Punishing ‘Extreme Business Success’: Who Does That Help?

 

The most compelling feature of Bernie Sanders’ wealth tax proposal is that it makes Elizabeth Warren’s seem a bit less unreasonable. The Sanders tax is a graduated levy that reaches 10 percent for fortunes over $10 billion vs. the Warren plan’s 2 percent tax on assets $50 million and an added percentage point for wealth over $1 billion. Assuming each tax has been in place since the 1980s, here’s how they would have impacted America’s richest people, according to economist Gabriel Zucman:

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Age of Hysteria

 

Is there a limit to how long the global warming / climate change scam can be kept alive? Is there certainly a point at which predictions of global climate catastrophe must be admitted incorrect?

Honestly, I thought the fear mongering would have lost some traction by now. But every other day I read about some new marketing tie-in.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see France, Germany, and the UK conclude that Iran attacked Saudi Arabia earlier this month and that there is no other plausible explanation. They also groan over the political circus about to begin as House Democrats appear to be moving en […]

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Pro-Growth War?

 

Anti-China hawks in the US are eager for a New Cold War that would disentangle the two mega-economies, especially their technology sectors. They see the inevitable economic disruption as a necessary evil to bolster US national security. And there might be even a partially beneficial economic offset if a slice of Asian manufacturing returns to American shores.

But some nationalists are more optimistic about the potential economic gains from escalating the current trade conflict into something broader. According to this view, the New Cold War would pit the two economies in a high-stakes competition for technological supremacy — and thus geopolitical dominance — in the 21st century. The sense of urgency would force each side to marshal all of their resources and talent in pursuit of victory. Space Race, meet the AI race. The resulting scientific advances and tech innovation would boost both economies. And with prosperity rising, neither side would risk the cold war turning into a hot one.

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Join Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America as they serve up the final martinis of the week. First, they welcome the whimpering conclusion of the pointless presidential campaign of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. They also pop the popcorn as as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says no […]

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It’s all crazy martinis today! Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America start with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau found to have used blackface on at least three occasions but the maddening part is how the left is urging everyone to calm down with respect to Trudeau when they would have […]

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Distribution of Control is a new political paradigm ideally suited to 21st Century economic challenges. It is intended to inform a new politics for our still new millennium. I’ve more fully explored DC at BurkeanNation.org, and am now bringing it to the Ricochet community, with this being the second post. My goal is to find […]

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California Knifes the Gig Economy

 

(Sacramento, Aug. 29) Car displaying Uber and Lyft fliers advocating California unionize the gig economy.
California state legislators embarked last week on the single most important regulatory misadventure this country has seen in many decades, seeking to redefine the obscure but critical legal distinction between an employee and an independent contractor. The employment relationship today is subject to massive regulation that is inapplicable to the independent contractor, who pretty much works on his or her own.

Like it or not, the employee receives many statutory protections, including the right to receive minimum wages and overtime, to join a union, to receive worker’s compensation benefits and unemployment insurance, and to receive paid family and sick leave. None of that mandated protection comes without significant costs. It has been estimated that reclassification of Uber and Lyft drivers as employees in California alone will cost the two companies an average of $3,625 per driver per year for a combined annual bill of nearly $800 million per year. Nonetheless, in 2018, the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court forged ahead with such a reform by unanimously holding that drivers who worked for a firm that supplied nationwide courier and delivery services should be classified by law as employees and not as independent contractors.

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Distribution of Control is a new political paradigm ideally suited to 21st Century economic challenges. It is intended to inform a new politics for our still new millennium. I’ve more fully explored DC at BurkeanNation.org, and am now bringing it to the Ricochet community. My goal is to find collaborators who will help advance the […]

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Here Come the Robots: We Can Prepare for the Future Without Fearing the Future

 

Andrew Yang had his best policy moment of the Democratic debates last week when he said, “This country has been a magnet for human capital for generations. If we lose that, we lose something integral to our continued success.” Yang should talk more about immigration. And more about thorium-fueled nuclear reactors. Maybe also flesh out his VAT idea.

But Yang’s main idea, a universal basic income (UBI), is less appealing. It’s an elegant idea that would quickly look less so when filtered through the reality of government sausage-making and flawed human behavior. Then there’s Yang’s alarmist argument that we need UBI to meet the looming and “unprecedented crisis” of widespread technological unemployment. Yang: “In the next 12 years, 1 out of 3 American workers are at risk of losing their jobs to new technologies—and unlike with previous waves of automation, this time new jobs will not appear quickly enough in large enough numbers to make up for it.”

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching some Democrats fret that Beto O’Rourke’s vow to take everyone’s AR-15 and AK-47 might convince voters that Democrats are after our guns. They also shudder as Iranian-funded and armed rebels in Yemen attack Saudi oil production facilities, leading to much higher tensions […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleased to see a high-ranking government official actually moving closer to facing the same type of prosecution most Americans would face for allegedly divulging sensitive information and then lying about it. Jim also hilariously shreds CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for acting like […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America shed no tears at the death of former Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe, who repressed and sometimes killed his people and ruthlessly clung to power for decades. They also react to the new that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will not be mounting a 2020 […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that Hong Kong – at the direction of Communist China – has withdrawn the extradition bill that sparked massive protests, but they’re still not sure this story will have a happy ending. They also pummel Bloomberg News and reporter Ben Penn […]

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Trump’s Trade Travesty

 

On Friday, August 30, Trump confidently tweeted that anyone who thinks that his aggressive trade war with China could lead to a recession is sadly misinformed. He offered his own two-part explanation for a possible economic downturn. First, unnamed but “badly run and weak companies” are being undone by their own incompetence. Second, their present plight has not been caused by the trade war, but rather by the Federal Reserve’s failure to rapidly cut interest rates.

Chairman Jerome Powell has become a frequent target of the President’s ire. To be sure, the Fed did trim rates by a quarter of a point, from 2.25% to 2.00%, in July 2019. But Trump wanted the Fed to cut rates, already low by historical standards, by a full point. Even more, he wanted the Fed to further jolt the economy through another round of bond repurchases. In an attempt to prod Powell into action, Trump accused Powell of having a “horrendous lack of vision.” When Powell did not blink, Trump doubled down. “As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can ‘speak’ without knowing or asking what I am doing,” he tweeted. “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” So much for the traditional independence of the Fed. Trump then lashed out at the private sector by ordering corporations to find alternatives to China. So much for limited presidential powers.

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They published this cartoon today, and it says a lot. Thank the President. More

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In the latest episode, the Young Americans get super nerdy, with the help of real-life tech policy researcher Caleb Watney of the R Street Institute. He and Jack discuss the virtues of free markets vs. Millennial skepticism thereof, question the emerging conventional wisdom on tech addiction and Silicon Valley, rebut the Unabomber (!), and go […]

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Here are highlights from his interview with Russ Roberts in 2006: I’ve always felt that the big defect politically of the Federal Reserve is precisely that so much depends on unelected representatives. The central bank is treated as if it were the Supreme Court. That’s why during the Depression, there was no effective controls on […]

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According to Freud, the death wish in individuals is a fundamental psychological propensity. Similarly, a Soviet dissident mathematician, Igor Shafaravich described socialism as a fundamental death wish for society on the part of intellectuals. More

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A Tale of Economic Dynamism from North Carolina Furniture Country

 

This would be a terrible time for American to reject dynamism, that churning of jobs and firms that marks a vigorous economy where creative destruction is happening apace. Even with big economic policy actions in recent years, this still seems to be an economy where potential growth is around 2%. The Atlanta Fed describes a healthy, dynamic economy thusly:

In a dynamic economy, firms are constantly opening and closing, with workers churning among them. In a dynamic economy, entrepreneurs and innovators are incessantly commercializing new ideas and business models, keeping established firms on their toes, and pushing the economy to evolve and advance. … Like a living being, the economy needs circulation — churn — in order to remain healthy. It needs its old or damaged cells to be broken down and their raw materials recycled. It needs to develop new resiliencies when exposed to the contagion of a recession or technology-driven disruption. And it must be able to constantly adapt to changes in its environment in order to survive. Dynamism powers all of this.

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