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School shooting report in Arlington shows how schools encourage shooting threats

Liberty Unyielding - Wed, 10/06/2021 - 10:29am

Sometimes, teenagers make school shooting threats, in order to trigger school closures and thus avoid school. Or they make bogus reports of a school shooter being on school grounds. They do that so that schools will (unnecessarily) cancel school as a result of the threat. Schools make such threats and bogus reports more likely by […]

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Grisham Admits To Being A Liar In Front Of Two CNN Reporters And Neither Asked The Obvious Question

Liberty Unyielding - Wed, 10/06/2021 - 10:00am

By Brianna Lyman Two CNN reporters failed to ask Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham why the public should trust her new book after she admitted Tuesday to lying in the past. Grisham said while on CNN’s “New Day” she always wanted to host a press briefing during her time at the White House, […]

The post Grisham Admits To Being A Liar In Front Of Two CNN Reporters And Neither Asked The Obvious Question appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Fauci-Funded Experiment Killed Dozens Of Puppies Using Taxpayer Money

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 10/05/2021 - 3:51pm

By Dylan Hausman Documents from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) obtained by a taxpayer watchdog organization reveal that the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, spent $1.68 million on unnecessary research that killed dozens of beagle puppies. Between October 2018 and February 2019, NIAID-funded research at SRI […]

The post Fauci-Funded Experiment Killed Dozens Of Puppies Using Taxpayer Money appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Democrats’ Stalled Budget Bill Includes $8 Billion A Year For Illegal Immigrant Parents: REPORT

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 10/05/2021 - 12:44pm

By Kaylee Greenlee Democrats’ stalled budget bill includes $8 billion a year for 10 years for illegal immigrant parents, the Center for Immigration Studies announced on Tuesday. The bill would replace a program that requires parents to work to receive welfare and increase the funds available to illegal immigrant parents because some who work “off […]

The post Democrats’ Stalled Budget Bill Includes $8 Billion A Year For Illegal Immigrant Parents: REPORT appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

The “Pandora Papers”

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Tue, 10/05/2021 - 12:39pm

Remember the supposedly breathtaking revelations from the “Panama Papers” back in 2016?

We were told those stolen documents were an indictment against so-called tax havens, but the real lesson was that politicians and other government insiders are very prone to corruption.

Well, it’s happened again. Thieves stole millions of documents (the “Pandora Papers”) from various firms around the world that specialize in cross-border investment.

Some journalists want us to believe that these documents are scandalous, but I poured cold water on this hysteria in an interview with the BBC.

If you don’t want to listen to me pontificate for about five minutes, here are the main points from the interview.

  • International investment is a good thing (much like international trade) and it necessarily requires the use of “offshore” entities such as companies, funds, and bank accounts.
  • Politicians don’t like cross-border investment because economic activity tends to migrate to places with lower tax rate, and this puts downward pressure on tax rates.
  • There is no evidence that people in the private sector use “offshore” entities in ways that are disproportionately dodgy.
  • By contrast, there is considerable evidence that politicians use “offshore” in ways that are disproportionately dodgy.
  • More than 99 percent of people engage in legal tax avoidance and that’s a good thing because it keeps money out of the hands of profligate politicians.
  • People should not have to share their private financial affairs, such as bank accounts and investment holdings, with the general public.

It’s not worth a separate bullet point, but my favorite part of the interview is when I noted the grotesque hypocrisy of the International Monetary Fund, which pimps for higher taxes all around the world, yet its employees get tax-free salaries.

The bottom line is that tax competition and so-called tax havens should be applauded rather than persecuted.

We should instead be condemning the “tax hells” of the world. Those are the jurisdictions that cause economic misery.

Since we’re on this topic, let’s also enjoy some excerpts from an article in Reason by Steven Greenhut.

Leftists are thrilled by the Biden administration’s plan to stamp out the bogeyman of tax havens—low-tax jurisdictions where corporations and other investors can keep their money away from the prying hands of the government. …Let’s dispense with the outrage about tax havens. There is nothing wrong with companies and individuals that shelter their earnings from governments, which are like organized mobs that can never seize enough revenue. …If you believe that tax havens are immoral, then you should not claim any deductions on your tax bill. President Joe Biden apparently thinks it’s wrong for corporations to locate their headquarters in low-tax Bermuda, Ireland, and Switzerland, yet why does his home of Delaware house so many U.S. corporate headquarters? …Tax havens provide pressure on big-spending governments to limit tax rates, and lower tax rates boost economic activity, create jobs, and incentivize investors to invest more. …Those who oppose tax havens simply want the government to take more money and have more power.

I’ll close by noting that many Nobel Prize-winning economists defend tax competition as a necessary check on the greed of the political class.

P.S. There was also a manufactured controversy involving stolen documents back in 2013.

P.P.S. My work on this issue has been…umm…interesting, resulting in everything from a front-page attack by the Washington Post to the possibility of getting tossed in a Mexican jail.

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Image credit: geralt | Pixabay License.

Conflict of interest mars Attorney General Garland’s investigation of parents

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 10/05/2021 - 12:22pm

Left-wing teachers unions and the National School Boards Association say parents have threatened or harassed school officials over mask mandates, or for peddling critical race theory or transgender ideology. In response, Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department will investigate such “harassment, intimidation and threats.” Usually, the Department of Justice does not investigate threats, […]

The post Conflict of interest mars Attorney General Garland’s investigation of parents appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Media urges you to eat bugs

Liberty Unyielding - Mon, 10/04/2021 - 6:30pm

The Economist has become the latest magazine to urge its readers to eat bugs. “Feeding 9 billion people will mean reimagining the edible world. More insects are likely to be on the menu,” says The Economist. “Yes, we still think you should eat bugs. Here’s why,” it says. The Economist says “you,” not “we,” notes […]

The post Media urges you to eat bugs appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Cartoonist who angered Muslim extremists killed in Sweden

Liberty Unyielding - Mon, 10/04/2021 - 5:00pm

“Swedish artist Lars Vilks has died. Vilks was most famous for his depictions of the prophet Muhammad, a work of art & exercise in freedom of speech which forced him to live in a secret location with 24/7 security due to constant threats from Islamist extremists,” notes Annika Rothstein. He died October 3 in a […]

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POLL: Democratic Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto Neck And Neck With GOP Challenger

Liberty Unyielding - Mon, 10/04/2021 - 2:46pm

Democratic Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is leading her likely 2022 opponent by only four percentage points, according to a poll released Sundahe poll, commissioned by the left-leaning Mellman Group for The Nevada Independent, shows Cortez Masto with 45.5% support and Republican former State Attorney General Adam Laxalt with 41.2% support. The Mellman Group polled […]

The post POLL: Democratic Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto Neck And Neck With GOP Challenger appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Biden’s Tax Hike: The Political Calculus and Economic Cost

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Mon, 10/04/2021 - 12:37pm

There are lots of reasons (here are five of them) to dislike the version of the Biden tax hike that was approved by the tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives.

From an economic perspective, it is bad for prosperity to penalize work, saving, investment, and productivity.

So why, then, do politicians pursue such policies?

Part of the answer is spite, but I think the biggest reason is they simply want more money to spend.

And if the economy suffers, they don’t worry about that collateral damage so long as their primary objective – getting more money to buy more votes – is achieved.

But the rest of us should care, and a new report from the Tax Foundation offers a helpful way of showing why pro-tax politicians are misguided.

Here’s a table showing that the economy will lose almost $3 of output for every $1 that politicians can use for vote buying.

I added my commentary (in red) to the table.

My takeaway is that it is reprehensible for politicians to cause nearly $3 of foregone prosperity so that they can spend another $1.

Garrett Watson, author of the report, uses more sedate language to describes the findings.

Using Tax Foundation’s General Equilibrium Model, we estimate that the Ways and Means tax plan would reduce long-run GDP by 0.98 percent, which in today’s dollars amounts to about $332 billion of lost output annually. We estimate the plan would in the long run raise about $152 billion annually in new tax revenue, conventionally estimated in today’s dollars, meaning for every $1 in revenue raised, economic output would fall by $2.18. When the model accounts for the smaller economy, it estimates that the plan’s dynamic effects would reduce expected new tax collections to about $112 billion annually over the long run (also in today’s dollars), meaning for every $1 in revenue raised, economic output would fall by $2.96.

This is excellent analysis.

But I think it’s important to specify that political cost-benefit analysis (from the perspective of politicians) is not the same as economic cost-benefit analysis.

From an economic perspective, the foregone economic growth is a cost and the additional tax revenue for politicians also is a cost.

And I’ve augmented the table (again, in red) to show that the additional spending is yet another cost.

In other words, politicians are the main winners from Biden’s tax hike, and some of the interest groups getting additional handouts also might be winners (though I’ve previously pointed out that many of them wind up being losers as well in the long run).

P.S. The Tax Foundation model only measures the economic damage of higher taxes. If you also measure the harmful impact of more spending, the estimates of foregone economic output are much bigger.

———
Image credit: Biden13 | CC BY 2.0.

U.S. abandoned allies while evacuating non-allies and useless trophy from Afghanistan

Liberty Unyielding - Mon, 10/04/2021 - 11:24am

The U.S. gave the names of Afghan allies to the Taliban, and evicted them from a plane to make way for useless war trophy, leaving them stranded in Afghanistan, according to a report in Red State. Meanwhile, it brought to the U.S. 124,000 Afghans between July 14 and August 31, the vast majority of whom […]

The post U.S. abandoned allies while evacuating non-allies and useless trophy from Afghanistan appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Farewell from Liberty Unyielding 1.0

Liberty Unyielding - Sun, 10/03/2021 - 11:54pm

May liberty never yield.

The post Farewell from Liberty Unyielding 1.0 appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

The Sussmann indictment and the Alfa Bank saga: A preview of coming attractions

Liberty Unyielding - Sun, 10/03/2021 - 10:54pm

A preview of a Spygate analysis in which planning and foreknowledge are reinforced by the Durham indictment of Michael Sussmann.

The post The Sussmann indictment and the Alfa Bank saga: A preview of coming attractions appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Why housing is so expensive and hard to build

Liberty Unyielding - Sun, 10/03/2021 - 3:04pm

Why is housing so expensive? Zoning restrictions and complicated and inflexible building codes contribute to the problem. They restrict the supply of housing, even as demand rises. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Ryan Radia notes, “In 1973, we built one new housing unit for every 33 U.S. households. In 2005: one new home for every […]

The post Why housing is so expensive and hard to build appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

What Can We Learn by Comparing Taiwan and Cuba?

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Sun, 10/03/2021 - 12:30pm

Economists of all types agree with “convergence theory,” which is the notion that poor countries should grow faster than rich countries.

Though they are usually wise enough to also say “ceteris parisbus,” which means the theory applies if other variables are similar (the translation from Latin is “other things equal”).

I’m very interested in this theory because we can learn a lot when we look at nations that don’t have “equal” policies.

And the biggest lesson is that you have divergence rather than convergence if one nation follows good policies and the other one embraces statism.

Take a look, for instance, at what’s happened to per-capita economic output (GDP) since 1950 in Taiwan and Cuba.

The obvious takeaway from these numbers from the Maddison database is that Taiwan has enjoyed spectacular growth while Cuba has suffered decades of stagnation.

If this was a boxing match between capitalism and socialism, the refs would have stopped the fight several decades ago.

By the way, some folks on the left claim that Cuba’s economic misery is a result of the U.S. trade embargo.

In a column for the Foundation for Economic Education, Emmanuel Rincón explains the real reason why these two jurisdictions are so wildly divergent.

…the Communist Party of Cuba has blamed the United States for Cuba’s misery and poverty, alluding to the “blockade” that the U.S. maintains against Cuba. However, …the rest of the world can trade freely with the island. …Taiwan’s economy is one of the most important in the world, with a poverty rate of 0.7%, as opposed to Cuba, which has one of the most depressed economies on the planet and 90% of its population living in poverty. What is the difference between the two islands? The economic and political model they applied in their nations. …Taiwan has the sixth freest economy according to the Index of Economic Freedom… While Taiwan took off with a capitalist model, Cuba remained anchored in the old revolutionary dogmas of Fidel Castro… With popular slogans such as redistribution of wealth, supposed aid to the poor, and socialism, Fidel Castro began to expropriate land and private companies to be managed by the state…today the GDP of the Caribbean island is five times less than that of Taiwan, and 90% of its population lives in poverty, while in the Asian island only 0.7% of its population is poor. It is definitely not the fault of the “blockade”, but of socialism.

To be sure, Cuba would be slightly less poor if there was unfettered trade with the United States, so maybe Taiwan would only be four and one-half times richer rather than five times richer in the absence of an embargo.

The moral of the story is that there’s no substitute for free markets and small government.

P.S. Though I appreciate the fact that our friends on the left are willing to extol the virtues of free trade, at least in this rare instance.

———
Image credit: Max Pixel | CC0 Public Domain.

Why didn’t Biden better promote his Build Back Better plan? ‘Little things were going on’

Liberty Unyielding - Sun, 10/03/2021 - 10:30am

On Saturday, he did the same thing he did after each of his previous failures. He ran away — this time to his favorite sanctuary, his home in Wilmington, Del.

The post Why didn’t Biden better promote his Build Back Better plan? ‘Little things were going on’ appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

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