College Isn’t for Everyone, Revisited

I touched on this a while ago. Here’s another look.

Dakota Blazier had made a big decision. Friendly and fresh-faced, from a small town north of Indianapolis, he’d made up his mind: he wasn’t going to college.

“I discovered a long time ago,” he explained, “I’m not book smart. I don’t like sitting still, and I learn better when the problem is practical.” But he didn’t feel this limited his options—to the contrary. And he was executing a plan as purposeful as that of any of his high-school peers.

Define “Fair”

Some think the mortgage interest deduction from our income taxes is unfair. After all, says one such,

I can easily construct a situation in which a taxpayer essentially enjoys no [mortgage related] tax benefits whatsoever. How about the single individual or possibly a married couple without children, who make just enough to make ends meet but still cannot save to buy a house? Or possibly, they prefer renting to the onerous commitment of home ownership. There doesn’t appear to be any tax breaks for them.

“Inversions”

US corporate income is taxed at the highest rate in the world. “Inversion” is the process of American companies packing up, usually through merger with foreign entities, and reincorporating (if not physically relocating) in a foreign country in order to avoid US corporate income taxes.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew wants the inversions stopped. Writing to the Senate and House tax-writing committees, he said he said those two bodies “should enact legislation immediately…to shut down this abuse of our tax system.”

His letter went on:

The Wrong Question

Jim Angle, of Fox News, usually does better than this.

“Right now the savings that was projected to pay for all this spending [on Obamacare] is not being collected as originally projected,” said Charles Blahous, of the Mercatus Center. He estimated the law will eventually cost $200 billion a year by 2020.

And

“There was about $100 billion that was supposed to come in over the next 10 years from penalties on individuals, if they did not carry health insurance, penalties on employers, if they do not offer health insurance, and to date, those penalties have not been enforced,” Blahous said.

A Thought on a European Polity

I wrote about this a bit ago. Daniel Hannan, Conservative Party MEP for South East England, has a more recent thought.

Churchill [as early as 1946] makes clear that this United States of Europe should not include Britain:

There is already a natural grouping in the Western Hemisphere. We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations. Why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this turbulent and mighty continent and why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings in shaping the destinies of men?

Another Thought on Immigration

Gordon Crovitz, in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, pointed out some statistics.

The Congressional Budget Office last year estimated that legalizing the 11 million undocumented immigrants would boost federal revenues by $48 billion over 10 years while costing $23 billion in public services. Adding more skilled workers would bring in $100 billion over a decade, mostly from increased income taxes.

In addition to this, I add (and reiterate) immigrants start more businesses than Americans who’ve been here for two or three or more generations. Those businesses employ people, and more so than “just” immediate family members.

Friday’s Jobs Report

…which came on a Thursday last week…. Some tidbits from the BLS, behind the headline number, the unemployment rate of (now) 6.1%.

The number of unemployed persons decreased by 325,000 to 9.5 million.

That’s a couple million and four or five years late, but still: cool. Who is it, though, who’s newly employed now?

  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), while declining by 293,000 in June, is still 3.1 million
  • The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 275,000 in June to 7.5 million.

YGTBSM

Wasting taxpayer money edition. This one is from Watchdog.org.

Take careful steps.

When possible, stay in your seat and, by all means, grab hold of that railing.

Simple advice, apparently from much simpler times.

Today, Hawaii seems compelled to pay someone—rather handsomely—to offer such ubiquitous and common-sense advice.

Of course, common sense and government oftentimes are mutually exclusive.

Hawaii taxpayers will spend $81,000 in 2015 on a new government position—fall prevention coordinator, who will teach Hawaii’s senior citizens, well, how not to fall.

Contradictions of the Export-Import Bank

The Export-Import Bank is a hoary, old financial institution with the purpose of facilitating American exports by providing financing or guaranteeing loans for cross-border transactions in which the private sector declines to participate.

There’s a hint there.

It may be that such government involvement might have done some good in the bad, old days before widespread free trade agreements. It may be, too, that tariffs were a good idea a long time ago. Or maybe not.

Free trade agreements signed since those days have facilitated lower prices, more freely moving “factors”—economist-speak for the goods that companies take in and process into goods that they then sell—and more freely moving labor.

Wasted Money and the VA

Only this time, it’s not the VA’s fault.

Veterans Administration hospitals have spent at least $420 million on solar panels and windmills while vets wait months—or even lay dying—to see a doctor.

In total, VA hospitals reported 23 deaths due to 76 instances of delayed care, an April 2014 VA fact sheet said. Then on June 5, Acting Veteran Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson revealed that at least 18 Phoenix patients died while waiting for treatment on a secret list kept off the books. It is not clear if that number is in addition to the 23 deaths reported earlier.