3. Consumption. ……………A government may select either of these bases for the establishment of its system of taxation, and so frame it as to reach the faculties of every member of the society, and to draw from him his equal proportion of the public contributions; and, if this be correctly obtained, it is the perfection of the function of taxation. ……
….But when once a government has assumed its basis, to select and tax special articles from either of the other classes, is double taxation. …….It is an aggrievance on the citizens who use these articles in exoneration of those who do not, contrary to the most sacred of the duties of a government, to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.”
Thomas Jefferson: Note to Destutt de Tracy’s “Political Economy,”This view, expressed by one of the founders of the American constitution, leads to questions about the consequences, for the character of our culture, of focussing tax on income or consumption. Perhaps the tax regime sends subtle messages about what is most valued? Is there grater untapped potential for the taxation system to shape future consumption patterns? How can we get the act of taxpaying to be a celebration of civic society?