Suggestion: Stop protesting and demanding and do something productive

Here are a couple interesting videos.  Thanks to Mark Perry at Carpe Diem.

Video 1: Stratification in the OWS society

Apparently, in the OWS society in Zucotti Park, enclaves formed that were reminiscent of the classes in society that OWS was protesting.  I love the we-should-all-have-access-to-iPads, but-not-my-iPad guy.

Video 2: “Patriotic” Millionaires demand higher taxes, but are unwilling to pay up

Here’s the video (thanks to W.E. Heasley for pointing me to the Youtube version):

In this video, reporter Michelle Fields asks millionaires if they’d like to make a voluntary donation to the Treasury, since they are demanding their taxes be raised.

Unsurprisingly, they all said no.  “It wouldn’t make a big enough difference to solve the problem.”

Great job Michelle!

If the 1 Percenters who appeared in this video are out there somewhere, I’d like to pose these follow up questions:

1.  What “problem” exactly are you hoping to solve?

a. Deficit

b. Income inequality

c. Paying your “fair share”

d. Other?

2.  Don’t you think it’s important to lead by example? Maybe if you made a donation that would lead others to make donations and that could help, couldn’t it?

3.  What keeps you from using this same logic (“my contribution won’t make a difference”) when donating to charity?  After all, a contribution of $100,000 to charity will have the same impact of $100,000 to government, right?  Why or why not?

4.  By how much do you think taxes should be raised and specifically on who (e.g. income over $1 million)?

4a.  If taxes are raised by that amount on that group, how much extra government revenue will that generate?  How does that compare to the size of the deficit?

4b.  What’s to keep government from raising taxes on you, spending that extra money (if it generates extra money) and not reducing the deficit by a penny?

5.  Do you have any thoughts on how large a percentage government spending should be of the economy?

6.  Are you also asking your politicians to exercise more fiscal responsibility in spending?

The New Library

I’ve posted recently about my late adoption of Blockbuster’s online business model, about my satisfaction with my local library and about Apple’s iPad vs. Amazon’s Kindle.

The thought occurred to me this morning that these are all on a crash course and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.   Here are some thoughts on what might happen:

1) Libraries begin to offer media checkouts for the iPad, Kindle, etc. that can be handled online.  Mine already does this with audiobooks, so there’s some precedent for this.

2) Amazon, or other online sites, will begin offering a subscription service like Blockbuster Online/Netflix.  For a monthly fee you get to have two to three books checked out to your reading device at a time.

3) Long-term: Libraries will not need as much space to hold books.  They will struggle for relevance.  Some will figure out other creative ways of using the space.  My library already offers story times, book clubs, entertainment for children, internet access, classes and lectures.  Maybe they’ll expand these types of offerings and become more of a hub for community education and activities.

The Other Seth on the Kindle

Seth Godin has some wonderful ideas about what the Kindle should do to beat back iPad.    But, I have news for Seth.  Even a $49 or free Kindle isn’t going to beat the iPad.

Kindle was an awesome product. But, from what I can tell, the iPad is that much better.  The price is relatively immaterial.  Why have two devices that do about the same thing, but one does it much better?

Kindle may be able to occupy a profitable niche for book-0-philes, but unless it pulls an HTC leap in product development, it’s going to lose to iPad.

Kindle is a sunk cost. My guess (and as always, I could be wrong) is that Amazon would better off tying in with the iPad early before Apple’s iBookstore starts taking a chunk of their business.

I wish both devices would support pdf’s better.