Apple’s 1.9% Income Tax, How Hurricanes Change Political Thinking, Romney’s Water Bill, Scott Brown Goes It Alone, Elizabeth Warren’s Smirk and assorted Election Eve Matters


This post deals with random conversations taking place around me during today’s travels. Most amuse me and I hope you, as well.
Apple paying 1.9% tax on foreign income

Apple’s 1.9% Income Tax

Several recent news items dealt with Apple paying 1.9% tax on foreign income. Two business travelers sitting in an airport bar commented that Apple wasn’t to blame for doing what US tax laws allow it to do. Blame should go to Congress for putting laws into place that allow companies to pay such tax bills.

I agree. Do you blame a child who acts out in public or do you blame the parents for allowing such behavior to exist? If the parents didn’t allow the behavior, the child wouldn’t act out.

How Hurricanes Change Political Thinking

NextStage's Political Reader ToolRegular readers of this blog know about NextStage’s Political Reader tool and how we’ve been monitoring political thinking over the past few weeks (see Politics and Your Mind 9 Oct 2012 (Introducing the NextStage Political Reader), Politics and the Gender Mind 10-12 Oct 2012 (With a Touch of Debate BS and PersonaScoping at the End), Politics and Your Mind 17 Oct 2012 (The Day After the Obama-Romney Hofstra Town Hall Style Debate) and The Fickle Vote (Politics and Your Mind 22 Oct 2012))

23 Oct 2012 was a good day to be undecided, we guessStarting Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012, we started gathering daily political results but didn’t have time to compile and report on them. See that big pinkish purplish piece of the pie in the image on the right? Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 must have been a good day to be undecided because that’s what that pinkish purplish piece of pie means.

A Republican edgeThe Republicans took the lead on Wednesday, 24 Oct 2012, but evidently a greater percentage of Tuesday’s Undecideds went to the Democrats than went to the Republicans.

And now a big leadAnd on Thursday, 25 Oct 2012, we discovered that Thursday’s child, if Democratic, was full of woe because the Republicans took a big lead. There were more Undecideds than on Wednesday but it cost the Democrats dearly.

The winner would have been Republicans if people voted todayRepublicans continued their surge and would have won the election if voting had occurred on Friday, 26 Oct 2012.

Saturday is National Democrats Day, evidentlyBut on Saturday, the Democrats took the election…if it had occurred. What caused this shift? No idea, only that the shift did occur. Perhaps Democratic thinking shines on Saturdays? More people are out doing errands than working and living a life causes more democrating thinking that doing your job? No idea and we’re open to suggestions.

Back to the RepublicansSunday, though, everything went back to the Republicans.

And this is where it really got interesting…

The 'I Don't Care' vote makes itself knownIt is now Monday, 29 Oct 2012. A barely noticeable black slice of the pie started showing up for real on Monday, 29 Oct 2012. That darkish slice indicates people who simply and truly don’t care about politics at all. It suddenly shows up in the female voting studies and has been around for a few days at 3-7% in the male voting studies.

And on Hurricane Sandy Day nobody gives a rat's patootie about politics at all!This picture on the right covers 24 hours from early morning Monday, 29 Oct 2012 to early morning Tuesday, 29 Oct 2012. Nobody cares about politics at all! Hurricane Sandy is stopping the Eastern US from functioning and the eastern US is pulling the rest of the US with it (one person told me about 23′ waves on the Great Lakes. Whoa!).

One person commented that these images show Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in action. Politics don’t mean much when you’re busy bailing water. People either have a pail or they’re in the way.

People are saying Romney but it's up to the UndecidedsBy the way, today, Monday, 5 Nov 2012, Election Eve, people we’re monitoring are saying Romney but if actually had to vote today? The Undecideds make it truly too close to call.

As of today.

Romney’s Water Bill

Evidently Romney was the last in a long line of Republican Massachusetts governors who didn’t pay New Hampshire an agreed upon amount for flood control dams. The number of times New Hampshirites mention this is amazing (to me).

NH and MA had an agreement going back to the 1950s that required NH to designate property to be used to thwart flood waters from sinking parts of MA. If NH doesn’t control the flood waters, most of MA along the Merrimack River is underwater so MA has a vested interest in having NH do this. But NH’s chief source of revenue is property taxes, hence NH is giving up a considerable chunk of change by turning over much of its south eastern corridor’s real estate to MA’s benefit. In return, MA agreed to pay NH 70% of the lost tax revenue for the properties given over to flood control.

New Hampshirites refer to themselves as the last of the diehard Yankees and this subject bangs against Yankee frugality and good neighborship both. “He only pays his bills when it suits his needs and only then when he has to” and “Do you want to put someone in charge of the country who’s willing to screw his neighbor if it suits him? I’m sure the world’s going to love that” were heard in today’s travels.
Scott Brown's Going Indie!

Scott Brown Goes It Alone

Some of MA Senator Scott Brown’s recent campaign ads close with the statement “Vote the Person. Not the Party.”

This is amusing. There’s not a lot of independent political organizations backing Scott Brown (see any of Scott Brown: Campaign Finance/Money – Top Donors – Senator…, Who Is Funding Scott Brown? , A divide of donors in Senate contest and Financial firms support GOP incumbent in Mass. Senate race).

But who is backing him is not an important question. Nobody does anything above street level politicking these days without lots of financial backing, so he can’t be called on the carpet for that.

“Vote the Person. Not the Party.” presents a fine edge brought on by anxiety, fear, perhaps a little madness and a desire to be so in the middle that nobody can afford not to like you. It’s a wonderful self-realigning statement for a finger-pointing time.

The important question is “How many favors does he need to return?” Remember “If its free then you’re what’s being bought and sold”? Your vote is coming at an incredibly high price for everybody.

Smirky Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren’s Smirk

I laughed when I first saw this. I thought about the time, effort and money that went into either finding or creating that image, then thought “You really want to impress me? Put the snarky face on the left and the smiley face on the right. At least then you’ll be causing people’s brains to register you with goodness rather than “Boy, what a wiseacre smirk he’s got on his face. No wonder she’s pissed off at him!”

But we apply lots of neuroscience to our clients’ marketing efforts here at NextStage.

You’d have to expect a response like that from us, I guess…


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