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My weekly reading for July 7, 2024

by xyonent
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By Christian Britchigi reasonJuly 2, 2024.

excerpt:

Phoenix Amicus Brief Grants Pass The lawsuit was co-authored by the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, a taxpayer-funded lobbying group that has spent much of the past year fighting efforts in the Arizona Legislature to loosen local zoning regulations.

Local governments love to blame Martin Blaming the rise in homelessness allows them to escape real responsibility for the problem: homelessness happened to them, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals makes it impossible for them to do anything about it.

This is an incredible act of finger-pointing: in fact, a significant portion of the responsibility for the rise in homelessness lies with local and state governments, by making it so difficult to build housing in the first place.

What is most correlated with homelessness rates? High housing costsAnd nothing drives up house prices more than government restrictions on homebuilding.

Building a new apartment building with city approval It will take two yearsState environmental law Those who delay approved projects Lawsuits, and The cheapest form It would be no surprise if housing was banned altogether, thousands of people would be forced to live on the streets.

By Romina Boccia reasonJuly 2, 2024.

excerpt:

In reality, Social Security operates on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning that payroll taxes collected from current workers are immediately used to pay benefits to current retirees. Any surplus is deposited into the Social Security Trust Fund, which is not a cash reserve but rather a specially issued Treasury bond, essentially an IOU from the federal government.

When Social Security runs a deficit — when benefit payments exceed tax revenues — it has to pay down these bonds to make up the shortfall. The federal government must raise the cash to meet these IOUs, either by raising taxes, cutting spending elsewhere, or borrowing more.The trust fund does not contain actual liquid assets, but is a promise that the government will repay, and ultimately depends on the overall health of the federal budget and fiscal policy. (Bold text in the original)

DRH Story:

In 2004, when Dan Klein was teaching at Santa Clara University, he asked me to speak to his students in the evening. We discussed what would be a good topic to interest the students, and I suggested “Social Security: Your Future Nightmare.” We spoke on that topic. My daughter Karen was a student there, and although attendance wasn’t required, she attended with a male friend. It was a Tuesday evening, and just like when her mother and I taught there in the early 1980s (where we met), there were no classes on Wednesdays. This is relevant because my daughter stayed for the first 30 minutes and then told me she was going to leave because it was party day. I said that was fine, and asked if I could use a story about an interaction between us when she was 11 years old. She agreed.

Here’s a story I told to drive home the fact that trust funds aren’t really trust funds. When Karen was 11, she asked me if I was saving for her college. I told her I just started last year. Being the daughter of an economist, she asked, “How much?” I told her I had been saving $10,000 a year for eight years. That satisfied her. I then said to the audience, “Imagine if, instead of putting $10,000 a year in a money market fund, you wrote “IOU $10,000″ on a piece of paper, put it in a jar, and did that for eight years. Does anyone believe that when you emptied the jar after eight years you would have $80,000 in it?”

By the way, the talk was 45 minutes long and the Q&A was 40 minutes long. At the end, Karen came on with her friend. They stayed the whole time. She was excited and said, “I didn’t know that.”

Michael Munger, AIER, July 1, 2024.

excerpt:

It is possible to treat such values โ€‹โ€‹as “mark-to-market” estimates, but for assets with thin markets (shares in privately held or family-owned companies) or no annual market at all (unique mansions or large estates with no “comparables”), such estimates can be inaccurate and are costly to verify.

This is where “ULTRA” comes in. Instead of collecting (say) 2% of the asset’s liquidated value, the state takes ownership of the asset outright. ULTRA is a “nominal equity interest.” The government literally gets a cut of the asset’s value. That value is paid to the state when the asset is sold. Currently, it’s only a “nominal” interest in the sense that there are no shared control or voting rights. But for those who support ULTRA, if the taxing authority currently has the power to tax an asset but can’t because there’s no valuation event, taxpayers can pay in ULTRA instead of cash.

and:

Knowing the value of your assets can be very difficult, but ULTRA comes to the rescue.

The government, without knowing the economic value, takes 2% of Plenty’s shares in year 1, taxes the remaining 98% of the assets at 2% in year 2 (96.04% remains with Giselle), and levies another 2% ULTRA tax in year 3, leaving Giselle’s holdings at 94.12% of their original value. After 20 years of wealth taxes, Giselle’s holdings are 66.4% of Plenty’s shares and the tax authorities now own 33.6% of the company’s value. ULTRA currently pays no cash tax, but when Giselle sells her Plenty shares in 20 years, 33.6% of the sale price will be paid to the tax authorities.

If you look at the examples, the effect is astounding: in a relatively short period of time, the government literally acquires significant ownership. Among successful private companiesOpponents say that government ownership would be “Metaverse” to the Secretary of the Treasury. Very broad and unilateral discretion regarding use of ULTRA instead of cash payments.

By Krit Changwon Cato of FreedomJuly 5, 2024.

excerpt:

In 46 states and Washington, D.C., acupuncturists can Authenticated To become a licensed acupuncturist, you must be certified by the National Commission on Certification in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). 49 accredited acupuncture and moxibustion schoolsAspiring acupuncturists must pass at least two of the four exams administered by the NCCAOM. The number of exams required varies by state. For example, in Delaware, Obligations Acupuncturists must take all four NCCAOM exams. In Pennsylvania, Obligations There are only two exams.

California does not recognize any NCCAOM certification. Instead, it has its own licensing rules. People who wish to become acupuncturists in California must: One of 29 colleges accredited by the California Acupuncture Board Take the California Acupuncturist Licensing Examination. According to the Community Acupuncture Association The California Examination for the Licensing of Acupuncturists (POCA) has been “established as the gold standard for licensure in acupuncture and moxibustion.” The California exam is highly regarded because it offers greater rigor and depth than the NCCAOM exam.

and:

Acupuncturist licensing is just one example of California’s licensing craze. For 20 years, California has Ranking Ranked 49th out of 50 states in Cato’s 50-State Freedom Poll for Occupational Licensing Freedom. 2023 Archbridge Institute Poll found California requires occupational licensing for 189 occupations, more than the national average of 179. These licensing restrictions harm all Californians: 2018 Institute for Justice study Suggest California’s licensing system costs 195,000 jobs a year, which is probably one of the reasons why California has the highest unemployment rate of any state.

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