Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 14th, 2012

The 25 Most Awkward Cat Sleeping Positions

On a lighter tone, I laughed at these sleeping positions:  anywhere is a good place. The Frogman posted these pictures 3 months ago.

1. The Full Situp
To achieve the full situp, you must begin with the genuine intention of exercising your abs and promptly fall asleep midway through the task. This position is extremely advanced and not recommended for amateur sleepers.

2. The Awkward Spoon
The goal here is not so much intimacy as it is the socially uncomfortable sharing of a physical space with someone. Bonus points if your arm falls asleep but you’re too embarrassed to move it.

3. The Semicircle
Tuck your tail between your legs and imagine that you are an omelet.

4. The Sunbather
The trick is to look like someone who is acting comfortable whilst also appearing extremely uncomfortable. Let’s take this excellent opportunity to coin the term “meta-comfortable.”

5. The Double Bed
You will need a partner for this one. The goal is not so much comfort as an expression of sheer, unadulterated greed.

6. The Half-Box
Any old box will do, but two of your feet – preferably on opposite sides of your body – must remain outside the container at all times.

7. The Backstroker
Do not even attempt unless you have tiny, tiny, precious little legs.

8. The Sleeping Baby
Find a baby. Imitate the baby.

9. The Fur Pile
For this, you will need at least three friends who are not averse to your sleeping on them.

10. The Full-Box
Just get your whole damn body in there no matter what it takes. Be the box.

11. The Drunken Radiator
Just because you are obviously some kind of gin-addled hobo doesn’t mean you can’t be nice and warm.

12. The Sleeping Dog
Find a dog. Imitate the dog.

13. The Librarian
Bury your furry little head in your paws and try to look as contemplative and bookish as possible before drifting off.

14. The Ruler
Measure the floor with every inch of your tiny body.

15. The Windowsill
The whole world is your hammock.

16. The Clothes Dryer
Imagine that you are a wet T-shirt, fresh from the washing machine. Drape yourself accordingly.

17. The Pot Luck
Think of yourself as a last-minute fruit salad that everyone will be very polite about but probably not enjoy all that much.

18. The Head-Rush
Head to the ground, paws in the air – let gravity do the rest.


19. The Odd One Out
For this one you will need first to find two willing conformists.

20. The Mid-Sentence
Only recommended for individuals with extreme forms of narcolepsy.

21. The Bag Of Limbs (Box Edition)
Have a friend or loved one take you apart and put you back together haphazardly inside a box.

22. The Bag Of Limbs (Couch Edition)
Same as above, except (obviously) without the box.

23. The Dog Bed
Not a bed for dogs, but a bed that is made of dogs. I.e., the most comfortable bed you will ever sleep on that also smells kind of funky.

24. The Office Worker
Fall asleep on the job. LOL.

25. The Married Couple
Don’t be afraid to snore.


Case of a rich guy demanding higher tax rates

I have already posted on that topic a few times, but it is good for a refresher (see link in note).

David Levine, former chief economist for the investment-management firm Sanford C. Bernstein, wrote:

“I was a kid in the 1950s. And the entire time, the top marginal tax rate was 87 percent. Not many people paid that much. Only three baseball players — Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Willie Mays — got there. But it was 87 percent.”

David Levine is a very rich man, and like Warren Buffett, is “begging” the government to raise his taxes.

Levine has been following federal tax policy for most of his adult life. “My main job was to forecast the economy. So taxes are tremendously important to that. And tax policy changes are tremendously important.” And, to him, those changes mostly went the same way: cutting taxes on people, like Levine and his friends, who didn’t need tax cuts, as the working class struggled.

David Levine brandishes a table that tells the whole story:

“John F. Kennedy brought the top tax rate down to 70%. Ronald Reagan brought it to 50%, and then to 28%.  I was making seven figures. They lowered my marginal tax rate to 28 percent. And the median American was paying a 15 percent marginal tax plus his payroll taxes plus the employer’s share of his payroll taxes, which comes out of his income. So the median American was paying, all in all, about 28%. And I was paying 28 percent.”

“Under George H.W Bush and Bill Clinton it gets raised a bit more to about 40% percent. But then George W. Bush comes in and cuts it to 35 percent and lowers the rate on qualified dividends to 15 percent. And by now I’ve retired. I’m living off investments. All my income is coming from qualified dividends. And so I’m sitting there in the 15 percent tax bracket. And I use the maximum charitable deduction every year. So my actual tax rate has been only 7 % every year since 2007!”

“It would be one thing if the economy had performed so much better after taxes on the rich were cut. But it didn’t. Some of the fastest economic growth of the post-war period came in the 1950s, when the top tax rate was above 80 percent. The slowest growth came in the 2000s, when the top tax rate was 35 percent. So the fastest income growth for the top 1 percent has come under the low-tax regimes, while the fastest income growth for the median American came when taxes on the richest Americans rose.

Correlation is not causation. As Doug Holtz-Eakin, a conservative economist who squared off against Levine on a panel at the Tax Policy Center, argues, the post-World War II era was good for the United States. We had a kind of global monopoly that allowed us to live large and share the wealth. But that monopoly is gone, and there’s no tax regime that can bring it back.

But the flip side of that is also true. To hear many Republicans talk, you would think that the slightest tweak to the tax rates of the very richest Americans would grind the economy to a halt. In this telling, the “job creators” would go galt and refuse to make profitable investments because the extra money they would make would be taxed at 40 percent rather than 35 percent. Or they would hide so much of their income that the tax wouldn’t raise any money anyway.

But when economists think about the role taxes play in a person’s decision to work, they think about two things:

1. There’s the “substitution effect,” where higher tax rates make you work less, because you keep less of every extra dollar you earn.

2. There’s the “income effect,” in which higher tax rates make you work more, because you need to earn more to be able to live how you want to live, or retire when you want to retire. The question is, which dominates?

Levine, who retired before he turned 50, is an example of the income effect winning out.  He wrote:

“There’s no question you would have gotten more out of me if you’d taxed me more. Think about it. You’re 40 years old, making a ton of money. But you’ve only been making it for a little while. And you’re looking at a life expectancy of 40 more years. Of course you’re going to work more years if taxes are higher! To make the money you need, you need to keep working.”

In a recent paper, economists Emmanuel Saez, Thomas Piketty and Peter Diamond looked closely at the evidence on high-income taxation.  Diamond, who won the 2011 Nobel prize in economics, says:

“The question we were asking is, where is the point where the Laffer curve — which tries to estimate when higher taxes lead to less revenue, because of either evasion or slower growth — hits the maximum revenue. You don’t want to be beyond that. But we argue you would like to be fairly close to that. Taking revenue from people making $1.2 million is better than taking it from other groups.”

The answer, they find, is somewhere between 50 and 70%. Above that, you begin to lose more revenue than you raise.  Diamond says: “So instead of the current Washington fight between Bush and Clinton tax rates, let’s think of the fight being between the Johnson/Ford/Carter tax rates and the tax rate we had after Reagan’s initial cut.”

Note: You may read my article on this topic:




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