Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Orientation, allergies, taxes and WWIII

 Belladonna started her new job Monday. She is going through a week-long "Orientation".

Being the ever-helpful dad that I am, I told her to inform HR that she is cis-female. Questions about orientation solved.

Belladonna was not amused.


This is one of many steroidal based nasal sprays
 A big shout-out to fellow blogger Reltney McFee. Several months ago he posted about a patient who came in and demanded a Z-Pack (it is always a Z-Pack) for a sore throat. McFee did his due-diligence examination and found no evidence of a bacterial infection. Rather, he diagnosed post-nasal drainage as the causal agent for the sore throat, perhaps due to allergies.

The patient was less than grateful when McFee suggested that he address the issue with any one of the common, steroidal-based nasal sprays that are available over-the-counter.

Well, guess who was afflicted by allergies this past week? One of the consequences of my not being able to keep the grassy areas mowed is that we have waves of grass pollen as each species solos in the great symphony of misery.

I find it interesting that each species seems to affect me differently. What ever is pollinating now makes my mucus thick and "snotty". Drainage requires a significant rattling or clearing of the throat, hence the soreness.

Anyway, thanks Reltney. The advice proved valuable to me and even if it had not worked it did not cost much to try.

Crime is a tax

Economists are fond of looking at the effects of incentives on the economy.

It should come as no surprise that positive incentives almost always increase production/demand and taxes (or negative incentives) reduce production/demand of what ever commodity or activity is incentivized or taxed.

Most taxes are predictable. In Michigan the sales tax is 6% and shoppers know that when they walk into the store.

The crime-tax is arbitrary, capricious and often hugely out-of-proportion to the item being taxed. What is the cost to the middle-aged executive who gets closed-head trauma because some street-hood wanted to steal his Rolex? The executive might never be able to work another day at his former ability.

You might visit The Big City twenty times a year to watch a show, view a ballgame or enjoy a festival. How many times would you need to have your car window smashed or your seven-year-old kid roughed-up to suddenly tip the cost/benefit equation to NO WAY? Once? Maybe if it happened once to a coworker or somebody who attends your church?

And what about the highly placed government officials who coerce foreign corporations to give their worthless children highly paid jobs? Can anybody dispute that we are closer to WWIII because of it? Some like to bandy about the term "existential threat" when arguing for their pet feelz-good causes but WWIII is a legitimate threat to human existence.

Prospect theory tells us that we feel "losses" two-to-three times more acutely than we feel the joy of "gain". Most people will choose to pay the certain cost of an insurance premium rather than face the (small) risk of total financial ruin. The random tax that is many orders of magnitude greater than the pawn-value of the Rolex or the broken window that costs a hundred times more than the value of the change they scooped out of your ashtray are real economic killers.

And here is the thing that slays the tourists: They typically pay extra (traditional) taxes for security. Municipalities often have taxes on hotel rooms and they tax the venue. So they pay the sure-thing cost and STILL have the random, capricious tax of crime.


  1. To me there are MANY reasons to stay out of big cities, and that's before I even think of crime...

  2. Thats why we don't go to cities for shopping or vacation/pleasure. Only if forced to for work, and then only with my friends Smith and Wesson

  3. Dear ERJ: It warms the cockles of my heart (although, to be honest, it appears that I missed the day in anatomy class wherein "heart cockles" were discussed!) to consider that somebody listened to my preaching.

    Perhaps it would be nice if it were the patient in front of me, but, ya know, I'll take the successes that I can get!

    Glad my little tale helped you!

  4. According to my dog's vet, the allergies & related problems have been terrible this year. Seasonal allergies have turned into Dandruff and a skin infection; so it's back to the vet next week since the first visit didn't resolve the issues. He's pushing 8 years now and health issues should be expected. (Big woofer)

    August heat arriving in May and persistently remaining without more than a few drops of rain has turned much of the grass into tan dust; ~100F+ daily now. Last year, I was trying to keep up with mowing more or less weekly; this year, I avoid mowing the lawns & fields because they will turn brown if I do. The tall grass is at least still mostly green but doesn't get enough water to grow.


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