Media

David Boaz, RIP

David Boaz, RIP

David was the executive vice president of the Cato Institute for most of its history.  He was the operating officer of the nation’s premier libertarian think tank.

“You learn the essence of libertarianism in kindergarten,” he wrote.  “Don’t hit other people, don’t take their stuff, and keep your promises.”

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The Inflation Tax

The Inflation Tax

With 10% inflation, the average family can expect to lose 7% of its lifetime income to government.

This is the startling conclusion of a first-ever study by Laurance Kotlikoff and Alan Auerbach and their colleagues. The sources of the loss: (1) large parts of the tax code are not inflation indexed, (2) those parts that are indexed are indexed with a lag, and (3) Social Security benefits and other entitlements are also indexed with a lag. Our fiscal system is so incredibly complex that it has been impossible to measure the overall effects of inflation before now. Given the 20 largest federal/state entitlements, all administered differently by 50 states, that gives us 1,000 fiscal systems– to say nothing of all the different tax regimes. Hats off to the economists who spent several years developing the model that could give us a reliable answer. See John Goodman’s explanation of the study at Forbes.

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Do You Trust your Health Insurer?

Do You Trust your Health Insurer?

Why do employers (including government employers) and insurers mistreat enrollees with costly health care problems?  When the New York Times describes the abuses, you are encouraged to believe that the blame rests with private insurance. In fact, the source of the problem is perverse incentives created by bad government policies. More.

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Letter to the Commissioner

Letter to the Commissioner

Congratulations on limiting the amount by which a beneficiaries benefits may be clawed back because of Social Security ‘s own mistakes. More needs to be done however. More.

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Social Security Claws Backs $34K from a Disabled Blind Worker for “Overpayments” Going Back 23 Years!

Social Security Claws Backs $34K from a Disabled Blind Worker for “Overpayments” Going Back 23 Years!

Social Security sends out more than 2 million clawback letters every year. Why so many clawbacks? Simple. Social Security doesn’t have the data it needs to correctly calculate benefits for tens of millions of us. Or it has the information on day 1, but doesn’t process it. Or it inputs the wrong information. Or it mixes up your earnings record with someone else’s. Or it makes the wrong benefit calculations. I’ve seen all of this and more. More

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Dueling: A Gentleman’s Duty or a Nasty Habit?

Dueling: A Gentleman’s Duty or a Nasty Habit?

A recent scholarly paper perused two newspapers (the New York Times and the Richmond Daily Dispatch)  for duels reported between 1861 and 1865. They found 130 duels (over just five years!). Of these 130 duels, they write, “71 involve prominent figures, which we define as politicians, military officers with rank of at least colonel (Army) or captain (Navy), and other well-known private citizens.”[2]
Read the original article (and view the notes) on janetakesonhistory.org

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Identity Politics Explained

Identity Politics Explained

Racism is the lowest form of collectivism. Ayn Rand once called it “barnyard collectivism.” Throughout history, it has usually been the handmaiden of every other form of collectivism. In the modern world, collectivists are no longer able to make a serious argument for economic collectivism (socialism, fascism, communism, etc.) So, they have resorted to identity politics instead. More.

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What Does the Left Have Against Au Pairs?

What Does the Left Have Against Au Pairs?

Au pairs represent a potential solution to two huge problems: the high cost of child care and the high cost of elder care. Young European women get free room and board, some spending money and a chance to experience America. So why does the Biden administration want to price them out of the market? More.

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Is There a Trump Health Care Plan?

Is There a Trump Health Care Plan?

Although he rarely talks about it, the most significant gift Donald Trump bequeathed to economic prosperity was deregulation. And the one sector that was deregulated more than any other was health care. Since Joe Biden has been re-regulating the economy, it’s hard to think of a starker contrast between the two leading presidential candidates this year – and it affects all aspects of health care. More

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