Posts filed under ‘Random Rants’

Random Rants: Beer Tax

Beer pintBeer sales have done well in recent years and have shown themselves to be somewhat recession proof. It sort of stands to reason if you think about it. What is flowing from the taps and being swilled by John and Jane Q. Minnesotan has not been unnoticed by our busy and creative legislature.

In fact, there is precious little that our legislature doesn’t notice in the realm of productivity, economic vitality and successful enterprise. The beer business is doing well in Minnesota, so the natural inclination of our elected officials is to stick their hands out, or more specifically, stick them it into the pockets of beer producers and drinkers. Wally the Beer Man, meet Wally the Taxman.

The amount of this newly proposed tax is generally described as 7 cents per retail beer or shot of alcohol. With the cost of most things rising – except likely your house – this may not seem like a hardship to most. If you can’t afford an extra 7 cents per drink, you are either already drinking too much, or you should probably not be drinking at all, or you are just a miserly tightwad.

But is it really this simple? Is the real cost only 7 cents for every pint you put away? (more…)

May 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Random Rants: Voter ID

Thumbs up & downShould Minnesotans vote yes or no to amend the State Constitution to require a photo ID at the ballot box?

Supporters believe that it is an idea whose time has come, and that it will reduce the number of fraudulent votes that could potentially sway close elections.

Those in opposition believe that the amount of voter fraud is negligible. They also think the number of people who would be discouraged from voting or lose their access to vote would be a greater number than the proven number of fraudulent votes typically cast.

If you just moved to Minnesota and are not fully up to date with your documents, if you are sick or homeless or having mobility problems, or face a language barrier– passing voter ID could create an additional hurdle for you at the polls. In essence, the position of those in opposition is that the law will disproportionally affect those who are vulnerable or are already facing too many hurdles in life.
Supporters believe that a photo ID has become completely mainstream and a necessary part of functioning in society. They believe that it is expected that to participate in matters which pertain uniquely to your affairs – presenting your photo ID protects your property and ensures your rights. By example, should banks require the only proof of identity needed to access your accounts is a recent utility bill or someone to vouch for you?  No, but that is what is currently required for someone to cast their vote in Minnesota. The new law would also require the state to provide a photo ID to those who can’t purchase their own.
Is acquiring a photo ID an unreasonable burden that will suppress voter turnout? Is voter fraud or the potential of it worth addressing through tighter requirements?

The public will visit the polls on November 6th and give their answer.
How will you vote?

The opinions expressed in Random Rants are solely those of the author and do not represent the opinions or viewpoints of NAIOP Minnesota, its leadership or its staff.

October 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Random Rants: NYC Soda Ban

soft drinkNew York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced a proposed initiative to limit the size of sugared drinks available at retail locations in the city to 16 ounces or less.
The motivation behind the idea is to curb the burgeoning weight of the boroughs’ inhabitants, 50% of whom are either “overweight or obese.” You can still buy larger sized sugared drinks in supermarkets in the city, but if you want a 20 ounce drink at the movie theater, restaurant or ball game, it’s not gonna happen.
Drinking too much sugared soda does not contribute to one’s good health. But don’t most people who drink large sodas from the fountain fill their cup with ice beforehand? Doesn’t the soda have to fill the remaining gaps between all of the ice cubes? If you bought a 24 ounce fountain soda, wouldn’t you really be buying 12 ounces of ice cubes and 12 ounces of actual soda?
Could a restaurant serve you an 8 ounce soda, and still refill it continually while you are dining? If someone were intent on buying a large can of sugared soda and it weren’t available, wouldn’t they just buy two smaller cans?
Michael Bloomberg is intent on creating a policy which is at best a farce and at worst a sad feat of social engineering that will do nothing but kill trees to publish the legislation. Mayor Bloomberg should quit wasting time trying to enforce what size Mr. Pibb can you can purchase down in the East Village,  and quit drinking his own fewer-than-16 ounce Kool-Aid. 

The opinions expressed in Random Rants are solely those of the author and do not represent the opinions or viewpoints of NAIOP Minnesota, its leadership or its staff.

June 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Random Rants: The 99%

99 percentWe are the 99%!

This chant has recently been heard in cities round the world, starting in lower Manhattan. The second round of these protests is beginning as we venture closer towards the 2012 elections. The sentiment behind the protest is that wages and profits are being amassed by the top 1% of income earners and that taxes on those wages are not fair in relation to income earned by the wealthy. The economic pie is being sliced very unevenly – and those who are wealthy are eating more than their fair share, while only paying for a little sliver of a slice.

It is interesting that the protests began on Wall Street, where millions of Americans of the 99% income bracket invest and risk their earned income for the opportunity to make it grow by investing in businesses to help them grow. That, and the top 1% of income earners already pay 40% of income taxes.

What is often overlooked by those vocal protesters of the 99% movement is that the pie is not static in size – we can bake a bigger pie and the economy grows. (more…)

April 4, 2012 at 11:42 am

Random Rants: What you say and what you mean

Insure you’re words our write … Ensure your words are right

You don’t have to be a full-fledged word nerd but understanding some word use basics is not only helpful but a way to avoid embarrassment. Here is a random list of common misuses. How many have you heard used incorrectly?

among or between
between introduces two items, and among introduces more than two

anxious vs. eager
Anxious is not a synonym for eager. A good reminder is the connection between anxious and anxiety, which means worried or distressed.

many times said as asterik

egg yolk
sometimes heard in the Midwest as egg yoke

extreme evil not enormousness (more…)

September 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm 1 comment

Random Rants: That fruit company…you know the one

appleIn the classic movie Forest Gump Mr. Gump made millions by investing, “in some kind of fruit company.”  That fruit company was Apple.  Not the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree but the ostentatious in-your-face marketing machine known then as Apple Computer and now as Apple Inc.  Apple’s market capitalization surpassed Microsoft’s and is now second in the world behind only Exxon Mobil.  Their products are everywhere, their advertising is everywhere.

Quite frankly, I’m sick of it.  I’m sick of turning my head only to see white earphones protrude from every wandering pedestrian (watch out for that meter!).  I’m sick of seeing Apple’s blindingly white billboards and posters plastered around our otherwise beautiful city.  And I’m sick of riding elevators with imbeciles who fumble with their iPhones to check Facebook (really, nothing has happened to your friends in the last 20 seconds; they don’t care you had lasagna for lunch and are now ready for a snooze at your posh office where your nano plays nature sounds to facilitate your nap). (more…)

July 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm 1 comment

Random Rants: Are you a foodie?

foodie plateAre you a foodie? Let’s hope not.

Turn on the TV, flip through a magazine or go online and you will blaze past channel and page of chefs chopping away. There are angry chefs, scientific ones, wanna-be angry chefs, people cooking outside, people cooking in a ship’s galley, people obsessing over trace ingredients and arcane methods by which to assemble a meal.

Show after show, and with piles of pages there is a furious competition going on for our attention.  It all involves food. Food, food, food – foodie food. (more…)

March 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm 1 comment

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