We have both. This is too funny. And too true!
We have both. This is too funny. And too true!
We have both. This is too funny. And too true!
Bizarre, but amazing!
Here’s a blog post from John H. Cochrane’s blog, The Grumpy Economist, about the results of tax increases in England. Surprise! The millionaires are leaving! Duh!
Much of our “fiscal cliff” debate revolves around the incentive effects of raising marginal taxes on high incomes. High tax advocates used to say that taxes won’t hurt growth that much, and advocated them for other reasons. Now they are advocating that even a 91% federal income tax rate, on top of state, sales, etc, as we had in the 1950s, (not counting all the loopholes!) will actually be good for the economy and also raise lots of revenue.
This seems to me like magical thinking, and a great testament to how people can persuade themselves of anything if it suits the partisan passion of the moment. But wouldn’t it be nice if someone would run an experiment for us?
Fortunately, Europe has been running a very useful set of experiments on what happens if you address yawning deficits with high income, wealth and property taxes. Which brings me to a report from the Telegraph
Almost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50p (percent) top rate of tax, figures have disclosed.
In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.
This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50p top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election….
It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes.
George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced in the Budget earlier this year that the 50p top rate will be reduced to 45p from next April.
Since the announcement, the number of people declaring annual incomes of more than £1 million has risen to 10,000.
However, the number of million-pound earners is still far below the level recorded even at the height of the recession and financial crisis….
Far from raising funds, it actually cost the UK £7 billion in lost tax revenue
That’s just one year. Usually, we think that it takes a while for high taxes to have effects. It takes a while for people to move, shelter income, close down businesses, not start businesses, not go to school, etc. Hitting the Laffer limit in one year is pretty impressive.
When we lived in Chicago, Dallas was one of our favorite TV shows. We got to see familiar buildings and places and we got to laugh while we explained to our Yankee friends how unrealistic it actually was. And it was also an entertaining show – I’ll never forget watching the “Who Shot J.R.?” episode with my dear friend Jeff. I ran across this story by a guy named Mark Evanier about Larry Hagman and thought it was pretty neat:
A few days later, Marty’s secretary Trudy phones and tells me, “Larry Hagman’s assistant just called. He wants to send you something to thank you. Is it okay if I give them your address?” I tell her it’s fine and I figure I’m about to get an autographed photo or a note or something. Two days later, a delivery man brings a large, cylindrical package to my door. It’s from one of the most expensive stores in Beverly Hills and I want to say it was Abercrombie and Fitch. Maybe it wasn’t but I’m going to say it was Abercrombie and Fitch.
Helping me open it — because she was there at the moment — was a young lady named Bridget Holloman, who was one of the dancers on Pink Lady. In fact, she provided one set of the legs Sid Caesar had ogled in that sketch. The box, we discover, contains a quite-lovely white Stetson-style cowboy hat. There’s also a handwritten note. It says, “Thanks for being one of the good guys” and it’s signed “Larry.”
What a nice, thoughtful gesture. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything from him, particularly something like this. But I don’t wear hats and I certainly don’t wear hats like this. Bridget, on the other hand does. She looks good in everything but she really looks good in this white Stetson except, of course, that it’s a size or two too big for her. Fortunately, the box also contains a slip that says that if it doesn’t fit, bring it back to the store and exchange it. I tell Bridget the hat is hers. “Take it back and get one that fits.” Three days later, she goes to do that.
I’m working at home when I get a frantic call from her — from a pay phone at the store in Beverly Hills. At first from her tone, I think she’s been mugged or beaten up or that something horrible has happened. “Calm down, Bridget,” I tell her. “Take a deep breath and tell me what happened.”
She takes a deep breath and says, like she’s telling me the Earth has been invaded, “It’s…it’s a fourteen hundred dollar hat!”
She says they cheerily took it back and told her she had a little over $1,400 in store credit. This is around 1983. That was even more money then than it is now and it’s a lot of money now. “What do I do?” she asks me. I tell her she can pick out another hat or anything else she wants or she can see if they’ll let her take some or all of it in cash. I say, “Maybe you can buy a pair of $20 earrings and take $1,380 bucks in change.” What she does is to buy a cheaper (and to my eye, almost identical) hat and take the rest in currency.
The almost-identical hat costs her under $200 and it makes a good point. If Larry Hagman wanted to send me a white cowboy hat, he could have spent $200 and I would have been perfectly pleased and impressed by the gesture. But he didn’t. He spent $1,400.
Bridget wants to give me the change or at least split it with me but it’s almost her birthday so we make a deal: She’ll keep the cash but for the next six months, whenever we go to a restaurant, she pays. I kind of enjoy that when our server brings me a check, I can point to the cute blonde lady and say, “She’s paying.” I get some awfully odd looks.
Larry Hagman was right. Life is so much more interesting when you can keep other people just a little off-balance. I’m sorry his is over. There may be other stories about him that paint him as another kind of guy but this is my Larry Hagman story and I’m sticking to it.
More signs that our country and our economy are really messed up:
it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantitied, and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.”
Pretty funny prank from a Brazilian television show. The link I saw said the show is being sued. They’re lucky they didn’t cause a heart attack!
[F]rom pages 1338-1339 of Robert Ellickson’s landmark 1993 Yale Law Journal article “Property in Land” (footnotes removed; Ellickson’s quotation in the third paragraph is from pages 300-301 of the 1912 Massachusetts Historical Society edition of William Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation):
To finance their voyage, the Pilgrims formed a joint stock company with London investors. At the investors’ insistence, the settlers agreed to pool output, land, capital, and profits during their first seven years abroad. From this “common stock,” residents of the colony were to receive food and other necessities, and at the end of the seven-year period, the land and other assets were to be “equally divided betwixt” the investors and the settlers. The colonists initially complied with the spirit of this contract. Although they planted household gardens almost from the start, they collectivized initial field and livestock operations. The setters had some agricultural successes, but they were unable to grow corn in their common field. Within six months of reaching Plymouth, almost one-half of the population had perished from disease.
In 1624 the Plymouth colonists deviated from the investors’ plan and assigned each family from one to ten acres, depending on the number of family members. This greatly increased productivity.
[Parcelization] had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corne was planted then other waise. . . . The women now wente willingly into the field, and tooke their little-ones with them to set corne, which before would aledg weaknes and inabilitie; whome to have compelled would have bene thought great tiranie and oppression.
Today, we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. We would be turkeys if we fail to understand the true source of our bounty. That source is not the land itself – it is not dumb luck – it is not god inexplicably smiling upon Europeans who occupy the North American continent: it is consistent and widespread reliance upon private-property markets as well as our general high regard for bourgeois pursuits.
And let’s not forget that we today have far more – words-fail-us-in-attempting-to-describe more – to be thankful for than did those first brave English subjects of James I who latched themselves onto the Massachusetts wilderness.
“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
This was on imgur.com. According to the poster, Emma said to the little boy, ”Excuse me, are you Harry Potter? That’s great, because I’m Hermione Granger and we’re best of friends.”