Sirius Stuff

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Complicated government? Some business interests want it.

June 02, 2006 at 06:06 AM | categories: Politics | View Comments

Lawrence Lessig has a fascinating article on how the State of California tried to simplify preparing taxes. It used payroll information to do a “ReadyReturn” that could be just signed and returned. Or they could use the info on it to make their own return.

Of course, the tax preparation lobby started to pressure for the test program to be abandoned. Which is ridiculous. And some lawmakers listened. Which is more ridiculous.

Really like this quote:

And efficiency is good regardless of who it might hurt; it is especially good if it hurts those who feed off inefficiency.

How City of Portland could have bought PGE

April 15, 2006 at 04:04 AM | categories: Politics | View Comments

The City Council of Portland was very interested in buying Portland General Electric from what was left of Enron. Rate cuts of 10% or more were talked about.

With amazing 20-20 hindsight, it’s now obvious what the City should have done:

Keep PGE’s rates the same!

Keeping them the same would have let them

  • Give rebates to other cities. Here, Gresham & Beaverton, here’s 10% of the electric bills of everyone in your city boundaries. Now be quiet.
  • Give money to Portland Public Schools.
  • Fund the tram
  • Stop people wondering what would happen when well-paid, unionized private sector workers became well-paid, unionized public sector workers. Did anybody expect there to be fewer people? Less pay?

Bill Gross rips US economy

April 07, 2006 at 04:04 AM | categories: Investing, Politics | View Comments

Bill Gross is the legendary bond analyst/trader at PIMCO. He has strong words about the Economic Report of the President and the state of the US economy.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be anyone out there who’s much interested in trying to solve the problem. We can’t keep spending the way that we have. All the big screen TVs and clothing that we’re buying from overseas is growing their economies as fast as it depletes our resources. It’d be different if we were graduating more scientists and engineers … if we were graduating more people period.

His article is a fine read on a day when the market dropped better than 1% across all indices. Highly recommended.