Monday, July 29, 2013

I'm surviving the hot real estate market so far

The housing recovery could mean another real estate bubble in the making, especially here in Bellingham where property values are starting to soar again. The house where I was living just sold for approaching $400,000. Luckily, by coincidence, someone moved out of a nice apartment in a business building that is owned by my employer. I have a good place to move to so I moved. Rent is not bad given the size. They want stable tenants there.

At my old place, I hear the new rent for the rooms may be nearly as high as what I am now paying for an entire apartment at my new place. Will they get that much? Who knows. They are planning to remodel at my old place. The local market is starting to take off again, but there is a lot more money in the ownership market than there is in the local job and wage market. Property values tend to be far ahead of local wages; especially in bubble times.

After living, since 1987, in a room with small bathroom I've documented that life and my non fossil fueled move of one block to my new place. See images on Flickr.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Rainbow flags were flown at Bellingham City Hall

Rainbow flags were raised at city hall after a 7 to 0 vote by Bellingham City Council to fly the rainbow flag and proclaim the weekend of July 11-14 for gay pride. First time the rainbow flags were flown at city hall. A historic step. See my photo essay on Flickr of Bellingham's 2013 pride parade and festival.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I'm often a little airborne while dancing

The camera captured me airborne while dancing at the kickoff for Bellingham's Gay Pride weekend. I jumped a lot and watched the flash hoping it would capture at least once in the middle of being airborne. It did. Photo by John Phillip. Marian Beddill in background.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tour De Peace

At Food Not Bombs, someone was giving out T-shirts for Tour De Peace. I'll have to look it up and see what it's about. The bicycle with peace symbol wheels. Looks like a good cause. I'm posing at the Village Green in Fairhaven District. Food Not Bombs takes place every Friday in another part of town. Around 4:30 PM near old Federal Building at Cornwall and Holly.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Some murals in the woods

The local artist who painted a mural on the back of the Alamo Apartments has some other murals in the area. Small world. A few years ago, I remember chatting with this person when he was working as a clerk at the Grocery Outlet. His work is now starting to appear around the area. Artist name Shawn Cass.

Underpass where trail to beach goes under railroad at Larabee State Park.

Below at Sehome Hill Park in Bellingham. Above at Larabee State Park.

At an abandoned reservoir on Sehome Hill.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

How about lowering corporate tax rate by raising taxes on wealthy people?

Uncle Sam balloon promo at car sales lot.

Some folks, especially on the left, lump corporations and the wealthy together. Corporations and wealthy individuals are different entities when it comes to how the economy works. Taxes paid by corporations tend to be just passed through the corporation and come out as higher prices for the corporation's products and services. They can also come out as disincentives for the corporation to invest in assets and employees within the taxing jurisdiction. The corporation isn't really a person, contrary to popular belief. It's just a go between. Corporations are a go between among various people in society such as consumers, shareholders and employees.

Some economists call for lowering corporate taxes in USA because this country is said to have a high corporate tax rate. A high tax rate creates disincentives for corporations to do their business in America leading to outsourcing of a lot of corporate assets and jobs. Of course corporations do get out of a lot of taxes by taking advantage of loopholes, but there are quite a few economists who believe that lowering corporate taxes would help the American economy. It would help by allowing vast amounts of the money that US corporations hold overseas to be brought back home. Some of this money would be paid in taxes during a windfall period as the money comes back home providing a temporary boost to the treasury. More importantly however, a lower corporate tax rate could create a greater incentive for companies to do business in America. More domestic jobs as business activity comes home.

Seems like most of the proposals to lower corporate tax rates are just more tax cuts so I say, how about accomplishing this goal in a more revenue neutral way? Lower corporate taxes while increasing taxes on wealthy individuals. Unlike the official corporate tax rate (aside from the loopholes) wealthy individuals are getting away with real low taxes in USA compared to other industrialized countries. Taxing wealthy individuals more and business less would create an incentive for the money to be invested in businesses, rather than just being hoarded. It could encourage wealthy people to invest their money in American business so that money could work in the economy. The money could go to creating jobs and business facilities in the US rather than just lining the pockets and overseas bank accounts of wealthy individuals. Let's have the economy spend more money on producing goods and services for the public rather than just buying things like luxury yachts and summer homes for the wealthy.

Problem is, so many of the wealthy and their pundits want it all. The seem to want nothing but tax cuts rather than accepting some tradeoffs.