The Blog for People Who Don’t Hate Humanity And Who Do Not Think The World Is About To End And Who Believe In Individual Liberty And Live-And-Let-Live Common Sense

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Find your daily fix of something new, something different and something extra… Welcome to Extremely Foreword – an eclectic blog bringing you stories, art, news, life and culture in a Based, To-the-point, NO to Low BS Environment – your antidote to the mainstream. The truth is in here – out there is nothing but lies and deception. Kidding. But only a little bit. New posts, interesting takes, fresh angles and thought-provoking takes every weekday – whether you want to be serious or flippant. Style and Beauty tips for the ladies; behind-the-scenes coverage of the entertainment scene without celeb worship or woke agenda pushing; Non-rabid political news that leaves the hyperbole for the superfluous activist journalists you know and loathe elsewhere; business, finance and investment write-ups that don’t fall for the latest schemes and trust old school common sense ideas and methodologies; science and tech coverage rooted in optimism and a pro-human ethos; all delivered quick, to the point and in extremely foreword style. PLUS all the old favourite longform columns and commentary. In The Column, you’ll find pure, undistilled rage and disappointment with humanity dished out with the kind of reserve ed cynicism required to live through all the broken promises and dead ends dished up by homo sapiens that the rest of us have no choice but to cope with. We’ll go wherever our fancy strikes us in essays or articles filed under the category of Nomenclaturia Pedestria – which, frankly, was the most pretentious title I could think of. There’s some quality hand me downs and sensational sloppy seconds in FineFinds reviews for you to feast on. Expect regular stories, interesting angles, political coverage without the hyperbole, non-agenda driven takes on topics, individual liberty-lovin, gay acceptin, corn eatin, trailer dwellin honest to gosh fun, as well as all the latest shorts books and movies from storyteller Peter van der Walt – the main instigator. Consider this message an all-inclusive, blanket, general purpose trigger warning. Have fun. Browse around. Hang on. If you’re strong enough, life is a beautiful ride. And why, yes, the above cities were chosen to make a political statement and to annoy you personally. Wherever you’re from, whoever you are, whatever you’re about – welcome!

THE VERY LATEST

Tax: Progress, Regress and Proportion

Death and taxes are certainties, they say, but with technological advances, maybe not death, so much. The legitimized protection racket that is taxes has been in place for as long as humanity formed organised societies. In Ur (hometown of biblical Abraham, one of the early characters in a very ancient book) levied taxes on agricultural produce, livestock, and other goods – to build roads, fund military campaigns and splash on religious ceremonies. Farmers had to pay a proportion of their crops to the State since the days of ancient Egypt. Every now and then, taxes lead to trouble. One could argue that both the French and Russian Revolutions stemmed at least partly from relatively regular folks saying HELL NO, ENOUGH to excessive taxation… and Britain’s Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767 created America.

What is clear is that once a government of any kind gets its grubby little paws on a new form of taxation, it becomes permanent and never goes away. Before the wars with Napolean, there was no income tax in Britain – but it’s still around today even though Napolean, last I checked, was no longer a threat. Don’t be too hard on the English, however. America only instituted Income Tax to fund the Civil War – and yet it seems reparations for that particular military adventurism is still being paid by everyone sleazy enough to dare to make a living circa 2024.

Taxes are, of course, couched in the language of the common good and of empathy. It is impossible to reach collective goals and act in the collective interest without a budget – nor is it possible to have welfare. But in the end, taxation is enforceable. Any way you spin it or skin it, the State takes what they can’t make for themselves, and they do so with the threat of imprisonment and/or violence, and if you don’t like it, at best, you can shop for another State to pay it to. They couldn’t get Al Capone for murder, theft, prostitution, the manufacturing, distribution and sale of illegal substances – but they got him on Tax Evasion.

We hear a lot about the rich not paying their fair share, or corporations avoiding tax through loopholes. To be clear, no corporation in the history of mankind ever paid tax – corporations are juristic and not actual persons, and so they might hold tax on behalf of governments, and they might pass on taxes to their customers, and they might collect it to pay over to authorities, but they don’t ever actually pay it themselves. Only natural subjects – that is, people – pay. Who exactly pays depends on how the laws are written, and who is reading those laws out loud and the audiences they are speaking to.

Progressive Tax (Because once we start we don’t stop)

In this system, the tax rate increases as the taxable amount increases. This system is designed to ensure that those who earn more pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. It is commonly used in many developed countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. You wouldn’t know it, given how certain politicians go on and on – and how ubiquitous the phrase “fair share” has become. The Facts are that the Top 1% of Income Earners in the United States pay around 42% of all income taxes paid. 88% of tax is paid, between them, by the Top 10% of earners. Incidentally, unlike opinion columns or campaign slogans, tax revenues are documented mathematical facts – so whether your ideology and convictions agree or not, anyone who claims that in the United States the rich don’t pay their fair share is – in technical terms – a fucking liar.

The idea is that progressive taxes are more fair – although this idea is not a mathematical fact and is open to debate. A highly successful person does indeed make use of public roads, but not in line proportionately more than an absolute loser does. The idea that progressive systems reduce income inequality also presupposes, rather generously, that government is as effective at spending the money they take in as they are taking it in – and that the results of any programs they may institute is exactly as predicted.

Progressive systems are complex and costly to administer, so they do tend to redistribute a lot of income to accountants. And rich people can afford accountants and lawyers to help them avoid or even evade tax. The contemporary world, like it or not, is a marketplace for those with the means. People can and indeed do buy citizenship, move their own domiciles and where their companies are domiciled so make no mistake – fair or not fair – jurisdictions compete for high earners. If I’m taxed too much, ladies and gentlemen, it is well within my capabilities to take my business – and all its economic value – elsewhere.

Of course, the amount I’m taxed is only part of the picture. Another might well be what I get in return for my taxes. The job of a government is to facilitate an environment in which its citizens can thrive. Money in versus value out is a real equation.

Regressive Tax (Because it will set you back)

In this system, the same rate is applied to all taxpayers, regardless of income. As a result, lower-income individuals pay a higher proportion of their income compared to higher-income individuals. You’d think it’s an either/or – as in – a country chooses to be progressive or regressive. But by now you know they are all greedy bastards, and they often apply both. Your income tax might be progressive, and then your sales taxes and excise taxes might be regressive.

It’s simple to administer and has low compliance burdens, and because they apply to everyone can generate a lot of dough. Thing is, aside from exemptions for basic goods or services, the lower income groups pay more as a proportion of what they earn. Also, once consumption becomes too pricey, economic growth itself might slow.

Proportional Tax (Because you know we’ll get ours)

Proportional taxation, aka the Flat Tax, applies the same tax rate to all taxpayers, regardless of income. Everyone pays the same proportion. Easy to understand, easy to administer, and it sounds pretty fair (considering tax is never fair and no one is ever happy paying it). But ten percent of my income may not be the same proportion if I’m on the breadline than it is if I’m buying a private jet. Down here, I might starve. Again, basic things can be exempted (which negates the criticisms, but people pretend they don’t so they can either keep complaining or demand more of your hard-earned cash for their pet projects). Opponents of the Flat Tax argue that it won’t generate enough revenue to cover essential public services. Factually, it will more than cover essential public services alright, it just won’t fund all the pork-stuffed fatcat big bureaucracy programmes required by welfare or expansionist states. Not a drawback, argues its proponents, at all. You’ll have to decide where you fall.

TRENDING NOW

Tax: Progress, Regress and Proportion

Death and taxes are certainties, they say, but with technological advances, maybe not death, so much. The legitimized protection racket that is taxes has been in place for as long as humanity formed organised societies. In Ur (hometown of biblical Abraham, one of the...

Potential…

Oh, we can dream. Believe me. But perhaps today is just a different kind of day. The kind where I don't answer questions but examine them... when I question the question itself. Many times questions are statements. This one seems to want to say something about...

Pretty Pennies

This beautiful tin dates from between 1910 and 1919. It was part of a cosmetic and beauty empire of Madame CJ Walker - an incredible story of an American hero. She was born Sarah Breedlove to slave parents on a plantation in Louisiana. She had five siblings, who were...

Continue

From chaos it all arose... primordial biological ooze, branching over time into differentiated species. From untamed nature came the apes, from wild apes came those who used tools, from those primitive rocks and sticks came the fine instruments and the electron...

Ask Marla: Wife Having Affair?

Dear Marla, I think my wife Sally might be having an affair. I found a text on her phone from someone named "Roger," which said, "Can’t wait to see you tonight!" When I asked her about it, she said Roger is her new yoga instructor. She’s also been working late a lot...

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Potential…

Potential…

Oh, we can dream. Believe me. But perhaps today is just a different kind of day. The kind where I don't answer questions but examine them... when I question the question itself. Many times questions are statements. This one seems to want to say something about...

read more
Continue

Continue

From chaos it all arose... primordial biological ooze, branching over time into differentiated species. From untamed nature came the apes, from wild apes came those who used tools, from those primitive rocks and sticks came the fine instruments and the electron...

read more
Laugh Lines And Worry Wrinkles

Laugh Lines And Worry Wrinkles

Oh, she's seen a thing or two, that grand old dame at the corner of Southmill. Her years are mapped in her countenance... every abuse and injury is documented in the cracks and crannies. And the surface of her exterior could do with some scrubbing and cleaning, and a...

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Walls, Windows, Doors…

Walls, Windows, Doors…

They have a purpose, doors. They are built for protection, privacy, closure. They control access. Determine flow. They direct where and how we unpack the groceries, or who we let in, or how we go out. I love doors. I love walls. I love thick walls that withstand the...

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Watching The World Go By

Watching The World Go By

River and rail carry them along - in tides and train schedules - to old appointments or new adventures. But from here I can see them come and go, and move through, much as the tides and the clouds and temperatures and the cycles of the moon. I could shut it out,...

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New Sections

To reflect the stellar growth of the blog, we’re expanding our coverage and categories. Behind the scenes we’ve been hard at work to create new sections – including a brand-new HUMOUR & SATIRE category. By demand of TLC members, we’re also bringing back the FLASH...

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New Look

Over the course of the weekend, Extremely Foreword will take on the next shape in its ongoing evolution from personal blog to online publication. We may go down for an hour or two at some ungodly hour, only to re-emerge into the light all snazzy looking. The new look...

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

FASHION, BEAUTY & STYLE

FINEFINDS BOOK REVIEWS

COLUMNS & LONG FORM

NOMENCLATURIA PEDESTRIA

THE VISITING POST

THE COLUMN

FUN AND GAMES

FLASH FICTION

HUMOUR & SATIRE

THE LATEST FROM PETE

ART & OBJECTS

Pretty Pennies

Pretty Pennies

This beautiful tin dates from between 1910 and 1919. It was part of a cosmetic and beauty empire of Madame CJ Walker - an incredible story of an American hero. She was born Sarah Breedlove to slave parents on a plantation in Louisiana. She had five siblings, who were...

read more