In response to the “we are the 99%” slogan of Occupy Wall Street, some conservatives have launched a “we are the 53%” web presence. The 53% is an allusion to the number of people whose tax deductions and tax credits do not eliminate their income tax liability. The figure of course leaves out payroll taxes,… Continue reading The weird machismo of exploited conservatives
I am always impressed by the way common words and phrases prevent substantive discussion of important issues. The phrase that is currently getting on my nerves is “good for the economy.” What exactly is good for the economy? The economy is after all an abstraction, a way that we describe systems of production and distribution… Continue reading What is good for the economy?
Commentators and politicians of more conservative persuasions often criticize certain behaviors that they label as “market distortions.” Regulations, government spending, and progressive taxation are all said to distort the market because they change the economic incentives of certain behaviors. For instance, imposing fines on firms that dump poison into rivers distorts the market because if… Continue reading The market is a distortion
One of the favored rhetorical approaches of groups which represent business interests is to remark that businesses create jobs. This is often coupled with the claim that laws which prevent certain business practices — paying unlivable wages, polluting the environment, creating unsafe work conditions — destroy jobs, or make it harder for businesses to create… Continue reading What warnings about job-destroying regulations really mean