Economics

Center on Wealth & Poverty

The Bogus Marriage “Bonus”

Earlier this month, President Clinton vetoed legislation to end the marriage penalty in the federal tax code, charging that the Republican-backed bill was “poorly targeted toward delivering marriage penalty relief.” News reports filed by the Associated Press (AP) backed the President’s assertion, claiming that only some married couples in America are penalized by the current tax code. Many other couples, Read More ›

The Gore Tax Burden

Vice President Gore keeps telling us how proud he is that he voted against the Reagan tax rate reductions in 1981. This is a curious boast for a politician to make since, a year after the tax cuts went into effect, inflation and unemployment fell sharply and the economy began to grow very rapidly. Most observers credit the Reagan tax Read More ›

Let’s Rate Their Economic Skill

C-SPAN has just released its rankings of American presidents. Several dozen notable historians and professional observers of the presidency were surveyed and asked to rank the presidents in 10 different categories. Most of the categories are somewhat subjective, such as “moral authority” and “pursued equal justice for all.” One category, however, “economic management,” can be analyzed empirically. Numbers are available Read More ›

Zero-Sum Folly, From Kyoto to Kosovo

What do the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, the global warming treaty in Kyoto, and the Social Security “crisis” of demand-side Keynesian economics have in common, apart from a convergence of K’s? You can even add Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber. Answer: They all reflect a belief in a zero-sum world. The concept of a zero-sum system originated in a branch of Read More ›

A Species’ Fate, By the Numbers

Population viability analysis (PVA), a favorite approach of conservation biologists for predicting a population's survival, is coming under scrutiny now that its use in critical decisions on endangered species is on the rise. Increasingly, PVAs are being attacked as too simplistic, overly demanding of data, error-prone, and hard to verify. Last month, at the first-ever major conference on the technique, scientists discussed hurdles facing attempts to extend PVA to cover a wider range of species, and how to factor in the behavior of our own species. And one scientist described how he crash-tested PVA models in the lab, a practice that could help ecologists refine the technique. Read More ›

The Soul of Silicon

Published on May 1, 1991, Centesimus Annus returns to the themes of a lapidary encyclical of 100 years before, Rerum Novarum, which refuted Marxism long before it had refracted into a global plague of tyranny and murder. The critique of socialism, however, did not signify an affirmation of capitalism. The `new things’ to which the Pope devoted his attention more Read More ›

A Happy Thought: Electronic Cash could Kill the Income Tax

Death and taxes are known as life’s certainties. Far less common, but much more enjoyable to contemplate, is the death of a tax.  In fact, a little-known technology may be about to accomplish what generations of Americans have joked and dreamed about — and both the new Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer and his predecessor, Chairman Sam Gibbons, Read More ›

wealth-and-poverty-george-gilder

Wealth and Poverty

Originally published in 1982 and hailed as “the guide to capitalism,” the New York Times bestseller Wealth and Poverty by George F. Gilder is one of the most famous economic books of all time and has sold more than one million copies since its first release. In this influential classic, Gilder explains and makes the case for supply-side economics, proves the moral superiority of free-market capitalism, and Read More ›