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International comparison of the income tax rate on the wealthy

Thomas Piketty posted the top income tax rate in five of the richest big countries over the past 115 years. Most Americans don’t realize that the top tax rate in the US is considerably lower now than it was for

Posted in Public Finance

Affirmative action for the rich

There are several ways that rich kids buy advantages for college. First is years of expensive high-quality education that begins in exclusive private preschools that cost more than full tuition at most private colleges. Then add in expensive summer camps

Posted in Labor, Public Finance

Guns don’t kill people. Alcohol kills people.

Ok, so my title is goofy sloganeering, but it isn’t any goofier than the common slogan it is based upon. Although the US could certainly save lives by copying some of the gun restrictions that all other industrialized nations use,

Posted in Public Finance, Violence & Peace

Concentrated roadway power

Money is power and as Mancur Olson first explained in The Logic of Collective Action, not all money is created equal. Mancur was an economist with an uber-macho-sounding first name. It is pronounced ‘Man-Sir’ which sounds like the kind of

Posted in Public Finance

A public conspiracy to protect pharmaceutical profits at taxpayer expense

Every so often I get requests to sign a petition supporting various business interests. The petitions are promoted by fly-by-night “organizations” that are fronts for lobbyists like EconomistLetter.com.  Lately I’ve been getting emails from ConcernedEconomists.org that are worried about the pharmaceutical industry’s

Posted in Health, Public Finance

VOX messed up: Amazon.com already has enormous monopoly power

Emily Stewart at Vox.com made a mistake about monopoly power in America. She wrote that Amazon… could eventually become so big that it can control what shipping companies such as FedEx and UPS charge it, and, in areas where it becomes

Posted in Managerial Micro, Public Finance

Monopolistic competition in health care

According to Modern Healthcare magazine, medical ambulances charged between $26,000 and over a half million dollars for each individual flight in North Dakota over the past four years. The prices averaged around $60,000 which is extremely steep given that almost

Posted in Health, Public Finance

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