What I’m Reading: August 25th, 2016

  • A “surplus”of cheese. 11 million pounds. Yes, with an “M.” Not a typo. The USDA will pay some $20 million for it to help buttress against, and I quote Secretary Vilsack here directly, “market conditions.”  Anytime the word surplus starts getting thrown around, you know that conversation is no longer about economics. In fact, the conversations has become damn scornful of economics. #Triflin’
  • An incredibly sound article directed at newly minted 1Ls starting law school. Also, good advice for everyone. Take care of your soul and as the author states, “Go to the Ballpark.” 
  • The US taxman and EU taxman butt heads on tax carve-outs. I have mixed feelings here: clawbacks are eminently lacking sensibility but so are many of the carve-outs. The US gives out close $1.5 trillion a year in various “tax expenditures” on the federal level, according to the JCT. My own previous work provides the only estimate of these provisions on the state level. In my 2014 “Tax Cronyism: Favoritism and Foregone Growth,” my colleagues Ben Wilterdink, Jonathan Williams, and I found that across the states, $228 billion is exempted for personal and business taxes and $260 billion for sales taxes.
  • Speaking of tax cronyism, Liz Nolan Brown at Reason notes that Chicago, my newly adopted stomping ground, creates quite the uneven playing field within the arts.
  • Microsoft is all in on ChatBots, as made clear by the remarks of CEO Satya Nadella at the recent Worldwide Partner Conference. David Lavend has a critical response.

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