Monday, December 10, 2012

Miscellaneous 155

1) The unemployment rate in Spain right now is 25%. In Singapore it's less than 2% (1.9). Spain has a heavy regulatory burden and a high taxation rate. Singapore has neither of these (they don't even have a minimum wage). Now, can I say with absolute certitude that there's a causal connection here? No, I can't. But at the very least it's interesting.............2) According the Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell, the 1913 tax code had 400 pages in it, the tax code of 2012, 73,000. I challenge anybody to try and convince me that this is a change for the better (I mean, yes, I could see it being somewhat bigger but 182 fold!?).............3) The federal budget has grown 31% over the last four years and 41% over the last five years. Couple this with the fact that a) douche Bernanke has essentially tripled the monetary base and b) the deficit has now quadrupled (from 2008) and it really doesn't look all that good for the Keynesians, now does it? Time for another 30-year hiatus, I'm thinking.............4) Looking for a flying under the radar high school football player? My suggestion is that you take a gander down toward Raleigh and a duel-threat quarterback by the name of LeMar Harris (class of 2014 - Millbrook High). This kid is a rangy 6'2" with speed and who can really sling the rock. He doesn't have any offers yet but, I'm telling you, 5-6 months from now, he'll probably have a whole slew of 'em and, yeah, you can bank on it

10 comments:

Roberto Severino said...

Good summary of the madness, sir.

I didn't know this, but Timothy Geithner got a college degree in government and Asian studies in the 80s. Later on he got a master's degree in international economics and East Asian studies. There seems to be a connection between the types of college degrees people get and where they end up working in the long run.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

That's interesting, Roberto. Me, I had always kind of thought that at least one of his degrees (along with Paulsen, Bernanke, and Greenspan) was in Bailouts and Crony Capitalism.

Roberto Severino said...

Probably. These degrees can even have an effect on the political philosophies and policies these politicians end up associating with. Compare someone like Margaret Thatcher to Susan Rice or Nancy Pelosi and I think you can figure out why there's bad government in the first place at least in an economic sense. This problem is prevalent on both sides of the political spectrum.

On an slightly related note, try comparing the backgrounds of Milton Friedman to Paul Krugman and you'll notice a huge difference between the two men in terms of their upbringing. You could also replace Friedman with Thomas Sowell or Walter E. Williams if you want in that comparison.

Some types of education are obviously more economically valuable and in demand than others for a reason, which is one of the factors behind why the unemployment rate for college graduates. I think certain people go into government because without it, they would be otherwise unemployable or working some type of barely above minimum wage job.

My sister is studying political science and has ended up making 10 bucks an hour at a bank doing a job that sounds a lot like someone with a mere high school diploma can do. She wants to become a lawyer and I've warned her about how oversaturated that labor market is for that field and how even NPR reported a story on this. Despite my insistence, she wouldn't listen to me and kept denying whatever advice I had tried to give her.

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/23/157217098/job-tuition-woes-a-drain-on-law-schools

Jerry Critter said...

Item 2
I'm not sure of what budget figures you are using, but there was a big jump when Obama took over because he started accounting for a lot of expenses (primarily war costs) that Bush had kept off-budget.

dmarks said...

The minimum wage is a terrible idea in all ways. But basically it forces employers (mostly small business owners) to hand out a good chunk of their meager profits as a welfare payment to employees who have very low value skills.

And it is not means tested at all, so the extra money goes to teenagers from families of means where the kid is getting a starter job.

It makes no sense at all.

--------------

Jerry: Nothing was off budget. It all ended up in the Treasury figures. While it was off of some budgets (using partial counting), "the wars" were on the overall budget for sure.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

What happened, Jerry, is that Obama has been using the 2009 budget (replete with bailouts, replete with stimulus, replete with omnibus) as a baseline and basically continuing it with a series of continuing resolutions. And if you think that I'm a Bush apologist for his also reckless spending, I can assure you, I'm not.

dmarks said...

Bush's reckless spending (along with the complete lack of any Clinton surplus) can be found in the cold hard month by month, year by year data of the Treasury Department. And I am no apologist for Bush being far more fiscally irresponsible than his predecessor (just as Obama is far more fiscally irresponsible than Bush).

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Roberto, if you're really into Thomas Sowell, I highly recommend you going to youtube and checking out some of his early 1980s interviews with William Buckley. Both fellows are at the top of their game and I challenge you to look away even for a minute.

Jerry Critter said...

No, Will. I am not accusing you of being a Bush apologist. And yes dmarks, every thing ends up in the Treasury numbers, especially the debt. The reason I asked about budget figures is that Bush did not include the war costs in his Februray budget requests to Congress but handled them through separate supplemental budget requests later in the year. Obama has combined the war costs in his February requests. So, if you look at budget request numbers, there is a jump in the requests from Obama.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I'd have to go back and check Jerry but I think the numbers that I used in the computation were the actual spending amounts; 2.7 trillion in 2007, 2.9 trillion in 2008, and 3.8 trillion in 2012. Compare these numbers to the final Clinton budget which I think was about 1.8 trillion.