Some Links For Today

In books to watch out for: we have The Benefit and The Burden about taxes. Here is an interesting David Brooks review:

The U.S. does not have a significantly smaller welfare state than the European nations. We’re just better at hiding it. The Europeans provide welfare provisions through direct government payments. We do it through the back door via tax breaks…

David Bradford, a Princeton economist, has the best illustration of how the system works. Suppose the Pentagon wanted to buy a new fighter plane. But instead of writing a $10 billion check to the manufacturer, the government just issued a $10 billion “weapons supply tax credit.” The plane would still get made. The company would get its money through the tax credit. And politicians would get to brag that they had cut taxes and reduced the size of government!

Next we have a follow-up to this (linked to a few days ago) which is Grace Hopper visualizing a nanosecond. Great communicators are awesome. Sends a tingle up your leg, right, Chris?

China’s legislators are shockingly, shockingly rich.

Merkel on Buffett, part 1 and part 2. I haven’t bothered reading the whole letter this year and settled for David’s analysis.

Robin Hanson contemplates turbulence.


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