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  • March 2011
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links for 2011-03-21

  • Quote:"We pointed out a couple of years ago–time flies–that the United States has the most progressive system of personal taxation of any developed country. Now, the Tax Foundation has the same message. The top ten percent of American taxpayers pay more to the national government in taxes, both as a percentage of the total taxes collected and in proportion to their share of the national income, than upper-income taxpayers in any other developed country. This chart says it all:

    // If you start to include corporate taxes and unbelievable levels of regulation and bureacracy, America is basically a democratic-socialist country.

    (tags: taxation)
  • Quote:"That’s the point that the DFL wants to keep obscuring; while the original stated purpose of LGA was to help lower property taxes for cities whose infrastructure needs outstripped the population’s ability to pay – building water treatment plants and police stations and schools in towns that couldn’t afford them, then or now – it has become a subsidy for big, bad, profligate urban DFL mismanagment; the Twin Cities, Duluth and Rochester get twice as much LGA per capita as the rest of the state, and that’s with the “the rest of the state” including the cities housing a third of the population that get no LGA at all.
  • Quote:"The National Association of Realtors said Monday sales fell 9.6 percent month over month to an annual rate of 4.88 million units, snapping three straight months of gains.

    The percentage decline was the largest since July.

    Economists polled by Reuters had expected February sales to fall 4.0 percent to a 5.15 million-unit pace from the previously reported 5.36 million unit rate in January, which was revised slightly up to 5.40 million.

    The median home price dropped 5.2 percent in February from a year earlier to $156,100, the lowest since April 2002.

    // Pretty obvious to me, there won't be a housing market recovery until people have jobs.

  • Quote:"We study a prototypical model of a Parliament with two Parties or two Political Coalitions and we show how the introduction of a variable percentage of randomly selected independent legislators can increase the global efficiency of a Legislature, in terms of both number of laws passed and average social welfare obtained. We also analytically find an "efficiency golden rule" which allows to fix the optimal number of legislators to be selected at random after that regular elections have established the relative proportion of the two Parties or Coalitions. These results are in line with both the ancient Greek democratic system and the recent discovery that the adoption of random strategies can improve the efficiency of hierarchical organizations.
  • // There is no free lunch, part MMCXXIII
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