Economics

Center on Wealth & Poverty

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European Union on a glass ball in front of shining lights

The Economic Ruin of Europe

Assume the villain in a new James Bond movie has the goal of the economic destruction of Europe. How would he do it? First some background. In the 1960s and 1970s, Europe boasted brisk economic growth. From 1965 to 1974, government spending in Western Europe averaged 37 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), and economic growth averaged 4.3 percent Read More ›

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Portraits / images / the eyes of famous leader on banknotes, currencies of the most dominant countries in the world i.e. Japanese yen, US dollar, Chinese yuan, Australian dollar. Financial concept.

Follow the Money

If you want to catch a criminal or terrorist, does it make sense to “follow the money”? A “yes” answer makes sense if you can identify at least one of the individuals or institutions connected with the suspected wrongdoer. However, if you are trying to follow money flows in general or all money flows, it is not likely your work Read More ›

Tax Fairness Fabrications

The predictable rants that the president’s tax proposals are unfair and benefit the rich have begun. The fact is that the president’s proposals make the tax code fairer by any reasonable standard. Most Americans would agree, as a matter of fairness, that taxpayers making equal income should pay the same tax; that legitimate business expenses should be deducted before calculating Read More ›

Government Workers Less Productive?

Which group of workers contributes most to the gross domestic product? One could have a lively debate about this question. As one who is a firm believer in small and limited government, I argue that two of the most productive workers are elementary school teachers, who teach children basic reading and math skills, and honest and wise judges.It is hard Read More ›

Two New Salesmen

Will the new Bush economic team succeed? The short answer is yes, and here’s why. John Snow and Stephen Friedman have been brought on as Treasury Secretary and head of the National Economic Council not so much to make policy as to sell it. They have reputations as consensus builders, and for being effective advocates for their policies. Critics of Read More ›

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Euro bandiera
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Pinning Hopes on Tax Competition

What would your reaction be if you learned the countries of the world all decided everyone must drive the same car and this new car must cost at least $50,000? In this hypothetical situation, the rationale given for this decision is that some countries were able to make cars more inexpensively than other countries, and this was not fair to Read More ›

Serious Economic Debate Due

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle states that, going into the election, the Democrats had an economic policy but they did not communicate it clearly. Let’s test his argument. See if you can answer the following: (A) The Democrats’ position on taxes was: The Bush tax cuts should be repealed. The Bush tax cuts should not be repealed but allowed to Read More ›

Bush on Right Track

The administration will propose a tax-reform, tax-cutting package that will create more jobs and higher growth, making everyone better off. It will likely include a reduction in the double taxation of dividends. Critics, because of economic ignorance or demagogy, will claim this benefits only rich corporations and stockholders. What they ignore is that the taxes corporations collect for the government Read More ›

Growth and Envy

Would you prefer a United States where the typical family income was $100,000 per year but the top 5 percent averaged $500,000 a year or five times the typical family, or a United States where the typical family income was $30,000 a year but the top 5 percent averaged only $60,000 or twice that of the typical family? Your answer Read More ›

Prime the Pump for Prosperity

You are walking along a beach, a strange bottle washes up, you open it, and out pops an economic genie. The genie says, “If you give me $100, I will guarantee that the American economy will grow at 6 percent a year (roughly double the rate of the last 30 years), we will have full employment and no inflation, and Read More ›