The politically driven aim of keeping the amount of overall revenue unchanged undermines virtually every useful idea in the plan. It reduces many of the loopholes and special breaks for corporations, but then uses that revenue to lower the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.
From today's New York Times editorial on the Republican Tax Plan:
Hmm... So keeping the amount of overall tax revenue unchanged is "politically driven." Clearly, the apolitical thing to do in any tax reform bill would be to increase tax revenues, right?
Bullying Jonathan Martin
Jonathan Martin is the NFL football player who quit his team a few months ago because of unrelenting bullying by some of his teammates. The official report is out, and it's a hard read. Can't understand where all this cruelty comes from.
Emily Bazelon's response in Slate.
John Cochrane on MOOCs
John Cochrane, of the Univ of Chicago Booth School of Business, taught a Ph.D. level finance MOOC through Coursera. His thoughts on MOOCs:
How Bad Policy Gets Made
New York Times article: Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers
The long-stalled farm bill, which represents nearly $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years and passed on a rare bipartisan vote, 68 to 32, produced clear winners and losers. Over all, farmers fared far better than the poor.
How Not To Run a Country
Washington Post reports on the economic breakdown of oil-rich Venezuela: At markets, Chavez successor falls short.
ARACAS, Venezuela — On aisle seven, among the diapers and fabric softener, the socialist dreams of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez looked as ragged as the toilet paper display. Employees at the Excelsior Gama supermarket had set out a load of extra-soft six-roll packs so large that it nearly blocked the aisle. To stock the shelves with it would have been pointless. Soon word spread that the long-awaited rolls had arrived, and despite a government-imposed limit of one package per person, the checkout lines stretched all the way to the decimated dairy case in the back of the store.
Venezuela’s real problem, economists say, is that a shortage of U.S. dollars is squeezing the ability of the government and the private sector to import. Even in upscale Caracas shopping malls, international chain stores such as Zara and Gucci are gutted, their employees standing around with nothing to sell and the mannequins left naked.
“The store owners are doing this on purpose, to increase sales,” said Marjorie Urdaneta, a government supporter who said she believes Maduro when he accuses businesses of colluding with foreign powers to wage “economic war” against him.
Author of Economics: The Remarkable Story of How the Economy Works