Another Reason

…to push for lowered State tax rates, empirically observed.

There are signs home buyers in metropolitan New York are pausing to consider the effects of proposed federal tax law changes, setting the stage for a possible chill in the market, brokers say.

The changes, in versions of bills in both the House and the Senate, likely would increase the cost of home ownership and reduce after-tax discretionary income for many mostly affluent home buyers in New York and other states with high state and local income and property taxes, brokers and analysts say.

TPP Light

President Donald Trump, on taking office, pulled the US out of the not-yet-finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involved nations all around the Pacific rim including the US and Canada.  The TPP was far from perfect, but international trade is more about international relations and foreign policy than it is about economics, and it was a mistake to pull out.

The economic and political power of the coalition would have been a powerful brake against an acquisitively aggressive People’s Republic of China; the remaining 11 nations still represent some 17% of all world trade—and 30% of the world’s trade runs on sea routes the go through the TPP’s region—trade that is every bit as critical to the PRC’s economy as it is to Japan’s and the US’.

PRC Censorship

…is reaching into other nations to deprecate their free speech.

Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at Australia’s Charles Sturt University has written a book, Silent Invasion, that details the breadth of influence the People’s Republic of China has achieved within Australia.  His publisher, Allen & Unwin, has decided to “delay” release of the book because the PRC is threatening “defamation action” against the publisher.

What defamation, exactly (and how does a private citizen defame a foreign government, anyway)?  Hamilton says his book is

“very factual, very deeply researched,”…the “first comprehensive national study of Beijing’s program of exerting influence on another nation.”

Death Panels?

The Affordable Care Act required Medicare to penalize hospitals with high numbers of heart failure patients who returned for treatment shortly after discharge. New research shows that penalty was associated with fewer readmissions, but also higher rates of death among that patient group.

Because sometimes readmission is necessary for quality care—whether that readmission was driven by later complications, by too-soon original discharge in the Medicare (which is to say Government) pressure to hold down costs first, or by some other factor—but that Government pressure to push the patient out the door also pushes against the patient’s return.  Even when necessary.

Tax Havens

Christian Reierman, writing for Spiegel Online, thinks tax havens are bad.

He began with the usual false premise, itself as usual unspoken: that Government is owed the money earned by private citizens or their privately owned enterprises, or that Government is somehow otherwise entitled to it.  His proximate vehicle is the Paradise Papers and their exposure of how widespread is the use of tax havens—entirely legal tax havens, mind you—by international businesses.

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung leaked a vasty number of documents—the so-called Paradise Papers—that exposed

So, What’s the Problem?

Don Peebles, Peebles Corp CEO, is worried about the Senate and House tax reform plans currently on offer.

…the GOP tax bill will have a catastrophic impact on New York City, leading to a mass exodus of business owners and entrepreneurs.

And

State income deductions and the local pressure on taxes that [Mayor Bill de Blasio] is calling for, an increase in taxes on millionaires and a mansion tax increase. I think that’s also going to be hard on real estate[.]

And

Cornell Professors

apparently support racism and racist stereotyping.

Recall that George Ciccariello-Maher, Associate Professor of Politics and Global Studies at Drexel University, routinely says it’s whiteness, white victimization, all things white that are at fault for mass shootings and violence generally. For instance, this in an interview with Democracy Now!

Whiteness is never seen as a cause, in and of itself, of these kinds of massacres despite the fact that whiteness is a structure of privilege and it’s a structure of power, and a structure that, when it feels threatened, you know, lashes out.

What makes white men so prone to this kind of behavior?

The Tax Proposals on Offer

The House has one, and the Senate has one.  The Wall Street Journal, oddly, is making out like the differences between the two are enormous.  Yet, here’s the WSJ‘s own chart illustrating these humongous differences.

The big differences the WSJ singles out are these:

The big ways the Senate version breaks with the House plan: the level of top individual tax rates, the number of individual tax brackets, the timing of a corporate tax-rate cut and the particulars of estate tax changes[.]

Frightening the Snowflakes

It seems a Cambridge University professor had the effrontery to warn new students of a class of his—Physical Sciences—that life is hard and that it’s harder when you’re stupid.  For instance, this in an email that he sent to his incoming students:

Remember that you are NOT at any other uni, where students do drink a lot and do have what they regard as a ‘good time’—and you are NOT on a course, as some Cambridge courses sadly are, where such a behaviour pattern is possible or acceptable.

Oh, the wailing and bodice rending that resulted.

Veteran’s Day

I first posted this in 2011; I’ve added to it in 2014.

Thank you for all who have, and are, serving.  And because I couldn’t have said it better, I’ll let Mike Royko, late of the Chicago Tribune, via BlackFive, say it from his 1993 column.

I just phoned six friends and asked them what they will be doing on Monday.

They all said the same thing: working.

Me, too.

There is something else we share. We are all military veterans.