Eli fought for the Union in the Civil War. Eli was a philanthropist. After Eli was a soldier, and before he was a philanthropist he did something extraordinary. When he was a soldier he saw the awful stuff that passed for medicine. Then he watched his wife who was pregnant with their second child die of malaria.
What did Eli do that was so extraordinary? Eli was a pharmacist? How can a pharmacist be extraordinary? After a few years of working for others, he decided to start a business. Eli didn’t open a pharmacy to sell to the general public. He made drugs and sold them to other pharmacists. That sounds pretty ordinary doesn’t it? Well, OK, it is ordinary now. But when Eli did it, it was extraordinary. Eli lived in a world without gelatin coated capsules, fruit flavored medicines or sugar coated pills. So he invented them. One of the early big selling drugs Eli’s company produced was quinine, the treatment for malaria. In 1881 Eli decided to incorporate his growing company. His name for the company was unoriginal though. He gave it the name of Eli Lilly and Company.
Eli Lilly created the pharmaceutical industry and retired to be a philanthropist. He changed the world, and created a legacy which made the world a far better place by his work as a pharmacist and as a philanthropist. We need more rich people like him, not less.
I’ve been thinking about what to say about the huge debate about Warren Buffet’s comments that his taxes are too low. First, let me say that Mr. Buffet may well be the most brilliant investor alive on the planet. Now let me get to the real point I wanted to make. Mr. Buffet has made the decision to donate most of his fortune to charity. Together with Bill Gates, he has persuaded a who’s who list of rich people to donate at least half of their fortunes to charity. Either of these two things has done more to make the United States a better country than any amount of taxes he could pay. Given the size of his fortune, Mr. Buffet’s lifestyle is relatively modest. If Mr. Buffet were to pay more taxes, ultimately that would mean he would donate less to charity. I certainly don’t believe Mr. Buffet is infallible, but I believe that every time Mr. Buffet donates a dollar to charity more good is done than would be done by his paying another dollar in taxes to the government.
At the same time Mr. Buffet is complaining that his tax bill is too low, his company, Berkshire Hathaway, is debating its tax bill with the IRS. The two parties are debating a billion dollars in taxes. Is Mr. Buffet a hypocrite? No, he understands how politics is done in the United States. He is speaking in support of the President’s proposals to tax the rich more heavily in the hopes the President will intervene with the IRS on behalf of his company.
Several other people in the blogosphere have already made the point that Mr. Buffet supported the restoration of the Estate Tax because 10% of Mr. Buffet’s life insurance business is estate planning, and the Estate Tax will not affect him because he has already decided to donate his fortune to charity.
My wife and I spent three days of our honeymoon in Ocean City, Maryland. We spent $300 per night to stay there. Until recently, it’s the most expensive place we’ve ever stayed.
A few days ago I just got the bill from this place we stayed last spring that turns out to be even more expensive. We stayed there three nights, and have a $2100 bill for those three nights. What makes it worse, is we had to sleep in separate beds, and they were the two most uncomfortable beds I have ever seen. They didn’t even have one of those little fridges. To make it worse, they had awful room service, and would only bring food for my wife. I haven’t even gotten to the best part. The second night we were there, this baby kept crying every two hours and waking us up.
Actually, the baby crying isn’t the best part. The three best parts were:
- Wow, all I can see is a big clump of dark hair.
- Seeing the little baby girl that cried all night for the first time.
- When my wife said those magic words, “I think I’m going to throw up!”
For those of you who don’t get the magic of those words, they are followed by a nurse ordering, “Dad, pick up the baby!” That is how I came to hold my daughter for the first time.
I just read Jerry Pournelle’s excellent post on what is wrong with NASA’s proposal for a huge expendable launch vehicle. As usual, Dr. Pournelle is displaying his brilliance. Go read it.
Instapundit linked to an excellent editorial in the New York Times by Greg Mankiw explaining what needs to happen to strengthen the economic recovery. He includes such silly ideas as lowering tax rates and other legislative and policy actions to encourage businesses to invest more. Not once does he suggest that businesses are owned by selfish rich people already have plenty of money. What’s up with that?
It’s been 10 years since the horrific events. I still don’t know what else to say. Except that our Federal government with a huge defense budget managed to stop none of the planes. A handful of extraordinary civilians stopped one of them. Think about that. A handful of guys managed to do something our Federal government couldn’t. Think about that the next time someone tells you something is too important to be trusted to anyone other than the Government of these United States.
Thanks to Daryl Worley for inspiring the title to this post.
And to all those on the left who criticize people for being Islamophobes for their comments about Islam. Each of those 19 hijackers did more to defame Islam by their action than all the “Islamophobes” have in the last ten years.
Update: I just saw the 9/11 Documentary that appeared on CBS. It was powerful, including actual footage filmed that fateful morning. It even had audio of the bodies of jumpers hitting the ground.
We don’t need more stimulus. Or whatever you’re going to call it. There is enough money and credit out there. People like me who have money are convinced that things are going to get worse before they get better. So we’re sitting on the cash we have rather than spending it or investing it. Convince us that you aren’t going to make things worse, and we’ll heal the economy without you having to borrow, tax or spend.
There is about $1000 in hobby stuff I’d like to buy. However, I’m sitting on that money, because I think having cash sitting in the bank will be a lot more useful if the economy gets worse. Likewise, I keep getting offers for credit cards with no interest for the first year. I’m turning down the chance to borrow money for free. All because I’m worried I won’t be able to pay it back.
My retirement account is sitting largely in cash, because again I don’t know what’s going to happen. My retirement account is about half of what it should be to fund my retirement. Give me the confidence that you’re not going to break the economy, and I’ll invest this money.
Fix the economy by doing nothing. This will make taxable income go up which will make tax revenues go up. Fixing the economy will at least slow down the slide in housing prices.
Fix the economy by doing nothing. You’ll create jobs, stimulate the housing market and help lucky people like me help the unlucky ones.
It seems everyone in the Democrat party has completely forgotten this quote from Samuel Gompers, the first head of the American Federation of Labor:
The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.
Unprofitable companies don’t pay (or owe) corporate income tax, and have this tendency to go bankrupt leaving their employees without jobs.
I have a question for Andre Carson-D, the member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Indiana’s 7th Congressional District. I believe that Marvin Scott is more qualified to represent the 7th Congressional District than Mr. Carson. Does this make me a racist?
Update: If I agree with this Deroy Murdock post, am I a racist?