Tax and labor policies gone awry

EDF strikers cut power to French homes

California Taxation Leads to Mass Migration

California is 49th (New York 50th) in the Economic Freedom Index:

Nevada is 12th

Other notables:

Kentucky is 39th, Michigan 34th

Indiana is 14th, Texas is 17th

A statement on the mortgage bailouts.

Credit:  Michelle Malkin » “HONK if you’re paying my mortgage”.  If you’re tired of the bailouts going on forever, there is now a public way to make a statement:


You can buy the bumper sticker here.

Inside every chief exec, there’s a Soviet planner | Business | The Observer

Inside every chief exec, there’s a Soviet planner | Business | The Observer.  Macroeconomic central planning failed in the Soviet Union, but every company is a management planning factory.

If work is fragmented so that people have no direct line of sight to the customer, people have to be driven by signals from above rather than below.

An example from GE that illustrates the point:

Consider that the world’s most efficient large conventionally managed corporation, GE, spends 40% – that is, $60bn – of its revenues on administration and overheads. For every direct worker there’s an indirect one to check or “manage” the work.

Will the stimulus actually stimulate? Economists say no

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 02/12/2009 | Will the stimulus actually stimulate? Economists say no:

“I think (doing) nothing would have been better,” said Ed Yardeni, an investment analyst who’s usually an optimist, in an interview with McClatchy. He argued that the plan fails to provide the right incentives to spur spending.

A lot of my worry is either about the action being unfocused and/or indecisive (are they not two sides to the same coin?)

It’s unfocused. That is my problem. It is a lot of money for a lot of nickel-and- dime programs. I would have rather had a lot of money for (promoting purchase of) housing and autos . . . .

Another complaint I have (beyond the money being spent) is that there are alternative goals which serve to distract:

Another reason that some analysts frown on the stimulus is the social spending it includes on things such as the Head Start program for disadvantaged children and aid to NASA for climate-change research. Both may be worthy efforts, but they aren’t aimed at delivering short-term boosts to economic activity.

To put it another way, Ecclesiastes 3:1-7:

There is a time for everything,  and a season for every activity under heaven…

The next political and financial catastrophe

The Next Catastrophe: Think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were a politicized financial disaster? Just wait until pension funds implode. – Reason Magazine

Will saving more money kill the economy?

If I save more money, will I kill our economy? – “Money still talks, apparently. I just happen to believe it speaks loudest when people are in control of it.”  This topic made me think a little about alternative stimulus.  What if interest on CDs was made tax-free while requiring banks to de-lever gradually?  It may not have made a huge difference, but it may have created willing investors (depositors) in the banks’ survival.

Certainly, savings could be used for emergencies and would help float people in bad times.

An illustration of the global “financial pyramid”

Global recession – where did all the money go? | Business |  — This is an interesting look that takes each layer of the financial system and draws it as a proportionally sized circle, then demonstrates the unstable upside-down pyramid, juxtaposed with the “bailouts”.

A graphical look at the stimulus

Suitably Flip: Stimulus, Illustrated – Part II.