Monday, October 24, 2011

Scott Adams: That Top 1% Thing

One problem with the top 1% simplification is that people who have college degrees aren't experiencing high unemployment. So it would be equally fair - and by that I mean equally illogical - to conclude that highly educated people are stealing the nation's wealth from less educated people. That's a bumper sticker you won't see.

I would also be willing to bet that the average math skills of the people who are doing well in this economy are better than the average math skills of the people who are suffering. In other words, the Occupy Wall Street protesters are probably comprised of more psychology majors than engineering majors. But no one is suggesting that people who are good at math are stealing the nation's wealth from people who are not. That's not a catchy slogan.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

The Vatican Should Try to Save Souls, not Ruin Economies

For all intents and purposes, they want to double down on the cross-subsidization policies that have undermined markets and crippled the global economy.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Arthur B. Laffer: Cain's Stimulating '9-9-9' Tax Reform

The whole purpose of a flat tax, à la 9-9-9, is to lower marginal tax rates and simplify the tax code. With lower marginal tax rates (and boy will marginal tax rates be lower with the 9-9-9 plan), both the demand for and the supply of labor and capital will increase. Output will soar, as will jobs. Tax revenues will also increase enormously—not because tax rates have increased, but because marginal tax rates have decreased.

By making the tax codes a lot simpler, we'd allow individuals and businesses to spend a lot less on maintaining tax records; filing taxes; hiring lawyers, accountants and tax-deferral experts; and lobbying Congress. As I wrote on this page earlier this year ("The 30-Cent Tax Premium," April 18), for every dollar of business and personal income taxes paid, some 30 cents in out-of-pocket expenses also were paid to comply with the tax code. Under 9-9-9, these expenses would plummet without a penny being lost to the U.S. Treasury. It's a win-win.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Government is the biggest job killer - John Stossel

I guess Obama doesn't know that the Transcontinental Railroad was a Solyndra-like Big Government scandal. The railroad didn't make economic sense at the time, so the government subsidized construction and gave the companies huge quantities of the best land on the continent.

As we should expect, without market discipline -- profit and loss -- contractors ripped off the taxpayers. After all, if you get paid by the amount of track you lay, you'll lay more track than necessary.

The Union Pacific and Northern Pacific -- all those rail lines we learned about in history class -- milked the taxpayer and then went broke.

One line worked. The Great Northern never went bankrupt. It was the railroad that got no subsidies.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

TARP After Three Years: It Made Things Worse, Not Better

In short, markets in the five months after TARP’s adoption were much worse off than in the previous five months, and they performed worst of all precisely in the sector (banks) that TARP was supposed to “help.” These empirics are irrefutable. Those who claim TARP was good policy have to believe bank stocks would have plunged 90-95%, except for TARP capping the loss at 72%. Such a claim would be absurd.

Plain logic explains the empirics: investors are right to view political control of banks as bearish, not bullish. Just as this principle applied to U.S. banks amid TARP’s enactment in 2008-2009, it applies this year to European banks amid the EFSF, since they too are being compelled to accept politicized capital injections (and controls) from European states that refuse to fix their own failed finances or buttress their own shoddy bonds.

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How Herman Cain can help GOP field

> Cain’s strengths? His simple “9-9-9” economic platform (a 9 percent business tax, income tax and national sales tax), an affability that coats an unmistakable inner strength and a sunny disposition that projects self-confidence without arrogance.
>> Plus, in a year when voters are heartily sick of professional politicians, he’s an outsider with both a record of accomplishment in business and a compelling personal story. This includes his upbringing in the segregated South, his service as a Navy systems analyst, a successful term as the head of Godfather’s Pizza and a stint as Federal Reserve Bank chief in Kansas City. He’s even a Baptist preacher.
>> There’s not a whiff of the grievance industry about Cain, a throwback to the up-by-your-bootstraps philosophy of Booker T. Washington. His parents were working class (chauffeur, maid) and he graduated from historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta -- the first member of his family to get a college degree. He’s solidly tied to the African-American experience, yet he’s not running as a “black candidate,” but as an American.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Rep. Wolf Slams Grover Norquist on House Floor

> Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) took to the House floor this morning to deliver a blistering critique of American for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist.

> “I want to be perfectly clear: I do not support raising taxes on the American people,” Wolf said. “My concern is with the other individuals, groups, and causes with whom Mr. Norquist is associated that have nothing to do with keeping taxes low.”
>> Wolf listed the following as concerns about Norquist’s personal associations:
>> • His relationship with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff
> • His ties to known terrorist financiers Abdurahman Alamoudi and Sami Al-Arian
> • His support for the Ground Zero Mosque
> • His advocacy for transferring Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil
> • His lobbying on behalf of Fannie Mae
> • Hi representation of the Internet gambling industry
>> “Simply put, I believe Mr. Norquist is connected with or has profited from a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream,” Wolf said.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Power Line posting on Amanda Knox


> Amanda Knox was freed from prison in Italy after an appeals court on Monday overturned her conviction for the sexual assault and murder of Meredith Kercher and the judge ordered her immediate release.

Power Line comments:

> I think the conviction of Knox and Sollecito was an outrageous miscarriage of justice, driven by preoccupations on the part of the prosecutor, and maybe some policemen, that can only be described as medieval. There was no meaningful evidence against them. None. And–this is a fact that is often lost sight of–we actually know who killed Meredith Kercher. It was Rudy Guede.
>> Let me amend that. We know for sure that Guede raped Kercher, based on DNA evidence that, as far as I know, is undisputed.

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