Unintended consequence du jour:
Journalist George Smith had the unenviable task of writing a column
on the doings of the Maine state Legislature, and found it useful
to muse on the resulting raft of unintended consequences. Here's my fave:
In my sportsmen's corner of the world, there is a good example of unanticipated consequences in an action taken last year by the Legislature: a new law requiring alien (non-citizen) hunters to hire a guide to hunt moose, bear and deer.[Emphasis added.] There's also stuff about how the Maine/New Hampshire tax difference redounds to the Granite State's favor.
Canadian hunters by the bucket load demanded and received refunds on their expensive big game licenses, costing the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife tens of thousands of dollars. Some Canadians signed up to take DIF&W's test to become guides themselves, and DIF&W was required to provide translators for applicants who spoke French, another unanticipated cost.
North Maine Woods, the recreational manager for 30 private owners of 2 million acres where many Quebec sportsmen hunt, lost 19 percent of its traffic in the fall hunting seasons. To make that up, every Mainer this year will pay an extra dollar a day to access and enjoy that land.
Ah, if we'd only known!
Which gives me an excuse to post a link to the
Tax Foundation's recently-released
list of tax burdens state-by-state as of 2007. Maine's state/local tax
burden, 14.0%, is the second-highest; it barely missed out to Vermont's
14.1%. New Hampshire's tax burden is calculated at 8.0%, which puts it
second-lowest. (Alaska, at 6.6%, is in the bottom place.)
Interestingly, when you add in Federal taxes, NH rises to 29th place; ME drops to 10th. People have more income here. To make an obvious point, one major reason for that is the tax policy of other states.
In "Best of the Web Today" for, um, yesterday, James Taranto
analyzes an article appearing in UNH's student
newspaper the day before yesterday.
James says: "The story delivers an elegant synecdoche for race relations in America."
I'm almost certain that fewer than one writer for the student newspaper would be able to tell you what a "synecdoche" is.
If you're in an appropriate space and in need
of some laughs, you might want to look at
The 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of All Time.
There's a lot of Saturday Night Live stuff, understandably, but unaccountably missing is 1997's "Job Interview" with Chris Kattan playing straight man to Steve Buscemi. I can't find a video, but the transcript is here. And it's not even on the "The Best of Chris Kattan" SNL DVD. That sucks!
To this day, any mention of Pepperdine will cause me to blurt "I've heard of Pepperdine. Is that all right that I've heard of it?"
I should probably seek help for that.