Paul Ryan, having decided that his services will no longer be needed by the American people come January, is taking one last bite at the apple of welfare reform by proposing onerous restrictions on who is eligible to receive SNAP benefits, the only remaining near-cash welfare benefit available to low-income Americans. I do not have a very high opinion of work as an … [Read more...] about There are no work requirements, only paperwork requirements
Archives for April 2018
The relationship between cost and confidence
A longtime reader asked me the other day, "how do you convince someone that actively managed funds are worse than passive?" I think it's a good question, not because it's possible to convince someone that actively managed funds are worse than passive funds (it's not possible to convince people of anything, in my experience), but because answering the question highlights one of … [Read more...] about The relationship between cost and confidence
What can the police do but arrest them?
I read with interest the essay of National Review columnist Kyle Smith about the response of the Starbucks coffee drink company to reports that one of their employees summoned Philadelphia's municipal law enforcement authorities in response to the presence of two men at one of their Rittenhouse Square coffee drink locations. He writes: "We can all easily imagine circumstances … [Read more...] about What can the police do but arrest them?
Consumption smoothing is the best-theorized, least-implemented idea in economics
Given the prestige economics holds as a profession under late capitalism, it's somewhat odd how little attention is paid to the genuine theoretical innovations of the economics profession. I was reminded of this most recently by George Will's recent column in the Washington Post, which I'll quote at length: "The recent bipartisan budget agreement, which signals that 12-digit … [Read more...] about Consumption smoothing is the best-theorized, least-implemented idea in economics
Idiosyncratic bets on real estate: homeownership or mutual funds?
I've written before about the ways homeownership in the United States is heavily subsidized by the federal government, at the expense of current and future taxpayers: preferential tax treatment of capital gains on primary residences, with $250,000 or $500,000 (depending on filing status) of a home's appreciated value being completely tax free; the tax deductibility of … [Read more...] about Idiosyncratic bets on real estate: homeownership or mutual funds?