Assorted links

by on November 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Estimated implicit marginal tax rates for the poor and middle class.

2. The new James Bond movie used a 3-D printer to assemble demolishable copies of Bond’s Aston Martin.

3. Duke and other schools to offer on-line courses for credit.

4. Alarm clock won’t turn off until you dance.

5. Ten possible world-changing ideas?

6. EdX announces proctored exam testing.

Thor November 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

#2 So, the Bond car they printed had 18 components only? Good thing the camera didn’t linger over those 3 copies, because it couldn’t have taken car nuts long to notice. Or am I wrong?

whatsthat November 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

#1: Why look at disposable income? Shouldn’t we look at (income – expenditure)?

mulp November 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Explain what you mean?

What do you mean by income?
What do you mean by expenditure?

whatsthat November 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Income = savings + expenditure

Disposable income = income – tax payment

I’m not sure what is so unclear about this. If I need to support a child, my disposable income is not = disposable income of me without a child.

Please do not be pedantic. I honestly do not understand why.

John Farragut November 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm

You are saying we should look at savings? Savings is just deferred consumption. I do not see how this is a good indicator of welfare. I could have low savings because (1) I have low income, or (2) I chose to consume a lot today.

whatsthat November 18, 2012 at 12:50 am

I’m saying I don’t understand why you look at disposable income. Why not look at income adjusted for expenditure that is not avoidable.

This will bring up the question of what exactly constitutes avoidable expenditures.

DK November 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm

#5 The only truly remarkable (and not bullshit) thing on the list is non-invasive full sequencing of embryos. Note that also sequencing both parents is required for this to work.

Dave Churvis November 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

#3: my first thought on reading these stories was “what took them so long?” I got my associate’s degree from Georgia Perimeter College with about 75% online classes, and my current school, Georgia State has been offering online courses (mostly for lower-division courses) for years now. If my public universities (in a state with a laughably small higher education budget) can offer online courses at a similar level of quality to the in-person experience, then what’s been keeping Duke?

Jacob November 17, 2012 at 7:37 pm

#1 good article, but the political statement at the end is incorrect. Consistency does not require someone unconcerned about the impact of marginal rates on work incentives of the rich to be similarly unconcerned by those incentives for the poor because the poor have a greater marginal utility for each additional dollar of disposable income.

derek November 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Agreed. The final paragraph was illogical.

BC November 17, 2012 at 11:53 pm

I would argue that people *do* seem to be consistent with respect to the question of the incentive effects of high marginal tax rates. Progressives generally are skeptical that high marginal tax rates disincentivize work at higher income levels and also seem skeptical, or at least dismissive, that welfare benefits discourage work at low income levels. Similarly, conservatives argue that high marginal tax rates disincentivize work at high income levels and that welfare benefits discourage work at low income levels.

Taylor’s illogical statement is his last one: that if one is concerned about disincentive effects at low income levels, then one should necessarily support more generous welfare benefits that can be phased down more slowly as people earn income. Of course, one can “phase down” welfare benefits more slowly, and hence lower marginal tax rates for welfare recipients, in two ways: (1) by raising benefits for the slightly less poor, as Taylor suggests, or (2) by decreasing benefits for the very poor, which Taylor does not seem to consider. In fact, the disincentive effects of welfare on marginal tax rates say nothing about the overall *level* of benefits, just the *distribution* of benefits among the very poor and slightly less poor. Concerns about disincentive effects argue for giving the very poor relatively less benefits and the slightly less poor relatively more benefits for *any given level* of overall welfare spending. What that overall level should be is a separate question.

mulp November 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

#1:

If SNAP benefits are a negative tax, what of public transportation, or the lack of public transit?

And more important, the lack of public transportation, especially in the current business and public policy era of just-in-time labor?

If an employer hires you on the condition you will be notified the day before of your work hours, with typical hours of say 6am-8am, then 11am-1pm, and 5pm-7pm, all based on customer flow predictions. That is six hours of work, so you have plenty of free time for a second job, but if that job is on the same basis, how does that work? Let;s say the two jobs don’t conflict, so your second job is 2pm-4pm and 8pm-11pm, but the work locations are 10 miles apart. Even if your second job is at home, you still have a transportation problem. If your jobs pays $10/hour, which many conservatives argue is too high, forced to be that high by the liberal’s dictate of an $8/hour minimum wage, paying $5 for a taxi is like tax on work.

libert November 18, 2012 at 10:46 am

If your job pays $10/hour, your wage is not constrained by a minimum wage of $8/hour.

Jeff Morgan November 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm

#6 I hope local schools can proctor these exams as well. They could use the extra revenue and they already have the unused resources every evening and weekend.

Saturos November 18, 2012 at 5:11 am

Well that’s it, manufacturing is dead. Hanson & Brynjolfsson et al. were right. The world as we know it is over.

Patrick November 18, 2012 at 8:36 am

#2 – what are the copyright implications?

Dredd November 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

5. Ten possible world-changing ideas?”

How about the oft neglected abiotic evolution?

TGGP November 24, 2012 at 1:07 am

I clicked the link since it didn’t go to your blog, but it turned out to be roughly as goofy.

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