Higher taxes if you had wealthy parents

Taxing the wealthy isn’t enough, some are saying.  Let’s tax people who had wealthy parents.  Since children of affluent parents have all kinds of advantages when it comes to educational accomplishments and social mobility, so, the reasoning goes, when they grow up, it’s only fair that they pay higher taxes.  [Read more...]

Just let Google run the country?

Justine Tunney, one of the founders of Occupy Wall Street, is calling on President Obama to resign, have all government workers retire, and transfer all administrative authority to the tech industry, making Google chairman Eric Schmidt the “C.E.O. of America.”

But aren’t leftists always complaining about the influence of big corporations on the government?  Ms. Tunney claims that the tech industry is actually “post-capitalist.”

OK, she only has two signatures on her petition at the time of the news report, so this isn’t a realistic threat to our constitutional republic.  But still, even people on the right say that government should be run “like a business.”  What are the problems with this? [Read more...]

The pension black hole

Despite its wealthy Silicon Valley population, the city of San Jose, California, is broke and is having to slash city services, from fixing potholes to running libraries.  This is because the city has to devote 25% of its revenue to pay pensions for retired city workers, which, thanks to union negotiators, is as much as 90% of their salaries.

Something like this is happening in lots of cities and may herald a national crisis to come. [Read more...]

“Fish in the afternoon, criticize after dinner”

At the findings that Obamacare will take over 2 million jobs out of the economy, Democrats have been saying this is a good thing:  Now, people will no longer have to work at unfulfilling jobs just to keep their health insurance.  Charles Krauthammer takes up this mindset and throws in a great quote from Karl Marx. [Read more...]

Superiority + insecurity + discipline = success?

Amy Chua, the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, has written with Jed Rubenfeld another controversial book about ethnic drive: The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America.

Members of certain cultural groups do really well in terms of economic and social success.  Others don’t.  Those that do, according to the book, have three traits:  a sense of cultural superiority; a sense of personal insecurity about measuring up to that superiority; and strong self-discipline and capacity for delayed gratification.  We’ll let the Washington Post book reviewer explain after the jump, though I want to make some religious connections. [Read more...]

Leno kicked out while he’s ahead

Jay Leno is off the Tonight Show as of last night.  NBC wants to hand off the iconic gig to someone of the younger generation, namely, Jimmy Fallon.  Never mind that Leno is going out at #1 in his time slot.  Never mind that Leno is #1 with the younger generation (the 18-49 demographic) that NBC is trying to attract with Fallon.

But ratings are not everything in the television industry.  Nor, despite economic theory, are profits everything in the corporate world.  Those who run the entertainment industry and America’s other businesses want the approval of their peers, feel cultural pressure, and yearn to be cool.  Those things can be more motivating than money and success. [Read more...]


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