“Suits and Sandals”: Different Freedom Indices for Different Folks

This post will illustrate how users can customize the freedom index according to their own judgments about how various policies affect freedom. In particular, it will show how the weighting for tax burden can be significantly reduced and explores the consequences of this choice. It will also discuss briefly how abortion policies might be included … Continue reading “Suits and Sandals”: Different Freedom Indices for Different Folks

A Deficit-Neutral Plan to Slash Unemployment

While the U.S. economy has been officially out of recession for a while and growing at a decent clip (1.8% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter of this year, 3.1% in the last quarter of 2010 - see chart), unemployment remains very unusually high, 9.0% in April 2011 (seasonally adjusted), compared … Continue reading A Deficit-Neutral Plan to Slash Unemployment

What Caused Recent Tax Increases at the State Level?

The recent recession cut deeply into state treasuries, forcing legislatures to raise taxes or cut spending or both to eliminate budget deficits. It is interesting to note which states opted for big tax hikes over big spending cuts. USNews Money blogger Rick Newman has compiled a list of the 10 states with the largest enacted … Continue reading What Caused Recent Tax Increases at the State Level?

Unionization and Taxes, Part Two

At The Monkey Cage, Andrew Gelman takes issue with my post on union density and tax collections by state. I argued that states with higher percentages of workers covered by collective-bargaining contracts have higher tax collections as a percentage of personal income, and that the relationship is probably causal. Gelman argues that it is inappropriate … Continue reading Unionization and Taxes, Part Two

More Unionized States Have Higher Taxes

One of the purposes of "right to work" legislation, currently being debated in Indiana, New Hampshire, and other states, is to reduce the percentage of the workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements. Leaving aside the ethics of collective bargaining as practiced in the U.S. today, what are the political and economic consequences? Since unions donate … Continue reading More Unionized States Have Higher Taxes

The New Obamanomics?

Interesting and encouraging suggestions in the news today that President Obama wants to embark on significant tax reforms largely along the lines recommended by the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. As noted in today‚Äôs NYT: President Obama is considering whether to push early next year for an overhaul of the income tax code to … Continue reading The New Obamanomics?