Monday, April 13, 2009

Quotes of the day

The idea that we can continue to raise revenue, while shifting more of the burden onto fewer and fewer people is a pipe dream. Think of the grand scale of the government's ambitions, from fighting wars to providing universal healthcare. Are we really to believe that all this can be done via a tax increase on the top 2%? That's obviously hogwash. What's more is that top 2% is getting sharply poorer fast, given the collapse of the financial industry.--Joe Weisenthal

My preferred story, in contrast, is just that once in a century, we get a once-in-a-century economic disaster. These disasters are hard for anyone to foresee, no matter how smart he is. The trick is just to keep the rarity of such disasters in perspective, stay calm, and let things get back to normal. Sigh.--Bryan Caplan

But I’m not sure proponents of [short sales] restrictions even care about these arguments. They don’t like short-selling because it tells the truth.--Larry Ribstein

For the bottom 40% [of income tax filers], the redistribution deal is even better. In 2001, these 43 million Americans, who earn less than $30,500, made 13.5% of the nation's income but paid no income tax. Instead, they received checks from their taxpaying neighbors worth $16.3 billion. By 2005, those checks totaled $33.3 billion.--Ari Fleischer

But in an increasingly specialized society, those skills are increasingly specific,. The more skills you have, the fewer jobs there are that match them.--Megan McArdle

Remember the good old days, when economists used to write papers about how firms -- most of all public utilities -- would under-report profits, to minimize regulation and control? These days we have firms over-reporting profits to minimize regulation and control.--Tyler Cowen

The people who just want to know things because they need to make important decisions, in contrast, usually say little about their love of truth; they are too busy trying to figure stuff out. These are the "truth lovers" I most respect in the sense of trusting their efforts to be directly targeted to actually uncovering truth. Sellers, hobbyists, and do-gooders are instead more likely to pretend to seek truth while actually seeking cash or respect.--Robin Hanson

... why does Brad DeLong make up fake statistics? Is he afraid the truth won't support his orthodoxy? He claims twice -- not once, but twice! -- that it is unfair to say the New Deal was ineffective, because "unemployment did fall from 23% in 1932 to 11% in 1939." Yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment as 17% in 1939.--Don Luskin

I believe that computers have taken over the world. I believe that they have in many ways ruined our children. I believe that kids used to love to go out and play. I believe that social graces are gone because manners are gone because all people do is sit around and text. I think it’s obnoxious.--Steve Nicks

The wheel is also a bad idea.--Don Surber

The challenge now for [Tom] Brady is to do what Tiger Woods has done – keep his personal life private while remaining the premier player in his sport.--Jim Donaldson

Dancing with the Stars is like life itself, only stupider-looking. So you sympathize with the contestants. Because they suck in the same way we suck. Because they succeed in the same way we succeed. They work hard. And they either get it or they don't. As Lawrence Taylor goes, so may I go. So may all of us go. In dancing, as in life.--Ross McCammon

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