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  • Arik Johnson 4:21 pm on March 26, 2009 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: Charlie Rose, , economics, , , Paul Krugman   

    Paul Krugman on Charlie Rose about Why Obama’s Economic Policy Could Fail 



  • Arik Johnson 10:43 am on March 13, 2009 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , economics, , , Jim Cramer, Jon Stewart   

    Long Term Investing is for Suckers – Jim Cramer vs. Jon Stewart on The Daily Show 



    Some of the excerpts from the rest of this interview suggest to me that the buy-and-hold philosophy of long-term investing is not just obsolete, it’s a sucker bet that makes the Madoff Ponzi scheme look tiny in comparison… does anybody else wonder if stock market investing is an archetype for Ponzi/Bubble dynamics that leaves the 401K investor without a chair whenever the music stops?

    If that’s the case (and investors seem to be voting with their feet by delevering assets out of securities, this week’s rally notwithstanding) then it’s not just a lack of trust and confidence in capital protection and growth, it’s a matter of getting out before the market crashes further as assets continue to limp along… potentially for years to come.

  • Arik Johnson 11:38 pm on November 24, 2008 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , economics, , taxes   

    How the U.S. Tax System Works … or Might Not in the Future if the Rich Decide to Just Leave 



    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.  If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that’s what they decided to do.  The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.  ‘Since you are all such good customers, he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.  Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected.  They would still drink for free.  But what about the other six men – the paying customers?  How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?  They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.  But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so:

    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
    The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.  But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    ‘I only got a dollar out of the $20′, declared the sixth man.  He pointed to the tenth man,’ but he got $10!’

    ‘Yeah, that’s right’, exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a dollar, too.  It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!’

    ‘That’s true!!’shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get $10 back when I got only two?  The wealthy get all the breaks!’

    ‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison.  ‘We didn’t get anything at all.  The system exploits the poor!’

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him.  But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works.  The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    This wonderful illustration of the current tax system in the United States was created by the Dr. David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. who is a Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia.  I like his explanation very much.

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