Archive for September, 2013
Taxing Internet Sales

A consortium of states has been working since 2000 to design an agreement to levy sales tax on purchasers of goods bought via the Internet. The Supreme Court declared that it was unconstitutional for states to require sellers not in their states to remit sales taxes on their sales. The Streamlined Sales Tax (SST)…
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The Panthers Were Right and Reagan Was Wrong on Gun Control

I suppose it takes a true radical these days to question the progressive’s sacred cow: Ronald Reagan. You read that right. This paradigm of modern conservatism was one of the most important American champions of gun control in recent decades, and so he has become a convenient talking point for liberals who want to…
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It’s Third-Party Payers, Stupid

How can you write an entire column about waste in health care and never mention why there is waste? Uwe Reinhardt shows he’s up to the task at the New York Times economics blog. Maybe it’s that bottle of champagne he mentioned the other day. Are there huge administrative costs in the market for…
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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Feddie Sue: What Should We Do with Them?

Mortgage Intermediation Mortgage intermediation is an important and legitimate business, much like grocery intermediation: In theory, urban consumers could drive to the country to buy groceries directly from farmers, or farmers could go door to door selling produce, but in practice it’s usually more convenient if farmers sell their products wholesale to intermediaries who…
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Nancy Pelosi Flunks the Preschool Test: More Government Is Not the Answer

When releasing the “Economic Agenda for Women and Families,” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi claimed that America has an early child care and education “crisis” that threatens our economy. Her solution is to adopt President Obama’s Preschool and Early Head Start/Child Care Initiative, and create universal government-run child care for all three- and four-year-olds. A…
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Latin America and the Fed Factor

We recently got a glimpse of what will happen to Latin America once the Federal Reserve stops printing money like crazy. Ben Bernanke’s mere suggestion, back in May, that he might begin to slow the purchase of securities (“tapering,” in financial parlance) was enough to cause $1.5 trillion to evaporate in emerging markets as…
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All Government Policies Succeed in the Long Run

A crazy claim you are probably thinking after reading my title. After all, “failed policies” are a staple of discussions and debates about government actions in the United States. Everybody, regardless of political preferences, has a list of what he regards as the most glaringly failed policies. This way of looking at the matter,…
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California Parents Need Education Options, Not Government “Accountability”

Overall test scores for some 6 million California students in government-run schools fell this year for the first time in a decade. Rather than drumming up classroom instruction, California officials propose dumping the tests—and this move has fed ed officials fuming. In itself, ditching California’s current Academic Performance Index (API) is a good thing….
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Police Brutality, Close to Home

Close to my home, that is.  On August 10, a woman crashed her SUV into a house in my neighborhood, less than three blocks from my house.  A video that apparently has received national attention (here is a story in the New York Daily News; warning: graphic content), shows the Tallahassee Police on the…
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Are We Being Unfair to Paul Krugman?

In the comments section the other day, Uwe Reinhardt wrote: Krugman is not even a tenth as stupid as the supercilious commentary on this blog suggests. Which got me to thinking. Is Paul Krugman treated fairly at this blog? In general, the blogosphere is a surprisingly congenial place. The comments can get out of…
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