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Saturday April 2nd 2011
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Turkey Vulture's comments
The Libyan war so far
Apr 1st 2011 10:42 GMT
Ouch Doug, our comments got moderated. I guess that means gay marriage and the word "fool" are against Economist commenting policy.
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The Libyan war so far
Apr 1st 2011 2:38 GMT
doug374,
My understanding is that W.W. is Walt Whitman, author of controversial and erotic - but boring - poetry.
I am self-diagnosed with ADHD. Also, I am having an online conversation with two invisible Dougs. I am beginning to suspect schizophrenia.
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The Libyan war so far
Apr 1st 2011 2:26 GMT
Doug brings up a good point W.W. When are you going to post your long-form resume? You keep telling us about these jobs you've held, but where's the proof? What are you hiding?
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Reheated proposals
Apr 1st 2011 4:41 GMT
Yes, now I see that the slogan was "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!" I misremembered. Don't tell my college or they might revoke my degree in history.
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Reheated proposals
Mar 31st 2011 10:42 GMT
If we bring back "48'40" or Fight!" would that include the oil sands?
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Stressed out
Mar 31st 2011 10:40 GMT
I like to think of American English as a virulent form of herpes.
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Some guy against cap and trade
Mar 31st 2011 10:39 GMT
Damn, I think I'm hairy tree-hugging hippie.
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Congress vanishes into infinitely recursive loop
Mar 31st 2011 4:43 GMT
Actually now that I think back, INS v. Chadha was specifically about a one-house legislative veto. It's just that its logic would seem to necessarily apply to committee/two-house legislative vetoes as well.
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Congress vanishes into infinitely recursive loop
Mar 31st 2011 4:39 GMT
The Supreme Court held the committee/one-house/legislative veto unconstitutional back in 1983, in INS v. Chadha. But from what I've heard Congress continues to pass laws that include legislative vetoes.
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Is Wal-Mart on the hook for America's sexism?
Mar 31st 2011 3:54 GMT
W.W.,
It seems like I've learned a lot about your job history lately. Would you like to be considered for a position with my organization? Please post your cover letter and resume in a subsequent post.
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Reheated proposals
Mar 31st 2011 2:26 GMT
When are we going to admit Alberta to the Union?
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From universal truths to internal dialogues
Mar 31st 2011 2:23 GMT
How great is it that the Science and Technology blogger sketched this idea out in a notepad, and then took a picture? Unless that's actually some fancy new notebook-writing program.
Not knocking you Babbage, just genuinely funny.
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Is America ready for Romney?
Mar 30th 2011 9:02 GMT
What are the odds of Obama winning in 2012 if, when the Supreme Court hears the Health Care appeal, they also rule that Obama is not in fact a natural born citizen, but actually a Kenyan/Indonesian?
It would be a narrower ground on which to make a ruling: Obama cannot Constitutionally hold office, therefore the Health Care bill never complied with the Presentment clause and the issue of the insurance mandate's Constitutionality under the Commerce Clause would be moot.
Remember, you heard it from me first.
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Is America ready for Romney?
Mar 30th 2011 8:32 GMT
Sorry Doug, I lost my bankroll last year betting on the Bills to win either Super Bowl XXV, XXVI, XXVII, or XXVIII.
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Is America ready for Romney?
Mar 30th 2011 7:18 GMT
I still think Giuliani is going to beat Hillary Clinton in the 2008 general election.
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Reheated proposals
Mar 30th 2011 6:43 GMT
OneA,
I tried arguing that point with a friend of mine once, with regards to drilling in that Arctic Refuge in Alaska or whatever it's called. Treat it like a long-term Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Buy low from other countries, then sell ours high when they run out.
He said it was a stupid idea, though I forget the reasons he gave. I still think it's neat.
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America's next top budget compromisers
Mar 30th 2011 3:11 GMT
What would be so bad about a government shut down? Last time it happened we had a surplus within a couple years. Not arguing for cause-and effect-here, but what the hell, let's give it a try.
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If I am not for myself, who will donate to me?
Mar 30th 2011 2:18 GMT
Doug,
As for pot v. liquor, that goes in part back to my question of whether the black market in a consumption tax world is more of a problem than the black market in an income tax world.
But, from a generalized social welfare perspective, I think we are probably better off with a stoned than a drunk citizenry, so I would favor the substitution of illegal pot for legal liquor brought on by a consumption tax. Of course a consumption tax might lead to greater production of illicit moonshine instead of beer, and I prefer beer. But moonshine and hicks are cool too.
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If I am not for myself, who will donate to me?
Mar 30th 2011 2:13 GMT
Doug,
My absurd smugness is solely a function of my objectively measurable awesomeness.
I think that a consumption tax incentivizes savings only in comparison to an income tax. If every possible form of consumption is taxed at the same rate, then I am going to have to pay this tax whether I buy something today or in 10 years. Sure, in 10 years I'll also have whatever earnings my savings produced, but this is the same situation we always face: am I better off by buying this thing for $100 today, or by having $105 dollars in a year and maybe being able to buy something better or something in addition?
It's a question of consumption timing, and of whether I prefer X consumption today or X + Investment Returns consumption tomorrow. If the consumption tax is constant I don't see how it specifically favors consuming in either time period.
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If I am not for myself, who will donate to me?
Mar 30th 2011 1:45 GMT
RR,
I favor a consumption tax to replace our current regime. Or at least I would (I think I've said this before) if I was convinced by a combination of theoretical and empirical arguments that the black market problem wouldn't be much worse under a consumption than income tax. My intuition remains that black markets are more of a problem for consumption taxes, but I am certainly skeptical of this intuition.
But what if we are stuck with the current tax system, and the decision is just 1) NPR contributions are tax deductible, 2) they aren't. Maybe I should just ask it like this (since speifically eliminating certain politically-unfavored groups from charitable status sounds like a sure recipe for endless, stupid squabbling): given the current tax regime, and assuming nothing else can be changed, should personal charitable expenditures be tax deductible?
Doug,
I think that, theoretically, a consumption tax is less distortionary than an income tax. This is because the relevant decision in the income context is typically Work versus Leisure, while in the consumption context it is Current Consumption versus Future Consumption (made possible through investment, savings, whatever).
If it was widely expected that consumption taxes would change significantly (in a predictable direction) in the future, then it could become incredibly distortionary (pretty much exactly like deflation/inflation expectations can be). But assuming fairly consistent income tax rates versus fairly consistent consumption tax rates, I think the consumption tax leads to much less distortion in behavior.
But I just woke up and it's possible I'm completely forgetting something here.
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