Is Mitt Romney’s Tax Cut $5 Trillion?

One thing that irked me during the US presidential debates (there were many things, but this stood out) was the continued claim by the President that Mitt Romney was proposing a $5 trillion tax cut, which would simply drive up our debt to astronomical proportions.  This claim should be absurd on its face for a few simple reasons if you actually stop to think about it. Continue reading

Where Everyone Can Be Equally Stupid…

France’s recently elected socialist leader François Hollande made waves with his tax policy ideas, moving France’s upper income tax limit to 75%.  With prohibitive taxes on businesses and individuals moving in French businesses appear to be fleeing the country.  However, the bizarre item that I would like to discuss is his educational policy, which provides a little glimpse into his philosophy of justice. Continue reading

The Potential Consequences of QE3

A few weeks ago QE3 (Quantitative Easing 3) was announced by the US Federal Reserve.  While the average citizen may have completely ignored the announcement based on the complexity of Fed operations, this decision is one that has the potential to profoundly impact lives in the US and worldwide.  From my point of view it is extremely disturbing short-term thinking. Continue reading

“He gave us a phone, he gon do more!”

Saw this lovely video posted on Drudge today and felt the need to share:

If that isn’t alarming in a society that now has over $16 trillion in debt (over $6 trillion accrued in the last four years alone), then I don’t know what is.  It is certainly anecdotal, but also suggestive.  One quote that was featured in the YouTube user comments was quite appropriate (though its attribution to Alexis de Tocqueville was probably incorrect):

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy….”

We are out of control.

 

The Argument for Tax-Free Repatriation of MNC Overseas Earnings

An objection that people frequently have regarding multinational corporations is their “avoidance” of taxes associated with money they make over seas.  Consider corporations like GE that have significant portions of their company in foreign countries.  GE makes about two thirds of their revenues from those foreign operations, and as such never pay US corporate tax on those profits, despite that they are a US-based company.  Quite frankly, the idea that they should pay should be abandoned by anyone who takes a rational view of the situation.  In fact, attempting to gather those taxes is one of the very concepts that is helping to stagnate the US economy, and is playing a key part in keeping lower standards of living in the US.  We shoot ourselves in the foot because of some skewed vision of “fairness.” Continue reading

Condi’s New “Civil Rights Struggle” – Education

Condoleezza Rice spoke at the Republican National Convention tonight, and one statement really resonated with me: “…kids – most often minorities -- are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights struggle of our day.“  The civil rights struggle of our day.  If you don’t believe this to be true, I would invite you to think about it for a moment.  In fact, I would contend that K-12 education holds the keys to not only greater racial parity but income mobility in general (which is such a hot topic of late). Continue reading

Jon Corzine Is Getting Away With It

The NY Times Dealbook reported that “A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top executives.”  There has been a lot of angst over Wall Street managers not being prosecuted for losses a few years back, but that is understandable for one reason: being stupid isn’t illegal.  Most of those guys didn’t violate any laws technically, and caused destruction by being cavalier and myopic.  The MF Global collapse of 2011, though, was no such lapse.  This was a case of brazen fraud and theft, and it’s apparently going to go without punishment. Continue reading

What Conditions Led to the US Housing Bubble?

Recently I discussed what a bubble (like the housing bubble) is, and how they behave.  One thing that I noted is that bubbles need a way to start; a way for the band wagon to get going.  To examine the genesis of the housing crisis in this post I will look at housing price data to see the first drastic upward movement in housing prices, examine the time period in which that first happened, and speculate on the origins of the crisis. Continue reading