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Search Results for 'Academic'

Back in 2013, the Tax Foundation published a report that reviewed 26 academic studies on taxes and growth. That scholarly research produced a very clear message: The overwhelming consensus was that higher tax rates were bad news for prosperity. Especially soak-the-rich tax increases that reduced incentives for productive activities such as work, saving, investment, and […]

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When I write about Social Security, I normally focus on two serious deficiencies. The program was never properly designed to deal with demographic change, which means there’s a gargantuan long-run budgetary shortfall of $44 trillion. The program is a very bad deal for workers (especially minorities), offering a paltry retirement benefit compared to what could […]

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The War on Drugs is a bad idea. Not because people should be using drugs, but rather because the societal harm of prohibition is much greater than the societal harm of legalization. Moreover, even though I personally disapprove of drug use, I adhere to the libertarian principle that people should be free to do what […]

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When I argue against tax increases, I generally rely on two compelling points. Higher taxes will undermine prosperity by penalizing productive behavior. More money for politicians will trigger more spending, so red ink will increase. When I argue against centralization and urge Swiss-style federalism, I also rely on two very strong points. Local governments will […]

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I received my Ph.D. from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, and I have very fond memories of that experience, including interactions with great economists such as James Buchanan and Walter Williams. But not everyone has favorable views of GMU’s market-friendly program. There’s a group, UnKoch My Campus, that pretends to be horrified that the […]

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In the world of fiscal policy, there are actually two big debates. One debate revolves around the appropriate size of government in the long run. Folks on the left argue that government spending generates a lot of value and that bigger government is a recipe for more prosperity. Libertarians and their allies, by contrast, point […]

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I thought it was a remarkable development last year when a columnist from the New York Times reported that supposedly pro-feminist policies actually backfire against women. Maybe this would help readers recognize that there are adverse unintended consequences of government intervention. Bastiat would be very happy! Now we have a new example from the academic […]

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Even though it’s theoretically possible to design a desirable budget deal that includes a tax increase, I’m a big advocate of the no-tax-hike pledge for the simple reason that – in the real world – support for genuine spending restraint and real entitlement reform evaporates once politicians think higher revenues are an option. Heck, bumping […]

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The proper view on inequality is that it doesn’t matter. That assumes, of course, that people are earning their income honestly rather than via government-enabled cronyism. To elaborate, some people will become rich in a system of honest and competitive markets, but that’s not at the expense of the poor. Indeed, the talents and skills […]

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My goal in life is very simple. I want to promote freedom and prosperity by limiting the size and scope of government. That seems like a foolish and impossible mission, perhaps best suited for Don Quixote. After all, what hope is there of overcoming the politicians, interest groups, bureaucrats, and lobbyists who benefit from bigger […]

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I periodically cite new academic research about tax policy and economic activity. I sometimes even publicize research from international bureaucracies showing the link between taxes and growth. I’m not naive enough to think that any particular study will change minds, but when the bulk of the research unambiguously tells us that lower tax rates are […]

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How do you define a terrible team? No, this isn’t going to be a joke about Notre Dame foolishly thinking it could match up against a team from the Southeastern Conference in college football’s national title game (though the Irish win the contest for prettiest make-believe girlfriends). I’m asking the question because a winless record […]

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Leftists want higher tax rates and they want greater tax compliance. But they have a hard time understanding that those goals are inconsistent. Simply stated, people respond to incentives. When tax rates are punitive, folks earn and report less taxable income, and vice-versa. When tax rates increase, sometimes they engage in tax avoidance, lowering their […]

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These results won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has compared long-run growth rates in Hong Kong, the United States, France, and North Korea, but there’s a new study by three economists showing that nations with better tax policy grow faster and create more jobs. There are many other factors that also determine growth, […]

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More than 12 years ago, I shared this video containing lots of data and research on the negative relationship between government spending and economic performance. Since then, I’ve share numerous additional studies showing that bigger government dampens growth, mostly from scholars in academia. Now it’s time for me to directly contribute to this debate. In […]

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Yesterday’s column was a completely serious look at five graphs and tables that show why Biden’s tax plan is misguided. Today, we’re going to make the same point with satire. And we’ll only need two images. First, here’s a look at what happens when politicians create never-ending handouts financed by ever-higher taxes on an ever-smaller […]

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The Biden Administration’s approach to tax policy is awful, as documented here, here, here, and here. We’ve now reached the stage where bad ideas are being turned into legislation. Today’s analysis looks at what the House Ways & Means Committee (the one in charge of tax policy) has unveiled. Let’s call this the Biden-Pelosi plan. […]

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When I discuss class-warfare tax policy, I want people to understand deadweight loss, which is the term for the economic output that is lost when high tax rates discourage work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship. And I especially want them to understand that the economic damage grows exponentially as tax rates increase (in other words, going […]

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Thomas Sowell is a great economist, but his expertise extends to other fields of study. Everything from history to education. But he’s also famous for being a great communicator, with dozens of well-known quotes. I use one of them on my rotating banner because it succinctly summarizes why the left has to rely on emotional […]

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In my fantasy country of Libertaria, there is no Department of Labor, no regulation of employment contracts between consenting adults, and no favoritism for either labor or management. In the real world, the relevant question is the degree of regulation and intervention. Especially compared to other nations, which is why the the Employment Flexibility Index […]

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In an ideal world, Americans would have personal retirement accounts, just like workers in Australia, Sweden, Chile, Hong Kong, Israel, Switzerland, and a few dozen other nations. But we’re not in that ideal world. We are forced to participate in a Ponzi Scheme known as Social Security. By the way, that’s not necessarily a disparaging […]

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Yesterday’s column cited new scholarly research about the negative economic impact of Biden’s plans to increase capital gains taxation. In today’s column, let’s start with a refresher on why this tax shouldn’t exist. But if you don’t want to spend a few minutes watching the video, here are the six reasons why the tax shouldn’t […]

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I wrote last month about an encouraging wave of tax cuts at the state level. I’m particularly impressed by the tax-cutting plan in Arizona, which cleverly reversed a class-warfare scheme designed to enrich teacher unions. Indeed, I’m a big fan of federalism in large part because good fiscal policy is more likely when state and […]

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What motivates the tax-and-spend crowd? Why do they want high tax rates and a big welfare state? The most charitable answer is that they don’t want anyone to suffer from poverty and they mistakenly think big government can solve problems. But there’s another answer that may be more accurate. As Margaret Thatcher observed about three […]

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Like most libertarians, I favor drug legalization for the simple reason that people should have control over their own bodies, even if they’re doing something stupid. But I’ve never claimed legalization is a zero-cost policy. Instead, as I wrote in 2018, “I think┬áthe social harm of prohibition is greater than the social harm of legalization.” […]

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Washington is filled with dishonest and self-serving analysis. Much of that shoddy output is driven by privileged groups seeking bailouts, subsidies, protectionism, or a tilted playing field. The health insurance and pharmaceutical companies supported Obamacare. Big agribusiness firms support farm subsidies. The big Wall Street Firms supported Dodd-Frank. But that’s not the only type of […]

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For most of the world, American citizenship is highly coveted. Indeed, foreigners have even been willing to invest a lot of money to increase the odds of getting to the United States. But changing one’s nationality is a two-way street. Beginning with the Obama years, there’s been a big jump in the number of Americans […]

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I don’t like Joe Biden being a lackey of the teacher unions, and I think the entire Department of Education should be eliminated. That being said, intervention from Washington is the not the main cause of America’s education problems. The real problem is that we have an inefficient monopoly system that is – for all […]

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It’s understandable that we’re now paying a lot of attention to Joe Biden’s risky proposals for higher taxes and a bigger welfare state. After all, it’s a very bad idea to copy the economic policies of nations such as Italy, France, and Greece (unless, of course, you want much lower living standards). But let’s not […]

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I recently explained the evolution of taxation – and the unfortunate consequences of income taxation – to a seminar in the country of Georgia. One of my main points was that income taxes are a relatively new source of revenue. The first income tax was adopted in the United Kingdom in the mid-1800s and other […]

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