Voting for Survival: The Election Story of 2016

TJ Brown:

Is it just me, or does this year appear to be the most pessimistic election season ever? Typically during presidential elections, you notice people’s optimism as they extol their preferred political candidate. . . .

Most people aren’t cheering campaign slogans of Hope & Change. . . .

Ask a Hillary voter why they’re supporting Hillary, and chances are it’s not because of her policies or her personality. It’s because they are disgusted by and terrified of the opposing candidate, Donald Trump.

It is the same with Trump’s base. Many are supporting him solely because they feel threatened by a Hillary Clinton presidency. They fear her quasi-socialist economic plans, her hawkish history on foreign policy, and her disregard of the second amendment. . . .

The ruling class in government has dominated for so long that it has become exclusively pursuant of interests that contribute to its own benefit rather than the benefit of citizens.

Whether this system will be salvageable remains to be seen, but one thing is abundantly clear: people are fearful of the future actions of their government. . . .


Worth a read.

Donald Trump’s Childcare Subsidies

Trump at the Economic Club of Detroit on August 8:

My plan will also help reduce the cost of childcare by allowing parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes.

Dan Mitchell responds:

From an economic perspective, Trump’s statement doesn’t make sense. At best, creating a big deduction for childcare expenses simply creates the illusion of lower cost because of the tax loophole. . . .

When income is shielded from taxation, either based on how it is earned or how it is spent, that creates an incentive for taxpayers to make economically irrational decisions solely to benefit from the special tax preference. . . .

Providers will boost prices to capture much of the benefit (much as colleges have jacked up tuition to capture the value of government-provided loans and grants).

And Trump’s plan will create unintended side effects:

The actual result will be to increase costs and make the tax code even more convoluted. . . .

Creating a new distortion in the tax code also will have a discriminatory impact. The tax loophole will only have value for parents who use outside care for their kids. Parents who care for their own kids get nothing. Moreover, the new loophole also won’t have any value for the millions of people who don’t earn enough to have any tax liability. Yet these people will be hurt when childcare providers increase their prices to capture the value of the deduction for parents with higher levels of income.



The Pay Gap of Men and Women and Kristen Bell’s “Pinksourcing” Video

Actress Kristen Bell did a video intended to be a parody about the fact that the average pay of women in America is lower than is the average pay of men.

If this were true, there would be a pool of skilled women who can be hired for less then men for the same job, entrepreneurs and hiring managers would be missing a big profit opportunity. They’d fire all those overpaid men and replace them with women. But that’s not the case.

Don Boudreaux responds. Kristen Bell’s video is in linked piece. Snippets:

[I]f this pay gap really does reflect widespread underpayment of women, then this pay gap is a huge profit opportunity for entrepreneurs of the fictional sort whose company is featured in this video.

. . .

If women are generally underpaid – if low-skilled workers are generally underpaid – if non-unionized workers are generally underpaid – if legions of college graduates are generally underpaid – if military veterans are generally underpaid – if blacks are generally underpaid – if all workers generally are underpaid – then profit opportunities abound!



Conservative’s Confusion about Capitalism

Monica Crowley was on the Bill O’Reilly’s television program this week.

They both asserted the superiority of capitalism and Monica added something to the effect of needing government to check the excesses of capitalism. Sounds reasonable, no? Not so fast.

You see, politicians, regulators, central bankers (aka government) have been trying to check the excesses of capitalism since the early 1900’s.  They’ve tried taxes, regulations, manipulation of interest rates, government spending, public provision of services, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, import tariffs, bans, wars against other countries. There’s no end to the social engineering and interference in our lives.

We are now at the point in history where they’ve checked it so much the capitalist organism is crippled. Hence the economic stagnation, discontent, fear and anger.

No, government’s basic job is to protect life, liberty, and property. That’s enough to keep it busy.

We need to guard against government’s excess control of capitalism.


Hillary’s Estate Tax on Millennials’ Inheritance

[Hillary] Clinton has repeatedly called to put a larger tax burden on the wealthiest Americans to boost investment in infrastructure and job creation. The revision will put a 65 percent tax rate on estates valued at $1 billion or more per couple, the Clinton campaign said Thursday.

Yes, $1 billion is a lot of money. But that figure will be debated, and possibly lowered, if and when this proposal is taken up and debated. As well, the 65% rate will go through the same debate process. I know this because this proposal, like all other campaign proposals, are announced for campaign purposes by the candidates. After the election and legislative action begins, the details are worked out.

But make no mistake. If this proposal is debated, something will pass and millennials and many others will be affected.