Viewing entries tagged
Governance for a Better Tomorrow

How to Pay for The Adult Student Basic Income

Poverty, income volatility, job instability, and lack of social mobility are real problems in the US. While most Americans manage to climb the socioeconomic ladder to achieve a decent version of the American Dream, some get stuck on the lower rungs. They need help.

What To Do With Extra Tax Revenue: Some Suggestions

This post is not about tax rates. Higher tax rates don’t necessarily translate into additional tax revenue, because tax rates interact with economic behavior in complicated ways. That discussion is for another post. This post is about how to use the gift of extra tax revenue.

Cross-Country Comparisons, Part I: Economic Freedom Rankings

Note that economic freedom and government regulations are perfectly compatible, as long as the regulations are “necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself”. Of course, that wording invites a whole slew of questions, such as…

Crime, Punishment, and Rich People

Leniency is called for when an individual is at low-risk for reoffending and there is no need to “make an example” of the person to deter others from engaging in the same criminal behavior.

Designing a Society for Human Flourishing: A Framework

In its original Founding-Father sense, happiness was akin to felicity, a kind of well-being that comes from living a purposeful and productive life.  Today we would call that sense of well-being flourishing. …So what does a government need to do to create conditions conducive to flourishing?  Put differently, what does a government need to do to increase the sense of control and self-efficacy of its citizens, allowing them to pursue purposeful and productive lives?

What's Happening at the Southwest Border? Making Sense of the Numbers

The net effect of all these asylum applications is system overwhelm. Over a year ago, the USCIS had already declared a huge backlog of asylum cases. To quote a January 31, 2018 USCIS news release:

“The agency currently faces a crisis-level backlog of 311,000 pending asylum cases as of Jan. 21, 2018, making the asylum system increasingly vulnerable to fraud and abuse. This backlog has grown by more than 1750 percent over the last five years, and the rate of new asylum applications has more than tripled.”

How Much Does Political Spending Translate Into Political Influence? Part I

I’ll start with political spending by “business interests”, a convenient category that includes rich people, corporations, non-corporate businesses, business associations, and industry groups. If spending by business interests influenced US elections and legislation in a major way, one would expect the US to do well in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. And it does okay - but not as well as Denmark and Norway.

Neither Left Nor Right - Nor in The Boring Middle

…support for strong border controls does not imply traditional marriage values, just as support for universal health care does not imply hostility to large corporations. That certain political opinions tend to go together is mostly a product of American history - an artifact of our two-party system and the dynamics of coalition politics.

The Republican Party will have to Reinvent Itself after Trump

After Trump, what? We need a second political party to counter the Democrats, not because the Democrats are bad but because the competition of ideas is good. As John Stuart Mill said, "prevailing opinion and feeling" is a kind of tyranny to be resisted - or at least questioned. You can't think outside the box when the box is all you know.

Who Are The One Percent? (Updated)

Who are the one percent? Technically, households with an adjusted gross income of at least $465,626. But who are those people? Many work in occupations that pay so well they have plenty of money available to get richer still through profitable investments. Many work in the following occupations...

Inequality of Income = Inequality of Opportunity? Part III

Since developing human capital requires financial resources and the returns to skills and education are higher than ever, the children of low-income families are at a disadvantage. But it doesn't have to be so. We just have to make sure the building blocks of human capital are there for all income levels.

Who Are The One Percent?

Who are the one percent? Technically, households with an adjusted gross income of at least $465,626. But who are those people? Many work in occupations that pay so well they have plenty of money available to get richer still through profitable investments. Many work in the following occupations...

How Much Can the 1% Pay?

The point of raising tax rates is to raise tax revenue.  However, raise the rate too high and tax payers will change their behavior to lower their tax bill. So is there a sweet spot for taxing the top earners in this country, where we can get the most revenue for our rate? Here's what the IMF has to say...

How to Clear More Crimes and Make Life Better for Most of Us

High crime clearance rates are associated with lower crime rates. Translation:  more crimes solved, fewer crimes. While the causal pathways are complicated, deterrence appears to play a starring role. Basically, humans are less likely to transgress against the rules if they think they’ll be caught...

Crimes and Their Clearance Rates

Looking at Philadelphia, it appears that homicides vary with clearance rates after a lag time. For instance, the Philadelphia Homicide Unit reported a 70% clearance rate in 2012 and the following year homicides went down 26%...