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[Police brutality] American injustice, yet again.


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You run into all sorts of problems like that, when you want to tax unrealized income. 

 

We covered a bunch of hypotheticals in my tax law class ages ago.  Back then Barry Bonds was hitting a lot of home runs, and was going to set the record. Let's say some 12 year old kid catches the record breaking home run.  People are willing to pay millions for it.  Does the kid suddenly have to pay taxes on that potential value, forcing him to sell the ball?  If he turns and hands the ball to his friend, does he then have to pay income taxes and also a gift tax, with his friend also having to pay income taxes?  What if he catches the ball and then loses it?  Does he still owe the money?  Generally we say that you wait until you actually sell it.

 

On a nerdier angle, a new thing that was happening back then was this game called Ultima Online.  People were paying real money for fake property.  You could pay actual cash to get pieces of land in the game to build your castle or something.  How do you tax that?  If you have a massive imaginary castle in the game, do you have to pay property taxes on it?  An actual market exists to sell stuff like that.  You could earn real money on it.  You haven't yet, but you could.  Before you laugh, the IRS had actual lawyers investigating this.

 

What about a rare comic book?  Should finding grandpa's old copy of Action Comics #1 subject you to a wealth tax?  Is it worth the 10 cents he paid for it, or the million-plus dollars that you might be able to sell it for, if you found the right buyer?

 

From a business perspective, what if your company is overvalued?  Yeah you got this movie studio, and you're really excited about that upcoming Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy.  It's sure to be a big hit, right?  Your stock value is really high, there's no way it could threaten to put your company out of business...

 

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16 hours ago, massey said:

You run into all sorts of problems like that, when you want to tax unrealized income. 

 

We covered a bunch of hypotheticals in my tax law class ages ago.  Back then Barry Bonds was hitting a lot of home runs, and was going to set the record. Let's say some 12 year old kid catches the record breaking home run.  People are willing to pay millions for it.  Does the kid suddenly have to pay taxes on that potential value, forcing him to sell the ball?  If he turns and hands the ball to his friend, does he then have to pay income taxes and also a gift tax, with his friend also having to pay income taxes?  What if he catches the ball and then loses it?  Does he still owe the money?  Generally we say that you wait until you actually sell it.

 

On a nerdier angle, a new thing that was happening back then was this game called Ultima Online.  People were paying real money for fake property.  You could pay actual cash to get pieces of land in the game to build your castle or something.  How do you tax that?  If you have a massive imaginary castle in the game, do you have to pay property taxes on it?  An actual market exists to sell stuff like that.  You could earn real money on it.  You haven't yet, but you could.  Before you laugh, the IRS had actual lawyers investigating this.

 

What about a rare comic book?  Should finding grandpa's old copy of Action Comics #1 subject you to a wealth tax?  Is it worth the 10 cents he paid for it, or the million-plus dollars that you might be able to sell it for, if you found the right buyer?

 

From a business perspective, what if your company is overvalued?  Yeah you got this movie studio, and you're really excited about that upcoming Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy.  It's sure to be a big hit, right?  Your stock value is really high, there's no way it could threaten to put your company out of business...

 

 

A lot of questions.  Canada ditched estate tax almost 50 years back, but taxes all gains on assets in the year of death - essentially, the property is "sold" to the estate at fair value, and taxes become due at that point.  Some nuances and exceptions, of course, and a lot of estate/tax planning.  Some provinces have "probate fees" which are a % of the estate, so really an estate tax (and the Courts told one province it was a tax, and had to follow the legislative procedures for a tax, some years back).

 

Similar issues arise.  What if the assets are illiquid (well, at least you can opt in to 10 years to pay - with interest)?  What about assets that are hard to value?  More work for appraisers and business valuators.  What if you are deemed to dispose of a house for its value of $750,000, then your heirs sell it for $750k and pay $50k of realty commissions and legal bills? Well, there's a gain on your final tax return and they have a loss.  That's without the underlying value changing.

 

Really, tax is pretty simple.  We just want a system that is fair and simple.  Sadly, each one pulls in the opposite direction.  Fair is seldom easy, and simple tends to be unfair.

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I think there's a difference between someone seeking out protestors to run over and a vehicle being mobbed by an angry crowd. Slowly running a few people over is preferable to being a sitting duck for a mob. You sure as heck can't sit still for long and not expect your vehicle to be overturned by an angry mob. I think the cases we've seen with this wave of protests tend to run the gamut, though more tilted to the "seeking trouble" end of the scale.

 

When I was in Berlin, my squad leader's patrol car (basically a Ford Escort) was mobbed by an angry crowd of skinheads. German police responded with riot units to extract her. That could have gotten ugly fast, and she was quite shaken by it.

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The real problems are deeply rooted and hard to solve.  We want something that can be done quickly and make us feel better, so we can get back to day to day life.

 

Lasting value would be OK too, but it's an optional extra, pretty far down the priority list.

 

Sadly, that can describe a lot of issues today.

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3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

The real problems are deeply rooted and hard to solve.  We want something that can be done quickly and make us feel better, so we can get back to day to day life.

 

Lasting value would be OK too, but it's an optional extra, pretty far down the priority list.

 

Sadly, that can describe a lot of issues today.

 

Hard to solve shouldn't be code for not to solve them. They only get worse as we continue to ignore them, but....as usual....America only understands catastrophe. We'll wait until things get horrendously bad before doing anything meaningful.

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On 7/3/2020 at 12:03 PM, Pattern Ghost said:

I think there's a difference between someone seeking out protestors to run over and a vehicle being mobbed by an angry crowd. Slowly running a few people over is preferable to being a sitting duck for a mob. You sure as heck can't sit still for long and not expect your vehicle to be overturned by an angry mob. I think the cases we've seen with this wave of protests tend to run the gamut, though more tilted to the "seeking trouble" end of the scale.

 

When I was in Berlin, my squad leader's patrol car (basically a Ford Escort) was mobbed by an angry crowd of skinheads. German police responded with riot units to extract her. That could have gotten ugly fast, and she was quite shaken by it.

I agree there is a difference, just worried in the current climate some of the usual public blatherers wouldn't bother with a distinction.

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8 hours ago, Badger said:

I agree there is a difference, just worried in the current climate some of the usual public blatherers wouldn't bother with a distinction.

 

There was an incident with a white vehicle this week where two shots were fired at the vehicle before it even tried to push through the mob.  They have video closeups of the guy firing shots into the driver which caused him to floor it plow through the crowd.  As he did this MORE people ran in front of the vehicle.  Madness.  And then of course someone lined up a shot as the vehicle was driving away.

 

On this last one - I don't know why it took the driver so long to see the danger, but they clearly hit the breaks and are trying to avoid the cars blocking the road and probably didn't as easily see all the people blocking the only open lane in dark clothes.

 

Now we've got dead people and a driver who is going to need psychiatric care and/or a lawyer.

 

Protests are great.  Protesting by blocking a freeway is incredibly dangerous.

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The freeway was already closed by police. The driver in question evaded the police barriers before ramming the girls. He also wasn’t under the influence, not that that would excuse anything. At best he thought it would be fun to play chicken with the protesters and “won”.

 

edit: He also fled the scene. 

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I've recently come to realize just how many television shows and films in the United States feature cops breaking the law in order to uphold it :tsk:. While "rogue" characters have an appeal all their own, I worry that this form of entertainment has done its job indoctrinating the majority into believing that good policing - what ought to be the default - involves flouting the rules. Hell, my favorite alignment in D&D is Neutral Good (doing what's best without bias for or against law)...although I don't play characters that torture on a dime or issue threats as frequently as breathing.

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5 hours ago, Old Man said:

The freeway was already closed by police. The driver in question evaded the police barriers before ramming the girls. He also wasn’t under the influence, not that that would excuse anything. At best he thought it would be fun to play chicken with the protesters and “won”.

 

edit: He also fled the scene. 

 

Scottish Fox is right about the guy needing psychiatric care, though.  It just needed to start a lot earlier.

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On 7/5/2020 at 10:09 AM, Ranxerox said:

Scottish Fox is right about the guy needing psychiatric care, though.  It just needed to start a lot earlier.

 

From what I've learned so far on this guy.  It seems he entered the freeway through an exit ramp (weird).  It's also possible the police failed to close an on-ramp and aren't admitting it.  He doesn't seem to have the kind of history that would make him *want* to run down protesters.

 

My guess is he was simply speeding at 1:40am in the morning and then ran into a very strange situation.  Three out of four lanes were blocked off by cars.  Two of the cars were black and all of them had their lights off.  So he probably doesn't see them until he's kind of close and tries to swerve into the only un-blocked lane.  As he does that he probably doesn't see the protesters (all dressed in dark clothes) until he's right on top of them and then swerves to miss as many as possible.  In the video you can hear his tires squealing and see the brake lights glow on the road behind the car for quite awhile.

 

Additionally, it doesn't seem he fled the scene.  He pulled over just passed the area of impact and the protesters attacked his car so he drove further down the road and waited for the police who then took him into custody.

 

I found some pictures and that road was a HORRIBLE place to set up.  It's right around a curve in the freeway which further shortens the time the guy had to react.  Though, it does seem he was speeding and, if true, that's on him.  Today the Washington police have announced they won't allow protests on highways anymore ( NOW they get it?? ) and will arrest anyone who tries to do so.

 

 

Curvy road: 

HighwayCurves.png.9ff6644880e047958b484948e7751f56.png

 

 

Didn't flee the scene:

NotHitAndRun.png.b40df7116e2050fd8b9c5dc7bb5fe895.png

 

The Driver:

NotWhiteSupremecist.png.4c57dce42d8bbd84b4163942944fe826.png

 

 

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