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Tag Archives: Taxes/regulation

Income Inequality (I’m tooting my own horn)

I’ve been on the beat of income inequality since I started blogging here.  My theory: We changed the way we make money from one of making it from producing (polishing rocks into tools) to one of making money from money.  When you can make money from moving money, you don’t need to compete.  Just buy back your stock, just collect rents, just get your tax cuts. The World Bank has a new report out on Inequality 2018.   I want to direct you to a chart that...

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Robert J. Samuelson Goes Whole Hog Against Dems On Social Programs

Robert J. Samuelson Goes Whole Hog Against Dems On Social Programs I want to follow Dean Baker in dumping on the Robert J. Samuelson Monday, 9/11/19 WaPo column on “The Democrats’ fairy-tale campaigns.”  He may be right that lots of proposals have been put forward with no clear accounting of how much all of them will cost, but RJS also fails to recognize some might save money, such as a properly structured universal health care program that might move...

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Scenes from the May employment report: expect more lackluster reports, and layoffs in manufacturing

Scenes from the May employment report: expect more lackluster reports, and layoffs in manufacturing Three months ago when the poor February jobs report came out, I was just about the only commentator who saw it as a harbinger rather than an outlier. On Friday the naysayers got silenced.Let’s see how the more leading aspects of the employment report played out, with an eye towards the near future. To cut to the chase, expect more lackluster total payroll...

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For party voting preference, which is more important, age or education? Looks like we have an answer

For party voting preference, which is more important, age or education? Looks like we have an answer For all the slicing and dicing that has been done in voting metrics for 2016 and 2018, one quandary has stood out. We know that higher educational attainment has strongly correlated with voting for Democrats, and we also know that there was a stark age difference in votes between Clinton and Trump in 2016: a majority of voters younger than 45 voted for...

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A Bernie Sanders Narrative for Seniors

A Bernie Sanders Narrative for Seniors What follows is some unsolicited advice for the Sanders campaign. Politico has an important piece on the downside of the extraordinary age bias in Sanders’ support.  Like a teeter totter, the large advantage Sanders enjoys among younger voters is counterbalanced by his dismal showing among the older crowd.  The article reviews voting breakdowns from the 2016 campaign and current poll results, and it shows that...

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A Very Erroneous Chart in the Economic Report of the President

A Very Erroneous Chart in the Economic Report of the President Menzie Chinn has been reading the latest Economic Report of the President and finds a very erroneous and misleading chart, which is figure 1-6 from this this document (see page 45), which states: Equipment investment, in particular, exhibited a pronounced spike in the fourth quarter of 2017, as both the House and Senate versions of the TCJA bill, which were respectively introduced on...

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Tariffs and Monetary Policy: Moral Hazard and Rent Seeking

Tariffs and Monetary Policy: Moral Hazard and Rent Seeking President Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico over immigration has pushed Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell to say that if the tariffs lead to economic growth slowing, the Fed will cut interest rates.  While the bump may be about to end, this announcement was followed by a  solid global surge of stock markets on June 4 followed by smaller increases the next day.  This sets up a moral...

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The sources of the next recession

The sources of the next recession While we are waiting for the ISM May manufacturing survey and construction spending data to be released later this morning, both of which will give us important clues to Friday’s jobs report, let me write down some thoughts on the nerdy question I ruminated about this weekend: what is the most likely source of the next recession? I should start by noting that I remain on “recession watch” for later this year, as in, a...

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A Tariff Laffer Curve?

A Tariff Laffer Curve? Douglas Irwin is a very good economist. Let’s highlight his Historical Perspectives on U.S. Trade Policy: The Civil War marked the beginning of a long period of high U.S. tariffs. These tariffs served the dual purpose of raising revenue for the federal government and keeping out foreign goods, ostensibly for the protection of U.S. labor and business. After the war, tariffs (which generated roughly half of government revenue)...

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Kenneth Thomas in WSJ

Kenneth Thomas (an AB contributor) was quoted April 7  in the Journal a second time on the general question of how to solve the problem of subsidy bidding wars.  Unfortunately it is behind a paywall…but worth pointing to…  WSJ.COM Opinion | Pass a Law to Combat Rent-Seeking Congress could invoke the Commerce Clause to limit destructive competition over corporate subsidies. ...

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