Saudi Arabia has just tripled its taxes from 5% to 15% percent, as it is suffering from the collapse of oil demand and price. Not to be outdone, federal finance minister Olaf Scholz of the Socialists in Germany (SPD) floated the idea to raise income taxes to 70%. So you make 100K and you bring home 30. Let this thought sink in for a while. This is how problem-solving thinking went at the highest level there.
Or what passed for thinking.
It is not less wild in the US – some states impose what are known as inventory taxes, which means that regardless of whether a business makes a profit, they will be taxed on having inventory, which in this environment they were prohibited to sell anyways. You can’t make this stuff up.
And I know what’s coming next – property taxes will rise, as the municipalities are starved for money. The mad hunt for taxes is on.
I have no idea who is pushing this corona virus nonsense, but someone is.
What I know for sure is this: one of the main functions of power is to conceal power. If you don’t have a lot of power you have to exaggerate your power. You try to conceal your weakness. People who have lots of power don’t want to attract attention to it, so it is really difficult to know where power lies in the 21th century.
What is clear, however, is that the way the elite stays in power is by shaping the way we think, mostly through the mass media narrative.
The politicians are playing along – they don’t bother to look at the data, which proves this virus has been tiny in comparison to the flu.
Times of extreme change are often painful, but for many they provide an opportunity - the Chinese alphabet has the same sign for crisis and opportunity.
In all fairness, they don’t live by it at all. They screwed up royally the handling of corona virus, which simply shows the lack of quality leadership over there. Beijing has accused the French of using their nursing homes as death camps, has blamed Italy for being the source of the coronavirus (at the very peak of Italian deaths) and has charged the US Army with bringing the virus to China in the first place.
And you know how easy it is to offend the French, they live the life their own way, which I admire by the way. Even on iPhones they don’t have Siri, they have chéri.
And I realize that my opinion comes form nostalgia for a better world. Dispensing it is my way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the economy.
And I will keep doing it, simply because I grew up listening to people who had something original to say and I learned that basic rules of life mean a lot.
Strong leadership is essential.
Now for the title of this essay - afterburner is a device fitted to the exhaust system of a turbojet engine to increase thrust for the few moments when you really need it.
Or in life, if you go strong for something and you make the extra effort and it costs you.
I can relate – I am not a steady performer, but I have brilliant moments and I live for them.
Luckily I have a hard loving woman who takes me as I am.
It was a late, chilly spring night, and we were sitting on a balcony in the old town with a friend of mine.
“Let’s have a toast”, he said.
“For keeping the rules.”
“I’ll drink for that.”
My rules are from the times before political correctness poisoned the society.
Guess his are too.
All of us, old guys, are pretty strange.
Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler