Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Around the 'Net

Slashdot notes that most people who Google can't tell the difference between a paid ad result and a regular one.

It also features Kryptos - the ulitmate puzzle for those who truly want to drive themselves nuts.


Erin Crawford at the Des Moines Register points out some of the weird laws that are being proposed at the Iowa Legislature this year:

To stop daylight savings time.

Rationale: Saving Money. How, exactly, I don't know. I guess getting up in the dark is cheaper.

To ban those spinning hubcaps

Rationale: in case someone thinks you're still moving and rearends you. As the article points out: how does somebody from behind see your hubcaps? WTF?

I'd like to add this one to the list: Getting rid of state income tax for people under 30. According to the article "The average yearly tax savings would run about $600 for taxpayers in their 20s or younger" but it "would reduce state revenue by an estimated $200 million a year, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency."

Do you people think that $600 a year is going to make a difference in keeping college graduates in this state? Seriously? Yes, the savings will go up as the salaries increase in the 20's and 30's. But the savings will never be enough to make up the difference in salary between a major Des Moines law firm and one in New York. I don't have any recent statistics, but take these from a University of Iowa law school press release in 2001 and extrapolate:

Nearly 60 percent of the recent graduates are employed in the Midwest, with 39 percent opting to practice in Iowa. The average in-state starting salary is $33,814; the average out-of-state salary is $59,586.

You get about twice the salary for going out of state. If you want new grads to stay here based on financials alone, you'd better look at grants to double their salary, not tax breaks. But in the end, as Jonathan Roos' editorial illustrates, people place greater weight on personal reasons for staying or leaving Iowa: wanting to live near family, desiring an urban atmosphere, and so on. If someone has always wanted to live in New York, I doubt if even a New York salary could tempt them to live and work in Hills. Our budget is already strained to the maximum, this law will put a great strain on it with very little gain to the targeted taxpayer, even if it does survive constitutional scrutiny under the first age discrimination suit brought by a 30-year-old. This is a silly, silly idea.

State 29 agrees with me on these.


Greenman and Theresa are both quitting smoking. They haven't killed each other yet. Follow the saga.


Homercles notes Invasion Iowa will be aired soon.


The Press-Citizen has this article on SPIT, the new theater group out of West High.


Mathman reminds us it's RAGBRAI registration time. One of these days I've got to go along for the ride.


Orin Kerr from the Volokh Conspiracy notes "Court Holds Legislatures Cannot Ban Obscene Pornography". It's an interesting analysis.

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