==> Tom Woods has a good discussion of the “living wage.”
==> A recent interview with “Political Badger” where we discuss the mechanics of a voluntary society.
==> I knew “The Imitation Game” (movie about Alan Turing and Enigma) had a lot of bogus details. This article outlines some.
==> Viewers’ Choice: If I’m going to go after one of Noah Smith’s recent Bloomberg posts, would you guys prefer this one or this one? We don’t believe in democracy here; I’m asking you to make a case.
==> Scott Sumner has been writing on tax theory again, and I think he is badly mistaken. (Or at least, if you didn’t know economic theory beforehand, reading Scott’s treatment of taxation would totally screw you up.) He presented a cleaned-up version here, which I will critique formally elsewhere. For now, let me just bring to your attention an interesting throw-away observation Scott made in his initial post. After proposing to tweak the Rubio-Lee tax plan by adding “a 50% rate for income above $250,000 (or $500,000 for married people),” Scott wrote:
Conservatives might complain that a 50% top rate is too high. The current top rate is 43.4% (don’t believe the liars who claim it’s 39.6%.) But that is the top rate for an income tax system. Rubio and Lee are proposing that we switch to a consumption tax system. Consumption is less than income, especially for the rich, or should I say the “rich.” (How much will I consume the year I finally sell my house? Not $600,000.) So the top rate should be higher with any switch to a consumption tax. Indeed you can argue that people with consumption levels in the $100s of millions per year should face an even higher tax rate. And don’t tell me they “deserve” the 500 yachts earned through legal barriers to entry like intellectual property laws, there is no such thing as “deserve” in a cold heartless universe composed of nothing but subatomic particles, where most people are born into peasant families in places like Nigeria and Bangladesh. If conservatives won’t be hardheaded realists, who will be?
That’s actually kind of freaky. But, then again I realize most economists don’t like my metaphysical Sunday posts and just stick to criticizing my “austere” policy positions…