Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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It's sad, but I'm enough of a pessimist (and realist, given today's international realities) that I think America's best days have come and gone.

The people of America are far more interested in watching American Idol than in improving themselves, building for their future, and generally being responsible people.

The state of education is appalling, and continues to decline, especially in math and the sciences, suggesting that the next generation will believe that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to work on the flat earth.

There is no shred of loyalty left in corporate America, either from the companies to the employees or vice versa, it was sacrificed upon the altar of profits.

In addition, it seems many corporations have the "get whatever I can screw out of my customers" mentality, and have no loyalty to country or community.

For these and other reasons I think America will be supplanted as "the" superpower, and we will eventually fade into becoming that ignored old fart in the armchair telling stories about our bygone days of glory.

With the environment degrading rapidly, little effort towards sustainable energy, hurricanes being fed by global warming, sea levels due to rise precipitously any decade now, flu pandemics peeking around the corner, and terrorists building nukes I believe that America and the world as we know it will be significantly damaged during my lifetime.


Thanks for this post. I've seen too many "centrist" blogs which focus on the issues defined by partisan politics. Yes the headline stuiff needs to be touched on, but there is also this tendency to confuse the urgent with the important.

We need to look at "strategic" issues. One that comes to mind is the brief attention to the recent report on tax reform.

To me it brought to attention an important problem. Over 40% of income is not taxed because of exemptions and deductions. And a large part of the underground economy remains untaxed in part because of the complexity of the system.

Many of the deductions appear to be common sense, but remember they are balanced towards the top percentages. For example 75% of housing interest deductions go to the top 15%. And homeowners unlike renters not only get lower rate home equity loans to pay debts, but get reduced taxes on the interest.

So we have a situation where a family with a million dollars in debt including a second home can get large deductions on the interest which could be $15,000 or more.

Is this really the way we want to distribute our money?

Especially since studies have indicated that many of therse deductions which are using tax to attempt social engineering don't necessarily make much difference. For example if home ownership were the goal then a much smaller amount than the hundred billion or so we give in interest deductions could provide down payments for those near the bottom. This is the most efficient method if home ownership is the goal.

Sincere advocates of the "flat tax" do correctly point out that if these tax subsidies were reduced then lower tax rates would occur. This would happen with a simplified progressive tax as well. Of course most Republican advocats of flat tax mean to keep the subsidies and increase them so people like Paris Hilton can live tax free, but that is simply because the party is in the hands of the feudalists. True fiscal conservatives are more sincere and open to compromise.

I realize all these issues are difficult and in many cases one can't go cold turkey. But one could place lower limits on the amount allowed for deductions and possibly eliminate them over time.

A second type of savings for a simplified system is time, money for accountants and tax lawyers
along with less unease in regards to ones returns. The value of this is tens of millions perhaps hundreds of billions.

And while my post makes it clear that I'm leaning in the direction of simplified taxes, ven if I'm wrong, we need an educated debate not one based on partisdan reaction.

And more importantly we do need to put some poplar focus on things central to our lives and reforming this nation. It is relative clear that many institutions public and private are becoming decadent, in the next few years some will be pushed to their limits and I personally believe fundamental analysis and tinkering is the best hope.

I have great faith in the potential of this nation, but I think the dominant political players act to distract us and preserve their realm.

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