Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on December 31, 2012

in Budget Issues, Current Affairs, Immigration, Law, Other People's Money, Politics, Scientism, Taxes, Trade

In yesterday’s Washington Post George Will beautifully exposes the inconsistent and presumptuous reasoning that is the hallmark of so much modern-day legal scholarship.

Speaking of legal scholarship, here’s Jonathan Adler, over at the Volokh Conspiracy, writing on today’s horrendous New York Times op-ed by Georgetown U. law professor Louis Michael Seidman.

And speaking of George Will, Peggy Noonan believes that Will’s December 4th speech at Washington University might be the most important speech of the century so far.  Noonan’s case is strong.

Bob Higgs writes wisely and eloquently on the shallowness of accusations that scholars who publicly champion this or that policy, or who express support for this or that political philosophy or ideology, are hired guns.

My brilliant colleague Bryan Caplan explains why

contrary to the Tiebout model, local governments are not analogous to perfectly competitive firms.  Not even close.

Eli Dourado, guest blogging at the important Open Borders, discusses the future of immigration economics.

Greg Mankiw in yesterday’s New York Times:

In 2009, the most recent year for which data are available, the richest 1 percent of Americans paid 28.9 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (That includes income taxes, both individual and corporate, and payroll taxes.) Members of the middle class, defined as the middle fifth of households, paid 11.1 percent of their income in taxes.

Some of this difference in tax rates is attributable to temporary tax changes passed in response to the recent recession. But not all. In 2006, before the financial crisis, the top 1 percent paid 30 percent of their income in taxes, compared with 13.9 percent for the middle class.

These data suggest that the rich are not, as a general matter, shirking their responsibilities to support the federal government. To me, the current tax system looks plenty progressive. Others may disagree.

Ed Glaeser on the curious rise skyrocketing of disability among Americans.  (HT Greg Mankiw)  Glaeser describes this trend as “haunting.”  He’s right to do so:

Thirty years ago, there was a 40-to-1 ratio between the total labor force and those workers receiving Social Security disability payments. Today that ratio is less than 18-to-1.

Arnold Kling on Jonathan Haidt’s latest.

Steve Landsburg on the fiscal cliff.  (I confess that Steve’s attitude about this “cliff,” as described in his opening paragraphs, is pretty much the same as my own.  I have greatly enjoyed all-but-completely ignoring the public and political hysteria swirling now over this “cliff.”)

Finally, writing in the Korea Times, Casey Lartigue exposes some problems with Ha-Joon Chang’s foolish consistency.

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