Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Tab Dump

What not to do with Bill Bratton.

What to do with Bill Bratton.

John Hughes was really an incredibly decent guy.

Bill Maher argues that Americans are very, very stupid.

Are cows worse than cars?

• This man is an incredible water slider.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 7, 2009; 6:35 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Fear of Change
Next: Is There a Deal to be Made on Health Care? An Interview With Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Comments

Is that water slider video real? That dude could have killed himself.

Posted by: SteveCA1 | August 7, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

It's a viral video for Microsoft Office :( At least, so sayeth the internets.

Posted by: Ulium | August 8, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

The video definitely could've been edited at any point he was in the air. Not saying it definitely was, but I personally don't trust it.

Posted by: Matt40 | August 8, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Bill Maher is on point in that democracy (and majoritarianism, for that matter) doesn't work very well and that's the reason some very wise people created a republican form of government, complete with a more deliberative, less frequently elected, upper legislative house and special requirements for supermajorities.

He's also right about most Americans being a little less than savvy when considering some issues. For example, when an elected official proposes a tax "just on the wealthy" or "just on big business", few Americans immediately realize that these wealthy individuals and businesses can (and likely will) simply pass the tax increase along (either directly, like cable & telecom companies, or indirectly by cutting staff/wages/etc.) to others.

I think, though, that it's unwise to overlook the fact that most Americans do usually express a sort of kindness, albeit a bit odd: we might put our kid on a waterslide, take a picture of her falling flat on her face, and find it funny enough to circulate worldwide... but we're still gonna pick the kid up, hold her 'til she stops crying, and repeat the process as many times as necessary.

Three cheers for fathers, founding and otherwise.

Posted by: rmgregory | August 8, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

For example, when an elected official proposes a tax "just on the wealthy" or "just on big business", few Americans immediately realize that these wealthy individuals and businesses can (and likely will) simply pass the tax increase along

Well few people realize that because it is economic nonsense. The implicit argument is that prices are always and everywhere so elastic that cost increases from taxes can always be passed through without squeezing profits, or alternately that the result will simply be born entirely by the workers. If this was true then corporations and wealthy individuals wouldn't spend so much time and money beating back these proposals.

The same basic fallacious argument is made against minimum wage, the issue is rarely if ever expressed in terms of gross profits or profit margins but almost always as a loss of jobs.

It is odd that the cost of certain government imposed externalities result in lost sales, i.e. per manufacturers people simply won't pay for mandated safety equipment or for increased CAFE standards. Those prices are sticky. But if that same government imposes a corporate tax then it magically slides right through to the customer with no friction at all.

Basically it is economic magic. Presto change-o!!! the supply/demand/price equation turns off and on at will (or as convenient for the argument).

Posted by: BruceWebb | August 8, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"The implicit argument is that prices are always and everywhere so elastic that cost increases from taxes can always be passed through without squeezing profits, or alternately that the result will simply be born entirely by the workers. If this was true then corporations and wealthy individuals wouldn't spend so much time and money beating back these proposals."

Non sequitur. If the tax was passed directly to consumers, then consumers would immediately buy less product, and business would decline immediately. Why on earth do you think businesses wouldn't vigorously oppose that??? Of course they would.

You're smart enough to know that tinkering with the money supply has an immediate impact on prices, yet you pretend that selectively skimming money doesn't affect prices downstream of where the skimming occurs.

To the person who sets prices, both equations appear exactly the same. Yet you want to pretend that he will magically solve one with higher prices, while absorbing the cost of the other one himself. And THAT is the real nonsense in this thread.

The fallacy you rely on here is to confuse money with wealth. Since you're taking one person's money, you reason that he's the person who ends up with less wealth. He's not.

The fact is that if even only ONE less unit is produced as a result of a tax, regulation, or externality, then some consumer somewhere will go without the benefit of that unproduced unit. The consumer ALWAYS pays when output is reduced. ALWAYS.

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | August 9, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company