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What libertarianism has become and will become - State Capacity Libertarianism - Marginal REVOLUTION
State Capacity Libertarianism is more likely to make a mistake of say endorsing high-speed rail from LA to Sf (if indeed that is a mistake), and decrying the ability of U.S. governments to get such a thing done. “Which mistakes they are most likely to commit” is an underrated way of assessing political philosophies.

You will note the influence of Peter Thiel on State Capacity Libertarianism, though I have never heard him frame the issues in this way.
economics  politics  libertarianism 
20 days ago by whip_lash
Medieval Price List
The list of medieval prices which follows is by no means complete or thoroughly researched; I merely extracted references from some of the books I have, and I thought others might like to inspect it. The sources I used are listed at the end. If an item is listed several times, it is because I had several references I wished to record.
history  economics  finance 
7 weeks ago by whip_lash
Socialism vs. Capitalism: My Debate with John Marsh - Econlib
Here’s the video for my Socialism vs. Capitalism debate with John Marsh.  (Not to be confused with my earlier debate on the same topic with Elizabeth Bruenig). 
june 2019 by whip_lash
The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre of 1902 Did Not Go as Planned - Atlas Obscura
It turned out the hunters would rather amputate a live animal’s tail than take a healthy rat, capable of breeding and creating so many more rats—with those valuable tails—out of commission. There were also reports that some Vietnamese were smuggling foreign rats into the city. And then the final straw: Health inspectors discovered, in the countryside on the outskirts of Hanoi, pop-up farming operations dedicated to breeding rats.
economics  idiocracy  vietnam  history 
may 2019 by whip_lash
Why the U.S. Should Adopt the Nordic Approach to Private Roads – The DeVoe L. Moore Center Blog
Two-thirds of roads in Sweden are privately operated and managed by local Private Road Associations (PRAs). These road associations are composed of homeowners who live along private roads
economics  government  infrastructure  libertarianism  finland  sweden  traffic  transportation 
april 2019 by whip_lash
Peak California – Byrne Hobart – Medium
Once upon a time, California was cheap. In the 50s and 60s, it was a place where you could work part-time to fund your biker gang. In the 70s, you could work part-time to fund your revolutionary terrorist cell. Such side projects are infeasible today. If you’re going to run a massive bombing campaign out of a house in San Francisco, you’ll need to raise at least a mid-six figure seed round.
business  california  economics 
march 2019 by whip_lash
Tax-and-spend progressives put faith in flawed policy theory | TheHill
The basic problem is that MMT proponents mix up the roles of fiscal and monetary policy. They argue that monetary policy should play a supporting role, holding down interest rates to reduce the cost of public borrowing.

Meanwhile, the thinking goes, fiscal austerity should be the tool used to hold down inflation when aggregate spending begins to exceed the productive capacity of the economy.

Unfortunately, there is a long history suggesting that this approach will not work.</blockq...
economics  macroeconomics  mmt 
january 2019 by whip_lash
Resources Have Become Nearly 5 Times More Abundant Since 1980 - Hit & Run :
That's great, but their breakthrough insight is that, since 1980, global real hourly income rate per capita has grown by more than 80 percent, which means that the commodities that took 60 minutes of work to buy in 1980 now take only 21 minutes of labor to buy in 2017. As a result, the "time-price" of their basket of commodities has fallen by 64.7 percent.
commodities  economics 
december 2018 by whip_lash
Do the Rich Capture All the Gains from Economic Growth?
Studies that use panel data — data that is generated from following the same people over time — consistently find that the largest gains over time accrue to the poorest workers and that the richest workers get very little of the gains.
economics  inequality 
december 2018 by whip_lash
The world’s governments have picked 169
well-meaning targets, promising everything to
everyone. But too many targets mean no priorities.
Our project found the targets that would
do the most good for the world. The difference?
Doing $62.5 trillion more good for the world
economics  politics  government  philanthropy 
november 2018 by whip_lash
Free Vacations, $100,000 Discounts: Homebuilders Get Desperate - Bloomberg
Ram Konara, a real estate broker in suburban Dallas, is raking in freebies this year: trips to Lake Tahoe and Santa Barbara in California, Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, and a dude ranch in Wyoming. The homebuyers he represents are cashing in, too. They’re winning price cuts of more than $100,000, on top of free upgrades such as media rooms, cabinets, and blinds.
realestate  dallas  economics  economy 
november 2018 by whip_lash
OPEC's Worst Nightmare: Permian Is About to Pump a Lot More - Bloomberg
At that level, American net imports of petroleum will fall in December 2019 to 320,000 barrels a day, the lowest since 1949, when Harry Truman was in the White House. In the oil-trading community, the expectation is that, perhaps for just a single week, the U.S. will become a net oil exporter, something that hasn’t happened for nearly 75 years.
oil  energy  economics 
november 2018 by whip_lash
You Don’t Understand Our Culture – Econlib
What are the key differences between GMU econ blogger culture and mainstream intellectual culture?
culture  economics 
september 2018 by whip_lash
Repo 105 - Epsilon Theory
It worked like this. A few days before the end of the calendar quarter, Lehman would “sell” billions of dollars worth of loans to another bank. I put “sell” in quotation marks, because Lehman ALSO had an agreement with these other banks to buy the loans back a few days after the quarter ended for the same price as they were sold, plus enough money to cover whatever the going interest rate was on that cash for the few days it was in Lehman’s hands. This is what’s called a repurchase agreement, or repo, hence the name Repo 105 (the 105 refers to the 5% overcollateralization that counterparty banks required to lend the cash to Lehman even for a few days – they knew Lehman was in trouble). Since financial reporting happens at the end of the quarter, Lehman’s books would look like they had more cash and fewer loans than they actually did.
economics  business  finance  fraud  crime 
september 2018 by whip_lash
In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium | Quanta Magazine
John Nash’s notion of equilibrium is ubiquitous in economic theory, but a new study shows that it is often impossible to reach efficiently.
communication  economics  gametheory 
april 2018 by whip_lash
Short Selling as a Business Model - Bloomberg
Weisenthal's proposal was for disruptors offering a free product; the idea was that the entire business model would consist of (1) offering a free service that public companies offer for money and (2) paying for the service by shorting the public companies. But there's a more boring and more widely generalizable -- yet still vanishingly rare -- version of this approach in which it just augments the disruptors' business model: You sell better widgets cheaper and make a profit that way, while doubling down by also shorting your competitors.
economics  business 
april 2018 by whip_lash
Robin Hanson on Signaling and Self Deception (Ep. 35)
If intros aren’t about introductions, then what’s this here for? Is not including one a countersignal? Either way, you’ll enjoy this conversation — and that says a lot about you.
february 2018 by whip_lash
You Can't Have Denmark Without Danes - Bloomberg
But what Hvidberg is suggesting is that these things come in a package. You can’t simply pull some elements out and get the same results. And basically all the Danes I spoke to, from far-left Green Party types to market liberals, agreed that Denmark would be hard to replicate without Danes.

I asked Bjornskov if there was some way the U.S. could make itself more trusting. Unfortunately, he told me, the literature is better at showing us how to destroy trust than to build it.

Trust can improve over time. Bjornskov says that trust levels have risen in Europe in the decades following World War II. But scholars don’t know how societies can engineer that kind of improvement. Declines can also be remarkably persistent; areas of Africa that were ravaged by slavery still show social trust deficits centuries later.
sociology  denmark  trust  economics 
february 2018 by whip_lash
To Get Into the 1%, You Need Adjusted Gross Income of $480,930 - Bloomberg
What does it take to get into the 1 percent? The price of admission is an adjusted gross income -- basically, what you make before deductions -- of $480,930.
money  economics 
february 2018 by whip_lash
Capitalism and Communism which briefly resembled victor and vanquished, increasingly look more like Thelma and Louise; a tragic couple sent over the edge by forces beyond their control. What comes next is anyone’s guess and the world hangs in the balance. 
capitalism  economics 
february 2018 by whip_lash
Economists Say the Rise of Monopoly Power Explains Five Puzzling Trends - Bloomberg
Two changes explain all the discrepancies, they say. First, there’s been an increase in monopoly power, likely caused by an increase of power in the hands of dominant companies. Second, productivity growth has slowed and the population has aged, driving down the natural rate of interest.
february 2018 by whip_lash
Kialo - Empowering Reason
Kialo is designed to facilitate constructive debate about the most important issues in the world, without turning into the usual Internet Shouting Factory. We aspire to become not just where you come to argue, but also where you can explore the reasons why people disagree and see diverse points of view on the issues that matter.
economics  politics  debate 
february 2018 by whip_lash
Could Self-Driving Trucks Be Good for Truckers? - The Atlantic
The other set of numbers in the model—the utilization rate of the self-driving trucks—is the component that leads Uber to a different analysis of the effect that these vehicles will have on truckers. Basically, if the self-driving trucks are used far more efficiently, it would drive down the cost of freight, which would stimulate demand, leading to more business. And, if more freight is out on the roads, and humans are required to run it around local areas, then there will be a greater, not lesser, need for truck drivers.
driving  economics  trucking  business  finance  uber 
february 2018 by whip_lash
This Tiny Hedge Fund Just Made 8,600% On a Vix Bet - Bloomberg
On Jan. 2, the managers put down $200,000 on what looked like a lottery ticket, with each SVXY put costing 34 cents. On Feb. 6, they sold the 6,300 contracts at about $28 each, leaving them with $17.5 million.
trading  finance  economics 
february 2018 by whip_lash
There's a Time Bomb Bigger Than the VIX in the Market - Bloomberg
The worry is that investors will stampede out of loan ETFs, which account for about $10 billion of the $156 billion in loan fund investments, faster than the ETF managers can sell the underlying loans in their portfolio. This would cause a gap in the value of the ETF and the value of the loans in it, or worse, the possibility the funds may not be able to immediately come up with money for investors looking to cash out. Fear of not being able to get your money back is what causes bank runs and financial mayhem in general.
economics  investing 
february 2018 by whip_lash
This is the stock market crash we needed | The Spectator
But now, if average workers are finally being paid more, there’s the prospect of inflation rising, and higher interest rates to counter it. That pushes up bond yields, which makes equities less attractive while raising general borrowing costs. After a decade of ultra-cheap money, this comes as a shock. The reality is, though, that ultra-loose monetary policy has long been counterproductive, and should have been done away with years ago. What is a shock for the markets is overdue good news for the rest of the economy.
economics  business 
february 2018 by whip_lash
Preventive Care Saves Money? Sorry, It’s Too Good to Be True - The New York Times
Contrary to conventional wisdom, it tends to cost money, but it improves quality of life at a very reasonable price.
business  health  healthcare  economics 
february 2018 by whip_lash
Kansas Provides Compelling Evidence of Failure of "Supply-Side" Tax Cuts | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
In sum, there is overwhelming empirical evidence that Kansas’ enormous tax cuts failed to improve the state’s economic performance relative to its neighboring states and all 50 states taken together to any significant degree.

politics  economics  tax 
january 2018 by whip_lash
Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: The Market for Lemons
In this article, we argue that the mafia arose as a response to an exogenous shock in the demand for oranges and lemons, following Lind's discovery in the late eighteenth century that citrus fruits cured scurvy. More specifically, we claim that mafia appeared in locations where producers made high profits from citrus production for overseas export. Operating in an environment with a weak rule of law, the mafia protected citrus production from predation and acted as intermediaries between producers and exporters. Using original data from a parliamentary inquiry in 1881–1886 on Sicilian towns, the Damiani Inquiry, we show that mafia presence is strongly related to the production of oranges and lemons.
agriculture  crime  culture  economics 
january 2018 by whip_lash
Ten Year's Worth of Learnings About Pricing
There are only 3 pricing strategies: Skimming, Maximization, and Penetration. Skimming means charging the first to buy a product more than the later buyers. Maximization is charging the most you can extract in each sale. Penetration is under-pricing to gain share.
business  economics  sales  pricing 
january 2018 by whip_lash
The most valuable military real estate in the world – POLITICO
As France — the first to maintain a military presence in the country — slowly abandons its bases due to budgetary constraints, others have been moving in. The United States recently opened a second base on Chabelley Airfield — unmentioned in its public list of overseas bases — after its drones interfered with air traffic at Camp Lemonnier.

The country hosts China and Japan’s only foreign military bases. There’s an Italian base too and Saudi Arabia is building one as well. Djibouti has made overtures to Turkey. And, according to Mohammed, (and later an second independent source) Russia has made inquiries.

djibouti  war  economics  africa 
january 2018 by whip_lash
An Argument Against Open Borders and Liberal Hubris - Quillette
Immigration is important. As an immigrant myself who is delighted and grateful to have been accepted by my hosts, I very much appreciate this. It needs rational and humane consideration. But the respectable extremism of open borders advocates, who, on the basis of dubious projections, would transform our societies, exposing them to radical division and strife, should concern us; less because their wishes are likely to be granted than because the seriousness with which they are taken shows that even more moderate liberals are radical on this matter.

economics  immigration  culture 
january 2018 by whip_lash
Stanford paper says rent control drives up San Francisco rents - Curbed SF
“Landlords whose properties were exogenously covered by rent control reduced their supply of available rental housing by 15 percent.”

california  economics  idiocracy 
january 2018 by whip_lash
A new study says much of the rise in inequality is an illusion. Should you believe it? - Vox
After the tax cuts, companies started directing more money to raises. Rather than exploding actual inequality, Auten and Splinter write, the Reagan tax changes mostly shifted money that used to go to rich people through stocks so that it instead went to rich people in the form of salary.

That looks like a big increase in the rich’s slice of the pie on paper, because the higher salaries show up on tax returns, but the increasing value to shareholders doesn’t, at least until the shares are sold.

economics  tax 
january 2018 by whip_lash
Dallas tech workers make well over national average salary, among highest paid in Texas - Dallas Business Journal
Technology workers in the Dallas metropolitan area make 10 percent more than the national average, according to the professional services and staffing company Robert Half International Inc.

dallas  jobs  bsiness  economics 
january 2018 by whip_lash
No wonder Marvin the robot was miserable: AI will make the rich richer – and the poor poorer • The Register
They anticipate a period like the Great Depression, when agricultural innovations meant fewer workers were needed to produce food, reducing agricultural prices and incomes, and thereby driving down demand for urban products.

economics  ai  business 
january 2018 by whip_lash
Seattle's Minimum Wage Killed the 'Five-Dollar Footlong' - Hit & Run :
According to researchers at the University of Washington's School of Public Policy and Governance, the number of hours worked in low-wage jobs has declined by around 9 percent since the start of 2016 "while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent." The net outcome: In 2016, the "higher" minimum wage actually lowered low-wage workers' earnings by an average of $125 a month.

economics  minimumwage 
january 2018 by whip_lash
The case for Ethereum maximalism – Eli Dourado
More generally, you can think of each cryptocurrency as being characterized by a multi-dimensional set of attributes: security, transaction cost, network size, governance quality, robustness of scripting languages, and several others. My mental model is that when one coin is better than another on some attributes and no worse in any other, then it dominates the other coin. A dominated coin can have no value in equilibrium.
cryptocurrency  economics  bitcoin  ethereum 
january 2018 by whip_lash
Dallas-Fort Worth scores a passing grade when it comes to luring Amazon's HQ2 - Dallas Business Journal
According to the CNBC report, Texas – including Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and Houston – received a grade of a B- based on the media outlet's 2017 America's Top States for Business and the U.S. Census Bureau, which seemed to favor several southern cities with strong economies.

Texas was given a passing grade in part because of its developed infrastructure and options for higher education, as well as its history of being a generous state when it comes to offering economic incentives.
texas  amazon  business  economics 
january 2018 by whip_lash
Confiscating Private Land For ... Frogs | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis - IBD
However, the frog has not been seen anywhere in Louisiana since 1965 — and the Louisiana lands provide only one of three essential requirements for dusky frog survival: they have "ephemeral ponds" that are dry in the summer but wet in the springtime when the frogs breed.

They do not have the necessary "open canopy" forests, where dusky frogs can live underground, or the essential "abundant herbaceous ground cover" between the ponds and forests. That means the Louisiana private lands are not now, and cannot be, critical habitat for this species.

FWS bureaucrats viewed these facts as minor inconveniences. The Service doesn't own these private lands — and doesn't want to spend its budget or even work with conservation groups to purchase them.

The agency simply decreed that the Louisiana landowners must transform their lands into appropriate habitat that would ensure dusky gopher frog survival — after some are transported to the new habitat — and must do so at their own expense.
ecology  economics  law 
january 2018 by whip_lash
Why Low Inflation Is No Surprise by J. Bradford DeLong - Project Syndicate
Those who have used the prevailing economic fable about the 1970s to predict upward outbreaks of inflation in the 1990s, the 2000s, and now the 2010s have all been proven wrong. Why, then, does the narrative still have such a hold on us today?
The best – albeit inadequate and highly tentative – explanation that I have heard is that it fits with our cognitive biases, because it tells us what we want to hear. It seems to be in our nature to look for stories about sin and retribution, crime and punishment, error and comeuppance.
psychology  economics  inflation 
january 2018 by whip_lash
State Governments Are Already Gaming the Republican Tax Overhaul - Bloomberg
If state lawmakers succeed in working around the new cap on SALT deductions, federal tax collectors would miss out on revenue they’re depending on to fund the corporate tax cuts at the center of the overhaul plan.

The California bill builds on a nascent movement among states to provide full and partial tax credits in return for donations that fund tuition vouchers for private and religious schools. In a memo released in 2011, the Internal Revenue Service gave its blessing for taxpayers to claim federal deductions on those gifts, providing at least some basis for the idea that the strategy could work.

politics  economics  tax 
january 2018 by whip_lash
I started collecting ER bills. The American Hospital Association started warning its members. - Vox
Hospitals typically keep their prices private. One study found it was significantly easier to get information from hospitals about how much their parking costs then track down the price of a common medical procedure. When I have tried to conduct interviews with hospital executives about how they set their prices, I find that many are reluctant to comment.

That’s why we launched our project to collect emergency medical bills — to bring more transparency to prices that are typically opaque (and often set very high).
healthcare  money  economics 
january 2018 by whip_lash
May apologises to patients for delayed operations over Christmas - Business Insider
On Tuesday, the NHS National Emergency Pressures Panel took the drastic step of urging health trusts to delay non-urgent operations until at least the end of the month. Officials said up to 55,000 operations could be deferred.

nhs  healthcare  economics 
january 2018 by whip_lash
The Seattle Review of Books - Unstacking the deck
Actions like my father’s are a clear example of what Richard Reeves calls “opportunity hoarding” in his newest book, Dream Hoarders. Opportunity hoarding is defined as actions taken by upper middle class parents that aim to attain “valuable, finite opportunities” for their children “by unfair means”: unpaid internships, legacy preferences at universities, exclusionary zoning laws and schooling, and more. The author argues that these hoarding actions perpetuate income inequality that acts as a “wealth trap” — where Americans with wealthy parents never truly have to worry about falling down the economic ladder. In other words, we have our butts covered.

culture  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Who Are the Top 1 Percent in America? The Answer from New Research Might Surprise You -
They find that a significant chunk of the income accruing to the top 1 percent of earners in the United States today goes to the owners of mid-market firms in a broad range of non-financial industries around the country. In other words, it’s not Wall Street; it appears not to even be capital at all (or not just capital) that’s driving income inequality in America today. It’s the working rich.
economics  finance  business 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Be Kind to Wall Street in 2018 - Bloomberg
Wall Street is about as close as it has ever been to being full of working stiffs. Clock-punchers. These days, throw a paper airplane across a trading floor at 5 p.m. and it won’t hit a soul. Everyone goes home instead of working late on deals. At the beginning of any conversation between two finance workers, one will ask “How’s business?” And the other will answer, “It sucks,” and then there is some gallows humor and the conversation can proceed. Most traders of my generation came into the business dreaming of making millions. They are now satisfied with being able to pay college tuition and property taxes, with maybe a little left over.
economics  finance 
december 2017 by whip_lash
The U.S. Is Becoming the World’s New Tax Haven - Bloomberg
While the rest of the world provides the transparency that the U.S. demanded, the U.S. is rapidly becoming the new Switzerland. Financial institutions catering to the global elite, such as Rothschild & Co. and Trident Trust Co., have moved accounts from offshore havens to Nevada, Wyoming and South Dakota. New York lawyers are actively marketing the country as a place to park assets. A Russian billionaire, for example, can put real-estate assets in a U.S. trust and rest assured that neither the U.S. tax authorities nor his home-country government will know anything about it. That’s a level of secrecy that not even Vanuatu can offer.

U.S.A! U.S.A!
economics  tax 
december 2017 by whip_lash
"A New Kind Of Hybrid": The Terrifying New Way Disadvantaged People Are Buying Cars - The Truth About Cars
Perhaps that makes it easier for the reader to understand why I am personally disgusted by Credit Acceptance Corp (NASDAQ:CACC) and their tactics. When nearly one-eighth of the Detroit civil court docket is taken up by one company, then I can’t see that as anything other than a weaponized use of the courts against people who shouldn’t have their loans in the first place. At Ford Credit, we considered a ratio of one repossession to every hundred approvals to be cause for concern; what does it say if you’re running at dozens of times that level? There’s nothing accidental about a rate like that.
cars  economics  politics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
This one weird trick lets blue states avoid Trump’s tax hike - Vox
But perhaps the most promising option, teased by a large group of tax law experts and vocally championed by prominent liberal economist Dean Baker, is for states to repeal their income taxes and replace them with employer-side payroll taxes. This might appear like a minor technical change. But it would not only totally offset the new limit on deducting state taxes — it would amount to a sizable tax cut for many middle-class families and would vastly simplify tax preparation by freeing people up from filing their own state taxes.
tax  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Being a Neighbor in the Gentrification Era - CityLab
I think both the person who is overly obsessed with fitting into the old neighborhood and the person who could care less about that both can have severe dysfunctions in the way they are oriented to the neighborhood. The only alternative is for people to stay in their place—but what does that mean for everyone to stay in their place? Let's articulate what we mean by that.
gentrification  economics  cities 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Could Rome have had an industrial revolution? - Reaction
All of this suggests that a better understanding of why sustained or modern economic growth did not occur during earlier “efflorescences” can help us better understand which factors were important in the explaining the transition that did take place after 1800.
economics  history 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Are There Any Stock Bears Left in America? - Bloomberg
Maybe it’s the Fed, maybe it’s Donald Trump, maybe it’s bitcoin froth seeping into equities. But lately, daring, animal spirits and greed have supplanted fear as the bull market powers toward its ninth year. Bears that once roared at any sign of trouble now seldom make a peep. Too many dire predictions failed to come true.

economics  finance  stocks 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Charles Schwab investment strategist on markets, equities, bitcoin - Business Insider
Usually we always look for a certain sector or country that's going to do well, but for the first time in 20 years, correlations have come down. Now, this is important, this is how different markets behave relative to each other. So we're seeing the lowest correlations, meaning the best benefit from diversification, in 20 years.
december 2017 by whip_lash
I wish you a very neoliberal Christmas, Scott Sumner | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
PS. I define neoliberalism as a combination of relatively open markets and borders, deregulation, sensible environmental policies (such as pollution taxes), and sensible (non-punitive) policies of redistribution. The details may vary from one country to another.

december 2017 by whip_lash
No, bitcoin isn't likely to consume all the world’s electricity in 2020
But here's another thing you might want to know: All of that analysis is based on a single estimate of bitcoin's power consumption that is highly questionable, according to some long-time energy and IT researchers. Despite their skepticism, this power-consumption estimate from the website Digiconomist has quickly been accepted as gospel by many journalists, research analysts and even billionaire investors.
bitcoin  cryptocurrency  economics  energy  environment 
december 2017 by whip_lash
The South Will Rise Again Under GOP Tax Plan - Bloomberg
My prediction: Over time, New York City will lose its status as the intellectual and cultural capital of America. The real estate market in California, at stretched valuations, will suffer. Minnesota, Oregon, Iowa, Maine and others will also feel the pain. Florida and Texas will become the new centers of finance and innovation, with real estate values in Austin and Miami -- and even Nashville -- reaching valuations once reserved for California and New York over the course of a few decades.

texas  tax  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
The Big, Permanent Tax Increase Inside the Tax Cut Act - Bloomberg
Is this a travesty? No, not really. The argument that chained CPI is a better measure of the cost of living than the unchained version seems pretty legit. Still, switching to chained CPI does have consequences. In the case of the tax code, it amounts to a stealthily growing tax hike -- increasing taxes by just $800 million next year but by $31.5 billion in 2027, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. The total increase over the next decade is $133.5 billion, in a bill that cuts taxes by $1.5 trillion over that period. In the decade after that, switching to chained CPI will bring in almost $500 billion in additional revenue, estimates the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. And the amount will just keep going up.

As someone who has complained repeatedly about the negative revenue implications of the tax bill, I guess I shouldn't gripe too much about one of its most fiscally responsible provisions. But it does seem important to note that, because of the way tax brackets work, the tax increases brought on by chained indexing will be bigger in percentage terms for those near the bottom of the income distribution than for those at the top.
tax  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
AT&T's Tax Cut Bonus Isn't Just a Gimmick - Bloomberg
A new study of businesses in Germany, where municipalities levy corporate taxes at different rates, came to the similar conclusion that "51 percent of the corporate tax burden is passed onto workers." Kevin Hassett, the chairman of President Trump's Council of Economic Advisers, took a lot of flak from other economists (and from me) for a report that seemed to claim that workers would get a wage boost 2.5 to 5.6 times bigger than the actual corporate tax cut. But the assertion that some of the corporate tax cut will flow to workers actually isn't controversial at all.
tax  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Dianne Feinstein's Misunderstanding of the Mortgage Deduction, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Second, not that many people who will buy houses for more than $750K will finance them with all debt. Most of them will pay a substantial down payment. Take someone who buys a house for $1 million. That person will likely pay at least 10% down. So the mortgage would be, at most, $900K. Of that, the buyer could deduct interest on $750K. So with an interest rate of, say, 4%, the buyer couldn't deduct 4% of $150K annually, which is $6,000. At the old marginal tax of, say, 28%, the buyer loses $1,680 in extra federal taxes. That's not a large amount, especially for someone who can afford a million dollar home.
realestate  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
The U.S. rental boom is over.
The foreclosure crisis dumped a lot of high earners who have traditionally bought homes into the rental market. Rapidly rebounding housing markets, with skyrocketing home prices in big cities, kept them there. Now the number of renters has reached a plateau. Is it about to fall? And if it does, will those high-income renters be the first to buy? (That this is occurring right as Republicans prepare to neutralize the mortgage interest deduction and some local property tax deductions, removing two big financial perks of homeownership, adds an interesting twist.)
realestate  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
James Meek · Somerdale to Skarbimierz · LRB 20 April 2017
The rise of Law and Justice and the Brexit referendum victory only make sense if economics and culture are seen as two aspects of a single field, whose fundamental substance is the collective psyche of voters; a field in which apparently unconnected economic and cultural abstractions (GDP, a lost empire) and apparently unconnected economic and cultural particularities (how much you get paid, the history of the building where you work) have links and relative weights that economics, and globalised consumer capitalism, struggle to measure.
politics  economics  britain  poland  europe 
december 2017 by whip_lash
James Burnham’s Managerial Elite - American Affairs Journal
Managerialism succeeds because it proves more capable of fulfilling capitalist desires than capitalism itself. Simply to continue acquiring, the bourgeoisie must turn to the managers. But the impetus behind managerialism is not merely the desire for new technology. Burnham points out that the medieval master artisans required greater training and skill than the average capitalist laborer or even the typical bourgeois entrepreneur. Increasing technical complexity alone does not give rise to managerialism. Rather, it is the coordination of massive systems—mass production and consumption, mass politics, mass armies, and so on—that necessitates distinctively managerial competencies. Managerialism is thus a consequence of capitalism’s universalist ambitions, and its power derives from the managers’ ability to exert dominance over an ever-widening sphere.
economics  politics  burnham  managerialism 
december 2017 by whip_lash
A way to value crypto assets · Jimi Smoot
I must admit that when I first started writing this post, I thought I would be able to easily find people who: a) have their hourly rate listed in Bitcoin, b) are willing to be paid in Bitcoin. I looked for a bit and there are quite a few of places (like or where people are willing to be paid in Bitcoin, but the fees are listed in USD, which is very interesting. This is likely due to crypto’s insane volatility which I’ve talked about before.
cryptocurrency  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
"How can Bitcoin be a good store of value if its price is so volatile?" - Marginal REVOLUTION
Volatility is a feature of Bitcoin, not a bug, and that is in part for reasons that have nothing to do with speculation or bubbliness, but rather follow from the contours of the utility function.
bitcoin  cryptocurrency  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
NAFTA Update: Nobody Has Any Idea What's Going On
However, with no real progress made, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to envision a different outcome. The United States doesn’t seem interested in softening its demands and has been critical of Mexico and Canada for not participating earnestly. During the previous round of ineffectual discourse in Mexico, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer explained his goal was to “rebalance” trade on the continent and requested that Mexico and Canada begin engaging in a “serious way.”

The next round of talks will take place in Montreal from January 23rd to the 28th. They are likely to become the defining moments for NAFTA’s future.
trade  nafta  economics  politics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Millennials Are Screwed - The Huffington Post
This is what it feels like to be young now. Not only are we screwed, but we have to listen to lectures about our laziness and our participation trophies from the people who screwed us.

economics  millenials  bullshit 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Mapping Global Crypto-mining w/ – Hacker Noon
Venezuela is not really a surprising part of this list, as its affinity for Cryptocurrency as a solution to failing central banking has been widely broadcast in the news lately. What is interesting/surprising is Vietnam as the crypto-mining world leader.
bitcoin  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Changes to Capital Gains Taxes Could Radically Alter the Calculus for Home Sellers - Zillow Research
But plans proposed recently by both the U.S. House and Senate would change the residency requirement to five of the past eight years – a change that, had it been enacted last year, would have affected 11 percent of U.S. home sellers. Were these laws enacted, an owner of the nation’s median-valued property ($202,700 as of September) that decided to sell after four years – a year shy of the five-year rule currently proposed – would have a capital gains tax bill of $2,363, compared to $0 currently.
realestate  tax  economics  politics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
The Republican Plan To Raise Your Capital Gains Taxes
If one of their fund managers sells a stock in his fund, he can choose which tax lots he wants to sell. Yet if you own the identical holdings, and you sell the same stock, you can't. This tilts the table in favor of the mutual funds.

Instead of leveling the tax playing field between traditional mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, like the bill should have done, Congress is instead proposing to change the tax code to benefit mutual fund behemoths like Fidelity and Schwab at the expense of the individual investor.
tax  politics  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
What’s College Good For? - The Atlantic
What does this mean for the individual student? Would I advise an academically well-prepared 18-year-old to skip college because she won’t learn much of value? Absolutely not. Studying irrelevancies for the next four years will impress future employers and raise her income potential. If she tried to leap straight into her first white-collar job, insisting, “I have the right stuff to graduate, I just choose not to,” employers wouldn’t believe her. To unilaterally curtail your education is to relegate yourself to a lower-quality pool of workers. For the individual, college pays.
college  education  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Is there data on the quality of management decisions?
Among the many consequences of this noise is the fact that the winner of the “world series” (the baseball championship) is heavily determined by randomness. Whether or not a team makes the playoffs is determined over 162 games, which isn’t enough to remove all randomness, but is enough that the result isn’t mostly determined by randomness. This isn’t true of the playoffs, which are too short for the outcome to be primarily determined by the difference in the quality of teams. Once a team wins the world series, people come up with all kinds of just-so stories to justify why the team should’ve won, but if we look across all games, we can see that the stories are just stories. This is, perhaps, not so different to listening to people tell you why their startup was successful.

There are metrics we can use that are better predictors of future wins and losses (i.e., are less volatile than wins and losses), but, until recently, convincing people that those metrics were meaningful was also a radical idea.

If we think about the general case, what’s happening is that decisions have probabilistic payoffs. There’s very high variance in actual outcomes (wins and losses), so it’s possible to make good decisions and not see the direct effect of them for a long time. Even if there are metrics that give us a better idea of what the “true” value of a decision is, if you’re operating in an environment where your management doesn’t believe in those metrics, you’re going to have a hard time keeping your job (or getting a job in the first place) if you want to do something radical whose value is only demonstrated by some obscure-sounding metric unless they take a chance on you for a year or two. There have been some major phase changes in what metrics are accepted, but they’ve taken decades.
economics  psychology  decisions  management 
december 2017 by whip_lash
The Grumpy Economist: Bitcoin and Bubbles
In sum, what's going on with Bitcoin seems to me like a perfectly "normal" phenomenon. Intersect a convenience yield and speculative demand with a temporarily limited supply, plus temporarily limited supply of substitutes, and limits on short-selling, and you get a price surge. It helps if there is a lot of asymmetric information or opinion to spur trading, and given the shady source of bitcoin demand -- no annual reports on how much the Russian mafia wants to move offshore next week -- that's plausible too.
bitcoin  economics 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Keynes Worked Out the Bitcoin Interest Rate -- It's 57% - Bloomberg
While nobody I know tries to work out how many bales or barrels it would cost to borrow some cotton or oil today, currency traders deal with implied interest rates all the time. Here's how it works. Suppose you’re marooned on an island with some Singapore dollars but the bank there can give you a deposit facility only in U.S. dollars. What the island does have, however, are foreign-exchange spot and forward markets. So on Nov. 9, you take 100 Singapore dollars, sell it for about 73 U.S. dollars, deposit the money in your greenback account for 50 days through Dec. 29, and simultaneously buy Singapore dollars in a forward contract for Dec. 29, using up all your principal and interest.

Since you started with 100 Singapore dollars, and ended up with 100.15 Singapore dollars in 50 days, you effectively earned an annualized interest rate of 1.11 percent. As it turns out, that’s almost exactly the interbank interest rate in Singapore.
interest  money  currency  bitcoin  economics  finance  cryptocurrency 
november 2017 by whip_lash
Economic Possibilities for our Spacetraveling Grandchildren, Alberto Mingardi | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
The problems with Star Trek economics are that it is space opera (you can modify the deflector dish to do anything) that tries to pretend to be hard SF. It would be a lot easier to pretend to have a realistic economy without money if you handwave in an unlimited energy source. White holes or zero-point modules or whatever. To account for the 70 percent of the economy that is service you need restricted intelligences that are smart enough to do white-collar work but not so smart we have to either be afraid of them, like M5 or the Borg, or make weepy episodes about not enslaving them, as with Data or the holographic doctor.
startrek  economics  sci-fi 
october 2017 by whip_lash
Forget Church and State: The Coming Separation of Money & Banks
Crypto has given us the Chicago plan: lending that is 100% backed by real capital. We’ve blended equity-like-notions in — which may help all market participants have “skin in the game.”
cryptocurrency  economics  banking 
october 2017 by whip_lash
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