Sunday, February 22, 2009
No Thuggery Required: Saturday we had a contentious vote in my neighborhood on the issue of permit parking. Most of my very nice neighbors were all for the restriction, which seems mainly aimed at otherwise homeless people who live in their RVs, which they park on the streets. If we had to vote in public, I would probably have had to support my neighbors. But the vote was by secret ballot and .... let's just say that the secret ballot makes a big difference when it comes to resisting even benign, non-thuggish, peer pressure. Which, of course, is why unions want to be able to avoid it and rely on a public "card check." Intimidation isn't required for the results of a public ballot to diverge from a secret ballot (and from the true choice of the voters ). All that's required is a desire not to tell your pro-union buddy to his face that you think he's wrong. ...
Update: My neighbors won . ... 11:07 P.M.
Time for a Final Showdown With Switzerland! A close friend of mine had some money deposited in a Swiss bank that merged with UBS. A little while after the merger, when she asked for her usual annual statement she was told that UBS didn't like to send out statements to American clients. Why? If they sent her one the IRS would find out she had an account and she'd have to report her income. She said she had every intention of reporting her income to the IRS, as she'd been doing for decades, and would they please send the statement. After several transatlantic calls, she finally got one out of them. But it was pretty clear what UBS was about. If Swiss politicians want to stage an international confrontation to defend its practices , that sounds like a confrontation worth having. ...
Update: Tom Edsall has more on UBS' tactics and a possible Obama administration campaign against legal tax shelters. ... 10:56 P.M.