Usually, when I post poetry, it is light or inspirational. I have read the human brain has fifty thousand random thoughts a day and a certain percentage of them can be a little dark. I am posting two poems today that might not be considered “light”. You be the judge, as you always should be.

Poem 10

Pain is the universal teacher
It can guide us into a different place
It shows us the light
It shows us the dark
Sometimes it’s just a spark
Its contrast helps us life to embrace
It revels in its might
It caresses us with its deception
Sometimes we miss the inception
It travels like the wind
Its consistency can be like a friend
It can be an evil addiction
We must fight to make the transition
It blocks the road to our wonder land
It troubles the human race
All who are familiar are not our friend

Poem 11

The subconscious has an agenda
It consistently travels towards the goal
We can’t guide it
Where would we send it?
Experience is a callous teacher
We are learning the direction of the flow
Examine your perceived goals
Are they sending you down a rabbit hole?
Manage your life, it’s your soul


I sometimes have a tendency to make things more complicated than necessary. I will try to resist that here because Income Tax is already as complicated as it needs to be. My purpose in this post is to show the history of income tax rates to have a basis for future discussions. To do this, I made some arbitrary assumptions to have a thread to follow. All the data in this post is based on that fabled family of four. As the baseline income, I used the poverty level as defined by the US Census Bureau. They first reported this number in 1959 and the latest data readily available is 2020. The values correlate .9968 with the June through June change in the Consumer Price Index, so I used these values to fill in 1952-1958 and 2021 on my chart. I plotted six different levels of income to show the relative effect of the rate structure on their tax liability. The case I call INDV1 is the poverty level as defined and reported by the US Census Bureau.  INDV2 is twice that level, INDV5 is five times the poverty rate, etc., INDV25, INDV50, INDV100. Their 2021 gross income before exemptions and standard deduction is shown below:

                                INDV1                   27,925
                                INDV2                   55,849
                                INDV5                   139,623
                                INDV25                 698,113
                                INDV50                 1,396,226
                                INDV100              2,792,452

I took 4 exemptions and the standard deduction for each year to arrive at the taxable income. The chart shows the PERCENTAGE of income paid in taxes in each year.

The bottom three income categories have seen relatively little change over the period from 1952-2021. The top three categories saw some very dramatic change during the 1980’s.

My data us from the following sources:





I also publish some poetry on Quora.com. According to them, I have 35 posts. Most of them have less than 100 views. One of them has 1800 views. I have previously published it here, but I am going to publish it again. It’s something we need more of in these trying times.


Man looks up with a vacant stare
He knows there’s hope, just not where
It came to him one night
In a blinding flash of light
A smile came across his face
There is hope for the human race
Knowledge is the path to what is right
It scrapes away the simmering blight
Leaving the raw beauty without a trace


Poetry doesn’t have to make sense. That’s part of the beauty. The books I’ve read on how to write poetry recommend reading a lot of poetry to become better at writing it. That advice makes logical sense which is why it doesn’t seem to work for me. I have been able to find so little poetry I enjoy reading. They say one should spend a lot of time editing. I generally don’t. What is the point? They talk about writing for the reader. I believe a writer should write for their own reasons and if someone else finds it worth reading, that would be great. I write to explore what is in my brain. When the words appear on the screen, then I know. When I start writing, especially with poetry, I’m not always sure where it’s going. We can discover together. Some people do crossword puzzles. Some people do Sudoku. I write. I leave you today with a couple of those explorative poems:

 Poem 8

Death of innocence
The end of childhood
Becoming an adult
Who said, “it’s a good thing”?
To escape from it all
Some go to the mall
We can try, but can’t have it all
Cleanse your mind
Banish the mundane
The alternative is to be insane

Poem 9

The sweetness of a mountain meadow
Life is more than looking out the window
The music of a mountain stream
The song of the forgotten
A patchwork of emotions
The life of the unexpected
Not a life of making plans
The allure of the unknown
The seduction of the soul
The ecstasy of the new
The anguish of the forgotten
The stream as cold as an ogre’s heart
The window becomes the mirror of life
We all have a song
Sing it so all can hear
With it, life becomes clear


The other day, someone gifted me with an act of kindness that took them some effort. I don’t have a way to thank them personally, so I am going to thank the universe with this little poem:


A simple act of kindness stands alone

It won’t be offended if I create a clone

It makes the world a better place

It helps perpetuate the human race

Without it we would be in a bad place

It’s a facet of life we must embrace

Without it, humanity is a disgrace

Thank-you from my happy place

Thank-you from my happy place


Some other poets might , at times, have a hard time saying what I write is poetry, but that is the beauty of poetry, almost anything qualifies. I have been writing some serious stuff the last few days and wanted to post this as a contrast. We need more of this:

Love envelopes you like a cocoon

To its powers we are not immune

Love delivers warmth to make it through the night

Love creates forgiveness

Love is the foundation of empathy

Love bonds in strength

Love is the nemesis of stress

Love is the opioid of humanity

Love is never wanting to say goodbye

Love rolls in like fog, quietly, unstoppable

Love is support in trying times

Love accepts the differences

Love heals wounds, old and new

Love can make you crazy

Love is the glue that holds life together

Love is indescribable bliss

Love creates serenity

Love creates its own glow

Love creates its own glow


I have compiled the corporate income tax rates since 1952 through 2021 and put them in a chart I hope is easy to understand. In doing this, I plotted the hypothetical tax bill of two corporations: one making $500K per year and one making $20M per year and plot the percentage of taxable income the tables said they should pay. I also decided to put per capita GDP in constant 2015 dollars on the chart, because I could. Here is the chart:

 The chart shows the steady downward trend in the tax rates since 1952. The picking of 1952 was a little arbitrary, but I hoped it would be after the effects of the wars were out. The thing that struck me right away is the negative correlation between per capita GDP and the lowering of tax rates. So much for “trickle down”. I must say here, one of the tenants of statistical research is: “correlation is not causation”. As I was doing my research, it became clear rates were only part of the story. I will go into that soon, on another day.




I’ve completed the data preparation portion of my upcoming post on Income Tax. In studying the chart, I had a thought. There’s no question in my mind and in many others, Trump was the worst president we have had. What became clear to me was number two must be Reagan. When you combine what he did to the FCC Fairness Doctrine and the tax cuts he pushed through, the stage is set for the arrival of Trump and the ensuing economic blight and hatred he has brought on this country.

It is going to be a monumental effort to unwind this mess and just get back to a reasonable starting point. I remember waking up the morning after election day in 1980 and thinking: “OMG, what have we done?” Now we know.


One of the people I happen to follow on Twitter is Richard Saunders. On May 18th, he Tweeted a thought that mirrored one of my thoughts, so I am just going to quote him here:

“Stand back fellow citizens and get some perspective. If there is not an immediate, massive redistribution of wealth in America to cure the overwhelming inequity which exists for all to see, our institutions including our form of government will continue to buckle and then fail”.

Just think about this for a while.


The biggest problem in US politics is sources of money. Our political system is extremely expensive. Money buys outcomes not consistent with the wishes of most of the population. Look at the unexplained increases in wealth of many of the more influential people in government such as McConnell or Kavanaugh. This is a self-perpetuating, self-defending problem that has more thorns and traps than imaginable. To make any real progress on the betterment of the population, this is a problem that must be addressed and fixed. The technicalities of enforcement of any reform are formidable. I don’t have a ready-made solution. The influence purchasers are very resourceful. The reason I bring this up is I don’t want us to lose sight of this amongst all our other problems. This is the actual source of most of our problems.