Sunday

The story of the broken window which every politician, political pundit and, come to that, member of the voting public should know

This is the ‘broken windows’ fallacy as superbly described by its originator, the French economist, Frédéric Bastiat. (From the Library of Economics and Liberty website.) 1.6 Have you ever been witness to the fury of that solid citizen, James Goodfellow,*1 when … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in Politics, Tax and growth
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Wednesday

A few questions about measuring inequality

I have been reading and listening to great deal about inequality, happiness, poverty and related things recently. Here are a few questions: 1. What is included and left out of the famous Gini coefficient? Is it before or after adjustment for:- … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in Inequality, Tax and growth
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Sunday

Sweden, inequality and the unreliable Gini.

Income tax for high incomes is high in Sweden, especially if combined with social security contributions made by the employer. However there is no inheritance tax, as far as I can see. Is it therefore possible that rich people arrange … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in Inequality, Tax and growth
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Tuesday

A mini-questionnaire on inequality

Here is a posting that will appear in three parts on successive days. It is a kind of mini-questionnaire: Consider someone who receives income at the level of the 10th highest percentile of the working population and compare it with … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in Politics, Tax and growth
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Thursday

The Spirit Level – “trash social science”

If you want a quick guide what may be misleading about the influential book, The Spirit Level, it worth listening to this interview with Peter Saunders, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Sussex University. This debate is highly important. If it … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in General, Politics, Tax and growth
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Monday

Italian welfare – a curate’s egg

I have just returned from a visit to Italy where I spoke to quite a lot of interesting people about the welfare state there. I learned too much to put down a fraction of it here. But this, in ultra-brief, … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in Care for the elderly, Education, Healthcare and the NHS, Housing, Parenting, Pensions, Tax and growth, Welfare benefits, Work on the new book
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Monday

Superb counter-blast against the growing consensus that equal incomes make for happier countries

This is part of a superb counter-blast (see page 4) to the idea – encapsulated in a book called The Spirit Level – that we should aim for more equal societies because they are more cohesive and even happy. The … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in General, Tax and growth, Welfare benefits
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Thursday

26 hours to fill in a tax return

This image is, surprisingly, taken from a French website which has an essay about coporate tax rates and also the complexity of the taxes and how long it takes to fill in the forms. The essay seems to be based … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in Tax and growth
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Wednesday

There are still high marginal tax rates for the poor

Many of the lowest-paid people in the country and families on middle incomes already pay higher marginal tax rates than millionaires. Now, almost incredibly, they are set to suffer a tax rise next month – unless Chancellor George Osborne acts … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in Tax and growth, Welfare benefits
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Monday

The heavy British tax on having an old-fashioned kind of family – a sort that is known to be good for children

Here is an important article about how families with one parent working and the other looking after the children – the old model that worked well – is being more highly taxed in Britain than in other advanced countries. People … Continue reading

Posted by James Bartholomew Indexed in Behaviour & Crime, Media, including BBC bias, Parenting, Tax and growth, Welfare benefits
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