Copied from here; article by Todd Steinberg. Changed the title.
I don't think healthcare is too expensive, I think other goods and services are priced too low. If using the toilet cost as much as a physical, then people would remark on the reasonable cost of healthcare. Therefore, we should create a system that vastly raises the price of going to the restroom. Here is my plan:
Use Only the Best Toilets: Toilet prices range from modest to ultra-expensive. The very best in home and commercial toilets is the Toto Neorest 600. Upon approach, the lid automatically opens and the air purifier activates. The built-in washer and dryer make toilet paper optional. Six seconds after leaving the commode's sensor zone, it flushes and lowers the seat and lid. With the touch of a button, you can warm the seat, change the water temperature, and perform a "Cyclone flush" if needed. At nearly $5,000 apiece, this is the highest-quality toilet available and thus, the one that's best suited for every American's rear end.
We pass various pieces of legislation that call for the gradual elimination of the substandard toilets and their replacement with the superior model. Obviously, seniors and people below the poverty line would qualify for free toilets, all others must pay for their own or have their employers include it as part of their compensation package. There are approximately 350 million private and public toilets in the United States. That comes out to $1.75 trillion before installation, but I'm optimistic that we'd receive a discount on such a big order. Either way, you're looking at the horizon of what will be a multi-trillion dollar recession-proof industry. Investors anyone?
Only the Best Toilet Makers and Technicians: Using the bathroom plays a pivotal role in the life of every American, therefore we'd only want the best companies to fashion the toilets. The makers of the Neorest 600 can't fulfill such a large order, so they will need to license the manufacture of their design to qualified companies. Each state legislature should make the qualifications so stringent and exacting that only the best companies could bid on the project. Since these thrones use the latest in toilet tech, only highly trained technicians may install and repair your commode. They must go through a few hundred hours of training at schools your state legislatures have deemed appropriate. The number of schools and seats available must be kept at a minimum lest you flood the labor market and push wages down. Combine high wages with the high cost of goods, and you'll have families reeling when they are beset with so much as a faulty flapper. The elite toilet repairman class is too few in number to make house calls, so if your toilet is clogged you will need to make an appointment for the following morning and find a way to bring it to the shop.
After a few years of this system, we will see a vast increase in the number of middle-class Americans who can no longer afford a decent bathroom. Some families band together and buy a timeshare toilet, but others will have no choice but to go in the streets. Imagine that! America... the most industrialized nation in the world, and still there are people who don't have a comfortable place to eliminate bodily wastes. With a world like that, do you think people will complain about the cost of healthcare?
If my plan were implemented, it would undoubtedly become a hot-button issue in the next presidential election. Government is in the right place and has the right resources to ensure that every American has a decent place to go to the bathroom, and for free. Having a $5,000 toilet in the house is a right, not a privilege.
Voters will be looking for answers, so we must correctly place blame. Under no circumstances can we let people know that the aforementioned policies artificially limited the supply of labor and goods, which precipitated the astronomical rise in prices. We can easily place blame on the toilet manufactures, the toilet installers, or the training institutes even though their every move has been dictated by a complex code of laws that was supposed to keep everything under control in the first place. Government can easily convince the public that it has the ability to bring prices down, even if it means nationalizing parts of the toilet and bathroom industry. The government can even justify oversight on diapers since babies who don't use the toilet are indirectly affecting the industry. Toilet paper too can be managed, perhaps rationed, with exceptions given to those with irritable bowel syndrome, who would be allowed to get a permit by visiting the Department of Toilets and standing in a very long line.
After blame has been sufficiently passed, then it is up to Congress to hammer out a 2,000-page piece of legislation that further controls the toilet industry and ultimately makes it more expensive and inconvenient. It will be penned in English, but the bill will not make sense. Congress will raise taxes, borrow money, and pass strict laws, but amazingly prices will go up and availability will go down. By then, people will all have forgotten about healthcare and will demand even more government involvement to control the spiraling costs of toilets.
The sad part is, if the first several steps ever happen, the last one WILL happen. People'd take that shÃƒÂ¬t (pun) VERY, VERY seriously. I can see it now:
ITS THE FAULT OF THE FREE MARKET, WE NEED TO SOCIALIZE TO HELP THE POOR GET THEIR TOILETS
Are you against me and my wife taking a shÃƒÂ¬t?
What if the poor buy a toilet and it breaks on them? Are you advocating that people should get ceramic shards stuck up their ÃƒÂ sses? I didn't think so. EVERYONE needs HIGH quality toilets.
If it happens, I called it.
10 years agoRezzealaux
Copied from here; article by Todd Steinberg. Changed the title.
10 years agoRezzealaux
Something I found today, not exactly new, but something I had never heard about. From Wiki's article on "Virtual Economy", under "Taxation and gambling".:
Income from sale of virtual items is being considered as real revenue as players in such games have ascribed a real-world value onto them: "By taking any aspect of the game and connecting it directly to the real world, the games have only brought this possibility on themselves." And as that ascribed value is being increasingly converted into to real dollars, attention is now being given by those in taxation law and in governments.
Commentators in taxation law speculate "that profits made in virtual worlds could be taxable even before they are withdrawn as dollars." The speculation seems to based on the observation that, as one commentator said, "the easier it is to buy real goods with virtual currency (e.g. order a real life pizza) the more likely the IRS will see exclusively in-world profits as taxable."
This conversion has led to direct comparisons with other on-line games of chance as 'virtual winnings'. Once converted into real currencies these 'winnings' have been measurable for some time in real terms. This is why gamers and companies engaged in this conversion, where it is allowed under license from developers, are now being encouraged to apply for licenses under EU legislation:
Now we've spoken with the gambling commission, and they've said that MMOGs aren't the reason for the act, but they won't say outright, and we've asked directly, that they won't be covered. You can see how these would be ignored at first, but very soon they could be in trouble. It's a risk, but a very easy risk to avoid.
During an interview with Virtual World News, a representative of the British law firm Campbell Hooper stated that, "In the US there seems to be a general blanket ban on gambling. There doesn't seem to be that ban on skill gaming." However, in the EU, skill gaming does fall under the definition of gambling. Compliance in the EU though will likely only require MMOGs "to do what's fair and reasonable in that situation."
When queried about games where there is an 'unofficial secondary market', the representative responded: "Ultimately the point is whether the thing that you win has value in money or money's worth. If it does have value, it could be gambling." So to avoid regulation by these laws, the "operator would need to take reasonable steps to ensure that the rewards they give do not have a monetary value[,]" possibly by demonstrating enforcement of their Terms of Service user agreement prohibiting 'unofficial secondary markets'.
8: www.techdirt.com.. .
9: legalblogwatch.typepad.com.. .
10: virtuallyblind.com.. .
I found this just a little more than outrageous.
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