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Tag Archives: Taxes/regulation

Desirable incentive effects of income taxation V

Fifth and last. Not relevant to the USA. Back in the day when US unions weren’t totally feeble, MacDonald and Solow wrote a brilliant paper on collective bargaining and tax based incomes policy. Imagine a world in which firms must negotiation with unions (for example imagine Europe). The unions have two aims — they want high wages and they want high employment in the sector they represent. This means that a GM&UAW right to manage contract...

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Debt and Taxes II

This is an extended post on the caveat to debt and taxes 1. It is joint work with Brad DeLong and Barbara Annicchiarico. The point is that, in his Presidential Address, Olivier Blanchard notes that the argument that higher debt causes increased welfare is weaker than the argument that it is feasible. The Treasury can afford to increase debt D_t just by just giving bonds away and can pay interest and principal without ever raising taxes so long...

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Debt and Taxes I

There might be such a thing as a free lunch. There will soon be a Democrat in the White House and Republicans will soon rediscover their hatred of deficits (which were no problem when they were cutting taxes on firms and rich individuals). We are going to read a lot of arguments about irresponsibly burdening our children with debt (which ignore the fact that they will also inherit most of the bonds). We will be reminded that sooner or later we...

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Desirable Incentive Effects of Income Taxation III

This is the third post in a series. I will discuss advantages of income taxation different from the obvious advantage that taking from people with high income hurts them less than taking from people with low income. Here again, I will assume that, in equilibrium, income tax is returned to the people who pay it as a lump sum. I do this to focus on the incentive effects of income taxation. The first two posts are here and here. In standard...

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Desirable Incentive Effects of Income Taxation II

This is the second post in a series. I will discuss advantages of income taxation different from the obvious advantage that taking from people with high income hurts them less than taking from people with low income. Here again, I will assume that, in equilibrium, income tax is returned to the people who pay it as a lump sum. I do this to focus on the incentive effects of income taxation. In standard models, these effects are undesirable and...

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Desirable incentive effects of income taxation I

Cases in which income taxation is preferable to lump sum taxation with the same ex post net transfers. The main reason for progressive taxation is that the welfare cost of taking money from wealthy people is lower, because they have a lower marginal utility of consumption. I would like to discuss other advantages of income taxation, that is cases in which it can cause an increase in money metric welfare, or, in other words cases in which a...

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Trump As The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Trump As The Grinch Who Stole Christmas  So the Congress struggled for months after the House passed a $3.3 trillion followup Covid relief bill, which Senate Majority Leader McConnell blocked and kept blocking.  House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin kept negotiating and coming up with this or that proposal, only to mostly have McConnell shoot it down, or sometimes Pres. Trump himself doing so.  Finally after the election, and with...

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Millions of India’s farmers fight for their economic lives

As a bit of a comparison, the 2018 Distribution of Federal Payroll and Income Taxes shows 761,000 household taxpayers making up 4 tenths of 1% of all taxpayers having the highest income in the US. I am not sure if we can get it as finite as what India shows in wealth. With a population of ~1.3 billion, the wealth of 831 individuals amounts to 25% of the nation’s GDP. The 831 are calling the shots for farmers in India and the nation. “Millions of...

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Housing permits and starts for November: yet more evidence of an economy primed for takeoff in 2021

Housing permits and starts for November: yet more evidence of an economy primed for takeoff in 2021 If there was bad news yesterday in the further increase of initial jobless claims, there was also good news in the 10+ year highs in new housing permits. Here’s the graph of permits (blue), single-family permits (red, right scale), and housing starts (green): Not only total permits but also the much less noisy single-family permits made...

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Let’s make a coronavirus deal?

Latest on the relief negotiations is here.  Short version, Pelosi and Mnuchin are still negotiating over a $1.9 trillion bill; McConnell is floating the idea of a $500 billion dollar bill, but it is far from clear he can or even wants to pass anything. If Pelosi can get to a deal with Mnuchin, that’s great.  I still think that the House should pass a bill with or without sign off from Mnuchin and challenge Trump and Senate Republicans to pass it. But I...

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