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Gentle Readers, this is pretty cool and if I weren't hip deep in crocs, I'da written something better instead of cribbing much of this from the Reason blog and The Objectivist Center.
Tim Cavanaugh at Reason explains that.....
BB &T Corp. (as Jacob Sullum discussed yesterday) has announced it will not provide loans for commercial projects on land seized through eminent domain. The move probably won't have a big practical impact, as BB &T, which has 1,400 branches in 11 states, has so far only been approached for one such loan and does almost 25 percent of its business in North Carolina, where Kelo-type seizures are ostensibly prohibited.
BB & T is a major player and its Chairman and CEO John Allison called the policy a matter of principle:
The idea that a citizen’s property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided, in fact it’s just plain wrong. One of the most basic rights of every citizen is to keep what they own. As an institution dedicated to helping our clients achieve economic success and financial security, we won’t help any entity or company that would undermine that mission and threaten the hard-earned American dream of property ownership.
It's interesting that the Charlotte paper would consider funding the study of the moral foundations of capitalism to be an eccentricity and tells us that.....
The company has a long history of making slightly eccentric demonstrations of its commitment to corporate citizenship. For example, it has given $1 million to several Carolinas universities, including UNC Charlotte, to endow the study of the moral foundations of capitalism.
From Tim's post....
The New York Times story on BB&T's decision includes a disclosure statement about the Times' own (tawdry) eiminent domain history, and quotes a representative from a developers' trade group think tank showing the kind of respect for OPP (editors note: other people's property) that makes these condemnations possible:
But Maureen L. McAvey, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute, a developers' organization based in Washington, said that it was odd that a bank would not want to judge each case on its merits to see if the forced sale of property was justified.
It's curious that a major financial institution would choose to be both judge and jury, she said.
And both judge and jury is a curious way to describe a bank's decision about whether or not to grant somebody a loan.
Once upon a time in my naive yoot I believed business people to be honorable stewards of a system that has produced the greatest material well being and the greatest amount of freedom in the history of the world. In my old age I've learned that most are happy to feed at any trough that's filled with taxpayer assets, including land seized through eminent domain. The dead give away is that Ms Maureen at Urban Land Institute can suggest with a straight face that there is EVER an instance of a government forced sale that is justified (other than the Constitutionally permitted takings for roads, courthouses, and other public infrastructure).
Dana Berliner of Institute for Justice said.....
Throughout the country, banks have been silent partners in the unholy alliance between local governments and private developers. Banks finance developers and cities that use eminent domain to take someone’s home or business and turn the land into new stores, condos, and office space. Others will hopefully follow BB&T’s courageous example.
We salute Allison and his colleagues. If the term corporate social responsibility can be given a legitimate, non-collectivism meaning, a principled public stand for individual rights is social responsibility of the highest order.
Lately it's been hard to remember that the original objective was to drain the swamp but finally the 2005 Personal Income Tax Organizer is available for download. Clients will receive the organizer via email beginning later tonight.
The Tax Organizer is a fill-in .PDF form that opens in Adobe Reader. Most everybody has that program these days but if not it's available for download here for free.
You can type information directly into the form right on your computer or simply print it out and fill it in by hand.
Mrs TWC has been dealing with Sony Tech Support all morning. Her brand new laptop is malfunctioning and it's clear that Sony's staff has zero specific knowledge about this laptop. Sony's advice? Turn it on and off a bunch of times. The crack tech team isn't even capable of asking questions that might get closer to the source of the problem. Bah.
Worst of all, Sony Tech Support asked Lisa to remove the memory modules in her computer and reinstall them even though doing so voids the warranty. Dorks.
In frustration, we put together a work around and were able to back up the critical stuff. Then Mrs TWC took it back to Best Buy where it was purchased. It took the techs at Best Buy exactly 30 seconds to diagnose what the Sony techs couldn't diagnose in several hours. Feeling gun shy, she swapped the Sony out for a Gateway.
TWC is happy anyway because I'm still fuming that Sony refused to stand behind my digital camera which went south on the 92nd day I owned it. A three month warranty? Guy at the store told me it was a year. Long story short, I had it fixed for 40 bucks by a hot shot camera guy who simply upgraded the firmware. Sony's best offer: TWC coughs up a minimum of $150.00 upfront + shipping to Texas + three week turn-around-time just to have their tech guys take a look. Naturally, I told the supervisor to pound salt. I'd throw the camera in a dumpster before I'd give Sony another dime. I figured a $500.00 camera ought to last longer than ninety days.
I wasn't happy when Mrs TWC came home with a Sony laptop last week, but this is the new millenium and our women have to make their own way. But Dude, I'm gloating now on the inside. Toldja so. Toldja so.
I've bought a lot of Sony products over the years but I wouldn't give you a nickel for a whole bag full of anything Sony makes today. I hear that says Mrs TWC.
At one time, Sony was a class act producing high-quality products. Sony was at the forefront, dragging Japan out of the dregs of war and into it's adolescent stint as 1950's junk peddler. Then on to global electronics powerhouse. But, like Cadillac, whose name once symbolized the creme de la creme, a name plate only takes you so far.
My advice to you, Gentle Readers? Buy something besides Sony.
I'll be brief this morning, mostly because it's been a long day already and there's more to come.
Taxpayer compliance cost in 2002 was 20.4 cents per dollar raised for the treasury. For tax year 2004 it bumped up to 22 cents and a decade from now, compliance is expected to cost one third of every dollar raised.
As substantial as that burden is, it does not include the cost of tax planning or any state tax compliance costs. It's just the cost of filling out tax and information returns of all types (business, personal, payroll, non-profit, etc) for the federales.
Not surprisingly, the majority of compliance costs were incurred by business, but individuals are by no means spared the hassle and cost of compliance.
Been buried for a week or better but I found some time last evening to help That Boy fish coyote teeth out of the garbage disposal. That is high-dollar Quality Time and a story for another day.
And here's something very cool. This is a working telephone in the lobby of the Loews Hotel in Beverly Hills. Note the HOllywood exchange and the original fabric covered cord........Please dial HO 3-5151 and ask for extension 6.
The Loews Beverly Hills is a proud sponsor of The Wine Commonsewer.
Just a quick reminder that Lisa will join Walter Williams, who will be sitting in for Rush Limbaugh, on Friday January 20, 2006. She's likely to be on the air during the 1:00 pm (EST) hour (10:00 am PST).
Thanks for your interest.
UPDATE: I received many emails of support and a couple of snarky ones. Thank you for all of your kind words and good wishes. She dun good, din't she?
A couple of snippets and former cerpts (ex-cerpts):
You (Lisa) were terrific on the Limbaugh show today. So was Walter Williams -- I'm so glad that Limbaugh wasn't doing the interview, you would have gotten about 3 sentences in. As I said to Mike, you're (Lisa is) on the front lines. Keep up the good fight.
Just listened to your wife on the radio with Walter Williams (my favorite) and she did great.
We finally got an email in time to catch Lisa!! Last time, I didn't get it until an hour too late. We enjoyed the Walter Williams "appearance" and understand why you are always "bragging..."