VAT, Tariffs, and Border Adjustment Taxes

Like most Americans I’ve heard of VAT taxes, but I didn’t really understand how they work. The difference between VAT and sales taxes is important though when it comes to President Trump’s policies on immigration (“Trump’s Wall”) and his proposed “border adjuestment taxes” on Mexican imports to the US.

VAT compared with US sales tax

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Are We All Being Gaslighted?

Are you feeling anxious, off-balance and confused? Are you feeling shame, anxiety, and a sense that nothing makes sense anymore? You could be suffering from gaslighting.

I’ve long been fascinated by “psychopaths,” or as they were later called “sociopaths,” and are now labeled, individuals with “anti-social personality disorder”.

Whatever name they’re called by, I’ve met several of of these people over my lifetime. As a 20-year old I was pursued by a psychopath who turned out to be a serial killer. I barely escaped his attentions.

After earning a professional degree I got to know another sociopath quite well because we were colleagues at work for a couple of years.

Her increasingly outrageous antics resulted in many people being frustrated and put off-balance. Chaos and confusion reigned until that organization lost tens of thousands of dollars and she was fired. Continue reading →

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When The Promise Was Broken – A Steinbeck Odyssey

The scene in front of our car’s windshield seemed a living tableau straight out of a 1930’s Dorothea Lange photograph from the Great Depression.

On that day in late December 2015, I desperately wanted to be a reporter, the kind of brave journalist who goes to the scene of the action and digs deep into the facts of what had happened.

When the day started I had a miserable cold that colored everything I saw in grey, when we first encountered a situation that seemed straight out of the Twilight Zone.

We’d visited the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. Driving down the one-way street in front of of the building to park we found only another one-way street coming from our left, thus forcing cars from both streets to enter a parking garage and take a ticket to pay for parking.

Ironically all of the downtown streets in Salinas as we entered it were empty of both cars and people that day.

Against the bitter wind of the coldest day ever in this Northern California winter we made a dash for the giant glass architectural monument devoted to one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. We expected to spend hours inside. Continue reading →

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