Still fuming over state sales taxes. Don’t get me wrong – I think a sales tax, as a tax on consumption, is way more fair and effective than an income tax. If we taxed consumption and rewarded savings, you would see the US savings rate go up dramatically (from negative percentages, where it is now), and there would be much more business investment. Unfortunately, that would cause problems for the world economy, since a lot of countries depend on high US consumption rates to survive (Europe and China come to mind, since their domestic demand is anemic at best). If Americans started saving, we’d probably fall into a recession… It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, but there you have it.

However, I get so sick of people talking about how Americans are over-consuming slobs that don’t care about the future. The government incentivizes spending (tax breaks for interest paid, exemptions from tax for business expenses) and discourages savings (taxes on interest earned, capital gains taxes, dividend taxes, estate taxes, income tax and any other income tax you can think of.) Plus, with the government destroying the value of the dollar (through inflation), saving money isn’t much of a deal at all in this country. The government is out of control in terms of taxes, (taxing both sides and the middle, in essence) and nothing is likely to be done about it. What a racket.