It's a banality among progressives in the United States to observe that we collect too little in taxes, spend too little on government programs, and consequently enjoy the least-generous welfare state, lowest life expectancy, and worst government services among our peer countries. And this is, as far as it goes, true: there's no obvious reason a country with the per capita … [Read more...] about The backdoor VAT is an ideological project that must be defeated
Become a Patron! I've been following with interest the development and passage of AB 5, California's attempt to end the misclassification of employees, especially at app-based and platform companies including household names like Uber and Lyft. What I found is that there's a high degree of confusion surrounding the need for the bill, whom it will affect and how, and why … [Read more...] about California’s AB 5 is about benefits, not wages or unions
Become a Patron! As readers may have observed, I've been doing a lot of research lately on paid family and medical leave policies around the country, and I've found myself frustrated by the way several different ideas are confusingly and unnecessarily combined. Today I want to spell out the relevant issues, and try to explain how they do and don't interact with each … [Read more...] about Job protection, wage insurance, and universal benefits
Become a Patron! This post gets pretty deep in the weeds, but it's an issue that was brought to my attention by someone who works on family and medical leave policy and I was shocked to discover that it may disqualify certain employers from claiming the temporary paid family and medical leave credit included in the CPA Full Employment Act of 2017. I've written at length … [Read more...] about How the Republican tax heist surgically targeted businesses in progressive states
Become a Patron! A lot of financial planning and advice can start to seem pretty routine over time: maximize contributions to tax-advantaged savings vehicles, invest in a basket of diversified, low-cost assets, and periodically (but not too often!) rebalance. I'm always interested in identifying places where that kind of routine advice breaks down, and the other day, I … [Read more...] about Are there 529 plans so bad they aren’t worth their state’s income tax benefits?