Clippings 2012

Recommended reading, economic debates, predictions and opinions.
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kcowan
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by kcowan » 27 Jan 2012 17:34

BRIAN5000 wrote:Don't spend that time reading about inverse correlations between German bund yields and the gold/oil ratio. Because that's all masturbation and really, who gives a sh*t?
that's what finally got to gummy..
For the fun of it...Keith

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ghariton
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by ghariton » 27 Jan 2012 19:26

kcowan wrote:
BRIAN5000 wrote:Don't spend that time reading about inverse correlations between German bund yields and the gold/oil ratio. Because that's all masturbation and really, who gives a sh*t?
that's what finally got to gummy..
Hey, we all need a hobby.

George
The plural of anecdote is NOT data.

Profit not Prophet
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Profit not Prophet » 27 Jan 2012 20:16

Shine and Pec, sorry for any grief with the links, odd eh. Using Firefox on mac 10.5.8 If we think thinks are wonky now just wait till everyone and his brother is using ten kinds of mobile gizmo too. (I was hoping the tiny url's might help with longer links.)Maybe the tech brain trust can weigh in?

Shine
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Shine » 27 Jan 2012 23:05

Profit not Prophet wrote:Shine and Pec, sorry for any grief with the links, odd eh. Using Firefox on mac 10.5.8 If we think thinks are wonky now just wait till everyone and his brother is using ten kinds of mobile gizmo too. (I was hoping the tiny url's might help with longer links.)Maybe the tech brain trust can weigh in?

No need to apologize PnP. I agree given all the different operating systems currently - and emerging - it is a amazing how these systems interact. I am not a Facebook or Twitter user and am stuck in 1990's Microsoft land. I bought an IPad however it doesn't seem to connect with me...and I still use an old flip top cell for, well, phone calls.

cheers

Park
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Park » 29 Jan 2012 14:24

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=ca ... ZK8q5pDIiw

After taking into account inflation and dividends, the Italian stock market in September 1992 was 9% above its 1928 peak. This is a good example of why diversification is important. Also, about stocks for the long run, it can be a very long run.

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ghariton
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by ghariton » 30 Jan 2012 02:41

Globe and Mail:
The Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of two left-of-center U.S. think tanks, used Internal Revenue Service data to show that for nearly the last quarter-century, 75 per cent or more of U.S. tax filers have been taxed at a rate of 15 per cent or less. The figure approached 80 per cent of filers in 2009, the most recent numbers available.

Just 1.6 per cent of returns, by contrast, are in the 29 per cent to 35 per cent brackets, the Tax Policy Center says.

...........

The numbers suggest a truth that neither Republicans nor Democrats are willing to admit: Absent a dramatic cut in the services the U.S. federal government provides, most Americans, not just the rich, are paying too little in taxes.
George
The plural of anecdote is NOT data.

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by brucecohen » 30 Jan 2012 10:51

ghariton wrote: The numbers suggest a truth that neither Republicans nor Democrats are willing to admit: Absent a dramatic cut in the services the U.S. federal government provides, most Americans, not just the rich, are paying too little in taxes.
Yes, a number of us have been writing about this here for years. So has the Globe. Americans are definitely under-taxed. The problem is the timing of any increases. The struggling US economy is still reportedly 70% dependant on consumer spending. Most of that spending is done by those in the middle class and below.

FWIW, one of the criticisms of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax proposal was that a substantial number of Americans already pay federal income tax at rates below 9% and would thus face an increase.

Note that the article does not factor in payroll tax which is very high in the US and which funds most of the cost of Social Security and Medicare. The payroll tax is regressive, affecting the lower classes more than the middle class and the middle class more than the high income class.

I expect the US to impose some form of GST but that's probably many years away.

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NormR
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by NormR » 30 Jan 2012 11:37

brucecohen wrote:Americans are definitely under-taxed.
While I tend to agree, one might also say that they're over serviced. Closing the gap should prove to be interesting...

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Norbert Schlenker » 30 Jan 2012 11:41

Nothing can protect people who want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by peter » 30 Jan 2012 12:14

NormR wrote:
brucecohen wrote:Americans are definitely under-taxed.
While I tend to agree, one might also say that they're over serviced. Closing the gap should prove to be interesting...
I've lived in California for the past six months. As one anecdotal point of view - they're not over serviced here. Schools, universities, public transport, DMV, customs/immigration can use a major boost, as can more esoteric pursuits such as state/national parks, NOAA, life guards, and marine sanctuary enforcement. Perhaps save some money on road repair? Lot of roads near us have been repaved recently.

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Insomniac
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Insomniac » 30 Jan 2012 13:15

California's proposition 13 means that they are not paying enough property tax in addition to not paying enough income tax.

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by couponstrip » 30 Jan 2012 21:14

A good friend of mine got transferred to Houston two years ago. She went from paying about $40,000 tax on her low six figure salary to paying less than $10,000 once all deductions were in place. Her salary, paid by the same company, is virtually identical. She raves about the increase in disposable income, and also the much cheaper cost of living (both goods and services including housing) compared to Canada.

I recently read an article quoting some US nonpartisan economic expert saying that the predictions of the imminent fall of the US empire are premature. The USA is a powerful economic engine with an enormous tax base. She proposed that there are obvious solutions to the current economic problem, and those solutions aren't even that complex or difficult. The expert postulated that a modest increase in the taxation of all but the poorest US citizens would wipe out all the problems, deficit, and even go long way in reducing the US debt, and at the end of it, US personal tax would still be a fraction of any other developed country. Contrast that with several European countries.....

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by tidal » 30 Jan 2012 22:33

France plans Tobin tax on financial transactions
French president Nicolas Sarkozy said he hoped his move would push other countries into taking action
The French president said a new 0.1% tax would come into force in August regardless of whether or not the European Union agrees to impose a 'Tobin tax' across the EU.
.
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The country's national bank, the Bank of France, has already questioned the feasibility of a tax that will only be imposed in France and the nation's financial sector has been very vocal in its opposition. "A tax that's limited to France would weigh on growth, lead to a loss of competitiveness, and create a heavy handicap for the financing of the French economy," the French Banking Federation said this month.

Shares in France's big banks, Société Générale and BNP Paribas, both dropped 3% in early trading.

The tax has become politically important to Sarkozy because he pledged to impose it when France held the presidency of both the G8 and G20 last year.
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The French tax will apply to share purchases, including high frequency trading, and CDS transactions. Unlike the European commission proposal, it will not apply to bond trading.
The future is bright for jellyfish, caulerpa taxifolia, dinoflagellates and prokaryotes... rust never sleeps... the dude abides... the stupid, it burns. (http://bit.ly/LXZsXd)

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Shine » 30 Jan 2012 23:47

And I am off topic again...drat!

My apologies.

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by ghariton » 31 Jan 2012 04:26

Tim Harford:
...even China seems to have been shedding manufacturing jobs over the last couple of decades. Perhaps the data deceive here, but the Chinese manufacturing boom seems to be more about increasing output per worker than employing more workers. If the Chinese can’t generate jobs through manufacturing I am not sure we should be expecting too much from that strategy.
George
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Bylo Selhi
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Bylo Selhi » 31 Jan 2012 08:53

ghariton wrote:Tim Harford
For Harford fans: Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure
Sedulously eschew obfuscatory hyperverbosity and prolixity.

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eezee
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by eezee » 31 Jan 2012 14:29

Received this from my buddy in the U.S. :


Why the US was downgraded...... Brilliant !!!


This is really well put, in terms the average person can understand…..

This rather brilliantly cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get...........

Food for thought..... This puts it into a much better perspective and is
the same for many countries in Europe ...

Why the U.S. was downgraded:

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts: $385

Got It ?????

OK now Lesson # 2:
Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:

Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer
backup in your neighborhood....and your home has sewage all the way up
to your ceilings.

What do you think you should do ......

Raise the ceilings, or pump out the shit?
I am going to live forever .... so far so good.

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by brucecohen » 31 Jan 2012 15:09

eezee wrote:Received this from my buddy in the U.S. : ...
That's a chain email that's been circulating for years. I think every American who sends it should have to attach a list of five federal programs/tax breaks that directly affect him/her which should be killed and/or the percentage increase in taxes that he/she is willing to pay.

As for the comment on the debt ceiling, the debt ceiling covers spending already legislated by Congress over the years. It does not fund new spending.

FWIW, the Congressional Budget Office today confirmed again that the Bush tax cuts are the biggest driver of the US deficit. But the CBO also projected that allowing all of them to lapse would clobber economic growth: From WaPo:
The CBO report shows that the deficit dilemma would largely be solved if the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 — and renewed in 2010 through the end of this year — were allowed to lapse. Under that scenario, the deficit would drop to $585 billion in 2013 and to $220 billion in 2017.

But expiration of those tax cuts would slam the economy, CBO said, bringing growth down to a paltry 1.1 percent next year.

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ghariton
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by ghariton » 31 Jan 2012 15:35

brucecohen wrote:attach a list of five federal programs/tax breaks that directly affect him/her which should be killed and/or the percentage increase in taxes that he/she is willing to pay.
A worthwhile exercise. While I am a Canadian and so can't speak to U.S. programs, here's a list of Canadian cuts I would sign up to:

Eliminate OAS completely

Eliminate all charitable tax credits

Eliminate the $2,000 deduction for pension income. More generally, eliminate all tax expenditures that are not intended to correct market failures or externalities.

Equalize the corporate income tax for large and small business (if we can't have the first-best solution of abolishing the corporate income tax altogether, or the second-best solution of taxing all companies the same, regardless of size, sector, ownership, etc, etc)

Eliminate the CBC

Significantly cut back on the federal government's bilingualism programs. Offer federal government services in both languages only if these are critical to life, health, or property. Otherwise, use the language of the majority in that location.

(My list is short because the federal government's programs seldom affect me directly, and so their reduction would not cause me any personal loss. The provincial government would be a much more interesting exercise.)

George
The plural of anecdote is NOT data.

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Bylo Selhi
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Bylo Selhi » 31 Jan 2012 15:52

ghariton wrote:a list of Canadian cuts I would sign up to...
Good luck with that ;)
Sedulously eschew obfuscatory hyperverbosity and prolixity.

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by newguy » 31 Jan 2012 17:08

Bylo Selhi wrote:
ghariton wrote:a list of Canadian cuts I would sign up to...
Good luck with that ;)
I see the momentum gaining on the CBC's demise. You almost never heard about it before. I'm not sure if it's Sun media or the CPC doing the instigating, or if there's much difference.

newguy

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by ghariton » 01 Feb 2012 03:17

David Brooks on Charles Murray's new book:
I’ll be shocked if there’s another book this year as important as Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart.” I’ll be shocked if there’s another book that so compellingly describes the most important trends in American society.

Murray’s basic argument is not new, that America is dividing into a two-caste society. What’s impressive is the incredible data he produces to illustrate that trend and deepen our understanding of it.

<snip>

Roughly 7 percent of the white kids in the upper tribe are born out of wedlock, compared with roughly 45 percent of the kids in the lower tribe. In the upper tribe, nearly every man aged 30 to 49 is in the labor force. In the lower tribe, men in their prime working ages have been steadily dropping out of the labor force, in good times and bad.

People in the lower tribe are much less likely to get married, less likely to go to church, less likely to be active in their communities, more likely to watch TV excessively, more likely to be obese.

Murray’s story contradicts the ideologies of both parties. Republicans claim that America is threatened by a decadent cultural elite that corrupts regular Americans, who love God, country and traditional values. That story is false. The cultural elites live more conservative, traditionalist lives than the cultural masses.

Democrats claim America is threatened by the financial elite, who hog society’s resources. But that’s a distraction. The real social gap is between the top 20 percent and the lower 30 percent. The liberal members of the upper tribe latch onto this top 1 percent narrative because it excuses them from the central role they themselves are playing in driving inequality and unfairness.

It’s wrong to describe an America in which the salt of the earth common people are preyed upon by this or that nefarious elite. It’s wrong to tell the familiar underdog morality tale in which the problems of the masses are caused by the elites.

The truth is, members of the upper tribe have made themselves phenomenally productive. They may mimic bohemian manners, but they have returned to 1950s traditionalist values and practices. They have low divorce rates, arduous work ethics and strict codes to regulate their kids.

Members of the lower tribe work hard and dream big, but are more removed from traditional bourgeois norms. They live in disorganized, postmodern neighborhoods in which it is much harder to be self-disciplined and productive.

I intend to get the book.

George
The plural of anecdote is NOT data.

Shine
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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Shine » 01 Feb 2012 09:27

[quote]
Eliminate the CBC[/quote

During my life I have worked in many different regions of Canada and found it well to return to whatever hotel I was staying in and listen to CBC on the radio or, if lucky, watch the evening news regarding the country in which I live on television. Also CBC will tell me what the weather might be tomorrow where I am. Something Ezra Levant will never tell me.

CBC is part of our country and I strongly disagree with your proposal to eliminate it.

Regards

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by newguy » 01 Feb 2012 09:34

Shine wrote: Also CBC will tell me what the weather might be tomorrow where I am. Something Ezra Levant will never tell me.

CBC is part of our country and I strongly disagree with your proposal to eliminate it.

Regards
1.1 billion a year so you can get the weather which is available on other channels anyway?

newguy

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Re: Clippings 2012

Post by Insomniac » 01 Feb 2012 10:14

The CBC fans I know tell me that they want to keep CBC radio. I think most agree that CBC TV is not very good.

Program I would like to see eliminated is those #$@&#*@ submarines that the Brits sold us. What an idiotic purchase and ongoing cost. :x

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