Gongol.com Archives: December 2008
Brian Gongol

December 28, 2008

Business and Finance Nobody likes paying employment taxes, but would anyone really adopt higher gas taxes in exchange?
Some very serious and intelligent economists are advocating for a permanent reduction in or elimination of the Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, which would quite obviously have a direct and immediate effect on Americans' take-home paychecks -- after all, we're talking about around 15% of income. But we certainly can't abruptly stop paying for those programs, and they're about to get a lot more expensive than ever before. The idea is now being floated that a permanent greenhouse-emissions tax ought to be put into place to take up the slack. But to work, that tax would have to be enormous -- and it would imply that greenhouse gases are among the worst possible pollutants created in a modern economy. What happens, though, if it turns out that the science is just a little bit off -- not catastrophically wrong, but just a little wrong -- but wrong enough that it turns out that other things are far worse threats to human life? What if, just five years from now, someone discovers and deploys a substitute for energy sources we use today, and suddenly we need to produce few or no greenhouse gases without sacrificing our standard of living? Then what would we tax?

Agriculture Is urban farming the way of the future?
It'll be interesting to see if any significant share of the public responds to the recession by growing food at home

Science and Technology Top ten breakthroughs in science in 2008

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