Saturday assorted links


3 - How original. Is that plagiarism? "Eat the rich!"

Seems likely Trump will get his six full years to fulfill the other 10% of his campaign promises, most importantly remaking the federal judiciary.

Check the polling. Is meta-unlikeable Fauxcahontas trailing corrupt, incompetent Hillary in the polls.

In conclusion, Utah Senator Mitt Romney is Elizabeth Warren in a Brooks Brothers suit.


Utah Senator Mitt Romney is Rino John McCain with a longer life expectancy.

It would be pretty funny if Romney beats Trump in the primaries in an Empire Strikes Back kind of way.

And then of course have the Democrats tar Romney as a mysogynist, racists and homophobe, of course.

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"remaking the federal judiciary."
Stacking the court with Federalist Society nutjobs is like putting Skull and Bones back into the White House.

+1 Damn those constitution believing judges. Can't have a socialist/communist nirvana with that damned bill of rights.

Dick the Butcher, EdR, Anon, Skywalker, & RatInPutinsMaze, with your fact-free opinions, are terrible people. Though you probably think otherwise. Good luck.

... and you are anonymous ... and incorrect. I am wonderful - just ask my mom.

I am sorry you feel like that.

I did a search on "federalist society nutjobs." Calling them "nutjobs" says more about you than about the federalists (I'm not sure if the bogeyman you heartily decry is the same as the Federalists or their positions during the nation's founding).

If I had been smarter and (even) more devoid of scruples, I could have studied law and become one.

Take two aspirins and let me know if your condition improves in January 2025 after President Trump retires.


D the B is right, the Limousine Liberals pandering to the unwashed masses. According to my notes below, Warren's math doesn't work, for 'ordinary' 0.1% people. And keep in mind that the original income tax was a modest 1%. Is this the thin edge of the 'kulak' wedge? Class warfare? -RL

The wealth tax would raise $2.75 trillion over a 10-year period from about 75,000 families, or less than 0.1 percent of U.S. households, Saez said. [Washington Post Jan 2019 on the proposed Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) wealth tax. $275 billion a year divided by 75k families = $3.7M/yr per family. As for 2006, these 0.1% made at least $1.6m/yr (min) ]- Saez and Zucman initially evaluated a proposal at Warren’s request to levy a 1 percent wealth tax on income above $10 million, rather than a 2 percent wealth tax above $50 million, according to a Jan. 14 letter the economists sent to Warren.

I am just wondering. Do you ever read your own posts?

Not more than once in most cases, just as most things I read just once.

But I write pretty much the same thing repeatedly, reading them once, but given the repetition, you can argue I read what i write repeatedly.

I am follwing the example of many free lunch economists who repeatedly write illogical claims and very distorted facts.

As if, cutting incomes of consumers will increase consumer demand and thus GDP, but never argue they are paid say too much, dragging down GDP.

Ie, cost cutting to boost growth is never about cutting the job killing costs of high profits and rents, but only killing jobs and slashing wages which must cut consumer spending.

Odd that no one argued for the past month GDP was going to soar from much higher consumer demand because the cost of paying private government contract workers has been slashed to near zero.

In 1912 Henry James began work on his 2 last novels .... "The Ivory Tower" and the "Sense of the Past" ....

(that was 53 years ago) 54 years later, in 1966, Thomas Pynchon published his second (not his first, his second) novel, a very intellectual "jeu d'esprit" which he had begun work on earlier than that, something he called "The Crying of Lot 49"

That was 53 years ago.

And you expect the abundantly generous with his words, with a name borrowed from an old chess disposition (dispensation?) we all know well, you expect that generous commenter (with respect to his quantity of words) (albeit spiritually clueless, most of the time, with respect to the Quality of what he says, but that is neither here nor there, James and Pynchon were and are rather spiritually clueless too, trust me) ---- you expect that commenter to answer you, heart to heart, when you ask him or her if he or she rereads his or her comments, and you expect, and think you deserve, a straight answer?

Maybe in a world where Henry James - Henry James! - did not write novels that were less than half as old as the early Pynchon novels, but not in this world.

Proverbs 8, John 3-5: look it up. The Avenue at Middleharnis, Hobbema. Take a look. The sky over the battlefield where Bolkonsky fell, and at which he gazed, remembering what is important, although the words Tolstoy granted him to use were mere pastiches of what Pushkin described at greater length in his Stone Island poems.

Reread? Why bother, tomorrow will be a better day, and someday we will all be literate enough to read the very beautiful whitecaps on the ocean, to read the fern-like patterns of ice on our windows in the winter months, to read each other's hearts: Cor ad cor loquitur, as Newman used to like to say.

"Why do I bother?"

"Well, you are welcome anyway."

The Fake Indian knows she is done. Even the far-left Boston Globe has turned on her. At this point, she's just jockeying for a cabinet post in some other lunatic Dem's administration.

Brevity is the soul of wit. You the man!

Warren's poll numbers are higher than the Wimp's says the very pro-Wimp Rasmussen.

#2,6 Yet America keeps supporting these regimes. If only Brazilians dedicated themselves to murder young American soldiers, than we would get better treatment. Sad.

A basic tenet of writing is the first word and the last of a sentence are the most important. Take the headline, "It was the second consecutive major title for Osaka, 21, who defeated Serena Williams at the United States Open in September." It is imperialist. Why not start the sentence with Osaka?

Because the title is the important part.

Go judges!

5. Smith: "The Industrial Revolution was amazing, but there's still some chance - small, in my opinion, but real - that the whole thing will cause the death of the planet's environment and make it permanently uninhabitable for the human race. "

The odds of that happening are zero. I can see why Tyler might not understand this since he doesn't have a science background but Smith does.

Do you know that there is a thing in science, where you can detect fraud, because numeric answers are too perfect?

Zero is too perfect.

If I were to make up a number for species failure over 1000 years it would be low, but not perfectly zero. That's because a path to failure is too easily seen .. we chip away at biodiversity until we chip too far, and then oops, we never really got good enough at engineering to fix it.

Say some CO2 and pollution level leads to sewer oceans, massive O2 sucks on a planetary scale.

Human extinction due to an environmental failure can't happen by any known means (and Smith obviously means climate change).

You know about acidic oceans and past mass extinctions? Surely the existence of those past examples moves the needle off zero.

He isn't talking about an asteroid hit or an ocean acidic event millions of years into the future when humans, with their i-phone XX could handle the situation. The Second Coming is far more likely.

A recent headline was "Acidic Faster than Past 300 Million Years."

I'm just saying don't give that stuff "zero" odds of making the air unbreathable, especially over 1000 years. Let alone discovering some "natural services" trap 2000 or 5000 years from now, because we tried to run a planet without rainforest or something.

Have you ever tried the free Khan Academy sciences courses? They are really good.

Do you have numbers that say this world maintains sufficient O2 for human respiration without current ocean algal biomass, or without rainforests?

(More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon rainforest - science)

I think we should keep the rainforest around. The Amazon rain forest is getting destroyed to produce beef, palm oil, soybeans, and eucalyptus.

Whether or not we are currently on the brink of the sixth mass extinction or not, the forest is worth saving.

A little info on palm oil:

The Amazon rain forest is fine.

We're talking about 11,088 million square feet, 6652.8 million square feet in Brazil alone.

Peter Brannen, in his book "The Ends of the World ...", tries to make the case we are in a sixth extinction. However, when he discussed this with THE expert on extinctions, Doug Erwin, professor Erwin calls it psuedo-science. It was to his credit that Brannen included Erwin's debunking in his book, though the entire book is all about the coming apocalypse.

I think the left is now enamored with apocalyptic visions, as they really hope to bring down man, especially men, especially white men, and capitalism.

All that self-hatred must be painful.

I would be very suspicious of high odds ,especially for looming catastrophe in the short term.

Since I'm not going to live a thousand years is more a theoretical question for me.

But then isn't Tyler book about Thousand-Year futures?

As I understand, Tyler's book is about thousand year futures, which is why I can't imagine wanting to read it. In a thousand years, I'll be long dead, my genes will be either extinct or widely dispersed, and the lives of whatever humans are then living will be unimaginable. Why think about something you can't imagine?

I am pretty sure that anthropogenic driven climate change won't make the world unliveable - that is simply impossible. But the we could destroy the world through some other means. My belief is that we have a very good chance of doing this with strong AI. Another potential is of course nuclear warfare, or some kind of weaponised disease perhaps by terrorists once gene technologies become more advanced and cheaper. I think the comment that over time the cost of destroying the world is going down is exactly right. Unfortunately I don't have a good answer to this - asking Governments to regulate AI is not going to work, they are the most likely to abuse it. Perhaps an anti-technology movement might work - but I can't see for instance the Chinese government going for that.

5. "...we want to leave a much better world for our infinite future generations - and to maximize the infinitude of those generations - basic research and green technology are our best bet. "

Sustainability is a myth. The 2nd law of thermodynamics rules the universe, so get over it. Nuclear is the way to go until the next thing pops up. It's all about energy density.

Why not fusion power delivered wirelessly for free?

Just pay some workers to collect the free power by building capital assets: solar panels and batteries, assets that will be productive for decades until you pay workers to recycle the less productive assets into new assets.

Or you can pay farmers to harvest the wireless free fusion power directly as solar energy, or indirectly as wind or hydro power. Or seamen to do the same.

Harvesting free wireless fusion power requires paying workers significantly less that paying workers to build efficient nuclear fission plants that require lots of wires to distribute it. In 50 years nuclear fission is still locked in the 60s when nucllear power plangts werd designed to create nucler bombs materials. Thus 100 kilos of input produced 2 kg of hot waste with limited market, 45kg bomb plutonium. 20kg uranium bomb material, and 30 kg to put back in the reactor to produce more bomb material. Oh, yeah, a kg got turned into heat used by industries.

A project building naval vessel power plants was started to not prodduce bombs, but heat for long time by burning up all the uranium, but the Nixon adminstration shut that project down. And limited nuclear power to the product bombs reactor design. Carter stopped the refining work to product the material for perhaps a million bombs, then was defeated by Reagan who pushed to mine uranuim in order to bury it in mines, all government run, and subsidized, to support a government bomb producing reactors that as a side effect generated waste heat that industry could sell for private profit as long as government kept fossil fuel production down so heat had a high enough price. Or government forced individual and small business consumers to pay for high cost heat.

Remember, Carter pushed PURPA, which when embraced by States destroyed the captize big business customer based that was forced to pay the high cost of government nuclear power economy. The conservative South rejected PURPA so it was the only place any investment in government 50s era nuclear power seemed to be viable. Remember, the AP1000 reactor still produces prmarily bomb making material, with heat being a waste product.

Fusion DNE.

3. Possibly because of my age and disposition, I don't give favorable odds on the USA getting a wealth tax, and I view this as a thing which marginalizes Warren, given that a majority of Democrats want more moderate party.

Still I find it tremendously interesting. Donald Trump was the Republican President who moved the Overton Window alright, but he moved it far left.

The Republicans, culminating with Trump, were just so bad at government that they made something completely different look good. Especially to the youths.

Not sure the poll means anything. Asking “dem leaning independents” where they want the party to be...

What matters is where the median dem primary voter is. The only reason Sanders lost the last primary was he had no appeal to African-americans.

But yeah, there’s little to no chance a wealth tax passes the senate.

They grouped Democrats with their leaners, and Republicans with their leaners.

The rather striking thing was the Democrats/leaners as a group wanted moderation, well Republicans/leaners is a group still oppose moderation.

Who's the Centrists now?

There won’t be any centrists.

Dems will vote for a candidate that promises to abolish ICE and blah blah.

Always hard to explain logic to you. The primary voters will define the candidates and litmus tests. For Dems it will be a doozy.

>Dems will vote for a candidate that promises to abolish ICE

Yep. That's the hope, anyway, and it's almost certain to pan out. Everyone who Hillary failed in 2016 (hi, Tyler!) is going to pour their rage into the angriest, vengeance-filled candidate.

And the Trump will mop the floor with them, with ease. Not that he's a prize either, of course, but I promise you it will be worth it for the humor value!

I call myself a centrist and I mostly mean it. Among the possible Democratic Party nominees, I’m not sure who would qualify as a centrist. I’d like Romney to cross the aisle and run with Bloomberg. The others are mad as hatters and more shrill. I don’t want ICE abolished, I want it strengthened. I predict Kamela Harris will win as she’s more intersectional than the moderately charming but dim Beto. This matters to the mad-as-hatters who will decide the primaries.

Candidates have a different problem now, trying to get attention from party activists, and obviously (interestingly!) that is leading to a competition in "dramatic socialism."

I hope that shakes out, and a moderate is chosen, but let's face it, Trump has created a world where he loses to "generic socialist."

If he doesn't cut his retire and pardon deal before then.

So a majority of Democrats wants to move their party towards the Right, And a majority of Republcians wants to move their party towards the Right,

Ok, I agree with the consensus.

This is a classic example of Simpson's Paradox: both parties can move right, but the overall shift can be to the left.

>so bad at government that they made something completely different look good. Especially to the youths.

You are a bit of a dipshit. "Vote for me and everything will be free" is always going to be a compelling lie for the youths, no matter what the other side is saying.

This is why the Dems want to lower the voting age to four.

At this point, I'm really happy that you're not getting a clue.

As I say, Trump has managed to change America. Fox News: "Voters favor taxing the wealthy, increasing domestic spending"

Of course that is because Trumpism(*) is failing so hard. If it was working, Democrats would have to say "me too, cut taxes, and services."

When a policy succeeds the opposition adjusts to it. When a policy fails, it rallies the competition.

* - further, Trumpism as an endpoint to anti-intellectual, tribal, conservatism.

You misread the data. Some Trumpists are ok with taxing the rich because they hate the elite. It has nothing to do with the 'wisdom' of high tax rates,

I did not make that claim, but I will say billionare Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross chose a poor moment to expound on personal credit.

Maybe some of those "anti-elite" MAGA types started putting 2 + 2 together.

lol, at least post some Gallup or Pew polls that show change over time rather than some rando Fox "This year 51% of Americans think spending could increase" thing. First step in even showing correlation or change, let alone causation.

Here's another one:

'The poll's results showed that by 63 percent to 28 percent , a margin greater than two to one, Americans believe the country is "off on the wrong track" rather than "headed in the right direction."'

They'd be like that even if Clinton had won. Its an extremist shift in politics generally, not cause and effect where Trump has radicalised anyone. They just wouldn't be so deranged and raging about the while thing, and rather just more smug, in the parallel.

Of course not, you are arguing that the polarization would have succeeded even if it failed.

Had Trump lost in 2016, the big lesson for everyone would have been "well, that didn't work."

That's still the lesson. We just had a harder and more painful path to get there.

Pro-tip: crazy uncles may have their charm, but never elect them president

Well Hillary did lose in 2016 and the Dems decide to double down on stupid. Who didn't learn their lesson?

Quite. I think the idea is that for "anonymous" polarisation means "The Right not conceding continuously to the Left's push for social politics ever leftward", rather than the actual constant drive to the left while the Right and "moderates" stay in about the same place that tends to actually be the more prominent driver of polarisation.

(Note that a pretty strong Never Bernie sentiment is building, as well as attempts to fence out spoiler candidates. At this point there is no hint that Super Tuesday is going to pick a "Democratic Trump.")

Super Tuesday is surprisingly close ..

I doubt Trump has anything to do with the voting patterns of the youth, he hasn't been around long enough to do anything fundamental there. He's just a recent catalyst bringing what was there to the surface, and it's not like previous Republicans were particularly worse than Democrats (for instance, there are long-standing reasons corruption is synonymous with Chicago politics), and I say that as a member of neither tribe.

Instead, I'd suggest looking at who has been running the education system in the US. The long march through the institutions is where the blame for this lies.

It does indeed go further back. It goes back to "socialist Obama" laying groundwork for .. socialism.

Calling moderates like Obama a socialist had an unintended consequence.

“Romney gon put y’all back in chains!!”
- Joe Biden, VP of the US in 2012 orating that Romney’s secret Mormon plan was to reinstitute slavery for blacks in America

This argument is always trotted out and it’s equally vacuous for both sides.

As always, trace it back to the primary voter. Republicans were pushing against a stone, illegal immigration, in which all elites regardless of Party are lock step in favor of. Rage turns into Trump. Trump will crash and burn, because we will never allow illegal immigration to actually be questioned by hicks and idiots. Sad !

Dems are a different animal. White liberals with low incomes but graduate degrees are overwhelmingly in favor of nationalized healthcare and finance, and confiscatory taxes on all their successful acquaintances. But minorities make up half the party, and play kingmaker. So she who commands the black southern vote commands the nomination.

Kemala is coming.

Yes. They play kingmaker by virtue of numbers, voting propensity/predictability and by the newer metric of intersectionality.

In which intersectionality just means, oh no, broad political appeal?


Intersectionality, contrary to Steve Sailer and the Charlottesville Guderians, is a framework for privilege and moral value as an inverse of privilege. Truth is subordinate to intersectional testimony.

But you’re trolling of course.

Warren-Harris 2020!! For the first time we have a solid chance at abolishing ICE and Border Patrol.

We have a real opportunity, thanks to Trump, to permanently enforce open borders. He will be the worlds greatest humanitarian, completely by accident.

#3 I'm immensely pleased she won't come near the nomination. What a remarkably stupid plan. The stupidity however is contagious and someone with a better chance will likely propose something similar. It seems this is the only thing that really plays to their base right now.

"The 2nd law of thermodynamics rules the universe, so get over it."


Of course lefties would use the combination of utilitarian ethics and a zero discount rate to justify their preferences rather than economic freedom. Noah Smith is reliably wrong, but Cowen set him up with a softball pitch. Probably due to his weak and superficial support for individual rights and zero support for egoistic ethics, without which the case for free markets and free people has continuously withered under attack from people with more consistent, ethics-based, and wrong premises.

I picture this as an epic speech to an empty room.

Well, you read it.

To imagine it, you had to put yourself there in the room. Makes your comment pretty dumb when you think about it, no?

"So it's cool that he's finally telling the world, in no uncertain terms, what he thinks society should be all about!

Oh yeh...maybe even rad. Well, he's got the beard thing going already. I prefer the "very circumspect guy who doesn't like to come out and make strong value statements. " But I prefer that everyone be that way.

"I prefer the "very circumspect guy who doesn't like to come out and make strong value statements. " "

Tyler Cowen for President 2022

Sadly Alex can not be the VP candidate.

2022? You're like Jonah Ryan on 'Veep'

3. Elizabeth Warren proposes wealth tax.

Note, the economists proposal for a regressive energy tax lasted all but about five minutes. Each side is back to getting special exemptions to cover their sacred entitlements. They pay lip service to global warming. We find the same in California where environmentalists have carte blanche to create more global warming, not less, and the do so in spades..

#3, Whoa, Eliz Warren has really gone off the reservation on this one since a wealth tax would require a constitutional amendment and that ain't going to happen. But in fairness, she did not become a Harvard law professor because of her legal acumen.

LOL. We already have progressive marginal tax rates, so no constitutional amendment needed.

2 coins it is.

LOL indeed. The 16A grants the federal government the power of levying income taxes. A wealth tax is a direct tax, which (under art. 1, sec. 2) must be apportioned among the states by population:

Pedantic but thanks. I think Congress will find a way, after all, they already tax capital gains.

5. I'm an optimistic, which means I see what Cowen and Noah agree upon: more attention to the future. My problem with Cowen has little to do with the theoretical that will produce faster economic growth (lower taxes, etc.) but the actual that has bequeathed an additional $2 trillion debt on the future generation. Why wasn't Cowen shouting from the rooftops when the Republicans did it?

I really liked Noah Smith’s thoughtful review of Stubborn Attachments, but if we really don’t know what policies produce long-term growth, is academic economics a scam?

"2. China clones gene-edited monkeys ho hum."

Ahh, cute monkeys.

#1. That is pretty amazing. That's a practical innovative solution. Bravo to airbnb and those involved.

"But now imagine you're an administrator in Ming Dynasty China in the 1400s. What policies do you recommend in order to make China industrialize? Even with the benefit of centuries of hindsight, the answer is not obvious at all. You can dig up coal, build factories, etc., but plenty of countries tried this approach with disappointing results."

What countries tried this before the 20th century and had disappointing results?

Oops! I meant to reply to this comment. “I really liked Noah Smith’s thoughtful review of Stubborn Attachments, but if we really don’t know what policies produce long-term growth, is academic economics a scam?”

Yeah, this commenting system is really bad. Disqus is free, isn't it?

5. Noah Smith really isn’t so bad for a center left economics guy. He could be soooooo much worse. He also tries to argue within the lines and doesn’t straw man too much.

However, he doesn’t make much peace or even try to refute the idea that underlies all of free market-laissez faire ideology which is that profits are value added and value added is what drives the whole ball game.

I guess Noah could counter that you need lots of government spending on research to fund the new ideas that drive value added because private pursuit of profit alone will not drive the whole thing. I’m skeptical of that view.

However if you really want to ascribe a role to government in this whole thing, then you can’t underestimate countries with good contract-business law. He wonders openly “why Britain? And not 14th century China? Is he serious with that??

Why on Earth would would anyone center-anything have to make peace or refute a profit motive? They, we, fully embrace it.

We just want the government sector to be run seriously, and that *it* not be strawmanned as "the problem."

The trick in a mixed economy is to do both public and private sectors excellently.

Value added is the WHOLE BALL GAME. You can argue that market actors only pursue profit and it to an incredible extent, that is a really good thing.

So no the private sector and public sector are not created equal. You do however need some form of functional public sector to drive the private sector.

He wonders openly “why Britain? And not 14th century China? Is he serious with that??

I think he seriously does. Guys like Noah Smith and Brad DeLong, generally nice guys economists with a streak of centre-left activism (they're not your normative twitter vicious, angry left troll aggressives), do have difficulty with this question.

Their default assumptions include that market size, and integrating a larger population into the same society and market is very key to growth, and that where the state does things that matter, this should be in the direction of social safety net and working towards stronger international integration.

A stance towards ever more open, larger, integrating markets "underwrites" much of their political thinking which is towards bringing more people into the market and same polity - marginalized minorities with nation, foreigners outside the nation - through migration, international institution building and anti-discrimination or affirmative action legislation. Their credo is of more inclusive markets, and mostly everything else flows from that.

Follow this logic, and at least on the market size side of things, that should give large returns to large nations like China.

But of course this didn't happen at all...

More apolitical economists (increasingly a rarer breed moving into the future) have fewer problems with this; if market size isn't as important as they think, then that's just the case.

"Follow this logic, and at least on the market size side of things, that should give large returns to large nations like China."

Yes, it's the same kind of thinking that makes them reflexively support the EU.

Across Italy, small mountain villages are being abandoned by younger generations, because, despite their fairytale skylines, these rural communities don’t offer much in terms of professional opportunity. That has left empty homes and led to the rise of the albergo diffuso–literally “scattered hotel”–in which tourists pay to bunk in an unoccupied home and enjoy being part of a village community for a little while. It’s the anti-resort approach to travel–an attempt to preserve a local culture rather than steamroll it with new construction and pizza shops.

This from the first article. Abandoned homes in this part of the USA get burned down by methheads, almost certainly.

But now imagine you're an administrator in Ming Dynasty China in the 1400s. What policies do you recommend in order to make China industrialize?

Tell them to fly a kite in a storm with a very wet twine with embedded metal. Then try an figure out which direction the lightening flows. Worked for us.

#2) When China performs some research in cloning, gene editing, etc. that might be considered unethical in the West, do our scientists actually learn much from those experiments and can our scientists "keep up" with China's in terms of skills, knowledge, etc. from reading the published papers and engaging in scientific discussion with the Chinese scientists? If so, then this situation might be a good way for the West to "free ride" on the non-rivalrous knowledge generated from these experiments without needing to incur the (moral) "cost" of engaging in unethical experimentation ourselves. Even if reading the papers is not sufficient to truly "keep up" with the Chinese, as long as the West remains an attractive place for Chinese scientists to migrate to, then the West needn't necessarily fall behind. We can always import those Chinese scientists' human capital in the future.

Some might object that benefiting from unethical research is itself unethical, even if we don't do the research here ourselves. However, China already engages in all sorts of unethical behavior towards *humans*, such as Uighurs, Falun Gong, Tibetans, all of its own citizens, Taiwanese, etc. If we already don't intervene to stop unethical Chinese actions towards humans under the guise of not getting involved in "another country's business" or "observing local laws" (as when US companies follow Chinese surveillance and censorship laws when doing business in China), then why would we try to stop unethical Chinese actions towards non-human animals?

The "right" strategy here seems to be to welcome Chinese bio-experimentation and gain as much knowledge as possible from it until we are able to determine our own ethical standards for such experimentation here. On the other hand, if tolerating unethical experiments on even animals seems morally wrong, then perhaps that's a sign that we should first stop being so tolerant of Chinese transgressions against actual humans.

> as long as the West remains an attractive place for Chinese scientists to migrate to

The chief investigator of that project was a returnee professor from Berkeley. He was left out of the US Brain project despite his track record. He is now getting research fundings indexed to the national GDP. With current situations he might be out-smarted by the Chinese bureaucrats.

#3) What are the various ways that the wealthy would use to minimize wealth taxes --- own hard to value and track collectibles like art and gold coins vs. buy securities in regulated markets, for example --- and how would each of those affect non-wealthy people?

It never seems to amaze me at the total ignorance of some economists when it comes to the real world. Let me give you an example of the wealth tax and a 70% marginal rate in combination on the wealth of Jeff Bezo.

Jeff has a net worth of around $150 billion . Almost all of it in low or no basis Amazon stock. Amazon pays no dividends so the money to pay the wealth tax has to come form the sale of stock.

3% of $150 billion is $4.5 billion dollars. So Jeff needs to generate $4.5 billion after tax to pay the annual wealth tax. Combining the federal and state taxes would give Jeff around a 75% tax rate. So to generate after tax income to pay the wealth tax he would need to sell approximately $18 billion dollars of stock annually.

Obviously his wealth would be quickly dissipated. But worse the stock price of Amazon would be depressed and all of the institutions that benefit form a high Amazon price would suffer such as pension funds 401k's, State government pensions etc. The IRS would also lose the capital gains they would collect from other investors as they sell because the price of the stock would decrease .

Even worse Warren would surely want to spend this windfall on new programs and in less than 10 years this windfall revenue stream would cease to exist but the programs would continue to exist.

Where to go for the money to continue these programs. Well the ultra rich would no longer be rich so the only source would be the middle class.

Of course all of this ignores the very detrimental effect on the lack of capital accumulation to the economy.

You don't pay income tax on capital gains, you pay capital gains tax, which are much lower. My own back-of-the-envelope math shows that Bezos would only have to liquidate ~$5.8 billion a year, assuming his assets belong in the state of Washington, and assuming the capital gains tax will operate as a sort of surtax on the wealth tax (unclear, the legislation has not yet been written). Bezos currently liquidates $1 billion a year for his pet project alone, so it's not like no one's buying.

Also, more importantly, his net worth increased by $40 billion last year. I think he'll be fine. And so will any other billionaire whose annual ROI is more than 3% (which it really ought to be if you're at all competent). Guys like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett liquidate billions every year to give to charity and their net worths are still skyrocketing. This nonsense about the wealth of the mega rich evaporating due to a 3% tax has to stop.

You could not be more wrong. The 70% tax rate proposal applies to all income not just compensation and interest. In addition several states including California tax capital gains at ordinary income rates.

Secondly in the last 6 months Amazon stock has declined 23% and Bezos has lost $30 billion in net worth. It happens.

The math is completely correct despite your uneducated effort to justify a ruinous tax for both the individual and the country. Who in their right mind would locate their company in the US under such aproposal.

A 40% exise tax on your net worth would require a complete confiscation of Bezos assets under the 70% and 3% proposals. As a matter of fact it would require Bezos to sell liquidate 300% of his assets.

Every European country that has had a wealth tax is eliminating them . See France for the latest.

I can find no source which says AOC's proposal applies to all income including capital gains. As far as I can tell, she merely wants to add a new income tax bracket. Whether her proposal would actually be effective in increasing revenue is unclear. I suspect it won't be near as effective as Warren's proposal, which I prefer.

Again, the idea that the tax is "ruinous" to billionaires is simply hilarious. I won't even entertain that notion.

Americans would locate their companies in the US under such a proposal, because the US has worldwide tax jurisdiction, so moving your company elsewhere won't help much (the proposal includes a large funding boost for the IRS to enforce the tax). As for those who'd look to emigrate to avoid the tax, Warren has included a one time 40% exit tax (which would obviously *not* require the liquidation of 300% of ones' assets, lol).

The biggest flaw in a wealth tax, and the reason they haven't worked in other countries, is the risk of capital drain. Again, this is alleviated by the USA's unique worldwide tax jurisdiction.

5. Not surprisingly, Noah completely ignores the huge, obvious growth vs. redistribution trade-off that economists of every persuasion have acknowledged for decades.

1. First things first: rural Italy is doing fine, just like rural France or rural Spain. They all are full off small rustic villages where a home can go up and above the 1 million € range, and investors and fresh citizens are moving in alike.
In Italy what makes it interesting is that communes enjoy relatively strong independence in decision making and key questions like old building protection. If local governance chose that a sewer system is a thing of evil, houses and infrastructure should be preserved in their 18th century form and they were particularly unlucky to not have any roads built nearby, plus the area is heavily exposed to earthquakes - well, then those may be reasons why people are moving out. There are many fine examples where this management between old and modern is very successfull, but the opposite happens ever so often.

I should have edited rural Spain out, it's actually not doing that fine at all. But France and Italy have a healthy countryside economy in general.

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