The Least, First

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Water-filled glasses, adjustable for anyone, may change 3rd-world life

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Check out this brilliant invention: These water-filled lenses can be produced by the millions and adjusted on-site by the users themselves, many of whom stand less than a one in a million chance of ever visiting with an optometrist.
clipped from www.core77.com

0A-Zulu-man-wearing-adapti-001.jpg
British inventor Josh Silver, a former professor of physics at Oxford University, has come up with a game-changer of a product design with his water-lensed glasses.[…]
Inside the device’s tough plastic lenses are two clear circular sacs filled with fluid, each of which is connected to a small syringe attached to either arm of the spectacles.

The wearer adjusts a dial on the syringe to add or reduce amount of fluid in the membrane, thus changing the power of the lens. […]

[W]ith very little guidance people are perfectly capable of creating glasses to their own prescription […]
Silver’s goal is to help the hundreds of millions of people in developing countries who suffer from poor eyesight […]
[I]n Ghana, Silver met a man … who had been forced to retire as a tailor because he could no longer see to thread the needle … He was about 35…
“We put these specs on him, and he smiled, and threaded his needle, and sped up with this sewing machine. He can work now. He can see …”
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Life-changing, don’t you think?


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Written by Monte

January 2, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Low income Iowans pay higher tax rates

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Hmm—and we thought taxation in America was progressive. None such here in my state. In fact, it’s tilted against those who have the least.

If you’re poor, you pay a higher net rate—especially in states that shift the burden away from income tax and onto sales tax. Details:[h/t Lori, via the newspaper of our youth, the Burlington Hawk-Eye.]

clipped from www.thehawkeye.com

Study finds low-income Iowans pay higher taxes

the bottom 60 percent of Iowa taxpayers pay roughly 10 percent of their income in state and local taxes.
Those in the top 1 percent, making more than $320,000 a year, pay 6.3 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the study said.

“The state sales tax has doubled in the last 25 years while we have made big cuts in income tax,” Ralston said. “This is not a good tradeoff if we want a tax system that better reflects a household’s ability to pay.”

For low-income families making less than $16,000 a year, 7.3 percent of the household income goes for sales and excise taxes. Those taxes consume 2 percent of those with household incomes about $127,000.

The report recommended that lawmakers once again expand the earned income tax credit that goes to the working poor, as well as allow local option income taxes to augment or replace local option sales taxes.
warned against any additional increases in the sales tax
the most regressive of taxes
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Now suppose you make $16,000 a year.  When you pay taxes, you pay them instead of something you need.  You don’t fill your prescriptions.  You hold off repairing your car.  You don’t even think about going to the dentist or paying for a haircut, or getting your kid’s teeth straightened.

And you make it.  Until one thing goes seriously wrong.

Say, the car’s transmission fails.  No chance Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

November 12, 2008 at 1:55 pm