Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tried to update the web site to https but ended up a disaster

I tried to update this web site to https by redirecting the social.coldstreams.com address to coldstreams.com/social so I could use my coldstreams.com security certificate.

This mostly broke everything. I think the web site might be working again, sort of. It seems the only solution is going to be to purchase another security certificate for the subdomain, which is not worth my time and money for this.

Part 6: Paying for Denmark’s Free Health Care

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TL; DR Summary

This final installment looks at the claim that Denmark has free health care – health care is free at point of service, but obviously, health care expenses still get paid some how.

FREE HEALTHCARE

Clinics are free. However, (as of 2012) there was an 8% flat rate “Health contribution” tax on income. This tax was being phased out and rolled in to general income taxes. However, this gives us a baseline for what “free” health care costs in Denmark. Additional tax revenue, especially from local government income taxes, is added to this to pay the costs of “Free” health care.

The 8% health care income tax applied to all earnings above the US$7600 level. Starting in 2012, this is going down by 1% per year and merged into the general income tax (Source Danish government web site reviewed in 2015. For additional reference, see also  http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/Denmark.pdf)

TAXES IN DENMARK

Taxes in Denmark are the highest in the world. The typical Dane worker pays between 50% and 70% of their income, as taxes, including “Gross”, “Health”, “Income”, and “Local” taxes, plus a 25% Value-Added-Tax (VAT) which is similar to the U.S. concept of a sales tax. The “50-70%” figure is NOT a marginal rate – that is the total percentage of one’s income that is paid in taxes.

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Consumers are the solution to “fake news”-they just need to think

Thus, as I’ve said again and again, the answer to “fake news” and the issue of false and misleading information in general is not to place a few elites in the role of ultimate arbitrator of truth, but rather to develop a citizenry that is data and information literate.

Source: How The Washington Post’s Defense Of Its Russian Hacking Story Unraveled Through Web Archiving

Most consumers will not think, however. Many subscribe to online, for profit, social media-based publishers[1] so they can intentionally receive and share propaganda messaging on a daily basis. The desire to confirm one’s beliefs is so strong that many intentionally choose to flood their senses with fake news, which they then share without skeptical questioning.

The problem is that social media is a friction-less conduit for the spread of misinformation. Between consumers that intentionally confirm their biases by soliciting fake news, and then sharing that with “friends” who will rarely question friends – false information spreads rapidly and lives forever online.


[1] The description of “online, for profit, social media-based publishers” was intended to target the new breed of for profit publishers that specifically reach out to emotions of targeted audiences with posts that are usually political in nature. However, as The Intercept documents, the Washington Post engages in the exact same behavior, writing fake stories with inflammatory headlines and intentionally sharing those on social media (which research shows has the potential to generate massive numbers of shares and clicks) . What is the difference between the Washington Post and our original concept of “online, for profit, social media-based publishers”?

Indeed, all publishers and broadcasters with an online presence are logging everything about their online stories and data mining those logs for insights on how to generate more clicks and produce more eyeballs for advertisers. While late to the world of online, for profit, social media-based publishing, the traditional media is embracing the same business models as they struggle to address their loss of (especially) print ad revenue and to retain relevancy in a world where ad dollars are rapidly migrating to social media platforms and online search instead of newspapers and local TV.