Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Life is a play that does not allow testing

“The day turned into the city / and the city turned into the mind.” So Jessica Greenbaum begins her breathless, single-sentence poem “I Love You More Than All the Windows in New York City..."

Poems are inefficient by design, like taking a long walk. That’s why a society that celebrates efficiency, profit maximization, and productivity needs them... Paradox of Efficient Stupidity 

Paradox pf Privacy: Data is like an old postcard anyone along the way can read that 96000 public servants are part of the latest data breach - Census Exposed

Senate Finance Committee tax counsel Jim Lyons died Thursday at the age of 43 after suffering cardiac arrest while playing in a charity basketball game at George Washington University.  Here is his professional CV ...
    Politico Morning Tax, Condolences to the Senate Finance Committee

  • Roll Call, Finance Committee Mourns Loss of Longtime Republican Staffer
  • Tax Policy Blog, In Memoriam: Jim Lyons, Senate Finance Committee Staffer

  • Girls’ Life vs. Boys’ Life? Magazine covers spark an uproar MPR News (Chuck L). From everything I can tell, gender role pressures are even stronger now than when I was a kid….and they were plenty strong then

    Albert Dros Photography

    New research reveals surprising truths about why some work groups thrive and others falter
    RK: "The paradox, of course, is that Google’s intense data collection and number crunching have led it to the same conclusions that good managers have always known. In the best teams, members listen to one another and show sensitivity to feelings and needs." ... And (Julia Rozovsky) had research telling (her) that it was O.K. to follow (her) gut...
    What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

    UK tax coffers gained £2.6bn from £1m+ homes in 2015-16

    Landmark case will reveal the extent of the ATO's cultural problem

    In the 16 months Ruben Majok Aleer Aguer ran a family daycare business from his Canberra home, he received $1.6 million in federal government money, even though multiple officials sent to do compliance checks never spotted a child confirmed to be in care. Mr Aguer, a church youth minister and former ACT Education Department ­staffer who came to Australia from a Sudanese refugee camp, received $100,000 a month in childcare benefits for 74 children whose existence was never verified by government and 21 ­educators. $1.6m handed to daycare business operator without proof of kids

    In postwar Paris, artists flocked to a squalid alley. There was a single shared toilet and cheap food, but the  ideas were priceless  

    Public service prepares to sack the tax office slackers

    “Art,” Jeanette Winterson told an interviewer“can make a difference because it pulls people up short. It says, don’t accept things for their face value; you don’t have to go along with any of this; you can think for yourself.”

    Federal judge Andrew Hanen gets results! “Justice Department orders more ethics training for lawyers” [Politico, earlier]

    Shadow Regulation: the secret laws that giant corporations cook up in back rooms BoingBoing

     USA TODAY’s Editorial Board: Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency’ USA Today

    USA TODAY exclusive: Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills USA Today (furzy). This is why someone in the real estate or casino business must be smoking something very strong, or have a terrible opponent, to think of running for an executive position. It may well be that given the size of Trump’s businesses and the amount of time he’s been in business, this would be a typical amount of commercial disputes. But most people don’t want someone who is regularly in pig fights with vendors and workers holding public office.

    Our quantitative results suggest that both corrections are nonnegligible: trade-induced increases in inequality of disposable income erode about 20% of the gains from trade, while the gains from trade would be about 15% larger if redistribution was carried out via non-distortionary means.
    That is part of a new paper from Pol Antràs, Alonso de Gortari, and Oleg Itskhoki,

    Simons, Kenneth W., Discrimination is a Comparative Injustice: A Reply to Hellman (September 26, 2016). Virginia Law Review Online, Vol. 102, July 2016, pp. 85-100; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2016-48. Available for download at SSRN:

    Charles Seife in Scientific American tells the story of how, using the “close-hold embargo” and other techniques, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies shape what you read about them when major initiatives and findings are announced. I sum up highlights in my new Cato post. More: Megan McArdle

    John Hempton of Bronte Capital fame Here is how debt parking works:

    This old 1987 Auerbach and Poterba paper (pdf) came immediately to mind:
    The most important finding is that tax-loss carryforwards are highly persistent and significantly affect investment incentives for some firms. Nearly 15% of the firms in our sample had tax-loss carryforwards in 1984, and the fraction is much higher in some industries.
    And this:
    The stock of tax-loss carryforwards in the United Kingdom was nearly three times as large as the annual revenue yield of the corporation tax.
    Offhand, I couldn’t say exactly how closely this result relates to recent revelations about the taxes of you-know-who.  For one thing, tax law has been changed a few times since that paper was written.

    A study by Pablo Fajgelbaum of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Amit Khandelwal, of Columbia University, suggests that in an average country, people on high incomes would lose 28% of their purchasing power if borders were closed to trade. But the poorest 10% of consumers would lose 63% of their spending power, because they buy relatively more imported goods  via  The Economist

    High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history Guardian

    Politifact, John Fleming Attacks IRS in Inaccurate Radio Ad:
    In a recent radio campaign ad, Louisiana senate candidate John Fleming claimed that the head of the Internal Revenue Service ordered 24,000 emails erased before Congress could see them.

    Joel Slemrod (Michigan) presents The Impact of Public Tax-Return Disclosure (with Jeffrey L. Hoopes (North Carolina) & Leslie Robinson (Dartmouth)) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Chris Sanchirico and Reed Shuldiner: We investigate the effect of public disclosure of information from corporate tax returns filed in Australia on consumers, investors, and the corporations themselves that were subject to disclosure. Full Text “The Impact of Public Tax-Return Disclosure”

    Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane) & Diane Ring (Boston College), Can Sharing Be Taxed?, 93 Wash. U. L. Rev. 987 (2016):  In the past few years, we have seen the rise of a new model of production and consumption of goods and services, often referred to as the “sharing economy.” .

    There are very few people who I met in my dreams or nightmares who are not afraid of hell - Ian Tackeray and Rebecca Kaiser - The Kaiser - are the exemption to the rule ... Rebecca Kaiser is the editorial director at Allen & Unwin. She has worked in the book publishing industry for nearly thirty years as an editor and publisher. Her particular areas of interest are biography, military history and current affairs. She considers herself very lucky to have worked with authors such as Chris Masters, Kerry O’Brien, David Marr, Paul Barry, Michael Kirby, Barry Jones, Wayne Swan, Ross Gittins and Tom Keneally 😇 Even My former Chairman Andrew Tink ...