‘But we cannot have both’

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Ian Ayres and Aaron S. Edlin are pushing for a Brandeis tax based on maintaining a Brandeis ratio of 36-to-1. I hope they keeping pushing for this, even though I doubt their proposal will go anywhere. I’m just happy they’re calling it a “Brandeis tax” and a “Brandeis ratio,” because every time anyone asks why [Read More...]

The Liberation of Ebenezer Scrooge (and possible liberation of Jamie Dimon)

The Consumerist brings us the latest in a wave of recent stories about a mystery benefactor bringing holiday cheer to strangers in need. Call it holiday cheer or call it the best bandwagon we’ve ever seen, but yet another kind-hearted consumer has plunked down cash to make the season a bit brighter for his fellow [Read More...]

Congress cuts LIHEAP — because giving billions to the rich is no fun unless you also get to screw the poor

Susie Madrak notes that the shutdown deal in Congress cuts winter heating aid for low-income families. I used to be confused as to why LIHEAP was always among the first programs on the chopping block when states or the federal government wanted to cut the budget. LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, helps low-income [Read More...]

Ludwig von Mises smacks down latest religious-right talking point

Right-wing hero Ludwig von Mises approaches the Jesus of the Bible the same way that Chuck Colson does — which is to say that he’s primarily interested in whether or not it will rile up the peasants or keep them sedate. But where Colson invokes Jesus as a helpful moralist who can keep the peasants [Read More...]

Banks behaving badly

Matt Stoller: “Mortgage Servicers: Getting Away with the Perfect Crime?“ The bad behavior is so rampant that banks think nothing of a contractor programming fraud into the software. This is shocking behavior and has led to untold numbers of foreclosures, as well as the theft of huge sums of money from mortgage-backed securities investors. Here’s [Read More...]

An index for the 99%: 12 items of Christmas with the family will cost you $79.81

The Consumerist reports on an annual holiday tradition from PNC Financial: According to the folks at PNC Financial, who have spent decades tracking the ups and downs of the gifts rattled off in the seemingly endless tune, the total cost of realizing the full “12 Days of Christmas” has crossed the $100,000 mark for the [Read More...]

The search for new ways to take our money

Banks used to take more than $36 billion a year from their customers. They just took it. They did this by reaching into those customers’ accounts and removing the money $30 at a time. This was called “overdraft protection,” and the banks pretended it was a service for those customers. That practice has been reined [Read More...]

Looking beyond their needs to determine fault

It’s been several days and I’m still a bit gobsmacked by the perverse audacity of Herman Cain’s oddly lovely rendition of “He Looked Beyond My Faults.” Cain is the frontrunner in a Republican presidential primary characterized above all by the opposite impulse from what that song is about. Amazing grace shall always be my song [Read More...]