Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tufte’s Short Post # 20: FICA cuts were to the wrong source

FICA cuts were to the wrong source. One of the few tax cuts initiated by Obama and the Democrats was the FICA rebate. The thing is, if they wanted this to help the economy, they should have rebated the FICA taken out of firms’ compensation bill. This might have encouraged them to hire more people. Instead, the rebate went to workers. So this is really a transfer from the unemployed to the employed (yes, you read that correctly).

There’s an arthouse film called Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. You’re getting Twenty-Six Short Posts from Dr. Tufte. :) These are on why it’s difficult to understand the current macroeconomic situation.

Joe Baker is not a macroeconomist, but we all do a little bit of everything at SUU, so he has to teach principles of macroeconomics sometimes. The other day he asked for pointers about summing up for his students why we can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with the economy. I came up with 26 reasons, most of which have been discussed in class, and all of which are now required.

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