Category Archives: Economics

Analyzing Rick Perry’s Flat Tax Plan

One of the consummate arguments in politics is over tax policy, and the 2012 presidential election is no exception. President Obama and the Democrats have decided to run on the “tax the rich” mantra, while the Republicans have focused on what former Reagan economic advisor Larry Kudlow says is more “pro-growth, flat-tax reform.” Herman Cain has his 9-9-9 tax plan, Rick Perry has a flat 20% tax plan, and even Jon Huntsman has come out with a flatter tax proposal, with a top tax rate of 23%.

How I Agree With Occupy Wall Street

While the Occupy Wall Street movement may not have a very coherent message as a whole, there are some messages that stand out more than others. Some of these messages I agree with, some I don’t. One message of the Occupy movement that I wholeheartedly endorse is one that calls for the cutting of special tax cuts and deductions from the tax code.

The American Jobs Act – A Speech by President Barack Obama

President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress tonight, giving a speech about creating jobs in the United States, and introducing his “American Jobs Act,” which he asked Congress to pass immediately. To some, it was a speech that could mark a turning point in his flailing presidency. To others, it was a rehashing of failed policies and ideas.

An Unbalanced Budget Amendment?


Earlier this week, I read a fascinating post on the blog “Marginal Revolution,” by Alex Tabarrok, an associate professor of economics and the Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at George Mason University. Instead of instituting a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) in the United States, we should institute an unBalanced Budget Amendment (unBBA). Here’s how it would work:

The U.S. Gets Downgraded; What Does It Mean?

Standard Poors2

On Friday evening, rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States’ credit rating from AAA to AA+. This marks the first time that the United States has been downgraded in the 70 years that S&P has been rating countries. This downgrade has a lot of symbolic weight to it, but doesn’t have a lot of clear political, economic, or individual implications.

Make Immigration Easier!


In the New York Times Magazine this week was an article written by Jose Antonio Vargas, in which he “outed” himself as an undocumented worker. He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. It was an incredible piece of journalism. His public confession again raises the issues of immigration reform.

If You Tax Something, You Get Less of It

Population change2

I hear it time and time again. Liberals say, “Let’s raise taxes on the rich people. Just a little bit.” Then, conservatives answer, “If you raise taxes, you’ll drive people and businesses away.” We’re going through this right now in Illinois. In January, the Illinois state legislature raised the individual tax rate 66%, and raised the corporate income tax rate 49%. Do higher tax rates actually drive people and businesses away? Or is this just conservative fear-mongers beating their fear drum?

The Economics of Parenting

Children Lying with Heads Together

One of the blogs that I follow is called “Freakonomics,” which is the title of the authors’ book, Freakonomics (they’ve also just released another book called SuperFreakonomics). Yesterday, I listened to an episode of their radio show called “The Economist’s Guide to Parenting.” This was one of the most interesting things I’ve listened to all week (that, and the Anthony Weiner resignation announcement). If you have a little bit of time, you should listen to it.

Extraversion and Success


Is there a link between extroversion and success? My wife and I had a discussion this evening about a possible link between extroversion and success. Does having extroverted tendencies lead one to have greater success, in business or in life?

The Failure of Compromise

Nancy Pelosi2

Last week, in a post about redistricting, I noted that people are mistaken if they think that their vote actually elects their representative. Here’s another reason why your vote counts for less than you think: the representatives we send to Congress write very little of the governing law of our nation. Not that I’m trying to discourage you from voting or anything…