The last week of last year (2017), maybe even the last 2 weeks of  the year, I remember getting a lot of email solicitations: end of the year solicitations from charitable organizations, some of which I've donated to, many of which I hadn't. Every day though, seems like I had at least a few of them, if not 10 or 15, land in my email inbox, reminding me of the impending Dec 31 deadline to make a tax-deductible donation.

This year, not a single one – whoops! One arrived in my inbox just now as I'm writing this, the only one, but it was just asking for a gift: there's no mention of any tax benefit. Unless my spam filter has become a lot more sophisticated this year, but I don't think so.

The difference: last year charitable donations in the US were tax deductible. Changes in the tax code eliminated that for 2018 and on. Part of the Republican plot to make America selfish again.

Obviously, this is no good for charities. There's no financial incentive to be generous. It remains to be seen whether it will be good for ordinary folks paying ordinary tax bills. I suspect it's not, but I haven't done my taxes yet, so the jury is still out.

But they did manage to eliminate, at one stroke, a whole genre of spam. I guess that's something.