Assorted Thursday links

Comments

The first link is to the wrong place.

Scratch that, I was wrong

@1

The world is substantially more peaceful today than 1960.

Krugman's right. The Jeb Bush tax plan is crap.

I dislike pretty much everything that Mankiw lists that he likes.

I dislike it because it has Jeb Bush's name on it.

Thanks Al...so same reason as Krugman

I took Krugman's post as a tacit approval of the tax plan. If the only thing he can fault it for is not raising enough revenue, that must mean it's pretty good

Does this mean you want to increase the corporate tax and roll back the EITC? Or do you like the status quo?

It must be that he wants forever-unlimited itemized deductions and vigorous pursuit of ex-pats?

It's hard to see many people disagreeing with 2, 3, 8, 9, and 12. I've often thought #3 was a desperately needed reform.

But presidential candidate tax plans are pure fantasy anyway, so there isn't much point in looking closely.

In theory state income tax deductibility represents a cross-subsidy from low to high local tax jurisdictions, but in reality the federal tax receipts/benefits tend to flow in the other direction. So I'm not sold on Mankiw's assessment.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Hey look, we're robbing Paul so we can give Peter this great benefit!

And look, we're robbing Peter so we can give Paul this great benefit!

Isn't everything great?

mpowell: Federal transfers flow on average from high-tax blue to low-tax red states because people in red states are on average poorer. Presumably a good progressive regards this as the way it should be, not something that needs to be reduced by an arbitrary rule that creates a compensating flow the other way.

In any case, the real issue isn't the transfer per se but the incentive the rule creates. If your spending is rebated in part by someone else, your spending will tend to be higher. If every state's spending is rebated in part by everyone others, every state's spending will tend to be higher. (This same phenomenon is observed in significantly increased water consumption in apartment buildings that simply divide the bill compared to those that meter individual apartments.)

@David Wright

Don't we want to encourage the states to do the spending on their citizens rather than leaving it up to the Feds?

"Don’t we want to encourage the states to do the spending on their citizens rather than leaving it up to the Feds?"

We don't want to "encourage" any government to spend. Providing matching dollars for spending is an atrocious idea.

I'm generally a person who favors lower taxes, but this deduction is perverse and we should get rid of it.

I did like this one: " It eliminates the deductibility of interest expenses, putting debt finance and equity finance on a more level planning field." - since I think, despite the M-M equivalence hypothesis that says debt = equity, that debt is more harmful to an economy than equity (not least because of bailouts and TBTF).

I'll attempt to keep the level of discourse the same.

I disagree, I think that Jeb Bush's plan is a step in the right direction.

Hmm. I guess that raised the level somewhat. I'll try again.

You suck.

Until proven otherwise, it is safe to assume that no tax proposal put forth by someone running for President is revenue neutral. Therefore it is meaningless to talk about it being a 'step in the right direction'. It is a trivial exercise to come up with a tax plan that raises less revenue than the current system that is a 'step in the right direction'. You just take the current system, cut somethings and don't raise other things and there are only winners, no losers. Wow, adding winners without making any losers is a step in teh right direction!

This rule applies double to if the proposed plan is coming from GOP politicians running for office and triple if it is coming from anyone named 'Bush'.

Therefore it is meaningless to talk about it being a ‘step in the right direction’.

No it is not meaningless. It can be a step in the right direction if it influences economic behavior or income distribution in salutary ways, without regard to revenue-neutrality.

Easy enough to fix any revenue problem, just raise the rates whenever necessary

I would not say 'crap', but I would say 'characterized by pointless temporizing' (and measures which will do little good but are fodder for oppo dogs, e.g. the elimination of estate taxes).

I'd like to see a candidate advocate defining income about the way the BEA does and defining liability as a proportionate assessment less a credit for oneself and and a credit each dependent and then a supplementary credit if one is elderly or adjudicated disabled. Should that give one a negative liability, the net rebate might be capped for those neither elderly nor disabled, with the cap a percentage of one's earned income. By simplifying the calculation of liability, we might free up enough labor in the IRS to crack down on EITC fraud, which putatively accounts for 1/4 of all the payments made under the EITC program as we speak. We might also be able to do away with subventions to mundane expenditures like EBT cards and housing vouchers, as well as the more troublesome cash dole programs like TANF, provided the per person credit were large enough. You'd also only need one marginal rate if you made that credit large enough and indexed it to the annual change in nominal personal income per capita. That would be too tidy for Jeb! evidently. Donor pressure, presumably, or a constitutional inability to think in ought but terms of little tiles of the mosaic.

Gotta make sure we keep those disability and retiree benefits flowing. Especially to Utica, eh?

No. The thing is, if you use the BEA definition, the bog standard oldster will receive north of 40% of his income in illiquid Medicare benefits. You need a supplementary credit to hold the elderly and disabled harmless, as they have much less capacity to adjust to changes in their situation. Also, were you to raise revenue in the form of a consumption tax, that would cut into their real income, so you'd also need a special credit.

I read you loud and clear. It's okay if the people I like suck off the government teat, but not if the people I don't like do.

To most of us, kick-granny-to-the-curb is rather de trop as social policy; apparently it is not to the Ayn Rand admirers who appear here now and then.

If you are healthy enough to spend all day blathering on in the comment section here, you are healthy enough to get a job.

Thanks for introducing me to the term "de trop." This is not a usage I had ever seen before, so at least I learned one useful thing today on the internet.

Now I have to find a way to work "de trop" into my conversations.

If you are healthy enough to spend all day blathering on in the comment section here, you are healthy enough to get a job.

Or I might be healthy enough to be sitting in a chair at the Fairfax Nursing Center, fussing about my bedsores.

Oh gag, "Art Deco" showing what a pompous ignorant fool he is yet again.

So, what you call "EITC fraud" is not that at all, but an estimate of "improper EITC payments." However, the vast majority of these are not due to conscious fraud but due to errors due to the complexity of the EITC rules, which are explained in 39 pages, compared to the 13 for the unpleasantly complex AMT, which bedevils sophisticated high income people. Subsequent research shows that about 40% of those estimated "improper payments" were not improper at all but simply lacked adequate documentation that is required by those 39 pages of rules. Furthermore, some percentage of those improper payments were underpayments. On top of this, admin costs of EITC are only about 1% of what is paid in contrast to 20% for payments in which large amounts of precertification are engaged in. Given that overpayments of EITC probably do not exceed 10%, you are proposing money wasting nonsense.

Oh, and then we have you whining about TANF as if you were Ronald Reagain in the 70s going on the rubber chicken circuit yapping about a made up "welfare queen." AFTC just before adoption of the TANF was about $40 billion. Today it is about $30 billion. It barely rose at all during the Great Recession, even though poverty rose massively. TANF is out of control? No, Art, it is you that are out of control with your pompous ignorance.

The "welfare Queen" that Regan was on about was not made up. There was an extensive article about her in the Chicago Tribune.

Linda Taylor?

"Ronald Reagain in the 70s going on the rubber chicken circuit yapping about a made up “welfare queen.”

Not made up at all. It was real story about a real person, reported by the Chicago Tribune. Look it up.

And, just for the record, I made not the slightest allusion to the character, the story, or Mr. Reagan. Barkely responds most vigorously to the voices in his head.

Classic Rosser. Insult, change the subject, and accuse people of saying all sorts of things they clearly did not say.

Except that what she stole from AFDC was a small fraction of what she got from other sources illegally. Linda Taylor defrauded numerous government agencies at many levels and many private individuals. The idea that she got most of her money from the traditional welfare program AFDC was in fact a fraud.

" Linda Taylor defrauded numerous government agencies at many levels and many private individuals."

How can this be, Professor? At 4:18 pm, you informed us that she was a fiction, "made up" by "Ronald Reagain [sic]."

"The idea that she got most of her money from the traditional welfare program AFDC was in fact a fraud."

Please tell me where anyone here said this.

No response? Big surprise

So, what you call “EITC fraud” is not that at all, but an estimate of “improper EITC payments.”

If it pleases you to call it that, that's fine. It's leakage whatever you call it.

you are proposing money wasting nonsense.

I'm proposing redeploying IRS employees concerned with tax compliance and idled by simpler rules from one set of compliance problems to another. No that does not 'waste' money.

Oh, and then we have you whining about TANF as if you were Ronald Reagain in the 70s going on the rubber chicken circuit yapping about a made up “welfare queen.”

I really should not have to explain to a man past 60 what the term 'whine' means and why it does not encompass a passing mention of something the speaker disagrees with. Or I should not presuming the man in his 60s sober when posting and not losing his reason due to one of the many ailments which strike the old (and if it were the case that he were drunk or senile, my explanations would do little good).

And deploying those agents will be a waste of resources. There is just not that much in the way of errors or overpayments. See report of Center on Budget Priorities. Those of you yapping about this have been reading Rand Paul and the Washington Examiner, both handing out hysterical drivel.

And deploying those agents will be a waste of resources.

I think the operating costs of the IRS amount to about 0.1% of revenues. Quit talking out of your rear-end.

Art,

The problem with ending the EITC errors is the complexity of the 39 pages covering it. What would fix it would be precertification,but the Center for Budget and Priorities shows that the cost for such precertifications is 20%, not 0.1%.

Your new contention is that we cannot replace the EITC because the EITC's eligibility rules are too complicated? Okey doke.

The fudge packer strikes again. Barkley, I really wonder why someone with your aptitude bothers frequenting this blog when you're disposition is better suited to be commenting on Salon or some other rag. Where do your data come from on these administrative costs? I always enjoy looking at expense methodology because it's so woefully inadequate. I'd be shocked if the state was capable of maintaining accurate expense records, honest of otherwise, and whether they even account for capital in their calculations. If the building housing these failed audit accountants is rent free because the state does not pay rent to itself, then does that get included as an expense. If you're the government fighting tooth and nail to understate costs, than the answer is probably no.

Sure, I pushed on the welfare queen stuff that Art Deco did not say, but why is the guy claiming big problems in a program whose spending has fallen and is flat? People who fixate on that program at all have a problem, especially when they stupidly claim it is a major spending problem, which is ridiculous.

I actually mentioned the program in passing. That's seems to have given rise to serial displays of your emotional problems, which is not my problem.

man who are the sucker's who pay this guy's salary?

hehe oh yeah we all do

The real question here is why does Art Deco get so fixated on charging waste and fraud in programs that help poor people? I think it is pretty obvious, given so many of his other remarks here, but then most of those jumping to his defense are afflicted with the same sickness, one which also afflicted so many of those who found Reagan's endless stories about the awful welfare queen so terribly amusing. AFDC was always a pretty small program even though something like a quarter of the population thought it was the biggest item in the federal budget, and its successor, TANF, is even smaller than it was, but somehow AD just could not avoid mentioning it in passing while he was wildly exaggerating the problems of EITC while repeating discredited drivel from Rand Paul and other highly slanted sources. But, what else is new?

Meanwhile they are all in favor of social security and medicare with together cost over a trillion dollars. It's all about whose pocket is being lined.

Meanwhile they are all in favor of social security and medicare with together cost over a trillion dollars. It’s all about whose pocket is being lined.

Strange as it may seem to you, people's ethic of common provision incorporates a sense of who should or should not be eligible for income transfers and subsides.

The real question here is why does Art Deco get so fixated on charging waste and fraud in programs that help poor people?

"Fixated" in this case, means I mentioned the problem with EITC in one sentence fragment. I never referred to 'waste and fraud' with regard to TANF at all, merely that I found the program troublesome and would like to replace it.

I think it is pretty obvious,

It is not, and it cannot be. You've been devoting a great deal of verbiage responding to your own upsets and not much to what anyone actually said in your hearing.

'Ethic of common provision' is a rather elaborate way of saying you think useless white dudes in parasite parts of the country deserve to suck off the government teat but black women and their children in inner cities should drop dead.

‘Ethic of common provision’ is a rather elaborate way of saying you think useless white dudes in parasite parts of the country deserve to suck off the government teat but black women and their children in inner cities should drop dead.

There are no 'parasite parts of the country', that's a weird prog-trash meme. It's curious that you fancy that the elderly are 'white dudes'. The elderly are disproportionately female and there would be no shortage of non-white elderly either. About 5% of the black population would be TANF recipients, and, no, I'm not suggesting anyone be told to 'drop dead'. I am interested in modifying incentives.

Another time, another place, you might be capable of speaking without lobbing accusations and thinking in something other than crude and malicious caricatures. That's not today, will not be tomorrow, and may never be.

I can just see the spittle flecking out of your mouth. I guess being an old, broken down curmudgeon is its own reward. Cheers.

At least it reflects traditional right wing positions and does not reflect a right wing that has been highjacked by Christian fundamentalists who ignore all the "love your neighbour" and "forgiveness" parts.

that has been highjacked by Christian fundamentalists who ignore all the “love your neighbour” and “forgiveness” parts.

We get it. You do not know any evangelicals, do not read evangelical literature, and do not understand Christian moral teachings either. No need to throw your ignorance in everyone's face.

Please be specific and relieve me of my ignorance then.

Krugman's right. Ha, ha, ha. God bless Tyler for #7 - a timely reminder of PK's less than stellar track record regarding the outcomes of austerity, in particular, regarding Ireland (please see: http://www.commdiginews.com/featured/its-officially-time-to-stop-taking-paul-krugman-seriously-41552/ ). No wonder Krugman is so bitter. Bush!'s ability to discern a growth-promoting approach to austerity (spending cuts versus tax increases) must really rankle. Krugman's signature pro-tax, anti-government spending restraint nostrums are so deliciously cringe-inducing its like he is playing Dwight on The Office.

The only thing "degrading" about office cheerleaders, is the predictable response by the SJWs.

IOW - why can't I have a cheerleader??????? Want want want

For what it's worth, the 1990 refugee admission numbers include a very large number of Soviet Jews. The interesting point about that is that most of these people (not all of then, but most of them) would not have qualified as refugees if normal standards had been applied, but special, legislatively enacted policies allowed them to qualify as refugees, despite typically not facing hardship that would amount to persecution. Now, these admissions have mostly worked out well, but knowing this does help show that refugee numbers and admissions are subject to political manipulation, and can't always be taken at face value.

"""these admissions have mostly worked out well,"""

Yes, it has given Hollywood script writers an enemy, the evil Russian Mafia. Even though the vast majority of these refugees from the Soviet Union were not Russian

Mankiw:

It lowers the top rate on personal income to 28 percent, the same rate as the bipartisan 1986 tax reform.

This is more than a touch disingenuous. The 1986 reform also set capital gains taxes to 28%. Kind of overlooked that, huh Greg?

It eliminates the estate tax, so the tax system no longer penalizes those who want to help their children and grandchildren.

Leave the dishonest moralizing off, please. The 2015 estate tax exclusion is about $5.4 million. That's a lot of help for children and grandchildren before you pay any tax. And you, and your spouse can give $14,000/year to as many peopel as you please, descendants or not, with no tax consequences.

It eliminates the deductibility of state and local taxes, so low-tax states and towns no longer subsidize high-tax ones.

Apparently, Bush wants the whole country to turn into Kansas. Besides, the whole question of interstate "subsidies" through the federal budget covers a lot more ground than just this issue.

It lowers the corporate tax rate to be close to international norms.

Corporate tax rates in the US are close to international norms. I expect the usual BS about this from a politician, but surely Mankiw knows better.

It includes full expensing of investment expenditure, moving the system toward a consumption-based tax.

In other words, it has a provision further lowering corporate income taxes, while taxing capital gains and dividends at a favorable rate.

And helping your grandchildren inherit millions of dollars is one of the best tax avoiding strategies of the current system.

I've never quite understood the affection for preferential rates for capital gains in lieu of re-defining capital gains for tax purposes as real and not nominal capital gains, applying a price index to the purchase price and then comparing the result to the sale price. Ideally, you'd accumulate a credit with the IRS if you took a loss and work it off with income or capital gains liability in future years. (Not sure this would not be a bear to administer, though. Tax law and accounting not my occupation).

Does anyone actually believe that wealthy people invest MORE due to capital gains? I find it hard to believe that, have purchased their second home or BMW, that it is the higher marginal tax rate on labour income as opposed to capital gains that motivates them to invest (this is what I thought is the supposed argument in favour of lower capital gains rates - it is supposed to stimulate investment.)

If this is not true, then it is simply a giveaway to people who inherit wealth or are already wealthy, at the relative expense to people who actually have to work for their money.

He wrote, on a site called "marginal revolution"

Witty, comment, and I get it, but I still don't quite buy it as particularly good policy, where I define "good policy" as something that is actually highly effective at doing what its proponents claim it will do. It really seems like a giant giveaway to the wealthy with very marginal effects on investment.

@Nathan W - wealthy people consume less than poor, so, ergo, the more money they have the more they will save. That's the theory and stats back it up.

Well your first statement is obviously wrong unless you forgot "proportionately"

I agree that rich people invest more of their income, but does taxing capital gains at a lower rate than labour actually actually have much of an effect on this decision?

Does anyone actually believe that wealthy people invest MORE due to capital gains? I find it hard to believe that,

OK, you do not model economic behavior in response to tax incentives in your spare time. This is of interest just why?

Apparently, Bush wants the whole country to turn into Kansas.

Unloading that deduction would be find if they unloaded all the other special exemptions, deductions, and credits and just had a few general credits. Mankiw has his views about what you should 'subsidize' and what you should not, in lieu of recommending we subsidize as little as the accounting allows us.

We might consider replacing the corporate profits tax with a mandatory assessment on equity in the form of a stock dividend to be paid into a special trust and then eventually sold off. The accounting would be simpler.

The real problem with the corporate tax has been the shenanigans regarding the treatment of non-profit corporations. We might replace extensive loislernerite inquiries into their activities with a fee assessment based on the compensation they pay their chief officers, with a fee of $0 if the compensation fell below a given threshold given their FTE.

mankiw long ago decided to sell out and that the optimum tax policy is one that makes those who have millions happiest - that's the only explanation when someone says "a tax-free bequeathment of $5.4 million - or $10.8 million to a married couple - why it's peanuts. The idea that someone could receive millions tax free, but then pay taxes on additional free money, makes me weep."

Switch Krugman with Mankiw and you're talking. Remember Mankiw is an economist, he's not basing his preferences on knee-jerk emotions but knowledge and rationality. It might seem "common sense" to you to tax inheritance but its double-taxation, wasteful and distortion. Ultimately it's consumption that you want to tax.

I had never stopped to think of inheritance taxes as double taxation. Of course you are right, but I support inheritance taxes beyond a fairly low limit anyways. Would a million tax-free be enough?

Mankiw employs his share of emotion and moralizing when it comes to arguing against the estate tax.

Yes, to a consumption tax but it is not realistic to expect a consumption tax to replace income or estate taxes as people can spend money in the black market or abroad to avoid the tax. In any case, why is it so urgent to eliminate the estate tax now? Shouldn't we wait until we actually have a consumption tax?

"Double-taxation" is the worst argument against inheritance tax. If Warren Buffett hires a personal assistant and pays for that person out of his accumulated wealth, that transaction is subject to federal and state income taxes as well as payroll tax. That is "double-taxation" just as surely as it is to tax an inheritance or gift left to the same person. Since our tax system is based on taxing transactions and not on taxing wealth, it is inevitable as money circulates through the economy that a portion of it goes to the tax authorities every time it changes hands.

By the way, the "double-taxation" argument is not correct in cases where an estate is made up of stocks or other assets subject to capital gains tax. If you invest $10 million in the stock market and your fortune grows to $30 million when you are old, that $20 million appreciation would be subject to capital gains tax if you sold it while you are alive. If you never sell any of your assets while you are alive then, if estate tax is completely repealed, that $20 million in capital gains is passed to your heirs tax-free.

We have a very weird system right now where gifts are still taxed if they are more than $14,000 and capital gains are still taxed. However, any assets below $5 million that pass to someone as a result of the original owner's death are granted special treatment and are subject to neither gift tax nor to any capital gains assessment. Repealing that $5 million cap is simply a give-away to the very wealthy.

Easily fixed by repealing the stepped-up basis.

Anyway, it's odd to call it a give-away to the wealthy when they could just spend all the money on themselves and be subject to no tax. Only if they want to help someone else with the money are they taxed.

"Anyway, it’s odd to call it a give-away to the wealthy when they could just spend all the money on themselves and be subject to no tax."

Again, that's a decent argument for a consumption tax (and one that applies to real estate, artwork, boats, etc. regardless of where in the world they are purchased). It is not an argument for repealing the estate tax in the absence of a consumption tax or even any serious proposal about how to implement and enforce such a consumption tax.

Ricardo, does the estate tax actually raise any revenue? Doesn't it just cause rich people to pay a lot of money to other rich people so they can jump through the necessary hoops to avoid it?

"does the estate tax actually raise any revenue? Doesn’t it just cause rich people to pay a lot of money to other rich people so they can jump through the necessary hoops to avoid it?"

Wait, so your argument now seems to be that the American political system is so influenced by big money that the rich and their lawyers have been able to write all sorts of loopholes and exceptions into the law that make it easy to avoid paying estate tax. Therefore, we should show them who is boss by repealing the tax entirely.

It raised $18 billion in 2014. It would almost certainly raise more if loopholes such as the stepped up basis and various tax-advantaged trusts were done away with and if the $5.4 million exemption was lowered or modified to apply to a couple instead of an individual. I think $1 million is more than enough to inherit tax free; above that, simply pay ordinary income tax just like everyone else does on money they have to actually work for. Nobody is going to go homeless or starve by heirs having to pay exactly the same taxes that CEOs and investment bankers have to pay on their bonuses.

At the very least, it is progress that nobody has tried to argue that the federal estate tax is wrong because it hurts small family businesses and farms.

does the estate tax actually raise any revenue?

Before the exemption was raised it brought in close to $30 billion/year.

Anyway, it’s odd to call it a give-away to the wealthy when they could just spend all the money on themselves and be subject to no tax.

How would that work, exactly? Are you saying that the wealthy know in advance when they are going to die, and carefully liquidate their assets and spend the money on personal consumption so there is nothing left on the last day? Further, many investments produce current income. Are they going to give that up to avoid estate tax on the underlying asset?

And what are they going to spend it on? At some point what very rich people spend on is the purchase of assets - houses, planes, expensive jewelry, art, and so on. These things get passed on to heirs, not thrown away like old clothes.

Remember Mankiw is an economist, he’s not basing his preferences on knee-jerk emotions but knowledge and rationality.

Is that why he talks about the estate tax as a tax on those who want to help their children and grandchildren? Perhaps he is rational, but you can be rational in pursuit of various goals. What are Mankiw's?

If you're a good progressive, why should people be able to deduct their state and local taxes, particularly when it's upper-middle income taxpayers (100K+) who receive most of the benefits from that deduction?

The AMT greatly limits how much upper-income taxpayers benefit from this deduction.

The AMT does not change the fact taxpayers at the top of the income distribution benefit the most. According to the CBO, 80% of the benefits go to the top 20% (and 5% of the benefits go to the bottom 60%). At $77 billion per year this makes it one of the 10 most expensive "tax expenditures," and costs almost twice as much as the capital gains tax exclusion for assets transferred at death (which costs $43 billion and 65% of the benefits go to the top 20%).

"...help their children and grandchildren."

Mankiw's fixation on the estate tax is bizarre. I understand the argument that an estate tax might be redundant if we had a consumption tax (I have some doubts) but we do not, in fact, have a comprehensive consumption tax now.

If you are a rich person with your own business, one idea for "helping" your children and grandchildren might be to offer them a job in the business where they will have to work hard for their money. Of course, if you do that, the income paid out is taxable. Even the current generous exemption for inheritances puts us in a bizarre world where hard work is taxed but simply receiving windfalls from an estate is not.

3. Mankiw sucking up for an appointment in the Third Bush Administration.

4. Great minds think alike (Sumner's Counterarguments). On Sumner's Agreement with Cowen, I would modify Sumner's comment as follows: "On the positive side, I strongly agree with Tyler’s point #1. I’ve always thought democracy leads to better economic outcomes than plutocracy, and I believe the U.S would be much better off today if it had remained democratic."

Not true, I'm a China bear. I forecast 6% growth for 2016, while the consensus forecast is 6.7% RGDP growth. I'm bearish relative to the consensus.

That won't save you professor. This qualification will be lost in the noise. Face it: you're a China bull and TC is the China bear. Time will tell who is right.

TC's forecast is 0% growth.

Scott is a panda bear, Tyler a Kodiak

I actually laughed at that one.

I've always been puzzled by the idea that men enjoying the company of attractive women is degrading/sexist/evil. Can someone explain it to me?

"Because, shut up" he explained

Weird third wave feminism.

What happened to sexual revolution feminism?

It bothers highly unattractive women, who figure prominently among the population of militant feminists.

I think the degrading part is in the paying people to hang out with you. It obviously implies that they wouldn't hang out with you if you wreren't paying.

Kept some of us away from hookers when we were young.

The world would be a better place if you indulged in hookers from time to time.

So, degrading to the programmers?

Hey, maybe they'll learn some social skills this way, being forced into contact with attractive women. It might be frustrating, though.

It's not about enjoying attractive members of the opposite sex. If you look at the article, there are female programmers in that office. They don't get anything. It also says to them that the best use of a woman is as eye candy.
So its less about enjoying something, more about the company paying to cater to men sexually.

The strangest thing about the article is that some situation in China is used to attack Silicon Valley, which would not dare to introduce this.

Women are more than their body. They should be valued for their intellect, character, etc.)

That's the argument, I think. But I don't find it offensive to women that these women were hired for this job.

In China, good looks are overemphasized more so than just about anywhere, I think. Ask any women, and just about all of them will agree that they are perfectly aware that good looks are required to get god jobs. Probably a lot of very intelligent and competent "ugly" Chinese women are underemployed relative to their abilities, and this more so than in the USA, for example.

"Women are more than their body. They should be valued for their intellect, character, etc.)"

How is valuing them for their looks inconsistent with valuing them for intellect and character? What about women who are attractive physically but not very smart? Should society not value them?

The discomfort with valuing women for attractiveness comes across as hostility towards heterosexuality.

"hostility towards heterosexuality"

LOL. Interesting perspective. I utterly fail, after some effort, to fall into your way of thinking.

"How is valuing them for their looks inconsistent with valuing them for intellect and character"

I'm not sure where to start, but let's keep it with something simple. I think society would be better off if women spent less time and money painting their faces for your pleasure and more time on other things.

Whatever ... I don't think it's my place to really argue. Women are more judgmental of women than men are.

It seems like you are projecting your preferences onto others and telling them that they should value the same things you do, they same way you do. It's not clear why you think that's okay.

"I think society would be better off if women spent less time and money painting their faces for your pleasure and more time on other things."

Normal heterosexual men are attracted to women based mainly on physical appearance. Women of course evolved to respond to that and that 's how the species sort of works. So what you're basically saying is that the world would be better without normal human sexuality.

Something, something plains of Africa

"Something, something plains of Africa" sounds a lot more convincing than "Nothing, nothing Blank Slate."

Lord Action - I am expressing my perspective. Is that projecting? Is that OK?

I never say his perspective is wrong, just that I fail to understand it very well.

Of course, it is quite normal to be attracted to attractive women. How far into workplace (hiring) decisions should that extend?

I never understand why people suddenly think a shrinking population is a bad thing. It's been something I've been hoping to see my entire life, and it could finally be upon us, but no: for some inexplicable reason it's only turned into an excuse to flood the country with even more people.

Dean Baker is an economist who seems to agree with your perspective on this matter, at least for Japan:

http://www.cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/japans-declining-population-more-which-way-is-up-problems-at-the-post

It derails Keynesism, and so, rather then give up on Keynes, we get angry that the population doesnt just keep growing forever.

Because when your younger cohorts are smaller than the older cohorts they support economically, you're in a social crisis.

Only if the older cohorts are entitled to a standard of living the younger cohort can't support.

You are aware of what nursing home care costs? (The sticker price is about $110,000 per annum in the Genesee Valley). As for medical expenses, the propensity of the elderly to spend exceeds that of the non-elderly by about 3 to 1.

So, limit the amount that people are entitled to receive in subsidized medical care.

Hazel's got it.

It's not obvious to me why anyone receives subsidized care late in life. Early in life, sure, perverse incentives aside you didn't make your circumstances. But by the time you're in your 60s, you're exactly where you deserve to be.

And talking about how the kind of care the geriatric receive is outrageously expensive does not exactly incline me to spend more on it.

It’s not obvious to me why anyone receives subsidized care late in life.

Can't help you. Maybe a viewing of Logan's Run might help.

I almost made a joke about "Logan's Run Lite" in my comment...

Where's Logan gonna run when he hit's 65 and needs to pay for his own damn prescriptions?

Ideally we'd all self-insure. That's impossible for the very young. You don't choose your parents.

But it's entirely possible for the elderly. If you didn't have a life-long disability, it seems pretty reasonable that you should get the care you saved to pay for.

The point of insurance is risk pooling. It's also redistribution of expenditure between time periods, replacing spikes of expenditure with regular payments over the course of the life-cycle. You either get the point of it or you don't.

If you're 65, you've had 45 years of regular payments to accommodate any subsequent spikes in expenditure. I think I understand that point perfectly.

If you mean "You may encounter an expense at 78 that no man could realistically have saved for," I suggest maybe we shouldn't pay for those things.

How much would medical insurance cost for a 78 year old male? $30,000 per year? More?

If you cut Medicare out of the budget, you're going to leave millions of old people uninsurable. They will lose all their assets and end up destitute.

What happens then? Do we just start euthanizing the hordes of old beggars?

Irregardless of whether you deserve it or not, if your entitlements aren't sustainable without an ever-growing population, then you have a problem.

They never paid in enough to cover those enormous bills. They should lose all their assets. Then they can go on welfare like the rest of the poor people.

What's that you say? Medicaid is shitty health care and in some states doesn't cover people without dependents. You don't say.

The point of insurance is risk pooling. It’s also redistribution of expenditure between time periods

Or, in this case, redistribution of expenditures between generations. Except that you've set things up in a way such that the future expenditures of the young people when they get old are *always* going to be greater than what they will pay into the system, and hence that you always need even MORE young people the next generation around, to pay for the last one.

It's not really a properly adjusted redistribution of expenditures across generations if the younger generation always has to be larger than the previous one, is it?

"It’s not obvious to me why anyone receives subsidized care late in life"

I am concerned that they will vote themselves "too many" benefits.

But at the end of the day they are human, and as a wealthy society no one should die in extreme indignity (including forcing people who live in extreme suffering to keep on living against their wishes).

Whether or not you're benefit stream is fairly derived from your contributions over time is dependent on your age cohort. People whose contribution history largely precedes the series of increases to payroll taxes enacted during the period running from 1977 to 1985 and the modification of Medicare re-imbursement schedules in 1984 generally did receive benefits others did not. The only way around that problem is to design a program without flaws in the first instance, or to refuse to repair the flaws because that would be 'unfair' to some population of stakeholders (that way lies Greece), or to accept that human institutions are never altogether fair, but occupy varying degrees of distance from that. North of 40% of the people who retired ca. 1990 had military service and among them combat service was quite common. Among my contemporaries, the share who've been in the military is more like 6%. The per capita real income of the country they came home to in 1947 was less than half of what it is today. They knew from personal experience what dental pain was; their grandchildren did not. The experience of one generation differs from that of another.

Or, in this case, redistribution of expenditures between generations. Except that you’ve set things up in a way such that the future expenditures of the young people when they get old are *always* going to be greater than what they will pay into the system,

Hazel, I do not know what accounting method you're making use of, but unless your bundle of Social Security benefits has been consuming an ever large share of national income (and there has been little or no secular increase over the last 30-odd years) or there has been escalating finance through general revenues (and there has been some of late), what they receive in aggregate will be what they contributed plus an accretion which reflects the growth rates in real income during the lapse in time between contribution and receipt. Some people do better, some people do worse, some cohorts do better, some cohorts do worse, just like they would if they did not pay into Social Security and put the money in stock index funds. You're not going to have any insuperable structural problem so long as the retirement age is on an escalator which retains a fixed ratio of retired persons to working persons and so long as your birth cohorts are not declining in size from one year to the next.

They never paid in enough to cover those enormous bills.

To which age cohorts are you referring.

They should lose all their assets. Then they can go on welfare like the rest of the poor people.

Nursing home care is financed through Medicaid and asset protection generally limited to a house for the surviving spouse (which may be eventually forfeit). There are a bevy of regulations which constrain asset dumping as well.

You’re not going to have any insuperable structural problem so long as the retirement age is on an escalator which retains a fixed ratio of retired persons to working persons and so long as your birth cohorts are not declining in size from one year to the next.

Why not raise the age of retirement further to accomodate a declining population?
You've argued that a declining population will cause a social crisis because the entitlement programs will become unsustainable. In fact, I'm agreeing with you. The only difference is that I'm arguing that the correct thing to do is to modify the entitlement programs so they can be sustained by a declining population (whether that is via cutting benefits or raising the retirement age), and you're saying "Oh no! We CAN'T do THAT! That's a social crisis, we need more people to keep the system going! More babies or immigrants, pronto!'

Why not raise the age of retirement further to accomodate a declining population?

You can do that up to a point. Eventually, you hit that wall.

Raising the retirement age, cutting old-age spending, and having more babies are not the only ways to address the problem. Although, honestly, I expect us to do all three.

I'd rather we just stopped socializing the expense of old-age. Pay into an account when you're young; draw from it when you're old; if there's something left when you die, leave it to the kids; if it's not enough money to pay for fancy-experimental-chemo, I'm sorry, but I don't feel an obligation to step in. Old-age isn't some bizarre accident that happens to a few. It's a completely predictable event.

"future expenditures of the young people when they get old are *always* going to be greater than what they will pay into the system, and hence that you always need even MORE young people the next generation around, to pay for the last one."

No, sorry but not even close.

You need more taxable real income in the future to pay for the needs of the older generation. Fortunately, the U.S. has that. This "ponzi scheme" argument was refuted at least 50 years ago by economist Peter Diamond yet it's one of those zombie arguments that never seems to die.

You need more taxable real income in the future to pay for the needs of the older generation.

The whole origin of this argument is that we can't have a declining population because then we won't be able to pay for our retirement programs.

So which is it? Either we need more people, or we don't.

By itself, shrinking population is not necessarily a bad thing (as long as it is an orderly process).

It is the unfunded entitlements promised to the existing populations that make it so dangerous.

This. is why Medicare and Social Security are Ponzi schemes. They require an ever growing population base so that the money flowing into the system from younger generations can support the amount of money being drawn by the older generations. The amount of subsidization is not generationally neutral. You have to continually have more younger people entering the system to supply the benefits promised to previous generations.

This. is why Medicare and Social Security are Ponzi schemes.

They're "Ponzi schemes" to libertarians who wish to play rhetorical games. The original Ponzi scheme imploded after about six months.

They're income transfers, actuarial pools, and cross subsidies. They're not inherently unstable if you've set your spigots right.

Madoff's lasted decades, and he couldn't tax people. So what? Give my money back!

You yourself just stated that you constantly need an ever increasing number of young people to support the elderly or else you will have a "social crisis".

What's the difference between a "social crisis", and the collapse of a Ponzi scheme?

The programs should be altered to make them actuarially sound. All the Very Smart People agree on this point.

There are only two questions. 1. What % of the adjustment should be on the revenue side versus the expenditure side? 2. When we should start making these adjustments?

If you think that any changes should be heavily backloaded, you're choosing to run these programs as a generational transfer scheme in which the current generation gets a much better deal than the later generations. That could be acceptable if we expect future generations to be much richer than present generations. It's also a different debate than the revenue vs. expenditure debate.

Social Security is a welfare program disguised as a Ponzi scheme to make it palatable to the USA voter.

@Cooper you could take the total income from FICA + matching FICA and divide it by the number of citizens over 65 years old and send that amount each retiree.

You yourself just stated that you constantly need an ever increasing number of young people to support the elderly or else you will have a “social crisis”.

No, Hazel, that's your gloss on what I said, and your gloss distorts. And I was not referring to income transfers specifically, but the whole range of services that the young provide the dependent elderly, something that incorporates income transfers, public expenditure, private expenditure, and donations of time and effort. You have a total fertility rate of 1.4 children born to an average woman in her life time, you have 45 grandchildren looking after 100 grandparents and earning income to support 100 grandparents. Mr 'cp' has a solution to that, which is to insult the old in terms that Ayn Rand might have found rude.

In general, a set of age cohorts of a stable dimension over time will do, along with some tweaks like putting the retirement age on an escalator so the ratio of the statutorily retired to the working population is stable.

Floccina,

So your proposal is benefit cut for richer seniors and a benefit increase for poorer seniors in the short term.

In the longer term, everyone gets a roughly 20-25% cut once the trust fund vanishes.

This. is why Medicare and Social Security are Ponzi schemes.

They are nothing of the kind Hazel, and you're making a fool of yourself continuing to play these games.

Yes, they are and you know that.

Is this the kind of Krugman post we're gonna get until the election is over?

Always get the feeling that Krugman is leaving out important context whenever a Republican is involved. Will he bring up the role fracking in North Dakota played in 2013 growth?

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brookings-now/posts/2015/03/economic-benefits-of-fracking

Or how fracking caused the current low prices we see in oil? Or the benefit that the common consumer is receiving due to those low prices? Or the incredible effect it is having on foreign affairs?

Another point of view on Bush's tax plan.

Joe Stiglitz estimated that the dollar cost of Dubya's 2003 Iraq War would eventually total out around $3 trillion.

In that light, Jeb's tax plan is just another hand in the friendly bro-on-bro poker game all Americans have been privileged to witness: "I see your three trillion and raise you four hundred billion, George."

Joe Stiglitz estimated that the dollar cost of Dubya’s 2003 Iraq War would eventually total out around $3 trillion.

I'd check his work.

Go ahead and check.

"3. Greg Mankiw on the Jeb Bush tax plan. And Krugman on the same"

Lol, that's classic Krugman.

"Dynamic Voodoo" Let's not even attempt to have an honest debate. Instead let's start off by name calling the opponent, guaranteed to drive the two sides further apart. Is Krugman paid off by the Chinese?

I love the part where he plots the job growth, but conveniently leaves off the unemployment numbers. Let's see January 2003 unemployment rate 5.8% vs January 2013 unemployment rate 8.0%. It would seem pretty easy to boast bigger job growth numbers when you start with high unemployment, even with smaller GDP growth.

Furthermore, wouldn't you expect to see the GDP numbers plotted instead of job growth numbers? Ok, I looked them up and it's obvious why Krugman didn't compare US GDP of 2003 vs 2013.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/188165/annual-gdp-growth-of-the-united-states-since-1990/

It's obvious why he didn't include GDP? If I recall, these tax increase were "job killing!!" rather than "GDP slowing!!" Global GDP growth was of course weaker in 2013 vs 2003. http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=xx&v=66 Also note that US GDP growth increased in 2014, even with the great stagnation.

Pauly makes no attempt to isolate the impact that the delta in taxes had. How about labor participation rates? How about marginal taxes on the lowers earning entering labor force? How about...1,000 other things? Voodoo Magic is just a tad easier than actually making an attempt to prove ones point.

All good points. Just to add to it, GDP growth average just over 3% from 2003-2006. During the current expansion, it hasn't reached even 3% for a single year.

There you go again, JWatts, leaving it a mystery as to whether you are just ignorant or just a creepy propagandist.

The figures show private sector job growth. That is what is supposed to be so gloriously stimulated by all these tax cuts. What is different between that and GDP? Oh, the public sector. Well, guess what, JWatts, public sector job growth (and expenditure, hence GDP, growth) was strongly positive throughout the Bush years, but except for the first year or so of the Obama administration has been negative on both. That explains why the GDP growth numbers do not look as good as the private sector job growth numbers.

Were you really ignorant of this, JWatts? Actually, I suspect you were.

"There you go again, JWatts, leaving it a mystery as to whether you are just ignorant or just a creepy propagandist. ... Were you really ignorant of this, JWatts? Actually, I suspect you were."

LOL, leave it to Barkley to both begin and end his comments with a personal attack. And honestly, that first sentence reeks of projection.

Interesting that he didn't even address your seemingly obvious point about unemployment being significantly lower to begin with in 2003 than 2013. It was also already trending downward before 2013, while it had been trending upward in the earlier period.

Right-wingers think the best way to lower unemployment is to murder the political opposition.

You mean a left-winger declined to address the key point in an opponent's argument? Pretty standard, don't you think?

I won't label all left-wingers, but it's certainly standard for Professor Rosser. Attack, change the subject, and accuse people of saying ridiculous things they didn't actually say. Oh, and last time he kept telling me to eat a hot dog, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

I'm trying to imagine what it's like for his neighbors, or the people billeted in that department with him for 30-odd years, or his students.

Hey pal I pioneered the lonely westerner looking to Russia for a wife thing so my personal skills aren't in dispute.

I notice that you fail to reply to the substance of the arguments involved, which you can't because, as usual, you are wrong.

Barkley, public sector job growth was "strongly positive" in every presidency since WWII except Obama's, Truman's, and Regan's.

Sorry, E. Harding, the net change in public sector employment during the presidency of Ronald Reagan was plus 1.5 million. Why do you guys like to repeat incorrect drivel? Oh, I know, Saint Reagan always did what the myths say.

@Rosser
Yes, but there was a decline in 1981, which is important to note. On net, government job growth under Reagan was less than under Clinton. Why do you forget to mention this?

And I don't consider Reagan a saint, Barkley. That's just a straw man.

If there were no straw man arguments, there would be no Barkley Rosser blog post comments. Is that really a world you want to live in?

The real mystery is my creepy "space bar" beard.

Cockadoodle Cassandra coming at you all day playing a steady stream of unprofessional insults and breath-catching leaps of logic.

If the shoe fits...and as you don't seem to know your history, it was Jeb's dad who coined the phrase voodoo economics for these supply side theories that just give a bunch of money to the rich and it magically results in big gains to the middle class.

Why would you plot GDP numbers if the specific argument he is responding to is that the Bush tax cuts led to job growth?

Krugman's point is simply that there is no evidence that Bush's tax cuts led to job creation. Your implicit theory is that the deeper a recession is, the faster the subsequent jobs growth is. Employment numbers did indeed grow after the Bush tax cuts but since they were passed as a response to a recession, we have no reason to attribute any of that growth to the tax cuts themselves.

There are reasons to not fully accept your implicit theory but you aren't actually contradicting Krugman at all on this.

"Why would you plot GDP numbers if the specific argument he is responding to is that the Bush tax cuts led to job growth?"

From Krugman's piece: "And that’s highly credible, right? After all, Hubbard was a big booster of the Bush (as opposed to Bush!) tax cuts, which he assured everyone would lead to much faster growth and 300,000 jobs a month. He was especially proud of the 2003 tax cut."

I was pointing out that there were two parts to the statement and that Krugman cherry picked one half of the statement. He completely ignored the GDP growth portion of the argument.

Also, job growth did improve significantly after 2003, going from net losses to fairly substantial net gains. Probably more cyclical than anything, but if this type of silly cherry picking is ok for a Nobel Prize-winning economist, surely it's fair for a random blog post commenter, right?

http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet

3) And how do we pay for these brave and ambitious tax cuts? Oops. I'm sure Jeb will figure it out. Cutting Planned Parenthood is obviously going to be a great start.

From the list, several were actually revenue increasing reforms.

Not going to happen.

It turns out a group of Bush advisers has estimated the plan's revenue cost, and they conclude it is a very big tax cut over the next 10 years--$3.4 trillion under traditional budget scoring or $1.2 trillion with dynamic scoring--assuming the tax cuts boost the economy by 0.5 percent annually).

http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2015/09/09/jeb-bushs-tax-plan-high-marks-for-transparency-but-key-questions-remain/#sthash.rLIYxzhT.dpuf

As long as they're assuming, why not assume a 1% boost, or whatever.

Or assume that you always offer up a negotiating position that is more than what you want.

but of course Bernie Sanders can offer to increase social security, make university free, and no one suggests those are equally fantasy.

Bernie Sanders would pay for things the old fashioned way: taxes. The man has a modicum of decency and good track record with being honest. Weird.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/05/politics/bernie-sanders-raise-taxes/

Only a modicum.

'Senator Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont who calls himself a socialist, was riding in the back seat of a rented blue minivan this week when his aide abruptly announced they were being pulled over by the Iowa State Police for speeding.

“Hi ya, I’m Senator Bernie Sanders, how ya doing?” Mr. Sanders piped up, in his unmistakable Brooklyn accent, after the aide explained to the police officer that they were late for the senator’s appearance here. The officer issued no ticket, just a warning to slow down: “No need making a headline for something silly.”'

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/20/us/politics/a-socialist-in-2016-for-bernie-sanders-at-least-its-a-question-worth-asking-.html

FC what the hell does that mean? Are you trying to say Sanders is an elitist douchebag or something? He's in his 70s and walks to work every day. How many Senators do you think do that?

Probably all the ones who live within walking distance

Re #1: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_immigration_to_the_United_States) gives the number of immigrants admitted in 1890 as 455,302 and in 2010 as 1,042,625. This is described as "Persons Obtaining Legal Permanent Resident Status Fiscal Years 1820 to 2010," which is not the same thing as the total number of immigrants admitted. That's 0.7% of the US (census) population in 1890 and 0.3% in 2010.

Ha ha the Mankiw link is surprisingly bad. It's less an argument for the proposed plan (which includes some good things like making US corporate income tax more in line with international norms and broadening the EITC) and some bad things (like removing estate taxes and lowering top rates) and some none things (like preserving the deductibility of charitable contributions). Mankiw is a sometimes clever economist, but his list of why he likes the plan is just restating some bullet points from the plan. At least Krugman's link has some analysis even if it's likely specious.

Right wingers usually try to outdo each other with their fellatatory homilies to the founding fathers, so I have never really understood the opposition to inheritance taxes. One of the guiding principles of the signers was that inherited wealth was a bad thing, and that all true free men must make their own way in the world. You know, that old "meritocracy:" thing. Estate taxes were the first taxes levied in this nation, and were generally supported by most of the founders as the best instrument available to fund the nation state, with the massive side benefit of hampering the formation of British-style hereditary aristocracies.

I guess most of today's US conservatives are monarchists (as with their British fellow-travelers), whether they'd like to admit it or not.

One of the guiding principles of the signers was that inherited wealth was a bad thing, and that all true free men must make their own way in the world. You know, that old “meritocracy:”

Your imagination is fertile. The late colonial political elite was shot through with the gentry. If some of them left little to their posterity, it was because they were in debt up to their eyeballs.

The first major federal tax plan under the Constitution centered on tariffs, tonnage duties, and consumption taxes, not estate taxes. Local governments were quite fond of poll taxes, so if you're waxing nostalgic, why aren't you supporting those too?

#6. It seems more degrading to the programmers than the girls. You're basically paying fluffers to flirt with nerds to boost the nerds self-confidence.

Yes, but maybe that's because the article is framed as such.

Modern offices have coffee machines because secretaries have better things to do than to act as menials for engineers. But if I were somehow transported to an old fashioned office where pretty waifs on the hunt for a marriage hovered about doing petty tasks for me, then it would not be me who felt demeaned.

Secretaries back in the day actually had real work to do, they weren't hired specifically to wear short skirts and pretend to be sexually available.

Aah! Why do my comments keep getting deleted, but only on this thread?

Did you mention the Kochs or say something personally offensive about someone?

I said a lot of offensive things about people: Turks, Blacks, Gypsies, "refugees". Probably NATO, too. But I didn't mention the Kochs.

You probably did and you don't remember. Or, as a surmised below, Tyler may have implemented a version of your comments policy on this website.

It would be a very strange version, then, if he did.

I'm pretty sure I didn't mention the Kochs. There was no context for it.

Jan, why don't you have a blog?

I hope you get the problem resolved. I don't feel I can start the day without hearing a white nationalist perspective on the news.

I'm not a White nationalist. Whenever I look at White nationalism with any grain of seriousness, I can only think of one word: "Belarus". Nice place, but not for earning much money. My goal is to keep America American; i.e., prevent it from becoming Jamaica, Tunisia, Taiwan, India, Puerto Rico, etc. America is the greatest country in the world, and I'd like to keep it that way. I don't mind a few high skilled immigrants of any race, but only as long as they don't turn the country in the wrong direction, on net. I especially support studying what second-generation immigrants of various regions, perspectives, races, and classes have to contribute to this country.

Israel is the greatest country. Period.

Nah. Does it have Amazon Prime?

It's pretty nice and very socialist and they certainly are not racist at least with regard to immigration (Ethiopian Jews, Sephardics) so I'm not sure what your point is

@ E. Harding - you have verbal diarrhea. But your 'a few' comment is telling. Do you realize you freak that mixed race is superior to white only? Look at Linda Taylor, the Welfare Queen par excellance. She was MIXED, white and black. The more people from all corners of the earth the USA has, the more potential for this beneficial mixed race mingling. Even farmers with livestock know this simple biological fact.

@ Ray

I haven't noticed this in my experience. Do you have any actual evidence for this, other than your imagination? And I don't want any more Linda Taylors inside the U.S.

Americans aren't livestock.

Also, I have an idea to pay the lowest dregs of society to emigrate to some poorer country. That'll further speed up America's national acceleration.

Also, massive rebuttal to your argument: Puerto Ricans.

Ray, you are a creepy racist

You mentioned in one of your deleted comments that you aren't a natural born citizen. What are the outcomes like for first generation immigrants from your home country?

Dunno, and they would be colored by Jews. I'm from Russia, and have no recent Muslim or Jewish ancestry.

What that explains a lot.

"second-generation immigrants" - Semantic fail. Plus, I support the same measure for fourth to sixth generation Americans, which I suspect will include the likes of you.

Dmitri, didn't I mention I wasn't a natural-born citizen? :-)

Disgusting racial aggression. Just because someone disagrees with you about immigration policy it makes them a "WHITE Nationalist"?? Check your privilege.

Well, I am White, but not much of a nationalist.

Here is the comment policy from your website. What if Tyler is implementing something equally asinine, just for you?

1. No comment is ever published by a new commentator until I know of its existence. I typically look at comment(s) at approximately 5:20-5:30 AM and 3:15-8:45 PM Eastern Time. Your comment will probably not be published until then. Please wait a period of 13 hours without evidence I am active anywhere on WordPress to conclude your comment has been deleted and seven days to conclude I am not responding to it (I respond more quickly to shorter comments). Once I approve a commentator’s comment, that commentator can comment on this blog freely.

2. Speak English better than any other language you speak or as well as your first language. Proper grammar, capitalization, and spelling are musts. Gratuitous profanity is not permitted for new commentators. Those commentators whose comments do not show obvious familiarity with the English language will be blocked from commenting. Comments which both display a clear unfamiliarity with the English language and lack a clear point shall be deleted. I look at your IP Address when you comment, so your general location is not secret to me. You are absolutely prohibited from using Prohibited Words in the comments.

5. One must make at least one clear, relevant, and non-generic point when commenting.

8. If you do not read the entire post/page on which you are commenting on, and your not reading is visible from the content of your comment, I will delete or otherwise molest your comment.

9. If you do not have anything to contribute, do not post a comment. This is the rule for ending discussions. Please give a warning if you plan to end a discussion. If you claim that no amount of evidence will persuade you that a belief of yours which I do not accept is false, you will be blocked and the discussion will be declared over with.

Which of those sound "asinine" to you?

All of them. Now, sit back because I'm going to molest your comment.

As compared with Tyler's fine "no comment policy at all" (though impersonations of Cowen are strictly prohibited). Tyler's been molesting my comments lately (I think; he hasn't responded to my queries). I don't like it.

Usually, I actually try explain the reasons for why comments are deleted by me. Tyler hasn't contacted me in any way, shape, or form.

BTW, Ireland had a really crappy recovery from 2009 to 2013. It's only growing fast now due to catch-up.

And in any case, 90% of the comments on my blog are in direct response to me, with the expectation, whether explicit or implicit, that I reply. Only 1% of the comments on this blog are written for this purpose. Most are interpersonal, which require a different set of rules entirely. I did allow a pretty nasty interpersonal discussion on one blog post of mine.

3) We're in luck, someone did Jeb Bush's taxes for him assuming his plan is implemented. Surprise! He'd save $800k. I wonder how much his big bro would save?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-jeb-bush-would-reduce-his-own-tax-bill/2015/09/10/e5ed6744-57dd-11e5-8bb1-b488d231bba2_story.html?postshare=9711441925730868

The political problem we face that politicians won't address is first establishing a budget and only then figuring out how to pay for it.

Pretty much. This was especially a problem during the Bush II era and Vietnam and Korean wars.

What horror!

The real question is why Jeb should have to pay any taxes at all. He's an American hero for the way he fought tooth and nail to be born into absolute privilege.

Pretty much everyone in America has "absolute privilege", Jeb. So what? What does that have to do with tax policy?

Jeb? Jan? Joe? Why are my typing skills so poor today?

Jeb wouldn't even be an afterthought if it weren't for his last name. To be born into wealth and privilege and then give himself a huge tax cut exposes his true motivations. It's just in very bad taste.

Pretty disingenuous Jan

Don't see why. Wouldn't you lower your taxes if you could do so?

So if his proposal to cut taxes passes, he will pay lower taxes? Didn't see that one coming.

$800K! That's a big boy cut. It's illustrative of what he is trying to do to help the very wealthiest.

What horror.

Jan, you do understand how progressive taxes work, right? And you do realize American income taxes are more progressive than in Europe?

Income taxes, yes; not sure about the sales taxes. Strongly doubt transfers.

And our rich are much richer than their rich. So a more progressive system makes sense.

So then you are just pretending to be surprised about how a tax cut saves a lot of money for the high-income?

It doesn't look like anyone commented on Ireland here yet. You may remember Paul Krugman's optimism about Irish austerity in articles such as these:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/a-terrible-ugliness-is-born/

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/austerity-fantasies/?_r=0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/paul-krugman-ireland-is-r_n_1609089.html

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/ireland-is-the-success-story-of-the-future-and-always-will-be/

Two words. Karl Popper.

I commented on Ireland!

BTW, Ireland did have a really terrible non-recovery from 2009 to mid-2013.

BTW, it is at the time of Krugman's "success story of the future" post that Ireland started becoming a success story once again.

I was all excited about the territorial exclusion. Then I realized it was just for corporations. Not for expats, like me, who still have to file a U.S. Tax return even if they don't set foot in the country or earn a dime... Sigh, what do you expect from a party ran by rich people for rich people and their corporate buddies.

To clarify, by "dime" I mean a single $0.10 USD Plenty of $0.10 AUD

The only way to acoid the IRS, even if you were born in the USA and left the next day forever, is to formally renounce your citizenship.

Many Canadians got caught with this a few years ago and it made the media. There were plenty of cases of people who were born there and then left as a baby, but ended up owing large sums, into the millions, despite having never lived or worked in the USA.

That's really messed up

Your first $80 k of income is still tax free though, right? That was the deal I got living in Japan a long time ago.

It's really sad how PC nonsense in the US stops us from having "cheerleaders" like that. They're basically Mad Men-style secretaries.

Someone in the U.S. should try this.

The tax code is a huge sieve. Eliminate all deductions and cut rates by 50%. But wll never happen.

Thank you, Tyler, for the drumbeat on Syrian immigration.

I read but very rarely comment. So appreciate your emphasis. So appreciate.

I don't understand the connection between wanting to help Syrian refugees (admirable) and wanting to import them into the U.S. What is the relation between those two things? When the Tsunami happened was there a huge hue and cry for all the victims to immigrate to the U.S.? I don't remember that.

#6 http://shanghaiist.com/2015/05/04/alibaba-removes-ad-seeking-female-porn-star-qualities-motivate-employees.php

About Rabbis: " [Debra] Kamin has become one of the Conservative movement’s most prominent female leaders." and she is described as "An avowed liberal," How is a "liberal" a prominent leader in the Conservative group?

From least to most fundamentalist the streams of Judaism are:
Reform, Conservative, Modern Orthodox, Haradi

Within each category you can be further left (liberal) or further right (conservative).

Thanks. Very interesting I think I will read up about Jewish faith

#4: "the openness demonstrated by Germany is excellent news for all those who are worried about a decrepit and aging Europe."

The "worry" is that university elites will coordinate a demographic replacement of the ethnic people of Europe. Additionally, if Germany wants more young people, they can just socialize native Germans to have more babies. It is bizarre that someone would suggest an ethnic group have the obligation to remove themselves and hand their civilization over to complete foreigners for no reason.

"they can just socialize native Germans to have more babies"
That is the most frightening thing I've read today, and the rest were documents on Teller-Ulam design and the history of thermonuclear weapon development.

At some level I get that Mankiw and Feldstien are somehow serious economics professors. But at the very least, their credibility on presidential hopeful tax plans has to be in total tatters after their embarrassing defense of Mitt's plan. I mean, I'm not an economist, I'm just a guy with a grasp of algebra and it took all of 20 minutes to drive a truck through their supposed "analysis". **Spoiler alert** Mitt was going to stick it to the upper middle class to pay for tax breaks for millionaires. **Double spoiler alert** Jeb! is planning the same.

Once they've gone into government you can never trust an economist again. You can either be a scholar or a politician, not both.

This is at least the second time I read a world-class economist write something along the lines of "Why the interior provinces of China can't become as prosperous as the coastal ones?".

The answer is in your question.

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