Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm waiting for a macro to finish that'll refresh the data I need to answer the questions that came up in a meeting that we had in the conference room that's found in the house that Jack built. Or something like that. While I'm waiting, I thought I'd share a couple of thoughts that I've been thinking about fleshing out, but, being the lazy fellow that I am, why not just put them out into the world half-formed?

Thought One: Fashion and food are, arguably, two of the most innovative creative industries in the US. It's not that most of us really eat or wear things that are that different, but the folks at the top of the heap have to keep innovating if they want to stay there. Why? Because there are no copyright protections for their creations. They can protect a particular execution of their designs, and they can protect their trademarks, but if they want those trademarks to hold their value, they've got to keep creating. If you're curious, this thought was inspired by Top Chef and Project Runway.

Thought Two: Now that true conservatives are finally letting their disgust with the Republican party drive them into the arms of the Democrats, we're ending up with a weird sort of three party thing. There are liberal Democrats, conservative Democrats, and Republicans. If things keep going like this, there will inevitably be a schism within the Democratic party, probably as the Republican Party dwindles, possibly resulting in the birth of a true centrist party. More likely, I suppose, is that Repubs will dwindle to the point that they're ripe for a takeover by the conservative Democrats, and we'll go back to the way things used to be, back before the Republican Party lost its mind.

Thought Three: I can't really take credit for this particular thought (and it's more of a thought-cloud than a thought). Christie and I were talking about Missouri's Amendment 3 after driving by a convenience store with one of those "470% Tax Increase!" signs. I'd googled it, and, yeah, the 470% claim is probably kind of an exaggeration, but maybe not. But it's a tax only on cigarettes, and while I know it'll disproportionally affect the poor, would it really be that bad a thing if smoking became one of those luxuries that only the rich could afford? Me, I was thinking that maybe more expensive cigarettes would cut down on teen smoking and college student smoking, which led Christie to suggest that maybe we should index the tax to age. If you're under 25 and want to smoke, a pack of cigarettes should cost $375 dollars, for example. Next chance I got, I shared this idea with my brother's family, and Dylan shot holes in it right away: "Kids would just get somebody older to buy the cigarettes for them!" Lisa then pointed out that it would at least get young people talking to the elderly, while Mark suggested that, if they split the price difference between them, the extra income could solve the Social Security 'Crisis'. Talk about a policy panacea!

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