Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Deregulation

Why Bernie Sanders Matters More Than People Think

Every time I find a way to say that there is no one like Bernie Sanders, there are people who don’t believe me. Aren’t there other candidates who support the same policies he supports now? Some of them are younger. Some of them aren’t old white guys. Why can’t it be one of them, why can’t it be someone new? Over and over, I have tried to find ways to explain that there is a real difference between Bernie Sanders and everyone else. Today, as Sanders announces his candidacy for the presidency, I’m going to try one more time.

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Why Bernie vs Hillary Matters More Than People Think

Lately the internet has become full of arguments about the merits and demerits of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been discussing and pondering all the various views about this, and I’m increasingly of the opinion that most of the people engaging in this debate don’t really understand what is at stake in the democratic primary. This is in part because many Americans don’t really understand the history of American left wing politics and don’t think about policy issues in a holistic, structural way. So in this post, I want to really dig into what the difference is between Bernie and Hillary and why that difference is extremely important.

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The Stock Market Crash: What China and the US are Doing Wrong

Stock markets have been stumbling this week. To some degree, this is happening because corrections are needed, but one of the key reasons these corrections are happening right now is China. China’s stock market has been in a tailspin lately, and the Chinese government has taken a series of measures to prop up its stock market, all of which are only succeeding in making the situation much worse. Right wing commentators in the west are pointing at China and claiming that government intervention in the economy doesn’t work. This is a simplistic and reductive response–the problem is not that China is taking action, but that the specific actions that China is taking are the wrong actions.

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Glass-Steagall 2.0

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has a new idea–she wants to bring back repealed portions of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. The bill is, surprisingly, co-sponsored by John McCain (R-AZ). Warren’s student loan scheme was ill-conceived, but is this idea better? Let’s find out.

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Clandestine Inequality

The other week, I wrote a post in which I observed a connection in the United States between the rate of federal income tax on the wealthy and the rate of economic growth. As the rate of tax on the rich fell, the pace of economic growth appears to slow. However, it was pointed out to me by readers that despite changes in the tax rate, effective tax rates remained more or less the same. In 1979, the formal tax rate, the rate the baseline rate mandated by the tax code, on the rich was 70%, and in 1996, it was 40%, yet the effective tax rates, the rates people actually pay after taking into account deductions and other loopholes, according to the CBO, were only 1 percentage point apart–37% in 79′, 36% in 96′. Surprisingly, according to a Berkeley study, the effective rate of individual income tax on the rich in 1970 was actually lower–32%. Yet despite this, we still have lower growth rates and more inequality. This is bizarre. What on earth is going on? Read the rest of this entry »