It’s probably true that no one in the mid 1980s should have been wearing blackface – it was a bit archaically racist even then. And of course no one should have been dressing up in Klan outfits – Robert Byrd was already in the Senate. However, we do seem to be having something of a logic failure in the public reactions to those photographs of maybe or maybe not Northam at college. For they are not a sign that America suffers from some dreadful problem concerning race relations.…See More
California isn’t called the golden state for nothing. Well, it might be the good PR from the Beach Boys or the Eagles—Tim knows more about this than we do—but it is generally a place you might want to go. Chuck Berry, bless his little cotton socks, called it the Promised Land.* We’ve been there. It is stunning. Go to Malibu Beach and view the Bay Watch at work.
It’s Paradise on earth.
Sorry, that’s not in LA.…See More
We’re as fond as flying as the next guy. Really. That wonderful experience that allows you to get from A to B and back again in the twinkle of an eye. We’ve flown around in pretty much everything and can recall, as a young ‘un, a particularly lovely flight to Alderney many summers ago. As we touched down on the grass strip, we skidded on the morning dew and eventually the prop plane drew to a stop near the shed that served as the terminal.…See More
Donald Trump did indeed propose a 14.25% wealth tax for the United States – this being proof that Donald Trump actually knows something about the taxation of wealth. As opposed, say, to Matt Yglesias.
The important point about Trump’s wealth tax being that it accords with standard economic theory, in that it would be once and it would be unexpected. Which is why the IMF has flirted with the idea – but the point is again that such a tax must be once and it must be unexpected.…See More
Donald Trump has announced sanctions on Venezuela’s oil business and that’s a useful little proof – indication wouldn’t be strong enough – of the manner in which he’s not in fact beholden to Russia. Because major losers here are in fact the Russians. Trump does something that imperils Russian economic interests? He’s not working for them then, is he?
The Trump administration has tightened the screws on Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro, announcing sanctions against the country’s state-owned oil company PDVSA in what the US national security adviser admitted was partly an attempt to counter strategic threats from Cuba and Iran.
This is not the most surprising political story so far in the electoral cycle – varied Democrats are unhappy with the idea that Howard Schultz, formerly of Starbucks, might have a tilt at the Presidency as an independent. For, as they correctly identify, he’s rather more likely to take votes off whoever the Democrat nominee is than he is to pull people away from Trumps’ base. This would then give Trump the opportunity to slip through in a three way tie.…See More
It’s entirely possible to insist that there just aren’t any non-citizens on the voter rolls. It would be incorrect to do so but it it’s still possible – politics does not, of course, consist of only saying things which are true. It’s, to make a less strenuous claim, entirely possible to insist that even if there are such then there aren’t enough to make any difference to anything. So, don’t sweat it.
Except this doesn’t seem to be true either.…See More
Isn’t it lovely to see how this dismal science we’re so fond of ignoring comes back and bites us in the posterior? And we’re not talking the kind of Chihuahua nip here, no you should think more Rotweiller mauling.
Well, the story goes—and we must thank (h/t) the Streetwise Professor for this as we’re not natives of the Big Apple. Yeah, we’ve been there once or twice but we live on the east side of the big pond where, well, if we are honest, we’re doing the same nonsense as those nice politico types in Albany led by Governor Andrew M.…See More
Egged on by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman it seems that Elizabeth Warren is proposing an annual wealth tax on the richest Americans. The response to which is that wealth taxes don’t actually work. As the two Frenchmen proposing it should know, given that France has a wealth tax and it doesn’t in fact work. That it doesn’t work is why the standard economics of taxation says that we shouldn’t be trying to tax wealth. In fact, there are perfectly good analyses of this sort of taxation which insist that even the taxation rate of the income from wealth should be zero.…See More
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has insisted that the majority of Americans don’t make a living wage. The vast majority even. Which is nonsense, as the vast majority of Americans are not keeling over from the diseases and starvations of absolute poverty nor destitution. By very definition, given the fact that Americans are living upon their wages, they are gaining a living wage.
But then that’s logic and the subject under discussion is demagogic politics.
… See More
Ta Nehisi-Coates: “Do we live in a moral world that allows for billionaires?