≡ Menu

Some Non-Covid Links

Writing in the New York Times, Peter Suderman of Reason is rightly critical of the lameness of the GOP’s opposition to Biden’s rampaging statism. A slice:

And this points to the deeper problem: The Republican Party, at the very least, lacks a coherent sense of what economic policy and legislation should do and what it is for.

Because it has no theory, the Republican Party cannot offer much in the way of a critique of Democratic governance. It’s not as if there aren’t arguments to make: The recovery bill was larded with pre-existing Democratic spending priorities that had little to do with pandemic relief.

So the substantive debates are conducted not between left and right but between the left and the center left — or perhaps the obstreperous left. It’s telling that some of the most stinging critiques of Mr. Biden’s macroeconomic policy have come from the likes of Larry Summers, an economist long associated with the Democratic Party.

Mark Jamison exposes the fallacies that infect Josh Hawley’s case for so-called “trust-busting.”

“Deadly ignorance runs afoot in the Biden administration” – so argues Richard Rahn. A slice:

As if they were trying to prove they are incompetent, the Biden administration has also just proposed a massive increase in the capital gains tax rate — to a federal maximum rate of 43 percent and, with state taxes, the rate will be over 58% in New York City and 57% in California. Over the last 70 years, the capital gains tax rate has been raised and lowered many times. By 1976, the maximum rate had reached 40%, which was then reduced to 28% in 1979, and then further reduced, then increased, and then reduced three more times, finally down to 15% by 2010. In 2013, it was raised and currently stands at 23.5%.

A capital gain occurs when an individual or company sells an asset for more than they paid for it. Since many of the sales are voluntary — individuals largely decide at their discretion when to sell a stock or bond, or parcel of land, etc. If the rate is considered “too high,” people will often postpone a sale and this is known as the lock-in effect.

The lock-in causes capital to be misallocated, thus reducing growth and job creation. When the rate was its highest (40%) before 1979, the maximum tax revenue received from the capital gains tax was only a little over %6.6 billion while in 2007, when the maximum rate was 16%, the Treasury collected a record $137.1 billion from the tax, in inflation-adjusted terms.

Also making an important point about capital-gains taxation – and inflation – is Arnold Kling.

Samuel Gregg writes wisely about China.

David Henderson makes the case against child allowances.

Carlos Rodríguez Braun rightly embraces the message of Deirdre McCloskey’s and Alberto Mingardi’s book, The Myth of the Entrepreneurial State.

Scott Lincicome shines much-needed light on the Defense Production Act.

David Boaz is correct: Drug prohibition leads to unnecessary deaths.

Juliette Sellgren talks with Chris Edwards about infrastructure.

Peter Wallison explains that Critical Race Theory is an enemy of reason, evidence, and open debate. A slice:

It would not be surprising to find in this a link to Marxism, a belief system that does not depend on facts or evidence but asserts that capitalism is at the root of society’s evils, including racism. It’s likely that what we are seeing in the rise of critical race theory is a transmuted form of Marxism, characterized by the same rigidity of outlook but with an updated or modernized complaint about the society and social system it is attacking.

John Stossel correctly makes the case that a necessary underpinning of modern society’s immense wealth is libertarian ideas.