December 24, 2012

What is the French for “voting with your feet”?

Filed under: Europe, Government, Media, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 10:03

Put your tax rates up too high and people start to look at alternative living and working arrangements:

Actor Gérard Depardieu’s decision to flee France for Belgium to avoid a 75 percent marginal tax rate on incomes above $1.3 million sends a message we here in America should heed: Those who are singled out for tax increases are not stationary targets. The means of avoiding and evading the taxman are legion.

U.S. government agencies routinely issue estimates of how changes in the tax code will affect the flow of revenues to the treasury. President Obama says the tax changes he has been seeking will bring in $1.6 trillion over a decade. But such estimates assume taxpayers are something other than human beings who engage in purposive action. People like to keep the money they make — why shouldn’t they? — and they typically avail themselves of every legal (and not-so-legal) strategy to do so. Change the tax environment by raising rates or adversely modifying the rules, and taxpayers, especially those in the upper echelons of earners, can be counted on to modify their conduct accordingly; there’s no reason to think their wish to hold on to their money has diminished just because the tax code has changed.

Economists as far back at J. B. Say and Gustave de Molinari in the 19th century understood this. As Molinari wrote in his 1899 book, The Society of To-morrow, “The laws of fiscal equilibrium set a strict limit to the degree within which it is possible to impose new taxes, or to increase the rates of those already in force. The relative productivity of taxes soon shows when this point has been overstepped, for then returns not only cease to rise, but immediately begin to fall.”

Houston Texans accomplish one goal: keeping Adrian Peterson in check

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 09:54

Unfortunately for the Texans, the rest of the Vikings showed up on the field, too. Houston did everything they could to clog the running lanes and get Adrian Peterson running sideways, and with remarkable success. Peterson got a few good runs (25 carries for 86 yards on the day), but generally was not able to find running room. Earlier this year, you’d then assume that the Vikings lost the game by a couple of touchdowns, with a disproportional share of the time-of-possession for Houston, but both assumptions would be incorrect.

Minnesota’s defence looked better than they’ve been in years (according to one Twitter update, this is the fewest points they’ve allowed in a regular season game since the 2007 season opener). The Vikings passing game was not stellar, but it got the job done — especially on the opening drive with some excellent work by Christian Ponder and his receivers (who also had a much better than average game).

My favourite tweet from the end of the game:

While Adrian Peterson didn’t set the NFL rushing record today, The Blair Walsh Project did set a record: “Minnesota’s Blair Walsh kicked a 56-yard field goal against the Houston Texans to set an NFL record with nine field goals of 50 yards or longer this season. […] The record was held by two players who had eight in a season. Jason Hanson of Detroit did it in 2008 and Morten Andersen had eight in 1995 with Atlanta.”

Andrew Garda for Bleacher Report:

The stats aren’t huge or anything, but Ponder played one of his better games all season and certainly his best game in the last two months.

Ponder avoided mistakes and, while he regressed for a bit in the second half, made very smart decisions. The offensive line, normally better at run blocking than pass blocking, did a great job of keeping defensive player of the year front-runner J.J. Watt in check, limiting him (and the Texans as a whole) to just one sack.

[. . .]

For a defense which struggled to tackle well and wrap up quarterbacks and running backs alike in the backfield, the four sacks were a big step forward. They assaulted Matt Schaub and kept him from getting anything going. Rookie Harrison Smith was tremendous in the secondary, showing great instincts, hard hitting (which caused a fumble) and a nose for the football.

Repost: Hey Kids! Did you get your paperwork in on time?

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Humour — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 00:01

If you hurry, you can just get your Santa’s Visit Application in before the deadline tonight!

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