mtngun commented on the blog post Cigarette Taxes and What They Mean for Legal Marijuana
Re: “Taxes do work to discourage [cigarette] consumption.”
I’m skeptical. I say people smoke less than they used to because of cancer, not because taxes. If money were the issue then rich people would smoke more than poor people, when in fact the reverse is true.
In any case, a cigarette tax (or marijuana tax) is a regressive tax. No progressive should support regressive taxation.
mtngun commented on the diary post New Bill in Congress Would Make Wisconsin’s Budget Harder to Balance by WI Budget Project.
An internet tax would be a regressive tax. No progressive should support regressive taxation. Tax the rich, instead.
This losing issue is an example of why “liberal” has become a dirty word.
By law, the “militia” includes the “unorganized” milita, all able-bodied men (sorry, ladies) between ages 17 and 45. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/311 It would be helpful if the anti-gun “nuts” could carry on an informed conversation about the 2nd amendment and about guns. Meanwhile, the 1% love it when anti-2nd amendment “progressives” like CatskillBob52 keep the 99% fighting [...]
mtngun commented on the diary post Will gangland-style executions of police officers be enough? by danps.
Ditto what kafka said about ending the drug war.
Also, homicide rates correlate to the gini coefficient:
If liberals were smart …… they would focus on decriminalizing drugs and reducing economic inequality. Instead they play a losing game of dividing the 99% on the gun issue.
As for defining the “essence of MMT,” if you ask the head honcho Warren Mosler he will point you to his book the “7 Deadly Innocent Frauds” and the reading list on his website which, in addition to functional finance, includes sectoral balances, the JG, and free trade. Every single MMT academic seems to agree [...]
Thanks for posting this blog, Danps. Please watch your back for the knives that will be coming at you from your (former) MMT friends. I’m not sure if I agree with your definition of MMT — what you described is functional finance / fiat money which has been around for a long time, so why [...]
The murder rate for white Americans is similar to the murder rate in Europe and Canada.
The murder rate for black Americans is 5 times higher than for whites. Most murders are intra-racial — whites are killed by other whites, blacks are killed by other blacks. A good chunk of murders are drug and gang related.
Blacks are poor, their unemployment rate is double the white unemployment rate, and they arguably have a culture of violence left over from slavery — i.e., blacks are more likely to spank their children.
The single biggest thing we could do to reduce the murder rate is to decriminalize drugs. Nothing else comes close.
The second biggest thing we could do to reduce the murder rate is to create decent jobs for unemployed blacks.
The 3rd biggest thing we could do to reduce the murder rate is to reduce inequality — homicide rates correlate to the gini coefficient (and blacks are more unequal than whites).
None of that has much to do with headline shootings, because it’s not a headline when blacks shoot other blacks in the ‘hood.
As for the headline shootings, most of the mass shooters are young mentally ill men, or stressed out and “gone postal”, and most of the time there were plenty of warning signs. People knew that Adam Lanza was mentally ill. People knew that James Holmes was mentally ill. People knew that Elliot Rodgers was mentally ill. People knew that Jared Loughner was mentally ill. People knew that Seung Hui Cho was mentally ill. And so forth. And yet because of our mental health laws, they could still pass a background check to purchase a firearm. They could not be institutionalized because our mental health laws make it practically impossible to institutionalize someone against their will. If you want to make a dent in mass killings, you need to change the mental health laws.
While “liberals” love to hate on guns, there’s little evidence that gun laws make much difference, and lotsa luck confiscating the millions and millions of guns in America.
2 million sign ups out of a population of 314 million is not even 1% of the population. 0.64% to be precise.
Raise your hand if you think 0.64% is a “surge”?
Economist Michael Hudson has “loudly and forcefully” called for taxing the rich to reduce inequality.
mtngun commented on the blog post DC Politics of Social Security Are Shifting to the Left
Jon is being way too optimistic.
The so-called “Strengthening SS Act” is a tax increase, aimed at reducing the deficit.
It changes the CPI calculation in a way that could actually lower SS benefits.
Here’s my SS proposal: suspend the regressive FICA tax. Roll all private and public pensions into SS. Make the SS benefit $2500/month for all retirees regardless how much they paid in. Lower the SS retirement age to 55 whenever the unemployment rate is more than 2.5%. Pay for all this with keystrokes.
mtngun commented on the blog post The Tiny Recall Elections in Colorado With Big Ripples
Jon Walker misses the point.
Americans are fond of the Bill of Rights, and politicians swear ad oath to uphold the Bill of Rights. Yet instead of fixing the economy and ending the wars, Democrats attack firearms.
Democrats are ideologically bankrupt.
If you want to unite the country, I suggest a populist agenda to fix the economy and end the wars, and avoid divisive, non-productive social issues.
Thanks for calling out the CPC, Masaccio.
The next step is to offer constructive suggestions for a truly progressive economic system.
Myself, I lean toward the post-Keynesian school such as Steve Keen, Warren Mosler, and Randall Wray, excepting for their position on free trade.
We need a bigger deficit and at the moment, the most politically viable way to achieve that is by suspending the FICA tax.
I’m certainly not opposed to taxing the rich to redistribute wealth, but 1) it ain’t gonna happen with R’s controlling the house and 2) we don’t need the revenue to reduce the budget. The deficit is only an issue when it is so large that it creates inflation. In the mean time, forget about it.
Thanks so much for posting this on FDL, Masaccio. Agree 100%.
I keep suggesting that the CPC change its name to “Congressional Neoliberal Caucus” to better reflect what it actually represents.
WRONG WRONG WRONG ANY DEFICIT REDUCTION IS A BAD THING It doesn’t matter whether it is Republican deficit reduction or Democratic deficit reduction or CPC deficit reduction. Any deficit reduction will hurt the economy. Not to mention there is zero chance the House will pass the CPC’s tax increases, so why are we even wasting [...]
Actually, the right of the people to keep and bear arms was consistent with the mood of the country at the time the Bill of Rights was written. ‘According to the Boston Gazette, of all General Gage’s offenses, “what most irritated the People” was “seizing their Arms and Ammunition.”’ http://www.davekopel.org/2A/LawRev/american-revolution-against-british-gun-control.html It is sad to see [...]
mtngun commented on the blog post Fed Announces Game-Changing Inflation and Unemployment Targets for Monetary Policy
Dayen falls for Milt Friedman’s theories, since they have been working so well in Japan for the past 20+ years.
The Fed controls neither inflation nor unemployment. At best, it has a slight influence, and only some of the time, not all of the time.
What the Fed does control is the price of money — interest rates. That’s it.
Most inflation is due to commodity speculation, not to anything the Fed does or does not do.
Most unemployment is due to fiscal policy or lack thereof, not to anything the Fed does or does not do.
mtngun commented on the blog post Bernanke: No Deficit Reduction Now, Economy Still Needs Support
Bernanke’s speech twice called on Congress to put the budget on a “sustainable path,” which is bullshit. That makes Bernanke pro-austerity, not anti-austerity. There is no such thing as an unsustainable budget path.
He claimed the Fed should not try to influence fiscal policy, yet FDR’s Fed Chair, Marriner Eccles, played an active role in shaping fiscal policy, encouraging the creation of policies that became known as the New Deal.
He claimed that raising rates would increase the deficit. That’s right, AND INCREASING THE DEFICIT STIMULATES THE ECONOMY. Bernanke’s ZIRP policy is sucking money out of the economy and making the recession worse.
Bernanke is part of the problem. He didn’t get anything right.
Progressives will continue to fail until they understand economics.
mtngun commented on the blog post Doing Just Enough: Why Ben Bernanke and Company Irk Me
There is nothing the Fed can do. The Fed only controls interest rates, which are already at record lows.
QE may actually be disinflationary, because it removes interest income from the economy.
mtngun commented on the blog post Corey Robin’s Incredible Breakdown of Democrats as the Party of Austerity
Robin talks about the politics of austerity, not the economics, which is fine considering Robin doesn’t pretend to be an economist.
However, we must talk about the economics, too.
According to post-Keynesian theory, the deficit needs to be large enough to offset “demand leakages,” as per the equation Federal Deficit = Net Private Savings + Trade Deficit.
Since people usually wish to save a percentage of their income, and since we have a trade deficit, that means we MUST run a budget deficit. The only way to sustain a a balanced budget is with a large trade surplus, which is not realistic.
Temporarily balancing the budget, as Clinton did, forced households deeply in debt and eventually crashed the economy.
The deficit is not a problem. The debt is not a problem. What is a problem is that politicians don’t understand that the deficit needs to offset demand leakages.
There is nothing the Fed can do. They only control interest rates, which are already at record lows. Lower rates further probably won’t help and may hurt — by reducing interest income and by encouraging highly leveraged speculation. On the other hand, there are things that Congress and the President can and should do. The [...]
- Load More