The Preachy Blog

(Ir)relevant issues in politics and bill 1176

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11/3/2009 -- (Ir)relevant issues in politics and bill 1176

Recently there were elections for the parliament in Germany. The weeks after that for the coalition negotiations were absurd at best. Seeing the discussions through my ysmad glasses, and particularly the news channels reporting on it, I was wondering if these topics are really relevant to us.
Judging by the top news these weeks, we consider it most important, if we will be taxed by a linear or a non-linear taxation model (which according to e.g. "" makes little to no difference). Further it was discussed in length, in case it's going to be non-linear, whether it should be 3 or 5 tax stages; if the marginal tax rate should be a few tenth percentage points up or down; if tax benefits ("Pendlerpauschale") should be a little different or stay as is.
Plus the same discussions about minimal adjustments on topics outside taxation of course.

This is the kind of "reforms" we are going to see the next 4 years in Germany. Addressing burning issues like the staggering debt, or from ysmad's point of view the topics that really matter like the chipping away on the environment which supports us? Not so much. Nada.

Did you read about "Guvna" Schwarzenegger's veto on bill 1176? Bet you did - otherwise google it for some fun: "schwarzenegger bill 1176" . He refused to sign it due to "the fact that major issues are overlooked while many unnecessary bills come (...) for consideration". The veto was accompanied by a letter including the hidden message (?) "F*ck You", when reading the first letter of each line vertically.

The first thing coming to mind of course: is this coincidence (as later claimed)? That day we had no quick answer when discussing it in office, so let's get off topic - here's a try: assuming that all words are evenly starting with any of the 26 characters, plus the chance of inserting a blank line is equally likely, I get to a probability of (1/27)^8 , which is 1 in 282 billion.
In other words, further assuming Schwarzenegger's office always writes neatly fitting 8-line-letters, 100 letters a day, they would be writing 80,000 years to raise the probability above 1% for something like this to happen. :)

My verdict is: might happen any time, but the likelihood ...

Back on topic: if this letter was written indeed because of "the fact that major issues are overlooked", I can kind of relate to it. Many of the topics we keep us busy with in politics are ridiculously irrelevant, compared to the topics which should matter most to us: to "reverse environmental damage and preserve our planet for future generations" (borrowed from Ban Ki-moon).

So yes - sometimes all that comes to mind is a hearty "F*ck You" (kind-of-quoting Schwarzenegger).

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