Saturday, 26 October 2013

If Happiness Could be Legislated

I read an awful lot of international news.  Today, I came across a five-star story....quietly hidden, and probably only covered by a couple of papers in the US.

Venezuela has announced....via a government decision and supported completely by the present President/Dictator-in-Charge.....that from this day forward....there will be a Ministry of Happiness.  It's actually the Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness.....if you care about the entire title.

What the President will say in commentary is that this agency will combine all the various programs that were run singularly, by various managers, and in various ways....overlapped.  He didn't say it'd save government funding, or improve anything....just that staging them all under one roof...was a better government idea.

So you'd sit and ponder over this....a government agency....Ministry of Happiness....fixing all social ills.

Yeah, it was sarcastically received by the public and generally laughed about.  Folks in Venezuela have a pretty good sense of humor....even in dire, chaotic, and downward times.  Most probably sat there and asked if it was a Constitutional thing....that people ought to be happy.  Some probably asked if a happiness tax somewhere down the line for rich folks to pay.  A few probably asked if a fairness scale would be invented for some folks to be happier than other folks.

Would something like this work in America?  You've got over a hundred different cultural "clans", groups, or societies in America.  Balancing some happiness right upon all of them, and making it work day in and day out....would be physically impossible.  Some folks would want no government involvement in their lives to be happy.  Some folks would want maximum government involvement in their lives to be happy.  Some folks would agree to be happy....only if the NCAA bowl business was settled in a 'fair' fashion.

All of this happiness crap brings me to this odd conclusion.  Two or three years from now....the Nobel Peace Prize committee has to select some dimwit for the award.  Whoever is the head minister of the Happiness Ministry....might have achieved a couple of impossible tasks, and might accidentally impress the Nobel idiots enough....to win the award.  Course, it'd be a shock and the guy would fall over in a fit of laughter if this did occur.

We all need happiness.....but having the government deliver it.....is a bit hard to imagine.

The French Strike

In around four weeks.....an interesting episode unfolds in France.  The French soccer league will have it's first strike in forty-odd years.  It will end up on US business news, and it will bring a bit of curiosity to most Americans.

The deal is simple.  France in 2014 will bring out a new taxation plan.  If you make more than a million Euro a year as salary ($1.3 million dollars).....then your company or organization must pay a 75-percent tax on this.  Note, it's not the individual paying the tax....it's the company.

So you sit there and pause over this for a while, and then you start laughing.

Basically, the company would have hype up costs to everyone within their line of consumers....to make up for the lost revenue.  Or you'd have to cut the salaries enough....to balance some gimmick budget up for your company....to survive.

As far as the government is concerned....it's "fair".  We should note, they haven't yet grasped the idea that the consumer.....the little guy....will get the bill at the end for this mess.

So the soccer players....the majority of them.....especially the foreign players brought into France to pump up the superior quality of soccer that people expect....are making a million or more per year. The clubs are looking at how this will play out and are faced with limited options.  Let go of superior players and keep a bare minimum around?  Perhaps pass the tax costs onto the consumer.....the fans.....and just accept their whining of significant ticket cost?

All around France....major companies are viewing this tax and the necessity of going after rich employees or managers.  They will all pass the cost along to consumers.....so you can expect inflation for 2014 to be higher than normal.

What happens in the spring of 2014?  Higher priced non-French players might be on the market and looking at the US soccer league as a place where they can display their skills and make what they think is a fair wage with no gimmick taxes....at least for right now.

There's a meeting coming up next week with the French President and some soccer officials.  There's not much hope over some resolution or extension.  There's not expected to be any waivers.  So the strike for late November will occur, and the fans will wake up and start to ask stupid questions in early December.

It's a sad turn of events.....when soccer fans get all disturbed and frustrated over their government.....and start to put heat on political figures.

So when you hear about some soccer strike in France....don't think soccer.....think taxes.  And it'll all make perfect sense.