Cratering

A half-stack doesn't fit in the trunk.

wordpress visitor

Cratering

a half-stack doesn't fit in the trunk
On January 20, 2009, the day of Obama’s first inauguration, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened at 8279.63, and the Standard and Poor’s 500 opened at 849.64.
Today they closed at 14009.79 and 1513.17, increases of 69% and 78%.
Why, just imagine where we’d be if he didn’t hate America, capitalism, and Wall Street!

On January 20, 2009, the day of Obama’s first inauguration, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened at 8279.63, and the Standard and Poor’s 500 opened at 849.64.

Today they closed at 14009.79 and 1513.17, increases of 69% and 78%.

Why, just imagine where we’d be if he didn’t hate America, capitalism, and Wall Street!

girl-detective:

Nobody in America is required to vote, but let me be very clear:
There is nothing prideful in not voting.
Not when suffragists endured imprisonment, abuse, and hunger strikes to get the vote for women.
Not when activists in the Civil Rights era risked their lives to put an end to voter discrimination.
Not when there are millions of people around the world who only wish they had the privilege you’re ignoring.
If you don’t want to vote, that’s your choice. But don’t you dare brag about what amounts to slapping these souls in the face. 
DON’T YOU DARE.

Rachel makes an important point.

girl-detective:

Nobody in America is required to vote, but let me be very clear:

There is nothing prideful in not voting.

Not when suffragists endured imprisonment, abuse, and hunger strikes to get the vote for women.

Not when activists in the Civil Rights era risked their lives to put an end to voter discrimination.

Not when there are millions of people around the world who only wish they had the privilege you’re ignoring.

If you don’t want to vote, that’s your choice. But don’t you dare brag about what amounts to slapping these souls in the face.

DON’T YOU DARE.

Rachel makes an important point.

Keep talking, Mitt.

Keep talking, Mitt.

Let me state right up front that Jason is awesome, a guy I’ve met several times, and in no way someone I’m trying to pick a fight with. Primarily because I like him a lot, secondarily because I have no doubt he’d kick my ass from here to Tucumcari. This is just a friendly rebuttal of something he said earlier that didn’t seem to make sense to me. We’re all good, I hope. May it be received in the spirit intended.
Anyway, he made two assertions:
The US corporate tax rate is too high.
Lowering corporate tax rates creates jobs.
I did a little digging earlier and found that America’s effective corporate tax rate is the sixth highest in the world. Whether that’s too high or not, I dunno, but it’s clearly high by relative measure to our peers. I learned something today.
The second point is one I wanted to find out a little bit more about. Maybe he’s right, after all. In this environment where we have an entire political party dedicated to seeing who can propose the lower, flatter tax, it’s probably smart to rethink what I assume to be true. Especially since there’s a good chance one of those yokels is going to be the next president.
So, a test of the hypothesis is in order: do lower tax rates lead to lower unemployment rates? I started with the tax rate data that I found earlier today from a PWC study. Next, I went to Wikipedia and found a list of unemployment rates by country. I then crunched it all up into a google spreadsheet and did a simple Pearson analysis to see how the variables correlate. (A scatterplot is featured above.)
For the uninitiated, the Pearson coefficient, usually called r, is a measure of correlation. It’s scaled from -1 to +1, where values near -1 and +1 mean the two things have very strong correlations, and values near 0 mean there is no correlation: they are unrelated. The way it’s set up here, Jason would want to see an r of near 1: higher tax rates correlate strongly to higher unemployment. If r were near -1, that would mean higher tax rates correlate strongly to lower unemployment, exactly the opposite of what he’d want to see. And if r is near 0, that means the two variables don’t have a lot to do with each other at all.
So, I did the math (and you can check it if you want), and I came up with r = 0.0557. This is extremely close to 0 as these analyses go, and indicates that the two variables don’t appear to have anything to do with each other. You can see that in the scatterplot above; there’s no clear line you can draw that fits those points. It’s a blob. To me, really, this isn’t too surprising: the unemployment problem is incredibly complex, influenced by dozens of variables. There’s unlikely to be a silver bullet, or someone would have used it.
Now, some disclaimers:
I haven’t had a statistics class since 1986. This may be the wrong analysis, or it may be done wrong.
I don’t know shit about economics or taxes.
Who knows what the veracity of the PWC or Wikipedia data is.
Basically, this whole analysis may be horseshit, and I am not presenting myself as an authority on any of the above. I’m just a guy who tumblrs pictures of his kids and makes smartass comments, who also happens to be going through a sort of crisis of confidence regarding domestic politics, and I thought for my own benefit I’d test a core belief of mine at a time when it’s under assault from many vectors. Based on what I know, and even accounting for what I don’t, I feel OK with my position on this.
(edit: I really wanted to put a “Read More ->” thing on this, but I can’t since it’s a photo. Thanks, tumblr.)

Let me state right up front that Jason is awesome, a guy I’ve met several times, and in no way someone I’m trying to pick a fight with. Primarily because I like him a lot, secondarily because I have no doubt he’d kick my ass from here to Tucumcari. This is just a friendly rebuttal of something he said earlier that didn’t seem to make sense to me. We’re all good, I hope. May it be received in the spirit intended.

Anyway, he made two assertions:

  1. The US corporate tax rate is too high.
  2. Lowering corporate tax rates creates jobs.

I did a little digging earlier and found that America’s effective corporate tax rate is the sixth highest in the world. Whether that’s too high or not, I dunno, but it’s clearly high by relative measure to our peers. I learned something today.

The second point is one I wanted to find out a little bit more about. Maybe he’s right, after all. In this environment where we have an entire political party dedicated to seeing who can propose the lower, flatter tax, it’s probably smart to rethink what I assume to be true. Especially since there’s a good chance one of those yokels is going to be the next president.

So, a test of the hypothesis is in order: do lower tax rates lead to lower unemployment rates? I started with the tax rate data that I found earlier today from a PWC study. Next, I went to Wikipedia and found a list of unemployment rates by country. I then crunched it all up into a google spreadsheet and did a simple Pearson analysis to see how the variables correlate. (A scatterplot is featured above.)

For the uninitiated, the Pearson coefficient, usually called r, is a measure of correlation. It’s scaled from -1 to +1, where values near -1 and +1 mean the two things have very strong correlations, and values near 0 mean there is no correlation: they are unrelated. The way it’s set up here, Jason would want to see an r of near 1: higher tax rates correlate strongly to higher unemployment. If r were near -1, that would mean higher tax rates correlate strongly to lower unemployment, exactly the opposite of what he’d want to see. And if r is near 0, that means the two variables don’t have a lot to do with each other at all.

So, I did the math (and you can check it if you want), and I came up with r = 0.0557. This is extremely close to 0 as these analyses go, and indicates that the two variables don’t appear to have anything to do with each other. You can see that in the scatterplot above; there’s no clear line you can draw that fits those points. It’s a blob. To me, really, this isn’t too surprising: the unemployment problem is incredibly complex, influenced by dozens of variables. There’s unlikely to be a silver bullet, or someone would have used it.

Now, some disclaimers:

  • I haven’t had a statistics class since 1986. This may be the wrong analysis, or it may be done wrong.
  • I don’t know shit about economics or taxes.
  • Who knows what the veracity of the PWC or Wikipedia data is.

Basically, this whole analysis may be horseshit, and I am not presenting myself as an authority on any of the above. I’m just a guy who tumblrs pictures of his kids and makes smartass comments, who also happens to be going through a sort of crisis of confidence regarding domestic politics, and I thought for my own benefit I’d test a core belief of mine at a time when it’s under assault from many vectors. Based on what I know, and even accounting for what I don’t, I feel OK with my position on this.

(edit: I really wanted to put a “Read More ->” thing on this, but I can’t since it’s a photo. Thanks, tumblr.)

Thank the stars that President Hoover Obama capitulated and agreed to start shredding the safety net so we could borrow some more.
Because it would have been really bad for the markets if he didn’t.

Thank the stars that President Hoover Obama capitulated and agreed to start shredding the safety net so we could borrow some more.

Because it would have been really bad for the markets if he didn’t.

STOP THE “TOO MUCH TAX” MYTH.

kellyoxford:

Looks like they worked out a deal that screws the old, the poor, and the sick, keeps the wars going strong, and of course doesn’t meaningfully affect tax rates for the rich or for corporations. Can’t have that. Just look, we might approach the tax rates of international powerhouses like Slovakia.

The President appears to be intricately involved in this deal.

"Hope." "Change."

I’ve never felt so stupid.

I dunno. Looks like a clear consensus to me.

I dunno. Looks like a clear consensus to me.

Priorities

Feds say no to funding of Fermilab Tevatron:

In a message to Fermilab employees, [director Pier] Oddone said the lab received word from the U.S. Department of Energy that “we will not receive funding for the proposed Tevatron extension and consequently the Tevatron will close at the end of (fiscal year) 2011 as was previously planned.”

“The present budgetary climate did not permit (the Department of Energy) to secure the additional funds needed to run the Tevatron for three more years as recommended by the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel,” Oddone said.

Go ahead and substitute “House Republicans” where it says “Feds” up there.

Just this week, a paper was published based on research done at the soon-to-be-shuttered particle accelerator. They may have discovered no less than the Higgs boson and a fifth fundamental force, though they are cautious, like scientists are.

Approximate annual cost of operating the Tevatron: about $35 million. (Oh, and 100 jobs.)

Amount we’ve spent on “the Libyan mission” so far: about $550 million.

BUT OUR ISLAMOSOCIALIST PRESIDENT HATES BIDNESS!

BUT OUR ISLAMOSOCIALIST PRESIDENT HATES BIDNESS!

Funny

Most of the people who are all bent out of shape about Wikileaks are the same crowd who, when asked about the trampling of the Fourth Amendment in service of the War on Terror™, will respond with something like, “if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about.”