Tag Archives: economics

Mutants Aren’t Human

The always entertaining and informative show Radiolab, brings us the strange case that according to Marvel Comics, mutants aren’t human. Which is ironic because the entire undercurrent of the X-Men universe is the bigotry and right of mutants to be seen as equals.

Why did Marvel do this? Tariffs. “Dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: Dolls whether or not dressed: Other: Not over 33 cm in height” are taxed at 12%, while “Toys representing animals or other non-human creatures (for example, robots and monsters) and parts and accessories thereof” are taxed at 6.8%. Toy Biz, the company manufacturing the toys for Marvel, argued in court that since some of the X-Men were blue, they weren’t human, and therefore the “action figures” were “toys” and not “dolls.” Yglesias is right, in pointing out that there is absolutely no logical reason why there would be this discrepancy, but there it is.

When I heard this, I immediately thought of customs agents thumbing through containers and putting Wolverine in the 6.8% “toy” pile, putting Nick Fury in the 12% “doll” pile, and woe to the agent that puts Juggernaut in the “toy” pile. Cain Marko’s powers are magical, so he’s not a mutant. (However, Ultimate Juggernaut is a muttie.) Alas, I suspect customs just throws everything marked “Marvel” in the 6.8 pile.

And Now A Reading From St. Gordon to the Proles

There is something seriously wrong when condemning one of the seven deadly sins is a taboo. Why? Evangelical preachers don’t want to alienate wealthy donors. In other words, they want the money that’s used to line their pockets. Maybe it’s because I grew up Catholic, but I never trust anyone that says he’s doing “God’s work” and doesn’t take a vow poverty. Or as George Orwell said, saints should be considered guilty until proven innocent. Personally, I blame the the Prosperity Theology and the canard that Mark 10:25 actually doesn’t mean what it says.

Bonus points for the article quoting the right winger that says that envy is the real problem.

Pharama Payola

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma has REAL compensated doctors hawking Pradaxa? Why should I trust those doctors’ judgments if they suggest Pradaxa to me?

Doctors are already influenced by marketing. Boxes of free pens are important, discounted drugs are important, and the American Pediatric Society has expressed concern about payola.

Is this better? Well at least these doctors’ conflict of interest is exceedingly transparent. If I was the patient of any of these doctors:

  • Dr. David Montgomery of Chicago
  • Dr. Minerva Santo-Tomas of Miami
  • Dr. Dennis Finkelstein of New York

I’d change doctors. I can’t trust that their judgements about treatments are unbiased.

Gill Scott-Heron Was Wrong

Gill Scott-Heron was wrong. Not only will the revolution be televised, it’s a marketing gold mine, and a great way for a subsidiary of a giant media conglomerate still appear to be edgy, cool, and totally rad!

NYC Craigslist Says:

MTV’s Real World is seeking cast members to tell their unique stories on our show. If you are over the age of 20 and appear to be between the ages of 20-24, and the description below sounds like you, we want to hear from you!

Are you a part of the OCCUPY WALL STREET movement?

If so, please contact realworldcasting@bunim-murray.com. Your subject heading should be YOUR NAME and WALL STREET.

Please attach 3 RECENT PHOTOS and a brief BIO, including your full NAME, DATE OF BIRTH (for ID purposes only) as well as your CONTACT INFORMATION including PHONE #.

Coming November 5. Check local listing.

“No Man. No Problem.”

Fourth in the series of indeterminate length, Recolonizing Detroit

The root cause of the problems Paul Romer encountered in Madagascar was the local population. So how about founding these cities not just in unpopulated areas, but in areas people do not identify with as well? Could this be effective? From the European perspective, that’s what the era of colonization was, but most of us have a more expansive view of ownership now. Today, the only land that doesn’t have recognized claims on is Antarctica (Actually, it’s a bit more complicated on that, but more on that later.), but that location is not likely to attract many people to it. What if instead of land, these cities were built in international waters, or somewhere else unclaimed by any country? What then?

That’s right, we’re talking about micronations.
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